Are You Smarter Than This Kid?

William is 11-years old but he loses me at about his third sentence on why Stephen Hawking was wrong to conclude there is no god. I know there are a bunch of folks reading this blog who are on both sides of that issue, so give a listen and tell us what you think in the comments.

And please, remember, keep it civil.

Asked during a recent interview with Hellenic College Holy Cross to explain his unusual passion for engaging atheists, William said:

“Well because there’s these atheists that try to say that there is no God, when in reality it takes more faith to believe that there’s no God than it does to believe that there is a God… Because it makes more sense that something created the universe than that the universe created itself. It takes more faith to say the universe created itself than to say something other created the universe because that is more logical.”

Continue reading “Are You Smarter Than This Kid?”

If Jesus Wasn’t Resurrected … Who Got His Dead Body?

Here are three rock-solid bottom-line facts you can trust to be true about Jesus

Jesus told His disciples repeatedly before He was arrested, tried, tortured and crucified that those things would happen. He also told them He would be resurrected on the third day after His death.

They didn’t understand any of it before it all came down but within a few days of His death and burial, they were telling the world they had seen and talked to Him, that He was alive, that He had been resurrected.

Here we are 2,000 years later and a bunch of theories have been proposed to explain away the disciples’ claim that Jesus was resurrected. One of those theories is that Jesus didn’t come back to life, and the reason the tomb was empty was because somebody stole His body.

Continue reading “If Jesus Wasn’t Resurrected … Who Got His Dead Body?”

NEWS FLASH! Millennials Run Congress

Great post today in Roll Call by reporter Alex Gangitano titled “Politicians Worry About Millennials But They’re Already Running The Hill.” If you work on the Hill, you knew that before today but Gangitano’s post puts some interesting human faces on the reality.

Gangitano quotes Chris Carter, 31, who is chief of staff for Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), who at the age of 25 was Hudson’s district director and moved up to his present position at age 29.

“When you get constituents who come up to D.C. to lobby … I do think it’s a little surprising to them when they come in and are talking about a very important issue and they’re sitting across from a 20-something who’s in a senior role in an office,” Carter told Gangitano.

Continue reading “NEWS FLASH! Millennials Run Congress”

Which Are More Reliable, Aristotle and Plato, or Matthew, Mark, Luke And John?

One of the most frequently mentioned myths about the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is the claim they cannot be historically accurate because they were written decades after the events they purport to report.

Several of the commenters to yesterday’s post here — “Are Christians The Biggest Fools Of All Time?” — repeated variations of the claim the Gospels are unreliable because so much time elapsed between the events and the writing of the individual books. The actual facts, the critics argue, were lost to the myths and legends that grew up around the events related in the Gospels.

The German higher critics of the 19th Century made this claim a standard argument in the conventional wisdom scholarship of the 20th century among those who reject the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ and His claim to be the incarnate creator of the universe and everything in it. And the argument continues in popular culture and debate to this day, as seen in the comments to yesterday’s post.

There has been a tremendous amount of scholarship on the accuracy and reliability of the Gospels in recent decades. Below is a link to a recent podcast of Frank Turek’s interview with Dr. Craig Blomberg, who is one of the most respected scholars in the world on this issue. I highly commend it to anybody on any side of the debate.

But more immediately, let’s address the question posed in the headline above. Nobody today doubts when they read Plato’s “Republic” or Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” that they are reading what the Greek philosophers actually wrote, even though what they hold in their hands are copies of copies of copies … stretching back centuries.

Even so, when was the last time you heard anybody say Plato’s discussion of the shadows on the wall of the cave cannot be trusted as what Plato actually wrote or believed because so much time elapsed between his original manuscript and the earliest copies used by copyists in the millennia before Mr. Gutenberg invented the printing press? Or that Aristotle’s Golden Mean as the key to human virtue was a creation of a later copyist and thus was not the philosopher’s original view?

Nevertheless, that’s a commonly expressed argument whenever the Gospels are under discussion.

But guess what? There are far more copies of the Gospels, written much closer to the original authors, than there are for any other of the ancient classics, including Plato and Aristotle.

Aristotle’s works were written between 386 B.C. and 322 B.C. The first copies came along in about 1,100 A.D., or roughly 1,400 years after Aristotle did his thing. As for Plato, he wrote between 427 B.C. and 347 B.C, and the first copies date to 900 A.D., for an interval of roughly 1,200 years.

Compare that to the New Testament, which, regarding the Gospels, the critics claim were written, at the earliest, around 70 A.D., with copies first appearing around 130 A.D.

In other words, if the same standards of reliability and accuracy are applied to the New Testament that have long been accepted without question for other ancient authors, then the Gospels must be viewed as among the most reliable of the ancient classics. You can check out this post by Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research for more specifics on this angle.

And as I always say, a great place to start in assessing these issues is “More Than A Carpenter” by Josh and Sean McDowell. Just tell me your address and I’ll get a copy of MTAC for free.

Now, here’s Frank Turek’s extended audio conversation with Dr. Craig Blomberg:

https://crossexamined.org/?powerpress_embed=72550-podcast&powerpress_player=mediaelement-audio

Are Christians The Biggest Fools Of All Time?

Why yes, if Jesus Christ was not resurrected from the dead on the third day following His crucifixion, as He repeatedly told His disciples beforehand He would be, then every one of the billions of people who have lived who professed their faith in Him has been a schmuck, a fool, conned, etc.

This may come as a shock to some, but St. Paul put it rather succinctly at 1 Corinthians 15:14: “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”

Spartacus, the favorite gladiator of a certain famous New Jersey senator, might shrug and say “party hearty tonight, dudes, cauz tomorrow half of us are going to die.”

Now, think of it from a slightly different angle — If He was resurrected, that means He’s God. And that changes everything for everybody, including you and me, my friend. So with that thought in mind, take 3.30 and give a listen to this from Bobby Conway, “The One-Minute Apologist.” Yes, I know, that’s not just one minute. It’s branding, I guess.

By the way, I found this particular video on The Poached Egg, a web site you should definitely check out if you work for a senator or representative in the Congress of the United States.

Or if you just care about groovy stuff like epistomology, the ultimate purpose of your life, the significance of the ancient Roman Army’s Kustodian to everything that has happened since it briefly guarded a certain tomb near Jerusalem, and so forth.