XFiles Friday: Liar, Lunatic or Liberal

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 13.)

Last time we looked at what Geisler and Turek called Jesus’ “indirect” claims to deity, a rather disappointing demonstration for the most part, with several of their key examples turning out muddled and self-contradictory, and even non-existent. This week, they try to offer some more practical examples of things Jesus allegedly did that only God could have done, followed by their ace in the hole: C. S. Lewis.

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Posted in IDHEFTBA, Unapologetics, XFiles. 5 Comments »

Obama and Jesus

Forgive me, but I can’t help commenting on current events. For example, let’s look at an editorial written by Dr. William P. Dukes, a professor of finance in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. Dr. Dukes writes:

Obama wants us to believe that his motivation is to help the small number of Americans who do not have health insurance. Those who have no health insurance will receive better health care from almost any hospital than from having Obama Health Insurance. Our health care system is not perfect, but is still the best in the world. Obama wants to waste something like a trillion dollars to have a single provider. Very briefly, he wants to socialize medicine, to have total control over all health care and the lives of the elderly.

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Posted in Current Events, Politics, Unapologetics. 15 Comments »

XFiles Friday: The Indirect Deity

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 13.)

Last time we looked at what Geisler and Turek claimed were Jesus’ direct claims to be God. Considering that one of these “direct claims” consisted of Geisler and Turek asking themselves why Jesus was crucified if he didn’t claim to be God, I think it’s fair to say that they didn’t argue their case as well as they might have. But in any event, they (and we) are moving on to what they call Jesus’ “indirect” claims to deity.

By “indirect,” they mean that they, as apologists, have to work a bit harder to make Jesus’ words sound like claims to personal divinity. Jesus didn’t come right out and say, “Yes, I am God the Father, and you need to worship Me and no other person” (and if he had, that would be quite a problem for Trinitarians!), but according to Geisler and Turek, he left specially coded clues for Trinitarian Christians to ferret out and interpret. Let’s pick a representative sample, and have a look.

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Posted in IDHEFTBA, Unapologetics, XFiles. Comments Off

The magic of ritual

I’d like to follow up on last week’s post about the Trinity, because I think we just started to get into a discussion that’s actually pretty interesting on its own. As mentioned last time, the doctrine of the Trinity is a doctrine made up of two mutually-contradictory ideas: the idea that there is one God (monotheism) and the idea that multiple, distinct, individual Persons are each fully God (polytheism). What’s more, the Church has known since the origin of Trinitarianism that these two aspects of the doctrine contradict each other, hence the need to officially declare it a “mystery” beyond the grasp of mortal reason or study.

So how, then, has the Church been successful in persuading people that the Trinity is the Truth? It seems fairly obvious: truth is consistent with itself, and the only way we have to distinguish between truth and untruth is to look for the telltale inconsistencies and contradictions that betray untruth. Yet here we have a doctrine that is not written in the Bible, was not revealed through allegedly inspired prophets, and that was adopted, after much conflict and even violence, through a political process that boiled down to deciding which side was most convincing to the greatest number of (fallible, uninspired) men. It should be easy, given a self-contradicting teaching with such a checkered past, to convince Christians that this is a false and man-made doctrine. And yet, it is not.

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Posted in Unapologetics. 12 Comments »

You know you’re being spammed by a computer when…

You know you’re being spammed by a carelessly programmed computer when the comment starts like this:

I just wanted to break in and say howdy to everyone. I needed to acquaint myself, my name is Christine. Hello everyone, my name is Keith.Hello to all, I am recent here and my name is Bill.

Just to make it extra fun, the service being spammed was offering to help people with their computers. Oo, sign me up, I can’t wait to let these guys get to work on my PC!

 
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XFiles “Friday”: Is Jesus God?

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 13.)

I may be a day late getting this posted, which is ironic considering how anxious Geisler and Turek were to get to this one question. Is Jesus God? Well, frankly no, but they’re going to try and make it sound like he is anyway.

As we have seen, the Old Testament predicts the coming of a Messiah who would be born a man but somehow be God as well (Isa. 9:6). Jesus is the only known person who meets the predicted qualifications of the Messiah. But did he claim to be God?

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Posted in IDHEFTBA, Unapologetics, XFiles. 2 Comments »

Character or Characteristic?

I’ve been thinking lately about the doctrine of the Trinity, and I thought it might be helpful to talk about it in terms of the distinction between a character (i.e. a distinct, individual identity) versus a characteristic (i.e. a trait or category that might be shared in common between multiple distinct individuals). The question is, when we use the term “God,” what are we describing, a character or a characteristic?

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Posted in Unapologetics. 4 Comments »

Unscientific America

Well, looks like the blogosphere has been busy since I’ve been gone. I’ve been particularly interested in the brouhaha between PZ Myers et al versus Mooney and Kirshenbaum regarding Unscientific America, recently published by the latter. I haven’t had a chance to read more than the excerpt posted on the Unscientific America web site, so I’ll reserve judgment on which side I favor. In the meantime, I have some comments of my own regarding what I suspect the root cause is: American education. Not that we’re failing to do it well enough, but that our entire approach to education is fundamentally flawed in ways that make widespread anti-intellectualism inevitable.

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Posted in Current Events, Education. 6 Comments »

Back again

Well, here I am back again. Very nice vacation, I might add.

The time off gave me a chance to review a few things, and I’ve implemented a new comments policy that I think will be easier to maintain going forward. There’s a link for it at the top of the page. Basically it says that if someone submits a comment it doesn’t necessarily mean I should or will publish it. I’m generally in favor of free speech, but everything in its place. The comments section is the place for comments that enhance the quality and value of the blog by making some kind of substantive contribution (for or against my remarks). The discussion forum is the place for everything that may or may not meet the quality standards of the comments section. I think that strikes a reasonable compromise between my desire for free speech and my desire for high-quality comments, don’t you?

 
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Posted in Blog news. 2 Comments »