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November 4, 2014
While it may at first glance seem a stretch to make a comparison between the Titanic and Christian apologetics, a fundamental truth exists within that comparison: namely, that so-called experts do make mistakes, and that it is unreasonable and potentially misleading to assume that they are always correct. It should be noted that experts designed, built and sailed the Titanic on its fateful maiden voyage and that each of those disciplines had a hand in its ultimate destruction. Unfortunately, Christian tradition and its accompanying apologetics fare no better in their claims of unassailable accuracy in portraying the life of the historical Jesus.
October 23, 2014
Added On Christian Theology: An Introduction (2014) by Michael Reynolds to the Christianity page and Alister McGrath section of the Christian Apologetics and Apologists page in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
Theology professor Alister McGrath's Christian Theology: An Introduction is a clear and comprehensive theology textbook that is balanced, at least, when presenting conflicting Christian opinions. This review by Michael Reynolds from the perspective of a nonbeliever is not intended to be comprehensive, but focuses on McGrath's treatment of issues found to be incomplete or misleading, or otherwise his omissions of discussion (or even mention) of large and important topics within Christianity. Some of these topics include the pernicious effects of Christian theology on social progress (such as equal rights for men and women), the conflict between science and religion, Christianity's history of suppression of thought by imprisonment, torture, and murder, religious wars, and rationalization of the conquest of non-Christian cultures. In short, McGrath neglects a large swath of issues close to the heart of Christianity in a way that suggests that Christian theology is taught in order to promote a set of fictions.
October 12, 2014
"Religions fill a deeply felt need. Throughout history, practically all societies, whether isolated tribes or complex civilizations, have had some sort of belief system in the form of a religion. If something as ubiquitous and seemingly necessary as religion is actually a false concept, significant consideration ought to be given to what might replace it."
October 4, 2014
New in the Bookstore: God or Godless?: One Atheist. One Christian. Twenty Controversial Questions (2013) by John W. Loftus and Randal Rauser.
In this unique book, atheist (and former Christian minister and apologist with degrees in philosophy, theology, and the philosophy of religion) John Loftus, and theist Randal Rauser (Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Taylor Seminary) engage in twenty short debates that consider Christianity, the existence of God, and unbelief from a variety of angles. Each concise debate centers on a single proposition to be resolved, with either Loftus or Rauser arguing in the affirmative and the opponent the negative.
September 15, 2014
"Occasionally apologists will ask me what I would consider to be sufficient evidence to believe that Jesus resurrected from the dead. Fair enough. Seeing as I deny that there is sufficient evidence to reasonably believe in the resurrection, what amount or type of evidence would I consider adequate to meet the onus probandi for establishing such an extraordinary claim? The best approach that I have found to answering this question is by an equally extraordinary analogy."