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December 4, 2016
Can an atheist take part in a religious celebration? Is there some alternative way in which an atheist can enjoy the good things about the Christmas season?
November 28, 2016
Appeals to the alleged "fine-tuning" of the cosmos will have to wait until there is a compelling, definite reason to suspect that the existence of our universe really is improbable. Vague analogies with firing squads and arbitrarily selected probabilities may lead to some interesting speculations, but they do not point to any significant evidence for some kind of creator.
November 11, 2016
Many evangelical Christians tremble with excitement at the thought that they are the "last generation" and "Jesus is due to return soon." Others are less excitable and propose that Jesus' "return" might still be far off. Neither view appears to be correct judging by the plain words of the New Testament--words that armies of theologians have spent centuries trying to divide up and "conquer," or in this case, "explain away." Let's examine some of those words to discover exactly what it is about them that requires mountains of ingenious explanations from Dispensationalists, Preterists, and other varieties of evangelical Christian apologists.
October 17, 2016
New in the Kiosk: The Struggle Is the Story: A Philosophical Note on Mankind's Mission (2016) by Mike Chege
Is life meaningless without God and a divine plan? In this essay, Chege tackles the age-old question of whether the apparent lack of a divine plan for mankind necessarily leads to nihilism. He argues that man-made goals are capable of fulfilling the same role as the belief in a divine plan, but by promising a greater life in this world rather than in the next.
October 9, 2016
Killing Jesus, the bestselling blockbuster by Bill O'Reilly, claims to be a purely historical account of the events in the life of Jesus leading up to his crucifixion. New Testament scholar Robert M. Price (a member of the Jesus Seminar) shows how unfounded this claim is in this critical review of O'Reilly's work. In fact, he judges the book to be the number one source of misinformation on Jesus today. Ignoring over one hundred years of New Testament scholarship, O'Reilly and his coauthor, Martin Dugard, have produced what Price describes as a Christian historical thriller that plays fast and loose with the facts.
October 3, 2016
Even though radical Islam is spreading, not much is known about the Koran in Western countries, and there seems to be an unwillingness to have a closer look at the book. Yet without this, informed discussion is not possible, and what debate does take place is no more than an exchange of opinion and ignorance. Amongst other things, the Koran is said to call for holy war (jihad) and sanction domestic violence, but when asked about this, Muslims and Western apologists flatly deny it and one cannot rebut them without precise quotes. They maintain that the Koran does not preach violence, only compassion and justice (and one should well ask whose justice), yet the book they defend does not support their claims. Read the Koran, they say. I have. And I cut through the litany to point out a number of disturbing passages. Each quote is referenced by the number of the line where it begins.