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November 29, 2009
Using comparative mythology, and tell-tale verses in the Bible and archaeology, Secret Origins of the Bible demonstrates that the stories and themes of the Bible were part of the great mythic systems of the ancient world. The abstract God of modern monotheistic Judaism, Christianity and Islam is a comparatively recent creation. In later times the myth of a messianic deliverer was combined with that of the pagan god-man who suffered a horrible, excruciating death but was physically resurrected to produce the Christ myth.
November 25, 2009
"Holding believes Dawkins to be a hypocrite because, while Dawkins labels Young Earth creationism a 'crackpot' idea, Mr. Holding believes Dawkins to have thrown in with the Christ-myth crowd, an equally 'crackpot' idea in Holding's estimation. My article examines this charge, finds it false, and exposes Mr. Holding as the true hypocrite."
November 16, 2009
The gloves come off in this rowdy literary bout (originally hosted by, and published in, Christianity Today) as atheist Christopher Hitchens ("one of the beltway's most respected public intellectuals," "an intimidating intellectual Goliath") and Christian apologist Douglas Wilson ("an ultra-conservative pastor from Idaho who looks like a lumberjack") go head-to-head on this divisive question. The result is entertaining and provocative.
November 8, 2009
The philosopher René Descartes famously pondered the question of the possibility of God's deceit. If God was deceitful, we as his creations could never trust anything we contemplate or perceive; it may simply be a deceitful, omnipotent God directly warping our faculties or, as our creator, deliberately constructing us with faulty, unreliable faculties to start with. To dodge this disturbing possibility, Descartes argued that God, a perfect being, could not be deceitful because deceit is a fault, an imperfection. This simple stratagem appeared to satisfy Descartes. But was Descartes on to something more insidious and unthinkable than he was willing to contemplate; was he too hasty in sweeping this concern under the rug?
November 7, 2009
Added Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary (2009) by Kenneth W. Daniels to the Christianity, Christian Worldview, and Why I Am Not a Christian pages in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
This is an online edition of the print book by the same title. It is the true story of a former evangelical missionary who gradually lost his faith, and the many reasons for his loss of faith. Daniels writes: "I invite Christian readers to consider the possibility that my apostasy is a result not of divine or diabolical deception but of a simple weighing of the evidence ... It might be that I am wrong. It might be that I have not sought God sufficiently or studied the Bible thoroughly enough or listened carefully enough to the many Christians who have admonished me ... Maybe. But the knowledge that billions of seekers have lived and died, calling out to God for some definitive revelation without ever receiving it, or receiving revelation that conflicts with the revelation others have found, contributes to my suspicion that there is no personal God who reveals himself to anyone."