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What's New on the Secular Web?


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February 28, 2013

New in the Bookstore: In Freedom We Trust (2012) by Edward M. & Michael E. Buckner.

In Freedom We Trust covers the two-centuries-long debate over religion and secularism in America. Taking an unabashedly atheistic point of view, authors Edward M. and Michael E. Buckner argue that everyone—from evangelical Christian to ardent atheist—needs a secular America, and separation of church and state. They examine the decidedly unchristian roots of the Fourth of July, the important difference between "tolerance" and "toleration," the misleading confusions related to the difference between "public" and "governmental," the value of secular schooling, the erroneous contention that atheism is equivalent to immorality and therefore dangerous, and a host of other contemporary and historical topics.

February 24, 2013

New in the Kiosk: Scientist-Believers: Troublesome Routes Across the Compatibility Chasm (2013) by Richard Smith

As part of my coming out as an atheist, the pastor at my church challenged me to review the work of believer scientists, to look at how they had found Christianity compatible with their scientific work. What follows is my best shot, as a layman, at a difficult subject, based on careful thought and reflection. Its value, if any, is in showing how some well-known scientist-believers (John Polkinghorne, William Pollard, and Francis Collins) make the compatibility arguments in ways they would never accept in their scientific day jobs, and end up tangled up in, or in downright conflict with, the methods of science and the claims of theism.

February 4, 2013

Added The Great Mars Hill Resurrection Debate (2012) (PDF) by Robert Greg Cavin and Carlos A. Colombetti to the Resurrection page under Christianity, as well as the Stephen T. Davis, Norman Geisler, Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, and Lee Strobel sections, and William Lane Craig and Richard Swinburne pages, under Christian Apologetics and Apologists in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

In these slides for his opening statement in his debate with Michael Licona on July 1, 2012 at Antioch Temecula Church in Temecula, California, Robert Greg Cavin presents one of the strongest cases against the resurrection of Jesus ever presented, decisively refuting arguments for the Resurrection by prominent Christian apologists Timothy McGrew, Lydia McGrew, Richard Swinburne, William Lane Craig, Stephen T. Davis, Gary Habermas, Michael Licona, Norman Geisler, Josh McDowell, and Lee Strobel. Cavin makes three main contentions: (1) the prior probability of a supernatural resurrection of Jesus by God is so astronomically low that it has virtually no plausibility; (2) theorizing such a resurrection to explain the empty tomb and postmortem appearances of Jesus is ad hoc and devoid of nearly any explanatory power and scope; and (3) a far superior alternative theory can account for the empty tomb and postmortem appearances. In defending these three contentions, Cavin refutes sixteen myths perpetuated by Christians apologists about critics' objections to the Resurrection.

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