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April 7, 2023

Added the seventy-third Freethinker Podcast YouTube Interview with Vincent Torley on Recent Apologetics (2023) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web.

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this roughly 40-minute return interview with skeptical Catholic Vincent Torley, opening with his critique of recent defenses of long-popular Christian apologetics, such as his recent Skeptical Zone post on Gavin Ortlund’s (unsuccessful) defense of C. S. Lewis’ liar, lunatic, or lord trilemma on Cameron Bertuzzi’s Capturing Christianity podcast in August 2022, an argument that actually goes back to its first formulation in the late 19th century by Scots preacher John Duncan (“Christ either deceived mankind by conscious fraud, or He was Himself deluded and self-deceived, or He was Divine”). Torley notes that there are, in fact, seven or so alternatives, including that Jesus’ divine status was merely a legend, that Jesus was mistaken without being insane, that Jesus was simply a mystic, or that Jesus never even existed as a historical figure at all, among other possibilities. Torley summarizes Ortlund’s responses to these alternatives, which claim that they are not genuine possibilities for Jesus, and Ortlund’s reasons for maintaining that Jesus was neither a “liar” nor a “lunatic,” either. Torley then outlines the unintelligibility of the theological concepts of incarnation or the Trinity, despite recent attempts to make sense of them, before returning to the point that neither the traditional “lord, liar, or lunatic” nor modified “cosmic judge, liar, or lunatic” trilemma will be convincing in light of scriptural sources. Tahmizian then turns the discussion back to the unintelligibility of the incarnation and the Trinity, and how the human disposition to sin could possibly fit into such concepts, before closing on lighter topics like what life is like for Torley in Japan. Tune in for this fascinating discussion of an often-repeated but not particularly compelling apologetic argument!

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