July 31, 2020

Added The Justified Lie by the Johannine Jesus in its Greco-Roman-Jewish Context (2020) by John MacDonald to the Biblical Criticism and Character of Jesus pages under Christianity in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

In this article John MacDonald examines the possible lie by Jesus in John 7:8-10. The article begins by providing an analysis of the context of lying and deception in the ancient world. Given this background, it moves on to examine (mainly) the insights of Tyler Smith, Adele Reinhartz, Dennis MacDonald, and Hugo Méndez/Candida Moss about the Fourth Gospel and deception. Here John MacDonald explores the thesis that John’s Jesus does in fact lie, and that this lie is meant to be understood by the inner-circle reader. Jesus lying to his brothers is the method by which he is able to go up and preach to the crowd; the lie leads to belief or makes belief possible.

New in the Kiosk: Why I am a Humanist (2020) by Leslie Allan

In this article explaining why he self-identifies as a humanist, Leslie Allan first explains what he found attractive enough about humanism to adopt its label. Then he outlines what he takes to be humanism’s three guiding principles. Finally, he explores a humanist view of what gives our lives meaning and purpose.

Recommended reading: A Debate on God and Morality: What is the Best Account of Objective Moral Values and Duties? (2020) by William Lane Craig and Erik J. Wielenberg

In 2018 William Lane Craig and Erik J. Wielenberg participated in a debate at North Carolina State University addressing the question: “God and Morality: What is the Best Account of Objective Moral Values and Duties?” Craig argued that theism provides a sound foundation for objective morality whereas atheism does not. Wielenberg countered that morality can be objective even if there is no God. A Debate on God and Morality includes the full debate plus endnotes with extended discussions that were not included in the debate. It also includes five chapters by other philosophers who have written substantive responses to the debate: J. P. Moreland, David Baggett, Mark Linville, Wes Morriston, and Michael Huemer. A Debate on God and Morality provides crucial resources for better understanding moral realism’s independence from theistic foundations.