Dawkins’ Delusions:  Part III

dawkins-ivHere, we continue with our four-part chapter-by-chapter response to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion.  This is part 3.

Chapter 5 Summary

In chapter 5, Dawkins seeks to answer how “the anti-factual, counter-productive fantasies of religion” could have developed so universally among mankind from a Darwinian, evolutionary perspective.  After discussing a few theories, Dawkins leans toward the idea that religion did not evolve because it was beneficial, but rather as a by-product of some other characteristic that contributed to survival. Continue reading

Dawkins’ Delusions: Part II

dawkins-iiHere, we continue with our four-part chapter-by-chapter response to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion.  This is part 2.

Chapter 3 Summary

The purpose of chapter 3 is to disprove the various arguments in favor of God’s existence.  Dawkins addresses Thomas Aquinas’ five proofs, the ontological argument, and various arguments from beauty, personal experience, scripture, and admired religious scientists, along with Pascal’s Wager, and Bayesian probabilities. Continue reading

Dawkins’ Delusions: Part I

Part 1:  Introduction

dawkins-iRichard Dawkins is perhaps the most well-known of a new generation of activist atheists that includes Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens.  The God Delusion is his attempt to disprove the “God Hypothesis” and he hopes that “religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down.”1.

With over 3 million copies sold, The God Delusion is probably one of the most widely read and influential atheist manifestos available.  It’s definitely not a new book.  However, we felt compelled to address it because it has been so widely read and because its arguments, even though they are poorly constructed, continue to influence people. Continue reading

Quick Book Review: Sean McDowell’s The Fate of the Apostles

fate of apostlesAny Christian case-maker will tell you that we should thank God for the hard lives and brutal deaths of the apostles.  Why?  Because they provide such a strong testimony for the truth of the gospels.  As the reasoning goes, the apostles were in a unique position:  They claimed to be first-hand witnesses of the resurrected Jesus, and they would have known if their claims were true or false.

Given their actions from the resurrection onward, they must have truly believed that they had personally witnessed the risen Jesus—and that he was the Messiah—or they never would have dedicated their lives to spreading the gospel at extreme personal risk and for no earthly gain.  Therefore, the lives and martyrdoms of the apostles provide a powerful collective testimony to the truth of the gospel. Continue reading

Resources on New Testament History & Apologetics

Books IEarlier this week, I promised a friend that I would provide for him a list of resources to aid in his studies about the New Testament, how it developed, how we know it’s true, and how we can combat the false information about Christianity that seems to proliferate both on- and off-line.  Well, this post makes good on that promise.  It’s an expanded version of a list that I posted some time ago.

Obviously, this list is far from exhaustive, but it does provide a wide range of excellent resources.  Hopefully, he—and you—will find it useful. Continue reading

Ben Witherington Critiques Bart Ehrman’s Book, Misquoting Jesus

Misquoting_JesusThis is the last in our series of posts sharing Ben Witherington’s critiques of Bart Ehrman’s work.  Today, we share a critique of Misquoting Jesus:  The Story of Who Changed the Bible and Why.

I have to ask the question:  Does Bart Ehrman have any original thoughts?  This book, like his others, contains many criticisms that are old, as well as busted.  Misquoting Jesus asserts that belief in the divinity of Christ, as well as many other core tenets of Christianity, are basically the result of scribes altering the original texts over the centuries, either intentionally or unintentionally. Continue reading

Ben Witherington Critiques Bart Ehrman’s Book, Jesus Interrupted

Ben-Witherington

Dr. Ben Witherington

Below is the description from Amazon.com of Bart Ehrman’s book, Jesus, Interrupted:  Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them):

The problems with the Bible that New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman discussed in his bestseller Misquoting Jesus—and on The Daily Show with John Stewart, NPR, and Dateline NBC, among others—are expanded upon exponentially in his latest book: Jesus, Interrupted.  This New York Times bestseller reveals how books in the Bible were actually forged by later authors, and that the New Testament itself is riddled with contradictory claims about Jesus—information that scholars know… but the general public does not.  If you enjoy the work of Elaine Pagels, Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, and John Shelby Spong, you’ll find much to ponder in Jesus, Interrupted.

Continue reading

Ben Witherington Critiques Bart Ehrman’s Book, Forged

Bart Ehrman

Dr. Bart Ehrman

Bart Ehrman is the man that gives Christians more heartburn than any other academic these days.  Erhman is a well-known Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He is a specialist in New Testament textual criticism, and he has written a wide range of books that are, in my opinion, damaging the Christian faith by repeating and amplifying various false theories.

Ehrman is an agnostic, but he didn’t start out that way.  Raised with a fundamentalist background, he seems to have “rebelled” against that during his time as an academic, and now works to deconstruct the Christian faith. Continue reading

Book Review: The Canon of the New Testament

Bruce Metzger

Bruce Metzger

This week’s post is a relatively short one.  It’s a quick review of Bruce Metzger’s, The Canon of the New Testament:  It’s Origin, Development, and Significance.  Published in 1997 and reprinted in 2009 by Oxford University Press, this book is a good resource (288 pages plus four appendices) for those who wonder how the New Testament came to include the 27 books that we know today.

Bruce Metzger (1914-2007) was a New Testament scholar and textual critic, expert in Greek, and a longtime professor at Princeton Theological Seminary.  Continue reading