Criticism tagged posts

The Miracle of Theism

The Miracle of Theism

Is there reason to believe in a god? Philosophers and theologians have debated this question for centuries, offering arguments and counter-arguments taking many different forms. More recently scientists and historians have joined the fray to weigh in on things from their own perspectives. Still, well over two millennia later, and in spite of a bounty of examples of religiously-inspired violence, we find the question persists. According to some, the survival of theism – the belief in god(s) – is nothing short of miraculous; it testifies to the power and value of faith...
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Is the Bible historically reliable?

The Historical Errancy of the Bible

In 1868, a German businessman named Heinrich Schliemann published a book arguing for a historical Troy, located at a place called Hissarlik (in modern Turkey). As a boy, Schliemann was greatly fascinated by the epic tales of the ancient Greeks, particularly Homer’s classic writings, The Iliad and The Odyssey, and when he had made enough of a fortune to retire at the young age of 36, he devoted himself to finding the legendary city of Troy mentioned in Homer’s Iliad. Despite having no training or formal education in archaeology, he began excavating the site of Hissarlik in 1871.

Although a num...

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The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave

It should go without saying that the resurrection is the most important element of the Christian religion. “If Christ has not been raised,” says the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” In the nearly two thousand years since, apologists have wasted little time assembling a case for the raising of Jesus. The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave is a 2005 anthology of essays by historians, philosophers, and New Testament scholars, challenging the case for resurrection presented by such stalwart defenders as William Lane Craig and Gary Hab...

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From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible

Contrary to what some fanatics may say, the Bible does not have all the answers. In fact, a number of questions arise from its pages, particularly when we compare the biblical portrait to our world of today. Many Bible stories end with a bit of mystery. We are told that Noah’s Ark came to rest on a mountain after the flood, and then we never read of its whereabouts again in scripture. The Ark of the Covenant is said to have been kept in the temple, but did it survive the temple’s destruction in the 6th century? From Eden to Exile goes in search of some of the Bible’s great mysteries, giving u...

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The Essence of Christianity

Homo homini deus est. Man is a god to man. According to Feuerbach, this is the underlying principle at the heart of the Christian faith. Rather than the supernatural manifestation that it claims to be, Christianity is an anthropocentrism – it is humankind having elevated and transformed itself into the divine through the vehicle of religion. The idea that Christianity is a projection of the unconscious mind is not a new one today, but in The Essence of Christianity it received perhaps its first and foremost compelling argument...

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The Christian Delusion

Since Richard Dawkins’ landmark book, The God Delusion, was published in 2006, one frequent criticism that has been levied against it is that the treatment of Christianity is insufficient and too naive. Professor Dawkins has very little of a religious background, and I would agree that it shows in his book. The same may be said for Christopher Hitchens and god is not Great or Sam Harris and Letter to a Christian Nation. While there is still plenty to appreciate about each of those books, they have not offered a thorough refutation of Christianity...

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Did the Disciples Die for a Lie?

If Christianity is a lie, if Jesus was never really raised from the dead, and if his followers never actually witnessed his empty tomb or ascension, would the disciples have died for their faith? There are many examples through history of men and women dying for a cause they believed to be true, but what about dying for a cause that you know is false? A martyr is someone who willingly endures persecution and often dies for refusing to renounce a particular belief or principle...

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Forged: Writing in the Name of God

In the last two to three centuries, the traditional origin stories behind Christianity’s sacred texts have begun to dissolve more and more as biblical scholars have abandoned dogma in favor of objective analysis and critical thinking. It is now widely accepted among New Testament scholars that only seven of the thirteen documents attributed to Paul in the Bible were actually written by Paul. With all four gospels being anonymous, never specifying their author, it is also contested that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not really write the gospels named for them.

With Forged, we are given a g...

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Eternal Life: A New Vision

The fear of death has been a major struggle for human beings all throughout history, and we have found a variety of ways in which to cope with this uncomfortable fact. Religion is perhaps one of the most intricate and potent of these ways. Our world religions are man-made institutions designed to give comfort from this fear in the form of purpose, meaning, and life that transcend death. Embracing these realizations, Eternal Life: A New Vision argues for the necessity of abandoning traditional theistic religion for the adoption of a more humanist, life-centered perspective...

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The God Who Wasn’t There

Was Jesus Christ the son of god? Is there evidence that he even existed at all? Should Christianity be viewed as a dangerous belief? In The God Who Wasn’t There, director Brian Flemming attempts to answer these questions and more. Released to DVD in 2005, the film primarily argues against an historical Jesus with the help of many skeptics like philosopher and historian Richard Carrier, Professor of Biblical Criticism Robert M. Price, and anthropologist and folklorist Alan Dundes...

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