Monday, April 23, 2018

The China Delusion

 It looks as if they have been reading Richard Dawkins in China. “It is an offense for any organizations or individuals to guide, support, permit and condone minors to believe in religions or participate in religious activities,” the letter said.

The l
etter said minors were at a critical stage of physical and mental development and had no independent thinking, so parents had an obligation to nurture children in accordance with national laws and social requirements.


Here. 

HT: Bob Prokop

Lydia McGrew on approaches to the resurrection.

Here. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Sharpened Intellect

Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself. That is why an uneducated believer like Bunyan was able to write a book that has astonished the whole world.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Do you believe in American civil religion? Not me.

Discussed here.  

Civil religion, on the one hand, often refers to America's covenantal relationship with a divine Creator who promises blessings for the nation for fulfilling its responsibility to defend liberty and justice. While vaguely connected to Christianity, appeals to civil religion rarely refer to Jesus Christ or other explicitly Christian symbols. Christian nationalism, however, draws its roots from "Old Testament" parallels between America and Israel, who was commanded to maintain cultural and blood purity, often through war, conquest, and separatism. Unlike civil religion, historical and contemporary appeals to Christian nationalism are often quite explicitly evangelical, and consequently, imply the exclusion of other religious faiths or cultures.

Does Richard Carrier Exist?

Here. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Christian tribute to an atheist philosopher

Here. 

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. So do slogans

If a gun is discharged and kills a person, it is true it is normally caused by a persons. So, a person decides to kill, this causes the person to pull the trigger, this causes the gun to discharge, and if it reaches its target, the person dies. So the gun caused the death, but the shooter caused the gun to caused the death.
But this doesn't meant that the availability of guns, or certain types of guns, or the availability of guns for certain types of people, isn't a bad thing. If a parent leaves a loaded gun out for a six-year old to get their hands on, and he shoots and kills his little brother, the parents can't just blame their kid and say "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." There is a reason why mass shootings happen in the US at a far more frequent pace than they happen in Britain, Canada, or the countries of Western Europe. With the Parkland shooting, someone with known violent tendencies has able to get a hold of an AR-15, a weapon that could kill numerous people in succession without the shooter having to reload. 
Slogans are very tricky. Because there is always a shooter who is morally responsible for the shooting, and the gun, as an inanimate object, is not responsible for the shooting, doesn't mean that there aren't reasonable ways in which we could limit gun availability and save lives. 
If I am homicidally angry and I have no weapon, I could choke someone to death, but that might prove difficult. Even stabbing someone to death with a kitchen knife might take a great deal of effort and be messy. If all I have to do is squeeze a trigger, it is going to be more likely that my homicidal intentions will reach fruition. And this will be so even if it is true that I and not my weapon if I use one, will be morally responsible for the act of homicide. 
Beware of slogans. They are often a substitute for critical thinking. 

It's Whately Time, again

This famous essay using anti-Christian arguments against Napoleon is a classic, and deservedly.

Monday, April 09, 2018

How God's nature is known

Some arguments for God. Here. 

Why are there Jesus skeptics but not Alexander the Great skeptics

Gary Habermas asks here. 

Obama on religious liberty

He does say this about opponents of same-sex marriage: 

I think it’s important to recognize that folks who feel very strongly that marriage should be defined narrowly as between a man and a woman, many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective. They’re coming at it because they care about families. And they have a different understanding, in terms of what the word “marriage” should mean. And a bunch of ’em are friends of mine, pastors and people who I deeply respect.

But figures in his administration have not followed this up with their policy statements and actions,  unfortunately. 

McGrath on the Trilemma

Here.  It is designed to refute the idea that Jesus was a good man but not God, not to prove Jesus's divinity.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Reading assignment

People need to read C. S. Lewis's Meditation on the Third Commandment. Over, and over and over, and over, and over. 

Christianity will make you uncomfortable with the ideology of ANY party. If you are completely comfortable with the ideology of any party as a Christian, you are not thinking clearly.