Documentaries typically don’t get center stage at the Oscars. But this year a truly worthy film won the title. “Searching for Sugar Man” tells the story of psychadelic folk rock singer Sixto Rodriguez. Never heard of him? You’re not the only one. His first album “Cold Fact” (1970) sunk beneath the waves without a trace, […]
Archives for February 2013
Thoughts on Evolution: A response to Stephen J. Bedard
Yesterday blogger Stephen J. Bedard at the “Hope’s Reason” blog posted a review of my book You’re not as Crazy as I Think. Bedard enjoyed the book and gave it a very positive review. (And he notes in the review that The Atheist Missionary, a regular reader at my blog, had recommended the book. As a […]
Should you mention hell when you evangelize? Maybe not.
Today I was listening to the latest “Unbelievable” program on the topic of hell. At one point the observation was made that Christians do not mention the doctrine of hell in evangelism. And the comment was made that if Christians really believed in hell then they surely should be doing this. While I am sympathetic […]
Why does the Catholic Church continue to protect its abusers?
The 2006 documentary “Deliver Us from Evil” tells the horrifying story of convicted pedophile (and, in my non-professional assessment, clinical psychopath) Oliver O’Grady. Father O’Grady was a priest in the Roman Catholic Church who was shuttled around various dioceses in California for decades, groping and raping children along the way. His victims are in the […]
Can a person be 100% Christian if they’re only 50% sure it is true?
Christians are typically understood to be, among other things, people who believe certain propositions about God. For example, Jesus is Lord and God raised him from the dead. (Romans 10:9) However, as is so often the case, what initially seems simple becomes much more complicated upon closer inspection. In the past I’ve explored the complexities […]
Can the Oscars be saved?
This is a fact that has always mystified me. Why do hundreds of millions of people bother to watch a ponderous, 3 1/2 hour awards show like the Oscars? Is the lame opening monologue really that worthwhile? Do you need to know who won best sound mixing and film editing? Is it so important to know […]
Evangelicals who redefine genocide? A response to Justin Taylor
A few days ago Matt Flannagan took issue with my claim that William Lane Craig is defending biblical genocide. In Matt’s view, what Craig is defending is not genocide at all. It soon became evident that Matt and I disagree over how the word “genocide” is to be defined. This is an important issue and […]
Should children watch “The Passion of the Christ”?
I saw “The Passion of the Christ” twice. The first time was at a private screening at a church before it was released into the theatres. The second time was just after it was released in theatres. While it would be incorrect to say I “enjoyed” the film (in what sense would one “enjoy” watching […]
Craig v. Rosenberg: Debate or Debacle?
I just finished listening to the February 1 debate on the existence of God between William Lane Craig and Alex Rosenberg at Purdue University. (If you haven’t heard it yet you can get it here.) Wowzers. I’d heard Rosenberg did poorly, but my goodness, this was bad. Preparing for the Debate We can set up the debate […]
Life is meaningful because it does (or doesn’t) go on forever (a footnote)
Many a theist says this life is meaningful (or more meaningful) because it is the beginning of a life that is infinite in duration. Many an atheist says this life is meaningful (or more meaningful) because it is finite in duration. What does each side mean when they make these declarations? Let’s take a closer look at the […]
Lots of book info and a value-added life lesson
Since I haven’t tweeted since last May and I don’t Facebook (by the way, can “Facebook” be a verb?) I often find myself at a loss as to whether or when or where to post relatively small announcements. My solution: wait till you’ve got a few to share and then include something extra to create […]
Life is meaningful because it does (or doesn’t) go on forever
Many times I’ve heard theists who accept the doctrine of human immortality talk about the fact that human life is meaningful because it continues forever. Thus, they’ll say things like this ditty from Maximus (Russell Crowe in “Gladiator”): “Brothers, what we do in life echoes in eternity.” And then there is this classic observation from […]
Errant statements in an inerrant book
Last week I received the following comment/question from Bryan: I’m a former Christian fundamentalist who abandoned Christianity for agnosticism/atheism when I found biblical inerrancy to be untenable (i.e the findings of evolution, biblical criticism, etc). But for some Christians, like you (and Thom Stark, whose book I’ve just finished) this doesn’t seem to be a […]
The new Idealism? A perspective on the Richard Carrier-Mark Goodacre debate on Jesus Mythicism
The other day I listened to the December 15, 2012 episode of Justin Brierley’s “Unbelievable” radio show which featured a debate between Richard Carrier and Mark Goodacre on the issue of Jesus mythicism. (You can listen by downloading it from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/unbelievable/id267142101.) Carrier argued that the Jesus-was-a-myth theory was a live historical theory and may, in fact, be the […]