In our previous article in this series (found here), we began by articulating the popular argument that Christianity stole its central themes from antecedent Pagan deities. There, we argued that even skeptics and critical scholars reject such a view. However, we didn’t explain why they do so. In the subsequent articles, we will outline the reasons scholars reject this specious claim. [Read more…]
Many skeptics claim that the resurrection of Jesus originated from pagan myths about “dying and rising” gods—commonly called the “copycat theory” of Christianity. James G. Frazer popularized this view in his book The Golden Bough (1914), though more recently, others have followed in his footsteps.
“The Christian faith does not call for us to put our minds on the shelf, to fly in the face of common sense and history, or to make a leap of faith into the dark. The rational person, fully apprised of the evidence, can confidently believe…” –William Lane Craig
What is faith exactly? Is it unyielding belief in the absurd as Richard Dawkins has suggested? Is it trust in propositions that exist in contradiction to reality? Or is faith something else? Could it be possible that faith is reasonable, even logical?
We all put our faith in a certain ideology. An atheist puts his or her faith in naturalistic conclusions, the belief that all things can be explained through natural means. Is that a scientific conclusion, or a belief structure? A Christian puts his or her faith in conclusions based on theological constructs of reality. Is that entirely unscientific, or reasonable faith?
(The following note originated as a response on Facebook, written to someone who was asking in the CAA for technical help in an argument he had gotten into about the use of Bayes’s Theorem in arguments regarding the historical Jesus. In the subsequent comments thread I clarified what I was saying, and I have added some of those clarifications to the note here.)
I’m going to ask a very important question here, and I want you to know that I’m doing it only because I take your question seriously. So here’s mine:
If you don’t already know the answer to this question, why are you involved in a discussion of these matters? [Read more…]