A Response To Richard Hagenston

Deeper Waters

Is your pastor really not telling you some truths about the Bible? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Richard Hagenston is an ordained United Methodist minister and a former pastor who has written a book called “Fabricating Faith: How Christianity Became A Religion Jesus Would Have Rejected.” Now to be fair, I have not read the book yet, but someone sent me a link to the blog of Hemant Mehta, the “friendly atheist”, where he has a guest post by Mr. Hagenston.

Now I’d like to start with a sad statement. I think the reason many of these issues will never come up from pastors is that frankly, most pastors don’t even think about them. I have said several times that too many pastors are unequipped. I am not saying all pastors should specialize in apologetics, but all pastors need a basic knowledge at least of apologetics, they…

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The Authors of the Deuteronomistic History: Locating a Tradition in Ancient Israel

Zwinglius Redivivus

9781451469967bFortress have sent along a copy of The Authors of the Deuteronomistic History: Locating a Tradition in Ancient Israel to be reviewed. I’ve read the conclusion (because I always read the conclusion first) and it seems quite an interesting thesis; i.e., that the priests of Anathoth (including Jeremiah) were responsible for what we call the Deuteronomistic History. I’m interested in seeing if the author can prove his case.

Peterson engages one of the most enduring controversies in current critical scholarship on the Hebrew Bible, the identities and provenances of the authors of the various “editions” of the Deuteronomistic History. Critically reviewing the presuppositions of scholars reaching back to Martin Noth, and using careful analysis of motif and characterization at each redactional level in each book of the Deuteronomistic History, Peterson asks where we might locate a figure with both motive and opportunity to draw up a proto-narrative including elements of…

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Scholarship for a Wider Public

Larry Hurtado's Blog

At a special day-symposium, “How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God?” for the general public a week or so ago, one attendee rightly complained to me that so little of biblical scholarship gets disseminated to a wider public.  Well, one effort that I’ve made is an eight-part video series, “Devotion to Jesus: The Divinity of Christ in Earliest Christianity,” produced and distributed by the Wesley Ministry Network.

This DVD format series is intended for a general public and comes with accompanying study booklet, discussion topics/questions, and guidance for using the material as part of a short-term study series.

More information on the Wesley Ministry Network and the various courses available is available here.

You can watch the first lesson in my own course on Youtube here.

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Zwinglius Redivivus

If Christianity is hobbled in the West, particularly in America, it has been hobbled by a generation of theologically and ecclesiologically inept youth leaders who have themselves raised a generation or three of theologically and ecclesiologically inept young people who, quite unbiblically, believe that Christianity consists of pizza parties, outings, parties, and gatherings rather than discipleship, self denial, and subservience to Christ.

These inept youth leaders have raised a generation, or three, of self absorbed narcissists, not self denying disciples.

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Convince Me There’s A God – Archaeology 16

Faith & Self Defense

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.” Exodus 6:1

Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.’ So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the Lord commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.” Exodus 7:8-10

Moses Parting Red SeaMiracles. What’s an atheist going to do with miracles? I didn’t believe in the supernatural, so miracles were impossible. That’s what I believed, so how could I as an…

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The Golden Calf of the Church Growth Movement

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 “ Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” (John 14:1-4 NASB)

1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. 3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will…

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Sean Carroll debates William Lane Craig on cosmology and God’s existence


Carroll was as good of a speaker as Craig in terms of style. Very easy to listen to, very quick on his feet, very civil. There was no clear winner on style.

It was difficult to assess the truth value of scientific points being made, especially for the layperson. I explained a few of them in my posts earlier this week, but I think laypeople might struggle with them if they are hearing about these things for the first time.

A couple of Craig’s slides: (click for larger images)

Slide 1 of 2:

Dr. Craig slide #1 of 2 Dr. Craig slide #1 of 2

Slide 2 of 2:

Dr. Craig slide #2 of 2 Dr. Craig slide #2 of 2

Quick summary: (this is not complete, because I couldn’t get everything they were saying noted)

Dr. Craig defended two arguments: 1) the kalam cosmological argument and the fine-tuning argument.

Dr. Craig supported the origin of the universe with 1) the expansion…

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Matthew 5:33-37 – “Let Your Yes, Be Yes!”

Reading Acts

oath Oath taking was common in Jesus day, since it was permissible by the Mosaic Law (Deut 23:21-23).  An oath was pronouncing a curse upon one’s self if the truth was not spoken, or a promise is not fulfilled. The first century Jewish philosopher Philo defined an oath as an “appeal to God as a witness on matters in dispute, and to call him as a witness to a lie is the height of profanity” (Spec. Leg. 2.10). This was an important issue in lawsuits and daily life since it underscored the truthfulness of one’s statement. The oath was only required where truthfulness was in doubt, possibly in a legal situation.  The Law allowed for oath making but emphasized the importance of keeping an oath.  If you promise something you are to keep that promise.

Traditionally one would “swear by” something.  Swearing by the name of God (or a god)…

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