How Do Eastern And Western Religions Differ? – Win Corduan on The One-Minute Apologist

What distinguishes Judaism and Christianity on the one hand from, say, Buddhism and Hinduism on the other?  It is the formers’ reliance on history and the latters’ detachment from it.

Thus those Christians who want to say that it doesn’t matter whether history actually occurred the way the Bible said it did (e.g. Adam and Eve, Noah’s Flood, the Exodus, the resurrection of Christ) are cutting their faith loose from the historical moorings that God has provided.  They would be making Christianity more of a philosophy than a faith.

Gary Habermas’ “Minimal Facts” Approach by Matt Rodgers

Matt begins:

Note: This article is inspired by a lecture given by Dr. Gary Habermas at the 2012 EPS Apologetics Conference. Dr. Habermas is a historian and philosopher, and is one of the world’s leading experts on the resurrection.

When presenting a historical case for the resurrection of Christ, it is often useful to build an argument using only the “minimal facts” accepted by mainstream secular critics. This entails setting aside any book of the New Testament that is NOT currently regarded by critical scholars as being authoritative.

At the end, Matt includes a link to more arguments for the resurrection offered by William Lane Craig in a debate he had with skeptical Bible scholar Bart Ehrman.  Of course, the evidence and arguments for the resurrection of Christ are quite strong.  This article and the link just give glimpses of the substance that’s there.

via Evidence for the Resurrection: The “Minimal Facts” Approach.

“The Bible Among Myths” by John Oswalt Shows the Bible Is Not Myth

This book review is by G. Kyle Essary of the Apologetics 315 web site.   While John Walton and others have argued that Genesis was a reaction to ANE myths, Oswalt makes clear that Genesis was much more than that.

Excerpt:

John Oswalt, professor of OT Studies and Hebrew at Asbury Theological Seminary, has attempted to make this case recently in his book, The Bible Among the Myths. He builds on older work of G.E. Wright from Harvard University to make his case, contending that Wright’s work still stands as an efficient critique to the predominant view.[5] Since the data from the ANE hasn’t changed significantly in nearly 70 years.

What are the implications of these distinctions for Oswalt’s argument in regards to Christian apologetics? First, calling the Genesis narratives myth requires redefining the term in a way that devoids it of any value. Second, it means that the distinctions between the Bible and ANE myth are more relevant than the similarities. Oswalt shows that there are many similarities, but there is discontinuity in how these similar forms, ideas, etc. are used between the Hebrew Bible and ANE literature. He says, “it is not unique because it is not part of its world; neither is it unique because its writers were incapable of relating what they say to that world…rather, it is unique precisely because being a part of its world and using concepts and forms from its world, it can project a vision of reality diametrically opposite to the vision of that world.”

And there is this direct quote of Oswalt that is included in the review (I added the underlining):

The fact is that the Bible has a completely different understanding of existence and of the relations among the realms. As a result, it functions entirely differently. It’s telling does not actualize continuous divine reality out of the real invisible world into this visible reflection of that reality. Rather, it is a rehearsal of the non-repeatable acts of God in identifiable time and space in concert with human beings…whatever the Bible is, whether true or false, it is not myth.

Based on the review alone, I’d say that the book is unfortunately titled.  For if all one has been hearing from John Walton, Peter Enns, and others is that the Bible is a myth from a land and time of myths, the title alone would not arrest your attention as a challenge to that notion – even though reading the book would!

via Book Review: The Bible Among the Myths by John Oswalt – Apologetics 315.

(h/t The Poached Egg)

Young people believe less in God, and more in Darwin and superstition. What does this mean? | Uncommon Descent

From the conclusion:

In short, naturalism offers liberation, not from the bonds of superstition but from the burden of rationality. And we must address the fact that increasing numbers of young people are embracing that liberation.

via Young people believe less in God, and more in Darwin and superstition. What does this mean? | Uncommon Descent.

(H/T @jwarnerwallace)

How Well Can You Defend the Resurrection?

Opening excerpt:

Of all the teachings of Christianity, no doctrine is more central than the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The truth of the resurrection has been attacked from every angle. New books and television media regularly appear questioning the truth of the resurrection, re-hashing old theories about what happened to Jesus’ body. Since the resurrection is crucial to Christianity, Christians ought to be able to give answers to the inevitable questions about the truth of the resurrection.

via How Well Can You Defend the Resurrection? by Justin Holcomb.

Did the Apostles Really Die as Martyrs for their Faith?

Written by Sean McDowell whose dissertation research is focused on this subject.

Excerpt:

While we can have more confidence in the martyrdoms of apostles such as Peter, Paul and James the brother of John (and probably Thomas and Andrew), there is much less evidence for many of the others (such as Matthias and James, son of Alphaeus). This evidence is late and filled with legendary accretion. This may come as a disappointment to some, but for the sake of the resurrection argument, it is not critical that we demonstrate that all of them died as martyrs. What is critical is their willingness to suffer for their faith and the lack of a contrary story that any of them recanted.

via Did the Apostles Really Die as Martyrs for their Faith? at The Poached Egg (Ratio Christi).