Friday, December 27, 2019

Did Ben Shapiro debunk the resurrection of Jesus???


In Ben Shapiro's recent interview with Christian apologist and philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig we find him presenting 3 major objections to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this article we will be analyzing these objections in detail. For the video version of this interview clip and analysis you can simply click THIS LINK.

Objection #1: Many resurrections have happened in the Bible, why is Jesus’ resurrection unique?

The resurrection of Jesus is unique to other Biblical resurrections in a few different ways. Dr. Craig correctly pointed out that the religio-historical context of Jesus being tried and condemned as a blasphemer and then subsequently raised from the dead, sends a message that God approved of Jesus’ claims about Himself. Also, other resurrections in the Bible were performed by a human conduit, in the case of Jesus we find God Himself raising Jesus from the dead, confirming His unique status as the Son of God. Lastly, other resurrections from the dead only had a temporary effect on the recipient in that they eventually died again. In the case of Jesus the we find that He was raised from the dead into a glorified, immortal body as a demonstration of the kind of bodies that the righteous will receive at the end of the age.

Objection #2: Many scholars date the gospel accounts to somewhere around 70 a.d. How do we know that they are accurate and have not invented the resurrection story?

As Dr. Craig pointed out, despite the fact that many scholars like to point to a theory that the gospels were written some 40 years after the death of Jesus, these same scholars affirm that the women discovered the empty tomb, that a variety of people and groups witnessed appearance of Jesus post-resurrection, and that the disciples came to suddenly and sincerely believe that Jesus rose from the dead despite facing death and persecution. In addition to this, professional forensic specialists such as former cold-case detective Warner Wallace demonstrates clearly that the gospels were written early based on several factors.

A major factor is that the New Testament fails to mention one of the most monumental historical events of the first century: The Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. Being that Jesus prophesied the destruction of the temple it stands to reason that if the gospels or any other books of the New Testament were written after 70 AD then we should expect to find mention of the temples destruction as it would be powerful confirmation of Jesus’ prophecy. Therefore we can establish that New Testament was written before 70 AD.

Additionally according to the intro to the book of Acts we know it was written after the gospel of Luke and we can date the book of Acts to before 61-64 AD in that it does not mention the death of either Peter or Paul who were key characters in it’s narrative, and they died around this time. There is additional evidence in the letters of 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians in which Paul quotes Luke’s gospel which we can use to date Luke’s gospel to between 50-53 AD.

Knowing the early date of Luke’s gospel helps us to date Matthew and Mark to even earlier being that Luke often repeated or quoted entire passages from them totaling to 350 verses from Mark and 250 verses from Matthew that appear in Luke’s gospel. Estimates are that Mark was written around 45 AD with Matthew shortly afterward. This means that we have the first written gospel only 12 years after the event which is extraordinary in terms of historical documents. Even if one goes with a later dating of the Gospels it still stands that chief components of the resurrection narrative are considered unaltered by the vast majority of scholars in that realm.

Objection #3: Ben Shapiro points to a fringe sect of Judaism that believes their rabbi who is called the Lubavitcher Rebbe resurrected from the dead.

Contrary to the beliefs of this fringe sect the Lubavitcher Rebbe has been lying dead in his grave since June 12, 1994 in New York. Although a small number of random followers of the rebbe have claimed to see him alive, these sightings are comparable to those who have claimed to see Elvis still alive. The difference between these so-called resurrection sightings and the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection from the dead are a world apart. For starters the tomb of Jesus is empty. This would be a bare minimum for followers of the rebbe to demonstrate and it would be very simple to prove. Yet all evidence confirms that the rebbe is still in the same grave he was buried in back in 1994. Secondly, Jesus post-resurrection appearances are reported by upwards of 500 witnesses in New Testament times, many facing death.

Thirdly, the brothers of Jesus who did not believe prior to the resurrection also came to believe through eye-witness experiences. The only reasonable explanation of Jesus’ unbelieving brothers changing their mind is that they did in fact witness the resurrected Jesus. Fourthly, Paul who was a violent persecutor of Christians came to believe in the resurrection of Jesus through an eye-witness experience, as with the brothers of Jesus this would make no sense unless he truly witnessed the resurrected Jesus. And finally, there was no material benefit to becoming a Christian during the first century as you would face death, property seizure and persecution on a daily basis. Followers of the rebbe who claim he is alive have nothing to lose and everything to gain by making these assertions.

Although I respect Ben Shapiro it’s clear that his objections to the resurrection of Jesus do not stand up to the well known data surrounding the Resurrection. I believe that when the evidence for the resurrection is evaluated thoroughly we can understand it as a historical event that has validity equaling any other major event that historians accept. If we reject the historical validity of the resurrection then we must also reject almost all major histories along with it. We can apply the same standards that we use to determine the assasination of Julius Caesar to also determine that Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead.

Written by: Kyle Bailey, D.Min.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Who Created God?



When someone poses the question “who created God” I often find that the one posing it thinks they have asked the ultimate “gotcha” question. This is strange because it’s a question that immediately assumes a proposition about God that no montheistic religion claims to believe. This is consistent with the common logical fallacy that we call the straw man argument. This is where a person sets up a proposition that doesn’t reflect the view of their opponents precisely because the false proposition is easier to defeat in an argument.

The three major montheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all claim to believe in a God who is uncreated. These beliefs are derived from what their sacred texts say about God’s nature. The Bible in Psalm 90 says God is “from everlasting to everlasting.” Understanding this fundamental montheistic belief reveals that the question “who created God” is flawed at it’s premise. In essence the person posing this question is thinking of the “wrong God.”

The God of the Bible is not limited by time, space, or matter. If He is limited by any of these factors then He would cease to meet the qualifications of an Eternal God and we would then be discussing a completely different God than the God of the Bible. Time, space, and matter must have come into existence at the exact same time. For example, if you have matter but no space, where would you put the matter? Also, if you have matter and space but no time, when would you have them? The Bible teaches that in the beginning (time), God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter).

The question of who created God, or where did God come from is often getting ahead of a more important question: what kind of God do you believe in? If we are already misunderstanding what is meant by the term "God" as defined by the Biblical text then we are doomed to ask uninformed questions such as “where did God come from?” Coming to realize that Christians believe in an Eternal Creator of time, space, and matter as clearly taught in the Bible helps the inquirer to discover, as John Lennox pointed out, that created gods have been rejected as false idols for millenia. No Christians, Jews, or Muslims believe in created gods.

Another aspect of this common question that needs to be understood is the logical fallacy called “Infinite regression.” Simply put infinite regression is when an explanation is given that leads to an endless series of explanations without end. Here is an example using the fictitious characters “Burt and Ernie” having a conversation:

Bert asks, “how do eyes project an image to your brain?”

Ernie says “think of it as a little guy in your brain watching the movie projected by your eyes.”

Bert says “ok, but what is happening in the little guy in your head’s brain?”

Ernie answers “well, think of it as a little guy in his brain watching a movie…”

As you can see, Ernie's explanation leads to an endless series of “little guys” in a brain watching the movie projected by the preceding little guy’s eyes. This is not a valid explanation but rather an infinite regress fallacy. In the same way, if someone “created God” then it leads again to the same question, “who created that God?” And so on, and so on. Therefore the question “who created God” leads to an endless series of the same question and commits the infinite regression fallacy unless one postulates an Uncreated God. Therefore not only is an Uncreated God the correct version of God that Christians believe in, an Uncreated God is also logically necessary to avoid the potential infinite regression fallacy that is produced by the question in the first place.


So the answer to the question "who created God" is simply another question. What is your definition of God? Unless we are talking about the same kind of God then there's no way to answer the question properly. The widespread monotheistic belief that God is an uncreated being helps us to understand the flawed premise of this question and therefore reveals that it is not the barrier to Faith that many believe it appears to be.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Can Atheism explain the meaning of life?


I think the reason that Atheism fails on the question of life’s meaning is because the underpinnings of Atheism are typically materialism and naturalism. That is, the world is strictly material with no spiritual of supernatural potential or dimension, and that it’s existence must be explained as having come about by purely natural means. Every Atheist knows that these two underlying beliefs about the world guide us to the philosophical conclusion that life has no objective meaning.

As a result Atheists must result to the tagline “life has the meaning that you assign to it.” This philosophy has helped to suppress the nagging truth that Atheism provides no real basis for motivation towards positive action for the planet. This is because when analysed fully one must admit that even if you assign meaning to your life temporarily it doesn’t equate to any ultimate meaning within the Atheistic worldview.

If the world is purely material and there is no God or eternity then ultimately everything in it will cease to exist and nothing has any ultimate meaning. Even our best efforts at “making the world a better place” will lose their significance after our Sun expands or explodes and eliminates life on our planet. Therefore, in order to retain feasibility within the Atheistic worldview the tagline “life has the meaning that you assign to it” is regurgitated and chanted hypnotically so that the logical outcome of such a worldview will be avoided at all cost.

Nihilism, which is the belief that life is ultimately meaningless is the logical conclusion of the Atheistic worldview. However, because this would severely damage the potential for this movement to grow, prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have repeatedly stated that they reject nihilism, even though Atheism has it within its core fabric. This rejection of Nihilism by those whose worldview is the perpetuator of it, is a strange occurrence that can only be explained by a desperate attempt to preserve the legitimacy of their worldview as a whole.

Life’s meaningful nature, like objective morality, is self-evident to all rational people. The urge to make a difference and leave a lasting impact is woven into the fabric of our DNA. The most logically consistent position for being motivated to make a real difference in the world is to affirm that life does have ultimate meaning. This doesn’t mean that Atheists cannot live a life that feels or appears to be meaningful, it simply points out that to do so would be inconsistent with the fundamental meaningless of life that is a core component of their beliefs.

If you’re like me, you want to be able to live as consistently as possible, especially on an issue as severe as the meaning of life itself. Belief in eternity, ultimate meaning, and true legacy is the most rational position to take for a person motivated to make a difference in the world. One is free to live contradictory in this regard by having an Atheistic worldview and yet seeking to live purposefully. But this person cannot claim to have to most rational underlying position on this topic. Logical inconsistencies are never rational.

The reality of life’s ultimate meaning deals a death blow to the Atheistic worldview. However, popular atheistic voices have tried to keep the dead philosophy animated with their pithy taglines and inconsistent advocacy. Don’t buy into the false notion that Atheism retains a logical basis for life’s meaningfulness. If you are a Nihilist Atheist then by all means I commend you for being consistent in your worldview, but it remains nonsensical for Atheists to claim that you can still believe in ultimate meaning while rejecting God and eternity at the same time.

Written by: Kyle Bailey, D. Min.

Are Aliens Demonic?


In Genesis chapter 6 we find a mysterious passage concerning what many have interpreted to be an account of aliens visiting human beings in ancient times… The passage reads “4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”

The word “Nephilim” is the plural for the Hebrew word “Nephal” which means fallen. Translated literally Nephilim would mean “fallen ones.” These creatures are described as having produced offspring known as “mighty men” which is the Hebrew word “Gibborim.” This word is often used to describe proficient warriors and in some instances giants. It’s not clear that the Nephlim were literally giants, however the term “fallen ones” has led ancient astronaut theorists who have been made popular by the History Channel to believe that the Nephilim are aliens.

In Job 1:6 the term “sons of God” is used to refer to angelic beings. This is the same term used in Genesis 6 in connection with the Nephilim. The combination of the word Nephilim meaning “fallen ones” and the term “sons of God” meaning angelic beings has led Biblical scholars to consider that the Nephilim were possibly a group of fallen angels who somehow impregnated women to produce giants or possibly warriors of some kind prior to the flood of Noah.

Could it be that our modern concept of an alien is simply a mis-interpretation of what is in reality, fallen angels… Many ancient interpreters say YES… In fact Flavius Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews (1:3:1) held the position that the Nephilim were fallen angels who cohabitated with women. Later authors such as Philo of Alexandria also held this position, as did many rabbinical authorities. Some modern scholars have proposed alternative explanations for the Nephilim but should we opt for their view in exchange for what ancient Bible interpreters held? I think not…

What about modern reports of alien encounters or abductions? In this regard we find a variety of realities to consider. One is that a large number of the reports are either fake publicity stunts or related to mental illnesses such a schizophrenia. But could a percentage of these abduction reports be true, and if so are they referring to literal Aliens? Carl Sagan in his book “The Demon Haunted World” said that the alien abduction experience is similar to tales of demon abduction common throughout history.

Are we to now revise the historic view on these events because of our modern fascination with the prospect of life on other planets? I must admit, it seems quite arrogant for one to reject and reinterpret alien abductions through a modern lense of naturalism when for thousands of years we have considered these occurrences to be demonic in nature. Isn't it true that this notion of alien abductions rather than demon abductions stems from the modern naturalistic tendency to remove any spiritual or supernatural components from unexplainable phenomena? To invoke that physical creatures from another planet are responsible for these events rather than spiritual entities is simply a convenient alternative for modern anti-theists…
The website “alienresistance.org” documents 100 testimonies of people who when being “abducted by aliens” rebuked the creatures in Jesus name and terminated the experience altogether. These stories support the notion that what many are calling alien abductions are more likely to be demonic encounters, otherwise the name of Jesus would have no effect upon these creatures. The Bible clearly teaches that demons must yield to the authority of Jesus Christ.

From the Nephilim of many thousands of years ago to the supposed alien encounters of modern times, human beings have been experiencing bizarre encounters with dark creatures from another realm for centuries. The Devil loves for people to try to explain away the reality of the spirit world with modern concepts such as aliens from other planets. This deception keeps people from coming to realize that the Bible is true and we are in a struggle with demonic forces for the salvation of human-kind through Jesus Christ. As we draw near to the return of Christ more and more people will buy into the deception that there is no spiritual world and that aliens are superior beings from another planet. Let us reject this lie and remain steadfast in the truth of God’s Word as we await the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Written by: Kyle Bailey, D.Min.

Did Ben Shapiro debunk the resurrection of Jesus???

In Ben Shapiro's recent interview with Christian apologist and philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig we find him presenting 3 major obje...