Because none of the gospel writers identified themselves by name as the author of the text, these foundational books of the Christian faith remain technically anonymous. It is no surprise therefore that skeptics seek to discredit the claims of Christianity by questioning the traditional authorship of the gospels. Likewise it is no surprise that well-meaning proponents of the faith get in over their heads when it comes to defending the traditional authorship. As you can see from spirited discussions like this one (be sure to read the comments), the facts can easily become blurred by the voices entangled in debate. Our position on Veracity is that we’re all about the truth and that readers can decide for themselves without being told what to think. Personally, I think scholars give themselves too much credit for what they ‘know’−on both sides of the debate. Worldviews influence interpretation. Got it. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Areopagus Journal
Our summary and review of the Life After Death issue of the Areopagus Journal (Fall 2011) concludes with the paranormal. If this topic makes you uncomfortable, welcome to the club—that’s probably true for the vast majority of rational beings like you and me. But like it or not, some people do claim to experience things that are beyond the range of our normal experience or scientific explanation. Should we believe them? Are there good apologetic arguments to support Life After Death that make sense based upon paranormal claims?
The Life After Death issue of the Areopagus Journal addressed two paranormal topics: near death experiences (NDEs) and ghosts. Rather than redact the articles by Dr. Gary Habermas and Dr. Ron Rhodes—as I did in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series—I will link in external material and do more of a paraphrased summary of the points they make (for details get the Areopagus Journal).
Near Death Experiences and Worldview Concerns: Addressing Difficult Questions
Dr. Habermas touched on this topic earlier this month at the 2013 National Conference on Christian Apologetics. Two things strike me about his approach to apologetics. First, he makes minimalist arguments—reducing a debate to the minimum number of elements that he needs to make his point, without overreaching. Secondly, he is very conservative in drawing conclusions—which is a hallmark of credibility. Here is a quick synopsis of his views on NDEs, from the One Minute Apologist.
After hearing him relate specific cases he has researched, I was enthusiastically thinking those cases would make self-evident apologetic arguments. After all, a few of them are amazing, and very reliably documented. But as my co-blogger is quick to point out, we should consider both the affirmative and negative sides of the debate to develop an informed opinion.
Have you ever tried to share the concept of Heaven with someone who doesn’t understand much about the Christian faith? The theology of Heaven can be a stumbling block to those who have haven’t thought much beyond caricatures of floating angels and harps in an afterlife. How can something that every reasoning adult must process be so subject to myth and misconception? Can an apologetic approach help?
So is there evidence for life after death? This journal will address biblical, historical, philosophical, and scientific evidences that support the reality of life after death as well as refute false ideas about it.
Craig Branch, Senior Editor, Areopagus Journal, Fall 2011