Tag Archives: Bill Maher

Who Are the Most Influential Skeptics Today?

Bill Nye, the Science Guy.  Comedian and science educator for a generation of young people.  Now a participant in the culture wars??

What do cultural celebrities like Bill Nye, Richard Dawkins, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Bart Ehrman, and Bill Maher all have in common? In different ways, the represent different forms of skepticism about the Christian faith.

In a recent Sunday School class on “Personal Discipleship,” I was asked this question: Who are the most influential skeptics today? 

How does one go about answering such a question? According to Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, in his magisterial A Secular Age, a few hundred years ago it was virtually impossible not to believe in God. But nowadays, the shift is remarkable: for many in 21st century Western culture, it is very easy, almost inescapable, to not believe in God. Skepticism defines the current cultural mood, something that would have been mostly unthinkable just a few centuries ago.

Instead of trying to come up with some type of “Top Ten” skeptics list, I think it best to list out some of the more skeptical personalities today, each person representing a different type of skepticism that an evangelical Christian believer might encounter in their conversations with their neighbors, co-workers and even family members. So here we go….
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Have a Merry Mithras!?

Roman bas relief from 2nd or 3rd century depicting Mithras, a central figure of the "Mystery Religions" of the early Christian era, killing a bull.

Roman bas relief from 2nd or 3rd century depicting Mithras, one of the gods of the “Mystery Religions” of the early Christian era, killing a bull.

Who was born on December 25th? Born of a virgin in a stable with shepherds present? Who had twelve disciples? Who was killed and buried in a tomb, and then rose up three days later after his death? Students of the Bible might think the answer is obvious. Not so, according to a popular movement known as “mythicism”. For the “mythicists” this original ancient figure is Mithras, a Persian god. Christianity is really just a copycat faith of Mithraism. Should we be wishing one another a “Merry Mithras” instead during the Christmas season?
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