I was a guest on the Patrick Madrid show this morning to talk about my recent article on catholic.com. Mr. Madrid has always been one of my favorite Catholic apologists, so it was a real honor for me to be invited on his show. Below is a link to the audio from this morning’s broadcast. The meat of my segment starts near the 16:00 mark. Enjoy!
Salon.com recently published an article by former Evangelical-turned-freethinker Valerie Tarico titled 9 things you think you know about Jesus that are probably wrong.
There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking contained in her arguments, but they’ve been making the rounds in social media, and therefore worthy of a response.
Below are each of the nine points, and how to answer if you find yourself confronted with them.
An interesting article was posted yesterday on The Daily Beast by historians Candida Moss and Joel Baden. In it, they take down an argument by author Michael Paulkovich from his recently published book, No Meek Messiah in which he attempts to present evidence that Jesus never existed. Moss and Baden summarize Paulkovich’s argument this way:
Paulkovich’s case rests on three main pillars. First, the discovery that no ancient writers from the first few centuries CE mention Jesus. Second, the assumption that most writers should have mentioned Jesus, since he was the Son of God and all that. Third, the keen observation that Jesus never wrote anything himself. Although an undeniably compelling trinity of argumentation, it is not without its logical problems.
For the most part, Moss and Baden deliver an excellent rebuttal of these claims. I found myself in total agreement with them, until I read this:
The pièce de résistance in Paulkovich’s argument is that Jesus himself never wrote anything about himself. Scholarly estimates place literacy in the ancient world at around 5 percent. It’s not surprising that a carpenter from Galilee didn’t have the education or resources to put stylus to papyrus. This is a question of education, not non-existence.
Many Christians may respond to this by saying, “Of course Jesus could read and write. He’s God!” After all, we have the Bible, which Christians believe with unanimity to be the written word of God.
This is a fine argument if you already believe Jesus is divine. For the uninitiated, however, a little more evidence may be required.
An article titled 5 Reasons to Suspect that Jesus Never Existed was posted yesterday at Salon.com and was featured in the Yahoo news feed. The article itself does not contain anything groundbreaking to anyone who follows this debate, but it presents the most common objections.
Below are five reasons author Valerie Tarico gives, and how to answer them.
Over the last several years I have encountered a fair number of Christians who claim they are “spiritual but not religious.” In other words, they do not identify with a particular Christian denomination, using the Bible alone to guide their faith. It’s an ideology that says religious institutions are outdated and unnecessary.
People may reach this conclusion for a multitude of reasons. Some are disillusioned by what they perceive to be corruption and hypocrisy in religious institutions. Others may feel like they are not being “fed.” Others yet may feel that these intuitions teach something contrary to their beliefs regarding political and social issues.
Whatever the reason may be, we must reach out to these people and take their concerns seriously.