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Showing posts from December, 2015

The Search for the Historical Christmas Story

Is there a better way between the dismissive arrogance of the sceptics and the naive fideism of the fundamentalist? I hope so.

My pet litmus test for a true interest in the historical Christmas (rather than the populist semi-pagan saccharine version) is the lack of room in the inn, which was of course no such thing but simply an overflowing guest room in the house of one of Jospeh's relations.

Generally the main sceptical complaint is the dissimilarity of the Christmas stories but they align in more ways than they disagree. The biggest stumbling block for most is the issue of Jesus' birth at Quirinius' census for which there is considerable evidence to the contrary. Not least that Quirinius was not governor of Syria until 6 AD. However even this is not as cut and dried a mistake as it appears.

There are various theories about what (known) astronomical event might explain the Magi's star, and one who connects the later Christian attachment to the fish symbol (Ichthus) t…

Logical Fallacies and the Fallacy Fallacy

Yes I know that is a lot of fallacies in the title. I came across this little picture on FB this morning.


Which I thought was worth keeping as a nice summary of the main logical fallacies, but then I read this piece by Randal Rauser which complains about a fallacy which he coins the Fallacy Fallacy:

The fallacy fallacy illustrates the old adage: “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” In this case, the person knows just enough of logical fallacies to throw around labels that effectively inoculate themselves (and others) against good reasoning.

So be careful folks, watch who you wave those fallacies at!

Rauser on Heaven

Here's a nice video of Randal Rauser explaining how so many Christians get the Biblical teaching on Heaven wrong and why it matters. Enjoy :-)