Boxing Pythagoras

Philosophy from the mind of a fighter

Archive for the tag “textual criticism”

The Story of My Rationalism

My parents– like all parents– love to tell stories, bragging about me to their friends. One of their favorites comes from my early childhood. When I was just four or five years old, my Sunday School teacher came to my parents flummoxed, after a particular day of church. She pulled them aside and apologized, telling them that I had asked a lot of questions that she could not answer. In fact, she had never even thought about many of my questions before then. If Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel were the first people, who did Cain think was going to kill him after he had been caught in his crime? Who lived in the land of Nod and how did they get there? If there were no people before Adam and Eve, didn’t that mean Cain married his own sister? I was young, but I loved to think and to learn, and the combination of these three things often brought me to places that my teachers had never even considered.

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You, sir, are no Sherlock Holmes.

J. Warner Wallace is a Christian apologist who used to work as a homicide detective. In his book, Cold Case Christianity, Wallace describes how, as a 35-year-old atheist, he began to look at the evidence for Christianity using the forensic principles he developed while working crime scenes. Incredibly, he came to the conclusion, based on this evidence, that Christianity must be completely true. Wallace went on to become a youth group pastor, and then a church leader. Now, he travels the apologetics circuit and maintains the website PleaseConvinceMe.com, where he blogs and provides “real answers, for a real faith, in the real world.”

Yesterday, Mr. Wallace posted an article to his blog entitled, “Two Hidden Science Facts in the Passion Week.” In the article, he describes how eyewitness testimony which may seem ludicrous or inconceivable, at first, can sometimes be corroborated by scientific facts, later on. He then purports to have located two such occurrences in the gospel accounts of the passion. It has the potential to be quite an interesting perspective, but it is marred by some very egregious errors. If this is demonstrative of Mr. Wallace’s ability to evaluate evidence, I can’t advocate much confidence in his skill as a detective.

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