About Me

My Photo
Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE and HUMANITY ENHANCED.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chris Hallquist debunks the resurrection

I've been reading UFOs, Ghosts, and a Rising God: Debunking the Resurrection of Jesus, by Chris Hallquist (Reasonable Press, 2009). Hallquist examines the evidence for the resurrection, a core Christian doctrine, adopting a sceptical viewpoint informed by our modern experience with other extraordinary claims, such as those about ghosts (including the Amityville Horror hoax), levitation, and UFO sightings/abductions. The result is an enjoyable volume, in good, clear prose, that debunks the resurrection myth quite thoroughly. Hallquist leaves few stones unmoved or unturned.

A book like this might easily have rested its case on a superficial discussion of the biblical sources or on speculation about what might really have happened after Jesus was crucified and his body then went missing. But Hallquist goes deeper than that. He is well acquainted with both popular Christian apologetics and the more specialised textual scholarship relating to the Bible. Thus, he is able to examine the provenance and historicity of the various resurrection accounts, while also answering the (rather shaky) cases that have been built on them by such apologists as William Lane Craig and Gary Habermas. He puts a compelling case that the resurrection story is a legend that grew up among the early followers of Jesus, not the rationalisation of facts about an empty tomb - indeed, we have no reason to believe that any such "empty tomb" ever existed. The historical records are far too murky for that.

Hallquist's book aside, an uncommitted but well-informed observer would conclude that Jesus was probably one of the many apocalyptic prophets of ancient Palestine, and that his life was heavily mythologised in the gospels, which were written well after his death. The ancient books traditionally ascribed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were based on oral traditions that soon became embroidered with fanciful stories which are not even consistent with each other. The first of these books, Mark, did not come into existence until about 70 AD, and the other two synoptic gospels, Matthew and Luke, were largely based on Mark, with input from a lost document referred to by scholars as "Q". (The gospel of "John" is later still and presents a very different account of Jesus' life.)

It's unlikely that the story of Jesus was made up whole - for a start, the very earliest Christian writings (those of St Paul) date from a time still too close to the events - but the real apocalyptic prophets wandering around the Middle East in the first century did not, alas, have the power to confront demons or the ability to come back to life after being tortured to death.

However, it's conceivable that the New Testament's "Jesus" is a composite figure to some extent, since oral traditions based on the lives of more than one of these prophets could have become conflated as the documents came into existence over time. Be that as it may, the life of the historical figure we now know as "Jesus" was built up into something extraordinary, involving a virgin birth, miraculous healings, encounters with demons, and a divine resurrection.

Over at Butterflies and Wheels, there is an excellent article by Edmund Standing which argues for the existence of an historical Jesus, despite the unbelievable claims made about Jesus in the Bible and elsewhere. As Standing points out, the lives of real people can be mythologised beyond recognition, but this does not entail that there is no underlying stratum of truth - that such and such a person existed and did such and such (far more ordinary) things. Standing uses the example of Haile Selassie, whose life was mythologised beyond recognition, even in his own lifetime, by the Rastafarian movement, despite the fact that this was in modern times and the truth was readily available.

Hallquist takes a similar approach (though it's a pity that he does not seem to be aware of Standing's case study). He does not deny that there is a stratum of truth in the Christian mythology, i.e. that an apocalyptic prophet with a name like "Jesus" lived in the early first century, and perhaps made enough of a nuisance of himself to the local Roman administrators to be executed by them. However, we will probably never have enough information to be sure of what actually happened, event by event, and at any rate this prophet was not a god-man with supernatural powers. When we compare modern investigations of amazing phenomena such as alleged UFO abductions, we can easily understand how such a person's life could be mythologised beyond recognition very quickly, and how unlikely it would have been, in the social and technological conditions of the time, for the surrounding mythology to be successfully debunked.

UFOs, Ghosts, and a Rising God deals with all this in sufficient depth to become a valuable part of a sceptic's library. Hallquist structures the book usefully and explains the issues lucidly. My only gripe is that the British philosopher Antony Flew is referred to throughout as if his first name is "Anthony" - this detracts from the book because there are so many references to Flew. In particular, much of Hallquist's discussion of modern apologetics deals with debates in which Flew was involved on the sceptical side (he has more recently become a deist, though not a Christian or even a conventional theist: as far as I know he still denies the truth of such Christian doctrines as the divine nature and miraculous resurrection of Jesus). I hope that this glitch will be fixed in any subsequent printings.

Meanwhile, don't let it distract you too much. This is the most focused and definitive book that you'll find putting the detailed case against Jesus' resurrection. It's done very well indeed. If your home or local library has a place for such a book, I don't hesitate to recommend it.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Приветствую дорогие участники metamagician3000.blogspot.com! Превосходный форум тут!
Недавно встретил необычное качество перевода с отличными статьями. Уникальные переведённые иностранные темы обо всём в мире. Например: [url=http://computer-base.ru/node?page=96]Познавательные тексты из английских энциклопедий[/url]
Почитайте эти переводные тексты - некоторые пыхтели переводили кучи статей!

Anonymous said...

あいにくロシア語が読めません。グーグル・トランスレートは使えません。;)

JonJ said...

"It's unlikely that the story of Jesus was made up whole - for a start, the very earliest Christian writings (those of St Paul) date from a time still too close to the events.."

Perhaps; but I wonder if you are projecting some of our current experience of a highly literate age in which detailed records are kept back into a culture where (outside a very few religious and government officials) almost nobody could read, write or even count very high, and the idea of keeping written records of events was totally alien to most people.

Put it this way: if Jesus had worked in Ancient Athens there would have been dozens of independent accounts of his story and many would have survived to put him in a historical context. The idea that Socrates, for instance, might be a myth is absurd.

But we have almost no contemporary records from Biblical Palestine, and I don't see that we have any basis for asserting that Jesus was not wholly fictional. Are there not records of other prophets who are claimed to have worked miracles and resurrected? Are these also non-fictional?

My view is that the Jesus story was only one of many; it just happened to appeal to the right people (e.g. Paul) at the right time. If Paul, say, had died on the way to Damascus, the story of Jesus -- if it survived at all -- would be regarded as an obscure folk legend like the story of Gilgamesh.

Mark said...

Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I definitely intend to read it. I was raised as a Christian, but my reading has led me to realize that there are just too many contradictions and improbabilities in the gospel accounts for me to accept. It's important that books like this get published so that more and more people will start to see the problems with Christianity.

Gingerbaker said...

"It's unlikely that the story of Jesus was made up whole - for a start, the very earliest Christian writings (those of St Paul) date from a time still too close to the events - but the real apocalyptic prophets wandering around the Middle East in the first century did not, alas, have the power to confront demons or the ability to come back to life after being tortured to death.

Standings article is a push-back against a determined and growing tide of independent scholars who are making the case for the Mythical, ie, non historical Christ. His response is typical of those who argue for a historical core to the myth, in that it relies on the very myth under question as a proof source.

His article consists of an assertion of his belief that what is attributed to Jesus sounds true to him, and then presents the case of Haile Selassie as an example of a real person behind the myth.

Well, so what?

Undeniably, there are some myths with a historical core. But there are also many myths without an historical core. Indeed, today there is a growing religious cult already 15 million strong worshiping a contemporary messiah - who does not exist!

See http://www.share-international.org/maitreya/Ma_teachings.htm

By the way, the very earliest writings - in your example of Paul, above - are part of the armamentarium of those in the Mythicist camp. Written (at the earliest) in 70, Paul's writings describe a God, not a man. A man he never met, and of whom his only knowledge was from personal revelation and scripture.

The historical Jesus has simply been taken for granted by Biblical scholars who have never actually looked to see if he actually existed. Nor surprising, since the vast majority of Biblical 'scholars' are not worthy of the title, as they are typically apologetic Christians working at institutions which demand their acceptance of the existence of - you got it - the historical Jesus Christ.

The question of the historicity of Jesus Christ is going to much more of an issue in times to come, of that Edmund Standing can be assured.

David said...

Chris Hallquist debunks the resurrection? my ass.

There is only one way to offer credible evidence that the resurrection didn't happen--that would be to uncover documentation showing that the biblical writers perpetuated a fraud. Short of that Hallquist or anyone else can do nothing more than the usual mental self-abuse philosophers and bible scholars are so good at--not that it is anything to be proud of-- and convince the like-minded and the weak-minded that he proved a negative.

Geez. No wonder so many scientists like myself think philosophers are bunch of bozos.

Lisa said...

No matter how well-argued, it just doesn't seem to matter how many such books and studies and articles come out, believers will still believe because faith is not logical nor is it based on facts. As long as there's the slightest chance that it might have happened (that is, definitively, 100% disproved, which, given the paucity of 1st century sources, would be quite difficult), that 0.0001% chance will be more than enough for "faith" to slip in and say "you haven't disproved it!"

Then there are the Muslims, who deal with any such "myth-busting" in regards to the Qur'an and the early history of Islam by either denying the legitimacy of secular Western scholarship about Islam altogether (it's "imperialist" or "Orientalist" or even "racist", or all a conspiracy to destroy Islam) or, and here they're joined by sympathizers, "insensitive" to the "strongly held beliefs" of a billion people.

Actually, I see a lot of those characteristics among Christians, too (along with the postmodern "facts don't matter, that's their truth and who are you to dispute it" mindset).

Gingerbaker said...

"There is only one way to offer credible evidence that the resurrection didn't happen--that would be to uncover documentation showing that the biblical writers perpetuated a fraud."

You mean besides the fact that:

* Modern biology and physics tells us that it is flat out impossible

* The Bible itself is incoherent on the subject

* The Bible is chock full of demonstrable frauds already, and...

* Zeus told me it's not true?

Jesum Crow, Heddle, for a haughty scientist (and not, of course, a staunch Christian apologist) your statement makes it seem as if you have no clue about the burden of proof.

J. J. Ramsey said...

Gingerbaker: "His response is typical of those who argue for a historical core to the myth, in that it relies on the very myth under question as a proof source."

Um, no. Both historicists and mythicists are working from the same material. The difference is that the historicists think that the content of this material is most parsimoniously explained as the output of followers of someone who did exist but whose story was embellished, while the mythicists think otherwise.

Gingerbaker: "By the way, the very earliest writings - in your example of Paul, above - are part of the armamentarium of those in the Mythicist camp. Written (at the earliest) in 70, Paul's writings describe a God, not a man."

Um, yeah, that explains why this God who wasn't a man was reported by Paul to have descended from a very human David, or that he had brothers, one of whom Paul reportedly met. Can that be explained in mythicist terms? Well, with very creative interpretation, sure. However, what mythicists have to offer here is a kludge at best, and pseudohistory at worst.

Heck, the whole gospel of Christianity is rather odd as something intentionally made up:

"You know, the Messiah, the guy who's supposed to throw out the foreign oppressors and usher in a new era of righteousness? Our messiah, um, well, he was killed by those foreign oppressors, and he hasn't ushered in that new era. But he's still really the Messiah, see? He's gonna come back Real Soon Now(TM) and do all the stuff a Messiah's actually supposed to do. Oh, and we can explain the dying, too. That was for our sins. Yeah, that's right."

So we have a supposed messiah who has yet to act messianic, along with a fancy theological explanation for his failure. That makes a lot of sense as a by-product of people following a would-be messiah who failed and rationalizing that failure, and is trivial to explain in historicist terms. The idea that it's an outcome of the myth of dying and rising gods sounds like a good mythicist angle, until one actually looks at how poorly the myths of such gods actually resemble the Christian story.

And don't get me started on Doherty.

When the mythicists ditch the pseudohistory and come up with a mythicist scenario as parsimonious as what the historicists have on offer, call me.

David said...

Gingerbaker,

I know all about the burden of proof. If I want to convince you that the resurrection happened, the burden of proof would be on me, not on you to prove it didn't. It's Hallquist who wants to reverse the burden of proof.

Now a really smart, (I mean really smart not pseudo-smart) philosopher understood that--hence his cosmic teapot. Hallquist didn't get the memo. Bertrand Russell understood that it was nonsense to ask him to prove the teapot wasn't there--Hallquist, ignoring Russell, says: well okey-dokey I'll pretend to prove the teapot ain't there.

"Modern biology and physics tells us that it is flat out impossible"

That's just dumb. You are pointing out a feature, not a bug. You do know they are called miracles, not parlor tricks?

Miracles can't happen because they can't happen!

Would you like "Begging the question" for $800? Or maybe that's "Highlights from the Jesus Seminar, and don't forget your colored cards!" for $1000?

J. J. Ramsey said...

"I know all about the burden of proof. If I want to convince you that the resurrection happened, the burden of proof would be on me, not on you to prove it didn't. It's Hallquist who wants to reverse the burden of proof."

If Hallquist's previous treatment of the resurrection is anything to go by, then what he has done is scrutinize the evidence that you would be offering for the resurrection and pointing out that it looks like legendary material. He's letting you have the burden of proof, and pointing out that you haven't satisfied it.

Anonymous said...

David,

Seriously?

First, that 'you can't prove a negative' stuff is dumb. Of course you can. Science has shown, for instance, that vaccines do NOT cause autism. You can even prove negative existentials. There is NOT air at the top of a mercury barometer. Duh.

Second, I think you're being uncharitable in the extreme regarding the miracles argument. Here's what Hume says:

“No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish… When anyone tells me that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself whether it be more probable that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or the fact which he relates should really have happened. I weigh one miracle against the other; and according to the superiority which I discover, I pronounce my decision and always reject the greater miracle. If the falsehood of his testimony would be more miraculous than the event which he relates then, and not till then, can he pretend to command my belief or opinion.”

So the argument doesn't "beg the question". It's an undermining argument that says the probability of Jesus's resurrection, conditional on our evidence (contemporary science + the testimony of the scriptures) is less than the conditional probability of Jesus not having been resurrected, conditional on the same evidence. You might deny the claim, but you can't pretend it's a fallacy.

David said...

Anonymous,

You need to review what "proving a negative" is. Obviously I can trivially recast of a positive proof into a proof of a negative. (Using the word proof loosely).

Proof of Newton's 2nd law: F = dp/dt can be recast as proof that F does not = (dp/dt)^2.


And it is begging the question, because if I claim:

I saw something that violates the laws of science

a proof that I am wrong cannot be:

you could not have seen such a thing because it would violate the laws of science.

You can say I'm nuts--you can demand that I prove what I saw, you can do all kinds of things, but you can't prove miracles don't exist by asserting that they don't exist.

Michael Fugate said...

Maybe it requires defining "miracle".

J. J. Ramsey said...

David Heddle: "you can't prove miracles don't exist by asserting that they don't exist."

Fair enough, but are we talking Gingerbaker or Hallquist here? Yes, Gingerbaker said, "Modern biology and physics tells us that it is flat out impossible," but Hallquist was making a much different argument. Heck, Hume was making a different argument.

Gingerbaker said...

"You can say I'm nuts--you can demand that I prove what I saw, you can do all kinds of things, but you can't prove miracles don't exist by asserting that they don't exist."

Who is trying to prove miracles don't exist? Not me! You are the one who said this:

"There is only one way to offer credible evidence that the resurrection didn't happen..."

The observations of all sciences show us that supernatural events and agencies do not occur outside of the fevered imaginations of the deranged. That is credible evidence, not an assertion.

You asked for evidence of fraud by the early Christians writers - the Bible is full of it. More evidence.

The 'miracle' of the resurrection requires a magician, in this case the God of Christianity. You yourself deny the omnibenevolence of this asserted triune entity, which adds another layer of incoherence to the proposition.

The burden of proof is properly on those who would say that the Resurrection happened (that would be you, btw, from the looks of things).

One can define the failed hypothesis of miracles, Gods, etc semantically and say it can never be proved. Or, one can say that from a scientific perspective, a purported entity that shows no evidence of existing, and which is not needed as an explanation for otherwise unexplained observations is a failed hypothesis. Which means, until proven otherwise, is no more likely to exist than Russel's Teapot.

Gingerbaker said...

"Um, no. Both historicists and mythicists are working from the same material. The difference is that the historicists think that the content of this material is most parsimoniously explained as the output of followers of someone who did exist but whose story was embellished, while the mythicists think otherwise.
"


Not at all. The MJ'ers use a lot of sources outside the canon to demonstrate non historicity, including skepticism of the historicity at the time just after Christ, as well as drawing on diverse sources to characterize the myth.

With the exception of a maniacally stubborn endorsement of the obviously flawed Testimonium, it is the HJ'ers who are primarily restricted to canonical proof sources including the rather silly claim you reproduce ehere:

"Um, yeah, that explains why this God who wasn't a man was reported by Paul to have descended from a very human David, or that he had brothers, one of whom Paul reportedly met."

The Greek for this "brother in/of the lord" is used exclusively in the NT not to indicate a sibling, but rather to mean exactly how the word is still used today - a 'brother' in the same congregation or cult.

"When the mythicists ditch the pseudohistory and come up with a mythicist scenario as parsimonious as what the historicists have on offer, call me.

The problem for the HJ'ers is that by assuming a HJ, they necessarily must explain the incoherence of the account itself, and the concommitant difficulties of explaining how how a man who supposedly drew thousands, spoke Jewish heresy, was somehow accepted as a human messiah by a people who would never do such a thing, does all that - and yet he generates not a shred of historical evidence left behind. We learn of several insignificant Jewish apocolyptic preachers from the period called "Jesus" who are in historical record - but not him. :D His entire family and his so-called "brother(s)" simply disappear never to be heard from again. Etc, etc.

The MJ hypothesis is far more parsimonious than the HJ.

Jack Sprat said...

David, if you're still around. As a physicist, at least I think you're involved in physics research, how do you square the 1st law of thermodynamics with immaterial souls and deity interacting with the material? The way I see it, if the 1st law of thermodynamics is correct, and the universe is all there is materially speaking, then anything acting in the universe must be energy.

So, if a soul/mind or deity wants to interact with something material the 1st law of thermodynamics would be violated. It takes energy to interact with energy and that energy must already exist in the universe. It might do to say that a deity can miraculously violate his own laws (why make laws that need to be violated?) but every thought of every person that's ever lived also would violate that law if we have immaterial souls/minds. Seems a bit ridiculous to call them laws if they're regularly violated by the act of thinking (which registers on fMRI, so there is an interaction between matter and a simple thought), let alone voluntarily moving.

I guess your being a Christian leads me to assume you support some form of substance dualism, which apart from violating the 1st law of thermodynamics has the (seemingly) insoluble hurdle philosopically of how the immaterial can coherently be said to interact with the material. Apologies if I've attributed views to you that you don't hold.

Thanks in advance.

P.S. proving a negative in logic and mathematics is the easiest thing. (Prove 1 is not greater than 2 or something like that.) I guess you mean you can't prove a negative of existence.

J. J. Ramsey said...

Gingerbaker: "it is the HJ'ers who are primarily restricted to canonical proof sources"

Go read the second chapter of The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide by Theissen and Merz, where there is plenty of discussion of the use of non-canonical sources.

Gingerbaker: "The Greek for this "brother in/of the lord" is used exclusively in the NT not to indicate a sibling, but rather to mean exactly how the word is still used today - a 'brother' in the same congregation or cult."

That fails to explain why Paul writes in 1 Cor. 9.5, "Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?" If "brothers of the Lord" is simply meant as "a 'brother' in the same congregation or cult," then it is rather odd that the apostles and Cephas, who are in the same cult as Paul (see for example, 1 Cor 1.10ff) yet are distinguished from "brothers of the Lord."

Gingerbaker: "The problem for the HJ'ers is that by assuming a HJ, they necessarily must explain the incoherence of the account itself"

Are you kidding me?! The strength of the historicist position is that it explains the incoherence quite well as a by-product of the tensions between the legendary accretions and the uncooperative reality onto which they had accreted. For example, it explains trivially why there are two contradictory convoluted just-so stories for how Jesus was supposedly born in Bethlehem according to Old Testament prophesy even though he was a denizen of a no-account village not even mentioned in the Hebrew scriptures, rather than having him born in Bethlehem from the get-go. A fully mythical account should be a lot more streamlined than the accounts we've got.

Gingerbaker: "and the concommitant difficulties of explaining how how a man who supposedly drew thousands ..."

Um, why do you think that historicists, who treat the New Testament and other sources as chock full of legends, would assume that Jesus really drew thousands?

Gingerbaker: "spoke Jewish heresy ..."

What heresy do you have in mind? What Jesus preaches in the Synoptic Gospels is basically that God is going to come soon to resurrect the dead, reward the good, and punish the evil. This isn't far off from what the Pharisees believed, except perhaps for the timetable.

Gingerbaker: "We learn of several insignificant Jewish apocolyptic preachers from the period called 'Jesus' who are in historical record - but not him."

Source? In Josephus' work, there are several apparent would-be messiahs who started uprisings, but AFAICT, there isn't a mention of several apocalyptic preachers all with the name Jesus. Do you have any other sources in mind, or are you just spouting pseudohistory?

David said...

Jack Spratt,

I have no idea what you are talking about. The first law of thermo is nothing more than conservation of energy. If you think energy conservation proves there can be nothing supernatural, you are simply wrong. Energy conservation may be the most sacred of conservation laws, but it only states that as far as the material world appears to operate, the amount of energy in the universe seems to be a constant (perhaps even zero.) If the supernatural exists, the first law of thermo has nothing to about how it would operate or what it would be like. Nor would it preclude the supernatural from pumping energy into the material--it simply says that once the universe was again isolated from supernatural intrusions, energy would be conserved.

Jack Sprat said...

David
If the supernatural exists, the first law of thermo has nothing to about how it would operate or what it would be like.

I think it says nothing about the supernatural when it doesn't interact with the natural. It says a lot about anything interacting with the natural.

Nor would it preclude the supernatural from pumping energy into the material--it simply says that once the universe was again isolated from supernatural intrusions, energy would be conserved.

So, according to you, we are seeing energy pumped into the universe or pumped out with every thought? That should be measuable I think. In any case, if energy is being pumped into the universe with each thought, then that just shifts the problem of how something supernatural, which has no energy, interact with energy (matter). So how does it interact with our material body given the 1st law?

I guess I could put the argument like this (if my understanding of the physics is wrong, then apologies):

P1) everything material is energy.

P2) everything supernatural is not energy.

P3) The 1st law of thermo. states that in any closed system energy is conserved. Thus only energy can interact with energy.

C) The supernatural cannot interact with the natural because it is not energy.

You might say it's a miracle, but each thought is miracle? This is part of the larger problem that I mentioned before that there is no plausible way that the category of supernatural can said to interact with the natural. But as it's an argument from physics I thought I'd ask you.

Elentar said...

David, if someone tells me they can fly, I don't assemble a team of physicists from around the world to categorically prove that they cannot fly, at great expense of time and money. I simply say, "Show me."

You are making an extraordinary claim. For that, you will need to provide a great deal of evidence.

So, show us. Or stop wasting our time.

David said...

Elentar,

Don't you see you make my point? You are exactly correct. The burden is on me to prove the resurrection -- should I care whether or not you believe -- which I don't.

C'mon. This isn't so complicated.

Hallquist is trying to do exactly what you say he shouldn't do (and what he can't do) --disprove an extraordinary claim. He is wasting his time--except for the fact that there will be plenty of suckers willing to buy his book.

J. J. Ramsey said...

You're right, David. This isn't so complicated. Judging from what I've seen of Hallquist so far, it's not so much that he's trying to disprove an extraordinary claim but rather than he is showing that there is no extraordinary evidence to support it.

xrayzed said...

David, you seem confused about what Hallquist has set out to do.

He is not claiming to have disproved the resurrection. He is claiming to have debunked the claims made in favour of the resurrection.

From page 15 of his book:
"It (claims/evidence for the resurrection) is bunk the way sensationalistic claims of UFO encounters and psychic phenomena are bunk. This is not something I say to emphasize how wrong the arguments are, even though there are some stunning instances of arguments premised on wildly, demonstrably false claims. Rather, I bring up UFOs and such for this reason: the claim that the Bible's miracles can be proven on evidence, is extraordinary, but the evidence is no better than for other extraordinary claims. The fallacies employed by proponents of both sets of claims are the same."

Michael Fugate said...

"The burden is on me to prove the resurrection -- should I care whether or not you believe -- which I don't."

or because you can't?

Jack Sprat said...

David, any thoughts one how something that is not energy can interact with something that is energy?

David said...

xrayzed,

Then he didn't "debunk the resurrection" he debunked the arguments put forth as evidence for the resurrection which a) is quite a different matter and b) has already been done a gazillion times.

snak said...

Jack Sprat - I'd suppose interaction would be mediated through something like a new form of gauge bosons. These would be produced by some alternate form of 'spiritual' matter and cause effects on classical matter. Possibly vice-versa

xrayzed said...

@ David:

Yes, the title is inaccurate, and was probably chosen by the publisher.

The rationale was probably along the lines that "Debunking the Resurrection of Jesus" has more impact and would sell more copies than "Debunking Arguments That Apologists Present Claiming That the Gospels Provide a Historically Accurate Account of the Resurrection of Jesus".

I'd side with the publishers on this one.

As for debunking having been "done a gazillion times", considering there are Christians who still don't get it, clearly the job isn't done yet.

Tito Tinajero said...

Reading the cherry picking that Mr Hallquist does in his book. (Only using sources that further his case and ignoring those scholars that don't, including skeptics that come down on the historgraphy of Jesus while denying his resurrection) Mr Hallquist really shows that he would have been an excellent Young Earth Creationist (YEC), he certainly showed the same intellectual dishonesty of YEC. I love his claim of UFOs being "more believable." He stats it with complete ignorance. Any useful distinction of "more believable" would either have to measure by popularity,(as that is measurable, then the resurrection would be more believable as it has more people believing it, or UFO are more believable because Mr. Hallquist says so or believe so. His claim is akin to being dead. Either the claim is supported by evidence or not, and there is no well it sort of supported and as such he declares UFO more believable even though he rejects the claims of both. Huh? Either way, Mr. Hallquist is in Philosophical hot water.

It is good to be an ideological atheist these days, for how else could you explain such a philosophical amateur being able to publish such a sloppy piece, and then have minions praise it for being a complete case against the resurrection, rather than what it is, bad history, bad philosophy and bad theology done by an unaware arrogant boy.