Continuing discussion.

EPS Blog

This is the blog area for the Evangelical Philosophical Society and its journal, Philosophia Christi.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Historical Apologetics Project---help needed

Timothy McGrew, an epistemologist deeply interested in apologetics, has taken it upon himself to develop a colossal (not 30MB, 30 *GB*) digital library of historical apologetics. To get a sampling of his work, (just the tip of a Titanic sinking ice-berg) check out the link below:

http://www.lydiamcgrew.com/Historicalapologeticsreadinglist.htm

What Tim and I are hoping is that there are faculty and grad students who have good ideas about how these historical resources might best be used. One idea is that they could be indexed by problem/objection for/to the Christian faith so that working apologists could quickly find the relevant passages. Might this, for example, be a worthy project for students enrolled in the MA program in apologetics at Biola University or similar programs elsewhere?

It would be particularly valuable if these resources would help students select new directions in doctoral research. It seems to me that advisors in philosophy would be more inclined to take dissertations bearing on apologetics seriously if they realized both the caliber of some of the great historical apologists and their unjustified neglect.

If anyone has constructive proposals as to how this resource can best be used or developed, please contact me and I will convey any response to Tim McGrew. Tim is willing to send his entire digital collection (via portable hard drive) to anyone who is interested in indexing even a single volume or assisting in other ways to develop the resource.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

2008 EPS Papers (Sharp)

Mary Jo Sharp

First-Century Monotheistic Judaism, the Earliest Christians, and the Recycled Pagan Myth Theory

Abstract: This paper is a response to the re-emergent claim that Christianity developed put of a first-century Judaism that was doctrinally influenced by Hellenistic pagan religions. I will demonstrate that the evidence available maintains a first-century Jewish faith exclusively monotheistic in doctrine; leading to ritualistic and, to some degree, cultural separatism due to a fear of defilement. Because of this very exclusivity, the first Christians – being first-century Jews – would not have inserted or adapted pagan religious ideas into their belief for the same fear of defiling the one true God. Instead, the earliest evidence presents Jewish-Christians equating Jesus with the monotheistic Godhead and honoring Jesus with the divine worship of which only the Jewish God is worthy. The evidence for this case can be found in 1) an examination of the doctrine and praxis of ancient Judaism as understood in its first century environment, 2) in the early evidence from Paul’s writings in which he equates Jesus with God and rebukes the practices of the pagan religions, and 3) in the lack of evidence to support claims of early influence by pagan religions, because Christianity developed from a monotheistic Jewish faith that fails to – and refused to – align with normal mythological religious patterns.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Response to "Gabriel's Vision" & Its Implications for the Resurrection of Jesus

EPS leaders, Craig J. Hazen and Gary R. Habermas, have both responded to recent reports (e.g., at the NYT) about the "Gabriel Vision" tablet and whether it falsifies Christianity's historic claim concerning Jesus' unique resurrection from the dead.

Hazen is the founder and director of the graduate program in Christian apologetics at Biola University. His response is here.

Habermas is the Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University. His response is here.

Both scholars agree that the news is not disturbing to the Christian claim concerning the resurrection of Jesus.

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