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It’s an accusation that’s been around a long time. Even in ancient times, critics of Christianity noticed some parallels between Christian beliefs and pre-Christian myths. In the late second century, a pagan philosopher named Celsus charged, “The Christians have used the myths of Danae and the Melanippe, of the Auge and Antiope in fabricating this story of virgin birth!” In more recent times, skeptical scholars such as Marvin Meyer and Robert Price have claimed close connections between the resurrection of Jesus and the myths of dying and rising deities that marked many pagan myths.
In the simplest possible terms, here’s what these critics contend: The most marvelous claims in the Gospels—a miraculous birth, for example, as well as the idea of a deity who dies and rises again—are paralleled in pagan religions that predate Christianity; therefore, early Christians must have fabricated these miracles based on their knowledge of pre-Christian religions.
“The more I probed the Bible,” Reza Aslan declares in the introduction to his bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, “the more distance I discovered between the Jesus of the gospels and the Jesus of history” (xix).
The result of this discovery—at least in Aslan’s estimation—is that the New Testament Gospels should be treated as texts that convey something other than “history.” [Read more…]
Every human being is hungry for a single overarching storyline that ties all of our smaller stories together. Since 2008, evidence for this hunger has been as close as your nearest cinema. That’s when the release of Iron Man marked the genesis of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is not merely a series of movies, neatly sequentialized into episodes that convey a single storyline. The MCU includes a multiplicity of individual narratives. [Read more…]
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be launching two new podcasts in 2019! The first one, Urban Ministry Podcast, is being produced in coordination with the Dehoney Center for Urban Ministry at Southern Seminary—I’ll post more later about the Urban Ministry Podcast.
The second podcast is a 24-episode personal project entitled Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast. Each episode of this podcast brings together a few of my favorite topics: apologetics, history, and rock and roll. [Read more…]