The notion that Christianity is based on a “leap of faith” rather than an intellectual commitment of mind and soul to God is widespread in today’s culture. At The Skeptical Christian, this mistake is addressed head on. Christianity is *not* a worldview for the weak-minded and it is *not* based on a blind leap of faith.
The Skeptical Christian was designed with discussion in mind. Any article on this site can be commented on, and any suggestions, critiques, or alternative perspectives on any of the writings are welcomed and encouraged.
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Wow, it’s been over a year since I posted on the main blog here, so I wanted to give everyone an update of what’s been happening here at the Skeptical Christian and what the plans are for the future.
There are a few content pieces I added long ago but never updated here. They include;
- - Episode 20 of the podcast: Resurrection and Miracles
- - Book Review: The Problem of War in the Old Testament
- - Book Review: Providence and the Problem of Evil
- - Book Review: Three Paradigms of Reality
I’ve been doing a number of other projects for my Church and other ventures recently. I co-taught a class on the Creation vs. Evolution debate. You can check out a quick website and podcast I threw together for the project at
And I am currently co-teaching a youth group study on apologetics, with a website and podcast at
I am trying to update the website, I would like to switch over to a Wordpress blog and want to implement some design changes and content updates. This is taking longer than anticipated and it’s the main reason I haven’t been keeping you updated here. I plan to soon get the update launched and get back on the podcasting circuit. Thanks everyone for your support, it’s much appreciated.
I almost forgot to mention…I finally got a new podcast episode up! This one continues on with the doctrine of God, this time looking at the doctrine of creation. There’s also lots of other good stuff in the episode, including a bunch of news items, a reader question about the Molinist view of sovereignty, and reviews of some books dealing with the Arminian/Calvinist debate.
Coming up, I’m hoping to round off the doctrine of God series with some truly controversial topics, discussing the Trinity and the Incarnation. Stay tuned!
Also, some listeners have noted that the switch to an enhanced podcast, which apparently requires M4a files, has caused some difficulty with their mp3 players. I’m trying to figure out a way to resolve this issue, because I want to make sure the podcast works for everyone. I might have to pull the enhanced features out. My other option is to create separate feeds for the ‘regular’ and ‘enhanced’ version of the podcast. This would be a slight pain, but if many of you actually enjoy/use the enhanced features of the show, I’d be more than willing to take the extra steps.
A while back I was a guest on the Apologia podcast, this one was on “The Problems with Theism.” This episode, to the best of my knowledge, was just recently posted at the new website. Good stuff- thanks to Danny Schade for hosting the episode, and to Dan Sawyer for challenging all my points, just like always!
Whew, that was a nightmare! After a day of hacking and tinkering with my feed, I believe I’ve managed to get the podcast up and running once again. I hope I did not lose any subscribers in the process. If you have been lost, please resubscribe (you can use the link in the right column to subscribe via iTunes.) I believe the RSS feed for the podcast is also working, but I’m not entirely sure if everything is shipshape. Please let me know if there are any problems or difficulties.
On a brighter note, I took the chance to make some big improvements to the podcast. Previously, I was restricted by a number of limitations when it came to editing my feed, but now I have complete control. As a result, everything should be named, formatted, and tagged correctly. The feed is looking a lot better in iTunes already.
I also reduced the file sizes for the podcast substantially. They should download much quicker now and shouldn’t take up nearly as much space.
Finally, I have turned The Skeptical Christian Podcast into an enhanced show! Enhanced podcasts offer a number of features, but the primary advantage is that they allow the addition of chapters. I have put chapter markers on all the shows now (NOTE: I think that these are only viewable in iTunes, iPods, and Quicktime. However, if the chapters aren’t viewable it’s not really a big deal- you can still listen to the episode the normal way.) In the most recent show (episode 18), I added even further improvements, providing links to the news stories and book reviews. Let me know if you like these additions.
If you like to hold on to all the episodes of the show and you are a current subscriber, you may just want to delete your subscription and then resubscribe. Everything is a lot cleaner now, plus the file sizes are more manageable.
Thanks for your patience and your support, and let me know if there is anything I can do to make the Skeptical Christian website and podcast a better resource for you. Happy New Years!
I’ve run into a flurry of technical problems with the podcast, which apparently cannot be downloaded currently. I’m working to resolve these issues and your patience is appreciated. When I release the podcast again, it should feature a number of improvements that I hope you all enjoy. Until then, thanks for your support.
Today is Blog Action Day, where bloggers everywhere are discussing the issue of poverty. This is a topic that I am passionate about, though I have not yet posted anything about it here on the site (but be sure to check out my article, 5 Ways the Web Can Help Us Eliminate Poverty, on my business blog). I think poverty is a serious ethical issue, and as such we have a strong obligation to fight against this problem. Extreme poverty is not only disastrous but also solvable- God has provided the resources we need to eliminate it. Yet, in our consumerist culture, we have turned a blind eye to our neighbors and have indulged in unneeded luxury. Even the Church has fallen into this trap- spending millions on fancy church buildings. Moreover, Christians hardly stand out from the crowd when it comes to consumerism- Christians with money are just about as likely as anybody to spend that money on unneeded luxuries while children around the world literally starve to death.
I think Christ called us to a higher standard. His care and concern for the poor and marginalized comes through on every page of the Gospels. Consider Luke 12:33-
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”
Whether you are a follower of Christ or not, however, the ethical consequences of extreme poverty should be clear. I wrote an article on this issue a year ago, so for my contribution to blog action day, I’d like to repost that here. Unfortunately, I was limited to 1,500 words, so I was not able to fully develop all of my arguments. I will try to offer a more comprehensive review of this argument in the Ethics section at a later date. But without further ado, here is my essay on A Poverty of Benevolence: The Moral Obligations of the Affluent:Read...
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Episode 18 of the podcast is available- I did this one on God and foreknowledge. This is the second episode in my series on the doctrine of God from a philosophical perspective.
In the book reviews section, I recently uploaded the companion volumes Why I am Not an Arminian by Robert Peterson and Michael Williams, and Why I am Not a Calvinist by Jerry Walls and Joseph Dongell.
Be sure to check out the recent apologia blog for a discussion on the nature of free will. It’s an issue that I’ve been studying quite a bit as of late and I hope to write more on the topic in the near future.
Also have a new book review posted- Fabricating Jesus by Craig Evans. And for those who missed it, I’ve posted episode 17 of the podcast.
I have 3 new book reviews uploaded; The Openness of God by William Hasker, John Sanders, Richard Rice, Clark Pinnock, and David Basinger, Divine Providence by Thomas Flint, and There is a God by Antony Flew.
I also added another feature on the home page. In the right hand column you can see a list of Digg stories that I have recently noticed. I tag stories purely on the basis of religious content, not on whether or not I endorse the opinion of the article. But hopefully this can help my readers stay on top of late-breaking news of interest to the thinking Christian.
On another note, I apologize for the dreaded spam that has infected this site. I am hoping to find a solution very soon to deal with this problem. For the time being, please bear with me. I will not delete any legitimate comments, and soon the spam should be cleared away, so don’t feel disinclined to comment on articles. Thank you for your patience.
Unfortunately, I’ve been quite sick lately and therefore unable to record the 17th episode of the podcast. Hopefully should be up in the next couple of days. In the meantime, be sure to check out episode 16 of the show on Intelligent Design. Also new to the site, I have book reviews of Jesus Under Fire, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities, and The Evidential Argument from Evil.