Have any of you read/heard him? My friend sent me his speech from Harvard. Very good speaker. I actually heard him once on the radio randomly, but never knew his name to find him again.
Yes, he is the man and might be the best apologist on the planet. He speaks at major schools and answers the tough question's with amazing skill of the mind. I would love to see him come here and eat some of you alive. I believe he was born in India.
I have "Jesus Among Other Gods" on audiobook. I think Ravi is a good speaker. I don't know how convincing his apologetics are for dyed in the wool atheists though.
Ravi, is good...but it's William Lane Craig I'd like to see come here.
Here is a bunch of Craig's essays:
Craig is a great apologist. But Ravi is a great apologist and a great speaker. I actually enjoy listening to Ravi, I used to force myself to listen to Craig. WLC is decent in debates and his essays are quite impressive apologetic works, but it's like reading technical maunuals or listening to slowly disarming a bomb. "First, you cut the yellow proposition by enacting..."
W/Ravi, I'm laughing and being moved by his stories and all the while he's delivering a powerful and tangible apologetic.
IMHO that is....
That Plantinga fellow writes pretty dry, but he had me cracking up in one of his speeches I heard online.
Plantinga is the best apologist I have ever read, haven't actually heard Ravi or Plantinga, I guess I should give them a listen.
I love apologetics as much as the next guy but I question more and more how often they actually lead a person to Christ or repentance. I think they are mainly valuable for removing intellectual objections to the faith and dispelling the notion that faith is an unreasonable thing.
Lewis always felt that a team of apologist and evangelical would be the best combination. The apologist would work on the head and the evangelist would work on the heart.
i read some of lane's stuff and his debate with crossan. Im reading crossans, The Historical Jesus. I think lane is guilty of what apologists for christianity are doing. He accuses the jesus seminar of the very thing he is doing. working off of pre suppositions. One cannot come to the field of new testament criticism and not have some pre supposition whether he is for or against the literalness of the text regarding supernaturalism. Painting Crossan as someone opposed to jesus is ridiculous. he claims christianity as his faith just not like others do on the fundamentalist side.
Despite all of craigs learning and academic credentials, I think he falls short in being a student of ancient literature. I dont agree with everything in the jesus seminar but it is mandatory in my mind to examine the NT in every possible way and to recognize that there are plausible ways of explaining the text as we have it today.
regardless of what ever backlash I might get, the miraculous supernatural christ is a christ of faith. That isnt a bad thing. Its just reality. When examining the resurrection accounts, the mistake made is that we deal with the texts which btw differ in all the gospels on details. Which last time I checked are important in the world of evidence. The fact that 4 gospels represent 4 different accounts of the ministry death and resurrection of christ leaves room to wonder what exactly did or didnt happen and what were they trying to accomplish.
John's jesus is radically different in speech than the synoptics. We dont have tape recorders or video of jesus. Its obvious that the writers of the gospels created their own version of jesus. With purpose. Anytime you craft an account with a pre determined objective, that reasoning will influence the outcome of the picture.
It doesnt affect the christ of faith that you choose to accept. I disagree with some of the dating of the texts by some of the jesus seminars. I think dismissing a historical / critical approach to the gospels and the nt are intellectual dishonesty. Tides ebb and flow. most of the time in academia they go to extremes. Its an ongoing process of stripping away superimposed ideas and possible theological statements the writers were making in the gospels. Some of which, its likely jesus didnt say. The evolution of the church and doctrinal ideology could have been added to make it clear what they believed jesus meant. Not what he actually said or did. Again, the fact that we get 4 different jesus's begs that question. What can we know about the real jesus who lived walked and talked in first century palestine ? That is crossans major endeavour.
also, we today with the changing face of the church do exactly what the gospel writers do. Today we present jesus as this or that. A cool jesus. A powerlifting jesus. A TD Jakes Jesus or a benny hinn jesus or for youth, a heavy metal rocking alternative jesus. baptists preach a jesus with short hair and a suit and tie singing old hymns. Pentecostals present the bizzaro jesus of wild ravings and prophetic ecstatic utterances. We adapt jesus to the needs of whatever situation we are facing and what will work in reaching people with the message. people can deny this all day but its as plain as day. First century writers did this too. It aint right, it aint wrong, it just is.
you left out Liberal Christians who also paint Jesus into their picture of a tree hugging..."hey I'm ok...you're ok" hippie guru type.
you wanna be fair across the board...correct?
and be honest...Craig would school you in a debate...and you know it
Im not a qualified debater. Im an armchair hobbyist when it comes to these things. To be honest, I find alot of freedom from anxiety just looking at things without any emotional/ faith attatchment. Ive learned so much more not worrying what is right and just looking at the facts as we can see them. Which I think unfortunately is impossible to really be definitive about.Im just pointing out the error I see he has which he uses against his opponents. Yes jesus would use hemp only and would be protesting the war in iraq and sending friendship letters to sadaam hussein. fair ?
also in saying that some of the gospel accounts are embellished with sayings that likely didnt come out of his mouth doesnt erase the idea that that IS what jesus was understood to mean. Even if one sentence is messed up with an interpolation for clarification or to help the early christians understand the deeper meanings you have a errant gospel in the strictest sense established by fundamentalist, inerrant believers. The whole premise falls into the gutter.
To me, it doesnt make it less credible only adds flavor to the understanding of what people believed christianity to mean. But it carries with it the idea that it may be what the writer believed jesus to say, not what he actually said.
I know this puts me outside the camp of most die hard christians but Im ok with that for the time being.
I also want to say that I find no more compelling, inspirational, meaninful story in history. Jesus literally formed the current world we live in. Not bad for a laborer from backwater palestine. He's given hope to billions of people thru history and that alone is enough for me to accept him as an important figure in my life.
W.L Craig and R. Zacharias are both excellent speakers.
Craig is one of the most formidable Christian debators today.
I agree with Rev that A. Plantinga is the best (or among the best) apologist insofar as his writings go especially. He actually managed to get atheistic philosophers to take his arguments seriously, which is quite a feat. His "Warrant" trilogy regarding epistemology (and a building argument for theistic belief) was taken seriously enough that philosophers on both sides of the theistic debate were drawn to reply.
For anyone attempting to say Christian arguments for theistic belief are of poor quality, they have to confront Plantinga.
Also, Richard Swinburne's stuff can be pretty cool too.
For anyone who doesn't know, he's a Christian apologist/writer who is seen to be formidable and strides the top of the "apologist" category.
I can appreciate some of Swinburne's stuff (to the extent I'm familiar with it), especially his ideas on epistemic justification. It seems to me Swinburne does proceed in a philosophical, logical manner in building his arguments (some of them even adopting Bayesian Theory) on epistemic justification. From what I've seen of Swinburne on this topic, I believe he ultimately fails (e.g. I don't ultimately find his presentation of how we should weigh experiences against our "background" knowledge convincing, as it seems to wipe away important distinctions in our background knowledge...)
But the fact that Swinburne does not convince me doesn't negate the respect he builds with his method. After all, many other secular philosophical arguments, fail as well. So I can at least respect Swinburne's attempts. Whereas some apologist's writing is so riddled with transparent axe-grinding it's hard to take them seriously.
Wow! Zealot just apologised the correct.
I just re read what I wrote this morning. I think for once I summed up what I feel about jesus christ at this current point in my life.