What’s Wrong with the World

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

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February 2019 Archives

February 5, 2019

On that (in)famous "saints rising" passage in Matthew 27

Why this post?

I am right now in the midst of writing an entire book on literary device theories and the historicity of the Gospels, using the work of Michael Licona as one of my main foils. (See here for all of my New Testament posts to date and here for a gateway to my 2017 Licona series. Scroll down in the latter for blurbs on each of the 2017 posts in the series.)

It suddenly struck me that I have no place in that book that really fits for a discussion of the passage that many people (unfortunately) think criticism of Licona's work is "really all about"--namely, the raising of the saints narrated in Matthew 27:51-53.

Since I like my work to fit together with a clear logical structure, and since I already have several appendices on other topics planned for the book, I was rather puzzled about what to do. It is a sociological fact that much controversy swirled around Licona's questioning of the historicity of this Matthew passage in his 2010 book, The Resurrection of Jesus, and that is how it has come about that so many people think that this is all "just about that." One of my major goals in the enormous amount of work I have done thus far is to dispel that mistaken view. Indeed, all of my work in disagreement with Licona could be written without mentioning that passage! (That's not to say there wouldn't be any connection. Just that it isn't necessary to discuss it to write what I've written. And the connection is somewhat indirect.) So the last thing I want to do is to create confusion once again on that point.

The decision that I've made in the end is to write up a thorough, careful post on the subject. (This one.) I will explain here why this discussion is somewhat tangential to the subject of the book. And I will discuss why I believe Licona's arguments for ahistoricity at that point in Matthew are weak. Then, in the book, I will include a footnote that refers to this post, summarizing very briefly what I say here and sending readers here for more details. It's perhaps not a perfect solution to the practical and organizational issues, but I think it's the best solution I can come up with.

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February 12, 2019

"Like nothing I've ever seen."

What are we to make of the evidence released by the Pentagon of UFOs?

It may seem a strange question, but the facts force themselves upon the skeptic. The US military supplied the public, about 18 months ago, with three extraordinary videos; and permitted some of the principals involved in the events therein recorded, to authenticate certain details in interviews.

What it comes to this: US military has hard evidence of aerial propulsion, aerodynamics, and avionics well beyond anything in our own arsenal. These videos were recorded by veteran Navy and Air Force combat pilots, flying front-line aircraft, deploying front-line sensor technology, and maneuvering into engagement patterns in order to investigate. One retired pilot describes the acceleration of the object he observed as “like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

(I thought about adding a bunch of links, but that seems tedious.) I’ll give you one video, and one link, and let you readers poke around from there:

Let’s take this logically.

(A) If countries adversarial to America have access to tech at that level, we need to know about it ‒ pronto. The Pentagon thinks the Russians can deploy that kind of thing in the Pacific, or the Chinese in the Atlantic? Fine, that needs to be public knowledge.

(B) If the Pentagon, alone on earth, can deploy that kind of tech, if in other words what these videos reveal, amounts to some kind of black ops or skunk works program discovered by unsuspecting pilots ‒ well, again, out with it. This is a republic and information like that needs to be public knowledge.

Given the unlikelihood of (A) and (B) ‒ and the release of these videos themselves is suggestive of that unlikelihood ‒ we’re compelled to consider another possibility; namely, that the videos present us with technology from elsewhere. Where is anybody’s guess. Cue the X-Files music.

So to answer my question: what are we to make of this business? We are to make of it that we don’t know what to make of it. But that alone is a big step. On occasion, to open a question, to merely declare our inability to draw firm conclusions, comes to something of great significance.

At last we can say this at least, the old and haunting question of UFOs is an open question.

February 24, 2019

(Guest Post) Was there a guard at Jesus’ tomb?

A guest post by Timothy McGrew

… ἡ δὲ κρίσις χαλεπή
Hippocrates, Aphorisms

Skeptical objections to the historicity of the Gospel narratives are numerous. They are also, for the most part, old news. When so many people have gone over the same ground so often, we should not expect much in the way of novelty. Still, every so often someone manages to state some objections so forcefully, or at least with so much bravado and so many footnotes, that they appear to be a new and devastating challenge to the basic factual accuracy of the Gospels.

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