What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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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

Recent Comments

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 24, 12:30:

I think it's a plain fact that the whole church throughout history has taught that the words of the Bible are the very words of God, in a sense that disallows saying "This text, correctly interpreted, says X, and X is false". This may well be called "inerrancy", though I have no very profound attachment to that word, and if it be taken to include an affirmation of "common-sense historicity" (the principle that where informed common-sense would interpret a text as affirming historicity it should be so interp ... [More]

New Testament interpretation in the real world

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 24, 12:28:

In short, I'm not an inerrantist in theory, but in practice I do just about as much harmonization as an inerrantist of the Geisler variety, because I consider it good historical practice and important for that reason. I would do the same for secular works as well that had decent claim to be historical in nature and/or to represent witness testimony, though of course engaging in good practice is all the more important when more is at stake. ... [More]

New Testament interpretation in the real world

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 24, 12:24:

Kevin, I'm going to answer kind of briefly (but feel free to e-mail me if I don't answer your question satisfactorily), and I encourage you to search for the term "inerrancy" in my posts on Licona's view. In brief, then: I do not call myself an inerrantist, because I consider it possible and even plausible that there are places where the authors of Scripture were permitted by God to make minor factual errors. However, I consider the gospels and Acts in particular *highly* reliable based upon my own investi ... [More]

New Testament interpretation in the real world

Comment posted by Kevin Wells on Sep 24, 10:59:

Ha, that should be "undesigned coincidences," obviously. Albeit they may be quite "undesired" by the skeptic. ... [More]

New Testament interpretation in the real world

Comment posted by Kevin Wells on Sep 24, 10:56:

Hello Dr. McGrew, Do you mind summarizing your view of inerrancy, or pointing me to a post or other writing of yours where you do so? My view has been in flux, within a conservative range, over the past 30 years or so of bible study. I am always interested to read about others' views. It seems I am am always engaged in some dialectical reconciliation of previous views to new scholarship. By that I mean scholarship that is new to me. As I am currently enrolled in graduate-level training in apologetics, it ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 24, 09:29:

Hi, Christopher. I'm preparing some upcoming talks, so I will be responding to your comment in fits and starts. I have a problem with your step 1. The flowchart gives the impression that the availability of a mildly strained, but not "unduly" strained harmonization is sufficient to conclude that there was no fictionalizing literary devise (FLD). I suppose your main point is that, in that event, there is no BASIS for the claim that an FLD is present. But even that depends on how plausible we think it (prio ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on Sep 23, 17:24:

Lydia: I have a problem with your step 1. The flowchart gives the impression that the availability of a mildly strained, but not "unduly" strained harmonization is sufficient to conclude that there was no fictionalizing literary devise (FLD). I suppose your main point is that, in that event, there is no BASIS for the claim that an FLD is present. But even that depends on how plausible we think it (prior to this investigation of a particular text) that the permissibility of FLDs may have been in the ethos fo ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 23, 11:09:

By the way: there is adequate proof for my claim that Any use of a fictionalizing device at all leads the reader to the possibility that the miracle accounts were fictionalizing devices, and that unwinds the motive for belief to begin with. This is exactly what has happened in colleges and universities for the last 100 years, all across the US and Europe. The students have walked away from Christianity because it lacks any motive of belief, when you look at the accounts as harboring intentional fictiona ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 23, 10:55:

I also mean, if the action is to count as a literary device as opposed to ordinary truth embroidery, deception, etc., that such an act of fictionalization was something the author believed he was allowed to do without violating the expectations of his readers as to his accuracy and truthfulness and (moreover) that he was right about that--that there really was such a convention in the social context in which the author was writing that this type and degree of fictionalization would have not caused surprise ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 22, 19:10:

While Plutarch many not have thought rearranging text to be a big deal, what evidence does he have that John did not? I strongly agree with this, and I think it has to be kept in mind that we shouldn't make huge generalizations about "the ancient world" as if it were monolithic. (This is a bad habit of another author I have critiqued, John H. Walton. He takes it to an extreme, treating even the "ancient world" of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the pagans, Jews, and Christians as very similar in ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by The Masked Chicken on Sep 22, 17:34:

I just went back and did a quick review of Plutarch's life and works. I am a bit puzzled. Does Licona believe or not believe that becoming a Christian makes a difference in one's life? How can one possibly compare the writing style of Plutarch, a pagan and a priest of Delphi, by all accounts, with the writings styles of the Gospel writers? He might as well be comparing the writing styles of New Age Shirley McClaine (sp?) to Mother Teresa. In order to make a fair comparison, he would have to compare Chr ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 22, 12:58:

Do you perceive that the appeal to ubiquitous contemporaneous literary devices can serve for some as a backstop to loss of "faith", in the same way as unexamined insistence on anachronistic inerrancy? It is definitely supposed to be a backstop to "inerrancy" itself, though a redefined concept. I've had people tell me *explicitly* that they feel they have to take Licona's ideas seriously because it is a way to retain the idea that the Bible gets nothing wrong in what it *affirms*. Basically, you just radica ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Kevin Wells on Sep 22, 11:59:

Hello Dr. McGrew, Thank you for your work. Do you perceive that the appeal to ubiquitous contemporaneous literary devices can serve for some as a backstop to loss of "faith", in the same way as unexamined insistence on anachronistic inerrancy? Is there a false dichotomy here? Also, do you think that once a scholar starts specializing in a certain aspect of literary criticism, he or she is prone to start seeing those devices everywhere, as an answer to every difficulty in the source? To what degree do we ho ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by PC1 on Sep 22, 11:09:

Hi Ive had some discussion with atheists regarding the differences between the synoptics and John. One issue was the timing of the crucifixion and death of Jesus. I found the most persuasive argument to be that the synoptic writers were writing for a Jewish audience and used the Jewish calendar/hours of the day whilst John was mainly writing to a Gentile audience, most or all of whom would have used the Roman civil understanding of the hours of the day etc. This would explain the difference in the timing b ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 22, 10:48:

Chicken, if I were arguing Licona's side (which of course I'm not) I would guess he'd say a) the fictionalized details in question are mostly too peripheral for it to be worth someone's while to dispute them in an explicit way in order to set the record straight, b) the very discrepancies (as he views it) between/among the Gospel accounts *are* the contrary versions, so we really *do* have differing accounts (just not as dramatic as the ones you mention), and that's why he's making these conjectures about l ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by The Masked Chicken on Sep 22, 10:17:

There were two different men who dropped atom bombs on Japan, Tippet (Little Boy) and Sweeney (Fat Man). Sweeney wrote his memoire and Tippet wrote his own, with an additional chapter, essentially, calling Sweeney a liar for whitewashing why Nagasaki was bombed instead of the primary target, Kokura. Likewise, during WWII the two physicists, Niels Bohr and Wolfgang Heisenberg had a conversation in the woods outside of Bohr's cabin that so infuriated Bohr that he, essentially, threw Heisenberg out of the hou ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by PC1 on Sep 22, 10:09:

I havent read Licona's book, but its a shame he is going down that alley. He has been very good on the resurrection of Jesus, but once you start effectively saying the Gospel authors made some stuff up but presented them as real events or facts to make a point, I think you're on shaky ground. I doubt the first readers of the Gospels would have understood that is how they should be reading the accounts. The question is of course - if some details are made up, or the words of one person have been placed in th ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 21, 13:15:

Well, I'm not trying to run counter to some established usage of the term "fictionalizing." But I think I define it pretty clearly. I'm sorry if my usage seems strange to you, but what *I* mean by "fictionalizing" is that one is writing what either is non-factual or what one has no reason to believe is factual. However, if one's work is putatively historical, one may be *presenting* that material as fact. So this is different from your use of "fictional." As I'm using the concept of a "fictionalizing" autho ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Aaron Gross on Sep 21, 13:05:

Your use of the words "fictional" and "fictionalizing" was a little bit confusing to me. Sometimes you use them contrary to their usual meanings. The difference between historiography and fiction is a lot simpler than people might guess. It's one-dimensional, defined simply by truth-claim: a text is historiographic if it claims to be a true account and is fictional if it doesn't claim that. (Meir Sternberg shows this elegantly in his Poetics of Biblical Narrative.) Of course, truth-claim depends on convent ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Hector_St_Clare on Sep 21, 11:19:

Even if the cleansing wasn't a central factor it would have to have been no factor at all for them to let Jesus walk into the Temple afterward. A comparable act today would be someone going to Saint Peter's Basilica and vandalizing an area as a form of protest. There is simply no way they would let Jesus in for a repeat performance after such an outburst. Uh no, there's actually no reason to believe this. If you look at the history of the last century you'll find lots of example of popular rabble-rousers, ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 16:18:

As is my usual practice, I'm not going to spend a lot of time on Ed Babinski's comments. Here are just a few notes. As usual, there are a lot of inexplicable failures of understanding. I doubt that the UC argument is going to alter the views of scholars who argue that John was the last completed gospel. They have their reasons. Er, what?? *I* think that John was the last completed gospel! My arguments have nothing to do with whether or not it was the last completed gospel but whether it is historically tr ... [More]

A Couple of Culture War Notes

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 15:59:

I believe the term for their view is "pansexualism." It generally includes the idea that children at the youngest ages are already sexual beings. But remember, ten years ago if one had said that this was what was coming, one would have been called a crazy bigot. ... [More]

A Couple of Culture War Notes

Comment posted by Sean K. on Sep 20, 15:39:

It's beyond me how the nudity isn't just a 'neccesary evil' in their eyes, but something that is appropriate or part of the appeal to them - a positive good. Since your three year old is ready of sexual development, of course. ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Edwardtbabinski on Sep 20, 07:24:

I doubt that the UC argument is going to alter the views of scholars who argue that John was the last completed gospel. They have their reasons. I mention some of them in these pieces https://edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com/search/label/Gospel%20of%20John Also, the mention of pools in John doesn't provide a clear date since water was precious and even invading Roman armies would see the benefit of preserving pools of water, pools that could still have been around long after 70 AD. The existence of incide ... [More]

A Couple of Culture War Notes

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 19, 22:19:

Whoa. I just discovered something kind of interesting about that Canadian Broadcasting page. It was changed. The most jaw-dropping sentence is not found on the link now, so it makes it look like LifeSite News misquoted or invented. The sentence in question says (fill in the blanks), "Your kids will probably see b___bs and p____s." But if you look at the current version of the article, that sentence is gone. See here: http://www.cbc.ca/parents/learning/view/7-tips-for-having-happy-pride-with-kids But the I ... [More]

A Couple of Culture War Notes

Comment posted by DR84 on Sep 19, 20:46:

So how long until we hear about a public school field trip to a gay pride parade? Assuming that has happened yet. When it does, I won't expect there to be any notice or opt outs. Not for what will no doubt be called vital and healthy education. (I'm half kidding, I assume there is at least some requirement to notify parents about field trips).g ... [More]

A Couple of Culture War Notes

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 19, 20:00:

OK, so almost every state has a law against public displays of genitalia. So, while it is illegal to DO it, it isn't a problem to have a book on it for use by kids in the library? Indeed, that's considered good? If a man shows off his genitalia to a woman in any public or private setting where she did not invite it, that will certainly be cited as a crime, and might comprise several crimes, including various ones relating sexual harassment and thought - hate crimes. And if a priest shows his genitali ... [More]

A Couple of Culture War Notes

Comment posted by Sean K. on Sep 19, 18:42:

Yeah, that makes it more disturbing, and who knows how many different ways he can help normalize the perverse. All I can think of about in such marches or walks is Psalm 12:8 - 'The wicked march around when what is vile is exalted among the sons of men.' ... [More]

A Couple of Culture War Notes

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 19, 16:54:

What really shocks me about that particular story is that it wasn't some random blog commentator or Twitterer with a weird Internet handle posting a one-off line about how healthy it is for your kids to see adults flaunting their sexual organs in a sexually themed parade. It was the official state-funded broadcasting company of Canada publishing this opinion, and going on about it at some length. It's a sobering thought, really. ... [More]

A Couple of Culture War Notes

Comment posted by Sean K. on Sep 19, 16:23:

"Let's remember that the Canadian Broadcasting Company says it's healthy for kids to see exposed adult genitalia at Pride parades." At least they're not advocating that children also go around naked (yet, anyway) like in "Brave New World" (I thought that books was supposed to be a warning, not a how-to guide!). But doesn't bode well when the moral baseline of your parade is fine with exposing children to nudity. ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 18, 15:28:

Very cool. You will find it well worth it. ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Callum on Sep 18, 14:16:

Just had to drop by and say that I managed to get Colin Hemer's book (used) for £15 including shipping! Thats, what, $20?! ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 17, 16:22:

He was getting in their faces in multiple ways that very week, pressing his own authority, his self-identification, and knowing (as he had said to the disciples already) that this would culminate in his own death. The cleansing of the Temple was just part of that whole pattern. John, at least, seems to be quite intent on indicating that Jesus did all this quite knowingly, as in provocatively, setting up conditions where the authorities will be unable to ignore him any more. "Zeal for thy house shall con ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 16, 17:30:

That's a pretty stark either-or, and unjustified. It was part and parcel of his arrogant (if he wasn't really who he said he was) and deliberately provocative behavior the entire week long. In the synoptics we find that they set out to kill him in part because of the parable of the vineyard--a very in-your-face parable. In the synoptics we also find it stated that, after the children were crying out, "Blessed is he who comes" after the Triumphal Entry, he was asked to hush them and refused, with the famous ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 16, 17:20:

Lydia, It wasn't sarcasm, it follows necessarily from the evidence you presented. I admit my argument was made hastily but the basic reasoning is that it was either disruptive enough to deserve retribution or it wasn't. If it wasn't disruptive enough to prevent Jesus from entering the Temple area the next day it could not be enough to be a factor in having him put on trial. ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 16, 16:49:

I never said that, as you well know. I explicitly said it was a case of causal over-determination. But if that is sarcasm, as it appears to be, it's duly noted that for some reason you preferred to make such a misrepresenting, sarcastic comment rather than acknowledging that I just refuted your previous careless statement from the very text of the synoptic Gospels, which you were attempting unsuccessfully to pit against John, on the question of whether Jesus "would have" ever been allowed into the Temple ag ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 16, 16:31:

Lydia, You convinced me, his outburst wasn't a factor at all in their decision to put Jesus on trial. ... [More]

Nabeel Qureshi 1983-2017

Comment posted by Jennifer Gross on Sep 16, 16:15:

Thank you for sharing this sad news. May we live as examples to the lost world just as Nabeel has done.... loving those he loved to be instruments of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that more may leave Islam and come to saving faith. ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 16, 16:08:

It's especially eyebrow-raising that you made such a confident statement in order to defend the "John changed the cleansing" theory when his return to the Temple is *immediate* in Mark's and Matthew's rendering--the very next day! And he is not stopped. If anything this would be even *more* improbable on the view you just confidently stated than his being disallowed entry *three years* after the earlier cleansing described in John. A priori history ("This contemporary source must be wrong because 'they' w ... [More]

Hoaxer or historical witness: The Johannine Dilemma

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 16, 15:24:

The synoptic gospels themselves refute you, for in the synoptic Gospels he teaches in the Temple after the scene he made in Passion Week. In both Matthew and Mark he hangs around and teaches immediately after the scene. Thereafter, if one follows Mark's chronology, he returns and spends the entire day in the Temple on the Tuesday. (Mark is quite clear that the cleansing of the Temple was on the Monday.) He is repeatedly questioned, he teaches, he wanders around, he sits near the treasury and talks to his di ... [More]