Topics

This is a running list of topics that I want to explore and critique at some point. I’ve split this up into two groups; the first group contains discussions that compare and contrast the topic from the Christian and Naturalist worldviews. These are focused on collecting data and ideas and evaluating the information from these two perspectives. The second group, which I’ve titled ‘Commentaries’, contains topics that are either editorial or educational with no particular emphasis on comparing worldviews. As I address each topic I will update this page with a link to the post. The order here does not reflect the order in which they will be addressed. Most topics are likely to be broken down into multiple sub-topics and I would be deeply surprised if I ever actually managed to cover everything (at my current rate this would take decades).

Christian vs Naturalist Worldview Commentaries
  1. Origin of the universe
  2. Origin of life
    • Homochirality
  3. Origin of humans
    • Innate fears
  4. Why do we die?
  5. The ontological argument
  6. The argument from morality
  7. The argument from beauty
  8. The argument from desire
  9. The argument from reason
  10. Pascal’s wager
  11. The problem of evil
  12. Being human – what are we?
    • Mind
    • Body
    • Soul
    • Spirit
  13. Questionable apologetics
  14. The holy spirit
    • Guiding our decisions
    • Guiding our interpretation of revelation
    • Testifying to truth
  15. Miraculous gifts of the spirit
    • Gift of tongues
    • Prayer language
    • Healing
    • Prophecy
  16. Uncomfortable hermeneutics
    • Biblical cosmology
    • Sin as the cause of physical sickness
    • Sin as the cause of physical death
    • Cessationism
    • God changing his mind
    • Predestination
    • Imminent eschatology
  17. Contentious translations
    • Zechariah 12:10
  18. Divine intervention in the modern day
  19. Benefits of the Christian life
    • Stress management
      • Hope \ Perseverance
      • Forgiveness
      • Surrender
      • Prayer \ Meditation
    • Better outcomes via the placebo effect
    • Social fellowship with encouragement and support
    • Reduced death anxiety
    • Regular reminders to self-evaluate
    • Transcendent purpose and value
    • Encouragement to cultivate positive attributes
      • Contentment
      • Reverence \ Humility
      • Agape love \ Compassion \ Altruism
  20. Costs of the Christian life
    • Cognitive dissonance
    • Acting improperly toward goals
    • Undue pressure to conform with teachings
    • Insufficient value placed on temporal things
  21. Life transformation
  22. Christian rituals
    • Sunday morning \ Liturgy
    • Baptism
    • Communion \ Eucharist
    • Creeds
  23. Blind faith
  24. Free will
  25. The efficacy of prayer
  26. Heaven
  27. Hell
  28. The relationship between God and time
  29. Near death experiences
  30. Miscarriages, birth defects and mental handicaps
  31. Homosexuality
  32. Origins of Israel and Judaism
  33. Authorship of the Torah
  34. Deutero-Isaiah
  35. The transmission of the Old Testament
    • The Great Assembly
    • Masoretic, Septuagint, Samaritan and Dead Sea Scrolls
  36. Longevity in early bible genealogies
  37. Interpreting the bible genealogies
  38. Noah and the flood
  39. Tower of Babel
  40. The Exodus
    • The Santorini (Thera) eruption
  41. Offerings and sacrifices
  42. Mosaic law
  43. Levitical law
  44. Inner law vs written law
  45. God’s role in Old Testament atrocities
  46. Old Testament Prophecy
  47. The story of Jonah
  48. Iron Age Israel
    • The Ophel inscription
  49. The second temple period
    • Jewish sects and philosophies
    • Hillel, Menahem and Shammai
    • Apocryphal books
    • The Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Melchizedek
    • Hazon Gabriel
    • Philo of Alexandria
    • Tannaim, Mishnah and Jesus
  50. John the Baptist
  51. Jesus’ birth
  52. Jesus’ ministry
    • His baptism
    • The Canaanite woman
    • Sermon on the mount
    • His miracles
    • Prophecy of the temple destruction
    • His relationship to Yahweh
  53. Passion week
    • Timeline
    • Passover lamb typology
  54. Jesus’ death
    • Why was he killed?
    • Details of the crucifixion
    • The darkness and earthquake
  55. Jesus’ resurrection
    • The empty tomb
    • Postmortem appearances
  56. The Shroud of Turin
  57. Jesus’ second coming
  58. The work of the apostles
  59. The authors of the canonical gospels
    • The synoptic problem
    • Matthew
    • Mark
    • Luke
    • John
  60. Authorship of New Testament letters
    • Luke & Timothy: The worker deserves his pay
  61. Christian origins
  62. The inspiration of the bible
    • What is the doctrine of inspiration?
    • Why is the doctrine of inspiration important?
    • What should we expect if inspiration is true?
  63. The transmission of New Testament
  64. Martyrdom of the saints
  65. Extra-biblical attestations
    • Josephus
    • The Slavonic translations of Josephus
    • Tacitus
  66. The canon of the Christian bible
  67. Early Christian writings
    • Apocryphal books
    • Church fathers
  68. Religious diversity
  69. Salvation of unreached people
  1. Philosophical foundations
  2. Empirical reductions
    • Rationality and logic
    • Mathematics
    • The structure of language
  3. Morality \ Ethics
  4. The burden of proof
  5. The brain and the mind
    • Cognitive processes
    • Sensory perception
    • The physiology of emotion
    • Cognitive development
    • Consciousness
    • Dreams
  6. Probability
    • Distributions and the unusual
    • Bayesian analysis
    • Bayesian inference
    • Occam’s Razor
  7. Pattern recognition
  8. Confirmation bias
  9. Appeals to authority: we are all human
  10. Cognitive dissonance reduction
  11. The reliability of memory
  12. The placebo effect
  13. The root of unbelief
  14. Did religion make me a skeptic?
  15. Finding the good in situations
  16. Ultimate meaning

Book Discussions

  1. The Case for Christ [Lee Strobel]
  2. Where the Conflict Really Lies [Alvin Plantinga]
  3. Mind and Cosmos [Thomas Nagel]
  4. Consciousness and the Brain [Stanislas Dehaene]
  5. Finding God in the Wave [Mike McHargue]

What do you think?

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