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 review the topic from the Christian and Naturalist worldviews. These are focused on collecting data and ideas and evaluating the topic 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
    • Grandeur
  8. The argument from desire
  9. The argument from reason
    • … vs predictive processing
  10. Pascal’s wager
  11. The problem of evil
  12. Being human – what are we?
  13. Questionable apologetics
  14. Miraculous gifts
    • Gift of tongues
    • Prayer language
    • Healing
    • Prophecy
  15. 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
  16. Contentious translations
    • Zechariah 12:10
  17. Divine intervention in the modern day
  18. Benefits of the Christian life
    • Stress management
      • Hope \ Perseverance
      • Forgiveness
      • Surrender
      • Prayer \ Meditation
    • Role of 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
  19. Costs of the Christian life
    • Cognitive dissonance
    • Acting improperly toward goals
    • Undue pressure to conform with teachings
    • Insufficient value placed on temporal things
  20. Life transformation
  21. Christian rituals
    • Sunday morning \ Liturgy
    • Baptism
    • Communion \ Eucharist
    • Creeds
  22. Blind faith
  23. Free will
  24. The efficacy of prayer
  25. Heaven
  26. Hell
  27. God and time
  28. Near death experiences
  29. Homosexuality
  30. Origins of Israel and Judaism
  31. Authorship of the Torah
  32. Deutero-Isaiah
  33. The transmission of the Old Testament
    • The Great Assembly
    • Masoretic, Septuagint, Samaritan and Dead Sea Scrolls
  34. Longevity in early bible genealogies
  35. Noah and the flood
  36. Tower of Babel
  37. The Exodus
    • The Santorini (Thera) eruption
  38. Offerings and sacrifices
  39. Mosaic law
  40. Levitical law
  41. God’s role in Old Testament atrocities
  42. Old Testament Prophecy
  43. The story of Jonah
  44. Iron Age Israel
    • The Ophel inscription
  45. 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
  46. John the Baptist
  47. Jesus’ birth
  48. Jesus’ ministry
    • His baptism
    • The Canaanite woman
    • Sermon on the mount
    • His miracles
    • Prophecy of the temple destruction
    • His relationship to Yahweh
  49. Passion week
    • Timeline
    • Passover lamb typology
  50. Jesus’ death
    • Why was he killed?
    • Details of the crucifixion
    • The darkness and earthquake
  51. Jesus’ resurrection
    • The empty tomb
    • Postmortem appearances
  52. The Shroud of Turin
  53. Jesus’ second coming
  54. The work of the apostles
  55. The authors of the canonical gospels
    • The synoptic problem
    • Mark
    • Matthew
    • Luke
    • John
  56. Authorship of New Testament letters
    • Luke & Timothy: The worker deserves his pay
  57. Christian origins
  58. The doctrine of inspiration
  59. The transmission of New Testament
  60. Martyrdom of the saints
  61. Extra-biblical attestations
    • Josephus
    • The Slavonic translations of Josephus
    • Tacitus
  62. The canon of the Christian bible
  63. Early Christian writings
    • Apocryphal books
    • Church fathers
  64. Religious diversity
  65. 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 development
    • Consciousness
    • Dreams
    • Predictive Processing
  6. Probability
    • Distributions and the unusual
    • Bayesian analysis
    • Bayesian inference
    • Occam’s Razor
  7. Confirmation bias
  8. Appeals to authority: we are all human
  9. Cognitive dissonance reduction
  10. The reliability of memory
  11. The placebo effect
  12. The root of unbelief
  13. Did religion make me a skeptic?
  14. Finding the good in situations
  15. 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 Waves [Mike McHargue]

What do you think?

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