Saturday, 10 December 2011

Mike Licona

OK so this guy Mike Licona has written a book about the resurrection, I haven't read it yet but it sounds great (edit: I read it. It's great. But it is a little heavy going). It is called The Resurrection of Jesus. I have been reading around the issue, because he apparently has been getting heaps of flac from some evangelicals. Here is an article about it for you to read. If you don't want to read it, the upshot is that this guy Licona is basically being called on to recant by a couple of other Christians because although he has written a 700 page tome about the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he suggested that the part in Matthew where a bunch of other dead people rise and appear in Jerusalem may not be true. They say he is denying inerrancy by saying this.

Here are my ranty thoughts on this controversy that I posted on another blog in the comments section. It is pretty ranty, but hopefully it makes some sort of sense, because to me, if the presence of some error or myth in the bible, still doesn't detract from the good evidence of Jesus' resurrection, then that is some pretty damn good evidence we've got.

It seems like Licona is saying that *even though* there is a possibility that the gospels contain myth, *even though* they are written in the style of greco-roman biographies, and so it is hard to tell where fact ends and myth starts, the available evidence *still* points very strongly to the fact that Jesus lived, died, and rose again! How ridiculously compelling is that? That is so incredibly heartening to me.

What is more convincing, someone saying to you, “There were angels at the tomb, many rose when Jesus did, and the resurrection of Jesus is true. I know all this things because the bible says them.”
OR, someone saying “I’ve looked at the evidence for these three things. The first two seem like they *may* have elements of mythology and may not have really happened. But from what I can see, the third one pretty much definitely happened.”

That’s incredible! That kind of biblical scholarship should have people jumping up and down in excitement: though they may deny the presence of angels, though they may deny many biblical events, *even skeptics* cannot deny the strong probability that Jesus *actually* rose from the dead.
I just can’t stop ranting about how incredible that is. I can’t believe any Christian would tear someone down for saying that. If that isn’t a compelling argument for Christianity, nothing is. It’s certainly better than saying “the bible is inerrant so everything in it is true. How do we know it’s inerrant? Oh, because it says in there that it’s inerrant. Since it’s inerrant, we must believe what it says about itself being inerrant.”

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Archimedes Readers' Theatre

Archimedes Readers' Theatre

Use this Readers Theatre script to introduce History, Maths, or Science topics.

  • Narrator
  • Archimedes
  • King Hiero
  • King's Jeweller
  • Audience

Props and costumes:
  • Ancient Greek looking costumes
  • bathrobe
  • crown
  • rock spray painted gold
  • A balance

Narrator: Once upon a time (a VERY long time ago), in the city of Syracuse in a faraway land called Sicily, there lived a man named Archimedes, who loved Pi

Audience/Archimedes: (rubbing stomachs) mmm.. pie. (NB actions for each character may be repeated each time their name is mentioned, as desired.)

Narrator: Not that kind of pie! I mean, you know... the diameter of a circle divided by its.. oh never mind! Anyway, Archimedes, who loved Pi lived almost 2 and a half thousand years ago. At the same time there lived a jeweller, who loved gold

Jeweller/Audience: (rubbing fingers together) cha-ching!

Narrator: and the King of Syracuse, Hiero, who loved... himself

King/Audience: (thumbs up) eeeeey!

Narrator: Now it so happened that one day King Hiero, who loved... himself wanted a new crown. He heard about the excellent work of the jeweller who loved gold and decided to hire him as his new jeweller.

King Hiero: Hey! You! I hear you're good with gold! Take this gold and use it to make me a new crown!

Jeweller: (looking shifty) Why yes your majesty... it would be my pleasure!

Narrator: The jeweller, who loved gold, took the gold that the king, who loved himself, had given him. A few days later he returned with a beautiful new crown. But the king was suspicious.

King Hiero: I'm suspicious (looks suspicious)

Narrator: He had heard that the jeweller who loved gold was not to be trusted. He didn't say anything just yet; instead, he called in the best mathematician in the city – Archimedes, who loved Pi.

King Hiero: Archimedes! Oh where aaaaare you?

Archimedes: (confused) I'm... right here, Your Majesty.

King Hiero: Ah, yes of course. Lost my glasses you know. Anyway, I suspect that the jeweller who loves gold may have stolen some of my gold and put an inferior metal in this crown. I'd like you to find out for me, but you must not destroy the crown.

Archimedes: It is a nice crown. (takes the crown and walks off thoughtfully).

Narrator: The King, who loved himself waited... and waited... and waited........ until suddenly, a few days later, Archimedes, who loved Pi ran into the throne room, dripping wet, absolutely starkers, shouting:

Archimedes: (dancing up and down) Eureka! Eureka!!

Narrator: (whispers loudly to Archimedes) Speak English, they can't understand you!

Archimedes: Oh, yes... I mean, I found it! I found it!!

Narrator: Thank you! The King, who loved himself, was startled, but had the presence of mind to get Archimedes a bathrobe. Once things had calmed down a little, Archimedes, who loved Pi, explained that he had been in the bath (the best place to think), when he had hit upon the realisation that two things that weigh the same in the air, may not weigh the same in water.

Archimedes: That's right! You see, when you put something in the water, the water gets pushed out of the way, and then the object gets pushed up with a force equal to the weight of the water! That's buoyancy! And so if this crown, O King, is made up of something less dense than gold, it will float a little higher in the water than a lump of gold with the same weight!

Narrator: That sounds confusing! Anyway, the upshot of all this, apparently, was that Archimedes, who loved Pi, could test whether the jeweller, who loved gold had stolen from the King, who loved himself. All he had to do was put the crown on some scales and balance it with some pure gold, then dip the whole scale into a bucket of water.

King Hiero: Brilliant! Call the jeweller in here and lets do the test!

Narrator: The jeweller, who loved gold was called in and the test was performed. When the scales were dipped into the bucket of water, a remarkable thing happened: the gold sank down lower than the crown.

Archimedes: Aha! Your Majesty, this is proof that something in that crown is less dense than pure gold! This jeweller, who loves gold, has stolen from you!

Jeweller: (falls to his knees) It's true! It's all true! I substituted some of the gold with copper and used it to make a really pretty paper weight. Please, don't be too harsh with me! I'm sorry!

Narrator: And so the jeweller who loved gold was found out, and was sent to a a deep dark dungeon, but Archimedes, who loved Pi was given much honour and fame for his brilliance. Archimedes lived a long time, and invented many useful machines, as well as coming up with ingenious mathematical proofs, and giving an extremely accurate value for Pi.

Archimedes: Yes, about 6 dollars for a really tasty cream pie, I think!

Narrator: No, no no! I mean the circle type of Pi!

Archimedes: Oh, yes, I did that too. 3.14159265358979...

Narrator: (interrupting) Yes, yes, anyway, Archimedes lived to about 75 years old, when he was killed by a Roman soldier whilst contemplating a mathematical drawing he had made on the ground. His last words are reported to have been...

Archimedes: Don't disturb my circles!

Narrator: Whereupon he was killed by the enraged soldier. His gravestone carried a sculpture of a sphere and a cylinder, reflecting his favourite mathematical proof. Archimedes, who loved Pi, is widely regarded as the best ancient mathematician, and one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. His name is still known to this day, and every time a mathematician has a bath, they think of him.

The End