Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Atheists Flunking The Outsider Test

I recently listened to John Loftus and David Marshall discussing Loftus' outsider test and a book Marshall wrote about it. See here and here. Near the end of the first program, Justin Brierley (the host) and Marshall discussed the growth of Christianity in China. Even though Brierley and Marshall made important points about how Christianity is growing in China and the role of miracles in that growth, Loftus ignored what they'd said and returned to discussing people who believe what their parents taught them, how unimpressive it is that Christianity has survived for so long, etc. But China isn't a Christian culture, people who convert to Christianity in China on the basis of miracles aren't just accepting what their parents or culture taught them, and Christianity isn't merely surviving in China. Loftus' response was irrelevant and evasive. In the second program, he acknowledged that he doesn't know much about Christianity in China.

Craig Keener has a lot of material on miracles and the growth of Christianity in China in his book Miracles (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2011). I wrote several posts about his book here, including excerpts of his comments on China. Here's a post about hostile corroboration of Christian miracles, in China and elsewhere. And here's a post I wrote about Christian and non-Christian miracles witnessed by skeptics who then changed their position.

While Christianity is so large and growing, atheists remain such a small minority of the population. Atheism hasn't been doing well with outsiders.

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