The Peter S. Williams Podcast
ELF 2021: Archaeological Evidence for Jesus

ELF 2021: Archaeological Evidence for Jesus

June 7, 2021

Recording of my workshop on New Testament archeology and the evidence for Jesus from the online 2021 European Leadership Forum, in which I show that archaeological evidence indicates that:

  • Jesus, son of Joseph and brother of James, existed in 1st century Israel
  • Jesus was crucified
  • Jesus was buried in a now empty Jerusalem tomb
  • Grave robbery was an offence that may have been associated with Nazareth (where the NT says Jesus lived) by the early 2nd century
  • Despite his crucifixion, Jesus was considered divine by some within a few generations (c. 120 yrs) of his death
  • The 1st century biographies of Jesus in the NT have been repeatedly verified by archaeological discoveries, which should encourage us to trust them on matters we can’t independently verify
ELF 2021: ‘Old Testament Historicity: From Abraham’s Ur to Daniel’s Babylon’

ELF 2021: ‘Old Testament Historicity: From Abraham’s Ur to Daniel’s Babylon’

May 28, 2021

Edited recording of my post-forum seminar on Old Testament history from the on-line European Leadership Forum conference in May 2021.

Conference attendee Albert Crespo, who did his Master's thesis on the royal offices in the period of the first temple, helpfully brought to my attention the fact that two bullae mentioning Jeremiah’s scribe Baruch the son of Neriah are now thought to be forgeries. During my talk I referenced one of these bullae in good faith, but I have edited this reference out of this podcast.

See: "The Authenticity of the Bullae of Berekhyahu Son of Neriyahu the Scribe", Yuval Goren, Eran Arie, BASOR 372, www.researchgate.net/publication/305753694_The_Authenticity_of_the_Bullae_of_Berekhyahu_Son_of_Neriyahu_the_Scribwww.bible.ca/bulla/bible-bulla-jeremiah-clay-bullae-inscription-Belonging-to-Baruch-Berechiah-Son-of-Neriah-The-scribe-Jer-36-4-1975-1996ad-Reuben-Hecht-israel-museum-605bc-forgery-fake.htm

Crespo also alerted me to the fact that William F. Albright’s interpretation of the (genuine) “Eliakim na˓ar Yokan” stamped jar handles - that Yokan referred to King Jehoiachin - is now thought to be incorrect: “This misinterpretation was not corrected for almost 50 years and resulted in a great deal of confusion over the chronological sequence and stratigraphical analysis of the archaeology of Judah from the time of the Divided Monarchy." – “The Eliakim Na˓ar Yokan Seal Impressions: Sixty Years of Confusion in Biblical Archaeological Research”, Yosef Garfinkel, Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 53, 1990. Again, I have edited out a brief reference made to this artefact in my talk.

See: www.bible.ca/bulla/bible-archeology-jeremiah-clay-bullae-seal-inscription-Belonging-to-Eliakim-servant-of-Jehoiachin-belonging-to-Jotham-misidentified.htm.

ELF 2021: ‘How Our Desires Point to God: C. S. Lewis’ Theistic Argument from Desire’

ELF 2021: ‘How Our Desires Point to God: C. S. Lewis’ Theistic Argument from Desire’

May 17, 2021

Recording of a workshop talk from the online 2021 European Leadership Forum.

Psalm 42 states that ‘As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God’, but did you know that there's an actual argument for the existence of God, and even of heaven, from the existence of certain human desires? C.S. Lewis was captivated by this theme, and he produced the twentieth century’s principal thematic and argumentative engagement with what has come to be known by philosophers as ‘the argument from desire’. This talk explores Lewis' apologetic engagement with desire and how it points us to God.

‘Science, Natural Theology, and Christian Apologetics’: A Conversation between Peter S. Williams and Lars Dahle about a special Theofilos issue

‘Science, Natural Theology, and Christian Apologetics’: A Conversation between Peter S. Williams and Lars Dahle about a special Theofilos issue

May 5, 2021

Theofilos editor Lars Dahle talks with special edition guest editor Peter S. Williams about the first special, open access issue of the Nordic journal Theofilos. They explain the background to, and give an overview of, the contents of this special edition called Theofilos Supplement 2020-1. The overall theme for this thematic issue is "Science, Natural Theology, and Christian Apologetics". Through their engaging conversation Williams and Dahle provide snapshots of both the seven peer reviewed and the four more popular articles. They explore issues relating to the book of Genesis, natural theology and the influence of science in contemporary popular culture. Along the way, they explore something of the history of the relationship between science and theology.

This special issue of Theofilos is published here: https://theofilos.no/issues/theofilos-supplement-2020-1/

This podcast was originally published by Damaris Norge (https://www.damaris.no/stotte-oss/), and is re-published here by permission.

Richard Dawkins vs the Case for God - a critical guide

Richard Dawkins vs the Case for God - a critical guide

April 23, 2021

This open access lecture, delivered online for NLA University on 22nd April 2021, is followed by a Q&A period facilitated by Bjorn Hinderaker.

The Dawkins – Lennox God Delusion Debate: Three Philosophical Problems with Dawkins’ Worldview

The Dawkins – Lennox God Delusion Debate: Three Philosophical Problems with Dawkins’ Worldview

April 23, 2021

This lecture examines three key philosophical problems with the worldview of atheist Richard Dawkins, through an analysis of his famous 2007 'God Delusion' debate/discussion with Oxford Mathematician and Philosopher of Science John C. Lennox, which was held in Alabama.

You can watch the debate @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF5bPI92-5o

You can watch the debate with Norwegian subtitles @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA0iVQcQXp

This lecture was delivered to students at NLA University on 22nd April 2021.

Recommended Resources

Peter S. Williams, “A Sceptic’s Guide to Richard Dawkins” http://podcast.peterswilliams.com/e/a-sceptics-guide-to-richard-dawkins/

———. “Cosmic Fine Tuning: Design or Multiverse?” http://podcast.peterswilliams.com/e/cosmic-fine-tuning-design-or-multiverse/

———. “Introduction to ‘Outgrowing God? A Beginner’s Guide to Richard Dawkins and the God Debate’ (Cascade, 2020)” http://podcast.peterswilliams.com/e/introduction-to-outgrowing-god-a-beginners-guide-totrichard-dawkins-and-the-god-debate-cascade-2020/

William Lane Craig, “Dawkins’ Delusion” www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/dawkins-delusion/

John C. Lennox. God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? 2nd edition (Lion, 2009)

J.P. Moreland. Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology (Crossway, 2018)

Charles B. Thaxton, et al. The Mystery Of Life’s Origin: The Continuing Controversy (Discovery Institute Press, 2020)

Peter S. Williams. Outgrowing God? A Beginner’s Guide to Richard Dawkins and the God Debate (Cascade, 2020)

———. A Faithful Guide to Philosophy: A Christian Introduction to the Love of Wisdom (Wipf & Stock, 2019)

———. I Wish I Could Believe In Meaning: A Response to Nihilism (Damaris, 2005)

Cosmic Fine Tuning: Design or Multiverse?

Cosmic Fine Tuning: Design or Multiverse?

April 23, 2021

Lecture on the design argument from cosmic fine tuning delivered to students at NLA University College on 22nd April 2021. After describing cosmic fine tuning and one way of inferring design from that data, this lecture responds to the 'multiverse' objection to the argument.

From glory to glory

From glory to glory

April 14, 2021

“From glory to glory” is a suite of music I composed that follows the broad sweep on the biblical storyline. The suite is for four-part choir and a mixture of classical and electronic instruments. Some pieces are small in scope (e.g. the opening solo piano piece “Trinity”, the acapella choir piece “Love”, or the intimate “Kyrie”), whist others are much more “symphonic”.

This is a computer recording of the whole suite in a single mp3 file, made using files generated by my "Sebelius 6" software package. As the computer choir can only go “ah”, one must read the pdf files of the scores (available from my website @ www.peterswilliams.com/composing/) if one want’s the words.

That said, this live tape recording of a prior version of my Kyrie in G minor is from a composition competition at the end of my A levels in the early 1990’s. The orchestration is slightly different (the Bass is acoustic instead of electric, and there’s a vibraphone instead of piano), but in this version you can hear the words sung by the choir!

Individual files of (very slightly older versions of) the tracks are available via "soundcloud" through my website @ www.peterswilliams.com/composing/

There are ten pieces of music in the “From glory to glory” suite. Here are the “sleeve notes”:

Movement 0: Trinity

We open with God’s existence “before” the act of cosmic creation (hence Movement 0). A solo piano introduces three musical lines, the third of which is generated from the interaction of the first two, representing the way in which God the Father is the root of the divine being, God the Son eternally “begotten” from the father and God the Holy Spirit “proceeds” from the Father and the Son. The piece is also Trinitarian in having three sections. It ends on an unresolved chord, suggesting the eternality of the Godhead.

Movement 1: Light

The angels rejoice in God’s creation and dance among the stars.

Movement 2: One Sin

A setting of a line of poetry from G.K. Chesterton, about there being “only one sin, to call a green leaf grey”; that is, to reject the reality that God is God by trying to determine reality on our own terms as if we were God.

Movement 3: Logos

The opening of John’s gospel represents God the Son as the divine logos, or rational principle behind creation. Only, this logos reveals God in person through the incarnation.

Movement 4: Love

An acapella choral setting of Jesus’ answer to the question about the greatest commandment in Mark 12.

Movement 5: Garden

As Jesus contemplates his calling to die as a sacrifice for sin, he prays in the garden of Gethsemane. The piece uses suspended resolutions and a fluctuating pattern of major and minor notes that gradually become more resolute as Jesus turns his face to the cross and prays that the Father’s will be done on earth as in heaven.

Movement 6: Agnus Dei

Based on the saying of John the Baptist: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29), the “Agnus Dei” (“Lamb of God”) is a traditional liturgical chant that contemplates the meaning of Jesus’ death on the cross in light of his subsequent resurrection from the tomb. Far from being yet another failed messiah, Jesus is God’s self-sacrifice of forgiveness in the face of our sin.

Movement 7: Kyrie

A setting of the traditional Kyrie, a prayer for forgiveness: “Lord, forgive us, Christ forgive us, Lord forgive us.” This is the appropriate initial response to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Movement 8: Telos

Inspired by John’s vision of the new heavens and earth in Revelation 21, the choir sing about the wedding feast of the resurrected Lamb of God, who will wipe away ever tear from our eyes and bring “Shalom” (a Hebrew word meaning peace, wholeness and flourishing).

Movement 9: Gloria

This final piece returns to the Trinitarian theme of movement zero, using it as a setting for the apostle Paul’s comparison between the sufferings of the present world and the glory of the new heavens and earth to come revealed by the resurrection. This movement is about living the Christian life on earth for the glory of God in light of the hope of heaven.

 

If anyone has an interest in mounting a performance of some or all of “From glory to glory”, I can provide scores (including parts), etc. Backing tracks without the computer choir are also a possibility. You can e-mail me using the contact form on my website @ www.peterswilliams.com

 

Preaching for Spiritual Formation: Luke 7:36-50

Preaching for Spiritual Formation: Luke 7:36-50

March 15, 2021

Lecture about preparing a sermon, delivered for NLA University, March 15th 2021.

Apologetics 315 interviews Peter S. Williams about ‘Outgrowing God? A Beginner’s Guide to Richard Dawkins and the God Debate’ (Cascade, 2020)

Apologetics 315 interviews Peter S. Williams about ‘Outgrowing God? A Beginner’s Guide to Richard Dawkins and the God Debate’ (Cascade, 2020)

February 1, 2021

Brian Auten and Chad Gross of apologetics315.com interview Christian Philosopher Peter S. Williams about his book Outgrowing God? A Beginner’s Guide to Richard Dawkins and the God Debate (Cascade, 2020). First published on January 25th 2021 @ https://apologetics315.com/2021/01/apologetics-315-podcast-006-outgrowing-god-with-peter-s-williams/

Introduction to “Outgrowing God? A Beginner’s Guide to Richard Dawkins and the God Debate” (Cascade, 2020)

Introduction to “Outgrowing God? A Beginner’s Guide to Richard Dawkins and the God Debate” (Cascade, 2020)

December 1, 2020

In this podcast I introduce my book Outgrowing God? A Beginner's Guide to Richard Dawkins and the God Debate (Cascade, 2020) to students at Gimlekollen College in Norway, giving an overview of the contents and reading some extracts. For more info see: www.peterswilliams.com/publications/books/outgrowing-god/

Interviewed on the ‘When Belief Dies’ Podcast

Interviewed on the ‘When Belief Dies’ Podcast

November 25, 2020

I was interviewed by Sam and Dave for the 22nd episode of their 'When Belief Dies' podcast (see www.youtube.com/channel/UC60J0W7sqxQlX6drabFD9jw) in November 2020. We discuss my personal journey with Christian faith and philosophy, touch on the historical Jesus, and towards the end of the interview discuss some versions of the anti-naturalism argument from reason. The episode is republished here with permission.

The Christ of Faith vs. the Jesus of History?

The Christ of Faith vs. the Jesus of History?

October 21, 2020

Lecture delivered on-line to students at NLA University College in Kristiansand, Norway, on October 16th 2020.

A Crash Course in Logic

A Crash Course in Logic

September 11, 2020

Audio of an on-line lecture on logic, delivered to students at NLA University College, Gimlekollen Campus, in Kristiansand, Norway, September 10th 2020.

Arguing for God

Arguing for God

August 12, 2020

Audio from an on-line teaching session for NLA University College, Gimlekollen, Kristiansand, Norway. This class took place on 12th August 2020, and was hosted by fellow Assistant Professor Bjørn Hinderaker.

ELF 2020: ‘Learning about Jesus with the New Atheists’

ELF 2020: ‘Learning about Jesus with the New Atheists’

May 28, 2020

Audio of my talk on 'Learning about Jesus with the New Atheists' from the virtual European Leadership Forum (ELF) conference 2020.

Re my book 'Getting at Jesus' see: http://www.peterswilliams.com/publications/books/getting-at-jesus-a-comprehensive-critique-of-neo-atheist-nonsense-about-the-jesus-of-history-wipf-stock-2019/

ELF 2020: ‘Archaeological Evidence and Jesus’

ELF 2020: ‘Archaeological Evidence and Jesus’

May 27, 2020

Audio of the presentation from my webinar on 'Archaeological Evidence and Jesus' from the virtual European Leadership Forum (ELF) conference 2020.

ELF 2020: ‘Ancient Aliens? Rebutting Alien Conspiracy Theories as Popular Alternatives to Biblical History’

ELF 2020: ‘Ancient Aliens? Rebutting Alien Conspiracy Theories as Popular Alternatives to Biblical History’

May 26, 2020

My talk from the Advanced Apologetics Network at the virtual European Leadership Forum (ELF) conference 2020.

ELF 2020: ‘Evidence for Old Testament History: From Abraham’s Ur to Daniel in Babylon’

ELF 2020: ‘Evidence for Old Testament History: From Abraham’s Ur to Daniel in Babylon’

May 23, 2020

Edited audio of my webinar from the virtual European Leadership Forum (ELF) conference 2020.

On the question raised about altar 'horns', see: 'Horns of the Altar' https://biblehub.com/topical/h/horns_of_the_altar.htm & 'Israelite horned altar' https://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/tools/image-gallery/i/israelite-horned-altar It seems that 'proper' horned altars had wooden 'horns' rather than cut stone 'horns', see Exodus 27:1-2.

In 2021 Albert Crespo helpfully brought to my attention that the two Bullae that mention Jeremiah’s scribe Baruch the son of Neriah are now thought to be forgeries.

See: "The Authenticity of the Bullae of Berekhyahu Son of Neriyahu the Scribe", Yuval Goren, Eran Arie, BASOR 372, www.researchgate.net/publication/305753694_The_Authenticity_of_the_Bullae_of_Berekhyahu_Son_of_Neriyahu_the_Scrib; www.bible.ca/bulla/bible-bulla-jeremiah-clay-bullae-inscription-Belonging-to-Baruch-Berechiah-Son-of-Neriah-The-scribe-Jer-36-4-1975-1996ad-Reuben-Hecht-israel-museum-605bc-forgery-fake.htm

Also, that it's now thought William F. Albright’s interpretation of the “Eliakim na˓ar Yokan” stamped jar handles - that Yokan referred to King Jehoiachin - was incorrect: “This misinterpretation was not corrected for almost 50 years and resulted in a great deal of confusion over the chronological sequence and stratigraphical analysis of the archaeology of Judah from the time of the Divided Monarchy." – “The Eliakim Na˓ar Yokan Seal Impressions: Sixty Years of Confusion in Biblical Archaeological Research”, Yosef Garfinkel, Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 53, 1990.

See: www.bible.ca/bulla/bible-archeology-jeremiah-clay-bullae-seal-inscription-Belonging-to-Eliakim-servant-of-Jehoiachin-belonging-to-Jotham-misidentified.htm.

Getting at Jesus: Getting at the Resurrection

Getting at Jesus: Getting at the Resurrection

April 24, 2020

Audio of a video lecture for NLA University College, Norway, 24th April 2020. With an introduction by, and post lecture discussion with, Bjorn Hinderaker (Assistant Professor at NLA Gimlekollen Campus).

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