12 results
October 6, 2014

An interesting article was posted yesterday on The Daily Beast by historians Candida Moss and Joel Baden. In it, they take down an argument by author Michael Paulkovich from his recently published book, ...

February 10, 2014

I’ve been playing in rock bands since about 1987, when my father bought me my first guitar. At the time, I was heavily influenced by heavy metal musicians.

Running in these circles for many years, it was not unusual to encounter stories of an oppressive medieval Catholic Church. In fact, many a heavy-metal band wrote songs about this, and the leather-clad faithful were only too happy to assume the stories were true.

Recently, I watched a documentary on the Canadian heavy metal...

December 16, 2013

It’s that time of year again when many Christians encounter claims that pagan deities predating Jesus Christ were born on December 25. In popular films, Internet videos, and other media you can find long lists of gods who were supposedly born on the same day.

This idea is not limited to unbelievers. I have heard many Christians claim that the date of Christmas was intended to provide an alternative to pagan celebrations. In some ways it has become a pious legend. On the other hand,...

October 28, 2013

The belief that Halloween is pagan in origin is a myth. Many neo-pagan websites claim that it was an attempt by early Christians to “baptize” the Gaelic harvest festival of Samhain. Because of this persistent myth, some Christians are hesitant to participate in anything associated with Halloween. Brad Winsted of the Christian Broadcasting Network explains:...

September 16, 2013

In an earlier blog post I commented on a published email exchange between skeptical biblical scholar Bart Ehrman and Frank Zindler, former editor of American Atheist Magazine. During the exchange, Zindler took the position that many elements of Christianity are in fact ripped-off from the Roman mystery cult of Mithras...