Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Video: How to Talk about the Transgender Bathroom Issue

The transgender issue can be very difficult to talk about with others.  In this short video, Frank Turek, J. Warner Wallace and Mike Adams demonstrate why the position is problematic and share some helpful points that could be useful in conversation.  

Frank Turek references Paul McHugh in the video.  You can see a piece by McHugh on the transgender issue here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dr. Richard Land on the Political Party Platforms

Dr. Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary, is providing his thoughts on the platforms coming out of the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention on his Bringing Every Thought Captive podcast.  You can listen to Part One of the series here; Part Two can be found here.

Stand firm in Christ,

Saturday, July 23, 2016

S.T.O.P. to Discover the Meaning of a Biblical Text

In Frank Turek's latest book, Stealing from God, he suggests using the acronym S.T.O.P. to discover the meaning of any given biblical text.  It is as follows:

S-Situation?  What's the historical situation?  What do you need to know about the people and events in the story?  What's the larger context?

T-Type?  What's the type of literature?  Is it historical narrative? Poetry?  Prophecy?  Law?  Wisdom?  Epistle?  What literary devices are being used: Hyperbole? Parable?  Metaphor?  Apocalyptic Imagery?

O-Object?  Who is the object of the text?  Everyone?  Specific people?  Ancient Israel?  Is it the Old or New Covenant?

P-Prescription?  Is this passage prescriptive for us today or merely descriptive of an historical event?1

I freely concede that the Bible is a complex book full of various types of literature; however, it seems that many times otherwise intelligent people forget how to think when considering these sometimes challenging texts.  My hope is that the S.T.O.P. acronym will aid those who desire to treat the biblical texts fairly and strive to understand their intended meaning.

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Frank Turek, Stealing from God, p. 123-124.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Incarnation: Could God Become Man Without Ceasing to Be God? By James A. Parker III

The article below was taken from the Apologetics Study Bible.

The answer to this question is yes. Not only is it possible, but it happened in time and space. Neo-orthodox theologians (twentieth-century thinkers strongly influenced by Karl Barth) have said that the question is logically unanswerable, because faith is an illogical paradox and can be seen only through the eyes of faith. In recent years liberal theologians have denied the reality of the incarnation on the grounds that it is a myth and not true in any objective sense. In the nineteenth century advocates of kenotic Christology (emphasizing the "emptying" of Christ in keeping with Php 2:7) argued that in the incarnation the divine Logos (Word) suspended the characteristics of deity because they were in principle incompatible with human attributes, thus making nonsense of the claim that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man (as both the Bible and historic Christian confessions have claimed).

Historical, Bible-based theology has argued that God is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), sinless, and incorporeal (without a body) and that these attributes are essential and necessary to deity. Characteristically, human beings do not exhibit these attributes. So how can Jesus simultaneously be fully divine and fully human? Along these lines, people have attacked the doctrine of the incarnation, claiming that it is illogical and contradictory.

This alleged logical contradiction is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how human nature is defined, according to Thomas V. Morris in his book The Logic of God Incarnate. Morris has argued that the way out of this apparent impasse is to have a clearer understanding of three important concepts: (1) essential versus nonessential properties, (2) essential versus common properties, and (3) the difference between being fully and being merely human.

On the first issue Morris argues that an essential property is a property that, if removed, fundamentally changes the thing in question. So, if God's attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, etc., were removed, then he would no longer be deity. These are essential attributes. While it is a common attribute for a human being to have two hands, this is not an essential property to humanness. The heart of the attack on the incarnation comes from critics on the basis that lack of omniscience, omnipotence, etc., is essential to humanness, since human beings do not have these qualities.

This brings us to Morris's second distinction: essential versus common properties. It is a common property that everyone living on planet earth was born on planet earth, but this is simply a common property; it is not essential to their humanness. Morris then asks the question, on what basis does one know that the absence of the attributes of omniscience and so forth are essential human properties and not just common properties?

Last, Morris argues, "an individual is fully human [in any case where] that individual has all essential human properties, all the properties composing basic human nature. An individual is merely human if he or she has all those properties plus some additional limiting properties as well, properties such as that of lacking omnipotence, that of lacking omniscience, and so on." So orthodox Christians, in affirming the incarnation, are claiming that Jesus was fully human without being merely human.

Ronald Nash summarizes the implications of the argument as follows:

"This means two things: Jesus possesses all the properties that are essential to being a human being, and Jesus possesses all the properties that are essential to deity. The historic understanding of the Incarnation expresses the beliefs that Jesus Christ is fully God-that is, He possesses all the essential properties of God: Jesus Christ is also fully human-that is, He possesses all the essential properties of a human being, none of which turn out to be limiting properties: and Jesus Christ was not merely human-that is, he did not possess any of the limiting properties that are complements of the divine attributes. In the face of these distinctions, the alleged contradiction in the Incarnation disappears."

God Bless,

Thursday, July 21, 2016

C.S. Lewis Doodles

This site “doodles” selected essays by C.S. Lewis in order to make them easier to understand.  I’ve been enjoying being able to "watch" the first 6 chapters of Mere Christianity as I’ve been rereading his classic work this summer.

Additional doodles include The Grand Miracle (Part 1 and Part2), The Poison of Subjectivism, Religion and Science, The Screwtape Letters (I, VII, XXIII) and many others.

Don’t take my word for it, read the books and watch the movies.

Have a little hope on me,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Video: Hot Seat with a Philosopher featuring J.P. Moreland

In this featured video from Theology, Philosophy and Science philosopher J.P. Moreland is interviewed and answers numerous questions including:

- What is the purpose of apologetics?
- Why is it important to love God with all your mind?
- Why do young people leave the faith?
- How can you know God exists?
- What are some arguments for God's existence? (cosmological, genetic code, objective morality)
- If God, why evil?
- Why is Jesus the only way to heaven?
- Why would God send "good people" to hell?
- Why would God send people to hell for eternity for a finite number of sins?
- Will people be able to sin in heaven?
- Has your confidence that Christianity is true increased?
- Is the Bible reliable?
- Did Jesus rise from the dead?


Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

Video: Responding to a Culture in Decay by J.P. Moreland

Articles on the Reliability of the New Testament

Debate Video: Does the Christian God Exist? J.P. Moreland vs Clancy Martin

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Definition of Atheism

Have you ever interacted with an atheist who claimed that they simply "lack belief in God?"  This is a common claim that actually runs counter to the historical definition of atheism. Regardless, it is a problematic claim for numerous reasons, but perhaps the strangest of all is that if atheism simply means "lacking a belief in God" it is compatible with theism!  Dr. Frank Turek explains:

"If lacking a belief in God is the definition of 'atheism'- and not 'there is not God'- then 'atheism' is true even if God really exists.  How is that reasonable? If not 'atheism,' what word should we use for the belief that there is no God?...We shouldn't allow atheists to hide behind their lacking definition.  A true atheist is someone who believes there is no God.  And atheists have the burden of proof to show how materialism is true and reality can be explained without God."1

Indeed.  It seems to me that William Lane Craig gets it right here.  If we define atheism as merely a "lack of belief in God," it is no longer a position or viewpoint, but merely a description of someone's psychological state which says nothing about whether or not God exists.

Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God? by Greg Koukl

Monday, July 18, 2016

Is God Pro-Abortion? A Response to Numbers Chapter 5

Some have interpreted from Numbers Chapter 5 that God's judgement on an adulterous woman is the miscarriage of the pre-born child conceived through the affair. Below is a summary of the response the Life Training Institute provides to this challenge:

  • There is no indication that the woman in this scenario is pregnant. 
  • A questionable interpretation of the text must be relied upon in order to hold this view. 
  • The case can be made that sterility or barrenness is being spoken of, not miscarriage. 
  • Even if the interpretation that the judgment from God on the adulterous woman is miscarriage is correct; it does not follow that abortion on demand is morally permissible; it does not follow that elective abortion is permissible in special circumstances such as adultery; and it does not follow that God is pro-abortion. 

The post can be read in full here.

Stand firm in Christ and firm for the preborn,

Sunday, July 17, 2016