Thursday, July 27, 2017

J.P. Moreland on the Existence of Evil

"I think that far from counting as evidence against God’s existence, evil actually provides evidence for God. How? Evil is when things aren’t the way they are supposed to be or are the way they aren’t supposed to be. You can’t have real evil without there being a real way things are and are not supposed to be. But, again, this distinction is clear to me if there is a God. But if God does not exist, things just are. There is no way that things are supposed to be. Stuff happens and that’s the end of the matter."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad


Footnote:
1. As quoted by "The Poached Egg" here.

Related Posts

Video: What Caused God? featuring J.P. Moreland

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

What Are the Laws of Logic? by J.P. Moreland

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Video: Is Christianity Bad News for Women? by Amy Orr-Ewing


"In a talk given in Australia, Amy Orr-Ewing examines how Christianity really relates to women and if negative perceptions are truly deserved.

Amy looks at three challenges facing women today – objectification, self-objectification and sexual violence – and considers what Christianity has to say about each. Critically, she also looks at how Jesus interacted with women and argues Christianity offers a coherent worldview that underpins a vision of human flourishing."1

You can learn more about Orr-Ewing here.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. Text taken from here.

Related Posts

Common Objection #17- "Christianity Demeans Women!"

Did Jesus Appear to the Women First or to the Disciples?

The Why? Series

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Was "the Helper" Promised by Jesus Really the Prophet Mohammed?

Some Muslim scholars claim that when Jesus promised "the Helper" (Gr., parakletos) to his disciples in John 14:16 that Christ was actually referring to the coming of the Prophet Mohammed. They argue that that the Qur'an (Surah 61:6) refers to Mohammed as "Ahmad" (periclytos) which they contend is the correct rendering of "parakletos."

As Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe explain in their book The Big Book of Bible Difficulties, "There are absolutely no grounds for concluding the 'Helper' Jesus mentioned...is Mohammed."1  They offer the following ten reasons to support their claim:

"First of all, of the 5,366 Greek manuscripts of the NT, not a single manuscript contains the word periclytos ('praised one'), as the Muslims claim it should read.

Second, Jesus clearly identifies the 'Helper' as the Holy Spirit, not Mohammed.  Jesus referred to 'the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send.' (John 14:26)

Third, the 'Helper' was given to His disciples ('you,' v. 16), but Mohammed was not.

Fourth, the 'Helper' was to abide with them 'forever' v. 16), but Mohammed has been dead for 13 centuries!

Fifth, Jesus said to the disciples, 'You know Him [the Helper]' (v. 17), but they did not know Mohammed.  He wasn't even born for 6 more centuries.

Sixth, Jesus told His apostles, the Helper will be 'in you' (v. 17).  In no sense was Mohammed 'in' Jesus' apostles.

Seventh, our Lord affirmed the Helper would be sent 'In My [Jesus'] name' (John 14:26).  But no Muslims believes Mohammed was sent by Jesus in His name.

Eighth, the Helper Jesus would send would not 'speak on His own authority' (John 16:13), whereas Mohammed constantly testifies to himself in the Qur'an (cf. Surah 33:40).

Ninth, the Helper would 'glorify' Jesus (John 16:14), but Mohammed claims to supersede Jesus, being a later prophet.

Finally, Jesus asserted that the Helper would come in 'not many days' (Acts 1:5), whereas Mohammed did not come for 600 years."2

When the historical and biblical contexts of Jesus' teaching regarding the "Helper" are considered, there are no good reasons to conclude that Jesus was referencing the Prophet Mohammed in John 14:16.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, The Big Book of Bible Difficulties, p. 419.
2. Ibid., 419-420.

Related Posts

Article: What is Islam, and What Do Muslims Believe?

Book Review: No God But One- Allah or Jesus? by Nabeel Qureshi

Video: The Quran, the Bible, and the Islamic Dilemma by Dr. David Wood

Monday, July 24, 2017

Video: Why Is There So Much Violence in the Old Testament? by Sean McDowell



Stand firm in Christ,

Chase

Counterpoints: Richard Dawkins and Pastor Richard Wurmbrand on Atheism


Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion:

"What matters is not whether Hitler and Stalin were atheists, but whether atheism systematically
influences people to do bad things. There is not the smallest evidence that it does." [p. 273]

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand recalling his imprisonment under Communist rule in his book Tortured for Christ:

"The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe. When a man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil, there is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil that is in man. The Communist tortures often said, "There is no God, no hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish." I heard one torturer say, "I thank God, in whom I don't believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart." He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflicted on prisoners." [p. 36]

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts


Richard Dawkins says aborting babies with Down syndrome is the “moral and sensible” choice.

Ye Have No Definition of Faith?

Counterpoints: William Lane Craig and Richard Dawkins on Evolution

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

What Do Greek Scholars Think of the Watchtower Society's New World Translation of the Bible?

In their small book The Facts on Jehovah's Witnesses, authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon contend that "Greek scholars, Christian and non-Christian universally reject..."1 the New World Translation (NWT) of the Bible used by Jehovah's Witnesses.

One such example they offer is the late Dr. Julius Mantey.  As the authors explain:

"Mantey was one of the leading Greek scholars in the world.  He was author of the Hellenistic Greek Reader and coauthor, with H.E. Dana, of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament.  Not only did he reject the NWT, he publicly demanded that the Society stop misquoting his Grammar to support it."2

Mantey wrote:

"I have never read any New Testament so badly translated as The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures.  In fact, it is not their translation at all.  Rather, it is a distortion of the New Testament.  The translators used what J.B. Rotherham has translated in 1893, in modern speech, and changed the readings in scores of passages to state what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and teach.  That is distortion, not translation."3

Bruce Metzger, another well-known scholar of New Testament stated, "The Jehovah's Witnesses have incorporated in their translations of the New Testament several quite erroneous renderings of the Greek."

Also, Dr. Robert Countess, who wrote his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Greek on the NWT, concluded that the translation:

"...has been sharply unsuccessful in keeping doctrinal considerations from influencing the actual translation...It must be viewed as a radically biased piece of work.  At some points it is actually dishonest.  At others it is neither modern nor scholarly.  And interwoven throughout its fabric is inconsistent application of its own principles enunciated in the Foreword and Appendix."5

As if that were not enough. British scholar H.H. Rowley actually called the NWT "an insult to the Word of God."6

So, according to both Christian and non-Christian Greek scholars, the NWT is biased, dishonest and wrong.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Facts on Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 31.
2. Ibid., 32.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.

Related Posts

Apologetics Interview with Mike Felker by Brian Auten of Apologetics315

Article: A Brief Overview of the Jehovah's Witness Worldview by J. Warner Wallace

Does John 4:23 indicate that only God the Father -and not Jesus- is to be Worshiped?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Featured Series: Taking Back Christianese by Michael J. Kruger

Last year, New Testament scholar Michael J. Kruger featured a series on this blog about the way Christians talk.  He writes:

"This series is designed to analyze a number of theological phrases or practical bits of Christians wisdom that may simply be wrong, or at least misunderstood. Or maybe both.

Now to be clear, I will not be suggesting that the instances of Christianese we will be exploring in this series are necessarily wrong. Taken properly, they may be right in many ways. But, of course, that is precisely the issue. Often they are not taken properly. Instead they can be used to justify some questionable theological views.

So, the goal of the series–and this is important to get–is not to refute these phrases but to clarify, to nuance, and to balance out these phrases. In the world of theology, lack of nuance is one step (often a big step) towards doctrinal error."1

The series is as follows:


To learn more about Kruger's work, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. Michael J. Kruger, "Taking Back Christianese," June 1, 2016.

Related Posts

How Did the Early Church Leaders Decided Which Books Would Be Included in the New Testament Canon?

Did Jesus Even Exist?

A Great Witness to the Canonicity of the Old Testament Books

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Counterpoints: Joseph Smith and The Book of Isaiah on the Existence of God

Joseph Smith: “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.”1

The Book of Isaiah: "You are my witnesses," declares the Lord, "and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he.  Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me."2

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad



Footnotes:

1. Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v. 6, pp. 307, 308 as quoted by Mormon Think.
2. Isaiah 42:10, ESV; Emphasis mine.

Related Posts

What is the Book of Mormon? by Robert M. Bowman, Jr.

The Smithsonian on the Bible and the Book of Mormon

Free Online E-book: Letters to a Mormon Elder by James R. White