Saturday, August 19, 2017

Worldview and Apologetics in the News

7 Things You Need To Know About The Charlottesville Violence And White Supremacist Terror Attack

Charlottesville and the Deep Roots of Extremist Violence

On Origin of Life, Synthetic Chemist James Tour Delivers Chastisement to Jeremy England

Richard Dawkins Offers Advice for Donald Trump, and Other Wisdom

People Say the Bible Doesn’t Talk About Transgenderism. It Does.

If We’re Tearing Down White Supremacy, Start With Planned Parenthood

FAITH FILE: This Agnostic Proved The Impossible. Or Did He?

Patricia Heaton blasts CBS over report about Iceland's Down syndrome abortion rates

In direct challenge to Trump, Iran's president says it could restart its nuclear program 'within hours'

Christian Leaders Respond to Charlottesville White Supremacy March and Attack

Letter from Berlin: The Lessons of History and the Heresy of Racial Superiority


America’s Suicide Crisis: Dying for Lack of Hope

Denounce Anti-Semitism Whenever It Appears

A.N. Wilson: It’s time Charles Darwin was exposed for the fraud he was

Mown down as they shopped: Elderly couple run over in ISIS van attack on Barcelona that killed THIRTEEN and injured more than 100 before suspect fled on foot

Several killed in Spain anti-terror operation after Barcelona attack

Christian Operation Using Balloons to Get Scripture into Hands of North Korean Christians

Whoa, Bethsaida! Archaeologists May Have Found Peter's Home Town

Iceland is Eradicating Down Syndrome Babies
Courage and Godspeed,
Chad


Last week's edition is here.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Al Mohler on the Hersey of Racial Superiority

"...Christians must see much more than the lessons of history, though we dare not miss them. We must see claims of racial superiority–and mainly that means claims of white superiority–as heresy.

That is not a word we use casually. Heresy leads to a denial of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the eclipse of the living God as revealed in the Bible. A claim of white superiority is not merely wrong, and not merely deadly. It is a denial of the glory of God in creating humanity—every single human being–in his own image. It is a rejection of God’s glory in creating a humanity of different skin pigmentation. It is a misconstrual of God’s judgment and glory in creating different ethnicities.

Most urgently, it is a rejection of the gospel of Christ–the great good news of God’s saving purpose in the atonement accomplished by Christ. A claim of racial superiority denies our common humanity, our common sinfulness, our common salvation through faith in Christ, and God’s purpose to create a common new humanity in Christ.

You cannot preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and hold to any notion of racial superiority. It is impossible."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:

Related Posts

Common Objection #29- "Christianity is Racist."

Sermon Audio: The Fuse of Racism by Pastor Steve Spuler

Racism and Abortion

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Book Preview: Why Does God Allow Evil? by Clay Jones

About the Author

Clay Jones (DMin) is an associate professor of Christian apologetics at Biola University and the Chairman of the Board for Ratio Christi, an international university apologetics ministry. Previously he hosted the nationally syndicated talk radio program Contend for Truth and served on the pastoral staff of two large churches. Clay and his wife, Jean E., live in Southern California.

About the Book

If God is good and all-powerful, why doesn’t He put a stop to the evil in this world? Christians and non-Christians alike struggle with the concept of a loving God who allows widespread suffering in this life and never-ending punishment in hell. We wrestle with questions such as…

- Why do bad things happen to good people?
- Why should we have to pay for Adam’s sin?
- How can eternal judgment be fair?

But what if the real problem doesn’t start with God…but with us?

Clay Jones, a professor of Christian apologetics at Biola University, examines what Scripture truly says about the nature of evil and why God allows it. Along the way, he’ll help you discover the contrasting abundance of God’s grace, the overwhelming joy of heaven, and the extraordinary destiny of believers.

Book Endorsements

"I have read a number of books on the problem of evil, but this is one of the very best yet produced. Professor Clay Jones fearlessly and deftly addresses all the hard questions head-on with rational responses to them.  There is no ducking of issues.  Moreover, Jones skillfully weaves theology, biblical studies, and philosophy into a coherent, well-integrated book that is suited for both the scholar and the layperson.  I highly recommend it."

—J.P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University; author of The Soul: How We Know It's Real and Why It Matters


"Dr. Clay Jones doesn't shy away from tough subjects.  Instead, he tackles them with honesty, diligence, and resolve. In Why Does God Allow Evil? he engages one of the most difficult questions facing believers and skeptics alike.  His treatment is God-honoring, straightforward, and accessible. If you're looking for a resource that acknowledges the severity of evil and the gravity of sin while taking the justice and grace of God seriously, get this book!"

—J. Warner Wallace, senior fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adjunct Professor of Apologetics at Biola, author of Cold-Case Christianity

"If you are looking for one book to make sense of the problem of evil, this book is for you.  Clay Jones brings a lifetime of reflection to this difficult issue.  He speaks with honesty and realism, and yet offers genuine hope.  Both believers and skeptics will benefit from Why Does God Allow Evil?"

—Sean McDowell, PhD, Biola University professor, speaker, author

You can learn more about the book here.

You can get your copy here.

Learn more about Clay Jones and his work here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Video: Why Does Anything Exist at All? by William Lane Craig


Dr. William Lane Craig was invited to speak at the Worldview Apologetics Conference hosted at Westminster Chapel in Bellevue, WA in April of 2017.

In this lecture, Dr. Craig expounds on Leibniz's contingency argument for why anything at all exists. The presentation is followed by a Q&A session.

Leibniz's argument, as defended by Dr. Craig, is as follows:

1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.

2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.

3. The universe exists.

4. The universe has an explanation of its existence.

5. Therefore, the explanation of the universe's existence is God.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

An Edited Version of the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

Video: Leibniz’ Contingency Argument

The Taxicab Fallacy

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Common Objection #34- "Jesus never claimed to be God!"

Some people argue that Jesus never claimed to be God.  I reject this claim. Now, don't misunderstand me.  He didn’t use those exact words, but He clearly claimed to be God nonetheless.

Remember when God first appeared to Moses in the burning bush? Moses asked God for His name and God answered Moses as follows:

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

Now, it is important to understand that at the time of this interaction between God and Moses, Israelites revered the “I AM” name of God. This beloved title was not to be given to anyone or anything other than God Himself.  Now fast forward to Jesus’ time here on earth.  One day the Pharisees come along and they are questioning the power, authority and teachings of Jesus. They actually accuse Him of being demon possessed!  Consider John's record of what happened:

"The Jews answered him [Jesus], 'Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?'  Jesus answered, 'I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me.  Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge.  Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.'  The Jews said to him, 'Now we know that you have a demon!  Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, 'If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.'  Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?  And the prophets died!  Who do you make yourself out to be?'  Jesus answered, 'If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.  It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, 'He is our God.'  But you have not known him.  I know him.  If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.  Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.  He saw it and was glad.'  So the Jews said to him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?'  Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.'  So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.'"  (John 8:48-59).

The Pharisees knew exactly what Jesus meant.  He was claiming to be God.  They were planning to stone him for blasphemy. 

Bible teacher J. Warner Wallace explains the implications of this passage:

“When Jesus took on God’s holy title as his own, He was stating the modern equivalent of ‘I am God.'  He did this repeatedly over the course of his ministry (see Mark 14:62, John 18:5-6, John 8:24 and John 8:28).  So while you may not find the expression ‘I am God’ in the Gospels, you’ll certainly find the ancient equivalent.  It’s no wonder that the Jewish religious leadership would eventually want Him executed.”1

Moreover, in John 10:30, Jesus makes this astonishing claim- "I and the Father are one."  Here, Jesus is claiming that He and the Father are one in nature or essence.  He was claiming deity.  The Jews understood this completely.  Why did they want to stone Him?  As the Jews themselves stated, "...because you, being a man, make yourself God" (John 10:33b).

So, even enemies of Jesus understood that he was claiming to be God.  

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. J. Warner Wallace, Jesus Specifically Said, "I am God," Nov. 7, 2016.

Related Posts

59 Confirmed or Historically Probable Facts in the Gospel of John

Video: Where Did Jesus Say, "I Am God, Worship Me"? by David Wood

Jesus as God in His Parables

For Further Research

The Circumstantial Case For John’s Authorship by J. Warner Wallace

Monday, August 14, 2017

Abortion Stunts Feminist Progress


Brian Fisher of Human Coalition writes the following in the subject blog post:

Abortion hasn’t solved the problems women have faced throughout human history, and modern feminists are remiss to fantasize that unrestricted access to abortion could solve any problems today.

Read his reasons for why he thinks so here.

Stand firm for Christ and firm for the preborn,
Chase

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017

Better be good for goodness sake?




Recently, I had the opportunity to take part in a brief dialogue regarding morality on social media.  Normally, I do not engage in commentary responding to someone’s blog, but I felt a sense of obligation because of what was said and the implications if this is what that person truly believes. 
The comments were in response to a blog post entitled “9Ways Atheist Moms are Different from Religious Moms.”  The post is not really what caught my attention.  I honestly can’t remember much from what I read other than there was a lot of interesting language used. 

What I remember is a comment in response to the blog basically saying that teaching your children about hell is child abuse.  Now I would agree that teaching the concept of hell as a scare tactic to get them to accept your belief is not the right approach.  But what struck me most about the comment was that someone who I would describe as an atheist was making a moral judgement on someone’s behavior.  On atheism, how can one make a moral judgement when objective moral values and duties do not exist?

I posed this question as a comment and was referred to an article from the NY Times entitled Good Minus God.  I read the article and noticed that it was written by philosopher Louise Antony.  I recalled that Antony had debated Willliam Lane Craig with the question being Is God Necessary for Morality?  I listened to the debate and much of what Antony presented in the debate was restated in her NY Times piece. 

Dr. Antony believes that “good” is independent of God.  If it is not, then one is faced with the dilemma that it is arbitrary as it is dependent upon what God commands. For example, if God said it is good to eat children, we would have to accept that as good because God said so. This "problem" is commonly referred to as "Euthyphro's Dilemma," named after a character in Plato's socratic dialogue on the subject of goodness.

But as Dr. Craig clearly points out, this problem is actually a false dilemma.  This is because there is a third option, this being that God wills something because He is good.  And since goodness is part of His nature, God is the anchor for objective morality.  Therefore goodness is not independent of God.

This does not mean that non-believers cannot live good a good life.  I know many people who do not claim to be Christians but live decent lives.  The question is, how can you define what good is without God?

The impression I got from Dr. Antony is that we as humans just recognize that good exists.  We can observe this when we see sentient beings suffer.  We don't need God to tell us that suffering is not good.  

Let me give an example why I believe this explanation is problematic.  In March of 2017, Teen Vogue published an article entitled "Planned Parenthood Videos Explain Abortion Process."  These videos make abortion look like a safe and fairly harmless procedure.  Contrast this with the horrific images you see in this abortion video (about 3 minutes and 26 seconds in).  On Dr. Antony's view, why is it not obvious for every human being to see that defenseless babies being tortured and ripped apart is murder?  I believe this shows a fatal flaw in the belief that good can exist without God.  On atheism, morality is arbitrary.   

However the theistic worldview, with God as the anchor of goodness, clearly appears to be the better explanation for objective moral values and duties.  
  

Additional Resources:

Reasonable Faith Video  The Moral Argument: Good without God?
Reasonable Faith Podcast- A Debate on the Moral Argument


God Bless,


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ted Wright on the Old Testament and Archaeology

"In truth, the Old Testament is actually a reliable source of accurate historical information. The science of archaeology helps us to understand the Bible better, and the Bible also helps us understand what we discover in the ground. That being said, the Old Testament is also not merely historical chronicle either. It is nothing short of God’s Epic story of love and redemption for the people of Israel as well as all of humankind. The stories recorded in the OT were true in the past, and they are just as true today."1

To learn more, checkout Wright's article 10 Significant Old Testament Archaeological Discoveries.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:

Related Posts

Featured Resource: Epic Archaeology

The One Minute Apologist Interviews Ted Wright on the Exodus

Article: Was There an Exodus and Conquest? by Ted Wright

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Article: Is the Old Testament Reliable? by Chad A. Gross

I was recently given the opportunity and honor of contributing to the new Apologetics Study Bible for Students.  Below is my article.

The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew (with a few chapters penned in Aramaic).  It contains thirty-nine books written from about 1400-400 B.C.  The scribes who copied and preserved the text were careful and extremely thorough.  Effective safeguards were implemented as part of a painstaking process to ensure the accurate transmission of the text.  Scribes developed numerical systems to insure an accurate copy: they counted the number of lines, letters, and words per page of the new copy and then compared it to the original.  If differences were present, the copy was destroyed; they had to start over.

The strongest confirmation for the reliablity of the Old Testament text came with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 at Qumran.  Until that time, skeptics clung to the hope that an older text would be found that would demonstrate that the text had been significantly altered and corrupted. However, the opposite happened.  For example, an entire manuscript of Isaiah was found dating to approximately 75 B.C.  When Old Testament scholars compared it with the earliest existing copy of Isaiah know at that time (dating to A.D. 1008-09), the results were staggering.  They concluded ninety-five percent of the text had been copied and passed down accurately over a period of almost 1,100 years!  The other five percent- comprised of mere slips of the pen- consisted only of misspelled words and absent letters.

While many skeptics have dismissed the historicity of various Old Testament figures, places, and events, archaeological discoveries continue to vindicate the biblical record and silence its critics.  Some of the key biblical figures attested by discoveries include King David, patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, King Solomon, and King Nebuchadnezzar.  Key places proven include the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zoar, and Zeboiim mentioned in Genesis 14.  Also discovered are the entire kingdom of the Hethites that was once thought to be mythological and the site of Solomon's temple.  Moreover, ancient finds have authenticated some events recorded in the Old Testament.  One example involves the walls discovered at the site of Jericho; there a think layer of soot indicates the city was destroyed by fire as described in Joshua 6:24.  Further discoveries have demonstrated these walls fell outward, which is noteworthy when one considers that attacked city walls fall in the opposite direction.  This anomaly would have provided invaders a ramp to easily enter the city- precisely what Joshua 6:20 reports.

Finally, and perhaps most significantly, Jesus clearly believed the Old Testament is historically reliable.  Perhaps in anticipation of future skepticism, Jesus affirmed as true many passages that modern day Bible skeptics deny.  He affirmed the historicity of Adam and Eve (Mt. 19:4), the Noahic flood (Mt. 12:39), and the story of Jonah being swallowed by a great fish (Mt. 12:40).  He also referenced the Old Testament canon in Matthew 23:35 when he mentioned the span of time from the death of Abel (Gn. 4) until the death of Zechariah (2 Ch. 24).

On the grounds that the Old Testament text has been accurately preserved; that discoveries in archaeology have confirmed many of the people, places, and events recorded in its pages; and that Jesus himself taught the Old Testament as real history, the Christian can be confident the Old Testament is indeed historically reliable.

To learn more about this helpful resource, go here.  To order your copy, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Old Testament Law and the Charge of Inconsistency

How We Got the Bible: The Apocryphal Books

Moral Objections to the Old Testament by Peter J. Williams

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Book Preview: Our Deepest Desires by Gregory E. Ganssle

About the Author

Greg Ganssle (PhD, Syracuse) is professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He is the author of several books, including A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism and Thinking About God, and he is the editor of God and Time.

About the Book

As human beings, we are created with desires.

We all long for meaningful relationships, lives that reflect goodness, engagements with beauty, and the freedom to pursue our lives with integrity. But where can our restless hearts find fulfillment for these universal longings?

Philosopher and apologist Greg Ganssle argues that our widely shared human aspirations are best understood and explained in light of the Christian story. With grace and insight, Ganssle explains how the good news of Jesus Christ makes sense of—and fulfills—our deepest desires. It is only in the particular claims of the Christian faith, he argues, that our universal human aspirations can find fulfillment and our restless hearts will be at peace.

Reviews

"Our Deepest Desires is a little gem of a book, written with the clarity and wisdom of a seasoned teacher. Learned yet accessible, Ganssle takes his readers on a fresh tour of life's big questions by tracking ways the claims of Christianity connect up with fundamental human longings. This may be our new Mere Christianity, and it will surely inspire conversations worth having."

- Eric Gregory, professor of religion and chair of the council of the humanities, Princeton University

"Christian philosophers and apologists have spilled much ink defending the truth of Christianity—rightly so, given the rise of New Atheism and other movements that call into question Christianity's plausibility. What has been widely neglected, however, is showing the desirability of Jesus and the gospel. In this brilliantly written book, Gregory Ganssle shows how the Christian story makes sense of our deepest longings—for love, beauty, truth, goodness, and freedom. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in finding a story that is both true to the way things are and true to the way things ought to be."

- Paul M. Gould, assistant professor of philosophy and Christian apologetics, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

You can order your copy here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Should Christians Not Study Philosophy?

Atheist Quentin Smith on Philosophical Theism

What is Philosophy of Religion?

Monday, August 07, 2017

Abortion and Viral Videos

Clinton Wilcox of the Life Training Institute responds to a recent viral video; a video which is a response to Ben Shapiro's arguments against abortion. The "arguments" in this video that Wilcox responds to are the following:

If you believe abortion is murder and it should be outlawed accordingly, you must support all women having miscarriages being investigated for a possible negligent homicide, the same way you would want a person involved in running over someone else with their car investigated for negligent homicide.

Would we be comfortable allowing a woman at increased risk for miscarriage to get pregnant? 

Would people be comfortable with a woman trying to get pregnant who has a high risk of miscarriage, since they would not be comfortable with someone drunk getting behind the wheel of the car?

You can read Wilcox's response here.

Stand firm in Christ, and stand firm for the preborn,
Chase


Friday, August 04, 2017

Counterpoints: John Gray and John Lennox on Evolutionary Success and Truth

Atheist Philosopher John Gray: “The human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.”1

Professor John Lennox: "But what about Gray’s own mind…one must suppose, according to Gray, that his writing this sentence [“The human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth”] serves evolutionary success.  Well, it certainly would appear to serve the success of evolutionary theory, if it were true.  But then Gray has undermined the very concept of truth, and so has removed all reason for us to take him seriously.  Logical incoherence reigns once more."2

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. John Gray, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: London, 2007), 26 as quoted by Tanya Walker here.
2. John Lennox, Gunning For God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target (Lion Hudson: Oxford, 2011), 108. as quoted by Tanya Walker as well.

Related Posts

Resource: Faith + Evolution

The Magic Wand of Evolution

Video: Evolution- A Theory in Crisis by Dr. Thomas Woodward

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Greer Heard Forum: Robin Collins - "God and the Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Discovery"


"On Friday, February 21st, 2014, philosopher and theologian, Dr William Lane Craig, was invited by the Greer Heard Forum to debate Dr Sean Carroll, an atheist theoretical physicist. The topic of debate was, "God and Cosmology: The Existence of God in Light of Contemporary Cosmology." The rigorous debate was concluded by a lengthy question and answer period with the audience.  The debate video can be found here.

On Saturday, Dr Robin Collins, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, spoke on the topic "God and the Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Discovery." [1]

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

William Lane Craig on the "Many Worlds" Hypothesis as a Backhanded Compliment to Design

"The current debate over fine-tuning has now become a debate over the many worlds hypothesis.  In order to explain fine-tuning we're being asked to believe not merely that there are other unobservable universes, but that there is an infinite number of such worlds and that they randomly vary in their fundamental constants and quantities.  All this is needed to guarantee that a life-permitting universe like ours will appear by chance in the ensemble.  The many worlds hypothesis is really a sort of backhanded compliment to the design hypothesis.  For otherwise sober scientists would not be flocking to adopt so speculative and extravagant a view as the many worlds  hypothesis unless they felt absolutely compelled to.  So if someone says to you, 'The fine-tuning could have happened by chance!' or 'The improbable happens!' or 'It was just dumb luck!' ask him, 'Then why do the detractors of design feel compelled to embrace an extravagance like the many worlds hypothesis in order to avoid design?'"1

For those unfamiliar with the Design Argument, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. William Lane Craig, On Guard, p. 118.

Related Posts

Is Our Universe Simply the Winner of a Universe Lottery?

How a Dice Can Show that God Exists? by Justin Brierley

Article: Can Multiverse Theories Explain the Appearance of Fine Tuning in the Universe? by J. Warner Wallace

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Book Preview: Between One Faith and Another by Peter Kreeft

About the Author

Peter Kreeft (PhD, Fordham University) is professor of philosophy at Boston College where he has taught since 1965. A popular lecturer, he has also taught at many other colleges, seminaries, and educational institutions in the eastern United States. Kreeft has written more than fifty books, including The Best Things in Life, The Journey, How to Win the Culture War, and Handbook of Christian Apologetics (with Ronald Tacelli).

About the Book

How do we make sense of the world's different religions?

In today's globalized society, religion is deeply intertwined with every issue we see on the news. But talking about multiple religions can be contentious. Are different faiths compatible somehow? And how can we know whether one religion is more true than another?

In this creative thought experiment, Peter Kreeft invites us to encounter dialogues on the world's great faiths. His characters Thomas Keptic and Bea Lever are students in Professor Fesser's course on world religions, and the three explore the content and distinctive claims of each. Together they probe the plausibility of major religions, from Hinduism and Buddhism to Christianity and Islam. Along the way they explore how religions might relate to each other and to what extent exclusivism or inclusivism might make sense.

Ultimately, Kreeft gives us helpful tools for thinking fairly and critically about competing religious beliefs. If the religions are different kinds of music, do they together make harmony or cacophony? Decide for yourself.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

"The Pillars of Unbelief" Series by Peter Kreeft

The Argument from Sehnsucht (Longing)

The Argument from Efficient Causality

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Worldview and Apologetics in the News

As Undeniable Debuts in Paperback, Frontiers in Biology Demonstrate Axe’s “Functional Coherence”

Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt is still doing well in paleontology

9 Die In Immigrant-Smuggling Attempt In Sweltering Truck

Philosopher and Theologian William Lane Craig Named in Biola’s First Endowed Chair

Human trafficking and smuggling rile San Antonio -- and beyond

Hospital treating baby Charlie Gard is receiving death threats

Chief to recommend charges against Florida teens who recorded drowning

Leaders Push Senate to Pass Bill to Protect Mid-East Christians

How the LGBT Movement Used Fake Science to Push Gay Marriage

Protestors Plan Prayer Vigil for Charlie Gard as Hospital Claims it is Receiving Death Threats

Reject 'Passive' Christianity, Former MMA, WWE Star Ken Shamrock Tells California Megachurch

Pastor Forced to Move After Receiving Threats for Opposing Facebook's Rainbow Flag Emoji

Charlie Gard: 'Last precious moments' for parents with their son

This is why Satanist ‘church’ co-founder says that LGBTQ people are drawn to Satanism

BREAKING: U.S. Senate rejects measure defunding Planned Parenthood, repealing Obamacare

Canadian polygamous leader found guilty of having 25 wives

Family fury after hospital denies mother-of-five's Christian-faith-based healthcare plan in the middle of her CHEMO and hands her a $41k bill

'Our beautiful boy has gone': Little Charlie Gard's parents announce that their brave warrior whose plight touched the world has finally died after battling devastating genetic illness he fought for so long

Stephen Hawking is deathly afraid of aliens

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Last week's edition is here.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Honoring Joni Eareckson Tada

This Sunday, July 30th, 2017, will mark fifty years since Joni Eareckson Tada's tragic diving accident left her a quadriplegic at the young age of 17.  Simply enduring life in a wheelchair for fifty years is itself more than noteworthy .  But to think about all that Joni has accomplished is nothing short of miraculous in my opinion.  All you need to do is go to her Wikipedia page to learn about her extensive work.  She has had tremendous success as a writer (48 books), singer, and speaker. Eareckson Tada also founded Joni and Friends, which is a ministry for the disabled community, in 1979.  She has been married for nearly 35 years to her husband, Ken.

Joni's life is a great example of how God can use suffering for His good purpose.








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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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