Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Common Objection #35- "All religions teach basically the same thing."

On a surface level, this certainly seems to be true.  However, upon closer examination, we learn that while most religions have a similar moral code1, they actually disagree on almost every major issue including the nature of God, the nature of man, sin, salvation, heaven, hell and creation!

Author and apologist Frank Turek explains the significance of these facts:

"Think about it: the nature of God, the nature of man, sin, salvation, heaven, hell and creation.  Those are the biggies!  Here are a few of those big differences:
  • Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe in different versions of a theistic God, while most Hindus and New Agers believe that everything that exists is part of an impersonal, pantheistic force they call God.
  • Many Hindus believe that evil is a complete illusion, while Christians, Muslims, and Jews believe that evil is real.
  • Christians believe that people are saved by grace while all other religions, if they believe in salvation at all, teach some kind of salvation by good works (the definition of 'good' and what one is saved from varies greatly)."2
Pastor Justin Clemente offers another way to think about this common claim.  He writes:

"You could also summarize by saying that although religions appear to say similar things horizontally (love your neighbor, etc), they are saying radically different things vertically (in relation to God, etc)."3

So, while this claim may be popular, it is clearly untenable.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. For the Christian, this is just what we would expect to find when one considers the Christian conviction that God has implanted right and wrong on our consciences.  Consider the words of Paul in Romans 2:12-16.
2. Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, p. 46.
3. This quote originated on FB and was used with Pastor Clemente's permission.

Related Posts

Video: Do All Religions Offer a Piece of the Truth?

Michael C. Sherrard on Religious Pluralism

With All the Different Religions, How Can I Know which One is Correct? from gotquestions.org

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Video: Should We Fear Artificial Intelligence? by John Lennox


John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics (emeritus) at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College, Oxford.  He is also an Associate Fellow of the Said Business School, Oxford University, and teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme.  In addition, he is an Adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, as well as being a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum.

In this featured talk, Lennox discusses the critical questions surrounding artificial intelligence and how the future of artificial intelligence bears on a Christian vision of reality.

Fascinating stuff!  Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Friday, October 12, 2018

Hugh Ross - The Book of Job and Earth's Early Fossils on the Moon

In this video, Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe discusses his book, Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job, and his thoughts on the importance of going back to the moon to discover more about Earth's fossil history.



God Bless,

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

J.P. Moreland on the Assumptions of Science

"The nature of the assumptions of science do not prove the existence of a God very much like the God of the Bible, but in my view, they provide reasons for preferring theism over scientistic naturalism.  The assumptions are at home in a theistic worldview; they fit quite naturally.  If God is himself a rational being, then it stands to reason that he would create a rational, orderly universe.  If he created us, then it naturally follows that he would give us the proper faculties to know and appreciate the inner workings of his world by 'thinking his thoughts after him.'  The existence of objective values makes far more sense if there is an objective Lawgiver than if there is not.

If we begin with 'In the beginning, there was the Logos," then we have reasonable explanations for these assumptions.  But if we begin with 'In the beginning were the particles (or plasma, strings, etc.)," it is hard to see how these assumptions could have obtained...certain naturalistic commitments-e.g, naturalistic evolutionary theory-actually undermine crucial assumptions of science such as the trustworthiness of our faculties for obtaining truth about the world's deep structure."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. J.P. Moreland, Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology, p. 75-76.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

What is the Difference Between the A-Theory of Time and the B-Theory Time?

When discussing God and time it is useful to understand the difference between the A-Theory of time and the B-Theory of time.

The A-Theory of time is the most widely accepted of the two and for good reason.  As philosopher William Lane Craig explains:

"According to A-Theory, things/events in time are not all equally real: the future does not yet exist and the past no longer exists; only things which are present are real.  Temporal becoming is an objective feature of reality: things come into being and go out of being." [1]   This is the commonsense view of time.  Past events are no longer, the present is real, and the future does not yet exist.

In contrast, as Craig explains, on the B-theory of time, "...all events in time are equally real, and temporal becoming is an illusion of human consciousness.  Pastness, presentness, and futurity are at most relative notions: for example, relative to the persons living in the year 2050 the people and events of 2000 are past, but relative to the persons living in 1950 the people and events of 2000 are future.  Things and events in time are objectively ordered by the relations earlier than, simultaneous with, and later than, which are tenseless relations that are unchanging and hold regardless of whether the related events are past, present, or future relative to some observer." [2]   On the B-Theory of time you can think of all events, past, present and future, as represented on a yard stick.  We are right now somewhere on the yard stick, but all the events represented by the yard stick are equally real.

For those interested in learning more, I recommend this short video in which Dr. Craig explains the A-Theory of time and B-Theory of time and how it relates to the Kalam cosmological argument for God's existence.

Which theory of time do you hold to?  Please share in the comments!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith 3rd. Ed., p. 121.
2. Ibid., p. 121.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Debate Video: Is Homosexuality Consistent with New Testament Obedience?



In this featured video, Dr. James White and Dr. Michael Brown confront the issues of homosexuality, transgenderism and other such labels with gentleness and reverence as they debate Pastor Deweyne Robinson and Rev. Ruth Jensen-Forbell.

This debate took place at the Switzerland Community Church in St. Johns, Florida on September 8, 2018.

Who do you think had the better arguments?  Share in the comments below!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Video: Who Defines What is Real? by J.P. Moreland


In this brief talk, philosopher J.P. Moreland addresses the following questions:
  • What is Scientism?
  • What is the difference between strong and weak scientism?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Is Theistic Evolution compatible with the Bible?
  • When is it okay to disagree with experts in a given field?
This talk was part of the event "Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique," hosted by Biola University.

If you are interested in hearing more from Moreland on these topics, I recommend his latest book Scientism and Secularism.  

You can learn more about J.P. Moreland here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Jesus: The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived

It was the late Dallas Willard who was fond of saying, "Jesus Christ is the smartest man who ever lived."  Have you ever thought of Jesus in this way?  If you are a Christian, it is important that you realize that seeing Jesus as intelligent and smart is critical to your discipleship.  Why? Simply put, if you don't think your teacher is very bright, you aren't going to learn much from Him.  Further, if Jesus is thought of as irrelevant to your intellect, you will not go to Him to learn how to live. And if you don't go to Him to learn how to live, then you are not His disciple.

The following are resources that will aid you in viewing Jesus perhaps in a way you have not considered before.


Articles


How Did Jesus Argue?  Jesus and Logic by J.P. Moreland

Jesus: Philosopher and Apologist by Doug Groothuis

Jesus the Logician by Dallas Willard

Who Is Your Teacher? by Dallas Willard

Jesus Used Logic by Dave Miller

The Apologetics of Jesus by Patrick Zukeran

Jesus: The Master of Critical Thinking by Juan Valdes

Audio

Jesus as a Logician and Apologist by Dallas Willard

Loving God with All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland

Books

Loving God with All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland

On Jesus by Doug Groothuis

The Apologetics of Jesus by Norm Geisler and Patrick Zukeran

The Great Omission by Dallas Willard

The Philosophy of Jesus by Peter Kreeft

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Jesus as God in His Parables

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Jesus Valued Evidence and So Should You

When John the Baptist was in prison (Matt.11:2), he sent two of disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" In other words, "Are you the Messiah?"

Before we look at how Jesus did answer, consider what he didn't say-
  • "Tell John he just needs to believe because I said so."
  • "Tell John that he needs to have more faith."
  • "Shame on John for asking questions."
Jesus answered as follows:

"Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them." (Matt. 11:4)

In other words, Jesus was saying, "Tell John to look at the evidence."

Is this true of us?  When people ask us questions about our Christian convictions are we able to "make a defense" (1 Peter 3:15) or do you simply tell them to have more faith or believe because the Bible says so?

Jesus valued evidence; therefore, so should we His followers.

Courage and Godspeed,

Friday, September 21, 2018

Book Preview: Forensic Faith for Kids by Jim and Susie Wallace



About Authors


J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, truTV, and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of Cold-Case Christianity, Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, God’s Crime Scene, God’s Crime Scene for Kids, and Forensic Faith.




About the Book


Many young believers want to tell others about their relationship with Jesus but aren’t sure how to begin or can become rattled by questions. In fact, many young believers have their own questions about Christianity and struggle to find answers.

Detective J. Warner Wallace helps kids develop good investigative skills, so they can navigate tough questions about faith and share what they’ve learned with others.

As in their other Case Makers Academy books, J. Warner and Susie Wallace teach kids to think like detectives by reaching into their detective tool bag. While they search for clues to the real owner of a lost puppy, the cadets learn how to be confident in sharing with friends the truth of their faith in Jesus.

Learn more about the book here.

You can purchase your copy here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Article: Try As We Might, It Won’t Be Easy to Abandon Our Religious Identity by J. Warner Wallace

In this featured article, author, speaker and cold-case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace reports on data he has been collecting for the past 10 years.  The data he reports on demonstrates that while, "fewer people claim a Christian affiliation than ever before, and those who claim no religious affiliation are the fastest growing group in America. But while fewer people may belong to Christian churches or communities, Americans will likely retain some form of religious identity, especially if what’s happening in Europe is an indicator of things to come."

You can read the entire article here.

For more of Wallace's work, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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

Book Review: Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Debate Video: Michael Ruse vs. John Lennox- Science, Faith and the Evidence for God


In this featured video, John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University & Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University, debate science, faith and evidence for God.  This debate was featured on Justin Brierley's Unbelievable?.  This discussion is part of Unbelievable?'s "Big Conversation" series.  The Big Conversation is a unique video series from Unbelievable? featuring world-class thinkers across the Christian and atheist community.  Exploring science, faith, philosophy and what it means to be human.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Jesus Among Secular Gods: Upcoming Group Study for Men and Women

Faith Christian Fellowship of Williamsport, MD, will be hosting a group study using the curriculum from the book Jesus Among Secular Gods, which is co-authored by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale.  The study will begin for men on Monday, September 24th.  The women's study will begin on Monday, October 1st.  The time for each will be 7:00-8:30 PM.  Sessions will be bi-weekly.

The study books can be purchased at your local LifeWay Christian bookstore.  For additional information, you can email Erin Croteau at ecroteau3@gmail.com.



God Bless,




Friday, September 14, 2018

Video: What is Molinism?


Molinism (a theological position named after 16th century Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina), is an increasingly popular model for reconciling God's sovereignty and providence with human freedom and choice. Molinists maintain that God knows what we would do in counter-factual situations (middle knowledge), and that God uses this knowledge to accomplish his goals.[1] In this video, David Wood of Acts 17 Apologetics interviews William Lane Craig about the doctrine.  This is a great introduction to Molinism!

Courage and Godspeed,

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Four Functions of Apologetics

As I was reading through an article this evening entitled What is Apologetics? by Kenneth Boa, I found these brief paragraphs helpful in addressing the often asked question, "What is the purpose of apologetics?"
Although Boa concedes that not everyone agrees that apologetics involves all four of these functions, I found them helpful in clarifying what one can aim to accomplish using apologetics.

Boa writes:

 "The first function of apologetics may be called vindication or proof, and involves marshaling philosophical arguments as well as scientific and historical evidences for the Christian faith. The goal of this function is to develop a positive case for Christianity as a belief system that should be accepted. Philosophically, this means drawing out the logical implications of the Christian worldview so that they can be clearly seen and contrasted with alternate worldviews.

The second function is defense. This function is closest to the NT and early Christian use of the word apologia, defending Christianity against the plethora of attacks made against it in every generation by critics of varying belief systems. This function involves clarifying the Christian position in light of misunderstandings and misrepresentations; answering objections, criticisms, or questions from non-Christians; and in general clearing away intellectual difficulties that nonbelievers claim stand in the way of their coming to faith.

The third function is refutation of opposing beliefs. This function focuses on answering the arguments non-Christians give in support of their own beliefs. Most apologists agree that refutation cannot stand alone, since proving a non-Christian religion or philosophy to be false does not prove that Christianity is true. Nevertheless, it is an essential function of apologetics.

The fourth function is persuasion. By this we do not mean merely convincing people that Christianity is true, but persuading them to apply its truth to their life. This function focuses on bringing non-Christians to the point of commitment. The apologist's intent is not merely to win an intellectual argument, but to persuade people to commit their lives and eternal futures into the trust of the Son of God who died from them."1

Courage and Godspeed,

Chad

Footnote:

1. Kenneth D. Boa, What is Apologetics?, The Apologetics Study Bible, p. xxv.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

The Clearest Statements in the Bible about Jesus Being the Only Way to Salvation

If you are committed the authority of the Bible, you must hold that Jesus is only way to salvation. This isn't simply a matter a interpretation.  The Bible couldn't be more clear on the topic.  Consider these statements attributed to those who learned from Jesus and Jesus Himself:

John 14:6-  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me."

Acts 4:11-12- "He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone.  And there is salvation is no one else; for here is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."

Acts 16:30-31- And after he brought them out he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"  And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved."

1 Timothy 2:5- For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Jesus the Messiah.

1 John 2:23- Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

1 John 5:11:12- "And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

Luke 10:6- "The one who listens to you listens to me and the one who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects the one who sent me."

Luke 12:8-9- "And I say to you, everyone who confesses me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God."

John 3:18- "He who believes in him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

John 3:36- "He who believes has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

John 8:24- "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins."

John 10:7-8b- "Jesus therefore said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who came before me are thieves and robbers."1

In this age of pluralism and hyper-political correctness the Body of Christ must stand for the truth that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

I argue that Jesus is the only way to salvation here.

For those who may question the reliability of the Book of John, see here.

Finally, if you are looking for a great, concise resource on the exclusivity of Christ, I recommend Greg Koukl's small booklet entitled Jesus the Only Way.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. As quoted by Greg Koukl, Jesus the Only Way, p. 7-8

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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Ben Shapiro Interviews Ed Feser


Although I do not consider myself a Thomist (yet), if anyone could convince me to be one, it would be Ed Feser.  In this interview with conservative Ben Shapiro, Feser discusses logical proofs for God's existence, the rise of atheism and why he believes the popularity of religion is on the decline.

I would also encourage readers to checkout Dr. Feser book, 5 Proofs for the Existence of God.  You can learn more about it here.

Feser's blog is also excellent.  You can check it out here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Frank Turek on Miracles

"...even in the Bible miracles are relatively rare.  There are approximately 250 occurrences of miracles in the Bible.  From Abraham to the apostles is about 2,000 years.  If you were to spread those miracles out evenly, there would be one miracle every eight years (even less frequent for miracles done before crowds).  Of course, miracles did not occur every eight years-they occurred in bunches...The main point is that miracles were are still rare even in the Bible.  Most events in the Bible were natural, regular events like they are today, which enable miracles to stand out when they occurred...Since the primary purpose of miracles is to confirm new revelation, and since miracles have to be rare to have their intended effect, it's not wonder that miracles are not as frequent today."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. Frank Turek, Stealing from God, p. 189.

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Monday, September 03, 2018

Book Preview: Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles? by Ian Hutchinson

About the Author

Ian Hutchinson is a plasma physicist and professor of nuclear science and engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was born in England, educated at Cambridge University, and received his doctorate from Australian National University. His research group explores the confinement of plasmas hotter than the sun's center, aimed at producing practical energy from nuclear fusion reactions, the energy source of the stars.

A frequent Veritas Forum presenter, Ian has written and spoken widely on the relationship between science and Christianity. He is the author of over two hundred research articles, and his books include Principles of Plasma Diagnostics and Monopolizing Knowledge.

About the Book

Plasma physicist Ian Hutchinson has been asked hundreds of questions about faith and science:

- What is faith and what is science? Are they compatible?
- Are there realities science cannot explain?
- Is God's existence a scientific question?
- Is the Bible consistent with the modern scientific understanding of the universe?
- Are there scientific reasons to believe in God?

In this comprehensive volume, Hutchinson answers a full range of inquiries with sound scientific insights and measured Christian perspective. Without minimizing challenging questions, he explores how science and Christianity are mutually supportive and intellectually consistent.

Both God and science truthfully address our curiosity and destiny. Find answers to your deepest questions.

Notable Recommendations

"Scientific thinker Stephen Jay Gould famously declared science and religion to represent non-overlapping magisteria. Here Ian Hutchinson, a top scientific thinker, insightfully explores the limits of science and faith and where their claims intersect. A valuable yet delightfully readable voice at the intersection of philosophy of science and philosophy of religion, offering scientifically and theologically plausible arguments structured around many of today's important questions."


- Craig S. Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological
Seminary

"In this concise volume readers will encounter a remarkable array of topics relating to science, faith, theology, and philosophy that any thinking person should welcome. Hutchinson fields the questions capably and offers thoughtful answers that will provide stimulating insights on these fundamental issues. The book will arm Christians to confront their own deepest questions and those pressed on them by an unbelieving world. It will also provide non-Christians with a sound entryway into the rationale of Christian belief."

- John H. Walton, professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College, author of The Lost World of Genesis One

"The questions Ian Hutchinson has been asked, and which he answers in this book, are the questions I have been asked and attempted to answer. Hutchinson is a scientist and a Christian, and has a pastoral heart for those who have deep and enduring questions about the Bible and science and these questioners don’t want pat and simplistic answers. "Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?" belongs on the shelf of every pastor, every youth pastor, and anyone who teaches the interface of science and faith. It’s that valuable."

- Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

To learn more about this work, go here.

You can order your copy here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Friday, August 31, 2018

The Argument from Desire

Here is an interesting argument that I read in Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli's Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics.

1. Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.

2. But there exists in us an innate desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.

3. Therefore there must exist something more than time, earth and creatures that can satisfy this desire.

4. This something is what people call "God" and "life with God forever."1

They go on to explain:

The first premise implies a distinction of desires into two kinds: innate and externally conditioned, or natural and artificial.  We naturally desire things like food, drink, sex, sleep, knowledge, friendship, and beauty; and we naturally shun things like starvation, loneliness, ignorance and ugliness.  We also desire (but not innately or naturally) things like sports cars, political office, flying through the air like Superman, the land of Oz and a Red Sox world championship.

Now there are differences between these two kinds of desires.  For example, we do not, for the most part, recognize corresponding states of deprivation for the second, the artificial, desires as we do for the first.  There is no word like Ozlessness parallel to sleeplessness.  But more important, the natural desires come from within, from our nature, while the artificial ones come from without, from society, advertising or fiction.  This second difference is the reason for a third difference: the natural desires are found in all of us, but the artificial ones vary from person to person.

The existence of the artificial desires does not necessarily mean that the desired objects exist.  Some do; some don't.  Sports cards do; Oz does not.  But the existence of natural desires does, in every discoverable case, mean that the objects desired exist.  No one has ever found one case of an innate desire for a nonexistent object.

The second premise requires only honest introspection.  If someone denies it and says, "I am perfectly happy playing with mud pies, or sports cars, or money, or sex, of power," we can only ask, "Are you, really?"  But we can only appeal, we cannot compel.  And we can refer such a person to the nearly universal testimony of human history in all its great literature.  Even the atheist Jean-Paul Sartre admitted that "there comes a time when one asks, even of Shakespeare, even of Beethoven, 'is that all there is?'"

C.S. Lewis, who uses this argument in a number of places, summarizes it succinctly:

Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists.  A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food.  A duckling want sot swim; well, there is such a thing as water.  Men feel sexual desire; well, there is such a thing as sex.  If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. (Mere Christianity, bk. 3, chap. 10)2

What do you think of the argument?  Please share in the comments!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics, p. 26.
2. Ibid., p. 26-27

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Video: What Do We Really Know about Right and Wrong by J. Budziszewski


In this featured talk, hosted by the Veritas Forum, philosopher J. Budziszewski discusses what we can know about morality.  He addresses whether there is anything about morality that doesn't change.  He also deals with some confusing moral questions.  

To learn more about J. Budziszewski, go here.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What is the Gospel?

For those who regularly defend the gospel, it is important that we revisit it to remember just what we are defending.

Various leaders within the Anglican family came together in London in 2012 to answer the question, “What is the gospel?" Their answer wonderfully expresses the meaning of the good news.  It is as follows:


The gospel is the life-­transforming message of salvation from sin and all its consequences through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is both a declaration and a summons: announcing what has been done for us in Christ and calling us to repentance, faith and submission to his lordship. ‘Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, was buried and was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures’.1

Jesus himself proclaimed ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel’.2 This gospel finds its ultimate ground in the character of the triune God, his perfect love and holiness. God will not ignore human sin. Sin leads to God’s just and holy wrath and the awful reality of hell. The grave consequences of sin — guilt before God and the judgment to come, enslavement to sin and Satan, corruption and death — all must be dealt with. We cannot deal with those consequences ourselves, in part or in whole. In this light, God’s determined love expressed itself most clearly when the Father sent his Son in the power of the Spirit to be the Savior of the world.3 ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life’.4 ‘God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’.5

The gospel announces the work of the triune God. The Son came to do the Father’s will in the power of the Spirit. By the Spirit he was incarnate in Mary’s womb in fulfillment of the OT Scriptures, becoming genuinely one of us while remaining truly God.6 He was made like us in every way, sin excepted.7 At the same time he is the unique Son of God, the only savior of the world. He lived the perfect life that none of us can live, always doing the will of the Father who sent him.8 He died for our sins and was raised for our justification, always in perfect unity with the Father and the Spirit. ‘For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit …’9

The gospel, the proclamation of what God has done in Christ, is the powerful means by which God saves men and women today.10 As the gospel is proclaimed, the Holy Spirit enables us to trust in God’s promise of forgiveness and eternal life. Faith, genuine repentance and a transformed life are evidence that the gospel has been at work. Because Christ has died and been raised from the grave we cannot continue as before. In response to God’s mercy in saving us, we are called to be obedient, to stand as Christ’s faithful people in the world. We recognize that we now belong to the one who sanctified his people through his own blood.11Having died to sin in Christ we cannot continue to live in it.12 As those rescued by Christ, our thinking and our behavior must be determined by his will expressed in his authoritative written word. Yet this new life of faith and obedience is never a human achievement. We are saved only through faith in Christ alone and even our faith is a gift of God.13 We have been brought from death to life by Jesus and the life he gives us is life as it was meant to be, life to the full.14 It is a life characterized by trust in God’s goodness, love of God and of our neighbor, and hope in the midst of suffering, looking forward to that day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.15 On that day, God’s redeemed people will enjoy his presence in a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells.16  In the meantime, his service is perfect freedom.

The gospel announces God’s great victory and the fulfillment of his ancient promises in Christ.17 Sin and the powers that stand behind it are defeated.18 Judgment is exhausted so that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.19 Death has been overturned by the one who is the resurrection and the life.20 Exalted to the right hand of the Father, he pours out his Spirit on the church, equipping it powerfully to worship, to witness by word and deed to the gospel of God, which always remains the gospel concerning his Son.21 This same gospel, proclaimed by Jesus and his apostles, is our message in every age to a broken world of lost men and women who can be rescued only by Jesus, the crucified but risen Saviour and Lord of all. It is in the faithful proclamation of the gospel, and in the living of lives that have been transformed by it, that we give God the glory that is his due.22

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

References:

1 1 Corinthians 15:3–4
2 Mark 1:14
3 1 John 4:14
4 John 3:16
5 Romans 5:8
6 Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:35
7 Hebrews 4:15
8 John 6:38; 8:28–29
9 1 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:21
10 Romans 1:16–17
11 Hebrews 13:12
12 Romans 6:2
13 Ephesians 2:8–9
14 John 10:10
15 Philippians 2:9–10
16 2 Peter 3:13
17 Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:5–6
18 Colossians 2:13–15
19 Romans 8:1
20 John 11:25
21 Acts 2:33; Romans 1:1–3
22 Taken from here.

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