Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Theologian R.C. Sproul on Christmas

"I can’t think of anything more pleasing to Christ than the church celebrating His birthday every year. Keep in mind that the whole principle of annual festival and celebration is deeply rooted in ancient Jewish tradition. In the Old Testament, for example, there were times when God emphatically commanded the people to remember certain events with annual celebrations. While the New Testament doesn’t require that we celebrate Christmas every year, I certainly see nothing wrong with the church’s entering into this joyous time of celebrating the Incarnation, which is the dividing point of all human history. Originally, it was intended to honor, not Mithras or any of the other mystery religion cults, but the birth of our King."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. R.C. Sproul, "Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?", Dec. 23th, 2016.

Related Posts

Christmas Resources from GotQuestions.org

A Christmas Testimony by Chad Vaughn 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Christmas- Pagan or Not?

Does Christmas have pagan origins or not?  Today's post features 3 short and concise articles by apologist and speaker Lenny Esposito that consider this question historically and with up-to-date scholarship.

Esposito writes:

"The claim that the roots of Christmas are pagan is one I hear over and over again, especially in December. The idea isn't even new. The New England Puritans, who valued work more than celebration, taught such.  Puritan preacher Increase Mather preached that "the early Christians who first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that 'Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian.'

When one digs into the actual history however, a much different picture arises. There are two ways to approach the question: one is to see how December 25 became associated with the Nativity, which is how the early church would have referred to the day of Christ's birth. The other one is to look at the celebrations of Saturnalia and Sol Invictus. Either approach shows the dubious nature of the claim that Christmas has pagan roots."

The articles are as follows:

Pt. 1- No, Christmas Is Not Based on a Pagan Holiday

Pt. 2- The Date of Saturnalia Doesn't Line Up with Christmas

Pt. 3- Christmas, the Solstice, and December 25th

For more on the date of Christmas, see this article by Andrew McGowan, originally published in Bible Review, December 2002.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Friday, December 07, 2018

12 Historical Facts About Jesus, 13 Theories to Explain

My wife recently shared this resource with me that was posted by the 1 Peter 4:12-16 Christian Worldview Blog back in November.  The chart was created by Craig Hazen of Biola University.  
The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus includes 12 facts agreed upon by scholars, both liberal and conservative. A reasonable approach is to evaluate those 12 known facts against 13 theories about what happened to determine each theory’s explanatory power (which of the 12 facts it doesn’t account for). The only 2 theories that account for all 12 known facts are:
  1. Jesus was an alien
  2. Jesus was bodily resurrected
Here are the 12 facts (gotten from a presentation by Dr. Craig Hazen):
1.    Jesus died by crucifixion [*** core fact #2]
2.    He was buried
3.    Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope, believing that his life was ended
4.    The tomb was discovered to be empty just a few days later
5.    The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus [*** core fact #3]
6.    The disciples were transformed from doubters who were afraid to identify themselves with Jesus to bold proclaimers of his death and resurrection [*** core fact #1]
7.    This message was the center of preaching in the early church
8.    This message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem, where Jesus died and was buried shortly before
9.    As a result of this preaching the church was born and grew
10. Sunday became the primary day of worship
11. James, who had been a skeptic, was converted to the faith when he also believed he saw the resurrected Jesus
12. A few years later, Paul was also converted by an experience which he, likewise, believed to be an appearance of the risen Jesus [***core fact #4]
Here is a chart of 13 theories that attempt to explain the facts (again, credit is given here to Craig Hazen for this excellent chart):








Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Book Preview: Can We Trust the Gospels? by Peter J. Williams

About the Author

Peter J. Williams (PhD, University of Cambridge) is the principal of Tyndale House and the consulting editor and coordinator of this project. He is also chair of the International Greek New Testament Project, which is producing the largest scholarly edition ever attempted of a single book of the New Testament, namely the Editio Critica Maior of John's Gospel. He is the author of Early Syriac Translation Technique and the Textual Criticism of the Greek Gospels.

About the Book

The Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—tell the story of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ while he was on earth. But how do Christians know if they are true? What evidence is there that the events actually happened? This accessible introduction to the historical and theological reliability of the four Gospels, written by New Testament scholar Peter J. Williams, presents evidence from a variety of non-Christian sources, assesses how accurately the 4 accounts reflect the cultural context of their time, compares different accounts of crucial events, and considers how these texts were handed down throughout the centuries. Written for the skeptic, the scholar, and everyone in between, this book answers common objections raised against the historicity of the Gospels in order to foster trust in God's Word.

Endorsements

“The wild and unscholarly yet widely accepted assertion by Richard Dawkins that the only difference between The Da Vinci Code and the Gospels is that the Gospels are ancient fiction while The Da Vinci Code is modern fiction deserves a measured and scholarly response. There is no one better qualified than Peter Williams to provide it, and this book is a masterly presentation of a compelling cumulative case that ‘all of history hangs on Jesus.’”

- John C. Lennox, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford

“This much-needed book provides a mine of information for Christians wanting to know more about the historical background to the Gospels and offers a series of challenges to those skeptical of what we can know about Jesus. Peter Williams has distilled a mass of information and thought into this short and accessible book, and it deserves careful reading both inside and outside the church.”

- Simon Gathercole, Reader in New Testament Studies, University of Cambridge

You can learn more about this book here.

Order your copy here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Video: Eyewitnesses to Jesus? New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Gospels featuring Dr. Peter J. Williams

Resources to Investigate the Reliability of the Gospels

New Testament Scholar Craig Blomberg on the Gospels

Monday, November 19, 2018

Video: Dialogue on the Historical Jesus- Mike Licona & John Dominic Crossan


On October 24, 2018, John Dominic Crossan and Mike Licona dialogue on the question "Who was the historical Jesus?"  The questions both were asked to address specifically were "What can be verified about Jesus" and "How can they be verified?"

This public dialogue took place at Kennesaw State University in the Atlanta-Metro area.  After each had delivered their 15-minute opening statements, they dialogued on 4 questions: Can historians investigate miracle claims?  Do the Gospels contain eyewitness testimony?  Who did Jesus think he was?  Did Jesus rise from the dead?1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. Text originally found here.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

7 Things You Should Know about Richard Dawkins Before You Buy His Children's Book

There are numerous atheists that I greatly respect as thinkers.   However, I openly confess that Richard Dawkins is not one of those thinkers.  While he certainly is a gifted writer when it comes to matters of science, he has repeatedly demonstrated that he is woefully ill-equipped when it comes to dealing with issues related to philosophy and metaphysics. So imagine my surprise, and disappointment, when I recently read that Dawkins is planning on releasing a children's book titled Atheism for Children.  According to Dawkins, the book, "will be unflinching, not a storybook. Children won't beg parents to buy it for Christmas."  His goal is to "arm them against indoctrination by schools, grandparents and religious books – and against taunting by religious schoolmates. Help them think on evidence..."  

I certainly have no problem with someone encouraging children to "think on evidence," but I am quite skeptical that Dawkins is the best man for the job.  Indeed, I am not sure that he is the best candidate to be teaching children much of anything.  So, before you run out and buy Dawkins' forthcoming children's book, you might want to become a bit more familiar with the man himself. So, here are 7 things you should know about Richard Dawkins before you allow him to teach your children about his atheism (or anything else).

1. His book The God Delusion has been harshly criticized by both atheists and theists for being shallow and ignorant.  Atheist and philosopher of biology Michael Ruse writes:

"Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course. Proudly he criticizes that whereof he knows nothing...I am indignant at the poor quality of the argumentation..."1  He concludes, "I have written elsewhere that The God Delusion makes me ashamed to be an atheist. Let me say that again."2

Philosopher and Christian Alvin Plantinga writes of The God Delusion:

"Now despite the fact that this book is mainly philosophy, Dawkins is not a philosopher (he's a biologist). Even taking this into account, however, much of the philosophy he purveys is at best jejune. You might say that some of his forays into philosophy are at best sophomoric, but that would be unfair to sophomores; the fact is (grade inflation aside), many of his arguments would receive a failing grade in a sophomore philosophy class."3

2. Dawkins has been openly criticized by fellow Oxford don and atheist philosopher, Daniel Came, for refusing to debate philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig, despite being given opportunities to do so.  Came wrote the following to Dawkins in regard to his refusal to debate Craig:

"...the absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part. I notice that, by contrast, you are happy to discuss theological matters with television and radio presenters and other intellectual heavyweights like Pastor Ted Haggard of the National Association of Evangelicals and Pastor Keenan Roberts of the Colorado Hell House."

I trust readers can pick up on Came's sarcasm!  Dawkins seems anxious to debate intellectual "lightweights," but seems to go out of his way to debate genuine intellectual "heavyweights" like William Lane Craig and Stephen Meyer.  To be fair, the one notable exception is Dr. John Lennox.

3. William Lane Craig believes that Dawkins' "central argument" in The God Delusion should win the prize of "the worst atheistic argument in the history of Western thought."  In Contending with Christianity Critics he writes:

"Several years ago my atheist colleague Quentin Smith unceremoniously crowned Stephen Hawking’s argument against God in A Brief History of Time as 'the worst atheistic argument in the history of Western thought.'  With the advent of The God Delusion the time has come to relieve Hawking of this weighty crown and to recognize Richard Dawkins’s accession to the throne."5

4. Richard Dawkins believes that to carry a baby to term that has Down syndrome is "immoral" and to abort the child is the"civilized" and "sensible" choice.6  So, I suppose if you have a child with Down syndrome, you might want to think twice about buying them Richard's book!

5. Richard Dawkins has no moral objection to infanticide.  Yes, you read that correctly.  See below:


6. Dawkins believes that "mild pedophilia" or "touching up" causes no lasting harm and shouldn't be judged as harshly as rape or other crimes.7

7. According to Dawkins, rape isn't really wrong, and if you believe it is, that is simply your arbitrary opinion.  Nothing more!  This was evident in an interview he participated in with radio host Justin Brierley. It was as follows:

Brierley: When you make a value judgement, don't you immediately step yourself outside of this evolutionary process and say that the reason this is good is that it's good? And you don't have any way to stand on that statement.

Dawkins: My value judgement itself could come from my evolutionary past.

Brierley: So therefore it's just as random in a sense as any product of evolution.

Dawkins: You could say that...Nothing about it makes it more probable that there is anything supernatural.

Brierley: Ultimately, your belief that rape is wrong is as arbitrary as the fact that we've evolved five fingers rather than six.

Dawkins: You could say that, yeah.8

Conclusion

Dawkins' book The God Delusion, while popular with layman, has been harshly criticized by philosophers on both sides of the God debate.  Moreover, Dawkins has dodged the Christian faith's foremost debater and some have argued that this is due to cowardice.  Finally, it is my opinion that Dawkins' own views on issues related to Down syndrome children, infanticide, "mild pedophilia" and rape make him unfit to educate children about anything.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. Michael Ruse, "Why I Think the New Atheists are a Bloody Disaster," 2009.
2. Ibid.
3. Alvin Plantinga, "The Dawkins Confusion," 2007.
4. As quoted here.  You can read more of Came's thoughts on Dawkins' refusual and the New Atheism here.
5. Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, Contending with Christianity's Critics, Chap. 1, Aug. 1, 2009.  You can also see Craig's response to Dawkins' argument here.
6. See here and here.
7. See here.
7. As quoted by Frank Turek in Stealing from God, p. 90-91.  You can here the interview here.

Related Posts


Ye Have No Definition of Faith?

Counterpoints: William Lane Craig and Richard Dawkins on Evolution

Video: If C.S. Lewis met Richard Dawkins by Peter S. Williams

Thursday, November 01, 2018

The Trajectory of Truth by Vince Vitale

We live in a post-truth society—that’s what The Economist claimed at the close of 2016 when Oxford English Dictionary chose “post-truth” as its Word of the Year. Go back a bit further, and having eleven percent of America believe that you are “honest and trustworthy” was good enough to have a nine percent lead in the race to be the next President of the United States. But of course, even the polls were post-true.
We are very confused about the truth: There’s the truth, and then there’s the naked truth. There’s the truth, and then there’s the gospel truth (though the gospel is taken to be obviously false). There’s the honest truth, and then there’s the God’s honest truth (but that has nothing to do with God).
We stretch the truth and bend the truth and twist the truth. We bury the truth because the truth hurts. When we want some­thing to be false, we knock on wood. When we want something to be true, we cross our fingers. Which wooden cross are we trusting in?
Why do we have such a confused relationship with the truth? Fear. We’re afraid of truth. Truth has so often been abused that experience has taught us the trajectory of truth—the trajectory of believing you are right and others are wrong—is from truth to disagreement to devaluing to intolerance to extremism to violence to terrorism.
And if that is the trajectory, then those committed to truth are in fact terrorists in the making. If that is the trajectory, then truth is an act of war, and an act of war leaves you with only two options: fight or flee.
Most of Western society is fleeing. Everything around us is structured to avoid disagreement about the truth: We spend most of our time on Facebook and Twitter where we can “like” and “retweet” but there is no option to “dislike.” Sports no longer teach us how to disagree. In professional sports, we replay every call to avoid disagreement. In youth sports, we don’t keep score and everyone gets a trophy.
When it comes to dating, we use online sites that “match” us with someone so similar in beliefs, background, and personality that as much disagreement as possible is avoided. We no longer meet people different from us at coffee shops because we go to drive-thru Starbucks. We no longer meet people while shopping because everything we could ever need or want is delivered to our door. Culturally, everything around us is set up to avoid disagreement.
The alternative to fleeing is fighting. I was walking around Oxford University a few months ago, and two guys walking just ahead of me were having a spirited conversation about how crazy they found certain Christian positions on ethical issues. One of them wondered out loud whether the only solution would be to shame Christians out of their positions.
His friend quickly responded, “Yeah, that’s what we should do! We should ridicule them mercilessly in the most insensitive ways we can think of.” That’s an exact quote. Then they both made a right turn and swiped their faculty cards to enter the University of Oxford Theoretical Physics building.
These were probably scholars at Oxford, a place that prides itself on intellectual freedom and the exchange of ideas, and “merciless, insensitive ridicule” was the best they could come up with for resolving disagreement. I found myself wondering how many beliefs they hold in theoretical physics will one day be considered ridiculous.
How does one get to this point? How does someone get to the point where merciless ridicule seems like the best way forward?
I think it’s because we have come to see truth as more important than love. If truth is greater than love, then you fight—then the end goal of truth justifies whatever means necessary, whether the means of haughty academics or the means of ISIS. If truth is greater than love, then love is a temptation—a distraction threatening to avert our attention from what is truly important. If truth is greater than love, then those who disagree with us are enemies, and warmth toward our enemies must be extinguished in favor of the cold, hard facts.
The alternative is that love is greater than truth. Then you flee. You flee from the dangers of truth and adopt a pluralism that assures us “All truths are equally valid.” Does that include the claim that all truth claims are not equally valid? One college student recently told my colleague Abdu Murray that he doesn’t believe it is his place to disagree with anyone.
Abdu said, “Sure you do.”
The student said, “No I don’t.”
Abdu said, “You just did.”
Philosophically, that’s how quickly pluralism runs into incoherence. But if truth starts you down a path that ends in extremism, violence, and terrorism, then philosophical incoherence might seem like a price worth paying.
Either truth is greater than love or love is greater than truth. Fight or flee. This is the cultural ultimatum we are living in. What’s your choice?
Maybe there’s another way. Jesus disagreed with us. His very coming was an act of disagreement with us—a statement that we require saving because our lives have disagreed so badly with what God intended for us.
But Jesus’s loving sacrifice for us was the very content of his disagreement; it was his very statement that we are sinners in need of a savior. God cut the link between disagreement and devaluing by making his communication of truth one and the same as his communication of love.
Not “Truth is greater than love.” Not “Love is greater than truth.” “God islove” (1 John 4:8), and God is truth (John 14:6). And therefore, love is truth.
Only in Jesus does truth equal love, and therefore only Jesus can get us out of the cultural ultimatum we are stuck in: fight or flee. Every other worldview makes a choice between love and truth. Jesus refused to, because in him, and only in him, love and truth are one and the same.
So the next time we have a choice between love and truth, let’s refuse to choose. Instead, let’s remember when the Truth—Jesus himself—was stretched. Let’s remember when the Truth was twisted and bent, when the Truth was naked. Let’s remember when the Truth hurt, and when the Truth was buried—and ultimately triumphed.
Let us remember which wooden cross we are trusting in. And let us remember that love that is not truth is not love, and truth that is not love is not truth.
God Bless,

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.

For answers to common objections, go here.

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.

Related Posts

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

J.P. Moreland on Culture

Book Preview: Scientism and Secularism by J.P. Moreland

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.

Related Posts

Is Our Universe Simply the Winner of a Universe Lottery?

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

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

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

Related Posts

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

J.P. Moreland on Culture

Video: Doubts on Darwinism by J.P. Moreland

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

Related Posts

Jesus Argued Reductio Ad Absurdum

Jesus as God in His Parables

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

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,