Thursday, August 16, 2018

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

About the Author

J. P. Moreland (PhD, University of Southern California) is distinguished professor of philosophy at Biola University. He is an author of, contributor to, or editor of over ninety books, including The Soul: How We Know It's Real and Why It Matters.

About the Book

Rigid adherence to scientism—as opposed to a healthy respect for science—is all too prevalent in our world today. Rather than leading to a deeper understanding of our universe, this worldview actually undermines real science and marginalizes morality and religion.

In this book, celebrated philosopher J. P. Moreland exposes the self-defeating nature of scientism and equips us to recognize scientism’s harmful presence in different aspects of culture, emboldening our witness to biblical Christianity and arming us with strategies for the integration of faith and science—the only feasible path to genuine knowledge.

Recommendations

“Science is a wonderfully useful discipline, but in recent times it has been distorted into scientism, the view that science is the ultimate path to truth in any area of reality. Based on that false adulation of science, many have denied the value of religion and philosophy, and many have rejected the claims of divine revelation in the Bible. J. P. Moreland is a respected Christian thinker who has studied both science and the Scriptures in considerable depth. He clearly demonstrates the fallacies of the arguments for scientism. He shows how Christians can defend their faith against scientistic objections, while affirming genuine science as a gift from God.”

- John M. Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

“Scientism is a silent killer. Despite its name, it is neither scientific nor rational. Yet it attempts to kill our knowledge of God and the good life by claiming that the methods of science are sufficient for any knowledge we may need to know. J. P. Moreland, one of our greatest living philosophers, exposes scientism for what it is—a self-refuting and knowledge-stopping claim. This judgment in no way undermines real science, but rather encourages it. Once more, we are in Moreland’s debt.”

- Douglas Groothuis, Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary; author, The Soul in Cyberspace
“Moreland offers a brilliant critique of scientism and a comprehensive defense of theistic science. As valuable as this critique and defense is, I believe his book’s greatest contribution is his wake-up call to Christian leaders of how ‘scientism has forced the church to offer the gospel simply because it works rather than because it is true and can be known as such.’ Kudos to Moreland for equipping us to know through scientific evidence and philosophical reasoning that the Bible and the gospel indeed are true.”

- Hugh Ross, President, Reasons to Believe; author, The Creator and the Cosmos; Improbable Planet; and Why the Universe Is the Way It Is

To find out more about this forthcoming work, go here.

To pre-order your copy, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Friday, July 27, 2018

How Can We Know There's a God? (A Doubter's Guide to Jesus)



This week's Haven Today Program is a series entitled "A Doubter's Guide to Jesus."  The special guest is Dr. John Dickson, who is a "Thinker, Speaker, and Writer from Australia." The series title is also the name of his most recent book.  In the brief video below, Dr. Dickson explains how one can know there is a God.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Counterpoints: Peter S. Williams and Richard Dawkins on Science and God

Richard Dawkins- "God cannot be proved by any scientific hypothesis. Therefore he does not exist."1

Peter S. Williams- "...neither can the proposition that 'unless something can be proved by a scientific hypothesis it does not exist' be proved by any scientific hypothesis.  By Dawkins' own standard, his objection to theism doesn't even exist!  Dawkins' scientistic attack-plan begins with lopping off his own sword arm."2

Check out the rest of our "Counterpoints" series here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. As quoted by Peter S. Williams in C.S. Lewis vs the New Atheists, p. 46.  The quote originates from Dawkins' article  in the Daily Telegraph, August 31, 1993.
2. Ibid.

Related Posts

Article: Five Arguments for Theism by Peter S. Williams

Solving the "Who Made God?" Problem

Article: A Universe from Someone: Against Lawrence Krauss by Peter S. Williams

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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


In this lecture from the 2013 Unbelievable Conference, philosopher Peter S. Williams argues that if C.S. Lewis could address the arguments of famed atheist and biologist Richard Dawkins, Lewis would argue that Dawkins has:

1. A self-contradictory view of faith and knowledge

2. A self-contradictory view of freedom and responsibility (including intellectual responsibility)

3. A self-contradictory view of ethics

4. A self-contradictory view of Jesus

For anyone who is still convinced by the arguments of Dawkins, this lecture is a must listen!

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad


Video: Science, Scientism, and the Knowledge of God by Peter S. Williams

Free Booklet: Digging for Evidence by Peter S. Williams

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Late Atheist Bertrand Russell on God

"Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God, and to refuse to enter into any earthy communion- at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God.  It is odd, isn't it?  I care passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet...what is it all for?  There must be something more important, one feels, thought I don't believe there is."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad




Footnote:

1. As quoted by Peter S. Williams in C.S. Lewis vs. the New Atheists, p. 86.

Related Posts

Bertrand Russell and a Universe without God

Video: What Good is Christianity?

"The Pillars of Unbelief" Series by Peter Kreeft

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Article: Greg Boyd's Misunderstandings of the 'Warrior God' by Paul Copan

In this featured article, philosopher Paul Copan, author of Is God a Moral Monster: Making Sense of the Old Testament God, offers a critique of Greg Boyd's new two-volume book, The Crucifixion of the Warrior God: Interpreting the Old Testament's Violent Portraits of God in Light of the Cross.  

Copan writes:

 "I shall briefly review Boyd’s project and then examine Boyd’s treatment of various biblical texts, arguing that his bold approach falls short on its own merits."

You can find Dr. Copan's treatment here.

You can also listen to Copan and Boyd discuss the "Warrior God" thesis on Justin's Brierley's Unbelievable here and here.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Article: “My Genes Made Me Do It”: Is Ethics Based on Biological Evolution? by Paul Copan

Paul Copan on God, Materialism and Value

Video: Is God a Moral Monster? by Paul Copan

Monday, July 09, 2018

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

J.P. Moreland on Consciousness and Evolution

"...you can't get something from nothing...It's as simple as that.  If there were no God, then the history of the entire universe, up until the appearance of living creatures, would be a history of dead matter with no consciousness.  You would not have any thoughts, beliefs, feelings, sensations, free actions, choices, or purposes. There would be simply one physical event after another physical event, behaving according to the laws of physics and chemistry...How then, do you get something totally different- conscious, living, thinking, feeling, believing creatures- from materials that don't have that?  That's getting something from nothing!  And that's the main problem...However...if you begin with an infinite mind, then you can explain how finite minds could come into existence.  That makes sense.  What doesn't make sense- and which many atheistic evolutionists are conceding -is the idea of getting a mind to squirt into existence by starting with brute, dead, mindless matter."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. As quoted by Lee Strobel in The Case for the Creator, p. 263-264.

Related Posts

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

Video: Real Answers to Tough Questions: A Talk with J.P. Moreland

Philosophical Evidence for Premise 2 of the Cosmological Argument

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Common Objection #35- "Why Didn't God Create a World in Which Everyone Freely Chooses Him?"

Several weeks ago, at the Mentionables Conference in Greensboro, NC1, the team and I had the pleasure of participating in a discussion panel with Ben Watkins of Real Atheology2. Watkins was a delight to interact with and I greatly enjoyed our time together.

During one of the panel discussions, Ben asked a question that I have found myself thinking about as well: "If God exists, why didn't He create a world in which everyone would freely choose Him?"

One certainly can understand why Ben and others would ask the question. After all, if God is all-loving, it seems to follow that He would want everyone to choose Him. Moreover, if God is all-powerful, it would seem to follow that He could create a world like the one Ben imagines. However, I believe that it is important to remember that being all-powerful does not mean God has the ability to do the logically impossible. In other words, God cannot make a squared-circle or a married bachelor.3 Keeping that in mind, it seems reasonable to argue that it is not feasible for God to actualize a world in which everyone freely chooses Him for the same reason it is not feasible for God to create squared-circles- it is logically impossible.

In other words, it is logically impossible to make someone freely do something. As philosopher William Lane Craig explains, "...there's no guarantee that a possible world in which everyone hears the gospel and is freely saved is feasible for God to create...For all we know, in any world of free people that God could create, some people would freely reject His grace and be lost."4

Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that it is not necessarily true that God is able to create a world in which everyone chooses Him.

So, in conclusion, while it would seem ideal for God to create a universe in which everyone chooses Him, it seems plausible that it is not possible for Him to do so.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad


Footnotes:

1. For more about the conference, see here.
2. You can learn more about Real Atheology here.
3. For a fully explanation of why this is the case, see here.
4. William Lane Craig, 
On Guard, p. 277-278.

Related Posts


Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?

Do All Religions Lead to God?

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

Monday, July 02, 2018

Book Review: Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney

In his short book (67 pages) Family Worship, professor Donald S. Whitney of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary contends:

"While there is no direct, explicit commandment in Scripture about family worship, the Bible clearly implies that God deserves to be worshiped daily in our homes by our families.  Also, its practice is evident throughout the Bible." [p.15]

Yet Whitney reports that from his own ministry experience in hundreds of churches, little family worship takes place in Christian homes today.  As a lay apologist, I find this especially interesting.

As most apologists know, much has been made of the recent "youth exodus" problem among our church going youth.  Numerous studies have demonstrated that a high percentage of churchgoing teenagers leave the church once they finish high school.  Many apologists have argued that one of the main reasons for their departure is their lack of training in defending the faith.  And I freely confess that I agree with them wholeheartedly!  However, Whitney offers perhaps another reason why we are losing our youth:

"One of the leading problems with this issue is that...most of these young people have no early, sweet memories of family worship.  Such recollections, if they had them, might help prevent their departure from the faith in the first place.  Of if they do walk away, the memories might be the means to turn their hearts to seek God again later." [p. 12]

This reader can personally attest that family worship is one of the best places to answer the questions of young children about God, Jesus and the Bible.  So, could family worship be part of the solution to the youth exodus problem?  Professor Whitney surely thinks so and in Family Worship, he makes the case for what he argues is a forgotten, yet essential, practice.

Chapter 1- As for Me and My House, We Will Serve the Lord: Family Worship in the Bible

Drawing from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, Whitney successfully demonstrates that while the Scriptures never explicitly command Christians to engage in family worship, it is a practice implicitly seen throughout the Bible.

Chapter 2- Here the Reformation Must Begin: Family Worship in Church History 

Beginning with the second century theologian Tertullian and ending with modern day theologians such as John Piper, Whitney offers an impressive list of Christian heroes from the past and present that firmly believe that God deserves to be worshiped daily in our homes by our families.  Further, he offers sound reasons to conclude that they practiced family worship in their own lives.

Chapter 3- Read, Pray, and Sing: The Elements of Family Worship

Whitney continues in this chapter by sharing, and briefly unpacking, the "three elements of family worship: read the Bible, pray, and sing." [p. 44]  He also offers a justification as to why those 3 elements are essential:

"...when you examine a list of activities the Bible says to do in worship, only three things on that already short list are equally as appropriate in family worship or in private worship as in congregational worship.  Those activities are reading the Bible, praying, and singing." [p. 45]

This reviewer was glad to see the author included other elements that can be added if time permits such as catechism, memorizing Scripture or reading books on various biblical topics.  Further, it has been this reader's experience that family worship looks slightly different in each home.

Chapter 4- No Family Worship Situation is Unique: But What If...?

I know that when I talk to other believers about the importance and benefits of family worship, they understandably have questions about its feasibility.  After all, what if there is not father in the home? How do you conduct meaningful family worship with very young children?  These questions and more are adequately addressed in this section.

Chapter 5- Isn't This What You Really Want to Do?: Start Today

The author ends this short work by admonishing fathers to resolve to lead their families daily in worship, even if they are not sure how to begin.  Further, Whitney explains that some may feel ashamed when they awaken to their "...spiritual responsibilities in the home...because...he has failed to lead family worship for so long he feels embarrassed to begin now." [p. 59]   However, he contends that father's must humble themselves and tell their families:

"I have come to believe that the Bible teaches I should be leading us in family worship, and I want to start today.  I have a lot to learn about it, but I want to do what I believe God wants me to do.  Will you join me?" [p. 60]

Conclusion

Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney is a perfect introduction to the subject.  His writing is clear and straightforward, challenging the reader throughout of the biblical and practical necessity of family worship.   For the spiritual leader of the home who desires to lead their family before the throne of God daily, I know of no better place to start than this work.

I wholeheartedly recommend this work!

You can get your copy here.

Learn more about Whitney and his ministry here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Video: How Do You Do Family Worship? by Donald Whitney

Raising Your Kids for Christ

Charles Spurgeon on Instructing Our Children

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Stay the Course: A Message on Perseverance

On Father's Day, 2018, I (The Other Chad) had a second opportunity to speak at Faith Christian Fellowship, in Williamsport, MD.  The purpose of this message was to provide good reasons why we should count it all joy when we experience various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance as described in the New Testament letter of James 1. 

I chose 2 Peter 1:3-12 as the opening reading because the writer describes perseverance as one of the supplemental qualities of the Christian faith that should be apparent in the life of the believer. 

During the message, I shared 3 examples of perseverance:

  • The perfect example- Jesus in his final hours before his arrest.
  • An example in marriage- The testimony of David and Marsha Muritz, which can be found here.
  • My own personal example- Trials I experienced while caring for my beloved grandfather.

Approximately 37 minutes in, I take some time to address the problem of pain and suffering.  Using material from Dr. William Lane Craig's On Guard, I attempted to address intellectual and emotional objections that one may consider when dealing with pain and suffering.1


God Bless,


1.  On Guard by Dr. William Lane Craig- pg. 147-175

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ted Wright on Jesus Mythicism

"Ever since I’ve heard about Jesus mythicists, the question I’ve always wanted to ask them is: 'What are you smoking?!'  Furthermore, I frankly wonder why anyone takes them seriously.  If history is at all knowable, with any degree of certainty, then the New Testament is one of THE most remarkable and reliable primary sources in the ancient world!  I think it’s interesting - that radical critics & skeptics of the New Testament read quite a bit of material in order to 'debunk' it as a hoax or as mythology, but they curiously don’t read about the history of critics and skeptics of the past, whose own theories been debunked and disproven. Through the years, the New Testament has stood strong like a stone-clad lighthouse anchored to bedrock, while the waves, foam and torrents of the critics have crashed against it to no affect (John 10:35b)."

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Book Preview: Sharing the Good News with Mormons by Eric Johnson and Sean McDowell

About the Authors

Eric Johnson (MDiv) works with Mormonism Research Ministry and has written and coauthored several books, including Answering Mormons' Questions and Mormonism 101.  He currently lives in Sandy, Utah, with his wife and three daughters.

Sean McDowell (PhD) is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books, including A New Kind of Apologist.  He is an associate professor in the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University, is an internationally recognized speaker, and blogs regularly here.



About the Book


How do you share the gospel with those who don’t think they need it?

Someone you know is a Mormon—a family member, a coworker, a friend, or a neighbor—and you long to present the truth about Jesus and what God’s Word teaches.  But where do you start?  How can you convey what’s on your heart in a way that will be well received?

Every relationship and situation is unique, and that’s why these essays from respected scholars, apologists, and pastors—including Sandra Tanner, Robert Bowman, David Geisler, Bill McKeever, Mark Mittelberg, J. Warner Wallace, Lynn Wilder, and others—lays out a variety of creative methods for sharing the gospel effectively so you can…

- initiate authentic conversations
- respond with compassion and clarity to Mormon teachings
- understand your Mormon friends and find ways to keep the dialogue going

Speaking the truth to Mormons can feel daunting when you’re unprepared.  Let the suggestions in this book give you solid ideas for reaching those who are lost but don’t realize it.

You can order your new copy of this work here.  To learn more about the book, go here.

To learn more about Eric Johnson and his ministry, go here.

Click here to learn more about the work of Sean McDowell.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Book Review: A New Kind of Apologist edited by Sean McDowell

Book Review: Expanded and Updated Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell

Is Mormonism Just Another Christian Denomination?

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Apologetics Reading Plan for Parents by Natasha Crain

Earlier this year, we shared our Top 10 Books Every Christian Parent Should Read.

Today's post features Natasha Crain's Apologetics Reading Plan for Parents.

Crain explains that her list meets the following criteria:



1. The books must be accessible enough for a popular audience and won’t leave busy parents feeling unnecessarily overwhelmed.

2. The topics I’m including are the ones parents most need to understand given the challenges their kids are most likely to face.

3. There has to be a reasonable number of books.  Meaning, there aren't too many books on the list!

You can checkout her list here.

To learn more about Natasha Crain and her excellent work, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day: Heroes Remembered...


We at Truthbomb Apologetics just wanted to offer a sincere thank you to those men and women who have served, or are serving, in our armed forces.

In a society that so often elevates and glorifies so-called "celebrities," we are grateful for the lives that have been sacrificed and the time that has been willingly given by you, the real heroes.

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself."

-Joseph Campbell


We thank you...

May God Bless You Richly in Christ Jesus,
Chad

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Two Accounts of Creation? Comparing Genesis 1 and2



On May 20th, 2018, I (Chad Vaughn aka "The Other Chad") had the privilege of speaking at my home church, Faith Christian Fellowship.  We've been in a sermon series entitled "From Beginning to End."  The topic I spoke on was comparing the creation accounts described in chapters 1 and 2.  My objective was to show that the two chapters do not conflict one another, but instead the second chapter provides a closer look at the pinnacle of God's Creation- mankind.

I am grateful but at the same time humbled by this opportunity to speak on this topic as I have even more appreciation for pastors and their ability to prepare their sermons on a weekly basis.

My hope is this message will both encourage and challenge listeners to study these accounts further!

God Bless,

Resources:
1.  One Minute Apologist: Question #472- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szkMZO2vDNQ
2.  Seven Days that Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science by Dr. John  Lennox 
3.  The Pentateuch by L. Thomas Holdcroft


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Saving Truth by Abdu Murray



About the Author

Abdu Murray (JD, University of Michigan) is North America director of RZIM, a regular speaker at churches and on college campuses, and host of the radio program and podcast Embrace the Truth with Abdu Murray. A scholar in residence at the Josh McDowell Institute of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, he is the author of many articles and two books, including Grand Central Question.



About the Book


Increasingly, Western culture embraces confusion as a virtue and decries certainty as a sin. Those who are confused about sexuality and identity are viewed as heroes. Those who are confused about morality are progressive pioneers. Those who are confused about spirituality are praised as tolerant. Conversely, those who express certainty about any of these issues are seen as bigoted, oppressive, arrogant, or intolerant.

This cultural phenomenon led the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary to name "post-truth" their word of the year in 2016. How can Christians offer truth and clarity to a world that shuns both?

By accurately describing the Culture of Confusion and how it has affected our society, author Abdu Murray seeks to awaken Westerners to the plight we find ourselves in. He also challenges Christians to consider how they have played a part in fostering the Culture of Confusion through bad arguments, unwise labeling, and emotional attacks.

Ultimately, Saving Truth provides arguments from a Christian perspective for the foundations of truth and how those foundations apply to sexuality, identity, morality, and spirituality. For those enmeshed in the culture of confusion, the book offers a way to untangle oneself and find hope in the clarity that Christ offers.

You can learn more about this book here.

Order your copy here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Abdu Murray makes his C.A.S.E. for the Resurrection of Jesus

Debate Video: John Loftus v. Abdu Murray- Was Jesus Raised from the Dead?

Abdu Murray on Appealing Only to the Mind

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Trinity for Kids by Scott Stein

In this 2-part post, apologist and dad Scott Stein explains how to explain the doctrine of the Trinity to your children.  He writes:

"The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most important teachings of the Christian faith, and yet admittedly one of the most difficult to understand, especially for kids. Nothing caused me more trepidation during nightly bible reading with my kids than beginning to explain to them how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all God yet different persons. My approach was prayerful, slow but steady.

I’d like to say that I have done it all right, but that would be a lie. I have tried however, to teach my children thoughtfully and accurately about God. No more has this been a challenge than when it comes to teaching them the Doctrine of the Trinity. What follows is not necessarily a formula, but just the approach I muddled through. My hope is that it might provide you with some help and confidence to not shy away from tackling this essential Christian truth with your own kids."

Part I is here.  Part II is here.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad