Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Counterpoints: Karl Marx and Czeslaw Milosz on Religion

Karl Marx: "Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions."1

Czeslaw Milosz: “Religion used to be the opium of the people. To those suffering humiliation, pain, illness, and serfdom, religion promised the reward of an after life. But now, we are witnessing a transformation, a true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, we are not going to be judged.”2

You can checkout past "Counterpoints" here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Thoughts on the Claim that Christianity is a Relationship and Not a Religion

Article: Two Things Terrorist Attacks Do NOT Tell Us About Religion by Natasha Crain

Common Objection #2-"(Religion is) the most potent source of human conflict, past and present."

Footnotes:

1. Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right.
2. Czeslaw Milosz, "Discreet Charm of Nihilism" (The New York Review of Books, November 19, 1998); HT- Always Be Ready

Monday, May 29, 2017

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

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


In this short video (6 min 58 sec), Dr. J.P. Moreland addresses the common question, "What caused God?"

Dr. Moreland discusses:
  • why this question falls prey to what is known as the category fallacy
  • the definition of God and why it's not arbitrary 
  • why a self-existent being is necessary and sensible
Courage and Godspeed,

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Do You Want to Become a Christian Case Maker? Learn an Argument!

As I have written before, when you initially accept your duty as a Christian case maker, the task can seem daunting!  Where does one start? There are so many arguments!  How can a laymen, with a nine to five job and a family, be expected to master the case for Christianity?

While reading through cold-case homicide detective and Christian case maker J. Warner Wallace's latest book, Forensic Faith, he offers some practical advice for the Christian asking these types of questions:

"When I first decided to accept my duty as a Christian case maker, I felt overwhelmed by all the diverse disciplines from which I could make the case for Christianity.  I was already in my thirties and busier than ever as a homicide detective.  I couldn't imagine how I would ever find the time to master all the philosophy and science.  So I decided to specialize.  I picked the one line of evidence that most interested me and spent as much time as possible learning everything I could...It required me to study so I could defend the claims of the argument...I knew I needed to articulate the case and respond to objections."1

This is excellent advice that provides a concrete starting point for the Christian desiring to learn how to "give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15).

So, what argument are you going to master?  Please visit our recent post, "Mere Christianity Made Simple" for some resources to get you started.

Now, learn an argument, get out there and make the case!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Our review of Forensic Faith is forthcoming!

Related Posts

Solving the "Who Made God?" Problem

A Cosmological Argument Primer

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

Footnote:
1. J. Warner Wallace, Forensic Faith.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Counterpoints: William Lane Craig and Richard Dawkins on Evolution


Richard Dawkins- "...although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."1

William Lane Craig- "“Barrow and Tipler, two physicists in their book "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle," list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would occur the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and incinerated the earth. And they calculate the probability of the evolution of the human genome to be somewhere between four to the negative 180th power to the 110,000th power and four to the negative 360th power to the 110,000th power. So, if evolution did occur on this planet it was literally a miracle, and therefore evidence for the existence of God.”2

Checkout the rest of the posts in our "Counterpoints" posts here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

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

Ye Have No Definition of Faith?

Counterpoints: Richard Dawkins vs. John Lennox on Religion and Atheism

Footnotes:
1. Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, p. 6.
2. Hitchens Debate Transcript found here. If readers would like to view the debate, it's here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Video: True for You, but Not For Me? by Brett Kunkle


In this featured video, speaker, author and apologist Brett Kunkle of Stand to Reason demonstrates how to make the case for objective moral truths.  Kunkle writes:

"The culture has lost its moral common sense. It’s never surprising to hear students brush off clear-case examples of moral evil, relegating all moral claims to the realm of the subjective. We’re saturated in a sea of subjectivism, and we simply soak it up.

So, we have a big job in the church rebuilding an objective moral framework from which Christians can live and engage the culture. Here’s my attempt at helping people understand how we come to know objective moral truth, the complete deficiency of moral relativism, and why it matters..."1

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Article: Can Moral Objectivism Do Without God? by Peter S. Williams

Video: The Moral Argument- Good without God?

Presenting the Moral Argument Clearly

Footnote:
1. Brett Kunkle, How to Make the Case for Objective Moral Truths, May 17, 2017.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Ongoing Struggle Against the Culture to Defend Intrinsic Human Value


In the subject post on Stand to Reason's blog, Amy Hall compares the Church's struggle against infant exposure during the Roman era to it's struggle against abortion today. She writes:

In the Roman era, ordinary people routinely killed babies by leaving them on trash heaps. Today, ordinary people routinely kill babies in the womb by tearing off their limbs one by one. 

You can read the entire post here.

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

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Worldview and Apologetics in the News

A (New) Argument for Abortion

Politics Disguised as Science: When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’

'Bible Answer Man' Hank Hanegraaff Reveals Battle with Cancer

Mormon church is pulling older teens from Boy Scouts' programs

Church of England Reviving with Rise in Patriotism

Book Review: Is Christianity Reasonable? A Review of Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace

Teacher Fired for Giving Student a Bible Gets Job Back — Victory!

Cosmic Inflation Theory Faces Challenges

It’s time to get rid of Mother’s Day: Teitel

History Made: ‘American Gods’ Features TV’s Most Explicit Gay Sex Scene Between Muslims

Podcast: BreakPoint: The Hopeless World of “13 Reasons”

Abortion is the solution to climate change?

Ravi Zacharias, Ministry Team Say 'Goodbye' to Cancer-Stricken Nabeel Qureshi
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/ravi-zacharias-ministry-team-say-goodbye-cancer-stricken-nabeel-qureshi-183726/#pOyMF10OGSfUWhIr.99
Ravi Zacharias, Ministry Team Say 'Goodbye' to Cancer-Stricken Nabeel Qureshi
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/ravi-zacharias-ministry-team-say-goodbye-cancer-stricken-nabeel-qureshi-183726/#pOyMF10OGSfUWhIr.99
Ravi Zacharias, Ministry Team Say 'Goodbye' to Cancer-Stricken Nabeel Qureshi

The left’s new response to mental illness: killing people

The Discovery of Joshua’s Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir

Christians in India Under Pressure to Convert to Hinduism, Can't Talk About Jesus, Heaven or Hell
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-india-pressure-convert-hinduism-cant-talk-about-jesus-heaven-hell-184056/#wLfKw0FqTll58wWP.99
Christians in India Under Pressure to Convert to Hinduism, Can't Talk about Jesus, Heaven and Hell

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Last week's edition is here.
Ravi Zacharias, Ministry Team Say 'Goodbye' to Cancer-Stricken Nabeel Qureshi
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/ravi-zacharias-ministry-team-say-goodbye-cancer-stricken-nabeel-qureshi-183726/#pOyMF10OGSfUWhIr.99

Friday, May 19, 2017

Rape, Pork, and God



Recently I saw a Facebook post with a meme that stated “Rape someone and pay 50 shekels of silver to her dad” and “eat pork and go to hell.”  Both of these statements were attributed to the God of the Old Testament.  Like Chad Gross, I am not a fan of memes, especially ones that are “ridiculing and take shots at the opposition.”  But my main reason for responding to this would be  to provide an understanding of these two laws that are described in the Old Testament.  Clearly we cannot get this from a few words on a meme. 

Rape Someone and Pay 50 Shekels

Deuteronomy 22: 28-29
28 If a man comes upon a young woman, a virgin who is not betrothed, seizes her and lies with her, and they are discovered, 29 the man who lay with her shall give the young woman’s father fifty silver shekels and she will be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her as long as he lives. 1

Critics attack these verses as the woman appears to be nothing more than her father’s property.  But a closer look will provide evidence that this law was actually meant to protect the woman.  Exodus 22: 15-16 helps to provide a backdrop for this scenario:

15 When a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall make her his wife by paying the bride price. 16 If her father refuses to give her to him, he must still pay him the bride price for virgins.2

In each case, the man is guilty. However, in verse 28, it does say that “they” (as opposed to he) are discovered.  This seems to imply the woman was complicit in the act, although the man clearly bears the burden of responsibility for initiation.

It is important to understand in this culture and time period that it would become very difficult for a woman to find a husband if she is no longer a virgin.  So this law is actually for women’s protection.
According to Paul Copan, these passages allow for two courses of action:

1.        If the father and daughter agree to it, the seducer must marry the woman and provide for her all of her life, without the possibility of divorce.  The father (in conjunction with the daughter) has the final say-so in the arrangement.  The girl isn’t required to marry the seducer.

2.       The girl’s father (the legal point person) has the right to refuse any such permanent arrangement as well as the right to demand the payment that would be given for a bride, even though the seducer doesn’t marry his daughter (since she has been sexually compromised, marriage to another man would be difficult if not impossible).  The girl has to agree with this arrangement, and she isn’t required to marry the seducer.  In this arrangement, she is still treated as a virgin. 

Again, we don’t see a lack of concern for the woman.  Her well-being is actually the underlying theme of this legislation.3 

Eat Pork and Go to Hell

Regarding this statement, I am not familiar with an OT passage that states this.  Deuteronomy 14:8 mentions even touching the carcass of a pig makes one unclean.  But this is not eternal condemnation. If an Israelite ate or even touched pork, they would then need to adhere to the process of being made clean.


There are various reasons given as to why the Israelites were called to refrain from pork in the Old Testament.  Some scholars point to the fact that other nations surrounding them sacrificed pigs to idols.  So refraining from eating this type of meat was a distinct reminder for them to refrain from mixing pagan practices with their worship of the one true God.  This command only applied during OT times.  It is made clear in the New Testament that all foods are made clean (Mark 7:19).  So this temporary restriction most likely served as a specific purpose to draw God’s chosen people closer to Him.

Footnotes:
1.  Taken from www.biblegateway.com and the NASB revised edition
2.  Ibid
3.  Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan pgs. 118-119

Related Resources:



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Physicist Paul Davies on the Laws of Physics

"The orthodox view of the nature of the laws of physics contains a long list of tacitly assumed properties. The laws are regarded, for example, as immutable, eternal, infinitely precise mathematical relationships that transcend the physical universe, and were imprinted on it at the moment of its birth from 'outside,' like a maker’s mark, and have remained unchanging ever since… In addition, it is assumed that the physical world is affected by the laws, but the laws are completely impervious to what happens in the universe… It is not hard to discover where this picture of physical laws comes from: it is inherited directly from monotheism, which asserts that a rational being designed the universe according to a set of perfect laws. And the asymmetry between immutable laws and contingent states mirrors the asymmetry between God and nature: the universe depends utterly on God for its existence, whereas God’s existence does not depend on the universe…

Clearly, then, the orthodox concept of laws of physics derives directly from theology. It is remarkable that this view has remained largely unchallenged after 300 years of secular science. Indeed, the 'theological model' of the laws of physics is so ingrained in scientific thinking that it is taken for granted. The hidden assumptions behind the concept of physical laws, and their theological provenance, are simply ignored by almost all except historians of science and theologians. From the scientific standpoint, however, this uncritical acceptance of the theological model of laws leaves a lot to be desired…"1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. As quoted by Ed Feser here.

Related Posts

Paul Davies on the "DNA Conundrum"

Paul Davies on the Fine-Tuning of the Universe

Book Review: Dictionary of Christianity and Science

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Video: How Do We Identify Our Biases? by Sean McDowell


Important words here from Sean McDowell on overcoming our own biases.  Enjoy!

To learn more about Sean and his ministry, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

J. Warner Wallace on Bias

Article: Are Christians Biased in their Reasoning?

Overcoming Bias

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Article: What is Thomism? by gotQuestions.org

Originally published here:

Thomism is the system of philosophy developed by Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic scholar. Aquinas harmonized the philosophy of Aristotle with Christian theology, creating a system that became among the most influential in history. Aquinas’ philosophy was popular during his lifetime. After his death, a small minority of Catholic leaders condemned his teachings as heresy. Their efforts reduced the popularity of his work, but only temporarily.

In response to the Reformation, the Catholic Church heavily endorsed the work of Aquinas, including Thomism, elevating it to a status second only to the Bible itself. Other philosophical systems today disagree with Thomism on many points, but Thomism remains a dominant philosophical worldview.

Thomism is strongly grounded in reason, specifically in opposition to “blind faith.” It holds the laws of non-contradiction and causality as the fundamental principles of reality. According to Thomism, most of nature and theology can be apprehended through observation and reason. That which can be known by reason, accordingly, should be used to judge what is known only by faith. Thomism recognizes, however, that certain truths are only knowable by special revelation.

Thomism is also empiricist, meaning it teaches that observations and experiences are necessary for knowledge. It claims that we cannot argue for God’s existence on the basis of direct experience; we can only argue for God by interpreting what we see, feel, and understand. This philosophy rejects the Rationalist claim that pure logic or reasoning—without any observations or empirical data—can be used to draw reliable conclusions.

Thomism also approaches knowledge of God via “negative theology.” This is the belief that it is necessary for human beings to apprehend God through metaphors and analogies. Since God is unique, transcendent, and infinite, He is necessarily beyond our full comprehension. In order to at least partly comprehend God, we must use figurative or analogous terms relevant to our experiences. This approach also implies that portions of Scripture can be interpreted figuratively, depending on the context.

The correspondence theory of truth is a core part of Thomism. This is the idea that “truth” can be defined as conforming to some external, objective reality. Thomism supposes both empiricism and objective realism, which both claim our senses are useful and that the world can be understood more or less as it actually is. Thomism also teaches a fusion of the body and soul, which differs in many ways from classical dualism.

Thomism poses a distinction between “essence” and “existence.” It posits that God alone is absolute and all other things are finite and imperfect. Therefore, only God has an essence identical to His existence. He is the one and only pure expression of essence, substance, and existence. For all other things, their “what” (essence) is different from their “is” (existence). This also means that evil does not exist, in and of itself, except as a lack of “good.” Something is evil insofar as it violates its purpose, or the “cause” of its existence.

According to Thomism, all living things possess some type of soul, but humans alone have an immortal, “rational” soul. Our ability to use reason, per this philosophy, is a supernatural quality that other forms of life do not possess.

Thomism is also the source of Aquinas’ “Five Ways,” which are introductory means to argue for the existence of God. These are the first mover argument, the first cause argument, the contingency (necessity) argument, the ontological (perfection) argument, and the teleological (design) argument. These are often misunderstood, and assumed to be Aquinas’ best and strongest case for the Christian God. In truth, the “Five Ways” are merely meant to be basic principles to introduce the concept of Christian theism on rational grounds.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fake News Versus Good News

In the above post from Thinking Matters, three steps to determine if a news source is trustworthy are provided. These steps are the following:

1. Is the source motivated by truth?
2. Is the source open to scrutiny both from within and without?
3. Does it matter if the news the source is providing is true or false?

The gospel is then examined using these steps, and the conclusion made is that Jesus offers good news and offers it reliably.

You can read the entire post here.

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

Video: Is Christianity Credible? by William Lane Craig


During his recent Reasons for Hope Tour, Dr. William Lane Craig traveled the island of Ireland on a speaking tour that included various debates, lectures, and meetings.

On March 24th, 2017, he gave this lecture at the Gibson Hotel in Dublin on the topic, "Is Christianity Credible?"

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Video: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? by William Lane Craig

Debate Video: Does God Exist? Michael Nugent v William Lane Craig

Counterpoints: Christopher Hitchens vs. William Lane Craig on the Timing of Christ's Coming

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Featured Resource: Epic Archaeology

I had the opportunity to hear archaeologist Ted Wright speak a few years ago at an apologetics conference in Mt. Airy, MD.  During the event, I also had the privilege of sharing a meal with Mr. Wright and talking about archaeology, the Bible and Old Testament ethics.  I walked away very impressed with his pastor's heart and kind manner.  Further, I was impressed by his wealth of knowledge on the variety of subjects we discussed.  After we had chatted, he even took the time to send me a paper he had discussed during our meal. Since that time, I have followed his work in the field of archaeology.

So you can imagine that I was quite thrilled when I learned that he had founded "Epic Archaeology," an organization "dedicated to cutting edge research as well as bringing the wonder of archeology, historical investigation and discovery to the every day person."  Epic Archaeology's ultimate goal is to "[d]emonstrate the trustworthiness & reliability of the Bible as a historical document."  Now, as Mr. Wright explains here, archaeology has limits and certainly cannot prove faith; however, as he notes:

"...as an auxiliary tool of history, archaeology can be used by Biblical scholars and others to confirm or deny events written about in historical texts (such as the Bible)."

I encourage you to checkout Epic Archaeology and learn more about the work of Ted Wright.  

You can find their website here.

Like them on Facebook here.

Further, checkout this article by Mr. Wright on "10 Significant New Testament Archaeological Discoveries."

I also recommend, "Five Archaeology Books Every Christian Should Read" here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How Old is the Earth? by Chris Sherrod

This article was taken from the Apologetics Study Bible for Students:

There are two main views among Christians.  Old earth creationists (OEC), also known as progressive creationists, believe God created the universe and all life forms in stages separated by long periods of time.  They believe the geologic record accurately portrays a very long earth history.  Young earth creationists (YEC) believe the universe and all life forms were created in six successive 24-hour days, meaning earth is only thousands of years old.  Major arguments for each view include the following:




OEC
  • Speed of light measurements and the distance of stars indicate an ancient universe.
  • The Hebrew word yom (day) does not always mean a literal day (e.g. Gn 2:4)
  • Genesis 1:2 says the land produced vegetation on Day Three, indicating growth from seed to maturity.  That takes longer than 24 hours.
  • There is too much activity on Day 6 to fit in 24 hours (see Gn 1:24-31; 2:15-25).
  • Many animals are specifically designed to prey upon other animals.  This indicates that by God's design, animal death preceded the fall of Adam and Eve.
  • The sun was created on Day 4; thus Days 1-3 could not have been 24-hour solar days.
  • The testimony of nature powerfully indicates an ancient creation.
YEC
  • The usual meaning of yom is a literal, 24-hour day.
  • "Evening came, and then morning," seems to indicate a literal day (Gn 1:15, etc.).
  • Sabbath rest (Ex 20:11) seems to imply six literal days of work during Creation week.
  • The sun was not created until Day 4, but here was life on Day 3 (Gn 1:11-13).  Life cannot exist for long periods without sunlight, and so the days were not long ages.
  • Plants were created on Day 3 and animals on Day 5.  The interdependence between plants and animals implies that their creation was not separated by long ages.
  • If death is an enemy (1Co 15:54), was God's original paradise free from killing, or was it filled with violence, decay, and death?  Man was not permitted to eat animals until after the Flood (Gen 9:2-3).
  • If decay and death were originally part of creation, why is creation looking forward to liberation from bondage to decay (Rm 8:20-22)?
Despite there differences, Christians in both groups are committed to God's supernatural creation of all things.  Similarly, both are committed to the inspiration and authority of the Bible.  Also, it is important to note that even if earth is many millions of years old, this still is not enough time for life to arise naturally and then evolve into the complex species we have today.

Though Christians sometimes passionately disagree about the age of the earth, we should not break fellowship about issues of peripheral importance (Rm 14:1).  Both parties can work together, support common ground (such as Intelligent Design), and work "side by side for the faith of the gospel" (Php 1:27).  We can have friendly "in-house" debates, graciously discussing our viewpoints in a spirit of love while standing united against the world's deceitful philosophies (Col. 2:8).

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Video: Argument from Contingency


In this creative video, philosopher Josh Rasmussen presents the following version of the argument from contingency:

1. Something exists
2. Everything either (1) depends on something beyond itself, or (2) does not.
3. Whatever is purely contingent depends on something beyond itself.

Conclusion: Something cannot fail to exist.

This is an excellent presentation!  

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

An Edited Version of the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

Video: Leibniz’ Contingency Argument

The Taxicab Fallacy

Monday, May 08, 2017

What Do I Have to Do Before I Can Call Myself a Christian "Apologist"?


In this post from J. Warner Wallace, we see that the subject question is not the question to be asking. The question a Christian should be asking is: "Am I an apologist no matter what I do?" Wallace contends that if you are a Christian then you are an apologist and states that you must do the following:

Accept Your Identification
Accept Your Obligation
Accept Your Location

You can read what each of these actions entails here.

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Worldview and Apologetics in the News

Lydia McGrew: Confidence in the Gospels (With Infographic)

Ten reasons millennials are backing away from God and Christianity

Sharia vs. the gospel by Nabeel Qureshi

Scientists develop device to mimic the womb

Pro-life groups deliver 200,000 baby socks to U.S. Capitol

Bible reading not allowed before class, professor tells student

Creationists cheer findings in bear genome sequencing project

Japanese Silkworm Researcher Takes on Michael Behe, Proposing “Reducible Complexity”

Religious liberty executive order draws praise, protest

Some Very Compelling Evidence the Tower of Babel Was Real

Christian Girl Is Burned to Death by ISIS but Her Final 2 Words Prove That God Wins

How the Massacre in Syria Demonstrates the Existence of God by J. Warner Wallace

A Review of Zombie Science: Is Darwinism Dead? by Sean McDowell

House Passes Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

ObamaCare replacement bill approved in House

Seattle man tests transgender rule by undressing in women's locker room

Superheroes, miracles and science – an astrophysicist’s take


Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

To view last week's edition, go here.

Friday, May 05, 2017

It's the Gospel Truth- Philip De Courcy


Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to two sermons from Philip De Courcy, who is the lead pastor at Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills, California, and speaker on the daily radio program, Know The Truth.

The sermons, entitled "It's the Gospel Truth", are part of a series called Essential Jesus, which is an in-depth study of the Gospel of Mark.  

Pastor De Courcy offers these two messages at the beginning of the series to set the stage for the study explaining why we can believe in the divine inspiration, accuracy, and reliability of the Gospels.

He presents four arguments:

1) Consistency Argument
2) Chronology Argument
3) Credibility Argument
4) Credulity Argument

You can listen to the two sermons by going here.



Thursday, May 04, 2017

Counterpoints: Christopher Hitchens vs. William Lane Craig on the Timing of Christ's Coming

Christopher Hitchens: "I've taken the best advice I can on how long Homo sapiens has been on the planet. Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, many others, and many discrepant views from theirs, reckon it's not more than 250,000 years, a quarter of a million years. It's not less, either. I think it's roughly accepted, [to Francis Collins] I think, sir you wouldn't disagree. 100,000 is the lowest I've heard and actually I was about to say, again not to sound too Jewish, I'll take 100,000. I only need 100,000, call it one hundred. For 100,000 years Homo sapiens was born, usually, well not usually, very often dying in the process or killing its mother in the process; life expectancy probably not much more than 20, 25 years, dying probably of the teeth very agonizingly, nearer to the brain as they are, or of hunger or of micro-organisms that they didn't know existed or of events such as volcanic or tsunami or earthquake types that would have been wholly terrifying and mysterious as well as some turf wars over women, land, property, food, other matters. You can fill in—imagine it for yourself what the first few tens of thousands of years were like. And we like to think learning a little bit in the process and certainly having gods all the way, worshipping bears fairly early on, I can sort of see why; sometimes worshipping other human beings...this and that and the other thing, but exponentially perhaps improving, though in some areas of the world very nearly completely dying out, and a bitter struggle all along. Call it 100,000 years. According to the Christian faith, heaven watches this with folded arms for 98,000 years and then decides it's time to intervene and the best way of doing that would be a human sacrifice in primitive Palestine, where the news would take so long to spread that it still hasn't penetrated very large parts of the world and that would be our redemption of human species."1

William Lane Craig:  "Well, now, Mr. Hitchens says, but why did God wait so long before he sent Christ?  Human beings have existed for thousands of years on this planet before Christ's coming. Well, what's really crucial here is not the time involved; rather, it's the population of the world.  The Population Reference Bureau estimates that the number of people who have ever lived on this planet is about 105 billion people.  Only 2% of them were born prior to the advent of Christ.  Erik Kreps of the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research says, 'God's timing couldn't have been more perfect. Christ showed up just before the exponential explosion in the world's population.'  The Bible says in the fullness of time God sent forth His Son, and when Christ came, the nation of Israel had been prepared.  The Roman peace dominated the Mediterranean world; it was an age of literacy and learning.  The stage was set for the advent of God's Son into the world.  And I think in God's providential plan for human history, we see the wisdom of God in orchestrating the development of human life and then in bringing Christ into the world in the fullness of time."2

You can find our other "Counterpoints" posts here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. Debate- Poison or the Cure?: Religious Beliefs in the Modern World, Debate Transcript here.
2. Debate- Does God Exist?: William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens, Debate Transcript is here.


Related Posts

Counterpoints: Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens vs. Frank Turek

Video: What Good is Christianity?

Book Preview: The Faith of Christopher Hitchens by Larry Taunton

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Share Your Thoughts: Do We Really Live in a Postmodern Culture?

Many today contend that we live in a postmodern culture.  For those unfamiliar with the term, postmodernism is the belief that there exists "[no] universal foundation for truth or morality."1

However, in his book Reasonable Faith, Dr. William Lane Craig contends that while the claim we live in a postmodern society may be popular, it is actually a myth.  He writes:

"...a postmodern culture is an impossibility; it would be utterly unlivable.  Nobody is a postmodernist when it comes to reading the labels on a medicine bottle versus a box of rat poison.  If you've got a headache, you'd better believe that texts have objective meaning!  People are not relativistic when it comes to matters of science, engineering, and technology; rather, they're relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and ethics.  But that's not postmodernism; that's modernism!  That's just old-line Positivism and Verificationism, which held that anything you can't prove with your five senses is just a matter of individual taste and emotive expression.  We live in a cultural milieu which remains deeply modernist.  People who think that we live in a postmodern culture have thus seriously misread our cultural situation."2

So, do you agree with Craig?  Do you believe our culture is postmodern or, like Craig, do you believe this to be a myth?  Sound off in the comments below!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. Paul Copan, What is Postmodernism?
2. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, 3rd. Edition, p. 18.


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Video: Arguments For and From Fulfilled Biblical Prophecies by Peter S. Williams


Apologists differ on the value of using fulfilled biblical prophecies as evidence for the validity of the Bible or for the validity of the Christian worldview.  In this featured video, philosopher Peter S. Williams explores arguments for and from fulfilled biblical prophecy.  As the video text states:

"First, we will examine criteria for assessing predictive prophecy. We will then assess 1) Old Testament City Prophecies (e.g. prophecies about Jerusalem and Tyre) and 2) the New Testament record of fulfilled Old Testament messianic prophecies in light of the biblical and extra-biblical evidence. We will conclude by asking what the case for fulfilled biblical prophecy can contribute to a 'ramified natural theology' (i.e. a natural theology that takes into account ‘Christian evidences’)."

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Featured Article: Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Realiability of the Bible by Dr. Hugh Ross

Article: Is Fulfilled Prophecy of Value for Scholarly Apologetics? by Dr. John Bloom

Free Booklet: Digging for Evidence by Peter S. Williams

Monday, May 01, 2017

"Mere Christianity" Made Simple

Dr. Frank Turek contends that if you can answer, "Yes," to the following questions:

1. Does Truth Exist?
2. Does God Exist?
3. Are Miracles Possible?
4. Is the New Testament Historically Reliable?

then "we have good reason to believe that the entire Bible is true."1

This is Turek's version of "Mere Christianity," a term first coined by the great C.S. Lewis in his book that bears the same title.  Dr. William Lane Craig also argues for what he calls Mere Christianity but his version is slightly different.  Craig argues that if we have good reason to affirm that: 1. God exists 2. God revealed Himself decisively in the person of Jesus of Nazareth and His resurrection from the dead; then, we are on good grounds for affirming the truth of Christianity.

For more on "Mere Christianity," I recommend Timothy Fox's article here.

For the purposes of this post, I thought it might be helpful (and fun!) to use Turek's four questions as an outline and provide some  resources that answer each in the affirmative.  This resource could be helpful as you strive to become a more versed Christian case maker or as an online evangelistic tool!

1. Does Truth Exist?

Video (1:35) - Frank Turek

I think Nabeel Quershi says it best on this one:

"To me, it was self-evident that truth exists. What's the alternative? If truth doesn't exist, then it would be true that truth doesn't exist, and once again we arrive at truth. There is no alternative; truth must exist."2

2. Does God Exist?

Video (4:13) - The Kalam Cosmological Argument

Video (5:14) - Leibniz' Contingency Argument

Video (6:22) - The Fine-Tuning Argument

Video (5:01)- The Moral Argument

Video (4:40)- The Ontological Argument

3. Are Miracle Possible?

Here, it seems worth quoting Lewis.  On the topic of God and miracles he famously said, "But if we admit God, must we admit a miracle? Indeed, indeed, you have no security against it. That is the bargain."3

Video (3:45)- Sean McDowell

Video (4:56)- William Lane Craig

Video (1:55)- Frank Turek

Video (4:30)- Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? by Impact 360 Institute 

4. Is the New Testament Historically Reliable?4

Video (3:42)- Frank Turek

Video (6:04)- Daniel Wallace

Video (5:32)- Michael Brown

Video (3:18)- J. Warner Wallace

So, the next time someone tells you that Christianity isn't true, you'll be ready!5

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. Frank Turek, Stealing from God, p. 177.
2. Nabeel Qureshi, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, p. 83.
3. C.S. Lewis., Miracles (HarperCollins, 1974), 169.
4. Some may wonder why the Old Testament (OT) is not included in Turek's case.  As he explains elsewhere, if the NT is reliable, we have good reason to believe that the OT is reliable.  Why?  Because Jesus is in the NT to verify the reliablity of the OT.
5. The answers offered in this post are brief by design.  If readers are interested in learning more about the case for Christianity, I would encourage them to explore our blog.  I would recommend you begin with our "Apologetics Arsenal" here or our "Free Apologetics E-book Library" here.  

Related Posts

Saints and Skeptics: Six Poor Reasons for Rejecting the Miraculous

Craig Keener on Miracles

Do Atheists Believe in Miracles Without a Miracle Worker?