Saturday, September 28, 2013

J.P. Holding's Review and Critique of The Case Against The Case For Christ by Robert M. Price


While there are some things to be wary about regarding J.P. Holding's apologetics (especially his earlier works and activity), the following is a link to his thought provoking review of Robert M. Price's book The Case Against The Case For Christ. It's a book which many skeptics love to refer to when trying to debunk Christianity. Price's book is itself a critique of Lee Strobel's book The Case For Christ. Holding was given the name "James Patrick Holding" at birth. When he was an infant, his name was legally changed to "Robert Turkel". Holding used his birth name as a pseudonym online, before formally changing his name to his birth name in July 2007.

The Price of Playing with a Bulldog by J.P Holding
http://www.tektonics.org/ezine/pricecase/pricecaseindex.html

Here's a link to an audio of a lecture by Holding on the "Christ Myth" hypothesis:
http://youtu.be/cLrbQnfGucA

I [Richard Carrier] still find many of his [Robert Price's] claims under-documented and his arguments often weaker than they need to be, his methods are often a cipher, and he is bad at clarifying (e.g. he will defend many different mutually-contradictory theories without explaining what we are supposed to conclude from the fact that he does that, such as whether he thinks they are all equally likely or whether he thinks some are more likely than others but that all are more likely than historicity, or if he even thinks they are more likely than historicity rather than only just as likely or unlikely but likely enough to be uncertain of historicity, etc.; and that’s not the only confusion Price will lead you into, it’s just the one that I often notice the most). He also never thoroughly defends a single coherent theory of Christian origins, making him a moving target for critics (contrast with Doherty, who does a generally good job at this, and is the best mythicist to read, although he still stubbornly falls short of dissertation quality argumentation and just complains when I say that rather than trying to work out how to formulate and document arguments in a way that would pass a fair peer review–such as learning to stop crowding strong arguments with weak arguments, and instead drop the weak arguments and just shore up the strong arguments).
http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664/comment-page-1#comment-54444



I [Bart Ehrman] should say that one of the things that struck me, quite forcefully, in the aftermath of the publication of the book, was just how virulent, mean-spirited, and militant some atheists can be. The hate-mail and hate-response that I received for this book from the far left was absolutely as vehement as the hate-mail and hate-response that I have received for other books from the far right. It’s not easy being a historian, wanting simply to know what happened in the past, when so many have so many vested interests in having things their own way. Many of the mythicists are simply fundamentalists of a different stripe. Or so I’ve experienced!
http://ehrmanblog.org/video-jesus-exist/

See also the resources at the following links:
Christian CADRE

Triablogue

Book Reviews of Recent Atheist Authors by Christian Apologists


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Answering Moral Objections to the Bible


Before listing the links answering moral objections to the Bible, here are some blogposts that are related:

Why Obey God?
http://misclane.blogspot.com/2014/09/why-obey-god-rough-draft.html

God in Relation to Law: Ex Lex, Sub Lego or Sibi Ipsi Lex
http://misclane.blogspot.com/2014/05/god-in-relation-to-law-ex-lex-sub-lego.html



Audio/Video:

Richard Hess: Did God Command Joshua and Israel to Commit Genocide?
https://youtu.be/wI4d-6oqmNc

Answering Moral Objections to the Old Testament (videos) by Peter J. Williams
http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/09/26/answering-moral-objections-to-the-old-testament/

or
Here

New Atheists & Old Testament by Peter J. Williams (during the Reasonable Faith Tour 2011)
http://youtu.be/ulCbh_1SlwE

Is the Old Testament Ethical? by Peter J. Williams
http://www.apologetics315.com/2009/08/is-old-testament-ethical-peter-williams.html

Short Audio/Visual materials by Peter J. Williams HERE

Is it reasonable to believe in Old Testament morality? by Peter S. Williams
http://youtu.be/QjaVuB51uHc

Is God a Moral Monster? by Paul Copan
http://youtu.be/1C3q3Zr_R8E

Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan (Tactical Faith Live Stream)
http://youtu.be/Ohz3Aa3wucs

Slavery and Genocide in the Bible? by Paul Copan
http://youtu.be/1yuEFfTCOhw

Did God Sanction Slavery in the Old Testament? by Paul Copan
http://youtu.be/CyLpygp4eSE

Questions & Answers by Paul Copan
http://youtu.be/EZuYOvdgNHs

Good God and Evil World by Paul Copan 
http://youtu.be/ORqzUTPvHOo

Talking with Paul Copan about Genocide in Old Testament
http://youtu.be/4lap_BdOJQo 

Is God a Moral Monster? Paul Copan Interview
http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/01/apologist-interview-paul-copan-is-god.html

God commands Abraham to kill his son by Dr. Paul Copan
http://youtu.be/0SCehNfyJaY

The killing of the Canaanite woman and children - Dr. Paul Copan
http://youtu.be/X1K8pEB2xic

Is God a Moral Monster? by Dr. Paul Copan
http://youtu.be/xWJ-raa3lOQ

The killing of the Canaanites in The Old Testament by Paul Copan
http://youtu.be/-F9RYE2G2SE

The penalty for Israel breaking laws in The Old Testament by Paul Copan
http://youtu.be/uQiRaqS8nHM

Old Testament God vs The New Atheists | Paul Copan, PhD
http://youtu.be/oHUIOBrGnYg

Making Sense of the Old Testament God (Paul Copan)
https://youtu.be/bksANxAv2JA

Old Testament Atrocities by William Lane Craig
http://youtu.be/k2kSST8O93Y

Did God Command Genocide In the Bible? by William Lane Craig
http://youtu.be/9FGv9aOCcyU

Did God Command Genocide in the Bible? - William Lane Craig vs. Richard Dawkins' Statements
http://youtu.be/gH0c_rWkang

The "Slaughter" of the Canaanite Tribes Revisited
https://youtu.be/DZt1giKdDpA

Did God Commit Atrocities in the Old Testament? by William Lane Craig (Podcast)
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/did-god-commit-atrocities-in-the-old-testament

Is God a Moral Monster? by Frank Turek
http://youtu.be/3sO087AjU08 

Q & A: God's Sovereignty and the Genocide of the Old Testament by Ravi Zacharias
http://youtu.be/avyEziBHEx4

Violence in the Old Testament: Seven Minute Seminary
Part 1 http://youtu.be/7hotJ7p0f9I
Part 2 http://youtu.be/pGVn1gaSsAs
Part 3 http://youtu.be/Tf2lX1nYkKw

God Behaving Badly: Author Interview of David Lamb
http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/06/author-interview-david-lamb-god.html

Though the Crusades happened after the writing of the Bible, atheists often cite the Crusades as examples of Christian hypocrisy or of the carrying out in practice the logical implications of Christianity. So, here are interviews of Clay Jones Crusades
Part 1 http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/01/clay-jones-interview-crusades-part-1.html
Part 2 http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/01/clay-jones-interview-crusades-part-2.html
Part 3 http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/02/clay-jones-interview-crusades-part-3.html

The Violence of The Old Testament by Richard Swinburne
http://youtu.be/QjbXwZMst9w
I hesitated to include this video of Swinburne because while his ultimate point is true, it skirts the issue of the inspiration of the Old Testament texts that were gathered and accepted by Christians. The fact is that the documents were originally received or eventually recognized by the Jews as inspired revelation by God before they were accepted by the Christian community. In fact, (and more precisely) the original Christians were themselves Jews who accepted the Tanach as inspired Scripture.

Genocide in the Old Testament with Dr. Bob Chisholm, Dr. Gordon Johnston and Dr. Darrell Bock
http://youtu.be/fZEwPmtuusU

Old Testament Violence with Sam Shamoun and David Wood
https://youtu.be/ieIn6vyg3Rc




Online Written Materials:

How is the Islamic idea of jihad different from the violence in the Bible?
https://www.gotquestions.org/jihad-Bible.html

Common Objections to Christianity  by Steve Hays (a blogger at Triablogue)
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2011/10/common-objections-to-christianity.html

There are many blogs at Triablogue that deal with the moral objections to the Bible from a Calvinistic perspective (e.g. those by Steve Hays and Paul Manata). One can perform a search for those blogs. There are also books there that touch on the subject by the Triabloggers (though not all the authors or contributors are Calvinists). 


The Infidel Delusion by the Triabloggers
http://calvindude.org/ebooks/stevehays/Infidel-Delusion.pdf

Part 2 http://calvindude.org/ebooks/stevehays/Why-I-Believe-2.pdf

Chattel slavery by Steve Hays
 
Slave trade by Steve Hays

Runaway slaves by Steve Hays

Good Jesus meets bad atheist by Steve Hays

The slave trade by Steve Hays

Voluntary slavery by Steve Hays

Flogging by Steve Hays

Polyester by Steve Hays

Feminist Misogyny by Steve Hays
http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/misogyny.html

The Long Branch Saloon by Steve Hays
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-long-branch-saloon.html 

Revenge killings, honor killings, and Scripture
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2015/09/revenge-killings-honor-killings-and.html

Kill the infidel
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2015/01/kill-infidel.html

Slaughter of the Canaanites by William Lane Craig (Q & A #16)
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaughter-of-the-canaanites

The “Slaughter” of the Canaanites Re-visited by William Lane Craig (Q & A #225)
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-slaughter-of-the-canaanites-re-visited

Once More: The Slaughter of the Canaanites by William Lane Craig (Q & A #331)
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/once-more-the-slaughter-of-the-canaanites


Slavery in the Bible: Articles & Audio at Apologetics315 website
http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/09/slavery-in-bible-articles-audio.html

Does the Old Testament Endorse Slavery? An Overview (Part 1) by Paul Copan
http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201102/201102_108_slavery.htm.cfm 

Does the Old Testament Endorse Slavery? (Part 2) by Paul Copan
http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201103/201103_124_OTSlave.cfm


Why Is the New Testament Silent on Slavery — or Is It? by Paul Copan
http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201104/201104_108_NT_slavery.cfm

The Question of Slavery by Break Point website
https://www.breakpoint.org/features-columns/breakpoint-columns/entry/2/17244

Doesn’t the Bible Support Slavery?
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/doesnt-the-bible-support-slavery/

Slavery in the Bible: 8 Quick Resources
http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/06/slavery-in-bible-8-quick-resources.html?m=1

Does the Bible Condone Slavery?
http://rzim.org/a-slice-of-infinity/does-the-bible-condone-slavery/

Common Objections: The Old Testament is Full of Rape, Murder, Slavery, Homophobia http://www.monergism.com/blog/common-objections-old-testament-full-rape-murder-slavery-homophobia

Should sodomites be executed?
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2017/03/should-sodomites-be-executed.html

The Bible’s Attitude to Rape by George Athas
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2014/06/the-bibles-attitude-to-rape/

 The Punishment for Rape and Bad Translations
https://reformedtheonomy.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/the-punishment-for-rape-and-bad-translations/

Does the God of the Old Testament Endorse Slavery? Why Does the Bible Never Condemn Slavery? http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/skeptics/03slavery.html


Does the Bible Condone Slavery and Sexism by James M. Hamilton
http://jimhamilton.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Does-the-Bible-Condone-Slavery-and-Sexism.pdf

Why Does the Bible Condone Genocide? by John Hendryx
http://www.monergism.com/blog/why-does-bible-condone-genocide-john-hendryx

Our Poisoned Culture of Libel and Defamation by John Hendryx
http://www.monergism.com/blog/our-poisoned-culture-libel-and-defamation

Holy War in Joshua: Texts of Terror?Michael S. Horton
http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=1502&var3=main

Five Differences between Sharia and Old Testament Law by David Wood
http://www.equip.org/article/five-differences-sharia-old-testament-law/



Recommended books:

Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God by Paul Copan

Toward Old Testament Ethics by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.
Kaiser's other books are also relevant. But especially the one above because it explains much of the rationale of Old Testament ethics.

God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist? by David T. Lamb

Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views on God and Canaanite Genocide editor by Stanley N. Gundry


See also my other blogs:

The issue of Rape and Deut. 22:28-29

Could God Command a Christian to Kill?

Resources for Dealing with Alleged Bible Contradictions, Discrepancies and Errors

Dealing with Christian Doubts

Christian Apologetics: Who Needs It? by William Lane Craig 

Book Reviews of Recent Atheist Authors by Christian Apologists

Detecting and Finding God

"Unveiling" The Hiddenness of God

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Consequences of Ideas

by R.C. Sproul


http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?sourceOnly=true&currSection=sermonssource&keyword=ligonier&keyworddesc=&subsetcat=series&subsetitem=The+Consequences+of+Ideas

The link above is to R.C. Sproul's audio introduction to philosophy and how Christians understand the historical developments and debates in philosophy. It includes 35 audio lectures. I recommend Gordon H. Clark's introductory book to philosophy From Thales to Dewey as a supplemental resource.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Book Reviews of Recent Atheist Authors by Christian Apologists


Book Reviews



John W. Loftus books

Satan's School for Girlie-Men by Steve Hays [a book review of "Why I Rejected Christianity"]
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/10/satans-school-for-girlie-men.html

From Apologist to Atheist: A Critical Review of "Why I Rejected Christianity" by Norman Geisler 
http://normangeisler.net/articles/Atheism/2007-FromApologistToAtheistCriticalReviewLoftus.htm

A Book Review of "Why I Became an Atheist" by Tekton website
http://www.tektonics.org/ezine/loftusindex.html

More reviews of Loftus' books by Tekton website
http://www.tektonics.org/lp/loftus01.html


The Infidel Delusion by Steve Hays, Jason Engwer, Paul Manata, and Patrick Chan [a book review of "The Christian Delusion"]
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/07/infidel-delusion.html

DIRECT LINK
http://calvindude.org/ebooks/stevehays/Infidel-Delusion.pdf


The End of Christianity? by Steve Hays [a preliminary book review of "The End of Christianity"]
http://www.reformation21.org/articles/the-end-of-christianity.php

The End of Infidelity by Steve Hays and Jason Engwer [a book review of "The End of Christianity"]
http://calvindude.org/ebooks/stevehays/The-End-of-Infidelity.pdf



Richard Dawkins book


The Dawkins Delusion by Steve Hays [a book review of "The God Delusion"]
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/10/dawkins-delusion.html


The Dawkins Confusion by Alvin Plantinga [a book review of "The God Delusion"]
HERE or HERE



Christopher Hitchens book

A Review of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Steve Hays
http://web.archive.org/web/20080508083824/http://www.chalcedon.edu/articles/article.php?ArticleID=2751
OR HERE
http://www.thephora.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-27384.html

Paul Manata's audio book review of "God Is Not Great"
http://www.apologetics315.com/2008/08/christopher-hitchens-book-review-by.html


Bart Ehrman books
Resources Responding to Bart Ehrman
http://misclane.blogspot.com/2013/05/resources-responding-to-bart-ehrman.html





other collaborative books

This Joyful Eastertide by Steve Hays [a review of "The Empty Tomb"]
http://calvindude.org/ebooks/stevehays/This-Joyful-Eastertide.pdf

A Critical Review of The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave by Norman L. Geisler
http://normangeisler.net/articles/theResurrection/2005-ACriticalReviewOfBookTheEmptyTomb.htm

The Infidel Delusion by Steve Hays, Jason Engwer, Paul Manata, and Patrick Chan [a book review of "The Christian Delusion"]
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/07/infidel-delusion.html

DIRECT LINK
http://calvindude.org/ebooks/stevehays/Infidel-Delusion.pdf


The End of Christianity? by Steve Hays [a preliminary book review of "The End of Christianity"]
http://www.reformation21.org/articles/the-end-of-christianity.php

The End of Infidelity by Steve Hays and Jason Engwer [a book review of "The End of Christianity"]
http://calvindude.org/ebooks/stevehays/The-End-of-Infidelity.pdf



Related Links



Common Objections to Christianity by Steve Hays
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2011/10/common-objections-to-christianity.html

Why I Believe Part 1: A Positive Apologetic by Steve Hays
http://calvindude.org/ebooks/stevehays/Why-I-Believe-1.pdf

Why I Believe Part 2: I'm Glad You Asked! by Steve Hays
http://calvindude.org/ebooks/stevehays/Why-I-Believe-2.pdf

Love the Lord With Heart and Mind
http://calvindude.org/ebooks/stevehays/Love-the-Lord-with-Heart-and-Mind.pdf
See especially Steve Hays' contribution

Christian Apologetics: Who Needs It? by William Lane Craig
http://gospelcrumbs.blogspot.com/2013/09/christian-apologetics-who-needs-it-by.html 

Resources for Dealing with Alleged Bible Contradictions, Discrepancies and Errors
http://gospelcrumbs.blogspot.com/2013/09/christian-apologetics-who-needs-it-by.html


See also my other blogs:

Evidence and Arguments Against Materialism and Naturalism

Answering Moral Objections to the Bible

Could God Command a Christian to Kill?

Resources for Dealing with Alleged Bible Contradictions, Discrepancies and Errors

Dealing with Christian Doubts

Christian Apologetics: Who Needs It? by William Lane Craig 

Detecting and Finding God

"Unveiling" The Hiddenness of God

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Reasonable Faith Tour Videos 2011


Paul At Athens


by Cornelius Van Til

When Paul and Barnabas came to Lystra and performed the miracle of the healing of the man unable to walk from birth, the inhabitants wanted to worship them as gods. They called Barnabas Jupiter and Paul Hermes because he was the chief speaker. Then Paul and Barnabas "rent their clothes and ran in among the people saying, Sirs why do ye these things? We also are men of like passion with you and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven and earth and the sea and all the things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness in that he did good and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them. And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead" (Acts 14:14-19).

Quite a contrast this, between being sacrificed to as a god, and then being stoned as it were to death. Which would you rather be? Paul chose rather to be stoned to death if need be. He was willing at least to take whatever might follow rather than be sacrificed to as a god.

Paul knows only two classes of people, those who worship and serve the Creator and those who worship and serve the creature more than the Creator. He had once upon a time worshiped and served the creature; then on the way to Damascus he had learned to worship and serve the Creator. Therein lay his conversion. To get men to worship and serve the Creator rather than the creature, therein lay his mission after his conversion. He knew the hatred of those who worshiped and served the creature against those who worshiped and served the Creator. It was that hatred that had impelled him to go to Damascus to find and bind those that were of "that Way," that served the Creator. He was prepared now to be the victim, if need be, rather than the persecutor. Men must at all costs be shown the folly of worshiping the creature; the issue between the two types of worshipers must never be blurred.

In a sense, this story of Paul's preaching at Lystra may be taken as typical of his entire method and-attitude when preaching the gospel to those who worshiped the creature. Creature worshipers he found everywhere he went, in the synagogues, in the market place, in the temples; among the religious and among the irreligious; among the educated and among the non-educated; among the Epicureans and Stoics as well as among the men of the street; among the naturalists and the supernaturalists alike.

Paul appealed to the heart of the natural man, whatever mask he might wear, and required of him that he repent from the vanity of creature worship to the fruitfulness of the worship of the "living God." That living God had appeared to him on the way to Damascus. He had appeared as the second person of the Trinity through whom the world had been created and was still sustained. He had appeared to Paul, this living God, as the one who had come down into this world to die for the sins of men, for their worship of the creature rather than the Creator. No one could now, he had learned, worship and serve the Creator except he worship and serve this Jesus Christ as Lord. This Jesus was God. He was the Creator and the great benefactor in giving men forgiveness of their sin of worshiping the creature. So Paul was determined to know nothing among men save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And this Jesus Christ as crucified had been raised from the dead by the power of God the Creator. Being God He had power to lay down His life and also had power to take it to Himself again. In His resurrection through the power of the Creator there stood before men the clearest evidence that could be given that they who would still continue to serve and worship the creature would at last be condemned by the Creator then become their Judge (Acts 17:31). Will men deny and defy the work of the Son of God in His death and in His resurrection? If they do, they will meet Him as their Judge. Will they refuse to repent from their sin of creature worship when called to repentance? Then let them know that the judgment and their condemnation is coming as surely as their own consciences condemn them when they serve the creature. No one can be confronted with the fact of the Christ and of His resurrection and fail to have his own conscience tell him that he is face to face with his Judge.

Having meditated on all this in the long period of his preparation for his apostolic work, the Apostle Paul was fully determined never to have his message subtly inter- woven with that of those who worshiped and served the creature. He would rather be stoned to death than flattered. He would rend his clothes and call upon men not to confuse his message with that of the priests of Jupiter, with the highest being of Plato, or the "thought thinking Itself" of Aristotle.

But where did Paul say anything about the god of Plato or the god of Aristotle? Was he not from all we know more favorable to the "monotheism" of the Greeks than he was to the polytheism of the popular religions? At any rate was he not favorably disposed to the "monotheism" of the Stoics whom he met in Athens? Is there not a mildness of speech on the part of Paul that does not look as though he is even inwardly rending his clothes and calling on men not to do such things? Was his message in the Areopagus milder than that which he had given to the common people in the market place? Or was he somewhat afraid of the authorities who might forbid his preaching or possibly even cast him into prison? The answer must be that the attitude of Paul with respect to creature worshipers was the same in Athens as that which it had been in Lystra. Moreover, for him the .'monotheism" of the Greek philosophers, even that of the Stoics, was still for him the worship of the creature more than the Creator.

Paul saw the many vanities in Athens, the city of the philosophers. He was stirred in his spirit because the city was wholly given to idolatry. And when asked to speak before the intelligentsia of the city, he did not say that he saw how the common people of the city, the people who had never heard of the Porch, or the Academy, who knew nothing of "the rational principle" which according to the Stoics pervaded all of the world, were very religious or very superstitious. He knew that all men are by virtue of creation by God very religious, and that all men are by virtue of sin very superstitious. He knew that this is true of the learned and of the unlearned alike. He knew that even the Epicureans who professed to believe in no gods and who likely spurned the idea of building any altar to any god, whether to a supposedly known or to an admittedly unknown god, could nevertheless fitly be represented by that altar to the unknown god.

Whatever his reason may have been for singling out the altar to the unknown God rather than the altars to supposedly known gods as evidence that they were religious, it surely was not that he attached himself to the system of thought that any of them professed to hold.
In particular it would be no more possible, from Paul's point of view, to attach himself to their doctrine of the unknown god than to their doctrine of their known gods. And this for the reason that their doctrine of the unknown god was involved in their doctrines of their known gods.

ALL IS ONE
Basic to all the thinking of the Greeks was the assumption that all being is at bottom one, that all change comes by way of some form of emanation from that one being and is therefore ultimate as the One, and that somehow all the ultimate multiplicity that exists as due to ultimate change again ultimately returns to the One. They were therefore all of them monists; they spoke of the reality as a whole without making the distinction between the Creator and the creature. All is water, all is air, all is change or nothing changes. Whatever is true of the world was for them also true of the god or gods above the world. But they were at the same time also ultimate pluralists. To the extent that they allowed for change at all, this change was ultimate. If there was freedom anywhere, this freedom was the same sort of freedom for gods and for men; if there was accident, gods and men were alike subject to it.

There was therefore in their way of thinking no place for the supernatural in Paul's sense of the term at all. Theirs was an exclusively immanentistic way of thinking; following Adam and Eve they sought to do without God; they had no place for God, the Creator, in their system of thought. They were sure that such a God as Paul preached did not and could not exist. They were therefore sure that Paul could not "declare" this God to them. No one could know such a God as Paul believed in.

But Paul knew that on the contrary, all men at bottom know God, the Creator. All men know that they are creatures of God, that they are law breakers. At bottom they know that their own systems, according to which God can- not exist, are rationalizations by means of which they seek to suppress the fact of their responsibility as creatures of God. Their own systems therefore could not satisfy them. Yet they would not, and as sinners could not, do without these systems. These systems were like masks which they had put on their faces not merely for "stunt night," but which they had put on so as never to be able to remove them. So they tried over and again to polish up and restyle these masks; there were face-liftings of various sorts. And the particular style of masks in vogue at the time of Paul when he came to Athens, as best we can make it out from secular historians of philosophy, was a nice blend of all previous schools of philosophy. In this blend there was a generous allowance made for what was thought to be "the divine" and "the supernatural." Men were very religious. There were the Epicureans, to be sure, but they were considered to be rather extreme. Even among the cultured it was in good style to recognize the fact that there was more in heaven and on earth than they had yet dreamed of in their philosophy. They believed in "the mysterious universe"; they were perfectly willing therefore to leave open a place for "the unknown." But this "unknown" must be thought of as the utterly unknowable and indeterminate.

THE SUPERNATURAL
There were according to these Greeks two ideas of "the supernatural," one of which they would gladly recognize, which it was custom and style at the time to recognize, and another which they would not and could not recognize. They were glad to recognize the fact that the universe is mysterious, that "science" does not cover the whole of reality. They were even willing to recognize that it is so mysterious that no one knows what it is. They had come to the conclusion that man as finite cannot know the uni- verse (including man) which is infinite. The infinite, they had concluded, was "wholly other" than anything they had so far known. The infinite was without quality. If it was not without quality it was no longer infinite. The idea of the infinite as apeiron, as wholly without quality, was the necessary concomitant of their idea of the universe as known by man in terms of man.

AUTHORITY
There were
therefore also two kinds of authority, one of which they would gladly recognize and one of which they could not and would not, on their basis, have anything to do with at all. They would gladly recognize the authority of experts, in whatever field, the authority of those who had had special experiences and had made special researches in one region or another; they would be glad to hear Paul too on the subject of religion as they might have been glad to hear Einstein on relativity. If he wanted to speak to them about some experience that he had had with the "noumenal realm," or if he wanted to tell them of some Einfuhlung that he enjoyed for Das Heilige, they were perfectly willing to hear of it; they were tired anyway and had no hopes of anything really new coming forth. But they would not listen to Paul if he came to them with ab- solute authority and if he claimed to tell them about that which they knew was inherently unknowable. Who did he think he was? Was he not a human being like themselves? Was he not subject to the same limitation as they?

THE RESURRECTION
They were a bit suspicious, shall we say, because of what they had heard Paul say about Jesus and the resurrection in the market place. But he is no common revivalist; so let us hear him out. Let us take him away from the rabble and ask him to make clear to us what he means by Jesus and the resurrection. Maybe there are such things as resurrections. Aristotle has told us about monstrosities has he not? Reality seems to have a measure of the accidental in it. And if anywhere, history is the realm where the accidental appears. So maybe he has something strange to tell US. We have an auditorium in which there is some vacant space. But Paul speaks to them about Jesus and the resurrection in a way not expected by them. He was determined to know nothing among them save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He wanted to speak to them of the living God, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe and of mankind. He wanted them to be converted from the service of man to the service of God; he wanted them to become covenant- keepers instead of covenant-breakers. So he did the equivalent of what he did in the presence of the men of Lystra. Again he tore his garments, this time figuratively. Again he said in effect, "Sirs why do ye these things? Why are you seeking to weave the resurrection of Jesus Christ into the pattern of your immanentistic way of thinking? I am come to preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities to the living God. You yourself admit that reality is mysterious. You have many altars to gods you think you know and then you have an altar to a god you say you do not know. Will you show me how you make this sort of view intelligible to yourself? What is the relation between the gods you say you know and the god or gods you say you do not know? Is it not the same reality, the same universe of which in one breath you say that it is wholly unknown and also that it is wholly known? If there is that in the universe which, on your system, is wholly unknown, and if this which is wholly unknown has an influence for good or for evil on that which you say you know, do you then really know anything at all? Why not destroy all the altars to the gods you say cannot be known? On your basis it is impossible to know anything unless you know everything, and since by admission you do not know everything you should admit that the whole of your religious activity is an irrational procedure. And what is true of your religion is true of your science. You do not know what water, earth, air and fire are. You appeal to some common principle above them all from which as a common source they spring. But then this common source has, as Anaximander said, no positive quality at all. It must be without quality to be truly beyond and thus truly common, and when truly beyond and therefore without quality, it cannot serve as the explanation of anything that has quality in the world that you claim to know.
Your worship is therefore one of ignorance, of ignorance far deeper than you are willing and able on your assumptions to own. On your basis there is no knowledge at all; there is nothing but ignorance.

CULPABLE IGNORANCE
But worse than that, your ignorance is not only much deeper than you own; it is of a wholly different character than you think it is. It is ethical, not metaphysical in character. You are making excuse for your ignorance on the ground that you are finite and that the world is infinite. And you make an altar to a god whom you speak of as unknown. Well, God the true God, is not unknown to man at all. He is not unknown to you. It is but sham modesty when you speak of reverently bowing before the mysterious universe. To be sure, finite man cannot know all the wondrous works of God. But man can and does know that God, his Creator, exists. Man can and does know that God is the living God who is not only the original Creator but also the controller and bountiful benefactor of mankind. He is not far from any of us, His creatures. Has He not made us aware of ourselves only as we are aware of Him as our God and as our Judge? Your own conscience answers "Yes" to what I say. You must admit that it is only because you are seeking to hide the true state of affairs about yourself that you have erected this altar to the unknown god. You are trying to make yourself believe that you have done justice to the demands of God if only you faintly recognize that there is something that is higher than yourself, that God is bigger and better than yourself. But when you thus recognize God as bigger and better you are still bringing Him down to the level of the creature. You are still worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator. The God you are worshiping is Himself involved in the cosmos and therefore dependent upon its laws. He is in need of your worship; He is not sovereign over all but dependent upon all. What ignorance, what guilty ignorance, what unbelievable ignorance for those who call themselves philosophers and pretend to know what the people do not know.

REPENTANCE AND HOPE
But there is hope; there is hope through repentance. I am here to tell you of the way of escape; I am not a philosopher. I am not telling about monstrosities and wondrous things when I speak of the resurrection. I speak of the Creator God who in Jesus of Nazareth came down to earth to die for the sins of men, and was raised for their justification. Through Him there is pardon for your sins, for men of all classes, for common men, for philosophers and wise men, too. But to receive this pardon you must accept this message on the authority of God Himself. I am come to tell you that of which by your system you could never know. I am come to tell you that your systems are not merely inadequate in the sense that they do not cover all the questions that men must ask, but that they are sinful because they leave out God. The wrath of God is upon you philosophers, upon you scientists, you men who are monotheists as well as upon you who are pluralists, upon you who recognize the supernatural as well as upon you who do not recognize the supernatural, upon you who make the altar to the unknown gods and upon you who make the altars to the known gods. You heard me preach Jesus and the resurrection in the marketplace. I am now, at your request, giving you the setting for such preaching. And the setting is all-important. It is that which gives meaning to the fact of the resurrection. Without this setting the resurrection would be a monstrosity that you could weave into the pattern of your immanentistic views. Please do not so interpret the resurrection. I am teaching you of a philosophy of history in which there are no monstrosities. The Jesus who died and rose again from the dead died to remove the sins of men that believe and trust in Him. Naturally those who do not so believe and trust in Him will finally be punished. For He is God, He is the Creator and Controller of the laws of the universe. He is the ever living God. He will appear again in a special way to judge as He has once come in the past to redeem. He came into the world that they that should believe in Him should be saved and that they who should not believe in Him should be damned; He will therefore come again as He promised His apostles when He left for heaven; He will come again, the second time as the Judge of men, to judge men by the truth which He himself is.

Will you not then repent and bow to him now? Kiss the Son lest He be angry with you in the judgment day.

By this time the men that heard him knew that Paul did not mean the same thing that their poets had meant when they too said that men live and move and have their being in God and that they are the off spring of God. The Stoics meant by such expressions to assert that men were essentially of a piece with God: men are by virtue of their intellects participant in deity, they said. The intellect of man as participant in deity cannot sin. Man's intellect may make mistakes because it is finite, but it cannot be wrong in its purposes.

THE FRAME OF REFERENCE
So Paul tells them that if their poets have said what is right as far as the words are concerned they should have placed a different meaning in these words than they did. If they said what was true and right, they said what is right because their systems are not right. They could say what is right not in accord with, but only in spite of their systems. It is because the framework of the universe is what Paul spoke of when he proclaimed to them the God whom in their consciences they knew, but whom according to their professed systems they did not know, the Creator and Controller of the universe, that they could say what is true about parts of that world or about the whole world. They could say this adventitiously only. That is, it would be in accord with what they deep down in their hearts knew to be true in spite of their systems. It was that truth which they sought to cover up by means of their professed systems, which enabled them to discover truth as philosophers and scientists. Would Paul for a moment attach himself to what Stoics meant when they spoke of man as the offspring of God? No more than he would attach himself to what they meant who had built the altar to the unknown God. If he attached himself to the one he could also attach himself to the other. But he could not and did not attach himself to either. Both were involved in one another, and if Paul had attached himself to either he could no longer have preached Jesus and the resurrection.

Jesus and the resurrection presupposed the doctrine of creation. Jesus and the resurrection implied the doctrine of judgment to come. It was the Son of God who had made the world and who was to come as judge of men at the end of the history of the world, who died and rose again from the dead in His human nature. It would not be this Jesus nor this resurrection that Paul would be preaching if he preached Him as consistent with the system of origin or destiny as held to by any of the forms of Hellenistic philosophy of the day. How could the resurrection be preached as evidence of the coming of the judgment and therefore as evidence of the coming condemnation of those that did not believe and trust in Him, if the universe is all of one piece and gods and men are both subject to its laws? How could Paul communicate to the Greeks about the resurrection of Christ if he did not place this resurrection before them in the theistic frame of reference given in the Bible in order thus to distinguish it from the ,'monstrosities" of Greek philosophy?

So then we conclude that even at Athens Paul did virtually the same thing that he had done in Lystra; he challenged the wisdom of the world. He did what later he did in his letter to the Corinthinians when he said: "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (I Cor. 1:20,21).

Is the church of Christ doing this thing today. and are we doing this today? Are we really desirous of knowing nothing save Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Are we really anxious to preach Jesus and the resurrection and the living God to men? Do we want to ask all men everywhere to repent and to see in the resurrection the evidence of their own eternal condemnation unless they do repent?

Then we must surely do what Paul did, tear our garments when men would weave our message into the systems of thought which men have themselves devised. We must set the message of the cross into the framework into which Paul set it. If we do not do so, then we are not really and fully preaching Jesus and the resurrection. The facts of Jesus and the resurrection are what they are only in the framework of the doctrines of creation, providence and the consummation of history in the final judgment. No man has found this framework unless he has been converted from the other framework through the very fact of the death and resurrection of Jesus as applied to him by the Holy Spirit and His regenerating power. It takes the fact of the resurrection to see its proper framework and it takes the framework to see the fact of the resurrection; the two are accepted on the authority of Scripture alone and by the regenerating work of the Spirit. Half-way measures therefore will not suffice; the only method that will suffee is that of challenge of the wisdom of the world by the wisdom of God.

Let us look at some of those who claim to believe or bring the Christian message to men today but who still want to attach this message of Jesus and the resurrection to the framework of philosophical speculation that does not fit with it.

CHRISTIANITY AND REASON (1)
The recent little book entitled Christianity and Reason is similar to that other little book of a few years ago called The Christian Answer. The aim of both books is to make Christianity acceptable to its cultured despisers. One of those cultured despisers, thinks Dr. Theodore M. Greene, was Professor Walter Stace who wrote an article in the Atlantic Monthly of September 1948 under the title Man Against Darkness. According to Stace the universe has been shown to have no meaning. Science has shown that man need no longer build any altars to the unknown god. He knows that there are no gods, at least no gods that are good and will reward the good. Against this thesis Greene would prove that "science, in its strict sense, can neither prove nor disprove God or goodness or beauty. It simply has nothing to say on these subjects" (p. 9). If Stace's assumption, that all experience is of a sensory nature, were true, then his conclusion would be right. "But what is to prevent us from being really empirical and believing that man's moral and religious experiences, which are no less coercive, vivid, sharable. and rationally interpretable than (1) Ed. D. Myers, Oxford University Press, 1951 are his sensory experiences, provide further contacts with reality and further clues to its nature?" (p. 11). Greene is contending that it is quite possible to reach a "moral and religious dimension of reality" by a truly scientific method. He thinks it is possible to hold intelligently that "man can in some measure know God" (p. 12). He would also justify the idea of authority in religion as wholly proper for the subject. But in all this he is very careful to keep his feet on the ground as he thinks. He agrees wholly with Stace that science says nothing about God. He insists very care- fully that whatever any minister of religion might ever want to say about God and religion must be in accord with what has already been said about the universe by science even if this science has said nothing about God. "Not only, therefore, is the position I would defend not anti- scientific, it is committed to reliance upon scientific evidence and to the full incorporation of accepted scientifically supported interpretations of nature" (p. 9). It is thus that the would-be defender of religion makes sure that there shall never be any preaching of Jesus and the resurrection after the manner of Paul as far as he can help it. Even if the fact of the resurrection should be preached, it would have to be reduced, according to Greene, to a repeatable instance of a law that the scientist can deal with on his exclusively immanentistic principles. Here a lay preacher of religion, though he says that "Man in the twilight need not falter" yet leaves him without any call to repentance, without any confrontation with Jesus and the resurrection. The worshiper of the creature is left without a challenge.

John Wild speaks in the same book on The Present Relevance o Catholic Theology as maintained by theologians of the Anglican communion. He speaks of a "keen sense of transcendent reality" (p. 34). He would speak of the Deus absconditus, but again this Deus absconditus must be sure that be does not affirm anything that is out of accord with the realism that has been developed by the natural man in accord with the method of Aristotle. Jesus and the resurrection, surely we ought by all means to have it, but by all means only as a monstrosity, not as something that requires conversion on the part of those who are confronted with it. George F. Thomas, Professor of Religious Thought at Princeton University, wants to defend the idea of religion and the knowledge of God. But he wants to do it by means of an empiricism that is somewhat milder and more modest in its claims than was the theism of Thomas Aquinas. He wants to build an attar to the unknown God but insists, as does Greene and as does Wild, that this God must never presume to speak with absolute authority to men. At most he must use the authority of the expert.

In each case the writers of this volume, as were the writers of The Christian Answer, are careful to maintain that what they assert about Jesus and the resurrection must be seen in the non-theistic framework that destroys its very significance and challenge to conversion. No one, in hearing what these men say, will feel compelled to ask himself whether he is ready to meet his judge.

DIALECTICAL THEOLOGY
But what then of the dialectical theologians? Do they not present the fact of Jesus and the resurrection as a challenge to conversion? Did not Barth vigorously reject Brunner's idea when he suggested that the Christian must make his religion understandable to the consciousness of the time? Did he not write his pamphlet Nein and assert that it is the first commandment by which we as Christians are to live?

Strange as it may seem, it is precisely Barth who exhibits best of all how one cannot present Jesus and the resurrection at all unless one does it in the framework in which Paul presented it. For what has happened? Barth seems to proclaim Jesus and the resurrection as a fact and on the absolute authority of that Christ Himself. And he tells men that there is no condemnation for them that are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. But he adds that all men are in Christ Jesus and that all men do walk after the Spirit. How else could they be men? No man can be conscious of himself without being conscious of forgiveness of his sins in Christ. Self- consciousness and Christ-consciousness are involved in one another. The No of God, the condemnation by God of the unrighteous, cannot in any case be the last word of God. His Yes is the final word. The negation of God, that is the sin of man against God, is an "impossible possibility." Man sins against God, of course he sins against God, all men sin against God, but in sinning against God they are in God; how else could they be present to God? How else can a child disobey the parent that gives it orders unless it be in the house of the parent? How else can the little child slap its father in the face unless it sit on the knee of the father?

It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ which, according to Barth, guarantees this fact that all men, to be men, must be in Him. Thus for him the resurrection is witness of the fact that there is no judgment coming in the sense that Paul used the word judgment. He uses the facts of Jesus and the resurrection as evidence that men need no conversion in the sense that Paul spoke of conversion; men are already converted when they are aware of them- selves as men. And all this because Barth is once more trying to fit the fact of Jesus and the resurrection into the framework that is accepted by an immanentist philosophy. Those who worship and serve the creature are thus not asked to serve and worship the Creator; they are rather told that what they are worshiping is the proper object of worship.

EVANGELICAL THEOLOGY
How then shall the Reformed minister set off his preaching of Christ and the resurrection from that of the old and the new modernism of which mention has just been made? Can he join the "evangelical" in this matter? Is not the deity and the resurrection of Christ one doctrine on which all evangelicals and all Reformed Christians agree?
To answer this question let us first assert that all true Christians believe in the resurrection in their hearts. But it is not true that all true Christian preachers preach the resurrection of Christ in the same way.

In particular there is a great difference between the "evangelical" and the Reformed way of preaching the resurrection. The "evangelical" will silently grant that the non-Christian scientist and philosopher have interpreted the "phenomenal realm" correctly with their exclusively immanentistic principles. He does this by saying in effect that those who believe the resurrection of Christ see more than the scientist and the philosopher can discover. The resurrection is iust [just?] said to open "great vistas of truth" not falling within the field of science.

Secondly the "evangelical" will preach the resurrection not as an indisputable fact but as something that Christians believe in and bet their lives on for reasons that are not objective.

In both of these points the "evangelical," as is his wont, makes concession to natural man's sense of autonomy. In both of these cases the "evangelical" seeks "common ground" with the unbeliever in order to win him. In both of these cases the evangelical compromises the gospel and to an extent frustrates his own efforts. There can be no full preaching or speaking of the resurrection unless the entire framework of non-Christian thought be challenged. Reformed Christians are bound to be tempted toward cooperation with evangelicals in the presentation of doctrines that all Protestants are said to have in common. Yet their own system of theology ought to lead them to follow Paul at whatever cost.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Narnia Code by Michael Ward


https://youtu.be/C1SlkBc6LIc
Based on his acclaimed books
Planet Narnia:The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis
and
The Narnia Code: C. S. Lewis and the Secret of the Seven Heavens

Or watch the video documentary The Narnia Code



Lessons From An Inconsolable Soul The Life of C S Lewis by John Piper
http://youtu.be/kSxyG7wLkmk

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Absurdity of Life without God

by William Lane Craig

 HERE's My FAVORITE VERSION of this Lecture.
(I don't know how long this video will be available. But it's my favorite version of this talk. Every time I find a copy of this video on the web, it eventually disappears.
There's a copy on YouTube but it skips badly.)

Dr. William Lane Craig - Is Life Without God Absurd? AUDIO (part 1 of 7)
(links to parts 2-7 can be viewed by clicking "About" and then "Show more"

Here's another version of the Lecture
(This version is annoying because of the unnecessary participants)





I recommend reading C.S. Lewis' sermon "The Weight of Glory" in conjunction with Craig's lecture.

Open up a new browser by clicking HERE

also:

The Impact the Resurrection Has on William Lane Craig
(Highly Recommended)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iyxR8uE9GQ&feature=youtu.be&t=56m13s







Here's an atheistic video on the transience of life:


 
Existential Bummer




Monday, September 2, 2013

Sabbatarianism Refuted


I intentionally state the following as the very first point I want to make. Namely, I have no problem with Christians observing the Sabbath (or for that matter Sunday) as their day of worship. My disagreement is with Sabbatarianism. Sabbatarianism is the teaching that the New Testament Scriptures teach that the New Covenant requires observance of the Sabbath as part of the laws Christians are necessarily under. That is, the laws that every Christian should be obeying and to which Paul referred as "under law toward Christ" (1 Cor. 9:21). In other words, it's the teaching that in order to be fully faithful and committed to Christ one would have to observe the Sabbath.While in theological literature "sabbatarianism" sometimes includes 1st Day sabbath observance, as some of the Puritians interpreted and applied the 4th Commandment under the New Covenant, my focus will be on 7th day sabbatarianism.

I have relatives who are Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist and Evangelicals (like myself). I was raised party Catholic and partly Adventist. I learned many good things from both, but I eventually became an Evangelical (first to convert among my relatives as far as I can tell). I've listed a few good resources responding to Catholicism on this blog and my other blogs but I haven't listed any responding to Adventism. So, here are some good resources. I'll be adding more as I have time.

As always, I don't necessarily agree with everything I link to or the general theology of the people I link to. Nor do I agree with every argument or conclusion made or documentation provided in the resources and websites I link to. Discernment should be exercised (as always). Nevertheless, the links are to resources that sometimes do make good arguments against Sabbatarianism and Seventh Day Adventism.

I'll be focusing on the issue of the Sabbath more than Seventh Day Adventism for two reasons. First of all, if Sabbatarianism is proven false, then all sabbatarian denominations are proven wrong on this topic which they deem highly important. Therefore, their other claims (especially for unique or special teaching/doctrine) will also be suspect. This is why I focused on the issue of the Sabbath when I first became serious about the Bible and living according to true Christianity. Secondly, I don't know enough about Seven Day Adventism to be able to judge how accurately and fairly some websites critique Adventism. I think it dishonors truth whenever people either misrepresent a theological position, or whenever bad or dishonest argumentation is used in defense of the truth. Moreover, it makes it more difficult to convince the person who is in error of their error if errors and erroneous argumentation is used to defend the truth.

Before I post some links, here's an edited version of a facebook discussion I had with one of my relatives. By the very nature of facebook communication, it had to be brief. But it sums up the bottom line when it comes to why I reject Sabbatarianism. Though, there are other arguments that are nearly as good or are subsidiary.

Thank you ___________ for the link. I have no problem with observing the Sabbath. I think Christians can and may continue to do so. I used to observe it (as best I could) in my teens (late 1980s-early 1990s). But upon further study of the Bible and of literature both for and against Sabbatarianism, I concluded (and still conclude) that Christians are no longer required to observe the Sabbath based on passages like Col. 2:16; Rom. 14:5; Gal. 4:10. Unlike past generations, the bests modern day scholars both among Seventh Day Adventists and Evangelicals (like myself) agree that the Greek word "sabbaton" in Col. 2:16 refers to the weekly Sabbath and not to the other annual sabbaths of the Mosaic covenant. For example, the late SDA scholar Samuele Bacchiocchi agreed that it refers to the weekly Sabbath. Though, he still argued that Christians still needed to obey the Sabbath command. But he also concluded that to be consistent with his interpretation of Col. 2:16, he and other Christians would have to observe the other Mosaic holy days as well. Yet, very few SDA have followed his conclusion and practice. The King James Version is wrong in translating it in the plural as "sabbath days" even though the form of the word is plural in Greek. That's because by the time of the writing of the New Testmant, "sabbaton" was used to refer to the weekly sabbath in the singular or the plural. The Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament that the Apostles used, referred to the annual sabbaths always, or nearly always as "Sabbata Sabbaton" ["Sabbath of rest"], not simply "Sabbaton" as in Colossians 2:14-17. The word "sabbaton" is used to refer to the weekly sabbath in Matt. 28:1; Luke 4:16; Acts 16:13. Also in the Septuagint Exo. 20:8; Lev. 23:37-38. Finally, the "yearly, monthly, weekly" pattern Paul used in Col. 2:16 proves he included the weekly sabbath because that's how it's used elsewhere in Scripture (though usually in reverse order). For example, 1 Chron. 23:31; 2 Chron. 2:4; 8:13; 31:3; Neh. 10:33; Isa. 1:13-14; Ezek. 45:17 Ezk 46:1-11; Hos. 2:11; Gal. 4:10. Because I believe the Bible is the highest authority, I'm always willing to change my mind if I encounter arguments that refute my views (which I summarized in this facebook message). Thank you again ___________ for the link. I will watch the video today or tomorrow.
Second Message
...Most (but not all) modern reliable translations translate it [sabbaton] in the singular as "sabbath" or "sabbath day" because there's a general scholarly consensus that Paul is talking about the weekly Sabbath. They include the following English translations ESV, NASB, NIV, RSV, HCSB, WEB, and older ones like the RV and the ASV. The Greek word "sabbaton" is used 60 times in the New Testament. Sabbatarians are usually willing to admit that in 59 of those instances it refers to the weekly Sabbath. It's only the 60th time in Col. 2:16 that Sabbatarians have traditionally denied it refers to the weekly Sabbath.
 
Regarding that last fact, it seems very ad hoc very convenient on the part of (most) Sabbatarians to conclude that there's only one exception to the translation of "sabbaton" in the New Testament.

Two other facts that I could have mentioned include:

1. Nowhere in the Old Testament is the Sabbath enjoined on Gentile nations as a binding law to their peoples or nationally. It's interesting that while many of the Old Testament prophets recounted or made lists of the sins of the surrounding pagan nations, they never included the sin of breaking the Sabbath. One has to ask, "Why not?" Apparently, it was because the Sabbath was only given to the Jewish people under the Mosaic Covenant. It was a special and unique sign of their covenant relationship with Jehovah/Yahweh. Yet, if it was a moral law, then it should have been binding on all nations just like the prohibition of adultery.

2. In the New Testament epistles written after the Ascension of Christ there are many lists of sins that Christians and non-Christians can be guilty of. Yet, nowhere in any of those lists is the sin of breaking the sabbath mentioned. One has to ask, "Why not?" Some of the epistles are written to predominantly Gentile churches. Surely they would need instruction on how to properly observe the Sabbath under the New Covenant. Sabbath keeping is not mentioned as a requirement at the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. Also, the book of Romans and Galatians deal with the issue of the role of the law in the Christian life. Yet, they too don't give and direct instructions regarding the Sabbath. Though, an argument can be made that both books reject the idea that the Sabbath is binding on Christians (cf. Rom. 14:4-6; Gal. 4:10). It seems to me that the best explanation for these facts is that the early Christians understood that the Sabbath was no longer binding under the New Covenant. Even though, Jesus Himself observed it (being born "under the law" [Gal. 4:4]).



Recommended Resources


Bible.ca is a website run by some group whose theology I have strong disagreements with. The website's theology seems to be Partly Pelagian and partly Semi-Pelagian in its understanding of grace. Something which goes contrary to Historic Protestant Evangelicalism and even historic Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Clearly this group is ignorant of much of church history. Otherwise, it would know to rejecct Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian views. NEVERTHELESS, some of the materials they have critiquing Sabbatarianism is very good. I'd say higher than 70%  of their arguments are devastating to Sabbatarianism. Meaning, there are some arguments and conclusions I disagree with. But in general, their arguments not only call into question Sabbatarianism, but absolutely refute it. Also, they have resources from other ministries and authors on their website (or links to them) that also demonstrate the impossibility of the Sabbatarian position as being Biblical and/or historical.

Here's a direct link to Bible.ca's page devoted to critiquing Sabbatarianism:
Sabbath Keepers Refuted
This part of the website dedicated to the issue of the Sabbath has many articles on the topic even though it may seem that it doesn't. You just have to keep on clicking. I wish it were organized better. 

Even if some of the allegations Adventists make about D.M. Canright are true, and even if some of his descriptions of Adventism are inaccurate, his arguments against Sabbatarianism are sufficiently valid and sound that they refute the Sabbatarian position. I've heard and read some of the negative things Adventists have said about Canright. Even assuming they are true, Adventists still have to deal with the facts and arguments he has made critiquing Sabbatarianism. Also, other ex-Sabbatarians have come to the same conclusions that Canright made (often independently, without influence or exposure to Canright's literature). Besides all that, there are reasons to question or even doubt some of the allegations made against Canright (e.g. here).

Seventh-day Adventism RENOUNCED by D. M. Canright 
Here are direct links to some chapters dealing with the Sabbath in this book (not in order):
Chapter XV - The Jewish Sabbath Abolished. Colossians 2.
Chapter XXI - Forty-Seven Prominent Texts used by Sabbatarians Examined 
Chapter IX - The Nature of the Sabbath Commandment
Chapter XIII - The Sabbath in the Old Testament

Chapter XIV - The Sabbath in the New Testament 
Chapter XII - Sabbatarian Positions on the History of Sunday Refuted
The Lord's Day From Neither Catholics nor Pagans: An Answer to Seventh-Day Adventism on this Subject by D. M. Canright (or here, here, here)

"Life of Mrs. E.G. White - Her Claims Refuted" by D.M. Canright, 1919





Recommended books:

Sabbath In Christ by Dale Ratzlaff
Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-Day Adventism by Dale Ratzlaff
Truth about Adventist "Truth" by Dale Ratzlaff
Truth Led Me Out by Dale Ratzlaff

Lying for God: What Adventists Knew And When They Knew It!  by Kerry B. Wynne, William H. Hohmann, Robert K. Sanders
(3rd edition here, here)
(6th edition here
(7th edition here)
(8th edition HERE or HERE. This one may actually be more recent than the edition "version 12.0" below).
(version 12.0 here) (this might be a version that's earlier than the 3rd edition. I'm not sure)
(10th edition HERE [3/3/2016])

The White Lie by Walter T. Rea

Sabbatarianism Re-Examined by Robert D. Brinsmead



Other Websites Critiquing Seventh Day Adventism 
(In accordance to what I said above, I don't vouch for their accuracy)
Some of these websites I've browsed and they appear to be very well argued and documented. Others I haven't browsed yet. I choose not to rate them so that whoever is reading this blog is forced to use discernment. Some of these websites do a very good job showing plagiarism on the part of E.G. White. They also show that she had to have been a false prophet since often times she claimed she received some of her teaching as revelations directly from God and not merely things she read from other authors and which God showed her was good for her to relay to others.

Truth or Fables
Robert K. Sanders

Proclamation Magazine
By Life Assurance Ministries
Blog, online magazine, studies, and more. 

Bible Studies for Adventists
By Life Assurance Ministries
A Biblical response to the daily Adventist Sabbath School lessons. 

Former Adventist Fellowship
By Richard and Colleen Tinker—former Adventists
Forum, stories, Bible studies, annual Former Adventist Conferences

LAM Publications
By Dale Ratzlaff—former Adventist pastor
Many books about Ellen White and Adventism, some are out of print.

Sabbatismos.com
By Jennifer & Joe Rector—former Adventists


ExAdventist.com
By J. Mark Martin—former Adventist pastor

What Adventists Need to Know
By Janet Brown—former Adventist

GentlyBroken.com
By Cherry Brandstater—former Adventist

One Flock Ministries
By Greg Taylor—former Adventist pastor

MM Oureach
By Keith and Lori McGregor—former Jehovah's Witnessess
Information on Jehovah's Witnessess, Mormons, Adventists, and others

History Overview about the Sabbath day (Online book)
By Rob Chaffart


Adventist Outreach Center  
By  R. J. Chaffart

Seventh-day Adventist Church Profile

One Flock Ministries 
By Greg Taylor

Seventh Day Cult  

 Cult or Christian?
 
The Clear Word
Exposed

 
What Seventh-day Adventists NEED to know
by Janet Brown


UPDATE

In a discussion with Drake Shelton at this BLOG I wrote some comments that Drake chose to delete. It's his blog and that's his prerogative. I just want to post my comments here for the record. His statements are in blue and my responses are in brown.

Don’t ever expect me to read another word you have written.
I have proved exactly what I aimed to prove about you . Don’t expect anymore of your comments to be approved here. You are proved the liar YOU ARE.

I make a distinction between those who knowingly tell falsehoods and those who do so unknowingly. I don’t think I’m a liar in the former sense. You’d have to read my heart to know that. My conscience is clean even if I have unknowingly said something that’s false.

You ignored the festival Sabbaths and the dietary laws. That passage mentions both.
I meant to include the festival sabbaths, the dietary laws and sacrifices. I think Rushdoony may have also affirmed that one could make animal sacrifices at the present time so long as it’s a memorial to/of Christ’s sacrifice and not a replacement or a denial of the all sufficiency of Christ’s. Even dispensationalists believe sacrifices will be made during their conception of the Millennium. As I said in my blog, I have no problem with Christians observing the sabbath (and I should have also included) keeping the dietary laws (even now I minimize my consumption unclean seafood). My disagreement is in the idea that the New Covenant REQUIRES it.

>So then why did Paul in Acts 21 [perform sacrifices]?
1. He did it to be a Jew among Jews to win converts (1 Cor. 9:20). 2. He understood it wasn’t ***necessary*** for him to do so (Acts 13:39). 3. The Old Covenant hadn’t fully passed away yet (Heb. 8:13). It did at the destruction of the temple. 4. Paul and I can affirm Rushdoony’s position.

Those are fast days not festival Sabbaths. Read from the beginning of the chapter into verse 6.
In light of the more weighty passages of Gal. 4:10, Col. 2:16, I think the context of Rom. 14:5 would include any type of special holy day even if ex hypothesi Paul is specifically talking about fast days. I’m sure you’ve addressed it somewhere, so I assume you believe Rom. 14:14 doesn’t really refer to unclean food, but maybe better translated “common” foods.

Then you have a contradiction between Rom 14 and Gal 4. Rom 14 it’s ok but not required. Gal 4 it’s not ok.
It’s not okay if done with a wrong understanding. Paul circumcised Timothy even though he told the Galatians not to. The difference was in the intention. Paul and Timothy knew that circumcision wasn’t required for justification or for full obedience to God.
[Clarification: What I'm saying is I believe it is okay for Christians (even now) to celebrate the Mosaic holy days. Some Christians do. Those holy days still have salvific significance. Both redemptively and eschatologically. What I'm against is the idea that it's required by the New Covenant or celebrating them in a way that contradicts the Gospel. Same thing with the Biblical dietary laws and most other ceremonial laws in the Mosaic covenant.]
Why is there no example of an animal being put to death for goring a man?
The sabbath commandment by comparison would be much more important as well as more relevant to the living out of the Christian life. There were multiple opportunities for Apostles to instruction the sabbath, yet rather than that we have Paul talking about something as insignificant as women wearing head coverings (btw, I’m open to the possibility that the head covering movement might be correct).

Why not bestiality? Why not usury? etc. Mat 5:17-19, that is why.
Christ fulfilled the law such that we are no longer required to obey the ceremonial laws, though we do the moral laws (if theonomy is right, in some sense the civil laws). I tend to see the OT civil laws as models for national legislation, rather than as still binding theonomically.

Why is there no post-resurrection command to observe Sunday?
I don’t believe Christians are required to observe Sunday either. Btw, I wonder if you’ve read the D.A. Carson edited book From Sabbath to Lord’s Day.

Your interpretation of NC context is denied by Mat 5:17-19. Acts 15:21
My position can account for why Paul could say it’s permissible to eat meat sacrificed to idols even though it apparently contradicts the commands of the council of Jerusalem (Acts. 15:20). Paul could teach in a way that ***seemed*** to contradict the council because he understood that it was okay so long as one did so by understanding the implications of the Gospel and didn’t stumble others. Notice the Council forbade meat tht was strangled and from blood (which is also in the Mosaic code). Yet it always puzzled me as an Armstrongite that they didn’t include the Sabbath or the other Biblical kashrut laws. Saying it was *understood* to include them would prove too much because the prohibition of strangled meat and blood would also superfluous. Therefore, they might as well have mentioned the more important kashrut laws rather than the lesser ones knowing that the weighter commands include the lesser. If the council forbade unclean meats, then it would make senes that strangled meats is included. It would be understood. So there’s no need to address Acts 10:15.

Here we have Gentiles keeping the Sabbath WITH JEWS.
Just because Gentiles kept the sabbath and attempted to worship the God of Israel doesn’t mean it was regarded as true sabbath observance by orthodox Jews. They wouldn’t have been allowed into the synagogue, much less the temple. The Samaritans also believed they worshipped the God of Abraham. Yet Jesus said “Salvation is of the Jews.” God had mercy on Cornelius by His sovereign grace. He was probably regenerate long before Peter shared the Gospel with him.

Wishful thinking can sometimes be confused with hope.
I was answering you at the level of your argument. You were appealing to time when you said, “This should be settled by now…” Aand as you yourself said, “Providence can decree many sins.” There will always be error and imprecision within and without the church.

So what is the necessity of his procession and define the difference between eternal generation and procession.
If we’re trying to live out Sola Scriptura and have our theology circumscribed by Scripture, then the doctrine of the Holy Spirit’s procession is underdetermined by Scripture. The fathers’ speculations about the procession of the Spirit is just that, speculation. Maybe some of what they said is true, but the Scriptures nowhere require one to believe it. We need to be careful not commit the sin of Matt. 15:9.

I am guessing the Hebrew is locked away in the Vatican Library
That’s a possibility. But many Catholic apologist would have the incentive to bring it out since they often argue that the Hebrew or Aramaic of Matt. 16 would conclusively prove that Peter is the rock in a way that would support Papal claims.

Can I see some references on that?
The burden of proof would be on someone claiming that John was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic. Not me. AFAIK, all the evidence suggests it was written in Greek. Unlike with the evidence for Matthew.

By deity do you mean nature or person?
Again, that’s the Greek mindset requring precision. I’m not sure the answer to the question. All I know is that there are many passages that seem to clearly imply or identify Jesus as the one true God. While admitting, there are other passages which Arians, Semi-Arians, Unitarians, and Nicene Monarchists appeal to which seem to dispute it.

Show me one single scholar who has dealt with thus issue to the depth I have:
I admit you’ve studied these issues deeply. But I think you’re letting systematic theology, historical theology, and philosophical theology overrule Biblical theology (though, those others have their place).

In order for me to make a private judgment, I have to be able to grasp an object with my mind to make a judgement about it.
What do you do when Scripture doesn’t speak on an issue? Or if the data is underdetermined? Or if the Scriptural evidence is paradoxical? Who says that God is obligated to inspired His revelation paradox free? Why assume it’s even possible given our cognative limitations?

If you can pray to three absolutely equal persons, if language means anything that is three gods.
I concede that Scriptural prayers are normatively to the Father, through the Son by or in the Holy Spirit. In the past we’re disagreed about passages where Jesus or the Holy Spirit is prayed to.

Christianity does not believe Mat 5:17-19. Period.
The Law requires many things. For example, circumcision and animal sacrifices. I doubt you perform animal sacrifices or gotten yourself circumcised if were weren’t already. In light Matt. 5:17-19 and of Jam. 2:10, and Gal. 3:10 the question shouldn’t be whether these laws are binding, but in what sense they are “binding”. That’s where i think much of what theonomists say is true. Christ fulfilled the moral, ceremonial and civil laws of the Mosaic Covenant. The moral laws were fulfilled for our justification so that while we’re obligated to obey them for righteousness’ sake and sanctification, we aren’t required to obey them FOR our justification. The ceremonial laws were shadows of Christ’s work such that we no longer need to obey them (though, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong about doing so, so long as it’s in keeping with the Gospel). I mentioned already my view on the civil laws.

The Gentiles were grafted into the same tree. We were not given another tree. Romans 11.
I agree. Christianity is Judaism fulfilled. Rom. 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

The Bible is so exacting about precision and unity in doctrine:
Yet, Sola Scripturarians disagree on the mode and subjects of baptism. Either your definition of Scriptural precision and perspecuity is wrong, or we need to abandon Sola Scriptura and accept the need for infallible Church Tradition. You virtually do so by your requirement to know precisely the right understanding of filiation, generation, spiration and procession. Presumably you know and are dogmatic regarding which eschatological position is true [spoken tongue-in-cheek].

You then list a bunch of passages affirming the importance of doctrinal precision and unity.
But there are also passages dealing acknowledging there’s room for growth in undersanding of orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Also, that there are some truths difficult to understand. E.g. 2 Pet. 3:16; Phil. 3:15-16; Rom. 15:1; 1 Cor. 2:6; 1 Cor. 14:20; Heb. 5:14; Eph. 4:13-16; Jam. 1:5

The scriptures are so exacting about the fact that we can have a perfect understanding of the scriptures.
Yes, regarding the essentials of the faith. filliation and spiration aren’t part of the essentials.
You know the WCF better than I do. “All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them”

*****For the perfecting of the saints********
You quote Paul saying, ” but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” Right, we ARE to. It’s a process.. Thus proving my point that the NT acknowledges that there’s room for growth in understanding. Eph. 5:27 seems to teach that the Church is not yet (at Paul’s time) glorious, without spots, wrinkles. Paul says it “should” (and will be in the future) be holy and [perfectly] without blemish.