Monday, November 7, 2016

Gideons International Statement About the Bible

The following statement about the Bible is found in many of the New Testaments printed and distributed by Gideons International. It seems to me (correctly or incorrectly) that there have been slight variations of the statement down through the years. At least from what I've seen online. Nevertheless, the following is the version I'm used to and prefer down to the paragraphing and punctuation.


THE BIBLE contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.

CHRIST is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end.

It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.  It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Atonement Studies by William Lane Craig


The Evangelical doctrine of Penal Substitution has always had detractors. Since the beginning of the 21st century the attacks have been more pronounced and sophisticated. The following are some brief lectures by William Lane Craig on the topic of the atonement where he goes through various theories and then defends the Evangelical doctrine of Penal Substitution.

I'm currently adding links to the videos as they are being posted. I'm not sure how many videos in total there will eventually be.

[[UPDATE: There are Lectures on the Atonement by Craig at the bottom of this blogpost]]


Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part  11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part  16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22



Part 25

Part 26

Part 27

Part 28

Part 29

Part 30
(https://youtu.be/lQ0aoMRvZkk)

Part 31
(https://youtu.be/w6sa8fWaOtU)

Part 32
Philosophical Objections to the Atonement




Philosophical Issues in the Atonement:
The Coherence of Penal Substitution | Queen's University

(https://youtu.be/IoC-UTNh_6Q)








Fire-Maker: How Humans Were Designed to Harness Fire & Transform Our Planet


(https://youtu.be/an98jVCyApo)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Should We Pray for the Devil?



I saw the following meme on Facebook



The following was my response (with possible future typo corrections and additions):

1. It must be remembered that Satan sinned against greater light (i.e. knowledge) than all human beings, and probably than all other angels. He was probably one of the chief angels of God (if not THE chief; cf. Isa. 14 & Ezek. 28). He's the most guilty of all both in terms of greater light and in terms of being the greatest instigator of sin in others via temptation and lies down through the centuries. Satan probably led the angels in their falling away just as he instigated the Fall of Adam and Eve. Satan might also be the most gifted, powerful and intelligent of all creatures ever created (with the likely exception of resurrected and glorified human beings). So, Satan also sinned with greater accountability because of his superior intellect and powers.

2. It must also be remembered that grace (i.e. unmerited favor) and mercy are, by definition, not obligated. God didn't have to provide salvation for fallen creatures (whether human or angels). God would be righteous and just in never having provided salvation for either humans or angels.

3. Historic Christianity affirms God's exhaustive foreknowledge of the Future (whether Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Arminian, Lutheran, Molinist, Calvinist etc.). The Bible predicts and prophesies that the devil will not repent and has been destined for ultimate and final judgment (cf. Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10; Gen. 3:14-15; Rom. 16:20). To pray for the devil's salvation would contradict God's revelation of the future and is therefore sinful because you're denying God's foreknowledge (and if a high view of predestination is true, like in Calvinism, then also denying God's foreordination).

4. For Protestants Christ died to redeem human beings. In the context of redemption and atonement the author of Hebrews states in Heb. 2:16, " For surely it is ***NOT ANGELS*** that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham."  There's no indication of Christ dying for angels. Yes, there's a sense in which Christ's redemption has a universal effect on all creation and so in that sense Christ redeemed it by His death on the cross. But in terms of penal substitution, Jesus only died for human beings. Additionally, Calvinists generally believe Jesus only died for the elect. I'm a Calvinist and I lean toward the Calvinistic doctrine of Limited Atonement, but I'm not dogmatic on it. I still think it could be false.

5. For Protestants, we interpret the Bible to teach that sinners (whether human or angelic) by nature cannot freely come to God in repentance and faith. That's because sinners are in bondage to sin (contrary to Pelagianism). It takes God's initiating/enabling grace to touch a person for them to be delivered from bondage to sin and to be able to now freely come to God (contrary to Semi-Pelagianism which says that sometimes man can self-initiate an application of grace). Catholics and Arminians are among those who believe this. If Calvinism is true, then God's grace is not merely initiating and enabling, but it's also sufficient and efficacious. Either way, God's grace is revealed in Christ's atonement, and that atonement also graciously makes possible the redemption of sinners. But as has been noted in #4 Christ died for humans and (in all probability) not for fallen angels.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Apologetics On Audio Format


The following are links to various apologetical resources in audio format. They come from a wide range of apologetical methods/approaches from Classical apologetics, to Van Tillian Presuppostional, to Clarkian Presuppositional, to Evidentialist etc.


http://www.credocourses.com/blog/2015/the-ultimate-list-of-christian-apologetics-podcasts/

https://theologicalresources.wordpress.com/category/apologetics-audio/

http://www.apologetics315.com/2008/03/ultimate-apologetics-mp3-audio-page.html





Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Dark Ages Were Not As Dark As You Have Been Led To Believe



How Dark Were the Dark Ages?



The Dark Age Myth: An Atheist Reviews “God’s Philosophers”
http://www.strangenotions.com/gods-philosophers/


The Myth of the Dark Ages (with many other links)
https://ischristianitytrue.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/the-myth-of-the-dark-ages/


The ‘Dark Ages’ were a lot brighter than we give them credit for by Richard Swan
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/our-voices/battle-of-ideas/the-dark-ages-were-a-lot-brighter-than-we-give-them-credit-for-8215395.html


5 Ridiculous Myths You Probably Believe About the Dark Ages
http://www.cracked.com/article_20615_5-ridiculous-myths-you-probably-believe-about-dark-ages.html


Top 10 Reasons The Dark Ages Were Not Dark
http://listverse.com/2008/06/09/top-10-reasons-the-dark-ages-were-not-dark/


15 Myths about the Middle Ages
http://www.medievalists.net/2014/06/27/15-myths-middle-ages/


History of the Crusades
http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/02/history-of-crusades-with-matt-philipps.html


The Myth that the Church Hindered the Development of Science
https://ischristianitytrue.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/science-series-the-myth-that-the-church-hindered-the-development-of-science/


Misconceptions about the Middle Ages, Debunked through Art History
http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/misconceptions-about-the-middle-ages-debunked-through-art-history/


The Myth of the "Dark Ages":  Tricks the Dead Have Played Upon the Living
https://jtcontracelsum.blogspot.com/2011/04/myth-of-dark-ages.html


How the Middle Ages Really Were
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/quora/how-the-middle-ages-reall_b_5767240.html


Top 10 Inventions of the Middle Ages
http://listverse.com/2007/09/22/top-10-inventions-of-the-middle-ages/


The Flat Earth Myth
https://ischristianitytrue.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/science-series-the-flat-earth-myth/


God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science by James Hannam
http://armariummagnus.blogspot.ca/2009/10/gods-philosophers-how-medieval-world.html


William Lane Craig Recounts the Good that the Christian Church Has Performed and Encouraged Down Through the Ages
(https://youtu.be/jhGgGnfF5zQ?t=1m49s)




Richard Carrier, Bayes Theorem and the Historicity of Jesus


The odds form of Bayes's Theorem [Updated] by Lydia McGrew
http://lydiaswebpage.blogspot.com/2011/01/odds-form-of-bayess-theorem.html

π -ness Envy? The Irrelevance of Bayes’s Theorem
https://rjosephhoffmann.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/%CF%80-ness-envy-the-irrelevance-of-bayess-theorem/

Prior probabilities
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2012/04/prior-probabilities.html

The Jesus Process: Stephanie Louise Fisher
https://rjosephhoffmann.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/the-jesus-process-stephanie-louise-fisher/

Disproving Carrier's Proving History
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2015/08/disproving-carriers-proving-history.html

 Reading Dr. Carrier’s ”Proving History”A Review From a Bayesian Perspective by Tim Hendrix
https://www.scribd.com/document/271358647/Richard-Carrier-Proving-History-Review

 Richard Carrier’s ”On the historicity of Jesus”A Review From a Bayesian Perspective by Tim Hendrix
https://www.scribd.com/doc/305750452/Richard-Carrier-s-On-the-Historicity-of-Jesus

A Book Review of Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt by Christina Petterson
https://relegere.org/relegere/article/view/702/791



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Happy Birthday Jesus?




For those who don't know, some scholars have argued that Jesus was born Sept. 11, 3 BCE. For myself, I'm not fully convinced the theory is true. But ever since I found out about it a while back, I've found the theory VERY VERY VERY intriguing. The following is a link to Dr. Michael Heiser's article on the topic.




Michael Heiser's article also links to a video where he describes the theory using visual graphics. I've embedded the video below.

https://youtu.be/KQt9pBSYY5Y

or at the following links

https://youtu.be/O44nNzRa81Q

https://youtu.be/ddZ90HcNahg



Here's a Naked Bible podcast with Michael Heiser on the topic
http://www.nakedbiblepodcast.com/naked-bible-138-what-day-was-jesus-born/

Dr. Heiser makes reference to Ernest L. Martin's book:
The Star of Bethlehem:The Star that Astonished the World

The book is freely available online here:
http://www.askelm.com/star/index.asp

See especially CHAPTER FIVE where the theory is discussed:
http://www.askelm.com/star/star006.htm


Michael Heiser lists some recent scholarly reasons why Herod may have died 1 BCE in an article here:  http://drmsh.com/september-11-happy-birthday-to-jesus/

Heiser's two main sources in defense of a 1 BCE death of Herod are:
1. Herodian Chronology by Ormond Edwards,
from the Palestine Exploration Quarterly, volume 114, 1982 - Issue 1

2. When Did Herod the Great Reign? by Andrew E. Steinmann,
from Novum Testamentum 51 (2009) 1-29



There are also defenses for the traditional date. For example:

How December 25 Became Christmas  by Andrew McGowan



Yes, Christ Was Really Born on December 25: Here’s a Defense of the Traditional Date for Christmas by Taylor Marshall [Marshall's Catholic bias shows. Nevertheless, his arguments have some force].



Saturday, August 13, 2016

Greg L. Bahnsen's Doctoral Dissertation


Greg Bahnsen's doctoral dissertation is available for download. The title is, A Conditional Resolution of the Apparent Paradox of Self-Deception

It was presented to the faculty of the University of Southern California

Here's the link:

The Shroud of Turin


There are a lot of excellent websites and videos on the internet regarding the Shroud of Turin. I myself am not positively convinced that it is actually the burial shroud of Jesus. I'm open to that possibility. This blogpost will be dedicated to interesting links regarding the shroud that I may occasionally come across. Since the topic is not that important to me, I'll haphazardly be adding links of various quality and recommendation.

The Turin Shroud The New Evidence
(https://youtu.be/hxBzzR1QDKQ)




The Case for Jesus: Science & the Shroud of Turin | Robert Spitzer

The Shroud of Turin, Authenticated Again
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/434153/shroud-turin-jesus-christ-blood-relic-sudarium-oviedo

 New study shows Man of the Shroud had “dislocated” arms
http://www.lastampa.it/2014/05/07/vaticaninsider/eng/world-news/new-study-shows-man-of-the-shroud-had-dislocated-arms-dsfGr2euXrvlxBASsEwi1M/pagina.html


Update On The 1982 Carbon Dating Of The Shroud Of Turin
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2017/03/update-on-1982-carbon-dating-of-shroud.html


New Study: The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo Covered the Same Person
http://aleteia.org/2016/04/11/new-study-the-shroud-of-turin-and-the-sudarium-of-oviedo-covered-the-same-person/





Intelligently Designed Body


Evolution News and Views has a series of articles on the topic of Intelligent Design of the human body that I highly recommend. Here's the link to the page where the articles are listed for reading.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Responses to Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian


Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian is one of the most well known lectures in defense of the rejection of Christianity.

Here are some Christian responses to the lecture. I'll be adding more as I find good responses.

Why I'm not Bertrand Russell by Steve Hays

Apologetics in Practice by Greg Bahnsen (parts 1 & 2)

A Review Of “Why I Am Not A Christian” By Frederick Meekins

Related Blogposts and Links:

Book Reviews of Recent Atheist Authors by Christian Apologists

"My Father, Bertrand Russell"

Why I Believe by Steve Hays
Part One A Positive Apologetic
Part Two I'm Glad You Asked!
Why I Believe in God by Cornelius Van Til (YouTube audio)

Love the Lord With Heart and Mind
(See especially Steve Hays' contribution)



Friday, April 1, 2016

Flat Earth Refutations


I don't take seriously the idea of a flat Earth. Supposedly there are some interesting arguments in favor of the theory. However, I don't see the need for Christians to argue for a flat Earth. Nothing in the Bible requires it. Also, the arguments I have come across seem very far fetched. So, in my opinion, Christians who defend a flat earth are doing a disservice to Christianity. They are needlessly  creating a stumbling block or obstacle for non-Christians which makes it more difficult for non-Christians to embrace Christianity. The same goes for those who insist on absolute geocentrism. I find the arguments for geocentrism more plausible than for a flat Earth. However, I don't dogmatically hold to geocentrism for the same reason. Namely, there's no Biblical need to. Having said that I do have a blogpost on the topic here: Quotes in Favor of Geocentrism

The following are links to refutations of a Flat Earth:

Earth is a sphere. Few proofs for the Flat Earth Society
https://youtu.be/d3GD9gXzUBk

Dr. Jason Lisle DESTROYS Flat Earth NONSENSE! | ICR - Christian Creationism
https://youtu.be/KbYbCB5Zj_E




Monday, January 4, 2016

Daniel 9:24 Fulfilled

(posted 1/5/2017)

Dispensational Premillennialism denies that Daniel 9:24 has been fulfilled. However, there are other Christian views of the Millennium that does affirm that (at least) Daniel 9:24 has been fulfilled.


Mp3 lecture by Kim Riddlebarger on Daniel's 70 Weeks (AMILLENNIALIST)
http://links.christreformed.org/realaudio/A20101008-Amillenialism.mp3

Mp3 lecture by Ken Gentry on Daniel's 70 Week Prophecy (POSTMILLENNIALIST)
http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1270414171


Video lecture by Michael Brown on Daniel 9:24-27 (CLASSIC PREMILLENNIALIST)
https://youtu.be/hESNdHdYGbU?list=UUbINn3x-intLp88Zrf8acpg





More lectures by Ken Gentry. Many of which are on eschatology and Postmillennialism:
http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Rev._Ken_Gentry

 

More lectures by Kim Riddlebarger. Many of which are on Amillennialism:

https://www.monergism.com/legacy/mt/mp3/amillennialism-101-mp3-series-kim-riddlebarger

http://christreformedinfo.squarespace.com/mp3s-and-real-audio-of-academy/

http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Kim_Riddlebarger

http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/reformed-amillennialism/