God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

Monday, March 11, 2019

Book Review: The Beauty of Intolerance

"The Beauty of Intolerance: Setting A Generation Free to Know Truth & Love" by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell

Introduction

A few years ago, Sean McDowell gave a talk at the AMP Conference called "The Beauty of Intolerance." In the talk, he spoke of two different views on tolerance that seem to be clashing in today's society. He explained how the differences explain much of the political rhetoric of "hate" and "phobias" and "intolerance." He focused specifically on the Church's speaking truth in love and how this view is actually the most tolerant. This talk has been one of my favorites for a while. I discovered shortly after I first saw the talk that Sean and his father, Josh McDowell, coauthored a book, "The Beauty of Intolerance," that went into the topic much deeper and focused on how Christian parents can effectively communicate moral truth to a morally relativistic generation. As a parent and one who defends the objectivity of morality (and, thus, the existence of God), this book was one I dare not pass on reading, which turns out was an excellent decision. Now, before I get to my usual chapter-by-chapter summary review and the remainder of my thoughts, here is the talk by Dr. Sean McDowell that originally caught my attention.





Monday, March 4, 2019

Why Must Christians Appeal to Science In Arguing Against Abortion?

Introduction

Abortion has recently become a hot topic again in American politics. With President Trump's appointments of conservative judges to the Supreme Court and the States' legislators proposing and passing more restrictions on abortions, it is very possible that we will see the decision that legalized abortion (Roe v. Wade) challenged, if not overturned.

I was in a discussion with a fellow pro-life advocate this week, and he took issue with my use of science to make the case for the humanity of the unborn. His position was that we did not need to use science but only use the Bible to make the case. So, I was in a position of needing to defend my defense.

Sources of Truth

I want to start out by affirming my pro-life brother in his belief that the Bible is indeed sufficient to make the case, but it is sufficient to make the case to Christians- those who recognize the Bible as an authoritative (and inerrant) source of truth. But not everyone accepts the Bible as an authoritative source of truth. Not everyone in America (and especially not in American government) is a Christian, and even if people are Christians, there is no guarantee they hold the Bible to be inerrant and the final authority in their lives. For people in these two categories, making appeals to the Bible to argue for anything is not going to get very far. If we want to see a non-Christian or a more "liberal" Christian agree with us against abortion (or any other matter of truth), we need to argue to our conclusion using a source of truth that they also recognize.

Friday, February 8, 2019

What Is The Intellectual Cost of The Pro-Choice Position?

Introduction

In recent months a major political and moral shift has been underway across America. The legality and morality of both infanticide and murder are actually being debated. But not under those terms. No, euphemisms are being used to obfuscate what is truly at stake- the lives of millions of people- your children's lives, your grandchildren's lives, for generations to come.

If we continue to ignore this debate and do nothing, we do so at a severe intellectual, moral, and personal cost. This post will help you see through the intentional obfuscation of those who are actively attempting to deceive you into supporting these atrocities.

The Terms Used

The debate over infanticide and murder are logical extensions of the debate over abortion. On one side, people argue that terminating a pregnancy (up to and including while the mother is in labor) can be justified (the "pro-choice" position), while the other side argues that there exists no such justification (the "pro-life" position). The pro-choice advocate gets emotionally heated because they believe that a mother has the right to exercise autonomy over the life of her unborn child. The pro-life advocate gets emotionally heated because they believe that no human, including the mother, has the right to exercise autonomy over the life of any unborn child.

In the midst of the emotional exchanges, some advocates on both sides attempt to take a more objective approach and provide evidence for their position in an effort to bring a logical resolution the debate. If one side is successful in this goal, then their emotional responses may be justified by the evidence, but if that position is not justified by the evidence, then the emotional responses (and the position itself) is not justified and logically must be abandoned. The abandonment would include all laws and legal decisions that support the position as well. Today, I want to take some time to examine the available options and see how they square with reality and experience.