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

Showing posts with label Salvation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salvation. Show all posts

Monday, April 15, 2019

Did The Historical Jesus Rise From The Dead?

Introduction- Why Is Jesus' Resurrection So Important?

Those who have followed this blog know that I focus a lot of my writing on defending the compatibility of science with the Christian worldview and that I spend much energy addressing philosophical and logical challenges to some of the finer details of Christian theology that skeptics offer as defeaters for the Christian worldview. However, it is important to remember that the truth of the Christian worldview rests on one, single historical event: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Christ has not been raised, then none of the other details of the Christian worldview matter. The Apostle Paul made this very clear in 1 Corinthians 15:

"If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone."- 1 Corinthians 15:17, 19

While finding answers to the finer points of the Christian worldview can be difficult, if Christ has been raised, then there are answers to every scientific, philosophical, and experiential challenge. Even if we may not know all those answers at any given point in time and even if the answers are different from what we envision or desire, if Christ has been raised, Christianity is true, and we can work out the finer scientific, philosophical, and experiential details later. So, it is important that all skeptics and Christians deal with and be made aware of the evidence for this essential historical event.

In today's post my goal is not to be comprehensive with the evidence for the Resurrection but to give the skeptic some videos and other resources to begin seriously looking at this claim and to make the Christian aware of resources that they can have to "always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that they have" (1 Peter 3:15).

Monday, January 1, 2018

Book Review: Salvation and Sovereignty- A Molinist Approach

Introduction
Among the many theological details that Christians discuss, the interaction between God's sovereignty and man's free will has to be one of the most heated. A lot of this heat comes from the thought that the other side is compromising some important doctrines of the Christian faith, including evangelism, God's moral perfection, man's moral responsibility, the justice behind eternal punishment, and several others. Along with defending the truth of mere Christianity, Christian case-makers encounter challenges regarding these doctrines all the time. It is important that the Christian hold a view that remains faithful to the whole of the text of the Bible while maintaining logical consistency, for if either of those is sacrificed in our defense of the Christian worldview, the skeptic has a "logical" reason to doubt the truth of Christianity, and a stumbling block has been put between them and Jesus Christ.

Traditionally this debate has been between Calvinism and Arminianism, and both have their problems that the skeptic can appeal to to justify their doubt; however, another historical view has been regaining favor as it has been further investigated and formulated by theologians and philosophers. That view is Molinism. This view combines the biblical and philosophical strengths of both Calvinism and Arminianism, removes their respective scriptural and logical liabilities all while remaining faithful to the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy and logical consistency. Unfortunately, numerous caricatures have been presented by those who hold opposing views. Dr. Kenneth Keathley has written Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach to clarify the misunderstandings and misrepresentations by explaining the details of Molinism and biblically and philosophically defending the view. This review will consist of my usual chapter-by-chapter summary and conclude with my thoughts and recommendations on the book.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Stories: We All Got 'Em

A Purpose for Suffering

This past weekend I pulled out some of my old CDs and came across a song I had not heard in a while. With all the pain and suffering in the world, it is often hard to see how God could have a good purpose for what he allows. But if it weren't for pain and suffering, most of us would not have a testimony of Christ's faithfulness to share with the unsaved. Why does a good God allow suffering? To draw people to Himself so that they can tell their story and bring even more into an everlasting relationship with their Savior and Creator.
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us."- Romans 8:18
This was part of God's plan for Redemption, from the creation of the world. If the Cross was not "Plan B" (1 Peter 1:20), then neither was pain and suffering. Our experiences, no matter how painful, have an eternal, good purpose. It is encouraging to hear a reminder of this. If you've been down to the bottom, how will you choose to allow God to use this powerful evangelical tool in your life and give your experience an eternal, good purpose?

Please take a few minutes and listen to "Stories (Down to the Bottom)" by TobyMac and allow God to speak to and encourage you through a fellow brother in Christ:


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Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review: 7 Truths That Changed The World

"7 Truths That Changed The World: Discovering Christianity's Most Dangerous Ideas" by Christian philosopher Kenneth Samples

Introduction

Philosopher Kenneth Samples (Reasons to Believe) recently published his third book: "7 Truths That Changed The World: Discovering Christianity's Most Dangerous Ideas" (PaperbackKindle and GoodReads). The idea behind the book is to examine ideas in the Christian worldview that stand in direct opposition to the majority of worldviews, making them dangerous to believe. Samples' approach to defending the truth of Christianity in this book is based on building a cumulative case for the worldview (not just a single doctrine, such as the existence of God). He introduces each idea by explaining the idea that Christianity will challenge, then he goes into a good amount of detail of the idea as he provides evidence for its truth versus the challenged idea.

Dangerous Idea #1: Not All Dead Men Stay Dead

Samples begins his presentation with what he calls "Christianity's most dangerous idea." He examines the claim that Jesus of Nazareth died and came back to life. Samples goes over seven pieces of evidence that critical scholars tend to agree took place. He explains the significance of each one and how they all come together to support the conclusion that Jesus bodily resurrected from the dead. Samples also examines several different naturalistic explanations for the evidence offered. He explains the weaknesses of each one and concludes that there is no other sound conclusion than that Jesus did rise from the dead.