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

Natalie Grant, The Grammys, and Defending the Faith

The blogosphere and social media have been quite alive with chatter about Grammy-nominated Christian music artist Natalie Grant's early departure from this year's award show. There has been much speculation about the reason(s) and/or performance(s) that pushed her to her limit of tolerance for that evening. Her initial tweet that sparked the reactions is quoted here, and her recent response to the reactions is quoted here. Grant did not call out any particular performance or performer or provide any specific reason why she called it a night early, but she did state that she had no intention of using her platform for political issues that cause division rather than unity.

I am not going to go into a long analysis of this particular situation. However, I do want to take the time to look at one of my favorite works from Natalie Grant from the perspective of someone who defends the truth of the Christian worldview and show the connections with this situation.

Book Review: Christian Endgame

"Christian Endgame: Careful Thinking About The End Times" by Kenneth Samples


This reviewer writes quite often about the importance of internal theological discussions to apologists. Eschatology (end times) tends to be one of the most fascinating, heated, and damaging debates within the Church. As prophecy enthusiasts keep attempting to predict the date of Christ's return (and fail), it makes the Christian worldview appear to be falsified from the perspective of unbelievers. In order to address these challenges, it is important that Christians think carefully about eschatology. Kenneth Samples (Reasons to Believe) attempts to provide a starting point for responsible thought and discussion in his most recent book, "Christian Endgame: Careful Thinking About The End Times."

This is a short book of only 59 pages divided into eight chapters, plus three appendices. This review will provide an abbreviated chapter-by-chapter summary in an effort to not give away all the content of the book.

What I Expect of The Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham Debate

It recently came to my attention that Ken Ham and Bill Nye will be debating the wisdom of teaching creationism in the classroom. While I agree with Ken Ham that Christianity is the correct worldview, and that creation does deserve to be examined, I do not support his specific view of creation (young-earth creationism or "YEC"). I have critiqued arguments for this view (here, here, and here), along with Ken Ham's tactics (here and here). And other than remembering Bill Nye's TV show in the 90's and a recent anti-creationism video, I'm not too familiar with him. What I have to say here will focus more on the content to be debated and possible ways it could go (along with a couple I expect from Ham based on my familiarity of his past exchanges).

Book Review: Agents Under Fire

"Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science" by Angus Menuge


This reviewer has long been interested in the discussions about the existence of agents. Since the teleological argument depends on the existence of design being a legitimate concept, and that being dependent upon the existence of agents, Angus Menuge's book "Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science" (Hardcover, GoodReads) was quite appealing. This reviewer balked at the price on Amazon, but it was given as a gift, and this reviewer was ecstatic delve into it immediately. The book is 215 pages divided into eight densely packed chapters. This review is designed to be a chapter-by-chapter summary to prepare the reader to tackle this challenging text.


Dr. Menuge begins the preface of the book by stating that his purpose behind writing Agents Under Fire is to defend the existence of agency (a non-natural entity capable of reasoning and purposing). He explains that this is a pivotal question in debates about intelligent design, for if there is no agency then there is no agents to design anything (to compare the "designs" in nature to)- design even is an illegitimate concept and should be completely discarded.

Menuge defines two key terms for understanding the book: Strong Agent Reductionism (SAR) and Weak Agent Reductionism (WAR). SAR represents a complete "explaining away" of agency by positing that all decisions are the results of natural cause-and-effect systems- no thought, reason, or purpose are involved in such systems. WAR attempts to explain agency in natural terms- making agency a product of nature. He then offers some quick points of critique of each, but saves the deeper content for later.

Following the definitions is a chapter-by-chapter summary that helps the reader get his or her bearings and recognize how the book will flow. Some people are tempted to skip prefaces of books, but this is a case where doing so will make following the book much more difficult.