Results tagged “Apologetics” from Reformation21

The Accident of Two Legs

Article by   December 2014
Part of what it means to love the Lord our God with our minds is that we are meant to interpret the world around us, the people we meet and see, ourselves and our relationships, in light of the sovereign plan and purpose of God. In other words, we are to interpret these things as they really are, and not as somehow irrelevant or inapplicable to Christianity. continue

The Problem of Theological Cataracts

Article by   September 2014
C. S. Lewis once famously said: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." If, as Christians, we see everything through the lens of Holy Scripture, we can, by the grace of God, understand the world as it really is, rather than how it might appear on the surface. continue

Living in Wonderland or Lost in Wonder, Love and Praise

Article by   August 2014
This tenet has a host of ideas supporting it, and it may help to clarify the terms used in order to make explicit some of those ideas. When we think of the antithesis as "absolute," we are pointing to the fact that the ground or foundation of the antithesis is not measured on a relative scale. For example, the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian does not depend on how each one is acting at a particular time. It is not measured by how much "good" a non-Christian accomplishes, or how much sin a Christian commits. The way in which God has chosen to identify mankind, since the fall, is that one is either in Adam or one is in Christ. So, when God looks on the host of people on the earth, he sees those who either abide under wrath, by virtue of being sinful in Adam, or under grace, by virtue of being counted righteous in Christ. There is no third "place" to be. There is no sliding scale with God. No one can be partially in Adam and partially in Christ. One's foundation before God is defined by one of these two "Adams," the first or the last (I Cor. 15:45). Because of this, we all operate -- we live and move and have our being -- in terms of the one to whom we are united. continue

Treading Through the Tenets: Of Metaphysics and Marriage

Article by   June 2014
This month we look at the man-ward side of God's natural revelation, which means, what we do with what God is doing. Last month, we saw the God-ward side of that revelation. God is, always and everywhere, from the time of our existence into eternity future, making himself known to all people, at all times. Note carefully: God is the actor here, and not we ourselves. God is the one revealing, and ensuring that his revelation gets through to every creature. There is no possibility of getting an "F" on the "Knowing God" exam on judgment day. There is no possibility that the knowledge that God reveals is in any way false. The sober and substantial truth of the matter is that all people, by virtue of being image-bearers of God, begin their existence as knowers of God, because knowers of creation. This has massive theological, and epistemological, implications for every person. Christians, and philosophers, would do well to tuck this truth away in their bag of necessities and have it handy to pull out each and every day, first thing in the morning. This is the way to begin to interpret ourselves, and the world around us. Because God is actively revealing himself, that revelation hits its mark every time. We know because he reveals; it's that simple. continue

How Jesus Became God: A Review

Article by   May 2014
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to review a number of Bart Ehrman's books, including, most recently, his volume Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors are Not Who We Think They Are (HarperOne, 2011). At the end of that review, I concluded with these words: [Ehrman] regularly goes beyond what the evidence can sustain. For this reason the book, like many of his others, comes across as more autobiographical than academic; more polemical than historical. Ehrman still seems to be chasing the ghosts of his evangelical past. One wonders how many more books he will need to write before they go away. continue

Embracing Religious Contradictions to Proclaim Christ Crucified: Tolerance and Coexistence

Article by   March 2014
Diversity. Respect. Tolerance. Coexistence. These are buzz-words for the twenty-first century. I remember the first time I saw a Coexist bumper sticker, around 2004 in Irvine, California. Coexist was spelled using symbols from various belief systems: a crescent moon for the C, a peace symbol for the o, male/female symbols were integrated into the e, the Star of David for the x, a Wiccan pentagram for the dot of the i, a yin-yang symbol for the s, and a cross for the t. I was mystified. I thought it was ingenious. I had never seen so many religions standing side by side to form a single word. continue

Only Two Companies Hiring

Article by   March 2014
Of the Ten Tenets in a Covenantal approach to apologetics, we will focus, this month, on Tenet three. The Ten Tenets are these: 1. The faith that we are defending must begin with, and necessarily include, the Triune God -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- who, as God, condescends to create and to redeem. 2. God's covenantal revelation is authoritative by virtue of what it is, and any Covenantal, Christian apologetic will necessarily stand on, and utilize, that authority in order to defend Christianity. continue

Treading Through the Tenets:Cumulus Clouds or Cognitive Concrete?

Article by   February 2014
Last month we began to tread through the Ten Tenets of a covenantal apologetic. We began with a discussion of the importance of beginning our apologetic with the Triune God. This month, we'll expand on Tenet Two. Again, for those who have not read Covenantal Apologetics, the Ten Tenets are these: continue

Treading Through the Tenets: Triunity

Article by   January 2014
As a new year begins, I thought it might be helpful, to some at least, to put some flesh on the bones of "The Ten Tenets" of a Reformed apologetic, as those tenets are delineated and discussed in Covenantal Apologetics. So, what I propose to do is to take a new Tenet each month, for ten (or so) months, and explicate, briefly, something of their substance and significance for a Covenantal approach to apologetics. continue

Never Always Winter

Article by   December 2013
In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis describes Narnia as a place where it is "always winter, but never Christmas." This is a perfect way to explain to a child (and to the rest of us) what cold despair and degradation look like. "Always winter"-- everything is frozen, dead, unable to grow or green; "never Christmas" -- no gifts, no family meals together, no warmth from the fire, nothing to which to look forward. continue

Extracting Nectar From a Painted Rose

Article by   November 2013
A few years ago, Harvard scholar and author, James Wood, wrote a review of Bart Ehrman's, God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer, entitled "Holiday in Hellmouth." Wood is an eloquent, penetrating, and insightful thinker and his relatively brief review is perhaps the best, most concise, and accessible articulation of what many see as the "problem" with "the problem of evil" and the various responses that have been offered to it. Wood is rightly repulsed by any discussion of the problem of evil that remains within the cold confines of academia. He loathes the "sterile laboratories of the professional theodicists, where white-coated philosophers quite often crush suffering down to the logician's granules of P and Q." For him, as for most, the "problem of evil" is located, not in the ivory tower, but in the intense tension that is naturally felt between the incalculable amount of suffering in this world and the existence of God. continue

The Glorious Groan of the Gospel

Article by   October 2013
In my last article, I hinted at one way that a Christian could respond to the "problem of evil." The problem, we will remember, is a distinctly Christian problem. As it is often charged, the problem has to do with the existence of the Christian God and the tremendous amount of evil and suffering in the world. continue

Mind and Cosmos

Article by   September 2013
Thomas Nagel. Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. 130 pp.  Hardcover: $24.95.There are basically three types of modern atheists: soft atheists, hard atheists, and conflicted atheists. Soft... continue

Covenantal Apologetics

Article by   September 2013
K. Scott Oliphint, Covenantal Apologetics: Principles and Practice in Defense of Our Faith. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013, 277pp. $19.99In his latest work, Covenantal Apologetics, K. Scott Oliphint seeks to recast Cornelius Van Til's presuppositional apologetics as "covenantal apologetics" - a... continue

Nor the Heart of Man Imagined

Article by   September 2013
The problem of suffering, sin and evil, in its myriad forms, is the most difficult problem that any Christian faces. The problem is sometimes construed too abstractly, as if it were only an intellectual problem. But it isn't. It is an intensely human problem, a pastoral problem, a global problem, a problem that everyone lives and breathes. Anyone who lives in this world, daily, even multiple times per day, recognizes the reality of evil and suffering in this world. Suffering is a universal iron blanket that covers the entirety of the world; it affects everyone, it presses down on us with relentless pressure, and it never abates. The effects of suffering and evil squeeze on us with such massive weight, that they threaten to crush us and render us virtually paralyzed. continue

Making Faces

Article by   August 2013
One of the most fearsome phrases in all of Holy Scripture is this: Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field..."(Gen. 3:1). The reference here is to the subtle schemes of Satan himself. This "craftiness" of which Moses speaks, is, in this case, a perverted brilliance, a distorted genius, and its aim is to manipulate circumstances to ensure that people will always harbor and nurture their inbred and inveterate rebellion against the holy triune God who made them. I wonder how many of us read the account of the serpent's temptation and man's subsequent fall into sin in Genesis 3 and think to ourselves, "I would have resisted that!" To think such things is a part of Satan's craftiness, and it is proof that the subtlety of the enemy is alive and well on planet Earth. continue

Of Adamites and Aromas

Article by   July 2013
A couple of months ago we looked at the antithesis that characterizes all of mankind. It is crucial to remember that God has sovereignly determined how he would relate to his creation, specifically to man. That determination includes God's unilateral and sovereign initiation of a covenant. The covenant relationship is marked, not simply by God's relationship to each person, but it is marked, first and foremost, by God's determination that each of us individually are related to God by virtue of his appointed representatives. continue

The Bridge of Persuasion

Article by   June 2013
Last month we explored the biblical notion of antithesis. It is important to see that this notion has its home in Reformed thinking. Because we confess that man, in Adam, is dead in trespasses and sins, we understand that there is nothing in our character as depraved sinners that can move even an inch toward the truth of God. Our condition before God is not simply that we are sick, not even that we are really, really sick. We are dead. We are Lazarus in the tomb. The only way that we can move toward Christ is if he calls us out of the tomb, and by that call gives us new life. Apart from that, there can be no movement at all. Dead means dead; it doesn't mean 'partly alive.' continue

Crossing the Chasm

Article by   May 2013
Last month we began to consider the mode of "persuasion" as a central aspect of our defense of Christianity. We ended our previous article with the affirmation that the Word of God must be our foundation in apologetics. That's where we stand when we engage in a defense of the faith. We don't pretend to stand on the same platform as those to whom we speak. Whatever platform the unbeliever attempts to mount is nothing more than a mist; one may think that it feels, at times, like it is something substantial, but, in reality, its supposed strength is only an illusion, nothing more than a midsummer's madness. continue

All Other Ground is Sinking Sand

Article by   April 2013
What I would like for us to begin to think about in this post is a Reformed theology of persuasion in apologetics. Possibly one of the more frustrating aspects of a Covenantal apologetic for some may be that, with any answer to any objection, there always remain questions that could have come up, issues that might have been discussed, objections that were not addressed. continue

Et Tu, Brute?

Article by   February 2013
It was March 15, sometimes called the "Ides of March." It was a day like any other day. But as the soothsayer ominously reminded the emperor Julius Caesar, the day was not yet over. Cassius and the Roman leaders were afraid that Caesar's power was going to his head. Too much power for Caesar meant too little power for them. So they decided it would be best if Caesar was out of the way. They plotted to assassinate the emperor. Not only so, but they convinced Caesar's good friend, Brutus, to join them in the assassination plot. Before the Ides of March was over, Caesar had died a tragic death. The tragedy of his death was that his friend had conspired to kill him. continue

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Article by   December 2012
Every year, as the Christmas season approaches, some folks object to the celebration of Christmas due to its allegedly pagan roots. Some critics are Christians while others are cultists (i.e. Jehovah's Witnesses). Before proceeding any further, let's draw a few distinctions. The question at issue is not whether Christians have an obligation to celebrate Christmas. Rather, the issue is whether it's wrong for Christians to celebrate Christmas-given the allegedly pagan roots of the holiday. continue

Linus or Manmas?

Article by   December 2012
There have been a number of attempts, of late, to do away with any kind of public celebration or acknowledgment of the real meaning of Christmas. The latest one I read concerned an atheist group that was wanting to ban "A Charlie Brown Christmas" from television. These attempts shouldn't surprise us; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, the world hates Jesus, and they hate him without a cause (John 15:25). Santa Claus and snowmen are not offensive, but Linus, on public air waves, quoting Luke 2:8-14 as the real meaning of Christmas cannot be tolerated. continue

Dripping Like A Leaky Faucet

Article by   September 2012
A question has come from a reader in Austria concerning the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the relationship of that guidance to the Reformed doctrine of Sola Scriptura (1). This question is a good and relevant one, and it is one that seems to be more and more common these days. The issue itself is complex, but it relates to (at least) two aspects of a Reformed view of Scripture that should be highlighted. It has deep theological and apologetic implications. continue

"Wholly Upon God"

Article by   July 2012
There are a few questions that readers have submitted that seem to belong to the same generic family. Specifically, questions have come that revolve around the doctrine of Scripture and its relationship to apologetics. These are great questions, and they show an insightful and central focus of the apologetic task. continue

Thought Thinking Itself?: Christianity and Logic

Article by   June 2012
Does A equal A? The answer to this question is, of course, yes, but the broader question is, how should Christians think about logic? Especially when it is Scripturally mandatory for us to affirm the paradoxical, how can we also affirm, as we must, that contradictions are a fatal problem? These are knotty questions, with all kinds of avenues, venues, rabbit trails and responses. continue

From Theodicy to Theophany: Inscrutability and the Problem of Evil

Article by   May 2012
The problem of evil is still considered to be the strongest argument against Christianity specifically, or theism generally. It is thought to be the Achilles Heel of Christianity, the one thing that brings the whole position crumbling down. One of the reasons that the problem of evil is considered to be such a strong argument against Christianity is that it has such broad appeal. Unlike strictly metaphysical or epistemological arguments against God's existence, the problem of evil is one that is more intuitive, understood by virtually anyone, whether or not he is a philosopher. continue

Who Knows?

Article by   April 2012
It is impossible to understand the object of apologetics, i.e., unbelief, without meditating on the implications of Romans 1:18ff. We'll look at a few salient points in that passage and hope the meditative aspects will be applied by the reader. One note by way of preface to this passage - just exactly how one goes about the apologetic task is as varied as there are positions and people. What must be the case in all such tasks, however, is that biblical principles cannot be transgressed, sacrificed, undermined or subverted. The Bible gives us, we could say, apologetic boundaries within which we are bound to stay. Within those boundaries, however, there is a good bit of elbow room; we needn't feel constrained. On the contrary, understanding these principles will liberate us to address the root cause(s) of the clear and present danger of the position(s) and people with whom we interact. continue

How Could a Good God Allow Suffering and Evil?

Article by   June 2009
There are two kinds of evil: moral and natural. Moral evil is sin, such as murder, rape, abuse, terrorism, or genocide. Natural evil is what causes suffering and unpleasantness; it is the result of moral evil. For example, every human dies, animals suffer, natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes wreak havoc, vehicles crash, diseases kill millions, and horrific freak accidents occur. Like everyone else, I have tasted this evil more than once, including when my parents separated when I was four and later when my youngest brother died of Neuroblastoma cancer when he was just six years old. It is ugly and painful. continue

Finding God In The Shack

Article by   June 2009
A review of Finding God in the Shack is therefore, in one sense, a review of a review which tends to a rather cumbersome exercise in circumlocution: I am discussing Olson's discussion of Young's discussion! For that, let me beg your indulgence. continue

Review: There Is A God

Article by   May 2008
R.C. Sproul reviews Anthony Flew's latest book: There Is a God continue

The Reason for God: A Critical Interactive Review

Article by   May 2008
I love the good news of Jesus Christ. I love apologetics. I love good writing. And I love Tim Keller. continue

Deconstructing...Musing on Some Modern Problems About Words

Article by   April 2008
Then along came Deconstructors who took things further. Philosophers like Hans-Georg Gadamer, Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida ("more Frenchmen" I hear you exclaim, but Derrida was technically born in Algeria). Derrida's point is (well, "was" since he is also dead - in 2004) that even the very words themselves employed to describe such a view are themselves an impossibility since words have no stable relationship to reality. continue

Results tagged “Apologetics” from Reformation21 Blog

2014: The Year of Atheist Spirituality?

Article by   December 2014
Several years ago, while on vacation, I bought a quirky little book by the French philosopher André Comte-Sponville entitled The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality. Though I knew no work quite like it, the idea the author developed, that atheists... continue

Apologetics & the Power of God's Word (including a little more from Origen)

Article by   December 2014
The primary apologetic value of the efficacy of God's word is obvious: the gospel is the power of God to save everyone who believes and the instrument the Spirit ordinarily uses to bring people to faith and keep and grow... continue

William Evans and the Days of Creation

Article by   July 2013
Prof. William Evans of Erskine College has taken on Al Mohler on the days of creation, among other things. Steve Hays at Triablogue has offered a thorough response here. HT: The Aquila Report... continue

Trueman Debate Video

Article by   January 2013
Since Trueman's assent to stardom as Augustine redivivus, the requests for copies of the debate have almost crashed our server. Ok, so maybe that's a bit of an embellishment, but either way you can watch the debate here:Part 1: https://vimeo.com/57071226Part 2: https://vimeo.com/57377467... continue

Last Call for Questions

Article by   April 2012
First, thanks to all of our readers for the excellent questions submitted so far! There's still time to email more questions to r21@alliancenet.orgBeginning next month, Dr. Oliphint will post article-length replies to your questions. Thank you again!... continue

Call For Questions

Article by   April 2012
We here at reformation21 pride ourselves on customer service (for examples, look no further than our (failed?) attempts at toning down Levy and posting doctored pics of Trueman). Pursuant to that end, we are calling for your questions for our... continue

Going Down? Dawkins, Doubters and Debauchery

Article by   March 2012
Editors' note: A summary of the incident referred to by Dr. Oliphint can be found here.Richard Dawkins, who is arguably the (non-existent) god of all things atheist, recently found himself on the wrong end of a verbal baseball bat. The... continue

A Culpable Case of Amnesia

Article by   March 2012
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15).We have been... continue

Choosing to Walk in a Fog

Article by   February 2012
There are a multitude of ways that one can defend the Christian faith. My last post was meant to highlight one way, a way that has enormous cultural, political, and social implications. It has those implications because it is fundamentally... continue

T4T?

Article by   February 2012
A non-Christian friend of mine recently returned from a trip overseas. When I asked him how his trip was, he looked me in the eye and, with finger pointing and shaking in my face, steadfastly declared to me, "There is... continue

The End of Infidelity

Article by   February 2012
Last fall, Steve Hays of Triablogue, did an excellent article for ref21 refuting the collection of new atheist essays published under the title of The End of Christianity (ed. John Loftus).The book-length refutation of Loftus and company is now available in... continue

Fast and Furious Fulmination

Article by   January 2012
Apologetics is a defense of the Christian faith; the word "apologetics" comes from a Greek word that means defense. In my last article, I mentioned that apologetics has been concerned, perhaps overly or exclusively so, to answer philosophical challenges with... continue

Always Ready

Article by   January 2012
Editor's Note: We are excited to welcome Dr. K. Scott Oliphint to the reformation21 blog. Dr. Oliphint is the professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He is the author of numerous books, including his... continue

Chrysostom, Christians and Critiques

Article by   April 2011
One of the things Christians are increasingly hearing from secular critics is that Christianity is not only wrong, but evil; it's false but also immoral. One of the best responses to this phenomena is a recent book by the guys... continue

Robert Webber, Presuppositionalist

Article by   August 2008
I've been reading the late Robert Webber's last book, Who Gets To Narrate the World? Contending for the Christian Story in an Age of Rivals  (IVP, 2008), and came across these lines: "When we argue [in an evidentialist] way, we... continue
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