Articles by Scott Oliphint

Imaging the Image

Article by   April 2014
This month we want to focus on our status as "image of God," as we begin to think as well about its apologetic implications. Tenet 4 of our "Ten Tenets" says this: Man (male and female) as image of God is in covenant with the Triune God, for eternity. The Bible never gives us a definition of what "image of God" means. It uses the phrase in various contexts (e.g., Gen. 1:26-27, 9:6; 1 Cor. 11:7, 15:49; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10; James 3:9), but it is not concerned to define it for us. Yet "image of God" is what sets us apart from every other created thing. How could it be, at one and the same time, so central to who we are and yet without a precise definition? 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

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
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