Thursday, July 31, 2008
A few samples: The Definition of Atheism, The Euthyphro Dilemma, Probability of Fine-Tuning, What Price Biblical Errancy?, and more.
May you find these helpful.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Full MP3 Audio here.
William Lane Craig's review of this debate can be found here.
For the videos, go here.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
In this volume, edited by prominent Internet apologist James Patrick Holding, a team of Christian authors provide a series of essays giving detailed answers to those who argue for the "Christ myth." Though rejected by mainstream scholars, this theory continues to grow in popularity among popular writers and Internet antagonists.
You may also want to check out The Impossible Faith, also by Holding.
Check out his great Tektonics apologetics website as well.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Full MP3 available here.
The full transcript is here.
Original source is the European Leadership Forum.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
- Jonathan Edwards
Saturday, July 26, 2008
The first chapter happens to be one of the best defenses, or cases, for apologetics that can be found. In fact Geisler himself seemed to use chapter one as an outline in speaking about the need for apologetics at an apologetics conference. Gordon Lewis lays an excellent Biblical and rational foundation for the need for apologetics.
The book is structured so that each chapter presents an apologetic methodology espoused by a particular Christian apologist. The author introduces each apologist, presents their basic methodology, shows how that methodology tests for truth, shows how each apologist defended Christianity, and then shows how that methodology answers Flew’s “invisible gardener” metaphor. Following each summary is a critical evaluation of the shortcomings and strengths of each system.
The book examines the following methodologies: pure empiricism, rational empiricism, rationalism, Biblical authoritarianism, mysticism, and the verificational approach. J. Oliver Buswell, Jr. uses observable evidence to test Christianity’s truth claims. Stuart Hackett seeks to prove that the human mind has some “built-in” principles that make valid conclusions certain. He also uses objective evidence like Buswell. Gordon Clark starts his thinking by assuming the existence of God and the truth of the Bible. From that presupposition he builds rationally. Cornelius Van Til also comes to the table with the presupposition that the triune God of Christianity exists. He argues that without this presupposition, all facts about reality become unintelligible. A form of Christian mysticism is used by Earl E. Barrett. His approach relies heavily on internal and immediate experience of God Himself.
One chapter is spent on each of the above apologists. However, when the author comes to Edward John Carnell’s verificational approach, he spends four chapters expounding on a different facet of the verificational method. Obviously, this is the system that the author prefers, and he makes his case for this method well. The verificational approach of Edward J. Carnell treats Christianity’s truth claims as hypotheses to be verified by man’s total experience. This hypothesis must account for all internal and external experience. It seeks consistency, adequacy, and satisfying values. In addition to this, Carnell expands the scope to include man’s relevant psychological needs and ethical considerations. Christianity alone resolves man’s total moral situation.
As a whole, Testing Christianity’s Truth Claims is a first-rate book that examines the very starting point of our apologetic. Certainly, each approach has its merits and weaknesses. This book can serve as a useful tool for the student to evaluate the core challenges facing the Christian apologist.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Before delving into the questions, Craig’s introductory chapter deserves mention. In the same vein as J.P. Moreland’s Love Your God With All Your Mind, this introduction expresses the vital need for intellectual equipping for Christians today. Craig shows that much of today’s Church is intellectually neutral, and therefore, ineffective in its influence on society and culture. He appeals for a higher standard of excellence and scholarship.
The hard questions covered in the book include the topics of doubt, unanswered prayer, failure, suffering and evil, abortion, homosexuality, and the exclusivity of Christianity. Craig breaks down each issue and defines the “question” well – not simplifying or glossing over them. Where needed, the author lays out logical syllogisms. He also offers lists of supporting facts for each of the arguments involved. It can be said that Craig gives each question a careful and honest answer. The reader will not find a glib reply.
The chapter on failure was notable, as Craig uses his own experiences as talking points for his answers. This personal approach may be very effective for the reader dealing with these very issues. When dealing with the topic of suffering and failure, Craig spends two chapters unpacking the issues. Because it is such a weighty subject, the author first spends one chapter on the intellectual problem of evil; then a second on the emotional problem of evil. Although these answers may not satisfy everyone, they are honest, sensitive, and rational.
The chapters dealing with abortion and homosexuality are helpful in that the answers are presented from a Christian perspective, yet also provide good arguments that do not rely on scriptural premises. That is to say, if a Christian is talking to someone who rejects the Bible, the Christian can still make a strong case against abortion or homosexuality without reference to Biblical authority.
Finally, Craig spends the final chapter answering the question, “how can Christ be the only way?” In this closing section the author addresses religious pluralism, relativism, and truth. He does not spend this chapter making a case for Christianity. He simply uses this chapter to dismantle the problems with pluralism – opening the door for Christianity’s claims to be accepted.
Hard Questions, Real Answers does well to meet popular, tough questions with scholarly, substantial answers while staying readable. This would be an excellent book for those thinking about these serious issues.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
First, Geisler shows the shortcomings of agnosticism. He critiques the views of Kant, Hume, Ayer, and Wittgenstien. Following the critique of agnosticism comes the evaluation of rationalism. The views of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hackett, and Clark are examined. Next comes an inspection of fideism. Here Pascal, Kierkegaard, Barth, and Van Til are summarized and critiqued as adherents to various strands of fideism.
Geisler continues in his worldview analysis by looking at experientialism, evidentialism, and pragmatism. Again, the author’s goal in presenting each of these views is to examine its core epistemology and to find out what its test for truth is. Geisler shows that rationalism, fideism, experientialism, evidentialism, combinationalism, and pragmatism all fall short as adequate tests for truth. Each of them may have elements that are useful in one sense or another, but none of them is a fully adequate test for truth.
Before Geisler launches into theism, he does lay out what he presents as an adequate test for truth. First, he presents unaffirmability as a test for falsity. That is to say: if a view is self-defeating, whether directly or indirectly, it must be false. Second, Geisler presents undeniability as a test for truth. If something is either definitionally undeniable or existentially undeniable, it must be true. These two tests are for the truthfulness of a worldview. Once you establish the correct worldview, then you can move on to determine the test for truth within that worldview. For this internal test, Geisler presents systematic consistency as the test for truth for statements within a worldview that has first been established through the tests of unaffirmability and undeniability. Systematic consistency means that whatever most consistently and comprehensively fits into that system is true. Geisler admits that systematic consistency does not provide absolute certainty of truth. Here he points to probability as the guide, as absolute certainty is not possible when a finite mind is not in possession of all the facts.
Having laid a very thorough epistemological base, the author then proceeds to establish the truthfulness of Christianity. The worldviews of deism, pantheism, panentheism, atheism, and theism are compared. Using the aforementioned tests for truth for each of these worldviews, theism wins out. With theism established through a very methodological evaluation of each competing worldview, Geisler then builds on the theistic worldview.
Now Geisler builds the case for the historical reliability of the New Testament. After showing that the New Testament is an accurate picture of Jesus, he makes the case for the deity and authority for Jesus Christ. And finally, with the Lordship of Christ established, a case can be made for the inspiration and authority of the Bible as a whole.
This review has attempted to paint an overall flow of Geisler’s apologetic system. It truly is thorough. Christian Apologetics is not light reading, as it deals heavily with philosophical foundations and epistemological concerns from the outset. However, Geisler has succeeded in authoring a comprehensive text for establishing a complete and systematic framework for Christian apologetics. This text can be commended as required reading for any serious student of apologetics.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
First is the writing of Justin Martyr (100-167). He contended that Christians were innocent of certain charges against them. He also contended for the truth of Christianity. He makes strong appeals to prophecy to show the truth of Christianity. Much of the writing of the early apologists was to counteract the accusations and persecutions they were facing from pagan authorities.
Athenagoras (2nd century) first intended to write against Christians as a philosopher. However, he was converted from a persecutor to an apologist for the faith. He addresses his apologetic work Embassy to the emperors Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and his son Lucius Aurelius Commodus. Again, he was pleading for fair treatment for Christians who were being persecuted and executed. He even mentions a few lines against the practice of abortion.
Irenaeus (120-203) was a student of Polycarp, who was a student of the apostle John. He was considered by many to be the most important theologian of the second century. He considered the false teaching of the Gnostics to be the biggest threat to the truth of the Gospel. In his work Against Heresies he attacks the unorthodox teachings that were being propagated in his day, such as those by Valentinus and the Montanists. He argued for the impossibility of many gods, and appealed to the authority of the scriptures over man-made traditions. He also makes remarks regarding the authorship of the four Gospels, and fights for the doctrine of the trinity.
Turtullian (155-235) was one of the greatest of the early church apologists. His primary apologetic works were Against Marcion and The Apology. He defended Christianity against accusations of atheism (because they did not worship the many gods of the pagans) and he contended for the truth of one true God.
Origen (185-253) is considered the most outstanding theological writer of the persecuted Church. Origen wrote specifically to address the anti-Christian writings of one Celsus, whom he addressed almost line-by-line in his large apologetic work Against Celsus. In this work he shows the deficiencies of Celsus’ knowledge of scripture and the faults in his reasoning. In addition, he defends the crucifixion and resurrection against “copy-cat” claims.
Athanasius (298-373) opposed the Arians (those who denied the doctrine of the trinity) and contended that Christ was eternally divine. In his apologetic work Against the Heathen, he uses arguments from natural theology and various teleological arguments. His work On the Incarnation deals extensively with Christology, the resurrection, and the trinity.
Augustine of Hippo (354-430) is considered the greatest of the Fathers of the Western Church. His most famous works are Confessions and City of God. His work Freedom of the Will deals specifically with some proofs for the existence of God, which is written in the form of a dialogue.
Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) writes in two main apologetic works: Monologion and Proslogion. In the former he opts for cosmological arguments for the existence of God, whereas in the latter, he uses his famous ontological arguments for the existence of God. Proslogion includes objections and responses to his arguments, which add more depth to the arguments. It seems that many have criticized the ontological argument. Whether or not one views the argument as compelling, one would do well to actually read it as he has written it – as many times contemporary summaries or brief sketches of his argument do it no justice.
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was one of the most influential theologians of the medieval period. His work Summa Contra Gentiles was in fact a manual of apologetics written for missionaries who had to face a highly intellectual culture in the Muslim world. His most famous work was Summa Theologiae. Thomas follows in the vein of Aristotle in basing knowledge on what can be known by the senses. However, he does place a good amount of emphasis on the importance of faith. He is also famous for his Five Ways that demonstrate the existence of God, contained here.
John Calvin (1509-1546) published his Institutes of the Christian Religion – which was the single most significant exposition of protestant theology in the sixteenth century. Within his works he appeals to various arguments for the existence of God. In some places he points to the self-evident knowledge of God in man, and in other places he uses various teleological arguments. In all of his arguments he bases everything firmly in scripture, with a heavy reliance on the work of the Holy Spirit. Of note is his defense of scripture based upon its own testimony, the character of its authors, and fulfilled prophecy. In the end he says these are evidences, but they cannot prove anything to the unbeliever – this must be the work of the Holy Spirit.
Joseph Butler (1692-1752) wrote extensively against deism, as it was a significant challenge to Christian doctrine in his day. Notable to his methodology is that all knowledge is based upon probability – you can’t prove anything completely. You can just be led to the probability of truth. In his The Analogy of Religion he makes compelling arguments for the historical reliability of the scriptures. He also emphasizes a sort of cumulative case approach – all the evidence must be taken together as a whole.
William Paley (1743-1805) was most famous for Evidences for Christianity and Natural Theology. In his Natural Theology, he makes systematic teleological arguments. The depth of these arguments is underemphasized in contemporary summaries. Paley is thorough and rational, with a very persuasive and readable manner. His watchmaker argument can still stand today as a compelling argument that every design needs a designer.
In summary, Classical Readings in Christian Apologetics is an excellent distillation of some of the most notable apologetic works since the early Church. It is very useful in giving the student a broad historical foundation for further research and deeper study.
1 Russ Bush, Classical Readings in Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1980), p. x.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
You can find a transcript of his debate with atheist Michael Martin.
His books are highly recommended as well.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Most valuable to this study of apologetic history is that it allows the reader to notice trends; a kind of ebb and flow of ideas. For instance, the early apologists (the New Testament era and early second century) were primarily concerned in their apologetic writing with either defending against persecution or winning new converts. Later trends can be seen in response to varying attacks against Christianity. For instance, heresies in the third and fourth centuries bring an apologetic response that addresses the false doctrines directly. Knowing why the apologists wrote helps one to better understand their content and the approach of their apologetics.
In addition to knowing why the apologists responded, this study also provides insight into how they responded. One example would be Pascal’s response to the Frenchmen of his day. Their indifference roused Pascal to appeal to them in such a way that would stir their hearts from their apathy. Although Pascal was highly intellectual, he employed “reasons of the heart” in winning souls, rather than intellectual reason alone. Further examples could be cited with responses to the writings of Kant, Hume, and others.
The student may also benefit in seeing that the battleground has always been basically the same battleground. Different weapons have been employed, but the content and purpose of Christian apologetics has remained the same. As the author puts it in his preface, “… a careful reading of the old masters in the field reveals that the same basic problems continually recur and that it is almost impossible to say anything substantially new.”1 This can be demonstrated by the title of Benedictine Francois Lamy’s apologetic work refuting the ideas of Benedict Spinoza: The New Atheism Overthrown. Apparently, apologists have been refuting the “new atheism” since the seventeenth century.
The author obviously cannot cover every apologist since the New Testament, but he does a good job hitting the most prominent. Both Catholic and Protestant apologists are noted throughout. The final chapter dealing with present-day apologetics relies heavily on citations of Stephen B. Cowan’s Five Views of Apologetics, which deals with the various apologetic methodologies most prominent today.
A History of Apologetics can be commended as a “should-read” for serious apologetics students, as the depth and background provided are very useful. In addition, it is not a difficult read, as some more historical books can be. The reader will gain a rich understanding and deeper appreciation of the many defenders of the faith.
1 Avery Cardinal Dulles, A History of Apologetics (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1999), p. xx-xxi.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Here is Bock's Blog. And here is Bible.org, where Bock contributes.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Subscribe through iTunes, or use their RSS feed.
Here's their website.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Aquinas's writings contain richly developed thinking on a comprehensive set of theological and philosophical topics, including ethics and political theory. Though Aquinas believed natural reason can prove that God exists, he did not think reason is competent to know God's essence in this life, and he affirmed that many essential Christian beliefs must be accepted on faith because God has revealed them.1
1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 12.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Theopedia has a great page with links to notable creeds and confessions of Church history.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Full MP3 Audio right here.
This debate audio is a single file. It is smaller in size, cleaner, and louder than others out there.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Audio & Video | Text
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Taken from the Ultimate Questions website, which is not completely functional at this time.
Friday, July 11, 2008
In addition, CARM has its own podcast/radio show. Subscribe in iTunes here. Or check out the RSS feed here.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Of note is the MP3 directory. Good apologetics stuff all around.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
An Introduction to Apologetics:
1. Introduction to Apologetics
2. Historical Apologetics: The Early Church
3. Historical Apologetics: Augustine
4. Historical Apologetics: Anselm
5. Historical Apologetics: Thomas Aquinas
6. Historical Apologetics: John Calvin and Martin Luther
7. Historical Apologetics: Joseph Butler and William Paley
8. Historical Apologetics: Friedrich Schleiermacher and Soren Kierkegaard
9. Contemporary Apologetics: Twentieth-Century Confusion
10. Contemporary Apologetics: Scientific Creationism
11. Biblical Apologetics: The Two Temptations
12. Biblical Apologetics: Jesus and Scripture
13. Biblical Apologetics: Jesus and Logic
14. Biblical Apologetics: Paul and Scripture
15. Biblical Apologetics: Paul and Logic
16. Biblical Apologetics: Summary and Conclusion
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Full MP3 Audio here.
Monday, July 07, 2008
These have been linked from Converse with Scholars.
Gregory Boyd and Paul Eddy - Jesus: Lord or Legend? MP3
Kenneth Samples - Veracity of the Christian Worldview MP3
Mark D. Roberts - Historicity of the Gospels MP3
Rob Bowman - Jehovah’s Witnesses and Jesus Christ MP3
Rob Bowman, Gary Habermas, Mike Licona - The Talpiot Tomb MP3
Paul Copan - God as the Best Explanation MP3
James Sire - Worldviews Analysis MP3
William Lane Craig - Arguments for the Existence of God MP3
J. P. Moreland - The Christian Mind MP3
Dan Wallace - Reinventing Jesus MP3
Greg Koukl - Moral Relativism MP3
John Frame - Presuppositional Apologetics MP3
M. James Sawyer - Canonicity of Scripture MP3
Sunday, July 06, 2008
- Robert A. Laidlaw
Saturday, July 05, 2008
You will find audio and video there as well. I recommend getting Reasonable Faith.
Spread the word.
Friday, July 04, 2008
"Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?"
Full MP3 Audio here.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Why is Jesus different? MP3
Was what Jesus said true? MP3
Why is Jesus the only way? MP3
I am the way the truth and the life... MP3
Why do so many people reject Jesus? MP3
(These are excerpts from his video resources, found here.)
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Check out the Random Mutation Generator and do your own Darwinian experiments.
And don't come crying and complaining to me... I didn't make the web site.
But there are some other good resources to check out: Cosmic Fingerprints.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
"The Concept Of God In Islam and Christianity"
Full MP3 Audio here.