Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (08/15 - 08/22)

Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
• Shopping via Amazon? If you use this link, a bit of your purchase goes to fund Apologetics 315. Thanks for those of you using the link, as it helps Ap315.
Canada here. UK here.

• Would you like to help with interview transcriptionIf so, contact Ap315 here.

Get these sorts of links and more by following on Twitter.
For daily post links, please follow on Facebook.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Read Along: Chapter Three—Paul's Athens

Today we begin Chapter Three of the Read Along with Apologetics 315 project. This is a chapter-by-chapter study through the book The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul's Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World by Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak. (Hear the introductory interview about the book here.) Below you will find an audio intro for Chapter Three, a brief summary of the chapter, a PDF workbook with questions for the chapter, and some notable quotes. You're also encouraged to share your comments and feedback for each chapter in the comment section below. Feel free to interact on the Christian Apologetics Alliance Facebook page here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Terminology Tuesday: Egoism

Egoism: The theory that humans do or should seek only their own individual happiness. Psychological egoism holds that as a matter of fact people seek always and only their own good. Moral egoism holds that it is right or good that humans should act in this way. Ayn Rand's novels provide a dramatic illustration and defense of egoism. Traditional Christian teaching, in contrast, has condemned universal egoism as a form of sinful selfishness, to be distinguished from a proper regard for one's self and its needs.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 38.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book Review: Programming of Life by Donald E. Johnson

Programming of Life by Donald E. Johnson (paperback or video) came to my attention fairly recently. The prospect of a case for God's existence being made from my area of training (computer science) especially caught my attention. The fact that the author is formally trained in both information science and biochemistry seemed to give him a unique set of credentials to authoritatively compare the code in DNA to computer programming code. The book is short at only 127 pages (included appendixes) and is divided into nine chapters. This review will be a chapter-by-chapter summary, but should not be confused with providing Johnson's case comprehensively or precisely.

Introduction
Chapter 1: Math Basics: Probability and Large or Small Numbers
Johnson prepares his readers by providing a quick tutorial of some basics required to understand his arguments. It is commonly misunderstood that "chance" is a force; however, it is rather merely an expression of likelihood of an event taking place versus its not taking place. If an event has any likelihood of taking place, it is considered "possible," but possibility should only be claimed in scientific observations have demonstrated the event to have taken place. "Plausibility" is a value of the level of possibility (0-1; 0=impossible; 1=certain; 0.5 is the threshold for an event to be considered "plausible"). Johnson prepares the reader for the significance of these concepts by explaining the lowest limit of physical possibility given all the resources (atoms in the system, the fastest chemical reactions in the universe, and the age of the systems) of the universe (10-108), galaxy (10-96), solar system (10-85), and earth (10-70). He explains that if the probability of an event taking place is lower than these physical barriers, the event is indistinguishable from impossible within that system, and the proposed event may be considered scientifically falsified.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (08/08 - 08/15)

Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
• Shopping via Amazon? If you use this link, a bit of your purchase goes to fund Apologetics 315. Thanks for those of you using the link, as it helps Ap315.
Canada here. UK here.

• Would you like to help with interview transcriptionIf so, contact Ap315 here.

Get these sorts of links and more by following on Twitter.
For daily post links, please follow on Facebook.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Read Along: Chapter Two—Was Paul's Speech at Athens a Mistake?

Today we begin Chapter Two of the Read Along with Apologetics 315 project. This is a chapter-by-chapter study through the book The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul's Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World by Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak. (Hear the introductory interview about the book here.) Below you will find an audio intro for Chapter Two, a brief summary of the chapter, a PDF workbook with questions for the chapter, and some notable quotes. You're also encouraged to share your comments and feedback for each chapter in the comment section below. Feel free to interact on the Christian Apologetics Alliance Facebook page here.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (08/01 - 08/08)

Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
• Shopping via Amazon? If you use this link, a bit of your purchase goes to fund Apologetics 315. Thanks for those of you using the link, as it helps Ap315.
Canada here. UK here.

• Would you like to help with interview transcriptionIf so, contact Ap315 here.

Get these sorts of links and more by following on Twitter.
For daily post links, please follow on Facebook.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Read Along: Chapter One—Welcome to Athens

Today we begin our with Chapter One in the Read Along with Apologetics 315 project. This is a chapter-by-chapter study through the book The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul's Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World by Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak. (Hear the introductory interview about the book here.) Below you will find an audio intro for Chapter One, a brief summary of the chapter, a PDF workbook with questions for the chapter, and some notable quotes. You're also encouraged to share your comments and feedback for each chapter in the comment section below. Feel free to interact on the Christian Apologetics Alliance Facebook page here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Read Along Introduction: Interview with Paul Copan

Tomorrow we are launching another weekly Read Along program. (For the past two Read Along’s, see here and here.) The goal: group book study and discussion, one chapter at a time. This will be a Thursday feature, starting tomorrow, August 7, 2014. So you have one day left to order your copy of the book. (Or the Kindle version.)

We'll be reading: The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul's Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World by Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak.

This book seeks to embolden the church’s witness in today’s society by showing how Paul's speech to the Athenians (found in Acts 17) provides a practical model for Christians today. The authors encourage Christians to "be more biblically informed, culturally astute, and creatively engaged to winsomely challenge the idols of our time and to point contemporary Athenians beyond ‘an unknown God’ to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Each week an audio intro for each chapter by Paul Copan will be provided, along with a brief synopsis and study questions. You’ll also be able to connect with others readers here in the comments on Apologetics 315, or on the Christian Apologetics Alliance Facebook page. And stay tuned for more upcoming features as we read along.

TODAY'S INTERVIEW
Today we get ready for the read-along with an introductory interview with co-author Paul Copan. In this interview, Paul introduces himself and his co-author Kenneth D. Litwak, talks about the goal of the book, and what readers can expect to gain from reading it.

Full Interview MP3 Audio here (8min 35sec)

Be sure to subscribe to the Podcast Feed here, and also on iTunes here.
Then join us tomorrow as we kick off chapter one.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Terminology Tuesday: Problem of Evil

Problem of Evil: Difficulty posed by the existence of evil (both moral evil and natural evil) in a world created by a God who is both completely good and all-powerful. Some atheists argue that if such a God existed, there would be no evil, since God would both want to eliminate evil and would be able to do so. An argument that evil is logically incompatible with God's reality forms the logical or deductive form of the problem. An argument that evil makes God's existence unlikely or less likely is called the evidential or probabilistic form of the problem. Responses to the problem include theodicies which attempt to explain why God allows evil, usually by specifying some greater good that evil makes possible, and defenses, which argue that it is reasonable to believe that God is justified in allowing evil, even if we do not know what his reasons are.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 42.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (07/25 - 08/01)

Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
• Shopping via Amazon? If you use this link, a bit of your purchase goes to fund Apologetics 315. Thanks for those of you using the link, as it helps Ap315.
Canada here. UK here.

• Would you like to help with interview transcriptionIf so, contact Ap315 here.

Get these sorts of links and more by following on Twitter.
For daily post links, please follow on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Read Along with Apologetics315!

Next week we'll be launching another weekly Read Along program. (For the past two Read Along’s, see here and here.) The goal: group book study and discussion, one chapter at a time. This will be a Thursday feature, starting on August 7, 2014. So you have one week to order your copy of the book. (Or the Kindle version.)

We'll be reading: The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul's Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World by Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak.

This book seeks to embolden the church’s witness in today’s society by showing how Paul's speech to the Athenians (found in Acts 17) provides a practical model for Christians today. The authors encourage Christians to "be more biblically informed, culturally astute, and creatively engaged to winsomely challenge the idols of our time and to point contemporary Athenians beyond ‘an unknown God’ to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Each week an audio intro for each chapter by Paul Copan will be provided, along with a brief synopsis and study questions. You’ll also be able to connect with others readers here in the comments on Apologetics 315, or on the Christian Apologetics Alliance Facebook page. And stay tuned for more upcoming features as we read along.

Are you ready to take the Read Along challenge?
Grab the book and get ready to start Chapter One next week!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Terminology Tuesday: Simplicity

Simplicity: Two senses: (1) hard-to-describe but desirable lack of complexity in scientific theories; (2) the divine attribute of being completely unified and having no distinct parts. In philosophy of science, it is widely accepted that scientists choose among a plurality of theories equally consistent with the facts on the basis of simplicity, though there is little agreement as to what counts as simplicity. The criterion of simplicity is also employed in other fields epistemologically. For example, some theologians argue that thinking of God's knowledge and power as infinite is preferable because it is simpler that the attribution of some finite, but arbitrary, amount of power and knowledge to God. In theology simplicity is one of the more mysterious of the properties attributed to God by the medieval Scholastics, since it seems to imply that no distinction can be drawn between God's existence and his essence, between his will and his intellect, or indeed among any of his properties.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 107.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Quote: Francis Bacon on Study

"Let no one think or maintain that a person can search too far or be too well studied in either the book of God's word or the book of God's works."

- Francis Bacon

Friday, July 25, 2014

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (07/18 - 07/25)

Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
• Shopping via Amazon? If you use this link, a bit of your purchase goes to fund Apologetics 315. Thanks for those of you using the link, as it helps Ap315.
Canada here. UK here.

• Would you like to help with interview transcriptionIf so, contact Ap315 here.

Get these sorts of links and more by following on Twitter.
For daily post links, please follow on Facebook.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Matt Slick Interview Transcript

The following transcript is from an Apologetics 315 interview with Matt Slick. Original audio here. Transcript index here. If you enjoy transcripts, please consider supporting, which makes this possible.

BA: Hello, this is Brian Auten, of Apologetics 315. Today’s interview is with Matthew Slick of the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry, more popularly known as CARM, found at www.carm.org.
Matt started CARM in October of 1995 to respond to many of the false teachings of the cults on the internet, when it first began. Now it has grown to be one of the largest apologetics resources online. Matt hosts Faith and Reason Radio, week nights in the Boise area and on the internet and that is also podcasted as the CARM Radio Program.
The purpose of our interview today is to get to know a little bit more about Matt, his ministry with CARM, and gain some insights into his experience in apologetics on the internet. So thanks for speaking with me today, Matt.

MS: No problem Brian.

BA: Now would you mind telling our listeners a little bit more about yourself and how you got into apologetics.

MS: Well, let’s see. I’m 53 years old and I went to a Lutheran college and a Presbyterian seminary and I was a Pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America, Assistant Pastor in the CRC (the Christian Reformed Church). I’m a Five Point Calvinist, if that matters; it doesn’t really to me. Let’s see – I have a wife and kids and live in Idaho. I can tell you how tall I am but I don’t think that is going to be relevant.

BA: Now what got you started into doing apologetics and how did you get started with CARM and starting that ministry online.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Terminology Tuesday: Logical Positivism

Logical Positivism: Philosophical movement arising out of the Vienna Circle of philosophers in Austria after World War I. Logical positivism combined the commitment to empiricism found in nineteenth-century positivism (Comte) with the type of logical analysis found in the work of Bertrand Russell. It affirmed a verifiability theory of meaning, in which nonanalytic propositions have cognitive meaning only if they are empirically verifiable. On the basis of this theory, logical positivists asserted metaphysical and theological propositions to be meaningless, and they analyzed ethical propositions as merely having expressive meaning.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 70.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Quote: Francis Schaeffer on Truth

"If Christianity is really true, then it involves the whole man, including his intellect and creativeness. Christianity is not just 'dogmatically' true or 'doctrinally' true. Rather, it is true to what is there, true in the whole area of the whole man in all of life."

- Francis Schaeffer

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Book Review: Navigating Genesis: A Scientist's Journey through Genesis 1-11 by Hugh Ross

Reviewer's Introduction
I was introduced to astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross (president of Reasons to Believe) in the early 90's but did not really begin investigating his model of origins until the mid 2000's when my view of origins and my Christian worldview was beginning to be challenged by observations of scientists in many different disciplines. I was hit by the higher critics who wished to interpret Genesis in a metaphorical (and not historical) light. Some of their points seemed valid, but others were questionable. I found Dr. Ross' approach of integrating all of Scripture with all the sciences quite intellectually attractive. It offered the possibility to reconcile the findings of modern science and the research of the higher critics with the Genesis accounts. However, before I was willing to change my view of origins from young-earth (universe is 6,000 - 10,000 years old), despite the observational evidence, I had to see a proper interpretive treatment of the Genesis accounts of creation that recognized them as historical events, granted the poetic writing style, understood the ancient cultural context, and consistently preserved all the essentials of Christian theology (including original sin and Christ's atonement). All those requirements have been satisfied, and Navigating Genesis: A Scientist's Journey Through Genesis 1-11 shows how it is accomplished through a careful examination of the Genesis accounts.

This review is a chapter-by-chapter summary, so it is lengthy. But it will give the reader a taste of the range of content in the book. This review, by no means, is a substitute for reading the book as it contains much more content in higher detail than what I have presented here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (07/11 - 07/18)

Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
• Shopping via Amazon? If you use this link, a bit of your purchase goes to fund Apologetics 315. Thanks for those of you using the link, as it helps Ap315.
Canada here. UK here.

• Would you like to help with interview transcriptionIf so, contact Ap315 here.

Get these sorts of links and more by following on Twitter.
For daily post links, please follow on Facebook.

Bobby Conway Interview Transcript

The following transcript is from an Apologetics 315 interview with Bobby Conway. Original audio here. Transcript index here. If you enjoy transcripts, please consider supporting, which makes this possible.

BA: Hello, this is Brian Auten of Apologetics315. Today’s interview is with Bobby Conway. Bobby is the Lead Pastor of Life Fellowship in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also the founder of the One Minute Apologist, a creative YouTube ministry designed to give quick answers to curious questions. He is also author of the book, Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die. The purpose of this interview is to learn a bit more about Bobby and his ministry, explore the use of multi-media and apologetics, look at apologetics in the church, and get his advice for those studying apologetics. Well, thanks for joining me for this interview Bobby.

BC: Well, it’s great to be with you Brian, thank you for having me on today.

BA: Well, I appreciate you being with me today, and would you mind telling our listeners a bit about the sort of ministry you’re in today?

BC: You bet. I’m actually, first and foremost, I serve as the Lead Pastor of Life Fellowship Church, a church that I started about eight years ago in the Charlotte area. I’m also involved in doing some marriage conferences with Family Life Today. My wife and I speak on the national Weekend to Remember speakers team. But, the reason I’m on with you today is for a ministry I do called The One Minute Apologist, which is a video ministry that I put together a few years back that we’re real exited about.

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