Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thomas Arnold on the Evidence for the Resurrection

“I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”

—Thomas Arnold, Professor of History Oxford
Author of the three-volume History of Rome
Christian Life, Its Hopes, Its Fears, and Its Close, 6th ed. (London: T. Fellowes, 1859), pp. 15-16.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Book Review: Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off by Hugh Ross & Fuz Rana

How did life begin? This question has perplexed humanity for centuries. Some people believe that it came along by natural processes. Others believe that a divine Designer is behind it all. These two options go head-to-head, tested against the latest scientific research in the book Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off (hardcover, Kindle, Supplemental Site) by astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross and biochemist Dr. Fazale Rana. The book is divided into three sections, seventeen chapters, and 298 pages (including notes and appendices). This review provides a chapter-by-chapter summary of the contents of the book, but it must not be accepted as a replacement for reading the book, itself. The review will conclude with my thoughts and recommendation.

Drs. Ross and Rana take the position that the origin of life is by divine design. To scientifically test their hypothesis, they present their model, competing models, and the latest research; they then compare the predictions of the models to the research to build their case. Before examining the current state of origins research, it is a good idea to take a quick look at the events that led to the current state.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (01/16- 01/23)

Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
KINDLE DEALS:
Five Views on Apologetics - 2.99
20 Compelling Evidences That God Exists by Bowman & Boa FREE - GREAT book
• Worldview Conversations: How to Share Your Faith and Keep Your Friends - 2.99
Finding the Real Jesus: A Guide for Curious Christians and Skeptical Seekers by Lee Strobel - 1.99
Why Trust Jesus? by Dave Sterrett - 0.99
The Forgotten Trinity by James R. White - 1.99 on Kindle
The Real Face of Atheism by Ravi Zacharias - 2.99 on Kindle
FREE on Kindle: On Guard by William Lane Craig
Lewis Agonistes: How C.S. Lewis Can Train Us to Wrestle with the Modern and Postmodern World - 1.99

WEEKLY LINKS:
15 Ways to Detect Nonsense
Newsweek Attacks the Bible
AMP Conference in February
Master of Arts in Apologetics from HBU
Intelligent Faith Conference February 6-7
Is the Christian Faith Evidentially Reasonable?
An Elephant in the Resurrection Skeptic’s Room
Islam and Christianity: Is it the same God? Video
Dealing with Doubt Seminar featuring Gary Habermas
Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God? by Greg Koukl
A simple case for the pro-life position by Scott Klusendorf
Reasons for God - RZIM Training Day in London this Saturday
Ravi Zacharias - March 30 @ Oklahoma Christian University
23 Reasons Why Scholars Know Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Religions
What Can We Learn from a Catholic Thinker? Aquinas and Natural Law
Reviews of “God’s Super-Apostles” and “A New Apostolic Reformation?”

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Good Without God? The Moral Argument VIDEO


In this video by Reasonable Faith, the Moral Argument is explained. Can you be good without God? The question isn’t “Can you be good without believing in God.” The question is: “Can you be good without God?” Check out more videos by William Lane Craig at his YouTube Channel. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Is God a Moral Monster?—MP3: Paul Copan

This audio is from the The Defend the Faith Conference, held January 4-9, 2015 on the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The event was organized by ICA, and streamed and recorded by Tactical Faith, and had scores of lectures in apologetics and evangelism by some great apologists. (Tactical Faith past events lectures can be found here.) Watch this blog post for information on accessing all the talks from the event.

In this lecture, Christian philosopher Paul Copan speaks on: Is God a Moral Monster?

Full Lecture MP3 Audio here (1hr)

Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Terminology Tuesday: Immanence

Immanence: The idea that God is present in, close to and involved with creation. Unlike pantheism, which teaches that God and the world are one or that God is the "soul" (animating principle) of the world, Christian theology teaches that God is constantly involved with creation without actually becoming exhausted by creation or ceasing to be divine in any way.1

1. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 63.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Apologist Interview: Fazale Rana

Today's interview is with biochemist Fazale Rana, executive vice president of research and apologetics at Reasons to Believe. He talks about his current work, his background (being raised by a Muslim father), the present growth of Islam, its acceptance in culture, how Christians respond, winsome engagement with the Muslim world, the danger of making sweeping generalizations, keys to understanding Islam better, integrity in apologetic engagement, to-dos and not-to-dos when speaking with Muslims, and more.

FREE for a limited time: Apologetics315 listeners can receive a free MP3 download of Fuz’s testimony Finding God in the Lab by simply:
  • visiting reasons.org
  • clicking on the “Apologetics 315” button on the home page. 
  • Fill out the form
Reasons to Believe will then send you the download via email. Offer available to Apologetics 315 listeners only through February 14.

Full Interview MP3 Audio here (xx min)

Enjoy.
Subscribe to the Apologetics 315 Interviews podcast here or in iTunes.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lee Strobel on Apologetic Engagement

"The average Christian in the pew is not reading books by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, but their neighbors and coworkers are. I think congregations are putting pressure on churches to equip them better, educate them more and give them opportunities to grow in this area. Churches that have relied in the past on a lifestyle evangelistic approach that lacks intentionality need to be a little more intentional in reaching people and bringing answers to their questions. I’m all for lifestyle evangelism, but I’m also in favor of intentionality, where we seek out opportunities for spiritual conversations and are equipped to explain the gospel and why we believe it."

—Lee Strobel
From What's Trending in Apologetics Today

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Review: The Concept of Miracle by Richard Swinburne

In The Concept of Miracle, Richard Swinburne (RS) examines Humean arguments against miracles[i] and finds them wanting. His modest goal in this book is not to argue for the truth of miracles, but rather to defend the possibility of justified belief in the miraculous. He approaches this goal by rebutting anti-miraculous Humean arguments and discussing criteria which, if met, would ground justified belief in the occurrence of a miracle.

As with any work of Swinburne’s, even a short book like this one (a mere 71 pages) has plenty of ‘meat’ to be slowly digested, and plenty of links between earlier and later material. This presents a reviewer with a decision—to follow RS closely, or to restructure to make what seem to be the central points clearer. I’ve chosen the latter approach.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (01/09- 01/16)

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.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

"That's Just Your Opinion" by Greg Koukl


Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason shares how to respond when someone says, "That's just you're opinion" when you're sharing your faith. For more videos by STR, check out their YouTube Channel here. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Atheist Manual—MP3: Tim McGrew & Tom Gilson

This audio is from the The Defend the Faith Conference, held January 4-9, 2015 on the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The event was organized by ICA, and streamed and recorded by Tactical Faith, and had scores of lectures in apologetics and evangelism by some great apologists. (Tactical Faith past events lectures can be found here.) Watch this blog post for information on accessing all the talks from the event.

In this lecture, Dr. Timothy McGrew and Tom Gilson discuss the tactics and content of Peter Boghossian's book A Manual for Creating Atheists, offering an analysis and critique.

Full Lecture MP3 Audio here (1hr)

Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Terminology Tuesday: Inference

Inference: In everyday usage, when people speak of an inference they sometimes mean a 'guess' based on the information they have, or the conclusion they have reached - again, based on other things they believe. For example, after reviewing the evidence a detective might say, 'The inference is that we should question Jones again about this case.' In our context, the usage is derived from logic, where it means the 'step' from reasons to conclusion, the 'move' from one to the other. Thus, if someone argues, 'Some people have solved their own unemployment problem by great ingenuity in searching for a job or by willingness to work for less so all the unemployed could do this', the inference is the move from 'some people have...' to 'all the unemployed could do this'. Though the reason presented in this argument has often been true, the inference to the argument's conclusion is much more questionable.1

1. Alec Fisher, Critical Thinking: An Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 240.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Apologist Interview: Graham Veale

Today's interview is with Graham Veale, author of New Atheism: A Survival Guide, and he a co-founder and writer at saintsandsceptics.org. He talks about religious education, the resources at the blog, the influence of the atheist movement, atheism amongst students, the arguments in his book, the "flying spaghetti monster," the non-conflict between Christianity and science, the rhetorical strategy of the new atheists, the biggest strengths and weaknesses of the new atheism, the centrality of Christ in apologetics & evangelism, and more.

Full Interview MP3 Audio here (45 min)

Enjoy.
Subscribe to the Apologetics 315 Interviews podcast here or in iTunes.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Quote: Frank Tipler on Cosmology

"When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics."

- Frank Tipler

(The Physics of Immortality, Doubleday, New York, 1994, Preface)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Book Review: Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters

I had lunch today with two friends, both of whom are involved in apologetics ministries. We discussed the biggest weakness among evangelical apologetics—theology—particularly biblical theology. Apologists are too typically ignorant of the Bible and the theology grounded in it. We can discuss the latest articles in philosophy and science, but become very shaky discussing the Bible. The reasons are many, but this general ignorance compounds when the focus shifts to the Old Testament in particular.

Consider how many apologetic conversations you’ve had recently about the Old Testament. They probably focused on Creation or the conquest narratives in Joshua. Now consider how much of those discussions actually considered the Old Testament passages. If the conversations were like most, then they quickly framed the discussions in terms of science, philosophy and ethics—all fields where modern apologists are more comfortable. Here’s the problem…our apologetics should be be saturated with Scripture, at least in how it frames our discussions.[1] We are not generic theists, but Christians.[2] I believe that a general ignorance of the Bible, and especially the Old Testament only hurts apologists.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (01/02- 01/09)

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, January 08, 2015

The New Apostolic Reformation - Doug Geivett MP3 Audio

In this audio from the Janet Mefferd show, Doug Geivett, professor of philosophy in the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, is interviewed on the topic of the movement called "The New Apolostolic Reformation" (NAR). What should Christians make of this widespread modern-day claim that new apostles and prophets walk among us? He discusses his new book: A New Apostolic Reformation? A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement. Other resources by Doug Geivett here. Find his blog here.

Full Interview MP3 Audio here. (37 minutes)

Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Answering Doubts: A Conference for Questions—Videos

The videos from the 2014 RZIM "Answering Doubts" Conference is now online. Designed as "a gathering for Christians and non-Christians alike focused on addressing essential, profound, and relevant questions about the Christian worldview," this conference featured talks and Q&A forums with featured speakers Nabeel Quereshi, Cameron McAllister, and Alycia Wood. All videos one page here. Or view on YouTube here:

Is Christianity Beautiful? - Cameron McAllister
The Problem of Truth - Alycia Wood
Can We Know if God is Real? - Nabeel Qureshi
Media and the Gospel - Cameron McAllister
Why Do I Need God? - Alycia Wood
My Journey to Christ - Nabeel Qureshi
• Answering Doubts Q&A #1

Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Terminology Tuesday: Time, Timelessness

Time, Timelessness: Time refers to the relation of events within creation to each other. Generally events are viewed as forming a linear succession, leading to the idea of the "time line." But the succession of events might also by cyclical, resulting in time as a circle. The Bible presents time as a divinely created reality in which God historically works out the divine plan of salvation. Thus time begins "in the beginning" and moves linearly toward a future goal. Philosophers and theologians have debated how time and eternity are related, as well as the nature of the connection between God and time. Some thinkers assert that time and eternity are totally distinct, while others collapse them, in part as a reaction against viewing time itself being an entity. Theologians who assert that God is timeless maintain that God created time and therefore stands "above" the temporal flow. Others suggest that God travels with creation through time.1

Suggested reading on God & time:
• Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time William Lane Craig
• God & Time: Four Views various authors

1. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 115.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Apologist Interview: Dr. Jefrey Breshears

Today’s interview is with Dr. Jefrey Breshears, Christian historian, apologist,  the president of "The Areopagus” and author of An Introduction to Bibliology. He talks about his background and interest in history and apologetics, the problem of anti-intellectualism in the church (and what can be done about it), the systematic study of the bible (bibliology), an overview of An Introduction to Bibliology, bad arguments for the Bible, good arguments for the Bible, defending the inspiration of scripture, how we got the books that are in the Bible (the canon), the transmission of the Biblical texts, the significance of textual variants, answering skeptics regarding apparent contradictions, the most misunderstood issues about the Bible, and more.

Full Interview MP3 Audio here (37 min)

Enjoy.
Subscribe to the Apologetics 315 Interviews podcast here or in iTunes.

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