Testing the Rational Foundations of the Faith

Apologetics is a reasoned defense of a position. In a Christian context, the biblical basis is from 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” Studying apologetics is a little hobby of mine, but as far as it is an application of 1 Peter 3:15 (and 1 Thessalonians 5:21) it is also a necessary part of life as a Christian.


I’d like to start a category on this blog for Apologetics topics. If this site is all about putting 1 Thessalonians 5:21 into practice, then testing the very foundations of Christianity sounds like an appropriate area of study. I’m fully convinced that the Christian faith is rational, and the task of apologetics is to show that. As a Christian who fancies himself an intellectual, it really bothers me when I see other Christians behave and think irrationally. My intellectual bent isn’t the only reason that I think so, though. The Bible is full of exhortations to think, to seek wisdom, to understand, and to grow in knowledge. We are called to love the Lord with all our minds, and be transformed by the renewing of those minds. There are even entire books of the Bible devoted to wisdom (Proverbs and Ecclesiastes).  Continue reading

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Why Deborah the Judge Would NOT Support Women in Church Leadership

This is a guest article written by my friend Michael White. It is in response to this

Deborah held the position of Judge in Israel at a time when there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6). This is very similar to our politically correct pluralistic culture that we live in today in America.  We are often more concerned about pleasing the culture, and appearing fair in the cultures eyes, rather than honoring God or what His Word says (John 5:44, Gal 1:10). Israel had previously been delivered from the city of Hazor in Joshua’s time (Joshua 11:10), but the city had risen again (Judges 4) because of Israel’s disobedience. After the death of Ehud; Israel once again disobeyed until God raised up Deborah – a woman Judge. Continue reading

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The Blessing and Curse of the Information Age

The internet gives a platform to anyone with an opinion. (This isn’t news.) There is no longer the filter of a publisher; money, or status isn’t necessary to be heard, and neither is coherence. While it’s tempting to bemoan this state of affairs, the better response is to realize the responsibility is now in your hands. The power is in your hands to literally find any side of any controversy, but that means you also carry the burden of filtering through the nonsense. It falls on you to recognize fallacy from logic, snake oil from cure, bias from fact. We can’t all be experts, scholars, and specialists, but we can all exercise tools of rationality to adjudicate between the testimony of various authorities on the ideas that matter. Don’t turn off your mind. Don’t let others think for you, and don’t let your desires numb your judgment.

The person armed with logic and humility toward the grace of God, is immune to both the chaos of information anarchy, and the tyranny of information totalitarianism.

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Coming soon…

I have had a lot on my plate this last week, and the piece I was hoping to share this week isn’t quite ready. So, here’s a list of what I’ve been working on:

  • Starting an apologetics category
  • Reviewing a couple of books by Edward Feser
  • Starting a series on arguments for God’s existence by evaluating -from a layman’s perspective- Thomas Aquinas’s “First Way” and objections to it
  • Starting a series on eschatology by showing how a non-scholar (any ol’ Christian) can evaluate “controversial” topics like it
  • Sharing a lighthearted, and really silly, nerdy comic about Theological Hipsters

I tend to get pulled in several directions by my interests, and end up working on multiple projects in parallel, instead of cranking out one at a time. Don’t be afraid to comment or message me with your feedback!

 

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Parables, Context, and the Prodigal Son

A quick examination of the famous parable, and why a couple of common interpretations just don’t fit the context.


Parables, analogies, and metaphors are as common as they are useful. They can communicate a concept far deeper than a simple description. We can know something much better when we can see it played out, feel its force, and watch it act. But they have limitations. A picture has a purpose: some central aspect of it is intended to communicate a truth. So, it’s important to determine the primary truth, and to not stretch it beyond its intent. Don’t take analogies too far, and don’t lose sight of the context.

Unfortunately, this is a common mistake in the study of Jesus’s parables. Let’s briefly examine one of the most famous parables, and see why a couple interpretations just don’t fit.  Continue reading

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The Application for Every Verse

Sermons and Bible studies tend to have a standard format: start with the scripture, end with the practical application. It seems a bible teacher is obligated to get through all the doctrine stuff fast, and get to the “meat,” the “point,” the important stuff: the ways it affects my life. Always looming over the teacher is the audience’s question: “why should I care?” Continue reading

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Romans 9, 10, and 11 – Conclusion

Gifts and Calling of God (3)This is the conclusion of our study of Paul’s answer to the question: How can we trust God’s promises to us, when Israel seems to be rejecting the gospel? Did God’s promise to them fail?


In Part 5, we saw the ultimate reason why God has not broken His promise to Israel: they will be restored. God caused them to stumble so that Gentiles can have unprecedented access to The Promise. God made a promise to Abraham that all the nations would be blessed in him, and that is fulfilled because they too can be saved by Christ. Gentiles benefit from Israel’s promise, and do so in large part because of Israel’s blindness to their own Messiah. Israel’s stumble is not for their ultimate doom, however. Some future day, Jesus the deliverer will take away their sin and restore them on a national scale. Continue reading

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