Really Recommended Posts

This category contains 111 posts

Reformation Recommended Posts 10/31/14- Reformation Day Reading

449px-NürnbergReformationsGedKircheHappy Reformation Day! I have a special edition of posts put together to discuss the Reformation.

Forming and Reforming- Timothy Siburg reflects on how we might see the Reformation working into today in the church. How might we apply the notion of “reform” to formative thought and practice?

The Coming Vindication of Martin Luther- Martin Luther has been both vilified and praised. Will his thought have a vindication, despite the splitting of the church? Check out this post which summarizes a number of points related to Luther’s thought along with many other links to explore.

Debate: Is the Roman Catholic Priesthood Biblical & Ancient? James White vs. Mitchell Pacwa- One of the issues that divides the church is the notion of the priesthood and that office. I found this debate interesting to listen to, and I found that there were some points raised by either side. Is it possible to debate these issues with respect and care? Should we debate these issues? What do you think?

My Writings on the Reformation

I discuss the origins of the European Reformations and how many of its debates carry on into our own day. The debates that took place during the Reformation continue on into today’s theological discussions.

The Church Universal: Reformation Review-  What makes a church part of the Church Universal? What makes a church part of the true church? I write on these topics (and more!) and their origins in the Reformation.

Who Interprets Scripture? Sola Scriptura, the Reformation, and the modern era: Reformation Review- I investigate the notion of “sola scriptura” and its different applications in interpreting Scripture. I particularly emphasize the problem of doctrinal unity and the various ways church bodies have dealt with these difficulties from the Reformation into today.

The Continuing Influence of the Reformation: Our lives, our thoughts, our theology- Reformation review- I examine how the issues which came up during the Reformation continue to influence almost every aspect of our lives today. Theology matters.

Women in the Reformation: Hope, Silence, and Circumstance- I explore the role of women throughout the Reformation period from different angles.

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Really Recommended Posts 10/24/14- Reconciling in Christ, Walking Dead, and more!

postHello friends! I have another set of links for you to peruse. As always, let me know what you think of the links and if you enjoyed them, leave a comment on those blogs! Thanks for stopping in and reading!

Ambassadors for Reconciliation- There has been much ire flying around over the director of the theistic evolutionist group Biologos’ invitation to creationists like Ken Ham to have dinner and talk over the issues. Here, Hugh Ross reflects upon the extreme reactions of some and the ways we can work towards reconciliation. One quote in particular is helpful:

Enough is enough. There are mission fields still to be reached. How can we ask nonbelievers to dialogue with us if we cannot graciously dialogue with one another, if we treat one another as enemies? Unless we make some progress in reconciling our differences, how can we expect to help reconcile a skeptical world to Christ? We are commissioned by God to be His ambassadors. It’s time for us to start behaving as ambassadors.

I think this is spot on. I have personally been accused by a number of those who disagree with me of being a vile compromiser, someone who is actively leading people away from Christ, etc. If this is how we treat fellow believers, why should those who do not yet believe think that we will be capable of honest dialogue with them? Let’s stop the insults and start genuine dialogue. Let us show one another charity.

When Humans Lose their Humanity: “No Sanctuary” and the real Horror of Terminus- What happens when humans are dehumanized? Here’s an interesting look at ‘The Walking Dead’ which explores this question in deeply insightful ways.

Do we really need to teach our kids apologetics when God is in control anyway?- Here’s an excellent post on the need to educate our children in the Christian faith. Unfortunately, some think that we shouldn’t bother because God is in control. How might we answer this?

Is the Shroud Evidence for God’s Existence?- I have a number of friends in apologetics who are convinced that the Shroud of Turin is genuinely the image of Christ. I am personally unconvinced, but I found this article on it interesting for analyzing what we should make of the Shroud, were it to prove genuine.

Intersections: Summit on Origins- I’m going to be at this conference hosted by Bethel University. It’s on the origins debate, a topic of great interest to me. If you’re able to make it, I’d love to see you there! Let me know!

Really Recommended Posts 10/17/14- the Flood, Acts, and Compromise?

postThere is much to read on the internet (understatement of the century). Here, I’ve tracked down a number of posts that are now linked for your reading pleasure. There’s an amazing post on the historical reliability of the book of Acts, a few posts on creationism and the Flood, and a post on the way we should be doing apologetics.

The Reliability of the Book of Acts- A massive set of 84 points of evidence for the historical accuracy of the biblical book of Acts. I highly recommend you read through this and bookmark it.

The Genesis Flood- Was the biblical flood global? What does the text mean? Here is a biblical and scientific perspective on Noah’s Flood.

A Response to “Refuting Compromise”- A number of creationists continue to put Jonathan Safarti’s book Refuting Compromise forward as a must-read for those who would disagree with a young earth paradigm. Unfortunately, the book is largely a series of ad hominem attacks on Hugh Ross and anyone who would not step firmly into line of the young earth view. Here, Hugh Ross responds to the book.

Apologetics as Loving One’s Neighbor- How might we best do apologetics? Here, Pastor Matt argues that apologetics is a way of loving neighbor. We should operate in such a way that our apologetic reflects the gentleness and respect for others that we are to show.

No Room for a Dry Dead Sea in the Young Earth Timeline- The evidence for the Dead Sea having dried up in the past is discussed in this post alongside the question of whether a young earth creationist perspective can account for it.

Really Recommended Posts 10/10/14- Game of Thrones, Abortion, Joshua, and more!

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneAnother week, another look at some of the most interesting posts on the web. Here we have posts on the Game of Thrones and Philosophy, Joshua 10 and the meaning of the sun standing still, creationist Ken Ham, abortion, and ways your kid might be learning an oversimplified faith. As always, I’d love to read what you think of the posts! Be sure you leave a comment when you go visit to let the authors know your own insights. We have an owl post edition today because it’s cold.

6 Ways You May Be Raising Your Kids with an Oversimplified Faith- We are charged with raising our children in the faith. That doesn’t apply only to parents, but to the entire Christian community. How might we combat the simplistic image of faith that many children have? Check out this great post (and site) from Natasha Crain, and be sure to follow the site for some awesome posts on Christian teaching for children.

Biblical Credibility and Joshua 10: What does the text really claim?- Joshua 10–the passage about the sun ‘standing still’ in the sky has long drawn criticism from non-Christians for various reasons, primarily scientific inaccuracy. Here, eminent scholar John Walton (seriously one of my favorites) explains the text of Joshua 10 in light of other Ancient Near Eastern literature and the way it would have been understood in its time.

Scott Klusendorf Defends the Pro-Life View on the Unbelievable? Radio Show- Recently, Scott Klusendorf–a wonderful pro-life teacher and advocate–debated Mara Clarke on the subject of abortion. It was interesting to listen to this debate and see how the sides played out their arguments. Check out this post to get summary and commentary on the debate.

“You Win or You Die” (from Game of Thrones and Philosophy)- Whatever your view of the appropriateness of “Game of Thrones” (and we must note there is much objectionable content in it), there is no denying its current popularity. Check out this post from Anthony Weber which discusses some issues related to the philosophy of the series.

The Never-ending Debate: Ken Ham’s Obsession with Bill Nye- Some time ago, Ken Ham debated Bill Nye on evolution, the age of the earth, and more (see my summary and commentary on the debate here). Ken Ham has not let this public debate sit, and continues to utilize it to produce creationist material and muster the troops, so to speak. Is this a bad thing? Is it helpful? Let’s here your thoughts. Here is a post analyzing some recent trends in his organization regarding Bill Nye.

Really Recommended Posts 10/3/14- Profanity in the Bible, Earth’s Age, “Uglies” and more!

postHere we have another round of links for your perusal, dear readers. The topics include the age of the Earth (you really must read this), interpreting the Bible, YA Literature, apologetics, and profanity in the Bible. Oh yeah, you read that last one correctly. Check the posts out, and if you liked them be sure to let the authors know. Let me know what you think in the comments here!

Smoking Gun Evidence of an Ancient Earth: GPS Data Confirms Radiometric Dating- People who deny that the Earth really is billions of years old often do so by trying to undercut radiometric dating. But what if we were able to independently confirm radiometric dating? That’s actually what scientists have been able to do, thus confirming the ancient age of the Earth. Check out this post to see the evidence.

What the Bleep does the Bible say about Profanity?- I found this to be a very thought-provoking post on how Christians should think about profanity. I don’t agree with everything here, but it certainly got my brain working. What are your thoughts on this issue? Be sure to read the post, as it gives some great insights.

Uglies, Pretties, and Specials: Scott Westerfield’s Brave New YA World- Young Adult Literature is one way to get our fingers on the pulse of the culture. Here, Anthony Weber (whose awesome site you should follow!) looks at Scott Westerfield’s look into a future in which physical beauty is even more important than it is now.

Are We “Standing Over” Scripture When We Interpret It?- Sometimes, people express concern with the need to read the Bible in its context and work with interpreting a passage. Shouldn’t it all just be clear? Are we placing ourselves over Scripture? Check out this brief post on this concern.

Christian apologetics: Is there, besides current popular approaches, another way to “take every thought captive”?- I have often thought of the need for an integrative approach to apologetics, which looks at the various methods holistically instead of atomistically. Here, someone who seems to favor the presuppositional method looks for the possibility of reconciling various apologetic methods.

The Need for Psychological Apologetics- It is important to realize that psychological issues impact people from all backgrounds. Here, Pastor Matt Rawlings argues that we need to awaken to the need for psychological apologetics.

Really Recommended Posts 9/19/14- Aquinas, the “Gospel” of Barnabas, Poverty, and More!

postI’ll say it: I’m very pleased by this lineup of posts. Here, we have posts addressing metaphysics and cosmology, the Bible and poverty, Muslim Apologetics, Creationism, and Aquinas. How’s that for a diverse lineup? Let me know what you thought of the posts in the comments here.

Cosmology and Causation- Why Metaphysics Matters by Edward Feser- Edward Feser is one of the most brilliant philosophical minds I have encountered. He’s a Thomistic philosopher and whether or not I agree with what he writes, he always challenges me to think on the points he raises. Here, he writes on the importance of metaphysics in the realms of cosmology and causation. Check this out!

Wayne Grudem Debates Richard Glover on the Bible, Poverty, and Foreign Aid- What might the Bible say about foreign aid and poverty? Here, Wintery Knight offers an analysis of a recent debate between Christians on the topic. I have reviewed Wayne Grudem’s book “The Poverty of Nations” which will provide some background to the issues discussed here.

Creationist Influence on Biblical Study Tools- Always be aware that when we’re using any sort of study tool for reading the Bible, there will be interpretation happening. Here, one of my favorite sites takes a look at some ways young earth creationism has influenced some biblical study tools.

The Gospel of Barnabas- Unfortunately, the alleged Gospel of Barnabas is often trotted out in Muslim Apologetics as proof that various aspects of Christianity are false while Islam has them correct. Here’s a great analysis of the dating of this book and whether it should impact us at all in our interfaith discussions.

Did Thomas Aquinas Believe that Sin Affected the Intellect?- Yep. Okay, there is more to it! Check out this post on the topic of Aquinas and the noetic effects of sin.

Really Recommended Posts 9/12/14- science and faith, questioning leaders, and more!

postI have sought out another round of really recommended posts for you, dear readers. I hope these posts bring you edification, as they did for me. Let me know what you thought in the comments here, and be sure to drop a comment on those you appreciated!

Is Christian Belief A Science-Stopper: 7 Quick Points- It is often alleged that Christianity becomes a science-stopper. People who are Christians, it is said, are somehow defective intellectually in ways which stall science; or perhaps it is instead that Christian belief leads to a kind of gullibility regarding scientific explanation. Here are seven points which argue that Christianity does not stop science.

The forgotten lesson of Bonhoeffer and the American Church- What might the story of Bonhoeffer have to tell us for today? Has his life as a Christian been misunderstood? Check out this interesting article on the man, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Beelzebul: Poop god- Who said the Bible has no comedy in it? Check out this post which talks about Beelzebul, the poop god, among others.

Two Paths Affirming Women’s Ordination- How might one go about arguing for women’s ordination? Check out this post, which traces two ways that women’s ordination has been achieved historically and in modernity.

Christology: Deity and Eternality- An excellent resource for those of us wanting to look into how to show the deity and eternality of Christ. I highly recommend keeping a copy of this somewhere close at hand.

When Questionable Leaders Make Us Doubt- There have too often been Christian leaders in the news for poor decisions, making mistakes, or even being abusive. What do we do when these failures in Christian leadership make us doubt? My own thought is that we need to recognize that being Christian doesn’t automatically make us cease sinning, but here are some deeper insights I thought were helpful.

 

Really Recommended Posts 9/5/14- Jesus’ resurrection, logical fallacies, and more!

postWell depending on if my child comes on time, I may currently be in the hospital with my wife and a baby being born today, as it is our due date! Thus, I may not respond right away to any comments. On the other hand, I may just be hanging out waiting for the baby (or he or she may come early!). So long story short keep my family in your prayers, if you please. This week’s posts include Jesus’ resurrection, logical fallacies, “The Unbelievers” movie, Michael Behe’s design argument, and Rob Bell and Oprah Winfrey.

Prior Probability of the Resurrection-  David Marshall presents a lengthy argument related to the prior probability of the resurrection of Jesus. This argument is very important, and Marshall’s approach is one of many leading ways to argue for the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. This article has much depth and is worth the read.

How Not to Argue: The Problem of “Folk Fallacies”- It is easy to fall into the trap of Googling random fallacies and charging others with committing these errors. Here, some difficulties with pointing out an alleged stream of fallacies are pointed out. It’s a good post for apologists to consider.

Are “The Unbelievers” Unbelievable?- Here, Saints and Skeptics addresses several issues of “The Unbelievers” film, including its method, arguments, and conclusions.

A Pretty Sharp Edge: Reflecting on Michael Behe’s Vindication- Michael Behe’s argument for intelligent designed is based upon the concept of irreducible complexity. Check out this post which argues that his argument has been vindicated.

Rob Bell, Oprah Winfrey, and the missing Jesus- What happens when Rob Bell meets Oprah Winfrey? Check out this post for some interesting thoughts on the missing Christ in the conversation. See my own series of posts on Rob Bell’s Love Wins for some more reading.

Really Recommended Posts 8/22/14- Osteen, apologetics, creationism, and more!

postI have put together what I consider a very strong list of topics for you this go-round. Here, we have Acts, Osteen, Creationism, apologetics (x2), and C.S. Lewis. Check out the posts, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Finally: A simple timeline of Acts- This tremendously helpful post provides a timeline of acts which shows when different people were traveling together and where they were at various points throughout the book. It is a great way to keep track of the goings-on in the book. Be sure to follow The Overview Bible, as they constantly have fantastic posts.

A Diluvialist Response to Buckland’s Kirkdale Cave Hyena Den- Flood geology has been around for a little while, and here, Joel Duff describes how early diluvialists-young earth flood geologists-initially reacted to some major important finds.

The Guide to Online Decorum for Christian Apologists- How, then, shall we live? This is a question to ask yourself, no matter your situation. Here, Pastor Matt Rawlings discusses how Christian apologists should interact in online settings.

C.S. Lewis’ (really) 10 Best Books- From Christian philosopher David Marshall, we have this list of C.S. Lewis’ 10 best books. Some might be obvious, some might surprise you. Regardless, it’s time to get some extra reading!

Osteen and Peter (Comic)- A poignant pictorial contrast between prosperity “gospel” and Christian life.

5 Things I Hate about Apologetics- Doing apologetics does present some pitfalls regarding faith and life. Check out this post related to these possible difficulties.

Really Recommended Posts 8/15/14- Christians and Romans, Bible Measurements, Robin Williams, and more!

postHere I have another go-round the web as we survey a posts on creationism, early Christianity, measurement in the Bible, interactions between men and women, and Robin Williams. Let me know what you thought of the posts in the comments, and be sure to leave a comment on those whose posts you enjoyed!

Book Plunge: “The Christians as the Romans Saw Them”- Nick Peters reviews a book which seems to be really interesting, because it is about how the Romans viewed the Christians in the early periods of Christian development. The topic should be of interest for those interested in apologetics, church history, history, and sociology.

All the biblical units of measurement- the “Overview Bible” has become one of my favorite sites. It’s value lies in both clear examples and posts but also in its generally denominationally neutral approach to the Bible. In other words, it’s a great site for general Bible knowledge. Here, there is a chart with every single biblical unit of measurement and a modern equivalent. It’s enormously helpful!

5 Ways Married Men Can Act Like Adults Around Women, Single or Not- This post has some satire in it as the author is responding to the notion that men are somehow incapable of controlling themselves around women.

NH Notes- Bent Rock on Display: The Sidelong Hill road cut- how might rocks bend? Must we attribute such bent rocks to the biblical Flood? Check out this post which has some great pictures and discussion of these topics. See my debate review between a young earth and old earth Christian in which this very topic came up.

Robin Williams, Matt Walsh, and Choice- Stephen Bedard offers some very good insight into Christianity and mental illness, along with a response to Matt Walsh’s comments about how Robin Williams’ suicide may be reduced to a choice.

On the Death of Robin Williams-A great reflection on Christianity, mental illness, and hope in the midst of suffering. Check out this thoughtful post.

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