Really Recommended Posts

This category contains 83 posts

Really Recommended Posts 4/11/14- submission, creationism, and apologetics!

postI’m really itching for a game of Ultimate Frisbee. Seriously, can the snow please melt? Anyway, this week I’m presenting for your reading pleasure a slew of high quality posts on the (non-)tasks of the apologist, submission, “street epistemology,” presuppositionalism, and young earth creationism. How’s that for a lineup? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! I love to read what you think. Have a link to share? Drop it here with your own thoughts on it, and I may include it next time!

What an Apologist’s Job is NOT- Melissa Cain Travis offers some extremely sound advice on things to avoid as an apologist. This is a very practical post and a most read for those of us involved in apologetics. Read it!

On Submitting to One Another- What does it mean to submit? How does the notion of submission to one another play out in the church? Check out this thoughtful post by Paul D. Adams on these topics.

On Interacting with Street Epistemologists- Nick Peters has spent some time interacting with “street epistemologists” trained by atheist Peter Boghossian. Here, he shares some of his insights gained from this task. If you’re unfamiliar with the Boghossian, I highly recommend you check out “Peter Boghossian, Atheist Tactician.”

Picture Charades: Do you know your presuppositional apologists?- A fun activity of identifying key presuppositional thinkers. I take an integrative approach to apologetics, so I think it is important to read evidentialists, presuppositionalists, classical apologists, and yes, even fideists.

An Ancient and Alien Forest Reconstructed: A Challenge for young earth creationism- How might the forests of the past present difficulties for young earth creationism? Well, read the post to find out! It’s well worth it.

 

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Really Recommended Posts 4/4/14- Views on “Noah” and “God’s Not Dead”

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneI think it’s important to view a range of perspectives on two of the latest flicks to hit the big screens: “Noah” and “God’s Not Dead.” These films are going to draw religious viewers simply based on their content. How do we approach them? What conversations do we have? Here, I’ve offered a few posts about each film. I’d love to read your own thoughts on either or both of these flicks.  Yes, this is an owl post edition because I have a winter storm blowing through right now. So that’s fun. (This is my attempt to keep smiling.)

God’s Not Dead

An Apologist Reviews “God’s Not Dead”- Here, a Christian apologist discusses his viewing of the movie. His overall thought is that though it is at times simplistic, it may help awaken the need for apologetics within the church.

David Baggett Guest Post: “God’s Not Dead”- Noted Christian philosopher David Baggett takes on the film. He’s concerned that the film oversimplifies and caricatures atheists and Christians, without paying enough attention to the thoughtfulness of either.

Personal Comments on God’s Not Dead- Astrophysicist Hugh Ross shared his personal thoughts on the film. He thinks it is worth seeing for Christians, but also has reservations regarding its portrayal of the people involved.

A Christian Philosopher’s Thoughts on “God’s Not Dead”- This is a Christian apologist from a different [presuppositional] perspective offering thoughts on the film. To be fair, he is actually looking at the trailer. Can his comments be valid still? Check out the post and judge for yourselves.

Noah

Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”- Over at The Gospel Coalition, the flick “Noah” is presented as having numerous issues, but it may start conversations and it also helps show the reality of evil before the Flood. Moreover, the reality of the spiritual realm is something that not enough people think of, but in the film the spiritual reality is very real and powerful.

I’m a Christian and I think ‘Noah’ deserves a four star review- In stark contrast to the above, Matt Walsh rips the film apart and also questions why any Christian leaders would be endorsing it or thinking of it as worthy viewing.

Sympathy for the Devil- In this post, Brian Mattson argues that the film is actually an ingenious way of portraying Gnostic ideas and Kabbalah. Essentially, his view is that the film is very explicitly Gnostic and portrays God as evil and the devil as sympathetic.

No, Noah is not Gnostic- In response to the claims of Gnosticisim, Peter Chattaway argues that one cannot conflate Kabbalah with Gnostic thought. Furthermore, he argues that Mattson gets several plot points and points of comparison wrong.

Both, and Then Some!

Hollywood, Movies, and the Bible: Should We Rewind on How We View?- Darrell Bock shares some thoughts on several recent movies with faith themes in them, such as “Noah” and “God’s Not Dead.” He offers practical advice regarding how one might view films with a discerning eye as well.

Really Recommended Posts 3/28/14- Nature and Scripture, Tolkien’s Beowulf, oneness in Christ, and more!

postI have a nice range of posts set up for you. First, we look at the “God’s Not Dead” flick. Then, Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf! From there we survey the interrelationship between nature and Scripture, men and women as images of God, and young earth creationism and animal mimicry. I hope you enjoy them. As always, drop a comment here to let me know what you thought!

An Apologist Reviews “God’s Not Dead”- The movie “God’s Not Dead” is drawing a lot of interest from Christians. How does it hold up with it’s seeming purpose: to show that God is not dead? Check out this review by Nick Peters, a Christian apologist.

JRR Tolkien’s Translation of Beowulf: Bring on the Monsters- A translation from Tolkien of Beowulf may seem pretty ho-hum. After all, there are already English translations! But the book is going to be published not only with the translation, but also Tolkien’s notes and a couple essays. This is, of course, not to mention Tolkien is a renowned scholar of linguistics and so his translation is undoubtedly fantastic. I wait with barely contained glee for this one. Check out this post for reasons to get excited about the book!

Are Nature and Scripture Compatible?- Here, Luke Nix analyzes a number of ways to evaluate nature and Scripture alongside each other. The post has helpful flow charts to visualize this reasoning throughout. I highly recommend the read.

Male and Female: One Image, One Purpose- Men and women are both made in the image of God. What does that mean? How does it play out in our view of men and women? Check out this post by Mimi Haddad on the topic.

The “Good Creation” – Mimicry, Design, and Young Earth Creationism- How do creatures which mimic others (or the environment) reflect upon God’s creation? Check out this post which analyzes the question against the backdrop of young earth creationism.

Really Recommended Posts 3/21/14- egalitarian marriage, the Bible and murdering children, inerrancy, and more!

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneWell we got snow again here (about 3 inches). If it’s anything like  last year, we’ll be seeing snow in May. Alas. Given that we’re stuck inside, I am pleased to present a number of excellent posts here for your perusal. The posts address the notion that egalitarian marriage is less satisfactory, apologetic interaction in social media, a recent meme about murdering children in the Bible, and more!

Gender Roles in Marriage (Part 1): Couples in Traditional Roles Have More Sex, Study Finds- I have seen several people sharing the results of a study in which it was found that couples in traditional roles have more sex. Some have trumpeted this as proof that traditional marriage is actually superior to egalitarian marriage. (Here, realize that “traditional marriage” is referring to a complementarian relationship wherein the man is in charge of the household.) However, apart from the problem that the number of instances of sex in a month is perhaps not the best indicator of marital stability and happiness, it seems there are other difficulties with this study and those drawing conclusions about the superiority of complementarianism. Check out this article on the topic.

How to Murder Children: Bible Style – Debunked- There’s a meme rolling around the internet about how the Bible has murdering children in it. It’s constructed without commentary and seems to be slanted towards the view that the Bible is evil. Check out this debunking of the meme (it includes the original). Very good work here, and I really think you should check it out!

What Christians can learn from skeptics- Certainly not an exhaustive list, this is actually more specifically looking at how skeptics are using Wikipedia to slant opinion on religious issues. How might Christians use this as a way to increase confidence in the faith?

Errors of Inerrancy- An interesting post on how to avoid some pitfalls when thinking of the doctrine of inerrancy. The list of errors includes both mistakes made by both critical scholarship and evangelicals regarding the text of Scripture.

One Christian Apologist’s Advice on Using (Anti-)Social Media- Some good advice here on how to become more effective via social media. Though I personally think Facebook is actually a better way to do apologetics than described in this post.

Really Recommended Posts 3/14/14- “Cosmos,” The Monuments Men, C.S. Lewis, and more!

postHere, I have compiled a kind of special edition of the “Really Recommended Posts.” We first focus on a number of critical responses to the first episode of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.” It seems to me the episode did some pretty shoddy history and also made any number of metaphysical claims. After that, we look at some more extremely interesting posts which focus on educating children in the faith, literature as a way to discover meaning, and the film “The Monuments Men.” As always, I’d love to read your thoughts on these posts.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Cosmos, Giordano Bruno, and Getting it Right- A brief but incisive critique of a number of major historical errors made throughout the first episode.

Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson: Same Old Product, Bright New Packaging-  In this post, Casey Luskin takes on the notion that science and religion are at war alongside some other errors in the episode.

Is there any science in the new “Cosmos” series, or is it all naturalistic religion?- Wintery Knight takes on the episode for making a bunch of claims without evidence.

Cosmos Revives the Scientific Martyr Myth of Giordano Bruno- “[T]he materialist bias of the producers, editors, and writers of Cosmos is so complete that they couldn’t be bothered even to check Wikipedia.” Yep. Check out this incisive critique of the way Bruno was presented in the episode.

Cosmos: Episode I Recap and Review- I give an overview of the episode and critique it for making rather poor metaphysical and historical assertions instead of presenting more observational evidence.

More Great Reads

The Number One Sign Your Kids Are Just Borrowing Your Faith- Natasha Crain shares some interesting thoughts on how to better develop the faith of your children. Here, she looks into the possibility that your kids may just be borrowing your faith.

Be Careful What You Read… C.S. Lewis’ literary encounter with George MacDonald- The ways in which literature can shape one’s thoughts are astounding. Here, the impact of literature on C.S. Lewis’ conversion is explored.

The Monuments Men: A dialectic not to be ignored- The film “The Monuments Men” has rather mediocre reviews overall. However, Max Andrews over at Sententias points out that the film’s emphasis on the importance of identifying and preserving art and beauty may hint at greater things. Check out his interesting thoughts on the topic.

Really Recommended Posts 3/7/14- Pastafarianism, Russia/Ukraine, Creationism, and more!

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneTesting The Creationist’s Hyper-Evolution Orchard: Canines, Felines, and Elephants- Young Earth Creationists appeal to the Flood to explain the rock strata and fossil record. Yet in order to fit the animals onto the Ark, they are forced to posit a kind of hyper-evolution wherein only two of each “kind” were brought aboard and later diversified into the life we see now. Here is an in-depth analysis and critical response to this argument.

Off their noodles: The tedium of Pastafarianism- An insightful, thoughtful discussion of the New Atheist trend for comparing deity to the “Flying Spaghetti Monster.” Here, there is extensive analysis of the alleged analogy and its “adherents.”

Russia Launches Armed invasion of Crimea region of Ukraine- Some interesting analysis of the foreign policy issues at play here. The development of this has implications for people of faith, and we should be praying for those in the region, whatever our political affiliations or thoughts. The acting President of the Ukraine recently spoke of seeing God’s hand in the events in the region. As Christians, we should be seeking for God’s aid and intercession on behalf of the innocent; we should be praying for peace and the freedom of the oppressed.

Dear Sam Harris, It doesn’t matter if others made claims similar to the New Testament authors- It is not enough to say there are parallels to the Gospel claims and thus dismiss them historically. I made a lengthy argument against the notion that parallels can dismiss historical claims as well: Method or Madness?

Maybe Young Christians Leave Us Because They Were Never With Us in the First Place- J. Warner Wallace offers this powerful call to youth education in the faith.

Really Recommended Posts 2/21/14- Camels, Vampires, Dinosaurs, Islam, and more!

postI am really excited about the lineup I’ve put together for you, dear readers, in this latest iteration of my Really Recommended Posts. Whether you’re interested in literary apologetics, archaeology, paleontology, world religions, or atheism, I have something here for you! As always, be sure to drop a comment and let me know what you thought!

Camels in the Ancient Near East- Winfried Corduan, a noted scholar of world religions, provides an extremely important look into the question of camels in the Bible and the Ancient Near Eastern context thereof.

Vampire Academy- Anthony Weber has taken the time to read a number of pieces of YA fiction. Vampire Academy is the latest, and a film is in the works based on the book. What can a Christian say regarding its content? Check out his post on the book.

Juvenile Dinosaurs Found Huddling in a Nest: A Local or Global Catastrophe?- Here’s an extremely interesting post on the finding of dinosaurs in a nest. Does it provide evidence for young earth creationism? Also, be sure to check out my own post, “Oceans of Kansas,” Unexpected Fossils, and Young Earth Creationism, which examines another evidence alleged to show a global Flood.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus- Daniel Wallace is pumped about the recent book from Nabeel Qureshi about how the latter came to Christ while practicing his Muslim faith. I can’t wait for my own copy to arrive! I had the privilege of taking a class with Qureshi through Biola, so I’m extra excited for this one.

Book Plunge: A Manual for Creating Atheists- Boghossian’s book has created a stir, as he is actively trying to deconvert Christians in particular. Check out this interesting review and examination of the work.

Really Recommended Posts 2/14/14- Rival theism, evidence for faith, apologetics, and more!

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneThe Winter Olympics are on and I am currently experiencing -7 wind chill… which feels warm compared to what we’ve had! Thus, we have an owl post edition of the Really Recommend Posts, which features another round of great reads from across the internet! This week, we peruse rival theism, reasons for apologetics, evidence for faith, and more!

A complex god with a god complex- Edward Feser here discusses some criticisms of classical theism from a rather unexpected avenue: a rival theistic system which does not hold that God is the simplest possible being, among other things. Rather than being an atheistic critique, this is a criticism from a variant on theism. Feser’s comments are insightful and interesting. He is a Thomistic philosopher who continually has extremely insightful thoughts. I’ve been reading through one of his books–The Last Superstition–and a post on a quote from it has spurred much discussion.

J. Warner Wallace: Why are you a Christian?- The importance of apologetics is brought poignantly to the forefront in J. Warner Wallace’s comments in this post. Wallace is the author of Cold-Case Christianity, a simply fantastic apologetics book, and his comments here offer a stirring call to instruction in the faith.

Okay, you’re right. There’s no evidence for faith- Tom Gilson has been at the forefront of responding to Peter Boghossian, the Atheist Tactician. Here, he continues his series of posts regarding Boghossian’s critique of faith in general. The comments are highly insightful.

The Legitimate Use of Thomas Aquinas in Apologetics- What might Thomas Aquinas have to instruct us in apologetics? Here a few major aspects of Aquinas’ continuing contributions to apologetics are discussed.

Gary Habermas- SALT 2013 (VIDEO)- Gary Habermas is a leading expert on Jesus’ Resurrection. Here is a speech he gave at last year’s SALT (Strategic Answers for Life’s Thoughts) conference.

Really Recommended Posts 2/7/14- Ken Ham/Bill Nye, Russell Wilson, creationism, and more!

postTwo huge stories this week: the Super Bowl and the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate. As such, I’ve brought up some links related to each. As always, let me know your thoughts! If you’re interested in the debate, be sure to check out my overview and analysis.

Notable Christians Open to an Old-universe, Old-earth perspective- In the debate, Ken Ham kept mentioning various scientists who were Christian and young earth creationists. Here, there is a list of many notable Christian thinkers who are open to an old-earth perspective instead.

Origins Science and Misconceptions of Historical Science- Over at Naturalis Historia, this extremely relevant post was offered up which contests Ken Ham’s presentation of a major gap between historical sciences and observational sciences.

ESPN spots a ghost in the Seattle-Russell Wilson lovefest- One thing that has received little coverage regarding the Seahawks is Russell Wilson’s faith. Perhaps that’s because he is not so in-your-face as Tim Tebow, but both Wilson and Robert Griffin III are faithful men. Here, the author explores the popularity of Wilson in a fairly secular city.

All 32 NFL Teams Crossed with Star Wars- I love football, and I love Star Wars. These are some awesome Star Wars crossovers for NFL Teams. Check it out!

How about checking out some reviews of the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye? Here are a couple:

Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye post-debate analysis- The GeoChristian has a brief overview of the debate with a focus on what each got right or wrong.

Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye: The Aftermath- Luke Nix over at Faithful Thinkers has another thoughtful review. His post focuses much more on the topic of the debate as opposed to a broad overview. Highly recommended.

Be sure to check out my own review of the debate, which gives a lengthy overview as well as specific analysis on the debate- Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye: Analysis of a lose-lose debate.

Really Recommended Posts 1/31/14- “Frozen,” French and American Atheists, world religions, and more!

postAnother week, another round of great reading served up for you, dear readers. I’m writing this in the midst of getting 4-6 inches of snow (it’s already at 3, and not showing signs of slowing…), so I can’t help but feel a little bit like throwing in a Christmas movie today and sipping some cocoa. Oh well! It also made me think of the movie “Frozen.” The topics this week are Disney’s “Frozen,” the conversion story of a French atheist, “Street Epistemology,” the sign of Jonah and world religions, something we can learn from atheists in the “Bible Belt,” and evangelicalism and liturgy.

Disney’s “Frozen” might be the most Christian movie lately- I found this article on the movie “Frozen” to be quite insightful and interesting. I highly recommend the movie as well as this article.

How God turns a French  atheist into a Christian theologian- I found this conversion story simply fascinating for how God works in people’s lives. The insights from this theologian are profound, and they speak volumes for the importance of a reasoned faith.

A Look at the New “Street Epistemology” Movement- Eric Chabot analyzes the “Street Epistemology” movement forged by Peter Boghossian for creating atheists. Chabot’s approach is fairly unique in that he explores the movement through means of certitude and doubt–a primary weapon for Boghossian.

Bible Belt Bubble Burst? Wisdom from an atheist friend- The importance of a reasoned faith is shared eloquently here through reflection on a conversation with an atheist friend in the “Bible Belt” of the United States. Highly relevant.

The Sign of Jonah- Winfried Corduan is a major scholar of world religions. In this blog post, he offers up a video of how world religions are impacting the United States alongside a commentary on the “Sign of Jonah” which Jesus says will be given to his contemporaries.

Evangelical conservatives vs. Liturgical conservatives- Is it true that one can be either evangelical or liturgical? Is there such a thing as a perfect blend and harmony of evangelical conservatism and liturgy? Look no further than Lutheranism. Check out this post with some interesting insights.

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