Really Recommended Posts

This category contains 137 posts

Really Recommended Posts 6/19/15- Creationism, memes, masculinity, and more!

postAnother week, another round of excellent reading from around the web for you, dear readers. We have analysis of creationist scholarship, a look at an exciting new book, historical apologetics, pro-life method, and analysis of a meme that attacks Christianity. As always let me know what you think, and let the authors know you enjoyed their posts as well!

The Dangers of Poor Scholarship: A Creationist’s Take on Feathered Dinosaurs– How do Young Earth Creationists often interact with science stories? Is there method consistent? Here, there is an analysis of creationist methodology when it comes not only to feathered dinosaurs but also to how the evaluate faulty arguments and lack consistency.

Malestrom: Swept up in the Currents of a Changing World (Review)– Color me delighted to see a book like this coming out. Our perceptions of what it means to be masculine are deeply embedded in our cultural norms. I have often engaged with complementarians who inform me of exactly what they think men ought to do or what men are “at their core.” But this they do without even acknowledging that even today there are cultures with differing understandings of what is masculine. How might we separate the good from the bad when it comes to talking about masculinity? This book seems to offer a way forward.

William Warburton’s 18th Century Defense of Christianity– It’s amazing how many historical defenses of Christianity are effectively lost in our time. The study of historical apologists is a continually fruitful one that yields great rewards for those who pursue it. Here, Doug Geivett highlights how even arguments that seem tied to their own time periods may provide us with new insights into controversies of our day.

John Reasnor Fails to Show that Incrementalism is Unbiblical– Clinton Wilcox engages in a debate over method when it comes to pro-life reasoning. Some have been arguing that we must do pro-life activism in such a way that only those laws or methods that ban all abortion may be supported. Is this reasonable? Wilcox analyzes the argument. I have provided a lengthy overview of and review of a debate on the same topic.

Will Your Murderer Be In Heaven?– Nick Peters offers an analysis of a meme floating around recently that attacks the goodness of Christianity because one’s own murderer might be in heaven. How does this attack hold up under scrutiny?

Really Recommended Posts 6/12/15- Luther, Treecats [what!?], and more!

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneSorry I’m a bit late today folks. I was on vacation and still catching up to some stuff after a beautiful cruise in Alaska! Anyway, this week I still got some diverse reads for you, dear friends! We have reads ranging from Luther on the Lord’s Supper to science fiction creatures, from Paley to Thomism, and even a comic! Check them out and let me know what you think!

The Lord’s Supper – Martin Luther’s Journey to the Bible– Martin Luther’s theology of the sacraments is central to his view of Christianity and the Christian life. Here’s an extended blog post looking at how he developed his doctrine of the Lord’s Supper.

I’m a Theology Nerd (Comic)- Yep, pretty much this. I am a huge theology nerd, in case anyone didn’t notice. This comic captures some of the reasoning behind that pretty well: if you really think there is a transcendent, loving, creator of the universe, how could we not love to learn more and more about that being?

Crossing the Heath with William Paley (1743-1805)– Doug Geivett continues his fascinating series on historical Christian apologists with one of the most famous to have ever lived: William Paley. He especially emphasizes Paley’s design argument, with a nod towards his historical arguments as well. I have written on Paley myself, and interested readers should check out my posts in the linked text.

Neo-Scholastic Essays– Edward Feser has a new book out that collects many of his essays together for your reading pleasure. Why care about Edward Feser? He is, in my opinion, the clearest thinker on Thomistic philosophy writing today. And he writes a lot. Check out his blog and be sure to look into his books as well. I’ve written on some things from Feser before.

Treecats Climb Into Children’s Hearts– David Weber is my favorite science fiction author. He’s got all kinds of awesome military sci-fi out there that you should read! Here’s a post that should warm your hearts too about his going to classrooms to share the love of literature with kids! I had the chance to meet Weber not too long ago, and I’ve written on his portrayal of women and religion in science fiction as well.

 

 

RRP 6/5/15

postAnother week, another round of Really Recommended Posts! Here we have posts on “celebrity books,” a pro-life debate, young earth creationism, what it means to be a man, and Zen Buddhism. Check ’em out, let me know what you think, and let the authors know as well!

When We Evaluate Zen Buddhism by Its Own Standards– What happens when you evaluate a religion like Zen Buddhism by its own standards of truth and the like? Check out this post to find out.

A Response to John Piper: What does it mean to be a man?– Frequently, Christians who have specific views of what gender “roles” are supposed to be package their cultural notions of what these roles ought to be in as well. Thus, it is claimed that men like cars, but women like shoes. Often, these claims are made straight-faced as if they apply to all women and men in all times and places. I have seen this time and again. Here is a response to John Piper on this very topic.

Celebrity Books– People don’t always read books unless they are “celebrity” authors. Do you often just buy books because of the author on the front? I know I do. To be fair–this often works out well. Here’s a post looking at some of the downside of this.

Is It Wrong to Pass Incremental Pro-Life Laws?– Here is a snippet of a debate on pro-life method with the question of whether we should pass incremental legislation. I summarized this debate here and analyzed the debate here.

My Response to a Young-Earth Critique of “Navigating Genesis”– Hugh Ross responds to a critique of his recent book on Genesis. The specific challenge raised is the location of Eden.

Really Recommended Posts 5/29/15- Jesus or Muhammad, Kierkegaard, and more!

postHello folks, it’s another week and that means another round of Really Recommended Posts! Here we have a pretty solid lineup which includes a discussion of whether Muhammad or Jesus was prophesied in the Bible, an accidental flight to North Korea as a sermon illustration, Kierkegaard, the Resurrection, and setting an example for your kids.

A Prophet like Moses: Jesus or Muhammad?– It has often been alleged by Muslim apologists that Deuteronomy 18:18 references a prophecy of Muhammad. How strong is this claim? What about Jesus?

Apologetic Sermon Illustration: Why doctrinal details matter and the case of Kenyan accidental flight to North Korea– Based on a real news story in which a Kenyan made a nightmarish mistake: he flew to Pyongyang, North Korea instead of Pyeongchang, South Korea. In his own words: “…who could tell the difference?” This post is worth reading for the news story alone, but the use of it as an apologetics illustration as well was a great idea. The author used it to discuss religious or doctrinal pluralism.

The Great Dane: Remembering Kierkegaard– A brief snippet on Kierkegaard’s impact and life.

If Jesus did not really rise from the dead (Comic)- Here’s a great illustration of why it is important to realize what relevance the sincere belief of the disciples had regarding evidence for the resurrection.

Why Setting a Good Example for your Kids is Overrated– We need to avoid making our instruction of our children law-oriented and on behavior rather than on the truth of Christianity and the grace of God. Here’s a discussion of how we might do that.

Really Recommended Posts 5/22/15- Mars, Hinduism, Prosperity, and more!

postI’m pretty sure we’re not going to get nice weather here in MN for anything more than one 5 hour period at a time. Alas. Anyway, I took the chilled days to find you some more good reading. As always, be sure to let the authors know you appreciated what they wrote and let me know what you think here.

Curiosity Rover Update: Diverse Geological Formations on Mars– Not only does this post have some really beautiful imagery from Mars (seriously, it’s like a science fiction story come true!), but it also discusses how the geology of Mars might pose an interesting problem for young earth creationists.

Self-knockout: A Twitter dialogue with a Hindu against Christian Evangelism– The Nepalese Earthquake led to many Christians praying not just for the physical but also spiritual needs of those impacted. This led to major pushback from many Hindus who argued that Christians are “soul vultures” and should not evangelize. Here’s an interesting look at a dialogue with one of these Hindus who attacked Christians for sharing their faith.

The Biology Professor Who Hated our Outreach Exhibit– Pro-Life advocates continue to show how embryology and related sciences help support the case against abortion. Here’s a post about one biology professor who took issue with the use of scientific evidence against abortion.

How “faith” works in the prosperity gospel (Comic)- A nice flowchart depicting the way faith allegedly works according to the prosperity Gospel.

Upon the Ground of Men– There is a lot of anger (I don’t think this word is to strong) towards those who argue for gender-inclusive translations of the Bible and the like. Here’s a post that looks at some of the difficulties gendered translations face.

Bonus Link: Sam Harris’ performance in a discussion with Noam Chomsky left much to be desired. Sam Harris, one of the “new atheists,” has activated wanton violence against Muslims and other peoples of faith. Here, he had a dialogue with a noted activist against state-sponsored violence. How did it go?

Really Recommended Posts 5/15/15- Noah’s Flood, World Religions, Canaanites, and more!

postI hope you’ll enjoy the latest selections of the Really Recommended Posts! I have collected them far and wide for your reading pleasure.

Can we trace rock layers across continents only because of Noah’s Flood?– I personally held to this view for quite some time, and felt that it was strong geological evidence for a global flood. I had been taught that because we find similar rock layers on different continents, this means that they must have been deposited by a global flood. Unfortunately, we do ourselves no credit as Christians when we make claims like this. Here is a geological examination of the claim.

“You’re Only a Christian Because You Were Born in the U.S.” How did I respond?– This is a challenge that is often leveled against believers: the notion that geography limits their belief and somehow discredits it. Here is a look at how to rebut the challenge.

William Beauchamp on the Urgency of Christian Apologetics for Our Time– I was tickled to see Doug Geivett mention William Beauchamp recently. Beauchamp (1772-1824) was one of the historical apologists I’ve read a few things by and enjoyed. Here’s a snippet from one of his writings that remains relevant today.

Is Morality in the Interests of Health and Safety?– An interesting look at balancing public safety with morality.

Reader Discretion: The Horror of Canaanite Children’s “Family Life”– Clay Jones details some of the awful treatment that Canaanite children endured. This was far from an innocent society. Worldviews have consequences. Again, reader discretion is advised as there is some violence outlined in this post.

Really Recommended Posts 5/8/15- Sola Scriptura, National Day of Prayer, and more!

postI’m pretty excited to offer you, dear readers, another round of Really Recommended Posts this week. These should give you some nice diverse topics to explore! As usual, be sure to let me know your thoughts on the links, and let the authors of the posts know themselves!

A Short Defense of Sola Scriptura– Here is some insight into the defense of the doctrine of sola scriptura against those who would allege that there needs to be some authenticating authority for the books that make up Scripture. What do you think of this argument?

“I can’t help you” – What Should Never Be Heard at Church– The way we invite (or don’t) others into the life of the church matters. What ways might we best provide an environment that welcomes others into our community? Here’s an example of how not to do it.

Beware of Prayer–New Apostles and Prophets on the National Day of Prayer– Some insight into the documents that are being passed around by leadership for the National Day of Prayer. I think this is pretty unfortunate. However, I don’t think this needs to interrupt your own participation in said day. For some insight into spiritual warfare (including the view of “warfare prayer” and the like), see my review of Understanding Spiritual Warfare: 4 Views (and the book itself, of course!).

5 Changes Elementary Sunday Schools Need to Make ASAP– How might we better equip our children to engage with the challenges they will face against Christianity? Here are 5 important points for changing Sunday School to set children up for success.

LOL Interwebz: Putin the Memes Away– Here’s a challenging post on the use of memes, what they do for us (and to us) and the relation of free speech and Christianity.

Really Recommended Posts 5/1/15- Abortion, Earthquake, and Apologetics!

postAnother week, another round of great reading that I bring to you, dear readers! This week, we have a discussion of the Bible and abortion, the notion of “soul vultures” and the Nepalese Earthquake, Free Comic Book Day, the apologist E.J. Carnell, and some apologetics books!

Does Revelation 9:21 Prohibit Abortion?– Is it possible that there is a reference to drugs that caused abortions in the Bible? If so, what does the Bible say about abortion?

Twitter Attack on #SoulVultures and the Nepalese Earthquake– There has been a lot of pushback against Christians who have stated that Nepal needs the Gospel. It’s not as if Christians are not sending aid, but some people have incredibly and viciously attacked Christians for, well, being Christians. Here’s an insightful post on this. The site also has several more posts on the same topic.

Free Comic Book Day!– My friend over at No Apologies Allowed has made a comic encouraging people to get involved in apologetics for Free Comic Book Day. Check it out, and download a free comic!

Remembering E.J. Carnell: Some Reflections of a Great Apologist– I’m not well versed in the works of Carnell, but I have recently had a number of sources I trust cite his work favorably. Here’s a post giving some brief insights into his stance and thought.

Top 10 Apologetics Books– It’s always fun to put together “top ten” lists of favorites. Here, there is a top ten list of apologetics books. I have read almost all of them, and have been edified by many. What are your top ten?

 

Really Recommended Posts 4/24/15- abortion and evangelicals, apologetics, and more!

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneWinter is back, apparently, here in Minnesota. It’s COLD! And it snowed on Monday and Tuesday. Anyway, here we have some reading to keep you entertained on chilly nights. The topics are abortion and evangelicals, raising kids, apologetic methods, science fiction, and a debate over the Reformation.

Evangelicals Opposed Abortion Much Earlier than You Think– It has been said that evangelicalism wasn’t originally pro-life or oriented against abortion. Is that true? Moreover, does it even matter? Here’s an article examining the historical claim. My own thoughts are that it doesn’t matter when evangelicals began working against abortion. The question is whether abortion is morally permissible (or not). Whether a group historically opposed it or not doesn’t do much to the current debate other than provide a rhetorical flair. This post takes away some of that rhetorical flair.

4 Reasons the Internet May Influence Your Kids’ Faith More Than You– What influence does the internet have on kids exploring questions about the faith? How might awareness of this influence help us to confront worldview issues?

Comparing Apologetics Systems: Methodology and Practice– How should we do apologetics? Here is a post outlining some different approaches to apologetics and how they might be applied.

Spec[ulative]-Fic[tion] Subgenres: Superheroes & Fairy Tales– Christian publisher (of science fiction and fantasy) Enclave has an interesting post comparing the genres of superhero writing to fairy tales. They’re the same publisher who is re-releasing Kathy Tyers’ works. I had an interview with this awesome sci-fi author regarding worldview questions and science fiction here.

Revelation TV Debate: Church would have been better off without the Reformation?– Here’s an interesting debate about whether the Reformation was a good development in church history. The debaters are James White and Rev. Dr. Thomas Norris.

Really Recommended Posts 4/3/15- Golden Son, Tyndale, Judaism, and more!

sketch-for-the-crucifixion-thomas-eakins

Sketch for the Crucifixion by Thomas Eakins

Today is Good Friday. Let us reflect upon the greatness of God and the power of the Son for our salvation. Amen!

Now, be sure you also dive into this reading material as I have collected it from all corners of the internet for you, dear readers. A broad array of topics is here for your reading pleasure.

Golden Son (Red Rising)– Golden Son is book two of a trilogy by Pierce Brown which is quite interesting. I reviewed the first book myself here. Anthony Weber’s look at the second book provides some solid insights into this YA novel and human nature.

Reject Jesus for Judaism?– A great question and answer about whether it is more reasonable to reject Jesus and embrace Judaism.

“Feminist” is not a Dirty Word– Too often, we see the word “feminist” and react against it with a whole slew of beliefs about what the word must mean before we ask the person who self-identifies as such what it does mean. Here’s a good read to get some insight into the matter.

Tyndale (Comic)- Who was Tyndale and why does he matter? Here’s a neat little comic that answers these and other questions.

Evaluating RC Sproul’s Objection to Presuppositional Apologetics at the Inerrancy Summit– Apologetic method is a debate I try to avoid generally because I think that we need to realize that different approaches will work better for different people and situations. I favor an integrated approach with different methods meshed together. Here’s a look at one objection to the presuppositional method and a response from a presuppositional apologist. What are your thoughts on the matter?

 

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