Another week, another round of posts for you to browse, dear readers. This week, we have Dean Koontz’s latest novel and literary apologetics, a scathing review of militant atheist Jerry Coyne’s book, male-female relations, the Jesus myth, and an analysis of an argument against the pro-life position.
Disciplining Healthy Male-Female Relations in the Church Part 1– Some have been arguing that we in the church ought to maintain a kind of separation between the sexes such that men and women do not form close friendships. Sometimes this is accompanied by what has become known as the “Billy Graham Rule”- the notion that a man ought not to be alone with a woman who is not his wife. Here is an analysis of that argument and a way forward from it. Also read part 2 and part 3.
Handling an Objection: “Jesus is Just One of Several Messianic Figures in the First Century”– Those who argue that Jesus is a myth often appeal to historical arguments, however fallacious, to support their position. Here is a critical review of one of these arguments- that Jesus was just one of the many messianic figures.
Dean Koontz’s “Ashley Bell”: The World is a Battleground– Dean Koontz continually puts worldview-level discussions into his novels. Here is an excellent analysis of his latest bestselling novel, Ashley Bell.
Omnibus of Fallacies– Edward Feser wrote a scathing review of Jerry Coyne’s book attacking theism. He notes a great number of errors throughout the book. I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with this review and the book so that if you encounter it in apologetic situations you can engage adequately.
Artificial Distinctions within the Imago Dei– As someone who is pro-life, it is important to be consistently pro-life. This post answers an argument against the pro-life position: that pro-life arguments are dealing harm to others.
I’ve been nose-deep in the latest Dean Koontz novel, but I still managed to pull together these posts for you, dear readers. We have neuroscience and the notion of a boy/girl brain, works of dead apologists, Consent and Planned Parenthood, oral tradition in the Bible, and Wittgenstein and Scholastic Metaphysics. Let me know what you think, and be sure to let the authors know as well.
Girl Brain? Boy Brain?: A Neuroscientist Examines the Evidence– We often hear about how boy and girl brains are hardwired to behave in different ways. What should we think about this claim? What does it mean?
Planned Parenthood’s Absurd Position on HIV Disclosure– “Consent” in sex entails informed consent, something that Planned Parenthood concedes. Why, then, do they turn around and argue you don’t need to give information to get consent?
Goodill on Scholastic Metaphysics and Wittgenstein– A philosophy-heavy post from Edward Feser on a challenge raised against Scholastic Metaphysics based on Wittgenstein’s philosophy. I enjoyed this read quite a bit.
Book Review: Understanding the Oral Tradition by Eric Eve– A substantive book review that will get you thinking about oral history and the transmission of the Bible.
Works of Dead Apologists– If you aren’t reading the works of dead apologists, you ought to be. Here’s a good place to get started.
Brr! It’s cold in Iowa… but not as cold as it was in Minnesota! I still walk around without a coat on in 30 degrees (F) due to my time spent in the frozen north. Anyway, the cold has given me time to read, and I present this latest round of really recommended posts to you, dear readers. There are posts about stay-at-home dads and egalitarianism, Batman and Christianity, Answers in Genesis’s position on “kinds,” the flying spaghetti monster and Santa, and censoring pro-life voices! Wow, I’m excited. Let me know what you think, and be sure to let the authors know you enjoyed their stuff, too!
Egalitarianism is for Men, Too– As a stay-at-home dad currently, I wrote this post for Christians for Biblical Equality to show some of the challenges faced in my life as well as how an egalitarian theology can benefit men. This one is from the heart, folks.
Review and Christian Reflections of My Favorite Works on Batman– Here’s a literary apologetics post on different Batman graphic novels. I decided to pick up one of these to start my own reading of Batman, since I’ve always enjoyed Batman. It is important to apply the Christian worldview to every aspect of our lives–including the fiction we read–and this is a good post showing how to do that.
Are Ruminants Derived from a Common Ancestor? Ruminating on the Meaning of Noahic “Kinds”– The Young Earth Creationist group, Answers in Genesis, is known for squeezing animals onto the Ark by reducing the number of species required, appealing to the notion of “kinds” in order to allow for common ancestors. Here is an analysis of just how difficult this assertion is to maintain.
God, Santa, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster– Often, atheists claim that God is on the same level, evidentially, as things like Santa Claus and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Here is an analysis of that claim.
Six Ways I’ve seen Pro-Choice People Censor Pro-Lifers– Here are six common ways that pro-choice people have interfered with people who are trying to choose to listen to pro-lifers on college campuses and elsewhere.
Happy New Year! Let’s kick off the year with another round of “Really Recommended Posts.” It’s cold so we’re doing an owl post edition. The topics I have for you, dear readers, include divine voluntarism (what?), hyperbole and the Canaanite conquest narratives, Leibniz’s contingency argument for God, bible commentaries, and Star Trek.
Hyperbole Interpretation is Not Helpful for Canaanite Conquest– Clay Jones argues that the recent apologetic turn towards arguing that the conquest narratives in the Bible feature hyperbole is not as fruitful an apologetic as some have thought. Although some of his argument resonates with me, I think he misses a crucial point in his counter-examples by having different categories of act. I hope to write a response to this… some day… when I have time.
Leibniz’s Contingency Argument (Video)– A relatively short video explaining the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument. I’m not as sold on how the argument is presented here, because I think the premise about the universe and God makes it tougher to defend, but I think this video does a good job of explaining the most important issues. Check out my post on the argument for more details, as well as the version I think is stronger.
Francis Turretin on Divine Voluntarism: Most Reformers Follow Aquinas– I found this an interesting read on the topic of divine voluntarism, which is an intriguing problem within some theological systems.
Christians for Biblical Equality’s Commentary List– Here’s a resource for we egalitarians out there: a commentary list put forward by Christians for Biblical Equality.
TV Trekkin for a New Generation– There’s a new Star Trek series coming! Here are some speculative details and discussion about what it might be.
Gotta be brief. Be sure you check out my post on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, too! Enjoy the posts.
3 Ways to Live Out Gender Equality this Christmas– The title explains it, but this is a deep post calling Christians to live out gender equality over the Christmas season. This has some great practical advice.
The Jewish Background of the Incarnation in John 4– Here is a fascinating read on how the Incarnation in John 4 reflects a Jewish background. This is a theologically deep, compelling post that I highly recommend you read.
Are Scientific Explanations the Only Show in Town?– Short answer: no. This post offers 7 quick, accessible points for why this is the case.
Does the New Testament Quote the Old Testament Out of Context– Here’s a thoughtful post by Craig Keener on this extremely complex topic. I recommend reading the post, as well as some books on this interesting topic.
Tales of a Recovering Answer-Addict: From Young Earth Apologist to Evolutionary Creationist– Though we are called to always have a reason, this does not mean we should get addicted to answers–a pitfall I have fallen into myself more than once. Here’s a post about a young earth creationist who fell into that trap, and emerged as a theistic evolutionist/evolutionary creationist.
Star Wars Advent Antiphon- Leader and Lawgiver– Over at “The Sci-Fi Christian,” they are doing a series of Advent Antiphons leading up to Christmas. Each has a look at a Star Wars character, and then relates that character back to Christianity. The’re good reading, so check them out!
Another week brings you another round of reads from around the web, courtesy yours truly. This week we have a report in on the “Gospel” of Jesus’ Wife, a look at “Guy Secrets revealed” (a common trap for our thoughts–making gender binaries), polemics in apologetics, our attitudes over Christmas/Advent, and a response to some arguments against the conclusions of the recent book, The Great Christ Comet.
Whatever Happened to Jesus’ Wife?– Well? Notice that the media uproar over the alleged “Gospel” of Jesus’ wife has effectively disappeared? There’s a good reason for that.
Response to an Amazon Review of “The Great Christ Comet”– Colin Nicholl, author of The Great Christ Comet, responds to a highly critical Amazon review of the book. The review argues that supernatural explanation best fits the Star of Bethlehem, while Nicholl holds it was a comet that was providentially ordered. See my review of the book here.
Guy Secrets Revealed?– Here’s an analysis of a book that claims to reveal “guy secrets.” The post provides much needed correction for the whole movement that seeks to identify the alleged inherent differences in preferences, mentality, and the like between men and women.
Polemics in Apologetics– The use of polemics in Christian apologetics is a necessary endeavor, but it requires some caution. Here is a great post putting forward how to balance the use of polemics in defending the faith.
A Note from Auntie Screwtape– If you’re not familiar with C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, I suggest you get acquainted with it ASAP. The concept is a set of letters written from a demon to another regarding temptation. Here is a post in that style about temptations this Christmas season.
We have already made it to December! Can you believe it? I can’t. That doesn’t mean I won’t keep delivering the goods, however! This week we have posts on women in the early church, dinosaurs and young earth creationism, an evil god?, the theology of Star Wars, and the Planned Parenthood shooting. As always, let me know what you think–and be sure to let the authors know as well. Also, because it’s already snowed a couple times, we’re switching back to the snowy owl to bring our post, Hogwarts style.
A Theology of Star Wars– Star Wars Episode VII comes out soon. I bet that’s news to you! I may or may not have my tickets to an early showing. The world will never know. Anyway, here’s a free e-book (sign up to newsletter required) on Star Wars and Christian theology. I haven’t gotten through the whole thing yet, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far.
Four Myths about Women in the Early Church– The topic of women in the early church is quite interesting. I’ve only read one book on the topic, but I’d like to explore further. This post highlights some myths about women in the early church that are largely taken as givens. In the debate over women in the church and home, it is important to get our facts straight.
Is an Evil God as likely as an All-Good God?– Edward Feser analyzes Stephen Law’s (in)famous “evil God challenge,” in which Law alleges that the evidence for the existence of God cannot bring us to a good God, so an evil God is just as likely. I have analyzed Law’s argument myself, and I believe I demonstrate that the assumptions behind his argument would yield radical skepticism if held consistently.
Why Pro-Life Advocates are not responsible for the Planned Parenthood Shooting– Some have alleged that the recent, horrific attack on a Planned Parenthood building can be blamed on the pro-life movement. Here is an analysis of that ad hominem attack vs. pro-life advocates that gets at the heart of the issue.
Where did all the Dinosaurs go? Ken Ham’s Climate and Human Induced Dinosaur extinction hypothesis– Young earth creationists must deal with the evidence we have about dinosaurs and their lives. Here is an analysis of Ken Ham’s hypothesis regarding what happened to all the dinosaurs after they purportedly survived a global flood alongside humans.
I’m getting this round up a little late because I was traveling. I hope you all had safe travels (if you traveled) and some time to reflect on the blessings God gives us over this holiday weekend. I’m on a bit of a time crunch so I’ll let you just get to the posts!
7 Lies Purity Culture Teaches Women– The “purity culture” movement seems to be filled with misconceptions about men and women. Here are some difficulties with what has come to be known as “purity” teaches women.
Revelations of Suffering in Final Fantasy X and Shusaku Endo’s Silence– Look, if you follow this blog you know I’m a big nerd. Is it any surprise that I love Japanese Role-Playing Games? Final Fantasy X was one of my favorites, though I found some difficulties with its worldview. Here’s a great post comparing the game to what sounds like a wonderful novel, particularly on the notion of suffering.
Christianity: The World’s Most Falsifiable Religion– Christianity stands on an historical claim. That claim is the resurrection of Jesus. Does that make Christianity unique? This post argues that the falsifiable nature of Christianity makes it worth considering.
The 10 Least Popular Books of the Bible (Infographic)– I rediscovered this one a little while back and I just love it. It helps us to think about those books we may not be reading as much–and gives us the opportunity to learn more about them.
Are Pro-Lifers Hypocrites?– A common charge against pro-life groups is that they are hypocritical, for various reasons. Here is a post answering one popular meme/comedian on the topic.
I have scoured the ‘net and some of my favorite blogs to provide you with another round of excellent reads through your weekend and into next week! I hope you’ll enjoy them! Let me know what you think, and be sure to tell the authors you enjoyed their posts as well! The topics we have this week include Dean Koontz’s Innocence, the homo naledi fossil find, apologetics and atheism, and whether you can be pro-life as a man.
Responding to the Astute Observation that I am a Man– Are men allowed to be involved in discussions about abortion? Here, Josh Brahm discusses the common accusation that men cannot talk about pro-life/pro-choice issues.
Dean Koontz’s Innocence– I read this book about two weeks ago and loved it. Here is a fantastic look at some of the worldview-level issues the book raises. Dean Koontz is a Christian author who is one of the highest-selling authors in our time.
Bones of Contention: ICR Claims Homo naledi fossils of “imaginary creature”– ICR is the Institute for Creation Research, a Young Earth Creationist organization.
Repressed knowledge of God?– Thomistic philosopher Edward Feser questions whether it is accurate to say atheists have repressed knowledge of God. Specifically, he enters into a critique of apologist Greg Koukl. What are your thoughts on this discussion?
Women and Church Politics: Living Outside the Bubble– Politics in church? Surely not! Okay, yeah they’re there. Here’s a post that discusses how church politics can impact women.
I hope you’ll enjoy this week’s roundup of posts from around the web. You can watch a video explaining egalitarian theology from Genesis, survey challenges your kids might encounter for their faith, learn about pro-life dialogue, discover theology in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and explore a cold time before a young earth could have existed. Let me know what you think of the posts, and be sure to let the authors know as well.
Egalitarian from the Start (Vide0)– this sermon is from Richard Davidson, author of the monumentally important study on sexuality in the Old Testament, Flame of Yahweh. He argues that, from the beginning of creation, egalitarianism is the ideal perspective.
17 Ways Your Kids Will Encounter Challenges to their Faith– Children will encounter a great number of challenges to their faith as they grow up. Simply being aware of the way children can be confronted by these challenges will help parents prepare to answer them and help their kids find answers.
Four Practical [Pro-Life] Dialogue Tips from My Conversation with Brent– Josh Brahm, an excellent pro-life speaker, offers some dialogue tips alongside a case study of an actual conversation he had with a pro-choice advocate.
Star Trek Theology- “Remember Me”– The Sci-Fi Christian, an excellent website and podcast, offers up this heaping helping of theological analysis of The Next Generation episode, “Remember Me.” It’s an episode I enjoy immensely, and I also enjoyed reading this post. Check it out.
A Holocene Cold Snap In the Year 2,200 B.C. (Before Creation)– Here is an analysis which challenges the Young Earth timeline, because it demonstrates that we can observe weather patterns from before dates set by groups like Answers in Genesis.