The Knower and the Known- Interview with Stephen E. Parrish– Stephen Parrish is a Christian philosopher who has written a wonderful tome on philosophy of mind. Here’s an interview with Parrish about the central themes of the book. See also my review of the book. I’ve read it a few times now, and it is phenomenal.
Ben Hur: An Epic Movie of Christian Forgiveness in an Empire of Hate– A great look at the Christian themes that can be found in the latest iteration of the classic story of “Ben Hur.” Also check out my own reflections on the film.
Obama’s Pardons– Whatever one’s political affiliation, I believe this post from Thinking Christian will be a thought-provoking read. It is by someone who was incarcerated, and speaks to the real injustice in some portions of the United States’ criminal justice system.
Science and the Optimistic Naturalist– Is it truly rational to punt to possible future scientific understanding to answer what are currently understood as metaphysical questions?
Hello friends! Another week has passed and it’s time to kick back on Friday and relax with some Really Recommended Posts that I’ve collected for your perusal. This edition is a snowy owl edition for two reasons. 1) New Harry Potter Book (check out my post on it here); 2) hopefully it will bring in colder weather. By the way, if you ever have suggestions for future Really Recommended Posts, let me know!
The Ontological Argument– check out this page and video from William Lane Craig at Reasonable Faith that gives the basics of the ontological argument. Be sure to also check out my own posts on the topic.
Response to Peter Jones on “Conservative Moms” and “Stunted Masculinity”– Here’s a thoughtful response to a surprising accusation from a pastor who argues for men leading in the home. His argument is basically that, despite doing everything right, “conservative moms” are the ones responsible for “stunted masculinity” that comes from their male children.
“You Lift My Head” based on Psalm 3– A frankly beautiful song that is based on a Psalm. Overview Bible is also going through all the Psalms to try to make a hymnbook that includes every single one. Check it out and follow this excellent site.
A 60,000 Year Varve Record from Japan Refutes the Young-Earth Interpretation of Earth’s History– Did you know that varves, tree rings, and radiocarbon dating align on coming up with dates? It’s awfully hard to just dismiss this kind of interwoven evidence. How could they line up if they are are faulty ways to date the age of the Earth?
I’m a little late in the day, but I still managed to get a post together for you, dear readers, full of reads that are worth tracking down across the web. This week we have Luther, Strauss, 1 Timoth 2:12, and Left Behind theology.
Left Behind and the dark side of rapture theology– I don’t agree with everything said here, but this is an interesting look at rapture theology and a potential difficulty with it.
Revisiting the Clarity of 1 Timothy 2:12– an extensive examination of the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:12, particularly in regards to gender.
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Martin Luther– A great primer on the basics of Martin Luther, including a helpful infographic that is easily shared.
The New Faith of Strauss– Strauss was one of the historical critical scholars who effectively mythologized the Bible. Historical criticism is not itself a bad thing–indeed, it is a very good thing–but when someone takes it to the extremes Strauss did, it becomes something else. Here is a commentary from a contemporary on the “new faith” of Strauss.
Hello dear readers! Thanks for stopping in! Check out the latest round of “Really Recommended Posts,” brought to you by me! This week we have posts that argue against open theism–do the arguments work, though?, the Bourne movies, Mary and women in the church, objective truth for kids, and young earth creationism and geology of Egypt. As always, let me know what you think, and be sure to let the authors know as well!
The Open Future Precludes Present Motion– Alexander Pruss, one of the most interesting philosophers to follow, in my opinion, presents here an argument that open theism entails premises which mean present motion is impossible. I commented on the post arguing that most open theists allow for certain parts of the future to be knowable; just not those impacted by free will. I haven’t seen that comment pop up yet. Pruss followed with a post about how open theism eliminates the possibility to speak truthfully that is an even more intriguing argument. What do you think?
Surveillance and Revelation in the Bourne Movies– The Jason Bourne movies have much going on in them to reflect upon from a Christian perspective. Here’s a post exploring some of these dimensions.
Mary’s Truth– Women were the first evangelists. Mary was one of these first evangelists. We ought not to strip away the legacy such women left behind.
Truth in a Box– How might you discuss objective truth with kids? Here’s a way to use a concrete example to introduce the notion of truth no matter what anyone thinks about it.
Squeezing the Lost Grand Canyon of Egypt into the Young Earth Paradigm: An Impossible* Task– How do young earth creationists account for things like a canyon as large as the Grand Canyon that has been completely covered with sediment since its formation? Check out this post to see how YEC fails to account for certain physical realities.
Ben Hur and Joseph: Making the Right Choice– My favorite film of all time, Ben Hur (see my look at the movie), is compared with the biblical narrative of Joseph as an exercise in making the right choice in this intriguing post.
The NIV Zondervan Study Bible: A Comparison of Study Notes– An evaluation of the way that the NIV Zondervan Study Bible’s notes lean towards eternal functional subordination of God the Son.
Why Atheists Change Their Minds: 8 Common Factors– Here are 8 common reasons that atheists convert to Christianity. It’s a fascinating post with multiple real-life examples including some names you’ve probably heard of. I found this post on The Poached Egg, which is a site you should be following. Please follow them!
Hello all! My apologies for missing out on the Really Recommended Posts for a few weeks. In between moving, doctor visits for the second child (!), and having family and friends in and out of the new place, it’s been absolutely chaotic. Anyhow, here are the latest reads I’ve found for you from around the web. As always, let me know what you think, and let the authors know as well!
Biologos Responds to the Ark Encounter– Answers in Genesis has made a huge splash in the news recently with their “Ark Encounter”- a $100 million theme park dedicated to young earth creationism. Here, from a different part of the spectrum of Christian belief about faith and science, Deborah Haarsma, the president of Biologos, offers a response to the Ark Encounter.
Pokemon Go and our longing for the world to be transformed– An intriguing post about how augmented reality games might point to our desire for more in the world than the mundane. My home church is a hotspot for Pokemon Go, in other news!
Send Dr. Giles to the Evangelical Theological Society Conference– Kevin Giles is one of the world’s foremost experts on Trinitarian theology and has written multiple books on the relation between God the Father and God the Son. I had the privilege of meeting him a few years ago and was blown away by both his courtesy and knowledge. Christians for Biblical Equality is raising money to send him to the ETS conference this year. This is greatly important, given the recent debates (click link to see summary) over the “Eternal Functional Subordination” of God the Son. Here’s another link from a different perspective on the topic.
As a Psychiatrist, I Diagnose Mental Illness. Also, I help spot demonic possession.– An interesting read whatever your perspective, this article by a psychiatrist speaks on how sometimes phenomenon occur which cannot be explained but by agents.
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Soren Kierkegaard– Kierkegaard is one of the most misunderstood thinkers in Christianity. Here’s a crash course on his philosophical and theological thinking. Be sure to read the rest of the series to get introductions to a number of important thinkers.
Another week, another round of posts for you to enjoy, dear readers! This week has an exciting lineup–hopefully with some posts that will get you thinking and talking! This week, we have horror movies and Christianity, the Gospel Coalition’s (non-)engagement with culture, apologetics for kids with elephants and waterfalls, debate over the relation between the Father and Son in the Trinity, and the topic of the use of guns. As always, I’m curious to read your thoughts. I don’t always agree with 100% of everything I link, but try to choose posts that get me thinking and that I hope will get you thinking as well! [EDIT: I accidentally had one link to the wrong post. My apologies! It is fixed now.]
Why Horror Movies Make Me a Better Christian– I don’t like horror movies at all. Unless by “horror movies” you mean black-and-white horror movies with monsters that are hilarious now due to special effect differences (i.e. Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc.), then I love them. Can horror movies, with all their gore and violence, really have any redeeming qualities? This post made me think about that in a fresh light. What do you think?
The Gospel Colition and How Not to Engage Culture– Can The Gospel Coalition really claim to be about engaging with culture when they continually silence critics on social media? Check out this post for more information on this issue.
How Elephant is a Waterfall– How do you get kids thinking in different categories? What is concrete/abstract? What is a contradiction? Here’s a post from an exciting new site about apologetics for kids.
The Coming War: Nicene Complementarians vs Homoian Complementarians– There is a debate raging within complementarian camps over the subordination of the Son to the Father in the Trinity. Here is an outline of that debate. Read the follow-up posts as well for more. I’ve written on one side of this debate before- “Is the Son ‘Equal to God‘?”
Actually, Guns do kill people (Think Christian)– Think Christian is a great site for engaging culture and getting us thinking about topics we might not normally. This post is, I think, thought provoking regarding issues related to gun violence. It doesn’t offer solutions, but rather a way to conceptualize. What do you think about this issue? How might Christians engage with the topic of gun violence–or should we?
The arrival of another Friday gives me the chance to give you, dear readers, another round of reading from across the web. I’ve been extremely busy this week and so it is a shorter RRP, but these are some goodies. Let me know what you think.
Tim McGrew’s Recommended Apologetics– Dr. Tim McGrew is a household name for those of us who are interested in historical apologetics. He founded The Library of Historical Apologetics and has dedicated much of his life to researching these topics. Here is a list of his recommended apologetics, which include many free resources from historical works.
What We Can Learn from Christianity Today’s Interview with Saeed Abedini– A specialist in domestic abuse analyzes Saeed Abedini’s interview with Christianity Today. I didn’t find this a comfortable read, but it has made me think quite a bit.
Cave Structures Made from Stalagmites Another Problem for Young Earth Creationism– A recent discovery in a cave of structures made from stalagmites presents a difficulty with YEC timelines for the existence of Neanderthals and spread of the same.
I hope you won’t mind a somewhat shortened Really Recommended Posts this week. I had to make them brief for several reasons. First, I am taking a class on historical writings in regards to special divine action. It is wonderful. Second, these are super high-quality links so you should read them all instead of skipping a couple. Third, I’m tired and I’ve been sick. As always, let me know what you think, and be sure to let the authors know as well.
The German Non-Saluter Myth– I think this is a pretty cool story about the man in the photograph that heads this post. He is largely (and, it seems probably legendarily) believed to be a man who directly experienced much oppression at the hands of the Nazis. However, it seems that closer investigation (with comparison of family photos) suggests it was simply a pious Protestant who refused to bow the knee, as it were. Yet the “boring” story of the latter possibility has its own power: the power of faith over tyranny.
Quiver full speech crashes airplanes– The notion that a certain class of people ought to be deferred to rather than challenged is common. Here is a post that analyzes the frequent complementarian assertion that men ought not be challenged in their authority by women and applies the same idea to pilots and copilots. This isn’t just an ivory tower thought experiment–real stories are brought forward, and it turns out it doesn’t seem to work very well.
Were You There?– A common challenge issued from young earth creationists is to ask scientists and other believers: “Were you there?” It’s intended to score rhetorical points, showing that someone can’t really know that the world is quite ancient when they weren’t there themselves. Here’s a post addressing this common challenge.
Sorry for the late posting of this week’s Really Recommended Posts. I’ve been very busy. That said, I still managed to draw together some great posts from around the web. I hope you enjoy them!
Unexplained Allusions: The sons of thunder– There are so many lines of evidence for the truthfulness of the Bible that it can be hard to even learn about all of them. Here’s a post that explains yet another one of these lines of evidence: unexplained allusions.
7 Places Where Gender Inclusive Bible Translation Really Matters– From the article: “I have often made the point that the King James Version and the pre-2011 New International Versions each include more than 1,000 occurrences of the words ‘man’ and ‘men’ which are not found in the Greek New Testament… gender-inclusive translations such as the NRSV, NLT, NIV 2011, and CEB are taking steps toward the character of the Greek New Testament, not away from it.”
The Unraveling of Starlight and Time– An in-depth analysis of a Young Earth Creationist proposal for explaining distant starlight. The analysis is of the prominent work, Starlight and Time by D. Russell Humphreys, as well as a later revision of his theory.
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Blaise Pascal– Pascal is most often known for his (in)famous Pascal’s Wager (I defend this argument here). Yet there is a lot more to this thinker than you may know. Read on for an introduction to the thought of this historic thinker.