Entire books on this subject have been written, as well as innumerable articles, with both sides claiming Bible verses to support their interpretation. And while this topic will likely be debated until Jesus returns, it is one that I feel I cannot be silent on as the very character of God is at stake. Please note that my goal was to succinctly expound on why I believe what I believe in as few words as possible, thus I have not covered every bit of evidence that exists, nor addressed every verse in the Bible that touches on this sensitive subject. Rather, I wanted to focus on the history of the doctrines and how they developed. [Read more…]
Gnosticism in its various forms has been remarkably persistent in the history of the church. Both the apostles Paul and John dealt with early forms of it in their epistles, and Irenaeus of Lyons critiqued it in Against Heresies. A number of surviving “Gnostic Gospels” date from the second through fourth centuries. As Justin Holcomb points out in his recent book Know the Heretics, the influence of Gnosticism continues to this day and has filtered down into popular culture. [Read more…]
This week I engaged in a radio debate with an atheist on Unbelievable on Premier Christian Radio (which you can listen to here). My interlocutor was a British atheist, a retired biology teacher who goes by the pseudonym Elliot George. In his book, Godbuster, George attempts to dismantle theistic belief. I knew when I saw the front cover that the book was unlikely to be particularly professional or intellectually challenging. After all, who writes “Dare you read this?” on the front cover of an intellectually serious piece of work? This initial impression was further compounded when I noticed that the book contains no citations or references, except for the occasional in-text citation to YouTube or Wikipedia. Apparently Elliot George was even reliant upon Wikipedia as his source for the ten commandments (p. 125).
The intellectual content of the book is also confronted with severe problems. The book showed little, if any, engagement or interaction with high-level Christian argumentation. No serious Christian arguments were addressed by the book. Instead, George throughout the book persists in attacking strawmen, even redefining terminology to comport with his position. [Read more…]
John W. Loftus, in his recent book, attempted to make the case that the Bible does not value animals, and that the Bible and its authors would condone animal cruelty. The opposite is true. As I demonstrated in my recent debate with him, the Bible is very much concerned for the welfare of the animals, and Loftus’ view otherwise is founded in various misunderstandings regarding scripture.
I have been interested in reading the reaction to the debate between Dr. Tim McGrew and Dr. Peter Boghossian. I listened to the debate, and one thing struck me as particularly odd. There was a lot of time spent from the side of Dr. Boghossian discussing what he believes the majority of Christians in the 21st century mean when they refer to faith. However, I don’t believe that the topic of the debate was simply an issue that would be solved by Gallup. The topic in question is whether or not faith is a bad epistemology. In other words, the debate was supposed to be about the issue of whether or not faith is a bad “way of knowing.”
Those two questions could not be more different. In fact, I think that small example involving Dr. Boghossian might illustrate the difference. [Read more…]