What is Apologetics?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Of course when you talk about God, we are talking about a being that is all powerful (omnipotent). At the same time, just because God is omnipotent, it does not mean that He can do literally everything. "What? What are you talking about? God can do everything!" The response to this emotional tirade is, "Can God do anything that will violate His will or His nature?"
The answer to that question is, no. God cannot lie. Why? Because God is truth and He will never violate His nature and the holy demands of His character.
God cannot make a square circle, because a square by definition is a four sided figure and a circle has no sides (some would say it has one side); therefore notion of a square circle is self–contradictory. And God cannot and will not cease being God, the only entity in existence, the reason for whose existence is in Himself.The question at hand about God creating a rock so big that He cannot lift it is one of confused categories. The rock was created, by....God, an infinite (all present, all knowing, all powerful and all loving) Being in every facet of His essence. If an all powerful Being can create anything, that Being will be able to move it as well.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Atheism: (a - "no"; theos - "God" or divine being(s)): Atheism is the philosophical position that denies the reality of the God of theism or other divine beings.
Some will say that 'we are all atheists, and that we are just atheistic to one more God than you Christians." This is an escape hatch and a ruse to try and get one up on the Christian's belief in one true God. I will address this one, I'm sure in the future.
Atheism is certainly not an intellectual leap if what we have summed in this posting is true. More on this later.
What happens the rest of the summer is something Dustin and his friends...will never forget.
Monday, October 5, 2009
It is beneficial to distinguish the "soft agnostic", who simply claims the inability to decide the question of God's reality from the "hard agnostic", who claims that no one can decide the question and that suspension is the only reasonable option. The soft agnostic is willing to listen to the evidences while the hard agnostic is not willing to hear the evidences that would assist in making a decision on God's existence. (C. Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002, s.v., "agnosticism".)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
This past Thursday, all came in simultaneously to where it reminded me of those coming into Rivendell in the Fellowship of the Ring. It was totally an uncanny work of the Lord's grace. That evening we had a chance to go and visit Mom, spend some time with her and share Scripture, testimonies of her faith, and diligence throughout her life. Kathy sang a couple songs that she and Christine had worked on and even played over the phone in past conversations.
During that time, we saw signs of her awareness of what we were sharing with her. These were the bright spots of her foot moving in response to what was going one when my brothers and I were sharing with her.
Friday morning, my Aunt came into my room and let me know that Mom had passed into the presence of her Lord. If you would like to read the obituary, it can be read here
Friday, September 11, 2009
Practical Examples: A table cannot be both made entirely of wood and not made entirely of wood. A woman cannot be pregnant and not pregnant at the same time. Have you ever wondered why we use words like: yes, no, true, false, etc.? You cannot have an answer to a question that is true and false at the same time; nor the answer to a question being yes and no at the same time.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Not too long ago I was the guest speaker at an Apologetics Focus Sunday, promoted by the New Heights Christian Church in Woodford, VA. I must say that it was a delightful and energetic time for all who participated. During the day I gave five presentations, one in the form of a Sunday School lesson, one in the form of a sermon, and three other talks that would later be followed up by a Question and Answer session.
During the Q and A time, a lady who was fancy to the History Channel and the Discovery Channel for their documentaries on religious matters asked two probing questions, one of which I will delve into in this posting. The question was, "Why are there just 66 books of the BIble and not others that they have found later in history?
Let me dive in and state that the Bible is more than just a book. It is a compilation of 66 books with a common theme that points to a Messiah who would come and die for sinful man's redemption, be buried and rise from the dead 3 days later in that same but glorified body. To put is succinctly, the Bible is a reliable collection of historical documents composed over 1500 year, and those documents were written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses recording for us supernatural events that are in direct fulfillment to specific prophecies; and these writers claim that their writings are divine, rather than human in origin. Those 66 books were written from three different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) and from three different continents (Asia, Europe and Africa). But why just 66 books? The rest of this posting will answer this more clearly.
Some of us may have heard the word "canon", but have not really an idea of what it means. The word "canon" means standard or list or index of standards. When we apply this to the Bible (a.k.a. "Scripture) it means an officially accepted list of books. The important thing that we need to keep in the forefront of our minds is that the church did not create the canon or the books included now as Scripture. The Early Christian Church RECOGNIZED that the books were INSPIRED from their INCEPTION. The Church did not make them inspired, they were inspired by God when written.
So we can see that there are tests for determining which books were considered authoritative and which ones are not. Before closing this posting up, let me address the other part of this issue, why not the other books like the Apocrypha and Pseudepigraphal works?
What About the Apocrypha and Other Emerging Books?
 This was a basic factor for determining the New Testament as being inspired by God and the chief test was apostolic authority. This authority did not mean that an apostle wrote the work but that it was approved by or directed by the apostles. The authority of the apostle was never detached from the authority of the LORD Himself (See Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; 1 Cor. 7:10)
 Ungers Bible Dictionary in New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999 : 29.
 Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. Chicago: Moody Press, 1968 in Josh McDowell. New Evidence That Demands a Verdict. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999: 25,26.
 By this term "a stone in the shoe" it is a way of saying that you and I can give something to our questioner to think long and hard about, and most likely it is something that they have not thought about before.
Monday, May 11, 2009
To get the whole picture, allow me to paint it so that we can see it in its clarity. Remember these accounts are narrative historical accounts.
The women go to the tomb, and when they get there, they see the stone rolled away. The gospel writers are pretty consistent that the women eyewitnessed the empty grave, and the body of Jesus no longer in that grave.
Finding this absolutely astounding, (after all, they SAW HIM DIE), emotions start stirring around. Shock, fear of the unknown about a dead man coming to life, amazement and a whole plethora of other emotions take over. Matthew and Luke say that the women reported what they had seen to the disciples. Luke brings out that their testimony was not believed until Luke 24:12 when Peter gets up and high tails it to the grave to see for himeself. Peter’s connection to the Mark’s gospel is his narrative to what he saw. He knows the women said somethings but I think it is safe to say that though Mark states they did not say anything, he has meant this to mean it to be a momentary silence, because how can one keep from shouting “He’s Alive!”
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Given that we have these facts in hand, it is very clear that while the writers wrote different words, and that they had different audiences, it still remains clear that these passages are not in contradiction to any of the others in this instance.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Setting up the problem.
In Matthew's gospel (28:1-8), states that an angel sat on the stone (v. 5). Mark's gospel (16:1-8) tells us that they saw a young man sitting wearing a white robe, and they were amazed (v.5). In Luke's gospel, we read that there are two men in dazzling clothing (24:3,4). Finally John's gospel gives a total different picture, with Mary Magdalene who was expected to go inside the tomb, but she leaves. In all of this though we see that there are two angels sitting in the tomb, one at the head and one at the feet of the stone-bed.
Now, is there a problem with whether these were human men or supernatural beings? What were doing and was it in conflict with the other accounts? Let's take a look.
If we look at each of the gospels in their contexts, we can see that there is really not a problem. Remember that the gospel writers record what they do with their personalities in tact and still under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Two angels (Luke), one angel (Matthew). One or two angels is no problem, because wherever you have two, you have one. This is not a problem. One young man in dazzling clothing or two angels in white clothing again, there is no problem.
Some may think that John’s gospel might be in conflict with the other three but this is not the case since John opts to record more details before telling us that there were “these two angels present”, than some of the other gospel writers. Again the problem that skeptic needs to remember not to do in reading the texts is that they do not need to impose upon the text how things really should be, but take the texts at face value. In so doing, there is no contradiction as the writers personalities and what they chose remained in tact while they were writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Mattew's gospel records for us that there was an earthquake and an angel rolled away the stone, and there were guards that were trembling watching this happen (28:2,3). Mark's, Luke's and John's gospels record for us that the stone was already rolled back (Mk. 16:2-4; Luke 24:1-2). The only difference between John and the other two is that John uses language that the "stone had already been taken away (20:1,2).
The question comes from the skeptic is that since Mark, Luke and John record that the stone was already rolled away, and Matthew does not, there must be a problem with Matthew's gospel. Is this true?
Response to the Issue.
This is really not a problem. The only problem is found in the challenge's lack of understanding of the fact that writers of each gospel account have their personalities in their writing and had the freedom to record what the Spirit of God guided them to write. Again, the inspiration that came to the writers of Scripture was not 100% dynamic dictation.(1) The writers personalities were totally in tact.
This being said, we know that Mark, Luke and John all agree that the stone was already rolled away before the women got to the tomb. Remember they SAW the stone rolled away as they were arriving at the tomb site. So, what's the deal with Matthew, why does he not say the same thing?
Well, if you look at the passage first thing we see is that Matthew provides with WHAT HAPPENED TO THE STONE. There was an earthquake, "for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, came and rolled back the stone, and sat on it."(2) Matthew is essentially giving us more information than the other two, which is usually an indicator of authenticity rather than being in-genuine.
If one is so inclined to challenge Matthew, a couple things should be remembered. First is that Matthew is not bound to record the exact same things as the other gospel writers. He gives us more information and he jumps from the earthquake and trembling guards to the angel speaking to the women. Writing with his mind totally in tact was supervised by the Holy Spirit, which brings me to the second point.
Second, we have a little enemy attestation in this same chapter(3). Where is this testimony from the enemy? Right in the same chapter,