Church Is Not Seminary: Why Young Theologically-Informed 20-Somethings Should Manage Their Expectations of Their Pastors

We all have different impressions of what Christianity is. For the Apostle Paul, it meant counting his accolades as loss (Philippians 3:8), turning from years of tradition and zealotry into what his own kinsmen would regard as heresy. There is a sense in which we all share that insofar as we are all Christians. But a few years ago, for me, Christianity was an intellectual pursuit, and those who were not intellectual about their faith were derelict in their duties, especially when those people were leaders in the Christian Church.…

Where is the apologist of this age?

Apologists argue that in a secular world, their method is essential; they need to help people overcome intellectual obstacles so that the gospel can be heard fairly. People are laying awake at night wondering, “Does evolution really undermine my faith?” or “Is there evidence for God?” As I pointed out in a previous post, I think this image is largely an exaggeration. While apologetics is thought to be a necessary preliminary task prior to preaching the gospel, if the apostle Paul were writing 1 Corinthians today, he might say, “Where…

Why Jesus looked and acted like me, not you

In the current political climate, there have arisen some discussion of what Jesus would have approved of and even what he looked like. Thinking they are unveiling deep theological insight, they remind us that neither Jesus nor any of the disciples were not white. I have said as much, though not in a political context in my post My King is a brown, Middle Eastern Jew. There is a tendency toward the idea that Jesus looked and acted like me, not you. Cultures across the world have depicted Jesus in…

Minimizing The Maximally Great Argument For Arminianism

When two ideas are in conflict, there are always those who will cling to one and minimize the importance of the other. This often leads people to talk past each other; they both affirm the same principles but allow one principle to be the driving point of doctrine. In his maximally great argument for Arminianism, the CerebralFaith blogger Evan Minton used the love of God as the point to drive his doctrine. This article will seek to minimize the maximally great argument for Arminianism. In theology, Calvinists often use the…

How apologetics bloggers caused the downfall of the United States

Well, not really. But addiction to the internet is a legitimate phenomenon, in the category of non-chemical addictions that can cripple an individual’s ability to communicate with someone outside of the internet. In the sphere of apologetics and theology bloggers, the isolation that comes with addiction to the internet can disrupt the relationship between a young Christian and his or her elders in the church; it can lead them down dangerous and heretical paths as they are isolated with no point of guidance other than their own internal reasoning; finally…

Why Christians should apologize for using apologetics

Hello ThereforeGodExists audience! According to WordPress statistics, people are still finding my website from Google or just typing it into their browser hoping I have updated. The last post that I wrote was over a year ago. Between working full-time and finishing a masters degree, I just have not had the energy to write any new blogposts. Also, my interest in apologetics has been waning over the years. I think that theology is far more important. Ideally, I’d like to write at least one post every couple of weeks, but…

Why apologetics is not necessary to evangelism

I came to faith by Christian apologetics. Sort of. It was not so much that I was so convinced that the arguments were good that I became a Christian. It was more like that the concepts within apologetics were so interesting that I continued investigating it. That brought me out of a state of apathy and into faith. In that sense, apologetics was extremely useful to me, and it can be useful to a lot of other people. But I never stayed up late worrying about nagging doubts, and I…

Something Greater Than The Crucifixion Is Here: How Jesus Shocked The Pharisees

As we 21st century readers digest the narrative of the New Testament, it might leave us with more questions than we anticipated. It would not be surprising if you have ever wondered what exactly Jesus did wrong. The religious scholars display a bitter rage toward Jesus. On several occasions, the New Testament writers tell us that they tried to have Jesus killed. Jesus shocked the Pharisees. But what he said that led them to murder him might come off as benign to modern readers and we might glance over it.…

Why Christians Should Not Worry About The Plain Reading

It can be tempting for Christians to defer to the plain meaning of a verse in the Bible. That concept emerges in blogposts, small groups and internet discussions about various doctrines. The idea of a plain meaning is basically to say that if you read a text, you should be able to understand it immediately without additional interpretation or jumping through exegetical loops. Casual readers can just glance a passage over and immediately infer what the author is trying to communicate, sort of like having a conversation with another person.…

The Subjectivity of The Moral Argument And Why It Is Popcorn

“Read CS Lewis’s Mere Christianity.” Throughout the years, young believers have received that recommendation and eagerly combed over Lewis’s most important work. While it was not a testimony or autobiographical akin to Surprised By Joy, he did share what brought the most reluctant convert in all of England to the breaking point. He wrote on page 38 of Mere Christianity, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a…

Busting A Few Common Myths About Libertarianism

Every position subject to the public sphere has been mishandled and misrepresented both by its own advocates and especially by detractors. The public eagerly awaits the opportunity to craft mindless cartoon versions of robust and complex philosophical models that leave one wondering, “How could anybody believe this?” The answer is of course that nobody does believe it. Libertarianism, as a political philosophy, has been no stranger to misrepresentation. Some people think that its a tweener: a compromise between conservatism and liberalism. Others will say that libertarians do not care about…

Why I Would Prefer Prayers To Legislation

There is nothing particularly novel or profound about telling people that prayers do not excuse inaction. In fact, that notion is built into Christian theology. In James 2, he writes that faith not accompanied by action is a dead faith. Yet we hear politically motivated individuals angrily reminding people that two hands at work are more effective than a thousand hands raised in prayer. The driving force behind this is the idea that we need to be more receptive to legislation that restricts access to firearms. After the heart-wrenching church…

Confessions of A Non-Reformed Calvinist

This might seem like a confusing distinction. People sometimes think that Reformed Theology simply means Calvinism. But when Reformed Theology is referred to in this context, it specifically means adherence to one of the great confessions of faith. On the other hand, Calvinism is expressed by the doctrine that God is the sole cause of salvation; salvation does not await activation by man’s free will. This is typically summarized by the acronym TULIP. As a non-Reformed Calvinist, I believe in TULIP, but do not necessarily adhere to any of the…

My King Is A Brown, Middle Eastern Jew

There was a pretty significant paradigm shift 2000 years ago that forever changed culture, religion and theology. When Jesus came on the scene, he came bearing the message that the kingdom of God had come in himself – which is what he referred to as the gospel. Isaiah anticipated the coming of Christ when he recorded God’s words to his Messiah. “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will…

Why Christians Should Stop Doing Apologetics And Start Doing Real Scholarship

It is trivially easy to convince somebody that she was right all along. I am afraid that this mindset is one of the dangers of Christian apologetics. Obviously on a site called Therefore, God Exists, I am in favor of apologetics. But it is very easy for overzealous apologists to be exposed to the arguments and start crusading. They might focus more on their conclusions than learning anything new. A possible resolution to this problem is to start doing real scholarship. Here is why Christians should stop doing apologetics: the…

The Life, Legacy And Death of Nabeel Qureshi

Throughout the last 24 hours, the Christian philosopher David Wood has been posting images that memorialize his friend Nabeel Qureshi who passed away on September 16th, 2017. For those who do not know Dr. Wood, he is a Christian apologist whose ministerial efforts are primarily angled toward converting Muslims to faith. As a philosopher, he did not expect his expertise to be in counter-Islamic apologetics, but he began to focus on that when he was in college where he met his friend Nabeel. When they met, Nabeel was a devout…

How Religion, Philosophy And Atheism Can Be A Crutch – And That’s Fine

Religious epistemology is one of the frequent targets of our secular friends. They might suggest that the way we come to learn our beliefs are not likely to produce true knowledge. This is a point that we should take to heart. As believers, we should do our epistemic duty. We should not believe things merely because we prefer to believe them. This is relevant to the notion that religious belief functions as a crutch for weak-minded people who cannot bear reality. Again, I think there is some truth to that.…

Why The Biblical Flat Earth Model Doesn’t Flatten Christian Theology

There is a concept among travelers known as culture shock. If a thoroughly westernized tourist visits a third-world country, they sometimes feel completely disconnected from this new world. The architecture, customs and people are genuinely disorienting. It would not surprise us if literature coming out of this culture were difficult to understand. That is essentially why the biblical flat earth model doesn’t flatten Christian theology. While modern technology can deliver satellite imagery of the spherical earth, the ancients had no such luxury. This biblical flat earth model does not come…

The Overlap Between Pro-Choice Ethics And Racist Bigotry

There are polarizing angles in pretty much any discourse, from theology to philosophy to social issues. We are all rightly appalled at the recent murders of anti-racist protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia (just an hour from me). It raises questions about the future of American society and egalitarianism. It also highlights the fact that the war against racism is far from over. I recall reading a blogpost (unfortunately I cannot remember the citation) where the author argued that racism was just as bad as abortion in the consequences for society. If…