Explaining Theological Controversies To Our Atheist Friends

There are times when an employer would almost look unfavorably on a candidate who had direct experience in the industry. The candidate would have learned a certain way of doing things and it would be more difficult to unlearn that approach than it would be to train somebody else. The same general principle can be applied in theological controversies. Sometimes our atheist friends were brought up in Christian homes. When they try to criticize the Christian faith, they might overlook a few careful theological nuances. We might benefit from explaining…

How The King James Version Teaches Evolutionary Biology

King James Onlyism is the idea that the King James translation of the Bible is divinely inspired. Advocates will suggest that God preserved his word through the effort of these great translators. But KJV-Onlyism is usually associated with other fundamentalist ideas, including notions about the age of the earth. KJV-Onlyists are often Neo-Ussherians, meaning that they believe in the young earth model. But a consistent KJV-Onlyist should believe in the Theory of Evolution, because the KJV seems to teach it. If you are wondering how the King James Version teaches…

Turning The Tables on The Moral Argument? (Answering An Atheist Objection)

Our lives are very much ethic-centric. We typically try to cut immoral people out of our lives. If we do something morally unjustified, we often find ways to justify ourselves or make amends lest we live in a tumultuous contradiction. That is why the moral argument is a favorite among Christian apologists. But in a recent debate with Kent Hovind, the atheist YouTuber Negation of P tried to turn the tables. He suggested that if Christianity is true, we would have no basis for our moral duties, and in fact,…

How The Ancient Near East Deluges Us With Evidence For A Local Flood

There is a concept in biblical exegesis known as the historical-grammatical method. This method suggests that in order to come to a complete understanding of the biblical text, you need to understand the literary context (the actual pages of Scripture) and the cultural context (what the author was talking about with reference to the culture). In that sense, as our knowledge of ancient cultures expands, we can expect our interpretation of the Bible to change. This could mean that church history could get it wrong because it would not know…

Why Calvinists And Catholics Share The Nicene Faith

The Nicene Creed has defined historical orthodoxy for centuries. It is broad enough to include Calvinists and Roman Catholics. Despite all of our differences and even some anathemas, we can ecumenically rejoice in our shared Nicene faith. We may lodge major theological objections toward one another. Roman Catholics may be offended by the low Marian theology exhibited throughout Protestant churches, while we Protestants are aghast at the reverence for the Mother of God. Yet Calvinists and Catholics share the Nicene faith. I am not focusing so much on our differences.…

How Christian Thinkers Can Earn A Seat At The Atheists’ Table

It can be difficult to convince people on the other side of the ideological spectrum to take you seriously. But that is part of the challenge of being a Christian. Jesus told his disciples to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Sometimes we have a tendency to limit that to just backsliding believers who we want to return to the fold. Atheists would not be worth our time because they have secularism too thoroughly ingrained in their minds. But as rational, free creatures, atheists could…

The Mega-Guide To Atheist Arguments And Objections

Philosophers and laymen have debated the existence of God for centuries. Many of the arguments for both atheism and theism have been perennial. Some of the greatest thinkers of old had insight relevant to the very discussions that we have today. The advent of modern science may have changed the way arguments and objections are formulated, but they are still the same arguments (just with different supporting evidence). While I have written extensively about many of these arguments, and many have more latitude than I am crediting, I think it…

Why I Am A Heretic And You Should Be Too

When we talk about heresy, we usually refer to a denial of one of the core Christian claims. But sometimes overzealous Christians will extend the concept a little too far. They will refer to anybody who disagrees with them as a heretic. Any dissidence from their traditional values is thought to be heresy. When I explain why I am a heretic and you should be too, I am using the word in this latter sense. I am certainly not saying that we should deny the trinity or compromise the gospel.…

Why Biblical Sexual Ethics Strains Intimacy Between Church And Culture

Sexual. Many people clicked on this link almost instinctively just because they saw that word in the title. For many (believer or nonbeliever), sexuality is a defining element of life, one of the great pleasures that we have in this short time on earth. As Christians, we believe that sexuality is a great gift properly expressed within the confines of a conjugal bond. Others would object to that caveat. But that is not the only one. The Christian worldview, as defined by the Bible, outlines a few proper and improper…

Assessing A Few Really Lame Alleged Bible Contradictions

I typically do not write about alleged Bible contradictions because there are more interesting things to talk about. There is also the fact that on many atheist blogs, anything that could pass as a contradiction at first glance will make the big list, and to try to respond to all of them would a herculean task. However, I am afraid it is largely a wasted effort, because there are other models of biblical inspiration that are perfectly compatible with Christianity. Some evangelical, orthodox Christians think that there are or could…

Why Charismatics Should Cut Glossolalia (Tongues) Out of Their Theology

There is no doubt that there is some form of tongues in the Bible. But typically, when people refer to tongues, they think of ecstatic speech or the “language of the angels” that is common in Pentecostal churches. It might be surprising to learn that there are actually different ways that people understand tongues. The word tongues just means languages. In that sense, English is a tongue. Many theologians think that this is the best way to understand the biblical data concerning tongues. God would equip believers with new languages…

Where Atheists Often Go Against The Grain of Modern Scholarship

Scholarly consensus forms our view of the world more than we think. Most of us do not have the resources to traverse the atmosphere and view the earth from an observer’s point of view (or analyze other evidence), so we have to rely on scholars to inform us that it is a sphere. Robust models become prominent in scholarly circles and then become public knowledge within a few decades. Many of us look with a critical eye on those who flout scholarly consensus. Atheists scoff at neo-ussherian Christians who believe…

God On Trial: Reviewing Some of The Best Objections To Apologetics

Those of us who dabble in philosophy of religion will encounter a range of objections. We might hear Christians using a clearly circular argument against atheism. We might hear an atheist proudly reciting shallow one-liners like “Who created God?” But sometimes there are potent counterarguments that make you stop and think about whether your argument is as sound as you thought. In this article, I will be reviewing some of the best objections to apologetics. Some are objections that I thought of on my own, while others are objections that…

Things Just Happen – Why I Developed A Cynical Interpretation of The Leftovers

Things just happen. Loved ones die. Spouses have affairs. People lose their homes. Millions of people suddenly disappear into thin air, leaving the rest of the world confused and susceptible to false beliefs, forming cults and living with a constant emotional burden. Alright, that last one might not just happen, but that is a synopsis of The Leftovers. Throughout the series, viewers had a lot of questions. What is all of this building up to? What does it mean? Why did all of this happen? After watching the final episodes…

How We All Interact With The Unseen Realm Every Day

Many may regard the unseen realm with a skeptical eye, relegating it to the realm of superstition. While we westerners do have a scientific disposition and tend to think of things in terms of the natural world, many of us would not affirm the doctrines of materialism. In a very broad and brief sense, materialism is the position that the material world is all that exists. Yet there is a sense of how we all interact with the unseen realm every day. The unseen realm is not some abstract theological…

How Theistic Evolution Outstrips Both Creationism And Naturalism

The most productive way to think about the creation controversy will be in terms of models. There are rivaling models that attempt to account for all of the relevant data. If there is some evidence that contorts a model beyond its limits, that will count against that model. The fact that some model serves as the best explanation does not necessarily mean that it is true, though. It only means that according to the best evidence that we have, it is the most robust model. In this article, I will…

Finding The Historical Jesus Amidst Divisive Scholarship

The identity of Jesus of Nazareth is integral to the Christian message. As Christians, we claim that one’s answer to that question will seal their fate in eternity. Those who put their trust in his promises will receive the fruit of those promises, while those who do not will lose their soul. Jesus has probably been the most influential figure in the last two thousand years. But what should we believe about him? Should we believe in the Jesus of faith? Is the Jesus of faith the same as the…

Ehrman/Price: Did Jesus Exist? Debate Review

Jesus mythicists are those who deny that there ever was a historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth. In this debate, Dr. Bart Ehrman pointed out that mythicists are often perceived as just wanting to drop a bomb on Christian theology. Jesus is the core of Christianity. If there was no Jesus of Nazareth, then Christianity as a theological system will be wholly undone. However, Dr. Ehrman did grant it to Dr. Robert Price (his debate opponent) that he did not have these nefarious motives. This was a pretty interesting debate, because…

Where Libertarianism Overlaps With LGBT Activism

There are some political issues that are really definitional to one’s political philosophy. For many right-leaning libertarians (especially Christian libertarians), that definitional issue will be abortion. Some Christians may even favor or be amenable toward big-government solutions, but their passion about pro-life issues will bar them from voting Democrat. LGBT activism is another definitional issue, as many would never be able to align themselves with policies or candidates that do not support the freedom of homosexuals to marry and to govern their lives how they prefer. Within libertarianism (even right-leaning…

Why Christians Should Empty Themselves of Kenotic Christology

God became a man. As we read through the New Testament, we will encounter what boggled even the mind of Paul the apostle. He wrote in 1st Timothy 3:16 of the “mystery of godliness.” How could Christ be both truly man and truly God? Some have attempted to resolve this mystery by appealing to what is known as Kenotic Christology. Kenotic Christology is the doctrine that when God became a man, he laid aside his divine attributes such as omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, et cetera. Jesus possessed God’s consciousness, but without…