Category: apologetics

Science as Club to Snuff Debate, Choice, and Conscience

This story is a perfect illustration of scientism and its dangers to our society. The idea that something is intrinsically morally correct by virtue of being ‘scientific’ is a non sequitur, certainly, but nonetheless coming to be quite common. Science gave us the atom bomb, too, but it is self-evident that the decision to use it should be political. But can the decision to use it ever be scientific? (The movie IRobot comes to mind, here).

Is there any way to get from an observation of reality or increase in technology to “And you ought…” ?

Of course not. In short, just because the morning after pill is effective and it is only ‘unlikely’ to have the result that conservatives fear, it doesn’t follow that it should be used at all, or that it should be made available to people who are not yet legal adults. Cars are effective, too, but that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t be in the loop as to whether or not their underage children should be allowed to drive them.

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Learn Biblical (Koine) Greek in 3-6 weeks at Academy

The Athanatos Online Academy spring session is beginning soon. The 2-3 week courses begin at $19.95.

On May 1st, Greek (part 1) will be available. This three week course will introduce learners to the alphabet, basic grammar and vocabulary, and Greek language reference tools. By the end of the three weeks you will be able to explore the actual Greek text our English translations are derived from. Greek 1 and 2 are being taught by Glenn Jones. His ministry site is www.indefenseofthefaith.org. He is pursuing his MA in Religion at Reformed Theological Seminary.

Here is the direct link to the Greek courses.

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Three Upcoming Book Reviews and one Released

I have three books sent to me due for reading and reviewing. It is going to be a week or possibly longer to get to one or all of them so I wanted to throw up a little blurb to each in the meantime.

Finally, Athanatos Publishing Group (an extension of the ministry of this site) released yesterday a book related to the Holocaust: Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible: A Scriptural Analysis of Anti-Semitism, National Socialism, and the Churches. My review of this book is available here.

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Economy and Ideology and Taxes and Freedom

In short, a tax of any amount impacts choice to some degree, and free choice is the foundation for freedom. Hence, it is impossible to issue a tax without affecting, at least to a degree, the freedom of the people taxed. To return to the cigarette tax, if the cost of the cigarettes are so high that people won’t buy them then that is indistinguishable from a law forbidding their sale. The net effect of both is a decrease in freedom. Even if many can still pay the tax, and choose to do so, there will be some for whom the cost is high enough that the net effect is the same as actually outlawing it outright.

It appears to be freedom, but it isn’t. No law prohibiting smoking was passed, no one was thrown in jail, but for some portion of the population the effect is just as though there were.

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Christians blaming Christians for the Modern Situation

We live in a world that has witnessed the Holocaust, the gulags, and the Killing Fields. It is no longer possible- if it ever was- to wholly distance ourselves from politics. The stakes are too high. However, it is probably coming to the point (if it isn’t there already) that we finally and fully part company with a party that has parted with us at some indefinite point in the recent past.

On the other hand, the idea that politics could replace other things that we should have been doing all along was dangerous and the current climate makes people more willing to hear that then they used to.

What are the things we should have been doing all along? My short answer is Love. My long answer is that most of the things that Christians contend with each other about pointless in the grand scheme of things. A future day is coming when we will look back at this time and wish we would have invested our time on more pertinent issues. These things will be more obvious when we are fighting compulsory education (no longer able even to home school), treated as deviants (religion is a delusion, you know), punished as child abusers (for teaching our children about hell), and bred out in the next rise of eugenicists who with fanfare announce the discovery of the ‘religion gene.’

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A Disappointing Attack Article by Richard Abanes

Abanes’ basic attitude seems to be of derision of anything that doesn’t come through approved channels. This attitude is common in certain circles. Academic circles are filled with it. You find it among the ‘professionals.’ The argument seems to be that unless something comes out of scholarly ‘peer reviewed’ circles it can’t be trusted. This ignores the fact that the traditional publishers, the academic community, the professionals, etc, are routinely producing excrement. There is no outrageous idea on the Internet that hasn’t been put forward at one time by some scholar somewhere and there is no traditional publisher that doesn’t factor in how much money a book will generate for them when contemplating the books ‘value.’ This was true in past decades and it is true now. The only difference is that the Gate Keepers no longer control the gate. The Internet has changed everything.

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How many guards at Jesus’ tomb?

howmanyguardsEbook

If I were to ask you how many guards were at Jesus’ tomb after he was placed there after he was crucified, you would instinctively say ‘Two.’ When I was teaching New Testament that was in fact the common answer. And who can blame anyone? Look at the art and presentation of the Easter story.

Now, the text definitely makes it clear that there were more than two guards. This is clear enough from a reading of Matthew 28 which says that ‘some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests [what] had happened.’ Clearly, ‘some’ of the guards means that others remained while others- not “one of the guards'” but “some of the guards” went into the city. For this to work it seems to me you’d need at least four guards. If these are in fact Roman guards, then four is in fact the minimum that protocol would dictate, with each man taking three hours out of the night.

If pressed, I personally suspect that thirty to fifty guards were present but even if there were only sixteen it is virtually impossible that they all fell asleep and they all failed to notice a bunch of disciples slinking about, clawing at a honking big tombstone, and then extracting the body. We are talking about Roman soldiers here, after all.

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