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Tag: Faith

A Defense of Antony Flew’s “There is a God” from his Own Letters

 A Defense of the Integrity of Antony Flew’s “There is a God” From His Own Letters

On Kindle  |  On the Nook

The back story in brief:  Several years ago, word came out that Antony Flew had rejected his atheism.  What he accepted was in doubt and in dispute.  We were told that his new introduction to God and Philosophy would set the record straight but it did anything but.  In a conversation with Dr. Gary Habermas, I asked him about it, and was informed that basically, Flew was very disappointed with that introduction and had wanted to say something … continue reading...

Arguing about the morality of a thing with an atheist is pointless

Everyone has heard the charge:  God is a moral monster.  Indeed, Christians themselves have often struggled to reconcile the goodness of God with some of the actions recorded in the Scriptures, not to mention the bloodiness of human history.  I have myself struggled with this.  What thoughtful person hasn’t?  Unfortunately, as soon as you open your mouth to charge God with evil conduct, you have proved he exists, and also that he is good, because unless there exists a good God, all moral statements are nonsensical.

Granted, how you get from one to the other requires some intermediary steps.  It … continue reading...

Demanding Extraordinary Evidence for Extraordinary Claims Can Render You an Extraordinary Dupe

A couple of weeks ago my ministry hosted an online discussion (voice/text/vid) about the merits of the skeptical mantra, “Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence.”

One of my objections is right to the point:  any notion of what makes something ‘extraordinary’ is hopelessly subjective.  I for one find it deliciously ironic that our hyper-rationalistic scientific minded atheist friends so easily adopt such a weak standard for evaluating claims.  To measure the temperature of water, we’d use a thermometer.  For air pressure, a barometer.  These are scientific tools used by scientific minds;  I’ve never seen an instrument that can measure extraordinariness.

There … continue reading...

Recording of this Tuesday’s Debate on Faith, Evidence, Atheism, Rob Bell, and Hell

At the last ‘Knights of Contention’ discussion this last Tuesday we began by talking about faith, evidence, atheism, and Christianity, of course and ended up talking about Rob Bell and hell.  Naturally.  🙂

Here is a link for viewing that discussion.  It was about 2 1/2 hours long.

There will not be a discussion the second Tuesday of April as I will be preparing for some presentations and a conference as well as recuperating from the online apologetics conference my own ministry hosts April 7-9.  Details. continue reading...

Knights of Contention: Do Christians Believe In Spite of the Evidence?

This ministry hosts a regular online round table discussing matters of substance and controversy.  Christians and NonChristians are invited but it is not necessarily an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ debate.  Past topics have included matters of controversy only amongst Christians and due to the flexibility of the discussion, topics can change on a dime.

UPDATE:  With the release of Rob Bell’s book on hell, there may be discussion about that tonight, too.

The next discussion will be Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 at 9:30 p.m. CST.

The initial topic will be:  “Do Christians believe in spite of the Evidence?”  Or, to restate:  … continue reading...

Knights of Contention Debate: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence?

This ministry hosts a regular online round table discussing matters of substance and controversy.  Christians and NonChristians are invited but it is not necessarily an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ debate.  Past topics have included matters of controversy only amongst Christians and due to the flexibility of the discussion, topics can change on a dime.

The next discussion will be Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 at 9:30 p.m. CST.

The initial topic will be:  “Is it really the case that ‘extraordinary claims’ require ‘extraordinary evidence’?”

To learn more about the Knights of Contention debates and in some cases view past sessions click herecontinue reading...

Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Bonaparte by Richard Whately against David Hume and Skepticism

Over the last three hundred years unbounded skepticism has been applied to religion and Christianity especially.  Atheist philosopher David Hume was one of the prominent voices calling for stringent criteria in evaluating miracle claims, and the like.  Not everyone thought very highly of this criteria.  One such person was the Reverend Richard Whately, who skewers Hume’s reasoning by showing how if it were applied consistently, one could not be reasonably certain that Napoleon existed- a public figure that was said to be alive and roaming Europe even as he spoke!

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Reader’s Guide to “Richard Dawkins Goes to Heaven.”

Third in a series of reader’s guides for my short story collection, “Richard Dawkins, Antony Flew, and Mother Teresa Go to Heaven.”  This one is for the Richard Dawkins story primarily, but may be applicable to the others.  For more details, see previous posts.


How Not to Read Imaginative Literature

What follows is an extreme condensation of chapter 14 in Mortimer J. Adler’s How to read a Book.

1.       Do not read imaginative literature as if its goal is to convey knowledge as such. The goal of imaginative literature is to communicate an experience itself- one that the reader can … continue reading...

Knights of Contention: Challenges Apologetics Can’t Answer

Tonight, Feb 22nd, at 9:30 p.m. CST we will host our next semi-regular “Knights of Contention” online discussion using voice, video, and chat.

The Opening Topic:  The 5 Challenges Apologetics Can’t Answer.

Due to the wide scope, this conversation can go anywhere.  I have summarized the 5 challenges below with links to each of the 3 parts in which I have detailed them.

To learn more about the “Knights of Contention” click here.

Direct link to the discussion:  http://connectpro58388802.na5.acrobat.com/knightcon/

5 Challenges, with summaries

What they all have in common:  the belief, or acting as though one believes, that Christianity … continue reading...

5 Challenges to Christianity Apologetics Can’t Answer Part 3

This is the third and final installment of a series listing 5 challenges to Christianity that apologetics, traditionally understood, is virtually powerless to counter.

The previous parts:

Part 1:

1.  Ridicule.

2.  The ‘Naturalization’ of self-evidently non-natural phenomena.

Part 2:

3.  Lovelessness within the Christian Church.

4.  Radical compartmentalization of the Faith.

Now begins the third part.  It’s long.  Sorry.  (I really am)

5.  The failure within the Church to live out the Biblical model of marriage and the family.

If you were looking for a thread that ties all five of these challenges together, it is this:  the … continue reading...

Blind Faith is not Christian Faith

Richard Dawkins, among many others, have contended that ‘faith’ is believing what you know isn’t true.  Less severe, but equally inaccurate, is the view that faith is a thing completely apart from evidence, or even in spite of the evidence.  This view isn’t restricted to atheists.  Unfortunately, many Christians themselves take that view.   It is unfortunate because it is not true, it is not how the Scriptures actually present it, and it takes Christians out of discussions they should be involved in.

The simplest way to put it that would be accurate would be to understand ‘faith’ as including, front … continue reading...

Barna Reflects on 6 ‘Megathemes’ Killing the Church

HT Lenny Esposito

Not too long ago I created a website called The Death of Christianity.  Its intent was to distill into one place my thoughts regarding the crisis facing the church today.    These thoughts have developed after almost 20 years of Christian apologetics, but I bring to bear numerous studies to show that my perceptions have reflected a true reality.  This week, Barna published another article detailing 6 ‘megathemes’ they had detected through surveying in 2010.

I don’t think anyone who is paying attention will be surprised.  But who is paying attention?  And of those paying attention, what … continue reading...

Tonight’s Knights of Contention: Are Lutherans Christian? What about Catholics, Baptists, and Cats?

Tonight, Nov. 9 2010, I’ll be hosting our third “Knights of Contention” real time streaming audio/visual debate.  Direct link to the ‘debate hall.’

There is no requirement that you actually speak.  You will want speakers to hear any conversation.   You will want a microphone if you want to dialog via voice.  A webcam is ok, too, but not required.

Tonight’s topic:  Just what is a Christian?  Are Lutherans Christian?  Are Catholics Christian?  What about Baptists, atheists, Mormons, or cats?

This will be the initial topic but its pretty fluid and informal and who knows where we’ll end up.

Previous Knights … continue reading...

Reflections on culture, evangelism, and apologetics

I’ve been thinking about the culture wars lately.  I have a real problem with Christians who seem to be driving for a change in the culture just for the sake of having a ‘holy’ culture.  I think we’d have to call that a legalistic culture.  I believe that the Christian church should be about something more than creating white-washed tombs.

On the other hand, the nature of ‘culture’ is that it perpetuates itself, feeds itself, fuels itself.   The culture is the air we breathe and the water in which we swim.  It has the ability to mold us into its … continue reading...