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05e095d0-4da3-11e4-9890-7783c6550b32_house-ext-patio-furniture

Here are Presuppositional apologetics’ links between October 15-21st, 2014.

Which links edified you?

1.) Twenty Ways to Answer A Fool [8]

2.) The Fabrications of Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson

3.) The Darwinian Bourne Legacy

4.) Your Character Is Just As Important to Your Apologetics As Your Logic

5.) Toward a Few Conclusory Thoughts on “Evil and the Vindication of Divine Goodness”

6.) If Evolution is True, then Truth Doesn’t Matter [An Excerpt]

7.) K. Scott Oliphint Teaches Covenantal Apologetics for Logos Mobile Ed

Last installment: Mid-October 2014 Presuppositional Apologetics’ Links Round Up

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GO TO PART 24

ambulance-man-1

Point:  When we evangelize it is important to make the point that the listener have sinned against a Holy God.  Even during an apologetic dialogue, a Christian apologist must not forget this; instead he or she must press the point that one who goes against God is rebelling against Him and is trying to run away from God with the very resources that God has given to help man; this sin is even more grievous in light of God’s goodness, help and mercy towards unbelievers (what in theology we call God’s common grace).  How can we further drive this point home?

Picture: On the news a few days ago there was this headline: “Man steals L.A. Fire Department ambulance sent to help him” with this story:

A man being treated by paramedics stole a Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance and led police on a chase that ended in a traffic collision, sending two women to the hospital Sunday night.

Paramedics responded to a medical call in the 200 block of North San Pedro street in downtown L.A. about 6:30 p.m., and then the man drove off in the ambulance, according to the LAFD’s Katherine Main.

The paramedics were not in the ambulance at the time, Main said.

A fire engine also responding to the original call reported the stolen ambulance, Los Angeles police said.

Officers then began a pursuit that ended when the ambulance crashed into a vehicle at the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and  Union Avenue about 7:15,  according to Sgt. Gia Rueda of the LAPD.

Two women in the car were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, Rueda said.

The suspect, whose name was not released, was taken into custody at the Rampart Station.

Here is a story of the suspecttaking advantage of what was meant to be help for the suspect.  Then there is the added irony of the man getting an accident after the chase–only to have the paramedics again help him and put him in another ambulence.  That’s like man’s sinful attempt to run away from Him by hijacking God’s resources as a means of running away from Him–but we inevitably crash and even then with our self-destructiveness we can’t fully avoid God.

POSSIBLE SCENARIO FOR EMPLOYING THIS ILLUSTRATION DURING APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM

<Much apologetic dialogue takes place; now discussion is winding down>

CHRISTIAN: We have touched on a lot of philosophy and worldview issues.  I don’t want you to miss my thesis that you are in sin and that your sin is even evident in our intellectual discussion because you are trying to use intellectual resources that God has provided to help us as His creatures to be resources for you to try to escape God.

OPPONENT: What do you mean?  You are putting moralistic tones to this intellectually stimulating discussion.

CHRISTIAN: Let me explain perhaps by ways of a story of how I see it within my worldview.  Have you heard of this story: <Insert New story>.

OPPONENT: Wow!

CHRISTIAN: Here’s the image of the actual guy after the accident.  Do you see any irony in the picture?

OPPONENT: Yes!  The paramedics that he wronged are now the ones he have to rely on to help him after the attempted getaway.

CHRISTIAN: Exactly!  I love this picture because despite his attempt to get away from the paramedics, he ends up facing the paramedics anyways–and still needed their help and he’s back to square one.  In the same way, when someone tries to use God’s resources that was meant to help us such as the laws of logic, morality, etc., as a means of trying to run away from God, we end up colliding with God’s reality and yet we still rely on Him afterwards despite our rebellion.  This man is more like us than we realize!

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This is a lecture series by Professor Brian Rickett on the topic of Presuppositional apologetics for the Forty-Fourth Annual William N. Paschal Memorial Bible Lectures held on October 14 and October 16, 2014 that was hosted by the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) Theological Seminary.  Rickett is a capable teacher specializing in the Old Testament and also Presuppositional apologetics.

The messages have just been made available over at Sermon Audio.  You can download the lectures of this four part series below:

1.) Apologetics and the Contemporary Setting

2.) Biblical/Historical Justification for Apologetics

3.) Worldview and the Apologetics Tool Box

4.) Presuppositional Praxis: Applied Apologetics

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A light-hearted post today.

You know you are a Calvinist when you see the letter “A” and “W” together and it remind you of several good things from the Lord…

A W pinkA.W. Pink

A_W_Tozer

A.W. Tozer

And also of God’s common grace:

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A&W Root Beer

And of course, you can’t spell “Awesome” without A and W.

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theodicy van til

This is an unpublished “book” by the famed Reformed apologist Cornelius Van Til that was put together by Monergism.com!

AVAILABLE IN EPUB, MOBI AND .PDF FORMATS

Here’s the website description:

In treating of Evil in relation to Theodicy it is quite impossible to leave out of consideration metaphysics and epistemology. The views of sin will vary as the conceptions of God and man vary. If we view God as infinite, eternal, and immutable in His being, intelligence, and will, and man his organic creation, if we accept the supernatural, grant the need of special revelation, accept the fact of special revelation and the fall of man, we must needs also come to the Biblical view of sin with redemption and restoration. If on the other hand we deny these premises, we must begin with man and experience as we find them, and construct our own views as to the nature of God and man and therefore also of sin, and we come to a fundamentally different theory of Theodicy.

We have accordingly two main theories of evil and two kinds of theodicy. The one is the product of a system of thought that bows before the authority of supernatural revelation and studies the phenomena of experience in the light of the Scriptures. The other is the product of the philosopher who also views the phenomena of experience but feels that it devolves upon him as a rational creature to give an account of things to himself, and that he is able to do so. This may lead him to skepticism or phenomenalism but he will not seek aid from supernatural revelation. “The philosopher as philosopher and irrespectively of his attitude toward the Christian faith, approaches a question as if there were no truth which claimed to be revealed. For him the plan of the world may or may not have been divinely disclosed to man; it awaits discovery or interpretation through the exercise of reason.”

Here’s the table of content:

Part 1—Philosophy

Introduction

Epistemological Basis

Greek Philosophy—Plato

Aristotle

Stoicism And Epicureanism

Philo

Plotinus

Modern Philosophy

Descartes

Spinoza

Locke And Empiricism

Berkeley And Hume

Leibniz

Kant

Hegel

F. R. Tennant

Conclusion

Part 2—Theological

Augustine

Augustine

Mediaeval Scholasticism And Mysticism

Calvin And The Reformation

Lutheranism

Arminianism

Schleiermacher And Müller

Neo-Calvinism

Bavinck

God Is His Own Theodicy

Bibliography

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In our series on “Missions, Culture and Being Biblical,” we have noted some of the problems with the missions method known as the Insider Movement.  We have pointed out their faulty theology of religion and faulty theology of culture.  Here we also want to focus on the Insider Movement’s faulty ecclesiology.  We will be examining two “case studies” that is found in the fourth edition of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement : A Reader.

Perspective on the Worldwide Christian Movement

These two articles are:

Lewis, Tim and Rebecca. 2009. “Planting Churches: Learning the Hardway” Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne, eds., 690-693.

Guzman, Andres and Angelica. 2009. “Ourselves as Servants: Latin American Workers in the Middle East.” Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne, eds., 700-702.

The reason why I want to focus on these case studies is because of the fact that it is one thing to see theoretical disucssions about how to do missions in missiological journals but it’s another thing to see reports of what is actually being done.  In the end, we don’t want merely “what works,” lest we fall into pragmatism but we must test all things and see if they are Scriptural.

I also picked the first article because Rebecca Lewis is one of the leaders of the Insider Movement.

Both articles are written by couples who work among Muslims.

After describing their missionary efforts, Andres and Angelica Guzman reported the fruit of their effort to reach Muslims in the Middle East:

Through all of this, several of our friends decided to become followers of Jesus.  Some (not encouraged by us) decided to follow him as Christians and some (through their own choice) decided to follow Jesus while remaining religiously Muslim.  Most decided to say outside established of religious institutions, simply calling themselves ‘believers.’ (Guzman, 701).

What is unfortunate to read here is that some of these “followers of Jesus” “decided to follow Jesus while remaining religiously Muslim.”  Even more discouraging is how both missionaries didn’t see any concern with this.  Sadly “most decided to stay outside established religious institutions, simply calling themselves ‘believers.'”  Is it alright as believers “to stay outside established of religious institutions” and just call themselves believers?

An important institution that God set up for true followers of Jesus Christ is the church.

In the first New Testament reference to the church, Jesus promised that the church will be something He will build and will last: “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18).

Every believer ought to be part of the church, which is also known as the body of Christ.  As Paul told the believers in 1 Corinthians,

  • “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)
  • “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Given that the church is something that Hades will not prevail over, and is something every believer ought to be a part of,  Andres and Angelica Guzman’s method and practices in the missions field fall short of Biblical standard.

The problem with the Insider Movement understanding of the church seem to go deeper than that when we read the report by Rebecca and Tim Lewis.  In writing about their missions effort they wrote:

A church was born within a natural community without creating a new group just for fellowship.  It reminded us of something Ralph Winter had said: ‘The ‘church’ (in the sense of being a committed community) is already there, they just don’t know Jesus yet!'” (Lewis, 693).

Both Tim and Rebecca ought to be commended for their strategic effort in reaching out to people in the context of their community.  However, when it comes to what the church is, their agreement with Ralph Winter is problematic.  First off, to see the church as merely a committed community is biblically unsatisfactory.  By definition, the church must be committed to it’s head Jesus Christ.  Church is not merely a community.  Secondly, the concept of “church” as a community that have yet to know Jesus is lacking in Biblical precedence.  Sure, there are God’s elect who have not come to faith yet but no where do we see the Bible describe them as already part of the church before their knowledge of Jesus Christ.

I believe if advocates of the Insider Movement would see more of what the Bible has to say about the church there might be less of this direction of believers still being able to retain their previous religion and attend their previous religious institution.

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93937f90-4da4-11e4-bc62-59ace697a417_common-ext-entryHere are the Presuppositional apologetics’ links gathered between October 8th-14th, 2014.

1.) Twenty Ways to Answer A Fool [7]

2.) Does the God of Christian Theism Exist? Justin Schieber v. Ignacio Reyes: A Van Tillian Evaluation

3.) Irrational skepticism forum: Steve Hays’ posts compilation

4.) Video: Apologetics’ Tactics In Light of Total Depravity

5.) Vern Poythress’ Why Philosophy Matters for Christians

Last week: Early October 2014 Presuppositional Apologetics Links Round up!

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