Archive for January, 2009

Interested in applying for Master’s College or are you attending Master’s college right now?

David Wheaton who runs Christian Worldview website and radio show has a $5,000 essay contest.

FROM http://thechristianworldview.com/tcwblog/archives/556

The Master’s College Essay Contest deadline has been extended to Wednesday, February 18th.

Win a $5000 Scholarship to The Master’s College, one of the best Christian colleges in the world and led by president John MacArthur.

The Master’s College Essay Contest on The Christian Worldview

Grand prize: One $5000 tuition scholarship to The Master’s College PLUS complimentary airfare, lodging, and meals to College View Weekend, March 26-28, 2009 at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA.

Entry prize: All entrants will receive a free copy of John MacArthur’s excellent book, “Think Biblically: Recovering a Christian Worldview“.

Eligibility: All students – high school or college – who could attend The Master’s College in 2009 or 2010.

Essay topic: Describe a time of trial or suffering you have seen or experienced and how God accomplished His purposes through it.

Taken from theme of The Master’s College Truth and Life Conference, January 14-16, 2009: “Living in a Broken World: Suffering in the Life of the Believer”

Essay length: 1000 – 1500 words

Deadline: Wednesday Feb. 18, 2009

Winner announced: About a week after the deadline.  Winning essay will be posted on TheChristianWorldview.com.

Submit to: David Wheaton

Email: feedback@TheChristianWorldview.com
Send essay in body of email and/or as a .txt or .doc file attachment (not .docx).

David Wheaton
P.O. Box 401
Excelsior, MN 55331
Re: The Master’s College Essay Contest

Include the following on first page or cover page:

First and last name
Age, school, year
Phone number
Email address
Essay title
Word count

Honor code: By submitting essay, you are pledging that you are the original author of your essay.

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Some quick thoughts on those who attack proper Biblical hermeneutic:

“All of this introduces difficulties not only for interpreting Scripture, but even for interpreting all the articles currently being written on hermeneutics.  Why should those writers waste so much time trying to communicate the key idea that there is a plurality of meanings which are locked into a hermeneutical circle?  It would seem that these contemporary authors would like to borrow the single meaning and the traditional linear-movement hermeneutic just long enough to establish their own theses.” (Walter Kaiser, Toward An Exegetical Theology, 46-7)

“The best argument for a single-meaning hermeneutic is to be found in observing what happens when it is removed from current conversation or writing.” (Ibid, 47)

Is the hermeneutic attacking THE BIBLE self-refuting against the skeptic’s own writing?

Let this be another tool in your apologetics tool kit.

This is a great argument for a one meaning hermeneutic by arguing from the “impossibility of the contrary”

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Presuppositional Apologetics has its share of criticism from nonbelievers.  But sometimes the criticism also comes from believers as well.  Often the criticism is inaccurate and misrepresents Presuppositionalism.

As a Christian, one ought to strive for excellence even in the area of critical analysis and reasoning, thus giving glory to God through the stewardship of the believer’s God-given mind. As a Presuppositionalist, one is obligated to defend the faith in a fashion that is faithful to the Scriptures, even exposing implicit presuppositions assumed in any objection and then rationally demolishing these false propositions or using these presuppositions to reveal how they self-defeat the coherence of a given worldview.  This Christian and Presuppositional critique then, of a Christian rambling objections to Presuppositionalism will attempt to be analytical and conscious in exposing unbiblical and therefore irrational presuppositions.

The most common objections by believers against Presuppositionalism is that it is circular.  As one person put it,

My reservations with any version of non-Framian Presuppositionalism are many. I don’t have the time to spell them out here but I would agree with the idea of arguing transcendentally as God being the grounding of our properly-working faculties. Still, the objection remains: isn’t this circular reasoning?

The objector obviously find circular reasoning problematic.  At this point, whether or not it is true that non-Framian Presuppositionalism are circular in their reasoning is something he “don’t have the time to spell them out here.”  If he did spell out accurately non-Framian Presuppositionalism he will discover that he is making a sweeping generality concerning the various version of Presuppositional apologetics (for instance, Clarkians are more axiomatic than circular in their reasoning, etc).  But what is definitely spelled out is that circular reasoning is something this Christian critic find objectionable.  This will later come back to haunt him, when he attempt to account for individual sense preception without Scripture.

The same guy also have expressed what is probably the second most common objection to Presuppositionalism:  Things can be intelligble apart from Scripture as one’s ultimate foundation simply through some kind of  ‘common sense.’

He gives a ready example of how by “common sense”, he can make sense of one aspect of reality (empirical sensation) yet without having to appeal to Scripture:

Suppose there are twenty people in a room looking at the same yellow paper. There are now twenty independent sensations of that yellow paper. Well how do I know which one of those twenty sensations is mine? The fact is that I do know, but that knowledge is not an empirical fact but derives from the perceptual powers of the mind. I just “see” and “know” that my sensation is my own.

And for you Presuppositionalists out there, notice, I have not appealed to Scripture. That “this” sense perception I am currently having is mine is an intuition of the mind that I know through critical common sense. No Scripture needed since God has infused knowledge of himself and the world around us directly into our souls through the image of God.

At first glance, his case might seem plausible.  Yet, a closer look suggest otherwise.

1.) In the scenario where “there are twenty people in a room looking at the same yellow paper”, the guy raises the question of “how do I know which one of those twenty sensations is mine?” He is so confident that he has a solution apart from any Scriptural foundation that he asserts “The fact is that I do know” before answering “I just ‘see’ and ‘know’ that my sensation is my own”.  But to simply say “”I just ‘see’ and ‘know’ that my sensation is my own” IS circular reasoning.  And recall how the guy find circular reasoning objectionable.  Can he justify his conclusion without committing circular reasoning?

2.) Though failing to justify the above, it seem ironic that the individual would then write “And for you Presuppositionalists out there, notice, I have not appealed to Scripture”.  It’s like the child who says he doesn’t need his father’s help in building his model airplane, but didn’t yet realize that he broke his model plane in the process.  While he appeals to the Presuppositionalist visual senses to note that he did not appeal to the Scripture to justify his conclusion, an observant Presuppositionalist should note from point one above how his justification does not make any rational sense within the guy’s own criteria against circular reasoning.

3.) At this point, the particular guy can do either one of two things: (a) Reject his objection towards circular reasoning, in which case his earlier objection to Presuppositionalism expires, or (b) he can take the route to say that although somethings in life are legitimate when they are argued in a circular fashion , in which case Presuppositionalism can then appeal for the same immunity as well.

4.) His closing statement reveal the deeply irrational double minded nature of a Christian objection to presuppositionalism.  Read his statement again very closely: “No Scripture needed since God has infused knowledge of himself and the world around us directly into our souls through the image of God.”  In the final cap of announcing how Scripture is not needed, it is ironic that in order for him to say that (a) “God has infused knowledge of himself and the world around us directly into our souls” and (b) referencing the image of God, his knowledge of these truths come from the pages of Scripture itself!  In otherwords, this statement betray the truth of how really this critic of Presuppositionalism’s heavy emphasis of Scripture is ironically (and fortunately) himself dependent upon Scripture to interpret facts, even though he does not acknowledge this to be so.  The reason he knows that “God has infused knowledge of himself and the world around us directly into our souls” rather than say, just only infused in some souls or only his soul is because of what Scripture SAYS.  Yet without Scripture the Christian critic can not even know his last statement!

All this is to reach the point that Christians who object to Presuppositionalism ought to think more coherently and clearly of their relationship to God, the Bible and their apologetics.  Christians who object to Presuppositonal Apologetics for the reasons given above ought to reconsider. The materials of Greg Bahnsen, and John Frame are great places to start.


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Short but good read: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/10185

Think of all the fads going on in Evangelical Church circles today, and wonder what will happen to it five years from now…

In contrast to that, the church today need to teach doctrines and ground believers in the solid faith that is Given in the Scriptures

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The Dividing Line has a good episode where James White critique Bart Erhman during a radio show with the infidel guy, before the scheduled debate of Dr. White and Dr. Erhman on Wednesday January 21st, 2009.

The link to the show can be found here: http://www.aomin.org/podcasts/20090113fta.mp3

I believe this link only works for a limited time.  It is fascinating.

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Purchase: Amazon

A short book with a serious reminder that there is a famine in the land for the need of expository preaching in the pulpit of churches today. The four chapters are expansion of the author Steve Lawson’s four articles in a theological journal. Each chapter is based on a text from scripture and is an expository message about expository preaching.  Readers will enjoy this consistency.This book serves as a good introduction to a believer who is new and yet interested with preaching the Bible Biblically.  Too often even among Conservative Christian circles, Christians and preachers can end up teaching about the Bible instead of from the Bible.  While it does not necessarily is a thorough “how to” book, the implications made from the text of Scripture that the book goes over still has its effect in regards to application.

It is an edifying read and makes an ideal gift one can give to someone in seminary or a pastor.

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In response to yesterday’s entry of my quick jot concerning the book “Evangelicalism Divided”, a brother in the Lord name Keith responded with something that I think is worth sharing as an entry.  It is so easy for us to just complain, but what are the solutions to the problem within Evangelical circles?  I was edified by Keith’s comment and remembered again how true is the saying that “You can’t be something with nothing”; what is the Solution to such an epidemic among “Evangelicals”?

His comments is worth posting as an entry itself:

Rather than lament it, what can we do in a positive sense? I think there are three things that must be done, and urgently:

(1) We must teach doctrine. We as church leaders within the Evangelical movement have done a poor job of teaching believers the content of the faith – witness recent polls of how many churchgoers, in otherwise sound churches, don’t believe in the virgin birth, miracles, or that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.

(2) We must hold church members accountable for conduct. Too many churches have become tolerant of lifestyles of open sin – and not merely at the teen and young-adult level, I might add – leaving members free to live in any way they please.

(3) We must “protect the brand name.” This means presenting both to the church and to the world a clear picture of “this is what a Christian is.”

To which I say a hearty AMEN! Sometimes the answer is staring us in the face…staring at us from the PAGES of SCRIPTURE ITSELF!

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 Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

Reading this book by Iain Murray made me have to put the book down at times because I got angry.  I actually got angry reading this book, to read of the comprimise of the Evangelical faith that is documented in the book.  Particularly, the part about Billy Graham was by itself to upset anyone reader who respect him yet also have a high view of Biblical doctrines and the Evangelical faith.

This book has also been reviewed by someone here

This book is largely a narrative of the how Evangelicals have become wishy washy, particuarly in English circles.  It was sad to read Murray’s documentation of what Alister McGrath, Mark Noll and J. I. Packer has to say.  By time the book started talking about the Ecumenical movement, I was furious at how Evangelicals could be so naive at best and wolves in sheep’s clothings at it’s worst.

It is a reminder as I read this of how much it is important to walk in His Word and define what is a Christian not according to what others would want to hear but WHAT THE BIBLE says.

For those that do have a place in their heart for Evangelicals in England, this book is an essential read of one man’s perspective of the last fifty years.

I just wished the book went over more about Martin Lloyd-Jones.

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