Archive for August, 2011

I thought this was worthwhile.  It is important that for a blog that is concern with apologetics and worldview to tackle the subject of education as well.

Gary North had some wise words to think about and paradigm in thinking about education.  Given how so much of higher education can be antithetical to the Christian worldview, North’s discussion is especially illuminating.

1.) Covenantal Structure of College Education

2.) Voice of Authority in College Education

3.) Content of College Education

4.) Putting Your Degree to Kingdom Use

5.) Winners and Losers in College

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Those who are involve with or familiar with ministry to the Muslims might be familiar with David Wood and Sam Shamoun.

They are going to Southern California for ministry during the 9/11 weekend.

Here’s a link to where you can support them financially to make this trip possible.

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Among some quarters on the internet of those who advocate Gordon Clark’s variety of apologetics, the epistemology they subscribe to is Scripturalism, which is the belief that unless something is stated in Scripture (or deduce from Scripture), everything else does not constitute knowledge.  In other words, one cannot know anything unless it comes from Scripture.  Everything else does not constitute knowledge, especially of it’s derived through empirical means.

It’s one thing to huff and puff on the internet one’s epistemology against others.  It’s another thing to see if that kind of epistemology is livable.  An advocate of Scripturalism recently had the unfortunate event of having his daughter suffer through a car accident and suffered from some brain injury which he shared on his blog and then a new blog he set up with updates on his daughter’s progress (Praise God she’s conscious!).  I also couldn’t help but to wonder what happens when real life interrupts one’s blog agenda of defending one’s epistemology and see if this epistemology is consistently applied to real life.   So I thought I do a quick CONTROL + F (find) on this particular Clarkian webpage and his other blog to see how many instances he use the verb “know” or it’s cognate form, to describe state of affairs that cannot be deduced from Scripture.  I was actually surprised with how when real life tragedies interrupts one’s epistemological games , the Scripturalist’s epistemology comes to a crashing  halt.

I pray that God will bring healing for his family, physical healing for his daughter and to have his household in godly order.  I also hope that God will use this time to also sanctify this man who has been rather contentious, slanderous and divisive towards other believers in the faith, especially of the Van Tillian camp.

For now, here’s a sampling of what this gentleman claims to know, that surely cannot be deduced from Scripture.  One will also note how some of the claims our friend is derived from empirical observation:

” I know I have a lot of internet brothers and sisters who read this blog so I would greatly appreciate your prayers. “

” Here is a link to a story about the crash that is mostly correct.  Meaghan was not where she was supposed to be and not with whom she was supposed to be with (at least as far as her mother and I knew).  The media got some things wrong.  Meaghan is a Sophomore going to be a Junior and late last night I found out she was wearing a seat belt and that the seat belt contributed to her injuries.  The impact of the accident was on the drivers side rear door.  Meaghan’s fractured her skull on her right side.  “

“This is just a very quick update to let folks know Meg and Tracy came home last night from Charlottesville.”

“On the way out to some picnic tables to eat I got a kick out of Meg laughing and telling Caitlin; “Did you know that when I was in the hospital I flipped one of the nurses off?”  Of course Caitlin already knew the story, but Meg just thought it was the funniest thing.”

“I have to think that made her three hour drive go by quickly.  I could just imagine under different circumstances Meg telling Caitlin, Keila and Vic how “SAAXXY” he was (if you have ever heard Meg say the word sexy when speaking of a boy, which seems to be about every boy, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about).”

“I confess I didn’t know there was a difference between a brain injury and brain damage and perhaps it is a matter of semantics.”

“I should preface this by stating that Terri is a wonderful Christian woman who knows a number of people very close to Tracy and I.”

” At that moment Meg decidedly and with purpose lifted her finger; the middle one.  I know for all those who know Meaghan that is the sign that our Meaghan is still with us. “

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This is over at Grace to You website.  The audio is based upon the 13 part (13 weeks) workbook called Fundamentals of the Faith that is used by Grace Community Church and beyond.  I’ve seen this book led people to come to know the LORD Jesus Christ!

Here it is:

Every Sunday morning at Grace Community Church (and throughout the week), small groups of people gather together around this manual for ‘Fundamentals of the Faith’ classes. Thirteen lessons blend basic biblical truths with personal obedience and service. Many young believers take these classes to grow in their understanding of biblical truths.

With topics ranging from the character of God to church participation, it’s an ideal study for discipling new believers or returning to the basics of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

For the link, go HERE

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Thanks Bryan Lopez for the heads up!

From The Essential Owen Blog:

The links below are PDF copies of the William H. Goold edition of The Works of John Owenoriginally published in 1850-1853 by Johnstone & Hunter. These volumes, are the same volumes that are being published and sold today by The Banner of Truth Trust. I encourage you to buy these books in the form of a hard copy. Nothing can substitute reading a real book. But, since this edition is public domain and the downloads are free, this is the next best thing.

To download, right click and then select “save link as…” Then start reading! Enjoy!

The Works of John Owen, Volume 1
The Glory of Christ
In Volume 1, Andrew Thomson’s excellent biography sympathetically traces his life and experience from his birth at Stadhampton, though his pastoral ministries in Fordham and Coggeshall, his years of public service as chaplain at Cromwell and vice-chancellor of Oxford University, until his last days as a preacher and pastor in London. Also included in this volume are some of his early works, including two pieces that show his intense pastoral concern: Meditations and Discourses on the Person of Christ and Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ. Also included are Two Short Catechisms.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 2 
Communion with God
One of John Owen’s greatest experimental works forms the bulk of Volume 2 of his works. On Communion with God is rich with sound Bible expositions and also includes a fresh translation of The Song of Solomon. It is a heartwarming treatise which drives one to seek the face of “God in three Persons” and to enjoy the rich fare of His “banqueting house.” For those seeking assurance of their salvation it is a particularly valuable cordial.
Also includes Owen’s Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 3 
 The Holy Spirit 
Owen on the Holy Spirit, as the work contained in this volume has generally been called, is perhaps one of the best known and most highly esteemed of Owen’s treatises — his masterpiece. The book is divided into five sections. The first deals with the name, nature, personality, and the mission of the Holy Spirit; the second, with the operations of the holy spirit under the Old Testament; the third, with the Spirit’s work under the New Testament; the fourth, with the work of the spirit in sanctification; and the fifth, with the necessity of holiness and obedience.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 4 
The Reason of Faith
This volume contains the second part of Owen’s extensive and valuable work on the Holy Spirit. His Discourse on the Holy Spirit, which makes up the whole of volume 3, was published in 1674. Uncertain that he would be able to finish all he planned to do on the subject, Owen was led to publish his work in seperate treatises. The treatises which make up this volume cover in the author’s words ‘the work of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of illumination, of supplicaiton, of consolation and as the immediate author of all spiritual offices and gifts, extraordinary and ordinary’.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 5 
 Faith and Its Evidences
Owen’s masterly account of justification by faith, first printed in 1677, is distinguished from the other two classical 17th-century English treatises on this subject (those of Downame and Davenant) by its non-speculative, non-scholastic character and its dominating pastoral concern. The resurgent Roman challenge, and current Protestant confusion, obliged Owen to write controversially at certain points, but the core of his discourse is straight forward biblical exposition, massive, fresh, compelling and practical.
Also includes Evidences of the Faith of God’s Elect.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 6 
Temptation and Sin 
John Owen was essentially a pastoral theologian, and in his best writings his pastoral concern and acute doctrinal instinct are inseparable. Even at his most polemical his motivation is always the defense of the flock of God from the onslaught of false doctrine. In the four works contained in this volume we have Owen at his very best: On the Mortification of Sin, Temptation, Indwelling Sin, and Exposition of Psalm 130

The Works of John Owen, Volume 7 
Sin & Grace
Owen shines in this second volume dedicated to more “practical” subjects. (Volumes 6 through 9 are dedicated thus.) Includes The Nature and Causes of Apostasy, Spiritual-Mindedness, and The Dominion of Sin and Grace.
Owen’s classic work On Spiritual Mindedness should be read often…one of the greatest works of devotional literature ever penned. It is also a great place to start if you are new to reading Owen.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 8 
Sermons to the Nations
This volume contains 16 sermons, all published during Owen’s lifetime. While they are eminently biblical in character and bristling with scriptural reference, they are at the same time of historical importance.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 9 
Sermons to the Church
This volume contains 83 sermons, including 14 which resolve “Practical Cases of Conscience” and 25 intended as preparation for the Lord’s Table. The remainder are on such subjects as “Gospel Charity”, “Christ’s Pastoral Care”, “The Duty of a Pastor”, and “The Excellancy of Christ.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 10 
The Death of Christ
In March 1642 John Owen’s first literary production was published; it dealt with the Atonement, a subject to which he was to return in several of his later works. This first treatise, entitled A Display of Arminianism is a simple comparison of the tenets of that system with the teaching of scripture. He later went on to pen what is arguably the definitive work on the extent of the atonement, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. Both are included here, along with two other related works: The Death of Christ (a reply to Richard Baxter) and A Dissertation on Divine Justice.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 11 
Continuing in the Faith
The Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance Explained and Confirmed
Written to answer “Redemption Redeemed” by the Arminian, John Goodwin, the main treatise of this book contains a minute refutation of Goodwin’s views but nevertheless would, in the words of Andrew Thompson “be almost as complete were very part of it that refers Goodwin expunged, and undeniafroms the most masterly vindication of the perseverance of the saints in the English tongue.”

The Works of John Owen, Volume 12 
The Gospel Defended
In the 1650s historic Christianity in England was challenged by Socinianism. Owen was commissioned to write a refutation of this heretical system. He begins by tracing the history of Socinianism and goes on to deal with all the points of controversy. The Socinians’ views on Scripture, the divine nature and character, the person and the work of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the past and present condition of man, election and justification are all thoroughly examined.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 13 
Ministry and Fellowship
A perennial concern of John Owen throught his literary career was the subject of the Church. Thus it is not surprising that four of the sixteen volumes of his works are devoted to this field. This volume contains several of such works, and principally deals with the subject of the schism. The charge of schism was repeatedly brought against those who sought to reform the Church according Scripture — the heart of Puritanism.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 14 
True and False Religion
The year following the Restoration of Charles II, a Franciscan Friar, by the name of John Vincent Cane, published Fiat Lux, a plausible attempt to recommend Roman Catholicism as the remedy for the ills of religious and civil discord in Britain. As Owen himself observes, Cane and his co-religionists knew well the importance of striking while the iron was hot, for the times seemed ripe for the re-establishment of Roman Catholicism. This volume contains Owen’s response…

The Works of John Owen, Volume 15
Church Purity & Unity
Contains a number of Owen’s treatise’s on eccesiology:
Discourse Concerning Liturgies
Discourse concerning Evangelical Love, Church Peace, and Unity
Inquiry concerning Evangelical Churches
Instruction in the Worship of God.

The Works of John Owen, Volume 16 
The Church & The Bible
Contains Tracts on Excommunication, Chruch Censures, Baptism, On the Divine Original of the Scriptures, Posthumous Sermons, Indices

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This might be the most I would ever talk about the format of a book in any of my reviews. This book was published in 1989 and the thing is, one can tell it was published in 1989. There were several instances while I was reading the book, that it occurred to me how much technological advances has passed the last 22 years in terms of word processors and publishing. In terms of content, the work was great, but the format can be improved for the sake of the readers in terms of each chapters falling under Part I (for example, say the Messianic prophecies themselves) or Part II (consideration of objections) of the book. Those who have read through the earlier editions of Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demand a Verdict (either volume one or two) will remember McDowell’s interesting way of citing a source with a number that correspond to a list of works provided at the end of the book. For one who reads through the footnotes, it can get rather tedious flipping through the end back and forth. The list of source wasn’t arrange alphabetically nor in terms of appearances in the book, and I was rather distracted with the thought of whether or not the order of the list were arbitrary! The book covered the clearer Messianic prophecies. The author does a good job bringing in quotations from commentaries making the argument. There were times in the book, I wish he could have gone more deeper, but I understand that this work was for a popular lay audience. I appreciated Ankerberg’s references to what the early Jews understood about the text, in particular mentioning the Talmud and the Aramaic Targums from time to time. His references to the primary sources and where to find them in standard translations of these sources were gold. Overall, a recommend for those who are interested in Messianic prophecies as apologetics, and simple teases one to get into deeper exegesis of the Old Testament! The appendix by Walter Kaiser concerning his disagreement with Sensor Plenior and Isaiah 7:14 as Messianic prophecies was probably the most technical portion of the book. One also have to read what Kaiser has written elsewhere to get the fuller arguments and perspective (I love how this appendix went back to the traditional endnotes in terms of format). Kaiser’s appendix dealt with things that I thought most readers from the general Christian reading audience would have a hard time tracking, concerning the dating of Jewish kings, and textual emendations. Otherwise, this work was great and I had a great time worshipping the Lord and being in awe of the Messiah as I read it and followed all the scriptural references in it’s context.

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Dr. Michael Vlach of The Master’s Seminary, has a 20 part series on the New Testament use of the Old. What follows are the links to them. Read it and enjoy!

NT Use of OT Part 1: Introduction to the Issue

NT Use of OT Part 2: Seven Approaches to How the NT Uses the OT

NT Use of OT Part 3: Resources for Studying NT Use of the OT

NT use of OT Part 4: Contextual Use of the OT by the NT Writers

NT Use of OT Part 5: Categories of NT Usage of the OT

NT Use of OT Part 6: Literal Prophetic Fulfillment

NT Use of OT Part 7: Literal Prophetic Fulfillment (2)

NT Use of OT Part 8: Literal Application of Timeless Moral or Theological Point

NT Use of OT Part 9: Literal Restatement of an OT Passage with Intensification or Alteration

NT Use of OT Part 10: Affirmation of an Old Testament Prophetic Text Whose Fulfillment Is Still Future

NT Use of OT Part 11: Some Observations Concerning Matthew’s Purposes in Matt 1–2

NT Use of OT Part 12: Matt 1:22-23 and Divine Correspondence between Israel and Jesus

NT Use of OT Part 13: Matt 2:15/Hos 11:1 and Divine Correspondence between Israel and Jesus

NT Use of OT Part 14: Matt 2:17-18/Jer 31:15 and Divine Correspondence between Israel and Jesus

NT Use of OT Part 15: Matt 2:23 and Summation of an OT Truth or Principle

NT Use of OT Part 16: Acts 2:25-28/Psalm 16:8-11 and the Resurrection of the Christ

NT Use of OT Part 17: Acts 2:33-35/Psalm 110:1 and Literal Prophetic Fulfillment

NT Use of OT Part 18: Psalm 110:1 and Contextual Fulfillment

NT Use of OT Part 19: Psalm 110:4 and Contextual Fulfillment

NT Use of OT Part 20: Acts 13:47 and Isa 49:6

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The first edition of this book was published in 1993, and the latest edition was published in 2010. Sometimes the benefit of a book that is warning the threat posed to Evangelical Christianity is best seen from the passage of time. From the perspective that “time will tell..” I think this book is a must read for those who are concern about the state of American Christianity departing from Biblical mooring. The message is not out of date, but has been proven to be more relevant today. The author John MacArthur is a preacher who has the reputation of being one who preaches the Bible faithfully. In the preface to the second edition, MacArthur has made it clear that he intended to leave the original content of the first edition intact. While much of the discussion in the book first tackled the seeker sensitive movement, the book in the update discusses the Emergent church movement. It is important that one does not discuss about the Emergent church movement in a vaccuum and MacArthur proposes that there is a link between the Seeker Sensitive church movement and the Emergents: both are heavily driven by “pragmaticism” of getting people in the church without regard or downplaying faithfulness to the Bible’s own principle of ministry. MacArthur does acknowledge that the foundations of both are different (one being quite modernistic and the other post-modern) but his assessment of how the leaders and the leading Seeker Sensitive Church movement going the direction of the Emergents is rather saddening. From this book, the readers will be reminded that there is nothing new under the sun, that everything has been tried before. MacArthur talks a lot of Spurgeon’s down grade controversy and the new edition of the work features an appendix of Spurgeon quotes complied by the editor Phil Johnson (as a side note, Johnson has become an authority on anything Spurgeon and this work by MacArthur was the one that first introduced him to this Victorian preacher!). When one read Spurgeon’s own words and his description of the ecclesiastical climate of his day, one is struck at how similiar things are. It is a treat to evaluate a book years down the road and see if the message rings true or if it was exaggerated…and for the readers who read the second edition nearly twenty years later, one can say that John MacArthur’s warning cannot be exaggerated and that conditions are even worst than he can make up in 1993. The book however is not just a doom and gloom message of negativity, MacArthur is calling the readers to being repentance and renewed commitment to the gospel and doing ministry Biblically. This work demonstrates that John MacArthur’ message is prophetic–in a cessasionist’ way of course.

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I post this for the record for those who think that William Lane Craig has never debated AC Graying.

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This is from David Wood over at Answering Muslims.  I thought this hit it on the nail:

The conversation would be hilarious if it weren’t so frightening.

MUSLIM AMERICANS: “You non-Muslim Americans have nothing to worry about. We Muslims would never even think about imposing Sharia in the U.S.”

NON-MUSLIM AMERICANS: “Well then, you wouldn’t mind if we pass a law that will ban Sharia from being used in U.S. courts.”

MUSLIM AMERICANS: “What??? You only want American law in American courts? No Sharia? How dare you! You’re Islamophobes! You’re bigoted hate-mongers!”

NON-MUSLIM AMERICANS: “If you had no intention of bringing Sharia to the U.S., why are you opposed to us banning it?”

MUSLIM AMERICANS: “Racists! We’ll sue (to keep you from getting in the way of Sharia)!”

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This year, our Friday’s  Introduction to Hermeneutics series has been completed.  The next level hermeneutics series will be on genres of the Bible.  Stay tune!

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session One: Introduction

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Two: How Should We Study Theology? Issues of Sources and Authority

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Three: Doctrine of Special Revelation

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Four: The Doctrine of the Self-Attesting Word of God

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Five: Doctrine of Inerrancy and Ramifications for Hermeneutics

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Six: Doctrine of Biblical Clarity

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Seven: The importance of Words and Grammars

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Eight: Context Part I: The Immediate Context

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Nine: Context Part II: The Chapter and Book Context

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Ten: Context Part III: The Entirety of Scripture

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Eleven: The Aid of Natural Revelation in Hermeneutics

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Twelve: Hermeneutics and Apologetics

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I thought this quote was so…true, whether it’s Prayer of Jabez or Purpose Driven Life.

“At the start of each surge, younwould think (from the level of breathless anticipation) that the craftsmen of contextualization have finally identified something that will revolutionize just about everything. At the peak of each dad’s popularity, it will be practically the only thing anyone in the evangelical community wants to talk about. Then suddenly one day it will be gone because something newer is in the horizon. At that point, the dead fad becomes fodder for ridicule. Like yesterday’s Precious Moments figurines and Thomas Kinkade paintings, they become objects of scorn for today’s more sophisticated holy hipsters. But be forewarned: criticism of any fad is deemed intolerable and uncharitable while the dad is still hot. On the other hand, to defend an old fad is to declare one’s own irrelevance. So timing is everything, and it is a lot of work to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not.” (John MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel, 207).

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In the past on Veritas Domain, I have talked about the small and steady stream of Dispensationalists who are Presuppositional.  Paul Martin Henebury, the president of Veritas Seminary (no relations to this blog), also known as Dr. Reluctant on his blog, has a three part series introducing Presuppositional Apologetics back two years ago:

Presuppositional Apologetics: An Introduction Part I

Presuppositional Apologetics: An Introduction Part II

Presuppositional Apologetics: An Introduction Part III


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Chapter 1 was excellent! In that chapter, the author R.J. Rushdoony summarizes the biblical implication of a Christian worldview towards a philosophy of history. Rushdoony is not shy about applying His Christian belief towards the issue of the foundation of history, and bringing along his Calvinism to bear. He even discussed how God’s eternal decree is important in one’s philosophy of history and gave an important insight: “When man therefore denies the divine predestination, he denies God’s eternal decree only to replace it with another decree.” (45). This explains much about secular approach to history such as that of the Marxist who see history as determined by modes of production and offer that as an important motif in their outlook. The inevitable result of a non-personal determinism is an irrational Fatalism. Rushdoony’s critique of other worldview and religion were not limited to Western thought but Eastern thought as well. Readers should not miss his discussion of Indian’s doctrine of Maya in terms of it as monism which brings out the age old philosophical dilemma of the one and the many (22-23), karma and the desire to escape “cyclical history” by ceasing existence (40-41), Tibetan polyandry and the inability to maintain the “static” state of permanence that result in the sacrifice of the individual (58-59) and Ancestral worship idolizing and imprisoned by the past (59-60). Each of these beliefs carry devastating implications towards a philosophy of history. Rushdoony’s work is worth the time and he clearly expands beyond what Van Til’s snippets on a Christian view of philosophy of history. Readers should probably be aware that Rushdoony is Covenantal in his theology and Postmillennial in his eschatological outlook. I am aware that Rushdoony is a controversial figure (he has issue with the Holocaust, people are taken aback by his Theonomy) but so much of this has colored people’s preception of his larger corpus and contribution towards a Christian scholarship.

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With the recent Evangelical discussion of Rob Bell and the issue of Emergent theology, salvation and hell, this book does make a contribution even though the book was published in 2010 and a year before the whole Bell’s “Love Wins” controversy. It would seem to me that the issue of “theology of religion” is largely not the subject of conscious focus in these debates, though they are foundational to the discussion. Here the author Todd Miles explore what the Old Testament and New Testament’s view of other religions are, especially in regards to it as means of salvation. But don’t expect that the four hundred page work to be nothing more than a glorified bible study of proof text regarding the Bible’s view on other religion. The author does engage the text of Scripture in an accurate way with care and consideration of the context. Miles also interact with Universalism, Annhilationism and Inclusivism and their particulars, such as their history, scriptural arguments and what contemporary advocates are saying. Miles does an excellent job documenting and giving extensive quotations of what advocates believe in their own words. One might even fault the author’s extensive quotations to a fault–it seems that at times entire chapters are devoted to quoting people multiple times when Miles has already made it the point that this is what these people believe and why they believe what they believe. Readers will also be intrigued with a footnote reference that discusses the Emergent movement and a comment on Rob Bell in a charitable light that he has not openly embrace universalism, at least in light of the literature at that point. What a difference in a year makes! The book seems to indicate that this was an adaptation of the author’s doctoral dissertation with the extensive quotation of those whom Miles disagree with. The author completed his doctoral studies at Southern Seminary, where his advisor was Ben Ware. Dr. Ware’s area of expertise is largely in the area of theology proper, and is known for his role in the Open Theism debate and the issue of the Trinity’s ramification for the Biblical manhood and womanhood issue. Given Ware’s conscious reflection on the Trinity, one sees that Miles was also very conscious of the Trinity in his critical assessment of Inclusivists make Pneumatological arguments for their view. The book provided a correction on the inclusivists and universalist’s Pneumatological arguments and discusses what Scripture has to say concerning the Holy Spirit’s relationship to Jesus when it comes to salvation. For the fact that Miles offers readers the paradigm of a “theology of religion” (as opposed to comparative religion, religious studies, etc) and being Trinitarian conscious in assessing soteriological views, I would recommend this book for readers to think about.

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