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Archive for March, 2014

Shepherds Conference

 

The audios for the 2014 Shepherd’s Conference Seminar Sessions are now online!  There are some great topic on there!

Enjoy the Download!

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federico_del_vecchio_irrationality

Here are the links pertaining to Presuppositional apologetics (Covenantal/VanTillian, etc).  The links are from the World Wide Web between March 15th-21st, 2014.

1.) Fristianity Objection to the Transcendental Argument Dialogue–Transcript of a discussion with the guys from Choosing Hats some years back.

2.)Language Assumes Realism–Ben Holloway on philosophy of language.

3.) FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 13 Jacob Bronowski and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ellen Gallagher )

4.) Index to TurretinFan’s Formal Oral Debates–TFan’s debates complied in one post.

5.) Another Atheist Proves He’s a Fool–An article from American Vision.

6.) Bill Maher slanders God because He wants to be God

7.) Only Two Companies Hiring–Scott Oliphint’s article

8.) Mobile Ed Conversations: K. Scott Oliphint and Carl Ellis–An audio interview.

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Bonhoeffer Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

 (Available at Amazon)

A very thorough biography of this famous German pastor, theologian and conspirator to assassinate Adolph Hitler.  The author Eric Metaxas must have spent years researching for this book, especially with how thick the book is (coming at 600 pages).  I appreciated the work going into Bonhoeffer’s background of his mother and father’s upbringing which shaped the way they parented him and forged the kind of man Dietrich Bonhoeffer would later become.  His father was scientifically inclined and would contribute to Dietrich’s analytical side while his mother’s strong Christian faith and background that include pastors and theologians in her lineage would keep Dietrich attune to his spiritual heritage of Christianity.  The author did a good job of giving us a portrait of the man while also exploring his thoughts—a feat that I appreciate.  The book’s angle on Bonhoeffer the theologian and the “spy” against the Nazi regime gives the reader a very helpful window into Bonhoeffer’s theological mind in justifying his involvement with the resistance in plotting the assassination of Hitler.  One also get the sense that as the book progresses one also discover how Bonhoeffer also grew as a person, a theologian and also a Christian.  The book did a good job situating the historical development of the Nazi rise to power and also the political landscape that shaped Bonhoeffer’s later life in Germany.  In fact, I thought the author did such a good job that when I read other works on Christians during Nazi Germany I was able to use what I learn in this book to help illuminate and give a more thorough picture of what’s going on in the other two books.  Bonhoeffer was indeed among the most interesting theologian of the twentieth century and his experience with so many countries while also being a leader of the Confessional church inside Nazi Germany put him at a whole different level beyond mere academic contribution.  A must read.

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A guest post by Adam Kristofik

Jan_Hus_2

The Apostle Paul made a harsh reality known in the third chapter with the twelfth verse in his second letter to Timothy. The truth that was revealed was persecution for those who have desired to live godly in Christ Jesus[1]. God’s people were given a guarantee to suffer according to association with the Son of God. Jan Hus was well aware of this divine pledge.

Jan Michalov of Husinec is the most accurate name given to who is historically remembered as Jan Hus[2]; the Bohemian who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1412[3]. Hus was a scholar, pastor, exile, and heretic[4].

His scholarship, pastoral position, and exile would be trivial to debate compared to the enormity of his heresy for which led to his fiery tomb. What needs to be addressed are his heretical views. What would cause the church to burn a man of the cloth? The perceived question to ask is, “What belief(s) would deem this man a heretic?”

However, the “what” answer to this question pales in comparison to the “why” answer to a different question. The focus needs to not be on, “What did he believe to be considered a heretic” but “Why was he burned at the stake?” “What” brought him to the stake were accusations of heresy. “Why” he was burnt alive was for a greater purpose. No, the greatest purpose a human exists; the glory of God.

God’s divine right to be exalted in Hus’ execution needs to be magnified. If Hus were to have been convicted truthfully of a heresy, then God would have been glorified for an elimination of a bearer of false witness. Moreover, if Hus were to have been falsely accused and still burnt at the stake (which he was), then God would have been praised in this martyrdom. Either way it would be Soli Deo Gloria.

Having read through Herbert Workman’s translation of Hus’ letters, a divine comfort that fell upon Hus as his temporal flame was to ensconce him was apparent. It was almost as if Hus knew that this was to be his fate; this was shown in his eagerness to bear the burden of the flame. The tone of Hus’ letters towards his friends as that fateful day drew nigh seemed as if he was zealously awaiting his resurrected body via a burning passage to glory.

Those who are truly in Christ must acknowledge the full counsel of God. Knowing persecution is at the doorstep should always revert the believer’s soul towards one comfort that is God Himself. Trials are as inevitable as God’s rest for His people. Have complete solace in the One Who has orchestrated life since before creation the believer’s trials as well as the believer’s triumphs based solely on the Son’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

 


[1] 2 Timothy 3:12

[2] Flajshans, M. Jan Hus: Dle svych prednasek ve “Svazu osvetovem”; Prague: Simacek, 1915, p. 23

[3] Fudge, T The Trial of Jan Hus: Medieval Heresy and Criminal Procedure; Oxford University Press, 2013, p. 1

[4] Fudge, T Jan Hus: Religious Reform and Social Revolution in Bohemia; I.B. Tauris, 2010, p. 9

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The Historical Adam Barrick

 (Available on Amazon)

For the last few years the historicity of Adam has been a topic of controversy and debate within Evangelical academia.  It comes at no surprise that Zondervan would come out with a book in their Counterpoint series addressing this topic.  Four views are given a hearing in this book represented by Denis O. Lamoureux (Evolutionary Creation View that denies the historical Adam), John Walton (Archetypal Creation View), C. John Collins (Old Earth Creation View), and William D. Barrick (Young Earth Creation View).

Normally I’m cautious about these Four Views book either because I feel better contributors could have been selected or space limitation didn’t allow justice for the complex subject at hand.  With these expectations I must say I thought the book did a better job than I expected.  I’m happy to see some improvements over the years with this genre. The four scholars selected are highly qualified representative of their respective views.  In previous works the format feature the chapters by each school followed by the responses by the other schools; I appreciated that this work also feature a rejoinder to the other schools’ responses, a plus in my opinion in seeing what a counter-rebuttal looks like.  I also appreciated the editors’ decision to have two pastoral reflections that discussed what the implication of the discussion of the historicity of Adam means practically for the Christian (although I must say it seems Gregory Boyd’s essay ended up being more on why Christians should welcome those who deny the historical Adam as brothers and sisters in the faith even in our disagreements).  The two contributors selected for this part were excellent:  Both Gregory Boyd and Philip Ryken are well known for being pastor-scholars.  I thought the pastoral reflection also made their contribution to the discussion of which view one should take on the historical Adam question, and these two essays must not be overlooked or dismiss because its pastoral in nature; in particular I had in mind how Ryken’s essay laid out what an historical or non-historical Adam means theologically for the Christian experience and Gospel witness.

I imagine not many will change their views from reading this book and yet I would say this book is still important and worth buying because it provide a concise summary of each perspective’s argument.  Never had I read a book in Zondervan’s Counterpoint series in which the contributors footnoted their own work as much as they did in this volume but I appreciated this as helpful for those who want to do further research.  One can’t really blame the contributors for footnoting themselves so much since this is a much more complicated subject than most topics in this series since there is immediate question of Adam’s existence and also the undercurrent of one’s understanding of the role of modern science/evolution in interpreting the Genesis 1-3 that formulate one’s conclusion to the Adam question.  Really, this book had only one contributor (Lamoureux) who denied the historical Adam while the other three believed in a historical Adam; and yet all three who agreed on Adam didn’t arrive to their conclusion by the same method necessarily given their divergent view of the role of extra-biblical data (Modern cosmology, science, evolution, Ancient Near East studies) in interpreting Genesis 1-3.

Dr. Barrick has one of the most exegetically rich chapters in the book, and readers will appreciate his grammatical and syntactical observation brought out from Genesis 1-2.  The contributor with the strongest scientific background is Lamoureux but appeared to be the most exegetically weak, where in the responses the other three contributors harped on him for his take on the Hebrew word Raqia and his misleading translation of this term as “firmament.”

NOTE: This book was provided to me free by Zondervan and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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Brace Yourselves Presuppositionalist posts

In the past we have done a Marathon series on the small stream of Calvinistic Dispensationalists who are Presuppositional in their apologetics (VanTillian).  This might have just been a quiet phenomenon but in God’s providence discussions as a result of Scott Oliphint’s thesis to call VanTil’ apologetics “Covenantal apologetics” has even brought some to ask if Calvinistic Dispensationalists could even be Presuppositionalists if they don’t subscribe fully to Covenant Theology.

Beginning next Monday, March 24, 2014, we will be doing a second series on Calvinistic Dispensational Presuppositionalism.  Lord willing, throughout that week we will be having some written interviews, articles and resources posted.  Make sure to check them out, share your thoughts and share them with others if they edify you!

The link to the “index” of the first Marathon series can be accessed here.

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Christ or Hitler Pastor Wilhelm Busch

Recently I have been reading several books about Hitler’s Germany concentrating on the church and philosophy during that dark era.  Reading this book gave me a new appreciation of what the German Confessional (non-Nazi) church must have went through.  This book is an autobiography of a German Confessional church pastor name Wilhelm Busch who lived from 1897 to 1966.  Most people might know about Bonhoeffer a prominent leader of the ConfessionalChurch but I wonder about what the average pastor resisting the Nazis infiltration of the church were like.  This book is a wonderful window into one such pastor whose ministry to youths clashed with the Nazis vision for young people to be under the control of the Hitler Youth with their ideology.  Technically, Wilhelm Busch never published an autobiography but the translator, Christian Puritz was able to compile enough autobiographical information from Busch’s writings and teaching to make this into a book.  The stories of what Pastor Busch has to endure as a faithful witness to the Gospel is encouraging and will no doubt inspire courage for Christians today to stand for what is true.  There were times when I was reading the book that made me imagined what seems unimaginable today:  spying from the Gestapo, harassment from the Hitler Youth, police looking the other way when Christians are harassed, imprisonments, shut downs, etc.  It was a reminder for myself that there is no guarantee that Christian ministry will enjoy the relative calm and rights granted in the United States currently.  With the way the title of the book is phrased, I was surprised that it took over half the book before one finally start seeing any mention of the Nazis.  However, I did appreciate the autobiographical account of Busch before Hitler’s rise to power; as a Pastor I got to gain a little insight of what the Lord was doing and how He used a young pastor working with the coal miners and eventually the youth.  Those involved with ministry will find his stories to be encouraging.  Also the account of World War One and his conversion was somewhat gut wrenching to a Marine veteran such as myself.  Throughout the book one also sees the loss Busch has experienced around him, with the death of his sons in World War two in the Eastern Front and also the suffering of the poor or true Christians under the Nazi regime.  I recommend this autobiography for the encouragement of Christian souls.

NOTE: I received this book for free from the publisher Evangelical Press Books in exchange for my honest opinion. The thoughts and words are my own and I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.

Where to Buy:

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