Archive for November, 2014


Counseling: Depression, Part 1

PART TWO: Read God’s Word.


Please read Psalm 119 everyday throughout the week. Pray while reading Psalm 119. Psalm 119 is a powerful chapter that displays the glories of God’s Word. Since the psalmist had a high view of God’s Word, you too, need to have a high view of God’s word in order to effectively battle the blues. God’s Word cleanses the soul and spirit. Also please make great effort in trying to memorize Psalm 119:25-32.


  • What was your mentality of obeying God’s Words at the time of your blues?
  • Where you happy in terms of your relationship with God when you were in your blues?
  • Was there a desire in terms of conforming to God’s Word at the time of your blues?
  • Before you desired to receive counseling, what was your priority in terms of obedience to God?
  • Read the entire Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing, by C.J. Mahaney
  • Please provide a summary of the book in regards to what you learned. Minimum length is half-a-page (single space).


  • Do you desire change or do you desire to wallow in your sin? Please explain clearly.
  • After reading Psalm 119, endeavoring to memorize Psalm 119:25-32, and answering the above questions, are you ready to make a declaration of war against the blues? If you do not desire to make war against the blue, please transparently provide the reason.
  • “We never move on from the cross, only into a more profound understanding of the cross” (Mahaney, Cross Centered Life, 17). Let that quote sit in your thoughts for a while.
  • “Do you think the truth of the cross is something you’ve already adequately understood” (Mahaney, Cross Centered Life, 17)?
  • “If you think for a moment that the truth of the cross is something you’ve already adequately understood—if you suspect your life is already cross centered—allow me to bring to your attention some symptoms that arise from not being cross centered. Do any of the following describe you?
    • You often lack joy.
    • You’re not consistently growing in spiritual maturity.
    • Your love for God lacks passion.
  • You’re always looking for some ‘new truth’ or new experience to pull all the pieces of your faith together” (Mahaney, Cross Centered Life, 17).
  • If you experienced any of the following above, then it is safe to say that you are not adequately living a cross centered life.
  • How do you live a cross centered life (Romans 6:11 [read the surrounding verses in Romans 6 to get a better grasp; Colossians 3:5)?
  • If time permits, please make an effort in memorizing Proverbs 13:15; Colossians 3:5; and James 1:15.

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Christmas gift on defocused lights background This is the fifth year on our blog in which we post our recommendations of books as Christmas gifts on the subject of Presuppositional apologetics and the Christian worldview.  When I first began this I didn’t think it would be that popular. Here are the past years’ recommendation:

This year list’s of recommended books on Presuppositional apologetics is below.  Each category has one book with a brief description, a link to my review and links to purchase the book.

For Nonbelievers

What’s Your Worldview? by James N. Anderson

What's Your Worldview James Anderson Description: Dr. Anderson has written a book with a “Choose Your Own adventure” format that is great for non-Christians! My Review can be found by clicking HERE. Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

For Discipleship

Christian Answers to Hard Questions (9 Booklet Set)

Christian Answers to Hard Questions Description: Booklet series that is perfect for discipleship discussion! Video interviews and links to my review of individual books can be found by clicking HERE. Purchase: Westminster 

For Beginners

Always Ready: Directions For Defending The Faith by Greg L. Bahnsen

Bahnsen Always Ready Description: Many think this is the best introduction to Presuppositional apologetics! My Review can be found by clicking HERE. Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

For Intermediate and Advance Students

The Doctrine of the Christian Life (A Theology of Lordship) by John Frame

Doctrine of Christian Life John Frame Description: I feel many discussion in apologetics’ today touches on the area of ethics.  This book is more than helpful! My Review can be found by clicking HERE.   Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

For Those Who Probably Have Every Book on Presuppositional Apologetics

The Doctrine of the Christian Life (A Theology of Lordship) by John Frame

John Frame's Selected Shorter Writings Volume 1 Description: A more recent book that is probably not as well known at this time.  Good collection of essays from John Frame! My Review can be found by clicking HERE. Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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Happy Thanksgiving bible

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

We are thankful to God for our family, friends and church.

We are thankful to God for all the readers of this blog.

Here are some blog links on Thanksgiving from some of our blogging friends:

The First Thanksgiving: The Back Story

My Thanksgiving !!!!!!

Thanksgiving: The Primary Worship Response

Share with us, what are some things that you are thankful to God for?

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With the second night of protest with the Ferguson decision, there is a lot of heated rhetoric about race and injustice in America.

I think one thing missing in many of the mainstream discussion about race and victims surrounding Ferguson is another minority group that often gets overlooked if you want to look at it through the lens of racial paradigm: Asians.  And this is not the first time this has occurred.

You might have remembered the security camera footage months ago that recorded Michael Brown stealing some box of cigarettes at a Liquor store.

Ferguson Market and Liquor

That store was called Ferguson Market and Liquor.  According to CNN the store has been looted.

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man


I think there is something sad with this ordeal.

Here is an Asian man who is probably like many other Asian small business owner: he probably works incredible hours to run the place and invest much of his money, resource and life to keep the convenience store going all the while having a small profit margin.

Then you have Michael Brown step in one day who decides to shoplift at his store.  He tries to stop Michael Brown but was physically intimidated by the bigger man.

The store owner did not call the cops for fear of being a “rat” since being a snitch will bring more problem for his business (it was a bystander that called the Police).

Then Brown was killed by a police officer away from the store.  The police officer was acquitted of any wrongdoing, people got angry and they decide to protest.  When one thinks about it, all of this is really out of his control.  Then people decided to loot his store.

All the while the Asian store owner didn’t do anything against Michael Brown.

He is a victim.  And a victim of a racial conflict between two other races that’s not his own.

ferguson store owner

I stumbled upon a webpage that had some derogatory remarks against the man and his store; I am going to post only the last paragraph of the ignorant article:

Poor store owner? Sure. It sucks to have your place ransacked, and getting paid out on the insurance claim will probably take him a while. But at least he’s not dead.

I can’t believe that a website that report on things “hip” and “emerging” would post something like that.  There’s nothing cool or hip about it.  Especially when you logically dissect it.

First off, I think one can see from the article that the writer is taking out his frustration with the supporter of the police officer onto the store owner.  That’s not right.  That’s the same logic that is driving the rioting and looting.  It perpetuate more victims and create more racial problems.

Second, the writer’s perspective against this store owner is from the angle that if you support the police you will be for this store owner and if you are for Michael Brown you will be against him (or find that its acceptable to make fun of the store owner’s plight).  I think that’s logically fallacious and the writer commits an either/or fallacy.  It is logically possible to think Michael Brown has been unjustly killed and still say that what has happened to this man with his store being looted is wrong and wicked.  If one is campaigning against violence en toto, why not be consistent and be against both scenario?

Third, just because insurance covers the property (that’s a big assumption given how Asian small business owners often are trying to lessen overhead costs), that still doesn’t make it right.  Insurance, like insurance for many things in life, never cover the full cost of the actual damage.  With this twisted logic should we then say that it’s okay for people to destroy someone’s house, commit grand theft auto and beat someone senseless just because they have insurance to cover for those damages?

Fourth, I think the line “But at least he’s not dead” is really twisted.  Sure the store owner is not dead but that still doesn’t make what has happened to him as “right.”

Fifth, the line “But at least he’s not dead” cuts both ways: it is a dangerous line of thinking that goes against the very position of Michael Brown’s supporters.  If one wants to use the thinking of “but at least he’s not dead” to justify an evil done to a person short of death, our ignorant writer would have to ask why didn’t Michael Brown not beat the officer in the first place and just comply with the officer just to be alive?   Again, this is not my position but I am merely taking this ignorant writer’s twisted thinking to it’s logical conclusion with the writer’s own beliefs and position: “Sure, it sucks to undergo racial profiling and cops cussing you out but at least you are not dead if you comply.”  Again, what sick line of reasoning with the statement “But at least he’s not dead.”

I am not against Blacks.  I am not against Whites.  I am not against Asians.  I think racism is a sin including reverse discirmination.  I have seen racism among my own kind and also racism among other groups.  All of us are sinners who need to repent.  I think it is good for all of us to search our hearts, repent of our sins and trust in Jesus Christ as one’s Savior from one’s sins.  God is merciful and only through Christ can there be unity with the plurality of various ethnicity because Christ is the greatest motivation for us to love others even when it is difficult and humanly impossible.

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James White

We have posted on our blog various debates by James White that his ministry has recently made available for free for viewing on Youtube.  About two weeks ago Dr. White’s ministry posted a video titled “James White and Tom Ascol – The Debate that Never Was.”  While technically this is not a debate, the context of this video was originally there was suppose to be a debate on the topic of Calvinism between James White teaming up with Tom Ascol between Ergun and Emir Caner.  That debate at Liberty University was cancelled and James White in another conference presented his discussion not too long after the cancellation.  For those of you guys that followed the controversy some years ago, you would probably remember things were pretty heated.  It is interesting to look back a few years later and see where Ergun Caner’s ministry and life has headed.

Here’s the video of the discussion between Reformed Baptists James White and Tom Ascol of the Founders’ Ministry:

May it be for the edification for God’s People in Sound and Biblical doctrine.

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Note: I’m posting later than usual this Sunday, I had a busy week with ministry.  For the next few weeks on Sunday we will feature a review of books outside of theology, philosophy and apologetics.  Each review of a non-Christian book will also have a section titled, “What’s in it for the Christian?”

In the President's Secret ServicePurchase: Amazon

With all the news about the Secret Service this past year I thought I spend some time to read this book.  What an interesting read!  I thought the book was insightful into the men and women who protect the president of the United States and also insightful in terms of some of the things members of the Secret Service have observed about various US presidents.

Since the book does discusses the account of agents’ observation on the President of the United States, the author makes the point that while the president should have some privacy of their private lives nevertheless there are some conducts and character that the public should know about if it affects their ability and judgment as president.  The author feels that Secret Service agents as are public employees of the people ought to make certain concerns made known for the interest and well being of our nation.

It seems from the book that presidents who were Democrats tend to have a bad rap in their personal life and relations to others more than the presidents who were Republicans—we have stories of Jimmy Carter’s bad attitude towards Secret Service agents and Carter having the Secret Service become his servants to carry things until the Secret Service had to finally tell him that it’s not their job.  The book also record the account of Secret Service members observation of how Jimmy Carter loved carrying his own luggage when the media was around—but had the Secret Service carry it as the soon as they left, and sometimes Carter would even carry an empty big luggage bag just for show!  Secret Service agents were also struck with the hypocrisy of Jimmy Carter who talked much about how the White House was free from alcohol when they were not—and how ironically the Regan first family didn’t ban drinking in the White House actually drank less in the White House than the Carters.  Carter’s behavior is in contrast to Regan, George Bush senior and junior who were typically cozy to security.  The book also described how Hillary Clinton was not very nice to her Secret Service agents and how she’s never even talked at all to some of her personal details for years.  I thought it was strange to hear about Hillary’s odd habit of not wanting anyone to say hi to her when she’s walking and how she even scolded an agent who made the mistake of greeting her.  Then you also had Vice President Al Gore who scolded his son in front of agents that if he does not do well in school he could end up being like these guys (pointing to agents).

The book is more than a look at the idiosyncrasies of the President; the book also talk about the Secret Service as an agency in trouble.  What amazes me is that this book was written in 2009, before the recent media storm against the Secret Service.  I think the author accurately anticipated the problems of the Secret Service and he was right in sounding the alarm concerning the current state of the agency.  The book does not attack the typical agents but faults the problem with the leadership of the Secret Service.  According to the author the agency has taken on more duties after 9-11 but has often failed to ask for more realistic resources and funds from Congress but instead pride itself as an agency who is doing more with less.  However, this has affected the quality of services, training and agent that the Secret Service could provide.  The author talks about how good agents are experience burn outs with the long hours that are demanded of them and how talented agents are leaving for other Federal agencies.  The book also talks about the negligence that fewer agents have produced, such as dropping training standards.  It was sad to read in the book of how some agents are so busy guarding important dignitaries that they have not gone to the gun range in years—and how the leadership have not enforce physical fitness standards and even fail to test agents but instead have agents fill out their own paper work of what they think their run time is.  The low standards of the Secret Service has affected their weapons platform, with the Secret Service still using older MP5s to do things that other agencies are using M4s to fulfill, etc.  The book calls for new management, one that involves new leadership that’s fresh outside of the Secret Service in order to change the agency’s culture.  I think the author here has a case.

Just so I don’t misrepresent the book, the book records many stories of the men who serve nobly in the agency.  The book tells us stories of Secret Service agents who serve sacrificially in protecting our president and their first family.  The author definitely have a high respect for the agents and what they do, even as he faults presidents and the leadership of the agency.  I think this book is worth reading.

What’s in it for the Christian: An unspoken rule is that Secret Service agents are to be ready to give up their life to protect the president.  They are ready to take the bullet for him.  This should remind us of the truth that our Savior is also one willing to lay down His life to save us–and indeed He has done so.  Secret Service agents are great examples of sacrificial service and commitment to one’s duty–virtues that a Christian should emulate in their devotion towards God.

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These are Presuppositional apologetics’ links gathered from the Web between November 15th-21st, 2014.


1.) Rebutting Bill Nye’s Evolutionary Oath

2.) Does the Bible teach that a woman has to marry her rapist?

3.) Free on PDF! Redeeming Philosophy: A God-Centered Approach to the Big Questions by Vern Poythress

4.) A Denied Christian Newspaper Article

5.) The Circularity of Evolutionary Trees

6.) Apologetics for the Average Christian: Asking Good Questions

7.) Reformed Forum Show: Redeeming Philosophy

8.) Proofs, Persuasion and the Truth Problem

Last Installment: Mid-November 2014 Presuppositional Apologetics’ Links

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apologetics2 In our September blog’s series “Mission, Culture and being Biblical” we gave special attention to the danger of the Insider Movement in which their philosophy of missions were evaluated biblically and logically.  In particular, we noted that the Insider’s Movement’s method of doing missions suffer from the defect of having an unbiblical theology of other religion, an unbiblical view of culture and an unbiblical theology of the church.  Here we also want to focus on the Insider Movement’s faulty view of apologetics and while the movement is not monolithic and not everyone will necessarily share the same view of apologetics, we will focus more narrowly on the teaching of a key leader of the movement name John Travis.  What he has to say strongly resonate with those in the Insider Movement.  We will examine Travis’ view of apologetics as part of his missionary approach towards Muslims found in his essay titled “Must all Muslims Leave ‘Islam’ to Follow Jesus?”  This essay is from the fourth edition of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement : A Reader.  At the least I hope that this post can encourage those within the Insider movement to think more along the lines of what Scripture has to say about apologetics. In writing about the need for an apologetics to deal with an Muslim region called Islampur, John Travis writes,

Concerning the high regard for the Qur’an among Islampur believers, an apologetic response concerning the Qur’an must be developed whereby the truth in it can be affirmed (especially for purposes of a bridge for witness) yet is is not put on equal (or superior!) status to the Injil.  Fortunately, until such an apologetic is developed the Islampur believers are regularly reading the Injil rather than the Qur’an” (669).

I am glad that Travis finds it fortunate that these “believers” are regularly reading the Injil (New Testament Gospel).  But I find his reaction to the Islampur’s believers’ high view of the Qur’an as problematic.   He wants Christian apologists to develop an apologetic that affirms that Qur’an.

First off, why focus on “affirming” the Qur’an when these believers are already regularly reading the Gospels in the New Testament rather than the Qur’an?  Isn’t the goal to go to the Bible (Old and New Testament) since it is God’s Word?

Second,  isn’t also backwards to go back to the Qur’an even according to Travis’ own beliefs if these believers are already reading the NT and he himself believes the Qur’an is not equal nor superior to the Gospel?  Why try to promote third rate products so to speak when you can give someone something that is first class?

Third, is the goal of Christian apologetics really to defend another religion’s Scripture?

Fourth, he assumes that an apologetic must be developed to use the Qur’an as a bridge for witness; but Travis never mention or interact with the content of the Qur’an since this is important when we discuss whether the Qur’an can be used as a bridge in the first place.  Does the Qur’an explicitly teaches a theology that is antithethical to Christianity and the Bible?  This would seriously limit the Qur’an as a witnessing bridge towards Christianity if it is a bridge that is with holes and weaknesses.

Fifth, there are many resources on Christian apologetics on Islam, most of it refuting it and also handling Islamic objection towards Christianity.  In fact, the apologetics’ endeavor with Islam has been going on for hundreds of years.  I wished Travis would have shared what he thinks of the apologetics Christians have given over many generations rather than be silent on it and then merely assert that he wished an apologetic would be developed to affirm the Qur’an.  I think it is appropriate to ask why we must affirm the Qur’an in the first when the overwhelming majority of Christian apologetics does not, or at least explain why he thinks many of his fellow Christians are wrong in their approach given that his view is that of a minority.

Sixth, it might be that Travis does not see the place for “negative” apologetics, in which one refute other worldviews and other religion’s Scripture.  I do think Scripture does give a place and role for “negative” apologetics.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5)

In Islam, the Qur’an is raised up above against the Old and New Testament (which is the source of knowledge of God).  2 Corinthians 10:5 demand that we destroy it (intellectual and biblical refutation).  

For more on what we have written in the past on how to witness and engage in apologetics with Islam check out the index to our series.

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Should You Believe in God

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

This booklet is a part of the “Christian Answers to Hard Questions” series that is put out by P&R Publishing and written by the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary.  In this booklet Westminster Theological Seminary’s professor of apologetics K. Scott Oliphint tackles the question “Should you believe in God?’ and answers with the affirmative.  I was looking forward to the booklet because I wanted to see how would Oliphint summarize his answer to such an important question in a brief and hopefully profound way.  Often when Presuppositionalists talk about God’s existence it is no brief matter!  As I was reading this it reminded me of Cornelius Van Til’s famous booklet, Why I Believe in God, with its conversational tone, anticipating objections and also its content.  Like Van Til, Oliphint addressed the problem of neutrality and “conditioning” of beliefs from one’s upbringing and environment.  Unlike Van Til however, Oliphint’s upbringing was not in an orthodox Christian setting but a religion that teaches works righteousness.  But like Van Til, Oliphint also shows how God is the “All Conditioner” saves us from brute determinism that render everything meaningless and unintelligible.  I appreciated that Oliphint dealt with the question of whether truth is knowable in the beginning of the book and also how he summarizes the Gospel early in the conversation and in the end.  Besides the issue of neutrality Oliphint also tackles the nonbelievers’ assumption of the normalcy of man’s mind and naturalism.  Like Van Til, Oliphint sees that unless one presupposes the God of the Bible, one will eventually find everything meaningless and absurd.  What I like about the book is that it shows in summary what an application of Presuppositional apologetics looks like.  But I would also as a criticism of both Oliphint’s and Van Til’s booklet is that for such a controversial question it is hard to summarize everything in one little booklet.  I remember reading Van Til’s booklet many times and not seeing it—it was only after I read the booklet with Greg Bahnsen’s footnotes and commentaries did I get what Van Til was doing.  Nevertheless, I do recommend the book.

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I just posted a few minutes ago but this is too good not to share right now!

Redeeming Philosophy A God-Centered Approach to the Big Questions

Dr. Vern Poythress of Westminster Theological Seminary has just had his book Redeeming Philosophy published just a few weeks ago last month.  Apparently he has made this book available for free online as a PDF!

You can download the file if you click HERE.

Here’s the book’s description from the publisher’s website:

Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I find meaning?

Life is full of big questions. The study of philosophy seeks to answer such questions. In his latest book, prolific author Vern Poythress investigates the foundations and limitations of Western philosophy, sketching a distinctly Christian approach to answering basic questions about the nature of humanity, the existence of God, the search for meaning, and the basis for morality.

For Christians eager to engage with the timeless philosophical issues that have perplexed men and women for millennia, this is the place to begin.

Here is the table of content:

Table of Contents

Part 1: Basic Issues in Exploring Big Questions

  1. The Big Questions about Life
  2. The Bible as a Resource
  3. Opposite Approaches to Philosophy

Part 2: Metaphysics: What Is There?

  1. Inadequate Philosophies
  2. Christian Metaphysics

Part 3: Perspectives

  1. Introducing Perspectives
  2. Multiperspectivalism
  3. Perspectives on God
  4. Perspectives on the World
  5. Perspectives through Language
  6. Implications for Theology

Part 4: Examples of Metaphysical Analysis

  1. Metaphysics of an Apple
  2. Metaphysics of Walking
  3. Metaphysics of a Bookmark
  4. Perspectives in Combination

Part 5: Other Subdivisions of Philosophy

  1. Ethics
  2. Epistemology
  3. The Soul, the Mind, and Psychology
  4. Logic
  5. Aesthetics
  6. Specialized Branches of Philosophy

Part 6: Interacting with Defective Philosophies

  1. The Challenge of Philosophies
  2. Immanuel Kant
  3. Edmund Husserl
  4. Analytic Philosophy

Appendix A: Cosmonomic Philosophy
Appendix B: Perspectives on the Trinity
Appendix C: The Structure of a Bookmark


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One Christian apologist and theologian that I really got to read more this year has been John Frame.  His writing has been tremendously helpful and has the rare combination of being intellectually stimulating, biblically faithful and I would even say quite devotional.  Beyond the apologetics’ value of John Frame presenting a coherent Christian worldview in which he shows the inter-relationship and inter-dependence of Christian doctrines, I find that Frame’s writing engages my mind, will and emotions to love God and God’s truth more.

If you didn’t know already, every morning on Mondays through Saturdays we post quotes from John Frame on our Facebook page and our Twitter.  We plan to do this for the remainder of 2014 and going into 2015.

An example of Frame’s spirituality that seeps into his discussion about apologetics and theology is a passage in The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God that talks about doctrinal controversy and the relationship to spiritual immaturity in which he discusses the importance of Christians to grow in holiness and make progress in sanctification.  I appreciated that Frame did talk about this in the context of a book that talks about Christian theory of knowledge!  The Christian must not separate academic theological endeavors from one’s progress in being more like Christ!

Here is the quote:

Many doctrinal misunderstandings in the church are doubtless due to this spiritual-ethical immaturity.  We need to pay more attention to this fact when we get into theological disputes.  Sometimes, we through arguments back and forth, over and over again, desperately trying to convince one another.  But often there is in one of the disputers–or both!–the kind of spiritual immaturity that prevents clear perception.  We all know how it works in practice.  Lacking sufficient love for one another, we seek to interpret the other person’s views in the worst possible sense.  (we forget the tremendous importance of love–even as an epistemological concept; cf. 1 Cor. 8:1-3; 1 Tim. 1:5ff; 1 John 2:4f.; 3:18f.; 4:7ff.).  Lacking sufficient humility, too, we overestimate the extent of our own knowledge.  In such a csae, with one or more immature debaters, it may be best not to seek immediate agreement in our controversy”

(John Frame, The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, 155)

Of course this does not mean that all doctrinal debate is the result of all parties being theologically immature but if we really believe what the Bible says about our sinfulness, we ought to be ready to search our motives, and re-check if any of the above is true.

Knowing this truth has made me more slower in responding to online debate and also see the importance of not just only reading up on theological and apologetics’ controversy but also the importance of resources on sanctification and godliness.

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Note: I realized that over the years I’ve blogged a lot on Presuppositional apologetics but I have just discovered that somehow I have never posted my review of Greg Bahnsen’s Classic book titled Always Ready!  Here’s my review, written several years ago.

Bahnsen Always Ready


Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

It seems as if most of Bahnsen’s books were published after his death than during his own lifetime. Bahnsen’s Always Ready is one of those works, published after his death that was based largely on various essays which he wrote concerning Presuppositional apologetics. Some have commented that this work is rather disorganized or repetitive. If this is so, the fault of the book being disorganized can be attributed to the fact mentioned earlier that the materials originally were not meant as a book. However, in my estimation, the editor Randy Booth did a good job organizing the various chapters in the book in a clear, logical order. It also does not strike me as unnecessarily repetitive either. Rather, Always Ready is a work that is still on top of my list of recommended resources to those who want a good introduction to Van Tillian’s apologetics.

In much of Bahnsen’s other works and lectures, he always begin any discussion about apologetics by refuting religious neutrality. This motif portray the heavy influence Christian apologist Cornelius Van Til has on Bahnsen’s apologetics, and this theme of religious neutrality is valuable in apologetics, which Bahnsen explained in the first section of the book: Neutrality robs the believer and it is a philosophical impossibility (not to mention it’s unethical character!). This point might seem repetitive, but it is a fundamental point in understanding and appreciating the coherence of Presuppositional Apologetics.

Many have observed Bahnsen’s ability to debate, and have seen or heard how he has tackled head-on unbelievers in various venues. This work gives us some of the content of what was going on in the mind of this notable apologist, whom John Frame even believed was the best debater for Presuppositionalism. For the astute and willing student, Bahnsen provides the tools in this book to be equipped in their own apologetics to interact meaningfully and biblically with nonbelievers. As someone who’s life goal was to “take it to the streets” in applying apologetics rather than just discussing theory, Bahnsen’s insight has also been tested in real debate situation. For instance, his chapter on the problem of evil will illuminate readers as to why he took the approach he did concerning the problem of evil in his famous debate with atheist Gordon Stein. His discussion of the problem of miracle and religious language towards the end of the work are also valuable in the apologist’s arsenal, especially for those who take it seriously to be “always ready,” even with the more philosophically sophisticated unbeliever. The book also gives the reader a summary of various logical fallacies to look out for which unbeliever typically make, regardless of their range of intellectual ability.  Bahnsen’s strength in many of his debates have been his quickness to identify fallacious reasoning, here in this book one can see what these fallacies are for the readers to be conscious of. In my personal life, working hard in applying the lessons found in this book has resulted in some level of fruitfulness in exposing the folly of unbelief.

The longest chapter happens to be the last chapter, where Bahnsen discusses Acts 17 as it relates to apologetics. His work on Acts 17 was better in clarity and exegesis than his mentor Van Til did in his pamphlet “Paul at Athens.”  From my survey of apologetics literature, every school of apologetics has their take on Acts 17, but Bahnsen has given us by far the best apologist’s exegetical treatment of the passage.

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Here is the first part that that I would like to provide to our readers.  This material is what I used when I was counseling someone in the past that struggled with depression.  It is not exhaustive, but I hope that it will be helpful in some small measure.



  • To take every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
  • To be complete in Christ (Col. 1:28)
  • To trust and obey (Rom. 12:14-21)
  • To mortify idols in your heart (Col. 3:5-11)
  • To worship the Lord with holy joy (Jeremiah 15:16)

Before we even start, I believe that it is imperative that prayer is the necessarily step to be taken first. Prayer is a gift from God that He grants to us. As a gift from God, it should be used with great joy. As you eat food with great joy because it sustains life, so too should prayer be utilized with great joy because it sustains our spiritual lifeline. But before one takes a step into the holy of holies via prayer, one must be careful praying before a holy God. A holy mentality is much needed when it comes to fighting sin. Please read Psalm 51 to see David’s example of having a holy mentality in conjunction with prayer when it comes to fighting sin. The setting of Psalm 51 takes place after David committed adultery and murdered Bathsheba’s husband.

In lieu of having a holy mentality when praying to God, we need to understand that prayer is not only important because it is our spiritual lifeline, but our Lord and Savior expects us to pray. And since He is our Lord and Savior—that is enough for us to take seriously. Here are a couple of phrases from a couple of verses where Jesus expects us to pray: Matt. 6:5, “When you pray…”; Matt. 6:6, “But you, when you pray…”; Matt. 6:7, “And when you are praying…”; Matt. 6:9, “Pray, then, in this way…”; Lk. 11:9, “So I say to you, ask…; seek…; knock…” Lk 18:1, “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray….” Other verses in the Bible that is very clear concerning prayer is Col. 4:2 and 1 Thess. 5:17. Col. 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer…”; and 1 Thess. 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing….”

Genuine prayers allow one to take every thought captive, be complete in Christ, to learn how to better trust and obey, mortify idols, and to express our joy to the Lord.

PART 1: Hear God’s Word concerning your sin.


In 2 Timothy 4:1-2, Paul instructs young Timothy to preach the Word. It is evident that when the Word is preached, there is a hearer. Hearing the Word of God was a crucial element in Old Testament and New Testament times, and is crucial now. God’s word helps us better understand God and His will for us.

Please listen to two sermons during this week and write down any notes that convicted you. You will need a journal. Since God has gifted the church with teachers and pastors, it is important to learn from them. For the first sermon, please listen to Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon called, “Mind; Heart and Will.” Here is the link: http://www.mljtrust.org/sermons/mind-heart-and-will/

For the second sermon, please listen to Pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon called, “That One Sin.” Here is the link: http://www.mljtrust.org/sermons/that-one-sin/


  • Please summarize each sermon in your own words. You do not have to write an essay. A paragraph per sermon would be great.
  • What truths from the sermons impacted you (please provide a paragraph for each sermon)?
  • After reading Hebrews 5:11-14, please describe what time of listener you were during your episode of depression. Were you a bored listener or a joyful listener? If you were either a bored listener or joyful listener, please explain why.
  • In lieu of Hebrews 5:11-14, were you a milk drinker or solid food eater during the time of your episode of depression?
  • When you had depression (blues), did you wanted to remain as a milk drinker or solid food eater? Please explain why.


  • Please list down the specific sins that you need to put to death in your current life.
  • Please provide the biblical steps that you want to begin now in order to battle sin effectively.
  • Please list down how you are going to subdue depression when it becomes difficult.
  • Are you willing to take the necessary steps to put depression to death in your life after hearing God’s message about sin? Why or why not? Please explain.

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Note: For the next few weeks on Sunday we will feature a review of books outside of theology, philosophy and apologetics.  Each review of a non-Christian book will also have a section titled, “What’s in it for the Christian?”

Naoki Urasawa's Monster

Can it be–that I, SlimJim, read a work of fiction?

I am not normally the kind of guy who reads fiction.  It has been over ten years since I have last done so in undergraduate, let alone a comic book (this is my first manga).  But I have to say with this was very good.  A young man in my church introduced to me and told me that I might find it interesting for the philosophical aspect of it.  The first volume gets you hooked right away with the story of a promising young surgeon who struggle with the idea that all life are equal which led him to the fateful decision of operating on a young boy injured in a grisly murder scene instead of a mayor.  That resulted in the death of the mayor and led the doctor being ostracized by his own hospital, his collegue, boss and fiancé.  The twist is that the young boy disappeared along with his young sister and years later would grow up to be a frightening murderer.  Once you start reading the first volume, you can’t put it down!

In total there is 18 volumes in this series.  With each volume the plot gets thicker and the suspense increases.  I loved how the story takes place over different part of Europe; there is a feel that this is “Jason Borne” in Manga form!  I thought it was also neat to see how this was originally in Japanese but the author and the artist gave great attention to detail concerning Europe, it’s “look,” the specific city and location and the subculture.  This series does a good job with developing the characters and getting the readers interested as soon as they are introduced.

The part that made me interested in this series are the philosophical themes throughout the book.  The antagonist is known as “him,” or the “monster.”  We often think of monster as aesthetically ugly but here the villain is someone that is attractive and seem normal.  This villain is also one who is able to perpetuate his plans by manipulating other people and taking advantage of what motivates them.  In some sense the monster is a demonic figure or an Anti-Christ.  It made me ponder a lot about how this illustrate spiritual truth of spiritual warfare that the devil out there is one who knows us and take advantage of our weaknesses and motivation.


What’s in it for the Christian: Often our culture portray Satan and demons as red creatures with pitchforks; I’ve always thought the devil was more sly than that.  This book’s villain is one that I think capture the reality of spiritual warfare in that our enemy is also one who is smart and often take advantage of using what we want and what we want to believe as a bait to fulfill the devil’s will.  This book’s “Monster” made me think about this a lot and the need for us to engage in biblical and sobering analysis of ourselves and our intentions.  We must be aware of our weakness!  The “Monster” in the series is one who is good looking and appear wholesome–it made me think about how Satan is no ugly beast but one who can aesthetically deceive others as angels of the light.


To Purchase Volume 1 (there’s 18 volume!): Amazon

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These are Presuppositional apologetics’ links gathered from November 8th-14th, 2014.

1.) The Sex Trade and The Bible

2.) Refuting Bill Nye and Atheistic Evolutionists


4.) Faith and Reason: How Do They Work Together?

5.) The Atheist’s Mission: The Denial of ‘Why?’


Last installment: Early November 2014 Van Tillian Links

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