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Archive for December, 2014

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On the last day of the year for 2014 I thought I share the top five posts on Veritas Domain that was written during 2014.

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Happy New Years!

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

We here at Veritas Domain are thankful to the Lord for another year in which we get to blog and also reach people around the world.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 150,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God John Frame cover

John Frame. The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1987. 402 pp.

According to the author this book was completed in December 1984 (382).  I finished this book thirty years after it was written on December 2014 and I would say that it is a work that is more relevant than ever.  This book is an exploration of a Biblical view of knowledge and specifically the pursuit of the knowledge of God.  John Frame does a masterful job showing us how Scripture’s teachings have bearing towards a Christian theory of knowledge.  Frame does caution early in the book that this work is more theological rather than philosophical but I think this is the book’s strength in that Frame is driven by a high view of God’s Word in his construction of a distinctively Christian view of knowledge.

This is the first volume in Frame’s four book “Theology of Lordship” series.  It so happened that I completed John Frame’s Doctrine of the Christian Life first, which is actually Frame’s third volume and I found that some of the materials on perspectivalism wasn’t necessarily new when I read this present volume.  Of course, the Doctrine of the Knowledge of God lays the foundation for the other volume in this series in that it articulate, explain and defend the concept that knowledge is perspectival; that is, there are aspects to knowledge that are inter-dependent though distinctions could be made.  Specifically, Frame sees a triade that there is a normative, situational and existential side of knowledge.  Throughout the book this triade is mentioned again and again and Frame shows its usefulness in theology, apologetics and philosophy.  I found it useful as a template in identifying people’s reductionistic fallacy when they assume only one perspective is right over and against the other.  Frame’s perspectivalism is also useful as a tool to make one conscious of being balanced and well rounded when one approach theology and philosophy.

The book is divided into three parts with part one focusing on the objects of knowledge, the second part on the justification of knowledge and the third on the method of knowledge.  I enjoyed part two’s discussion of various traditional epistemology followed by Frame’s identification of their problem.  This is helpful in equipping a Christian apologist to know how to refute bad epistemologies.  But I also appreciate John Frame’s direction in the second chapter of part two of the book in constructing a positive justification of knowledge.

Other parts of the book that I really enjoyed include Frame’s discussion about anti-abstractionism in which he defends the notion that abstraction is not necessarily a bad thing in of itself and that we can’t help but to think abstractly in various degrees whenever we think or communicate.  I also appreciate John Frame sharing his perspective on Reformed Epistemology which Frame devote an appendix of good length to the issue by means of a book review.  I also enjoyed the book’s discussion of the laws of logic and how the laws of logic ought to be thought of as a subset of ethics.  Frame’s discussion about the human faculty involved in the process of knowing must not be missed.  I was pleasantly surprised to find how holistic John Frame was in that he even discussed the qualification of a theologian!  Sanctification is important in the knowledge of God and vice versa!

As it is typical of John Frame’s work, I found the book to be extremely helpful and every page to be stimulating and thought provoking.  Frame’s work often make me think of theological methods and makes me more aware of my own method and the method of others in arriving at a theological position.  Typical of other work by Frame is that I enjoyed reading this book and enjoyed God in the process—his work often leads me to worship God!  It is not a dry systematic theology book, as I found the book to be quite a good devotional as well.  This book is also good for those who have read a lot of introductory materials on Presuppositional apologetics and would like to expand more indepth Christian epistemology from a Van Tillian perspective.  I highly recommend this work.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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depression Depression affects many people in this world.  It does not discriminate.  It affects anyone who is a prey to it.  However, it can be conquered through the power of God’s Word.  It is our prayer that this small resource will be handy to you.  The knowledge and comfort many seek when they experience the blues can only be found in Christ (Col. 2:8).

  1. Counseling: Depression, Part 1
  2. Counseling: Depression, Part 2
  3. Counseling: Depression, Part 3
  4. Counseling: Depression, Part 4 & 5
  5. Depression: The Killer

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Culture of Corruption by Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin. Culture of Corruption. Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, 2010. 436 pp.

Culture of Corruption is a book that exposes the various scandals and corruption committed by various officials in the Obama administration and those who were appointed to political offices by Obama but ended up quitting because they turned out to be a public embarrassment for the administration.  The book is well-researched and heavily documented by political pundit Michelle Malkin and deserved to be read by everyone across the political spectrum whether they are conservatives, leftists and moderates.  Early in the book Malkin makes it clear that part of the book would not be possible if it weren’t for some courageous liberals, even if they are a minority.  The book really challenges the Obama image of “hope and change,” in which the administration present itself as going against the grain of “politics as usual” since Obama is supposedly for the little guy.  Instead what we get is an administration that have continued with not only with business as usual in Washington but have also brought Chicago style politics unto the national level.

Some of the individuals that the book covers are already well known and infamous for their political dealings such as Joe Biden with his myth of being an “average Joe” that is notoriously hypocritical.  What I like about the book is that even for the people that have been publicly reported for their scandal, the book goes into further details that a few seconds of sound bites aren’t able to go into.  A good example of that is former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich who was going to sell the vacant seat that Obama left from the state senate.  I learned from the book that the headlines about Blagojevich’s corruption was much wider than the headlines and include charges of mail frauds, abuse of power for campaign contribution and strong arm attempts to secure his wife a high paying job as a political favor, etc.  Unfortunately Rod Blagojevich’s link with the Obama’s administration’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett was downplayed during the investigation and Valerie Jarrett have told investigators that she didn’t realize there was a passing comment towards her for political favors.

I also thought the book did a good job covering the lesser known scandals, one that the main stream media downplayed or didn’t provide much news coverage of.  The book’s exploration of ACORN and SEIU is downright scary.  Both organizations enjoy a cozy relationship with Obama, with Obama being a member of ACORN.  Readers might remember in the news ACORN’s trouble with voters’ fraud but apparently the level of corruption is deeper and more systemic than I realized.  This is no hit piece against ACORN by conservatives for Michelle Malkin documented how even other liberals and members within ACORN have seen concern with the organization.  The chapter on ACORN definitely is illuminating of what kind of organization that Obama worked with in his younger years and continue to partner with today.

There are much more information in the book that I can’t put all down in the review.  Other notable information in the book include the various Czars that Obama had and their troubles along with the curious case of Obama’s many appointees for Secretary of Labor.  I enjoyed the book but that didn’t mean it was easy to read—I had to take long breaks with the book for the sake of not getting too angry.

Purchase: Amazon

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It seems to be a pattern that around the holidays of Christmas or Easter news magazine Newsweek usually publish some controversial issue attacking the Christian faith.  This year they decided to publish a piece titled “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin” by Kurt Eichenwald.  I do think Eichenwald attacks the Bible and not just Conservative Christianity when he sees the Bible as containing “the flaws, the contradictions, and the theological disagreements in its pages.”

The ending of Eischenwald’s essay caught my attention:

And embrace what modern Bible experts know to be the true sections of the New Testament. Jesus said, Don’t judge. He condemned those who pointed out the faults of others while ignoring their own. And he proclaimed, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

That’s a good place to start.

“Don’t Judge” has got to be the one of the most quoted Bible passages by those who seek to undermine the Bible’s message.  Kurt is no different.  Kurt here believes that Jesus “condemned those who pointed out the faults of others while ignoring their own.”  The thesis in his essay has been that fundamentalist Christians have been unenlightened and have not read the Bible for themselves to know what’s in it.  He laments how the majority of Conservative Christian are ignorant of scholarship about the Bible, or at least ignorant of the other side, that is, his side.  Can it be that Kurt does the same thing?

Tonight I saw on his facebook the following status that he posted on December 23rd:

Isn’t it interesting I write a piece that says, basically, let’s discuss the Bible and the response of Christian apologists is to name-call?

(Source)

I wondered who are these nameless Christian apologists who just engaged in name calling to his article as I haven’t seen any that match his description (note, I’m not denying that there aren’t any out there).  But more importantly, I thought if Kurt really is calling for an intellectually honest discussion about the Bible he would not use his facebook to drop a few second soundbite that bite the bait of low hanging fruits; why doesn’t Kurt take the opportunity instead to discuss with capable scholars from the other side?

It’s ironic that Kurt’s fault is the very ones he accuses his opponets of doing: Not “discussing the Bible” with a meaningful interaction of the other side but engages in name calling.  In fact reading the article itself you would think that his opponents were all guys who have never read the Bible themselves and then his facebook makes it out that no Christian apologist is willing to handle his piece other than to engage in name-calling.

But Christian apologists have meaningfully interacted with his article.

For starters, there is James White who refuted Kurt’s article in a recent episode of the Dividing Line:

Michael Kruger have also started a series responding to Kurt’s article which part 1 can be read by clicking HERE.

Both Dr. White and Dr. Kruger are men who have spent decades studying and writing on many of Kurt’s objection.

If Kurt wishes to avoid being a hypocrite he ought to interact with Dr. White, Kruger and others who are capable and have already responded publicly.

Rather than lament on some anonymous alleged name calling agaisnt him, he ought to interact with the content that Dr. White and Kruger has put forth.

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We at The Domain for Truth would like you wish you a Merry Christmas. May we be reminded why Christ was born. We are people of flesh who were redeemed by the incarnate God-man.  The God-man who came to this earth, came to die for Hell deserving sinners in order to destroy Satan. The God-man also rescued His people from the fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15 gloriously echoes those truths: “14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (NASB).

Let the powers of darkness consult and plot as they may, they can never destroy the Lord’s redeemed. Lo! I see
councils of evil spirits—they sit down in Pandemonium and conspire to ruin a soul redeemed by blood. They lay their
heads together. They use a cunning deep as Hell—they are eager to destroy the soul that rests in Jesus. In vain their
devices, for the Incarnate God is embodied Wisdom! Now see them—they rise from the council table. They put on their
harness. Their arrows are dipped in malice and their bows are strong to shoot afar. Each foul spirit takes his sword, his
sharp sword, that will cut a soul to the center and kill it with despair—but their weapons shall all fail. If we fly to Jesus,
who is God with us, no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper” (Charles Spurgeon, Immanuel—The Light of Life; No. 2163).

God‘s Favor and Serving God

Immanuel

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