Archive for December, 2014


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.






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?


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


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Counseling: Depression, Part 3

STEP FOUR: Memorize God’s word.


Memorizing God’s word is imperative. I believe that the psalmist in Psalm 119:11 understood it. He says, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” He knew that to treasure His word, would empower him to not strive after ungodliness.


  • Have you memorized Psalm 119:25-32?
  • If you have memorized Psalm 119:25-32, were there any changes in your behavior?


  • Are there any other resources outside the Bible that is anti-Christianity that you love to memorize?  If you are able to memorize those resources, why not the Word of God?
  • What is your desire, reason, or motive to memorize God’s words?

STEP FIVE: Mediate on God’s word.


1 Timothy 4:5 says, “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.” Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”


  • Do you have a passion to memorize God’s word?
  • Do you hunger for His word?
  • If you have no passion or desire to memorize God’s Word, please explain why.


  • What does the word meditate mean? Please provide your answers. We can discuss this word further in the counseling session.
  • With meditation and with all the other major timeless truths mentioned in the other parts, will you have a desire to obey God (see James 1:22; 4:17).


  • Share with your counselor and another godly and mature leader in your local church about what God has been teaching you.
  • After having finished the all five steps of this homework assignment, please fellowship with a godly Christian in your local church. Trying doing this  at church, coffee shops, a restaurant, or at any other comfortable environment during the week. This will be beneficial for your spiritual growth.
  • Have you repented (2 Cor. 7:10) from all sin and trusted in Christ for forgiveness? For a further understanding of repentance, please read 2 Corinthians 7:9-13 carefully.


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The Secrets of the FBI

Ronald Kessler. The Secrets of the FBI. New York: Crown Forum, 2012. 304 pp.

I started reading this book after I first read the author’s book on the Secret Service which made a passing comment on how the FBI holds itself to a higher standard than the Secret Service in terms of leadership structure and accountability.  The book is written in a journalistic style and filled with interesting information about the FBI and fascinating stories, some of which has been told publicly for the first time in this book.  Prior to the book I have never heard of the FBI’s TacOps, which is the group that does a lot of secretive break-ins and planting of bugs.  I was surprised with how much the book revealed in terms of the methodology of TacOps from staying on elevators for hours, customize sleeping pills for pets and taking photos of everything so that they would be able to put everything back in place.  The book shares stories of close-calls and quicking thinking on the feet by agents.  Beginning with the book’s first chapter on TacOps I was hooked!

The book was more than a collection of stories and gossip of the FBI—I really appreciated the serious discussion about the FBI’s leadership.  The author discusses how different the old FBI was under J. Edgar Hoover and today’s FBI.  The author pulls no punch in describing the bad leadership that the FBI had in their history; in particular, the book zooms in on William Sessions and Louis Freeh.  Sessions was a former judge whom many felt was arrogant and incompetent.  He was the director of the FBI during Ruby Ridge and was strongly disliked by agents below him and the Attorney Generals above him.  He was also accused of abusing his privilege as Director, taking FBI plane rides to visit family and friends, allowing his wife to access floors in FBI headquarters that was suppose to be for agents with clearance, etc.  Sessions never learned his job and was eventually dismissed by Bill Clinton.  The book revealed that Sessions was in denial that he was fired and even delayed leaving his office.  The other incompetent director that the book focuses on was Freeh, whom the author described more as self-serving for his reputation at the risk of the FBI’s own reputation.  Freeh was against modernizing the FBI technologically during his stint which hampered the agency when the FBI’s own computer system was out of date and so slow that agents used their own personal computers and even developed their own system instead.  This was later identified as being a problem that contributed to the inability of the US to process intelligence efficiently prior to 9/11.  The author wasn’t just out to slam bad leadership; he also focused on the good leadership of FBI director Robert Mueller.  Like Sessions, Mueller’s background wasn’t as an agent but in law; however, this is where the similarities end for Mueller was willing to learn about the agency while Sessions wasn’t and simply thought he knew it all.  Mueller was also a no nonsense leader, being a decorated former Marine officer who knows how to lead from the front and set the example.  Mueller helped modernized the FBI technologically and was able to know how to manage people.  Under his leadership the FBI’s morale improved and had a better sense of direction.

The most fascinating part of the book for me was the discussion of how the FBI changed in the Post 9/11 world.  Counter-terrorism has become a big part of the FBI and now there is an exponential growth of joint-counter terrorism centers working in coordination with other Federal and local agencies all across.  In today’s FBI the goalpost have shifted from investigating a terrorist activity to preventing a terrorist activity from happening in the first place.  Prior to 9/11 the FBI would have been happy with the objective of capturing and preventing a terrorist from carrying out his mission but today the goal is not just to go after one terrorist but to know everything else about that terrorist’s network.  This means that the FBI isn’t just only about going after one terrorist and arresting them but to the point that it is safe it means that the FBI will not move right away to arrest a suspect but will continue to monitor him to find others and any other support structures for the terrorist.

I also appreciated the fact that the author was not blind towards the concern for civil liberties and in the discussion of the FBI’s future the author attacked the idea that some push for the FBI to be less about law enforcement and more about intelligence along the lines of the British MI5.  The problem the author pointed out is that the lack of law enforcement capability will hinder counter-terrorism in a day and age that recognize the problem of multi-agencies being unable to coordinate a meaningful response.  The British MI5 is severely hindered because they are now a law enforcement agency who can make arrests, etc.  Furthermore, critics of this model also note that with a law enforcement background those agents involved with counter-terrorism would easily abuse civil liberties, something that is still important for those whose mentality is driven by law enforcement and investigations rather than mere paramilitary or intelligence background.

I think people will enjoy this book.  I do recommend it!


Purchase: Amazon

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These are links on Presuppositional Apologetics between December 15th-21st, 2014.

1.) CSI Apologetics

2.) God Fearing Apologetics

3.) Ridley Scott is Wrong: There is interesting evidence for Moses and the Exodus

4.) Psycho Assertionism and the Modern Schizophrenic Epistemic Epidemic

5.) Does Van Tillianism Lead to the Federal Vision?

Mirror site of Last Installment: Mid-December 2014 Presuppositional Apologetics’ Links

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world map missions

I thought I post an update of our posts dealing with Missions, Culture and being Biblical.  Many of the posts dealt with the Insider Movement although we also touch on different things.  The reason I posted this update is because I wrote a significant amount of more posts after our series was completed.


Essays by SlimJim

Quick Thoughts on Question of those who never Heard

A Bad Theology of False Religions in Contemporary Evangelical Missionary Thought?

Missionary Contextualization understood in light of the relationship between Culture and the Bible

Messianic Mosques and Messianic Muslims? Taking on Shah Ali’s South Asia Report  NEW

Faulty Ecclesiology in two Insider Movement Case Studies NEW

Insider Movement’s John Travis view of Apologetics and Islam  NEW

Concerns for C. Peter Wagner on the Cutting Edge of Missions Strategy  NEW


Is it True Anyone Can be a Missionary if they Speak English?

Missions: Distinguishing between Relief and Transformational Development


Book Review: The Road to Reality

Review: Conquer Your Fear, Share Your Faith by Kirk Cameron, Ray Comfort


Other Online Resources

Reformed Forum Critique of the Insider Movement and resources recommended

PCA General Assembly Report on the Insider Movement

David B.

Garner’s 5 Part Series on Insider Movement over at Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

Video: Piper Responds to the Insider Movement | The Domain for Truth

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True Sons of Heaven David Marshall

David Marshall. The True Son of Heaven: How Jesus Fulfills the Chinese Culture. Seattle, WA: Kuai Mu Press, 2002. 216 pp.

This book has far too many problems that can’t be ignored.  I will begin looking at the problems first and then what’s good with the book; but the weakness far outweighs its strength and I hesitate suggesting this work to anyone else.

The first problem is rather minor but everything else that follows concerns with the content of the book.  This book has bad editing.  The book has three sections but the numbering of the section is off; for instance, part one is labeled as part two, and part two is labeled as part three, etc.    In the first chapter the endnotes are missing.  I think the editors were asleep on the wheel and honestly I think if they did a better job scrutinizing the content of the book, I think the book wouldn’t have been published in the first place because I think it does not even fulfill the expectation of an undergraduate essay.

The author David Marhsall did quote various sources but there were many times I wished he explained better what it was or who it was that he was quoting—and why was it significant.  It is not helpful for the general reader when the sources of these quotes are not explained.

The book’s thesis is that “many important symbols and ideas within Chinese culture points to Jesus” (7).  Some of his evidences of how Chinese culture points towards Jesus and Christianity does not seem to logically follow.  For instance, on page five Marshall talked about how Beijing’s Temple of Heaven had twelve red outer pillars and that the number twelve and the color red pointed to the apostles.  I don’t know how the color red necessitate that it is the apostles’ blood in view.  We must also not forget that the Apostle John was not martyred so it is hard to see 12 red pillars.  Later in the book Marshall would argue that the Forbidden Palace’s three layer roof is proof of the Trinity but this seems somewhat of a stretch.

Another of his evidence that Chinese culture points towards Christianity is Confucius.  For instance on page 9-10 Marshall claims about Confucius that he “did more than anyone in China to point people to this way.”  I would say that is a bold claim.  I have reservation with Marshall’s claim about Confucius when Marshall in the book also admitted that Confucius “did not know how to approach heaven” on page 41, that “one thing Confucius lacked: closeness to Heaven” on page 56 and also how “he did not know how to bridge the gap between heaven and earth, or fully understand why it needed to be bridged” on page 57. How can one point to the way when he is ignorant of all the essentials of the Way?  Marshall also believed that Confucius’ talk about Sheng Ren (Holy Man) anticipates the Messiah and one of his defense of this is that “Confucius never said the Sheng Ren would be Chinese” (42).  But Marshall here is making a fallacious argument from silence.  There are so much question begging assertions that the book makes about Confucius and Jesus that it is hard to keep track of them; for instance on page 68 the author claims that both Jesus and Confucius and Jesus “are going the same direction” except Jesus makes it “a dangerous adventure” (68).

Marshall also tried to argue that in the past Chinese thinkers did know the God of Christianity.  I think he failed to interact with the strongest arguments of those who disagreed and instead Marshall engaged in a defense the Chinese concept of God is personal.  While I do believe that Chinese does have some conception of a personal God that hardly makes it the Christian God.  He also failed to account for the silence of Chinese intellectual figureheads with the concept of the Trinity, something that is distinctively Christian.  Marshall’s discussion about God’s transcendence and imminence is misplaced in the debate.  Added to his confusion is Marshall’s statement that “there are passages in the Bible where the boundary between God and man appear a bit fudged, too, such as Paul’s famous ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’” (24).  When one look up Acts 17, we do see the passages affirm God’s transcendence and immanence but it does not present it as being muddled.  God is indeed transcendent but also His presence is everywhere though that does not mean God is His creature or creation.

It does not help Marshall’s cause when he is theologically weak that affects his discernment and presentation.  For instance, he talks about Nestorians as “the first Christians in China” (25) without acknowledging their heretical status.  There is the danger of syncretism in Marshall’s theology.  He claims on page 68 that “Jesus and Lao Zi were ‘spiritual brothers.’”  I wished the book was more pronounce and clear concerning sin, Jesus’ death and salvation.  Even when he does talk about those subject towards the end of the book, he doesn’t connect the relationship of sin to justification and Jesus’ work on the cross which I see as essential for one’s Gospel presentation.

His methodology is problematic because everything points to Jesus Christ, even Mao’s rebellion is something Jesus took to make part of His Way (64-65).  Marshall thinks Jesus was speaking about Mao’s regime when He said brothers will be against brothers, etc (168).  It is a bit of a stretch.  It must also be said that the same method the author use can also be used to demonstrate how Chinese culture points to say Marxism, Islam, etc.  It is a flawed and speculative method.  Plus, I don’t think Mao is a good “bridge” to Chinese culture for Christianity, given how he is a tyrant and also someone who is not necessarily held in high regards among everyone in the Chinese community.

I thought it was ironic that the author could point out “Chinese Buddhism” is “very Chinese, but not very Buddhist” (81).  At times I felt Marshall’s work ended up being more Chinese than Christian.

I think any reference to historical and political realities that the book make must be double checked.  For instance, on page 82-83 the book claims “A symbol of both Mao’s success and his failure is that under socialism, the poor learned to waste this precious grain,” with the grain referring to rice.  Supposedly, “the communists alleviated China’s chronic food shortage” (83).   I had a hard time with this personally since it goes against what history tells us of the man made famine that Mao’s economic policies produced.  In fact, Mao’s policies followed that of Stalin and Mao didn’t change it even with the Russians warning him that it wasn’t going to work since they have done it already themselves.  Given the historical inaccuracy of the statement we must ask what is the basis for Marshall to assert such a horrendous claim and he tells us following the above quote when he go on to say “When I walked by student dorms in China in the mid 1980s, I learned to keep an eye out for uneaten rice thrown through a window” (83).  Assuming this to be true, we must remember that the author’s experience in the mid-1980s was the reign of Deng Xiao Ping and not Chairman Mao.  Chairman Mao has been dead for a decade so the basis for his evidence of Mao’s economic success does not support his conclusion.

There was too many times throughout the book that the author wrote flowery descriptions that didn’t have to do with anything.  There’s a travelogue small talk feel to the book that was not appropriate for a book that was going to rigorously argue how Jesus fulfills Chinese culture.  There were pictures in the book that one has to wonder what did it have to do with anything with the chapter and pictures that made one ask the question: who is this guy?  What is going on?

As I said before the bad outweighs the good in the book.  What I did appreciate from the book is his chapter on how Buddhism cannot fulfill the expectation and longing of Chinese culture.  Of course, one might ask why must Chinese Culture be the standard to judge one’s religion in the first place and if consistent it is also detrimental to the Christian cause since not everything in Chinese culture is right and compatible with Christianity.  It seems as if this didn’t occur to the author giving his silence on the issue.

I also enjoyed it whenever the author discussed Chinese character and how it points to some profound truth or confirm Biblical truths and this is probably the strongest evidence he presents in the book.  Sadly when it comes to the characters pointing to Genesis he shares in the appendix that he is skeptical of it; but if he is skeptical of the strongest evidence in his book, that doesn’t speak a whole lot for the rest of his superficial look at how Chinese culture points towards Christ.

Purchase: Amazon

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Yesterday I posted a critical look at two Fuller Seminary’s professors’ argument that Jesus was not for carefully reasoned arguments.  I want to balance that by saying that just because I argue that reasoning is important that does not mean it is okay to be rigorous with our reasoning and not have love.  Both logic and love are compatible.  In fact if we love others it require us to adhere to and use the laws of logic appropriately!  And when we use the laws of logic, as Christians we ought to use it lovingly for the other person.

Here’s John Frame’s quote from the Doctrine of the Knowledge of God that reflect one way there is an inter-relationship between love and the laws of logic:

Perhaps you are beginning to see what a practical science logic is or at least should be!  Love for our brethren requires careful thought.  Unfortunately, we often leap recklessly to conclusions precisely on these matters that are most important, matters that require the most careful analysis .  We jump to conclusions on those matters because we are passionate about them.  The passion may be appropriate, but it ought to be channeled in a healthier direction.  Our passion ought to give us a greater zeal for truth and for the means of attaining truth” (John Frame, Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, 293).

If we don’t want to miscommunicate and have problem in our relationship with others, it require us to be diligent in how we accurately understand what people are saying, and the right implication rather than the wrong ones of what their words mean.  We need to also make sure our words to others are coherent.

Loving thoughts need to logical thoughts, etc.

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I hope you catch the irony with the title of today’s post.Perspective on the Worldwide Christian Movement

For a few months now I have been blogging about my concern with some of the disturbing trends with recent Christian missionary methodology.  One such concern I have is the fact that some seem to be against good reasoning.

An example of this can be seen in the case of C. Peter Wagner.  He is a former professor at Fuller Seminary’s School of World Missions (it has since been renamed the School of Intercultural Studies).  In a previous post I looked at some of the problem found in Wagner’s essay “On the Cutting Edge of Mission Strategy.

One of the things that Wagner said that I didn’t get to unpack in my previous post is Wagner’s view that Jesus prefer a demonstration of miraculous power rather than a”carefully reasoned argument” which he sees as a sign of Western “secularizing influence.”  I quote Wagner in his own words:

One of the more disturbing things we are beginning to discover is that, in more cases than we would care to think, our missionary messsage in the Third World has been having a secularizing influence.  I first realized this when I read an article by my colleague, Paul G. Hiebert, called ‘The Flaw of the Excluded Middle’ in 1982.  He begins the article by citing the question that John the Baptist had his disciples ask Jesus: ‘Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ (Luke 7:20).  Hiebert emphasized that Jesus’ reply was not a carefully reasoned argument, but rather a demonstration of power in healing the sick and casting out of evil spirits” (Wagner, 581).

As one can see, Wagner came to his position through the writing of another professor at Fuller Seminary’s School of World Mission: Paul Hiebert.  The relevant quote that Wagner read is quoted below:

The disciples of Jesus asked Jesus, ‘Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?’ (Luke 7:20 RSV).  Jesus answered, not with logical proofs, but by a demonstration of power in curing the sick and casting out evil spirits.   This much is clear.  Yet when I once read the passage from my perspective as a missionary in India and sought to apply it to missions in my day, I felt a sense of uneasiness.  As a Westerner, I was used to presenting Christ on the basis of rational arguments, but by evidences of his power in the lives of people who were sick, possessed and destitute” (Hiebert, 407).

Note how both Wagner and Hibert appealed to Luke 7:20.  Here is Luke 7:20-23 in context:

20 When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the[o]Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’” 21 At that [p]very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. 22 And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, thepoor have the gospel preached to them. 23 Blessed is he [q]who does not take offense at Me.”

There are problems with what these two Professors of Fuller Seminary has to say against “reason:”

  1. Wagner’s and Hiebert’s position is self-refuting in that they are both against carefully reasoned argument, and yet they end up trying to present what they think is a carefully reasoned argument for their position when they invoke Luke 7:20.  On the one hand they don’t think carefully reasoned arguments are legitimate but they inevitably presuppose the endeavor is legitimate when they try to set forth their reason against carefully reasoned argument.
  2. Wagner believes “carefully reasoned argument” is an example of Western missionary’s secularizing influence upon the Third World.  But this does not logically follow.  Wagner commit the logical fallacy of slippery slope when he thinks that carefully reasoned argument is going to lead one to become secularized.  This is not the case and portray a misunderstanding of what reasoning is on the part of Wagner; if one’s premises is not secularized but Biblically informed and “sanctified” then one will not become secularized in their conclusion.  Again, Wagner’s concern does not logically follow.
  3. It is important to exegete Luke 7:20-23 accurately.  Nowhere in the passage does Jesus condemn “presenting Christ on the basis of rational arguments” (to use Hiebert’s own words).
  4. In light of point 3, it must be pointed out that both Hiebert and Wagner commit the logical fallacy of a false dilemma when they present the option as either we accept Christ’s miracle as having evidential value or we accept rational arguments as having evidential value.  Why must a Christian accept either/or instead of both/and?
  5. We can agree with Hiebert and Wagner that Jesus’ purpose of performing miracles was to confirm the truth about the claims of Jesus Christ for as Hebrews 2:3-4 attests on the nature of signs, wonders and miracles: “how will we escape if we neglect so great asalvation?[d]After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various [e]miracles and by [f]gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.” (Hebrews 2:3-4)  But notice Jesus expected the right extrapolation of what the miracles mean and this proper interpretation of what does the evidence mean is act of engaging in reasoning.
  6. Point 5 enjoy further support from the immediate context in Luke 7 if one examine verse 22.  What Jesus told the disciples of John the Baptist is very significant since this is an echo of Isaiah 61:1 as presented in Luke 4:18.  Jesus description of what He is doing also should make His hearers think of Isaiah 26:19, 35:5-6.  This heavy use of Isaiah’s terms and phrases indicate that Jesus wants John to think Biblically in interpreting the evidence of Jesus’ miracles.  He is making an argument!  He is not merely arguing from miracles alone but bringing in Scripture to show that His miracles fulfill Messianic Prophecies.
  7. The most ironic thing about Wagner’s complaint that missionaries who use carefully reasoned arguments are “secularizing Third World Nations” is that it is those who are like him who are secularizing Third World Nations and not the ones who believed in the Sanctified Use of reason and argumentation, etc.  Note how Wagner thinks the performance of miracles are sanctified for the Christian but reasoning is not.  This is the same paradigm that secularists adopt when they separate the domain of God and the miraculous from the domain of “reason.”  Contrary to his claim, it is the Christian who do employ sanctified reasoning that is consistent in rejecting the dualism of secular/sacred.


Hiebert, Paul. 2009. “THe Flaw of the Excluded Middle.”Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne, eds., 407-414.

Wagner, Charles Peter. 2009. “On the Cutting Edge of Missions Strategy.”Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne, eds., 574-582.

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Alpha Omega Ministries

Christian apologist James White of Alpha Omega Ministries had debated Muslim apologist Ayoob Karim concerning the topic of whether or not Jesus was crucified.  The title was creatively titled “Crucifixion or Crucifiction?”  James White has loaded up online on Youtube the debate!  I appreciate all the debate and discussion that James White has endeavored on in reaching Muslims and graciously while uncompromisingly share the Christian faith to Muslims.

Here’s the video:

Here is the video description:

One of the most famous presentations made by the late Ahmed Deedat was his talk, “Crucifixion or Crucifiction?” In this debate from Durban, South Africa, Deedat disciple Ayoob Karim presents Deedat’s arguments in full debate against James White. Judge for yourself how well Deedat’s arguments fare!

May the Lord use this to draw people to His Son Jesus Christ!

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