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Archive for the ‘biblical worldview’ Category

amazon-reviews

Nearly two months ago over at Triablogue Jason Engwer  wrote a post titled “Christians Should Be Posting More At Amazon” in which Jason explains why he will be more involved in book reviewing on Amazon as a Conservative Christian.  The last paragraph is worth quoting:

I’ve commented before about how Christians, political conservatives, and others with similar views need to be more active online. Amazon is another illustration of that need. It’s something I neglected for a long time. Late last year, I decided to become more active in posting reviews and comments at Amazon. I hope other Christians and others who hold similar views will do the same. I’m not just referring to posting positive comments about books we agree with. In some ways, it’s even more important that we be active in reviewing and commenting on what we disagree with.

And in the comment section I think Jason makes a good point that for those of us who blog should take into account of posting reviews on Amazon:

People are often concerned about building an audience for something like a blog or Twitter account, and most of us never get many readers in that sort of context. But Amazon provides us with a free platform that already has a large audience. And Amazon is surely used by many people in academia, politics, and other contexts where we’d want to be influential. In terms of both quantity and quality of influence, there’s a lot of potential.

Another way Christians can contribute in their influence is following certain Christian reviewers who are helpful and voting when there’s a good review you appreciate.  It seems that when one posts a critical review on a controversial books you always have those who are trolling to automatically down vote another perspective.

As a result of that posts I’ve been thinking about posting our book reviews there on Amazon and want to encourage other Christians to do the same as a Christian influence upon people’s perspective of what they take in in terms of book reading.

Here’s my profile page.

I’m a late starter in this area and book reviews I post here will also appear on Amazon.  Double the presence with the same review.

I’ll also begin the slow process of putting up older reviews I have onto Amazon as well.  As of right now we have 112 reviews and I plan by mid-April to posts up 270 plus book reviews on there.

I also know that some of the readers on here have already been doing this for years now or some are just getting started.  If you already have a presence on Amazon what is the link to your profile page?

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ethics under scope

Here’s a video on the Introduction to Christian Ethics that kicks off a church monthly series on Christian ethics at South Bay Alliance Church:

This lecture lays the foundation for ethics and touches on the inter-play of the Christian worldview, apologetics and Presuppositionalism.

Here’s the handout:

HAND-OUT: FOUNDATIONS FOR CHRISTIAN ETHICS

Selected Scriptures

Purpose: Today we will explore the importance of studying Christian ethics and provide a general direction of defending Christian ethics from the perspective of life and worldview so that you can live out and articulate God’s requirement in our lives.

I. What is Ethics and Christian Ethics?

Secular view: “Ethics may be defined as the philosophical study of morality..Morality has to do with right and wrong conduct and with good and bad character.”[1]

Christian view: “Ethics is theology viewed as a means of determining which persons, act and attitude receives God’s blessing and which do not.”[2]

 

II. Why Study Christian Ethics?

 

 

 

 

III. What is the Basis for Christian Ethics?

 

 

 

 

 

IV. What is the relationship of Christian ethics to Life and Worldview?

Worldview

 

Metaphysics

 

Ethics

 

Epistemology

 

 

 

 

Life

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

 

 


[1] Paul W. Taylor, Problems of Moral Philosohy (Encino, CA: Dickenson Publishing Company Inc., 1972), 3.

[2] John Frame, The Doctrine of the Christian Life (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed., 2008), 10.

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top10

 

2013 is about to leave us and 2014 is coming.

Here are the top ten posts with the greatest views written this year:

1.) Kermit Gosnell and the irony of the coat hanger back alley argument

2.) Chuck Smith is now with the Lord: a Calvinist Eulogy

3.) Free on PDF: Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof

4.) The Domain for Truth Interviews Mike Gendron Concerning Roman Catholicism

5.) Interview with a Calvinistic Dispensational Presuppositionalist: Fred Butler

6.) Bart Ehrman’s Case Against Jesus as God in Did Jesus Exist?

7.) Shepherd’s Conference 2013 Schedule

8.) 

9.) Joseph Prince: Tongues, The Key To A Spirit-Led Life? Part 1

10.) Testimony: Lesbian Feminist Professor encounter with Presuppostional and Worldview Apologetics

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d a carson

This message by D.A. Carson was given Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, TX.

The topic is on the problem of Evil.

Dr. Carson provides Six Pillars to Support a Christian Worldview for Stability Through Suffering

1 Insights from the beginning of the Bible’s storyline
2 insights from the end of the Bible’s storyline
3 insights from the place of innocent suffering
4 insights from the mystery of providence
5 insights from the centrality of the incarnation and the cross
6 insights from taking up our cross (insights from the persecuted global church)

May this be helpful to God’s People.

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Four year old tell off terrorist

It seems the siege in the Kenyan mall by Islamic terrorists is nearly over.  There is a story that is making it’s round on the news circuit of a four year old British boy and his encounter with one of the terrorists that is simply remarkable.  According to a British Newspaper report:

A four-year-old British boy survived the Kenya shopping mall attack after telling an armed jihadist ‘you’re a bad man’, according to the boy’s uncle who has given an interview to a UK newspaper.

After apparently seeing his mother shot in the thigh, young Elliott Prior is said to have confronted the gunman shouting “you’re a bad man, let us leave”.

Incredibly the gunman in understood to have took pity on Elliott and his six-year-old sister Amelie, giving the pair a Mars bar each and allowing them and their mother to leave the chaotic shopping mall in the middle of the terror attack.

Elliott’s 35-year-old mother Amber was reportedly able to grab two more children – including a wounded 12-year-old boy whose mother had been murdered – before exiting the shopping mall and taking the children them to safety.

As the group turned to leave, the gunman allegedly called after them saying the jihadists only wanted to kill Kenyans and Americans, not Britons, pleaded with Amber to convert to Islam and begged “please forgive me, we are not monsters.”

If all this is true, in light of the news that women and children has been killed by these terrorists, it’s amazing this young boy and his family was spared.

Some thoughts on this story:

1.) Here we see that a four year old knows what’s right and wrong and has a better moral compass than the terrorists.

2.) I think most people who read this would agree that moral relativism goes out the window when we are challenged with moral evil in the real world.  I don’t see any news story that condemns the boy with “Who are you to Judge?”  The boy is right on!

3.) This little boy has moral courage!  Likewise, we need to have moral courage like this little boy to confront what is evil.  It does take courage to call out the wicked.

4.) This story confirms what the Bible teaches about the conscience: The terrorist even begged ““please forgive me.”  It’s hard to suppress the conscience 100%, 100% of the time.

5.) The power of the “law” (moral law) is amazing: While it does not always lead people to Christ, it does have it’s effect at times of restraining evil some of the time when the conscience is invoked.

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enhanced-buzz-28451-1366743982-11

These are the links related to Presuppositional apologetics from the internet between September 16th-21st, 2013.  What other links do you think we could have added?

1.) Pearls, Canine Swine, and Apologetics

2.) If a tragedy led you to atheism, then it wasn’t really a tragedy.– A good point made concerning tragedy in an atheist world view.

3.) Self-refuting Statements: Nimble and Clever Defenses by Relativists

4.) Why It Will Not Work to Pit the Old Testament God of Wrath against the New Testament God of Mercy

5.) Acts 17 Applied– MP3 of Dr. Oliphint teaching for the Sunday Service at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church September 15th, 2013.

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cnn

What a world we live in.  The signs of the times.

While reading the news, I saw the headline “Miley Cyrus breaking her silence about VMA performance” over at CNN.   I’m surprised: The news is still talking about her a week later?

It isn’t just what Miley says, but the writer for CNN as well that I thought was foolish in God’s eyes.

Miley Cyrus has a message for the haters: You are overthinking it.”

Response: Seriously?  It’s not just haters, it’s people that see what she has done as inappropriate and are also concern for her and and concern about how our MTV culture commodify her physically to get ratings.  Moral sensibilities is not the same thing as overthinking.

The singer has broken her silence regarding the MTV Video Music Awards performance that set tongues wagging (and some other parts shaking as folks tried to imitate her twerking).”

Response: Proverbs 17:28 comes to mind: “Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.”

Cyrus, in an interview feature on that network’s site, said she doesn’t “pay attention to the negative.”

Response: I doubt it especially since she’s doing this for attention which she admits below.  It’s like a drug when people who care about what people think: they get a little high but then it always comes back to haunting them that not everyone likes them; they wonder if people think badly of them and it starts the vicious cycle for crying for attention again.  How sad.  While not all the negative things said about her since the performance is good or godly, I wish someone could share to her biblical concerns for what she was doing.  I know several years ago she was still claiming to be a Christian and I wonder if she still makes any claim to being a believer, if so, I hope she sees that there are legitimate concern about her promotion of sexual lewdness.  That’s no way to dance with another man.  Especially one who is in his 30s and is married with children.

“Me and Robin (Thicke) the whole time said, ‘You know we’re about to make history right now,’ ” Cyrus said in a clip provided to MTV.

Response: One can make history by becoming famous…or one can make history by becoming infamous.

Cyrus’ dance routine and provocative outfit were the talk of the VMAs, and the former child star is fully aware they have garnered her what most celebs covet – the public’s attention.

Response: Cyrus has a serious issue of “public attention” as her idol.  That’s her functional god if she’s willing to go so far as to push the moral and sexual line for media attention.

She points out in the clip that what she did is nothing new. “How many times have we seen this play out in pop music?” Cyrus asked. “Madonna’s done it, Britney’s done it. Every VMA performance. Anyone that performs, that’s what you’re looking for. You are wanting to make history.” She goes on to say in the clip, which was reportedly recorded three days after the performance, that it’s amazing how much buzz the whole thing has garnered.”

Response: Cyrus, Madonna and Spears are all about shocking people for attention.   The thing about this strategy is that if one keeps doing the same thing as the ones before them, it gets old and in order to get more attention, these girls have to become more and more crass, more and more preverted and selling their bodies and their souls for high google ranking for a week.  While they make “history,” soon like other scandalous stars and starlets before them, they are going to be forgotten by men.  How many people remember the scandalous women of the Silent Film era, or the early days of talkies, etc?

“You are thinking about it more than I thought about it when I did it,” Cyrus said. “I didn’t even think about it when I did it because that’s just me.”

Response: Did you catch that?  “I didn’t even think about it when I did it.”  Think about it.  It would be so funny if it wasn’t so sad.

Miley needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ to save her from her idol: Public attention. This is her god, she is willing to offer body visually as a sacrifice in order to get her god.  She needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Where sex is neither a god, nor something in of itself that is gross, but a gift from God.  God need to work in her to regenerate her to see her sins and her idols as they really are, and as really bad as the BIble says it is.  My prayer is that the Spirit does this, she gets convicted, turn to Jesus with her faith (trust) in Him alone, to be saved by God’s Grace alone in Christ alone.  Cyrus needs to repent before God before it’s too late and not presume that she’s young and has all the time before her.

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Every Good Endeavor Keller

 

This works explore the Gospel implication towards the area of work and career. I wish there were more books on work from a Christian perspective that’s Gospel driven. While Tim Keller doesn’t answer everything concerning a Christian view of work, the book does manage to do a good job of laying down the foundation of a Christian view of work—and as a result this book was better than I originally expected. I appreciated Keller’s consciousness of worldviews—and worldviews as meta-narratives. If one’s foundational presuppositions (what Keller calls “first order beliefs”) is off, then it would definitely lead to practical problems concerning work and employment. The book is divided into three section—God’s plan for work, our problem with work and the Gospel and Work. The conscious reader will noticed this three fold division of the book reflects the Christian Creation, Fall Redemption motif. This is definitely a reflection of Keller’s attempt to address the issue of work from the Gospel. I thought the book was nuance enough to deal with some of the complexity of work in today’s sin-saturated world: Keller is careful enough in his work to make sure a Christian view of work doesn’t make one self-righteous, thinking they are necessarily better than non-believers at work. Bringing the Reformed doctrine of Common Grace, he accounts for why non-Christians can sometimes even do their work better than Christians! And this is true in spite of the destructive world views some people hold to. In addition, Keller pointed out that for the Christian we don’t work to be accepted but the Gospel declares we already accepted by God because our sins are atoned for by Jesus. Therefore, we are free from the shackles of self when we work because we now live to please God—there is no need to seek work and accomplishments at work as a form of salvation. Keller also noted how the reality of sin means our work will be frustrated in this side of eternity and that we should expect it—yet our eternity in heaven means we might finish some of our task that’s our deepest longing then. If one follows Keller’s footnotes you will definitely tell that he’s a man who reads much and quite diversely. I only have two criticisms of the book: The first being in chapter six his approach to the book of Ecclesiastes adopt the outlook and conclusion of theological liberals such as his belief that the book had two narrators, the book was not authored by Solomon and thereby the genre was a “fictional biography,” etc. I was surprised at his omission of any conservative arguments to the contrary. Secondly, in a section of chapter eight in which Keller was talking about the idols of Postmodern cultures, he writes that “ultimately postmodern thought makes an idol out of reality as it is” (145). I would disagree: I think postmodernity’s idol is not reality per se, but “perspectives” and “perceptions” of that reality, in which one can only get a “slice” of what is real, provided if we can know it depending on the particular Postmodernist. Postmodern’s theme that there is no objective knowledge given our participation in the process of knowing things slant it to idolize fragmenting knowledge into tribes such as Asian American, post-colonial, post-Christian, feminists perspective, etc.

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NOTE: The following is a handout for a topical message/discussion on the issue of suffering, an important pastoral/counseling/apologetics issue that is best addressed before someone goes through tough times and trials in their life.

Storm Wikipedia

Don’t Waste Your Suffering (Handout)

Selected Scripture

Purpose: Have a biblical understanding of suffering so that you have hope in Christ when life’s trials come upon you.
FIRST, don’t be surprise when suffering comes

Jesus tells us this: John 16:33

Apostle Peter tells us this: 1 Peter 4:12

Secondly, understand…

1.) God is in control (Matthew 10:29)

 

2.) God uses suffering in our lives for our good (Romans 8:28)

 

3.) You can handle the suffering God gives you (1 Corinthians 10:13)

 

How God uses suffering:

1.) God uses suffering to make us like Christ (Romans 8:29)

 

2.) God uses suffering to produce in us hope (Romans 5:3-5)

 

3.) Suffering shows us the mercy and compassion of God (James 5:10-11)

 

4.) Suffering makes us have eternity in perspective (2 Corinthians 4:17 cf. 1 Peter 4:13)

 

5.) Suffering is a way of relating to Jesus (Philippians 3:10)

 

6.) Suffering is a way of manifesting to others Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:18-20)

 

7.) Suffering allows us to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

 

Responding to suffering in light of God’s truth:

1.) Go to God for comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

 

2.) Be comforted that one day Suffering will be no more (Revelation 21:4)

 

3.) See future glory greater than present reality of suffering (Romans 8:18)

 

4.) Rejoice, since suffering is a gift (Philippians 1:29)

 

5.) Rejoice, since God is completing you (James 1:2-4)

 

6.) Make sure you are saved

 

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logic poythress

Nearly 20 years ago Vern Poythress wrote an important essay published by the Westminster Theological Journal titled REFORMING ONTOLOGY AND LOGIC IN THE LIGHT OF THE TRINITY: AN APPLICATION OF VAN TIL’S IDEA OF ANALOGY.

This year Crossway published a 700 page book by Poythress on a Christian view of logic!

This past weekend, Poythress has made it available for free on their website.

You can access it as a PDF download by clicking HERE.

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Do you understand what does the Bible have to say about Conscience?

Retired Pastor Rob Barkman teaches a thirteen part series on Conscience that’s worth your time.

Understand it for your evangelism.  Understand the conscious for your sanctification and Godly joy.

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The Reformed Pastor and Modern Thought Van Til

In 1971 a book by Cornelius Van Til was published titled The Reformed Pastor and Modern Thought.  It’s not as well known as his other works such as Defense of the Faith, Christian Apologetics and Why I believe.  I first heard of it being quoted and referenced by Greg Bahnsen in his huge work Van Til’s Apologetics and years later stumbled upon this work at a used book store which I bought for five bucks.

Now thanks to Presupp101, this work is available for free online as a PDF if you click HERE.

The preface describes the book well:

“This little volume is designed to aid the Reformed pastor in his work of helping high school and college students face the challenge to their faith presented in their classes on science, philosophy, and religion.

To be able to help his young people the Reformed pastor must himself have some acquaintance with modern science, modern philosophy, and modern religion. But, more than that, he must see clearly for himself that unless science, philosophy, and religion frankly build upon the authority of Christ, speaking his Word in Scripture, they can offer no coherent interpretation of life. Modern thought has repeatedly, in attempting to explain reality, shown its own incoherence.

Enjoy!

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world view

 

This is a 14 part audio MP3 series by Paul Henebury on a Biblical Worldview.

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Head psychology logo

We have completed our week long Marathon series on Biblical counseling and concern for Psychology.  Here is the compilation of our posts related to this topic from this week and also from the past.  Book mark this as a resource–and also to visit in the future as we will add more links and resources to equip God’s people to think Biblically and apply a Christian worldview in the areas of helping people with their problems.

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Thomas

If you have questions about whether there are negative implications of uniting psychology with the Bible, you will want to read this journal article by Dr. Robert L. Thomas.  He is a very prolific Bible scholar in his own right.

In this article, Dr. Thomas will address general revelation and its implications on hermeneutics.  Consequently in this context, one’s understanding of general revelation will affect one’s hermeneutic and one’s hermeneutic will affect one in pastoral counseling positively or negatively.

Just to wet your appetite, here is Dr. Robert L. Thomas’ summary on general revelation:

General revelation’s noticeable impact on biblical interpretation has resulted from applying a broader definition of general revelation than is justifiable.  Reasons why general revelation should not include such matters as science, mathematics, literature, and music are the following.  First, “general” cannot refer to the content of the revelation.  Second, biblical references to general revelation limit it to information about God.  Third, sin distorts human discoveries of the non-Christian world in secular fields.  Fourth, general revelation is readily accessible to all, not just to specialists in certain fields.  Hermeneutics deals with the principles of biblical interpretation.  Unwarranted definitions of general revelation have led to widespread attempts to integrate general with special revelation.  This step is unwarranted because truth exists in varying degrees of certitude, all truth does not possess the same authority, all truth does not fall on receptive ears, and general revelation does not include the fields of secular study.  The emergence of integrative efforts has coincided with a growing tentativeness in biblical hermeneutics because of the influence of secular disciplines on biblical hermeneutics.  Psychology’s promotion of self-love provides a good example of the adverse effects of general revelation and integration on biblical hermeneutics.[1]

To access the journal article, please click on this link: General Revelation.  You could also access the journal article from the TMS website: General Revelation.



[1]Robert L. Thomas, Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus the Old (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2002), 113.

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