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Archive for the ‘Scott Oliphint’ Category

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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Christianity and the Role of Philosophy by K. Scott Oliphint

(NOTE: For videos and my reviews of other booklets in this series click HERE)

Like other books in this series (Christian Answers to Hard Questions) I look to this book as a resource for discipleship to introduce to a believer concerning the Christian worldview and apologetics.  This particular work is foundational to the other work since it touches on the relationship between Christianity and philosophy.  The author Scott Oliphint is more than capable to address this topic, having written on this topic and teaching it for several decades at Westminster Theological Seminary.  I appreciated that the author is coming from a Van Tillian approach towards apologetics.

The book begins with a brief discussion of what are the three broad categories of philosophy (metaphysics, epistemology and ethics).  Readers familiar with philosophy wouldn’t find anything new in the introduction of the book but Oliphint later gave a good compact summary of a distinctively Christian view of these three branch of philosophy with the metaphysical question of what is the ultimate nature of reality being the Triune God, the epistemological question of how do we know is because God has revealed it and the ethical question of what is right and wrong being based upon what God says is right and wrong.

Oliphint gave a good analogy of the GPS as God’s revelation that tells where we are at, where we should be going, etc, and how without the “view from above” of where one is at we are lost.  This analogy is a helpful guide for later discussions in the book and makes his point easier to grasp.

I appreciated the book laying out the four possible ways people have seen the relationship of Christianity with philosophy.  Of course one’s view of the relationship between the two discipline will be shaped by one’s definition of the respective discipline which will set (or we can even say, “rig”) the answer already at the get go; yet Oliphint manages to push the discussion forward by asking the question of what is the foundation for theology and philosophy.  Oliphint then articulate the Reformed position and the reason for why Christians are obligated to believe theology govern philosophy if one holds to a high view of Scripture.  He concluded the book by sharing and expounding on Francis Turretin’s four good uses of philosophy by theology followed by four errors in the use of philosophy by theology.

In the end I would say this is a good book ideal for discipleship and also for a believer who have no idea what philosophy is to read on his own as a place to start.  It might be too basic for some though.  Like other books in the series there are “Before We Move On” questions for interactive conversations or personal reflection.

You can purchase the booklet at a discounted price from Westminster Bookstore by clicking HERE.

 

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God is With us Oliphint

There has been a back and forth discussion between the Reformed Phiosopher Paul Helm and Christian apologist Scott Oliphint over the “Covenantalism” of Oliphint’s Theology Proper.  It began with Paul Helm’s review of Oliphint’s book God with Us.

I have to chew on this some more but for now I want to share with you the exchange.

What Motivates Oliphint’s Proposals?

Tolle Lege: A Brief Response to Paul Helm

Scott Oliphint: a reply to his rejoinder

 

 

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Videos of Christian Answers to Hard Questions by Westminster Theological Seminary As a busy pastor discipling God’s people I see the need for books that are short, concise, biblical and hard hitting as a resource in training up God’s people to have a Christian worldview (among other things of course). I have found that the series of booklet titled “Christian Answers to Hard Questions” written by various faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary to be quite helpful in that regards.  I have reviewed some of them in the past on our blog and Lord willing next week I’ll be reviewing several more of these works.  (I will also link my reviews on here under each booklet for those who may wish to bookmark this) You can order them as a set from WTS Bookstore at 50% off by clicking HERE. Eight of nine works have already been published; the one still not available is on the topic of Creation, Evolution and Intelligent Design. The following below are videos related to each of these wonderful little booklets.  I think these videos are also helpful!

Christian Interpretations of Genesis 1

Rev. Dr. Vern Poythress

Christianity and the Role of Philosophy

Rev. Dr. K. Scott Oliphint

(My Review)

Should You Believe in God?

Rev. Dr. K. Scott Oliphint

(My Review)

Was Jesus Really Born of a Virgin?

Rev. Dr. Brandon Crowe

The Morality of God in the Old Testament

Rev. Dr. Gregory Beale

(My Review)

Did Adam Exist?

Rev. Dr. Vern Poythress (My Review)

How Did Evil Come Into This World?

Rev. Dr. WilliamEdgar (My Review)

How Can I Know?

Rev. Dr. David Garner (My Review)

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high-trestle-trail-bridge_kevin_eberle_booneiowa_collabcubed

Here is a collection of links on Presuppositional apologetics between May 8th-14th, 2014.

Which links proved beneficial for you?

1.) Cornelius Van Til Meets the Radical Homosexual Agenda

2.)Apologetics 101 Lectures on Itunes by Rev. Dr. K. Scott Oliphint

3.) The Bible & Homosexual Practice with Robert Gagnon

4.) Gay “Christian” FAQS [2]

5.) A Case Against Islam

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I’ve heard earlier this year that Southern Evangelical Seminary’s Apologetics conference featured a discussion between Richard Howe, Jason Lisle, and K.Scott Oliphint on the issue of Presuppositional apologetics and Youth Earth Creationism.

The video is now online.

I have yet to see it and for those that have already, what are your thoughts?

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Scott Oliphint apologist

Dr. Scott Oliphint, Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary taught for a Sunday School at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church in September 2013.

The context of this teaching by Oliphint is to see what Paul says about unbelief in Romans, and how this has implication towards apologetics, counseling, evangelism and one’s view of oneself.

Enjoy!

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