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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Olkahoma Atheists and Religious Neutrality by Jimmy Li

http://www.teamtruth.com/articles/art_oaneutrality.htm

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Have you notice how some of these health and wealth gospel preachers act more like ‘pimps’?

Well, here’s a list of fifteen things on their latest blog entries which has a survey of how “You might be getting pimped if…”

The link is as follows:

http://www.pulpit-pimps.org/archives/2007/06/22/you-might-be-gettin-pimped-the-vote#comments

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I surf the net often trying to keep abreast with the latest apologetics development online and also various assorted atheist website (though I have cut down on my atheist diet recently)

Well, interestingly enough, John Loftus, whom I’ve suspect in the past as the source behind various attacks against Christian anonymously or under false guise, have finally been caught cold handed in the act, thanks to the FEED CODE.

I first caught news of this from Frank WALTON earlier today, and J.P Holding of Tektonics Ministry was the target of John Loftus. So I thought I drop by Tektonics again (I was on it earlier at 7AM to see if there was any new material on a site that I’ve grown to love and hope to contribute more pieces in addition to the two essay I have there) and a link was given to the TWEB, where Mr. Holding regularly is in the forum of.

After much weasling, John Loftus the atheist who just had a recent blog on how Conservative Christians are hateful bigots (because there’s the KKK…lol!) turn out to be a hateful immature bigot himself.

He finally confessed to being behind the blog that he set up.

Peter Pike (Calvindude) over at Triablogue put it in perspective, and he’s hit it right on the nail on Atheistic hate which was written as part satire but also discusses the issue itself on Secularist bigoted hatred.

Notably,

If you believe that Debunkers don’t propagate a notably strong sense of bigotry and hatred toward those who believe differently than they, then I have some challenges for you.First, seek out a member of the Debunkers or any other brand name apostates. Ask that person as plainly as you can, “Why do you hate Peter, Paul, and Steve?” Listen to their answer. I’m willing to bet an airline ticket to the Bahamas that the answer will be something like, “We don’t hate them. We hate what they stand for,” or “Those of us who believe in Debunking supremacy are having our way of life taken from us, and we are fighting to stop that.” Or, if the person you are asking is exceptionally well-versed in their bigotry, you may even get to hear a biblically endarkening discourse on Genesis on how “God himself never claimed to create blogs. Who are we to support them?” Almost never will they say, “I admit it. You got me. I hate those theists because that’s the way I am.”

Then, find a college atheist, a member or a sympathizer of a terrorist group like the Rational Response Squad. Ask him why he hates the Christians so much. Chances are, you’ll hear, “We don’t hate Christians. We once lived in peace with the Christians. We are fighting them to win back our freedom.” I am amazed how people can be so darn good at putting soft-peddle twists on hate speech to make it sound less objectionable.

THe three of us who blog for Vertias Domain are active in engaging in Presuppositional Apologetics and evangelism in Southern California, particularly to high schoolers, youth groups, college and grad students and Secular Campuses.

WHile following this, I thought to myself of how every anti-Christian I have met never confess their hatred to Christianity though it becomes so evident. YEsterday, during our evangelism, we had a dialogue with a regular atheist we debate with, and the amount of heat was fierce, yet there was little substance. The bulk of his ‘attack’ was ad Hominem and Red Herring, and getting upset that we would use logic since he’s rejected logic in his belief (laws of Identity is not true, no such thing as truth, no laws on Noncontradiction according to a previous conversation we had, science and logic are not compatible, Valid= good induction argument, etc…of course the list here protray a serious problem with his worldview and his own understanding of logic).

But he wouldn’t say he’s a hate monger. Ask someone walking by, and you might get something different…where he’s caught with his pants down.

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In discussion with Christians about why they ought to adopt Presuppositional Apologetics, the subject of religious neutrality MUST BE ADDRESSED  

Here is  a link to “A Brief Outline Against Religious Neutrality”

http://www.teamtruth.com/articles/art_neutralityoutline.htm

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Bernard Lewis wrote in the Wall Street Journal,

For a long time, the main enemy was seen, with some plausibility, as being the West, and some Muslims were, naturally enough, willing to accept what help they could get against that enemy. This explains the widespread support in the Arab countries and in some other places first for the Third Reich and, after its collapse, for the Soviet Union. These were the main enemies of the West, and therefore natural allies.

Now the situation had changed. The more immediate, more dangerous enemy was the Soviet Union, already ruling a number of Muslim countries, and daily increasing its influence and presence in others. It was therefore natural to seek and accept American help. As Osama bin Laden explained, in this final phase of the millennial struggle, the world of the unbelievers was divided between two superpowers. The first task was to deal with the more deadly and more dangerous of the two, the Soviet Union. After that, dealing with the pampered and degenerate Americans would be easy.

We in the Western world see the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union as a Western, more specifically an American, victory in the Cold War. For Osama bin Laden and his followers, it was a Muslim victory in a jihad, and, given the circumstances, this perception does not lack plausibility.

Will visiting of history preserve the future? (HT: AM)

More of Dr Lewis articles,

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The first time I have heard of this man was a negative comment made by a professor. From then on, I have heard so much about this man. Therefore I went to read up about him. Wow! I have found that there are so much “stuff” written about him. Especially from people who hate him. The 2 biggest fight for Falwell was abortion and family. So the people who were against him were obviously feminists, homosexuals, atheists, secularists, maxists, communists, etc. They call him bigoted, intolerant, racist, narrow minded, & other names not worth mentioning. And yet, where are the tolerance they speak of? Where is the pluralism of ideas? Where is the consistent liberalism? Where are the non-judgmental people? Where are the non-narrow minded, non-bigoted and tolerant atheist, secularist, communist, feminist, homosexual, etc?

I have found this about Jerry Falwell,

1. He was faithful to his wife of 48 years.

2. He was faithful to his church since 1956.

3. He was faithful to his supporters (there was never a financial discrepancy throughout his ministry)

4. He was faithful to his Lord Jesus Christ.

Even though we disagree with some of his theological position and many controversial comments (just a few weeks ago, he call us heretics for our belief in particular atonement), we salute him as a faithful worker and brother.

Our condolences to his family.

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A few weeks ago I came upon the writings of Walter Martin’s daughter (Jill) regarding the nomination of Craig Hazen for presidency at Biola. What made the post interesting was Francis Beckwith’s responds to her – one and two. Even Mormon apologist and Brigham Young professor commented as well!!

I was informed exactly a week ago that Francis Beckwith became a Catholic and I said, “No, he didn’t!” In my mind, some people just read him wrongly. Being sympathetic to Catholic theology does not make one a Catholic. And how could he convert to Catholicism especially when he is the President of Evangelical Theological Society!

James White reported on this.

And Roman Catholic Jimmy Akin reported of Francis Beckwith’s conversion.

[Even though the society’s statement of faith is extremely short (& Catholics can also sign on the statement of faith) BUT, the name of the society is called, EVANGELICAL Theological Society! not Christian Theological Society. Therefore, this is not a society for Catholics. If the members knew of this, they would not have elected him!]

UPDATE: Francis Beckwith himself has just written on his return to the Catholic church.

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A thought many Christians might have with Presuppositional Apologetics: 

Sometimes people ask me what they should do if the opponent tries to use the same method against the biblical worldview that we use against the non-biblical worldview.

Vincent Cheung’s thought is worth chewing on: 

The question implies a basic misunderstanding of biblical apologetics. It is not the method as such, but it is the content of our worldview that gives us the victory in debate. Winning by method or skill alone would be intellectual sophistry. Our method is just a way of arranging the clash, exposing the differences, and making obvious the reality of the situation, that the biblical worldview is true, and that the non-biblical worldview is false. Therefore, we have nothing to fear from the unbelievers. In fact, we want them to imitate our method of strict rational argumentation and syllogistic analysis. This will help facilitate the process of completely presenting the contents of each worldview, and thus the vindication of the biblical worldview, and the destruction of the non-biblical worldview.

(SOURCE: Vincent Cheung’s Apologetics in Conversation, pg. 39-40)

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A new video of the interesting and often humorous conversation between CJ Mahaney, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan and Al Mohler. It has reflections of the T4G 2006 conference and also the future T4G 2008 conference.

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This man’s act was of a hero – sacrificial and loving.

I don’t know much about this man, don’t know about his political views or his religious views but one thing I do know is that he had a sacrificial and loving heart to want to protect his students first before himself. 

This is far from any speculation of how this man’s ethnic opposition is crying foul. No matter how the Muslims view the Jews and the Old Testament, the contrast is great – one would give up his life to save others – the other would give up his life to destroy others. 

And as a believer of the New Testament,  

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren -1 John 3:16 

Profile of Liviu Librescu
Israeli professor killed in US attack
Holocaust survivor blocked shooter, letting students flee
Slain Israeli Professor Saved Others in Va. Tech Massacre

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Ismail Ax

Are the networks and reporters ready to tackle the issues? When are they going to start talking about, “Ismail Ax?”

This was written across the murderer’s hand. The news have reported on everything, assignment papers, counseling, friends, where he came from, his family, guns, etc. BUT what about the inscription on his hand!

The name Ismail refers to a prophet’s name in Islam.

Was this murderer a follower of Islam or influence by Islamic teaching? Maybe, perhaps, no, yes, the news need to report on it and someone needs to investigate.

VA Tech mass shooting: Who or what is Ismail Ax? UPDATED
ISMAIL AX: AMERICA’S BESLAN
Jihad

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Jerry Falwell views the doctrine of Limited Atonement a heresy.

For those who wants an argument for Limited Atonement read John Owen’s, “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.” J.I Packer’s Introduction is worth the price of the book.

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For the past two or three weeks I’ve really grown fond of the hymn:
It Is Well With My Soul.

Here are the lyrics:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Some contemporary worship starts off joyful but when I occasionally don’t feel joyful. In contrast this song, by reflecting on theology, and using vivid imagery can bring tears to my eye because of the meditation on ideas so powerful and moving: My salvation and Christ’s Return.

The first stanza really sets the stage that all may not be going well in life saying, “When sorrows like sea bellows roar.” The length and emphasis on the word, “roar” causes you to hear the storm, making the singer/reader feel like a boat on stormy waters with thunder and waves crashing into the boat, over the rails, and seemingly on the verge of sinking the ship. It really contrasts with the first verse, “when peace like a river attendeth my way.” For in the first verse peace sounds calming, like the constant soft trickling of water on rocks- sort of like the trickle of a water filter creating bubbles in a fish tank.

And I love how the stanza ends with the phrase, “Whatever my lot, you have taught me to say,” really emphasizing that regardless of the situation, God teaches to consider Christ crucified so that you will say, “It is well, it is well, with my soul.” The repetition of “it is well” really emphasizes what one ought to be thinking and meditating on during trials and tribulations.

In the second stanza, the phrase, “Though Satan should buffet”, continuing to use the ocean in a storm metaphor the lyrics emphasize the idea that the wind is striking repeatedly and forcefully– the idea of being battered around, or “tossed to and fro” like in Ephesians 4:14. The second stanza reminds one that Christ died for us, bringing to mind many aspects of Romans:

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Ro 5:6-11

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
Ro 8:31-32

In the next stanza, notice how the 3rd stanza shifts from thinking about one’s own personal troubles and shifts the focus to God, I love how the hymn as a whole is working up in fervor and building on each joyful meditation on the precious doctrines that give us peace and joy. The 3rd stanza move now to Christ’s complete atonement. I actually didn’t know what verses supported the verse, “My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more” but I think this scripture is similar in Hebrews 10 is similar:

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
Hebrews 10:10-14

And finally the 3rd stanza ends with a celebratory tone loudly reminding oneself whom has forgotten to “Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”

The epitome of emotions and theological depth, concludes boldly in the 4th stanza: Christ’s return!

The verse, “And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,” refers not to suicide but to seeing Jesus. “When my faith shall be sight,” is playful use of 2 Cor 5:

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
2 Cor 5:6-8

However this last stanza not only brings to mind scripture, but also vivid imagery of Christ’s return- giving one the sense of awe and majesty of his return with the phrase, “The clouds be rolled back as a scroll.” Our church has been going through Revelations, so I immediately think of Revelations 6 whenever I hear the lyrics:

“The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.”
Rev 6:14

The context may refer to the stars striking the earth not Christ’s return, but its the imagery that comes to mind when thinking of the clouds being “rolled back as a scroll.” Perhaps Rev 6:14 may be appropriate because the context of the following verse, “The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.” The verse uses the phrase, “even so,” seeming to offer reassurance to the one who is afraid.

Plus, the fear and reverence at Christ’s return is biblical:

“Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
Rev 6:16-17

Lastly this majestic stanza not only piles a multitude of scripture and theology, not only imagery of clouds being rolled back, but sound: “The trump shall resound”, and finally the image of the Lord descending to earth in Mark 13:

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.”
Mark 13:24-2

The combination of sound of the trumpet, the majesty of the sky being rolled back, and the image of Jesus descending on a cloud is what usually brings one to tears of joy.The story explained a lot about the lyrics as well:

Words by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
– Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1876

The words to this hymn was written after two major traumas in Spafford’s life. The first was the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which ruined him financially. Shortly after, while crossing the Atlantic, all four of Spafford’s daughters died in a collision with another ship. Spafford’s wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram: “SAVED ALONE.” Several weeks later, as Spafford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, he was inspired to write these words.

Bliss originally named the tune “Ville de Havre” after the ship on which Spafford’s four girls perished, the SS Ville de Havre. Ironically, Bliss himself died in a tragic train wreck shortly after writing this music.

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A discussion of apologetic methodology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mark Coppenger, Bruce Ware (Evidential), Ted Cabal and Stephen Wellum (Presuppositional) Listen.

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Richard G. Swinburne is an eminent British philosopher (philosophy of religion and philosophy of science).

God and Morality
Evolution and Theodicy
The Probability of Jesus
The Existence of God
Evil, and How God Might Deal with it by Becoming Incarnate
The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection

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