Video: William Lane Craig on Hawking’s ‘The Grand Design’

In a talk at St Andrew the Great church, Cambridge, Craig outlines the weaknesses of the central arguments of Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow’s controversial book. His talk is followed by comments by Rodney Holder, an astrophysicist, and then Q&A with the audience. The lecture took place on the 19th October 2011 and was one of the events of The Reasonable Faith Tour 2011, sponsored by UCCF, Damaris & Premier Christian Radio.

Video and Audio: Ahmanson Lectures on the Reliability of the Bible

The Ahmanson Lecture Series is an annual apologetics seminar held at Saddleback Church in Southern California. This year’s topic was the trustworthiness of the Bible, with a great lineup of guests speakers including Sean McDowell, Paige Patterson, Frank Turek, and Douglas R. Groothuis.

I’ve embedded the video from the talks below. If you’re having trouble accessing the links, you can also get the lectures on iTunes.

Why Historians Take the Gospel Seriously: John Dickson
Audio | Video

Dr. John Dickson (PhD) is a historian, author, and public advocate for the Christian faith. As the director of the Centre for Public Christianity (publicchristianity.org), he regularly writes for secular newspapers and appears in the media promoting thoughtful Christianity. Dr. Dickson is also the presenter of the historical documentaries—The Christ Files and Life of Jesus, and is Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Ancient History at Australia’s Macquarie University.

The Reliability of the New Testament: Sean McDowell
Audio | Video

Sean McDowell serves as head of the Bible Department at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools where he teaches Philosophy, Theology, and Apologetics. He has co-authored several books, speaks at conferences in the United States and abroad, and has a passion for reaching the younger generation with the message of the gospel. Listed among the top 100 apologists, Mr. McDowell’s apologetics training was awarded Exemplary Status by the Association of Christian Schools International.

Top Ten Reasons We Know the New Testament Writers Told the Truth: Frank Turek
Audio | Video

Dr. Frank Turek is the founder of CrossExamined.org and the award-winning author and coauthor of three books: I Don’t have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Correct, Not Politically Correct and Legislating Morality. He spends most of his time engaging skeptics and encouraging Christians by presenting I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist at universities and colleges across the nation. A former aviator in the U.S. Navy, Dr. Turek has a Masters from George Washington University and a Doctorate from Southern Evangelical Seminary.

Following Jesus on the Reliability of Scripture: Paige Patterson
Audio | Video

Dr. Paige Patterson presently serves as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and has served as a president of institutions of higher education for almost 37 years. The focus of Dr. Patterson’s leadership is an intense commitment to evangelism and the task of global missions, based on a foundational component of demanding research and rigorous academic preparation. He has served twice as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

A Biblical View of Truth: Doug Groothuis
Audio | Video

Douglas R. Groothuis received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Oregon. He is a Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary since 1993. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, Evangelical Philosophical Society, and Society of Christian Philosophers. Dr, Groothuis has written eleven books; most recently Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith and has published articles in several scholarly journals.

View the video from the 2010 Ahmanson lecture series here.

J.P. Moreland Defends the Argument from Consciousness

In this video, Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland responds to Graham Oppy’s criticisms of the argument for God’s existence from consciousness. Moreland discusses challenges to three forms of the argument and interacts with Oppy’s claims about theism, consciousness and emergent chemical properties. The talk was delivered at the recent 63rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.

For reference, AC= Argument from Consciousness and IBE= Inference to the Best Explanation.

For more on Moreland’s argument, see The Recalcitrant Imago Dei: Human Persons and the Failure of Naturalism (SCM Press, 2009).

[Source: Brett Kunkle]

An Interview with William Lane Craig

Stoic TV, the student television station at Imperial College, recently interviewed the Christian philosopher during his October visit to the UK. In the discussion, Craig talks about his journey into philosophy, whether his arguments leave any room for faith, if he enjoys writing, the purpose behind his speaking tours, and more.

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New Online Store for ID Resources: idFilms

A new online store has launched for those in New Zealand and Australia, aimed at providing a dedicated home for quality DVDs about Intelligent Design. idFilms was established to invigorate and expand the ID discussion by supporting those who are committed to investigating the origins of life and the universe.

The store already houses a great list of DVD titles (such as Metamorphosis, The Case for a Creator, and The Privileged Planet) that can be purchased individually or bought together as a set. With more titles on the way, the site looks to be a great place to find resources for individuals, home groups, or even local community events. If you’re interested in joining the conversation and exploring the evidence that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, check out the website at http://www.intelligentdesignfilms.co.nz [pk_empty_space height=”10″]

Albert Mohler and Jim Wallis Debate Social Justice and the Mission of the Church

On October 27, Albert Mohler and Jim Wallis debated the question “Is Social Justice an Essential Part of the Mission of the Church?”. If you missed the live webcast, the Henry Center has posted the media from the event:

[pk_icon_link icon=”read_post” icon_type=”dark”]Audio[/pk_icon_link]
[pk_icon_link icon=”read_post” icon_type=”dark”]Video[/pk_icon_link]

In the exchange, Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, argued for the affirmative position – the church must be involved in social justice issues – and Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, argued the negative – while granting social justice as a good and important activity for Christians, he contended that social justice is not the gospel. The exchange highlighted many issues under discussion in evangelicalism today – the nature of the gospel, its definition, breadth, and implications – and while the theological approaches of both participants meant they were frequently talking past each other, it is still worth listening to.

For an excellent review of the debate, check out Matthew Lee Anderson’s assessment here.

Women and Apologetics

While it is exciting to see the contemporary resurgence of apologetics in the academy and among our youth, it is worth pondering which segments of society remain neglected and what we can do to promote and support the practice of apologetics in these areas.

Given this, it’s encouraging to see that Brian Auten is this week hosting a series of essays by members of the International Society of Women in Apologetics on the subject of women and apologetics. The discipline of apologetics isn’t something normally associated with women and that needs to change – after all, the apostle Peter’s injunction applies to all people.

Follow the series on the Apologetics315 blog here. Be sure to also check out the ISWA website here and find out how you can support the work of rising women apologists such as Sarah Ankenman and Mary Jo Sharp.

New Book: Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright

Whatever your views on his theology, it’s hard to deny the fact that N.T. Wright presents theology in a gripping and fascinating way. Whether he is addressing the nature of heaven in Surprised by Hope or the attractiveness of the Christian life in Simply Christian, Wright finds it impossible to write a boring sentence. One of the most influential and prolific New Testament scholars of our day, the Anglican theologian is gifted at distilling oceans of Biblical scholarship into vivid, clear, and understandable prose. His latest book Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters, brings all that technical expertise to bear in presenting a compelling new picture of who Jesus was and how we should relate to him today.

Wright maintains that many Christians have minimized and misunderstood Jesus’ story. As a result, the kingdom of God has been reduced to private piety, the victory of the cross to comfort for the conscience, and Easter to a happy, escapist ending after a sad, dark tale. While piety, conscience, and ultimate happiness are important, Wright argues these things are not nearly as important as Jesus himself. In Simply Jesus, Wright takes us back to the Gospels and to Jesus’s public career, his accomplishments, his death, resurrection and ascension. In investigating these events and their meaning, Wright intends to reveal a Jesus who is larger, more disturbing, and more urgent than we ever imagined.

The goal of Simply Jesus is to challenge the faith of Christians and invite them to ponder afresh what “following Jesus” might entail. Wright maintains that the identity of Jesus is hugely important in every area – not only our personal lives and our religion, but also in political life and human endeavors such as worldview, culture, justice, beauty, ecology, friendship, scholarship, and sex. He writes:

[pk_box width=”600″ align=”center” text_align=”left”]”Christian worship declares that Jesus is Lord and that therefore, by strong implication, nobody else is. What’s more, it doesn’t just declare it as something to be believed, like the fact that the sun is hot or the sea wet. It commits the worshipper to allegiance, to following this Jesus, to being shaped and directed by him. Worshipping the God we see in Jesus orients our whole being, our imagination, our will, our hopes, and our fears away from the world where Mars, Mammon, and Aphrodite (violence, money, and sex) make absolute demands and punish anyone who resists. It orients us instead to a world in which love is stronger than death, the poor are promised the kingdom, and chastity (whether married or single) reflects the holiness and faithfulness of God himself. Acclaiming Jesus as Lord plants a flag that supersedes the flags of the nations, however so “free” or “democratic” they may be. It challenges both the tyrants who think they are, in effect, divine and the “secular democracies” that have effectively become, if not divine, at least ecclesial: that is, communities that are trying to do and be what the church was supposed to do and be, but without recourse to the one who sustains the church’s life. Worship creates—or should create, if it is allowed to be truly itself—a community that marches to a different beat, that keeps in step with a different Lord.”[/pk_box]

The church has a desperate need for Bible scholars who are able to retell the story of Jesus in a way that rouses hearts and quickens consciences where they have become dull to the good news. No doubt there will be some quibbles with Wright’s portrait and we may not agree with how he frames every theological idea, but that said, Simply Jesus looks to be a good book to help readers rediscover Jesus and a life in which “following Jesus” makes sense.

Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters is available from Amazon and Christianbook.com.