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The Complete Video Archive of the Reasonable Faith UK Tour

The full video archive of Dr William Lane Craig’s speaking engagements from the Reasonable Faith UK Tour has been posted on YouTube. Every debate, lecture, Q&A session, and conference discussion is online and presented in chronological order. That’s almost twenty hours of solid apologetic content.

View the playlist here.

R.C. Sproul on the Holiness of God

R. C. Sproul’s 1985 book The Holiness of God is considered a modern classic on the topic of God’s character. Even today, Sproul’s thoughts on holiness contain important insights into a subject that can often seem distant and hard to comprehend. While no attribute of God can be neglected without cost, the Biblical portrait of God and redemptive history are seriously distorted when we deny or underestimate God’s holiness. As Sproul himself has highlighted:

[pk_box width=600]”Only once in sacred Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the third degree. Only once is a characteristic of God mentioned three times in succession. The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love; or mercy, mercy, mercy; or wrath, wrath, wrath; or justice, justice, justice. It does say that he is holy, holy, holy that the whole earth is full of His glory.”[/pk_box]

Ligonier Ministries have now made several of Sproul’s lecture series freely available, including his series on God’s holiness. I’d encourage you to watch it; the subject is not merely one for scholars or theologians but a matter of great importance to every person.

Read more

Tim Keller on Justification and Justice

Tim Keller talks about his book Generous Justice and shows how Christianity is not a hindrance to doing justice, but that its central doctrine – justification by faith – is essential to having a heart for justice and the poor. The talk took place at the Christ and City conference in Chicago.

[pk_vimeo_player width=”450″ height=”260″ align=”center” autoplay=”false” cover=”” video_id=”27305489″]

If you want to hear more from Keller on Biblical justice, check out his lecture on Doing Justice or his sermon on Isaiah 58.

John Lennox on God, Christchurch, and the Problem of Pain

Howick Baptist has made available the video and audio from Professor John Lennox’s  sermon at their Sunday service. Read more

Is God the Best Explanation for Moral Values? The McDowell-Corbett Debate

On February 26 at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, Sean McDowell and Jim Corbett squared off to debate the role of God in morality. McDowell is the son of Josh McDowell and a Christian author in his own right, while Corbett is a Capistrano Valley High School instructor.

McDowell defended two contentions on the night:

1. If God does not exist, we do not have a solid foundation for moral values.
2. If God does exist, we do have a solid foundation for moral values.

He also argued that in order for a moral system to be adequate, it must satisfy three criteria:

1. Any adequate moral system must have a transcendent standard beyond human nature.
2. Any adequate moral system must account for free will.
3. Any adequate moral system must account for what makes humans special.

Here is the video from the debate:

Part 1:

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/9858218[/vimeo]

Part 2:

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/9859446[/vimeo]

Or if you prefer the audio, Brian at Apologetics315 has posted the mp3.

There’s been several reactions to the debate online. Luke of  Common Sense Atheism says:  “When will atheists stop embarrassing themselves in debate? This shows the problem with atheists believing they are, by default, more rational than believers. Atheists don’t think they need to study the relevant subjects, or pay attention to the logic of the Christian’s position. Instead, they just wander in and spout some irrelevant points about the Crusades and religious disagreement. Meanwhile, the Christian can put forth whatever argument he wants – whether it’s a good argument or not – because the Christian will clearly explain why the atheist’s arguments fail, but the atheist will not clearly explain why the Christian position fails. Thus the audience leaves believing the Christian has won. And basically, he has.”

Here’s a few other links to further commentary:

Wintery Knight: Sean McDowell debates James Corbett on whether morality is grounded by atheism.

Incipit Vita Nova: Morality in the Absence of Religion

Sean McDowell: Reflections on My Recent Debate

(H/T: Apologetic Junkie)

Genesis, Myth and History

Wright makes some good points here. The Genesis 1-3 debate is stalked by generalizations and false antitheses. There is always a real danger in distorting and domesticating the Bible via the preoccupations of our own modern situation. As much as possible, we should start with Scripture and the priorities and structures within the text itself, instead of those of our own context. We should always seek to faithfully and accurately embed the text in its own literary, historical, and canonical context.

Understanding the genre is crucial. Just as, today, different literary genres have different means of making rhetorical effects and of taking about reality, so do the varied Biblical genres. And this diversity of literary forms means we must sensitive to the fact that the Bible contains more (though not less) than propositional truth. This isn’t to say that all literary genres convey truth plus something else but that some genres shape their purposes and priorities differently. Wright is correct to point out that if we reduce a passage (say, a narrative passage) to a number of propositions or single notes we miss the way the (narrative) genre can speak through themes, character development, plot, etc.

Furthermore, the ancient literary categories do not neatly overlap with ours and that is why we must be careful when we talk about biblical genres (I think this cuts against the the current definition of “myth” invented by modern anthropologists as much as it does against a scientific reading). Whatever category we do use for the opening chapters, a fair amount of nuance is necessary.

Even if we do understand the purpose of Genesis 1-3 as primarily theological/mythical, we haven’t escaped the question of whether it belongs to a matrix of thought that implies or is undergirded by historical events and characters (the “primal pair” that Wright affirms). Just because the message is theological, this does not mean that it is not also historical (or that it can be disentangled from the historical). Take some examples in the New Testament (some borrowed from D. A. Carson), where, although the writer is making a theological point, in each case the argument is grounded in and inseparable from a historical claim:

– In Galatians 3, Paul’s theological argument is made via appeal to the order of events in redemptive history. He argues that the law is relativised by the fact that both the giving of the promises to Abraham and his justification by faith preceded the giving of the law.

– In Romans 4, Paul makes an argument about the relation between faith and circumcision that again depends on the historical sequence of which came first.

– In Hebrews 3:7-4:13, the author argues that entering God’s rest must mean something more than merely entering the Promised Land because of the fact that Psalm 95 (which is still calling for God’s people to enter into God’s rest) is written after they were already in the land.

– Again in Hebrews, the theological point of chapter 7 is that because Psalm 110 promises a further priesthood and is written after the establishment of the Levitical priesthood, the Levitical priesthood is therefore obsolete.

-Paul’s argument about the reality of the resurrection in 1 Cor 15:12-19.

Wright is correct to say that we must read Genesis for all its worth. And to do this, sooner or later we are going to need to ask what the ancient readers (and other Biblical writers) themselves thought about the correspondence between the Biblical account of creation and what actually happened. It won’t fly to say that the ancient Biblical writers weren’t concerned with history or couldn’t distinguish between fable and reality (observe how much Judges 9 stands out from the rest of that passage). The early chapters of Genesis are certainly not a scientific treatise, but even if we understand that the point of these chapters is explain that all of creation is God’s tabernacle and that creation itself is finite and not divine, are we completely off the hook? We need to ask if the writer is telling us true things about God, and about real people and events that took place in history.

The New Veritas Forum Website

The Veritas Forum have just launched their new website. Began in 1992 at Harvard, the campus ministry was established to provide a context for students to explore the ultimate questions of life. Today the organization works with more than 60 leading schools throughout North American and Europe, coordinating events with leading Christian thinkers such as Os Guinness, Alister McGrath, Dallas Willard and many more.

The website offers many great videos and resources that I encourage you to explore.

Here are a few:

The Existence of Evil and the Problem of God
Alvin Plantinga and Richard Gale Ph.D.
University of Tennessee

A Conversation with Tim Keller: Belief in an Age of Skepticism?
Timothy J. Keller
University of California, Berkeley

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, Part 1 of 2
N. T. Wright
Georgetown University

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Time for Truth
Os Guinness
University of California, Los Angeles

Relativism
JP Moreland
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo