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Doing Math with Dice and Atheism’s Destruction of Knowledge

Guest post by Jimmy Li

Apologetics Sermon Illustration

Point: Doctor Cornelius Van Til, the father of Presuppositional apologetics, is famous for asking the following question to those who would attack the Christian faith: “On what foundation rest the guns which he directs against the Christian position?”  Cornelius Van Til was insightful to note that the presuppositions one bring to the discussion about the truth of Christianity matters.  In fact presuppositions are very crucial.  Elsewhere Van Til said,

The issue between believers and non-believers in Christian theism cannot be settled by a direct appeal to “facts” or “laws” whose nature and significance is already agreed upon by both parties to the debate. The question is rather as to what is the final reference-point required to make the “facts” and “laws” intelligible. The question is as to what the “facts” and “laws” really are. Are they what the non-Christian methodology assumes that they are? Are they what the Christian theistic methodology presupposes they are?” (Source)

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 14:15 -- john_hendryx

10 Things to Remember When Reading the Bible

This post is adapted from Reading the Word of God in the Presence of God: A Handbook for Biblical Interpretation by Vern Poythress.

1. The Bible is God’s own word.

That means that what the Bible says, God says.

2. God governs the whole world through his divine speech, which specifies and controls what happens (Heb. 1:3).

The Bible indicates that God speaks to govern the world, but we do not hear this speech; we only see its effects (for example, Ps. 33:6, 9; 147:15–18). The Bible, by contrast, is the word of God, designed by God to speak specifically to us as human beings. All divine speech, whether directed toward governing the world in general or directed toward us as human beings, has divine character. In particular, it displays God’s lordship in authority, control, and presence.

3. God speaks his words to us in covenants (Gen. 9:9; 15:18; 17:7; Ex. 19:5; etc.).

A “covenant” is a solemn, legally binding agreement between two parties. In this case, the two parties are God and human beings. In the Old Testament, God’s covenants with human beings show some affinities with ancient Near Eastern suzerainty treaties. These treaties show five elements, which also appear either explicitly or by implication in God’s covenants in the Old Testament: identification of the suzerain (Ex. 20:2); historical prologue (Ex. 20:2); stipulations (Ex. 20:3-17); sanctions (i.e., blessings and curses) (Ex. 20:7; see also v. 12); recording and passing on (Ex. 31:18; Deut. 31).

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 20:25 -- john_hendryx

What Do You Understand by the Providence of God?

Heidelberg Catechism

27. Q. What do you understand by the providence of God?

A. God's providence is
his almighty and ever present power, 1
whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds
heaven and earth and all creatures, 2
and so governs them that
leaf and blade,
rain and drought,
fruitful and barren years,
food and drink,
health and sickness,
riches and poverty, 3
indeed, all things,
come to us not by chance 4
but by his fatherly hand. 5

 

 

28. Q. What does it benefit us to know that God has created all things and still upholds them by his providence?

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 12:44 -- john_hendryx

Is Jesus our Sanctification or does the Word of God Sanctify Us?

The answer is yes. Recently someone took issue with a quote I posted by Art Azurdia: "The word is the God appointed means by which you will be sanctified...." - Dr. Arturo Azurdia III

Visitor: Not very helpful in then long run. Jesus is my Sanctification, not my adherence to the Bible.

Response: Jesus cannot be bifurcated from His word. The Jesus of the Bible is our sanctification, not the Jesus of our imaginations. You cannot know God or Jesus apart from His revelation. We don't come to know Jesus in a void or through some mystical personal channel of revelation. Even Jesus himself testifies of the Scriptures own importance in the sanctification of the believer.

"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. " (John 17:17)

And at the same time the Bible also declares that Jesus is our sanctification:

"...because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and SANCTIFICATION and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:29-31)

This is why we lay so heavy an importance of the means of grace (such as preaching). The Jesus we worship cannot be cut off from His word.

Also I want to point to some other words Jesus spoke which stress the true authority of the word. After the resurrection when speaking to the two disciples on the road (their eyes hidden from knowing who he was), notice that Jesus does not say "tada, look here I am". No He first points them to their astonishingly slow belief in the SCRIPTURE'S testimony about him.

Fri, 09/09/2016 - 12:52 -- john_hendryx

Using Public Funds to Establish Atheist Beliefs

by Lenny Esposito

What counts as state-sponsored indoctrination? That's a question that has increasingly come under examination, especially with regard to the establishment of religion. In the United States, the First Amendment to the Constitution declares that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise." The amendment limits the power of the Federal government from creating or giving favor to a specific religious entity or belief system.

Atheist advocacy groups have taken the first portion of that statement, known as the establishment clause, and interpreted it very broadly. Organizations such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Americans for the Separation of Church and State continue to file lawsuits against cities or public agencies for displaying crosses on hilltops or Nativity scenes at Christmas. They complain that these displays amount to an endorsement of one kind of viewpoint, and since their content is religious it violates the establishment clause.

Such charges have followed into even the public school system, where attempts to teach the problems with neo-Darwinian evolutionary models have been shut down. Neo-Darwinism has at its core unguided and purposeless changes in the genome, which are then established and propagated through natural selection. If one were to challenge this viewpoint, one must presuppose some kind of non-purposeless process; we call such causes intelligent and the challenging idea is labeled intelligent design.

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 17:13 -- john_hendryx

There's No Evidence for Atheism

a Guest Post by Steve Hays

The debate between atheism and Christian theism has such a stereotypical form that it's easy to overlook the radical disparity: when you think about it, there is no positive evidence for atheism. The case for atheism boils down to an argument from silence.
 
Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with an argument from silence, but that's a very vulnerable argument. Atheists don't really present any positive evidence for atheism; rather, they argue against theism.
 
The case for atheism boils down to the alleged lack of evidence for an interventionist God. Claiming that we can explain the origin of the universe naturalistically. We can explain the origin of life naturalistically. We can explain every illness and recovery naturalistically.
 
Or take the claim that answers to prayer are random. Likewise, the argument from evil is an appeal to randomness. The distribution of weal and woe seems to be random. By the same token, mass extinction seems to be random. What species survive or perish seems to be random.
 
Some atheists allege that biological organisms exhibit design flaws. Suboptimal adaptations. That allegation is refutable on different grounds, but in any event, it's not a positive argument for atheism.
 
A few atheists say God-talk is meaningless. That poses a bit of a dilemma inasmuch as it is no longer clear what the atheist is denying. In any event, that's not a positive argument for atheism.
 
Some ambitious atheists say the existence of God is not merely improbable but impossible: the very idea of God is incoherent (e.g. "paradoxes of omnipotence"). That generally depends on arbitrary, stimulative definitions of the divine attributes, or dubious postulates about a best possible world.
Tue, 09/06/2016 - 14:34 -- john_hendryx

Conditional or Unconditional Love?

I often hear classic Arminians, like Jerry Walls and Roger Olson, make declarations that God loves ALL people equally without exception. But do they really believe this? If they were consistent with their Arminian beliefs, it would be much more honest for them to say that God loves all people CONDITIONALLY. That is, He only fully shows His love for those who meet the condition of faith and the rest will experience His just wrath in hell. This is not conditional love you say? Just ask an Arminian what they would do if they had a rebellious child who spurned their love but whose life was in danger in a burning house -- would he as a parent wait for his child to first meet a condition before he would run in rescue his child? or would he run in and make certain the child was safe regardless of the child's will at the time because he (the parent) loves his child and knows better than the child what is good for him? This everyday life example reveals that Arminian love is not really what we think of as love at all. It is what we call conditional love.

Note: We agree with Arminians that God gives us conditions, but thanks be to God, in love, Jesus has come to grant His people everything they need for salvation... in His great mercy he has met the conditions for us by absorbing the punishment for our sin, and giving us a new heart that believes, something we could not do for ourselves (1 Cor 2:14; Rom 8:7; John 6:63, 65). Isn't this what the gospel is all about?

I have heard a visitor respond to this by saying,

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 09:37 -- john_hendryx

Foreseen Faith and the Unbiblical Circular Reasoning of Arminians

Almost without exception when I present John 6:37 (and 6:63, 65) to a professing Arminian they simply ignore it and change the subject, but the other day I encountered one of those rare exceptions. As you know in the passage Jesus declares, "All those the Father gives to me will come to me." The Arminian claimed the meaning was that all those the Father FORESAW would come to faith in Jesus, the Father gave to Jesus that they might come to faith in him. Ummm! Not only is this meaning not there and arbitrarily imported into the text but you can, perhaps, find no better example of circular reasoning.

How is this circular reasoning? All those the Father gives to Jesus will infallibly come to faith in him . God's giving them to Jesus precedes their coming to faith in him and yet the Arminian says it is based on something that happens after God gives them to Jesus. God is giving them to Jesus now based on something that will infallibly happen in the future? Consider that if election is based on foreseen faith then he already knew who would and would not believe even before God created us and it could not be otherwise. Why would God create people he knew with certainty would go to hell? Contradicts the Arminian teaching on free will ... So if the future is certain before it happens then isn't based on foreseen faith at all but something more like fate.

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 13:33 -- john_hendryx

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