February 26th, 2014
UPDATE (3 March): This Saturday, March 6, I will be doing the drawing for the first few that have submitted their receipts of purchase to receive a $25 gift card. There are only a few more slots available to please be sure to send me your receipt!
The Problem of Existence: Existential Reflections on Pain and Suffering is now available for purchase at Amazon for $3.99. The first fifty people to purchase the e-book will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. All you need to do is take a screenshot of your purchase receipt and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Below are the links for The Problem of Existence’s availability in the Amazon marketplace around the world (prices adjusted for national currencies):
Purchase The Problem of Existence in the American Amazon market
The French Amazon market
The Brazilian Amazon Market
The Indian Amazon Market
The Spanish Amazon Market
The Canadian Amazon Market
The British Amazon Market
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February 1st, 2014
A while ago I was listening to Dan Barker talk about how he knew that he was a born again Christian. He went to all these church events and was heavily involved with evangelism–all the Christian things Christians do. Well, Dan Barker no longer describes himself as a Christian. He, and many people like him, are very emphatic when they say that they were once Christians and they actually were saved or born again. However, if anyone is going to claim to be an Ex-Christian they’re going to have to say that they never were saved to begin with.
My concern isn’t with the doctrine of preservation or perseverance. (You can read about my position in my post, “Can You Lose Your Salvation? A Molinist’s Perspective.”)
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December 21st, 2013
Let’s start giving a full disclosure concerning Christmas: Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. (That’s what I mean by Christmas. I’m referring to its date.) I think most people know that, but what’s important is knowing when Jesus actually was born (approximating) and the origins of the date. Spoiler alert: the date has pagan origins. Is that a problem? I don’t think so and we shouldn’t be up in a twist about it. The main point is marking a point of celebration. Christmas is about the incarnation–God becomes man. Does our celebration of the incarnation have to be on a specific day? No. It has simply become Christian tradition that we do celebrate the incarnation. The birth of Jesus is another way of looking at it but a theologically rich view of Christmas views the season as a celebration of the incarnation of God.
1). Dating the account requires synoptic correlation by referring to Matthew’s account of the same events.
- Mt. 2.1: Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.”
- Mt. 2.19: “But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt.”
2). Herod died in 4BC. Jesus had to have been born before this, which would be between 6-4BC. During this time, Herod was sick and there was much turmoil. Augustus would have wanted a census taken.
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December 16th, 2013
For the last 6 [or so] years Ergun Caner has buried himself in a controversy of lies. I was a Liberty University student who sat in during many of Caner’s false claims of debating several Muslim apologists, which he claimed were misstatements, and apparent falsities concerning his history. I was a graduate assistant during the exposure of these problems and whilst talking with some other GA’s who knew/worked with Caner I was told that he wasn’t “allowed” to defend himself. As a student who sat under dozens of his sermons I feel particularly invested in Caner’s restoration.
This has been [rightly] dubbed The Great Evangelical Coverup–and it’s true. The evidence is incredibly overwhelming with so much evidence falsifying his claims of history and experience (see this account, which has is several years old but still worth noting–more has since been uncovered). Unfortunately, Caner has resorted to suing a pastor in good standing with his congregation [Southern Baptist] over use of a publicly available talk of Caner speaking to US Marines that contain documented lies.
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November 19th, 2013
Most of us are quite familiar with the seven deadly sins: Pride, Greed, Wrath, Luxury/Lust, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth. However, these are much more profound then they seem to be at face value and they go much, much deeper, penetrating the depths of our soul to bring about a conviction and guidance needed during some of the darkest times of our lives. This brings us to John of the Cross…
John of the Cross (1542-1591) was committed to Catholic reform and was imprisoned, or put in confinement, by those who opposed the reform. During this time he wrote his most famous work, The Dark Night of the Soul. The concept of the dark night is key to one’s spiritual journey. It’s not when one is experiencing joy and light but rather sorrow and darkness.
When enduring through the dark night there is a loss of pleasure. After you first become a Christian, God cares for and comforts the infant soul. You will pray with urgency and perseverance and engage in all kinds of spiritual activity. What’s important to know is that this whole gauntlet is an act of God. God will bid you to grow deeper and remove precious consolation from the soul in order to teach it virtue rather than developing vice.
The following is a list of [seven] sins that makes clear the soul has begun to misuse its spiritual consolation and why God must take it away in order to purify the soul from imperfections.
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November 18th, 2013
Alas, the plaguing problem of the lightbulb… After a complete survey of several churches and denominations this is what the results yield*:
Charismatic: Only one because their hands are already in the air.
- Pentecostal: Ten—one to change the bulb and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.
- Presbyterian: None—the light will go on and off at predestined times.
- Roman Catholics: None—candles only.
- Baptists: At least 15—one to change the light bulb and three committees to approve the changes and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken.
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