Archive for ‘The Church’

February 12th, 2014

Boethius, Foreknowledge, and Human Freedom

by Max Andrews

Boethius discusses the problem in reconciling genuine human freedom with God’s foreknowledge in “Divine Foreknowledge and Freedom of the Will” (proses III-VI).  He bases his whole discussion on whether or not something that is foreknown happens by necessity.  He offers the disjunctive option of the necessity of either thing, which are going to happen be foreseen by God or that what God foresees will in fact happen—either way, he argues, human will is removed.  When discussing the uncertainty of future events he concludes that, for God, there must be no uncertainty in these events because it’s then reduced to possible conditionals, or could-counterfactuals.  Hence, the law of excluded middle is true for knowledge of future tensed events.  He makes an interesting point when discussing aspects about Cicero’s contribution to the problem.  If foreknowledge is removed then the events of human will are no longer necessary. Considering all of the discussion so far he believes that everything that happens does so by necessity.

December 16th, 2013

Ergun Caner and The Great Evangelical Coverup

by Max Andrews

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.

March 29th, 2013

A Stone at Sloan

by Max Andrews

For a list of all my posts regarding the Geisler controversy please see The Geisler Directory located on the right side of the screen under “Most Popular Posts.” To view Dr. Geisler’s most recent attacks directed towards Robert Sloan over Mike Licona please see his post: “Houston Baptist University Defends Mike Licona’s Denial of Inerrancy.” I have discovered that Dr. Geisler’s arguments have recently the fate of unjustified assertions and contradictions. Unless Dr. Geisler ever clarifies his own denial of inerrancy, according to his standards (by affirming abortion in one book only to argue against abortion using the very same passages of Scripture), I can no longer take his arguments and integrity seriously. I doubt he’ll ever respond. He’s been caught throwing rocks in his glass house.

For documentation and arguments concerning Geisler’s utter inconsistency please see my post: “Geisler’s Denial of Inerrancy: The Shot Heard ‘Round the World.”

 

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Reblogged from Nick Peters’ Deeper Waters.

I’d like to begin this post by asking everyone to open their Bibles and please turn to the book of ICBI.

“There is no such book as ICBI.”

Now I find this surprising because lately, I’m finding it quoted so much by “true defenders of Inerrancy” that I would think it’s right up there with Scripture. The club of ICBI has lately found a new target and that’s in Robert Sloan, president of Houston Baptist University (HBU) that hired Dr. Mike Licona as a professor there. HBU has been putting together a crack apologetics team and I suspect will soon be an apologetics hub in the world.

Yet for some people, it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t play their song and dance.

So what is being said in the latest rant?

“Despite the fact that Mike Licona lost his positions at the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board, at Southern Evangelical Seminary, and at Liberty University subsequent to the public criticism of his views on inerrancy by Southern Baptist leaders like Al Mohler and Page Patterson and others, Houston Baptist hired Licona and placed its blessing on his views.”

March 22nd, 2013

An Open Letter to the Church from a Lesbian

by Max Andrews

Reblogged by Hunter Baker

To the churches concerning homosexuals and lesbians:

Many of you believe that we do not exist within your walls, your schools, your neighborhoods. You believe that we are few and easily recognized. I tell you we are many. We are your teachers, doctors, accountants, high school athletes. We are all colors, shapes, sizes. We are single, married, mothers, fathers. We are your sons, your daughters, your nieces, your nephews, your grandchildren. We are in your Sunday School classes, pews, choirs, and pulpits. You choose not to see us out of ignorance or because it might upset your congregation. We ARE your congregation. We enter your doors weekly seeking guidance and some glimmer of hope that we can change. Like you, we have invited Jesus into our hearts. Like you, we want to be all that Christ wants us to be. Like you, we pray daily for guidance. Like you, we often fail.

When the word “homosexual” is mentioned in the church, we hold our breaths and sit in fear. Most often this word is followed with condemnation, laughter, hatred, or jokes. Rarely do we hear any words of hope. At least we recognize our sin. Does the church as a whole see theirs? Do you see the sin of pride, that you are better than or more acceptable to Jesus than we are? Have you been Christ-like in your relationships with us? Would you meet us at the well, or restaurant, for a cup of water, or coffee? Would you touch us even if we showed signs of leprosy, or aids? Would you call us down from our trees, as Christ did Zacchaeus, and invite yourself to be our guest? Would you allow us to sit at your table and break bread? Can you love us unconditionally and support us as Christ works in our lives, as He works in yours, to help us all to overcome?

September 3rd, 2012

The Problem with Ex-Christians

by Max Andrews

Earlier today 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.”) This is a different issue, and you’ll see what I mean shortly. What interests me is when individuals who claim to be non-Christian (atheist, agnostic, Muslim, etc.) claim that they were actually Christians prior to apostasy.  What are the conditions for being a Christian? Well, there are many conditions such as divine election, the death and resurrection of Jesus, the efficacy of the atonement, etc. Those are all important but what concerns the “apostate” is the sufficient and necessary conditions of believing the truth of the death, burial, resurrection and application of atonement to oneself.  When one apostatizes they must commit to the truth that the aforementioned conditions are actually false.  

August 22nd, 2012

Logos: Eusebius of Caesarea Collection

by Max Andrews

The famed Logos Bible software is releasing a Eusebius of Caesarea Collection and is available for users to bid how much they’d pay on Community Pricing. First of all, if you don’t have Logos you need to seriously consider getting it. Second, if you don’t have Logos you need to just get it. Third, this is a great feature (the Community Pricing) and amazing content.

Eusebius of Caesarea was a Roman historian, exegete, and Christian polemicist. A scholar of the biblical canon, he was appointed bishop of Caesarea in AD 314, and he spent his life writing about the Gospel and church history. In his Ecclesiastical History, he documents and describes the early church, creating a vital record of the Christian community from the Apostolic Age through his own life. In this six-volume collection, you get the compiled wisdom of this post-Apostolic philosopher and documentarian—his his best-known arguments and apologetics at your fingertips with his most well-known writings and apologetics.

June 22nd, 2012

If Homosexuality is Genetic Then How Can it be Sin?

by Max Andrews

There are primarily six passages in the Bible that concern the issue of homosexuality.  In Leviticus 18.22 it says that it is an  abomination for a man to lie with another man as with a woman. In Lev. 20.13 the death penalty is prescribed in  Israel for such an act, along with adultery, incest, and bestiality. In Gen. 19 Sodom is destroyed for their homosexuality and wickedness.

In I Cor. 6.9-10 Paul writes, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice  homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.”  The words in the list translated “men who practice homosexuality” refer in Greek literature to the passive and  the active partners in male homosexual intercourse.  In I Tim. 1.10 along with fornicators, slave  traders, liars, and murderers as “contrary to the sound teaching of the Gospel.” In Rom. 1.24-28 Paul states,

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the  dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth  about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the  Creator, who is blessed forever!  Amen.

For this reason God gave them up  to dishonorable passions.  For their women exchanged natural relations for those  that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with  women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless  acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

June 8th, 2012

The Molinism Directory

by Max Andrews

I’ve decided to gather all my posts on Molinism in one post for easy reference.

  1. Ebook: An Introduction to Molinism: Scripture, Reason, and All that God Has Ordered
  2. Middle Knowledge in a Nutshell
  3. A Review of Salvation and Sovereignty (Journal Publication)
  4. Review Essay: Four Views on Divine Providence
  5. Defining Omniscience
  6. Theological Elites and Their Dismissiveness of “Philosophy”
  7. Q&A 9: Layering Divine Middle Knowledge
  8. The Problem of Bad “Biblical” Rhetoric
  9. Why I’m Not an Arminian
  10. Why I’m Not a Calvinist
  11. The Incoherence of Theistic Determinism–Moral Responsibility
  12. Overpower–Is God Ultimately Responsible for Everything?
  13. The Singular Redemption View of the Atonement
  14. Is a Molinist Concept of Providence Discomforting?
    read more »

June 6th, 2012

The Search for Treasure

by Max Andrews

The following is a guest post by Nicole Davis. Nicole is a senior at Liberty University where she is pursuing a history degree. Her interests include political science and the conservative movement. She is a committed Christian, hoping to use the experiences God has given her to disciple others and build up the effectiveness of the church.

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One of the surface problems people seem to have with Christianity is the inconsistent behavior of Christians. The widespread hypocrisy among them is, I admit, unfortunately repulsive. People who are supposed to be mini-Christs are often found to be hurting their reputation rather than making it an inducement for proselytes.  Indeed, people are not perfect, but serious Christians realize the need to be as Christ-like as possible. After all, what are disciples without their striving to exemplify their teacher?

I have concluded that one of the great errors of practice among Christians is that they misapply their focus in comparing themselves to lesser standards like their own pasts or the people around them. Yet with all this work, true contentment within the Christian life or attainment of that lofty goal is unsatisfying and impossible. Overcoming your faults or not making the same mistakes as others is somewhat admirable, but implementing the heart of Christ is much more to be desired. Jesus pronounced that “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”(Luke 12.34). If Christ were the treasure that Christians seek, they would be far better on their way to Christ-likeness than if they continue to seek self-betterment or one-upping their peers.

May 7th, 2012

Where’s Your Verse?

by Max Andrews

I recently had an online exchange with someone who was arguing against middle knowledge.  He included statements like, “Supposedly Scripture teaches man has a free will” and, “That’s no where in Scripture.”  You’ll be surprised how much doctrine we believe to be true is not explicitly stated in Scripture.  Here are a few things that are not explicitly stated in Scripture that are commonly accepted doctrines:

  • The Trinity:  I believe God exists in a trinity of persons and I believe the Bible teaches the trinity but only implicitly.  You’re not going to find “trinity” or “three beings in one” anywhere in the Bible.
  • The Hypostatic Union:  There isn’t a clear articulation of the coherence of the hypostatic union in Scripture.  The Bible merely teaches what it was and that it happened.
    read more »