February 14th, 2014
So, my pal JT told me about this film The Sunset Limited, which is free on YouTube. The whole film takes place in the dank apartment of a subway janitor (Samuel L. Jackson) and a professor (Tommy Lee Jones). The professor is an atheist who tried to jump in front of a train but the janitor stopped him.
The prose begins in the apartment and the rhetoric is fantastic. The whole movie debates morality, the Bible, angels, God, the problem of evil, sin, etc. It’s a conversation and not an academic debate. They each have good points to make, which is why both Christians and atheists should watch it. For instance, the professor says, “Why not give up? God gives up. As far as I know there’s no ministry in hell.” Now, that objection has answers but rhetorically, wow, that’s hot! Also, the story about how the janitor became a believer (spoiler: beats a man badly) and the professor questions if disfiguring a man was worth his belief in God. It’s amazing.
The janitor isn’t the most educated person, scholastically speaking, but he’s very intelligent. Just watch out for his semi-Pelagian switching around in his rhetoric when they discuss original sin and the Bible.
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February 11th, 2014
Question: When I say, “Jonah,” what do you think of?
Historical Background: Eighth century B.C.—Jonah was a prophet from Israel (Northern Kingdom) called to preach repentance to Nineveh (Assyrian). Instead, he attempted to flee to Tarshish (Spain?). Jonah had many reasons not to like Nineveh.
- During Assyrian captivity they would torture. Their methods would be cutting the skin on the side of the body and peeling it off a live person.
- They would place bodies on spears for display.
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January 6th, 2014
The following attachments were lectures and lessons delivered in a small group setting (the PDF versions do not have citations or notes, for citations please see the PPT). Also, I trust anyone using this material will cite it appropriately as I have also cited my material as well.
The Absurdity of Life (Ecc. 3.16-4.3)
The Darkest Night: Purging the Soul (Ps. 42)
The Doctrine of God (Theology Proper)
The Engagement of the Heart (Deut. 10.12-22)
A Scientific Look at Psalm 139
God’s Experience With Humanity and Cognitive Change
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December 14th, 2013
The Old Testament is a vastly misunderstood text of Scripture. Many atheists love to point to OT passages and denounce them for some reason or another. Likewise, many [liberal] Christians do the same or simply dismiss many OT passages. In my experience, most misunderstandings about the OT pertains to thee 613 commands in the OT Scriptures. For some reason, and I think due to a lack of understanding and bad exegesis, much of the OT law is dismissed. I’ve never actually come across an atheist who makes an objection to some OT passage whilst offering any exegetical argument or evidence. My intentions are to educate the ignorant pertaining to OT hermeneutics so Christians and non-believers alike may learn how to properly handle the text in an intellectually responsible fashion.
Here are a few [obscure] texts:
You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. Ex. 34.26b
You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material. Lev. 19.19b
You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself. Deut. 22.12
We consistently violate OT laws.
You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD. Lev. 19.32
And the pig, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. Deut. 14.8
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November 21st, 2013
There are four literal interpretations of YOM (as even Dr. DeWitt concedes, cf. p. 73 in the textbook). The four definitions are 1) a portion of the daylight hours (2) the entire daylight segment of a twenty-four-hour day, (3) a twenty-four-hour day, and (4) a long but finite time period. Unlike the modern Hebrew and English, biblical Hebrew had no other word for a finite era or epoch. The figure of speech of “a day is like a thousand years” in 2 Pt. is a a simile, which is noncontroversial; I don’t advocate that 2 Peter permits that interpretation in Genesis. The four definitions of YOM are literal definitions; it’s unnecessary to say it’s non-literal (refer to my previously cited lexicons).
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November 19th, 2013
In a debate of mine from this past summer my opponent brought up the problem of hell. His objection was, “There is no moral justification for sending anybody to suffer eternally in hell.” Before defending the doctrine of an eternal hell I need to make clear how far this objection actually goes. This isn’t an objection to the existence of God nor is it an objection to Christianity. This is an objection to hermeneutical principles and, possibly, in a worst case scenario, an objection to inerrancy. Should it be the case that the objection succeeds then we ought to modify our hermeneutical grid by which we understand special revelation concerning the final destination and consequences for the reprobate damned. Should the best hermeneutic affirm the doctrine of eternal hell then the objection brings inerrancy into question. However, I don’t think the objection succeeds at all and below was my response defending the doctrine of an eternal hell:
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September 3rd, 2013
Far too often I find Christians dismissing something because it’s “philosophy” and not from the Bible, a creed, a confession, etc. In my experience, many people tend to accuse Molinism as philosophy. To follow this brief tangent, middle knowledge and Molinism isn’t a philosophical grid being laid over Scripture; rather, it’s a derivation of a commitment to certain principles already obtained from Scripture. (See The Molinism Directory for more on that issue.) Well, it just happens to be the case that I saw a tweet yesterday making this same claim about Molinism being philosophy. (This particular tweet simply categorizes Molinism as philosophy but it’s still dismissed in the long chain of preceding and succeeding tweets.)
If we are pursuing truth then there are many means to discovering what the truth is [about God, reality, etc.]. It’s incredibly naïve to dismiss something because it is not in a preferred category. If we are pursing truth then it would be a category error to dismiss Molinism simply because it’s philosophy (according to the person making the claim). Feel free to disagree with Molinism but do so on a consistent basis and refute it via Scriptural witness, theological reflection/considerations, logical and metaphysical consistency, etc.
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