Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Atheism: No God is Real, No God Actually Exists

In his book A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth-Claims to the Worldview Test, Ken Samples recalls a conversation he had with an atheist who claimed that God did not exist.(1) The conversation went something like this:

Ken: "Is it correct to define atheism as the claim that 'no god or gods are real' or that 'no god or gods actually exist'?"

The atheist eventually agreed.

Ken: "If atheism asserts that 'no god is real' or that 'no god actually exists,' then isn't it making a universal claim about 'all reality' and 'all existence'?"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Featured Apologist: Clay Jones

Dr. Clay Jones is Assistant Professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University. He teaches classes both on campus and in the modular program which include Why God Allows Evil, In Defense of the Resurrection, and Apologetics Research and Writing. He received his Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Learn More about Clay Here.

Dr. Jones recently started a blog which I was excited to hear as I consider him to be someone with tremendous knowledge and insight in many areas. The blog is off to a great start! Check out his blog here and be sure to add it to your blogroll. Posts include the following:

Humble Apologist?

Don't Be a Stupid Weakling: Listen to Advice

The Faulty Dilemma: Gays Are Either Born Gay or They Choose It

If you haven' t done so already, make sure you listen to Clay's interview with Brian Auten of Apologetics 315. Dr. Jones addresses the Problem of Evil, the destruction of the Canaanites, and more. A jam packed interview full of great information!

Also, keep a look out for Clay's forthcoming book Why God Allows Evil. In the meantime, be sure and read his article in Philosophia Christi, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2009, entitled "We Don't Hate Sin So We Don't Understand What Happened To The Canaanites." Look for another upcoming article in Philosophia Christi by Dr. Jones addressing the topic of Theodicy and Anthropodicy.

If you are looking for computer software dealing with Christian Apologetics, Prepared Defense is a must have. Clay is currently in the process of completing revising this software so keep an eye out for an updated edition!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hermeneutics 101: The Law

Perhaps no area of the Old Testament is more foreign and confusing to modern-day Christians than the Mosaic Law. When reading through the Pentateuch, many believers breeze through the narrative of Genesis only to hit a roadblock when confronted with the overwhelming number of commandments, statutes, and ordinances in the last half of Exodus (not to mention the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).

A separation of time and culture prevents many Christians today from fully understanding and appreciating the Old Testament, especially the Law. It is certainly true that “the most difficult problem for most Christians with regard to these commandments is the hermeneutical one."(1) Often the problem lies in a failure to grasp the original purpose of the Law and its relation to Christians today.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hermeneutics 101: Old Testament Narratives

Interpretive conventions for any given text must begin by recognizing the genre, or type of communication, of the text itself. The majority of the Old Testament is comprised of prose narrative. In fact, narrative is the most common literary genre found in the Bible. These narratives “are stories—purposeful stories retelling the historical events of the past that are intended to give meaning and direction for a given people in the present."(1)

Biblical interpreters frequently distinguish between three levels of narrative.(2) The third (or top) level can be classified as the “metanarrative.” This is the grand, overarching, eternal, and universal plan of God worked out through human history. This is the most important level to comprehend because it focuses on God and His plan for His people. The second (or middle) level is the story of God’s people (both Israel and the Church) as found in the Old and New Testaments (or “covenants”). As applied to the Old Testament, this would specifically refer to the Israelites as God’s chosen people. Finally, the first (or lowest) level focuses on the stories of specific individuals within the narrative. Recognizing these three levels within the biblical text should aid the reader in understanding and sound application.