Showing posts from May, 2012

How God Speaks to Us

I was able to make Dr. J.P. Moreland's presentation at a conference that Biola University put on, When God Seems Silent . I missed the beginning of Dr. Moreland's lecture due to traffic, but as an experienced public speaker, Dr. Moreland frequently recapped his points. It may seem counterintuitive to begin a conference on the supposed silence of God by pointing out the ways in which God speaks to us but I thought it fitting.  Dr. Moreland acknowledged that there are times when the believer is not hearing from God and that speakers to follow would address dealing with those periods of silence, but it was his role to point out that God often is communicating with us and we should learn the ways in which He communicates. Too often we can pity ourselves as abandoned by God when we are not listening.  Gifts of prophecy, wisdom, and words of knowledge . 1 Corinthians 14:11.  Dr. Moreland is no cessationist.  God speaks to us Today through words of prophecy, wisdom and kn

JRP (not much at all) vs. the "Heathen Manifesto"

A couple of months ago, Julian Baggini presented a proposal for a "Heathen Manifesto" in the electronic (and maybe print) pages of the United Kingdom magazine The Guardian . Having recently heard of it, and reading it through, I have very few complaints, none of them more than trivial--except of course where we principly disagree on metaphysics, as supernaturalist theists and naturalistic atheists logically do. I warmly recommend readers check out the article at the link above; and then click on the jump for some commentary.

Several bad reasons to dismiss fine-tuning

I've been doing a series on Greta Christina's laughably bad reasons why we shouldn't believe in God. In my most recent post I examined her claim that all religious arguments are 'ridiculously weak', and noted that she linked to certain posts on her own blog where she examines some of those arguments in more detail. I'm going to take a break from the regular series and look at some of these, starting with her post on fine-tuning. Things are not off to a promising start with her description of the fine-tuning argument: The Universe is perfectly fine-tuned to allow life to come into being. The distance of the Earth from the Sun, the substance and depth of the atmosphere, the orbit of the Moon, the nature of matter and energy, the very laws of physics themselves… all are perfectly tuned to let life happen. If any of them had been different by even a small amount, there could not have been life on Earth. And the odds against this fine-tuning are astronomical .

Who Told You That? Sources to Not-So-Secret Proceedings

Skeptics, and sometimes New Testament scholars, are dismissive of Gospel accounts of “behind the scenes” events, such as Judas’ visiting the chief priests, Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin, or the proceedings before Pilate. This is often due, in part at least, to the purported impossibility that the Gospel authors had access to any sources of what happened behind the scenes. Setting aside the possibility of Jesus attesting to some of this himself -- which historians are reluctant to include in their analysis but Christians should consider -- the dismissive way in which skeptics and some historians reject these accounts out of hand is unjustified. History is replete with examples of much more “secret” or “closed” proceedings having their happenings disclosed to the very people you would assume lacked access. Take the Siege of Malta. In 1565, the Turks invested the Island of Malta, determined to take it away from the Knights Hospitaller. The Knights had used the strategically pla

Examining Joel Hoffman's Arguments about Homosexuality and the Bible

Last time I posted , I began an examination of the claims of Joel Hoffman that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. I have already given my reasons for rejecting Hoffman's relativistic claim that those who argue that homosexuality is a sin are somehow arguing from preconceptions and not from the Bible. So, the question becomes: is the view of the individuals who believe homosexual marriage is Biblically proscribed more correctly understanding the Bible or is Hoffman? Hoffman argues that the incorrect reading of Leviticus shows that people who oppose homosexual marriage are wrong. He says, The first comes from the many people who use Leviticus 18:22 — about a “man who lies with man as with a woman” — to defend anti-homosexual positions. (For some reason, this stance seems particularly popular among mega-church leaders, who really ought to know better: Rick Warren, for example, or Joel Osteen, who recently told CNN that the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin.) It’s true