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Leaving The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)

"Leaving any spiritually abusive group is difficult. Whether it may be Gwen Shamblin's Remnant Fellowship, the Jehovah's Witnesses, or groups which operate within the evangelical church, the fears and confusion is largely the same. Amy Spreeman at Berean Research recently posted, "Leaving IHOP and the NAR: Sammy’s story." IHOP is not the restaurant chain but does chain its followers in spiritual and emotional bondage while calling itself the International House of Prayer. It is one of the New Apostolic Reformation groups. The story isn't short but helpful to those who have friends or family in such groups. After giving a brief history and how she got into IHOP, the woman sharing her story talks about returning after a visit at home:

I did find it especially troubling when we had to attend a special class before thanksgiving break that taught us how to act around our families and walked us through all the reasons why they are not a cult. It felt like condit…

The Question of Being, Brute Fact or Deep Structures?

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This came up for me on CARM once,when someone made an argument trying to show God is would have to create brute facts. Ohter atheists chimed in saying God w would be a brute fact.


The meaning of the controversy is the difference between Paul Tillich's view of God as being itself, and the atheist understanding that "the universe just is." Tillich said that if we know that being has depth that it's not just "surface only" then we can't be atheists (Shaking of the Foundations, chapter seven). The atheist understanding has long been their answer to arguments like the cosmological argument. When theists divide up mobes of being into necessary and contingent,the atheist merely says "well what if being just is, it has no meaning or reason for being its' just there?" Of course that's a possibility but it doesn't answer the question, and saying it doesn't make the depth we can see in being go away. What is meant by "depth" of b…

on Metacrock's blog:God as Being itself

click here


Most people tend to think of God s a big man on a throne. They judge God by human standards. Like Dawkins argument that God would be more complex than his universe and thus less likely to exit. This is based entirely upon the idea that God is a magnified version of humanity. When I point this out atheists  scoff and insist that most people see God this way we Christian apologists have to as well. When I point out that Paul Tillich had this totally different view of God as being itself they insist that this is not a Christian concept.

Luke 1:69 And The Deity Of Jesus Christ

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant." (Luke 1:68-69)

        What did Zacharias mean when he called the baby in Mary's womb a horn of salvation? In order to answer that question, we must turn to the Old Testament to see how that figurative expression was utilized.

        In the Old Testament, horns in many instances carried connotations of strength and honor (Job 16:15; Psalm 75:5-6; 148:14; Lamentations 2:3). God is described as being the horn of salvation in Psalm 18:2. Hence, the psalmist calls Him the mighty savior.

        The title given to God in Psalm 18:2 is applied to Jesus Christ by Zacharias. In an indirect fashion, he is calling Christ God. He is the mighty savior of the Jewish people. He is victorious over darkness and sin. He is deserving of honor.

        The horn of salvation is associated with the lin…

Answer to Theodicy: Soteriological Drama

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The Free Will Defense is offered by Christian apologists as an answer to any sort of atheist argument such as the problem of pain or the problem of evil. The argument runs something like: God values free will because "he" ("she"?) doesn't want robots. The problem with this approach is that it often stops short in analysis as to why free will would be a higher value than anything else. This leaves the atheist in a position of arguing any number of pains and evil deeds and then crying that God had to know these things would happen, thus God must be cruel for creating anything at all knowing the total absolute pain (which usually includes hell in most atheist arguments) would result from creation.

The apologists answers usually fail to satisfy the atheist, because in their minds noting can outweigh the actual inflicting of pain. Something atheists evoke omnipotence and play it off against the value of free will, making the assumption that an "all powerful God&…

Is The Shroud Real?

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The Shroud of Turin is easy to dismiss as a hoax. It's right up there with Bigfoot. It began as a Medieval relic so how much easier could it be? Barrie Schwortz the photographer for the official scientific investigation team in 1977, the only team to officially study the shroud, said he had remarked that they would just breeze in,find a few brush strokes and go home and they get a free trip to Europe. That was the attitude for many of the team going into the process. They found no brush strokes. no paint., no way to explain the image. Everyone of the team wound up being convinced it;s the authenticshroud of Jesus of Nazareth. These were all major technicians and scientists working for JPL and other parts of NASSA. They used the most advanced equipment 1978.

There is a lot to be said against the shroud. It was dismissed in 1979 as a hoax due to carbon 14 dating which placed the date of the artifact in the middle ages. The problem is when the cloth was subjected to a fire in the 15…

Publius Cornelius Tacitus On Early Christianity

"Tacitus writes about the Great Fire in Rome of 64 CE. He notes how it was thought that the emperor Nero had started this fire but then saw in the Christians an easy scapegoat. Although Nero attributed to them the blame of arson, modern historians acknowledge that the lack of connection made to the Christians and the fire in other ancient sources suggests their innocence. According to Tacitus the fire’s damage was extensive. It lasted nine days and left only four of Rome’s sixteen districts intact. In his Annals, Tacitus then narrates the story of Nero’s scapegoating the Christians, using the common early spelling of Christians as Chrestians:

“But neither human help, nor gifts from the emperor, nor all the ways of placating Heaven, could stifle scandal or dispel the belief that the fire had taken place by order [of Nero]. Therefore, to scotch the rumour, Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men, loathed for their vices, whom…

The Euthyphro dilemma and the arbitrariness objection’: Answering Wes Morriston

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Domenichino"Biding of Issac"1641



Wes Morriston, philosopher from University of Colorado, Boulder, writes an excellent [1] paper against divine command theory and specifically attacking William Lame Craig. The guys over at secular outpost (or as I like to call it, "Kill Bill's ideas) link to that article. Divine command theory in it's simple direct form says that what is good is that which God commands and it is good because God commands it. The paper is very long and covers a lot of ground, I have isolated what I think is one of the  key points and i will deal with just that small but important section: the ground of moral duty as grounded in the divine.
Craig is answwering the Euthyphro dilemma, This is a problem raised by Plato in the from of Socrates question to Euthyphro, " is found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by…