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The Forgiveness of Jesus: An Invitation to New Life

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:00

The following is an overview of one of the Bible studies from The Forgiveness of Jesus DVD Bible study in the Deeper Connections series:

Do you ever feel like you are too far gone for God to forgive you? Or, maybe you feel like he might forgive you, but he does it grudgingly? This fear is the main reason that I published The Forgiveness of Jesus because nothing could be further from the truth.

When Jesus calls Matthew the tax collector (Matthew 9:9-13), it shows us that God seeks out the lowest of the low in order to show that he loves to forgive. But in order to fully understand the meaning of this text, we must understand the first century context. When we take the time to learn this historical context, the passage comes to life!

Categories: Seminary Blog

How Does Christianity Fulfill our Deepest Aspiration? Author Interview with Greg Ganssle

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:00

My friend and Biola colleague Greg Ganssle has written a fascinating new book called Our Deepest Desires: How the Christian Story Fulfills Human Aspirations. Professor Ganssle takes a unique approach to the apologetic task. Essentially, his goal is not to show that Christianity is true, but to argue that when it is properly understood, people should wish it were true. He talks about how tragedy, beauty, and freedom make the most sense in a Christian worldview and that only Christianity fulfills our deepest desires ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

How Do We Cultivate the Art of Listening Well?

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 12:00

Along with asking good questions, cultivating the art of listening well is one of the most important skills for Christians to develop today. And it is especially important for those who want to be effective apologists in our “argumentative” culture ... So, how does one develop the art of listening well? Here are four tips I have learned from personal experience as well as through my undergrad Communication Studies program at Biola University ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

What Could God Not Have Commanded?

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 12:00

... Before I address your question, David, let’s make sure that we state accurately the view I have defended. God’s freedom to issue commands to do certain things that would be immoral in the absence of a divine command is not rooted in God’s having morally sufficient reasons for so commanding. Rather it is rooted in the idea that the source of moral obligation is divine commands, and since God doesn’t issue commands to himself, he therefore has no moral obligations ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Forgiveness of Jesus: Interview with Matt Williams

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 12:00

Dr. Matt Williams (Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies) recently released a new DVD Bible study series titled The Forgiveness of Jesus (a DVD Bible study, in the Deeper Connections series). We were able to catch up with Dr. Williams to learn more about this exciting series ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

A Review of Zombie Science: Is Darwinism Dead?

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 12:00

With the release of his 2000 book Icons of Evolution, Jonathan Wells became one of the leading evolution critics of today. Unlike some detractors, Dr. Wells has impeccable credentials—with Ph.Ds. in molecular and cell biology from U.C. Berkeley and religious studies from Yale.

Last week he released a new book that is just as controversial (and frankly, just as fun) called, Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Should Old Testament Difficulties Be an Obstacle to Christian Belief?

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

I am a great admirer of yours despite being a non-religious theist myself. For the sake of full disclosure, I have never been able to bring myself to take atheism seriously and am convinced on purely philosophical grounds that the atheist worldview is consigned to logical absurdity. That said, I have never been able to bring myself to subscribe wholeheartedly to any one religion either, and this for a variety different reasons depending on the religion under discussion. However, since you are a Christian I will limit myself to the principal reason why I cannot bring myself to accept Christianity, to which I have yet to receive a satisfying response. I figure if I won't get a compelling answer from Dr. William Lane Craig, then most likely no such answer is available at least for now.

The root of my problem with the Christianity (and all the Abrahamic religions for that matter) leads back to a number of Old Testament accounts, in particular the book Genesis. I have listened to all 21 parts of your Defenders' series on the Doctrine of Creation. However, when I read the Book of Genesis through (as I have done many times), based on the various exegetical analyses I have reviewed of the Genesis accounts I find it very difficult to avoid the necessity of a literal interpretation. The first two chapters concerning the creation account - first of the whole world, then of man - seems to afford some scope for a non-literal hermeneutic, but even if this were so, that still leaves me with the whole wild account of Noah's ark and the Deluge, the inordinate life expectancy of the first men which for some reason decreased with each generation, not to mention references to the existence of giants and accounts of women copulating with evil spirits (Genesis 6:4), among many other things which I've no doubt you are aware. These accounts incorporate very specific language and do not seem to lend themselves to figurative interpretation ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

5 Reasons Our Culture Is Obsessed with Sex

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 16:07

Western culture is obsessed with sex. Sex dominates our movies, music, television, advertising, conversations, social media and more. But the question many people fail to ask is: why?

There are myriads of reasons for this. Some reasons are certainly more germane than others. And they undoubtedly overlap. Nevertheless, here are 5 reasons for western culture’s obsession with sex ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Atheists May Not Believe In God, But They Still Live in His World

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 12:00

A few years ago I hosted a student debate at my church. Three of my high school students debated three students from the local freethinking club on the historical Jesus, intelligent design, and morality. The church was packed!

One of the freethinking students argued that there is no universal moral law, and hence no need for a God to ground it. As best as I can remember, he argued that morality is merely subjective and depends upon the individual or society.

But then, interestingly, during his closing speech, the same student used the opportunity of being at a church to rail against Christians for being hateful, bigoted and intolerant. In other words, he berated Christians for being immoral ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Teaching Philosophy in a Public High School

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 12:00

Dr. Craig,

First off let me say that I have been a longtime supporter and reader of your work. I have been encouraged and strengthened to give a reason for the hope within by listening to and reading your books, articles, debates, classes, and lectures. Thank you for all you do!

Now, let me build to my question with a brief overview. I am a public school teacher and a youth minister at my church and love doing both. With my youth group I spend a tremendous amount of time inculcating the necessity for loving God with the whole being – heart, soul, MIND, and strength. I really want to ground my students the reality of their Faith – that it is more than feeling but is testable, rational and livable! I also teach them apologetics (I am presently going through the NT’s reliability, Jesus’ resurrection...ect.) and Christian doctrine (of which your Defender’s classes have been a huge asset! *PS – Please make a Christian theology book one day when you get the time!!) ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Why Does God Allow Evil? Author Interview with Dr. Clay Jones

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 12:00

Dr. Clay Jones is one of my colleagues in the Biola Apologetics M.A. program. Although he has been teaching and thinking about the problem of evil for decades, he has just released a new book: Why Does God Allow Evil? Here is my endorsement that made the back cover of the book: “If you are looking for one book to make sense of the problem of evil, this book is for you.”

I plan to use this book very soon with a group of high school students. And it will now be the top book that I recommend on this subject (along with If God, Why Evil by Norman Geisler and The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis) ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Reading the Gospels as Story: Did Israel Have a Wrong View of the Kingdom? (Part 2)

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 12:00

In the first part of this short series, we looked at how both ancient and modern disciples “take offense” at Jesus against his warning in Luke 7:23 —“Blessed is the one who doesn’t take offense in Me.” Easy scholarly and popular conclusions that Israel hoped for the wrong kind of kingdom made Jesus offensive and Israel culpable at the same time. Our second part here also finds Jesus’ view of the kingdom offensive to ancients and moderns, but for a different reason ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

How Do We Make a Case for Religious Freedom?

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00

Given the recent stunning ruling against Barronelle Stutzman, the 72-year old grandma who was sued for running her business according to her deepest moral and religious convictions, it is more critical than ever for Christians to be ready to make a defense for religious freedom. The following essay comes from my recent book A New Kind of Apologist, and is written by James Tonkowich. This article is longer than a typical blog, but please take the time to read it carefully and help spread the word. Christians simply must be able to make a case for religious liberty today.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Must a Biblical Doctrine of the Atonement Comprise Penal Substitution?

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

I have been enjoying your videos and podcasts about your study of the atonement. I have to admit though, that as of right now I don't accept penal substitution. Though I grew up with this view, I now hold a combination of the recapitulation and satisfaction theories. To briefly summarize for the readers, the recapitulation theory teaches that Jesus became like us and did what we should have done, so that in him, we might become like him and do what he did. This is perhaps the oldest theory of the atonement and is the basis for many later theories. The satisfaction theory of St. Anselm adds that Jesus's self sacrificial obedience served as restitution for our sins, or as Anselm calls it, satisfaction. In my opinion, these theories together are more Biblical and intellectually satisfying than penal substitution ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

La Reforma y las Indulgencias, Pasadas y Actuales / The Reformation and Indulgences, Both Past and Present

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:00

En este año se celebra alrededor del mundo los 500 años del inicio de lo que se conoce como La Reforma protestante. El 31 de octubre de 1517 el monje agustino Martín Lutero clavó en la puerta de la Iglesia del Castillo en Wittenberg en Alemania 95 tesis en las que criticaba abiertamente las ventas de indulgencias de la iglesia católica romana. Lutero escogió ese día deliberadamente ya que era la víspera del Día de Todos los Santos y tanto la facultad de la universidad como muchos fieles asistían a la iglesia. Lutero inicialmente no tenía la intención de romper con la iglesia romana sino enfatizar la supremacía del evangelio de Cristo basada en su simplicidad y a la vez en su gran profundidad ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Adventures at Acton: A Reflection on Human Flourishing

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:00

This summer, as part of my participation in Talbot’s Kern Foundation reading group, I had the opportunity to travel to Grand Rapids and attend a 4-day think tank called Acton University. This was my first time participating in a think tank (unless you count my years watching MacGyver problem-solve for the Phoenix Foundation), and it was an experience! The annual event brings together around 1000 scholars, students, businesspeople, and leaders from over 75 countries and seeks to provide “an opportunity to deepen one’s knowledge and integrate philosophy, theology, business, development – with sound, market based, economics” (http://university.acton.org/). The daily program consisted of several parallel presentations (in fact, Talbot’s own Dr. Scott Rae was a presenter), a fabulous dinner designed to foster new relationships and stimulate conversations, and it closed each night with a plenary talk ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Announcement: New Apologetics Curriculum for Students!

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 12:00

Recently I had the chance to partner with Awana to create a yearlong, systematic, top-quality apologetics curriculum for students. It is the product of my work with students for the past two decades. My friend Tim Fox (Orthodox Fox) at Free Thinking Ministries was kind enough to briefly interview me about the project. And he gave me permission to post the original interview here too. Enjoy!

Categories: Seminary Blog

How Do We Understand and Reach Generation Z?

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 12:00

For the past few months I have been reading every study I can find on Generation Z, (those born between 1995-2010). With the help of a graduate student who did some research for me, I found over 350 pages of research on Gen Z, which took me dozens of hours to carefully digest. But then last week I came across Meet Generation Z, by James Emery White. Had I found this book earlier, it would have saved me a ton of time! It is an easy-to-read, documented, and insightful look at how to understand and reach the newest generation of students ...

 

 

Categories: Seminary Blog

Using a Daily Devotional Book

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 12:00

Dr. Craig,

I have noticed something that troubles me while surveying common devotional books and guides that many Christians rely on in their daily lives. I have noticed that a common template for your average devotional tends to quote a Bible passage but then follows it with a well-meaning anecdote, or inspirational messages that are vaguely relevant to the quoted passage, or sometimes even trite aphorisms re-packaged with Christian overtones ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Humility at Hume Lake

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 12:00

I saw something amazing this June. Something rare. Something inspiring. It happened behind-the-scenes at Hume Lake Christian Camps and I simply had to move it from backstage and into to the spotlight. Before I showcase this beautiful sight, let me provide a couple paragraphs of context: As part of Talbot’s Kern Reading group this year, I’ve had the joy of reading (and re-reading) several thought-provoking texts on work, leadership, economics, poverty relief, and the relationship of theology and the church to such matters. On this journey, I happily re-read a chapter from one of my favorite books on organizational leadership, Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges’, Lead Like Jesus: Lessons for Everyone from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005) ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

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