But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Dr. Reluctant - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 11:11

Finding the Will of God Featured

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It is a commonly held belief among Christians that one of the most perplexing problems we experience is knowing what the will of God is for our lives. The reason for this is not hard to find. For one thing, we are most sensitive to this question in times of stress, when the stakes are high and our emotions are perturbed. We want a clear path to...

Adam is Tested

In the next section (2:15-17) we read of God giving the man a straightforward command:

Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was an actual tree.  It is not...

Wednesday, 08 June 2016 13:25

TELOS Videos on Christian Apologetics

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The Telos YouTube Channel has 12 short videos about subjects to do with Christian Apologetics.  These are casual informal introductions at about the college level.   I do not enter into many details about the pros and cons of each position.  My objective is much more humble.  I just want to give a little food for thought about...

Wednesday, 01 June 2016 14:09

Review: Allen Ross on the Psalms (Vol.3)

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A Review of Allen P. Ross, A Commentary on the Psalms, Volume 3 (90 – 150), Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1042 pages, hardback 

Finally we have the third and final volume of the Kregel Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms by Allen P. Ross, Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School.  This one covers Psalms 90 through 150 and...

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 13:07

The Creation Narrative: Genesis 1 and 2 (Pt.9)

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Part Eight

Adam, Guard or Keeper?

Genesis 2:15 has recently stirred the imaginations of a whole group of OT scholars.  The reason for this is that they think they observe intimations that all was not well with the good world which Yahweh Elohim had made.  For one thing, as we have already said, the garden of Eden was an enclosed garden (gan...

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 10:17

The Creation Narrative: Genesis 1 and 2 (Pt.8)

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Part Seven

A Thematic Account

The second chapter of Genesis is clearly somewhat different than the first.  But it was not intended to be another variant account of it.  It follows up on the second half of Day Six and the creation of humanity, and throws theological light on it.  It is not as concerned with chronology as the previous...

Thursday, 12 May 2016 10:05

Repost: ANSWERS TO THE 95 THESES IN ORDER

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I have just returned from a nice rest with my family in Tennessee and will post a new item soon.  Meanwhile, here are the responses I gave to a group of Evangelical scholars who really have trouble with Dispensationalism.  I thought their objections and concerns were often unfair or wrong-headed, although sometimes they were just opposed...
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 11:48

The Creation Narrative: Genesis 1 and 2 (Pt.7)

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Part Six

God’s Transcendence versus Continuity

It is very important to notice the links between the creation accounts and ethical accounts.  In one way or another all non-biblical systems of belief paint a metaphysical picture of reality that is at once unified and diverse.  The unity is found in the indissoluble connection between...

Part Five

Image and Function in Genesis 1:26-28

Another significant fact related by these verses is our creation in the image and likeness of God.  We cannot here enter into all the debates about the imago Dei, but some few things should be said.

Firstly, God does not say ‘according to My likeness.’  He says ‘Our...

Monday, 11 April 2016 16:35

The Logical Order of the Divine Decrees Featured

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Here is on older post  on the order of the decrees.

The Order of the Divine Decrees

There are usually three logical plans given by theologians which attempt to answer the question, “In what logical order did God plan His redemptive acts?” These are known respectively as supralapsarianism, infralapsarianism, and sublapsarian...

Wednesday, 06 April 2016 12:46

The Creation Narrative: Genesis 1 and 2 (Pt.5)

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God Words and God’s Actions: Primary Hermeneutics

Part Four

Something to notice in the creation account is the correspondence between God’s thoughts (and speech), and His actions.  The one corresponds precisely with the other.[1]  Put in the most pedestrian terms, God means what He says!  This fact is exemplified in what...

Thursday, 31 March 2016 11:29

The Creation Narrative: Genesis 1 and 2 (Pt.4)

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Part Three

The Creation and Purpose of Language

Approaching the question of language and meaning can often seem like a chicken and egg scenario.  If we had words and grammar first then how did we learn to communicate them so as to be correctly understood by others?  But if we had a thought to communicate, how could we do it without the...

Wednesday, 23 March 2016 09:49

Law, Gospel and Faith

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This is an old article, but the subject is always relevant.  

A prospective student at Telos Institute asked me a good question about my view on Law versus the Gospel.  As part of my reply I sent him the text of a letter I’d written to someone who had criticized a lecture of mine on the Decalogue.  This individual had...

Friday, 11 March 2016 14:11

Merrill's New Commentary on 1 2 Chronicles

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A review of Eugene H. Merrill, A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles, Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2015, 637 pages, hdbk

Among readers of the Old Testament (you know, those creatures of legend that used to inhabit churches), the Books of 1 and 2 Chronicles would not rank too high on their list of favorites.  Even zealous preachers would,...

Wednesday, 09 March 2016 12:00

The Creation Narrative: Genesis 1 and 2 (Pt.3)

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The Spirit and Plurality in the Godhead

What is clear from the second verse of the Bible is that the Spirit of God was superintending the process of creation. The word for “was hovering” or “brooded” (merakhepet, 1:2) implies a determination to act.  It strains credulity to think that the Spirit brooded over a glob of...

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 13:44

The Creation Narrative – Genesis 1 and 2 (Pt.1)

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Creation and Communication

Without the creation of Adam and Eve the whole sequence of days which preceded them would be a rather futile exercise. If the sequence found in the Bible’s very first chapter is to signify anything as a sequence, it had to be an actual seven day sequence.  Otherwise it is hard to see why ordinal numbers would...

Sunday, 21 February 2016 10:36

More Aspects of Biblical Interpretation

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Here are the other short videos on major interpretative topics:...

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I have been recording short video presentations on various themes.  The aim is to cover subjects in Biblical and Systematic Theology, Apologetics and Worldview, and other matters briefly and clearly, yet without being too simplistic or too technical.  The first mini-series we have done is on Themes in Biblical Interpretation.  The...

Friday, 12 February 2016 16:30

Science Versus Religion: A New Angle

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The Territories of Science and Religion by Peter Harrison, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015, 320 pages.

The battle between Science and Religion has been presented to the wider public as a struggle between reason and superstition.  In the present intellectual climate, where the ghosts of logical positivism have been far from exorcised...

Thursday, 04 February 2016 14:22

The Parameters of Meaning – Rule 8

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“Rule” 7

Parameters of Meaning – Rule 8: Never ground a teaching on disputed, ambiguous or debated texts (e.g. Matt. 10:23).  At best they may serve to support a given position.  Doctrines should come from the strongest possible connections between text and teaching.

When one is setting forth a proposition, the cogency of...

Thursday, 28 January 2016 16:49

Scientism and Naturalism

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A follow up to Scientism isn’t Science

Naturalism is defined by Stewart Goetz & Charles Taliaferro in this way:

Naturalism – very roughly – may be defined as the philosophy that everything that exists is a part of nature and that there is no reality beyond or outside of nature. – Naturalism, 6

Something being “a part...

Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament by Walter C. Kaiser, Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2015, 176 pages, pbk

God Almighty will always have to suffer the inquisitions of his rebellious creatures, at least until He sorts out the waywardness epidemic of creaturely independence which is the bequest of the presence of sin.  It...

Monday, 18 January 2016 11:52

Scientism isn’t Science

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These remarks stem from some interchanges I had with some believers about methodological naturalism.

Many a scientist will say they are simply looking for natural explanations of phenomena they come across.  If that really were the case, there would be no difficulty at all.  But that is not so.  Scientism is on a quest.  The...

Tuesday, 05 January 2016 13:29

5 KEYS FOR YOUR 2016 SPIRITUAL TRAVEL GUIDE

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I wanted to write a ‘Facing the New Year’ post to focus myself on the main things, but I came across this piece by Dr. David Allen which I don’t think I could improve upon.  Hope it blesses you.  Happy New Year!

 

Two things are important when you take a trip: transportation and discrimination. You must know how you...

Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:03

The Men Who Trained Me (and some books) – Pt.2

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In the previous post I concentrated on men in England who helped me learn about the Bible and Theology.  Quite unexpectedly, in God’s providence I came to the States in 1996 to work at a Baptist Church in Fairfield, California.  That only lasted a year but I made some good friends.  I also met the future Mrs H. there!

Anyway,...

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