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

Triablogue - Apologetic Report
Friday, 03 August 2018 00:50

Catholic pacifism

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This is a sequel to my previous post:
1. Ross Douthat characterized the change in Catholic policy on the admission of divorced Catholics to communion as a elite crisis. I don't know whether the change regarding capital punishment will...

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Thursday, 02 August 2018 15:14

Papal eraser

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1. Pope Francis has rewritten the Catechism to forbid capital punishment across the board. Here's the official announcement:
And here's the newly worded position in the CCC: 
Recourse to the...

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Thursday, 02 August 2018 12:58

Ross Douthat on the death penalty vis-a-vis Francis

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Ross Douthat @DouthatNYTAnd life imprisonment under many penal conditions seems more contrary to human dignity than the death penalty.But the bottom line is that this is another example of how Pope Francis has consistently exposed the tensions in the post-Vatican II conservative position, and...

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Thursday, 02 August 2018 02:43

What's in play

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Regarding this debate:
It may be in part a generational thing. I think religious Jewish conservatives of the Prager/Medved generation (as well as secular Jewish hawks like Henry Kissinger, Charles Krauthammer, and Richard Perle) are...

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Thursday, 02 August 2018 01:57

Pleiotropic genes

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A brief exchange I had on Facebook:
Hays 
Dennis Venema recently claims that one evidence for whale evolution is "genes for air-based olfaction (smelling) in whales that no longer even have olfactory organs." Other questions aside, does each gene have a single function, or can the same gene have...

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Wednesday, 01 August 2018 13:14

Ecological equilibrium

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A critic might object that creationism (be it old-earth or young-earth) is ad hoc in this respect: if a particular ability confers a survival advantage, why does an organism ever lose that ability? Conversely, if an organism has an adaptive potential that confers a survival advantage, why does that...

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Wednesday, 01 August 2018 11:20

Whale evolution

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I was asked to comment on this:
For me personally (as a geneticist) comparative genomics (comparing DNA sequences between different species) has really sealed the deal on evolution. Even if Darwin had never lived and no one else had come up with the idea of common ancestry, modern genomics would...

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Wednesday, 01 August 2018 03:04

Jonah and the submarine

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Atheists routinely say any naturalistic explanation, however far-fetched, is more likely than any supernatural explanation. For a reductio ad absurdum of that principle, consider the claim that Jonah was swallowed by an ancient alien submarine!

Of course, the book of Jonah doesn't say the fish had...

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Wednesday, 01 August 2018 00:47

The haunting of old Epworth rectory

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Apparitional evidence is a neglected line of evidence in contemporary Christian apologetics. Although it doesn't necessarily prove the Christian faith directly, it debunks naturalism. Moreover, some kinds of apparitions intersect with Christian theology. 
A striking example involves the Wesley...

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Tuesday, 31 July 2018 06:30

How to talk your way out of a ticket

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The standard way to talk your way out of a ticket is to be a pretty girl. The décolletage does the talking. That works just about everywhere except the Bay Area, where a pretty girl has about as much sway with the average SFPD officer as a crucifix with a Hassidic vampire.
Paul Washer has...

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Tuesday, 31 July 2018 00:41

Left Behind

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40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left (Mt 24:40-41).
This is a stock prooftext for the pretribulational rapture. There are, however, problems with that inference:
i) In the pretrib scheme, as I...

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Tuesday, 31 July 2018 00:00

Thugs and she-bears

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Atheists love to quote this passage. One complication is the age-range denoted by ne’arim qetanim, which is ambiguous. For instance, Solomon uses that descriptor to characterize himself in 1 Kgs 3:7. Perhaps he's waxing hyperbolic since he certainly wasn't a little child when he became king....

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Monday, 30 July 2018 14:40

Square one

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An atheist attempted to refute my post:
No. The village atheist has no burden of proof. All he needs do is say "convince me". 
It's not my responsibility to convince anyone. No doubt an atheist would love to...

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Monday, 30 July 2018 13:50

Suicide in Scripture

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1. Christian arguments against suicide typically cite biblical examples of suicide which allegedly cast suicide in a baleful light. Six or seven examples are given:
i) Abimelech (Jdg 9:52-54
ii) Samson (Jdg 16:28-31)
iii) Saul (1 Sam 31:3-5)
iv) Saul's armor-bearer (1 Sam 31:4-6; 1 Chron 10:4)
v)...

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Monday, 30 July 2018 01:46

Sagan's wet candle

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Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all?  If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?  Your...

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Monday, 30 July 2018 01:13

Omphalos

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A painter who depicts Adam and Eve must make a theological judgment call: did they have navels? Since they were created directly, should they have a vestige of a nonexistent umbilical cord? That was the launchpad for Philip Henry Gosse's famous or infamous book. 
The resurrection of the body...

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Sunday, 29 July 2018 00:10

Christianity debunked in 5 minutes!

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Recently I ran across this video: 
It's a mighty impressive video that debunks Christianity in 5 minutes! Actually, the video clocks in at just over six minutes. Maybe that extra minute makes all the difference! 
I believe the speakers on the video...

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Saturday, 28 July 2018 12:29

At the tomb

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One puzzling detail in John's resurrection account is why Jesus tells Mary Magdalene not to touch him (Jn 20:17). That's a head-scratcher. Another enigmatic detail is why she fails to recognize him by sight (vv14-16). Likewise, how Jesus accessed the upper room, when the doors were locked. If the...

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Saturday, 28 July 2018 10:56

Demons demons everywhere!

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Some readers are struck by how often the Synoptic Gospels mention demoniacs. Were there really that many demoniacs running around 1C Palestine? Were Jews that susceptible to possession? The OT never mentions exorcism. A few quick considerations:
i) Perhaps OT prophets weren't granted the authority...

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Saturday, 28 July 2018 05:43

Clinging vines

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I'd like to make one more observation about "Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos". It's a well-intentioned article that has a grain of truth. However, it reinforces a damaging stereotype of complementarianism. It plays into the popular prejudice that complmentarianism is equivalent to The...

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I am not pretribulational, but I believe those who are left behind in Matt 24 are the wicked and those taken are the righteous.Sometimes I get the sense that people want to believe that those who are taken are the wicked for judgment because they don't want to share the same view with the Left...

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Saturday, 28 July 2018 01:24

Shadow past

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Given that the universe has a finite age, why did the universe begin with time rather than in time?
I'm not sure what Jeff means by that question, but according to proponents of mature creation,...

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Saturday, 28 July 2018 01:00

The argument from scale

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I'd like to consider a couple of objections to God's existence. In terms of how they are conventionally expressed, it's not clear if these are two separate objections or one overall objection:
1. The argument from scale
The vast size and vast antiquity of the universe renders human existence...

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Friday, 27 July 2018 12:39

Debt-free virgins

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Recently, a Christian blogger named Lori Alexander did a click-baity post that went viral:
It's actually a running commentary on what another woman said, much of which she agrees with. 
On a positive note, I appreciate...

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