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
Wednesday, 27 February 2019 09:41

Communal reading

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A stock objection to the Protestant faith is that Scripture should be read in community. But what does that even mean? Reading in community is a euphemism for reading the text according to a particular theological and hermeneutical tradition. 
I read the Bible in community when I consult Bible...

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Wednesday, 27 February 2019 03:33

Born-alive bill

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Robert P. George
Some good people are legitimately wondering why we need the new born-alive survivors of abortion act that the Democrats just killed, when there is already a law on the books that was enacted in 2002. Is the push for new legislation just political theatre?
The answer to that...

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Wednesday, 27 February 2019 03:16

Varieties of nihilism

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There are different kinds of nihilism. Not coincidentally, these are all associated with atheism (or naturalism, to be pedantic). 
Don't imagine this is a merely academic discussion. These ideas catch on. They translate into law and public policy, when secular progressives become politically...

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Wednesday, 27 February 2019 00:04

Virtual hell

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Hell has fallen on hard times. There are "evangelical universalists" and "evangelical annihilationists". 
As interactive video games and virtual reality become increasingly sophisticated, it will be possible to be the "god" of your own virtual world. Design a virtual world that mirrors your...

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Tuesday, 26 February 2019 12:44

Promotion

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A problem with hierarchical organizations, whether secular or ecclesiastical, is that you're promoted based on how well you get along with those above you, not those below you. You can be completely out of touch with the rank-and-file, but rise through the ranks so long as you please your...

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Tuesday, 26 February 2019 00:53

St. What's'isname, pray for us!

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One of the things I notice when I surf Catholic websites are solicitations to this or that saint to "pray for us". Some Catholic websites are dedicated to one or more patron saints. 
It looks pretty robotic. The mechanical invocation of a saint to "pray for us". And it raises a practical...

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Tuesday, 26 February 2019 00:10

Ineffectual outrage

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I see lots of Christians expressing indignation at how the Democrat party has become the party of infanticide. But while the disapproval is certainly justified, we have no moral leverage. Those who support killing newborns can't be shamed by our disapproval. If anything, they enjoy provoking...

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Monday, 25 February 2019 23:52

Extortion racket

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Why do Catholics remain Catholic under the Francis pontificate? Many reasons. For cradle Catholics there may be an overriding sociological component. For converts there's loss of face. Many Catholics aren't news junkies or theology junkies, so they don't keep up with the doctrinal controversies....

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Monday, 25 February 2019 23:27

The divine storyteller

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The position we have laid down might suggest that the history of mankind, or perhaps of God's people, could we but read it rightly, would show the working of a continuous and tranquil providence, leading God's creatures to their perfection; much as we might hope to see the superficially...

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Monday, 25 February 2019 23:24

The limitations of animals rights

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One issue is that animals range along a psychological continuum. A chicken isn't a dog. Some people even fret over boiling lobsters, as if they can register pain the way higher animals do. But that sidesteps the question of which animals are capable of suffering. Once again, biological organisms...

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Monday, 25 February 2019 13:25

Meet the in-laws

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In light of all the controversies and scandals that rocked the Church in 2018, many Catholics attempted to answer the question “why are you still Catholic?”  There is every indication that these controversies and scandals will continue and increase in 2019, so the question remains....

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Monday, 25 February 2019 11:48

Images of creation

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1. Scripture uses different imagery for God's creative modalities. In the ancient Near East, creative art included architecture, pottery, metallurgy, painting, woodwork, and sculpture. Sculpture and pottery overlap. However, sculpture also made use of ivory and stone. Likewise, sculpture and...

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Monday, 25 February 2019 02:53

Escapism

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Suppose you're awaked from sleep by a sound. Say you were dreaming. Only you're not sure if the sound occurred outside the dream or inside the dream. Probably outside.
So you're lying in bed, in that twilight condition where you could either will yourself to get out of bed, become fully awake, or...

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Monday, 25 February 2019 00:03

Draining the Tiber swamp

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The Vatican just wrapped up a sex summit in Rome. It won't change anything. The hierachy will not and cannot solve this problem. One reason is because the leadership is a large part of the problem. To drain the swamp, the hierarchy would have to do the following:
i) Rescind the policy of mandatory...

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Sunday, 24 February 2019 23:15

Is the Resurrection special?

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Christian apologists often treat the Resurrect as if that's a uniquely important miracle. In one sense that's true, in another sense that's not the case. 
Many apologists focus on the Resurrection for two reasons;
i) They think that's the best-attested miracle. That's the easiest to defend. They...

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Sunday, 24 February 2019 01:00

Sea-monsters

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I've written a lot about how the Tempter in Gen 3 was probably meant to trigger associations with ophiomancy and ophiolatry. But crocodiles may be a related motif in the Pentateuch. 
There's the identity of the "sea-monsters" in Gen 1:21. Some commentators think that's mythological. But it's...

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Saturday, 23 February 2019 08:02

Wolves in chamois vestments

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What's wrong with some "evangelical" churches–from a Facebook comment thread: 
Rivers O Feden 
Jonathan, I agree. I go to an Evangelical church and the pastor is hardly able to answer theological questions intelligently (or interact with different viewpoints). Nowadays, it seems that...

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Saturday, 23 February 2019 07:38

Van Til and Vallicella

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The proof presupposes the Law of Non-Contradiction (LNC), and I am willing to grant that LNC and the other laws of logic can be argued to presuppose in their turn the existence of an omniscient necessary being. One argument to this conclusion is the Anderson-Welty argument which I critically...

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Saturday, 23 February 2019 03:27

Down Syndrome

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Today is my Down Syndrome son’s 16th birthday, and I am ever more aware that there is no gift I can give him that is greater than the gift he is to me. Allow your child to bring out the best in you, especially when you face challenges, it is their special talent. https://t.co/nOR8iotHsC
—...

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I’ve been asked many times, “why do you think it’s the intellectuals who convert to Roman Catholicism, while many of those who don’t approach the topic from a so-called intellectual viewpoint tend in large measure to convert the other way, from Roman Catholicism to...

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Friday, 22 February 2019 13:06

The seal of confession

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That raises a nest issues:
i) It diverts attention away from the source of the problem. It's not Catholic laymen who are the molesters but (many) Catholic priests (and bishops)....

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Thursday, 21 February 2019 10:26

Gay piety

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There are some intriguing facets to Marian piety. Take the specter of sexless priests venerating the sexless Madonna. In traditional Marian iconography, Mary is frequently or usually depicted as a beautiful woman. That's not surprising. Most Catholic artists are straight males. There may be the...

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Thursday, 21 February 2019 09:08

Compartmentalized theology

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Before I do another post critical of Roman Catholicism, it's important to note that we can't use what's wrong as a basis of comparison. There's a danger in taking satisfaction from the fact that I'm not like that! But I could still be bad in a different way. 
i) One way Catholics rationalize...

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Thursday, 21 February 2019 02:53

Fake news

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I didn't follow the Jussie Smollett story closely. My awareness of the story was confined to evolving headlines and Twitter. 
Why does the "news" media keep falling for stories like this?
i) The liberal media are bigots, and bigotry is self-reinforcing. They associate with like-minded people....

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Thursday, 21 February 2019 00:43

Catholic rentboy

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From what I can tell, Brandon seems to be a genuinely likable guy, which I wouldn't say about some other Catholic apologists. Mind you, it's easier to dupe nice guys with an idealistic sales pitch. Natural SOBs like me aren't so...

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