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
Saturday, 22 December 2018 22:42

Christian manhood

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I'm going to make some comments on some material by Paul Maxwell. I only ran across him recently. He used to be a contributor to Desiring God and TGC. 
He frequently says things I agree with. However, he seem to be a self-help guru, so there's a self-promotional aspect what he says. That can be...

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Saturday, 22 December 2018 06:59

How Should We Argue For The Virgin Birth?

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Steve Hays drew my attention to a recent interview with William Lane Craig in the New York Times, part of which discusses the virgin birth. Craig's responses to the questions he's asked are of mixed quality, and I won't be responding to most of what he said. But I want to comment on his remarks...

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Friday, 21 December 2018 23:47

Net result

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A few comments on this:
Second, certain heinous evils do not have a “net” good. 
On the face of it, even heinous evils can yield a net good. Events are causes of further events down the line. Everything adds up, for better or worse. In...

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Friday, 21 December 2018 02:59

The Dark Knight

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Recently I saw Leighton Flowers interview Andy Stanley:
There's nothing significant about what they said. These are hackneyed objections to Calvinism. What makes it significant is who said it. Andy pastors one of the two largest megachurches in the USA, so...

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Thursday, 20 December 2018 01:07

Licking Jesus

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Here's a sequel to my prior post: 
In addition to his written response to Ben Shapiro's interview with JMac, Trent Horn also did a podcast, which covers more ground:
Trent Horn...

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018 07:10

Hear, O house of David

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13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isa 7:13-14).
To critics, the Christian...

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018 06:45

When natural evils are natural goods

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All this convective bubbling up and recycling between crust and mantle, this creative destruction and reconstruction of parts — “tectonic” comes from the Greek word for build — is Earth’s way of following the second law of thermodynamics. The movement shakes off into...

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018 03:11

Custom-made Christianity

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I'm going to comment on some statements by John Marriott:
He's an adjunct professor in Philosophy and Intercultural Studies at Biola, and...

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Tuesday, 18 December 2018 22:53

Floodlight

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The days of Genesis are usually viewed in terms of time. However, that overlooks another aspect, for the days of Genesis can be viewed in terms of space. Where "day" in day/night, light/darkness, dawn/dusk stands for sunlight or daylight, light fills space. Sun, moon, and stars fill the sky with...

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Tuesday, 18 December 2018 08:45

The utter east

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Light and darkness are major theological metaphors in Scripture, so I find it useful to mentally visualize the play of sunlight in different situations. 
In addition, my parents had a waterfront property with a panoramic view spanning east and west, so I was used to watching the play of...

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Monday, 17 December 2018 23:08

Reading Scripture in community

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1. A popular Catholic trope is that, contrary to sola Scriptura, Scripture was meant to be read in community. It can't be properly understood apart from the interpretive community of faith. 
To flesh out the argument: the Bible is the Church's book. Scripture was written to and for the Church....

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Monday, 17 December 2018 13:17

Dual-covenant theology

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Culture warrior and Orthodox Jew Ben Shapiro recently interviewed Bishop Barron:

Barron is the Fulton Sheen of his generation, although they have different skill sets. Barron is a smooth, smart, articulate, winsome evangelist and apologist for mainstream Catholic theology. Protestant apologists...

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Monday, 17 December 2018 10:20

Umpires who bet on their own team

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Around the 26-31 min. mark, Bishop Baron defends the papacy:

  1. He's discussing the difference between authentic an inauthentic theological development. Developments may deviate from the essential meaning of the original idea. So that requires the authority of the pope to play umpire.

    But there's...

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Sunday, 16 December 2018 23:29

Gratia prima

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Around the 19 min. mark, Bishop Barron draws a distinction between sola gratia and gratia prima. He frankly says Catholic theology affirms gratia prima but rejects sola gratia. That's a useful admission to clarify a crucial difference between Catholicism and classic Protestant theology:

In...

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imageI urge you to watch this. It's only six minutes long, but it would be hard to find a Protestant who has ever said more scathing things about the Roman Catholic hierarchy, than Michael Voris says here. What's really amazing is that, because Voris has had interactions with federal and state...

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Sunday, 16 December 2018 12:35

Grieving as an atheist

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I'll comment on this:
It is one thing for me to pretend to believe an abominable doctrine such as Christianity, but it’s another for my children to be put under it. As a parent, one of the strongest instincts I feel is the...

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Critics often say or imply that the early Christians were more dependent on the oral transmission of information than they actually were. This past Easter season, I wrote a post about non-extant documents on Jesus' resurrection, including documents that predate the ones we have. Much of what I...

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Saturday, 15 December 2018 10:25

Bryan's stalled chess game

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Bryan Cross recently reviewed Roman but Not Catholic: What Remains at Stake 500 Years after the Reformation, by Kenneth Collins & Jerry Walls, in Faith and Philosophy 35/4 (October 2018), 485-491. 
i) It's worth noting who didn't write the review. It wasn't...

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Friday, 14 December 2018 23:47

Genesis in the church fathers

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It seemed to me [reviewer James Pate] that a lot of the church fathers Allert profiled believed that the events of Genesis 1 occurred as narrated. Why seek to explain the light that existed before the sun, moon, and stars, if it is all just symbolic, anyway? They may have believed there was a...

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Friday, 14 December 2018 23:28

Invisible friends

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Atheists mock Christian belief in their "invisible friend". 
i) Jesus is visible, not invisible. God Incarnate is visible. He was seen (heard, and touched) by thousands of observers in 1C Palestine.
ii) And that's not just a thing of the past. Consider many reported Christophanies in modern...

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Friday, 14 December 2018 23:14

Calvinism as devotional theology

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From a devotional standpoint, Calvinism has two centripetal orientations:
i) Our absolute dependence on God as creatures
ii) Our absolute dependence on God as sinners
(ii) presupposes (i), but (ii) deepens the sense of helplessness and indebtedness. 

Authors: steve...

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Friday, 14 December 2018 10:38

Will John Chau help or harm missions in India?

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Two missiologists address the question: "Will John Chau Help or Harm Missions in India?"

Authors: Patrick Chan...

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Friday, 14 December 2018 09:27

Reproduction machines

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Had an impromptu debate with an apostate on Facebook
Michael 
What Doctrines do Atheists hold? I would prefer to describe myself as a Humanist because that does tell you something about my beliefs and values. If I called you a non-Buddhist, all that would tell you is some of the things a don't...

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Friday, 14 December 2018 05:12

Can We Trust the Gospels?

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Recently I read Can We Trust the Gospels? (Crossway 2018) by Peter Williams, a NT scholar and textual critic. 
Chap. 1 reviews the non-Christian sources. 
Chap. 2 provides an overview of the canonical Gospels.
Chap. 3 marshals a battery of evidence to demonstrate that the canonical...

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Friday, 14 December 2018 01:40

What is Calvinism?

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I. Preliminaries
I've discussed this before, but now I'd like to offer a more comprehensive statement. This will reflect my own understanding.
Calvinism is often defined by the "five points of Calvinism". But while that's an integral element of Calvinism, it's a reductionistic definition. 
There's...

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