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
Thursday, 13 December 2018 12:15

The mission of the church

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Some Christians respond to the social justice movement by framing the issue in terms of the church's mission, or gospel/non-gospel categories. Now, there's certainly an important debate to be had regarding the mission of the church. And it's true that when the church suffers from mission creep, it...

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Thursday, 13 December 2018 09:44

Boy Scouts goes belly up

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/boy-scouts-of-america-considers-bankruptcy-filing-amid-sex-abuse-lawsuits-11544649657This shows the progressive agenda is not unstoppable. People vote with their feet and their wallets as their ballots. The BSA snubbed its core constituency, and is now on the brink of...

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Thursday, 13 December 2018 09:02

Calvinism: A Doctrine of Devils Documentary

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To: Wormwood
From: Screwtape
Re: "Calvinism: A Doctrine of Devils" Documentary
I'm dismayed by your failure to preempt this exposé:
Our best field operatives have now been outed. His Infernal Majesty is displeased with your dereliction. I've convened...

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Thursday, 13 December 2018 08:40

Celibate Jesus

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It's sometimes alleged that Jesus was a bachelor because Jesus was gay. 
Some people say Jesus was gay, not because they really believe that, but because they like to get a rise out of Christians. They know some Christians will wax indignant if they make outrageous statements about...

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018 23:27

Advice for undertrained missionaries like John Chau

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From a Chinese missiologist:https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jacksonwu/2018/12/11/missionaries-undertrained-john-chau/I'd point out that historically, many missionaries were poorly prepared. It was on the job training. They learned about the unevangelized by living and working with the unevangelized....

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I'll comment on a recent post by Arminian theologian Roger Olson:
Recently a leading American Calvinist pastor-theologian has asked and answered this all-important question on his blog: Can a...

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018 10:15

Curved grading

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I have a beef about traditional grading. Let's use seminary as an example. Take comprehensive exams. Professors don't expect students to get 100%. Few students get a perfect score. 
Yet that means they don't expect students to remember everything they were taught. But what's the objective of...

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018 09:29

Predestination and prayer

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A stock objection to Calvinism is that predestination makes prayer pointless. Ironically, there's a parallel objection based on the providential inutility of foreknowledge. So classical freewill theists are on the hook for an analogous objection.
But back to Calvinism. Let's take a comparison: a...

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018 02:45

Body, soul, and Incarnation

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In some circles it's customary to say that at the Incarnation, God enters time and space. Other Christians say that happened at creation. That's okay for popular discourse, but theologically imprecise. 
If God exists outside of time and space, then there's no transfer of divine attributes to...

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:58

Time's passage

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We just see time passing in front us, in the movement of a second hand around a clock, or the falling of sand through an hourglass, or indeed any motion or change at all.
We are indirectly aware of the passage of time when we reflect on our memories, which present the world as it was, and...

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:30

God and music

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Suppose you think that God is the most perfect, or the greatest possible being. Then you might wonder: Isn’t timeless existence a more perfect mode of existence than being in time? Isn’t it greater for a being to be outside of time? If so, then it follows from God’s being the most...

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018 22:35

Hitting back

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I sometimes run across the slogan that "real men don't hit women". I've seen this slogan in evangelical circles as well. Usually the context involves domestic violence. The abusive boyfriend or wife-beater. Of course, abusive boyfriends and wife-beaters don't pay attention to this slogan.
In classic...

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018 13:36

Mature creation and illusion

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The stock objection to young-earth creationism is that mature creation implicates God in a web of deception. Ironically, even Jonathan Sarfati agrees with that objection. But let's take a comparison: a major interpretation of the B-theory of time appeals to illusion:

Consider the following quote...

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018 11:42

God in time

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According to classical theism, God is timeless. In Reformed circles, a modern proponent is Paul Helm, who's presented a detailed model of divine timelessness. There are many  permutations to that issue in terms of hermeneutics and theological method:
1. W. L. Craig prooftexts divine...

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Monday, 10 December 2018 23:45

Marian titles

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A sample of a recent debate I had on Facebook:
Mark
Theotokos/God-bearer? 
or Mother of God?
or both?
Hays 
I'll stick with "Mary"
Adam 
Both are true, to deny either as they were meant at Ephesus and Chalcedon is heresy.
Hays 
Yes, it's heretical to deny a made-up, manmade title.
Adam
Yes....

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Monday, 10 December 2018 17:33

Neglected Evidence For The Magi Account

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I've been addressing several lines of evidence for the account in different contexts over the years, and I want to put them together in one place. Some of the posts I'll be linking below address other topics as well, so you may have to search within a post to find the relevant information.- It's...

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Sunday, 09 December 2018 23:24

Anti-theodicy

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I'm going to quote and comment on this essay: N. N. Trakakis, "Anti-Theodicy", The Problem of Evil: Eight Views in Dialogue (Cambridge 2018), chap 4. Trakakis is a protégé of atheist philosopher Graham Oppy, and they often collaborate. In the essay Trakakis indicates that at...

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Sunday, 09 December 2018 21:59

Covering their assets

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imageIn this video, "Church Militant" tells the ongoing story of how the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Detroit is transferring all of its real assets to a holding company (held by the archbishop, coincidentally). Such a move is apparently legal, but it would have the unfortunate effect of denying any...

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Sunday, 09 December 2018 12:50

Gerrymandering naturalism

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Ultimately, determination of the comparative theoretical virtues of theories is a global matter: what counts is which theory does better overall, on an appropriate weighting of theoretical commitment, explanation of data, predictive accuracy, fit with established knowledge, and so forth. In...

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In this post I'm going to comment on an essay by Sharon Street: “If ‘Everything Happens for a Reason,’ then We Don’t Know What Reasons Are: Why the Price of Theism is Normative Skepticism.” In Challenges to Religious and Moral Belief: Disagreement and Evolution,&nb...

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Friday, 07 December 2018 11:51

The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax

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1. I'd like to discuss two disparate objections that share a common principle. On the one hand, atheists taunt Christians who seek medical treatment for a life-threatening condition. If you really believe in heaven, why are you afraid of death? 
On the other hand, freewill theists say Calvinism...

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Friday, 07 December 2018 10:34

The absurdity of life in a Christian universe

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I believe Erik Wielenberg is regarded as a highly competent atheist philosopher. A few years ago he gave a talk:
"The Absurdity of Life in a Christian Universe as a Reason to Prefer that God Not Exist" is meant to be a parody of an existential argument...

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Friday, 07 December 2018 06:47

Jesus gave up his weekend for our sins

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Jesus died for our sins. But he was only dead for 3 days. So what did he sacrifice? His weekend. Jesus gave up his weekend for our sins.
From the great atheist theologian Michael Shermer. It's always a mistake when someone tries to be more clever...

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Friday, 07 December 2018 02:59

Is original sin unjust

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One objection to Calvinism is that original sin is unjust. It is unjust to punish the innocent. To punish someone for something they didn't do.
That's hardly unique to Calvinism. That's standard Latin theology. Traditional Catholic theology. Classical Arminianism. The historic rationale for infant...

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Thursday, 06 December 2018 10:07

Journey back to Eden

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1. Traditionally, Revelation is the last book of the Bible. I don't mean chronologically (although that's quite possible), but in terms of the canonical sequence in standard editions of the Bible. This seems to be a scribal tradition. Scribes must make editorial decisions about the order in which...

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