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

Friday, 17 January 2020 22:27

Chasing a mirage

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The word [hebel] normally refers to warm air, briefly visible as water molecules contained in it condense when it cools. A larger body of warm air, such as mist, can remain visible for a longer time. It is a visual metaphor. Mist appears to be more substantial than it is (ephemerality), soon...

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Friday, 17 January 2020 08:34

Living in the Bible

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When we read the Bible, should we be able to find ourselves in the Bible? To use literary categories, there can be archetypal characters, archetypal plots, and and archetypical places. 
1. Characters
There are figures whose experience may parallel your own in certain respects. For instance, the...

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Thursday, 16 January 2020 23:42

Oral and memorial tradition

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And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read (Lk 4:16).
After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any...

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Wednesday, 15 January 2020 09:00

Seed dispersal

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I'd like to make a brief observation about the "thousands" of Protestant denominations. According to Catholic apologists, that's a defeater for the Protestant faith.
As we know, Jesus often uses agriculture metaphors for the growth of God's kingdom. Consider different natural strategies for seed...

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Wednesday, 15 January 2020 05:13

Retroengineering the development of doctrine

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Catholic apologists like to retroengineer the development of doctrine. With the benefit of hindsight, they retrace later positions and policies back to seminal ideas in the church fathers. 
Sometimes that's legitimate, but it an easily be an illusion. That's because it's often possible for the...

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Tuesday, 14 January 2020 07:49

Throwing sixes

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1. A stock argument for the composite authorship of the Pentateuch is doublets. Classified as alternate traditions or alternate legends. 
I guess the theory behind this is that because each tradition had sacred pedigree, the redactors incorporated conflicting traditions into the Pentateuch. But...

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https://denverseminary.edu/resources/news-and-articles/text-and-history-reassessing-the-relationship-between-the-bible-and-archaeological-findings-a-review-essay/This is basically a critique of secular biblical archeology. The primary value lies in the correctives provided by Hess rather than the...

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Monday, 13 January 2020 23:40

Reasons for hell

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Recently I was listening to philosophical theologians give bad answers on hell. I've probably discussed most of this before at one time or another, but it may be useful to summarize them in one place. By way of preliminary comment, the primary reason Christians believe in hell is because they...

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Monday, 13 January 2020 05:48

The infernalists

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This is at the heart of Hart’s unforgiving rhetoric in his book towards the “infernalists”. We no longer live in Tertullian’s or Dante’s world where we can look gleefully upon our enemies writhing in unquenchable flames and think that they are receiving their just...

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Monday, 13 January 2020 00:58

Eucharistic miracle

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On Christmas Day in 2013, a consecrated Host fell to the floor, the bishop said in a statement. It was put in a container of water and red stains subsequently appeared on the Host.
Tests were performed at the Department of Forensic Medicine in Wroclaw at the beginning of 2014. Another study was...

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Saturday, 11 January 2020 09:31

Is a Bird in the Chan worth two in the bush?

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Michael F. Bird
@mbird12
Okay, those bagging Francis Chan for having a high view of the Lord supper, mostly nondenominational and low church Evangelicals, regard catholicity as a swearword and have a view of the sacraments that is mere memorialism heading into christological docetism.
i) Have you ever...

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Saturday, 11 January 2020 00:29

Why do people believe in hell?

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I'm going to comment on an article by David Bentley Hart:
He's an essayist and Eastern Orthodox theologian. One of those chic fashionable theologians like Miroslav Volf or Eugene Peterson with a...

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Friday, 10 January 2020 09:19

Parsing the Incarnation

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A comment left on my EO post:
I think you need to strengthen your notion of hypostatic union.
I wasn't offering a detailed view of my position. I've explicated my position in other posts. 
1. The humanity that the Logos took...

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Friday, 10 January 2020 01:06

The rose in the death camp

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For believers–as well as unbelievers–our attitude towards life and adversity has a lot to do with what we think is normal, expected, and exceptional. For instance, we may expect a park to be scenic. Pretty trees. Flowers in springtime. Nicely landscaped. Maybe a river, pond, or...

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Thursday, 09 January 2020 10:59

A sufferer-centered theodicy

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In his chapter, Erik Wielenberg argues that life in a Christian universe is absurd, in that it would be impossible for most humans to be happy if they understood and accepted its entailments. He thinks Christianity makes life absurd because it entails what I elsewhere (2017) called a “strong...

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Thursday, 09 January 2020 09:25

Is prayer ethical?

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This is another post on the perennial "problem of unanswered prayer". The point of the question is not whether it's unethical to pray. The question, rather, is whether it's unethical for God to make the satisfaction of certain needs conditional on prayer. 
Before proceeding, let's narrow the...

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Thursday, 09 January 2020 01:09

Faith and fathers

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“The demographic characteristics of the linguistic and religious groups in Switzerland” by Werner Haug and Phillipe Warner of the Federal Statistical Office, Neuchatel. It appears in Volume 2 of Population Studies No. 31, a book titled The Demographic Characteristics of National...

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Wednesday, 08 January 2020 17:32

The Writings Of The Enfield Poltergeist

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The poltergeist's communication through knocking and its voice get a lot of attention. Much less is said about the occasions when it communicated through writing.I'll be citing Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair's Enfield tapes. I'll use "MG" to designate Grosse's tapes and "GP" to designate...

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Wednesday, 08 January 2020 09:10

Miraculous healing and faith-healers

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https://billdembski.com/theology-and-religion/faces-of-miracles-chapter-5/#more-54769This is useful up to a point. Mind you, his experience was limited to an 18-month period. And the sample of faith-healers was very small. Not to mention that the psychic healers are prima facie charlatans from the...

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Wednesday, 08 January 2020 07:29

Revelation: the movie

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The Apocalypse is the most cinematic book of the Bible. Thanks to advances in CGI, it's now possible to film Revelation. Do a cinematic adaptation. 
It's useful to play director. A useful mental exercise because a director must visualize what he's going to film. He has to make many interpretive...

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Tuesday, 07 January 2020 08:26

Walking through walls

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19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were...

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Monday, 06 January 2020 23:13

Bock on the formation of the Gospels

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…recollections that were initially a part of oral traditions passed on by word of mouth as opposed to written down, and eventually they got recorded. The people who did the recording had different concerns and and...

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Monday, 06 January 2020 08:24

Counterfactual blame

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I'm going to briefly revisit an argument I've made in the past, using a different illustration. A stock objection to hell is that everlasting punishment is disproportionate to the sins committed in one lifetime. 
One point I've made is that we need to take into account all the additional sins,...

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Monday, 06 January 2020 06:54

Flipping Molinist dominoes

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Molinism
Since CCFs do not depend for their truth values on God's will, and God is omniscient, God knows the field of CCFs "ahead of time," that is, in a way explanatorily prior to his decision to create. He can therefore foresee exactly what world will result from any set of initial conditions he...

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