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

Saturday, 25 January 2020 23:23

Nonoverlapping magisteria

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Casey Cole is a Franciscan priest and popular Catholic apologist. A YouTuber with 50K subscribers. I believe he's a cradle Catholic who's studied at Furman, the Catholic University of America, and the Chicago Theological Union.
I've watched a number of his videos. Because Catholic apologists usually...

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Saturday, 25 January 2020 00:35

The provincial universal church

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A revealing window into how provincial a denomination which claims to be the universal church has been for nearly its entire history:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbGDmKt-KbY&t=14s

Authors: steve...

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Friday, 24 January 2020 23:23

Authentic Catholicism

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1. I've often said that most Catholic apologists present an inauthentic version of Catholicism because most of them are evangelical converts to Catholicism. In general, they have a far more conservative view of Scripture, which is a carryover from their evangelical past. By contrast, here's an...

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Friday, 24 January 2020 01:53

How amazing is Randi?

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A few of quick observations:
1. Scientist Rupert Sheldrake is less enthusiastic about Randi's debunking bona fides:
2. While a...

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Friday, 24 January 2020 00:21

Is the Trinity brute fact?

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1. I suspect many Christians affirm and defend the Trinity because they're supposed to, but not because they find any intrinsic value in the doctrine. The Trinity is often presented as an impenetrable paradox. You have a pious duty to check that box, but it it wasn't a revealed truth, how many...

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Thursday, 23 January 2020 07:58

How strange is the Trinity?

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Is the Trinity an apparent contradiction? Let's take a comparison. It's natural for humans to reason counterfactually. Indeed, the ability to contemplate hypothetical scenarios is part of what makes human intelligence human.
That includes self-referential counterfactuals. I can say I'd turn out...

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Thursday, 23 January 2020 04:52

Why is the Spirit the Spirit ?

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Why is the Spirit of God called the "Spirit"? I've discussed this before, but I'd like to be a bit more discriminating this time. Seems to me that "ruach/pneuma" trades on several connotations, all of which are germane to this member of the Trinity:
1. In Biblical usage, a spirit is:
i) A personal...

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Thursday, 23 January 2020 04:28

Tooting his own Horn

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Catholic apologist Trent Horn has a running commentary on Mike Winger's critique of Catholic authority:
Horn is one of the best younger-generation Catholic apologists, so he's a good foil. I'm going to selectively comment on Horn's responses. For...

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Wednesday, 22 January 2020 20:08

Abusing Peter's Weaknesses To Establish A Papacy

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I want to expand on Steve's recent discussion of Luke 22:32 and the papacy.The passage is addressing Peter's restoration after a fall, not some sort of strength he had as a Pope. The work Peter is described as doing, in strengthening his brethren, not only is common to all of the apostles (Acts...

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Wednesday, 22 January 2020 08:13

Eternal sonship

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1. I recently ran across the question of whether it's consistent to affirm the eternal sonship of Christ but disaffirm the eternal generation of Christ. To which I'd answer: yes!
2. Both sonship and generation are related metaphors, and so it might seem illogical to affirm one but disaffirm the...

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Tuesday, 21 January 2020 23:21

Strengthen your brothers

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Luke 22:31-32 records Jesus telling Peter "Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren". The original Greek in the passage shows that Satan demanded to sift "you", or...

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Tuesday, 21 January 2020 10:17

I used to be an anti-LGBTQ Evangelical

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I'm not sure this is worth commenting on:
However, the liberal media is pursuing a strategy of redefining Christianity so that "true" Christians, or the only socially-acceptable version of Christianity, will be...

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Tuesday, 21 January 2020 08:38

Was Jesus self-deceived?

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Tentative Apologist
@RandalRauser
I had a nice exchange with @RTB_FRana but I was disappointed to learn that he holds Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. That thesis is to biblical studies as young-earth creationism is to geology. When Christian apologists endorse fringe views they weaken their...

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Monday, 20 January 2020 23:43

Francis Chan at the Catholic Ecumenical Track

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I watched the talk Francis Chan's recently gave to a Catholic group:
This is, of course, right on the heels of a sermon in which he was regurgitating Catholic talking-points. A few random observations:
1....

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Monday, 20 January 2020 00:10

What is the authorship of sin?

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This is not a complete answer to the author of sin charge, simply because the author of sin objection is not one objection at all but a family of objections. It has as many different versions as there are objectionable relations to sin that the traditional view might be thought to entail God bears....

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Sunday, 19 January 2020 03:32

Enfield Miscellany (Part 3)

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(For an explanation of what this series is about, see part 1 here. You can read part 2 here. I'll be referencing Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair's Enfield tapes. I'll use "MG" to refer to a tape from Grosse's collection and "GP" to refer to one from Playfair's. So, MG65B refers to tape 65B in...

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Sunday, 19 January 2020 00:48

God's absence

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1. I'm going to revisit the divine hiddenness argument. The basic idea is that many or most people don't experience God in the way they need, want, or expect. The argument operates on roughly two fronts. A typical presupposition of freewill theism is God's desires that every human being enjoy...

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Saturday, 18 January 2020 09:05

Dark planet

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Schellenberg is a leading atheist philosopher, famous for his overrated argument from divine hiddenness. Here he gives an autobiographical backgrounder: 
I grew up in a deeply religious household on the prairie of Manitoba, Canada's "keystone" province (so we self-importantly told each other in...

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Saturday, 18 January 2020 07:38

The bones of Jesus

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1. Christians are sometimes asked if they'd cease to be Christian in case the bones of Jesus were excavated in a Jerusalem cemetery. Of course, that's not a realistic prospect. For one thing, we don't have an independent DNA sample of Jesus to ID the bones. But the hypothetical isn't meant to be...

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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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