Where Science and Faith Converge
  • Wayward Youth in a Pagan Empire: St. Augustine, Part 2

    May 9, 2012

    Named for two Roman Emperors, Aurelius Augustinus was born November 13 AD 354, in Thagaste, a small Roman province of Numidia in North Africa (present day Algeria). His family was what might be called a lower middle-class. His father, Patricius, was a small-landowner with pagan beliefs who seemed to care more about his son’s education than his character.

    • Historical Theology
    • Church Fathers
  • An Intellectual Code of Conduct, Part 1

    May 8, 2012

    From childhood, we’re taught to follow the Golden Rule: treat others as we want to be treated. Jesus Christ included this principle in His description of the greatest commandments: “The second [commandment] is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    • Ethics
  • God to the Rescue: Getting into Heaven by Grace, Not Works

    May 3, 2012

    The typical person on the street apparently thinks that while most people are not as kind and compassionate as Mother Teresa, they clearly are not as evil as Saddam Hussein. Therefore, the vast majority of people in the moral middle will get a passing score on God’s graded curve. So whether as the tenet of a formal, non-Christian religion or a facet of personal spirituality, people commonly view heaven as a reward for being a fairly decent person and hell as a punishment for being a truly terrible human being.

    • Salvation
  • Podcast Highlight: Movies, Anthropology, and Reasoning

    April 24, 2012

    I’ve been addressing a potpourri of topics on my podcast, Straight Thinking. The goal of the podcast is similar to Reflections’: highlighting the importance of careful thinking in relation to the Christian worldview. Check out these recent podcast series for a sample of the issues we cover on Straight Thinking.

    • General Apologetics
    • Image of God
  • How Theists and Atheists Reason Differently About God

    April 17, 2012

    Theists and atheists do reason differently about God and the world. A common skeptical objection to the enterprise of Christian apologetics is that believers engage in a god-of-the-gaps form of reasoning. This charge means that the Christian theist typically attributes gaps in (especially) scientific knowledge to something God has done. For example, when science can’t explain how the universe came into being or how life originated on Earth, the Christian apologist is quick to point to God as the cause or explanation. Thus the skeptic’s accusation is that Christians do nothing more than give their ignorance a name—“God.” No real and adequate explanation, says the skeptic, is provided by simply appealing to God as a cause or source.

    • Atheism
  • Not All Dead Men Stay Dead: 10 Essential Points about the Resurrection

    April 9, 2012

    Historic Christianity contains numerous beliefs that are theologically and philosophically volatile (in the best sense of the term). These powerful truth-claims have transformed the church and even turned the world upside down. My new book, 7 Truths that Changed the World, explores seven of historic Christianity’s dangerous ideas.

    • Resurrection
  • Five Strands of Evidence for Jesus Christ’s Resurrection

    April 3, 2012

    Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead three days after His execution pumps the heart of the Christian gospel (doctrine) and is Christianity’s central supporting fact (apologetics). The truth of Christianity uniquely stands or falls on Christ’s resurrection. Because of this, the New Testament accounts of Christ’s resurrection warrant careful analysis and reflection.

    • Resurrection
  • Quote of the Week: Michael Green

    March 29, 2012
    • General Apologetics
  • Thinking about Suffering and Death, Part 4

    March 27, 2012

    Christians often talk about what it means to live well but seldom do they discuss what it means to die well. So what is a “good death”? In the context of hospice, the concept of a good death involves the easing of a dying person’s suffering. But in the broader scope of life, what constitutes a good death?

    • Philosophy of Religion
  • Quote of the Week: Gary Kirby and Jeffery R. Goodpaster

    March 22, 2012
    • Logic
  • Thinking about Suffering and Death, Part 3

    March 20, 2012

    Courage is a virtue that I’ve always admired and respected. Growing up I was deeply impressed and proud of my father’s strength and valor as a frontline combat soldier in World War II. By extension, I appreciate and respect all people—such as noble police officers, firefighters, and soldiers—who willingly put their life on the line for others.

    • Christian Life
  • Thinking about Suffering and Death, Part 2

    March 20, 2012

    Whether it was losing a loved one, becoming the victim of a violent crime, or facing a life-threatening illness, my immediate reaction to experiences of genuine suffering has been a profound feeling of being alone in that condition. I don’t know if other people react that way to sorrow. For me, suffering is a deeply personal issue that I don’t often discuss with other people. But I recently heard Christian psychologist Jim Wilder state that people who undergo trauma often lose a sense of relationship for a time—thus feeling personally detached and numb.

    • Problem of Evil
  • Quote of the Week: St. Augustine, 3

    March 15, 2012
    • Creation "Days"
  • Thinking about Suffering and Death, Part 1

    March 13, 2012

    Take it from me, here are two words you never want to hear come out of your doctor’s mouth—“brain cancer!”

    • Philosophy of Religion
    • Problem of Evil
  • Blaise’s Best Bet, Part 6: Pascal’s Wager Continued

    March 6, 2012

    Blaise Pascal’s famous wager argues that believing in God’s existence is a safer bet than not believing. Before examining the strengths and weaknesses of Pascal’s proposed gamble, we must understand the context in which it arose and how Pascal1 intended it to be used as an apologetics tool. Four points of clarification2 are helpful in this regard.

    • Historical Apologetics
  • Blaise’s Best Bet, Part 5: Pascal’s Wager

    February 28, 2012

    Blaise Pascal1 is probably best known for his presentation of the “wager argument.”2 Pascal’s friends who remained simultaneously unconvinced by the claims of atheism and Christianity were the intended audience for this voluntaristic argument (an appeal more to the human will than to reason itself).

    • Historical Apologetics
  • Blaise’s Best Bet, Part 4: Pascal for Today

    February 21, 2012

    For the last several weeks, I’ve been reflecting on French thinker Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). I’ve discussed his life, his achievements in science and mathematics, and his conversion to Christianity and work as an apologist. Though Pascal lived centuries ago, I believe his writings on theology and apologetics remain important for Christians of the twenty-first century.

    • Image of God
  • Quote of the Week: Walter Martin, 2

    February 16, 2012
    • Atheism
  • Blaise’s Best Bet, Part 3: a Bold Apologist

    February 14, 2012

    Last week, I highlighted the remarkable mathematical and scientific accomplishments that distinguished the short life of French thinker Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). His ideas and inventions rightly earned him the title of “the first modern man.” But science and math weren’t the only fields Pascal impacted—his writings on theology and apologetics remain a treasure of historic Christian literature. In this post, I’ll describe Pascal’s conversion experience and involvement in the church. (See part 1 for an introduction to Pascal.)

    • Philosophy of Science
    • Philosophy of Religion
  • Quote of the Week: Kenneth Samples, 4

    February 9, 2012
    • Christian Life

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