BY REV. THOMAS WHITELAW, M. A., D. D., KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND
I. The first mark of the truthfulness of Christianity is to be found in
ITS SUPREME EXCELLENCE
as a Religious System. The unapproachable beauty and resistless charm of its conception, and the unique character of the means by which it seeks to carry out its aims, are not reconcilable with the notion of Fable.
If, however, notwithstanding, Christianity is a Fable, then it is the Divinest Fable ever clothed in human speech. Nothing like it can be found in the literature of the world. Paul only spoke the unvarnished truth when he declared that eye had not seen nor ear heard, neither had the mind of man conceived the things which God had revealed to men in the Gospel.
NOT OF HUMAN ORIGIN
1. The very conception of the Gospel as a scheme for rescuing a lost world from the guilt and power of Sin, for transforming men into servants of righteousness, followers of Christ, and children of God, each one resembling Himself and partaking of His nature, and for eventually lifting them up into a state of holy and blessed immortality like that in which He Himself dwells—that conception never took its rise in the brains of a human fable monger, and least of all in that of a crafty priest or political deceiver—no, not even in that of the best and most brilliantly endowed thinker, poet, prophet or philosopher that ever lived. Men do not write novels and compose fictions in order to redeem their fellows from guilt and
BY PRESIDENT E. Y. MULLINS, D. D., LL. D., LOUISVILLE, KY., U. S. A.
Human experience is the one datum of all philosophy, and all science. The experience of the individual and of the race is the grist which is poured into all the scientific and philosophic mills. Hence Christian experience as a distinct form of human experience ought to receive more attention than it has ever received before.
Professor Bowne has emphasized the fact that whatever your philosophy, your experience is the same. You may call things by any names you wish and it will not affect experience. Christian Science says that all is mind, that a cobble stone, for example, is simply an idea and not a real piece of matter. We will suppose that some one hurls it and it strikes your head and sends you off for relief. Then you have an experience in the realm of the ideal. You have an ideal stone, striking an ideal head, and raising an ideal bump and producing an ideal dizziness and pain, and requiring the application of an ideal liniment, which produces an ideal cure, and affords you an ideal satisfaction and peace of mind. But all this does not in the slightest degree alter the experience itself. And if you were going to rear a philosophic system on the principle deduced from sudden contact of cobble stones with human craniums, you would be compelled to take this concrete human experience to begin with.
JOHN JASPER PHILOSOPHY
Science and philosophy are beginning to recognize the evidential value of Christian experience though they are very
I purchased a copy of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion* the other day. I teach an apologetics class at my church and wanted to actually read what one of the so-called “Four Horseman of New Atheism” had to say on the matter. My wife was horrified when I opened the package and held the tome aloft—she accused me of enriching a godless heretic who seems content to remain on a path leading inevitably to the fires of hell. I supposed she had a point, so I retreated to pragmaticism—how can I know what the man says unless I buy the book? My wife reluctantly agreed but was still suspicious, and ordered me to banish the text to a distant bookshelf, far from the reaches of our children.
Reading the first few chapters, I stumbled across a disturbing passage written by a well-meaning but ill-informed Christian to Albert Einstein. The missive was a response to a paper Einstein wrote in 1940 about why he did not believe in God. Dawkins evidenced contempt and scorn for this little letter, and I must agree he is justified in doing so. Here it is:
We respect your learning, Dr Einstein; but there is one thing you do not seem to have learned: that God is a spirit and cannot be found through the telescope or microscope, no more than human thought or emotion can be found by analyzing the brain. As everyone knows, religion is based on Faith, not knowledge. Every thinking person, perhaps, is assailed at times with religious doubt. My own faith has wavered many a time. But I never told anyone of my spiritual aberrations for two reasons: (1) I feared that I might, by mere suggestion, disturb and damage the life and hopes of some fellow being; (2) because I agree with the writer who said, “There is a mean streak in anyone who will destroy another’s faith.”…I hope, Dr Einstein, that you were misquoted and that you will yet say something more pleasing to the vast number of the American people who delight to do you honor. (38)
As a pastor of a church plant with many new Christians, I found 7 Truths that Changed the World by Kenneth Richard Samples, to be a great foundation for a sermon series on the simple foundational truths of Christianity. The author does a great job of taking very complex subjects and making them palatable for the common reader like me. The book is not overbearing with the amount of information, nor is it too weak in defending the truth. It is a perfect balance between the academic and practical.
The book is built around the seven truths, with a section devoted to each of them. Samples articulates and defends the specific truth and also explains the positions of other prominent worldviews. This review will focus on a brief summary of the author’s explanation and defense of each of the seven truths.
Dangerous Idea #1: Not All Dead Men Stay Dead
The hope of Easter is defended quite well by Mr. Samples. Samples deals with the following seven historical facts: the empty tomb, the postmortem appearances, the short time frame between actual events and eyewitness claims, the extraordinary transformation of the apostles, the greatest conversion in history, the emergence of the historic Christian church and the emergence of Sunday as a day of worship. Each of these points are summarized and a fundamental defense of the resurrection of Christ is advanced. read more
Since the first century, the church has been involved in one way or another in the ministry of apologetics. Within the last few decades, as atheists have seemed to ramp up their religious efforts to discredit and eradicate the belief in God and Christianity more specifically, Christians have ramped up their apologetical focus with matching intensity.
Among the many contemporary apologists Paul Copan, current president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, and William Lane Craig, perhaps the most well-known and active Christian apologist and debater, have teamed up to edit a series of books that seek to address many of the contemporary issues within Christian apologetics. Passionate Conviction: Contemporary Discourses on Christian Apologetics and Contending With Christianity’s Critics: Answering New Atheists and Other Objectors were the precursors to the third book in the series Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics. All three books are edited by Copan and Craig and include a host of different contributors.
As its subtitle indicates this book is a collection of a variety of essays (sixteen in all). The essays focus on the following five areas: 1) apologetics, culture, and the kingdom of God 2) the God question, 3) the historical Jesus and New Testament reliability, 4) Ancient Israel and other [ANE] religions, and 5) Christian uniqueness and other religions (such as Islam). Since there is no one theme that is developed throughout the book this review will provide some general thoughts on the book overall with some comments on specific chapters. read more
While there may be disagreement over the fullest understanding of Scripture’s term “the people of God,” there is no disagreement that at minimum it includes the people of Israel as an ethnic group. This is certainly how Joseph would have understood the words of the angel of the Lord when he said, “She will bear a son, and you will call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21, ESV).” But as the Gospels and subsequent history reveal, the people of Israel have largely rejected Jesus as the Messiah, the Savior from their sins (as well as others).
With a desire to provide a robust, thorough and evangelistic tool to aid in the evangelism of the Jewish people, Chosen People Ministries leader Mitch Glaser has teamed up with Darrell Bock and a solid line up of evangelical scholars to produce The Gospel According to Isaiah 53: Encountering the Suffering Servant in Jewish and Christian Theology. As Glaser states, “This book was written to help readers to utilize the truths of this magnificent chapter in bringing the Good News to those who do not yet know Jesus,” with a desire to “deepen their understanding of Isaiah 53 and to better equip the saints for ministry among the Jewish people” (p. 21).
Structure of the Book
Part One gives an overview of both the Jewish and Christian interpretations of Isaiah 53. The Christian interpretations, though they may vary on some details, hold in common the belief that the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53 is Jesus Christ the Son of God. Richard Averbeck deals with the literary, historical and hermeneutical issues surrounding Isaiah 53. In chapter two Michael Brown lays out the various Jewish interpretations of Isaiah 53 which all have in common the Suffering Servant as the Jewish people themselves. Brown walks through Isaiah 53 verse by verse giving the Jewish interpretation of each as well as a response. read more