Apologetics

Books of Note - Can I Really Trust the Bible? (Questions Christians Ask)

Trust is a high commodity among people today but it something that is not given as easily as it was a few generations ago. Almost gone are the days where a gentlemen’s agreement was all that was needed between two people. It was possible because people had more trust in one another. Now, trust among people is harder to acquire. This natural reaction to distrust others has affected how people view the Bible. In our post-Christian world people don’t just naturally trust the Bible as reliable, let alone as the Word of God.

Now, more than ever, people want reasons to trust things and they often put a higher demand on religious texts like the Bible. They want to be reassured that there are good reasons to trust the Bible and that it comes from God. In his recent book, Can I Really Trust the Bible?: And Other Questions About Scripture, Truth and How God Speaks, Barry Cooper answer these questions and more. This book is a mini-introduction and apologetic to the doctrine of Scripture for the believer and non-believer alike.

The book is divided into five chapters. The first two chapters answer the question, “Does the Bible claim to be God’s word?” as in both from God Himself (the ‘word’) and revealing God through Christ (THE Word). Cooper does a great job showing the relationship between Scripture as God’s revelation of both His words to man and of Himself to man in Christ. Cooper states:

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Books of Note - How Can I Be Sure? (Questions Christians Ask)

Doubt. For some it is the seedbed for growth and for others it is a miserable, dark and depressing pit. Everyone has doubts about things. For instance, I doubt I will ever climb Mount Everest, go to the moon or live to see the Detroit Lions have a winning season (sorry Lions fans). But while these are doubts that have little to no impact on my life, what about doubts that hit closer to home? What about doubts that strike at the heart of our personal beliefs which shape our decisions and everyday lives? What about doubts that center around our deepest held religious beliefs? What if I doubt the genuineness of my own faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior?

Doubt is a normal part of the Christian life and seeking to address this issue, John Stevens has written How Can I Be Sure? And Other Questions About Doubt, Assurance and the Bible as part of the Questions Christians Ask series from The Good Book Company. In this short and accessible book, Stevens scratches the surface on the problem of doubt in the Christian life and how to handle it with Biblical counsel.

Many Christians have false ideas and impressions about the nature of doubt and its place in the Christian life. Perhaps it is these false ideas about doubt that cause too many Christians to struggle with it as mush as they do and for as long as they do. After all, if a doubting Christian were looked down upon by his or her peers would they be more likely to tell someone about them?

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The Passing of Evolution

(About this series)

CHAPTER I THE PASSING OF EVOLUTION

BY PROFESSOR GEORGE FREDERICK WRIGHT, D. D., LL. D., OBERLIN COLLEGE, OBERLIN, OHIO

The word evolution is in itself innocent enough, and has a large range of legitimate use. The Bible, indeed, teaches a system of evolution.

The world was not made in an instant, or even in one day (whatever period day may signify) but in six days. Throughout the whole process there was an orderly progress from lower to higher forms of matter and life. In short there is an established order in all the Creator’s work. Even the Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which being planted grew from the smallest beginnings to be a tree in which the fowls of heaven could take refuge. So everywhere there is “first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.”

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A Christian Response to Richard Dawkins' Atheism (Part 2)

Read Part 1.

Is meaningful engagement with Richard Dawkins about the existence of God possible?

Forming a Christian response

A thoughtful Christian response begins with the realization that Dawkins’ claims are being made from within a worldview, or frame of reference, that is quite different from a Christian worldview. A Christian’s frame of reference includes, not the possibility of God, but the actuality of God. The life of a Christian has been redefined by their relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Thus, a Christian is a person who is learning to think within a worldview that has been defined by God in the person of Jesus Christ.

This radical difference between the believer’s and the skeptic’s belief system creates a challenge for communication. A “gap” exists between their worldviews, creating a situation that resembles other forms of cross-cultural communication. Because of this “gap,” the believer and unbeliever do not actually communicate as directly as they might assume.

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A Christian Response to Richard Dawkins' Atheism (Part 1)

With today’s fascination for “coming out” as something, many have decided to “come out” as atheists all over the world. Atheism is a phenomenon that surrounds us whether we realize it or not. We all likely have classmates, neighbors, or co-workers who are atheists. This situation should remind us that having atheists in our life means having people in our life, who also claim to be atheists.

Recently, I saw a woman shock her former church by announcing online: “I am an Atheist.” For her and her former church, the challenge of atheism is not just a philosophical challenge. It is a personal one. Atheism is a challenge to men and women, many of whom are young, and some of whom may even read these words.

The following apologia is my response to a particular version of modern atheism, the one recently popularized by English scientist, Richard Dawkins. In his massive polemic against God, The God Delusion (2006), Dawkins filled 374 pages with denunciations of “the pernicious delusion” of God. Dawkins summarized his claims in a much shorter piece published with the release of his book. My response to Dawkins will be based on his shorter article: “Why There Almost Certainly Is No God.”

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A Review of Covenantal Apologetics

K. Scott Oliphint is Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He has written several good books of apologetics and philosophical theology; most notably his Reasons for Faith and God with Us. He is, as far as my opinion counts, the main successor to Van Til and Bahnsen and their apologetic approach. This new book, Covenantal Apologetics, is his introductory textbook on how to defend the Christian Faith. But it is something else too. It launches the author’s project of re-conceiving Van Til’s presuppositional apologetics as distinctively “covenantal”—meaning grounded within Reformed covenant theology.

I shall not say much about the success of that project in this review, but it seems to me that even though Van Til would likely not protest, his particular apologetic stands on its own because it is clearly biblical; whereas covenant theology has slightly less going for it in that department.

Looked at the volume simply as a book about presuppositional apologetics, this is a welcome addition. Between the customary Introduction and Conclusion there are seven informative chapters. Although the methodological stuff is contained, as usual, in the opening chapters, the author has thought through how best to present the logic of the approach, and he brings in some useful refinements in this area; refinements which readers will appreciate.

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Is There A God?

(About this series)

CHAPTER II: IS THERE A GOD?

BY REV. THOMAS WHITELAW, M. A., D. D., KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND

Whether or not there is a supreme personal intelligence, infinite and eternal, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, the Creator, upholder and ruler of the universe, immanent in and yet transcending all things, gracious and merciful, the Father and Redeemer of mankind, is surely the profoundest problem that can agitate the human mind. Lying as it does at the foundation of all man’s religious beliefs—as to responsibility and duty, sin and salvation, immortality and future blessedness, as to the possibility of a revelation, of an incarnation, of a resurrection, as to the value of prayer, the credibility of miracle, the reality of providence,—with the reply given to it are bound up not alone the temporal and eternal happiness of the individual, but also the welfare and progress of the race. Nevertheless, to it have been returned the most varied responses.

The Atheist, for example, asserts that there is no God. The Agnostic professes that he cannot tell whether there is a God or not. The Materialist boasts that he does not need a God, that he can run the universe without one. The (Bible) Fool wishes there was no God. The Christian answers that he cannot do without a God.

I. THE ANSWER OF THE ATHEIST

“There is no God”

In these days it will hardly do to pass by this bold and confident negation by simply saying that the theoretical atheist is an altogether exceptional specimen of humanity, and that

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