The Christian doctrine of hell: conscious, painful, separation from God for all eternity for those who refuse God’s salvation. Perhaps the most difficult doctrine to deal with – for both Christians and non-Christians alike. This is such a difficult teaching there are plenty of people, cults and religions who outright deny it. After the denial of the deity of Christ, the doctrine of hell is one of the first Biblical teachings to go. In its place – everything from annihilation of the soul to universal salvation. Apparently the doctrine of hell is so scary even annihilation – eternal nonexistence – is preferable to the Biblical doctrine of hell. According to one account, the Catholic doctrine of purgatory (a temporary place of punishment to pay for any un-forgiven sins) came about because punishment consisting of eternal wrath could not be countenanced by at least one early church father. But the doctrine of purgatory is strictly a Catholic add on teaching – it’s not in the Bible. And it’s not what we’re talking about. Let’s be clear about what we are talking about. Continue Reading
Today we will apply the advice of apologist Sean McDowell. McDowell, son of “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” apologist Josh McDowell and an author and college professor in his own right, suggests:
#Apologetics Tip of the Day: Arguments must be presented in a way that is faithful to Christ. Both the medium and the message matter.
— Sean McDowell (@Sean_McDowell)
November 8, 2017
With his PhD and years of experience, starting no doubt as a child at the foot of his apologist father, many Christians turn to McDowell for advice on witnessing. And what he provides above is solid advice. So here’s the question: is using the Big Bang as a witnessing tool to back up the Biblical account being faithful to Christ? Let me answer as Jesus often did: with a question. Would you use the details of the back story of Superman to support the miraculous powers of Jesus? Such a story (a work of fiction I would remind you) might go something like this: Continue Reading
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy does an amusing routine you’ve probably heard at least pieces of. He points out a situation that only an “unsophisticated” person would think is normal, and suggests if you do such things, “you might be a Redneck.” I say “unsophisticated person” because Foxworthy defines those he references – Rednecks – as someone having a “Glorious absence of sophistication.” In case you haven’t heard any of his routines, here is a small sample of behaviors and thoughts that might qualify you as a “Redneck”:
“If you think a Quarter horse is that ride in front of K-mart…
…You might be a Redneck.
“If you think fast food is hitting a deer at 65 mph…
…You might be a Redneck.
“If you wear a dress that is strapless with a bra that isn’t…
…You might be a Redneck.
“If your wife has ever said, come move this transmission so I can take a bath…
…You might be a Redneck
It’s in that tongue in cheek vein that I present another set of behaviors that might qualify you for a group that is as distinguished as those who Foxworthy targets for his jokes. This group consists of people with a certain mind set who cannot be dissuaded from their beliefs regardless of the evidence that is presented to them. In fact the more evidence you give them, the more likely they are to see it as a confirmation of their original belief. They are conspiracy theorists. And while this is presented a bit tongue in cheek, like most humor, it starts with a grain of truth – and it’s that grain of truth we’ll be targeting to see if those truths have taken root in your thinking. So if you exhibit a number of these behaviors – you just might have the mindset of a conspiracy theorist. What are they? Let’s take a look. Continue Reading
William Dembski is a leader in the Intelligent Design (ID) community, so I read with initial interest a recent interview he did with Sean McDowell titled How is the Intelligent Design Movement Doing? Interview with William Dembski. which is posted on McDowell’s blog. That initial interest turned to dismay as the adversarial attitude Dembski has toward revealed truth in general and Young Earth Creationism (YEC) in particular was made apparent. When asked how he assesses the reception of ID within the church, Dembski states:
“I would say that the church broadly and even the evangelical community has — on balance — been somewhere between useless and downright counterproductive to the success of ID.”
A most unfortunate assessment given the potential ID has to impact a culture that has largely fallen under the sway of the junk science put forth to support the materialist religion known as Darwinian Evolution. Even more unfortunate is Dembski’s apparent blindness to how he (and other ID advocates with similar positions) has caused such a reaction from the God fearing, Bible believing faithful they’d like to gain support from. To unravel this mystery for them, let’s start with what both ID advocates and YEC advocates are trying to achieve. Continue Reading