Posts

On The Trinity

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One of the major doctrines core to the Christian faith is the doctrine of the Trinity. This doctrine holds that God is three in persons and one in essence. That is, He is three "Who's" ( persons ) in one "What" ( essence ). A person is a being with a personality. An essence is what that being must be necessarily, that is, what cannot be changed about a being. There are three persons who are equally and essentially God. This concept is illustrated by the illustration above. This doctrine is recognized by the majority of Christians today. Many have offered illustrations that help us in understanding the Trinity. Some of these illustrations are somewhat decent, while other illustrations are bad and usually imply a heresy of one type or another. Some of the better illustrations are: 1.) The Trinity is like a triangle. A triangle necessarily must have three sides, three angles, and all of the angles must add up to 180 degrees. In the same way that a triangle has thre

7 Problems With "Lack-Theism" Atheism

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 In recent years, atheists have increasingly attempted to redefine the words "atheism" and "atheist". Now, rather than being the negative position on the question of God's existence, many atheists have redefined atheism to be a mere "lack of belief" in God. They do not seem to care that there was already a term for this position ("non-theism"). This is often done in an attempt to avoid the burden of proof that comes from taking the negative position on God's existence. Yet, in attempting to eliminate this burden of proof, the one who redefines atheism in this manner has jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Here are 7 reasons why this definition of atheism is problematic for those who use this definition: 1. It Is Rooted In The Etymological Fallacy In order to justify this redefinition, many atheists will appeal to the etymology of the word "atheist." The term "atheist" comes from two Greek roots, "a-" me

5 Things That Are Best Explained By Theism

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When discussing my faith with non-believers, I find that the average person is oblivious to the explanatory scope of theism. That is, God's existence explains several things that would be difficult to explain in any other way. In this post, I am not presenting any formal arguments, but am just pointing out what these things are. Arguments will be addressed in subsequent posts. 1. The Origin of the Universe Neither atheism, nor alternative views of God can adequately explain the origin of the universe. Modern science has lead us to the conclusion that the space-time universe that we inhabit had a definite beginning some 14 billion years ago (give or take a little). The problem for the atheist comes when we realize that any contingent thing has an explanation for its existence that is not found within itself, and that if something had a beginning or could have failed to exist (which describes the universe), it is by its very nature contingent. Neither do other views of God adequately

Reflection on Three Models of the Atonement

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  Over the past several weeks, I have attempted to broaden my theological understanding by listening to different theological viewpoints and evaluating them. To do this, I have employed three primary resources. First, I have used Norman Geisler's "Systematic Theology: In One Volume" to understand his perspective on various theological topics. Second, I have employed theologian H. Ray Dunning's systematic theology, "Grace, Faith, and Holiness: A Wesleyan Systematic Theology". Finally, I have been utilizing the "Defenders" podcast by William Lane Craig. In particular, over the past week, I have been examining different theories surrounding the atonement. Several theories stand out to me, some for good reasons and some for bad. One theory that sticks out as a good theory is the "Christus Victor" model of the atonement. In this model, Christ overpowered the devil in His death and resurrection. The devil saw the man Jesus and killed Him in exc

Dear Christians, Start Praying

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  Dear Christians, I read a sad statistic today. According to a poll conducted by Lifeway Research, prayer among protestant pastors is in terrible shape (1). This is not the only poll that has shown the lack of prayer among many in the clergy. However, it is very telling. In fact, this poll shows pastors spending more time in prayer than many other polls that were conducted. In other words, this appears to be the best case scenario. According to the poll, pastors spent approximately 5 hours each week in prayer. Yes. You read that right. Five hours each WEEK. This translates to less than 45 minutes each day, on average. Keep in mind that some of this time comes from the Sunday worship services. This is less than the amount of time these pastors spent each week watching television, to give a point of comparison.  It seems that it is easy for us to sing the old hymn "Sweet Hour of Prayer", but it is difficult for us to actually live this out in our lives. The lack of prayer amon

Why I Am A Nazarene, Part 2

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In the first part  of this series, I briefly explained why I am a Christian. In this second part, I would like to explain why I am an Arminian as opposed to a Calvinist. I should begin this post by pointing out that some Calvinists do not accept all five points of Calvinism as they were formulated at the Synod of Dort. Many reject the concept of Limited Atonement, often for the same reasons that I reject it. Others accept Limited Atonement but reject other aspects of the TULIP. Since this is the case, I think that the best way to proceed is by taking the TULIP one aspect at a time, and explaining why I accept or reject portions of it. Total Depravity The case for Total Depravity is strong. Total depravity includes not only a corruption of the human mind and heart, but also bondage of the will to sin. Simply put, the doctrine of Total Depravity makes it abundantly clear that mankind cannot exercise any good will toward God apart from grace. Paul makes a strong case for this un

Jesus Christ: The Standard for Manliness

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One of my favorite songs is "The Measure of a Man" by 4Him. If you haven't heard it, I suggest you do. It was what spurred me to think deeply about the content of this post. In this post, I want to give a short overview of what biblical manhood should look like. This topic could take several weeks worth of posts, so I will try to condense it by looking at the ultimate example of biblical manhood: Jesus Christ himself. I think that, if we are honest, we will recognize that we are lacking strong examples of biblical manhood in our culture in general. It is my view that this lack of strong examples is directly correlated to a lack of Christlike men in our society. Combine this with a strong biblical illiteracy that pervades our culture, and we should not be surprised if we continue to see fewer and fewer examples of biblical manhood. Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh. That is, Jesus Christ had two natures: one human nature, and the divine nature. Jesus succeeded precisel

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