Evangelistic Apologetics – The Church Under Attack (Part 29)

This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.” 1 Timothy 1:18-19

The Fight

We are currently answering seven questions about the spiritual battle Christians find themselves fighting every day. In our last study we looked at the Battleground and the Players on the Field of Battle. We now move to the Strategy of War.

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Book Review: Christianity At The Crossroads

Crossroads ImageChristianity At The Crossroads: How The Second Century Shaped The Future Of The Church (IVP Academic, 2018) will be an excellent addition to anyone’s personal, teaching, pastoral or church library.

Written by Dr. Michael J. Kruger (President and Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina), this new book does a wonderful job demonstrating the importance of the 2nd century to the life and future of the Christian Church.

“There was a time, nearly two thousand years ago, when Christianity was in its infancy. It possessed very little cultural influence, was weak and frail, and found itself fighting for its life. Theological formulations were imprecise and undeveloped, factions and ‘heresies’ were dominant, attacks from pagan philosophers were rampant, and the future was altogether uncertain. On top of all this, Christianity was, for the first time, moving forward without the direct guidance of living apostles and still did not yet have a fully formed New Testament canon.

When was this time? It was the second century. This particular block of time is one of the most critical in the life of the Church – perhaps the moment when it was most vulnerable. It is what we might call the transitional century for the early Christian faith. The Church was out of the apostolic womb and now trying to take its first breath.” Christianity At The Crossroads, Introduction, p 1

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A Reading Plan for Christian Apologists – Part 3.24

Reading Plan

The Christian Church reached a pivotal point as the 3rd century blended into the 4th century. The Great Persecution under Roman Emperor Diocletian and his co-rulers went after Christians with a vengeance. It began in the early part of the 4th century (303 AD) and continued for several years. Their intent was to destroy Christianity.

It is this story of the Great Persecution and its impact on the Christian Church that we now take up in our special series A Reading Plan for Christian Apologists.

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Book Review: Biblical Theology

Biblical Theology ImageBiblical Theology: How The Church Faithfully Teaches The Gospel (Crossway, 2018) by Nick Roark and Robert Cline is part of the 9Marks series that looks at building healthy churches.

The authors begin with a strong statement that it is the responsibility of every Christian to help build a healthy church. That is the basic premise of the 9Marks series.

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Street Epistemology: Basic Strategy

Street Epistemology

What is the purpose of “street epistemology”? Atheist author and blogger Sam Harris asked that question of the man who created street epistemology – Peter Boghossian (https://www.samharris.org/blog/item/street-epistemology)

Sam Harris: “What was your goal in writing A Manual for Creating Atheists?”

Peter Boghossian: “My primary goal was to give readers the tools to talk people out of faith and into reason.”

Harris asked Boghossian other questions about the purpose and goal of street epistemology. Boghossian made it clear that atheism is a by-product of what he tries to do when talking people out of their faith:

“Once they question the value of faith, all the unevidenced and unreasoned beliefs will inevitably collapse on their own. In that sense, the book is really about getting people to think critically—the atheism part is just a by-product.”

I’ve been writing about street epistemology for several years and have heard from street epistemologists who claim that leading someone to become an atheist is not the purpose of street epistemology. That comment is a bit surprising given that Boghossian’s book is titled A Manual for Creating Atheists. It would seem that those street epistemologists are disconnected from the purposes of the creator of street epistemology.

Many people call Boghossian a strategist and tactician, so we might ask then ‘what is his strategy?’ ‘What are his tactics?’

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Book Review: The Extent of the Atonement

Atonement ImageThe Extent of the Atonement: A Historical and Critical Review (B&H Academic, 2016) is an excellent reference book for your library. At 848 pages this is a powerful tool for preachers and teachers and other serious students of the Bible.

The author, Dr. David L. Allen, is the distinguished professor and director of the Center for Biblical Preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, so he understands what preachers and teachers need for sermon and lesson preparation.

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The Jesus Seminar Revealed – Part Three

Jesus Seminar Revealed

In the last part of our report, we looked at the founder of The Jesus Seminar and Westar Institute, Robert Funk. He was a leader in the new “quest” for the historical Jesus until his death in 2005.

Westar Institute’s “mission” statement claims that the organization “is dedicated to fostering and communicating the results of cutting-edge scholarship on the history and evolution of the Christian tradition, thereby raising the level of public discourse about questions that matter in society and culture.”

Question: how “cutting-edge” is Westar’s scholarship?

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