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The Apologist/Scholar or Scholar/Apologist Model

I love apologetics. It often hurts my head and goes “beyond my pay grade” as far as brain power (especially when I get into all the science stuff—I just don’t know who to trust, and sometimes it’s no one), but I find myself excited about apologetics in general. That said, apologetics is a very personal issue for me. Normally, it is not the case of a “seeker” or a “skeptic” asking me a question, prompting me to run to the apologetics section of my library at Credo House to research the answer. Rather, it is me asking the questions. It is me defending the faith to myself.

As a result, I find that I am much more critical than others who are involved in apologetics.  I greatly appreciate what Christian apologists do; nevertheless, there are times when I discover some aspect of their apologetic perspective that bothers me. I can’t always put my finger on the specific thing that troubles me.  More to the point, when I do identify the problem, I am too much of a “fan-boy” to confront someone “on my own team” and criticize their game plan. The issue boils down to a matter of honesty.  I don’t find very many apologists who are transparent in their approach.  I don’t find very many apologists who will readily admit that their viewpoint may have weaknesses.  Many are averse to playing the game fairly.  I find too many apologists are simply there to defend their prejudices, ignoring honest and, sometimes, well-founded questions. In essence, they are long on “apology,” but short on scholarship.

Notwithstanding my reservations about apologetics and apologists, I am fully aware that this is not always the case.  Last weekend, I spend a lot of time with Dr. Gary Habermas. If you don’t know who he is, shame on you! Gary Habermas is one of the greatest apologists I have ever met. We spent two nights (just him and me) in his hotel room talking theology. Initially, we had some fun with the “Calvinist/Arminian” thing for a while.  (He said he was neither.  .  .Rather, he was comfortable just being a Baptist.)  Then, we dove into the subject of apologetics.  Having read several of Habermas’ works, I already had deep respect for him.   But the one-on-one encounter for two consecutive nights was truly a gift in getting to better understand the underpinnings of his perspective on apologetics.  For example, we played a game where I was the atheist/agnostic and he was the one trying to win me to the faith. For two hours we role played; I did surprisingly well, if I do say so myself.  I surprised even myself by what a “good” agnostic I made. But Habermas proved that he was a much better Christian apologist. With tenderness and incredible wisdom (not just knowledge), he navigated me to the point where I felt I no longer had a legitimate excuse for “being” an agnostic.   What a valuable experience this was!  I sincerely wish we could have recorded it. The experience most certainly increased my faith, since I was entirely free to unload on him all the doubts that stir in my brain sometimes, when no one was looking. However, what I appreciated most was Dr. Habermas’ honesty. I could tell that he had been there, so to speak. He was a Christian-turned-skeptic for ten years before his faith was restored. The depth of his responses to my skeptical objections revealed that he was truly a scholar/apologist. How encouraging!

I have been reading through Craig Keener’s Miracles book recently. Although I don’t think Keener would ever call himself an apologist, this book is an apologetics jewel. Why? Well, for one thing, Keener has already established himself as a critical scholar. Being such, he is truly worried about getting things right, and dealing with problems honestly. When he wrote this book, I was curious about what might come from it, since Keener is a charismatic. Was he writing to confirm his prejudice relative to his charismatic leanings? Thus far, I have not found this to be the case. As I expected, he is very critical of the data he uncovers concerning the miracles he documents in the book. On many occasions, his conclusions are very tentative. However, the scholarship he provides, along with his accompanying critique, have won me over. I am becoming convinced that I am far too “Western” in my thinking, and that the worldview I subconsciously hold is not shared by the majority of the world.  Moreover, I am convinced that the positions it asserts are not sustainable when one truly looks at the evidence.

First comes “Truth,” followed closely by “Defense of the Truth.”  It is no exaggeration to say that the transition from “Truth” to “Defense of the Truth” is a difficult one to make.  Too often, many of the “internet atheists” who wear the label of  “former Christian apologists” choose to follow a different course of action:  they defend what they already believe.  The result is found wanting not only from a human, rational point of view; this approach inevitably produces an unstable foundation of illogical presuppositions.  From a Christian perspective this approach cannot be pleasing to the Lord.  We are in pursuit of truth first. Our defense of the faith comes out of this pursuit, and is dictated by it. Our personal struggle with the intel, our ability to admit weaknesses, and our freedom to discover can be dangerous, yet so very essential to our apologetic endeavors.

One of my favorite people in all of Church history is Theodore of Mopsuestia. Though his story is riddled with controversy, I have always admired him for certain particular stands he took that went against the grain of his contemporary culture. First, in contradiction to the teachings of the allegorical school (which ruled the day in his time), he did not believe that the Song of Solomon was a love song between Christ and the Church.  Theodore believed  it was a love poem written by Solomon to celebrate his marriage to his Egyptian wife. We say, “So what?”  However, for the vast majority of Theodore’s contemporaries, his interpretation was nothing short of scandalous.  Similarly and significantly, he drew a distinction between Old Testament texts that contained what he believed to be genuine Messianic prophecies and those that, in their historical setting, were not truly predictive prophecies, but merely analogous experiences shared by Christ and certain Old Testament situations (one might call these typologies). This is significant for me because I have always had a problem seeing certain Old Testament prophecies used in apologetic situations as proofs that Christ is the Messiah or that the Bible is inspired. For example, Psalm 22:16, “They have pierced my hands and my feet,” is often used apologetically to prove that Christ was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Certainly, I believe this verse contains a broad reference to Christ, but for the skeptic, this assertion provides no apologetic value whatsoever. Contextually, it was David talking about himself. As a Christian in “faith seeking understanding” mode, I can accept that this also refers to Christ. Conversely, it does not give any sign that it was a predictive prophecy from a rational perspective. Any honest skeptic or seeker will look at this passage and think, “Boy, these Christians will accept anything, so long as it confirms what they already believe.”

In a postmodern world, the Apologist/Scholar model must be laid to rest. If for no other reason, it should be done for the stability of your own faith. You are one who stands before the living God. You are not responsible to become an apologist for what you already believe, but to become an informed researcher who truly believes.  On this basis you can defend whatever beliefs are legitimately produced with integrity and peace of mind. Then, and only then, will you be able to discuss your faith like Habermas. May the likes of him, Daniel Wallace, Craig Keener, Darrel Bock, Richard Bauckham, N. T. Wright, Ed Komoszewski, and Theodore of Mopsuestia increase. May we seek truth first and build our defense from scholarly study and personal engagement with the issues.

52 Responses to “The Apologist/Scholar or Scholar/Apologist Model”

  1. Wonderful post. Totally agree.

  2. PassingThrough April 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I recently discovered this site and blog and have been enjoying it tremendously. I’ve only been a Christian for a little under 5 years, so some of the names you just dropped are unknown to me. One name I do know – that you didn’t drop – is Ravi Zacharias. Is he the kind of ‘good’ apologist you’re thinking of? Or do you think he is a ‘pop’ apologist? I’m just genuinely curious.

    P.S. I’m enjoying the backlog of posts a lot, too.

  3. Even as a Brit, I remember the Habermas and Flew debate over the Resurrection (1985 as I remember? And Habermas book therein). Damn, I am a year older than Habermas as I remember! Also as I remember Habermas was of German Baptist persuasion. And he uses “naturalism” much, and is surely an evidentialist.

    The great need for so-called Christian Apologetics will always be the pastoral in my opinion, we can never outrun this constant need, as we can see in the great heart of St. Paul! Truth will never work well without Christian love, and sadly here we all fall short! (1 Cor. 13)

    Btw, let me recommend (for general students), The Apologetics Study Bible (Holman, HCSB). Of which Habermas has several entries. A rather nice tool really! (See btw, the charts: Timeline of Apologists and Notable Works – 19th and 20th century – in the back of the Bible).

  4. Thanks Michael! I LOVE Habermas. He, like you, strikes me as having a very soft heart along with a great mind, which is so rare; he’s also incredibly funny.
    I’m reading through Craig’s “Reasonable Faith” right now, which is honestly a bit over my head at times, but it’s a great read and seems to fall within what you’re talking about.
    Also, couldn’t agree more on Wright – “Resurrection of the Son of God” should be on every Christians “must read” list.

  5. Which of Dr. Gary Habermas books would you think would be the best? Would it be “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”? I am thinking of which would have much of the ‘gold’ that you encountered from your discussions with Dr. Habermas.

    Thanks, Rob.

  6. Excellent post, Michael. I’ve been also working my way through Craig Keener’s Miracles lately (only the appendices left to go! – and now I’m hoping that, when you’ve finished it, we’ll be seeing some related posts here on Reclaiming the Mind, mayhaps?), and my take on it is much the same as yours. It’s also been a blessing to occasionally encounter Dr. Keener personally as well, as a student at the institution where he teaches, and from what I’ve seen, he has the most stunning combination of utmost scholarly acumen and profound biblical meekness and humility that I have ever had the pleasure to behold. And those encounters have made his arguments in Miracles all the more forceful to me, since I’ve caught a glimpse of the eminently credible and thoughtful character behind them. It sounds to me like you’ve had something of the same experience with Dr. Habermas!

    (Incidentally, I met Dr. Bauckham in November as well, and my appreciation for him as one of my favorite scholars to read has only been compounded through conversation with him.)

    The things you’ve said throughout your post here really resonate with me, and I thank you for writing them!

  7. N.T. Wright is always brilliant, and his book on ‘The Resurrection of the Son of God’, was Book of the Year as I remember in 2003. But he is simply “gonners” for the Second-Temple Judaism, and personally I just cannot press the whole NT thru this prism!

  8. Not sure what you mean Fr. Robert.

  9. Guess my comment went into spam where Robert’s and Greg’s never does.

  10. Thanks Michael for your post really appreciate what you have written.

  11. Apologists have their place.

    But ultimately it’s the Spirit of God who opens hearts and minds and ears to hear.

    They watched him heal the sick and raise the dead…and they still did not believe.

  12. @Don: Sometimes my stuff goes to spam too, or many wish it did! ;)

    I do not follow NT Wright on the so-called New Perspective, nor many of his suppositions on Second Temple Judaism. He is as I have said very brilliant, and some of his theological stuff is well worth reading, but he is a complete “supersessionalist” (note his book on ‘Paul In Fresh Perspective). I am not a full supersessional guy myself, but Historical Pre-Mill, and too something of a PD…Progressive Dispensationalist. (I think CMP is near the latter also).

    In my opinion, Tom Wright has become the modern, or todays, “premier” pop culture theolog! I can remember the Scots, William Barclay in this position, 1970’s and 80’s. Again, in my opinion both men are personal Christians I believe (of course Barclay is before the Lord, died late 70’s), but both are certainly not biblical conservatives!!! Indeed I am much more of a simple Biblicist, with classic Evangelical Anglicanism (see the Thirty-nine Articles, as well as the Irish Articles 1615). And I too have a few theological doctorates (for what that’s worth, especially today)… and I am over 60. And yes, I feel the generational shift for sure! :)

    Just a note, but “Greg” and I would be closer, as to the so-called ‘Presuppositional’ hermeneutic and apologetic. Noting C. Van Til, and myself John Frame…his one time student.

  13. Btw, people should note, that I am always “critical” of todays theology and theolog’s, but I hope within the place of Christian brotherhood! WE are living and seeing things the Church and Culture (past) has never seen! (Dan. 12: 4) (And I always seek the place of the pastor-teacher, as feeble as I might be!) :)

  14. Fr. Robert-

    But apart from the extent of Wright’s theology, his historical work (which impacts apologetics) is some of the best around.

    I would rather hear Wright’s thoughts on a certain historical event in Christianity than the standard apologetics expert’s opinion.

  15. @David: Yes, I have Wright’s big three…The New Testament And The People of God, Jesus And the Victory of God, and the Resurrection of The Son of God… And I have read them, though years back as they first came out. And I have read his Pauline works too, (Justification, etc). He is just not conservative enough for me, and of course he has gone “his” own way in Pauline NT theology! Note too we are both Anglicans, and he of course goes with the idea of women in full orders, which I cannot follow biblically nor theologically. He is just a year older than I am. Btw, again, my history has a retirement as a RMC, Royal Marine Commando, officer.. reserves. Though I saw combat both as a young man, and then in my early 40’s in Gulf War 1 (over ten years active service overall). And here old Tom can only guess the reality! Yes, I am too a conservative politically, and this again really separates us, i.e. life experience, etc.

    Btw, we Brits are generally not as Wright friendly, as you Americans! ;) Though I live in the USA right now, for several years. And here N.T. is most certainly very popular!

  16. Btw David, you might want to try to look at some older Anglican apologetics… WE have our share! ;)

    PS..I have a son named “David” He’s bigger & taller than I am, and I am 5’11. :)

  17. Thank you for your article. Interesting. However, I don’t believe that the admonition in 1 Pet 3:15 implies that one needs to go get a seminary degree or become a scholar. That passage was written to the rank & file in the church. You reach a similar conclusion at the end of your article, but couched with the qualifier “In a postmodern world…” I believe this holds true in any age.

    • Dale, you are definitely right as far as who I was talking about when I used the word “scholar.” This is more about approach and the discovery of truth that anyone can pursue in the spirit of this article.

  18. Thank you for this thoughtful post. I agree that often apologists can become downright disingenuous in the way that they argue. Might I add to the list of excellent apologists John Lennox? Especially his debates with Richard Dawkins in Oxford (ca. 2011?), and I think his debate with Peter Singer is one of the best examples of Christian love in the midst of a debate I have ever seen. In the tone of this post, I found his honesty and candor about the problem of suffering and evil very refreshing, and probably quite attractive to those who are not in the faith.

    As it pertains to Wright, Fr. Robert, other than the women in full orders, where is Wright not conservative enough in your opinion (theologically, that is)?

  19. It seems to me that N.T. Wright is functionally a universalist, not believing in a literal hell. And he’s consistent, not believing in a literal heaven either (now). He looks forward to the new heaven and earth in the future which he believes, I think, will be on this earth.

  20. @Jordon: As Susan notes, one never knows what one is going to get here with Wright, in the UK or Great Britain we have a movement called Open Evangelicalism, which Wright btw claims to be. It is really just an open-ended overt eclectic so-called evangelical aggregate of ingredients! But without the pure authority and belief in the Word of God, but of course this is my opinion. And I am even myself rather eclectic, but hopefully always first with the presupposition of the full authority and belief in God’s Word, and most certainly the Nicene “homoousios” and Creed.

    Btw, see William Barclay’s universalism, a great soul with a very flawed theology, as Tom Wright, but again.. just my opinion!

    No “Wrightenism” for me! ;)

  21. @Susan: Myself, I believe the Bible teaches a “New Creation” ‘In Christ’ when Christ Comes, and one on this earth, and a universe that is fully renewed without Sin. (Rev. 21: 1-4) Note, the “New Jerusalem”… coming down to the New Earth:

    “The New Jerusalem is a living composition of all the saints redeemed by God throughout all generations. It is the bride of Christ as His counterpart (John 3: 29) and the holy city of God as His habitation, His tabernacle (v. 3). This is the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12: 22), which God has prepared for us and which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob long after (Heb. 11: 10, 16). This is also the Jerusalem which is above and which is our mother (Gal. 4: 26). As the bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem comes out of Christ, her Husband, and becomes His counterpart, just as Eve came out of Adam, her husband, and became his counterpart (Gen. 2: 21-24). She is prepared by participating in the riches of the life and nature of Christ. As the holy city of God, she is wholly sanctified unto God and fully saturated with God’s holy nature to be His habitation.”

  22. For # 17, “And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe (grammateus, Gk. a scholar, one instructed.. a learned teacher) who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matt. 13: 52)

  23. The point about Wright is that he is a world-class historian, and is outstanding on the core issue of the Resurrection. That being said, it does not mean we have to agree with all his theological positions.

  24. Well myself, I would not fully agree with Wright’s so-called historical conclusions or his abilities. One’s whole thematic and hermeneutical aspects affect our full theology, which surely includes history. Here again Wright falls short in my opinion. Again note the fullness of historical theology, one like the Reformed scholar Richard Muller for example!

    Btw, just another point, but see Cornelis Venema’s book: The Gospel Of Free Acceptance In Christ, And Assessment of the Reformation and New Perspectives on Paul, (Banner of Truth Trust, 2006). Historically and theologically he takes Wright to biblical task! (Chapter 5)

  25. Note too, I have read Wright’s book: The Resurrection Of The Son of God. It is generally pretty good, but there are places where his own presuppositions come thru! In the end, Wright is just not a sound conservative exegete, but again this is my biblical and theological opinion! But I won’t labor the issue, but again note Susan has laid her finger on a few of Wright’s historical weakness…historically as to general Christian orthodoxy!

  26. Truth Unites... and Divides April 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Wright is Wrong!

    ;-)

    Eg., on egalitarianism, on WO, and on feminist hermeneutics undergirding egalitarianism.

  27. But is he right/Wright on his historical analysis of the Resurrection?

  28. Truth Unites... and Divides April 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    “But is he right/Wright on his historical analysis of the Resurrection?”

    Yes, along with many, many, many others, scholars and non-scholars alike.

    But Wright is wrong on egalitarianism, on WO, and on feminist hermeneutics undergirding egalitarianism.

  29. Amen there @Truth..! As Wright is “Wrong” often in and with/toward classic Thirty-nine Article Anglicanism! HE thinks he’s smarter than the old evangelical Anglican Churchmen, and the Church Creeds, Confessions, and Articles! (My take anyway)

    Btw, let me recommend again, W.H. Griffith Thomas’s book: The Principles Of Theology, And Introduction To The Thirty-Nine Articles (First Edition, 1930, but ran well into the 1960’s in reprint. My copy has the Foreward by the onetime Canadian Churchman, Rev. Canon Dyson Hague, D.D. (Wycliffe College, Toronto), where also Thomas was before, and at one time taught. Canon Dyson called his book here… “almost an Anglican Encyclopaedia”! Of course Griffith Thomas was a great Evangelical Anglican and Churchman, and had something to do with the very beginning of the American Dallas Theological Seminary. (Btw, but just a point, I think we can say that Thomas was a very light dispensationalist!)

  30. Btw, this is for CMP (“Michael”)! But I have a signed-copy of ‘Things To Come’, by J. Dwight Pentecost! Hardback with dustjacket, Zondervan, 1977. ;) (Kinda long story how I got this!)

  31. @David, I would say NT is quite “Wright” on the Resurrection, but not fully biblically “right” either! ;)

  32. But this post by CMP is not about one’s full biblical/systematic/theological stance. It is about defense of the faith, and on a core essential, the Resurrection, Wright is a powerful voice in that defense.

  33. @David: I would agree somewhat! But “Wright” needs more careful study here (with St. Paul), at least to my mind! He has simply become too accepted in the general Christian and even theological populace, especially in the US! But yes, in the end the great doctrine and dogma of the Resurrection of Christ is a very profound mystery, especially as we can see in St. Paul, (1 Cor. 15, etc.)

  34. Fr. Robert-

    I do not agree with many of Wright’s positions, but appreciate what he brings to the table, historically speaking, on the essential of the Resurrection.

    I would rather hear Wright speak on that topic, or Alister McGrath on science, rather than someone like Norman Geisler.

  35. @David: As I have said, Wright is most certainly brilliant, and I am not attacking his brains, but perhaps how he uses them? And this should not be a personality thing, but a desire for biblical & theological truth! I got to hear some fine Anglicans in my time, such as T.F. Torrance, J.B. Phillips, and even on long old reel tape, the great Austin Farrer. Not to mention those more unknown Anglican theolog’s, who taught and were shepherds, and too mostly are before the throne! The whole point for me, is biblical and historical orthodoxy, rather than someone’s personal ideas theologically. Sadly, in just too many places I see Wright doing his own thing, theologically! But then, I am a biblical conservative, and too I hope something of a classic churchman. And yes a neo-Calvinist! And again, I just don’t see the latter historically with Wright! Again, not really personal, but biblical. Though I must confess I really dislike Wright when he begins to speak politically! He is just another one that judges from his ideology, rather than from his own experience. Which in fact, he perhaps does not really have, at least on the latter. But hey, I am an old “bootneck” RMC! (Btw RIP to the old Iron-Lady!)

  36. Truth Unites... and Divides April 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Fr. Robert,

    If you had to pick between these two Anglicans to follow, who would you pick:

    (1) Bishop N.T. Wright

    or

    (2) J.C. Ryle

  37. @Truth: That’s easy mate, surely Bishop J.C. Ryle (first bishop of Liverpool btw)! :)

  38. Truth Unites... and Divides April 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Good answer, Fr. Robert, good answer.

    Are there any archbishops in the Church of England that are cut out of the same cloth as Bishop J.C. Ryle? If so, who?

    Failing that, are there any archbishops in the Anglican Communion who are cut out of the same cloth as Bishop J.C. Ryle? If so, who?

    Further, how would Bishop J.C. Ryle have responded to the Chamberlain-like sophistry of former ABC Rowan Williams?

  39. Indeed generally the whole Anglican Communion is in what Spurgeon called in his time, a “downgrade movement” (as like his Baptists), and the CoE has itself fallen well past that place. And with this new ABC, things are even worse, as to true biblical & pastoral leadership. What can one say biblically but “Ichabod”! (1 Sam. 4: 21-22).

    As to RW, or Rowan Williams, he is another so-called “brilliant” guy, but pastorally he simply cannot, or did not find, that classic line of truth! Just saying the words will not do, one must have something of the depth of their being within his own heart. And just where is the heart & soul of the CoE?

    “Sophistry”, a good definition for just so much of the “dung” that we see sadly in the so-called leaders in the CoE, and even in some other places in Anglicanism. Again, what can we say? But Lord have mercy, and change our hard hearts! Again Lord have mercy!

  40. @Truth: Oh how I miss men like Rev. Peter Toon! (RIP) The Anglican Communion has his books and remaining works, but do they read them, and note his pastoral character? Again, Lord have mercy and help your people!

  41. Theologically Greg you are on track, I believe in other generations and time, Wright would not have been a bishop, but who knows with Anglicanism? It has had its ups and downs over the centuries, one thinks of the time of the Wesley’s, the CoE had become very dull and the Wesley brother’s had become outside agitators, note they worked for a time with Calvinistic Methodism, i.e. George Whitefield himself an Anglican. And John Newton was a Calvinist also, who of course wrote: Amazing Grace! Calvinism has always been central in Anglicanism (the Thirty-nine Articles, as the Irish Articles 1615). But even earlier the Loyalist Jeremy Taylor spoke of the Anglican ethos as ‘Scripture, tradition, councils, and fathers, are the evidence in question, but reason is the judge.’ And reason then was within faith and love! But not in postmodernity, today it is a scientific intellectualism, as an N.T. Wright. And faith & love get pressed thru modernism and modernity!

  42. Truth Unites... and Divides April 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Fr. Robert,

    The following helped me to understand: Via Media

  43. @Truth: Oh yes, that old but today’s Via Media of “man’s way”…Ugh! (Ps. 14:1-3 / Rom. 3: 10-12, etc.)

    Btw, it is here I myself smell something wrong with the New Testament work of NT Wright!

  44. Fr. Robert and others:

    Is there anyone outside your specific reformed camp, and who you appreciate, that fits CMP’s description of a scholar/researcher/apologist?

  45. Greg #48-

    “Collins”

    Frances Collins and Biologos? (the one Enns is a member of)

  46. @David: I like our brother Michael very much, but I do not consider it worthy nor even proper to try to overly or pigeon-hole any apologetic work or ministry! After all, I do myself consider P&P to be a para-church work or ministry. And here there is a certain freedom! But, as I have said many times before, CMP is an “evidentialist”, and I am myself a “presupper” (yes the two can be combined), but to my mind must also be seen as separate, i.e. as is the nature of the latter I believe!

    Btw, I am not a fan of “Biologos”! But, I bet you knew that! ;) And I would somewhat agree with Greg, that there is simply “idolatry” in the Christian so-called academy today, and I say this sadly really! Of course doctrinal and theological degrees don’t mean much to God, and I can say that myself, as one who at one time went that whole route. But now I am much more of a Biblicist (using theology of course). :)

    *I am always the pastor-teacher, first and foremost! And of course I say this as one who believes in the “call” of God!

  47. I don’t reject the evidential myself at all, but find the authority and presupposition of the Holy Scripture to be the foremost revelation!

  48. Greg-

    “Nobody would in one trillion years find evolution in the bible.”

    Other than God as the one who creates and sustains, do the writers and/or overall message of Scripture even touch on that issue, one way or the other, anyway?

  49. @David: So just “what” is Creation? And how about the New Creation also? It surely seems connected to the Gospel of God! (2 Cor. 4: 6)…but we should also see some of the context in 2 Cor. 4: 1-6, etc. noting especially verses 2 thru 4! The whole of Scripture, and indeed the NT is in a grand spiritual battle! And again for myself at least evolution just does not model the great Creation of God! (Heb. 11: 3)

    *Btw, perhaps we should re-visit the Gap Theory, or idea? “without form” = waste. Not created “tohu”” Heb., (Isa. 45: 18), but became “tohu” (Gen. 1: 2 / 2 Peter 3: 5-6). “An enemy has done this” (Matt. 13: 25, 28, 39 /compare 1 Cor. 14: 33). Indeed the figures of speech used in the Bible must be noted, as the “spiritual” nature of the whole Revelation of God! (Again see, 2 Cor. 4: 1-6) The Notes of E.W. Bullinger in his Companion Bible, in Gen. chapter 1 (as too 2 & 3), are well worth the read, and not just overt dispensationalism (here) on Creation! Love his scripted Introduction in Genesis also!

    Note, I tend toward an Old Earth Creation myself, but I must somewhat respect a Young Earth Creation also! Btw, note here too 2 Peter 3: 5-6. And here it is “judgment”, of the Flood in the days of Noah which also demonstrates the great truth of God’s Word! And one thing is also very certain, the world is not eternal! And God really is the Creator!

    Finally, perhaps we must also revisit Ancient Hebrew Cosmology, the Hebrew world was surely not scientific. The biblical cosmos consisted of three basic regions: the heavens, the land, and the underworld! (See, Phil. 2: 10)

  50. Truth Unites... and Divides April 30, 2013 at 11:10 am

    “There is no shortage of evidence for the living God and His gospel. The problem is hostile dead men and their blindness in sin.”

    As a monergist, I affirm these statements. If not for His Sovereign Grace, I’d still be a hostile, spiritually dead man blinded by my sin, and totally defacing the marred image of God that I was created in.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Apologist/Scholar or Scholar/Apologist Model | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM - April 23, 2013

    […] First comes the “Truth”, followed closely by the defense of that “Truth”. It is no exaggeration to say that the transition from “Truth” to “Defense of the Truth” is a difficult move to make. Too often, many of the “internet atheists” who previously wore the label of “Former Christian Apologists” have apparently chosen to follow a different course of action: That is, defend what you already believe. The result is not only found to be wanting from a humanly rational point of view, but this approach inevitably produces an unstable foundation of illogical presuppositions. From a Christian perspective this approach cannot be pleasing to the Lord. We are in pursuit of truth first. Our defense of the faith comes out of this pursuit, and is dictated by it. Our personal struggle with the intel, our ability to admit weaknesses, and our freedom to discover can be dangerous, yet so very much essential to our apologetic endeavours. To read on, click here: […]

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