Category Archives: Theology
If you were somehow disappointed by the Ken Ham v. Bill Nye debate, you absolutely must watch an upcoming debate between prominent atheist Sean Carroll and brilliant philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig. A recent article shares some details of the debate scheduled for this Friday at 7 PM:
“The debate, titled ‘God and Cosmology: The Existence of God in Light of Modern Cosmology,’ will be a two-day symposium, featuring numerous speakers. While the first day of the event will be led by Carroll and Craig, a separate debate and discussion on the second day of the conference will feature four additional presenters who will also address complex philosophical and theological issues, according to a press release. Philosophers Tim Maudlin and Alex Rosenberg will argue in favor of Carroll’s side of the debate and Craig’s case will be touted by philosopher Robin Collins and physicist James Sinclair.”
Anyone who knows anything about William Lane Craig knows that he is revered as one of, if not the most brilliant debater regarding apologetics alive today. (With a very respectful hat tip to Ravi Zacharias.) It has been reported more than once that Craig has never lost a debate and some even refuse to debate him – whether out of fear, respect, or both, is anyone’s guess.
This promises to be an epic debate in which Sean Carroll is already saying he has no plans to win the debate, he just wants to share some thoughts. Uh…does he not understand the premise of a debate? Perhaps he is hedging in light of William Lane Craig’s reputation. Either way, you don’t want to miss this debate.
The debate will take place on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. It will be streamed live online here.
Quite often we hear lessons or illustrations about the “lukewarm” in the church. Almost unanimously these lessons center around teaching that the lukewarm are people that are saved but simply do not live out their faith, or are not active in growing in their faith. They are, according to most teaching, people that confess Christ but do not actively serve, worship, share, or serve Him.
Most often these teachings are based on Revelation chapter 3, the famous passage in which Christ describes people that are “neither hot nor cold” and for that reason he is sickened by the fact that these people are lukewarm and will “spit them out” of His mouth. This is strong language. And people have generally read this passage and believed that these are Christians not doing anything for Christ (which is what makes them lukewarm) and because of that Christ is sickened. But I believe this is an incorrect understanding of this passage; an incorrect view that could affect eternity.
Answers in Genesis has released a report with the official number it believes watched the debate between founder Ken Ham and evolutionist Bill Nye. Their best estimation reveals that approximately five million people watched the debate around the world; though they also believe the number could be as high as ten million. The statistics for website hits, trending on Twitter, and overall reach are impressive and you can see them here.
But while these numbers are indeed impressive and show that the world is interested in this very sensitive subject, there was more to this debate than purely arguing over origins.
Steve Golden wrote an article at the Answers in Genesis website with, what I believe, is the key to the purpose of this entire debate. He wrote:
One thing many Christians struggle with is sharing the Gospel with their lost friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Many feel unprepared, insecure, or fear they will be yelled at by people that don’t want to hear about Jesus. Regardless of the reasons why we often don’t share the good news with others, the fact remains that we are called to do so an need to intentionally find ways to witness to others.
As the homosexual movement becomes a more prominent issue in our society Christians need to be prepared to share the Gospel with those identifying as gay. Every person, created in the image of God, is lost in their sin without the redemptive, saving grace of Christ. That means that whether someone is a drug addict, a thief, homosexual, or a really nice person that simply doesn’t know Jesus; all are lost and in need of the Gospel.
For anyone that is wondering where to start or how to go about sharing the Gospel with someone that is gay, help is on the way. The reality is that you really only need to be honest, loving, and allow the grace and truth is Scripture to speak through you. You don’t need a theological education, or be skilled in debate, you just need to care enough to speak and be willing to allow God to use you.
We have been working behind the scenes in an effort to allow all interested people, wherever they are around the globe, to view this debate live. To this end, we are pleased to announce that this debate will be available to view online and free of charge at debatelive.org. We hope that many will take advantage of this opportunity to view the debate in real time. You may watch the debate at home, or organize a gathering to show the live stream to your small group, your youth group, your entire church, or other groups.
Well-known author, preacher, teacher, and theologian John Piper has not been one to shy away from difficult topics. Piper regularly engages cultural issues with a biblical wisdom and perspective that serves to benefit many. Piper recently wrote an article at Desiring God called “Don’t Let Your Mind Go To Pot,” in which he sets out to show, biblically, why Christians ought to refrain from recreational drug use. He writes:
Have you ever gone through difficult circumstances and uttered that immortal phrase that runs through every mind at the time, “why me?” Sure, we’ve all done that. It’s a passphrase into the club of commiseration that every person wants to join as we loathe our circumstances together. And with the ability to network and share every detail of our lives on sites such as Facebook and Twitter we can quickly gain sympathy for “how awful” and “unfair” our trial is from lots of very well- meaning people.
And, as cyber friends remind us that “this too shall pass” we are increasingly pushed to focus on the day when our trial will be over and we’ll all look back and have a good laugh about it; rather than considering the purpose for the trial in the first place.
The Theological Context:
From a theological, or doctrinal standpoint these words mean absolutely everything. Our entire Bible is written under the authority and inspiration of God.
2 Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…”
God, through the Holy Spirit inspired the authorship of the Bible. So if God wrote the Bible then we must first understand that before the Bible existed, God existed. God predates all things, history, time, theology, and the Bible. Our theology is based on God. Our doctrine is founded upon God. Without first understanding that God is the author of all things, our study of Scripture, theology, and doctrine is worthless.
Suppose we wanted to preach through the entire Bible. We decided that we wanted to preach through every chapter, every verse, in every book of the entire Bible. That would be a great idea and one that would benefit us in many ways.
Some might suggest we start with a book like John. Here we would learn about Jesus, not as a lion, ox, or an eagle, as in the synoptic Gospels; but as a perfect man. John’s Gospel teaches us how we can know that we have eternal life and gives us a picture of the man Jesus unlike any other book of the Bible. But we can’t start here. If we started here we would be wondering why Jesus, God in flesh, is on the earth. Why did this God-man come to earth and walk around in a body of flesh and bone. Why did He heal people, suffer, and die on a cross. If we start in John we end up with more questions than answers. We can’t start in John.
The goal foremost in my mind for 2014 is to disappear as completely as possible and retreat into relative anonymity.
Let me explain.
One of the most deceptive and dangerous temptations this world has to offer is fame. People will go to the greatest, or at times the silliest, length to acquire any amount of fame possible. It’s almost as if people are willing to endure a life of fame for silly, absurd, or even rude behavior than to live content in anonymity. Reality television has proven humanities desire for fame knows no bounds.