Newsletter

ISCA Newsletter

Fall 2017

Dear ISCA Members,

Here is our second ISCA newsletter of 2017.

Blessings,
Richard

Richard G. Howe, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics, Southern Evangelical Seminary
President, International Society of Christian Apologetics
“Good philosophy must exist if for no other reason because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” C. S. Lewis

Winter 2017

Here is our first newsletter of 2017.

Richard G. Howe, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics, Southern Evangelical Seminary
President, International Society of Christian Apologetics
“Good philosophy must exist if for no other reason because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” C. S. Lewis

Summer 2016

Attached to this email is the summer edition of our ISCA newsletter. Enjoy!

Richard G. Howe
Ph.D. Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics, Southern Evangelical Seminary
President, International Society of Christian Apologetics
“Good philosophy must exist if for no other reason because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” C. S. Lewis

Απολογια - March 2016

Dear friends,

Attached is the latest edition of our International Society of Christian Apologetics newsletter, Apologia.

Yours for His glory,

DW

 

Donald T. Williams, PhD

R. A. Forrest Scholar & Prof. of English, Toccoa Falls College

107 Kincaid Dr., Toccoa Falls, Ga. 30598, 706-886-6831, ext. 5213

President, International Society of Christian Apologetics

Web Site:  http://doulomen.tripod.com

Blogs:  http://lanternhollow.wordpress.com; http://thefivepilgrims.com/

E-Mail:  dtw@tfc.edu

 

"To think well is to serve God in the interior court."

-- Thomas Traherne

Απολογια - November 2015

To the group:  I thought I would get more response to this thing.  It’s not just supposed to be about me!  But I can only print what people send me.  I wonder if we should keep trying to do it?

 

DW

 

Donald T. Williams, PhD

R. A. Forrest Scholar & Prof. of English, Toccoa Falls College

107 Kincaid Dr., Toccoa Falls, Ga. 30598, 706-886-6831, ext. 5213

President, International Society of Christian Apologetics

Web Site:  http://doulomen.tripod.com

Blog:  http://lanternhollow.wordpress.com

E-Mail:  dtw@tfc.edu

 

"To think well is to serve God in the interior court."

-- Thomas Traherne

Απολογια - September 2015

Απολογια

A Newsletter Published for Members of
The International Society of Christian Apologetics

Donald T. Williams, PhD, Editor

Vol. 2, no. 1 Sept., 2015

LESSONS FROM BULGARIA

Visiting Bulgaria this summer was an education in the legacy of communism, which brings death and oppression wherever it gains a foothold. Francis Schaeffer analyzed it well in “How Should We Then Live.” Communism has to bring oppression because it imposes an economic regime that is not rooted in reality and destroys natural incentives. The only way you can achieve an artificial equality of economic result is by force—and those wielding the force will not participate in the forced equality. Power tends to corrupt, and the absolute power required for the dictatorship, not of the proletariat but of the self-appointed elite acting in their name, corrupts absolutely. These outcomes are not avoidable; they are coded into the DNA of the system by its very nature, and not all the good intentions in the world can avoid them. The results in Bulgaria were unmistakable. What was built before the communist regime was villages that looked like English country villages from the Cotswolds, only with red-tile roofs rather than thatch, and cities that looked like European elegance--central Sofia could be Vienna, with Romanesque Orthodox churches instead of Gothic Catholic ones. These are both environments in which human beings could live with dignity. What was built during communism was universally ugly and dehumanizing: Orwellian factories (empty) and worse than Orwellian high rises (crammed full), sprouting like a cancer on the outskirts of the cities. The contrast was stark. What was left behind after the Marxist regime fell was cynicism. I was surprised when the Evangelical pastors in Sofia asked me to talk on Post-Modernism, thinking it a peculiarly Western problem. No, they said, they had their own version of it, the result of people knowing they had been systematically lied to by the communist government for two generations. The resulting cynicism about truth has opened the people to a philosophy that denies determinative meaning to texts, including the Bible. The genesis of their cynicism about meaning is different from ours, but the results are the same. Preaching the Good News that personal Truth has entered our history becomes harder when there is no concept of truth; discipling Christian converts into the meaning of the Text which records that revelation becomes harder when there is no concept of objective meaning. It is what Francis Schaeffer described as the loss of "true truth," now on the steroids provided by Post-Modern “theory.” It is no coincidence that Post-Modern scholars often also tend to be Marxists. Both systems have no place for any objective truth to which their results must be submitted; both subordinate truth to their social agendas, which become self-justifying. Evil supports evil and attracts it. The connection was hard to miss in that former Soviet satellite. And the damage takes generations to heal. Have no truck then with these two allied philosophies and yield them no quarter! They are both straight from the Pit.
Donald T. Williams, PhD

 

FORTHCOMING ISCA PUBLICATIONS

Harvey Solganick has written a Biblical Curriculum for Discipleship of Teenagers, “Postmodernism and Christian Worldview,” to be published by Southwestern Seminary, Fort Worth, TX 2015.
Donald T. Williams, “Text vs. Word: C. S. Lewis’s Doctrine of Inspiration and the Inerrancy of Scripture,” chp. in festschrift for Norm Geisler, (Wipf & Stock, 2015); “Expressing Emotion in Poetry: Grief and Recovery in Psalm 6,” The Luther Rice Journal of Christian Studies, Jan. 2016; “Anselm and Aslan: C. S. Lewis on the Ontological Argument” (reprinted by permission from Touchstone), Global Journal of Classical Theology, 2016; “The Justice of Hell,” Christian Research Journal, April 2016.

RECENT ISCA PUBLICATIONS

Michael C. Sherrard, Relational Apologetics: Defending the Christian Faith with Holiness, Respect, and Truth, 2nd Edition (Kregel Publishing, 2015).
Don Williams, “Discerning the Times: Why We Lost the Culture War, and How to Make a Comeback,” Christian Research Journal 38:2 (May, 2015): 24-30; “Unique and Dated,” Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity 28:3 (May/June 2015): 5-6; “Apologetics with Love,” Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity 28:3 (May/June 2015): 6; “Rightly Dividing Ezra,” Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity 28:4 (July-August 2015): 6; “Worship Redirected,” Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity 28:5 (Sept./Oct. 2015): 4; “Pro: A Defense of C. S. Lewis’s ‘Trilemma,’” C. S. Lewis’s Apologetics: Pro and Con, ed. Gregory Bassham (Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, 2015): 171-89; “Reply to Adam Barkman,” C. S. Lewis’s Apologetics: Pro and Con, ed. Gregory Bassham (Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, 2015): 201-4.

PAPERS PRESENTED

Harvey Solganick presented a paper, “C.S. Lewis and the Apologetics of Marriage,” at the Southwestern Regional Conference of the Evangelical Theological Society. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. April 15, 2015.
Don Williams presented a paper, “Honor and Shame: C. S. Lewis on the Doctrines of Anthropology and Hamartiology,” at Mythcon, the annual meeting of the Mythopoeic Society (for the study of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and fantasy literature in general) in Colorado Springs, CO, July 31, 2015. Williams also presented two papers, “The Theology of Tolkien’s Middle Earth” and “Lacking, Ludicrous, or Logical? The Validity of Lewis’s ‘Trilemma’” at the Gordon Lewis Center for Theology and Culture of Denver Seminary on Monday, Aug. 3.

PREACHING AND OTHER SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Kathryn V. Camp just returned from speaking at an all-women’s conference hosted by Ray Ciervo Ministries. She saw the lights go on for many of the attendees and praises the Lord for the way He clearly moved these women to desire to become confident and active disciples for His kingdom. Several women signed up for Southern Evangelical’s new Apologetic Certificate Program. It was a great success. Camp will be speaking at the Women’s Conference just prior to the NCCA on the evening of October 15 about the plight of education in America. She will also be speaking at the NCCA on Sexual Diversity and the Bible October 16-17. Camp is also scheduled to speak at the Beautiful Females of Faith event to be held December 5, 2015. For further information about the NCCA conference, go to https://youtu.be/cWUOa6s0v_o .

Randy Douglass, Assistant Professor of Religion at Shorter University, spoke to the Dykes Creek Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia on Sunday morning, June 14, 2015. He spoke on the topic of “The Empty Tomb: Hoax or History?” Douglass presented the top ten theories for the empty tomb, and demonstrated how the resurrection was the most plausible conclusion.

Don Williams presented four lectures and participated in an “Open Forum” Q&A session while serving as Scholar in Residence at Summit Ministries, Session 6, in Manitou Springs, CO,, Aug. 3-15. Williams also presented the apologetics video “Mining for God” at the Tate Student Center of the University of Georgia, Athens, on Sept. 15, and was available for a Q&A afterwards.

CONGRESS OF WORLD RELIGIONS

A number of apologists will be at the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 15-19, 2015. (http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/). Don Veinot will be there as press, Bill Honserger and several others from Haven Ministries will be there, and about 10 from SBC will be there as well. It is a really mission opportunity for those involved with apologetics and missions to cults and New Religious Movements.

DOUBTLESS FAITH CONFERENCE

The “Doubtless Faith” conference will meet at the MacLand Baptist Church in metro Atlanta Oct. 23-4, 2015. ISCA member Kristen Davis will be among the speakers. “An estimated 60%-80% of young people leave the church and never come back. Though the potential reasons for this are many, the fact remains that the Christian faith is not a blind faith, but rather it is both a reasonable faith and it is the only true faith. The goal of this year’s conference is to reach individuals who have already lost their faith and those struggling to retain their faith, in order that they might find renewed confidence in the Word of God, and to equip those confident in their faith with the tools necessary to share the Gospel with those whom doubt the reliability of Scripture.” For further information go to the conference website, http://www.doubtlessfaith.com/apologetics/atlanta-october-23-24-2015.

ISCA JOURNAL

Greetings! I want to remind the members of ISCA that our submission due date for the journal is approaching quickly. The due date is January 1, 2016.
If you are interested in publishing an article in our journal, please send a copy of it to me at: roawil@gmail.com. Remember, however, to follow the guidelines: 1) I'm looking for your final paper, not a work in progress; 2) It should have footnotes, not endnotes; 3) All block quotes need to be indented on both sides; 4) It should be between 20-30 pages long; 5) It should be formatted in a Turabian style; 6) It should be related to apologetic issues and topics.
Bill Roach, Journal Editor

2016 ISCA CONFERENCE HAS CHANGE OF VENUE

Important news! We announced last spring that our 2016 conference would be held at Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Los Angeles, CA. Veritas has had to withdraw their invitation. Therefore, the 2016 conference will be at Toccoa Falls College in Northeast Georgia, April 1-3, 2016. The theme is “Apologetics in an Increasingly Hostile World.” Mark your calendars and stay tuned for further details as they become available!

ISCA MEMBER SHERRARD HAS NEW PUBLICATION

Relational Apologetics: Defending the Christian Faith with Holiness, Respect, and Truth, 2nd Edition (Kregel, 2015).
Relational Apologetics is about your life becoming a defense of the Christian faith. Every relationship you have is an opportunity for you to connect people to their creator by displaying your hope, both in word and deed. Defending your faith is not just about answering questions and "proving" that God exists. It is about showing that He is real by the way you live. It is about demonstrating the power of God through your holiness. And it is about drawing people to Jesus through your kindness.
“Michael Sherrard has a pastoral heart and an evidential mind. He understands the critical role our personal lives have in communicating the gospel and he’s written a book to help others grasp the importance of our relationships when making the case for what we believe." --J. Warner Wallace, cold-case detective and author of Cold-Case Christianity and God's Crime Scene.

Sola Scriptura; Sola Gratia; Sola Fide; Solus Christo; Soli Deo Gloria!

The Executive Council of the International Society of Christian Apologetics includes Donald T. Williams, President; Richard Howe, Vice President; Dan Guinn, Treasurer; Phil Fernandez, Secretary; Tim Adkisson, Webmaster; Bill Roach, Journal Editor; Norm Geisler, Phil Roberts, Kerby Anderson, and Win Corduan, Past Presidents.

Απολογια is a newsletter published quarterly for the members of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, Donald T. Williams, PhD, editor. Please send news of publications recent or forthcoming, papers, debates, etc. presented, preaching or other ministries, etc., to the editor (Microsoft Word, Times New Roman, 11 pt., single-spaced) at dtw@tfc.edu. Short news articles, essays, or book reviews (400 words) on issues relevant to your fellow apologists are also welcomed. The deadline for submissions to the next issue is December 1, 2015.

Απολογια - June 2015

Apologia 

A Newsletter Published for Members of

The International Society of Christian Apologetics

Donald T. Williams, PhD, Editor

Vol. 1, no. 4                                                                                                            July, 2015

 


 

 

IS GOD GOOD?

Is God good?  What does it mean to claim that He is?  Can a case for a good God be made in a world permeated by evil and suffering?  For many people who doubt, the issue is not really God’s existence as such, but rather His goodness.  There is after all no successful argument against God’s existence, for that would be proving a negative. But many people think they have a compelling argument against His goodness from the suffering He permits in His world—and if He is not good, why bother with faith in Him anyway?  Therefore, one step toward restoring our ability to have faith in Him must be to examine more carefully the idea of His goodness.  Is it even a coherent claim for Christian theists to make?

Let’s begin by assuming that God exists and created the world.  OK, when God created the universe He obviously gave it being and form; He also gave it value by calling it “good” (Gen. 1:4).  Goodness then flows from God as much as being or design.  It is therefore one of His essential attributes.  As C. S. Lewis summarizes it, “God’s will is determined by His wisdom which always perceives, and his goodness which always embraces, the intrinsically good” (Problem of Pain 88).

But what does this mean?  Is it simply circular to say that the good comes from God because God is good?  You cannot talk about this topic without Plato’s “Euthyphro Dilemma” coming up:  Is something good because God says it is, or does God say something is good because it is good?

Lewis understood that this is a false dilemma.  The correct answer to it is “neither.”  God’s attribution of goodness is not arbitrary, nor is it based on some standard external to Himself.  Rather, his own character is the standard for goodness.  We can see that this standard is not arbitrary once we ponder His identity as Creator alongside Augustine’s analysis of the nature of evil as a privation of the good.  Creation is inherently a constructive, not a destructive, act.  Creation is creative, not destructive; giving, not taking; orderly and purposeful, not chaotic.  How else could it produce a  cosmos, an ordered world?  Evil, on the other hand, is a perversion of some prior good; otherwise it could not exist at all.  So Lewis asks,   “Is it rational to believe in a bad God?”  No, he concludes: such a God “couldn’t invent or create or govern anything” (A Grief Observed 27). 

Lewis was certainly right about this.  We often ask why a good God would create such an imperfect and often painful world.  The answer is that He didn’t.  He permitted the Fall of His world.  But had He been destructive rather than creative, harmful rather than beneficent, chaotic rather than intelligent and purposeful, there could have been no world to fall in the first place.  Creation is an act of super-abounding goodness.  A world that continues to exist and to be redeemable simply cannot have evil as its source.


Donald T. Williams, PhD



FORTHCOMING ISCA PUBLICATIONS

 

Donald T. Williams, “Text vs. Word: C. S. Lewis’s Doctrine of Inspiration and the Inerrancy of Scripture,” chp. in festschrift for Norm Geisler, (Wipf & Stock, 2015); “The ‘Trilemma’: Pro,” in C. S. Lewis’s Defense of Christianity: For and Against, ed. Gregory Bassham (Amsterdam: Rodolpi, 2015); “Expressing Emotion in Poetry: Grief and Recovery in Psalm 6,” The Luther Rice Journal of Christian Studies, Jan. 2016; “Anselm and Aslan: C. S. Lewis on the Ontological Argument” (reprinted by permission from Touchstone), Global Journal of Classical Theology, 2016; “The Justice of Hell,” Christian Research Journal, April 2016.

 

.

RECENT ISCA

PUBLICATIONS

           

C. Fred Smith, Developing a Biblical Worldview: Seeing Things God’s Way (Nashville: B and H Academic, 2015) ISBN: 978-1433674464. 

Donald T. Williams, ”G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man,” in C. S. Lewis’s List: The Ten Books that  Influenced Him Most. Edited by David and Susan Werther, with a foreword by David C. Downing.  N.Y.:  Bloomsbury, 2015: 31-48; “Discerning the Times: Why We Lost the Culture War, and How to Make a Comeback,” Christian Research Journal  38:2 (May, 2015): 24-30; “Unique and Dated,” Touchstone: A Journal of  Mere Christianity 28:3 (May/June 2015): 5-6;  “Apologetics with Love,” Touchstone: A Journal of  Mere Christianity 28:3 (May/June 2015): 6; “Rightly Dividing Ezra,” Touchstone: A Journal of  Mere Christianity 28:4 (July-August 2015): 6.

 


Faith:The art of holding onto things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.”  C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity p. 123.


PAPERS

PRESENTED

 

Donald T. Williams presented a paper, “Text vs. Word: An Evangelical Critique of C. S. Lewis’s View of the Inspiration and Inerrancy of Scripture,” at the regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society at Luther Rice Seminary in Lithonia, Ga., March 27.  He also presented a paper, “Discerning the Times: Why We Lost the Culture War, and How to Mount a Comeback,” at the regional meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical society, meeting concurrently with ETS, March 28.  He also presented both papers and moderated a panel discussion at the annual meeting of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC, April 10-11.

 

PREACHING AND OTHER

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

 

 

            Donald T. Williams preached at Second Baptist Church, Varna, Bulgaria, on Sunday, May 31, and at Evangelical Pentecostal Church, Varna, Bulgaria, on Sunday, June 7.  He also led an apologetics seminar for local pastors and youth leaders in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Saturday, Aug. 30, and gave a lecture on “The Historical Case for the Resurrection of Christ” at the International Students Union in Varna, Bulgaria, on Monday, June 1.

 

 

SUMMER MINISTRIES

 

Randy Hroziencik is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the 2015 International Christian Evidences Conference, put together primarily by Dr. John Oakes, President of the Apologetics Research Society (San Diego).  The event is to be held at York College in York, Nebraska on June 19-21, and coincides with the opening of the John Clayton Museum of Antiquities, which houses the Foster Stanback collection of New Testament artifacts.  His topic is the relationship between faith and reason, revolving around an historical survey of this relationship (Justin Martyr v. Tertullian, Augustine v. Aquinas, Enlightenment rationalism v. fideism, etc.)  

The ARS and York College are affiliated with the Churches of Christ.  Hroziencik is not a member of that denomination, but as the first graduate of the ARS' Certificate in Christian Apologetics (which he undertook after Trinity Theological Seminary's coursework), he has been invited to present this material.  This is his first large-scale apologetics presentation (he presented this same topic in his home church in February to a crowd of 150 people, which could be larger than the group that he will speak to in June, but this upcoming audience should be much more "apologetics savvy").

Hroziencik would appreciate the prayers and encouragement of the ISCA.

            Donald T.  Williams traveled to Sofia and Varna, Bulgaria, with a group from the Toccoa Falls College Choir in late May and early June.  They participated in a performance of Haydn’s “Creation” in Varna.  The choir members worked with local churches’ music ministries.  Williams preached in two churches in Varna, conducted a seminar on Apologetics for local pastors in Sofia, and gave a lecture to college students in Varna on the historical argument for the resurrection of Christ, sponsored by Agape, which is what Campus Crusade for Christ is called in Bulgaria. 

            Williams will also present a paper on C. S. Lewis’s view of the Fall of Man at Mythcon, the annual meeting of the Mythopoeic Society (for the study of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and fantasy literature in general) July 31-Aug. 3.  Then from Aug. 3-15 he will serve as Scholar in Residence at session six of Summit Ministries’ summer program, a series of two-week Christian Worldview Boot Camps for high school students. 

 

 


“I believe in Christianity as I believe the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”  C. S. Lewis


 



MINUTES, ISCA EXECUTIVE BOARD

April 10, 2105

 

Present:  Don Williams (President), Kerby Anderson (Acting VP), Dan Guinn (Treas.), Bill Roach (Journal Ed.), Phil Fernandez (At Large), Norm Geisler (Past Pres.)

The meeting was called to order by the president at 10:05.  Phil Fernandez opened in prayer.

Journal:  Bill Roach suggested making the journal available to all on the ISCA website.  (Currently only members can log in and download it.)  Pros and cons were discussed.  It was moved and seconded that the Journal be made available to all.  The motion passed with no dissent.  Roach will also create a student journal for those who do not yet have their masters degree.

Media:  Dan Guinn will coordinate making our video and audio recordings of sessions available on the website and social media.  Kerby Anderson will do a radio show to promote it.

Next Meeting:  The next meeting will be at Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Los Angeles, CA, on April 1-2, 2016.  The theme agreed on is “Redeeming the Culture,” with tracks on Science, Islam, and Free Speech Issues as representing three particular challenges.  The idea is to address how to do apologetics in a culture that is increasingly hostile to Christian witness, rather than indifferent.  Franklin Graham was suggested as an ideal plenary speaker, as he has combined faithfulness with loving forthrightness in some of these areas.  Phil Ginn will try to line him up. 

Officers:  All will continue in their present position except Kerby Anderson, who is serving as Acting VP because we were not able to select a suitable candidate last year.  Joe Holden, Richard Howe, and Bruce Little were discussed as good VP candidates.  Of them, we were able to confirm Richard Howe’s availability and willingness to serve, so he was nominated to the membership at the membership meeting.  Kerby Anderson will remain on the Board as a Past President and give special attention to public relations and fund raising.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at about 10:45.  The president closed in prayer.

 

 

ISCA MEMBERS’ MEETING

April 10, 2015

 



“We trust not because ‘a God’ exists, but because this God exists.”  C. S. Lewis



 


At the Members’ Meeting reports were given on everything covered at the Executive

Board Meeting, and Richard Howe was nominated as Vice President and elected by acclamation.

 

 

NORM GEISLER INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES

 

            To keep up with the ministry activities of Norman and David Geisler, or to help with their work or more intelligently pray for them, visit their frequently updated website at http://ngim.org

 

ISCA JOURNAL NOW

AVAILABLE ONLINE!

 

The Executive Council voted at the annual meeting in April to make the ISCA journal available online at the ISCA website.  Meanwhile, the journal is getting wider exposure due to the kindness of Rob Bradshaw and THEOLOGICALSTUDIES.ORG.UK. To access any issue of the complete run, go to their website.

 

BOOK REVIEW

 

Steven Waterhouse, Papias and Matthew; Papias and his “Elder John.”  Amarillo, TX: Westcliff Press, 2014.  viii + 100 pp., n.p., pbk.

            This small book by the pastor of Westcliff Bible Church contains three studies, on the date and authorship of Matthew, the date and authorship of the fourth Gospel and Revelation, and Messianic prophecy.  The first two make a solid case for apostolic authorship and early dates.  They admirably cover complex material in a short space but without oversimplification.  The section on Messianic prophecy is valuable for its listing together of a number of Messianic prophecies and has some good exegetical material about them.  However, it often misses critical issues.  For example, the section on Isaiah 7:14 makes a strong case for almah as referring to an actual virgin, but ignores the real stumbling block to acceptance of that prophecy—the fact that in context it seems relevant to the present of Ahaz, who will see the destruction of the kingdom he fears in the time it takes an unconceived child to reach the age of accountability, and not to a future messianic event at all.  Still, the book has much of value, especially in the first two studies, and will get it to you efficiently without wasting words.  

                                        -- Donald T. Williams

 

 

CONFIDENT CHRISTIANITY CONFERENCE

 

            There will be a “Confident Christianity Conference” Sept. 18-19 at Fielder Church, Arlington, Texas, with Frank Turek as the featured speaker.  It promises that “You will be strengthened and equipped to evangelize those who have no faith or are of another faith. We have brought together a team of expert speakers and workshop leaders who will present evidence for the truths of Christianity in a way that is biblically grounded and culturally relevant.”  For further information go to sbtexas.com/ccc.

 

 

The Executive Council of the International Society of Christian Apologetics includes Donald T. Williams, President; Richard Howe, Vice President; Dan Guinn, Treasurer; Phil Fernandez, Secretary; Tim Adkisson, Webmaster; Bill Roach, Journal Editor; Norm Geisler, Kerby Anderson, and Win Corduan, Past Presidents.

 


 

Apologia is a newsletter published quarterly for the members of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, Donald T. Williams, PhD, editor.  Please send news of publications recent or forthcoming, papers, debates, etc. presented, preaching or other ministries, etc., to the editor (Microsoft Word, Times New Roman, 11 pt., single-spaced) at dtw@tfc.edu.  Short news articles, essays, or book reviews (400 words) on issues relevant to your fellow apologists are also welcomed. The deadline for submissions to the next issue is September 10, 2015.

Απολογια - March 2014

Apologia 

A Newsletter Published for Members of

The International Society of Christian Apologetics

Donald T. Williams, PhD, Editor

Vol. 1, no. 3                                                                                                           March, 2015

 

PRO-LIFE: A QUALITY-OF-LIFE CASE?

Christian Pro-Lifers usually reject out of hand quality-of-life arguments about abortion, insisting that only a sanctity-of-life understanding gives us a fully valid basis for making such judgments.  They are right to do so for many reasons.  But I think that even the quality-of-life argument for abortion fails, fails miserably, and can be shown to fail miserably.    

Pro-Choice arguments trying to spin abortion as a charitable act often focus on the various trials and hardships in life that a foetus unfortunate enough to be “unwanted” or “handicapped” is going to be spared.  That seems reasonable until you apply it to some actual test cases.  Let’s take a seriously handicapped individual who actually lived, Helen Keller.  Did she think her life of such a quality as to be not worth living?  It doesn’t seem so.  Let’s try again.  Does Stephen Hawking think his life of such a quality as to be not worth living?  Would he, in other words, prefer non-existence to being bound to a wheelchair and having to talk through a computer?  Clearly not; if he did prefer non-existence (assuming that is his concept of what death would be), he could surely arrange to have it. 

O.K., let’s try a different kind of case.  I have known a few Down Syndrome victims (a condition whose detection often now leads to elective abortion), and I certainly consider them unfortunate.  But not one of them wanted to die. Not one of them, once able to make the choice, would have chosen non-existence over the quality of the life he or she enjoyed.  (Never mind the consequences of such a choice for an eternal soul—we are limiting ourselves here to considerations about the quality of the present life only, for the sake of argument.)  Maybe some people in these situations would so choose; but it only takes one who would not to raise serious ethical questions about the quality-of-life case for abortion.  

What is that ethical dilemma?  Well, here’s the next question:  Would any of these people appreciate it if you unilaterally made the decision whether their lives were worth living for them without consulting them?  Especially if you decided in the negative and proceeded to enact that decision!  What would you be guilty of if you did so?  Hmmmm.

Another question:  What difference does it make if you make that preemptive decision about the value of someone else’s life before he or she can be consulted on the matter?  Would this timing make that person’s murder (what else can we call it?) less heinous, or more?  That’s a hard question.  Here’s an easier one:   Would you want to be deprived of the choice to determine for yourself whether your own life was worth living?  That’s just the Golden Rule, right?  If you would not wish to be so deprived, how can you justify depriving someone else of the same . . . er . . . right to choose?

One might point out that once we have added the Golden Rule it is no longer a purely quality-of-life ethic.  Something other than considerations of quality, the principle of “Do as you would be done by,” is now determining our choices.  Exactly.  A pure quality-of-life ethic would not really be an ethic at all.  And therefore nobody has one.  Little deontological bits of what Lewis called the Tao (like the Golden Rule) are always snuck in.  The Golden Rule is, after all, pretty hard to argue against.

There are then many problems with a quality-of-life ethic, and I am not advocating one. But it is worth pointing out:  Even when one is trying really hard to operate on a quality-of-life basis, once we add so simple and universally accepted a moral principle as The Golden Rule to our consideration of the facts, abortion is still very difficult to distinguish from murder and impossible to justify.


Donald T. Williams, PhD

______________________________________________________________________________



FORTHCOMING ISCA PUBLICATIONS

 

C. Fred Smith, Developing a Biblical Worldview: Seeing Things God’s Way (Nashville: B and H Academic, 2015) ISBN: 978-1433674464.  Forthcoming, Jan 2015.  

            Developing a Biblical Worldview offers a simple rubric for understanding the worldview presented in Scripture, and for comparing it with the reader’s own worldview, and the worldview of the larger culture.  Readers will be able to see both biblical and unbiblical ideas lurking in popular culture, such as TV Shows, sports, and movies, and how to use these insights to open apologetic conversations with skeptics and non-beleivers.  Central to the book is the idea that a biblical worldview is not “adopted” but rather develops over a lifetime of discipleship.

Donald T. Williams, “Coming Home: The Influence of Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man on C. S. Lewis,” in The Ten Books that Most Influenced C. S. Lewis (proceedings of the conference of the same name), Bloomsbury, April 2015; “Text vs. Word: C. S. Lewis’s Doctrine of Inspiration and the Inerrancy of Scripture,” chp. in festschrift for Norm Geisler, (Wipf & Stock, 2015); “The ‘Trilemma’: Pro,” in C. S. Lewis’s Defense of Christianity: For and Against, ed. Gregory Bassham (Amsterdam: Rodolpi, 2015); “Discerning the Times: Why We Lost the Culture War, and How to Make a Comeback,” Christian Research Journal, May, 2015.

.

RECENT ISCA

PUBLICATIONS

           

Norman Geisler’s Christian Apologetics (first published in 1976 and in continuous print since) has been totally revised by Baker Books.  Geisler’s Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics is permanently out of print.  It has been replaced by an abridged edition titled The Big Book of Christian Apologetics (Baker).  Geisler and Jason Jimenez, The Bible’s Answers to 100 of Life’s Biggest Questions (Baker) is now hot off the press.

Some twenty of Dr. Geisler’s apologetics books are now available for an inexpensive price at www.BastionBooks.com.  It includes a two volume History of Philosophy (nowhere else in print) and a totally revised volume of From God to Us.

If you are looking for a Junior High level apologetics, Bethany has published it by Norman Geisler and Patty Tunnicliff, Reasons to Believe.

Donald T. Williams, “Anselm and Aslan: C. S. Lewis and the Ontological Argument,” Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity 27:6 (Nov. / Dec. 2014): 36-39; “Cartographer of the Divine: S. S. Lewis as Doctor Ecclesiae,” Inklings Forever: a Collection of Essays from the Ninth Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C. S, Lewis and Friends IX (2014).

 

 

PAPERS

PRESENTED

 

Donald T. Williams presented a paper, “Aslan and Anselm: C. S. Lewis and the Ontological Argument” at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society in San Diego, CA, Nov. 19.  Williams also participated in a panel discussion on “The Current State of Lewis Scholarship” for an Evangelical Theological Society session (the two groups meet concurrently).

 

PREACHING AND OTHER

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

 

Donald T. Williams presented a devotional on “The Role of Narrative in the Christian Message” at the Lembrook Retirement Center in Atlanta on Dec. 16. He also preached at University Church, Athens, GA., on Sunday, Nov. 23.  His Sunday School series on “A Strategic Grasp of Scripture” continues at University Church.  Audiofiles of the sermon and the weekly lessons can be heard at www.theuniversitychurch.org.

            Williams also presented a lecture, “’An Encouraging Thought’: The Theology of Tolkien’s Middle Earth,” at the Areopagus Forum, Perimeter Church, St. Johns, GA, on Jan. 15, and for a local home-school group at Toccoa Falls College on Feb. 6.

 

EVANGELICAL MINISTRIES TO NEW RELIGIONS PLANS CONFERENCE!

 

The EMNR Conference will be in Denver May 1-2, 2015. The theme is "Myth Taken: The Cultural Challenge to the Church: The plenary speakers are Cal Beisner, Tim Challies, H Wayne House, Keith Plummer, and  Chelsen Vicari.  For more information, go to

http://emnr.org/myth-taken-the-cultural-challenge-to-the-church/ 

 

APOLOGETICS EVENTS

Terry Rathman and James Martin (local RTB chapter event coordinator in Knoxville TN), gave three presentations on the “Chemistry of Life”  January 11-13 at different venues, ie church to small colleges.  The content of each talk was geared to the audience’s level of understanding of chemistry.  Too often many apologists gloss over the chemistry of life and fail to see how fine-tuned the molecular level of life is designed even down to the uniqueness of the structure of water.  Regardless of the 'level' of the realm of God's General Revelation that one explores, design is inherent at each level and interconnected vertically with each level.  One major area is chirality, which to an organic chemist, such as Rathman is the death nail to the naturalistic origin of life.  If the origin of life cannot be explained, then the evolutionary theory is 'dead in the water', to quote a good friend at RTB.  Also emphasized at each talk was the Central Dogma of the 'Chemistry of Life' as published in 1958 by Sir Francis Crick.  The complexity of these chemistries appears to make the blind watchmaker a straw man argument.  For instance, of the 'three' steps of the Central Dogma, one step includes replication of DNA (and the entire cell).  Thus in context of the Paley's watch maker argument, unlike the watch which he found on the ground, The Watchmaker's clock will have multiplied by morning.

On 19 January, Mark Riser led a discussion for the Shreveport Reasons to Believe meeting.  On 25 January he manned a booth representing Followers of Jesus of Nazareth at the Shreveport World Religion Day event and participated in a panel discussion on the topic “What is the Uniting Principle of your Faith Tradition?” The panel consisted of Riser and three others representing various world religions.

On 16 February  Riser will be teaching Lesson One of “Navigating Genesis” for the Shreveport Reasons To Believe meeting.
On 27-28 February he will be speaking at the Truth Wars apologetics boot camp for high school seniors and college freshmen with Bruce Hennigan.  This spring he will be teaching the Discover Point class “Islam: The Big Questions” with Bruce Hennigan at Brookwood Baptist Church (date to be determined).
These events will all entail equipping Christians and presenting the Gospel. Riser asks your prayers as he prepares and presents.

 

 

BOOK REVIEW

 

Seven Garofalo, Right for You, but Not for Me? A Response to Moral Relativism.  Charlotte, NC: Triedstone, 2013.  Xxv + 285 pp., pb, np.

            Garofalo’s book is a popular critique of moral relativism and defense of moral absolutes.  It contains no arguments that a professional apologist will not already know, but is a good summary for laymen.  Garofalo starts by defining the key terms and then gives a history of relativism from its historic roots to its explosion in the 1960’s. He discusses the influence of the media and of non-Christian worldviews and the influence of relativism on American culture and politics. Then he makes a positive philosophical case for absolutes and concludes with a practical chapter on how to answer relativist arguments.

            The book is written for laymen, but even professional apologists will find ammunition in some of the quotations.  The section on the history behind the “separation” of church and state is especially rich in that way. There are some unfortunate errors that make one shake one’s head.  We are told for example that John 3:16 was the most quoted Scripture before Protagoras—who lived in the 400’s BC (p. 25)!  Nevertheless, this is a useful book to give to confused laymen, especially if the apologist follows it up with his own discussion.

Donald T. Williams  

 

ISCA CONFERENCE TO EXAMINE ROLE OF SCRIPTURE IN EVANGELICAL IDENTITY

The annual meeting of the International Society of Christian Apologetics will take place at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC, April 10-11, 2015.  The theme will be “Inerrancy and Evangelical Identity.”  Papers on other topics of apologetic interest will also appear in workshops.  Plenary speakers include Dr. Richard Land, Dr. Paige Patterson, and Professor Sarah Geiss.  Go to the ISCA website for further information and registration!

 

 

 

APOLOGISTS TO FOCUS ON INERRANCY

International Society of Christian Apologetics Meeting, Southern Evangelical Seminary, Charlotte, NC, April 10-11

 

Donald T. Williams, PhD

 

I have the honor of serving as president of the International Society of Christian Apologetics (ISCA) this year.  Our annual meeting is going to be very accessible to many in the Southeast, at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC, Fri-Sat., April 10-11, 2015.  The theme is “Inerrancy and Evangelical Identity.”  How essential is a full view of biblical authority to who we are as Evangelicals?  It is a doctrine that is under renewed assault, even from within what purports to be Evangelicalism.

We are going to have a stellar line-up of plenary speakers to address such an important topic.

 

Paige Patterson 

Paige Patterson

 

First we have two giants from the Southern Baptist Convention, Richard Land and Paige Patterson, who will talk about the struggle for inerrancy in that denomination and what we can learn from it for the struggles ongoing in other Evangelical churches and organizations.  Nobody has had more personal experience with such things than these two.  Land will talk about the history of the struggle for inerrancy in the SBC, and Patterson will focus on the practical lessons to be learned from it.  This will be balanced by rising star Sarah Geis, Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary, who will speak on making the case for inerrancy, not so much to the church as to the world.  Their titles are as follows:

 

Richard Land 

Richard Land

Ø  Richard Land, “The Southern Baptist Convention, 1979-1993: What Happened, and Why” (To learn more about Richard Land, go to  http://www.drrichardland.com/about.)

Ø  Paige Patterson, “The Consequences of Revolution: The Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention: A Case Study” (To learn more about Paige Patterson, go to http://www.paigepatterson.info/.)

Ø  Sarah Geis, "The Apologetics of Inerrancy: Making Our Case to the World" (To learn more about Sarah Geis, go to http://justifiedfaith.com/author/scgeis/.) 

Sarah Geis 

Sarah Geis

Then I will do a presidential address on “Discerning the Times: Why We Lost the Culture War and How to Make a Comeback,” in which I will address the related area of how subjectivist hermeneutics undermines biblical authority and our ability to apply it to the world around us.  The older critics of inerrancy believed that there was such a thing as truth and error; the new challenge is not so much to the truth of Scripture as to whether there is such a thing as truth at all, not so much to whether Scripture is factually true as to whether any definitive interpretation of its truth claims is possible or even conceivable.  We need to catch up in our apologetic here!

Donald T. Williams 

Donald T. Williams

This is a great opportunity that many of us should take advantage of.  Registration is available at:

http://www.isca-apologetics.org/annualmeetingI hope to see many of you there!  See the next page for a tentative program:

Donald T. Williams, PhD

R. A. Forrest Scholar & Prof. of English, Toccoa Falls College

107 Kincaid Dr., Toccoa Falls, Ga. 30598, 706-886-6831, ext. 5213

President, International Society of Christian Apologetics

Web Site:  http://doulomen.tripod.com 

Blog:  http://lanternhollow.wordpress.com 

E-Mail:  dtw@tfc.edu 

 

"To think well is to serve God in the interior court."

-- Thomas Traherne

 


 

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS

ANNUAL MEETING, April 10-11, 2015

"Inerrancy and Evangelical Identity" 

Southern Evangelical Seminary

3000 Tilley Morris Rd., Matthews, NC 28105

704-847-5600, Ext. 201; www.ses.edu 

 

April 10,  Friday 

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM ISCA Board Meeting

1:00 PM –                   Registration opens

2:00  – 2:45 PM          Welcome, Worship, and Instructions     

2:45 -- 3:00 PM           Logos Bible Software Presentation

3:00 -- 3:15  PM          Break

3:15 -- 4:15  PM          Workshop 1

A.     William C. Roach, “The Background of the ICBI Chicago Statement on Inerrancy”  

B.    Norm Geisler, “Is It Just a Matter of Interpretation, not of Inerrancy? Examining the Relation between Inerrancy and Hermeneutics.”

C.    Adam Johnson, “Evolution and Morality: Evaluating Erik Wielenberg’s Response to Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.”  

D.   Jay Hess, “How to Have a Long-Term Relationship with Jehovah's Witnesses and Help Them Out of the Watchtower”

E.   Trevor Ray Slone, “Doing Apologetics Without Apology”

4:15 -- 5:00  PM          ISCA Members Meeting          

4:15 – 6:30   PM         Break for Dinner (on your own)

5:30 – 6:30  PM          Registration table open

6:30 – 6:45 PM                       (auditorium) opening prayer/welcome

6:45 – 7:45 PM          (auditorium) plenary session 1:  “The Southern Baptist Convention, 1979-1993: What Happened, and Why,” Richard Land

7:45 – 8:00  PM          break

8:00 – 9:00  PM          (auditorium) plenary session 2: “The Consequences of Revolution: The Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention: A Case Study,” Paige Patterson

April 11,  Saturday 

8:00 – 9:00 AM           Registration opens (coffee and continental breakfast available?) 

9:00 – 10:00 AM         (Auditorium) Panel Discussion with Plenary Speakers:  Paige Patterson, Richard Land, Sarah Geis; Norm Geisler, special guest; Donald T. Williams, Moderator

10:00 – 10:15 Am       break 

10:15 – 11:15  AM      Workshop 2

A.    Christopher Travis Haun, A Reconsideration of the Importance of CSBI and CSBH in Apologetics, Evangelism, and Perseverance in the Orthodox Faith: Responding to Contemporary Challenges to the ICBI Statements by Evangelical Apologists and Biblical Scholars”  

B.    Richard G. Howe, "The Concept of Truth in the Inerrancy Debate, Revisited"

C.    Fazale (Fuz) Rana,  Is There a Biochemical Anthropic Principle?”

D.   Michael A. Field, “Boniface VIII’s ‘Infallible’ Interpretation of God’s Inerrant Word” (Fri. or Sat. AM)

E.    Kathryn V. Camp, M.Div., “The Problem of Poverty”

11:15 AM – 1:00         PM Lunch Break (on your own) 

1:00 – 2:00 PM           (Auditorium) Plenary Session 3:  "The Apologetics of Inerrancy: Making Our Case to the World," Sarah Geis

2:00 – 2:15 PM                       break  

2:15 -- 3:15 PM           Workshop 3

A.     Dan Guinn, "The Church at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Remembering Francis Schaeffer on Inerrancy and Evangelical Identity."

B.    Sarah Geis, "The Epistemology of Inerrancy: Teaching Inerrancy in the Church"

C.    Ken Wolgemuth, “The Apologetics of Inerrancy: Making Our Case to the World – What about Science?”

D.   Kristen Davis, “Cult Worship at Tel Dan”

E.    William C. Roach,The Resurgence of Neo-Evangelicalism” 

3:15 – 3:30 PM                       break 

3:30 -- 4:30 PM           Workshop 4

A.     Donald T. Williams, “Text vs. Word: An Evangelical Critique of C. S. Lewis’s Doctrine of Inspiration and the Inerrancy of Scripture”

B.    Jeremy Cummings, “His Story or Historical Fiction: Is There a Connection Between Historicity and Veracity Concerning the Old Testament Saints?”

C.    Adam Tucker, “Come to Your Senses: Revealing the Magic of the Modern Mind”

D.   Randy Douglass, “The REVEALER: Using Educational Best Practices to Teach the Credibility of the Bible”

4:30 -- 4:45 PM           break 

4:45 -- 5:45 PM           workshop 5

A.     Phil Fernandes, “The Battle for the Bible—Part Two”

B.    Gideon Lee, “Truth Demands Loving Confrontation: Adapting the Pragmatic Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer to Confront Transhumanism”

C.    J. Brian Huffling, “Philosophy of History: Prolegomena to Inerrancy”

D.   Christopher T. Haun, “Inerrancy, Shipwreck, Hermeneutics, and Zombies: Responding to Six Concerns over Paleo-Inerrancy”

6:00 – 7:30 PM            Banquet 

7:30 – 8:30 PM            Presidential Address:  “Discerning the Times: Why We Lost the Culture War, and How to Make a Comeback,” Donald T. Williams   

 


 

The Executive Council of the International Society of Christian Apologetics includes Donald T. Williams, President; Kerby Anderson, Acting Vice President; Dan Guinn, Treasurer; Trevor Slone, Secretary; Phil Fernandez, At Large; Tim Adkisson, Webmaster; Bill Roach, Journal Editor; Norm Geisler and Win Corduan, Past Presidents.

 


 

Apologia is a newsletter published quarterly for the members of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, Donald T. Williams, PhD, editor.  Please send news of publications recent or forthcoming, papers, debates, etc. presented, preaching or other ministries, etc., to the editor (Microsoft Word, Times New Roman, 11 pt., single-spaced) at dtw@tfc.edu.  Short news articles, essays, or book reviews (400 words) on issues relevant to your fellow apologists are also welcomed. The deadline for submissions to the next issue is May 15, 2015.

Απολογια - November 2014

Dear friends,

Attached is the second edition of our new international Society of Christian Apologetics newsletter, Apologia.  I hope you enjoy it; moreover, I hope you will be encouraged to learn what your fellow apologists are up to and what they are thinking.  Please take a moment to pray for the opportunities mentioned here.  And please be sure to share your relevant news with the rest of us in the next edition, for which the deadline is January 1.  I suspect we have more publications happening among us than I was able to list this time, for example.  Thanks for all your efforts to defend and proclaim the glorious truth of our gracious Lord and Savior.  Let this little newsletter be a reminder that you are not alone.

 

Yours for His glory,

Don

 

Donald T. Williams, PhD

R. A. Forrest Scholar & Prof. of English, Toccoa Falls College

107 Kincaid Dr., Toccoa Falls, Ga. 30598, 706-886-6831, ext. 5213

President, International Society of Christian Apologetics

Web Site:  http://doulomen.tripod.com

Blog:  http://lanternhollow.wordpress.com

E-Mail:  dtw@tfc.edu

Απολογια - September 2014

Dear friends,

Attached is the first edition of our new international Society of Christian Apologetics newsletter, Apologia.  I hope you enjoy it; moreover, I hope you will be encouraged to learn what your fellow apologists are up to and what they are thinking.  Please take a moment to pray for the opportunities mentioned here.  And please be sure to share your relevant news with the rest of us in the next edition, for which the deadline is November 1.  I suspect we have more publications happening among us than I was able to list this time, for example.  Thanks for all your efforts to defend and proclaim the glorious truth of our gracious Lord and Savior.  Let this little newsletter be a reminder that you are not alone.

 

Yours for His glory,

Don

 

Donald T. Williams, PhD

R. A. Forrest Scholar & Prof. of English, Toccoa Falls College

107 Kincaid Dr., Toccoa Falls, Ga. 30598, 706-886-6831, ext. 5213

President, International Society of Christian Apologetics

Web Site:  http://doulomen.tripod.com

Blog:  http://lanternhollow.wordpress.com

E-Mail:  dtw@tfc.edu

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