Papers

AN APOLOGETIC RESPONSE ON HOW TO SHARE THE GOSPEL OF MESSIAH JESUS IN LIGHT OF THE HOLOCAUST

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How even after sixty-five years does one answer the questions of the Holocaust? How does one seek to explain the death of six million whose only crime was being Jewish? How does one fathom the actions that could result in the death of almost 1.5 million Jewish children? However, these questions are not the most impossible to answer. The most impossible ones of all are simply – How does one show the love of Jesus after two millennia of Christian‘ accusations of deicide? How does one illustrate the compassion of Christianity amid the ashes of innocent Jewish children? How does one share the Gospel of Messiah Jesus after the Holocaust? Therefore, this paper will embark on a journey to examine the Church‘s anti-Semitic past. An expedition that will end with the illustration that true Christianity is diametrically opposed to this irrational hatred. This paper also will attempt to take each of the impossible questions and provide an apologetic answer that defends the Gospel.

Author: 

Miss. Amy Downey

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Apologetics for This Secular Age

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The modern secularist, seeing the world through what Charles Taylor calls "the immanent frame", has a particular set of assumptions that form a wall which makes belief difficult. Upon these assumptions are constructed arguments that serve to strengthen the wall. Our engagement with secularists is often characterized by little more than the clash of ideas; our arguments seem to just ricochet off the wall. It would be helpful, I believe, if we could find an approach that brings God's truths to light that the secularist cannot deny, or cannot deny easily. Keeping foremost in our minds the person, rather than the ideas, and the goal of guiding the person to Christ, rather than winning arguments, can lead to a somewhat different way of doing apologetics than we're used to.

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Design Argument 2.0

Subtitle: 
The Engineering of Inner Space
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An intuitive argument for the existence of God is the Design Argument. This is an argument by analogy: that a Transcendental Engineer is the explanation for the well designed Universe and various biological systems. Unfortunately, criticisms of this argument have caused it to be largely ignored today. This paper reformulates the analogical design argument to address these criticisms and make it more current. Instead of focusing on outer space and large biological entities, it centers on the microscopic inner-space of the simplest cell, developing a new analogy called “The Space Station LLEC”. This analogy is buttressed by recent scientific research, as well as quotations from hostile scientific witnesses which support the view that the inner workings of the cell are well-engineered. The analogy is purposely given in a form that is understandable to the lay person.

Author: 

Dr. Curtis Hrischuk

Dr. Fazale ‘Fuz’ Rana

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An Engineer Takes a Look at the Evolution Debate

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The 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth inspired a spate of articles and books hailing the triumph of the theory of evolution. However, according to Kenneth Miller's 2008 book, Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul, science and the Intelligent Design (ID) movement are fighting a civil war over evolution. Miller, a Roman Catholic, asserts that there is no conflict between faith and evolution and that ID proponents are just anti-science.

Admittedly, most people lack the scientific background to understand the nuances of arguments like the one between Miller and Michael Behe on blood clotting factors. However, while scientists continue to debate the ability of secondary causes (natural processes) to explain life's diversity, the rest of us should seek opportunities to dialog about primary causes (origins), contingency, and teleology.

For example, all Christians should be prepared to respond to statements like: "Evolution speaks directly to our conception of who we are, where we come from, and how we regard ourselves with respect to the rest of the living world" (Only a Theory, 193).

Author: 

Mike Field

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The New Atheism: Another Skirmish with a Twist

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Mike Spaulding

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The Selfless Gene

Subtitle: 
How Evolutionary Psychology Failed To Obtain Altruism
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Even the simple process of defining altruism is not without argument, because the stakes are high in the creation-evolution debate. Creationists have long pointed to it as an Achilles’ heel (or one of many) for the evolution theory. As hard as the evolutionists try, they cannot adequately explain the existence among humans of altruistic behavior. So, in the evolutionist devotees’ (hereafter evo-devo or ED) sincere attempt to heal this wound, they have begun by redefining the term.

Author: 

Jack L. Greenoe

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Ph. D. candidate and Teaching Assistant at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

An Assessment Of Brain Death As A Means Of Procuring Transplantable Organs

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Since its inception in 1968, brain death, as a criterion for human death, has enjoyed the status of one of the few relatively “well settled” issues in bioethics. Indeed, its almost universal acceptance in law and medical practice seems to confirm this depiction. However, over the last fifteen years or so, a growing number of experts in medicine, philosophy, and religion regard brain death as an untenable criterion for human death. Given that the debate about brain death has occupied a relatively small group of professionals, few are aware that brain death fails to correspond to any coherent biological or philosophical conception of death. This is significant, for if the brain-dead are not dead, then the removal of their unpaired vital organs for transplantation is the direct cause of their deaths. The purpose of this paper is to relate the historical, biological, and philosophical underpinnings for brain death. After assessing the components of its conceptual foundation, I argue that brain death is fundamentally flawed and ought to be rejected as a criterion for death.

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Dr. D. Scott Henderson

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Franciscan University of Steubenville
Philosophy Department

Answering Muslim Objections to the Trinity

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K. Dayton Hartman II

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Gardnerian Wicca

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“Wicca.” Many things flood the mind upon hearing that word. To many people, it is synonymous with devil worship, fortune telling, and even human sacrifices. Images of black pointed hats gracing green wrinkled faces burst on the imagination. Is this the truth about Wicca? Is it all about little old ladies running around a cauldron in the company of unruly black cats? Is Wicca in fact devil worship?

A study of the subject will show that there are many different sects collected under the umbrella of “Wicca.” Specifically, there are 28 main branches that are present throughout the world. Keep in mind, though, that these are only the most prominent branches. Because of the relativistic nature of the religion many other unknown sects exist, and many more could develop in years to come. There are significant differences in some of the sects; however they are all very accepting of one another. One Wiccan scholar writes:

As you can see by the number and variety of branches of Wicca, there is really no end of “traditions” that can arise in the religion of Witchcraft, and there is also no end to the disagreements over the definition of any named branch. Wicca is what any witch makes it, as long as the branch is based upon Pagan ideas and deities.

The purest and perhaps most widely practiced form of Wicca, though, is the branch known as Gardnerian Wicca. This is also perhaps the sect that holds to the most traditional Wiccan teachings and practices. All other Wiccan sects share at least some things in common with Gardnerian Wicca, and many sects that exist today are off-shoots from this very branch.

Author: 

Ian Kyle

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Grace for Sale

Subtitle: 
False Teachers, False Definitions, True Bondage
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The Apostle Paul writes:

“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?” Gal. 3:1-2

False teachers and legalists were prevalent in the early church even while the apostles were living. There was a constant battle between a theocentric theology and an anthropocentric theology even then. From the time of the Reformation until about 1825 the prevailing theology was theocentric and more specifically Christocentric. From about 1825 on theology has decidedly shifted to anthropocentrism.

More recently, over the last 40 years or so, there has also been a shift away from teaching the essentials of the faith toward either embracing fads or denouncing fads. On both sides leadership has assumed that because their flocks give mental assent to the essentials in their membership documents or Statement of Faith they therefore understand and can defend the essentials of the faith. This is so prevalent that Pastor Rick Warren announced that we don’t need a reformation of creeds but a reformation of deeds. He declares:

“We know what we believe.”

Contrary to Warren’s claims, pollster George Barna demonstrates that 91% of Born Again Evangelicals and 49% of Evangelical pastors are deficient in one or more areas of essential doctrine. One of the areas this shows up most clearly is the doctrine of Grace.

We could spend our time on the aberrations and bondage associated with cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses who write in their publication Our Kingdom Ministry:

“We want to give deserving ones the opportunity to learn of Jehovah’s undeserved kindness and the Kingdom hope.”

It seems to escape their notice that if they are “deserving ones” then the grace they talk about it deserved. On the other hand, if grace is undeserved than there are no “deserving ones.”

We could spend our time on the aberrations and bondage associated with the shepherding movements and new cults such as the International Churches of Christ or Gwen Shamblin and Remnant Fellowship (Weigh Down Workshop). However, I think our time would be better spent looking at one of the more accepted teachers within the church who is one of the better promoters of a false definition of Grace and who has profoundly impacted many churches.

Author: 

Don Veinot

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President, Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc.

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