Papers

Forensics and Faithfulness

Subtitle: 
Defense in the Context of the New Testament
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Over time apologetics has become quite an elaborate affair. The term is now shorthand for almost any intellectual engagement with non-belief. A Scripture passage cited frequently as a justification for apologetics is 1 Peter 3:15. What would Peter have had in mind when he urged Christians to make a defense? Since ἀπολογίᾳ is a legal term, it is instructive to look at this Scripture passage in light of the larger witness motif in the New Testament. I conclude that defense in the New Testament, including the defense Peter had in mind, is incomplete by itself; it is in the service of bearing witness for Christ. Thus, there is no question of whether apologetics and evangelism go together; they are a package deal. I will draw primarily from A. A. Trites’ study, The Concept of Witness in the New Testament, and will conclude with a consideration of how this might color apologetics today.

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God's Moral Justification in Creating the Actual World

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The idea of the best possible world was made famous by Leibniz. Much has been made of whether or not this is the best possible world, and if not, if God can be held morally responsible for this. In order to assess properly this idea, one must understand what makes one world morally preferable to another. This is called the Axiom of Moral Preferability (AMP). This paper contends there is no best possible world, and even if there were to be one, God would not be constrained to create it. So long as God does not cause evil and the AMP is fulfilled, God has created a good world and is morally justified in doing so.

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Intro to the Dead Sea Scrolls

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The Doctrine of Man: A Critique of Christian Transhumanism

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The purpose of this paper is to address a few of the many theological implications surrounding transhumanism, especially in regard to its consistency with a Christian worldview. Transhumanism is an international movement that seeks to break through human biological limitations to radically redesign humanity. The topic is so broad that it can be best addressed paradigmatically by examining its foundational technologies and philosophies. This presentation will first give a brief summary of the topic and then a broad overview of the technologies involved. As the technologies are discussed a few specific criticisms will be raised and Christian responses offered. Then it will turn to theological matters. First it will analyze the philosophical underpinnings of the movement and then interact specifically with the more visible proponents who attempt to reconcile it theologically with Christianity. The main points offered in defense of the thesis are that promoters of Christian transhumanism are driven by an unbiblical anthropology, a Pelegian view of sin, and a profound misunderstanding of the Christian life characteristic of theological liberalism. The first point of analysis will be anthropology which naturally leads to one’s position on the biblical creation account and original sin. The denial of scriptural authority on the issues of origins and sin results in an embrace of the naturalistic worldview and leads one open to ideas like Christian transhumanism. This will be revealed as initially hubris and potentially grave sin. Finally, some suggestions will be offered as a Christian response. This paper will demonstrate that while there are some who claim to be Christian transhumanists, transhumanism is an anthropocentric worldview based on naturalistic presuppositions that is incompatible with orthodox biblical Christianity. Cris D. Putnam  www.LogosApologia.org

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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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Abstract: 

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