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  • The Salvific Global Mission of Jesus: A Biblical and Apologetical Interpretation of Matthew 15:24 by Dele Alaba Ilesanmi (2024)
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    The purpose of this paper is to refute claims from non-Christian groups and opponents of the Christian faith, such as Muslims that the mission of Jesus was parochial and not global. In doing this, this writer provides three context clues as anchor texts coupled with copious texts to give sufficient condition, history of salvation as promised by God, a walking theory, and conceptual analysis as springboards to correct interpretation of Matthew 15:24 through the lens of context and synthesis principle of biblical hermeneutics approach pneumagogically.

  • A CLUE TO THE CLUE: The Abolition of Man as a Supplement to the Moral Argument of Mere Christianity by Donald T. Williams (2023)
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    C. S. Lewis’s little book The Abolition of Man provides crucial auxiliary support for two claims essential to The Moral Argument that Lewis makes in Mere Christianity: the objectivity of value and the universality of the basic moral values to which The Moral Argument claims the human race is subject.  The bulk of Abolition deals with the issue of objectivity, and an appendix provides documentary evidence for universality from a plethora of religious and cultural traditions. 

    The defense of objective value in Abolition has been widely recognized as one of the most brilliant ever mounted.  The logical positivism that lay behind the subjectivity on value of Gaius and Titius in The Green Book was ironically an effort to defend the objectivity of empirical science.  The Post-Modernism we face today might seem to present a very different challenge in its rejection of the exemption from subjectivism once enjoyed by empirical science.  But as Post-Modernism and Positivism are as one on the subjectivity of value, Lewis’s defense of objective value can be just as effective against our own forms of subjectivism as it was against those of eighty years ago. 

    Studying the two works, Abolition of Man and Mere Christianity, together thus provides insights into both while it strengthens the argument in Mere Christianity for a world that has even more serious doubts about the objectivity and universality of moral values than the world Lewis addressed.

  • The Spiritual Preparation of the Apologist: Five Theses by Donald T. Williams (2022)
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    American Evangelicalism is not as biblical as it thinks it is.  We are clearly commanded always to be ready to give a defense, an apologia, to anyone who asks us for a reason for the hope that is within us (1 Pet. 3:15).  Yet while we have developed an Apologetics Industrial Complex, it has very little impact on the way evangelism is practiced in the churches, which are filled with huge swaths of our adherents who think that apologetic argument is at best unspiritual.  So our apology for apologetics still needs to be refined and delivered to a wider audience in the Evangelical churches.  Part of that defense needs to be a renewed emphasis on the implications of the context of Peter’s command for the spiritual preparation of the Apologist.

    To these ends, I offer five theses:  1: We are commanded to be always ready to give a defense (Grk. apologia) to anyone who asks a reason for the hope that is within us (1 Pet. 3:15).  When we examine the context  of that commandment, we realize that:   2: Apologetics is therefore an essential part of Christian discipleship; 3: God purposes to save whole persons, which includes their minds as well as their hearts;  4:  Apologetics seeks to win people, not arguments; nevertheless, sound arguments should be employed because not to do so is to insult and blaspheme the God of truth; 5:  Apologetics, like every other aspect of evangelism, is impotent apart from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit; and that is a reason to do apologetics, not to avoid it.       

  • Truth Amidst Tension by Dan Guinn (2022)
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    The book this paper is connected to in its namesake, Truth Amidst Tension: The Practical Apologetic Methodology of Francis Schaeffer. The premise thereof, is that despite Francis Schaeffer’s apologetic having been considered by some to be one of the most significant contributions to the Christian defense of the faith in the Twentieth Century, in many ways, and rather surprisingly, the fine details of his methodology is still largely unknown by many in the Christian world. Some may know that Dr. Schaeffer is significant, but they may not realize how helpful he is. In this paper, the author takes time to connect the aspect of our conference theme to Dr. Schaeffer’s thought, then provided a summary of some of the relevant portions that relate directly to the book. Then, finally explains some new material that addresses our current cultural condition.

  • Christ’s Death as the Perfect Sacrifice for Sin: An African Context by Ebenezer Afolabi (2021)
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    to either obtain divine favour, to appease the wrath of an angry deity, as a means of fellowship, to prevent or avert impending doom, or for gratitude-sacrifices are offered for different purposes. There are also other types of sacrifices that are similar to Old Testament system of sacrifice: substitutionary, propitiatory, votive, expiatory sacrifice, etc. However, the supreme form of sacrifice in most African traditional societies is the human sacrifice-though this happens occasionally. Animals are mostly used for sacrifices. Human sacrifice is done when there is epidemic, death among young people in the community or other exigent rituals to be done. However, in this paper, the author explains why the sacrifice of Jesus the Son of God is the final, perfect and only adequate sacrifice for the sins of humanity.

  • Dr. Francis Schaeffer on Doubt in the Scope of the Work of Apologetics by Dan Guinn (2019)
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    When one thinks of the word doubt, it is often with a certain level of concern. Doubt, especially in the scope of Apologetics, is not only questionable, but taboo. We question it, in the persons we debate, and in persons we may even encounter who are believers, and especially in other apologist. The lack of doubt, conversely, is often seen as a level of spiritual strength. Moreover, doubt is often generally seen as sinful. Thus, it might beg the question, how should it be understood in the scope of Apologetics and even in the life of the apologist. Dr. Schaeffer, thankfully, brings much of the matter to light, not just in his teaching, but moreover in his apologetic methods. To this end, I want us to examine his teaching on the subject together and thereby, I believe we will find strength in ministry.

  • Six Big Problems With The New Apostolic Reformation by Shawn Nelson (2018)
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    The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) can be characterized as a postmillennial restorationist movement which seeks to restore the so-called lost office of apostle and prophet with the goal of establishing the kingdom of God upon the earth. Six broad values and beliefs of the movement are evaluated in the following order: postmillennialism, restorationism, manufactured continuationism, reconstructionism, experientialism and pragmatism. It is argued that postmillennialism is a weak biblical position and that NAR’s brand (“dominionism”) wrongly places the responsibility of the kingdom on Christians rather than God. It is argued under restorationism that the office of apostle was never lost to begin with. With manufactured continuationism, there is a forcing and a faking of spiritual gifts resulting in charismania. With reconstructionism, Christians are precariously pressured to directly engage in warfare against the forces of darkness to restore dominion lost from the Fall. With experientialism, experience is placed above the Word of God. And finally, with pragmatism, attempts are made to justify NAR by its rapid growth, but this is shown to be a weak argument. All six beliefs and practices are unbiblical and should be avoided along with the movement itself.

  • Francis Schaeffer on the Centrality of Christ in Spirituality and Apologetics by Dan Guinn (2018)
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    Historically, some portions of the church have struggled to understand the practical relationship between Apologetics and Spirituality. This was especially prevalent in Schaeffer’s time. He regularly encountered those who were critical of the discipline of Apologetics and saw it as merely academic and conceptual, and likewise often saw Spirituality as something with little relationship to the mind. In contrast, on the other hand, perhaps fulfilling the skepticism of the former, there were frequently those that practiced forms of Apologetics that could be construed as more purely academic and intellectual and arguably, out of touch with the everyday situation of the non-believer.  Schaeffer felt very strongly that Apologetics needed to be brought into the “rough and tumble” world of the common man.

  • Francis Schaeffer and the Apologetic of Beauty by Dan Guinn (2017)
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    Often mischaracterized and even arbitrarily dismissed as only an art philosophy, Schaeffer teaches us an apologetic of beauty that is missed by many scholars. Once understood, the strength of thought and the power of the clarification of the historic Christian position utterly confounds the very foundations of Atheism. Moreover, for the believer, when realized, it adds tremendous edification to one's soul.

  • Answers for Orual: C. S. Lewis as an Apologetic Role Model by Donald T. Williams (2016)
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    Many have argued about the validity of C. S. Lewis’s arguments.  This paper will look at him as a practical role model for Christian apologists.  He understood the evangelistic situation we face in the modern world (and saw the Post-Modern world coming before it had a name); he understood how to communicate abstruse ideas and linear arguments in a way that normal human beings can follow; he understood that good arguments are a necessary but not a sufficient condition of an effective apologia; he knew how to make his arguments meaningful by calling Imagination to the aid of Reason and by putting them in the context of a life of loving service.  The conclusion is “Go thou and do likewise.” 

  • Defending the Faith in the Political Environment by Ron J. Bigalke (2016)
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    The political environment can be (and often is) a difficult environment in which the believer can provide a Christian apologetic. As the church is the “pillar and support of truth,” it is incumbent upon believers to engage the political sphere. Scripture reveals that God ordains all powers, yet, of course, there are rare times when Christians cannot submit to the state. The purpose of this paper is to portray a biblical apologetic toward governing authorities by considering what Scripture reveals with regard to the church’s behavior toward government officials and how to minister to them. Consideration will be given to those uncommon instances when Christians must practice civil disobedience. The paper will also address the historical development of a Christian doctrine asserting the relationship between the church and state (by considering the notion of “two swords,” and various historical examples). The paper will conclude with the specifics for engaging the political environment with a biblical apologetic.  

  • Francis Schaeffer, Apologetics & Pre-Evangelism by Dan Guinn (2016)
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    Francis Schaeffer believed apologetics to be the servant of evangelism and said "pre-evangelism is no soft option." All too often, Christian Apologetics strives to make "a frontal assault on a superior force" (Greg Koukl), when in reality the force is not truly superior in thought, but only superior in numbers. Dr. Schaeffer's non-mechanical approach guides us toward not only a good apologetic, but a means to address the whole person amidst a hostile world.

  • Discerning the Times: How We Lost the Culture War and How to Make a Comeback by Donald T. Williams (2015)
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    We lost the culture war, not because we had bad arguments, but because we had already lost it on the more fundamental ground of hermeneutics.  Focused on theology, philosophy, ethics, and politics, we paid insufficient attention to changes taking place in our colleges in how reading and writing were taught.  The old grammatico-historical exegesis, the attempt to discover what the author was trying to say to his original audience, was replaced by a new view in which authorial intention is irrelevant at best and meaning is in the eye of the beholder.  When people are taught to read this way, the authority of all cultural texts—including our founding documents and Scripture—is undermined, so that even good arguments for traditional values have no traction.  To reverse this defeat, we must recognize the importance of reading and how it is taught.  You cannot win the battle for theology or ethics if you have lost the battle for philology.  Therefore, philosophical hermeneutics is a front on which the battle must increasingly be waged.

  • The Church at the Beginning of the 21st Century by Dan Guinn (2015)
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    As one begins to explore the thought of Francis Schaeffer on the matter of inerrancy, it is easy to see that Dr. Schaeffer dealt with the subject on multiple fronts. Firstly, from his personal life, having come to faith from Agnosticism by deciding to read the Bible for the sake of intellectual honesty. Then also. having met his future wife Edith, at a youth gathering, where the speaker was presenting on the topic of “How I know the Bible is not the Word of God.” From these stories, from his early years, to his ongoing writings, and his involvement with the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI) in the closing years of his life, it is safe to say that Dr Schaeffer dealt with the matter of inerrancy his entire life.

  • Form and Freedom in Francis Schaeffer’s Biblical Defense of Marriage by Dan Guinn (2014)
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    Today we are bombarded, it seems daily, by social compromises in regard to marriage and sexuality both within the church and society at large as we hear and see news reports and follow trends on social media. Schaeffer was no stranger to this struggle in his time, as he not only dealt with it first hand on a pastoral level, but also quite often on a personal level with visitors and inquirers at L’Abri. Schaeffer, as usual was ahead of the curve in this regard, taking on subjects that would most likely make most Christian counselors cringe even today. In his letters it can be found that Schaeffer responded to questions of marriage in general, finding a partner, dating,sexual relations, sexual sin, sexual relations before marriage, marrying non-Christians, re-marriage, homosexuality and lesbianism, homophilia, the meaning of love, eroticism, adultery, marital reconciliation, racial marriage, masturbation, platonic relationships, the significance of the marriage ceremony and certificate, male-female roles in marriage, birth control, contraception and abortion. Moreover, these are just the ones that made it into the Letters of Francis Schaeffer edited by Lane T. Dennis. Yet we know there is substantially more as there are over 30,000 pieces of personal correspondence in the Francis Schaeffer Collection.  


    This paper will explore in depth Schaeffer’s specific teaching on the concepts he calls “form” and “freedom” in relation to marriage and explain the language he uses of “the proper legal circle.” Then it will elaborate on his emphasis on the exhibition of the personal and then focus on how Schaeffer places “the beauty of human relationships” as a primary focal point as a visible apologetic to the watching world that contrast the ugliness of a world which is intent on throwing off all marital restraints in society.

  • Anslem and Aslan: C. S. Lewis and the Ontological Argument by Donald T. Williams (2014)
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    In a letter C. S. Lewis describes the scene from The Silver Chair in which Puddleglum stomps out the Green Witch’s mesmerizing fire and responds to her reductionism as “a version of the ontological proof suitable for children.”  It is not self-evident that this is so; but an examination of the passage in the light of Anselm’s argument and the history of its discussion reveals that Lewis knew what he was doing and that he understood the ontological argument as a useful way of approaching the concepts of God’s transcendence and His aseity.

  • Promethean Faith: Faith and Fact in Fiction and Reality by Donald T. Williams (2013)
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    A recent science fiction film and a classic scifi television episode combine to raise interesting questions about the nature of faith.  Ridley Scott’s Prometheus has a character, Elizabeth Shaw, who is a Christian, but whose Christianity is challenged by the apparent discovery of directed panspermia in human evolution.  Her response is simply, “I choose to believe.”  In a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Lt. Worf confronts the apparent return of Kahless, the Klingon messiah.  Asked about the evidence for Kahless’ claims, he responds, “It’s not an empirical matter; it’s a matter of faith.” 


    Both characters make assumptions about the nature of faith that are shared by the vast majority of modern and postmodern people and by many Christians, but which are inimical to faith as it appears in the Bible and Christian tradition.  Faith for these characters is not an empirical matter; it is not affected by evidence; it is a personal existential choice.  Faith and reason are a zero-sum game in which more of one automatically means less of the other.  By contrast, for the Bible and for Christian tradition, faith is reality-based, and a dichotomy between faith and reason or evidence is not only inconceivable but would render Christian faith precisely pointless.  It is important that Christian apologists be aware of these divergent conceptions so that we will be clear about what we are commending when we commend faith in Christ.

  • Forensics and Faithfulness by Rick Wade (2013)
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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.

  • Francis Schaeffer and the Historic Adam by Dan Guinn (2013)
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    While the subject of the historic Adam is one that seems to be building in intensity, my goal is not so much to engage others in debate, as it is motivated out of a desire to bring a very relevant voice from the past to the table for discussion. Thus, in my opinion, if any scholar’s voice needs to be heard in this particular discussion of the historic Adam, it is Schaeffer’s. As you will see, his contribution is substantial.


    As we begin to explore Schaeffer’s view on the historic Adam we will immediately find that it is deeply founded of course in Schaeffer’s view of Biblical Inerrancy. It is not that his own view is different in substance than other Biblical scholars, but it does contain nuances and motivations that might not be found in others. Understanding these nuances and motivations, even in a cursory manner, will give one a greater perspective on Schaeffer’s view of the historic Adam. 

  • Lacking, Lucid, or Logical? The Validity of Lewis’s ‘Trilemma’ by Donald T. Williams (2011)
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    No argument C. S. Lewis ever made is more well known—or controversial—than his famous “Trilemma” or “Lord/Liar/Lunatic” (not his phrase) argument for the deity of Christ.  N. T. Wright observes, “This argument has worn well in some circles and extremely badly in others.”  Some of the sharpest critiques have come from within the believing community. 

    It is curious that an argument that has become a staple of Christian apologetics should be rejected as fallacious by many who accept its conclusion.  With not only the validity of a much used argument but also the competence of the greatest apologist of the Twentieth Century at stake, it is time to take a fresh look at Lewis’s argument and its critics.  Can we still use the Trilemma?  If so, how should we approach it?  How does Lewis come off as an apologist?  We will expose the fallacies committed by Lewis’s critics and explore the conditions under which the argument is valid and can still be used effectively.  Special attention will be given to the new edition of Beversluis’s C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion.

    Lewis’s unique combination of wide learning, no-nonsense clarity, elegant language, and apt analogy remains the standard to which we should all aspire.  When examined carefully, the Trilemma supports that conclusion; it is not an exception to it. 

  • God's Moral Justification in Creating the Actual World by Randy Everist (2011)
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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.

  • The Doctrine of Man: A Critique of Christian Transhumanism by Cris D. Putnam (2011)
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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.

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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.

  • Apologetics for This Secular Age by Rick Wade (2010)
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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.

  • Design Argument 2.0 by Dr. Curtis Hrischuk & Dr. Fazale ‘Fuz’ Rana (2010)
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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.

  • An Engineer Takes a Look at the Evolution Debate by Mike Field (2009)
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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).

  • The Selfless Gene by Jack L. Greenoe (2009)
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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.

  • An Assessment Of Brain Death As A Means Of Procuring Transplantable Organs by D. Scott Henderson (2008)
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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.

  • Gardnerian Wicca by Ian Kyle (2008)
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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.

  • Grace for Sale by Don Veinot (2008)
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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.

  • Is Brian McLaren Changing Everything? by Don Veinot (2008)
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    To begin with it might be beneficial to view McLaren’s worship video, “I am an Atheist.”

    McLaren raises some important social issues in Everything Must Change but in the process he makes false assumptions and builds on them to get to his next point. He misunderstands or misrepresents or misstates (we cannot always tell which it is) what many evangelicals believe. Oftentimes the things of which states that he cannot believe them, we don’t believe either. The recurring theme in his video is:

    I can’t believe what they believe, but I believe in you.

    Who is the “they” which he refers to in the video? “They believe in the “God of jihad” and this god “converts by the sword.” It sounds as though he may be protesting Islamic extremists but in actuality it is pre-tribulational, pre-millennial Christians that are the “they” McLaren refers to, which comes through very clear in his book everything Must Change.

    Why has McLaren become so popular? There are at least two reasons, I think. First, he has tapped into that youthful idealism and the energy that goes with it that wants to change the world. It begins with the idea that the world ought to be perfect, as it was in the Garden perhaps. As we look around we can see the world isn’t perfect and we are looking for whom to blame in order to get them out of the way or at the very least to marginalize them and move on to fixing the world which brings us to the second reason. It is a spiritual AIDS epidemic.

    AIDS for the physical body is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Because the immune system is compromised it cannot fight off even simple sicknesses like colds. Spiritual AIDS is the Aquired Ignorance of the Doctrines of Scripture. Like the immune system of the body in the physical disease, many churches today lack good sound biblical grounding along with the ability to think clearly and logically, thereby leaving it defenseless against attacks of false teachings.

  • Oneness Pentecostals And The Trinity by Ian Kyle (2008)
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    We believe in one God, the Father almighty, creator of all things both visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten son of the Father, that is of the same substance of the Father; God from God, light from light, true God from true God; begotten, not created, consubstantial with the Father...And we believe in the Holy Spirit. 1 (The Nicene Creed)

    Ever since those words above were hammered out, they have been heralded by orthodox Christianity as the truth concerning the nature of God. However, this belief in the Trinity has been one of, if not the most violently attacked doctrines of the church. Of course, the Nicene Creed was formulated to define the church’s stance on the deity of Jesus Christ, in response Arius, who taught that Jesus Christ was neither eternal nor God.

    Arianism was a formidable adversary to Christian doctrine; but it has, for the most part, been recognized as false. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses are the most well-known proponents of this view today, but almost universally orthodox Christians are aware of the fact that they are a cult. Christian bookstores carry a plethora of books that combat the heresy of Watchtower theology, thereby defusing the threat considerably.

    However, unknown to many orthodox Christians today, there is another heresy circulating today, which is just as serious as Arianism and also denies the Trinity. This heresy is quite widespread and believed in many Christian circles today—despite being questioned by the church in the third century and officially condemned in the fourth. However, evangelical Christians today by and large do not recognize proponents of this view as fostering a cult, and the particular sect that teaches this heresy is not classified as a cult by the majority of contemporary American Christians. Still, if presented with the facts, few Christians would disagree that this heresy is more malignant than Arianism ever was.

    Such is the case with the Oneness Pentecostal Church. I like to refer to it as “the stealth bomber” of the cults, because by using the name Pentecostal, it flies in under the radar and is not recognized as a cult. In addition to their view of the Godhead, Oneness Pentecostals have many reasons to be labeled a cult; but in this article, the aim will be to expose that particular doctrine which is known as modalism or Sabellianism. The discussion will start with a definition of modalism, cover the history of the heresy, and then move to an apologetic against the doctrine of modalism.

  • Postmodern Epistemology by John D. Wilsey (2008)
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    In light of the negative critique of foundationalism at the end of the twentieth century, Stanley Grenz and John Franke propose an approach to theology that addresses the current postmodern context. This approach bases theology and epistemology in the life of the Christian community, a community which is, according to Grenz and Franke, called into existence by the triune God who is revealed in the Bible, church tradition, and the culture. The proposed approach entails many aspects, but this study intends to show that the inherent weakness of recognizing epistemic authority in any human community is subjectivity. To be sure, evangelicals should address the postmodern context by abandoning strong foundationalism. But instead of revising evangelicalism according to a postmodern paradigm, Christians may still embrace the objectivity, authority, and intelligibility of truth while avoiding the impossible demands of strong foundationalism. In Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context, Grenz and Franke make a noteworthy and admirable plea to evangelicals to avoid irrelevance in their presentation of the truth of Christianity in the postmodern world by “set[ting] themselves to the task of grappling with the implications of our setting, lying as it does ‘after modernity.’” However, they abandon a correspondence view of truth in favor of a constructionist view, thereby exposing the Christian message to the danger of self defeat.

    The purpose of the present study is to analyze and critique the positions outlined by Grenz and Franke in their book, Beyond Foundationalism. The study will be divided into three parts. First, some of the main points of the book will be presented in order to orient the reader to the nature of the positions held by the authors. The second section will be devoted to three points of critique of Grenz and Franke. These points will rally around this question: is the community of faith a sufficient standard to justify true belief? In the concluding section, a brief alternative proposal to strong foundationalism, one that is more consistent with evangelical epistemology than the one offered by Grenz and Franke, will be presented.

  • The Ethics Of Darwin Or The Ethics Of Design by Jack L. Greenoe (2008)
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    Since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species in 1859, the scientific community has witnessed obvious and considerable paradigm shifting. The biblical account of creation, which was considered normative in the mid-19th Century, is currently under vicious attack from scientists. However, the field of ethics has also observed tumultuous times since “evolution” was introduced. As we have devolved from moral absolutism of before Darwin’s day to the modern clamoring for relativism, society has to reflect on whether or not this contemporary slant has actually been progress.

    One of the reasons why Darwin has become such a hot topic in recent years is that his reach continues to extend beyond his biological system into the religious realm that is its roots. Evolution was not born of the observation of changes among finches in the Galapagos Islands as he tried to submit, but rather due to his penchant toward an atheistic system. Virtually the entire moral morass in which our society currently finds itself drowning is the perpetuation of Darwin’s attempt to devalue and eliminate God from human thought processes.

  • The Evolution Of American Conceptions Of The Role Of Religion In The State: 1630–1789 by John D. Wilsey (2008)
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    Just over one and a half centuries prior to the enactment of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, the Massachusetts Bay Colony established how the relationship between religion and the state would be defined there. In 1630, Governor John Winthrop explained this model in his sermon entitled A Model of Christian Charity. He said that the colonists who were about to establish Massachusetts Bay were entering into a covenant with God. Winthrop’s expectation was that if they were obedient to the covenant, God would “please to heare us, and bring us in peace to the place wee desire, [and] hath hee ratified this Covenant and sealed our Commission. . . .” If they were to fail in their commitment to the covenant, God would “surely breake out in wrathe against us, be revenged of such a perjured people and make us knowe the price of the breache of such a Covenant.” In short, the Puritans were establishing a Christian colony: religion and the state would be unified on the basis of a covenant with God.

    A great shift in the American conception of religion’s role in the state would take place over the course of the next 160 years. In 1787, when the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia, they did not intend to follow the Puritan model. Rather than uniting religion and the state, thereby creating a Christian nation, the Convention intended to establish an environment in the new republic wherein the state would not interfere with the individual consciences of its citizens in religious matters. Religious freedom4 would be guaranteed in the United States. The English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704), writing in 1689, stated in his Letter Concerning Toleration, that “the care of souls cannot belong to the civil magistrate, because his power consists only in outward force; but true and saving religion consists in the inward persuasion of the mind, without which nothing can be acceptable to God.” While this statement affirming individual religious freedom—without any state compulsion—may be universally agreed upon in contemporary times, it was a revolutionary idea by the eighteenth century. Western society, since at least the empire of Constantine in the fourth century, had agreed that religion and the state were partners in bringing order and providing identity to a nation. The argument for the unity of religion and the state, modeled by the Puritans in particular was taken for granted by Westerners for centuries. To draw a stark contrast between that time and our own, Edwin Gaustad stated, “We of today ask where the state left off and the church began; they of yesterday can only shake their heads in wonderment at so meaningless a question.” Locke’s statement in the Letter is passed over today as a given, but it was radical to Locke’s readership in 1689, and was still innovative at the time of the founding of the United States.

  • Latter Day Atheists by Adam P. Groza (2007)
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    Mormons have taken steps to brand themselves as mainstream Christians. From recent statements by Jimmy Carter to the primary campaign of Mitt Romney, Mormonism is undergoing an extreme faith makeover. Despite these attempts to mainstream, I wish to argue Mormonism isn't a theistic religion and thus cannot be Christian.

    In classical theism, God is the greatest conceivable being, possessing omnipotence, omnipresence, eternality, freedom, aseity, and omniscience. In the western tradition, the minimal properties a being must posses to be considered God include omniscience, omnipotence, and freedom. Far from being the greatest possible being of Christianity, the Mormon deity isn't a God in the classical sense. Mormon apologists will grant this, but I hope to show that the Mormon deity cannot be a God according to the standards set forth in Mormonism. The critical issue will be the attribute of  omnipotence.

    In this paper, I will argue that the Mormon deity fails to be God because the property of omnipotence, among other biblical attributes in the classical tradition, cannot be instantiated by more than one being. Much has been written on the fact that the God of Mormonism isn't an eternally existing being but rather has undergone a transformation into godhood through a process called eternal progression.

  • Relatively Unsafe by Jack L. Greenoe (2007)
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    Just one generation ago, the most quotable Scripture in American churches would have easily been John 3:16. Today, it is arguably Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” There are several reasons why this verse is so popular among believers today, but the most obvious is the mistaken concept that it provides a safe haven for the tolerance and acceptance of personal sin, regardless of its egregious nature.

    It has become apparent in recent years that the church is faring little better than the world in regard to moral relativism. Even within the walls of the church, Scripture is rarely accepted unequivocally as absolute truth. The church is now better characterized as simply a baptized by-product of western individualism. Borrowing the words of the Lord in John 14:6, this paper will examine how the church in America has lost her way, because of the absence of truth. Without a miracle, it may cost her life.

  • The Apologetic Methodology of Blaise Pascal by Phil Fernandes (2007)
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    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a French mathematician and scientist who is famous for his work dealing with the pressure of liquids and the theory of probability. He also designed a calculating machine, and, at the age of 16, wrote a book on Geometry which caught the attention of the great mathematician, Rene Descartes.
    Pascal was a devout Roman Catholic who had a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ. He was influenced by the teachings of the Jansenists, a heretical Catholic movement which stressed God's grace in salvation and the importance of leading a lifestyle consistent with one's faith. Towards the end of his life, Pascal began to write and gather notes for a book on Christian apologetics. Unfortunately, Pascal died before he completed the project. A few years after his death the notes were published. It was entitled Pensees, which means "thoughts."
    Since Pascal did not himself complete his task on the Pensees, readers must study Pascal's ideas and attempt to organize them in as coherent a fashion as possible. Recent advancements have been made in this area by Tom Morris of Notre Dame and Peter Kreeft of Boston College.

    In this paper, I will attempt to construct a basic outline of the apologetic methodology of Blaise Pascal. I will also attempt to show the contemporary relevance of the Pascalian method.

  • The Correspondence Theory Of Truth Within The Analytic Tradition by Craig Vincent Mitchell (2007)
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    The correspondence theory of truth serves an important place in evangelical theology. It serves as the foundation for all sound theology because the correspondence theory suggests that truth corresponds to reality. It also serves as a foundation for epistemology (the theory of knowledge). This is because Christian theology is supposed to correspond to reality. Neo-orthodoxy and liberal types of theology requires something more akin to a coherence theory of truth or some kind of post-modern theory of truth. Evangelicals normally (and rightly) reject these theories of truth as being inadequate. These other theories of truth suggest that truth is not tied to reality. Continental philosophy has rejected the correspondence theory of truth is favor of theories of truth based upon justification.

    Only with the correspondence theory of truth can Christian theology be united with reality. Unfortunately, the correspondence theory of truth has not always been accepted within analytic philosophy. It is my intent in this paper to explain when and why the correspondence theory of truth has fallen out of favor. I also intend to explain why the linguistic essentialist movement has restored the correspondence theory of truth back to its rightful place.

  • The Mystery Of The Freedom Of God by Joshua L. Watson (2007)
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    Traditionally, theistic philosophers have concerned themselves with cogently and coherently defending belief in God. The charge of the incoherence of theism is a perennial objection that any theistic philosopher will inevitably encounter. I aim to address the claim that the conjunction of God’s perfect goodness, power, and knowledge with divine freedom is incoherent. I will develop the incoherence objection in the form of a reductio and then offer various theistic attempts at resolving the problem of incoherence.

    Before proceeding into the thick of this essay it is necessary that I establish the force of the objection against theism. Why, after all, should the theist be at all bothered by the claim that God cannot be perfectly good, omniscient, and omnipotent as well as free? Where would the absurdity lie in believing God to not be free? I take it as obvious that traditional theism cannot regard God as lacking moral perfection, omniscience, and omnipotence. But is divine freedom really on par with these essential properties of God? Is it necessary to the nature of God that he be free?

  • A Pastoral Look At Apologetics, With A Plea by Dean Bruce (2006)
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    Understanding that the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 is to be our guide in the church, I often felt as I was growing up that there was a lot of emphasis placed on winning souls to Christ, but that they were then forgotten in the rush to win more souls. “Jesus came to them and spoke to them saying, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, Go and disciple all the peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to carefully observe [t h r e w - obey, etc.] all that I commanded you; and behold! I am with you always, even until the completion of eternity!’” I used an exclamation point here for two reasons. 1) This is a command and that is usually how we show a command in English, and 2) I think that this is exciting! Obeying Jesus pleases Him, and pleasing him should excite us to service!

    I have since learned that even though any of us can be used of God to win a soul to Christ, that my gifts lie more in the area of equipping. That is to say that my role is much more that of “teaching them all things that I have taught you,” than that of baptizing them--if one sees the teaching of all things as discipleship and the baptizing as that result of effective evangelism wherein individuals give their life to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It seems to me still that often efforts and ink are expended much more in this latter effort to win souls than in teaching those already won to the Lord how it is that they should live and grow in Him--and in doing so to repeat both the baptizing and the teaching portions. Thus carefully observing all of Christ’s Great

  • A Response To Bart D. Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus by Thomas Howe (2006)
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    Bart D. Ehrman, Ph.D. is the chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is touted to be one of North America’s leading textual critics today. His recent book, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why, is a popular level text that many reviewers take to be an effort to present the field of New Testament textual criticism to a larger, primarily lay, audience. I found it particularly difficult to mount a response to this book. Not because the book is a scholarly presentation, which it certainly is not, and it is not designed to be—this is not a criticism, but a recognition that this is a book written on a popular level, not an academic level. And not because the author makes assertions and claims which are difficult to understand. To the individual with even rudimentary training in textual criticism, church history, philosophy, and logic the multitude of problems with this book are easily identifiable. Rather, I found this book difficult because virtually every assertion and every claim is so fully laden with exaggeration, misrepresentation, selective reporting, and outright falsehoods that almost every line requires a recasting in an accurate light and involves a lengthy response to a series of misrepresentations and half-truths, each built upon the conclusions of the previous. Ehrman has woven a tight web of exaggeration, partial truths, falsehood, and misrepresentation that would take many more pages, and many more hours than we have, to unravel in order to set the record straight. It is truly a DeVinci Code of textual criticism.

  • How Shall We Live by Jason D. Crowder (2006)
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    How shall we live? This question has been asked by believers throughout the ages in one form or another since Old Testament times. The first time that this question was asked in this format can be found in Ezekiel 33:10: “Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have spoken, saying, ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive [that is, live]?’”

    In more recent years the late, Francis A. Schaeffer asked the question, "How Should We Then Live?" And the question was asked again by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey in their book How Now Shall We Live? The need for apologetics is at the heart of this question. How are believers to live their lives so that those around them can see the  difference that Christ has made in their lives?

  • Words For Grace In Hinduism by Win Corduan (2006)
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    It is generally accepted that at least some forms of Hinduism claim a doctrine of grace. It is also clear that this claim, when compared to the Christian understanding of grace, will reduce the number of Hindu schools that even come close to a genuine concept of grace to a very few.

Dauntless scholarship in defense of the inerrant Word . . .