Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Featured Website: Biblical Training

Today's featured website is biblicaltraining.org. This is an excellent resource for topics such as: systematic theology, church history, apologetics, hermeneutics, and many other helpful areas.

The almost two dozen speakers include: Craig Blomberg, Daniel Wallace, Bruce Ware, John Piper, Ronald Nash, and more.

MP3 audio is available for free, access is free, and all the content is great. Check it out.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Apologetics Lectures by Ronald Nash MP3 Audio

Introduction to Apologetics by Ronald Nash
These lectures are a summary of Dr. Nash's introductory course to Christian Apologetics.
• Introduction - Mp3
• Epistemology - Mp3
• Existence of God - Introduction - Mp3
• Existence of God - Proofs - Mp3
• Problem of Evil - Mp3
• Closing Remarks - Mp3

History of Philosophy and Christian Thought by Ronald Nash
This course is a basic introduction to the history of philosophy and Christian thought.
• Worldviews - Mp3
• Naturalism - Mp3
• Plato: Introduction and Summary - Mp3
• Plato: Theory of Knowledge - Mp3
• Aristotle, Plotinus, and Aquinas - Mp3
• The Case against Open Theism - Mp3

Now you have to go right to biblicaltraining.org to get the audio. They do not allow direct linking to their audio files. All these lectures available through biblicaltraining.org. These have also been added to the Ultimate Apologetics MP3 Audio Page. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Quote: Ravi Zacharias on Rejecting God

"A man rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the scarcity of evidence. A man rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit his need for God."

- Ravi Zacharias

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Book Review: The End of Reason by Ravi Zacharias

The End of Reason by Ravi Zacharias is a short and powerful critique of the recent books by Sam Harris: Letter to a Christian Nation and The End of Faith. This book is both a refutation of Harris and a response to the so-called “new atheists.”

The book is not laid out in chapters, but follows a topical style that addresses various ideas that are presented in The End of Faith. Each category is addressed in turn, with a very readable tone and a style that is easy to read. As one would expect from Zacharias, the points are driven home with profound personal narratives, examples, and simple summary statements. Zacharias is clearly appalled by Harris’s books, and flatly lays out his criticisms, pointing out inconsistencies and poor logic.

In addition to presenting his critique, the author offers his own apologetic for the Christian worldview. He asserts that there are four main worldview questions that must be addressed: questions of origin, meaning, morality, and future destiny. In this order, Zacharias presents the shortcomings of the atheist worldview contrasted with a robust portrait of the Christian worldview. When it comes to the question of origins, he summarizes the atheist conclusion: “The inescapable fact for the atheist is that life is the random product of time plus matter plus chance.”1

One point that Ravi brings up is that one must be careful not to judge a philosophy by its abuse. Harris’s view falls short on this count repeatedly. Zacharias is puzzled by the contradictions and inconsistencies he finds in Harris’s philosophy. For instance, judging God as immoral while having no moral footing to stand on to make such judgments. It seems to Ravi that Harris really isn’t looking for evidence for God: “It appears that no matter what evidence was offered, God could never prove himself to Sam Harris because it’s not proof he is looking for. He is looking for a God that is cast in his own image.”2

The End of Reason concludes with a brief argument for the existence of God based on three basic branches: cosmology, teleology, and Christology. These are borrowed from philosopher Dallas Willard’s arguments for the existence of God and are summarized concisely. However, at this point in the book, Ravi has already presented a strong case for the superiority of the Christian worldview, which, Ravi says, stands the test: “Routinely, three tests for truth are applied: (1) logical consistency, (2) empirical adequacy, and (3) experiential relevance. When submitted to these tests, the Christian message meets the demand for truth.”3

In conclusion, this book is a helpful tool for addressing today’s popular atheism. For those who are not familiar with Ravi Zacharias, The End of Reason is also a fine introduction to one of today’s most persuasive apologists.

1. Ravi Zacharias, The End of Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), p. 38.
2. Ibid., p. 88.
3. Ibid., p. 117.

Friday, March 27, 2009

What Philosophers Wish Theologians Knew About Philosophy MP3 Audio

Philosopher Douglas Groothuis of Denver Seminary presents a lecture on What Philosophers Wish Theologians and Biblical Scholars Knew About Philosophy. This lecture includes a brief Q&A session. Dr. Groothuis's blog is here. You can also download his apologetics course lectures here.

Full MP3 Audio here.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Richard Carrier Debate: Craig's Response MP3 Audio

On William Lane Craig's Reasonable Faith Podcast, he responds to his recent debate with Richard Carrier.

Here is Part 1 of WL Craig's response.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Featured Website: Wintery Knight Blog

The Wintery Knight blog is a nice fusion of apologetics and the public square. A number of posts are very interesting and helpful. Here I point out a few.

Analyzing Christopher Hitchens’ case against God
How to talk to your co-workers about your faith
Answering Richard Dawkins’ question: “Who made God?”
Why doesn’t God provide more evidence that he exists?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

William Lane Craig vs Shabir Ally MP3 Audio

William Lane Craig debates Shabir Ally on the topic: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? at McGill University, Quebec, Canada, February 2009. Video can be found at Reasonable Faith.

Full MP3 Audio here.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Quote: Ghandi on Atheism

"It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists."

-Mohandas Gandhi*

*Note: This quote, although attributed to Gandhi, is not verified as authentic.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Richard Carrier vs William Lane Craig Debate MP3 Audio

Richard Carrier and William Lane Craig debate the topic: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? at Northwestern Missouri State University. Audio quality is tolerable, yet substandard and includes coughing and some movement. Better quality will be provided when available.

Full MP3 Audio here.


Friday, March 20, 2009

42 Logical Fallacies

You'll find many web sites that list logical fallacies. Here is one of them. Good content that is simply written with a basic layout. Also recommended is Nonsense: A Handbook of Logical Fallacies by Robert J. Gula.

Check out 42 Logical Fallacies.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Frederick Copleston vs. Bertrand Russell

Here is the famous debate on the existence of God between Frederick Copleston and Bertrand Russell. The link gives you the transcript of the debate. The only audio I have found is a partial MP3 from archive.org. It will give you an idea of the dialogue.

Partial MP3 Audio here.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Free Audiobooks Monthly

Every month ChristianAudio.com features an audiobook for free download. March's title is Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Just type in the coupon code for the month "MAR2009" during checkout. Be sure to see what they offer next month.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Featured Podcast: The Frank Turek Show

Apologist Frank Turek has a new call-in radio program on Saturdays on American Family Radio called Cross-Examined Radio. You can subscribe to this podcast in iTunes. Recent audio includes special guest Michael Licona (MP3 here). Frank's blog is here.

Recent episodes: March 14 - 2009, Feb 28 - 2009, Feb 21 - 2009, Feb 14 -2009.
Note: as of this post, the podcast feed does not seem to be working correctly.


***UPDATE: New Podcast feed for CrossExamined is HERE.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Quote: On Thinking

"There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking."

- Alfred Korzybski

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Book Review: Kingdom Triangle by J. P. Moreland

Kingdom Triangle by J. P. Moreland is a unique book that is a combination of Christian philosophy, apologetics, spiritual disciplines, and a plea for a life of spiritual power. The purpose of the book is twofold: first, assess the crisis of our age; second, provide a sort of Biblical blueprint for dynamic Christian living that will meet that crisis. Section one presents the crisis and section two suggests the solution. The second section is split into three sub-sections dealing with what Moreland calls “the Kingdom Triangle.”

In section one, Assessing the Crisis of Our Age, Moreland first presents what he sees as the two serious threats to our present age: the philosophies of naturalism and postmodernism. Moreland is clearly in his element, as he not only describes the philosophical foundations for naturalism in detail, but also shows its considerable shortcomings. Naturalism is described as a “thin” worldview, offering very little substance and a shallow view of the world. Postmodernism is dissected just as thoroughly. Moreland concludes that these philosophies offer no ultimate hope, truth, or purpose, yet they have infiltrated and dominated our culture.

Overall, the first section deals heavily with philosophy and worldview issues, which is insightful and lays a solid framework for the rest of the book. The second section, which really is the meat of the book, offers less philosophical material and deals with a practical solution to the crisis.
Section two, Charting a Way Out: The Kingdom Triangle, has three chapters: “The Recovery of Knowledge,” “Renovation of the Soul,” and “Restoration of the Kingdom’s Miraculous Power.” These are the three points of the triangle.

In dealing with the recovery of knowledge, Moreland provides a substantial dose of Christian epistemology to counteract the imbalances of naturalistic and postmodern theories of knowledge. This chapter is full of solid material – it could be one of the most useful primers on Christian epistemology, providing a great balance between being thorough and staying comprehensible.

Next, Moreland addresses the second point in the triangle – the renovation of the soul. His goal here is to exhort the Christian in spiritual disciplines. First he defines what he calls “the empty self” – a life that is characterized by being individualistic, infantile, narcissistic, and passive. This is a plain rebuke of a shallow, apathetic, selfish Christian lifestyle. He emphasizes the heart of the Christian and the life of prayer and devotion. With heavy influences from the works of Dallas Willard (e.g., The Spirit of the Disciplines, Renovation of the Heart), Moreland provides excellent strategies for developing a deeper Christian lifestyle that is disciplined and strong.

Finally, the author addresses the third point of the triangle – restoration of the Kingdom’s miraculous power. Moreland’s goal here is to stir Christians up to seek and expect the manifestations of God’s Spirit through answered prayer, healing, prophecy, and a life that is marked by the Spirit’s power. The author proceeds carefully, but clearly. Yes, there are differences of opinion here – nevertheless, the Christian life should be a life of power. This chapter is not Moreland’s area of expertise, but he makes a substantive case for a restoration of the Spirit’s power through numerous testimonies and first-hand experiences.

From an apologetic point of view, Moreland’s Kingdom Triangle is a valuable read. Really, he is making the case for a Christian life that is full, balanced, and powerful. He addresses the mind, the heart, and the spirit. This book is insightful, challenging, and very relevant.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Masters of Arts in Christian Apologetics Programs

If you are interested in pursuing a Masters of Arts in Christian Apologetics, here are a few options. For the two best places for apologetics training, check out:
Biola University - Offering perhaps the best apologetics program available. Distance programs also available.
Southern Evangelical Seminary - Fully accredited resident and distance education programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels specializing in Apologetics.
Liberty University - Offering a PhD. in Theology & Apologetics.

For those who want to pursue studies via distance learning and lower cost, check out:
Columbia Evangelical Seminary - Masters of Arts in Apologetics strictly through distance learning. A mentor program working at your own pace and custom programs.
Veritas Evangelical Seminary - Masters of Arts in Apologetics and distance learning programs. Under the oversight of Norman Geisler and a strong apologetics faculty.

If you do not wish to pursue a degree but want to study apologetics in a structured way under the oversight of a mentor, consider a Certificate in Christian Apologetics through Institute of Biblical Defense. Also, see this list of various graduate, undergraduate and non-accredited Christian apologetics training courses.

Please comment below with further resources, as there are more than just these.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Featured Website: Critical Thinking Web

Critical Thinking Web provides over 100 free online tutorials on critical thinking, logic, scientific reasoning, creativity, and other aspects of thinking skills. The online tutorials have been used by universities, community colleges, and high schools across the world. Check it out.

Here's a nice little Critical Thinking Mini-guide PDF.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Case for Life MP3 by Scott Klusendorf

This compelling talk by Scott Klusendorf makes a case for the pro-life position without appeal to a particular religious position. Everything in the abortion debate comes down to one issue: what is the unborn? For more resources, see prolifetraining.

Full MP3 Audio here.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gary Habermas's Journey of Skepticism & Doubt MP3 Audio

In this radio interview, historian Gary Habermas discusses his personal journey through skepticism and doubt, as well as his study of the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus.

Full MP3 Audio here.
Original media in two parts found here.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Why Does Anything at All Exist? MP3 by William Lane Craig

Philosopher William Lane Craig discusses Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason and the question: Why Does Anything at All Exist? This includes a very good Q&A session.

Full MP3 Audio here.
Video can be found at here from Reasonable Faith.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sunday Quote: Francis Bacon on Philosophy

"A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth man's minds about to religion."

- Sir Francis Bacon

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Book Review: A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics by James Sire

A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics by James Sire is a general introductory text to apologetics that should not be overlooked. This is a short 100 pages packed with insight. Although geared for those new to the realm of apologetics, even the advanced apologist can gain from reading this book.

With a simple and very readable style, veteran apologist James Sire lays out a bird’s eye view of what apologetics is: its purpose, scope, limits, context, arguments, and calling. Each chapter encapsulates one of these themes and the reader gets the sense of listening at the feet of a significant authority in the subject. With personal stories, extracts, and practical insights, Sire shares and instructs.

As in all basic apologetics texts, the word apologetics is defined. Sire provides a proper introduction from scripture, but then goes on to define apologetics in a holistic way: “Christian apologetics lays before the watching world such a winsome embodiment of the Christian faith that for any and all who are willing to observe there will be an intellectually and emotionally credible witness to its fundamental truth.”1 Sire’s emphasis is on the whole package, so to speak. Not just arguments or intellect, but character, lifestyle, and the whole person.

Also of note is Sire’s strong balance between the role of the apologist and the role of the Holy Spirit: “What, then, is demanded is a humble apologetic – the apologist’s reliance not on the cleverness or even the brilliance of argument but on the power of God to will and to do his good pleasure.”2 The author reminds the apologist that his work is evangelistic and his dependence is upon the Spirit. One senses depth when reading Sire, even while realizing simplicity in style. His heart is sincere, humble, and, in a word, refreshing.

Sire introduces the contexts of apologetic encounters so that the newcomer to the subject has a good overview of the wide landscape that is apologetics. These run the gamut from personal encounters to speaking in universities. The author also presents an overview of the arguments entailed in apologetics. For each category he provides helpful introductory reading lists and recommendations for study.

Perhaps the most personal element of the book addresses the life of the apologist. Sire takes a chapter to discuss the character and habits of the apologist, outlined here:
What then are the requirements for success as an apologist? There are, I believe, five basic requirements of equal importance: (1) a fascination with and delight in the intellectual life, (2) a passion for what can be learned from the Bible, (3) a life characterized by consistent holiness, (4) a love for people and (5) a growing ability to communicate with them on a profoundly personal level.3
The author elaborates on each one of these five requirements and shows how they play out in practice. Here the beginner will gain a great foundational attitude and perspective, while the veteran is reminded of the humble requirements of the apologetic task. To conclude, Sire presents closing thoughts on how one may discern a calling to apologetics as a vocation.

Sire’s A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics is a gem of a book. It is a quick read, but completely relevant and useful. May the humble spirit expressed through Sire’s writing find its flame within apologists of this generation and the next.

1 James Sire, A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), p. 26.
2 Ibid., p. 52.
3 Ibid., p. 94.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Logical Fallacies by Michael Ramsden MP3

Michael Ramsden explores some of the common logical fallacies that are found in discussion and argumentation. A PDF outline is also available. Another great resource from bethinking.

Full MP3 Audio here.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Probability of God Test

This test asks you to answer 11 questions about God, the universe and people, and from these answers estimates the the strength with which you believe that God exists, using an established probability calculation known as Bayesian probability. This test can't tell you the objective truth, but it can help you understand the implications of your personal opinions.
Take the test here. The shorter version is here.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

John Lennox on "God of the Gaps"

A 4-minute answer from Dr. John Lennox on the "God of the Gaps" idea.

Video here. Lots of great video and audio on johnlennox.org.
Full MP3 Audio here.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Two MP3 Talks on Atheism

Here are two talks given by Mariano, whose blog can be found here.
Talk #1 - Atheism
Talk #2 - The New (Emergent) Atheists

Other talks by Mariano on Judaism and Bahai here.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Persuasive Evangelism - Apologetics MP3 Audio

In this primer on apologetics, Tom Price presents an introduction to persuasive evangelism. A helpful talk for those new to the subject, and the PDF handout is a helpful teaching tool. Another great resource from bethinking.org.

Full MP3 Audio here.


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