Category Archives for "Resources"

Book Review: Who Made God – Edgar Andrews

Book Reviews , Christian Apologetics , Resources

This is the kind of Christian Apologetics book I enjoy reading.

Most apologetics books rehash the same answers and arguments. Occasionally one brings some new insight, or at least a new way of explaining the answers such that it sparks new thought. This is that book.

Fun to read, because the author clearly does not take himself too seriously (he utilizes the English cartoon character `Sooty' in one of his explanations for heavens sake!) yet attacks these serious subjects head on with wit and charm. Yet he shows no mercy to the tired attacks on Christianity of the `new atheists' vis-à-vis physics, miracles, natural law, an immoral God, etc.

One of those supposed argument-ending-money-maker lines of the `skeptic' is always "You say God made everything? Well then tell me who made God?" Andrews spends 278 pages of text and 12 pages of supporting documentation explaining why this is an incoherent question, akin to `Have you stopped beating your wife?' or `how long is string?', and how the answer is evident via a serious analysis of the facts of nature, readily available.

The central thesis of the book is a presentation of the difference between a proof arrived by syllogism, and the preferred and beautiful approach of making a hypothesis and then examining the facts that support it (yes – he is indeed using the Scientific Method to confirm the existence of God!)

This book answers the question with no stone unturned. It's a wonderful primer – a little bit logic, a little bit physics, a little bit philosophy. He makes sure that we don't allow the `new atheists' to get away with phrasing the issues in an incorrect manner, and that we answer the right questions. In doing so, he knocks down fantasy pseudo-sciences such as imaginary time and cyclic universes. He also brilliantly shows why the worn-out complaint of the `God of the gaps', an impotent God (of open theology), a Deistic God, and a Universalist God is NOT the God he is referring to.

The hypothesis Andrews seeks out to prove is status simply: "The God of the Bible exists". He then proceeds to "seek to demonstrate that this hypothesis explains human observation and experience far better than atheism or even science can ever do…" He proves the hypothesis by examining observations in the areas of: Cosmic Origins, the existence and manner of Time, Natural and communal Law, Miracles, Information Theory, the Origin of Life, Abiogenesis, Evolution, and Morality.

Here is an example, regarding miracles, of his unique prose and thought, of which are found throughout…

"C.S. Lewis has a clearer view of the miraculous, pointing out that if a non-material (or spiritual) realm exists at all, there must of necessity be an interface between this realm and the natural world – as a shoreline marks the interface between land and sea. And just as the sea may sometimes flood across that interface and invade the land, so the spiritual may from time to time invade the physical world."

I did have only a few areas of fuss with Andrews – I think he discounts Intelligent Design too quickly, and I think he may have mischaracterized Behe's position on Evolution – but those are easily overlooked in whole.

Too many apologetics books are re-hashed information and arguments – this is not one of those books. This is the kind of book that makes me want to read more of Andrews, and actually write a review recommending him!


Alister McGraths The Passionate Intellect

Book Reviews , Christian Apologetics , Resources

McGrath's new book The Passionate Intellect, has won the Book of the Year in the Apologetics / Evangelism category

Here's a good review – go get the book!

Christian theology is one of the most intellectually stimulating and exciting subjects it is possible to study, rich in resources for the life of faith and the ministry of the church. It has the capacity to excite, inspire and illuminate the human intellect, giving it a new passion and focus.

For example, I came to appreciate that the explicability of nature was itself astonishing and required an explanation in its own right. I was not alone here. Albert Einstein pointed out back in 1936 that “the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.” The intelligibility of the natural world, demonstrated by the natural sciences, raises the question as to why there is such a fundamental resonance between human minds and the structures o the universe. Why would be we be able to make sense of the world at such a deep level? It seems to confer no obvious evolutionary advantage! But it is surely one of the most exciting things about the Christian faith that it creates intellectual space for the natural sciences by articulating a vision of an ordered reality that is open to study by a human mind shaped in the “image of God.”

The new atheism criticizes religion as the enemy of humanity, hoping that nobody will notice that their own theory holds it to be a human creation.


Gospel Reliability

Book Reviews , Christian Apologetics , Resources , The Bible

One standard critique of Christianity is that the Biblical records are unreliable.

OC Apologist has written a good summary of the book Without a Doubt by Kenneth Samples…

Here's a summary:

  1. The New Testament documents are the best attested documents of antiquity in terms of total number of manuscripts. 
  2. The interval of time between the date of the original authorship and the date of the earliest New Testament manuscript copies is extremely short.
  3. The historic statements made about Jesus by ancient non-Christian authors for the most part matches well with the Gospel record. 
  4. The authors of the four Gospels were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life themselves, or were closely associated with the eyewitnesses. 
  5. The Gospel writers intended to convey factual and historical information and the writings of their historical content have been confirmed to a significant degree.
  6. The apostles’ testimony becomes more credible when it is considered that they had nothing to gain from it and everything to lose.  

My favorite part though are the comments – there is a typical response from a skeptic, and a good rebuttal

Grace and Peace!

Peter and Paul Die for Christ

Christian Apologetics , Other Essays , Resources

Dr Clay Jones from Biola University (my alma mater!) builds a defense on why Peter and Paul believed so much that Christ died and rose again that they went to their death for it.  He utilizes what we call the Two Minute Drill (he refers to it as the 200 word answer:

In apologetics we provide argument and evidence for the truth of historic Christianity. For example, consider Jesus’ resurrection. We know that Jesus’ disciples walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus—they knew who Jesus was. They were with Jesus when he was arrested and they then scattered. The Romans then scourged Jesus, drove spikes through His wrists and His feet to nail him to the cross, and thrust a spear in His side to make sure He was dead. Then they buried Jesus.

But three days later, Jesus’ tomb was found empty and the disciples started testifying that they again walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus. And what’s really amazing is that many testified to his resurrection even to their own torture and death. We know extra-Biblically that Nero beheaded the Apostle Paul and we know from the Jewish historian Josephus that the Sanhedrin stoned to death Jesus’ brother James, who had become a leader of the Christian church.

So here’s my question: if Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, then why would the first disciples die for what they knew was a lie?

Then he proceeds to explain in wonderful detail WHY

God bless!

Atheists Position on Morality

Christian Apologetics , Debates , Resources

Ok – I have to admit, debating is one of my favorite things to do.  I love exploring both sides of a thought, and listening to smart people present and respond to criticism of their positions.  It generates and encourages deep thought, and forces us to really know what we're thinking.

Just discovered a new blog, and a great set of debates – True

Here's a fun debate with an atheist defending his moralilty – watch and learn.  It's a hoot!

Grace and peace…


Monkeys plus Eternity equals What?

Other Essays , Resources


You may have heard a defender of Materialism suggest the notion that random results plus enough time could easily produce order. 

This is a typical assertion, defending the idea that given enough time, it is reasonable to believe that the chemicals in the priobiotic soup could eventually form DNA…

They sometimes use an alliteration using monkeys and typewriters, that given enough time they could write the complete works of Shakespeare.

Well, it appears that someone has taken them up on their challenge.


Anyway, one of my normal responses is: "Why wouldn't they just produce an infinite amount of gibberish?"  Not to mention that eternity in the cosmos is impossible, or that someone has to have a 'mind' above the fray to 'understand' that the works have 'value', but this is maybe more to the point


Grace and Peace

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