Halloween. The September 11 attacks. Global warming.
Hot topics can present a troubling challenge, even in a culture that values freedom of speech. Do we ignore touchy issues and avoid all confrontation, or do we engage in verbal warfare with the opposition? Continue reading
Roman Catholicism and historic Protestantism both claim Augustine as one of their own. On one hand, his theological views concerning the nature of the church and the sacraments (arising from the Donatist controversy) significantly influenced the development of Roman Catholic theology. On the other hand, his theological perspective of the nature of original sin, the absolute necessity of grace in salvation, and predestination (arising from the Pelagian controversy) influenced how Protestants formulate their doctrinal views. Continue reading
Augustine’s dramatic conversion to Christianity came in the summer of AD 386, after much sorrowful reflection concerning his sinful state before God. He describes the experience in Confessions: Continue reading
There are six important apologetics-related factors that can be identified as paving the way for Augustine’s conversion to Christianity.1 Augustine would later credit the sovereign grace of God’s work behind the scenes of his life as the source of these factors. From these six aspects, we can draw a broad apologetics model for how God, through His grace, prepares people for faith. Continue reading
Excerpted from chapters 9 and 10 of my new book, 7 Truths That Changed the World, now available at shop.reasons.org.
“God helps those who help themselves.”
“God knows I’m only human.”
“I’m trying my best; God will understand.” Continue reading
In addition to blog posts, I also address Christian worldview issues and critical thinking on a couple of RTB podcasts. Straight Thinking, my primary podcast, highlights the importance of the life of the Christian mind. I also make appearances with my fellow RTB scholars on I Didn’t Know That!, where we offer unscripted answers to listener questions.
Here are some of the latest episodes from both podcasts.
- “The Devil’s Weapon, Parts 1 and 2” — In this series I discuss two particularly effective devices (as outlined by mathematician Blaise Pascal) for luring people away from dealing with life’s big questions and, thus, from God. Part 1 deals with indifference to life’s big questions, which Pascal believed is worse than outright hostility to religion. Part 2 addresses distraction or preoccupation. Even good things can distract us from dealing with issues of life and death. (For more on Pascal, listen to my four-part series on his life and theology.)
- “The Problem of Doubt, Parts 1 and 2” — Christians often feel ashamed for questioning their faith. But is doubt necessarily a bad thing? In this series, I explore various types of doubt and how to deal with them in an attempt to dispel misconceptions about believers’ struggles with doubt.
I Didn’t Know That!
- November 15, 2011 episode with Jeff Zweerink — A listener’s question sparks a look at the ways people receive salvation in Christ: is it necessary to hear the Gospel or can a person be saved through the general revelation of nature? Other topics for this episode include Lorentzian relativity, extrabiblical references to Job, and weird animal husbandry practices described in Genesis.
- November 22, 2011 episode with Fazale Rana — Fuz and I dig deep into that perennial issue: the problem of evil and why God doesn’t stop bad things from happening to people. Other topics include the mind-brain relationship, forgiveness in the Old Testament, and angels.
- November 29, 2011 episode with Fazale Rana and Jeff Zweerink — Being the “token Calvinist” at RTB, I take on a question about how a sincere Christian can fall away from their faith and if they can lose their salvation. Other topics include archaeological evidence for long life spans, looking into the past through astronomy, and precursors to the Cambrian explosion.
If you want to submit a question for I Didn’t Know That! or comment on Straight Thinking, email email@example.com. Please remember to keep your inquiries succinct.
Posted in Blaise Pascal, Doctrine, Faith, Podcasts & Videos, Salvation, Theology
Tagged distraction, doubt, I Didn't Know That, indifference, Pascal, podcast review, problem of evil, salvation, Straight Thinking