Category: Theology

The Grace of God Closes In: St. Augustine, Part 5

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…

Worldly Ambition and Dissatisfaction: St. Augustine, Part 4

Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430) was a gifted rhetorician and after teaching in his hometown of Thagaste for some time, he opened a school in Carthage. But Carthage’s unruly students and a personal hope for greater success elsewhere soon motivated Augustine to leave for Rome. In moving to the Eternal City, Augustine believed that a man of his ability could…

Exploring Manichaeism: St. Augustine, Part 3

In his search for an alternative to catholic Christianity, Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430) turned to a religious sect known as Manichaeism, which promised to synthesize Christ’s “true” teachings with classical wisdom. The Manichees1 followed the teaching of Mani (AD 216–277), a Persian religious leader who was crucified for claiming to be the Paraclete and restorer of the true teaching…

Wayward Youth in a Pagan Empire: St. Augustine, Part 2

Named for two Roman Emperors, Aurelius Augustinus was born November 13 AD 354, in Thagaste, a small Roman province of Numidia in North Africa (present day Algeria). His family was what might be called a lower middle-class. His father, Patricius, was a small-landowner with pagan beliefs who seemed to care more about his son’s education than his character.

The Last and Greatest Church Father: St. Augustine, Part 1

During the past two millennia, Christianity has produced many prominent thinkers, but Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430) could be considered the most influential outside of the New Testament. His significant impact, especially on Western Christianity, is tied directly to his profound work as a theologian, philosopher, apologist, and church bishop.

Not All Dead Men Stay Dead: 10 Essential Points about the Resurrection

Historic Christianity contains numerous beliefs that are theologically and philosophically volatile (in the best sense of the term). These powerful truth-claims have transformed the church and even turned the world upside down. My new book, 7 Truths that Changed the World, explores seven of historic Christianity’s dangerous ideas. The following 10 points give a brief overview of what I consider…

Five Strands of Evidence for Jesus Christ’s Resurrection

Excerpted from “If Christ Has Not Been Raised: Reasoning through the Resurrection” Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead three days after His execution pumps the heart of the Christian gospel (doctrine) and is Christianity’s central supporting fact (apologetics). The truth of Christianity uniquely stands or falls on Christ’s resurrection. Because of this, the New Testament accounts of Christ’s resurrection…

Blaise’s Best Bet, Part 6: Pascal’s Wager Continued

Blaise Pascal’s famous wager argues that believing in God’s existence is a safer bet than not believing. Before examining the strengths and weaknesses of Pascal’s proposed gamble, we must understand the context in which it arose and how Pascal1 intended it to be used as an apologetics tool. Four points of clarification2 are helpful in this regard.