Monday, June 17, 2013

Philosophy, Worldview and Evangelism: Cultivating a Credible Cultural-Intellectual Context

"The gospel is never heard in isolation.  It is always heard against the background of a worldview.  A person raised in a cultural milieu in which Christianity is still seen as an intellectually viable option will display an openness to the gospel which a person with a naturalistic or postmodern worldview will not.  One may as well tell her to believe in fairies or leprechauns as in Jesus Christ!

"One of the awesome tasks of thoughtful Christians in our day is to help turn the contemporary intellectual tide in such a way as to foster a worldview in which Christian faith can be regarded as an intellectually credible option for thinking men and women."  ((Garrett J. DeWeese and J. P. Moreland, Philosophy Made Slightly Less Difficult: A Beginner's Guide to Life's Big Questions [Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2005], 157.)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Thoughts: Clifford Williams, Existential Reasons for Belief in God: A Defense of Desires and Emotions for Faith

One of my joys in the early part of this summer has been catching up on some personal reading.  Last week, I was able to finish reading Existential Reasons for Belief in God, by Clifford Williams (a philosopher at Trinity College in Illinois).  Existential Reasons  is an appeal to allow satisfaction of human needs to play a crucial role in the construction and justification of faith in God.  Accordingly, Williams fits into a contemporary scene marked by the feeling that purely rational apologetics (e.g., theistic proofs, historical proofs for the resurrection and/or reliability of the New Testament) are insufficient (and unpersuasive).    Following the jump, I offer a brief outline and summary of Williams' work, along with a few thoughts and constructive criticisms.

Clifford Williams, Existential Reasons for Belief in God: A Defense of Desires & Emotions for Faith. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2011. 188 pp.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Brief Book Musings: J. Warner Wallace, Cold-Case Christianity

It has been a pleasure to have time for "my own" reading at the beginning of this summer.  The past two years have been incredibly busy, and have not afforded me much time for reading of my own choice.  Over the past couple of weeks I have managed to carve out some time to read books I've been interested in reading.  Yesterday I posted a brief review of David Naugle's Philosophy: A Student's Guide.  Today, I want to share, very briefly, some musings on J. Warner Wallace's Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels.  I will not offer up a full summary and outline.  Rather, I will just share some brief thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of Wallace's work.

J. Warner Wallace, Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2013. 288 pp. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Book Review: David Naugle, Philosophy: A Student's Guide (Crossway, 2012)

In what follows, I will share a brief (1700-word) review of David Naugle's 2012 book on the Christian practice of the philosophical discipline.  I hope the review will give you a good summary of Naugle's intentions and content; but I hope moreover that it will spur you to read his book for yourself (it is a relatively quick read at only 114 pages) and to passionately engage in philosophical investigation to the glory of God.

Naugle, David K. Philosophy: A Student’s Guide. Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition (David S. Dockery, ed.). Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012. 125 pp.

David Naugle’s slim volume endeavors to challenge Christian philosophers to ensure that their philosophy is being done coram Deo – before the face of God (19).  As part of a series geared toward identifying and building upon a faithful and intentional Christian scholarship, Naugle’s desire is that Jesus Christ be the Lord of his (and your) philosophy (101).

Monday, April 1, 2013

Contending for Easter, Part 8 of 8 - Why Canadians Still Need Easter (by Jojo Ruba)

Contending for Easter is an 8-part blog series published by the Canadian Apologetics Coalition, a group of Canadian bloggers interested in proclaiming and defending the truthfulness of Christianity.  Part I (by Tim Barnett) established the centrality and testability of the resurrection within Christian faith.  Part II (by me) argued that the New Testament documents are generally trustworthy historical documents.  Part III (by Paul Buller) established the historical fact that Jesus of Nazareth died by crucifixion.  Part IV (by Kelly Madland) provided the essential argument that after His crucifixion, Jesus was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea.  Part V (by Justin Wishart) shared the historical data supporting the discovery of Jesus's empty tomb on the first Easter Sunday morning.  Part VI (by Stephen Bedard) establishes the post-mortem appearances of Jesus to His disciples.  Part VII (by David Haines) argued that the only reasonable conclusion from the rise of the disciples' belief in Jesus's resurrection is that Jesus was actually raised from the dead.  Part VIII (by Jojo Ruba) emphasizes the importance of hearing the Easter narrative as more than a story - rather as His Story that transforms lives and worldviews.  Enjoy this last contribution to what has been an excellent blog series!

Why Canadians Still Need Easter

It was the most memorable birthday party I’ve ever attended. That’s because it was literally a birth-day.

I was the only available family member when my cousin was going into her last contractions. She’d already been at the hospital for over 20 hours and family and friends did our best to be there the whole time.