Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Article: Can Moral Objectivism Do Without God? by Peter S. Williams

It is rare that I read an article and while working through it feel tempted to stand up and cheer, "Yes!"

However, that is preciously the experience I had while reading Peter S. Williams outstanding article Can Moral Objectivism Do Without God?

Williams begins the article with what he refers to as the "most discussed" form of the moral argument for God's existence:

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

2. Objective moral values do exist.

3. Therefore, God exists.

The author then puts forth 4 independent reasons why the first premise should be accept:
- The argument from moral prescription
- The argument from moral obligation
- The argument from moral ideas
- The argument from moral guilt

It is while writing about the second premise that Williams addresses an often confused point in regard to the moral argument.
Williams writes:

"Writing in his fascinating study of Ethics, Evil and Fiction (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999), atheist Colin McGinn affirms:

When I assert 'this is good' or 'that is evil', I do not mean that I experience desire or aversion, or that I have a feeling of liking or indignation. These subjective experiences may be present; but the judgment points not to a personal or subjective state of mind but to the presence of an objective value in the situation. What is implied in this objectivity? Clearly, in the first place, it implies independence of the judging subject. If my assertion 'this is good' is valid, then it is valid not for me only but for everyone. If I say 'this is good', and another person, referring to the same situation, says 'this is not good', one or other of us must be mistaken... The validity of a moral judgment does not depend upon the person by whom the judgment is made... In saying that moral values belong to the nature of reality... the statement implies an objectivity which is independent of the achievements of persons in informing their lives with these values, and is even independent of their recognizing their validity. Whether we are guided by them or not, whether we acknowledge them or not, they have validity... objective moral value is valid independently of my will, and yet is something which satisfies my purpose and completes my nature...

Since McGinn accepts the first premise of the moral argument, he suggests that it is possible "to detach moral objectivity from any religious worldview – so that we do not need to believe in God in order to find morality both important and binding." Here McGinn exhibits a common confusion, in that he conflates the argument for God as the ontological basis for objective moral values with the un-biblical epistemological claim that belief in God is a necessary condition of knowing the difference between right and wrong (cf. Romans 2:14-15).

As J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig caution:

'The question is not: Must we believe in God in order to live moral lives? There is no reason to think that atheists and theists alike may not live what we normally characterize as good and decent lives. Similarly, the question is not: Can we formulate a system of ethics without reference to God? If the non-theist grants that human beings do have objective value, then there is no reason to think that he cannot work out a system of ethics with which the theist would largely agree. Or again, the question is not: Can we recognize the existence of objective moral values without reference to God? The theist will typically maintain that a person need not believe in God in order to recognize, say, that we should love our children.'

Rather, as Paul Copan explains, the moral argument urges that although"Belief in God isn’t a requirement for being moral... the existence of a personal God is crucial for a coherent understanding of objective morality." In other words, although the non-theist can do the right thing because they know what the objectively right thing to do is, their worldview can’t cogently provide an adequate ontological account of the objective moral values they know and obey."

I encourage our readers to checkout this entire article here.

To learn more about Williams and his work, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

Free Booklet: Digging for Evidence by Peter S. Williams

Video: Arguments For and From Fulfilled Biblical Prophecies by Peter S. Williams

Article: Is Christianity Unscientific? by Peter S. Williams

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Does John 4:23 indicate that only God the Father -and not Jesus- is to be Worshiped?

John 4:23 quotes Jesus as saying, "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be his worshipers" (NASB).

As Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes explain in their helpful book Correcting the Cults, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that only the Father is to be worshiped. They believe that Christ should be shown "obeisance"1 or reverence, but nor be worshiped.

However, as Geisler and Rhodes explain, this is now what the New Testament actually teaches:

"The same Greek word used for worshiping the Father (proskuneo) is used of worshiping Christ in the New Testament.  Jesus was worshiped by Thomas (John 20:28), angels (Heb. 1:6), wise men (Matt. 2:11), a leper (Matt. 8:2), a ruler (Matt. 9:18), a blind man (John 9:38), a woman (Matt. 15:25), the women at the tomb (Matt. 28:9), and the disciples (Matt. 28:17).  In the Book of Revelation, the worship that the Father receives (4:10) is exactly the same as the worship received by Jesus Christ (5:11-14).2

Most interestingly, as Matthew Slick argues here, the Watchtower Organization at one time taught that Jesus should be worshiped!

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Watchtower, 15 February 1983, 18) as referenced by Geisler and Rhodes.
2. Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes, Correcting the Cults, p. 166-167.

Related Posts

Article: Sharing the Gospel with Jehovah's Witnesses by Neil Shenvi

Apologetics Interview with Mike Felker by Brian Auten of Apologetics315

Article: A Brief Overview of the Jehovah's Witness Worldview by J. Warner Wallace

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Worldview and Apologetics in the News

Feminist Camille Paglia On Transgenderism: 'The Cold Biological Truth Is That Sex Changes Are Impossible'

Texas pastors reject LGBT school curriculum: ‘This is Houston, not San Francisco’

What You Need to Know about the Church and Global Terrorism

The Continuing Triumph of Faith: The World is Becoming More Religious

CNN: National Center for Science Education “Promotes Science Over Ideology”; What!?

Would Baseball Team Have Mocked Tebow’s Religion Had He Been a Muslim?

Coming Soon: The Revised Apologetics Study Bible for Students

Ex-Muslim Journalist Explains Sharia Law: Incompatible with U.S. Constitution

Denna Laing honored at NHL Awards

New Forensic Report Flushes Planned Parenthood’s “Highly Edited” Talking Point

Catholic bishop writes decree barring same-sex couples from receiving Holy Communion, funeral rites

Evolutionists Try to Nourish Darwin’s Wilting Tree of Life

A defeat for Planned Parenthood

Christians resurrect criminal justice reform talks

Mother Chooses Life, Accepts Jesus and Gets Married in One Week

‘We Have a Problem’: ISIS in Afghanistan ‘Not Getting Better’ as US Mulls Thousands More Troops

Bomber planning to attack Mecca’s Grand Mosque blows himself up

Spurgeon collection launched online

The American campus: A dangerous place for ideas

Responding to Pride Month with Genuine Love
Courage and Godspeed,

Last week's edition is here.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Coming Soon: The Revised Apologetics Study Bible for Students

It was my genuine privilege to have had the opportunity to contribute an article to the forthcoming revised Apologetics Study Bible for Students.  For those who desire to always be "...ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you..." (1 Peter 3:15), this is an invaluable resource.

As general editor Sean McDowell explains:

"The student apologetics Bible first released in 2010 and has sold over 160,000 copies.  To be honest, this has blown away my expectations.  This shows the hunger for both relevant and practical resources that tackle the real questions students are asking.  On July 1 we are releasing an updated, expanded, and improved version.  Here are a few ways the update will be different from the first version:

1.Outdated articles have been removed or updated.
2. Individual authors went through each of their articles and improved them substantially.
3. There are 12 new articles on “hot” topics like tattoos, euthanasia, transgenderism, Islamic Jihad, religious freedom, singleness, race, and more.
4. Each of the special features (Bones & Dirt, Tactics, Twisted Scriptures, Stories, and Fast Facts) have been expanded with 5-10 more articles."1

Some of the articles within include:
  • Why does God allow evil?
  • If I can’t see God, how do I know He is real?
  • Can God’s love be reconciled with the order to kill the Canaanites?
  • Is it okay to pick and choose my religious beliefs and practices?
  • What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
  • If God made everything, why shouldn’t I smoke pot?2
You can learn more about this excellent resource here.

Pre-order your copy here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

How Old is the Earth? by Chris Sherrod

Article: Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? by Mike Licona

Book Review: The Fate of the Apostles by Sean McDowell

1. Sean McDowell, "Coming Soon: The Revised Apologetics Study Bible for Students," June 20, 2017.
2. Ibid.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Free Printable Mormon Tract

According to Apologia Church, this Mormon Tract (which you can download here for free!) "has aided in bringing people to Christ from the LDS church.

Let this tract do the heavy lifting and use the verses provided to engage and start confidently making irrefutable with your Mormon friends.

Each topic is thoroughly covered using their scripture vs. Bible Scriptures.

- The nature of God
- Who is Jesus
- A LDS member’s responsibilities
- How LDS gain salvation"

You can get your free downloadable tract here!  The above video demonstrates how to use it.

Learn more about Apologia Church and Pastor Jeff Durbin here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

Is Mormonism Just Another Christian Denomination?

What is the Book of Mormon? by Robert M. Bowman, Jr.

Thinking about Mormonism by Brett Kunkle

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Apologetics Interview with Mike Felker by Brian Auten of Apologetics315

I recently listened to this excellent interview by Brian Auten of Apologetics315 with apologist Mike Felker.

Auten explains that Felker "has an emphasis on interacting with Jehovah's Witnesses. He talks about his background, the overall belief system of JWs, The Watchtower Society, their various teachings regarding salvation, the afterlife, Jesus, the trinity, etc. He also discusses strategies for interaction including what to focus on and what to avoid."

Interestingly, Felker studied with various Jehovah's Witnesses for a two year period.  He offers first-hand accounts of what they believe, how they live and how to reach them effectively.  This interview was personally beneficial and Mike's work has been helpful to me numerous times in the past.

You can listen to this interview here.

Learn more about Mike and his work here.

Finally, if you haven't already, checkout Apologetics315's archived interviews with various apologists, philosophers and theologians here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

Free E-book- Behold I Stand at the Door and Knock: What to say to Jehovah's Witnesses when They come Knocking on Your Door by Mike Licona

When the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses Come Knocking

Does the Reference to Jesus as a "Mighty God" indicate that Jesus is a Lesser God than God the Father?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Debate Video: "Who is God?" featuring Dr. James White and Bro. Joe Ventlacion

In this video, Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries debates Bro. Joe Ventilacion of Iglesia ni Cristo, moderated by Dale Bartcher of Family Heritage Alliance.

Dr. White defends the affirmative: “The Bible teaches that within the one Being that is God there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Bro. Joe Ventilacion argues the negative.

This event was held in Rapid City, SD on April 21st, 2017. This event was arranged and coordinated by the ministry of South Dakota Apologetics.

Dr. White's opening statement is a masterful defense of trinitarianism.

Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

My Favorite Analogy of the Trinity

Article: Understanding the Trinity by Peter S. Williams

Free Online E-book: Letters to a Mormon Elder by James R. White

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Unexpected Blessings of Fatherhood

In this post, Reverend Sean Martin, Human Coalition’s National Church Outreach Director, shares his story and provides a few practical ways fathers can model the virtues of a strong work ethic, reliance, trustworthiness, meekness, humility, compassion, and empathy. They are as follows:

  • When your child asks you to play a game or read a book with them, put aside the task at hand and do it.

  • Involve them in chores around the house. Whether you have 1 child or 11 children, there’s always something that needs to be done.
  • Even at the end of the day, when you’re exhausted and just want to fall into bed, be there for your kids. I guarantee your teens will want to have their deepest and most meaningful conversations at 11:00 p.m.

  • You can read the post in full here. Happy belated Father's Day!

    Stand firm in Christ,