Tuesday, August 23, 2016

7 Characteristics of a Mature Thinker

Over the years I have had the privilege to interact with people of various beliefs, backgrounds and disciplines.  This has allowed me to observe and identify characteristics that I believe those that are "mature" in their thinking consistently put into practice.  These are characteristics that I desire to emulate and incorporate into my own thinking and work.

Mature thinkers:

1. represent opposing views fairly and charitably.

2. don't overstate their case.

Their conclusions are humble and they let the evidence speak.

3. attack the argument and not the individual making the argument.

4. acknowledge when there is a weakness in their case or argument.

5. can admit when they are wrong.

6. know when to continue a discussion and when to end a discussion.

7. can acknowledge when someone that holds an opposing view makes a good point or argument.

What do you think of my list?  Are there any that you would add?  Please feel free to share in the comments below!

Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

William Lane Craig on What Makes for a Good Argument

What I've Learned from Blog Comments

Logic Primers from Apologetics 315

Saturday, August 20, 2016

J. Warner Wallace on Sharing Your Christian Convictions Online

"If you’ve ever interacted with hostile atheists online, you’ve probably been frustrated at times and wondered if your efforts were worthwhile at all. At times like this I try to remind myself of the three reasons anyone “shuns” a truth claim; many of us are committed to our position for other than rational evidential reasons (that’s true for everyone, including Christians). It’s important to see your efforts to reach the opposed as a baseball game rather than a tennis match. The goal isn’t points, it’s advancing people around the bases. You’re not alone on the court, you’ve got help on the field. I’m not always trying to hit home runs with people who disagree with me. Instead, I am simply trying to be faithful to my Master, reflect his image, and leave people with something to think about."

Courage and Godspeed,

Friday, August 19, 2016

Blog Post: Did the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Exist? by Sean McDowell

I had the pleasure of reviewing Sean McDowell's excellent book The Fate of the Apostles.  You can find our review here.  His book is an excellent treatment of the historicity of the apostles and their martyrdoms.

In this featured blog post, McDowell shares a simple case for the historicity of the Twelve.  

His case includes:

1. Multiple Attestation
2. Criterion of Embarrassment
3. Lack of Flowery Details in the Early Church
4. Onomastic Studies

You can read Sean's case here.

Sean recently debated mythicist Ken Humphreys on Premier Christian Radio and you can listen to that here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Why Can’t God Just Forgive Us? Part 1.

Real Forgiveness is Costly Suffering

Why would Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t God just forgive us? The death of Jesus for our sins is at the heart of the gospel, the good news. The Christian God sounds like the vengeful gods of primitive times who needed to be appeased by human sacrifice. Why can’t God just accept everyone or at least those who are sorry for their wrongdoings?

When damage has been done, repayment for repair of the damage must be made. The wrongdoer can make restitution, the wronged party can offer to pay, or some combination of the two parties together can pay for the damage.  But, the cost of the damage must be borne by someone. The repayment does not vanish. Forgiveness means the wronged party bears the cost of the damage.

When one has been wronged and there is a just debt that cannot be dismissed, there are two options. 1) Make the wrongdoer suffer and pay for what they have done. 2) Forgive, which means refusing to make them suffer and pay for what they have done. This means that the wronged party absorbs the debt and takes the cost completely on themselves. True forgiveness is always a form of suffering.

God cannot just forgive us, because no one just forgives. Forgiveness means bearing the cost and absorbing the debt of sin instead of making the wrongdoer do it. God did this for us in Jesus Christ on the cross. The Christian faith has always understood that Jesus Christ is God. God did not, then, inflict pain on someone else, but rather on the cross absorbed the pain into himself. Therefore, God is not like the primitive deities who demanded our blood for their wrath to be appeased. God became human and offered his own lifeblood to offer mercy and honor justice.

Jesus death was only a good example if it was more than an example, if it was something absolutely necessary to rescue us. And it was. Why did Jesus have to die in order to forgive us? There was a debt to be paid – God himself paid it. There was a penalty to be borne – God himself bore it. Forgiveness is always a form of costly suffering.

From The Reason for God, Chapter 12, The (True) Story of the Cross, by Timothy Keller.

Don’t take my word for it, read the book, don’t wait for the movie.

Have a little hope on me, Roger

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sermon Audio: The Fuse of Racism by Pastor Steve Spuler

I am blessed to be currently sitting under the preaching of Pastor Steve Spuler of "Life in Christ" Church in Dillsburg, PA.  In his message this past week (8-14-16), Pastor Steve offered a biblical response to racism.

I greatly appreciate Pastor Steve's preaching because he understands that issues such as racism must be addressed in the pulpit so that Christians can be ready to offer a biblical response when these topics are discussed in the public square.

Furthermore, Spuler consistently models how to incorporate philosophy, logic and ethics into theologically sound sermons.

Pastor Spuler addressed the following issues:
  • What is the root cause of racism?
  • What is the true Christian teaching regarding race?
  • What can Jesus' parable of "The Good Samaritan" teach us about how we should treat others?
  • How should a follower of Jesus Christ treat those that are "different?"
You can find more of Pastor Spuler's messages here.

Many thanks to Pastor Steve for allowing us to share his sermon on Truthbomb.  As you will hear, this is Pt. 1 in a 4 Pt. series.  We will share the other messages when they are completed.

You can listen to "The Fuse of Racism" here.


Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, August 15, 2016

Habitability for Redemption

In the subject piece posted on Southern Evangelical Seminary's blog, Dr. Hugh Ross summarizes his most recent book Improbable Planet.  Below is a portion:

These recent scientific discoveries of the extraordinary fine-tuning required for advanced life suggest that God designed every aspect of the universe, every event in its history, and every life-form that has ever existed to enable billions of humans in a very short period of time to hear and respond to the gospel. Indeed, the latest biblical and scientific research increasingly affirms this conclusion.

Read this post in full here.  Dr. Ross will also be speaking on this at Southern Evangelical's National Conference on Christian Apologetics.

Stand firm in Christ,

Sunday, August 14, 2016