Top Posts of 2013

Congratulations! You have made it to the end of 2013. I thought I would go ahead and share the top 5 posts (by number of hits) for the year. It was going to be the Top 10, but since this blog just started halfway through the year, that seemed a bit weird since I'd be listing almost half the posts from the site. So, we'll do the Top 5 this year and maybe next year we'll do a Top 10.

So, here they are in order of greatest to smallest number of hits:

  1. The Laws of Logic
  2. Is the Bible True?
  3. What is the Straw Man Fallacy?
  4. Is Christianity Exclusive?
  5. Should Christians be Anti-Intellectual?
I also would like to give "honorable mention" to What If the Bible Has Errors? as this post has been around for less than a month and yet has performed quite admirably.

Now, as we end 2013, I do hope that your year was blessed. If, however, it was filled with difficulty and trial, please do still look forward to the new year with hope and expectation. Moving into 2014, I do hope that this site will continue to bless you in some way.

If you have topics or questions that have not yet been addressed, please feel free to comment below and I can add new questions and respond to them as I am able. Also, if you would like to guest-post, I am open to doing that as well, though I've never done that before. It seems like a great way to better share information and ideas.

Until then, please have a blessed and prosperous 2014 (in one way or another).

The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us


I know that this really isn't a question. For some people, it may be questionable, but for the sake of today, I am going to simply assume that it is true rather than address the question. Mainly, this is because of what day it is and what the Church at large comes together to celebrate every year at this time.

Greg Koukl has said, multiple times, that he believes John 1:14 is perhaps the most important verse in the entire Bible. It speaks of a moment in human history when the almighty Creator of the entire universe - the One who made time, space and matter - humbled Himself by taking on a human nature for the express purpose of living a sinless life and dying a violent death in order to restore the broken relationship with His creatures.

What Am I? An Argument for Dualism over Materialism

Many atheists in the world would, almost by definition, have to be considered materialists. A materialist is a person who believes that the physical matter in the universe is all there is. There is nothing that exists which does not exist in the material world. Therefore, a materialist does not believe in the existence of a supernatural God or of a non-material soul.

It is upon this basis that I would like to make a case for the fact that we, as human being, indeed have a non-material aspect to our nature. Call it a spirit, a soul or a "center of consciousness" or whatever. Regardless of the terms you prefer to use, what I want to present here is primarily the conclusion that, whatever we are, we are more than our physical bodies.

Can Christians Watch Rated R Movies?

In many ways, this question is similar to the question about Christians using profanity. The basic premises still apply. The quote used from 1 Corinthians 6 still applies here in the same way that it applied to cursing.

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.
1 Corinthians 6:12a

Essentially, the short answer is that, yes, Christians can watch rated R movies. Watching a movie with an R rating is not, necessarily, a sin. That said, there are a number of various nuances that we should probably take a look at with respect to this question.

What If the Bible Has Errors?

Bible TextAt the start, let's be clear. I do not believe the Bible contains errors. However, I have heard enough stories about people who have lost their faith because they "found out" that the Bible has errors or contradictions that I felt it would be good to address this.

While I do not believe that the Bible contains errors or contradictions, let us for the sake of argument grant that it does. The most important question anyone can ask in light of this, before they lost their faith, is: What follows from that?

Should Christians be Anti-Intellectual?

BooksThe current culture seems to view the Church as being about faith and not reason. These two concepts are touted as being contradictory, as if you can either have faith or reason, but clearly not both. Partly, this seems to be a result of the Church's retreat from the academy during the modern era.

Historically, this runs counter to the way Christianity has been understood. After all, most of the centers of education, universities, colleges, etc. are a direct result of Christian influence which targeted bringing knowledge and education to the masses. Without the Christian Church, it would be unlikely that we would be anywhere near where we are today from a scientific knowledge point of view.

How Can We Love Our Neighbor?

Love your neighborThe Bible teaches that we are to love our neighbor. With all the parables and stories, as well as examples, of how we should go about loving our neighbor, it seems that how to actually love our neighbor is one of the most universally misunderstood concepts in Christianity.

The general understanding seems to be that as long as we are friendly and cordial to our neighbors on the off-chance that we happen to run into one of them between home and work, we have met this requirement admirably. And that's only for the "neighbors" we actually can identify and have had some sort of prior contact with. To complete strangers, we may not even be quite that nice.

Is "Faith" Just a Blind Leap in the Dark?

Many people use the term "faith" to describe belief in something for which there is no evidence, or perhaps insufficient evidence. Is that really what is meant by biblical faith? It seems that the correct idea of what faith entails is something closer to trust.

Some say that faith is a blind leap in the dark. Now, I will say something that may raise the hackles of some Christians (particularly fellow apologists out there) but I think that there is some truth to that statement. Faith is a sort of blind leap in the dark, but that I think that this illustration needs to be more thoroughly expounded upon because I think that everyone has faith in one thing or another at any given time and that in all these cases, they are making a blind leap in the dark.

Does God Exist? The Kalam Cosmological Argument

No BeginningWhile the Kalam Cosmological Argument has been around for centuries, it is primarily through the work and efforts of Dr. William Lane Craig that it has become one of the most powerful arguments for the existence of God in recent years. The argument does not prove the Christian God of the Bible, but is often used in a cumulative case for the existence of God by starting with the idea of showing the existence of a First Cause.

This argument gives us a good deal of insight into the nature and attributes of this First Cause. Today, I will cover the basic syllogism of the argument, discuss the premises individually and finally talk about how this argument can give us information about what sort of First Cause the argument shows to exist.

Is the husband the head of the household?

Now, here is a fine question often leveled against the Christian. Of course we know the answer. After all, Paul makes it explicitly clear in Ephesians 5. Yes, the Bible does, in fact, claim that the man is the head of the household.

What kind of pig-headed, chauvinistic, misogynistic God would make that kind of rule? It's just this sort of thing that allows men to be abusive dictators in their homes as they brow-beat their wives in the name of "submission." It's a formula for spousal abuse. Right? Not really.

First of all, God is a God of order. Not chaos. As such, God likes to have some sort of order. One form of order is hierarchical order. Even among the God-head, there is an order. While, as a matter of intrinsic value, the three members of the Trinity are equal (in power, worth, knowledge, wisdom, goodness, etc.), there is an established hierarchy nonetheless. The Father is the "head" of the Trinity, as evidenced by the fact that He sends the son (John 20:21). The Son, then, sends the Holy Spirit (John 15:26).

One mistake that many people make today is an equivocating on the word "equal." If someone were to imply some sort of hierarchy, they immediately assume some sort of bigotry as they see this as a violation of "equality." This is not the case. There is a difference between intrinsic equality and functional equality. If there were not, there would never be employees and employers. Military units would not have anyone in charge.

A child is not more valuable than his/her parent, but the parent is clearly meant to be in charge (I had to say "meant to be" given the way things are going nowadays...don't get me started). So, different beings can be "equal" in one sense even though one may submit to the other.

Now that we have that clear, let's move on...

When God created humankind, He created Adam first. Once He created Adam, He gave him various instructions. He told Adam what his job was and He told him about the foods he could eat and the forbidden tree. Adam received what was, at that time, the Law of God first-hand.

When God created Eve, she did not get the Law from God Himself. It was told to her by Adam. So what, you say? This is a very important thing. Adam was responsible. Just like the parent is responsible for the child. It is because of such responsibility that the parent is in charge. After all, if the child does wrong, the parent must pay the price. Perhaps you, like me, had  parents who had to pay for a neighbor's broken window after you hit a baseball a bit too far.

Many people have asked, "Where was Adam when Eve was tempted by the serpent?" Well, just look at the passage. He was right there. He was standing there when the serpent denied God's very Word about their death if they were to eat the fruit. What's more, when Eve gets God's Word wrong (God never said not to touch it), He just stands there, silent. He didn't step in and correct her and get her away from the serpent when it was obvious that the serpent was lying.

How do we know that Adam was the one held responsible? Well, not only did God tell Adam (not Eve) what His rule was, but when God confronted them, who did He go to first? He didn't ask Eve what happened. He asked Adam. He knew Adam was there. He knew Adam did nothing. That is, when he should have done something. God held Adam responsible.

And what about in the New Testament? What about this verse about the husband being the head of the wife? Unfortunately, many people stop there. If you keep reading, you'll see that the husband is, indeed, the head of the wife. But, as is the popular saying from the Stand to Reason staff, "never read a Bible verse." The whole context makes it a bit more interesting.

     22Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
      25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
Ephesians 5:22-29

Does that sound like it is teaching that the husband can be an abusive jerk? Certainly, it must. What with all this idea of giving himself up for her, presenting her without spot or wrinkle, make her holy and blameless, love her as his own body. Yeah, that sounds highly misogynistic. How terrible for a husband to love his wife as his own body.

But, even here, we see in verse 26 that Paul is again indicating that the husband is accountable. His wife's holiness is his responsibility. When he stands before God, he will be held accountable for not only himself, but his wife! If he has young children who are not yet adults, I imagine he will be held accountable of them, as well.

Just as a parent is the head of the children (again, an increasingly meaningless analogy today) due to the fact that he is held accountable for their actions, so the husband is the head of the wife for the same reason. He is accountable for her faith and holiness.

Now, you might be asking, "So, does that mean that the wife has no say and the husband is just supposed to be the big boss man and she has to do everything he says?" No, it doesn't say that. In fact, there are times when the Bible suggests that wives can help their husbands return to God.

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
1 Peter 3:1-2

So, the wife does not have to be disrespectful to her husband if he is disobedient, but she can remain obedient and win him over. What it basically comes down to is, the husband should exemplify Christ with his wife. If he does not, his wife should be well-versed enough to know what is right and wrong and continue to do right in order to help her husband.

The husband is not a tyrant. The scriptures refer to mutual submission. What it all comes down to is that the husband is responsible for the family and makes the final decision in matters of faith and practice. That used to mean an all-encompassing way of life as one's faith was related to one's entire being. But a wise husband remembers that Eve was created to help Adam. That implies that Adam needed help.

A wise husband knows that his wife has skills and abilities that he does not have. She may be more in tune with personal relationships, better able to tell if someone is troubled or in need. She is better at teaching their children compassion. There are a number of things that give the wife a voice within the marriage. Only a stupid husband doesn't listen to his wife's wisdom and council.

Here is a prayer that I have been trying (not necessarily succeeding) to say at least once per day. It comes from Patrick Morley. I heard him teach it in his podcast, Man in the Mirror.

Father, I said, "Till death do us part"-- I want to mean it. Help me to love You more than her, and her more than anyone or anything else. Help me bring her into Your presence today. Make us one, like You are three-in-one. I want to hear her, cherish her, and serve her -- So she would love You more and we can bring You glory. Amen.

For more resources:

Is it Arrogant for God to Demand Our Love and Obedience?

The God of the Bible is a self-absorbed, narcissistic egomaniac. That's what some accuse Him of. I suppose I can see why. He wants us to worship nothing but Him. He says He's a jealous God. He gets very angry when people put anything in a higher place than Him.
Does this really make God arrogant, though? Does it actually make Him an egomaniac? If you or I were to be that way, these things would certainly be true of us. Why? Because we are not the ultimate things! We are not the ultimate anything!

What exactly ARE miracles?

MiraclesAre miracles just things that we can't explain? Are they violations of natural law? Are they figments of our imagination? Are they really acts of God?

The concept of miracles, how to describe what they are (and by extension, what they are not) and how to identify when one has occurred is a very tricky thing, indeed. The very idea of a miracle is difficult to get our minds around. Popular culture and bad rhetoric from non-believers just make it all the more challenging.