Archive for the ‘ Show yourself Sharp ’ Category

A Predictable Muslim Response

Yahya Snow, with his typical monotony, already has his spin ready. Ready to hear it?

They had it coming.

Yup! Asking questions, and engaging in dialogue, according to Mr. Snow, is grounds for arrest. As he says in the lead-in to his article:

The controversial evangelical group has had its co-founders arrested. You may remember the controversy they caused at last years Arab Festival in Dearborn; they were ejected from the event by security. This year they top that by getting arrested.David Wood and Acts17 Apologetics Were Looking For Trouble Under the Guise of Evangelism

Yes, since they were so peaceably ejected (you saw the video in my previous post – does that make any sense, folks?) from the festival last year, it’s only reasonable that they get arrested this time, right? Give me a break. As Nabeel pointed out in the video last year, this is America. You don’t get free reign to assault people, or to infringe on their right to free speech, freedom to assemble, freedom of religious expression. Maybe that’s “acceptable” elsewhere, but not under this governmental system. I also find it laughable that Mr. Snow is attempting to “guilt trip” Dr. White into not associating with Nabeel and David. Does Mr. Snow have any conception of the work Dr. White has engaged in for over two decades with Mormons? Witnessing at their yearly convocation in Salt Lake City (which they gave up recently, due to the obnoxious behavior of KJVO protestors, not evangelists), or at the annual Easter Pageant in Mesa? This is nothing new to any Christian. This is nothing new to Dr. White, nor will it be “shocking” to him, or to Christians who know their Scripture. It’s quite familiar, and Biblically expected.

A note to Muslims: When people act as is shown on the video from last year, the face of Islam is unmasked. You can try to spin it all you want, but it’s plain as day to the people of this nation, and to Christians all over the world. I hope you understand that these men and women went to this festival, despite there being death threats made if they returned. To a Christian, that is pure joy, to be persecuted or killed for the sake of their Lord. As Nabeel and David noted in their followup video, we are quite able to assert our rights as citizens – but that doesn’t mean that we don’t expect persecution anyway.

Stop playing innocent. We know better, and so do you. They had as much right to be there as anyone else – and had those rights infringed.

They have a post up about their experience here.

Bahnsen and Bare Possibility

Historically, when David Hume and Immanuel Kant exposed the invalidity of the theistic proofs, apologists generally balked at returning to revelation as the basis for their certainty of God’s existence. They elected, rather, to maintain status in the the blinded eyes of the “worldly wise” by attempting to prove Christianity’s credibility by means of arguments that hopefully pointed toward the probability of God’s existence and Scripture’s truth. They settled for a mere presumption (plus pragmatic assurance) in favor of a few salvaged items (i.e., “fundamentals”) from the Christian system. Refusing to presuppose the sovereign God revealed in the Bible as the source of all material or logical possibility, and hence failing effectively to challenge or internally criticize the very feasibility of knowledge, logic, factuality, interpretation, or predication as based on the boasted autonomy of “free-thinkers”, apologists found their defenses razed by those who (likewise) postulated that bare possibility was a principle more ultimate than God. … By appealing to probability, apologists saw Christianity relegated to the museum of of mere religious hypotheses (i.e.. “possibilities”) rather than embraced as the actual truth of God.

~Greg Bahnsen (Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended; ch 1, pg 5)

Enough said. Don’t you think?

A Good Question.

For all of the Ergun Caner supporters out there:

When you engage in apologetics, do you go to the evidence for the resurrection? That’s a fairly safe bet for most of you.

If you won’t accept evidence that demonstrates Dr. Caner’s falsehoods – how on earth do you expect unbelievers to accept your evidence for the resurrection?

Interesting example of why Theology matters – in apologetics as well as in any other sphere.

For more information:

HT: Dale

Week 10, here is a video playlist:

Week 11, you can find the audio here.
Week 12, we used Dr. White’s first debate with Dan Barker, which is under copyright. You may purchase it here. Preview below:

Week 13 can be found here.
Week 14 can be found here.

God forbid.

If the Lord intended that he should, and [he] by his death did, procure pardon of sin and reconciliation with God for all and every one, to be actually enjoyed upon condition that they do believe, then ought this good-will and intention of God, with this purchase in their behalf by Jesus Christ, to be made known to them by the word, that they might believe; “for faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” Rom. x. 17: for if these things be not made known and revealed to all and every one that is concerned in them, namely, to whom the Lord intends, and for whom he hath procured so great a good, then one of these things will follow; — either, first, That they may be saved without faith in, and the knowledge of, Christ (which they cannot have unless he be revealed to them), which is false, and proved so; or else, secondly, That this good-will of God, and this purchase made by Jesus Christ, is plainly in vain, and frustrate in respect of them, yea, a plain mocking of them, that will neither do them any good to help them out of misery, nor serve the justice of God to leave them inexcusable, for what blame can redound to them for not embracing and well using a benefit which they never heard of in their lives? Doth it become the wisdom of God to send Christ to die for men that they might be saved, and never cause these men to hear of any such thing; and yet to purpose and declare that unless they do hear of it and believe it, they shall never be saved? What wise man would pay a ransom for the delivery of those captives which he is sure shall never come to the knowledge of any such payment made, and so never be the better for it? Is it answerable to the goodness of God, to deal thus with his poor creatures? to hold out towards them all in pretence the most intense love imaginable, beyond all compare and illustration, — as his love in sending his Son is set forth to be, — and yet never let them know of any such thing, but in the end to damn them for not believing it? Is it answerable to the love and kindness of Christ to us, to assign unto him at his death 239such a resolution as this:— “I will now, by the oblation of myself, obtain for all and every one peace and reconciliation with God, redemption and everlasting salvation, eternal glory in the high heavens, even for all those poor, miserable, wretched worms, condemned caitiffs, that every hour ought to expect the sentence of condemnation; and all these shall truly and really be communicated to them if they will believe. But yet, withal, I will so order things that innumerable souls shall never hear one word of all this that I have done for them, never be persuaded to believe, nor have the object of faith that is to be believed proposed to them, whereby they might indeed possibly partake of these things?” Was this the mind and will, this the design and purpose, of our merciful high priest? God forbid. It is all one as if a prince should say and proclaim, that whereas there be a number of captives held in sore bondage in such a place, and he hath a full treasure, he is resolved to redeem them every one, so that every one of them shall come out of prison that will thank him for his good-will, and in the meantime never take care to let these poor captives know his mind and pleasure; and yet be fully assured that unless he effect it himself it will never be done. Would not this be conceived a vain and ostentatious flourish, without any good intent indeed towards the poor captives? Or as if a physician should say that he hath a medicine that will cure all diseases, and he intends to cure the diseases of all, but lets but very few know his mind, or any thing of his medicine; and yet is assured that without his relation and particular information it will be known to very few. And shall he be supposed to desire, intend, or aim at the recovery of all?

The Death of Death in the Death of ChristBook III, Chapter 1John Owen

Reformed theology, as properly expressed, would consider the doctrine of God’s unity not as the classical formulation used by Aquinas and the Scholastics, but as a unity of being; in which all attributes of God are distinct in their display, necessarily interrelated but not identical to each other, despite being differentiated expressions of God’s singular, essential nature. The Scholastics (following the lead of earlier writers) may be summed up as follows: “It is commonly said in theology that God’s attributes are God himself, as he has revealed himself to us… It was further asserted by the Scholastics that the whole essence of God is identical with each one of the attributes, so that God’s knowing is God, God’s willing is God, and so on. Some of them even went so far as to say that each attribute is identical with every other attribute, and that there are no logical distinctions in God.” (L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 45)

This conception, however, is not that of the consistently Reformed position. I will give you Berkhof, Bavinck, and the inestimable Dr. Gill.

“Naturally, we should guard against separating the divine essence and the divine attributes or perfections, and also against a false conception of the relation in which they stand to each other. The attributes are real determinations of the
Divine Being or, in other words, qualities that inhere in the Being of God. Shedd speaks of them as “an analytical and’
closer description of the essence.”
In a sense they are identical, so that it can be said that God’s perfections are God Himself as He has revealed Himself to us. It is possible to go even farther and say with Shedd, “The whole essence is in each attribute, and the attribute in the essence.”2 And because of the close relation in which the two stand to each other, it can be said that knowledge of the attributes carries with it knowledge of the Divine Essence. It would be a mistake to conceive of the essence of God as existing by itself and prior to the attributes, and of the attributes as additive and accidental characteristics of the Divine Being. They are essential qualities of God, which inhere in His very Being and are co-existent with it. These qualities cannot be altered without altering the essential Being of God. And since they are essential qualities, each one of them reveals to us some aspect of the Being of God.” – Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 45-46

Simplicity is not in conflict with the doctrine of the Trinity, for the term “simple” is not used as an antonym of “twofold” or “threefold,” but of “compound.” Hence, this simplicity does not conflict with the doctrine of the Trinity, for the divine being is not composed of three persons, neither is each person composed of God’s being plus the personal property; but the one and only uncompounded (simple) being exists in three persons; every person or personal property is distinct from God’s being not “in the object” but “in reason”; every personal property is indeed a “real relation,” but does not add “something real” to the “essence.” The personal properties “do not compose but only distinguish.” – Herman Bavinck, The Doctrine of God, trans. William Hendricksen, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951), 172.

“God being a Spirit, we learn that he is a simple and uncompounded Being, and does not consist of parts, as a body does; his spirituality involves his simplicity: some indeed consider this as an attribute of God; and his spirituality also: and, indeed, every attribute of God, is God himself, is his nature, and are only so many ways of considering it, or are so many displays of it. However, it is certain God is not composed of parts, in any sense; not in a physical sense, of essential parts, as matter and form, of which bodies consist: nor of integral parts, as soul and body, of which men consist: nor in a “metaphysical” sense, as of essence and existence, of act and power: nor in a “logical” sense, as of kind and difference, substance and accident; all which would argue imperfection, weakness, and mutability. If God was composed of parts he would not be “eternal”, and absolutely the first Being, since the composing parts would, at least, co-exist with him; besides, the composing parts, in our conception of them, would be prior to the compositum; as the body and soul of man, of which he is composed, are prior to his being a man: and, beside, there must be a composer, who puts the parts together, and therefore must be before what is composed of them: all which is inconsistent with the eternity of God: nor would he be “infinite” and “immense”; for either these parts are finite, or infinite; if finite, they can never compose an infinite Being; and if infinite, there must be more infinities than one, which implies a contradiction: nor would he be “independent”; for what is composed of parts, depends upon those parts, and the union of them, by which it is preserved: nor would he be “immutable”, unalterable, and immortal; since what consists of parts, and depends upon the union of them, is liable to alteration, and to be resolved into those parts again, and so be dissolved and come to destruction. In short, he would not be the most perfect of Beings; for as the more spiritual a being is, the more perfect it is; and so it is, the more simple and uncompounded it is: as even all things in nature are more noble, and more pure, the more free they are from composition and mixture.

Nor is the simplicity of God to be disproved by the Trinity of Persons in the Godhead; for though there are three distinct persons, there is but one nature and essence common to them all, and which is not parted and divided among them, but is jointly and equally possessed by them; nor do these persons really differ from the divine nature and essence, nor from one another, but by their distinct modes of subsisting; so that they only distinguish and modify, but do neither divide nor compose the divine nature: nor is it to be disproved by the decrees of God; the decrees of God are within himself, and, as it is commonly said, whatever is in God, is God, and so are no other than God himself, as to the act of decreeing, though not with respect to the things decreed; and though they are many and various, as to the objects of them, yet not in God, who, by one eternal act, in his infinite mind, has decreed every thing that has been, is, or shall be; and is what Plato means by en kai polla, “one” and “many” in God; one, as to his essence; many, as to the ideas and decrees in it, which many are one: nor is it to be disproved by the attributes of God; for they are no other than God himself, and neither differ from one another, but with respect to their objects, and effect, and in our manner of conception of them; nor from the nature and essence of God; they are himself, and his nature; he is not only eternal, wise, good, loving, &c. but he is eternity itself, wisdom itself, goodness itself, love itself, &c. and these are not parts of his nature, but displays of the same undivided nature, and are different considerations of it, in which we view it; our minds being so weak as not to be able to conceive of God at once and together, and in the gross, but one thing after another, and the same in different lights, that we may better understand it: these several things, called attributes, which are one in God, are predicated of him, and ascribed to him distinctly, for helps to our finite understandings, and for the relief of our minds; and that we, with more facility and ease, might conceive of the nature of God, and take in more of him, as we can by parcels and piecemeals, than in the whole; and so, as a learned Jew observes, all those attributes are only intellectual notions; by which are conceived the perfections that are in the essence of God, but in reality are nothing but his essence; and which attributes will be next considered.” – John Gill, A Body of Doctrinal Divinity, Book 1, Chapter 4, Sec. 3

What Divine Simplicity entails, for someone engaging in theology or arguing contrary to it, is that their formulation must address all of God’s attributes, or at least argue against a conception of God consistent with all of His attributes, even if they are not specifically addressed. If they do not do so accurately, they are guilty of arguing for or against an incomplete picture of God. This is not something new, but long recognized in theology. What is unfortunate is that believers so often fail to object to these malformed arguments from the grounds of proper theology – which should be the basis of our philosophy.

Anthropic Arguments and Assumptions

If God is morally perfect then He must perform the morally best actions, but creating humans is not the morally best action. If this line of reasoning can be maintained then the mere fact that humans exist contradicts the claim that God exists.


Look at the assumption required for the second half of this sentence. “creating humans is not the morally best action”. Says who? By what standard? As usual, I think we can guess what that is. Anthropic Arguments and Assumptions

Walker suggests that God is morally culpable for creating human beings with defective natures (defective in comparison to God’s).

Is He, now? Culpable to who? Oh, wait. That’s the assumption! The same assumption all of these dumb arguments make. God is answerable to man. That’s funny, here I thought Scripture answered that sort of ridiculousness.

What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” So then it {does} not {depend} on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And {He did so} to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, {even} us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. ~Rom 9:14-24

See, man always believes that he can pass judgment on God. That he is morally autonomous. Scripture says differently. This text rightly denies man’s ability to judge God. It then goes into an explanation of God’s intention in the creation of man. God is not unjust. A Holy God can rightly judge the man with a fallen nature – and the fallen man cannot judge the Holy God. This argument fails on point #7, for those interested in the formal argument also included in the post linked to above. I’m not concerned with the rest of the points, although I would likely dispute them if 7 didn’t fail so spectacularly. The reason 7 fails is because it introduces that pesky “should”. yourenotthebossofmeWho says He “should”? Man does. Man is not capable of imposing a “should” upon God, as man is not morally autonomous. Scripture relates to us why that “should” is incorrect, and the argument fails to even give any reason whatsoever why the “should” is applicable to God. It is an assumption of human autonomy.

I truly wish atheists who make these sorts of arguments would pay more attention to what they are arguing against. I’m sure this will be touted, with much hoopla, in that community – but it is not anything novel, damaging, or even explanatory. To break it down, a pot says “I don’t like the way you made things. If you didn’t make things the way I wanted, I deny that you exist – because I’ll only believe in a Potter that makes things the way I want them to be.” Not overly satisfying, or convincing. It would also help if they didn’t use an argument directly countered in Scripture. That would, of course, assume that they had read it. It doesn’t look like this atheologian bothered, sadly.

Read this book!

I contributed to a book, by Jamin Hubner, called “The Portable Presuppositionalist”, along with two friends from Choosing Hats – Brian Knapp and Chris Bolt. I really enjoyed writing that essay for it, and look forward to reading it. In a few days!

The book is now available on, and I encourage you to buy it. I’m excited at having something of mine published, and I am very appreciative to my friend Jamin for the opportunity! The book is intended as a one-stop resource for apologetics – and from the portions I’ve read, it lives up to that intent.

There ya go 🙂

Debate: July 31st

I’m participating in a debate with the “proprietor” of Urban Philosophy, a website devoted to discussion of Philosophy, and the return of Philosophy to the forefront of people’s lives. Mitch LeBlanc is an undergraduate student in Philosophy and an atheist.

The thesis of the debate is:

“Is the Triune God of Scripture the proper grounds for all knowledge?”

I am taking the affirmative position, Mitch the negative.

The debate is on July 31st, and begins at 8:30pm. Anyone wishing to attend can register at the Urban Philosophy site, and join “Chat”.

The format is still TBD, but will likely include an opening statement from both parties, multiple cross-examination periods, as well as rebuttals. Other details still forthcoming.

Prayer Request

Dr. James White is debating Dr. Bart Ehrman, (the author of Misquoting Jesus) tonight. Please pray for Dr. White that he be empowered to defend the Word of God ably and powerfully this evening.

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