Saturday, November 30, 2013
I commented at the weekend that Janet Mefferd's allegations of plagiarism against Mark Driscoll should be fairly easy to establish on the grounds that we have empirical evidence in the form of texts to compare. She has posted a link to photographic plates here. Regardless of whether one is instinctively inclined to like Ms. Mefferd or Mr. Driscoll, text is text and you can judge for yourselves who is in the right. The second set, from comments on the Petrine epistles, is particularly noteworthy.
Elsewhere, Frank Turk has highlighted a few weird aspects of the whole affair. Again, I make no comment on his statements as he provides evidence by which one can judge for oneself the plausibility of his interpretation.
Over at First Thoughts, Collin Garbarino offers some very perceptive comments on the Driscoll plagiarism affair. He makes the point that such activity receives a failing grade at his university. I would only add that at Westminster it also involves automatic suspension from the degree program followed by discussion with the powers that be about whether Christian ministry is really an option for the perpetrator.
My children have to be at school by 7:30, so I rise at about 6:15 to 6:30. I usually wait until I arrive at work, ca. 8 a.m., to have devotions. Westminster offices do not open till 8:30 so this gives me a half hour of peace and quiet.
The Mefferd-Driscoll controversy points to another aspect of celebrity culture: celebrities are routinely allowed to behave in ways which would not be tolerated in ordinary mortals.
Guilherme AdrianoJerry Walls
November 27 at 8:01pm ·
- Jerry, brother, what do you think of this one liner my friends and I just came up with:
- Hey, Calvinists, if the bride doesn't say "I do", it's rape.
"He has ravished my heart."
"Her soul was so ravished with his love."
John Wesley's Journal
Here's an image capture of the Facebook question:
Friday, November 29, 2013
Jason posted about the forthcoming Jesus of Testimony film, which looks quite good. Here is a deleted scene from the video:
Second: Taking over the structure, perhaps the outline in exact wording, and other significant chunks, while filling in the rest of the substance yourself, is not quite so grievous but still reprehensible. The temptation springs from the fact that writing a really good outline is often the most creative and challenging part of sermon preparation. Fair enough: if you "borrow" someone else's outline, simply acknowledge it, and you have not sinned.Third: In the course of diligent preparation, you are likely to come across clever snippets and ways of summarizing or formulating the truth of a passage that are creative and memorable. If you cite them, you should acknowledge that they are not yours, either with an "As so-and-so has said" or an "As someone has said." This discipline keeps you honest and humble.
The central problem with plagiarism is twofold: (1) it is stealing; and (2) it bears false witness.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Just a friendly piece of advice before everyone stuffs down all that turkey tonight: remember, remember, the square-cube of November! By which I mean the square-cube law. In case this whole post isn't arbitrary enough.
What is the square-cube law, you may ask?
Well, dear reader (singular, by which I refer to myself)! I shall tell you anyway. It'll be our sciencey factoid of the day. Meh, give or take.
If an object increases in size x, then in proportion its area increases x2 while its volume x3. That's the square-cube law.
Say we have an object with area 1cm2 and volume 1cm3. Now we double the size of the object. This means the object's area will have increased from 1cm2 to 4cm2 (quadrupling) while its volume will have increased from 1cm3 to 8cm3 (octupling). This is an example of the square-cube law.
Basically, the volume increases more than the area for the same increase in size.
Now, strength is dependent on area, while weight is proportional to volume. Thus, an object bigger than its original size will weigh more but it might not have enough strength to support its own weight.
In other words, don't eat too much, or you may find yourself a few sizes too big!
Happy Thanksgiving! :-)
Even if we say that it was a miracle, though, that doesn’t at all concede the continuation of miracle-workers. Similarly, if someone gets healed as an answer to prayer, neither does that mean that the gift of healing has continued. That part of my comment got left out of your citation: “MacArthur certainly believes that God can and does heal today. He simply believes that the gift of healing is not given today. So God heals, but not through healers.”
Early in my ministry I heard teaching on how to pray specifically while attending a seminar in Southern California. In a few weeks, I was to return to Colorado to start my ministry at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden with Ray Womack, a fellow Campus Crusade worker. Unknown to anyone, I wrote a prayer request in my prayer notebook and began to pray specifically that God would provide for me and Ray a white house with a white picket fence, a grassy front yard, within two or three miles from campus, for no more that $130 per month. I told the Lord that this request was a reasonable one on the grounds that (a) we wanted a place that provided a home atmosphere for students, accessible from campus, that we could afford and (b) I was experimenting with specific prayer and wanted my faith to be strengthened.I returned to the Golden area and looked for three days at several places to live. I found nothing in Golden and, in fact, I only found one apartment for rent for $135/month about twelve miles from Campus. I told the manager I would take it and she informed me that a couple had looked at the place that morning, they had until that afternoon to make a decision, and if they did not want it, I could move in the next day. I called late that afternoon and was informed that the couple took the apartment, the last available one in the complex. I was literally back to ground zero.Now not a single person knew I had been praying for the white house. That evening, Kaylon Carr (a Crusade friend) called me to ask if I still needed a place to stay. When I say yes, she informed me that earlier that day, she had been to Denver Seminary. While there, she saw a bulletin board on which a pastor in Golden was advertising a place to rent, hopefully to seminary students or Christian workers. Kaylon gave me his phone number, so I called and set up an appointment to meet the pastor at his place at nine the next morning. Well, as I drove up, I came to a white house with a white picket fence, a nice grassy front yard, right around two miles from Campus, and he asked for $110 per month rent. Needless to say, I took it, and Ray and I had a home that year in which to minister.This answer to prayer, along with hundreds of others I and my Christian friends have seen, was an event that was (1) contingent and did not have to happened according to natural law; (2) very improbable; and (3) independently specifiable (a number of features of the event were specified in my prayer prior to and independent of the event itself taking place).
In my judgment, that kind of statement is light-years away from the kind of deistic/naturalistic rationalism that you seem to want to pin on cessationists.
Saying that the mysterious absence of cancer might simply be owing to an extraordinary working of God’s meticulous providence isn’t a concession to naturalism.
And, of course, I don’t at all deny any of the miraculous works that God has done that are recorded for us in Scripture. Jesus’ miraculous healings, the resurrection, even the divine inspiration of Scripture are all things we believe firmly. I hope you would acknowledge that that separates us from the rationalists and naturalists who would seek to explain away even the biblical miracles because they truly cannot abide supernaturalism. Even us “MacArthurite cessationists” are supernaturalists!
I have been a Christian all my life...However my faith has come under tremendous attack due to my exposure to atheistic arguments that attack my faith. For the most part I have been able to resist many of the arguments atheists have presented to me with...I am trying really hard to hang on to my faith...I am desperate to believe in Jesus but how can I continue to trust in and have faith in Him if he got a the future wrong.Please help me Dr. Craig I am really struggling to deal with this objection to my faith. What do most scholars say on the subject, and did Jesus make a false prophecy?
My proposal is more modest. I appeal to the well-known fact that we often do not have the original context in which Jesus’ sayings were spoken, much less their precise wording. When we remember that the Gospels do not give us a tape recording of Jesus’ words, that the Gospels are written in Greek, whereas Jesus probably spoke most of the time in Aramaic, that the Gospel writers didn’t even have the device of quotation marks to distinguish direct and indirect speech, we can already see that we don’t have a verbatim transcript of what Jesus said. Jesus’ speeches would often be paraphrased or summarized. The Evangelists sometimes arrange these sayings in different ways. So we shouldn’t think that we always have the words of Jesus exactly as they were spoken or in their original context.
Indeed, the eminent historical Jesus scholar John Meier doesn’t think that this saying of Jesus is even authentic, that is to say, actually uttered by the historical Jesus. Meier insists that he is in no way trying to avoid the conclusion that Jesus gave a false prophecy—Meier is ruthlessly objective—rather he argues that the evidence shows that this saying is probably not authentic.