Saturday, February 20, 2021

Laymen's Lounge interviews Frame

Here's a brief but edifying interview with Prof. John Frame. (And I never would have guessed Prof. Frame's favorite movie is Casablanca! A classic movie I've never seen.)

By the way, for those who don't already know, the Laymen's Lounge has a lot of good interviews and other resources.

The two deaths of Ravi

"Apologetics After the Two Deaths of Ravi Zacharias" (Doug Groothuis)

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Natural law arguments against same-sex marriage

Jason Engwer and Lydia McGrew, among others, recently made several helpful comments about same-sex marriage and related issues. Their comments are well worth reading and taking to heart.

Lydia alluded to natural law arguments against same-sex marriage. Here's Tim Hsiao outlining the general argument:

Making sense of the Ravi Zacharias scandal

I've read and seen several Christians reflecting on the Ravi scandal. I think the person who gets closest to what I'd want to say is David Wood. It's a long video, but Wood makes several insightful observations and as is often the case Wood is keen in his psychological analyses.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Akedah

Regarding God testing Abraham's faith by telling Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering in Genesis 22:

I think there's dramatic irony in Gen 22. The events of the story turn out to be the opposite of what one would have expected at the climax of the narrative.

My understanding is human sacrifice to various gods occurred among many ancient Neareastern cultures. An ancient Neareasterner (like Abraham) might not unreasonably expect Yahweh to be like these other gods too.

Yet Gen 22 has a twist ending. The twist ending of the story is that Yahweh isn't like other gods.

Quite the contrary. Yahweh doesn't demand Abraham sacrifice Isaac. Rather Yahweh "provides" a ram caught in a thicket by its horns for Abraham to sacrifice. As such, Abraham learns Yahweh is the God who "provides", not a god who takes. Yahweh is the God who unilaterally blesses his followers, not a god who requires things in a quid pro quo fashion from his followers. Yahweh is the merciful God, not a god who must always exact his pound of flesh. Yahweh blessed Abraham because Abraham trusted Yahweh, not because Abraham literally killed and sacrificed his son Isaac in exchange for blessings like a pagan god might wish. These are the kinds of lessons Yahweh imparted to Abraham - and to us.

So this was a happy reversal of fortunes from Abraham and Isaac's perspective. They didn't have to do what they thought they had to do.

What's more, this happy reversal of fortunes in turn points to the One who reversed their fortunes - namely, Yahweh. Such that Abraham and Isaac, along with the audience, are led to ask: what kind of God is this, this Yahweh? Yahweh is not like heathen gods. Instead Yahweh is the God of promise, provision, blessing, grace.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Ed May's Materialism

Alex Tsakiris recently interviewed Stephen Braude. He makes a lot of significant comments during the interview, but a segment I found especially interesting was one about Ed May. You can click on the link just provided to watch that segment on the YouTube video of the interview. Braude's comments about his private interactions with May are worth hearing. You can listen to Tsakiris' interview with May here. And here's a post I wrote about the significance of the interview.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

How To Argue Against Same-Sex Marriage

It's still important to argue against it, though few people are doing it. See here for an overview of some of the relevant arguments. And here's a post where I discussed how I expected the issue to develop after the Supreme Court's 2015 decision, given the nature of the American people. Much of what I said there is still applicable. But we've now had several more years of political developments, and the large majority of Republicans and Christians have shown themselves unwilling to discuss the subject much, if at all. Life consists of more than politics, though, and how people view marriage is important in non-political contexts, not just political ones. Changes outside of politics can, and often do, lead to political changes. But the arguments for a Christian view of marriage ought to be made, even if we don't get the political changes we want.

See here for some comments I made about the significance of holidays like Valentine's Day in this context.