Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Trent Horn's Recent Video On Mary's Assumption

You can watch the video here. I replied to a previous video he produced on the topic last year, and some of what could be said in response to his recent video was said in last year's context. You can go here for my response to that previous video. I want to reiterate or expand upon several points:

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The Argument From Prophecy Works Against Extreme Skepticism

On his podcast last Friday, Greg Koukl spoke to a man who was interacting with somebody with one of the more extreme skeptical views of early Christianity (skeptical of Jesus' existence, skeptical of the existence of the apostles, etc.). The caller wanted to know how to make an appeal to prophecy fulfillment when interacting with that sort of skepticism. The answer depends on certain factors involved, like some of the details of the skepticism in question and which prophecies are in mind. But I want to address some of the general principles involved. Adjustments would have to be made to those principles depending on the details of a particular situation.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Stop Giving So Much Deference To Where People Are

It's often suggested that we shouldn't expect much more from people than what they're already doing. Don't expect people to think in much depth about certain issues, don't expect them to read much, don't expect them to improve their moral standards much, etc. I do a lot of work in apologetics. We're often told that we shouldn't expect much from the average person or the average Christian in that context. Supposedly, if people aren't doing more, then that proves that they can't do more, that it would be too difficult to get them to do more, or some such thing.

Where would the world be today if that kind of mindset had been adopted by the people who changed the world for the better in previous generations? Why did Jesus deliver the Sermon on the Mount? His standards were too high. He shouldn't have expected so much from people. "I am aware that your precepts in the so-called Gospel are so wonderful and so great, that I suspect no one can keep them", said Trypho, but that didn't keep Jesus and the early Christians from putting forward those precepts and transforming the world by them (Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho, 10). What about the major improvement in literacy that we've seen over the centuries? Too unrealistic. Nobody should have ever tried to accomplish it. We should have just been satisfied with lower literacy rates. After all, most people aren't cut out, wired, gifted, or whatever other language you want to use to handle something like literacy. So, we shouldn't even try. Or how about the recent major decline in poverty across the world? Don't even attempt it. It obviously won't ever happen. Don't even try. And while you're being so apathetic and lazy, add things like the advances we've seen in political freedom, technology, and medicine to the list. Those things won't ever happen either. Don't even attempt it.

Really, though, people are often capable of not just more than they're currently doing, but even much more. That's true in apologetics and in a lot of other contexts in life. There are many contexts in which we don't need to keep the bar where it is or lower it. We need to raise it, and we need to raise it a lot. The fact that people initially resist that raising of the bar doesn't prove that they're incapable of meeting the higher standard. Often, what it proves is that they're sinful and that we need to be vigilant and diligent in keeping the standard high.