The Bondage of the Will

Is the human will free? The answer to that question deserves a book-length treatment, and many books have been written on the topic. Three of the best are Martin Luther’s The Bondage of the Will, Jonathan Edwards’ Freedom of the Will, and more recently, Scott Christensen’s What About Free Will? Reconciling Our Choices with God’s Sovereignty. Continue reading “The Bondage of the Will”

Why I Trust the Bible (Part 3)

This is part 3 of a series I began several weeks ago. I am on my fifth reason for why I trust the Bible. I am indebted to James White’s excellent book, The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations?, for some of the content of this post.

5. I trust the Bible because of its textual reliability. From the outset, I acknowledge that we do not have the original hand-written manuscripts (autographs) of the prophets and apostles. All we have are copies of copies of copies of copies; you get the point. In fact, we have thousands of these copies of biblical manuscripts. But if we do not have the original hand-written manuscripts of the prophets and apostles, then how do we know that our modern English Bibles accurately reflect the original documents? Continue reading “Why I Trust the Bible (Part 3)”

Why I Trust the Bible (Part 2)

Picking up where I left off in Part 1, this post is Part 2 in a series of reflections on why I trust the Bible.

4. I trust the Bible because the Bible tells me to. Isn’t this a circular argument? Yes, but every appeal to authority is a circular argument. We cannot escape it. If the Bible is the highest authority because it is the Word of God, then there is no greater authority to which I can appeal to justify my belief in the Bible. Perhaps you have heard someone say:

God said it.
I believe it.
That settles it. Continue reading “Why I Trust the Bible (Part 2)”

Why I Trust the Bible (Part 1)

Everyone has a “Bible.” Not everyone has the book containing the old and new testaments that we call the Bible, but everyone has a “Bible.” If by Bible we mean an ultimate source of authority, then everyone has a Bible. Your Bible might be the power of human reason and rationality; it might be your parents; it might be your philosophy teacher; it might be another religious book; it might be the person you see in the mirror, but everyone has an ultimate source of authority. Everyone has a Bible.

I trust the Bible containing the old and new testaments as my ultimate source of authority. Why do I trust the Bible? In a series of posts, I will attempt to answer that question.  Continue reading “Why I Trust the Bible (Part 1)”

Was the Burning in Your Bosom from God?

Thanks to my friend Jason Wallace for producing an excellent video on an important issue pertaining to LDS epistemology. The title of this 14-minute video is, “Was the Burning in Your Bosom from God?” Mormons claim that the truthfulness of their doctrine is confirmed in an individual by an experiential burning in the bosom. This “feeling” is given by the Holy Spirit and, therefore, cannot be questioned. Personally, I believe that most Mormons are sincere when they claim to have this experiential feeling of certitude concerning the trustworthiness of their religion. However, I also believe that they are sincerely wrong. The fact of the matter is that virtually all religions appeal to a spiritual experience or a feeling of certainty to validate their system of beliefs. The problem is that all of these religions teach doctrines that are mutually exclusive and therefore cannot all be right. Anyone with even the slightest amount of intellectual credibility will admit that. Continue reading “Was the Burning in Your Bosom from God?”

“Why were our reformers burned?” Reflections on the Lord’s Supper

Throughout Church history the Lord’s Supper has been celebrated as a sacred meal by churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians in every generation have rightly understood the gospel-centeredness of the meaning of the bread and the wine. Indeed, to distort the Lord’s Supper is to distort the gospel. We need look no further than the English reformers to discover a generation of Christians who refused to relinquish the biblical meaning of the Lord’s Supper, even at the expense of their own lives. Continue reading ““Why were our reformers burned?” Reflections on the Lord’s Supper”

What Religion Would Jesus Belong To?

What religion would Jesus belong to? This was the question posed by Nicholas Kristof in an op-ed piece published in the New York Times on September 3, 2016. Kristof argues that if Jesus were alive today, he would not endorse the type of Christianity reflected in many conservative evangelical churches—a Christianity that emphasizes the importance of theological convictions and doctrinal clarity. Instead, Kristof suggests that the Jesus we meet in the Gospels was less concerned with a “system of beliefs” and more concerned with compassion and service to the needy. Kristof appeals to Brian McLaren’s new book, The Great Spiritual Migration where McLaren argues that modern-day Christianity has migrated away from the religion founded by Jesus: Continue reading “What Religion Would Jesus Belong To?”

Do we need temples today? (Final post in this series)

This is my final blog post in this series examining the question, “Do we need temples today?” If you have been following this series, then you know that we have traced the temple theme through the pages of scripture from the Garden of Eden to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Here is a brief summary of the ground we have covered so far. Continue reading “Do we need temples today? (Final post in this series)”

Will there be marriage in heaven?

Will there be marriage in heaven? Yes, but only one. When the Sadducees confronted Jesus about the resurrection of the dead, they tried to disprove the reality of resurrection by creating an absurd situation involving a woman with seven different husbands (Mark 12:18–27). If a woman has been married seven times during the course of her life, then whose husband will she be in the resurrection (Mark 12:23)? Jesus answered with this statement: Continue reading “Will there be marriage in heaven?”

Do we need temples today? The answer (Part 4)

In my previous post in this series on temples, I considered the function and symbolism of Israel’s tabernacle and temple. We now continue our trek through redemptive history in order to arrive at a biblical-theological answer to the question, ‘Do we need temples today?’ If you have been following this series, you know that I have not yet given an answer to the question. Maybe you have been thinking, “Just answer the question already!” I hear you and thank you for your patience. So do we need temples today? Answer: No, if you are talking about a temple made of bricks and mortar. Yes, if you are talking about a temple made up of people. Let me explain. Continue reading “Do we need temples today? The answer (Part 4)”