Category Archives: Apologetics

SLAUGHTERING CANAANITES

I imagine you have had someone raise the question about God slaughtering the Canaanites.  Perhaps you have also struggled with it.

Usually, it is mentioned as one of the hardest things to accept about God.  I am not going to downplay how difficult it is to “make sense” of the slaughtering of the Canaanites, but I find something rather ironic, even some might say comical, about this particular objection.  

When someone mentions this objection as the thing to resolve before they will accept the Bible, I want them to look at my much longer list of problematic truths in Scripture!  Frankly, the Bible is littered with reminding me of my sin.  I don’t like that a bit, but there it is like gravity.  Am I going to leap from my spiritual twenty foot building and find reality on the ground?  Or am I going to trust that God being God is about things very different from me?

WISE EXCHANGE ON CHRISTIANITY’S GOODNESS

That title may cause you to pause a bit, but it shouldn’t.

I should say I am well aware that my schedule allows me to listen to many things most don’t have time for.  Then again, you might find that things like the treadmill allow you to double up a bit on things.  In any case, I really try to offer here the best of the best.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgT3taiOf_M

 

GRAB A STRONG CUP OF COFFEE

Warning, and I am serious: Make sure you are ready spiritually to listen to the eighteen minute clip below.  Bart is the son of the famous, Christian speaker Tony Campolo.  Bart started many ministries, but recently became the first secular humanist chaplain at USC.

Below is the article followed by his short talk.  This is the kind of stuff that motivates me to put together a new seminar called “Listening to Skeptics and Doubters.”  Here is the brief description of that course/seminar.  If you know of a church or any organization who would be interested in having it, drop me a note at davidgemoore@gmail.com.

As Christians we understandably are quick to answer the questions raised by detractors of the gospel. 

In this course/seminar/talk (all options are available), I will certainly offer responses to the objections raised by those outside the Christian faith, but I seek to do something more. 

My approach follows somewhat in the spirit of Christian philosopher, Merold Westphal.  He patiently allowed Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche to bring their various cases against Christianity.  Then he did what most Christians don’t: he conceded that some of their concerns were valid.  Professor Westphal offered answers, but first he gave ample time so these three “masters of suspicion” could speak freely.  

We will look at five challenges to the Christian faith from the nineteenth century.  All five challenges remain with us today:

*Critiques of Christianity from writers like Emerson and Melville along with the serial doubter, poet Emily Dickinson.

*New challenges due to immigration of moving from a largely Protestant nation to more of a “banquet” of religious options.

*Processing the carnage of the Civil War, numerically a 9/11 every day for about seven years!

*Attacks on the Bible from radical scholars which caused many to lose confidence in the Christian faith.

*A new paradigm of origins thanks to Charles Darwin.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/september/deconversion-some-thoughts-on-bart-campolos-departure-from-.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IDoNAWOC5g

LIMITS OF MODERN SCIENCE

Years ago, I had a conversation with a brilliant Stanford MD/PhD student.  He was fascinated with the growing field of artificial intelligence.  It was the late 1980s.  I asked him how the complexity of human beings could come from inanimate matter.  He told me this was a philosophical question and he just did “science.”  It was a dodge, but I can’t even say it was a clever dodge because no one can escape thinking philosophically.  We human beings are constantly wondering what the “good life” looks like so pondering the big questions (what the best approaches to philosophy are all about) is impossible to avoid.  My Stanford interlocutor had confidence in the power of science for less than scientific reasons!  He “believed” in science with a religious fervor which bordered on fanaticism. 

This budding scientist had a working philosophy of science that matter is responsible for everything, even though that becomes illogical.  There are various problems with believing science so called can explain everything.  This view is called scientism.  Here is a good summary of the problems attached to scientism:

It is self–refuting—one cannot prove the statement itself scientifically.  That is, there is no way to use our senses to test whether or not the claim that the senses are our only sources of knowledge is true.  Second, there are a number of things we know that are not known through scientific means: the laws of math and logic, our own consciousness and thoughts, the reality of certain moral claims, and, of course, that God is real. Some of these are actually pre-suppositions of science and, as such, science could not even begin without knowledge of them.

HT: Klaus Issler and J.P. Moreland, “Doubter’s Prison,” interview by Marvin Olasky, World, Sept. 20, 2008, 4 (Internet version).