February 4, 2015
Some believe the Biblical stories were myths or exaggerations. At worst, everything is an invention. At best, just the miracle claims were invented. When you examine the Gospels, however, you find plenty of evidence that the authors were being faithful to what really happened, even when it was embarrassing. Examples abound, including Peter’s denial of Jesus, Jesus calling Peter “Satan,” the disciples not understanding Jesus’ predictions of His resurrection, etc. This is called the principle of embarrassment, and is one of the key principles historians use to judge the historicity of a report.
While reading Matthew the other day, another example of this principle stood out to me in a way it had not before. We are told by Matthew that the chief priests went to Pilate “the next day” after Jesus had been crucified and buried to ask for guards to be posted at the tomb (Mt 27:62-63). Why? Because Jesus had predicted that He would rise from the dead, and they feared that the disciples might come and steal his body from the tomb and then claim Jesus’ prediction had come true (Mt 27:64). (more…)
February 2, 2015
Posted by jasondulle under Odds & Ends
Singing is a spiritual exercise (Psalms; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Few things can open up hearts to God like beautiful music and meaningful lyrics. The effects of music on the soul are nothing short of amazing. That is why virtually all Christian congregations feature music in their services. But what we sing about is just as important as the fact that we are singing. After all, singing the latest Taylor Swift song would not be deemed spiritual just because it was sung in church. Content matters. But not just any ‘ol content that mentions God will do either.
I have been increasingly concerned over the years with the lyrical content of mainstream “worship” songs. Many of our songs suffer from theological anorexia. There’s not enough theological content in them to make the Devil yawn, yet alone choke. They are so generic that one may have a hard time telling what God they are talking about (if God is even mentioned). Then there are the “God of my girlfriend” songs that are spiritually androgynous. One can’t tell whether they are singing about their love for God or their love for their girlfriend. Finally, there are songs some have called “7-11” songs: They contain seven words sung 11 times. If you want to know what theologically robust songs look like, get yourself a hymnal that’s more than 30 years old. They are pregnant with theological substance. (more…)
January 30, 2015
Dr. William Lane Craig has produced another video illustrating a primary argument for God’s existence: the moral argument. Enjoy!
In case you missed his videos on the kalam cosmological argument and the design argument, see here and here.
January 29, 2015
The CA Supreme Court voted on Friday, January 23 to prohibit state judges from being affiliated with the Boy Scouts on the grounds that the Boy Scouts discriminate against gays. Apparently the Court voted in 1996 to prohibit judges from participating in any organization that discriminated against someone because of their sexual orientation, but had an exception clause for youth organizations including the Boy Scouts. That exception has been rescinded. This brings CA in line with 21 other states that have the same prohibition.
This ruling strikes me as troubling for a number of reasons: (more…)
January 12, 2015
One of the most frustrating experiences is trying to talk to someone about God that is apathetic concerning His existence. They are not interested in your arguments or your experience. They are not interested in the topic, or claim it has no relevance to their life. How do you advance the conversation when confronted with a game-stopping attitude like apathy? I don’t think there is any one tactic for stirring someone out of their apathy (it will differ from person to person), but here are some probing questions that may help: (more…)
January 6, 2015
Posted by jasondulle under Holiness
Holiness churches are concerned with preserving the God-given distinction between men and women, and rightly so. That’s why many holiness churches teach that women should wear skirts/dresses and grow their hair long while men should wear pants and cut their hair short. It is ironic, then, that a number of holiness churches do not allow their male members to grow facial hair or view it as unfavorable when facial hair is the only natural, publically visible, God-given distinction between the sexes. While men can grow their hair long and women can cut their hair short, and while men can dress effeminate and women can dress masculine, only men can grow facial hair. Raymond Crownover noted this inconsistency in his response to a paper presented at the first Urshan Graduate School of Theology symposium in May 2002, writing: (more…)
January 5, 2015
Posted by jasondulle under Holiness
Men and women were created differently. The God-given distinction between the two genders should be not be blurred, but preserved and celebrated. That’s why I am opposed to men shaving their facial hair. Facial hair is the only natural, publically visible, God-given distinction between the sexes. While men can grow their hair long and women can cut their hair short, and while men can dress effeminate and women can dress masculine, only men can grow facial hair. It is the unique differentiator between men and women, and thus should be preserved.
Facial hair is part of God’s creative design. And since the ability to grow facial hair is unique to the male gender, it seems obvious that God provided facial hair to men as a distinguishing feature of their gender. If God did not want men to have facial hair, why would He have included it in our design? What makes us think that have the liberty to artificially remove this God-given gender distinction? For a man to shave his face is to say to the Creator, “You did not make me right. This hair on my face was a mistake.” When a man shaves his face, He is violating God’s creative intent and attempting to erase a unique stamp of his masculinity afforded to him by God. (more…)