Archive by Author

Necessarily, Freely, or Contingently

When God ordains the reprobation of a sinner, some believe that this choice must mean that God cannot greatly love the reprobate in history.  If God passes over an individual, it must follow that God cannot entreat that sinner to repent, or love that sinner, or send Christ for that sinner. But this is far too simplistic a notion. When God ordains all things, He exhibits His character in all the varieties of life, truly and really. The ordination rolls out and consists of a wide matrix of secondary causes that dare not be emptied of their significance. It includes a demonstration of God’s love. It includes His sending Christ for them. It includes the depths of God’s goodness, and condescension, and genuine yearnings for them to repent.

But it does not stop there. It likewise includes the sinner’s obstinate refusal, stiff necked rebellion, and awful spurning of Christ. And lest one think this unbelief is little more than the marionetting of a puppet, or the programming of a robot, God ordains the secondary causes to fall out necessarily, freely, and contingently. The sinner does what He wants.¹ And he is really confronted with God’s patience and goodness. All this by […]

When Irony Thickens

I am a fan of Sam Harris’ podcast.  Not only are his interviews superb, but as one of America’s leading atheists, it is good to know what the other side is saying.

Speaking of hearing what the other side is saying, Sam Harris recently had “The Very Bad Wizards” on his show.  See #92.  While talking about the limits of persuasion, Tamler Sommers asked Sam Harris to expound upon the notion of moral certainty.  He found Harris’ strength of conviction surprising.  As a kind of test case, or example, Sommers asked if something like abortion is a moral certainty in Harris’ mind.

The answer and ensuing dialogue is well worth your time.

Begin at 1:19:04.

Underestimating the Genius of God

I am of the opinion that C.S. Lewis’ book Perelandra is a work of genius. The rich allegory, theological depth, and masterful literary style all combine to make this one of the greatest books I have ever read.

But not all share my opinion.  It is not hard to find reviews that, while enjoying the more fanciful features of the story, nevertheless miss the Christian center.  And for that my shoulders slump. They do not have, one might dare to say, eyes to see and ears to hear.

There are layers to Perelandra that require a certain measure of Christian maturity to grasp; a certain macro-theological understanding of Scripture is needed to catch its sweet scent. If a person is only familiar with the merely terrestrial, they will miss the allusions. The subtleties will pass them by like a child reading Jane Austen.

After my latest pass through Perelandra, it occurred to me that life is very much like this little volume. Not in the simple sense that Lewis’ book is meant to tell us about reality. It does that splendidly. I have in mind the idea of underestimating. In the same way that people underestimate the book and fail to grasp its […]

The Compounding Nature of Sin.

A young girl gets pregnant. She is not married. She has no safety net. She suddenly fears the future. She feels the burden. The stigma. She wants to end the pregnancy. She does not have access to an abortionist. She takes matters into her own hands. She finds a crude instrument. She ruptures and bleeds and dies. A doctor witnesses the horror. She tries to save the young girl. She feels the weight of the travesty. She wants to do something. She fights for the pro-choice movement. She becomes an abortionist. She performs thousands of abortions. She feels she is on the right side of history. She comes on a podcast and defends her profession. She tells her story. Her message goes out to thousands. It spreads. And reinforces. And influences. Unto untold ends.

Sin compounds. That is part of its cancerous nature. And this is displayed with terrible potency in the July 15th episode of Unbelievable. It is entitled, “An ex-abortionist and pro-choice doctor debate.”

You should listen, if for no other reason than to be reminded not only of the blight of abortion, but the compounding nature of sin.

A New Book Release- The Case for Utter Hopelessness: Why Atheism Leads to Unyielding Despair

My latest book is now available, and while I have never strongly encouraged people to read things I have written, I would encourage you to consider checking this one out. I think it fills an important niche and could prove quite helpful in a number of different situations.

It is entitled The Case for Utter Hopelessness: Why Atheism Leads to Unyielding Despair.  Yes, the contents are as warm and inviting as the title suggests.

Having spent a significant portion of my adult life wrestling with the claims of atheism, listening and interacting at length with secular unbelief, I wanted to write a book exploring the bitter implications of the worldview.

My contention is quite simple, and I mean this in all seriousness. If it could somehow be shown that atheism is true, I would kill myself. Why? Because life in a Godless reality is utterly hopeless. Meaning is lost in the black hole of pointlessness. Human dignity is sacrificed on the altar of bias. Ethics perish in the whimsical tides of human preference. Rational thought is maimed by unrelenting relativism. And hope is dashed on the rocks of eternal nothingness.

All of these points would force me to shoulder an emotional burden that I could […]

The Troubled Thoughts of a Blind Persecutor

In the early hours of morning, when the sun was beginning to stretch its gaze across the dusty roads of Damascus, Saul sat silent, blind to the eastern glow. His companions sat nearby in the stillness, regarding him with uncertainty.

“Do you want something to eat?”

“No,” said Saul.

“It would be good for you to strengthen yourself.”

Saul made a small motion with his hand.

“Were you able to sleep?”

“A little.”

They sat.

“I have bread here. Do you want some?”

“No,” said Saul.

The companions unrolled the bread from a long strip of cloth and began to eat, saying nothing further.

Saul shifted. He felt the stiff edge of rolled parchments in his garments. They were the letters from the high priest. In all the dizzying events of the past day, he had forgotten they were there. While staring at a wall, his eyes blank and lost, Saul felt the parchments, scraping a finger against a stiff curve. His heart grew heavy and his mind continued to reel.

His companions silently watched as they ate.

——-

It is a wonder to think what Saul of Tarsus thought during the days of his blindness after the Lord had visited him. While the mysteries of the heart remain hidden under lock and key, […]

A Movie

Movie recommendations are fickle. Not only do interests vary, but so do consciences. So if you do not want to have your emotions pulled in painful directions, and if you harbor concerns about the content, which isn’t disqualifying in my mind, then save yourself a few dollars and do not stream this movie.

But if you do want to feel the heart-breaking pain of a child lost in Calcutta, as well as the emotional struggles that typically attend adoption, then the powerful film, Lion, is a perfect fit.

It is a story rooted in truth. It is a story that will make you cry. And it is a story that will make you want to help. Thankfully, there are ways to help. But I leave that for you to consider after watching it.

I do not want to say much more, as it is best to go into movies knowing as little as possible.

So again, the movie is Lion. It has an 8.1 on IMDB and an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.

A Delicious Assortment of Really Interesting Audio (Podcasts are like a box of chocolates!)

What Is Technology Doing To Us?

Privacy And Security

Forbidden Knowledge

Sam Harris is one of America’s leading atheists, and he hosts a very popular podcast called Waking Up.  I almost always find his interviews interesting.  Two recent episodes are especially exceptional.  Naturally the titles will tell you something about the subject matter of each, but do yourself a favor and surprise yourself.  Just click and start listening.  You will be glad you did.

History on Fire: Featuring Dan Carlin

Here is a conversation between two avid historians that interested me greatly.  Note especially their struggle with judging cultural norms and practices in history.

The Reformation: Return to Truth or Tragic Mistake?

One of the better discussions on Unbelievable.  James White converses with Roman Catholic apologist, Peter D Williams.  The level of transparency and degree of communication is what makes this conversation so good.

Are Christians Free To Express Their Faith?

If you haven’t heard Joe Boot before, give this episode a listen.  I just love his clear, strong Christian voice on matters cultural.

 

Is it Possible that God is Actually a Terrible Demon Tricking Us?

Or it is at all possible that we are living in the Matrix?  Or are a brain in a vat?  Be honest!  Is it at all possible?

In this second video (do watch the first if you missed it), I tackle this thorny problem.  Having wrestled with this subject for well over a decade, I do not approach this as a dispassionate Christian.  There are profound implications hiding behind this issue.  So put on your thinking cap and dive on in.