Showing posts with label "Christian Scholars". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "Christian Scholars". Show all posts

Dr. David Geisler On What Could Change My Mind

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Recently Dr. David Geisler struck up a conversation with me on Facebook Messenger after he noticed a tribute I posted to his father Norman Geisler a year ago. LINK. David has a doctorate of Ministries in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary, and is the author (co-authored with Norm Geisler) of Conversational Evangelism: Connecting with People to Share Jesus. This book has gained the high recommendations of Josh McDowell, Ravi Zacharias, Mike Licona and others. He is also the President of Norm Geisler International Ministries. He started messaging me, asking if I had even taken on his father's type of apologetics. Immediately I found out who he was, but as he kept asking questions I got a bit annoyed with his pleasant persistence. So I asked him why me? His response: "John, I consider you to be in a different category than most other atheists. I’m not sure there is anyone out there right now that articulates atheist augments as well as you do. I’m not trying to butter you up. I’m just trying to be honest with you. Why would I want to talk to other atheists?"

Dr. Victor Reppert's Concise Explanation For Why He Believes

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I have allowed Christian scholars to post here at DC without my initial comments. [See tag below]. The following is one single comment left by Dr. Reppert in my combox. I thought it was worthy of further consideration. Dig in. I expect he'll defend what he wrote. I've taken the liberty to number his paragraphs for ease, should you wish to discuss them. Please, no ridicule.

Dr. Kenneth Howell Asks US About Scientism

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Dr. Howell is the author of God's Two Books: Copernical Cosmology and Biblical Interpretation in Early Modern Science.As a Christian he was kind enough to write a post-publication blurb of my anthology The Christian Delusion,saying, "I liked Richard Carrier’s chapter on science. I see within it hope for an advancement of knowledge. When dealing with the ancients, Carrier is superb."

Anyway Dr. Howell values my opinion and the opinions of the commenters here at DC enough to ask us all a question pertaining to an upcoming book. It's about the notion of scientism. I'll comment on it later, but for now, have at it. See if you can explain what it is and why you either embrace it or not. Provide links if you wish. Cheers.

Guest Post By David Marshall On His Recent Debate with Phil Zuckerman

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I have offered several Christian scholars a guest post here at DC. To see them click here. I do so in the interests of letting them speak for themselves in the spirit of dialogue and debate. There is just something about David Marshall I cannot figure out. He seems so nice and congenial at times and yet so, well, ignorant. Still, he's a human being and I find people interesting, even evangelical pseudo-scholars like him. Given some of the comments concerning his debate performances and his indefatigably ubiquitous presence on atheist websites and blogs, I thought I would offer him a chance to address us. I warned him in advance he may not be treated well here, but he can handle it. If nothing else, look at what he writes as a case in understanding the mind of the believer. It was originally an email presumably sent to several prominent atheists. Try to enjoy. ;-)

"Why Christians Should be Reading John Loftus' Books," By Christian Professor Dan Lambert

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Actually, the title to this post of his is much longer: Why Atheists Shouldn't Marry and Why Christians Should be Reading John Loftus' Books: Thoughts On Becoming an Atheist, Critical Thinking, and the Outsider Test for Faith. *Whew* that's a mouthful! [Disclaimer, Dan and I are friends. Yes I have them, in fact, most all of my family and friends are Christians.] I first met him as he was using my book in his class which I wrote about here. He joins other Christian intellectuals in having a guest post at DC, like Douglas Groothuis, James Sennett, Kenneth Howell, Craig Bloomberg, John Haught, and even William Lane Craig (by proxy). LINK. As with the others I'll post it in its entirety without comment (at least initially). So here is Dr. Lambert on the topic above. Comment as you will. He may respond.

Guest Post by Douglas Groothuis on the Problem of Evil

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I have a number of Christian scholars I regard as friends that I allow posting here at DC for comment (hit the tag "Christian Scholars" to see a few of them). Doug is writing his magnum opus titled, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Christian Faith, which should be out by August of this year. He emailed me and asked that I publish a short article of his on the problem of evil which appeared in The Christian Research Journal, asking for comment. He'll have a chapter on this topic in his book too.

After reading it I responded:

James Sennett: "It would not take much to turn me into a Buddhist -- Theravada, that is."

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As many of you know Dr. Sennett and I have been friends since seminary days. He has recommend my book. He has written/edited some significant apologetic/philosophical books and articles. He teaches at Brenau University. In March of 2009 he wrote a blog post at DC where he maintained he was still a believer. Now on Facebook (if you can access it) this is what he said in a post about "25 Random Things About Me." It's number 17. Anyone see a trend here? It's somewhat the same trend I went through (although I went from being a liberal to an agnostic to an atheist). Where will he end his intellectual journey? Who knows? But he is no longer an evangelical, that's for sure. James, I wish you well my friend.

Dr. Kenneth Howell's Challenge to Atheists

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One thing I appreciate when I travel to speak somewhere are the friendships I acquire. I'll tell you this right now that if I had to choose what to believe based on the warm reception I felt at the debate with Dinesh I would become a Catholic. They were all respectful and kind towards me. Kindness does wonders I think. One such friendship I gained was with Kenneth J. Howell, the Director, St. John’s Institute of Catholic Thought, who put the debate together. Among other books he is the author of God's Two Books: Copernican Cosmology and Biblical Interpretation in Early Modern Science. He also has an interesting story since he used to be a Protestant. Here's his challenge and our initial discussion below:

Guest Post by Dr. Douglas Groothuis: "The Straw God: Understanding the New Atheism"

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Douglas Groothuis is a Christian Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary and co-editor with James F. Sennett of the book, In Defense of Natural Theology. [Sennett has recently explained that while he has doubts he still believes, seen here]. Groothuis is presently writing an apologetics book which I think will be the best of the lot and perhaps the standard text for years to come. Here is his submitted essay unedited and without comment:

Still a Believer: James F. Sennett Responds to Questions About His Faith

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I've written about my friend Dr. Sennett's struggles of faith in my book and also here, where in the comments section he replied. The rumor has it that "he's really struggling with his faith." Sennett is the author of a book on Alvin Plantinga, and along with Douglas Groothuis edited the book, In Defense of Natural Theology: A Post-humean Assessment. You can find his books on Amazon.com.

Here is his unedited response to this rumor:

Guest Post Written by Dr. Craig Blomberg on "Why I Am Still a Christian."

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I invited Dr. Blomberg to write a post to challenge us at DC, and he's graciously responded in the interests of a fair discussion of the ideas that separate us. No disrespectful skeptical response to such a respected scholar will be published.

John F. Haught Responds To My Review of His Book, God and the New Atheism

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I am honored, of course, in having a scholar like Dr. Haught write a response to my review. There have been five parts to it: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; and Part 5. Here is his response in full:

Dr. William Lane Craig Responds to Dr. Avalos' Allegations

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The following was sent to me via William Hawthorne in response to Dr. Hector Avalos’ comments on a debate he had with Dr. Craig, seen here.
I'm happy to clarify for Dr. Avalos what I meant by "printer's errors;" the rest of his remarks hardly merit comment.

Since I don't type, I've written all my books and articles longhand, including the book in question. The hand-written manuscript was delivered to a typist, who produced the typescript using an IBM Selectric typewriter with "golf balls" for different fonts. Later this typescript was re-done on a computer. Edwin Mellen Press used the camera-ready copy which I supplied to print the book. Somewhere in the transmission of the text letter-substitutions crept in, resulting in several misspellings. As I said in the debate, I take full responsibility for these spelling mistakes, since it was up to me to proof-read the text. These misspellings have, of course, no impact on the argument of the book. But then Dr. Avalos is less interested in the argument than in impugning the integrity of his opponent.

Such extraordinary ad hominem attacks by Dr. Avalos are unseemly and highly unprofessional and serve, I'm afraid, only to sully his own reputation.

Dr. Avalos' handling of my argument concerning the expression "the first day of the week" (Mark 16.2) well illustrates his modus operandi of half-truth and distortion. As I explained in the debate, the use of the cardinal number rather than the ordinal number violates the conventions of Hellenistic Greek, but not of Aramaic. I even supplied a reference to an Aramaic targum where the very phrase "the first day of the week" is found (Targum Esth. II 3.7) as an illustration. Now the half-truth mentioned by Dr. Avalos is that this targum comes from the period of late Aramaic (A.D. 200-700+). In the scant literature in middle Aramaic (200 B.C. - A.D. 200) we don't have any surviving texts that happen to mention the first day of the week. But we do have texts illustrating in middle Aramaic the convention of substituting the cardinal number for the ordinal number, as in, e.g., "the first month." The fact that no text survives having the very words in Mark 16.2 is thus inconsequential, an accident of historical preservation. That Mark's phrase is a Semitism is widely acknowledged and often remarked on by commentators.
Dr. William Lane Craig