Thinking Christian

Thinking Christianity for church, home, and community

Why Don’t Scientists Call People Out for Unscientific Scientism?

Posted on Feb 28, 2015

It came up again yesterday in a Facebook discussion: “The historic progress of science assures us that eventually it’s going to be able to answer all the hard questions it hasn’t answered yet.” Those questions take myriad forms. Yesterday it was about how the human brain could explain our mental lives. “Science is progressing, science will solve it.”

This is a version of a view called scientism: that every important question is the kind of question that can be explained by science, and eventually will …

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Was Jesus Wrong About the Time of His Return?

Posted on Feb 27, 2015

This is just a short snippet out of a larger discussion, but I thought it might be worth including here anyway. In Luke 21:20-28, Jesus speaks of the end times. As I was reading it just now, it almost seemed in the first four of those verses as if Jesus was speaking of the fall of Jerusalem as the end of all things, “to fulfill all that is written.”

If that was what Jesus meant, he was centuries (at least!) wrong about the time of …

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SSM Because of Equal Protection? Begging the Question!

Posted on Feb 26, 2015

Two commenters lately have been telling me that same-sex marriage (SSM) is a moral and/or legal necessity because of the importance of providing equal protection under the law.

I’m not sure how that explains it. Here’s why.

Equal protection means the law guarantees equal access to what society and law provide with respect to common goods, for example, housing, employment, voting, and so on. Now it’s clear that housing means the same thing to every person, regardless of color, creed, or sex. So does employment. …

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What’s True About Marriage That Makes It True That Same-Sex Unions Should Be Treated as Marriages?

Posted on Feb 25, 2015

Same-sex marriage advocates are convinced, and want to convince the rest of us, that SSM is a genuine form of marriage, that a given same-sex couple’s closer and binding relationship is or at least can be an instantiation of real marriage, and that this is why it is right for the law to treat it as marriage.

The idea, obviously, is that SSM is really marriage.

Now, this could be true, but obviously it’s controversial. It seems that one thing that could help settle the …

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Irony and Intolerance On Campus: Case Study at UNC Wilmington

Posted on Feb 19, 2015

So there was this student group at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, you see, that was hosting a campus discussion on abortion. Maybe they should have known better than to have tried. It’s a rancorous issue everywhere, with religion right at the heart of the dispute, and of course everyone knows that one side of this debate in particular is pretty hard to get along with. Its people are closed-minded. They believe what they believe, and they won’t listen to anyone else. They have …

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“A Time for Anger? How To Temper Your Temper”

Posted on Feb 18, 2015

My own experiences on this blog led me to reflect on whether these days, when Christians see our familiar world turning upside down, are a time for anger. I don’t have a simplistic answer, but I do have some thoughts in my current BreakPoint column: “A Time for Anger? How To Temper Your Temper.”

Ray Ingles will certainly recognize one of the experiences I speak of in this column. Ray, I hope you’ll see this as a further apology.

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The Spiritual Life of an Apologist

Posted on Feb 18, 2015

My friend Brian Auten at Apologetics 315 has just posted audio from one of the discussions Tim McGrew and I led at Defend the Faith, a conference held at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary early last month. This one is on The Spiritual Life of an Apologist.

For your convenience, listen here:

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Wrong Question: “Wouldn’t It Be Better for the Child If Her Gay Parents Were Married?”

Posted on Feb 16, 2015

One of the common arguments for same-sex marriage (SSM) goes something like this:

“Same-sex couples can adopt children, and in fact many of them already do. Wouldn’t it be better for those children if their parents were legally married to each other? Wouldn’t it be even better if we could all accept the validity of their parents’ marriage, without stigma? (You do believe that marriage is good for children, don’t you?)”

One answer is yes (maybe), I could imagine it might be better …

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Book Review: How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test for Faith, by David Marshall

Posted on Feb 14, 2015

Book Review

How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test: The Inside Story by David Marshall.

(Full disclosure: David Marshall is a friend and a contributor to True Reason, in which he wrote an early, brief form of part of the argument in How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test. This review is based on a draft David sent me before final editing, so I will not be quoting much from it.)

In the earliest days of the church there was a skeptic named Celsus whose …

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