Tuesday, December 26, 2017

4 Things You Can’t Do without Systematic Theology

Before we can understand why systematic theology is essential, we must first understand what it is. There's no single definition of systematic theology, but at its heart it's the discipline captured by the phrase "faith seeking understanding."

Systematic theology builds on the results of biblical theology. Biblical theology is the exegetical discipline that seeks to grasp the entirety of Scripture as the unfolding of God's plan from Genesis to Revelation. Starting with Scripture as God's Word written through human authors—our final authority (sola scriptura) for what we think about God, ourselves, and the world—biblical theology seeks to "put together" the entire canon in a way that's true to God's intent.

Systematic theology then applies the truths gained in biblical theology to every aspect of our lives. It leads to doctrinal formulation—what we ought to believe and how we ought to live—warranted by the canon and done in light of historical theology. 

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What the Creation Museum is Really About

Answers in Genesis opened its much-anticipated, 27-million dollar Creation Museum in rural Northern Kentucky at the end of May 2007, drawing more than half a million people in the first sixteen months and more than three million in the first ten years. Those are impressive numbers. By comparison, the nearby Cincinnati Museum Center, located in the heart of a major Midwestern city, covering a much larger range of subjects in three separate museums, boasting an OMNIMAX theater, and targeting a much broader demographic than just conservative Protestants, had about 1.45 million visitors in 2015. With 20% as much traffic as its much larger secular neighbor, AiG's museum has proved to be a commercial success. Like the YEC ideas that it embodies, the Creation Museum shows no signs of going away anytime soon.

One reason for this is the high production values evident throughout. I saw this for myself, when I visited the Museum scarcely more than three months after it opened. Terry Mortenson of AiG kindly gave me a tour of the operation behind the scenes afterwards, but mostly I walked through the exhibits unaccompanied, attended a well-organized presentation by astronomer Jason Lisle in the technically impressive planetarium, and formed my own conclusions about the methods and the message of the Creation Museum. A few months ago, I commented on the one thing that struck me most, namely, the way in which visitors are shown the YEC view and evolution as separate but equal sets of assumptions, with the scientific evidence impotent to determine which approach actually provides a better explanation. That is best seen in the Dinosaur Dig Site (above), a huge sand box in which two paleontologists, one secular and one a creationist, uncover the same bones with the same techniques but draw very different conclusions about their implications.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Every Book of the Bible in One Word

God reveals himself through his Word. When he speaks, he teaches us what he is like, how he acts, and how he desires us to respond. As a whole, the Bible is about God. It's about God the Father …


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

New Books You Should Know (July 2017)

Editors' note: On average, we publish around 150 book reviews a year at The Gospel Coalition. Ecclesiastes 12:12 rings true: "Of making many books there is no end." It's impossible to read, let alone …


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Saturday, July 01, 2017

Scientific Pantheism and the God of the Physicists

For the theist the large categories of being are God followed by Creation. God is eternal, while Creation began in time and is ontologically separate from God. Creation includes life in all its wonderful and myriad forms. Humans are a special category of life, bearing the imago Dei (Genesis 1:26-27) and uniquely able to worship God and contemplate the meaning of existence. God is transcendent, existing now, existing before the universe and existing forever. God is the "Alpha and Omega ... which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8 KJV). At the same time, the God of the Bible is personal and immanent in Creation and human affairs. For the scientific naturalist there is no personal God, so the most significant category of being is the cosmos—or, for some, the multiverse. As humans are part of the cosmos and its history, the cosmos for theists is not "Wholly Other" with respect to humans, to borrow the famous language of the German theologian Rudolf Otto in his book, The Idea of the Holy (1917).

But what about the scientific naturalist, for whom the Cosmos is the supreme entity or being? Sometimes language used by scientific naturalists suggests that the cosmos has a certain numinous quality, at least at the metaphorical level, but perhaps occasionally at a much deeper level. This is the case, for example, when Carl Sagan begins his 1980 book and documentary television series Cosmos with the powerful words, "The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be" (p. 4). Sagan continues:

Saturday, June 24, 2017

World's Top New Testament Scholar - Christians Need To Read The Gospels Through Ancient Jewish Eyes

I've written here about New Testament scholar N.T. Wright and his most recent book, The Day the Revolution Began. The book was published recently and is now being made available in an online course format. The book (and the course) will bring insights to even the most seasoned student of the Scri...


Meet St. Paul as he Writes to the Romans; A Brief Study to Make it Easy

I love St. Paul and love to write about him and his epistles. I also enjoyed traveling through six countries filming his life story and theology. St. Paul Dictating his Epistle to the Romans to TertiusSt. Paul's Letter to the Romans is often seen as impossible to understand except by theologians ...


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How the King James Bible Came to Be

Precisely 451 years after the June 19, 1566, birth of King James I of England, one achievement of his reign still stands above the rest: the 1611 English translation of the Old and New Testaments that bears his name. The King James Bible, one of the …


The Simple Questions to Ask Every Time You Open Your Bible

I recently sat down with New Testament professor Matthew Harmon to ask him some questions about his new book, Asking the Right Questions: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Applying the Bible …


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What Was Jesus Writing on the Ground?

As a Lawyer, my mind was scrutinizing what the Bible had said about these sins, type of witnesses needed and what really took place here. I was also curious about what Jesus was writing on the ground.

What Was Jesus Writing on the Ground?

While I was listening to the exposition of John 8 with regard to the sin of adultery, courtroom scenario, the advocate and the conscience etc., as a Lawyer, my mind was scrutinizing what the Bible had said about these sins, type of witnesses needed and what really took place here. I was also curious about what Jesus was writing on the ground (some say sand).

Monday, June 05, 2017

Reasons We Don’t Read the Bible Like We Should

1. The Bible is optional 2. Many church leaders don't expect us to read the Bible 3. All we hear is mission and vision 4. Google faith 5. Failure 6. Your parents don't read the Bible 7. Bible bullies 8.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Holy Communion – A Multi-Dimensional Perspective

I personally know of many who have got completely healed of their serious sicknesses such as cancer because of regular intake of Holy Communion. Not to forget the large number of Saints who lived long years only taking communion as their food. These could not have resulted if it were simply a symbolic ritual.
Holy Communion – A Multi-Dimensional Perspective
Over the years many have asked me to explain what exactly happens at Holy Communion because we have heard of so many varied explanations from diverse church backgrounds. Here I explain in a simplified article taken from a fuller main research available elsewhere from a multi-dimensional perspective where I believe it is a new state of consciousness caused by the living elements in of Holy Communion functioning in a separate dimension among the ten dimensions currently seen in string theory research.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Gets a Release Date

Divinity: Original Sin II will be coming out of early access and receiving a full release on September 14, 2017. In its 37th update video on developer Larian Studios' YouTube page, we now finally have the full release date of the sequel to 2014's Divinity: Original Sin. Original Sin II had a succ...


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Selected Sayings

Most will misunderstand the Antichrist’s ‘mark’–will you?

Many wonder what 'mark' or marks may be associated with the final Antichrist. But few understand who the final Antichrist can be, let alone his mark. And relatively few will properly perceive it. The …


The Holy Sepulcher: Archaeology says the Evangelists were right

O​n October 20th, 2016, one of the most exciting events in centuries took place: the opening of the marble slab guarding the place tradition claims was the tomb of Jesus, inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

Underneath that slab there was a second slab, also of gray marble, containing a slit along its side and bearing a Lorraine Cross. Most likely, this is from the time of the Crusades, from the beginning of the 12th century.
Once the second slab was removed, the surprises began, according to testimonies gathered from different sources. Right below this slab, a fundamental piece of the site was discovered: an ordinary stone bench excavated in the rock that is directly connected with the vertical wall, also excavated in the rock behind it.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Vatican astronomer: If you're afraid of science, you don't have faith

"Those of us that are religious, will recognize the presence of God, but you don't have to make a theological leap to search for the truth," Br. Consolmagno said. "There are many things we know we do not understand. We cannot be good religious people or scientists if we think that our work is done."

The summit is also taking place in recognition of Fr. Georges Lemaître, the Belgian physicist and mathematician who is widely credited with developing the "Big Bang" theory to explain the origin of the physical universe.

Addressing common misconceptions surrounding the Big Bang, such as the idea that it did away with the need for a creator, Br. Consolmagno said the solution isn't just to put God at the beginning of things and call that good, either.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Denisovans, Humans and the Chromosome 2 Fusion

With that as background, we are now prepared to appreciate a new finding that comes from genomics work done on the Denisovan hominids, an archaic species that is more closely related to Neanderthals than to us, but that nonetheless interbred with some anatomically modern humans as they migrated out of Africa and populated the globe. (For those not familiar with the Denisovans, or the evidence for our interbreeding with them, both Darrel Falk and I have written on this previously, here and here). Recently, a more detailed understanding of the Denisovan genome was published, and nested in the new information is the discovery that the Denisovans share the 46 chromosome set with the same fusion that we have. This strongly supports the hypothesis that the fusion event predates the separation of our species. If we were to represent this on a phylogeny, we can now place this event with more accuracy than before ..

Monday, April 10, 2017

Has the dark matter mystery been solved?

Unseen dark matter has been invoked several times to solve problems in astrophysics and cosmology. Historically the most significant problem has been the rotation curves of galaxies, particularly spiral galaxies. Using the Doppler Effect the speeds of the stars and gases in the disk regions of spiral galaxies can be measured. See Figure 1.

By now hundreds of thousands of galaxies have been measured this way. What is observed is that the speeds of the stars, and the gases beyond where the stars are observed, are much greater than it would appear Newtonian physics allows for. 

As a result it has been suggested that there is an invisible halo of cold non-interacting matter. This putative invisible halo has the needed gravitational effect on the stars and gases but it cannot be seen, hence it is called dark matter. Dark matter is alleged not to be normal atomic matter, made from protons and neutrons (which are known as baryons), but some sort of slowly moving (cold) exotic non-baryonic matter. Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) were suggested.

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Science of God Conference

The Professor and the Prophet in an exclusive exploration of the marvels of God….Join us in this discovery.
Looking at the vast expanse in the cosmos above or the depths of the blue oceans below, they speak volumes of the splendor of God who was directly involved in His creation. As humans we marvel at the enormous complexity which is breathtaking. God also gave us wisdom and an enormous capacity to explore His creation, which today tell us specific details of the "how" and "what" of His creation.
As he unleashes His love and shower His glory upon us, we obediently study His word, get closer to Him and adore Him day by day for this beauty and marvel of this creation.
Here is your opportunity to take a tour of the specific examples from the field of science , a deeper exposure to His word and a chance to bathe in His love and Glory
While we tackle issues, such as, the Big bang, expanding universe....

quantum theory, Fibonacci sequence, Uniqueness of His blood, DNA, Heart intelligence and more, you will also have adequate time to worship, release your addictions and hear from Him.......
Join us at Hotel Taj on 29 April

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How to Fine-Tune Arguments for God’s Existence

One of the main points Bussey develops in his book is based on the following observation:

"At the very least, our own planet must be of a suitable kind, located in a suitable region of the universe, such that human life is possible on it. This is obviously true, and there are many planets for which it is not true, drawing our attention to the fact that not all planets can generate advanced life. Much more significant is the fact that for us to be here, the universe itself must have suitable properties. (...) This statement is normally called the "weak anthropic principle"' (p.94).

The emergence and continued existence of complex life in our universe is fragile. I believe this can trigger a genuine sense of wonder about Creation that can ultimately point to God. However, it appears to me that Bussey's way of presenting the argument is not "fine-tuned" enough to actually do the job.

For starters, we need to focus on the big picture. Together, the laws of nature form an integrated whole that sustains the complexity of conscious life. It's easy to get lost in the details by compiling a long list of properties of the universe that are precisely suitable for complex life on earth. Bussey writes: "With the complex history of the universe kept in mind, we are in a position to write a basic 'shopping list' of conditions that would allow a planet with advanced life to form" (p.96)He goes on to list about ten physical constants that are "right" within ranges that appear to be quite narrow.[1] I am sceptical of reliance on the narrow range of these physical constants. A hypothetical alien race in a hypothetical parallel universe might be wondering about completely different constants that were essential to its development. It is more relevant to emphasize the entire structure and pattern of our universe that sustains the complexity we observe. That beauty is essentially what triggers the "wow factor."

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Challenging the Standard Models of Science and Faith

As someone with a passion for understanding the relationship between science and theology, I've read innumerable books on the subject. In my experience, book-length introductions to the science and theology conversation often resort to surface-level tropes about the general relationship between the fields, rarely presenting the core debates in more than a cursory manner. Jim Stump's Science and Christianity: An Introduction to the Issues, on the other hand, presents the actual academic arguments in the key debates, and in a manner accessible to non-experts while still being scholarly enough to satisfy even the seasoned academic. The book covers topics as wide-ranging as young-earth creationism and Intelligent Design, cosmology, divine action, the soul, and the problem of natural evil. In other words, the book is remarkably comprehensive in the range of debates it covers, without sacrificing clarity and nuance.