Monthly Archives: October 2013

C.S. Lewis, Myth, and the “E” Word

C.S. Lewis on the cover of Time magazine, 1947.  Did he ultimately find "Evolution" to be compatible or in conflict with Biblical faith?

C.S. Lewis on the cover of Time magazine, 1947, perhaps the most popular Christian apologist of the 20th century. Did he ultimately find “Evolution” to be compatible or in conflict with Biblical faith?

A few years ago, a series of letters written by C. S. Lewis back some seventy years ago came to light that has given scholars some questions as to the Narnian’s changing views regarding the “E” word. By the “E” word, I mean … “evolution”.

The “E” word is generally something you do not say in polite company around many evangelical Christians, unless you want to say something negative. Here at Veracity, we have no qualms over discussing topics related to the “E” word. Yet the stakes are high, as many students of Scripture have noted. Some say that evolution is the greatest threat to the truthfulness of the Christian message. Others, to varying degrees, say that evolution is at least partly, if not fully, compatible with Christian belief.

How do  you sort this all out?  It sure would be helpful to know what one of the most popular Christian apologists of the last one hundred years, Oxford’s C. S. Lewis, might have thought about the matter.
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Jonathan Edwards on Charity Towards the Poor

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), pastor, theologian, philosopher, and .... advocate for a biblical social justice??

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), pastor, theologian, philosopher, and …. advocate for a biblical social justice??

Most people know of Jonathan Edwards as the colonial American preacher of hell-fire and brimstone. I remember reading the mandatory “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” in high school and thinking that this guy had an unhealthy, morbid fascination with damnation. This narrow view of Edwards I had for years is a real tragedy, as this unfairly diminishes the extraordinary intellectual and spiritual contribution of perhaps America’s greatest philosopher.

Perry Miller, an influential Harvard historian and prominent atheist of the mid-20th century, practically rescued Jonathan Edwards from the dustbin of American cultural history. In an age when colonial American Puritans like Edwards were treated with “fundamentalist” disdain, Miller saw in Edwards perhaps one of the most perceptive and wide ranging thinkers America has ever produced. What was it about the 18th century Edwards the Christian that fascinated Miller the atheist?
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Life After Death (Part 2)

“Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.”
1 Corinthians 15:49 (see Dick Woodward’s post)

Rene DescartesHave you ever thought about your thoughts? This may seem like a ridiculous question, but it turns out there is a powerful apologetic argument for life after death that derives from simply understanding that humans have a body and a soul, and that the immaterial element (the soul) is spectacularly different from the material element (the body).

Continuing our review of the Areopagus Journal issue dedicated to Life After Death (Fall 2011), in this post we will explore what apologetics can bring to bear on the subject using philosophy, logic, and history.

The blog text below in italics is entirely the writing of Chad V. Meister.  I have edited out quite a bit of material to fit this format, without (I hope) misrepresenting his beliefs and positions.

Mind, Body, and the Possibility of Life After Death

Various conceptions of the human self have been held in the West, the two foremost being dualism and materialism.  Historically, dualism has been the more prominent of the two.  There are different conceptions of dualism as well, but on one main account the human person consists of two substances, one material (the body) and the other immaterial or mental (the soul or mind).  Rene Descartes (1596-1650) is perhaps the most widely recognized defender of substance dualism.  On his account, sometimes called the Cartesian view of the soul, the soul is an unextended, non-spatial substance, and it is contrasted with the body, an extended, spatial substance.  The soul and body are (somehow) connected to one another, but how an immaterial substance can connect to and interact with a physical substance is a bit of a mystery—a mystery which has often been castigated as the problem of the “ghost in the machine.” Continue reading

Facts & Faith Symposium

Facts & Faith

(A Three-part Vine Life Symposium)
November 10th, 17th and 24th, 2013
6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Williamsburg Community Chapel

The Christian faith is founded in reality.  The events in the Bible really happened, and the Bible is completely trustworthy in all that it reports and represents.  Not completely convinced?  Join us for a three-night symposium entitled Facts & Faith as we present the astounding corroboration of the Bible that is found in science.  The Williamsburg Community Chapel was founded by scientists, who will participate in a facilitated panel discussion to answer questions from the audience after viewing one special video each evening, including:

1- The Case for a Creator (Lee Strobel documentary)
2- Dual Revelation (from Reasons To Believe)
3- Cosmic Fingerprints (Hugh Ross presentation to Willow Creek Church)

Topics will cover: the incredible fine tuning of the universe from cosmology, astrophysics, and biology; the concordance between God’s Dual Revelation in the book of Scripture and the book of nature; and the incredible accuracy of Old Testament writing that is just now being appreciated in 21st century scientific discoveries that even prominent atheists agree can only be explained by the existence of an intelligent designer.  Please join us for teaching and sharing that will definitely lift your appreciation for the veracity of the Bible.

Click here to register (it’s free).  Registration is not required but helps our hosts provide the coffee and seating.

HT: Arlene Vander Loon, Eileen Grant, Jessica Grimes, Marion Paine, Dave Rudy, Clarke Morledge, David Thompson, Dick Terman, Ken Petzinger

The Dis-Comfort of Evolution vs. God

Helpful evangelistic tool or yet another stumbling block for others to hear the Gospel?   Ray Comfort's new video raises a controversy.

Helpful evangelistic tool or yet another stumbling block for others to hear the Gospel? Apologist Ray Comfort’s new video raises a controversy.

Is it ever appropriate for a Christian to misrepresent the beliefs of other people?

Surely, the answer to this is a no-brainer, but apparently a controversy over a recent evangelistic film suggests evidentially that not all Christians agree when this is happening.  Lest you think that I woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning, let me tell you that there is something bugging me here that simply will not go away.

Though I am not overly familiar with him, I understand that Ray Comfort is an apologist from New Zealand with a ministry to reach out to a lost and hurting world. In the summer of 2013, Ray Comfort released a 40-minute video, Evolution vs. God, which is designed to challenge beliefs about evolution and present a case for the Gospel. Comfort interviews science professors and college students who claim to be atheists because of their confidence that science has somehow disproven the Bible. I have had a chance to see the film, but I have a very mixed reaction to it.
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