Tag Archives: Doctrine

William Lane Craig’s Defenders Series

William Lane Craig's Defenders Series

Dr. Craig teaches his Defenders class at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia Sundays at 11:15 a.m. (in the Fellowship Hall). If you’re in the Atlanta area treat yourself to some very fine teaching.

Last weekend Marion and I drove to Atlanta to visit our son and daughter-in-law. On the long drive down we listened to William Lane Craig’s podcasts, specifically his Defenders series.

Dr. Craig is one of the premier voices in contemporary Christianity and is quite likely the strongest debater to oppose atheists around the globe. Whether you agree with his views or not, he cannot be dismissed offhand. He has published scores of books, teaches in seminaries, is routinely interviewed in national and international media, and has debated many of the world’s most popular atheists. So it’s somewhat surprising that with all he has got going on he has made a sacrificial time commitment to teach a Sunday school class.

Marion and I popped over to Marietta to sit in on the class and were welcomed by everyone in attendance, particularly by Jan Craig, who is a vital part of her husband’s ministry. We had a warm discussion after the class about how Reasonable Faith functions. It really is remarkable how much they are able to accomplish. The time and financial demands are enormous, so please pray for them and their ministry.

Dr. Craig’s material, including the entire Defenders series, is available at ReasonableFaith.org. The audio files are loaded within a day or so of the class, and the videos are loaded about a month later. There is a large catalog already available online.

If you’ve tried listening to Dr. Craig’s podcasts before, you may have come across some very heady philosophy. After all, he is a professional philosopher. But these Sunday school classes are disentangled—aimed at a target audience of intelligent Bible students, not the academic intelligentsia.

Dr. Craig has been producing his current Defenders series since 2009. This series on Christian doctrine and apologetics has become an epic work. The material is quite refreshing. He presents both sides of opposing doctrinal views fairly and respectfully, without sidestepping his positions. Those of us who have studied under Dick Woodward will find Dr. Craig’s Defenders series to be the perfect complement to Dick’s Mini Bible College series. Dick used to say his goal was to, “Put the cookies on the bottom shelf,” and he was masterful at doing so. If you have studied the Mini Bible College, you might think of the Defenders series as graduate school.

Did I ever imagine I would be interested in Christian doctrine? Nope, never—not many people are, really. But the more I read and study, the more I realize how vitally important sound doctrine and theology are to biblical understanding. Dr. Craig’s Defenders series is not some esoteric exercise for eggheads and theologians, but a profound labor of love that puts the Christian faith within reach of those who are willing to study and think.

If we want to share the Christian faith we must first understand what that faith really is—and we have to be prepared to defend it. The apostle Peter exhorted us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). Doctrine and apologetics…a powerful combination.


HT: Jan and William Lane Craig

An Audible Miracle

Then a Miracle Occurs

The Bible is full of miracles, from Genesis to Revelation.  From the parting of the Red Sea, to the raising of Lazarus, to Jesus’ resurrection—there’s no shortage of the spectacular recorded in the Scriptures.  Regardless of our perspective and biases, we have to process the testimony of miracles.

Truth be told, most of us tend to be spiritual Missourians when it comes to the supernatural.  We may have no qualms about praying for God to grant a miracle, but when someone actually claims to have experienced one we get edgy and uncomfortable. Continue reading

A New New Testament: Are You Serious?

Veracity is all about the Bible: what it is and is not, how it came to be, what it reports and claims, who it describes, and the difference it should make in our lives. Here’s another outstanding post by Dr. Daniel Wallace that gets to the heart of these issues, demonstrating solid scholarship and discipleship in response to yet another agenda to remake Christianity.

Daniel Wallace

Daniel B. Wallace

Just released from the giant publishing firm, Houghton Miflin Harcourt: A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts, edited by Hal Taussig.

The advertisement from HMH distributed widely via email last week was not shy in its claims for the 600-page volume. The subject line read, “It is time for a new New Testament.” In the email blast are strong endorsements by Marcus Borg, Karen King, and Barbara Brown Taylor. Borg and King, like Taussig, were members of the Jesus Seminar (a group headed up by the late Robert W. Funk, which determined which words and deeds of Jesus recorded in the Gospels were authentic). King and Taylor are on the Council for A New New Testament. All of them share a viewpoint which seems to be decidedly outside that of the historic Christian faith, regardless of whether it is…

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Respecting Disagreement

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)

Two Apostles

Two Apostles by Carlo Crivelli, 1475

The apostles Peter and Paul had some famous disagreements.  Ultimately however, it was their shared, unswerving love for Christ that propelled their ministries.

I recently attended a lecture by Dr. Ian Hutchinson, a scientist with impressive technical credentials—and a Christian.  His topic addressed science-faith issues, and concluded with his belief that a Christian worldview is consistent with, and complimentary to, a scientific worldview.  I agree and am thankful that there are scientists of Dr. Hutchinson’s caliber who are willing to share their faith in public forums.  (Let’s be real—who am I to disagree?)

The first question from the audience at the end of the lecture involved the age of the earth and the six ‘days’ of creation.  Dr. Hutchinson’s response was along the lines that the universe is very old (13.7 billion years, again I agree), and that he believes we should not take the creation account in Genesis too literally—that the text is ‘figurative’.  And here we have a fork in the road.  I think it is somewhat dangerous to give up on the text in Genesis too easily, and to ascribe a figurative intent on the part of the author (Moses) when in fact there may be more to the inspired text than meets the eye.

In addition to his work at MIT, Dr. Hutchinson is also a lecturer for the BioLogos Foundation, founded in 2007 by another prominent Christian, Dr. Francis Collins.  These brothers and sisters in Christ adhere to the idea of theistic evolution, which—rather than have my take on this topic—you can read about directly from the BioLogos website.  There are many wonderful Christians who ascribe to the ideas of theistic evolution.

I’m just not one of them.  After studying the matter in detail, I have a different understanding.  I ascribe to old-earth creationism.

Hugh RossDr. Hugh Ross and his colleagues at Reasons To Believe have a great deal to share on this topic.  First, Moses never wrote that the universe was created in six days.  Excuse my provocative statement, but I did it to make a point— ‘day’ is an English word.  Moses did not write in English (which has a million or more words), he wrote in Biblical Hebrew (which only had a few thousand words), and the word that was written was ‘Yom’, which clearly has multiple meanings including the idea of an epoch or age. Continue reading

One Minute Apologist

No way around it, discipleship is a lot of work.  We all wish there were more shortcuts.  So here’s a flyer for those of us pouring through book after sermon after website.

The One Minute Apologist packs a lot of sound doctrine and theology into scores of short video clips.  Check out their Search page and start watching the experts come to the point quickly.  Enjoy!

One Minute Apologist

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