Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Harold Camping's Predictions

The United States is still, at the time of this writing, a free country, and I support Harold Camping's legal right to publicly teach whatever he wants. That is not to say that the issues are unimportant, however, and as a Bible believer I would say it is my duty to provide a serious response to them should anyone ask.

Obviously, the apostles did not go around making the predictions that Mr. Camping has been doing in recent years. As I mentioned in another post (at http://bibleissues.blogspot.com/2010/09/christian-theism-only-two-logical.html), whenever someone promotes a teaching which is different than what we have in the New Testament's record of the apostles' teaching, the burden of proof is on the person promoting such a teaching to demonstrate that either it is of apostolic origin or a necessary consequence of apostolic teaching. In order to do that, the person must use sound methodology to make their case. In the debates and discussions available at Iron Sharpens Iron, I have found that Mr. Camping's methodology is seriously flawed to say the least.

I do give Mr. Camping credit for one thing, though. In his teaching he recognizes that a great many people in our culture are so busy pursuing whatever it is they are pursuing, living as if only human opinions about what to believe or how to live are possible, and that the Creator and Judge of all things does not have the right to demand anything from them, even if they want to do some of the things He demands. As a consequence, they have left the most important issue unaddressed--their need to be reconciled to God, in the only way in which He has revealed that they can be reconciled to Him, and this way is found in the pages of Scripture.

Although I do not doubt the sincerity of those who follow Mr. Camping's teachings, if they really believe truth is important, and if May 21st of this year comes and goes without fanfare, I sincerely hope that they will come to their senses and realize that they need to be in the Lord's house on the next Lord's Day, May 22nd, for it is there where they have an opportunity to participate in the Lord's kingdom as He has commanded His people to do.

For an informative discussion of Mr. Camping's teachings, click here. For the testimony of a former follower of Mr. Camping's teachings, click here. For a sermon on the offices of the church, click here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Why Real Christianity is Avoided Like the Plague

Let's be brutally honest about it. In Western societies many people have developed such an aversion to real Christianity that, for all practical purposes, they treat it as if it were some kind of infectious disease. In case you haven't guessed it, by "real Christianity" I'm referring to the kind of Christianity which seriously seeks to understand and submit to the Scriptures, not the nonsense which often passes for Christianity, such as the liberal, non-committal type or the sensational hype.

Why is this the case? As long as people are convinced that they only need to be "nice" to others, that they only need to do more good than bad, and that it really doesn't matter what they believe or if they are committed to anything in particular, they will naturally suppose that they are in good standing with the Creator, and that things will hopefully go well for them in eternity. This being the case, why would they want to get involved in something that demands effort, hard work, stress, and sacrifice, especially if they feel its optional, and that they already have enough of these kinds of things in their lives as it is? What would be the point?

Christianity, however, teaches that this kind of thinking is unacceptable, and that it places people in the worst kind of danger (click here to read about this). Since its so defining for many people's lives, though, anything which challenges it obviously presents a problem, one which is simply too repugnant for some to even contemplate.

Does this mean I'm any better than my neighbor who apparently couldn't care less about Christianity and apparently is satisfied with living apart from God? Let me put it this way. If I had a cure for cancer, I would want to make it available to others, even if those who had cancer were oblivious to their own condition. Since the message of Christianity is infinitely more valuable than a cure for cancer, would it not be desirable to make it available to others as well?

The reason for all the effort, hard work, stress, and sacrifice, then, is not to "win any points" with the Creator or to lay claim to a supposed superiority over others, but rather to promote and to make available a message that is infinitely more valuable than a cure to a dreaded disease. Although its strong medicine to those who need it, its the only remedy for our greatest need, and I see no point in promoting candy-coated imitations which only promote a false sense of security.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Radical Atheism

By "radical atheism" I am referring to that genre of atheism whose proponents insist that a "supreme being" would need to conform to their standards in order to exist, and since obviously no being is conforming to their standards, no such being exists. These "standards" may take on many different forms, ranging from the idea that a supreme being would not allow the suffering which we observe in the world to take place, to the idea that such a being would supposedly have to be comprehensible to human beings or like human beings, which includes being limited by time and space. Of course the source of their standards is themselves, which means that they view themselves as their own highest authority.

Some radical atheists will insist that if a supreme being of some kind exists, it would be morally wrong for such a being to allow human beings to suffer. How they can say that anything is morally right or wrong I don't know. If it would always be morally wrong to allow suffering, however, then we would have to conclude that many diagnostic procedures were wrong. If they then say that only allowing suffering which does not involve any observable benefit to people would be morally wrong, they would be saying in essence that the Creator can have no higher purpose than the purposes of human beings, and that He has no right to do whatever He wishes with those who He created, even if they have rebelled against Him.

Some radical atheists seem to have no intention of budging from their atheism unless a supreme being of some kind communicates with them in a certain way or causes some kind of observable miracle to take place. In other words, this being would have to allow himself to somehow be manipulated or controlled by them. No doubt it hasn't dawned on such people that entertaining the thought of a creature imposing terms on the Creator is the height of absurdity.

Some radical atheists will not take any responsibility for trying to make their case. Instead they will simply say they are unconvinced that any evidence for a Creator exists, and demand that theists do all the work to make their case, and if the so-called standards are not met, the radical atheists go merrily on their way, acting as if they have won the day, when in fact nothing of the sort has happened.

What about the great variety of theistic beliefs? Many theists may have unsubstantiated, contradictory, and even self-contradictory views, but this does not invalidate theism per se. It only indicates that either many kinds of theism are erroneous, or else we live in an irrational universe and there's no point in anyone discussing anything.

In my experience I have found that radical atheists tend to avoid providing meaningful responses to objections to their views, and their objections to theism are often emotional and lack any substance. When given the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialog, they often all of a sudden have something else to do, such as give their goldfish a bath. How tragic it is when people promote errors with such serious implications while at the same time they are unwilling to provide meaningful responses to reasonable objections.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Creation vs. Evolution

I wanted to call this post "Intelligent Design vs. Mindless Macroevolution", but somehow it didn't seem to have the same ring to it. Anyway, since this is such a huge subject, I just want to point out that the theory of macroevolution--that is, alleged evolution from one distinct species to another--is like a religion in that it requires a certain kind of faith. This is especially true because the designs in living creatures, which sometimes seem bizarre, involve such complexity and precision that the best overall explanation is that they were, in their original forms, purposeful designs by an Intelligent Designer (click here to access some videos). Also, for information about Ben Stein's movie on intelligent design, click here.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Western Culture's Spiritual Bankruptcy

Several of this year's White Horse Inn programs speak to Western Culture's spiritual bankruptcy. The program for January 14th critiques a commonly held view of universal religious truth claims in general (click here to listen to an excerpt), and in the January 21st program a potential consequence of this view is discussed (click here to listen to an excerpt). In addition, several ways Christianity is misrepresented are discussed in the February 25th program (click here to listen to an excerpt), and in the March 4th program Rev. Ken Jones presents his critique of how death and dying are commonly viewed (click here to listen to an excerpt).

Monday, November 12, 2007


Is Allah of Islam the same God who is revealed in the Scriptures? Is the Qur'an the word of God? On November 6th of this year Dr. James White presented a case for why the Qur'an cannot be the word of God. Click here to listen (click here to find the source file). Furthermore, former Muslim Sam Solomon presented a case for why Allah cannot be the God who is revealed in Scripture on the October 1st, 2006 broadcast of the White Horse Inn. Click here to listen.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Roman Catholicism

It is commonly held that Roman Catholicism has remained constant, or at least consistent, throughout the ages since the days of the Apostles. On August 8th of this year, however, Roman Catholic apologist Gerry Matatics presented his case for why modern Roman Catholics who wish to be true to their heritage must regard the vast majority of their clergy to be illegitimate. Click here to listen (click here to find the source file). Later that same month Rev. David King presented his case for the view that the early church fathers used Scripture to interpret Scripture, as opposed to appealing to an allegedly infallible teaching magisterium. Click here to listen (click here to find the source file). Finally, Dr. James White says Roman Catholicism itself is illegitimate since, in his view, it has been preaching a false gospel for centuries. Click here to listen (click here to find the source file).