Archive for September, 2010

Challenge Response: Is Salvation by Grace Unfair?

Posted: September 30, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Weekly Challenge

Brett interacts with your comments and responds to this week’s challenge:

Answer Every Defense for Abortion: Chart & Video

Posted: September 30, 2010 by Alan Shlemon in Do the Right Thing

It may seem like there are a myriad of defenses for abortion, but they fall into three categories. Here’s a simple way to visualize how to respond to them. Since there are only three kinds of defenses for abortion, there are only three kinds of responses to them.

Every defense for abortion either:

  1. Assumes the unborn is not a human being.
  2. Accepts the unborn is a human being, but denies it’s a person.
  3. Accepts the unborn is human being and a person, but argues that a woman’s bodily rights/autonomy trump the child’s rights.

The diagram below flowcharts these positions and offers a type of response to each. In other words, if you learn the three kinds of responses, then you’ll be prepared to respond to any defense for abortion. In my experience, 100% of the arguments I hear on the street fall into one of these three categories.

Click on the image below to enlarge.

While attending a recent bioethics class at Biola University, I was asked to explain this flowchart. The video of my explanation is below (I didn’t know I was going to present this to the class, otherwise I would have dressed more “professionally.” But don’t get me wrong, I’m all about promoting the Lakers.).

Here’s my off-the-cuff video explanation for this flowchart.

You may already be familiar with these three kinds of responses, but if not, learning them is quite feasible (Trot Out the Toddler, the scientific case that the unborn is human, the S.L.E.D. test, Taking the Roof Off, and responding to the violinist and bodily rights arguments have been explained by Stand to Reason (through Making Abortion Unthinkable) and many others). It’s just a matter of thinking through the flowchart when you’re in a conversation with an abortion-choice advocate, recognizing the position they’re taking, and then responding accordingly. Knowing this, you can respond to every defense they offer for abortion.

hile attending a recent bioethics class at Biola, I was asked to explain this flowchart. The video of my explanation is below (I didn’t know I was going to present this before the class, otherwise I would have dressed more “professionally.” But don’t get me wrong, I’m all about promoting the Lakers. And they are a “professional” basketball team, after all).

Here’s my off-the-cuff explanation for this flowchart.

You may already be familiar with these three kinds of responses, but if not, learning them is quite feasible (The scientific case that the unborn is human, the S.L.E.D. test, Taking the Roof Off, and responding to the violinist and bodily rights arguments have been explained by Stand to Reason (through Making Abortion Unthinkable), Pro-life training???, and many others). It’s just a matter of thinking through the flowchart when you’re in a conversation with an abortion-choice advocate, recognizing the position they’re taking, and then responding accordingly. Knowing this, you can respond to every defense they offer for abortion.

The Virtues of Capitalism

Posted: September 29, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Do the Right Thing, Etcetera

As a follow up to my review of the movie Wall Street, I encourage you to check out Scott Rae’s thoughts on capitalism.  Scott is one of my profs at Talbot School of Theology and a very good thinker.  He was recently interviewed about his new book, The Virtues of Capitalism, at the EPS (Evangelical Philosophical Society) Blog.  Here’s an excerpt:

The Bible upholds the pursuit of self-interest (“look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others,” Phil. 2:4) and even mandates it in places (where Paul cautions the Thessalonians that “if you don’t work you don’t eat,” and that if you don’t take care of your family, you’re worse off than most people. There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of self-interest, moderated by concern for others, and nothing wrong with being successful, moderated by generosity. We also hold that the mandate to care for the poor suggests that capitalism, properly functioning, is the best hope for the poor around the world.

The Bible: A Unified Story of Grace

Posted: September 29, 2010 by Amy Hall in Etcetera

Since we’re talking about grace this week, it’s the perfect time for you to read this post by Dane Ortlund: The Grace of God in the Bible. Dane goes through each book of the Bible, describing in one sentence the grace of God that’s found there. It’s quite something to see all that grace at once.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

John Stott’s Why I Am a Christian

Posted: September 28, 2010 by Amy Hall in Choosing My Religion, God is Real

I just finished listening to the audiobook version of John Stott’s Why I Am a Christian (only 3.25 hours). I’ve always liked his book, Basic Christianity, and I can recommend this one as well…especially since ChristianAudio.com is offering it for $.98 right now. Don’t miss out on this deal!

John Stott has spent a lifetime wrestling with questions about Jesus both personally and in dialogue with skeptics and seekers around the globe. Now in his new book, Why I Am a Christian he provides a compelling, persuasive case for considering the Christian faith.

Last week’s challenge had to do with a complaint about hell and judgment, so for this week, I thought I’d present you with the opposite challenge: a complaint about God’s mercy.

I heard a radio talk show host (not a Christian) express the following about Christianity (paraphrased):

I don’t like the idea that a man can do horrible things all his life and then just repent on his deathbed and go to heaven without paying for what he’s done. That doesn’t seem just to me.

If your friend said this to you, how would you respond? What concepts would you explain? What questions would you ask to draw him out? Can you answer this in a way that preserves the beauty of justice? Give us your thoughts, and tune in Thursday for Brett’s ideas on how to answer this objection.

(Special bonus: There’s a Bible verse this objection immediately brings to my mind. What is it?)

Movie Musings: Wall Street 2

Posted: September 27, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Movie Musings

I offer some thoughts on “Wall Street 2:  Money Never Sleeps,” which opened this weekend:

49% of Protestants Think Mormons Are Christians

Posted: September 24, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Choosing My Religion

More Protestant Christians than not think that Mormons are Christians.  But all you have to do is study Mormonism a little bit to see their radically different views.  God the father was once a mortal man.  God had a god that he worshipped.  Jesus was “sired” by god the father.  Jesus is literally the brother of Lucifer, as well as you and me.  Jesus did not create everything.  Our spirits pre-existed this life.  We can become gods of our own world.  Polygamy is possible in the afterlife.  And on and on and on.

Why do so many Christians think Mormons are Christians?  Either they don’t know Mormonism or they don’t know Christianity.  Or maybe it’s both.  So it’s not surprising to see these kinds of statistics.  But it does speak of the dire need to train our people.

Apologetics Study Bible for Students

Posted: September 24, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Etcetera

Students, have you picked up this resource yet?  Listen to the student interviews in this video and you’ll see why most students need this Bible:

It’s excellent.  And cheap.

Nice work on the challenge, people.  I didn’t have to add too much but just basically quoted you!