Category Archives: Islam

(podcast) with Dr. Tim Keller: Who is this Jesus?- Open Forum

Who is this Jesus- – Open Forum (click here)

Now that we’ve entered the Christmas season, I want to share four podcasts over the  (you guessed it), four weeks leading up to the Big Day from Dr Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.

If you click on the audio above, it will not only take you to some fascinating content but some excellent resources as well.

Enjoy.

***You can now access, download and/or subscribe to all of our podcasts through itunes. Just go to the itunes store. In the horizontal menu toward the top, click podcasts. Then type into the search box johnnypricemindfield. Click and there you are. Thanks, again, for checking it out.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Apologetics, Atheism, Christmas, Islam, Jesus, Johnny Price Mindfield, Podcast, Podcasts, Religion

(podcast, with notes) Apologetics, Part 1: How to Know Truth and Evaluate Competing Worldviews.

How to Know Truth and Evaluate Competing Worldviews (click here)

I am very grateful to Rev. Chris Daniels of the Richmond Center for Christian Study for allowing me to offer to you this five-part series on Christian apologetics: “Exploring the Nature of Reality: Seeing How a Biblical View of the World is Reasonable, Reliable and Fits Reality as Nothing Else Does”

Presented by Rev. Chris Daniel, Executive Director of the Richmond Center for Christian Study

This apologetics course is designed to give roots to the faith of Christians, assist seekers in their quest for truth, and gently and respectfully challenge those who hold to competing worldviews.

Originally presented spring semester of 2010 on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, the first lecture is entitled, How to Know Truth and Evaluate Competing Worldviews. It runs 43:15, followed by Q&A.

For more information on the Richmond Center for Christian Study, go to http://richmondstudycenter.org

***You can now access, download and/or subscribe to all of our podcasts through itunes. Just go to the itunes store. In the horizontal menu toward the top, click podcasts. Then type into the search box johnnypricemindfield. Click and there you are. Thanks, again, for checking it out.

AND TO HELP YOU EVEN FURTHER, HERE IS AN OUTLINE:

Why should I care about truth?!

  • Truth is inherently valuable.
  • Often detrimental to be out of touch with reality.
  • Truth is accessible to the average Joe on the street.

How to know what’s really true… three principles…
1) Reality Principle
2) Bias Principle
3) Certainty Principle

Reality Principle
1) The truth is really there.
2) It is really knowable.

  • To deny this principle is self-defeating…
  • To say “truth is not there” is to make a truth claim, which of course, undercuts the statement being made.
  • To say “truth is not knowable” is, again, to claim to know something true, which again undercuts the claim being made.
  • The moment you try to deny this principle, you affirm it.

Bias Principle

  • How we interpret the facts tends to be influenced by the perspective of the world we already have.
  • We must recognize our various biases (in all fields of life – science, culture, spiritual, etc.) and always be open to the facts as they present themselves to us and be willing to have our perspectives changed by them.

Certainty Principle
How certain do you have to be before you believe something to be true?

How knowledge works:
1) You can’t know anything to be true with absolute certainty.
2) Absolute certainty is not required for you to know something to
be true. Sufficient certainty is all that is required.

There comes a point where you’re sure enough about something that you
can rest in the knowledge that it is true and thus become responsible to act
upon it. So we can’t wait until absolute proof is presented before we will believe
something to be true, but must be willing to consider the facts and go
where they reasonably seem to lead.

How to Test a Worldview

Cultural Context – many views of reality
(Humanism, Buddhism, Modernism, Christianity, etc.)

Cultural Drive – affirm all beliefs
Why this is impossible…
1) Various worldviews often contradict each other at the core.
So it is not possible that they could both be true.
2) Since there is only one reality, only the worldview that fits the
reality we all live in can be true. All other worldviews would be
painting a picture fundamentally different than that reality, and thus
would be false.

Fundamental Question – “Is this worldview consistent with reality or not?”
Three Tests…
1) Test of Logical Consistency – Is it consistent with itself?
If this worldview represents reality, in order to be consistent with
reality it has to be consistent with itself.
2) Test of Historical Consistency – Is it consistent with history?
History tells us what the world has been like up to this point, so if a
worldview is going to fit reality, it will have to be consistent with history.
3) Test of Experiential Consistency – Is it consistent with life as it presents
itself to us?

If a worldview is going to fit reality, it is going to have to fit the data
that life lays out before us.

Postmodernism

  • Says “everybody decides for himself what is true and what is right.”
  • You hear Postmodernism when you hear people say things like… “That’s true for you, but not for me” or “You have your truth, I have mine” or “That’s just your personal belief.”
  • Core truth claim → There is no overarching truth that applies to everybody.
  • In claiming that there is no overarching truth that applies to everybody, Postmodernism is making an overarching truth claim that applies to everybody.
  • So, Postmodernism fails the Test of Logical Consistency and fails to fit reality.

Naturalism

  • Says “matter and energy are all there is.”
  • You hear Naturalism when you hear people say things like… “Everything has to have a ‘scientific’ explanation [which is often code for ‘Naturalistic’ explanation].”
  • Problem → Naturalism doesn’t fit our corporate experience of life.
  • Life presents itself as including relationships, commitment, love, hate, etc.
  • But Naturalism does not have room for these things. (Atoms can’t love, energy can’t hate.)
  • So, Naturalism fails the Test of Experiential Consistency and fails to fit reality.

Islam

  • Depends on the notion that the Bible has been fundamentally corrupted.
  • Why does Islam depend on the Bible being corrupted? 1) Islam affirms that the Bible is the Word of God. 2) There are core contradictions b/t Islam and the Bible today.
  • So, when could the Bible have been fundamentally corrupted? 1) Before the Koran was written (7th cent.)?

The Koran itself refers to the Bible as a reliable document.
5:47 – “Let the People of the Gospel [Christians] judge by what
God hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by the light of
what God hath revealed, they are no better than those who rebel.”
5:68 – “Say: ‘O People of the Book [Jews and Christians]! Ye have
no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law [OT], the
Gospel [NT], and all the revelation that has come to you from
your Lord.’”

  • This option would lead to a fundamental contradiction,causing Islam to fail the Test of Logical Consistency.

2) After the 7th century?

  • We now have a massive amount of NT manuscripts dating as far back as the 2nd century and OT manuscripts dating back even earlier that are virtually identical with our Bibles today.
  • This option clashes with what we now know as a matter of history,causing Islam to fail the Test of Historical Consistency.
  • Since there is no time in which the Bible could have been fundamentally corrupted, which Islam depends on, Islam as a worldview cannot fit reality.

What About Tolerance?!

  • Modern understanding of tolerance: “You can’t say that someone else’s beliefs are wrong! If you do, you are being intolerant!”
  • Historic understanding of tolerance:  You should be willing to live peacefully and respectfully with those you believe, and even say, are wrong.
  • Modern understanding undercuts itself… It says that it is wrong for you to say that someone else is wrong.
  • This, of course, fails the Test of Logical Consistency, and thus cannot be an approach that fits reality.
  • Historic understanding of tolerance is actually consistent with the teaching of Jesus, and is how we ought to approach others and their worldviews.

The Call of Jesus

  • John 1:17 – “The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
  • Grace and Truth must be held together when evaluating different worldviews, and when relating to the people that hold to them.
  • If we hold onto truth without grace, we beat people up with our words and we fail to follow Jesus who was called “the friend of sinners” and who humbled himself even to the point of death on a cross.
  • If we hold onto grace without truth, we find ourselves no longer in touch with reality, but rather blinded by a pretend world that doesn’t match the real world as it actually is.
  • 1 Peter 3:15 – “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have [referring to Truth]… but [referring to Grace] do this with gentleness and respect.”

Resource Recommendations
Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics
Tim Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults
Fritz Ridenour, So What’s the Difference?
James Sire, The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog

4 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Atheism, Islam, Jesus, Podcast, Podcasts, Religion

Christophobia: The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World

Last week (February 13) the cover story on Newsweek Magazine concerned “The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World”. Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali refers to it as “The Rise of Christophobia”. She says “From one end of the Muslim world to the other, Christians are being murdered for their faith.”

The entire article is at the following link, as well as a variety of responses from readers.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/02/05/ayaan-hirsi-ali-the-global-war-on-christians-in-the-muslim-world.html

But here are some key highlights, all quotes from Ms. Ali’s article:

  • Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.
  • The media’s reticence on the subject no doubt has several sources. One may be fear of provoking additional violence. Another is most likely the influence of lobbying groups such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation—a kind of United Nations of Islam centered in Saudi Arabia —and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
  • …the scale and severity of Islamophobia pales in comparison with the bloody Christophobia currently coursing through Muslim-majority nations from one end of the globe to the other. The conspiracy of silence surrounding this violent expression of religious intolerance has to stop. Nothing less than the fate of Christianity—and ultimately of all religious minorities—in the Islamic world is at stake.
  • The newest such organization is an outfit that calls itself Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sacrilege.” Its aim is to establish Sharia in Nigeria. To this end it has stated that it will kill all Christians in the country.
  • The Christophobia that has plagued Sudan for years takes a very different form. The authoritarian government of the Sunni Muslim north of the country has for decades tormented Christian and animist minorities in the south. What has often been described as a civil war is in practice the Sudanese government’s sustained persecution of religious minorities. This persecution culminated in the infamous genocide in Darfur that began in 2003… Reports from the United Nations indicate that between 53,000 and 75,000 innocent civilians have been displaced from their residences and that houses and buildings have been looted and destroyed.
  • Egypt is not the only Arab country that seems bent on wiping out its Christian minority. Since 2003 more than 900 Iraqi Christians (most of them Assyrians) have been killed by terrorist violence in Baghdad alone, and 70 churches have been burned, according to the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA).
  • The 2.8 million Christians who live in Pakistan make up only about 1.6 percent of the population of more than 170 million. As members of such a tiny minority, they live in perpetual fear not only of Islamist terrorists but also of Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws.
  • Not even Indonesia—often touted as the world’s most tolerant, democratic, and modern majority-Muslim nation—has been immune to the fevers of Christophobia…
  • Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, deserves to be placed in a category of its own. Despite the fact that more than a million Christians live in the country as foreign workers, churches and even private acts of Christian prayer are banned; to enforce these totalitarian restrictions, the religious police regularly raid the homes of Christians and bring them up on charges of blasphemy in courts where their testimony carries less legal weight than a Muslim’s. Even in Ethiopia, where Christians make up a majority of the population, church burnings by members of the Muslim minority have become a problem.
  • The old idea of the Ottoman Turks—that non-Muslims in Muslim societies deserve protection (albeit as second-class citizens)—has all but vanished from wide swaths of the Islamic world, and increasingly the result is bloodshed and oppression.
  • As for what the West can do to help religious minorities in Muslim-majority societies, my answer is that it needs to begin using the billions of dollars in aid it gives to the offending countries as leverage.
  • Instead of falling for overblown tales of Western Islamophobia, let’s take a real stand against the Christophobia infecting the Muslim world. Tolerance is for everyone—except the intolerant.

Leave a comment

Filed under Islam