The Confident Christian

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 4/8/13 at 8:04 PM | Robin Schumacher

Which Bible Translation Should You Use (Part 2)?

In Part One of this post, we looked at the primary Bible translation methods and described their general approach in rendering a copy of God’s Word. Let’s now continue and start by looking at an example of how the dynamic equivalence and literal/formal differ in just one verse in the New Testament.

The Beginning of the Sermon on the Mount

In Matthew 5, we have the opening lines that kick off Jesus’ most famous discourse, the Sermon on the Mount. The two translation methods deliver the following text:

“Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying” (Matthew 5:1–2, NIV – Dynamic Equivalence). FULL POST

Posted 4/7/13 at 8:59 AM | Robin Schumacher

Which Bible Translation Should You Use (Part 1)?

When Houston’s First Baptist church made the decision last year to formally discontinue the use of the New International Version (NIV) Bible, it resurfaced the sometimes very touchy subject of Bible translations. Despite the fact that many Christians have never given thought as to how the Bible they were given/bought/use was produced for their native language, emotions can surprisingly and quickly run very hot when someone questions the veracity of a particular Bible translation.

Recently I’ve been asked by a number of other believers my opinion on what the “best” Bible translation is, so I thought I’d cover some ground here that can hopefully be used to answer the question in the future for those who wonder about the same thing. FULL POST

Posted 3/27/13 at 6:57 AM | Robin Schumacher

Do the Gospel Resurrection Accounts Contradict Each Other?

How many women were at Christ’s tomb on that first Easter morning – 1, 2, 3, or 5? Were there two angels or only one that announced His resurrection? Did Jesus appear to His followers at Galilee or Jerusalem?

Skeptics of Christ’s resurrection oftentimes claim that the various gospel accounts of Jesus rising from the dead in the New Testament contradict each other. Even some theologians question whether the gospel episodes of the resurrection can be reconciled; for example, listen to Emil Brunner: “The sources contradict one another, and only a ‘harmonizing’ process which is not too much concerned about truth, could patch up a fairly connected account of the events, in which it is only too manifest that the later and less credible witnesses appear more important than the earlier, and more reliable ones. Such a dishonest way of dealing with the subject really has nothing to do with ‘faith in the Word of God’; it only serves to support the disastrous prejudice that Christian faith is only possible in connection with historical dishonesty.”[1] FULL POST

Posted 3/24/13 at 8:23 AM | Robin Schumacher

The Resurrection of Jesus – A Miracle in One of Three Ways

With Easter just around the corner, we all are reminded once again that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a miracle. No matter if you believe in God or not, no matter if you’re an atheist or a Christian, the account and effects of Jesus’ resurrection are truly miraculous.

Non-Christians may scoff at this claim, but let me explain. The resurrection is a miracle in one of three ways – it is either:

  1. A biological miracle
  2. A psychological miracle
  3. A theological miracle

Before we continue, two quick points are necessary. First, options one and two above are purely natural-only explanations of the resurrection and therefore the definition of “miracle” in their case (a highly uncommon / out of the ordinary, but still natural occurrence) is different than the third option, where the Biblical definition of miracle applies. FULL POST

Posted 3/13/13 at 12:29 AM | Robin Schumacher

The Wonder of Unbelief

The ability for a human being to not believe the truth about something can be breathtaking.

Atheists and skeptics of Christianity consistently say that the reason they don’t believe in God is because there is no evidence for Him. If there were just good evidence for God and for the historicity of Jesus, atheists say that would make all the difference in the world – they’d immediately believe.

But is that all there really is to it?

Deborah Lipstadt might have a thing or two to say about that. Dr. Lipstadt, who is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, may not be a Christian or have a dog in the fight of atheism vs. Christianity, but she knows a thing or two about the ability of people to turn a blind eye to evidence when it’s offered to them. Lipstadt is the author of Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, and someone who has spent years studying the ability of people to reject truth.

While most people think that it’s only individuals like Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who casts doubt on whether the Holocaust occurred, Lipstadt discovered that the Holocaust’s historical validity is questioned by a far greater number of people than might be believed. Moreover, she found such denial has not only continued to gain adherents, but it has become a broad, international movement with organized chapters, supposed "independent" research centers (with cleverly disguised names), and various publications that promote a revisionist view of WWII history. FULL POST

Posted 3/2/13 at 3:34 PM | Robin Schumacher

Jesus and the Spiderman Fallacy

An atheist that I was dialoging with last week tried to support his disbelief in Jesus through the use of the “Spiderman fallacy”, which is a contrived argument that has been defined in the following way by Urban Dictionary:

Archaeologists 1,000 years from now unearth a collection of Spiderman comics. From the background art, they can tell it takes place in New York City. NYC is an actual place, as confirmed by archaeology. However, this does not mean that Spiderman existed.

Often used to illustrate the flaw in the assertion by evangelical Christians that archaeologists unearthing biblical cities today "proves" that the Bible was written by a supernatural force.

The Spiderman Fallacy is committed any time the discovery of a mundane element from a myth, legend, or story is taken to mean that ALL other parts of that story, even the supernatural, are also true.[1] FULL POST

Posted 2/24/13 at 9:00 AM | Robin Schumacher

Does God Violate Our Free Will?

In my prior post on free will, we saw that the idea of free will as some Christians define it is not something that can be supported either philosophically or Biblically. I’d like to turn our attention next to another assertion that many believers make, which is that God would never violate a person’s free will. Usually this claim is articulated in one of the following ways:

“God never forces Himself on anyone.”

“God does not drag people kicking and screaming into His kingdom.”

“God doesn’t violate our free will when it comes to making a decision for Him.”

C. S. Lewis put the idea this way: “Merely to over-ride a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo.”[1] FULL POST

Posted 2/16/13 at 7:42 PM | Robin Schumacher

Do You Have Free Will?

Most who reject the Doctrines of Grace (a.k.a. Calvinism or reformed theology), do so because of an insistence that everyone has ‘free will’ to either choose or reject God on their own. Because reformed theology says that no one freely chooses God in and of themselves, some Christians balk and argue that everyone has the ability to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to God.

If you’re one of these believers, I’d like you to consider a few things on this subject beginning with the fact that every choice you make is made freely . . . and that every decision you make is also absolutely determined. A contradiction? Not at all.

Moreover, when you understand this idea of choices being both free and determined, I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that, when you grasp these concepts Biblically, reformed theology becomes very easy to embrace. FULL POST

Posted 2/10/13 at 11:22 AM | Robin Schumacher

The Rage of Unbelief

In a debate that recently occurred between Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. Alex Rosenberg on the topic “Is Faith in God Reasonable”[1], it took Dr. Rosenberg about ten seconds to start insulting his opponent. In fact, much of his opening monologue contained belittling content that many debate reviewers found unnecessary and out of place at such an event.

By contrast, Dr. Craig used the time given for his initial statements to lay out eight reasons why faith in God was indeed reasonable, using both logical syllogisms and other evidential and historical arguments. Never once did he refer to Dr. Rosenberg in a disdainful way, but rather he quoted directly from his opponent’s book multiple times to showcase Rosenberg’s extreme positions on scientism and naturalism, which supported Craig’s arguments. FULL POST

Posted 2/3/13 at 9:36 AM | Robin Schumacher

Addressing the Top Five Misconceptions of Calvinism

Even though I embrace reformed theology (aka “Calvinism”) now, I understand the thinking behind articles such as Dan Delzell’s recent “Infant Baptism and 5-Point Calvinism are Limited”. I grew up under an Arminian pastor who I still deeply respect and admire that would nod in agreement with all the points Delzell makes in his post.

When I first went to seminary, I studied systematic theology under a very well know theologian who espouses what he calls “moderate Calvinism”, which is really an inconsistent form of Arminian theology.[1] At the time, that framework seemed logical to me.

But when I started my Ph.D. studies, I chose as the focus of my dissertation the apologetics of the Apostle Paul. This topic forced me to do something I had never done in my Christian life up to that point: seriously study the doctrines of grace. I’m ashamed to admit I had never actually examined any of the Biblical arguments of reformed thinkers, but had only read what those opposed to Calvinism said that reformed theology taught. FULL POST

load more