Monday, April 30, 2012

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss: Something from Nothing, at ANU

I've seen this event online that took place at an American uni. I'm not sure how much overlap there is in this ANU recording, but it might be worth a watch: Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss: Something from Nothing, at ANU - Vision - ANU:
Critically-acclaimed author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and world-renowned theoretical physicist and author Lawrence Krauss discuss biology, cosmology, religion, and a host of other topics at this event entitled 'Something for Nothing'. This video was recorded at The Australian National University on 10 April 2012.

Fuller Reply to Richard Carrier

Erhman responding to Carrier. Both atheist, both historians. One agrees Jesus existed one doesn't: Fuller Reply to Richard Carrier « Christianity in Antiquity (CIA): The Bart Ehrman Blog:
Carrier, as many of you know, has written a scathing review of Did Jesus Exist on his Freethought Blog.   He indicates that my book is “full of errors,” that it “misinforms more than it informs” that it provides “false information” that it is “worse than bad” and that “it officially sucks.”   The attacks are sustained throughout his lengthy post, and they often become personal.  He indicates that “Ehrman doesn’t actually know what he is talking about,” he claims that I speak with “absurd” hyperbole, that my argument “makes [me] look irresponsible,” that I am guilty of “sloppy work,” that I “misrepresent” my opponents and “misinform the public,” that what I write is “crap,” that I am guilty of “arrogantly dogmatic and irresponsible thinking,” that I am “incompetent,” make “hack” mistakes, and do not “act like a real scholar.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

QandA Or Question Un-answered?

This was a good re-cap of the QandA "debate" between Pell and Dawkins: Articles | QandA Or Question Un-answered? | Phillip Jensen:
"As debaters go, Cardinal Pell was surprisingly good. Most people considered it a mismatch – for Professor Dawkins is such an experienced media debater and performer and the cardinal is not. However, it was the cardinal who rattled the professor with some classic debating tricks such as referring to precise quotes or page numbers. At some points the professor looked uncomfortable, getting angry with the audience and even confessing to jetlag. Naturally, at the end of the debate, each side claimed victory; the atheist trounced the Christian in the eyes of the atheists and the Christian beat the atheist in the eyes of the Christians. But that’s the trouble with debates; they have the appearance of rational discourse and persuasion but generally do little more than reinforce entrenched prejudices."

Did Jesus Suffer the Wrath of the Father for All Sinners, or Just the Elect?

Limited atonement laid out: Did Jesus Suffer the Wrath of the Father for All Sinners, or Just the Elect? by R.C. Sproul Jr. | Ligonier Ministries Blog:
There is a third serious problem with the notion that Jesus died for all sins of all people. Hell. If Jesus atoned for all sins, just for what are the sinners in hell suffering? Those who seek to “protect” God’s integrity by arguing He must treat us all the same end up, accidentally, affirming that God punishes the same sins twice, once on Calvary and again in hell. Some might object in turn that the sinners in hell are being punished for their unbelief. But that too is a sin, and thus would have already been punished. If all sins have been atoned for, they can’t be punished.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Multisite, the Poker Tell and the Importance of Presence

Quite a good article on multistie churches. Why is the band present but not the preacher? Multisite, the Poker Tell and the Importance of Presence - Reformation21 Blog:
"That observation strikes me as being of crucial importance not only to critics of multi-site like myself; but also something with which multi-site advocates must themselves wrestle.  It seems to me (at least on the basis of the anecdotal research which I have been able to do) that nobody in the multi-site world pipes in the music by videolink in the way that is simply assumed as legitimate when it comes to the preacher.  Yet in so doing, it seems to me that such ministries are conceding the importance of presence - of real, physical presence - to the gathering of the church.  They are also begging the question: why have a real band when the most important thing, the preaching, can be beamed in?   Or is it that the preaching is no longer the most important thing?"

Friday, April 20, 2012

How You Can Raise Up Preachers in Your Church

Some good advice. I wonder why multi-site churches don't heed these words and have live preachers in there service and not a guy on a projector screen: How You Can Raise Up Preachers in Your Church | The Resurgence:
"Let me say it again: allow other men to proclaim the gospel of Jesus to your congregation. If you want to raise up preachers in your church, you have to pry your fingers from the pulpit. Share those opportunities with others. Share leadership by sharing the pulpit. It will refresh you and bless your congregation. Train your leaders to preach. "

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Book of Romans in 45 Tweets

It took John Dickson 83 tweets to do Romans: The Book of Romans in 45 Tweets - Desiring God:
"We want to feast on this book. We want to taste the wonders of the Jesus it exalts. We want to deal with its content more and more. So what if we diced up the message of Romans into bite-sized summaries? What if we limited these summaries to 140 characters? What if we served up these summaries through Twitter?"

Infographic: Christianity in Australia

Some interesting stats: Infographic: Christianity in Australia | Communicate Jesus:

Doubting Dawkins on Vimeo

This is quite a cutting video and of cause you could probably do the same with some passages of Ecclesiastes: Doubting Dawkins on Vimeo

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Five irrational myths peddled by lazy atheists

Not a bad article at all on the Punch: Five irrational myths peddled by lazy atheists | Article | The Punch:
Esteemed cosmologist and popular atheist Lawrence Krauss wrote: “It sometimes surprises me, although it shouldn’t, how religious devotees feel the need to regularly reinforce their own convictions in groups of like-minded individuals”.

Churches in Saudi Arabia

"Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim leader recently issued a religious decree calling for all Christian churches on the Arabian peninsula to be demolished, a move that elicited protests from the U.S. government and undermines recent efforts in the kingdom to promote interfaith tolerance."
Churches in Saudi Arabia

Easter Faith

A good quote by NT Wright: Easter Faith:
"But if you say Jesus died and nothing happened but the disciples had some interesting ideas, then you have cut off the branch on which all classic Christianity is sitting. This generation needs to wake up, smell the coffee and realise serious Christianity begins when Jesus comes out of the tomb on Easter morning. This is not a nice optional extra for those who like believing in funny things."

Did the Apostle Paul Target Strategic Cities in His Mission Work?

So much for the "cities of influence" idea that some church planters model off Paul: Did the Apostle Paul Target Strategic Cities in His Mission Work? – Kevin DeYoung:
"(1) Most Greek cities were organized as an independent polis governing their own affairs. The “radiation” effect from one city to the next would have been limited by this independence, not to mention the natural barriers (mountains, rivers, seas) that often delimited cities."

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Biggest Announcement the Martyn-Lloyd Jones Trust Will Ever Make

More free stuff online: The Biggest Announcement the Martyn-Lloyd Jones Trust Will Ever Make – Justin Taylor:
"Starting from tomorrow, April 12th, all 1,600 recorded sermons by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones will be available to download, at no cost, to anyone who wants to listen to them! "

Audio : Together for the Gospel

Free audio from a very good conference. These will be worth listening to: Audio : Together for the Gospel:

Twystematics - The whole of Christian doctrine, 140 characters at a time

This site is worth checking out (and following on twitter): Twystematics

Is Your Church Interested in Becoming a Part of Mars Hill?

The Mars Hill church brand is growing, your church could be one. I'm not sure I am a fan. I am a fan of renewing churches, but not ones that have to be a set brand with the preacher beamed for their sermons: Is Your Church Interested in Becoming a Part of Mars Hill? | Mars Hill Church

Did Jesus Spend Saturday in Hell?

Piper on Jesus in Hell after the cross and before the resurrection, he agrees with Wayne Grudem: Did Jesus Spend Saturday in Hell? - Desiring God:
"I would say, therefore, that there is no textual basis in the New Testament for claiming that between Good Friday and Easter Christ was preaching to souls imprisoned in hell or Hades. There is textual basis for saying that he would be with the repentant thief in Paradise “today” (Luke 23:43), and one does not get the impression that he means a defective place from which the thief must then be delivered by more preaching."

An apology for the “New Atheism”

An academic journal article defending the New Atheists: International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Online First™ - SpringerLink:
"In recent years, a series of bestselling atheist manifestos by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens has thrust the topic of the rationality of religion into the public discourse. Christian moderates of an intellectual bent and even some agnostics and atheists have taken umbrage and lashed back. In this paper I defend the New Atheists against three common charges: that their critiques of religion commit basic logical fallacies (such as straw man, false dichotomy, or hasty generalization), that their own atheism is just as “faith-based” as the religious beliefs they criticize, and that their expressed disrespect for religious belief is immoral."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Questions without answers in the Kingdom of Whatever

The ABC religion page takes a shot at the ABC Q&A law night: Questions without answers in the Kingdom of Whatever – Blog – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Given the choice of panellists, last night's Q & A was destined to be what it was: the vacillation of opposing monologues, interspersed by tediously predictable questions, and smattered with a derisive and frankly disgusting twitter-feed. It is hard to shake the impression that, instead of genuinely informing and contributing to our public conversation, Q & A brazenly went after ratings. If that was the object, then as a stunt it worked magnificently.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Atheist Convert

All Dad's elaborate atheist religion, with its sacred texts, its martyrs, its church militant; all his ostentatious tough- mindedness; all his intellectual machinery; all these things turned to dust. Convinced for decades of his stoicism, he now unwittingly demonstrated the truth of Clive James's cruel remark: "we would like to think we are stoic...but would prefer a version that didn't hurt."

Already an alcoholic, he now made a regular practice of threatening violence to himself and others. In hospital he wept like a child (I had never before seen him weep). He denounced the nurses for their insufficient knowledge of Socrates and Descartes. From time to time he wandered around the ward naked, in the pit of confused despair. The last time I visited him I found him, to my complete amazement, reading a small bedside Gideon Bible. I voiced surprise at this. He fixed on me the largest, most protuberant, most frightened, and most frightening pair of eyes I have ever seen: "I'll try anything now."

Atheist Convert: R.J. Stove

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

NSW's first female Anglican bishop appointed

Sydney Anglicans will not be pleased and will still see Canberra as liberal: NSW's first female Anglican bishop appointed - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
It is a contentious issue for the church; the long list of fellow Anglican leaders at today's ceremony did not include any of the key Sydney bishops.

The Historical Evidence of the Existence of Jesus of Nazareth

Bart Ehman sounds a lot like John Dickson in the Christ Files: The Historical Evidence of the Existence of Jesus of Nazareth – Justin Taylor:
I should say at the outset that none of this literature is written by scholars trained in New Testament or early Christian studies teaching at the major, or even the minor, accredited theological seminaries, divinity schools, universities, or colleges of North America or Europe (or anywhere else in the world). Of the thousands of scholars of early Christianity who do teach at such schools, none of them, to my knowledge, has any doubts that Jesus existed. But a whole body of literature out there, some of it highly intelligent and well informed, makes this case.

30 Things to Remember in Seminary

Not a bad list: 30 Things to Remember in Seminary by Burk Parsons | Ligonier Ministries Blog:
I offer the following thoughts, in no particular order, to the end that my brothers in seminary and all believers training for ministry at whatever level and for whatever ministry purpose might find some of my comments helpful and reflect on these points and pray that the Holy Spirit would grant them wisdom and humility and that he would guard their souls and instill within them a mind for truth and a heart for God.

Selling Boxing Day: Humans As Units Of Production

Not a bad article. What is more important, family time or wealth? Articles | Selling Boxing Day: Humans As Units Of Production | Phillip Jensen:
To argue that we need to open shops on a public holiday to retain jobs is to indicate how brittle our Triple A economy is. We must be in a dire state on the verge of economic collapse! One wonders how we ever survived those years when shops were closed every weekend of the year - from Saturday at noon till Monday morning. We must have been starving!

Noah's Blog

Quite amusing: Noah's Blog | Wittenburg Door