Alvin Plantinga’s Introduction to “Augustinian Christian Philosophy”

Dec 18, 2015 | Justin Taylor

What does Christianity have to say to philosophy?

What role does philosophy have in theology?

In short, how should Christianity and philosophy relate?

Alvin Plantinga (b. 1932) is one of the most influential analytical philosophers of the twentieth century. He sees the proper way to do Christian philosophy today as broadly Augustinian—that is, it grows out of Augustinian roots. “What is at issue,” he says, “is not just a way of thinking about Christianity and philosophy, but about Christianity and scholarship more generally.”

He first explored these ideas in print nearly 25 years ago, in a paper entitled “Augustinian Christian Philosophy,” The Monist 75 (1992): 291-320.

More recently, he presented a version of the paper orally at the Society of Christian Philosophers (Midwest Region) and Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology joint conference at Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, IL).

You can watch it below:

Plantinga identifies four elements in an Augustinian Christian philosophy:

  1. philosophical theology
  2. apologetics
  3. Christian philosophical criticism
  4. positive Christian philosophy

The first two are widely recognized and relatively uncontroversial, so his comments about them are brief. Philosophical theology is “a matter of thinking about the central doctrines of the Christian faith from a philosophical perspective and employing the resources of philosophy.” Apologetics comes in two varieties: negative apologetics defends Christianity against its detractors; positive apologetics provides positive arguments for the existence of God.

The second two require Plantinga to give more explanation, illustration, and defense.

Here Plantinga argues that there are “three main competitors vying for spiritual supremacy in the West: three fundamental perspectives or ways of thinking about what the world is like, what we ourselves are like, what is most important about the world, what our place in it is, and what we must do to live the good life.” They are (1) Christian theism, (2) perennial naturalism, and (3) creative antirealism—with its progeny of (a) relativism and (b) anti-commitment. In Plantinga’s view, “The spiritual and intellectual health of the Christian community depends upon our knowing how to think about these ideas and claims; and to know how to think about them, we need the sort of cultural criticism—both inside and outside of philosophy—of which I speak.”

Finally, Plantinga looks at positive Christian philosophy, arguing that “Christian philosophers should address these questions and topics starting from the Christian faith, using all that they know, including Christian teachings.”

If you are interested in philosophy, and especially the relationship between Christianity and philosophy, this is an opportunity to hear from one of the great philosophers of our day.

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The Voice 2015 Winner Jordan Smith Sings, “Mary, Did You Know?”

Dec 17, 2015 | Justin Taylor

Jordan Smith, the 2015 winner of the popular song-contest show “The Voice,” sang for the finale Michael English’s 1991 song, “Mary Did You Know?

Smith is a 22-year-old Kentuckian who attends Lee University, where he participates in the campus choir. (Lee University is located on the original campus of Bob Jones College in Cleveland, Tennessee, and is operated by the Church of God denomination, which combines evangelical, Pentecostal, and Wesleyan influences.)

Earlier in the season Smith also performed “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”

Slate calls “The Voice” “in its own weird way the most religious show in prime time.”

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Two Ways to Watch a Film Version of the Entire Gospel of John, Word-for-Word

Dec 17, 2015 | Justin Taylor

917aW1YLF5L._SY445_The Visual Bible

In 2003, Scottish-Peruvian actor Henry Ian Cusick starred as Jesus in the three-hour film, The Gospel of JohnThe script was an unabridged word-for-word use of the Gospel of John, using the Good News Translation.

The Visual Bible produced similar projects for Matthew (1993) and Acts (1994), which included Italian-American actor Bruce Marchiano—who seeks to bring out the gentleness and approachability of Jesus (at one point he tousles a disciple’s hair!) but fails to convey the depth and gravitas of an actor like Cusick.

The Lumo Project

Now comes the Lumo Project, which seeks to do something similar with all four Gospels.

The Gospel of John is already available, with Luke planned for Easter 2016 and Matthew and Mark planned for Christmas 2016.

Here’s one aspect of Jesus films I’d never considered before—though in retrospect it’s obvious. Some people complain about Jesus being depicted as Anglo with an Anglo cast of characters. But if the film is in English, then it may be difficult to get a cast of actors who speak fluent, undistracting English and yet look like the part of a Mediterranean Jews.

In December 2002 Popular Mechanics reported on scientists and archaeologists using forensic anthropology to reconstruct what a first-century Galilean Semite might have looked like, with the following result:

The way that the Lumo Project solved this issue was by having Selva Rasalingam play Jesus. Rasalingam, whose ethnicity is partly Tamil, looks more like the picture above than the typical Anglo-Jesus version. Furthermore, the actors in the film speak Aramaic (and I assume Latin for certain parts?). But you can’t really hear their dialogue clearly. Rather, you hear the voice of the narrator, British actor David Harewood (whereas the Visaul Bible contains a combination of narration plus the actors saying the relevant dialogue). Harewood is essentially reading the Gospel of John word-for-word (you can choose whether to hear it as NIV, KJV, or in the Spanish Reina-Valera translation) as the actors depict the scenes.

It may not work for some viewers, but I think the approach is intriguing and surprisingly effective.

One exciting aspect of this approach is that the film can be translated with relative ease into multiple languages, since it only requires one voice-over narrator to read the biblical text. The Lumo Project is currently translating the Gospel of John film into  Brazilian-Portuguese, French, Danish, German, Dutch, Spanish, and Finnish.

The film is shot on location in Morocco, and the cinematography is at times beautiful. There is also an appropriate use of CGI to reconstruct the city of Jerusalem from a difference. As a whole, the entire project is a step up from the Visual Bible version.

For readers who are interested, I’ve copied below two scenes from each movie, on the raising of Lazarus from the dead and the last supper of the Christ with his disciples. It’s interesting to take two identical scripts and to see the various acting and directing choices that can be made with the same source material.

And here is the Lord’s Supper in both versions:

By the way, if you have a Netflix subscription, the Lumo Project Gospel of John is currently streaming for free. I don’t know how long that will last.

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Christianity Today’s 2016 Book Awards

Dec 16, 2015 | Justin Taylor

Christianity Today has announced its 2016 Book Awards, which you can read here.

They award a book of the year in each of the following 12 categories, along with an award of merit for each:

  1. Apologetics/Evangelism
  2. Biblical Studies
  3. Christian Living/Discipleship (tie)
  4. The Church/Pastoral Leadership
  5. Culture and the Arts
  6. Fiction
  7. History/Biography
  8. Missions/The Global Church
  9. Politics and Public Life
  10. Spiritual Formation
  11. Theology/Ethics
  12. Her.meneutics

This year they have also started a new category, the book of the year for Beautiful Orthodoxy.

I’d be remiss not to highlight the two Crossway authors whose books were CT’s books of the year in their respective categories.


Christian Living/Discipleship (tied with Jonathan Grant, Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age [Brazos]

J51zf0+uQN9L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_oe Rigney, The Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts (Crossway)

“Too often, we treat delight in the beauties of nature and culture as distractions from the divine, or else consider our spiritual lives cordoned off from the rest of life—our leisure, food, clothes, relationships. Rigney invites us to enter into a more spiritually mature understanding of God’s good gifts, in order to bless God for all he gives, to mirror his generosity, and to model grace and gratitude, whether we have little or much.” —Rachel Marie Stone, blogger, author of Eat with Joy

The Church/Pastoral Leadership

downloadZack Eswine, The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus (Crossway)

“Here is a book so gritty, liberating, godly, and honest that it was hard to put down. Drawing from Scripture, theology, and close observation of life, Eswine describes the life of ministry in a way that unshackles the minister from impossible demands—and all the dread, depression, and burnout that accompanies them. For the minister, this book is full of mercy and encouragement. For everyone else, it reminds us of a glad irony: God chooses to do imperfect ministry through imperfect persons rather than personally doing it perfectly.” —Cornelius Plantinga Jr., senior research fellow at Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Again, you can read the whole list of winners with blurbs here.

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Isaac Wardell: Love, Joy, Light, and Peace—From Christmas to Easter

Dec 14, 2015 | Justin Taylor

In 2009, Isaac Wardell wrote the following lyrics:

Under the babyʼs head she held
Love, love, sing Emmanuel
Lending at His birth, peace on all the earth
See His mother Mary weeping Love, love, love.

Over the shepherds, angels tell
Joy, Joy, called Emmanuel
Born in Bethlehem, good will unto men
Bend before His cradle singing Joy, joy, joy.

Down from the throne of Heavʼn He fell
Light, light became Emmanuel
Covered in our flesh, swaddled in our dress
Wise men see His coming chasing light, light, light

Onto the ground His blood He spilled
Peace! Peace! Cried Emmanuel
Sinners dark and vile, God to reconcile
Spilling love and joy and light and peace, peace, peace.

© 2009 New Jerusalem Music

With an arrangement by Mason Neely and Isaac Wardell, based loosely on the 17th century French tune, “Entre Le Boeuf Et Lane Gris,” Bifrost Arts produced “Joy Joy!!” (feat. Devon Sproul and Paul Curreri) for the album Salvation Is Created:

You can sample and buy the whole album through Bandcamp.

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How to Use the Lord’s Prayer to Pray in the Lord’s Way

Dec 14, 2015 | Justin Taylor

John Piper models it for us in this new four-minute video from Desiring God:

You can find more resources here.

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“I. Howard Marshall (1934-2015): A Tribute,” by Darrell Bock

Dec 12, 2015 | Justin Taylor

Ian Howard Marshall, born on January 12, 1934, died on December 12, 2015, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Marshall, an Evangelical Methodist who was born in England but lived most of his life in Scotland, served as Professor Emeritus of New Testament Exegesis at the University of Aberdeen. He was a prolific author who influenced countless evangelical scholars through his mentorship and writings. One of his former students, Darrell Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, earned his doctorate under Professor Marshall at Aberdeen in 1983. Here is his tribute to the man.


Guest post by Darrell Bock

downloadIf one writes about the life of a scholar, you can expect a list of his books and academic accomplishments. But what is that scholar like as a person? What mark did that leave? When I think of I. Howard Marshall, it is who he was that made him special, not just what he did.

In 1979, my wife and I travelled to Aberdeen to begin an adventure in study that would open up not only gospels study and attention to the works of Luke-Acts, but an awareness that the Christian faith extended its impact around the world in a wide array of ways.

The initial tour guide into that journey was I. Howard Marshall. It had been the works of Marshall in New Testament Christology and a newly published, full commentary on Luke (the first done in more than forty years) that had drawn me to Aberdeen. Here was a mentor who was emerging as the successor to F. F. Bruce (1910-1990), a top flight evangelical teaching in Europe and writing at the highest level of the academic study with a pen that expressed a deep faith in his Lord.

I had expected to see a giant of a man. In fact, Howard reflected the humble Scottish roots of his home. Rather than a six-foot plus giant, Sally and I met a man who she could look at eye to eye, but his welcome and heart was the size of Texas. It was common to hear that he was meeting with students not just to review the current chapter dedicated to their thesis (what the British call a dissertation) but to pray with them. He opened his home to welcome those students and host them, making sure their arrival in Scotland and a foreign land had left them feeling at home.

He engaged in theological discussion and debate as a conservative of deep conviction who demanded that one’s work be thorough but also fair to the views being challenged. He spoke with a soft voice that communicated with clarity and gravity about the way one should regard the Scripture. That captured people’s attention. The depth of his awareness covering a sweep of topics was stunning. Despite all of that ability and knowledge, what struck one about Howard was his humility and devotion to God. His critique was delivered with a gentleness that not only made clear what might be misdirected but also that showed he cared about how that critique was received.

One incident after my time in Aberdeen is still clear to me. On a return visit to Aberdeen, we brought our family with us. Our two girls had been born in bonnie Scotland, but my son had not. It was the first and only time Howard met our son, who was a very young, playful, five-year-old boy at the time. The Marshalls had a tea warmer in the shape of penguin. Another aspect of Howard’s personality is that he had a classic Scottish wit. So Stephen spotted the warmer and was drawn to it. He offered Stephen to let him play with it and got down on the floor with him to share in the moment. Stephen took advantage of his new playmate and promptly placed the penguin on Howard’s head, leaving both of them laughing and my wife nothing short of horrified. But that was Howard, sensitive to where people were coming from with an eye to where they could go. When I remember Howard Marshall, it is this moment that most typifies him as a person.

If you saw him on the street, you would have no idea that here was a person who would impact biblical studies for decades. What you saw was a believer who cared about people so much that his study showed his care. Yes, Howard Marshall was a great biblical and New Testament scholar who could tell you more about Jesus than most, but as a person he was what the Lord calls us all to be, a person who loved God and his neighbor—not just teaching about that connection but showing it.

We will miss him, but never forget the life lessons he taught.


See also the TGC tribute written by another former student, Ray Van Neste.

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Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard Commencement Address

Dec 10, 2015 | Justin Taylor

Harvard Magazine:

In 1974, the Soviet Union deported dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, . . . author of The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in literature. After living in Cologne, Germany; Zurich, Switzerland; and at Stanford University, he settled in Cavendish, Vermont, in 1976.

Two years later, Harvard awarded the 59-year-old Solzhenitsyn an honorary doctor of letters degree and chose him as its Commencement speaker. His address on June 8, 1978, was Solzhenitsyn’s first public statement since his arrival in the United States. Given the suffering he had endured in the Soviet Union, many in the audience expected that the writer’s address would be a stern rebuke to Communist totalitarianism, combined with a paean to Western liberty and democracy.

The Tercentenary Theatre audience was in for a rude surprise.

“The Exhausted West,” delivered in Russian with English translation under overcast skies, chastised the arrogance and smugness of Western materialist culture and exposed the adverse effects of some of those achievements that Western democracies had long prided themselves upon. “The defense of individual rights has reached such extremes as to make society as a whole defenseless against certain individuals,” the author declared, for example. “It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.”

Solzhenitsyn’s brilliant, iconoclastic speech ranks among the most thoughtful, articulate, and challenging addresses ever delivered at a Harvard Commencement.

You can read the complete English translation given that day.

You can watch also watch the speech below (which begins around the 2:00) mark, in simultaneous translation from English into Russian.

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The Star of Bethlehem on Fox News

Dec 09, 2015 | Justin Taylor

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A Crash Course on the Muslim Worldview and Islamic Theology

Dec 08, 2015 | Justin Taylor

Adam Francisco (who has a Ph.D. in Islamic-Christian relations from Oxford University) is professor of history at Concordia University in Irvine, California.

His work on the history of Islam is nuanced and informed. As one online bio notes, “He has a unique ability to see and understand both the difficulties facing Christians who wish to evangelize their Muslim friends and the Muslims who are being asked to come to Christ. Many of his unique insights come from personal experiences sharing his faith with Muslims.”

To get a taste, see the first couple of videos produced by Modern Reformation below, which provide some brief historical background.

If that whets your appetite, you can view four lectures he gave at Faith Lutheran Church in Capistrano Beach, California, on

  1. The Muslim Worldview
  2. Islamic Theology: Part 1
  3. Islamic Theology: Part 2
  4. Islam in America

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The Moody Bible Institute, Business, and the Making of Modern Evangelicalism

Dec 08, 2015 | Justin Taylor


From my Themelios review of Tim Gloege’s Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, and the Making of Modern Evangelicalism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015):

In this engaging and provocative study, Timothy Gloege seeks to show how two generations of evangelicals at the Moody Bible Institute (hereafter MBI) used new business ideas and techniques to create a modern form of “old-time religion,” smoothing the rise of consumer capitalism and transforming the dynamics of Protestantism in America.

In the first half of his book, Gloege examines post-Civil War evangelicalism under the influence of D. L. Moody and R. A. Torrey. Responding to labor unrest in Chicago, Moody (the shoe-salesman-turned-revivalist) strategized with local business leaders to build an army of “Christian workers” who could convert the middle class and restore social stability. In his efforts to create “Christian workers”—the evangelical version of the idealized industrial worker in the Gilded Age—Moody forged new links between economic identity and religious identity.

But when the masses from the working class were not converted and social order was not restored, Moody’s project was in crisis. His conception of the Christian life—a personal relationship with God, guided by a plain reading of Scripture, leading to practical and quantifiable results—was bringing more disorder than order. Instead of joining the respectable middle class, Moody’s working-class converts were becoming Populists (critiquing capitalism and professionalization) or Pentecostal (speaking in tongues and rejecting medicine). Even Torrey, Moody’s most famous evangelistic associate at MBI, had been led by his “plain reading” of the Bible and his “evangelical realism” to embrace faith healing, a decision that tragically cost his daughter her life when he delayed the administration of medicine while she was ill, bringing about controversy and scandal. The death of Moody—one week before the dawn of the twentieth century—can be seen as the death of respectable evangelicals’ hermeneutical innocence. No longer could a plain reading of Scripture be embraced without fear of radically disruptive results.

In the second half of the book, Gloege traces the attempt of MBI to stabilize evangelicalism without depending upon churchly guardrails. This entailed the creation of a modern form of “old-time religion,” much of it owing to MBI board chairman Henry Parsons Crowell (who shifted the operating metaphor from Christian worker to Christian consumer) and dispensational Bible teacher James M. Gray (who popularized an esoteric alternative to Moody’s plain-reading of Scripture).

Just as Crowell’s Quaker Oats business had increased its market share by eliminating wholesalers—who traditionally funneled goods between retailers and consumers—Crowell positioned MBI to reach the end consumer of religion, the respectable middle class, while bypassing the institutional church and her denominations. To do this he used the tools of a consumer culture he had perfected at Quaker Oats: trademark, packaging, and promotion. Quaker Oats won the market through the visage of a smiling Quaker vouching for a “pure” product packaged in a safe and sealed container; so now the moniker of Dwight L. Moody guaranteed the purity of the product MBI was offering to savvy consumers who faced unprecedented choice in the religious market.

In order to carry the day, however, a historical tradition had to be invented that would function as a new standard of orthodoxy—a set of essentials or fundamentals capable of uniting a transdenominational coalition of respectable conservative evangelicals. This was achieved through the publication of The Fundamentals (1910-1915), funded by oil businessman and Biola founder Lyman Stewart and produced under the functional control of MBI.

In the final chapter of the book (before an epilogue that applies the book’s findings to contemporary evangelicalism), Gloege narrates the growing separation between MBI and the World Christian Fundamentals Association. Although they were largely on the same page theologically, key stylistic and political differences emerged between MBI and the militant fundamentalists. The demise of combative fundamentalism among the respectable middle-class was ultimately to the benefit of MBI, whose ministry continues to thrive today, even if it no longer dominates the conservative evangelical market.

For my analysis of the book, you can read the whole thing here.

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A Simple Way You Can Help Get 100,000 Free Study Bibles into the Hands of Leaders Around the World

Dec 04, 2015 | Justin Taylor

From Crossway:

The Great Hunger and Need for God’s Word

So many Christian leaders on the front lines of global ministry are under-resourced, lacking even Bibles and the most basic Christian resources.

To help meet this great hunger and need for God’s Word, Crossway is requesting your help to equip 100,000 Christian leaders with copies of the ESV Global Study Bible, in places where the need is greatest, particularly in India, Africa, and other parts of Asia.

Partner with Us

To accomplish this distribution, we are seeking to raise $400,000 by December 31, 2015. Our prayer is that through the Lord’s gracious provision—working with on-the-ground frontline ministry partners—we can with great efficiency send an additional 100,000 free copies of the ESV Global Study Bible to Christian leaders hungry for God’s Word. For many of these Christian leaders, the Global Study Bible may be the only doctrinally sound Bible-teaching content that they have.

If the Lord should lead you, would you please consider making a gift of support to help provide an additional 100,000 free Global Study Bibles?

You can easily donate here.

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“God Isn’t Fixing This”: Andy Crouch’s Pitch-Perfect Response

Dec 04, 2015 | Justin Taylor

565fbbef1b0000150129f11eChristianity Today executive editor Andy Crouch has a pitch-perfect response to the critique that “God isn’t fixing this” and that politicians and people of faith should stop saying our “thoughts and prayers” are with the victims of the San Bernardino shooting and that action is needed rather than prayer.

Crouch writes, “We can say with some confidence that all the following are true.”

[The bold headings are my summations. What follows are excerpts from each of Crouch’s points.]

[1. Almost all of us naturally express empathy in our familiar terms.]

1.a. When news of a tragedy reaches us, almost all of us find our thoughts overwhelmed for minutes, hours, or days, depending on the scope, severity, and vividness of the loss. This is called empathy—our ability to put ourselves in the place of others and imagine their suffering and fear, as well as heroism and courage, and to wonder how we would react in their place.

1.b. Almost all human beings, whatever their formal religious affiliation, find themselves caught up in a further reaction to tragedy: reaching out to a personal reality beyond themselves, with grief, groaning, and petition for relief. . . .

1.c. Unless the tragedy is literally at our door, this empathic response—call it “thoughts and prayers”—is all that is available to us in the moments after terrible news reaches us. . . .

1.d. It is unrealistic, and arguably cruel, to ask for fresh words in the moment that we are confronted with suffering and loss, let alone horror and evil. Every human being, in these moments, falls back on liturgies—patterns of language and behavior learned long before that get us through the worst moments in our lives. . . .

1.e. Politicians and public figures are fundamentally like all other human beings and have the same basic responses to tragedy. This is true no matter their position on controversial issues of policy (say, gun control). So it is no surprise that they respond immediately, like the rest of us do, with familiar words and phrases that express their human solidarity with those who suffer. . . .

[2. Prayerful lament is right and does not ask God to “fix” things.]

2.a. To offer prayer in the wake of tragedy is not, except in the most flattened and extreme versions of populist Christianity, to ask God to “fix” anything. . . .

2.b. An equally valid and instinctive form of prayer in the face of tragedy is lament, which calls out in anguish to God, asking why the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. . . .

2.c. No honest accounting of history can deny that God, if there is a God, is terrifyingly patient with evil. And yet, over and over, astonishing goodness, holiness, and reconciliation have emerged from even the most heinous acts of violence. . . .

[3. Prayer and action should not be played against each other.]

3.a. To suggest that we should act (though usually without specifying how those of us not physically present could act in the immediate wake of tragedy or terror), instead of pray, therefore, is to ask us to deny our capacity for empathy.

3.b. At the same time, the Bible makes it clear that God despises acts of outward piety or sentimentality that are not matched with action on behalf of justice. . . .

3.c. Therefore we must never settle for a false dichotomy between prayer and action, as if it were impossible to pray while acting or act while praying. . . .

3.d. To insist that people should act instead of pray, or that we should act without praying, is idolatry, substituting the creature for the Creator. . . .

[4. The victims are in our thoughts and prayers.]

4. Therefore the victims of the shootings in San Bernardino, and all those who were caught up in the violence and live this very moment in its awful continuing reality and consequences, and also those who perpetrated the violence, are in our thoughts and prayers.

You can read the whole thing here.

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Does the Bible Support Slavery?

Dec 03, 2015 | Justin Taylor

What do you think is wrong with the following argument?

  1. Bible translations talk of “slaves.”
  2. In the OT no objection is made to having slaves.
  3. In the NT Christians are not commanded to free their slaves but are told to submit.
  4. Therefore, biblical texts approve of slavery.
  5. We know that slavery is wrong.
  6. Therefore, biblical texts approve of something that is wrong.

Remember that when evaluating an argument

  • terms are either clear or unclear
  • propositions are either true or false,
  • arguments are either valid or invalid.

So if you disagree with argument above, you’d have to show that there is

  • an ambiguous term,
  • a false premise, or
  • a logical fallacy (the conclusion does not follow from the premises).

In the lecture below, delivered on October 30, 2015, at Lanier Theological Library, Peter Williams gave a fascinating lecture responding to this argument. Dr. Williams (PhD, University of Cambridge) presides over Tyndale House in Cambridge (one of the finest theological libraries in the world for biblical scholarship) and is an affiliated lecturer at Cambridge University.

His thesis is that using the most common definition of slavery, the Bible does not support slavery.

To make his argument, he examines the key Old Testament and New Testament texts said to support slavery. Along the way, he looks at the biblical words commonly associated with slavery and how their translation has changed over time. He also looks at the logic of the Old Testament world and the way ancient societies were structured quite differently from ours.

The lecture below is under an hour, and then he takes Q&A for around 20 minutes:

For reading on this subject, you could start with the following by philosopher Paul Copan:


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5 Myths about Rosa Parks

Dec 01, 2015 | Justin Taylor


Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 7.41.34 PM

 My piece in the online Washington Post begins:

Shortly after 5 p.m., on a cool Alabama evening 60 years ago Tuesday, a 42-year-old woman clocked out from her job as a seamstress at the Montgomery Fair Department Store. Rosa Parks walked westward along Montgomery Street to Court Square to board the Cleveland Avenue bus to make the 5-mile, 15-minute trek back to her apartment at Cleveland Courts to cook supper for her husband, Raymond.

Encountering a standing-room-only bus and having been on her feet all day operating a huge steam press, Parks decided to cross the street and do some Christmas shopping at Lee’s Cut Rate Drug while waiting for a less crowded bus. Around 6 p.m., as she boarded bus number 2857 at the corner of Montgomery and Moulton streets, Parks was about to change the course of the 20th century.

Here are five myths about what happened that first evening of December in 1955.

Here is an outline of what I cover:

  1. Rosa Parks sat in the whites-only section of the bus.
  2. If Rosa Parks had not moved, a white passenger would not have had a place to sit.
  3. This was Rosa Parks’s first conflict with that bus driver.
  4. Rosa Parks refused to stand up because she was tired.
  5. Parks was the first black woman to exercise civil disobedience on a Montgomery bus.

You can read the whole thing here.

For further reading, I recommend:

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