Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday March 31, 2013

Hello Evangelist Temple and guests. Happy Resurrection Sunday. We are here today to celebrate the fact that our savior and master gave his life to redeem us from sin and death and then picked up His life again three days later. We don’t have a lot of time today and to be completely honest any one of us could stand up here for years nonstop covering what God has done for us. Today, I’m going to try to keep this more manageable. I have three topics I have been given to share with you all today. 

  1.    Why Did Jesus have to come and die and be resurrected
  2.      What was Jesus thinking about as he hung on that cross for you and for me? 
  3.        What should you do about it?

Number 1.
For those of you who don’t know, I often have the opportunity to hear and read and watch the opinions of nonbelievers. It’s a blessing. In hearing the pathetic attempts used to deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ you can learn a lot about God and humanity. For example: have you ever stopped to think about why Jesus had to die? It’s an important question and in many ways the one question that matters when all is said and done.  I mean why couldn’t God just wave his hand and somehow forgive our sin such that no one dies or suffer? For some people it is because questions like these that they miss being saved. If you don’t know the answer to this question, shouldn’t you know? It’s not like we have an excuse for not knowing. God had made sure that scripture contains the answer for this question. Let’s kick this around for a short period of time.
Well, let’s look at a person before they come to faith in Christ. The Bible says:

22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. – Romans 3:22-31

The scripture is clear. All people are sinners. Sin is the deeds and thoughts we have that go against who God is and what God’s standards are. This passage tells us what God did despite our sin. He saves us by presenting Jesus as an atoning sacrifice and held off on punishing sin so that we can experience God’s righteousness giving us this salvation through faith in Jesus. Those of us who think that forgiveness of sin is an easy thing don’t understand how bad sin is. Sin is sin. It doesn’t matter how trivial you think it is or how small. All sin has the same result:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23

Let that sink in. Because of our sin we deserve death. Not just physical death but total separation and no fellowship with God. The kicker is that we have earned it. But eternal life is a gift to us through Jesus. But this gift is not cheap. It was so expensive that it cost Jesus’ suffering and death.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. – Romans 5:6-11

We were his enemies, but Jesus still chose to die in our place. In theological terms, this doctrine is called “Substitution”. Life for Life. Instead of the full measure of the wrath of God being brought upon us for which we so deserve, Jesus took the brunt of it for it. All your sin. All my sin. For everything we have ever done. Not just us after his sacrifice but for every human being that has ever lived or will ever live. Think about how good God is. Look at how much Jesus loves us. He is innocent. But he paid for us. Every lie you or I ever told.  Every evil thought and desire. Every mean thing. Not just big things – like rape and murder, but even the things we think are small things. God doesn’t make such distinctions. Neither you nor I are less a sinner than anyone else. No, Hitler is not worse than you. It’s all abominable to God and will send you straight to hell.
Let’s look at it from another point of view. We’ll use one of my favorite words in King James Version of the Bible: propitiation.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:10

In a lot of newer translation the word ilasmon (“hilasmos” G2434)   as “atoning sacrifice” instead of “propitiation”.  Unfortunate because in today’s world you won’t find many people using the word “propitiation”. I’ve been trying to work it in to every day conversation but haven’t been able to make it fit. The word carries with it the notion of appeasement or satisfaction.  It’s more than atonement – making up for an offense. Jesus turned the wrath of God away from us. He gave us peace with God – we no longer have to be God’s enemies.

I don’t have time to go into detail of how just how awful the details of Jesus’ crucifixion was. From a historical point of view, you have to understand the point of Roman crucifixion was humiliation and torture. Jesus did not just die for us - he was tortured and suffered in our place. That should have been you and me on that cross not him. The idea was to show everyone just how powerful Rome was and how much of a nothing that person who was being executed was considered to be in the eyes of the state. It was shameful and not discussed in polite circles. But God took that and based our lives around it. Look at this this way: crucifixion was so horrible that they had to invent a word back then to describe how painful it was – “excruciating”. Today, one of the best ways to understand this in a visual way is Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” from 2004. Just remember the film makers toned it down a lot – they needed an R rating. 

No one else was worthy. Jesus – God incarnate – had to be the one. Our blood is tainted by sin He was sinless. Neither you nor I could pay for our own sin. Sin is that bad. When we sin we do violence to ourselves, everyone around us, and worse to God. This is what makes hell necessary. Only an eternal punishment is penalty enough against an infinite God. The Son had to take on human flesh and live among us and pay the penalty for us. 

It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you were not pleased. – Hebrews 10:4-6

Okay this take us to the second thing I have to bring up to you today. We know what Jesus was thinking about as He hung on that cross. Here is one of the things he said:

And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). – Mark 15-33-35

Both Mark and Matthew record this saying. Many people think this mean that the Father turned
His back on Jesus because the Father is too holy to look upon sin. Some Muslims and Atheists use it to reject the whole account because they reason that God could never turn his back on one of his own. Each of these viewpoints really upset me and in the interest of time, instead of demolishing these ideas let’s focus on what Jesus did here. Jesus knew the time had come for him to die and yet he wanted to communicate something important with his last breaths. He quoted a scripture – Psalm 22. In first century Judaism, Jews knew the scriptures so well that when they wanted to refer to a scripture they would quote the first phrase or sentence and everyone would know what they were referring to. After all in Jesus’ time there were no Chapter and verse divisions like we have them now.

So what does Psalm 22 say?

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest.[b]
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.[c]
In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
    “let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
    since he delights in him.”
Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me;
    strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
    open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
    it has melted within me.
15 My mouth[d] is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
    you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs surround me,
    a pack of villains encircles me;
    they pierce[e] my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.
19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.
25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
    before those who fear you[f] I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek the Lord will praise him—
    may your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!

If you take the time to read the Psalm, you recognize that the speaker can’t be King David, although we think he wrote it. David describes what happened to Jesus! And David lived about 1000 years before Jesus! Jesus is saying “I’ve won this!” In John’s account, Jesus said “It is finished.” It is one word in Greek “Telos” and it is equivalent to “Viola”. The one thing you can say after completing a masterpiece.
Finally, what should be our response?

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10: 9 -13

We make it so difficult but it’s not. If reach out to Jesus in faith he will not reject you. And as for those of us who have been “appointed for eternal life” (Acts 13:48) what is your response after you have turned away from your sins and thrown yourself on the mercy of God? Here is a start.

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

We study the scripture and depend on God for the rest. I feel the need to make one last appeal to all of us. We must put our faith in Jesus. He is everything. Without him we have nothing and we are nothing. Please…..Please….consider Jesus’ words.

23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” – John 8:23-24

If you believe that Jesus is the one who came and paid the debt of sin, you are saved. You can’t express it any more plain than Jesus did. Let us end with a quote from Paul who understood how central Jesus is for us.

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Another Really Bad Argument

Just because something is "Legal" or "Illegal" does not make it good, moral, or right.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Debunking Christianity: Is Homosexuality Sinful? Yup

I am amazed how John Loftus likes to pretend to be Biblically literate and yet he thinks that the following graphic depicts the correct way to understand the Bible.  I mean really? Really?

The other thing is that the graphic is kind of old. The first time I saw this was August of 2012 and it was completely debunked (irony intended) by Dr James White and Dan Guinn. Here is more info.

Debunking Christianity: Is Homosexuality Sinful?

Debunking Christianity: "What Justifies the Scientific Method?"

Recently , John Loftus posted a link to a discussion between Dr Stephen Law and Dr Richard Dawkins.  Their discussion was around how do we know the scientific method works and is reliable.

I think the discussion misses some very important distinctions. It's sad that professors of philosophy and science can miss these. The distinctions are between the scientific method and natural materialism.  One can accept one and not the other. They treated these ideas as the same thing. They are not. The scientific method is the methodology for coming to scientific conclusions. These conclusions are not always correct and it is the conclusions that I take issue with not with the Methodology. The other thing to remember is that natural materialism is not the same thing as the method. It is a conclusion that some have erroneously drawn based on methodology that we all agree has it's flaws and can take a long time to arrive at reliable conclusions. Science and Technology such as computers, airplanes, medicine, cars, and other things are not dependent on the assumption of Natural Materialism. They are not the same thing.

Debunking Christianity: "What Justifies the Scientific Method?"
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Answering Muslims: Muhammad in the Bible - Debate

Check out this debate on the question can Muhammad be found in the Bible.

Answering Muslims: Muhammad in the Bible - Debate

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Eight Issues That Do NOT Make or Break Christianity - Apologetics 315

Recently I ran across an article on Apologetics 315 by C. Michael Patton. He writes an article about what he thinks are 8 subjects that often divide Christians and are often mistaken for drop dead arguments against Christianity. It's an important article. I really have to disagree with him on the inspiration of scripture, the flood, and the inerrancy of scripture. Here is the article.

Eight Issues That Do NOT Make or Break Christianity - Apologetics 315

Dr James White commented on this article last Thursday. Listen to it from this link:

Yesterday on the Dividing Line
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

2016: The Year of the Zettabyte [infographic]

Source: via Marcus on Pinterest

FacePlant of the Day - Does 2nd Peter Copy Jude?

Ryan Anderson has made the following challenge:
Well, considering that these passages are the same, it demonstrates it's [2 Peter has the same passages as Jude] more likely than not...

2nd Peter / Jude
1:5 / 3
1:12 / 5
2:1 / 4
2:4 / 6
2:5 / 5
2:6 / 7
2:10-11 / 8-9
2:12 / 10
2:13-17 / 11-13
2:18 / 16
3:2f / 17f
3:3 / 18
3:14 / 24
3:18 / 25
Let us try to cut Ryan Anderson a little slack and assume that he mean that 2 Peter quotes Jude word for word but only that 2 Peter was influenced by Jude. Keep in mind that Anderson has come to the conclusion that 2 Peter was not written by the Apostle Peter based on:

Because of these two premises, 1) The Epistle of Jude post dates Peter's death and 2) 2nd Peter is dependent upon the Epistle of Jude.  But again, I don't know that, it's just that both of those premises have far more support than their inverse making them more likely true than not. [quoted from his comments at this link

He has assumed that if 2  Peter was written after Jude and Jude was written after Peter's death and 2 Peter lifts its content from Jude then 2 Peter could not have been written by Peter. I completely disagree because no one can show that Jude was written after Peter's death (faceplant worthy in itself to base an argument on a premise that you can't show is relaible) and it's not true you can show that 2 Peter likely copies Jude.  In order to make that argument you have to think that 2 contemporary Christians would not agree on the same things and make similar points...independently of one another.  I ain't got enough faith to believe that. Let's look at the list Ryan Anderson has copied out of a book somewhere and see his premise makes sense.  It makes me wonder if he ever bothered to read the passages himself.

2 Peter 1:5 / Jude 3

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; - 2 Peter 1:5 (NIV)

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. - Jude 3 (NIV)

Would Peter and Jude both want to encourage their fellow Christians? I think they would. I also don't think they are talking about the same thing.  You can't contend for the faith without adding goodness and knowledge to yourself, but "contending" seems to mean more than that. When you contend for something you are struggling against opposing forces. While Peter would no disagree with this, he seems to be referring more closely to his admonition to "make your election sure" - examining yourself (see 2nd Peter 1:10) People who make such arguments seem to forget that Paul makes the same admonitions and encouragements in many of his letters.

2 Peter 1:12 vs Jude 5

 12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. - 2 Peter 1:12 (NIV)

 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord[a] at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. - Jude 1:5 (NIV)

Both Peter and Jude were writing to believers. You can't be a believer if you don't know what they are talking about.

2 Peter 2:1 vs Jude 4

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. - 2 Peter 2:1

 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[a] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. - Jude 4.

There are false prophets today just like among the people to whom Peter and Jude wrote.  Of course, they would want warn their people. It's more interesting to me that this warning is also good for today.

2 Peter 2:4 vs Jude 6

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment; - 2 Peter 2:4

And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.  Jude 6

Ryan Anderson seems to be under the mistaken thought that the Book of Enoch was a gnostic book given that that he had also said that there is a gnostic influence here. I disagree. Beside the Book of Enoch predates all of the New Testament and Gnosticism. No way. And given that the Book of Enoch was a cultural force at that time of course Peter and Jude would refer to it. There is no reason why they would not. Their audiences would have been familiar with it.

2 Peter 2:5 vs Jude 5

if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; - 2 Peter 2:5 
Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord[a] at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe - Jude 5

Again both Jude and Peter would use the flood story to demonstrate their point - the same point in different word.  They were all familiar with it.  Would  you expect one of them to use the TV show Lost  as an example? I would not.

2 Peter 2:6 vs Jude 7

if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; - 2 Peter 2:6

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. - Jude 7

Accusing one of copying the other because they use the same story to illustrate the same point is really sloppy scholarship. If anything it shows that the authors expected their readers to be familiar with the same stories and believed the same things.

2 Peter 2:10-11 vs Jude 8-9

10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh[a] and despise authority.
Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from[b] the Lord.- 2 Peter 2:10-11

In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”[a]
- Jude 8-9

Again Peter's audience would have been familiar with the stories both he Jude are alluding too and both are in a Jewish context. Each knew that their audiences were familiar with Jewish scriptures. Assuming that someone writing several generations would write the same way is way too far to stretch. 

2 Peter 2:12 vs Jude 10

12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. - 2 Peter 2:12

10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. - Jude 10

Sounds like both Peter and Jude are describing godless atheists for today. Why would they not the same thing about people like that? Nothing here make it likely that 2 Peter came a long time after Jude.

2 Peter 2:13-17 vs Jude 11-13

13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.[a] 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer,[b] who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. - 2 Peter 2:13-17

11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.
12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. - Jude 11-13
Here Peter and Jude make the same point but makes it differently.  Again no reason to think 2 Peter came way after Jude and Peter's death. Certainly Peter would have known about these examples.
2 Peter 2:18 vs Jude 16

18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. - 2 Peter 2:18

 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. - Jude 16 

They both are making the same point. I really wish people like Ryan Anderson would listen to Peter and Jude.

2 Peter 3:2f  vs Jude 17f

Both Peter and Jude were looking forward to Jesus' return and his final victory of sin. Why would they both not talk about it? Nothing there supporting Ryan Anderson's premises. 

2 Peter 3:3 vs Jude 18

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. - 2 Peter 3:3

18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” - Jude 18

Kind of looks like Jude quoted Peter this time, not the other way around.

2 Peter 3:14 vs Jude 24

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. - 2 Peter 3:14

24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—   - Jude 24

Jude is making a farewell greeting praising God for who he is and what he has done for us who believe in him. Peter is admonishing us to do our part. No contradiction and two different point being made. Both are true.

2 Peter 3:18 vs Jude 25

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. - 2 Peter 3:18

25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. - Jude 25

In 2 Peter Peter ends his letter the same way Jude does. It's similar to how Paul so often ends his letters. Praising Jesus and identifying his deity. They were just on the same page and agreement. In no way does this list show that 2nd Peter wasinfluenced by or copied from Jude. In order to come to that conclusion you have to frontload yourself with the assumption that 2 Peter was not written by Peter and that Jude was written first.  Faceplants all around because you can't demonstrate that either of these are true. You have to assume them first.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Truthbomb Apologetics: Video: The Case for the Existence of the Soul by J.P. Moreland

Over at Truthbomb Apologetics Chad posted the following video from Dr JP Moreland. It's really good and begins to answer some of the issues into today's culture regarding the nature of the human soul.

I agree with much of what Dr Moreland says in this video. The problem I had was that he made no distinction between "soul" and "spirit". This is a major problem because the Bible makes a distinction so we should make a distinction also. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Thessalonians 5:23 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12
Truthbomb Apologetics: Video: The Case for the Existence of the Soul by J.P. Moreland

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tony Stark has a complicated relationship with...Morality

There is this great article I found on Tumblr exploring Morality through Iron Man in comics. It's really interesting exploring philosophy through fictional characters. The article even compares Iron Man's view of morality with Captain America.  They are friends and teammates but their worldviews sometimes conflict and makes you question your own worldview or at least think about what your worldview is. Here is a passage from the article.

The poster boy for deontology in the Marvel universe (and arguably one of the many icons for deontology and conventional morality in our own universe) is Captain America. As I said, most of the time there doesn’t have to be a conflict between the two schools of thought. The Crimson Dynamo is attacking New York? Stop him. Apartment building on fire? Rescue the inhabitants. The hard cases arise in situations like… Oh I dunno, you predict America’s ruin at the hands of a burgeoning super-hero population, unless you can regulate them in some way. Or perhaps universe after universe is cascading into one another, threatening your planet, your dimension, and even the entire multiverse. 
Whatever the case may be, Tony will do what he has to do to achieve the outcome that’s most beneficial. Captain America will do the right thing. Tony has to destroy a world to save the universe? He probably will, because the universe is something worth defending. Captain America on the other hand, well, destroy a world? How can you even consider that? It’s just plain wrong. It’s Cap’s view that tends to be the more conventional one as well, for the most part. He’s considered a paragon of virtue for a reason. Superman is much the same as a DC equivalent. These are both heroes who are for the most part, deontological in their reasoning.
The article makes some valid points. I think that somethings are truly wrong and good consequences is not enough to justify doing something wrong in the first place. Sometimes choices are tough. The article does not discuss the World War Hulk storyline, but in it the Hulk return to take vengeance on  Iron Man and some other heroes who tried to exile the Hulk into space.

At one point, Iron Man said "Sometimes, you have to play god",  I think that this sums up Iron Man's character and the article sums it up well.  He is willing to do whatever he has to do, even bad things he will feel guilty about later, in order to get the best results as he sees them.  Although I like reading about Iron Man it's not the king of Morality that I think that should be lived out - although there people who think this way.

Tony Stark has a complicated relationship with...
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