• Apologetics,  Ethics,  Theology

    The Connection between Evolution and Transgenderism

    If one were to turn back the clock 15 or 20 years, the words transgender or transgenderism would not have much (if any) meaning to most people. The push for the cultural acceptance of transgenderism is a relatively recent phenomenon. However, if we think through the secular worldview, which is based in evolution, transgenderism is a consistent outworking of that worldview. The Bible teaches the that the Creator created the entire universe and everything in it in 6 days (Genesis 1). The Bible also teaches that the Creator has ultimate authority over the universe and governs it as He sees fit. Every creature within creation must ultimately submit to the Creator’s law governing that creation. In contrast, the worldview of evolution emphasizes the absence of any design or Creator who gives law and direction. In this worldview, life originated through random chance, and continues to evolve through the principle of…

  • New Testament,  Theology

    Why Do Some People Believe in Hell?

    The NY Times recently ran an article entitled, “Why Do People Believe in Hell?” The opening line states, “The idea of eternal damnation is neither biblically, philosophically nor morally justified. But for many it retains a psychological allure.” In other words, there is no reason to believe in hell except for some psychological brokenness. Later in the article, the author gives the following reason why many believe in hell: “How can we be winners, after all, if there are no losers? Where’s the joy in getting into the gated community and the private academy if it turns out that the gates are merely decorative and the academy has an inexhaustible scholarship program for the underprivileged? What success can there be that isn’t validated by another’s failure?” Needless to say, I have never met anyone who believed in hell because they wanted to see losers in life in order to contrast…

  • Culture,  Theology

    A Brief History of Prisons and Their Failure

    On a recent episode of The Briefing, Al Mohler discussed New York’s plan to spend $9 billion on building new prisons. Mohler included a brief discussion of the history of prisons which inspired me to do a little more research on the issue. Throughout most of human history, prisons were meant to be a temporary arrangement. Prisons in the ancient world were a place where a suspect was to be held while waiting for his case to be heard. For example, Leviticus 24:10-12 mentions the imprisonment of an individual until the verdict had been reached, and the judgment was then administered (cf. Num 15:32-36). Similarly, in ancient Mesopotamian practice, a suspect was often held in the temple until his trial. This pattern is continued in the New Testament era where prisoners were either held until their case was clarified (Acts 5:17-25; 16:23-24), or debtors were kept while they or their…

  • Culture,  Ethics,  Theology

    Socialism and the Bible

    Socialism is becoming popular in the United States, especially among the younger generations. One poll noted that 61% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 thought positively of socialism. Another poll said that 43% of Americans thought some form of socialism would be a good thing for the United States. The popularity of socialism in the United States is due in part to the political popularity of politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but it is also clear that many young people embrace socialism without really understanding what socialism is. Socialism is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” Although there are different variants of socialism, the governmental control over production and distribution is the common denominator in most cases. Thus, the heart of socialism is the…

  • Church,  New Testament,  Theology

    How Many Resurrections are there in Scripture?

    Easter weekend is upon us, and so we celebrate the most important part of Christianity–the fact that Jesus is alive! This is the essence of our hope as believers. Because of Christ’s resurrection we have hope of our own resurrection. I saw an online discussion recently about how many resurrections there are in Scripture, and a question was asked about when OT believers are resurrected. I think it is a worthwhile discussion to have, and I think we can accurately observe four resurrections in Scripture. (This is of course assuming that the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11 and the saints in Matthew 27 are temporary and they die again). But, if you are interested, I have tried to compile a complete list of all the resurrections in the Bible. The Foundation for ALL Resurrection: Christ In 1 Corinthians 15:20 Paul calls Christ the “first fruits” of those who have…

  • New Testament,  Theology

    The Cascade Argument against Miraculous Gifts

    There are a variety of ways to deal with the issue of continuationism (i.e., the belief that miraculous spiritual gifts like prophecy and tongues are currently in operation in the church today). In these discussions I often point to the cascade argument which is well summarized by Sam Waldron in his book, To Be Continued? His argument goes like this. There are no Apostles today. This is an important starting point, and fairly obvious to anyone who reads Scripture. Although there are apostles in the sense of general “sent ones” (cf. Phil 2:25; 2 Cor 8:23), there is also a clearly defined special group of Apostles. These Apostles were: (1) eye-witnesses of the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:22; 10:39-41; 1 Cor 9:1; 1 John 1:1-3), (2) directly appointed by Christ (Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:2; 10:41; Gal 1:1), and (3) were able to confirm their mission through miraculous signs (Acts…

  • Culture,  Theology

    How Can Same Sex Relationships be Wrong?

    “How can same sex relationships be wrong if they don’t hurt anyone?” (Of course when I say same sex relationships I am referring to homosexual relationships, not same sex friendships). This is a common objection to the biblical view that same sex relationships are wrong. The argument is often stated, “If two adults want to engage in a consensual same sex relationship, if there is no harm done, why disallow them that freedom?” The implication of this kind of argumentation is that if something is not harmful, it is good (or at least allowable). However, this argument for same sex relationships should be challenged because of the following two reasons. (1) The issue of harm is distinct from the question of morality. Whether something is right or wrong does not depend on whether it is harmful to other people or not. Just from a logical standpoint we can see this.…

  • Culture,  Old Testament,  Theology

    God Can Use Evil People to Administer Justice

    We often imagine justice being administered by those who hold to God’s righteous standard. In the past, Western culture and society was tremendously influenced by Scripture, and so was influenced by a biblical standard of justice. However, now as the Western culture disintegrates a new kind of morality has arisen—a morality where everyone does what is right in their own eyes. In the world we face today, we need to remind ourselves of the comforting truth that God’s sovereign control is not prohibited from using evil men to administer justice. One of the clearest places this is revealed is in Habakkuk. The book starts with the prophet questioning God about the lack of justice; the destruction, violence, and wickedness that was present in the people of Judah (Hab 1:2-4). Habakkuk’s question is, “Why won’t you do something?” God’s answer was something that would astonish Habakkuk. God was going to use…

  • Review,  Theology

    An Important Primer on Dispensationalism

    Concerning dispensationalism, I have tried to set the record straight by blogging on Beliefs that DON’T Define Dispensationalism and beliefs which all dispensationalists hold to. In keeping with that theme, (and because I know it may be of interest to some), I want to write a brief review of a primer on dispensationalism by Dr. Mike Vlach, entitled Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths. I have really enjoyed this work, and it was just updated this past March (the previous edition is dated 2008). The updated version includes some additional material, including a significant discussion on the differences between dispensationalism and covenant theology (Chapter 5). What follows is a brief review, and I hope it will be helpful. The biggest complement that I can give the book is that it is easy to read. Both times I read it (2012 and 2017) I read it through in one sitting. It…

  • Review,  Theology

    Book Review: Sons in the Son

    This month I had the opportunity to read Sons in the Son: The Riches and Reach of Adoption in Christ, by David B. Garner. I was first interested in the book because it covers a topic that I have not read much on, and it is a topic that is rarely addressed in depth—our adoption in Christ. About the Author David Garner got his ThM at DTS and his PhD at Westminster. He is now the Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster, and is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). One thing I really appreciate about Garner is his obvious desire to wed good scholarly work with the needs of the Church. He has accomplished this union in the welcome resource, Sons in the Son. Layout of the Book The first thing of note is that for a book on one topic (adoption), the book…