Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lectures in the Philippines

Recently I spent two weeks in the Philippines. I had been invited by Pastor Glimar (Glem) Melo to give a series of lectures on "Science and Christianity". I gave these lectures three times, at three different locations.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Defective Case for Biblical Faith

How should we defend the faith? Dr Douglas Groothuis, professor of philosophy at Denver Seminar, addresses this question in his recent book, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (IVP Academic, 2011). At 752 pages, this is a rather massive volume. It is quite readable, and contains much useful material. Unhappily, in my opinion, it has some serious flaws.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guest Post: Herm-and-you-ticks

[This article appeared earlier in Una Sancta (Feb.8, 2014), a magazine of the Free Reformed Churches of Australia (FRCA). Dr Anderson, a pastor in the FRCA, gives another useful analysis of the Hermeneutics Conference in Hamilton. He has permitted me to post it here].

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hermeneutics Conference Overview

The Hermeneutics Conference (Hamilton, Jan.16-18, 2014) is now long over (see previous post). This conference featured speakers from the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary (CRTS) and the Theological University of Kampen (TUK) of the Gereformeerde Kerken Vrijgemaakt (GKV), the Dutch sister-church of the Canadian Reformed Church. The main purpose was to debate traditional Reformed hermeneutics versus the "new" hermeneutics advocated by TUK.

Monday, December 30, 2013

God's Two Books and History

In discussions regarding origins, it is often asserted that God reveals truth through two books: His Word ("special revelation") and His works ("general revelation" or "nature"). Since God is the infallible author of both, they cannot contradict each other.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hermeneutic Showdown in Hamilton?

The Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary (CRTS) is currently advertising a conference entitled "Correctly Handling the Word of Truth: Reformed Hermeneutics Today", scheduled for Jan.16-18, 2014 in Hamilton, Ontario.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Combining Adam and Evolution

Can we harmonize an historical Adam with evolution? Many Christians believe so. Consider, for example, a recent Christianity Today article, "Where Did We Come From?", by Pastor Andrew J. Wilson. According to Wilson, Genesis says nothing about Adam and Eve that is contradicted by Darwinian evolution.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

No Bible for Christian Academia?

What role should the Bible play in Christian scholarship?

Only a very minor one, according to various Christian scholars.

Dr David van Drunen (professor at Westminster Seminary West, and OPC minister) argues that Scripture plays a major role only in theology, whose primary role is to interpret and explain special revelation.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Creation Days - Real or Analogy?

Are the creation days real days - or not? This has become a contentious issue in Reformed and Presbyterian circles.

In recent posts, Rev. G.I. Williamson (retired minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church) defends six-day creation, whereas Dr Vern S. Poythress (professor at Westminster Theological Seminary) favours analogical days.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Creation, QIRC, and QUACK

Dr Scott Clark (Associate Minister at Escondido United Reformed Church, and Professor at Westminster Seminary California) does not believe that God created the world in 6 historical days. Nevertheless, he still considers himself to be solidly Reformed. He is thus strongly opposed to those who affirm creation in 6 historical days as the only valid Reformed interpretation of Genesis 1 (I shall call this notion "6 historical days only" or 6HDO for short).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Theistic Evolution: A Sinful Compromise

 Rachel Miller has just posted an informative review of Theistic Evolution: A Sinful Compromise, a recent book written by John Otis, pastor of a Reformed Presbyterian Church US (RPCUS) church in Burlington, North Carolina. Here a few points from the review.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Lectures in West Timor

I have just returned from West Timor, Indonesia, where I taught a short course on “Science and Christianity” at the Indonesian Reformed Theological College, near Kupang.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Protecting Adam

A few months ago Rev. Wes Bredenhof published a position statement on Creation and Evolution. There he warned that the Canadian Reformed Church is being attacked from within. He addressed the promotion of  theistic evolution, which he calls a dangerous false teaching. Of particular concern are the notions that Adam had animal ancestors, and that human-like creatures (hominids) existed before and concurrent with Adam (i.e., pre-Adamites and co-Adamites).

Now Reformed Academic has posted a lengthy protest entitled Wolves in Sheep's Clothing? False Prophets?  Unhappily, RA does not explicitly repudiate the above alleged views about Adam.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Does God Play Dice?

Does God take risks? It is becoming ever more popular to believe that God creates and governs though chance. It is said that God does not control every event, but gives His creation the freedom to develop in novel, unpredictable ways. Chance is said to be necessary for such things as human freedom, quantum effects, biological evolution and solving the problem of evil.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Refuting a Figurative Genesis

Review:
In Six Days God Created: Refuting the Framework and Figurative Views of the Days of Creation by Paulin Bedard (Xulon Press: USA, 2013, 252 pages). Available here and here.

Did God really create everything in six days? Nowadays, many Reformed theologians question this, teaching that the creation days should be taken figuratively.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Overview of Origins

Review: Mapping the Origins Debate : Six Models of the Beginning of Everything by Gerald Rau (Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill, USA, paperback, 236 pages).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Did God Create a Multiverse?

Are there other physical universes beyond our observable world? Many scientists believe so. It is speculated that there are infinitely many other universes parallel to ours. The entire complex of universes is called the multiverse. Some Christians have supported the theological viability of a multiverse. How compelling is their case?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dutch Reformed Heritage on Genesis

The famous Dutch National Synod of Dort (1618/19) not only rejected Arminianism in its Canons of Dort, but also commissioned a new translation of the Bible into Dutch.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

How Many Adams?

Did the present human population descend from one couple or from a group of at least 10,000 ancestors?

1. Y-Chromosome Adam and Genetic Diversity
An article on the Biologos blog asserts that all living humans trace their mitochondrial DNA back to a single woman (“mitochondrial Eve” about 180,000 years ago) and that all living males similarly trace their Y-chromosome DNA back to a single male (“Y-chromosome Adam” about 50,000 years ago).