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Posts Tagged ‘Apologetics’

Bill Nye_2Riding the coattails of the successful homosexual movement, transgender advocates have enjoyed tremendous success in recent years. Transgenderism, the medical term is gender dysphoria, upholds the claim that it is possible to make a separation between the biological sex of an individual and that same person’s gender identity.

To put it another way, transgenderism claims that there really are women trapped in men’s bodies. Transgender advocates believe that science supports their view and that broader society has an obligation to accede to their demands to normalize what not that long ago was considered deviant behavior.

One particularly glaring, and as one critic described it “cringe worthy,” example of claimed scientific support for transgenderism was seen recently on Bill Nye The Social Justice Guy’s Netflix program Bill Nye Saves the World.

Using the cover of science to advance his evolving personal beliefs about the validity of transgenderism, Nye featured a performance by actress Rachel Bloom of a rap song titled “My Sex Junk,” the lyrics of which I just can’t bring myself to include in this blog post. If you have a strong stomach, you can read more about this charming little ditty here and here.

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Answering SodomAnswering Sodom by Ralph Ovadal (Madison, Wisconsin: Heart of the Matter Publications, 1998, 252 pages).

It has come as a bit of a surprise to this author just how much space has been dedicated on this blog to various aspects of the aggressive and unbiblical Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) agenda. This was not something that was planned. Rather, the alacrity the LGBTQ victories and the ominous implications they portend both for the well-being of America in general, and the welfare of American Christians in particular, cry out for sound Biblical analysis.

It was in the course of researching a recent article on Transgenderism that I discovered the book that is the subject of this review. Written in 1998, it appears that this title is no longer in print. But with tremendous resources available on the internet, it was not hard to find a copy for a reasonable price. In my case, I purchased the book on ABE.com for about $13.00, shipping included.

One may suppose that a book on the subject of the homosexual movement that was written 18 years ago may come off a dated. But this is far from the case. The issue at hand – the push by LGBTQ activists to gain legal sanction for, and societal approval of, their lifestyle – remains largely the same. And not only this, but the arguments used to justify the normalization of homosexuality have not changed much over the past two decades. Add to this Ovadal’s sound exegesis and application of the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality, and you have a book that not only is as relevant today as when it was first written, but perhaps one that is even more so.

Ovadal begins chapter one with the words, “The evening of April 12, 1996 was beautiful and calm in Madison, Wisconsin. Well, at least the weather was calm. By seven o’clock, the night air in front of Trinity Evangelical Fellowship Church was rent with curses, blasphemous invectives, and chants such as “Crush the Christians! Bring back the lions!” and “Queer mob rule!” All this, the author explains, as a result of a joint speaking appearance that included him and Scott Lively, the author of another book titled The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party.

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transgender restroomIt seems almost impossible to have any contact with day to day events in this country without soon coming across some discussion about the issue of transgender persons, those individuals, “whose gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth” (Answers to Your Questions About Transgender People, Gender Identity and Gender Expression, APA).

In early 2015, the suicide of a young man from the Cincinnati are who identified as female garnered national and international attention. The case of Olympic champion Bruce Jenner has been an even more high-profile case of transgenderism. Now, the state of North Carolina is grabbing headlines for its so-called “bathroom bill” which requires all persons to use the public restroom that corresponds to the sex assigned to them on their birth certificate.

Since transgenderism has become such a high profile issue, it is important for Christians to think through matter carefully. Below are a few common intellectual fallacies related to transgenderism that Christians ought to avoid, in order to speak effectively to aggressive and unbiblical transgender movement.

The Bible is not a textbook on transgenderism

Many individuals, perhaps even some believers, labor under the assertion that the Bible has nothing to say about transgenderism. This then becomes an excuse for seeking truth about transgenderism, not from the Word of God, but from secularists of one sort or another.

Many people believe that modern science furnishes us with truth about transgenderism. But science is not a source of truth. Any truth.

At its best, science can provide useful opinion on this or that topic. But it can never provide truth in the sense of giving us final, once and for all objectively factual statements.

There are two main reasons for this. First, science relies on observation. That is to say, science is empirical. But empiricism is deeply flawed. “Seeing is believing,” is a common empirical expression. But probably all of us have had our eyes play tricks on us. Observation is not so reliable as we would like to think.

Second, the scientific process of experimentation relies on the logical fallacy of asserting the consequent to reach its conclusions. To steal an everyday example John Robbins has used, consider the statement: If my battery is dead, my car won’t start. Most of us would agree with this proposition. But then we decide to do an experiment and try to start our car. We turn the key and, lo and behold, our car won’t start. Therefore, we conclude, our battery must be dead.

Now any good mechanic could spot the problem here: there are other reasons that a car won’t start that have nothing to do with the battery being dead. Jumping to the conclusion that the battery must be dead is an example of asserting the consequent. This is a logical fallacy. And it is the same logical fallacy that underlies the entire enterprise of scientific experimentation.

And because science is based on a logical fallacy, it can never furnish us with truth. The most science can do is provide us with useful opinion. Nothing more.

By contrast, the Bible is a complete system of revealed truth.

To cite just one passage from Scripture that makes this claim, “All Scripture is inspired by God (God breathed) and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). This includes the good work of Christian commentary on current events, even the issue of transgenderism.

To quote John Robbins, “The Bible is a textbook – or rather, the Bible is the textbook. Let all other books conform. And let us, as Christians, reject the sophistry of those who devalue the Scriptures by making them inadequate for all our intellectual needs” (Robbins, Is the Bible a Textbook?).

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The Building of Noah's Ark_1675.jpg

The Building of Noah’s Ark, c.1675.

The prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on an are punished.Proverbs 22:3

 

In the first two parts of this series it has been my goal to set forth a few basic ideas. First, Western Civilization, our civilization, is in an advanced state of decay and likely to suffer significant financial and political shocks in the not too distant future. Western Civilization began with the Reformation in the 16th century and was built by the widespread preaching of and belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the West has largely turned its back on Christ, and there is no reason to suppose that the Lord will spare it any more than he has spared other civilizations that have done likewise.

Second, I have argued that the coming difficulties, when they occur, should not come as a surprise to Christians. We have the Word of God at our disposal, and a wise application of its teaching to the world around us should open our eyes to the precarious state of our civilization. When disaster strikes, if we are just as surprised and confused as everyone else, this will reflect poorly on us, showing we do not take the Word of God seriously.

Third, not only is it prudent for Christians to prepare to survive what in my opinion are unavoidable and serious economic and political troubles, but that doing so honors God and puts us in a position to serve as a witness to his grace and goodness to those who badly need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Fourth, it has been my contention that Noah provides for us an ideal model prepping. Typical of God’s goodness is that he not only lets us know in clear terms what is right and what is wrong, but he also provides for us many examples of what happens to those who heed his Word, as well as those who do not. In Noah’s case, we how God acted through one believing individual to preserve the human race from complete destruction.

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God and Evil_2

God and Evil: The Problem Solved by Gordon H. Clark (Unicoi, Tennessee: The Trinity Foundation, 91 pages, 2004) $5.00.

Responding to president Bush’s proposal to allow public schools to teach intelligent design along with Darwinism, veteran political commentator Daniel Schorr remarked, “[Bush] might well have reflected that, if this [Hurricane Katrina] was the result of intelligent design, then the designer has something to answer for.” From a Christian perspective, this comment is a bit off the mark. For Christians do no not, or at least ought not, argue for intelligent design. Creationism – the doctrine that God created all things of nothing, by the Word or his power, in the space of six literal days, and all very good – is the proper Biblical stance. Nevertheless, Schorr’s statement certainly does apply to creationism. In fact, Schorr’s argument is really more of a problem of the creationist than it is for the proponent of intelligent design.

Writing in his 2006 book Letter to a Christian Nation, atheist evangelist Sam Harris was even more pointed in his criticism of Christians than was Schorr.

Examples of God’s failure to protect humanity are everywhere to be seen. The city of New Orleans, for instance, was recently destroyed by a hurricane. More than a thousand people dies; tens of thousands lost all their earthly possessions; and nearly a million were displaced. It is safe to say that almost every person living in New Orleans at the moment Hurricane Katrina struck shared your belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, and compassionate God. But what was God doing while Katrina laid waste to their city? Surely He heard the prayers of those elderly men and women who fled the rising waters for the safety of their attics, only to be slowly drowned there. These were people of faith. These were good men and women who had prayed throughout their lives. Do you have the courage to admit the obvious? These poor people died talking to an imaginary friend (52).

From the start, Christians have found themselves confronted with arguments similar to those above and have handled them with various degrees of success. Far too often they have come off as the proverbial fellow who made the mistake of brining a knife to a gun fight. They are unprepared and overmatched. In the opinion of this reviewer, a Christian who and understands and believes Clark’s argument in God and Evil: The Problem Solved (hereafter God and Evil)
will find himself in the happier position of the man who brought a gun to a knife fight. The opposition won’t have a chance.

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Is God FairOld memories, how vivid they can be. I recall quite well when my brother was born. At the time, I was three years old. My first day of kindergarten at Lakeside Elementary school still stands out in my mind. And although it’s been more than 30 years, I remember my last act as a high school senior as though it were yesterday. In my case, I finished a typing test then went to get lunch at the neighborhood McDonalds with a friend.

But there’s something else I remember from my youth. I remember being afraid of Romans 9. It was part of the Bible. That I didn’t question. But Paul’s great chapter on election and reprobation, his teaching about predestination, did not sit well with me. If I looked at the chapter at all, it was with the same sort of apprehension that a man behind in his payments looks and his credit card bill – out of the corner of his eye, hoping against hope that he won’t see what he knows is there.

By nature, I like to think that I’m in charge, the captain of my own ship. And Romans 9 just ran roughshod over all that. “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” asked Paul rhetorically, clearly demanding a “yes” from his readers. “This can’t be right,” I would think to myself and quickly move on to a more comfortable subject.

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Slavery & Christianity
by John W. Robbins (Unicoi, Tennessee: The Trinity Foundation, 2007, 84 pages).

Slavery & Christianity

Slavery & Christianity

As Christians, we are called to bring every thought into captivity to Christ. That is to say, we are required to judgeallthings by the Word of God. And by doing so, Christians living in the West more and more find themselves at odds with their own societies. To the cheers of just about all the movers and shakers in the US, this summer the Supreme Court of the United States legalized so-called gay marriage in all 50 states.

Many Christian writers have objected to this very clear rejection of the Law of God by citing the Bible. The Bible, they say, condemns homosexuality not only as a sin, but also as a crime. And indeed, they are right in what they say. But arguing from the Bible can be dangerous too. For someone, and it usually doesn’t take very long for this to happen, will be sure to bring up the topic of slavery. “So, you say that the Bible condemns homosexuality,” they will say. “Very well. What about slavery? The Bible support slavery, doesn’t it? After all, Peter tells servants to be submissive to their masters. Even Christian writers have endorsed slavery. The writers of the New Testament were nothing but bigoted, homophobic, misogynist racists. Why should anyone listen to them?” This line of attack is designed to put Christians on the horns of a dilemma. By arguing this way, the opponents of Christianity hope to force Christians into the uncomfortable position either of defending slavery and misogyny, or dropping their Biblical opposition to homosexuality. Too often, this line of questioning reduces Christians to embarrassed silence or incoherence. Chalk up another win for the secularists. Game. Set. Match.

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