Point of Contact 5

Matthias, Joshua and Justin discuss the intrinsic ties between synergism and evidentialism, and the theological foundation of Covenantal apologetics in this edition of Point of Contact.

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Without God and Without Hope: An Atheist on the Connecticut School Shootings

Atheist Matt Oxley comments on Christian responses to the shooting in Connecticut as follows:

Despite how angry this makes me, how silly and offensive I find these notions, suddenly I find myself envious of people with some form of a god to comfort them and answer their questions, even if those answers are shallow and ignorant, because I am simply without any answers that can even begin to make sense of this. Answers like this seem almost blissful.

Note that Matt is angry at the application of Christian tenets to tragic events. As I mentioned in my debate with Matt, …

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The Necessity of Eschatology for Apologetics (1)

Decades of dispute over the timing of Christ’s return in relation to the millennium, tribulation, and other aspects of “the end times” have resulted in a general unbiblical apathy and agnosticism toward eschatology. Academic eschatology is narrowly defined as the “study of the last things” and relegated to the back of systematic theologies while its popular forms are dismissed as the substance of fanatical fringe groups on the outskirts of evangelicalism. Some express their eschatological apathy and agnosticism through clever jokes about being “pan-millennial” (“it will all pan out in the end”) or “pro-millennial” (“I’m for the millennium!”) while others …

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In the Vein of “Everything you ever learned was wrong”

There are the Jehovah’s Witness claims that the entire Christian church has always been wrong about, well, almost everything. Except for those few ECFs they could massage into some sort of superficial agreement, of course. Mormonism likewise asserts that all churches ceased to be true churches rather quickly following Christ’s ascension. Islam, with it’s idea of scriptural supercessionism and their revisionist version of what the Scriptures actually are, or taught, have a similar view of Christianity as a whole. It’s much the same with any other warmed-over historical error – be they large, as the wholesale replacement religions seen above …

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Life and Death, Blessing and Curse

The case being made by the annihilationists we have interacted with has certain presuppositional commitments which affect how they read Scripture. The first entails that we view death as an atheist would – empirically. The second entails that we read Scripture as if these descriptions it gives are meant to describe empirical processes or events. The third is that these descriptions are of the process, not describing the nature of the one who punishes. The fourth is that the nature of God is to be understood immanentistically.

As we dealt with the commentary concerning “Think of how an atheist views …

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Romans 6 and Prolepsis

If, as we are told by Date and Co., death spoken of a present tense is prolepsis – an event spoken of as certain to occur in the future – are we to take regeneration to be something that occurs only after this death? For what are we born again, as if we had a need? It’s not as if we are dead, is it? For, as we are told, death is something to be considered as the actual deprivation of life; and speaking of “dead in trespasses and sins” as if it was a present reality is prolepsis, is …

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Various Issues of Interest to the Debate

As I noted in my post “The Central Verses for the Doctrine of Hell,” there is a typical list of verses that are appealed to by the annihilationist. What this means in terms of the debate’s actual focus is still up in the air, of course, given that I have not yet heard what he intends to present, and likely will not, prior to the day. This is not problematic, of course, it just isn’t my typical modus operandi. If he sticks with a similar opener to that which he used with Diaz, I believe that he would …

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Furnaces of Fire and Outer Darkness

Another common argument made by annihilationists is from the imagery of the “furnace”, particularly in Matthew 13:42 and 50. As this is one of the parables Christ gives the most explanation of, we should be able to make a significant amount of headway in exegeting it properly. Date’s exegesis of this passage is significantly lacking – and as with the passages we’ve already looked at, I sincerely hope that what he has offered us thus far is not all that we’ll see, despite his statement that I am in possession of the entirety of his positive case. If this is …

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Point of Contact – Life, Death and Theology

Dealt with approximately 25 minutes of audio from three lengthy Theopologetics podcasts on annihilationism, the presuppositional commitments that are brought to the text, and on the basis of that reading, affect the theology they teach. Had Ben, Matthias, and Justin in with me at various points. We didn’t get to all of it, as we had a near catastrophic recording failure toward the end, where you will hear the audio quality/texture change, and I then make some comments specifically to Chris. Thankfully, it was recovered, and all was then right with the world. Take a listen.

Also, see this post

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