Point 3: Postmillennialism refutes the skeptics’ claim that Jesus broke His promise to return. Postmillennialism, with a preterist view of the Great Tribulation, refutes the claim of skeptics that Jesus was a false prophet because He did not return to earth within a generation as He predicted and as His apostles expected. Continue reading
Scene on the Arch of Titus, showing the Roman army carrying off the Table of Showbread, Candelabra, and Silver Trumpets after destroying the Temple in A.D. 70.
Point 2: Postmillennialism validates the resurrection and the truth of Jesus’ message. Postmillennialism, with a preterist view of the Great Tribulation, points to empirical evidence still visible in our own day that a major prophecy by Jesus came true, which validates Jesus as a true prophet from God (Deut. 18:21–22), and that validates Jesus’ message, such as His statements about being God and about His resurrection. (“Preterist” means “past” and means here that the Great Tribulation occurred in the past, namely the first century A.D.)
Today, any visitor can go to Jerusalem and see that the Temple that stood in Jesus’ day is no longer there. On its foundations is build the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic mosque. Jews still visit and pray at a remaining portion of the western retaining wall of the Temple. That wall is called the “wailing wall” because of the practice of Jews to stand next to it and mourn the destruction of the Temple. Also still visible to this day is the “Arch of Titus” in the city of Rome, erected in A.D. 82 by the Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus’ military victories, including the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70. The arch is etched with images of the articles of the Temple being carried away, like the Candelabra and Table of Showbread. There is no reasonable historical basis for doubting the event of the destruction that ended in September of A.D. 70. Continue reading
The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks (1825)
I propose five points where postmillennial eschatology shapes and supports Christian apologetics:
- Postmillennialism means that we eventually persuade the world with our arguments.
- Postmillennialism validates the resurrection and the truth of Jesus’ message.
- Postmillennialism refutes the skeptics’ claim that Jesus broke His promise to return.
- Postmillennialism is the biblical anecdote to failed predictions of Christ’s Second Coming.
- Postmillennialism was an important influence in the Scientific Revolution.
Point 1: Postmillennialism means that we eventually persuade the world with our arguments. The Old Testament predictions about the Messianic Age include the prediction that all nations will eventually worship God and obey His Law. Continue reading
Here is the pdf of the article published in the Journal of Creation: “Intelligent Design leaders promote a naturalistic epistemology”
Abstract: In part 1, I show that Intelligent Design (ID) movement leaders promote a naturalistic worldview in two ways. First, they claim that ID is compatible with atheism because the designer of life on earth could be a finite designer, like a space alien in a world without God, which concedes the reasonableness of the naturalistic worldview that the universe is ultimately determined by matter rather than a Mind. Second, they promote a definition of science and an empiricist view of knowledge that exclude the authority of divine revelation, thus conceding that science and knowledge can be explained without God. But, I then briefly explain, the secular empiricist view of knowledge has been a failure. In part 2, I argue that science is dependent on God and His revelation, not a supposedly theologically neutral scientific methodology. Despite his claim that ID is compatible with atheism, I show how ID leader William Dembski’s view of complex specified information is comparable to and only consistent with an intelligent Creator who is the source of human knowledge and the unity and diversity of the world.
A review of Genesis, Science, and the Beginning: Evaluating Interpretations of Genesis One on the Age of the Earth by Benjamin D. Smith, Jr.
I can agree with the author about one thing. He says that, while young-earth creationists are generally in agreement in their interpretation of Genesis (p. 17), old-earth Christians keep multiplying new interpretations of Genesis to justify their acceptance of Big Bang cosmology. He counts 9 different old-earth interpretations of Genesis (p. 21). Ben does not want to face the fact that the most obvious reason for this difference is that young-earth creationists are largely willing to conform their thinking to what the text says, while old-earth creationists have come to a view of earth’s history independently of the text, and their view is one that the text cannot bear. Old-earth creationists keep trying to come up with ingenious ways to make a square peg fit into a round hole. Ben makes sure to tell the reader that, as far as the format of his book goes, he is going to look at the text of Genesis and follow it wherever it leads, regardless of the scientific evidence. Yet, he also divulges that in his own personal thinking, he changed his belief in young-earth creationism to an old-earth view because of scientific issues; then he began searching for an interpretation of Genesis that would fit what he thinks that scientific evidence demands (p. 31). Continue reading
David Haines will be presenting a paper on Van Til at the upcoming apologetics conference at Southern Evangelical Seminary. Joshua Whipps provides a good critique of a previous paper that Haines wrote on Van Til, but the summary of his thesis for the new paper that Haines provides is full of problems itself. Even though Van Til is difficult to understand at times, I can’t imagine someone who actually took the time to read several of Van Til’s books coming to the conclusions about Van Til’s positions that Haines does. Haines repeats some standard misconceptions about Van Til, so he must be repeating what some other uninformed critics of Van Til have said. This merry-go-round has to stop. Continue reading
The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by David Roberts (1850)
The Most Publicly-Visible Proof that Jesus Provided of His Legitimacy as a Prophet from God
For the reasons that I have briefly outlined in part 1, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is supported by overwhelming empirical evidence and testifies that Jesus is the Messiah. And His resurrection from the dead was His most theologically significant fulfillment of prophecy, because by it He paid the penalty that allows humanity to be reconciled with God. But Christ’s resurrection is not his most publicly-visible proof that He provided that He was a legitimate prophet from God, one who truly spoke a message from God. (And if He was a true prophet, then He was more than a mere human prophet, because He claimed to be God.)
Christ’s most publicly-visible proof that He was a true prophet was His prediction of the destruction of the Jerusalem and the Temple within a generation of when He spoke. That happened, just as He predicted it would, in A.D. 70. Today, any visitor can go to Jerusalem and see that the Temple that stood in Jesus’ day is no longer there. On its foundations is build the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic mosque. Jews still visit and pray at a remaining portion of the western retaining wall of the Temple. That wall is called the “wailing wall” because of the practice of Jews to stand next to it and mourn the destruction of the Temple. Also still visible to this day is the “Arch of Titus” in the city of Rome, erected in A.D. 82 by the Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus’ military victories, including the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70. The arch is etched with images of the articles of the Temple being carried away, like the Candelabra and Table of Showbread. There is no reasonable historical basis for doubting the event of the destruction that ended in September of A.D. 70. Continue reading
Risen movie sealed tomb screen shot
Secular skeptics have this idea that biblical revelation comes from some guy hearing voices in his head, to the extent that it is not purposely made up to appear to be revelation. Revelation is purely subjective in their view, completely separate from science, the realm of objective, provable facts. In another essay, I have addressed how the truth of Christian theism is actually necessary for the possibility of science. Putting religion completely in the realm of the subjective is an error for the additional reason that Christianity makes numerous historical claims. Michael Patton points out that Christianity is unique among the world’s religions in its falsifiability: Continue reading
Part 3b: Nazi Social Policy – Animal Rights, Environmentalism, Vegetarianism
Hitler was an anti-Christian, pro-evolution, pro-euthanasia and pro-abortion (except for Aryans), pro-gun control, socialist vegetarian; he waged aggressive no-smoking campaigns and animal rights campaigns. This, in itself, does not prove that any of these things are wrong (the “reductio ad Hitlerum” fallacy). But it could be that Hitler arrived at the same conclusions on social policy as post-WWII liberals because he was being consistent with basic philosophical beliefs that he and post-WWII liberals have in common, namely statism and biological evolution. And the fact that Hitler’s ideology overlapped to a large degree with modern liberalism serves to refute the common liberal charge that Nazi ideology can be equated with “right-wing conservative Christianity” in the modern American sense. Continue reading
Paul at Areopagus by David Martin (1639-1721)
What is the scope of issues that should be included under the field of Christian apologetics? There is the well-known verse, 1 Peter 3:15: “[B]ut in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. . . . .” Based on this passage alone, it might seem that apologetics is mainly limited to the issue of telling unbelievers about individual assurance of salvation (Christ in your heart) and Christ’s resurrection (the basis for “hope”).
But there is more to the story. Paul says that for a man to be qualified to be an elder, he must be “able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). What is the scope of sound doctrine? Jesus says that, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). We also see that the Apostle Paul says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). The scope of sound doctrine is the entire Bible, and since Paul says to rebuke those who oppose sound doctrine, the scope of apologetics is a defense of the entire Bible. The obligation of the church is to teach all Scripture and defend it against those who oppose it. Theology drives apologetics. Continue reading