Thursday Roundup (11/10/16)

Today’s video engages with a popular atheist argument, considering whether God’s omnipotence is logically incompatible with omniscience. The Answers for Ambassadors podcast asks whether the Gospel authors wrote reliable history, and the links look at Trump’s victory, the debate over same-sex marriage, reasons to pray, and more.

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“The future is as bright as the promises of God.”
~ Adoniram Judson

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Many atheists argue that the Christian belief in God is logically absurd because the same being could not be both omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (knowing all, including the future). If God knows the future, they argue, then he cannot choose to do anything other than what he foreknows—which means he is not omnipotent. But perhaps this argument doesn’t think carefully enough about what omniscience would really be like…

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Answers for Ambassadors Podcast

Were the Gospel authors reliable narrators? In Chapter 3 of The God Delusion Dawkins argues they were not, citing seeming discrepancies in their accounts of Jesus’ birth and genealogy. This episode looks at those particular objections as well as some general considerations for evaluating the trustworthiness of the Gospels.

Answers for Ambassadors is available via SoundCloud, or by searching in iTunes and most other podcast players. You can also direct your podcast player to the podcast RSS feed.

Best Reads of the Week

This map is a compelling visual summary of how President-Elect Donald Trump won by racking up a lopsided percentage of rural, working-class voters with traditional cultural views. I wrote a few initial thoughts about Trump’s victory on Facebook yesterday.

Robert Tracinski argues that Trump’s victory is Obama’s legacy. Meanwhile, Jim Geraghty has been reminding everyone of this prescient post he wrote back in August. I would not go so far as to say the right is “winning” the culture wars, but I think Geraghty is right that the left won too much too fast and failed to anticipate the resulting pushback. That being said, I fear that many who oppose the left in the culture war are doing so for reasons of tribe and tradition rather than biblical truth. Remember that the KKK was a force for conservative morality in the early 20th century. Being against bad things does not make you good, and Christians will need wisdom and grace to navigate among both enemies and accidental allies in coming years.

Much ink has been spilled about popular Christian figures like author Jen Hatmaker who have rejected historic Christian teaching to endorse same-sex unions, but Trevin Wax argues that the more important battle is at the institutional level. And he points to a number of Christians institutions which have recently taken or reaffirmed refreshingly clear stances on what the Bible teaches about sexuality.

On a related note, Canada’s Trinity Western University just won an important victory in their fight for accreditation that had been denied because of their “community covenant” forbidding sex outside of heterosexual marriage.

II Chronicles 7:14’s promise to “my people who are called by my name” is not about America.

We all know that prayer is central to a healthy, effective Christian walk, and most of us feel bad for not praying as much as we should, but Jon Bloom writes that guilt is a terrible motivator to prayer. Instead of guilt, Bloom points us toward the promises of God. “The answer is very simple and very convicting: we don’t pray more because we don’t really believe it will do much good.”

Twelve good questions to consider before posting something online. The internet gives us a unique venue to live a counter-cultural Christian testimony, but very often we act as if online conversation has no room for the fruit of the Spirit.

Stuff I Like (Affiliate Link)

I held off buying an e-book reader until recently because I like the feel of a real book, but I felt the appeal of a quick, low-cost, easy-storage way to read books that I only needed for reference or lazy entertainment. I finally caved and bought a Kindle Fire because the low price made it worthwhile for what I wanted. The Fire is a combination tablet and e-reader for just $50, which is hard to beat. It is not a great tablet (among other things, the Amazon app store has limited selection) and the e-reader isn’t quite as easy on the eyes as a Kindle with Paperwhite technology, but it is a very affordable option for casual reading, watching movies, checking email, etc.

And remember, anytime you start shopping on by clicking through this affiliate link, you’ll be helping to support my work at no extra cost to yourself. If you bookmark the page that opens after you click the affiliate link, you can use that bookmark each time you shop!

Photo of the Week

Daisy in a field

I took this photograph of a daisy just after a rainstorm in a clearing at Table Rock State Park in South Carolina.

(Check out other photos at my Etsy shop.)

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