Creating God In The Image of Man by Norman Geisler is a book focusing on the debate about Open Theism (called “neotheism” in this book). I’ve been going through some of the different views on the relationship between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. Open theism is one of the options that falls on the extreme side of Arminianism.
The book is a short read at 145 page divided into seven chapters. Geisler includes two short appendices and a glossary for quick reference of terms used.
Chapter 1: The Chief Competitors to Christian Theism
In Chapter 1 Geisler explains why there are so many different worldviews and briefly looks at eight primary positions relating to God. These include: theism, deism, finite godism, atheism, pantheism, polytheism, panentheism, and neotheism (open theism). He explains that beliefs about the world have major consequences for how we act and uses a chart comparing theism, pantheism, and atheism to each other to illustrate the vast differences in beliefs.
I am really excited to bring you this review. Dr. Hugh Ross and the Reasons to Believe (RTB) scholar team are the means that Christ used to keep this modernist thinker from completely giving up on the Christian faith about seven years ago. You can read about this more on my page Nature vs. Scripture. Reasons to Believe provides a scientific and Biblical model of the creation and history of the universe that is testable. They have produced many books and papers outlining details of different aspects of the model. They have not really produced a single resource that provides a quick overview of the model for those who might be curious and need an introduction.
That’s where More Than a Theory comes in. This book was written as an introduction to the various aspects of the testable model. It frequently refers the reader to the other resources for more details. Throughout this review I will include links to their other books and articles on their website that I am familiar with that go into some more details. Dr. Ross also produced a series of podcasts that briefly go over the contents of each chapter. I will include a link to each episode at the end of each chapter’s description. These episodes will give you a better description of the contents of the chapters plus what Dr. Ross specifically want the reader to focus on for each chapter.
Tomorrow marks the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ- the one who’s life, death, and resurrection the Christian faith is founded upon. On this blog we spend a lot of time explaining how to defend the truth of Christianity, but why should you learn to defend the truth of Christianity? What is the real point in apologetics? Does it seem like a favorite past-time of only the “smartest” Christians, but nothing more than that? I hope to offer compelling answers to those questions in this review of the movie Courageous.
A couple weeks ago my wife and I watched the movie Courageous (the book “The Resolution for Men” is based on the movie). In short, it is a piercing and convicting story about several men who, as the result of the tragedy in one of their lives, committed to actively being godly examples for their families and teaching them the higher ways of God. The commitment was not taken lightly. The men got together with their families and had a formal ceremony in which they pledged the following before each other and God: Continue reading →
A Docetist argues that Christ Jesus only seemed to be (Gk. δοκέω - dokeō) human. He appeared to be a Jewish man but he did not possess a true corporal earthly body. Swayed by Gnosticism, that assumes the material creation is innately evil, it is foolish and shameful, according to a gnostic docetist, to think that Logos, who was in form of God, would take upon Himself an unworthy form of a creature.
Millard J. Erickson explained:
Docetism is in essence a Christology heavily influenced by basic Greek assumptions of both the Platonic and Aristotelian varieties. Plato taught the idea of gradations of reality. Spirit or mind or thought is the highest. Matter or the material is less real. With this distinction of ontological gradations of reality, there came to be ethical gradations as well. Thus, matter came to be thought of as morally bad. (Erickson 1998: 729) Continue reading →
Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that Jesus is archangel Michael (Jude 9) since He speaks “with the voice of archangel”. Watchtower’s “Aid To Bible Understanding? ” claimed:
Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael applied to God’s Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return. Michael is the only one said to be the “archangel” […] At 1 Thessalonians 4:16 the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as being that of an archangel, suggesting that he is, in fact, himself the archangel. This text depicts him as descending from heaven with a “commanding call.” It is only logical, therefore, that the voice expressing this commanding call be described by a word that would not diminish or detract from the great authority that Christ Jesus now has as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Watchtower 1971:1152)
Going alongside this understanding of 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Jehovah’s Witnesses point out that Michael is called “the archangel” (Jude 9). “This suggests that there is only one such angel. In fact, the term “archangel” occurs in the Bible only in the singular, never in the plural.”(Watchtower 2005: 218-9) Hence Jesus is Michael. Continue reading →
In Watchtower’s “What Does The Bible Really Teach?” Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that “the Bible indicates that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth.”(Watchtower 2005: 218) They maintained:
While there is no statement in the Bible that categorically identifies Michael the archangel as Jesus, there is one scripture that links Jesus with the office of archangel. In his letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul prophesied: “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16) In this scripture Jesus is described as having assumed his power as God’s Messianic King. Yet, he speaks with “an archangel’s voice.”(Awake! 2002: 17)
Does the Bible really indicate that Jesus is archangel Michael? Contra to Watchtower’s theology, I contended in this series of articles that 1 Thessalonians 4:16 does not indicate that Jesus is an archangel Michael but the Lord God himself (Psalm 47:5; Micah 1:3; Zech. 9:13; Isa. 27:13;). I explored the meaning of this text, how early Church(ca. 30- 325 A.D.) understood it to mean and Angelology. Continue reading →
The knowledge of God, it is claimed, comes to us as a gift, and to indicate its distinctiveness by the word ‘revelation’ is simply to remain true to the phenomenological analysis of belief in God, for such belief testifies that it arises through God’s making himself known to us, rather than through our attaining to the knowledge of him.Of what kind is the knowledge of God, where that which is known towers above us, as it were, and it is as if we ourselves were known and brought into subjection?
The first case is our everyday relation to things, as objects of which we make use or have knowledge. They are at our disposal, and even by knowing them, we acquire a certain mastery over them; for instance, we can predict natural phenomena and be prepared for them.
The second case is our relation to other persons. This ‘I-thou’ relation, as Martin Buber has taught us to call it, is of a different order, for the other person is not my object and is not at my disposal. I know him in a different manner. The relation here is one between subjects. It is a mutual or reciprocal relation, founded on the same kind of being–personal being– on both sides Continue reading →
God-inspired Scriptures (i.e., John 1:1,14; John 20:28, Philippians 2:6-7, Hebrew 1:3; 2:17; 4:15 et cetera) explicitly portrays Christ Jesus as being perfect in his Divinity and perfect in his Humanity (see Christ: Perfect Divine, Perfect Human). How Christ’s natures should be correctly understood saw numerous disputes. Looking at the origin of hypostatic union in the early church, I selected four most important ecumenical councils that progressively penciled an orthodox understanding of the two natures of Christ Jesus.
Council of Nicaea
Nicaea I is the first ecumenical council summoned by the Emperor Constantine in A.D.325, near Constantinople to first and foremost address the teachings of Arius (b. ca. 256 – d.336), a presbyter in Alexandria, who denied the full Divinity of Christ Jesus. Arius argued that there was time in which Son of God did not exist. Pre-existent Logos, according to Arius, is indeed supernatural being but a first perfect creature created by God the Father. Continue reading →
In Tertullian’s (c. 160 – c. 225 AD) De carne Christi, we read “Was not God really crucified? And, been really crucified, did He not really die? And, having indeed really died, did He not really rise again?” How is this possible? We seldom ponder in depth the splendid and scandalous oxymoron of a born, died and risen God when we proclaim that Jesus died for us.
Early Christians wrestled with how Christ Jesus is fully God and fully Jewish man. The doctrine of hypostatic union is the fruit of their labor. Continue reading →