The Gospels as Historical Biography – Lecture at Southern Baptist Seminary

This is the first of the Julius Brown Gay Lectures given at Southern Seminary. The Lecturer is Dr. Richard Bauckham. The title of the lectures is „The Gospels as Histories: What sort of history are they?”

Southern’s website:

Bauckham’s website:

The Gospels as Historical Biography from Charlie Albright on Vimeo.

The Exodus From Egypt in Light of Recent Archaeological Work and Geological Work in North Sinai

This is from The Lanier Library Lecture Series titled The Exodus In Light Of Recent Archaeological And Geological Work In North Sinai by Dr James Hoffmeier given May 21, 2011.

The Israelite sojourn and exodus from Egypt has been the subject of scholarly interest and investigation since the dawn of Egyptology two centuries ago. Since no direct archaeological evidence has been discovered to confirm the biblical tradition, some scholars in recent decades have questioned the historicity of these events despite their being a centerpiece of biblical history and the foundation of Jewish religion. In this lecture, background information from ancient Egypt will be reviewed that will show aspects of the Exodus narratives to be indeed authentic. The lecture will also focus on new geological and archaeological data from the work of the North Sinai Archaeological Project, which James Hoffmeier directed. This project included survey and excavation work at Tell el-Borg just east of the Suez Canal. When the results of this exciting work are combined with other recent and ongoing excavations in North Sinai, a compelling picture emerges about the route of the exodus and the location of the Re(e)d Sea.

The Lanier Theological Library is an exciting new resource for all students and scholars of the Bible. The LTL is a research library and is open to everyone who will use it responsibly. Within the library, you will find a comprehensive collection of books, periodicals, historical documents and artifacts with topics ranging from Church History and Biblical Studies to Egyptology and Linguistics. The LTL regularly hosts events with noted authors, guest lecturers, and researchers who will challenge you both academically and spiritually. Come to the Lanier Theological Library and find serious tools for serious study.

For more info on this:

VIDEO by fleetwd1

The Exodus from Egypt,

a Lecture with Dr. James Hoffmeier

James Hoffmeier is an Egyptologist and Archaeologist who currently teaches Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Hoffmeier lived in Egypt from birth until the age of sixteen and later went to Wheaton College to earn his Bachelor of Arts. He completed both his Masters and Doctorate degrees at the University of Toronto.

VIDEO by Lubbock Christian University

Egyptology vs the Bible –

amazing evidence of biblical events

There are always large discrepancies between the bible and Egyptian history. Which should we trust, or how do we reconcile these differences. Ross Patterson shows some more amazing biblical discoveries relating to Egyptian history.

VIDEO by jumanous

Can We Trust the Gospels? Lecture by Dr. Peter Williams of Tyndale House

photo credit

When were the Gospels written? Were they written by eyewitnesses? Why are the other gospels not included? Is there good

manuscript evidence? Is what we have now what they wrote then? These and other questions will be answered by Dr. Peter Williams. Dr. Williams is the CEO of Tyndale House, Cambridge, England and is a lecturer at a the University of Aberdeen and Cambridge University. He is recognized as one of the foremost Old and New Testament language scholars in the world. For centuries skeptics have attempted to destroy Christianity by attacking the reliability of the Gospels thus reinventing Jesus. How do we answer these attacks and build up our faith? Join us to hear Dr. Williams build a strong case for the reliability of the Gospels! The lecture will include handouts and Q&A.

Special thanks go out to: Assistant Pastor Scott Susong & Second Baptist Church Woodway Dr. Houston, TX. for more info
Phillip Evans & American Friends of Tyndale House for more info
Dr. Peter Williams & Tyndale House for more info
VIDEO by fleetwd1 from Second Baptist Church, Woodway April 2, 2014


Why does the multiverse need a beginning? Why can it not just be eternal? + What is cosmology and the multiverse

William Lane Craig answers:

The reason the multiverse cannot be beginningless… see his answer by watching the video or my transcript below  the video.

But first:

What is Cosmology?

from Wikipedia, read more here

Cosmology is the study of the origins and eventual fate of the universe. Physical cosmology is the scholarly and scientific study of the origin, evolution, structure, dynamics, and ultimate fate of the universe, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order. Religious cosmology (or mythological cosmology) is a body of beliefs based on the historical, mythological, religious, and esoteric literature and traditions of creation and eschatology.

Physical cosmology is studied by scientists, such as astronomers, and theoretical physicists; and academic philosophers, such as metaphysicians, philosophers of physics, and philosophers of space and time. Modern cosmology is dominated by the Big Bang theory, which attempts to bring together observational astronomy and particle physics.[2]

Although the word cosmology is recent (first used in 1730 in Christian Wolff’s Cosmologia Generalis), the study of the universe has a long history involving science, philosophy, esotericism and religion. Related studies include cosmogony, which focuses on the origin of the Universe, and cosmography, which maps the features of the Universe. Cosmology is also connected to astronomy, but while the former is concerned with the Universe as a whole, the latter deals with individual celestial objects.

Modern metaphysical cosmology tries to address questions such as:

  • What is the origin of the Universe? What is its first cause? Is its existence necessary? (see monismpantheismemanationism and creationism)
  • What are the ultimate material components of the Universe? (see mechanismdynamismhylomorphismatomism)
  • What is the ultimate reason for the existence of the Universe? Does the cosmos have a purpose? (see teleology)
  • Does the existence of consciousness have a purpose? How do we know what we know about the totality of the cosmos? Does cosmological reasoning reveal metaphysical truths? (see epistemology)

Photo via Wikipedia

Photo description: The Hubble Extreme Deep Field (XDF) was completed in September 2012 and shows the farthest galaxies ever photographed by humans. Except for the few stars in the foreground (which are bright and easily recognizable because only they have diffraction spikes), every speck of light in the photo is an individual galaxy, some of them as old as 13.2 billion years; the observable universe is estimated to contain more than 200 billion galaxies.

What is the Cosmological Argument?


  1. Things exist.
  2. It is possible for those things to not exist.
  3. Whatever has the possibility of non existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.
    1. Something cannot bring itself into existence, since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical.
  4. There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
    1. An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence.
    2. Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.
  5. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.
  6. The uncaused cause must be God.

Also see this article on

What is a multiverse?

Also from Wikipedia, read more here:

The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of infinite or finite possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists and can exist: the entirety of space, time,matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them. The term was coined in 1895 by the American philosopher and psychologist William James.[1] The various universes within the multiverse are sometimes called parallel universes.

The structure of the multiverse, the nature of each universe within it and the relationship between the various constituent universes, depend on the specific multiverse hypothesis considered. Multiple universes have been hypothesized incosmology, physics, astronomy, religion, philosophy, transpersonal psychology and fiction, particularly in science fiction and fantasy. In these contexts, parallel universes are also called „alternative universes”, „quantum universes”, „interpenetrating dimensions”, „parallel dimensions”, „parallel worlds”, „alternative realities”, „alternative timelines”, and „dimensional planes,” among others.

VIDEO by drcraigvideos Reasonable Faith forums:
Reasonable Faith’s other Youtube channel:…

William Lane Craig:

Dr William Lane Craig answered during the 2013 Apologetics Canada Conference question and answer period. (Photo on left via

Any universe that is in a cosmic expansion, on average, over its history cannot be past eternal. And that is true of the multiverse as well, it is true that it is in a state of expansion on average, in its past history. So that can’t be extrapolated to past infinity. And that’s why, remarkably, this amazing theorem shows that even trying to resort to the multiverse to escape the beginning of the universe won’t work. And, by the way, if people are interested, a lecture that Vilenkin gave at the conference in Cambridge last April, celebrating Hawking’s 70th birthday is on youtube. It is very accessible. It is a wonderful lecture that lay people can understand and has power points and in this lecture he surveys contemporary cosmologies, including these multiverse models that try to avert the beginning of the universe, and shows how they fail.

See the Alexander Vilenkin video Dr. William Lane Craig just referred to here:

Did the Universe have a Beginning? Alexander Vilenkin

at the University of Cambridge

VIDEO by firstcauseargument

Alexander Vilenkin (Tufts University) discusses 3 candidate scenarios with ‘no beginnings’ for the universe:

  1. Eternal Inflation
  2. Cyclic evolution
  3. Static seed (emergent universe)

He says, „I’ll tell you my conclusion right away (at the beginning of lecture), that basically, none of these approaches that try to avoid the beginning of the universe work (they are not successful).” Then he discusses the options, one by one:

Biola University – The Trinity and Gender: The Recent Debate Among Evangelicals

This video is a must see. Make some quiet time to watch it, as it is a bit extensive, duration is 2 hours, but, very well worth your time. Not only will you hear a deep, theological discussion about the role of women, which has come to the forefront as never before in the history of mankind, but, you will also hear some outstanding insights into the trinity and how both egalitarians and complementarians have used it to support their arguments, and arguments against using the trinity in order to support arguments on either side of the debate.

This dialogue is between Dr. Kevin Giles (egalitarian) & Dr. Fred Sanders (complementarian).

Dr. Kevin Giles position (notes – first 30 minutes):

the doctrine of the trinity should not be appealed to to ground subordination of women or the equality of the sexes. The doctrine of God should not be confused with our teaching of the relationship of men and women. 

Dr. Giles, however, does not teach that „the trinity is a coequal trinity of persons.”

He also states that: „When we come to an important issue like the relationship of men and women, we should go directly to the Bible. We should follow the normal rules of biblical theology, where the Bible begins on this issue. In this case, it is Genesis chapter 1 and (we should) successively read through the Bible starting with the Gospels in the New Testament, then the Book of Acts, and Paul’s epistles.”

His 7 reasons why the trinity cannot be used to „appeal …to the hierarchical ordering of the sexes” and be the „ground for the subordination or the equality of the sexes”. Further he makes a global argument when he states, „The eternal and immanent trinity, that’s God as He is in heaven is not, and cannot be the ground for the social ordering on earth of any kind. The trinity does not set our social agenda. His 7 objections are:

  1. The idea that the trinity prescribes human relations on earth is a very modern idea.
  2. The idea that the divine life in heaven prescribes life and relations on earth is implausible. Why, we must ask is God’s perfect relationship in heaven prescribed for flawed relations on earth?
  3. Specifically, in regards to the man-woman relationship, to argue that the three fold relationship in heaven prescribes the two fold man-woman relationship on earth, I think is illogical.
  4. 1 Corinthians 11:3 offers no convincing basis for this appeal to the trinity.Some believe where Paul says (that) God is the head of Christ, and man is the head of woman justifies the trinity argument.
  5. The idea of the trinity speaks of the Father ruling over the Son is the denial of the full divinity of the Son and the unqualified Lordship of Christ.
  6. To argue that the Son’s eternal and necessary functional subordination does not imply ontological subordination is unconvincing.
  7. The idea of the Son as eternally subordinated to the Father is rejected by most contemporary trinitarian scholars.

Dr. Fred Sanders position (notes from min 30-min 60):

The evangelical gender debate has basically a two party profile:

  • Those that are interested in the foundational doctrine of the trinity and
  • Those whose primary interest is in the gender discussion and who annex the doctrine of the trinity fin order to provide greater doctrinal or rhetorical leverage.

The trinity is more interesting than the partisan question of whose side it is on and it is worth thinking about for its own sake rather than for its relevance to gender heirarchy… Contrary to widespread presupposition, it is not at all self evident that a theology of the trinity and the theology of human community should be doctrines which impinge on each other. These are two doctrinal tracks which are widely separated from each other in a total theological system which must be articulated according to internal logic. (in answer to Dr. Giles point #2).

The doctrine of the trinity is the highest point of the doctrine of God, occupying a place prior to all the perfections of the divine nature, so that none of the divine attributes can be parceled out among the trinity. None of the divine perfections  can be described in a merely unitarian way without reference to the Father, Son, and Spirit, who are the three who hold each divine perfection.

…The doctrine of the trinity has two poles, in its logical structure, the economic involvement of the Son and Spirit in the history of salvation and the eternal, immanent trinity. Confessing God’s triune being and act in these two ways can doctrinally secure respectively, the divine giving on the one hand, and the divine freedom on the other. So that God is really with us in the incarnation of the Son and the out pouring of the Spirit, and yet, God in Himself is eternally Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

A theological account on gender, on the other hand, properly situated, far away from the doctrine of the trinity, across the great divide that distinguishes God from everything else. It is located  in the story of creation, deep inside the territory of theological anthropology , and it is a doctrine which must provide explanatory value for our daily experience of the empirical fact of being human. Theological anthropology is necessarily involved in the drama of good creation, disastrous fall, reconciliation in Christ, eschatological fulfillment.  The doctrine of humanity has to be constructed in a way that makes logical sense in a narrative sequence. Good creation, bad fall. Events that must be recognized in human dignity- good creation. And human misery- bad fall. In our indissoluble relation to our Creator and in our alienation from right relation with Him.

God the trinity is of course also involved in the story. In fact, the same story and the doctrine of the trinity must be constructed from this economic story. But, unlike man, God is the sovereign Lord of His own story. Therefore, the narrative identification that shapes the doctrine of God is not constitutive of the being of God, in the way that the human narrative is constitutive of the human being. Gog would be God without that story of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation.

Though the doctrine of the trinity is widely confessed to be a mystery, a theological account of human gender must also grapple with its own mystery. Seeking makes sense out of humanity’s puzzling coexistence in these two basic forms of male-female. These are two basic doctrines that stand in need of being connected…. It’s gonna take work to relate the doctrine of the trinity, in any way to the doctrine of gender. So, easy, quick answers need to be called under suspicion.

Using the Image of God as an appeal to gender issues

The answer that’s been the largest in the history of theology is that they can be related through the doctrine of the image of God. Now, that’s probably right. But, when you do the work of filling out the image of God in a biblical and theological argument, we discover that instead of this being a direct and self evident route from trinity to human community, it is instead a doctrinal complex of its own, following its own logic and therefore functioning not as a direct  link between God and man, but a very indirect one, involving a long and fascinating detour, if we had time enough in the world. However, when the doctrine of the image of God is misconstrued in a direct line from God to the human community.

It becomes a very abstract appeal. They think they’re being concrete when they make this appeal, but, it is actually very abstract. It’s an appeal of this sort. Divine and human community are related to each other by imaging. Ontologically, by reflection, or ethically speaking, by imitation. As above, so below is the nature of that appeal. And when applied as an abstract principle it has a sort of a mythological structure. It explains the seen in terms of the unseen, by mythological structure- appealing to something unseen as the explanation for something that is seen.

It is the doctrine of God in general, but, the doctrine of the trinity in particular which has suffered a great deal in a direct appeal to an imaging relation between divine and human community. Theologians who start with the assumption that the trinity has an image and that we can identify it in a created structure are constantly running the risk of unchecked projection.

An imaging structure- „as above, so below”, exposes us to the danger of projecting human traits on God. Here are a few examples from recent years:

  1. Theologians have appealed to the image of the trinity to support their view of social, political, and economic order. Latin American theologian Leonardo Boff has elaborated in his book ‘Holy Trinity Perfect Society’, a social vision of equality and mutuuality, which he explicitly grounds in a free, equal, and mutual community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  2. Less well known is the work of Michael Novak, who briefly suggests that the dialectic of unity and plurality in God’s triune being shows in a dim and distant way, the ( –word unknown)  of a political economy, differentiated, and yet one. Or in short, democratic capitalism.

Boff and Novak famously operate with different socioeconomic vision. And, when one of them looks into the mystery of God, he sees socialism, while the other peers into the same mystery (of the trinity) and sees a free market. Perhaps the mystery is serving as a mirror… If one is wrong and the other right, how would we make that judgment? What are the controls and limits that we should urge on these two thinkers who have found mutually contradictory images of the trinity, which ground mutually contradictory social visions to which they were committed to before they began doing trinitarian theology.

Another example, really briefly, is the application of the doctrine of the trinity to the order of the church. This is a pretty famous discussion by big shots such as Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, who wrote on the trinity that he perceived a kind of a headship or monarchy in there that really sounds very similar to the structure of the pope as the head of the church, which also, of course, includes other bishops, but, must be in communion with the Pope. Who is responded to by John Zizioulas, who said, „No, no, it’s much more like a network of –(word unknown) patriarchs, sort of how we have in orthodoxy. Then, Miroslav Wolf came along and wrote a great book, detailing exactly how these two arguments were made, ending up with the trinity being either catholic or orthodox, and he said, „No, no it is all baptistry in there, it is all about free association. Catholic theologian, Dr. Anne Hunt spoke very clearly about the danger of projection that emerged from Miroslav Wolf’s project, and from the arguments of his chosen interlocutors, Pope Benedict and Zizioulas. Dr. Anne Hunt says, „One cannot but observe that the conclusions reached bear close correspondence to the particular ecclesial tradition or understanding from which each interlocutor from our survey come to their conclusion….we should be very wary of appropriation of God language in support of our  structures and systems, be it ecclesial, political, or social.

So socialist peer into the trinity and find socialism, capitalists capitalism, the catholics see hierarchy, the orthodox see communion among equals, baptists see baptists, egalitarians see equality, and complementarians see complementarianism.

When we use the image of the trinity strategy, we tend to find what we want to find. Furthermore, there is a notably arbitrary character to which of our convictions and values we decide to locate in the trinity. Why do we find authority structures, but not threeness? Why do we not find relations of origins? That’s what a lot of older christians found. What serves as the criterion, what let’s us know whether the human thing we admire is properly to be understood  as the point of similarity with God, or a point of difference? Because, even in the doctrine of the image of God, you’ve got to recognize similarity and difference, however you parse that.

Perichoresis is this really great trinitarian word, it’s the mutual indwelling which the persons of the trinity have their being in each other constitutively. It’s the way the three are one. The persons in the trinity indwell each other and would not be themselves without such mutual indwelling. But, it’s frequently appealed to as a point of similarity. The wonderful instance of interpersonal unity, which either shows us how human personhood is solely constituted, or serves as a model for wihch we ought to strive for. But, perichoresis, it seems obvious it ought to name the difference between the unity of God and the created unity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one with a unity more absolute than we encounter among created phenomena. They are one with a category bursting unity of mutual insideness that cannot be captured on a venn diagram

Venn diagram or set diagram is a diagram that shows all possible logical relations between a finite collection of sets(aggregation of things). Venn diagrams were conceived around 1880 by John Venn. They are used to teach elementary set theory, as well as illustrate simple set relationships in probabilitylogicstatisticslinguistics and computer science (see logical connectives).(Wikipedia)

…that cannot be captured on a venn diagram, that cannot be replicated using the laws of physics and cannot be applied to non physical, created spiritual realities. When Jesus prays, „Let them be one, as we are one,” to interpret this as being perichoretic unity should characterize the church is a serious misunderstanding.

So, I hope it’s obvious how this relates to a conflicting vision of the theology of gender relations of evangelicalism. Both sides do seem open to the charge of having looked into the trinity and found their own image looking back. The complementarians have been the most explicit about the normative character of imaging. And, Dr. Giles is probably right that they pushed first. The complementarians have been most explicit about the normative character: The wife should submit to the husband as the eternal Son submits to the eternal Father (as Grudem-Ware have stated).

But, the egalitarian pdepiction of the inner life of God always sounds suspiciously like a thriving, vibrant, egalitarian community. Take these phrases from the recent Evangelical Statement on the Trinity (see website here and see the reponse here by Daniel Chew and from the Evangelical Theological Society here):

God excercises perfect, cooperative relationships. God models perfect love, respect, cooperation. God exemplifies a unity in diversity that we should emulate between the genders and practice in the global, multi cultural, mutual submission and respectful cooperation of humans…. Deference between the trinity is mutual. All mutually honor and defer to one another.

It seems to me that while some complementarians have been boldest about directly connecting inner trinitarian structure to human power relations, some egalitarians have been most thorough and uncritical in allowing their assumptions about power to dictate the very plausibility structure of what simply must be the case. In both cases we are trapped in a hall of mirrors. You may pretend to model your social vision on what you already know about God, but, as your opponents are glad to point out to you is you’re really more likely to be modeling your notions about God’s inner life in the image of your vision of a just social order.

How is it that such a reversal has come about in out theological thinking? And who will deliver us from this death by anthropological projection? Trinitarian theology can avoid the dangers of projection by eschewing a direct appeal to a created phenomenon as the direct image of an immanent trinity. The immanent trinity can be visualized, because it has provided for us an image of itself. The immanent trinity, God’s eternal existence  as Father, Son, and Spirit has been made known in the economy of salvation. The eternal Son condescended to become the subordinate Son. And the eternal Spirit has been poured out on all flesh by the Father on the basis of the finished work of the Son.

The special, personal presence of the Son and Spirit in the history of salvation, that is the economic trinity, is the one exclusive foundational image of the immanent trinity. Whoever sees the Son has seen the Father, because the incarnate Son lives out among us, a life of identical Son like response as the eternal life of  filial response. He lives with the Father in communion  with the Holy Spirit, above all worlds. There, as here, the Son is the Son. As George MacDonald poetically puts it, “When he died on thecrossHe did that, in the wild weather of his outlying provinces, in the torture of thebody of His revelation, which he had done at home in glory and gladness.

God is not different in our midst, from how God is in the eternal, divine life. The immanent trinity has its own proper image, and its own proper gracious presence in the history of salvation. It is the economic trinity which is the vision of the immanent trinity.

There is a relative independence of these two regions of doctrine, but there is also a relationship.  between the immanent trinity and all manner of human social structures, including the structure of male-female relations in family, and in church. That relationship, though, is not direct and it is not an image. It is the salvation historical reality established by the direct personal presence of the Son and Spirit in the economy of the redemption. The economic trinity, and only the economic trinity is the image of the immanent trinity. This exclusivity cuts in two directions. No other image of the trinity is admissible as a source of revelation, as a basis of theological construction. The psychological analogy of the trinity, the structures of community life, hierarchical or non hierarchical organization of human relations need not apply here. They may have continued relevance as illustration, or apologetic gambit, or pedagogical aid, maybe. But, they cannot used to generate theological accounts of the trinity.

The image of the trinity is not the human soul or the human family. The only image of the immanent trinity is the economic trinity. To elucidate God’s triunity in itself, theology should not turn anywhere, but to the economy of salvation. The exclusivity of the salvation historical image, that is presence of the Son and Spirit also cuts in another direction, calling into question the idea of imitating the trinity and undercutting the many current projects which offer the immanent trinity as the  model society which human societies could imitate. The projects presuppose that christian social ethics should emerge form transforming our common lives into a kind of picture of the immanent trinity.

The immanent trinity, however, already has a picture: the economic trinity. The economic trinity, which is to serve as the model of any mimetic method we might undertake. (As Dr. Giles said: Imitate Jesus, don’t imitate the trinity). God does not rule the world through a formal principle such as: „As above, so below”. He rules the world „as the kingdom comes to earth”: „as it is in heaven, brought by the eternal Son, who makes one identical movement. One filial response to the Father: „On earth, as it is in heaven”. (min 55)

The relation between the eternal Son and the eternal Father:

Is it complementation or is it egalitarian?

Processions in the life of God, procession of the Son and of the Spirit, from the Father, in the life of the trinity are going out- procession. But, they don’t get further away. The Son proceeds from the Father, comes from the Father, but, doesn’t get further from the Father. In fact, the more perfectly He proceeds, the more perfectly He is unified. Which means, every diagram I have ever drawn of the trinity is wrong, because the arrow has to come out from the point of origin and get progressively further from the origin as it goes. But, the relation of the trinitarian life of the living God is weirder than that. I don’t know of any analogies for it. And, that’s another thing that undercuts the image strategy.

Let me try to connect the dots here to our understanding of who Jesus Christ is. So, moving from getting the immanent trinity right, to understanding what this has to do with reading the Gospels and coming to know Jesus Christ, as He is portrayed in Scripture. It says He is the Son, here below, among us on earth, as He is in heaven. And the reason Jesus introduces us to His Father and tells us to pray to His Father is because He is handing over, or He is opening up to us a created participation in a relationship that He has, has always had, He wouldn’t be Himself if He hadn’t always had, and that He is bringing to earth. And so, when He tells us to pray, „Hallowed be the name of God on earth as it is in heaven,” it’s because He is the Son who hallows the name of God. He is the Son on earth, as He is the Son in heaven. Because He is the Son in heaven. The eternal Son becomes the incarnate Son in order to redeem us and make us adopted sons.(min 58:18)

I want to quote Austin Farrer, theologian and pastor who was C.S.Lewis’s priest for awhile. Here’s what Farrer says in an essay on incarnation: We cannot understand Jesus as simply the God who was man. If we do, we have left out an essential factor: The Sonship. Jesus is not simply God manifest as man. He is the divine Son, coming in manhood. What was expressed in human terms here below was not bare deity. It was divine Sonship. God cannot live an identically God like life in eternity and in the human story.” I think what he means by that is: if Jesus were merely just God showing up as man, He would have to have everyone worship Him immediately or He wouldn’t be being God. Right? There would be no hiding it or concealing it, that would be no revelation at all. For God to show up as an identically God like life where He lives on earth exactly the life He lives in heaven, would be for Him to be God on earth in a direct and open way.

But, the divine Son can make an identical response to His Father, whether He makes it in the love of the blessed trinity, or in the fulfillment of an earthly ministry. All the conditions of action are different on the two levels. But, the filial response, a Sonly response is one. Above, the appropriate response from the Son to the Father is cooperation and sovereignty and an interchange of eternal joy. Then the Son gives back to the Father all that the Father is. Below, in the incarnate life, the appropriate response of a Son to a Father is an obedience to inspiration, a waiting for a direction, an acceptance of suffering, a rectitude of choice, a resistance to temptation, a willingness to die. For such things are the stuff of our existence. It is in this very stuff that Christ worked out the theme of heavenly Sonship, proving Himself on earth the very thing He was in heaven. That is, a continuous, perfect act of filial love. (1 hour mark)

At the 1 hour mark starts the egalitarianism vs. complementarianism debate.

Video Published on Dec 10, 2012 by BiolaUniversity

BIOLA’s description on Youtube: A Dialogue between Dr. Kevin Giles (egalitarian) & Dr. Fred Sanders (complementarian).

These two Trinity scholars – with different perspectives on the evangelical gender debate – discuss recent arguments that an eternal „authority/subordination” relationship exists between the Father and Son, and that it is intended as a model for male-female relations.

For the most recent example of this argument, see the chapters by Drs. Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware in „The New Evangelical Subordinationism?: Perspectives on the Equality of God the Father and God the Son”

Kevin Giles (Th.D. Australian College of Theology) served as Anglican rector/pastor for forty years, and now writes, lectures, and is an associate in his present parish in Australia. He has been a member of Christians for Biblical Equality since its inception. His publications include „The Trinity and Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God and the Contemporary Gender Debate” (IVP Academic, 2002); „Jesus and the Father: Modern Evangelicals Reinvent the Doctrine of the Trinity” (Zondervan, 2006); and „The Eternal Generation of the Son: Maintaining Orthodoxy in Trinitarian Theology” (IVP Academic, 2012). Kevin’s views on the Trinity and Gender are summarized in CBE’s „Priscilla Papers” 26.3, Summer 2012.

Fred Sanders (Ph.D. Graduate Theological Union) has served as Professor of Theology in Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute since 1999, is a popular speaker and blogger (, and an active member of the Grace Evangeiical Free Church. His publications include „The Image of the Immanent Trinity” (Peter Lang, 2005); „Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory Christology”, F. Sanders and K. Issler, eds. (B&H, 2007); and „The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything” (Crossway, 2010). Fred has produced many scholarly articles, book chapters. and academic presentations on the Trinity, in which he argues for both „order and equality” in the Godhead.

Kirk Cameron’s personal testimony as a „recovering atheist” at Liberty University


Actor Kirk Cameron, at Calvary Baptist Church ...

Published on Oct 8, 2012 by 

On October 5, 2012 at Convocation, North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students, Kirk Cameron shared his personal testimony as a „recovering atheist” with students and alumni during Homecoming Weekend.
Cameron is an actor/producer who first became famous when he starred as Mike Seaver on ABC’s „Growing Pains” in the 1980s. He is also well known for his role in „Fireproof,” the highest grossing independent film of 2008 that focused on the importance of Christian values in marriage, as a star in the „Left Behind” movies, created from the bestselling books by longtime Liberty supporter Tim LaHaye, and as producer of the new documentary, „Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure.” He continues to impact the world for Christ through marriage seminars and speaking engagements across the country, as co-host of The Way of the Master television series, and through interviews with major television news networks.
Read more about Kirk Cameron’s visit here:


Carl Trueman at SBTS (2) The Word in Action – Luther’s theology of the preached word


Dr. Carl Trueman:

In lecture 2 I want to talk about the power in the Word. In the first lecture (click on link above for first lecture)  I sketched out the basics of Luther’s theology, with particular reference to his understanding of God’s revelation of Himself in the incarnate and crucified flesh of Jesus Christ. There, and only there did Luther believe one can find God revealed as being gracious towards sinners. To approach God in any way, outside the flesh of Christ was to approach the God of righteous judgment. A consuming fire, the terrifying God who rides on the wing of  a storm and who is accountable to no one. And before whom no sinful creature can stand and expect to live.

In the second lecture I want to move from the theological foundations we’ve established to Luther’s theology of the preached word. And by the third lecture we’ll finally get to Luther’s practice of pastoral ministry. But, it’s in the preached word that the church encounters the crucified Christ and thus the preached word which must be central to the church’s life and actions. In addition, we must also remember the basic arguments of these lectures as a whole, that Luther’s theology is determinative of his understanding of the nature and the toils of the pastoral ministry.

That he would have found modern evangelical claims to ‘agree on the Gospel’, but, ‘to allow freedom in method and practice’ to be strange. Not that the Lutheran reformation looked exactly the same, everywhere in Germany. Liturgy varied in detail between places, but the basic shape of pastoral ministry and of church life enjoyed a high degree of consensus. As is the historian’s way, however, I cannot begin the story of Luther’s understanding of the word of god with Luther himself.

The late medieval background

Martin Luther, author of the text of Christ la...

…..  In many ways Luther remained a man of medieval ages. His politically conservative futurism and his acute sense of the physical presence of the devil, and also of demons and imps are just two examples of what separates him from the other reformers. who were trained as renaissance humanists and were men of the modern age. On the theological front, it was the late medieval critical philosophy of the language, connected to the radical application of what was called the dialectic of God’s two powers which gripped Luther’s theological imagination and remained with him from the monastic cloister to the day of his death.

…..Competency in human reason had been declining from the 12th century onwards in Europe. And this dialectic between the 2 powers of God was used in a dialectic and critical way to articulate the increasing epistemological modesty that people had with regard to God. Human reason came to be regarded less and less competent to predict what God would be like. And first, theologians focused increasingly on revelation as the source of the knowledge of God. We shouldn’t get too excited, as that revelation was not identified with Scripture, by these late medieval theologians so much as the teaching of the church’s magisterium. The distinction also fed and strengthened a perennial linguistic debate about the nature and function of words. And this will become significant for Luther’s understanding of preaching. Taken to its extreme this became an anti-essentialist view of being which effectively made words themselves the determiners of reality. This is what is known as late medieval nominalism and it was the linguistic school in which Luther was trained and whose basic assumptions remained with him throughout his entire career, to the day of his death.

Those critics of post modernism, such as Terry Eagleton have pointed out there are pointed similarities between medieval nominalism and certain schools of post modern linguistic theory. We might summarize these similarities by saying that both envisage the world as a linguistic construct. Words, not essences become determinative and constitutive of reality. I suspect that Luther would have little time for the excesses of postmodern anti-essentialism with the kind of kaleidoscopic anarchy it has created with the regard to gender, sexuality and even the notion of human nature. Nevertheless, we should note that Luther would not object to postmodernism by reasserting a kind of essentialism. Rather, I suspect, Luther’s rejection of postmodern anarchy would be based on his belief that God is the supreme reality, that He is ultimately the one who speaks, and whose speech is therefore the ground of existence and of difference. Reality is not determined by the linguistic proclivities of any human individual, or any human community, but by the word of God.

The theological implications of this should become obvious. For example, to refer back to the theology of the cross- the empiricist, the essentialist looks at the cross and sees weakness, agony, suffering and defeat, and no more. That is the outward aesthetics of the cross would seem to indicate. And it is what the social and philosophical conventions of Jews and Greeks of 1st Corinthians would also lead them to believe. But, neither the empirical aesthetics, nor their interpretation through the grid of their constructed social conventions are actually any guide to the reality  of what is taking place. God has extrinsically declared the cross to be powerful, a victory, a moment of triumph. And God’s word trumps everything in determining the reality that is there. Thus, only those christians who reject the evidence of their senses, and reject the established logic and expectations of their culture and trust instead in their counter intuitive truth of God’s words can truly understand the reality.

The same, of course applies to justification. Older medieval approaches to justification required the individual actually to be somewhat righteous before God could declare the person to be justified. Late medieval theologian Gabriel Biel had broken with this tradition, arguing instead that God could set His own criteria for the declaration of justification. For Biel, God had entered into a pact with human beings and had agreed that according to His ordained power He was going to accept an individual’s best efforts as righteousness, as meeting the condition for God to declare that person to be in a state of grace. Once in such a state of grace, the individual could then benefit form sacramental grace  and do works of real righteousness and intrinsic merit.

Luther came to reject the theology of Biel as a form of semi pelagianism. The very idea that one could do one’s best and meet any condition became anathema to him. If human beings are morally dead, then the only things they can do is acknowledge that in all humility despair in themselves and look to God for unmerited mercy. Yet in breaking with Biel, Luther remained indebted to one of Biel’s most important conceptual moves. For Biel, as later for Luther, the justified person was not necessarily, actually, intrinsically righteous. They were simply declared extrinsically to be righteous by God.

By making entry into a state of grace, something that was not based on intrinsic merit, but rather on merit determined on extrinsic pactum. Biel first shattered the link between essential reality and divinely determined reality. For those of you interested in the history of the ‘History of Dogma’ will know that this is something for which conservative catholic historians of dogma have never forgiven him and which indeed shapes how our contemporary historians like Brad S. Gregory of Notre Dame views the reformation. The reformation is seen as the ultimate evil fruit of late medieval anti-essentialism.

The practical significance of this linguistic philosophy for Luther as pastor is that words become absolutely foundational to everything the pastor does. If words determine reality, then of all things the pastor does, the words he speaks are the most important: Reading the bible in public, preaching the word form the pulpit, applying the word individually in the confessional. Each of these things determine the reality of the church. This linguistic emphasis also helps explain to those of us with less sacramental proclivities than Luther why he holds such high views of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. That on the latter point at least, he’s willing to divide protestantism over the issue.  Incidentally, Luther’s objection to transubstantiation is not in 1520 that the body and blood of Christ are there, it’s that the bread and the wine have disappeared.

It would be remiss of me simply to reduce Luther’s reformation theology to a particularly radical application of late medieval linguistic theory as a means of solving his own personal issues

The Word in Action from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

Shut up, Christian

The World Hates the Disciples – John 15:18-25

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.

Doug WIlson, a Presbyterian Minister lecturing, or trying to deliver a lecture at Indiana University. A group of students shouted him down and shouted slogans such as: we respect free speech, but this (a christian lecture) is hate speech, so get off our campus…  and the f words flying at the end. Who is really demonstrating the hate and the intolerance?

Published on May 8, 2012 by  See more at:

–>Tim Keller at Google talks (on God, Christianity, Pentecostals, Atheism…)

Tim Keller talks about ‘Reasons for God’ Excerpt:

looking out over the young crowd in his audience, Tim Keller states, „…when I was your age, which is a long time ago; everybody knew that the more technologically advanced the society got, the less religious they’d get. That’s what everybody thought they knew. And the more economically developed, the more educated people got, the more religionwas sort of going to thin out and the idea of a God and truth and miracles was going to sort of die out. Not- hardly anyone believes that anymore because, really, that’s not what’s happening. Instead, robust, orthodox, faith in God has gotten stronger in the world. It has gotten stronger in America. Secular thought has also increased, so we have a more polarized society.

But, you know, last week, the Pew foundation sent out its latest survey of the religious life of people in America and now Evangelical Pentecostals is the largest single category, bigger than mainline Protestants. bigger than Catholics. That would never- I can’t imagine that 30 years ago. Meanwhile, in the rest of the world to keep some things in mind, Africa has gone from 9% to 55% Christian in the last 100 years. Korea went from about 1% to 40% Christian in the hundred years while Korea was getting more technologically advanced.  The same thing has basically happened  in China. There are more Christians in China then there are in America, and this has been happening even as science has advanced.

So the old idea that somehow orthodox religion is sort of going to go away…It isn’t. It’s going to be here which means the only way we’re going to get along is we got to be able to get sympathetically into one another’s shoes. So if you don’t believe in God–you need to try to understand why anybody does or we’re not going to be able to work in a pluralistic society.You know, the new atheist books, Mr. Dawkins, Mr. Hitchens and company, when they say religion is bad, that’s not a new thesis…. continues into a 1 hour important lecture in this video:

Related posts by Tim Keller



Greg Koukl – Moral Relativism lecture to University students

An outstanding lecture for University students who seldom or never get exposed to Moral Relativism from an Evangelical perspective (not even from their churches). While seasoned Christians may not need to learn and articulate Christian apologetics, our High School and College students need to understand their faith from an apologetics’ perspective in order to become discerning of the lectures they are exposed to from their secular/atheist and sometimes communist (I mention communist because this is from a personal family experience of one top University) professors.  As parents, along with ceaseless prayer and Bible devotion, we need to be informed in order to support our children during this, the most vulnerable period of their lives. Talk to your children daily about what they are learning and what troubles them, and test their faith, be proactive  and pray without ceasing.

Greg Koukl, Founder and President, Stand to Reason

Greg started out thinking he was too smart to become a Christian and ended up giving his life for the defense of the Christian faith. A central theme of Greg’s speaking and writing is that Christianity can compete in the marketplace of ideas when it’s properly understood and properly articulated. He is adjunct professor in Christian Apologetics at Biola University.

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Greg Koukl – Moral Relativism
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What’s News about Jesus, Lecture 2 with Drs. Darrell Bock, Dan Wallace, and Ben Witherington

EXTREMELY USEFUL information in these 2 lectures given at Dallas Theological Seminary by 3 of the foremost Evangelical New Testament Scholars. The second video’s discussion on theNew Testament Canon is one of the best I’ve heard and worth note taking as these scholars discuss the Canon within the Church Fathers context.Drs. Darrell Bock, Dan Wallace, and Ben Witherington discuss the current media coverage about Jesus and address issues concerning the “lost” tomb of Jesus, extra-biblical gospels, and the DaVinci Code. (76 minutes)

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Jesus, Canon and Theology, Lecture 1 with Drs. Darrell Bock, Dan Wallace, and Ben Witherington

80 minute apologetics discussion from 2007:Drs. Darrell Bock, Dan Wallace, and Ben Witherington dialogue on the historical and biblical foundation for the person of Jesus, the formation of the canon, and the development of theology.

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