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Apologetics Profile
Making a Case for the Christian Faith
Category: Christianity
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James Walker is a former 4th-generation Mormon who converted to Christianity. He is president of Watchman Fellowship, an evange...


by James Walker
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November 23, 2020 03:00 AM PST
In this week's episode Daniel Ray and Dr. Luke Barnes conclude their discussion of the question "What is Scientism?" Science is fully compatible with the Christian worldview and for the most part has done much to expand knowledge and in most cases provided tremendous progress in advancing human wellbeing and flourishing. There is, however, a controversial philosophy of science that seems to be growing in popularity that can be called Scientism.

In part two of their conversation, Daniel and Luke critique some assumptions and draw some conclusions on and questions raised by Scientism:
  • Must science and religion be seen as in conflict?
  • Has science disproven the existence of God?
  • Is science the best or even only way to know truth?
  • For anything to be true, does it have to be observable, testable, repeatable and peer reviewed? 
Luke A. Barnes is a theoretical astrophysicist, cosmologist, and postdoctoral researcher at Western Sydney University. He received his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge in 2009. He is a John Templeton Fellow. He has published papers in the fields of galaxy formation and the fine-tuning of the Universe for life. For more on Dr. Barnes, see his CV here: http://bit.ly/LukeBarnes 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

November 16, 2020 03:00 AM PST
In this week's episode Daniel Ray and Dr. Luke Barnes explore the question "What is Scientism?" Science is fully compatible with the Christian worldview and for the most part has done much to expand knowledge and in most cases provided tremendous progress in advancing human wellbeing and flourishing. There is, however, a controversial philosophy of science that seems to be growing in popularity that can be called Scientism.
In part one of this two-part conversation, Daniel and Luke discuss some of the assumptions made and questions raised by Scientism:
  • Must science and religion be seen as in conflict?
  • Has science disproven the existence of God?
  • Is science the best or even only way to know truth?
  • For anything to be true, does it have to be observable, testable, repeatable and peer reviewed? 
Luke A. Barnes is a theoretical astrophysicist, cosmologist, and postdoctoral researcher at Western Sydney University. He received his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge in 2009. He is a John Templeton Fellow. He has published papers in the fields of galaxy formation and the fine-tuning of the Universe for life. For more on Dr. Barnes, see his CV here: http://bit.ly/LukeBarnes 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

November 09, 2020 03:00 AM PST

British philosopher Mary Midgley suggests that evolutionary "theory itself has again and again been distorted by biases flowing from over-simple, unbalanced world-pictures. The trouble does not, of course, lie in mere wish-fulfilment of the obvious kind that paints the world as we should like it to be. It involves being obsessed by a picture so colorful and striking that it numbs thought about the evidence required to support it. Standards of proof fall headlong.”  


Midgley notes that there is an underlying assumption about evolution she calls “hypertrophied forms of cosmic optimism...” Essentially, the “cosmic optimism” is the idea that evolution is a kind of progress from “gas to genius,” that the future is one of guaranteed improvement of our species toward what Midgely calls “some superhuman spiritual stratosphere”. 

On part two of our discussion with Discovery Institute fellow Dr. Michael Keas, we explore the falsehoods and false hopes of the messianic-like blank check myth of our time. This myth suggests that either through the discovery of benevolent superintelligent extraterrestrial beings and/or sheer technological progress, mankind will eventually progress from his sullied and sad state of death, disease, and decay into a poorly defined "superhman spiritual stratosphere", a kind of "Singularity" as many futurists term it, where man and machine combine to produce a quasi kind of spiritual perfection and eternal existence.

Will artificial intelligence or extraterrestrial intelligence save us? No, Keas reminds us. "The futuristic ET enlightenment myth and its terrestrial Singularity companion share a strong aversion to Christianity... Both ET and AI salvation are supposed to occur by technological good works, not by accepting the undeserved sacrificial gift of Jesus," Keas writes.

We hope this episode will equip and encourage you to think biblically about the modern futuristic myths promulgated by science and give you the tools to respond to your secular friends, neighbors, and family members who may be caught up in the utopic-like hopes of modern science.
 
As the Apostle Peter proclaims of the Lord Jesus Christ, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

For more information on Dr. Keas' work, you can visit his website at the Discovery Institute (https://www.discovery.org/p/keas/). We also encourage you to check out his latest book, Unbelievable - 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion (http://bit.ly/MikeKeas). 

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

 

November 05, 2020 08:00 AM PST

Welcome to this special combinded edition of our two podcasts, Good Heavens! (www.watchman.org/GoodHeavens) and Apologetics Profile (www.watchman.org/Podcast). This episode is a recent talk by Dr. Sarah Salviander's presenting her chapter on God and black holes from our book, The Story of the Cosmos - How the Heavens Declare the Glory of God  (www.TheStoryOfTheCosmos.com).

What is a black hole? Where are they? How were they discovered? How does the majesty, mystery, and enigma of black holes point to the glory of God? Come along on this special episode and find out!

Dr. Sarah Salviander received her PhD in astrophysics from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a researcher at UT for sixteen years, where she specialized in the study of quasars, supermassive black holes, and galaxies. She is the author of several peer-reviewed journal papers and a comprehensive Astronomy & Astrophysics homeschool curriculum. She is currently writing books about the remarkable confluence between Christianity and modern science. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Sarah presented her talk at LifePoint Church in League City, Texas (South Houston) on October 21st, 2020, as part of their Wednesday Night "Unfiltered. Conversations that Matter" apologetics ministry. Thanks to Trevor Shakiba and Pastor Josh Sharpe for coordinating the event and for the assistance in the production of the video. You can visit the church’s website at https://golifepointchurch.org.   LifePoint provided the audio and video. Daniel Ray of Watchman Fellowship edited and produced the final video. Daniel is also the co-editor and co-contributor to The Story of the Cosmos.   

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

November 02, 2020 03:00 AM PST

C.S. Lewis once wrote that there is a certain kind of “mythology that follows in the wake of science." A prescient insight for our time, as secular popularizers of science, with the awe, aura, and authority of science surrounding them, perpetuate many myths that are simply unsound on a multitude of levels; scientific, philosophical, historical, and theological just to name a few. 

On this two-part episode Daniel Ray sits down with Dr. Michael Newton Keas of the Discovery Institute (https://www.discovery.org/p/keas/) to talk about several of these modern myths that have come about in the "wake of science"; myths in relation to the interplay between science and religion, more specifically.

We discuss his newest book, Unbelievable - 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion (http://bit.ly/MikeKeas). Dr. Keas outlines the predominant myths that are promulgated today, ideas he has heard in his over 25 years of teaching science at the university and collegiate levels. Keas exposes the falsehoods of these myths by providing a solid historical background for how they've grown and taken on a life of their own in the minds of popular culture.

About Dr. Keas: "After earning a Ph.D. in the history of science from the University of Oklahoma, Mike Keas won research grants from such organizations as the National Science Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. He experienced some of the last historic moments behind the Berlin Wall as a Fulbright scholar in East Germany. Keas serves as lecturer in the history and philosophy of science at Biola University and on the board of directors of Ratio Christi, an alliance of apologetics clubs on college campuses."
On part one, Dr. Keas provides the genesis of his book, discusses why we indeed have a special and unique purpose in the cosmos and we discuss the kind of salvific hope that undergirds many of the myths of our time.
  
Watch a short presentation on science and religion (https://youtu.be/8zC8tOVLjdE) from Dr. Keas produced by the Gospel Coalition. For more information on Dr. Keas' work, be sure to visit his homepage at the Discovery Institute in the link above. 

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

October 28, 2020 10:16 AM PDT

C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe turned 70 this month (October 2020). In the midst of a difficult year of pandemics and politics, now is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with C.S. Lewis's timeless classic. What's in your "spare oom" that can lead to adventures undreamt and unsought? 

BONUS EPISODE: Come along with us on this special edition broadcast which is a joint program of both Watchman Fellowship podcasts --  Good Heavens! and Apologetics Profile. In this show Daniel Ray celebrates the imaginative, cosmological, literary, and apologetic wonders of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with C.S. Lewis scholar Dr. Michael Ward. 

Dr. Ward served as Daniel's master's thesis advisor at Houston Baptist University in 2016. Daniel is the first to have written a master's thesis on Dr. Ward's 2008 book, Planet Narnia - The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis.  

Michael is the author of several published works and scholarly articles about Lewis, the imagination, and theology. He has lectured in 30 of the 50 states, holds a doctorate of divinity from St. Andrews, and has made numerous radio, podcast, and television appearances. More on Michael's work can be found here and here

BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

October 26, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

In part 2 Daniel Ray and Brady Blevins continue their discussion on the Ouija Board,* a controversial but extremely popular best-seller made by game and toy maker Hasbro.® Some of the questions they explore include:

  • Is this a mere game or toy "for entertainment purposes" only?
  • Why did the inventer argue in court that communicating through his "talking board" was actually a religious practice? 
  • Could it actually be a tool of the occult that allegedly allows a medium to contact the dead (necromancy), a practice clearly forbidden in the Bible (Deut. 18:10-12)?
  • Why did it take an IRS lawsuit appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court for the Ouija to be classified as a game?

BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

* Introduction audio excerpt courtesy "The Home of Horror," Paranormal Witness (Season 1 Episode 5): A family's use of a Ouija board brings an evil entity into their home, YouTube, July 17, 2019: https://youtu.be/lucRKtuCjtU

October 19, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

In this episode Daniel Ray and Brady Blevins discuss the Ouija Board, a controversial best-seller made by game and toy maker Hasbro®, from a Christian perspective. Some of the questions they address include:

  • Is this a mere game or toy "for entertainment purposes" only?
  • Why did the inventer argue in court that communicating through his "talking board" was actually a religious practice? 
  • Could it actually be a tool of the occult that allegedly allows a medium to contact the dead (necromancy), a practice clearly forbidden in the Bible (Deut. 18:10-12)?
  • Why did it take an IRS lawsuit appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court for the Ouija to be classified as a game?

BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

* Introduction audio excerpt courtesy "The Home of Horror," Paranormal Witness (Season 1 Episode 5): A family's use of a Ouija board brings an evil entity into their home, YouTube, July 17, 2019: https://youtu.be/lucRKtuCjtU

October 12, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

Founded by Keith Raniere, a quasi-religious group called NXVIM (pronounced NEX-ee-um) has been in the headlines following the arrests of Raniere, Smallville TV actress Allison Mack, and other leaders on charges of sex trafficking. Prosecutors and the FBI alleged women were coerced and blackmailed by Mack and other leaders to have sex with the group’s founder. Victims also claim to have been called "slaves" and branded with the letters "KR," Keith Raniere's initials. 

As more horrifying details emerged, investigators sought testimony from additional victims. "F.B.I. assistant director-in-charge William F. Sweeney called the operation a 'pyramid scheme' and asked for anyone who might have been a victim to come forward with any information."* Raniere, Mack and other leaders were subsequently convicted and imprisoned.

In this week's episode, our Senior Apologist, Dr. Brady Blevins, interviews Frank Parlato of the Frank Report, a former NXVIM insider who became a chief whistle-blower. His testimony, documentation and evidence aided in the FBI's investigation leading to the arrests, indictments and prison sentences.

 BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

* Hilary Weaver, “This Keith Raniere Sex-Cult Story Is Much Deeper Than Allison Mack’s Arrest,” Vanity Fair, April, 2018: https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2018/04/allison-mack-arrested-in-connection-to-keith-raniere

October 05, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

How did an outdated New Age trend called the Enneagram become a wildly popular fad now sweeping through American Christianity? We address this phenomena in this week's Apologetics Profile. This is the final episode of our part two-part discussion on the Enneagram. This week we explore some additional questions related to the controversial history and practice of the Enneagram and the role played by one of its leading advocates, Richard Rohr.

  • Who were the real architects of the Enneagram?
  • What does Richard Rohr mean when he said that Christ is something "larger and older" than Jesus?
  • What is Panentheism and is it compatible with a biblical worldview?
  • Should the Enneagram be viewed as a harmless tool for personality assessment or does it pose a potential for spiritual danger?
  • Can God "redeem" the Enneagram from its occult roots for His own purposes?

To discuss these questions, James Walker, president of Watchman Fellowship, continues his interview with Marcia Montenegro and Don Veinot, two of the coauthors of the 2020 book, Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret. Marcia is also the author of our 4-page Profile on the Enneagram (see links below).

 BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

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