apologetic/scientific defense of the bible

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Posts 9
Jonathan Reeves | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Dec 14 2010 12:21 PM

Hello community,

I am hoping some of you will be able to share some resources for me. I am looking for books/collections etc. that deal specifically with defending the bible on a scientific level. Archeological, scientific defenses that deal less with faith based defense and more on a theological defense of scripture.

 

Any ideas?

Posts 509
Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 12:59 PM

Jonathan,

What sort of scientific defenses do you have in mind?

Archeology that tends to support the Biblical account, perhaps?  Or scientific defenses geared more towards issues of Genesis, creation, etc.?

If the latter, study the works of John H. Walton before you read anyone else. He's a well qualified scholar that teaches and writes a lot on correctly understanding the biblical context before attempting to bridge the gap between science in scripture and science in the modern sense.

He's got several books available in Logos, numerous available on Amazon relating directly to this subject, and a few lectures and talks on Youtube, Google videos, and Biologos.org.

A few years back he gave a lecture at Logos called Genesis One as Ancient Cosmology, but I'm unable to find it on the website anymore. Here is the blog about it though: http://blog.logos.com/archives/2008/06/genesis_one_as_ancient_cosmology.html

Greg

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Jerry M | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 1:22 PM

Jonathan, I haven't read any of these yet, but these books are available in Logos. (I have Platinum and they are included).

Christianity on the Offense

Defending Your Faith

Engaging the Closed Mind

Evidence and Truth

The Truth About Worldviews

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Posts 9
Jonathan Reeves | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 1:41 PM

Greg and Jerry,

Thank you both! I will look into the below resources. I am more looking into the defense of the actual bible itself. I am building my "apologetic" background and as a presupposition to my belief system, I want to be able to defend the Truth of God or else all my other beliefs are lost.

Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 2:07 PM

Jonathan Reeves:
I am hoping some of you will be able to share some resources for me. I am looking for books/collections etc. that deal specifically with defending the bible on a scientific level. Archeological, scientific defenses that deal less with faith based defense and more on a theological defense of scripture.

* Reasons To Believe Collection

* Science & Theology Collection

* Theological Journal Library, volumes 1-10

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Posts 98
Tim Lord | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 3:48 PM

Jonathan, there are competing viewpoints among Christians in the realm of Christian apologetics.  For example, John Walton's viewpoint regarding Genesis 1 is his own.  Other scholars disagree with Walton and point out that people in most cultures experience the world as a whole, they do not constantly separate the "material" and "functional" aspects of the world around them.  One good aspect about Logos is that resources representing differing viewpoints are not excluded from production.  That way we can all study for ourselves and decide what interpretive framework we will use.  So, for a resource supporting a more traditional reading of Genesis 1, see the book by James B. Jordan titled: "Creation in Six Days: A Defense of the Traditional Reading of Genesis One": http://www.logos.com/product/7483/creation-in-six-days-a-defense-of-the-traditional-reading-of-genesis-one ($8.50).
Neither does Hugh Ross represent the only viewpoint regarding biblical creation, either.  Check out the "Day One Creation and Science Collection": http://www.logos.com/product/4055/day-one-creation-and-science-collection
As for biblical archaeology, (long the same lines), check out the "Bible and Spade Collection", which is 32 years worth of this periodical from 1972 to 2008: http://www.logos.com/product/8320/bible-and-spade-collection-version-2

Posts 1567
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 4:41 PM

Actually, I think Walton's general approach is one shared by many scholars who are not theologically committed to the idea that God (and by extension the Bible) speaks in absolute scientific terms. I'd put many Catholic and Jewish scholars in that boat.

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 4:47 PM

Jonathan Reeves:

 . . . I want to be able to defend the Truth of God or else all my other beliefs are lost.

I read a book on apologetics in seminary (that I will leave unnamed) that used a statement very similar to yours as the basis for the book. Trouble is, it failed to substantiate it's thesis. It's very embarrassing when you can't even convince those who agree with you!

Our faith, our beliefs do not rest on our ability to logically prove that they are true, but on meeting and knowing the Author and Perfecter of our faith. It's my opinion that apologetics cannot be successfully used to prove that Christianity, and only Christianity, must be true. But that's not it's place. Apologetics exists (IMHO), to show that objections to Christianity are neither valid nor convincing.

I say this as someone who was a major in philosophy at (Calvin) college, who has studied logic, apologetics and read and studied all the (major) arguments for the existence of God, the necessity of Creation (vs. evolution), etc., etc. I'm even one who makes the arguments from time to time, and understands the counter arguments well enough to often defeat them on their own grounds. But in doing so I recognize that one cannot base one's faith on logic, nor on apologetic arguments. In other words the rational mind cannot save us, nor even lead us to faith. At most the rational mind can be shown that it has no reason to stand against the grace and love of God.

My faith does not rest on my ability to "defend the Truth of God," nor will any belief in Him be lost if I cannot do so. My faith rests solely on the person and work of Jesus, and the love of my heavenly Father, sealed in me by the Holy Spirit, Who lives within me. No mere argument can tell me that I don't know, what and who I personally know. I hope and pray that the same is true for you.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Jeremy | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 5:14 PM

Although Logos hates where this will go, I think I have to disagree with you a little Richard. You seem to be playing the faith vs. reason card a little too strongly. All the poster did was ask how he can defend his faith, not logically prove it (even though I too don't like the statement that if I can't argue the whole shabang I should throw it all away). I think your approach is a little too subjective and experiential even though I fully agree with the fact that we cannot be fully objective/logical/reasonable.

Posts 509
Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 5:32 PM

Jonathan,

It needs to be said that more traditional does not always mean more accurate. One of the strengths that Walton brings to the table is an assessment of the Ancient Near Eastern worldview, something which is decidedly lacking in more traditional approaches to this question.

Walton, along with a growing number of prominent scholars, cautions against whats called biblical concordism, namely the tendency to use the Bible to decide issues of modern science, or modern science deciding issues of Biblical interpretation. The traditional viewpoint of six-day creationism falls into this trap, as do the people at Reasons To Believe. Any viewpoint that fails to take into account the assumptions and worldview of the ancient Israelites is in danger of committing eisegesis with scripture, or reading one's own viewpoint into scripture. Or, they tend to make unreasonable demands upon modern science. Unreasonable because scripture does not require those demands.

The end result of all this usually causes some degree of animosity towards modern science, which is really quiet amazing and a testament to God's creative power, or a dumbing down of scripture in such a way that it becomes a mere shadow of its former self. (I could, for example, show you things in Genesis 1 that you've probably never noticed before, but only because you aren't familiar with the worldview of the author of Genesis.)

This subject is my passion, and I have been studying it and participating in the debate for more than a decade. I've seen all the views and worked through most of them during this time. I know the strengths and weaknesses of them all. Walton's, along with those similar to it, are the best ones so far that actually allow God's Word and God's Natural Revelation to speak the most for themselves. As you begin studying this subject, I'd like to see you start off with a firm foundation, and not get mired down in dead ends and wishful thinking.

I mention Walton primarily because he has produced the most resources on this subject currently. But he is only one of many prominent Christian scholars who are moving in the same direction. Others include Bruce Walke, N. T. Wright, Peter Enns, the exceptionally qualified Denis O. Lamoureux, Tim Keller, Alister McGrath, and Os Guinness.

I'm linking to a video presentation of Walton's that outlines and explains these ideas very well.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-323906090172751831#

The website I mentioned above, Biologos.org, also has many resources discussing these ideas too, and what they mean. Here, for example, is a collection of videos by many of the scholars I listed above: http://biologos.org/resources/conversations/

I hope these can be helpful to you!

 

Aside: Question to Logos Staff - Any word on what happened to the Logos Lecture Series page that made available those recordings? They disappeared when the new website rolled out!

Posts 171
Abi Gail | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 5:35 PM

I witnessed to a young lady recently. She is what I would consider to be border-line agnostic. It ended up being the other way around. She witnessed to me. She told of her interest in the History Channel.. especially the archeologists that set out to disprove the Bible but end up substantiating it. My point is that Faith is Belief enhanced by Trust. The process must have a starting point. If scientific or archeological evidence is what it takes to open the door...Then I say PRAISE GOD for science.

EDIT:

This was not to dispute what Richard said...On the contrary. I was pleased that he stated his case. However, That type of Faith rarely happens overnight. I think we must allow some time for others to reach that point.

~

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 5:41 PM

Richard DeRuiter:
My faith does not rest on my ability to "defend the Truth of God," nor will any belief in Him be lost if I cannot do so. My faith rests solely on the person and work of Jesus, and the love of my heavenly Father, sealed in me by the Holy Spirit

Well said

Posts 1216
Matt Hamrick | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 6:31 PM

Hi Jonathan :)

Apologetics is my minor in college and the number one thing is to know the Bible. That being said there are plenty of books that deal with Apologetics and worldviews. You need to know competing worldviews to be able to give a proper defense. Here are some resources Logos has:

Kregel Apologetics Collection (7 vols.) http://www.logos.com/product/7858/kregel-apologetics-collection These resources are in every Logos Bible software package. You already have them.

Moody Apologetics Collection (5 vols.) http://www.logos.com/product/5047/moody-apologetics-collection  The Moody Apologetics Collection (5 Vols.) gives you the tools to define and defend your faith in a culture of increasing skepticism, doubt, and hostility toward Christianity.

The Works of Dr. Robert A. Morey (33 vols.) http://www.logos.com/product/5794/the-works-of-dr-robert-a-morey There is also an upgrade to this collection in PrePub.

With any apologetics it is good to know Systematic Theology. We have a ton of Systematic Theology books in our libraries. However, you should stick with current ST books and not historic. Yes, its nice to read and be able to trace the doctrine of the Bible, but Theology books tend to deal with the topics of the day. Think Grudem and Erikson.

It would benefit you to to learn about philosophy. You don't need to head to college or seminary to read about the issues of the day and the history of philosophy. There again, you need to know the arguments used against Christianity.

Type Apologetics, Philosophy, Systematic Theology, Worldview in the SEARCH bar on the Logos webpage and look at all the resources available. You will find a lot and I suggest looking at the PrePubs and CPs for cheap resources. Good luck.

In Christ,
Matt

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 6:37 PM

Jeremy:

Although Logos hates where this will go, I think I have to disagree with you a little Richard. You seem to be playing the faith vs. reason card a little too strongly. All the poster did was ask how he can defend his faith, not logically prove it (even though I too don't like the statement that if I can't argue the whole shabang I should throw it all away). I think your approach is a little too subjective and experiential even though I fully agree with the fact that we cannot be fully objective/logical/reasonable.

Let me be clear that I am not opposed to reason, nor do I see faith and reason to be opposed in any way. Neither am I in any way opposed to apologetics. On the contrary, I use apologetic methods regularly.I just see reason as having limited value, and being no less subject to our fallen nature than other aspects of our humanity.

I was only responding to the portion of the statement that I quoted, not to the rest of this thread.

 

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Posts 9
Jonathan Reeves | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 10:51 PM

 

Richard, I do agree with you. I am not trying to prove christianity and realize that a portion will always be faith based. Perhaps my wording was incorrect. I come from a chemistry background and am encountered by a fair amount of intellectual agnostics. I feel the burden and desire to really be able to "battle" on an intellectual level the reasons and ideas behind our beliefs from a science perspective. knowing that it is ultimately faith based but yet not yielding to the idea that we leave our minds at the door. I am not at the point to fully understand the arguments and counter arguments and would like to be able to intellectually defend my faith as well as embrace the fact that without faith my beliefs are fraught. thank you for taking the time to respond and I do agree with you. I hope I am able to convey my reasons for further empirical evidence and yet at the same time retain the ideology of a faith based relationship with Christ.

 

Posts 9
Jonathan Reeves | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 10:54 PM

Thank you all for your testimonies! I am looking into the resources presented and I am very excited with what you guys have shown me. I suspect I will be adding quite a bit to my meager bible study edition and look forward to more insight and investigation towards apologetics and defending the faith on a science based level.

Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 10:54 PM

I would recommend Walton and Ross as taking the more scientifically defensible approach to Genesis. Walton's use of the Ancient Near East background is also essential to the topic. Biologos has a wealth of excellent discussion on these topics, and the American Science Affiliation journal 'Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith' (available online free of charge), is very useful.

Tim Lord:
As for biblical archaeology, (long the same lines), check out the "Bible and Spade Collection", which is 32 years worth of this periodical from 1972 to 2008: http://www.logos.com/product/8320/bible-and-spade-collection-version-2

I second this recommendation; this journal is already in the collection of theological journals I recommended. Also in that collection are Bibliotheca Sacra and Journal of the Evangelical Theological society, which I have found to contain some very good apologetic material, as well as the Christian Apologetics Journal (1998-2005), and Journal of Christian Apologetics (1997-1998).

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Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 10:56 PM

Jonathan Reeves:
Richard, I do agree with you. I am not trying to prove christianity and realize that a portion will always be faith based. Perhaps my wording was incorrect. I come from a chemistry background and am encountered by a fair amount of intellectual agnostics. I feel the burden and desire to really be able to "battle" on an intellectual level the reasons and ideas behind our beliefs from a science perspective. knowing that it is ultimately faith based but yet not yielding to the idea that we leave our minds at the door.

This is a good approach. Faith is always going to be necessary, but there's a difference between blind faith and informed faith. Christians should hold to the latter. If God wanted us to have blind faith He would never have gone to all the trouble of providing so much evidence.

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Jerry M | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 14 2010 10:59 PM

By the way Logos is having a Christmas special which includes some pertinent titles at 50% off.

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