Friday, October 19, 2012

If you are looking for a speaker at a reasonable cost ...

I think it is safe to say that Carl Trueman charges significantly less than $10,000 per speaking engagement (see his discussion here). Incidentally, it is sad to see the scandal surrounding Dinesh D'Souza. I have no idea what the whole story is, but it is sad to hear about his family situation.

For Those in the Roman Communion Who Want to Own Ryan but not Biden...

Consider that the corpulent Cardinal Dolan is willing to publicly call both Paul Ryan and Joe Biden "Catholics" in his speech (about one minute, twenty seconds into his remarks) at the Al Smith dinner. The easily offended might want to stop just after that bit, though, and before his joke involving Benedict XVI.

It was nice to see him identify Mormons separately from "Protestants." However, Cardinal Dolan then shortly afterward suggested that both Obama and Romney have a "love of God and country." Which god exactly do either of those men love?

Dolan went on to identify something he called the "five finger gospel." It's a handy mneumonic for "You (1) do (2) it (3) to (4) me (5)." On the other hand (UPDATE: no pun intended), that's not the gospel - that's the law.

Here Cardinal Dolan's remarks:

You can also find Romney's remarks here (link) and Obama's remarks here (link). Personally, I thought Romney's jokes were more funny, though for some reason he felt it necessary to make about three references to the fact that he totally abstains from alcohol.

- TurretinFan

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why Don't These Arguments Persuade All the Atheists?

William Lane Craig gave an amusing but persuasive lecture in which he "Eastwooded" Richard Dawkins (embedded below). The argument rehashed arguments for the existence of God, such as the cosmological argument and the ontological argument.

Some of these, like the cosmological argument, are so airtight that one really wonders how some atheists continue to reject them. One possibility is that the arguments are too strong. Atheists think it can't be that easy, and that they must be being tricked. There must, they think, be some flaw in the argument that just has not yet been appreciated.

I would add that those arguments are valuable, but they are not enough. Acknowledging that God exists and created the world is not enough to escape God's wrath. One must repent of one's sins and trust in the Son of God for salvation from sin.

Craig's good, but incomplete, presentation is embedded below:

For those in the Roman Communion Who Think There is Only One Church ...

Consider Bendict XVI's remarks as reported today by the Vatican Information Service (emphasis mine):
The problem Europe has in finding its own identity consists, I believe, in the fact that in Europe today we see two souls: one is abstract anti-historical reason, which seeks to dominate all else because it considers itself above all cultures; it is like a reason which has finally discovered itself and intends to liberate itself from all traditions and cultural values in favour of an abstract rationality. Strasburg’s first verdict on the crucifix was an example of such abstract reason which seeks emancipation from all traditions, even from history itself. Yet we cannot live like that and, moreover, even "pure reason" is conditioned by a certain historical context, and only in that context can it exist. We could call Europe's other soul the Christian one. It is a soul open to all that is reasonable, a soul which itself created the audaciousness of reason and the freedom of critical reasoning, but which remains anchored to the roots from which this Europe was born, the roots which created the continent's fundamental values and great institutions, in the vision of the Christian faith. As you said, this soul has to find a shared expression in ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Churches.
I have noticed that some folks in the Roman communion have seemingly scrupled over calling the Reformed churches "Churches," opting instead for weird-sounding alternatives like "faith communities."

While I wouldn't hope that Benedict XVI's statement signals a reversal of his view that Rome is the one true church, perhaps his broader use of the term to encompass Orthodox and "Protestant" churches is something that his servants can bring themselves to adopt.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Reepicheep - Clark and Van Til

Over at Reepicheep, it was nice to see images of the cover pages of a couple of Van Til's books demonstrating that Van Til viewed Clark as a brother in Christ, notwithstanding their significant theological differences (link to post). That does not, of course, make right the mistreatment Clark received previously, but it was encouraging nonetheless.