Responding to More Objections to Original Sin
Reflections – We are what we think
by Kenneth
1y ago
I’ve never met a perfect human being. Even extraordinary Christian people I’ve known who are uncommonly humble, gracious, and loving admit that they have moral and spiritual flaws like envy, selfishness, and pride.  It seems all human beings have a congenital moral condition that stands beyond complete cure in this life. Personally, I sincerely desire to fulfill what Jesus called the two great commandments: To love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength and my neighbor as myself (Mark 12:29–31). But while I’ve seen what I think is genuine spiritual growth in my life in terms of l ..read more
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Should Christians Use Analogies for the Trinity?
Reflections – We are what we think
by Kenneth
1y ago
How often do you use analogies when trying to explain things? I’ll bet you do it more often than you realize. An analogy involves a comparison between two things, usually for the purpose of explanation or clarification. Analogies are an important part of human thinking. In fact, logician Patrick Hurley says “Analogical reasoning may be the most fundamental and most common of all rational processes.”1 When it comes to the Trinity, some theologians see the pursuit of an analogy as highly problematic, but I think it’s natural that Christians would seek an appropriate analogy to help explain or cl ..read more
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Reconciling God’s Sovereignty with Human Choices and Evil
Reflections – We are what we think
by Kenneth
2y ago
One of the hotly debated topics within Christian theology is the question of how God can be sovereign and yet allow evil in the world. Two people asked me about this issue on social media recently and I offered a brief response. See what you think of the questions and objections raised as well as my replies. Please consider also my recommendations for further reading about this important topic. Respondent 1 (paraphrased): If God is sovereign in a traditional sense and is thus in control of how all things ultimately unfold, then isn’t God responsible for such evil things like rape? Go ..read more
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How to Evaluate Religious Experiences
Reflections – We are what we think
by Kenneth
2y ago
Many people claim to have had religious experiences with God—a phenomenon that has been true since time immemorial. How can a person think through this numinous topic? What are the right questions to ask?  In this brief article I’ll answer some basic questions about religious experiences from a historic Christian perspective. I hope my thoughts will be helpful to both Christians and non-Christians as they seek answers to this challenging topic. Addressing Six Questions about Religious Experiences How can one possibly define a religious experience?  This is a good question ..read more
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Encountering a God of Mystery
Reflections – We are what we think
by Kenneth
2y ago
“Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:13-14, NIV 1984) Is there mystery involved in encountering the exalted God of the Bible? If so, does that mean God is ultimately unknowable? Does mystery involve actual logical contradiction? Mystery and Comprehension According to historic Christianity, a theological mystery is something that is believed to be true based on biblical revel ..read more
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Getting to Know RTB Scholar Ken Samples
Reflections – We are what we think
by Kenneth
2y ago
Having been an author, professor, Sunday school teacher, and radio talk show host over my thirty-five-year professional career, I’ve been asked thousands of questions about all things relating to Christian apologetics and worldview. I recently sat down with my friend and RTB colleague Joe Aguirre for an interview. We decided to cover some of the questions we often ask scholars who appear on our Straight Thinking podcast. I hope you benefit from my responses. Our One-on-One Joe: As a deeply bookish person, outside of the Bible, what are the two most important books that shaped your Ch ..read more
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Why Would a Perfect God Risk Creating Others?
Reflections – We are what we think
by Kenneth
2y ago
Ancient Christian church father St. Augustine (354–430) articulated the provocative idea that the Trinity makes God perfect in a love that is found within God’s nature. Contemporary Anglican theologian Gerald Bray provides a helpful summary of Augustine’s basic reasoning: “God cannot be love unless there is something for him to love. But if that something were not part of himself, he would not be perfect. The Bible does not teach us that God needed the creation in order to have something to love, because if that were true, he could not be fully himself without it. So Augustine reasoned that Go ..read more
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In Apologetics Encounters, Be Winsome or Lose Some
Reflections – We are what we think
by Kenneth
2y ago
    As a Christian thinker and apologist, I have talked with many non-Christians about my Christian faith over almost the past four decades. Some of these apologetics discussions have taken place in formal debates, others on television and radio, still others on social media, and many in personal face-to-face discussions. Sometimes I reflect back on these discussions and wonder how successful they were.   In my opinion, defending the faith (Greek: apologia: to offer a reasoned defense) is never easy, and one must trust in God’s grace for the results. Ultimate ..read more
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Reasoning through JFK Assassination Theories
Reflections – We are what we think
by Kenneth
2y ago
Conspiracy theories never seem to go away. Especially the ones that are said to involve clandestine plots of the United States government. It seems that many Americans believe high-level members of the federal government have been involved in such things as assassinations, cover-ups, and secret societies. Conspiracy theories, like all theories, need to be thought through critically and dispassionately. As Christians, we have a duty to pursue truth. However, in a fallen world truth is not always easy to discern. Nevertheless, as creatures made in God’s image, we possess the ability to reas ..read more
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Revelation Versus Religion: Can Religious Pluralism Be True?
Reflections – We are what we think
by Kenneth
2y ago
Why can’t all the world’s religions be true?  The challenge of accepting the idea that all religions are true (religious pluralism) stems from the fact that the individual religions teach essential things that logically contradict one another. For example, their disagreement about the existence of God or gods is just one of many examples demonstrating how profoundly the world’s religions differ: Islam affirms one God. Popular Hinduism affirms 330 million gods. Philosophical Hinduism affirms all as god. Original Buddhism affirms no god. So the world’s religions collectively can’t agree o ..read more
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