philosophers go at each other

and there is a play by play. very interesting stuff. Plantinga is the christian and Dennett is the militant atheist. Much more at the link.

3:52 pm – I have just realized that Dennett is taking far too long. The session is supposed to end in 8 minutes. Dennett argues that naturalism is an alternative religion. Dennett is ending with a joke. He is now going after the Christian fish. It is clear that something terrible is coming. Dennett tried to come up with an alternative to traditional Christian Ictus. He notes that it is an acronym and so he tries to come up with a latin acronym for Darwin. It translates as follows: “Destroy the author of things to discover the nature of the universe.” This was his last response. Basically, he is talking about murdering God. Dennett has revealed a deep wickedness in his character. I will never take him seriously as a philosopher again.

3:55 pm – Plantinga begins. He claims that he isn’t clear as to how what Dennett said bore on Plantinga’s claim. This is true Plantinga. He first asks what the argument is. He is unphased and was clearly prepared for this. He is exposing the point that Dennett only told stories and really didn’t make an argument against Plantinga’s claim. This is a wonderful way to reply. Ignore the profound insults that culminated in a suggestion that we kill God to understand the universe. Appear un-phased and focus on the philosophy. Dennett was classless. Plantinga is only focusing on the argument. A Goliath ad hominem attack is felled by the simple stone of careful analysis.

hat tip to Jonah Goldberg


two clips from John Piper


words matter

Vision Navigator posted a video with this introduction:

Ran across this short movie called Validation…funny, intriguing, touching, and a great story that illustrates the power of words, and the fundamental human need for recognition and affirmation.

here it is, what do you think?

foto friday

spring is springing. here is a bee on a redbud on the Capitol grounds. My new spring header came from this.
friday evening

Love the determination on 2’s face:
royals v. bcs

and I just can’t seem to get enough of flags:
friday evening

James MacDonald’s blog

James MacDonald is the senior pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. He is currently in California undergoing radiation treatments for prostate cancer, but he is still updating his blog.

he recently did a video post on songs that Harvest Bible Chapel won’t sing. Good stuff. like Jonathan Dodson, James is also of the opinion that God is not our boyfriend.

James also has some interesting thoughts on how Brian McLaren is like his palm pilot.

he also takes on the idea of “reaching our culture.”

Hey, not just at our church but around the country as I travel . . . why does it seem that most of the people talk talk talking about reaching the culture are doing such a meager job of it. Why is it that from frustrated old college professors to angry young mega church haters, the vast majority of people waxing eloquent about their passion to penetrate the culture with the gospel are bearing such scanty, sparse, spartan, even scarce fruit? By fruit I mean actual living breathing men and women turning from sin and self and embracing Jesus Christ as Savior and Master of their souls.

He then discusses three things that people mean when they talk about reaching culture:
1. They mean reaching people very different from themselves.
2. They mean reaching secular people who have no interest in God.
3. They mean reaching cool people who make them feel cool.

Go read his post for the discussion under each bullet point.

James concludes by pointing out that across cultures, people come to Jesus for the same reason:

1) I thought my life was going great ’til God dropped a ‘boulder’ (some point of acute need) on me and I saw how pointless, empty, dark, or dismal my future was without Him.
2) A caring person intersected my life with true compassion just as my heart opened to the reality that another round of self repair was not going to fix anything.
3) the good news of Jesus Christ’s love and forgiveness was given to me boldly and plainly and I opened my heart by faith to what I finally knew I needed most of all.

BONUS: as long as we are poking around the James MacDonald blog, don’t miss the entry on “Jesus: the New Wine Tasting!”

Ok, that’s not what really bugs me. What truly sets me back is the growing number of people who seem to be doing that with Jesus. Sampling and smelling the parts of his nature that appeal to them and ignoring the things they find less to their taste. Getting together in little huddles around a candle and consuming the comforting while ignoring so much much of what is compelling and commanding. “Ohhh, let’s crack open a bottle of the ‘middle ages Jesus,” as if we really have any substantive clue about what Christ was doing in people and how they followed him, in say, 1147AD. “Can’t you sense His melancholy walking through this damp castle calling out in the corridor to people hiding in the shadows of biblical illiteracy?” Ah no, no I’m not sensing anything at all.
We all need the same thing. We desperately need to journey away from our prejudicial/familial view of Jesus Christ. We need to come back to the biblical center, where He is known in all His fullness without bias or historical blockage. Down with Eastern Orthodox Jesus, down with Emerging Jesus, down with western world anti-supernatural dead bible church Jesus, down with mainline watered down secular pseudo scholarly sentimental Jesus, down with Roman Catholic pomp and circumstance we have him and you don’t Jesus, and down with heartless self-interested felt need corporate mega church Jesus. Down with gospel Jesus and OT prophecy Jesus, and Pauline Jesus, as partial sketches of the total biblical Christ. God help all of us to stop tasting and sampling and swirling Jesus in the glass of our own preferences. Only the light of total biblical revelation is bright enough to expose the darkness of our own stagnant thinking about a Christ who is caricatured by what we find most pleasing to our own perspectives.

gospel centered preaching

here is Matt Chandler talking about gospel centered preaching as opposed to silly irreverent myths

p.s. I am trying to remember where I saw this and will update with a link when I remember

What “reformed” means to Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung has written about what it means to him to be called “reformed”. The whole post is very good and you should read it, but I especially liked these two paragraphs.

I delight in the glory of God and in God’s delight for his own glory which brings me, on my best days, unspeakable joy, and on all my other days, still gives purpose and order to an otherwise confusing and seemingly random world.
When I say I am Reformed I mean that God is the center of the universe and I am not. I mean that I am a worse sinner than I imagine and God is a greater Savior than I ever thought possible. I mean that the Lord is my righteousness and the Lord alone is my boast. By Reformed I mean all this, and most of all that my only comfort in life and in death is that I am not my own but belong, in body and in soul, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever, amen.