Online Resources for Arguments Supporting Christian Theism

Review and recommend books and other resources such as videos, tapes or websites that you would like other Christians to be aware of. (posts considered spam will be removed)
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Online Resources for Arguments Supporting Christian Theism

Postby Anonymous » Wed Apr 06, 2005 5:31 pm

C H R I S T I A N T H E I S M

Revised Version: 9/9/3

Below is a list of links with articles pertaining to the field of Christianity. I offer this as a kind of door-way to further discussion. Some of the articles listed are not ones with which I agree, but have merely been ones which have spawned fresh thought in the areas discussed.

I offer this as a kind of Bibliography for further thought and reflection by both theists and atheists and anyone else interested. Since this is an apologetics site, it might be of interest to some here.

Enjoy:

The Justification of Theism
In this article by Oxford philosopher Richard Swinburne, some classic - though updated- arguments for the existence of God are offered. It is also partly a response to some criticisms by J.L. Mackie.

The Mystery of persons and Belief in God
C. Stephen Evans presents us with an important article on the existence of God. Important not only for the argument he presents, but also for his clarification on notions of "proof". This is a sample from his book which delves deeper into the issues at hand.

The Ultimate Question of Orgins
This is Craig's updated version of the Kalam Cosmological argument. It is an excellent tour of modern cosmology and the implications for the existence of God. Craig has also offered us a rejoinder on the personal cause of the universe.

Heirarchical causes in the Cosmological arguement
Stephen Davis offers us an interesting article dealing with causes in the Cosmological argument. This deals with notions of Infinite Regress and Hierarchical Causes.

Argument from Design
This is Swinburne's defence of the design argument. He offers some interesting insights that compel his conclusion. He also offers an interesting insight from Beauty.

Creation and the Structure of the Physical World
John Polkinghorne, one of the eminent physicists of our time, offers his reflections on the structure and design of the universe. This article is a must read because of Polkinghorne's vast experience as a world class scientist.

Religion in an Age of Science
Another excellent lecture from Polkinghorne that deals with some interesting arguments. This lecture was reformatted and offered in his little book Quark's, Chaos & Christianity which is a very good book for those asking questions about Science and Christianity. It also forms a basic introduction to Polkinghorne's major book The Faith of a Physicist, also published as Science and Christian Belief in which Polkinghorne offer's a definitive defence of the apostle's creed.

Science and Theology in a Trinitarian Perspective
This is a lecture given by Polkinghorne dealing with all the right issues between science and religion. It's fascinating and although the layout isn't that nice on the web, the content is well worth the read. It stands as a major challenge to contemporary thinking. This is an excellent article dealing with many of the arguments on the discussion table.

Scientific Understanding and the Point of the Universe
Professor Keith Ward offers an interesting reflection by starting out saying: For the theist, the purpose for which created persons exist may only be fully realized outside this physical universe, even if it is essential to them to begin their existence in this universe. Ward's book God, Chance and Necessity, is still the best response to Dawkins and co. that I have ever read. It forms a major contribution to the field of apologetics, but is often neglected due to the level of argumentation.

Eternity, Time and the Trinitarian God
This paper - by my favorite theologian > Wolfhart Pannenberg - sets off to grapple with the mystery of "infinite Being". To rightly conceive of God's eternity and properly understand eternity's relation to time, we must interpret it as the eternity of the Trinitarian God.

Language, Being, God, and the three stages of Theistic Evidence
In this paper by Dallas Willard, a renowned Christian philosopher, tackles the questions raised by Kai Nielsen in the published debate _Does God Exist, ed. Moreland and Nielsen._ It is sometimes hard to follow the argument without having read what Nielsen has said, but still forms a contribution to our discussions.

Theism, Atheism, and Rationality
One of the great philosophers of our time, Alvin Plantinga gives us a brief set of answers to some atheological objections to Theism. An interesting argument, but slightly technical at times for the intermediate reader.

God and Logic
In this article by the old school philosopher G.H. Clark the author offers some interesting thoughts pertaining to Logic. He states: Irrationality contradicts the Biblical teaching from beginning to end. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not insane. God is a rational being, the architecture of whose mind is logic.

Why I believe in God
In this article, Reformed Apologist Cornelius Van Til examines his reasons for belief in God. Although dated, the aritlce raises some interesting issues. His comments about certain doctrines in Christianity is interesting. Van Til is a presuppositionalist and not an evidentialist, so some will find fault here. His arguments are biblically consistent, but sometimes in a too narrow sense.

Aethetic Arguments for the Existence of God
In this article Peter Williams, a young Christian Philosopher, explores some of the Aesthetic arguments that compel his belief in God. Williams' aim is to define four general categories of aesthetic arguments for God: two epistemological and two ontological. I then develop two avenues of argument, one epistemological and one ontological, paying particular attention as I do so to the thought of two secular philosophers who have considered the relationship between aesthetics and religion: Anthony O'Hear and Roger Scruton.

Evil is still a four-letter word — The New Problem of Evil
Tom Wright deals with Evil in a fascinating and most illuminating way. This is truly an insightful article that raises and deals with some of the most profoundest issues in this are. The imagery that Wright evokes is truly inspiring.

What can God do about Evil? — Unjust World, Just God?
The second lecture of Wright's on this topic. His arguments are clear and perceptive. Wright deals with some of the major problems surrounding God's justice and our hope in Jesus. A Must read for all those who are thinking and facing such issues.

Forgiving Myself & Forgiving Others
Lecture five, in the series "Evil and the Justice of God". Probably one of the best articles on this issue. Vintage Wright.


On the Epistemological Status of Belief
Scott David Foutz presents us with a paper on religious epistemology. The end section on Belief in God is interesting and merits further contemplation. Stephen R. L. Clark's book "God, Religion and Reality" is another excellent philosophical defence of Christianity that deals with some of these issues and questions.

Reasons to Believe
In this article, Peter Kreeft outlines the arguments for the existence of God from cause and effect, from conscience, from history, and the argument known as "Pascal's Wager." It's an easy article that simply states the arguments in a non-scholarly way.

Science and Religion
I don't need your God; I have science to explain everything. Your religion is a crutch for weak minds. You use superstition; I use science. ("Yes and No" is Peter Kreeft's answer to so many religion texts which leave students thinking of religion as little more than a dull and boring rehash of things everyone already knows.)

Faith and Reason
This chapter asks the very basic question, is it worth while discussing religion. Does talking about religion get us anywhere. Written as a series of dialogues between a Christian and sincere non-Christian, "Yes and No" is Peter Kreeft's answer to so many religion texts which leave students thinking of religion as little more than a dull and boring rehash of things everyone already knows. (For example, the idea that being religious means being mature and responsible, compassionate and loving.)

Darkness at Noon
We all know what Christianity looks like when viewed from the standpoint of modernity. In this essay I shall try to turn the truth tables and see what modernity looks like when viewed from the standpoint of Christianity.


Jesus of Nazareth


The Gospels as Historical Sources
Professor R. T. France has done some pretty impressive research into the gospel narratives having published an excellent commentary on Matthew's gospel, and the latest New International Greek Testament Commentary on Mark's gospel. Here, France outlines several important issues dealing with the gospels.


Why I Believe the NT is Historically Reliable
This is probably one of the best articles summarizing the historical reliability of the gospels available on the web. Gary Habermas, having written several books on the historical Jesus [and two forthcoming on the Resurrection!] gives a judicious survey of both old and new school methods for determining the validity of the Gospel narratives.

”You cant trust the Gospels, they're Unreliable”
Paul Copan refutes the claim that "The Christian has no way to refute skepticism about the unique claims and deeds of the historical Jesus without first establishing that the texts that record his claims are generally reliable." An excellent article.

Non-Canonical Sources
an introductory selection of texts outside the New Testament that show conclusively that we know quite a bit about Jesus from purely outside sources. Not very critical in it's approach, see J.P. Meier A Marginal Jew: Volume One for a more critical appraisal, but nonetheless of use to some not familiar with these texts.

Jesus for Today
In this article by the leading New Testament scholar J.D.G. Dunn, the author outlines some of the basic features of the historical Jesus. Dunn has just published a massive 900pg book Jesus Remembered that deals extensively with this topic. See a sample chapter on Oral Tradition.

Jesus and the Quest
Here N.T. Wright - the leading scholar in the "Third Quest"- offers a snapshot into historical Jesus studies. We are given a tour of scholarship and hints at which directions we should focus our attention. Truly an excellent door-way into some brilliant scholarship. Enjoy, and engage with the thought and argument Wright is proposing! For a full scale articulation of his views, see: Jesus and the Victory of God

Jesus and Judaism
A much needed article on a topic that many are ignorant about. Craig Evans, a leading historian, offers poignant insights on this topic that must be heard and adhered to. A very important article that will aid our understanding of Jesus.

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
Michael Horner speaks out: Christianity stands or falls on the event of the Resurrection! If Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead, even the apostle Paul admitted that the Christian faith is worthless. Since they are not really forgiven by God, millions of Christians have been living under a delusion for almost 2000 years and should be pitied more than all people.

Squalling to raise the Dead & Apparational Interpolations are offered as responses to rival hypotheses concerning the resurrection of Jesus. The articles show clear thought and coherence. J.P. Holding has put us in his debt here.


How do we know that Jesus Christ really rose from the dead?
This is the best, basic, introduction to the resurrection of Jesus. A splendid introduction that draws from serious scholarship, but presented simply and accurately.

Evidence for the Resurrection
This is a standard article by Josh McDowell. It's a very basic intro to the issues and covers a broad argument. There is no in-depth analysis or argumentation and this could be of some evangelistic use to those interested in finding our the basic claims surrounding the resurrection.

Evidences for the Resurrection
J. Hampton Keathley presents us with another survey of the evidences for the resurrection. Interesting in this discussion is the brief discussion of some of the philosophical issues involved. The author also makes good use of Acts as a source for historical knowledge. Finally, the author also notes various doctrinal issues affected by the resurrection.

Grave Matters
"Take away the Resurrection and the center of Christianity collapses." In this article, noted historian, N. T. Wright discusses some of the features of belief in the resurrection and the consequences that flow directly from such a belief. A brilliant little article that adds much to our understanding.

The Evidence for Jesus
A brief article by noted New Testament scholar and philosopher W. L. Craig. In this article, the issues surrounding Jesus, his message, life & death and especially his resurrection are quickly discussed. It's a very good introductory article to the issues at stake written by someone well acquainted with the topic.


Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection
After an appraisal of recent scholarship on the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Professor William Craig contends that "the resurrection appearances, the empty tomb, and the origin of the Christian faith - all point unavoidably to one conclusion: the resurrection of Jesus". Quite good and not at all technical.

The Historictiy of the Empty Tomb of Jesus
An examination of both Pauline and gospel material leads to eight lines of evidence in support of the conclusion that Jesus' tomb was discovered empty. A specific and semi-technical article by W. L. Craig.

The Guard at the Tomb
Another specific article dealing with the historicity of the guards at the tomb. Craig notes the independent testimony of the Gospel of Peter, an early apocryphal gospels that sheds historical light on this issue.


The Resurrection of Jesus
A detailed argument for the resurrection of Jesus by Craig. Starting with a defence of the historicity of the NT, Craig then moves into specific details with an interesting discussion of the explanatory power of the resurrection of Jesus. A bit long, but well worth the read.

Visions of Jesus
Gerd Lüdemann's provocative hypothesis that early Christian belief in Jesus' resurrection was the product of hallucinatory experiences originally induced by guilt-complexes in Peter and Paul is assessed and contrasted with the traditional resurrection hypothesis in terms of the usual standards of hypothesis testing: explanatory power, explanatory scope, plausibility, ad hoc-ness, accord with accepted beliefs, and superiority to rival hypotheses. A long and detailed refutation by Craig.

The Bodily Redurrection of Jesus
It has been argued on the basis of Paul's testimony that Jesus' resurrection body was spiritual in the sense of being unextended, immaterial, intangible, and so forth. But neither the argument appealing to the nature of Paul's Damascus Road experience nor the argument from Paul's doctrine of the resurrection body supports such a conclusion. On the contrary, Paul's information serves to confirm the gospels narratives of Jesus' bodily resurrection. Not only is the gospels physicalism well-founded, but it is also, like Paul's doctrine, a nuanced physicalism. Another long and detailed argument by Craig, which presupposes knowledge of the original languages, German and French!!

The Historical Veracity of the Resurrection
Greg Herrick, gives us a tour of historical methodology and how that relates to the resurrection of Jesus. It starts with a brief survey of the quest, briefly discusses the philosophical issues and then moves to the main thrust of the argument dealing with the criteria and the event in question. Fantastic article.


Historical Epistemology, Jesus' Resurrection, and the Shroud of Turin
Philosopher Gary Habermas deals with this very important issue. The article is divided into three stages dealing with history and the issues that surround it. He then moves onto what can be known historically about the resurrection of Jesus and then into a very interesting discussion of the Shroud of Turin. The article is in PDF format and should be required reading for all those interested in this topic.


Barker Up the Wrong Tree
A detailed response by J. P. Holding to some counter arguments presented by Dan Barker. If one encounters his arguments, this will be of use, otherwise, it's ok. Nothing spectacular.


Why I dont Buy Skeptical Reasons for Disbelief
A very detailed response to the writings of Richard Carrier on this topic. Very informative and exposes several of the weaknesses in Carrier's article, which has been used by many a skeptic to provoke skepticism in this area. Recommended.


Was the burial of Jesus a temporary one, because of time constraints
Glenn Miller responds to two objections to historical details surrounding the resurrection of Jesus by Richard Carrier and Jeffrey Lowder. If these arguments are encountered, these articles provide a great response that is historically sound.

Other Issues

For the Possibility of Miracles
Richard Swinburne, noted Oxford philosopher, deals with issue of Miracles. If Jesus was indeed raised from the dead, this is a violation of natural law and thus a miracle. Here objections are succinctly dealt with.

The Problem of Miracles
William Craig offers a more historical and in-depth analysis of the problem of miracles. Of special interest is how Craig relates this back to the biblical narrative. VERY GOOD.

The Mystery of God Incarnate
Paul Adams shows the clear implications of the resurrection of Jesus in this chapter. Excerpted from a thesis submitted to Denver Seminary, this paper is a defense of the classical, historic doctrine of the incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth. After laying out the views of John Hick, which could be said to represent much of the current thinking on Jesus' deity, a historcal, biblical defense is put forth to demonstrate that Jesus is indeed the Son of God and God the Son. No other doctrine of the Christian faith is more critical for the Church to understand and defend than the identity of Jesus of Nazareth.

Who is Jesus
Honesty. Be honest with yourself. Dare to ask the question: Who is Jesus, really? It's Jesus, not the argument, that's important. The argument is only an arrow, pointing to him. Who is he? There's your puzzle, your challenge, if you dare to face up to it. I know you're too honest just to look the other way, Sal. You have to do something with him. Here's the man who claims to be your Lord and your God and your Savior.

The Resurrection of the Son of God

Probably one of the most brilliant and skillful scholars engaged in the topic of the resurrection of Jesus, is N.T. Wright. His book, "The Resurrection of the Son of God," which has only just been released, is already causing many to re-evaluate their hypotheses. Closely connected with the resurrection is who Jesus actually is. For more on this, and the quest that has been continuing for some time see:Jesus and the Quest

Life After Life After Death
David Neff provides us with an interesting intro into Wright's book. He notes that The Resurrection of the Son of God is a "ground-clearing exercise" of historiographical obstacles.

Review
Craig L. Blomberg judiciously reviews Wright's majesterial contribution to the study of this topic. Although, not a full review it does highlight some of the features of Wright's work.


Review II
Richard N. Ostling provides another interesting introduction to Wright's book. Also brief, but with two very imporatant surprises!! See the next two Links!


Chapter One: The Target and the Arrows
Here is a sample chapter from The Resurrection of the Son of God which outlines some of the issue involved in grappling with the resurrection.


Part 2 - Resurrection in History and Thelogy
Part II of the same chapter, which should give the readers some indication of the breadth of Wright's work. Here some of the seminal issues are discussed with absolute clarity and witt. Brilliant.


Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries
Home page of Dr. Ravi Zacharias and his international team of apologists & philosophers.

Essays & Articles
This section provides essays on a variety of topics including atheism, epistemology and live chats...

Just Thinking
A selection of articles in a little published mag called "Just Thinking". A brilliant collection of worth articles.

A Slice of Infinity
"A Slice of Infinity" is aimed at reaching into the culture with words of challenge, words of truth, and words of hope.

Radio Archive
A fantastic collection of mp3 files that allows you to listen to Zacharias and others speak on a whole array of topics that I have found very very helpful.

Bibliography
A collection of noted books on various topics from Business Ethics, Philosophy, Christianity and Culture and ofcourse, apologetics. Well worth a survey...

Real Audio
A section where you can listen to some documentaries, a debate with W. L. Craig, a sermon by Ravi Zacharias and Reaching Your World with Luis Palau.

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview

The first two chapters are available online:
An Invitation to Christian Philosophy

What is Philosophy?

Or check it out here

Overall, a great book. Sometimes it's a bit slow but I think that's because I'm familiar with some of the material and it's basically an intro text book for philosophy of religion from a Christian perspective.

J. P. Holding
Tektonics

I've found his article on Fallicious Faith to be very informative and well grounded. Good stuff.

Thanks

For any more links or information please post. For a response to a specific article, please create another thread where we can discuss these matters.

May our quest for truth unite us.

Thank you Tarmac- see if this works-

Andyman

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Kurieuo
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Postby Kurieuo » Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:31 pm

I thought it would be good to have a thread dedicated to online resources that provide arguments for accepting Christian Theism, and saw a thread had already been started which I've now dedicated to such a task (thanks Andyman).

Please keep any online resources specific to arguments directly affirming God's existence or Christianity. If anyone wishes to start a discussion on any of the arguments linked to here, then they should open up a new thread elsewhere. This thread is for specific online resources only, and is aimed at leading people to rational arguments that will strengthen their faith in Christian Theism.

A further resource I'm not sure if Andyman referenced above is Alvin Plantinga's Two Dozen (or so) Theistic Arguments, which can be found at http://www.homestead.com/philofreligion/files/Theisticarguments.html. It has many arguments that have been put forward, some I'd consider rather weak, but then also others I believe to be quite strong.

Let's destroy the myth that Theism isn't based on rational foundations.

Kurieuo
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Turgonian
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Postby Turgonian » Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:31 am

Theistic Philosophers on the Web
The following is a list of individuals who classify themselves as both philosophers and theists. They work in such diverse areas as metaphysics, epistemology, logic, action theory, ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of language, philosophy of logic, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, existentialism, phenomenology, political philosophy, and the history of philosophy.
(131 linked philosophers at this moment!)
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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Postby August » Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:46 am

There are some pretty notable omissions, like Gordon Clark and John Frame.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

http://www.omnipotentgrace.org
http://christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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Postby Turgonian » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:22 am

The site never claimed to be exhaustive...
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)


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