April 2013

CA has proposed a bill that would allow for school kids to use the bathroom of their choice, based on their own perceived gender identity.  Craziness.

ContingencyWhile in discussion with A. C. Grayling on the March 25 edition of the Unbelievable radio program, Peter S. Williams provided a nice, concise presentation of the cosmological argument from contingency:

Once you’ve made the distinction between things that have causes and…things that don’t have causes, if something exists it either is the kind of thing that requires something outside of itself to exist, or it’s not.  If it’s not possible for there to be an infinite regress of things that do require causes outside of themselves, and it is true that something exists which does require a cause outside itself [the universe, and everything in it]…,there can’t be an infinite regress of such causes, and therefore you have to have a termination of that regress.  [God is the best explanation for the termination of that regress.]

For those of you for whom this to be a bit too concise, let me flesh it out a bit.


ASSEMBLYAs expected, France legalized same-sex marriage today when their National Assembly voted 331-225 to approve a reconciled version of the bill that was passed by the Senate. They are the 14th nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will be allowed to wed as early as June.


Image courtesy of Bob Brawdy/Tri-City Herald/AP

A florist in the state of Washington is being sued by both the ACLU and the state Attorney General because the owner would not sell flowers to a gay couple for their wedding.  This violates the state’s anti-discrimination law, which prohibits a public business from discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation.

The same would go for wedding photographers and videographers.  Anybody in the wedding business who cannot, in good conscience, lend their services to same-sex couples due to their personal beliefs about homosexuality or same-sex marriage, will have to make a choice to either violate their conscience, or choose a different profession.  Ah, but remember the tired old question supporters of same-sex marriage always raise: How will granting same-sex couples the right to marry affect you?!  Here is just one more instance of how it affects others, and I’m sure it will not be the last.

UPDATE: As of February 16, 2017, Barronelle Stutzman lost her appeal to the Washington State Supreme Court by a 9-0 decision.

Salvo24Here is a gem from Louis Markos in “Just Brilliant: Three Things only a PhD Can Believe,” appearing in the latest edition of Salvo magazine:

Though most Americans fancy that feminism only means “equal pay for equal work,” the feminism I have witnessed being taught in our modern universities has little to do with the rules of fair play in the workplace. Students who enroll in a psychology or sociology class today, even if that class is taught in a Christian college, are indoctrinated to believe that there are no essential differences between the sexes. More than that, they are taught that there is no such thing as masculinity and femininity, that the differences we see between boys and girls are merely a product of long-standing customs of socialization, such as giving boys trucks to play with and girls dolls to play with.


Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters

Just this past Monday, Jillian Keenan wrote an article in Slate titled “Legalize Polygamy!”  She writes:

While the Supreme Court and the rest of us are all focused on the human right of marriage equality, let’s not forget that the fight doesn’t end with same-sex marriage. We need to legalize polygamy, too. … Divorce, remarriage, surrogate parents, extended relatives, and other diverse family arrangements mean families already come in all sizes—why not recognize that legally? … As women, we really can make our own choices. We just might choose things people don’t like. If a woman wants to marry a man, that’s great. If she wants to marry another woman, that’s great too. If she wants to marry a hipster, well—I suppose that’s the price of freedom.  And if she wants to marry a man with three other wives, that’s her damn choice.

All marriages deserve access to the support and resources they need to build happy, healthy lives, regardless of how many partners are involved. Arguments about whether a woman’s consensual sexual and romantic choices are “healthy” should have no bearing on the legal process. And while polygamy remains illegal, women who choose this lifestyle don’t have access to the protections and benefits that legal marriage provides.

Le MarriageToday, the French Senate has officially approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.  While their version is slightly different than the National Assembly’s that was passed in February – and will require reconciliation before being signed by the president – the deed is essentially done.  Same-sex marriage is expected to be legal by summer.

cold-case christianityJ. Warner Wallace is a retired cold-case homicide detective.  For the first 35 years of his life he was a staunch atheist.  Using his detective skills, however, he began to examine the NT gospels.  To his surprise, he found them to be trustworthy accounts based on eyewitness testimony to the life of Jesus Christ.

Wallace recently published his first book, Cold Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, detailing the evidence that convinced him the Gospels were reliable accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  Each chapter begins with an evidential principle derived from his experience as a detective, which is then applied to the Gospels.

Here is chapter-by-chapter overview:

Chapter 1 – Question your presuppositions about God.  All of us have bias.  Examine your bias to see if it is valid and true.  Keep an open mind.

Chapter 2 – Abductive reasoning.  What is the best explanation of the evidence?  Distinguish between possible and probable/reasonable (applies this to the alternative, naturalistic explanations of Jesus’ resurrection).


New ZealandNew Zealand lawmakers have proposed a bill in support of same-sex marriage.  In the second of three votes needed to pass the measure, it passed 77-44.  The final vote is scheduled to take place in mid-April.

Does this mean Bilbo Baggins might marry Gandalf in The Hobbit part 2?

UPDATE: The bill passed 77-44 on April 17. New Zealand has become the 13th nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

Uruguay SenateUruguay, a small South American country of 3.3 million people, has essentially approved same-sex marriage.  On December 11, 2012 the Uruguayan House of Representatives passed a bill approving same-sex marriage by a whopping 81-6 margin.  On April 2, 2013 the Uruguayan Senate approved a similar bill 23-8.  The bill has to go back to the House for reconciliation, and then on to the president, who has already promised to sign it into law.  It’s no longer a question of whether same-sex marriage will become legal in Uruguay, but how soon.  Once the bill is signed, Uruguay will become the 12th country to legalize same-sex marriage (if France doesn’t beat them to it).

This was a very fast development, considering the fact that the country just approved civil unions for same-sex couples in 2009. 

The only other South American country in which same-sex marriage is legal is Argentina.

Barna Research Group reports that the number of American adults who view the Bible as “just…a book of stories and teachings written by men” has increased from 10% in 2011 to 17% in 2013.  That’s a significant increase in just two years.

Read the entire report here.

Christology and NTI purchased Christology and the New Testament by Christopher Tuckett a couple of years ago, but just finally got around to reading it recently.

This book takes a look at the subject of Christology, but from a purely Biblical perspective (no post-apostolic theological development or creedal affirmations are considered).  Tuckett, who teaches NT at the University of Oxford, looks at how each NT author presents Jesus, particularly through – but not limited to – their ascription of various titles to Jesus.  While Tuckett is liberal in his theological conclusions (and it’s not even clear that he is a confessing Christian), his presentation of the Biblical data is quite good.  He has a great way of bringing out the Christological emphasis of the different NT authors/books.

If you are looking for a good introduction to NT Biblical Christology, this is a good resource.