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THE IRREFUTABLE CASE FOR THE RESURRECTION: How David K. Clark’s Risible “Betting on Jesus: The Vanishing of the Christ” (Free Inquiry, April/May 2014) Strengthens the Case for the Resurrection of Jesus

© 2014, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Part 1: David K. Clark’s Super New Argument  Attempts to disprove the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ date back all the way to the very day of the resurrection itself, when the tomb guards who reported this event to the chief priests were told to “‘Tell them, “His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept”’” (Matthew 28:13).  This …

THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS AND THE TESTIMONY OF GOD IN OUR DAYS

© 2014, by Derek Casey. All Rights Reserved. Verification of Contemporary Facts and Proof for the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus “… because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31) The Gospel is good news because it is verifiable and …

DO APPARITIONS OF MARY UNDERMINE THE CASE FOR JESUS’ RESURRECTION? Debunking Hector Avalos’ “Living Laboratory”

© 2014, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction In an article entitled “Jesus’ Resurrection and Marian Apparitions: Medjugorje as a Living Laboratory,”[1] Dr. Hector Avalos (below, left) seeks to cast doubt on the New Testament records of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances by arguing that the so-called “Marian apparitions”[2] which began in 1981 at Medjugorje, Yugoslavia (below, right),[3] “amply illustrates how people can use the most objective and physical language to …

“A PLACE FOR THE CAMELS” (Genesis 24:31b): Refuting the Claim That There Were No Domesticated Camels in the Holy Land at the Time of the Patriarchs

© 2014, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction The liberal Biblical scholarship Emperor has new clothes.  This particular new suit is the “Bible’s Phantom camels,”[1] a claim by two Israeli archaeologists[2] that domesticated camels first came to Israel in “the last third of the 10th century B.C.,”[3] which means that the Bible’s account in Genesis of camels during the time of the patriarchs centuries earlier is anachronistic and shows …

“NATIVITY LEGENDS” OR HISTORICAL FACTS? A Response to Free Inquiry

© 2013, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction It’s that time of year again.  Christmas is approaching, and with it a bevy of annual traditions: Christmas carols, decorations, coloured lights on houses, shopping for gifts – and, of course, the farrago of assaults by atheists and liberal scholars on the historical truth of the Gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus.  The latest such is “Joseph Ratzinger and the …

“THEY TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH”: Does John 3:16-17 Record the Words of Jesus or of John the Evangelist?

© 2013, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. One sometimes has to wonder if the raison d’être of Bible scholars is to “spen[d] their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21).  How else can we account for the bizarre idea championed by some of them that Jesus did not speak the words recorded in John 3:16-17 in His conversation with Nicodemus?  …

WHY I AM NOT AN ATHEIST: A Response to Gil Gaudia’s “Why I am an Atheist” (American Atheist, 3rd Quarter, 2013)

© 2013, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. I have long been searching for a coherent and sound reason for believing in atheism, and so when I came across “Why I am an Atheist,” by Gil Gaudia, in the current issue of American Atheist,[1] I was interested.  After all, Gaudia, who holds a Ph.D., is “a professor emeritus at State University of New York”[2] and a former editorial assistant of …

THE HARBINGER AND “THE ISAIAH 9:10 EFFECT”: An Examination of the Claims of Jonathan Cahn

© 2013, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The Background A sensational book has taken the evangelical community by storm.  First published in January, 2012, it reached The New York Times bestseller list in its second week of release[1], and has remained there ever since.  Within the first year it had sold a million copies, and as of this writing, it is currently #12 on the “Trade Fiction” Best Seller …

AN IMPOSSIBLE ENTITY: A Refutation of “The Thinking Atheist’s” Unthinking Attack on Creationism

© 2013, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction There is a video posted on YouTube called “Top Ten Creationist Arguments”[1] that was produced by someone calling himself “The Thinking Atheist.”  This intrigued me, as I have long sought to find an actual “thinking” atheist[2], but without success.  After viewing the video, I have to report that this has not changed, as the video is notable only for the lack …

EVIDENCE OF DIVINE AUTHORSHIP IN THE BIBLE: Job 26

Text © 2012, John Tors. All Rights Reserved.  (Images from NASA) He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing. He binds up the water in His thick clouds, Yet the clouds are not broken under it. He covers the face of His throne, And spreads His cloud over it. He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, At the boundary of …

CAN A CHRISTIAN VOTE FOR A MORMON?

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. With the U.S. Presidential election a few days away, the question of whether a Christian can and should vote for a Mormon has been raised by more than one person.  The latest is Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion professor and author of a number of books on religion, including Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – and Doesn’t and …

GOLIATH WAS THE BAD GUY, REMEMBER? An Assessment of Henri Nouwen’s Teachings

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction On October 8 of this year, the Toronto Star published an opinion piece called “The life of a spiritual Goliath.”[1]  It was a paean to Henri Nouwen, the late Roman Catholic priest and writer of many books on “spirituality.”  According to the author, Stephen Bede Scharper, Nouwen was a “remarkably influential spiritual explorer” who remains “a spiritual goliath.”  He had found …

SHOULD CHRISTIANS “EMPTY THEIR MINDS” THROUGH MEDITATION?

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. As I wrote in my previous article “SHOULD CHRISTIANS PRACTISE MEDITATION?“: There are different forms of meditation, but the commonality to them is to focus the mind, usually by intense concentration upon a word or phrase (mantra), which may be repeated continuously in the mind, or breathed, or chanted, or by visualization (e.g. of a deity or of one’s own deity) in …

WOMEN AND CHURCH LEADERSHIP: An Inquiry and a Response to Pastor Keith A. Smith’s “Can Christian Women be Pastors and Preachers?”

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. For many centuries, the Christian church understood that God had allocated to men only the authority and authoritative teaching roles in the church.  In the last several decades in the Western world, however, the changing zeitgeist has led to this understanding being challenged.  Many churches and entire denominations have embraced the ordination of women as elders, pastors, and even bishops. Some who …

“HENDERSON HAS SCORED FOR CANADA!” What the 40th Anniversary of the Canada/USSR Summit Series Can Tell Us about the Gospel Books

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Today, September 28, 2012, is the fortieth anniversary of Game 8, the final and deciding game of the 1972 Canada/USSR hockey “Summit Series.”  It was an event that captured the attention of Canadians as very few other things ever have.  Hockey was our game, the one thing we did better than anyone else in the world, and the one thing that touched …

STILL WAITING FOR AN INTELLIGENT DEFENCE OF ATHEISM – The Latest Failure: Heather Mallick in the Toronto Star

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. One must wonder whether an intelligent defence of atheism is even possible.  Most attempts are nothing more than bald assertions, usually sprinkled liberally with insults and couched in bad manners.  Even the best attempts are invariably riddled with errors of fact and logic.  If an intelligent defence of atheism has been made, I have yet to see it. The latest such buffoonery …

DO “VIOLENT NAMES” PROVE ANIMAL DEATH PRIOR TO THE FALL?

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. According to the creation account in Genesis 1-2, the world that God created and saw as “very good” featured no death of any sort, which necessarily means that animals did not originally eat other animals; indeed, Genesis 1:29-30 clearly states that both man and animals were to be plant-eaters: And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed …

THE KING JAMES VERSION VS. THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION: A Response to James L. Melton’s “The NKJV: A Deadly Translation”

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. (Melton’s article is found http://jesus-is-lord.com/nkjvdead.htm.  Accessed on February 20, 2012.) The words of Scripture were divinely inspired (“God-breathed” 2 Timothy 3:16) in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek languages, and it is these texts that are inerrant and infallible.  Every version in English or any other language is a translation of the inspired text, and is not itself an inspired text.  Translations …

NOT SO FAST: Why Fasting Is Unnecessary and Inappropriate for Christians

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The ancient practice of fasting seems to be growing rapidly in popularity in evangelical circles.  It is entering churches as an element of “spiritual formation,” and books on the topic are proliferating, making grandiose promises, books such as Fasting: Opening the Door to a Deeper, More Intimate, More Powerful Relationship with God (by Jentezen Franklin), Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough (by Elmer L. …

SHOULD CHRISTIANS PRACTISE MEDITATION?

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. It seems not long ago that the greatest perceived spiritual threat in the minds of Evangelicals was the New Age Movement, an amorphous constellation of beliefs and practices focused on developing the divine potential of human beings.  In essence, it was the basic worldview and practices of the Eastern mystic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism) packaged for a modern Western audience.  The degree …

IS CREATIONISM NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN? Exposing the Muddled Thinking of Bill Nye “the Science Guy”

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Bill Nye, the mechanical engineer and well known host of the 1990s Disney/PBS educational show “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” is an ardent advocate of the theory of evolution.  On August 23, a video was posted on YouTube titled “Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate for Children.”  It was designed to persuade people to stop teaching creationism to children and embrace evolution, …

BRETHREN AGAINST CHRIST: An Indictment of The Brethren in Christ of North America’s “The Biblical Basis for Women in Church Leadership and Pastoral Ministry”

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) There is a slogan popular among Evangelical Christians that goes as follows: “The Bible says it.  I believe it.  That settles it.”  Though it is popular, it …

MARK 16:9-20: A Response to CMI

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The Three-Headed Monster The historical era misnamed The Enlightenment, which began in the seventeenth century, was characterized by the exaltation of human reason as the means to determine truth, with the concomitant denigration of the concept of divine revelation.  In particular, the credibility of the Bible came under sustained attack by Enlightenment scholars and philosophers who sought to portray the Bible not …

CHEATING THEMSELVES THROUGH PHILOSOPHY: A Demolition of “The Rights and Wrongs of Alan Dershowitz” in Claremont Review of Books (Fall, 2005)

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. As a salvo in the debate over natural law versus revelation, the article “The Rights and Wrongs of Alan Dershowitz” by Hadley Arkes, published in the Fall 2005 issue of Claremont Review of Books[1], is a noteworthy contribution.  It is noteworthy, however, because it does such a good job of destroying its own argument for natural law.  And it does it so …

DO YOU HAVE TO STOP THINKING TO BE A CHRISTIAN? A Response to Charles Lewis (National Post, January 26, 2011)

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. In an opinion piece titled “Less God, more excuses” in this day’s National Post newspaper (p. A15), Charles Lewis writes the following: The most popular objection to religion is that it replaces thinking with sets of unproveable truths – and that the rules flowing out of those truths turn adherents into robots.  Those who leave religion behind, we are led to understand, …

HOW NOT TO DO HERMENEUTICS: A Response to Daniel Mann’s “Jesus: The ‘Begotten of the Father’” (Christian Research Journal 34(2), 2011, pp.8-9)

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The writer to the Hebrews, in demonstrating the superiority of the Son of God to angels, quotes Psalm 2:7, saying For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? (Hebrews 1:5). In this CRJ article, Daniel Mann calls this a “controversial verse” and a “problem”, pointing out that this verse suggests to …

WHAT IS FAITH?

© 2010, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. First, faith is defined as “complete trust or confidence” (Webster’s), “complete trust, unquestioning confidence” (Oxford), and as such it is something everyone practises, including your atheist friend, in ways both profound and mundane.  For example, which of us would approach a complete stranger and ask him to cook us a meal, and then actually go to his place and eat it?  Yet …