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A couple of days ago, Robin and Jack were sitting on the sofa across from me. We all had our Bibles open and were intent on using Scripture to defend our respective theological positions. However, this was no ordinary Bible study. These were Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I was doing my best to articulate and defend classical Christianity.
On a recent episode of the Stand to Reason weekly podcast, a supporter of STR took issue with one of the ways Greg Koukl and I argue against theistic evolution. Specifically, the caller did not agree with our argument that some forms of theistic evolution are a contradiction in terms. What I’d like to do is model for you how I would respond. Don’t Be Offended by the Challenge
While taking questions at a recent event, a young girl stood up and boldly stated, “The Bible has been changed so many times over the last 2000 years, it’s impossible to know what it originally said.” As ammunition for her claim, she cited the hundreds of thousands of differences between the New Testament manuscripts. This fact alone was supposed to convince us that the New Testament documents are unreliable.
When I meet someone who claims that evolution is a fact, I have two questions for him. First, I need to find out what he means by evolution. To do this, I employ a variation of the first Columbo question: What do you mean by evolution? The term evolution can be used to mean a number of different things. Therefore, it’s important to find out precisely what they mean.
Last month I was asked to speak at a church on the question “Should Christians Embrace Evolution?” The way you answer this question depends entirely on what you mean by evolution. Broadly speaking, evolution can be divided into two categories: microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution, or small-scale biological change, is obviously true and is virtually accepted by everyone. Macroevolution, on the other hand, is much more controversial.
I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of youth at a homeschool conference. I am always impressed at the high level of questions I get from homeschoolers, and this event was no exception. After my talk titled “The Truth about Truth,” a young girl asked me why I didn’t use the term “absolute” when describing truth. How could I give a 45-minute talk on truth and not once use the word absolute?
After a recent keynote address at an ACSI teacher’s convention, a young middle school teacher challenged me on something I had said. In my talk on the problem of evil, I made an off-the-cuff remark about Hell being a place of eternal, conscious punishment. This young Christian schoolteacher took issue with the idea that a loving God would send a person to Hell for eternity for a finite number of sins committed while on earth. “It just doesn’t seem right,” she exclaimed.
The phrase “only begotten” has been ammunition for false teachers since at least the fourth century at the Council of Nicea. This expression appears in one of the most memorized verses in the Bible. Jesus says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16 KJV).”
When Jesus was dying on the cross, he cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (Matt. 27:46)? After Jesus resurrection from the dead, he appears to Mary Magdalene, and she immediately clings to Him. In response Jesus says to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’ (John 20:17; cf. Rev. 3:2, 12).
“Jesus never calls Himself God,” exclaimed my Jehovah’s Witness friend in a moment of frustration. “He calls Himself the Son of God, not God. There is a huge difference.” This is another common assertion made by well-meaning, but misinformed Jehovah’s Witnesses. According to Jehovah’s Witnesses, if Jesus is the Son of God, then He isn’t God. For example, if Andy Barnett is the son of Ed Barnett, then Andy isn’t Ed.