New Concentration in Apologetics

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Toronto Ontario: For Immediate Release

According to C.S. Lewis, “To be ignorant and simple now—not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground—would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren.” Lewis wrote those words during World War II. The need for sophisticated training in Christian apologetics is even more urgent today.

In order to meet this need, Tyndale Philosophy is pleased to announce the launch of a new BA in Philosophy with a special Concentration in Christian Apologetics. This program has been specifically designed to prepare students interested in developing the intellectual skills to love God with their mind, while being equipped to engage in apologetics ministries in the workplace, on the web, in the local church, and on college / university campuses.

The program includes 36 hours of philosophy (culminating in the B.A. Philosophy), 6 hours of apologetics courses, and 9 elective hours selected from a variety of courses taught by faculty members from the departments of Philosophy, English, History, and Biblical Studies and Theology.

According to Dr. Paul Franks, Chair of Tyndale Philosophy, “This new concentration is truly unique; there is nothing like it in Canada. We have blended together the academic rigour of a first-rate philosophy program with the practical skills necessary for defending the Christian faith in a post-Christian world.”

For further information, please contact Tyndale Admissions. You can also follow the links below to download a brochure or listen to a podcast interview with our Chair.

Webpage | PDF Brochure | Podcast

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Brian McLaren’s Gospel of Hospitality

ets-logoOn November 16, 2016, Dr. Davis will be reading his paper “Brian McLaren’s Gospel of Hospitality” at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Abstract: “Ideas have consequences. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in Brian McLaren’s recent book Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World (Jericho Books, 2012). The book is a manual on how to be a properly postimperialistic, postcolonial, postmodern Christian…[I argue that] we should flatly reject McLaren’s hospitality gospel, along with the post imperial house of cards he attempts to erect upon it.”

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Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy

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Tyndale’s four-year BA/BA (Honours) degree in Philosophy is intellectually rigorous and biblically informed. Students investigate the enduring questions of Philosophy–such questions as ‘Does God exist?’ and ‘Is there objective right and wrong?’–while at the same time exploring the philosophical foundations for a Christian worldview.

 Taught by leading Christian philosophers
 Major, Minor, and Honours programs
 Special emphasis on Apologetics
 30+ graduates in MA/PhD/Law Programs

Click on the image to the left to view our new ‘Program Highlights’ sheet.

In Support of Tom Oord and Academic Freedom

informal_colorThe Philosophy Department at Tyndale University College wants to officially lend its voice in support of Northwest Nazarene University professor, Dr. Tom Oord, who was recently informed that he was being laid-off. This is truly shocking given that he is not only a tenured faculty member at NNU, but he’s also widely respected by his students and has made significant contributions to the academic community.

A fuller account of what has happened at NNU can be found on the Support NNU website; here we want to simply present our reasons for feeling compelled to speak out in support of Dr. Oord. The reason given for this layoff was declining enrollment (Fact Sheet, no. 2), but given that the 2013-2014 academic year was described as their “best financial year ever” (Fact Sheet, no. 11) and within the previous 18 months “other attempts have been made to discipline or terminate Dr. Oord’s service to NNU” (Fact Sheet, no. 6), it seems unlikely the stated reason was the actual one.

Instead, it seems far more likely that the decision to layoff Dr. Oord stems from the discomfort some have with his belief in evolution. This connection has been made by the Idaho Press-Tribune, Insider Higher Ed, the Daily Beast, and even Christianity Today. What this boils down to, then, is an attack on the very thing that tenure is supposed to protect: academic freedom.

Although we have our doubts about evolution,1 we do affirm the principle of academic freedom and denounce NNU’s infringement upon it.

Any university that does not fully embrace academic freedom, even if the views in question are unpopular, has effectively given up on one of the central aims of the university. Academic freedom is vital to any university because it allows faculty the ability to pursue truth without fear of reprisal. Unfortunately, in this case, that is exactly what Dr. Oord appears to have received.

We encourage you to show your support for Dr. Oord by emailing Dennis Venema (Dennis.Venema@twu.ca) and requesting that your name be added to the petition he has started, or by joining the Support Tom Oord & NNU Facebook group.

Dr. Richard B. Davis, Professor of Philosophy
Dr. W. Paul Franks, Associate Professor of Philosophy

If you would like to ask a question or make a comment about this post, please consult our Comment Policy here.

  1. See, for example, Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False (Oxford, 2012).

The Calvinism Files

calvin2Calvinism is a powerful force: historically, theologically, and even (in our own day) culturally. According to Time Magazine, it is “Evangelicalism’s latest success story.” Nevertheless, in this series of eight posts, Rich Davis recommends caution. Calvinism is beset by deep and apparently intractable problems. It presents us with a picture of the world in which (1) God is the cause of sin, while human agents are absolved of evil; and (2) God’s (irresistible) grace is showered upon the elect alone, leaving us not only with a God who is seemingly unfair, but also a gospel that isn’t good news.

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On Jesus, Derrida, and Dawkins

derridaAbstract  In this paper we respond to three objections raised by Joshua Harris to our article, “Against a Postmodern Pentecostal Epistemology,” in which we express misgivings about the conjunction of Pentecostalism with James K. A. Smith’s postmodern, story-based epistemology. According to Harris, our critique: 1) problematically assumes a correspondence theory of truth, 2) invalidly concludes that “Derrida’s Axiom” conflicts with “Peter’s Axiom,” and 3) fails to consider an alternative account of the universality of Christian truth claims. We argue that Harris’s objections either demonstrate a deficient interpretation of the relevant biblical passage or are not directed at us at all. Continue reading