What Makes Something ‘Christian’?

In a previous post I argued that it’s not always “lame” (to quote Gregory Thornbury, President of The Kings College) to use ‘Christian’ as an adjective. While I did provide an example of at least one case where it could be helpful (e.g., “Christian philosophy”), I didn’t say much about what makes something Christian. To fix that shortcoming it might be helpful to consider a comment attributed to the President of my own school, Gary Nelson. During a forum this past January, President Nelson spoke about what makes, and what doesn’t make, for a “Christian Seminary.”1 The Tyndale Seminary Student Association relayed part of his talk at the forum in the tweet below.

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A Response to James K. A. Smith, by Eduardo Echeverria

DSC_0091Note: In the latest issue of Calvin Theological Journal (vol. 49: 258–282) Eduardo Echeverria published an extended review of James K. A. Smith’s recent book, Who’s Afraid of Relativism? Community, Contingency, and Creaturehood (Baker Academic, 2014). Smith’s reply to Echeverria is now available on Smith’s blog (“Responding to a Common Critique of Who’s Afraid of Relativism?“). Because Echeverria is a friend of the department we have invited him to post a follow-up reply to Smith here on the Tyndale Philosophy blog. At his request, we’ve also embedded a copy of the original review below.

Dr. Eduardo Echeverria is a prominent and well-respected Catholic philosopher who, like Smith, has recently lectured at Tyndale University College. He is Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. He has authored multiple books and over twenty articles. Continue reading

Enns’s Invalid Inference

CaptureWe philosophers at Tyndale University College try to regularly point out to students that taking basic courses in critical reasoning and logic can be immensely valuable—even for non-philosophers. In particular, students that plan to enter some type of vocational ministry or plan to pursue an academic career in biblical studies or theology really should become well versed in basic elements of reasoning. We stress this point because, unfortunately, we too often come across eminent scholars that have committed rudimentary errors in reasoning. Take, for example, Paul Enns.  Continue reading

Why I Believe in Inerrancy

inerrancyThe doctrine of inerrancy was once one of the key ideas that defined evangelicalism from various other theological camps. That is, to be an evangelical you had to accept that the Bible is inerrant. Today, however, this is no longer the case. There are a growing number of Christians that no longer feel the need to believe that the Bible is inerrant, even though these Christians still consider themselves to be evangelicals. Why is the doctrine of inerrancy losing favor? In his book, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism, G. K. Beale traces this attack on inerrancy to two sources. First, “the onset of postmodernism in evangelicalism has caused less confidence in the propositional claims of the Bible.” Second, many evangelical scholars teaching in universities today did their doctoral work in secular graduate schools that had no prior commitment to inerrancy. Many of these graduates “have assimilated to one degree or another non-evangelical perspectives, especially with regard to higher critical views of the authorship, dating, and historical claims of the Bible, which have contributed to their discomfort with the traditional evangelical perspective of the Bible” (The Erosion of Inerrancy, 20-21).

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Peter Enns Doesn’t Believe in God Anymore?

nogodEven though my last post was also a critique of Peter Enns, I promise that this blog will be more than just an avenue through which I can critique Enns. However, I would like to say a few words about a post he wrote earlier this month, “Why I Don’t Believe in God Anymore.” I should start by saying that we shouldn’t be worried about the title of that post. Even though Enns says he doesn’t believe in God anymore, it’s clear that he does. He just doesn’t recognize that his trust in God requires believing in God. But we’re getting slightly ahead of ourselves. Before we get to what’s wrong with the ideas he expresses, let’s take a look at them first.

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Peter Enns, Adam, and an Overcommitment to Science

evolutionLast week I had the opportunity to read a paper at the Northeast Region meeting of the Evangelical Theological/Philosophical Society. I got a lot of helpful comments on my paper and that alone would’ve made the trip worthwhile. However, the conference also featured two plenary sessions with very prominent scholars on a controversial topic and these sessions were very interesting. For now, I want to reflect a bit on the first session by Peter Enns in which he outlined why he no longer believes in a literal Adam.

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