Comparing Donald Trump to Hitler Isn’t Helpful

donald-trumpLet me state this right from the start: I think Donald Trump is a racist, a sexist, and is firmly committed to a misguided nationalism. I think it’s a mistake for Christians to go out of their way to vote for a person like Donald Trump. But, given the alternative, I also understand why some feel forced to do just that. However, I think it’s wrong — and not just a mistake — for Christians to publicly support a morally abhorrent person like Donald Trump (and to encourage others to do the same).

As soon as it became clear that Trump was not just a side-show, but a real contender for the nomination, I have been firmly committed to the Never Trump cause. Today I am only more firmly committed to it.

With all of that said, trying to sway people away from Trump by comparing his rise to Hitler’s is not at all helpful. Donald Trump is not Hitler and could not govern as Hitler did. He cannot wreck America like Hitler wrecked Germany.

Finish reading this entry at the Christian Post ->

Wayne Grudem’s Deplorable Argument for Trump

iurWayne Grudem is a very well known and highly respected theologian who has been at the center of attention for his support of Trump (July 28), then for his rejection of Trump (Oct. 9), and now for again supporting “Trump’s policies”(Oct. 19). Now, to begin, this is not a good look for Grudem. Did the tapes that led to his rejection of Trump really reveal anything new about Trump? Of course not. They simply confirmed what we already knew about him—his moral character is, let’s just say, not what we would hope for in a President. What new information came out about Trump between when the tapes were released and now? As far as I can tell, not much. So maybe writing this post is a waste of time since Grudem may very well write another post next week again retracting his support for “Trump’s policies.” Continue reading

What’s Not Wrong with Jerry Walls’ Argument Against Calvinism

CASCADE_TemplateIn a guest post (here) on James Anderson’s blog Analogical Thoughts, Daniel Johnson, Associate Professor of Philosophy and co-editor of  Calvinism and the Problem of Evil, claims that a invalid argument lies at the heart of Jerry Walls’ new book Does God Love Everyone? What’s Wrong with Calvinism. I’m afraid that Dr. Johnson is quite mistaken on this point. Prof. Walls’ argument is demonstrably valid.

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A Few Thoughts on ‘Kitchener: Hero and Anti-Hero’

kitchenerA few weeks ago Tyndale University College held a book launch for three of my colleagues: Elizabeth Davey (A Persevering Witness), Natasha Duquette (Veiled Intent), and Brad Faught (Kitchener: Hero and Anti-Hero). I was asked by Professor Faught to say a few words about his new book at the launch and since I so thoroughly enjoyed reading it, I thought I’d share my (lightly edited) comments from the book launch here.

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Eric Metaxas on Donald Trump, Some Problems

metaxas1Eric Metaxas was recently interviewed by the National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, about his new book If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty. In the interview Metaxas argues for something that many Christians believe—that faith, freedom, and virtue are all connected. Given this, it was surprising to hear Metaxas go on to argue that those who agree with him, must vote for Donald Trump. In sum, Metaxas is opposed to Hillary Clinton. And when I say “opposed”, I mean something along the lines of, “would rather see just about anything else happen.” So, the obvious question is whether seeing Donald Trump elected President is included in that “just about anything else” preference. For Metaxas, the answer to that question is even more obvious, of course a Trump presidency would be better than another Clinton presidency. Since Trump would be better than Clinton, vote Trump!

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2015-2016 Year End Review

Cup of coffee, pen and notepad on wooden background. Top view

The Tyndale University College graduation is this weekend and I thought it would be a good time to post a summary of all the good things that have happened in our department this year. Many philosophy departments have seen a significant reduction in their number of majors, but thanks to God’s faithfulness we actually have seen our numbers grow! Not only are we seeing an increase in majors and minors, but those in our program are proving themselves to be truly outstanding. Here are just some of the highlights of what’s been going on at Tyndale Philosophy and of how God has continued to bless our program and students.

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Geisler, Howe, and the Importance of Formal Logic

This past summer I read through Norman Geisler’s book, If God, Why Evil? and noticed that in it he appears to commit the formal fallacy of denying the antecedent. I won’t bother with rehashing the details of that now; you can read that short post here.

Some time after that post appeared Richard Howe (Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary) took the time to comment on my post and we were able to briefly chat about it at the national conference of Evangelical Philosophical Society in Atlanta last November. In his post Professor Howe notes “The critic [that’s me!] pointed out (I think correctly, taken in one way) that Geisler’s argument, when cast into predicate or quantificational logic this way, commits the fallacy of denying the antecedent.” I was glad to read this since I highly respect Geisler’s work and didn’t expect to see such a basic fallacy in one of his books. After publishing the post I half-expected to be informed that it was me that made such a basic mistake. But, it turns out, I was right. Well, kind of. Continue reading

Christian Philosophy and “Lame” Adjectives

President Thornbury“Christianity is the greatest of all nouns but the lamest of all adjectives.”

Is that true? Is ‘Christian’ a lame adjective? Well, according to Gregory Thornbury, President of The Kings College, it is. Is that right? Is it always a “lame” adjective?

President Thornbury is almost certainly right that ‘Christian’ can be a lame adjective. For example, labeling an artist “Christian” can sometimes serve as code for “it’s not very good, but cut him some slack because he’s one of us.” Here there are some striking parallels to how many in Canada use ‘Canadian’ to label their fellow actors, musicians, comedians, etc. Continue reading

Geisler’s Gap

41n+DmrzuIL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_In the last twenty to thirty years there has been an enormous increase in the number of people engaged in various apologetics-focused ministries. Though it would be hard to trace this increase to any one single person, if you were to make a list of the four or five most influential apologists during that time, Norman Geisler would certainly have to be included on it. For me personally, his co-authored (with Paul Feinberg) book Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective was the first book in philosophy I ever read and I found it quite helpful. In general, I think today’s aspiring apologists would be well served to model their careers after Geisler.

Overall, I think this rise in apologetics is a good thing. The Christian worldview is being attacked from all sides and the Church needs people who are equipped and able to respond to these attacks. Unfortunately, the quality of some of the arguments by Christian apologists simply doesn’t pass muster. This puts us in an interesting position because we now need to not only respond to those attacking the Christian worldview, but we also need to carefully evaluate the specific arguments of our fellow apologists. Because we agree with their conclusions it’s tempting to ignore fellow Christians’ bad arguments for the existence of God or bad responses to non-believers’ arguments against the existence of God. However, it’s important that we evaluate these arguments too so as to not bring reproach on those arguments that are actually pretty good.

Norman Geisler is not typically one whose arguments stand in need of critique. However, even the best of philosophers can make mistakes from time to time and so, in the spirit of trying to ensure all our defenses of Christianity are the very best, I offer a small critique of an argument Geisler presents in his book If God, Why Evil?
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