Archive for January, 2016

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Was the Divinity of Jesus a Late Invention of the Council of Nicea? by Michael J. Kruger

It is commonly asserted that the deity of Jesus was an invention by the later Christians at the Council of Nicea.  Kruger, president and professor of NT at Reformed Theological Seminary, provides insight into this spurious claim.  A taste:

One of the most common objections to Christianity is that the divinity of Jesus was “created” by later Christians long after the first century.  No one in primitive Christianity believed Jesus was divine, we are told.  He was just a man and it was later believers, at the council of Nicea, that declared him to be a God.

A classic example of this in popular literature can be found in the book The Da Vinci Code:

“My dear,” Teabing declared, “until that moment in history [council of Nicea], Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet… a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.” “Not the Son of God?” “Right,” Teabing said. “Jesus’ establishment as ‘the Son of God” was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea.” “Hold on. You’re saying Jesus’ divinity was the result of a vote?” “A relatively close vote at that,” Teabing added.

Of course, there have been more sophisticated objections to the Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus.  Bart Ehrman’s book, How Jesus Became God, argues that “It will become clear in the following chapters that Jesus was not originally considered to be God in any sense at all” (44).

Needless to say, there have been many responses to this claim by Ehrman (and The Da Vinci Code). A good place to start is the rebuttal volume to Ehrman, How God Became Jesus.  And you can see my review of Ehrman’s book here.

The Cambridge Christian School football team kneels in prayerAttack on Religious Freedom

My good friend Tim Euler, who I taught with several years, is the headmaster at Cambridge Christian School in Tampa Florida.  The odd thing about this incident is both schools who were playing in their state football championship are Christian schools, prayed before all their games, and were playing at the city owned Citrus Bowl in Orlando, were prohibited from exercising their freedom of religion by praying before this game.  A taste:

Leaders at a Christian high school demanded an apology this week from the athletic board that forbade a pregame prayer at a state championship football game in December.

Tampa’s Cambridge Christian School was getting ready to face Jacksonville’s University Christian School in the Florida High School Athletic Association’s (FHSAA) 2A state championship, played at the city-owned Citrus Bowl in Orlando, when Cambridge requested permission to pray before the kickoff.

“It seemed like a simple request to me,” Cambridge headmaster Tim Euler told me. “Both schools had done this at the start of all their games. The fans would be from both the schools.”

Harmony DawsBeing Fired for Being Pro-life

Being fired for ones religious convictions keeps reoccurring lately.  The Atlanta fire chief was let go for his position on traditional marriage.  CEO of Mozilla Firefox Brendan Eich resigned because of pressure from political activists against his personal beliefs that did not effect his running of the company.  Now, Harmony Daws, who accepted the presidency of the Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) was fired from her position as operations manager of a thriving Portland-area cleaning business.  A taste:

Last week, the new president of the Oregon Right to Life board of directors, Harmony Daws, was fired from her position as operations manager of a thriving Portland-area cleaning business. Two weeks prior, she had told her left-leaning boss that she had accepted the position as president. Ostensibly, she was fired for pro-life beliefs, as well as other political beliefs.

After that conversation, her boss came to her again and told her to never mention her pro-life work. Harmony agreed, mentioning that it had only come up in their conversation as friends, having worked together for four years. Her employer was cold and distant for the following week and a half. Then last Friday, she fired Harmony for “discrimination” and for Harmony’s beliefs that she saw online, apparently including her blog and the ORTL website.

Here is my good friend Dave Sterrett‘s video trailer of his new book and film: We Choose Life (which was filmed by my other good friend Clint Loveness).  Sterrett is founder of Disruptive Truth.  The trailer (and video) features Lila Rose, founder of Live Action and Melissa Ohden, founder of the abortion survivor’s network.  We Choose Life is “a collection of compelling stories from men and women who are dedicated to rescuing babies, mothers, and fathers from abortion. Though sometimes heartbreaking, this book reveals examples of forgiveness, healing, and hope. We Choose Life brings light into the enveloping darkness of the culture of death.” (amazon.com description)

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This is an issue that just won’t quit.  I originally posted about the issue here in December.  tolerance-tension-large1Since then, many more have weighed in on the issue. Here are some more recent positions  over this issue:

The most recent post is from Lydia McGrew at The Gosple Coalition.  She has a Ph.D. in English Literature from Vanderbilt University, but she is multi-talented having written and published in philosophy and apologetics.

“The ‘Same-God’ Debate Is to Important to Leave to Philosophers” by Lydia McGrew |The Gospel Coalition Jan 15, 2016

So, those generally, to round it out, in the “yes” column include concerning the question include:

Those in the “no” column include concerning the question include:

 

2015 in review

Posted: January 1, 2016 in Year in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report Dark ages mainfor this blog.  The most visited blog was “The Myth of the Dark Ages” followed by “Thy Myth that the Church Hindered the Development of Science.” 

Thanks for a great 2015.  Looking forward to 2016.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.