Posts in Historical Theology

Three Key Takeaways from "Risen"

By Sean McDowell Feb. 24, 2016 11:25 a.m. Apologetics, Culture, New Testament, Historical Theology

Since the release of The Passion, faith-based films have been coming out from Hollywood at an increased rate. On the one hand, faith-based films are often cheesy and unrealistic. On the other hand, many lose the spirit of the original story and are utterly inaccurate (Noah, anyone?) With a bit of hesitancy, my wife and I went to see Risen last night. All things considered, we were both pleasantly surprised! ...

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Did James, the Brother of Jesus, Die as a Martyr?

By Sean McDowell Feb. 24, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, New Testament, Historical Theology

In my recent book The Fate of the Apostles, I examine the claim that the apostles died as martyrs for their faith. One apostle who often gets overlooked is James, the brother of Jesus. While James wasn’t one of the Twelve, there is good reason to believe he was not a believer of Jesus during his public ministry (Mark 3:20-35; John 7:5), he saw the risen Jesus (1 Cor. 15:7), and became the key leader in the Jerusalem church (Gal. 2:9; Acts 21:17-26) ...

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Was Joseph Smith a Martyr?

By Sean McDowell Dec. 28, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Historical Theology

In my recent book The Fate of the Apostles, I make the historical case that the apostles were all willing to suffer and die for their belief that they had seen the risen Jesus. This does not prove the truth of their claims, but that they were sincere. But what about Joseph Smith? Didn’t he die as a martyr for his faith? Does that mean he was equally sincere, and hence Mormonism may be true as well?

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Do We Need Another Reformation?

By Thaddeus Williams Oct. 31, 2015 4:29 p.m. Church Life, Culture, Evangelism, Missions, Theology, Historical Theology

The 16th century church was in dire need of a Reformation. What about today, nearly a half millennium later? Is the 21st century church due for another Reformation, a Re-Reformation? Professor Williams shares his thoughts ...

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That Crispy Part of Your Bible

By Mark Saucy Oct. 26, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Old Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology, Historical Theology

You know that part of your Bible where the gold leaf on the pages still looks pretty fresh? Some of the pages might still even be stuck together. Or, more au courant, the portion you rarely scroll to on your phone or iPad … That’s right, for most of us it’s that part of the Bible starting right after Psalms and going all the way to Matthew. A lot of prophets big and little, and a good bit of Israel’s Wisdom tradition—but it just doesn’t get a lot of air-time in most evangelical churches or personal Bible-reading. Now, I’m the first to admit that last claim stems from my own highly subjective internal polling data, and I’m glad to be proven wrong; but I don’t think I am, because I know a good bit of it’s true in my own life ...

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Remembering Edward John Carnell—Some Reflections of a Great Apologist

By Doug Geivett Aug. 5, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Christian Education, Culture, Historical Theology

On April 25, 1967, the church lost a great Christian philosopher and apologist named Edward John Carnell. He was almost 48 years old. Today marks the 48th anniversary of his death. He was a graduate of Wheaton College and of Westminster Theological Seminary. He later earned doctoral degrees in theology and philosophy, at Harvard Divinity School and Boston University, respectively ...

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Arnold Lunn (1888-1974) – Skiing Expert, Agnostic, and Christian Apologist

By Doug Geivett Jul. 29, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Historical Theology

Arnold Lunn was born to a Methodist minister, but he was himself agnostic and a critic of Christianity—until he was 45 years old, when he converted to the faith. Lunn died on June 2, 1974.

Lunn was a professional skier and full-time enthusiast. He founded the Alpine Ski Club and the Kandahar Ski Club. He brought slalom skiing to the racing world, and he’s the namesake for a double black diamond ski trail at Taos Ski Valley.

Lunn credited his agnosticism to the wholly unconvincing cause of Anglicanism. He looked in vain for persuasive arguments for the existence of God and the truth of Christianity. Later he would say that “an odd hour or two at the end of a boy’s school life might not be unprofitably spend in armouring him against the half-baked dupes of ill informed secularists” (The Third Day, xvii). He wrote in criticism of the faith and debated Christianity’s prominent defenders ...

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