Warren Christian Apologetics Center
Affirm. Defend. Advance.
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James D. Bales


James David Bales (1915-1995) was born in Tacoma, Washington, the fifth of eight children. In 1930 he enrolled in the Georgia Military Academy (now Woodward Academy) in College Park, Georgia. He graduated from Harding College with a BA in 1937 and received a master’s degree at George Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1938. Bales received his PhD in 1944 from the University of California at Berkeley. From 1944 to 1980, James David Bales was a professor of Bible and theology at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.
Both in public and in print, Bales earned a national reputation as a fearsome debater of theological issues and political ideologies, becoming especially well known for his anti-communism stance. Bales wrote and published more than seventy books and many more articles for religious periodicals. While Bales’ style was at times unabashedly confrontational, bold, aggressive, and often tinged with biting sarcasm when he felt he had the facts on his side, he was also committed to fair play and giving his opponent an honest hearing.
J. D. Bales served as moderator for Dr. Thomas B. Warren during his monumental 1976 debate on the existence of God with Dr. Antony G. N. Flew.

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The roots of our convictions

"The roots of our convictions concerning the dignity of the individual are religious, whether we recognize it or not. There are non-religious individuals who have been so influenced by religion that they continue to cling to certain of its values long after they have denied the validity of all religion. The man of no faith is the child of centuries of faith. But it is still true that in our society the roots of our conviction of the sacredness of human personality are religious .

. . . [I]t is religion which gives to human personality sacredness. 'Where nothing is sacred nothing is safe.' . . .

   In coming to this country, our forefathers put morality, religion, and freedom first. They did not even put economic security first. And yet, these material things have been added unto us.

   We should recognize our need for God, and not for just his material gifts."


-Dr. James D. Bales
Harding College Lectures (1951)