Warren Christian Apologetics Center
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Articles - Miscellanea

APOLOGETICS: A FLEETING FAD OR A PERMANENT PROPERTY OF CHRISTIAN FAITH?

The following significant statements are taken from an issue of the Gospel Advocate, many decades old (September 13, 1973). The statements were penned by the late Thomas B. Warren. He wrote: “The basic thrust of New Testament preaching is apologetic in its nature. . . . It is a grievous error to conclude that the study of ‘Christian Evidences’ [apologetics] is one extraneous to the study of the Bible. The two go hand-in-hand.”

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The Sons of the World Are Wiser Than the Children of Light

On June 7, 2011, Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple, Inc., the American multinational technology company, made his last public appearance. Jobs died from cancer later in 2011. His last public appearance was before the city council of Cupertino, CA, for the purpose of announcing Apple’s plan to build a 2.8 million square foot office building located on a 175 acre property, the former campus of Hewlett-Packard’s advanced products division. This high tech office development will be surrounded by 7,000 trees, including apricot, plum, olive, and apple orchards, and indigenous plants—a landscape of beauty designed by a leading Stanford University arborist...

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Mothering—Probably the Most Important Function on Earth

In a 2015 book, How the West Really Lost God, cultural critic Mary Eberstadt affirms that religion is like language—it is learned through community and the first community is the family. Rod Dreher, author of a more recent book, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, agrees with Eberstadt’s conclusion. He says, “When both the family and the community become fragmented and fail, the transmission of religion to the next generation becomes far more difficult” (123).

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Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Warren

Dr. Thomas B. Warren touched an untold number of lives through his knowledge of God's word and his ability to logically reason in its truth. It was my good fortune to sit at his feet on different occasions while I was a student at the former East Tennessee School of Preaching and Missions which is now Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies in Knoxville, TN.

At the time, Dr. Warren was preparing for a debate concerning the existence of God with Dr. Antony Flew, a renowned atheist. Warren had a team consisting of, but not limited to, Roy Deaver and Thomas Eaves who were assisting with the research, developing questions for the debate, and constructing the charts to be used. We students would sit for hours listening to bits and pieces concerning the upcoming discussion. Although the tone of these discussions was extremely serious, we were entertained by the humor of these godly men.

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“POST-TRUTH”? REALLY?

In one of Francis Bacon’s Essays, he wrote of truth. His opening lines are, “What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.” It is a classic illustration of the observation that men stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.

According to Oxford dictionaries, “Truth is dead. Facts are passé.” This is the opening line of Amy Wang, Washington Post writer, in her article titled “‘Post-Truth’ Named 2016 Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries.” Wang says the folks at Oxford say post-truth denotes “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential . . . than appeals to emotion . . . [creating] an atmosphere in which [truth] is irrelevant.”

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A President and Apologetics

In his groundbreaking book on the spiritual life of Ronald Reagan, Professor Paul Kengor describes Reagan as having “faith [that] was not shallow, as his evident appetite for apologetics . . . demonstrates” (128-29). One way in which Reagan manifested this “appetite” for apologetics was in reading the books of former British atheist and apologist C. S. Lewis and assimilating and internalizing Lewis’ defense of the Christian faith.

   More than 100 years before Reagan became President, another holder of the office of the U.S. Presidency, Abraham Lincoln, was also greatly influenced by a study of apologetics. The Christian’s Defence, authored by a former skeptic, James D. Smith, and published in 1843, was the result of a debate the author had with C. G. Olmsted in 1841. The Smith-Olmsted debate continued for 18 nights. Olmsted challenged Smith to this discussion because of a series of lectures the latter had delivered in Columbus, MS. The lectures carried such titles as “The Evidences of Christianity” and “The Natures and Tendencies of Infidelity.” Smith argued the case for Christianity so effectively in his debate with Olmsted that a groundswell of support convinced him to print his arguments. In 1843, this apologetics literature, which a few years later would impact the life of Abraham Lincoln, was published in two volumes...

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Insights For Apologetics From Other Disciplines

This is, to be sure, an intriguing title for this essay.  Nevertheless, professional apologists know that other disciplines are important in order to carry out their programs.  For instance, the findings of science are significant in providing evidence to the apologist, in spite of the fact that science is not equipped to deal with the question of origins.  Likewise, for Christian apologetics, theological insights are invaluable.  And, the weaknesses in either area of study form valuable thematic studies also.  If one denies freedom, or the nature of consciousness, then any “theological” position and/or any “scientific” position where either of these are questioned or denied exposes an impotence in the position.  For, both theology and science depend upon freedom and consciousness to even begin their work!  And, without freedom and consciousness, no one could expect another to either understand or accept their conclusions.  How could one, for instance, “change her mind,” if there really is no consciousness or freedom at all?

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Sweeter As The Years Go By!

A.B. Bruce (1831-1899) succeeded Patrick Fairbairn as Chair of Apologetics in Free Church College, Glasgow, Scotland. In the year of his death, Bruce published a work titled, The Epistle to the Hebrews—The First Apology for Christianity—An Exegetical Study. Four decades ago, I heard the late professor, Neil Lightfoot (1929-2012), in the very city from which I write these words, say that he esteemed Bruce’s volume on Hebrews higher than any similar work. Lightfoot, himself, wrote a fine work on Hebrews, titled Jesus Christ Today. Whether Bruce was correct, in an absolute sense, that The Epistle to the Hebrews was the “first apology” for Christianity may be debated. However, beyond dispute is the greatness of the New Testament book we know as Hebrews. Hebrews is a masterpiece in affirmation and defense of the majesty of the deity of Jesus Christ, and the manhood of His humanity...

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FROM UNLASTING TO EVERLASTING

Someone defined New Year’s Eve as “the ceremonial rite of passage from one year to another, a sanctioned party that makes way for another 365 days of drudgery and responsibility. December 31 is the night the civilized world stomps on the gas and blows last year’s gunk out of its carburetors.” This is fitting for the worldview of skepticism that sees human beings as having come from nowhere and from nothing and destined to return to nowhere and become nothing...

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Thanksgiving: Gratitude, Stewardship, and President Lincoln

Tomorrow our nation will observe the Thanksgiving holiday.  This is a time set aside and reserved for family, friends, and a grateful spirit of reflection.  This year brings with it for many, a time of deceleration following an incredibly heated election season. In a day when some regrettably see our nation as being more divided than it ever has been, it is easy for us to lose within the fray the blessings of today in an alluringly nostalgic dream of years past. We easily slip into dreams of the days when we were a close knit nation of peoples who valued the greater things in life...

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Prayer, the Polls, and Principle

It has been reported that John Adams, second President of the United States, once said, “No man who ever held the office of President would congratulate a friend on obtaining it!” The one who fills the highest office in the land of the free and the home of the brave is, in many ways, occupying an unenviable position. He and others who are in positions of civil authority are in need of our prayers. Paul wrote, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, FOR KINGS AND ALL WHO ARE IN AUTHORITY . . .” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, emp. 

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Civility-What The World Needs Now

I remember my undergraduate years at Harding College when Dr. Clifton Ganus, Jr. was president. Dr. Ganus is a remarkable Christian gentleman. He is among the greatest administrators I have known in Christian higher education. He is also an expert historian. Ganus and Arnold Toynbee, the late prominent British historian, were friends. I recall a chapel speech Dr. Ganus delivered in which he shared part of a conversation he had with Toynbee. The latter said, “Dr. Ganus, civilizations fall when men start hurting one another.”

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Atheists and Atheism

The terms Atheist and Atheism are derived from the same Greek words, a, of Alpha, the negative, and Theos, God.  Thus we get the idea of a system which means without God.  I shall not trouble the reader by placing before him the two leading hypothesis which prevailed among this class of unbelievers, but it may not be amiss to state, that one had its origin from Ocellus Lucanus, adopted and improved by Aristotle; and the other, from Epicurus...

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Inward Decay: Our Greatest Threat!

History teaches that a civilization’s greatest threat is from within. Inward decay is deadlier than outward aggression. One does not have to be a modern prophet of doom or a nervous alarmist to detect some of the rapidly multiplying symptoms of moral deterioration in our land. Individual character, the home, and society as God would have it are all being undercut and their foundations weakened by these symptoms. 

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The Great Debate of 2016

 Forty years ago this coming September, America was engaged in presidential debates prior to the general election of 1976. During that same time another debate, the Warren-Flew debate on the existence of God, occurred on the campus of a Texas university. Although the 1976 presidential debates, as always, were significant, a good case can be made that the Warren-Flew debate was even more significant. In fact, some have called it “the debate of the century.”

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MOTHERS AND APOLOGETICS

His mother was Madalyn Murray O’Hair. She won the landmark lawsuit filed on his behalf when he was fourteen years old, effectively banning prayer and Bible reading from public schools in America by an 8-1 Supreme Court decision, June 17, 1963. America’s schools have never recovered from this decision that long-time U. S. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia described as somebody “tampering with America’s soul.”

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