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WHI-1150 | Questions of Faith, Part 3

Posted by on in 2013 Show Archive
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Are all religions basically the same? Why should a person choose Christianity as opposed to other faith traditions? Is evolution compatible with Christianity? Are miracles impossible? Joined once again by Greg Koukl, we will discuss these questions and more as they continue to interact with a number of "on-the-street" interviews recorded at a University of California campus.

Are all religions basically the same? Why should a person choose Christianity as opposed to other faith traditions? Is evolution compatible with Christianity? Are miracles impossible? Joined once again by Greg Koukl, we will discuss these questions and more as they continue to interact with a number of "on-the-street" interviews recorded at a University of California campus.


Nathan The Naive
Michael Horton

A Conversation About Apologetics
Sproul, Rosenbladt, et al



[audio src="http://www.whitehorseinn.org/whiarchives/2013whi1150apr21.mp3" width="250"]
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C.S. Lewis

Religion on Trial
Craig Parton

Come Let Us Reason
Copan & Craig


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  • "Christopher, the fall has affected man to the point that unless he’s born again he can not understand the things of God, the wisdom of the unregenerated man is foolishness"

    While that's true, that doesn't negate their ability to reason. The "wisdom of man" is not reason, it is referring to their attempts to explain and live life apart from God.

    "Horton comes across as a theologian of glory that extols the visible attributes of God revealed in nature (science and reason) as if those attributes can make any sense without the cross and we could reason with an unbeliever."

    He's only pointing out what Paul explicitly says in Romans: no man is without excuse, and all know God. He also says in this series that man cannot know enough from this to be saved. I encourage you to listen to these broadcasts again, I think you missed some of what was said.

    "Christopher, my faith is not based on reason."

    I would argue it probably is, but not in the way you think I'm saying. As the hosts point out, faith isn't some blind leap, it is a response to information and truth, a reasonable response. You can only have faith because it is a gift, but your faith is not devoid of reason.

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  • Guest - Bill

    Christopher, I'm going to tell you something that the modern Reformed never will. Maybe Calvin would agree with me, but none if any of the post Dort Reformed will. Again I want to give credit to the man that preached this today, lutheran Minister Tom Baker in his incredible daily program law and gospel, where Christ and him crucified is preached, where the word of God is like a two edged sword, where reason plays no part. In classic lutheran fashion and reminiscent of Martin Luther, Tom Baker asserted none of the White Horse Inns programs on faith and reason did. The truth of the matter is that there is no evidence for saving faith. There is zero evidence. All evidence points to historical facts, including the resurrection. But as pastor Baker correctly pointed out the devil himself believes in the resurrection. Salvation comes by believing the promises of the gospel and not historical facts. The unsaved believe historical facts about Jesus as well, demons and the devil, some of the pharisees knew about the empty tomb and made up stories that his disciples stole his body. And yet none of these people were saved. So all the evidence in the world and proof of every historic fact will save nobody. Saving faith is not based on reason, has nothing to do with it, and it has nothing to do with historical facts. Luke 16 verses 30 and 31 are irrefutable proof that even if the unbeliever were to witness himself somebody rising from the dead they still would not be converted.
    Luke 16:30 - 31
    30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.

    but here it is pastor one of the greatest preachers the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, pastor Tom Baker preaching the truth that there is zero evidence for saving faith, nobody is saved by believing historical facts, neither does evidence of historical facts contribute to the salvation of a single soul. Here's the link to today's outstanding program of law and gospel where the argument that faith is based on reason is demolished in classic lutheran form.


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  • Guest - Bill

    Here's the link to today's program of Law and Gospel


    It starts around minute 16, though I recommend people listen to the full program because it is pure gospel like every program of this great lutheran Minister. Suffice it to say saving faith is believing in the promises of the gospel that Christ died for my sin and of this there is no evidence (reason can't help us one bit, the holy spirit alone creates this faith), and not believing historical facts which even the devil believes.

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  • Guest - Bruce

    You're point is valid, saving is what gives us the faith and belief in the Gospel. To be saved is to have the ability and desire to seek and believe. From there, looking back at what we were told, what we have read, and what we have learned ( reason) , it all seems so reasonable, it all makes so much more sense, and so believable, now that we reason correctly.

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  • Guest - Bill

    Bruce, I know.

    Christopher, look at Abraham. Sarah's womb was barren, Abraham 100 years old, and then God promised him that he will be a father of many nations his offspring as numerous as the stars. Abraham had no evidence, no historical facts to back up his beliefs, to the unbeliever God's promise would make no sense whatsoever, if anything it's anti-reason. But saving faith is believing God's promise, and Abraham like other old testaments Saints trusted the promise of a Messiah. Romans 4:16 to 4:23 clearly teaches that faith has nothing to do with believing reasonable historical facts, quite the opposite it is believing what is impossible to believe. Verse 18 says in hope he believed against hope, far from believing something that is reasonable he believed in something that was hopeless from a human reason perspective. This is why the holy spirit needs to create this faith in man.

    Romans 4 verses 16 to 25:
    16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness[c] of Sarah's womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

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  • Guest - Bill

    What evidence did Abraham when he trusted God's promises? Zero. He just trusted what God promised, period. There were no historical facts, no reasonable arguments to back up the faith, just naked trust in God's pristine word, in his promise. This is the gospel. There is no evidence whatsoever that backed up Abraham's belief.

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  • Guest - Josh

    I've been reading this thread with interest, and haven't even gotten to listen to the podcast yet, but am familiar with the basic issues. As a Lutheran myself, who loves apologetics as well as Lutheran theology, I think a clarification needs to be made with regard to Luther's position on reason. Bill seems to be arguing a polarity between reason and faith, and I understand his reasons for doing so...but I think that the real issue for Luther was not that reason itself was inherently bad, but where we place our reason in relation to the authority of God's Word. I stand to be corrected, but my understanding of Lutheran theology is that reason as "the devil's whore" would apply to reason held ABOVE the authority of God and His word, (i.e. 'magisterial' use of reason, where man's reason becomes the judge of God's word). I am confident that Luther had no objection to the use of reason UNDER and guided by the authority of God and His Word, (i.e. 'ministerial' use of reason, where man's reason is in service to God's revealed truth). I also doubt that Horton, Koukl, and the rest are employing reason 'magisterially', or without a full confidence in the Gospel and the Spirit alone being able to convert the unbeliever. I also object to the idea that it is Lutheran to think that saving faith has nothing to do with historical facts, as Paul himself would object in 1 Cor. 15. The historical facts of the Christian faith are necessary, but NOT SUFFICIENT for saving faith. We cannot do without a real death and resurrection--but saving faith is only possible by the Holy Spirit, and this is no mere historical knowledge, but a living trust in God and His promises.

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  • Guest - Bill

    Josh, all I said is that Mike Horton was not at his best on this series. Lutherans clearly teach that reason has to be placed below faith, and needs to be subordinated to faith. Luther has no objection to this use of reason and neither do I.
    However reason can not be put on par with faith, and never above faith. And I won't go as far as saying Horton did this on this program. Nevertheless faith was not given the prominence it deserves and specially the preeminence of faith over reason was not mentioned once.

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  • Guest - Bill

    You see people won't believe even if they witness with their own eyes somebody resurrecting from the dead.

    Luke 16:27-31
    27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
    29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
    30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
    31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

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  • Guest - Bill

    You see it is pointless to prove the resurrection to an unbeliever. Faith has to come first and then we can reason. But faith comes first. When I read the gospels I believed them, I knew the testimony was true and believed. This is the first step in the christian faith. Now because of this faith I was able to know that all scripture was inspired by God and the manuscripts were reliable. Mike Horton appeared to reverse this, and imply that we first need to know that the manuscripts are reliable and then we can believe. This is a serious error. And I have to say in fairness to Dr Horton that I am sure him and I would agree on most of what I have written, my criticism is of this particular series where Dr Horton, but mainly Greg Kouki, made some comments in a context that can be interpreted as serious error. Because I know Mike Horton from the books he wrote and from all his other programs, I know he's theologically super sound. he's 10 times better than I ever will. But with this said I maintain the criticisms I made about this particular White Horse Inn series.

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