Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tara does the Stats - is there an Association between Religion and Freedom?




It is sometimes suggested that Islamic countries are oppressive[1].  I seek here to test whether this suggestion has any basis in fact, and whether such associations can be found for other religions.

Method

I have looked at the freedom scores of countries as assessed by Freedom House[2] and whether there is any apparent relationship with the religions of those countries as documented on Wikipedia[3].

Freedom House scores countries on a scale of 0 (least free) to 100 (most free).

The Wikipedia article breaks countries down by religion in seven categories, which it calls Christian, Islam[ic], Irreligion (atheism), Hindu, Buddhist, Folk Religion, Other Religion and Jewish.  The accuracy of these classification might reasonably be questioned – the appear to be cultural designations rather a measure of active faith – but for the purposes of this study they are used as provided. 

For each religion, I have plotted the freedom scores against percentage adherence to that religion for all counties for which the data was available, with a line of best fit and a confidence region.

Results

The graphs below plot freedom scores against percentage of adherents to religions, with each point representing a country, the total country population displayed as the size of the point and the various continents in different colours.

Working our way through the columns in the Wikipedia table:



There is a positive correlation between Freedom Score and Christianity, although there are non-Christian countries with high freedom scores (Mongolia, Northern Cyprus, the Czech Republic) and (at least nominally) Christian countries with low ones (Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Swaziland).


There is a negative correlation between Freedom Score and Islam, although there are non-Muslim countries with low scores (Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan, North Korea, and many others) and Muslim countries with reasonable ones (Northern Cyprus, Senegal).


There is a positive correlation between Freedom Score and what Wikipedia calls Irreligion, though there are few countries where Irreligion is very high (the Czech Republic being the exception) and this creates significant uncertainty in the relationship.


There are only two countries where Hinduism is common (India and Nepal), so the data do not provide useful evidence about its relationship to Freedom Score (we can draw a horizontal line in the grey area).


There are likewise few countries where Buddhism is common (Burma, Cambodia, Thailand), so the meaning of the data is again unclear.


We see the same issue with Folk Religion – no data at the high end (although what we can see doesn’t look good).


Likewise, there is little data for Other Religion,


or Judaism (with Israel out on its own).

Discussion

So what can we conclude from this, and what can’t we conclude?

Clearly, there does appear to be a real basis for the perception that Islamic societies are oppressive, while Christian societies are not and societies with a high proportion of atheists are not.

It does not follow that Islam causes oppression – oppression could lead people to Islam (though it’s not clear how) or some other, confounding, characteristic could both cause oppression and lead people to Islam (though it’s not clear what).  But the most obvious explanation may also be true.  Similarly, it may be that atheism promotes freedom, but could also be that free societies are the ones that allow people to identify openly as atheists.  Studies using whole-of-population statistics like this one cannot answer these questions.

It does not follow that the Muslims are the oppressors, though this is the most obvious explanation and may well be true.  An examination of Islamic history may help clarify whether this is plausible[4].  Similarly, it does not follow that Christians or atheists champion human rights, though they may.

It could be argued that Islamic societies sacrifice freedom in the pursuit of some more important good.  It is not clear what this might be, but the reader is invited to offer suggestions.  I intend to address such possibilities in future investigations.

Conclusion

The study shows an association between Freedom Score and Islam, which is negative.

The study shows an association between Freedom Score and Christianity, which is positive.

The study shows an association between Freedom Score and Atheism, which is positive, though less clearly so.

The data are not useful for examining other religions, so I will not do so in future investigations.


[1] See, for example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Muslim-majority_countries.
[2] https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world-2018-table-country-scores
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religions_by_country
[4] Unsheathed – the Story of Muhammad springs to mind, at least for me.  See http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2018/06/unsheathed-story-of-muhammad-now-free.html.

Freedom map from Wikipedia.

Friday, June 15, 2018

What is the Qur'an? What do Muslims Believe about Jesus?


In this video, my friend Pastor Sule Prince and I examine questions about the Qur'an and the portrait of Jesus in Islam. Is the Jesus of Islam the same as the historical Jesus presented in the New Testament? The name 'Jesus' is used in many different ways by different groups. While many use the name 'Jesus' it becomes quickly apparent that the identity of that Jesus differs markedly from the Jesus presented in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul warned in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4,

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

The next time you meet someone who says they believe in 'Jesus,' ask them which Jesus are you referring to? This is a crucial issue. If you have the wrong Jesus, you do not have salvation. A counterfeit $20 dollar bill may look like the real thing, but it has no legal tender and has no value at all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Doctrine of the Trinity: Course Coming Soon!


Coming this Fall, I will be teaching a course on the Trinity at Oakwood Wesleyan Church in Toronto. For those outside Toronto in the U.S. or internationally you can join us via the internet. See video for registration information.

Registration is available here.

Monday, June 11, 2018

What is Islam? Do Muslims Worship the Same God that Jews and Christians Worship? Clearing Up Some Misunderstandings



In this video, my good friend Pastor Sule Prince and I address some basic questions such as what is Islam, what does the word 'Muslim' mean, and do Muslims worship the same God Jews and Christians worship? The Qur'an states that Muslims are to say to Jews and Christians that they believe in their revelations, and that their God (Allah) and the God of the Jews and Christians is one and the same as set out in Qur'an 29:46, 

And do not argue with the People of the Scripture [Jews and Christians] except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, 'We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one'

This passage is problematic for two reasons. First, while Muslims are to affirm belief in what has been revealed to the Jews and the Christians, they in fact do not believe in those revelations and thus are in disobedience to Allah. Muslims charge that the revelations to the Jews (Old Testament) and to the Christians (New Testament) have been corrupted. If this is true, then Qur'an 29:46 is in grave error. If this is false, then the Qur'an is also in error because it contradicts the revelations to the Jews and Christians in the Bible. Secondly, this passage affirms that the God of the Muslims and the Jews / Christians is one and the same. If this were the case, then Muslims would not object to the Triune God of Scripture, but instead they reject Him. They also reject the idea of God as "Father" which is part of the revelations in the Old and New Testament.

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Unsheathed - The Story of Muhammad - now a free podcast

Hi, all.

I’ve made an audiobook version of my biography, Unsheathed – The Story of Muhammad, available as a free podcast.


It’s at https://castbox.fm/channel/Tara-MacArthur-id1279010 or, if you’d prefer it without the musical interludes, https://soundcloud.com/tara-macarthur/sets/unsheathed.  You can also play it on your favourite device by downloading the free Castbox or Soundcloud app and searching for me.

If you enjoy this free podcast, please consider buying the full version from Amazon (~$1 on Kindle) and reviewing it.   The full version has more material and all the references.

As always, my books can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Tara-MacArthur/e/B00QG84RO0/.

I hope you find it entertaining and enlightening.

Please share with anyone and everyone.

Love,

Tara

Friday, June 1, 2018

Warranted Christian Belief and the Internal Witness of the Holy Spirit

Image result for evidenceAmong many apologists, I often hear a distinction offered between "knowing" and "showing" that the Christian faith is true. On such a view, it is supposed that one can have a warranted knowledge in the truth of Christianity wholly apart from public evidence. Such an approach has long troubled me for a number of reasons, the foremost being that I have no internal witness to the truth of Christianity -- at least not of the kind that, in my judgment, would warrant belief. It would thus be rather dishonest for me to assert such an internal witness when I have no such subjective experience to speak of.

Now, I think in principle this could be a valid approach. For instance, suppose that whenever someone became a believer, there was a voice from heaven, only heard by the new believer, that said "Welcome to the family." That, I think, would be rational warrant for affirming Christianity to be true -- even though you would need to appeal to public evidence in order to demonstrate to others that Christianity is true.

I am not prepared to lie about my own experience when talking to non-believers, or for that matter other believers. I have not had some sort of tangible subjective experience that I would consider to impart to me rational warrant for my beliefs. Yes, I believe myself to have a relationship with God (which is absolutely necessary for any believer to have) -- but when I pray, I have confidence that God hears and answers my prayer because of the public evidence I have studied. By that, I do not mean to rule out the possibility that other believers have had such an experience that would rationally warrant belief.

Answered prayer is another piece of subjective evidence often asserted to warrant belief, and again, I think this could be a valid approach in principle. However, to use it as belief-warranting evidence, one would have to demonstrate a statistical significance to answered prayer, in order to distinguish it from mere coincidence. All Christians who pray can speak of times where they have requested something in prayer where they have not received what they asked for. There are a number of explanations given for this in Scripture. For example, prayer can be hindered by sin (Proverbs 28:9, 1 Peter 3:7) or by selfish-intent (James 4:3), and sometimes God knows that what we ask for is not good for us, and often his will and purpose is different from ours. All these potential variables make it difficult to use answered or unanswered prayer as evidence for or against the Christian faith. If fulfilled prayer is to be used as evidence for the truth of Christianity, one must be able to specify a hypothetical outcome which in principle could be dis-confirmatory evidence. This makes arguing from fulfilled prayer complicated.

If one were to ask me why I myself am a follower of Jesus, I would have to say "My faith rests entirely on the public evidence." The cumulative force of the evidence for Christianity gives me a robust basis for believing Christianity to be true -- and the extent of the evidence in which my faith is grounded means that my faith is not immediately perturbed by encountering fresh counter-evidence or arguments that I have not previously been exposed to (in much the same way that a well supported scientific theory is seldom overturned by a single anomalous observation) -- or, indeed, if some of the evidence on which my faith rests turns out, in the course of time, to be less strong than I presently believe (in much the same way that the discovery that some of the evidence for the earth's vast age was weaker than I previously thought would not seriously cause me to doubt the conclusion, which would still be supported by significant other public evidence).

For these reasons, even though I ground my personal faith in the public evidence (and not in subjective internal experience) my confidence in my faith is not tossed to and fro by the shifting sands of evidence.

An objection that I frequently encounter in this regard is that basing one's Christian convictions on the public evidence diminishes the role of the Holy Spirit in conversion. But this isn't so. Rather, it is my position that the Holy Spirit uses arguments and evidence to draw men into the kingdom of God.

If the appeal to subjective personal experience does not warrant the Mormons in their belief, why should it warrant the Christian? The way I know Christianity to be true is exactly the same as how I show Christianity to be true -- by means of appeal to the public evidence.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Course on the Trinity Coming this Fall 2018




The subject of the Trinity is one that almost without fail always comes up in Christian outreach to Muslims. Muslims argue that the Trinity teaches polytheism, the belief in many gods, and therefore it is incompatible with the oneness of God. Many Muslims simply and sadly, do not understand the doctrine of the Trinity. Part of the problem is that the Qur'an misrepresents the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The word "Trinity" does not appear in the Arabic text of the Qur'an at all. The more serious problem is that many Christians don't understand the Trinity or oftentimes fail to give an orthodox theological definition of the Trinity. Words are important and theolgy is crucially important. In light of this I will be teaching a course on the Trinity to better equip Christian believers in this foundational doctrine.

Coming this Fall 2018, I will be teaching an 8 week Sunday course on the Trinity at Oakwood Wesleyan Church in Toronto, Canada. It will begin September 9, 2018 and run until November 11, 2018. Classes will run on Sunday afternoons from 2 pm to 4:30 pm EST. Those who are outside of Toronto and the GTA, have the option of taking this course via the internet by using Zoom. Those in the U.S., and those internationally can also take this course via the internet at a modified rate fee. Please be aware of your time zone in relation to Toronto. Notes and hand outs will be sent via email to those joining via the internet.  Come and join us and be equipped to defend the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
 

Friday, May 18, 2018

ISLAMICIZE ME DAY 1: URINE TROUBLE!

Join our heroes as they begin their journey into Islam by asking a mystical backpack about Muhammad's most important rule! (Hint: It's about peeing properly!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

ISLAMICIZE ME: THE CHALLENGE

Here's the prologue to our 30-day "Islamicize Me" series! Join our heroes Giovanni, Jamal, and Dennis as they spend 30 days living according to the teachings of Muhammad, and fighting the evil forces of Islamophobia!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Should Robert Spencer Live or Die in "Islamicize Me"?

In our upcoming "Islamicize Me" mockumentary, three men will take a brave stand against Robert Spencer's claims that Islam promotes jihad. Will Robert survive when our beloved jihadis try to brutally murder him?

YOU DECIDE! VOTE NOW!

If you'd like to help cover the costs of our video projects, donations are tax-deductible:

For those of you who are confused about the series, here's a brief description:

Sunday, April 8, 2018

EXPERIMENT: Will a Cat Walk on the Quran?

Numerous videos on YouTube claim that the Quran must be the Word of God, because cats will not walk on the Quran (see here, here, and here). But what happens when we put this "Quran miracle" to the test? Will Allah vindicate his book by keeping a cat from walking on it? Let's find out.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Archaeology and the Deity of Christ: Dispelling a Popular Myth


A remarkable discovery was made in 2005 in the Jewish and Samaritan village of Kefar' Othnay in Israel.  An ancient mosaic was discovered dating to about 230 A.D. in what is believed to be an early Christian house church, in fact the earliest recovered church found in Israel. Early Christians met in homes or church houses as the New Testament testifies (Romans 16:5; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2). It was only later with the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 A.D. do we begin to see the rise of structural buildings called "churches". The inscription on this mosaic reads, "The God-loving Akeptous has offered the table to God Jesus Christ as a memorial'. You can see what is also called Nomina Sacra, the lines above the letters or abbreviations for "God" and IY XW ("Jesus Christ").

In this same house church, they also found another mosaic of fish, an early symbol of Christianity. Early Christians saw the Greek word for fish 'ICTHYS' as an abbreviation for "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior". Here is a depiction of the fish in the discovered mosaic:




What is interesting about this discovery is that first, it was found in Israel, the birthplace of Christianity. Secondly, it was found in a Jewish and Samaritan village, which would indicate that there were still Christians among both Jews and Samaritans considering that Jesus told His disciples that they would be His witnesses starting in Jerusalem but also in Samaria (Acts 1:8), where Philip also brought the Gospels to the Samaritan peoples (Acts 8). The third point to be made is that our Muslim friends continue to make and repeat the worn out argument like a mantra that the deity of Christ was invented by Constantine (who is blamed for every problem under the sun) at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.  Dan Brown in his fictional book, The Da Vinci Code also argued that Constantine was responsible for inventing the deity of Christ. The major problem with this popular myth is that it is false. Early Christians long before 325 A.D. referred to Jesus as "God" as we see in the early second century Church Father, Ignatius of Antioch (A.D. 50 - A.D. 117). I have placed the relevant words in bold:

"There is only one physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 7.2.).

"For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit" (Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 18.2.).

Moreover, if you note the date of this mosaic, it dates to 230 A.D., that is almost 100 years before the Council of Nicea. So the popular myth that Constantine or the Council of Nicea invented the deity of Christ as anyone can see, is patently false. Here is a case where archaeology has shown what Christians have always known, the Lord Jesus Christ was believed to be God Himself in human flesh, and He was worshiped as such. Notice as well, that this belief in the deity of Christ reflected in this mosaic, was found in the land of Israel, the birthplace of Christianity. The theory that the deity of Christ evolved from Gentile Christianity outside of Jesus' Jewish homeland as some liberal scholars have argued, like Wilhem Bousset (1865-1920) in his book Kyrios Christos ('Lord Christ'), is no longer tenable. Archaeology has confirmed the biblical witness and the testimony of the Early Church regarding the identity of  Jesus. Here is a case where if we remain silent, "the very stones would cry out" (Luke 19:40).

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

How Muhammad Ali Was Deceived by Islam

In 1964, a young boxer named Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. won an upset victory over Sonny Liston. Later that year, Clay changed his name to Cassius X, then to Muhammad Ali. Ali said that he changed his name because "Clay was a white name," while "Muhammad" and "Ali" weren't. Oddly enough, Muslim sources say that Muhammad was white, and that both he and his son-in-law Ali owned black slaves. Even more strange, Muhammad Ali was originally named after Cassius Marcellus Clay, the nineteenth century Kentucky abolitionist who helped convince Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? A Comprehensive Historiographical Case



On Saturday I addressed the Apologetics Academy with an "Easter Special" presentation on the public evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. The presentation took approximately 90 minutes and lays out a comprehensive case for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Please check it out and leave feedback or criticism.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Evidences for the Resurrection of Jesus: Jesus Lives!



As we come to the Easter weekend Christians all over the world will  be celebrating the great sacrifice Jesus paid on Calvary to save sinners from their sins. The good news is that unlike every other religious leader, prophet, and teacher in history, while they all died and stayed dead, Jesus was raised from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is the divine vindication of all His claims. Jesus didn't just talk the talk, which is cheap and easy. Jesus made unique claims about Himself, but He backed them up with actions. He predicted that He would die by crucifixion and that He would rise again the third day. Jesus left behind an empty tomb and He lives forevermore. The resurrection of Jesus confirm the truth of Christianity. The Qur'an 4:157 on the other hand denies in a very vague passage that Jesus was not crucified or killed. This passage is not only vague but has produced a number of various interpretations. Every credible scholar and historian believes Jesus died on a Roman cross sometime between A.D. 30 - A.D. 33. At this Easter time we invite our Muslim friends to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Savior, and the only hope for their salvation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Does Ezekiel 20:26 Teach that the Hebrews Practiced Child Sacrifice to Yahweh?

Image result for child sacrificeYesterday evening, I did a live-stream video podcast with an atheist known on the web as "Pinecreek Doug". For about 40 of the 50 minutes we discussed various aspects of New Testament, and historiographic methodology.

In the last 10 minutes he suddenly changed the subject onto Ezekiel 20, asking me whether verse 26 indicates that the Hebrews practiced child sacrifice. He caught me off-guard and I was not prepared for a discussion of this text. So I said I would prefer to study the text properly first before discussing it. I think apologists do themselves a disservice when they attempt to "wing" a discussion without doing the proper study of the relevant subject first. It is not a good Christian witness to offer half-baked answers without the appropriate research.

I was surprised to see Doug declaring victory over my not being able to give him a response right there and then (someone even commented that he had "trounced" me). I'm sorry, but saying "I haven't studied this text and I would prefer to do so before doing a discussion on it" is not being "trounced". Such behavior is anti-intellectual and anti-scholarly. The Bible is a huge volume of 66 different individual books, and while I study it incessantly, it is difficult to have a detailed ready-made analysis of any possible obscure text that one might bring up -- at least not if you want to do these texts justice. My specialization is historiographic arguments bearing on the veracity of the Scriptures, in particular the New Testament, and I am also interested in the Trinity, Christology and Messianic prophecy. I do not have time at present to specialize in much more than that.

Anyway, I think the use of this text deserves an answer, so in this post I wish to say a few words about Ezekiel 20. Here is the text that Doug quoted:
23 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. 25 Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, 26 and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the Lord.
I invite readers to go read the chapter as a whole for context. Here are verses 10-26:
10 So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live. 12 Also I gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes and they rejected My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; and My sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness, to annihilate them. 14 But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, before whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands, 16 because they rejected My ordinances, and as for My statutes, they did not walk in them; they even profaned My sabbaths, for their heart continually went after their idols. 17 Yet My eye spared them rather than destroying them, and I did not cause their annihilation in the wilderness. 18 “I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers or keep their ordinances or defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God; walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and observe them. 20 Sanctify My sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’ 21 But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withdrew My hand and acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands, 24 because they had not observed My ordinances, but had rejected My statutes and had profaned My sabbaths, and their eyes were on the idols of their fathers. 25 I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live; 26 and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am the Lord.”’
And verses 30-31:
30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? 31 When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day.
So God says quite explicitly that the children of Israel defile themselves "when you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire." And verse 26 says that God "pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire..." We are also told in verses 10 and 11 that "I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live." Instead of choosing the way of life, which is what God desired for the people of Israel, instead they chose to reject God's statutes. Instead, they returned to idols, with which were associated the statutes of death, by which they defiled themselves.

Because the people would not choose God's statutes of life, God then gave them over to their idols' statutes of death. He did so in order that they might know that He is the Lord and He will righteously judge those who reject His commandments which give life. We see the same concept in Romans 1:
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness.
Thus, in both Ezekiel 20 and Romans 1, God gave them over to their own evil desires so that they might come to recognize Him as the Lord through His judgment of their wickedness.

Now, one might come back and try to assert that the issue in Ezekiel 20 was not child sacrifice, but rather that the child sacrifice was being done to the idols rather than the Lord God. But this interpretation doesn't fly either. In fact, God specifically condemns child sacrifice in Deuteronomy 12:29-32:
29 “When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.
Here, we learn that the people of Israel are not to serve the Lord in the same manner in which these nations served their idols because these acts, God says, are "abominable" and "the Lord hates" those practices.

In conclusion, it is abundantly clear that God does not command child sacrifice here, as even a cursory reading of the context reveals.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The 5 Solas of the Reformation


I joined Jonathan Mclatchie of the Apologetics Academy to discuss and defend the 5 Solas of the Reformation  (faith alone, grace alone, Scripture alone, Christ alone, to God alone be the glory). These are biblical truths that are important in our Gospel witness to our Muslim friends.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

What do Rabbits and Eggs have to do with Easter?

Continuing with our series on Easter we discuss the subject of rabbits and eggs that the secular world emphasizes at this time of year.