Announcement

Collapse

Deeper Waters Forum Guidelines

Notice The ministries featured in this section of TheologyWeb are guests of this site and in some cases not bargaining for the rough and tumble world of debate forums, though sometimes they are. Additionally, this area is frequented and highlighted for guests who also very often are not acclimated to debate fora. As such, the rules of conduct here will be more strict than in the general forum. This will be something within the discretion of the Moderators and the Ministry Representative, but we simply ask that you conduct yourselves in a manner considerate of the fact that these ministries are our invited guests. You can always feel free to start a related thread in general forum without such extra restrictions. Thank you.

Deeper Waters is founded on the belief that the Christian community has long been in the shallow end of Christianity while there are treasures of the deep waiting to be discovered. Too many in the shallow end are not prepared when they go out beyond those waters and are quickly devoured by sharks. We wish to aid Christians to equip them to navigate the deeper waters of the ocean of truth and come up with treasure in the end.

We also wish to give special aid to those often neglected, that is, the disabled community. This is especially so since our founders are both on the autism spectrum and have a special desire to reach those on that spectrum. While they are a special emphasis, we seek to help others with any disability realize that God can use them and that they are as the Psalmist says, fearfully and wonderfully made.

General TheologyWeb forum rules: here.
See more
See less

Book Plunge: Christ-Centered Apologetics

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Book Plunge: Christ-Centered Apologetics

    My thoughts on Joel Furches's book.

    The link can be found here.

    The text is as follows:

    What do I think of Joel Furches's book published by Crosslink Publishers? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Awhile back Joel Furches sent me this book, which recently I finally got around to reading. Normally, the only direct apologetics books I read today are those that are sent to me and I mainly try to keep in mind how an audience unfamiliar with apologetics would take it. Generally, if you're well-read, you won't find much new in many classical apologetics books. That's not a bad thing necessarily. Everyone needs a start somewhere.

    So what are the positives of Furches's book?

    I certainly appreciate that Christ must remain the center of our apologetics. Furches rightly points out that too often we can get bogged down on secondary issues such as Inerrancy or the age of the Earth. The main point that needs to be proven is that Jesus is who He said He was and that He rose from the dead.

    I do appreciate that Furches has a chapter in here on how to do apologetics. I do not agree with all that he said, and more of that is coming up later, but knowing how to do apologetics is just as important as having the content of apologetics.

    Furches is also right on how this must be done in our churches today. Christianity is in a state of lethargy here in America with most people not knowing what they believe beyond "faith." The new atheists can make easy pickings of such people, not because the new atheists are so strong, they're not, but because the ones they are going against are so weak.

    I also agree that too often our worldviews have been like a house of cards. Each doctrine of Christianity has been given as much importance as every other one and so if one falls, then everything falls. To point to earlier examples, I know of Christians that if they found out the Bible had an error in it, they would abandon their faith immediately. I also know several who thought Christianity was disproven when they were convinced the Earth is old.

    Now what are my concerns?

    First, while Furches does often cite Biblical scholars, many times, he does not, and these times can be concerning. I really don't like seeing John MacArthur used as if he was a Bible scholar when there are real New Testament scholars to go to for the matters that MacArthur is consulted on. Also, while I do respect people like J. Warner Wallace greatly, it can too often look like an apologist quoting another apologist. I would prefer to go back to the scholarly sources. Wallace certainly cites them in his work, so why not instead of citing Wallace, go back to the people that Wallace cites?

    Second, I thought some arguments could have used some improvement. I am thankful for a look at each of the Gospels to show they are by eyewitnesses or trace back to eyewitnesses, but would this not have been a good time to mention Richard Bauckham's groundbreaking work on the topic? Since the most defense was applied to Mark, would it not be helpful to show that Mark is an inclusio account that directly links itself to Peter?

    Third, some arguments were just suspicious to me. Consider for instance the claim that there was some of Mark found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. I do not know a specialist on the Dead Sea Scrolls today who takes this opinion. Putting an argument that could be highly spurious in a work could lead people to question the rest of one's research.

    Fourth, I found the section on prophecy troubling. To begin with, there was nothing about how to interpret prophecy in the OT that I saw. What is a Christian to do when met with passages like Hosea 11:1 being cited in Matthew 2? Without an informed hermeneutic on the NT's usage of the OT and how prophecy was understood in Second Temple Judaism, you could quickly be devastated by others who are sadly just as ignorant of such realities. I also was surprised there was no mention of Daniel 2 or Daniel 9 which I consider excellent prophecies with the timing of Jesus.

    Finally, with how to do apologetics, I would disagree in some areas. There are times I am answering a question and I am NOT trying to get the person to come to Jesus. The person is hostile, but it is a public place. My goal is to shut them down since they are a threat to others coming to the cross. I think in such times being more tough in one's approach can be helpful and in fact I see this in the Bible regularly.

    In conclusion, it's kind of a mixed bag. If you don't have any apologetics training, this could be a good start. I would hope in future editions the author would take my concerns into consideration as areas for improvement.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  • #2
    That Mark is an inclusio account appears to be in your mind an important point. I fail to see that it is so.
    The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

    [T]he truth Im after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

    Comment


    • #3
      An inclusio was a method used to show a source of a work. That Mark does this is evidence he is citing Peter, which means the Gospel is eyewitness testimony if that's true.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
        Since the most defense was applied to Mark, would it not be helpful to show that Mark is an inclusio account that directly links itself to Peter?
        I've read Mark several times, but I don't recall where it "directly links itself to Peter."
        "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
        --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

        Comment


        • #5
          Bauckham points out it does by being an inclusio account.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
            Bauckham points out it does by being an inclusio account.
            You seem to be using a different definition of "inclusio" than I've seen. But I had a look at Mark, the beginning and the end, specifically. I'm still puzzled. For one thing, there is this note that "Verses 16:9-20 are not included in two of the best and oldest Greek manuscripts of Mark."
            The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

            [T]he truth Im after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

            Comment


            • #7
              It refers to the names. Peter is the first and the last apostle named. The addendum to Mark needs to be taken out of the picture.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                It refers to the names. Peter is the first and the last apostle named. The addendum to Mark needs to be taken out of the picture.
                The fact that Peter is the first and last apostle named can hardly be considered "directly link[ing] itself to Peter." At least, if by "directly links," you mean to imply that the author of Mark is attempting to identify the source of the pericopes which he has recorded. After all, the first and last apostle mentioned in the Gospel of Luke is also Peter, but no one claims that the author of Luke is attesting to Peter's eyewitness account.
                "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                Comment


                • #9
                  We also have the testimony of the early church fathers and Luke tells us he went and spoke to many eyewitnesses about the events.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                    We also have the testimony of the early church fathers
                    We have the testimony of precisely one Church Father, and not until around 100 years after the gospels had been in circulation; and that testimony is fairly dubious, in my humble opinion.

                    ...and Luke tells us he went and spoke to many eyewitnesses about the events.
                    No, he doesn't. He says that he has undertaken to present an orderly account of the events which occurred "just as they were handed to us by those who were eyewitnesses in the beginning" (Gk., καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν οἱ ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται). The phrase "handed to us" (παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν) is a common Greek idiom for oral tradition, just as the English corollary is, even today. It does not imply any direct contact between the author of Luke and the eyewitnesses which he mentions.
                    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                      We have the testimony of precisely one Church Father, and not until around 100 years after the gospels had been in circulation; and that testimony is fairly dubious, in my humble opinion.
                      I'm not thinking Papias is that late, but the testimony we have is consistent with the rest of what we have and personally, if the church was making up an author of an account, why choose Mama's Boy Mark?

                      No, he doesn't. He says that he has undertaken to present an orderly account of the events which occurred "just as they were handed to us by those who were eyewitnesses in the beginning" (Gk., καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν οἱ ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται). The phrase "handed to us" (παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν) is a common Greek idiom for oral tradition, just as the English corollary is, even today. It does not imply any direct contact between the author of Luke and the eyewitnesses which he mentions.
                      Then it must be assumed that Luke bypassed all the traditional methodology for writing a Greco-Roman biography and for some reason decided to write without talking to eyewitnesses. Why should I think that?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                        I'm not thinking Papias is that late, but the testimony we have is consistent with the rest of what we have and personally, if the church was making up an author of an account, why choose Mama's Boy Mark?
                        Papias isn't that late. Papias wrote circa 100. However, the one tiny blurb from Papias which is often quoting regarding the authorship of Mark and Matthew does not actually make any clear statement about the canonical gospels. It simply says that Mark wrote an account, and that Matthew wrote an account. It doesn't say that the accounts which we now call Mark and Matthew were those accounts.

                        Then it must be assumed that Luke bypassed all the traditional methodology for writing a Greco-Roman biography and for some reason decided to write without talking to eyewitnesses. Why should I think that?
                        Talking to eyewitnesses was not "all the traditional methodology for writing a Greco-Roman biography." The vast majority of bios literature was written without ever encountering an eyewitness to the events.
                        "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                        --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                          Papias isn't that late. Papias wrote circa 100. However, the one tiny blurb from Papias which is often quoting regarding the authorship of Mark and Matthew does not actually make any clear statement about the canonical gospels. It simply says that Mark wrote an account, and that Matthew wrote an account. It doesn't say that the accounts which we now call Mark and Matthew were those accounts.
                          The early church would have been speaking about the four Gospels which were the ones accepted across the board. Why think they were thinking about another account that was written and not the one attributed to Mark?

                          Talking to eyewitnesses was not "all the traditional methodology for writing a Greco-Roman biography." The vast majority of bios literature was written without ever encountering an eyewitness to the events.
                          If all the eyewitnesses were dead, sure, but if they weren't, then Luke would certainly have gone and talked to them and as the companion of Paul, he would have had plenty of time while Paul spent a couple of years in prison to do the fact-checking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                            The early church would have been speaking about the four Gospels which were the ones accepted across the board.
                            There was no such thing as "the four Gospels which were the ones accepted across the board" when Papias was writing.

                            Why think they were thinking about another account that was written and not the one attributed to Mark?
                            Because there is no reason to think he was talking about the document later attributed to Mark. He does not quote from it, nor does he provide any other means of identifying the text about which he is speaking.

                            Irenaeus had a document for which he wanted to establish apostolic authority. He read a work by Papias which stated that Mark wrote an account based on Peter's recollections. Despite the fact that he had no way of showing that Papias was talking about the document which Irenaeus was using, Irenaeus still concluded that his document was therefore written by Mark. Nearly two millennia worth of Christians have subscribed to Irenaeus assertion even though it was spurious and untenable.

                            If all the eyewitnesses were dead, sure, but if they weren't, then Luke would certainly have gone and talked to them and as the companion of Paul, he would have had plenty of time while Paul spent a couple of years in prison to do the fact-checking.
                            Firstly, I see no reason to think that a companion of Paul-- Luke or otherwise-- wrote the gospel attributed to him. Secondly, even if the eyewitnesses weren't dead, it is not true that he "certainly" would have gone and talked to them. The ancient world was not so easily traversed and communicated across as the modern world. Even if there were eyewitnesses alive, and even if the author of the gospel knew who those eyewitnesses were, and even if the author knew where those eyewitnesses were, it is still not a safe assumption that he would have had the opportunity or ability to visit with and interview those eyewitnesses.
                            "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                            --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                              There was no such thing as "the four Gospels which were the ones accepted across the board" when Papias was writing.
                              It looks like your claim is that Papias is talking about a document that we do not know to be Mark. I wonder why one should really be skeptical of such a claim however. It must have been a document with a lasting impression and frankly, we do not know all that Papias said since we don't possess the entirety of his work.

                              Because there is no reason to think he was talking about the document later attributed to Mark. He does not quote from it, nor does he provide any other means of identifying the text about which he is speaking.
                              Would he even need to? By the time of Irenaeus, these works would have been known and again, we do not have Papias's writings themselves, just quotations of them.

                              Irenaeus had a document for which he wanted to establish apostolic authority. He read a work by Papias which stated that Mark wrote an account based on Peter's recollections. Despite the fact that he had no way of showing that Papias was talking about the document which Irenaeus was using, Irenaeus still concluded that his document was therefore written by Mark. Nearly two millennia worth of Christians have subscribed to Irenaeus assertion even though it was spurious and untenable.
                              I seriously doubt that all that Irenaeus had just one document and other church leaders all around the known world at the time all said Mark, which points to a uniformity in a tradition. Further, if he was wanting to give it apostolic authority, why not just say it was the Gospel of Peter and an account of Peter directly and leave out the middleman?

                              Firstly, I see no reason to think that a companion of Paul-- Luke or otherwise-- wrote the gospel attributed to him. Secondly, even if the eyewitnesses weren't dead, it is not true that he "certainly" would have gone and talked to them. The ancient world was not so easily traversed and communicated across as the modern world. Even if there were eyewitnesses alive, and even if the author of the gospel knew who those eyewitnesses were, and even if the author knew where those eyewitnesses were, it is still not a safe assumption that he would have had the opportunity or ability to visit with and interview those eyewitnesses.
                              The ancient world was not as easy to travel, but yet it was quite often and many a Jew would regularly go to Jerusalem for the Passover feast as well. I do think we have many reasons to think the sequel, Acts, is quite reliable historically. (Keener has written a massive commentary showing such or rather at least started it as I believe there is another volume yet to come) The book then has the we passages where the author includes himself as well. We could say he was lying, but it would be a wonder why the we isn't there from the very beginning and also why would the early church attribute such a work to Luke, a man hardly known in the epistles and not at all known in the Gospels.

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by Apologiaphoenix, 10-19-2020, 10:06 AM
                              6 responses
                              49 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Apologiaphoenix  
                              Started by Apologiaphoenix, 10-16-2020, 09:00 AM
                              0 responses
                              15 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Apologiaphoenix  
                              Started by Apologiaphoenix, 10-15-2020, 09:44 AM
                              3 responses
                              38 views
                              2 likes
                              Last Post ReformedApologist  
                              Started by Apologiaphoenix, 10-14-2020, 09:09 AM
                              0 responses
                              14 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Apologiaphoenix  
                              Started by Apologiaphoenix, 10-12-2020, 09:02 AM
                              7 responses
                              81 views
                              2 likes
                              Last Post ReformedApologist  
                              Working...
                              X