Category Archives: Theology Proper

Does Satan have authority or only power?

Recently, I gave a 2 hour presentation at our church on “Angels and Demons.” The next day, I had a good question from one of the attendees which I am going to answer here. I’ll call the asker of this question Q (for “questioner”). The question put to me Q wrote: You mentioned last night that Satan “has power but no authority.” For some time now, I’ve assumed that Satan actually does have some authority … Continue reading

Posted in Angelology, Theology Proper | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

“Allah,” the God of Arab Christians

In recent discussions such as the one aroused by tensions at Wheaton College last year, one question often arises: “Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?” Because of the important differences between the God of Islam and the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, many Christians instinctively answer “no.” I have argued here before that it is a troublesome question because people answering it are frequently not talking about the same thing, … Continue reading

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Who gave Paul his thorn in the flesh?

Last fall, I spent a couple of hours at our church one evening, speaking about the tough chestnut of “God and evil.” If God is almighty and good, why is there so much evil in the world? About 100 people showed up, because this is a subject that troubles many, and it comes close to home at some point in almost everyone’s life, when we ourselves are suffering greatly and none of our earnest cries … Continue reading

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How would Molinism work without the affirmation of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities?

Source incompatibilism A few years ago, I became aware that William Lane Craig no longer affirmed the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), although he continued to work within the framework of Molinism. That prompted me to write a blog post asking: “W. L. Craig’s understanding of freedom: Molinism or monergism?” A few people contributed helpful comments on that post and it is obvious that some others share my interest in this area of theology. Since … Continue reading

Posted in Divine Knowledge, Providence | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Theological disagreement or a difference in the use of terms?

Apparent theological differences often derive from differences in the way individuals or groups are using the same terms, rather than in substantial theological disagreement. Once lines have been drawn and division has resulted from that perceived theological disagreement, however, it becomes extremely difficult to bring about reconciliation and fellowship in mind and heart. With this in mind, I was encouraged by what I read in the  latest report from Bonner Querschnitte, entitled “Landslide changes in … Continue reading

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Is the theory of evolution compatible with theism?

  At Reasonable Faith, in the Defenders podcasts, William Lane Craig did a series on creation and evolution, as an excursus in his treatment of the biblical doctrine of creation. This is a subject about which I feel woefully ignorant, and I have done very little of the reading I would like to. So I found these lectures very helpful. Craig proposes that, if one works with a philosophical pre-commitment to methodological naturalism, then Neo-Darwinism … Continue reading

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Science, Christianity, and miracles: some wisdom from Alvin Plantinga

The relationship between science and religion is much discussed these days. Are these two perspectives in conflict or complementary? Are they reconcilable or not? In our culture, where economic pressure on university level education is energizing an expansion of the physical sciences at the expense of the humanities and the social sciences, our attitude to the physical sciences becomes more important than ever. Add to this the growth of humanistic secularism in western culture and … Continue reading

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Paul Helm on the question of worshiping the same God

I have learned a good deal from Paul Helm through the years, and frequently I find that he and I are on the same page. Such was the case when I read his post today, entitled “Getting into Hot Water.” It is tempting to just republish his whole post, and I’m going to reprint much of it here, but you can check the link if you want more. Since I agree so substantially with his … Continue reading

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“We Palestinian Christians say Allahu Akbar”

In regard to the question whether Muslims and Christians worship the same God, an important factor to consider is that Arabic speaking Christians also call God Allah when they speak of the one whom we worship as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This point is made in a rather sobering interview with Archbishop Sebastia Theodosios (Atallah Hanna), who is the only Orthodox Christian archbishop from Palestine stationed in Jerusalem and the … Continue reading

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Can we pray for something in the past?

Picture yourself standing at the airport waiting to meet someone you love who is expected to arrive soon on an incoming plane. The arrivals monitor had been reporting that the plane was on time. But then suddenly that statement disappears and you hear an announcement that people waiting for that flight should report to the airline’s desk. There an agent was directing all inquirers to go to a room nearby. Once a group had gathered … Continue reading

Posted in Divine Knowledge, Providence, Theology Proper | Tagged , | 2 Comments