Saturday, March 15, 2008

What Angels Wish They Knew - by Alistair Begg

"...we believe 'what we like,' and what most of us 'like' is the idea of a god who exists for us. Far less attractive is the 'outmoded' notion of a personal Creator-God who made us and to whom we are accountable." (pg. 14)

"Learning to be content with what we have is a safeguard against the temptation to break the previous nine commands." (pg. 52)

"The deity of Jesus Christ is the essential presupposition of the finality of Christian revelation and the validity of Christian redemption." (pg. 99)

"This is what Professor Nathaniel Micklem of Mansfield College, Oxford, referred to: 'The ultimate scandal of evangelical religion...lies not in dogma or symbolism but in its intolerable offense to human pride.'" (pg. 127)

"We are so driven by the idea that in order to appeal to the mind of contemporary society we must ensure that we are always pragmatic, positive, and careful to avoid anything that may unsettle or disturb potential 'clients.' How unlike Jesus, who explains how it will be at the end of the age. Some will go away to eternal punishment and others to eternal life." (pg. 140)

Alistair Begg, What Angels Wish They Knew (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1998)

Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics - by R. C. Sproul

"The term apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia, which literally means 'a reasoned statement or a verbal defense.'" (pg. 13)

"Notitia (content) and assensus (assent to its truth) are necessary conditions for saving faith (we can't have saving faith without them), but they are not sufficient to save us." (pg. 24)

"Epistemology, or the study of how human knowledge is obtained, is indispensable to the apologetic task." (pg. 29)

"...the four basic epistemological premises (all of which are presupposed in Scripture): 1) the law of noncontradiction; 2) the law of causality; 3) the basic (although not perfect) reliability of sense perception; and 4) the analogical use of language." (pg. 30)

"Indeed, the assumption of an objectively rational structure of reality is an assumption that is necessary for any obtaining of knowledge to take place." (pg. 36)

"The law of causality does not require that everything have a cause, only that every effect must have a cause. An eternal object need not have a cause..." (pg. 51)

"...our senses have limitations; that is, our powers of perception can never penetrate the invisible realm where perhaps various kinds of unseen forces (most significantly the providence of God) are in operation." (pg. 58)

"The truth all sinners suppress, which exacts the wrath of God, is knowledge about the Creator." (pg. 76)

"...the two corresponding spheres of enquiry, science and theology, so far from being separated and opposed to one another, are actually in perfect agreement - because all truth is God's truth. Science and theology both presuppose God's divine revelation; and they both meet, as it were, at the top." (pg. 83)

"The greatest myth in modern mythology is the myth of chance." (pg. 116)

"Chance is a perfectly legitimate word for describing coin tosses and unexpected encounters. Today, however, the word chance has been subtly elevated to indicate something far more than mathematical odds or probabilities. To many modern minds, chance is seen as having causal power." (pg. 118)

"The idea of self-existence, which in theology we call the attribute of aseity, is the idea that something exists in and of itself; it is uncaused, uncreated, and differs from everything in the universe that has a cause. A self-existent, eternal being is one that has the power to be, in and of itself." (pg. 122)

"Ex nihilo nihil fit - 'out of nothing, nothing can come'..." (pg. 123)

"When we say that God is transcendent we mean, simply, that he is a higher order of being than we are." (pg. 132)

"No, intention is always attached to intelligence. Indeed, the single most important characteristic of personality is intention. For intention to exist, something must be acting with purpose. One cannot have design accidentally." (pg. 143)

"The ungodly seek an impersonal and ignorant God precisely because we are personal beings and we know we are ultimately accountable to our Creator for our behavior." (pg. 143)

"Our relativistic culture today attempts to get around the need for a moral law by declaring that there is no right or wrong at all, that every act is amoral (neither moral nor immoral). This is nothing more than an educated barbarism; and despite its efforts to the contrary, the conscience cannot be eradicated." (pg. 148)

"If there were no God, then there would be no ultimate ground for doing what is right. All things would be permissible, because all choices would reduce to a battle over preferences." (pg. 149)

"To summarize, in order for ethical standards to have any absolute meaning (thereby imposing obligations upon us), justice must exist; and, granted that our justice is imperfect on earth, there must be perfect justice in the hereafter; and that perfect justice must be secured by a morally perfect, omniscient, and omnipotent judge." (pg. 151)

"Just as we are capable of inventing gods where there are none, so we are capable of doing everything possible to deny our guilt before a God who actually exists." (pg. 160)

"...the dual nature of God's Word. The first 'nature' of Scripture is the humanity of the human authors, which includes all of the idiosyncrasies of style; the second is the deity of its ultimate author, which includes the infallible superintendence of every word, thereby elevating the book into the very word of God himself." (pg. 187)

"Far from being a threat, there is no greater liberation for the seeker of truth than the certainty that God exists and reveals himself and his will in the special revelation of sacred Scripture." (pg. 196)

R. C. Sproul, Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2003)