Dispensationalism is an important theology in the US, though seems less common outside there. The basic idea is that there are seven (or between three and eight anyway) ages, or dispensations, with these being: Innocence, or Adamic Law , in the garden of Eden Conscience , from the Fall to the Flood Human or civil law, or Noahide law , from the Food to the Tower of Babel Promise or Patriarchal Rule, or Abrahamic Law , from Adam to Moses Law or Mosaic Law , from Moses to the crucifixion Grace , from the crucifixion to the rapture and the wrath of God Millennial Kingdom , from the rapture until 1000 years have passed History The roots of this are quite interesting. The very earliest concept of the resurrection was that the nation of Israel would be raised again by God, and was not about the righteous coming back to life at all. Isaiah 32 is very much about that: Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king will reign righteously, And officials will rule justly. 2 Each will be like a refuge from the wind An

The (Flawed) Logic of Intelligent Design

This is a response to an article on the Discovery Institute website: The point of the article is the claim that ID is not simply a God-of-the-gaps argument. Instead: In reality, the logic of ID theory is this: Premise One: Despite a thorough search, no materialistic causes have been discovered with the power to produce the large amounts of specified information necessary to produce the first cell. Premise Two: Intelligent causes have demonstrated the power to produce large amounts of specified information. Conclusion: Intelligent design constitutes the best, most causally adequate explanation for the origin of the specified information in the cell. Is that good logic? I think not. Consider this argument: Premise One: Despite a thorough search, no non-human causes have been discovered with the power to produce the large amounts of specified information necessary to produce the first cell.  Premise Two

Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism

Plantiga's argument can be found here: Now for the argument that it is irrational to believe N&E: P(R/N&E) is either low or inscrutable; in either case (if you accept N&E) you have a defeater for R, and therefore for any other belief B you might hold; but B might be N&E itself; so one who accepts N&E has a defeater for N&E, a reason to doubt or be agnostic with respect to it. If he has no independent evidence, N&E is self-defeating and hence irrational. It can be summed up (from here ): (1) P(R/N&E) is low.  (2) Anyone who accepts (believes) N&E and sees that P(R/N&E) is low has a defeater for R. (3) Anyone who has a defeater for R has a defeater for any other belief she thinks she has, including N&E itself. (4) If one who accepts N&E thereby acquires a defeater for N&E, N&E is selfdefeating and cannot rationally be accepted. To explain "P(R/N&

The Resurrection: An Overview

 Most Biblical scholars believe Paul's epistles were written AD 50-60, Mark AD 65-80, Matthew AD 80-100, Luke AD 80-130 and John AD 90-120 (dates from here ). This is, in my view, very important in understanding what might have happened. Jesus' crucified? I am not going to dispute the crucifixion; I find it perfectly reasonable. I find it hard to see how Christianity could start without it and no reason for anyone to invent it. However, it is important to realise that Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the messiah (or perhaps for being proclaimed the messiah). The messiah was understood to be the new king who would lead the Jews to glory - and from the Roman perspective that meant someone who would lead the entire Jewish people into rebellion against the state. Mark tells us clearly what his crime was: Mark 15:26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews. To be sure, the gospels do also put the blame on the Jews, and there is a definite trend t

Can you know atheist, if God does not exist?

This is a response to an article by  Jason Dulle. You Can't Know Atheism is True Unless God Exists It tries to make the argument that without God to create us, we could not have the ability to reason. It is an argument CS Lewis also tried, but to my mind it fails badly. The nature of wholly material entities is that they function according to predictable patterns as determined by natural laws. This is simply not true. At the quantum level, it is all random. See here for example, which discusses using the unpredictable nature of quantum mechanics to generate truly random numbers. For example, consider the boiling of water. ... We might also consider a chain of dominos. Chaos theory tells us this is not true either. Complex systems can behave in strange and surprising ways. That the author can think of some analogies where the consequences are predictable is hardly proof that that must always be the case. This is just shoddy thinking, and all to common umong those weanting to shore

How Bad Was The Captivity?

 The Background From Wiki: After the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II besieged Jerusalem, which resulted in tribute being paid by the Judean king Jehoiakim.[1] In the fourth year of Nebuchadnezzar II's reign, Jehoiakim refused to pay further tribute, which led to another siege of the city in Nebuchadnezzar II's seventh year (598/597 BCE) that culminated in the death of Jehoiakim and the exile to Babylonia of his successor Jeconiah, his court, and many others; Jeconiah's successor Zedekiah and others were exiled when Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed Jerusalem in his 18th year (587 BCE), and a later deportation occurred in Nebuchadnezzar II's 23rd year (582 BCE).  What I want to discuss here is how the Babylonians treated civilians after conquering another nation. I do not doubt women and children were killed during the fighting; the Allies killed women and children in WW2. However, after the fighting, they did not slaughter the entire pop

Why Was Jesus Executed?

There is a theological reason and a historical reason, and while the theological reason is arguably more important, this is about the historical reason. Was Jesus executed by the Jews or the Romans? And on what charge? Blasphemy? The Jews may have convicted him of blasphemy, but Jesus was crucified; it was the Roman's who did the did, therefore he necessarily must have been found guilty of breaking Roman law, and the Romans would not care one jot if he blasphemied against the Jewish religion - Pilate did that himself! That is not to say the priests did not find him guilty of blasphemy, and then frame him for sedition; that is a possibility. But even if that is the case, he was not executed for blasphemy, he was executed for sedition. Note that the Bible tells us the Jews were allowed to execute blasphemers; if Jesus was accused of blasphemy, they had no need to hand him over to Pilate, they could deal with it on there own, just as they did with Stephen. Acts 7:59 They went on stoni