The Will to Disbelieve - Atheism as Wish Fulfillment

Few things are as vital to understand about man as the two complementary truths that he is both created in the image of God and he is fallen.[1] The first ensures that the existence of God is something man cannot not know; the second that some men will nevertheless deny they know it.
The image of God in man is the basis for what Calvin refers to as a sensus divinitatis. “There is,” he says, “within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity.”[2]
He observes further,
To prevent anyone from taking refuge in the pretense of ignorance, God himself has implanted in all men a certain understanding of his divine majesty… Since, therefore, men one and all perceive that there is a God and that he is their Maker, they are condemned by their own testimony because they have failed to honor him and to consecrate their lives to his will.[3]
Furthermore, this “awareness of divinity” is inescapable.
That there is some God, is naturally inborn in all, and is fixed deep withi…

The New Testament's most prolific authors

Have you ever wondered who the most prolific authors of the New Testament are? Well, wonder no more because here's the skinny: the top three by far are Luke, Paul, and John. Some people will perhaps be surprised to learn that Paul doesn’t stand at the head of the list. The claim is often made that he wrote most of the New Testament. No so. To be sure, he wrote the most books, but Luke wrote the most words, although their totals are very close to each other. Together, the two men wrote just over half of the New Testament. Of the 138,020 Greek words in the New Testament, Luke wrote 27.5 percent (37,932). Paul wrote 23.5 percent (32,408). If we take Hebrews to have been written by Paul—the traditional view, though opposed by the consensus of modern biblical scholarship—then the numbers are almost identical. The total number of words written by Paul rises to 37,361 (or 27.1 percent of the total).For a break down of the numbers, see the two charts below.
And here's the breakdown if …

The Progress of the Gospel in the Book of Acts

The book of Acts follows the progress of the gospel from the time of our Lord’s resurrection and ascension, which occurred in a.d. 30, to the time that Paul reached Rome as a prisoner in about a.d. 60. The first twelve chapters follow the ministry of Peter; the remaining chapters follow the ministry of Paul.
Jesus himself provides us with an overview of the progress of the gospel in geographical terms in 1:8 when he says to the twelve: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This is how the book unfolds, by recounting the witness of the apostles:
In Jerusalem: chaps. 1-7
In Judea and Samaria: chaps. 8-9
To the ends of the earth: chaps. 10-28

This geographical progression roughly corresponds to an ethnic progression of the gospel.
In Jerusalem: chaps. 1-7 Jews In Judea and Samaria: chaps. 8-9 Half-Jews To the ends of the earth: chaps. 10-28 Non-Jews
We unders…

The Providence of God

In the book of First Samuel, when we’re first introduced to Saul, whom the Lord had chosen to become Israel’s first king, we find a remarkable instance of God’s providence.
Saul was the son of a wealthy man named Kish. As it happened, Kish’s donkeys wandered off, and he sent his son to go find them. After three days of searching without success, Saul determined to return home, lest his father cease to be worried about the donkeys and begin to worry about his son. But Saul’s servant advised that since they were so near to Ramah, the city of the prophet Samuel, they ought to consult him to see if he could divine the location of the missing donkeys. This is where the curtain is pulled back for just a moment and we’re allowed a glimpse of the secret working of God. The day before Saul arrived in Ramah, the Lord had said to Samuel, “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel” (9:16).
Did you catch it? It's n…

The Copernican Revolution and Man's place in the Universe

In a previous post we noted the conventional wisdom that posits an eternal conflict between Christianity and science, a narrative made plausible only by a selective reading of the historical evidence.
One of the many subplots of this narrative is the Columbus and the Flat Earth Myth. The truth is that virtually no educated person in Columbus’ day believed the earth was flat—not leaders in church or state, not university professors, and probably not even the average medieval serf plowing the field of his lord.
Another subplot focuses on the supposedly catastrophic consequences of the Copernican Revolution for the Christian faith. Prior to the 16th century nearly everyone took for granted that the earth lay at the center of the universe, a view known as geocentrism. This certainly seemed obvious enough. After all, do we not see the sun, moon, and stars move across the sky? What could be more obvious than the fact that the heavenly bodies circle a stationary earth?
The ancient astronomer…