Alvin Plantinga, 2017 Templeton Prize Winner

Former Notre Dame and Calvin College professor Alvin Plantinga has won this year’s Templeton Prize which annually “honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.”

Known for his work in philosophy, Plantinga’s arguments against the logical problem of evil and for the reasonableness of theism made him a prominent name in academic circles, and his contributions to the philosophical community are numerous. The Templeton Foundation issued a statement announcing the award, saying, “Alvin Plantinga recognized that not only did religious belief not conflict with serious philosophical work, but that it could make crucial contributions to addressing perennial problems in philosophy.”

Plantinga is currently the inaugural Jellema Chair of Philosophy at Calvin College. His most recent book, Knowledge and Christian Belief, addresses recent criticisms of the idea that religious belief can be rational. It serves as a shorter and more accessible summary of much of his work on the subject. The book is published by Eerdmans and available at Baker Book House.

Posted in Apologetics, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Book Giveaway

This week I’m offering Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction, by Bryan M. Litfin. Here’s the catalog description and table of contents:

A Trusted Introduction to the Church Fathers

This concise introduction to the church fathers connects evangelical students and readers to twelve key figures from the early church. Bryan Litfin engages readers with actual people, not just abstract doctrines or impersonal events, to help them understand the fathers as spiritual ancestors in the faith. The first edition has been well received and widely used. This updated and revised edition adds chapters on Ephrem of Syria and Patrick of Ireland. The book requires no previous knowledge of the patristic period and includes original, easy-to-read translations that give a brief taste of each writer’s thought.

1. Ignatius of Antioch
2. Justin Martyr
3. Irenaeus of Lyons
4. Tertullian of Carthage
5. Perpetua of Carthage
6. Origen of Alexandria
7. Athanasius of Alexandria
8. Ephrem the Syrian
9. John Chrysostom
10. Augustine of Hippo
11. Cyril of Alexandria
12. Patrick of Ireland

Leave your name in the comments section no later than Friday, April 28th. I’ll draw the winner’s name that day. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry.

Posted in Book Give Away, Church History | 16 Comments

And the Winner Is…

Congratulations to Randy McCracken on winning our last book giveaway. Randy won a copy of The Synoptic Problem: Four Views.

Thanks to all who participated!

Posted in Biblical Studies, Book Give Away | 2 Comments

Book Giveaway

This week I’m offering The Synoptic Problem: Four Views, edited by Stanley E. Porter and Bryan R. Dyer. Here’s the catalog description and table of contents:

“The relationship between Matthew, Mark, and Luke is one of the most contested topics in Gospel studies. How do we account for the close similarities–and differences–in the Synoptic Gospels?

In the last few decades, the standard answers to the typical questions regarding the Synoptic Problem have come under fire, while new approaches have surfaced. This up-to-date introduction, ideal for classroom use and individual study, articulates and debates the four major views. Following an overview of the issues, leading proponents of each view set forth their positions and respond to each of the other views. A concluding chapter summarizes the discussion and charts a direction for further study.

This work will be of interest to professors, students, scholars, and other readers interested in the Synoptic Problem.”

1. The Synoptic Problem: An Introduction to Its Key Terms, Concepts, Figures, and Hypotheses
Stanley E. Porter and Bryan R. Dyer
2. The Two Source Hypothesis
Craig A. Evans
3. The Farrer Hypothesis
Mark Goodacre
4. The Two Gospel Hypothesis
David Barrett Peabody
5. The Orality and Memory Hypothesis
Rainer Riesner
6. Two Source Hypothesis Response
Craig A. Evans
7. Farrer Hypothesis Response
Mark Goodacre
8. Two Gospel Hypothesis Response
David Barrett Peabody
9. Orality and Memory Hypothesis Response
Rainer Riesner
10. What Have We Learned regarding the Synoptic Problem, and What Do We Still Need to Learn?
Stanley E. Porter and Bryan R. Dyer

Leave your name in the comments section no later than Friday, April 21st. I’ll draw the winner’s name that day. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry.

Posted in Biblical Studies, Book Give Away | 18 Comments

And the Winner Is…

Congratulations to Laura Martin on winning our last book giveaway. Laura won a copy of Proofs of God.

Sorry to keep you all in suspense from Friday until Sunday…though, given the holiday, that may have been apropos.

A happy Resurrection Sunday to everyone! And thanks to all who participated!

Posted in Apologetics, Book Give Away | Leave a comment

The Most Interesting Thing I Saw On The Internet This Week

This article by Scott Rosenberg explores the history of the Google Books project. Its stall due to a loss of ambition, years of legal battles, and the sheer enormity of the project is disappointing for those who salivated over the idea of All The Books being scanned and searchable in a single location.

Posted in Around the Web | Leave a comment

Should We Catechize Our Children?

“Should we catechize our children?” is a question I’ve heard a lot recently. Historically, many Christians would have taken the answer for granted, and many traditions still retain a catechism as an important part of the teaching ministry of the home and church. But the necessity of catechesis is no longer universally assumed.

The staff at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City addressed this by creating the New City Catechism (NCC), to be used by their congregation. It has 52 questions with longer answers for adults and shorter ones for children. This new catechism borrows heavily from the Reformation catechisms, but its existence as a phone app, its visual innovation, and the creation of original children’s music to aid in memorization have helped to cement its identity as a catechism for a 21st century context.

Tim Keller explains the thinking behind the project and the ongoing need to catechize our children.

The NCC app has existed since 2012, but its popularity and demand for a print version prompted Crossway to release it in book form later this month. In addition, a 52-part devotional containing scripture reading, commentary, and prayers will be available as an aid in family worship and individual reflection on the catechism.

The New City Catechism is a 128-page paperback which will retail at $7.99. The New City Catechism Devotional is a 240-page hardcover which will retail at $19.99. Both are developed by Redeemer Presbyterian Church and The Gospel Coalition, and published by Crossway. They will be available for purchase for the first time in print on April 30.

Additional resources are available at

Posted in Christian Education, Forthcoming, Theology | 1 Comment