Practical Apologetics GraphicIn this part we will finish our survey of biblical reliability with a look at the books that are a part of the New Testament and why it is those books that are included.  One of common criticism is that the New Testament is made up of the books chosen by a bunch of old white men in the 4th Century to push a competing agenda.  As a result, other perfectly good books such as the Gospel of Thomas were excluded.  In having this discussion, we are going to tie tightly into the last article on dating and authorship and go a bit further from there.

First of all, these extra-biblical ancient texts are known collectively as the “Apocryphal New Testament.”  Do not confuse this with what is known simply as the Apocrypha, which are the several extra books added to the Old Testament in the Roman Catholic Bible.  While there are several groupings of the Apocryphal New Testament that includes a variety of acts, gospels, letters, etc., I generally divide it into two groups: the Gnostic gospels and everything else.  The reasons for this will become clear as we proceed. Read the rest of this entry »

Starbucks announced changes to its loyalty program that will mean some customers will have to spend more money at the coffee chain to earn free food and drinks.

Source: Starbucks Tightens Loyalty Program’s Rewards

Any suggestion that this can help a customer or not slow them down is a crock.  This really is nothing more than an attempt to hide that they are increasing the level for a bonus drink for their “loyal” customers.

Let’s say my wife and I go to Starbucks, she and I each get a drink at about $5 and I get a pumpkin bread at $2 and change.  Currently that is 3 bonus stars if we get each item as a separate purchase.  That is 25% of the way to a free drink.  Under the new program, this would be 24 or 26 bonus stars which is only around 20% towards that free drink.

If Starbucks was really trying to be consistent while changing to a money-spent model, they would have set the bonus drink at 100 stars.  They knew they couldn’t get away increasing the bonus threshold to 15 stars, so they took this path instead.

They have already changed their birthday treat policy.  It’s only on the day of your birthday, not until the end of the month as it used to be.  Of course, people don’t find that out until you go in on Friday or Saturday night after a mid-week birthday with your “somebody special” for a date.

Shame the loyalty doesn’t go both ways.

Razer blueWhen it comes to keyboards, I am picky.  Very picky.  I learned to type on an IBM Selectric 2 in high school and that left me rather spoiled.  I also have had some wrist injuries, including some issues with repetitive strain.  When my old keyboard of nearly 8 years gave up the ghost, I decided to take a huge chance and go with the Razer BlackWidow Chroma.  After a week typing on it, I have been extremely pleased with the result.  This review is going to be a surprise to those that know me…  Read the rest of this entry »

Practical Apologetics GraphicLast time we focused on the authorship of the Old Testament.  We looked at three primary areas where the Old Testament is challenged.  This article will address questions regarding the authorship of the New Testament and particularly the Gospels.

Like the OT discussions, this is an overview of key areas targeted towards the layman.  As before, I’d suggest Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ at a more introductory level or Geisler and Turek’s I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist at the intermediate level.  If you want to get advanced, look for William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith.

In my opinion, defending the historicity of the New Testament is actually far easier than the Old Testament.  The attacks are frequently focused on Read the rest of this entry »

Practical Apologetics GraphicFor the second part on the reliability of the Bible, we are going to take a look another favorite subject that skeptics like to bring up; the authorship of the books in the Bible.  The idea of this type of attack is that if the skeptic can make win the question who wrote a particular book of the Bible then the text cannot be reliable.  Again, please keep in mind I am keeping these arguments at a layman’s level of someone who has had little prior exposure to these type of challenges.  This is a primer to give reason to one’s faith and to answer basic challenges.  It will not equip you to debate an experienced or hard-core skeptic. Read the rest of this entry »