About

My name is Ken Temple.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride.

I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18)

When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 )

Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)

The Lord converted me when I was 16 in 1977.  I have an undergrad degree in Business from Ga. State University (1983) and a M.Div. from Columbia International University, Columbia, SC.  (1988)

 

“Apologetics and Agape” – we Christians need to do both – both give apologetic answers to issues of the Faith, and to genuinely love people as people.

This site is basically about Christian apologetic issues and defending Biblical Christianity; especially focused on answering Muslims; but also any other Biblical, moral, social or political issue that I desire to discuss as seems fit to address.  I will probably be commenting on Roman Catholicism, church history, homosexuality, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, atheism/skepticism/Darwinian Evolution, other false doctrines such as “The Word of Faith” Movement, and Abortion also.

I also have in my title “agape”, which is one of the Greek NT words for “love”; and I sincerely believe that even though we disagree strongly with the doctrines, practices, theology, and politics of Islam and Sharia law; we are commanded to love Muslims as people who are created in the image of God.  (Genesis 1:26-28)  Muslims see any criticism or attack on their doctrines or the Qur’an or Hadith or their prophet, Muhammad, as also attacks against them.  That is not my intent.   We cannot avoid all offense; but hopefully, Muslims can see that I try hard to stick to issues and principles and doctrines; and not go “ad homimen” (attacking people)  on them.

απολογια – “apologia” where we get “apologetics” from.  Means basically a reasoned Scriptural and doctrinal answer to questions about the faith of Christianity; a defense.  I Peter 3:15 “defense” (see below).  Contending for the faith means to be involved in apologetic answers for people who have questions or who make attacks or have mis-understandings about Christianity.

αγαπη – “agape” = love

Jude 3

contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints

Jude 21

. . . keeping yourselves in the love of God . . .

I Peter 3:15

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

2 Corinthians 5:14

For the love of Christ controls us . . .

So, we see the need for both, apologetics and agape love in Scripture.

I also blog over at Beggar’s All Reformation and Apologetics with James Swan and others.

40 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: Does Islam Teach “Substitutionary Atonement”? – A Response to a Christian Apologist – Blogging Theology

  2. Roger Pearse says:

    Hello,

    May I ask what WordPress theme you use? I really like this one.

    Your post on “Liberal Pastors and Liberal Scholars and Muslims using them” was very useful to me, as I am about to write a review of a muslim book also using James Dunn.

    Many thanks,

    Roger Pearse

    • Ken Temple says:

      Hi Roger,
      Thanks for your encouraging words and I am glad that my article on liberalism and Muslims was useful for you.

      The Theme Photo is a photo that either I myself or my daughter took this photo – in 2014, in Ephesus. It is the Odeon, a smaller theatre, not the more famous one (the main Amphitheater) and larger one.

      I used to use one of the provided theme photos, but I was messing around and noticing that it is possible to upload one’s own photos, so, after experimenting I decided on that one and uploaded it.

      I appreciate your Tertullian project and have visited there and looked around. I will always appreciate you answering me years ago when I emailed you and asked you about how surprised I was to discover that there are still a lot of the Patrology Greek and Latin / early church fathers that have yet to be translated into English yet.

      Did you know someone has recently translated all of Augustine’s “Unity of the Church” ?
      See here, in case you didn’t know:

      http://www.christiantruth.com/deunitateintroduction.html

      In Christ,
      Ken Temple

    • Ken Temple says:

      I am interested in the Muslim book and author that uses James Dunn – what is the name of it?
      and would love to read your review after you publish it.

  3. Roger says:

    Hello: not the photo, the WordPress theme itself? Or is that something that you didn’t get to choose?

    Thank you so much for your kind words. The book is “Before Nicea” by Abdul Haq al-Ashanti and Abdur Rahman Bowes. I reviewed it here.

  4. Roger says:

    Thank you so much!

  5. wigglyhashashin7777 says:

    The interpretations of your friend Tim Kauffman on church fathers is very very strange. He reads too much into the baptismal regeneration statements

    • Ken Temple says:

      He put some holes in the idea that the early church fathers were really clear on baptismal regeneration.

      • wigglyhashashin7777 says:

        Well I believe they are quite clear his interpretation is head sratching to say the least. He is often stretching things, look at the um unique way he reads the Roman Catholic churches into Revelations it’s a very strange way to say the least of looking at it

      • Ken Temple says:

        It is the book of “Revelation” (singular).

        I don’t agree with him on the Daniel and Revelation stuff; of what I have read. But I have not had to read all of that stuff.

      • wigglyhashashin7777 says:

        the point i am making is that his interpretations on ancient should be taken with a giant slab of salt, even if you like his conclusions

    • Ken Temple says:

      see my analysis: go there to get the links:

      https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2016/01/02/refutation-of-baptismal-regeneration-in-the-early-church/

      Justin Martyr (died in 165 AD)

      Back to the Called to Communion article on Baptismal Regeneration and Timothy Kauffman’s analysis. (Part 1) The Called to Communion article left out a lot of the full quote of the relevant passage from Justin Martyr’s First Apology, chapter 61. The quote from section 66 also seems to teach baptismal regeneration. (more on that later) From chapter 61, I was surprised that Bryan Cross did not include Justin Martyr’s quote from John 3:3, (the footnotes say John 3:5, but it is also surprising that Justin Martyr does not actually quote John 3:5, where the word “water” is used.) for that verse, John 3:5, is admittedly, on the surface, a strong case for Baptismal regeneration, and is usually used as one of the main texts for the assertion that the New Testament teaches baptismal regeneration. Just reading Chapter 61 of Justin’s First Apology, it does seem to teach baptismal regeneration. If one isolates the phrases, “they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated.” and the quote of John 3:3 and “For Christ said . . . “, and the phrase,

      “And this washing is called illumination, “, then it does seem to teach baptismal regeneration.

      However, taken in the whole section, the emphasis is on the person’s learning, receiving instruction and teaching, repentance, the choice of “in which we dedicate ourselves to God”, “persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true”, “but may become the children of choice and knowledge”,”who chooses to be born again”, and “has repented of his sins”; And this washing is called illumination, because they who learn these things are illuminated in their understandings. And in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Ghost, who through the prophets foretold all things about Jesus, he who is illuminated is washed.” – or “he who has been taught and repented, is then washed.” Kauffman is right when he points out that this does not say, “he who is washed is illuminated”. Rather it says the one who has been illuminated is then washed. The washing/baptizing comes after the repentance and learning and praying and fasting, as a symbol, sign, and seal of the illumination of the heart and mind. The illumination takes place in the learning, understanding, repentance, choosing to follow Christ, then the person who is illuminated (taught, learned, chosen, repented, fasted, prayed, etc.), then they are brought to the water and are washed or baptized. So it seems that Justin taught that the baptism is like a seal, a sign and symbol of the internal illumination of the mind and heart in repentance, faith, and learning about the doctrines of Christ.

      Chapter 61. Christian baptism (Justin Martyr, First Apology)

      I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, Unless you be born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (footnote says, John 3:5, but it is actually John 3:3) Now, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers’ wombs, is manifest to all. And how those who have sinned and repent shall escape their sins, is declared by Esaias the prophet, as I wrote above; he thus speaks: Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from your souls; learn to do well; judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow: and come and let us reason together, says the Lord. And though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white like wool; and though they be as crimson, I will make them white as snow. But if you refuse and rebel, the sword shall devour you: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Isaiah 1:16-20

      And for this [rite] we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe; he who leads to the laver the person that is to be washed calling him by this name alone. For no one can utter the name of the ineffable God; and if any one dare to say that there is a name, he raves with a hopeless madness. And this washing is called illumination, because they who learn these things are illuminated in their understandings. And in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of theHoly Ghost, who through the prophets foretold all things about Jesus, he who is illuminated is washed.” (My bolding emphasis) (See the ccel link to Justin Martyr, First Apology, chapter 61)

      For previous link to exegesis of John 3:5 and Titus 3:5, see here.

      • wigglyhashashin7777 says:

        You should read all his works in context. He was clearly teaching baptismal regeneration.

  6. Ken Temple says:

    If they did; it was one of the first mistakes of the early church. Both Justin Martyr and Tertullian seem to teach for it in some contexts and against it in other contexts.

    I hope to write more on this issue later; but it takes a lot of time.

  7. Pingback: 2 John 9-11 in light of the controversy over Dr. White’s outreach to Muslims | Apologetics and Agape

  8. Raymond Baloshi says:

    For Your Attention.

    Dan Gibson’s new book “Early Islamic Qiblas” is out and i’m sure you’ll find it most interesting!

    For Printed copies: Early Islamic Qiblas
    https://www.amazon.com/Early-Islamic-Qiblas-Mosques-Between/dp/1927581222
    $ 60.00 USA

    Raymond

  9. Pingback: Does Islam Teach "Substitutionary Atonement"? – A Response to a Christian Apologist – The Quran and Bible Blog

  10. Ken, i need your help on some questions…can i contact you through email? not sure if you’ll be willing to post your email address here so here’s mine…no debates at all, i just have a few questions that need to be answered…aight?

    officeknight97@gmail.com

  11. Jesse says:

    Hey Ken, I like your interaction on cultural issues and aberrant groups. Would you consider adding my website to your list of recommended resources?: https://rationalchristiandiscernment.blogspot.com/ It has a lot of material on Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. Thank you and God bless.

  12. Ann says:

    Hello,

    I found you on Beggars All. And I follow you on Twitter ☺️ I was wondering if you can help me.

    I’ve been going back with a recent Catholic convert. He seems learned band is reading Bellarmine’s translated works. He is trying to convince me of the papacy and judicial primacy of Peter because of 30 or so pasted quotes he sent me of church father’s. There does seem to be some sort of primacy because of the wording of Amborse and Jerome used of Peter.

    Jerome (died A.D. 420): “As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the Chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is built. …This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails… And as for heretics, I have never spared them; on the contrary, I have seen to it in every possible way that the Church’s enemies are also my enemies.” (Manual of Patrology and History of Theology)

    Ambrose (died A.D. 397): “Where Peter is therefore, there is the Church. Where the Church is there is not death but life eternal… Although many call themselves Christians, they usurp the name and do not have the reward.” (The Fathers of the Church )

    Why do they use the term chair of Peter and where Peter is, there is the church. Peter did die in Rome. How can study this further and give an advocate response to the above quotes? I hate to be a bother, I read a little commentary from Schaff but it ignored the flowery wording of Peter.

    Thank you
    Ann

    • Ken Temple says:

      Hi Ann,
      Thank you for your contact and question!

      For entire books on the subject, I recommend these two – the best studies in this area are William Webster’s books, “The Matthew 16 Controversy” and “The Church of Rome at the Bar of History”.

      There is no phrase “chair of Peter” in Scripture, but it appears to have started under Cyprian around 250-257 AD. The “chair of Peter” was a way to say the unity of churches is based upon the pastors / elders / bishops who had a chair by that time that they taught the people from in churches = they used as a symbol of the authority of a pastor-teacher – the teaching / confession of Peter that he made in Matthew 16:16 –
      “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”

      Cyprian said he and the other bishops also had “the chair of Peter”, if and when they teach and agree with Peter’s confession in Matthew 16:16. There was no idea that the bishop of Rome was over the other bishops in authority until much later. Even Gregory 1, bishop of Rome, around 600 AD, rebuked the bishop of Constantinople for claiming to be “universal bishop”. Roman Catholics anachronistically apply the word “Pope” to all bishops of Rome back into history.

      When later early church fathers such as Ambrose and Jerome say things like, “Where Peter is, there is the church”, they mean where the core doctrine of Peter’s confession is taught – from Matthew 16:16-18 – the church is built upon the doctrine that Jesus is the Messiah and that He is the Son of God. These truths also point to the fulfillment of prophesy about the Messiah, His atonement and resurrection; and His Sonship points to His eternality, Deity, and that points to the doctrine of the Trinity.

      The early church has many quotes of different understandings of what the rock of Matthew 16:18 means. (1. Jesus, 2. Peter’s confession, or 3. Peter, in light of his confession) – but none of them saw the bishop of Rome as higher or above the other bishops until later. Even to this day, the Eastern Orthodox agrees more with the early church centuries that the bishop of Rome was one among 4 others of equal Patriarchy in the 5 main centers of Christianity at that time – Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and Rome.

      see many articles here:
      https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/study-of-matthew-16/

      But Cyprian and 86 other bishops all over the Christian world at that time (250-257 AD) knew nothing of the bishop of Rome being “bishop over all other bishops”. They rebuked Stephen, bishop of Rome, for claiming he was “the bishop of bishops”. They said he was interfering in their jurisdiction and other churches and had no right to do that and that he was acting like a tyrant.

      https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/7297/

      see here:

      “It remains that we severally declare our opinion on this same subject, judging no one, nor depriving any one of his right of communion, if he differ from us. For no one setteth himself up as a Bishop of Bishops, or by tyrannical terror forceth his Colleagues to a necessity of obeying; inasmuch as every Bishop, in the free use of his liberty and power, has the right of forming his own judgment, and can no more be judged by another than he can himself judge another. But we must all await the judgment of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who alone has the power both of setting us in the government of His Church, and of judging of our acts therein.”

      (my emphasis)

      (A Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church (Oxford: Parker, 1844), The Epistles of St. Cyprian, The Judgments of Eighty-Seven Bishops in the Council of Carthage on the Question of Baptizing Heretics, pp. 286-287).

      Also at
      ccel.org
      https://ccel.org/ccel/cyprian/carthage_council/anf05.iv.vi.i.html

      Hope all of that helps.
      Ken

      • Ann says:

        Thank you! This was so helpful. God bless you. If I have any further questions, would I respond here? I don’t wish to spam.

      • Ken Temple says:

        Yes, you can respond here or in the most recent post. My most recent posts are usually in a 14 day window of open comments. I had to do that (put it on 14 day window) because a Muslim was clogging up all the old articles with dozens of comments, so much that I could not keep up with the massive amount. I responded to him some, but he kept putting up dozens under lots of old articles, so all the old articles no longer have the comment box open, but the most recent article / post is open for 14 days and then it closes. I am thinking of making my answers to you into a new post. Questions often help me organize a new article, so I appreciate your questions.

      • Ann says:

        Ken,
        Is it at all possible to email you and get advice about my friend I’m dialoguing with?
        Blessings,
        Ann

      • Ken Temple says:

        Hi Ann,
        Since I have your email (it is in the WP administrator comment section, for you to be able to comment), I will email you first.
        Ken

  13. Jesse says:

    Ann,

    Mr. Temple has referred you to a number of great resources. I would also highly recommend them and anything that he himself has written on Roman Catholicism. My site also examines Catholic claims extensively:

    https://rationalchristiandiscernment.blogspot.com/

    God bless,
    Jesse

  14. David Waltz says:

    Hi Ken,

    I tried to track down your email address but failed to find it. As such, I am using this thread to bring to your attention a new post I published this evening that may interest you:

    http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2021/02/has-been-well-over-year-since-i-have.html

    I would have posted this in your thread that I linked to (https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/justin-martyr-was-trinitarian/) but it does not seem to have the comments feature on.

    Grace and peace,

    David

    • Ken Temple says:

      I will email you.
      Yes, all my articles are on a 14 day open moderation and after that, no more comments, because a Muslim who went by Θ kept flooding all the comment boxes with many comments that I could not keep up with; and most of the time I did not understand what he was getting at.

    • Ken Temple says:

      Is your email davidwaltzlb at gmail.com ?
      I just emailed you.

  15. Neil says:

    Hi Ken,

    How can I contact you Can you share your email id?

    Neil

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