About

“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.

17 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

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