The Christian Ethic at the Heart of the Hobbit

Publish Date: 2012 | Volume: 35 | Issue: 6

CONTENTS:

04 From the Editor
The Fine Points of Discernment

06 Response
Mormonism: Christian, Cult, or ???… Should Christians Vote Straight Ticket?

08 Effective Evangelism
When Tomorrow Is Too Late

10 The Son of God and Muslim Idiom Translations
by Michael F. Ross
Doctrinal Discernment: Should familial language for the Trinity not be used in New Testament translations intended for Muslims, who are scandalized by the use of such terms? Wycliffe and other mission-field Bible translators have thought so and therefore produced “Muslim Idiom Translations” that avoid such renderings, but this has rightly resulted in broad evangelical opposition. A feature-length Practical Hermeneutics

18 Prometheus: Finding God in Outer Space
by Robert Velarde
Cultural Apologetics: Director Ridley Scott explores ultimate questions of life in his gritty science fiction film Prometheus, which serves as a prequel of sorts to his famous Alien movies. The film’s suggested answers to these questions will introduce new words into your vocabulary (directed panspermia, anyone?), but how satisfying are these answers?

22 The God Particle
by William Lane Craig
Scientific Discernment and Apologetics: The fact that many nonscientists have taken the recent empirical confirmation by European scientists of the existence of the Higgs boson (AKA “the God particle”) as a disproof of God can be written off to ignorance. But when scientists who must know better publicly express the same view, it seems something more culpable than ignorance is at work.

26 A Thief in the Night: The Christian Ethic at the Heart of The Hobbit
by Michael Ward
Cultural Apologetics: The director Peter Jackson is making not one but three films based on The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic prequel to The Lord of the Rings. If, as Tolkien’s son Christopher accuses, Jackson is “commercializing” the story, it would reek with irony because The Hobbit is above all a story about greed and the overcoming of greed.

38 The Troubling Truth about Bonhoeffer’s Theology
by Richard Weikart
Doctrinal Discernment: Dietrich Bonhoeffer seems to appeal to everyone. Theological conservatives would like to think that Bonhoeffer’s appeal to theological liberals is rooted only in his courageous stand against Nazism, but a closer look reveals much more in his theology for liberals to agree with than for conservatives. An installment in the occasional CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL Philosophers Series

44 Communicating Truth through Humor, Ridicule, and Emotions
by Daniel M. Johnson and Adam C. Pelser
Cultural Apologetics: Is it ever permissible or even appropriate to mock, ridicule, satirize, and otherwise make fun of people for holding obviously false beliefs or for failing to hold abundantly evident true beliefs? The answer offered in this feature-length Viewpoint is provocative, but worth hearing out.

50 On the Bondage of the Will: Can Cloud Atlas Give True Hope for a Better World?
by John McAteer
Cultural Apologetics: According to the book and film Cloud Atlas, people naturally seek power over others and can only overcome this condition through “believing” they can do so. Despite this inadequate solution to human sinfulness, Cloud Atlas’s affirmation of objective truth and universal human nature gives apologists a place to begin conversation.

56 Reviews
A Summary Critique: Dean Falk’s The Fossil Chronicles…Robert Zubrin’s Merchants of Despair

62 Ask Hank
What Is the Genius of Genesis?