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04 From the Editor
06 Practical Hermeneutics
Whose Interpretation Is It Anyway?
08 Was God at Sandy Hook Elementary School That Day?
by Lisa Cooper
Ethical Discernment and Theological Apologetics: While school shootings continue to rob children of their lives, we should be praying that God would equip us with His heart, His mind, and His strength to do the ministry that is necessary for those who suffer from these tragedies. And where we cannot find the words to pray, God cares so much about us that He intercedes for us.
14 Merely Human: The Problem of Recognizing Chimpanzees as Persons
by Jay Watts
Ethical Discernment/ Apologetics: Christians are not averse, in principle, to the concept of nonhuman persons. We attribute personhood to the Trinity and to angels, clearly nonhuman beings. We recognize, however, the danger that lies in attempts to elevate animals to our moral equals in the face of glaring evidence they could never operate as such. These efforts ultimately reduce us all to an undifferentiated mess.
20 Loving God and Others in the Midst of Suffering
by Douglas Groothuis
Ethical Discernment and Theological Apologetics: The love of God takes many forms, one of which is the love shown in suffering well with others. In this, God is glorified, sufferers are given encouragement, and the watching world beholds people who radiate a love and concern from beyond this world of tears.
26 Baruch Spinoza’s Scientific Pantheism
by Louis Markos
Philosophers Series: Spinoza envisions God to be something like the Buddhist One Soul, an emptying of the individual mind into that sentient but impersonal universe that is, at once, nature and God. Like many atheists today, Spinoza, while refusing to be held accountable to an all-holy, all powerful God, nevertheless stands in awe before the mystery of human consciousness.
30 The Theological “Mess” in the “Moxie” of Jen Hatmaker
by Anne Kennedy
Doctrinal Discernment: In a world increasingly characterized by impossible human standards, Hatmaker’s encouraging message of personal empowerment is a balm for many. But in rejecting the biblical definition of holiness and sin, her human-centered gospel of feelings and works is not able, ultimately, to rescue the very person she is so anxious to encourage.
36 Moral Values and the Idea of God: The Apologetic Legacy of William Ritchie Sorley
by David and Marybeth Baggett
Historical Apologetics: In a secular age that features exclusive humanism, the historical moral apologist Sorley gave extended convincing arguments that morality points beyond itself to eternal goods that imbue earthly and temporal goods with sacramental significance. His work remains a profound resource for contemporary apologists.
42 Postmodern Realities
Seeking Spiritual Solace in a Daze of Digital Distraction
Relational Intentionality: Why Women Should Be Apologists, Too!
46 Ask Hank