Posts Tagged ‘Core Facts’

Deeper Waters Podcast 6/21/2014: Braxton Hunter

June 19, 2014

What’s going to be recorded this Saturday on the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters!

Awhile back, I reviewed a book called Core Facts by Braxton Hunter. The time has come to have him come on the show for his interview. Dr. Hunter’s bio reads as follows:

Dr. Braxton Hunter is the former president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE). As professor of apologetics at Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana, Dr. Hunter is passionate about the defense of the Christian faith in a skeptical world.

Though a young man of 33 years of age, Dr. Hunter has already preached in some of the nation’s largest churches while sharing the conference stage with such notables as Dr. Stephen Olford, Dr. Peter Lord, Dr. Johnny Hunt, Dr. Junior Hill, Dr. Jerry Vines, Dr. Fred Luter, and Dr. Bobby Welch.

He has served two churches as senior pastor and both congregations saw dramatic growth. The latter church, Cornerstone of Mcminnville, Tennessee, grew from an average worship attendance of 275 to 550 in two years. The church tripled its income under Dr. Hunter’s direction and averaged 80 baptisms per year. He was named Religious Leader of the Year for 2004 in Warren County, Tennessee.

In addition to his pastoral achievements, Dr. Hunter has conducted area television crusades, successful revivals at very large and small churches alike. Having a heart for teens, he speaks in high school assembly programs and holds the attention of the entire student body as few speakers are capable of doing. He challenges the youth to a noble life devoid of drugs, alcohol and sexual immorality. He has been the speaker for youth events with dove award winning performers such as Sanctus Real and Brit Nicole.

He holds a B.A. in expository preaching, an M.A. in Theology and a Ph.D. in Christian Apologetics.

Dr. Hunter is the author of Blinding Lights: The Glaring Evidences of the Christian Faith, Death is a Doorway, Core Facts: The Strategy for Understandable and Teachable Christian Defense, and his forthcoming scholarly work, Evangelistic Apologetics.

He currently resides with his wife, Sarah and their two daughters, Jolie and Jaclyn, in Evansville, Indiana.

braxton

Core Facts is a good entry book for those who are wanting to start their apologetics studies and Dr. Huunter also has the bonus of including a dialogue that he’s done live in a debate where he used these Core Facts in order to demonstrate Christianity. Even as I was thinking over this last night in getting set to write the blog post, I found that I could still easily name the Core Facts despite my not having read the book in a few months. That’s something important.

I urge anyone to be listening if at all possible as there could be a way we are going to go live soon. If not, then feel free to send a tweet to me on Twitter (Apologianick) or message me on Facebook or send an email to me (Apologianick@gmail.com) with any question you might have for Dr. Hunter concerning his book.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Core Facts

May 14, 2014

What do I think of Braxton Hunter’s book? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Braxton Hunter is a professor of Christian apologetics who holds a PH.D. in the same field. He’s recently written a book called “Core Facts” written to not just give a good start to apologetics, but it also is a kind of teaching guide to help others learn how to do apologetics.

The presentation that Hunter presents surrounds his “core facts.” The list is as follows:

C – Cause of the universe
O – Order of the universe
R – Rules of morality
E – Experience of God

F – Fatality of Jesus’s death on the cross
A – Appearances of Jesus to the disciples.
C – Commitment level of the disciples
T – Testimony of the disciples
S – Salvation taught through the Gospel.

Now granted there are some here that I would not use. At the start with the cause and order of the universe, the scientific arguments are cited, but this is something that gets me wondering at times. Is it because I am opposed to science? Not at all! Is it because I am opposed to scientific apologetics? Again, not at all! It is because I have this fear that too often we make the case scientific and I want to make sure that those of us who do have taken the time to learn the sciences not just for apologetics purposes but general purposes. This is the reason why I do not use scientific apologetics. I am not a scientist (And I don’t play one on TV) and I do not want to speak in a field that is not my area.

I also am cautious about the idea of the experience of God. The problem is that experience is not an on-demand kind of thing and to this day, when Bill Craig gives his fifth way in a debate of knowing that God exists, I still cringe.

For the last group, I think in this day and age I would replace fatal with something like “Fact of Jesus’s existence.” There are more people who are Christ-mythers today than there are people who hold to the swoon theory.

For C, I would have probably gone with the idea of conversion, such as that of James and Paul. Why is it that those who were skeptical of the faith were the ones who later on joined it? They had nothing to gain and everything to lose. After all, C and T sounded awfully similar to me at times.

And as for S, an excellent ending would have been shamefulness of Christianity. It is too often overlooked that in the honor-shame context of the ancient Mediterranean world, Christianity was a shameful belief and that that belief not only survived in the face of persecution and shaming but also came to dominate is something that needs to be explained.

Still, the areas that Hunter does present, he does very well on. I was also pleased to hear him say that evolution is not a battle that we have to fight. Very few apologists make such a statement, but I agree entirely with Hunter. I would not argue it unless one was skilled in the sciences and making a purely scientific argument for or against. I only wish he’d gone further on this point and said that we can also go with an eternal universe or a multiverse and Christianity is still safe.

A bonus also is that Hunter does have tips at the end of each section for how to transition the material to a teaching presentation. This makes this kind of book ideal for a leader to use when teaching a class. There are several sidebars as well that provide more detailed information and Hunter has indeed read both sides of the issue.

If there’s one section though that contains poor argumentation, it’s the last one where Hunter has a debate that he did with the owner of an atheist forum who simply goes by the name “Will.” To be sure, the poor argumentation is not on the side of Hunter. It is on the side of Will. As I read this section I found myself repeatedly face-palming. It is embarrassing to see the arguments so many atheists use. Will uses everything from an insistence on YEC and Inerrancy, to a lack of understanding of biblical texts (Judges 21 has God commanding rape? Please find the command from God in there! It’s in fact showing what it was like when Israel was NOT following God.), to a Boghossian understanding of what faith is, and then going so far as to be a Christ-myther. (It should sadly be for the atheist community that they would want to get the Christ-mythers to be quiet. Instead, they champion them. Reality is there are more Ph.D. scientists who hold to a young-earth than there are Ph.D.’s in ancient and NT history that hold to the Christ myth theory. I also for clarification am not a YEC.)

Hunter answer very well, but the fact that Will is a preacher’s kid shows how bad a job is being done in educating the youth of our church. That anyone would think that these are serious arguments being put forward is a travesty. Now of course there are serious arguments atheism can put forward, but many used today are ones that should not be given the time of day. (And of course sadly, the same applies to many Christian arguments.)

In conclusion, while I don’t agree with everything Hunter says, naturally, I could recommend his book as a good resource to a starting apologetics class at a local church. It will become one that can easily be taught and easily discussed and the debate at the end should show how well the Core Facts can stand up to scrutiny. It is a work I could use myself. Braxton Hunter’s “Core Facts” has my endorsement.

In Christ,
Nick Peters