Eric Metaxas Advances Argument that Science Provides Evidence for God on Fox and Friends Weekend

Eric Metaxas’ is getting lots of exposure as the result of his Christmas Day Wall Street Journal article on the existence of God and new book about miracles. Over the weekend, he appeared on Fox News to argue that science gives evidence for God’s existence. Watch:

Metaxas’ WSJ article has become quite popular with evangelicals. However, critical reactions have emerged including this enlightening piece from Tobin Grant. See also this response from theologian and fellow Patheos blogger Peter Enns. I plan to post at least two articles in reaction to the piece and the video above over the next couple of days. Watch for the first one this afternoon.

Eric Metaxas Says Driscoll Needs Grace, Never Heard of ResultSource, Buying Best Seller Spot is Wrong but Complicated (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Christianity Today informed me they stand by the quotes in the article.
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Last night Eric Metaxas briefly addressed his statements in yesterdays Christianity Today’s article on the ethics of buying a spot on the New York Times best-seller list.
To recap, you can read what Metaxas told CT here and below.
metaxasondriscoll
Late last night, Metaxas addressed concerns about his statements in the CT by appearing to backpeddled from them.


I responded to the tweet by posting his comments to CT and asking if he could clarify.


From there, we had a brief exchange and he addressed the issue again briefly in other tweets to his “great audience.”


So that’s it as far as I can tell from his twitter feed. I got a form email to my requests for clarification.
I am not clear on his position. The CT article was about using ResultSource to manipulate the best seller list. CT’s writer Ken Walker said Metaxas thought Mars Hill didn’t do anything wrong; that opinion is more charitable than simply showing Driscoll grace. What CT printed (Mars Hill did nothing wrong) and what Metaxas said last night (buying on the NYT list is wrong) doesn’t match. Metaxas didn’t address the discrepancy in his tweets but did say that the NYT list issue is complicated. I would like to know how faking book sales with church money is complicated.
I hope Metaxas will see the contradiction which remains between his CT comments and his tweets and clear it up.
 

Eric Metaxas to Christianity Today: Getting on Best-Seller Lists is Good Stewardship (UPDATED)

UPDATE (1/8/15) – Eric Metaxas commented last night on Twitter about the CT article. I have a post at this link where his Twitter comments are presented. He said buying a spot on the NYT’s list is wrong but then said it was complicated. I think he could go further but this may be it.
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(Original article begins here)
According to Christianity Today, author and evangelical leader Eric Metaxas said Mars Hill Church did nothing wrong by using ResultSource to get Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage on the New York Times best-seller list.
Metaxas told CT:

“Anyone thinking there is something pure about that list does not understand the system and how it works,” he said. “I would even argue that trying to get on that list is a combination of a realistic sense of the market and good stewardship. When you understand … the Times list is a bit of a game … you realize being on that list has less to do with the actual merit of a book than with other, far less important factors.”

Prior to that quote, Metaxas is cited as referring to the Mars Hill Church scheme and indicated that Metaxas found nothing wrong with what Mars Hill did. Since that particular segment of the article was not in quotes, I don’t know if Metaxas’ comments were meant to apply specifically to Mars Hill Church or if Metaxas knows that the church committed church funds to purchase copies of Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage at retail prices via fictitious buying accounts in selected zip codes to bypass the NYTs monitoring system. I contacted Metaxas via email and twitter earlier this morning and will add any response I get.
Most of the industry contacts cited in the CT article take a dim view of manipulating the system. The New York Times told me back in November that they try to prevent such gaming of the system. Justin Taylor at Crossway had strong words about the practice:

From our point of view at Crossway, the bestseller lists are designed to provide an accurate reflection of the market’s response to an author and his or her book. If an author, agent, or publisher intentionally tries to subvert or distort the intended purpose of the bestseller lists, we believe this would constitute an ethical violation, in terms of standard ethical norms, but even more so in terms of Christian ethics. This would be dishonoring to the Lord (to whom we are ultimately accountable), and it would also conflict with our calling to love our neighbors as ourselves (by not creating a distorted or deceptive picture of reality). Christian authors, agents, and publishers are called to a high standard of integrity as we seek to glorify God, not only in the content of what we publish, sell, and market, but also in the way in which we go about this calling.” — Justin Taylor, senior vice president and publisher for books, Crossway 

Current Mars Hill Church president Dave Bruskas told his congregation that the ResultSource scheme was wrong as did Mark Driscoll in hindsight.
Readers can review the ResultSource contract with Mars Hill Church here.
I will be surprised and disappointed if Metaxas maintains the position he took in the article.

An Apologetics Conference That Should Apologize

To my way of thinking, this (click link) is an incoherent lineup for an apologetics conference. I don’t know all of the speakers but  Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet seem out of place with David Barton, Todd Starnes, Tim Wildmon, and Ray Moore. Put on by Alex McFarland, the Truth for a New Generation conference to be held September 5-6 should issue a disclaimer that attendance will be hazardous to your intellectual health.
The Colson Center has a place in the program. One can find content from Stonestreet and the Center which correctly oppose Barton’s revisionist history. However, at this conference, Barton is labeled an “historical expert.” Words truly have no meaning in this alternative reality.
People who attend these meetings may get some good and accurate information in some of the sessions. However, on balance, those who attend will be less able to defend Christianity. This is one of the great tragedies of revisionist history. People come away thinking they have information to defend their faith but they are actually set up to fail. Those outside of this parallel universe know better and use the false information as a reason to dismiss the redemptive message of Christianity.