God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

Who's in Control? Part 1

This post was originally published in Jan 2009: 

Free Will vs Divine Predestination.

This is a debate that has been going on in the Church for centuries. Who's really in control, God or me? Let's start by looking at the two options:


Free Will- Man makes his own choices without the persuasion of an outside entity. Man is in complete control of his own destiny.

Divine Predestination- God is in complete control. Man's decisions are not really his own- they just appear to be.

Suffering Sucks...or Does It?

This post originally published in Jan 2009. 

Suffering is a topic that comes up quite often. This topic seems to come up for one of two reasons: someone is trying to undermine the belief in the all-powerful, all-loving God of the Bible; or someone is going through a horrible time in their life and are trying to figure out why God is allowing them to suffer so much physical or emotional pain. I'll touch on both of them here.

God made a promise to Israel, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Paul was confident that a similar promise from God now extends to the Body of Christ, “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Nature vs. Scripture

This post originally published in Jan 2009. I have updated it with more information and links several times since then:

Several years ago, I was having quite a difficult time reconciling my faith with the findings of modern science. The Bible seemed to say one thing, while scientists said the complete opposite (or at least something that wasn't reconcilable). Unfortunately, I was not aware that the problem was that I was trying to reconcile interpretations rather than the raw facts.

People in the Christian community led me to believe that the doctrine of Biblical Inerrency applied to the interpretations, rather than the raw statements of Scripture. Scientists persuaded me believe that their interpretations of the data could not be questioned, rather than the raw data.

Believing these inaccuracies led me to further to believe that my faith was based on emotion, and science was based on reality- the two could not be reconciled. I was in this state of confusion and conflict for quite a few years. Would I give up my Christian faith or believe that everything I observed was really an illusion? If I kept my faith, could I live with the ideas that everything I observed was illusory, and that the God I believed in was either not omniscient or was intentionally deceptive? If I rejected my faith, what purpose do I have, and how could I even ground the idea that what I observed was actually real? I was caught between a life with no purpose and no ground for knowing anything, and another life with purpose given by an untrustworthy God and still no ground for knowing anything. Both were a leap of blind faith and neither sounded very appealing.

The Power Of A Cumulative Case- Part 3

Well, I was only going to have this series be a two-parter, but after reflecting on it, I thought I should throw in one more.

In the first part of this series I described the persuasive power of a cumulative case. In the second part I discussed the Psychological power (both negative and positive) that a cumulative case can have.

I concluded the series stating that it is quite difficult to communicate an entire cumulative case. I want to also add that it is quite difficult to communicate an entire worldview that the cumulative case is supporting. This really made me realize the importance of 1 Peter 3:15 ("...Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect").