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

Purpose, Design and Evil

It is really amazing how closely purpose and design are related, and their further relation to the problem of evil. Before someone can design some device, they must have a purpose- they don't just start throwing stuff together and find a purpose for it later. Likewise, end-users look at devices and see specific purposes for them. The sane end-user would not conclude that the useful device was not designed. Granted, some devices take on purposes different from the original; however, the device still has purpose, otherwise it would not be in the market.

Opinion vs. Truth-Claim

This post is more of an addendum to my post "Positive vs. Negative Arguments". Please read that post first.

Opinions reflect feelings and may or may not be true. If one claims that their thoughts are simply "opinions" (not claiming to actually be truth- even though it might be) then they have no responsibility to provide a reasoned defense of the position.

Can You Argue Someone Into the Kingdom?

A while back I was listening to Greg Koukl's radio show "Stand to Reason", and a caller challenged the need for apologetics (1 Peter 3:15) at all. His main concern was that nobody could be "argued" into the Kingdom, and that apologists were wasting their time with "hollow and deceptive philosophy" (Colosians 2:8).

I have to agree that his first premise is valid, but I don't agree with the second premise and thus, his conclusion. I don't think that anyone can be "argued" into the Kingdom. For example, knowing that someone exists is different from wanting a loving relationship with them. Someone can believe that the Christian God exists, yet not want to have a personal relationship with Him. That person can recognize that the evidence points toward the Resurrection being a historical event, but not want to dedicate their life to that fact. A belief that is different from a belief in.

Right Living or Right Thinking?

This post originally published July '09. It has been updated with new content and links to several related posts. 

I have come across several people who have told me that right practice  is more important than right beliefs. We're all familiar with the phrase "You can talk the 'talk', but can you walk the 'walk'?" These same people interpret this to mean that acting properly is more important than believing properly. I disagree.

Right Living presupposes Right Thinking. How one lives is dependent on how one perceives the world. Perception always precedes action. In order for someone to determine that an action is required (or not), a perception must be made. If a person makes the wrong perception, the wrong action may very well follow. Of course, if the right perception is made, the right action may very well follow also. This is not a definite equation because one still has to make a decision based on, not just one perception but, numerous perceptions; and it may not always be clear which of those perceptions should take precedence over the other(s). To make that determination (action), other perceptions must be invoked.