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

God Your Way, Right Away

Everyone who's read this blog for a while or have talked with me extensively on worldview issues, knows that I am really big on defining terms. Anytime that I'm on the sidelines of a heated discussion and notice that the conversation can be cooled a bit by the participants understanding the other's terms, I point it out- it normally works to help understanding, but not necessarily agreement.

Example: The Problem of Evil
An easy way to show that something does not exist is to provide a definition then show how that definition is not in keeping with reality. Many of the objections to God's existence by atheists come in this form. Here is a common example:
  1. There is obviously evil in this world. 
  2. God would not allow evil to exist. 
  3. Therefore, God does not exist.

An atheist who raises this objection has defined "God" as a supreme being who would not allow evil to exist and is obtaining his conclusion based on that definition. The problem is that most theists would agree that this "God" defined by the atheist does not exist! The atheist is quite rational with his conclusion, based on his definition of "God". This would throw off many who hold this definition of "God", especially when the theist concedes the conclusion but follows up with, "...but that's not the God I'm defending."

End Times Predictions?

Last week I posted a review of "Has Christianity Failed You?" by Ravi Zacharias. In that book, Ravi talked about how members of the Church have failed people by not acting as Christianity teaches or by teaching something that Christianity does not teach- the person discovers the wrong behavior or the false teaching and projects the falsehood onto the entire worldview, thus rejecting it. 

It came to my attention early this week that a somewhat influential person (Harold Camping) made a prediction that today is Judgment Day. I heard that several people believed him to the point of using the value of all their assets to warn others. I have no doubt, that this person will be used as a "poster child" of Christians and a reason to reject the truth of the Christian worldview. I have no doubt that many who follow this person will become disillusioned and "throw out the baby with the bath water" (leave Christianity). Unfortunately, this is one of those examples where a member of the Church is the source of the failure, not Christianity itself. A lot of times, in the defense of the truth of Christianity, it is not necessary to present an argument for God's existence or the resurrection of Christ; rather, all that is needed is a clarification on what Christianity teaches, and an explanation of why a certain someone, who has been proven to be wrong, is not actually teaching something that Christianity teaches. This is one of those situations.

Book Review: Has Christianity Failed You?

One of the major obstacles that I come against in defending the Christian worldview is simply a misunderstanding of the worldview. So many times people tell me that they reject Christianity based on one thing or another that Christianity teaches. In the vast majority of the cases people are rejecting something that is not Christian but they believe is Christian.

In "Has Christianity Failed You?" Ravi Zacharias tackles this exact issue. If emphasis could be added in a title, I would place it on "Christianity". He believes that it is not Christianity that has failed people, but what they think is Christianity. Ravi introduces his book by telling of an open forum on the topic of this book that he spoke. The audience was eager to hear what Ravi had to say about the apparent failures of Christianity, intellectually and emotionally. This book is his thoughts on the issue.

Filling in the Gaps

Many skeptics of theism accuse theists of "god-of-the-gaps" argumentation when it comes to providing evidence for God's existence. Many theists claim that naturalists are guilty of using a "naturalism-of-the-gaps" argumentation to explain away evidence for God's existence. Others prefer to remain agnostic and simply, "I don't know, one way or the other." Yet, still others will say, "No one can know."

I've noticed a pattern here (I'm sure I'm not the first, though). We all know that we are not omniscient- none of us knows everything. Which means that everyone has gaps in their knowledge, and we fill those gaps with something (there are no exceptions, as I am about to show). As mentioned in my previous posts "What is Faith?" and "Do You Rely on Authorities?" we tend to look to past experiences to determine what to put our trust in to fill those gaps.