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

Formation of Christian Boldness

The Importance of Boldness

Last Sunday my buddy filled in for our pastor. Like me, my friend is an apologist and has a great passion for showing people reasons that they can believe that the good news of Jesus Christ is true. His morning sermon discussed Christian boldness. He highlighted the fact that scripture promises that Christians will be persecuted for what they believe, because it is an offensive message. He also pointed out that we are commanded to deliver the news to the unsaved. He showed where scripture teaches that if we pray for boldness, the Holy Spirit will give it to us. We just need to pray, get over our fears of being offensive, and be a witness; but in a way that is gentle and loving. You can listen to the message here.

What stood out to me in this message was his focus on boldness and praying for it. What I'm going to present today is not a critique of what my friend said, but an important addendum for those who take what he said seriously. These people sincerely desire to be bolder and do pray for it, but do not feel bolder right away. I'm going to start out with my own personal experience with this desire and request.

Our Compulsion to Repair A Deformed Body

Buying a New Car
For anyone who has been in the US market for a new car, you are likely familiar with the term "lemon". Anytime that a new car is purchased, the dealer must allow the buyer a "grace period" of so many days (depending on the state) that allows them to test out everything on the vehicle. If anything is not as the manufacturer says it is supposed to be, the car may be returned as a "lemon" for a full refund without questions or obligations. I'm not sure exactly what happens to the car from this point, except that what is wrong is repaired, and it is then sold again (hopefully not with a "New" sticker).

Compelled to Fix Deformities?
The fact that the car can be returned and repaired requires the initial concept that the vehicle had a design, before it was produced. The vehicle is compared to that design and any deviance must be repaired before sell. This leads to an interesting observation about a behavior of the human species. If someone is born with physical "abnormalities" or psychological "issues", we try to "fix" them, so they reflect a prior standard. But if naturalism is true, they are already in the original state (there is nothing to repair, no need for therapy or surgery to "repair"), they are their own standard...unless we admit that there is a standard by which to compare and repair towards. Since, according to naturalism, evolution is constantly changing the original state, there is no unchanging, objective state. Yet, we treat mental disorders and operate on cleft palates. Why do we do so if there is nothing to repair? The answer to that question can be one of three options (or all), and all three of them are founded in God: design, human intrinsic worth, and beauty.

Unrecognized Agreement and Unity


Last week Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis (AiG) posted an article explaining why he believes that Reasons to Believe (RTB) and Stand to Reason (STR) have compromised scripture. Last week I responded by pointing out areas of agreement between those ministries and Answers In Genesis. I also explained some simple errors that Ham had made and showed how more areas of agreement could exist when those errors are understood and corrected. I concluded the post by linking to a few other responses by other bloggers.

Ken Ham offered a general response to the critiques of his original post and a specific one regarding the idea of "reformation". Ham did not name any specific blogs or provide links to which ones we was specifically addressing, so it makes it quite difficult to provide feedback on the soundness of that part of his response.

Agreement on Biblical Authority and Inerrancy

However, in his response, I would like to make clear a few other areas of agreement among the RTB, STR, AiG, and the bloggers who critiqued Ham's original article. Ham makes it very clear in his discussion about what he means by "reformation" that AiG's focus is to defend the authority of scripture. He believes that the loss of this doctrine is one of the key reasons people are leaving the Church. He believes that naturalists have convinced young Christians that scripture and science are completely incompatible. This is another area where these ministries can shake hands.

Compromising the Kingdom

Creationist Apologetics Organization Answers in Genesis- Ken Ham


As many of my readers and friends are aware, I am a big proponent of unity within the Church. I like to see interactions among ministries that specialize in certain areas of knowledge and evangelism for the cause of expanding the Kingdom. At the same time, though, I rarely shy aware from difficult theological discussions and differences. I hold certain views that I will accept and address the most difficult challenges against. I've always said that if one has the truth, they should not be afraid to be challenged. Yet we also need to understand and recognize challenges when our views cannot overcome them and adjust or abandon our views as necessary.

Having said that, I believe that when ministries or individuals engage in debates or discussions concerning doctrines on which they disagree, it is of the highest importance that they recognize the points of agreement between them. They can then clearly articulate the disagreement and the reasons, then engage those reasons with the highest level of gentleness, respect, and academic prowess.

Unfortunately, this week I read an article by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis (AiG) that meets none of these standards. Now, before you continue reading this post, please read Ham's article "Compromise Being Spread;" the rest of this post assumes you have read it.

Ravi Zacharias on Race and Homosexuality

This quote got me thinking...

"The reason we are against racism is because a person's race is sacred. A person's ethnicity is sacred. You cannot violate it. My race is sacred; your race is sacred; I dare not violate it. The reason we react against the issue of homosexuality the way we do is because sexuality is sacred. You cannot violate it. How do you treat one as sacred and desacrelize the other? Sex is a sacred gift of God. I can no longer justify an aberration of it in somebody else's life than I can justify my own proclivities to go beyond my marital boundaries.

Every man here who is an able-bodied man will tell you temptation stalks you every day. Does it have anything to do with your love for your spouse? Probably not, because you can love your spouse with 100% desire to love the person, but the human body reacts to the sight entertained by the imagination and gives you all kinds of false hints that stolen waters are going to be sweeter. They are not. They leave you emptier. So a disposition or a proclivity does not justify expressing that disposition and that proclivity. That goes across the board for all sexuality.

When God created mankind and womankind, it was His plan, not our plan. It is extraordinary what He said. He said, 'It is not good for man to live alone.' Well, man wasn't living alone; God was with him. Why did He say that? He created the mystique and the majesty and the charm and the complimentary nature of womankind in a way that made it possible for her to meet his emotional needs that God, Himself, put only within her outside himself from himself in her in that complimentariness. It is a design by God." -Ravi Zacharias*