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

Where Do Tradition and People Meet?

How does an older generation communicate the truth of the Gospel to a newer generation?

We have to distinguish between content and method. The content (the Gospel) is the ontological truth that can not be divorced from reality, thus that content may not be changed from generation to generation. The method is how the content is communicated which may be changed from generation to generation within objectively true (more content) moral limits.

Tradition does consist of both content and method. It is important that we recognize that no matter how old or new a truth-claim is, if it is false, it must be rejected; but if it is true, then it must be accepted. The historical event of the Resurrection of Jesus is the content that has not changed since the day it happened (1 Cor 15). Part of our discipling the next generation must include historical instruction- a defense of the historical event of the Resurrection (the ontological truth that must be passed down to the next generation).

But if a method of communication falls outside the limits of morality, then no matter how old or new it is, it must be abandoned. If it is within the limits, then it may continue to be used. The Apostle Paul stated that he adapted his method of communicating the Gospel not just to a new generation but to different cultures. Part of our discipling the next generation must also include moral instruction- ethical views (and a defense of the particular view based upon both moral content given in Scripture and logic) that will give them both freedom and limits to guide how they communicate what must be passed down.

While there will always be differences in preferred methods of communication from generation to generation, there will always be methods of communication that are within the moral boundaries. If we wish to communicate the truth of the Gospel to the next generation, we must be willing to recognize that there is much more moral freedom in our methods of communication than some people realize, and we need to make the choice to adapt the method to the next generation.

Tradition, when its claims are true, meet the new generation of people in the older generation's choice to change how that truth is communicated so that the new generation will understand it, accept it, and transmit it when they become the older generation.

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Book Review: The Magna Carta Of Humanity🗽

"The Magna Carta of Humanity" by Dr. Os Guinness

The Magna Carta of Humanity: Sinai's Revolutionary Faith and The Future of Freedom

In today's world it is difficult to be online, at parties, with family, at work, or even just in public without hearing about the current cultural and political climate in the United States. Even if the Christian case-maker tries to avoid politics, they still confront culture and will be challenged with the hypocrisies of the Church and those who claimed to be members of the Church who just happened to also have founded The United States of America. And it is rare that challenges stop there. 

People are passionate about one political view (or party) or another. Extremes on the different sides constantly accuse opposing sides of trying to destroy democracy, the Constitution, and even freedom itself. The rhetoric and apparent goals of different politicians can get our heads spinning out of control as we try to make sense of what is going on, how it affects us (and our future), what we can do about it to bring some measure of sanity in the conversations we inevitably get sucked into, and how we can respond logically with both gentleness and respect when the challenges come. 

That is where I have found great value in Os Guinness' "The Magna Carta of Humanity" (Hard copy, audiobook, Kindle). Guinness digs into the foundations, principles, and histories of the cultural and political divide in America. He compares and contrasts them in such a way that brings crystal clarity to the current situation. He points out that before we can even talk about "make America great again" (MAGA), we must truly understand what made America great in the first place. And before anyone wishes to reject the ideals that founded America, they must first truly understand those ideals and truly understand the implications of the ideals they are trading them for. 

In my effort to help you determine if this is a book that is worth your time (and I believe it is), I will include a few of the skeletal points of the book, several of my favorite quotes (mainly from the Introduction- I don't want to spoil too much), and my more specific recommendations. 

Answering Death and Suffering- Christianity is the Only Option

How does atheism deal with suffering?

All Worldviews Must Address Death and Suffering

Suffering is a great challenge of life and a great inconvenient truth to the world's religions and worldviews. Many different worldviews offer different ways to address this challenge. The worldview of naturalism simply makes the recognition that "life is suffering, then you die." If naturalism is true, then this is a very accurate, though bleak, view of life- you suffer for no apparent reason then you die and become worm food. 

I have heard some people claim that this is quite satisfying because it frees them from any expectations of others and grants them the satisfaction of being able to do whatever they want to numb, avoid, or drown out the suffering of life. Granting that "life is suffering, then you die" is not satisfaction, though; it is surrender. It is not inspiring; it is depressing. But the truth is that if atheism is true, it really doesn't matter if this statement represents surrender or if it is depressing; if it is true, then we are stuck with it and its implications of surrender and depression.