Picking and Choosing

If you were to ask most apologists, Christian philosophers or theologians what the most difficult objection was to Christianity, they would mostly give you the same answer. The Problem of Evil. Some might refer to this as the “Problem of Evil and Suffering” or some such thing, but it usually involves the same idea.

Read More

God Is…

God is love. We hear that a lot. And I think that’s absolutely true. God is love. However, I sometimes wonder if we are understanding the entire scope when we say things like that. To say that God is love carries with it a rather distinct meaning from it’s inverse, Love is God. Those two things are not the same.

Read More

“Middle” Knowledge

This week, I thought I’d try getting into some things that are not very well-known. Namely, the concept of “middle” knowledge. You’re probably wondering what the heck that is and it’s my purpose here to do my best to explain the concept.

Read More

If I Were God…

It seems like there is just no such thing as having too many articles about the “Problem of Evil” in the blogosphere, these days. In the interest of living that out, here’s another one.

Read More

Omniscience vs. Free Will

In a recent atheist podcast that I subscribe to, the hosts were discussing the idea of the omniscience of God and how this somehow contradicts the idea of free will. Their argument was basically that, if God already knows what you’re going to do and the things you or I will choose before you do so, then you and I have not choice but to make that choice. Normally, I am quite pleased and even pleasantly surprised at the fact that these hosts are very intellectually careful about what they say and how they present arguments. Granted, I obviously don’t always agree with their conclusions, but I respect their diligence for truth. In this case, however, I was quite surprised at this argument and the conclusion they came to. Not because of a simple disagreement, but because the argument simply wasn’t sound to begin with. In no way is prior knowledge of an event necessarily causally related to that event. In other words, just because I know someone is going to do something before they do it, that has no connection to the idea that I somehow caused them to do it. There is simply no logical substantiation for such a claim. As much as many atheists don’t seem to like Dr. William Lane Craig, I do like his analogy for this particular fallacy. He makes the comparison of the fact that a barometer, while it may tell us something about what the weather is about to do, it does not cause the weather to happen. This is a classic case of mistaking something that is descriptive with something that is prescriptive. Whenever we are addressing these types of arguments, we need to be very careful that we’re not coming to conclusions that simply do not follow from the premises. It seems to me that in any other area of our lives, we would never assume that prior knowledge of anything is the cause for that thing. I’m not entirely sure why, in this case, reason was abandoned. Unless it was just for the purposes of mud-slinging or intellectual laziness. Whatever the case, foreknowledge is not causality. It can lead to almost any number of false conclusions in many areas, not just theological. Let’s be careful to think carefully about these types of things. Grace, love and...

Read More

Jesus – The Supreme Example of Love

Jesus gave us the supreme example of enduring love. Hell was what He suffered when He hung on the cross and took our sins on Himself. Not only did He experience separation from His Father, He also endured God’s full punishment for our sin.

Read More
The 5 Senses In Worship
Jun16

The 5 Senses In Worship

Psalm 24:9 states “The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic.” I love this verse! The voice of the LORD is so incredibly powerful. With it He created the heavens and the earth and all things in them; with His voice, He calmed the stormy sea and nature obeyed. All throughout scripture you see “the voice of the Lord”: …”strikes with flashes of lightening” – (psalm 29:7) …”twists the oaks and strips the forests bare” – (psalm 29:9) …”shakes the desert” – (psalm 29:8) …”will shatter Assyria” – (Isaiah 30:31) …”Let us not hear [it]…or we will die.” – (Deuteronomy 18:16) …”is over the waters” – (psalm 29:3) …”is powerful…is majestic” – (psalm 29:4) …”speaking out of the fire” – (Deuteronomy 4:33) …”thunders in marvelous ways” – (job 37:5) …”all who hear will live” – (John 5:25) And the list goes on. These are just a few verses talking about the “voice” or auditory sense of God; this doesn’t even begin to cover the other sensory parts of God that He uses. What is amazing to me is how every part of God’s very being is hemmed full of glory, power, might, love, justice, strength, mercy, compassion, jealousy, provision, and so forth. This displays to us on a larger scale the incredible God we serve. No man could ever concoct or create such a concept as our God. And Praise God that God is into God so much that He has revealed Himself to us in so many ways! This is why we do what we do by using all the aspects of music, media, preaching, fellowship, lighting, etc. in our worship service to reach out and connect people with God using the tools that reach the senses. To hug, shake hands, kiss babies, etc. in fellowship is touch, just as He touches our lives. Our visual aids of lighting, power point, notes, etc. are a visual sensor being used. The music and teaching are auditory means; we use candles and scents to connect smell to our experience. And taste? how about the communion elements?! “Taste and see that the Lord is Good.” “I am the Bread of Life…” As creatures created in the image of God, we are gifted with a few senses that we can and should use to connect with God at any chance. Even in the 2nd church ordinance of holy communion Jesus didn’t instruct us to go through some precarious motion on a random mountaintop somewhere, He used two elements that would be found in any home with easy access. This is the amazing dichotomy between the awe...

Read More
Old Testament God Vs. New Testament God
Nov18

Old Testament God Vs. New Testament God

I came across an interesting question by a member of a forum I frequent related to the community I live in. They asked the question, “Why is God so different in both testaments? (Bible – Old and New)” They provided no other details as to what they were referring to, however I’d make a pretty good that guess that they were comparing the differences between God’s grace and God’s wrath. You see the Old Testament is filled with occurrences of God’s judgment upon sinners – the plagues of Egypt, Sodom and Gomorrah, King Nebuchadnezzar, David’s adultery with Bathsheba, and the list goes on. In fact if you start reading through the first five books of the Bible, you might get the impression that God is very strict, impatient, angry and wrathful. The New Testament can give the impression that God is a God of love and grace. So which is true? Is God a God of judgment and wrath or a God of love and grace? Actually He’s both. The Old Testament comprises the history of man before Christ along with prophecies, proverbs and psalms. The New Testament comprises four books recounting Christ’s time here on Earth, the early history of the church (Acts), and several letters to the churches. However, keep in mind that the last book in the New Testament is “The Book of Revelation” in which we once again see a God pouring out wrath and judgment, but at the same time exhibiting extreme patience and lovingkindness as He gives mankind a chance to repent. Therefore, the Old Testament may give readers the impression that God is this mean old man just waiting for us to screw up so He can whack us over the head with a big ol’ baseball bat while in the New Testament, God seems to have chilled out a bit. It appeared that way to me when I first became a Christian. I started reading in Genesis and got up to Joshua before I ever ventured into the New Testament. What inspired me to leave off in Joshua and go to the book of Matthew in the New Testament was viewing the movie “Jesus of Nazareth” where I saw a God of love. I then realized that He is a God of love but at the same time, He just. Another thing to remember is that in the Old Testament, God’s chosen people were under the law. Now we live under grace meaning that all mankind’s sins have been paid for once and for all by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. No longer do we have to make our own...

Read More