BRILLIANT AND BEAUTIFUL BLOG
Terrorist attacks by Muslims have almost become a routine of 21st century life. Daily it seems we read of new assaults by Muslims in the Middle East, Africa, and now, in Europe and North America. A very natural question to ask concerns the religion of Islam itself. Is Islam a religion of peace, as many claim, or is it a religion of violence, as my daily newsfeed suggests? Is the problem “radical” Islam or “fundamentalist” Islam or just run of the mill Islam? In our politically correct environment, these are not easy questions to answer. Yet, they have real implications: should America send troops to fight ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Qaeda? Should America allow Syrian refuges to enter the country? Should the future president ban all Muslims from entering the United States?
Could Jesus Sin? The Problem of the Incarnate Temptation
The consistent teaching of the New Testament is that Jesus, “the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) is himself without sin. He is a perfect sacrifice for the sins of man because he himself, unlike the rest of us, never did wrong. He is without blemish. He is not bent, crooked, or fallen. There is, however, a philosophical problem lurking in the shadows.
The Illusory Freedom of Pop Culture
Western culture is changing at an astonishing speed today. Twenty-five years ago, when I graduated from college, cell phones were barely a known commodity. Today smart phones are a staple of contemporary life. Al Gore had not yet invented the internet. Today our family panics if the Wi-Fi goes out. Socially the country was largely conservative and the values were largely biblical. Oh how things have changed. The guiding principle today is “freedom”—freedom to do and be whatever one wants. Casting off the shackles of a repressive morality—anything goes. An important question to consider, however, is this; does the new “anything goes” morality work? In other words, does the pursuit of unfettered freedom really make one free?
Why Did God Create Armadillos?
God is often portrayed as serious and cranky; a curmudgeon holding a thunder bolt in his hand ready to strike anyone having too much fun. God has no sense of humor, we are told. As a result, church is often portrayed as somber and formal, a weighty place where we sober-minded creatures go to worship our cranky grandpa in the sky.
Three Reasons We Should Care about Logic According to Isaac Watts
The great English theologian and hymn writer Isaac Watts is best known for classics such as “Joy to the World” or “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” Lesser known is that Watts was one of the premier logicians of his day. He wrote a text in logic that became the standard text at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and Yale for well over 100 years. In the introduction to his Logic: The Right use of Reason in the Inquiry after Truth Watts provides three reasons why we should care about logic. These reasons are as relevant today as they were in 1724. Dare I say, they carry even more relevance today in a culture focused on image, overrun with anti-intellectualism, and captivated by mindless and constant attention to social media.
Three Surprising Facts about Atheists
The Pew Research Center recently released a report entitled 10 Facts About Atheism. Many of the facts cited are unsurprising: while on the rise, atheist represent a small percentage of the American population (3.1%), atheists tend to lean liberal and democratic, tend to be younger and male, and are slightly more educated than the general public. Three facts embedded in this report however were quite interesting.
Get off the Religious Treadmill
(Guest post from Lucas Shipman, see video below) What is the “religious treadmill?” It is works based salvation; the lie that we can earn our way into the presence of God. Billions of people are stuck in this false system with no hope of going anywhere. They are spiritually running in place.
Christianity Is Not “Us Versus Them”
Guest blog from Lucas Shipman, Spoken Word Poet (see video below):
Election years can be frustrating for followers of Jesus. This election is set to be one of the most divisive we have seen in recent history. Christians have been widely misrepresented by both parties. Politicians throw around the word “evangelical” to somehow describe every person who votes and has ever sat in a pew or darkened the door of a church. Is that who we are as Christians in America, just another voting block?
Why Theology Needs Philosophy: A Case Study
In his book Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: Biblical Perspectives in Tension, D. A. Carson argues that Scripture unmistakably demonstrates both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. For any theology that is to be faithful to Scripture, divine sovereignty and human responsibility must be upheld. Moreover, it must be upheld without denying other key tenants of biblical orthodoxy such as divine goodness, omnipotence, and omniscience.
Does God Know What It Is Like To Be Me?
In the information age, knowledge has fallen on hard times. Google, spell-checking software, and public schools that “teach toward the test” have lulled us to sleep. Why learn when we can passively watch another video on Netflix? Why read a book when I can scroll through my Instagram feed? We don’t want knowledge. And we don’t want God to have it either.