BRILLIANT AND BEAUTIFUL BLOG

Get off the Religious Treadmill

unnamed(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”

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.20.21 AMGuest 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

Unknown-3In 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.[1] 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?

Unknown-3In 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.

The Evidence for God is Widely Available and Easily Resistible

images-1When asked what he would say if, upon his death he found himself before God, the great 20th century atheist Bertrand Russell famously replied, “God, you gave us insufficient evidence.”[1] While this reply has the ring of wisdom and steady confidence to our modern ears, my guess is that such responses will sound hallow on the other side of eternity. Is it really the case that there is insufficient evidence for God, as the atheist so often asserts? Or, as the theist so often replies, is all creation “charged with the grandeur of God,”[2] pointing, for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, to a transcendent reality?

Social Media and the Temptation of Vainglory

Unknown-3In Imagining the Kingdom, James K. A. Smith argues that our mundane actions shape the way we perceive and live in the world. Chaos theory has shown us that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can bring about a hurricane in Louisiana. In the same way our banal yet daily habits of IPhone usage such as swiping the screen or sending a text form our character. As Aristotle noted, our daily habits play a significant role in our character and our character, in turn, plays a significant role in how we perceive and act in the world.

Human beings: Self-creators, self-shapers, or determined?

Unknown-3The culture war rages over the nature of human persons. Questions concerning when a fetus becomes a person, when or whether a computer can attain something like consciousness, or the nature of human marriage and family daily make headlines. In this post, I want to consider, in broad outline, three views about human nature, argue for one of the three, and consider the implications of that view.[1]

The Singularity Movement, Screwtape, and the Hope of Immortality

Unknown-4The February 2011 cover of Time Magazine pictures a human head connected to a metal cable. “2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal*,” reads the caption. The asterisk directs the reader’s eye to this caption: “*If you believe humans and machines will become one. Welcome to the Singularity Movement.” The hope for immortality is nothing new. The belief however that science will usher in such a reality is unique to the modern age. It is the myth of progress run amok. The idea that there is no upper bound to human achievement smacks of human pride and arrogance. [1]

What Is This Thinking Thing That I Am? Four Questions

images-2In searching for a foundation from which to secure knowledge, the Enlightenment thinker Rene Descartes stumbled onto what he took to be a belief that is undeniable: “I think, therefore I am.” That I exist as the thinking thing I am is as foundational (and obvious) a truth as any. Still, one wonders, what is this thinking thing that I am? In teaching on the nature of man, I’ve found it helpful to keep the following four questions, as Descartes might put it, “clear and distinct.”

The Kissing Argument Against Belief in the Soul

images-2Modern man only believes in things he can see or touch. Unshackled from religion, we are free to embrace the deliverances of science as the whole truth about reality. There are none but physical entities and none but physical causes. The world has been emptied of the divine and the immaterial. In this cultural context, it is unsurprising that many think there are no good reasons to believe in the soul. What is surprising is that a growing number of Christians also deny the reality of the soul.