How radical is the Christian Doctrine of Creation?
God, according to the Christian doctrine of creation, is the maker of heaven and earth. All that exists distinct from God is created by God. Certainly this includes the physical world—the contingent reality of electrons, mountains, and stars. If there is a distinct non-physical realm— a necessary abstract realm and/or further contingent immaterial beings (such as souls and angels)—then it is reasonable (say I, but not all) to think that God is the creator of that as well.
Does God Create His Own Nature?
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, that question doesn’t get any more basic than this: Which came first, God or God’s nature? In his excellent book Creation and the Sovereignty of God, Hugh McCann argues against a commonly held intuition that no being is, or can be, responsible for the nature it has. Instead, McCann suggests there are good reasons to think that in God’s case we find an exception to our intuition: God creates His own nature! What are McCann’s reasons for thinking such a view attractive? He offers two:
Feed, Fatten, Fornicate
We are a culture that likes to keep our heads down. Focus on “the stream of experience”—the feast of video, food, sex, gaming, money, mindless entertainment . . .whatever . . . that is continuously carted before our noses, lest we take a breath and look up.
God’s Answer to Man’s Problem of Pain and Suffering
When staring face to face with evil—utter, pure evil—human nature is quickly laid bare. It is natural to cry out to God for help. Why God this suffering? Why God this much suffering? Yet…often in these moments of suffering great and small, God seems distant…silent…unconcerned. What to do?
Atheism and Intellectual Bullying: What Gives?
It has been said that there is nothing new about new atheism except for the rhetoric. In this post 9/11 world, we are told that belief in God is dangerous, destructive, and delusional. It is dangerous because people do evil things in the name of God; it is destructive because it forces itself on unsuspecting children under the influence of simple-minded parents; and it is delusional because it bids us to believe contrary to the evidence.
We Are Shaped by What We Think Great
I had a thesis I wanted to test out. I work with university professors, and I’ve noticed that while they are not all alike, many of them share similar characteristics. And depending on what side of the academic aisle the professor lives and works in (broadly: the sciences or the humanities), they seem to have different shared characteristics. So, here was the thesis I set out to test one day: people are shaped by what they think.
The Gospel as Tragedy-Comedy-Fairy Story
In my last post I talked about how Christianity is the greatest possible story. In this post I want to unpack the essence of the Christian story, or the gospel, understood as a three-act play: TRAGEDY—COMEDY—FAIRY STORY.
Is Christianity the Best Possible Story?
I’m currently reading Alvin Plantinga’s excellent book Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, & Naturalism, when in offering a possible reason for sin and suffering, Plantinga suggests that Christianity is not only the greatest story ever told, but the greatest possible story ever told.
Your God Is Too Small, Or: The Greatness of God, Pt. 2
In my last post I considered how God reveals His greatness through the universe. In this post, I will consider how God reveals His greatness through His Son.
Your God is Too Small, or: The Greatness of God, Pt. 1
In this trivial pursuit world, a world full of empty selves who live their lives seeking one fleeting satisfaction of desire after another, God becomes a sort of divine therapist— anxiously waiting in heaven to give us whatever it is that we think will satisfy. The result of course will be disappointment with such an inadequate conception of God. As J.B. Phillips points out, “God will inevitably appear to disappoint the man who is attempting to use Him as a convenience, a prop, or a comfort, for his own plans.”