Thursday, July 24, 2008

What about those who've never heard?

This is one of those questions that--if we are honest--we all wrestle with. Here is a short clip by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason explaining a biblical response.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Are people the problem or is religion?

Is religion inherently dangerous? Oxford theologian Alister McGrath would argue, and I think rightly, that people are the problem; not religion per se.

“All ideals—divine, transcendent, human, or invented—are capable of being abused. That’s just the way human nature is. And that happens to religion as well. Belief in God can be abused, and we need to be very clear, in the first place, that abuse happens, and in the second, that we need to confront and oppose this. But abuse of an ideal does not negate its validity.”

This observation is important because it removes simplistic statements about religion being the root of all evil and violence in the world today. The issues are far more complex because human beings, who posses freedom of the will, are involved.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Truth....Not Always Comfortable

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth—only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair”—C.S. Lewis

Not everything that is comfortable is true. Moreover, comfort is no safe indicator of truth. In fact; if we are never made uncomfortable, then we may be living under the illusion that we are the final arbiters / creators of reality (not a safe place to be because we are finite / fallen humans). But someday...maybe not today, nor tomorrow...but someday, we will all bump up against the truth. And if we 'make it up' - then on a really bad day, we will be unable to convince ourselves otherwise, because we cannot lie to ourselves forever.

Thought about truth lately? Take a listen to Os Guinness' talk Time for Truth: Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jesus in the news again.....

A recent NY Times article talks about a stone that was found that talks about the resurrection idea in Christianity.

See New Testament scholar, Ben Witherington's, initial response to this here.

Here is a bit of it...."Long story short-- this stone certainly does not demonstrate that the Gospel passion stories are created on the basis of this stone text, which appears to be a Dead Sea text. For one thing the text is hard to read at crucial junctures, and it is not absolutely clear it is talking about a risen messiah. BUT what it does do is make plausible that Jesus could have said some of the things credited to him in Mk. 8.31, 9,31, and 10.33-34."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Is Christianity the only 'Exclusive' religion?

Sometimes people claim that Christians are so intolerant because they believe that they are the only ones that can have a relationship with God--they are exclusive. And the implication is that 'all religions are basically the same.' This is an oft repeated slogan, but it is deeply flawed. Ravi Zacharias helpfully shows why:

“The truth is that all religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God. All religions do not say that all religions are the same. In fact, some religions do not even believe in God. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not. Buddhism, for example, was based on Buddha’s rejection of two of Hinduism’s fundamental doctrines. Islam rejects both Buddhism and Hinduism. So it does no good to put a halo on the notion of tolerance and act as if everything is equally true. In fact, even all-inclusive religions such as Bahaism end up being exclusivistic by excluding the exclusivists!”