These are momentous times. Given the furor in the news of late, some recipients of this newsletter might prefer that we dedicate an issue or two to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay unions. This is important, and aiming to provide some help in navigating the issues, I've produced a short article on gay unions, as well as a podcast. Yet our priority is to continue with our series Answering Skeptics. After all, we Christians should be known for what we stand for, more than for what we stand against.
Question:How does the view on suffering in Christianity differ from other religions? Does Christianity have a better answer?
Recap: Morality means God
Since true morality can only exist in a world with God, God truly exists.
This may be demonstrated through a simple syllogism, which constitutes powerful evidence for God's existence.
Note: We're not saying that an atheist can't act morally, or that only Christians are good people. We are saying that no one can be moral in a world without morality -- and that is the only world possible if there is no God.
God is Dead: Recap
By his famous saying, "God is dead," Nietzsche meant not that God has expired, but that he is functionally dead. The Judaeo-Christian God, the all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good Judge, has lost his authority. We've advanced beyond any need for him.
If atheism is true, then nothing is absolutely good or evil, since there's no absolute standard by which to measure morality.
In short, no God, no morality.
Question:I'm watching a TV show called Criminal Minds, and the FBI agents often have to lie to serial killers to get the information they need to save other people or they lie to the general public for their own safety so as not to induce a panic or to throw the criminal off so he/she will make a mistake and they will catch them. The lying can weigh on the consciences of the agents but they do it for good - to protect, save, or catch certain people. So my question is essentially, is it ever ok for a Christian to lie? Thanks in advance.
Morality: "That's personal" recap
Last week (in Morality: that's personal!) we examined several common moral claims. We especially addressed the self-centered claim "I'm free to do whatever I like, as long as I'm not hurting anyone." Some of the key points:
Mabuhay! Greetings from the Philippines! We just landed. It's good to be back in Asia, the world's greatest continent. We hope you're well, whatever part of the planet you live in.
We've invested a lot in our current Answering Skeptics series, to prepare for fruitful conversations about faith. There's a lot to take in, yet we don't remember most of what we read or hear. That's why it's good to review the previous week. Following our custom, here's a recap of the last unit, where we offered several responses to "Bible conspiracy" claims.
Question:I’ve been thinking a lot about why God created us in the first place because it doesn’t really make sense to me. I have been researching and trying to find scriptures that explain it, but haven’t really found what I’m looking for. I know the Bible says we were created to glorify him and that part make sense. But it’s hard for me to understand the fact that he knew we would be imperfect and he created Satan to give us a choice. So why would he create something that causes him pain? Earth was perfect until he created us and he knew that he was giving us a choice. Obviously, choosing between him and ourselves. He gave us the bible to show us how to live the right way and in a way that would glorify him but he also tells us how hard it will be.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate.For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
So knowing how hard it would be for us to enter the narrow gate, how much pain it would cause him if we chose the wide gate, why would he do it? He could have created anything. So many things he created beautiful and perfect that don’t hurt him. It hurts us too. Either path will be painful. Even though the narrow gate will bless us in the end it’s still hard and goes against what everyone else around us is doing. Then he sends his son, he loved him, and sent his son to die for the possibility of us choosing him. So basically, God suffered with Jesus because of how much sin we have, for the chance that we would either glorify him or cause him more pain?