The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead was the central message of the early church and the basis of Christian hope. But why should we believe that a man was raised from the dead 2000 years ago when we were not there to witness it, and when our uniform experience says that dead people always stay dead? While many people think the resurrection of Jesus is something you either choose to believe or choose to reject based on your personal religious tastes, the fact of the matter is that there are good, objective, historical reasons to believe that Jesus rose from the dead.
March 24, 2016
February 19, 2016
Much of the Bible is written in narrative form. It tells a story – a true story, but a story nonetheless. There is a lot of information in the Bible to digest, and it’s easy to get lost in the details and miss the big picture. So how does one put it all together? What is the essence of the Biblical story? What is the basic story line from Genesis to Revelation? Various attempts have been to condense the major themes and events in the Bible into a coherent, terse story line. Here is my attempt to arrange the puzzle pieces into a clear picture, such as it is. I hope it will tie together some loose ends that may exist in your mind and offer you a bird’s-eye view of the greatest story ever told: (more…)
January 19, 2016
If you can’t point to at least one verse/fact that runs contrary to your doctrinal position that makes you at least a little bit uncomfortable, or if you can’t cite at least one good argument against your position you might just be a bit too dogmatic and probably haven’t read widely enough. While I think we can be confident in what we believe, very few matters of intellectual dispute are so cut and dry that there aren’t decent arguments for contrary positions. If you are not aware of those other arguments, and if you are not made at least a bit uncomfortable by any of them, this should be a sign that your confidence in your doctrinal position might be a bit premature.
January 3, 2016
Some people claim the existence of God cannot be falsified. As I have argued elsewhere, this is not true. One way to falsify God’s existence is to show that the concept of God is logically incoherent. This can be done by demonstrating that two or more supposed divine attributes are logically incompatible. For example, it has been argued that omnipotence and omnibenevolence are logically incompatible.
The argument is set forth along these lines: Omnipotence entails the power to actualize any state of affairs that is logically possible to actualize. There is nothing logically incoherent about an omnipotent being committing evil, so omnipotence must include the power to actualize a world in which the omnipotent being commits evil. As an omnibenevolent being, however, God is incapable of committing evil. Therefore, God cannot be omnipotent. While a being can be either omnibenevolent or omnipotent, no being can be both omnibenevolent and omnipotent. Since the theistic concept of God entails both, the God of theism cannot exist.
Areas of agreement
How might the theist respond to this objection? Let us start with some points of agreement. First, we agree that God must be both omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Theistic philosophers have long held that the concept of God is that of the greatest conceivable being (GCB). God is a being of which a greater cannot be conceived. If we can conceive of some being Y who is greater than the being we call God, then being Y is the true God. Since it is greater to be all-powerful than partially powerful, the GCB must possess the property of being all-powerful. Likewise, since it is greater to be all-good than partially good, the GCB must possess the property of being all-good.
November 20, 2015
Trying to make Christian morality palatable to those in moral rebellion against God is like trying to make civil law palpable to criminals. They will never like God’s laws no matter how reasonable we demonstrate those laws to be. Defiant children do not care that eating too much candy will make them throw up or give them diabetes. They simply want candy. Likewise, those who want their sexual sin, their abortion, and a myriad of other sins do not care about the wisdom in God’s laws. They want what they want, and they will ridicule and deride those who say otherwise. This is not to say that we should not attempt to explain the reason for and benefits of God’s law. It’s just to say that we shouldn’t be surprised when this fails to change their behavior.