“As a believer in evolution, I can’t accept the Bible’s prescientific accounts of the origin of life.”, “The Bible is filled with accounts of miracles… hey simply could not have happened”. Richard Dawkins in his book: “The God delusion” argues that you can not be an intelligent scientific thinker and still hold religious beliefs, it is one or the other.
There have been many brilliant scientist that are Christians, several alive today. Search the internet, here is a sample: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science
Science is only equipped to test for natural causes and cannot speak to any other causes.Science (the application of the scientific method) is only one tool to explain our universe, we need several tools, like philosophy, logic, psychology , history, etc.
Science can only explain events that occur in the work in terms of other events. Can only assert truths that can be tested and verified or denied under controlled circumstances. Scientists must assume that everything has a ‘natural’ cause, because these are the only kind of cause that it’s methodology can address.
There is no scientific experiment to test the statement (hypothesis) : “No supernatural cause for any natural phenomenon is possible…”.
If there is a Creator God, there is nothing illogical at all about he possibility of miracles. After all if He created everything out of nothing, it is no problem for Him to re-arrange parts of it as and when He wishes.
If you believe: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…. you have no problem believing the rest of the Bible….” — Chuck Smith.
To be sure that miracles cannot occur… you would have to be sure, beyond a doubt that Gode didn’t exist… and that is an article of faith.. a statement of faith.
“Isn’t Science in conflict with Christianity?”
It is common to believe this because the media (TV, news papers, books, etc.) gives wide publicity to battles between secular and religious people, this is what sells!
When evolution is turned into an all-encompassing theory that “explains” everything we believe, feel and do as the product of natural selection, the we are not in the arena of science, but of philosophy.
There are some scientists that believe in evolution, or parts of evolution, as an instrument of God. I personally do not believe in macro-evolution, changes from one species to another (from plan to fish or human), micro-evolution (from one race to another, for example in Dogs) I believe is evident. Also I do not believe that God had any problem creating things as we see them now, even considering long geological time tables.
Science and religious faith are not mutually exclusive and have their own spheres of authority.
Sociologists of knowledge admit like Peter Berger have shown that our peer group and primary relationships shape our beliefs much more than we want to admit…
Evolution can not explain everything, it is not the ultimate answer. For example it can not explain our sense of morality, love, etc. as mear neuro – chemical reactions.
Miracles are hard to believe, and they should be. For example Matthew 28 ..they admitted that even though they saw the risen Christ, some doubted…It is not only modern man that struggles with miracles, the ancient believers who witness the resurrection also had truble. The most instructive thing about this text (Matthew 28) is that it explains the reason for miracles…They lead not just to cognitive believe (practical knowledge) but also to worship, to awe and wonder!!
Jesus’s miracles were never just “tricks” designed only to impress and coerce (force). Instead He used miraculous power to heal the sick, feed the hungry and raise the dead. Jesus ment miracles to be the restoration of the natural order, to set the world right! To redeem the world! His miracles are not just to proof his power, but to give us a taste of what He is going do with His power. His miracles are not just to challenge our minds, but are a promise to our hearts, that the world we all want is coming! AMEN!
“I doubt the existence of a judgmental God who requires blood to pacify
his wrath, a God that must be appeased with pain and suffering can not
exist”…”but why can’t he just forgive us?”
Here are some answers:
Christians do not/should not think that people are “bound for hell” are less valuable or hold less dignity than them. The bible clearly teaches that all people are equally valuable to God, made in His image and worth his sacrifice. This attitude or perceived attitude from Christians gives non-Christians the impression of a less than loving, God that must be appeased.
Divine judgment is the most offensive doctrine in the bible, most of the time the feeling people get is one of repulsion and not so much doubt. People have no problem with a God that loves and supports them no matter what they believe, but they do have a problem with a God that condemns someone for their sincere beliefs, even if they are mistaken.”A God of judgment simply can not exist”.
In ancient times people understood that there are moral laws and that baking them had severe consequences, as severe as breaking a physical law. Modern man instead of trying to fit reality, we now seek to control and shape reality to fit our desires.
The spirit of modernity is to seek power and control, instead of enjoying the generosity of God’s creation. The spirit of modernity gave us the responsibility to determine what is right and what is wrong. We believe so deeply in our personal rights that the very idea of divine judgment seems impossible.
Why is forgiveness acceptable, but not punishment? Does a God that does not punish evil really love?
In the God of the bible is both a God of love and of justice. Even in humans we see that some loving people are filled with wrath, not despite of their love, but because they love. “If you love someone and see someone ruining them, even their own selves, you get angry. Anger is not the opposite of Love, Hate/indifference is.Gods wrath and judgement is born out of his love for his creation, specially humanity. Psalms 145:17-20
Some believe that God does not approach his enemies with a desire to reconcile with them. The bible teaches exactly the opposite!
The lack of a believe in a God of vengeance “secretly nourishes violence”. The human impulse/principal to make perpetrators of violence pay for their crimes is almost an overwhelming one.
If we do not believe in the concept of God’s divine justice, in a God that will eventually put all things right, then you are likely to take up a sword and sucked in to an endless vortex of violence. Only of you believe in God’s divine justice will you have the power to refrain.
In history we see that atheism, no belief in the after life or divine justice, leads to a more brutal society.
Other common objections or questions:
“A loving God would not allow hell” , how do we reconcile God sending people to Hell for eternity!?
Here are some answers:
There is a caricature of Christianity, a misconception: God gives us enough time, if we do the wrong things we go to hell, and if then we change our mind and cry for help… God answers: “Too late now you must suffer!”
The bible teaches that Hell is separation from God, the source of all joy and love, wisdom and good. This is our purpose, what we were created for to be in the presence of God and enjoy relationship with Him, Hell then is the separation from God, form all He provides. Hell is created by self centeredness.
We have seen what self centeredness (selfishness) creates in people even in this life: piecing bitterness, nauseating envy, paralyzing anxiety, paranoia. What if we do not die, but go on forever in this state??
Luke 16:24-31, what is amazing to me is how many times does the rich man asks for forgiveness or how many times does he ask to get taken out of Hell?…. zero, not even once. How many times does he blame-shift? He blamed the lack of information or lack of convincing evidence for example.
Hell is life with out God, always seeking but never satisfied, all there is left is pride, paranoia, selfishness. Romans 1;24
CS lewis said: “It is not a question of God ‘sending us’ to hell. In each of us there is something growing, in which we will BE Hell unless it is nipped in the bud…”, “there are only two kinds of people those that say ‘Thy will be done’ to God or those to whom God in the end says: ‘Thy will be done’.
Hell is locked from the inside. Notice that Jesus said “the gates of Hell will not prevail against my church..”, gates are not a weapon, they are a defense, hell is trying to keep people in, Jesus and Christians are trying to get people out.
“One truth fits all is too confining” “Christians believe that you must believe the same as me or else…”,”Christianity divides instead of unifying…Only by allowing everyone to define their own truth is everyone free.Absolute truth is the enemy of freedom.”,” Christianity considers some things immoral and segregates those that practice them.”
Is freedom the ability to define your own purpose your own truth, our own concept of existence and meaning?
There is a misunderstanding about the meaning of truth.
Truth is unavoidable.
Is Truth a means of control? The problem with this assertion is that..this is also a power play.
To see through everything is the same as not to see, to call everything not-truth (or relative truth) is a lie.
There is a misunderstanding of what is a community and what is inclusiveness.
At the core of any community is a set of shared beliefs. Even the belief that everything is valid is a basis for exclusion.
There is no universally inclusive community, all community has a set of values that unite them and exclude some others.
If a community does not hold it’s members accountable for adhering to the common values is not a community.
A better standard to measure a community is how it treats its members and the outsiders.
Christianity adopts to culture and also transforms culture, but does not make it uniform with other cultures either.
In Isaiah 60 & Revelation 21-22 The Bible mentions”Every tribe, every tongue, every nation.”, the God of the bible made humans incredibly diverse and includes all of them in his plans for heaven.
Christianity has taken more culturally diverse forms than any other religion. It does not conform/uniform other cultures.
Freedom is not simple! If you are not struggling with something in life, you are not really free. Freedom from all constraints means you are not doing anything at all.
Immanuel Kant said: Enlightenment is to trust one’s own intelligence rather than the authority or tradition. This statement it self should not be trusted then.
Freedom is not the absence of restrictions, but rather finding the right restrictions.
Freedom is a a balance, it’s to find what we are capable and have talent for (to achieve success) and what we may want to do but can not.The reality is that you can not do anything or be anything you like… you can be what you were made for.
Morality is the same, is there not someone out there that (you think) should stop what they are doing? Does that mean they are immoral?
Love, is the ultimate freedom (if you think about it) is also is very restrictive. We must sacrifice independence for intimacy. Read quote from CS Lewis:
” Love anything and your hear will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation…”
Does God say “My way or the highway”? No, he adjusted Him self to our circumstances, he showed the ultimate flexibility… the incarnation.God said I will change for you.
When you love someone it is easy to please the one you love, you do not even wait for them to ask….From the inside, love feels like heaven.
Eddie Izzard is one of the funniest comedians ever, even though he uses a lot of profanity which really turns me off, he is an original genius.
He had a hard life growing up, he is a transvestite and does not believe in God. I pray that Eddie will start noticing that God has been there all along and has always loved him and that he may accept Christ.
Here are some of his skits and a very short commentary about him:
I love this about my church! Westgate’s leadership asked it self : “If we (the westgate church) were to burn down, would the community miss us?”, then they came up with this idea: One weekend out of the year the church does not meet at the church but instead we go out and “be the church” in various service projects around our city.
This year I took part in the invission ministries service project. Invission houses mentally ill people, provides a roof and meals. We cleaned and re-stocked the pantry, there were many others form different churches doing several things. It was good and fun!
Yesterday at the dentists office, while I was getting the anesthesia injected in to my dentures, for a very brief moment I felt the sting of the needle. Almost instantly al also felt the dental assistant caress my shoulder. At that very moment I stop noticing the sting of the needle as much, in fact I almost did not feel anything.
Just then I had this epiphany: It is in my nature to not just notice, but dwell on what ever pain I am feeling at the moment. It seams so scream in my face and it’s almost impossible to ignore. It’s just so real. It is this knowledge that has made me realize the place and power of worship, prayer and bible memorization in my life.
I remembered how Silas and Paul were singing in the prison after being beaten and flogged? Acts 16:16-40, why would they sing psalms? Sing at all?! Not that it was a coping mechanism, but the fact is that when you are in pain you have two options: Dwell on the pain or think about something confronting … I am wondering if I had been there with them, I would have suggested to think of God in worship?
Last year we read this book in my small group at church, the book was: the reason for God, and I loved it! I highly recommend it.
It’s ideal to share the gospel, this is an excellent book about apologetics in which Tim Keller, the pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Nueva York, explains in a simple and clear way the most common doubts and objections that non-believers have about the Bible.
The church also has a podcast where they transmit the regular sermons.
I invite you all to read the books from this brother, some have compared him to CS. Lewis. I hope you will enjoy them and they will edify your faith!
Recently I have heard some podcasts and sermons that have crystalized some ideas I’ve been having about what what Faith really is (biblically) and highlighted some misconceptions I’ve noticed my self for a couple of years now.
I’ve really enjoyed the series at woodland hills church, by Greg Boyd: “crap happens” . Some of the points that I want to highligt:
The fact that God is all powerful does not mean that He controls everything and everyone. God is not a neanderthal that forces His will on us. He tries to persuade us in love.
God does not respond to “quantities” of faith. Faith is not like a currency that you need to accumulate in sufficient quantities to “buy” the miracle you want.
Real faith has more to do with trusting and obeying God, even when he does not make sense.
That when we feel betrayed by God, or disappointed by God it’s because we think God owes us something, because we have prayed a lot, and had lots of “faith”. Then when if we do not get what we ask for we think that is might have been because he did not have enough faith or doubted and we messed up, or because God is mean.
Real faith is a covenant to trust and obey God, even when it does not make sense.
I hope you can check out that series and your actual real faith in God grows and matures!
This was an interesting event, the idea was to come up with and implement (or prototype) an innovation at PayPal. To announce it they created this presentation, which is kinda cool.
I appear on this presentation a couple of times on the very first slide ( I am the guy with the microphone) and latter on making the “V” sign with my hand. The caption of that slide reads”Victory is mine” 🙂 . Kind of prophetic 🙂
Thanks to God for allowing me to participate in this event and to win with my team: “Masters of Deception”.