I love Thanksgiving! I love the rest. I love the time with family. I love the food–way too much.
Thanksgiving is a time of reflection, which is always a good thing.
We all can point to ways in which our lives could have been vastly better. However, this is a time when we recognize that there are just as many ways, if not more, in which our lives could be devastatingly worse. This is a season in which we express how we are thankful that it is not.
The attitude and act of thanksgiving is a universal human experience. Gratitude is as human as an emotion as we can show. Whenever someone has a positive influence on our lives, by nature we have an appreciative response. Sometimes it is internal and unvoiced; sometimes its external and expressed. The point is that everyone, regardless of religion or worldview, can be—and should be—thankful to other people for their impact on our lives.
But, here’s the thing…
There is a difference between being thankful to and being thankful for.
This may seem like petty semantics, but the shift between these two prepositions, in this context anyways, is significant and worth our attention. Continue reading “Thankful for Thanksgiving”
This morning I had the pleasure of speaking to a room full of Christian educators. I spoke on “Teaching to Test Worldviews,” giving a framework by which we can teach young people to analyze non-Biblical worldviews. The pleasure truly was all mine.
Something interesting happened about an hour before my session. It was one of those moments when God shows us that we’re moving in the right direction. Perhaps you know what I’m talking about. Continue reading ““Some Version of the Truth””
Last week, I mentioned the U.S. Marine Corps’ legacy of “Every Marine a rifleman.”
In my research on the phrase, I came upon one Marine’s explanation of what that means:
It means if needed any Marine regardless of job can stand a post such as convoy escort, guard duty, etc.
It means if your position were overrun by the enemy, you could stand up and defend yourself and your position without being completely lost.
Here’s the thing…
As with theology, apologetics is a discipline in which every Christian should have some training. Christian apologetics is the personal discipline of giving a reasonable defense of the Christian faith. We are called on by Scripture–and by necessity at times–to defend our post, and to always be ready to do so.
Every Christian to one degree or another ought to be an apologist.
Continue reading “Every Christian an Apologist”
This is the first installment of a series, introducing terms and ideas that may be unfamiliar to most but are increasingly necessary for the thinking Christian to understand.
At first glance, worldview seems like an arcane topic reserved only for the more philosophically minded. Discussing worldviews can get tedious and sometimes downright arbitrary. However, worldview thinking is becoming increasingly necessary for Christians to understand the world around them properly. Continue reading “Say It with Me: Worldview”
What do one million dollars look like? Well, that depends.
If you want to see a million dollars in $100 bills, I am afraid it is not all that impressive, fitting into an oversized briefcase. If you wanted to see a million in $20 bills, it is a bit less underwhelming. At least it would be something that could qualify as an actual pile of money.
However, if you wanted to see a million dollars in $1 bills, now that actually looks like a lot of money. At Chicago’s Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum, a rotating “cube of cash” is on display. One million $1 bills fill a 64 cubit foot case and weights over a ton. As a single stack, it would reach nearly four hundred feet in height.
What does Christian apologetics look like? Well, that depends. Continue reading “Would-be and Wouldn’t-be Apologists”
Nonbelievers give many reasons for believing that God does not exist. Some say they cannot reconcile modern scientific thinking with belief in God. Some say that there is not enough historical evidence.
Then there is an entire category of questions about God with a different common theme: judging God’s character and actions. In this category, questions like the following are asked:
These are certainly legitimate questions, which Christian thinkers over the centuries have treated with care. But, notice the common denominator. The real alternatives assumed in these questions are not whether God exists, but whether he is justified in what he does, assuming he exists.
Here’s the thing…
Discussing God’s existence and judging God’s character are two very different endeavors. Yet, people act as though how God exists determines if God exists. It is as if they are saying only when God’s character and actions are acceptable to us will his existence be plausible to us. Continue reading “How Could Someone Who Does Not Believe in God Judge Him?”
I had honestly never thought about it before. So the first time I was confronted with this question, I was dumbfounded. I had thought through why God would send people to Hell, but this is the other side of the coin.
This question resonates with me. I get it. According to the Bible God offers forgiveness—and therefore salvation, and therefore Heaven—to the worst people. Terrible people. I get a lump in my throat to think of it. How could God forgive them? Pick the worst sin you would dare imagine. For one moment, try to entertain the thought of the very possibility of that person finding forgiveness from God and getting to spend eternity in Heaven. Outrageous!
I believe that the longing behind this question is justified. We want to see justice come to the serial killer, the child molester, and the rapist. We want them to get what is coming to them, to feel the pain they caused. We want no loopholes, no way out. Yet, isn’t that what God offers?
We deal in terms of what people deserve, and there are monsters in this world who deserve no mercy, no forgiveness, and certainly no Heaven.
However, the topic of what people deserve is a much broader topic than we like to admit. We point the question to extreme wrongdoing, as if to differentiate between our “not so bad” wrongdoing. We focus on God dealing with extreme evil in the world, and ignore the “nobody’s perfect” evil in our lives.
But, here’s the thing…
If nobody is perfect, then everybody is guilty.
So, the question really seems to be that if God is righteous, how can he forgive anyone? Continue reading “How Could a Righteous God Allow Bad People into Heaven?”