Over the years, my e-mail address has somehow found its way onto the lists of a whole bunch of political and Christian organizations, ranging from extreme ‘left’ to extreme ‘right’ in their views. Sometimes, browsing these can be amusing, but at other times, it just makes me mad.
This is what happened about three weeks ago (and in the last couple weeks) when I received e-mails from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) about the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ project in New York city. (more…)
In the coming weeks, I will be posting a blog which should be very helpful to people struggling with the issue of creation vs evolution. However, as a background to that article, we first need to take a look at some of the terms used in the discussion. We will begin with the word evolution itself.
Definition of Evolution
It is important to realize that people can mean different things by the term ‘evolution’. I find that people are often talking past each other in discussions when using this term. It is important, then, to get everyone on the same page so they can truly get to the core of agreement or disagreement.
Apologetics is kind of like a tool. It can be used properly or improperly. Think of a hammer. You can use it to pound nails into lumber, or you could hit someone with it. Proper use is use out of love for our neighbor, not to beat them up or to win.
We live in a world today where Christianity is not ‘simply accepted’ by the majority. People will not be coming from a position of accepting Christianity until they feel they have found too many flaws in other worldviews. They will, instead, be skeptical unless they are given a good reason to believe. This makes apologetics crucial. Francis Schaeffer famously referred to it as ‘pre-evangelism’. (more…)
Since the previous post on faith I did a bit more digging.
First, the word faith – remember, faith is an English word translated from the Greek = pistis from peitho (persuade) – means trust of that which I am persuaded to believe is true or real.
The root of pistis is peitho, which is defined by Strong’s Greek Dictionary as: to convince; to pacify or conciliate; to assent; or to rely (by inward certainty). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines peitho as: 1) to persuade; 2) to be persuaded; 3) to trust, to have confidence, or to be confident.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary gives the following definition: “Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true. Its primary idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It admits of many degrees up to full assurance of faith, in accordance with the evidence on which it rests.” (more…)
I often hear people talk about faith as if it is ‘wishful thinking’. This is especially true in the ‘science vs. religion’ debates. “I have my reason…. you have your faith…” is the general sentiment. I have even heard Christians use a similar way of speaking. In some circles, there seems to be an attitude that you should ‘just believe’ and not question anything.
These views of ‘faith’ are a misunderstanding of epistemology (how we know what we know… what separates a justified belief from simple opinion) on one side, and what the Bible teaches on the other. The assumption from non-believers is that faith has no foundation. The assumption from some Christians is that the Bible teaches us to ‘just believe’ and that searching for reinforcement of our beliefs is some kind of sinful doubting.