In my previous two blogs, I dealt with two different philosophical arguments for God existence. The first was the kalam cosmological argument, and the second was the fine-tuning argument. Here I want to focus upon the moral argument. In general, it makes the observation that an objective moral law exists, and if such a thing exists, then God exists. In syllogism form, it looks like this:
- If God does not exist, then objective moral law does not exist.
- Objective moral law exists.
- Therefore, God exists.
Like all syllogisms, if the first two premises are true, then the conclusion (3) must follow. But are the premises true? Let’s look at each of them. Continue reading
In a previous post (found HERE), I discussed the argument for God’s existence based upon the idea that something brought the universe into existence. Another argument that shows God exists is the fact that this world has just the right characteristics to allow for life to exist. In other words, this world is “finely tuned” for the existence of life. But what made this world so finely tuned? It was God.
The argument goes like this:
- The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.
- It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
- Therefore, it is due to design.
There are numerous philosophical arguments that provide reasonable explanations for believing in the existence of God. One of the more popular and contemporary arguments is the kalam cosmological argument. Simply stated, it says that everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence, and since the universe began to exist, then something (in this case, God) brought the universe into existence. In a traditional philosophical form, it is often put this way:
- Everything that begins to exist has a cause (for its existence).
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore, the universe has a cause for its existence
This “cause” we call God.
Atheists often question and sometimes chastise Christians for believing in God because of the existence of evil. If God is all-loving and all-powerful, then why does evil exist? Wouldn’t he just take it all away? Since he does not, God must not be all that good, or he must not be as powerful as Christians believe him to be. So goes the atheist’s objection. Continue reading
One theological question that has perplexed Christian thinkers for centuries is how God’s sovereignty relates to human free will. If God is sovereign and directs all the affairs of the world, how is it that humans have free will? Are humans just puppets or do they in fact have significant freedom to choose their own actions and destinies?
One way this topic has been approached is by Molinism, named for the sixteenth century Spanish Catholic Jesuit priest Luis de Molina (1535-1600). He believed that God has three types of knowledge. He named them natural, middle, and free knowledge. Middle knowledge is the type that most concerns us in this view, but we need to understand natural and free knowledge first. Continue reading
Every year it’s a good idea to create a list of books to read. For one thing, it helps to maintain the discipline to read throughout the year. It is, however, also good to keep a list of books one has already read, so one can see how much he has accomplished in one year. My reading list from last year (2019) included the following major works. Note that this is not an exhaustive list. It just represents the major works: Continue reading
“If you are not with me, then you are my enemy.” ~Anakin Skywalker
As Star Wars fans know, at the end of “Stars Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” Anakin Skywalker turns evil, joins the “Dark Side,” and sets out to destroy his former Jedi Master, Obi-Wan. Just as these two begin to duel, Anakin chides Obi-Wan, “If you are not with me, then you are my enemy.” Such a statement illustrates well much of the current American political atmosphere. Unfortunately, it illustrates not just the polarization among Democrats and Republicans in general, but it describes Christians who politically disagree. But it’s more than just mere disagreement among Christians. The political disagreements have led to personal attacks, and much like Skywalker’s comment, it has led to an attitude of “you vs. me” in the church. I call this political posture “Skywalker Syndrome.” As we go forward into 2020 and approach yet another presidential election, Christians, although disagreeing, need to keep in mind the faith we share and strive for unity. Continue reading
We in America love our ideologies, and we gravitate toward others who affirm our preconceived notions. If you already dislike a certain politician, then find a blog or article that affirms the worst about him or her. If you really like a politician, then discredit a negative news story by claiming “fake news” or calling people names. So why not just create our own theology in the same way? Well, we American Christians do this as well, so I thought I would help all of us out and develop a 10 point plan on how to do this effectively. By following this plan, you will be able to convince everyone else of the legitimacy of your theological view by making it look biblical. In addition, people will think you’re smart! Continue reading
What if Ken Ham’s criticisms of belief in an old earth were applied to a position he held to be true, let’s say, heliocentrism (the idea that the sun is the center and the earth rotates around it)? What would it look like? In this blog, I take Ken Ham’s response (found HERE) to Matt Walsh’s video explanation of why he doesn’t believe in a young earth and re-formulate it to show what it would look like if “the shoe were on the other foot.” As you will see, Ken Ham could be criticized in the exact same way that he criticizes those who believe in an old earth. There was a time when Christians interpreted numerous biblical passages as teaching geocentrism, that the earth was the center of the universe and did not move. It was not until “secular” science came along that Christians reinterpreted such passages to no longer teach geocentrism. Continue reading
Historically, the Christian tradition I have been a part of (the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ) has believed and taught that baptism is the time a penitent believer in Jesus Christ receives salvation. Thus, it has become common nomenclature to say that “baptism is ‘essential’ for salvation.” This phrase has become so common and standard that it has often been used as a litmus test for biblical fidelity. If you do not believe that baptism is essential for salvation, then you are, by definition, a defector of the faith–someone who no longer believes in Scripture and authority of God’s Word.
But is this phrase a good way to state the view of baptism that the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ have historically held? I contend that it probably is not, and we ought to reformulate the statement, particularly jettisoning the term “essential.” Continue reading