This page has moved to a new address.

Think Christianly

Think Christianly: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Intelligent Design in Action (VIDEO)

Check out these astonishing molecular machines. More evidence of intelligent design...

Talk by Drew Berry.

For more on discovering design, click here.

Have you found this blog helpful? You can have it delivered right to your inbox by signing up here. As always, feel free to share it others by using the share options below.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 30, 2012

Let's Talk About Reality...Not Religion

Recently I had the honor and pleasure of speaking to the students at Summit Ministries worldview camp in TN. It was a blast! First it was so encouraging to meet young men and women excited about understanding, defending, and living out the Christian worldview. Second, this experience fires me up to keep doing what I am doing--the next generation needs to be encouraged and equipped to Think Christianly! (2 Tim. 2:2; Jude 3). They ARE the future.

In today's post I want to share a conversation I had with some of the sharp young men during lunch. It had to do with how we talk about Christianity with our friends, family, and coworkers. Most of the time, well meaning Christians talk about Christianity in the context of religion…not reality. Is that a problem? Yes, and here's why. Religion is understood as a personal and private feeling that is not accessible by everyone else. You can't question, challenge, or investigate it; you must simply be tolerant of it (and by tolerant, I am using the modern misunderstanding of tolerance which believes that all religious views are equally valid simply because a person sincerely believes them). That's why having a conversation about Christianity as a religion is a dead end. It's a non-starter.

That's why I encouraged these students to talk about Christianity in the context of reality where terms like truth, knowledge, reason, and evidence apply. Any claim about reality is either true or false (it can't be both). If Christianity is not the kind of thing that can be true or false…the battle has already been lost and the Gospel cannot be seriously considered. We need to talk about Christianity in the same way we talk about having a prescription filled at the pharmacy or receiving instruction from a Doctor.

In today's society, religion is a fuzzy (i.e., socially constructed or psychologically projected) category that makes little difference in everyday life. But if Christianity is true, then it speaks to ALL of life. It makes a comprehensive claim on reality. Jesus didn't intend to merely address two hours of our week. As Christians we need to have more conversations about reality and less about religion.

Have you found this blog helpful? You can have it delivered right to your inbox by signing up here. As always, feel free to share it others by using the share options below.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why Does God Allow Tragedy and Suffering? Lee Strobel reflects on the shooting tragedy in Aurora, Colorado

The following is adapted from a sermon preached by author and apologist Lee Strobel on Sunday, July 22, at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
"It's already being called the worst mass shooting in American history: 70 people shot by a gunman, 12 of them killed, while they were watching the midnight showing of a new movie. It all happened just 21 miles from where we're sitting. There are no words to describe the anguish being felt by those who are suffering today; our heart and prayers have, and will, go out to them. There are so many tragic stories, so much pain. And many people are asking the question, "Why? Why did God allow this?"
This has been a heart-rending summer for Colorado. First came the wildfires, which ravaged the houses of hundreds of our neighbors, prompting many of them to ask the same question, "Why?"
And those two tragic events are just added to the everyday pain and suffering being experienced in individual lives. There's illness, abuse, broken relationships, betrayal, sorrow, injuries, disappointment, heartache, crime and death. And perhaps you've been asking the question too. "Why? Why me? Why now?"
That "why" question is not a new one; it goes back thousands of years. It was asked in the Old Testament by Job and the writers of the Psalms, and it was especially relevant during the 20th Century, where we witnessed two World Wars, the Holocaust, genocides in the Soviet Union and China, devastating famines in Africa, the killing fields of Cambodia, the emergence of AIDS, the genocide in Rwanda and the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo. And the 21st Century didn't start any better. There was 9/11 and now the Syrian slaughters, and on and on. Why do all of these horrific things happen if there's a loving and powerful God? Why do bad things happen to good people?
Several years ago, I commissioned a national survey and asked people what question they'd ask if they could only ask God one thing. The number one response was: "Why is there suffering in the world?"
Maybe you've never asked why our world is infected with pain and suffering, but my guess is you will when they strike you or a loved one with full force. And Jesus said they are coming. Unlike some other religious leaders who wrote off pain and suffering as mere illusions, Jesus was honest about the inevitability of suffering. In John 16:33 he said, "You will have suffering in this world." He didn't say you might—he said itis going to happen.
But why? If you ask me, "Why did God allow the gunman to spray the Aurora movie theater with gunfire just two days ago?" the only answer I can honestly give consists of four words: "I do not know."
I don't have God's mind; I don't share his perspective. In 1 Corinthians 13:12 we're told, "Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity."
Someday we'll see with clarity, but for now things are foggy. We can't understand everything from our finite perspective. And frankly, the people suffering from the Aurora tragedy don't need a big theological treatise right now; any intellectual response is going to seem trite and inadequate. What they desperately need now is the very real and comforting presence of Jesus Christ in their lives. And I'm so grateful that so many churches and ministries of this community..."

Read the rest here.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

How do you thoughtfully analyze culture from a Christian perspective?

John Stonestreet's video this week is a GREAT example. As Christians we must engage this area of brokenness.

Did you miss last week's video? Watch it here.

Please consider sharing this post with friends using the share buttons below to Twitter and Facebook. We need to get the word out about this so we can engage well.

I develop a biblical theology of sexuality here.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Knowledge isn't that it?

"People perish for lack of knowledge, because only knowledge permits assured access to reality; and reality does not adjust itself to accommodate our false beliefs, errors, or hesitations in action. Life demands a steady hand for good, and only knowledge supplies this. This is as true in the spiritual life as elsewhere." - Dallas Willard

Not only is it critical to be able to ask and argue if Christianity is true but even more important is whether it can be known to be true.

Here's a good place to start your search and learn how to make the case for the Christian worldview.

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 16, 2012

“Heaven: Where it is and How do we get there?” - J.P. Moreland Comments on Barbara Walters ABC Special

"Recently, Barbara Walters hosted an ABC special entitled, “Heaven: Where it is? How do we get there?” While there were important topics that were sometimes handled fairly, the show was an intellectual disappointment. In particular, three items were especially egregious.

First, Walters asked how an idea—heaven—could be such a powerful and important notion even though there is no evidence for it. However, three crucial pieces of evidence were strangely omitted.

(1) The evidence for God’s existence. There are several theistic-dependent arguments for an afterlife (God would not annihilate beings of such high value as human persons; he would not put eternity in our hearts and thwart those desires; justice is not achieved in this life, a theistic universe will be fair and just, so these values are achieved in the next life; God will achieve his purposes in making those who choose it like himself, and this requires eternity to be achieved). I cannot defend these arguments here; my point is that the role of theism and theistic evidence was not considered.

(2) The evidence for New Testament reliability, especially the case for Jesus’ resurrection.

(3) The evidence from Near Death Experiences (NDEs). How can someone say there is no evidence for something when the advocates of that view have presented evidence, yet it is never discussed? Someone failed to do her homework." (Read the rest here)

Have you found this blog helpful? You can have it delivered right to your inbox by signing up here.

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 13, 2012

We Need to Deal With This...

A fraud is being perpetrated on people in America and around the world, and it's wrecking lives.

My friend John Stonestreet exposes the deception behind the belief that sexual freedom is the highest good. This is the first in a four-part series on Sexual Brokenness.

Be sure to check out the rest of these videos and all of the other helpful resources here.

Have you found this blog helpful? You can have it delivered right to your inbox by signing up here.

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Something From Nothing, Lawrence Krauss, & The Colbert Report

Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss attempts to defend the view that 'nothing' is actually a 'something' on the Colbert Report. This is just great TV...enjoy!

As Sean McDowell and I state in our book Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised By The New Atheists, "For something to cause itself to come into being, it must first already exist. But if it first already exists, then it must have a cause outside itself. The idea that something could cause itself is absurd. This is why the laws of nature cannot plausibly explain the origin of the universe. Natural laws can only act on things that already exist, so they can’t be the first cause for the universe itself. The laws came into existence with the big bang, so they can’t be the explanation for the big bang." Colbert's question is actually very reasonable and where did the nothing that is actually a something come from?
Contrary to what Krauss asserted (i.e., did not make an argument for) on the Colbert Report, there is good evidence for belief in God. Read an accesible treatment of the evidence for God here:

Read Dr. William lane Craig's reply to Dr. Krauss's assertions / arguments here.

Please help us spread the word about Think Christianly by giving us a "like"on Facebook

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2 Reasons Why a Gap Year is a Great Idea for Students

While there are many reasons I’m a fan of students taking a gap year, in this post I will briefly mention two. But before I get to them, I want to say a few words from the perspective of one who wants to see students flourish as Christ-followers’ in college and beyond. I have the privilege of working with high school and college students both in the local church setting and as I speak around the country. I’m more convinced than ever...(read the rest of my guest blog post at the Lid).

Are you following us on twitter? @thnkchristianly and @Jonathan_Morrow

Labels: , , ,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Why Intellectual Virtues Are Important

One of the ways that we can increase the chances of forming true beliefs and arriving at knowledge is by pursuing intellectual virtues. An intellectual virtue is “a characteristic of a person who acts in a praise-worthy manner in the process of forming beliefs.” For example, James Beilby and David Clark describe the intellectual virtues of honesty and courage: “Being intellectually honest means making a fair appraisal of the evidence at hand, dedicating effort to reach valid conclusions, admitting personal biases that affect beliefs, and seeking to reduce those biases. In an intellectual context, courage involves, among other things, being willing to take the minority position when the evidence points in that direction. It also means investigating personally held beliefs with rigor” (Why Bother With Truth?). These virtues do not happen by accident, they are the result of forming healthy intellectual habits over time.

But the goal of knowledge is not just to accumulate data. The acquisition of knowledge should help us along the path of becoming virtuous people and flourishing as followers of Jesus Christ. Knowledge, over time and with effort, becomes understanding. Understanding then describes the growing integration of our fragmented knowledge into an increasingly coherent picture of God and our world. And as we grow in understanding, we have the opportunity to grow in wisdom as well, which is the skillful application of knowledge and understanding to life.

Solomon speaks of the blessing that accompanies this dynamic pursuit: “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding” (Prov. 3:13; cf. 2:6). Knowledge is the crucial first step in this process. And as Christ-followers, we should remember that our actions flow out of what we truly believe (cf. Rom. 12:1–2).

Are you on Facebook? You can like us here.

Labels: , ,