God and Evil Series: Theodicy – A Word Christians Should Know

God and Evil

In the battleground of ideas, one of the greatest challenges Christians face surrounds the issue of evil and its apparent conflict with the existence of God.  Unfortunately, popular and vocal atheists like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins have made their skeptical soundbites so accessible that many have adopted them without even considering the validity of the arguments that lie beneath.  This is unfortunate since their arguments are not new and already have a long history of thoughtful response from Christian thinkers.   Continue reading

Why Is Living By Faith So Difficult?

Why Is Living By Faith So DifficultSee Also: “Is Faith the Opposite of Knowledge?”
Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

I don’t know about you, but I would love to see mountains move as a consequence of me exercising my faith.  But if we’re honest, most of us see a disconnect between Jesus’ promise and our experience. We struggle to move “mountains” because we struggle to live by faith. Continue reading

The Christian Task: Winning Hearts AND Minds

healingtheheartmindWhy is our culture so rapidly departing from a Christian view of the world?  Where the Judeo-Christian worldview essentially shaped our national consciousness 100 years ago, how have we come to our present state where Christianity has been virtually excluded from having a credible voice in the public sphere?  In reading an article in JETS recently, I stumbled across what I think was a prophetic insight from Charles Malik, former Lebanese ambassador to the United States and President of the United Nations.

“If you win the whole world and lose the mind of the world, you will soon discover that you have not won the world.  Indeed it may turn out that you have actually lost the world…”1 – Charles Malik Continue reading

Faith and Reason Series: Is Faith the Opposite of Knowledge?

Faith and ReasonIn a lecture given at Biola University in November of 2011, Dallas Willard opened with the following statement:

“The most significant event for human existence in the last 200 years has been the displacement in the common mind of the content of Christian teaching from the domain of knowledge into the domain of faith.” (Willard, Biola University, November 2011) Continue reading

Why Do Bad People Prosper and Good People Suffer? Insights from St. Augustine in The City of God

Saint_AugustineThis week I learned of the tragic loss of a Christian family within my own church community. The automatic response to hearing the news of course was “why”? So is our response to all such events, and while we must turn to God for comfort from his Spirit, (for where else can true comfort come from?) we are also stretched in our faith to reconcile these things with our belief in God’s goodness and love for us; and we do not do so lightly. But I have many times found Christians who in their moments of grief find their faith in God not stretched but completely dismantled, due in large part to the fact that they have not worked through the matter at all in their own minds before hand. Consequently their faith cannot accommodate their present experience of suffering and their grief turns to cognitive dissonance. Needless to say, it is very difficult to comprehend inside of grief what we never took time to understand outside of it. Continue reading

Faith and Reason Series: What is Faith?

Faith and ReasonThere are many words in English that have been so overused that they have almost lost all meaning. ‘Love’ is one such word that depending on context can mean sex, lust, selfish desire, selfless giving, emotional ecstasy or mushy sentimentality, and sometimes even context doesn’t make it completely clear what we mean.

‘Faith’ is another such word that has become especially confusing for Christians or those trying to understand them. We use it often, know that we need to have it, but feel puzzled and confused if anyone asks us to nail down what we actually mean by it. So what do we mean? What is faith? Continue reading

Kids Can Ask the Hardest Questions

Kids Can Ask The Hardest Questions

You never know where or when, but plan on it.  One night I got myself ready with my daughter for tuck in time that for us always includes Bible reading and prayer.  What I got was a question that I wasn’t expecting. Continue reading