I don’t think most atheists have an intellectual problem with the existence of God but rather an issue with sin that biases them against the existence of God. The Bible asserts the cause of atheism is not the lack of evidence for God but the suppression of it. When I’m speeding it’s more convenient to believe the state patrol is not out.
But for those atheists who do have genuine questions, I think it important Christians have answers.
One question I’ve heard from skeptics is, “If God exists why doesn’t he just appear to the human race and eliminate any doubt?” The answer may be that, in our fallen corrupt state, He can’t. Continue reading “Why We Can’t See God”
The other day I was thinking about that episode where George Costanza,while working late one night, has sex in his office with the cleaning lady. I know, I know, this is not the stuff of Sunday School lessons, but I’m assuming my audience is mature, and I am headed somewhere with this.
A story ran on the internet last week about Amazon.com offering for sale an eBook called The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct.
Amazon originally defended the decision to sell the book claiming they weren’t into censorship: “Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable…”
Later, as the outrage of its customers mounted, Amazon relented and decided the prudent–or profitable–thing to do was to engage in censorship.
Amazon’s dilemma is typical of so many post-moderns who believe no one is competent to morally judge any conduct. But what is that based upon?
It’s not based on instinct or conscience because neither suggests such an imperative; in fact they suggest the opposite. Both repeatedly make moral judgments about ourselves and others.
Amazon assumes man is morally incompetent to say, “This is right and this is wrong” about anything. And if that is the case, how do they know it is wrong for them to engage in censorship?
If you don’t affirm anything, you must accept everything, and this is the problem at Amazon. Because they apparently endorse no ethos, they are unable to make a judgment call about any moral issue, and that does make them moral incompetents. GS
In response to Christianity’s claims regarding Jesus’ resurrection many critics argue first century people were just naive and prone to believe fantasy and myth. Not hardly. Consider the following.
This from Peter: “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16).
From the blind man whom Jesus healed, responding to a disbelieving crowd: “Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.” (John 9:32).
Thomas, after hearing initial reports of the resurrection: “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25).
Jesus’ miracles validated his authority and His resurrection validated His identity, and He hid neither in clever theological arguments but instead planted them firmly in history, in space and time, where they could be observed by all who would attempt to answer Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” GS
When I’m litigating a case, I try to find out early in the case the other side’s best argument. I may not know all the evidence they will present at trial, but I do know they know, and therefore the argument they lead with is the one they usually think gives them the best chance of winning.
In Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, the “other side,” the opponents of Christianity, were the Jews. They had a vested interest in their religion. This was particularly true of the religious leaders who made their living by their religion. The Jewish leaders’ opposition to Christianity is best shown in that they were the ones who were responsible for turning Jesus over to the Romans for crucifixion.
After Jesus’ resurrection, the argument the Jews decided upon to disprove the resurrection was that Jesus’ disciples had stolen the body. Given what the Jews had to lose, we must conclude this was the best argument they had. There is something else we can know: It must have been undisputed the tomb was empty.
The easiest way to disprove Jesus’ resurrection would have been to march to the tomb and produce the body. That they didn’t means the tomb was definitely empty. Second, it must also mean there was no dispute about where Jesus had been buried.
So, the Jews said Jesus had not been resurrected from the dead but that the disciples had stolen His body from the tomb.
There’s one problem with this argument. Actually, there are a number of problems with this argument but one very, very big one.
The disciples, the same disciples the Jews said stole Jesus’ body from the tomb, ended up giving their lives in martyrdom based on the truth of the resurrection. All they had to do to avoid martyrdom was to deny the resurrection, to deny Jesus was who He said He was.
Some might argue that people throughout history have given their lives based on mistaken ideas about God. I agree.
The difference here is that if the disciples stole the body of Jesus, that means they gave their lives for something they knew was a lie. That is, of course, absurd.
The better explanation, and the one that is consistent with the disciples’ transformation from despair and timidness to joy and boldness is the historical fact of the resurrection. GS