About Luke Nix

Luke Nix is a Computer Systems Administrator in Oklahoma, USA. He has a beautiful and supportive wife, but no kids yet. In his spare time he enjoys studying theology, philosophy, biology, astronomy, psychology and apologetics. If you liked this post, more of his writing can be enjoyed at lukenixblog.blogspot.com.

The Cognitive Dissonance Of Evil

images-11The Problem of Evil and Suffering
In defending the truth of the Christian worldview, I often come across atheists who point to the supposed incompatibility of a loving God with the existence of evil and suffering. Many defenders of Christianity will move directly to explain to the atheist that without an eternal, unchanging standard, there is no objective morality, thus there is no objective good or evil. Without objective good or evil, their challenge is groundless. I agree with this answer, but only if the atheist is critiquing the Christian worldview from outside the Christian worldview; they are rather usually pointing to an internal inconsistency- that of a loving God and evil. Christians usually offer two answers to show that evil is, in fact, compatible with a loving God: that God does have purposes for allowing the evil, and man is free is disobey God which results in much evil and suffering. (Many do recognize that the challenge to Christianity has been overcome, but it is still offered in one form or another which does have much emotional and rhetorical power- more on this later.) However, this is only a portion of what our answer should be. We have merely shown that their claim of incompatibility is false, but what about challenges with atheism posed by evil and suffering?

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Challenging Eyewitnesses of the Resurrection

EYEWITNESSLast year I wrote a post regarding the irony of rejecting the eyewitness accounts to Jesus’ resurrection. I received the following challenge that attempts to undermine the reliability of eyewitnesses and the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Since the Christian faith is grounded on this unique event in history (1 Corinthians 15), the challenge must be addressed. Here it is:

“Regarding eyewitness being good evidence. True, the further we go back in history, the more we have to rely on eyewitness testimony. However, the likelihood of an event occurring significantly affects the credibility of the eyewitness. If there was an eyewitness to a car crash, the car crash event itself does not diminish credibility, because those happen all the time. But if there was an eyewitness to extraterrestrials, or ghosts, or godzilla, or someone rising from the dead, it significantly diminishes the credibility of the eyewitness testimony because the possibility that the eyewitness was mistaken or lying increases. Do you see the difference?”

My goal with this post is to present four responses to this challenge, that combined will render it untenable to maintain. [Read more...]

Should Christians Accept Secular Critique?

plugged_earsAs humans we tend to prefer to listen to those who agree with us and avoid the discomfort of having our views challenged.We find this in all sorts of people who hold all sorts of different views- be they religious, philosophical, political, or whatever. As a child my most common exposure to this attitude was from those in the church. I remember one person pointing to scripture to affirm such an attitude:

Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual…The spiritual person can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-15 (HCSB)

It was offered that the wisdom of unsaved people is useless to me, and the wisdom that I offer them is foolish to them. I was led to believe that anytime an unbeliever challenged my view, that scripture encouraged me to completely disregard it and anything else the person had to say. After all, even a challenge that seemed genuine or logical was really to trick me into rejecting God: that is the agenda of the Enemy- the “Father of all lies.” Even the consideration that something I believed might be wrong was a cause for alarm.

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Can You Argue Someone Into The Kingdom?

ApologeticsA while back I was listening to Greg Koukl’s radio show “Stand to Reason,” and a caller challenged the need for apologetics. His main concerns were that nobody could be “argued” into the Kingdom and that apologists were wasting their time with “hollow and deceptive philosophy” (Colossians 2:8).

I have to agree that his first concern is valid, but I don’t agree with the second concern. I don’t think that anyone can be “argued” into the Kingdom. For example, knowing that someone exists is different from wanting a loving relationship with them. Someone can believe that the Christian God exists, yet not want to have a personal relationship with Him. That person can recognize that the evidence points toward the Resurrection being a historical event but not want to dedicate their life to that fact. A belief that is different from a belief in.

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Questions That Are Off-Limits- Part 2

Last month we looked at questions that atheists tend to shy away from for whatever reason, and we looked at questions that are truly off-limits to those in an atheistic world. Today, we will see if Christianity has any such questions. 

What is Off Limits In The Church?

One of the great advantages of Christianity over atheism is that the questions that are off limits in atheism are central to Christianity- God exists and He does have a purpose for all the pain and suffering that we experience. But does Christianity have its own questions that it says are off limits that may cause the worldview to implode?

 

The Culture of “Questions Not Allowed”

Around the age of 12 or 13, I discovered that my asking questions was quite annoying to many people. Generally people didn’t mind my asking a couple basic questions here and there. But when I started asking a lot of questions, or my questions began to point out a real issue between two facts, their demeanor changed. I noticed this especially in church. People didn’t mind my asking some basic questions about Christianity, but when I started getting into deeper theology, they ran. Some rebuked the questioning. This gave me a very sour feeling around many fellow Christians, as if asking tough questions about what we believed was off limits. This was one of the reasons that I drifted away from the Church. My thoughts were these: if Christianity is true, why are Christians so afraid of being challenged? Christianity was for the intellectually weak and  emotionally driven.

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