Thanksgiving is a wonderful tradition where we are able to give thanks (to God) for all that we have been blessed with, especially family and friends. The following day, Black Friday, is an over-excessive nationwide shopping spree in the US, paying homage to the gods of materialism and ourselves, stuffing our lives full of typically unnecessary merchandise with money that we have yet to earn. What an amazing and tragic cultural event to ‘witness’! From the swamps of Asia to ultimate consumers paradise in the US, is a cultural adjustment only a few of us get to experience and something I would not wish on anyone. Considering the high intellectual plateau, the deep moral concern and amazing technological advancement we self-proclaim in the west, I sure was fooled after witnessing the last week in the US. I am convinced more than ever that there is one thing that connects mankind across nations, languages and cultures. [Read more...]
The idea that we’re living in a culture of relativism seems to be uncontested and accepted without question. Post-modernists and relativists assume that we’ve progressed past the rigid constraints of ‘truth’, ‘falsity’, ‘reason’, and other oppressive concepts that actually undergird the fabric of rationality in the universe. However, I’m not convinced that we are truly living in a relativistic society—we still express outrage at moral injustices. This gives me hope that the West acknowledges some moral truths and is unwilling to deny objective morality. We are not ready to collapse into moral relativism because doing so would result in consequences that are simply impossible to live with.
Most of you are probably familiar with CS Lewis and his famous dichotomy.
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
Of course, we all understand the implications of such a statement. If Christianity is false, then the way that it describes the universe is essentially invalid and needs to be thrown out.
However, if Christianity is true, then it must be infinitely important.
Why must it be infinitely important though? What claims does Christianity make that, if true, fundamentally alter the way that the universe must be perceived?
It all essentially comes back to one main Bible verse.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
The religious exclusivism is incredibly obvious in this verse. Jesus did not say that He was one way or a way to the Father. He said that He was the way. Although it might seem kind of petty to be basing an incredibly important claim on a grammatical article, it really makes all the difference.
In so many of my interactions with people, I have found that they have already made a commitment one way or the other to certain worldviews and are looking for intellectual reasons to either maintain that commitment or escape another commitment. I know people who are ready to accept any worldview except for X and others who are committed to accepting any form of worldview Y. Some are currently in worldview Z but are looking for intellectual reasons to either maintain or escape.
I have found that Christianity is not immune to this phenomenon. Some people are looking to accept but need intellectual reasons, while other are looking to escape but need intellectual reasons. I have seen people leave Christianity because someone asked them “who created God?”. I have seen people come to Christianity for “fire insurance”. Neither of those are logical reasons.
All worldviews must be able to explain this phenomenon while remaining consistent with all other internal beliefs. Every person has a worldview, so it is impossible to be completely objective about this, and the person putting forth the explanation must accept that they are subject to the explanation (they are not above it). I want to offer a Christian perspective on this issue. [Read more...]
In this part of my ongoing series on Incarnational Apologetics, I want to explore the four key problems:
Today’s video post picks up with a discussion of Privatization. So what is Privatization? David Wells in his book, “No Place for Truth”:
It is axiomatic that secularism strips life of the divine, but it is important to see that it does so by relocating the divine into that part of life which is private.
I am not a rabid anti-postmodernist; there are aspects of postmodernism that I find very helpful when talking and writing about faith. Relativism, however, is not one of them.
One of the best examples of postmodern relativism is the catchphrase “that may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.” Often, this phrase is heard in the context of a conversation between a Christian (or other person of faith) and an atheist or agnostic. The person of faith says something that makes the other person uncomfortable, so he responds by saying “that may be true for you, but not for me.”
My guess is that at least half of the time, the person mouthing this slogan is not making a statement about deeply held philosophical beliefs, but is just trying to end a conversation without actually having to come right out and say “I think you’re wrong.” In many cases, I suspect that the person saying it has never taken the time to think through the logical ramifications of his position; he just likes the fact that it makes him sound deep and tolerant and all the other things people like to think of themselves as being.
And, as often as not, it does effectively stop the conversation. [Read more...]
In this part of my series on Incarnational Apologetics, I want to explore the four key problems:
Today’s video post picks up with a discussion of Pluralization.
To be certain, there are many positive qualities found in Pluralization.
- Art / Architecture
But, as I discuss in the video, the world of Art illustrates a deeper problem with Pluralization when we compare the “Tyranny of Single Point Perspective” to the “Freedom of Cubism”. [Read more...]
Now more than ever, we seem to be surrounded by experts and intellectual giants on all corners. Throw out a question on Facebook and you will get a response, often from an “expert”. Google a contentious question that has plagued philosophers for centuries and you will discover reams of pages linking to the blogs of “experts”. I am also often told that you don’t need to be a doctor to know what is wrong with someone, implying that the average person now has enough medical information on hand to be somewhat of a diagnosis “expert”. The expansion of technology has unlocked information and data unlike the human race has ever experienced. Has this in turn created more “experts” across more fields? To answer this question, we first must ask, “What is an expert?” [Read more...]
Anyone who’s ever taken a class on how to share their faith has heard some well-intentioned teacher say, “You don’t need to learn a lot of big words. Just tell them your story. Just tell them how Jesus changed your life. No one can argue with that.”
Then everyone sighs a big sigh of relief because they thought they’d have to spend time learning how to answer hard questions. Questions like “how do you know Jesus rose from the dead?” Or “how do you know the Bible’s inspired?”
I understand why this method of what we used to call “witnessing” is popular. Well-meaning pastors realize that people are scared to tell people about Jesus, and they want to find an easy method that they can use to teach their congregation how to share their faith without actually having to ask them to do anything—at least anything hard.
The problem with this method is that it doesn’t work anymore. It might have worked 20 or 30 years ago, but in 2013 any post-modern worth his salt will respond “that may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.” And well he should. If the person sharing his faith is saying that you should try this because it worked for him—if he is basing his argument for following Christ on his own experience—then it’s only fair that the person responding should be able to say that his experience is just as valid. [Read more...]
Last week in California, a news article reported that state legislation was passed to enable “students in California schools to compete on sports teams and use facilities, including restrooms, based on their gender identity, regardless of whether they are listed as male or female in official campus records.”
This basically means that if a boy believes he is a girl, despite his physical and genetic biology being male, he will be allowed to play basketball on the girls varsity team and then shower with them in the locker room after the game.
As fictitious as this sounds, Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor, said, “All students should have the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in school.” Huh?!? [Read more...]