People believe all sorts of things. Some believe in aliens, while others don’t. Some believe in global warming, while others don’t. Some believe in evolution, while other’s don’t. Some believe in a God or gods, while others do not. Why the disagreement, given there are certainly people of good intention and intellect on either side of many important issues? Why should we believe something? [Read more...]
The objection of Christians being intolerant or narrow-minded is one of the more popular charges thrown down when discussing some of the moral issues of our day. Christians in many cases, are painted with broad strokes to be the “horse with blinders on its eyes, limiting its vision of the world; or that of an ostrich with its head buried in the sand, completely oblivious to the surrounding world.” But is this true?
In my daughter’s homeschool apologetics training, we have spent a great deal of time working through the objections coming against believing absolute truth exists. One of those objections that we see and hear every so often is with reference to the matters of Christians being intolerant or narrow-minded. Whenever these objection emerge, I find it to be the opportune moment to discuss it and show her how to apply the claim to itself and demonstrate how it breaks down.
Because it has been a crazy month at work, and this topic is so relevant in our home discussions and my workplace, I would like to present four reasons why the “intolerance” objection is false. And how this accusation of Christians being “narrow minded” is really not a bad thing. As I share this post, I am wanting us to bear in mind that those who make these statements do not possess a biblical worldview and think very differently about truth and reality.
How to Break it Down
The first reason this objection is self-defeating is because truth by definition is that which corresponds to all of reality. By its very nature, truth is narrow and at times, divisive by its definition and application. To give an example of how truth corresponds to reality at least today, let’s suppose that there is a blue 2010 Mazda 3 outside my house and in my driveway. If we were to get up and go outside my house, look in the driveway, look at the registration corresponding to the car and see that the color of the Mazda 3 is truly blue, then all the other claims of the car being different year or color are false. [Read more...]
We continue our discussion with Abdu Murray about his new book Grand Central Question: Answering the Critical Concerns of the Major Worldviews (IVP, 2014). (Part 1 of discussion.) Murray is an attorney, a former Muslim, and an experienced apologist, and his book examines the critical questions of human existence in light of some of today’s major worldviews.
CAA: There are a number of Christian thinkers today who are critical of rational apologetics and who claim that this approach is wrongheaded in a postmodern period. Some hold that the best we can do is tell our personal story and live a visibly Christian life. Have you found in your travels that people are no longer interested in rational arguments for Christianity?
AM: Actually, I have found quite the opposite to be true. I speak at open forums to diverse audiences. Almost every engagement I have is followed by Q&A and almost every time the questions are about propositional truths and how they apply to our lives and ultimate realities. Christians and non-Christians alike are asking these questions. They want—actually need—rational answers to their rationally stated questions. I can recall quite vividly one incident after I spoke at a church about the foundation for the resurrection of Jesus as a historical fact. An older couple, both of whom said they followed Christ for years, told me that they had finally come back to church that day after a year’s absence. They stayed away so long because their son died a year before and while they “hoped” that they would see their son again in the resurrection of believers, they always feared that it was just a feeling. But after hearing the rational arguments in favor of Jesus’ resurrection, they were overjoyed with the confidence that they would see their son again. At our events, we’re seeing many non-Christians coming to faith because they finally find rational answers to the questions they’ve always had.
“When writers tell a story about monsters, we’re usually using them as a vehicle in order to tell a story about our own world.” - Jonathan Maberry
The term ‘New Atheist’ is beginning to get a bit old already. It is still relatively new, chronologically, at least in relation to centuries of classical atheists. The movement seems to have arisen, or at least gained popularity, after the events of 9/11 (2001) in the USA. It was characterized by a shift towards the use of rhetoric, emotion, fear, and embodied very ‘religious’ type behaviors (some argue mirroring religious fundamentalists), despite the often claimed ‘reason’ branding. [Read more...]