Tag Archives: faith

God is All You Need (whether you know it or not)

I was intrigued by this statement a few weeks ago: “you’ll never know God is all you need until He is all you have.”

Am I the only person that thinks this is false?  For many people the reality of God’s sufficiency will become clear in a moment of crisis.  However, it is possible to know that God is sufficient by simple faith.

At the moment of salvation you have completely trusted that God is all you need.  If you still need another moment of crisis to prove His sufficiency, then I wonder about your initial conversion.

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ESPN, Ed Thomas, and the Power of Forgiveness

While watching the ESPY’s I was particularly moved by the story of Ed Thomas.

After watching this story I did a little more online research and found that the depths of character in the Thomas family run deep.  You can read for yourself a moving account that describes Ed Thomas as a man of sincere Christian commitment; continuing his dad’s legacy, Aaron Thomas has tried to forgive in the face of conflicting emotions and overwhelming doubt.

O Me of Little Faith (review)

I must commend Jason Boyett for catching that most illusive of literary prey — readability.  His book (O Me of Little Faith:  True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling) is both interesting and enjoyable.  It is pleasant to read.  He combines vulnerability, humility, and self-disclosure with brief (possibly too brief) discussions of Christian apologetics.  All the while he tells interesting stories and provides funny illustrations.

This book provides a personal, ongoing journey through valleys of doubt and peaks of faith.  Along the way it provides wonderful gems of Biblical, cultural, and spiritual insight while also running into a few logical and Biblical potholes.

Boyett has a knack for observing the inconsistencies of modern American “churchianity.”  He rightfully notes that many of the intellectual and pragmatic objections to Christianity are answered unsatisfactorily by Christians (so-called).  For example, he notes the false god of “American evangelical Christian religion” who is “totally cool with the money we spend on concert lighting in the worship center while the widow down the block has a hole in her roof” (p. 129).

One of Boyett’s greatest strengths is also one his greatest weakness.  The reader is deeply empathetic with his doubt struggles and particularly interested in the answers he has found to deal with his rollercoaster of faith and doubt.  Unfortunately he either refuses to give answers by hiding behind the “I’m no theologian/scholar” excuse or giving examples of unsatisfactory responses he has found (e.g., Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell are not at the top of my list of credentialed, well-researched, exegetically qualified, and philosophically sound apologists).

Boyett takes issue with a hard deterministic view of God’s sovereignty, the philosophical “problem of evil,” and purely rational (as opposed to presuppositional) apologetics.  While this book cannot answer every philosophical issue of Christianity, I would have hoped Boyett could have offered a few alternative Christian views on these subjects.  The only intense objection I have with this book is the conflation of the Biblical perspective of doubt with Boyett’s personal doubts.  In the Bible various characters doubt the trustworthiness of the promises of God, but Boyett is doubting (it appears) the very existence of God.  I cannot find a Biblical character doubting the existence of God.

All-in-all reading this book is like sitting down for a drink with a close friend.  You are never exactly sure where the conversation will take you (e.g., church history, liturgy, sin, existentialism, apologetics, etc.) but you will be glad you had a chat.  Along the way you will be challenged and maybe even frustrated.  You will learn some good spiritual lessons and you will be encouraged to give voice to the questions and doubts with which you wrestle.

This is reading I can recommend… @RELEVANTmag

I just sat down with the latest issue of Relevant Magazine, a fresh brewed cup of coffee, and some new music (all while the moving picture box displays the hockey game).

One of my favorite days every two months is receiving the newest Relevant Mag.  This one has stories on Bear Grylls, The Avett Brothers, Craig Ferguson, and Jennifer Knapp.

It discusses interesting issues such as the rise of urban gardening and “The Philosophy of E-Readers.”

A few article titles that catch my attention include:

“At the Root of It:  Why Knowing What You Believe Matters.”

“Stuff Christians Like:  Sometimes Faith is Funny.”

Can’t “Science” and “Faith” Just Play Nice

I sometimes wonder why Christians feel the need to undermine scientific inquiry.  Science, when functioning genuinely as science, is a beneficial means of solving problems.

Believers are appalled when non-believers caricature the group because of the mistakes of a few.  I, for one, bristle at the notion that all Christians are mindless, superstitious, stooges.  However, I am aware that some Christians are likely thoughtless and ignorant about their beliefs and the reasons for those beliefs.  Is Christianity, therefore, an irrational myth created to assuage personal guilt and provide non-existent security?  Of course not.  It would be truly hypocritical (i.e., not Christ-like), then, to judge science by the faults of a few (or even many) scientist.

Science functions particularly well when playing by its own rules;  coming to tentative conclusions based on observations and reproducible results. Science is clearly a tool and not an absolute truth.  When science attempts to make truth claims that require faith rather than evidence, it has overstepped its bounds.  Rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater, however, one must be careful to distinguish bad science from all science.  In the same way, a believer must distinguish bad theology from all theology.

The scientists have given [man] the impression that there is nothing he cannot know, and false propagandists have told him that there is nothing he cannot have.

— Richard M. Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences

The Death of Jesus

It is easy to condemn Pilate and overlook our own equally devious behavior.  Anxious to avoid the pain of a whole-hearted commitment to Christ, we too search for convenient subterfuges.  We either leave the decision to somebody else or opt for a half-hearted compromise or seek to honor Jesus for the wrong reason (e.g., as teacher instead of as Lord), or even make a public affirmation of loyalty while at the same time denying him in our hearts… More important still, we ourselves are also guilty… For whenever we turn away from Christ, we “are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace” (Heb. 6:6).  We too sacrifice Jesus to our greed like Judas, to our envy like the priests, to our ambition like Pilate… Indeed, “only the man who is prepared to own his share in the guilt of the cross,” wrote Canon Peter Green, “may claim his share in its grace.”

— John R. W. Stott