Thursday, July 31, 2008

Canonization? Divine Inspiration?

I was wondering about the legitimacy of the Bible as a whole unit. What does "God-breathed" or "divine inspiration" really mean? What constitutes the criteria for being in the Bible, and how is it that a council had the authority to choose it? Is it really relevant to insist on the truth of every aspect of the entire Bible (e.g. does whether Paul actually wrote all those letters have any impact on our faith)? A friend of mine came up with a fairly interesting analogy: how is the collections of the Bible different from a council of scholars coming up with a British literature anthology? Sure, you can pick out key relevant works, but how can you reduce all of Brit lit into just those few works? And what would it take for the resulting anthology to be considered the definitive tome of Brit lit?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Islam Similar to O.T.?

How should we view and understand old testament laws, specifically the ones that seem very similar to the laws enforced by Islamic clerics? I read today in an article that aproximately 29 people were hung in Iran, for offenses ranging from murder to adultery- engaging in relationships outside of marriage. This reminds me of the OT law that those who committed adultery were to be stoned. What's the difference, and how should we understand and articulate the difference?
article link:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/07/27/iran.executions/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

Religion - Based on Uncertainty?

"I want to know how belief can be justified, because I can't see it. For example, people may be having a bad time, so they pray. And if things turn around, it was the power of prayer. But if not, then it was because it wasn't God's will. They're self fulfilling prophecies; faith is strengthened either way. How? Where's the cause and effect? People who don't pray and aren't religious - the same stuff could happen to them. Things just happen and I don't see where it's grounded.

I don't see how you could get from here to belief w/o taking a big leap, so how do you convince yourself to take the leap?

And the way I look at it, all we know is uncertainty. No one knows what happens after life for sure. We just live and that's it. That's all we know for sure. So as far as we KNOW, life is all we have. Therefore going to church and singing, etc, praying and all of that.

If we're wrong, then it's kind of a waste of life, which is all we have. There's just no way of knowing that it's doing something."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lack of God's Response?

There are a couple of passages in the Bible that I just don't know what to make of. One example is Judges 19-20. I was always really disgusted by what was allowed to happen to the concubine (and almost to the daughter) and I was also shocked that the only response God gave was to say which tribe would fight first or whether to go battle against the Benjamites when it was the old man and the Levite's fault in the first place. I know that a big point of the book is that in those days the Israelites did as they saw fit, which brought about a lot of evil. But by remaining silent about what happened to the concubine, yet responding to the Israelites' wanting to go to war with each other, it seems like God didn't consider the actions of the old man and the Levite to be very bad. Although, I guess from the few words God does say, I can't really figure out what his attitude was. Similarly, it bothers me a lot that in Genesis 19 the angels don't voice any opposition to Lot's offering his two daughters to the mob. Certain stories like these, among others, made me really question God's character, if he was actually involved in the situation enough to make direct responses to the people, and yet didn't say anything against what was happening.

Our Amazing Designer

This is a video for the bio nerds - I once had someone explain to me every single shot of this video, and I was blown away at the complexity of the design. "It's like a microcosm of a city that duplicates itself," he said.

I just can't reproduce the explanation, but I think just seeing this video does give us a sense of awe and wonder.

video

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gracepoint Church SET 2008

Under this post, I'll be putting up lengthy comments on some analysis of Tim Keller's "The Reason for God", which is the book that we're going through at Gracepoint Fellowship Church summer of 2008. Please refer to the comments of this post.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Defense of Sanctity of Marriage

Does anyone else find the Christian view on marriage difficult to justify given today's moral relativism? How do you defend the sanctity of same-sex marriage when society at large does not necessarily accept the biblical view of marriage? I read the recent breakpoint article on the issue but I was not satisfied by the arguments given there, nor could I imagine a non-Christian accepting the rationale given by the article.

Questions Wanted

Hello everyone,

Because I don't know of a better way to collect questions, please comment on this post with your questions, and I will create a new post with your question.