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Tag Archives: Religious

The Garden of Eden and Original Sin

Here are two standard critiques of Christianity: Why does a good God allow evil?The doctrine of “original sin” is monstrous–how can the actions of Adam and Eve possibly affect the “nature” of their descendants?The other day an idea popped into my head (I would say God gave it to me but I realize opinions may vary) that seems to solve both problems in a very elegant and satisfying way. First, let’s review what actually happened in the Garden (Genesis 1: 15):...

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A Testimony on Becoming Christian

I don’t think I already shared this? Anyway, BraveTheWorld has shared her experience of going from intellectual atheist to Christian. It interests me because I had a similar journey. I am curious about which (if any) of her points resonate with people, because at some point I’ll devote a podcast episode to this topic (in my case).

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Jesus Trying to Help Those in the Process of Murdering Him

At my Bible study tonight we read this section from John 18: 33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of...

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This Is Setting Off My BS-Pattern Detector

This is a really smart guy; my son and I read (a lot of) his book Our Mathematical Universe. But around 14:15 when he starts asking questions, instead of saying, “Nothing,” I can think of a different one-word answer that’s far more accurate. I think the most obviously wrong step he takes, is to say that equations describing how matter behaves, are the same thing as matter itself. This would obviously be a bogus move anywhere else in science, so...

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A Different Way to Understand Salvation Through Faith

One of the trickiest aspects of Protestantism is the notion of “salvation through faith alone,” as opposed to works. This is obviously a huge area of theological controversy, with many nuances in each denomination’s position. (This Wikipedia article gives an idea of the issues involved.) For our purposes here, the reason this doctrine seems so perverse from a worldly perspective is that a serial killer who repents on his death bed “goes to heaven,” while a...

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God Is Good

At the tail end of my discussion of The Three Lads and the Lizard King, I alluded to the familiar problem of evil, and how the orthodox Christian answer is a bit scandalous. Specifically, God allows evil to happen. In the book of Job, the Devil literally gets permission from God to do horrible things. Yet the Bible also shows that God uses these evil acts–which do not originate with Him–to ultimately be turned into serving God’s purposes. The most obvious is...

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Why Does God Allow Suffering?

My pastor tackled this question today in church. I was impressed and glad to hear him admit fairly early that, “I don’t know.” (R.C. Sproul did the same thing, if I recall correctly, in his speech, “What Is Evil and Where Did It Come From?”) My pastor used an analogy that I have often found useful, in comparing us to little children with earthly parents. There are time when a child might be furious at his mother, not understanding why she’s “being so mean!!” Yet...

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Would Jesus Be Annoyed With Libertarian Memes?

Of course He would be–He’s fully human after all… But specifically, what about the “TAXATION IS THEFT!” line of argument? Gene Callahan blogs that this isn’t scriptural, since we read in Luke 3: 10 And the crowds asked him [John the Baptist], “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics[b] is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him,...

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