Is the Talpiot Tomb the tomb of Jesus?

In my preceding post, I examined the question “Is Christianity falsifiable?“. In that post I talked about how each new piece of evidence I come across has the potential of revising my beliefs on specific questions, and how my encounters with significant new information became less frequent over the years. This is not surprising, as very little new relevant information is produced; my own thinking evolves mostly because I come across information that has been out there for years (or even centuries) that I am processing either for the first time or from a new perspective.

However, there is Continue reading “Is the Talpiot Tomb the tomb of Jesus?”

Is Christianity falsifiable?

In the philosophy of science, one of the big questions is what criteria are used to distinguish the scientific from the non-scientific. One prominent view, often attributed to Karl Popper, is that falsifiability is the key characteristic of scientific claims. I’m not going to explore that the topic directly here. My interest is not in labeling particular claims as “scientific” or “non-scientific” in a technical sense, but in exploring in more general terms the perceived conflicts between reason and faith in the search for truth.

I often hear non-believers (and many believers too) speak of statements of faith as if they are completely divorced from or immune from the process of reason or the consideration of evidence. From this perspective, Continue reading “Is Christianity falsifiable?”

Is God short of cash?

And I can’t tell the difference between ABC News, Hill Street Blues
And a preacher on the old time gospel hour
Stealing money from the sick and the old
Well the God I believe in isn’t short of cash, mister!

– Bono (of U2), “Bullet the Blue Sky”, on the Rattle and Hum album

I really don’t like hearing churches ask for money. I’ve always thought that if I ever start a church someday (and this is an idea that has refused to leave me alone, despite my suspicions that I don’t have the right skills for such a thing), I would try Continue reading “Is God short of cash?”

If God loves me, where is He?

In one of my old posts on the problem of suffering, I told of a memory of when I was three, and my mom washed my hair, I hated the process and thought she was going to drown me.  The point was to see the analogy of God as our parent, and that when we have trouble reconciling His professed love for us with the suffering that He allows to exist, we should keep in mind that our inability to resolve a theological difficulty (and the problem of suffering is the grand-daddy of them all) and understand the full picture does not mean that there isn’t a perfectly good reason known to God.

One of the possible rejoinders to this line of thinking (and over they years I’ve heard many, and even come up with some of my own), is that Continue reading “If God loves me, where is He?”

Why hasn’t this blog been updated for a while?

Technically, this blog post has a question-and-answer format, but it’s a break from the usual attempt to pose a question that someone might have about the Christian faith and propose an answer.  Instead, I’d like to take a moment to comment on the state of this blog.

The gap of almost two years since the last post has several reasons behind it.

First, it was getting Continue reading “Why hasn’t this blog been updated for a while?”

Does religion do more harm than good?

I can appreciate the reasons why some find it difficult to believe what I believe, or even to believe in God at all. Throughout this blog, I’ve engaged the big questions around this issue, but in this post I am concerned with a secondary topic. Whether my religion, or anyone’s religion, does more harm than good is a different question from whether it is true or false, but it is important in its own right. Continue reading “Does religion do more harm than good?”

Why don’t Christians just keep their beliefs to themselves?

As you might guess by poking around this blog, I enjoy sharing my Christian faith.  I realize, however, that most non-Christians feel that they have heard enough about Christianity already, and are not eager to hear more.  Because of this, it is important for me (and other Christians) to be tactful and sensitive about the topic.  Rather than talking about God as often as I would like, I need to treat people with respect by taking note of their wishes, and being judicious in terms of when it is appropriate to bring up the subject.  When the topic does arise, I should avoid the temptation to monopolize the conversation, and should make sure that I reflect well on the Gospel by sharing it, as Peter said, with gentleness and respect.

Having said all that, Continue reading “Why don’t Christians just keep their beliefs to themselves?”

Does man make God in his own image?

Genesis 1:27 proclaims that God created man in His own image.  For reasons discussed in other posts on this blog (such as this one), I don’t automatically assume any statement is true just because it appears in Genesis, but in this case I think the text alludes to a great truth.

My purpose with this post, however, is not to dig into the text of Genesis specifically.  Rather, I wish to discuss the question of whether God made man in His image, or vice versa, without presupposing Continue reading “Does man make God in his own image?”

Does free will exist?

I believe that yes, I do have free will.  By this, I mean I make genuine choices, not predetermined either by God, by the laws of physics, or by some combination of nature and environment.  I felt it was an important question to answer on this blog (because other questions I’ve addressed, such as this one, are related to it), but I’m not going to attempt a comprehensive exploration of this question here, for three reasons.

First, the question has been around so long and so much has already been written about it (for example, start here and branch out), and I don’t think my thoughts on it are especially original.

Second, most of the evidence Continue reading “Does free will exist?”

Do people believe in God just because their parents did?

Occasionally I’ve heard a simplistic argument against belief in God that goes something like this: “You believe in God just because your parents did.”  The usual implication (either explicit or left unstated) is that any arguments in favor of God’s existence that I might offer would be biased, and therefore do not need to be considered by the listener on their merits.  This type of argument is commonly classified as ad hominem circumstantial, and labeled fallacious because one’s disposition to make a certain argument does not make the argument false.  (In an essay on this topic, Continue reading “Do people believe in God just because their parents did?”