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?”
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?”
Does prayer achieve results?
Each person who believes in Jesus as the Son of God has different reasons for doing so. I’ve summarized mine here and discussed them at length throughout the blog. For some people, their personal experiences with prayer provide support for their belief in Jesus. For others, such as myself, the relationship works more in the reverse. I believe in the power of prayer because I believe in the authority of Jesus (on other grounds). As such, I do not consider myself especially qualified to write about prayer. Nonetheless, Continue reading “Does prayer achieve results?”
What kind of God would punish people in hell forever?
The whole idea of hell is a complicated one. It’s also very important, and I would encourage readers to work through the material in this post and read the scriptures to which I have added links.
There is first of all difficulty in defining what hell is. Conservative Protestants generally consider it to be a place, while Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican theologian typically define hell as a state of separation from God. The influential King James Version of the Bible translates three different biblical terms – Hades, Gehenna, and Tartarus – as “hell”, masking shades of meaning in each term.
The basic premise, outlined by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, Continue reading “What kind of God would punish people in hell forever?”