Worldview

If God Exists, Why Is There Pain and Suffering? (Post 5)

If God Exists, Why Is There Pain and Suffering? (Post 5)

Many argue the reality of pain and suffering proves God does not exist. But this is only true if the premises leading to this conclusion are correct. Last week I discussed why Muslims reject the first premise and why they are wrong. But others think the problem is elsewhere: either God is not all-powerful, or Evil is not real. Do either of these responses solve the problem?

“Science or Faith” or “Science and Faith”? (1 of 5)

“Science or Faith” or “Science and Faith”? (1 of 5)

A quick Google search of “Science and Faith” brings up 144 million matches in half a second. Many of these sites repeat the “conflict” narrative—science and faith are at war, and science will ultimately win because it has reason and evidence on its side. 

This conflict narrative seems to be more and more common. However, it is the wrong story. In this series, I will identify three assumptions underlying this narrative. I will then share reasons why these assumptions are wrong, and therefore why there is no conflict between science and faith—we should be talking about the “and” not the “or.”

Three Lessons To Learn from Jim Sire’s Life: A Tribute

Three Lessons To Learn from Jim Sire’s Life: A Tribute

Last Tuesday I lost one of my heroes. Christian speaker, author, and editor Jim Sire passed “from the land of the dying into the land of the living” to a great reward at age 84. He not only had a massive influence on me and countless others through his many books (such as The Universe Next Door, which is one of four books I suggest each parent read with their children before college), he was also a friend and mentor to me and so many others. We can learn at least three lessons from Jim’s life.

Christianity vs. Buddhism: Five Reasons To Believe God is a Person (2 of 5)

Christianity vs. Buddhism: Five Reasons To Believe God is a Person (2 of 5)

 “Why do you believe God is a person?” Bob asked me this during a recent flight to San Francisco. He is a bright executive and a Tibetan Buddhist. Over the next two hours, we discussed five reasons I believe God is personal. Last week I unpacked the first reason, from the fact that the universe began. The second reason I shared was that the design we see in the world is best explained as the work of a creative Person.

The “Reason” for the Las Vegas Shootings May Be There Is No Reason (2 of 2)

The “Reason” for the Las Vegas Shootings May Be There Is No Reason (2 of 2)

We continue to search for a reason for the Las Vegas shootings. So far, no “traditional” reason has emerged. Last week I suggested that the reason may be no reason. I outlined a philosophy that is becoming increasingly popular in our culture: nihilism. Is this ringing any bells as we learn more and more about Stephen Paddock? Might it be that he had obtained all which he thought could bring him meaning “under the sun,” and found it was meaningless after all? Might he be someone who so thoroughly embraced the Enlightenment that he lived the nihilistic worldview consistently? And if so, what should we learn from this?

The “Reason” for the Las Vegas Shootings May Be There Is No Reason (1 of 2)

The “Reason” for the Las Vegas Shootings May Be There Is No Reason (1 of 2)

My brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew and his friend were on their way to the Life is Beautiful concert in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1, 2017 when Stephen Paddock began shooting. Had they not been delayed while on their way by just a few minutes, they would have been in the line of fire. Though I am thankful they were running late, I continue to grieve over the 58 who were not so fortunate. In my grief, I ask the same question everyone else is asking: Why? The answer may be right in front of us, but it is not one we want to acknowledge.

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral and Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than The Other Two) Post 8 Of 8

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral and Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than The Other Two) Post 8 Of 8

Can we hope to find common ground in “the public square” over the critically important social issues of our day? Over the past seven weeks I’ve illustrated how the three different answers to “What are we” determines our answer to this question. But our view of what we are also determines our view of whether abortion and euthanasia are ever justified, whether the gospel makes sense, how Christians best grow in their faith, what constitutes “ministry,” and so much more. Let me explain…

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral and Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than The Other Two) Post 7 Of 8

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral and Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than The Other Two) Post 7 Of 8

The third answer to “What are we” is that we are essentially nothing. Therefore each person should define his or her individual “essence” and pursue whatever activities he or she believes will lead to individual flourishing. On this view promoting the common good is nothing more than ensuring everyone has the freedom and ability to pursue one’s own definition of flourishing and “the good life.” But is this right? I think not. Here are three reasons why not…

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral, and Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than the Other Two) Post 6 of 8

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral, and Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than the Other Two) Post 6 of 8

Understanding what we are determines how we treat one another. In this series I’ve argued we are essentially a soul-body combination (Substance Dualism). But some say we are essentially material—only a physical thing. Over the past few weeks I’ve discussed five reasons given for this view, and showed why these arguments fail. We now come to the final argument for Physicalism.

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral And Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than The Other Two) Post 5 Of 8

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral And Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than The Other Two) Post 5 Of 8

Are there any good reasons to think we are purely physical, and not a unity of soul and body? Last week I considered four reasons that fail. This week I’ll consider a fifth.

Some argue that we should have “blind” faith in science, believing that though now it cannot explain all we are physically, one day it will. I’ll share four reasons this is wrong thinking.

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral And Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than The Other Two) Post 4 Of 8

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral And Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than The Other Two) Post 4 Of 8

All disagreements about what promotes the good life—human flourishing and the common good—depend on one’s answer to the question “What is it to be human?” The last two weeks I’ve argued we are a unity of soul and body. This week I’ll consider the second answer: “To be human is to be a purely physical thing—a human body.”  Here I’ll discuss four reasons people give in favor of this view, and next week I'll discuss another two reasons. I’ll also explain why I think these reasons fail--why physicalism is not the right answer to the question.

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral And Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than The Other Two) Post 3 Of 8

What Are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral And Political Disagreements (And Why One Answer Is Better Than The Other Two) Post 3 Of 8

What we believe we are, determines how we approach life, how we define human flourishing, and how we think about political, cultural, moral and spiritual issues. Last week I offered three reasons to believe we have a soul, in addition to a body. This then grounds our equality and dignity as human persons. This week I offer three more reasons.

What are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral and Political Disagreements (and Why One Answer is Better Than The Other Two) POST 2 OF 8

What are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral and Political Disagreements (and Why One Answer is Better Than The Other Two) POST 2 OF 8

We want to believe in equality, human dignity, value and worth, and the possibility of human flourishing and the common good. But these ideas make sense only if we have a shared human nature that makes us all the same and equally valuable. This shared human nature is not part of our physical dimension (our physical “substance”), but is part of our immaterial dimension (our immaterial “substance”). Therefore Substance Dualism is the only way to ground and defend these ideas. 

What are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral and Political Disagreements (and Why One Answer is Better Than The Other Two) Post 1 of 8

What are We? The Three Answers Underlying Many Spiritual, Moral and Political Disagreements (and Why One Answer is Better Than The Other Two) Post 1 of 8

I write a lot about “human flourishing”—living a whole and healthy life marked by “shalom” (complete well-being). Yet to define what true flourishing is for a human, we must first define what a human is, for different types of things flourish in different environments.