A Debate on “Faith”

Here is an interesting debate between Dr. Peter Boghossian and Dr. Timothy McGrew on the nature of “faith.”

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Dr. Wesley Hill (Ph.D, Durham) wrote an interesting article on friendship for Christianity Today.

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Dr. David Horner (D.Phil, Oxford University), gives a talk on the pursuit of happiness in the Christian life.

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Will I Blog Again?

My answer: I dunno!

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Hanging With Couples

Here is a quote from a great post by Chris Damian at Spiritual Friendship.

I recently met a young man (we’ll call him Joel) who had been dating a young woman for a couple of years. Early on, Joel and his girlfriend decided that they wanted to love and support their friends through their relationship. For Valentine’s Day, they decided to invite their friends over for a game night instead of going out on a date for two. For them, it was important that their love for each other also be a love that overflows into the lives of those around them. So they try to bring others into this love as much as possible.

I also have friends who have done this for me. A couple I know went on a walk recently, and, as they often do, they invited me to come along again. I was also heading out of my house, but I was walking to a coffee shop to go study. So they just decided to walk me there. For them, one measure of the “success” of their relationship is whether others feel comfortable spending time with them as a couple, whether the “third wheel” feels like a third wheel or a friend. They have always made me a friend.

Of course, I understand couples wanting and getting alone time too.  They should get that time, but I appreciate it when couples use their companionship as an opportunity to love and be with others rather than an excuse to escape from others or to make others uncomfortable with excessive PDA.  If I get married, I hope we can love our single friends this way.

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Knowing, Articulating, and the Importance of the Former

For the last six years of my life, I’ve been exposed to the church, Christians, and Christian writings of various kinds.  I’ve been immersed in Christian theology and philosophy of religion as well as some Christian history, devotionals, and spiritual formation.  I think it is safe to say that I “know Christianity”, at least my strand of it, due to my exposure to the churches I’ve gone to, the Christians I’ve met, and the Christian writings I’ve read.  Of course, I do not know everything, but I’d like to think I know true things about it.

I come across objections to Christianity quite often through simple web searches, Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere.  It might be a claim that the arguments for God’s existence don’t work, or a rant about the evils that the church has committed and still commits in history.  Maybe it’s a standard argument against Divine Command Ethics or an example of an apparent contradiction in the Bible.  It can be anywhere from arguments that the Christian worldview fails intellectually in some way to claims that the church and Christian teachings are bad in some way.  The internet is full of them.

Many of these objections are ones that I do not have an adequate ability to respond to.  Much of the reading, listening, and learning that I’ve done on Christian theology, philosophy, and worldview issues have addressed the objections I see, but I cannot always articulate why the arguments do not work in a way that could convince others.

Despite the fact that I do not always know how to adequately respond to objections, through my immersion to Christian teachings, I still know that something is amiss with many of the objections I hear.  I know when these objections I hear to Christianity are shallow, straw-men, or based on ignorance more than anything else.  This is why so many objections do not bother me and can even cause my eyes to roll, despite not necessarily knowing how to answer them properly. (1)  This emphasizes the difference between knowing and showing.  One can know something without necessarily having the ability to show that it’s true.

I think a big reason why Christians need to be exposed to apologetics, philosophy of religion, critical thinking, church history, science, and Christian thought in general is that it inoculates them so that they are not swayed easily by the arguments they hear.  It gives them a more stable faith.  Many people say that apologetics is something you should do.  Don’t just read apologetics, use it to serve the church.  This is true, but a Christian should also read apologetics for her own benefit.  More knowledge can inoculate Christians from various things that try to destroy faith.

It is great that there are Christians out there who know a lot about philosophy, history, science, or theology and are skilled at using it to defend the faith, but it is also great if exposure to these things makes Christians more immune to intellectual attacks on Christianity, despite the fact that they might not become apologetic evangelists.  Using apologetics to keep people in the faith is just as important as using apologetics to bring people into the faith.


(1)  Of course, none of this is to say that there are no strong objections to Christianity.  There are.  But even then, more knowledge and critical thinking skills help even with the strong objections.

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Links of Interest (2)

I’m still taking the lazy way out and giving links.  There isn’t a common theme this time around.

Paul Gould wrote a post for the Gospel Coalition on why The Church Needs Philosophers and Philosophers Need the Church.

Remington has an interesting post asking Is Theistic Evolution a Contradiction?

This post on The Art of Manliness shows a cool series of old pictures showing the history of male affection.

The Remonstrant gives a case for moral realism here.  I find the argument that compares our moral obligations to our epistemic obligations very intriguing.

The Nostalgia Critic summarizes the story of Avatar: The Last Airbender . . . In song.

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