In this WWW: What’s the point of marriage? — three books on marriage; ten sure signs we’ve lost our minds; word studies; Dr Tim McGrew on the reliability of the gospels; why the afterlife bores us; reading; Christians in business; preparing for suffering; and conference media from Ligonier and Desiring God. Read the rest of this entry »
In this WWW: Desiring God (Machen style); McGrath on his new biography on CS Lewis; John Donne’s “A hymn to God the Father”; Proclamation Trust audio archives free to download; John Lennox in Cape Town; How much do I need to know to be saved?; three dangers of social media; why churches should disciple college-age students; why the Psalms start as they do; and William Lane Craig and Alex Rosenberg debate whether faith in God is reasonable.
In this WWW: Science and Christianity; how C.S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, and how we should read them; theology and doxology belong together; the danger of mission statements; and Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah gets a lease on new life. Read the rest of this entry »
In this WWW: Seven reasons to like Matt Redman’s 10 000 Reasons; free audiobook of Roger Resler’s Compelling Interest: The real story behind Roe v. Wade, and other resources on abortion; the critics aren’t happy about Mumford & Sons; lectures on CS Lewis; and how to start a pastoral training programme in your church.
Graeme Goldsworthy in his book Gospel and Wisdom (part of the Goldsworthy Trilogy, Paternoster, 2000), which i’m reading for a course in Old Testament Poetry and Wisdom Literature, presents the following brief and helpful discussion of the relationship between true and exhaustive knowledge, and how this applies to the Christian and non-Christian.
[T]he empiricist or humanist will claim to know things truly while not knowing exhaustively. In this he is inconsistent. No humanist would say that things exist in total isolation from each other. For a start he couldn’t investigate them if they did, for they would also be isolated from him. And there could be no such things as natural laws, or complexities of matter, for there would be only random particles. There would be no organisms, no people to become humanists! Once we recognize this, we will see that what things really are includes their relationship to everything else. When the humanist claims to know something truly, he is saying that he knows how it relates to everything else in existence. In other words, to know even one thing truly he must know all things exhaustively.
We can summarize this discussion by a contrast of three positions. First, the atheistic humanist claims to know enough to say that God does not exist. This is a claim to know everything, for if he admits that he does not know everything, how does he know that God is not included in what he does not know? Secondly, the agnostic humanist things to avoid the problem of the atheist by saying that we cannot know if God exists or not; he may or he may not. But this is also to claim exhaustive knowledge, for how can he know that God’s existence cannot be known other than by knowing everything there is to be known? The last thing left for him to discover may be the evidence that God either exists or does not exist. Finally, the Christian knows that he does not have exhaustive knowledge. But he knows also through revelation that God does have exhaustive knowledge and can therefore define for us what reality is. By the same revelation this God has told us all that we need to know in order to know truly. The Christian can know God truly. He can know man truly, and the created order truly. He knows none of them exhaustively, but he does know them truly.
In the past, tolerance meant respecting people and treating them well even when convinced they were wrong. It meant treating people as people, with dignity, even when one disagreed with them. In post-modern society today, “tolerance” means never regarding anyone’s opinions as wrong. Instead of tolerance for people, we have tolerance for ideas. Instead of love for truth and love for people, we have denial of truth and fear of offending people. Post-modern tolerance is cheap.
February 12 was the two-hundredth anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, and 2009 marks the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the publication of his seminal work, On the Origin of Species. Perhaps no-one has influenced science more in the past century than has Darwin with his theory of evolution by natural selection. Perhaps no-one since has been as misunderstood or maligned, or to such a degree been both hailed as a hero and condemned as a heretic.
But i don’t intend to discuss Darwin or evolutionary biology per se at any length. i have long been concerned, frustrated, and angered at the attitude many Christians adopt among themselves and in public when discussing apparent conflicts between science and Christianity, especially in the area of creation and evolution. i do not mean to say that Christians should not stand for truth – we must! – yet it does seem that so little debate in in this area has been edifying or served the gospel; indeed, much of the debate has been characteristically un-Christian: unloving, disrespectful, and antithetical to the gospel.