Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him…. John 12:37
Imagine being there when Jesus lived to hear Him speak, watch Him interact with people and maybe even perform a miracle – right in front of you! How could you not believe?!
It’s easy to think these things. But, what would it really be like? Though Jesus performed many signs in front of people, still they didn’t believe Him. People still believed what they were disposed to believe. People saw what they expected to see.
Would we be any different?
Some people heard Him speak and saw the miracles and believed. But more people heard Him speak, saw the miracles and did not believe. In the 1st Century, they accused Him of performing black magic. Today, we might accuse Him of performing ordinary magic, planting people in the audience and doing sleight of hand.
He would most certainly rock our notions of right and wrong, proper and improper, sense and insensitivity. He would challenge our sacred ideas about ourselves and our freedoms, our causes and our individual rights.
He would be too politically incorrect for the left. He would be too progressive for the right.
Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53:1-3)
Stephen F. Roberts famously said that we are all atheists, he just believes in one less God (or less gods) than others. It is a rather clever statement that many self-described atheists or agnostics have repeated, but it’s more kitsch than substance.
Atheism could be defined as belief in no God, but atheists often object to that because they don’t perceive themselves, or don’t want to perceive themselves, as believing or having faith in anything. That’s absurd, of course. We all believe in something – even if we only believe in the material world and our ability as humans to comprehend it. Continue reading “Musings on Shakespeare and One Less God”→
I began taking notes on a series of hard questions posed to Tim Keller by some heavy hitting interviewers that is posted to the Veritas Forum. I thought I would take my notes and create a series of quick answers to these hard questions, but I got sidetracked by the first question: Aren’t faith and reason contradictory terms?
The question took me back to college when I first began to wrestle with this question.
Implied in that question is an assumption that the only rational conclusion of reason is disbelief in God. Reason is defined by Merriam Webster as “the power of the mind to think and understand in a logical way.” Faith is defined as the “strong belief or trust in someone or something.” Note that faith is not defined in relation to evidence or reason, but the common definition of faith is not antithetical to evidence of reason either.
Reason (logic) depends on a premise, and premises are often tautological. Many premises are susceptible of proof, but many are not. The premise that the natural world is the totality of all reality is a premise many believe to be true, but it is not susceptible of proof (at least not scientific proof, unless one believes that science, which is limited to the study of the natural world is capable of proving that nothing other than the natural world exists by limiting the study to the natural world). Continue reading “Are Reason & Faith in God Contradictory Terms?”→