Imagine a conversation like this:
Skeptic: I don’t believe in Christianity.
Christian: Why not?
Skeptic: Because science can prove some of the stuff in the Bible isn’t possible. There’s no way it could have happened.
Christian: So science is what you use to determine what is true?
Christian: How did you decide science is what you would use to determine what is true? How did you go about making that decision?
Skeptic: I don’t know. I guess I found it compelling. It offers concrete solutions. It works with unassailable math.
Christian: So you decided you would use science to determine what is true?
Christian: Am I permitted the same privilege?
Skeptic: What privilege?
Christian: The privilege of, like you, deciding for myself what I will use to determine what is true?
Skeptic: I guess so. I don’t want refuse you something that I grant to myself.
Christian: Great! I choose Scripture. Scripture is what I’ll use to determine what is true. Scripture says Jesus died on the cross and was raised three days later.
Skeptic: Not possible!
Christian: Why not?
Skeptic: Science can prove it.
Christian: Wait a minute. You’re using your self-declared highest authority to critique my self-declared highest authority. Is that a privilege you will grant to me also?
Skeptic: What privilege?
Christian: You just used your highest authority, science, to critique my highest authority, Scripture. Am I permitted that privilege as well?
Skeptic: I guess so. I don’t want to refuse you something that I grant to myself.
Christian: Great! Jesus died on the cross and was raised three days later because my highest authority clearly says so.
I hope you see what’s happening in this conversation. Someone who disbelieves the Bible is giving themselves the freedom to decide for themselves what they will use to determine what is and isn’t true. I’m not trying to convince them Christianity is true. As a Christian, all I’m trying to do is get this skeptic to grant me the same privilege they’ve given themselves. The conversation may end in a stalemate, but the skeptic will walk away realizing that if he’s going to give science a chair at the table, he has to give the Bible a chair at the table as well.
For more on this subject, this week I will be giving away two copies of the book, The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel. To enter, simply sign in to the Rafflecopter giveaway below and enter either by following me on Twitter, on Instagram, or on both! Winners will be chosen and notified by email. At this time, I do ask that only those living within the 48 contiguous United States enter the giveaway. Thank you for understanding.
I'll be away at a conference this week, so I won't be posting any original material. However, I thought I'd give you a sampling from around the web. There are some very pertinent and helpful gems in this list. Happy reading...and reflecting!
7 Reasons Sports Matter So Much to So Many
Barnabas Piper writes, "Last week the baseball hall of fame announced their 2016 inductees, the NCAA Football championship game is fast approaching, and the NFL playoffs begin. Combine that with the NBA and NHL seasons and college basketball hitting mid-season stride and sports is near to peak excitement...With the fervor at such a pitch I couldn’t help but wonder why. Why do sports matter so much to so many?"
What's Going on at Wheaton?
Some of you may be familiar with the happenings at Wheaton College. It stems from the quintessential question of: do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Justin Taylor's article is the best I've read on this issue.
Nine Surprises in Worship Services that Made Guests Return
What causes new people to come back to a church they visited? This isn't a question only for pastors. Anybody who's interested in seeing their church grow will want to think through this question. Thom Rainer helps us do that.
Should We Pray for ISIS to be Defeated or Converted?
The question is clear. How should we think about it?
This past semester at Appleton Alliance Church, we offered several different classes and studies on marriage. Since marriage can be such a big part of life, it’s good for churches to do this once in a while. As is often the case, these kinds of studies can produce passion in people for marriage. That is both good and dangerous. Why dangerous? Let me explain.
First, in our passion for cultivating healthy marriages, we run the risk of turning God into a means rather than the end. God can become our servant or assistant in our pursuit of a healthy marriage. We end up “marrying God for his money.” Yes, we pursue loving God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, but only in so far as he’s there to produce for us healthy marriages. This is “marriage idolatry.” Of course, the irony in making healthy marriages the end, is that they never become healthy. Why? That’s the second reason.
In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had a great marriage until they rebelled against God. The health of their relationship with each other was contingent on the health of their relationship with God. It still works that way. Healthy marriages are byproducts of making God the end.
So if your passion is for healthy marriages, the best thing you can do is help people love God for himself; to make him the end not, the means.
This week I will be giving away two copies of the book, The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story by D.A. Carson. To enter, simply sign in to the Rafflecopter giveaway below and enter either by following me on Twitter, on Instagram, or on both! Winners will be chosen and notified by email. At this time, I do ask that only those living within the 48 contiguous United States enter the giveaway. Thank you for understanding.