At The Table

Thinking about Jesus, culture, and everyday life.

Tag: theology

Unpacking the Modern Myth

“The picture so often painted of Christians huddling together on an ever narrower strip of beach while the incoming tide of “Science” mounts higher and higher corresponds to nothing in my own experience. That grand myth which I asked you to admire a few minutes ago is not for me a hostile novelty breaking in on my traditional beliefs. On the contrary, that cosmology is what I started from. Deepening distrust and final abandonment of it long preceded my conversion to Christianity. Long before I believed Theology to be true I had already decided that the popular scientific picture at any rate was false.

One absolutely central inconsistency ruins it; it is the one we touched on a fortnight ago. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears. Unless we can be sure that reality in the remotest nebula or the remotest part obeys the thought laws of the human scientist here and now in his laboratory—in other words, unless Reason is an absolute—all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction.

They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based. The difficulty is to me a fatal one; and the fact that when you put it to many scientists, far from having an answer, they seem not even to understand what the difficulty is, assures me that I have not found a mare’s nest but detected a radical disease in their whole mode of thought from the very beginning. The man who has once understood the situation is compelled henceforth to regard the scientific cosmology as being, in principle, a myth; though no doubt a great many true particulars have been worked into it.”

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Understanding the Mind of God

This weekend I had the privilege of hearing Aleksey Prokopenko speak on the biblical teaching on God’s providence. The key question that this doctrine addresses is “What is God’s relationship to the universe?”. Prokopenko made a key observation at the outset of the conference: very often tend to grossly oversimplify the issue of God and his purposes. To me, this was a critical point of insight. It is, I think, one of the foundational reasons why so many people, both religious and irreligious, find conversations about a personal God’s relationship to the universe so frustrating, unrealistic, contradictory and even foolish.

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The God Who Bleeds

The question of pain and suffering has been on my mind lately. It is a hard question. One that seems to push any worldview and philosophy beyond its boundaries. Anywhere we look to find a satisfactory answer, we find that the issue in question looms larger than our own powers of comprehension. Sure, some may have purely intellectual ways of answering the question, but they aren’t answers that satisfy the longing of the soul. They are answers “from the view of the balcony” and are not likely to satisfy the questions of the weary travelers on the road.

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Attacking God’s Inerrancy

I have the privilege of spending the week at Shepherds Conference. This is an annual gathering of leaders and pastors from all over the world to spend time in fellowship, learning and encouragement. This year is different however, because this years conference is built around the topic of the inerrancy of the Bible.

One of the repeated questions that keeps coming up in this conference is, “Why does this debate keep resurfacing? Didn’t we settle this years ago? Didn’t these objections get cleared up decades ago?”

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