Answers to Skeptics Part I: There is a God

This post is part of a series called “Answers to Skeptics.” The series contains some of the thoughts I’ve shared with my non-Christian friends over the years. Each post is written directly to skeptics. If you find them of value, feel free to share them with others. Join over 25,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. You can receive them by RSS or by Email.

“Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Savior of Israel.” ~ Isaiah 45:15

The question of God’s existence has plagued philosophers and theologians for thousands of years. For that reason, I don’t have any canned answers on the question and I’m not about to solve the problem.  But I do have some thoughts that may cause you to rethink your position and help you reach your own conclusions.

I have met many people that have struggled with believing in the reality of God. This is especially true for very intellectual people. They feel that there is zero proof for God’s existence. How can a person put faith in a God who cannot be seen, felt, heard, touched, or smelled with his or her physical senses?

Some people deny God’s existence because they love their lifestyle. They surmise that if there were a God, they would have to be accountable to Him and change their behavior. As a result, they simply reject the notion that God exists so they would not have to feel accountable to anyone for their actions. For them, to believe that there is no God helps to appease their conscience in some way.

Others have experienced deep pain, sorrow and heartbreak in their lives. And many of them cannot understand why a good God would allow such things.

Even for the most devoted Christians, when tragedy strikes, faith is put into the salt-shaker.

No one can prove that God exists. Only evidences can be offered. I learned that early on. [Continue Reading...]

Will Durant on Jesus

Today I officially end my temporary blog break. Thanks for your patience.

Beginning tomorrow, I plan to publish a new series of posts entitled Answers to Skeptics.

Each post will give my answers to specific objections I’ve received in my conversations with those who do not yet know Jesus.

Today, I’d like to introduce the series by quoting renowned historian Will Durant. Durant, who was not a Christian, wrote the following incisive statement in The Story of Civilization, Vol III: Caesar and Christ.

“The Christian evidence for Christ begins with the letters ascribed to Saint Paul. Some of these are of uncertain authorship; several, antedating A.D. 64, are almost universally accounted as substantially genuine. No one has questioned the existence of Paul, or his repeated meetings with Peter, James, and John; and Paul enviously admits that these men had known Christ in his flesh. The accepted epistles frequently refer to the Last Supper and the Crucifixion…. The contradictions are of minutiae, not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ. In the enthusiasm of its discoveries the Higher Criticism has applied to the New Testament tests of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthies, for example Hammurabi, David, Socrates would fade into legend. Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus’ arrest, Peter’s denial, the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee, the references of some auditors to his possible insanity, his early uncertainty as to his mission, his confessions of ignorance as to the future, his moments of bitterness, his despairing cry on the cross; no one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so loft an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospel. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature of the history of Western man.”

Here are two posts I’ve written in the past that serve as a preface to the series:

Rethinking How We Present the Gospel

Why I’m a Christian

LikeWithBorder

A New Exercise

I’m currently on a blog break, and I plan to resume blogging next week. While I’m on the break, I thought I’d highlight some of my previous posts. Whether you have read this particular post or not, I think you’ll find the content enjoyable. So I’m happy to share it with you again. Join 25,000 others and subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a post.

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-pound potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can.

Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.

Each day you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-pound potato sacks. Then try 50-pound potato sacks, and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-pound potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (Our Blog Manager is at this level presently.)

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.

Updated:

Mediography

Discography

Darin Hufford

Darin Hufford – the author of the excellent book, The Misunderstood God – is a dear brother and a friend of mine.

For sometime now, Darin has been struggling with a serious illness. I was in communication with him when I learned about it and referred him to some friends of mine who have experience in medicine. It seems, however, that the situation has only grown worse.

Very recently, I received the horrible news that Darin was in critical condition and his vitals were shutting down. In short, he has been close to death’s door.

On a personal level, I’ve been deeply troubled by this as I care for this brother and don’t want to see him lost to us so soon. The prayers of many of God’s people have gone forth on behalf of Darin Hufford and his family.

Here are some very encouraging updates of late: [Continue Reading...]

Which Bible?

I’m currently on a blog break. While I’m on the break, I thought I’d highlight some of my most popular posts from when I first began blogging. Whether you have read these particular posts or not, I think you’ll find the content helpful. So I’m happy to share them with you again. Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a post.

Rethinking the Kingdom of God

I’m currently on a blog break. While I’m on the break, I thought I’d highlight some of my most popular posts from when I first began blogging. Whether you have read these particular posts or not, I think you’ll find the content helpful. So I’m happy to share them with you again. Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a post.

In 2009, I wrote two blog posts on the Kingdom of God. One was an interview, the other an essay.

Click the links below to check them out.

Kingdom Confusion: Part I

Kingdom Confusion: Part II

Never Make This Email Mistake

A Minneapolis couple decided to travel to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier.

Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day.

The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room. He decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address. And without realizing his error, he sent the email.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her email expecting messages from family and friends.

After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow’s son rushed into the room and found his mother on the floor passed out. He looked at the computer which read:[Continue Reading...]

Anyway

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Be good anyway.[Continue Reading...]

On Being Italian

Here’s an old Italian joke that I like. My fellow Pizons will appreciate it. :-)

An old Italian man lived alone in upstate New York. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vinnie,

I’m pretty upset. It looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. The ground is just too hard. I know if you were here you would dig it for me. Oh well. Maybe in the future.

Love,

Papa

[Continue Reading...]