As Islamists continue to kill innocents, they provide more fuel for the oft-made atheist claim that religion is evil. Atheist Richard Dawkins condemned the recent attacks in France by tweeting, "No, all religions are NOT equally violent. Some have never been violent; some gave it up centuries ago. One religion conspicuously didn't."
Dawkins is right that some religions and religious people have consistently perpetrated evil. Atheists often use this fact to support atheism. However, the existence of evil turns out to be a bigger problem for atheists to explain than for theists. The kind of evil Dawkins and the rest of the civilized world abhor doesn't disprove God—it disproves atheism.
While it's commonly thought that only theists have to explain the existence of evil, the truth is every worldview does. Eastern pantheistic religions try to get around the problem by denying that evil even exists. Evil is an illusion, they say (and according to them, so are you!). Theists say evil is real and try to explain how evil and God can coexist. Atheists tend to be caught in the middle. In one breath they are claiming there is no good, evil, or justice because only material things exist—we are just material molecular machines "dancing to the music" of our DNA (as Dawkins himself put it). In the next breath they are outraged at the great injustices and evil done by religious people in the name of God. more >>
In the Bible is a remarkable statement: "'Vengeance is Mine,' says the Lord, 'I will repay.'" This means that God's honor is not up to us to defend in the ultimate sense---not that we should not lovingly, graciously speak out when we can, if He is dishonored.
But this is a huge difference between the Christian and the Islamist. The Islamist is the radical Muslim committed to Islamic superiority and willing to kill for it. In effect, the Islamist says, "Vengeance is ours. We will repay."
It was Islamists that engaged in the infamous slaughter in Paris at the cartoon magazine offices. more >>
Note: This article is part 2 in a series on the Holy Spirit. The need to address revival and the vital role of the Holy Spirit is as relevant today as it has been throughout church history. It's my hope that readers consider the entire series before drawing conclusions. Part 1 can be viewed here: Do You Mock the Work of the Spirit? .
As stated last week, I, like many Christians, tend to be "safely" conservative when considering the power of the Holy Spirit; however, Scripture clearly supports the miraculous work of the Spirit today. I'm open but cautious. We need sound doctrine and the power of the Holy Spirit. But it is possible to be "Bible taught," but not "Spirit led"—straight as a gun barrel theologically, but just as empty. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:6).
Don't get me wrong, theological and expositional teachings are essential to Christian living, but how often are theology students encouraged to fast and pray as well as study? How often are they taught brokenness and repentance in addition to translating the Greek language? We can sometimes be more concerned about a Master's Degree than a degree from the Master. more >>
Theologian James Emery White questions whether many in America who so easily embraced the global outrage in the defense of freedom of expression as the result of the murderous attacks on the staff of Charlie Hebdo would be as quick to defend the rights of others to express moral standards different than their own.
In his blog post, "Are You Charlie?" White quotes Brian Pellot who reflected: "I do not consider myself racist, homophobic, Islamophobic or misogynistic. 'Being Charlie' doesn't mean being any of these things, despite what you think about the magazine's tact and tone. … As advocates for freedom of expression we must sometimes defend views we find repulsive. This doesn't require us to endorse them. In this case, we must protect what gunmen tried to kill, a satirical magazine some deem offensive. #JeSuisCharlie simply means, 'I defend freedom of expression.'"
White then responds: "Yes. But it's easy to side with such a sentiment when it comes to the exercise of free press in the face of senseless terrorism which seeks to silence it. It's not so easy when it comes to allowing people to live by convictional standards that seemingly draw into question your own." more >>
David Oyelowo brings Martin Luther King, Jr. to life on the big screen in this historical drama. This is a movie that should be seen by everyone, and is produced by Oprah Winfrey. His faith in God drives the movie in a direction never seen before.
Some may not know the full story of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a good time to catch up and learn about what this man stood for in this incredible film. It can be seen now in all theaters in the U.S. After seeing this movie it will help you understand what David means when he says God greatly helped him with this role.
This is one extraordinary movie you do not want to miss! more >>
Pope Francis has said that his continued criticism of the global financial system is not because he supports Communism, but because of Jesus' call for Christians to serve the poor. The Vatican meanwhile is set to publish a report titled "This Economy Kills," highlighting the damage that the world economy brings to impoverished populations.
"Jesus affirms that you cannot serve two masters, God and wealth," Francis said Sunday in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa. "Is it pauperism? No, it is the Gospel."
"Jesus tells us that it is the 'protocol' on the basis of which we will be judged, it is what we read in Chapter 25 of Matthew: I had hunger, I had thirst, I was in prison, I was sick, I was naked and you helped me: dressed me, visited me, you took care of me." more >>