In 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, the Apostle Paul highlights a central message he preached and taught, something he describes as "of first importance." This central, driving message for Paul was the gospel. In Paul's own words, this gospel is
...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third dayaccording to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
One thing I want us to notice is how provable - or falsifiable - Paul's main message is! Paul is basically asking us to fact-check his message. And when we do so (using this passage in 1 Corinthians, and the Gospel accounts, for e.g.) we discover that Jesus' death was public, his burial was public, and his resurrection appearances were (you guessed it!) public. All of these things really happened!
Michael Patton and Reclaiming the Mind ministries have drawn attention to this as well in this post. I ran across this graphic recently (see below, and here's the source) that contrasts the historic "provability" of Christianity with the "privateness" behind the revelation and beginnings of other world religions. A bit simplified? Perhaps. (Pictures usually are, by the way.) But helpful nonetheless.
If you want to read a bit more about this, I encourage you to check out the post at the Reclaiming the Mind blog where I found this, and where they develop this further.
I'm grateful for the work Michael Patton and Reclaiming the Mind ministries are doing to promote strong foundations on which Christians can grow. (A driving priority of the Brookside Institute as well!) I encourage you to keep an eye on what they're doing!
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is too-easily neglected, often out of some supposed belief that it is largely an abstraction, and carries little relevance for the day-to-day Christian life. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here's a sampling of some of the things I've been reading and reviewing this week. The hope is that these bite-sized sections of books, articles, blog posts, etc will stand on their own and be beneficial (or at least thought-provoking!) in-and-of-themselves. But I also hope that some of you will like these excerpts enough that they pull you into the larger work from which they've been taken.
Let's start sampling:
Design Points to a Designer: A worthwhile (and short!) video on the fine-tuning of the universe.
Last session in our Apologetics class on Sunday afternoons, we responded to this question: Does God Exist? And Does it Matter? As part of that, we looked at some of the traditional "arguments" that cumulatively make the case for God's existence: the ontological argument (getting to God from the very idea of God itself), the cosmological argument (getting to God from origins), the teleological argument (getting to God from design), the moral argument (getting to God from "ought"), etc.
In talking about the teleological argument, I ran across this great video at William Lane Craig's site, Reasonable Faith. The video is less than 7 minutes long, and does a good job at making a case for God from design in a way that is both accessible and appropriately thorough. Check it out:
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