Thursday, April 19, 2018

Logic and the Bible

Some people are intimidated by discussions about logic, there is no need for that. We use it all the time. Obviously, most of us do not get formal with it, we just reason our way through problems, play games, and so forth. Although logic discussions can use notations similar to those of algebra, the letters are shorthand and make sense.


Jason Lisle discusses three basic laws and how logic is biblically based.
Credit: Freeimages / Aleksandra P.
There are some things about logic that may seem surprising. Laws of logic are intangible, like numbers. If you write "5" or "law of identity" on a board, then erase it, the number or law does not cease to exist. Logic is actually a reflection of the mind of God, and we use it because we are created in his image. Without God, then logic, numbers, and science would be impossible! Dr. Jason Lisle explains the three main laws of logic and their biblical basis in this article.
Laws of logic are the rules of correct reasoning.  They reflect the way God thinks and the way we must think if we are to think correctly.  Laws of logic are also called “rules of inference.”  Correct reasoning can never violate a law of logic.  There are many laws of logic.  But three are considered the most basic or primary.  Let’s examine these three and how they stem from the mind of God.
I'd be much obliged if you'd read the rest. Just click on "The Biblical Basis for the Laws of Logic". Also, you may want to look at a previous post on how using logic is a moral obligation, "Logical Thinking and the Christian". If you have a notion to read up on some logical fallacies (atheists and evolutionists use these to manipulate Christians and creationists quite frequently), click on "Logic Lessons".



Thursday, April 12, 2018

Is Christianity Fading Away?

There was a time when church-going had the appearance of being respectable, even if people were insincere about their beliefs. Today, there is open contempt for Christianity, and atheists claim that their numbers are increasing. However, that is a bit difficult to tell, because sometimes not even atheists know the meaning of atheism, such as "Christian atheists". Those folks seem a mite confused, don't you think?

In addition, hardcore atheists like to claim that the increase of "nones" in surveys mean that they are "winning". Not hardly! "None" means not affiliated with a particular religion or denomination; it does not mean a rejection of God. I'll let you in on something: I left the church I was attending because of what I considered their "stealth creationism" — they believed in it, but didn't want to be "labeled". This area has apostate churches or strange gatherings, so this child is, by some measure, a "none"!

Christianity is growing despite the efforts of atheist regimes, Mohammedans, and secularists. We have received persecution, and it is on the increase. Persecution has happened from the beginning. In the United States, we've had it comparatively soft, and people have become lackadaisical in their theology.

Bible believing churches are getting stronger
Credit: Unsplash / Ben White
Yes, we see many church buildings in Western countries repurposed or outright closed. People are leaving mainstream liberal denominations. Why? One big reason is that young people are not given much reason to stay. That is, they are not being given answers to their questions, and their parents are not exactly being inspiring in their professions of faith. Do they talk the talk, or walk the talk? The truth is, Christianity in these here United States is still alive. Churches that practice what they preach, and teach that the Bible is true from the beginning, are thriving. We can grow, and grow stronger.
We’re used to hearing that religion is dying in America, secularization is inevitable, and that young people are leaving the faith in droves. But a new Harvard research study has great news for Christians. Previous research typically focuses on the massive increase in the proportion of people who claim atheism or ‘no religion’. But these reports generally don’t address where the decline is happening. This new research demonstrates that the decline is in ‘moderate’ religion. So it turns out that ‘religion’ isn’t dying, but the differentiation between believer and unbeliever is becoming clearer.
To read the rest, click on "Christianity in America is not dying!"



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Those Specialized Christian Words

"Excuse me, Cowboy Bob, can you spare a moment?"

"Sure."

"I am concerned with your conduct a few moments ago. It was not consistent with some biblical principles."

"Thanks for bringing that to my attention. My sanctification in that area is rather lacking. Please pray for me."

Christians have their own specialized lingo
Credit: Pixabay / StockSnap
People have their own specialized words and terms in various places, and sometimes they seem to be speaking a somewhat different language. A mechanic can tell you what needed to be repaired on your vehicle, the sergeant gives instructions to the troops, my wife tells me what went on in her workplace, the cowboys on the ranch discuss work that is being done, Christians can write and talk to each other, and so on. Some use "regular" words that have entirely different meanings in various contexts, some words are unique for the people involved. Most of us, even as individuals, have lingo that needs to be explained to other folks.

For Christians, the basics of salvation are simple, but it is a lifetime journey to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). The Holy Spirit is leading, teaching, and convicting us, and the Word is absolutely essential for our growth. With that comes specialized vocabulary. 

Even definitions are important. For example, if someone says, "I believe that God is the Creator", he may not mean six-day recent creation, but instead could believe in the false teaching of "evolutionary creation". Define creation. Also, if you ask a Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Roman Catholic, and a Southern Baptist if Christ is the only way to salvation, they would all probably answer in the affirmative. Define Christ, salvation, only way. In both examples, clear definitions can result in greatly different responses.

It is interesting to see remarks from "former Christians" (even some who have claimed to be pastors) who display no understanding of the Bible or Christian terminology. "I went to a church for years..." If that person really went, I wonder if he or she paid any attention, or if the pastor believed the Bible in the first place.

So, Bible believers do their studying and have fellowship, but have to be careful of how they address spiritual things to unbelievers. For one thing, they are unable to understand the deeper things (1 Cor. 2:14, 2 Cor. 4:4, John 8:44). However, we are commanded to spread the gospel (Matt. 28:18-20) and be ready to talk to someone who asks us (1 Peter 3:15). When that happens, we must avoid as much Christianese as we can so we don't confuse people.


via GIPHY

Many professing Christians are nominal, giving intellectual assent to the principles of the faith, but not having an adequate understanding of them. Dr. Jason Lisle has a very helpful article for all of us.
The Christian says, “You need to repent and trust in Jesus for salvation.”  The unbeliever responds, “Salvation from what?  Why would I need Jesus?”  The Christian then says, “You need to be born again to be saved from your sins.  Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.  His blood will atone for sin, and you can be justified and sanctified before God.  The alternative is an eternity in hell.”  The unbeliever responds, “I am basically a good person.  I don’t think a loving God would send me to hell.”

Perhaps you have heard, or even been a part of, such a conversation.  Christians have a tendency to use certain “religious” terms that are either directly from Scripture, or which are used as shorthand to describe a biblical principle (such as the ‘Trinity’).  There is nothing wrong with this.  However, it can be a problem in communicating with unbelievers.  Christians tend to assume that unbelievers understand such terms, but that is often not the case.  Even Christians sometimes misunderstand certain biblical terms.  We here examine, define, and explain some of the more important biblical terms that are helpful in understanding the Gospel.   We will include relevant verses that shed light on these terms.
I hope you'll read the rest of the article, and possibly save the link for later reference. To do either or both, click on "The Problem of Religious Language".