Law and Grace Personal Notes

These are my personal notes on the topic of law and grace.

There is a wide variety of thoughts going around in Christianity about the status of "law" since the inception of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Some say that since we're saved by faith alone, then seeking to "keep the law" in any way amounts to legalism and denying God's grace. Others say that a life of faith in Christ demands a fundamental change in the way we live our lives. Some atheists criticise Christians for not being distinguishable morally from a secular person (e.g. divorce rate among Christians being much the same as that for atheists).

It's a big topic to figure out exactly what apostle Paul meant about justification through faith and grace (especially in Romans, Galatians and Ephesians), in light of the many Biblical exhortations to a life of pure living and commandment-keeping.

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I Think, Therefore God Is

We probably all know the phrase, “I think, therefore I am”, even if we can’t remember who said it and what exactly they meant. If the 17th century could have memes, then this line by René Descartes must count as one of the world’s best. Descartes said that his thoughts were themselves satisfactory proof of his own existence, in the face of philosophical doubt about the nature of reality.

Now, I’m interested in Descartes’ premise, “I think”, but with a different conclusion in mind. In the modern context of the debate between Christianity and atheism, “I think” is a profound premise for Christianity.

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Thoughts on “The Greatest Show On Earth”

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One visitor commented that, if I’m really interested in a better understanding of the creation/evolution debate, I should read “The Greatest Show On Earth” by Richard Dawkins*. It’s a good idea for a Christian of this era to have a working knowledge of evolution. Given that Richard Dawkins has gone to the trouble to write the book to make the essentials of evolutionary theory accessible to the everyday person, this book is a good chance to hear it argued by a passionate advocate of atheism.

Young-Earth Creationism and “No Death Before the Fall”

Young-earth creationists teach that the doctrine of “no death before the fall” is an important argument for a young earth. That means, they say, that before Adam and Eve’s first sin of taking from the forbidden tree, there was no death of animals. Consequently they see the fossil record as presenting a problem for old-earth creationism: there couldn't have been millions of years of death before that first sin took place. Is this Biblically sound?

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Young Earth Creationism and the Plain Meaning of the Bible

One of the arguments of young earth creationists, in defence of young earth creationism vs old earth creationism, is that YEC stays faithful to the “plain meaning of scripture”. They say, any other variety of creationism is a compromise that leads inevitably to loss of faith. I admire the desire to stay faithful to God’s pure word. For that reason, I was once attracted to Young Earth in the first place. However, now I think that the “plain meaning of scripture” is actually something other than what YEC thinks.

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