Church Authority

Over the years in church I have seen a great deal of debate over the topic of church authority. Is it right for people to have authority over other people in the church context? Is a paid priest/minister Biblically sound? What Biblical instruction is given on this topic? These are my personal Bible study notes on the topic.

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Trials Bible Study

Trials are a challenge to our faith. It is difficult for us to accept that God would allow us to suffer, and not heal when we pray for healing. What does the Bible say about suffering, and the basis for our trust in God in the face of human suffering?

These are my personal Bible study notes.

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The Other Kind of Faith

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Atheists see blind faith as being the prime domain of religion, and the exact opposite of the scientific method; a phenomenon that hinders the advancement of the collective knowledge of humanity.

A Catholic priest who later became an atheist, Frank O’Meara said “Blind Faith is believing with an overdose of credulity someone or something suffering from a serious shortage of credibility, which is why we equate it with Blind Folly.” Frank O’Meara blogs about his experiences in the Catholic church and his own eventual fall from faith.

How would a Christian respond to the criticism of “blind faith”? Is blind faith truly an essential virtue in the life of a Christian? Alternatively, must modern Christianity seek some sort of fragile meld of faith and science, cherry-picking the best bits from each? Can such an approach ever be authentic, or to get to the crux, the truth?

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.

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