Summary: Praises to the Lord for the many blessings he's given and that I've received. Truly I don't deserve such a prosperous life, but it has been given freely to me.
Before we get started today I have some prayer requests for my readers. First I'd like to ask for prayers for my friend Amiri Ally Mdee. He is 19 years old and lives in Tanzania, a country ravaged by AIDS and poverty. Please pray for him and his mother. Pray that their needs are met, and that they would prosper in the loving care of the blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Please also pray for a missionary named David, he is an indigenous missionary to his people in India. I can't be more specific than that given security concerns, but it is related to the work of spreading the gospel. Pray that David is strengthened and encouraged in his efforts. Pray that his food, water, and shelter needs are met. Most importantly pray that God speaks boldly through David, and that the hearts of the people hearing him would be turned to the gospel and the blessed Lord Jesus Christ. And finally, one more prayer request, much closer to home. Please pray for my dear friend Kyle S. who struggles with drug addiction. He's an old friend who I've stayed in contact with. Please pray that his heart is turned to Jesus Christ, and that he would choose a life of recovery from drugs and alcohol. Pray that he would step into a new phase of hope, healing, and flourishing in life in liberty from addiction. Thank you very much. I pray for these three people a great deal, but I know your prayers as well could help swing the balance. Actually I have one more prayer request: Please pray for my friend John M. He has cancer and needs a bone marrow transplant. Please pray for powerful healing through the Holy Spirit, and pray for his wife Tina and her children, that the Spirit of the Lord would be close to them in this difficult time.
Praises to the Lord for the many blessings he's given and that I've received. Truly I don't deserve such a prosperous life, but it has been given freely to me. It has been two years and three months now since I was the slave of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and self destruction. Thankfully in God's mercy he directed me to call on Jesus Christ for help, and his help came swiftly. Back in October 2012 I had nothing. No job, no car, dropped out of college, depressed and addicted. God has moved me from that, to a new day. Recovery through twelve step groups. Then college at Liberty University. Then ministry opportunities. This blog. Eventually being hired at the Salvation Army homeless shelter. And now preparing for a two year ministry internship in preparation for a career in the SA as a minister. All thanks to Jesus Christ answering a call for help. Praise be to God.
So today, as we often do here, I'd like to build a case. Let's see how we can approach the truth claims of Christianity from an interdisciplinary approach.
I like to look at Christianity from several different angles. Those angles are logic (specifically logical fallacies), history (tests for historicity), mathematics (statistical probability), and science (astronomy, fine-tuning). Those are the primary approaches I like to make to the claims of the Christian faith. Secondary approaches that I also like to make are in the areas of empirical verification (adherence to reality), textual criticism (biblical document credibility), archaeology (discoveries verifying recorded history), philosophy (the teachings of Jesus Christ in practice), and personal experience (how I've witnessed life first hand).
I'm not going to dive too far into any one area of verification today, but at least browse through some of the major areas of inquiry.
First up, logic. Many have claims that challenge the validity of Christianity. Let's look at four major objections and see if they are logically coherent. There are certainly others, but these are some I've dealt with more recently:
1. "I don't believe in God, and I don't believe in unicorns or leprechauns either!"
2. "Yeah Christians are so great, but their priests are pedophiles. Bunch of nasty pedophiles."
3. "Your view on homosexuality says it all. Christians are bigots."
4. "Christianity has caused so much destruction in the past, like the crusades and the inquisition."
1. The first objection is a sort of combination of two fallacies. The first is a logical fallacy called "ad hominem." What it means is the person challenging the claim is throwing out insults instead of answering the argument. In addition I would say that the objector is committing a logical fallacy we might call "appealing to absurdity." This is a false appeal where the person appeals to the "absurd notion of a czar of the heavens" instead of making a logical argument. Claiming something is absurd is not an argument, it's a variation on "ad hominem."