Questions (and Answers) for Creationists

Two weeks ago, I wrote my response to a booklet I found in my church called Questions for Evolutionists from the Creation Research Society and edited by Theodore J. Siek. This is part #2 from that post as I write my reflection to the other creationist booklet I found that day, Questions for Creationists: Must Christians Choose Between Science and the Bible? (Click here to follow along in the booklet or read it on your own. This PDF has been shared with the permission of the Creation Research Society.) Continue reading “Questions (and Answers) for Creationists”

Creationists’ Questions for Evolutionists

Finally, the day has arrived: my last church service of the summer! The fact that I can choose not to attend church at college is something that I take for granted when I’m there, and next week I’ll be talking about other reasons why I’m so ready to return even though it’s a Christian college. For now, however, I can’t help but share something that I found in my church this morning: booklets on evolution and creation made by the Creation Research Society.

Continue reading “Creationists’ Questions for Evolutionists”

Bible Study Notes: The Trinity

If you happen to be familiar with the church year, then you know that last week, June 11th, was Trinity Sunday. On Trinity Sunday, some Christian churches recite the Athanasian Creed, which is a thorough description of the immanent workings of the Triune God as well as the nature of Jesus as god and man. My church’s vicar, who is essentially acting as pastor while the pastor is away, gave the congregation the week following Trinity Sunday to submit any questions that we had about the Trinity so that he could address their questions in this week’s bible study. Continue reading “Bible Study Notes: The Trinity”

Playing with Fire

I had a post in mind that I was going to write for today, but something happened this morning that I instantly knew I would have to write about instead. I was sitting bored in church when the sermon started and the vicar began making remarks about “unbelievers” and the “secular world.” I immediately scrambled for a pencil and a paper, and I started taking notes.

If you’ve read my posts Bible Study Notes and God Works in Mysterious Ways, you might remember my discussions of the weird teachings of my church’s new pastor. Right now he’s away for a couple weeks as his wife has had or is about to have their eighth child Continue reading “Playing with Fire”

Bible Study Notes: The Fall

Last week, I wrote about an insane bible study lead by my church’s new pastor. As it turns out, this guy is a pot of gold when it comes to blog content. Having moved home for the summer yesterday, I’m in for quite a few more bible studies from him, and in terms of ridiculousness, today’s did not disappoint.

For a few years, I’ve been in the habit of taking notes during sermons and bible studies at church, simply out of sheer amazement of the unbelievable things that are often said. Continue reading “Bible Study Notes: The Fall”

God Works in Mysterious Ways

It is a common argument against Christian thought that scripture calls for us to not question God when he does something we do not understand. This can apply to times that God does not save those who are suffering, times in the bible in which Jesus performs miracles that are impossible in the natural physical world, or times when God does not answer prayers. Admitting that there is no way to comprehend God’s means or reasons for doing what he does is an easy way for Christians to come to terms with this cognitive dissonance, but I like to give them the benefit of the doubt. The majority of Christians that I’ve met are not stupid people. Some questionable logic is generally necessary for reconciling various fantastical claims in scripture that can clash with our reasonable, observable conclusions, but it doesn’t stop believers from doing their best to apply logic to these situations.

Continue reading “God Works in Mysterious Ways”

A Look at a Lutheran Doctrine

Some questions that atheists and skeptics are commonly asked are “Why do you only criticize certain religions?” or “What do you have against Christianity specifically?” For me, the answer is that Christianity is by far the most popular religion in the United States, and I see it everywhere, whether it is at home, at school, or out in public. Specifically, my family are members and leaders in different congregations of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, or LCMS.

The LCMS is the second largest branch of the Lutheran Church, and it has almost 2.1 million baptized members (including me). I’ve grown up with the ultra-conservative LCMS teachings since I was a baby, but until about last week, I dared not read into the details of its doctrine. After reading for a while on Wikipedia, I came across A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod, a concise but clear summary of LCMS teachings written by Franz August Otto Pieper in 1932. I want to highlight some sections of the Statement that thoroughly dumbfounded me and truly left me at a loss for words, especially knowing that my own family and many of our close friends actually believe these ideas. Continue reading “A Look at a Lutheran Doctrine”