I am exploring fifteen ways thoughtful believers saw the world before the Enlightenment, and how we see the world now. C. S. Lewis draws these distinctions masterfully in his writings. I believe this is one reason why his books and articles are so engaging and enduring. He is on to something, and we intuitively know it.
We are all tempted to be chronological snobs, assuming what is fashionable to believe during our day and age must be right. This means we also assume those of previous times, who have different ideas and values, must be wrong. C.S. Lewis was able to resist this temptation. He stands as a model of how we might do the same, and how doing so will be a great benefit to us.
Last week I shared that recently two ministry leaders asked me for input (one on a book he is writing and another on a speaker he is hosting). I had bad news for them. This week I’ll share the email I sent to my friend writing the book on doing business as a Christian (removing any identifying features). I hope that you will more easily spot this unChristian assumption, bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment, and now so deeply entrenched in our culture that it is often hard to resist.
Recently two Christian leaders asked for my advice, and I had to give them some bad news. This week and next I’ve decided to share with you my advice (removing names and other identifying information). I do so to surface again how insidious and pervasive non-Christian thought patterns are in our culture, and how easy it is for us, if we are not vigilant, to begin thinking “unChristianly” about important issues, rather than thinking Christianly about everything.
One of the best ways to learn something is listening to others with different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. We often gain insights in our quest for truth only after their “outside” input. This is because we need one another to fill out our understanding and correct our errors. This is certainly the case as we wrestle with the question of predestination or free will.
In my last post I concluded, “[I]n order to help one another flourish, we must determine whether Libertarianism or Essentialism is the correct way to understand what we are. Understanding this clarifies the questions we should be asking and discussing. It determines how the data of experience should be interpreted. And it highlights the wrong questions both sides have been focusing upon.”
We cannot say we have fairly considered the issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ conversation without understanding and having good reasons why we embrace either the Libertarian or Essentialist views. Last week I discussed the Libertarian position. This week I’ll do the same for the Essentialist point of view.
We have seen that God has a very good reason to allow pain and suffering in the world—its possibility was the only way he could create us with true freedom and all that goes with it. But what about hurricanes, earthquakes, and diseases? Can God not limit these and still preserve human freedom? He can, but it seem there may be other morally sufficient reasons for him to permit these evils. I’ll offer an argument to this conclusion in the next few posts.
Some believe God exists, but he can’t do anything about pain and suffering. He is just not powerful enough. Others believe God exists, but he doesn’t want to do anything about pain and suffering. He is just not good enough. Both attempts to explain the existence of God given the reality of Evil are common. I also think they are both wrong.
It remains to apply the reasoning of the morality of abortion to three other reproductive technologies: embryonic stem cell research, genetic testing, and human cloning. Are there ever morally appropriate uses of these technologies? I believe so in one case, and not in the other two cases. Let me explain why.