Archives For Challenges

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“So, would you ever leave your faith?” That’s what I was asked. It had come out that I didn’t think evolution was plausible, and that I thought God better explained the facts.

My friend asked me, “So, what if evolution were proven? Would you leave?”

“Leave what”, I asked. “Christianity, or belief in God?” Continue Reading…

As America recovers from yet another massive natural disaster – or “act of God,” in insurance company lingo – the inevitable question resurfaces in Christian circles: Why is God crying? What is God angry about?  What did we do?

It’s a popular topic every time a storm hits, especially if it hits where we don’t live. Usually, the apparent target of God’s wrath is a particular situation or people group about which the person claiming clarity happens to feel very strongly (“It’s the abortion doctor! It’s because of international policies! It’s the greedy Wall Street 1%! It’s evolution in our schools! It’s for someone with whom I am displeased!”) There’s quite a list that gets generated in the aftermath of a disaster like Hurricane Sandy. Apparently, God has lots of options.

This is not new information. Even Jesus pointed out that the net we cast for sin gathers in quite a large catch.  Jesus was once asked if a tower’s collapse in Siloam was a judgment from God on a particularly bad group of people.  Jesus’ response: 

“Do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? No! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:4-5) 

If we are trying to figure out who deserves judgment, we should start with ourselves. Many Christians today don’t cast the net as widely as Jesus did.  Like those who observed the tower of Siloam fall and assumed God was not pleased with a particular target group, Frankenstorm clearly means God is seriously upset with a particular target group, right?  “Thank God it’s not me!” (said all those who lived far enough away).

This perspective blatantly ignores the perspective of Jesus. If Hurricane Sandy is for some, it’s deserved by all. Ignoring that fact is bad enough, but there is a more fundamental question that needs to be addressed: Does God use natural disasters to punish America? Continue Reading…

On October 27, 2012, Grand Valley Secular Alliance hosted a debate on the topic: “Does the Christian God exist?”

The debate took place at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI.

Presenting the affirmative position, Scott Smith of TC Apologetics.
Presenting the negative position, Justin Schieber of Reasonable Doubts.

Format:

  • 15 minute opening statements
  • 8 minute responses
  • 5 minute responses
  • 2 minute closings
  • Open Q&A
(For audio only, click here to listen online or download and listen offline.)

If you’re a creationist, you presuppose the veracity of the bible.

If you’re a naturalist, you presuppose the nonexistence of the supernatural.

What happens when you set aside presuppositions and merely look at the evidence? When it comes to the topic of the universes’s origin, a number of models have been proposed. For simplicity’s sake, they have historically fallen in two camps. Up until the middle of the twentieth century, most of humanity had assumed that the universe has always existed. It had no beginning, and quite possibly will have no end. For most in the science community, that view crumbled quickly as evidence for the Big Bang mounted. Continue Reading…

Jesus never claimed to be God

Scott Smith —  February 2, 2012 — 1 Comment

  • How can we claim Jesus is God when he never made the statement about himself?
  • If Jesus knew there were people calling him divine, he would roll over in his grave.
  • Jesus would be horrified to see us viewing him as more than a teacher, let alone deity.

This is the challenge. Jesus never claimed to be God, so why are we forcing that on the text? The fact is, it doesn’t take a scholar to see who Jesus thought he was. Following are a few examples of things Jesus said and did, as well as things Jesus permitted, which constitute direct evidence of his message that he was God. You may believe or not, but there is no doubt as to Jesus’ beliefs on the matter.

Continue Reading…