Guest Post

The Wizard of Westwood

2

I hope you enjoy the guest post today by our friend, Ronald Rodriguez, from over at Bearveracity.com. After you finish reading this post feel free to go poke around his blog.

___________________________________

John Wooden is referred to as the Wizard of Westwood and is most commonly known as coach to many for being a teacher and mentor in so many ways. First and foremost, let’s get to know how his journey as a coach.

It all started in his playing career at Purdue University, where Wooden was an All-American basketball player for three consecutive years (1930-1932) and won a Big Ten Western Conference medal for athletic and scholastic excellence.

Wooden would start coaching high school basketball in Kentucky and in Indiana thereafter, before he entered the United States Navy in 1943. Through World War II, he served as a physical education instructor. Following WWII, he was the head basketball coach and athletic director at the then Indiana State Teacher’s College now known as Indiana State University from 1946 to 1948.

Wooden was appointed as head coach of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he achieved average success over the first fourteen seasons. However, with his foundation of success implemented, UCLA went on to win 10 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships over a span of twelve years (1964-65, 1967-73, and 1975).

Numerous UCLA basketball athletes, which played under Coach Wooden, became basketball stars playing professionally for various franchises in the National Basketball Association – most notably, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, and Gail Goodrich.

When Coach Wooden retired in 1975, his record at UCLA was 620 wins and 147 losses, which garners a .808 winning percentage. Through his whole forty year coaching career, he gained a record of 885 wins and 203 losses, which gives him a winning percentage of .813. Some of Wooden’s most notable achievements were set at UCLA, where his teams set two record setting winning streaks. The first was 88 victories over a four year span, and a 38 consecutive wins in the NCAA tournament.

Through Coach Wooden’s coaching career, he was named the NCAA’s College Basketball   Coach of the Year on six separate occasions (1964, 1967, 1969-70, 1972-1973). He was the first person to be elected, both as a player and as a coach, to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Since then, he has an award named after him, The John R Wooden Award that is gives recognition to the nation’s most outstanding player based on a media poll.

Coach Wooden has written two books based on the lessons he learned though his coaching career. The first is titled Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court (1997). His second book is titled Wooden on Leadership (2005).

I have a goal to one day have something in common with Coach Wooden, but it is not related to his coaching success. Rather, it is his passion and love for a particular book. John Wooden once declared that “everyone should drink deeply from great books; especially the Bible,” he has added that “I have always read the Bible…It was a habit I enjoyed very much. I don’t say that with any degree of pride. It was a habit of love, not one of requirement or drudgery. It wasn’t just something to do, it was never a chore, and I enjoyed it.

Think about it. Despite his run of multiple NCAA championships, fame, recognition, and respect from numerous talented and respected individuals, in their own right, he declares that the Bible is the most important thing in his life. Not because its required or out of calamity, but simply out of his love for the Bible, and I am sure, more importantly, for the one he loves the most – Jesus.

Those that looked up to him and called him Coach defiantly saw the true test of love exalted through Coach Wooden:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Do you get the same enjoyment from reading the Bible daily as Coach Wooden? And do you exemplify the Bible’s definition of love?

Your answers are a private matter between you and God, but that doesn’t mean to simply forget about it. No matter where you are in your walk, it’s always a good fight to grow and mature. I challenge you, and myself, to fight the good fight in falling in love with Him even deeply.

One Million, One Dollar Apologists

2

Thanks for tuning in to “Apologetic Wednesday” for this week. We have a thought provoking article by our friend Greg West. He does some amazing things to further the intellectual side of Christianity. If you haven’t checked out the resources he brings to the table you definitely should. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and at www.thepoachedegg.net.

There have been quite a few articles written on the need for apologetics as of late, but just in case you’ve not read any (or enough) of them, this happens to be another one.

My pastor always says that every Christian who thinks about God (which should be all of us) is a theologian; I believe that every Christian who thinks about the reasons why we believe that Christianity is true (which, again, should be all of us) is an apologist.

Now I’m not saying this means that every Christian needs earn a degree in theology and apologetics, but what I am saying is that every Christian should at least know some of the basic reasons for why we should believe the truth claims of Christianity, because if our faith is not built upon a solid foundation, then like the man who built his house upon the sand, our house of ‘blind faith’ will fall with a great crash!

You might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t need to have reasons for my faith because my faith is already strong”. If that’s the case, then it’s very possible that you are confusing the biblical concept of faith with how the world sees faith—as belief without evidence. Faith, in the biblical context is simply reliance, or trusting in God. Never in the whole of scripture are we told or asked to believe or trust God without evidence, or to have ‘blind faith’. Jesus asked his disciples to believe in him, but he also gave them many reasons to believe in him—his fulfillment of prophecy, his miracles, and most of all—his bodily resurrection from the dead!

When I was a teenager, having been raised in the church and in a solid Christian home, I had as much zeal for Christ as anyone. I was even planning to attend Bible College and study for the ministry. To make a long story short, circumstances kept me from entering college right away, and by the time I was in my mid-twenties I had become a professing agnostic who had no reasons to believe that Christianity was any more or less true than any other religion, or no religion at all for that matter. I spent more than ten years as an agnostic before I began to discover the reasons for faith and finally rededicated my life to following Jesus Christ.

My story is even more common today, where according to the statistics gathered from several independent studies, 50 to 70 percent of young people (or even more) are waving goodbye to Christianity by the time they reach their mid-twenties, and the majority of those will never return. Having reasons to believe, or learning apologetics, helps us have a more confident faith, not just for our own edification when adversity comes along, which it most certainly will—but it can also help us build up other believers who are struggling with doubt.

Another of the many reasons we need to learn apologetics is so that we can have more confidence when sharing our faith. One of the most common excuses Christians give for not sharing their faith with non-Christians is fear; fear of not having the answers to tough questions. I can tell you from experience that having answers for some of the most common objections to Christianity will give you more confidence to witness than you’ve ever had before—not confidence to win arguments, which should never be our goal, but confidence for sharing Christ, and helping unbelievers overcome obstacles to placing their faith in him.

It’s possible that you might already be familiar with some of today’s great Christian thinkers and apologists such as, William Lane Craig, Paul Copan, and Gary Habermas, just to name a few—but if you’re not familiar with any of these or others, then you should look them up and begin investigating the many reasons and evidences for Christianity that they have to offer.

Among others, the three I just mentioned would be what I would consider to be, ‘Million Dollar Apologists’. These guys are so smart that it makes my brain hurt just thinking about it. They’ve spent most of their lives learning to defend and commend the Christian faith. If you’re looking for answers to tough questions about Christianity, these guys would be on the ‘dream team’ of go to guys—and by the way, I know I say ‘guys’ a lot, but there are plenty of other great apologists who happen to be women as well—it’s not a ‘men’s only’ club.

What do I mean by a ‘Million Dollar Apologist? Imagine that a million dollar theologian might be someone who could quote hundreds of Bible verses from memory, the one dollar theologian might only be able to quote John 3:16 and a just few others—which may not qualify you as a seminary professor, but it’s more than enough to be able to share the gospel.

These learned million dollar apologists are a wonderful thing to have around, and we could always use more, but what we really need more than more million dollar apologists is a million more, ‘one dollar apologists’ (a term coined by J. Warner Wallace, founder of PleaseConvinceMe.com), and a million more on top of that and a million more… well, you get the idea.

If you, like most of us, fall into the category of one dollar theologians, you wouldn’t any Bible verses at all if you’ve never studied scripture. It’s the same with apologetics—you’ll never learn if you don’t study, and no one needs a degree or a desire to earn one to be able to study, and if you’ve never attempted studying apologetics and find it an intimidating, there are about a gazillion introductory level articles and books out there. A few great places where you can start online are, PleaseConvinceMe.com, Apologetics315.com, www.ThePoachedEgg.net (shameless plug), and of course, Josh Fults’ own Apologetics Wednesday column right here on Walk Good.

I challenge you to start learning today!

 

Man’s Innate Desire to Worship – By Ronald Rodriguez

2

Today we have a guest post by Ronald Rodriguez. He has his own blog called “Bear Veracity.” Want to know why it is titled as such? Guess you will have to pay him a visit and find out. Hope you enjoy his writing today. Leave him some thoughts on the post and make him feel good. Blessings and walk good!

 

There are many old-time favorite shows that we all hold dear and have many fond memories that take us back to different moments in our lives. I might be a young man, but I really loved watching numerous classics as a young child like the Andy Griffin Show, I love LucyThe Little House On The Prairie and so many other others.

I am certain that we all have a favorite episode of one of these old-time series that we can say taught us something. Well, that is the case for me at least because I can still remember one episode of The Little House on the Prairie due to what I learned from it.

In this particular episode, Pa was working hard to grow the crops like usual. The amount of work he did was normal as it was hard to make a living out on the frontier. I mention this because one night came as the family was asleep; Pa was awakened by lightning and thunder. Of course, he looked outside to see what was going on, to see a hailstorm hammering his crops. Seeing this, he immediately put on his hat and jacket and ran out to the field. With this going on, Ma immediately started to pray. Mary looked through the window while Laura tried to get around her to see Pa out in the dark trying to save the crops. Pa finally came in right before dawn and gave the family the bad news that the entire crop was lost. These crops that he worked hard on for months had been lost in one night. Their whole livelihood was lost due to this one storm.

This is certainly a dramatic event in anyone’s life. This episode got me thinking what would I do in this situation?  What would you do in this situation? I pondered, would I complain? Would you? Or would your first reaction be to worship God? Or would you not worship Him because you do not believe in Him or believe He is a manmade concoction.

The first several questions I will not address, as I really want to discuss the later two more importantly. In regards to “would your first reaction be to worship God?” I suggest that all of us should turn to God in humility and gratefulness. Wait, you said what? Why? I say this because our lives of faith in God begin with worship. Let’s not forget that A.W. Tozer stated that worship is the main purpose of why we were created in His own image.

God created man is His own image for man to worship God more than anything else. Man is the only creation of God that He is able to use to admire Himself. Man is the only creation capable of fulfilling this role, because man is the mirror image of God. As a result, God looks upon man to see himself like a new father would look upon a new born child to see if the baby looks like him. The purpose and intent of God in creating man in His image was for man to reflect His glory. A.W. Tozer adds that “man’s supreme function through all eternity is to reflect God’s highest glory, and that God might look into the mirror called man and see His own glory shining there. Through man, God could reflect His glory to all creation.”

We all are a mirror image of Him, which is the reason why we were created. It is our purpose to make Him the centerpiece of our lives to fulfill our desire to worship. We were not created to make our work what we worship. We were not created to place our desire to worship into learning new things. We were not created solely to enjoy ourselves, even to indulge in the pure pleasures of life or for the thrills life brings.

Before we move forward it is important to evaluate the later question concerning that worship is not necessarily a Christian invention. This is stated because when cultures from around the world are studied, the majority – if not all of them – worship some form of deity. Thus, to say mans innate desire to worship is based on non-belief or false premises is an insufficient explanations. History shows us that every culture has found a way to worship their own deities in some form.

The Apostles taught that man has fallen, which destroyed the glory of God on earth. As a result, the reflection of God in man was broken. God is unable to look upon humankind and see His complete glory reflected due our sinful nature. This is a result of man’s failure to fulfill our created purpose to worship Him.  Man has forgotten his purpose and continues to stray away farther to find other things to fill that emptiness. If God is not in the heart of man, he will find something else to place there. Furthermore, if man does not enjoy worshiping God, he finds something else to worship.

We all have life experiences and seen others who decide not worship God and attempt to fill the void with something else. It could be boats, idolizing money, going to parties or so many other examples in our own lives, or that we have seen firsthand. Those that do not know what to do or do not want to acknowledge God always find something to replace Him, in an attempt to fulfill our innate desire to worship. Through this God becomes lost to the individual that replaces him with the numerous pleasures in life that man has invented. Those satisfied in mans own pleasures will always contest the existence of God. Many will argue how can a good God allow evil? Or over the meaning of life. 

The argument about the existence of God with people can become a never ending cycle. As a result, asking them why is it that man, which is on a planet, has a desire to worship a deity that is not on the planet? Is this simply a innate spiritual trait or is it simply the product of someone’s environment? If this is the case, why is there a desire in all men throughout the world to worship a deity?

Man does seek to worship simply because he was created to do so.  The chief concern in the matter is that man is also created with a free will. As a result, he is able to make his own decision to worship God or not. That single variable placed into the equation changes everything, and forces us to consider that deities can come in various forms, which man chooses from. Thus, we can choose to make anything from our house, our car or any other material possession, or even wealth into our own personal deity.

It is a must to examine man when considering his innate desire to worship. The examination is not limited to one nation or culture, but open to humankind. As a result, this examination is not bound by ethnicity, race, wealth, intelligence or any other category we could place an individual in. In addition, the issue that is being addressed is not a matter of art, literature, language, history, mathematics, or even science. The examination is a matter of basic concepts that are “devoted to the systematic examination of basic concepts such as truth, existence, reality, causality, and freedom.” Hence, the issue has been mans philosophical issue throughout its existence.

In addressing the issue of mans innate desire to worship, D.L. Moody wrote that “[p]hilosophers [have] agreed that even the most primitive races of mankind reach out beyond the world of matter to a superior Being. It is as natural for man to feel after God as it is for the ivy to feel after a support. Hunger and thirst drive man to seek for food, and there is a hunger of the soul that needs satisfying, too. Man does not need to be commanded to worship, as there is not a race so high or so low in the scale of civilization but has some kind of god. What he needs is to be directed aright.” This explicitly illustrates why man needs The Ten Commandments, particularly the first commandment.

This issue clearly illustrates the need for the first commandment. But why would God explicitly say who to worship? He has done this not to leave us ignorant or worshiping other objects, possessions, or people that we were not meant to worship. Furthermore, He knows that man has an innate desire to worship Him as man is created this way and searches to find his creator. But God understood that man needed to be explicitly told who to direct their desire to worship towards. This is the reason behind why God began the declaration with His own character, and demanded that He receive our exclusive recognition – when Moses received the ten commandments - saying ”I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3)

Why Apologetics?

12

Today, we have a guest post written by Eric Lloyd. He is passionate about apologetics and writes some thought provoking post on his blog called Stand Therefore. You can also find him on twitter. In this post, he gives us a threefold reason for the necessity of apologetics.

The Apologetics Statement of Purpose
To borrow from C.S. Lewis, “I believe in God like I believe in the sun. Not because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” [1] This, the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, is certain confirmation of our faith (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6). However those of us who are privileged with this confirmation, should not stagnate in it (Matthew 25:14-29). As Ravenhill once said, “If your desire is only to be saved, sanctified and satisfied, then the Lord’s battle hath no need of thee.” [2] The general purpose of the Christian then, and the Apologist in particular, is to join the battle in a threefold manner, by 1) Fortifying the foundations 2) Defending the faith and 3) Advancing the cause.

Fortifying the Foundations
To every believer the charge has been given; “earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Today, this charge may be of even more applicability than when originally penned. Inclusivism, relativism and loosely-held doctrines have done their part in creating a vaguely defined Christianity (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Thus the “once delivered faith” has become but a whisper, in a very large crowd. Therefore, the immediate purpose of the Apologist is within the camp. That is, to reaffirm the Christian identity as those who define themselves, their faith, and their lives according to Scripture. Apologists specifically should hold Scripture in the highest of regards, as it is the foundation of our faith (Psalm 11:3)

Defending the Faith
The Apologist must work in tandem with the Holy Spirit, to fulfill The Great Commission, while understanding that our purpose is not necessarily to bring everyone to Christ, but to bring Christ to everyone. For although we can engage one’s mind, it is only God who can open one’s heart. Therefore, the purpose of the Apologist is to find common ground with the unbeliever on which to convey the rationale for the Christian faith. The Gospel is never heard in isolation,  rather, “it is heard against the backdrop of the cultural atmosphere in which one lives” [3] Therefore, the broader purpose of the Apologist is to create a cultural atmosphere in which Christianity is no longer considered a blind belief, but a reasonable faith.

In hostile environments of intellectual resistance, the Apologist must thrive. As lofty opinions and falsely deemed “knowledge” continue to mount up against  the knowledge of God (1 Corinthians 15:58), the need for a defense steadily increases (1 Peter 3:15). When malevolent objections are raised against the Christian’s hope, it is the Apologist who should be prepared to answer. When doubt creeps into the mind of fellow believers, it is the Apologist who must be ready to comfort with reason. In the face of uncertainty, and in times of confusion, it is the Apologist who must be resolved, and he, after having done all to stand, must stand therefore.

Advance the Cause
Today’s growing secularism proceeds from the halls of the University. The naturalistic scientist, the atheistic philosopher, the “enlightened” historian and the liberal theologian effect future generations with every lecture given. Therefore, they are the mission field of the Apologist. Whether within the University or without, one of our primary purposes should be to challenge and overturn the atheistic paradigms that are increasingly advanced by secular scholarship. In this way, the Apologists may be able to reverse our Nation’s apostasy and return it to the principles, morals and Scripture on which it was founded.

Finally, the Apologist must be well-studied, ever prepared and always willing the give a defense for the hope that is in him (1 Peter 3:15). And we ultimately do this, not for our purposes, but to give glory and honor to the only wise God; for this, as we must understand, is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Endnotes

  1. Lewis, C.S., Is Theology Poetry
  2. Ravenhill, Leonard, Why Revival Tarries
  3. Craig, William Lane, Christian Apologetics: Who Needs It?  <http://www.reasonablefaith.org/christian-apologetics-who-needs-it>

Apologetic Wednesday: The Mystery of Stuff

11

Today, for Apologetic Wednesday, we are in for a bit of a treat. We have a guest post by Greg West. He runs an apologetics hangout called “The Poached Egg.” The name of his site pays homage to C.S. Lewis.  I would encourage you to visit his site and follow him on twitter for a daily dose of thinking. Now sit back, put on your thinking cap, and enjoy his thoughts on “The Mystery of ‘Stuff’.”

______________________

I’d like to take a few moments of your time to discuss the mystery of “stuff”. What is “stuff”? Was there always “stuff”? Where did “stuff” come from? Was there nothing before there was “stuff” or has “stuff” always existed? If “stuff” hasn’t always been around, did “stuff” just cause itself to suddenly be around, or was “stuff” somehow caused by something made of “non-stuff”?

Most of us humans think about these things, whether we are religious or not, because how all this stuff got here, and even more so, why is there even any stuff at all, is a huge question that has all kinds of implications about how we choose to live our lives. And by the way, by “stuff”, I mean the universe; time, space, matter, and energy–everything that makes up the universe and everything in it. Okay, from now on I’m just going to say: “stuff” without the quotation marks. I promise—“really” I do.

When I say that we as humans have a tendency to think about these things, it makes me wonder how and why, if humans have truly evolved from simpler life forms, should we have evolved to the point where we even think about these things in the first place?

I mean, my dog has stuff—and lots of it compared to a lot of other dogs. He has about a gazillion chew toys scattered all over the house, and whether my wife bought him stuff for his birthday, for Christmas, or just for being a generally good dog, I don’t think he gives a squirrel’s tail where all of his stuff, or any other stuff for that matter, came from. He’s happy just as long as he has some stuff–and even if he didn’t have any stuff of his own, I honestly don’t think it would affect his disposition much at all. Whether or not my dog (or any other animal) thinks about where stuff came from is beside the point because it’s a matter of fact that humans do. But I’m getting a bit off topic so let’s get back to the original topic and explore the question of where all this stuff (everything) came from. The question of why is there any stuff at all we’ll leave for another time.

First, let’s see what science has to say about all this stuff. Now, I am not a scientist, but I do have a brain, and I can at least think about scientific ideas and draw my own conclusions about them based upon the available evidence. There are lots of scientists out there with a lot of different ideas and opinions about how all this stuff got here—from multiple universes, to universes popping in and out of existence, to universes expanding and collapsing and giving birth to other universes, and so on.

But let’s see what one one of the top guys in the field, Alexander Vilenkin (Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University), a theoretical physicist who has been working in the field of cosmology for more than 25 years, has to say:

All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” (emphasis mine)

He has also been quoted saying,

“With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape; they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” (emphasis mine)

Even though Dr. Vilenkin is one of the top guys in his field, we would probably find no shortage of other equally smart people in the field that would disagree with him, so let’s take a look at all the possible options that explain the existence of stuff…

  • Option #1: There has always been stuff. Stuff has always existed. There was never a time when there was never any stuff in some form or another.
  • Option #2: Stuff caused itself to become stuff out of nothing.
  • Option #3: Nothing caused something, resulting in lots of stuff.
  • Option #4: Something non-stuff caused all the stuff to exist.

If there are any other options that I have failed to mention, please let me know because I would sincerely like to know what it is—but for now, please take a moment to ponder these four options, and while you do, feel free to imagine the theme from Final Jeopardy playing in your head. Are you done pondering yet? I can’t tell because I’m not actually here right now as I have written this in the not so distant past and am doing something else at the moment… but after you are done, please bear with me just a bit longer…

At first glance, each option seems as equally improbable as the others, but I would like to posit Option #4 as the most likely to be true. Option #4 is a conclusion drawn from what is known as the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the first premise of which is known as the Law of Causality. Before we further examine the cosmological argument, let me first explain what I mean by the “Law” of Causality. Something is deemed to be a scientific law when there is so much evidence in its support that it is virtually indisputable. Now that we’ve established that, let’s take a look at the cosmological argument.

  1. Stuff that begins to exist must have a cause for its existence (aka: The Law of Causality)
  2. Stuff began to exist
  3. Therefore, stuff has a cause

This argument makes a lot of sense to me. Why? Because anything and everything that anyone has ever observed that exists in nature has a cause. For instance: A geologist will tell you that a rock exists because… well, I’m not really sure. Go ask a geologist, look it up on Wikipedia, Google it or something, and you’ll get the idea.

I exist today because at some time my parents… uh…well… you know. Now, I realize that my own existence is the result of stuff that already existed (just like the afore mentioned rock), but eventually, whether you are a creationist, evolutionist, or anything in between, you have to get back to an ultimate uncaused first cause, otherwise you are left with an infinite regression, which is impossible, because an actual infinite past cannot exist (watch this video for a short explanation of why). This substantially lowers the likelihood of Option #1 as a probability and the Law of Causality eliminates Option #2 as being a likely explanation because, as already mentioned, nowhere in nature has anyone ever observed any stuff being the cause of its own existence, even if it came from preexisting stuff–I could never have willed myself into existence and neither could a rock.

When it comes to option #3, let’s try and imagine the concept of “nothing”. Things like space, gravity, quantum vacuums, singularities, the laws of physics, etc., are not “nothing”; they are all “stuff” that require a cause for their existence. If you are understandably having trouble with the concept of nothing, the best I’ve heard it described so far is that, “Nothing is what rocks dream about.” Waiting for nothing to cause something, for lack of a better analogy, would be like waiting for a pot of water to boil on the stove when you haven’t even put a pot of water on the stove.

The cosmological argument leads me to conclude that Option #4 is the most likely explanation for the existence of stuff because Options #1,#2, and #3 do not conform to what I know of, have experienced, or observed in reality. This is not absolute proof for the God of Christianity, but it is a very strong case for theism. Regardless of which of the available options you choose to believe, each of them require a step of faith–and I don’t mean faith in the biblical sense of “trust in God”, I mean faith as in “belief in something without proof.”

The case for Christianity is a cumulative one and is not based on any single piece of evidence. A part of that cumulative case is that the Judeo-Christian Bible describes God as exactly the kind of entity that would be required to be the first uncaused cause of all the stuff (see Option #4)—in other words, existing outside of time and space: immaterial (spirit, or “non-stuff”), and eternal (timeless–did not begin to exist).

Some hostile skeptics, those usually associated with the anti-theist crowd (which does not include all or even most skeptics), derogatorily refer to theism or Christianity as blind faith in a magic sky god, and compare it with believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, pink unicorns, or any other number of mythical creatures. We can politely respond to this by asking why belief in a creator God takes any more faith than believing in an eternally existing universe, a universe that somehow caused its own existence out of nothing, or a universe that nothing caused to exist; all of which go against what is known in nature. As far as I’m concerned, all of the options require what I would consider to be a miracle.

If this raises the question, “If God caused the universe then what caused God?”; It is not a valid question because being eternal, God did not begin to exist, and therefore does not require a cause for his existence. How can God be eternal? I have no idea. It’s a mystery—a much bigger mystery to me than the mystery of “stuff”.

Walk Badly

1

Just for today, instead of “walking good”, it is time to “walk badly.” Well, sort of. I got the privilege of doing a post over at Jared Hollier’s blog, Badly Drawn Bible.

So, if you wanna, you can head over to Badly Drawn Bible and read about “Life Behind the Pastoral Curtain.” It is just a little glimpse into the lives of ministers and some things to remember so you can better support them. While you are there help yourself to a heapin helpin of his writings and drawings, or what I like to call the good (his writing), the bad (his drawing), and the ugly (the left half of his face that he conveniently conceals in his photo).”

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
Josh

Some Thoughts On Trust by Jared Hollier

3

This is our very first guest post. It is by Jared Hollier who blogs over at www.badlydrawnbible.com. You should really check out his blog. He draws really horribly but has some amazing stuff to say about life at www.badlydrawnbible.com. He is pastor of Peachtree Baptist Church in Jasper TX and he talks about that some at www.badlydrawnbible.com. Okay, so I am being repetitive, but I would really like you to check his stuff out. Enjoy the post for today!

My wife and I are the proud parents of two boys- Sam is two years old and Nate was born in August of this year. And even though we read all the books and sought lots of advice, we quickly realized that parenting is roughly 10% knowledge, 40% figuring it out as you go, and 50% luck. (As in, “We’re lucky everybody is still alive at this point.”)

One of our most recent discoveries is that Sam, the two year old, doesn’t handle sugar well in the evenings. We first realized it on Halloween of this year. Our church had their Fall Fest that night, and Sam, being the pastor’s son, was getting candy from everybody. I know for certain that he ate two mini bags of M&Ms, a fun size Snickers, some Skittles, Twizzlers, and a Blow Pop, but I’m sure he had even more than that, we just didn’t see it.

When we got home that night, we bathed him, put him in his PJs, and he was in bed around 8:30. Then he woke up crying and screaming at us at 10:00…and again at 11:30…and 1:00, 2:30, 4:30 and for the last time at 6:30.

It was kind of a rough night.

Our first thought was that the sugar was to blame, but we weren’t 100% positive until the week before Thanksgiving. Again, we were at the church, this time for our annual Thanksgiving dinner. Sam had eaten a good dinner, and asked for a cupcake. I obliged, he ate a cupcake, we went home. Same story- bathed, dressed, in bed by 8:30, woke up screaming four times during the night.

Confident that we had nailed down the culprit, we agreed that avoiding sweets in the evenings would be the best plan.

But we forgot to share the rule with everybody.

One evening last week, my mom came to watch the boys for us while my wife and I went out to run some errands. She had planned on cooking dinner, but got caught up playing with the grandkids instead, and just raided the pantry for something quick to eat.

Sam had apple juice and Pop Tarts for dinner that night.

Sugar water and sugar cakes.

And once again, the scene played itself out. Crying at midnight, 1:30, 3:00, 4:30.

Sam’s a kid, so he loves to eat that stuff. He’s never going to turn down a Pop Tart or a bag of M&Ms or a big glass of KoolAid- they’re delicious! But we have to tell him no. We have to draw the line, even though his two year old brain doesn’t understand why we’re doing it.

As parents, we get it. We know that if he has that Snickers at 6:00, nobody is going to sleep well, and his stomach is going to hurt, and there’s going to be lots of screaming and crying. The quick fix of happiness he gets from that candy is not worth the trouble it causes.

But don’t we act the same way?

Consider the things in your own life that God won’t let you have. Maybe it’s a sin you enjoy, but you know the scriptures tell you to avoid it. Maybe it was a new job that you wanted, and you feel like God failed you when it slipped through your fingers. Perhaps there’s some opportunity, or chance, or goal you want, and it feels like God is telling you, “No.” It’s frustrating, right? Makes you want to clench your fists and grind your teeth and beg for it- “Please, God, please! Just a little? Just this once? Please can’t I have it?!?”

As parents, we understand why Sam can’t have sugar late at night, and as Christians, we have to trust that when God withholds something from us, He’s is doing what’s best for us. The truth is that He is a good Father. He is kind, loving, generous, faithful, gracious, and giving, and when His answer is, “No,” we have to take a deep breath, unclench our fists, loosen our jaw, and trust that He knows what He’s doing.

Go to Top