Showing posts from July, 2018

The Salvation of The Modern Individual

T here is a trend in evangelical thinking to a turn from the highly individualistic self of the enlightenment, where salvation is a matter of the individual finding herself in relationship with God alone, to communal sort of thinking where one is part of the tribe as in identity politics. "This culture [of the enlightenment individuality] has also deeply affected the Church of the West. All of our songs are wrapped in the language of me, rather than us. Our taking of the Eucharistic table of the Lord (communion) is highlighted by each one making sure they have no unaccounted for personal sins before taking..." [1]  Of each one making sure he or she has no uncounted sins is in the New Testament.  I see the potential in this movement for political control. Ironically at the same time secular scholarship is coming to see Christianity as the basis of enlightenment individualism, An example of the trend in the church is found in the book  Misreading Scripture with Western Ey

Christianity: Religion or Relationship?

Over at the  secular outpost  Blog Bradly Bowen has announced a 10 year plan to investigate the truth of Christianity. Why do I feel that this is more like a 10 year siege? In any case he had already done one piece on  "what is Christianity?"  I will answer that on the CADRE blog, but  this part 2  I think will be of interest to readers of this Blog .[1]  Bowen argues that those who say "Christianity is not a religion but is a relationship with Jesus," are "stupid," (he uses the word. Why does he want Christianity to be a "religion" instead of a relationship? You can't disprove a relationship. He does a bait and switch  replacing religion with  system,  reading  system  as  philosophica l system, then it's disprovable. I do not think there is a conflict between religion and relationship. Before I get into that let's briefly examine Bowen's case. His argument works in three basic steps: (1) He quotes Paul, "..."the m

God Bestows Meaning

Jason Thibodeau writes a long article,  "Can Humans Create Meaning? Can God?"  [1]  I will concern myself  with only a  small part of the article, the argument that God cannot create meaning. Jason argues:  "The conception of meaning is not altered by whether God, or any other supernatural entity, exists. Whether life is meaningful depends on whether there are, in our lives, things that matter."  [2] He sets up a dichotomy in arguing that God bestowing meaning is an ambiguous claim: The claim that God makes life meaningful is ambiguous. There are two different things that it might mean: (A) God creates the things in life that are valuable and worthwhile (and that, in virtue of being valuable and worthwhile, give our lives meaning). (B) God makes it the case that the things in life that are valuable and worthwhile are valuable and worthwhile. Thus, by making these things valuable and worthwhile, God makes it the case that our lives are meaningful. This is a f