Complexify Religion if you Want to Stamp Out Fanaticism

[This post, co-written with John W. Morehead,* originally appeared here at Theologyofculture.com ] If jihadi groups are ever to be defeated, among other things, it will involve ‘complexifying’ the interpretation of Islamic values. “Jihadi groups thrive on simplicity: the more that they are forced to defend their interpretation of Islamic values, the harder it will be to maintain that simplicity.” The quotation comes from a report of the Centre on Religion and Geopolitics, an initiative of Tony B … [Read more...]

Capitalism Works. Darwinism Works. But Do They Work Well Enough?

Capitalism works. Darwinism works. But do they work well enough? Many believe that capitalism effectively encourages individual enterprise for the sake of making profit in a competitive economic environment. Many also maintain that Darwinism effectively describes the process of natural selection, where the biologically fittest survive. But what happens to meaning, if all that exists in market economies and nature are the equivalents of “inertial masses, bouncing merely casually” [not causally] “a … [Read more...]

A Faith Not Worth Dying For Is Not Worth Living For: Thoughts on Roseburg

The fatal, tragic shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon yesterday highlights how vulnerable we all are. We should not take people’s lives  for granted, even though many question today if life has any real meaning or value. As I watched the footage last night and grieved the horror, I thought to myself: what a senseless waste of precious life!What made sense to me were individuals who confessed faith in Christ in the midst of the tragedy. No doubt, even when facing t … [Read more...]

Planet of the Apes: Did Darwin Lead Us There?

According to popular opinion among certain groups of creationists and Darwinians alike, Darwin devalued humanity and biblical religion. Is this view accurate?Darwinian evolution teaches that humans developed from other, simpler life forms. In fact, all of life for Darwin has a common ancestry, possibly having emerged from some “warm little pond,” as he wrote in a letter to J.D. Hooker in 1871. Still, given that life has developed in increasingly complex ways over the ages, evolution does not … [Read more...]

“If I Weren’t a Christian, I’d Be a Buddhist”—Beyond Straw Men

“If I weren’t a Christian, I’d be a Buddhist.” I remember sharing these words several years ago during an apologetics seminar in the Pacific Northwest. I was concerned that the Christians with whom I was sharing about a Christian engagement of various religious traditions, including Buddhism, did not realize how deep, mysterious and profound many non-Christian faiths are.When we view religious others in superficial ways, we often approach them and their arguments as straw men, which we can ea … [Read more...]

Isaac Newton: Was He a Friend or Foe of Religion and Nature?

Was Newton a friend or foe of religion? What about nature? Let’s start with religion. I suppose it depends on the meaning of ‘religion.’ From the vantage point of Trinitarian faith, the answer would be “no.” He was vehement in his rejection of the received Trinitarian orthodoxy of his day. Newton’s view of God resembled the ancient heretical doctrine of Arianism with his belief that Jesus was first among created beings, and whom God elevated as his subordinate and mediator to his right hand.[1] … [Read more...]

Flat Earths and Flattened People: How Our Pictures of the World Can Hurt Humanity

The air in the room went flat. A friend of mine challenged me on my particular ethical stance as a Christian based on what he took to be the Christian religion’s retreat in the face of science over the centuries. Just as the church once believed in a flat earth, only to rescind the view later, so the church will eventually come around to retract outdated ethical views of human nature in view of science’s ongoing advance. It was as if he spoke gospel truth given how a few friends listening in rea … [Read more...]


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