Ancient Celtic Christianity

Have you ever heard of 'Celtic Christianity' or 'Celtic spirituality'? It refers to the form of Christian faith that existed among the Celtic-speaking people of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales during the Early Middle Ages. Although, we don't know everything we'd like to know about these people, we can glean much from their writings and the historical narrative of their era. People of faith today often live with a tension between seeking influence in a time when the church's reputation has been severely damaged by leadership scandals and perceived irrelevance while acknowledging the need for renewal and a return to... Read more →

Has Science Buried God? with John Lennox

Unfortunately, many people today see science and faith as enemies rather than friends. Thankfully, there are an increasing number of scientists and intellectuals who are speaking out about their faith. John Lennox is one of them. John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, is an internationally renowned speaker on the interface of science, philosophy and religion. He regularly teaches at many academic institutions including the Said Business School, Wycliffe Hall and the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, as well as also being a Senior Fellow with the Trinity Forum. He has written a series of books exploring the relationship... Read more →

Science and Faith - Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton was one of the fathers of modern scientific revolution. Interesting, he said that his greatest passion was the Bible over and above science. “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.” His curiosity about the world was entwined with his reverence for the Creator, whom he credited with the existence of the universe. He was able to hold his scientific discoveries in tension with his faith, rather than replacing God with natural laws. In fact, almost all of the scientific greats... Read more →

Christmas Resources

Believe it or not, Christmas is only four weeks away! For followers of Christ, and especially for those of us who pastor a church or speak from time to time, Christmas presents another excellent opportunity to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ. But how do we share this timeless message in new and fresh ways that capture people’s attention and interest? J John from the UK has put together a variety of resources specially related to the Christmas season. Check out his web site for further details. Of note, is the recent release of the book Proclaiming Christmas, a... Read more →

Communion on the Moon

A few months ago I was privileged to meet Charlie Duke, the tenth person to have walked on the moon. At the event I attended, he shared some amazing stories about his experiences in space. What was most moving for me, was hearing him speak about his conversion story and his current relationship with Jesus Christ. He actually became a bit teary-eyed during this part of his talk, something that didn't happen when he was recounting his first walk on the moon. I told him afterward that it was moving to hear someone become more emotional about their relationship with... Read more →

"Who is this Man?" by John Ortberg

With over 1,500 new books about Jesus being published every year, why read another book about Jesus? John Ortberg's latest book Who is this Man? The Unpredictable Impact of this Inescapable Man is well worth reading as it gives us a fresh and inspiring look at Jesus and his impact on history. New Testament scholar and historian N.T. Wright says this about it: “One of the big lies of our time is that Christianity has been part of the problem rather than the source of the solution. Most people today don’t realise that things we now take for granted, like... Read more →

A Fresh Look at Religion

With the recent Global Atheists Convention in Melbourne, it's worthwhile thinking about religion, including science and faith. Some people think that religion is dangerous and has done a lot of damage in the world. Obviously, there is an element of truth in that. However, Jesus never came to start a religion and his intention was never to produce the kind of violence and hatred that characterises so much of a number of religious movements today. On my BLOG I have some articles about science and faith, as well as an interesting series of faith looking at C.S. Lewis' journey to... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #11: Christ

Finally, C.S. Lewis had to come to grips with answering the common question: "Isn't Jesus just another good, moral teacher?" Since there is little likelihood that Jesus' claim to deity is legend or myth, we should expect to find something in his words and actions that suggest he thought of himself as divine. Jesus' self-perception as God is clearly seen in the various Gospel accounts. Jesus claimed to be God: He believed he had the power to perform miracles and cast out demons (Matt. 11:2-5. Luke 11:20). Jesus claimed to determine people's eternal destiny (Luke 12:8-9). Jesus placed his personal... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #10: Other Religions

C.S. Lewis also grappled with the validity of other religions - There are so many religions, how can you say which one is right? Are all religions really the same, or is there a difference? How can we say which one, if any, is the right one? Lewis felt it was atheism that wrote off all religious claims as false, while he was free to affirm truth wherever it was found. He accepted truths in other religions. He recognised the similarities - as well as the significant differences between religions. A commitment to Christ does not necessitate the denial of... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #9: Relativism

Another objection to faith that C.S. Lewis struggled with was the question: Aren't morals relative? More than two-thirds of Americans deny any belief in absolutes and the statistics would be very similar in other countries. An an atheist, Lewis denied that there were any moral absolutes. When he became a Christian, he insisted that Christian morality had to go beyond mere personal opinion. It had to fit with life as a whole, or it was meaningless. Lewis queried where he got this idea of things being just and unjust. A person does not call a line crooked unless they have... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #8: Postmodernism

A good question at this stage in our overview of C.S. Lewis' objections to faith and how he overcame them is, "Is what was true for C.S. Lewis necessarily true for me?" Post-modernism denies meta-narratives: any narrnaitve, story or account of the world that claims to be absolute or all encompassing. It sees no facts, only interretations. There is no such thing as an objective view of reality. Ethical claims are sentiment and de-construction is justice. Lewis lived before the full flowing of post-modern thought but some of its roots were already present in his day. When it comes to... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #7: Wish Fulfillment

C.S. Lewis also struggled with the question of Wish Fulfilment: Isn't belief in God just a crutch for needy people? Some people believe that humanity invented God out of need - to cope with the uncertainties of a confusing and often dangerous world. The psychological explanation for God is one of the most common arguments against Christian faith (and against any theistic religion). Belief in a god is common to all cultures in all time periods. Atheists prefer to explain this as "wish fulfilment" - that humanity invented God because we wished God existed. Lewis responded to the influential atheists... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #6: Miracles

C.S. Lewis also struggled with miracles: do you believe in the miracles of the Bible? A miracle is something that comes to us from beyond the world. It is an event that can't happen, but it does. It can't be explained scientifically. Lewis gained attention beyond his academic circles through his unflinching affirmation of the supernatural - God, demons, miracles and all. How could a sophisticated Oxford professor believe in such fables in the 20th century? He took on the task to consider whether it was intellectually honest and realistic to automatically reject miracles. He critiqued naturalism, which claims that... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #5: Imagination

C.S. Lewis struggled with Imagination: Isn't faith merely imaginary? Reason and imagination were important to Lewis because they had once been separated in his own life but were later brought together. For him, meaning often came through imagination. For some, imagination can seem like an escape from reality. In contrast, Lewis believed that stories can be an escape into reality. Imagination is a means to truth. As part of Lewis' conversion, he received what he later called the "baptism of his imagination." He came to see that his earlier aspirations pointed to something real, unlike his atheism which led him... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #4: Rationalism

C.S. Lewis struggled with Rationalism: Who needs faith? In Lewis' time, the dominant view of life was what we call Modernism, which placed great confidence in reason, the scientific method and rational arguments. We can also call this view Rationalism. There are four basic intellectual positions about the relationship between faith and reason( R stands for reason and F stands for faith): 1. R - F = M (modernism or rationalism). 2. F - R = F (fideism or faith-ism) 3. - F - R = P (postmodernism) 4. F + R = C (classical approach) Lewis took the classical... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #3: Myth

C.S. Lewis also struggled with Myth: Isn't Christianity just one myth above many? Some people believe that Christianity is just a myth, a legend, a nice story made up by some well-meaning religious folks. This was one of the major objections that C.S. Lewis had when he was an atheist. He saw Christianity as “one myth amongst many.” In his biography Surprised by Joy, Lewis wrote that one factor that contributed to his atheism was the similarity between Christianity and pagan mythology. In his secondary education it was assumed that pagan myths were false and Christianity true. He wondered on... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #2: The Problem of Evil

C.S. Lewis' second obstacle to faith was: The Problem of Evil: How can I believe in God when there is so much evil, pain and suffering in the world? Isn't that inconsistent with an all-good, all-powerful God? The problem of evil is perhaps the greatest of all obstacles for people considering faith in Christ. It was for Lewis. For Lewis, evil was both an intellectual and an emotional problem. He dealt with the intellectual problem in The Problem of Pain and with his own emotional struggle in A Grief Observed. Of course, the problem of evil is not unique to... Read more →

C.S. Lewis - Objection #1: Chronological Snobbery

C.S. Lewis' first objection to the Christian faith was what we could call Chronological Snobbery: What does a two-thousand-year-old religion have to do with me? Lewis wondered how an ancient religion could have anything to do with now. Wasn't Christianity old-fashioned, outmoded and a relic of the past? Hadn't it outlived its usefulness? From Owen Berfield, Lewis learned that for any supposedly outmoded idea, inquiry must be made as to why the idea went out of date, whether the idea was ever refuted, and if so, by whom, and how conclusively? We must not assume that because an idea is... Read more →

C.S. Lewis' Case for Christ

In his excellent new book, C.S.Lewis' Case for Christ, Art Lindsley (senior fellow at the C.S. Lewis Institute in Springfield, Virginia) gleans insights from reason, imagination and faith from the life and teachings of C.S. Lewis. Clive Staples Lewis was a writer, teacher, thinker and a Christian. He was an Oxford professor who was born November 29th, 1898 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. he died on November 22nd, 1963, the same day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Lewis became well known in Britain during World War II due to his regular BBC broadcasts. Besides his many books defending and explaining his... Read more →

Science and Religion

A recent article in Christianity Today by Andy Crouch highlights the ongoing somewhat awkward relationship between science and faith. Elaine Howard Euklund expands our understanding of this relationship in her new book Science and Religion: What Scientists Really Think. Her research reveals that "... a whopping 64 percent of elite scientists are atheists or agnostics (compared with 6 percent of all Americans), while a vanishing 2 percent (roughly three dozen of her 1,700 subjects) are evangelical Christians. But in the middle are many, even among the atheists, who describe themselves as 'spiritual,'and many more are respectful of religious faith even... Read more →