The Navigator: 4.21.22

THIS SUNDAY, April 24th

  • High School Graduate Recognition – both worship services

 

EASTER & the NO. 1 ARGUMENT for ATHEISM

NOTE: Due to an unexpected cancer-removal-surgery for my father-in-law (he’s spent ten days at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock), much of my time last week was dedicated to taking care of the family, preventing me from being able to publish The Navigator.  What follows is what I had intended to include last week as we approached Easter Sunday.

Easter & the No. 1 Argument for Atheism

The Problem of Pain – how a God who claims to be good, all-powerful, and all-loving can permit evil and suffering – is the No. 1 roadblock to faith in Christ.

The ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, stated,

“Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to; or he cannot and does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, and does not want to, he is wicked.”

More recently, in 2006, prominent atheist, Sam Harris, restated Epicurus’ words:

“If God exists, either He can do nothing to stop the most egregious calamities, or He does not care to. God, therefore, is either impotent or evil.”

To be brutally honest, I get it. I’ve lost my dad and youngest sister to addiction, and my son to suicide.

Yet,…

Contrary to the philosophies of Epicurus and Harris, the Bible tells us that God did care, and that God did do something – twenty centuries ago, on a Cross, just outside Jerusalem.

And, well – that changes everything.

In his book, Miracles, C.S. Lewis wrote,

“Christ has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so.”

**By the way, all worldviews are faced with their own version of “the problem of pain.”  But, Christianity is the only one that offers purpose and hope in our pain.

 

MERE CHRISTIANITY: CLARITY IN THE BASICS

On this penultimate evening of our series, we looked at one primary tenet of the doctrine of salvation:  Salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

We can’t earn it.  Human effort is futile.  Works-based salvation is a back-breaking burden resulting in a lifetime of legalistic bondage.

Jesus said,

“This is the only work God wants from you:  Believe in the one he has sent…. The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing.” – John 6:29, 63

Rather than post this past week’s lesson here, I want to share with you a brief video clip I used to conclude our session.

Alistair Begg, who is Scottish, is the senior pastor of Cleveland’s Parkside Church, a position he has held since 1983. In this brief clip, using the story of the thief on the cross next to Jesus, Begg says one of the most profound truths I’ve ever heard regarding biblical salvation. 

 

Equipping ourselves to be able to engage in intelligent dialogue where the Christian faith is concerned.

“What gives me most confidence that Jesus’ resurrection actually occurred is how the resurrection hypothesis is able to address the full scope of relevant historical facts in a manner that is far superior to the ability of any competing hypothesis to do the same. Stated differently, when I set aside faith and examine the data using strictly controlled historical method, the hypothesis that Jesus was raised stands head and shoulders above the rest. And that’s quite remarkable!” – Mike Licona, Ph.D., historian and apologist

 

YOUR COSMIC PIC of the WEEK

If you thought, at first glance, this is a grainy photo of the night sky, you would be wrong.  It’s an extremely high-resolution picture of space – and the grains are actually trillions of stars.

Stretch the photo and it becomes even more mind-cramping.

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” – Psalm 147:4

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” – Corrie Ten Boom

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD: How the Sun led me back to the Son

It was a small step – but a step nonetheless.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick