Manspeak


Our Response to Christian Persecution
August 20, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

thoughtintiative

by Justin Day

I recently listened to a short podcast by philosopher William Lane Craig about Christian persecution in Iran. A lot of thoughts ran through my head after meditating on it. Listen to the podcast, titled “Justice in Iran,” and see what you think about it.

1) How does this make you feel about your brothers and sisters in the East? And how does it make you feel about your current situation, living in the West?

2) What do you think the correct course of action should be for American Christians since we have the knowledge of and (possibly) the means to prevent global persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ?

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Why Does Jesus Seem To Want To Hide His Message From Some People?
July 2, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

thoughtintiative

by Justin Day

In my quiet times I have been reading through the Gospel of Mark and a few questions have come to me recently. First of all I am curious why Jesus chose to speak in parables instead of “straight talk.” The purpose of Jesus using a parable is something that I cannot comprehend. It seems that parables would be the opposite of what one would want to do if you were trying to tell someone a message so important as the Gospel.

In chapter 4 of Mark’s gospel we get the reason why Jesus chose to speak to us in parable form. Jesus tells the disciples, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that ‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’” I understand this to be saying that Jesus wants the power to understand his message to not be in our hands, but rather to be in his hands. One must repent and be forgiven before one can actually comprehend what Christ is saying. And as we know regeneration is in the hands of Holy Spirit alone.

How should we understand this? Why would God want to reveal his message only to some instead of all? Lastly, how should we view this in light of 1 Timothy 2:4 where it says that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”?



What Makes One A Man?
April 2, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Biblical Manhood, Thought Initiative

thoughtintiative

by Justin Day

What makes one a man? Is it being able to tear down and rebuild the transmission of a 69 chevelle? Is it being able drink four cups of black coffee every morning? Is it never laying in a tanning bed?

At Vision Quest we played a very amusing game where we made fun of how most people view manliness (you know a game is a bad judge of manliness when I last longer than our pastor). But the one thing that got me thinking was that we never actually stated what manliness actually is, at least I don’t remember it being said.

So my question for those that are reading this is how should we define manliness? Or in other words, what makes one a man?



Anselm’s Ontological Argument
March 14, 2009, 7:14 pm
Filed under: Philosophy, Thought Initiative

thoughtintiative

by Justin Day

In his epic work Proslogion St. Anselm of Canterbury argued that God was a necessary being and that he could show it. Anselm said that God, given his nature, must exist. His argument went as follows:

  1. It is a conceptual truth (or, so to speak, true by definition) that God is a being than which none greater can be imagined (i.e., the greatest possible being that can be imagined).
  2. God exists as an idea in the mind.
  3. A being that exists as an idea in the mind and in reality is, other things being equal, greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind.
  4. Thus, if God exists only as an idea in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than God (i.e., a greatest possible being that does exist).
  5. But we cannot imagine something that is greater than God (for it is a contradiction to suppose that we can imagine a being greater than the greatest possible being that can be imagined.)
  6. Therefore, God exists.

So what do you guys think? Does it show that God exists? Is it a trick of words?



Sola Scriptura – Is it Self-Defeating?
February 26, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Thought Initiative

thoughtintiative

by Justin Day

So you’re sitting there in English class waiting for class to start. Sitting there all by your lonesome, you just happen to hear a conversation taking place beside you. “Well that might be true for you,” he says, “but it’s not for me. There is no such thing as absolute truth.”  Did you catch what was just said?

Our postmodern friend just said that it’s objectively true that there are no objective truths.  Hmm…It seems like his argument is self-defeating. It cannot even keep its own standards. As Christians we can humbly disregard such nonsense as postmodern gibberish, but do we commit the same fallacy of holding a self-defeating belief?

Sola Scriptura, one of the main proclamations of the Reformation, teaches that all authority in forming doctrine is given (in totality) to Holy Scripture. We form and understand church doctrine by the Bible and the Bible alone.

My question is this, does the Bible teach that we should follow Sola Scriptura? If it does not, then Sola Scriptura is self-defeating because it does not meet its own standards. If it is not explicitly found in scripture, then we have formed this doctrine by reason, and have abandoned our “Bible alone” philosophy.

(1) Is Sola Scriptura self-defeating?

(2) If yes, does it matter? If no, where is it found in scripture?



Courtship or Dating?
February 12, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Roles and Relationships, Thought Initiative

thoughtintiative

by Justin Day

A retired love guru once said:

So if you have been around Volunteers For Christ and Cornerstone Church for a while, you will have (hopefully) noticed that guy/girl relationships are a bit different. We don’t date. We have kissed goodbye to dating and said hello to courtship!

That’s right, all of us weirdos at VFC have kicked dating to the curb and chosen to embrace courting. Since there is no explicit discussion in scripture on how to conduct premarital relationships, the only valid reason I can muster for our converstion to courtship from traditional dating would be to abstain from sinning.

Given this, if both people involved want to engage in dating with the goal of living like Christians would there still be reason to practice courting? Or rather, is there something else involved in courtship that should cause us to practice courtship over dating? And most importantly, is that found in scripture?

P.S. As a sidenote, next week we’re planning on kicking computers to the curb and embracing papyrus. Laptops just make it too easy to sin.

Edit: I did not intend for this joke to be offensive, but completely light hearted. If anyone found it to be offensive then I apologize. I would never want to bring division among brethren over such an issue. So if this joke did offend you, then I’m sorry. Please don’t let it stop you from commenting and contributing to good discussion.



Sola Fide and James 2
January 29, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Thought Initiative

thoughtintiative

by Justin Day

In Christendom there is no more heated of a debate than the one over justification.  To shortly sum it up, the debate can be thought of as a dispute over how God declares us to be legally righteous (to have perfectly acted in accordance with his law) in his sight. Predominantly there have been three main views on this: (1) works [or legalism]; (2) faith; (3) faith and works.

Thankfully, every major Christian sect has rightly condemned option (1), works-based righteousness, as pure heresy. Thus, this debate has fallen between the last two options. Protestants proudly proclaim that it is by faith, and by nothing of our own merit, that we are saved. However, most Christians today (mainly Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians) believe that we are not saved by faith alone, but by faith and works.

Although their position is heavily influenced by tradition, proponents of justification by faith and works do not believe that their position is without biblical support. In the 17th verse of the 2 chapter of the epistle of James we are told that “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Later on in the chapter, James explicitly states in verse 24 that a person is “justified by works and not by faith alone.”

These verses seem to fly in the face of the Protestant notion of Sola Fide. Any thoughts?

  1. Is this interpretation of James correct? Is he teaching that we are justified by faith and works, and not by faith alone?
  2. If he is teaching against justification through faith alone, can this be reconciled with Romans 10:9-10? If not, does this mean there is a contradiction in scripture?