The Reasons to Believe

The Divinity of Christ, Part 2 (The Reasons to Believe Podcast #122)

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture verse for today is 2 Corinthians 10:5. It reads, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from G.K. Chesterton. He said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Divinity of Christ” Part 2 from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

Huston Smith notes, “In the World’s Religions”, that only two people ever astounded their contemporaries so much that the question they evoked was not “Who is he?” but “What is he?” They were Jesus and Buddha. The answers these two gave were exactly opposite. Buddha said unequivocally that he was a mere man, not a god — almost as if he foresaw later attempts to worship him. Jesus, on the other hand, claimed in many ways to be divine.

The problem of Jesus’ identity emerges from the data. The data are the four Gospels, which inform us about the claims he made about himself and the claims others made about him. In all four Gospels the claim is shockingly strong.

Jesus called himself the “Son of God” — that is, of the same nature as God. A son is of the same nature, the same species, the same essence, as his father. Jesus called God his Father: “I and the Father are one” he said in John 10:30 and “Whosoever has seen me has seen the Father” He said in John 14:9.

The Divinity of Christ (Part 1)

The Reasons to Believe #121

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture verse for today is Colossians 2:9. It reads, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from Ronald Reagan. He said, “I still can’t help wondering how we can explain away what to me is the greatest miracle of all and which is recorded in history. No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion. Where is the miracle I spoke of? … This uneducated, property-less young man has, for 2,000 years, had a greater effect on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors; all the conquerors, generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived—all of them put together. How do we explain that—unless He really was what He said He was?”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Divinity of Christ” part 1 from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli go on to give us An Introduction to the Issue of Jesus’ Divinity:

More important than evil as an argument against the existence of God is evil as a broken relationship with God, a spiritual divorce. Therefore, more important than a logical answer to the problem of evil theoretically is a personal answer to the problem of evil practically. More important than an apologist is a Savior.

The theoretical problem produces in us ignorance and questioning. The practical problem produces in us sin and guilt. Christ came to solve the second problem, not the first. Christ was not a philosopher.

The Problem of Evil (Part 17) — Practical Application

The Reasons to Believe #120

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture verse for today is Psalm 5:4. It reads, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from C.S. Lewis. He said, “Whenever you find a man who says he doesn’t believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later.”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Problem of Evil” part 17 from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli go on to give us “Practical Application”:

More important than evil as an argument against the existence of God is evil as a broken relationship with God, a spiritual divorce. Therefore, more important than a logical answer to the problem of evil theoretically is a personal answer to the problem of evil practically. More important than an apologist is a Savior.

The theoretical problem produces in us ignorance and questioning. The practical problem produces in us sin and guilt. Christ came to solve the second problem, not the first. Christ was not a philosopher.

Guilt can be removed only by God, because guilt is the index of a broken covenant with God. Shame is only the index of a horizontal, human fear or fracture, but guilt is vertical, supernatural. A good psychologist can set you free from shame but not from guilt. He can even set you free from guilt feelings, but not from real guilt. He can give you anesthetics but cannot cure your disease. Psychology can make you feel good, but only religion—relationship with God—can make you be good.

That’s why God sent his Son; no one but Jesus Christ could take away our sin and guilt. Faith in his atoning sacrifice is the only answer to the real problem of evil. Our only hope is not a good answer but “good news,” the gospel. The great theologian Karl Barth was asked in his old age what was the most profound idea he had ever had, in his many years of theologizing. He instantly replied, “Jesus loves me.”

The Problem of Evil (Part 16) — The Problem Remaining

The Reasons to Believe #119

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture verse for today is 2 Corinthians 10:5. It reads, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from Charles Colson. He said, “The Bible’s historical accuracy is a reminder that while “the heavens declare the glory of God,” there’s also plenty of evidence among the rubble and ruins.”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Problem of Evil” part 16 from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli go on to discuss the topic of “The Problem Remaining”:

A problem remains. It is an in-house problem, so to speak. It is a tension, a contrast in emphasis, between two elements within our many-faceted solution. This remaining problem is brought about by an embarrassment of riches, so to speak. But if this section confuses you, please forget it.

The tension is between appealing to free choice and appealing to divine providence and grace to solve the problem of evil. Let’s first look at this tension regarding sin, and then suffering.

Sin is explained, on the one hand, by our free will. On the other hand, God’s providential plan foresaw and used even sin. God brings good out of evil, and makes all things work together for good for those who love him. Even sin, through the golden door of repentance, becomes “behovable,” as Julian of Norwich said, that is, good for something. But only by the power of God.

The Problem of Evil (Part 15) — Solutions to the Problem of Evil

The Reasons to Believe #118

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture verse for today is Acts 16:31. It reads, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from E. Paul Hovey. He said, “Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them.”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Problem of Evil” part 15 from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli go on to discuss the topic of “Solutions to the Problem of Evil”:

Where are we now? Have these five definitions enabled us to construct a solution to the problem of evil?

Better than that. The definitions, which we thought would be preliminary tools for constructing a solution, turn out to contain the solution. The problem is now not so much solved as dissolved, like a fog. Once we see clearly, we need not construct clever, elaborate arguments any more.

There are six problems: the nature, origin and end of spiritual evil and of physical evil.

1. The nature of spiritual evil is sin, separating ourselves from God.

2. The origin of spiritual evil is human free will.

3. The end for which God allows spiritual evil is to preserve human free will, that is, human nature.

4. The nature of our physical evil is suffering.

5. The origin of physical evil is spiritual evil. We suffer because we sin.

6. The end or use of physical evil is spiritual discipline and training for our own ultimate perfection and eternal joy. (It also is just punishment for sin and a deterrence from sin.)

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