Archive for the ‘ Faith ’ Category

I Gotta Have Faith: Whose Fool Are You?

Welcome back, people of the internet!

Today’s topic: FAITH!

Why?

Recently, I have heard several people – including Richard Dawkins, AronRa (an atheist apologist?), Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye the Science Guy – all call faith in general, with Christians in particular, foolish.

These people claim that Christians believe with a blind faith, that they do not believe in the Bible or God for any good reason, but just because that is what they were told to believe.

Is this true?

What is faith?

According to Hebrews 11:1 (ESV):

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

So, what does this mean?

Basically, faith is trusting and believing something based on evidence. Something that is not seen is believed because there are things we can see and test that support it.

A popular example is a chair.

The chair looks sturdy. I have seen other chairs hold people up. Therefore, I have faith this chair will hold me up.

How do I know your faith is true?

Live it out. Show me. Sit on the chair. Show your faith by sitting.

Another example is a compass.

We believe a compass points north, because we have seen so many compasses point north.

(Though, it is possible a compass can be manipulated by magnets …)

“Ah,” you may say, “But that is science!”

Conviction of things unseen …

What evidence do we see of not seeing things in science?

A lot!

What about black holes?

We have never seen black holes, because they literally eat light. So, how do we know they exist? We have evidence they are there.

An interesting example from the past few years is the Higgs boson.

The Higgs boson is, essentially, what gives matter mass (the ability to have weight and substance). It was theorized using mathematics. The so-called “God particle” (actually, the “Oh my God particle”, from a note scribbled by a physicist) was officially discovered by slamming atoms together in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and using the resulting mathematical probabilities to “see” this “thing”.

In other words, it was seen through the symbols of mathematics.

It was not actually seen with eyes. Rather, it was predicted (hoped for) and then proved through mathematics. We used these symbols to express the evidence of what we cannot see to prove (have conviction) that it is there.

In the math.

Scientists use written symbols to find evidence of things unseen.

Sound familiar?

You could say I have faith that people have faith, even when they are “faithless.” Because I see the evidence.

They say “These words made out of symbols and numbers tell me this should be here, and I am going to believe it because all of the other math checks out, too.”

So, why do we as Christians believe the Bible?

Because we have these words that tell us about Jesus.

Some of you may remember the Four Core Facts I covered a few years ago. What does this have to do with anything?

The Four Core Facts:

  1. The Crucifixion (and Resurrection) of Jesus Christ
  2. The Despair of the Disciples
  3. The Change in the Disciples (Their despair becoming willingness to die for the truth of #1)
  4. The Conversion of Paul

If you are willing to objectively look at this evidence, you can see the evidence for the truth of God and His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.

That evidence includes that Jesus quoted the Old Testament, which we know existed before He was born, He claimed it was about Him, and then He claimed He would die and raise again.

And He did it! Thus validating what He said.

In fact, this is the ultimate evidence. Paul himself (you know, one of the most successful evangelists for the Church, having planted so many throughout the Roman Empire) said this is all that needed to be preached! (1 Corinthians 1:22-23, 2:1-2)

It could be argued that the Church itself is the biggest evidence.

Jesus proved it Himself.

So we do not believe it “Just because,” but because Jesus said He would die and come back and did.

One of many points of evidence of this kind of faith is Abraham.

God called Abraham to sacrifice his son. Some call this barbaric, but it really is not.

Abraham and his wife were way too old to have children, but God said “You will have a son.”

When God then called him to sacrifice this son, I can guarantee you that he thought something like, “Well, you said I would have a son through whom you would multiply my descendants, and here he is. You could easily bring him back to life, so though I may not like it, I will obey.”

God did not raise Isaac back to life (He did not need to), but He did do it with His own Son!

So there is faith: “I have seen the evidence. I may not see God. I may have seen Jesus Himself. I may not be able to see everything the Apostles and other disciples saw, but I see the written evidence.

People just do not want to accept the evidence.

So, whose fool are you?

Do have the foolish faith of a Christain or the foolish faith of those who say there is no God? (1 Corinthians 1-2)

I still have faith in science, even with a lot of people who do not believe the Bible, because the math and the science checks out and proves the validity.

I also have faith that God’s Word is true.

a simple (re-)Intro

Hello, world! … again …

Things are gonna be changing around here! Watch the video for a full explanation.

The highlights?

  1. The website will be going through changes.
    1. For starters, the “.wordpress” has been removed, so that the site is now https://asimplemanofgod.com
    2. The site might also have some visual changes. Including … VIDEO
  2. There is now a way to e-mail us! Whether for questions, comments, or a way to get in touch for any other reason.
    together@asimplemanofgod.com
  3. I have invited some other men to come alongside me in producing content
    1. Blog posts – collaboratively or individually
    2. Videos – we are on YouTube!
  4. The focus will always be helping people see how simple theology can be:
    1. What does the Bible mean?
    2. How can we apply the Bible and theology to our lives?
    3. Apologetics – how can we defend the faith?
    4. What theology is in our music?

It may be a bit shaky at first – all of the changes, getting content posted consistently – but here is to a new start … on the weekend of the Day of Atonement! (A post coming just a little later on this!)

Blessings,

Daniel

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 11/30/2014

A little birdie told me to tell you to find some wisdom at Proverbial Thought!

I remember seven years ago, I was sitting on Arizona State University’s main campus waiting for some friends to get out of class. We were going to meet up for a quick dinner (I was not a student, but they were … in fact, I was practically homeless at the time!), and then go to the weekly Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) meeting. I was sitting in the middle of the watery area near the Union reading my Bible, specifically Matthew 26 (verses 25-27, in the NIV):

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Immediately after reading this, I looked up to see a bird flying overhead, performing all sorts of aerial acrobatics.

Then this poem came into my head.

It is rather fitting considering we just celebrated Thanksgiving in the good ol’ USA, as it is a reminder to focus on how God provides for us.

O birdie

O birdie in the air,
flying to and fro and everywhere,
what is it that you think about?
Do you worry about the clouds?
Is God a concern of yours?
That He is your real food source?
Do you contemplate people?
Do you wonder if they are real?
If God made you, then He made them,
so do you think about heaven?
Of all the cares that you have,
is it where you get your next bath,
or just maybe … perhaps …
that this world will not last?
But why should you care about that?
Do you know God controls your path?
O birdie flying oh so free,
Will you please share your thoughts with me?

Myths and Endless Genealogies?

Discover the everlasting wisdom of God through some of the thoughts at Proverbial Thought!

If you have followed my blog for a while, or read up recently, you probably know that I fall under the category of “Young-Earth Creationist”. I have plenty of scientific, philosophical, and biblical reasons for holding this view.

Today I want to focus for a brief moment on something that is more of a theological food for thought.

Science, Myth, or Something Else?

The funny thing about Evolution, specifically Darwinian evolution, is that we are generally taught as fact that the Universe is about 14 billion years old, the earth is about 4 billions years old, life on earth has existed and been evolving for about 2 billion years, we evolved from an ape-like creature which evolved from something else that evolved from something else that evolved all the way back to the first single-celled organism.

Yet, we have no definitive proof of any of this. There is a lot of evidence for a lot of things, but since a lot of it has not been and currently can not be directly observed (i.e. how the Universe came to be, the origin of life, one animal kind becoming another animal kind) it all comes down to worldview and faith.

On all sides.

The thing Christians have is a book (or, technically, a collection of books) with the claim that God inspired the very words (a debate for another time) in which He claims to have not only seen how all things happened but caused them to happen and in which He made claims about the future, most of which have come true and the rest are yet to happen.

Instead, we find many churches and Christians listening to atheistic scientific theories full endless cosmological and biological connections with little or no need for a Creator.

It might sound like a call to blind faith, but I encourage you to study the evidence and the arguments. Then look again at this question:

Who do you trust: men who were not there and have to keep changing their theories, or a God who claims to have been their and caused it all and does not change?

. . . so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
1 Timothy 1:3b-7

Keeping It Really Simple Today … on Faith

Keep your search for wisdom simple and check out Proverbial Thought!

Here is keeping it simple: I will just post a quick thought on a topic. Nothing else.

This week’s topic:

Faith

Faith is not just believing that God is in control or that His Word is true.

Faith is taking that first step in the midst of fear and doubt. Faith is moving when you do not want to move. Faith is trusting that God really will work all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) even when the rest of the world is going to Hell around you.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1, ESV

Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
Habakkuk 2:4

Laughing or Asking?

Asking for wisdom? Go to Proverbial Thought for some help!

How do you respond when God speaks?

Perhaps you say, “God does not speak to me.”

First, you are wrong; you simply are not used to listening. At the very least, He speaks to you through the Bible or through your pastor. There is also prayer, friends, and circumstances. For example, I was recently offered a teaching position in an elementary school, but I do not have a teaching license. How would you respond?

Here are three examples of how others have responded to God:

In Genesis 17-18, God told Sarah and Abraham that they would have a baby.

WP_20140621_001Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”
(18:11-12, ESV)WP_20140621_002

Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
(17:17, ESV)

Sarah basically rolled her eyes and was sarcastic. Abraham laughed in joy and sought understanding.

Likewise, in Luke 1 elderly Zechariah was told he and Elizabeth would have a baby, and young Mary also was told she would have a baby.

WP_20140621_001And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
(1:18)WP_20140621_002

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
(1:34)

Zechariah basically rolled his eyes and was sarcastic, but Mary wanted to more understanding!

In John 1 Nathanael and Philip were called by Jesus to be His disciples. When Jesus said, “Follow me” to Philip, he jumped up immediately to tell his brother.

WP_20140621_002Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good WP_20140621_001come out of Nazareth?”
(1:45-46)

Nathaniel’s basically rolled his eyes and was sarcastic, but Philip got excited!

When God speaks, when amazing opportunities arise that seem impossible, when you are expected to do something that seems crazy, how do you respond?

Do you laugh it off as nonsense, or do you get excited about what God might do through you?

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 04/20/2014

HE IS RISEN!

Find the true Wisdom of God, and perhaps He can be found through some of the writings at Proverbial Thought!

If you have not heard Michael W. Smith’s “Missing Person”, it is well worth listening to. It was one of the inspirations for this poem today. The other was my journey through 2007 as I rediscovered Jesus Christ after a couple of years of turning from Him.

May you be encouraged today on this annual celebration of our Lord’s resurrection!

 

that faith

 

that faith that i once had

where i believed all Your Word said

i trusted all that You had said

and my life was saved from death

but somehow Your Word was forgotten

i decided to embrace my old sin

as i continued into deeper sin

Our relationship worsened

i want that faith to be mine once more

to tell everyone i trust the Lord

that i would know His Living Word

and share that faith with the world

and yet i find i want more than that

that i could lead others down Your Path

and have good replace all the bad

that we would walk with our Heavenly Dad

i still want more with that faith

to lead in power to the only Way

and impact those i meet everyday

because i move on every word You say

that faith that leads me to You

that love that compels me to share Your Truth

that blood that cleaned me through and through

that grace that redeems my eternal soul

that faith that i want today is

that faith that trusts my Lord Jesus

that faith first displayed by Jesus

that faith He wants for all of us

that faith i pray will push me

to follow my Savior completely

to share His Power and peace

to show everyone the Love that fills me