— Michael Berry (@MichaelBerrySho) August 30, 2017
Philip Vander Elst, a former atheist, is a freelance writer and lecturer. He graduated from Oxford in 1973 with a degree in politics and philosophy and has since spent most of his professional life in politics and journalism. He says that he loves “the world of books, ideas, and debate,” and that two questions have always interested him, “Is there a God? And, if there is, what is the connection between God and freedom?” Vander Elst now works at Areopagus Ministries.Vander Elst grew up in a non-Christian family with intellectually gifted but unbelieving parents, “I used to think that belief in God and the supernatural had been discredited by the advance of science and was incompatible with liberty. Religious faith seemed to me to involve the blind worship of a cosmic dictator and the abandonment of reason in favor of ‘revelation’. Why, in any case, should I take religion seriously, I thought, when the existence of evil and suffering clearly discredited the Christian claim that our world owed its existence to a benevolent Creator?”In fact, he was quite hostile towards Christianity explaining that his skepticism and hostility were already developing during his teen years “under the influence of thinkers like Ayn Rand and Bertrand Russell.”
Lamentations 3:22-24 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
22 Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
23 They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!
24 I say: The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in Him.
Many of you are probably thinking “yeah, that’s easy to say when things are going your way.”, Not so fast, when it comes to Bible interpretation, context makes all the difference. Jeremiah and all of Isreal were going through some times that would make most of our nightmares look like day dreams. Cities demolished, enslaved, starvation …
Yet Jeremiah wasn’t without comfort. He knew that the Lord would forgive, and deliver them. While the Lord may seem far away at times, there is still hope. God will somehow deliver if you trust in him.
Strong and needed words from Paul Gould
We are in trouble. We no longer possess, as a culture, the ability to think well about the things that matter most. When it comes to thinking about the nature or existence of God, the purpose of life, or the morality of war, homosexuality, or abortion, we are guided more by our feelings than reason. When we want to find knowledge, largely, as a culture we look to scientists and not philosophers or theologians. As a result, our culture is fixated on image, celebrities, experience, slogans, and thirty-second sound bites. We no longer possess the ability to think well about things that matter most. And the church is no different than the broader culture it finds itself within.
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