How do you respond to a culture that says that evil is outside of us, rather than inside of us? Isn’t it just a case of social conditioning, in the sense that our environment has produced the conditions that have caused people to do evil? Are we not just a product of our upbringing or should we uphold a strong sense of personal responsibility? Furthermore, how do you deal with someone who says evil is external to us or that it is simply relative? These topics are dealt with by Ravi Zacharias and Os Guinness in a Q&A session.
We live in a society that prides itself on being tolerant and yet we encounter an incredible diversity of cultures, lifestyles, and faiths. Unfortunately our conflicting identities and beliefs often exclude others, so is there any truth in the concept of real acceptance and inclusion?
If there is an infinitely powerful God who has created everything does he really care about our happiness or is he simply indifferent? Does the word “care” carry the same meaning, anyway, if we are applying it to God? Furthermore, what should we make of our suffering, in light of this, and what is the significance of the cross? Ravi Zacharias addresses these questions at an event at Columbia University and he reminds us that the answer should affect how we choose to live.
Why Won’t God Heal Amputees? is a popular website and one-time viral YouTube video. The basic premise of the content is that God doesn’t answer prayer since God has never healed an amputee, and by extension doesn’t heal every person of every infirmity. God, therefore, does not really exist.
A common claim made by many atheists is that religion causes evil, suffering, division and war. For example, at the Munk Debate in Toronto last November, Christopher Hitchens argued this very point against Tony Blair. Religion, Hitchens claimed, causes sectarianism, division, strife, disagreement, war, poverty and a host of societal evils. In his best-selling book, God is Not Great, Hitchens even wrote that “religion poisons everything.”
How on earth can you answer this question? It is the 21st century after all; surely God doesn’t hate you enough to make you say something so ridiculous and old-fashioned that you will lose all your friends! In the gospels, Jesus was asked many difficult questions and he frequently responded with a question before answering more fully. He did this so often that I think we are probably meant to notice it and learn something.
The Bible’s Power and Influence
Contemporary science is a wonderfully collaborative activity. It knows no barriers of geography, race or creed. At its best it enables us to wrestle with the problems that beset humanity and we rightly celebrate when an advance is made that brings relief to millions. I have spent my life as pure mathematician and I often reflect on what physics Nobel Prizewinner Eugene Wigner called ‘the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics’. How is it that equations created in the head of a mathematician can relate to the universe outside that head? This question prompted Albert Einstein to say: ‘The only incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.’ The very fact that we believe that science can be done is a thing to be wondered at.
A common claim made by many atheists is that religion causes evil, suffering, division and war. For example, at the Munk Debate in Toronto last November, Christopher Hitchens argued this very point against Tony Blair. Religion, Hitchens claimed, causes sectarianism, division, strife, disagreement, war, poverty and a host of societal evils. In his best-selling book, God is Not Great, Hitchens even wrote that “religion poisons everything”.