Category: Morality

The Art of Knowing God: Remembering J. I. Packer

Knowing God never happens in abstract but involves thick contexts of cost and seemingly irreconcilable difficulties. J.I. Packer, the theologian who died last month aged 93, was a stunning example of a mind who recognised that although humans can never fully capture God, we can radically serve the deepest kind of knowledge – that is in knowing and being saved by God.

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Is faith in God blind? Four ways to reason with atheists

Christianity makes some big claims but here’s a phrase I want you to remember: criticism without alternative is empty. If someone wants to say your faith is blind or based on ignorance, ask them in turn what they believe in; ask them if they live by a better alternative for making sense of the world. At which point, you can put the alternatives side-by-side and see which beliefs make more sense.

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Does the Bible Condone Slavery?

Every thinking reader of the Bible is bound to ask at some point in time, “Does this book actually condone slavery?”. To be sure, slavery is not the only issue the Bible causes us to question. The Old Testament is rife with palace intrigues, polygamy, divorce, violence and the like, and godly people are very often part of the problem. Although the New Testament is decidedly improved, it still seems to fall far short of that which twenty-first century human rights would expect. There are no women among the twelve disciples of Jesus and Christian masters do have slaves working for them.

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What is wrong with sex before marriage?

The question you have most been dreading comes – What is wrong with sex before marriage? What on earth are you going to say? 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.

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