Tag Archives: atheism

Faith: As Relationship? Or Science Experiment? (part two)

beaker and bunsenTo follow on from my last post, just as couples attend marriage seminars to help strengthen their bonds, as even the healthiest of relationships can often use tools of support, so I am taking some time over the next several days to read the literal words of Jesus in Scripture. In various translations in fact. You know; depending on the particular version of the Bible, it’s all that stuff written in red in the New Testament.

I don’t deny that there are negative aspects of any and all relationships. Couples get divorced. People have affairs. Bosses exploit their workers. Parents abuse their children. These, though, are readily accepted by society as exceptions to what should be the norm. These, as consensus would widely agree, are not the way these relationships should function.

The world makes a grand show of pointing up the atrocities done in the name of religion, especially Christianity, and then throwing that stained, rotten blanket of verdict indiscriminately over all of those who claim His name. “Christians do this…” “Christians think that…”  And I can’t automatically dismiss them in their judgment because there are definitely those who fly under the banner of “Christianity” and say, and do, and think, those very things. Ugly things. Hurtful things. HATEFUL things.

Are they…us? Are they…Him?

I certainly don’t think so. Rather, these as well are exceptions to the norm. These are not the way our personal relationships with Christ should function.

But, where is my proof? Continue reading Faith: As Relationship? Or Science Experiment? (part two)

Faith: As Relationship? Or Science Experiment?

Dry-Ice-Science-ExperimentsFaith is a very personal thing for me. The reasons that I love and married my wife are also a very personal thing for me. Yet, I would find it difficult to pinpoint irrefutable evidence for the countless reasons why I love my wife: Documentable, historical, testable, provable evidence in support of my “love” and “devotion”.

I guess I’ve become a little discouraged after taking on a project on the differences and similarities of Christian vs. Atheistic belief with a friend of mine; one who happens to be a skeptic and underwent what he called a deconversion from a rather conservative branch of the Church of Christ several years ago. Not discouraged regarding my own faith, but discouraged that, in my humble opinion, there is a lot of what I have always taken for granted to be the truth—even more so, the simplicity—of Christianity. Discouraged in that it can be difficult for me, as a journeyman wordsmith, to formulate a platform for my personal beliefs against a well-crafted, or at times well-entrenched, skeptical argument counter to those very same beliefs. How can I pinpoint irrefutable evidence for the myriad reasons why I love my Savior? Documentable, historical, testable, provable evidence in support of my “love” and “devotion”? Especially when most evidence is so unique to my experiences and so deeply personal?

The wholly inadequate answer is: Continue reading Faith: As Relationship? Or Science Experiment?

Why Intelligent People Are Less Likely to be Religious

I thought this was an excellent article from Jordan Monge in Christianity Today’s online platform:

The Brain

My story is almost always met with surprise: How could an atheist convert to Christianity at Harvard, the bastion of secular intellectual elitism?

Now this reaction has some empirical justification. A recent meta-analysis of studies on religion and intelligence found that yes, overall, people with high IQs and test scores are less likely to be religious. Researchers analyzed 63 studies on religion and intelligence from the past 80 years with differing results to discover the slightly negative correlation between the two.

Unlike previous studies that tried to explain the data by suggesting that smart people simply see past religion’s claims, these researchers, led by University of Rochester psychologist Miron Zuckerman, tried to identify other social factors in play. Nevertheless, the hype about their conclusions is overblown, and all of us—the religious and the non-religious—should be wary of placing too much weight on their findings.

There are the standard caveats. Correlation does not equal causation. Just because intelligent people are less likely to be religious doesn’t mean that their brilliance causes them to reject religion. One look at Christians’ intellectual contributions throughout history —made by thinkers such as Donne, Newton, Aquinas, and many others—does away with this misconception.

Plus, in spite of presenting a sweeping meta-analysis, the study’s authors relied on a limited range of research, as they admit in the paper. They primarily address Protestants, in the U.S. (This highlights a common problem in psychological research, which is heavily weighted toward a particular population that is rather WEIRD—Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic—when compared to the rest of the world.)

The most significant issue comes with Continue reading Why Intelligent People Are Less Likely to be Religious

Why I Wrote on “Hypergrace” (another repost from Thom Rainer)

nonchristians-think

Love it, hate it, criticize it, ignore it…but these types of perceptions of Christians are out there. And they are as prevalent and growing as the amount of attendance to churches is shrinking and becoming less of a significance on society.  Food for thought…

I consider myself a very blessed man in a number of ways. This blog has become one of my great blessings. One of the reasons I love this blog community is the variety of people who interact on it. There has been an increase in the number of people who aren’t Christians who comment on various posts. I want to share with you the perspective of one young woman on how she views Christians. These comments come directly from her comments on some of my posts. They have not been changed…

Read more here: http://thomrainer.com/2013/06/15/what-do-non-christians-really-think-of-us/