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Only one right answer to a sum

This is an excerpt from Mere Christianity by CS Lewis.
I have been asked to tell you what Christians believe, and I am going to begin by telling you one thing that Christians do not need to believe. If you are a Christian you do not have to believe that all the other religions are simply wrong all through. If you are an atheist you do have to believe that the main point in all the religions of the whole world is simply one huge mistake. If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all those religions, even the queerest ones, contain at least some hint of the truth. When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered to them most; when I became a Christian I was able to take a more liberal view. But, of course, being a Christian does mean thinking that where Christianity differs from other religions, Christianity is right and they are wrong. As in arithmetic—there is only one right answer to a sum, and all other answers are wrong; but some of the wrong answers are much nearer being right than others.

The first big division of humanity is into the majority, who believe in some kind of God or gods, and the minority who do not. On this point, Christianity lines up with the majority….Now I go on to the next big division. People who all believe in God can be divided according to the sort of God they believe in. There are two very different ideas on this subject. One of them is the idea that He is beyond good and evil. We humans call one thing good and another thing bad. But according to some people that is merely our human point of view. These people would say that the wiser you become the less you would want to call anything good or bad, and the more clearly you would see that everything is good in one way and bad in another….We call a cancer bad, they would say, because it kills a man; but you might just as well call a successful surgeon bad because he kills a cancer…The other and opposite idea is that God is quite definitely “good” or “righteous”, a God who takes sides, who loves love and hates hatred, who wants us to behave in one way and not in another. The first of these views—the one that thinks God beyond good and evil—is called Pantheism…. Continue reading

Scientific & Spiritual: Do you have to choose?

Using the link below, you can watch a “Veritas Forum” presentation at Cal Tech University by Dr. Francis Collins.
Dr. Collins is a world-renowned geneticist and physician who was Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health. He is a supporter of evolution who shares his journey from skepticism to faith as a follower of Christ. “Clip 2″ is his full 60-min presentation, followed by a 30-min Q&A with Cal Tech students. “Clip 1″ is a 5 min excerpt from the talk.
The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

Are some moralities better than others?

This is an excerpt from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis:
…When you think about these differences between the morality of one people and another, do you think that the morality of one people is ever better or worse than that of another?…If no set of moral ideas were truer or better than any other, there would be no sense in preferring civilized morality to savage morality, or Christian morality to Nazi morality. In fact, of course, we all do believe that some moralities are better than others….The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right independent of what people think, and that some people’s ideas get nearer to that real Right than others. Or put it this way. If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something—some Real Morality—for them to be true about. The reason why your idea of New York can be truer or less true than mine is that New York is a real place, existing quite apart from what either of us thinks….

Evidences Gospels were Based on Eyewitness Accounts

Are there reasons to believe the biblical books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are based on eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life? Are they better than the other accounts of Jesus’ life—the “apocryphal gospels”—that were not accepted for inclusion in the Bible? This video by British scholar Dr. Peter Williams addresses those questions using a contemporary approach. Although the video is fairly long (54 min), if you try watching the first 6 minutes, you will probably want to watch all of it.

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?

This is an excerpt from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis:

…God selected one particular people and spent several centuries hammering into their heads the sort of God He was—that there was only one of Him and that He cared about right conduct. Those people were the Jews, and the Old Testament gives an account of the hammering process.

Then comes the real shock. Among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says he has always existed. He says he is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world, who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.

One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to. I mean the claim to forgive sins: any sins. Now unless the speaker is God this is really so preposterous as to be comic. Continue reading

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