Can science provide answers to the ultimate questions of life? How unbiased is the scientific endeavor? Does science have any limits? These and other questions arise from the popular modern acceptance of naturalism, a belief that only natural laws and forces work in the world and that the supernatural does not exist. This timely essay explores science and the naturalistic worldview from a Christian perspective, suggesting ways for Christians to engage with science today.
Naturalism in a Biblical Worldview by Kirsten Birkett “You,” your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. . . . [A] modern neurobiologist sees no need for the religious concept of a soul to explain the behavior of humans and other animals.1 I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented.2 Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.3 I am a secular humanist. I think existence is what we make of it as individuals. There is no guarantee of life after death, and heaven and hell are what we created for ourselves, on this planet. There is no other home. Humanity originated here by evolution from lower forms over […]
A Christian Perspective on Islam by Chawkat Moucarry Islam claims that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam itself are three God-given religions. All prophets (including Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad) preached essentially the same message: God is one, and everyone must obey and worship him because on the day of judgment people will be sent to paradise or to hell according to whether or not they believed in their Creator and complied with his laws. This theological inclusiveness is only apparent since Islam is believed to be the only saving religion (3:19, 85).1 It comes at an exceedingly high price for the Christian faith. Indeed, Islam denies the reliability of the Christian Scripture, which contradicts the Qur’an on at least three key issues: God’s holy Trinity, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, and God’s saving grace supremely demonstrated in the death and resurrection of Christ. The first four sections of this essay examine and respond to Islamic criticisms of the Christian faith. In its […]
As monotheistic religions Christianity and Islam share significant common ground despite their theological disagreements. This common ground needs to be appreciated if our interaction with Islam is to be informed and fair. We can find a way forward by dispelling myths about both Islam and Christianity, seeking to understand Muslim beliefs and practices better, and engaging in charitable dialogue. This essay explores all of these areas, giving Christians insight into how to approach Islam today.
Why is sex so fascinating? That’s one question. But why pay any attention to what Christians believe about sex? That’s quite another. And yet the very fascination of sex points to a religious dimension. Sex and religion have always been hard to separate—from the gods and goddesses of the religions of the Ancient Near East onwards. This thought-provoking essay explores why sex is so fascinating, what God says about sex, and how Christians can respond to sex in our culture today.
Introduction Why Is Sex So Fascinating? God and Sex Why is sex so fascinating? That’s one question. But why pay any attention to what Christians believe about sex? That’s quite another. And yet the very fascination of sex is a pointer to a religious dimension. Every time a lover “worships” his beloved, every time a woman says it will be “hell” to live without her man, whenever someone says to a lover, “take me to heaven,” or describes a woman as a “goddess,” they use religious language. Ian McEwan’s haunting novel Atonement is better known because of the movie. In the novel, when the lovers Robbie and Cecilia first begin to make love, both in the modern sense of sexual union and in the older sense of a declaration by word (“I love you”), McEwan comments that Robbie “had no religious belief, but it was impossible not to think of an invisible presence or witness in the room, and that […]