Antique books with candle

My Top 20 Books

I try to spend as much time as I possibly can reading. I still read far less than I would like to, but I’ve managed to read quite a few books over the past few years. The difficulty for me is to pick my favourites out of the ones that I’ve read. Certainly some I didn’t like, but many were good yet incomparable to each other. One may have a great plot, while another has compelling characters, while another has interesting themes underlying it—it all gets very difficult to compare one book to another.Continue Reading

Falling Dominoes

Contesting Christianity: Consequentialist Arguments

The last set of arguments I wish to discuss is comprised of what are known as “consequentialist arguments.” In other words, these are arguments that, instead of dealing with the truth of Christianity, instead talk about what the consequences would be if Christianity were false. This is an enormously popular strategy, and anyone who has discussed with a Christian the reasons why he or she believes is likely to have at one point heard the statement, “But if Christianity isn’t true, then ______.”Continue Reading

Philosophy - Plato and Aristotle

Contesting Christianity: Philosophical Arguments

As far as my experience has shown, philosophical arguments do not play a large role in the life of most believers. Most people seem to come to be a Christian either from growing up into a Christian family or through an intense emotional experience of “conversion”. Nevertheless, philosophical arguments for the existence of God and/or the truth of Christianity have a rich historical tradition, from Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo to Descartes and Kant. And while many philosophers have conceded that these arguments are ultimately unsuccessful, they still do have their supporters even today. So I’d like to take some time to examine a few of the most common philosophical arguments for God.Continue Reading

Jesus' resurrection

Contesting Christianity: The Resurrection

I think it is safe to say that of all the doctrines of faith present in Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus has to be the most fundamental. Paul himself said that “if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain…. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:14,17-19). Thus, while there are some Christians who do not believe in a literal resurrection, for most Christians it seems to be critical to the faith.Continue Reading

Sign with line through Christian cross

Contesting Christianity: Setting the Stage

This past weekend, I had two Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door. I immediately told them (twice!) that I wasn’t interested, but they somehow kept their foot in the door by not letting me get a word in edgewise. Certainly they were polite, but their persistence was annoying for someone who clearly wasn’t interested. But this is just one example of the influence that religion can have over people’s lives. These JWs go door-to-door all over the world with a massively coordinated workforce of volunteers.Continue Reading

Insignificance

I figure since nothing exciting happened today at all, I might as well talk about something else to continue my streak of daily blogging.

Something that really bugs me sometimes is pride. I mean, I know I have it a lot, and that’s probably the biggest reason why it bugs me (I bug myself – seriously), but a lot of times my pride is just fooling around. I really don’t have a high opinion of myself at all – it’s probably actually on the low side. Of course, I can’t let that show, so I make all sorts of jokes about how I’m so great, which may give the impression that I have pride, but it’s really almost all jokes.

But anyways, if you think about it, why is anyone proud of themselves? I got thinking about this today in one of my classes; I’m really not sure which one it was, I really wasn’t listening at all during any of them. I started letting my mind wander, and I realized just how insignificant we as humans really are.

Have you ever played with one of those toy things where it’s like this fat person, and you can split it up horizontally, open it, and there’s one exactly like it inside, only smaller? Then you open that one up, and there’s a smaller one inside that, etc. Think of the universe as one of those things. Yes, the entire universe is like a fat person. Then, when you split it…Continue Reading