hotrodhell

Response to Chris about Morals and Ethics

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan on February 26, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Chris at 12:41pm February 20

This is quite a complex topic to address and ethics/morals are something that I think many before us have tried to explain or clearly define without a definitive answer (yes I’m including those put forth in most religions and many philosophers; they to me are all pieces of what is correct/moral).

Chris this is my feeble attempt to respond to the paragraph above. I usually have to take one issue at a time that’s what happens after 50 and I am 51 (: so I qualify.

Your statement concerning pieces of the truth and the inability to clearly define ethics might be addressed this way. I have several sources that I have studied but I’ll confine myself to one extra biblical source for the sake of brevity. Josh McDowell has written a number of books on the subject of Christianity. The one I using for reference is Evidence for Christianity.

First Christianity is “A Factual Faith”-It appeals to facts of history that are clearly recognizable and accessible to everyone. As a matter of record Clark Pinnock[1] defines these types of facts: “The facts backing the Christian claim are not a special kind of religious fact. They are cognitive, informational facts, upon which all historical, legal, and ordinary decisions are based.”

Second “blind faith” that we have accused of is mislabeled. To ask someone to accept our view on blind faith is tantamount to intellectual suicide. My heart cannot rejoice or have a peace about what my mind rejects. Christ commanded us to:

 

(Mat 22:37) And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Paul Little[2] is quoted “Faith in Christianity is based on evidence. It is a reasonable faith. Faith in the Christian sense goes beyond reason but not against it.

A lot times we in the Christian community are accused of a leap of faith or leaping into the darkness. I believe this rooted in Kierkegaard. My faith is not leaping into darkness but rather stepping into the light of understanding and wisdom. I reference the scripture:

(Col 2:8)  Beware lest anyone rob you through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ.

 

(Col 2:13-14)  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.

 

(Luk 11:35-36)  Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

 

(Joh 1:4-5)  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

 

(Joh 3:18-21)  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

 

Third “Just be sincere” seems to be the mantra of the day. I have several problems with that because we can be sincerely wrong. The Christian faith is an objective faith; therefore, it must have an object. The Christian concept of saving faith is a faith that establishes one’s relationship with Jesus Christ (the object) and is diametrically opposed to the average “philosophical” use of the term. i.e.”It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you believe it enough.” The main thing is the main thing so to speak. The Christian faith is faith in Christ. Its value or worth is not in the one believing but the One believed, not in the one trusting but in the One trusted.  I stated that you cannot separate the Moral Law form the Moral law giver, because morality apart from God is futility. Let the Bible speak to this for a minute:

 

(2Pe 1:16)  For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

 

(1Co 1:27)  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

 

(1Co 15:17-19)  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

 

(1Co 15:32-34)  What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

 

Just to wrap up a little, I know that without God’s impact in my life through his Son Jesus I would be distressed, disillusioned, and depressed based on several experiences on my short journey in this life. If being moral for moralities sake is the chief end of life give me hedonism. Why should I do good for goodness sake when I can satisfy my own desires if all life has to offer is birth, life, death.  That’s like the hopelessness of evolution you are what time plus chance plus slime equal. No hope! God tells us we are the apple of his eye , he dances and sings over us and our chief aim in this life is relationship with him now and forever. I like that much better than time + chance+ slime offers us for this existence.

 

Dan

[1] Clark H. Pinnock (b. 1937), professor Emeritus of Christian Interpretation, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, is an evangelical theologian and primary proponent of the Openness of God movement.

 

[2] BS, Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania

 1958 Wheaton College Graduate School, MA in Biblical Literature

 1975 New York University, PhD candidate

1964-1975 Assistant Professor of Evangelism at the School of World Missions at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS)  1973-1974 Loaned to the Billy Graham Archives


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