Two Tests of Faith


question_mark_3dAnd from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone. 
(Mark 7:24-30 ESV) 

Jesus’s response seems harsh. Is he calling this woman a dog? The short answer is yes. He was a Jewish messiah sent to the Jews, and she was of mixed Greek heritage and in short a Gentile. The Jews had two classifications of people, Jews and everyone else. But Jesus knew the thoughts and intents of her heart; her faith was in Jesus to heal her daughter. She was trusting him to do for her what no one else could.  Jesus tested her in such a way as to make her faith public. Recall his words to the woman with the issue of blood: “Your faith has made you whole.”  When put to the test, she passed with flying colors.  Belief can be stated, faith must be demonstrated. Continue reading

Answering Tough Questions

question_mark_3dRichard Dawkins and Sam Harris are raising an army of New Atheists who are ready to do battle with the people of faith.  It is no longer enough to simply not believe in God; the “New Atheists” don’t think anyone else should have the right to either. 

The issues of creationism, evolution and Intelligent Design have been pushed into the forefront of debate in recent years, thanks to films by Ben Stein and the opening of the Creation Museum.  The battle of words takes place not just in pulpits or auditoriums, but in board of education meetings at the state and local level that determine curriculum and policy.  In both issues science, reason and logic are dragged through the mud by both sides in order to “prove” one side is right and the other wrong. 

Abortion is and perhaps always will be a hot topic in this country.  Continue reading

Theological Trivia Questions & Wacky Search Terms

I’m going to start a new category on my blog listing some of the wacky questions I get asked.  WordPress lists the search engine terms that people type in that leads readers to my blog, and some of those make you wonder what people are thinking.  I’ve often laughed to myself, but decided other people might want in on the joke.

I’m not making fun of anybody.  There’s an old saying that there are no stupid questions, only stupid people who don’t ask questions.  Often times though, the very question being asked reveals the person’s misunderstanding of the subject.  What’s funny is not that someone doesn’t know the answer, but that their  whole mindset is misguided.  This is especially true of theology.  Continue reading

Tough questions

Some questions I know are going to come up, so I’m prepared to answer. “How do we the Bible is true?” “Does the Bible contradict itself?” “Was the world created in seven days?” I know these are coming, I’ve answered them before, someone will ask them again in the future. But last night some church youth caught me off guard. At first I was stumped because I couldn’t believe high school kids sat around and thought about stuff like this. The question was about the Apostle’s Creed, specifically about Jesus descending into hell. Church youth in a Baptist church ask me if that was true. When I came to, I gave a very political answer that allowed me to avoid saying yes or no. But let’s unpack this issue. Continue reading