Remember the’ ironic words of Caiaphas, the High priest, in John 11:49,50?
“But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”
Though conniving motivated his comment, truer or more redemptive words had not been spoken. Jesus would die for the people and by his death they would not perish (Jn 3:16).
Remember the ironic words of Christopher Hitchens we mentioned last week?
For those of you who’d like to read the entire transcript of the interview, here it is in the Portland Monthly Magazine. Perhaps even more intriguing is his interviewer’s post-mortem on the exchange–oh, and don’t fail to note the comments in her post!
In Chapter II of the Confession, the Westminster Divines took no time to present a reasonable case for the existence of God, not because the issue was unimportant to them, but because they’d been tasked specifically to provide instruction to the Church as to what the Scriptures principally taught. Had they been given the subsidiary task of delivering an apologetic for those who remained skeptical of God, I trust they would’ve displayed admirable acumen in making that case.
Doug Wilson and Christopher Hitchens have been engaged in a traveling debate over the existence of God for some time now, a documentary of which was just released over the weekend. (say, what if we held a viewing and discussion some evening? Would you be interested?) Wilson is the pastor in Moscow, Idaho. Hitchens is, as you probably know, one of those referred to as the New Atheists, or in some circles, the militant atheists. As for an excerpt of Wilson’s defense of belief in God, consider this wry comment:
I]f the universe is what the atheist maintains it is, then this determines what sort of account we must give for the nature of everything — and this includes the atheist’s
thought processes, ethical convictions, and aesthetic appreciations. If you were to shake up two bottles of pop and place them on a table to fizz over, you could not fill up an auditorium with people who came to watch them debate. This is because they are not debating; they Continue reading
Penn Jillette, of Penn and Teller, the performance duo that defies categorization (are they magicians? are they comedians?), is well-known for his incredulity at things religious. He and his sidekick Raymond Teller (think modern day incarnation of the silent Harpo Marx) have well documented antipathy to the Christian faith, particularly the authority of the Bible. (I’d send you to the link on youtube with their “comments” about it, but I think it might not pass the filter on your server.)
Anyhow, hat-tip to Kevin De Young who harvests this quote from a recent book by Kevin Harney. It’s a comment from Jillette about an encounter he had with someone trying to evangelize him with the Gospel.
This last week we’ve been immersing ourselves in what the Divines had to say about Scripture. I suspect we’ve all found ourselves hemming and hawing at least once when pressed on why we trust the Scriptures. We may have even cultivated a habit of avoiding the matter altogether. Perhaps Jillette’s comments below will serve to exorcise the ambivalence you might feel to having “a ready defense” (I Peter 3:16). Perhaps it will cataylze us all to begin the preparation of that defense with a rationale for our trust in the Bible.
He said, “I’m a businessman. I’m sane; I’m not crazy.” And he looked me right in the eye and did all this. And it was really wonderful. I believe he knew that I was an atheist.
But he was not defensive and he looked me right in the eyes and he was truly complimentary. It did not seem like empty flattery. He was really kind, and nice, and sane, and looked me in the eyes and talked to me. Then he gave me this Bible. Continue reading