The BT Tower was an official secret for decades, meaning it did not appear on official survey maps, despite being a conspicuous 627′ London landmark. Is it a better symbol for natural theology than a watch on a beach?

Introduction

In previous blogs, we’ve seen that God reveals himself to man through nature and through scripture and we’ve been addressing questions about how man’s interpretations of these revelations can be reconciled. In the next two blogs we are going to address a different question: can nature be used as a Christian apologetic? In other words can Christians use nature in some way for evangelism?

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge. 
Psalm 19:1-2

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

These verses imply that something about God can be known from nature. Romans 1:20 further suggests that there is moral accountability for what is revealed in nature. Natural theology is a discipline that systematically explores a proposed link between God and nature. The traditional approach to natural theology sought to “prove” God’s existence from what is observed in nature without reference to the Bible or other sacred documents. William Alston, a Christian philosopher, defined natural theology as

the enterprise of providing support for religious beliefs by starting from premises that neither are nor pre-suppose any religious beliefs.

Problems with the traditional approach to natural theology

Continue Reading…

An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling (InterVarsity Press, 2013).

In An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest Alan Fadling contends many of us are suffering from hurry sickness, and that it is not only detrimental to our bodies but also to our souls. We are going too fast to hear God, too fast to grow deeply, too fast to discern the temptations that lead us astray.

He begins by painting a picture of the frenetic life that characterizes modern life. He contrasts this with the idea of apprenticeship with Jesus, the unhurried learning with him. He argues from the life of Jesus that unhurry isn’t laziness and that there is no such thing as holy hurry, only holy unhurry. Unhurry enables us to resist temptations, which often come in the form of pressure to take shortcuts to some seemingly good thing. Unhurry gives us time to stop and care, to stop and pray. Sabbath is the gift of unhurried rest for God’s people. The next chapters (8 and 9) were most significant for me. He talks about suffering and how it can stop us in our tracks and take us into a place of unhurry where we meet God. And he talks about maturity, which if it is to happen well and deeply, cannot happen fast. Continue Reading…

When Faith Is Like Skydiving: And Other Memorable Images for Dialogue with Seekers and Skeptics came in the mail from InterVarsity Press (IVP) I just had to drop my colleague Rick Mattson[1] an email to enable us to learn more about his new publication. Note: As you may remember Rick wrote a resource rich series on Headed to Graduate School which gave testimony to his passion not only for the life of the mind, but also for creatively engaging in dialogue with seekers and skeptics.

Tom: Rick, I am so excited to have received a copy of Faith Is Like Skydiving: And Other Memorable Images for Dialogue with Seekers and Skeptics from IVP. Please share with Emerging Scholars the story behind its publication and little bit about how “faith is like skydiving”.


Rick: Tom, Faith Is Like Skydiving is a reflection of my last five years working as a traveling evangelist/apologist to college campuses around the country—about fifty in all. Often my hosts (usually InterVarsity groups) set up events called “Stump the Chump,” where students can ask me any question they wish about Christianity. Immediately I could see that giving abstract philosophical responses to students’ questions would put them right to sleep. So I began creating images and illustrations that were easier to follow and remember. Continue Reading…