For me, one of the most convincing evidences of our creator is found whenever I consider the expanse of stars over my head on a clear night. David was right on the mark when he wrote, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” (Psalm 19:1)
Some people deny that the universe was created and believe that instead, it came about by natural means. These people hold to a form of naturalism, the view that our reality is only governed by natural law.
Where does the soul come from? In previous weeks we have talked about the ideas of Traducianism and pre-existence. The last theory to discuss is that of creationism. Creationism, sometimes referred to as special creationism, is the belief that every soul is created by God sometime at or after conception and is placed into the human fetus.
In Part 1 of our “Where Does the Soul Come From?” series, I addressed the theory of pre-existence. The idea we will look at today is Traducianism. It is important to note that, beyond affirming that God is the ultimate author of our souls, this is not an essential Christian doctrine. During the next two installments, we will discuss the Scriptural support for Traducianism and creationism as well as some of their strengths and weaknesses.
The pencil game, the Charlie Charlie game, the #CharlieCharlieChallenge; it is known by a few different names. While we have seen the Charlie Charlie pencil game around for the last few months, the #CharlieCharlieChallenge has gone viral over 1.6 million tweets as of this week. The #CharlieCharlieChallenge has its roots in the Spanish version called Juego de la lapicera. Supposedly this has “ancient Mexican roots” but I have not seen any legitimate references given to that claim. The backstory on Charlie is pretty diverse and unsubstantiated but some have claimed Charlie is the spirit of an abused Mexican child while others say he is a Mexican deity (I’ve never heard of an ancient deity called Charlie…).
If you have children, or work with children, or have spent five minutes with a child, you know that they ask a lot of questions. A LOT of questions. Sometimes my children ask me questions that really stretch my brain as I try to answer them in a satisfying and understandable way. Sometimes I don’t want to make the effort. There is a comedy routine by Jim Gaffigan that underscores this pretty succinctly:
“Of course, these never-ending questions require answers you are not qualified to give…When my son Jack was four, he pointed to a car antenna and said, ‘Look, Daddy, stick.’ I clarified: ‘Actually, that is an antenna.’ Jack then asked, ‘What’s an antenna?’ After realizing I had no idea how an antenna worked, I explained, ‘It’s a…stick. A metal stick. You nailed it, buddy.’”
Recently, when discussing what a person is made from with my son(when asked, he answered ‘meat.’ Monism…we are working on it!) he asked me what a soul was, where it comes from, and how we get it. My answer was that God created the soul of Adam when he first created mankind. For now, that is all he is prepared to understand but I look forward to discussing some of the views on exactly how we get our souls; a topic that I never pondered until fairly recently.
“It’s not fair!” This is a phrase my children are beginning to test out as they face the consequences of their decisions or balk at parental direction. Humans love to shift blame. We are pretty good at it. We have been doing it since Adam took a bite of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and then blamed his wife for giving it to him (Genesis 3:11-12). In a similar way, many people resist the guilt of original sin by asking, “Why am I held accountable for the bad choices of Adam?”
This question can take on a few different forms but the essence is usually asking why God would allow pain, suffering, or death to effect a seemingly innocent person. Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? How do we answer this question when our peers, family members or friends ask?
The following is a fairly straightforward, logical response to “Why do bad things happen to good people?” PLEASE remember this however, if a hurting, grieving human being approaches you in their moment of need, they are probably not interested in hearing you launch into a polemic against the existence of “good people.” In those moments we need to be the listening, empathizing, sympathizing hands and feet of Christ. Certainly, your head knowledge will inform your response, and there are definitely times during conversation or debate in which the above is entirely appropriate to share, but deeply hurting and emotional people need your love and compassion in that moment far more than they need a lecture. In other words, know your audience, listen well, and love as you ought.
Our children love dinosaurs. I am sure that they are not alone in this fascination with these giant beasts of the past, but for some, this fascination is not to be encouraged. There are some well-meaning Christians that believe that dinosaurs are from Satan or that God put evidence of dinosaurs in the fossil record to test our faith. Behind these ideas are likely an effort to make a certain view of Scripture fit with the observations of modern scientists.
Recently, I was playing the game Operation with one of my children. If you’ve never
endured enjoyed this pastime, let me break it down for you. Players take turns using tweezers to pull out various afflictions, ranging from a bird in the brain to a frog in the throat, from your patient “Cavity Sam.” But, if you’re not careful, the tweezers will hit the side of the opening, causing a loud buzzer to sound and red light to flash. Cavity Sam is riddled with ailments and he needs some desperate treatment. Enter heresy.