Bible Interpretation Part 5: The Justice Objection 2

Rick Mattson Bible 2 Comments

So far in this set of posts regarding Bible interpretation, I’ve replied to four different objections to a traditional reading: the naturalistic, the literalistic, the pluralistic and the “justice” objection. This is part two of the justice objection, and can be summarized as follows: Whenever a traditional interpretation of the Bible doesn’t account for racial, sexual and gender justice, it must be …

Bible Interpretation Part 4: The Justice Objection 1

Rick Mattson Bible 0 Comments

In my prior three posts I responded to 1) the naturalistic objection to Bible interpretation, 2) the literalistic objection and 3) the pluralistic objection. This post is about the “justice” objection, which has various forms but perhaps can be summarized as follows: It would be unjust of God to reveal himself primarily in only one religious tradition such as Christianity …

Bible Interpretation Part 3: The Pluralist Objection

Rick Mattson Bible 0 Comments

In the prior two posts, I responded to the naturalistic and literalistic objections to Bible interpretation. The “pluralist” objection is third, and goes something like this: The Bible is just one revelation among many of the Divine. Any interpretation of the Bible that excludes other religious traditions or somehow invalidates them cannot be accepted. Two Replies:  1. Excluding exclusivism: the pluralist …

Bible Interpretation Part 2: The Literalistic Objection

Rick Mattson Bible 0 Comments

In my prior post I replied to the naturalistic objection to Bible interpretation. In this post I’d like to respond to the literalistic objection, which goes something like this: The Bible is the inerrant Word of God and must be read literally, “as is.” You don’t “interpret” Scripture, you just read it and apply it to your life. I agree …

Bible Interpretation Part 1: The Naturalistic Objection

Rick Mattson Bible 0 Comments

College students of varying backgrounds often raise objections to traditional interpretations of the Bible. Here are three types of objections I hear regularly: Naturalistic Literalistic Pluralistic Naturalistic objections are critical of anything that is miraculous or otherwise “fanciful” in the Bible. Thus the supernatural elements found in the Gospels, Exodus and numerous other places in Scripture are automatically rejected — …

Religious Reciprocity: Part 3

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Religious Pluralism 2 Comments

Is it fair for me to expect a “satisfied” adherent of another religion to investigate Christianity, while I am not necessarily motivated to pursue their religion? The short answer is this: only if Christianity is true. This answer, however, begs the question of whether Christianity is actually true, and how a person could possibly know this if they’ve never thoroughly investigated all …

Religious Reciprocity: Part 1

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Religious Pluralism 1 Comment

What happens to persons who’ve never taken the time and trouble to pursue Christianity as a possible “true religion”? Perhaps they feel satisfied with their own views, whether religious or not. Is that wrong? Will God punish them? One person put it this way in an email: What if sincere Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and other non-Christians did not here a clear, …

Religious Reciprocity: Part 2

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Religious Pluralism 2 Comments

A question from my prior post is this: What happens to those who’ve never heard a detailed, quality presentation of the gospel message, and feel satisfied with their own religion or worldview? The implied question is whether God will accept this person on the day of judgment, given that the person had no compelling reason to investigate Christianity. My response is that …

Why isn’t God more Obvious? Part 3

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Hiddenness of God 2 Comments

Melanie asked if she could talk with me about faith in God. Or her lack of faith. More precisely, her former faith. I agreed. At dinner in a large cafeteria, we sat together. Six other college students gathered around to listen in. Melanie recounted how she’d been raised in the church and had once been a strong believer, but had fallen away due to being …

Why isn’t God more Obvious? Part 4

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Hiddenness of God 4 Comments

In my prior post I told of my conversation with Melanie the agnostic, and how she’d gotten a bit miffed at me for something I’d said. Spiritual conversation is an imperfect art for me, I admit. Melanie’s main claim was that her lack of belief in God was not her fault. Philosophers call this “inculpable nonbelief” — that is, non-belief for …