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 …

Why isn’t God more Obvious? Part 5

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Hiddenness of God 9 Comments

Last time I recounted how Melanie the agnostic was feeling stuck. She wanted to believe in God but simply didn’t. How could she get her former faith ignited and moving again? I agreed with Melanie that while you cannot make yourself believe, you can at least put yourself in position to develop faith. That is, read the Scriptures in community, stay in fellowship …

Why isn’t God more Obvious? Part 2

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Hiddenness of God 9 Comments

In my prior post I posed the question of why Jesus might not want to make himself known, plainly, to everyone. In Mark 4 and elsewhere he seems to indicate that one of the purposes of his parables is to partially obscure the truth about himself, “lest they turn and be forgiven.” Thus Jesus is sometimes referred to by scholars as the “hidden” …

Why isn’t God more Obvious? Part 1

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Hiddenness of God 0 Comments

A question (or objection) I hear regularly in my travels to college campuses is why God doesn’t make himself known to everyone, plainly and clearly. One skeptical student put it this way: “Your god sends billions of people to hell for not believing in him — but provides no clear evidence that he’s there at all. Why not just show …