nature of God

The “One Less God” Argument

Richard Dawkins and other popular atheist authors and advocates are quite fond of the ‘one less god’ argument, and I’ve heard and read quite a few different self-proclaimed atheists using it lately.

It goes something like this: “We’re both atheists; neither one of us believes in Zeus, Pele, Odin, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just believe in one less god than you. So, believing in YOUR god is just as ignorant and silly.”

I have to work very hard to be charitable when presented this argument. First, it really isn’t an argument; it is a statement of belief. Second, as an argument it is not only logically nonsensical, but relies on a category error to reach the conclusion offered. Continue reading

Essentials #8 – The Triunity of God

You may notice that I’ve slightly reordered our list of essential Christian beliefs. I’ve done so because in this revised order, the first eight in our list now (as one of our more logically-minded readers suggested) makes a progressive path of doctrine that makes number 9 on our list much more understandable once you grasp these first eight. Here’s the reordered list:

1. The infallibility of the Bible in the original manuscripts
2. God’s sovereign rule over all creation
3. Human depravity
4. The necessity of God’s grace
5. The virgin birth
6. Christ’s sinlessness
7. The full humanity and deity of Christ
8. The triunity of God
9. The atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Christ
10. The necessity of faith
11. Christ’s second coming, final judgement and reign.

This makes this installment all about one of the most ridiculed and misunderstood of our core beliefs. The doctrine of the Trinity has been debated for millennia, and yet it is impossible to deny the triune nature of God without denying both essentials #1 and 7.

Continue reading

Essentials #6 and #7 – The Sinlessness, Humanity, and Deity of Christ

This time around, we’ll take a look at two of the essential teachings of the Christian faith, which are:

1. The infallibility of the Bible in the original manuscripts
2. God’s sovereign rule over all creation
3. Human depravity
4. The necessity of God’s grace
5. The virgin birth
6. Christ’s sinlessness
7. The full humanity and deity of Christ
8. The atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Christ
9. The triunity of God
10. The necessity of faith
11. Christ’s second coming, final judgement and reign.

The first of these two, the sinlessness of Christ, is necessary for the two doctrines following on the list to be true. If Jesus is not sinless, then he cannot be Deity (more on that later), and His death, burial, and resurrection would have no effect on whether we are saved from God’s wrath or not. Continue reading

Essentials #5: The Virgin Birth

The virgin birth of Jesus is by far the most ridiculed teachings of the Christian church, and because of that many who claim to be followers of the Christ have gone so far as deny it.

However, it is one of the essential Christian doctrines.

First, a quick review of what the essential Christian doctrines are. These are beliefs that negate the Christian faith if they are denied; anyone who denies any of these doctrines are not disciples of the Christ, no matter how much they may try to convince you (or themselves) otherwise. They are:

1. The infallibility of the Bible in the original manuscripts
2. God’s sovereign rule over all creation
3. Human depravity
4. The necessity of God’s grace
5. The virgin birth
6. Christ’s sinlessness
7. The full humanity and deity of Christ
8. The atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Christ
9. The triunity of God
10. The necessity of faith
11. Christ’s second coming, final judgement and reign.

Last time, we looked at the necessity of God’s grace. The virgin birth makes the radical demonstration and fulfillment of that grace as shown in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ possible. Continue reading

Essentials #2 : Sovereinty of God

Last time, we started on an examination of what the essential core beliefs of the Christian faith are. I defined what an essential doctrine is, and listed those doctrines that must be true for Christianity to be a viable worldview. Here’s the list:

1. The infallibility of the Bible in the original manuscripts.
2. God’s sovereign rule over all creation
3. Human depravity
4. The necessity of God’s grace
5. The virgin birth
6. Christ’s sinlessness
7. The full humanity and deity of Christ
8. The atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Christ
9. The triunity of God
10. The necessity of faith
11. Christ’s second coming, final judgement and reign.

The first, we found, was the basis upon which the others depend. Now, lets take a look at the second: God’s sovereign rule over all creation. Continue reading

On the Trinity

One of the most difficult core beliefs of the Christian faith is the doctrine of the Trinity. Not only do skeptics and adherents to major religions misunderstand it, but many followers of Christ do as well!

The objections to trinitarianism, in simplest terms, come in one of two forms:

1. The doctrine of the Trinity is false because nowhere in the Bible is the term ‘trinity’ used. It is nothing more than something made up at the Council of Niceae to solidify Church power and serve the political ends of Constantine.

2. Belief in the Trinity is nothing more than polytheism, and is clearly condemned in the Bible (or Koran, if the objector is Islamic).

I will grant that the doctrine of the Trinity is difficult to understand; the concept that there is only one God, and that the one God is made up of three distinct Persons who are also wholly one being appears at first glance to be self-contradictory. Continue reading

Signpost – The Nature of God

This week, we’ll take a quick look at what we can determine about the nature of God based on what we can observe from the natural world, and next week jump right into what I consider the really exciting stuff! Much of the reasoning behind the foundational assumptions of this week’s Signpost has been explored in earlier articles in the series, so it might be a good idea to go back and do a quick review if you feel that you’re missing something.

The first thing we know about God is so obvious that it is often overlooked: Continue reading

Signpost – Moral Law, pt. 2

Last week, we established that there is absolute moral truth; this week we will propose the necessity of an absolute moral truth giver.

Without a transcendent source, moral truth cannot be anything other than subjective, and changeable. Since there are moral absolutes, there must be a source, and that source must be good, powerful and a person. In short, God.

=) The source of moral law must be powerful enough to enforce that law. The only being both good enough and powerful enough to do so must transcend both time and space in order to enforce a law effective for all people at all times.

=) The source of moral law must be good. Since it has been determined that moral law by definition is good, the source of that law must also be good. Because that source must be a person, it must be God. God is by definition good, so any being that is not good is not God.

=) God must be a person, as moral laws, like civil or criminal laws, can only be enforced by persons. Continue reading