The Melbourne Anglican
Some US Christians are in a jam: they don’t know who to vote for on 8 November, and while the vacancy in the White House needs filling, they may be more concerned with the current opening in the Supreme Court.
Reasons abound as to why Christians might not vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming election. Even so, don’t be shocked if lots of them do. And not only the white, redneck, gun-wielding, ignorant, pickup-driving minority of Americans that many in the mainstream media seem to think are typical of US Christians. But rather the thinking, compassionate and generous people who are doubtless feeling very conflicted about their choices for president.
Something that should have been mentioned in the first post in this series on atheism and Christianity is that I don’t think rational arguments—like those Jesse and I are attempting to make—are in themselves enough to lead one to a Christian faith. Alister McGrath says it much better than I can, so I’ll let him explain:
Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish. To demonstrate the reasonableness of faith does not mean proving every article of faith. Rather, it means showing that there are good grounds for believing that these are trustworthy and reliable. It also means showing that the Christian faith makes sense of what we observe and experience.
So it’s with this in mind that I engage in this debate; not under some expectation that the arguments themselves have enough power to convince, but rather in the hope that the debate may remove obstacles to faith.
I recently asked my friend Jesse whether he’d be interested in having a debate about his atheism, and my Christianity. The motivation for having this conversation, at least on my part was a bit selfish: I needed something to write about! Beyond that, I think we’ve both got fairly strong beliefs, and we both enjoy talking/writing about issues, so a blog-debate seemed appropriate. Continue reading
‘Islamophobic!’ is directed at anyone it would seem, who has any criticism of Islam.
In light of the rise of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) in Northern Iraq and its intolerant ideologies, ‘moderate’ and ‘mainstream’ Muslims, as well as many non-Muslims have stressed the peaceful nature of ‘true’ Islam.
Deflecting criticism away from Islam’s holy texts, moralistic commentators—many non-Muslim—often compare the words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad to massacres in the Old Testament committed by the Israelites. It is argued that just as ‘mainstream’ Christians and Jews do not act according to many old teachings now, likewise the Islamic world for the most part does not either, and thus certain aspects of their religious texts and traditions can be ignored just as Christians pick and choose those bits of Scripture which suit this time and place.
At face value, this comparison seems fair. Christians—I can’t speak for Jews—adapt their Bible to make it more palatable, so why shouldn’t Muslims?
I don’t know that God exists, nor that Jesus died, was buried, and then rose again. I don’t know that the Bible is the Word of God. Yet, I call myself a Christian.
I sincerely believe all of the above, but I don’t know that it’s true.
One might assume that I’m going through a phase of existential angst and serious doubt about my faith, but I’d disagree. To me it’s just part of living out my Christian life.
Because I believe I can be a faithful Christian, and yet not claim to know the truth.