Posts Tagged ‘apologetics’

The Church That Gives Blessings

Friday, November 13th, 2015

As I was returning a book to the library in a club that I belong to, the librarian saw me and asked me a question. She knew vaguely where my parish was located and she asked, “Is your church the one that gives blessings?”

Apparently, the librarian had been walking by the church one morning and seen our Associate Rector on the steps, offering to pray with passers-by if they desired. Each time Adrian has done this, a dozen or more people have stopped. I urged the librarian to get in line if she needed a prayer sometime.

I can’t imagine any better nickname than “the Church that gives blessings.” —J. Douglas Ousley

Jesus Lives. Really.

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

One of the most interesting theological developments of recent years has been the return to traditional beliefs about the Resurrection. Following in particular the British scholar, N. T. Wright, it is not at all uncommon for biblical critics, theologians, and philosophers to argue that Jesus really did rise from the dead.

To some laymen, this will come as a surprise because they assumed that is what all Christians believe. But since the 19th century, liberal scholars have interpreted scriptural references to the Resurrection as “myth.” Scientifically-minded philosophers have pointed out that people don’t naturally rise from the dead.

But against these and other arguments, Wright points to the uniqueness of the claim and the vast array of evidence that could be cited in favor of the belief that Jesus came back to life. For example, the disciples weren’t expecting Jesus to rise from the grave, so it is unlikely they imagined his appearances out of “wish-fulfillment.” (The Gospels themselves note the fear and amazement of the disciples when they see the Risen Christ.)

Add the way we can conceive of persons occupying bodies as analogous to computer software running hardware, and it’s easier than it was 150 years ago to believe that Jesus lives. —J. Douglas Ousley.

Defense of the Faith

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

On a recent vacation, I read a new book by Alvin Plantinga, Where the Conflict Really Lies. The book, recommended to me by a parishioner who edits religious books for a prestigious university press, deals with the alleged conflict between science and religion.

Plantinga is a distinguished Christian philosopher who work I first studied in 1971 when I was reading for a postgraduate degree in London. Much of his work depends on a detailed knowledge of mathematics, physics and logic, but in this book, the technical material appears in small print and can be skipped. The bulk of Where the Conflict Really Lies is devoted to defending theism as a more intelligible way to construe science, the universe, and human beings. In the spirit of C. S. Lewis, it far surpasses his work in its confident demolition of atheist positions.

I recommend the book to all thoughtful people–Christians, other believers, and atheists. —J. Douglas Ousley