I used to get this question (or some variation of it) all the time during my seven years as a youth pastor.
I feel that there is a fundamental misunderstanding in these questions about how to know God’s existence or goodness. It’s in the verb “to know.”
The only way back to Eden was through death.
Even our very best words fail to capture the power, beauty, and glory of the uncreated and everlasting God.
Examples abound of good folks getting mired in heartache while people with questionable character rack up wins.
To read the Hebrew prophets is to recognize that to be chosen is a fearful responsibility.
Peter responds with encouragement to be clear—to ourselves and to others—how our countercultural lifestyle is part of God’s worldwide redemptive mission.
What does the Bible mean when it says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Ps. 14:1)?
Reformed Christians need to look more deeply at these texts in particular and at Scripture as a whole.
How can we know the Bible we have today is a reliable record of the original writings?
I have worked too much at building and maintaining a facade.
It’s impressive when all these people actually agree on something!
What is syncretism, and how do we know when we are guilty of it?
We need to take these texts seriously as a way of taking the questioner seriously.
“Show them no mercy.” Did God really command the genocide of the Canaanites?
How can God ask Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, even as a test of obedience? Isn't that cruel and a case of child abuse?
As a university pastor, every funeral I lead is a tragedy. This student, staff member, or professor died too young.
“Heal my sister’s cancer.” “Help my brother stop drinking.” These are the kinds of prayers that make us wonder if God is listening, or powerful, or loving.
Christ’s church is wonderfully diverse and sinfully divided.
That would contradict the other ideas and practices of Jesus and the first Christians.
What would this have meant to the people who first heard or read it?
We have a way of convincing ourselves that we deserve power, blessing, and a privileged identity because of our relationship with God.
We are unable to take a breath spiritually, much less reach out for a life preserver. That’s the key to understanding the doctrine of total depravity.
Richard Dawkins, one of Christianity’s fiercest detractors, declared in his best-selling book The God Delusion that “the God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction.”