Why Naturalism Is False (or Irrational)

“Why Naturalism Is False (or Irrational)” is a talk given to student organizations at both Harvard University and Boston College Law School in April 2013. The following notes reflect the substance of my talk after introductory comments:

Our first task tonight is to define naturalism. What idea is it that I believe is false or irrational?

What is Naturalism?

There are certainly different varieties of naturalism. Words can be defined in different ways. So to be clear, I will identify a particular definition for naturalism and use this definition throughout my talk tonight. If you find some or all of these arguments successful, but believe another version of naturalism is still an intellectually legitimate option, it is important that you clearly define what you mean by ‘naturalism’ so that we use our primary terms in a consistent manner.

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60+ Innovative Church Growth Strategies

Who doesn’t want to be part of an exciting, growing, and large church?

The greater the desire for a bigger and better church, the more important church growth strategies are.

The motivation from this post came as I read through 2 Corinthians, looking for how Paul pastored this church. His methodology is so different from my own. It is sharply distinctive from what I often see promoted as the best way forward for the church. By pulling these ‘strategies’ together into one list I hope to remind us about the nature of Paul’s approach to ministry. My hope is that this knowledge changes how we act and relate to one another in churches today.

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How Jesus Responds To Tragedy

Every time a major tragedy grips the conscience of America, some prominent Christians will offer unhelpful explanations. I’d like to look at some of the most embarrassing examples, consider a few reasons why this happens, and then contrast their perspective with the teaching of Jesus.

As we’ll see, there is a stark difference between how some Christian leaders and Jesus respond to tragedy.

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Pastors: Six Easy Ways To Add Apologetics To Your Sermons

Many pastors would like to include apologetics in their preaching and teaching. Why?

Because they know that people in the pew are starving for reasons to believe in Christianity, struggling with doubts, and hopeful for answers.

They know that nonChristians are listening in, questioning everything, and wondering why they should change their minds about Jesus.

But pastors don’t want to bore people, be overly rationalistic, or lose focus on their main point. And they are busy. So how can pastors add apologetics into their sermons?

Here are six simple, easy-to-implement suggestions for time-crunched pastors.

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The Opposite of Acts 2

What if God doesn’t exist? What if Jesus never rose from the dead? Assuming that we accept naturalism as true, how might an accurate historian have explained the events of Acts 2? Here’s my attempt at recreating this story if we assume there was no actual divine intervention:

…Allow me to briefly digress from these important histories to tell you an amusing story about one of the silliest Jewish cults that emerged in those days!

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Is God Good? Are Humans Bad?

The following is the transcript of a talk given at Church of the Cross during the “Dealing with Doubts” series on August 19, 2012.

Today we are going to look at perhaps the most difficult question that any human can face: the problem of evil and suffering. The problem of pain.

This is a problem that everyone has to resolve. Christians agonize over how to think about the recent shootings in Aurora, CO and the wildfires that swept the state and affected Colorado Springs. This past week, my wife and I have had to wrestle with this question due to some painful injustices we have experienced in regards to our housing situation.

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How Should the Church Respond to Doubt?

Whatever their worldview, everyone has doubts. Christians are no different.

Given this pervasive experience, every local church needs to acknowledge the reality of doubt. In preparing to respond to doubt, the church has a responsibility to anchor its approach in solidly Biblical principles. As we’ll see, however, this requires us to develop a wise and contextual understanding for the particular doubts and cultural norms of our friends and neighbors.

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A Collision with God – A Sermon on Mark 10:35-45

“A Collision with God” is a sermon on Mark 10:35-45, given on June 24th, 2012, at a regional worship gathering for Church of the Cross in Boston, MA.

You are welcome to give this sermon in other contexts (for instance, at a church service), but please do not reproduce the written text elsewhere.

Passage: Mark 10:35-45 (read at Bible Gateway – link opens in new window)

Let’s start our time together with some honesty. Who do you relate to best?

James and John, the other disciples, or Jesus?

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