True Christian faith rests on content. It is not a vague thing which takes the place of real understanding, nor is it the strength of belief which is of value. The true basis for faith is not the faith itself, but the work which Christ finished on the cross. My believing is not the basis for being saved—the basis is the work of Christ. Christian faith is turned outward to an objective person: ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved.’
— Francis Schaeffer, from The God Who Is There, p. 133
While engaged in a ministry to high school students in Oklahoma, I once began a youth meeting with the following declaration: “This afternoon, I have a message from the Water Tower Monster. The Water Tower Monster is an awesome specter who lives beneath the water tower just outside of town beside Highway 59. His message is this: He wants everyone in town to believe in him. He says that if there are any unbelieving residents remaining at the end of one year, he will destroy the whole town. When you believe in him, you will experience an unmistakable shiver in your liver. The stronger your faith becomes, the more he will reinforce your faith through communication with your inner being. Are there any questions?” Continue reading
In the popular classic Christmas movie Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street, little Suzie Walker, played by Natalie Wood, is perplexed about how some of those around her are reacting to the enigmatic Santa Claus figured who has recently come into their lives. Her mother, Doris, played by Maureen O’Hara, tries to explain to her the need to have faith in Kris Kringle. Frustrated, little Suzie exclaims, “But that doesn’t make any sense, Mommy,” to which her mother responds, “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells us not to.”
— Thomas Howe, from To Everyone An Answer, Francis Beckwith, William Craig, and J. P. Moreland, editors, p. 23
Any position in which claims about Jesus or the resurrection are removed from the realm of historical reality and placed in a subjective realm of personal belief or some realm that is immune to human scrutiny does Jesus and the resurrection no service and no justice. It is a ploy of desperation to suggest that the Christian faith would be little affected if Jesus was not actually raised from the dead in space and time.
A person who gives up on the historical foundations of our faith has in fact given up on the possibility of any real continuity between his or her own faith and that of a Peter, Paul, James, John, Mary Magdalene, or Priscilla. The first Christian community had a strong interest in historical reality, especially the historical reality of Jesus and his resurrection, because they believed their faith, for better or for worse, was grounded in it.
— Ben Witherington, from New Testament History, p. 167
Examination of the following ten historical sources (outside the Bible) reveals information about the life of Jesus that conforms to, and even corroborates, the four New Testament Gospel accounts and also the book of Acts. Continue reading
People in our culture in general are already in the process of being accustomed to accept non- defined, contentless religious words and symbols, without any rational or historical control. Such words and symbols are ready to be filled with the content of the moment. The words ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ’ are the most ready for the manipulator. The phrase ‘Jesus Christ’ has become a contentless banner which can be carried in any direction for sociological purposes. In other words, because the phrase ‘Jesus Christ’ has been separated from true history and the content of Scripture, it can be used to trigger religiously motivated sociological actions directly contrary to the teaching of Christ.
— Francis Schaeffer, from The God Who Is There, p. 84
Philosophy is merely thought that has been thought out. It is often a great bore. But man has no alternative, except between being influenced by thought that has been thought out and being influenced by thought that has not been thought out. The latter is what we commonly call culture and enlightenment today. But man is always influenced by thought of some kind, his own or somebody else’s; that of somebody he trusts or that of somebody he never heard of, thought at first, second or third hand; thought from exploded legends or unverified rumours; but always something with the shadow of a system of values and a reason for preference. A man does test everything by something. The question here is whether he has ever tested the test.
— G. K. Chesterton, quoted by thoughtfulchristianity.net
True philosophy encompasses all wisdom and includes—indeed finds its climax in—God’s revelation to us in Jesus of Nazareth, Wisdom incarnate—a wisdom that comes not through unaided reason, but by amazing grace.
— Paul Copan, from Loving Wisdom, kindle location 63
To be ignorant and simple now—not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground— would be to throw down our weapons and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.
— C. S. Lewis, quoted in Scaling the Secular City by J. P. Moreland, Foreword
Unfortunately, some people take the notion of equal toleration of religious expression to mean that all religions are equally true, thus equally valid paths to God. In effect, democracy has been applied to ultimate truth. This seemingly “politically correct” approach to religion, though popular, represents deeply convoluted thinking. The acceptance of social pluralism (tolerance of diverse religious expression) does not logically imply the truth of metaphysical pluralism (that all religious truth-claims are equally valid and simultaneously true).
— Kenneth Richard Samples, from Without a Doubt, kindle location 1809