How Do Buddhists Do the Problem of Evil?

The simple answer is that they don’t. For Buddhism, it’s the problem of desire. Christianity has the problem, not Buddhism. Why is this? Buddhism starts with the problem of evil, suffering or “dukkha,” as its first statement of faith in the four noble truths. However, it is not the problem we think. Buddhism concedes that suffering or evil is what life is made of. It does not begin with an all powerful and good God, and the ensuing moral and logical entailments. In fact, in Buddhism, the question of God’s existence is not raise. Buddhism begins from a different starting point, suffering, not God’s existence. Continue reading

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Critiquing Christians: A Founders Warning

Critiquing Christians: the Lord’s Prayer, a Founders Warning

The Lord’s Prayer is one of the most recited and well known prayers worldwide. Yet, it is probably the least understood. We speak it so freely and frequently in Western society, but do we understand its historical message. As a child, I memorized the prayer, but not until college did I ask for its meaning. What is the “kingdom” all about? Is “hallowed” no more than a vague feeling cosmic importance? It was this prayer that led me to question the Gospel’s demands of me.  Was the Gospel simply a call for private moral forgiveness of the soul by God, which plays outs as a numbers game of winners and losers, of heaven or hell, a Monty Python stereotype of religion? This was hardly a satisfactory answer.  Even a causal reading of the Gospel writings tells a broader story.  What does the Lord’s Prayer teach in its historical, grammatical and literal setting? Continue reading

Evil: The Dark Night of the Soul

The problem of evil has many faces. Unfortunately, none of them are pretty, but all of them very real. Elie Wiesel book, Night, is one of those faces.

The believer’s tragedy is how a good God could allow such suffering and injustice. Is God good? Is God all powerful? Evil can’t be glossed over in theoretical arguments but it pain must be felt. Here is an excerpt from Elie Wiesel’s book Night when as a young teenager of faith, he experiences his first night in Auschwitz: Continue reading

The Use of “I AM” in John 8:24

The Women Caught in Adultery: Forgiveness and Jesus “I Am”

The following is an email conversation on a message given in July of 2006 and the use of “I Am” in John 8:24 “unless you believe ‘I Am’ you will die in your sins.”

Andy,

I thought your message last Sunday morning was excellent. It’s not often you hear a message on Deity of Jesus, or Trinitarian theology. And, I appreciated your candid “So what?” question to Jesus’ “I Am” statement. It is the better question. In fact, it was such a good question that I wish you could have spent more time developing it. The answer is the “punch line” to Jesus’ “I Am” claim and the women caught in adultery which I’m still discovering the importance of in the practice of forgiveness. Continue reading