Most people wrongly assume that science supports evolution as the explanation for the origin of man and that the Bible ‘s description is without any scientific support.
Consider that the theory of evolution born out of the writings of Charles Darwin in the 19th century in now undergoing a considerable re-think based on 20th and 21st century science. Through science we now know that our universe had a beginning before which there was nothing, that the universe and earth are governed by life sustaining natural law constants of such precision that they could not have come about by chance and that numerous biological processes appear to operate on incorporated information.
That the universe had a beginning points to a beginner. The precision of life sustaining natural law constants rule out chance and point to intentionality. The information incorporated into physical and biological processes points to intelligent design. Collectively, a beginner, intentionality and intelligent design point to one conclusion. That God is the giver and sustainer of life.
Evolution as popularly taught is in trouble because of the absence of transitional species required to prove evolution, the periodic explosions of life forms without those expected transitional species, and the extreme statistical improbability that chance could be a factor in numerous complex biological processes.
In weighing the evidence, the scales seem to have tipped in favor of a beginner and intelligent designer that intentionally made the world and man to occupy it.
It was all done with a purpose.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will… Ephesians 1:4-5 (NIV)
This challenge for all Christians comes directly from the great Commandment recorded in Luke 10:27. It is a confirmation Jesus made about the importance of using intellect and reason to become a mature follower and disciple. So, how does a Christian do it; i.e. “Love God with all your mind”?
Jesus provided the way to love God with your mind by giving each new believer the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to lead them to life transforming truths found throughout the Bible. What is required on the believer’s part is to be diligent in using all their God-given faculties to gain relevant knowledge and understanding by reading, studying, examining and discussing Biblical truths.
This pursuit of truth will also lead to grasping the meaning of apologetics, i.e. what Christians believe and why they believe it.
This intellectual undertaking, guided by the Holy Spirit, will result in Christians being able to discern truth from cultural lies and will help them justify their beliefs about all things important. Those faculties we are given to use include our senses (including common sense and sense of curiosity), memory, logical reasoning abilities and our moral conscience.
It is a scientific fact that reason and logical thinking differentiate man from all other creatures. These capabilities also confirm that mankind was created in the image of God. These unique qualities imply the importance of using our mind and intellect to enter into an intimate and personal relationship with God and with Jesus Christ. Eventually the believer will be capable of thinking like a Christian on all elements or disciplines encountered in life and in the culture. He or she will have developed a Biblical worldview.
For a more in-depth study of this topic, we recommend books, Love Your God with All Your Mind by J. P. Moreland, and Your Mind Matters by John Stott. An important follow-up question which will be answered in the future is, Where is your Mind and why is that Important? You might be surprised at the answer.
Images by holdentrils and RÜŞTÜ BOZKUŞ from Pixabay
No, the God of Islam is not the same as the God of Christianity and the Bible. In Christianity God is explained as being of three natures. That concept is known as the Trinity. Simply, it is God the father who created us, Jesus, his son, who lived among us, and the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Islam rejects the idea that God is three in one. It is not possible for God to be a Trinity and not Trinity at the same time.
Islam denies the Trinity and teaches that God has no Son. In the Quran, the holy book of Islam, in Surah 5:73 (Yusuf Ali), it is written, “They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah.” The Quran clearly denies one of the essential Christian doctrines about God’s nature. The God of Islam and the God of Christianity are not the same. The God of Islam is characterized by submission whereas the God of Christianity is characterized by love.
This is most clearly explained in the central tenet of Christianity, Jesus died for our sins and rose again, creating a path for us to enjoy eternal life in his presence. Christians are assured of this through grace–what Jesus did for us, not because of anything we have done for him.
In Islam, Jesus is not God in the flesh (Surah 4:172; 5:73: 9:30), whereas in Christianity he is (John 1:1,14). In Christianity Jesus was crucified, but in Islam he was not (Surah 4:158). This is another irreconcilable difference between Islam and Christianity regarding God and who Jesus is. In addition, Islam says that the Helper is Muhammed, where the Bible says that the Helper is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). So, the God of Islam and the God of Christianity and the Bible are not the same. Muslims and Christians therefore do not worship the same God.
Sadly, Muslims do not live with assurance that they will spend eternity with God. They hope that they can do enough good to earn them salvation, but only Christianity offers assurance that all the work necessary has already been done by Jesus on the cross.
Artwork by Brian Regrut