Evolution: A Premilinary

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! We’ve been looking at the relationship between science and religion lately. Tonight, I’d like us to start looking at the topic of evolution. I’m not going to be commenting from a scientific matter. I really don’t have the science to do that. Tonight, we just want to look and see if evolution and Christianity are compatible.

Now right off, we can easily say naturalistic evolution and Christianity are not compatible because naturalistic evolution is evolution with a foundation of naturalism where God does not exist. If there is no God, there can obviously be no Christianity. However, naturalism is also something that cannot be established by science. It is not incompatible with evolution, but evolution is not sufficient to prove naturalism.

An example of not understanding this would be Richard Dawkins in “The Blind Watchmaker.” I will say that this work of Dawkins is far better than what he wrote in “The God Delusion.” It should be seen as a wonder that the same person wrote both of those books. In “The Blind Watchmaker”, Dawkins is clear but not polemic. Of course, I disagree with his conclusion and several of his examples and many aspects of his reasoning, but he is speaking in a far more friendly manner instead of being on a rant.

Dawkins in that book however seeks to show that there is a basis for what is seemingly design in the universe and that that basis is evolution. Once we have proven evolution, there is no need for God. This is the same kind of “God-of-the-Gaps” mentality that Dawkins argues against however in saying that once this gap is filled in, then there is no place for God.

The Christian gospel however is not “Repent and believe the good news that God created man by divine fiat.” The Christian gospel is “Repent and believe on the risen Son of God.” If the case is that Jesus was risen from the dead, then there is definitely strong likelihood that Christianity is true. If it turns out that scientific ideas that we may not hold to are true, then we must come to accept that and possibly see if we erred in our interpretation of Scripture.

This is one reason I urge Christians that unless they have the proper study behind them in the field of science to not debate issues like evolution. When I debate someone on the basis of the origin of the universe, I come at it from a metaphysical perspective. I have no doubt the physicist understands the physics better than I do. My argument does not depend on the physics however.

Now supposed you were a trained physicist and you could use that to demonstrate that the universe did not create itself or come from nothing, or suppose you were a biologist and you could argue from a scientific perspective on problems you have with evolutionary theory and your purpose in this is to create an opening for the gospel with someone by disabling their naturalism. Very well. If not however, there’s no need to fight that battle as it is unnecessary.

For years now, the church has been divided on this debate and it is quite ridiculous for us to be. By all means, have an opinion on how old the Earth is and how it was that God brought about the existence of man. Don’t add that to the gospel and don’t look down on those with a different stance. I don’t wish to share mine as this blog is not about my view on secondary matters, but I have friends who I believe are devout Christians who are YEC, OEC, and TE.

Instead, let it be shown that Christ was risen from the dead. If that is the case, then you can rest assured no matter what comes your way (This is also the stance Dr. Gary Habermas took in saying that other issues like prophecy and the flood and such were interesting, but the resurrection was the foundation and so he based his career on proving that).

Now some might ask about questions such as death before the fall or animal pain or how to interpret Genesis 1. Those are good questions, but those are not the questions to bring to the skeptic. You’re not there to convince him of the resurrection and your view of the origin of man. You’re there to convince him of the resurrection.

In conclusion, I see no conflict between the idea of God using a process to create man and Jesus being risen from the dead. There are Christians on all sides of the debate on origin and the best thing we could do is listen to one another and realize our brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ rather than adding origins to the gospel. It’s never been part of the gospel and it never should be.


Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters, a blog where we dive into the ocean of truth! Tonight, we’re going to be looking further at our study of the relationship between science and religion. We’ll be talking about a case that always comes up when this issue is raised and that is the case of Galileo, which is supposed to show the great conflict between science and religion.

The idea is that Galileo came to the conclusion that the Earth revolved around the sun. The Catholic Church did not like the idea and wanted to silence Galileo since that disagreed supposedly with Scripture. Galileo would not be silenced however and so Galileo was severely punished by the Catholic Church as a result. (Various means of which are described)

Let’s get some reality in however.

Heliocentrism was already well-known. It had been talked about by Copernicus already. The main impetus for it however was not found so much in Scripture as it was in Aristotle, who through the work of Aquinas had become a major influence on the Catholic Church. To disagree with geocentrism was to call Aristotle into question.

Some of that had already been done by Galileo. When he spoke of the sunspots, which was a problem for Aristotle, the Jesuits did look through his telescope and saw that, yes, Galileo was right about sunspots. (This was a problem since the sun was to be seen as perfect in its nature) However, Galileo wanted more.

Galileo was also a trained scientist, but he was not a theologian. In that time, if you were not trained in an area, you did not speak with authority in that area. If only such was applied today where scientists think they can pontificate on philosophy and theology by virtue of being scientists. Granted however, I also think philosophers and theologians should not speak on scientific claims without being trained in the sciences.

Galileo was stepping outside his bounds as he wrote on the Bible and how his new view did not go against Scripture. The Church did not have a problem with the view, but they wanted it to be accepted as a theory until further data could come in. Galileo did not listen however and kept entering the area of theology.

Throughout this time, the Aristotlean scholars outside the church had been having a problem with Galileo. After they had numerous battles together, they finally let Galileo go to the church and make his case before them. The problem was that while today, we know Galileo was right, back then, there was not enough evidence to know such. We could easily say “Today, we know he was right and the Church should have seen that.” Hindsight is 20/20 however and we’ve learned much that Galileo did not know. Every science of the past must be judged not by modern science but by the science of the time.

Galileo’s best argument that he had however was not the best. Galileo pointed to the rising of the tides. There was already an explanation for this however and so Galileo’s was not needed.

Galileo however went further. He wrote a dialogue about a simpleton debating the new theory and unfortunately, he made the bad move of having the simpleton be awfully similar to the Pope. Naturally, the simpleton in the story could not rebut heliocentrism and thus was embarrassed in it.

The Pope wasn’t too happy with this.

This is where the heat was applied and frankly, as I look over the situation, it seems more likely that egos were getting in the way of facts. Both Galileo and the Pope had egos. Galileo wanted instant recognition and the Pope was seeking to advance his own popularity and taking care of someone like Galileo would do that.

Galileo did not suffer greatly however. He simply lived under house arrest of a sorts, but he was paid a pension by the Church till the day of his death and he was freely allowed to continue his observations.

Another point some might make in reference to this is that Geocentrism was a view that had man at the center of the universe and the Church did not want to lose that since God would put man there.

This really isn’t so however. If anything, being in the center was not a good thing. God would be seen as beyond the universe and so one would not want to be stuck in the center. They’d want to go where God was. The modern objection tries to view the Church through the modern lens rather than the lens of its own time.

As for passages that could be used to support Geocentrism, I recommend going to the web site of my friend J.P. Holding at www.tektonics.org.

I also recommend for reading “The Sleepwalkers” by Arthur Koestler, “The Twilight of Atheism” by Alister McGrath, “God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?” by John Lennox, and Dinesh D’Souza’s “What’s So Great About Christianity?”

We shall look at another topic tomorrow.

At Least Science Can Admit It’s Wrong

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! Lately, we’ve been going through a methodical step by step look at the relationship between science and religion. Last night, I raised the question of why is it that science can change in its views but religion doesn’t seem to? Today, we will look at that question.

Now when a person is wrong about something, be it either a scientist or a religious person or some combination thereof as the two are not mutually exclusive, I think we should be proud of that. It takes humility to do such. However, it has often been said that science can admit its mistakes and can change with the time. Religion, which of course is Christianity, has not changed in 2,000 years.

In a sense, this is correct. We still hold to the same beliefs that have been held by all orthodox Christians for centuries. Surely if religion was something that was developing, we would see some sort of change in this. Why is it that Christianity is still stuck in the past?

A similar “problem” can be found in philosophy. We would grant that some new ideas have come about in philosophy, but in many ways, it is still Plato vs. Aristotle and it is taught by new people. The laws of logic have not changed in thousands of years. There are still people that believe in Platonic forms. We still cite these two names as authorities, and rightfully so.

Philosophy is the study of ideas and truth. These can exist independently of matter, much like in the case of mathematics. Theology is the study of the most noble of all ideas, God, and Christianity has for centuries held to his immutability. (I am aware there are some today that question this along with ideas such as God’s omniscience. I am defending the classical view however) He never changes.

Science, on the other hand, is the study of matter and matter is always changing. Whatever you are looking at is changing in some way. As I write this, my body is undergoing change and it will be different when I finished than from when I started. There are also hard questions about what is being studied. For instance, what is a cat? All cats look different, and yet somehow, we recognize a cat when we see one. What makes a cat a cat? There’s even a difficulty understanding what matter itself is.

Science also since it relies on the material world depends on the technology of the material world. It would be useless to ask Newton what the half-life of Uranium was. He’d have no idea. It would be ridiculous to ask Galen what he’d do about bacteria. He wouldn’t know what you were talking about. It’s not because these people were foolish. They were great geniuses in their time! It’s because the information to ask the question wasn’t there any more than it would make sense to ask Lincoln who would be president in 2012.

Since new discoveries are being made as we are seeing new things, we can expect there to be change. In theology on the other hand, you have build-up on the old. Everyone examines the old ideas the most. Many a scientist can understand Newton’s or Einstein’s ideas without having to read them. If you want to know medicine, there is no necessity to read Galen. If you want to know Christianity, it is quite helpful to read the Bible. If you want to know philosophy, it benefits you to read Plato and Aristotle. For science, it’s most beneficial to read the latest articles that are published in science journals.

None of this is to fault any field of learning. Theology is the best field we have for learning about God. Philosophy is the best field we have for learning about ideas. Science is the best field that we have for learning about the material world. The problem comes when we say that one should work by the same principles.

Thus, we should not expect much change in religion but simply refinement. Someone may come up with a new idea sometime, but seeing as we’ve studied the same unchanging subject for 2,000 years, it is highly unlikely that this will happen. We will refine our understanding instead of what has always been held, and that’s fine.

For science, we should expect new and improved since it deals with and depends on the material world entirely. If we have an error in our understanding in any field, we should admit it, but we should also admit there’s a reason science is changing constantly and religion is not.

But the two have often had crossroads in history haven’t they?

We can discuss that tomorrow.

Is Science Certain?

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! We’ve lately been looking at the interplay between science and religion. We’ve found that science is not the only test for truth and that not all claims to truth are scientific claims. However, we are often told that science has led us into more truth than any other practice. Let us examine this.

To begin with, we shall start with discussing the nature of Phlogiston. What? That’s an unfamiliar term? Okay. How about we discuss the substance of the luminous aether in the universe? Wait. That’s also an unfamiliar topic. The reason I bring both of these up is that both of these were views that were held by science at a certain point in time.

The history of science is of one idea of science replacing another idea. Take Ptolemy’s system of the orbits of the planets. It worked great! People were able to make predictions on where the bodies would be and there wasn’t much of a problem. Copernicus, however, found a simpler way of measuring if the sun was placed at the center of the solar system. The outworking of this will be in another blog however when we get to supposed conflicts between science and religion.

In the time of each of these theories, they would have been crusaded by those who believed them and ample evidence would be given. Indeed today, presenters of opposing scientific theories will mount up evidence on their behalf on why we should believe their view of a certain phenomena.

Many of us today can think of different ways that science has changed. At one point in time, it is healthy to eat X and not eat Y. The next, it is healthy to eat Y and not eat X. There could be a time when it is not healthy to eat any of them or it is healthy to eat both.

The point is that every scientist can surely hold his theory and indeed we should for we go by the evidence we have, but he must also be aware that the science that he holds to so strongly today could be the science that is on the junk pile within a hundred years or so.

Of course, we can’t see one theory as more true than another if it has been rejected. However, we can say that science is giving us better means of finding the truth. This is also through the use of technology today, such as telescopes and computers and other tools.

We must be wary however of those who say that they are sticking to the science of the age as the ultimate truth. He who marries the spirit of the age is destined to be a widow. There is nothing wrong with believing it, but there would be something wrong if one were proverbially ready to lie down and die for that belief. We can hold to theories today, but also be prepared to accept that tomorrow, a new discovery could be made that will overturn our worldview.

But someone could say “At least science changes! Religion hasn’t!”

And we can discuss that tomorrow.

The Scientific Method

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters, where we are diving into the ocean of truth! We’re looking at the relationship between science and religion and tonight, I’d like to look at the scientific method some. There are a number of people who think the scientific method is the best method we have of finding truth.

The main steps of the method are to make a hypothesis. Then, you do an experiment in order to test that hypothesis. Then, you analyze the results that came through that experiment and you come to a conclusion. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this method. It is a great method.

It is also the best way we have of finding scientific truth. It is not as good however in other fields. History, math, logic, morality, and beauty for instance. You do not answer truth claims in those areas by using the scientific method. If you want to know if your spouse loves you or if 64 squared is 4096 or if it’s wrong to take innocent life, you don’t do the scientific method. You go to other fields of study.

This then is the rub that we have. Too many people say that the scientific method is the best source for truth and then assume that it works in every area. In “The Unity of Philosophical Experiences” Etienne Gilson warned against such a practice. The danger in each area is to take the expertise of one area and pour that over into every other area. This is what has happened sadly today when scientists are seen as authorities on religion and philosophy without having the proper credentials simply because they are scientists.

The scientific method presupposes other facts about the world before it and these are facts that cannot be ascertained by the scientific method. For instance, consider the following:

The belief that the universe is rational and can be understood by our minds cannot be demonstrated by the scientific method.

The belief that the universe will always function the way that it has or that it did in the past and does so in every area we know of cannot be demonstrated by the scientific method.

The belief that scientists should report accurately data that is received through the scientific method cannot be demonstrated by the scientific method.

The big one is that the scientific method is reliable cannot be demonstrated by the scientific method.

Does this mean the scientific method is an enemy? Not at all. Every scientist in his field should use the scientific method. The danger is to take the scientific method and think that any truth claim must be ascertained by that. This is unfortunately communicated by atheists. Many beliefs are seen as unscientific. In fact, they are. That is because they are not claims of science. However, because they are not of the type that is testable by the method, then they are dismissed a priori. In reality, our most important beliefs that we have, such as beliefs about goodness, love, morality, truth, etc. are not scientific beliefs.

Christians should not be afraid of the scientific method or scientific truth. Skeptics however should realize the method is not an end-all and cannot establish itself. Like all other methods, use it where it is proper and not where it is improper.

Scientific Method And Truth Claims

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! Tonight, we’re going to be continuing our look at the relationship between religion and science. I wish to start however by getting clear what science is first and that is in relationship to theology. Tonight, I’d like to take a deep look at truth claims.

A month or so ago, I had some Mormons come by and visit. In the discussion, they said that I was asking a historical question and that I just needed to ask God for the answer. Now personally, I see this as lazy thinking anyway. God never set Himself up to be our personal answer-man. However, I reminded them of what I’d said earlier. When we make philosophical claims, we use philosophical evidence. When we make historical claims, we use historical evidence. If we make a spiritual claim, we can use spiritual evidence.

A lot of people like to test truth claims via the scientific method. Now I think the scientific method is a great way to test truth claims. That is, it’s a great way to test truth claims if they are truth claims of a scientific nature. If they are not, then the scientific method is not the method to use.

Suppose I am in a debate with a Jehovah’s Witness. If we want to determine if God is triune or not, we are not going to use the scientific method. We are going to use the data we have that we both believe comes from God and reach a conclusion that way. This would be looking at what God has said about Himself and going from there.

We obviously could not perform an experiment and see if God was triune. For one thing, we don’t have the subject matter to act on in a way that is done in science. We cannot take God to a lab and especially since he has no body, take some DNA of God and see if we find a gene for Triunity or anything of that sort.

Even with real flesh and blood people, we can’t do that. If I want to see if my wife loves me, I don’t have a doctor draw blood and take it to a lab and look at it and see if he sees traces of my wife’s love in there. Instead, I look at the evidence that I see in our relationship together.

If I want to see if Jesus was risen from the dead, I do not use science for that. Instead, I look at history. I take the information we have from the manuscripts that exist and look and see what I believe can and cannot be verified historically and act from there.

The point is that the scientific method is great for doing science, but the first question that needs to be asked is if the question is even scientific at all. Not all questions are and to use the scientific method to answer such questions is to commit a category fallacy.

We shall continue tomorrow.

Science And Being

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters, a blog devoted to diving into the ocean of truth! We’ve got a number of works going on here and tonight, I’d like to really start looking at the relationship between science and religion. Now I am not looking at this as a scientist. I state that upfront. I do not doubt that the scientists know more about this field insofar as it’s science. When it comes to the overbranching topic of metaphysics in relation to science, that is where I will be speaking.

We went through a series recently on the question of God in the Summa Theologica and saw how much depends on Aquinas’s doctrine of existence, of being. For Aquinas, theology is the highest science because it studies the supreme being. Philosophy would be next because it gives the tools that are used in the study of the supreme being, which is why it was often referred to as the handmaiden of theology. Last would be the natural sciences since that studies material being.

Is this to lower matter? Not at all. It’s to say that there is a chain of being. God is being without limitations and so God is the supreme object of study. Next comes topics like ideas. This refers to the form of things. For Aristotle, the forms dwell in the objects, but the forms still refer to unchanging realities. That is the essence of a thing. Philosophy studies non-material objects that can depend on material realities for their expression.

In looking at science, we must realize that the sciences study a kind of being in each case. Physics studies material being in motion. Biology studies living material being. Astronomy studies material being in the heavens. Zoology studies animal material being. We could go on and on.

This is also why some questions fall out of the domain of the sciences. Now they can be used in the sciences or the sciences can give some information about them or they can give some information about the sciences or some combination thereof, but they are not inlcuded in the subject of science as part of the study.

For instance, what is 2 + 2? You don’t use the sciences to study that. You use math. Now you could consider math a kind of science, and that’s fine, but when I’m saying science in this blog series, unless stated otherwise, I’m thinking of sciences that study the material world as such.

The same applies to history. If I want to answer the question “Did Jesus rise from the dead?” science is not the way to do it. I have to use the historical method. Of course, someone might say, “Science demonstrates that men don’t come back from the dead.” That’s another argument for another day, but I’ll say at this point that it does no such thing. It demonstrates that men don’t naturally come back from the dead and that has never been a point of contention.

This has just been a preliminary. My goal is also not to speak of particular scientific findings as true or false per se. I leave that largely up to my readers to make their own decision. That will also apply to the evolution question. For the sake of argument, I’d be willing to grant to all my opponents that macroevolution is a fact. Of course, I don’t grant naturalistic evolution which is evolution without God. That will get to the topic of inferences, another topic for another day.

So let’s see where the road takes us.

Logical Fallacies: Accident

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters, where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I’m going to take another look at a logical fallacy tonight and it will be the fallacy of accident. No. It doesn’t mean just making a mistake in your reasoning, though you shouldn’t do that.

We all make generalizations at times. I’m not saying that’s wrong. I don’t really know much of a way that we can avoid it. The problem with the fallacy of accident is that it takes a general statement and treats it as if there could be no exceptions whatsoever to that statement.

A good example of this in biblical studies is the book of Proverbs. We all know of people who have said that the book of Proverbs says X, and they did X, but it did not happen. For instance, not everyone who does good has a long life. Proverbs however are not meant to be ironclad statements of reality that always follows. They are general principles that tend to lead to a desired result. Chances are, if you live life the way you ought to, you will live a longer life.

This is often the case with moral dilemmas. What do you do about the Nazis who come to your door and ask you if you have any Jews? Generally, we would agree that you should tell people the truth. However, this is a case where I would argue that the Nazis do not deserve the truth and it is justified to lie to them. You could lie to them while still believing in the ninth commandment since you realize a valid exception to the rules.

This is another one that skeptics also have a problem with, especially when it comes to miracles. We are told that the laws of nature have no exceptions whatsoever to them. If that is the case, then there can be no miracles. We’ve seen hundreds of cases after all where people die and they stay dead. Why should we believe that a miracle has taken place?

The Christian arguing for the resurrection however is not arguing against the principle that dead people come back to life by natural means. That would be pretty silly. They in fact agree with the principle. If they did not, it would not make a resurrection so incredible. It would be a case of “Well yeah. That guy came back from the dead. It happens every now and then. So what?” Death itself has to be a constant reality for the resurrection to be considered a miracle.

What the Christian is saying that all things being equal, dead people do stay dead, but in the case of Jesus, things are not equal. There is an outside agent interfering that brings about the resurrection. You don’t have to start with the outside agent, namely God. You can argue that Jesus was raised and then from that point determine that there must have been an outside agent and then establish the identity of said agent.

The one claiming there are no exceptions to dead people staying dead is making an a priori judgment. It could be the case that no miracles have occurred, but it is hardly fair to the evidence to assume this prior and then look back and when you see what could be an event that is miraculous, throw it out ad hoc.

Be wary of generalizations. They are not always absolute rules.

On Devotion

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! Our look at romance in America has been interesting. For those who are reading this at the blog, I invite you to come to Deeper Waters at TheologyWeb where a discussion is going on around this topic. Tonight, I’d like to look at devotion, and that would be devotion in marriage.

One major prayer I pray for my relationship with my wife is to be more devoted every day to her well-being. A month or two ago, I had some Mormons visit us and during the conversation, we talked about covenants and promises. Whenever this came up, I’d indicate my ring and let them know that I take promises very seriously.

Saying “I do” is a huge promise. Incidentally, whenever you become a Christian, it is essentially what you are saying to Christ. The call to believe in Christ is really a marriage call. Of course, we must be careful to not read in to the text modern ideas of marriage. The Bible has nothing in mind of many young single women who say they’re in love with Jesus and that Jesus is their husband. (I mention the women since it would be a bit awkward for the men to call Jesus their husband)

These ideas can often be based on emotional highs. Some people are more wired that way. I just want to make sure such people also have those emotions grounded on a firm reality. Our faith does not need to be a shallow faith and while it is good to have zeal, remember that Paul said we need zeal according to knowledge. Christianity is not meant to be just a high for people.

The rest of us who aren’t like that do differ in our Christian walk. For instance, I saw an atheist recently say the reason I was posting on an atheist blog in argument was because I’m on a mission to let others have the peace and joy of salvation that I have. Well, if you’re talking about an emotional experience, no. I do not have strong emotions over my salvation. If you’re talking about an internal awareness that I am at peace with God and He loves me, then yes.

We must remember in our Christian walk as well that it is not our choice to serve God. It is our duty. We are to do this and that is irrespective of our mood. I recall in the past, and I’m sure there will be some in the future, days when I would get up in the morning and I would be angry with my God on how my life was going, but I would get on the computer and serve Him anyway. My service was required of me regardless of my feelings at the time.

Why not in our marriages as well?

Now I’m largely going to be speaking to the men, though sometimes to the women as well, but I hope the women will pay attention to what I say and draw the necessary parallels.

We men can often once we get married fail to keep chasing our bride. It is easy to take them for granted at that point. While in the past, we’d make every move we could to sweep our brides off our feet, there are some marriages where I fear that that goal has gone away. The bride has been caught. Now we can relax.

Instead, make it a point to romance your wife every day. I often tell people that my wife has made me a master of one-handed driving. When we’re driving down the road, I have a hand on the wheel, but my other hand is locked in hers and hers in mine. It’s a great bonding experience when driving. Every now and then, I’ll have to move away to check directions on my phone, but when done, it’s back to normal.

Of course, before we even get in the car, I will open the car door for her and get her in. Even if someone else is driving the car, I do this anyway. When we get to our destination, I do the same thing. I recently was visiting some friends of mine and as I was leaving, their parents were leaving after me. I saw their Dad do this and I was quite impressed.

Be willing to take the lower place for your wife if need be. Right now, my wife is sick, and I ask your prayers for her recovery. Because she could still give the sickness to me, our doctor suggested we might avoid the same bed for the time being. Therefore, I am taking the position of sleeping on the couch. She wasn’t too keen on this for awhile, but I did state that it was a man thing. As a man, I just can’t make my wife sleep on a couch while I get a bed.

Remember that also women. Always let your men be men.

There have been times when something has happened that it would be easy to get angry over. Before getting angry, ask yourself what it would accomplish. Is your wife feeling guilty enough over this behavior already? Don’t make it worse then. You can express disappointment at something, but that’s no reason to get angry. Let it go. Give her the love you can rather than say something you can’t ever take back. I can gladly say that having it be 13 weeks today, my wife and I have yet to have an argument or fight. Disagreements? Yes. Arguments? No. When we have a disagreement, we sit down quietly and talk things out.

Men. Be ready first also to look for deficiencies in yourself. C.S. Lewis said that we’re all hard to live with, and he was right. Before you begin to think critically of your spouse, I recommend you look and see if it could be a deficit in you first that needs to be dealt with. What is your attitude to what is going on? Why is it that way? Could it be you that has the problem?

Ironically, one experience I had I described in a sermon I gave at my church on holiness and marriage. I spoke on how on a recent night, I had been upset internally with my wife over something thinking I was in the right. At night after going to bed, I was awake still analyzing the situation and then realized I was in the wrong and she was right. When she woke up for a bit that night, I told her what I’d found out in my pondering and asked her forgiveness admitting I was sorry for it all. She gave it, although she still says she was wanting to get back to sleep as well. What I told the congregation was that I wanted to be sure I had peace with my wife before going to bed that night.

What I didn’t tell them, was it was that very night before that that had happened.

If you must get angry about something however, find something substantial. Right now, the new atheists are wanting to destroy religion. Get angry and then get educated so you can deal with them. Muslims are wanting to build a mosque at 9/11. Homosexual activists are wanting to totally redefine marriage.

Or heck, be real gutsy. Look in the mirror and get angry at your own sins for a change.

Be willing to help your wife out. Fellow men. It won’t kill you to do some housework. Be there to help your wife with the laundry and the dishes. In fact, I’d recommend learning some about cooking so you could cook something special for her every now and then. (I’m still working on that, although we did cook pizza together tonight)

Make sure when you do this, you’re not doing it for ulterior motives either. We all know what we men want of course, but that is also your wife’s choice and that choice is to be honored. The reason you are to do housework or bring home a gift or anything of that sort is because you love your wife and you want to show her how much she means to you.

Make sure you’re giving her what she wants also. Women. For you, I can stress that a husband can like a clean home and a good meal, but because those are fixed, he’s not going to be celebrating entirely. He’ll be appreciative, but if you are a housewife, it is also what he is used to seeing when he gets home every day. Do something special for him that is what he’d want and not what you’d want. Fix a romantic dinner. Get a movie that he’ll like. Put on a really nice outfit that you know he’ll really enjoy.

We men need to do the same. My wife and I were recently at the apologetics conference. It might surprise some of you, but my wife is not really into apologetics. However, she does support her husband in this field and wants him to be the best that he can be. Thus, she was willing to go with me and join me. If I’m traveling for ministry purposes and she’s available, she’d want to go as well to join and support me.

On the other hand, my wife loves anime and so if I wanted to do likewise with her, then we’d be on our way to an anime convention. Now there are some things there that I think I’d enjoy, but overall, that convention would be for her. What is important, or should be important to me, is that she is enjoying herself.

Also, pray and read Scripture. This is a nightly ritual for my wife and I. We end our nights with Scripture and prayer. One question we ask each other before going to bed is “How may I pray for you tonight?” It is not much of a shock to each of us that our prayers are consistently about how we want to be better for one another.

Remember every day to get up and love your wife. For me, it is my joy to get to take care of the woman I’ve chosen to pledge my life to. As I believe I’ve said, my in-laws know that while I am using calm and peaceable, if anyone ever dared to harm my wife, they would find a fierce side of me that they weren’t expecting.

Devotion takes work also, but it’s worth it. Talk to married men and women and learn from them. Read good books on the topic. If you were wanting to do well in school, you’d read material for the course and learn the topic. Why is it that we don’t do the same when it comes to marriage? Some aspects can come naturally, but some do take work.

And I close with what someone recently said at a marriage talk we attended together, the best way to be a better husband or wife is to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ.

Holiness will always improve your marriage.

On Lust

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! Tonight, we’re going to continue what I was discussing a bit about dating yesterday with a look at lust.

Part of this comes from reading an atheist giving a testimony of what he struggled with growing up in church. For him, it was anathema to think about sex. He was told not to do it. We all know what happens. It’s the same thing that would happen if I told you not to think about a pink elephant for five minutes.

Honestly, I resonate with a story like this. I can understand it. I grew up somewhat legalistic. I was very sheltered. I still have a highly sensitive conscience. It is good to be moral, but sometimes we can overdo things. The intention of the Pharisees was good, but they overdid it.

The church has not been good with its attitude towards sex. All we’ve told young people numerous times is “Do not! Do not! Do not!” Now I believe the “do nots” are important. However, what is important is also why we observe the “do nots” as well as giving some “dos.”

Also, we need to watch how this is being presented. At a church I once attended, we had an event called the Silver Ring Thing. I kid you not. The pastor who spoke was boring me to no end. It is a shame if you can speak about the topic of sex and end up having your congregation be bored.

What was also ironic was he was giving reasons for not having sex before marriage. He was saying the reasons for having sex would be selfish reasons, and I agree. He did say in contrast to “Think of what you would say to your future spouse” or “You could get pregnant” or “You could get a disease.”

Maybe it was just me, but those were also selfish reasons to me also.

Nothing about what the nature of sexuality is. Nothing about what the nature of marriage is. There was no theological content to it. Instead, there was only applicational content. I’m not against application, but application needs to rest on something stronger and this atheist was obviously just given application without a background of sexual thought.

So let’s talk about lust then. First off, it is not “thinking about sex.” On the contrary, I think young people should be thinking about sex. God created it and it is something that falls into Philippians 4:8. I think my single friends should look forward to making love to their future spouse.

Second, it is also not admiration. You should have the right to admire someone of the opposite sex who is attractive. If the problem of lust is admiration, then you’d better never go on a date because I guarantee you you will be admiring that person who is sitting across from you. (By the way guys, don’t make a movie the first date. With a movie, you stare at the screen and don’t interact. Get a date where you interact. My wife and I went to an aquarium on our first date for instance)

Third, that person was also made beautiful for a reason. God made the aspects of the human body to be desired and to be appreciated. Go read the Song of Songs some time and look at how the body is emphasized. I get tired of Christians saying it’s an allegory. You could find some parallels with Christ and the church of course, but could it be the main reason for this was to celebrate the joy of marriage and the beauty of sexuality? Would it be that hard to read that in the text?

Of course, some of you are thinking I am giving a free pass. I’m saying anything goes in your thought life, and I’m not. I see lust as excessive desire. This is desire that cannot contain itself. When you start objectifying that person and treating them as just an object, you are guilty of lust.

This is also the problem with pornography. Pornography tells you to view women as simply objects of desire. (The reverse for women who struggle with porn of course) I would remind men that that girl in that picture is someone’s daughter. That is someone special. For Christians, that is someone who bears the image of God.

Porn is wrong because it treats a human being as just an object. Now to an extent, we do utilize human beings at times. If you bought something at a store today, you had to have a human being likely check you out. Still, that human being was serving a functional role, but if you treated them as just that role, you’d demean them.

Well guys, if you want to show a girl you’re devoted to her and she can trust you with herself, that’s a great way to do that. It’s called marriage. I would like you women to think about the alternative. Picture a man saying to you “Dearest. I love you. I want you to take all your clothes off for me, make yourself entirely vulnerable to me, and let me enjoy you. I just don’t think I want to make a lifelong commitment to you.”

No Romeo would say that with their lips, but several do with their actions.

To those who think they’re struggling with lust, I would say, lighten up. God gave you hormones for a reason. It doesn’t mean you have to get married and you’re under no obligation to get married. If you really want this gift of sex however, then the Bible only has one option for you. Marriage. It’s also a great option. (90 days today!)

If you really need someone to talk to, find a good group of guys that you can talk to about sex. Make them Christian men of course. Having others share your struggle is excellent. If you are struggling with porn, I have been told that the ministry of xxxchurch.com is one of the best you can go to.

Also, really think about sex. Don’t just think about “doing it”, but what it really is. What is the meaning behind this action? Why is it the way it is? What can this tell you about God? Yes. Sex can tell you about God. An excellent look on this can be found at www.peterkreeft.com with his talk of “Is There Sex In Heaven?” (I confess to listening to that one more than once.)

And if you’re a Christian and really struggling, remember the grace of God is there. It’s a battle, but he can help you overcome sexual addictions.

Above all, remember to honor people of the opposite sex in your life. Do that, and you will not lust after them, but rather desire them appropriately and love them.

We shall continue tomorrow.