believing in god

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RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING

Why raise children as Christians?

  • Duty, secure basis for life, helps through difficulties,
  • What a child experiences:
  • Christening/baptism
  • Christian school
  • worship
  • church
  • youth groups and events
  • confirmation
  • parents examples
  • community experience
  • Values = love, forgiveness, honesty….
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RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

Direct contact with God

Four types:

1.Numinous experience 2.Conversion 3.Prayer 4.Miracles

Sometimes a person experiences one, or a combination

Ian McCormack = jelly fish man

Saul who converted to Paul

Audrey Santo

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THE DESIGN ARGUEMENT

  • Design is the result of intelligent thought
  • The universe shows evidence of design
  • This suggests a being with intelligence designed it
  • The universe is too complex to come about by chance, or designed by any being other than God
  • Therefore, God exists

Paley = watch

Problems:

  • Natural evil
  • argument only suggests designer is God
  • evolution could give the appearance of design
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THE CAUSATION ARGUEMENT

DOMINOES

  • Nothing happens by itself
  • Everything is caused by something else
  • The universe cannot have happened by itself
  • There has to be a cause, the cause is God
  • Aquinas = ‘unmoved mover’

Problems:

Can’t be proved, why God?, big bang theory?

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SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS OF THE ORIGINS OF THE WORL

  • Big bang theory = enormous explosion started the world 15 billion years ago
  • Evolution = Darwin’s theory of the gradual development of species over millions of years
  • Natural selection = the way species select the best characteristics for survival

Science offers evidence

Christian responses:

  • The Bible’s account of creation is a story
  • 6 days of creation are periods of time
  • Science says how, the Bible says why
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UNANSWERED PRAYERS

  • Prayer is communication with God
  • When people hear no response it leads to doubt, questioning and sometimes rejection

Christian responses:

Some feel God is not listening Persevere, God will listen and answer Prayers may not be answered as expected God does not answer selfish prayers Prayer requests may not be part of God’s plan

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THE PROBLEM WITH EVIL AND SUFFERING

Natural evil / moral evil

God = omnipotent, omni-benevolent, omniscient; then why is he silent??

The existence of evil makes people question exactly where God is and what he is doing…

For many, it means he does not exist

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CHRISTIAN RESPONSES TO EVIL AND SUFFERING

Bible = God made a perfect world, Adam and Eve used their freewill to disobey God and allow evil into the world, Jesus then came to overcome this evil.

Christian explanations: (Story of Job)

Evil and suffering is because of our freewill A test from God? Part of God’s plan Following the example of Jesus

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