The CCEL Times 5.9 (September 1, 2010)
In This Issue:
From the Director
The past several "From the Director" articles have dealt with questions of suffering and evil. The next several will deal with questions of the relationship between faith and reason. What do we do when faith and reason clash, when our faith seems to teach one thing and reason, or science, teaches another? When contemporary science teaches that the world is about 4.5 billion years old and primitive life arose more than 3.5 billion years ago, while the Bible seems (to some people) to say that life arose several thousand years ago? Should we Christians who take the Bible seriously go along with the "immortal words of the inspired Scottish bard William E. McGonagall, poet and tragedian, 'When faith and reason clash, Let reason go to smash'"?*
Questions like these are fundamentally important in many interrelated areas of modern life such as religious freedom, educational policy, ethics, and how we view the world. Over the next few months I will point out several classic books touching on these issues.
* Alvin Plantinga, “When Faith and Reason Clash: Evolution and the Bible,” Christian Scholars Review XXI:1 (September 1991).
Introductory Discussion Forum
The CCEL officially kicks off its first discussion topic in the new introductory online discussion forum aimed at folks who are new to online discussion groups and uncertain about how they work and what they are all about. This online discussion group will discuss one issue per month and serve as a transition into the many CCEL online discussion book groups that already exist. Visit our welcome page for information about joining this group, or email Ken Verhulst with any questions you might have.
New: Big Questions
Our new Big Questions section gathers classic resources from the CCEL that address some of the deepest questions of the Christian faith. See our home page to explore Big Questions such as these:
Go to the home page of the CCEL
Featured HymnA Congregational Lament by Calvin Seerveld
The text is a modern lament, a contemporary prayer in the style of the biblical laments in the psalms. Most Old Testament laments cry to God for help in some situation of need and offer words of encouragement and trust in God's saving deeds. Much Christian hymnody is devoid of such biblical lamenting in specific time, of need and pain—the psalms clearly fill this void.
Classic CommentaryJohn Calvin on Joshua 25
How can it be that those who were lately such stern avengers of superstition, have themselves given admission to idols? Yet the words expressly enjoin that they are to put away strange gods from the midst of them.... The meaning, therefore, simply is, that they are to renounce all idols, and clear themselves of all profanity, in order that they may purely worship God alone. This seems to be the purport of the clause, 'incline your heart unto the Lord,' which may be taken as equivalent to, 'rest in him, and so give up your heart to the love of him, as to delight and be contented only with him.'
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