Achievement unlocked

My first book of the year is done

This year I set myself a challenge of reading 1 book each month.

I'm happy to say, that 1 month into my challenge, I'm on track.

I've just finished reading 'Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics' by R.C. Sproul.

I must say, there could have been easier books to pick at the start of the year to ease myself in - but I'm glad I took my friend Josh' recommendation in reading this book.

I had never really thought about my faith in terms of philosophy before but this book certainly made me do that. I'm not ashamed to say that there was a lot of content that went over my head, but then this book was written by a man much smarter than I.

I'm not Tim Challies so I won't attempt to review the book. Instead, I'll leave you with snippets of the book that I felt really spoke to me.

To say that something is self-existent is to say that it is eternal and has the power of being within itself—it is uncreated.There is nothing absurd or irrational in the idea of self-existence or eternal existence

Spontaneous generation means that things simply begin on their own, without any cause.This, of course, ignores the fundamental law of science that ex nihilo nihil fit (“out of nothing, nothing comes”).Nothing does not produce something, because nothing cannot produce something.

Ecclesiastes calls us to place our faith in God’s great wisdom (8:17); in God’s exhaustive goodness (8:15); in God’s perfect justice (8:11-13); and finally, in God’s holy wrath to punish hypocrisy (5:1-6)

Why does human dignity matter if we are all cosmic accidents?

Paul is saying that if Jesus has remained in the grave, then do not be mad at the Christian believer, rather pity him.

Its inner “ring of truth” gives further attestation to its authority.At a visceral level I cannot deny how acutely the Scriptures criticize my own human character flaws and corruption.The Bible pierces my soul with its moral criticism.It criticizes me far more effectively than I can hope to criticize it.

Despite Israel’s exile, wars, and almost complete extermination, “Who does not recognize as a remarkable and wonderful work of God the fact that those sacred monuments, which the wicked had persuaded themselves had utterly perished, soon returned and took their former place once more, and even with enhanced dignity?”

The Bible has survived every assault that scholars have launched against it, and there is no reason to think that it will not continue to survive.No book ever written has been subjected to such comprehensive critical scrutiny as has the Bible.

Not only is the Bible profoundly deep, it is transcendentally majestic, and the beauty of truth saturates every book therein.Scripture, the most erudite philosopher will find, actually scrutinizes the reader and not the other way around (Heb.4:12).

With more than two hundred specific, detailed prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, which are recorded to have been fulfilled in Jesus, how could the inspiration of the Scriptures be denied? The answer can only be unbelief, as no amount of documentation will ever persuade the unregenerate.

There are issues of anthropology: are we, as human beings, created in the image of God for a purpose and therefore our lives have meaning and significance; or are we grown-up germs, cosmic accidents, who have no significance in the final analysis?

How we understand God determines how we understand the world; and how we understand God and the world determines how we understand our place within the grand scheme of things.

Alternate philosophies come and go through church history while orthodox Christianity remains.

I've often been challenged by people to read Dawkins 'God Delusion' - I did try, but I could never fathom why he puts so much effort into trying to correct people who believe in God if it really doesn't matter. What's the point after all?

I would challenge anyone to read this book and not be challenged by its content and philosophy.

Next up

My book for February will be 'Give Them Grace' by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick.

Looking forward to sharing some of that with you.