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Opening Arguments - Dr. Craig

We need to rely on God and receive His grace. God works within the Christian in a mighty way, making him dead to sin and alive in Christ and enabling him to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit rather than according to fleshly desires. See Romans 6—8. Suffering brings pain, but it is not an end in itself. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. Like Paul and Silas, we need to be praising God when troubles, trials and tribulations come our way.

Christ suffered beyond what we can imagine We, too, can claim such victories over sin in our lives. Yes, we may suffer some even greatly , while here, but our time on this earth is so minute when compared to an eternity in heaven, we should rejoice and rejoice greatly. Adversity helps us to keep on our toes and highlights the fact that we must always be in prayer Luke NIV 46 "Why are you sleeping?

The Seven Laws of the Harvest

This is a wholesome treatise on the subject of suffering. Thank God, I read it.

God’s Word for April 19

Now, joy and peace shall be my greatest weapons against oppression big or small. Skip to main content. Understanding Adversity. Adversity gets our attention. Adversity reminds us of our weaknesses. Adversity motivates us to cry out to God. We are to cry out to God with our voice.

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We can cry out to God for mercy each day. We are to cry out to God in humility. We are to cry out to God with a pure heart. Adversity motivates us to fear the Lord. Adversity strengthens our hatred for sin.

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Adversity is a call for self-examination. Adversity exposes pride. Adversity is evidence of spiritual warfare. Adversity is a reminder to pray for our authorities. Adversity is a signal to reevaluate priorities. Adversity reveals if our work will last. Adversity tests our friendships. Adversity invites us to experience the power of God.

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Humility vs. Joyfulness vs. Meekness vs. From his example, we also learn how essential it is to obey God in even the smallest matters. But this time, Peter may have felt tempted to decline. After all, he was a seasoned fisherman.

Bicycle Illustration of Obedience to God

He had worked the entire night for a catch but had returned empty- handed. Now this young teacher—a carpenter, by the way, not a fisherman—was asking him to go fishing again? The soon-to-be disciple chose to obey the Lord and to leave the consequences of his decision to him. Peter and his partners may have started the day off thinking their efforts had yielded nothing. But they ended it in complete amazement because they pulled in not one but two overflowing boatloads of fish By titling this text "the wager", readers have been fixated only on one part of Pascal's reasoning.

It doesn't conclude with a QED at the end of the mathematical part. The unbeliever who had provoked this long analysis to counter his previous objection "Maybe I bet too much" is still not ready to join the apologist on the side of faith. He put forward two new objections, undermining the foundations of the wager: the impossibility to know, and the obligation of playing. To be put at the beginning of Pascal's planned book, the wager was meant to show that logical reasoning cannot support faith or lack thereof,.

We have to accept reality and accept the reaction of the libertine when he rejects arguments he is unable to counter. The conclusion is evident: if men believe or refuse to believe, it is not how some believers sometimes say and most unbelievers claim, because their own reason justifies the position they have adopted. Belief in God doesn't depend upon rational evidence, no matter which position. Pascal's intended book was precisely to find other ways to establish the value of faith, an apology for the Christian faith. Criticism of Pascal's Wager began in his own day, and came from both atheists, who questioned the "benefits" of a deity whose "realm" is beyond reason, and the religiously orthodox, who primarily took issue with the wager's deistic and agnostic language.

It is criticized for not proving God's existence, the encouragement of false belief, and the problem of which religion and which God should be worshipped. Voltaire another prominent French writer of the Enlightenment , a generation after Pascal, rejected the idea that the wager was "proof of God" as "indecent and childish", adding, "the interest I have to believe a thing is no proof that such a thing exists". Voltaire's critique concerns not the nature of the Pascalian wager as proof of God's existence, but the contention that the very belief Pascal tried to promote is not convincing.

Voltaire hints at the fact that Pascal, as a Jansenist , believed that only a small, and already predestined, portion of humanity would eventually be saved by God. Voltaire explained that no matter how far someone is tempted with rewards to believe in Christian salvation, the result will be at best a faint belief. Since there have been many religions throughout history, and therefore many conceptions of God or gods , some assert that all of them need to be factored into the wager, in an argument known as the argument from inconsistent revelations. This, its proponents argue, would lead to a high probability of believing in "the wrong god", which, they claim, eliminates the mathematical advantage Pascal claimed with his wager.

Mackie notes that "the church within which alone salvation is to be found is not necessarily the Church of Rome, but perhaps that of the Anabaptists or the Mormons or the Muslim Sunnis or the worshipers of Kali or of Odin. Another version of this objection argues that for every religion that promulgates rules, there exists another religion that has rules of the opposite kind.

If a certain action leads one closer to salvation in the former religion, it leads one further away from it in the latter. Therefore, the expected value of following a certain religion could be negative. Or, one could also argue that there are an infinite number of mutually exclusive religions which is a subset of the set of all possible religions , and that the probability of any one of them being true is zero; therefore, the expected value of following a certain religion is zero. Pascal says that unbelievers who rest content with the many-religions objection are people whose scepticism has seduced them into a fatal "repose".

If they were really bent on knowing the truth, they would be persuaded to examine "in detail" whether Christianity is like any other religion, but they just cannot be bothered. As Pascal scholars observe, Pascal regarded the many-religions objection as a rhetorical ploy, a "trap" [25] that he had no intention of falling into. If, however, any who raised it were sincere, they would want to examine the matter "in detail". In that case, they could get some pointers by turning to his chapter on "other religions". As David Wetsel notes, Pascal's treatment of the pagan religions is brisk: "As far as Pascal is concerned, the demise of the pagan religions of antiquity speaks for itself.

Those pagan religions which still exist in the New World, in India, and in Africa are not even worth a second glance. They are obviously the work of superstition and ignorance and have nothing in them which might interest 'les gens habiles' 'clever men' [26] ". Nevertheless, Pascal concludes that the religion founded by Mohammed can on several counts be shown to be devoid of divine authority, and that therefore, as a path to the knowledge of God, it is as much a dead end as paganism.

The many-religions objection is taken more seriously by some later apologists of the wager, who argue that, of the rival options, only those awarding infinite happiness affect the wager's dominance. In the opinion of these apologists "finite, semi-blissful promises such as Kali's or Odin's" therefore drop out of consideration.

Furthermore, ecumenical interpretations of the wager [31] argue that it could even be suggested that believing in a generic God, or a god by the wrong name, is acceptable so long as that conception of God has similar essential characteristics of the conception of God considered in Pascal's wager perhaps the God of Aristotle.

In God’s Image

Proponents of this line of reasoning suggest that either all of the conceptions of God or gods throughout history truly boil down to just a small set of "genuine options", or that if Pascal's wager can simply bring a person to believe in "generic theism", it has done its job. Pascal argues implicitly for the uniqueness of Christianity in the wager itself, writing: "If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible Who then can blame the Christians for not being able to give reasons for their beliefs, professing as they do a religion which they cannot explain by reason?

Some critics argue that Pascal's wager, for those who cannot believe, suggests feigning belief to gain eternal reward.