Sin and the Problem of Evil: Thinking Rightly About Wrong

Most people will agree that there is something wrong with life as we experience it. Few would doubt that life could not be better or that there is a problem with the way things are.

Sin, in the 21st Century, has been marginalized by psychology, genetics and philosophy. Personal responsibility for actions taken has been diminished and blame shifted to government, educational deficiency or parental failure. The problem of evil is the greatest problem facing human beings on many levels. The roots of sin are deep. In the area of apologetics the problem of evil raises large emotional and intellectual barriers to faith and faithfulness.

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Sin in the City and the Ten Commandments

You will rarely hear a politician say, “This is as good as it gets,” or see an advertisement that promises that this will leave you with nothing better than you already have. We all live with the assumption that there is a better and a worse, even if we cannot agree on what is good or evil. This is how we evaluate life. It does not matter if we are Christians or not Christian.

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Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment:

Rediscovering Passion and Wonder

Introduction - Let your imagination wander for a moment. You have an evening free and there is nothing to do. I wonder what your first thought is. For many people it is a movie or a video (even two). Imagine, then, for a moment what it would be like if the power went out for weeks and you had no television, no computer, no videos, no DVDs, no CDs, no radio. How would we survive such a frightening famine of the entertainment that we have become so used to in our culture?

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The Heavens Declare the Glory of God and So Do We

The modern world for the most part accepts John Locke’s idea, now three centuries old, that the human mind at birth as a blank slate that can contain nothing until sense impressions fill it with data. The Christian version of this assumes that the mind, which has now grown up and is full of enormous data banks, lacks any comprehension of spiritual realities, being "natural," and has nothing to contribute to Christians.

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The Importance of Asking Honest Questions

Sometimes Christian pastors, parents and teachers are afraid of the questions young people and others might ask. Questions of another generation, or generated by secular teachers and other models can seem rebellious and threatening. Questions arising out of other cultural and worldview assumptions than those of the local church can seem to be coming from another planet. Even if the questions are honest they can be very difficult to understand and the reaction is often suspicion or rebuke. It is known that Jesus is the answer, but there is a strong inclination to limit the questions to familiar ones. This situation is often very stressful and alienating.

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The Purpose of Film Discussions

The purpose of the film discussions at CityGate is to look at visual art and the media of cinema in a Christian context. Christians have shied away from film until recently. Even now, though, while Catholics find visual piety congenial, our Protestant commitment to the word and our suspicion of images has made it hard for us to understand or appreciate the language of cinema.

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The Questions God Asks

God is the source and centre of all reality. There is no other alternate autonomous religious reality where we might meet him. We live and move and have all our being in his presence. The God who has called our life into being relates deeply with his creation. Everything that exists does so because God called it into being for his purposes.

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The Trouble with Being Human!

Did you ever meet anyone who said things are as good as they can be? Our minds and bodies do not work as they were designed. We also have a deep-rooted desire to violate the peace of God. Christians know the deep damage of sin although we all try hard to pretend the damage is someone else’s. Labels like depression, perfectionist, and the judgement of incomplete truths slip from our tongues and with evil ease we become prosecutor of God’s other damaged saints; a sharp word, a judgement or a critical spirit and we face the challenge either to rise above it or to fall down. Either way we are wounded. The struggle to work through anger and forgiveness to love and reconciliation is painful.

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Worldviews in Conflict

Hunger, war, natural disasters always attract our attention, because these real things have painful and immediate and visible results. We can relate to them when they are described, pictured, and brought into our lives through TV and newspapers. We recognise with horror that people like us suffer enormously. They are victims of war, natural catastrophes or evil governments. Relief and development work is not only concerned with external situations in which human beings live. Much less visible is the fact that people are also affected by the way they see reality, the way they think about life, their loved ones, nature and right or wrong.

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People Matter More than Things

The nature of human frailty and our response to everyday annoyances

When my son was smaller, I tried to help him understand, when by accident he dropped a cup or broke something (for accidents happen), that people matter more than things.

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Where is God in the shopping mall?

Evangelicals Now – Article April 2007 - Where is God in the shopping mall.

Wander through any shopping mall or high street. Look at it, listen to it, and observe it. Hear its sounds and see its colours. Look at the advertising, what is it saying? How does it attract? What hungers does it awaken? How does it distort perceptions of reality?

Where do your gut ideas about success come from? To what do you aspire? How much are you shaped by the places you live and visit? By the sights and sounds and smells of daily life or the hidden prompting of advertising world.

Do not be a passive consumer. Do not let life just happen.

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