Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Magic Man in the Sky

by Carl Gallups

The culture of the United States has undergone tremendous changes in the past 50 years.  The decade of the sixty’s witnessed the questioning of authority—parents, church, government, etc.  When we look beneath the surface of that rebellion, we find the underlying battle was the rejection of God.  “Intellectuals” led the drive to replace faith with science, and the results have had a devastating effect on culture. 

Carl Gallups lays out the contrasts in this new book and does a remarkable job in identifying the real questions that must be answered.  He also shows that the debate is often skewed so the answers are assumed.  The book begins with a conversation of two college students, and I find the dialogue to be real because I spent several years working on college campuses in the 70’s and similar conversations were going on even then.  The teachings of Francis Schaeffer were of great benefit in defining the responses to the faith challenges.

Obviously, the questions of faith in our generation have been re-engineered by subsequent decades of doubt and confusion.  Carl energetically takes on these questions.  Recognizing that getting the issues correctly framed is the starting point, he does a masterful job in laying out each argument.  Once the groundwork is laid to ask the right question, logic dictates the discourse.  Scientific proof versus faith is the way it is presented.  However, actual scientific proof supports genuine faith.

While this book addresses the science available, it is done written as a lab manual but as a real life story with deep human interest.  It is easy to read, and takes even the difficult arguments from science and renders them in understandable ways.  I highly recommend this book, not only for the teens and college students, but for any adults who have not previously studied these subjects.  We are instructed to “always be ready to give an answer” to any skeptic and this will help prepare you.  (1 Peter 3:15)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

By Faith, Not By Sight

Scott MacIntyre’s story is a contrast to the prevailing philosophies of accepting defeat and settling for being a victim.  This story shows the myriad of complications that often are strewn in our life’s pathway.  Being a good person or coming from a good family are not exemptions from trouble.  Troubles are often the tool that God allows to make us strong.  The MacIntyre family is a great example of how, in working together, every difficulty can become a stepping stone to greatness.

I appreciated the frank admission of struggling with faith.  God knows that we have less than full understanding and assists us in discernment in assessing these challenges.  Faith doesn’t come to us in perfect proportions, and has to be grown—most often is small steps of obedience.    It wasn’t enough for Scott to simply cope with the difficulties he encountered, he determined to overcome and then excel.  This book certainly was a major inspiration to me, and confirms my journey which includes many challenges—different ones from Scott, but big to me.

Faith is described as things which are “not seen” but as this story describes, mature faith becomes sight.  Scott certainly sees what many others with physical eyesight have missed.  Faith refuses to rely on what is seen in the natural world.  I choose to live by faith.