|May 13, 2004|
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ONLINE SCHOOL: The online school of Christian theology for CARM has been released. If you want to see a demo, please go to www.carm.org/demo/equip.htm.
The purpose of the online school of theology is to both educate the body of Christ as well as help provide funding for CARM going full time. Remember, everything on CARM is free. Eight years of writing and 24 years of research have gone into it. So, I am hoping that people won't mind an online, tuition based, endeavor where Christians can go through Christian theology, systematically, and at their own pace. The tuition will help keep people committed to following through. Also, it is a precursor to the online school of apologetics that should be released later this year. You need to know what the truth is before you tackle error, that is why the School of Theology is before the School of Apologetics. People are signing up now. Do you want to join them?
(If you have any problems, please email me at [email protected])
CARM CONVENTION: The CARM Convention is this month on the 22nd. We have sent hundreds of flyers to local area churches so they can put them in their bulletins. We hope that the turnout is good as people realize that they need to learn how to defend their faith.
ONLINE SCHOOL: The online school is doing well. There have been many signups. This is encouraging and is helping to motivate me to finish the apologetics online school -- which is a few months off. In the apologetics online school I plan to develop a course where Christians can go and learn the basics of apologetic techniques, logic, and various facts and refutations concerning false theological systems. As usual, I will seek to keep things simple yet comprehensive enough to provide an excellent foundation for defending the Christian faith. Of course, I do recommend that anyone interested in the apologetics school do some prep work by first signing up for the school of theology (http://www.carm.org/online.htm gives you all the info). You need to know what you believe before you tackle error.
If you want to see a demo, please go to www.carm.org/demo/equip.htm.
ROAD TRIP: My wife and I are planning to go to do road trip where I will drive through Tahoe, go to Boise, ID. She'll fly in and meet me there and then we'll check out the area. Then we'll head up to Coeur D' Alene, across to Spokane, down to Portland, down Interstate 5, through northern CA, and then back to San Diego. So, there might be a possibility of us meeting people along the way. We are interested in meeting real estate brokers in most of those cities. Do you know anyone who might be able to show us the good areas of Boise, Coeur D' Alene, Spokane, Corvalis (area), Redding CA, Chico, Roseville, CA, etc.? If so, email me and let me know. We can't meet everyone and my wife and I are going to be on a tight schedule. But, we want to check out the area because we need to move to a cheaper place to live. San Diego weather is great, but the home prices are outrageous.
My daughter approached me with questions about the invisibility of God. She wanted to know why God does not reveal Himself more plainly in our lives. She wanted to know why our prayers seem to go unanswered. She wanted to know why God often works slowly. I realized that her questions were the result of deep contemplation. She had come to her father, the spiritual leader of the house, and was asking to know the answers.
I told her that she had asked the same questions theologians, Christian philosophers, and pastors have been trying to answer ever since the Christian Church began. I told her that the questions were very good. I told her that God does make Himself known to us very often, but not always in the ways that we want. If God responded to what we wanted, then how would He be God? We talked about the mystery of God's ways, of how it is good that He does not answer all of our prayers -- since what we sometimes want turns out to be a bad idea. We talked of how He is in control, of how He knows so much more than we do, and how we need to trust in Him by faith. I told her that I sometimes wondered the very things she was asking and though I have some answers I could give her, I told her that we can't really know for sure why God is so mysterious sometimes. I told her that God's ways are not our ways, that we need to humble ourselves before Him and trust that not knowing the answers to the questions is OK.
She looked at me and I could tell from her expression that she did not fully appreciate my answer. She was hoping that her father would be able to give her a definitive response that would make complete sense. So, I gave her some standard answers centering around God's foreknowledge, sovereign plan, and mercy. I told her that in the many years of studying the cults, one of the things that I have learned about them is the comprehensibility of their gods. In other words, you can comprehend them because they are man made. The gods of the cults, the gods invented by the minds of people are not paradoxical. They teach simple things about the gods they promote and have gods designed to satisfy their curiosities and questions.
I then told her that if we were to encounter the true God of the universe, it would make sense that we would discover things about Him we cannot comprehend. This is because God is so much greater than us that there would necessarily be things about Him that we cannot understand. Again she looked at me. This time her expression seemed a bit more satisfied.
"It is okay not to know the whole answers to those questions," I told her, "because the God that we serve is so far beyond us that we will have questions that we cannot answer as well as we'd like."
She smiled and said that that made sense.
At that point I could not help but remember one of the greater pieces of wisdom I learned in seminary. A professor went to the chalkboard and pronounced to the class that he was going to write on the board a truly wise and profound theological truth. Intrigued, I paid close attention. He then wrote these words: "There is a God. You are not Him."
Over the years, that simple truth is echoed in my mind. God is so much greater than we are and there is so much about Him that we do not understand. He truly is incomprehensible, infinitely wise, incredibly wonderful, and even paradoxical. When we enter heaven I am sure that without the blinders of sin, we will have many answers revealed to us. Until that day, it is okay to not have all the answers. Therefore, the words of Habbakuk 1:13 ring true: "The just shall live by faith."
"Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.," (NASB).
If you think CARM is a worthwhile ministry, please seriously consider supporting it financially and prayerfully as we move closer to full time status. CARM is a ministry to the Internet that affects thousands of people in the real world. If you want to be a part of supporting this missionary work that please prayerfully consider donations. All donations are tax deductible. (If the buttons below did not work, please go to http://www.CARM.org/goods/donations.htm). If you do contribute, could you please email me at [email protected] and let me know? Thanks and God bless.
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Rev. Matt Slick, your missionary to the Internet. Equipping the church to defend the faith in a secular society.
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