Category Archives: Questions of Faith

Satan Survey Says: Demons Are Real

From the Gospel Coalition website

From the Gospel Coalition website

The Gospel Coalition website posted a story about a recent survey.  It found that a slight majority of people actually do believe that Satan is real and that demons can possess people.  If you’re a Southern, born-again, Republican black woman in her 50’s with a post-graduate degree, you’re especially likely to believe that.  Good.  If we don’t think Satan exists, we aren’t looking for his influence in our lives.  We aren’t wary of being manipulated by him.  And we won’t pray against him.  Those who know he’s out there will be stronger Christians for it.  Just like those amazing Southern, born-again, black women.

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A Christian Astrobiologist

BioLogos logo

Bilogos conducted a fascinating and uplifting interview with astrobiologist Stephen Freeland.  It’s definitely worth reading.  He speaks about how his faith is bolstered by his scientific discoveries.  Here’s an excerpt:

What’s the most fascinating thing about God’s creation that you’ve learned throughout your scientific studies?

What a good question! I could talk easily about my joy at discovering odd species and interesting behaviors, about the harmonies and patterns that link nature or, more philosophically, about the wonder of a universe that is, to a significant extent, understandable. But honestly, when I really think through this question, the answer is that I think I have learned through science how human understanding is finite. I have learned some spiritual humility (and I am sure more is needed). During my teenage years, I gravitated to what some might call “fundamentalism” – a version of Christianity that was confident about what every part of the Bible meant. I think science taught me humility about what we don’t know and what we cannot know — and how much of what seems certain today is turned on its head by something we discover tomorrow.

A Faith Gene?

An article by PopSci discusses the implications of the findings from a study of twins.  The study shows that faith has a genetic component.

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-08/what-twins-reveal-about-god-gene?src=SOC&dom=tw

I can see evidence of this in my own family. Faith is abundant on my father’s side of the family but not so much on my mother’s side.

I’ve noticed, while reading the Old Testament, that God had a way of genetically selecting faithful men for the tribe of Israel.  He started by choosing Noah and his family, the only people He deemed worthy to save in a world full of wicked people. God weeded out the bad seeds with a flood, and let the good ones propagate. Then He chose Noah’s son Shem, over his brothers, to be the head of the Semitic people.

Shem Ham and Japheth by James Tissot 1904.

Shem Ham and Japheth by James Tissot 1904.

 

Later on, God chose Shem’s descendant Abraham to be the father of Israel (through Isaac, but not through his half-brother Ishmael).  Isaac’s son Jacob fathers the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel, but Jacob’s twin brother Esau (truly the eldest) gets sidelined because he didn’t value his birthright.  He therefore didn’t get to contribute to the gene pool of Israel the way his fraternal twin did. Interesting, huh?

So if we apply genetics to theology (which is probably a bad idea–but that isn’t going to stop me from doing it), maybe genes are the way that God predestines us to be Christians.  Maybe He knew that some of us would be more likely to turn to Him than others because of heritage and He explained that to the apostles through the concept of predestination.  Or maybe I’m off my nut.

What do y’all think?  Let’s chat about it.