Author: Kenneth

Philosopher and theologian, senior research scholar for Reasons To Believe. Check out my blog, Reflections--we are what we think.

Does a Religion’s Rapid Growth Mean It’s True?

Many religions claim high growth rates that are not merely due to population increases. If a religion acquires a large number of followers, does that growth count in favor of its truth claims? Christianity experienced rapid growth in its early period but so have many religions, including Islam and Mormonism. Is Christianity unique, and if so, how? Fast-Growing Religions and Their Causes Historically, Islam and Mormonism (Latter-day…

How Does Islam Differ from Christianity?

According to Pew Research, if current trends continue then by 2050 there will be nine billion people living on the planet. Approximately three billion will be Christians, three billion will be Muslims, and three billion others will represent various beliefs (both religious and secular).1 Since Christianity and Islam are the two largest (comprising about 55% of the world’s population2) religions in the world people…

What Happens to Those Who Never Hear the Gospel?

What happens to people who never hear the gospel message about Jesus Christ? This vexing question has challenged Christians for centuries, but recently a skeptic raised this inquiry with me. After all, if God is loving and good, how will he adjudicate the destiny of so many people who will never get a chance to hear the way out of their predicament? Christian theology has offered four answers to…

How the Trinity Shows God’s Love

Arguably one of the most important teachings in the Bible is the proclamation that “God is love,” which is found in verses like 1 John 4:8 and 16. This brief, powerful statement is laden with theological implications. I’ve also found it helpful when discussing how God loves people with those who hold non-Christian, yet theistic conceptions of God (God as a single, solitary person and being). Because…

My Soul Is Like a House

One of the things I like about the writings of the Christian church father St. Augustine of Hippo (354–430) is his rich use of analogies1 in talking about critical theological topics. An analogy, of course, is a comparison between two things (how they are like and unlike), usually for the purpose of providing explanation. In his most popular work, Confessions,2 Augustine compares the human soul to a house…

Does Everyone Have Three Lives?

I’ve enjoyed watching police dramas since childhood. Some of my favorites from the distant past include Streets of San Francisco, Kojak, and Starsky and Hutch. Currently, my favorite television program is CBS’s Blue Bloods. It stars Tom Selleck as New York City police commissioner Frank Reagan. A wise patriarch, Reagan often dispenses provocative quotes at the family dinner table,1 including this line from Colombian novelist and Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014): “Everyone has three lives:…

Coronavirus Pandemic & the Problem of Evil

Before the current pandemic, I only really thought of viruses when I got my yearly flu shot. But in light of the significant suffering and death caused by COVID-19, I’m sure none of us will ever think the same way about viruses again. But how should we think about the pandemic in terms of the pain and suffering left in…

Reason, Emotion, and Watching Star Trek during the Pandemic

Sheltering in during the pandemic has left me with more downtime than I’m used to. And watching too much news tends to increase my anxiety level. So, along with writing books and blog articles, I have tried to focus my attention on prudent activities. This includes pursuing my spiritual devotions, spending time with my wife, and reading classic books. But I…

Historical Reflections on the Pandemic

Few things in life get your attention like the subject of infectious disease. And this is especially true of pandemics (“all people” threatened by illness). It is, of course, natural to experience fear and concern during extraordinary times like this. There is great alarm about the illness and death caused by the coronavirus both in our country and worldwide. And there is also…

How to Distinguish between Science and Scientism

Science is truly one of the great intellectual enterprises that humankind has ever developed. But what exactly is science? Is it mainly a narrow method or practice for obtaining knowledge about the natural world? Or does it involve a broad philosophical system? I respect and appreciate science and I enjoy interacting with scientists. But my background in logic and philosophy motivates me…