Lee Strobel · 416 pages
Rating: (26.3K votes)
“Only in a world where faith is difficult can faith exist.”
“To be honest, I didn't want to believe that Christianity could radically transform someone's character and values. It was much easier to raise doubts and manufacture outrageous objections that to consider the possibility that God actually could trigger a revolutionary turn-around in such a depraved and degenerate life.”
“In the meantime, prominent British pastor John R. W. Stott, who acknowledged that suffering is “the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith,” has reached his own conclusion: I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. . . . In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross which symbolizes divine suffering. ‘The cross of Christ . . . is God’s only self-justification in such a world’ as ours.25”
“God didn’t let Job suffer because he lacked love, but because he did love, in order to bring Job to the point of encountering God face to face, which is humanity’s supreme happiness. Job’s suffering hollowed out a big space in him so that God and joy could fill it.”
“Craig summarized his next point succinctly at the outset: “A third factor pointing toward God is the existence of objective moral values in the universe. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.”
“Satan greets people in hell by saying: “You’ll find that there’s no right or wrong here—just what works for you.”
“I interrupted. “Okay, that points toward a Creator, but does it tell us much about him?” “Actually, yes, it does,” Craig replied. “We know this supernatural cause must be an uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial being.” “What’s the basis of your conclusions?” “It must be uncaused because we know that there cannot be an infinite regress of causes. It must be timeless and therefore changeless, at least without the universe, because it was the creator of time. In addition, because it also created space, it must transcend space and therefore be immaterial rather than physical in nature.”
“He has demonstrated how the very worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the world ended up resulting in the very best thing that has ever happened in the history of the world.” “What do you mean? “I’m referring to dei-cide,” he replied. “The death of God himself on the cross. At the time, nobody saw how anything good could ever result from this tragedy. And yet God foresaw that the result would be the opening of heaven to human beings. So the worst tragedy in history brought about the most glorious event in history. And if it happened there—if the ultimate evil can result in the ultimate good—it can happen elsewhere, even in our own individual lives. Here, God lifts the curtain and lets us see it. Elsewhere he simply says, ‘Trust me.”
“Pain and suffering are frequently the means by which we become motivated to finally surrender to God and to seek the cure of Christ.”
“I believe all suffering contains at least the opportunity for good,” came his response, “but not everyone actualizes that potential. Not all of us learn and benefit from suffering; that’s where free will comes in. One prisoner in a concentration camp will react quite differently from another, because of the choice each one makes to respond to the environment.”
“there are worse things than death or murder.” “Like what?” I asked. “Though it’s hard to comprehend,” he said, “the worst thing is to say to God that you don’t need him. Why? Because a dead person can be restored to life by God; a bereaved person can find peace from God; a person who has been violated can find God’s sustenance and strength and even see God conquer through the dark mystery of evil. In other words, there is recourse through these atrocities and tragedies. But to a person who says he or she doesn’t need God, what is the recourse? There is none.”
“So I cast my lot with him—not the one who claimed wisdom, Confucius; or the one who claimed enlightenment, Buddha; or the one who claimed to be a prophet, Muhammad, but with the one who claimed to be God in human flesh. The one who declared, ‘Before Abraham was born, I am’46 —and proved it.”
“I started out as an atheist, utterly convinced that God didn’t create people but that people created God in a pathetic effort to explain the unknown and temper their overpowering fear of death. My previous book, The Case for Christ, described my nearly two-year examination of the historical evidence that pointed me toward the verdict that God really exists and that Jesus actually is his unique Son. (For”
“Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to; or he cannot and does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, and does not want to, he is wicked. But, if God both can and wants to abolish evil, then how comes evil in the world? Epicurus, philosopher”
“The source of evil is not God’s power but mankind’s freedom.”
“Real love—our love of God and our love of each other—must involve a choice. But with the granting of that choice comes the possibility that people would choose instead to hate.”
“At the time of the crucifixion, the disciples couldn’t see how anything good could result; similarly, as we face struggles and trials and suffering, we sometimes can’t imagine good emerging. But we’ve seen how it did in the case of Jesus, and we can trust it will in our case too. For instance, the greatest Christians in history seem to say that their sufferings ended up bringing them the closest to God—so this is the best thing that could happen, not the worst.”
“it’s at least possible that God is wise enough to foresee that we need some pain for reasons which we may not understand but which he foresees as being necessary to some eventual good. Therefore, he’s not being evil by allowing that pain to exist.”
“Certainly there are times when God allows suffering and deprives us of the lesser good of pleasure in order to help us toward the greater good of moral and spiritual education. Even the ancient Greeks believed the gods taught wisdom through suffering. Aeschylus wrote: ‘Day by day, hour by hour / Pain drips upon the heart / As, against our will, and even in our own despite / Comes Wisdom from the awful grace of God.”
“moral character gets formed through hardship, through overcoming obstacles, through enduring despite difficulties. Courage, for example, would be impossible in a world without pain. The apostle Paul testified to this refining quality of suffering when he wrote that ‘suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’13”
“The point of our lives in this world isn’t comfort, but training and preparation for eternity. Scripture tells us that even Jesus ‘learned obedience through suffering14—and if that was true for him, why wouldn’t it be even more true for us?”
“Justice delayed is not necessarily justice denied. There will come a day when God will settle accounts and people will be held responsible for the evil they’ve perpetrated and the suffering they’ve caused. Criticizing God for not doing it right now is like reading half a novel and criticizing the author for not resolving the plot. God will bring accountability at the right time—in fact, the Bible says one reason he’s delaying is because some people are still following the clues and have yet to find him.15 He’s actually delaying the consummation of history out of his great love for them.”
“The prophet Jeremiah said that ‘from the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain,’18 and the prophet Isaiah said, ‘all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.’19 Our good deeds are stained with self-interest and our demands for justice are mixed with lust for vengeance. Ironically, it’s the best people who most readily recognize and admit their own shortcomings and sin.”
“If every birth is a rebirth, and if every life pays for the previous life, then what were you paying for in your first birth? You”
“El Salmo 19:1 dice: “Los cielos cuentan la gloria de Dios, el firmamento proclama la obra de sus manos”39. A decir verdad, está escrito a través de los cielos tan vívidamente que cada vez más científicos que buscan las estrellas, se están volviendo cristianos. »El gran cosmólogo Allan Sandage, quien ganó la versión de astronomía del Premio Nobel, concluyó que Dios es “la explicación para los milagros de la existencia”40. Sir Fred Hoyle, inventor de la teoría cosmológica del estado estacionario del universo para evitar la existencia de Dios, finalmente se volvió un creyente en un Diseñador Inteligente del universo. »El astrofísico Hugh Ross, quien obtuvo su doctorado en astronomía en la Universidad de Toronto e hizo estudios en quásars y galaxias, dijo que la evidencia científica e histórica “enraizó profundamente mi confianza en la veracidad de la Biblia”41. Robert Jastrow, un reconocido agnóstico, director del observatorio del monte Wilson y fundador del Instituto del Espacio Goddard, concluyó que el Big Bang apunta hacia Dios. Y me gusta lo que el físico y matemático Robert Griffiths dijo: “Si necesitamos un ateo para un debate, voy al departamento de filosofía. El departamento de física no es de mucha utilidad” 42. Lee, la evidencia, es muy clara.”
“just about every human being can reflect on his or her past and say, ‘I learned from that hardship. I didn’t think I would at the time, but I’m a bigger and better person for having endured it and persevered.”
“As we look at human relationships, what we see is that lovers don’t want explanations, but presence. And”
“Kreeft gestured toward the hallway. “On my door there’s a cartoon of two turtles. One says, ‘Sometimes I’d like to ask why he allows poverty, famine, and injustice when he could do something about it.’ The other turtle says, ‘I’m afraid God might ask me the same question.’ Those who have Jesus’ heart toward hurting people need to live out their faith by alleviating suffering where they can, by making a difference, by embodying his love in practical ways.”
“We live in a broken world; Jesus was honest enough to tell us we'd have trials and tribulations. Sure, I'd like to understand more about why. But Kreeft's conclusion was right--the ultimate answer is Jesus' presence. That sounds sappy, I know. But just wait--when your world is rocked, you don't want philosophy or theology as much as you want the reality of Christ. He was the answer for me. He was the very answer we needed.”
“I have traveled the world. I have searched high and low. I have found nothing that satisfied my mind, my heart, and the deepest longings of my soul like Jesus does. He is not only the way the truth and the life; He is personal to me. He is my way, and my truth, and my life--just as He can be for anyone who reaches out to Him.”
“When I was up she taught me to recognize the feeling and savor it. “Remember how good you feel now,” she said. “There will be times later on when everything will seem bleak. I don’t want to minimize the grim and harsh times. I know how bad you feel then. But they won’t last forever. Capture the good moments,” she said. (219)”
“I was fascinated by the machinations of performance back then and I still am now. A stage full of instruments awaiting a band is exciting to me. The sight of a guitar still turns me on. There is an unstated wonder in both of them: they hold the ability to transcend reality given the right set of players.”
“It takes a great deal of courage and independence to decide to design your own image instead of the one that society rewards, but it gets easier as you go along.”
“Adam took one hand off the handlebars and fingered the envelope in his inside pocket like a schoolboy the day before his birthday feeling the shape of a present in the hope of discovering some clue as to its contents. He felt certain that whatever it contained would not be to anyone's advantage now his father was dead, but it did not lessen his curiosity.”
“You can't find happiness outside yourself, Calder."
I shook my head. "You sound like a fortune cookie."
"It's still true. Everyone's always trying to do it, y'know. They try to get with the right people, hook up with the right guy, join the right club - without ever asking what 'right' is."
"And this is somehow supposed to apply to me? I'm not some identity-confused sophomore, Lily. If you haven't been listening, I turn into a thieving, murdering fish.”
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