Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Guest Blogger: Chet Galaska, Author of Finding Faith in a Skeptical World



Finding Faith in a Skeptical World was written by a skeptic who became a Christian after questioning his reasons for unbelief. No one book answered the common questions skeptics have, so he wrote one to help others.

The topics have one thing in common: they can all be barriers to faith. Most people won't have all the questions, but everyone will have some of them.

It's non-denominational and sticks to the basic beliefs shared by all Christians.

Finding Faith is an introduction to faith for non-Christians, a primer to prepare Christians for the questions they may get when sharing faith, and a good way for Christians to see the sensibility, practicality and hope their faith offers.

It's a user-friendly tool to help share faith in a time when our society really needs it.

Why Do Bad Things Happen? by Chet Galaska



If God exists, why does he let bad things happen?

This is really a question of who God is. If you think God’s purpose is to make sure nothing bad ever happens to anybody, you’ve got a point – that God doesn’t exist. But many think that if this cosmic Santa Claus they’ve dreamed up doesn’t exist, then no God exists at all or, if he does, he can’t be good or merciful.

This couldn’t be more untrue. God is an honest realist who told us through the Bible that natural disasters will occur and warned us of man’s destructive traits. He’s also explained that he has a longer view of things than mankind: his perspective is eternal. And he’s shown man the way to obtain the best gift ever conceived: eternal life.

This gift is available to those who love God. God desires heartfelt love and the only way man can freely give it is if he isn’t enticed or pushed into it. This is where our imperfect world comes into play. God won’t manipulate the world to extricate love because the love he desires is genuine, not fake.

Fake love is given all the time. Tyrants have a fetish for crowd adulation, and they get it by holding massive rallies where thousands of people shout their love and support. But many of these people attend only because the consequences of not going are beatings or jail time. This love is coerced.

There’s another way to get sham love: bribery. Anna Nicole Smith was an exotic dancer who married an 89-year-old billionaire who showered her with millions of dollars in cash and gifts. He died months after the marriage, and she contested his estate in court by claiming that her husband always said she could have half. It sure looked like she loved the money, not him.

Because God doesn’t seek fake love, he won’t coerce man to express it. He also won’t bribe him for it by fixing every problem and answering every prayer. He’s given us free will, which means we’re able to make up our own minds. We can ignore God and muddle through life or we can genuinely love him and embrace his peace.

The bad things that happen – hurricanes, diseases, corruption, murder and thousands of others – are part of an imperfect world that’s a stage on which man can choose to love God and receive eternal life, strength, forgiveness and a peace that transcends worldly problems. These gifts from God let man put his short, finite life on earth in perspective and understand that this world is just a prelude to eternal life. Those who’ve accepted God know the reality of this peace and, because of it, they know the reality of God himself.

God is real, he’s good and he’s merciful. But he operates in ways that man, engulfed by worldly concerns, often refuses to see.

To find out more about Chet Galaska and Finding Faith in a Skeptical World, visit http://findingfaith.us/.

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