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Proclaiming the Healing of Humanity in Jesus          

 

 

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Auguste Rodin's sculpture The Gates of Hell, modeled after Dante Alighieri's Inferno, a portrayal of hell as primarily psychological based on what human beings have done to their own hearts and minds through their own choices.  The Thinker might be Adam, contemplating fallenness.  Photo credit:  Wally Gobetz, Creative Commons 2.0

Conversation Stations:

 

What Can We Do About Evil? (and instructions and conversation tree)

 

What Can We Do About Evil? (brochure version)

 

Is a Good Friend Hard to Find? (instructions and conversation tree)

 

Whose Justice? (instructions and talk on Christian Restorative Justice)

 

Find Your Heart's Desire? (and instructions and theology of desire)

 

What Story Do You Live In? (and associated message)

 

Does the Good Outweigh the Bad? (and instructions)

 

God, Peace, and Violence (and instructions)

 

Is God a Liberator or an Oppressor?

NHI Resources on Human Evil in Christian and Comparative Perspective

 

The Desire for a Happy Ending:

Interpreting the Movies, Songs, and Stories Around Us

We like happy ending stories because we long for an actual happy ending for the world. This workshop groups all belief systems into not happy ending vs. happy ending stories; and then internal vs. external villains.

 

The Conflict of Stories:

Circular, Christian, Western, Muslim, Secular, Individual

This delves into the biblical story as the original happy ending story, and other happy ending stories as parodies that change the plot arc, villain, and hero.  The presentation is accompanied by this chart.

 

How Does the Christian Faith Compare with Other Belief Systems? 6 Simple Questions

Six important questions that sort through various belief systems.

 

Human Dignity: Does Every Individual Matter?

Science, philosophy, existentialism, other religions, and double-predestination based theologies mean that some human beings do not matter. Only a fully Trinitarian theology with a medical substitutionary atonement can provide an adequate foundation.

 

Why Question Atheism from a Political, Historical, and Moral Perspective?

This is a presentation surveying the origins of modern Atheism, as connected to nation-building and Enlightenment political philosophies: racist liberal democracy and Marxist collectivism.

  

Desires, Beliefs, and How We Know Truth

This is a presentation on how desires are a consideration, but not the first, in how we know truth.

  

Images of God in a Broken World

This is a series of three messages dealing with (1) how we inherit the image of an evil "god" from a broken world; (2) how Jesus is the accurate and perfect image of God despite our broken world, because he healed human nature in himself; and (3) how Jesus renews the image of God in us by his Spirit, to share God's goodness in a broken world

 

Evil and the Christian God and Theology of Atonement

This paper explores how the character of God drives the type of story one lives in, and the type of atonement required to be consistent.

 

Evil and the Christian God

This is a shorter version of the paper above.

  

Jewish and Christian Views of the Messiah

 

Stories and Spirituality:

How the "God" Engages Human Evil (chart)

 

Stories and Social Consequences:

Comparison with Islam and Mohammed (chart)

 

Stories and Social Consequences:

Comparison with Atheism and Hinduism (chart)

NHI Resources on Evil in Human Nature in Theological and Biblical Perspective

 

Assignment #1:  Jesus is the Answer, What's the Problem?

 

Assignment #2:  Comparing Views of Evil

 

The Healing of Human Nature in Jesus 

A video of a message given Nov 15, 2013.

 

Evangelism With the New Humanity Paradigm

An evangelism training packet with Bible study material, sample conversations, and diagram

 

Evangelism Diagram of the New Humanity Paradigm

The diagrams of Jesus healing human nature first in himself, and then in us.

 

Illustrations of Sin as Self-Harm to Human Nature

Stories, analogies, illustrations for reflection, and for teachers

 

Illustrations of the Atonement

Stories, analogies, illustrations for reflection, and for teachers

 

Medical Substitutionary Atonement, Personal Healing, and Social Justice

 A presentation given at the Honor-Shame Conference 2017, a gathering of missionaries, scholars, and ministry practitioners

 

Jesus' Kingdom of God Movement 

Notes and messages on the Gospel of Matthew

 

God's Great News for Humanity's Great Problem 

Notes and messages on Paul's Letter to the Romans

 

Big Questions About God: Contrasting Early and Reformed Theologies

Workbook style, with quotes and questions to help you compare, contrast, and discuss. The differences are enormous, and deeply relevant.

 

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: 

What Was It, Really?  Was Evil Necessary?

This is a small group leader discussion guide to Genesis 2:8 - 17 and the nature of the Two Trees in the original Garden of Eden. They are not arbitrary, but were, in fact, necessary.

 

God's Response to Human Evil:

The Faithfulness of Jesus (Romans 3:21 - 26)

 

God's Victory Over Human Evil in Jesus (Romans 6:1 - 11)

 

God's Victory Over Human Evil:

Presenting Ourselves to Jesus (Romans 6:12 - 14)

 

God's Victory over Human Evil:

We Are Bondslaves to Christ (Romans 6:15 - 23)

 

The Role of Jesus in Revolution and the Pursuit of Justice

 

The Impact of Jesus (and ppt)

 

Slavery in Christianity, Part 1: 

Slavery in the Bible, Slavery Today (and ppt)

 

Slavery in Christianity, Part 2: 

Abolitionism from the First to Fifteenth Century

 

(shorter presentation; 50 - 60 minutes)

Tolkien was writing an equivalent to an "Old Testament" which he thought existed among the Angles (English) before Christian faith was preached to them.  See Like Stories of Old, Heroism and Moral Victory - The Lord of the Rings, Part 1 (Like Stories of Old, Aug 24, 2018) and Like Stories of Old, A Mythology of Hope - The Lord of the Rings, Part 2 (Like Stories of Old, Aug 31, 2018)

   

(40 minute presentation)

A fun exploration of J.K. Rowling's reliance on Christian motifs and the biblical plot arc

  

(45 - 60 minute presentation)

A fun exploration of the movie as social commentary, reliance on actual history affected by Christian faith, and concepts of good and evil which are ultimately theological

Other Resources on the Problem of Evil in Human Nature - Christian Resources

 

Athanasius of Alexandria, Against the Heathen, chapters 1 - 6

In volume one of his two part work, one of the greatest Christian theologians of the first few centuries, Athanasius bishop of Alexandria (298 - 373 AD), argues for why the Christian God is still good despite human beings falling into sin

 

Athanasius of Alexandria, On the Incarnation, chapters 1 - 5

From volume two of his two part work, Athanasius explains who the Son of God is, and how he assumed human nature in order to heal it, first in himself, and then in us.

 

Gregory of Nyssa, Address on Religious Instruction

says, 'Evil in some way arises from within. It has its origin in the will, when the soul withdraws from the good. For the origin of evil is not otherwise to be conceived than as the absence of virtue... Just as darkness follows the removal of light, and disappears in it's presence, so, as long as goodness is present in a nature, evil is something nonexistent. But when there is a withdrawal from the good, it's opposite arises.'

 

Augustine of Hippo, Enchiridion, chapters 11 - 14

describes evil as a sickness and deficiency because of the will's resistance to God who is the good

 

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (pdf book, 1942 - 1944)

 especially books 1 and 2

 

C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, chapter 1 (Amazon book, 1970)

 

Alvin Plantinga, God, Freedom, and Evil (pdf book, 1974)

 

Henri Blocher, Evil and the Cross (Amazon book, 2005)

 

David Bentley Hart, The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?(Amazon book, 2005) A short book on how a Trinitarian view of God influences how we think about suffering and evil.  Includes a critique of the Calvinist tendency towards God's omnicausality.  Lays out the categories in very clear, simple terms.  This website is dedicated to the promoting the theological thought of David B. Hart, an Eastern Orthodox theologian.

 

William Paul Young, The Shack (Amazon book, 2007) story about a man who loses his daughter in a rape-murder, and wrestles with God about it - reveals good insights about the Trinity and the character of God.  Roger Olson's analysis of the book, Finding God in "The Shack" is also helpful.  My response to Mark Driscoll's youtube criticism of the book is here.

 

N.T. Wright, Evil and the Justice of God(Amazon book, 2009)

 

Patrick Downey, Desperately Wicked: Philosophy, Christianity, and the Human Heart (Amazon book, 2009)

 

David Bentley Hart, Suffering and the Problem of Evil (video, Feb 25, 2010)

 

Robert Woodberry, The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy (American Political Science Review, May 2012)

 

David Bentley Hart, An End to All Endings (video, Sep 1, 2013)

 

Centre for Public Christianity, Suffering and Evil (Centre for Public Christianity website)

 

James Hoskins, 16 Reasons Why I Believe in God: (9) The Existence of Evil (blog, May 13, 2013)

 

Tell Me More Staff, How One Woman's Faith Stopped a School Shooting(NPR, Jan 31, 2014)

 

Hugh Halter, Flesh: Bringing the Incarnation Down to Earth (Amazon book, Feb 2014)

 

Dargan Thompson, If God is in Control, Why Does Bad Stuff Keep Happening? N.T. Wright on the Good News (Relevant Magazine, Jan 20, 2015)

 

Donald Miller, How Do So Many Good People Get Away With Bad Things? (Storyline blog, May 11, 2015)

 

David Gelernter, Why Should a Jew Care Whether Christianity Lives or Dies? (First Things, Mar 24, 2015)

 

Nancy Hill, Can We Have Martin Luther King's Dream Without His Faith? (Veritas Forum, May 8, 2015)

 

Peter Wehner, The Christmas Revolution (NY Times, Dec 25, 2015)

 

Ronald Osborn, The Scandalous Origins of Human Rights (Veritas Forum, Jan 15, 2016)

 

Glenn M. Harden, The Sex Trade, Evil, and Christian Theology (Amazon book, Apr 7, 2016)

 

Sarah Irving-Stonebraker, How Oxford and Peter Singer Drove Me from Atheism to Jesus (Veritas Forum, May 22, 2017)

 

Alan Snyder, Evil Is a Parasite, Not an Original Thing (Pondering Principles, Sep 22, 2018) on C.S. Lewis' view, which comes from the early Christian view, and continues in the Orthodox and Catholic traditions

Other Resources on the Problem of Evil in Human Nature - General Resources

 

Wikipedia, Freudian Coverup (wikipedia) about Freud's early research exposing fathers molesting their daughters, and his cover up of the evidence

 

Oliver Wolcott, Jr., The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton (letter, Jul 13, 1804)

 

Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault, Debate on Human Nature (book, 2006 based on the debate in 1971) and video excerpt (youtube) and Stephen Pinker's critique of Chomsky's view of human nature(youtube, Nov 27, 2012)

 

Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

(Amazon book, 2007)

 

Cordelia Fine, A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives

(Amazon book, 2008)

 

Dan Ariely, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty:  How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves (Amazon book, 2013)

 

Alan S. Miller & Satoshi Kanazawa, Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature (Psychology Today, Jul 1, 2007)

 

Tom Ferry, The 4 Addictions That Destroy Your Dreams (They’re Not What You Think) (Huffington Post, May 24, 2010) addiction to others' opinions, drama, the past, worry

 

Daniel R. Hawes, When Ignorance Begets Confidence: The Classic Dunning-Kruger (Psychology Today, Jun 6, 2010)

 

Scott Barry Kaufman, Do Narcissists Know They Are Narcissists? (Psychology Today, Mar 25, 2011)

 

Pamela Meyer, How to Spot a Liar (TED talk, Oct 13, 2011)

 

Frans de Waal, Moral Behavior in Animals (TED talk, Nov 2011) both positive and negative

 

Susannah Cahalan, Greed is Good (And So is Lust, Envy, Pride, Anger, Sloth, and Gluttony (New York Post, Feb 5, 2012)

 

Julien Pretot, Lance Armstrong Doping: International Cycling Union Strips Champion Of 7 Tour De France Titles, Bans Him For Life (Huffington Post, Oct 22, 2012) lying and self-deception

 

Kathleen McGowan, Living a Lie (Psychology Today, Jan 2, 2013)

 

Joe Fassler, What Flannery O'Connor Got Right: Epiphanies Aren't Permanent (The Atlantic, Jan 4, 2013) on human nature, truth, the limits of self-improvement

 

Dylan Garrity, Friend Zone (Button Poetry, May 6, 2013)

 

U.K. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Atheism Has Failed. Only Religion Can Defeat the New Barbarians (The Spectator Magazine, Jun 15, 2013)

 

Marty Kaplan, Most Depressing Brain Finding Ever (Huffington Post, Sep 16, 2013)

 

Alexander Nazaryan, A Good God is Hard to Find: The Prayer Journal of Flannery O'Connor (Newsweek, Nov 19, 2013)

 

Environment, This Video Will Make You Lose Faith in Humanity (ShareDots, Mar 27, 2014)

 

Adam Serwer, Lyndon Johnson Was a Civil Rights Hero, But Also a Racist (MSNBC News, Apr 11, 2014)

 

Stephen Pinker, The Modern Denial of Human Nature (youtube, Apr 14, 2014)

 

Chris Hedges, War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (book, Apr 2014) about the psychology of war and our acclimatization to it

 

Jerry Adler, The Reformation: Can Social Scientists Save Themselves? (Pacific Standard, Apr 28, 2014)

 

Jeffrey Kluger, How Do You Spot a Narcissist?  Just Ask (Time, Aug 5, 2014)

 

Melissa Dahl, Scientific Evidence That Self-Promoters Underestimate How Annoying They Are (New Yorker Magazine, Oct 17, 2014)

 

Noah Zandan, The Language of Lying (TED Ed, Nov 3, 2014)

 

John Gray, What Scares the New Atheists (The Guardian, Mar 3, 2015)

 

Annie Reneau, 10 Things I Thought Were Caused by Bad Parenting, Until I Had My Own Kids (Scary Mommy, May 2015)

 

Huff Post Show, Dikipedia: Bikram Choudhury (Huffington Post, May 29, 2015)

 

Elizabeth Gilbert, Confessions of a Seduction Addict (NY Times, Jun 24, 2015)

 

Rebecca Nicholson, Is the Ashley Madison Hack Another Step Towards a Post-Embarrassment World? (The Guardian, Jul 24, 2015)

 

Randi Kreger, Therapists Confirm Trump's Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Psychology Today, Nov 13, 2015)

 

Husna Haq, The Surprising Relationship Between Intelligence and Racism (Christian Science Monitor, Jan 7, 2016)

 

Heather McLean, Moral Licensing (youtube video, Jan 11, 2016)

 

Marty Kaplan, The Most Depressing Discovery About the Brain, Ever (Raw Story, Feb 27, 2016)

 

Ana Swanson, How to Tell If Other Other People Think You're Hot, According to Science (Washington Post, Apr 2, 2016) ultimately about people's inability to place themselves in another's shoes

 

Jeff Guo, This Unusual Test Reveals How Smart You Are (Washington Post, Apr 14, 2016) about intelligence and lying

 

Hank Green, The Problem of Evil: Crash Course Philosophy #13 (Crash Course, May 9, 2016) a short 10 minute video

 

Jeff Guo, We're Really Good at Forgetting All the Terrible Things We've Done (Washington Post, May 20, 2016)

 

Joshua Epstein, Here's the Proof That Donald Trump's a Pathological Liar You've Been Asking for, Trolls (New Civil Rights Movement, May 29, 2016)

 

Joseph Tkach, The Tragedy of Untruthfulness (GCI, Jul 6, 2016)

 

David Greenberg, Are Clinton and Trump the Biggest Liars Ever to Run for President? (Politico, Jul/Aug 2016)

 

Christopher Ingraham, New Study Finds That Men Are Often Their Own Favorite Experts On Any Given Subject (Washington Post, Aug 1, 2016) although Rebecca Onion, Mansplaining Is Real! But Male Self-Citation in Academic Work Isn’t So Simple. (Slate, Aug 2, 2016) but it suggests an explanation for Jessica Chasmar, Donald Trump: I Consult Myself on Foreign Policy, 'Because I Have a Very Good Brain'(Washington Times, Mar 17, 2016)

 

Brad Evans and Henry A. Giroux, The Violence of Forgetting (NY Times, Jun 20, 2016)

 

Bobby Azarian, A Neuroscientist Explains What May Be Wrong With Trump Supporters' Brains (Raw Story, Aug 4, 2016)

 

David Ignatius, Why Facts Don't Matter to Trump Supporters (Washington Post, Aug 4, 2016)

 

Zygote Films, The Dangers of the Deep Web (The Atlantic, Aug 4, 2016)

 

Sky Palma, When Researchers Trolled Facebook Conspiracy Nuts With Random False Info, They Bought It Every Time (Dead State, Sep 11, 2016)

 

Buster Benson, You Are Definitely Not Living in Reality Because Your Brain Doesn't Want You To (Quartz, Sep 16, 2016)

 

Sam Wang, How Lies Live And Grow In The Brain – 2016 edition (Princeton Election Consortium, Sep 20, 2016)

 

Bahar Gholipour, You Can’t Always Trust Your Own Thoughts, And This Terrifying Chart Shows Why (Huffington Post, Sep 22, 2016)

 

Michael Barbaro, What Drives Donald Trump? Fear of Losing Status, Tapes Show The Run-Up (NY Times, Oct 25, 2016)

 

Jonathan Haidt and Ravi Iyer, How to Get Beyond Our Tribal Politics (WSJ, Nov 4, 2016) challenge of tribalism

 

Brendan Nyhan, Fact-Checking Can Change Views? We Rate That as Mostly True (NY Times, Nov 5, 2016) by why "mostly"?

 

Akshat Rathi, A Philosophy Professor Explains Why You're Not Entitled to Your Opinion (Quartz, Dec 4, 2016)

 

Brian Resnick, A New Brain Study Sheds Light on Why It Can Be So Hard to Change Someone's Political Beliefs (Vox, Dec 28, 2016)

 

Rachel Marie Stone, How Not to Be Afraid (NY Times, Jan 20, 2017) note the self-hatred of her grandfather, who became a Nazi

 

Sam Levin, Trump Pressured Parks Chief for Photos to Prove 'Media Lied' About Inauguration Crowd - Report (Guardian, Jan 27, 2017)

 

Juliet Macur, Why Do Fans Excuse the Patriots’ Cheating Past? (NY Times, Feb 5, 2017) tribal loyalties and group identity

 

Hayley MacMillen, This Rape Survivor and the Man Who Raped Her Have Teamed Up to Tell Their Story (Marie Claire, Feb 8, 2017)

 

Andrew Sullivan, The Madness of King Donald (NY Mag, Feb 10, 2017)

 

Carlos Maza, Kellyanne Conway's Interview Tricks, Explained (Vox, Feb 13, 2017) the art of lying and misdirection

 

Drake Baer, Rich People Literally See the World Differently (NY Magazine, Feb 14, 2017)

 

Elizabeth Kolbert, Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds (The New Yorker, Feb 27, 2017)

 

Tony Schwartz, I Wrote 'The Art of the Deal' with Trump. His Self-Sabotage is Rooted in His Past (Washington Post, May 16, 2017) need for approval

 

David Brooks, When the World is Led by a Child (NY Times, May 15, 2017) about impulse control, self-awareness, and other-awareness

 

Matthew Yglesias, Donald Trump Gets a Daily Briefing All About How Great He Is (Vox, Aug 8, 2017)

 

Paul Bloom, The Root of All Cruelty (The New Yorker, Nov 27, 2017) about dehumanization and its ubiquity

 

Sean Illing, Why Humans Are Cruel (Vox, Jan 16, 2018) a counterargument to dehumanization - we are cruel because we humanize an adversary and hold them morally accountable for something

 

Alex Wong, Trump's Lifelong Addiction (Politico, Apr 17, 2018) to lawyers

 

Brian Resnick, We're Underestimating the Mind-Warping Potential of Fake Video (Vox, Apr 23, 2018)

 

Like Stories of Old, The Unexplored Depths of Spider-Man 3 – Facing the Dragon of Grandiosity (Like Stories of Old, Apr 30, 2018)

 

Stephen Colbert, Now We Know Who's Willing to Defend Caging Children (The Late Show, Jun 19, 2018) note Colbert points out Kirstjen Nielsen's flip-flop

 

Ed Yong, Parasites Can Mind-Control Animals Without Infecting Them (The Atlantic, Jun 20, 2018) an intriguing metaphor for sin

 

Lyz Lenz, Women Are Evil (Huffington Post, Jun 21, 2018)

 

Rukmini Callimachi, An American Couple Found Many Moments of Kindness While Cycling the World. Then Came Day 369 (Boston Globe, Aug 7, 2018) when an ISIS group killed them; sadly, they believed that evil was a construct

 

Jack Lewis, The Science of Sin: Why We Do The Things We Know We Shouldn't (Amazon book, Sep 11, 2018)

 

Trevor Noah, Trevor Doesn’t Buy Senator Orrin Hatch’s Defense of Brett Kavanaugh (The Daily Show, Sep 19, 2018) about the hidden side of ourselves that most people don't know

 

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, The Why a Little Evil is Good - and a Lot of Empathy is Bad (Boston Globe, Oct 27, 2018)

 

Lauren Hough, I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America. (Huffington Post, Dec 30, 2018) "A glimpse of the suburban grotesque, featuring Russian mobsters, Fox News rage addicts, a caged man in a sex dungeon, and Dick Cheney."

 

Peter Dockrill, This Online Test Can Tell You How Many 'Dark Traits' Like Psychopathy and Narcissism You Have (Business Insider, Jan 1, 2019)

 

Shensheng Wang, Why Does It Feel Good to See Someone Fail? (Salon, Jan 7, 2019) "to feel a pang of pleasure at the misfortune of others is to be human" shows an interesting psychological and spiritual dimension to the desire to believe in meritocracy

 

The Young Turks, Fear and Loathing in the Conservative Mind (The Young Turks, Feb 14, 2019) the emotion of disgust, and its correlation to politically conservative instincts; how language triggering disgust is often used with religious ideology of a "pure community."  References Kathleen McAuliffe, Fear This Is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society (Amazon book, 2016); see Kathleen McAuliffe, The Psychology (and Politics) of Disgust (Big Think, Sep 23, 2016)

Part of the series: