Elysia McColley

Logic and Faith

By Elysia McColley If faith is being certain of what is not seen and logic is a mode of reasoning consistent with natural law, then don’t the two stand in diametrical opposition two each other? Aren’t logic and faith contradictory ideas? Maybe at first sight, but not when you look at them in terms of how God reveals Himself to humanity. Theologians have identified two ways in which God reveals Himself, general revelation and special revelation. Looking at logic through the lens of general revelation and faith through that of … Read More »

Top Five Christian Apologists Of Our Time

By Elysia McColley There have been numerous men and women throughout history who have broken through the cultural mores of their times to bring people the truth of God’s Word. The early church had leaders like Tertullian and Augustine; in the Middle Ages, there was Thomas Aquinas, amongst many others. In the twentieth century, C.S. Lewis helped the most intellectually-oriented people turn their thoughts back to the Bible and the Christian message. Each of these Christian apologists spoke to particular issues that existed in his or her day. I want … Read More »

Is Christmas A Pagan Holiday? Part 3, Christmas Trees

By Elysia McColley Read “Is Christmas A Pagan Holiday? Part 2” Santa Claus is not in the Bible, and neither is a holiday commemorating Jesus’ birth on December 25. But what about Christmas trees? Some people point to Jeremiah 10:1-4 to show that Christmas trees actually are in the Bible. The passage reads, Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified … Read More »

Is Christmas A Pagan Holiday? Part 2, The Feast Of Saturnalia

By Elysia McColley Read “Is Christmas A Pagan Holiday? Part 1” One piece of contention that many people have regarding the “Christian-ness” of Christmas is that it is celebrated on December 25, formerly a pagan feast day. Skeptics may try to assert that Christians merely wanted to co-opt another religion’s holiday and claim it for themselves. This belief is only partially true. Jesus was not born on December 25, and the day was associated with pagan traditions long before His birth. Before getting into a philosophical quagmire, let’s look at … Read More »

Is Christmas A Pagan Holiday? Part 1: Santa Claus

By Elysia McColley There is no question that the holiday we know as Christmas has quite a few pagan elements running through it. In fact, when we speak about the “Yuletide season,” we are referring directly to a pagan holiday – Yule – of the ancient Norse and Germanic peoples. Christmas trees have some, though not all, roots in pagan practices, and Santa Claus himself has many pagan elements, such as elves and magical flying reindeer. Some Christians ardently argue that Christians should not celebrate the holiday at all because … Read More »

What Is Christian Apologetics?

By Elysia McColley If you are reading this blog, you probably have some interest in Christian apologetics. But what is Christian apologetics in the first place? In its broadest sense, apologetics is the branch of theology that seeks to give a rational defense for the faith that we profess. Let’s take a look at what apologetics is, starting with some misconceptions about it. By the end of this article, you will hopefully have a better idea of what this dynamic branch of theology is about and why you should pursue … Read More »

Why the Bible is Different From Other Holy Books

By Elysia McColley If you spend any time outside of Christian circles, you have probably heard claims that the Bible is one of many holy books and that it shows one of many paths to God. Unfortunately, these claims have made their way into Christian circles, as well, and even some pastors believe that the Bible is one holy book among many. They may believe that the Bible is on equal footing with texts like the Muslim Qur’an, the Hindu Vedas, or the Zoroastrian Gathas. Martin Luther, the founder of … Read More »

Ishmael and Jesus – Part 7

By Elysia McColley We have looked quite extensively at Ishmael, his mother Hagar, and the Ishmaelites to show how immensely and uniquely blessed they were. They were the first to see the pre-incarnate Christ and had descendants mentioned in His genealogy. However, there are some disconcerting passages in the New Testament that do seem to suggest otherwise, particularly in Galatians 4:21-31. Paul wrote here about Hagar and Sarah to demonstrate that we are descendants of Sarah, who was free, rather than of Hagar, who was a slave. In verse 30, … Read More »

Ishmael and Jesus – Part 6

By Elysia McColley In this series about Ishmael and his descendants, one thing that we looked at was how the pre-incarnate Christ appeared to Ishmael and his mother on two separate occasions. Here, I want to look at the ministry of Jesus and how He healed those who were likely descendants of Ishmael. In Luke 4:27, Jesus said, “And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed–only Naaman the Syrian.” In other words, miracles do not come … Read More »

Ishmaelites in the Old Testament – Part 5

By Elysia McColley So far in this series about Ishmael, we have looked at two prominent Old Testament figures – Job and Jethro – who were not Israelites and may have actually been Ishmaelites, or descendants of Abraham through his oldest son, Ishmael. There are several other Old Testament figures who may have been Ishmaelites, such as Agar and Lemuel, two kings who contributed to the book of Proverbs. Here, I want to look at someone who was possibly the most significant Ishmaelite in the Bible because of her role … Read More »