Michael Ramsden and “Big Questions”


On Thursday the 25th of November, Michael Ramsden came from Oxford to give a lecture to all the Octagon, Theology and Christian Union Students who had “Big Questions” about God.

The evening started off with a Questioning session - everybody with questions had them written on the board. Then everybody voted for the 3 that they would most like to be answered and the two questions that had the most votes, he would answer. The two questions that were chosen were:



1) Why don’t Christians always practise what they preach...are hypocrites?

2) Even if evil is necessary, why does God allow child abuse?



Michael started by explaining what a Hypocrite was; somebody who was pretending to be better than they actually are. He told us that it was only really Christians who were brought up for being hypocritical - not really any other religions. He went on to describe that the reason for this was that a lot of people (including Christians) believed that they have to be good to get into heaven. This belief is founded on the what the Bible says, that you have to be perfect to get into heaven. But the bible also says that nobody is perfect. He concluded that Christians are not Hypocritical, but because they have such specific standards which people expect them to meet, they do not always practice what they preach and are therefore noticed more than normal people; They are only human and it is the Grace of God via Jesus which brings us salvation and not our own actions however wonderful or problematic they might be.

Apologetics_2Then Michael started to answer the second question.

He started by explaining what evil was and whether it was actually necessary. “Most people think that Good is the absence of evil but in fact it is the other way around. Evil is the absence of good.” He also says that it is a common belief that Evil is necessary so that we can see what good is. Michael uses C.S Lewis’ book ‘the problem of pain’  to show us why God gave us freewill. His analogy was that if you see someone who you hate and you pick up a stick to hit them with and God turns it to a bunch of flowers and so then you throw back your arm to punch them and God forces you to open your hand into a handshake, then you open your mouth to hurl verbal abuse at them and God makes you say “just seeing you has made my day today as you are such a wonderful person” would make the world an unrealistic one in which we have no personal value as we cannot choose right from wrong and have no room for spiritual growth. It would mean living lives akin to programmed robots. We can choose to love God or we can choose to walk away but the choice is most certainly ours.

The lecture ended at 8:15pm and years 11 and 6th form were able to go for extra questioning time with hot drinks and snacks in the sixth form bar.

It was an excellent evening which was very informative and explained lots of the big questions about Christianity.

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