Saturday, January 31, 2009

David Attenborough on Bible Putting Natural World in Peril



David Attenborough in a YouTube video on his views of Darwin suggests the Bible has put the world in peril, by saying that the writings of Genesis which suggest the world was created for man has led to devastation, etc., and caused us to be in the situation we're in. To do so is not only to fail to interpret the Scripture correctly, but to falsely assign the cause of destruction and devestation to the Bible rather than sin. Such a view is not only short sighted, but misinformed.

For example, while the Bible teaches man has been given dominion over the earth, the Bible also teaches the earth still belongs to God, that man himself was created from the earth, that man is use resources for their intended purpose, that man is to work the earth that it might be productive, etc. A simple Google search on "Bible verses environmental stewardship" reveals a host of articles that speak to this subject in great detail.

This is nothing but a strawman and demonstrates either lack of scholarship or an irresponsible attack.

Mark Driscoll - on Nightline

Good video

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Christian Response to "Elevating Science, Elevating Democracy" Article

Science is not a monument of received Truth but something that people do to look for truth.

That endeavor, which has transformed the world in the last few centuries, does indeed teach values. Those values, among others, are honesty, doubt, respect for evidence, openness, accountability and tolerance and indeed hunger for opposing points of view. These are the unabashedly pragmatic working principles that guide the buzzing, testing, poking, probing, argumentative, gossiping, gadgety, joking, dreaming and tendentious cloud of activity...

Nobody appeared in a cloud of smoke and taught scientists these virtues. This behavior simply evolved because it worked.

It requires no metaphysical commitment to a God or any conception of human origin or nature to join in this game, just the hypothesis that nature can be interrogated and that nature is the final arbiter. Jews, Catholics, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists and Hindus have all been working side by side building the Large Hadron Collider and its detectors these last few years.


Quote taken from: Elevating Science, Elevating Democracy

1. The author fails to recognize that some scientists must borrow presuppositions from other worldviews and act inconsistently with their own to participate in science that is meaningful.
2. The author while suggesting "it requires no metaphysical commitment to a God or any conception of human origin or nature" fails to provide a basis for why one can assume (1) that nature can be interrogated and (2) that nature is the final arbiter. (i.e., he suggests presuppositions can be made without commitments of any kind)
3. The author suggests value based behavior evolved simply because it worked, ... but to define something as having worked involves making a value judgment.
4. The author in suggesting the quest of truth "teaches values" fails to recognize presuppostions (/values) introduced to the quest or used in determining the evaluation of truth. For example, the quest for truth does not prove whether tolerance or intolerance is better. Without knowing absolute truth or presuming one end is better than another, one cannot make such a determination.
5. The author by suggesting that virtues evolve takes from them by relegating them to subjective.

This is nothing more than post-modern thinking applied to the realm of science.
I'm sure it's not the last we will see of it!

MOST IMPORTANT to see is that the author acknowledges HIS WORLDVIEW POSITION does NOT KNOW TRUTH... but is only along the ride which is "looking" for truth.

James Sire's words on postmoderism are well to be received, when he states "the center holding us in place has vanished. Our age, which more & more is coming to be called postmodern, finds itself afloat in a pluralism of perspectives, a plethora of philosophical possibilities, but with no dominant notion of where to go or how to get there. A near future of cultural anarchy seems inevitable."

While some scientists may think a weight holding them down has now been lifted, just wait until future decisions in regard to values, direction & limitations have to be made... and scientists find themselves on opposite ends of the spectrum (or without any standard) when it comes to what should and should not be done. It's clear "the quest for truth" will not provide the answer for them (when it comes to those values, etc.), and once again science will not have all the answers for man that some now think it one day will, but again, the issue of metaphysics and the truth and provision of God will come into play and once again prove to be the only source that provides a combination of meaning, purpose, truth, satisfaction and comfort. How dim is the mind of man who has not and cannot learn from the lessons of history or the fundamentals of metaphysical foundations. It's going to be up to Christian theologians and scientists to bring these issues to light, or else we'll have to endure decades if not more before the world comes to see the insufficiencies of its hope and is faced with either looking to the truth of Christian worldview or trying to find another means of trying to circumvent and disregard that which is truth.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Faith and Works in Scriptural context:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, for by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone, but each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.


Soli Deo Gloria!


Scriptures:


Romans 5:1
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen

Romans 10:17
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

James 2:17
Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

James 2:14
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

James 2:19
You believe that God is one You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

James 1:22
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

James 2:24
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

Gal 6:4
But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.

Galatians 6:14
But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Galatians 2:20
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Philippians 2:12
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

James 2:26
For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Eckhart Tolle - Christian Counsel for Seekers / Followers

The true gospel tells us ... we do not have to generate or acquire some new status or level of consciousness ourselves so as to reach up to or attain heaven, but rather God through the incarnate Christ has come down to us, not simply as an example or teacher, but the logos in human flesh, the divine one (even God himself) in the person of Christ to provide salvation (incl: redemption of sin, vicarious atonement, life founded upon & reigning through righteousness, etc.).

Don't be deceived by the rhetoric or lies told by Tolle, look to Christ whom God himself has vindicated, affirmed and held before us.

Quote to Consider from Spurgeon on Ps 146

In man there is no help in times of mental depression, in the day of sore bereavement, in the night of conviction of sin, or in the hour of death.


Quote from Spurgeon's writings on Psalm 146

Blessed is the man whose trust is not in man but in God who forever reigns and is mighty to save!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Russian Icy "Baptism"

Mr. Dubin, the sociologist, said the practice’s popularity had less to do with religious revival than with enthusiastic coverage by Russian television. But others said it proved that 74 years of Communist rule were unable to stamp out the tradition, which holds that a priest’s blessing temporarily transforms water into the River Jordan, where Jesus Christ was baptized. Even at the height of state atheism, said Father Vsevolod Chaplin, a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate, “the lines for holy water were longer than the lines at Lenin’s mausoleum.”


Quote taken from Russians Strengthen Their Faith and a Tradition With an Icy Water Plunge
It's clear these Russians do not understand the sacrament of baptism.
1. Discerning the difference between the sign and the thing signified (and between the physical act pointing to the greater spiritual reality) enables one to understand it's not necessary or important that the water turn into the River Jordan, for the efficacy of baptism is not in the nature or name of the physical element but in the work of the Spirit who makes the sacrament effectual for those who participate by faith.

2. The goal of Christian baptism is not to reach "nirvana" but to recognize salvation in Christ, to demonstrate where one's faith in God's salvation, & to receive grace its offered as one participates through faith.

3. The sacrament of baptism belongs to the Lord (His Church/His people, etc.) not a particular people group.

4. Baptism is not for the purpose of show, but worship.

Intelligent Design Article - History & Philosophical Defense

Intelligent design is an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins that challenges strictly materialistic views of evolution. According to Darwinian biologists such as Oxford's Richard Dawkins (1986: 1), livings systems “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” But, for modern
Darwinists, that appearance of design is entirely illusory. Why? According to neo-Darwinism, wholly undirected processes such as natural selection and random mutations are fully capable of producing the intricate designed-like structures in living systems. In their view, natural selection can mimic the powers of a designing intelligence without itself being directed by an intelligence of any kind.

In contrast, the theory of intelligent design holds that there are tell-tale features of living systems and the universe – for example, the information-bearing properties of DNA, the miniature circuits and machines in cells and the fine tuning of the laws and constants of physics – that are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected material process. The theory does not challenge the idea of “evolution” defined as either change over time or common ancestry, but it does dispute Darwin's idea that the cause of biological change is wholly blind and undirected. Either life arose as the result of purely undirected material processes
or a guiding intelligence played a role. Design theorists affirm the latter option and argue that living organisms look designed because they really were designed.


Stephen Meyers presents an informative history and defense for the theory of intelligent design here. One noteworthy portion is where he refutes those who question whether the theory of intelligent design is "scientific".

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Science and Reason .... and History and Revelation

The "war on science" is over.


The problems they face are difficult and deeply rooted but not necessarily unfixable. Fortunately, most Americans aren't actively anti-science; the problem, rather, is that the science world is either alien to them or something they rarely think about.


Fortunately, most Americans aren't actively anti-science; the problem, rather, is that the science world is either alien to them or something they rarely think about.


There will be hurdles along the way. Americans are repeatedly being told that science represents an assault on their core beliefs and values. Battles over the relationship between science and religion are newly resurgent, ... If science is ordinarily distant from the lives of ordinary Americans, unending science-religion conflicts can make it seem hostile.


And so we find ourselves in a paradoxical situation. Science is more important than ever—something our new president fully recognizes. Yet for most Americans, science is probably becoming more distant, not less; it's harder to locate and identify, and it's often more aggressive toward their core beliefs. In this context, scientists certainly shouldn't retreat to their labs. Rather, they should reach out to the public like never before. There's a lot of work to do.


Chris Mooney in his article Mission Accomplished seeks not only to report a seeming victory but to call scientists to action not in the lab, but on the contrary, in the area of public opinion (and education). While I don't disagree that people need to be educated in the area and value of science, it's what they need to be educated toward that Christians should be concerned with.

The issue was perhaps best illustrated by a commenter on Dawkin's repost of the article who responded to the article stating "Oh, that is some good news, we need to bring back the golden age of science and reason." Have not secularists learned anything from history? If the "golden age" was so "golden", then why did society shift from such a worldview to find answers, satisfaction, and comfort elsewhere?

Several things to note:
1. It's not just "science and reason" but also "history and revelation" that we need to take into account and be instructed by.

2. While science is valuable (and can result in MUCH GOOD), it will not result in all the answers and satisfaction man seeks. The truth is because of both the nature of science and the nature of man, at the SAME time science will bring about advancements for good, science will not only continue to raise more issues and questions, but science (/& it's results) will also be (mis-)used to create and bring about problems for man. (i.e., the same science that leads to advancement in weapons for protection can/will also be misused for aggression; the same science that is used for longer life also will lead to experience of illnesses related to longer life, etc.)

3. While a simple return to an age of "science and reason" alone will ultimately be no more lasting than before, looking to "science and reason" not as ends in themselves but within the greater biblical framework will be simultaneously both of good use but not misleading people with false hopes.

Conclusion: Christians, at the SAME time you WELCOME discussions of science and it's value and purpose, make sure people are historically informed, biblically confronted, and challenged in the place of science within the overall perspective of our lives!

The science debate doesn't ultimately belong to secularists! Christians need not only to be informed but leaders in the debate!

Evolution's Goal ... Problems

Of course, the mutations and adaptations witnessed by the computing industry were actually designed by intelligent beings who had specific goals in mind. Biological adaptations, by contrast, were driven by the blind and often cruel hand of natural selection. Evolution has only one goal: successful replication.


Quote taken from The Evolution of Religion.

I'm continuing to see writers state that the single goal of evolution is successful (or self-) replication. Does this not raise moral, ethical, societal, even evolutionary questions? Think about it, if self-replication is the only goal,...
1. What does that say about all the other purposes secularists suggest?
2. What does it suggest about the individual who seeks to impregnate as many women as he can (even without personal responsibility to providing for his offspring)?
3. Are those who seek (... incl: spend time) to fulfill "other" goals working against evolution? Is that even possible? Regardless, what does say to areas such as art, literature, etc.?


Fortunately, here again, most secularists do not live consistently by seeking to implement and carry out their stated beliefs and positions to their logical end. Isn't it interesting how even evolutionists really don't want their own positions to be true and not only prefer but choose to live as if they are not!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Excellent article on the Canon of Scripture

I am posting this link as a reminder to me :)

Found this while reasearching - When was the Canon finally closed?

This is good, too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Religion By The Book

Pastor Scott Willet Weighs In On Pluralism

"In this 21st century of relativism, each person’s opinion is just as valid as the next. Each one’s judgment is just as legitimate as the other’s. Each individual definition of truth is just as true as every other one. In other words, I judge what is true for me, and you judge what is true for you. If those two judgments happen to disagree with each other, if they conflict or contradict, it matters little. The issue for our day is not the external or universal consistency of the nature and content of truth, but rather the sincerity and authenticity with which it is embraced. Thus what matters is not the rational content of truth, but its subjective and individualized perception of it. Therefore, the only absolute aspect about the nature of truth is that all truth is provisional–contingent and dependent upon my own conceptions and commitments.

Sadly, many people who profess to be Christian employ that dangerously faulty philosophy of human knowledge..."

Read More...

Tom Hanks - Supporters of Prop 8 Un-American

“The truth is this takes place in Utah, the truth is these people are some bizarre offshoot of the Mormon Church, and the truth is a lot of Mormons gave a lot of money to the church to make Prop-8 happen,” he told Tarts. “There are a lot of people who feel that is un-American, and I am one of them. I do not like to see any discrimination codified on any piece of paper, any of the 50 states in America, but here's what happens now. A little bit of light can be shed, and people can see who's responsible, and that can motivate the next go around of our self correcting Constitution, and hopefully we can move forward instead of backwards. So let's have faith in not only the American, but Californian, constitutional process.”


Quote taken from here.

Seems Hanks encourages faith in everything ... EXCEPT God's Word.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Skeptical of Newest "Insight" into "Human Evolution"

Studies like this show how far Darwinists are willing to reach in their efforts to indoctrinate.

From Primate Culture Is Just A Stone's Throw Away From Human Evolution, Study Finds

"For 30 years, scientists have been studying stone-handling behavior in several troops of Japanese macaques to catch a unique glimpse of primate culture. By watching these monkeys acquire and maintain behavioral traditions from generation to generation, the scientists have gained insight into the cultural evolution of humans."

I guess if any scientist wastes 30 years watching monkeys play with rocks, he has to come up with something.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Calvinism and the Press

Driscoll’s New Calvinism underscores a curious fact: the doctrine of total human depravity has always had a funny way of emboldening, rather than humbling, its adherents.


I write to draw attention to an article on Calvinism in the NY Times magazine. While the article fails to reflect Calvinism in it's classic form, it's still good to see Calvinism on the radar screen. What's most encouraging is how several articles now have pointed out how Calvinism is being enthusiastically embraced by young people and how the Calvinist's message is being offered in more popular user friendly forms. (One must wonder why the Times would run such an article, but as questions are raised as to the future of evangelicalism, Calvinism is certainly poised to have a prominent role and influence as it not only reflects the teaching of Scripture itself, but sets forth answers not only in regard to the weaknesses found in evangelicalism today, but in response to the issues the world continues to struggle with.)

For the author's information, human depravity BOTH humbles and emboldens the believer - humbling him he finds himself fully dependent upon but a recipient of God's great mercy, and yet at the same time emboldens him as he comes to understand the offer of the gospel is for all and that if he himself can be saved then others can as well!

China: Vulgar American Websites; Public Pressure Swings Two Ways

In China Widens Crackdown on 'Vulgar' American Web Sites it's reported that

China has widened an Internet crackdown on "vulgar" content to target 14 new sites ...

China's ... censorship efforts target ... pornography, political criticism and web scams,...

MSN was cited for the large amount of inappropriate images on its film channel and some "selected pictures" ..."


While it's true, China has it's own problems when it comes to religious freedoms, freedom of information, etc.; on certain levels this criticism is valid and noteworthy.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thoughts on Prophecy

Prophecy may be true or false in terms of source or content.

True prophecy is the proclamation of information as God's own words through the Holy Spirit: "Thus saith the Lord"

True prophecy may be characterized as special revelation or Scripturally aligned proclamation.

All Scripture is the result of true prophecy validated and collected by the Holy Spirit working through Man.

Not every instance of true prophecy is Scripture.

All special revelation prophesies resulting in Scripture have ceased.

Washington - "So Help Me God" - More Proof Secularists Seek to Oppose the United States Theist Foundation

The oath is in the news now that California atheist activist Michael Newdow — last seen in the headlines trying to knock "Under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance (full story) — is suing to drive all mention of God out of Barack Obama's inauguration Jan. 20. A U.S. District Court judge will hear the case next week.


Newdow wants it all halted. His suit — which includes 39 other individuals and groups, such as the American Humanist Association, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Atheist Alliance International and others — wants God out of the oath, and the invocation and benediction eliminated.


Quotes taken from No proof Washington said 'so help me God' will Obama?

Regardless of whether proof can be shown as to whether Washington did or did not use the words "so help me God" in his oath, the foundational documents of the U.S. are "theist" not "secular".

ALL THEISTS, not just Christians, need to take note of this battleline in the sand, for though the distinctions may appear small at the moment, the ramification of following a different course will not be!

More to Life than Self Replication

A new molecule that performs the essential function of life - self-replication - could shed light on the origin of all living things.


Quote from Artificial molecule evolves in the lab.

Interesting how without knowing the origin of life or it's purpose, these scientists not only try to define it's essential function, but define it simply as self-replication. Surely, life and it's functions are higher than this! (1 Cor 10:31)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

FUR or NO FUR

In Fashion Designer Karl Lagerfeld Defends Fur: Kill 'Beasts' Before They Kill Us we see two different views (one to kill animals, one not to kill animals)that shows the arbitrary and ultimately foundationless positions of those who have no ultimate standard.

It's interesting that the comment by PETA is to describe His views as "outdated" but without any basis for showing older or former views are wrong. On the other hand, he argues the inconsistency of views which address one area while doing the opposite in other areas. I may be wrong, but it seems given his position, the greater issue for him may probably be driven by neither the rightness or wrongness of killing animals, but the financial issues related to it.

Praise God that he has not only given an ultimate standard to guide us but also wisdom which show the issue more involved than just kill or not kill, but involves matters such as use, stewardship, etc.




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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mark Driscoll - Unlimited-Limited Atonement

I was introduced to this notion by a beloved brother reading Dricsoll's Death by Love.

I am currently doing some online research concerning this idea and will post links and thought here.

Here is the first link in the google response - and has some good linked resources.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A fine Christian Skeptic deals with cancer

The Jollyblogger - read and pray that we get to keep him around for a good long while! The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!

Why I believe in baptizing babies (condensed version)

I grew up with the traditional Baptist view, typically referred to as " believers baptism ". It is theologically known as credobap...