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Think Christianly

Think Christianly: November 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Case for Faith by Lee Strobel DVD

This is a great resource exploring the difficult questions of how Jesus can be the only way and if there is a God, and he is good and all-powerful--then why evil?

This is a high quality, honest and engaging DVD.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

"I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever."--Ps. 86:12 ESV


Monday, November 24, 2008

Was Jesus God?

Did the church invent the deity of Christ? The short answer is No. For the argument for that claim, see the excellent book Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ.

They show that the Lord Jesus shares the the following 5 areas with the Lord God:


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Friday, November 21, 2008

Richard Dawkins believes in Intelligent Design? (sort of...)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christianity and Non-Empirical Knowledge (i.e., beyond the five senses)

"We tend to think that we can't know something unless it's able to be tested by the five senses. But is this the only way to figure out if we know something? Dr. Moreland says "no." In fact, he shows us that we know a lot of things that we are unable to empirically test."

This is a very helpful and important short article for Christians.

(Excerpt from the article)

Various Kinds of Knowledge

In my last article, we looked at the nature of knowledge and we defined it in this way:

To represent (i.e., experience or think about) reality the way it really is on the basis of adequate grounds, on a solid basis of evidence, experience, intuition, testimony and so forth.

We also saw that there are three different
kinds of knowledge:

Knowledge by acquaintance: This happens when we are directly aware of something, (e.g., when I see an apple directly before me or pay attention to my inner feelings, I know these things by acquaintance).

Propositional knowledge: This is knowledge that an entire proposition is true. Propositional knowledge is justified true belief; it is believing something that is true on the basis of adequate grounds.

Know-how: This is the ability or skill, usually based on the other two sorts of knowledge, to do certain things (e.g., to use apples for certain purposes). (MORE...)

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Woman given windpipe created in laboratory (with adult stem cells)

I came across an article this morning about the impact 'adult' (as opposed to embryonic) stem cells can have and is having:

Doctors have given a woman a new windpipe with tissue engineered from her own stem cells in what experts have hailed as a "milestone in medicine."

Claudia Castillo, 30, suffered from tuberculosis for years.

The breakthrough allowed Claudia Castillo, 30, to receive a new section of trachea -- an airway essential for breathing -- without the risk that her body would reject the transplant.

Castillo was given the stem cell surgery, the controversial branch of medicine that some say could lead to human cloning, after suffering a severe lung collapse. (Read whole article)

Now a very important detail is left undefined in the initial part of the article, it isn't just stem cells, but adult stem cells. So no human life was destroyed in this process. They mention that half-way through. This is important because given the way this discussion has been framed in the public square, people hear stem cells and associate that with embryonic stem cells.

Martin Birchall, professor of surgery at the University of Bristol, who was part of the team that did the operation, notes that "Surgeons can now start to see and understand the very real potential for adult stem cells and tissue engineering to radically improve their ability to treat patients with serious diseases."

As we walk further as a society into the "Biotech" century, we need to think about what we do and how we do it when it comes human persons.

Two great resources are the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and Biotechnology and the Human Good by leading ethicists by Georgetown University Press.

(Description of book): Some of humankind's greatest tools have been forged in the research laboratory. Who could argue that medical advances like antibiotics, blood transfusions, and pacemakers have not improved the quality of people's lives? But with each new technological breakthrough there comes an array of consequences, at once predicted and unpredictable, beneficial and hazardous. Outcry over recent developments in the reproductive and genetic sciences has revealed deep fissures in society's perception of biotechnical progress. Many are concerned that reckless technological development, driven by consumerist impulses and greedy entrepreneurialism, has the potential to radically shift the human condition - and not for the greater good. "Biotechnology and the Human Good" builds a case for a stewardship deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian theism to responsibly interpret and assess new technologies in a way that answers this concern. The authors jointly recognize humans not as autonomous beings but as ones accountable to each other, to the world they live in, and to God. They argue that to question and critique how fields like cybernetics, nanotechnology, and genetics might affect our future is not anti-science, anti-industry, or anti-progress, but rather a way to promote human flourishing, common sense, and good stewardship. A synthetic work drawing on the thought of a physician, ethicists, and a theologian, "Biotechnology and the Human Good" reminds us that although technology is a powerful and often awe-inspiring tool, it is what lies in the heart and soul of who wields this tool that truly makes the difference in our world.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

What is faith?

The Christian faith is not a blind faith. It does not require us to check our brains at the door. But nor is it just intellectual or cognitive--which I will discuss in future posts. But as a starting point, this is a good description:

“Faith does not feed on thin air but on facts. Its instinct is to root itself in truth, to earth itself in reality, and this distinguishes faith from fantasy, the object of faith from the figment of the imagination.”—Os Guinness

This is from his very helpful book on faith and doubt called God in the Dark. In fact, I think it is the best book on doubt and how to walk through it available and would encourage all Christians to work through it.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Is Richard Dawkins still evolving?

Atheistic Champion and author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins now concedes that "A serious case could be made for a deistic God." No, I'm not kidding. Check out the article here.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Voters approve Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriages

According to the LA Times, with 95% of precincts reporting, California voters approve Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriages. (similar measures were passed in Arizona and Florida).

For the whole article, click here.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Study: Sex on TV linked to teen pregnancies - Watching lots of racy shows can affect adolescents over time

Should we really be surprised by this revelation? It's just TV right, how harmless can it be???

"In the world of television programming, sex sells — perhaps a little too well with young viewers, a new study suggests."

"The RAND Corp. study is the first of its kind to identify a link between teenagers’ exposure to sexual content on TV and teen pregnancies. The study, released Monday and published in the November edition of the journal Pediatrics, found that teens exposed to high levels of sexual content on television were twice as likely to be involved in a pregnancy in the following three years as teens with limited exposure."

Click here to read the whole article...

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