Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Future of the Human Species
The promise of the posthuman project is the creation of beings that live healthy, productive, and happy lives, and most importantly beings that live for very long time—perhaps forever. The ultimate promise is immortality. The accompanying peril, however, is that the cost is exorbitant. The price of perfecting humankind is its destruction, for in becoming posthuman humans cease being human. The peril of the posthuman project, in short, is that its optimism disguises an underlying death-wish for the human species.
One might be tempted to object that any worry about this peril is misplaced. The peril presupposes a promise that is far from certain. Few, if any, of the requisite technological advances have yet been achieved, and the likelihood of dramatic breakthroughs any time soon is slim at best. A so-called posthuman future is based on science fiction, not science. Consequently, time should not be wasted worrying about a peril that might, but probably will never present itself.
There are two reasons why this temptation...."by Brent Waters (More)
Monday, March 29, 2010
What Did Jesus Teach About Worry?
27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:22-34)
The BIG question I need to answer is this....does Jesus really know what he is talking about?
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Why Do We Find It So Hard to Forgive?
Most of us assume that if we forgive our offenders, they are let off the hook — scot-free — and get to go about their merry ways while we unfairly suffer from their actions. We also may think that we have to be friendly with them again, or go back to the old relationship. While God commands us to forgive others, he never told us to keep trusting those who violated our trust or even to like being around those who hurt us.
The first step to understanding forgiveness is learning what it is and isn't. The next step is giving yourself permission to forgive and forget, letting go of the bitterness while remembering very clearly your rights to healthy boundaries.
- Forgiveness is not letting the offender off the hook. We can and should still hold others accountable for their actions or lack of actions." (more)
Friday, March 26, 2010
Is Atheism a Crutch?
And to the question "Is Christianity a crutch?" I say yes, but not in the way the atheist puts the challenge. Just as someone with a broken leg needs a crutch to lean on to help him heal, Christians have recognized that we are broken people who need a Savior who is the only Healer of our sin.
We all need a crutch. The questions is, are you using a crutch that will hold you?...."
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Discipleship to Jesus in Plain Language
Monday, March 22, 2010
There is a God - Why Antony Flew Now Believes in God
Sunday, March 21, 2010
When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’
"Anyone who has studied the history of science knows that scientists are not immune to the non-rational dynamics of the herd." (read more)
Friday, March 19, 2010
Are you weary?
Thursday, March 18, 2010
True U - Ready for College?
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Voices of Haiti - A Daily Photo Essay
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
What is the Mocha Club?
Monday, March 15, 2010
Social Gospel? Beck Should Read the Prophets, John the Baptist, and Jesus
He has told you, O man, what is good,
and what the LORD really wants from you:
He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful,
and to live obediently before your God.
Or try John the Baptist. In Luke 3:10-14 when he is asked to explain what repentance is that is ready for the Lord to come he says:
So the crowds were asking him, “What then should we do?”
John answered them, “The person who has two tunics34 must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.”
Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
He told them, “Collect no more than you are required to.” Then some soldiers also asked him, “And as for us—what should we do?” He told them, “Take money from no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your pay.”
To turn to God means I relate to other peopel differently.
Or try Jesus' words to his audience (Matt 5:14-16):
You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden.
People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.
Or the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:5-9:
And when Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, because I must stay at your house today.” So he came down quickly and welcomed Jesus joyfully. And when the people saw it, they all complained, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, half of my possessions I now give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone of anything, I am paying back four times as much!” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this household, because he too is a son of Abraham!
Something about Zacchaeus's heart was right in showing concern for the poor. Jesus commends the attitude. So let's not let Christian virtue get captured in ideological political rhetoric of cultural wars that take people away from the call of the gospel to be socially sensitive. Let's be sure we read and listen to the prophets John the Baptist and Jesus. May political commentators giving advice to members of the church be sure and read their Bible first and not oversimplify what God asks of people who serve him. Yes, the gospel is about salvation of the soul, but service to the world and caring for justice and the poor grows out of responding properly to God. Once again what some want to make either-or is actually a both-and when bibically defined. Let's not villify with political associations of communism or socialism a concern and compassion Jesus asks of people who love their neighbor....(more)"
Sound advice.Now good intentions don't always translate into the outcomes for the oppressed or poor that we desire. That is why it is about more than giving money to a good cause. See these three helpful works on this point. But it appears that Beck has a confused understanding of the Good News of God and what that means for all people.When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves by Corbett and Fikkert
The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
Money, Greed, and God by Jay Richards
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Is Jesus an Add On?
Friday, March 12, 2010
The Best Question Ever....Really
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Newbigin on Truth and Faith
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Stephen Meyer Stirs Up More Controversy with Signature in the Cell
From Evolution News and Views...
"As a former book review editor (at National Review), I take a professional interest in book reviews and all the things that can go right or wrong with them. I confess, though, I’ve never seen anything quite like the treatment of Stephen Meyer’s book, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, on BioLogos, the curious website funded by the Templeton Foundation and specializing in Christian apologetics for Darwin. The site published what was clearly, unambiguously written to look like a review by biologist Francisco Ayala that, as Steve Meyer pointed out already, actually gave every evidence that Ayala had not read the book. (My colleague Dr. Meyer thinks Ayala did read the Table of Contents, but on this I must disagree.)On what did Ayala base his views about Signature? This is a bit of a mystery...."
Monday, March 8, 2010
Who's Path Are You Going to Follow?
"Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path."--Psalm 37:34
There's always a choice.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
What Do Darwinism and ‘Climate Change’ Have in Common?
"Leslie Kaufman in the New York Times reports on budding initiatives in state legislatures and boards of education to encourage or require balance in classroom discussions of global warming. The point of the piece, though, is to connect the teaching of evolution to the climate change debate:
Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools.
Now when I read anything on the environment in the New York Times, I try to keep a couple of deconstructionist qualifiers running in the back of my head: “This is what the New York Times wants me to believe about the issue” and “What are they trying to accomplish with this piece?” I know it’s cynical, but when it comes to environmental stories, I just don’t trust New York Times reporters to keep it straight.
Some things they want to accomplish with this piece:
(1) Divide and conquer skeptics of global warming orthodoxy and Darwinism, by painting the latter as ignorant religious zealots, in hopes of starting a fight among conservatives. No doubt they’re hoping that, say, Richard Lindzen will have to explain why he agrees with those nefarious creationists on the global warming issue, and that he’ll have to spend his time issuing statements of agreement with evolution.
(2) Make it harder for official bodies to encourage critical thinking on global warming, since attempts to do the same with regard to evolution have, in recent years, met with fierce resistance and only modest success.
This becomes clear by reading the story in its entirety. Kaufman is careful to describe the whole thing as a plot by evangelicals and fundamentalists that, in the words of Lawrence Krauss, is designed to cast “doubt on the veracity of science—to say it is just one view of the world, just another story, no better or more valid than fundamentalism.”
Then, to prevent alienating all religious readers, Kaufman explains: “Not all evangelical Christians reject the notion of climate change, of course.” So we get the usual quote from an evangelical who thinks the Bible agrees with the New York Times. Enter Rev. Jim Ball of the Evangelical Environmental Network as an example of how to be a good evangelical.
There’s so much to say about this piece, but let’s me pursue just one question: Is the debate over “evolution” the same as the debate over “climate change”?
Well, I think they’re both alike and different. First, the similarities, which I think are mostly sociological:
*Both issues suffer from “semantic creep,” which tends to prevent rational discussion.
So a vague word like “evolution” can range in meaning from the trivial and tautological—change over time and survival of the fittest—to the uncontroversial—certain organisms share common ancestors and natural selection explains some things—to the questionable and ideological—everything is the result of a purely impersonal process, we don’t exist for a purpose, we’re just carriers for selfish genes, natural selection and random genetic mutations explain everything interesting, and so forth. If you doubt the latter, you get lumped in with doubting the former.Similarly, instead of debating specifics about global warming—Are humans the main cause of the recent warming trend in global temperatures? Would the Kyoto Protocol" (more...)
Friday, March 5, 2010
Texas students argue the Bible is smut
"The Atheist Agenda, a University of Texas San Antonio student organization, is preaching the Bible and other religious writings are just as smutty as recognized pornography.
The “smut for smut” campaign this week tries to counter the religious message of love by noting that the Bible and the Quran recount violence and torture, according to the San Antonio News-Express.
“It’s a First Amendment right,” said Bradley Lewis, an 18-year-old member of the Atheist Agenda. “If religious groups can put out missionaries and go knock on my door and wake me up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I can put a table outside of a college.”
Nobody seems to be contesting the group's right to have their say, but Robin Lorkovic -- standing nearby with a sign proclaiming “God Loves you! Keep your Bible and learn from it” -- said the Atheist Agenda’s campaign was inappropriate.
“I am a Christian,” Lorkovic, 18, told the News-Express. “I believe in God’s love, and I am here to stand my ground and stand up for what I believe in.”
Lewis conceded that the event is basically a publicity stunt and a means to generate debate.
“This is ultimately why this is going on,” Lewis said. “It's an icebreaker to get people talking about these things.” (more)
Evidence 4 Faith
Check it out and Enjoy!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Does the Christian God Exist? A debate between Dinesh D'Souza and John Loftus
Full MP3 Audio here. (2 hours)
(HT / Apologetics 315)
Other D'Souza Debates
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
How are Spiritual Disciplines like Lima Beans? Latest think Christianly Podcast Now Up
Monday, March 1, 2010
Responding to New Atheists' Non-belief Argument
Here is how the question was asked: "I've grown frustrated with Atheists saying to me that they don’t have to give any arguments or evidence to support their view, because they are not making any claims. They have a "non-belief". One atheist told me he is not required to provide evidence that there are no fairies living under his house either. This seems so cheap, so lame, yet I'm not sure how to make that obvious to them. What do you suggest? "
Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason offers a video response to this objection here.
For more on responding to these kinds of arguments, see the resource page on the New Atheism at Think Christianly here.