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Think Christianly

Think Christianly: June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

God is right about everything

"Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them."--Hosea 14:9

Being an obedient Christ-follower begins with pre-deciding that God is right about everything. This is the essence of the fear of the Lord.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Knowledge of God Matters

“We are cruel to ourselves when we try to live in this world without knowing the God whose world it is and who runs it. The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life, blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.” - J.I. Packer

Everyone is a theologian because we all think about God. We know God personally (since God is a person) and propositionally through revealed truth in Scripture, Creation, and Jesus Christ Himself (Heb. 1:1-4).

Two Excellent Books:

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Kingdom, Culture, and New Life

“In the Kingdom of God a new kind of life and a new kind of culture becomes possible--not by abandoning the old but by transforming it. Even the cross, the worst that culture can do, is transformed into a sign of the kingdom of God--the realm of forgiveness, mercy, love and indestructible life.”--Andy Crouch

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Craig Evans Debates Bart Ehrman on the Reliability of the Gospels

Enjoy! (H/T - Winter Knight)

Bart Ehrman (Agnostic)

Dr. Ehrman, is a graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), Professor Ehrman received both his Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his 1985 doctoral dissertation was awarded magna cum laude. Since then he has published extensively in the fields of New Testament and Early Christianity, having written or edited twenty-one books, numerous scholarly articles, and dozens of book reviews. Among his fields of scholarly expertise are the historical Jesus, the early Christian apocrypha, the apostolic fathers, and the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.

Craig Evans (Christian)

Dr. Evans received his B.A. degree in History and Philosophy from Claremont McKenna College, his M.Div. degree from Western Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Biblical Studies from Claremont Graduate University in southern California. Author and editor of more than fifty books and hundreds of articles and reviews, Professor Evans has given lectures at Cambridge, Durham, Oxford, Yale, and other universities, colleges, seminaries, and museums, such as the Field Museum in Chicago and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is intelligent design the same as creationism?

"No. The theory of intelligent design is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the "apparent design" in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations. Creationism typically starts with a religious text and tries to see how the findings of science can be reconciled to it. Intelligent design starts with the empirical evidence of nature and seeks to ascertain what inferences can be drawn from that evidence. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design does not claim that modern biology can identify whether the intelligent cause detected through science is supernatural.

Honest critics of intelligent design acknowledge the difference between intelligent design and creationism. University of Wisconsin historian of science Ronald Numbers is critical of intelligent design, yet according to the Associated Press, he "agrees the creationist label is inaccurate when it comes to the ID [intelligent design] movement." Why, then, do some Darwinists keep trying to conflate intelligent design with creationism? According to Dr. Numbers, it is because they think such claims are "the easiest way to discredit intelligent design." In other words, the charge that intelligent design is "creationism" is a rhetorical strategy on the part of Darwinists who wish to delegitimize design theory without actually addressing the merits of its case."

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Signature in the Cell Video Interview with Stephen Meyer

What is intelligent design?

"Intelligent design refers to a scientific research program as well as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Through the study and analysis of a system's components, a design theorist is able to determine whether various natural structures are the product of chance, natural law, intelligent design, or some combination thereof. Such research is conducted by observing the types of information produced when intelligent agents act. Scientists then seek to find objects which have those same types of informational properties which we commonly know come from intelligence. Intelligent design has applied these scientific methods to detect design in irreducibly complex biological structures, the complex and specified information content in DNA, the life-sustaining physical architecture of the universe, and the geologically rapid origin of biological diversity in the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion approximately 530 million years ago."

Signature In The Cell Website

About the Book: "Drawing on data from many scientific fields, Stephen Meyer formulates a rigorous argument employing the same method of inferential reasoning that Darwin used. In a thrilling narrative with elements of a detective story as well as a personal quest for truth, Meyer illuminates the mystery that surrounds the origins of DNA. He demonstrates that previous scientific efforts to explain the origins of biological information have all failed, and argues convincingly for intelligent design as the best explanation of life’s beginning. In final chapters, he defends ID theory against a range of objections and shows how intelligent design offers fruitful approaches for future scientific research."

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Is Christian Faith Blind?

John didn't think so...

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”—1 John 1:5

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Valuing Life When It Is Not Easy - A Pro Life Example

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Big Idea of the Christian Life

"‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.​ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’​​ There is no commandment greater than these.”—Mark 12:30-31

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Need For Spiritual Formation by Dallas Willard

Monday, June 14, 2010

Why Trust Jesus?

In Dave Sterrett's new book, he gives you plenty of reason to. What I especially appreciate is his holistic approach in which he offers various reasons - personal, intellectual, emotional - to trust Jesus.

What can you expect from this book?

"Our generation is up for grabs! The last decade has shaken our trust in personal safety through terrorist attacks, school shootings, economic turmoil, and war. Our trust has been shattered in other areas as we have seen hypocrisy in governmental leaders as well as in the church. We are looking for relationships that are authentic and full of life, but we have many questions in regard to faith, reason, suffering and even the person of Jesus himself. Author and speaker Dave Sterrett helps us answer these and other questions:

Why Should I Trust Jesus when So Many Other Spiritual Paths Exist?
Why Should I Trust Jesus When All I Need to do is Trust Myself?
Why Should I Trust Jesus in the Midst of Suffering and Death?
Why Should I Trust Jesus When I Have Failed So Many Times?"

Why Trust Jesus?: An Honest Look at Doubts, Plans, Hurts, Desires, Fears, Questions, and Pleasures

If you are looking for some reasons to consider Jesus, this is a great book to start with!

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Are You Still Thinking Like a Non-Christian?

Our churches are filled with people who are spiritually born again, but who still think like non-Christians.—William Lane Craig

Pop Quiz: Try to make a list of all the beliefs that you have that the culture around us doesn't. (any difference?)

Could you show someone from the Bible, why the Trinity is important? That Jesus claimed to be the only way to God? Could you tell someone why it is reasonable to believe God exists? If you have been a Christian for longer than a year or two, you can read, and you own a Bible--without trying to induce guilt--the answer ought to be yes.

How are you doing? As Christians, our intellectual habits should be different from those around us. Engage your mind (Luke 10:27; Rom 12:2; Col. 2:8; 2 Cor. 10:3-5)--it is an act of worship. Our world desperately needs thoughtful Christians. You can become one--start here:

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Americans, Truth, and Ice Cream

“Americans think of God, religion, and morals like ice cream and not like insulin. They choose religious views according to tastes, according to what they prefer rather than according to what's true. Non-believers view religion like ice cream. Remarkably, Christians often do the same thing.”--Greg Koukl

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Spiritual But Not Religious?

Interesting article at CNN..

"I'm spiritual but not religious." It's a trendy phrase people often use to describe their belief that they don't need organized religion to live a life of faith.

But for Jesuit priest James Martin, the phrase also hints at something else: egotism.
"Being spiritual but not religious can lead to complacency and self-centeredness," says Martin, an editor at America, a national Catholic magazine based in New York City. "If it's just you and God in your room, and a religious community makes no demands on you, why help the poor?"
Religious debates erupt over everything from doctrine to fashion. Martin has jumped into a running debate over the "I'm spiritual but not religious" phrase.

The "I'm spiritual but not religious" community is growing so much that one pastor compared it to a movement. In a 2009 survey by the research firm LifeWay Christian Resources, 72 percent of millennials (18- to 29-year-olds) said they're "more spiritual than religious." The phrase is now so commonplace that it's spawned its own acronym ("I'm SBNR")

To think more clearly about SBNR, pick up a copy of True for You, But Not for Me: Overcoming Objections to Christian Faith by Paul Copan

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Has Artificial Life Been Created?

And if so...what does that mean?

"Artificial life, the stuff of dreams and nightmares, has arrived." So proclaimed The Economist on May 20th, after a team of scientists headed by J. Craig Venter [2] announced that it had replaced the natural DNA in a bacterial cell with DNA they had artificially synthesized.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Christian Response to the Goodness of God and the Problem of Evil - Video

Here is a very helpful summary video (18 min) by Philosopher of Religion, Paul Copan.
Visit his site at

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Heart

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.--Proverbs 4:23

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Bible And The Trinity

What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?

1. There is only one God. (Dt. 6:4; Isa. 44:6; 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:5
2. There are three distinct persons (Ps. 45:6, 110:1; Isa 63:7-10; Zech 1:12; Mt. 3:16-17, 28:19; Lk. 23:46; 2 Cor. 13:14) who are each fully God:
  • The Father (Jn. 6:27; Rom. 1:7; Gal. 1:1)
  • The Son (Mk. 2:5; 14:61-65; Jn. 1:1-5; 8:58; 10:11; Col 1:15-17; Heb. 1:1-15; Rev. 1:17)
  • The Holy Spirit (Gen 1:2 (cf. Isa. 44:6; Isa 63:7-9; Ps. 139:7; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb 9:14)

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Prudence and the Poor - Is Capitalism or Socialism Better?

Addressing poverty is not just a heart issue; it's a head issue too. Sometimes things that feel good to do, don't really help.

“Prudence means “to see reality as it is, and to act accordingly,” to conform your mind, and then your actions, to reality. It’s one of the four cardinal virtues, along with justice, fortitude, and temperance. Cardinal is based on the Latin word cardo, which means “hinge.” These four virtues are cardinal because all the other virtues hinge on them. Helping the poor, for instance, hinges on prudence. That’s because, in the economic realm, actions have all sorts of unintended consequences. We can’t anticipate all of them. But we can anticipate a lot of them. Therefore, if we really want to help the poor, we have to exercise prudence—to know what the world is really like, and act accordingly.”—Jay Richards

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ardi: The Human Ancestor Who Wasn't?

Ardi is now making headlines for different reasons--despite the rock star treatment in the press...not the missing link after all. See this blog post:

Last fall “Ardi” came onto the missing link scene with a bang. The journal Science called her the “breakthrough of the year.” So did Time Magazine. We covered a few lone dissenters to the Ardi hype here on ENV.

But now Time Magazine is starting to go over apex of the hype curve. In an article titled, “ Ardi: The Human Ancestor Who Wasn't?,” Time notes, “Two new articles being published by Sciencequestion some of the major conclusions of Ardi's researchers, including whether this small, strange-looking creature is even a human ancestor at all.” Likewise, Nature reports, “Ardi may be more ape than human.” According to the Time article (read the rest)

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rites of Passage for Your Son by Robert Lewis

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Think Good Thoughts, It's Habit Forming

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."--Phil. 4:8

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