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Think Christianly

Think Christianly: May 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is Intelligent Design Science?

In this helpful video, Dr. Stephen Meyer explains the nature of science and then unpacks the definition of intelligent design. There is a lot of confusion about this point and I hope you find this video helpful. You can find out more about Dr. Meyer's excellent book here.

If you are new to this whole discussion about Science, Evolution, and Intelligent Design and would like an accesible introduction, this is one of the best places to start:

I've found the empirical evidence for ID to be impressive and I think it poses a legitimate challenge to Darwinian Evolution. What questions do you have about intelligent design and evolution? Ask them here and we will discuss them in future posts. Have you found this blog helpful? You can have it delivered right to your inbox by signing up here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Think Christianly, Welcome to College, and My Interview on Stand to Reason

On Sunday I had the opportunity to be interviewed on Stand to Reason's weekly radio show. I am a huge fan of Stand to Reason (they do wonderful work!). Here is a link to my interview where I offer biblical advice for engaging culture and how to help students make the most of college (My segment occurs in the final hour).

***Also, my publisher has generously made Welcome to College available for only $5 at Amazon until tomorrow night (May 25th). If you are a parent or have a teenager, you can gift it to them or buy yourself a copy. It's a GREAT deal (72% off). My goal is to get Welcome to College in as many student's hands as I can during the graduation season. If you like what you see can you help spread the word by sharing this link on Facebook and Twitter? Here's what people are saying about the book:

"Wow! What a book! Quite frankly, this is the book I've been waiting for the last forty years to give to college students. It is the single best volume I have ever read for preparing students for how to follow Jesus and flourish as his disciple in college." -- J.P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

"Jonathan has both the intellectual resources as well as the practical experience to provide an effective students' survival guide to university life. I'm impressed with the wide array of issues he discusses, from intellectual challenges to financial problems to sexual snares to getting enough sleep! All this is done in easily digestible bits for the student on the run." -- William Lane Craig, Theologian and author, Reasonable Faith

"Reading this book is like having your own personal mentor and friend to guide you through the rough rapids of college life. College is a great experience, but it can also be faith-shattering if you are not adequately prepared. This book is perfect for the high school senior who is curious about what college life will be like. It is also helpful to the college student who is dealing with the day-to-day challenges and questions faced both in and out of the classroom. -- Mark Schmahl, Pastor of Student Ministries Believers' Chapel

"This book will prepare anyone who is either enrolled in college or is planning to go to college for the daily challenges Christians deal with on campus. Jonathan Morrow is aware of the real college world and is dead-on with his excellent insight." -- Blake Smith, Junior, Texas Tech University

"Unpacking biblical truths, Welcome to College is a treasure book of wisdom that will literally save lives and help build a culture of life." -- Kelly Monroe Kullberg, Author, Finding God Beyond Harvard: The Quest for Veritas

"Whether you are an incoming freshman or upperclassman, Jonathan provides straightforward, practical insight for dealing with current issues regarding living the Christian life on campuses everywhere. Not only is this a great read, but you will find a place to turn to when questions or struggles show their face." -- Taylor McCabe, Junior, Baylor University

Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

How Much Manuscript Evidence Is There For The New Testament?

"The wealth of material that is available for determining the wording of the original New Testament is staggering: more than fifty-seven hundred Greek New Testament manuscripts, as many as twenty thousand versions, and more than one million quotations by patristic writers. In comparison with the aver- age ancient Greek author, the New Testament copies are well over a thousand times more plentiful. If the average-sized manuscript were two and one-half inches thick, all the copies of the works of an average Greek author would stack up four feet high, while the copies of the New Testament would stack up to over a mile high! This is indeed an embarrassment of riches." - Dan Wallace

Explore the evidence for the reliability of the NT further here.

Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What is Courage?

The day before he fell ill, Chuck Colson recorded this important video about the virtue of courage:

"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."--1 Cor. 15:58

Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why Are We Still Debating Darwin?

"In his "Socrates in the City" talk in Washington last week, Steve Meyer asked: "Is there a scientific controversy about the theory of evolution?" After quoting many spokesmen for official science who deny the existence of any such controversy, or any reason to doubt evolutionary theory whatsoever, Meyer showed that there are significant reasons to doubt both biological and chemical evolutionary theory.

He first addressed the problems associated with chemical evolutionary theory, which "attempts to explain the origin of the first life from simpler pre-existing chemicals." Here he explained the critical question of the origin of genetic information. This is the problem he addressed in his bookSignature in the Cell, a problem that has beset all attempts to explain the origin of life by reference to undirected chemical evolutionary processes.

The most important idea for laymen to grasp is that of biological information. It's difficult to understand "exactly what information is," Meyer has written. It's not a physical thing. He quotes the evolutionary biologist George Williams as saying that information "doesn't have mass or charge or length," and matter "doesn't have bytes." It follows that matter and information belong to "two separate domains."
Information in biology is best understood as analogous to software code. Recall Bill Gates's comment: "DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created."
Software is a set of instructions for a new program in a computer. Likewise, DNA contains a set of instructions for the assembly of parts, namely proteins, within a cell. In the 19th century the cell was thought to be simple. Darwin and his contemporaries had no way of knowing just how complex it was. The cell today is sometimes compared to a high-tech factory. (Except it's much more complex than that -- factories can't replicate themselves.)
Here is the key question: How did the requisite information get into the DNA in the first place? Without it, the first cell would never have been..." (read the rest

Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Zondervan's Think Christianly Blog Tour...

Check out some of these great reviews! Thanks everyone! click here

Add yours...

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

“Gays are being denied equal rights today just as African-Americans were denied equal rights”

Alan Shlemon continues our seriesLet me be blunt: denying same-sex couples from marriage is not the same as denying interracial couples from it. Although anti-miscegenation laws were immoral, the same mistake is not happening today. And despite the rhetorical force of making the comparison, merely claiming it’s the same does not make it so.

One of the problems with this comparison is that it presumes sexual orientation is a genetically predetermined trait like race. But it’s not, as I’ve argued in a previous post. Numerous researchers have also testified to this. Francis Collins, who led the Human Genome Project to identify every human gene, has said regarding homosexuality: “Whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations…”[i] Harvard geneticist and homosexual, Dean Hamer, admitted that, “The best recent study suggests that female sexual identification is more a matter of environment than heredity.”[ii] Even the American Psychological Association, a group that advances homosexual causes, doesn’t claim that genes determine sexual orientation.

They say, “Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.”[iii]

Homosexuality, then, develops also from environmental factors, not merely genetic ones. And since environmental factors vary in type, frequency, and degree, homosexuality is not inescapable. 
Depending on your developmental environment, you could or could not develop same-sex attractions.

Race, however, is entirely genetic and therefore inescapable. You’re not born an African American – you’re conceived as one. Your race is determined the moment the chromosomes of the sperm and egg blend together. Nothing will change that. Neither your mother’s diet, the hormones in her womb, nor intrauterine trauma will alter your birth as an African American. And once you’re born, your race is impervious to cultural, social, or psychological influences during childhood development. Nothing can alter – even slightly – your race.

That means homosexuals can’t claim they’re like African Americans in the sense that they are born that way. Their plight is not the same. African Americans are genetically born that way. Homosexuals are not.

But the differences grow more significant. Since homosexuality is not merely the product of genes, it is mutable. Homosexuals can and do change. I personally know men who have changed. This type of mutability has been observed for thousands of years and documented by researchers for the last one hundred years (I’ve written about this in a previous post). In fact, sexual orientation in females is quite fluid.

Actress Anne Heche is an example. She grew up as a heterosexual, got involved in a lesbian relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, then married a man with whom she had a child, and now is living with another man. The same is true of former “Sex and the City” star, Cynthia Nixon. She grew up heterosexual, married a man, and had two children. In 2004, she became a lesbian. Nixon also infuriated the homosexual community by claiming that her change in orientation was, “a choice.” She went on to explain: “I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me… Why can’t it be a choice? Why is that any less legitimate?”[iv]
My point is not that sexual orientation is a choice. I’m simply acknowledging that it’s mutable for some people.

Race, however, is immutable. I don’t know any African Americans that have changed their race. None of them have become Swedish for a few years. It can’t happen, even in principle.

But there’s even a more significant problem with comparing homosexuals with African Americans, especially with regards to the issue of marriage. Interracial couples can marry because they can fulfill an essential function of marriage. As Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse has explained, marriages bind males and females for the long term and protect the rights children have to be with their parents. Male-female unions are the precise kind of pairing that produces children and provides the ideal environment to raise them. Having an African American marry a Caucasian doesn’t impact that function in any way.

Homosexual couples, on the other hand, don’t include both sexes. Not only are they incapable – by nature – to produce children, but they are also ill-suited to raise kids who need a mother and a father (I’ve argued this in a previous post). That’s why the state has never sanctioned the relationship of two men or two women, but they sanction interracial unions so long as they’re heterosexual.

Homosexuals are hoping to convince the culture that their plight is the same as African Americans. Naturally, this has a strong, rhetorical effect. But with careful reflection it becomes apparent the two groups are not parallel in meaningful ways. That’s because race and sex are not the same. This makes all the difference.

[i] F. Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (New York: Free Press, 2007), 260.
[ii] D. Hamer and P. Copeland, Living with Our Genes: Why They Matter More Than You Think (New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1009), 188.
[iii], accessed 4/30/12.
[iv], accessed 4/30/12.

Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow

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