Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
A man was crawling around looking for something. Another man walked up and asked, “What are you looking for?”The man answered, “I dropped a dollar. Would you help me find it?”“Sure. Where were standing when you dropped it?”“Over there by those bushes.”“Then why are you looking here?”“Because the light is better here.”
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
“In regards to this great Book (the Bible), I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it.”
“Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.”
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
When explaining their beliefs, Christians often feel they must first prove the Bible or prove the existence of God. This approach reveals that they do not yet understand the Bible’s approach, known as presuppositional apologetics.
Presuppositions are simply beliefs that everyone has that affect how they think, view the world, interpret evidence, and read the Bible. Apologetics is a reasoned defense of beliefs. So presuppositional apologetics is a reasoned defense of Christian beliefs based on recognizing our presuppositions.
For instance, my presupposition is that God exists and He has given us His Word (the Bible) that is absolute truth. So I use the Bible as the basis for how to think, interpret evidence, explain the world around me, and read the Bible. An atheist’s presupposition will most likely be that there is no God and that truth is relative. An atheist believes that man decides truth, and so he thinks, interprets evidence, and views the world and Bible accordingly.
If we start off believing the Bible is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 18:30; Proverbs 30:5), then we use it as our axiom. An axiom (often used in logic) is a proposition that is not susceptible to proof or disproof; its truth is assumed. The Bible takes this stance, assuming God’s existence to be true and not something to be proven (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; Revelation 1:8).
The battle is not over evidence but over philosophical starting points: presuppositions. As Christians, we should never put away our axiom—the Bible—when discussing truth with others. This would be like a soldier going into battle without any armor or weapons. Asking a Christian to abandon the Bible for the sake of discussion is like asking an atheist to prove there is no God by using only the Bible. You would be asking the atheist to give up his axiom.
The prophets and the apostles never tried to prove God’s existence. They started by assuming God’s existence, and they always reasoned from Scripture (Acts 17:2, 17; 18:4, 19). By using the Word of God, we are actually pitting the unbeliever against God and not our own fallible thinking.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
“And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, and He said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere.” Mark 1:40-45, NASB
Jesus often admonished those who received the benefit of His miracles that they should not say anything to anyone about it. I’ve noticed, though, that many of those people disregarded His request and, instead, told everyone what Jesus had done for them.
The leper discussed in Mark 1 was especially zealous about spreading the news. The KJV says he “blazed abroad” what Jesus had done for him. The effect of his witness was such that people flocked to see Jesus – so much so that Jesus could no longer enter any city. Now that is getting the word out!
There are many accounts in the gospels similar to this. The man named Legion (Mark 5), after being delivered from demon possession, begged Jesus that he might stay with Him. Instead, Jesus told him to return home and tell his people about the mercy Jesus had shown him. The man certainly did that – the Bible says he spread the news in the
Sometimes I’m disappointed with many Christians of today compared to the Christians of Jesus' day. When Jesus touched the lives of the first century saints, it seems they couldn’t wait to tell everyone about what Jesus did for them. Christians today don’t seem interested in telling anyone. Why is that?
I think sometimes we make light of what Jesus has done for us. While it’s true that we might not have been cured of leprosy or delivered from demons, does that mean Jesus hasn’t done a great miracle in our lives? When we accepted Christ, did He not forgive us for a lifetime of sin and give each one of us eternal life? Aren’t we joint heirs with Him (Romans 8:17)?
It is my prayer that every Christian (myself included) would be like the leper in Mark 1. Jesus has done a marvelous thing for us. Let’s tell everyone about the great things that Jesus has done for us so that people might come to Him from everywhere!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Claudius Ptolemaeus was a Greek astronomer from the 2nd century AD. He was extremely influential and created a geocentric model of the universe that endured for centuries. The model was named for him – the Ptolemaic model. It was not until time of Galileo that scientific consensus finally turned away from his earth-centered model of the universe replaced it with a heliocentric model. How do I know this? I learned about Ptolemy in school.
For years there has been a controversy around teaching special creation in school. A majority of people favor presenting creation along side evolution in science classrooms (as seen here). Critics scoff saying any discussion of creation belongs in a religion class and not in a science class. Of course, they are being disingenuous because they really don’t want creation – or anything religious – discussed in public schools at all.
But something occurred to me recently: if the Ptolemaic model is still being discussed in public classrooms (as something people once believed), what is really the harm of discussing the creation model as something ½ of the
I’m asking in earnest: what is the difference? The Ptolemaic model has been discarded centuries ago yet it is still included in science books. The only reason it’s given any press is because it was such a popular model and it endured for 1,000 years. Well, creation cosmology is still believed by approximately ½ of the
There is one obvious difference between teaching about Ptolemy and teaching about creation: it’s not likely that anyone will ever take an earth-centered model of the universe seriously. However, in a recent study, it was learned that when students are taught about creation AND evolution, they tend to choose creation. From the article:
“University students whose high school biology class covered creationism – in some cases alongside evolution – were more likely to accept creationist views upon entering college, the study found. Those whose high school biology teachers taught evolution but not creationism were more likely to accept evolution in college.”
Isn't that interesting? When students are presented both views in high school, they tend to believe creation. When students are presented only evolution in high school, they tend to believe evolution.
I see what's going on: teach kids evolution - don't let them hear anything to the contrary - and they're more likely to believe evolution. There's a word for this phenomenon - it's called "brainwashing."
It’s OK to talk about Ptolemy – it’s not OK to talk about God.