Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Will You Love . . .?

In words from one of Philip Yancey’s books, today, “My wife and I were discussing my shortcomings in a highly spirited manner.”

Wendy and I have been together for 40 years. We haven’t argued much in that time but we’ve had occasion to remember that our wedding vows did NOT say

- Do you love? but

- WILL you love - in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse . . .”

The question is phrased that way, of course, because that is the nature of true love - agape love.

“Love is a principle of action, and it expresses itself by deeds which please the object loved.”
Arthur W. Pink

Agape love, God’s love for us and the love that we are expected to live out for our spouses is the willed, desired, volitional decision to treat someone with loving behaviours unconditionally.

If I were to ask you, Why do you love your spouse? how would you answer? If your list of reasons is long, extending from s/he’s talented to good looking to hard working to faithful etc. OR even if your list is short, my next question is this. If that is WHY you love your spouse, what will happen if any or all of those attributes diminish, disappear or cease to exist?

IF that is why you love your spouse, you really don’t love your spouse. If that's why you're in a relationship, it means that you’re in the relationship for what you can get out of it. Love is a decision; it’s a commitment. The rest is a bonus.

Good sex.

Nothing wrong with any of that but if that is what forms the basis of your love, then your relationship is in a precarious position.

I’ve had dozens of clients come to me and tell me, “I don’t love my husband / wife anymore.” What they are really saying is, “I never really made the decision to love my spouse in the first place.” For a marriage to last, physical attraction and such will not be enough. Good looks turn to wrinkles. Passionate sex turns to, um, something different. Stress depletes humour. Repetitive stories grind the nerves.

Agape love is a commitment that sees things through to the end. That is why Paul can say in Romans that nothing - NOTHING - can separate us from God’s love for us. (Romans 8:38,39).

This is the kind of love that God promises to grow in us as we are conformed to the image of Jesus, (Romans 8:29) This, in fact is the “good” that He promises to bring about "In all things," that are spoken of in verse 28. This kind of love “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,” (1st Corinthians 13:7).

Will I love? Oh yes. And I’m confident that my wife will love me as well, despite my shortcomings. Since a commitment to love is such a vital topic to the survival of not just our relationships but the world itself, I think I’m going to begin a series on the subject.

We’re off to the lake again tomorrow, but when I get back . . .

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If God Is For Me . . .

The end of Romans 8 is really powerful, at least for believers.

“If God is for me who can possibly be against me?”

The cross, more than anything else says that God is for us.
The cross, more than anything else says that God loves us.

And as verse 32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, is there anything else that He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?”

Nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of our Creator.

The victory is won.

“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

“They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” Romans 8:31-39

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Argument from Ignorance

I’ve been talking about the question, “What is the origin of the formulated information (specified complexity) required to build the first living organism?”

Hugo says that question isn’t important.
Sandra says, “Thesauros doesn’t get it” and links to a page on macro evolution.

In a series I that I did on this subject (not evolution, Sandy dear, but on abiogenesis), I pointed out where, how and why the theories of Chance, Chemical Necessity and RNA replication:
. Did not meet the criteria of Best Evidence for explaining the origin of that type of information.
. Did not meet the criteria for causal adequacy.
. Are not the best possible answer to that question.

I explained why, if one has not restricted oneself to examining only a narrow band of evidence, this inability to meet minimum requirements for causal adequacy does open the door for inferring Intelligent Design.

Atheists say that is an example of an “argument from ignorance.” They said so in the series back then, and they said so again just a couple weeks ago.

What these people don’t seem to understand is that: Presenting Knowledge / Information that highlights the absence of compelling evidence of various theories (which I described in the series), combined WITH “evidence for” based upon observation, testing and verification, and THEN inferring Intelligent Design, is not the same as not having knowledge or information and then inferring Intelligent Design.

It’s the ABSENCE of knowledge that defines an argument from ignorance.

What I presented in the series and will reiterate below is that we, all of us, are cognisant of two things:
1) Natural explanations or theories are not workable (atheists say, “They will be some day”).
2) There IS an explanation that is not only workable, it has in every instance been observed, tested and verified as the ONLY means of producing the formulated information (specified complexity) needed to build the first living organism.

That is the direct opposite of an argument from ignorance and one has to be quite ignorant to suggest otherwise. You may be interested to know that those who make the accusation of ‘an argument from ignorance” also say,

“The instructions for them to do it [first cells replicating] are inherent.”

I’m not joking! If you want an example of an argument from ignorance, there are none better than this one.

“The instructions for them to do it [replication] are inherent.”

THIS is what atheists are like. THIS is how they think!

. In the series I presented a tremendous amount of information that showed the theories of Chance, Chemical Necessity and RNA replication are inadequate as causal adequacy.

IF this was an argument from ignorance, the ABSENCE of compelling natural evidence would be the ONLY criteria for inferring ID. But that is not the case. As well as a lack of causal inadequacy for the natural hypothesis, what we know is -

. Intelligent Agents are the ONLY known source of large quantities of functional information.

Even if there were NO OTHER REASONS, from a scientific standpoint this last reason on it’s own is enough to infer ID as the cause of the specified complexity that was in the first DNA, RNA and Proteins.

“The creation of new information is habitually associated with conscious activity.”
Quastler, “The Emergence of Biological Organization” 16

The atheist’s response? ‘We don’t have any information today that answers this question, but some day we will. And to we atheists, a hoped for answer someday is just as good as a real answer today. Why? Because we have FAITH.’ Atheists hate it when I put words in their mouths so here is a direct quote,

“I just see better alternatives that are yet to be proven” Hugo - 7/12/10

I can’t argue with that! When you rule out the most obvious theory, you’re going to find that, as another atheist stated regarding a favourite science magazine, “It seems that every couple weeks there’s a new [theory].” How could it be otherwise?

Whatever information may or may not becoming to us in the future, what we know right now, today, from experience, is that when large amounts of specified complexity or functional information is present, Creative Intelligence or Intelligent Design has played a role.

That is a scientific fact based upon what is consistently observed, tested and verified over and over and over again. There are no known exceptions!

Now -
Hugo says: “the 'information'” [the formulated, specified, complex, coded information that is present in every living cell - the equivalent of 1,000 sets of Encyclopaedia Britannica] “is nothing like what we define as being information transmitted between humans.” Actually, DNA code is exactly like that which is transmitted between humans. In fact one part of the cell transmits the code and another part of the cell decodes and processes the information. It may be more akin to one machine speaking to another than between humans but that does not take away from the fact that it is a formulated, specified, complex, code that was in place at the first living / replicating cell.

In describing “the 'information',” Scientists say: This “machine code” is critical for information processing in a living cell. Without it being exactly as is - no working cell.
Watson and Crick, “Molecular Biology of the Gene,” 1:704

Hugo says: ‘Those scientists are wrong, and I’m right.’

In describing “the 'information',” Scientists say: “The technology of information theory and coding theory has been in place in biology for at least 3.85 billion years.”
“River out of Eden”, 17

Hugo says: ‘That scientist is wrong, and I am right.’

In describing “the 'information',” Scientists say: "We must continually remind ourselves that what we are looking at was not designed."
Francis Crick

Hugo says: ‘That scientist is wrong, and I am right.’

In describing “the 'information',” Scientists say: “The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like.”
Richard Dawkins

Hugo says: ‘He’s just a biologist so he’s wrong, and I am right.’

In describing “the 'information',” Scientists say: “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.”
Stephen Hawking

Hugo says: “That scientist is wrong, and I am right.”

Rather than an argument from ignorance, the inference that I’m making is one toward the Best Evidence, or Best Explanation.

Eliminating Chance, Predestination and RNA replication does not mean that Intelligent Design is the winner by default.

That is not being suggested.

It does mean however that ID should not be discarded because of philosophical reasons or because your predetermined world-view doesn't allow for such an answer. Because there is no other means of creating large amounts of specified complexity other than by Intelligent Agents, AND because information shows that rival arguments are not workable, ID at the very least, should remain a possible contender as to the Cause of the evidence that we observe.

The fact is:
. No natural causes have been found that demonstrate the ability to produce large amounts of specified information.

. Intelligent Agents HAVE demonstrated the ability to produce large amounts of specified information.

We can conclude from those two premises that an “Intelligent Agent” forms the best, most causally adequate explanation for the specified complexity that is found in the cell.

No one would have a problem making this conclusion UNLESS in a very unscientific manner, they had, in advance, decided to rule in one type of evidence to the arbitrary exclusion of any other type of evidence. Again, a very unscientific means of searching for truth.

The atheist’s response to their hopeless situation? “We don’t have any information today that answers this question, but some day we will. And to us, a hoped for answer someday is just as good as a real answer today. Why? Because we have FAITH.”

That is what atheists are like. That is how they think!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Are You On The Bus?

John knows that the bus is about to leave, but he refuses to step out of the shelter and into the rain to do what it takes to get on the bus. As the bus drives away, Bob, who’s just coming into the shelter, tries his hand at small talk.

“I hope that wasn’t your bus” he says with more of a giggle than a laugh.

John cheerfully and with surprising confidence says, “Actually that was my bus. I’m on my way.”

“What do you mean you’re on your way? You’re still here.”

“Nope. I’m on the bus,” counters John.

“You sound very sincere in your beliefs,” Bob says politely, “but how can you be here, and on the bus at the same time?”

“Well, I’m not sure,” ponders John. “I just know that I must be on the bus because a loving bus driver would never leave me standing in hellish weather when he knows that I want to go to the Shopping Mall at the end of his route.”

“Did you make any effort to accept the ride that was being offered by the bus driver?”

“No, not really. But I didn’t cause any trouble while I was standing in this shelter either. That’s why I get to be on the bus - because I’m an example of a respectful, decent bus passenger.”

“But to be a bus passenger, even a decent bus passenger, you have to actually do what it takes to get on a bus!”

“You’re too narrow-minded Bob. In my belief system, if the bus driver loves me, he’ll ensure that I simply appear at the mall, even if I don’t want to ride with him.”

It’s difficult to believe that anyone could be as deluded as John. On the other hand, you’ve probably heard someone comment - “A loving God would never allow a good person to go to hell when He knows that person would want to go to heaven.”

No doubt, this kind of wishful thinking is very appealing. The problem is, you cannot be a Christian and not be a Christian at the same time. And the fact is, trying to be a good person does not make someone a Christian. If that were the case, then there would be Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and even atheists who were Christians. There is no logic to that kind of thinking.

A Christian is someone who believes and acts upon what Jesus Christ taught about Himself, about life, death, sin, forgiveness and the resurrection (His and ours). Jesus taught that a follower of His is a person who depends upon Jesus alone for salvation. He taught that a Christian is someone who depends upon what Jesus calls His Word (The Bible), and upon His Spirit for guidance and strength in daily living.

Beyond that definition, the single biggest difference between what Jesus taught and what other religious leaders have taught, is that Jesus made it perfectly clear that there is nothing that we can DO to merit salvation. If we could earn our salvation, then Jesus died for nothing!

John 6:28,29 - Then they asked Him, what must we do, to do the works God requires? Jesus answered, “The work of God is this, to believe in the One He has sent.”

All other religions, and even some cults that call themselves Christian, have “Good Works” and/or the observance of ritual as a base for one’s entrance into their concept of paradise.

The Bible tells us in:
Mark 16:16 - Jesus said, “Those who believe and are baptized will be saved but those who refuse to believe will be condemned.”
John 1:12,13 Jesus said, “Unless you are born again, you can never get into the kingdom of heaven.” There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust Him to save them. But those who don’t trust Him have already been tried and condemned for not believing in the only Son of God.
John 5:24 - Jesus said, “I say emphatically that anyone who listens to My message and believes in God who sent me has eternal life and will NEVER be damned for his sins. He has crossed from death into life.”
John 8:24 - Jesus said, “For unless you believe that I am the Son of God, the Messiah, you will die in your sins.”
Romans 3:27,28 - Our acquittal is not based on our good deeds, it is based on what Christ has done and our faith in Him. So it is we are saved, by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do.
Galatians 2:19 - It was through reading the Scriptures that I came to realize that I could never find God’s favour by trying and failing to obey the law. I came to realize that acceptance with God comes by believing in Christ.
1st Thessalonians 1:8,9 - The Lord Jesus will bring judgement on those who do not wish to know God and those who reject His plan to save them through our Lord Jesus Christ. They will be punished in everlasting hell, forever separated from the Lord, never to see the glory of His power.

These verses literally scream for our attention. The basis for what they say is this. God is completely Holy. Nothing less than complete Holiness can come into His presence. Jesus taught that we are separated from His Holiness by our sinful nature, and neither religion, nor a moral life, nor some concept of spirituality can fix that. In other words, we can never be ‘good enough’ to be good enough for heaven (Romans 3:22,23).

That’s why the Bible explains to us that the result of sin, the wages of sin, the consequences of sin, the cost of sin, is banishment from God. But there is good news folks! Out of His enormous love, Jesus paid the penalty of sin for us. Our part of the bargain is to step out of our self-created shelter and accept that payment on His terms.

To those who are still searching for peace with God, Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “I know a way,” or “I’m one of the ways.” He said “I Am the way.” He wasn’t being narrow minded or judgmental. Total and eternal separation from God, what we know as Hell, is so awful that Jesus wants to make sure that the way of salvation is crystal clear.

This is serious stuff! If what Jesus taught about eternity is true, then making the decision to accept Him or reject Him as our Saviour has got to be the single most important decision that you and I will ever make. And it’s urgent. Strokes, fires, heart attacks, falling, car accidents, violent storms; Statistics show that for most of us, our ability to make a decision for Jesus will end suddenly, with little or no warning.

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call on Him while He is near. Turn to the Lord, and the Lord will have mercy on you”(Isaiah 55:6,7).

You can’t just stand in what you think to be a neutral position.
A decision is being made even as you read this.

“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of Salvation.”
(2nd Corinthians 6:2)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pretty Amazing!

The biggest explosion ever observed resulted not in the most chaos ever created but in a mathematically precise universe.

The laws that govern the universe have been written in the language of mathematics.

If you understand that sentence it should make you sit back in your chair and pause for thought.

Physicist Eugene Wigner stated, "The mathematical underpinning of nature is something bordering on the mysterious and there is no rational explanation for it." Feynman says, "Why nature is mathematical is mystery. The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle."

The universe is mathematically precise because the laws that govern and controlled matter to go “this far and no farther” - finely tuned to an order of 10 ^ 1,230 (cosmological constant) - were ALL in place at Planck time 10 ^-43 seconds. How exact is that? Imagine an aircraft carrier weighing 100,000 tonnes. If the weight of the ship was balanced to 10 ^ 1,230 (the balance of the cosmological constant which keeps our universe from expanding into oblivion or collapsing back on itself) it could not be off by more than a billionth of a trillionth of the mass of an ELECTRON on one side or the other, or the ship would capsize.

Everything needed for a life supporting universe to exist was put in place at Planck time. That means that even the exact number of neutrinos were put in place at the singularity. Astronomer Fred Hoyle - "A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the laws of physics."

Whatever caused this to happen is pretty amazing.

I bow in worship and adoration in the presence of that Cause.

"For by Jesus all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16 ff."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why Does Islam Reject Abraham?

More to the point, why does Islam ignore God’s promises to Abraham? God promised Abraham two things regarding present day Arabs. First, through Abrahams’s son Ishmael, God promised to create and did create a great nation of people. The second promise however is much greater for it points the way toward paradise.

To be considered righteous before our Creator is the base-longing of every major religion in the world. Most humans recognise that we are fundamentally flawed. Religion is human kind’s attempt, by our own effort to make ourselves right. That however is a hopeless task. That is why God came to earth in the form of Jesus to set us on the right path. Jesus taught that only those who place their faith in Creator God for the granting of righteousness and for the possession of salvation are acceptable to Creator God. Abraham knew this.

“Abraham believed God and he was counted as righteous in God’s eyes because of that faith.”

It was not until 430 years later that God added rules regarding how we should live. Notice that:
. Before the rules came faith
. Before circumcision came faith
. Abraham was considered righteous before God without keeping a bunch of rules.
. Faith is what God wanted then, and still wants today.
. Faith leads not to rules but to freedom from rules.

Because of human nature, acceptance by God through our faith is what we DON’T want. We want rules because rules lay it out clearly who is and who is not doing what they should.

Muslims are firm on this count.

According to Muslims, salvation will be found by keeping rules - to the letter - or by being killed while killing infidels but most Muslims won’t take the opportunity to do that. Both Muslims and Christians agree that God is good to us. Muslims however want to believe the God is good to them because they have worked so hard at keeping His rules. Muslims, like those in ALL man-made religions want to believe that God somehow owes the best of us a place in paradise.

. It doesn’t matter to Muslims what God promised to Abraham.
. It doesn’t matter to Muslims that Abraham’s righteousness was based solely on faith and not on keeping rules.

That’s a big problem.

Muslims say that they revere the prophet Jesus. But Jesus said that none of us are set right with God by rule-keeping.


Because we can’t do it!

How do we know we can’t do it?

Because we’ve tried - for thousands of years!

Rule keeping may for a time constrain our behaviour from without, but our heart remains the same. That's because our behaviours are governed by our motives and rules do nothing to change motives. Jesus frees us from the inside; He changes our heart, and through that our motives for living are also changed.

Of course, keeping rules is not in opposition to God’s promise of salvation. But keeping rules in and of itself cannot bring about salvation. Attempting to keep the rules of religion only serves to reveal our powerlessness to be “good” and it is this inability to be good that alienates us from God and shows us our need for salvation. If we could make ourselves righteous through the keeping of rules, then Jesus died for nothing.

. Atheists think that they can solve the problem by simply declaring themselves to be good.
. Mohammed thought he could solve the problem by simply saying that Jesus never died.

Accepting God’s Grace and placing our faith in that Grace is the single most difficult thing for a human to do.

Abraham’s life was considered right before God NOT because of what he did (his moral failings were as consistent as for any of us), but because of what he believed, because of Who he trusted.

. Muslims have rejected the relationship with God that Abraham laid out for us.
. Muslims have rejected the salvation FROM God that Jesus laid out for us.

All people of faith are children of Abraham. People of faith do not depend on the law, or on rules for being right with God. As a result, all those who live by faith are blessed along with Abraham, who also lived by faith. Anyone who tries to live by h/her own effort (which is actually trying to live independent of God), is doomed to failure.

Scripture confirms this, “Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law.” Because no one can ever perfectly keep the law, it should be obvious that no one can ever EARN God’s blessing / salvation. Yet Muslims are united in their efforts to keep trying and failing to keep the law. Washing and praying, praying and washing - over and over and over - day after day after day. Eating this but not eating that. Doing this while avoiding that. Scrupulously keeping as holy certain days or places as though those things stand any chance of changing who we are on the inside.

Abraham knew better. Those who are descended from Abraham’s children, both through Ishamael and Isaac stand to inherit God’s promise by faith - not by obeying rules.

The person who lives in a right relationship with God does so not by doing things FOR God but by accepting what God does for you. As Habakkuk said, “The righteous will live by faith.” Muslims fail to see that rule keeping never leads to faith. It cannot because it’s the opposite of faith. In fact, a belief in rule keeping leads AWAY from faith and into ever more and greater efforts to keep the rules.

Keeping the law of God cannot save us because we cannot keep it!

Jesus, on the other hand, is the Way to an open relationship with God.

By rejecting God’s promise to their ancestor Abraham, Muslims are determined to prove the Prophet Jesus wrong.

Faith in God’s grace and mercy and promise is what separates Jesus the Christ and the religion that bears His title from all other religions, including the false teaching of Mohammed and Islam.

Muslims have rejected God’s promise to Abraham.


God only knows.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Garmin Girl Affair

I’ve fallen for the GPS girl.

Unlike my wife, GPS woman caters to my weaknesses.

Unlike my wife, GPS woman’s tone of voice tells me that she is attracted to my incompetence.

Unlike my wife, GPS woman doesn’t care if she has to re calibrate, or calculate or whatever it is she says when I make her start over.

Unlike my wife, GPS woman doesn’t care if I talk to someone else while she is talking to me.

Unlike my wife, GPS woman has no unattainable expectations of me.

Unlike my wife, GPS woman is rarely wrong and in fact even when she seems wrong it’s really just a misunderstanding and lack of patience on my part. Actually, that's the same as my wife but - whatever . . .

Unlike my wife, GPS woman doesn’t talk unless I want her to talk. Sometimes even when I want her to talk, she won’t say anything - ANYTHING - that isn’t absolutely necessary.

Unlike my wife, GPS woman gets turned on just with the twitch of my finger. I don’t have to spend the whole day trying to be nice.

Unlike my wife, GPS woman seeks only to please me and asks for nothing that an immature man can’t deliver.

I’m sure that she’s really busy but I’m going to go and live with GPS woman as soon as I can figure out how to get a ride to her satelli . .


Unlike my wife, GPS woman doesn’t look over my shoulder while I’m typing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Fear of God

We’re off to the lake, so the next post will be on Saturday.

The Bible says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

Some people have a problem with that. They think, why would we be afraid of a God who is supposedly a God of love? (A deep desire to ignore Justice is a common trait with people who make a fuss over fearing God). Or, they think that it’s wrong to make people afraid of God or of hell. (Somehow warning people of danger is a bad thing in the minds of these people). When I was a newish Christian I used to think that “fear of the Lord” meant that we should respect God and fear Him in the sense that we fear and respect fire. That’s true as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. The longer that I’ve followed Jesus, the more I’ve come to realise that we need to fear Creator God in a much deeper sense. Here’s why.

Awhile back I read about some guy who raped a little girl (I think it was in Florida) and buried her alive. When you think of the trauma and pain she experienced during the rape and when you think of her then suffocating as she sucked dirt into her nostrils and mouth in a desperate attempt to gain her last breath of air, what does that do to you, emotionally?

A week ago in a community near ours, three teens broke into the home of an 81-year-old woman. They beat her, ransacked her home and stole whatever they thought might be worth selling. 81- years-old. Living alone on a farm. Can you imagine the fear? What does it do to you when you hear of teenagers beating up an old woman?

Unless your conscience has been dulled by the daily wash of news, these kinds of crimes probably arouse anger in you. In fact I think we could say that the degree of revulsion you experience in response to these crimes is directly proportionate to the degree of goodness that is present in your character. The better person that you are (as the world understands goodness) the more upsetting the effects of evil are for you.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

God is perfectly good, pure and infinitely Holy. Sin and evil generate an infinitely Holy wrath within Him.

“The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and indignation of Divine equity against evil. It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin. It is the moving cause of that just sentence which He passes upon evil-doers. They shall be made to feel how great that Majesty is which they despise, and how dreadful is that threatened wrath which they so little regarded.
Arthur Pink, “The Wrath of God.”

The wrath of God is caused and has always been caused by human’s wanton arrogance and insolent disregard of His moral laws or restraints. We despise God and seek to live without any regard to the Holiness and Love of our Creator. The very thought of being accountable to anyone but ourselves sets up a rage toward our Creator that is so great we are willing to be eternally separated from Him in the most horrendous conditions imaginable rather than submit to His rightful honour and glory.

Of course it’s the degree of punishment at which atheists voice their opposition. They claim (as though they’re in a position to judge such matters) that an eternity of punishment is too much for the sins that they have committed. The fact is, each and every one of us is a lying, thieving, murdering, adulterer who ignores and even despises what Jesus calls the greatest and most important commandment - Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. In the atheist mind, all that should just be ignored by our Creator.

Because they see themselves as being good people (only the worst of us see ourselves as good) atheists demand a pass IF it turns out that they’re wrong and God really does exist.

Let me ask you a couple questions:

. A surgeon is about to perform abdominal surgery on you. Should she choose a completely sterile scalpel or one that has just a little bit of dirt on it?

. You order your favourite meal in your favourite restaurant. As the Server places the meal before you, you notice several of the Chef’s pubic hairs in the sauce. How many pubic hairs would there need to be before you send the meal back?

As you can see from both examples, the amount of dirt isn’t the issue. The issue is the presence of dirt. When we expect cleanliness, ANY filth is too much. It’s the same with sin. In the eyes of a perfectly Holy God, it’s not the number of sins that you’ve committed but the presence of sin - period. That sin will not and cannot be tolerated. Sin and evil are what have destroyed God’s perfect and Holy universe. Sin and evil have placed everything, including us, on the path of death, decay and destruction. That which causes life and purity to be corrupted by death and destruction will be judged by Creator God. Just reading the word purity makes those on the side of evil gag. Purity is the last thing that these people want in their lives yet purity is what God demands before anyone can gain entrance to heaven.

Jesus has offered us a solution - the only solution to the problem.
There is going to be hell to pay for those who refuse that remedy.

You can either accept Jesus’ offer, and enjoy paradise.
Or you can reject His offer, and experience God’s wrath.

Joy is appropriate for the former choice.
Fear and dread should and will accompany the latter.

Jesus said, “Do not fear him who can only kill the body. Rather, fear Him who can destroy both the body and the soul.”

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Scientific Proof for Jesus

E. R. Bourne pointed out that God is known through cause as opposed to visual or tactile information.

While there are two basic ways of establishing the validity of any given claim, atheists and other sceptics have restricted themselves to only one form of proof* and they flail it about ad nauseam. That form of course is what they call the scientific method. Scientists and those who fancy themselves to possess a scientific way of thinking say, ‘If it isn’t observable, repeatable and verifiable it isn’t acceptable as having been established scientifically.’

Simple enough and extremely valuable in some circumstances. Trouble is, atheists apply this scientific method of proof to anything and everything regardless of whether the scientific method is the correct way to confirm the existence or non existence of something. To read some of their articles, it seems to make them practically giddy to repeat, "But is it scientifically provable? No? Then I won’t even discuss it because I am so intelligent and reasonable and logical." They fail to realise, or simply ignore the fact that some things, even though they’re known to be true, cannot be ‘proven’ to be true by the scientific method of verification.

Science can't tell us why kindness is better than cruelty - yet we still believe it to be true

Science can't tell us how the laws of mathematics and logic came to exist or why they came to exist but we still live as though they do exist. If he says these laws exist to prove science he is arguing in a circular manner.

Science can't explain or prove metaphysical truths;
. there are minds other than my own
. the external world is real
. the external world didn't begin to exist ten minutes ago appearing as aged.

Science can't prove or disprove ethical beliefs
. Whether the Nazis did anything evil

Science can't rule on aesthetic judgments
. Beauty and goodness can't be proven

Science itself can't be justified by the scientific method of inquiry.

The scientific method is not just an ineffective way to prove the validity of some types of claims, it’s the wrong way to prove the validity of some claims. As well, most things historical are not usually provable by a so called scientific method. In a historical case, experts turn to what is called legal-historical-method of verification. So, what's this got to do with Jesus? Well, listen -

While many if not most problems can be dealt with by only the scientific method or only by the legal historical method of verification, we can know that Jesus existed then and exists now by using both methodologies. Oral and written evidence from Jesus’ time on earth has been preserved in excellent condition (especially in comparison to other works of antiquity) and from that we can say with a great deal of certainty what Jesus was like and what He did during His ministry on earth. We know who His parents were, where He was born, where He grew up, what He did, how He died, where He was buried and so on.

Now, because of a tremendous and irrational bias, these records are dismissed out of hand by some individuals. This is not done by experts in historical evidence. Nor is it done by experts in forensic evidence. Rather it is done by inexperienced individuals for solely philosophical reasons. As I stated above, sceptics not only don’t apply standard legitimate tests for establishing the historical reliability of New Testament documents, they don’t apply ANY tests. When railing against the validity of the New Testament documents, sceptics are left to repeat arguments long put to rest by archeological and historical / literary discoveries.

Regardless, we don’t need to depend only on legal-historical evidence. We can also use the scientific method to make the case for Jesus. We can do this because of hundreds of millions of repeated life transformations, experiments if you will, that have taken place world wide. These are life transformations that have come as a result of coming into contact with Jesus. These transformations have been observed under the most intense sceptical scrutiny possible. This means of assessment makes peer review look like child’s play.

Have there been pretenders who’ve been weeded out? Sure. Just as there have been pretenders in the secular field. East Asian cloning anyone? Or how about Piltdown Man? Or maybe you prefer ‘The Secret Gospel of Mark’ which turned out to be written by Columbia University historian Morton Smith. Or the common textbook icons of Darwinian evolution in action that have all been discredited, eg. Haeckel’s faked embryo drawings, Mutant four winged fruit flies that are in reality dysfunctional, and peppered moths that in the real world don't rest on tree trunks; the photographs were staged. Oh and how about our high school biology textbooks that neglect to mention that the beaks of Darwin’s Finches returned to normal after the rains returned. No net evolution occurred. Like many species, the finch has an average beak size that fluctuates within a given range. Or how about Miller & Oparin “creating” life out of primordial earth’s ammonia, methane and hydrogen? Pfft! That’s how atheist mimic primordial earth conditions. Bottom line - To focus on the pretenders instead of the reality simply to make one’s case is not very scientific. Is it?

The transformations in character that have come as a result of coming into contact with Jesus have been repeated and continue to be repeated on a daily basis. This is not, as with Buddhism for example, where a sexually immoral person can become a very spiritual sexually immoral person. Nor is it like Islam where the person simply becomes a spiritually disciplined person. The transformations are observable, verifiable, predictable and reliable for any and every person who knows an individual in the grips of a healed, forgiven and intimate relationship with Jesus. This is the case because, as is proven over and over, Jesus is alive and well and living in the souls of believers worldwide. Some people are going to say that this is a stretch. However, there is scientific precedent for this type of information and the conclusions reached.

In the field of Quantum Physics, some forms of matter are known to exist, even though we can’t observe them. While we can’t observe the said matter, we know it exists because we can observe the reaction of known elements or particles which come into contact with the matter in question. While the experiments themselves are repeatable and verifiable, it's only the RESULTS of these interactions that are able to prove the existence of the said element.

Can we see Jesus? Not physically. Although many thousands did observe Him when He existed in a different form than He does today. The fact that we can know He exists by the reaction that is consistently caused when He comes into contact with others is even true for those who deny their need for Jesus. You can go up to almost anyone and talk about Buddha or Confucius or any other historical figure and talk about that person in a rational, controlled environment. Bring up the topic of Jesus and who He is however, and everything changes. The observed effect even on non believers is dramatic.

Some of the observable, measurable, consistent, predictable changes that can be found in people when Jesus comes into their lives are as follows:. For someone who has accepted Jesus into h/her life, one’s motives and goals for living change dramatically. One is changed from living for self to living for God. This change is not the result of effort or desire. This change is inner, involuntary, natural. For those who try to mimic this change, the effect simply does not last as the effort required to fake it is just too much (see Loftus and Erhman).
. Those who have become Christians have ‘eyes’ that have been opened to their sinful state. They go from thinking that they’re pretty good people, to realising that they are in desperate need of forgiveness and change. They go from blaming others for the sad state of the world to admitting that “The problem with the world is me.”
. The fear of death is gone.
. The fear of God is gone. . God is no longer seen as evil and is now seen for what He truly is - kind, merciful and loving.
. These people are given the ability to forgive their enemies.
. These people are given hope for the future.
. These people no longer need the things of the world to reflect back to them their sense of self-worth (possessions, power, money, looks etc.). They have found Christ-Esteem as opposed to self-esteem.
. There is a tremendous sense of freedom

Some experiments require a meticulously prepared environment to glean clearly defined results (as in RNA replication), but this is not so when Jesus comes into a person’s life. In fact, so overwhelming is the reality of His presence that the more difficult the environment the more spectacular are the results. Examples include the apostle Paul whose conversion experience is found in the New Testament. He went from torturing Christians to death, to becoming one of Christianity's most effective witnesses. Jesus’ brother James, went from thinking that his Brother was insane to worshipping Jesus as Lord, Saviour and Creator of the universe. Murderers and criminals of all stripes have found their lives completely transformed from violence to peace, from hate to love, from fear to confidence. As stated, these changes or reactions to contact with Jesus are observable, repeatable, verifiable, measurable, consistent, and predictable. They are so predictable and verifiable that Jesus Himself said that if you don’t see these changes present in a person's life, then the person does not possess the Spirit of Jesus and is a pretender. These dramatic transformations, brought on by contact with Jesus have been seen in people like Constantine, Copernicus, Augustine, Kepler, Loyola, Galileo, Teresa of Avila, Brahe, Calvin, Descartes, Pascal, Boyle, Bunyan, Newton, Wesley, Leibniz, Whitefield, Mersenne, Jonathon Edwards, Faraday, Herschel, Elizabeth Bayley Seton, Joule, Finney, Kelvin, Sojourner Truth, Ohm, Livingston, Ampere, Spurgeon, Pasteur, Tolstoy, Mendel, Booth, Billy Sunday, Steno, Evelyn Underhill, Gassendi, Schweitzer, C.S. Lewis, Lin Yutang, Waugh, Hammarskjold, Simone Weil, Merton, Muggeridge, Eldridge Cleaver, Colson, and Rod Holmgren.

You may have noticed that half of these names were scientists, founders of universities and the fathers of modern science. Upon a life changing encounter with Jesus the Christ, in every single person, there is a complete change from one life-style to another. "There is the flashing vision of truth, the conviction of sin and unworthiness, the joy of forgiveness and absolution, and the ready acceptance of a new life of mission and service." Life takes on meaning, context and purpose.

As in an experiment where a new form of matter is discovered in a particle accelerator, be it Leptons such as Neutrinos or various flavours of Quarks or Mesons, while Jesus cannot be observed with the unaided eye, the proof of His existence is unmistakable to those who are using the correct tools for verification.

Thoughts / Comments from some notable Christians and which are immediately recognised and experienced the world over in those who have come in contact with a healed, forgiven and intimate relationship with Jesus are:
. Augustine - "There was infused in my heart something like the light of full certainty and all the gloom of doubt vanished away."
. George Fox - "And then the Lord did gently lead me along, and did let me see his love, which was endless and eternal, and surpasses all the knowledge that men have in the natural state, or can get by history or books; and that love let me see myself as I was without him."
. John Bunyan - "O how good a thing it is for God to send his word!"
. Jonathan Edwards - "Yet of late years, I have had a more full and constant sense of the absolute sovereignty of God, and a delight in that sovereignty. . . It appeared sweet, beyond all expression, to follow Christ, and to be taught and enlightened, and instructed by him; to learn of him, and live to him."
. John Woolman - "I felt a tender compassion for the youth who remained entangled in snares like those which had entangled me. This love and tenderness increased, and my mind was strongly engaged for the good of my fellow-creatures."
. Charles Finney - "I never can, in words, make any human being understand how precious and true those promises appeared to me . . . I could now see and understand what was meant by the passage, "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
. Sojourner Truth - "How strange that He had always loved me but I had never known it."
. The Apostle Paul - "I have learned the secret of contentment in all circumstances."
. Charles Spurgeon - "When the Word of the Lord came to me with power, it was as new as if I had lived among the unvisited tribes of Central Africa, and had never heard the tiding of the cleansing fountain filled with blood, drawn from the Saviour’s veins."
. William Booth - "Rather than yearning for the world’s pleasures, books, gains, or recreations, I found my new nature leading me to come away from it all. It had lost all charm for me. I soon began to despise everything the world had to offer me."
. Therese of Lisieux - "Jesus, accomplished in an instant what I had been unable to do in a life-time. I forgot myself and henceforth I was happy."
. W. T. Grenfell - "Over the years I’ve learned that religion involves real courage. The inefficiency which I had associated with it had not been it’s fault but mine."
. E. Stanley Jones - "A sense of deepest gratitude a human is capable of knowing takes possession of me when I think of what I would have been had conversion not intervened and turned life into new channels."
. C. S. Lewis - "I examined myself with a seriously practical purpose. And there I found what appalled me; a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a hareem of fondled hatreds."
. Lin Yutang - "Father, forgive them; for they don’t know what they’re doing." That voice, unknown in history before, reveals God as forgiving, not in theory, but visibly forgiving as revealed in Christ. For thirty years I lived in this world like an orphan. I am an orphan no longer."
. Evelyn Underhill - "On the whole, in spite of blanks, times of wretched incapacity, and worse, I have never known such deep and real happiness, such a sense of at last having got my real permanent life, and being able to love without stint, where I am meant to love. It is as if one were suddenly liberated and able to expand all around. Such joy that it sometimes almost hurts. All this, humanly speaking, I owe entirely to Jesus. Gratitude is a poor dry word for what I feel about it.”
. C. F. Andrews - "I became painfully aware that I was not ready to meet Christ at His Second Coming if He should suddenly appear."
. Rod Holmgren - "I'm free! I am free from guilt. I'm free from fear; free from feeling constricted by the rules of the world; free to love; free to give of myself, my time, my money. I'm free to start the day by putting on the breastplate of God's approval. I'm free to wade into the pain of life with my eyes wide open and my chest bared to the blast. Thank you Jesus for your love, your mercy, your patience, your forgiveness, and most of all for your salvation."

I could go on and on but the point is, the reality of Jesus in one’s life, as these quotes demonstrate, is observable, verifiable, repeatable. The transformations described above take place around the world no matter one’s race, position, gender, or any other qualifier one can think of. All that is necessary to experience the presence of Jesus is to invite Him into one’s life. He is real. He lives. He loves you.

Don’t let atheists deter you from the greatest Love ever known to human kind.

* When feeling backed into a corner, atheists will revert to confusing the issue by saying that nothing can be ultimately “proven.” I am using the term “proof” or “prove” as most people, using common English understand the term.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dependencies and Diversions

For most people, dependencies and diversions are the substance of life. So certain have we become that what we own and what we do is what gives us life, that we’ll build walls and install locks and security systems and make ourselves prisoners with and of our possessions.

We are at a stage in Western Society where we believe, we actually believe that the busier we are the more value we have. Listen to people as they sit in circles sharing with a tone of mock dismay how they simply don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things that demand their attention. Oh how important we must be since we're constantly exhausted. And, lest we find a moment to contemplate life, we keep our cell phones vibrating and our thumbs pumping ensuring that:
. reflecting on who we are
. observing our surroundings and
. making actual eye contact with another human never happens.

So certain are we that accumulating and hoarding things is what gives us life that we’ll allow our governments to build bombs to protect our stuff. Bombs! They're meant to kill human beings so that no one can take our stuff. There are some places in the United States where you can actually kill another human being if that person breaks into your house in the middle of the night. Maybe all he wanted was to steal your CD’s but his life for your CD’s is deemed a fair trade.

A line from a recent article on CNN describes the importance that “things” have gained in the Western world. “We spend money we can’t afford to spend, on things we don’t need to buy, to make impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t really care about.”

A close friend and follower of Jesus, John wrote:
“Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out - but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.”

Jesus brother and follower, James said, “If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and His way. What He gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find in the world. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; but God gives grace to the willing humble."

Another follower of Jesus, Paul wrote, “Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

If you read the Beatitudes - you know - “Blessed are they who . . .” Matthew 5 - you’ll notice that all of them point to people who are blessed because life has placed them in a position where they are able to realise that there is far more to life than what most people call life.

God did that for me
God broke the hold that the things of the world had upon me
I appreciate God for loving me that much.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Confused Again

Atheists have a very difficult time explaining away events that have no natural explanation YET which have clearly and undeniably take place.

Two examples are:
1. The existence of a first state of the universe. (Obviously there was not a scientific or natural cause since nothing natural existed UNTIL time, space, matter and energy were brought into existence).

2. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead

Atheists posting here are familiar with event / event causation
Atheists posting here are familiar with state / state causation
Atheists posting here vehemently deny what is known in Philosophy as Agent Causation since that would explain both the examples above.

Obviously matter / energy did not bring itself into being. We know from logic that matter / energy cannot be eternal. Matter and energy (the universe) had a cause that was external to them. We know from logic that this Cause was itself uncaused or eternal. As the cause of space / time, this Cause existed Atemporally or, regarding a physical universe, non spatially. Since timelessness entales changeless, and changeless implies immaterial (don’t let atheists tell you that only “nothing” can be immaterial), this Cause was changeless and immaterial. We know from logic that there cannot be an infinite regress of cause. Thus the First Cause had no antecedent conditions. Ockhams’s Razor applies here. Since nothing does not become everything for no reason, the Cause was also Personal in the sense that It was able to effect or create, or “bring about.”

There are two types of causes or explanations for events:
. Scientific laws and principles
. Personal > volitional agent

As stated:
. The Cause of the universe must be personal since nothing natural / scientific existed. A "choice" was made to bring matter into existence. It was not an accident since matter came into being in a very precise and mathematically controlled manner.
. The Cause of the resurrection must be personal since there is no natural mechanism or physical law for resurrecting a dead body back to life; at least not without the aide of an Intelligent Agent.

Everything known to science confirms this fact. We know the cause is personal and not scientific, as naturalists understand scientific, because the Cause is timeless and immaterial. Only something along the order of a Mind fits that description.

Atheists will say that a timeless Cause cannot bring about a temporal effect but what we objectively observe proves them wrong. Matter / energy came into being as the effect of a timeless first Cause.

This was not an event caused by and event
This was not a state caused by a state
This was what is known in Philosophy as Agent Causation

An agent the type of which describes the Greatest Conceivable Being is free to do whatever He wants, including being born from a human female, including bring life into a dead body, including bringing about conditions not previously present. Both the universe and the resurrection of Jesus came about from the free will choice of a personal Creator.

When a light goes on and an atheist dimly becomes aware that Creator God IS the solution that best fits the question of origins, or the resurrection, they like to ignore Ockham’s Razor and the principle often accepted in science: That one should not multiply causes beyond necessity. This causes them to switch subjects and suggest that it could have been many gods and not Creator God that brought the universe into being.

That’s for another discussion on the absurdities of atheism.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Irresponsible Christopher Hitchens

Jesus said, “Take no thought for tomorrow.”

Oh my how Chris hates that command. The outrage, the OUTRAGE I tell you that Chris feels when he reads that verse fairly makes him froth at the mouth. Now if he’d voiced his dismay over what Jesus said just yesterday or any time after he’d been diagnosed with throat cancer, we could assume that Christopher was angry at Jesus for not making him stop smoking thirty years ago. But no. Chris has been ranting about this line of Jesus for years. To trust your Creator is irresponsible, don’t you know? Chris tells us that in order to be responsible citizens we must think and brood and worry and plan and scheme about our tomorrow. Why, that’s the atheist way.

Let me ask you a question. Who said this? “God helps those who help themselves.”
a) Cain - as he was gathering the fruit for his sacrifice?
b) Moses - just before he killed the Egyptian?
c) Joseph - just after he’d been sold into slavery?
d) David - just before he killed Goliath?
e) Paul - as he shook the snake off his arm?
f) Judas - as he stole money that was meant for the temple treasury?
The answer later.

Since becoming a Christian, the reality of my own life has been:
The less I try to succeed, the more successful God has made me
The less I plan, the more God’s plans for me have been brought to completion
The more I lean on God, the stronger I become
The weaker I am the more that God’s strength is made present in me
The more that I’ve put Jesus first in my life, the more that “all these things have been given to me as well.” Matthew 6:33

Every once in awhile you hear some talking head advise listeners that the key to success is to have goals. “You gotta have goals,” they tell you. Five year plans. Ten year plans. Plans for college. Plans for retirement. Balderdash! The only goal a person needs is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Determine to follow your Creator where ever He leads and your life will turn out just fine. Obey God and enjoy Him forever. That’s the key to success.

As for the question above? Who said it? I don’t know who said it. It isn’t in the Bible; that’s for sure. In point of fact it absolutely goes against what the Bible teaches. A line that is much more theologically sound would be something like, “God helps those who admit they are helpless.” cf. Romans 8:26.

Chris Hitchens, the drunken fool that he is, first rules out the fact that Jesus is God, that Jesus has the power to care for His followers and that Jesus DOES care for His followers, and then, in all his atheist brilliance (he’s a Bright you know) Chris says that people are irresponsible if they don’t live life as he lives life.

First of all Chris, Jesus wasn’t talking to you. Jesus has nothing to say to you or to other atheists. When Jesus said, “Take no thought for tomorrow,” He was talking to those who would follow Him and only to those who follow Him.

“Do not be anxious about ANYTHING. But in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God and if you do this, the peace of God which is beyond human understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

“Cast all your anxieties on Him for He cares about.”

As a follower of Jesus, this is how I can live. The Creator of the Universe always has and always will take care of me.

You on the other hand, Chris, do need to take care of yourself. You do need to worry and scheme and plan for tomorrow. You do need to drown your worries with copious amounts of alcohol. You do need to run after the things of the world in the hope that they will somehow reflect back to you a sense of value and worth and respect.

Be responsible Chris Hitchens. Worry. Plan. Scheme. It’s the atheist way.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Love Vengeance

Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Actually, those are the opening words of two different sentences.

1) “Love your enemies.”
2) “Vengeance is Mine says Creator God”

There is a third closely related sentence that I’ll bring in later.

Do you see the connection between the two sentences? The former can only be consistently carried out when we believe that the latter is true. If you understand human nature you’ll soon see that while some of us might be able to sporadically show love toward those who hate us, persecute us and who relentlessly work behind our backs in an attempt to destroy us, sooner or later most of us will fail and fail badly in our attempts to love those who treat us badly.

On the other hand, that doesn't absolve us from trying. We have an example in Jesus who was able to love His enemies and then He said, “Follow Me, be like Me, do what I did in My relationship with others.”

The apostle Paul said, “We can understand someone dying for a person who we believe is worth dying for. And, we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put His love on the line by dying for us while we were still His enemies.”

When you think about how hard you work to deny God’s existence, to destroy His name, to degrade His love, to mock His sacrifice. When you consider how relentlessly you reject His offer of forgiveness and then to realise that He knew this is how you would treat Him and still, He died for YOU, well, “love your enemies” is definitely a command only God is qualified to make.

In another place Paul tells us, “If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat. If your enemy is thirsty give him a cup of cold water.” This was not the original Paul who said this. In his original state Paul enthusiastically killed his enemies. Like a line in a Bruce Cockburn song, “If I had a rocket launcher I’d make somebody pay,” Paul understood retributive justice. No, this command about serving one’s enemy arose from Paul after he’d come under the influence of Jesus. It was Jesus, after all, who first taught us, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute you.” Unlike any of us, Jesus lived what He preached, forgiving His enemies even as they were killing Him.

Unless you have an actual enemy (it might be your spouse who’s grown to despise you), you won’t really grasp the depth of what Jesus is asking of those who claim to follow Him. And here is where a third sentence, one that I hear repeatedly in counselling, comes in.

“But it isn’t fair!”

Well, no. I suppose it isn’t. But then again the Christian walk has nothing to do with what’s fair or not.

. It wasn’t fair that Jesus died for my sins, but He did it anyway.
. It isn’t fair that I get to spend eternity in heaven, but I get it anyway.
. It wouldn’t be fair if those who hurt us got away with it.
But here’s the thing. Nobody is going to “get away” with anything.

God’s justice will be utterly, completely and totally fair. Our justice, on the other hand, is only rarely and grudgingly fair. That is why it needs to be left up to Creator God.

Knowing, accepting and believing that justice will at some point be carried out is what allows us to adjust our thoughts so that we are able to love our enemies. If God’s justice wasn’t true, sure, and dependable it would be ludicrous, preposterous and yes unfair for Jesus to tell us to love those who are out to destroy us.

Of course, as humans we will never do this perfectly or consistently. I do know this however. Being in a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus makes for a 1,000% improvement over how wretches like me handled our enemies in our original state. A rocket launcher? I understand. I grew up in a generation that heard the chant, “Burn baby, burn!”

Being in a healed relationship with Jesus opens our eyes to see that we don’t have to set things right. We don’t have to make things fair. We can adopt an attitude that drove Karl Marx over the edge with rage. He called it an opiate. Marx advocated rage and destruction. "Tear it all down and start again!" Ya, right. Build it up again with exactly the same human nature as the first go-round.

Vengeance is God’s job.
Payback is God’s job.
Setting things right is the job of our Creator.

It is not our job to punish those who hurt us.
It is not our job to excoriate someone for doing a less than a perfect job.
It is not our job to get even.

It IS our job to love our enemies just as Jesus loves us.

It’s been my experience that without the knowledge that God is in charge, it is almost impossible to let go of hurts and injustice. The signs that I’m not alone are all around us. Road rage, killing of abortion doctors, even mental health issues. I read yesterday that 25% of youth in Australia are suffering from clinical depression. That’s a HUGE almost unbelievable number! The same article said there has been a 50% increase among youth in Australia in the last ten years in self-harming behaviours (cutting, burning, gouging) requiring medical treatment.

I don’t know what the social changes taking place in Australia are, but:
That’s anger.
That’s rage.
That’s an impotent, frustrated and unfulfilled longing for vengeance. It mirrors satan's attitude perfectly. Could there be a massive move away from God going on in Australia?

For me, an example of loving my enemy would be telling Christopher Hitchens, whose time on earth is being ended by esophageal cancer, that I’ll pray for him; both for the salvation of his soul and for as easy an end to this life as one can have in his circumstance. Hitchens of course would reply, “Don’t forget to sacrifice a cow for me while you’re at it.”

That is why Jesus said, “Let me take care of this stuff. You love. I’ll impart justice.”

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

G**son says N***er

The United St**es is one wei*d country. Hyper vigil*nt to r**sim, wo*ds that most of us have heard only from bl*ck comed*ans cause major freak outs over ther*. In my whole life I’ve heard someone I know per**nally, use the word nigger o*ce.

O*ne time -from one p**son.

Like J*ws who think that an * will fool G*d, Americ** reporters think that if you p*t one of th*se things in word N***er, it will somehow k**p the badn*ss or ins*lt from leaking out.

Interesting Question

If you’ve been following the comments lately, you'll have noticed something curious. When it comes to origins of the universe or the origins of life, any answer, ANY ANSWER is acceptable to atheists as long as you don’t put the label God on that answer.

Even Aliens bringing DNA to earth (atheists don’t seem to understand that just pushes the problem of origins to another planet) is preferable to Creator God.

Even a cause with the EXACT SAME ATTRIBUTES as Creator God is acceptable as long as that cause is not called God.

Just three comments that highlight this aversion to their Creator:

“Maybe a god started the first lifeforms,”

Any god is acceptable as long as it isn't Creator God

“I just see better alternatives that are yet to be proven”

No reply on my part can do this statement justice.

“Every couple months i see that Scientific American publishes another article regarding the plausability (sic) of a new understand in the origins of life.”

Whether it’s atheist origin of the universe mythologies or atheist origin of life mythologies the one thing they have in common is that they multiply faster than rabbits. The reason they multiply, the reason that new ones are invented “every couple months” seems to be lost on atheists who desperately head in any direction, except to where the evidence is pointing. New mythologies are invented because the previous ones have been proven unworkable!

That desperate hiding from where the evidence points strikes me as very odd.

If the atheist’s search really was for truth, and not to avoid a certain type of truth, there would not be this convoluted bias apparently against nothing more than a Word?

If the cause of the universe and / or life requires the attributes of Creator God, why not call It what It is?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hugo the atheist says . . .

I started to reply to Hugo’s comments to my post “Admit That I Have Faith.”

In his comments I read:
Hugo: “Life is simply a process. Non-living things are made of exactly the same things as living things.”

Oh, the stupid . . .

I didn’t think there were still people around who were so uneducated that they’d use the term “a simple cell” - and mean it! But then I read:
Hugo: “The first self-replicating lifeform did not have to be complex. Why do you think it had to be?”

Again, so profoundly ignorant in the fullest meaning of the word that I was just going to let it go. But when I got to the comment,
Hugo: “Moreover, the origin of the first complex lifeform is not that important for my understanding of the evolution . . .” I knew that I could not do justice to this kind of, um, thinking, in the comments section. It deserves its own post.

First of all, Hugo,
A living system must do at least three things:
. It must be able to process energy
. It must be able to store information and
. It must be able to replicate.

Living things do this.
Non living things don’t do this.

You do this.
Gasoline does not.

Trees to do this.
Inorganic gases which Hugo and Dawkins say “evolved” do not do this.

Cells in your body do this
Inanimate gases which Hugo and Dawkins say "evolved" do not do this.

Let me go back to one of the earlier Hugoisms, “The first self-replicating lifeform did not have to be complex.”

Straight from the mouth of Richard Dawkins, “Once the vital ingredient is in place the natural process of evolution can take over.”

Well sure, the vital ingredient. Once it’s there, no problem. And the vital ingredient is?

Hugo says, “It’s not important . . .”

Actually, there are many who can speak to Hugo better than I.

“If you scooped into [an enormous heap] of scrabble letters, and you flung a handful of them on the lawn there, and the letters fell into a line which contained the words, “To be or not to be, that is the question,” that is roughly the odds of an RNA molecule, given no natural selection and there would be no natural selection, because the RNA molecule wouldn’t be functional until it attained a certain length and could copy itself.”Shapiro, as quoted in Brockman, ed., “Life: What a Concept!” 90

Hugo says, “It’s not important. . .”

“Without pre biotic natural selection it appears unlikely that a self-replicating ribozyme could arise, but without some form of self-replication there is no way to conduct an evolutionary search for the first primitive self-replicating ribozyme.”
Joyce and Orgel, “Prospects for Understanding the Origin of the RNA World,” 35

Hugo says, “It’s not important. . .”

For a single-stranded RNA catalyst to create an RNA identical to itself so that it can self-replicate, it has to find a satisfactory RNA molecule close by in order to work as a template. That’s because a single-stranded RNA can’t work as both a replicase AND a template. As well, the RNA template would have to be the exact image of the replicase.

Think about the odds of these two meeting up by chance. If you’re an atheist, you’re probably saying at this point, “It doesn’t matter what the odds are. It had to happen that way because here we are.”

You might want to hang on to that thought.

If - IF it actually happened, it would just make things worse. As well as the specificity needed to give the first RNA molecule a self-replicating ability, a second RNA molecule with an extremely specific sequence - one, I might add with the identical specificity as the original - would have to arise as well.

Like any of the atheists who reply here, those placing their FAITH in RNA bypassing the need for DNA, in order to self-replicate do not and cannot explain the origin of the specified complexity in the alleged original RNA molecule NOR in its compliment. It has been calculated by Joyce and Orgel that to have a reasonable chance of finding two complementary RNA molecules of a sufficient length to perform this function would require an “RNA Library” of 10 ^ 48 molecules.
Joyce and Orge, “Progress Toward Understanding the Origin of the RNA World” 33

In case you’re interested, the mass of that many RNA molecules would be greater than the mass of planet earth.

Hugo says, “It’s not important . . .”

It’s not important to Hugo that Natural selection begins only AFTER self-replication has taken place. Replication happens only AFTER specified complexity is in place. Specified complexity, as we know from uniform experience only appears in the presence of or at the direction of Intelligence that has designed that complexity, OR in DNA, RNA, and Proteins.

“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”
Francis Crick, “Life Itself” 88

Hugo says, “It’s not important . . .”

Research efforts have “led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on earth rather than to its solution. At present, all discussion on principle theories and experiments in the field either end in a stalemate or a confession of ignorance.”
Klaus Dose, “The Origin of Life”

Hugo says, “It’s not important. . .”

Francis Crick has said of his work, "We have to keep reminding ourselves that what we are seeing was not designed."

Hugo and atheists like him say that none of this is important to them. How can it be? Ignoring important information is what allows atheism to exist in the minds of its followers.

Ignoring impotant information allows Hugo to say that he doesn’t believe anything that has “not proven beyond all doubt.”

That's what atheists are like. It's how they think.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jesus Was Only About Love

You’ve probably heard that before - right? So have I.

I don’t think however, that the kind of love that people have in mind when they make that comment is the kind of love that was part of Jesus’ makeup. The kind of love that people have in mind is the kind that completely ignores justice and personal responsibility. In reality, what people have in mind isn’t love at all. It’s an immature, wishy-washy, lukewarm kinda stuff that Jesus said makes Him want to "puke you out of My mouth."

Throughout the four Gospels we have an example of the kind of love that Jesus demonstrated. Jesus was a teacher, a Rabbi, an itinerant Preacher. He taught in parables. In the Old Testament we have a prophecy that the Messiah would not just use parables to teach. Rather, the prophecy said the Messiah could be identified by the fact that he wouldn’t use anything BUT parables to teach.

Now, I don’t know what your definition of a parable is. Some say parables were meant to teach the deeper truths of God’s kingdom. And that’s true. Some say parables were lessons taught using common everyday subjects like farming. And that’s true. However, if you asked Jesus what a parable was, or more specifically, if you asked Jesus why He used parables to teach, you’d soon discover and new understanding of the phrase, “Jesus was only about love.”

For example, look at Matthew 13 - the parable of the sower. The same account is told in Mark chapter 4 and Luke chapter 8. In each case, after Jesus is done teaching, Jesus is asked by His disciples, “Master, why do you speak to the people in parables?” It’s like they were asking Him, "Why do you speak to the people in riddles?" Or, "Why don’t you clearly say what you mean?"

Here is Jesus’ answer:
“The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given to you, but not to them.”

In other words, Jesus was saying, “I teach in parables not to reveal truth to the general public but to hide the truth from them.”

What? I thought Jesus was only about love! How could He deliberately hide truth from those who need it? Why would Jesus spend the three short years of His ministry hiding the truth from all but a few? Does this seem fair? Does this sound like the action of a loving God?

Here’s something that might be a clue. After the “sermon” who came to find out more? Who came to ask what the parable was all about? Who wanted to know the truth and the meaning of what Jesus had just said? It certainly wasn’t the crowds. Like the one or two diligent students in any classroom who stay late to ask for extra instruction from their high school teacher, it was only the diligent disciples who remained to learn more from Jesus. It’s the same with spiritual seekers today. Atheists often lament that 80% of the North American population identifies themselves as Christian. I think atheists can relax. I doubt that 80% of any group could legitimately call themselves diligent followers Jesus and of what He taught. Not even of those who attend Church.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

. The Kingdom of heaven is for those who want it.

. The Kingdom of God is for those who search for it, long for it, who "hunger and thirst for it," who go after it as though looking for a treasure.

. The Kingdom of God is for those who are willing to humble themselves enough to accept God’s grace and forgiveness.

God’s love is shown in that even though none of us deserve to be forgiven, God will grant forgiveness to any and all who ask.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, ANYONE can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger. He came to put the world right again.” John 3:16,17.

No one who truly wants salvation will be turned away. Any and all comers will be accepted on the basis of their faith in what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection.

God’s justice is shown in that those who reject His offer of forgiveness, those who want to be free from the presence and influence of God will get exactly that.

God will not force anyone to spend eternity with Him.

The love and justice of Jesus determines that, “Whoever has, will be given more. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables. Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.”

God knew the hearts and motives of the people who came to hear Him speak. Based on what He knew, He obscured His view from those who were not genuine and revealed Himself to those who were sincerely seeking truth.

Whether it was listening to Jesus by the shore back then, or today, sitting in a pew, the crowd generally:
Wanted to be entertained.
Did not want commitment.
Wanted only what they could get from God.
They were not willing to give to Him their lives.

God knows your heart and your motives. Based on what He knows, He’ll either reveal more of Himself to you, or He’ll slam the door shut so that even what little you know about God will remain confusing and incomprehensible to you.

Someone once said, “God has given us just enough evidence of Himself so that those who are looking for Him will find Him, and just enough evidence so that those who don’t want to find Him will not be able to find Him accidentally.”

Jesus pushed that idea a few steps further.
. For those who God knows will respond positively to His offer of forgiveness, God will open their spiritual eyes and reveal Himself to them.

. For those who God knows will deny His existence or simply reject His offer of forgiveness, God will make them spiritually dull of mind and slow of thought. He will send to them a great delusion so that, “They will be ever hearing but never understanding; ever seeing but never perceiving.”

Jesus was only about love? What Jesus are you talking about?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Amusing Atheists

There’s a group of people. Actually it’s a group that is made up of two subgroups. For the most part they’re just run of the mill Janes and Joes. Like all of us, some are more intelligent than others. Some are nicer than others. There’s one aspect of this group however, that makes all of them quite amusing. Let me tell you about it.

In the New Testament we have a collection of documents, letters actually, that were written to friends and associates. According to experts in the field, the accuracy and dependability of these documents, regarding later corruption, is unequalled in comparison to other documents of antiquity that we have in our possession. All of these letters began circulating shortly after the death of Jesus. Almost all are written by those who were personal students and followers of Jesus and in the case of a couple men they were the actual brothers and followers of Jesus. Four of these documents are biographies of Jesus. All of the letters, including the biographies were circulated amongst the early Christian Congregations. They deal with the life altering motives for living that come about in a person’s life when s/he enters into a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus. These ancient documents give us a glimpse into the formation of the Christian Church. This development of the Christian Church, as is attested to and corroborated by extra Biblical documentation, began 55 days after the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Except for Luke, the documents were written by those who lived with and were taught by Jesus and who logically became the movers and shakers of the early Christian movement.

What’s so amusing about that, you ask? Well, nothing - about that. What’s amusing is that this group of people (of course they are, to a person, atheists) say that these letters aren’t accurate in what they teach.

Without the slightest show of embarrassment at speaking with a tone of authority, twenty one centuries removed from the events in question, these atheists claim to KNOW that these documents are not accurate. They don’t say how they know this; they display complete ignorance of ANY tools for judging the reliability of historical documents. They just lay claim to some type of inside knowledge that allows them to know that these documents cannot be believed. And how do they justify these claims? Well, these atheists from the 21st century tell us that the disciples of Jesus could not possibly remember and accurately write down what happened from a distance of five years, five days or even five hours. For those like Paul who wrote about the things he was going through as they happened to him, these 21st century atheists claim that Jesus’ followers were such profoundly dishonest men that what they wrote is pure lie, fabrication, embellishment, not to be believed. According to atheists, five hours, five days or even five years is too great a time for the accurate recording of data so, according to atheists, the writers of the letters just made stuff up. Since however, these accusations of error are coming from the brilliant minds of atheists, two thousand years is not too long a time for THEM to discern truth from error. After all, they’re Brights - don’t you know?

Like much of the atheist world-view, the belief that these documents can’t be trusted is based on groundless and oft repeated claims - oh and faith - lots and lots of faith.

This is what atheists are like. It’s how they think.

Then comes the second subgroup of atheists. The 21st century atheists in this second group (not a trained historian among either group), adamantly declare that these letters are not authentic. In atheist-world, people in this group have good reason for saying this. You see, people in this second group have realised and admitted to themselves that in contrast and comparison to other works of the same time, the manuscripts included in the New Testament come to us with unsurpassed reliability.

Sir Fredrick Kenyon of the Royal British Museum explains:

“The interval between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence is so small as to in fact be negligible. The last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”

Because there is no logical way to get around this fact, this second group of 21st century atheists revert to what is a natural “Plan B” - at least for atheists. Atheists are the type of people whose thinking goes something like this. When your absurd and illogical world-view is confronted with reality, the solution is to invent something even more preposterous. In line with this type of thinking, rather than discounting what the authors of the documents say in part or in whole, this group of atheists says that the stated authors of the letters didn’t exist - at all!

Problem solved!

. Too much corroborating evidence for the New Testament documents?
. Too much evidence that works against what you want to believe?
. No problem. Just say that the main characters didn’t exist.

Jesus didn’t exist, Matthew didn’t exist, Mark didn’t exist, Luke, John, James, Paul, Jude, none of the writers of the New Testament existed - so says the people in this group of 21st century atheists. In true conspiracy theorist fashion, these atheists say that ALL the letters in the New Testament are a fabrication.

Or, when all else fails, some atheists suggest that Zeus is just as real as Jesus. Being the class clown worked in grade-school. Maybe it will work here as well.

That’s what these atheists are like. It’s how they think.

Even though the authors of the documents tell of leaving their jobs and being ostracised from the Judaic religious community. Even though the authors of the documents describe in remarkable and believable detail their struggles to live out a new world-view (attested to, verified and confirmed by secular and extra Biblical documents of the time), these authors are discounted and dismissed as though 21st century atheists actually know what they’re talking about.

An example of this life altering change can be found in a letter that was written to the early Christian Church in Philippi. It was written by a man named Paul. Like 21st century atheists, Paul was at one point a determined sceptic regarding the divinity of Jesus. Paul was enraged at the blasphemous encroachment that Jesus had made into Paul’s monotheistic world-view. So enraged was Paul at the growing influence of Christianity, that like 20th century atheists who had the power, Paul tortured and killed as many Christians as he could get his hands on. Like 20th and 21st century atheists, Paul set out to destroy the Christian Church.

Like those who were followers of Jesus before His execution and burial, Paul's unbelief came to a screeching halt when he had an extended encounter with the risen Jesus. This period of learning directly from Jesus transformed Paul into one of the greatest missionaries the Christian Church has ever known. In the 3rd chapter of his letter to the Philippians, verses 4-15, Paul describes his change from the highest ranks of the Pharisees, the highest place of honour in the community to someone who was persecuted and hounded from city to city. Many of his letters were penned while in prison. Beaten time and again, subjected to repeated attacks and ridicule, Paul was finally beheaded by Nero in 64AD.

All because of his devotion to Jesus the Christ.

What’s amusing about that? Well nothing - about that.

However, in a thought process as strange and arrogant as any you’ll find, this group of people, the atheists, from a distance of 2,000 years would like you to believe that THEY, not the authors of the documents but THEY, the atheists, know BETTER than the authors of the documents what did or did not happen in the lives of the authors.

That’s what atheists are like. It’s how they think.

As stated, some of the more radical atheists go even further. They don’t just discount the events that the authors describe. These atheists who exist on the fringes of reality, in the same manner as those who deny the holocaust, say the authors themselves never existed. They say these documents are all a fabrication of -well - they don’t say who the “real” author is.

Obviously SOMEONE wrote the New Testament.

If these atheists are to be believed, the unknown “real” author of the New Testament wrote a document so powerful in its life-altering truths that it LITERALLY changed the course of history. So powerful are the words in this supposed pseudo compilation of documents that every year millions more people are moved to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is alive and working powerfully in their lives.

Movie producers like Dan Brown (it seems that no one has pointed out to atheists that movies are made for their entertainment value, not for factual presentation) and self-proclaimed YouTube historians have convinced these atheists that it isn’t surprising at all that this phantom author, whose primary work has topped the best seller list for the last one hundred years (more copies of the Bible, in more languages are sold every year than any other book ever written), never rose above obscurity. As far as we can tell, s/he never wrote anything else of note. Perhaps in true conspiracy mentality atheists believe that the “real” author of the New Testament was killed after the work was completed so that the “truth” will never be known, except of course, by 21st century atheists.

Come to think of it, all this isn’t very amusing at all - is it?

Pitiful, pathetic, tragic. All of these words fit the atheist mind-set much better than amusing.

But, what are you going to do? That’s what atheists are like. It’s how they think.

Friday, July 9, 2010

MY Father’s Business

I’d pointed out in a post, “He Never Said That”

that one of the reasons Jesus was charged with blasphemy was His use of “My Father” rather than “Our Father." I bring it up again because I neglected what is perhaps the most interesting account of Jesus using the term “My Father.”

It took place when Jesus was twelve years old. Many of you know already which incident that I’m going to talk about. He’d gone up to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration with His parents, but He didn’t leave with the group when it was all over. After three days, His parents found Jesus in the Temple teaching and debating the religious leaders of the day. It didn't matter to Mary and Joseph that their twelve-year-old was "amazing" the most educated men of the day. Like parents everywhere, who find a missing child, the fear that Mary and Joseph had initially experienced immediately turned to anger once He was found. Upon finding Him, Jesus' mother implored, “Why have you done this to us?”

And Jesus, perhaps like any child prodigy apparently said in a tone of wonder, “Why didn’t you know that I would be about MY Father’s business?”

My Father’s business? What's He talking about? He was sitting in the Temple, absorbed in discussion with religious leaders about, well, about God.

You may or may not know that in the Jewish culture of the time, at 12 years old, the male child becomes a man. At 12 years old in Orthodox Jewish culture the male child immediately is taken into the father’s business. He is taught the business. He becomes part of the business. He represents his father's business.

Jesus’ comment, “Why didn’t you know that I would be about My Father’s business, in My Father’s house, doing what My Father does?” makes perfect sense.

IF you know Who His Father is.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Admit That I Have Faith?

I’m off to the lake so this will be the last post till Saturday - anyhow >

That’s what Hugo asked. “Why do you still refuse to admit that you have faith in Jesus?” And I’m thinking, What the heck are you talking about?

In my post, “Why I’m Not An Atheist”

a substantial portion of the post talks about the aspect of faith - my faith. It might not hurt to remind at this point that atheists define faith as "believing something in the absence of any evidence.” Well, that may be what atheists think but I don't know of any Christians who think that way. For that reason I’m going to post some of the thoughts that have helped to shape my understanding of faith over the years.

For the record, Hugo, I have no trouble at all “admitting” that faith plays a role in what I believe. Faith is not some kind of dirty word. In fact faith plays a huge role even in what you believe. There’s a fairly recent book out, almost five hundred pages long documenting things that atheists have no choice but to believe by faith. None of us knows everything for sure. Not even regarding the most important things in life. Faith is a common factor for every single one of us. As I’ve said before, it would seem that agnostics are the ones who could call themselves the most scientifically minded. For they are the ones who only go as far as the evidence will take them. Christians and atheists, on the other hand, use inductive reasoning to take them part way, and then bring about a deductive conclusion based upon that evidence in combination with their pre-set or desired world-view.

Below is some of the information that I’ve collected over the years that has helped to shape my own understanding of faith.

“God is supremely rational, and the human being is also a rational being created in the image and likeness of God. Hence religion, which is the expression of the deep relationship between God and human kind cannot be but rational.” Johannes Kepler, “What if the Bible had never been written.”

“Now I define faith as the power of continuing to believe what we once honestly thought to be true until cogent reasons for honestly changing our minds are brought before us.” C. S. Lewis, “The Seeing Eye”

“Faith is a trust in what we have reason to believe is true. Understood in this way we see that faith is built on reason. We should have good reasons for thinking that Christianity is true before we dedicate ourselves completely to it.” J. P. Mooreland

“Belief, in the Christian sense, seems to be assent to a proposition which we think so overwhelmingly probable that there is a psychological exclusion of doubt though not a logical exclusion of dispute.” C. S. Lewis, “Obstinacy of Belief”

“Reason directs those who are truly pious and philosophical to honour and love what is true. Justin Martyr, “The first Apology.”

“Philosophy is a kind of preparatory training to those who attain to faith through demonstration. So also here I call him truly learned who brings everything to bear on the truth, so that from geometry and music and grammar and philosophy itself, culling what is useful, he guards the faith against assault. ”Clement of Alexandria, “The Stromata”

“Creation itself reveals Him who created it, and the work made is suggestive of Him who made it, and the world manifests Him that arranged it.” Irenaeous of Lyon, “Barr 13"

“We must first be instructed by reason and then we share and understand the sacred and mystical teachings.” Basil of Caesarea “Christianity and Classical Culture”

“Faith is what gives fullness to our reasoning,” Gregory of Nazianzus

“Reason is a thing of God, inasmuch as God, the maker of all has not provided, disposed, ordained by reason, nothing which He has not willed should be handled and understood by reason.” Stark, “For the Glory of God.”

“Heaven forbid that we should believe in such a way as not to accept or seek reasons for our belief since we could not even believe if we did not possess rational souls. But they are much deceived, who think that we believe in Christ without any proofs concerning Christ.” Augustine, “Concerning Faith In Things Not Seen”

“I believe in order to understand.” Anselm

“While faith comes first in time, knowledge comes first in importance. Faith and reason do not conflict but instead compliment each other.” St Anselm, “Credo, ut inttigam”

“It was necessary for man’s salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by God, besides the philosophical sciences investigated by human reason.” Anselm, “Summa Theologica”

“The principles of any science are either themselves self-evident or reducible to the knowledge of a higher science. Individual facts establish the authority of those men through whom the divine revelation has come down to us. Hence the fact that some happen to doubt about the articles of faith is not due to the uncertain nature of the truths, but to the weakness of the human intellect.” Thomas Aquinas

“The existence of God and other like truths about God, which can be known by natural reason, are not articles of faith for faith presupposes natural knowledge” Thomas Aquinas

“Thought constitutes the greatness of man.” Blaise Pascal “Section 12 “Proofs of Jesus.””

“Unreasonable and absurd ways of life are truly an offence to God.” William Law, “Love God With All Your Mind.”

“Ignorance is the mother not of devotion but of heresy.” Cotton Mather

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen." Hebrews 11:1