Saturday, December 26, 2009
Well, I thought I would play the skeptic and see what I could find which had an opposing side to what DM claimed. I am not knowledgeable in these areas but there is always time to learn. I actually thought it was quite interesting what DM brought, but I found this link which questioned whether ERV's are actually good evidence for common ancestry. I found it rather interesting and made sense to me...the guy brought forward some experiments so he wasn't all "talk", he seems well qualified with a BSc in Biology (as claimed).
Here is a bit from his profile which I thought qualified him quite well:
Hello, and welcome to my channel.
This channel was meant for intelligent Atheists/agnostics and Christians who want to debate their beliefs in a rational and civilized manner. A bit about me:
I am currently "sitting on the fence" when it comes to accepting the theory of evolution. I am not specifically against evolution, I am against bad science. I don't think there's enough evidence as of yet for me to fully accept the theory of evolution.
In this channel, I will post videos of what and what I do not consider evidence of evolution, as well as various videos dealing with faith, religion and atheism.
BSc Molecular Biology 2004
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
I have no idea who this guy is but I happened across an article about this "Dr. Rhawn Joseph"
This guy dis-believes abiogenesis and claims that life must have come from another planet in the form of microbes. A quote from the article:
"Dr. Rhawn Joseph, the author of this landmark paper, puts it bluntly: "Given the incredible complexity of a single-celled organism and its DNA, the likelihood that life on Earth was randomly created in an organic soup is the equivalent of discovering a computer on Mars and proclaiming it was randomly assembled in the methane sea."
Therefore, as only life can produce life, life on earth must have originated on other planets. But then, how did it get here?"
Can I ask him a question?
Where did the microbes come from and how did it evolve on other planets if it cannot on this one? Some "unknown" piece of stuff?
So many theories, so many beliefs, so many dis-beliefs... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
I believe in the Maker.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
BathTub and I ran into this problem before. I had to explain that I meant literally "intelligent design" and not a movement.
An interesting paragraph:
"The oft repeated question whether intelligent design is science can be rather misleading, certainly if we understand the term 'intelligent design' in its original sense. Suppose we were to ask the parallel question: Is theism science? Is atheism science? Most people would give a negative answer. But if we were now to say that what we are really interested in is whether there is any scientific evidence for theism (or for atheism), then we are likely to be faced with the reply: Why, then did you not say so?
One way to make sense of the question whether (intelligent) design is science or not is to reinterpret it as: Is there any scientific evidence for design? If this is how the question should be understood, then it should be expressed accordingly in order to avoid confusion".
Onto chapter one.
P.S. I am not trying to do reviews of the book but I like to share what I think is...cool :)
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Da Bomb was my old gaming name when I was younger but for blogging it sounds haughty. So I chose a name that echoes who I really am...that is, I am a pilgrim on a journey to what and wherever God will lead me.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
"More muscle is added to the argument by the fact that the vast majority of mutations observed in the laboratory have deleterious effects. This is not at all surprising in view of the digital nature of the genetic code that we shall have occasion to explore in some detail later. After all, one would hardly expect a computer programme to be improved by random changes in its code! Even the tiniest of changes is usually disastrous. But for the moment we simply record that cell biologist E.J. Ambrose of the University of London argued that it is unlikely that fewer than five genes could ever be involved in the formation of even the simplest new structure, previously unknown in the organism. He then points out that only one in 1,000 mutations is non-deleterious, so that the chance of five non-deleterious mutations occurring is 1 in a million billion (1 in 10 to the power of 15) replications. After showing that this is only the beginning of the problems, in having such beneficial mutations integrated into the development of the entire organism and passed on in the gene pool, he concludes 'that recent hypotheses about the origin of species falls to the ground, unless it is accepted that an intensive input of new information is introduced at the time of isolation of the new breeding pair.'" - John Lennox
"As it came clear that the Darwinian theory could not be broadly correct a question still remained, however, for I found it difficult to accept that the theory would be wholly incorrect. When ideas are based on observations, as the Darwinian theory certainly was, it is usual for them to be valid at least within the range of the observations. It is when extrapolations are made outside the range of observations that troubles may arise. So the issue that presented itself was to determine just how far the theory was valid and exactly why beyond a certain point it became invalid." - Fred Hoyle.
I echo these men's questions and struggles with the theory of evolution...(that is, evolution without input from God)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
"God's Undertaker, Has Science Buried God?"
I have not read the book as of yet (only a chapter on evolution) but I plan to. John Lennox comes across to me as a well qualified and respected man from what I have seen. I was very impressed with him in his debates with Richard Dawkins.
John Lennox in this book invites us to consider whether science has buried God or not and whether science points toward atheism or not.
Some info from the back cover:
"John C. Lennox MA PhD DPhil DSc is Reader in Mathematics at the university of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Green College. He has lectured in many universities around the world He is particularly interested in the interface of science, philosophy and theology. He and his wife Sally live near Oxford."
Quotes from other people about the book:
"As an agnostic in the true sense of the word as "not knowing", I found John Lennox's book intriguing and providing much food for thought...This is a well written and thought-provoking book and will contribute to reasoned discussion on a fundamental question."
Alan Emery, Eritus Professor of Human Genetics, University of Edinburgh.
'This short book is more than just a critical analysis of the deep question posed in its title. It is a scientific detective story, which keeps the reader on his toes as the evidence is put in place bit by bit'.
Keith Frayn, Professor of Human Metabolism, University of Oxford.
"God's Undertaker is an important and topical contribution to the debate and questions about the origin of the universe and its physical laws, the origin of complex biological design and the purpose (if any) of mankind".
Chris Paraskeva, Professor of Experimental Oncology, University of Bristol.
1. War of the worldviews
2. The scope and limits of science
3. Reduction, reduction, reduction...
4. Designer universe?
5. Designer biosphere?
6. The nature and scope of evolution
7. The origin of life
8. The genetic code and its origin
9. Matters of information
10. The monkey machine
11. The origin of information
I would like to offer these books primarily to atheist/agnostic friends who follow my blog should they like a copy. If not, then any other atheist/agnostic hanging around is welcome to have a copy.
You can send your mailing address to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send it to you.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I found this interview posted on Ray's blog rather interesting between Ray Comfort and another atheist Hemant Mehta.
I don't necessarily agree with everything Ray says but he does bring some good points.
Friday, November 27, 2009
He obviously was hurt against the church and thinking that the leaders of churches were power hungry. He went on saying that Zionism was evil and that "Jew" actually meant "unbeliever"...went on to talk about how the Bible is unreliable and he questioned whether Jesus was a real person or though he would like to think He was. He also mentioned how Barabbas the prisoner was not a real person...etc etc and went on and on. He also claimed that he had been reading secular history books which he mentioned a lot.
LOL, we were just dumping a trailer load of rubbish at the tip and he drilled us!
Well, it is hard to talk to people who are hurt like that but I simply challenged him to suggest why all the records he read were accurate?
Such as, he was claiming that Barabbas was not a real person because he was not in Pontius Pilate's records.
How can he say that? Who said Barabbas was not real? The Bible was revealed to be accurate once again in 1962, and that there was actually a Pontius Pilate. Why then should we assume that Barabbas was not real!
He repeatedly said that all we had was the Bible (as if it was not good evidence for Christ) to support our beliefs about history. During this conversation I am wondering what on earth he was reading? I admit there are not many records outside of the Bible about Barabbas or Jesus (as far as I know) but to say that all we have is the Bible is ignorant.
Tacitus and the Talmud (http://judaism.about.com/od/beliefs/a/jesus.htm) for example mention Jesus. For me the gospels are enough, but to say that it is all made up, even his actual being a "person", I think is far fetched!
If I had his attitude to history as he did to Christianity then I probably would not believe the majority of history. I can be skeptical if I want to be, but then I must be skeptical about my own skeptical thinking.
ARGH, frustrating to talk to hurt people who seem to be against Christianity. I do hope he will come to his senses..I mean what do you say to someone like that? Nothing I can do but pray for him.
However, I can understand him being hurt with other people you look up to and respect, this so often happens with Pastors. Still no excuse though, pastors are people and after being to Bible college and seeing an inside look into a lot of what they have to deal with is eye opening. One preacher sugested that offences are caused by someone not living up to there expectations.
For example: What would you expect from a pastor and what would you think if he didn't meet your standards made for him?
Now, think about people who aren't in leadership...who much would you expect from them?
See, we have levels that we measure people with and it is easy to see how we can get so offended with people that we can possibly idolize.
Don't get me wrong, elders or pastors are to have a high standard as should all christians but I am talking about people forgetting that pastors are people who make mistakes.
Wow, that was little more blurb.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I am amazed at how the Bible's medical laws have so much of the modern knowledge and understanding about health and yet excludes the dangerous medical practices included in surrounding cultures 1.
(When I say "amazed" I mean that I am amazed at the evidence in the Bible to show that it is the Word of God...not "amazed" that God knows something about science!LOL)
I heard about the discovery where women in child labour during the 1880's had a highish mortality rate when treated by doctors that did not clean their hands properly after touching dead people.
If only people would heed God's Word a little sooner.
I managed to find this little piece of information on it...
"Germs, Labor Fever, and Biblical Sanitation
In their book, None of These Diseases, physicians S.I. McMillen and David Stern discussed how many of the hygienic rules established by God for the children of Israel still are applicable today. To illustrate their point, they recounted the story of Ignaz Semmelweis.
In 1847, an obstetrician named Ignaz Semmelweis was the director of a hospital ward in Vienna, Austria. Many pregnant women checked into his ward, but 18% of them never checked out. One out of every six that received treatment in Semmelweis’ ward died of labor fever (Nuland, 2003, p. 31). Autopsies revealed pus under their skin, in their chest cavities, in their eye sockets, etc. Semmelweis was distraught over the mortality rate in his ward, and other hospital wards like it all over Europe. Nuland noted that Australia, the Americas, Britain, Ireland, and practically every other nation that had established a hospital suffered a similar mortality rate (2003, pp. 41-43). If a woman delivered a baby using a midwife, then the death fell to only about 3%. Yet if she chose to use the most advanced medical knowledge and facilities of the day, her chance of dying skyrocketed immensely!
Semmelweis tried everything to curb the carnage. He turned all the women on their sides in hopes that the death rate would drop, but with no results. He thought maybe the bell that the priest rang late in the evenings scared the women, so he made the priest enter silently, yet without any drop in death rates.
As he contemplated his dilemma, he watched young medical students perform their routine tasks. Each day the students would perform autopsies on the dead mothers. Then they would rinse their hands in a bowl of bloody water, wipe them off on a common, shared towel, and immediately begin internal examinations of the still-living women. Nuland commented concerning the practice: “Because there seemed no reason for them to wash their hands, except superficially, or change their clothing before coming to the First Division, they did neither” (2003, p. 100). As a twenty-first-century observer, one is appalled to think that such practices actually took place in institutes of what was at the time “modern technology.” What doctor in his right mind would touch a dead person and then perform examinations on living patients—without first employing some sort of minimal hygienic practices intended to kill germs? But to Europeans in the middle-nineteenth-century, germs were virtually a foreign concept. They never had seen a germ, much less been able to predict its destructive potential. According to many of their most prevalent theories, disease was caused by “atmospheric conditions” or “cosmic telluric influences.”
Semmelweis ordered everyone in his ward to wash his or her hands thoroughly in a chlorine solution after every examination. In three months, the death rate fell from 18% to 1%. Semmelweis had made an amazing discovery. On the inside cover-flap of the book about Semmelweis, written by medical doctor and historian Sherwin Nuland, the text reads:
Had Semmeliweis made a groundbreaking discovery, or is it possible that he simply “rediscovered” what had been known in some circles for many years? Almost 3,300 years before Semmelweis lived, Moses had written: “He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean.” Germs were no new discovery in 1847; the biblical text recorded measures to check their spread as far back as approximately 1500 B.C."
Ignác Semmelweis is remembered for the now-commonplace notion that doctors must wash their hands before examining patients. In mid-nineteenth-century Vienna, this was a subversive idea. With deaths from childbed fever exploding, Semmelweis discovered that doctors themselves were spreading the disease (2003, inside cover flap).
and he is from Great Britain LOL...go the Brits!
He is easy to listen to and yet will say some things that may shock you.
It cuts off on part 4 which is dumb but you can understand what he is saying as a whole.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
My Fiancee and I have been continuing to read C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity". We have left some of his arguments/evidence for God and have entered his thoughts about the teachings of Jesus and Christianity in general. Although the whole book has been inspirational, I would like to share one chapter about pride which we found challenging. Oh how subtle pride is! I think most people can find this an interesting read all though I realize it is rather long as EPM pointed out but if you have time, do have a read and I welcome any comments and thoughts.
P.S. I posted this again because apparently the text was warped???...sorry guys, hope this is better.
THE GREAT SIN
I now come to that part of Christian morals where they differ most sharply from all other morals. There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves. I have heard people admit that they are bad-tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they are cowards. I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice. And at the same time I have very seldom met anyone, who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to it in others. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.
The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility. You may remember, when I was talking about sexual morality, I warned you that the centre of Christian morals did not lie there. Well, now, we have come to the centre. According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.
Does this seem to you exaggerated? If so, think it over. I pointed out a moment ago that the more pride one had, the more one disliked pride in others. In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, `How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronise me,. or show off ?' The point is that each person's pride is in competition with every one else's pride. It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise. Two of a trade never agree. Now what you want to get clear is that Pride is essentially competitive-is competitive by its very nature-while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If every one else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone. That is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way the other vices are not. The sexual impulse may drive two men into competition if they both want the same girl. But that is only by accident; they might just as likely have wanted two different girls. But a proud man will take your girl from you, not because he wants her, but just to prove to himself that he is a better man than you. Greed may drive men into competition if there is not enough to go round; but the proud man, even when he has got more than he can possibly want, will try to get still more just to assert his power. Nearly all those evils in the world which people put down to greed or selfishness are really far more the result of Pride.
Take it with money: Greed will certainly make a man want money, for the sake of a better house, better holidays, better things to eat and drink. But only up to a point. What is it that makes a man with £10,000 a year anxious to get £20,000 a year? It is not the greed for more pleasure. £10,000 will give all the luxuries that any man can really enjoy. It is Pride-the wish to be richer than some other rich man, and (still more) the wish for power. For, of course, power is what Pride really enjoys: there is nothing makes a man feel so superior to others as being able to move them about like toy soldiers. What makes a pretty girl spread misery wherever she goes by collecting admirers? Certainly not her sexual instinct: that kind of girl is quite often sexually frigid. It is Pride. What is it that makes a political leader or a whole nation go on and on, demanding more and more? Pride again. Pride is competitive by its very nature: that is why it goes on and on. If I am a proud man, then, as long as there is one man in the whole world more powerful, or richer, or cleverer than I, he is my rival and my enemy.
The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. Other vices may sometimes bring people together: you may find good fellowship and jokes and friendliness among drunken people or unchaste people. But pride always means enmity - it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God.
In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that - and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison -you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.
That raises a terrible question. How is it that people who are quite obviously eaten up with Pride can say they believe in God and appear to themselves very religious? I am afraid it means they are worshipping an imaginary God. They theoretically admit themselves to be nothing in the presence of this phantom God, but are really all the time imagining how He approves of them and thinks them far better than ordinary people: that is, they pay a pennyworth of imaginary humility to Him and get out of it a pound's worth of Pride towards their fellowmen. I suppose it was of those people Christ was thinking when He said that some would preach about Him and cast out devils in His name, only to be told at the end of the world that He had never known them. And any of us may at any moment be in this death-trap. Luckily, we have a test. Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good --above all, that we are better than someone else -- I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil. The real test of being in presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether.
It is a terrible thing that the worst of all the vices can smuggle itself into the very centre of our religious life. But you can see why. The, other, and less bad, vices come from the devil working on us through our animal nature. But this does not come through our animal nature at all. It comes direct from Hell. It is purely spiritual: consequently it is far more subtle and deadly. For the same reason. Pride can often be used to beat down the simpler vices. Teachers, in fact, often appeal to a boy's Pride, or, as they call it, his self-respect, to make him behave decently: many a man has overcome cowardice, or lust, or ill-temper by learning to think that they are beneath his dignity - that is, by Pride. The devil laughs. He is perfectly content to see you becoming chaste and brave and self-controlled provided, all the time, he is setting up in you the Dictatorship of Pride-just as he would be quite content to see your chilblains cured if he was allowed, in return, to give you cancer. For Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.
Before leaving this subject I must guard against some possible misunderstandings:
(I) Pleasure in being praised is not Pride. The child who is patted on the back for doing a lesson well, the woman whose beauty is praised by her lover, the saved soul to whom Christ says 'Well done,' are pleased and ought to be. For here the pleasure lies not in what you are but in the fact that you have pleased someone you wanted (and rightly wanted) to please. The trouble begins when you pass from thinking,, 'I have pleased him; all is well,' to thinking, 'What a fine person I must be to have done it.' The more you delight in yourself and the less you delight in the praise, the worse you are becoming. When you delight wholly in yourself and do not care about the praise at all, you have reached the bottom. That is why vanity, though it is the sort of Pride which shows most on the surface, is really the least bad and most pardonable sort. The vain person wants praise, applause, admiration, too much and is always angling for it. It is a fault, but a child-like and even (in an odd way) a humble fault. It shows that you are not yet completely contented with your own admiration. You value other people enough to want them to look at you. You are, in fact, still human. The real black, diabolical Pride, comes when you look down on others so much that you do not care what they think of you. Of course, it is very right, and often our duty, not to care what people think of us, if we do so for the right reason; namely, because we care so incomparably more what God thinks. But the Proud man has a different reason for not caring. He says 'Why should I care for the applause of that rabble as if their opinion were worth anything? And even if their opinions were of value, am I the sort of man to blush with pleasure at a compliment like some chit of a girl at her first dance? No, I am an integrated, adult personality. All I have done has been done to satisfy my own ideals - or my artistic conscience - or the traditions of my family - or, in a word, because I'm That Kind of Chap. If the mob like it, let them. They're nothing to me.' In this way real thoroughgoing pride may act as a check on vanity; for, as I said a moment ago, the devil loves 'curing' a small fault by giving you a great one. We must try not to be vain, but we must never call in our Pride to cure our vanity.
(2) We say in English that a man is 'proud' of his son, or his father, or his school, or regiment, and it may be asked whether 'pride' in this sense is a sin. I think it depends on what, exactly, we mean by 'proud of'. Very often, in such sentences, the phrase 'is proud of means 'has a warm-hearted admiration for'. Such an admiration is, of course, very far from being a sin. But it might, perhaps, mean that the person in question gives himself airs on the ground of his distinguished father, or because he belongs to a famous regiment. This would, clearly, be a fault; but even then, it would be better than being proud simply of himself. To love and admire anything outside yourself is to take one step away from utter spiritual ruin; though we shall not be well so long as we love and admire anything more than we love and admire God.
(3) We must not think Pride is something God forbids because He is offended at it, or that Humility is something He demands as due to His own dignity - as if God Himself was proud. He is not in the least worried about His dignity. The point is, He wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble-delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are. I wish I had got a bit further with humility myself : if I had, I could probably tell you more about the relief, the comfort, of taking the fancy-dress off -getting rid of the false self, with all its 'Look at me' and 'Aren't I a good boy?' and all its posing and posturing. To get even near it, even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.
(4) Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Some of you may not have heard of him but I would like to make an apology to all people outside of Christianity for actions taken by people like this. Assuming this article from the paper is true...this is not Christianity. I pray that this man and his followers will come to their senses and realign themselves with the gospel Jesus preached.
Tamaki's 700 'sons' swear oath of loyalty
EXCLUSIVE - The leader of Destiny Church, Brian Tamaki, who not long ago anointed himself bishop of the church he founded, has now proclaimed himself the church's "spiritual father" and designated the male members of the church as "spiritual sons".
At a special service during the church's annual conference in Auckland at the weekend, about 700 male members of the church swore a "covenant oath" of loyalty and obedience to Mr Tamaki and were given a "covenant ring" to wear on their right hands.
A church document describes the covenant as "a solemn oath of commitment that is binding, enduring and unbreakable. You are bound to covenant ... Covenant is an irrevocable, undissolvable oath of commitment".
The document, entitled Protocols and Requirements Between Spiritual Father & His Spiritual Sons, contains the text of the "covenant oath", the guts of which is that "Above all, we stand here today in the presence of God to enter into this sacred covenant with our man of God, Bishop Brian Tamaki".
It says: "To you Bishop we pledge our allegiance, our faithfulness and loyalty. We pledge to serve the cause that is in your heart and to finish that work. Success to you and success to those who help you - for God is with you."
In its introduction, the church document says that proof of a man's covenant with God is how they "submit to God's chosen man ... We are blessed to our spiritual father through whom this principle is being restored. The fruit of his ministry is self-evident, so much so that his call and influence is discerned at many levels in both the Christian and non-Christian communities here in New Zealand ... Spiritual fathers are extremely rare ... For us it is about discerning the special anointing and function God has put on Bishop's life ... "
The requirements of sonship, the document says, are to give Mr Tamaki obedience and honour, to imitate him and follow his faith and to give him "your loyalty and your strength".
A church statement last night said the initiative was launched by Bishop Tamaki.
He said the covenant ceremony was witnessed by several thousand church-goers, and marked the culmination of a six-month programme aimed at "helping men to become better husbands and fathers and standout contributors to local community".
The Destiny Church statement said many of the men had emerged from social dysfunction, crime, alcohol or drug-related problems and domestic violence to become functional members of society.
In the document comes a section entitled "Protocols towards our spiritual father", which takes 1300 words to describe in jaw-dropping detail how the "spiritual sons" shall behave towards their "spiritual father".
Under "Public Conduct", the sons will in all conversation always speak of Mr Tamaki in a favourable and positive light; and in formal and/or public occasions, they will always address him and his wife, Hannah, first in acknowledgments and addresses at meetings "as a sign of respect to the father of the movement".
If any "son" is honoured either by the church or secularly, he is to mention his "mentors and role models" - Mr and Mrs Tamaki - "because Bishop is one of God's best-known representatives in our country".
Under "Conduct Towards Bishop", the "sons" are told that "Bishop is the tangible expression of God", so they need to understand how to properly approach their man of God "to protect the anointing and not transgress this special relationship".
They are always to be respectful and honourable in Mr Tamaki's presence. "Even though he is very sociable and open - remember who he is!" They must never be "in his face" and must protect him from outsiders who attempt to do that.
They must ensure that Mr Tamaki and his wife are both honoured, cared for and given appropriate respect. "Bishop is a people person. Often it is better we offend others than him."
And since "Bishop carries our vision and our anointing for the future and hope of our families and offspring, we ought to guard, protect and watch out for him and Ps [Pastor] Hannah".
Under "Discernment", the "sons" are told they must "feel Bishop's flow and be attentive to his thoughts and directions", which "gives unity and power to what God is saying and doing through him".
They must endorse what Mr Tamaki endorses, fully support what he promotes and ensure that what he is involved in is supported and successful.
"Whenever Bishop speaks all other talking stops: give him your full attention. Be careful not to cut in on him when he is speaking and ensure others don't either.
"Don't start talking or gesturing to somebody else while Bishop is speaking."
The "sons" must never openly disagree with Mr Tamaki in front of others and must "be careful not to become familiar (which can lead to contempt)" with him "due to his friendliness and openness".
Under "Etiquette", the "sons" are told that when Mr Tamaki and his wife enter a room, they must stand and acknowledge their presence. They may sit only after the Tamakis are seated.
And if they dine with him they wait until he has started eating before they start eating, unless he indicates otherwise.
Under "Church Service (in house) Protocols" the men are encouraged to sit as close as possible to the front of the church to be nearer to Mr Tamaki and to be vocal during his preaching, affirming what he has to say with "amen" and "that's right", clapping, shouting and laughing. This sort of participation is said to build "an atmosphere that is conducive to supernatural events".
They are told to bring Bible, pen, paper or laptop to note down Mr Tamaki's sermons which "shows how highly you value the Word of God from Bishop's mouth".
They should come to church anticipating that God will speak through Mr Tamaki and should always be dressed well at all meetings with him. "His dress code is your dress code." They should also look happy and smile and be friendly to all and encourage people.
Under "Supporting Bishop's Function & Ministry", the "sons" are encouraged to find out Mr Tamaki's speaking itinerary and travel to other churches and engagements to support him, because a team of men around their bishop "reflects his importance to them".
They must never tolerate anyone (regardless of who they are) speaking or talking critically of Mr Tamaki and his wife/family or the church. "You are not only to stop them in their tracks but warn them that they criticise you when they criticise Bishop."
They should celebrate Mr Tamaki's special occasions with him with surprises on birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions or achievements.
"Don't wait for others to do it. It is a sign of your love and respect for him: at times give gifts to him and/or Ps Hannah. A gift means many things - love, honour and blessing them: they will feel appreciated."
The men are exhorted to be protective of Mr Tamaki and his family. The protocol says he "will be more criticised, scrutinised and demonised than most others because of who he is and what he carries".
"You will hear all sorts of statements and opinions but you must be prepared to ignore them and consistently hold him in the same high regard no matter what you hear."
Somewhat surprisingly, the protocol says that Mr Tamaki is human and does make mistakes.
However, the sons must "be prepared to defend against any problems arising out of his mistakes.
A loyal man is supposed to 'cushion' the effect of a mistake on Bishop and to protect him. NEVER intentionally expose his weakness."
It says Mr Tamaki may downplay and even discourage "sons" in overtly honouring him, "BUT that should never stop the men from doing what is honourable and what is in their heart to do".
"The bishop's discomfort with honour should never rob the people of the spiritual rewards for such honourable and respectful actions towards him.
It is appropriate, says the protocol, for men to tell others of their love for Mr Tamaki, who is "one of the most well-known representatives of God in our country". The "sons" must reinforce and emphasise what he says and preaches and quote him as often as possible in favourable terms.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Talking to EPM and reading many others (christians and atheists) I have found it interesting to weigh the evidence for young earth or old earth both Biblically and scientifically. I write this post because I have seen increasing evidence for an older earth and so I desire to see where it fits in with what God has told me through His Word.
Here we go:
When I read Genesis 1, I did find it hard to comprehend an old earth view in regard to the days. For one thing the word "day" is "yom" which seems to refer to a 24 hour period, especially when it refers to a morning and an evening.
However, looking closer at the days, I notice that day seven does not have a morning and an evening? I wonder why? Was day seven longer than the others or is it because day seven is not yet complete? "yom" can mean a long period of time not just 24 hours.
So I begin to wonder whether morning and evening simply represent complete periods of creation that God has made. I don't know when day seven ended but some people suggest that it ended when Jesus died on the cross and now He is creating a new heavens and a new earth (John 14:2,3. 1 Peter 3:13)
So why did God talk about "days" of creation with a morning and an evening? Throughout Exodus God tells them to follow the pattern of six days work and one day rest. I am thinking that God gave us an example to follow by example. God worked six "God days" and rested a seventh day.
We know that time is different for God and day to God or a watch in the night is as a thousand years. (Ps 90:4 "For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night". 2Pe 3:8 "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.")
So time is relative...as Einstein would say :) God worked days in relation to Him as an example for mankind to work six days and rest on the seventh.
Regarding lights in the heavens to rule the day. A problem arises, was there light in the beginning and yet no stars? Was the sun after the green foods?
"16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also."
One thing I notice about this verse is that the words "God made two great lights" implies that God had created them at an earlier date but was completing the work He started by clearing the atmosphere to let the sun and the moon rule their time periods properly.
"Made" is an imperfect tense thus it could possibly mean a past tense. So day one could mean that God created the heavens through the big bang and stretched it out as it says in Isa 40:22 "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in."
What God did on day four was that He cleared the atmosphere to allow the great lights to become visible properly from a view from on earth.
Regarding the order of creation, it seems there may be a little bit of disorder as what people claim in the fossil record. An explanation I had heard suggested that when God wrote chapter 1 it covered millions of years so when God wrote the order of His work He did not give us a critical path analysis. He gave us a quick overview of His workings such as when I describe building a house, I would say 1. First came the builder 2. Second came the electrician 3. Third came the plumber, or similar.
What I now ask is "Did they all come with an exact stop and finish when I describe it this way or are they overlapped in their time periods?". So in general God gave us the rough accurate display of what He did...first came the plants...second came fish and third came the land animals, which then overlap each other.
What about animal death?
I always grew up thinking that there was no death before the Fall. But I don't even know where it say that in the Bible? Some people use Romans 5:12 " Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—"
But when I read that it seems to only talk about mankind's death. When I look at the world around me, I see beauty. Not just in things that look nice but in animals that can cause pain such as bees, how amazing and well made they are! Our world seems to fit like a clove and work together so well causing what some would say is the circle of life.
I struggle to comprehend a world with just beings (such as a lion) that didn't live off one another.
Psalm 104 is interesting:
17 Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high hills are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers.
19 ¶ He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down.
20 You make darkness, and it is night, In which all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21 The young lions roar after their prey, And seek their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they gather together And lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work And to his labor until the evening.
24 O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions—
NEway, I don't have a problem with death before Adam and Eve. However something is terribly wrong in the human race because the Bible says that death entered mankind through sin and that we were to have dominion over what God had created. The problems arisen in these areas (man's dominion) are what I believe is the result of the curse.
Regarding evolution and Genesis 1:
Some scientists seem to say that the fossil record is grouped rather than transitional, however should evolution be shown to be true and I am convinced then I find interesting wording used in Genesis 1.
11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so."
20 ¶ Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."
24 ¶ Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so.
Interesting, the verses speak for themselves.
Well, that is a quick overview of some thoughts that I have.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I'm back from a wonderful time at PK.
I heard some awesome speakers and testimonies of miracles and God working in people's lives... and many got saved! One guy shared his testimony about how he was an alcoholic and drug addict who started/joined (can't remember) a gang in Wellington. He went to prison and had a contract to kill his wife.
In prison he sought God and in this particular moment God revealed Himself to Him and he was saved. This guy was healed from alcoholism and addiction to drugs. He also could not read or write, but God gave him the ability to read and write!
Another trophy of grace, someone who found God and found purpose in Him.
I found it really quite amazing to be with 2,000 guys or so and sing to the Lord and worship Him together.
In reply to the following about PK, I will share what I have learnt.
1. To love and honour God with all my heart and will
2. To love my future wife unconditionally. To look after her and look out for her needs. To be a good husband to her, one that will be faithful to her.
3. To be a good future father. To spend time with my future kids, to love them and bring them up in the ways of God. To be a good example to them, a person they can look up to.
4.To support my fellow brethren in Christ, to help one another and keep each other accountable.
5. To be sexually pure before God. Reserving ourselves for the wife He has/will bring along for us.
6. To honour and support our leaders.
7. To pray faithfully for our family etc.
8. To spread the gospel and fulfill the Great Commission, to share the good news of Jesus Christ dying for our sins and paying the price for our trespasses. To share the good news with the broken hearted, that they may be whole.
On a side note:
I was watching an arm wrestling competition between two guys and one guy broke his arm! I heard it go crack! Insane. Some of those guys were extremely strong.
A couple of other injurys happened but all was good and we had an awesome time.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I am happy with how it came out. My tutor said that my focus was good for the huge topic that I attempted to do in just 2000 words.
She said my referencing was good...Stan :)
and said that I pulled it together really well after how my draft turned out (which was not so good).
But yes my main failure was that I tried to fit too many topics in and she said that it needed to be tighter, which would come about if I kept it to a smaller portion of the topic :(
Thursday, October 1, 2009
EPM, check out the english accent! Bring you home for a bit ay? (unless you are Scottish or something) :)
and a part 2 (another subject)
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Pain, suffering, survival. Are these concepts so hard to grasp? Those are the keys to our "morality." They are as universal as can be. A species that did not take those into account would go extinct. It goes to reason that our morals were key in our survival, in our ability to cooperate and strive. Those species who could not have the minimum "morals" perished. It is all too obvious.
-Is a tough marriage wrong then?...because it hurts? Are you saying they should split up because it would suit them better to survive?...
Or should they pull through and keep their vows to one another...for better or for worse, because it is right to do what is right?
-So Hitler was right to fight for his fittest empire?
Morality according to your view is whatever suits us best, it seems. Isn't this relativism?
Morality is relative...that is, relative to God, I don't deny that. But without God then morals are relative to the individual here on earth, with no penalty whatsoever (except governments elected by man and changeable).
What if everyone eventually decided that killing off the weak in the human race was the right moral standard for everyone? Would that make it "right"?
I would say no, because morality is a standard put in place by God for every period of time.
P.S. PLZ don't take offense at my examples; Open, blunt, honesty is generally what I like (with tactfulness :)). If what you are saying were true then these are the questions I raise.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Have any of you guys seen it?
I thought it was one of the most powerful point making movies I have ever seen! It really reveals the reality of the Holocaust, not just the Holocaust, but all the people involved around it. It shows the relations between the supporters of Nazi Germany and the opposes...in Germany, also the ignorance of some was revealed.
May God bring justice...and yet, may He also bring mercy on the repentant.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I guess I'll tell you what evidence would convince me of a +God universe (your God, specifically)....
Other evidence would include personal revelation from God....
The Rapture. If the Rapture happened then I would instantly convert. No question.
Finally, if a YEC were able to accurately describe the theory of evolution - with a decent cross-section of the evidence that supports it - and then were to refute it using sound reasoning and scientific evidence; then I'd convert too.
Not because the ToE had been disproved, that makes no difference. Merely because a YEC was able to display a level of honesty and intellectual rigour with regards to evolution that, so far, has been so lacking that it would be miraculous at this point to actually see it. ;)
Firstly, I doubt from talking to you in the past whether you would take an angel as evidence...you would merely think you were dreaming? Yes?
Rapture...is too late as far as I know. Might as well say "When God sends me to hell, then I will believe."
Finally, you should not base your beliefs about God on your concept of dishonest people. True? Just because people can lie while in politics, does this mean that politics do not exist?
Remember, YEC people are not the only "fundamentalist" Christian believers. To me fundamentalist means sticking to the truth of the whole Bible.
I will aim to get my "would be" old earth view on soon for you as you have expressed interest in the past.
I presented things that could conceivably occur and would convince me that the way I currently view the world is wrong. You have failed to provide such instances.
Can you show me how it is probable that earth fell into just the right distance from the sun to form delicate life? Also can you show me how apparent order in our universe that seems to be like building blocks of laws working together... that seem to fit together so well, without design?
Also, show me how when at times I have prayed in faith and miracles have happened or unlikely situations occur along with my prayer, how did it happen by accident?
These refutations might convince me of no God. I would need to weigh the evidence. Just as you weigh the evidence...but we come to different conclusions. I am unconvinced of a universe without God. You are unconvinced of a universe with God.
Eye witness testimony means nothing without corroborating evidence. There are men being freed in Texas that were accused of rape by eye witness testimony, including victim testimony. Why are they being freed? DNA evidence proves they didn't do it. Now were the eye witnesses lying? Probably not, I would guess that most were mistaken or did not see everything as clearly as they thought and the mind filled in the blanks.
Yes I know people get things wrong but we are talking about EVIDENCE, NOT PROOF. How do court cases generally make their decisions? by looking at the evidence they have, taking the best conclusion. We all live like this.
From DNA, they inference the best conclusion. DNA is not proof from my understanding. 2+2=4 is proof, it is a truism , but in reality we all take conclusions on assumptions to some degree.
What did you have for tea/dinner/supper? (whatever Americans call it :))
We know that food can be poisoned without us knowing it. Do you scientifically test it to see if it is poisoned each time or do you take the best conclusion?
Do you test the air each time you breath it in?
Here is an example:
A person walks up to you and says, "I have a baseball."
You respond, "Do you have any evidence for this?"
"Here it is in my hand."
A different person walks up to you and says, "I have a baseball."
"Do you have any evidence for this?"
"YOU CAN'T PROVE I DON'T HAVE A BASEBALL!"
I'll re-write it to demonstrate how I see it:
A person walks up to you and says, "I have affectionate love for someone."
You respond, "Do you have any evidence for this?"
"Yes, the affects of it"
A different person walks up to you and says, "I have affectionate love for someone."
"Do you have any evidence for this?"
"Yes, but YOU CAN'T PROVE I DON'T HAVE AFFECTIONATE LOVE FOR SOMEONE!"
The person with affectionate love cannot show scientifically as a "baseball" that it is real...but they can have evidence of this affectionate love that leads to the conclusion of a real affectionate love.
God is not stick and stone, He is God. We can see evidence of His affects (like love) on creation around us. I cannot see wind, but I can see it's affects.
P.S. Who is Dani'EL?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I am a non-believer in the non-existence of God.
I am unconvinced of the existence of a universe without God.
I don't have enough faith to believe in the non-existence of God.
I cannot see the existence of a universe without God so I would need to have faith in order to believe it.
Actually I cannot see God as well, which then means I need faith to believe in Him also. Which one is more probable? The evidence needs to be weighed and considered regarding the existence of a Godless universe, whereas evidence needs to be weighed also for the non-existence of a Godless universe.
I need to make the best conclusion regarding this matter. But could the invisible pink unicorn be a real option as to being part of our reality? Maybe it is, maybe because I cannot see it or test it, but then I must find out the evidence pointing toward it pointing out whether it is probable or not. But it is merely a parody which is not good evidence for it at all...so I logically conclude that it is not real but there is a chance that it could be real. I am willing to act by faith that the invisible pink unicorn is not real.
However I am not willing to act by faith that God is not real. He is no parody. A book written over thousands of year and followed by millions of people seems better evidence for Him. My life has been changed by Him, he has guided me and shown me the way in which I should walk.
Another thought**** if I do not follow what He says then I am actively following against His will, and against His existence. I would not be neutral, just as when I follow after God and ignore atheistic thinking, I am not neutral. I have chosen that atheism is the least likely answer by following God.
It would take me more faith to believe He does not exist. Such an amazing awareness He has placed in me that I should be able to have knowledge and understanding of Him to some degree. How can a universe without meaning form to allow itself to understand meaning and find out that the universe has no meaning.
I remember Lewis saying that it is like "darkness". If there were no light in the universe then there would be no creatures with eyes. Would the creatures have concept of "dark" without the concept of light... would the creatures developed in our universe have concept of meaning and no meaning when the universe is without meaning?
Does a fish feel wet?
Little thoughts like this cause me to think that the best conclusion about our universe is that there is a God. But which God?...and we then move into another topic.
I simply dis-believe in the positive active belief in a universe without the existence of God.
We all have faith and for someone to suggest that they do not have faith in something is dishonest. Theists admit it...why can't atheists?
To witness an ignorant atheist suggest that he doesn't "believe" atheism and yet is an atheist, watch the following http://www.dawkinslennoxdebate.com/
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Belief and the Existence of God
Atheism and theism is the central idea regarding our reality, our lives, our being. This essay will aim to draw out the two different ideas regarding the existence of God and how it affects our lives. It will also seek to demonstrate Christian theism as the most rational explanation for our universe. The fundamental question for every person is the question “Is there a God?” We cannot sit on the fence in regard to this universal issue; the relations between belief or disbelief and the existence of God affect the very way we live and the way we perceive life.
A central focus will be made on The Dawkins Lennox debate held in 2007; it will be a heavy reference throughout this essay. Dawkins holds an atheist view point and John Lennox brings a Christian theist’s view point; both are very well qualified men and worth the time to acknowledge on this topic. Their qualifications and short bios are as follows:
“Richard Dawkins FRS is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. He is the author of nine books: The selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype, The Blind watchmaker, river out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil’s Chaplain, The Ancestor’s Tale and The God Delusion. He is Fellow of both Royal society and the Royal Society of Literature.
John Lennox is Reader in Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green College, University of Oxford. He holds doctorates from Oxford (D.Phil.), Cambridge (Ph.D.), and the University of Wales (D.Sc.) and an MA in Bioethics from the University of Surrey. Professor Lennox has weighed in on the science-religion debate with a new book, God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?” (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007).
Atheism is the belief in the non-existence of God. (Collins English Dictionary and Thesaurus, 2006). There are a number of atheists that vary in their beliefs but there are examples from well known atheists that suggest the primary reasons for their disbelief in God. In the debate between John Lennox and Richard Dawkins, it is revealed some of the reasons why a leading atheist Richard Dawkins rejects the idea of God (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007). He states that the revelation of the theory of evolution showed him that the idea of a Supernatural Designer is not needed to produce complex creatures. He also states that if God existed then He would need to come from somewhere. These questions raise a number of issues such as “Does evolution take away the necessity of a Grand Designer?” or “Because we cannot scientifically test God does this mean that God is not real?” For the atheist, reasons such as these cause them to disbelieve in God.
Theism is the belief in God. (Collins English Dictionary and Thesaurus, 2006) There are also a number of reasons for theists to believe in God. One reason is that there is design in the universe that is un-explained. John Lennox states that the universe is mathematically fine-tuned for the way we have it (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007), such as the ability to support life. Hugh Ross gives evidence that if it were slightly changed neither we nor life would be here (cited in Deem, 2006). Theists see that where there is apparent design it should be assumed there is a designer. Theists deduct that it takes more faith to believe our fine-tuned universe happened by accident, than to believe it was designed (David Pawson Ministries, 2005).
Morality has been a controversial issue and is thought and considered by every person to some degree. Different fundamental beliefs regarding morality have its consequences, for Christian theism morality is defined by God in the Bible. According to Dawkins, atheism has no absolutes regarding morality except for what our supposed evolutionary development has produced. Richard Dawkins who is a biologist describes morality as “dancing to our DNA” (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007). However if this is the case then there is no real or absolute way to define what is morally right or wrong in a universal sense. This kind of thinking is known as relativism; R.C. Sproul Jr. states that with morals being relative it destroys the ability for someone to define a situation as “wrong” or “right”(2007, p.101). Therefore atheistic relativism has the consequence of ultimately no universal “rights”; this line of thinking by obvious reasoning can be destructive. Dawkins argues that our ideas of morals have come from evolutionary causes and development (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007). But this line of thinking still leaves a lingering thought: could someone really say that Hitler was “wrong” and be “right”? C.S. Lewis argues that the reason why people thought Hitler was “wrong” is that there was a line that every person looked to in order to judge him by; Lewis illustrates “Or put it this way. If your moral ideas can be truer and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something-some Real Morality- for them to be true about.”(1952, p.13). Therefore universal morality is evidence of a standard not made by human means, but by God.
A significant issue is raised in regards to belief and consequence with the ability to justify his/her reasoning. An argument known as the “argument from reason” can be found in a book “Miracles” which brings to light this problem (Lewis, 1947). What it is saying is that if we were not designed to think then we cannot trust our thinking to be able to reach ultimate truth about our universe. In the chapter “The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism” C.S. Lewis draws out the point that mankind are different from animals in that we see truths through inferences. For example, when someone comes across a garden they inference “There must be a gardener” (The Dawkins Lennox debate 2007); whereas animals are less concerned with abstract meaning and if they come across a garden they may not be as aware that it has a gardener. Throughout history, man has been looking for answers using abstract thought as to why he is here. Evidence of this can be found in the Bible which is one of the oldest books to be written (Nelson, 1994). To conclude the consequences of reason Lewis illustrates:
“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God” (cited in Argument from Reason, 2009).
Unfortunately for the atheist the problem of purporting rationality from irrationality enters into the realm of science. If science requires the variables being tested to be consistent – if there is no Designer who designed them to be consistent – then how can we be sure that they will continue to be consistent? John Lennox makes a point that the early scientists understood that the laws are orderly because they understood that they had a law-Giver (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007). A theist scientist knows that because they are orderly they can actually practice science; this is what science is and demands: “systematic study and knowledge of natural or physical phenomena” (Collins English Dictionary and Thesaurus, 2006). If someone disbelieves in God it throws a challenging light onto their justification to practice reliable science, because if the laws were not designed, then they are potentially less able to be trusted.
It is by faith that theists believe in God and it is beyond a reasonable doubt that they do believe (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007). Through discussing with atheists (Pilgrimage, 2009), the greatest struggle between atheism and Christian theism is the idea of belief and disbelief in God; the very meanings of those labels and “isms” bear witness to this fact. There are two types of atheists; one is a strong atheist who claims to know there is no God and the other is a weak atheist who does not know if there is a God. A weak atheist claims that by default they are without belief in God but they still admit there could be one, though some claim to be “agnostic” atheists and believe that it is impossible to know if there is a God. Atheism claims that theism is unscientific because God cannot be falsified and theism is accused of using the God of the gaps fallacy (God of the gaps, 2009, The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007). Therefore atheists basically believe in what they can be sure of, mainly through scientific demonstration. An emphasis is made on a simple disbelief in God (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007). There is no scientific proof of God, nor is there scientific proof of no-God. So we cannot pull down God and test Him in a test tube; proof is only spoken of in the field of mathematics (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007). For theists finding truth and having faith is about taking the best conclusion with the evidence they have laid out before them, they take a belief in something beyond a reasonable doubt (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007).
Belief is “a principle or idea considered to be true; religious faith” (Collins English Dictionary and Thesaurus, 2006). So a belief is what someone considers to be true; but belief is not merely speaking out what someone believes, but is more like speaking and then acting on what they believe. If someone was a Christian theist by statement and did not consistently do what Christian theists did, then they would not be a real actively living Christian theist. Consider now the weak or agnostic atheist and their stance on their disbelief in God. Notice the claim of “disbelief” (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007) rather than the claim of “I believe atheism”. It is an attempt to shift the burden of proof onto the theist. The theist in reply to the atheist’s disbelief in God might as well reply “I just disbelieve in the non-existence of God” (Brian, 2009). Every person does not have a neutral belief; there is a need to act upon the best conclusion about the existence of God and live it out. Belief or disbelief in the existence of God is not a matter of “I don’t know”, but a matter of “taking the best conclusion”. Atheists not only disbelieve in God but by their actions they actively believe in no God by not acknowledging or following His ways. Without God there can be no absolute right and wrong outside of what individuals think; individuals live the way they like (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007). For example, a murderer who has a lifestyle of a murderer cannot say and be neutral (even if he is honest) “I don’t know if there is a state law by which we will be judged”. Belief in regard to the existence of God affects the way we live and we cannot escape it, just as the law of the land affects the way we live.
Every person has a “religion” or something they devote their lives to by choice. Sir Keith Sinclair (1961, cited in Ahdar, 2006, p.620), speaking of New Zealand in post-World War II, states “The prevailing religion is a simple materialism. The pursuit of wealth and possession fills more minds than thoughts of salvation”. Religion is not only a belief in God but a devotion to something people believe in. We need to understand what our chosen religious world view or devotion has led us to and where it is taking us. World views such as Atheism and Christianity need to be weighed and taken seriously.
Some evidence points to the conclusion of God and some evidence points to the conclusion of no God. However, one conclusion is better than the other when the evidence is weighed. The Bible makes the Christian theist’s position clear in Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Nelson, 1994). Beliefs have consequences, and people need to have understanding of what they believe and the consequences of what they believe. The Bible says that people are either for Him or against Him; there is no in-between (Nelson, 1994). People need to make the best decision with the evidence placed before them. It is imperative that people make a conscious decision about where they stand regarding belief and the existence God.
Ahdar, R. (2006). Reflections on the Path of Religion-State Relations in New Zealand. Brigham Young University Law Review, 3, 619-659.
Argument from Reason. Retrieved August 21, 2009, from Http://en,wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_Reason
Brian. (2009, July 9). How to be morally responsible sceptic mp3 audio by Dallas Willard. Message posted to the comments, archived at http://apologetics315.blogspot.com/2009_07_01_archive.html
Collins, C., Cross, R., Gilmour, L., Holmes, A., Mackie, W., & Weber, P. (Eds.). (2006). Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus (3rd ed.). Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers.
David Pawson Ministries. (2005, January 12th) Natural disasters a biblical perspective (Television broadcast). Britain: Revelation TV.
Deem, R. (2006, June) Evidence for the fine tuning of the universe. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/designun.html
God of the gaps. Retrieved September 8, 2009, from Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps#Criticisms_of_the_view
Lewis, C. (1947). Miracles. London: HarperCollins Publishers.
Lewis, C. (1952). Mere Christianity (Rev.). London: HarperCollins Publishers.
Nelson, T. (1994) The holy bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Pilgrimage. (2009) Retrieved from http://www.vessel-of-clay.blogspot.com/
Sproul Jr., R. (2002) Tearing down strongholds. New Jersey, P&R Publishing Company.
Taunton, L. (Executive director). (2007, October).The Dawkins Lennox debate. Birmingham: Fixed Point Foundation.
by Daniel (Da Bomb)
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I was talking to a friend the other day and he brought up an interesting point on which I will expand.
If people lived in trees and there were no way of getting down except flying. Would people develop through evolutionary processes wings to fly down?...in other words accidental unguided information forming to produce wings?
Apparently it is claimed that dinosaurs turned into birds...I wonder why and how?
I just don't have the faith to believe that sought of thing.
Yes, I am sure there is evidence for evolution. There is evidence for ufo's...it does not mean that they are real.
Similarities of fossils does not mean they are derived from each other. It could mean they have a similar designer.
I have a Nissan car and it is made by Nissan. There are many different varieties and ages of my car and I could show you a tree of the developments of there design. Did they accidentally evolve...or were they made?
Do you see the evolutionary assumption or fallacy?
Monday, September 7, 2009
"Rather than saying "I disagree," the onus is on you to explicitly show where and how this argument fails, if indeed you continue to deny it"
Stan challenged someone to point out his logical flaws about his conclusion about the christian God.
These are the premises that he concluded that God forces and desires people to go to hell or at least claims that God is contradictory.
"P1. The Christian god prefers not a populated hell.
P2. The Christian god knew that creating would result in a populated hell.
P3. The Christian god is the "first cause."
P4. The Christian god had in its power the ability to not-create.
P5. The Christian god chose to create in such a fashion as to ensure a populated hell."
I will point out his logical flaws.
P1. Half true...God would rather have a being (us) with the opportunity to choose Him or not to choose Him (loyalty), rather than having a predestined empty hell and a full heaven (robots living in paradise). God still wants an empty hell, but He leaves it up to us.
P2. As far as I know. True
P4. We know that He did create.
P5. Half true... It is more like, God chose to create in such a fashion as to "allow" a populated hell, just as the police allow criminals to go to jail, even though the police keep telling them they don't have to go to jail.
"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened. "
— C.S. Lewis
Stan, your half true premises show your ability to twist truth about the God of the Bible. Clever, but wrong.
I am currently organising a wedding and maybe buying a house! Busy busy. I'll try to be on every second day or so.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I could not resist. I have just seen a great movie about a Scottish farmer "Angus Buchan" in Africa. It was so powerful...it really moved me. I just had to share this story with you guys. It is based on a true story, many amazing miracles!
God is real, I just want to say that over and over again. Seek Him...I so hope you all will come to know our Maker!!
Here is a Bio:
P.S. Ok, back to study :)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Thank you for all the discussions so far...
The next few weeks I am going to take a break from blogging and will focus on getting a 2000 word essay written for a paper at uni.
It is called "belief and the existence of God".
Should it turn out alright I will aim to post it on here.
Feel free to discuss among yourselves should you desire.
Friday, August 21, 2009
A fascinating thought.
Why is it that man has such a strong sense of right and wrong? To the point that even when someone breaks their promise we get upset. But if we break our promises we always need to find an excuse as to why we broke our promise.
Is there a standard outside of human opinion that all humans have a similar opinion on?
I'll let Lewis illustrate on a couple of points:
The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people's ideas get nearer to that real Right than others. Or put it this way. If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something-some Real Morality--for them to be true about. The reason why your idea of New York can be truer or less true than mine is that New York is a real place, existing quite apart from what either of us thinks. If when each of us said 'New York' each means merely 'The town I am imagining in my own head,' how could one of us have truer ideas than the other? There would be no question of truth or falsehood at all. In the same way, if the Rule of Decent Behaviour meant simply 'whatever each nation happens to approve,' there would be no sense in saying that any one nation had ever been more correct in its approval than any other; no sense in saying that the world could ever grow morally better or morally worse. - Mere Christianity
Or did morality (if you believe in evolution) come about through evolutionary developments?
(I hope you don't mind me quoting Lewis all the time, I am fascinated by so many interesting insights of his) :)
Note: C.S. Lewis believed in evolution.
Supposing you hear a cry for help from a man in danger. You will probably feel two desires--one a desire to give help (due to your herd instinct), the other a desire to keep out of danger (due to the instinct for self-preservation). But you will find inside you, in addition to these two impulses, a third thing which tells you that you ought to follow the impulse to help, and suppress the impulse to run away. Now this thing that judges between two instincts, that decides which should be encouraged, cannot itself be either of them. You might as well say that the sheet of music which tells you, at a given moment, to play one note on the piano and not another, is itself one of the notes on the keyboard. The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.
Another way of seeing that the Moral Law is not simply one of our instincts is this. If' two instincts are in conflict, and there is nothing in a creature's mind except those two instincts, obviously the stronger of' the two must win. But at those moments when we are most conscious of the Moral Law, it usually seems to be telling us to side with the weaker of the two impulses. You probably want to be safe much more than you want to help the man who is drowning: but the Moral Law tells you to help him all the same. And surely it often tells us to try to make the right impulse stronger than it naturally is? I mean, we often feel it our duty to stimulate the herd instinct, by waking up our imaginations and arousing our pity and so on, so as to get up enough steam for doing the right thing. But clearly we are not acting from instinct when we set about making an instinct stronger than it is. The thing that says to you, 'Your herd instinct is asleep. Wake it up,' cannot itself be the herd instinct. The thing that tells you which note on the piano needs to be played louder cannot itself be that note. - Mere Christianity
If there is no right and wrong ultimately then how can there be right and wrong? If it is the choice of humanity then it comes down to opinion. It would be merely my opinion to say that Hitler was "wrong".
R.C. Sproul Jr. stated that if there is no centre mark to aim for then how can you tell how far off the mark you are?
I remember a story he once said about when he was lecturing english classes. He stood up against the idea of relativism and stated that there was a real wrong and a real right.
A person in charge of him suggested that his career would not go far if he continued to talk like this. R.C. replied asking "Are you trying to say that it is "wrong" to say that there is a right and wrong?"
The person asked him to leave...
Without God there can be no right and wrong except for opinion. The person that will win their version of right and wrong will be the person with the biggest stick.