Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pray for this guy

This morning I had an accident. A guy ran out from behind a truck and ran into the side of my car, taking off the side mirror. I Immediately stopped and got out, and he seemed fine (obviously he was shaken), but he doesn't speak English so getting information out of him was difficult.

I offered to call an ambulance, and his family said that he was fine, he then disappeared and I couldn't even get his name. Someone I spoke to on the scene gave me their name and number and I couldn't do anything more so I left. He seemed fine, but the circumstances are strange to say the least.

My sister just happens to be a lawyer in this particular field. She has informed me that a charge will be laid against me and a case will be opened. They won't arrest me (apparently), but there is a possibility that they will.

I guess I could use some prayer as well, but I worry about this guy. Praise the Lord I did not hit him head on, nor was I going fast at all. I have the assurance that God is in control and He allowed this to happen. It's very difficult not being omniscient, but if He is for me, who can really be against me?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Evolutionary Computing

There is a problem in the way we understand the theory of evolution. It has lead to much confusion and debate and therefore I must clarify something that has been on my mind for a while. In my post 'More Evolution', I challenged anyone to find me one example of evolution being useful in computer science.

Now, Mike kindly offered an example, and I think I shot him down a bit too quickly (Sorry man). My mistake was that of understanding - I think a lot of things filed under evolution are useful, however, the molecules to man kind of evolution is what I oppose.

While I can write a computer program to simulate many aspects of evolution, things like weasel actually prove what I was trying to say. The weasel program manipulates an already existing set of data into another set, until a desired point is reached. The problem is, how does one determine what is desired without an external force guiding this process?

Applying weasel to humans is no easy challenge - I imagine. In the DNA sequence are several letters, changing one of them would be catastrophic in a human, so that cannot be the level of change - what I still lack is knowing the level at which humans are 'evolving.' Is it on the single cell level? How can that be measured? It seems the smaller one goes the more impact the change has on the entire being. In addition there is no means by which to add information. Of course in the weasel sense, and more so in the case of DNA.

So going back to computer evolution - is it possible? Only when we think of evolution as small controlled changes within a system, with set rules and a distinctive goal driven process. If there is to be added information, it cannot be generated by the system, since it would entail an underlying system change (ad infinitum). The system would have to be externally modified.

I would say that the problem here is the term evolution, while it isn't bad in itself, there are definitely theological aspects being intermingled in there. That is undeniable. I apologize for not being clearer on that. Also part of the problem is that this term evolution covers a wide variety of topics, many of which are true. But just because something has been given a name which includes many truths, does not make it true. It makes it suspect.

Words to live by

I was really down on Tuesday. There are times in my life when I get so focused on this world that I forget my purpose. I forgot what life was all about. It hit me so hard I was really in a pit of despair. On top of this I had to work on a public holiday, which is never something I look forward to. I was getting down about the whole wife issue and getting anxious about my studies. I really was quite upset.

So I went to bed, after hardly eating, and got up at 8:30. As I get in my car this hymn plays:


God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!

Talk about POWER! It was like the voice of God reminding me of my purpose. I don't live for those things: women, studies, work - it's all just a part of life (it's part of the curse actually), but that isn't purpose, that's fleeting.

I can live with a vision eternal - I can face anything because I know that God is more important and in control. There is nothing that can stand against me, considering with whom I stand! I pray that God would keep me in the remembrance of these things, and in doing so I can overcome anything!

When we keep our eyes on the whelming flood, it's no wonder we sink beneath the waves. When we see the glory of the Lord, of course everything else is depressing! To give God His due is to realize that there is nothing better!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Moses kills 3000

[UPDATE 03 AUGUST 2009]: As the comments below indicate, Moses did end up giving the order for the death of 3000 people. However it was not Moses, it was God. Those people CHOSE not to follow the Lord and the Lord had them killed. Is God unloving, no, those people would have died anyway in the wilderness. People need to start realising that since God is the author of life it is His grace that allows us to live, giving Him the right to take it away. A far worse death awaits those who are not found in Him in that last day. God is loving in that while we were still sinners, He died for us, that the second death may have no power. Repent, therefore, call on the Lord while He may be found!

-----------

Francis Macnab thinks he can win against the bible using slander and lies. He is an ex-Roman Catholic making a 'new faith' where he belittles the name of Jesus and attacks God's word. I'm not surprised, but it's amazing how blatant it is.

Dr Macnab said the Ten Commandments were full of what people could not do, and were given by a patriarchal figure, Moses, who was a mass murderer. The Bible records that Moses killed 3000 Israelites who worshipped the Golden Calf. [SOURCE]

Really? That's not the way the story actually went:

The next day Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin." So Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written." [Exodus 32:30-22]

Here we have quite the opposite story: Moses actually takes it upon himself to go and appeal to the Lord, and is willing to be blotted out of the bible for them.

But this isn't the worst of the lies. He actually calls Jesus a Jewish peasant. He is the Messiah! He is the prophesied King! Read Matthew!

I don't know why I let myself get worked up though - this man means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

"You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion." [L. Ron Hubbard - Creator of scientology]



Friday, September 19, 2008

Relationships

At work I have grown some very awesome friendships with Christians. What's awesome is that we are not alone in the fight for the faith. My newest Christian comrade is a lovely young lady who has some of the strangest encounters with 'Christians.' She told me a story today which got me quite wound up:

"Some christians advocate 'fooling' around before getting married. Their argument states that firstly we are fallen creatures suffering from the fall, that it needs to be 'gotten out of their system' before maturity and that, at maturity, they will change to be more Christ-like." [Not a direct quote]

Wow! That got so many verses flying through my head I had to sit down. I couldn't even think of everything I wanted to say. That is why I blog.

Let's take a look at this biblically, I'll look at biblical principles, argue point by point and then give closing remarks. The first is the argument on the theological level: is it right to fool around before marriage? When consulting the scripture, it is not.

On the Old Testament front it is severely a non-issue. If a man slept with a girl to whom he was not married, he either had to pay the full bride price [Exodus 22:16] or was stoned because he was in adultery.

In the new testament there is very little change. Firstly, this rule is not omitted from practice, although I would not advocate forced marriage either. It is not explicitly enforced.

"For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God."Ephesians 5:5

You are not a Christian who would defile another sexually! Oh woe to us! I wish every day I could take my own sin away. But God, in His infinite mercy and grace - has forgiven me.

But does this only refer to a sexual impurity - no! We have to treat women as mothers and sisters - with ALL purity [1 Timothy 5:2]. That means not making emotional attachments in such a manner that we cannot maintain them. For example if you are not willing to marry them, why stay in the relationship. Men love the darkness more than the light, for their deeds are wicked! You don't tell her the truth because you know that telling her that you aren't seeking marriage will chase her away. It gets even worse when both parties are just in it for kicks, because that is not God glorifying! That is sin.

So it's not cool in a bible sense. Now I will look at the defence provided:
1) We are all fallen creatures:

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?" [Romans 6:1-2]

How can you bear sinning more? Every sin is an insult to God! If you do not lament over your sin, you are not saved. God requires a humble heart dedicated solely to Him - I've said it before - everything else is just dirty sprinkles.

2)It needs to be 'gotten out of our system'
Is this an excuse to sin? So I should get murder out of my system? Should I get abortion 'out of my system?' Is this showing love for our neighbour in a Christ-like manner?

3)"I'll change later"
You may never get married. Consider this: God punished David because of his sin by taking the life of His child and dividing his household forever. Now God REALLY REALLY loved David. David was FAR more worthy of God's love than us! Are you saying that we deserve something from God?

Secondly, will you change? Sin has an awfully horrid affect on the mind. To think anything else is to lie to oneself. Some things - especially sexual things - are infectiously addictive and therefore habit forming. There is a chemical explanation for this - we get addicted to pleasure. This is how meth works. You really like the extra endorphins and other pleasure centres being activated - thus an addiction forms. The more you do it the more you want it. You become addicted. Fooling around is not some exercise that will cure you of wanting - it is feeding a stomach. The more you feed it - it will expand to make way for more.

Thirdly, do you fear God or Hell? If Hell, you are not a Christian. Fear Him who can cast you into Hell [Matthew 10:38]. If you fear God you should fear Him now.

Fourthly - the way you act now is a reflection for a potential marriage partner to look at you. There is a saying that women expect men to change after marriage, and men expect woman not to. It brings to light the terrible fallacy in the innocence of marriage. How dare we say we will change without actually making a change? God doesn't do that for sinners! That means it doesn't apply to you!

I have said all I want to say - I would recommend reading the following passages of scripture in context:

"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases." [Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, 8:4]
"Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." [Romans 1:32]
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." [1 Corinthians 13:4-8]
"But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." [Revelation 21:8]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

There's no persecution from evolutionists...

No... None at all! I mean, Michael Reiss, who is an evolutionist, merely stated that creationism should be accepted as a world view was attacked by these caring, loving individuals.

"Some of my comments about the teaching of creationism have been misinterpreted as suggesting that creationism should be taught in science classes. Creationism has no scientific basis. However, when young people ask questions about creationism in science classes, teachers need to be able to explain to them why evolution and the Big Bang are scientific theories; but they should also take the time to explain how science works and why creationism has no scientific basis. I have referred to science teachers discussing creationism as a "worldview"; this is not the same as lending it any scientific credibility." -Michael Reiss [Emphasis added]



If they attack one another so vehemently, why on earth would I want to ever be considered on the same side as them? I'd rather be wrong1 and on the Christian side than with the kind of people who will hate you for not agreeing with them2.

If you wonder where I'm getting this, read the [Christianity today article]. Also check out [Wikipedia].

What's really funny is this guy will earn no heavenly reward for his persecution. The attack is brought on by his own beliefs and God has left him with those who he chooses. What makes it even more hilarious is that the Church of England (of which Michael Reiss is an ordained minister) just yesterday issued an apology to Charles Darwin! I wouldn't be surprised if Mr Reiss was behind it!

It seems no one is getting on their knees. No one looks to God. No one seeks His face. People have a form of Godliness but deny it's power. No wonder the end time fanatics are going crazy!

This is pure cannibalism, and I'm happy to see it. The more time they spend whacking each other over the head, the more time we have to evangelize!

1 I'm not wrong. The creator of the universe told me so in His book.
2 True Christian's do not hate one another. We are fortunate to have an authority concerning our behaviour towards one another - so that when we err, we may be corrected. The evolutionist does not.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apologetics at it's worst

"The Church of England will concede in a statement that it was over-defensive and over-emotional in dismissing Darwin's ideas. It will call "anti-evolutionary fervour" an "indictment" on the Church"
...

The apology, which has been written by the Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church [of England]'s director of mission and public affairs, says that Christians, in their response to Darwin's theory of natural selection, repeated the mistakes they made in doubting Galileo's astronomy in the 17th century." [SOURCE]


I think that these guys got the idea of apologetics wrong - apologetics was never meant to be a compromise on Christian beliefs. It is suppose to be upholding Christian values, giving a reason for the hope that is in us. (1 Peter 3:15)

Anyway, evolution as it is is nowhere near what Darwin had in mind - plus it's not like Darwin would care, he's dead! If these people really thought that evolution was correct - they should be apologizing to God!

Now there is a thought - why should they apologize to God? Well, clearly the 6 day position was not formed out of a proper understanding of God's word. There are some significant differences between geocentricism and creationist understanding:
  • Joshua 10:12-13: Joshua is speaking from his perspective. This type of writing(commentary from a point of view) is not found in Genesis
  • 1 Chronicles 16:30: This is David's song of thanks. Genesis is not poetry 1, so this is not a historical narrative, which is what Genesis is.
  • Isaiah 38:8: Again, is the argument from perspective. We do not say 'Earth revolving,' we say 'Sunrise' simply out of convenience from perspective 2


What we have here is quite confusing. They apologize to Darwin, for misrepresenting him, but they have nothing to say to their God. If they truly believed they were in error, who deserves the first public apology? I would argue God. In the second place they said they were 'encouraging others to misunderstand [Darwin].' In this I can continue to emphasize that I do not have a share in this apology (in fact the point of this blog is to show I have no share whatsoever) - I do not encourage misunderstanding, even of error. In order to show someone they are wrong, we must first understand their position. NP, a gentleman I debated on this blog, who I continue to think about and pray for, was all about clearing up misunderstanding, which I appreciate - although we found ourselves in deadlock when it comes to scripture.

But there you have it - can we compare geocentricism with creationism? No. I love the way the world tries to do that - making us look like fools for others past mistakes. It is very important to keep literary themes in mind when studying the bible. As Christians we must define our hermeneutic - something I have done previously - and it helps SO much!

And just in addition, so that I may be completely at ease - I believe in natural selection, since it is observable. I do not believe that species can produce higher order species - hear me on that - species cannot produce higher-order species. I do not deny that species can vary within and of themselves - polar bears are a great example: they are normal bears - but they are white. But bears beget bears. Fish beget fish. Ape like creatures do not beget humans. Humans beget humans. That is the sum and total of my belief in this area.

1 Is genesis poetry? I will blog on this.
2 Note that this is a shared perspective, that is why it works. I usually do not advocate relativism in any shape or form, but this is permissible since it is not sinful nor is it attempting to justify anything. It is purely a state with which all men can agree. It's called the cooperation principle.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Post-Modernism again

Two days ago I gave the ethics lecture. While I love preparing a lecture like that I did not enjoy having to give such a lecture. The problem is authority. At the end of the day, ethics is about covering yourself. We do not develop virtues out of a fear of God (which produces the only worthwhile virtues), but rather virtues are developed out of the fear of consequences.

However, over and above that, I did attack the idea of relative truth. I love asking people if they are absolutely sure that all truth is relative. As my friend put it expertly: "I don't see anyone taking a firm stand for relative truth." Well put.

But then a new friend was in a class where everyone was pro-relative, even the lecturer. She stood up for truth, and she is such a blessing. She was shaking afterwards, but at least she does not just sit back and let lies be sought as truth. While speaking to her I developed two lovely arguments:

  • The love argument: If truth is relative, just remember that the next time someone tells you they love you. If truth is relative, they don't mean it in the way you understand it. And even worse, there is no way you can ever know for sure
  • The insult argument: Just tell a relitiver© that they are an idiot. Then ask them if that is a true or false statement. It's amazing how people will demand purity for themselves, yet insist that purity does not exist.
Another interesting discussion that came out of this was a property of truth: exclusiveness. While there are many truths that exist, there cannot be more than one truth about a particular subject. Truth excludes any kind of statement that does not conform to the originally posited statement.

So when someone says 'To each his own' when talking religion - you can now discuss something far more important - the nature of truth. They do not all lead to the same place.

SEND ME E-MAILS LIKE THIS!!!

WOW!!! Take the time to read this!

This is what I am all about. This is where I am coming from. An inspiring email indeed. I hope it blesses whoever reads it.

What a blessing it is to see that depravity has limits - you can only go so cold, so dark and so dead. It makes logical sense then that God is good: if He is infinite then He would have to be, since if He were evil there would be a limit on Him. What a glorious thing it is to consider that goodness is infinite! What good news!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Get ready for a big argument

"Geneva - Tests have cleared the way for the start-up next month of an experiment to restage a mini-version underground of the "Big Bang" which created the universe 15 billion years ago, the project chief said on Monday."[SOURCE]



'Scientists' are trying to create a small version of the big bang, "which occurred 15 billion years ago" . Here's my question: 'If you are so sure it happened, why recreate it?' If it is such an infallible truth, why are you trying to protect it? To understand it is a good reason, but then why such odd wording? It is amazing that there is no question as to whether it happened or not, to spite the fact that 'scientists' keep on changing their minds about the age of the earth. Close minded sounds like the main ingredient here.

In addition to this wonderful observation in semantics, what have the 'scientists' done? Well clearly they are plotting to watch nothing expand1 and collide with more expanding nothing and it is going to explode (using a nihility-based exothermic2 reaction) and create something. Of course the 'scientists' are not going to control the experiment since that would infer that it takes intelligence to create something out of nothing. Of course they are going to do it in a null-space environment since that is where we came from.

What's that? Hold on here. Huh? The above mentioned experiment makes no sense? It's not science? Wow... Turns out that we need:
  1. intelligence
  2. particles
  3. acceleration
  4. energy

All of which are not nothing, to make something.

'Higgs, a 79-year-old Edinburgh University professor who as an atheist angrily rejects the idea of calling the boson the "God particle" - believes it will show up very quickly [this is the actual result of the experiment - proof of yet another existing particle] once the beams are colliding in the LHC [Large Hadron Collider].

"If it doesn't," he said during a visit to Cern earlier this year, "I shall be very, very puzzled." ' [SOURCE]



Guess what? The existence of the particle is a null-argument (pun intended). It proves nothing of existence, origins or first causes. The 'scientists' just can't word their arguments right. The particle is supposed to explain current expansion and current atomic bonding. But as soon as it is discovered, people will want to know what comprises it. And if it is disproved, they will try another way.

UPDATE: Stephen Hawkins has a different idea of what is going to happen. He and Peter Higgs are not getting on well in the upcoming events to this experiment.

1 Of course nothing cannot expand. But surely something has to happen, otherwise nothing is happening.
2 It would have to be exothermic since endothermic heat would go... guess it now... NOWHERE!!! And the poor Adam and Eve in the little bang would be cold, especially since they would be naked for at least 150 years (or would that decrease based on their size?)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A story you never learn in Sunday school

Hey kids! In my bible read I came across a hum-dinger!

1 Kings 13: Rehoboam is king of Judah, Jeroboam the king of ten tribes. Rehoboam is the son of Solomon, and God tore the kingdom away from Rehoboam, leaving him with one territory, for the sake of His faithful servant David (Rehoboam's grandfather). Rehoboam lost the kingdom as a result of Solomon's heart being lead astray by his many wives. Jeroboam is given promises equivalent to David, on condition of equivalent obedience, but all is falling apart. Jeroboam is zealously pragmatic when it comes to theology, which caused him to lead Israel in sin. God is not happy with either king.

So we have judgement being passed by the means of a prophet in 1 Kings 13. This unnamed holy man, comes to the king and pronounces an end of the idolatrous worship of king Jeroboam. Now, if some 'holy roller' came into your church during a service and told you that the infant baptismal fount was going to be tipped over (spilling all the 'holy' water), I'm sure someone would have something to say. Well, so did Jeroboam: "GET HIM." But alas the finger outstretched against a child of God sent on a mission of God will soon wither, as we find. Jeroboam is slightly more accepting of this dear fellow when he finds that his violin playing days have been seriously cut short.

So this man of God (lets call him John - he has no name in the text) has three visible (with your eyes) signs that God is with him:
  1. The prophecy he made came with a sign: the destruction and therefore defilement of the idolatrous altar
  2. The withering of the hand of the king
  3. At the request of John, the kings hand is restored.

After this we learn more details about John's mission: he is not to eat nor drink (at all? of this I am not sure) but he is certainly not to return the way he came.

So John has upset quite a number of people, who received the word gladly when they realized that God would punish those who stood in his way. John also stayed the temptation to receive a reward from the king, according to his divine instruction.

Easy story right? That's not the story: that's the BACKGROUND!

So John heads off, when he is met by Jacob (the prophet of the land - also unnamed in the bible, but I need to distinguish.) Now Jacob's kids went to the service where they saw these things. Now number 1: Jacob's kids are idolaters. On the other hand, Jacob wasn't there himself. So we can say that if Jacob is a pious man, he does not control his children. That is the best we can say so far.

Then the story starts it's twists: Jacob finds John, begs John to come home with him, and eat and drink. When John reveals his divine mission, Jacob says: "No ways bro! A total revised schedule has been appointed, yo!" (slight paraphrasing from original Hebrew) So John, unaware he has been lied to, goes with Jacob.

Now a dude claiming he was a prophet LIED to a man who actually WAS a prophet. Oh, I can smell thunder, I can taste the wrath.
"Whats for dinner dad?"
"False prophet, son. Deep fried."

But lo, hark, and riddle me this: Not only does the man of God eat and drink unawares, but God's judgement comes through Jacob! Jacob pronounces that John will not rest with his fathers. Notice that God does not say you will die, since all men die, but God says he will be ashamed in his death.

Now try to picture the situation. You lie to someone clearly holier than yourself, you get them to sin. God uses you to pronounce judgement on them. How are you going to feel? I'd feel pretty darn bad. Imagine it from the other perspective: You have a mandate from God. You trust the word of a fellow 'brother' without checking the scriptures. God uses this false brother to pronounce judgement on you. How do you feel? You can't think that he's lying to you about the judgement, since he reminds you of the mandate (which is what Jacob changed). So you are ashamed and embarrassed. I think both of them felt really quite poor.

So now what happens is: Jacob finishes his meal (that actually made me laugh... the bread over which men die probably tastes all the sweeter) and sends John off on his donkey. Then God sends a lion. Slash. Dead. John's body is cast on the side of the road. As a sign of God's hand in this, both the lion and the donkey sit and wait with the body. Image you are a passer by, what you would think.



So Jacob hears of this, fetches John's body and lays it in his own tomb. Jacob gives his sons instructions to bury him with John when he dies. This is probably to symbolize that they are in the same boat. Jacob mourns for John, probably not wanting to live much longer himself, but at least he trusts the word of God again.

I learned a lot from this story. It really confused me at first. But as you chew it, you realize what is being taught:
  • Liars (sinners) don't always get punished. God may allow them to 'get away with it.' But death comes soon enough for all men.
  • Do not stray from the word of God, not even for those who you trust. I realised my guilt in this regard. How many times have I just gone along with a friend because I thought: He's a good christian, he must have thought about that issue. Don't do it. God doesn't like it.
  • Deception is a treacherous thing. Even if you want to be nice to them, do not deceive them.
  • From him who has been given much (prophecy, visible signs), much will be taken away.

All of this lead to a failure in repentance. While the words of the prophet came true, the message was thrown out along with the messenger. A sad and dark tale indeed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Relativism

Any web designer who has ever worked with the <DIV> tag will tell you:

When it starts getting relative, things get screwed up.

Same with the truth.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I have given enough

"But the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver." [2 Samuel 24:24]


The context: David has sinned, he got to choose a punishment, and now is called to make sacrifice. But look at what he says: "I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing."

Oh Christians, do you hear what this man is saying? This is the kind of man that we ought to be as Christians. He refuses to simply offer that which cost nothing. How many Christians would say that their service to the Lord is their time? I am like that. I am the guys who says: "I don't have much, so I give of my time."

Do you think David was not giving of his time? Was David not taking a few days out of his work schedule for God? Would we really make David out to be unrighteous and ourselves righteous over him? We think that our petty gifts are something to be proud of. We think that taking one out of seven days is 'good enough' for God. Who do we think we are?

We cannot give God enough. We simply cannot. But that does not excuse us from trying! How dare we think that we give enough, work hard enough or sacrifice enough for our God! Be tired in the LORD! Go to bed knowing that you couldn't have done more even if there were fifty hours in a day! It is a horrible struggle now, but just keep focused on the One who saved you!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A scientist I can respect

Thank you, Karl Giberson, for being a true scientist:

"As a fellow scientist (I have a Ph.D. in physics), I share Myers' enthusiasm for fresh eyes, questioning minds and the power of science. And I worry about dogmatism and the kind of zealotry that motivates the faithful to blow themselves up, shoot abortion doctors and persecute homosexuals. But I also worry about narrow exclusiveness that champions the scientific way of knowing to the exclusion of all else. I don't like to see science turned into a club to bash religious believers." [Karl Giberson: "What's wrong with science as religion"]


Here is a man who is prepared to objectively step back and take a look. I don't know his position on creation / evolution, although I suspect he is an evolutionist.

(pssst: creationism requires faith, even if there is evidence).

God bless y'all!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sinners in their own god's hands

I have friends who are not Christians. I feel I need to write down the two things that they say that disturb me the most, because I tend to remember better when things are written down.

1. "I believe in a merciful God."
This one is nice. I also believe in a merciful God. The only problem is, my friends claim to be 'good enough' for heaven. So my first problem is that: why does a person who is good enough require a god to be merciful to them? Your conscience gives you away!

Secondly: Does your God ever require you to change? Does their god agree with their moral standard? Does their god ever condemn any action that they do? Probably not, since they made this god up. That is idolatry and a breach of the second commandment. There has to be an absolute standard of right and wrong. Just because you don't commit murder doesn't make you a good person. That makes you acceptable to society. Is society God? Who art thou, oh man?!?

2. "All (or many) religions have the ten commandments."
I always got tripped up on that one (to spite it's horrible incorrectness-ness). It takes a really sober (my friends? I love them, but lets be serious) person to listen to the one argument against that: Christianity is the only religion that uses the ten commandments to condemn, rather than to save. It takes the righteousness of Christ, not the works of the law, to save someone from sin. The law only reveals sin.

But if someone says this to you, I recommend pumping the law even more. The bible says:

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving[literally 'converting' or 'turning back'] the soul" [Pslam 19:7(a)]


So what do we do when someone says that? We say, very well, then, may we see if you are a good person according to that standard then? If so many religions have it, they must be on to something. We have to speak with authority, firstly, because Jesus commanded us to do so with His authority. Secondly, because when they fear God's wrath enough because of the weight of their sin, a humble soul will seek God's grace and mercy, of which we are able to tell. The issue of many religions having the ten commandments (at this point of evangelism) only solidfies their validity. Christianity is the only one that solves the dire position of man in the hands of a holy God.

Let me say this: No matter who you are, where you are, give them law law law. If they are professed atheists, liberal 'Christians' (willing to speak to you) - anyone you don't know well enough. The law of the Lord will reveal the content of their heart. Basic gospel. I love it. God's yoke is LIGHT!

Movies: Again

A few weeks ago, I told you about Ray Comfort's 'Hollywood and God' website. Well, I have taken to the challenge of telling people how I feel about their movies. Here are the two e-mails I have sent to Warner Brothers:
About "Get Smart:"

Dear Mr Ewing,

It is with sadness that I inform you that I keep an eye open for your movies, in order that I may avoid them. It is not the quality of the movie or the standard of comedy with which I have an issue but rather the blatant blasphemy of my God that I protest to. I cannot and would not ask you to stop, but I would urge you to consider whose name is taken in vain. If the God you insult is infinite and holy, which He is, then there will be serious ramifications for those who execute such unrighteous behaviour. I will pray for you, but I will not watch your movies while they contain such behaviour.

God bless you,
Quintin [Date: 26 June 2008]



About "Batman: The Dark Knight:"

To whom it may concern,

I really wanted to go see the new movie entitled "Batman: The Dark Knight." I really love comic book movies, but when they openly mock my God (Jesus), my love for Him takes precedence over watching a film. I am not telling you to stop making such films, I am asking you to consider your soul, and the souls that watch your movie. If you are going to blaspheme anyone, why can't it be someone worth blaspheming, like Hitler?

I will pray for your industry,
Quintin [Date: 25 July 2008]


I have yet to receive a response, but I hope that other Christians will stand up and use this as an opportunity to do something in the right way. I'm not picketing, finger pointing or screaming. I am simply telling them they will fail as long as I am informed about what is in these movies.

I actually made plans with a friend to see the new batman movie, and he is a non-Christian (my friend, not batman - but I doubt batman's salvation). But thankfully I caught him before he had booked the tickets and we will not be seeing it. God is good!

Eschatology, Evangelism and Heretics

What do you believe about the end times? I think it's really important to know what and why you believe something. I am still struggling with my eschatology, I certainly cannot subscribe myself to a pre-millennial rapture deal at the moment. But I continue to study and think - and at least I will be responsible for my end-times view.

My church is partial preterist. They believe that most of revelation has occured, up to Chapter 20, and the rest is still to happen. One thing I have to say about their view, it has some nice side-effects. Evangelism is one of those side effects. They believe the gospel will conquer.

I was talking to someone the other day and I was asked "Wait, they believe that things are getting better, how is that so?" And well, that was a very near sighted question. Firstly, consider perhaps that modern Christianity's light is so dim, that God has purposely made it dark so that at least some light will shine. Secondly, it's quite a man-centered perspective. Just because it's not where man wants to be doesn't mean it's not where God wants us to be.

At least I'm not sitting on my butt waiting for a rapture I can't time anyway. At least there are some people (pre-mills and prets alike) who are willing to go out and shine some light. If there is one thing I can't stand lately, it's a Christian that does not tell of the hope that is in them. I'm not saying anything about the person who spoke to me, I don't know everything they do. This is an issue for the heart of a Christian, I am just trying to draw it out. If you really believe people are going to hell,

HOW DARE YOU JUST SIT THERE?

Monday, July 21, 2008

The love of God

A personal favourite hymn of mine is "The love of God:"

"Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky." [Read the rest]

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ray Comfort said it right

"All forms of the evolution are a non issue when compared to your eternal salvation. So set it aside for a moment and think about where you will spend eternity. Think about this precious gift of life. Think about your mortality. Think about your sins, and then think about what God did on the cross to save you from their eternal consequences." [Ray Comfort]

Monday, July 14, 2008

Go to hell? Over my dead body!

Should I feel guilty for not evangelizing?

Absolutely! How dare we, as people, call ourselves Christians and not evangelists. How dare we, say that we believe people will go to hell, yet do nothing about it.

"Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that." [Charles Spurgeon]



James has this to say about faith and works:

"14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." [James 2:14-17]



If you believe something, you have to act on it. There is no other way. If sinners are to go to hell, I cannot imagine just sitting there not warning them. Why does God not magically suck us into heaven upon salvation? Because we are left as His ambassedors:

"...19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."[2 Corinthians 5:19-21]


We are not primarily here to have families and good jobs. We are here as representatives of Christ. We are not loving God by refusing to evangelise! If we love Him, we would obey! Those who do not evangelize are not Christian. Obedience is so vital to Christendom, it is how we worship God.

But how do we evangelize? You begin by throwing the world away. Stop reading rubbish books, wasting your time watching television, and put all your heart and soul into the gospel. What is the gospel: Sinners need a saviour. Now there is nothing wrong with reading some fiction, having a family, or watching some television. The issue is if it is getting in the way of ministry. We must entertain ourselves with things that are beneficial.

Now let me get to those who say "I evangelise through my actions." Firstly, you are a hypocrite! You are not perfect, and to say that all you need is action, is false. How dare you assume people will grab hold of Christ by watching you! If people saw me, they might say: "He's a nice guy," but without using WORDS I am denying them the very thing that God has gifted to me!

Your actions are in no way a substitute for the gospel. Your actions will never be good enough, to think so is wrongful pride. Plus the biggest argument against Christianity is the actions of Christians. The bible does not agree with St. Francis, and Francis himself will not intercede for you on the day of Judgement. We need to give people the law! Why?

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul" [Pslam 19:7(a)]



Not your actions! To think that your actions could convert someone is blasphemy of the highest order! How dare you!

"Some of my brethren do not care to preach eternal wrath and its terrors. This is a cruel mercy, for they ruin souls by hiding from them their ruin. If they must needs try to sew without a needle, I cannot help it; but I do not mean to be so foolish myself; my needle may be old-fashioned, but it is sharp, and when it carries with it the silken thread of the gospel, I am sure good work is done by it." [Charles Spurgeon]


If you wish to disagree with Spurgeon, go ahead. But to think that just by 'acting' Christian is a witness, think on this:

"For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin." [Romans 3:20]


Not you, nor those who see. You acting right alone is not evangelical service. God commands people to repent, not to watch.

"...by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil." [Proverbs 16:6(b)]



How are people to realize their sin apart from the law? How are they to know if they have not heard? How are they to hear if people are not sent? I am alluding to Romans, but read this:

" Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin." [Romans 7:7]


If you don't know sin, you do not know salvation! How can you know the saviour if you are not saved?

Now, I realise I have Arminian friends who read this blog, and please note that although I believe God is sovereign in salvation (that salvation is His work alone), but also that God uses means to save. He uses the words and actions of those who love and trust Him truly. He will use a very bent stick to strike a very straight blow. I sleep better knowing that even though I may say something incorrect, God is big enough to use my mistake, and I will be corrected, since I am a Christian, I like correction. I evangelise with the faith that God could use a sinner like me.

" 13For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."[Romans 10:13-17]



HEARING!!! Any man who claims that it is God's job to inform or warn others is seriously in error. There is nothing but banishment for those who won't work for their King:

"14 "For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' 21 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' 23 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' 26 But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'" [Matthew 25:14-30]



Calvinist, Arminian, put away your swords for a minute! While some internal battles must be fought, we have lost sight of the goal. We are cursed in our blessings because we have 'free time' to argue amongst ourselves. Turn your swords on the enemy! I have an Arminian friend whom I see every day and is nothing but a blessing to speak to. While we have our differences, he is a great example of patience to me because I understand that I can be quite tiresome sometimes. God uses our different interpretations to test each other and so we grow in to understanding with each other, rather than dividing. I would say that Duncan and I share the same view of the sovereignty of God. Does that make me Arminian or him Calvinist? No! Labels can be useful, but taken too far, we lose our purpose.

If you are a Christian and you think I am being harsh, you are absolutely right. Only Pharisees would not tell of how glorious God is! Only they for whom the deepest corners of hell are reserved would not reveal the light passed down! Jesus was hard on those that thought themselves religious, and I feel that He was quite right. You sit in Church for yourself, and because you refuse to tell others - you are self-righteous, and there is no mercy for you. How dare we not obey the command of the great 'I am.' How dare we not trust Him to use us for His glory!

The greatest shame, Christian, is to have an evangelist come to you and try give you the gospel. Make sure that you are never in a place or doing something where someone would actually mistake you for an unbeliever. Consider this in all your dealings and outings. In everything you say and do. Always be looking over your shoulder, because I will be coming around.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A strange passage

This passage has always confused me:

31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' 40And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' 45Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' [Matthew 25:31-45]



The verse is discussing the final judgement, where each one will give an account of his actions. It is so amazing that God is so concerned with the works of an individual. For even though we are not saved by our works, our works are a mandatory fruit of our salvation by grace through faith.

People always use the chair example of faith: Faith is the belief that a chair will hold you. But if you read James, you will realize that faith that does not actually sit on the chair is not saving faith. It is an amazing correlation between faith and works.

And James ties into the above verses very well. Why would God tell us that true believers wouldn't even realize they are doing good? How confusing! True believers' are not even aware of their kind actions towards one another! They must be driven by some other drive than the work itself! They do not work for the reward, otherwise they would say 'I must do my good deed for the day!'

But what benefit are these verses? They are not instructive, since we can only know what side of the fence we fall after the judgement. Rather, these verses form a rather dark mirror: they can only make us shake at the presence of the Lord. They are to get us to fear Him who can cast your soul into hell (Jesus' words, not mine). The reason is that only the true convert does not count his good deeds. Only the real Christian does good things without seeking reward (in heaven or earth), but simply because it is his nature.

That is a scary thought. I fail all the time in this area. I pray for mercy, and I pray that my left hand does not know what the right is doing, and that it is good.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

To my shame

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. [James 1:5]


Do we really believe that? I thought I did. I really thought that when push came to shove I could rely on God for anything. But the problem was not that I did not recieve, but that my faith was so small it did not allow me to expect God to come through for me.

What happened was, I was struglling with a robotics problem. This problem prevented me from even starting my masters programming. Without a solution, I was becoming desperate. Eventually on Thursday night I dropped to my knees and cried out, telling God that I can't do it on my own, that I needed help.

This was a good thing. It was the right first half to application of James 1:5. But I had too soon forgotten the prayer by the time I went in to university the next day. You'll never guess what happened.

I got through the problem!! Not only did I solve it, I smashed it! I got it so right and so simply that I am sure it will help others. It is the kind of thing that needs to be explained before it can be understood.

My joy was made great by realizing how kind God is to answer prayer to those who lack in faith. I asked, but the question is: Did I believe? I feel I should have put my actions where my prayer was. I prayed for change, but did nothing about it. Sometimes we can get so lost in God's sovereignty that we forget that God has also made us responsible.

If you want you can read my solution [HERE]. While there were people that responded to the problem, they did not give me the neat solution that so seemingly just came to me. I cannot help but praise God and feel ashamed, but I suppose that His strength is made perfect in our weakness! Praise Him, for He is worthy!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hancock

"What could have been a perfectly enjoyable blend of comedy and action blows up in our faces trying to be a heavier, larger-than-life romance with historical, spiritual and sci-fi implications.

Basic logic is jettisoned as well. As a superhero, Hancock has bullets bounce off him. But at key points, they pierce him. Then they bounce off him again. Sure, it's a fantasy, but the internal logic should have some consistency if we're going to get caught up in what happens." [USA Today]


I am very dissappointed to hear about Will Smith's latest movie: Hancock. It is about a superhero lost in despair, a tragic story with a definite air to it that reminds us of Spider-Man. Now Will Smith is a professed Christian, which is amazing considering it never dawned on me to think so. The question that one really should ask: "If I can't tell you're a Christian, have you done your job as a servant to God?"

Now, how did I find out he was a Christian? A friend played me a song called "Miss Holy Roller." The song is disappointing considering that Christians ought to correct each other out of love and compassion rather than a Pharisee-type finger pointing.1

But look at these lyrics in the light of his new movie:

"Come on, if I die right this second, I reckon that God would simply check
into my life & times, dissecting my rhymes, he'll see how I've been leading his troops
You can't do dirt your whole life then say "oops'!" [Will Smith]


Will is right - God is going to check your life and times. But included in that is Hancock, which, speaks for itself:

"Unfortunately, there is also a lot of negative content in this film, the strongest being the language, which mostly comes from Hancock. He calls everyone extremely crude names, insults and mocks people, makes a sexual advance on a married woman (he is strongly rebuffed), and often reacts violently when he is called a specific word (...), one that is thrown around by nearly everyone, including small children. He also uses the f-word once, and the s-word and God's name numerous times."


Now, swearing is something I stay away from, I believe there is enough biblical evidence to suggest that if you can't shout it in Church then you shouldn't say it. But blasphemy? Why Will, why? I can understand that acting a part requires a certain level of commitment, but at the cost of sin? Sin which caused Christ to die? Have you no shame? Not to mention that this movie now encourages others to follow suite? Is there a part in this movie where Hancock repents of his sin towards the Holy God from whom he claims salvation? Is is right or fair that Will can judge Michelle (Miss Holy Roller) so harshly and then blatantly commit sin on the silver screen. Is there an excuse for that?

"I always strive to be righteous, my version of God
The reason why I never write verses with curses inside
The reason I never purposely hurt persons,
I've applied many teaching of God,
Searching the reaches of God" [Will Smith]


What happened Will? Where did these principles go? People in the limelight need to be specifically careful of the behaviour that is idolised in the movies. I am no saint by far. I have committed sin for which I cannot expect salvation, but God is kind to forgive. Will, if you ever read this humble blog, please know that it is not a judgement I give, but rather a correction. We must strive for God's glory. But you make yourself a 'Holy Roller' by making such songs and movies. Sin is never a joke or something that should be downplayed.

In this regard I feel a comment needs to be made: Iron Man, I feel is a 'good' movie? It has blasphemy, although I missed it when I watched it, but let's look at this critically:
  1. I can't expect non-Christians to act in a Christian like manner. (In the same vein non-Christians can't expect me to pay for a movie when they insult my God2)
  2. Notice that Tony Stark is a fornicator in the beginning, taking advantage whenever he can. After his experience he is at least morally improved. This creates a suggestion that good men do not behave in this manner. GREAT! He even stops lying! He still has some pride issues, but to be frank no one is perfect.


1 Is this post in line with Pharisee-style finger pointing? Leave a comment if you think so! I am interested in the reasons behind it. The first one I would point to is Matthew 18 - biblical correction. Well, I tried to find an e-mail address for Mr Smith and you can imagine that it is quite difficult. Also, I am not condemning Mr Smith, I am reviewing his actions in accordance with his words. I am using him as an example, much in the same manner I treated Ken Miller in previous posts. It is not my intent to do damage to these people, but to look at their actions, since they are performed publicly, in a public forum.

2 I did pay to see Iron Man

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Christians and movies

Christian, are you sick and tired of paying to see (and then walking out of) movies that blaspheme the awesome and holy name of the God who so graciously saved you from the worst fate you could imagine? I mean, we wouldn't go watch a movie that specifically insulted our close friends and family, so why would we go watch a movie that blatantly insults the most powerful and fantastic being in the universe, right? RIGHT?

Now, I must admit lately I have drawn my own lines when it comes to movies. I didn't walk out at verbal abuse (although I used to), and made my line a little more fuzzy, so that I do not walk out of every movie. But God gave me grace in that I have probably only seen 3 or 4 movies since I made my line more fuzzy. I agree that we should flee from sin, and I admit to a personal failing in this area. But now my faith has been bolstered by good men who wish to eliminate the plague in a Christian-like manner!

Ray Comfort has on his new site, an explanation of the use of blasphemy, as well as an indicator bar of the blasphemies contained in the movies. Personally, this is great, because we can check out a movie before we watch it. Click here:
Hollywood and God

What is so great is Christians can now send the producers a friendly e-mail, saying exactly how they feel about the use of God and Christ's name being applied in a misappropriate manner. If we join together as Christians, we can have a positive influence.

Just a note to non-Christians, if you read this: We do not stop you from saying those things, but out of love we rather protect you from the wrath of God by not exposing you to sin. We (as Christians) believe it to be a sin to blaspheme God, and unrepentant sinners go to hell. You have to appreciate the fact that we are trying to help. But we are not using politics or force to do so.

I LOVE IT!!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Where do I start with the Bible?

One of the most important books you can ever read is the bible, and we need to make sure that God is glorified in the reading of this great book. Now, if you are a new Christian, I would not recommend a cover to cover first reading. You can do that a little later, but there are some handy tips that I could have used when I started.

Firstly, the bible wasn't written to you. It was written for you. That means when God says "I have a plan for you to prosper" in Jeremiah, He isn't talking to you. You must be aware of the grammatical historical context of what you are reading, and most bibles do help out with that. They have a small paragraph at the beginning describing the context of the book. Remember you must learn that so you can read it right. You cannot take a verse to mean what the original receivers would not have seen in the text.

With that out of the way, I would suggest you start with the gospels. Why? They tell of the hero of the story: Jesus Christ. All creation was made that He may be glorified. The old testament is about a 3000 year wait for the hero. So we start at the centre and work our way out.

But which gospel? That depends on who you are. They are historical biographies of Christ. You must understand that each gospel has a point, a meaning, that it is trying to get across. So depending on your situation, I would recommend a different gospel. Also, since the gospels have a point, that explains why they are not in linear order. Biographies were written like that in the days gone by.

So which gospel is for you? Lets go through them:
  1. Matthew:
    Written to the Jews to say that Christ is the King. The genealogies point to King David, of whom it was predicted that Christ would be an heir. [LINK] Read this book thinking "Christ is royalty" and you'll be pleasantly surprised. I would recommend this book to Jews who are seeking the Messiah. It is a lovely book to read with the old testament in mind.
  2. Mark:
    Written to the Romans, showing that Christ was the perfect servant. [LINK] The submission of Christ to the needs of others is a good concept to have when reading this book. It must be contrasted with John's gospel, but is an excellent starting place to see Christ's love and compassion for others. I would recommend it to those who professed Christianity but have recently turned to do it properly. It is also good for those who struggle with humility. I know I'm really humble, more humble than anyone I know...
  3. Luke:
    Written to the Greeks to show that Christ is the perfect man. It emphasises Christ's perfection and sinlessness, revealing Him to be the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. [LINK] Since it is written to Gentiles, this is the most common starting point. If you are from western society, I recommend you start here, especially if you don't know where to start.
  4. John:
    John. Wow. This book was written to the world (everyone) to reveal that Jesus is God. [LINK] If you are agnostic or aware of some 'god,' then John's gospel is for you. It reveals Jesus as the only true God, and starts right at the beginning, before there was a beginning. I would recommend it to people who believe in a god, but are not sure about Christ, also to those who love Christ, and want a lot of good theology. It reveals God's sovereignty, power and majesty.

But the best advice I can give: ask God for understanding. I read this book for years and thought I had it down. I didn't. Ask God to change your heart, give you eyes to see and ears to hear. God will hear the prayer of a humbled person. Do not read this book because you can't fall asleep, read it and be interested.

I had to laugh

I am currently going crazy learning about robotics in an attempt to finish off my masters degree. I have even started a [new blog] to store all the information I get.

But in my research I came across this pearler:

"Consciousness is part of the natural world. It depends, ... , only on mathematics and logic and on the imperfectly known laws of physics, chemistry, and biology; it does not arise from some magical or otherworldly quality. That's good news, because it means there's no reason why consciousness can't be reproduced in a machine..." [Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi]

And I wonder, on whose authority do they speak? In reality they actually have no authority, since they have not actually produced conciousness.

There is no 'good news' here. All they did was take their naturalistic world view and apply it to the field of cognitive robotics. Now I do not need to be an expert in conciousness to see that they are wrong until proven right.

As I noted the other day - conciousness (or self-awareness) in computers actually gets us nowhere in intelligence. Self awareness is the pinnacle of autonomy, but it doesn't make it clever or even able to learn.

But read through the quote, and this time I'll highlight what I left out:

"Consciousness is part of the natural world. It depends, we believe, only on mathematics and logic and on the imperfectly known laws of physics, chemistry, and biology; it does not arise from some magical or otherworldly quality. That's good news, because it means there's no reason why consciousness can't be reproduced in a machine—in theory, anyway." (Emphasis mine) [Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi]



Really? You don't say! Academically, this is their 'way out' of being wrong. They'll call it a theory and continue in business as usual. So often, people (Christians and non) will read the above statement and their brain 'leaves out' the emphasized text. One party will say it is a correct statement, the other will disagree. Then we start fighting and there really is no point. Sounds a lot like another debate...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back to the gospel

What is the gospel?

Christians really need to ask themselves that question. What is the gospel? I mean it in every form that the question may be understood:
  • How do I say the gospel in words?
  • What does the gospel mean?
  • What is special about the gospel?
etc.

Well, what is it? It is the good news right? The news that Christ came to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.

The purpose of this post is to address a common problem in Christianity: St. Fancis really didn't have our postmodern age in mind when he said

"Preach the Gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words." [Source]



Firstly, this is not scripture. Nor is it included in scripture. Now I'm not refuting good works, but they don't save, nor do they actually show salvation [CHECK ME OUT].

The gospel is the good news, which includes the bad news. People need it. Christians need it. Remember the gospel is the "power of God unto salvation". I would encourage everyone to take the command to make disciples seriously. It is not an optional extra to salvation, it is salvation.

Jesus came down and gave us an example and He spoke. So should we. God gave us creation and a spoken (and now written) word. If we use these tools then others have a right to them.

"Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that." - [C.H. Spurgeon]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Now that my head is firmly planted in the sand

I recently have been debating NP on evolution. Or rather - Christian evolution. Which is weird because I doubt he's a Christian.

But at the end of the day, the question is: why trust God when He's so vague? Well, I believe that God is not vague, He is easily understood and He is trustworthy. Now NP is a very smart fellow, but one thing he said needs to be discussed:

"[Ken Miller's] God doesn't dwell in the gaps in our knowledge of how the world works" [HERE]



Is that what God is? The explanation of gaps of knowledge? I thought that for a long time. Now, just because I do not understand something has no bearing on it's truth or the fact that it is the truth. Whether I accept something as truth matters nothing in eternity and even less when it comes to what is actually true. What I'm trying to get at here - if I misunderstand gravity, gravity will still operate in the same manner it always has. My 'interpretation' of gravity makes no difference to gravity itself.

So if I make a mistake when I come up with an incorrect conclusion and I say "Well, God must have done it," I belittle God. The same as when the ancients looked at waves and said, "Zeus is angry today," they belittle God. My understanding of God is reduced to plug the holes in my misunderstanding of science.

But the fact is, I do misunderstand. I have to able to say that I am wrong in order to grow:

"If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise" [1 Corinthians 3:18]



So when I see things like (old) distant starlight and old earth theories I just turn around and say "heck no, the bible is against it?" No I don't. I look into the theories and I see what they say and I can see that they are wrong. I can also look at things that prove the bible right. But the logic is simple: refute first, then look at other options. That is logical, why look at other options when you are not sure something is wrong?

Is my head in the sand? No it's not. At the moment I trust God more than I trust man, so I believe that God has got the answers and those answers wait for me first in the bible and then in nature. I can look at nature and be amazed at God's creation, whether I interpret it correctly or not, as long as I'm not dictating to the God who made it. Lord willing I will learn humility in science.

The fact is - I look at God first and then to science. I don't tell science what it should be, God did that. I certainly cannot use science as a tool for disproving God, since God is truth. Any truth reveals His nature. I certainly do not use God as a shield for 'protecting' me against science. He made science! Science reveals His power and glory!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ken Miller... again

A link through a recent commenter revealed this little tidbit from Ken Miller(on intelligent design):

"...let’s suppose, you think the moon is made of granite and I think it’s made of green cheese. And we get soil samples back from the moon, and you know what? They’re not made of granite. So I say, great, that’s evidence for the green cheese theory. Well, it’s not. It’s an entirely negative argument." [SOURCE]



Now, realizing that he's using a stupid example, I would disagree with him. If there were only two options, green cheese(a designer) and granite(no designer) and we see that granite is not an option, then we have a proof for green cheese by the law of non-contradiction.

Ken has the wrong picture here. You see, we can't prove it either way. We (as in everybody) do not have the 'lunar samples.' There is a faith aspect involved, duh, it's the whole point.

Besides, I have plenty of evidence for a designer: the universe and the rules that are followed (gravity, acceleration etc). But others interpret that evidence differently and rightly so, they have a different worldview. Their worldview is either devoid of God or denying His power. But don't tell me I have no evidence, because all you do reveal your ignorance.

I hope that I'm done with Ken Miller, I do not want to bash him. He is a doctor, a position I hope to attain to someday (hopefully soon), although thankfully not in biology. I do not think he is stupid, just perhaps misguided in religion, which is fine, since theology is not his forté anyway. I don't have a problem with him being an evolutionist, my problem comes in where he tries to call himself a Christian, which so far, I have not seen. A love for Christ does not seem to emanate from his writing.

But lets end off on a good note: The sun rises, the birds sing and the world works. Praise the Lord!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ken Miller's Bible

In my debates, I have come across Dr Ken Miller's writings. It seriously disturbs me the depths to which he'll sink for evolution.

"Putting it bluntly, the creationists have sought God in darkness. What we have not found and do not yet understand becomes their best - indeed their only - evidence for the divine. As a Christian, I find the flow of this logic particularly depressing. Not only does it teach us to fear the acquisition of knowledge (which might at any time disprove belief), but it suggests that God dwells only in the shadows of our understanding. I suggest that, if God is real, we should be able to find him somewhere else - in the bright light of human knowledge, spiritual and scientific." [Dr Miller in an article based on "Finding Darwin's God"]



Sought God in darkness? Does anyone hear what he's saying about the bible? Where do you find out about Christ? In darkness? He denies the bible flat out. You may want to defend Dr Miller at this point saying, "He's not calling the bible darkness, just the reasoning (or science) of the creationists." Fine, but where do the reasons for creationist scientific arguments come from? You cannot say that creationists are not being biblical, the question that is being asked is: "Is the bible reliable?" Did anyone hear the snake in the garden?

Fear the acquisition of knowledge? I'm not afraid of learning. I was told by Jesus to "fear Him who can cast into hell" [Jesus in Luke] You see, Dr Miller thinks that by diminishing belief he makes a better Christian, I say, with Jesus, no. "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."[Jesus in John] I am not promoting a blind faith, but faith and Christianity cannot be divorced in any manner. Faith is a requirement.

If we are to find God in "in the bright light of human knowledge" he clearly missed the bible completely. Does "do not lean your own understanding" ring a bell? How about "the way of a fool is right in his own eyes"? As for me, I will serve the Lord. I will not look for Him "somewhere else."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Evolving Arguments: Expelled the movie again

In my first post about the movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," I looked at the beginning of the Ad Hominems surrounding this movie.

Now plagiarism is disgusting, and anyone who commits such an act, evolutionist or creationist, ought to be expelled for breaking moral and academic rules. By I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Harvard Scientific Animation company, XVIVO made a cell animation video and have accused Expelled producers for copyright infringements. The original can be seen here [XVIVO video]

Now I wonder how much you can copyright cell descriptions. Now we have only seen one side of the story. At P.Z. Meyers' blog, he compares two screenshots P.Z. Meyers. He makes an interesting statement:

"Another curious coincidence: you've heard of the concept of plagiarized errors, the idea that the real tell-tale of a copy is when it's the mistakes that are duplicated, in addition to the accuracies." [P.Z. Meyers]


I agree. But there still exists the possibility that both made the same error, having the same source. But lets be closed minded.

As I mentioned in another argument:

"Are you proving evolution by proving this movie to be fallible? There is a fundamental fallacy here." [SOURCE]


The movie itself is not the argument. Just because an evolutionist plagiarizes doesn't mean evolution is bad.

Thank goodness there are still some people who aren't lowering themselves like P.Z. Meyers and the rest of these evangelical evolutionists:

"Is it really that unexpected that someone would show kinesin as making a stately march down the microtubule?

I don't doubt that they did their best to copy the harvard videos, but that bit about kinesin makely a stately march is hardly a smoking gun." [SOURCE]
...
"I should amend that: I do have some nagging doubts, it is afterall(sic) entirely possible based on the little information presented that they did in fact produce this video from scratch. If I were producing these videos, based on my knowledge of cell biology, I would have done something very similar. We really need more examples to determine whether this is really an attempt at exact copying of the Harvard material." [SOURCE]



More can be found at WorldNetDaily: [ARTICLE]

Chuck Norris

Guess what people? He's a creationist!

What's more important is that he is a Christian. What is great is he is not afraid to teach Christ crucified. He takes the bible and the great commission seriously. It is awesome to see that God puts some in those very visible places that are His own:

"...here's what I really think about the theory of evolution: It's not real. It is not the way we got here. In fact, the life you see on this planet is really just a list of creatures God has allowed to live. We are not creations of random chance. We are not accidents. There is a God, a Creator, who made you and me. We were made in His image, which separates us from all other creatures." [Chuck Norris]



Please note I do realize that Chuck is not a scientist - that doesn't mean his beliefs are any less valid than yours or mine. I know that he probably doesn't study genetics or geology. What I am speaking about is the fact that he is a Christian who trusts in God, who is willing to stand up and be counted. Praise the Lord!