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!