November 20th, 2013
Several years ago I was taking a [required] course that teaches creationism. I have a few comments about the course I’ll keep to myself [as in it shouldn't be in the university] but I think most readers know where I stand on university and academia issues and standards. I was asked the question, “Is it surprising that scientific evidence supports a young earth perspective?”
My response is simply that this is a loaded question. I don’t think I can say there’s no evidence for a young earth; however, I find the record of nature to support the proposition that the universe is old (billions of years) by overwhelming evidence. There is hardly any evidence for a young earth, if indeed there is any at all.
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November 19th, 2013
Most of us are quite familiar with the seven deadly sins: Pride, Greed, Wrath, Luxury/Lust, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth. However, these are much more profound then they seem to be at face value and they go much, much deeper, penetrating the depths of our soul to bring about a conviction and guidance needed during some of the darkest times of our lives. This brings us to John of the Cross…
John of the Cross (1542-1591) was committed to Catholic reform and was imprisoned, or put in confinement, by those who opposed the reform. During this time he wrote his most famous work, The Dark Night of the Soul. The concept of the dark night is key to one’s spiritual journey. It’s not when one is experiencing joy and light but rather sorrow and darkness.
When enduring through the dark night there is a loss of pleasure. After you first become a Christian, God cares for and comforts the infant soul. You will pray with urgency and perseverance and engage in all kinds of spiritual activity. What’s important to know is that this whole gauntlet is an act of God. God will bid you to grow deeper and remove precious consolation from the soul in order to teach it virtue rather than developing vice.
The following is a list of [seven] sins that makes clear the soul has begun to misuse its spiritual consolation and why God must take it away in order to purify the soul from imperfections.
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November 18th, 2013
Alas, the plaguing problem of the lightbulb… After a complete survey of several churches and denominations this is what the results yield*:
Charismatic: Only one because their hands are already in the air.
- Pentecostal: Ten—one to change the bulb and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.
- Presbyterian: None—the light will go on and off at predestined times.
- Roman Catholics: None—candles only.
- Baptists: At least 15—one to change the light bulb and three committees to approve the changes and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken.
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October 28th, 2013
Why I am a Christian: I was raise by Atheist parents, I had in my youth learned most of the atheist arguments against God and used them to please my mother and convince myself I was right. In my teens I had followed the path of Atheism and remained antagonistic to Christians and Christianity. Where I was raised were many Mennonites, these farming community kids had nothing to say against my ideas and had even less interest in being in my company while I lived as drug dealer in my High School.
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October 21st, 2013
The disciples were not expecting the Christ and Messiah to be a spiritual Messiah, rather, they expected the Messiah to be a political Messiah redeeming indentured Israel from Roman captivity and rule. According to church tradition, eleven of the twelve disciples (later apostles) died for their belief in the resurrection of Jesus. What can account for such belief and fortitude? It would be unlikely that the disciples contrived the resurrection as a means of social, spiritual, or a political influence. All eleven died independently from each other and never retracted their belief. There are martyrs today but there would be no reasonable explanation for why the disciples would die for something they knew to be false and never retracted it, independent of each other’s influence, before their deaths. Paul accounted for the disciples’ belief in the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15.9-11 and Galatians 2.1-10
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September 8th, 2013
America prides itself for ultimate equality in opportunity. The Atlantic’s recent article “RIP, American Dream? Why It’s so Hard for the Poor to Get Ahead Today” has drawn the attention back to the ripe Americana philosophy of setting and achieving goals. When we often read sociological reports and statistics on family incomes, university graduation, etc. we have the tendency treat the American Dream as the par of success.
Every American has the same possibility to set their personal goals and accomplish them. That doesn’t guarantee that it will be as easy for all but it does guarantee the opportunity should the hard work and determination arise in the individual.
There’s no blaming the system for our personal short falls in America. There’s no oppression of competency. However, American Christians may often find themselves in a conflated competition. The athlete does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. Which race are we running? —The race for the American dream or the race for the Kingdom of God?
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September 3rd, 2013
Far too often I find Christians dismissing something because it’s “philosophy” and not from the Bible, a creed, a confession, etc. In my experience, many people tend to accuse Molinism as philosophy. To follow this brief tangent, middle knowledge and Molinism isn’t a philosophical grid being laid over Scripture; rather, it’s a derivation of a commitment to certain principles already obtained from Scripture. (See The Molinism Directory for more on that issue.) Well, it just happens to be the case that I saw a tweet yesterday making this same claim about Molinism being philosophy. (This particular tweet simply categorizes Molinism as philosophy but it’s still dismissed in the long chain of preceding and succeeding tweets.)
If we are pursuing truth then there are many means to discovering what the truth is [about God, reality, etc.]. It’s incredibly naïve to dismiss something because it is not in a preferred category. If we are pursing truth then it would be a category error to dismiss Molinism simply because it’s philosophy (according to the person making the claim). Feel free to disagree with Molinism but do so on a consistent basis and refute it via Scriptural witness, theological reflection/considerations, logical and metaphysical consistency, etc.
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August 15th, 2013
A friend of mine recently sent me the link to Jeffrey Jay Lowder’s Patheos blog “The Secular Outpost.” I’ve seen the blog a couple times in the past but I’m not familiar with it. I must say, it’s very nice to see a kind review. It was constructive and he demonstrated interaction with my material. That’s so refreshing! I’ve read other reviews from blogs and Mr. Lowder’s stands much higher than, say, John Loftus’ review. Loftus recognized that I was intelligent and that I was a strong opponent in BS. It’s okay if you chuckled there. It’s not offensive when you read where he’s coming from. No hard feelings, it’s just that Mr. Lowder’s is much more substantive.
Anyways, I don’t have much to comment on concerning Lowder’s review. Not many people use abductive arguments and so he found the need to reformulate my arguments [in a manner that he saw worked best, which was nice]. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case but I’ll provide a link to my use and formulation of the arguments. The other thing is that I didn’t defend some premises with much backing from the get-go. That’s a time issue. I wish I could’ve provided more but for my opening I was limited.
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