• John Chiarello

Apologetics

ATHEISM- APOLOGETICS [links added- long version]

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/history-of-everything-1/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/history-of-everything-2/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/qm/

MY RADIO LINKS-

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-7R  Kant, Hume, Sartre

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-6E Apologetics- Kant, Hume

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-62  Apologetics

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-6F  DaVinci code

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-7Q  Something from nothing- Quantum Leap

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-7O  Multiverse

MY VIDEOS

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/10-18-15-nietzsches-twilight-of-the-idols.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/10-28-15-jean-paul-sartre.zip

On today’s video- I attempted the impossible- to tell the story of ‘everything’ in 1 hour.

Ok I bit off more than I could chew.

It took 2 hours [the next video ‘history of the world- part 2’ will finish it].

But- to sum up today’s video.

Is the biblical account of creation accurate?

We read that God made everything- by speaking.

Is this even possible- or some silly fable?

Over the history of time we read the story of the Jewish people- their trials and failures.

That’s the majority of the history of the Old Testament.

They believed the story in Genesis- while others questioned whether or not all things actually had a beginning point.

In time- we see the rise of the Greek philosophers- during what we call the intertestamental period [the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew].

These thinkers were looking for the answer to these questions- and the Greek word they used to describe this answer- was LOGOS- which is the Geek word- for WORD.

Then we had the appearing of Christ in the 1st century- and the apostle John calls him the LOGOS.

Hmm?

That’s the same word that the Greeks were looking for- John says ‘we have found him’.

Remember- this is Jesus Christ- the living Word.

Ok- over time we had the great movements of history- the Renaissance- the Reformation- the Enlightenment- the scientific revolution- the industrial revolution.

Most scientists believed that all creation was eternal- so- for them- the answer to ‘everything’ was- it was always there.

In the 20th century we had the great breakthroughs of Einstein- and we call one of them the Big Bang theory- meaning- all things did not always exist.

They had a beginning point- which we call the point of singularity.

Ahh- now we are back to ‘where did it all come from- if at the start- there was nothing’.

Yes- ‘In the beginning God spoke’.

 So- at the end of the story- of everything- we find the answer at the beginning.

In the beginning God spoke-Yes- the early followers of Jesus called him by this name- THE WORD.

 And science and logic show us that all events need a cause [even the 'event’ of creation].

So- this history of the world- recorded in the scripture- was true all along!

Surprised?

1946 JEWS TEACHING SCIENCE- WHAT IS THIS?

I want to try and cover a little bit more on Einstein.

But just a few quick notes.

The last few days- as I have watched some of the post election coverage- I find it funny how the ‘4th estate’ has tried to rise above their own ignorance.

This past year- as I have both read- viewed- listened to many media sources- all sides of the various debates that go on in the country.

There was a conscious decision made- by some on the left- to ‘suppress the vote’.

What?

I thought it was the Repubs that were trying to do this?

Yes- there were efforts made- whether noble or not- to suppress some of the minority vote [noble - some say they were just trying to stop voter fraud- others said they were trying to suppress the minority vote].

But- how did the left do this?

Once again- yes- hailing from the great state of N.J. [ the headquarters of many media outlets- it is sad that the most grievous offenders come from my hometown area! - Fort Lee- Secaucus- spots right where I grew up].

MSNBC spent an entire year mocking the faith of Romney.

I saw Martin Bashir- actually say- on air- that Christians should not vote for Romney because he denies the Trinity.

Can you imagine him saying this about a Muslim candidate?

Chris Matthews- he spoke about Romney and his religion as weird- a cult- and other interesting terms [Matthews says he was taken out of context- but simply using the word accomplishes the task].

Now- after a year of this- it is true that some White evangelicals [their target audience of suppression] did indeed not vote for Romney.

In media lingo they call this ‘failed to get out his base- the White vote’.

Mission accomplished.

They see what they did as a noble cause- a good thing.

When you convince yourself that those who don’t embrace your ideas are racist nuts- then it justifies this double standard.

There was an article on Hillary Clinton seeing the Broadway play the Book of Mormon [yeah- Bloomberg manages to keep the lights on Broadway on- but watch out if you’re from Staten island or the Rockaway’s!]

When she came out of the theater she said it was so funny- she couldn’t stop laughing.

What was she laughing at?

The play is an open mockery of the Mormon faith.

Yet- this same state dept official- she was outraged over the release of some on line movie clip that depicted the prophet Muhammad in a negative light.

They just sentenced the maker of the movie to a year in jail- over some probation thing.

Yes- that’s the double standard of the media- politicians- it is quite obvious.

Okay- Einstein.

As I read a few chapters every few days- I want to comment on the important- relevant stuff.

One of them being the very word Relativity.

Now- I am tempted to go back and review all the posts we did on physics [you long time blog readers might remember?].

But this book is not a physics book per se’- but a biography.

Yet a quick review might help.

Einstein became famous for a few things- most of us know the famous equation E=mc2.

Simply a conversion of mass into energy formula- it works for all things- not just Nuclear.

His theory of Relativity shook up the world of physics- and Einstein is indeed the father of what we call modern physics [and Quantum theory].

Okay- what he did was he took the centuries old ideas of Newton [the father of classical physics] and he said that time and space were not absolutes.

That’s is- that depending on the observer [and his speed] time actually changes.

Some in the scientific community could not fathom what he was saying.

The book has actual headlines from the NY times- they openly doubted some of Einstein’s work

I remember reading this years ago- but this time I saw the real headlines.

They said stuff like ‘what is this new theory- that space might be limited- this defies the actual definition of space’.

Now- it would take too long to tell you what they were covering- but it is one of the various theories of the universe.

In actuality- the times might have been right in this one case [it’s a theory that the universe is curved- has no detectable edge- if so- you can than argue for an infinite universe in a closed space- because there is no edge- or end].

As a side note- logically- the times was correct.

Just because you can’t find a ‘sharp edge’ to a thing- that does not mean the thing is ‘endless’.

I covered this years ago in our apologetics posts- it was interesting to have re –read this from this author [Isaacson].

He is a good author- and explains stuff well.

Okay what was the other stuff that some objected to?

Some associated- wrongly- the theory of Relativity- with the modernist philosophy called Relativism.

Relativism [remember the philosophy stuff?] said that there was really nothing as objective truth- that what you see might be just as true as what someone else sees.

You might both be looking at the same thing [morally- murder- etc.] yet to one it might be wrong- to the other- right.

This idea- Relativism- was strongly rejected by many philosophers- especially those with a Christians/Theist background.

Even today this is one of the major debates going on in the world of the philosophy.

But- some confused what Einstein was saying- and they thought [or used it] to back up the ‘moral’ philosophy of Relativism.

This was a mistake.

Einstein himself- as I mentioned in an earlier post- was not a relativist at all- that is when speaking about moral absolutes.

So some began to associate him- as one of the new ‘Jew’ scientists- who were introducing dangerous doctrines to the world.

Yes- some of the objectors to Einstein objected on the basis of this new ‘Jewish science’ that was breaking away from the moors of Christian science- whose father was Isaac Newton.

See how both anti Semitism- and religious belief played a role in this?

I’ll end with a quote from a famous man of the time- an up and coming politician- I mean he could awe his audience like no other.

Obama- Clinton- even the great communicator- Reagan- were no match for this man when it came to giving a speech.

He said ‘Science- once our greatest pride- is today being taught by Hebrews’.

Who said this?

The future leader of Germany- Adolph Hitler.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

1942 POLITICS AND EINSTEIN

Let's start with the big story of the day.

The election.

Just a few things before I get back to Einstein.

As I have followed the news on this- over the past few weeks there has been some question on whether or not the media have manipulated any of the numbers.

How?

Going in to today’s election- if the media are correct- Obama will no doubt win.

Why?

They have shown polls that have the president winning in enough states [battle ground states] that he should win.

Are any of the polls wrong- or possibly skewed?

That the question.

It’s hard to say that all pollsters would have some inside conspiracy to do this.

Actually I don’t believe that they would [they do have reputations you know].

But- we do have some actual evidence that some have done this.

It’s hard at times to filter out the bias- on both sides- but let’s try and take one example of possible skewing.

Most of the polls we have seen these past few weeks have shown the sample of people that they use.

For instance- you might have one say they polled a thousand folk- then they’ll say 39% were Democrats- 31 % Republicans.

Now- some on the right were saying ‘see- they are cheating’.

Would this be cheating in a poll?

No.

Why not?

Because the pollsters are trying to get an accurate picture of the electorate- that is- if they ‘think’ that more Dems will vote- then this would be a fair way to poll.

So- how do they figure out who the likely voters will be?

They usually look at the last election [presidential].

But- everyone who watches politics will tell you that the last election- 2008- had an historic turnout of Dem’s.

Why?

Many were not only voting for a man they felt would do a good job- but they also felt like they were part of an historic thing- the possible election  of Americas first Black president.

Everyone [well most] will admit this- and it’s not wrong to admit this- that many came out to be part of an historic event- fine.

So- did some of the pollsters do this- did they use a larger number of Dem’s in the polls?

Yes.

Now- a case can be made that you would not have the same type of turnout this time.

Why?

Because you don’t have the same historic significance- it’s not historic to say ‘yeah- we voted for the first Black president in history- the second time’.

See?

Okay- but the pollsters do have a reason to have more Dems than Repubs- sometimes.

But- there were some polls that showed twice as many Dems [as a percentage- that is if you had 7% more Dems last time- this time they were showing about 14%- something that would be next to impossible].

So- yes- in this few cases- we do have some evidence that some pollsters were rigging the system to benefit one side.

Okay- said all that to say this.

If Romney wins- and big [which I doubt] then you just saw a good example of media bias- because according to most of the media- Obama should win.

Lets see what happens in the morning.

Okay- just a few notes on the Einstein biography I’m going thru.

The book is an older book- I picked it up a few months ago at half price books.

But it’s a good book- not written from a religious perspective at all- the author- Walter Isaacson- is a top notch writer.

The reason I say ‘not from a religious perspective’ is because it’s kind of amazing how many times Einstein- and his companions- either speak about God- or outright quote him!

Yeah- over the years I have heard views from both sides [Atheists and Theists] who have tried to make Einstein more like them.

But the actual quotes from him- and how many times they allude to God- is really more than I thought.

I’m at the point in the book [about halfway] where you begin seeing the anti Semitism rise up in Germany.

As most of you know- Einstein was a Jew- who came from Germany.

He lived at the time of the rise of the Nazi’s- and the anti Jewish ‘ness’ of the times would affect him.

Einstein held teaching positions at various universities of his day- one was in Berlin.

Some of his contemporaries- men like Max Planck- were indeed all in for the German nationalism that was riding a wave at the time.

Einstein on the other hand resisted the mixing of science with nationalism- he believed more in a global type citizenship- that the great breakthrough’s they were making at the time- were for the world- not just for the benefit of one nation.

Einstein would refuse to sign a declaration signed by many of the thinkers of his day- one that supported German nationalism.

Instead he was part of a smaller group who drew up a sort of pacifist declaration- one which would fall by the way side because of its lack of support.

A few notes.

I find his insight into war- where it ‘comes from’ to be enlightening.

I’ll give you a quote- it comes from “a biologically determined feature of the male character” “What drives people to kill and maim each other so savagely” “I think it is the sexual character of the male that leads to such wild explosions”.

Einstein saw a sort of genetic ‘defect’ in man- something within him- that was the root cause of war.

In the book of James- in the New Testament- the brother of our Lord writes ‘from whence come wars and fighting’s among you- come they not hence- even from your lusts that war in your members’.

Yeah- I think James and Einstein were on the same page.

Eventually Einstein would oppose the war- that is- the initial aggression that was sprouting from his homeland.

The book does not go into detail about the actual war [WW2] at least not yet.

But we know from history that the Nazi’s would be part of one of the most heinous mindsets the world has ever known.

Hitler’s idea that a certain race of people were inherently ‘less human' that others.

Many do not know that some of his thoughts were formed by the popular idea of Evolution.

The teaching that all humans are on a scale of the ‘most evolved’ and the ‘least evolved’.

Yes- I have gotten into this in the past- and don’t want to do it again right now.

Eventually the allies would also cross a line of war- a line that divided the U.S. and the British for a short time.

The line of bombing urban centers- and targeting civilians.

Some of the correspondence that came out after the war showed that certain American military commanders objected to the bombing of civilian centers.

They would eventually do as they were told- but they did make their objections known.

The British were more willing to engage in the bombing- after all- Germany had already bombed them.

The first city center to go was Hamburg- a convenient target- right across from the British on the North Sea.

Above Belgium and the Netherlands.

 War has a tendency to take all sides further than their conscience would allow at the start.

There seems to be something within the nature of man that always leads down a road of more destruction- not less.

One of the greatest minds of our time- a man who was brilliant- and also struggled with his own passions- saw it as some type of inner flaw of man.

A sort of ‘sinful nature’.

Yeah- James- the Lords brother called it ‘the lusts that war in our members’.

On this point they agree.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

1936 EINSTEIN THE DETERMINIST.

In keeping with the last post [propaganda] I read an interesting AP article on Syria.

As most of you know Syria has been in a civil war for many months- they are the 1st ‘Arab spring’ nation that has not ‘fallen’ to the rebels.

Now- there are lots of political things going on in the region [Russia and China not supporting a Libyan style NATO action] that are sustaining Assad’s regime.

But I found it funny how the western media have chosen to portray the war.

In order for the media to side with those who want to depose Assad- they must ‘side’ with the ‘deposers’.

So- the article spoke about the outside Al Qaeda groups who are coming in to assist the rebels.

It used terms like ‘heroism’ ‘valor’ ‘experienced fighters who know what they are doing’.

These terms were used to describe Al Qaeda fighters- in contrast to Assad- a ‘crimes against humanity’ description.

Wow- I never thought the media would actually try and honor Al Qaeda fighters- in order to accomplish their agenda.

That my friends is the ultimate in propaganda.

Okay- I read some more on Einstein over the weekend- and wanted to cover a few things.

Over the years as you read various sources about famous folk- you need to be aware of the source.

For instance- Christian writers [writing from that perspective] often portray the religious tendencies of a figure in a more favorable light then an atheist writer would.

So you have to be careful that the author is not writing his own story into the person he is covering.

But the biography I’m reading was not written from a religious view.

Yet- the author does share the various positions Einstein has taken about God over the years.

One thing to note is Einstein was a lover of philosophy- he admired men like Hume, Kant and Spinoza.

If you remember- a few years ago I covered the history of philosophy and how much of it dealt with what the causes of things are.

The law of Cause and Effect [also referred to as causality].

As a Physicist- Einstein had a great interest in these subjects.

At the end of the day- Einstein fell into a camp of thinkers called Determinists.

That means he believed that that the universe was ruled by definite principles- even though we did not have the answers to all the puzzles- yet he was convinced that if we searched long enough- we would find order to it.

This belief is in keeping with Theistic thinkers- not with those who ascribe chance and disorder to the creation.

I might have bitten off a little much here- but the point is- at the end of the day Einstein rejected the commonly held belief that there is no real cause to the things we see.

Many thinkers who argue against the existence of God argue form a perspective that chance is behind the ‘perceived’ design we see in nature.

Dawkins [the famous atheist] calls it ‘the appearance of design’.

Einstein did not simply believe in the ‘appearance’ of design- but he believed that the Cosmos was indeed a product of some type of cause that gave it design.

Now- I’m not saying Einstein was a Christian [or observant Jew]- but the point is- in his thinking- he rejects the most commonly held arguments that are made against the Theistic world view [in Cosmology- science] and sides with the Christian thinkers of our day.

Einstein famously said ‘God does not roll dice’ meaning he did not believe in the atheistic argument that things just happen without any cause.

No- Einstein seems to agree with one of his favorite thinkers- Spinoza said ‘All things are determined by the necessity of Divine nature’.

Yes- Einstein was a Determinist in his thinking- he did indeed side with the Theists at the end of the day.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

1932 CHALLENGING THE SYSTEM   

I have finally started my book on Einstein.

I bought it a few weeks ago- and never had the chance to break it open.

I also am working my way thru the Catechism of the Catholic church- quite a volume indeed.

I watched a couple of documentaries on Netflix over the weekend- Last night I caught a documentary on Hunter Thompson.

He was the character that Johnny Depp played in the movie ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’.

Hunter was a sort of counter culture hero- he wrote for Rolling Stone and had his own unique style of writing.

He called it Gonzo journalism- he said the writer needed to inject himself into the story- and become part of the story.

Sort of like what the reporters did in the Iraq war- we called it ‘Embed’.

He covered the campaign of George McGovern- who sadly passed this week.

George was the quintessential liberal- but a man of conviction- he was a good man.

Hunter made it into the headlines a few years back- he killed himself with one of his favorite things- a gun.

Yeah- Hunter was a gun lover- a liberal- and in some ways a moralist of his time.

Now- with all the doc’s I saw [also finished Greek civilization] and the books I’m reading- it’s hard to pick one subject to cover at a time.

But let me go with Einstein for a few minutes.

In this biography- by Walter Isaacson- he doesn’t go too deeply into the science of Einstein- which would take a whole physics course to understand.

But he does cover some high points.

One of the things that Thompson and Einstein had in common- was their willingness to challenge the system.

They took on the ‘received wisdom’ of the day- and were daring enough to take the ‘path less trod’.

Just one area- Ether.

At the start of the 20th century Ether was an accepted ‘scientific truth’ that most [if not all] scientists accepted.

It would be like Dark Matter today- something that seems to be ‘true’- most of the scientific community speak of it as real- yet- as far as we know- we have never once actually detected it.

So- ether was this theory that said light/energy is a wave [not particles] and therefore for this wave to move thru space- it needs a carrier.

Ether was this so called vapor like substance that allowed Energy/light to travel.

At a young age Einstein accepted this idea- but he was learning at a time when particle physics was just getting off the ground.

Though atoms and molecules [particles] were indeed part of the conversation- yet they were not totally proved yet.

So- part of the great breakthrough of Einstein put to death the idea of Ether- and instead we learned that light is not a wave so to speak- but a sort of particle beam- we did not really need the Ether concept- and to be honest- it never was really there.

This is just one little tid bit from the book that I thought interesting- today you would be considered a fool if you still talked about Ether [in this way].

Yet- at the time of Einstein you were a fool if you did not accept it.

Einstein would later challenge the field that he launched- Theoretical/Quantum physics.

He felt like some of the ideas were not really scientific- too much speculating.

That’s what I see as I watch/read about some of the most popular ideas that seem to make it into the TV specials that cover these subjects.

It’s often the theories/ideas that are ‘way out there’ that are the most interesting- and get the most viewers.

The problem is- many of these ideas are [in my view] modern day Ethers- they are accepted ‘fact’ even though we don’t really know if they exist.

When I see shows on alternate universes- parallel worlds- where we supposedly have duplicate lives and all.

Well- this is not science- this is not even Ether- its fairy tale land.

Yet- these same theorists will mock belief in an omnipotent being- because they want to see the facts.

Sad.

So- over the next few weeks I will try and hit a little more on the books I’m reading- cover some more important news stuff- and try to be as challenging as Hunter.

Sometimes it’s when we go against the status quo- when we are open to see things differently- that’s when we make major breakthroughs in our thinking.

We should not cast off all the stuff that has come to us down thru the ages- but we need to realize that some of the stuff that seems to be accepted fact today- just might be the Ether of yesterday.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

1896  SIGNS OF THE TIMES

‘Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee- is burned up with fire’ Isaiah 64:11.

Yesterday I mentioned that I watched a couple of negative documentaries about Christianity- they were done from the extreme skeptic’s perspective.

In these types of shows they usually have a few Christians/preachers that they portray as idiots.

In some cases- we can’t help ourselves!

One of the scenes was this group of protestant Christians traveling to Israel on a holy land tour.

When they are at the site of the temple mount [a real big deal for certain protestants- called Dispensationalists].

The pastor is speaking- very loudly- and quoting Jesus from Matthew 24.

He says ‘Jesus said there would be no stone left upon another- he meant it- all these stones will come down’!

Now- I know he meant well- and it must have felt exhilarating for him to kind of be standing up for Jesus- but we all know that there is this huge gold mosque sitting right at the spot where the temple used to be.

And this is where- for some Protestants- the rubber meets the road.

The above verse comes from the Old Testament prophet- the people of God [Israel] were being judged- they lost their homeland and eventually their holy temple would be destroyed.

Over a period of time they would return to their land and the temple would be re built.

During the days of Jesus you had a 3rd temple- even though the 2nd rebuilt one was never destroyed- yet Herod [the father of king Herod whom we read about in the bible] would undergo this huge rebuilding project- and he turned the temple of Jesus day into this huge majestic place.

So- when the disciples were with Jesus one day [matt 24] they said ‘look at all these great buildings Jesus’.

And that’s when he gave the response ‘their will not be left one stone upon another that shall not be cast down’.

This event took place in the year AD 70- the Roman general Titus would sack Jerusalem and the temple was cast down- there was not ‘one stone left on another’ literally.

After the destruction- many went in and searched thru the rubble for the gold that melted and fell between the stones- they actually laid every stone bare during this process.

So- the actual words the minister quoted from Jesus- these words were not defending the glory of the temple- which in Christ’s day came to represent religion apart from God.

No- the words of Jesus were actually a rebuke to those who put too  much emphasis on the temple itself [which just happened to be the camp that the above minister was in- ouch!]

Christians do have a problem with stuff like this- lots.

I also caught a few preaching shows over the past week- and many of them had the same theme.

One man was ranting against Muslims- he was quoting verses in the Bible that talk about avoiding the evil person.

I actually just posted on this a few weeks ago.

These verses come from the Apostle Paul’s pen- in his letter to the church at Corinth.

He was not saying to have no contact with unbelievers [or people of other faiths]- he was talking about ‘church members’ who were living in open sin.

I got into it the other day- don’t want to rehash it again.

The point was- even though this minister meant well- he was giving the opinion that Christians should have no peaceful dealings with Muslims- or any other religion for that matter.

Is this right?

No.

The bible says we should live peaceably with all men.

In the Old Testament we read the story of Joseph.

He became the second most powerful figure in the land of Egypt- only Pharaoh was over him.

Joseph was living- and functioning- in the midst of the Egyptian people- who did indeed have different religious beliefs than Joseph.

Yet we read how Joseph earned great respect from the Egyptians- and when Joseph’s dad died [Jacob- who was named Israel] they respected the wishes of Joseph and even mourned with him.

Now- this is a great example of believers having friends- functioning in society- without purposefully offending people.

I do not claim to have perfect understanding about the end times- but I do see some major flaws with what most people think about when they hear ‘end times’.

Many Christians see a future restoration of the temple in Jerusalem.

They see a huge problem that the mosque sits on the temple site- and they have various scenarios to see the thing removed.

These same believers- all good people mind you- also see Jesus restoring the sacrificial system- and him ruling over Jerusalem- with the sacrifices taking place once again.

Problem?

In the book of Hebrews- in our bibles- the writer says ‘those who continue the sacrificial system- after the crucifixion of Christ- are doing disgrace to the Cross of Christ.’

Theologically- the above end time’s scenario does much harm to the basic message of the Cross.

Geopolitically- it spells disaster.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

1895- BUYER BEWARE!

We bought the Rocu thing the other day.

That’s the device that lets you watch movies on line.

You get a lot of real good stuff- I was surprised.

I was also surprised to see all the documentaries about religion and Christianity.

The ones from Netflix looked interesting- so I watched a couple.

Yikes!!

All of the ones I saw were done from a skeptic’s point of view.

Now- as someone who writes on apologetics [the defense of the faith] I am familiar with these arguments against the faith.

But- if you are not familiar- these doc’s will shake your faith- for sure.

Why?

They are done from the perspective that Christianity basically copied the Greek myths of God and religion- they focus on the ‘similarities’ between Christianity and Greek [and other cultures] religions.

Okay- what was wrong- or deceptive?  

First- this entire school of thought was popularized in the 19th century- from the Christian universities in Germany.

Yes- some good men- well meaning men [others not so good! Freud- etc] believed that in order for the faith to survive in this ‘brave new world’ [modernity- and the whole humanistic advance of man since the enlightenment].

That they had to re-fashion the faith and sort of bring it up to date with the times.

Men like Rudolph Bultman introduced the idea of ‘de mythologizing’ the bible.

So- these guys rejected all the supernatural elements of the bible- no more miracles- angels- demons- or resurrection!

Many people embraced this ‘new’ bold approach to the faith- and basically became theological liberals.

One of the reasons some of these men went down this road were covered in the above documentaries.

Okay- as I watched a couple of them- they had similar themes- and were also wrong in the same way.

They compared about 25 other religious myths- from other cultures- and they said these other religious myths all had a savior- a son of god- who had 12 disciples.

They said this Lamb of God died- was buried- and on the 3rd day rose again.

They said he did miracles- was born of a virgin- was called Lord and savior.

And they made it sound like this ‘story’- in complete form- was repeated many times before the Christians ‘picked it up’.

Wow- double wow.

Why are these documentaries dangerous?

First- I actually have read/studied in this field.

The similarities that they described in the doc’s were way overdone- they simply are not true.

That’s the first problem.

But- they did mix in some truth- with the false stuff.

Both of the documentaries I saw [it seems like there is one person- producer- behind the 2 I saw] did give an actual quote from a 2nd century Christian leader- Justin Martyr.

The quote is indeed real- Justin is known as one of the first Apologists of the church.

He defended the faith during a time when many enemies of the faith slandered the religion.

In one defense [out of many] he said that those who reject Christianity because we believe that a Divine son rose from the dead- that others also held the same type of belief in the pagan world.

He was referring to the god Jupiter and the stories that surround those who believed in him.

You also do find this same type of thing in the myth of Hercules.

Okay- so the skeptic was right then?

No.

In the documentary- the skeptic actually gives the quote from Justin- and Justin says that just because these similarities did exist in other religions- before Christ- that this in no way means the Christian faith is false.

How so?

Justin said it was possible for satan to have ‘imitated’ what was really going to happen.

The skeptic mocked this argument from Justin- and went on to challenge the faith.

A few things.

First- it is possible that Justin was right.

2nd.

This whole line of attack is not new [unless you never heard of it before- which is why I’m kinda surprised that Netflix has them in their lineup].

It goes all the way back to the writings of Gilgamesh.

These are writings that also have similarities to the things we find in the bible- yet they are not coming from the Christian perspective.

They contain a story about a flood [like the one in Genesis].

So- over time- skeptics have said ‘see- the bible must have copied these flood stories- because we find them in other cultures’.

I actually covered this before.

Let me give you the short version.

We- as Christians- do indeed believe the story of Noah [the flood].

Some debate whether it was a global event or local- I don’t want to get into that now.

But- if there was a huge event- say like a 911 plane attack on the world trade center.

Would you not expect to find that event- recorded in more than one culture?

Of course you would.

So the fact that other cultures have a flood event recorded too- this does not mean the Christians plagiarized the flood- no- it would be evidence that the flood really did happen.

See?

Now- the similarities between a divine son who rose from the dead.

First- there ARE NOT 25 or so stories like this- with 12 disciples- raised on the 3rd day- and so on.

The producer of the doc was simply mislead- or outright lying.

2nd.

We must remember that anything we find in Greek culture- which predated Christian ‘culture’ was also predated by Jewish culture.

That is to say that the story of Judaism comes before the Greek philosophers.

Are there any themes in the Jewish religion that speak about a Messiah who would come- die- and be the Messiah of all mankind?

Yes!

So- you could argue that any similarities between Greek myth- and Christianity- are actually ‘copies’ taken from the Old Testament story.

That is- God himself gave us clues about the story of redemption- and these clues might have very well ‘seeped’ into the Greek culture- before Christ- and that’s why you might find similarities between the 2.

See?

Okay- I could go on- but I think I made the point.

I was not mad that these documentaries were on net flix.

But I saw the danger in presenting one side like this- without giving the other view [which I just gave].

All in all- the Christian faith has more historical backing [like the many thousands of bible manuscripts that survived the early days] than any other religion or writings of any kind.

The documentaries made a couple of good points- things that were indeed true- but they had way too much mis information in them to be playing on such a huge venue.

Buyer [or watcher] beware!

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

1886- DIVINE LOGOS

Okay- just read Isaiah 65- one chapter left.

These past few weeks I have been going thru the last 15 or so chapters of the book.

There are lots of great themes to do- maybe I’ll take a pic of the verses I wrote down and hung up here in my study.

I also wanted to engage in a conversation on the Divine Logos.

Huh?

Well yeah- maybe a little scholarly sounding- but my goal has been to ‘upgrade’ our level of teaching.

When I say ‘our’ I’m talking generally about the present day church in America- and the obsession with ‘the now’.

That is ‘what do I get out of this- monetarily?’

Yeah- that’s the rave of the day.

So- every so often I do my best to walk the other road- to give the other side of the coin.

So- a few weeks ago I was at my daughter’s house- we usually have the whole family over for the b-days and stuff.

And my kids like playing those word games.

So they bought some game- don’t remember the whole name- but part of the name had LOGOS in it.

I just quipped ‘you do know what that means’?

Now- I kid around so much- sometimes they have a hard time believing me- like ‘sure- you’re making it up’.

No- for real!

Logos means WORD.

It’s the Greek language- which the New Testament was written in- and it simply means WORD.

My 2nd oldest said ‘I should have known that’.

My oldest daughter- Bethany- just turned 27- Becky is a couple of years younger.

They both have degrees from A&M University here in Texas- top notch school for sure.

So that’s why Becky ‘should have known it’.

Anyway- this word is a favorite in the writings of the apostle John.

In both the gospel and his 3 little letters [1st, 2nd and 3rd John] he uses this term to describe Jesus.

‘In the beginning was THE WORD and the word was with God…’

That’s the Greek word- Logos.

It should be noted that the early Greek philosophers had a concept much like this.

All the way back to the time of Plato- Socrates and Aristotle [around 500 years before Christ] the Greeks were speaking about a universal principle- some type of ‘unifying theory’ that would be the basis of all knowledge.

They spoke about this principle as THE LOGOS.

So- some of the critics of Christianity did use this as a criticism of the church- they say ‘see- the disciples were just making stuff up- borrowing themes that were already there’.

Do they have a point?

A point- maybe- but that’s all.

In the letters of John we also read him refuting a cult of the day- called Gnosticism [Gnosis is the Greek word for knowledge. They believed that they had secret knowledge that the others did not have.  A modern twist on this is sometimes referred to as Revelation Knowledge- it’s a form of this ‘special knowledge’ idea that existed in the early days of the church.]

An off shoot of this group were called the Docetists.

These guys were pseudo Christians- they held to some form of Christian belief- but denied the true faith of the church.

They taught that Jesus was ‘a phantom spirit’ that is- they denied what we refer to as the incarnation.

That God became man in the person of Christ.

John was one of the youngest disciples- and he also outlived the others.

His writings are probably the oldest in the N.T. [Revelation]

So- he was around long enough to refute the growing philosophical challenges to the church.

So- putting all this together- when John said Jesus was the Divine Logos- he was not ‘stealing’ that idea from the earlier Greek philosophers who were indeed looking for a Logos principle.

No- he was saying ‘look- we- the followers of Christ- have found the thing you were looking for all the time- he is the Wisdom- the Logos of God’.

See?

Okay- I haven’t read John in a long time- nor have I ever studied Greek.

But- I do have a Greek lexicon [a book that gives you the Greek word before it was translated into English].

And back ‘in the day’ when we were young believers- seeking to learn the faith- these were the basic tools of the trade.

But today- well- the tools are motivation- success stuff.

Learning how to invest- make a buck [or 2] - how to ‘create your world’.

Yeah- we really don’t have time for all that silly stuff like the Logos.

After all- it’s all Greek to me.

Yeah- I know.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

1880- ZIGGY STARDUST

I’ve been catching some of the classic rock concerts on VHF 1- you know- the stuff I [we] saw back in the day.

I must admit- I have been an amateur ‘singer’ for many years.

I used to belt them out at the fire house on a regular basis- you know- sweeping the stalls- or doing a daily routine thing.

Okay- no lie- I did get some real compliments over my ‘career’.

One of the Captains asked one morning ‘were you playing the radio in there’.

I told him no- laughing- he did not believe I was singing.

My captain [Lopez] said for years that I should go on the ‘Americas got talent’ type shows.

So- after a while the guys would give a request or 2- and I tried my best.

I remember Sam- a younger guy- one day I sang Lola [the Kinks].

Sam knew the song as a remake- I guess some new group re-did it.

So- I sang the words- which Sam said he never really knew.

I told Sam ‘you do know who Lola is’.

He did not.

‘She walks like a woman and talks like a man’

‘When she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine’

‘I never ever kissed a woman before’ [nor this night!]

Yeah- you’re talking Penn State football locker rooms for the years that Sandusky was there.

So- one day I drove the girls to school- I tell them ‘you guys want breakfast- then you have to bear thru another one of dads songs- without laughing’.

They were up for it.

So- I picked one from my catalog [in my head!]

And I was off.

They managed to not laugh- or smile- that was the deal.

At the end- my daughter- per instructions of the bet- said ‘wow dad- that was really good’.

Hmm?

Still- no laugh.

I responded- with a dead pan serious face ‘are you serious.’

She lost the bet right there.

Ziggy Stardust.

So- I caught the re-run of a David Bowie concert tour.

To be honest- I never really liked the guy- Changes was an all right song- but not much else.

But the stardust character that he sang the tour as [he was this androgynous type persona for the tour] reminded me of the famed Physicist – Neil Tyson.

Tyson heads up the Hayden planetarium in N.Y.

My dad took me there a bunch of times as a kid- I loved it.

Tyson has been making the rounds recently- talking about the Higgs Boson thing.

He is a nice guy- and he is trying to ‘popularize’ physics for the average guy- a noble cause.

But he- like a long line of others- stumbles very badly when he wades into the field of Apologetics/Logic.

Recently I saw a clip- he gave a very enthusiastic account of how the stars ‘made us’.

He said that we now know that the basic elements of the stars are in us.

And he then reached the unfounded conclusion that ‘we came from stars’.

Okay- a brief review.

This type of argument- which is not new- says if you find common elements in 2 different things- then one must have come from the other.

Why would this be false- at least in the star debate?

Because you cannot get intelligence- information- consciousness- from a non living thing.

As wonderful as the study of the stars can be- yet- to give the stars ‘Ontological status’ [meaning- you give a non living thing the status that only a living thing has] is wrong.

Tyson gives us no mechanism of how the stars actually created us.

I mean you can’t even appeal to biological evolution- because at least it uses living things.

No- the stars have no life.

Then how would you [I] explain the fact that stars have the same base elements that humans have?

Easy- there was one creator- a ‘first cause’ if you will- and according to the biblical argument- he made man from the base element- dirt.

So- in the Christian view- you have both how the same elements are in various things- and you have a ‘mechanism’ that explains how intelligence- consciousness- and life arrived.

They came from an infinite being- who has life in himself.

In the end- this is really the only logical explanation for the creation.

Remember- you can’t get intelligence from non intelligence.

It would be like finding a C.D. in a field- you popped it into a computer and you found information on it.

Then- you broke down [in a lab] the basic elements of the makeup of the C.D. - the actual hardware- not the info on it.

And said ‘aha- I have found the source of the info on the device’.

And you proceeded to show me the ingredients that make up the disk itself.

I would respond ‘all you have done is shown me the common elements that make up the disk- you have in no way proven that these base elements are responsible for the info on the disk’.

That’s the mistake that Tyson makes- he assumes that the common elements we find both in the stars and in humans- is proof that ‘we came from the stars’.

 He’s wrong- very wrong.

About as wrong as me thinking I can make it on America’s got talent.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

1869- THE GOD PARTICLE [and Mayan flag day]

Hope you ‘all’ had a good 4th of July.

I actually flew the flag for the 2nd time in so many months.

For years I never had a house flag- I hung them up daily at the fire dept for 25 years and it never dawned on me to get one.

So when I woke up on Memorial Day and saw my neighbor’s flag flying high- yea- it made me feel like a commie.

So I went and bought a flag.

I asked my wife- ‘where did you put the flag’ ‘it’s in the closet’.

I get the flag- it’s around 7 or so- and I walk back into the room ‘let’s go hang the flag’.

My wife says ‘what do you mean- you need 2 people to hang it’?

No.

 But I want you to stand next to me and recite the pledge.

I thought it was funny- she didn’t seem to think so.

Yeah- I’m one of those types that get the most use out of a purchase as possible.

I’ll probably be flying it on that Mayan calendar day- I think it’s coming up pretty soon?

So- as I debated about what we should discuss today- I picked up the paper [yesterday morning] and the front page headline read ‘JUSTICE DEPT SUES CITY’.

I mentioned this the other day- about the fire dept not hiring enough women [they say].

I read about half of the article- I read the stats- we actually hired more women than other comparable cities.

I really did not want to do another whole post on the thing- but it was sad to see that as a front page headline- I don’t think we have ever been sued by our own govt. before.

[in the post the other day- I think I used the word threat- maybe not- but now I know they did sue].

I have written about our attorney general before- Eric Holder- this guy has politicized the justice dept to no end.

I could give you example after example- even his past dealings are very shady- the Mark Rich pardon- a pardon he recommended when he worked in the Clinton days.

By all accounts- Clinton pardoned a crook because he had connections- Holder used his influence to get the dirty deed done.

Pure- 100% Chicago politics- corrupt to the core.

Okay- instead- let’s do the other big news story- the so called God Particle.

Yeah- I heard/read a bunch of stories on the so called breakthrough discovery.

Now- I am not ‘anti science’.

I am not a person who believes the earth is only 6 thousand years old- or that kids rode on the backs of dinosaurs.

But- in the historic setting of apologetics- and the role that science has played in the debate- I must say there are lots of misconceptions floating around in the air.

Okay- a brief history of the scientific method and how it came to be.

The past year or so I covered lots of posts on philosophy and physics and world history in general.

We covered how during the middle of the last millennium [500years ago] the world began a break thru in many areas- and we often refer to this as the modern era.

Man- science- thought- all of the fields we see as part of the modern era- they began at around this point.

Science/philosophy and religion all played a big role in the debate.

One of the big boys was a man named David Hume- he was a thinker who questioned what we talked about the other day- the law of cause and effect.

This law simply says that every effect has a cause.

Hume challenged the popular idea that we can know causes.

He said we think we can know the cause of something- but in reality we can’t be sure.

The example Hume gave was the Pool table.

He said we see a person hit the q ball- the ball hits another ball and it goes into the pocket.

Hume said it might look like this a string of cause and effects- but we don’t know for sure.

Maybe there are other reasons why the balls are reacting like this.

Another famous example is the Rooster crowing- the guy couldn’t sleep in because the sun kept shinning in his window- so every morning right before the sun rose he heard the darn rooster crow.

So he shot the rooster.

 Just because one act precedes another- this does not mean that is the cause.

 Okay- we got it Hume.

But some began to doubt all possible knowledge- they said you can’t make any judgments at all- because we don’t know for sure what the real cause is.

Okay- this led another great thinker- Kant- to challenge Hume [the famous quote from Kant was ‘he woke up out of his dogmatic slumber’] and Kant said even though we can’t be 100 % sure- yet for any possibility for science to function- we do need to be able to have some type of way we can settle on knowledge- science does need to be able to say ‘okay- we have looked at this long enough- we think this is what’s causing this’.

Okay- this whole debate is called Epistemology- how we know stuff.

Now- the God particle.

As I listened to the various reports the last 2 days- I could tell right off the bat that there was some funny stuff going on.

The actual statements form the scientists are saying ‘well- we haven’t ACTUALLY seen the particle [also called Higgs Boson] but- we have detected enough other particles- so we think the Boson is more than likely there too’ or ‘it’s like looking in the distance- and you think you see someone- but maybe you’re looking at his twin instead’.

Okay- what kind of argument is this?

This is what we call a Metaphysical argument.

It’s an argument that is made- not because you actually detected the thing- but you have come to a conclusion based on the Scientific Method of Induction/Deduction.

You looked at- observed- and tested various things- and you now say ‘well- it must be there- because look at all the other stuff’. [layman’s terms].

Okay- is there anything wrong with this.

Not really.

But- here’s the catch- many in the modern field of physics refute the argument for the existence of God because in the end it is a metaphysical one.

That is- the materialist scientist [one who says we only deal in facts that we can actually see\detect] uses metaphysical arguments all the time- he just does not realize he is doing this.

Remember the other day- I posted about the many contradictions good men make when mixing science with apologetics and the laws of argumentation [or logic].

They often do not realize they are contradicting themselves- or making out right nonsense statements- because they are scientists- not logicians.

So what we have in the Higgs Boson case- in the Dark Matter- Dark energy case- in the entire Multi Verse theory [many universes].

In all these theories- which now make up the majority of modern physics- they are all the same type of argument that the materialist scientist says are not good arguments- at least when it comes to the argument for the existence of God.

In a nutshell- if we agree to accept that a certain particle must exist- not because we have actually detected it- but because ‘well- it must be there- because if not- then how do we explain everything else’?

If these arguments are being used in all of the above scenarios- and trust me- they are.

Then we can’t exclude the Theist from the table- we can’t say ‘no- you silly Christian- you deal in things we DON’T SEE- we deal in things we do see.’

Actually- you don’t.

All of the above theories are conclusions based on how the other things around them respond.

The reason many think Dark Matter exists- is not because we have found it- we haven’t.

But because in order for the standard model- well- to stand- then Dark Matter simply ‘must be’.

Okay- this is the same type of argument the Theist [one who believes in God] uses.

If you want to exclude the believer from the table- on the grounds that he appeals to a ‘non detectable’ being.

Then we must ditch all of the above.

And it seems- Higgs Boson too.

NOTE- all scientists are not materialists- many are believers- and even many non believers are not materialists.  If you are a pure materialist scientist- one who says we cannot accept any other non material arguments [things we don’t actually see/detect] then you also would not be able to accept any of the major theories of physics today- that is if you were consistent in your thinking.

Also why did the researchers at CERN release this as some great new finding?

The ‘discovery’ was made at the new 10 billion dollar Hadron Collider.

This is the world’s largest Atom smasher.

In order for the Europeans to justify the cost- they had to convince people that this was the best chance to actually discover this long elusive particle.

Now- Europe is in a near depression- as most of you know.

This underground ‘particle smashing tunnel’ [I think it’s right on the French Swiss border?] when first opened- had a bad day.

It leaked oil into the tunnel and it was shut down- and had to be repaired at the cost of millions of dollars.

Okay- all of these guys realize- if you do not justify the cost of this thing- in the midst of a European depression- then what are the odds that your gonna keep getting funded?

I don’t know if this was the main reason they came out with the statement now- but for them to have come out- and kinda have fudged on it- makes me wonder.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.

1868- ALIEN INVASION

Last night I was watching a talk given by the Ohio congressman- Dennis Kucinich.

Dennis is known as a big Lib- he has been the butt of jokes for years- he once saw a UFO- and that pretty much put the nail in the coffin.

But- to be fair- the guy is smart.

Now- I’m not saying I believe everything he says [accept of course about the alien ship] but during the talk he was asked a question.

And he used an example from Evolutionary Biology.

He said- in so many words ‘scientists tell us that there is this thing called Punctuated Equilibrium’ and he used this idea to make a political point.

Now- as I heard Dennis- I thought ‘geez- if I get into this in the morning [now] it will take the whole post’.

So let’s see how far we can go.

I laughed somewhat over the example.

Why?

Evolutionary Biology has made great strides- and had setbacks ever since the idea was popularized by Charles Darwin in the 19th century.

Now- Charlie was not the first person to espouse the idea.

In fact- there was another famous scientist at the time- who some believe Darwin ‘stole’ the idea from him [much like the debate with Einstein- the famous Mathematician- Max Plank- at one point took part of the original idea of Einstein and almost became the famous one].

So- what Darwin is famous for is coming up with the theory of Evolution [what we call Macro Evolution- that all species came from a common ancestor- one spontaneous living cell that popped into existence from nothing- Charlie did not teach this by the way- not fully- but the  modern theory has gone there].

Okay- it would take too much space to explain all the ins and outs.

But the debate that has raged for the past 150 years has been whether or not this ever really happened.

That is- have all species actually come from a common life.

The strong evolutionist insists [or did insist] yes.

Those who questioned the theory [not just Christians or Theists- but there are many in the scientific community who have expressed real doubt- these men are not believers- but it’s virtually impossible for their voices to be heard because when you question some of the huge problems with the theory your usually tagged as a right wing nut].

So- after 150 years- the evidence that they thought would be there- is simply not there.

How so?

After many years of discovering fossils- and trying to see if there is a pattern of things actually evolving over millions of years- the evidence does not show this.

Huh?

You heard me- the evidence shows something quite different.

It shows us that new species came into existence at set points in history.

That is- we might find a certain species living for so long- and Walla- seemingly overnight- a new one pops up.

There is absolutely no regular pattern of what you would call transitional species- it’s simply not there.

Okay- if this were the only Monkey Wrench [pun intended] then that wouldn’t be so bad.

But as science has advanced- we have also been trying- desperately- to get some type of species- anything- to actually become something else.

The way we [science] attempts this is thru the experimentation with fruit flies.

In the lab they have been trying to simply get a fruit fly to become another thing [they breed and reproduce fast- so that’s why they use them].

After many dollars and years spent trying this- they can’t get this to happen.

There are many more reasons I could give- but after things like this kept popping up- some in the field- leading Evolutionary scientists- Gould [MIT]- one of the daughters from the famed Leaky family- etc.- starting having real doubts.

Now- these doubts were not based on religion- but science.

The data showed that there seems to be this huge wall between species- that is it’s not as easy as Darwin first thought.

As a matter of fact- the science showed that it is virtually impossible for one thing to become another thing [as far as we can tell right now].

So- the normal thing you would do [should do] at this point is to say ‘maybe we got it wrong- maybe we need to look in another direction’.

And Walla- Punctuated Equilibrium.

Yes- as Dennis said- scientists have said that this is the idea that instead of things slowly evolving over millions/hundreds of thousands of years- they simply changed overnight.

Now- this in reality would be saying ‘the other side- those who questioned Evolution- are right’.

Because the 2 major competing theories are Evolution [things changed slowly over millions of years into new species].

Creation- things came onto the scene at once [or set times].

The Punctuated Equilibrium idea is simply a fancy way of saying the evidence points to the creationist as being right.

But instead of coming right out and saying it like that- instead the theory sounds like it is a result of Evolutionary biology.

I have heard this stated over the years- that indeed Evolution has made this new discovery possible.

Now- I’m not a total rejecter of the entire theory.

I have said in the past that there is no doubt that evolution [natural selection] does take place within the known species [called Micro Evolution].

But there is lots of evidence that seems to say Evolution does not take place on the bigger scale- species changing into another species over long periods of time.

[Darwin thought that whales changed into cows over many years- he thought that the Black aborigine tribes were proof that Evolution was true- he said these Black races were less advanced along the scale. And the famous ‘Monkey Trial’ here in the U.S. [Tenn.] made it look like the Christians were idiots.  Many are not aware that the Evolutionary book that Scopes was accused of teaching Evolution from was actually a racist book that the KKK endorsed.  The book [by George Hunter] had a scale of the most advanced races- and the least advanced- of course at the top were Whites- the bottom were Blacks.  Yet the media made it sound like the more noble side was indeed those who backed using the book in public schools].

But the entire argument shows you how people’s bias affects the end result.

In reality- for anyone to say that Evolutionary science has been responsible for the great breakthrough- known as Punctuated Equilibrium- well it’s ridiculous.

Because Punctuated Equilibrium is simply saying that those who reject the theory that species change into new species over long periods of time- they are right.

So what you see is a manipulation of the argument- to make it look like the ‘losing side’ is actually responsible for this discovery.

 But in reality the other side was right all along.

See- I knew this would take the whole post- thank Kucinich for it.

O- by the way- he does have a backup plan.

He can always say the aliens did it.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.

1860- POLITICS OR RELIGION?

I wasn’t sure how to close up this week- I know how much you guys like it when I do politics! [note- every now and then I drop a joke or 2 in- I realized once that everybody does not know when it’s a joke- but if you have to say each time ‘here I kid’ it kinda ruins the thing].

I did go to the mission yesterday- and Dirk- my homeless friend that I gave a lecture to on the ‘proofs for the existence of God’ [he was kind of going off the other day on how everyone believes what they hear- that there is no real way to know who is right- so I covered the history of apologetics and the proofs for the existence of God- I kinda blasted the guys for about 15 minutes- and wasn’t sure they were following].

So when I see Dirk- the first thing he shows me is this book on Bertrand Russell- the famous British philosopher- I wrote about him when I was doing the study on philosophy.

Dirk was kind of repentant- he must of took my ‘speech’ to heart- and he told me he was going to put more of an effort into researching stuff.

Now- it was a surprise to see my homeless buddy running around with a Russell book- but I got the hint that he did get something from my talk and wanted me to know he was trying.

By the way- being he showed me the book- I encouraged him to read it- but had to let Dirk know that Russell was a very influential 20th century British philosopher- he was famous because he was a public protestor against the use of nuclear weapons.

But in the field of thought he became an Agnostic.

He was raised as a believer- but at a young age he read a book from another famous thinker- John Stuart Mill.

Mill wrote about what we have been discussing these last few days- the law of Cause and Effect- and how things came into being.

Mill said ‘if everything has to have a cause- then why not God? Who caused God?’

Now- Mill wasn’t the first thinker to pose the question- but Russell became influenced by this idea and espoused it for the rest of his life.

The problem?

Though both of these men were smart- they stumbled over this misconception.

The law of Cause and Effect [also referred to as causality] does not say EVERYTHING has a cause.

It states that all EFFECTS have a cause.

In essence- it’s within the realm of logic to espouse an infinite- causeless being.

Now- some might say this is ‘illogical’ but using the laws of logic [like we covered the last few days].

In the end- the only logical explanation for all things is an infinite being.

Anyway- don’t want to re hash the whole thing again- just thought it interesting that Dirk was reading Russell’s book.

Even though there are a lot of news events that could be covered today- lets finish with a few ‘religious’ things.

I have a verse here [about 200!] hanging on my wall- it’s from Isaiah [I think? I write them down and hang them up- but I don’t write the reference].

It says ‘do these things- and when others read about them- this will be a witness to them’.

There are others along this line that I have come across these last few years.

I started working with the homeless in 1992- with guys that were on drugs- ex-cons- before that.

I never told any of these stories until a few years back.

I started the blog in 2006- Facebook a couple of years later.

I felt that it was part of the ‘next step’- that is doing ministry- that the Lord wanted me to get into.

So- even though I did not even have email until 2006- or even get online until that time- I did my best to put together the blog [amateurish as it is] and start the process.

Now- over the years- as a student of religion, philosophy, ecclesiology [church]- I have written a lot about what it means to ‘do church’ or ‘be church’.

In Christian circles this has been hotly debated in recent years.

Many in the House Church movement have written- and debated with those who are more into the Traditional type churches.

There are many Protestants who have all types of ways they see ‘church’.

In its most basic form- the best definition that I have been able to come up with- is Church is a community.

It’s a worldwide community of those who confess Christ [the universal church].

And it’s a local community of those who follow him.

If you read the gospels- Jesus and his disciples are a good picture of the church.

Now- many will say ‘No John- the church was not formed until Acts chapter 2’.

Okay- I hear that.

I see the whole thing.

But- as community- it’s a mistake- in my view- to dismiss the gospels as ‘pre church’.

I don’t want to get into a theological debate- because I’m not even sure how many are following right now.

But- the point is- if we actually read the things that Jesus told us to do [sounds simple enough].

  We would end up doing a lot of the things that most of us call ‘prison ministry’ or ‘street ministry’ or ‘outreach ministry’.

In actuality- these things are a main function of being a community.

So- over the years- because many of us associate church with the meeting [or the building].  We have a tendency to shift the focus from community- to the corporate entity.

Years ago I filed the corporation papers for our ‘church’.

Instead of paying a lawyer- I got a self help book- ‘how to incorporate your church’ and filed.

It was no big deal.

But I realized how we confuse the actual corporate laws of a state- they have ways they recognize what they call ‘a local church’.

And what the bible actually teaches.

In the bible- the church is a community of people- much like Jesus and the disciples going thru the towns- preaching- healing- helping others.

Yet- much of the focus of modern ‘church’ is the corporation ‘how much do we need this month? How many members do we need each month to tithe- and cover the vision of the church’.

Much of the focus- and effort- is spent on raising money for the corporation.

People are ‘challenged’ to sacrifice for Gods work- but the challenge is often seen thru the lens of ‘give till it hurts’.

Look- I’m not against giving- I give lots of money away.

But when you have the majority of church goers- who mean well- when they begin seeing their sacrifice mainly thru a paradigm of giving more money to a corporation- then this blinds them to the majority of teaching in the New Testament that calls us into the world- in real ways- to be the ‘actors’ [ones who act- function- not just give money so others can act/function on our behalf].

That is- the primary responsibility of the believer is not simply to go to church on Sunday [though this is a good thing].

Or to tithe to the ‘church’.

But to be active in helping one another- to be giving our lives away for other people.

This is the heart of the whole New Testament.

So- my purpose in telling these stories the last few years was simply to show one example [out of many- there are many Christians who do see the stuff I just showed you] So these things could be ‘the wisdom’ that the example of people seeing what it means to ‘be church’ might lead others to a ‘more better way’ [Hebrews.]

So- I’ll end the week with the example of my homeless buddy reading the writings of a 20th century British philosopher.

The politics will have to wait- yeah- I know your sad.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.

1859- NOT A CHANCE

Went Down to the mission yesterday- saw the guys.

Dirk has his van running good- put the new radiator in [a few posts ago].

Gave Henry a ride back to the boat dock where he works- there were these beautiful Pelicans all lined up along the dock- never saw so many in a row like that.

On my way back to the house I saw a few cars in front of me make a detour- I realized there was a cop car with his flashing lights parked in the local speed trap.

Of course they’ll stop you for anything- I had gotten a ticket for driving without my license in the same spot a while back.

My inspection sticker has been expired since around May- of last year.

Yeah- I know.

I took it to the inspection guy a couple of month’s back- it failed for the tires.

So- as I saw the cop- I did a detour too- and went to another shop [yeah- I know].

I figured ‘Lord- I just helped the guys out- maybe I can get a break’.

So as I sat in the waiting room- doing one of those silent prayers ‘Lord- blind his eyes to the tires’.

You say ‘John- I thought you weren’t one of those positive confession type guys’.

I’m not- but when you’re in a bind you do what you have to.

The kid comes back ‘sir- your tire failed- your brake light is out- and you have a hole in the catalytic convertor’.

The plan didn’t work out too well.

Okay- let me finish a few more comments on proofs for the existence of God.

Yesterday I got into it a little with Dirk- and the other week I mentioned my friend Mike.

I have known Mike for a long time [the homeless artist] and I never knew he was really into the science shows and all.

As we talked Mike told me how over the years he has spoken with Christians/preachers and he has said ‘why do you think God created everything- Fungus and bacteria seem to produce on their own- maybe the cause for all things is that’.

Now- this was a good question- Mike told me that the only response he ever got was ‘the bible says God made everything’.

Okay- I got the point.

I told Mike that what he has observed over the years- the shows he has seen- that these things are good- they are true- science and God do not contradict.

I simply explained to Mike that fungus is part of the material world- and science teaches us that the material world did not always exist.

Therefore- if fungus did not always exist- it could not be the ‘creator’ of everything else.

Mike never heard this simple truth.

He actually thought about it- kind of in a way- a look on his face- like ‘geez- I just lost the last thing I clung to’ type expression.

He thought it through- understood what I said [I went a little more in depth] and then responded ‘well- maybe some other non physical being did it- instead of God’.

I simply gave him the argument I posted around 2 posts ago.

Okay- what was Mike seeing in the fungus?

He saw what we call Secondary causes.

That is there are many things in the natural world that do indeed re produce on their own.

Things grow and develop.

God made the creation to be self sustaining in a way.

Yet- many good people have heard ‘bad’ arguments- things that are false on its face- and don’t really know it.

The most popular ‘misstatement’ today is ‘everything was made by CHANCE’.

Now- I’m not a physicist- but this statement- on its face- is not true.

Why?

Look carefully- chance is NOT A THING.

Okay- chance is NO THING.

Chance is NOTHING.

When people make this statement they do not realize what they are actually saying.

This statement says ‘chance is the actual cause of creation’.

They are giving what we call Ontological status to the word Chance.

They are treating it as in if chance was a living thing- a real thing- not simply a word that describes the odds of something.

Okay- the other misconception is ‘Given enough time- anything can happen’.

Is this true?

 No.

If you took a room- were able to seal it- nothing gets in- nothing gets out.

And you have nothing in the room.

How many years would it take for you to open the door- and find a functioning world?

People- planets- stars- parades- horses- stores- etc.

I mean- is it possible- over a long period of time- for this to happen?

No- this is simply not possible- not scientifically possible.

But if you knew there were some being who had control over the room- who did have access to it- and had the power to create.

Well then it would be possible for the room to contain things.

When it comes down to it- there are really only 2 choices.

Either everything popped into existence from nothing [this is impossible].

Or something caused everything to be here [the Christian view].

When people realize this- that this debate is not about ‘well- you believe in faith and the bible and fairy tales- and I believe in fact’.

Actually no you don’t [you being the atheist- unbeliever].

No- in this debate there really is only one rational conclusion- that someone is responsible for ‘everything in the room’.

The other explanation ‘everything in the room came from chance- given enough time’ is not an option- at least not a logical one.

See?

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.

1856- FOR THE BIRDS

Late happy father’s day to all you dads out there.

 Yesterday I got up early and went to Wal Mart- I wanted to get presents for my girls and do a kind of raffle at my oldest daughter’s house [Bethany].

I had wanted to meet at the beach- but I realized that plan wasn’t going to work so we ended up at her house.

I bought some nice stuff for the kids- and had a home bingo game I bought a while back [my wife plays with her sister- so I got them a cheap home version] and I used the thing that turns/mixes the bingo balls in the cage- and stuck the names of my kids on the balls.

It was silly- but they liked the stuff.

So- after I bought the gifts I took a ride to the beach [about 2 miles from where I live] and jumped in the gulf- yeah- it was dad’s day- so I swam.

O- I forgot- while driving to Wal Mart we had one of those quirky storms- and I [and everyone else] spotted a Funnel Cloud over the bay.

I stopped and took a few pictures- we do get them in our area- but it might be only the second time that I spotted one live [you see them on the news at least once every year or so- from the area].

As I was walking back to the truck after the swim- I heard someone yell out ‘hey John’.

Sure enough it was my buddy Tim [carpenter Tim- I wrote about him in the last few weeks].

Yeah- I have not spoken with Tim in years- like I said- sometimes I’ll run into my homeless friends once or twice every 2-4 years.

That was the case with Tim.

He was on his bike- and he told me he just got back to the area.

He rode the thing to Roswell N.M. [no joke- he’s a real bike rider!].

So we talked for about 2 hours [yeah- was running late for the father’s day gig].

Tim shared with me all the times the Lord provided for him on the bike ride.

At one point the weather got real cold- and the day before he found some long John’s [thermal underwear] at a rest stop- they were still in the bag!

He told me how this was how God provided the whole time [a few week- month type trip].

He told me he still has a camp in the Bluff [where I live- many years ago I used to visit Tim regularly in the camps- many of the homeless have camps- Tim was a regular friend- I would trek thru the brush area- maybe half a mile or so- Tim would have a nice camp set up- he’d brew me some Folgers over an open fire].

As we were talking there at the beach- he had some of the old Folgers coffee in his bag- sure enough he broke it out and made some right there.

I gave Tim some money- he really did not want to take it- then he tried to give me something of value [he had some music C.D.’s].

I told Tim ‘no buddy- the last few weeks I have been giving 20’s away- felt like I needed to catch up’. I was slacking with helping the poor- so it was the lord that allowed this chance meeting.

Tim told me he still has a camp on the property of some rich lady who lives here in town.

He does work for her- at almost no cost- so she lets him live there- outside!

He has told me about her in the past- nice lady- but a staunch atheist.

You know- the type that really lets you know they don’t believe.

He was telling me how she’s an avid bird lover- has all the stuff on her property for birds.

I gave Tim a quick Apologetics argument he can use with her- if he ever gets the chance.

I have written a lot about this over the years- but let me give you the short version.

Apologetics is the field where you argue for the existence of God- you use the proofs from science and logic and philosophy to argue your case for the existence of God.

Okay- this is the short version.

The fact that ANYTHING EXISTS- is proof that God exists.

How so?

For many thousands of years- dating back to the time of the famous philosophers- Plato, Aristotle and Socrates [5- 600 years B.C.] people who studied the universe [Cosmologists] believed that the universe [time, matter, space- all things that make up the physical world] had no beginning point.

Most [though not all] believed that the universe was eternal- even the contemporary Carl Sagan said ‘the universe is all there ever was- and all there ever will be’.

So- when Christian thinkers argued for the existence of a creator- most used the Aristotelian argument that said ‘God is the Prime Mover’.

Which meant- He started all motion.

Even the great 13the century Catholic scholar- Thomas Aquinas- used this argument.

But- in the modern era- science has found out that yes indeed- there was in fact a time when no physical matter existed.

We learned this in the 20th century- men like Einstein made great breakthroughs in the field of Physics- and they showed us that there was a time- well- when there was ‘no time’.

It would take too much to cover this here- but men like Hubbell and a few others made some great scientific observations that backed up Einstein’s theory- and vice versa.

So- when SCIENCE [not religion- not bible- not ‘God talk’] showed us that all matter had a starting point- it left the atheist in a tough spot.

If there was a time when nothing existed- then how did everything get here?

The only logical conclusion is something [or someone] who exists outside of the physical realm [called the metaphysical realm] had to have been responsible for it.

Why is this the only logical explanation?

Because things cannot come FROM NOTHING [the ancient saying ‘out of nothing- nothing comes’].

So- we are left with the dilemma that there was indeed a time of NO MATTER- and therefore something- outside of the material realm- has to be responsible for it.

This is indeed- in my view- the greatest Apologetic argument used to ‘prove’ the existence of God.

Now- some say ‘but how do we know it’s God- maybe there is some other ‘non material’ thing/being that did this’?

Look- some of the so called ‘new atheists’ have gone down this line of reasoning- and made fools of themselves.

One quick example.

One of the famous present day atheists is Richard Dawkins.

He was pinned down in an interview- and he was confronted with this dilemma.

He actually said that he thought it was possible that some ‘being’ from another time might have made all things.

He said the being- well- would have to be eternal [because if he isn’t- you have the problem- where did he come from].

He said this being had to have been very smart [you can’t get intelligence from non intelligence- this is a scientific observation].

And this being had to be very powerful- because he created all things.

In short- when Dawkins was done- he described the attributes of God down to the last detail [omniscient, omnipotent, etc.]

So- any thinking person- even an avowed atheist- realizes the problem that they face in trying to explain the existence of all things.

I told Tim it was ‘funny’ that this lady loves birds- but ‘hates’ God.

The Apostle Paul said in Romans chapter one ‘they did not want to have God in their thoughts- so God gave them up to worship the created order- Birds, etc..’

Yeah- men who rejected the obvious proof of God- creation- became worshippers of creation [they made idols of animals and birds].

I found it interesting that Tim’s bird lady was living proof that the bible is true.

I had a good time talking with Tim- it’s been a while- he asked if he should come by the house and visit in the upcoming weeks- I told him sure.

Tim is one of the homeless guys who does not like to impose on people- that’s why I hardly ever see him- he won’t even go to the free mission to eat- he avoids the whole scenario of looking like your homeless.

He works- lives- and feels like it’s his right to not have a home- without being looked down upon.

Well- I’ll end with that for now- for those who want to read more about Apologetics- I have stuff on the blog you can find- have fun.

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.

1853- SEX- ALL TYPES

Let’s cover the ‘other’ news story of the day- the Elephant in the room.

Yes- with all the things going on in the news this week- we also have had the start of the Jerry Sandusky sex case.

Most of you know the scoop.

Sandusky is the famous coach from Penn state that worked for years with the famed Joe Paterno.

There were rumors- and ‘chance’ encounters where people saw Sandusky with young boys- and he was caught molesting kids.

As the defendants have been testifying this week- well- we heard bad stuff.

I don’t want to ‘defend’ the Sandusky’s of the world in any way- but I want to speak openly- and in a politically incorrect way about sexual orientations of all kinds.

I have a book here in my study- about 3 feet from where I’m sitting.

It’s the story of Jeffrey Dahmer’s conversion to the Lord after he was sent to prison.

I do realize that we see lots of jail house conversions- and for some people they will never believe that a Dahmer could convert.

But as I read the book- and also have watched the re play of the interview that Dahmer did with MSNBC- I do believe he was sincere.

One very interesting- and truthful part of the interview was when Dahmers dad was asked ‘why do you think this happened to your son’.

The dad- who is a Christian man- said he felt like somewhere along the line- Jeff associated- connected- the act of sex with dead things.

That he was fixated as a boy with skulls and dead things- and in time when he went thru puberty- that he also- somehow- connected the joy of collecting skulls and stuff with the act of sex.

Now- some might dismiss this as a lame excuse- and of course the crimes Jeff committed were very serious [for those not familiar- Dahmer is the famed serial killer who cannibalized his victims].

In point of fact- people- in all societies and in every age- can- and have ‘learned’ certain types of behavior- for good or ill.

The reason this debate is hard to have in our country- is because the present debate over gay rights pits one group against another.

For anyone to say ‘we actually do have proof that certain sexual behavior can indeed be learned’ seems to be bigoted and against the civil rights of people.

The purpose of this post is not to get into a long drawn out discussion over this.

I want to simply say- there are- and have been- all types of sexual associations that people have made with certain acts.

In the Sandusky case- with minors.

In the Dahmer case- with dead things.

The list does go on.

Is it possible to ‘un learn’ associations like this?

In short- yes.

Is it easy?

Probably not.

A few years ago I noticed that one of the major hospitals in the U.S. - famous for doing sex change operations- very quietly quit the practice.

As I listened and read about the story- I came to find out that the hospital- that was lauded for their non judgmental attitude- their willingness to break ‘the religious bigotry of our day’ that after doing the operation for years.

Admitted that the results were horrendous.

How?

The rate of depression and suicide among most of the patients went sky high.

After years of doing the operation- the data showed that despite all the ‘political correctness’ the facts on the ground were these operations were doing more harm than good.

Yet- year after year we see people who have had the operation- on well meaning news shows being interviewed- and the interviewer- without fail- always comes across as ‘look how accepting I am of you- look how wonderful it is for us all to celebrate your freedom and to not judge’.

Yet- many of the times I get the impression that these people are under great pressure to go with this line.

That they are cast into the limelight as a great example of acceptance- and they seem at times to not want to let the interviewer- or the world- down.

But- if the data says the rate of suicide and depression sky rockets among those who have gone thru with the procedure- then if we really love these people- or our kids- or generations to come- then we would be more careful before we jump on the ‘what a great thing you did’ bandwagon.

In the whole debate about whether or not sexual orientation [or simple associations of sexual expression with particular acts] is changeable- we need to be aware of the overall effects we are having on all sorts of people.

In the Sandusky case- we do see an attraction that many men have.

There are entire organizations supporting man/minor ‘love’.

NAMBLA- North American Man Boy Love Association- being one.

Do these men make the same argument that some have made with the gay rights issue?

Yes.

Many argue that that they have had this ‘orientation’ for as long as they can remember.

They argue that they share a common orientation with thousands of other men all over the world.

They argue that its’ the ‘Victorian era morality'- that religion wants to impose on people- that tells them- and society- that they are wrong.

After all- if ‘God created me this way- why should I not express it’.

Now- I- like you- do not accept these arguments- but in truth- they are basically the same type of arguments that others have made with the gay rights debate.