Category: science

On Anne Rice’s Quitting of Christianity

In fashioning this response, I am in the difficult position of trying to respond to Anne’s position with only facebook status updates and past history to rely on. Readers (especially if that reader is Anne herself) will forgive any wrong inferences. With that important caveat out of the way…

The difficulty in dispensing with the Church and keeping Christ is that it is impossible and can’t be done. I’m not going to go Cyprian on you (“He who does not have the Church as his mother…”) because I think he was making a different point. Christians are not united by creed but by Christ, a person. You can step away from denominations and congregations but if you really stepped outside of the Church, you’d step out of Christ, because the Church is his body. (Eph. 5, 1 Cor 12:12-27, esp. 27).

The 1 Cor passage mentioned above is relevant in its own way because Paul points out that just because the foot says to the hand, “I am not the body because I am not a hand” the foot does not, in fact, cease to be part of the family. So long as Anne is in Christ, her declarations about not being part of the Church are no more than that- declarations. And what of those she would disassociate herself from? Is it her conviction that they are not in Christ? I doubt she would go that far. But if she thinks some Christians have been, well, asses, not even in this case can the hand say to the ass, “You are not part of the body,” for every body still has an ass!

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C.S. Lewis on Universal Health Care and the Love of Some

I was reading CS Lewis’s The Four Loves and came across the quote below. Obviously, Lewis is not specifically addressing universal health care or liberalism or the question of using the government to administer love. Even Christians can be found thinking that it is a noble expression of a loving society to have the government do the loving… and this with no apparent thought to the actual effect that this ‘loving’ will have on the people ‘loved’ and the attitude it fuels in the people-government doing the ‘loving.’ The most important thing seems to be that, well, people’s intentions are good, and it’s better to do something rather than nothing. Here is the quote:

This [is] Gift-love, but one that needs to give; therefore needs to be needed. But the proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs our gift. We feed children in order that they may soon be able to feed themselves; we teach them in order that they may soon not need our teaching. Thus a heavy task is laid upon this Gift-love. It must work towards its own abdication. We must aim at making ourselves superfluous. The hour when we can say “They need me no longer” shall be our reward. But the instinct, simply in its own nature, has no power to fulfil this law. The instinct desires the good of its object, but not simply; only the good it can itself give. A much higher love- a love which desires the good of the object as such, from whatever source that good comes- must step in and help or tame the instinct before it can make the abdication. And of course it often does. But where it does not, the ravenous need to be needed will gratify itself either by keeping its objects needy or by inventing for them imaginary needs. It will do this all the more ruthlessly because it thinks (in one sense truly) that it is a Gift-love and therefore regards itself as “unselfish.” (pgs 50-51)

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Video of pro-life presentation in Sparta Topic: Be a Hero

This is the video of the presentation I delivered in Jan, 2010. The pro-life topic title was: “Be a hero.”

Direct link to video.

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A Call to Churches to Create Careers in Apologetics

This article discussing emerging church staff positions crossed my desk and caught my attention. According to the article, prevailing trends in society and in the Church (Institutional) we can see these positions being developed or created:

The Network Administrator
The Multicultural Children’s Director
The Chief of Staff
The Operations Pastor
The Creative Arts Director
The Boomer Director
The Spiritual Growth Pastor

I think this list, though not portrayed as comprehensive, is probably pretty accurate. Given my background, I noticed that one position is not mentioned: Apologetics Director. I think that is pretty accurate, too.

I find this to be pretty interesting and indicative of the state of the Church, Inc. today. Not to take away anything from the positions mentioned above or positions that may already exist, but we live in a society where Christianity is being deliberately attacked at a number of levels. At the same time, the culture itself represents challenges to Christianity less intentionally, in the form of hundreds and even thousands of new world views for Christians to encounter and have to deal with.

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I am my child’s advocate; you aren’t.

I am my child’s advocate.

He cannot speak for himself. She cannot understand the issues. Yet the choices we make today will impact them forever. I know my children. I know the issues. You are not my child’s advocate. I am.

You are quite certain my child should be socialized according to your dictates.

For thousands of years civilization got along just great without your professional opinion.

If I choose to make use of your services, it is as my instrument exerting my authority as my child’s advocate. My family is not the arbitrary tool of the state to achieve the state’s ends. My family uses the state- or doesn’t- as its tool. I dispense with it as I determine.

Turn your own family into a machination of the state. Leave mine alone.

I am my child’s advocate.

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Why don’t Christians care about people who need health care?

The Christian Church has a PR problem.

In the first place, any regular reader of this blog knows that I take the Church to task like the best of them. The Church could, and should, do much more. But let’s be honest: they actually are doing quite a lot.

Historically, it has been the Church at the forefront in doing good works. For example, Julian the Apostate in the fourth century realized that if he didn’t enact government programs to take care of the poor he’d never be able to make the claim that Christians were pernicious. Slavery was ended by Christians standing up against other Christians. Institutions of higher learning like Harvard and Yale (and hordes of others) were all founded by Christians. Hospitals and medical clinics were founded first by Christians with Christian charity in mind. What tends to happen, though, is all of the good things that Christians have done end up getting secularized. You cannot call Harvard and Yale ‘Christian,’ any more. Nor can you call the local Lutheran-in-the-name hospital in my area, ‘Lutheran.’

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Methodological Naturalism, Falsifiability, and Evolution: A Challenge

# In order for something to be considered robust science, it needs to be falsifiable.
# Modern evolutionary theory is usually presented so that it entails unintelligent operations.
# To falsify the claim that something is driven by unintelligent forces one would have to show how intelligent forces were at work.
# Evolutionary apologists insist (with heapings of derision) that such a showing is outside the bounds of science.
# But if showing design is outside the bounds of science than there is no reliable and objective way to conclude scientifically that something is not designed.
# Therefore, macroevolutionary theory cannot be scientifically falsified at the point that it is the result of unguided natural processes since they reject as unscientific the very things that could falsify it.

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Why Christians are against Universal Health Care

“the “right” within the church attempt to leverage the gov. to legislate morality. The “left” within the church attempt to leverage the gov. to legislate compassion. Both approaches fail miserably and are an abdication of our responsibility to be the voice, hands and feet of Jesus in this world.” – spoken by a friend.

Someone slid this article across my desk that inquires as to why evangelical Christians are against universal health care. Now, strictly speaking, I’m not an evangelical. Also, I don’t think that all Christians oppose universal health care, and I will not presume that Christians who do will share all my reasons. I hope this caveat spares me the litany of comments accusing me of ‘generalizing.’

I will take the article as my foil as it is one of the finest expressions of liberal hubris and arrogance that I’ve seen in a while. The author begins by indicating he seriously wanted to know why Christians who are supposed to be all about love would oppose health care. The end includes a long screed:

(p.s. this opinion is reserved for those Christians who have not actually thought about the consequences, and decided that more people are harmed than helped by the new law. They are being consistent with their beliefs. That being said, if you think you are in that camp of people excluded, you probably aren’t. You probably are just being geedy, selfish and jerkish, but convincing yourself that this is why you oppose it, while the truth remains you just dont want taxed, or adhere to some abstract notion of how this bill is UnGodly).

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The Culture War is Over and We Lost? So… guerrilla warfare…

Something I’ve been pondering for awhile is this: Is the culture war over? And did we lose it?

I part company with those who seek to Christianize the culture as though this in itself is a noble goal. It seems to me that this would in effect merely make our culture a ‘white washed tomb.’ More important than the culture are the people within it and their state of mind and eternal fates. Nonetheless, people are strongly influenced by the culture at large whether they know it or not or admit it or not. An unfriendly culture will make it harder for people to receive the Gospel.

I believe that. To an extent. I note, however, that the Christian Church itself exploded into existence within a culture that was not yet, by virtue of the fact that there wasn’t a pervasive Christianity to Christianize, Christian.

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Media Mention: Gilbert Magazine Quotes My Chesterton Defense

A reader of Gilbert Magazine has forwarded to me an article in their latest edition that cites yours truly! The article author stumbled upon my brief review of Chesterton’s Orthodoxy that I posted on the ChristianPost.com. In a discussion on the resurgence of all things Chesterton, the author quotes me saying,

[P]eople will instinctively dismiss the writings of a man that are a shade over 100 years old. The truth, however, is that nothing he confronted then has actually gone away. He confronted the materialistic view of Man in his own life, determining finally that Christianity offered the truest account. He stood against the Darwinists, the eugenicists, the relativists, and the liberal theologians. All these are still here and with us. The only difference is that they have been re-packaged and re-presented.

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Planned Parenthood And Their Hypocritical Concern for Haiti

So what? They are sick. Who cares? Well, while it probably turns the stomach of the average American to think that what Haiti really needs now is abortion technology and won’t pay a dime to support Planned Parenthood’s operations, in fact the average American is already responsible for doing just that: they elected Barack Obama, who, in one of his first acts as new president, restored United States funding of the UNFPA. Moreover, our tax dollars support Planned Parenthood.

It is a bizarre irony that generous Americans are working so hard to help the people of Haiti and suffering people all over the globe while at the same time the American government is working hard to fund organizations that believe that it is better for us all if there were fewer of these people to begin with.

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The Silence of the Wolves: Atheists Turn Docile in Face of the Facts

Richard Dawkins, Richard Carrier, Dan Barker, Austin Cline. I add this to cap off the general lesson that I would like to draw here, as the four names I have listed here are prominent atheistic spokespersons: atheists are not the vanguards of reason that they would like us to believe they are; they make mistakes just like everyone else, and no one should think that they are above being too proud to admit it when they are. These examples I have given are minor in the grand scheme of things but I submit that they illustrate why no one should ever defer thinking to anyone else, regardless of how smart they insist they are, how many degrees they have, how high their IQ is, or even if they currently represent the consensus position on a topic, be it evolution, global warming, climate change, etc, etc, etc, etc.

The intellectual elite which I have called out in this post answer to a higher standard and I hope that this post will elicit some acknowledgment that their arguments are not always as rock solid as they suggest. I predict quite the opposite, so again: remember in your skepticism to be skeptical too of the skeptics.

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Climategate to be followed by Evolutiongate?

From US Congressional Committee Report: INTOLERANCE AND THE POLITICIZATION OF SCIENCE AT THE SMITHSONIAN (full report):

In a series of emails on August 30, Dr. Ferrari and Dr. Sues discussed the Smithsonian’s procedures for hiring and firing a Research Associate and how Dr. Sternberg was approved for his RA position. Sues lamented that “The Sternberg situation could not have been prevented by senior management because his CV looks credible and does not reveal his interactions with the creationist movement.”44 Dr. Sues seemed to be suggesting that if Sternberg’s supposed interactions with the “creationist movement” were known, he would not have been approved as an RA, and the “situation” would have been prevented. [More…]

Dr. Ferrari’s comments also suggested a very real bias in the selection process: “I wonder, however, if we might consider a more open process of vetting nominees? For example, while a post doc here Sternberg was listed in an advertisement in the NY Times as a scientist at the Smithsonian Institution who did not believe in evolution. I saw that page and certainly would have spoken up had I known he was a prospective research associate.”45 Ferrari seemed to be suggesting that questioning evolution would disqualify a candidate for a position.

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Global Warming Fraud Uses Same Scientific Method as Evolution

The Internet is abuzz with the revelations that global warming proponents have been… lying, hiding data, and deceiving. The whole notion that ‘climate change’ is an emergency requiring drastic and immediate action now hangs in the balance. I was reminded of a post I wrote last year responding to a global warming skeptic comparing the global warming proponents to creationists. I said that in fact it was the other way around. Today, with ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ in particular being smacked around, it is good to revisit the issue.

Why?

Because the raw fact is that the ‘science’ behind global warming is just as shady as the ‘science’ behind macroevolution. Just as we see in this current case where scientists worked not merely to suppress data but also suppress viewpoints, trying to manipulate the peer review process to exclude dissenters and refusing to debate them in order to deprive them of credibility, so too in evolution.

This was exposed by Ben Stein’s Expelled, which I already discussed here.

But there are even more dramatic similarities between the ‘science’ behind evolutionary theory and global warming. It is my hope that when people see how reputable scientists tried to buffalo the entire world, hiding behind ‘consensus,’ and ridiculing those who think other wise- regarding global warming- that they will spot the same patterns of behavior regarding evolution… and approach it with more skepticism.

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