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Tag: religion

The Need for an Absolute Frame of Reference For there to be Ultimate Meanings

When I was in college I made a nuisance of myself once by finding the slope of a vertical line (which, we are told, is ‘undefined.’)  Impossible, you say.  As did the math instructor.  But I ‘found’ it by rotating the grid beneath the line and recalculated, for now, of course, the line wasn’t perfectly vertical anymore.

You may say that this was a cheap trick and doesn’t really find the slope of a ‘vertical’ line.  You might say that we are required, by assumption, to take the graph in a certain way.  I might reply that that is only … continue reading...

Sunday School Christianity Is Dangerous to the Faith

I received a forwarded email that originally was sent by some media guy who lost his faith reporting on religion.  In that email the following excerpt was provided, abbreviated already, and I abbreviated it more:

… Having been raised to believe in a just God, my faith was shaken when my husband and I lost our ten-year-old child to Cystic Fibrosis, a congenital disease for which there is no cure.

We felt betrayed that a loving God could bring such pain to parents who lived by the Golden Rule and followed the Ten Commandments. As we coped with our grief, … continue reading...

Ministry in a Virtual and Digital Age

I learned today that a friend of mine who specializes in the study of virtual communities and education did a presentation recently on ministry in a virtual world and I got a mention (around the 70 minute mark).  I thought the presentation was excellent and if your church or ministry wants an overview on virtual ministry and some guidance on how to proceed, the full 77 minute presentation will help you.

Here is the link to the audio of the presentation and you’ll note that he has made his power point available as well.  (Sntjohnny.com is slide 43 but it … continue reading...

Power to the Experts! Down with Intelligent Design! To arms, to arms!

So one of the biggest public events in the Intelligent Design debate is upon us.  Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is going to be out in theaters today.  Browsing through anti-ID commentary you get a sense of the heat this movie is taking.  It is a small taste of the heat this movie is about.  The stated concerns range all over the place, but the underlying premise that seems to have them pulling out their hair is that such popularizations of the debate are bad, very bad, because the American public are, well, morons.  Why can’t people just be … continue reading...

The Growth of the Early Church: A Testimony Believed. Martyrs for what they saw not what they believed.

The Growth of the Early Church: A Testimony Believed.

This essay was written in response to challenges to demonstrate that the early Christians died because of their testimony, and their unwillingness to reject their testimony. In other words, they believed that they had actually seen certain events, and chose to die rather than deny what they had seen. Contrast with an event like 9-11, where we talk about 19 Muslims flying into the towers ‘because of their beliefs.’ I will contend in this essay that the early martyrs were driven on by what they witnessed with their own eyes- externally- continue reading...

A Response to Herr Professor Regarding Evolution and Racism, and Watson

Herr Professor, writing here, wants to take me to task for some of the things that I said in this post, here.

I thank the gentleman for taking the time to read my entry though as I read his I did begin to doubt that he really did read mine. Besides the standard skeptical psychoanalysis one has come to expect (think: Dawkins’s argument that religious tendencies are ‘misfires.’ We should be weeding out people with the religion gene, don’t you agree?), I had my first ever experience of being described as racist and somehow siding with Dr. Watson’s … continue reading...

Not just any time. The right time.

When I was a religion teacher I was often asked why God didn’t perform miracles today as often as he did in the Christian Scriptures. The question is a natural one. As one starts from Genesis and proceeds through Revelation, there are a litany of miraculous events happening one after the other. However, it is easy to forget that the Scriptures aren’t a history of the entire human race. They skip around- after the miraculous events surrounding Daniel there was a 400 year silence before Jesus was born. And even in a single book, there could be dozens and hundreds … continue reading...

It’s true, that’s why. Not because it’s useful.

I’ve been plugging away on this thread here on my forum and the conversation has turned towards the question of objective morality and atheism. As happens so often, the atheists in question seem to think my point is that they would not be moral apart from God when in fact my point is that they are moral without their belief in God- but why should they be? That they insist that they are moral demands an explanation. And again, as so often happens, the question arises- don’t you think that you need religion to be moral?

I was painting my … continue reading...

Is religion dangerous? Continued thoughts…

This particular question has been coming up fairly often of late and has even been treated on my forum (www.sntjohnny.com/smf) and in an audio debate (hosted somewhere on this domain). When the question is carefully phrased we are helped greatly in answering it because there are some senses in which we could agree that yes, religion is dangerous, but disagree with the implicit charge that this fact is bad on its face. In the course of a single conversation you can usually expect definitions of ‘danger’ to change on you (logical fallacy of equivocation) over and over again.… continue reading...

According to Plan Means trusting the Planner

Naturally, when you get through Dawkins’s attempt to create a universal moral code apart from religion, he wants to add his private view that a little more flexibility about sexuality would be nice… so he adds that into his preferred new ’10 commandments.’  C.S. Lewis speculated that it is “Thou shalt not commit adultery” that burns people the most.  They can live with the ones against murder and theft. 

On another note, Dr. Dean Udell just took offense on his radio program to arguments that marriage is meant for procreation… “What about the infertile?!?” referring to a program in some … continue reading...

Blood on our Hands

The conversation in the US of late is whether or not we should pull out of Iraq or some other scenario.  It may seem that this is an issue segregated from religion and Christianity but I refuse to believe that one’s ideas- religious or otherwise- have no bearing on real life… indeed, if they did, they’d be fundamentally pointless.

Parallels to Vietnam have been made and in some respects I think they are accurate.  The problem is that the parallels are not extended far enough.  If we take a fairly common Liberal notion that our people in our own particular … continue reading...

Authority and Transcendence

Right now on TV they are having a special on the infamous Milgram experiment (link) which reminded me of a post I had in mind to write a couple of days ago.  The Milgram’s experiment puts to shame and disgrace the asinine, arrogant, and smug assertions of atheists that, “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”  (Cogito quoting Weinberg). 

No, you really don’t.  And actually, since when do atheists possess an objective measure of … continue reading...

Dawkins puts his foot in it

In my review of Dawkins’s book I have already insinuated that before we turn any attention at all to the man’s arrogance, his scholarship should be questioned. That is to say, we ought not consider his views on religion to be credible even in the slightest. An example to illustrate this surfaced that will run out of order for my reviews, so I am going to address it singly.

On page 133 we have Dawkins going after Behe saying, “Another of Behe’s favourite [sic] alleged examples of ‘irreducible complexity’ is the immune system. Let Judge Jones himself take up the continue reading...

Why Christianity is Different

There are a lot of people out there that think that religions are all the same, and a large number of those people are Christians themselves.  The idea is that there really isn’t any true explanation out there, and anyway, it would be rude, or arrogant, to say that you’ve got it, even if you think you do.  This pretty well numbs the Christians who hold such a view from doing any evangelism… it would be rude… but these folks forget that their Scriptures do not define ‘religion’ the way it has been used all over the place for centuries.  … continue reading...