Friday, December 26, 2008

Waiting Wasting Time?

Stuck in line,
Just wasting time?

He seeks, inviting,
With you to share,
"Be still and know I am God."
Now, you're waiting,
And halfway there.

To worship His Glory,
Time's ripeness gain,
Frustrated and angry,
Blessing disdain.

Your choice.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Imagine students walking into the science classroom saying, "Blinders ON," as they walk through the door.

Tucked under their arms is a science book with a "Blinders ON" bookcover with "Blinders OFF" on the back.

Sitting at their desk, they pull out their "Blinders ON" notebooks. On the notebook cover is the message: "Know the worldview you are being taught - who is holding the reins? Is investigation of ALL the evidence encouraged? Are you being taught what to think or how to think?"

And not just science - history, social studies, literature, economics, ...

Imagine churches innoculating their children and youth to understand what is actually going on here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blinders on! Blinders off!

A 250 word article I submitted to my local newspapers. There will be more on this subject.

You’ve seen pictures of New York city carriage horses wearing blinders. This is a good thing; otherwise, the horse may get distracted and frightened by cars whizzing past.

When students walk into a science classroom with “nature’s all there is” as the underlying truth assumption for all “facts”, they’re being asked to don blinders, too. This is not a good thing – unless the students understand they are being asked to put the blinders on, and they remember to take them off leaving the classroom and entering back into a real world that cannot be adequately explained or lived in by “nature’s all there is.”

Look for the blinders preeminent Harvard biologist, Richard Lewontin, acknowledges: “It’s not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation (nature’s all there is) of the phenomenal world, but … we are forced by our a priori (before any evidence is considered) adherence to material causes to … produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

Lewontin candidly admits science’s primo principle, “nature’s all there is”, is a philosophical assumption that will make up and believe anything to NOT see the Divine. Science has made its little box and pulled its head inside.

Are we teaching horses or students? “Nature’s all there is” (Blinders ON) or “follow ALL evidence wherever it leads” (Blinders OFF)?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Two Out of Three Stinks

This is an article I submitted for publication in local newspapers.

Meatloaf’s song says: "I want you. I need you. But -- there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you. Now don’t be sad, cause two out of three ain’t bad."

Some abortion supporters say abortion’s not the only moral issue. "Let’s agree to disagree on abortion and focus on issues like feeding the hungry and healthcare availability for all." Most would agree on these even if we disagreed on the means.

So, we’re saying that "two out of three ain’t bad?" Depends on whether abortion is significantly different and higher than the others - just as love is over "wanting" and "needing".

Here are two pictures. You’re serving in a soup kitchen when, through the window, you see a baby crawling onto a busy street. Do you serve the two homeless men in line and then rescue the baby? No! There’s a greater moral imperative to rescue those in immediate peril.

There are three objects, all spherical. One’s the sun; the others, marbles. Beyond the size difference, there’s another significant difference - the light from one enables us to see the others.

Either life is intrinsically valuable or not. If it is, there’s a much higher moral imperative to rescue the thousands being killed daily. Ignoring this makes a mockery of caring for others. If life has no value and can be ended for discomfort and inconvenience, there’s absolutely no sustainable reason to care for others. Morality becomes a tool for political advantage.

"Two out of three" is just stinkin' thinking.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

When Man is the Measure of All Things

... then all things must fit that yardstick. The star filled sky is reduced to miles and wavelengths. No beauty. No wonder or awe. No need to thank anyone.

Reality is replaced by its image - like a television soap opera.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Teaching evolution in the classroom can be dangerous

Below is an article I wrote that was published in a local newspaper. It was written in support of Louisiana passing a Science Education Act giving teachers the academic freedom to introduce other relevant materials when teaching controversial subjects such as evolution, global warming, stem cell research, etc.

As you might expect there were a lot of the typical science vs religion, separation of church and state, sneaking Creationism into the classroom, and shell-game pro-evolution/pro-science articles mixing micro and macro evolution with no distinction articles published in addition to a very slanted Associated Press article that should have been put on the editorial page but was not. My article takes a different slant by simply saying that it is dangerous to our children's lives (and the world) if they are simply spoon fed one particular view and do not know how to think critically about all the evidence and be able to follow it wherever it leads. Predictably, teachers have already been warned of possible lawsuits if some student is offended by the presentation of alternate materials. So much for academic freedom!

In some way, Ben Stein's recent movie, No Intelligence Allowed, precipitated this legislation although the issue has been fermenting for quite a while. This is an excellent movie with a lot of gotcha's straight from the mouth of some of the high evolution priests - like Richard Dawkins admitting there might be something to Intelligent Design ... but the intelligent designer must have been aliens.

Here is the article:

Teaching evolution in the classroom can be dangerous. Why? Because some students may really get the message and apply it to their lives! Macro-evolution theory (bio diversity explained by undirected and purposeless natural causes) is an explanation of life and, if true, has very definite implications on how we should live our lives and view others.

Paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, Stephen Jay Gould, explained the logical result of evolution: "We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because comets struck the earth and wiped out dinosaurs, thereby giving mammals a chance not otherwise available (so thank your lucky stars in a literal sense); because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher' answer—but none exists. This explanation, though superficially troubling, if not terrifying, is ultimately liberating and exhilarating."

There’s no more desperate or universal human cry than for meaning and purpose, but, as Gould and many others have said, life has no ultimate meaning and purpose. You’re the accidental product of an undirected and totally natural evolutionary process. You get to invent your own purpose! When teachers, scientists, and other authority figures teach young, inquisitive, and idealistic students macro-evolution, don’t we expect them to trust what they’re being taught is true? Should we then be surprised when some learn the lesson all too well attempting to find their liberation in life’s ultimate meaninglessness?
Sprinkle that onto today’s youth, already assaulted by an unremitting stream of fast food, “have it your way,” consumption-driven, escapist, selfish, pleasure-soaked culture of death, and surprise, surprise, we get school violence, disrespect, suicide (after all, your meaningless life is worthless), teen pregnancies, and absent fathers. If the evolutionists are right, “Survival of the fittest” translates into “Do unto others before they do unto you!” Rather than crazy, maybe Klebold and Harris really proved to be the brightest students of all for their 1999 Columbine massacre.

This should matter to you. Ideas have consequences. Some ideas produce cures for cancer; others, slaughter millions. Men will seize any justification for the evil they are determined to do, and evolution is a very convenient excuse for the trivialization of human worth. The 20th century was the bloodiest of all centuries. Three regimes alone – Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung – murdered over 100,000,000 people pursuing their naturalistic philosophy. Adolf Hitler was greatly influenced by evolution. He, and the doctors, scientists, and academics who followed him transformed “survival of the fittest” into justification for eugenics – the extermination of those deemed weak, inferior, and unfit to live. Unfortunately, we forget the mind numbing concentration camp images of heaps and heaps of human bodies piled high like so much fire wood. Naturalistic philosophy can only shrug at the ease with which flawed beliefs led vast numbers of seemingly normal and rational people to do such horrific evil. This is not to imply that all evolutionists will become Nazis or Communists, but, when science rejects open and honest debate and does not disavow and correct misinterpretation, then a loaded pistol is left out in the open.

Macro-evolution theory is not solely to blame for the ills of our culture, but it has become the religion of the secular/naturalistic philosophies driving our cultural institutions - and all this by shutting down serious discussion of counter evidence and the inherent limitations of science’s natural-only assumptions. Young people need to be trained to honestly evaluate ideas and the forces and assumptions behind them. This is particularly important as some of today’s greatest issues are ethical ones – embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, human-animal cloning, etc. These decisions need to be made by an informed public and not a closed scientific community that answers only to the highest bidder. Studying life theories - macro-evolution, Intelligent Design, and even Creationism - presents a wonderful opportunity for teaching our youth how to follow all the evidence wherever it may lead in the pursuit of truth. Their lives and futures are at stake.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Faith as Small as a Grain of Mustard Seed

OK. I get it! Another embarassing, "Duh," moment.

Jesus tells his disciples, "And He said to them, 'Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountan, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move." (Mt 17:20) I knew and have been told that faith is not about how much you have but who/what it is in. Now, I finally understand how this verse and others - Mt 13:31, Mk 4:31, Lu 13:19, and Lu 17:6 - actually teach that point.

Jesus is actually chiding his disciples in Mt 17:20 - something He did several times in the Gospel accounts - for the immaturity ("littleness") of their faith and especially as applying it to external things, in this case failing to cast out a demon. On one hand their immaturity was somewhat understandable because they had not yet seen the post-resurrection, risen Christ. Compare this "littleness" and powerlessness of faith as compared with what these same disciples did in Acts. Yet, even for not having yet experienced the resurrection, they have still been with Jesus and have seen His power. Perhaps again, their lack of maturity is because their faith was still an external thing that they had not yet experienced internally.

The woman with the issue of blood who was healed by merely touching Jesus' garment (Mt 9:22) was told by Jesus, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." She had a personal (internal) experience in the exercise of faith,"Everyone else has failed me. He is my only hope." She reached out for Him in her desperation, and the mountain moved.

The thing that finally struck me is that if Jesus wanted to say the quantity of faith was important, He would not have picked the smallest seed, but rather the largest!

Another thing significant about the smallest seed is found in Mt 13:31 where the smallest seed becomes a great tree. You can't see the great tree in the small seed; that is the result of working faith.

Have just finished reading a great book by Timothy Keller, The Reason for God, Belief in an Age of Skepticism. He gives an excellent illustration of the importance of what your faith is placed in:

"The faith that changes the life and connects to God is best conveyed by the word "trust.' Imagine you are on a high cliff and you lose your footing and begin to fall. Just beside you as you fall is a branch sticking out of the very edge of the cliff. It is your only hope and it is more than strong enough to support your weight. How can it save you? If your mind is filled with the intellectual certainty that the branch can support you, but you don't actually reach out and grab it, you are lost. If your mind is instead filled with doubts and uncertainties that the branch can hold you, but you reach out and grab it anyway, you will be saved. Why? It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you. Strong faith in a weak branch is fatally inferior to weak faith in a strong branch. (emphasis added)"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What is Truth?

Pilate's response to Christ at His trial, "What is truth?", has been used by many unbelievers as a conversation stopper when talk has turned to eternal things.

Pilate did not have a problem with understanding what truth was. He knew exactly what he expected when he demanded truthfulness from one of his Legion commanders. Pilate's quip really meant "What has truth got to do with this situation, this rabble inciting to riot, and the power I have over you?" Pilate knew what the truth of the matter was but he was not going to decide Christ's fate based on the truth.

Everyone knows what truth is. Just ask them if it would be OK for their banker or accountant to lie to them. They know what truth means when it comes to money. What they may be uncomfortable about is how to determine truth when it comes to religous claims, but the answer is the same as when dealing with money - count the evidence.

Christians should be equipped and prepared to show the truthfulness and reasonableness of our faith.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Greatest Wonder of Genesis Creation

Many want to debate whether the creation account of Genesis 1 has God creating everything in 6 literal 24 hour days.

To me, the most amazing question if God spoke everything into existence in 6 literal 24 hour days is, "What did He do with the other 23 hours and 59.9999999999999999999999999999
... you get the idea ...
9999999999999999999 minutes of each day?"

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

the Evolutionist's Library

Did you hear about the evolutionist who, after much study and thought, threw away his entire library of books - Shakespeare, e.e.cummings, Robert Frost, Issac Asimov science fiction, chemistry and biology books - and replaced them all with one book?

He replaced them with a dictionary. After all, books are just collections of words, and a dictionary is the comprehensive collection of words. No need of the extraneous books.

In fact, the dictionary is a special Evolution dictionary - the words are in random order.

When "nature" is all there is, reductionism is the inevitable result of the scientific search for explanations. As Richard Dawkins said, "We're just dancing to our DNA." How's that as an answer for evil?

Monday, May 05, 2008

g or G

Anytime you are talking with someone else or reading articles talking about God, you need to keep your sonar alert for the g or G flip-flop phenomenon. You have to keep asking yourself, "Are they talking about god or God?"

How many times have you read articles penned by an atheist talking about God where you realize he/she is describing the god of the mirror, not God, the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Creator of the Universe?

Below is a rough approximation of an experience of one apologist during a question and answer time.

"Who created God?"

Apologist, "I don't understand your question."

(louder) "I said, who created God?"

Apologist, "I heard you the first time, but I don't understand the question you are asking. It doesn't make any sense."

"I want to know what caused God to come into existence."

Apologist, "Your question still does not make sense. You are asking me who caused the "uncaused cause", God. You are trying to deny the meaning of the concept of God by citing it's definition. Your question does not make sense."

Finally realizing his god view of God, "Oh."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Emotionally Satisfying Answers

When I was very young, I absolutely hated getting shots - they hurt.

Every shot was a contest - me and Davy Crockett vs the evil nurse and Santa Anna - and, like the Alamo, the hero always lost. Though I don't remember it as being intentional, there was the time a nurse manged to get her chin in the way of my flailing little boots ...

It didn't matter how much my mother tried to explain to her 6 year old son that the medicine in the shot would make him well. I was looking for an emotionally satisfying answer. In fact the only answer that would be emotionally satisfying was -- no shot. I never got that answer.

More than once, I wondered how my otherwise loving mother could allow such harm to come to her favorite son!

Of course, now that I am older and have been in my mother's shoes, I see it differently. I see and understand now what I did not see nor understand as a child. The child wanted an emotionally satisfying answer; the parent wanted what was best for the child. Mama knew there was a greater good, even if the child cried and suffered pain.

We all want emotionally satisfying answers for tragedy, death, and evil -- but, like the child, the only emotionally satisfying answer we'll accept is for it to stop. For the Christian, we have the promise that one day all things will be made right -- death and evil will be banished, but, today, they are here and we are challenged to show forth God's Glory by perseverance and overcoming as our Savior did.

Also, the Christian has the assurance that our God is the wise loving parent that understands what we cannot and sees the purpose in what we go through. Our response should be "Not my will be done but Thine."

That is our comfort, and it is the best emotionally satisfying answer.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Secular Dreams

Is worship confined to a time and place or is all of life to be a living worship?

Is there a place, a time, an action, or an idea over which God does not claim absolute sovereignty and the right of judgment?

Is there a place where the light of Truth should not shine?

Is there a place where the expression of God’s mercy and grace should be banned?

Is there a place one can flee where God does not hold one accountable for their decisions?

Is there a place where Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”, is not the most important question of life?

Is there a place where reality does not softly cry out its “madeness”?

Is there a time or place where there is no one to thank?

Where does just saying something is so make it True?

So, where is room found for “secular”? Only in the vain dreams of the Godless.

Monday, February 18, 2008

All Those Hypocrites in Church

Below was submitted for publication to local newspapers. These articles are limited to 250 words.

Saying “the church is full of hypocrites” is like saying “hospitals are full of sick people.” Yes, the church is full of people who are sick - sick of living lives hypocritical to the God who is real. Tired of letting the world suck life out with false pleasures never fulfilled, they want the quality life – abundant and overflowing with meaning, peace, and joy here and now.

Like the hospital, not everyone who goes to church gets “cured”. After all, humility is hard, especially for us hypocrites, and acknowledging our own hypocrisy is where the road to healing starts. The fact that everyone who goes into a hospital doesn’t come out healed doesn’t stop people from going there – especially when the disease is serious and the hospital is the only option to save your life.

Then there’s that hypocrisy that some “honest” folks practice – looking only at the bad and ignoring the radically transformed lives they see coming out of the church. Everyone knows someone changed far beyond the power of any psychiatrist or Oprah. In fact, the “cure” is no more “inside” the walls of the church than it is the hospital. The power is in a personal encounter with the Truth of the God and Christ the church should represent.

If you can only see hypocrites when you look at the church, then I guess we’re just your kind of place. We’ll save a place on the pew for you.