One thing that is true for most everybody who works on a congressional staff is that there is no end to things that must be read, or really should be read as soon as there is time, or that look like it might well be useful to read.
Then there is Jesus. Or the books about Jesus, written by His closest disciples, I should say. Lots of folks working on the Hill have never actually read, for example, the Book of John in the New Testament.
Stand to Reason’s Tim Barnett makes a compelling case in the following video that if we read nothing else, reading what those who knew Him best wrote about Him is absolutely essential. Why? Because over and over in the New Testament, people who heard Him speak said He spoke like no one they had ever heard before:
Think about this question very carefully before jumping to your conclusion. Are we human beings products of:
A. Billions of years of strictly material processes operating in predictable patterns that determine everything about us, including what we think, how we act and the desires in our hearts and minds?
B. Or are we human beings products of billions of chance collisions of atoms crashing around in a strictly material universe that has the appearance of order but is in fact in a state of permanent chaos?
If you choose either A or B, you are aligning with the conventional wisdom of contemporary science, media and academia. The material universe is all there is to reality.
Now, ponder this question: If there is no reality beyond the material world, operating either in predictable physical patterns or in endless chance collisions, is the idea that anything can be either “True” or “False” even possible?
But don’t take my word for it. Hear what Richard Dawkins, Steven Hawking and David Berlinski, atheist/agnostic all, say about this, courtesy of the recently passed Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, author of “Let My People Think:”
My Canadian brother in Christ, Bruce Cooper, is a man who chooses his words carefully and well, so when he takes up a topic like the fact that Jesus doesn’t (present tense because He is alive!) lie, I pay attention.
He has a must-read post today on “Reasoned Cases for Christ” entitled “Jesus Doesn’t Lie” that begins with a penetrating question:
Bet you didn’t know that the appearance of intelligent design in the universe is so deep and pervasive that more than a few otherwise convinced evolutionists concede that the world looks like it was created for a purpose.
In the following video, Eric Lyons of the Apologetics Press shares some surprisingly candid quotes from world-famous evolutionists like Jerry Coyne. At what point of interwoven sophistication in form and function does it become unreasonable to think it came to be strictly by chance?
You don’t have to agree with every jot and tittle of Lyons’ presentation (I don’t) to realize how amazing is the incredible complexity, cleverness and intricacy of creation, far beyond what might be possible through chance:
Everybody “just knows” murder is objectively wrong, as is genocide, and nobody doubts that torturing babies is everywhere and always absolutely, fundamentally immoral.
Right? Right?? Believe it or not, there are those who would not agree with the preceding statement. They deny that anything like objective truth exists, that what we accept as “truth” is actually relative to time, place, tradition, conventional wisdom, and so forth.
Cross-examined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek was engaged recently in a discussion about this issue with a sharp young man who appears to be a philosophy major. Their exchange was a good one from both sides and instructive for anybody involved in public policy issues:
It was written by a bunch of men. It’s full of mistakes. And it’s like, really, really old. So what is “it”? It’s the Bible, the most widely read and influential book in the entire history of mankind.
The Bible gives a lot of folks heartburn with its teachings about the nature of God, man, salvation and sin, so much so that it seems to encourages more than a few of its critics to search high and low, everywhere and anywhere, for objections to discredit the book’s history, teachings and provenance.
So what are the fact-based responses to these objections? Todd Friel’s “Wretched” produced the following”Road Trip to Truth” video, which provides, it should be noted, a tiny slice of the evidence that could be introduced in response to each of the three objections.
Are all white folks bigots? Advocates of Critical Race Theory would have us believe the answer to that question is a resounding yes. But the Declaration of Independence, written and adopted by a bunch of “old white guys,” declares that “all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.”
And before you say “yes, but,” can you name any other society in the entire recorded history of mankind that has done more to make that declaration a reality in the lives of the American people? We didn’t fight that bloody civil war for nothing.
One Minute Apologist Bobby Conway points to a vital prerequisite to a healthy discussion of these and related issues that is especially relevant for people working on Capitol Hill — let’s agree on how we define terms, then we can commence the verbal fisticuffs, er discussion:
It’s the most widely read book in human history, but the Bible may well also be the most frequently mis-understood or mis-represented written work ever produced.
Lots of people think the Bible says a lot of things that on closer inspection turn to out to be merely aphorisms or maxims. Perfect example is the cliche that “God helps those who help themselves.” No, that’s not in the Bible.
Stand to Reason’s Tim Barnett took up this issue recently and the result is a thought-provoking five-minute analysis of the crucial importance of actually knowing what the Bible says, as opposed to what its critics claim it says:
We hear about “diversity” frequently in the public forums these days, but rarely is that quality of people and things considered in the context of historic events such as the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But, as J. Warner Wallace of Cold-Case Christianity notes, there are seven diverse factors in the resurrection — let us refer to them as the “Seven Diversities.” For example, Wallace points to the fact that “Jesus appeared after the Resurrection to single eyewitnesses, to small groups and to huge crowds.”
Take two people of equal intelligence, similar life experiences and educational attainment, and in the same level of professional success, then hand them the Bible and what happens?
Don’t be surprised if one of them believes the Bible and the other doesn’t. Why does that happen? How can two similarly situated intelligent people reach diametrically opposed conclusions about the same book?
In the following video, former NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace talks about the three reasons that typically explain why an atheist rejects God and how that happens. Wallace, who is the founder of coldcasechristianity.com, also includes some fascinating information about him and his father, who remains an atheist:
“Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem. Everything that is written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be handed over to the Gentiles and He will be mocked, insulted, spit on; and after they flog Him, they will kill Him, and He will rise on the third day.”— Luke 18:31-33
And C.S. Lewis said:
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
Bill Walton graciously invited me to come on his show recently and we talked for 25 great minutes about why Hill aides are among the least well-known, but most influential groups in the nation’s capital, Christian apologetics, HillFaith, journalism, and much more.
These two graphs from my response to Bill’s opening question set the tone for the rest of what proved to be a delightful conversation:
“If you were asked, who’s the most influential but least well-known group in Washington, DC, if you really understand how things work in this town, you would say immediately, ‘Congressional Staff.’ There are about 20,000 of them. They are mostly young men and women, highly educated, very motivated, and very smart.
“They have a passion for public service and politics, who are also routinely over-worked, underpaid, and almost nothing gets done in Congress without them. They have tremendous power by virtue of their positions to influence public policy in this country, yet they may well be the most invisible power center in the nation’s capital.”
If the headline above makes no sense at all, that’s almost certainly because most folks have never heard of Mantle Bottom Pancakes since they have nothing to do with breakfast. They have everything to do, however, with places like the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
The Mantle is what’s below the surface of the Earth on which we live and, as Reasons to Believe’s Hugh Ross points out, it makes up more than 80 percent of the total volume of the Earth. And, he points out, it produces tremendous benefits for us on the surface in at least five ways.
And what does this have to do with working on Capitol Hill, or believing in God? Science is a major issue in countless ways in Congress. The more is known, the better life can be. Or to put it another way, the more we know about science, the more clear it becomes that Creation happened by design, not by chance.
As an astronomer, Ross is usually looking up and away from Earth, but in this fascinating article, he’s looking downward, and the results just may give you a new insight into the world we inhabit and why.
“Against the Tide: Finding God in an Age of Science” is a new documentary from Pensmore Films featuring Oxford Mathematics Professor Emeritus John Lennox and actor Kevin Sorbo, to be aired in more than 600 theaters across the country on November 19.
Kevin Sorbo is known to millions of Hollywood fans around the world as the lead character in one of the most successful syndicated TV series ever, “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” as well as “Andromeda” and “Supergirl.”
More recently, Sorbo has become known for his faith as a follower of Jesus Christ. “I am frequently berated by Hollywood compatriots for my Christian faith,” Sorbo said. “This seemed a great opportunity to learn how to respond from a master in turning the atheist manifesto on its head. Furthermore, I get to appear as ‘myself!’” Not every successful actor gets to appear on screen as themselves.
For more information on tickets and where the film is being shown, go here.