Students at a Kansas middle school will no longer be able to fill Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes with gifts for poor children overseas after the superintendent caved to an atheist activist group’s litigation threat.
“While it is laudable for a public school to promote student involvement in the community by volunteering and donating to charitable organizations, the school cannot use that goal as an avenue to fund a religious organization with a religious mission,” the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) told Pratt Public Schools Superintendent Tony Helfrich in a Nov. 3 letter, according to Michael Foust, reporting for Christian Headlines.
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:
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:
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.
There is a a frequently heard claim by prominent atheist advocates like Sam Harris that Christians who argue for the existence of God are merely using God to explain the gaps in human knowledge about how the universe came to be, the origin of life, and other mysteries.
“Hey, we don’t understand how the world was created, or even if it was or has just always been, so that must be explained by a god,” is the alleged process atheists accuse Christians of following.
If you are a congressional aide who works on either of the Senate or House committees that deal with science and technology, odds are good you’ve heard this argument articulated more than once.
But, guess what, the same reasoning can be applied to “science of the gaps,” according to J. Warner Wallace of Cold-Case Christianity and NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective renown. “To deny personhood of the First Cause is science of the gaps,” he argues in the following video:
Daniel Bell, the great American sociologist of the 20th century, once declared that “the essence of modernity is that nothing is sacred.” Dostoevsky put it a little more precisely: “If God is dead, then everything is permitted.”
Just how right the sociologist and novelist were was foreshadowed by a brilliant and prophetic novel written in 1945 ago by C.S. Lewis that, unfortunately, never achieved the same level of popularity as the author’s monumental apologetical work, “Mere Christianity.”
Lewis’ obscure masterpiece is “That Hideous Strength,” a fictional vision of what happens when science is abused: Think racism, eugenics, and the devaluation of human life. Yes, it is a close relative to his “The Abolition of Man.”
This Discovery Science video reminds us that Lewis was not merely a supremely imaginative writer and deeply perceptive thinker, he was also gifted with a prophetic vision of where Western civilization appeared to be headed (which, by the way, my Capitol Hill friends, is where we are rapidly arriving today, it seems):
Does it really matter whether God exists? There are so many things that demand immediate attention, like your job on the Hill, the next job you want on the Hill, your personal relationships, your present bank balance, your future credit rating, where you’re going Thursday night, why does he/she do that …
We all do that, put the things of daily life on top of our priorities list. The God question gets shuffled to the back of the mind, if even there. But what happens when trouble comes along? Why does it so often matter then, but not before?
J. Warner Wallace, the NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective and author of “God’s Crime Scene” and “Cold-Case Christianity,” offers a wholly unexpected explanation for why it matters a great deal all the time:
To counter the otherwise overwhelmingly convincing evidence for Intelligent Design (ID) of our universe, critics often claim that there are actually millions of universes and it just happens that one of them has all of those characteristics cited by ID advocates as evidence for the guiding hand of a designer.
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace tackles the multiverse theory in the following video produced as part of his lecture series based on his book, God’s Crime Scene.
The crime scene refers to Wallace’s prior career as a cold-case detective who was so good at unwinding decades old homicides that he made multiple appearances on NBC’s “Dateline” show.
Among the most powerful ways of demoralizing or belittling an opponent is to mock their position. It’s not one I recommend, but it is the source of a particular kind of argument one hears from time to time from atheists in discussion with Christians.
“Believing in God makes about as much logical sense as believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” is one form of mockery that, as cold-casechristianity.com’s J. Warner Wallace points out, was first heard in 2005 during debates in Kansas over whether to include Intelligent Design evidence as an alternative to evolutionary theory in public schools.
The most unfortunate aspect of this retort is the fact that Christianity, unlike any other world religion, is based on a fact in history for which there is significant evidence that can be assessed, verified and then accepted or rejected. And that makes all the difference:
You may have heard of Enrico Fermi. He’s the Italian physicist who invented the first nuclear reactor. He also asked a rather pointed question that ought to challenge the best thinkers among advocates and critics of intelligent design.
That question — AKA “Fermi’s Paradox” — is simply this: If the universe is infinitely old, or billions and billions of years old, and there are multiple life forms out there, why haven’t they found us yet? Why haven’t we turned up at least a little evidence of their existence? (Yes, I know, maybe they/we have and we just don’t know it).
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace explains the significance of Fermi’s Paradox in the great debate between those who claim the universe’s marvelous perfection is accidental and those who argue that it’s that way because its Creator designed it like that:
It’s among the most basic questions of all and how we each answer it shapes our thinking on everything else, often in ways we don’t realize. And it involves the most basic law of logic, non-contradiction, as well as the law of cause and effect.
In the following video, Kyle Butt of the Apologetics Press analyzes the claim of materialists that the universe (the effect) had no non-material cause. Pay close attention to the explanation offered by Stephen Hawking, who surely was one of the smartest men who ever lived:
Had a birthday a few days ago. How old am I now? Let’s just say, as President Reagan often did, that it was the 41st anniversary of my … okay, moving right along. It doesn’t really matter how old I became, what is really important here is that the occasion means I completed another of my allotted years, however many that may ultimately be.
But we all know what happens when we reach that final day and breath our last. We die. What then? Is that all there is to it? What happens after we die? If you are a secularist/humanist, there are, in the final analysis, what appear to be two possible answers but which are actually variations on a *theme:
There is a common assertion among atheists that religion is the cause of millions of deaths that would otherwise not have happened. The implication is that a world without religion would be peaceful whereas religion always and everywhere causes wars.
The implication is further that Christianity is somehow particularly prone to inciting armies to march and clash. Considering the Middle Ages and Reformation eras, there’s certainly an abundance of examples that seem to support the assertion, but, as is well-illustrated by, for example, Thucydides’ “The Peloponnesian War” and Julius Caesar’s “The Gallic Wars,” the ancient pagan world was equally familiar with wars having little or nothing to do with religion.
So the facts of history, especially in the modern era, simply do not support that atheist/agnostic contention about religion and war. As Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org points out in the following video, the worst killers have been followers of officially atheistic Communism, genocidal murderers like Stalin and Mao.
And just for the record, the common element in all wars, be they religiously inspired or prompted by non-religious factors, is human nature and man’s ready resort to killing to settle things, otherwise known as Original Sin.
And Since We’re Talking About War, Don’t Miss This!
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, among much else, “you are saved by grace, not of works, lest any man should boast.” That makes Christianity a relationship with the Savior, not a religion of dos and don’ts by which one earns salvation.
Virtually any time somebody who believes the universe was created by God debates another person who denies that claim, odds are good the latter will accuse the former of advocating the “God of the gaps” theory.
That theory is a rhetorical device lobbed by the speaker using it at the other person to claim they are simply inventing “God” to fill in the gaps of their knowledge created by the present lack of a purely materialistic or scientific explanation. The often unstated assumption is that given enough time, such an explanation will be found.
Cross-examined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek addresses the “God of the gaps” theory in the following video and, at least in my humble opinion, makes it crystal clear why it is nothing more than a rhetorical device: