Sean McDowell Explains Why The Martyrdoms Of Jesus’ Disciples Are VIP Today

Among the most significant evidence from logic to support the credibility of the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — is the fact none of the original disciples ever disavowed their claims about Jesus’ life and miracles, including the Resurrection.

The absence of any such disavowal, either documented or merely rumored, is not prima facie proof, but it does provide a weighty addition to the case for the truth of the Bible.

Biola University Professor Sean McDowell looks in the following video at the biblical and secular evidence on the question, lays out the main points of debate and offers conclusions about the significance:


 

‘God Made Me Fast And When I Run, I Feel His Pleasure’ Do You?

Scotland’s Eric Liddell is best-known these days, where he is known at all, as one of the heroes of the 1981 classic movie, “Chariots of Fire,” thanks to his winning gold medals at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

Screen shot from “Chariots of Fire’ clip on youtube.com.

What is less well-known is that Liddell was a deeply committed, born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior. He came from a missionary family and died of a brain tumor while in Japanese internment in China a few months before the end of World War II.

“Chariots” remains to this day my favorite movie of all time for one scene in particular in which Liddell explains to his critical sister that he will return to the mission work in China, but first he must honor God by competing in the Olympics. Thus his wonderful declaration that “God made me for a purpose. God made me fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Continue reading “‘God Made Me Fast And When I Run, I Feel His Pleasure’ Do You?”

STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted On The Hill This Week

Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Jake Johnsen has set up shop as Chief of Staff for Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY). Jake is a 2009 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in political science.

Natalie Johnson, press secretary for Sen. Martha McSally. Screen shot from Facebook).

Natalie Johnson is now Press Secretary for Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), moving up to the Senate side after serving Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and the House Republican Conference. Natalie’s BA in political science was awarded in 2015 from James Madison University.

Caroline Goodsen has made the move from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) to serve as Military Legislative Assistant to Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI). Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted On The Hill This Week”

Atheist Richard Dawkins Is, Sort Of, Talking Approvingly About Cannibalism, Again

Richard Dawkins is among the world’s best-known atheists, having debated just about every major contemporary Christian apologist, including John Lennox, his Oxford faculty colleague, as well as philosopher William Lane Craig, and Ravi Zacharias.

Screen shot from Facebook.

Whatever you may think about Dawkins’ arguments against the existence of God, or how he performed versus Lennox, Craig or Zacharias, my interest here is in a strange but significantly revealing aspect of the evolutionary biologist’s recent statements about … cannibalism.

Tweeting the link Monday to a Forbes article about the growth of cell-grown meat products, Dawkins observed that “human steak could, of course, be cultured. Would you eat it? I wouldn’t, but it’s hard to say why. It would be cultured from a single nameable person. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall served human placenta, also clone of 1 person, in this case the baby. I wouldn’t eat that either.” Continue reading “Atheist Richard Dawkins Is, Sort Of, Talking Approvingly About Cannibalism, Again”

Here’s The Science Behind Paul The Apostle On Positive Thinking (And Working On The Hill)

Capitol Hill work is often stressful and insecure because in great part so much of one’s ability to succeed depends on others, many of whom either see only their own interests or are actively working against yours.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

So, consider what Paul the Apostle in his letter to the Philippians said in giving them — and us — some timely advice about what we focus our minds on. It probably sounds to many today like something Cervantes’ Don Quixote or Voltaire’s Dr. Pangloss would say.

It comes as Paul concludes his letter with this admonition: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Continue reading “Here’s The Science Behind Paul The Apostle On Positive Thinking (And Working On The Hill)”

How Are Your Telomeres Today? Can Faith Actually Help You Live Longer, Healthier?

Unless you are deep into the study of cellular biology, odds are you have no idea that your body is so dependent on telomeres because they are essential to the quality and length of your life.

Photo by Holger Link on Unsplash

So what on earth is a telomere? TA Sciences begins by noting that they are “an essential part of human cells that affect how our cells age,” then continues by explaining:

“Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces.Without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t do their job.”

In other words, when your telomeres can’t do their job, your life is adversely affected, and ultimately ended prematurely. Continue reading “How Are Your Telomeres Today? Can Faith Actually Help You Live Longer, Healthier?”

How To Know That The Life And Miracles Of Jesus Aren’t Just A Legend

If you’ve ever been involved in a debate on campus or in a typical Washington discussion group about religion, odds are good you’ve heard somebody claim the following:

“You can’t trust the Bible because Jesus was a man who was a great teacher but still no more than a man, and besides, in the decades after his death, his followers  invented Christianity by embellishing his words and actions to turn him into this mythical God-man figure.”

It may sound sophisticated and smart, but the reality, as NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains in the following video, is the Gospels are solid and credible testimony that you could stake your life on in court:


 

New Data Shows The ‘Nones’ Have Peaked, May Even Be Dropping Among Gen Zs

Experts didn’t expect such a development but it appears the ranks of the “Nones” — people who identify with no religious denomination or following — are no longer increasing and a decline may even be ahead.

Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman (Screen shot from Facebook).

That’s the news from two recently completed massive studies, both of which are reported today by the Religion in Public (RIP) blog. In the first, Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman notes:

“A truism of the American religious landscape is that Americans are becoming more religiously unaffiliated and that this tendency is especially pronounced among the Millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1996). Continue reading “New Data Shows The ‘Nones’ Have Peaked, May Even Be Dropping Among Gen Zs”

STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted This Week

Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Molly Carpenter moves up from military legislative assistant to legislative director for Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). Molly is a Hill veteran, having served in various positions since 2002, including stints with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). She is a 2014 MA graduate of Johns Hopkins University in government and political communication, and a 2008 BA graduate in political science and government from the University of Indiana at Bloomington.

Rosalyn Hollingsworth (Screen shot from Facebook).

Got a scheduling question involving Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)? Then you need to talk to Rosalyn Hollingsworth, the new scheduler in the office. Rosalyn previously worked as an intern for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). She is a 2019 political science graduate from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas.

Another Hill veteran, Meagan Foster, moves over from the Senate to legislative director for Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), after two-and-a-half years as senior policy adviser to Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM). Her Hill career began in January 2009 as a legislative correspondent for Rep. Mark Begich (D-AK). Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted This Week”

THINK ABOUT THIS: The Problem Of What Happens To Those Who Have Never Heard Of Jesus

It’s not a new problem, this question about all the people on earth and down through the centuries since Jesus — before He was crucified dead, buried and then resurrected on the third day — told everybody who would listen that He is the only way to eternal salvation.

A man who received a tract in the market near Hananeel Baptist Church sits down to read about Jesus.

Well, what about all those millions of men and women who never got the word about Jesus? How many millions of people died before the Christian church began sending missionaries carrying the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world?

There have been a variety of possible answers to this problem. Some have argued that such people didn’t hear about Jesus because God chose for them not to hear about Him. This video from Reasonable Faith offers another take:


Are You Following HillFaith? Think Of What You Are Missing!


 

WORKING ON THE HILL: Data Shows Dramatic Declines Since 1981; Kosar Tells Committee The Congress Needs Bigger Staff

Congress is the “first branch” because the Founders intended the Republic’s national legislature to be “the fountain of all lawmaking authority and governmental action,” according to Kevin Kosar, vice-president for research partnerships of the R Street Institute.

Kosar’s comment came in his mid-January testimony before a hearing of the House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress concerning the growing inability of the First Branch to fulfill its constitutional roles.

The cause of that growing inability is clear: Congress is starving itself of the most critical resources, especially experienced staff, to do its many jobs, according to Kosar. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Data Shows Dramatic Declines Since 1981; Kosar Tells Committee The Congress Needs Bigger Staff”

THINK ABOUT THIS: Here’s How Quantum Mechanics Shows That The Universe Has A Purpose

Quantum Mechanics demonstrates beyond any shadow of doubt that the universe can be explained entirely by the physical properties of matter and how they interact, so there’s no longer any place for God, right? Right???

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Not so fast, says Mind Matters’ Eric Holloway.

“If human observers are necessary for physical final causality to occur, how do humans come to have the capability in the first place? This question points to a yet even higher source of final causality that extends beyond the human realm, and is responsible for the final causality that humans exhibit,” Holloway writes.

Even if you are like me and are universes away from being able to claim to understand Quantum Mechanics, Holloway’s analysis will likely fascinate you and it will certainly give you some important new insights about our world and how it got here. Go here.


 

There Is A BIG Difference Between A Fact And An Inference

If Joe tells you that two plus two equals four, he’s told you a fact. But if he then tells that you two is the square root of four and you conclude Joe has something more than basic math skills, you’re making an inference. But how do you know if your inference is accurate?

Are facts and inferences really so different? That’s an important question if you work on Capitol Hill. Consider these two claims: The federal budget has a huge deficit this year and it’s all X’s fault. You know which of those two claims is a fact but how do you determine if the inference is true or false.

J. Warner Wallace, NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective and founder of coldcasechristianity.org, spent years cracking old unsolved murders, so he knows a few things about the difference between facts and inferences, plus knowing how to judge the accuracy of an inference:


 

Working On The Hill: Is Having Ambition A Good Or Bad Thing?

By Bret Bernhardt

The simple answer is yes, but it depends on the kind of ambition it is. Regardless of our ideology or political affiliation, most everyone who works on Capitol Hill shares a similar energy, passion, and ambition.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Interestingly, these character traits look similar among staff and Members of Congress across the political divide. What separates them is the purpose for which they are used.

Take the example of the Apostle Paul. Before his conversion on the road to Damascus, he was passionate, zealous, and ambitious. Then look at Paul’s personality after his conversion. He continued to be passionate, zealous, and ambitious but the difference — and it’s a big one — is that these energies were re-focused on love of God rather than love of the law. Continue reading “Working On The Hill: Is Having Ambition A Good Or Bad Thing?”

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Did Thomas The Disciple Die A Martyr For The Gospel In India?

Tradition has it that all of the original surviving 11 disciples of Jesus died as martyrs while defending their claims that Christ had been resurrected on the third day after being crucified.

Thomas, the skeptical disciple (i.e. the “Doubting Thomas”) who refused to believe the resurrection until Jesus appeared to him and invited him to touch his crucifixion wounds, is believed to have taken the Gospel to India where he died as a martyr.

As Biola University Professor Sean McDowell explains in the following video, there is no independent corroboration for this tradition, but there is good historical evidence to support the conclusion that there is truth in the account: