It all started with the Big Bang, right? Billions of years ago, there was nothing of the universe but empty space. No Earth. No stars or moons. Nobody anywhere. Nothing but … lots and lots of nothing.
Then the Big Bang happened and, well, the rest is literally history, right up to this moment as you read these words. You aren’t certain why it happened but you are convinced it did.
But hang on a second, there’s an aspect of the Big Bang that you probably haven’t thought about. It makes all the difference, however, because it’s a miracle, something super-natural, beyond what we understand to be normal. Cold Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, author of “God’s Crime Scene,” explains why:
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.
Rob Burgess moves over from Red Rock Strategies to Communications Director for Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.). Rob is a 2008 Ball State University graduate in political science and campaign communications.
Amy Travieso Loveng is the new Chief of Staff for Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas). This is a return engagement for Amy as she served as the veteran Texan’s Deputy Chief of Staff from 2011 to 2017. Amy is a Texas Aggie, graduating from Texas A&M in 2008 with a BA.
Heading to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue is Gregory Angelo to take over as Press Secretary for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Gregory was previously Communications Director for Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas). He is a 2000 cum laude graduate of Boston College.
Arthur Sidney has left the staff of Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) to become vice president for public policy at the Computer & Communications Industry Association. Sidney served as Chief of Staff/Chief Counsel for Johnson, as well as before that for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). Arthur’s LLM degree was awarded in 1999 by American University’s Washington College of Law. His law degree came in 1998 from Howard University Law School. He is a 1995 cum laude graduate of Vassar University with a BA in international and African Studies. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Moving Up On The Hill This Week”
Kurt Brouwer was a successful financial counselor before retiring to Hawaii some years ago. He now spends a lot of time boating, beaching and bumming around as he pleases. Some guys, right? 🙂
But he’s also a Christian and quite a thoughtful one at that. As he explains, “Don’t get me wrong, I still spend time outdoors in this amazing place, but ideas and thoughts about God keep popping up in my head. So, I write them down and then publish them” on kurtbrouwer.com.
His recent thoughts about three guys you may recognize from the New Testament caught my eye, and I encourage you to follow the link and read his post.
And yes, I know Stephen, Saul and Paul are actually two guys. But Saul and Paul are so radically different that in a sense they are actually two people. But Kurt will explain it.
Doesn’t matter what event or issue is involved, there are likely conspiracy theories galore about how those on top got there, why former leaders no longer are and a whole host of other things, including just about everything from who really shot JFK to COVID-19’s spread from Wuhan, China.
But how seriously should conspiracy theories be taken? People on the far Right believe Communists secretly took over the U.S. government and are controlling it today. People on the far Left contend a few rich capitalists control the levers of power.
Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org asks in this interview of cold-case christianity’s J. Warner Wallace about conspiracy theories and Wallace explains that there are three motives invariably found behind crimes and conspiracies, sexual lust, greediness for money and the desire for power. And that’s just for starters!
Got a media question for Rep. David Ciciline (D-RI)? His new Press Secretary is Matt Handverger, who previously was with the House Democratic Caucus as New Media Press Secretary. Matt’s BA was awarded in 2010 by American University in communication, legal institutions, economics and government.
Timothy Michalakis making the move from being a Policy Fellow for Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) to Legislative Assistant. Timothy was awarded an MPA by the University of Texas Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs in 2019.
Taking on the duties as Legislative Director for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is Chris Jaarda. Chris was previously Legislative Counsel for Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) and has been in various positions on the Hill since 2002. Chris earned his law degree in 1998 from the Villanova University School of Law. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Moving Up On The Hill This Week”
Repression against Christian churches throughout China is on the upswing generally as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seeks to crush that nation’s fastest growing faith.
Bitter Winter, a religious freedom watchdog group, reports that regime officials are forcing churches to remove their crosses.
“One church member in Anhui told Bitter Winter that China fears Christians will ‘unite with foreigners against the state,’ according to the Christian Headlines (CH) digital news outlet.
“’As crosses are being removed throughout the country, those who refuse to cooperate will be accused of opposing the Communist Party,’ the church member said. ‘We are pressured to give up our faith, but we will persevere.’
“Churches in China must register with the government and join either the Three-Self Patriotic Movement or the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Because state-registered churches face severe restrictions, millions of Christians worship in illegal underground churches,” CH reported.
We humans just love our straw men, don’t we? It’s so much easier to tear apart our distorted and inaccurate version of what somebody who disagrees with us thinks than to deal with the actual substance of their opinion.
Stand To Reason’s Tim Barnett points to this quote from atheist philosopher Peter Boghossian as an example of a straw man argument: “Definition of Faith: Pretending to know things you don’t know.”
Hoo boy, there is so much straw in that claim you could bale it and feed a herd of horses with it! If you doubt that, just watch the following video. It just might inspire you to wade into the next debate with your village atheist and, uh, make hay with his or her arguments!
Imagine you are walking along and a sign suddenly appears telling you that if you take one more step forward, you will instantly disappear into nothingness. And the same sign further informs you that taking one step backward will have the same result.
That’s kind of how we humans are in this incredible universe we inhabit. To begin to appreciate just how miraculous it is, consider that there are dozens of characteristics like gravity, the degree of Earth’s tilt on its axis and the DNA structure that must be as precisely set as they are in order for the universe to exist.
It is almost impossible for us to really grasp just how amazing it is that we exist. But this video from philosopher William Lane Craig’s reasonablefaith.org is a great first step towards beginning to understand:
Does what we believe about God make any real difference in how we govern ourselves in America? You bet it does and nowhere has this been more vividly illustrated than the aftermath of the tragic May 25 murder of George Floyd.
This stark truth is profoundly well explained by Georgetown University Government Professor Joshua Mitchell in a recent post for Providence Magazine.
Regular readers know how religiously I avoid partisanship here on HillFaith. Jesus is neither Democrat nor Republican, liberal or conservative. He is the Lord of Lords, the God-man who died to make salvation available for all who believe in Him.
But it is also true that politics is downstream from culture and culture is downstream from faith. What we each believe about God and man makes a huge difference in how we understand legitimacy in government, the administration of justice, individual accountability and personal freedom.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” — John 15:16-17 (ESV)
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.
The new Chief of Staff for Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI) is former Americans for Prosperity Federal Affairs Director Jason Bauknecht. Jason is originally from Two Rivers, Wisconsin.
Ashley Sills takes on her first position on Capitol Hill as Scheduler for Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.). Her BS in history was awarded this year by the University of Montevallo. Judging by the accompanying screenshot from Ashley’s Facebook page, it appears she is rather excited about the new job. Welcome to the Hill, Ashley.
How many times have we all heard, in jest or just as often in all seriousness, that you only live once (YOLO), so, in the words of the old beer commercial, we have to grab for all the gusto we can get.
Actually, the YOLO philosophy is but one of several ways human beings across the ages have viewed the questions surrounding God and time. A second one is the idea that time is endlessly cyclical, a wheel that turns and turns. Others think time and history are pointless, utterly empty of meaning. Then there is the idea history has purpose, as the unfolding of God’s will.
The following video is longer than the norm for HillFaith, but this conversation between philosophy Professor Sean McDowell of Biola University and Christian philosopher and author Os Guiness about the latter’s book, “Carpe Diem Redeemed,” is well worth its 58-minute length because it is certain to prompt you to think in fresh ways about this very old issue of God and time:
Turek argues that the more basic issue is how do you know what is “moral” on the basis of a subjective understanding of good and evil? If morality is simply whatever any individual thinks it is, then it is nothing more than opinion.
And when morality is whatever any particular individual thinks is right “for them,” there is no way anybody can logically claim to be correct except by imposing force. That’s what political philosophers describe as “anarchy:”
If a friend tells you they really do love you and, to prove it, they tell you they deposited $1 million in your bank account, how would you know if you should believe them? You check your bank balance, of course!
If the million bucks aren’t there, you know your “friend” is not to be believed. If you verify that you are now a millionaire, however, well then, you probably should accept that person as a genuine friend.
There is one essential claim upon which all of Christianity stands or falls. Paul the Apostle even says if this claim is false, then he and every other disciple of Jesus is a liar. One way to verify the claim is understanding the credibility of the four Gospels. NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains in this video: