Saturday, December 30, 2017

Primitive Churches Were Not Governed By A Pope

"The presbyter is the same as the bishop, and before parties had been raised up in religion by the provocations of Satan, the churches were governed by the Senate of the presbyters. But as each one sought to appropriate to himself those whom he had baptized, instead of leading them to Christ, it was appointed that one of the presbyters, elected by his colleagues, should be set over all the others, and have chief supervision over the general well-being of the community. . .Without doubt it is the duty of the presbyters to bear in mind that by the discipline of the Church they are subordinated to him who has been given them as their head, but it is fitting that the bishops, on their side, do not forget that if they are set over the presbyters, it is the result of tradition, and not by the fact of a particular institution by the Lord."

Jerome's commentary on Titus 1:7

Character, Evil, And Tolerance

"He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Invisible Things Are Clearly Seen

"Yet even in earthly matters I believe that "the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead," and I have never seen anything incompatible between those things of man which can be known by the spirit of man which is within him, and those higher things concerning his future, which he cannot know by that spirit."

Michael Faraday (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was a British scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Quotes From Historical Scientists On God

  • Science And Religion Are Not Incompatible:
           -"Both religion and science require a belief in God. For believers, God is the beginning, and for physicists He is at the end of all considerations...To the former He is the foundation, to the latter, the crown of the edifice of every generalized worldview." -Max Planck, German Physicist (1858-1947)
  • Science Verifies Creation:
           -"The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you." -Werner Heisenberg, Father Of Quantum Physics (1901-1976)
  • No Intelligent Design Without An Intelligent Designer:
           -"So then Gravity may put ye planets into motion but without ye divine power it could never put them into such a circulation motion as they about ye Sun, and therefore, for this as well as other reasons, I am compelled to ascribe ye frame of this system to an intelligent Agent." -Isaac Newton, Mathematician, Astronomer, And Physicist (1643-1727)
  • God Is The Source Of Intelligence:
           -"When I reflect on so many profoundly marvelous things that persons have grasped, sought, and done, I recognize even more clearly that human intelligence is a work of God, and one of the most excellent." -Galileo Galilei, Founder Of Experimental Physics (1564-1642)
  • Creation Declares God's Glory:
           -"The vastness, beauty, orderliness of heavenly bodies, the excellent structure of animals and plants, and other phenomena of nature justly induce an intelligent, unprejudiced observer to conclude a supreme, powerful, just, and good Author." -Sir Robert Boyle, Founder Of Modern Chemistry (1627-1691)
  • Testimony To The Active Power Of Prayer:
           -"I am proud to be a Christian. I believe not only as a Christian, but as a scientist as well. A wireless device can deliver a message through the wilderness. In prayer the humble spirit can send invisible waves to eternity, waves that can achieve their goal in front of God." -Guglielmo Marconi, Inventor Of The Radio (1874-1937)
  • Science Can Be Grasped By The Human Mind Because of God:
           -"To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power, to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful working of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more gratifying than knowledge." -Nicolaus Copernicus, Founder Of Heliocentric Cosmology (1473-1543)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Calvinism And The Call Of The Gospel

"If the atonement actually secures saving faith for those covered, and did not secure saving faith for the non-elect, it is not sufficient for the non-elect."

"Without realizing it, the Calvinist is finally saying that repentance and faith (as the gift of God in the salvation “package”) are being offered to all who will repent and believe, when in fact none can do so. This reduces to pure tautology and is no offer at all."

"If not all who hear can respond to the gospel, as the Calvinist insists, then only those given repentance and faith can do so. In consequence, no person who hears the gospel can do so with any confidence that he can respond. Conversely, all who hear and are not given the gift may conclude that the offer is not intended for them and therefore not rejected by them. What a person cannot receive, he can not really reject. Nor can he be rightly blamed for rejection (although he might well be blamed for being in the condition that brought on his inability)."

Robert E. Picirilli, Grace, Faith, Free Will: Contrasting Views of Salvation - Calvinism and Arminianism, p. 97, 118

Atheism Is Rebellion Against God

"Atheists don't hate fairies, leprechauns, or unicorns because they don't exist. It is impossible to hate something that doesn't exist. Atheists-like the painting experts hated the painter-hate God because He does exist."

Ray Comfort

The Moral Supremacy Of Jesus Christ

"I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers."

Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father And Principle Author Of The Declaration Of Independence (1743-1826)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Archaeological Evidence For The Old Testament

        *The campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak (1 Kings 14:25-26) is recorded on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt.
        *The revolt of Moab against Israel (2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27) is recorded on the Mesha Inscription.
        *The fall of Samaria (2 Kings 17:3-6, 24; 18:9-11) to Sargon II, king of Assyria, is recorded on his palace walls.
        *The defeat of Ashdod by Sargon II (Isaiah 20:1) is recorded on his palace walls.
        *The campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah (2 Kings 18:13-16) is recorded on the Taylor Prism.
        *The siege of Lachish by Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:14, 17) is recorded on the Lachish reliefs.
        *The assassination of Sennacherib by his own sons (2 Kings 19:37) is recorded in the annals of his son Esarhaddon.
        *The fall of Nineveh as predicted by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah (2 Kings 2:13-15) is recorded on the Tablet of Nabopolasar.
        *The fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (2 Kings 24:10-14) is recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.
        *The captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in Babylon (2 Kings 24:15-16) is recorded on the Babylonian Ration Records.
        *The fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:30-31) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.
        *The freeing of captives in Babylon by Cyrus the Great (Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-4) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

Bryant Wood of Associates for Biblical Research
https://christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a009.html

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Giving Is Blessed

        "In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35)

        The origin of this wisdom saying is unknown. Perhaps Paul had previously heard it from one of the apostles or their closest associates. Another possibility is that the Holy Spirit gave him inspired revelation. It is even possible that Jesus Christ uttered this saying to Paul during his conversion on the road to Damascus.

        It is more blessed to give than to receive. In other words, it is honorable to remain in a state of charity and it is dishonorable to possess a self-centered, disdainful mindset. Neither should we needlessly depend on the efforts of or extort other people.

        We should offer food, shelter, and clothing for the homeless. We should comfort the lonely. We should make ourselves available to other people. We should always be prepared to give the greatest, intangible gift that can sooth all longings of the human heart, the gospel. We should always allow the candle of our faith to shine before other people. Thus, the principle of giving has been illustrated and contrasted with selfishness and laziness.

        A civilization cannot exist without love, which has its basis in God. Adherence to this principle as quoted from Jesus Christ by the Apostle Paul during his farewell speech at Ephesus is an earmark of Christian piety. Love is the foundation of Christianity. Our love for God and other people should distinguish us from the rest of this world. God is pleased with a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

Friday, December 22, 2017

Pope Francis Wrongfully Calls For Revision In The Lord's Prayer

  • The Words Of Pope Francis During A Television Interview, As Reported By The New York Times:
          -"the common rendering of one line in the prayer — “lead us not into temptation” — was “not a good translation” from ancient texts. “Do not let us fall into temptation,” he suggested, might be better because God does not lead people into temptation; Satan does."
  • Major Theological Blunders On Behalf Of Pope Frances, As Discussed By Professor Denny Burk And Others:
          -"God doesn’t need us to get him off the hook...God exercises agency in our trials...“Temptation” may refer more generally to a “trial” or “test."...It is good and right to pray for deliverance from trials that God intends for our good.."

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Critique Of Humanist Logic

  • Following Are A Handful Of Excerpts (In Bold) From A Standard Humanist Work Titled "The Philosophy of Humanism" By Corliss Lamont:
          "There are, as I see it, ten central propositions in the Humanist philosophy: First, Humanism believes in a naturalistic metaphysics or attitude toward the universe that considers all forms of the supernatural as myth; and that regards Nature as the totality of being and as a constantly changing system of matter and energy which exists independently of any mind or consciousness. Second, Humanism, drawing especially upon the laws and facts of science, believes man is an evolutionary product of the Nature of which he is part; that his mind is indivisibly conjoined with the functioning of his brain; and that as an inseparable unity of body and personality he can have no conscious survival after death.”

          Indeed, it is eyebrow-raising to see how the author of the book capitalizes the word nature, especially considering the fact that in the Bible the name of God is always capitalized. This could easily denote atheism to be a religion. After all, there are atheist churches. There are atheist missionaries. There are evangelistic atheists who preach their worldview as being the truth. There are atheist circles that consider others who disagree with them as being heretical. Atheism is clearly a belief system. In fact, the Freedom from Religion Foundation has coined a phrase to discredit God from the American financial system: "In reason we trust." Atheism is a religion, and should thereby not be enforced upon people who subscribe to different ideological mindsets. It is a paragon of people worshiping the creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).

          Notice how the quotation above presupposes the validity of scientism, which is the belief that all truth is determined by the science laboratory. However, this view is refuted because there are many truths that exist beyond the realm of science (view full article). Neither is the laboratory the only way of discovering truth. What needs to be understood is that faith and reason walk together. And how can atheists be so quick to claim that there is no supernatural realm when they have no tangible evidence ruling in favor of their verdict? If we describe the thinking processes of the human mind as being random chemical reflexes, then we have no legitimate reason to believe the claims of atheism because we would not be able to trust our own thoughts. In fact, the author renders the concept of selfhood to being an empty illusion!

          Life without God is meaningless. If the universe came into existence by mere coincidence, and we just so happened to have evolved from a different species of primate forefathers over a period of several billion years, then it would follow that human life has no intrinsic value. The inevitable consequence of eliminating God from the equation of life would be that we possessed no more dignity than the soil, rocks, or other inanimate components which constitute the physical and chemical composition of this planet. To consistently embrace the atheistic worldview would also require that one cares nothing for the drastic reputational precipice of contrariety between the wealthy and impoverished. And what about the stillborn babies or people with severe cognitive impairments (who obviously do not get a chance to succeed in this life)? If no divine creator exists, then the human race would be absolutely useless and unwanted because the universe most certainly has no compassion for life. Time would simply progress as we wait for the natural, appointed termination of our physical existence. Restricting the sense of dignity to the boundaries of earthly life undermines the very meaning of human life having intrinsic value and inalienable rights. If there is no God, then no objective moral standard exists and thus our reasoning becomes subjective at best. No afterlife means having no ultimate sense of purpose or fulfillment, period. While it is impossible for atheism to give us an ultimate purpose in life, the God who inspired Scripture can grant everlasting spiritual life to those who voluntarily approach Him by faith.

          “I believe that the facts of science offer overwhelming evidence in support of the Humanist thesis of the inseparable coexistence of body and personality. To begin with, biology has conclusively shown that man and all other forms of life were the result, not of a supernatural act of creation by God, but of an infinitely long process of evolution probably stretching over at least three billions years….”

          Without delving into the creation verses evolution debate, it would be interesting to note that a Supreme Mind still could have created the universe by means of a giant cosmic explosion of expanding matter (Big Bang Theory) to accomplish the formation of animal species through evolutionary processes. Therefore, the "humanist thesis" does not really negate the possibility of supernatural creation.

          The universe and the human body are so complex that countless factors remain unexplained or unproven. It is completely wrong for one to assert that supernatural intervention in creation has been ruled out. Even if scientists did manage to successfully develop a scientific model that functions without God, proof of unnecessity is not proof of His nonexistence. Moreover, the biblical worldview presents us with a universe that absolutely depends on God for its existence.

          “Humanism believes that Nature itself constitutes the sum total of reality…and that supernatural entities simply do not exist. This non reality of the supernatural means, on the human level, that men do not possess supernatural and immortal souls; and, on the level of the universe as a whole, that our cosmos does not possess a supernatural and eternal God.”

          A concise refutation of naturalism should compose a sufficient analysis of the cited excerpt from Corliss Lamont's book above. Naturalism maintains that everything existing emerged from natural properties and causes to the exclusion of supernatural intervention. In other words, this logical framework operates on the premise that all things are physical and are thus dictated by the laws of physics and chemistry. On the contrary, we know that naturalism is false because things such as numbers, moral laws, and information are nonphysical entities. These things transcend the five senses which scientists use to make observations and draw inferences. The elementary concept of free will disproves naturalism because this philosophy assumes that scientific laws and states are literally in control of all things. Naturalistic evolution is self-refuting because people proclaim it to be true (we cannot conduct autonomous thinking if naturalism is true). Hence, it would also be irrational for atheists to profess believe in naturalism when beliefs supposedly do not point to truth (our convictions are simply physical things which take place as a result of chemical reactions).

          “the scientific concept of evolution…effectively negates the old religious idea of a divine creation of the whole universe.”

          So something can come from nothing? Design from chaos? Can intelligence arise from non-intelligence? Can rationality arise from non-rationality? Can consciousness arise from non-consciousness? The answer to all these questions would be no. As a matter of fact, there are many well-constructed logical proofs for the existence of God (see this article). Thus, theism is more rational than atheism.

          “Matter is self-existent, self-active, self-developing, self-enduring. It is auto-dynamic.”

          Is this not a circular argument (matter has power in of and itself because that is how it is)? How can matter be self-existent when it is comprised of finite particles? What infinite source of energy do atoms possess that enables matter able to act of itself without external causes? How can physical matter come from nothing or create itself? How could non-living matter become alive by itself? How does this kind of humanist reasoning not violate the principle of sufficient reason (everything must have a reason, cause, or ground)?

          It would be far more reasonable to believe that an infinitely powerful, all-knowing, and everlasting God set forth all things in an orderly fashion on the basis of His spoken commands. It would be far more sensible to believe in a God who infinitely transcends the boundaries of nature (Psalm 33:4-8). The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1).

          ''A careful analysis of both the natural and the social sciences shows, in the first place, that we do not attain something that is to be called ‘absolute’ truth, but rather what John Dewey cautiously describes as ‘warranted assertibility''

          If there are no absolute truths, then a.) scientific laws are subjective, b.) no point in education because truth is subjective, c.) the concept of certainty is illusionary, d.) no such thing as crime because nobody can definitively declare an action to be evil, e.) no such thing as human rights, and f.) reality becomes an illusion. If there are no absolute truths, then there is no reason for us to believe in the arguments in favor of atheism and no point in Corliss Lamont teaching humanism in books. A society that functions on a moral relativistic worldview will by definition collapse from within. Moral relativism is like a universal acid that corrodes all monuments of truth. A consistently atheistic civilization is the breeding ground for unspeakable evil.

          “For Humanism no human acts are good or bad in or of themselves. Whether an act is good or bad is to be judged by the consequences for the individual and society.”

          Secular consequentialism is the ethical system which maintains that the morality of an action is dependent on its results. In other words, this worldview judges the morality of actions in accordance to their conclusions (not in the action itself). But this method of moral discernment is quite perplexing. What constitutes the authentic definition of good? Who gets to determine the meanings of good and evil? Good for who? What about bad personal motives that just so happened to produce positive consequences for other people? What about the fact that we cannot predict the outcomes of our actions before we act? From whence would morality come from in the first place?

          ''The Humanist refuses to accept any Ten Commandments or other ethical precepts as immutable and universal laws never to be challenged or questioned. He bows down to no alleged supreme moral authority either past or present…But we can say…some ends justify some means. In getting at the ethical significance of a means-end situation, it is always necessary to be specific and inquire,‘Does this particular end or set of ends justify this particular means or group of means?''

          Of course, it is perfectly understandable for atheists to openly reject the notion of objective moral laws because they are retaliating against the God who created them. The quoted statements from the book above are symptomatic of a puffed-up heart. But if there is no supreme Moral Authority who legislates a universal moral standard, then we can ultimately do whatever we want. Atheists would have no right to express their disagreements with us in an objective fashion. If societies get to determine their own moral law codes, then what happens when they contradict each other or themselves? How would such a scenario not render the idea of self-improvement or improvement of society nonsensical? Romans chapter one accurately describes the conditions of our God deprived society: foolish, prideful, and perverse. The Bible is very much relevant to our culture and accurately describes in ample detail the problem alongside with the solution for mankind.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Advocating Intelligent Design--An Excerpt From A Tract Titled "Is There A God?"

  • The Marvels Of Nature:
          -"Who made all of this? Did it just happen...or is there really a God who created it, as the Bible says? Can anyone really deny it? If you say there is no God, then all the wonders around you are just an accident. The billions of stars in the sky just happened to make themselves, generate their own power, and stay on course. The land just happens to have topsoil without which nothing could grow. The air we breath-only 50 miles deep and exactly the right composition to support life-is just another accident in the "laws of physics."

           Did deposits of coal, zinc, gold, and uranium get their by accident? And what prevents lakes from freezing solid-all the way to the bottom-making it impossible for fish to survive frigid winters? Why does the earth spin at a given speed without slowing so that we have day and night? Who tilts it so we get seasons? No one really knows the why and how of the magnetic poles. Or think of the sun stoking a fire just warm enough to sustain us on earth, but not too close to fry us or too far away to freeze us. Who keeps things constant? Can you believe these things just happened? Isn't it more reasonable to believe that a supreme mind is behind everything that exists?
  • The Amazing Human Body:
          -"What about the human body? Isn't an intricate combination of bones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. In the future, scientists hope to have a supercomputer to rival the three-pound average adult brain, but it won't be easy. In 2007 scientists built a $30 million supercomputer. It has 5% of the computing ability of a human brain!

           The kidneys contain approximately 145 miles of tiny tubes. In a day they filter around 50 gallons of blood, extracting up to two quarts of water and impurities. Then there's the heart, an unbelievably rugged organ-a four-chamber, four-valve pump that handles the equivalent of 2,000 gallons of blood daily. It supplies a circulatory system that has 100,000 miles of vessels and, in a lifetime, beats two-and-one-half billion times (108,000 times a day)!

            Before you say, 'There is no God,' think about these marvels. All of creation gives evidence that there is a God who created it all. And since the Bible says that God's Son, Jesus, created all things and holds everything together (Colossians 1:16-17), then we need to see how Jesus's life affects us."

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Way Of The Heretic

"The heretics were never dishonest men; they were mistaken men. They should not be thought of as men who were deliberately setting out to go wrong and to teach something that is wrong; they have been some of the most sincere men that the Church has ever known. What was the matter with them? Their trouble was this: they evolved a theory and they were rather pleased with it; then they went back with this theory to the Bible, and they seemed to find it everywhere."

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, p. 7

Monday, December 11, 2017

From Whence Do We Derive Our Morals?

"Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future. Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people."

Ulysses S. Grant, American General And President (1822-1885)

Never Hesitate To Do That Which Is Good

"You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late."

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Poet, Philosopher, and Journalist (1803-1882)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Answering Abortion Advocates On The Definition Of Life

“Fertilization is an important landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed… Fertilization is the procession of events that begins when a spermatozoon makes contact with a secondary oocyte or its investments…The zygote…is a unicellular embryo..”

From Human Embryology & Teratology, Ronan R. O’Rahilly, Fabiola Muller, (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996), 5-55.

“The life cycle of mammals begins when a sperm enters an egg.”

Okada et al., A role for the elongator complex in zygotic paternal genome demethylation, NATURE 463:554 (Jan. 28, 2010)

“The zygote is human life….there is one fact that no one can deny; Human beings begin at conception.”

From Landrum B. Shettles “Rites of Life: The Scientific Evidence for Life Before Birth” Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1983 p 40.

“Human life begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”

Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

“The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops. It is synonymous with the terms fecundation, impregnation, and fertilization … The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life.”

J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Freidman. Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Publishers. 1974 Pages 17 and 23.

https://www.lifenews.com/2015/01/08/41-quotes-from-medical-textbooks-prove-human-life-begins-at-conception/

Never Pray For The Book Of Mormon

A [Mormon] missionary resource explains, “In order to know that the Book of Mormon is true, a person must read, ponder, and pray about it. The honest seeker of truth will soon come to feel that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.” . . .

Yet there are problems with this challenge. First of all, the test is skewed. A person who “prays” but doesn’t get the same answer as the missionary is viewed as not getting it correct. If prayer is the correct means of testing the book’s authenticity, why is a negative outcome immediately rejected as a plausible response? . . .However, Jeremiah 17:9 says a feeling that one has can be disastrously wrong because “the heart is desperately wicked.” Praying about a religious book, especially if it is fictional and not historical, is hardly an objective test.

If the Book of Mormon is just one of four LDS scriptures, why should it be prayed over and not the other three scriptures? For that matter, why shouldn’t a seeker after truth pray about the Qu’ran (Islam), the Vedas (Hinduism), or the Tripitaka (Buddhism)? Where does praying about a particular religion’s scripture stop? If praying about a book is a way to determine truth, then why have many Mormons never even thought about expanding their prayers to more than just one religion’s scripture?"

Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, Mormonism 101, p. 135

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

On The Historical Accuracy Of The Gospels

"Yet that's precisely the level of detail the Gospels get right, managing to know not just major cities such as Jerusalem but minor villages like Cana and Chorazin, one-goat towns in their day. The Gospels also get a wealth of other local information right, from politics to agriculture, economics to weather patterns; they even get people's names right...In 2006, a British scholar called Richard Bauckham...decided to painstakingly cross-check this database with the New Testament. What he discovered was that the naming patterns in the Gospels precisely match those of the period, adding further evidence (if any were needed) to the idea that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were intimately acquainted with the time, place, and culture that they wrote about; in sort, the Gospels have the flavour of eyewitness accounts."

Andy Bannister, The Atheist Who Didn't Exist, p. 221, 222

History Is Not Unknowable

"If we cannot know anything about Jesus then we cannot know anything about the Caesars, or Plato, or Alexander the Great, or anybody. Forget the Dark Ages...modern technology doesn't actually really resolve the problem...records can always be destroyed or manipulated, images Photoshopped, or the truth buried...Historical skepticism is a universal acid, destroying everything it touches."

Andy Bannister, The Atheist Who Didn't Exist, p. 217

Science Cannot Explain Reality In It's Fullness

"...if your thoughts are just a by-product of atoms jiggling in your brain, that may make them sound chemically, but it does not make them sound logically. And if that's the case then you've no reason to trust your initial belief that your mind is composed of atoms. That's a circle that's not just vicious, but positively voracious and ravenous to boot. Once you've explained away mind as a chemical reaction, thinking as a reflex, and selfhood as an illusion...you are left with nothing...according to this description of reality, you don't exist. 'You' are just a flickering of electrons, a fizzing of chemicals, a banging-together of atoms."

Andy Bannister, The Atheist Who Didn't Exist, p. 135, 136

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Abortion And The Bible

  • Children Are A Blessing Of The Lord:
          -"Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him." (Psalm 127:3)
  • Scripture Uses Personal Pronouns In Describing Unborn Children:
          -“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
  • God Knows Unborn Children In The Same Manner That He Knows Us:
          -"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:13-16)
  • The Mosaic Law Protected The Lives Of Unborn Babies In The Same Manner As Adults:
          -“If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life..." (Exodus 21:22-23)
  • God Views Murder As A Serious Offense:
          -"For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker." (James 2:11)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Life, Liberty, And Property Come From God

"Life, faculties, production—in other words, individuality, liberty, property—this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place."

Frederic Bastiat

    Sunday, December 3, 2017

    Marian Exaltation In The Roman Catholic Church

    • Defining The Issues:
              -By viewing official Roman Catholic sources, one can readily see that this church has elevated Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, to a position of deity, despite it claiming to worship only the Creator. The Church of Rome has literally ascribed titles and roles to her that rightly belong to God alone, without any biblical justification whatsoever. Never does the New Testament authorize Christians to pay this much attention to any mere human being. In fact, the entire gospel centers around the Person and work of Jesus Christ alone. Never does it point us to Mary, or anybody else for that matter. Unfortunately, Mary in Roman Catholicism has been basically presented as a goddess. This article strives to highlight the major problems prevalent among the vast majority of Roman Catholics when it comes to Marian devotion.
    • According To Roman Catholicism, Mary Can Deliver Souls From Death By Her Prayers:
              -"Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians. In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death." (CCC # 966)
    • According To Roman Catholicism, We Are To Look To Mary In Our Pilgrimage Of Faith:
              -"After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own "pilgrimage of faith," and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, "in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity," "in the communion of all the saints," the Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother." (CCC # 972)
    • According To Roman Catholicism, We Are To Place Our Trust In Mary:
              -"Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, "And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: "Let it be to me according to your word." By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: "Thy will be done." (CCC # 2677)
    • According To Roman Catholicism, Mary Played A Part In The Expiatory Sacrifice Of Our Lord Jesus Christ:
              -"Christ alone truly offered the sacrifice of atonement on the Cross...In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man and (de congruon) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind." (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 213)
    • Pope Leo XIII Said The Following:
              -"With equal truth it may be said that of the great treasury of all graces given to us by Our Lord—for grace and truth came by Jesus Christ—nothing comes to us except through Mary's mediation, for such is God's Will. Thus, as no man goes to the Father but by the Son, so no one goes to Christ except through his mother." (Leo XIII, Encyclical, Octobri mense, September 22, 1891)

    Friday, December 1, 2017

    A Response To Tim Staples On Sola Scriptura And 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    • Defining The Issues:
              -Popular speaker, director, and former Protestant turned Catholic apologist Tim Staples wrote an article titled According to Scripture with the intention of revealing fundamental problems with appealing to Scripture as the final court of authority in spiritual matters. In his article, Tim raises objections to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as a proof-text for Sola Scriptura, stresses the role of extra-biblical oral tradition in the church, charges that the Protestant position on biblical authority is "contrary to reason" because it "is a textbook example of circular reasoning," and that the canon by definition needed to be assembled by an infallible authority (Roman Catholic Church). Though this proficient Roman Catholic apologist truly desires to spread the gospel, we should never treat a person's sincerity as a standard for guaranteeing accuracy in argumentation. The objective behind writing this article is to reprove a number of weak and misguided assertions of conventional Roman Catholic apologists against Sola Scriptura.
    • The Following Excerpt From Tim Staple's Article Is A Perfect Example Of Roman Catholics Misrepresenting The Doctrine Of Sola Scriptura:
              -"If a teaching isn’t explicit in the Bible, then we don’t accept it as doctrine!" That belief, commonly known as sola scriptura, was a central component of all I believed as a Protestant. This bedrock Protestant teaching claims that Scripture alone is the sole rule of faith and morals for Christians."
    • Explaining The Biblical Doctrine Of Sola Scriptura:
              -Quite simply, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura means that Scripture is the only infallible spiritual standard for the Christian church. Other rules of faith such as catechisms, creeds, customs, commentaries, and concordances may be used, insofar as they agree with the principles of Scripture. All uninspired authorities are to be subjugated to the judgment of the Bible because it is inspired by God. This explanation constitutes the classical Sola Scriptura doctrine as upheld by the Protestant Reformation. Consider this documentary evidence from the Westminster Confession of Faith, "The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture" (Westminster Confession of Faith, 1:10). Thus, it is highly inaccurate for Roman Catholic apologists and theologians to portray Protestants who subscribe to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura as "having a sole rule of faith" or "Bible only Christians." It is also erroneous for Tim Staples to say that we only accept "explicit approval" from the Bible, since we voluntarily acknowledge that it provides us with principles of discernment to apply in our daily lives. The Bible is not the only authority, but is the ultimate standard of authority for the Christian church.
    • Presenting The Case For Sola Scriptura From 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
              A.) The Origin Of Scripture:
              -All Scripture is inspired by God. In other words, the Holy Spirit moved through the apostles and prophets as they recorded His teachings (1 Peter 1:16-21). In fact, the Greek word for "inspired," which is "theopneustos," literally means "God-breathed."

              B.) The Purpose Of Scripture:
              -The purpose of Scripture is to convict the conscience of sin, confront error, and preach righteousness. Furthermore, notice the surrounding context of this epistle: 1.) The coming of false teaching (3:1-13), 2.) Paul was about experience martyrdom (4:6-7), and 3.) This was the Apostle Paul's last epistle. Contextual evidence points us to one infallible rule of faith: Scripture. The context mentions no other inspired "rule of faith."

              C.) The Results Of Using Scripture:
              -Scripture "thoroughly" equips the man of God for "every good work," not most or just a few good works. It addresses everything we need to know about a life of godliness, and gives us principles of application. Scripture contains everything necessary for salvation. Scripture alone is therefore sufficient for the Christian church to use as the final court of authority in spiritual matters.
    • Listing The Four So-Called Major Dilemmas Of Using 2 Timothy 3:16-17 As A Biblical Defense Of Sola Scriptura (In The Words Of The Author):
              -"First, it does not speak of the New Testament at all...Second, 2 Timothy 3:16 does not claim Scripture to be the sole rule of faith for Christians...James 1:4 illustrates the problem...Third, the Bible teaches that oral Tradition is equal to Scripture...Finally, 2 Timothy 3:16 is specifically addressed to members of the hierarchy. It is a pastoral epistle, written to a young bishop Paul had ordained..."
    • Evaluating The Evidence Provided Against The Citation Of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 As Being Supportive Of Sola Scriptura:
              -The first Roman Catholic objection to the Protestant citation of 2 Timothy as biblical justification for the Bible functioning as the supreme rule of faith for the Christian church is fallacious because it ignores the literal meaning of the word all. In fact, it would be just as absurd as concluding from the phrase "all ex-cathedra statements are inspired by God" that all official papal decrees are inspired "only up to a certain point in history." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is not discussing the scope of the canon, but rather the purpose and origin of Scripture. The Apostle Paul was speaking of Scripture as a category. Nobody can limit the scope of inspiration as recorded in 2 Timothy 3:16 to the Old Testament, since the context itself places no such limitation and the Apostle Paul had the future in mind as he mentioned the coming of false teachers.
              -The second Roman Catholic objection to the Protestant citation of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as biblical justification for the doctrine of Sola Scriptura fails because if Scripture equips the man of God for every good work, then it logically follows that it is the final, sufficient rule of faith for Christians to use in spiritual matters. Can anybody produce a list of "good works" that cannot be found in Scripture? What else can "every good work" mean?
              -For the third Roman Catholic argument to hold any water, at least three conditions need to be met before the apologists can advance any "proof-texts" for "Sacred Tradition": 1.) The exact traditions need to be identified, 2.) It needs to be proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that the word "tradition" mentioned within the specific texts of Scripture are different in substance from what is contained in the Bible, and 3.) Conclusive evidence needs to be provided in order for any random tradition to be considered apostolic and infallible (click here for full discussion).
              -Neither does James 1:4 illustrate what the author of the article is trying to prove (interpreting "every good work" in 2 Timothy 3:17 to mean that Scripture is sufficient is just as nonsensical as interpreting "perseverance...perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" in James 1:4 to mean that all a person needs is patience to be perfected). This rebuttal does not work because the context of 2 Timothy 3 is directing the reader to the rule of faith (Scripture), whereas James 1 concerns the application of the principles found within that infallible guide. So Tim Staples has actually misapplied the message found in James 1:4 to 2 Timothy 3:17 because he has confused the meaning of both contexts. If Roman Catholic apologists insist on using this argument against the Protestant interpretation of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, then it would logically follow that they would have to add "patience" as an additional infallible standard of authority to their "three-legged stool!"
              -As for the final quibble raised in the cited excerpt from Catholic Answers above, there is really no reason for us to interpret the message found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as being directed strictly toward members of a church hierarchy. For starters, the office of pope is not even biblical. In fact, it was not until 150 A.D. that the Roman Church began to develop a single one-head bishop structure (click for more details). Secondly, we never find in Scripture the church tasks found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (to teach, refute, correct, and instruct in righteousness) as being assigned only to clergy. And thirdly, the phrase "man of God" does not necessarily denote reference to ordained ministers (though Timothy most certainly was ordained by Paul). Notice how reputable Roman Catholic Bible versions translate the phrase "man of God." The Jerusalem Bible translates it to be "the man who is dedicated to God." The Good News Bible translates it to be "the person who serves God." The New American Bible translates the phrase "man of God" to be "one who belongs to God." The point is really moot and beside the point. While it is true that the context of 2 Timothy is about preaching, the fact remains that the Apostle Paul pointed to only one rule of faith (Scripture) to function as the infallible standard of authority for the Christian church. Why would Scripture function as a sufficient rule of faith for leadership, but not also for the average reader?
    • Addressing The Charge Of Circular Reasoning:
              -Tim Staple's charge of Sola Scriptura being circular reasoning has already been addressed here and here. Tim Staple's attempt to escape the charge of circularity on behalf of the Church of Rome is unsuccessful because arguing for the Church's infallibility by saying "Jesus said so" is based on the Roman Catholic Church's interpretation of texts such as Matthew 16:18-19. It is merely ASSUMED by the author of the article at Catholic Answers that the Roman Catholic Church was established by our Lord Jesus Christ. The end result of Catholic logic on this matter will always be: "It is thus because Rome said it is thus."
    • Addressing Canon Issues:
              -Tim Staples maintains that Sola Scriptura is an untenable theological position because an infallible authority (Church of Rome) supposedly needed to determine the canon of Scripture. The author of the article further asserts (correctly) that the Bible does not contain an inspired table of contents. However, it needs to be understood that 1.) The church merely recognized the canon of Scripture (more details), 2.) That there has always been a general consensus as to which books belong in the New Testament canon, 3.) Roman Catholics do not have an inspired "table of contents" specifically identifying which oral traditions are inspired, 4.) The authors of books such as Job and Hebrews are unknown, yet still made into the canon, 5.) The Jews successfully assembled an Old Testament canon without the aid of the Roman Catholic Church, 6.) Not having a table of contents to the books of the Bible is neither a requirement for salvation nor impacts its inspiration, 7.) That appealing to extra-biblical sources (date, authorship, doctrinal consistency, tradition, non-Christian works etc.) to affirm scriptural texts is not problematical for Sola Scriptura because that it not what it excludes, and 8.) That it was not until the Council of Trent in 1546 A.D. that the Church of Rome had finally canonized its canon (more details here). The Christian church is built on the infallible testimony of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). It has survived throughout the centuries only because of the sanctifying, miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. It is God who is the author of the canon. The Bible is God-breathed, not church breathed (2 Timothy 3:16).
    • Addressing The 33,000 Protestant Denominations Myth:
              -This argument is derived off a complete misinterpretation of the World Christian Encyclopedia (David A. Barrett; Oxford University Press, 1982), which ultimately divides Protestantism into 21 major traditions, and the Church of Rome into 16 separate divisions (see this article for more details). The 33,000 Protestant denominations is a blatant lie. So why are the folks at Catholic Answers still propagating this huge myth against the doctrine of Sola Scriptura? Why is it that Roman Catholics can disagree amongst themselves on Roman Catholic doctrine (without receiving criticism)? The following excerpt from the conclusion paragraph of the article at Catholic Answers reveals how these folks care nothing what the Bible says, "...the Church is the final court of appeal for the people of God in matters of faith, morals, and discipline." The Bible does not support this idea anywhere.

    Tuesday, November 28, 2017

    The Myth Of Christianity Being Anti-Science

    Contrary to the popular narrative of our time that posits faith, and the church specifically, against science, the reality is the church has never been its enemy and any disagreements between the two, which have of course existed at times have been gravely exaggerated. When atheists speak of the church's "persecution of scientists, for instance, they tell stories about people being burned at the stake for scientific theories that displace God; about Galileo Copernicus, and Giordano Bruno being tortured for holding "heliocentric" views of the universe. Thrilling dramas, but untrue. Historian David Lindberg, speaking about the medieval era wherein these supposed persecutions of science took place, writes, "There was no warfare between science and the church. Historians agree the science versus religion story is a nineteenth-century fabrication. The church did not persecute Copernicus or Bruno or Galileo for scientific theories. As historian Thomas Kuhn points out. "Bruno was not executed for Copernicanism but for a series of theological heresies centering on his view of the trinity "11 A gruesome reality but not one based on the conflict of religion and science.

    In fact, Galileo was a friend of the church for most of his life a practicing Catholic. In 1616 he came to Rome and met with the pope multiple times. As time went on, he did become more critical of the church and its views. The church did persecute Galileo for a time, demanding he recant some of his heliocentric views but he was never charged with heresy and placed in a dungeon, or tortured, as has become popular mythology among skeptics. He was sentenced to house arrest and then released into the custody of the archbishop of Siena, who housed him for five months in his palace. Galileo then returned to his villa in Florence, continuing his scientific work and even publishing before dying of natural causes in 1642.12 The traditional picture of Galileo as a martyr of intellectual freedom is wrong. Any persecution he faced serves as an anomaly historian Thomas Less writes, 'a momentary break in the otherwise harmonious relationship that had existed between Christianity and science. Indeed there is no other example in history of the Catholic church condemning a scientific theory."13

    Another modern example of this historical revisionism by skeptics is the story of the medieval church believing that the Bible taught a flat earth, and then reacting in outrage when science came along and proved that the Bible was wrong. This is simply not true. From the time of the ancient Greeks, people knew the earth was round. They observed that the hull of a ship sailing from shore disappears before the top of the mast, and would see the reflection of the earth on the moon during an eclipse. They knew the earth was round. The so-called flat earth conflict is simply part of nineteenth century propaganda. And so, Oxford professor Alister McGrath concludes rightly. "The idea that science and religion are in perpetual conflict is no longer taken seriously by any major historian of science.... One of the last remaining bastions of atheism which survives only at the popular level namely, the myth that an atheistic, fact-based science is permanently at war with a faith-based religion. 15

    Mark Clark, The Problem of God: Answering a Skeptic’s Challenges to Christianity, p. 26-28

    1 Corinthians 10:9 And The Deity Of Christ

    "tc Χριστόν (Criston, “Christ”) is attested in the majority of mss, including many important witnesses of the Alexandrian (Ì46 1739 1881) and Western (D F G) texttypes, and other mss and versions (Ψ latt sy co). On the other hand, some of the important Alexandrian witnesses have κύριον (kurion, “Lord”; א B C P 33 104 1175 al). A few mss (A 81 pc) have θεόν (qeon, “God”). The nomina sacra for these readings are quite similar (cMn, kMn, and qMn respectively), so one might be able to account for the different readings by way of confusion. On closer examination, the variants appear to be intentional changes. Alexandrian scribes replaced the highly specific term “Christ” with the less specific terms “Lord” and “God” because in the context it seems to be anachronistic to speak of the exodus generation putting Christ to the test. If the original had been “Lord,” it seems unlikely that a scribe would have willingly created a difficulty by substituting the more specific “Christ.” Moreover, even if not motivated by a tendency to overcorrect, a scribe might be likely to assimilate the word “Christ” to “Lord” in conformity with Deut 6:16 or other passages. The evidence from the early church regarding the reading of this verse is rather compelling in favor of “Christ.” Marcion, a second-century, anti-Jewish heretic, would naturally have opposed any reference to Christ in historical involvement with Israel, because he thought of the Creator God of the OT as inherently evil. In spite of this strong prejudice, though, {Marcion} read a text with “Christ.” Other early church writers attest to the presence of the word “Christ,” including {Clement of Alexandria} and Origen. What is more, the synod of Antioch in a.d. 268 used the reading “Christ” as evidence of the preexistence of Christ when it condemned Paul of Samosata. (See G. Zuntz, The Text of the Epistles, 126-27; TCGNT 494; C. D. Osburn, “The Text of 1 Corinthians 10:9,” New Testament Textual Criticism: Its Significance for Exegesis, 201-11; contra A. Robertson and A. Plummer, First Corinthians [ICC], 205-6.) Since “Christ” is the more difficult reading on all accounts, it is almost certainly original. In addition, “Christ” is consistent with Paul’s style in this passage (cf. 10:4, a text in which {Marcion} also reads “Christ”). This text is also christologically significant, since the reading “Christ” makes an explicit claim to the preexistence of Christ. (The textual critic faces a similar dilemma in Jude 5. In a similar exodus context, some of the more important Alexandrian mss [A B 33 81 pc] and the Vulgate read “Jesus” in place of “Lord.” Two of those mss [A 81] are the same mss that have “Christ” instead of “God” in 1 Cor 10:9. See the tc notes on Jude 5 for more information.) In sum, “Christ” has all the earmarks of authenticity here and should be considered the original reading."

    Commentary from the New English Translation on 1 Corinthians 10:9

    Illegal Immigration Is Bad For The American Economical Structure

    The economy we’re living in today is in no small part a result of the [Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965], which opened the door to mass immigration of unskilled and low-skilled workers, primarily through unlimited family chain migration. And that’s not an economy anyone should be satisfied with.

    Today, we have about a million immigrants per year. That’s like adding the population of Montana every year—or the population of Arkansas every three years. But only one in 15—one in 15 of those millions of immigrants—comes here for employment-based reasons. The vast majority come here simply because they happen to be related to someone already here. That’s why, for example, we have more Somalia-born residents than Australia-born residents, even though Australia is nearly twice the size of Somalia and Australians are better prepared, as a general matter, to integrate and assimilate into the American way of life.

    In sum, over 36 million immigrants, or 94 percent of the total, have come to America over the last 50 years for reasons having nothing to do with employment. And that’s to say nothing of the over 24 million illegal immigrants who have come here. Put them together and you have 60 million immigrants, legal and illegal, who did not come to this country because of a job offer or because of their skills. That’s like adding almost the entire population of the United Kingdom. And this is still leaving aside the millions of temporary guest workers who we import every year into our country.

    Unlike many open-border zealots, I don’t believe the law of supply and demand is magically repealed for the labor markets. That means that our immigration system has been depressing wages for people who work with their hands and on their feet. Wages for Americans with high school diplomas are down two percent since the late 1970s. For Americans who didn’t finish high school, they’re down by a staggering 17 percent. Although immigration has a minimal effect overall on the wages of Americans, it has a severe negative effect on low-skilled workers, minorities, and even recent immigrants. . . .

    But the harmful impact on blue-collar workers isn’t the only problem with the current system. Because we give two-thirds of our green cards to relatives of people here, there are huge backlogs in the system. This forces highly talented immigrants to wait in line for years behind applicants whose only claim to naturalization is a random family connection to someone who happened to get here years ago. We therefore lose out on the very best talent coming into our country—the ultra-high-skilled immigrants who can come to America, stand on their own two feet, pay taxes, and through their entrepreneurial spirit and innovation create more and higher-paying jobs for our citizens.

    To put it simply, we have an immigration system that is badly failing Madison’s test of increasing the wealth and strength of the community. It might work to the advantage of a favored few, but not for the common good, and especially not the good of working-class Americans.

    Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, Immigration in the National Interest

    America's Founding Fathers Were Nationalists

    "Prior to those stirring passages [in the Declaration of Independence] about “unalienable Rights” and “Nature’s God,” in the Declaration’s very first sentence in fact, the Founders say it has become “necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands” that tie them to another—one people, not all people, not citizens of the world, but actual people who make up actual colonies. The Founders frequently use the words we and us throughout the Declaration to describe that people.

    Furthermore, on several occasions, the Declaration speaks of “these Colonies” or “these States.” The Founders were concerned about their own circumstances; they owed a duty to their own people who had sent them as representatives to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. They weren’t trying to free South America from Spanish or Portuguese dominion, much as they might have opposed that dominion.

    Perhaps most notably, the Founders explain towards the end of the Declaration that they had appealed not only to King George for redress, but also to their fellow British citizens, yet those fellow citizens had been “deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.” Consanguinity!—blood ties! That’s pretty much the opposite of being a citizen of the world.

    So while the Declaration is of course a universal document, it’s also a particular document about one nation and one people. Its signers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to each other, in English, right here in America—not in Esperanto to mankind in the abstract."

    Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, Immigration in the National Interest

    Saturday, November 25, 2017

    The Nanny Government Is Unconstitutional

    "I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill [1887 bill appropriating money to Texas farmers suffering through a catastrophic drought], to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose. I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people."

    President Grover Cleveland, cited by Glenn Beck, Arguing With Idiots, p. 6-7

    Thursday, November 23, 2017

    The Power And Simplicity Of Gospel Preaching

    “If we were left to ourselves with the task of taking the gospel to the world, we would immediately begin planning innovative strategies and plotting elaborate schemes. We would organize conventions, develop programs, and create foundations…But Jesus is so different from us. With the task of taking the gospel to the world, he wandered through the streets and byways…All he wanted was a few men who would think as he did, love as he did, see as he did, teach as he did, and serve as he did. All he needed was to revolutionize the hearts of a few, and they would impact the world.”

    David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, 87-88

    Monday, November 20, 2017

    Speaking The Truth In Love

             God's call for Christians to engage in apologetics is not by any means limited to a small group of self-proclaimed intellectual scholars, but is for all who believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ. It is the responsibility of the Christian church to maintain the purity of the gospel because the Lord has entrusted to us that salvific task. We have been appointed by God to function as His representatives on earth through the ministry of reconciliation. However, many Christians worldwide, including pastors, have consciously given apologetics a poor reputation because too many have advanced contemporary methods arrogantly. Furthermore, this significant abandonment of studying logical Christian defense and has made our youth highly susceptible to the secularism being promoted in our educational institutions. If we do not take measures to readjust how we conduct apologetics and instruct uninformed members of our churches concerning the importance of knowing the contents of our faith, then we are in essence undermining the Judeo-Christian worldview.

             To preface, it needs to be understood that we must take part in apologetics from a strictly biblical perspective. The most simplistic definition of the word "apologetics" means to give an answer. We must provide biblically sound answers to questions concerning Christianity because we are serving as ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ. Apologetics is not merely about persuading the critic or winning a debate. It is not constrained to "soul winning." Though these factors most certainly should be motivating intentions of being an apologist, the ultimate aim of apologetics is to glorify God in heaven by representing His kingdom on earth. It is not a means in itself (winning an argument for the sake of winning), but rather is a means to an end (glorifying God by advancing His kingdom). We should learn and understand the arguments of those who disagree with the Christian worldview. The repercussions of being overly closed-minded can only give other people the impression that the gospel calls them to be cruel, pompous, and hypocritical. Of course, such a portrayal of the biblical gospel message could not be further from the truth. We must treat our detractors with love. We need to respectfully answer objections to the faith without compromising the teachings of God's Word.

             We need to preach the unchangeable gospel of salvation to the world in a humble fashion. There exists a corresponding relationship between truth and love. Truth without love results in a puffed-up heart, whereas love unguided by truth produces empty sentimentality. Thus, partaking in Christian defense without adherence to this biblical principle would be futile. We must love our neighbor as ourselves (Romans 12:9-21). We must not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by disgraceful conduct (Ephesians 4:30-32). Our speech must be seasoned with salt (Colossians 3:8). We need to live out the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), as well as speak the truth in love (1 Peter 3:15). We must always keep a clear conscience, earnestly contending for the faith which was once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). In short, this is what it means to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. The notion of glorifying God in thought, word, and deed is not just reserved for apologetics. It is our way of life. If we do not act in accordance with our profession of faith, then society will believe that we who profess to be Christian are actually not serious about practicing our religion. People will not take us seriously if we do not live in accordance with the biblical morals, customs, and values that we claim to stand for. People will develop the terrible misconception that the Christian worldview is unlivable, and that it cannot provide a sense of hope, peace, and joy. If we are going to view walking the Christian walk as the top priority, then we must also make apologetics a top priority, since the Lord Jesus Christ clearly commissioned us to partake in both (Matthew 28:18-20).

             Perhaps the greatest way to refurbish the academic foundation of Christianity in our postmodern culture is to introduce to children being catechized the ancient trivium educational system that was originally employed by Greek and Roman societies. It works in three overlapping stages: 1.) what, 2.) why, and 3.) rhetoric. In other words, our youth need to be instructed concerning the essential articles of the faith, the underlying reasons for embracing Christian doctrine, and then transition to formulating logical responses in dialogue format. Methods for this avenue of religious inculcation may include but are by no means limited to reading Bible stories, gradually incorporating difficult excerpts from Christian literature into teaching, memorization of early church creeds, and even interview sessions with speakers from different ideological backgrounds. Questions should be encouraged, and people should learn how to reason out coherent answers to opposing arguments. Additionally, all of the aforementioned details on teaching apologetics to children can be applied equally to adults who do not have the training or experience of providing satisfactory answers to arguments touted by critics or questions raised by honest inquirers in our congregations. Indeed, this proposed threefold approach to studying apologetics sounds as if it may very well be a solution to the lack of religious zeal in our degenerate churches. If we do not know the contents of our faith, then we are making ourselves vulnerable to spiritual deception. Apologetics, if applied appropriately, can strengthen our spiritual fortress of faith in Christ Jesus. It can plant seeds of faith in the hearts of people who doubt.

    Saturday, November 18, 2017

    Socialism Equals Communism

    "There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide."

    Ayn Rand

    Tuesday, November 14, 2017

    1 Corinthians 10:3-4 And The Deity Of Christ

            “All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was the Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:3-4)

            In context, the Apostle Paul briefly brought into recollection events from the Exodus time frame. He alluded to the Jews who were freed from the authoritarian grasp of the Egyptian pharaoh and made to temporarily wander in the wilderness under the divine providence of God. 

            The manna (“spiritual food”) and water which sprang forth from a rock smote by the rod of Moses (“spiritual drink”) were all supplied because of His supernatural intervention. The quoted rabbinic tradition gives us literary imagery of a flowing rock that lingered in the presence of the Israelites with the intention of enforcing the point that God continually guides our experiences. 

            The rock reference is a typology of our Lord Jesus Christ, namely of His bold character and propitiatory sacrifice for the salvation of those who believe on Him. He is life to us. All things consist because of Him. He is the same Spiritual Rock and Lord who governed the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:3-4; 39; 1 Samuel 2:2; 2 Samuel 22:32), and overthrew the people who put Him to the test (Deuteronomy 6:16; 1 Corinthians 10:9). 

            Jesus Christ is co-eternal with the Father. He is God in the flesh. He possesses the fullness of His eternal glory. See also John 1:1-3. Moreover, some commentators think that the expressions “spiritual food” and “spiritual drink” are meant to mirror the elements (bread and wine) employed during the Lord’s Supper.

    Monday, November 13, 2017

    The Word Of His Grace

           "Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood." (Acts 20:28)

           Prior to the Apostle Paul's departure from Miletus to Jerusalem, he summoned a farewell conference of elders from the city of Ephesus. This meeting consisted of the apostle discussing how he had made known to them the gospel, the upcoming persecution that he must face as a result of his steadfast commitment to the will of God, gave an exhortation to the overseers to guard the faith against destructive heresies which could even arise from within, and concluded with an inspired saying of the Lord Jesus Christ in condemnation of selfishness. Paul was for the last time reinforcing the necessity of self-dedication by attesting himself as an example of supporting the cause of Christ. He was consigning the task of preaching the gospel to the members of that community. 

            We also learn from the text of Acts 20:28 the means by which God has enabled our redemption. God has saved those who have trusted on Him by the shed blood of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. That was the cost for our debt of sin. He paid a debt that we could never pay. We should be forever grateful for His lovingkindness. Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and resurrected for our transgressions. That is the essence of the gospel. We can now rightly recognized as the children of God. Those who are justified are also sanctified. Beyond all question, the gospel is, "that gracious word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated" (Acts 20:32).

    Saturday, November 11, 2017

    Questionable History Of Catholic Apostolic Succession

    "As for Peter's alleged successors, the New Testament says nothing. From other historical sources, little is known about them through the first two centuries. Church historian Philip Schaff writes, 'The oldest links in the chain of Roman bishops are veiled in impenetrable darkness.' Consequently, it is impossible for the Roman Catholic Church to substantiate its claims of papal succession from Peter to the present Pope. 

    Furthermore, through published lists of popes down through the centuries look impressive, one should be aware that a comparison of the present list with those of earlier years reveals continuing revision, the last being made in 1947 by A. Mercati. Since then no other changes have been found necessary. It is not even clear how some of the men listed have any claim at all to being Peter's successor as the Bishop of Rome, in that from 1305 to 1378 seven consecutive popes chose as their residence and seat of government not Rome, but Avignon, France! Disputes involving the lineage of the popes further obscure the picture. Roman Catholic scholars identify over 30 men as antipopes, or false claimants. Most notable among the antipopes are those involved in a 39-period called the Great Schism. In 1378 the cardinals elected Urban VI as pope. Soon after that they had announced that they had made a terrible mistake. Urban, in their opinion, was an apostate, and so they elected a new Pope, Clement VII. Urban countered by appointing a new college of cardinals. After years of dispute, further successors, and great confusion, cardinals from both sides met and elected yet another man as Pope, Alexander V. When even this did not settle the controversy, Emperor Sigismund called the Council of Constance (1418-1418) to address the problem. When the smoke finally cleared, yet another man, Martin V, was found sitting on the papal throne. Official lists of the lineage of the popes today identify Martin V as the 206th successor in the 'unbroken' lineage of the popes.

    In a very real sense, it is misleading for the Roman Catholic Church even to list popes during the first five centuries of church history. Church historian Michael Walsh observes:

    'Papal authority as it is now exercised, with its accompanying doctrine of papal infallibility, cannot be found in theories about the papal role expressed by early Popes and other Christians during the first 500 years of Christianity.' (An Illustrated History of the Popes)

    The papacy as it is known today took centuries to develop. Its origin can be found in the emergence of the bishops in the second century and events which took place during the forth and fifth centuries. Its origin can be found in the emergence of bishops in the second century and events which took place in the political structure of the Roman Empire during the forth and fifth centuries."

    James G. McCarthy, The Gospel According to Rome, p. 254-255

    Friday, November 10, 2017

    For God So Loved The World

    “The Greek construction puts some emphasis on the actuality of the gift: it is not ‘God loved enough to give,’ but ‘God loved so that he gave.’ His love is not a vague, sentimental feeling, but a love that costs. God gave what was most dear to him.”

    Morris, pp. 203-4, cited by Dr. Thomas Constable

    Thursday, November 9, 2017

    Secular Biologists Declare: ‘There Is No Sex Spectrum,’ Science and Medical Worlds Must ‘Stand Up for Reality of Biological Sex’

    "Two secular biologists have penned an op-ed combating the notion that biological sex may be more than just male and female, and contending that gender identity ideology has “no basis in reality” but is rather harmful to society. They urged those in the science and medical fields to “stand up for the empirical reality of biological sex.”

    “If male and female are merely arbitrary groupings, it follows that everyone, regardless of genetics or anatomy should be free to choose to identify as male or female, or to reject sex entirely in favor of a new bespoke ‘gender identity,'” wrote Colin Wright and Emma Hilton. “To characterize this line of reasoning as having no basis in reality would be an egregious understatement. It is false at every conceivable scale of resolution.”

    Wright is an evolutionary biologist at Penn State University and Hilton is a developmental biologist at the University of Manchester.

    They outlined that in both human and animal life, biological sex corresponds with reproductive anatomy and the subsequent use of sex cells — whether egg or sperm — to reproduce.

    “No third type of sex cell exists in humans, and therefore there is no sex spectrum or additional sexes beyond male and female,” Wright and Hilton wrote. “Sex is binary.”

    While intersex individuals, those who were born with ambiguous reproductive organs, do exist and are very much a rarity, they are “neither a third sex nor proof that sex is a spectrum or a social construct.”

    The biologists opined that rejecting biological sex for subjective “gender identity” is detrimental to society as it abrogates the work of those who have sought, for example, protections for women — if being a woman is simply up to an individual’s feelings.

    “Women have fought hard for sex-based legal protections. Female-only spaces are necessary due to the pervasive threat of male violence and sexual assault. Separate sporting categories are also necessary to ensure that women and girls don’t have to face competitors who have acquired the irreversible performance-enhancing effects conferred by male puberty,” they wrote.

    https://christiannews.net/2020/02/20/secular-biologists-declare-there-is-no-sex-spectrum-science-and-medical-worlds-must-stand-up-for-reality-of-biological-sex/

    Tuesday, November 7, 2017

    No Mans Knows Enough

    "I have come to the conviction that no man knows enough to attack the veracity of the Old Testament. Every time when anyone has been able to get together enough documentary 'proofs' to undertake an investigation, the biblical facts in the original text have victoriously met the test."

    Professor Robert Dick Wilson

    Counter Arguments to Same Sex "Marriage"

    Let’s consider some counter-arguments [to same-sex “marriage”]:

    1. Homosexuals can’t fulfill the most basic purpose of marriage – procreation and childrearing. There are heterosexual couples that don’t want children and those that can’t have children. But same-sex couples, by their very nature, are incapable of having children. The couples who are doing society’s vital work – mothers and fathers joined by faith and tradition, raising the next generation in love – deserve the status reserved for them alone from time immemorial.

    2. Children need a father and a mother – A woman who was raised from birth by two lesbians said that, even as an adult, “I have still felt an empty space in my life, the lack of a father, and no matter the love I have had from both of my ‘mothers’ … There is a balance that comes from a mother and a father that can create the most lasting and stable family. I would not keep the blessings a father can give from any child.”

    3. With gay marriage in the United States, adoption agencies are being forced to place children with homosexual couples. In Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, Catholic Charities stopped offering adoption services for that reason.

    4. There is no comparison between this and natural marriage. Most homosexual liaisons are of short duration. Even those that are called “committed relationships” are rarely monogamous. According to the National Center for Health Research, in 2001, even in the age of no-fault divorce, 66% of first marriages in the U.S. lasted longer than 10 years; 50% lasted longer than 20 years. Another study described the average homosexual relationship as “transactional” – lasting less than 6 months.

    5. In a study of gay men by the Journal of Sex Research, the average number of lifetime partners was 755, with some reporting more than 1,000. How can the term “marriage” be applied to what amounts to a revolving bedroom door?

    6. Legalizing homosexual marriage inevitably leads to public school indoctrination and religious persecution. In the United States, photographers, florists and bakers have been fined huge sums (and, in some cases, ordered to undergo what amounts to therapy) for refusing to participate in same-sex ceremonies. Ultimately, sexual radicals would force churches to perform these ceremonies or lose their tax-exempt status.

    7. On Father’s Day, the U.S. Department of Education had a fatherhood conference that included the heads of Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, two well-respected organizations doing vital work. “Outrageous” said LGBT groups. Because FRC and Focus oppose gay marriage, they are “hateful.” Thus the movement works tirelessly to stigmatize and marginalize conservative Christians.

    8. In the Canadian province of Alberta, a local school board ordered a Christian school to stop reading or studying “any scripture that could be offensive to any individual.” Presumably, this includes those that condemn homosexuality, adultery, idolatry and witchcraft.

    9. The sexual revolution is an insatiable beast. Nothing is ever enough. First there were anti-discrimination laws, then hate-crimes legislation, then marriage-deconstruction. Now, it’s on to what’s called “transgenderism” – which has absolutely no scientific basis. It demands that men who “feel” like women be treated like women – including using the bathrooms and showers/changing rooms of those who actually are women and girls – regardless of considerations of safety and modesty. If we don’t hold the line on marriage, who knows what will come next.

    10. Same-sex marriage must be seen not in isolation, but as part of a continuum. In the United States, we went from no-fault divorce, to abortion on demand and sex education which amounts to indoctrination, to public schools distributing condoms to minors without parental knowledge or consent. Along with Bible-believers, the left has targeted the family as the chief obstacle to achieving its utopian agenda. It understands that anything which weakens the family strengthens its cause.

    11. Almost 100 years ago, Georg Lukacs, a Hungarian intellectual considered one of the fathers of Cultural Marxism, wrote that traditional culture must be destroyed for the workers’ paradise to emerge. Lukacs observed: “I saw the revolutionary destruction of society as the one and only solution to the cultural contradictions of the epoch…Such a worldwide overturning of values cannot take place without the annihilation of the old values and the creation of new ones by the revolutionaries.” By the “old values,” he meant faith and family.

    Without marriage, we will enter a brave new world of atomistic individualism – one where individuals live by and for themselves and social arrangements are transitory and utilitarian. Procreation will be increasingly rare.

    We need to return to our roots – especially the Bible.

    The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted in 1948, when most UN members were democracies) calls the family based on marriage, “the natural and fundamental group unit of society and (as such) entitled to protection by society and the state.”

    To say the family is “the… fundamental group unit of society,” means it’s the foundation. Demolish the foundation, and the entire structure collapses. Survivors will buried in the rubble.

    Don Feder, Marriage is the Foundation of Social Order

    Sunday, November 5, 2017

    Overview Evaluation Of “Jesus Mythers”

    “During the past twenty years or so, a number of books and articles have appeared in the Internet arguing that Jesus is a myth who never existed. Viewing the biographical information of their authors reveals that only a handful have any academic credentials. Unfortunately, most people reading the literature written by “mythers” (as they are commonly referred to) are not accustomed to critical thinking by comparing sources…Yet they are unaware that neither Doherty nor Murdock ever went beyond earning a bachelor’s degree while Meier and Wright earned doctorates in relevant fields and teach New Testament studies at prestigious universities…they often make egregious errors and silly proposals that sound credible only to the naive. Mythers are often guilty of twisting data, propagating false claims, appealing to sources who are also not scholars, requiring an unreasonable burden of proof before acknowledging the existence of Jesus while being unaware that the scenarios they have proposed in order to address the data border on unbridled fantasy…It is noteworthy that one could count on one hand all the scholars in the fields of history and biblical studies who have been persuaded by the arguments of mythers. It is not because the majority of historians and biblical scholars are Christians…It is also noteworthy that even some atheist and agnostic scholars have blasted mythers for their poor arguments and treatment of the data. Scholars simply refuse to give them much attention and regard them to be as absurd as holocaust deniers.”

    A New Kind of Apologist, pg. 179-180