Saturday, September 18, 2010

DARK MATTER/FLOW/ENERGY- These posts give a brief overview of one of the more questionable theories of modern cosmology.

-[1516] YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! Okay, the other week I watched a ton of stuff on wormholes, the universe and modern theories of cosmology. I do really get into this stuff, but I couldn’t stop laughing [crying?] at some points. Those of you who have read my evolution section have read posts on Dark matter/Dark energy. In those posts I explained how dark matter, an idea espoused by Alan Guth from M.I.T., became a necessary ‘evil’ [or unknown] in order for modern physics to explain the function of the universe. Basically physics teaches us that you need so much matter to generate enough gravity for the planets and everything else to function properly; the problem is we have never detected the matter. So Guth said ‘I know, let’s come up with the word’s ‘dark matter’ and blame everything on that’! Excellent idea isn’t it? But if some Christian did something like this you would laugh him out of the room. So anyway dark matter eventually became the word to describe this UNKNOWN element that holds the universe together- much like the way Chance is used by many in modern theory. So as I watched the programs narrated by Morgan Freeman, I found it interesting that in one show they admitted that Dark Matter really isn’t anything, it’s just a word we use to fill in an unknown blank- exactly what I have been saying for years. But then in the next show in the series, you had a bunch of scientists refer to Dark Matter as a real, proven thing. They were contradicting themselves. But the clincher came when they ran the show called ‘are we wrong about everything’. This one dealt with all these new up and coming scientists who are actually challenging all of the old theories, they even debunked the whole theory of Dark Matter [so I was right all along?]. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Then for the grand finale they spoke about a new theory called Dark Flow [these guys just can’t get away from dark stuff!]. This idea says there is this ‘flow’ in the universe that seems to be all going in one direction; that is they think there is some outside force [in theology we call this transcendence] that exists outside of the known universe, and this unseen force might actually be the cause for the functionality of our known universe. In essence they are saying ‘it’s not Dark Matter that causes things to function properly, but it’s this ‘thing’ that exists outside of the universe that is doing it’. Really, this is too good to be true; modern theory is now saying ‘some being/thing is causing this to happen’. Of course Christians knew this all along. The bible says that Christ is holding all things together by the power of his word, this language speaks exactly to the problem of Dark Matter- that is we have never been able to detect by natural means, anything that is ‘big’ enough to be responsible for holding everything together. Christians have believed that the very nature of God is responsible for doing this; he exists and fills in the empty space- the so called function of dark matter. I don’t mean to ridicule these fine men who have given their lives to the worthy pursuit of modern scientific theory, it’s just when their own scientists begin to tells us ‘look, these other guys have been wrong all along’ then we really need to take a second look.

(1371) CAN SOMETHING COME FROM NOTHING? Part of the recent debate going on in the field of Physics argues whether or not you can get something from nothing. One of the arguments says ‘look, we have been able to detect certain phenomena that seem to show us things popping into existence from A FIELD [AREA] WHERE NOTHING EXISTS’. Now, the same Quantum Physics that supposedly shows this, also teaches that our universe has around 90 % of all matter hidden, they say that this ‘dark matter’ is everywhere, you can’t escape it! Yet at the same time we have no way of detecting it. My question for the Quantum physicist would be ‘where are you getting this pristine field, this area where ‘nothing exists’ that you are examining, that seemingly shows you things coming from nothing?’ The problem with some of these brothers is they make nonsensical statements, things that violate the laws of logic, and then they call us idiots!

(964) MORE PROOF FOR GOD- Okay, what’s up with ‘dark matter’? In the 20th century the amazing breakthroughs in science showed us that what we thought was a limited universe, was actually a growing universe that was expanding at a faster rate every day. The further out you got, the faster it was expanding. This discovery [Hubble] worked in harmony with Einstein’s theories. This discovery also created a problem. If the universe is so much more vast than previously thought to be, then the amount of known matter needed in the universe in order to maintain the proper gravitational force was not there. Basically you need so much matter to exist in order for this newly discovered expanding universe to hold together and function right. The problem is that the matter is not there![some say it is still not detected]. So the theory of ‘dark matter’ [unseen, undetected matter] has been floated. This invisible matter is supposedly the single greatest matter in existence, though we have no proof that even one tiny particle exists! Ahh, when stuff like this happens, we need to pay close attention. Why? Well some who defend the young earth theory of creation use this to back up their claim of a young universe. It’s kinda technical stuff, but this ‘dark matter’ has to be there to defend the old age theory [for some!]. Another problem is we have absolutely no proof that this dark matter exists. It is simply believed in because the naturalistic explanation demands it! Sort of like coming to a part in a puzzle where a piece doesn’t fit, so you simply make something fit. Now, the bible does teach that the vast universe is held together [a key role of so called dark matter] by Christ’s absolute power. The other explanation for how the vast universe is able to function smoothly, without the needed matter to create the huge amount of gravity, is that God himself is holding all things together by his omnipotence. In essence, we need God for this puzzle to fit. I am not saying the idea of dark matter is totally false, but as far as we know today, there is no proof that it exists. We as believers should not take an anti scientific stance on everything, to the contrary, true science always backs up the Christian world view [in general] but we also need to be suspicious when science floats an idea that can be explained by the existence of a creator. If the idea is simply out there, with no proof at all [the multi-verse] then we certainly have the right to challenge whether the whole thing is a bunch of ‘dark [invisible] matter’!

(1442) WHAT ABOUT THE ARIZONA LAW? This week Arizona passed one of the most restrictive immigration laws in the nation. Many have opposed the new law; there is so much speculation by the media that it’s hard to get to the truth. I personally would be against any law that made a U.S. citizen have to show his birth papers or be detained. But I also understand the major border problem that Arizona and the other Mexico/American Border States have to deal with; I live in Texas, one of these states. Last night I caught an interesting interview on the Rachel Maddow show, she had on some guy from a group that supposedly had something to do with crafting the new law. I never heard of the group before but they seem to be one of the right leaning groups that at times espouse things that can be taken as racist. The interesting thing was Rachel’s staff looked up all sorts of past statements and beliefs of people associated with the group; she then grilled the representative on the air. The problem was she found past statements that held to the belief that some races of people are more ‘evolved’ than others, statements that said some humans possibly have a better learning capacity than others. And she also brought out those who held to the belief that it would be better for humanity as a whole if we did not encourage the ‘lesser groups’ to breed! What Rachel did not realize is she was quoting to the tee many of the beliefs of social evolution. At one point she brought out a picture from a magazine associated with the group, the title of the article was ‘Homo Erectus walks among us’ it actually showed a picture of a half black/ape like being. In essence Rachel was rightfully condemning social Darwinism, a belief that she personally holds to! I have written on this before and don’t want to re teach the whole subject, suffice it to say that many have warned that these racist views of evolution are extremely dangerous, but if a person truly believes in Darwin’s theory, then the logical conclusion is yes- there are races on the planet that are less advanced than others- you can’t get around it, evolutionary theory breeds racism. I like the Rachel Maddow show, and like most North Eastern liberals they are usually able to see the faults and racist tendencies of the right, but are totally blind to their own racist views. I personally am weary of any law that puts people under suspicion because of their race; whether it be White, Hispanic, Black or any other group. If the federal govt. did not drop the ball on immigration and border security then Arizona would not have been pushed into what looks to be a bad law, I hope that we can come to a fair solution to the immigration problem. For the record I am pro immigrant, I have said this before and want to be up front about it. I take the Catholic view on immigration; I side with treating the immigrants with mercy and grace. I know there are legitimate arguments on both sides of this issue; I just wanted to be upfront about where I stand.

(852)EVOLUTION AND RACISM- Jesus said if you call someone a fool ‘without a cause’ that you would be in danger of ‘hell fire’. One of the most famous ‘Evolution versus Christian’ cases in the 20th century was known as ‘The Scopes Trial’ [monkey trial]. I remember as a boy watching the made for T.V. movie ‘Inherit the Wind’. The movie portrayed the Christians as ‘ignoramuses’ while showing the defense side as ‘enlightened’. The key figures were Clarence Darrow [1857-1938] and William Jennings Bryan [1860-1925]. John Scopes was the teacher accused of teaching evolution from the book ‘Civic Biology’ by George Hunter. Tennessee had recently passed a law forbidding the teaching of evolution in their schools [Butler act]. Scopes was found guilty and fined 100 dollars, but the intent of trying to show the Christian fundamentalist as ‘backwoods idiots’ was achieved. Darrow managed to get Bryan to admit that the creation account of Genesis might be speaking of ‘ages’ when it says ‘days’ [the very popular gap theory was accepted by many fundamentalists at the time. C. I. Scofield's bible popularized this belief in the notes]. After the trial the fact that the A.C.L.U. lost the case was insignificant, they won in the media. Till this day many people see this event as a victory for freedom and human rights. What is not commonly known is that the book Scopes taught from was one of the most racist books of the age. It freely taught Eugenics [the stronger more ‘nobler’ races winning out over the less valuable inferior races!] it even had a scale showing the 5 races of humans from the most valuable and intelligent, to the least valuable and ignorant. The book had whites at the top and blacks at the bottom. Bryan was a defender of civil rights for all humans, he stood on the side of blacks and minorities being equal. The so called ‘advanced’ bunch [the evolutionists] were on the side of the K.K.K., they espoused the doctrine of white supremacy as taught in the book Scopes used. Bryan felt the danger of this so called ‘scientific theory’ was that it would lead to disaster and the degrading of human dignity. It is an historical fact that Hitler read and believed in Eugenics and Evolution, he felt his atrocities against the Jews were simply mans way of ‘wiping out the inferior races’. His demonic attack would occur a few years after Bryan’s warnings. Now, for those who view the famous ‘Monkey Trial’ as a great victory for humanity, I have one response ‘the men who wrote and espoused such racist beliefs were quite obviously FOOLS!

(1375) SOCIAL EVOLUTION- As I have been doing some blogging on other sites over the science of evolution, I thought it would be good to do a little on the philosophical ideas that spawned from it. Many sincere people do not realize the bias that comes along with a full embrace of a purely materialistic approach to life. There once was a woman named Margaret Sanger, she was a strong believer in Evolution and its sister science, Eugenics. Eugenics was an idea espoused by a relative of Darwin that taught that if you ‘quickened’ evolution by eliminating the so called ‘inferior races’ by human action, that this would advance the purer races faster and man would arrive at his Utopian state quicker. Darwin himself used the Black Aborigines tribes as an example of the inferiority of the ‘lesser races’. He looked at them as an in between race of people who were not fully human [like the white race] but were sort of a mix between man and ape. Anyway Sanger developed this idea to the point we she set up an organization that would assist the inferior races in the rush to eliminating their offspring; less child bearing, the quicker the more noble whites would advance. She received praise from another man who believed in the same principle, Adolph Hitler. After WW2 it became quite unpopular to continue to associate her organization with a megalomaniac who also carried out the same plan with the Jews, so she renamed her organization- today we know it as Planned Parenthood. Now as hard as this is to believe, the facts on this have been out there for many years. This is also why many advocates for minorities are upset that the planned parenthood clinics are located in poor minority areas, they see this as an attempt to get rid of minorities. The point today is the social construct of evolutionary theory has had disastrous effects; from biblical theology [documentary theory advanced by Wellhausen- he taught that the bible followed the ‘evolutionary model’ of mans advance from primitive religions to Monotheism, an idea espoused by the philosopher Hegel] to the public school systems embrace of evolution as the answer to all things from biology to cosmology. When Christians advocate a progressive-theistic evolutionary model, and when they do a worldwide ‘Darwin week’ [like we just did!] we need to also recognize the social effects of Darwinism as well as the scientific advances that some believe have been made thru the theory.

(1273) 2ND KINGS 17 in some ways this is a transitional chapter; up until now foreign countries attacked and suppressed Israel, but in this chapter we see the first real captivity of the people as a whole. Hoshea the king over the northern tribes [Israel] rebels against the king of Assyria who had them under tribute. So the king of Assyria puts Hoshea in jail and besieges Israel for 3 years, they take the city [Samaria] and they remove the majority of the people out of the land. He also places foreigners in the land to repopulate it. These foreign nations eventually mix in with the remnant that remained and these descendants are what we read about in John’s gospel, they were considered ‘half breed’ Samaritans. Now after the new inhabitants settle in the ‘Lord sent lions among them’. The people see this as judgment from God and request the Assyrian king to send them a priest so they could learn the ways of the God of the land and not die. This priest arrives and to some degree teaches these pagans the true worship of God, they of course kept their pagan beliefs as well, but it is interesting to see how the Lord even used a judgment scenario to redeem people. Okay, last night I was reading some of the history of the 18th-19th centuries and how after the French Revolution and the era of Napoleon many Europeans began to fear the idea of total and free Democracy, there was a sort of romantic musing upon the good old days of the Monarch. Many Frenchmen longed for the stability of the old Catholic church, these were called ‘Ultramontanists’ which meant ‘beyond the mountains- Alps’ and stood for their desire to re attach with the old Roman church in a way that allowed the church to reassert a global oversight over France as it used to have before the Revolution and Reformation. Part of the fear had to do with the nation states being their own sovereign, that whatever the nations wanted to now do they could do without any outside oversight; in essence part of the role of the Roman church was to provide a type of ‘united nations’ oversight over the individual states. Ultimately Democracy would eventually prevail and the new world of the Americas would be the first nation to adopt Democratic principles right from the start. When reading the history of the world, often time’s revisionists put their own spin on stuff. For instance we often read the history of Darwin in the latter half of the 19th century and see him as some enlightened figure who stood up against the bigotry of the church. But a generation or 2 before Darwin you had many ‘enlightened’ Evangelicals who fought for human rights and the dignity of man. William Wilberforce and the ‘Clapham community’ were men who used their political and social status as a means of freeing the Black man from the horrendous slave trade in Britain. Clapham was a small town around 3 miles outside of London; the town was sort of an elite place for the higher ups of society. Sort of like the Hamptons. Yet it was from this area in the late 18th century that many of the modern programs of the Evangelical movement were launched. The wealth and influence of these men launched the first bible societies, they started mission organizations for the poor; and even tried to instill a schema of social justice in their business dealings [the head of the East India trading company was part of the group]. These men wrought good social change and fought for the rights of the Black man, for him to be treated as a human and not some type of lower class chattel property. Darwin’s ideas would put into print the racist ideas of those who opposed the outlawing of slavery as a legitimate trade. Those who resisted freeing the slaves [both in Britain and the colonies] believed that the Black man was an inferior race to the White man. Darwin taught these beliefs openly in his books; he believed the Black race was proof of Evolutionary theory, that the Blacks proved to us that there were intellectually inferior races of men that did not advance along the more educated road of White men. The point being that a full 70 years before Darwin you had very influential Christian men who fought for the rights and freedom of Black men, and yet history normally portrays Darwin as the person who fought the bigotry of the church in his noble journey for truth. Okay, God allowed his people to be taken captive, they rebelled against him and they lost their freedom as a people, yet they still had a history of great and noble deeds, they accepted proselytes into their nation and treated the poor in their land with respect. It would be wrong to view the entire history of Gods people [both now and then] from the lens of the sins and wrongs that occurred, yes the church has made her mistakes and it sounds noble to say ‘lets cast off all the restraints of religion’ but in the end you might wind up looking past the Alps for some help.

(621)Let’s do another science one. I have told people that the most proof for the existence of God, in the scientific world, has come in the last 50 years. In the last century you had one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time. Do you know what that was? It was the theory that the universe was not only much greater than previously thought, but that it was ‘getting greater’ every day! It was actually expanding! When this theory was first espoused, many scientists rejected it. Why? If this were true [which it was!] it would show that the universe actually had a starting point. If it had a starting point, than ‘someone’ had to start it. At first many scientists rejected the theory. The leading Physicist who came up with this idea had another negative, he was a Catholic Priest. Many thought he was biased towards his theory. As time rolled on, his theory gradually gained support from many other scientists. He had ‘theorized’ that the proof of an ever expanding universe would be a residual ‘heat’ that you would be able to detect in the atmosphere. Another scientist, who was studying something else, released his proof of finding a background radiation that existed in the universe that was coming from all angles. He proved the Priest was right! Today 99 % of science believes that the universe had a starting point. This is accepted science. Very few hold to the old ‘static theory’ that it always existed at the current size. Now, some stayed with the old view. Do you know why? They actually said that if the new view were true [which it is!] that this would undeniably be proof of the existence of a creator. The doubters said this! They in essence were scientists who were not willing to go with the science! They were in the category of the religious skeptics who were not willing to go with science when it showed our solar system to be Heliocentric as opposed to Geocentric [our earth going around the Sun as opposed to the Sun and planets going around the Earth]. During the time of Galileo many scientists believed the old way. When Copernicus came up with the idea that we hold to today, the Church rejected science because of religious bias. Well today you have certain scientists who reject science because of religious bias [the religion of secularism- the worldview that sees a naturalistic explanation for all things]. The fact that science now holds to a ‘big bang’ theory, as well as all the overwhelming evidence against evolution, should rattle the unbelievers. We are at a time in history where science has come to the top of the mountain of exploration, and has found the theologians sitting at the top! NOTE; the story goes that Galileo was before the Bishops and was imploring them to ‘look into the Telescope’ and see for your self the evidence! And the church refused to look, saying all they needed was Gods word. How true this is no one knows. Many skeptics have used the ‘Helio/Geo centric’ argument to show the ignorance of the church. These skeptics say ‘see, the bible taught that all the planets and Sun revolved around the Earth, and science proved otherwise’. First, the church came to this understanding by the themes in scripture of the Planets and Stars in their course and stuff like that. The scripture never taught as fact that the Solar System was Geocentric. When the scientific evidence proved that the Earth revolved around the Sun, the church should have accepted this. Of course she has now. But this should work both ways. Another Catholic scientist wrote a book a few years back ‘Darwin’s black box’ he brought out undeniable scientific proof that Evolution was false! Too much to explain here, but the proof goes along the lines of man having in him ‘closed systems’ that had to have been complete and sealed from the start in order to work. Sort of like what I taught on ‘complex machines’ in this section. The author brought out the fact that man could not have slowly evolved. These parts of man had to have been fully formed and sealed at the time of creation. So the skeptics are just as guilty as the church when they refuse to ‘look into the Telescope’! NOTE- The catholic scientist in the above entry was not the first to espouse the idea of an expanding universe, but he was instrumental in proving this to be true.

These are some quotes from Darwin, it shows you the inherent racism in his beliefs-
“ It has been asserted that the ear of man alone possesses a lobule; but ‘a rudiment of it is found in the gorilla’ and, as I hear from Prof. Preyer, it is not rarely absent in the negro.
“The sense of smell is of the highest importance to the greater number of mammals–to some, as the ruminants, in warning them of danger; to others, as the Carnivora, in finding their prey; to others, again, as the wild boar, for both purposes combined. But the sense of smell is of extremely slight service, if any, even to the dark coloured races of men, in whom it is much more highly developed than in the white and civilised races.”
“The account given by Humboldt of the power of smell possessed by the natives of South America is well known, and has been confirmed by others. M. Houzeau asserts that he repeatedly made experiments, and proved that Negroes and Indians could recognise persons in the dark by their odour. Dr. W. Ogle has made some curious observations on the connection between the power of smell and the colouring matter of the mucous membrane of the olfactory region as well as of the skin of the body. I have, therefore, spoken in the text of the dark-coloured races having a finer sense of smell than the white races….Those who believe in the principle of gradual evolution, will not readily admit that the sense of smell in its present state was originally acquired by man, as he now exists. He inherits the power in an enfeebled and so far rudimentary condition, from some early progenitor, to whom it was highly serviceable, and by whom it was continually used.”
“It appears as if the posterior molar or wisdom-teeth were tending to become rudimentary in the more civilised races of man. These teeth are rather smaller than the other molars, as is likewise the case with the corresponding teeth in the chimpanzee and orang; and they have only two separate fangs. … In the Melanian races, on the other hand, the wisdom-teeth are usually furnished with three separate fangs, and are generally sound; they also differ from the other molars in size, less than in the Caucasian races.
“It is an interesting fact that ancient races, in this and several other cases, more frequently present structures which resemble those of the lower animals than do the modern. One chief cause seems to be that the ancient races stand somewhat nearer in the long line of descent to their remote animal-like progenitors.”
“It has often been said, as Mr. Macnamara remarks, that man can resist with impunity the greatest diversities of climate and other changes; but this is true only of the civilised races. Man in his wild condition seems to be in this respect almost as susceptible as his nearest allies, the anthropoid apes, which have never yet survived long, when removed from their native country.”
“The above view of the origin and nature of the moral sense, which tells us what we ought to do, and of the conscience which reproves us if we disobey it, accords well with what we see of the early and undeveloped condition of this faculty in mankind…. A North-American Indian is well pleased with himself, and is honoured by others, when he scalps a man of another tribe; and a Dyak cuts off the head of an unoffending person, and dries it as a trophy. … With respect to savages, Mr. Winwood Reade informs me that the negroes of West Africa often commit suicide. It is well known how common it was amongst the miserable aborigines of South America after the Spanish conquest. … It has been recorded that an Indian Thug conscientiously regretted that he had not robbed and strangled as many travellers as did his father before him. In a rude state of civilisation the robbery of strangers is, indeed, generally considered as honourable.”
“As barbarians do not regard the opinion of their women, wives are commonly treated like slaves. Most savages are utterly indifferent to the sufferings of strangers, or even delight in witnessing them. It is well known that the women and children of the North-American Indians aided in torturing their enemies. Some savages take a horrid pleasure in cruelty to animals, and humanity is an unknown virtue….. Many instances could be given of the noble fidelity of savages towards each other, but not to strangers; common experience justifies the maxim of the Spaniard, “Never, never trust an Indian.”
“The other so-called self-regarding virtues, which do not obviously, though they may really, affect the welfare of the tribe, have never been esteemed by savages, though now highly appreciated by civilised nations. The greatest intemperance is no reproach with savages.”
“I have entered into the above details on the immorality of savages, because some authors have recently taken a high view of their moral nature, or have attributed most of their crimes to mistaken benevolence. These authors appear to rest their conclusion on savages possessing those virtues which are serviceable, or even necessary, for the existence of the family and of the tribe,–qualities which they undoubtedly do possess, and often in a high degree.”
“Slavery, although in some ways beneficial during ancient times, is a great crime; yet it was not so regarded until quite recently, even by the most civilised nations. And this was especially the case, because the slaves belonged in general to a race different from that of their masters.”
“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”
“The partial or complete extinction of many races and sub-races of man is historically known….When civilised nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race…. The grade of their civilisation seems to be a most important element in the success of competing nations. A few centuries ago Europe feared the inroads of Eastern barbarians; now any such fear would be ridiculous.”
“[Flinders Island], situated between Tasmania and Australia, is forty miles long, and from twelve to eighteen miles broad: it seems healthy, and the natives were well treated. Nevertheless, they suffered greatly in health….With respect to the cause of this extraordinary state of things, Dr. Story remarks that death followed the attempts to civilise the natives.” [--Obviously the problem was trying to civilize these barbarians!]
“Finally, although the gradual decrease and ultimate extinction of the races of man is a highly complex problem, depending on many causes which differ in different places and at different times; it is the same problem as that presented by the extinction of one of the higher animals.”
“There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other,–as in the texture of the hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body …Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Every one who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have been struck with the contrast between the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America and the light-hearted, talkative negroes. There is a nearly similar contrast between the Malays and the Papuans who live under the same physical conditions, and are separated from each other only by a narrow space of sea.
” A certain amount of absorption of mulattoes into negroes must always be in progress; and this would lead to an apparent diminution of the former. The inferior vitality of mulattoes is spoken of in a trustworthy work as a well-known phenomenon; and this, although a different consideration from their lessened fertility, may perhaps be advanced as a proof of the specific distinctness of the parent races.”
“So far as we are enabled to judge, although always liable to err on this head, none of the differences between the races of man are of any direct or special service to him. The intellectual and moral or social faculties must of course be excepted from this remark.”
“The main conclusion arrived at in this work, namely, that man is descended from some lowly organised form, will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many. But there can hardly be a doubt that we are descended from barbarians. The astonishment which I felt on first seeing a party of Fuegians on a wild and broken shore will never be forgotten by me, for the reflection at once rushed into my mind-such were our ancestors. These men were absolutely naked and bedaubed with paint, their long hair was tangled, their mouths frothed with excitement, and their expression was wild, startled, and distrustful. … He who has seen a savage in his native land will not feel much shame, if forced to acknowledge that the blood of some more humble creature flows in his veins.”
“For my own part I would as soon be descended from …[a] monkey, or from that old baboon… –as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.
“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman–whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands…We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on ‘Hereditary Genius,’ that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.”
“The greater intellectual vigour and power of invention in man is probably due to natural selection, combined with the inherited effects of habit, for the most able men will have succeeded best in defending and providing for themselves and for their wives and offspring.”
For most normal achievements, women will do as well as men, given a chance. Women do just as well as men at being, say, a family doctor, an accountant, a real estate agent, a high school teacher, etc.
It's only in outstanding achievements - either for good OR for ill - that men tend to dominate. One way of seeing this is that the curve of women's achievements fits inside the curve of men's achievements, either way.
Natural selection does not explain this because most men who have outstanding achievements do not contribute a great deal to the gene pool as a consequence.
Either they produce few or no children, or their children do nothing outstanding. So Darwin did not really have a good explanation for this fact.
"The advancement of the welfare of mankind is a most intricate problem: all ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their children; for poverty is not only a great evil, but tends to its own increase by leading to recklessness in marriage. On the other hand, as Mr. Galton has remarked, if the prudent avoid marriage, whilst the reckless marry, the inferior members tend to supplant the better members of society. Man, like every other animal, has no doubt advanced to his present high condition through a struggle for existence consequent on his rapid multiplication; and if he is to advance still higher, it is to be feared that he must remain subject to a severe struggle. Otherwise he would sink into indolence, and the more gifted men would not be more successful in the battle of life than the less gifted. Hence our natural rate of increase, though leading to many and obvious evils, must not be greatly diminished by any means. There should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring."
"We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”
POSTMODERNISM [just stuck a few posts together on postmodern thinking]

(1245) 2ND KINGS 4:8-37 Elisha travels thru a town called Shunem and a woman decides to prepare a little ‘prophets room’ for him on the city wall. She goes out of her way to assist in Elisha’s ministry. So he wants to return the kind deed and he asks what he could do for her. He finds out that she has had no kids and prophesies that she will have a child. She disbelieves the word but sure enough she has the child. One day when the boy is in the field with his dad he gets sick and dies. The woman lays his body in Elisha’s room and heads out to meet him. He comes back with her and raises the child from the dead. Elisha has already multiplied the oil supernaturally [well God did it] and here he raises the dead. He truly is doing the miraculous signs of a prophet among them. I am still reading Brian McLaren’s book ‘everything must change’ and I like the way Brian shows us how the ministry of Jesus was a challenge to unjust power and human government. He actually uses the example from Pontius Pilate, when Jesus was asked ‘are you the king of the Jews’ and Jesus says yes, he came to testify of the truth. Pilate says ‘what is truth’ and McLaren uses this to illustrate that unjust power structures see truth as this ‘wishy washy’ type thing. I find it funny that Brian accuses Pilate of being a ‘postmodern, relativist’ McLaren himself espouses postmodernism! In the prophetic ministry of Jesus the father gave him the tools he needed to accomplish the mission, in the gospel of John we read ‘many other miracles did Jesus do that are not written in this book, but these are written so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that by believing you would have life thru his name’. Jesus shook up the systems of his day; he knew the prophecies concerning him that were found in the Old Testament. One of them said ‘Gentiles shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising’ when Pilate asked Jesus ‘are you this king or not’ Jesus replied ‘did someone tell you this about me, or did you come up with this idea on your own’. Jesus knew that the Father had promised him that he would impact nations, that kings and rulers would hear his ‘narrative’ and be changed. He fulfilled the 3 years of earthly ministry; he raised the dead, opened blind eyes, fed the masses. Now his time has come to take the cup and drink it. Much is on his mind, at the moment of truth Pilate asks him if he is really who he said he was. Jesus says ‘I can’t lie, for this reason was I born. I am taking this thing to the end, I am going to finish the course that God has set before me’. Pilate was simply a ‘first fruit’ of Roman rulers that would hear about the story of Jesus. After his death and resurrection many kings and aristocrats would come to the Christian religion. Within a few short centuries the whole empire would succumb to a form of Christianity under the Emperor Constantine. Truly Gentiles have come to his light and kings to the brightness of his ‘rising’, before you can rise, you must die. Jesus drank the cup and finished the course, the Father kept his promise.

(1127) let’s see, I wanted to do Nehemiah, talk a little about the recent abortion debate, and also discuss modern philosophy! Let’s see what we can do. In Nehemiah the workers are scattered all along the wall, they are responsible for their section. Nehemiah tells them that because they are so far apart, they need the ability to be able to hear the warning from the main overseer of the work [namely him!] so he has this trumpet guy next to him, if danger shows up he will blow the trumpet and they will be forewarned, hey in a day without electronic communication, this is a good idea! Recently [5-09] there have been some debates over the abortion issue and some high profile cases as well. Just 2 days ago one of the most notorious abortion doctors in our country was shot down in cold blood, his name was George Tiller. His abortion clinic was only one out of three places in the U.S. that performed late term abortions. This is the procedure where you insert a forceps into the womb, pull apart the legs and arms of the baby. Then you position the forceps over the head and squeeze till the brains come out [I know this is graphic, if you want to learn more about it, go to the Priests for life icon on my blog roll]. While we in no way shape or form condone the murder of doctor Tiller, it should be noted that he took part in the most wicked act that can ever take place, the murder of unborn children. Now in this debate some Christians [Catholics] have brought up the recent speech by president Obama at Notre Dame, some boycotted the speech. The problem was that Notre Dame actually honored the president with an honorary law degree. It is one thing to allow both voices to be heard, quite another to honor the most anti life president in the history of the untied states! He has made more pro death decisions than any other president in history. The U.S. Catholic Bishops had passed a resolution a few years back that stated no Catholic institution should give honorary degrees to those who are in violation of the churches teaching on major issues, obviously Notre Dame violated this rule. Now, some Catholic media persons were defending Obama, they even criticized their own church for hypocrisy! They were saying that honoring Obama was no different than honoring any other leader who might be pro capital punishment. These Catholic media persons were equating the churches stand on abortion with her stand on capital punishment; these two are not in the same league! The Catholic church teaches a sort of hierarchy of offenses [as a boy I still remember being taught mortal and venial sins] the church sees abortion as an intrinsically evil act, the outright murder of innocent defenseless persons. The church also teaches against the death penalty, but the execution of a criminal is not to be equated with the murder of unborn innocent children [some 4 thousand per day!] so these Catholic believers were wrong on the stance of their own church. Today’s ‘post-modern’ philosophy will argue that truth and morals are relative [subjective] they see truth thru the lens of ‘that might be wrong for you, but not for me’ or ‘I personally am against abortion, but I don’t want to push my views on others’. In the world of postmodern thinking, this is considered acceptable. This view of right and wrong is based on the view that there really is no objective truth, that is truth does not correspond to any outside reality. Truth, in their view, is simply the way various cultures perceive and understand things at different times in human history, but it’s possible for other societies to interpret the data coming into their senses and arrive at another view of truth, and who am I to say that ‘my truth is real and yours is false’. Obviously in the field of theology this would be [and is!] disastrous. Paul himself would say ‘if Christ be not risen [a real fact!] then we are of all men the most miserable’. The biblical worldview of truth is objective; truth is something that corresponds to something else that is real. This does not always mean material, but real never the less. For instance mathematical equations are real truth, or feelings of love are real, but not material. This would be the foundation for saying ‘the murder of babies is wrong, always has been, always will be’ whether my view is contrary to your view is meaningless, the act itself is wrong! Your view of that oak tree might be different than mine, but if you run into it with your car, the only view that counts is what reality is. It really was a tree that was there, it was not simply my perception of ‘a tree’ my perception corresponded with reality and the truth was that the tree really was a tree, whether you like it or not! The modern philosophers would say ‘the only real question left for philosophy to answer is the viability of suicide’ [either Sartre or Camus said this] When philosophy severs itself from true moral reason and foundational ethics, it has no leg to stand on. When society can accept that murder might be wrong for you, but not for me, then the basic fabric of civilization is no more. Well I think I covered all three of the things I set out to do at the start, hope it helped.

(626)EMERGENT STUFF. Let me explain ‘Emergent’ a little. Some of you guys have no idea what this is, in a nutshell that’s one of the ‘problems’. Not so much that all Christians need to know about this movement, but the movement has a tendency to be a little ‘ivory tower’ isolationist. A lot of theologizing among intellectuals while by passing the ‘nuts and bolts’ stuff. Grant it, they intend to do this on purpose to some degree, but I think they are getting a little too experimental for me. Now, when I first read on this movement I liked the trend towards simple church, the challenging of the ‘way we do church’. There are a whole bunch of radicals like me who see church as a real lived out thing as opposed to ‘going to the church house’ [UGHH!]. It was this part of ‘being Emergent’ that I liked. As I have read a bunch of stuff these last few months I have come to see the war raging in the blogasphere between the ‘Anti Emergent’ and Pro Emergent groups. As you read all the comments I have made you will see there are obvious times where I had to openly disagree with some of the trends. While I believe homosexuality is a lifestyle that scripture sees as sinful, I also do not believe we should discriminate against gays. I also see the point of being open and discussing the ‘pro gay’ side of whether or not gays should be ordained. I think if you are open and honest about it, you would see that they frankly shouldn’t be serving in positions of leadership in the church. We should recognize and not stigmatize people who struggle with this lifestyle. We should help those who struggle with this lifestyle. Those who have a radical agenda to promote it, well I think Christians should disagree and have the freedom to disagree! But when it comes down to it, there is enough scripture and church tradition [AND!] that should lead us into a view of what’s right or wrong. Some in the emergent debate seem to have all the characteristics of being open and willing to hear both sides, but then seem to never come to any firm conclusions. Hey, ultimately we do need some answers! That's where the other problem comes in. Some feel we really can’t know the answers! This is where you have the Chuck Colsons and others come out openly and fight the movement. I like Chuck, I have disagreed with him in the past. I kinda see Chuck as embracing the ‘pre evangelism’ philosophy that says ‘until you change society’s worldview, you can’t really present the gospel effectively’. Sort of like because we live in a postmodern culture, so we need to do battle on the field of ideas and establish the fact that there is ‘true truth’ [some have flipped over this statement] before we can present truth. I actually disagree with this. I think Paul nailed it down in Galatians [chapter 4?] when he said ‘after the fullness of times was come [what fullness?] God sent forth his Son’ if you read it carefully, you see the ‘fullness of time’ as describing the whole period of Old Testament law. God gave man an ‘age’ where he instituted, in humanity, a basic philosophical underpinning of right and wrong. This was law. Since Jesus [fullness of times] all mankind [postmodern, pre modern and every other group!] have been ‘victims’ to the power of the presentation of the gospel. It truly is the power of God unto salvation. You might think you need to go to great lengths to convince people of right and wrong and ‘true truth’ but according to Paul, the ‘pre evangelism’ stage is over! Now, there is some merit to Apologetics and dealing with stuff like this, but the point is God went out of his way to redeem man, the early church had a simple way to present the gospel in ‘a nutshell’ and we need to see it as the answer to peoples needs. We can’t get lost in thinking we have tons of ‘pre evangelizing’ to do before we present the truth [the real true truth- I hope you guys know I’m kidding a little here!]. So Colson fights the Emergents over knowable truth and to be honest the Emergents seem to be saying at times that you really can’t have the final answer. I commend their willingness to be open and invite everyone to the table of ideas, but ultimately we have to eventually come to conclusions. Like the guy in the movie ‘Office Space’ and his ‘jump to conclusions mat’. The debate on ‘penal substitution’ [whether or not God was punishing his Son in anger and wrath when Jesus died on the Cross]. Over the years while reading church history and theology, I have come to see how smart scholars have proposed different ‘ideas’ on Redemption. If I remember right C.S. Lewis, in his famous ‘Mere Christianity’ mentions the different ideas on this. I thought he said we know that Jesus death redeems us, but how it happens we don’t know. Hitting on this idea of differing views of Redemption. Some scholars say we really have multiple choices on the ‘theory’. I think scripture makes it plain. I think Penal Substitution is the plain answer. Isaiah 53 says ‘it pleased the Lord to bruise him’. Some say ‘this is an outrageous idea, how can God punish an innocent man for others crimes!’ some very influential scholars say this! Well, the answer is in the great mystery of the incarnation. God became man so he as man [Jesus] could bear the sins of man. In a mystery that is impossible to explain ‘God was just, and the justifier of those who believe’ [Romans]. At least Paul saw the ‘philosophical’ answer to how a just God could punish his own Son. I realize some great scholars have espoused different ideas like ‘God ransomed man back, as opposed to being the kidnapper’ and they show the ransom idea as opposed to the penalty idea. I see these as both true, not conflicting theories. God ransomed man back to himself, not from satan who now ‘owned them’ but Jesus death ‘saved man from God!’ [his own just wrath- as R.C. Sproul puts it]. So ransom and penal substitution go hand in hand. I don’t want to go on here, I just wanted to show you how we can be open to hearing all sides, but there are final truths that we need to know. We should help all people, we should not discriminate against gays any more than the good old bubba who cheats on his wife every now and than. They are both sinful! We need to be merciful to all sinners [after all we are very familiar with this camp!] but also tell them the truth in love. Contrary to Colsons ‘pre evangelism’ they are dieing to hear the gospel right now! Note; Let me explain my theory on why we do not need to do ‘pre evangelism’ to the extent that Colon sees it. When people reject truth, even as a whole society. That ‘rejecting’ in and of itself is actually sin. Thomas Aquinas [the great 13th century Doctor Angelicas of the Catholic church] said it was possible for man to come to the truth of God thru the study of the natural sciences, but it would take a very long time and only a few could attain it. Therefore God gave us revealed truth so we can quickly see the truth of God without going to great lengths to find it. If we live in a post modern society that rejects the basic premise of ‘knowable truth’ than we live in a willfully ignorant world, much like the world that Paul wrote about in Romans chapter 2. Willful ignorance of the truth of God is not some modern plight, it was around in 1st century Rome. Most adherents to the Colson doctrine seem to see post moderns willful ignorance as a different kind of willful ignorance. The kind that the simple preaching of the gospel can’t really undo! A sort of special class of rebels! My belief is the power of the gospel [Romans 1!] has the power to ‘undo’ this willful ignorance in a millisecond! Hey, you would be surprised at how powerful the gospel really is. It, my friend, is what I call TRUE TRUTH!
STEPHEN HAWKING [Hume, Kant, Sartre, Camus] I just put together a few posts from the apologetics section that deal with the fallacy that some teach; that you can get something from nothing. Hawking’s most recent book makes this same classic mistake that has been refuted time and again over the centuries.

-[1522] Wasn’t sure which way to go today; felt like refuting [or as Sarah Palin says ‘refudiating’!] the recent Stephen Hawking book- he’s basically saying nothing new, and what he is claiming has been shown to be ‘less than true’ [heck, you don’t want the call the man senile, though who knows?]. In a nutshell the book claims that Gravity itself needed no originator, that it created all things, even itself! Yikes! This is a complete violation of the Law of Non contradiction- which states ‘a thing cannot be and not be at the same time and in the same relationship’ for gravity to have created itself [which Hawking is saying!] then it had to ‘be, and not be’ at the same time- not only is this not good science, it is lunacy. For my new facebook readers I’ll try and post a few notes at the bottom. I also just walked passed my T.V. while going into the study, sure enough there was a television evangelist on the tube doing the whole money thing- man if I get into that it will be bad. So for today let me stick a few relevant posts at the bottom and lets all remember the fallen heroes of 9-1-2001. It’s there day for sure.

(1312) THE INCARNATION- The most influential philosopher on Western thought is probably the philosopher Immanuel Kant. Kant wrote the influential work ‘In critique of pure reason’ at the close of the 18th century in response to the pure rationalists [David Hume] of the Enlightenment. Kant read Hume’s works and was said to have been ‘aroused out of his dogmatic slumber’ and dispatched his response. Kant espoused that you had the physical and metaphysical worlds, and the 2 are completely separate. He refuted the argument for God made by the apologists and said it was impossible for man to ‘know God’ thru rational/physical means. Kant did not totally reject ‘the idea’ of God; he simply said the efforts of the Christian philosophers to prove God were futile. Was Kant right? Yes and no. In the 13th century you had another great Christian thinker by the name of Thomas Aquinas, Thomas is considered one of the greatest [if not greatest] thinkers of the Catholic tradition, Thomas wrote extensively and re-introduced the Greek philosophers back into Christian theology. Sometimes referred to as ‘Aristotelianism’ [Aristotle]. Thomas taught that it was possible to obtain true knowledge of the existence of God from the natural world, but that to have particular revelation from God you needed the church and tradition [revelation]. Some feel that Thomas was teaching a ‘secular/sacred’ division that hurt the work of the church. But if you read Aquinas in the context of his time he really was not doing this. Thomas ‘rescued’ apologetics [proof for God] from the philosophers of Islam who were teaching that you could have 2 types of truth- religious and scientific. They taught that religious truth could ‘be true’ by faith, but that it could be false by science, and vice versa. Thomas was refuting this idea and was showing us that real truth, whether from the natural sciences or from ‘revelation’ never contradict, it’s just science can only go so far in arguing for the existence of God. But the influence of Immanuel Kant on western thinking has many believing that God and ‘religion’ are okay things for people to believe, but that ‘real truth’ is found in the natural sciences and God is excluded from this ‘secular’ realm. This is a false view. God can be ‘proved’ by studying the natural sciences, like Aquinas said. Now this doesn’t get you all the way to the God of Christian theology, but it can take you up to the point where God’s existence is proven to be reality. The main point is it is wrong to think Christianity is relegated to the realm of faith while ‘real truth’ is in the realm of science. The Incarnation was God’s divine act of breaking into the physical world thru the birth of his Son. God became man and dwelt among us, you can study all the history of the time and find many historical proofs of the reality of Jesus and the fact that he died and rose again, these ‘truths’ are not only religious in nature, they are factual in history. So while I appreciate the work that Kant put into his book, I will stick with the other ‘Emanuel’ the God who is with us.

(1097) Okay, lets do one on apologetics, the last few posts drained me too much! During the time of the Reformation, Enlightenment and scientific revolution [15-1700’s] you had people dealing with the reality that many of the former institutions that they trusted in [Catholic Church] were being challenged at the core. Though the scientific method was introduced by the church, yet as time advanced many would use science as an excuse to challenge the existence of God. As certain philosophers grappled with the effect that this would have on society [Immanuel Kant] they developed belief systems to explain the necessity of some type of belief in a moral higher power, versus the other extreme which is defined as Nihilism. That is the basic belief that nothing really has meaning at all, as the rock group Kansas put it ‘all we are is dust in the wind’ [p.s. try not to listen to this song if your feeling depressed!] Those who advocated Nihilism [Niestche] still had to explain away the reality of this almost universal belief in God. Where does it come from? Why do people gravitate towards this belief? For the most part the atheistic philosophers said it was born out of this innate desire of man to want more than Nihilism, basically man could not accept the reality that he came from nothing and was heading nowhere, so that’s why he came up with God and religion. Now it was important for the atheistic philosopher to come up with some answer to the dilemma, and this was basically it. What's the problem with this answer? The majority view of God [Christian, Jew, Muslim] is a view that God is this all-powerful being who knows all things. He also has this moral code that if broken demands strict punishment, and man in his humanity has a really difficult time living up to this code [of course Christians solve this problem thru the Cross!] and any man who lives his life as a lawbreaker will not be able to escape this all knowing judge who has all power to carry out all justice for all men. In short, if man developed a god for psychological reasons, as some type of cosmic crutch to help him thru his meaningless existence, for heavens sake it wouldn’t be this one! Thus the explanation that the atheistic philosopher gave didn’t really solve the problem. Now Immanuel Kant rejected natural theology, he did not believe the arguments used to prove the existence of God from natural means were valid [Anselm, Augustine, Aquinas] but he was accused of driving God out of the front door and letting him in thru the back. Kant said in order for man to have rule and order, civil society, that you would need some basic things. Man would have to have some type of moral code to live by, he would also have to be assured that those who broke it would have to pay some type of penalty [in the after life as well as now]. In order for a just future judgment you would need an all knowing judge who you couldn’t slip something by, he had to be just, not one you could bribe! He would also have to be all powerful, if by chance he couldn’t execute the judgment then crime would still prevail. Kant called this basic moral requirement ‘ought ness’ that is the things that all people ‘ought to do’ the moral code implanted in man. Kant recognized the danger of Nihilism, if man had no outside moral agent to whom he was accountable to, then civil society would eventually be lost. So you now see the problem with the period of human history where men went thru a revolutionary stage. As they tried to cast off the church and God, they also realized that these things provided the very foundation of civil society. If Nihilism won out, society would eventually collapse.

(954)NOW IT’S A PARALLEL/BUBBLE UNIVERSE! I watched the first TV special I ever saw on the multi-verse theory. I think it’s the first one of its kind by the history channel. It was very eye opening. It seems as if its defenders have been told ‘your initial argument is nonsensical’ and they have made some adjustments. As you read down thru the Evolution section you will see that one of the arguments against a multi-verse is that it is a ‘non physical’ argument. It is metaphysical. This meaning that you could never truly prove the existence of another universe thru the science of Physics. Why? Because the original definition of ‘the universe’ was every thing that exists in the time/space continuum. If by definition, all that can be seen or detected is ‘part of our universe’ then how in the world can you detect something outside of it? [they have some ideas on this, but its pure speculation as of right now] Once you detect it, it, by definition is in our universe! Well the brothers now realize that they fell into this obvious contradiction, so they seem to be moving the goal posts a little. In the special I just saw, they now seem to be saying that our universe is simply one ‘bubble of universes’ that’s floating around in space [before, space and the universe were synonymous!] so they seem to be simply shrinking down the definition of universe and making it mean ‘our closed existing time space continuum, which is simply one of many’ Ahh, you guys are cheating with this one! But hey, how many viewers realized this? That’s the problem with these theories, they come up with them for the purpose of having another explanation for existence, but they then get into more trouble trying to keep their theory alive. Remember, the reason this theory started in the first place was to come up with some type of explanation, apart from God, to explain the fine tuning of the Cosmos [read my sections on fine tuning under Evolution]. The unbelievable fine measurements that have been found to be exactly right to support life have no other real explanation apart from a creator. The multi-verse theory simply says ‘well, if you have millions and billions of unseen universes [pure speculation!] then the odds on one of them getting it right just went up’. So this theory was originally floated for this reason. Now, even if this theory were ever proved [according to the new definition of the universe!] it would simply mean that instead of trying to figure out how ‘our universe got here’ [the original question] now we have to figure out how they all got here! It really proves nothing. But I thought it interesting to see how these giants of Academia now realize that they were violating the basic laws of logic by espousing the theory in its original form! [In essence, all these so called floating, bubble like universes would have originally fallen under the heading of ‘the universe’. You wouldn’t have seen them as a bunch of separate universes. But they had to change the definition in order to keep their argument in the boundaries of logic and common sense]. They also borrowed from Einstein’s theory on worm holes. But Einstein surmised that worm holes might be these tunnels in space/time that one could travel thru and exit at another dimension, a different location of the universe. He did not use this idea as traveling from one ‘bubble universe’ into another, like the proponents of the multi-verse were doing. The show then got too silly to even give it a speck of serious thought. They then theorized that there are possible duplicates of us, and duplicates of other sports teams and presidents and all types of stuff. They thought it possible for the Giants to have won the super bowl in one universe, though losing it in ours [and you call this science!] they even said that this theory has moral implications. How did they come up with this? One of them explained that you could be ‘good’ in one universe, but if you realize that this holy altar image of yourself is doing good somewhere else, then this might effect your choice of being righteous in ‘this universe’ WOW! As we continue our study thru the book of Corinthians, keep in mind Paul’s teaching on the foolishness of men’s wisdom, I think we just saw a good example of it. There is this stature that we give in our modern day to any ‘Tom, Dick or Harry’ that comes down the pike with any nonsensical idea. We see them as a special class, the Academics can’t be wrong! After all it sounds intellectual. A few centuries before Christ you had the great philosopher ‘Philo- Betto’ [O wait, that was Clint Eastwood's character in ‘every which way but lose!’] I mean Plato. Truly Plato and Aristotle and Socrates have had tremendous influence on Western thought. You would be hard pressed to find other later philosophers who have had the same influence [maybe Immanuel Kant]. Plato built this great school of learning in ancient Greece. He bought the land from a man by the name of ‘Academe’. Eventually we would call this pursuit of knowledge ‘the Academic world’ or Academia. Hey, don’t be intimidated by these guys.

(1368) FOR HE LOOKED FOR A CITY WHICH HATH FOUNDATIONS, WHOSE BUILDER AND MAKER IS GOD- Hebrews. In keeping with the last post, let’s talk some more on the debate between Evolution and Design. When the able Stephen Barr shot the round that was heard around the world [at least the world of IDer’s] he made some good points, even though I disagree strongly with the way he represented the other able scientists in the field. One day I had a talk with a geologist, it was a happenstance meeting [friend of my daughter] and during a normal friendly conversation I brought up many of the opposing views to ‘uniformitarianism’ and the challenges to a ‘deep time’ geology. While not a young earther myself, I found it amazing that this scientist was totally unaware of any opposing viewpoints to the standard theories. In the halls of academia the majority opinion is without a doubt that of Darwinian Evolution, it is also true that many people [even scientists!] are really not familiar with all the data [lots of data!] that challenge the standard view; many have come to challenge the basic Darwinian timeline [thus punctuated equilibrium] and have admitted that the tremendous ‘gap’ in the fossil record, along with the discovery of high complexity in the most simple cell, that these scientific discoveries have made it difficult to accept the Darwinian idea. Now the adherents of Evolutionary theory accuse the IDer's of resorting to a ‘God of the gaps’ excuse. That is they claim that all the IDer’s are doing is finding places in the record that have no explanations [information, complex machines, etc.] and are inserting ‘God’ into these gaps. The Evolutionists say ‘given enough time, maybe we will find naturalistic explanations to fit the gaps’. And they claim that any ‘gap theory’ actually hinders scientific discovery, because it has a tendency to say ‘well, might as well stop looking for a naturalistic cause, God just filled the gap’. First, the IDer's are not saying that because we have run across unanswered difficulties, lets stick God in there. What they are saying [for the most part] is that observable data [science] show us, in every case, that when you have complex systems that are ‘irreducible’ and stored data/info at the most simple level; that these facts point to an intelligent mind having been the cause of these things. Now, Stephen Barr and Francis Beckwith [two of the main scientists/philosophers in the debate] do not reject the idea that yes, an intelligent mind is behind the design/info, what they are saying is it’s still possible that science will discover a ‘naturalistic’ explanation/mechanism to it. That is God might have created some other unknown mechanism that is simple [or complex] that can be credited with bringing into existence the design/info. They are simply arguing that it’s possible, and not in contradiction with historic Christianity, to embrace this view. Barr also seems to be saying ‘yes, it is very possible that we will never find a reasonable, naturalistic explanation for this, and at that point the IDer’s might be right, but then you jump out of the field of science [observable data] and carry the argument into another classroom’. I believe the ‘God of the gaps’ accusation is erroneous, I also believe that far too many adherents to Evolutionary theory are not giving the proper weight to the gaps, some are not even aware of them! Thomas Aquinas is sometimes misunderstood and is said to have advocated a secular/religious division in apologetics; that is some say he taught that the natural sciences and religious truth were 2 totally different fields, sort of like the thought of Emanuel Kant [Physical/Metaphysical division] but Thomas taught that science could show us many truths about God, just because you have naturalistic explanations to things, this does not discount the Divine hand- but he also taught that science could only go so far down that road- for instance it would take many years to arrive at a naturalistic proof of Gods being, while revelation [thru tradition and scripture] could get you there quicker. Also science can prove that God exists [prime mover] but for truths on the nature of God [Trinity] you need revelation. So Aquinas leaves room for science to go so far, and if it ‘hits a gap’ then yes, you have every right to carry the argument into ‘another classroom’ so to speak. It is not wrong to say ‘yes, we are searching for a city, one that has been built by God’ but to also recognize that the city has foundations [whether discovered thru naturalistic or religious truth]; both seekers can be on the right track, arriving at different times/ways.

(1155) let’s do something for our intellectuals out there. Over the course of the last few hundred years you have had smart philosophers/atheists challenge the Christian faith. The current bunch [Dawkins, Hitchens or a comedian like Bill Maher] are really lacking in the intellectual prowess of past atheists! Let’s hit a few arguments that are made against the Christian faith. In the field of proving the reality of God, one of the classic arguments is a First Cause. I have taught it before under the evolution section. If you study things you realize there are no events in history that happen without a cause, nothing happens out of thin air. Logically this would lead us to the conclusion that somewhere down the line you have to have an ‘original causer’. Logically you can’t go on forever without an initial cause somewhere down the line. This is a real argument made for the existence of God that has been popular over the centuries. In the 18th century you had a Scottish philosopher by the name of David Hume who challenged our ability to know causes. He taught that man simply observes stuff happening, he perceives supposed connections to what the cause is, but he can not say 100% what the cause is. The famous example he used was the pool table, we see a man use the cue stick to hit one ball and it bangs into another and goes in the hole. Hume said it sure seems like the cause of this series of events is the act of the pool player hitting the ball, but he said we don’t know for sure whether this is the cause. Grant it, Hume had a point, but we observe things all the time in the field of science, we come to conclusions based upon reasonable evidence, and we ‘trust’ our senses to a degree. But some have taken this argument by Hume and have used it to rebut the Christian argument for a first cause. This use of Hume is dishonest. Hume did not say there were no causes for things, he simply said we can’t be 100% sure of what the cause is. Hume himself said ‘chance is simply a word used to define our ignorance of real causes’. Many appeal to Hume and use the argument that things can happen ‘by chance’ sort of like chance has the ontological status of causing things to come into existence! Hume said chance was simply a word we use to fill in the blank until a true cause is determined. Well, I hope I didn’t lose you guys today, but this is one of the more popular arguments used in the field of philosophy to try and refute the Christian faith. So I thought it good to refute the refuters!

(944)1ST CORINTHIANS 1:18-31 Paul declares the actual preaching of the Cross to be the power of God. The Jews sought for a sign [remember the sign of Jonas?] and the Greeks prided themselves in wisdom. Paul declares that Jesus IS the wisdom and power of God. In Christ is contained all the wisdom and power [signs] in the universe! Paul says God destroyed the wisdom of unregenerate man and that Gods foolishness is wiser than men’s greatest achievements apart from God. Wow, what an indictment on enlightenment philosophy. Man goes thru stages of learning and knowledge [renaissance, enlightenment. Industrial, scientific revolution] these are not bad achievements in and of themselves. Many of the greatest scientists and scientific discoveries were made by men of faith [Newton, Pascal, Faraday, etc] the problem arises when men think that sheer humanistic reasoning, apart from God, is the answer. Right now there is a movement [11-08] going on where some atheists bought ad space on the sides of buses that say ‘why believe in a god? Do good for goodness sake’. So they had both sides [Christian /Atheist] debate it. The simple fact is, sheer humanism cannot even define ‘what good is’. ‘Good’ becomes a matter of what serves me best at the time of my decision. Without God and special revelation [scripture-10 commandments] good can be defined by Hitler’s regime as exterminating one class of society for the benefit of the whole. Only Christian [or Deist, Jewish, Muslim] beliefs place special value and dignity on human life. It is a common misconception to think that all the enlightenment philosophers were atheists; this was not the case at all. Locke, Hume and others simply believed that thru human logic and reason people could arrive at a sort of naturalistic belief in God. This would form the basis of Deism, the system of belief in God but a rejection of classic Christian theology. Benjamin Franklin and other founding fathers of our country were influenced by this style of belief. Now, getting back to the Greeks. Paul says ‘God destroyed the wisdom of this world’. What wisdom is Paul talking about? The enlightenment philosophers of the 18th century had nothing on the Greek philosophers going all the way back to a few centuries B.C. Plato, the Greek wrestler turned philosopher, had one of the most famous schools of Greek philosophy. At the entrance of the school the words were written ‘let none but geometers enter here’. Kind of strange. Geometry simply meant ‘form’ in this use. Most of the great theoretical physicists were also great mathematicians [Einstein]. The Greek philosophers were seeking a sort of ‘unified theory’ that would explain all other theories and bring all learning together under one intellectual ‘roof’. Sort of like Einstein's last great obsession. The Greeks actually referred to this great unknown future ‘unifier’ as ‘the Logos’. Now, some atheists will use this truth to undercut the New Testament. They will take the common use of these words ‘The Logos’ and say that Johns writings [Gospel, letters] were simply stolen ideas from Greek philosophy. This is why believers need to have a better understanding of the inspiration of scripture. John’s writings were no doubt inspired, he of course calls Jesus the ‘Logos’ [word] of God. But he was simply saying to the Greek/Gnostic mind ‘look, you guys have been waiting for centuries for the one special ‘Word/Logos’ that would be the answer to all learning, I declare unto you that Jesus is this Logos’! So eventually you would have ‘the wisdom of the world’ [both Greek and enlightenment and all other types] falling short of the ultimate answer. They could only go so far in their journey for truth, and ultimately they either wind up at the foot of the Cross [the wisdom of God] or the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’. God said this ‘tree’ [sources of wisdom and knowledge apart from God] would ultimately lead to death if not submitted to ‘the tree of life’ [the Cross]. You would have some of the enlightenment philosophers eat from this tree all the way to the ‘death of God’ movement. Man in his wisdom would come to the conclusion that ‘God is dead’. If this is true, then the slaughter of millions of Jews is no moral dilemma. If God is dead then man is not created in his image, he is just this piece of flesh that you can dispose of at will. To all you intellectual types, it’s Okay to have a mind, but you must love God with it. If all your doing is feeding from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will surely die.

(1156) Okay, lets talk about something simple today, no more quoting 18th century Scottish philosophers for heavens sake! I know, let’s talk Quantum Physics and the study of sub atomic particles! [No, I am not kidding ] One of the most difficult obstacles for the atheist to overcome is the question ‘what was there before the big bang’? They really have no answer to this question, the answer can’t be ‘nothing’ and if it was ‘something’ then what was it? [Of course we know that something is God] So this has led the atheistic scientists down a path to see if we can find something popping into existence from nothing, the ultimate uncaused effect. Have they found it? No. But this won’t stop them from trying. The most popular scientific evidence used to prove that you can get something from nothing is found in the field of Quantum Physics [the study of really small things]. Scientists have discovered a phenomenon that occurs when a Proton strikes an Atom. It seems as if the Electron will disappear and reappear at the same moment in another location, without having traveled the distance. The second it disappears it shows up at another location. Some type of metaphysical wormhole? Who knows. The point is some have said this is proof for the idea that matter can pop into existence without a prior cause. Not! All this shows us is that material things can act in such a way that the examiner cannot explain what’s happening. In the above case you have matter already existing and a clearly recognizable repeatable pattern that can be observed. This in itself is an argument for an intelligent designer and a caused effect [the proton striking the atom and causing the electron to disappear/reappear]. So today I thought I would show you what goes on in the debate over trying to come up with an uncaused effect, and how vital this question it is in the area of apologetics. Oh, I almost forgot, do you know what the name of this phenomenon is? It’s the famous ‘Quantum Leap’.

-(1425) SPECIFIED COMPLEXITY- In the struggle over evolutionary theory, one of the approaches used to debunk Darwinian Theory is the concept called ‘information theory’. This idea refutes a purely atheistic view of evolution. First, we must understand that the most popular form of evolution today is absolutely proven to be untrue! I know that’s a surprising statement to some, but stick with me. The current theory that most atheists hold to is the idea that at one point in time nothing existed [true]. They then say ‘by chance all things eventually came into existence’ they do not believe, for the most part, that any being existed prior to creation. This idea is blatantly false from the start, it is scientifically impossible to get something from nothing- people must know this. Now does evolutionary theory explain how all things came from no-thing? Absolutely not. That’s why some evolutionists espouse a theory called panspermia, this idea says that it’s possible that life started somewhere else, possibly by extra terrestrial beings, and that it was seeded on our planet either by accident or design. Men like Richard Dawkins [the famous atheist] have espoused this idea. If you were to ask them ‘and exactly what do you think this being is like, is it intelligent or not’ they would reply ‘oh, it’s definitely intelligent- how else could it have spawned intelligent life’ [good question!] if you then asked ‘is the being powerful, does it have the skill to do great things’? ‘Oh yes, of course, how else could it have spawned matter and life’? Another excellent question! One last thing, how old is this being, has he a starting point in history as well? Come to think of it, now that you ask, he [or his ancestor] must have been around forever, because if there was a point in time where he did not exist, then we have the problem of explaining where he came from, so logic tells us that this all knowing, all powerful, ever existing being is the only logical explanation for the existence of the created order. In a nutshell the atheistic evolutionist has come to the logical conclusion that some being, which just happens to possess all the attributes of the Christian God, must exist in order for anything to exist, after all you can’t get intelligent life from non intelligence. The evolutionist who espouses this view [and there are a growing number of them by the way] has simply replaced the idea of God with another god that he has developed in his own mind. This very dilemma, trying to explain how everything came from nothing, how information in the human cell got there, these questions can only be answered by the scientist who embraces some type of deity, that’s why the famous atheist Antony Flue finally embraced belief in God after many years of denying his existence. He realized the futility of holding on to a world view that said all things came from no-thing. How bout you?

(1371) CAN SOMETHING COME FROM NOTHING? Part of the recent debate going on in the field of Physics argues whether or not you can get something from nothing. One of the arguments says ‘look, we have been able to detect certain phenomena that seem to show us things popping into existence from A FIELD [AREA] WHERE NOTHING EXISTS’. Now, the same Quantum Physics that supposedly shows this, also teaches that our universe has around 90 % of all matter hidden, they say that this ‘dark matter’ is everywhere, you can’t escape it! Yet at the same time we have no way of detecting it. My question for the Quantum physicist would be ‘where are you getting this pristine field, this area where ‘nothing exists’ that you are examining, that seemingly shows you things coming from nothing?’ The problem with some of these brothers is they make nonsensical statements, things that violate the laws of logic, and then they call us idiots!

(1332) Been doing some reading on church history/philosophy, it’s interesting to see the role that theology/Christianity played in the universities. Theology is referred to as ‘the queen of the sciences’ and philosophy was her ‘handmaid’. They saw the root of all learning as originating with the study ‘of God’. Many modern universities have dropped the term ‘theology’ and call it ‘the study of religion’. The study of religion is really the study of how man relates to God, his view of God; this would fit under anthropology/sociology, not under theology. Modern learning has lost the importance of the study of God and the role it plays in all the other sciences. The classic work of Homer [8th century BC] called the Iliad, has Achilles debating whether or not he should ‘stay and fight along the city of the Trojans’ and attain the legacy of a warrior; or to go ‘back to my homeland and live a long life’. He chooses to fight and lay his life on the line. The themes of the classics [courage, heroism, etc.] are biblical themes, even if God is not directly mentioned. The point being to try and exclude God from learning is silly, you can’t do it. Around the 17-18th century you had the philosophy of Existentialism rise up, as an ‘ism’ it really is a misnomer; ‘ism’ is a suffix that you add to the end of a word that makes it a system- ‘humanism’ ‘secularism’ etc. but existentialism is a word that means ‘anti-system’. Nevertheless the person who popularized this belief was a Christian, Soren Kierkegaard. The system he was rebelling against was the dead institutionalism of the Danish church, he felt that Christianity devolved into dead orthodoxy and lost all of its passion for true living and experiencing God. Nietzsche would pick up on this philosophy and apply it to atheism, and in the 20th century men like Albert Camus and John Paul Sartre would also embrace it from an atheistic worldview. They would say things like ‘man is a useless passion’ or write books titled ‘Nausea’ summing up the human condition. Though the 19th century atheistic humanists tried to give value and exalt the state of man, in their rejection of God and Christianity they were taking away the foundation for mans value. If you tell society that they arrived on the scene by some cosmic accident of evolution, and when you die you dissipate into nothingness, then how do you at the same time glory in his natural abilities to reach some point of Utopia? As the late Frances Schaeffer said ‘they were philosophers who had both feet planted firmly in mid air’. The point being when you neglect the reality and role that God and Christianity play in every sphere of life, you are then removing the foundation that these spheres were built on, true science and learning derive their basis from God. The greatest scientific minds of the past were either Christians or Deists, they were too smart to try and reject the reality of an eternal being.

(1210) SAVE THY PEOPLE AND BLESS THINE INHERITANCE. FEED THEM ALSO AND LIFT THEM UP FOREVER- Psalms 28:9 I guess I will hit a few scattered Psalms, these last few weeks I have been reading the Psalms and trying to add a verse to memory every day or so. Sort of praying/meditating on them like the famous ‘Jesus prayer’. The Jesus prayer is an ancient simple prayer that says ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner’ but you actually say it all day long until it becomes part of your psyche. So these single Psalms can be used in this way. Okay, God wants to feed his people and bless them, Jesus told Peter ‘if you love me, feed my sheep’. In the 20th century you had the famous existentialist/atheist philosophers like John Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, these guys sought for purpose and meaning thru philosophy but wound up as nihilists [no hope] because of their rejection of God. Sartre would say ‘man is a useless passion’, Camus would say the only question left for philosophy to answer was the viability of suicide. The famous atheist Antony [Anthony] Flew, who has now become a believer in God [Theist], used to use a parable about a garden to challenge belief in God. He said man and his religious quest is like men who are journeying thru a forest and all of a sudden they come upon a garden; it is manicured and detailed in every way, it ‘appears’ to be a product of a designer. But then flew said as the men look around for the gardener they can’t see him, they then espouse all types of ideas about the master gardener. They come to various conclusions; he must be all knowing, very talented, transcendent- they develop views about this gardener/God that in Flews mind were just as silly as saying you might as well have no gardener at all! Flew thought if believers came to all these ideas about God, what’s the difference whether you believe in a God or not? The obvious answer is ‘then where in the world did the garden come from’. The challenges to Christianity, Theism, Deism try and convince people that there really is no purpose to your existence, you are a ‘useless passion’ you came from nowhere and are heading nowhere. Initially, this philosophy sounded liberating to those who embraced it. Sort of like telling the kids that schools out and you have no more teachers to listen to. But when you embrace this form of meaninglessness, you can not then try and instill purpose and meaning into people. Sartre and Camus rejected the foundational basis for man to have meaning in life, they tried to tell man ‘look, here is the purposeful garden, but it came from nowhere’. After many years of Anthony Flews insistence that there was no gardener, the evidence that caused him to change his mind was the evidence of design. He kept telling himself ‘there is no gardener’ and realized he was trying to convince himself of a lie, he knew he was logically wrong. He has since joined the ranks of those who now seek to know more about the master gardener.

(1127) let’s see, I wanted to do Nehemiah, talk a little about the recent abortion debate, and also discuss modern philosophy! Let’s see what we can do. In Nehemiah the workers are scattered all along the wall, they are responsible for their section. Nehemiah tells them that because they are so far apart, they need the ability to be able to hear the warning from the main overseer of the work [namely him!] so he has this trumpet guy next to him, if danger shows up he will blow the trumpet and they will be forewarned, hey in a day without electronic communication, this is a good idea! Recently [5-09] there have been some debates over the abortion issue and some high profile cases as well. Just 2 days ago one of the most notorious abortion doctors in our country was shot down in cold blood, his name was George Tiller. His abortion clinic was only one out of three places in the U.S. that performed late term abortions. This is the procedure where you insert a forceps into the womb, pull apart the legs and arms of the baby. Then you position the forceps over the head and squeeze till the brains come out [I know this is graphic, if you want to learn more about it, go to the Priests for life icon on my blog roll]. While we in no way shape or form condone the murder of doctor Tiller, it should be noted that he took part in the most wicked act that can ever take place, the murder of unborn children. Now in this debate some Christians [Catholics] have brought up the recent speech by president Obama at Notre Dame, some boycotted the speech. The problem was that Notre Dame actually honored the president with an honorary law degree. It is one thing to allow both voices to be heard, quite another to honor the most anti life president in the history of the untied states! He has made more pro death decisions than any other president in history. The U.S. Catholic Bishops had passed a resolution a few years back that stated no Catholic institution should give honorary degrees to those who are in violation of the churches teaching on major issues, obviously Notre Dame violated this rule. Now, some Catholic media persons were defending Obama, they even criticized their own church for hypocrisy! They were saying that honoring Obama was no different than honoring any other leader who might be pro capital punishment. These Catholic media persons were equating the churches stand on abortion with her stand on capital punishment; these two are not in the same league! The Catholic church teaches a sort of hierarchy of offenses [as a boy I still remember being taught mortal and venial sins] the church sees abortion as an intrinsically evil act, the outright murder of innocent defenseless persons. The church also teaches against the death penalty, but the execution of a criminal is not to be equated with the murder of unborn innocent children [some 4 thousand per day!] so these Catholic believers were wrong on the stance of their own church. Today’s ‘post-modern’ philosophy will argue that truth and morals are relative [subjective] they see truth thru the lens of ‘that might be wrong for you, but not for me’ or ‘I personally am against abortion, but I don’t want to push my views on others’. In the world of postmodern thinking, this is considered acceptable. This view of right and wrong is based on the view that there really is no objective truth, that is truth does not correspond to any outside reality. Truth, in their view, is simply the way various cultures perceive and understand things at different times in human history, but it’s possible for other societies to interpret the data coming into their senses and arrive at another view of truth, and who am I to say that ‘my truth is real and yours is false’. Obviously in the field of theology this would be [and is!] disastrous. Paul himself would say ‘if Christ be not risen [a real fact!] then we are of all men the most miserable’. The biblical worldview of truth is objective; truth is something that corresponds to something else that is real. This does not always mean material, but real never the less. For instance mathematical equations are real truth, or feelings of love are real, but not material. This would be the foundation for saying ‘the murder of babies is wrong, always has been, always will be’ whether my view is contrary to your view is meaningless, the act itself is wrong! Your view of that oak tree might be different than mine, but if you run into it with your car, the only view that counts is what reality is. It really was a tree that was there, it was not simply my perception of ‘a tree’ my perception corresponded with reality and the truth was that the tree really was a tree, whether you like it or not! The modern philosophers would say ‘the only real question left for philosophy to answer is the viability of suicide’ [either Sartre or Camus said this] When philosophy severs itself from true moral reason and foundational ethics, it has no leg to stand on. When society can accept that murder might be wrong for you, but not for me, then the basic fabric of civilization is no more. Well I think I covered all three of the things I set out to do at the start, hope it helped.

AQUINAS, THOMAS- Thomas is considered to be one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time. Born in Naples around 1225, he studied in Cologne under the Dominican order. During Thomas lifetime there was a rediscovery of the ancient writings of the philosopher Aristotle. Thomas would write commentaries on the philosophy of Aristotle and he would attempt to introduce reason into the arguments to prove the existence of God. He was a follower of that form of Christian teaching called ‘scholasticism’ this method used reason and logical debate to arrive at truth. Other scholars would reject this method [Bonaventure] they felt that using these rational methods was a contradiction to faith. Thomas would become famous for his ‘five ways’ also referred to as Natural Theology. Thomas taught that there were 5 basic ways man could examine the natural created order and come to a rational belief in the existence of God; Thomas taught that the first cause of all things had to be God, you logically needed a first ‘causer’ to start the ball rolling [prime mover]. John Duns Scotus was a contemporary of Aquinas and he disagreed with the scholastic method. Scotus would become famous among the Franciscans; Aquinas would be famous among the Dominicans. Today many Catholic scholars pride themselves in being ‘Thomistic’ in their thought. Thomas also spoke much about ‘just war’ theory, originally introduced by Augustine. He taught that the means of war had to be just in order for the war itself to be ‘justified’; in today’s wars [Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan] I believe the use of unmanned drone attacks that kill civilians can be considered an unjust method. Thomas’ great works are Summa Contra Gentiles and Summa Theologiae, Thomas is called the ‘angelic doctor’ of the Catholic faith.

(1439) WHY ARE WE STILL KILLING INNOCENT AFGHAN/MUSLIM PEOPLE? The other day I read a few papers that built up over a few days at my doorstep. One day an article read ‘4 people killed in Afghan attack’ and the article went on to say that the coalition forces shot into a car and killed 4 people; the local authorities insisted these were innocent civilians- our side said we looked into the identity of the victims using high tech fingerprinting technology and that 2 of the 4 were enemy combatants. The local authorities said not only were the 4 people innocent civilians, but one was a cop, the other a 12 year old boy. The paper from the following day said ‘the 4 people were civilians- one a cop, the other a small boy’ any explanation for why we lied? Any questioning on how we were so quick to produce high tech evidence on the guilt of these people? Any major news coverage, you know pictures of the shot up vehicle? What about any media pressure at all about the presidents promises to end these atrocities? The media does not care about reporting stories that under the previous administration were considered highly important, how many main stream news stories of bombings and deaths and burning vehicles have you seen lately? The media has attached itself to the side of an administration to the point where atrocities are not being reported. Understand, the Afghan president has been under tremendous pressure over these incidents; he has made his concerns known over and over again; how have we responded? The other week we sent some top aides to the country, they publicly portrayed the Afghan leader as corrupt [as most of them are] we then made the story about the corruption of the Afghan leader. How did he respond? He threatened to join the Taliban. These last few months many big mistakes and problems have arisen in these wars, things that would have normally caused the Democrats to go on a war path, the Harry Reids of the day going on national TV and proclaiming ‘we have lost the war’. But they have been mute on the subject, portraying any criticism as either being racist, or the party of no. Right now they are attempting to pass financial reform, some think it will do the job, others think it’s problematic. The reform would create a 50 billion dollar account to ‘liquidate’ big financial institutions if they got into trouble, sort of a bailout program that would prevent another major disaster. Some feel we should not promise any bailouts at all, that to give this guarantee to the big banks, while not giving it to the smaller ones, that this would give an unfair advantage to the bigger banks- after all people will do business with the firms that have the special bail out provision, plus these banks would be able to borrow at a lower rate than the smaller banks. In essence some think this reform bill is actually unfair and favors the wall streeters in the end. But the media simply reports that those opposed are ‘in bed with wall street’. An independent study just came out and told us that passing health care will add around 350 billion to the cost over the first 10 years, not reduce the cost as promised. The reality is when you rush things thru, in the sense that every program you pass is portrayed as an emergency that can’t wait, then you get childish government; an administration that portrays things in a wrong light, and when the facts come out- there are no questions from the media about ‘who knew what when’ no questions about our continued involvement in the deaths of many, many Afghan civilians, and our lying about it, over and over again! It’s not a onetime occasion, we will not stop doing this- we keep saying ‘the evidence shows us that these people were guilty’ and time and time again the reports later say ‘no, we killed a bunch of women and kids’ how long are we going to keep doing this? This from an administration that condemned the fallout from the previous administrations actions, a man who said we must simply get our troops out of these bad situations [Iraq] because our troops presence stir up animosity. Then why does this president insist on ratcheting up the violence? That country is eventually going to go back into the hands of the Taliban, they rule the entire country right now, all the local tribal type regions have Taliban rule, or are favored by the majority of the people. The Afghans see us as the danger, not them! So why waste any more precious lives of our boys and girls over there? Why keep killing innocent civilians, cops and little boys, and then lying about it? It’s time for us to wake up and let our voices be heard, just like the nonstop opposition on national media during the Bush years, nonstop coverage over these events, questions on who knew what and when. Instead the media has an agenda, they keep reporting on how the republicans are in bed with wall street- I could care less about all the democrats and republicans who are all just as guilty as the next guy, the president himself having taken a million from the most recent wall street firm he has dubbed as the enemy [Goldman Sachs] we need to get back to what’s really important, one of them being the disaster of our current war in Afghanistan.

(1397) IN MY FATHERS HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS- Yesterday I read an article by an Arab believer who grew up in a Muslim country. He shared how over the years he has learned how to dialogue respectively with Muslims and how important it was to share the Christian faith with respect, I really liked the tone. Jesus said ‘I have other sheep which are not of this fold, I must gather them too’. In context he is telling Israel that he too will gather Gentiles into the kingdom. I also read a verse [?] the other day that spoke to me about leaving the door open when dialoging with various groups. One of things that has surprised me since I started blogging is the Arab brothers [Christians] who have contacted me over the years and have been excited about our site. Many of them are pastors and are really laying their lives on the line to bring the gospel to Muslims. I do realize that my stance on natural Israel as well as how the western world should treat Muslims/Arabs is part of the reason why fellow Arab believers have been drawn to our site. For the most part I believe the church should put the gospel of Jesus above all ethnic/political concerns- when preaching the gospel we need to avoid getting into geopolitical wars or wars in general! Many believers in Palestine who are Arab face persecution from fellow countrymen who are Muslim, as well as persecution from Israel. These believers generally do not get support from believers from the U.S., instead when American believers go over there to interact, we usually are there to support natural Israel and to see how well the future ‘temple’ plans are going, and stuff like that. The Arab believers feel neglected by this attitude, some have actually said ‘why don’t you care for us, don’t you understand that we have been persecuted at times by Israel’? They feel confused and rejected when they read in the bible how Christians should love and care for one another, and then they see western believers taking sides in natural conflicts. Jesus said his house had many rooms, the people of God [Gods house] are diverse and come from many varied backgrounds. I do not hold to the thinking that says ‘all religions are Gods children’ in a pluralistic sense of all monotheistic faiths have the same faith. But when dealing with other fellow believers in the world [whether Arab, Jewish, etc.] we should defend our brothers and sisters and side with them in times of conflict, by ‘siding with them’ I mean we need to speak out in support of them and call for justice and help when they are in trouble. I do not advocate ‘siding with people’ when talking about actual warfare- believers should not be in the business of siding with any conflict when it includes killing other people [the sides you take as a citizen of a country are a different matter, I am speaking here as a citizen of Gods kingdom]. I am grateful for all my Arab friends and pastors who have been in touch with me over these past few years, I pray for them regularly and have embraced them as sort of part of the fellowship of brothers that I regularly reach out to. I do realize that they also enjoy the level of teaching we do [not that we are that great, but we do share from a broad range of teaching that many individual pastors might not be able to access on their own]. I thank God that ‘his house’ has many mansions, that Jesus calls sheep from 'other folds’ that we might not be familiar with, let’s be open to those from other ethnic backgrounds that share the same faith in Jesus Christ- they are all our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

(1393) POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY- in John chapter 11 Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. The news gets back to the religious leaders and they say ‘If this keeps going on, we will lose our influence with the people and the Roman authorities will come and take away our position’ and one of their own, the high priest Caiaphas, says ‘Don’t you guys understand that it is expedient that one should die for the nation, instead of the whole nation suffering’ and John says ‘this spake he by the Spirit, being he was the high priest he was prophesying of Jesus death’. Okay, did the brother realize what he was saying? I doubt it. But he was stating a political reality of the time, that this railroading of Jesus would play a cathartic role for the political times that they were in. I finally watched the interview with the disgraced congressman, Eric Massa. He went on Beck and the whole thing is really a fiasco. Beck was hoping to expose the hidden conspiracies of the administration, instead Massa confessed to tickling his navy bunkmates! The sad thing is, as I listened to Beck, he really believes in many of the conspiracy theories he espouses. It doesn’t help that the president, as well meaning and pluralistic as he is, puts people to work for him that have held fringe beliefs. This allows the Becks of the world to find these hidden treasures [UTUBE] and lo and behold, we have one of his people praising Mau Se Tung, or signing a 911 petition that claims Bush was in on it. What purpose do the Becks of the world [or to be fair, the MSNBC crowd] play? I see them as sort of a cathartic for the people who also hold to their views, it seems to be a necessary evil that allows people to vent, a sort of political necessity if you will. I saw Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Ted Kennedy, rebuking the media for their coverage of Massa, while at the same time they have forgotten about the seriousness of the war in Afghanistan and the money and cost of lives on both sides, he was mad and raging on the floor. Though I am not a fan of Kennedy, yet I believe he spoke much truth. I thinks its appalling that the media has dropped the ball on this, every so often a story or so will leak out, a bunch of accidental deaths that our govt. denies being involved with, then a month or so passes and a small report comes out ‘yes, we did accidently kill 40 people’ what? The media seems to not hold the current president accountable in these things. They play sides to the point where real atrocities are glossed over. How many more stories on Sarah Palin’s daughter will they do? They trodded out the ex boyfriend onto the main media outlets to share their dirty laundry. They gave a forum to a disgruntled kid who posed for playgirl, and they keep on doing this stuff. I mean this is the daughter of a ‘private’ citizen for heaven’s sake. How much coverage did they give to the ‘partner’ of Joe Biden’s daughter who made a sex tape with her? How often have you heard the story? How many stories on Chelsea Clintons sex life? MSNBC is just as bad as Beck when they do these things to a girl dealing with all the situations that life can throw at you, and yet from letterman to Chris Matthews to the major news outlets, they have all been guilty of this double standard. Caiaphas saw the writing on the wall, he wasn’t worried about the fact that what he was prophesying was that a corrupt system was going to railroad someone thru a kangaroo court and execute an innocent man, he was simply calculating the political balances of the day ‘will this help or hurt our cause’ type of a thing. They should have been more worried about losing their souls, then their seats in congress.

(1361) EUTOPIA OR BUST- Thomas More, the Catholic churchman who was martyred for his faith by Henry the 8th because he would not assent to the newly formed doctrine of the king of England being the head of the church, wrote the Latin book ‘Utopia’ in the year 1516. Utopia was this fictional island, ruled by ‘king Utopas’ and was the ideal society where wealth and power were not the characteristics of success. They lived a communal life where each person would take yearly turns of working on the farms where the people’s needs were met. No private ownership of property- just everybody living in this ideal world. Marxists would later lay claim to this idea and prove the futility of man in attempting to create this world. Scholars disagree over what More was trying to say; but for sure he was challenging materialistic worldviews and longing for some type of communal society as seen in the book of Acts [everyone sharing in the common purse type of thing]. Yesterday I watched Judd Greg rip thru Peter Orzag. Greg is the top Republican for finances and Orzag was defending the president’s new budget. The budget includes 30 billion for ‘jobs stimulus’ basically another tarp thing for business. The reason Greg was furious is because the tarp law said that any money eventually paid back, by law would have to go to reducing the debt. Instead the president wants to use this money as an open account that could be spent on a regular basis. Why? There are various ways any president can try and boost jobs/economy, you can implement serious fiscal discipline and make it easier for small business to operate [part of the 30 billion for small business] or you could say ‘lets spend tons of federal money on all types of things- 1st time home buyers, cash for clunkers, new billions every year for the next few years until my term runs out’ you can engage in simply digging the country deeper into debt for the next few years and this would initially make things look better. Walla, Utopia is here! When the administration makes the defense ‘we inherited these problems from Bush’ it is usually presented in a way that says the failed economic policies of the past president caused us to be dealt a hand that was bad. Okay, got it. But every president has been dealt some type of hand. Bush did inherit a recession from Clinton, grant it, it wasn’t near as bad as what Obama got, but it was real. Then 911 happened and this tragic event froze the global economy in just as dangerous a way as the banking crisis. And of course we had 2 wars. The point is all these things [except the wars] were also things out of the control of the former president; he inherited things that Obama too would ‘inherit’. But the administration does not include this when they make their case; they simply say it was the failed Bush presidency that led to where we are today. That’s why the blame game doesn’t work too well. We all want Utopia [in a sense] but we live in the real world and we can’t resort to tricks and schemes to make things look better, just for now. These policies often cause the disease to linger on longer than if we let it run its course. Many real estate experts are fearing another big drop [10 %] in home prices for this year. Why? They believe that the delaying of foreclosures and giving low % money and an extra 8 thousand dollar tax credit to buyers, that all these things prevented the market from reaching a real floor in prices, and so the market will still have to balance out and finally reach its low. It would have been better to have swallowed the medicine the first time around. For any president to have a ‘slush fund’ of billions of dollars that the govt. can dole out on a rotating basis is really not playing by the rules. Politically it can make it look like ‘see, we have improved things’ but not only is this fund limited by law from being used in this way, it often delays the real pain for another year- say in a non election one.

(1348) HE’S FOR WATERBOARDING! Well I was up late last night and the upset of the year gave the Massachusetts senate seat to Scott Brown. Okay, the liberal media are in denial. Chris Matthews was coming up with all sort of reasons why this happened; was it because the woman candidate, Martha Coakley [or like Kennedy likes to say ‘Marsha’] brought with her a stern prosecutors personality and Scott was a more down to earth guy? Some surmised that the state really wasn’t ready for a woman senator, and the analyses went on and on. It was quite comical to see Matthews trying to figure out what happened, while on the split screen the Brown supporters are holding up signs that said ‘Was that loud enough’- ‘can you hear us now Washington’! and things to that effect. But the liberal media [by the way, in some ways I’m liberal, others conservative- I prefer to not go by party names] could not accept the reality of a popular groundswell at the grass roots level that is going on in the country. They have tried so hard to demean the ‘tea partiers’ and even label Brown as a ‘truck drivin’ hick’ but they simply can’t come to grips with the fact that many Americans are fed up with all the schemes and secret meetings and messages from Washington elites that simply treat the popular groundswell as ignoramuses. And Norah O’Donnell [MSNBC] says that Brown even supports water-boarding, she said it in a way that made it sound like he’s a nut! Okay, now let’s do some serious stuff. First of all most Americans are not up in arms over pouring water on the faces of terrorists to obtain information, but the liberal media seems to think that this is such a hot topic. Is it fundamentally wrong to do this? Possibly, but what is one million times more wrong is flying these remote control planes [drones] over civilian neighborhoods and regularly blowing away innocent women and children. Now, like I said before I do not fault our heroic service men for this, but the president should stop doing this. I do realize we are targeting terrorists, but we are also killing many innocent women and children when we do this. Why is Obama stepping up these attacks in a much greater way than Bush? Could it be that he needs some good news politically and the death of Bin Laden would surely be an easy comparison of how Bush couldn’t get him in 8 years and we got him in one? I don’t know what the true reason is, but it is much more unjust to ‘accidently’ kill many Muslim/Arab innocent people than to water board a terrorist. I would like to ask Nora O’Donnell and all the talking heads if their families and children were taken by some group, and the group contacted them and said ‘you have 2 options, we water board your kids or drop a drone bomb on them’ how many would opt for the bomb? One night while watching a debate over this issue the ‘supporter’ of water boarding was going back and forth with the anti water boarder, who was a liberal legal scholar. The liberal was asked ‘do you think it was more unjust for us to drop the bombs on Japan and kill a few hundred thousand innocent people, to have caused years and years of slow radiation deaths on the generations of many Japanese people- was that more unjust than water boarding’? And the liberal had the nerve to say water boarding a terrorist was more ‘unjust’. Our problem is we seem to think its okay to actually kill, yes that’s part of war. If you argued with the liberals about how the actual act of killing in war is also a ‘tool’ that the other side uses to recruit, they will readily admit that yes, killing other people groups is a tool-but that’s the price to pay for freedom. But the same people who justify actual killing, also say that Gitmo needs to shut down and we need to stop the horrible practice of water boarding. Even though these tools might have actually helped in some way, yet the tool of water boarding [or Gitmo] is deemed a horrendous thing. Yet these drone attacks are not even questioned by these people. I think we should stop doing these drone attacks if we can’t direct the ‘darn’ things out of the way of innocent people, period.

(1278) 2ND KINGS 19- The king [Hezekiah] sends a messenger to Isaiah the prophet and goes into the house of God to seek the Lord. Isaiah informs Hezekiah that God will defend Judah. Isaiah also gives a rebuke to the king of Assyria. God used this pagan king to judge many nations, in essence he was fulfilling a type of ‘manifest destiny’ [American exceptionalism] and yet he grew proud over his victories. To be honest about it I see some of this going on in our nation at this time. While I do not subscribe to the ultra conservative critics of the president, these past few weeks have convinced me that he has lied to the American public on a huge scale over his willful misrepresentation of the abortion issue [read my recent posts under the abortion section]. I feel there was a disdain towards the Christian community and that the Chicago style politics simply ruled the day ‘hey, if we lie about this, what’s the big deal? We are fighting fire with fire- they lie about us [Fox news, the presidents critics, etc.] so this is simply part of the game’. I feel the president bought into this and at the same time underestimated the role that lying about abortion so it could be federally funded will play in any economic recovery. In essence our country will not recover if we disregard the heritage of Christian morality in this way. So God rebukes the Assyrian king for thinking he could do whatever he wanted and the Lord sends an angel and kills 185 thousand Assyrian troops. The Assyrian king goes home and dies while worshipping at his pagan gods altar. Okay, his arrogance led to a massive troop defeat as well as his own personal demise. One of the other major problems that out country is facing is the military situation in Afghanistan, those of you who have read my site for any length of time know that I do not support this war, I want our troops out. I find it unbelievable that this week the media exposed the fact that our CIA was paying off the brother of Hamid Karzia [the president] who is a drug lord. Some of our troops have died fighting the drug lords, yet our own govt. has them on the payroll. How did the media cover this? If we found this out under Bush/Cheney what would the outrage be? One of CNN’s most able commentators on the Afghanistan war [Michael Ware] said he would be shocked to find out that we weren’t doing this, sort of like it was the right thing to do. Unbelievable. The now famous tour of America by Alexis De Tocqueville in the 19th century has been cited by many historians. He praised our country for many things, but he also warned of ‘the tyranny of the majority’ that is he said that any society that measured right or wrong solely on what the majority wants is doomed to fail. Hezekiah sought the Lord and this made the difference, the nations that ‘forgot God’ and at the same time prided themselves in their military arrogance were judged [I honor our men and women who serve, but for our govt. to be paying those who have killed our men is a travesty!] I think the Old Testament is still relevant today.

(1235) 2ND CORINTHIANS 12- Before I get into a long history discussion with you guys, let’s hit a few verses. Paul says ‘when I was with you, did I gain a profit from you, take advantage of you?’ or ‘when I sent Titus, did he gain a profit from you?’ He then goes on and says the fathers lay up money for the kids, not the other way around. He says he has spent out of his own pocket for them, and he will continue to do so. He says he does all this so people won’t have the excuse ‘he’s just in it for the money’. Notice, Paul himself did not have the common mindset we see in ministry today. Often times financial appeals are made from Paul’s writings in Corinthians, these appeals often say ‘we are not asking for ourselves, but for you’ it is put in a way that says it would be wrong to not take money from people. That in some way not taking an offering would violate scripture. Paul flatly said he did not take money from them for personal use, nor would he. When the modern church uses Paul’s other sayings in this letter to appeal to giving, we need to share ‘the whole counsel of God’ not just a few verses that fit in with what we practice. Now, Paul speaks about being caught up into ‘heaven’ [Gods realm-Paradise] and hearing truths from God that were not lawful for men to speak. He states that God gave him truth that came from Divine revelation. If you skip a few pages over in your bible, you will hit Galatians. In the first chapter he says how after he was converted he did not confer with the other leaders at Jerusalem, but received teaching straight from God. Let’s discuss what revelation is, how we come to know things. The last few centuries of the first millennium of Christian history you had the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ which was a political/religious union of church and state. Under the emperor Charlemagne the territories of the empire were vast. Those who came after him did not have the same control over the regions that were vast. Eventually you had a form of rule arise that was called Feudalism; the sections of the empire that were too far to benefit directly from Rome would simply come under the authority of the local strongman [much like the present dilemma in Afghanistan, I think it’s time to get our boys out of that mess]. People would come under the authority of a ruler and he would lease out land to the citizens and they would benefit from his protection. The citizens were called Vassals and the land was called a Fief. At one point king John of England would do public penance in a disagreement he had with the Pope and all of England would become a Fief under the rule of the Pope. Now, this would eventually lead up to the development of the strong nation states, an independent identifying with your state/region as opposed to being under Rome and the papacy. This type of independence would allow for the 16th century reformation to happen under Luther. If it were not for Frederick the Wise, the regional authority in Germany where Luther lived, he would have never had the protection or freedom to launch his reformation. Luther also had the influence of being a scholar at Wittenberg. Around the 12th-13th centuries you had the first university pop up at the great cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. The word university simply meant a co-operative effort from two or more people. It applied to many things besides learning. It was also during this time that the church began to develop a system of harmonizing Christian doctrine; she began to do systematic theology. The writings of the Greek philosophers [Aristotle] were rediscovered after centuries of them being hidden, and the great intellectual Saint Thomas Aquinas would wed Aristotle’s ideas with Christian truth. This became known as Scholasticism. Aquinas believed that men could arrive at a true knowledge of God from pure reason and logic. But man could not know all the truths about God and his nature without ‘special revelation’ [the bible and church tradition]. All Christians did not agree with Aquinas new approach to Christian truth, the very influential bishop Bernard would initially condemn Aquinas over this. Bernard said ‘the faith that believes unto righteousness, believes! It does not doubt’. The Scholastic school taught that the way you arrive at knowledge was thru the continuous questioning and doubting of things until you come to some basic conclusions. These issues would be debated for centuries, and even in the present hour many argue over the issue of Divine revelation versus natural logical reasoning. Tertullian, an early North Afrcian church father, said ‘I believe because it is preposterous, illogical’ he became famous for his saying ‘what does Jerusalem have to do with Athens’ meaning he did not believe that Greek philosophy should have any part with Christian truth. Origen, his contemporary, believed the other way. So the debate rages on. Why talk about this here? Some believers ‘believe’ in a type of knowledge called ‘revelation knowledge’ they mean something different than the historic use of the term. Historically ‘revelation’ meant that which God revealed to us THRU THE BIBLE, not something outside of the bible. For instance, the first canon of scripture put together was by a man called Marcion. His ‘bible’ contained the letters of Paul and parts of :Luke. He believed the revelation God gave Paul was for us today, not the Old Testament or the historical gospels. He was condemned by the church as a heretic. The point being some took Paul’s writings about receiving knowledge from God as an indicator that what God showed Paul was different than what the church got thru the other apostles. In point of fact the things that God revealed to Paul, or to you or me; all truth is consistent, it will not contradict any other part of Gods truth. Paul’s letters are consistent with the gospels, not in contradiction. When believers cling to an idea that their teachers are sharing ‘special revelation’ or a Rhema word that is somehow above the scrutiny of scripture, then they are in dangerous territory. Paul did appeal to his experience with God as a defense of his gospel, but he backed up everything he said with Old Testament scripture. God wasn’t ‘revealing’ things to Paul that were outside of the realm of true knowable ‘truth’. You could examine and test the things Paul was saying, he wasn’t saying ‘because God showed it to me, that’s why I’m correct’. So in today’s church world, we want all the things we learn and believe to be consistent with what the church has believed thru out the centuries. Sure there are always things that are going to be questioned and true reform entails this, but beware of teachers who come to you with ‘revelation knowledge’ or a ‘Rhema word’ that goes against the already revealed word of truth.