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Which is More Rational: God or Atheism?

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Lawrence Krauss and Michael Behe Debate

Lawrence Krauss and Michael Behe Debate

John Piper - Whoever believes will be saved

They Will Be Taught Of God John 6: 41-51 December 6, 2009 Full video @: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByDate/2009/4430_They_Will_All_Be_...

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1
LATimes shreds old-school language in religious liberty story

The tiny Becket Fund for Religious Liberty was the legal power behind the high court’s decision last month to extend religious rights to corporations for the first time. Before that, the Washington firm’s attorneys successfully defended a church school’s religious right to be exempted from federal antidiscrimination rules and, in another case, even persuaded the progressive U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to keep “under God” in school recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance.

2
How to Answer Common Questions About Christianity [Podcast] | Think Christianly

Jonathan Morrow Posts Twitter Facebook Google+ Jonathan Morrow (D.Min) is the founder of Think Christianly. He is the author of Welcome to College: A Christ-follower's Guide for the Journey, Questioning the Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible's Authority, Think Christianly: Looking at the Intersection of Faith and Culture, and Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists (with Sean McDowell), and contributed the chapter "Introducing Spiritual Formation" to Foundations of Spiritual Formation: A Community Approach to Becoming Like Christ. Jonathan contributed several articles to the Apologetics Study Bible for Students and has written for Leadership Journal Online (of Christianity Today). He graduated with an M.Div. and an M.A. in philosophy of religion and ethics from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University and served as the equipping pastor for 6 years at Fellowship Bible Church in Murfreesboro, TN.

3
Peer-Reviewed Science: What the Field of Systems Biology Can Tell Us About Intelligent Design

So if intelligent design predicts a kind of rational ordering and purposeful arrangement of parts, what does Darwinian biology predict? He explains that Darwinian thinking faces a "'catch-22' which should prevent a high degree of optimality." He continues: If the energy cost of carrying useless or suboptimal structures is too great, then no novel structures will ever be generated. Assuming that new structures with novel function must be generated from several separate parts, each of which is not by itself beneficial to survival, a species must carry around various useless or suboptimal parts for some time, until all the parts are in place for the new, optimized function. In addition, natural selection would seem to reward the first success more than the most efficient success. Any change which decreases the efficiency of function, even if it is a step toward an ultimately more optimal solution, will be selected against. This is an insightful argument. Darwinian evolution requires trying new things in order to generate novelty. Some new variation provides an advantage and is preserved.

4
7 Principles of Biblical Interpretation

The interpreter needs to have a working knowledge of basic principles of interpretation. These hermeneutical principles are like the tricks of the trade for an interpreter. They guide us in our examination of the text so that our work is kept within the bounds of legitimate hermeneutics. The assumption behind these principles is that, properly handled, the text will disclose its meaning to the interpreter.

5
The Poached Egg Apologetics Daily

The Poached Egg Apologetics Daily, by Greg West: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.

6
Grace to You

Christ once again responded without delay and healed Peter’s mother-in-law immediately. She was not only a woman but also a Jew, which meant that although the Lord had warned the Jews about presuming upon salvation, He had not completely forsaken them, as ministry to Peter’s relative powerfully showed. The fact that salvation was available to faithful Gentiles did not mean it was now unavailable to faithful Jews. Paul later wrote, “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. . . . In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice” (Rom. 11:2, 5).

7
So, Michael Behe Was Right After All; What Will the Critics Say Now?

Sean Carroll: "Behe makes a new set of explicit claims about the limits of Darwinian evolution, claims that are so poorly conceived and readily dispatched that he has unwittingly done his critics a great favor in stating them. ... Behe's main argument rests on the assertion that two or more simultaneous mutations are required for increases in biochemical complexity and that such changes are, except in rare circumstances, beyond the limit of evolution. .. Examples of cumulative selection changing multiple sites in evolving proteins include ... pyrimethamine resistance in malarial parasites -- a notable omission given Behe's extensive discussion of malarial drug resistance. ... [T]he argument for design has no scientific leg to stand on." ( Science, 2007 )

8
Ascension Presbyterian Church

Ascension Presbyterian Church is a covenantal and confessional Reformed Presbyterian Church located in Apopka, Florida. Our statement of faith is the Westminster Confession of Faith, 1647. We are part of the Covenant Presbyterian Church denomination (www.covenant-presbyterian.org). We are an... ( more.. )

9
To the Ends of the Earth

I mean, Calvin is an enormous influence in France. You have the struggle with French Calvinists, known as the Huguenots, all through the 16th and 17th centuries, and the determination of the French crown to destroy Calvin’s French heirs, which he succeeds in doing in many respects. But, in doing so, he massively impoverishes France and destroys the French ability to exercise hegemony in western Europe. The 18th century was one long war between the French and the English. The English were at war with France every decade between 1690 and 1850. And one of the reasons why the English are able to win that war is because the French government’s desire for a unified religious state has gutted the Calvinist church, but in doing so has gutted largely its middle class. Calvin appeals very directly to the middle class and by gutting the middle class, there was a whole area of French life that never developed the way it did in Britain. And France didn’t have the finances to ultimately win that war and it eventually ended up in the Revolution as we have in the 1780s. Many of those who left France, the French Calvinists, ended up in England.

10
So Explaining the Cambrian Explosion Is All About the Oxygen, Is It?

Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

11
Setting the Record Straight: Stephen Meyer and

On page 406-407 of Chapter 18, Dr. Meyer addresses the issue of "junk" DNA. He first explains that neo-Darwinism predicts that nonfunctional DNA would tend to accumulate in the genomes of organisms, "a kind of remnant of whatever undirected process first produced functional information in the cell." He goes on to quote scientists [and other scholars] who adhere to this hypothesis, including Michael Shermer, Ken Miller, and Philip Kitcher. Then, Meyer presents the view of ID theorists, quoting a prediction of ID researcher William Dembski in 1998: "On an evolutionary view we expect a lot of useless DNA. If, on the other hand, organisms are designed, we expect DNA, as much as possible, to exhibit function." Meyer affirms that "the discovery in recent years that nonprotein-coding DNA performs a diversity of important biological functions has confirmed this prediction." He goes on to present a list of ten important functions of nonprotein-coding regions of the genome, including regulating DNA replication, regulating transcription, influencing the proper folding and maintenance of chromosomes, controlling RNA processing, editing, and splicing, and others, noting that in some cases, "junk" DNA has even been found to code functional genes.

12
Ligonier.org

Right now truly does count forever, and the choices we make today have eternal consequences. In this message, Dr. R.C. Sproul reminds us not only of the importance of our present thoughts, words, and deeds, but also of the fact that all that happens today is part of God’s plan to make known His glory in history and leads ultimately to the revelation of His glory to His children into all eternity.

13
A Response to Richard Dawkins | RealClearPolitics

But if that isn't enough, how about the record of the godless 20th century, the cruelest, bloodiest, most murderous century on record? Every genocide of the last century -- except for the Turkish mass murder of the Armenians and the Pakistani mass murder of Hindus in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) was committed by a secular anti-Jewish and anti-Christian regime. And as the two exceptions were Muslim, they are not relevant to my argument. I am arguing for the God and Bible of Judeo-Christian religions.

14
James Gray on Mastering the Bible - The Scriptorium Daily

The most important rule is the last. Read it prayerfully. Let not the triteness of the observation belittle it, or all is lost. The point is insisted on because, since the Bible is a supernatural book, it can be studied or mastered only by supernatural aid. In the words of William Luff, “It is the Spirit’s Bible! Copyright every word! Only His thoughts are uttered, only His voice is heard!” Who is so well able to illuminate the pages of a given book as the author who composed it? How often when one has been reading Browning has he wished Browning were at his side to interpret Browning! But the Holy Spirit, by whom holy men of old wrote, dwells within the believer on Jesus Christ for the very purpose of bringing him into all truth. Coleridge said, “The Bible without the Holy Spirit is a sundial by moonlight,” and a great than he said, “We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given us of God” (I Corinthians 2:12). The dear old Scottish saint, Andrew Bonar, discriminated between a minister’s getting his text from the Bible, and getting it from God through the Bible; a fine distinction that holds good not only with reference to the selection of a text to preach upon, but with reference to the apprehension spiritually of any part of the Word of God.

15
Faithful Thinkers: Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye: The Aftermath

Tonight Bill Nye and Ken Ham squared off on the topic "Is Creation a Viable Model for Origins In The Scientific Era?" Promoters of this debate have been promoting it as the "Debate of the Decade" and I had even heard the term "Scopes 2." Because I am a Christian and I disagree with Ken Ham's position on the age of the universe (I agree with Bill Nye, in that regard, but disagree with his worldview in general), it seems that I would be rooting for both or neither in the debate. Since I find that holding an incorrect view of reality (even within the confines of the correct general worldview) is damaging to defenses of the general worldview , I decided to watch this debate and offer my thoughts. First, I want to state that I found that both participants were very respectful of one another so, it made the exchange easy to watch in that respect. What makes a debate more difficult to watch depends on the participants' ability to stay on topic and defend their contentions against critique. While I think that for the most part, they did stay on topic, there was a mix regarding their defense of particular parts of their contentions.

16
Book Review: "Cold Case Christianity" by J. Warner Wallace

Chapter 3, “Think Circumstantially” is perhaps the central chapter for the whole book. Wallace notes that what is necessary in order to provide evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt” is not necessarily “direct evidence.” That is, direct evidence–the type of evidence which can prove something all by itself (i.e. seeing it rain outside as proof for it actually raining)–is often thought of to be the standard for truth. Yet if this were the standard for truth, then we would hardly be able to believe anything. The key is to notice that a number of indirect evidences can add up to make the case. For example, if a suspected murderer is known to have had the victim’s key, spot cleaned pants (suspected blood stains), matches the height and weight a witness saw leaving the scene of the crime, has boots that matched the description, was nervous during the interview and changed his story, has a baseball bat (a bat was the murder weapon) which has also been bleached and is dented, and the like, these can add up to a very compelling case (57ff). Any one of these evidences would not lead one to say they could reasonably conclude the man was the murderer, but added together they provide a case which pushes the case beyond a reasonable doubt–the man was the murderer.

17
Ligonier.org

Dr. Sproul starts this section expounding on Jesus' walking on the water with an investigation into the phrase "I am" in Greek ego eimi . When Jesus is found on the other side of the sea a discussion starts concerning why they seek Him. Dr Sproul starts the discussion concerning food that endures to everlasting life.

18 Sunday Quote!- Creationism and Foundationalism

Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

19
Answering Muslims: "For the First Time in the History of Iraq, Mosul Is Now Empty of Christians"

I'm glad your showing this ugly side of Islam so many are ignorant of or choose to ignore. Many of the Moslems claim they are peaceful, and some can be as long as we don't preach Jesus to them but as soon as we do the really ugly side comes out here in America, but we can look right around the world and see how peaceful they are not! I am thankful your shedding light on this David! It's funny because I stumbled on your videos a while ago and watched some, then I thought the other day when I was talking to a Moslem who kept denying anything negative about his false prophet,"I wish I could ask that David guy what to say to this Moslem!". Then today as I was out preaching the gospel I ran into a man from Dearborn, MI (not far from me) and he said one of the Mosques said on it's marquee,"Moslems will kill the Americans and there is nothing they can do about it". When I was looking for anything about that on google I found your blog! God works in amazing ways! Our God is a living God and it surely will be a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God for those who refuse Jesus Christ God our Savior! :) You are an encouragement, and your videos have been a great help, along with my Bible, and some missionary books.

20
Interviewing Your Daughter's Date

I was recently listening to a popular Christian radio program. On that week’s edition, they were celebrating a recent book that encouraged fathers to interview any young man who wanted to date their daughter. The author was interviewed, and he discussed with the program host how any young man who wanted to take a girl out for a date should be questioned by the father, and made to promise that he (the young man) would respect the girl, knowing that some day she would be someone’s wife (possibly his own, possibly not), and that he should treat her the way he would want someone else to treat his future wife. He was also to promise not to touch the girl in any way, not kiss her, and always open the door for her. He should protect her, including her purity. It was his responsibility. The young man would need to promise all these things and more to the father before the father should permit his daughter to go out on a date with the boy.

21
Comparing Four Apologetic Systems-Classical, Historical, Presuppositional and Cumulative Case Apologetics

Apologetics is a branch of Christian theology that helps give reasons for the truthfulness of the Christian faith/worldview. The word “Apologia” means “to give reasons, make a legal defense” (Acts 26:2; 2 Tim. 4:16; 1 Pet 3:15). Throughout Acts, Luke uses words such as reason, (trying to) persuade, eyewitness, witness, defense. It is true that many other religions have their own apologists. But in this post, I will focus on what are called apologetics systems. In this post, we will discuss three types of Christian apologetic systems: classical, historical, and presuppositional.

22
Signs and Seals

This study considers the sacraments, baptism and the Lord’s supper. The sacraments are means of grace and an occasion for controversy. In this series we consider the nature of sacraments, the purpose and power of baptism and the font and the future of the Lord’s Table.

23 A must-read series of posts on cosmic fine-tuning by Allen Hainline

However, the assumption that any set of constants is just as likely as any other is the very thing that we want to know. Starting off with that as an  assumption  begs the question against design. As Luke Barnes articulates in this excellent podcast dealing with responses to the fine-tuning claim, suppose we’re playing poker and every time I deal I get a royal flush. If this continues to happen, you become increasingly convinced that I’m likely to be cheating. If I responded to an accusation of cheating by just saying “well any set of 5 cards is just as likely as any other so you can’t accuse me of cheating” you would be rational to reject this explanation. The question is not “how likely is any set of 5 cards?” but rather “how likely is it I’m cheating if I just dealt myself 10 straight royal flushes?” This question accounts for the possibility that I’m cheating which would almost certainly be true in this scenario. So the right fine-question is “given the fine-tuning evidence, how likely is it that the constants were set at random?” The values for physical constants conform to a very particular pattern – that which supports life.

24 Is it possible to preach the gospel without using words?

The article goes on to explain where this trend of not preaching using words comes from, and whether it matches the example of Jesus in the New Testament writings. Here’s a Bible passage that seems to rule out the idea that the gospel can be “preached” without “words”.

25
Does the Doctrine of Hell Make God Unjust?

Now, as I mentioned in the post, “I’m under no delusions that this doctrine is anything but absolutely repugnant to the natural mind. The just punishment required by the law is always repugnant to the criminal. I understand that the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1 Cor 2:14).” These are truths that one can only come to trust and treasure when God opens our blind eyes to see the glory of His Son. And the reason why we take such time to understand the doctrine of hell is because it’s precisely what Jesus endured in our place in order to save us from it. The teaching of eternal punishment for sin is the black backdrop that makes the glory of Gospel grace shine all the more brightly — like the brilliant stars shining in the night sky.

26
http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/scripture-catechesis-and-prayer-sunday-july-20th.html

Then the five men who had gone to scout out the country of Laish said to their brothers, “Do you know that in these houses there are an ephod, household gods, a carved image, and a metal image? Now therefore consider what you will do.” And they turned aside there and came to the house of the young Levite, at the home of Micah, and asked him about his welfare. Now the 600 men of the Danites, armed with their weapons of war, stood by the entrance of the gate. And the five men who had gone to scout out the land went up and entered and took the carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the 600 men armed with weapons of war. And when these went into Micah’s house and took the carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” And they said to him, “Keep quiet; put your hand on your mouth and come with us and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?” And the priest’s heart was glad.

27
Being Skeptical of Hyper-Skepticism

The skeptic I debated conceded the point that nothing could be known with hyper-skepticism and made the claim that certain experiences can be trusted. But this opens up the gate to all experiences. If someone is sick, would they deny their symptoms and pretend like they were not sick? How foolish! The sick person would seek medical treatment due to the experiences they were having. Should one pick and choose what experiences in their daily life is valid and which ones are not? No one lives life like this unless one is on some form of hallucinogenic drug. But religious experiences are not based on hallucinogens as argued by the debater. Why deny religious experiences if there are good reasons for believing their authenticity? It is true that some who have claimed to have religious experiences had other motives behind their claim. Some skepticism is healthy; however, for the skeptic to devalue all religious experiences when those experiences are held by those who certainly do not meet the standard of schizophrenia, or subject to hallucinations, due to an anti-theological bias is absurd.

28 Sunday Quote: Francis Schaeffer on Truth - Apologetics 315

Brian Auten is director of Reasonable Faith Belfast and founder of Apologetics 315, a daily online resource helping to equip the next generation of Christian apologists. More...

29 Final Fantasy Record Keeper: My Thoughts on the "Big Reveal"

I’m writing this post the night before the “Big Reveal” so this introductory part is without knowledge of what is going to show up tomorrow. I figured it would be worth writing about, even though my prediction is it’s going to be some compilation album or book or something I’m not going to buy. Maybe it will be a game, but I suspect any game that they’re showing characters from all the Final Fantasy games is not going to be one I’d enjoy. But hey, who knows! Maybe it will be the holy grail AKA Final Fantasy VII REMAKE!!! I’ll write more when the reveal happens tomorrow.

30 What happens to people who have never heard the gospel when they die?

One of the most difficult questions for Christians to answer, especially when posed by adherents of other religions, is the question of what happens to those who have never heard of Jesus? In this post, I will explain how progress in the field of philosophy of religion has given us a possible (and Biblical) solution to this thorny question.

31
The Resurrection Appearances and "Altered States of Consciousness"

Again, as we have noted, Pilch does seem all too ready to see an ASC where it isn’t at all apparent. He decides, for example, that in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was involved ina type of ASC that involved breathing through the left nostril, and to affirm this, arbitrarily decides that the “drops of blood” Luke describes must refer to a nosebleed (25)! He also concludes that other ASCs, which would seem incompatible with an exclusive Christian message, are true; he reports as veridical, experiences of Moroccan Jews with a deceased holy man. (155) Nevertheless, regardless of whatever merits and ASC interpretation may have for the Resurrection — and at present, despite Pilch, I see no reason to favor one — we can be reasonably sure that it will be twisted and turned by critics into some variation of the hallucination hypothesis.