Why do I torture myself reading the santimonious crap that Slice spews daily? Looking for some hope of real discernment, all I see is a stream of nonsense interspersed with a few grains of truth. It’s like looking for a needle in a pile of manure. The fact that they won’t even engage in discussion, but filter comments, means I need to just take them off of my blogroll. This judgmental post of the culturally relevant and vibrant efforts at Ed Young’s church sent me over the edge, and I posted a comment there that I know will never see the light. But it will here.
Well, since I’ve already posted my iTunes and Firefox plugin choices, I might as well create one for Tivo, although I am building an MCE machine that I hope, along with an Xbox 360, will replace both of my Tivos.
I don’t hack my Tivo, and really don’t futz with it much, so the stuff below is a small list of stuff that is easy to use.
I have found that a favorite quote of atheists belongs to Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71):
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god
than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible
gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
I would like to descontruct this and challenge it’s logic, but let me add this caveat – I am still exploring atheism, and it opens up all kind of fun intellectual avenues to explore, especially in the areas of logic and argumentation around faith. While the atheist reader may rejoice that I may be on "the road to reason and freedom from religion," I would counsel him that I have long been on the road of reason, and find atheism wanting and Christianity compelling, so don’t get your hopes up. One more caveat – I have a wife and kids, so usually write these between midnight and 3AM, so please give me space to backtrack ;).
Sam Harris, anti-religionist atheist, published a list of ten myths about atheism – and many atheists point to these as straw men that Christians use against atheism. However, while some of their accusations may be true, I contend that (1) much of his logic does not follow, and (2) he has created straw men, and misrepresented the Christian critiques of atheism.
The hyper-fundies are at it again, swallowing camels and straining out gnats. A recent article at Slice criticizing the Emergent Church’s use of the term "Christ-follower" instead of "Christian" provoked me to post a comment. Unfortunately, most of my comments never make it past their filter, which in general only allows sycophants by. Here’s a sample from Slice:
No longer are disciples of Jesus Christ to be referred to as Christians
as they were in the Bible (see-Acts 11:23), O no, now we’re "Christ
followers." This is a direct influence of the new cult of liberalism
called the Emergent Church.
With the latest round of fallen evangelical leaders who had hidden homosexual lives, gay evangelicals are making their presence known in larger numbers, and some traditionalist evangelicals like Tony Campolo, Jack Rogers, author of Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality, and many in the Emergent movement, are accepting homosexuality as normative.
While many Christians are complaining about the cultural "war on Christmas," many evangelicals have an ongoing war against Santa himself, the consumerist usurper of the celebration of Jesus. However, there are actually a wide variety of views on this in evangelicalism. Here are a few.
Vision America has a nice article on how dissenters from scientific
orthodoxy, be it global warming or evolution, are mocked, ousted, and
persecuted just like religious heretics.
Scientists who dissent from the alarmism [over global
warming] have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and
themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or
worse….Some have gone so far as to propose that ďglobal warming
deniersĒ are aiding and abetting a global holocaust and should be
A new report from the U.S. House of Representatives has condemned
officials at the Smithsonian Institution for imposing a religious test
on scientists who work there. And it suggests their attacks on a
scientist who just edited an article on intelligent design are just the
tip of the iceberg of an industry-wide fear of anything that suggests
man might not have come from a puddle of sludge.
- Advice to bloggers and commenters: "To love others means to characterize them; to caricaturize them (except
when appropriate) is not to love our neighbor as ourselves."
- Male and Female in Relationship: Scott, in his ongoing series on women in ministry, has a good article on "headship", and this excellent summary of the male/female responsibilities in scripture:
1. There is a submit/sacrifice for wives/husbands.
2. There is a body/head for wives/husbands.
3. There is a respect/love for wives/husbands.
One of the movies I am most looking forward to is the upcoming Amazing Grace: The William Wilberforce Story. This is the true story of how Wilberforce, motivated by his faith, spearheaded the abolition movement in England. Check out the trailer, it’s pretty good.
Evolutionists constantly try to disavow the logical link between Darwinism and social Darwinism, but no matter how they try to divorce themselves from it, even Darwin himself understood that this logical conclusion followed because humans are part of the natural order.¬† Below are a couple of quotes from Darwin, alongside one each by Nietzsche and Hitler.¬† Chilling, isn’t it?¬† While it is often a cheap trick to compare one’s ideological opponents to Hitler, in this case, made well in the recent book From Darwin to Hitler, the shoe fits perfectly.
As I have claimed previously, Darwinism contributes nearly nothing to medical science (and most practical science in general), except maybe an errant world view and scientific philosophy. Here’s a nice example from history of how the Darwinian view has impeded science, courtesy of American Vision.
There are only two possible explanations as to how life arose. Spontaneous generation arising to evolution or a supernatural creative act of God. . . . There is no other possibility. Spontaneous generation was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others, but that just leaves us with only one other possibility. . . that life came as a supernatural act of creation by God, but I canít accept that philosophy because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation leading to evolution.
– Nobel Prize winner George Wald (1906Ė1997)
In their ongoing ministry of
condemnation discernment, Slice is railing against Christians who recommend seeing The Nativity Story (which BTW, isn’t getting great reviews – "An effective pitch for Christianity as the dullest religion ever.")
But I digress. Slice says:
God has never promised to bless movies. He promises to bless the preaching of the Word.
One of my new favorite authors is agnostic sociologist Rodney Stark.¬† While he has Catholic sympathies, he is not above letting them have it in his reviews of history.¬† A professor at Baylor University, he has written many journal articles and books on the sociology of religion, including
- CITIES OF GOD: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome (2006)
- The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (2005)
- The Rise of Mormonism (2005)
- For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery (2003, one of my favorites)
- One True God: Historical Consequence of Monotheism (2001)
However, I just stumbled upon a 2004 article he wrote called Fact, Fable, and Darwin, in which he takes Darwinism to task (though he says he is not a creationist) for its hubris and outright exaggerations.¬† Typical anti-Darwin stuff, but written in Stark’s non-nonsense agnostic style.¬† I’ve excerpted below.
Most everyone is aware that Sen. Tim Johnson was forced to have emergency brain surgery after he suffered from bleeding in the brain caused by a congenital malformation.
As unfortunate as it is the talk of politics cannot help, but swirl around the illness of Sen. Johnson. While everyone from both political parties have wished the senator well, offered their prayers for him and his family and maintained that his recovery is more important than political power, at least one news article paints a different picture.
On the heels of my article on conservation of junk DNA (genotype conservation across time), Uncommon Descent has posted a nice article on a worm whose phenotype has remained unchanged for (supposedly) millions of years of mutation – so even though the genome has changed, the worm is still, well, a worm, not any other kind of animal. Also note that the original article calls the changes "adaptation," presumably because no new genetic information was ever created. And that’s pretty much all that does happen over time – genetic LOSS of information, genetic swapping, and variable expression of EXISTING (created) genes. QED.
Analysis of the sequence revealed that major evolutionary changes in
genomes do not necessarily lead to gross physical changes in the
Another genetic "proof" that macro-evolution is not how we got here. OK, it’s not a proof, but it is consistent with creationism, and inconsistent with the idea of macroevolution. I am so not surprised.
I greatly enjoyed the post The Atheism Delusion: The Destructive Power of Materialist Indoctrination, because this scientist’s experience with being awakened from the “evolution is fact” dream was very similar to mine.
I was an atheist, brainwashed by the establishment, into my 40s…..I was once debating evolution with a friend, and I was spouting all the platitudes I had been taught. He said, “Look, rather than debating me, why don’t you read a book, Evolution, A Theory in Crisis, by Michael Denton?” I assumed that it would be some nonsensical religious hogwash, but I was in for a big surprise.
I devoured the book in a couple of days, and when I was finished I slapped myself on the forehead and thought, “I’ve been conned all my life!” My atheism was quickly unraveling.
This is what the hysterical anti-ID folks fear: Once the evidence of modern science is evaluated without the blinders of a passionately materialistic worldview, design screams at us from every corner.