Category Archives: Bible

Christianity or Not!

“Hate” is such an easy word to throw around and is often used to put an opponent in a backpedaling mode—discouraging honest debate and instead putting the other side on the defensive!
 
It is also used when the one using the word “hate” really has no valid case to present—in other words, it covers up a deficient worldview which doesn’t have to be held accountable if it can remain hidden!
 
There is a point in which the vitriol towards some worldviews is so “fixed” and established that the only recourse is to ignore the criticism and go on with the message.
 
The Christian worldview can easily be defended and has a long historical pedigree of good outcomes. While people are imperfect and Christianity sometimes takes a “hit” when evil things are done in its name, the net effect of Christianity has benefited mankind far more than not! What is happening now by some in our society is that by definition, any belief of Christianity is automatically “evil” and hence “hateful” if it differs from the other side!
 
Our society has many divisions and cultural chasms, possibly unbridgeable for a long time, and the religious/moral one is the most important divide in my view since morality plays a large role in what the trajectory of a nation goes. The Christian worldview and the anti-christian worldview( represented by ABC News in this instance), represent two different choices, stark choices, which can determine the road taken and the destination achieved. And they are different destinations! 
 
If the influence of Christianity had never occurred, if Christ had never been born, if civilization proceeded without a Christian thought ever becoming an influence—how different would this world have been?
 
Then think about the scenario where all Christian influence was suddenly removed tomorrow, no Christian thought or idea ever uttered again—would we be better off as a society?
 
How those questions are answered will say a lot!

Humans and Monkees

This actually could be a major step towards breaking the “species”   distinctions which some PC people hate. Discrimination against animals is a real thing for some of them and they have an ism called “speciesism”–the assigning of different morals and rights, etc., based on the species and different from humans!
 
Apes especially, since they resemble humans in some ways, are frequently looked at as having similar rights as humans!
 
I don’t think apes and monkees should be needlessly harmed and treated cruelly and they definitely are a neat species—but they are not on the same par with humans! We have to make that difference or….!
 
A few quotes from ethicists of the past should make us pause concerning where this kind of thing can lead.
 
1.  The fact that animals are nonhuman makes no difference. In fact, an intelligent adult ape has more conscious interests than a newborn human infant. Therefore, faced with the choice of rescuing from a fire either a severely retarded infant, who is unlikely to develop many preferences in the future, and an ape, we should rescue the ape. To think otherwise is simple bigotry, an example of speciesism. We should no more be speciesists than racists or sexists.     Peter Singer
 
2. In reference to the Baby Fae case, in which a baboon heart was transplanted into Baby Fae, David Larson said, “If a primate’s capability was higher that that of a child-I think it would be appropriate to support the opposite of Baby Fae, a transplant from a child to save the life of a healthy baboon or chimpanzee.”
 
These quotes are a few years old and reflect the beginning of a philosophy which may begin to flower even more now given the right circumstances!
 
And who can predict when those circumstances arise?
 
This “selfie” case does seem comical, but then again—we are living in a “brave strange world”—you never know when one thing ends up leading to another, and then ends up leading to a situation which will make our heads spin due!

Sanders and Christ and the Nominee

Sanders the aloof-one!
 
We on the Right know that many on the Left repudiates Christianity for a number of reasons.
 
One reason involves the “nerve” to claim some possession of the “Truth”! Claiming that Christ is the only way of salvation and that the True God is the father of Christ! That pretty much leaves all the other religions on the wrong end.
 
Well…..that shouldn’t be news to Sanders or others—that has been the message of Christianity for 2000 years!
 
But what really gets many on the Left is the fact that it takes “truth-making” out of their hands. They want to decide what is right and wrong and unfortunately Christ stands in the way!
 
This is just Postmodernism or whatever ism may be prevalent at the moment. Truth is relative, history is all bias and can’t be trusted, and all religions are basically equal in worth (except for Christianity or the true Christianity which accepts Christ as the only Savior).
 
Sanders can’t believe that the nominee had written about the  Muslim religion and claimed it has a deficient theology. It does— because Christ is not the author of salvation for them. All other religions stand deficient if not centered on Christ. That is not a new statement! All persons as sinners and will continue to do so if Christ is not accepted by faith! That also is nothing new—it is the Christian message for the last 2000 years!
 
Sanders treats the nominee as if he is promulgating some newly formed cult whose teachings will undercut this Republic! And that is another tactic of the Left–ignore the facts of the historical basis of something, act like it is new, and then express some made-up “shock” that someone would actually believe those things in today’s modern world.
 
But once again Sanders:
 
John 3:16 (KJV)
 
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
 
And:
 
John 14:6 (KJV)
 
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
 
Our nation was founded by many who either knew Christ personally as Savior or respected it nonetheless! We need more people like that in our government!

Scars

Found this poem written by someone who experienced the trauma of WWI. In that war countless millions experienced unimaginable scars, physical and spiritual! This poem points to the One who understands “scars”, the One who bore all the ills of mankind at the Cross!

The witnessed act of Christ, after His resurrection, showing his scars he endured from the nails and spear to the disciples, especially Thomas, demonstrated another part of Christ’s mission. First, not only did He take our place and suffered death for us so that we could have redemption from sin, secondly, He also arose with a new body showing that a time is appointed for Believers when they also will have a brand new body, incorruptible and eternal. 

But thirdly the scars! That lets us know that the toils of life, those many things which wear a person down, which effect not only the body but also the heart, spirit, and soul as well, it lets us know that He understands that part as well. By virtue of His death He has secured for us freedom from the curse of sin and an eternal home in heaven, and by the physical scars shown on His body to the disciples and the mental scars endured when He cried those words “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?”, he has secured for us help and support and comfort in this life for however many years we are given. He goes with us and helps us to endure as He endured himself.

As it says in Hebrews 4:15—

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”

The Poem

“Jesus of the Scars” by Edward Shillito

If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,
We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars. 

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.

If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,
Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;
We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,
Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.

The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.

 

Marshall Plan and Paris Accord

Gergen, the CNNiot, makes a comparison with the Marshall Plan, the international agreement made after WWII to help restore Europe from the devastation of that war.
 
And it was physically destructive on a massive scale, cities literally laid waste, infrastructure decimated everywhere, economies destroyed ,it definitely was good that this Plan was initiated. And it was very successful as well.
 
That was a great action and deserves to be acclaimed as such!
 
But Gergen, in his apoplectic reaction, makes a comparison ridiculous in scope and magnitude. Somehow the international agreement which the Paris Accord represented, was on par with the Marshall Plan, the scope similar in what it wanted to achieve.
 
Except for the obvious difference of what was being fixed! Nothing was destroyed, nothing was on the verge of collapsing. there were no ruins to rebuild, nothing like what Europe experienced. So I find the comparison a bit childish and simply the result of “whining”.
 
The issue is carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and its supposedly catastrophic impact it will have on climate through the greenhouse effect. The problem remains whether the climate changes we are experiencing are just regular fluctuations or whether raised carbon dioxide levels has sped up the warming. No one really knows, even though a “consensus” can claim what it wants. There are just too many variables no matter what a particular climate model may claim!
 
So the Marshall Plan, which addressed an actual catastrophic state of affairs, seen with the naked eye and experienced by major populations, is compared with a theoretical, apocalyptic scenario, with no visible present effects, with no real conclusive proof, but has a lot of probability, conjecture, extrapolation, politics, fear and mongering! Hmmm!
 
Actually, more carbon dioxide may help the growth of plants which then could help feed the hungry, etc—a good thing! Wouldn’t that be “a kick in the head” to these global warmists,  as Dean Martin would sing!
 
Sorry Gergen—no comparison! Try something different! 

The Luzhin Defense, Chess, Life, God

Chess is a very popular and intellectually demanding game. With nearly an infinite amount of moves for a player, the potential strategies are astronomical. Players may have various schemes they call upon, some offensive and some defensive. Over time, many players will develop a particular “signature” in the way the game is played by them, a kind of “philosophy of play” or something similar.
 
Chess analyzed as a game of strategy is one thing, letting chess act as a kind of blueprint and guide for life is another! While there are similarities in terms of potential, such as offensive and defensive strategies, etc., the actual application of those ideas are vastly different when one is sitting at a table over a board of 64 squares as opposed to living one’s life in the real world.  The various pieces of a chess board all have certain kinds of moves available, the Queen being the most powerful piece and the lowly Pawn being the weakest. Of course some of that is relative since based on position, the Pawn can end up being a powerful entity based on the evolution of a particular game!
 
In the Book “Luzhin Defense”, written by Vladimir Nabokov in 1964, chess becomes the strategy used to deal with the intricacies of life! As a child Luzhin did not fit in with the world around him and so had a very troubled childhood. When he once became introduced to the game of chess, his whole life revolved around chess. Eventually he reached Grandmaster status and while a world famous figure, his inability to fit in socially continued! Whatever strength he received from being one of the best, he was still at the mercy of the twists and turns of life, those things which can’t be calculated a few moves ahead and approached with a clear-cut strategy.
 
Luzhin was never a world champion and he was in a tournament to possibly become one. One of the participants, who he would eventually meet for the Championship had beat him before. That opponent had an unorthodox style and Luzhin, before their eventual championship match, spent much time coming up with a defense to counter his opponent’s different style. The match eventually took place and upon the first couple moves the defense strategy of Luzhin became totally worthless—the opponent had started differently and totally caught Luzhin off guard! Luzhin was so dependent upon chess as a metaphor for life that he had an actual nervous breakdown before the game could be completed and thus had to postpone the game! He couldn’t regroup his thinking after his “hope” for victory was dashed so quickly and the game was never finished!
 
Months went by and he was told to give up the game of chess, which he did for awhile. Having met a woman in the meantime, which for him was a socially awkward scenario, he tried to create normalcy in his life but the principles of chess seeped back  and he begin again to deal with his social ineptness through a strategy similar to chess! At one point in the book he thinks:
 
“that it was necessary to look deeper, to return and replay all the moves of his life from his illness until…”.
 
This was the beginning of the end for him as he soon  realized chess was dominating his thinking again which he knew was untenable for him and so he evolved towards what would be the final move of his life, a kind of checkmate, in which he decided:
 
“The only way out,” he said, “I have to drop out of the game.”
 
Which for him was climbing out of a bathroom window of a high rise building and jumping!
 
Chess has many many moves, but many of the moves that life requires doesn’t correspond to the kind of moves chess allows. Chess can be a neat game of strategy built around position and certain moves of its pieces. Outcomes and effects are very discernible and have many alternate approaches. Life not so much! And while there is planning in life and often things do occur in a neat orderly fashion, there is always some “thing” which can disrupt the path we have set and cause much variation. Some of those things which come our way as unplanned are simply irritants, others are very serious and require much resolve and will to overcome, still others may test the limits of human ability! And then there are all those things which fit in between! These “changes” which come our way are not just negative things but are also positive things!
 
We have a limited visual horizon and periphery when it comes to the future, and while goals and plans must still be made along with a strategy to achieve, we must allow for some changes to possibly occur—not easy to do! But due to the inherent unpredictability of life, we sometimes have to be ready to adapt and make adjustments and do different things—we hope those kinds of things are rare and not too difficult, unfortunately life proceeds along its own course!
 
When I read this book and contemplated some of its meaning, I thought about Christianity and life. Christianity doesn’t offer guarantees in life (not the kind we may want!), as if it was a strategy manual similar to chess, as in “doing this, guarantees that” kind of outcome. God knows what we all face now and for eternity, but we are not told all those details, we have to still sometimes grapple in “darkness” trying to find the right course.
 
But God does give us certain guarantees which act as a more wide-ranging set of principles suitable for everything we face in life. If I had to summarize what I think are the two best guarantees God gives us to navigate this life it would be the following:
 
1.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)   “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
 
He may not share all the daily details but knowing He is behind the scenes, the “Unseen Hand”—does help when unplanned things occur!
 
2. Romans 8:28 (KJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”.
 
This is the “Summa” of so much. If evil comes our way, He knows it and is able to create good from that. He doesn’t make “evil” good, but evil doesn’t have to win at the end.
 
When life doesn’t go according to our plans, we can “Trust in the Lord…” and also rest in the fact that He can bring good out of “bad”!
 
Not a bad life strategy!

The Bible, Jerusalem, Damascus, and Our Times!

 
In the world of Biblical archaeology, two very different groups are discerned, along with those who occupy a “middle”. One group is composed of those who accept that the Bible is a very reliable book concerning the historical aspects, worthy to be used in constructing history along with archaeological data. And then there are those who are called “Minimalists”, who believe the Bible offers little to nothing when it comes to valid historical facts. “Israel” as a national entity is also problematical in that no real history of its ancient origins is possible.
 
In this minimalist view, King David and King Solomon are mythological and most of the Biblical writings are “historicized fiction”, written mainly during the Persian Empire, hundreds of years after the time spans implied in the Bible’s own chronology! Prophecies are somehow also inventions used for political purposes and have no real futuristic impact!
 
But reality can make for a rude awakening and minimalists have their day coming. Eventually enough opposing facts can pile up to make an intellectual life miserable—and they are slowly piling up! Eventually minimalists will have to  make a choice–live in their artificially created world in which the Bible is just fiction or somehow “give in” to Truth! I know what I would advise them!
 
Just lately I read a quote in the magazine Biblical Archaeology Review where an archaeologist was bemoaning the state of affairs due to the minimalists insistence on the unreliability of the Bible. He quotes one of those minimalists which sums up their attitude:
 
“There is no more ‘ancient Israel’. History no longer has room for it.”
 
One of the areas which will eventually challenge the minimalists is the area of biblical prophecy! To those who accept the Bible’s rendition of things, prophecy comes in two varieties: fulfilled or yet to be fulfilled! Those yet to be fulfilled are the ones which has occupied my attention lately and are such that if paid attention to by the minimalists, should allow them the chance to reconsider their assumptions of the Bible and its contexts! Instead of being composed of statements useful only for the political times in the Persian Empire, prophecy was messages of hope which sustained the Israelites for hundreds of years as they suffered much distress! Only when the Bible’s historicity is accepted does this make sense.
 
Many prophetic statement s are extremely detailed and so their fulfillment or lack thereof can be ascertained with a reasonable amount of confidence. Consider the prophetic statement of Ezekiel 37 and the vision of the valley of dry bones, which represented Israel ceasing as a nation. That vision showed the dry bones being put back together as Israel would become an independent nation once again. Once the Babylonian captivity took place, Israel was always under the authority of someone else!
 
But … Ezekiel 37:9-12
 
9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
 
These prophetic statements were messages of hope, a future hope which eventually occurred! That prophecy was fulfilled in 1948 when Israel effectively became an independent national entity again—over 2500 years later!  Just the fact that an “Israel” was even possible is miraculous!
 
With that accomplishment, Israel was now on the world stage and turmoil and reactions has followed the nation ever since! A number of wars and constant terrorism has made Israel a constant news story! With the establishment of its Statehood, a number of other prophecies now came into focus, those which had not been fulfilled but has really become central to world events. It involves the City of Jerusalem.
 
Jerusalem is not a major city in the sense of scale and massive infrastructure. It does not have a large population, less than a million, but it represents a major part of the world, religious-wise that is. The three major religions of this world lay claim to Jerusalem, namely, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Therein lies its distinctiveness. Israel wants to make it their eternal capital but the Muslims want part of it for their own religious reasons. Hence a constant clash between these groups and since Muslims make up over a billion people, this clash is a major thing! When Israel recovered all of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War, the stakes became of global interest!
 
Where does Jerusalem fit in with prophecy? In a future time, Zechariah 12,  Jerusalem will be the flash point of history with many nations involved. It will find itself besieged all around by those who want to destroy it. Though that prophecy is still future, the fact that Jerusalem has become the center of attention worldwide the way it has, lends credibility to these scriptures in Zechariah and it doesn’t take much imagination, with antisemitism on the rise and organizations like the UN condemning Israel seemingly on a routine basis, to see the world decide to act in its own interests and try to take over Jerusalem. Some of the verses in Zechariah say it like this:
 
12 The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
 
Jerusalem a “cup of trembling”—that is definitely playing out right now in our headlines! Could it be that the US is the main thing preventing this from being fulfilled completely right now?
 
Finally Damascus, Syria is also relevant in Biblical prophecy and one should be aware of its ongoing spotlight in today’s world. While these prophetic statements have yet to be fulfilled, the fact these ancient players are still on the stage today should make one reconsider a lot of things about the Bible. The one main prophetic statement regarding Damascus is in Isaiah 17:1
 
“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”
 
Though Damascus has been attacked and conquered before, never has it experienced the kind of devastation implied in this verse. Hence a future fulfillment. We may not know when this will occur, but given the context of today’s world and its machinations involving nuclear capability, terrorism, territorial expansion, Israel and antisemitism, it again doesn’t take much imagination to see how Damascus could be absolutely obliterated as a city!
 
Much more can be said on these topics and prophecy of the Bible can be a full-time endeavor, but the fact remains that the Bible, if allowed to be taken in its plain sense, is still a reliable guide for today! The minimalists have it wrong and if they could just open their eyes then they could possibly see the richness the Bible has to offer, not only about for the Past but also the Present and Future!
Jerusalem
Damascus

The Divine

The Divine

“I came to fully appreciate the truth …. we escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.”

Words spoken by General George Butler in a speech a few years after retiring in 1994. He was referencing the “Single Integrated Operational Plan” or SIOP, which was the nuclear war plan of the US, which he read when he assumed the leadership role of the Strategic Air Command in 1991.

John McCain in this Newsmax article is right about our country and no, it is not Donald Trumps fault!, it is the result of Obama’s lack of leadership—we may have crossed the Rubicon and have no choice but take our “lumps” as it were and let history decide our final position! It may not be welcome by most Americans.

Our problem is the Divine Intervention aspect of our history—it is clear Divine Providence has been an “Invisible Hand” in many ways helping us—but with our rejection of God in so many quarters today, will that Hand be fully withdrawn? And has it in large part already occurred?

Somehow in a National sense we must recognize again that we do need “luck” and “skill”, but we need “Divine Intervention” in the greatest of proportion!

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/McCain-Axelrod-worried-country/2017/04/01/id/782033/

Baltic Sea Anomaly and God

“Out There?”
 
I came across a story about something called the “Baltic Sea Anomaly”, a “formation” discovered at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. What makes this a bit more interesting is the resemblance the formation has with something possibly extraterrestrial. One can, with a little imagination, make out the outlines of the ship in Star Wars called the Millennium Falcon. I am not a Star Wars guru, and although I love sci-fi, I never took to Star Wars. I guess we all have our foibles! 
 
For me, and this will inevitably invite the charge of “arrogance”, although arrogant towards what is somewhat vacuous, but, I don’t believe there is “life out there”. I believe that this universe was made for Man exclusively and we are it as far as intelligent life is concerned. Following the Biblical account in Genesis, that is a valid inference. And so, as Genesis states, the universe we see displayed was for “signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”. In other places in the Bible, the “Heavens and Earth declare the Glory of God”.
 
However, I do think space exploration should continue, we should go back to the Moon, and we should still continue to understand the cosmos. As well, I don’t think Government money should be spent on searching for “life out there”. And—–if it should happen that there is alien life—then I have to go back to the drawing board!
 
Debate-wise, this idea of no “life out there” is a negative and hence an impossible to prove statement, but the existent of life out there can be “proven” by just providing one example! So for those who don’t accept “life out there”, arrogance is not the adjective which applies to that belief—why should it be? It is sort of the default position, after all, where is all the intelligent life?
 
That is a valid question. Many believers of alien lifeforms believe in evolution and with the many billions of years of time available, and with the many stars with potential solar systems, and with many of those solar systems having planets, and with at least some of those planets having a status commensurate with the possibility of life emerging, there should examples of life everywhere! It isn’t! Excitement abounded recently about the discovery of 7 earth-sized planets but that guarantees nothing, from trying to describe how life emerged here!
 
One of the major hurdles scientists are still dealing with on this planet concerns our emergence of life! You would think with the rise of supercomputers and the many breakthroughs we have made scientifically, that we have the tools available to finally crack the “beginning of life” mystery. It shouldn’t be that hard, things are suppose to follow a simple-to-complex scenario, and there are only so many processes available that were in operation some few billion years ago when life was supposed to have emerged. But it is impossible to come up with a scenario that works! Why? It shouldn’t resist the technological capability of a species who put a man on the Moon and returned him safely! So then how did life start on this planet?!
 
And….we we are supposed to believe that this same scenario has been played out many times throughout the universe! Mathematicians already challenged the evolutionists decades ago about the basically 0% mathematical improbability of life emerging here only through random and chance processes!
 
For me, that mystery can never be solved because it never happened that way to begin with—it is a story that can’t be written! Man was created special, by God, and he was created all at once. If that is the case that lends credibility to the idea, from Biblical inference, that we are all there is! So maybe this search for extraterrestrial life, which has been going on for awhile will be evidence against evolution in the end!
 
Of course—if that Baltic Anomaly is really a ship and it took off in flight one day for the world to see—that would definitely get my attention!!
 
This whole Baltic Sea Anomaly example is part of a phenomenon in which we “see” what we want to see. That happens to all of us! One of the things noticed by others, as these kinds of “alien similarities” have occurred before, is the way “structures” happen to appear like artistic representations of some alien structure already created for other purposes, such as books, movies, etc. For example, when Star Wars was produced, did the producers get help for their ship designs from alien sources? Where did the designs then come from? Some kind of 6th sense with what is “out there”? It seems there is a tendency to see things the way we want sometimes and this is another example of that. It does make one wonder how these “alien” anomalies happen to look like t hings we have created!This one can easily be verified though one way or the other, and maybe will in the future.
 
Verification though, especially with extraterrestrial scenarios, still offers no guarantee that a mystery has been solved or not! The “Face on Mars” photo from the Martian surface, taken by Viking I in 1976 did seem like an actual structure shaped into a human face! A whole mythology of a dead civilization was built around that with more structures of that civilization supposedly existing in the area. Complex geometrical and mathematical measurements were also “produced” which supposedly indicated relationships not believable as having occurred by chance alone. And then the verification came in 2001, which to any reasonable person (I think anyway), should have settled the issue—it didn’t—there are still those who believe in this Face and unless we believe in a grand cover-up, the Face is actually just a geology formation, clear from newer photos taken of the Martian surface!
 
Many more examples can be produced dealing with a diverse array of examples around the world—many websites are devoted to the working out of these theories and their implications. It can make one wonder if this whole search for extraterrestrials and the “believability” many want to have about it, isn’t indicative of a deeper desire to replace something which seems to have been lost in the past couple hundred years. And that is God! We need something to believe in that is “out there” or beyond us. If it can’t happen with a God who is outside the universe, having been somewhat displaced through science, then the next best thing is something which is outside the Solar System—something to ponder given the near-religious devotion from those who believe in  it.
 
As for me, I actually enjoy the imagination associated with these ventures and though I don’t agree with them, I do admire their tenacity. I love sci-fi fiction and following these developments are like a sci-fi story to me, a real-life fiction. But I really don’t make fun (maybe just a little!) or condemn what they are doing, for in their searches for extraterrestrial evidence, actual useful information can be uncovered in spite of not establishing an “alien” connection! When one goes out and analyzes real things, then that can be important in its own right.
 
However at the end of the day, their ultimate goal, whether Face on Mars advocates or scientists searching for possibly inhabitable planets with prospects for life—all will end in disappointment—but if that Baltic Sea Anomaly did emerge and fly away, well……!
 
The pictures are the Baltic Anomaly, artist rendition of the anomaly, and the Millennium Falcon. The faces of Mars follow with the original 1976 photo followed by a more modern and closeup picture from a later Mars Mission.

Materialist Woldview and the Resurrection

Materialist Worldview and the Resurrection

I came across a very interesting theory in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy. The article was dealing with the concept of justice/injustice in a Materialistic worldview.

Some preliminary thoughts. One of the philosophical problems which has emerged since the Enlightenment and its scientific worldview was the process of slowly making religion, particularly Christianity as an outdated kind of thinking, was the problem of values. In other words, what is the origin of values, of any values? Most of us don’t worry about this too much because the fruit of Western thinking, especially the Christian values, still abounds.

But as science makes more of an inroads into people’s trust, as in thinking science can really solve most of our problems, even those of a spiritual nature, what we call good and bad and why we make those distinctions will become very important. A total rejection of religious thinking and a total reliance on science will inevitably make every decision a matter of politics!

That will seem to be the logical when we examine the worldview of science which, with the exception of a minority, is exclusively evolutionist! Why that matters is that pure evolution has nothing to say about values and ethics. Evolution is brutal, impersonal, blind, purposeless, and valueless! If we took a cross section of every ethical maxim and value-laden rule and asked how did that emerge—then the values question becomes obvious! Any kind of thinking which we have arrived at has to be sourced in the very cosmic material which is influenced by evolutionary processes, namely the atoms and molecules of our brain. So the movement of electrons and the chemical processes taking place in the brain is undergoing continual evolutionary change even as I write. It may be slow, but what is viewed today as a “value” may not be down the road—so what is “right”?

With that state of affairs, one could then ask about actions which have made the news in the past few years, for example, what makes Isis’ acts of beheading innocents wrong, or what makes those terrorists who go through theaters and killing as many as they can, wrong? What do we appeal to? Our evolved thinking? Isis’ thinking could also be claimed as “evolved”—evolution makes no distinctions and so then how can we? We really can’t, and that is where ultimately politics will have to be the arbiter and the world may not like where this will eventually head since it will be a matter of who has the power! Hence our future if we are not careful!

Back to the article. One of the questions confronted is the idea of justice and injustice. The article makes one feel the tensions brought about by the science/evolution worldview and its possible atheistic “resignation”! The “absurdity of a world without God” is even mentioned. To avoid the consequences of those tensions, which any reasonable person should recognize as a bad state of affairs, an effort was made to justify “bodily resurrection” as a way of making life seem more attractive. Now, resurrection should not be possible according to present day science—as the article states about science’s thoughts on the matter: “We die, and we remain dead.” But due to some theories about the mathematics of “infinite” quantities, the author sees an opening for the idea of bodily resurrection. These mathematical theories generally prohibit the possibility of science/mathematics ever completely encompassing all “logical possibilities” and with some tricky reasoning an argument is made that bodily resurrection is a “logical possibility” and so not absolutely prohibited by science after all.

The problem that is not answered is whether it really really can happen and following that, what is the “how” of resurrection. And, this whole discussion is not predicated on a God who will do this later, this is all assumed without a “God” behind the scenes. So the idea comes across as just some kind of therapeutic notion, or a kind of “pretending”, which if bought into, makes life easier to face. Sure, in a world in which we are finite, then how are we to really know that bodily resurrection just can’t occur on its own? But the way this is presented is a leap!

In this article, the ultimate injustice is death! If we have a “chance” of being resurrected then that takes away the injustice in a way! Knowing that bodily resurrection is possible serves to counter the injustice in the world and so allows one to not give in to a nihilistic life! But at the end of the day, I really don’t think many people will buy this!!! Some years age I remember a quote by an evolutionist in which, paraphrasing, he said that immortality is a part of life! After all, when we die and our bodies get broken down into its respective atoms, they will be absorbed into other structures of the universe—hence we live on!! Sorry, that just doesn’t capture immortality for me. The same for just the “idea” of bodily resurrection—thinking something may happen due to some mathematical possibility just doesn’t give much comfort—human nature is a bit more complex than to fall for that kind of thing.

It did interest me that the concept of bodily resurrection was considered in this way! Was he influenced by Christianity? I don’t know but, for the writer, there seems to be a “sense” that something beyond this material world that we experience, is needed to offer “hope”.

He is on the right track because in Christianity, resurrection is also the ultimate source of hope! But the bodily resurrections we are looking forward to are not predicated on some “chance” possibility, but instead is based on the actual Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who will do the same for His followers. And for the record, His resurrection has been challenged but never refuted—so this is an actual real hope which has endured, one that a person can stake this life upon, and have for 2000 years! To the Christian, we don’t look at resurrection as a “panacea” idea but a real event which will occur. The confidence one can have in the resurrection after receiving Christ is hard to put into words but to those who believe, it is not hard to understand!

So I end with the Apostle Paul:

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable…For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

I’ll stick to that!