The Absurdity of Atheism

May 31, 2008

“I contend 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.”

“We are all atheists, some of us just believe in fewer gods than others.”

The above two quotes (attributed to Stephen F. Roberts according to this web site), despite the frequency with which they are  quoted by atheists, are not even good sound bites and much less are they good arguments for atheism.

math problemFirst, atheism has nothing to do with the number of gods one disbelieves in; rather it is belief that no God or gods exist. To equate theistic belief with atheism is a logical absurdity. Just as a person cannot both believe in God and not believe in God at the same time, one cannot claim that a worldview that affirms the existence of God is equivalent to its antithesis.

Second, to not believe in God because there are any number of wrong concepts about what or who God is, is as silly as believing that there is not a right answer to the equation 1+1 because there happens to be an infinite set of wrong answers. Just as 1+1 has only one right answer, the question of the existence of God has only one right answer.

When we see a building, we know that there was a builder; when we see a painting we know that there was a painter; and when we see creation, we know that there was a Creator. Unlike basic math which cannot be proven, the proof of the existence of God is everywhere and all around us, all we need are eyes that see and a brain that works to prove it.


School of Prayer – Lesson 4 Part 2

May 26, 2008

Thoughts about  the Fourth Lesson of With Christ in the School of Prayer:

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matthew 6:11-13)

To pray “like this” (Matthew 6:9) means we should pray for that which brings reverence, glory, honor, and worship to Our Father and allows for very little in way of ourselves: only “Give us this day our daily bread”.

school of prayer (1) We do well to remember the One from whose hands life is sustained. Our daily bread is a gift from Him and when He chooses to provide for our sustenance our response should be one of gratitude and thankfulness. To pray “like this” means that we are also to pray ‘give us’ realizing that our request should always include the needs of others and not just for ourselves.

(2) To pray “like this” means that as often as we pray we are to seek forgiveness for our sin-debit and are reminded of the words of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. More than this however, we should, as often as we pray, remember the sacrifice of Jesus “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood” (Romans 3:25) for our own sin-debit and this only by His grace. Just as we received this grace freely given we should also forgive our fellow debtors for the wrongs committed against us: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). As Matthew Henry observed

“…no one can reasonably imagine himself to be the object of divine forgiveness who is deliberately and habitually unforgiving towards his fellow men, so it is a beautiful provision to make our right to ask and expect daily forgiveness of our daily shortcomings and our final absolution and acquittal at the great day of admission into the kingdom, dependent upon our consciousness of a forgiving disposition towards our fellows, and our preparedness to protest before the Searcher of hearts that we do actually forgive them”.

(3) Finally, to pray “like this” means that we recognize we are completely and totally dependent upon Our Father in heaven for deliverance and safety not only from temptation but from evil and its consequences. It is recognition of the fact that we are more like Peter before the resurrection than we are like Job or Abraham.

O Thou who art the only-begotten Son, teach us, we beseech Thee, to pray, ‘OUR FATHER.’  We thank Thee, Lord, for these Living Blessed Words which Thou has given us.  We thank Thee for the millions who in them have learnt to know and worship the Father, and for what they have been to us.  Lord! it is as if we needed days and weeks in Thy school with each separate petition; so deep and full are they.  But we look to Thee to lead us deeper into their meaning:  do it, we pray Thee, for Thy Name’s sake; Thy name is Son of the Father.

Lord!  Thou didst once say:  ‘No man knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whom the Son willeth to reveal Him.’  And again:  ‘I made known unto them Thy name, and will make it known, that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them.’  Lord Jesus! reveal to us the Father.  Let His name, His infinite Father-love, the love with which He loved Thee, according to Thy prayer, BE IN US.  Then shall we say aright, ‘OUR FATHER!’  Then shall we apprehend Thy teaching, and the first spontaneous breathing of our heart will be:  ‘Our Father, Thy Name, Thy Kingdom, Thy Will.’  And we shall bring our needs and our sins and our temptations to Him in the confidence that the love of such a Father care for all.

Blessed Lord! we are Thy scholars, we trust Thee; do teach us to pray, ‘OUR FATHER.’  Amen.


Theology Barf Bag #6

May 26, 2008

If there is a Museum of Bad Ideas this would have to rate in the top ten of the Stupid Exhibit section. Regardless of your views on eschatology, there are better ways to spend your time and money reaching the lost now.

theology barf bag

Barf chunks:

We have set up a system to send documents by the email, to the addresses you provide, 6 days after the “Rapture” of the Church. This occurs when 3 of our 5 team members scattered around the U.S fail to log in over a 3 day period. Another 3 days are given to fail safe any false triggering of the system.

We have made it possible for you to send…[to those that have been left behind after the rapture of the church]…a letter of love and a plea to receive Christ one last time. You will also be able to give them some help in living out their remaining time. In the encrypted portion of your account you can give them access to your banking, brokerage, hidden valuables, and powers of attorneys’ (you won’t be needing them any more, and the gift will drive home the message of love).

Click the bag to view its contents.

Caution: This stuff stinks.


Remembering the Fallen

May 26, 2008

Phil Trip 011In remembrance of  all those through whom freedom was gained and through whom freedom continues to be held.

Thank you father and mother, thank you son and daughter, thank you brother and sister; thank you for standing your post.

Day is done, gone the sun, from the hills, from the lake, from the skies.
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep. May the soldier or sailor God keep on the land or the deep, Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, must thou go, when the day and the night need thee so?
All is well. Speedeth all to their rest.

Fades the light; and afar goeth day, and the stars shineth bright, fare thee well; Day has gone, Night is on.

Thanks and praise for our days, ‘neath the sun, ‘neath the stars, ‘neath the sky. As we go, this we know…

God is nigh.


A Quotes Stir Up

May 25, 2008

sitrup-logo

 Benjamin Franklin

“Young man, my advice to you is that you cultivate an acquaintance with and firm belief in the Holy Scriptures, for this is your certain interest. I think Christ’s system of morals and religion, as He left them with us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.”

 

Thomas Jefferson

“I have said and always will say that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.”

Daniel Webster

“If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but, if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity. The Bible is the book of all others for lawyers as well as divines, and I pity the man who cannot find in it a rich supply of thought and rule of conduct. I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. The miracles which He wrought establish in my mind His personal authority and render it proper for me to believe what He asserts.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Jesus is the most perfect of all men that have yet appeared.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

“I know men, and I tell you Jesus Christ was not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and other religions the distance of infinity. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and myself founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon sheer force. Jesus Christ alone founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men will die for Him. In every other existence but that of Christ how many imperfections! From the first day to the last He is the same; majestic and simple; infinitely firm and infinitely gentle. He proposes to our faith a series of mysteries and commands with authority that we should believe them, giving no other reason than those tremendous words, ‘I am God.’

“The Bible contains a complete series of acts and of historical men to explain time and eternity, such as no other religion has to offer. If it is not the true religion, one is very excusable in being deceived; for everything in it is grand and worthy of God. The more I consider the Gospel, the more I am assured that there is nothing there which is not beyond the march of events and above the human mind. Even the impious themselves have never dared to deny the sublimity of the Gospel, which inspires them with a sort of compulsory veneration. What happiness that Book procures for those who believe it!”

Goethe

“It is a belief in the Bible which has served me as the guide of my moral and literary life. No criticism will be able to perplex the confidence which we have entertained of a writing whose contents have stirred up and given life to our vital energy by its own. The farther the ages advance in civilization the more will the Bible be used.”

Lord Byron

“If ever a man was God, or God man, Jesus Christ was both.”

Rousseau

“Can it be possible that the sacred personage whose history the Scriptures contain should be a mere man? Where is the man, where the philosopher, who could so live and so die without weakness and without ostentation? When Plato describes his imaginary righteous man, loaded with all the punishments of guilt, yet meriting the highest rewards of virtue, he exactly describes the character of Jesus Christ. What an infinite disproportion between the son of Sophroniscus and the Son of Mary. Socrates dies with honor, surrounded by his disciples listening to the most tender words–the easiest death that one could wish to die. Jesus dies in pain, dishonor, mockery, the object of universal cursing–the most horrible death that one could fear. At the receipt of the cup of poison, Socrates blesses him who could not give it to him without tears; Jesus, while suffering the sharpest pains, prays for His most bitter enemies. If Socrates lived and died like a philosopher, Jesus lived and died like a god.”

“Peruse the books of philosophers with all their pomp of diction. How meager, how contemptible are they when compared with the Scriptures! The majesty of the Scriptures strikes me with admiration.”

Benjamin Disraeli

“The wildest dreams of their rabbis have been far exceeded. Has not Jesus conquered Europe and changed its name to Christendom? All countries that refuse the cross wither, and the time will come, when the vast communities and countless myriads of America and Australia, looking upon Europe as Europe now looks upon Greece, and wondering how so small a space could have achieved such great deeds, will find music in the songs of Zion and solace in the parables of Galilee.”

(Source: Tributes to Christ and the Bible by Brainy Men not Known as Active Christians)


School of Prayer – Lesson 4 Part 1

May 25, 2008

Thoughts about  the Fourth Lesson of With Christ in the School of Prayer:

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10)

school of prayer Having provided instruction about the right and wrong motivation for prayer, our Lord now instructs His disciples by way of example how we ought to pray: “like this”.

(1) First, we are taught to “Pray to your Father” (v. 6). No room is given for prayer to any other, not to saint and not to angel. Rather, the focus of our prayer and the One to whom our prayers should be addressed is “Our Father”. Through creation God is the Father of all but through adoption (Ephesians 1:3-6) the followers of Christ become His children. Our prayers are addressed then to “our Father” because we “though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5).

(2) We are to pray to “our Father in heaven” reminding ourselves He is altogether separate, Holy, deserving of all reverence, honor, glory, and worship.

(3) True prayer is prayer which places the Father first and above all other interests, concerns, or needs: “hallowed be your name”, “your kingdom come”, “your will be done”. What greater want or need can His children have?  If we are to pray rightly we must learn to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

“In heaven God’s will is done, and the Master teaches the child to ask that the will may be done on earth just as in heaven:  in the spirit of adoring submission and ready obedience.  Because the will of God is the glory of heaven, the doing of it is the blessedness of heaven.  As the will is done, the kingdom of heaven comes into the heart.  And wherever faith has accepted the Father’s love, obedience accepts the Father’s will.  The surrender to, and the prayer for a life of heaven-like obedience, is the spirit of childlike prayer.”


That’s Pretty Good Theology

May 21, 2008

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Luke 18:17)

Quote:

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible; Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the verse. Little Rick was excited about the task, but, he just couldn’t remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line.

On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, “The Lord is my Shepherd, and that’s all I need to know.”

(Source: Sunday School Wisdom)

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)

What questions do you have?