Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vocations - Veterans Day

Whenever, Veterans' Day rolls around, I am reminded of vocations (callings in our lives) and how God works through all vocations.  A proper understanding of vocations helps remind me of how God works through the military of our country to do his work in the world, as well as other country's militaries.   know that some Christians oppose Christian involvement in any military.  I think they lack a proper understanding of vocations.  As an apologetic for the military being a vocation (calling) from God, and how Christians can faithfully serve in a military vocation, I have some quotes from Martin Luther on vocation.  They were taken from:

"A cobbler, a smith, a farmer, each has the work and office of his trade, and yet they are all alike consecrated priests and bishops, and every one by means of his own work or office must benefit and serve every other, that in this way many kinds of work may be done for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the community, even as all the members of the body serve one another…”
“What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God…We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow”

“Monastic vows rest on the false assumption that there is a special calling, a vocation, to which superior Christians are invited to observe the counsels of perfection while ordinary Christians fulfil only the commands; but there simply is no special religious vocation since the call of God comes to each at the common tasks.”

“The idea that the service to God should have only to do with a church altar, singing, reading, sacrifice, and the like is without doubt but the worst trick of the devil. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that service to God takes place only in a church and by the works done therein…The whole world could abound with the services to the Lord, Gottesdienste – not only in churches but also in the home, kitchen, workshop, field”

God bless you Veterans this Veterans Day Weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

You will die! - One approach to Christian apologetics.

Dear readers, whoever you are. 

This isn't exactly what one usually would consider when they think of defending the Christian faith; the statement, "You will die."  It's not pretty.  It's not nice.  We try not to think about it.  We try to push death out of our minds.  That's why they call them casualties and not deaths!  That's why they call them viruses, or the bird flu, or the swine flu, and not plagues!  We don't want to think about death!

To quote the Black Sabbath song, "After Forever," "When you think about death do you keep your cool?" 

Well to quote the song more, "I'll be prepared when you're lonely and scared at the end of our days."  The answer in that song by Black Sabbaath of course is "Jesus Christ is the only way to love."

I know a pastor who sets up shop at UCLA.  He shares the good news of salvation with people.  However, if a person rejects the news.  If they are complacent, if they are ambivalent, he challenges them to consider the alternatives... what if there is no God, then you die and you are in the ground.  What if there is a God?  And you have rejected him? What if that God is Jesus?  What then?  Are you so sure... do you keep your cool when you think about death?

He told one student, "Well, just remember you are going to die."  And the student left the conversation at that, but came back to him a month later and said, "Do you remember the last thing you said to me?"  The pastor did not.  The student said it had troubled him ever sense talking to the pastor.  He finally came face to face with his own personal death, and was he so sure... was he so certain that he would be reincarnated as his faith taught.  The pastor shared, Jesus will save you from that death if you trust in him and turn to him for salvation.

Part of apologetics is just properly explaining the Christian faith, and God's Word can be divided into two camps, Law, and Gospel.  God's Law shows us that we are sinners, that God's wrath is upon us and that we justly deserve his eternal punishment.  God's Gospel shows us our savior.  To learn more about Law and Gospel, click on the "What's in the Bible?" link at the top, left of this blog page and then click on the Law and Gospel article. 

So, you will die.  Worried?  Well, maybe you shouldn't be complacent?  Don't put off considering what lies beyond this life.  To be fair, I'll say look to all religions, but I'd recommend looking to Christianity first, and say this because it is objective, read 1 Corinthians 15 to know what I mean. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Defending Hell #4

In Rob Bell's book, Love Wins, he presents the belief that hell is here on earth.  Hell is the pain and suffering, here, now.  This isn't a new idea that Bell is presenting. 

For example, here is a video of Ronnie James Dio talking about his views on religion, and in particularly, heaven and hell, since the name the first Black Sabbath album he was singer for was entitled, Heaven and Hell.  In this video, he explains what heaven and hell both mean to him in that song...

The answer to the existence of heaven and hell, however, shouldn't be based on the beliefs of a rock singer, or any human for that matter.  How can any of us know for certain what lies after death... unless that has been revealed to us by God.

We need to be careful to not let our own feelings and thoughts get in the way of what God has revealed to us in his Word.  What does God's Word say about the existence of hell?

Matthew 10:28 says, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell."  

 A clear reading of this passage, indicates that the soul goes on after the death of the body.  In fact, there is the indication that the soul will be reunited with the body in the future and both will be in hell. 

This of course is not good news.  This is God's law that brings wrath and judgment.  However, there is freedom from sin, death, devil, and hell.  If you don't know John 3:16, please look it up.  If you have doubts about God's Word, look through this blog, look through the articles connected to the "What's in the Bible?"  and the "Why Believe the Bible?" links at the top left of this blog. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What I have Learned from Alice Cooper #1

I was in Best Buy yesterday evening, and I was shocked to see that Alice Cooper has a new nightmare.  A long, long time ago, 35 years is what I'm reading on the Internet, Alice released the album, Welcome to my Nightmare!  Now, the revisit to his nightmare is entitled, Welcome 2 my Nightmare.

 How does this fit with apologetics?  I could go several routes...

1.  I could talk about defending the faith, by defending our hearts.  Will listening to Cooper, lead Christians away from Jesus.  Short answer: Maybe.  Depends on the Christian. 


2.  The Alice Cooper is a Christian route.  Yet, how does that fit into      Christian apologetics?

I'm going with route two, by quoting Alice!

Despite maintaining his rocker, horror style, of which an entire maze has been created based on Cooper's music at this year's Universal Studios Night of Horror for Halloween, Cooper says, "My life is dedicated to follow Christ."

However, he has purposefully kept from becoming known for being a Christian!  He says, the focus should be on Christ and not on Alice, a rock singer who can't save anyone.


Alice says, "I've had a couple of people that were friends of mine that I've talked to that have vocally said they have [accepted Christ]. I have talked to some big stars about this, some really horrific characters ... and you'd be surprised. The ones that you would think are the furthest gone are the ones that are more apt to listen."

This is the first connection to Christian apologetics I want to make.  Alice spoke with his friends, and other stars that he has had connection with through his profession.  I think Christians are certainly called to sow seed, to spread the Gospel, but at the same time, we can lose a lot of time by going around and around in circles (arguing if you will) with people who are far, far, far from listening to the message of Christ.  Cooper reminds me of who is the most likely to listen - who to spend time with sharing the Gospel - the horrific characters.  The religious and those who got their act together in their own mind, likely won't listen, because to them, they don't need Christ.  Jesus spoke of fertile soil to receive the word of the Gospel - the people we think are the furthest gone, are likely the ones whose hearts are made up of fertile soil.  They've been tilled through the hard knocks of their own sinful actions and the persecution of the "righteous" that they are open to listen to the message of unbiased, unconditional love that comes through Jesus.  

More on Alice to come...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Humans and Dinosaurs #3

If God created all sea, air, and land creatures on the fifth and sixth days of creation, with humans being created on the sixth day also, then yes, humans and dinosaurs coexisted at one point in history.  I say this because the penalty for eating the forbidden fruit in the garden was death.  Romans 5 says that "Just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned." My reading of Romans 8:19-25 indicates that the death that occurred in men after the fall also fell upon all of creation.  All of creation was subjected to frustration as a result of Adam.  I don't believe Scripture teaches death before the Fall, if you know verses that teach this, please let me know. 

As long as men and dinosaurs coexisted, wouldn't there be evidence of their coexistence?

Let's take a look at one example.  The Lindworm!  The Lindworm is found within Eurpoean mythology. 

Were Lindworms real?  Would they classify as dinosaurs today?

Historically, Marco Polo, reported seeing Lindworms in Central Asia.  Here's the quote from Marco Polo:

.. snakes and great serpents of such vast size as to strike fear into those who see them, and so hideous that the very account of them must excite the wonder of those to hear it. ... You may be assured that some of them are ten paces in length; some are more and some less. And in bulk they are equal to a great cask, for the bigger ones are about ten palms in girth. They have two forelegs near the head, but for foot nothing but a claw like the claw of a hawk or that of a lion. The head is very big, and the eyes are bigger than a great loaf of bread. The mouth is large enough to swallow a man whole, and is garnished with great [pointed] teeth. And in short they are so fierce-looking and so hideously ugly, that every man and beast must stand in fear and trembling of them. There are also smaller ones, such as of eight paces long, and of five, and of one pace only. (The Travels of Marco Polo, Ch. XLIX)
To read the entre chapter from The Travels of Marco Polo, click here. He goes into detail on how they are caught and how they are very valuable, because they are used in making a medicine - very much a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 
 There is a lot more present on the Lindworm at the following sites:
These sites aren't well cited, but I'm sure that if you search for the specific details within these sites you will be able to find historical citations.  At least I posted the Marco Polo quote. 

Is the Lindwurm evidence of dinosaurs existing with humans?  What do you think?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Human and Dinosaurs #2 -The London Hammer

 What would it mean if a hammer was found in a layer of rock that ordinarily would be dated at the time of the dinosaurs?  Would that mean dinosaurs, grafted hammers.  Does anyone remember the show Dinosaurs.  According that show's fantasy, they did.  If I remember correctly, the father dinosaur in that show was a construction worker. 

If you don't know what I'm talking about there is a hammer called "The Hammer" or the "The London Hammer".   It has this name because it was found in London, Texas.  The hammer is from the Cretaceous time period - a time when human evidence should not exists according to Darwinian theory.  Of course some, people claim that this hammer, isn't actually from Cretaceous rock, such as the following two writers:

However, some sites, take a different approach to this artifact:

The following site lists it as an unexplained and unsolved mystery of the world.  Adding to the mystery, this site says that "the quality of the iron equals or exceeds the quality of any iron found in the modern world."  Wow!  What would that mean?  Check out the summary of this artifact from Mysteries of the World (of course they also have information about aliens...):

"The Hammer" even hit ZME's "Ten Most Amazing Unexplained Artifacts."  From their write up, we hear that there was a team that dated the hammer to be way older than the rock formation it was discovered.  This definitely would mean people co-inhabited with dinosaurs.  Here's a quote from their site, "A team of archaeologists checked it, and as it turns out, the rock encasing the hammer was dated back more than 400 million year; the hammer itself turned out to be more than 500 million years old. Additionally, a section of the handle has begun the transformation to coal. Creationists, of course, were all over this. The hammer’s head, made of more than 96% iron, is far more pure than anything nature could have achieved without an assist from modern technology."  Read more:

Here is information about the hammer from the museum that houses the artifact: Creation Evidence Museum.

What do you make of this? Who do you trust? And why?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Humans and Dinosaurs #1

It's a hot topic now in my classroom; did people and dinosaurs exist at the same time?  This question has been asked in a couple of different classes in the past week.

Matt Damon would say if you think people and dinosaurs ever coexisted, you shouldn't be qualified to be president of the United States of America (near the end of the following video). 

Here's one reason why dinosaurs likely are not as old as many scientists claim (230 million years old according to this site).  Did you know that red blood cells were found within dinosaur bones?  Most scientists upon hearing this would think this is improbable, that the findings must be wrong!  Why?  Because there is no way that red blood cells could be preserved for millions of years.  There's no way they wouldn't have decayed.  The known laws and functions of science would lead them to believe they must have been decayed.  To make matters even more interesting, soft bone tissue has also been found within a T-rex bone!  Again, what?  How is this possible?

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA scienceNOW.

It's funny that when this was discovered, scientists began to think about the possibility of finding DNA and then cloning dinosaurs, just like in Jurassic Park!  Really, that's the first thing that came to mind.  Why wouldn't it come to mind that this evidence shows that dinosaurs aren't as long extinct as previously thought?  Why isn't this being addressed. 

Jurassic Park - Here we come! 

Again, if the bones are millions of years old, you would expect there to be no red blood cells, no soft tissue present.  It would have decayed and become hard minerals.  But it hasn't.  Please note, the source for this is PBS!  I didn't quote from a Christian website.