Thursday, January 31, 2008

Language Lessons
I am not sure whether to laugh or cry at this news.  Apparently, some not so bright people in the south are starting to use the word Canadians to refer to black people.  What am I supposed to do now.  I live near Canada these days, but I am originally from the south.  Are people going to start thinking I am a racist when I talk about Canadians?  I guess this is further proof of the crazy world we live in today.  
I am working on a paper for one of my classes at Liberty and it got me to thinking.  What is it about us that makes us feel as if we need to defend God and His nature.  When the Bible clearly says over and over again that we are not able to understand God's ways completely, why do we feel like we should rush in on some topic that seems incomprehesible and quickly start explaining.  One of these areas is the nature of hell and eternal punishment.  There are many people that are offended by the idea that God can be called merciful and yet allow someone to spend eternity in a place that is undoubtedly the worst place in the universe to be.  Some will go so far as to say that they are unwilling to accept or believe in a God that could do such a thing.  My only answer to that is to say that I may not understand it fully or be able to explain it to that person's liking, but I am not about to try and change what God has told us in no uncertain terms.  I am more than willing to live and let live when there is no clear view or understanding on a subject (there are plenty of them), but I have no desire to do theological backflips and contortions just to make someone feel better either.  If God is the Being that the Bible says He is, and I believe that to be true with good reason, then I am in no position to try and be His PR guy to someone else.  He is big enough and has enough credibilty on His own, without me trying to stand in His defense.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Circular Reasoning
Maybe it is because of this Philosophy class, but I find myself more than a little annoyed when someone argues in a circle.  You know what I mean.  For instance, I have decided that I like Ron Paul in the Republican Presidential primary.  Actually, it's a caucus here, which I have never done before so it ought to be interesting to say the least.  But when I talk to some people, whom I will not name, it turns out that they can't support him.  Which is fine with me, except that the reason that they can't support him is because he doesn't/won't get enough votes.  When I ask, if it is possible that the reason he doesn't get enough votes is because of this attitude, I inevitably get the brush off.  It just drives me a little crazy that someone who can be otherwise very intelligent and thoughtful can be trapped within such a silly logical loop.  I am one of those people who has voted for the  Constitution party presidential candidate in the past because I stick with my principles before I stick with a party.  My friend thinks I am stubborn for not bowing to practicality and maybe I am stubborn.  But in this case I consider it a good thing.  I truly believe that if I have the priviledge to vote for people who have an influence on our government then I should at least do so with a sense of obligation and conviction to principles that will not bend.  In an election year where Rush Limbaugh has finally said that he might not vote for the Republican nominee for president depending on who it is, I feel vindicated that I have been on the right (pun intended) side of things for the entire time.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I like to read a lot.  I am looking forward to getting a chance to read Vox Day's new book, The Irrational Atheist.  But today, as I was reading his blog I saw a post that detailed arguments from a reader centered partially around Carl Sagan's quote, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."  Vox did a wonderful job of highlighting the logical problems in this claim, but I have now heard this phrase twice this week and would like to take a different tack on it.  Since, the extraordinary claim part is undefined let me fill this in for the case of Christianity.  Perhaps the most extraordinary claim that drives many people crazy, indeed it appeared to be the main problem this guy had with it as well, is that it claims to have the exclusive means of pleasing God and entering Heaven.  The gentleman was asking how to choose which religion is right, so I feel this is a fair assumption to make.  Taking this in mind, let's look at a few facts.  Christianity is centered on the person of Jesus Christ and His claims.  He is the one who claimed to be the Way, the Truth and the Life and in fact followed that up by saying that no one could get to Heaven except through Him.  This qualifies as an extraordinary claim.  What kind of extraordinary evidence did He present to back it up?  You can probably guess my answer here; His resurrection from the dead after His crucifixion.  There is a multitude of reasonable evidence to support the claims made by the disciples that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them.  This claim would certainly be good evidence that His teachings were true, in fact this evidence could be considered extraordinary since it doesn't happen every day.  I could certainly attempt to reproduce the list of evidence here, but in the interest of time, let me instead point you to the resources that I have used to study and discover much of this for myself.  The works of Josh McDowell are my favorites as he was an atheist who set out to disprove the resurrection as a historical event.  In the process, the data he collected led him to the unthinkable conclusion that the resurrection had indeed happened.  More recently, and part of the inspiration behind this post in fact, I have become aware of the work of Dr. Gary Habermas at Liberty University.  His website gives a lot of great information as well.  I encourage you to look at the facts with a critical mind.  God can withstand scrutiny.  He has given us extraordinary evidence to back His extraordinary claim, because it is the center of the Christian faith.