Friday, December 7, 2012
What many fail to understand is that slavery in biblical times was very different from the slavery that was practiced in the past few centuries in many parts of the world. The slavery in the Bible was not based exclusively on race. People were not enslaved because of their nationality or the color of their skin. In Bible times, slavery was more a matter of social status. People sold themselves as slaves when they could not pay their debts or provide for their families. In New Testament times, sometimes doctors, lawyers, and even politicians were slaves of someone else. Some people actually chose to be slaves so as to have all their needs provided for by their masters.
In contrast, the slavery of the past few centuries was often based exclusively on skin color. In the United States, many black people were considered slaves because of their nationality; many slave owners truly believed black people to be inferior human beings. The Bible most definitely does condemn race-based slavery!
Consider the slavery the Hebrews experienced when they were in Egypt. The Hebrews were slaves, not by choice, but because they were Hebrews (Exodus 13:14). The plagues God poured out on Egypt demonstrate how God feels about racial slavery (Exodus 7-11). So, yes, the Bible does condemn some forms of slavery. At the same time, the Bible does seem to allow for other forms. The key issue is that the slavery the Bible allowed for in no way resembled the racial slavery that plagued our world in the past few centuries.
In addition, both the Old and New Testaments condemn the practice of “man-stealing”, which is what happened in Africa in the 19th century. Africans were rounded up by slave-hunters, who sold them to slave-traders, who brought them to the New World to work on plantations and farms. This practice is abhorrent to God.
In fact, the penalty for such a crime in the Mosaic Law was death: "Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death, whether." (Exodus 21:16). Similarly, in the New Testament, slave-traders are listed among those who are “ungodly and sinful” and are in the same category as those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, adulterers and perverts, and liars and perjurers (1 Timothy 1:8-10).
Another crucial point is that the purpose of the Bible is to point the way to salvation, not to reform society. The Bible often approaches issues from the inside out. If a person experiences the love, mercy, and grace of God by receiving His salvation, God will reform his soul, changing the way he thinks and acts. A person who has experienced God’s gift of salvation and freedom from the slavery of sin, as God reforms his soul, he will realize that enslaving another human being is wrong. A person who has truly experienced God’s grace will in turn be gracious towards others. That would be the Bible’s prescription for ending slavery.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
The Koran and the Bible have opposing value systems:
- Chistianity offers grace and Islam offers legalism.
- Christianity offers a God of intimate relationship, while Islam offers distant demands.
- Christianity offers conversion through conviction, while Islam offers conversion through conquest and Jihad.
- Christianity offers intrinsic value to all human life, while Islam offers less value to a woman’s life when compared to a man’s sense of shame.
- Christianity offers peace love and joy, while Islam offers fear, terror tactics and honor killings.
Friday, January 8, 2010
The laws of logic are absolute, non-observable, universal, transcendent, abstract, immaterial, unchanging and self-evident. They cannot be proven scientifically, yet we all use them when we reason. They apply repeatedly in the realm of contingent experience. They cannot be avoided or accounted for in a naturalistic or materialistic universe.
Now consider the Christian Biblical worldview in contrast to any other perspective… It is unique in all systems of thought and world religions because it's not rooted in a set of ideas, it's not rooted in a set of experiences and it's not rooted in a way of life. It's rooted in the person of Christ.
Christianity is not either epistemological (rooted in knowledge), it's not existential (rooted in experience), it's not pragmatic (rooted in doing). Christianity is ontological. It's rooted in "being".Knowledge comes to us in words. Words are the tools in thinking. Words are revealed thought. Words reveal thoughts of the person who is speaking. It is through someone's words that you can begin to understand what they're saying. In the Gospel of John 1:1, it says that "the Word became flesh… and dwelt among us."
Christ came and said that you don't even have life until you know me. He defined life in terms of knowing him. Christ said that he didn't come to give us a new experience in life , but rather the experience of life itself.
The pursuit of truth ultimately requires some struggle with other philosophical worldviews a person may be comfortable with or emotionally attached to.
That is why if an honest skeptic remains intellectually honest, the problem is not the struggle with intellectual doubt, but instead the limitations (most probably) by the moral constraints put forth by a Christian Biblical worldview.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
1. The "Cambrian Explosion" refutes evolution: Evidence in the geologically fossil record show an abrupt and rapid appearance of most major groups of complex animals. There is no evidence of evolution from simpler forms. Darwin himself realized the biggest stumbling-block in his theory was the absence of transitional forms observed in nature.
2. The discovery of "Digital Information in DNA" is evidence for "Complex Specified Information": Inormation is a mental, non-material concept. It can never arise from a random natural process and it's always the result of an intelligence. The information in DNA is highly improbable and specific, which would be impossible to come about by chance (time+goo+chance = DNA?!?).
3. "Irreducible Complexity" in living organisms refute evolution: All systems, features and processes that makeup life are irreducibly complex. The idea is that "nothing works until everything works."What good is a circulatory system without a heart? An eye without a brain to interpret the signals? What good is a half-formed wing?
4. "Molecular Machines" in biochemistry present a great challenge to evolution. There is amazing structural organization within the cell. Many of its compartments are specialized "factories", each with its own assembly line requiring specific raw material as input and generating specific products. An army of tiny machines called molecular motors transport the cellular material consuming energy and converting it into mechanical work.
5. The "Design of Living Things": Design is apparent in the living world. The amazing jet-based defense mechanism of the Bombardier Beetle is a classic example of design in nature.
6. Evolution cannot explain the "Formation of Life". Non-living chemicals cannot become alive on their own. Biochemists can’t just toss DNA fragments into a test tube with a mixture of chemicals and get the desired result of "spontaneous generation".
7. The "2nd Law of Thermodynamics" contradicts the theory of evolution. Everything in the universe leads to disorder, decay and "heat death" instead of more order and structure over time. The chance of something in nature becoming orderly is a lot smaller than the chance of something becoming disorderly.
8. The "Anthropic Principle" posses a big problem to random chance theory. There are observable features of universal constants and consistant laws that appear to be calibrated and fine-tuned in order to sustain life in the universe and on earth. The Universe has a created purpose. Purpose implies intent, intent implies mind, mind implies intelligence.
9. The "Uncertainty Principle" in Quantum theory explains that both the position and momentum of a particle, cannot be determined precisely. This uncertainty is an intrinsic property of the universe where not all phenomena is the result of pure materialism in nature.
10. The "Human Conscience" cannot be explained by chemicals alone. Evolution cannot explain self-awareness, creativity, reasoning and logic, emotions or free will.
11. Sexual Reproduction: It's more costly and inefficient in nature to have sexual reproduction than the more simpler form of asexual reproduction.
12. "Whales" have remarkable features that classify them as mammals. Evolutionists are unable to explain how they went back into the sea without leaving any fossil evidence of intermediate forms. Their fluke design features have also influenced the development of a new and improved wind turbine design.
All the above factors combined is compelling evidence that Darwinian evolution is merely a widely held myth of popular culture. People believe in this theory in spite of the evidence. That is why many scientists keep referring to evolution as a philosophy of science or even a religion. This belief is so strong in academic circles that scientists are being ridiculed if they even question evolution publicly. Why are they ridiculed? They are ridiculed because the only strong alternative to evolution is Intelligent Design. One day the Darwinian myth will be ranked as the greatest deceit in the history of science.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I. Introduction – What is a Mystery?
What’s a Mystery: It is something hard to understand or explain.
The social sphere that characterizes the heart and soul of Christianity: The Mystical Union between God and Man.
Is it possible for the infinite, eternal Creator to dwell within the heart of an individual? The implications of this great mystery, which represents the very core of the Christian faith. Who can fathom this mystery?
II. The Mystical Union
A. Between a Husband and wife: “Therefore a man shall leave his mother and father and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church. – Ephesians 5: 31-32
C. Between God and man – the Unio Mystica
Trinity and God & Man: Intimacy, Union, Oneness
The God of the Universe dwells (lives) in me?!?
The God of the universe has come to make His dwelling both with us and in us.
It’s not just a fraction or a small piece of God, but the infinite God dwells in us.
- John 15:5: Jesus’ discourse on the vine and the branches and the importance of “abiding” in Hm.
- John 14:16-17: “for he lives with you and will be in you”
- 1 Corinthians 3:16-17: “God’s Spirit lives in you”
D. Unique and particular social laws and the blurring of spheres
Social Institutions (systems): Family, Labor, state, community, Church, God & Man.
We must be careful not to “blur the spheres” by applying the unique and particular social laws of one realm to another realm.
We need to understand each one of them.
Don’t assume that we can meet our need for Christian fellowship by worshiping God individually, or that we can enter into a wonder of Unio Mystica simply by attending services at the local church.
III. Unity – The Body of Christ – Making the many one
Romans 12: 4-5
A. Mystery = many members but one body – we form one body with unique gifts and roles - Ephesians 3:6 / Galatians 3:28-29
B. The Mystery of Christ: “…for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Romans 16: 25- 25 / Ephesians 1: 9-10
C. Jesus vision for the Church: The flock of God
- John 17: 20-23 “…that all of them may be one… so the world may believe that you have sent me…may they be brought to complete unity…”
- Oneness – the many reciprocal or “one-another” commands
No racial barriers (nor Jew nor Greek)
No economic or class barriers (nor slave or free)
No gender barriers (nor male or female)
He is the Groom
We are the bride – Mathew 23: 1-7 (*Jesus and Tassels*)
IV. Hunger for Significance
What keeps us from intimacy or deep fellowship?
There is potential for the emergence of dysfunctions and pathologies as the effects of the Cosmic Battle make themselves felt at the very core of man’s relationship with God.
A. Why Tassels - Numbers 15: 38 – “… so you will…not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes” Also see
The Lord warns His people many times against the dangers of “prostituting” themselves or “going a-whoring” after other gods and idols.
B. Jesus teaching reminds us – “everything they do is for men to see” – We want to be noticed and gain recognition from others – Matt 6: 1-4 “The praises of men” and “They have received their reward in full” Matt 6: 1-4 “The praises of men” – reward. We should instead seek significance from God. (Matt 6: 5-6 / Matt 6: 16-18)
C. Source of significance drive – should be from God just like the drive for sex was given to us from Him. But it should be fulfilled within the correct covenant relationship; ultimately only by Him.
D. The Post Game Party – Saul’s jealousy of David after the victory over Goliath – 1st Samuel 18: 6-10
Buyer’s remorse – Isaiah 55:12!!!
Revisiting the simple question: What is eternal life?
“…that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” – John 1:7
Augustine – The true perspective of man’s need:
“God has made us for himself and our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Him.”
Our greatest desire:
“God has made us Himself and our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Him” – Psalm 42:1-2 “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God”
Friday, May 15, 2009
All dysteleological arguments make two false assumptions: (1) that the designer must only make things which are pain-free and have no suboptimal features, and (2) that the design is indeed suboptimal. In short, all of these dysteleological arguments about pain or suboptimality are theological arguments which do not make a dent in the scientific theory of design.
Poor design is NOT the absence of design. This theological objection has nothing to do with the scientific theory of intelligent design. This presents a straw-man argument against intelligent design, based upon the view that a designer must design things to withstand a certain type of malicious physical attack.
For example, the inverted retina is a perfect sign. Right external to the retina layer lies a very important tissue of veins that envelop it like a net. There is a reason that the photoreceptors are "inverted." Clearly, there is a strategy here. The inverted arrangement of the retina is not faulty, but is proof that it was designed for a specific purpose.
In his book, An Introduction to the Biology of Vision, Professor James T. McIlwain writes, "Because of the great metabolic needs of the photoreceptors, the eye seems to have adopted the strategy of 'swamping' the choroid with blood to ensure that supply is never a problem."
The eye has been created in a way that permits it to function in the most efficient manner.
1) The cornea assists with the focusing of light.
2) The retina transforms the image into neural signals.
3) Veins in the optical cavity feed the retina.
4) Light enters through the opening of the pupil.
5) The iris muscles control how much light will enter.
6) The sclera is a firm, white layer that covers the eyeball.
7) The lens focuses the image.
8) Optic nerve connects the eye to the brain.
Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D. (Physical Chemist and Spectroscopist):
Evolutionists claim that the eye has ‘profound optical imperfections,’ so is proof of ‘tinkering’ and ‘blind’ natural selection. However, there is no positive argument for evolution because there's no evidence of a step-by-step way for the retina to have evolved. Ultimatley, this ' arguemnt from poor design' is just an attack on a Designer without any evidence.
No engineer have been able to design something remotely as good as the eye. They would have to design something with all the versatility of the vertebrate eye such as
color perception, resolution, coping with range of light intensity, night vision as well as day vision etc. All this must be done under the constraints of embryonic development.
Source: Refuting Evolution (part 2)
Ophthalmologist Dr George Marshall says: "The idea that the eye is wired backward comes from a lack of knowledge of eye function and anatomy." He explains that the nerves could not go behind the eye, because that space is reserved for the choroid, which provides the rich blood supply needed for the very metabolically active retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). This is necessary to regenerate the photoreceptors, and to absorb excess heat. So it is necessary for the nerves to go in front instead. The claim on the program that they interfere with the image is blatantly false, because the nerves are virtually transparent because of their small size and also having about the same refractive index as the surrounding vitreous humor. In fact, what limits the eye’s resolution is the diffraction of light waves at the pupil (proportional to the wavelength and inversely proportional to the pupil’s size), so alleged improvements of the retina would make no difference.
The more he studies the human eye, the harder it is to believe that it evolved. Most people see the miracle of sight. He sees a miracle of complexity on viewing things at 100,000 times magnification. It is the perfection of this complexity that causes him to baulk at evolutionary theory.
The retina is probably the most complicated tissue in the whole body. Millions of nerve cells interconnect in a fantastic number of ways to form a miniature ‘brain’. Much of what the photoreceptors ‘see’ is interpreted and processed by the retina long before it enters the brain.
Source: An eye for creation
For a more technical account of the retina’s amazing design, see 'Is Our 'Inverted' Retina Really 'Bad Design'? by ophthalmologist Peter Gurney, an article highly commended by Dr Marshall.
We can safely infer that the theoretical risk arising from the blind spot in a one-eyed person, is negligible; and, in keeping with this, it is considered safe for a one-eyed person to drive a private motor car i.e. for non-vocational purposes.
Source: Human Eye
The deterioration in the eye reflect the fact that entropy (the Second Law of Thermodynamics) during aging will increase with time, not decrease. A general picture of vision deterioration can be figured out by understanding the aging mechanisms of the human body and by focusing on 'process' rather than on 'causes' (failures or damages). Visual sharpness declines as the blood vessels convey insufficient quantity of oxygen due to reduced ventilation of lungs as we age. As a consequence, the occipital lobe of the brain is not supplied in correct manner and the view, controlled by the occipital area, is obscured. Also, the eyeball loses flexibility with age and the lens of the eye yellows and makes it harder to detect light at the blue end of the spectrum. Aging eyes also require more light.
Some scientists have recently found an exception to this rule. For one kind of vision, the old see better than the young.
According a Canadian study, subjects 60 years old and over have neurological changes to the areas involved with vision that allow them to better spot small motions in a larger high contrast field.
Source: Science finds vision can improve with age
It has the normal five digits, none of which are opposable to each other. In addition, it also possesses a unique enlargement of two wrist bones which, in effect, gives it seven ‘fingers’.
These two ‘digits’ come into play whenever the panda uses them to grasp the bamboo in a pincer-like movement of the ‘digits’. Owing to the superficial resemblance of one of the enlarged-wrist-bone ‘digits’ to the human thumb, this appendage has commonly been called the panda’s ‘thumb’.
Stephen Jay Gould's dysteleological argument:
Dysteleological arguments are nothing more than smokescreens designed to hide the failures of naturalistic explanations by changing the subject. In like manner, it should be noted that little time is spent providing solid evidence of how the panda, the panda’s presumed ancestors, the ancestors of the ancestors, and the first life were all supposed to have evolved.
Dr. Paul Nelson makes the following comment: "Although the panda's thumb may be suboptimal for many tasks (such as typing), it does seem suited for what appears to be its usual function, stripping bamboo."
The panda can handle bamboo stems with great precision, by holding them as if with forceps in the hairless groove connecting the pad of the first digit and pseudothumb. . . When watching a panda eat leaves. . . we were always impressed by its dexterity. Forepaws and mouth work together with great precision, with great economy of motion
Stephen Gould’s famous critique has been contradicted by the work of six Japanese biologists. Gould once argued that the giant panda’s thumb represents a clumsily adapted wrist bone, not the work of a Designer. A number of rebuttals to Gould’s assertion have been published since the mid-1980s when it appeared, but the most rigorous to date comes from a Japanese study published early in 1999.