Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Will Israel Ever Be Exiled Again?

"I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them," says the LORD your God.
- Amos 9:14-15

With that one promise from the Bible I have complete confidence that Israel is there to stay no matter what! The next question then becomes; 'when are the Israeli's going to build their temple?'

The way I see it, the Muslims won't occupy the temple mount much longer. The Mosque that occupies that space will be gone shortly. My guess is that it will be leveled by a Ketusha attack from Hamas or Hezbollah. I don't really see Israel taking any action but defensive unless Iran is about to get the 'bomb.'

Then there will be an invasion against Israel by most of the Islamic states and Russia. Russia's tactics are to parachute in, secure the airport and land supplies. This will be their biggest mistake.

A new weapon will be unleashed on them. It will have an 83.3% kill rate and will effect man and beast whose bodies will be rotting in the sun following the battle.
Afterwards when a man goes into the field and sees the remains of man or beast he will flag the area after seven months professional burial teams will come along and bury the remains.

When will this happen?

Well, that is the question isn't it? Russia will apparently be preparing for a war and be in position to attack Israel but for some reason decide against it. But before they have totally stood down, they will change their mind and decide to attack. They will go against Israel-the land of UN-Walled villages. That is a key phrase IMHO since Israel has established huge concrete barriers to control Palestinian movement. Therefore this attack probably won't occur until those walls are dismantled.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Patriot's Thoughts of God, America and the Bible

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not by religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship
- Patrick Henry

"I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God."
-Abraham Lincoln

"So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year." - John Quincy Adams

"That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests." - Andrew Jackson

"The Bible is the sheet-anchor of our liberties." - U. S. Grant

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." - George Washington

"I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book." - Abraham Lincoln

Is Darwinian Evolution Being Over-hyped?

Listen here for a podcast that critically analizes this claim that evolutionists make about Darwinism.

The Scopes Monkey Trial -- and Hollywood

Was the "Monkey Trial" an example of small town, small mind persecution of a High School teacher? Hollywood made a movie about it in 1960 called "Inherit the Wind" starring Spencer Tracy, Fredrich March, Dick York and Claude Akins. The movie was good but hardly reflects the 1925 trial and has instilled in minds of movie goers stereotypes of creationists that aren’t true. Unfortunately, many say the movie captured the essence of the time. A teacher (Dick York) persecuted by a "flat earth" preacher (Claude Akins) and a mob of religious fanatics is what sticks in the mind and continues to feed the Hollywood stereotypes of church people who are pre-disposed against science. There was a 1999 re-make of the movie reinforcing for a new generation the stereotypes of religious closed mindedness and persecution of those who wanted to shine the light of education in the class room. This inspite of the fact that one of the prime examples exhibited as "proof" for the evolution of man used at the trial (Piltdown Man) was found to be a total fraud three decades later.
In reality the atmosphere during the Scopes Monkey Trial was carnival like in Dayton where substitute teacher-coach John Scopes answered a newspaper ad placed by the ACLU designed to test the Tennessee law. And so it goes. John Scopes, Clarence Darrow and politician/lawyer William Jennings Bryan enjoyed celebrity status and the trial put the town on the map. After all, Dayton Tennessee was getting national coverage as the whose who of journalism from the nations largest papers covered the trial in the packed court room. Town's people were enjoying the infusion of money that was coming in! The trial was a circus and though Darrow lost, John Scopes didn’t even have to pay his $100.00 fine.

Today the ACLU credits the trial as opening the door for the teaching of evolution as part of public school science curriculum.

footnote: A star piece of evidence referred to at the 1925 trial was the "Eoanthropus dawsoni" more commonly called the “Piltdown Man,” who was unearthed from a gravel pit in England forever placing the town of Piltdown on the map. In 1955 Piltdown man was found to be a total hoax! It was a skull of a man and a jaw of an orangutan, painted, filed and acid dipped and fused to create the fraud. But by then virtually all US public schools were teaching Darwin’s theory as scientific fact. It is for that reason that creationists use this example above most other's to illustrate how fraud was used to support the theory of evolution.

top photo: by R. Hoeppner
bottom photo: Answers in Genesis

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

First Prophecy and Fulfillment Concerning Christ

Virgin Birth; Destruction of Satan; Suffering of Christ
1. Gen. 3:15.....Seed of a woman (virgin birth).....Luke 1:35, Mt 1:18-20.
2. Gen. 3:15.....He will bruise Satan's head.....Heb. 2:14, Jn. 3:16

Prophecy: Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

Fulfillment: Luke 1:35
"And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."

Matthew 1:18-20
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost"

Suffering of Christ, Doom of Satan.

Hebrews 2:14
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."

John 3:16
"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."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Saturn: It's Rings and Mythology

The rings of Saturn span a distance of about 185,000 miles yet they are only about 1/2 mile thick. When the path of the earth crosses the plain of Saturn's rings (every fifteen years) the rings seem to disappear to all but the most powerful telescopes. It's described as 'like looking at the edge of a razor blade in the dark.' It is thought that the rings are the result of a moon of Saturn that crossed the Roche limit and the gravitational pull of Saturn pulled it apart.
Saturn is a gas giant, (97% Hydrogen and 3% Helium) the second largest planet in our solar system with a diameter of about 75,000 miles. It's rotating so fast that a Saturn day is only about 10.5 hours. The rotation causes the planet's shape to be slightly flat at it's poles and extended at it's equator (roughly a 10% difference). One Saturn year is equal to 29.5 earth years. The wind near the equator is estimated to reach speeds of 1,100 miles per hour or 'supersonic' speeds. The nearer the poles, the more the wind speed falls off. Recently discovered is a perpetual giant storm on Saturn that has an 'eye' similarly as does Jupiter.
Some observers believe that the Star of Bethlehem was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.
In ancient times, Dec. 25 was the date of the lavish Roman festival of Saturnalia. It was during this pagan festival that people celebrated by decorating their homes and buildings and exchanging gifts. Some believe that early Christians chose December 25 as the time that they could celebrate Christs birth and blend in to escape persecution. In the fourth century AD the Roman Emperor Constantine made December 25th the official day to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Others will point out that Saturn was one of the names of Nimrod, (Genesis 10) whose Egyptian name was Osirus, (the god of the underworld) and note the similarity between the name of the planet Saturn and 'Satan'. In Roman myth he was one of the Titans and the god of agriculture.
photo from the Cassini Spacecraft/NASA/JPL

The Real Story: Evolutions Billions of Missing Links

On this episode of ID The Future CSC's Casey Luskin interviews Dr. Geoffrey Simmons author of the new book Billions of Missing Links. In the book Simmons shows that as modern science has progressed from the visible to the invisible (microscopic, submicroscopic, genetic, biochemical and genetic) the numbers of missing links have skyrocketed. Every "link" discovered brings many more questions (missing links) than answers.

Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God

New Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God
A Seminal Presentation by Astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross, given in South Barrington, Illinois, April 16, 1994

(turn your speakers on)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

St. Luke Revisited

Most intelligent people, believers and skeptics alike agree on this one point concerning Luke's gospel, and the book of Acts. As one of those intelligent skeptics said, “I think it's quite plausible that they were written by the same author judging by textual analysis (both form and content), and by something akin to 'cross-referencing'. Also, in some ancient manuscripts they are contiguous."

OK, so much for the headway here.

A point we disagree on is the time of the writing of Luke’s gospel.
Some place the time of the writing much later than AD 60.
I base the writing of Luke simply on a study of the text - what it says - and a knowledge of the history of that day. Luke had to have been written before Acts and Acts had to have been written before Paul’s [journey to Spain and his re-arrest and] execution under Nero (around AD 66). Nero himself died in AD 67. Also there is no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in AD 70 under Titus. Further, I maintain that the pronouns (we, us) are a clear indication of Luke referring to his personal involvement in the account. To view it any other way would be to ignore the obvious context of the scripture or the writing style of its author or in general the common use of the language today.

Who was Theophilus?

I don’t know, nobody knows but he was not a ‘group of people,’ he was an individual.
First of all, both Luke and Acts begin by addressing him directly "Theophilus" meaning, "lover of God." Perhaps he was Jewish and Greek like Paul.
Though nobody knows for sure who he was, there are some clues. Consider that Theophilus was a man’s name, ergo he’s male. Then consider how he is addressed by the writer:
"...most excellent Theophilus"
This is an indication he (Theophilus) was a man of position, importance, and respected by his peers. He was interested in knowing if what he’d been taught about Christ was accurate, obviously interested specifically in the facts surrounding Christ and the Christian sect. Therefore I suspect he was a believer or contemplating conversion into the Christian faith.
Hence the statement by the writer (Luke) "Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught." The writer puts his personal guarantee that he carefully investigated everything from the beginning so that Theophilus could rest assured the following documentation concerning Jesus Christ was certain. To say anything different flies in the face of logic and the likelihood that the writer would fabricate lies to such an honored person as Theophilus is virtually null. Now compare another translation of that statement:
Amplified Bible - SINCE [as is well known] many have undertaken to put in order and draw up a [thorough] narrative of the surely established deeds which have been accomplished and fulfilled in and among us,
2Exactly as they were handed down to us by those who from the [official] beginning [of Jesus' ministry] were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word [that is, of the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God],
3It seemed good and desirable to me, [and so I have determined] also after having searched out diligently and followed all things closely and traced accurately the course from the highest to the minutest detail from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4[My purpose is] that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been orally instructed."
And in fact, Luke’s gospel is an orderly account of the life of Christ.
Did Luke ‘copy and paste’ from Mark, as some say?
Most scholars believe that Mark was a resource used by both Matthew and Luke. So do I. But remember Mark is a very short gospel that begins with the ministry of Jesus unlike the other gospels. Matthew is much longer and goes back to the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph, (that would be the way that a tax collector would view any genealogy and views Christ as the Jewish Messiah from a strictly Jewish perspective as evidenced by his statements, "this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet…"
Mark, on the other hand was a youth and his Gospel reflects that as his perspective centers on the miracle power of Christ.
Luke's gospel is much longer than Marks by comparison and concentrates more on the teachings of Christ and accounts for this by the many parables he records. Luke's viewpoint and genealogy of Christ is through Mary's lineage. (That's a summary of the synoptic gospels in a nut shell).

If Paul was a contemporary of the disciples, (and he was), then Luke was a contemporary of the disciples. Not at all a fabrication! He was a full grown man, educated in the healing arts (called a physician) and on occasion he traveled with Paul. Note also that Paul traveled with Mark in whose home the last supper was eaten and the same upper room that the outpouring of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2) occurred; but Paul had issues with Mark because of his immaturity.

Why do I say the writer was Luke? Admittedly it’s an assumption on my part and most scholar’s agree. That’s the prevailing theory based largely on tradition, and a process of elimination. Let me illustrate what I mean by that. We can see in some of Paul’s letters references to Luke in various locations with him at certain times in his ministry. They correspond to the statements that the writer of Acts (Luke) makes when he uses the “we "– "us" nouns. Though there were at times others present, the others don’t fit; i.e. one time it was Paul, Luke and Demas who were traveling together. (Col. 4:14). Demas was not considered as the writer because later on down the road Paul writes "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.” I therefore maintain that it was Luke who was present with Paul as he wrote this epistle from house arrest in Rome and the specifics are mentioned by the writer of Acts (notice the “we” references in Act’s 28) at the close of the book. Is the evidence conclusive? Not entirely. Is it the best we have to go on? I firmly believe its far superior to any other theory regarding the authorship of the book. Until someone comes up with something more conclusive I’ll stick to the 'theory'…Because I truly believe it’s the truth based on the best evidence available. In every Bible, without exception, the book bears Luke's name. In the detective business that's called a c-l-u-e.
photo by R. Hoeppner

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Gospel of St. Luke

Was the Writer of Luke the Same Who Wrote Acts?

It is evident that the author of Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts were the same. Luke and Acts were both addressed to one Theophilus with reference to the first made in the second: (Luke 1:1-4 and Acts 1:1-4, respectively). The events in Acts are a natural continuation and dovetail perfectly to the events written in Luke.
1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
- Luke 1:1-4

1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
- Acts 1:1-4

What information can be known from the introductions?

  • A number of partial and or disordered accounts of the facts of the life of Christ were extant at the time.

  • These facts were well known to the Christian world of the day.

  • The writer stated that his purpose was to put the events of the life of Christ in an accurate and logical order.

  • His record goes back to and includes insights that would be known to apostles, eyewitnesses and possibly even relatives of Jesus.

  • The author considered himself at least as well informed at the others and as capable of writing an account on his own responsibility (“it seemed good to me also”).[1]

  • He cites his sources as ‘eyewitnesses’ and ministers of the word who were able to account for things ‘from the beginning.’ This is a reference to the beginning of the information he sets forth to record before the birth of Christ.

He was a contemporary of the disciples and early church leaders.

Authorship and Occupation

The author was a participant in many of the events he writes about and fellow traveler with Paul proven by the “we” and "us" words he uses; The book of Acts goes on for 16 chapters before the “we” is introduced in Acts 16:10-12 (In one manuscript it appears as early as chapter 10). His occupation as a physician is noted in Colossians 4:14; “Luke, the beloved doctor, sends his greetings, and so does Demas.”

10. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
11. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;
12. And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.
-- Acts 16:10-12

This establishes Luke as a traveling companion with Paul on his second missionary journey. He accompanied Paul to Philippi, but did not share his imprisonment there. After Paul’s release Luke remained at Philippi. On Paul's third visit to Philippi (20:5, 6) probably seven or eight years later, he meets with Luke and again they travel on together. From this time Luke was Paul's constant companion during his journey to Jerusalem (20:6-21:18).

The ‘we’ references eliminate Timothy and all of those mentioned in Acts 20:5 as writers because ‘we’ didn’t accompany these on their trip (Demos fell away from the faith and abandoned Paul so he’s not considered as the writer either). They all waited for “us” at Troas. Luke was a physician according to Paul and he was a man who could write well and was very observant as can be surmised from the best account we have of ancient shipping (Acts 27).
There is external evidence as well. The Gospel was used by Justin Martyr (second century), Tatian, Marcion and Tertullian who quoted or alluded to the Gospel in excess of five hundred times.[1]


Luke was written after the death of Christ and before Acts was written. Since Acts ends abruptly with Paul’s confinement in Rome with no mention of Paul’s later travel to Spain or his execution which occurred under Nero about 67 AD. Some scholars fix the date of the writing of Luke around 60 AD or less than thirty years from Christ.
There is plenty of evidence I have not covered here but suffice it to say all the best evidence of the Gospel points to Dr. Luke being the author, contemporary with the Apostles.
[1] New Testament Survey Merril C. Tenney P. 173, 179.

Photograph/ last supper statues in Rhyolite, CA by R. Hoeppner

Friday, January 12, 2007

Natural Law and Miracles

"The criterion of scientificness requires that the theory be: (1) testable and (2) compatible with natural law."

Certainly evolution is not testable. Even under the most carefully controlled conditions, not even the slightest hint of macro-evolution can be observed in a laboratory.

Natural law dictates changes within a specie but prevents transitions between species. Hybrids are sterile, most mutations are deleterious (says atheist Richard Dawkins) to the specie--leaving natural selection and adaptation as the only door by which evolution can take place. In addition, Dawkins says ‘its only natural selection that produces living things which have the illusion of design.” Finally Dawkins admits that this requires faith. The recent discoveries about the simplest cellular structures reveal a complexity far greater than realized even a few decades ago. Logic suggests that this first, single, original, organic "simple" cell (with all of its new found complexity) would have to be fully capable of processing inorganic food and reproduction in order to pass it's traits on to the second generation cell By definition that would be “miraculous.” Quote:"But miracles, by definition, are not compatible with natural law." Miracles may very well be explained by natural law. God knows, (oh excuse me) that the miracle of the Exodus and the preceding Egyptian plagues have scientists formulating (since they are historic facts), they must have been caused by the eruption of a Mediterranean volcano. This is happening with regard to many of the miraculous accounts of the Bible.
How valid is it to suspect natural causes to explain the miraculous? Do miracles happen in the natural world? That begs the question: Does God employ natural law to accomplish a goal? Throughout the Bible, God used natural phenomina as well as 'miracles' to accomplish His will. For instance when Israel turned away from God their 'judgement' would often be attack by other nations, or the loss of a battle etc.
The case is made by skeptics that these were natural events, have simple and natural explanations and can be fully explained without God. Plagues, accidents, natural disasters happen all the time. Today's prophets of doom are not the religious. It's the scientists who appear on the Discover channels telling us that it's only a matter of time before an extinction event will occur. Be it an Asteroid strike, gamma ray burst, hardening of the earths liquid core, Solar eruptions (coronal mass ejections), depletion of the Ozone layer, Global Warming etc. It goes beyond that.
Suppose I were a two dimensional creature, aware only of laws regarding length and width, having no conception of height, and a three dimensional being punched a hole in the ground with a vertical shaft in front of me. I would not be at all aware of the vertical shaft. To me, as a two dimensional creature knowing only length and width, it would appear that a hole miraculously opened before me; but to the three dimensional being it would simply be an act totally within the realm of natural law.
It's no stretch to conceive of a being that moves in dimensions that I can't imagine, especially when the universe has recently been discovered to be made up of up to 90% dark matter, or dimensions beyond my natural world. When something I consider a miracle happens, it may very well be a result of natural law in another dimension. As you read this you may be totally unaware that you are surrounded by a million frequencies from radios, TV’s, cell phones gamma rays etc. Conversations you cannot hear are passing by your ears. Pictures flowing before your eyes cannot be seen You can't see, smell, touch, taste or hear them but now you’re reminded they do exist. If you could see them it would dazzle your vision! Or go outside in the daylight, look up at a blue sky not even considering that all of those stars you saw last night are still shining as brilliantly in the daylight as they were at night. So when you talk about miracles existing outside of natural laws, perhaps it's simply because we are unaware of some of these "laws." For example, we've just crossed the threshold of the discovery of dark matter. Dark matter may compose 90% of the universe. What will we learn? Man is just taking his first baby steps into the vast cosmos. Just a short drive north of my location there is a field of Radio Telescopes that scan the heavens for signs of intelligent life. It’s part of the SETI project. Radio telescopes have been looking into space for over forty years and haven’t heard a cosmic “peep” from alien life, yet two generations of scientists have served and retired from such projects. How do I get a job like that? Their mission, according to the SETI Institute is “to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.”And so their desperation to find the elusive proof of evolution goes on. It’s rumored that they keep a cold bottle of champagne on hand just in case. I think they’ve pulled a major coup in creating such an unproductive lucrative comfortable job for themselves that they actually do deserve a glass of champagne! Yep, I’m a bit jealous. I had to work for my retirement.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Four Great American Presidents

"We ought to be persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained." - George Washington

"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." - Thomas Jefferson

“Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure ourselves what that life would be if these standards were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals, all the standards which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves.” - Theodore Roosevelt

"In regards to this great Book (the Bible), I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it." - Abraham Lincoln
photo by R. Hoeppner

Christians - By Maya Angelou

When I say... "I am a Christian," I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'." I'm whispering "I was lost, now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect, my flaws are far too visible but God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches; So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou, I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace somehow!
photo and article received from an email fwd.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pascal's Wager

If you discuss faith with non-believers you will sooner or later hear about Pascal's Wager. Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician and physicist. After a religious experience he devoted himself to the study of Theology. Sometime later, after the miraculous healing of his 10 year old niece he wrote the Pensées which he never completed. In it he set forth the logic of what today is called Pascal's Wager.

What is Pascal's Wager?

By this 'wager,' Pascal provides an analytical process for a person to evaluate options in regarding belief in God. As Pascal sets it out, the options are two: 1) believe or, 2) not believe. There is no third possibility. Therefore, we are faced with the following possibilities: 1)You believe in God. If God exists, you go to heaven; your gain is infinite. If God does not exist, your loss (the investment in your mistaken belief) is finite and therefore negligible. 2) You do not believe in God. If God exists, you go to hell; your loss is infinite and your gain is zero. If God does not exist, your gain is finite and therefore negligible.

While scholars debate Pascal's wager and apply all kinds of mathematical formulas to it, disputing its validity since there are many religions, to the Christian it's quite simple logic.
1. As a Christian I believe: If God exists I am going to heaven when I die. If not, then I'm no worse off than the atheist.
2. As an atheist I don't believe: If God exists I'm eternally doomed. If God doesn't exist, I'm no better or worse off than the Christian as our fates are the same.

Of those two options which seems the logical winner to you?

portrait of Pascal was imported from Wikipedia

Monday, January 8, 2007

Evidence is the Tip of the Iceberg

Have you ever seen an ice berg? If you have you've only seen the tip of the iceberg. About 1/8th of it sits above the water and 7/8ths remains under water yet every mariner knows this and hopefully steers well clear of it. That 12% which is visible is positive evidence of the 88% that is invisible. Below I look at the proverbial "tip of the iceberg" for the evidence of the existence of God. When I see a post written on a blog, that is proof to me that a 'blogger' exists. When I see the wonders and intricacies in creation, that is sufficient proof to me that a creator exists. Or perhaps it was better stated by Sir Isaac Newton: 'Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system. I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.'
Have you ever thought about God? After considering the sun, moon, stars, as Sir Isaac Newton mentioned, here are some facts: The earth revolves once every twenty four hours. The speed at the equator of this rotation is about 1,040 mph or roughly half a kilometer per second and goes to practically zero at the poles. As the earth rotates, its moon also rotates with such absolute perfect timing that man has only observed one side of its surface from any point on earth. We see the same side of the moon as Moses and the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt. Our earth orbits the star in our solar system, our sun, once a year at an average speed of 18.5 miles per second (or 30km/ second). Our solar system, which is about 26,000 light years from the center of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, makes one revolution of the Galaxy about every 200-250 million years at an average speed of 155 miles per second (250 km/sec.) The Milky Way Galaxy is just one galaxy in a group of galaxies called the Local Group. Within the Local Group, the Milky Way Galaxy is moving about 185 miles/sec (300 km/sec). It couldn't happen without universal laws. An atheist will look at that and say, 'it's all coincidence!' As a believer I look at it and say with King David of old, 'When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?'
What about Universal Law?
When I see universal law, I see evidence of a universal law giver. In my world view, God exists and I see His love and plan working continually. An unbeliever sees in their world view, dumb luck and blind chance without a first cause to account for everything. It has become popular to explain historic events by natural cause rather than divine intervention. This is permeating the educational channels of late.For example, there is no question that a series of plagues hit Egypt preceding the Exodus. Scientists are now putting forward a theory for these plagues. The theory is that a Mediterranean Volcanic Island exploded and caused the plagues.With a detectable sense of pride atheists tend to brag they believe in nothing. "Theirs," they claim, "is simply a non-belief." I find this intellectually dishonest since many atheists express extreme ‘faith’ in evolution, claiming it as proven fact (which it is not). From faith in the 'cosmic egg' from which everything hatched to the rise of modern man billions of years later, they rely on some really questionable evidence. There is far more evidence, both historic and scientific as to the accuracy of the Bible than there is for Darwin’s, The Origin of Species. As far as Biblical criticism is concerned it has been my experience that many non-believers parrot things written by critics of the Bible and they often refer to compilations written by other non-believers who are themselves devoid of any theological education whatever. I did this myself when I claimed to be an atheist. I assumed that I knew the contents of the Bible from the few stories I was familiar with; Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, the plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, Jonah and the Whale etc. I concluded that there was no scientific accuracy in the Bible whatever!In the book of Job (probably the oldest book of the Bible) it states that God "hangs the earth on nothing;" - Job 26:7. A truly insightful statement for the time in which it was written. Hmmm, how did Job know? Atheists and Christians are alike in that we all face challenges, joys and mortality. The difference is that a believer contemplates a merciful God who paved the way to salvation and follow their savior, helping others. Atheists go through life without such a high purpose. Mutation and natural selection determine their coming and passing beyond which there is simply non-existence. After all is said and done I’d rather be a Christian than an atheist.

picture from Wikipedia

Thursday, January 4, 2007

John's Vision of a Meteor Strike

There is an asteroid nearly four hundred meters wide called Apophis that could hit the earth 30 years from now. CNN tells us there is another asteroid that could hit the earth in 2014. Already over 500 asteroids have been discovered that intersect with earths orbit.

According to the Online Dictionary a meteor is described as "a transient fiery streak in the sky produced by a meteoroid passing through the earth's atmosphere; a shooting star or bolide"

In the Bible, John the Revelator wrote about two events that describe exactly these phenomena. At a future date that the Bible describes as the “time of trouble” to try all mankind (Daniel 12:1), and Jeremiah the prophet called it Jacob’s time of trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) John saw a meteor shower that had devastating effects on the earth followed by an asteroid strike that wipes out a third of the oceans:

"The first angel blew [his] trumpet, and there was a storm of hail and fire mingled with blood cast upon the earth. And a third part of the earth was burned up and a third of the trees was burned up and all the green grass was burned up. “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed."- Revelation 8:7- 9.
It used to be that the world depicted prophets of doom as misguided people dressed like Jesus and carrying signs on street corners proclaiming ‘the end of the world is near.” Today that message is proclaimed by well respected scientists who predict a litany of dooms to come upon the earth from meteor showers, asteroid strikes, comets, super volcano eruptions, solar winds, landslides that trigger tsunamis and all kinds of weather related disasters - they always conclude by saying, "it's only a matter of time – because it’s going to happen!"
(the above photo is the ateroid gaspra; from NASA)

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Ben Franklin Speaks

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service.” - Benjamin Franklin

King Sargon

The Archaeological Record
Scholars once claimed that no Assyrian King Sargon ever lived, because the Bible was the only record of such a person (Isaiah 20:1). Then his palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event recorded in Isaiah 20-his capture of Ashdod-was recorded on the palace walls.

The Biblical Record
Isaiah 20:1 - In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it-