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Genius?

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“Darwin Speak” Casual Quote of the Day:

“If the conditions are right, molecules can just spring out of nowhere.”

(Stephen Hawking, on Genius by Stephen Hawking, after summarizing Stanley Miller’s “remarkable discovery” ostensibly creating amino acids in an apparatus in 1952).

And On the Other Side:

“The Oparin-Miller Model is probably evolution’s most widely accepted theory of origins, but it faces a number of problems . . . [and, after listing 8 of its biggest problems and discussing the odds not only of amino acids forming by chance, but also proteins, which would also be necessary to make cells, and thus life, possible] . . . In short, chance could not produce even one protein. And a “simple” single-celled bacterium contains thousands of different proteins. What then, are the odds of assembling all the proteins necessary for life? You probably don’t want to know. Coffin noted:

‘Morowitz has determined the probability for the origin of the organic precursors for the smallest likely living entity by random processes. He based his calculations on reaction probabilities, a somewhat different and more accurate approach than most other such computations. The chances for producing the necessary molecules, amino acids, proteins, et cetera, for a cell one tenth the size of the smallest known to man (Mycoplasm hominis H.39) is less than one in 10 to the 340,000,000 or 10 with 340 million zeroes after it.'”

 (James Perloff, Tornado in a Junkyard, quoting Harold G. Coffin, Origin by Design)

And This:

 “I’m an Atheist.”

 (Stephen Hawking, found at http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/im-atheist-stephen-hawking-god-space-travel-n210076)

And a Word of Caution:

One of the most despicable things we do in the natural world is to paint people who believe in God as stupid, something a show like Genius by Stephen Hawking does. By presenting only the evolutionary theory, and by titling such a portrayal as “Genius,” the show attempts (in a not-so-subtle fashion) to chip away at our faith by making us feel dumb. Don’t let them do it. The truth is that there are lots of problems with Darwinian Evolution, and knowing the truth – or the Truth with a capital “T” – is what makes you a genius.

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Psychics and the Bible

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I was reading a magazine on a plane when I saw an article in which a Colorado county boasted that it had “not one, not two, but three psychic and healing centers,” which offer classes for the “spiritually attuned.”  According to the article, the classes allow students to examine “chakras, past lives, and aura layers . . . metaphysical spiritual tools . . . and the ‘child spirits’ interested in the person.”

Unlike atheists, who would fundamentally disagree with me on practically all points supernatural, the people running these physic centers do believe in the supernatural, they just believe in a non-biblical version. I call it non-biblical, but that doesn’t mean that the Bible doesn’t recognize that these practices exist; indeed, in many places in the Bible people are warned not to practice the mystical, occult arts – the kind of supernatural practices that don’t always recognize God and that certainly don’t bring you closer to Him.

That warning is for good reason. When you realize that the supernatural is a real thing, then you see quite quickly that followers of Jesus practice a completely different version of it than people in psychic centers. Accordingly, you have to decide which version is correct. A psychic’s non-biblical version might have you messing around with spirit guides or inner children, fully believing that they’re good for you. But in the Biblical version, these spirits are likely demons, out to kill and destroy you. Revelation 21:8 warns that the price for those who practice the magic arts is the second death in fire. In the spiritual war, choosing the right side is a must.

God warns us throughout the Bible not to do a lot of things for our own good, like a good mother or father would warn their children in the natural world. And because He loves us, he even tells us the penalty for choosing wrong. And He’s pretty specific about the occult.

Denise’s book, 7 Spiritual Truths and the Lies that Hide Them, begins with the spiritual truth that the supernatural actually exists. Psychics know this, but by practicing the version condemned in the Bible, they’re undoubtedly – and clearly unwittingly – choosing the wrong side of the spiritual war.

Words Matter

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Every so often I think we get too far into the weeds of life to be able to see what really matters. So let’s step back a second and look at a couple of big picture things. When Jesus was asked what the “greatest” commandment was, he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt. 22:36-40)

The second of these two commandments is tied to what people understand to be the “Golden Rule,” something we were taught even in secular grade school. You know the Rule – basically it says to treat others the way you’d like to be treated. You don’t even have to be a follower of Jesus to know the Rule; indeed, it’s a fundamental tenant of virtually every major religion and of groups founded merely on moral or ethical conduct toward humanity. In fact, there’s really only formal religion that doesn’t follow it. Satanism, as a religion, actually follows a kind of backward version, which says to “do unto to others as they do unto to you.” That means that if someone treats you badly, go ahead and treat them badly in return.

So think about that fact for a second. Think about the fact that a fundamental pillar of LaVeyan Satanism is to exact revenge on those who do you wrong as you read the following quote by one of our presidential candidates:

When someone crosses you, my advice is ‘Get Even!’ That is not typical advice, but it is real life advice. If you do not get even, you are just a schmuck! When people wrong you, go after those people because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it. I love getting even. I get screwed all the time. I go after people, and you know what? People do not play around with me as much as they do with others. They know that if they do, they are in for a big fight.

Words matter. And we should expect better words from the people who intend to lead us.

Quotes of the Day!

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“Darwin Speak” Casual Quote of the Day:

“Life was given to us one billion years ago.”

(Lucy, played by Scarlett Johansson, from the movie Lucy)

 

And On the Other Side:

“Thus, radiocarbon is not only incapable of dating the Earth to billions of years, but shaky even for thousands.”

(James Perloff, Tornado in a Junkyard.)

 

And Because They Drug Lucy Into This . . .

“Echoing the criticism make of his father’s habilis skulls, [Richard Leakey] added that Lucy’s skull was so incomplete that most of it was ‘imagination made of plaster of Paris,’ thus making it impossible to draw any firm conclusion about what species she belonged to.”

(The Weekend Australian, May 7-8 (1983) (reprinted in Ray Comfort, Evolution, A Fairy Tale for Grownups, at 97).

 And . . .  

 “It no longer matters whether there are huge gaps in the fossil record or whether the record is as continuous as that of U.S. presidents. And if there are gaps, it does not matter whether they can be explained plausibly. The fossil record has nothing to tell us about [the molecular details of life].”

 (Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box)

Getting God’s Attention

My pastor’s definition of love – the best I’ve ever heard – is doing things for other people at your own expense. It’s a definition that gets at the heart of what Jesus did, and it takes care of that little problem noted by Jesus when he was talking about loving you enemies. He said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners’ love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32) If you find that love is always easy, it’s probably not the kind of love that Jesus was talking about.

Indeed, the kind of love preached by Jesus involves a bit of sacrifice toward people that you – or anyone else – wouldn’t normally sacrifice for. And this kind of love, I think, is epitomized by the guy I recently saw in an HBO documentary called “Ebola – the Doctor’s Story.” It mostly follows Javid Abdelmoneim, a British emergency response doctor working for Doctors Without Borders in an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone.

This guy routinely suited up and interacted with people dying of a disease that has a 50-70% fatality rate for those who contract it. Virtually nobody else wanted to take care of them. So Dr. Javid and a few other extremely rare individuals did. The whole time I watched I was thinking that even if this guy wasn’t a purposeful follower of Christ, he was still following Christ.

Loving the unloved is hard, but I think it really gets God’s attention.

Easter 2016

There are lots of reasons for why it’s good that Jesus came when he came. I just can’t imagine having the savior of the world being covered nonstop by CNN, or Fox, or – gasp – News of the World. I’m glad there aren’t any descriptions of him in the Bible. I think he’s much more accessible to everyone that way.

And, dude, just think about social media. Knowing Facebook like I do, with everyone posting only the good or happy aspects of their lives, I imagine that we’d have no record whatsoever of anything happening to Jesus after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and before his return from the grave. Nothing during holy week, when all of the difficult but really important stuff happened to Jesus. Just a shot of him on a donkey and then later a selfie with Thomas.  And I simply can’t imagine having to endure the inane Internet comments people might post after seeing him give, say, the Sermon on the Mount. I imagine they’d start off talking about the sermon, but then they’d inevitably drift off to arguing about impeaching Emperor Tiberius. And can you imagine Jesus’s Twitter feed? Of course not – that’s why he had to come when he came.

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He came at a time when nobody really “covered” the news, but what he did and his message are so important that they exist forcefully 2,000 years later. Today, it would be the biggest news ever: Jesus overcame the world. He overcame death itself. And by doing so, he gave us hope not only for our lives, but also our deaths. Jesus told his followers: “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” (John 14:19).

Indeed, by conquering death and showing his disciples concrete existence of a life beyond this world, Jesus provided more than just hope – Jesus promised that we, too, would have everlasting life, and Jesus keeps his promises. But just as important, Jesus’s promise of a life beyond this world gives us meaning for the things we do in this world. Easter reminds us, once again, that what we do in the natural world matters beyond the natural world. What we do to other children of God matters. What we think about and believe in matters.

Happy resurrection day, everyone!

Tim and Denise

Palm Sunday! Palm Sunday!

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Every Palm Sunday I’m reminded at how quickly things can change. Just five days after Jesus rode into Jerusalem, he was crucified. But just two days after that, he rose from the grave to bring salvation to the world for all time.

Your life might take a bad turn, and it might take that turn fairly quickly. But remember that God is there to turn you back around even quicker. All you have to do is call on Him.

Happy Palm Sunday, everyone, and my God bless you all!



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