Monthly Archives: February 2012

Davy Jones Dead at 66, The Monkees My First Band

I had to call my brother and leave the news on his cell phone. Davy Jones, one of the singers for the … band..? the Monkees died today, he was 66.

It is hard to try and describe the Monkees. Most of them had zero talent. I would say that they were one of the very first boy bands, but they were bigger than that. They had their own television show, their own recording contract and an entire host of musicians and song writers to prop them up.

After all, the story from Foxnews has this to say about them:

And though initially the Monkees weren’t allowed to play their own instruments, they were supported by enviable talent: Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” and Neil Diamond penned “I’m a Believer.”

That didn’t stop us from buying their albums and watching the television show. In fact, my older brothers and I even put together a band with just about as much talent as the Monkees actually had. My older brother, Gene, played the lead tennis racket, David played the bass tennis racket, and I played the end table which served as our drums. We sang right along with the Monkees and at times, sounded much worse.

And yes, we had ALL their albums and practiced singing/playing/lip synching to all their songs. It was kind of what kids our age did before the invention of MTV and Rock Band with the Wii. In fact, I’m sure Steve Jobs did the same thing when he was a kid since we are about the same age. Where do you think they got the idea for Wii?

It is sad about Davy. He was only 66, and as my brother pointed out, “that really doesn’t sound that old?” He’s right. It doesn’t. He also pointed out that now that the Monkees can no longer get back together, there is one less use for a tennis racket in the world.

Davy Jones has caught the last train to Clarksville.

O Rings Are Bad for the Shuttle Challenger and Mr. Coffee

I guess this could be from the “what-we-learned-over-the-last-week” category. It is one of those lessons I haven’t actually overcome yet, because the battle for a coffee maker is not yet done.

Last Wednesday, I finally realized I had a problem with my Black & Decker coffee maker which I got for my birth day some years ago. The problem: I was only getting half a pot of coffee after preparing a full pot. I know I should have noticed this on Monday when it started, but alas, I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

I realized that the water was draining out of the tank onto the counter before it made it through the coffee grounds. All the water had run down the counter and found a big roll of paper towels that absorbed it all up. Thank goodness for the roll of towels. But something was definitely wrong with my coffee maker.

I tried to open it up to see if I could discover the problem. But given that they use a special screw on the bottom, so we can’t open it up and see what the problem is, I couldn’t do it. I decided to throw the coffee maker away with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. It was the first coffee maker that I was given that was actually new.

Given that I’m an avid coffee drinker, I borrowed one from work, which was really neat because it made exactly two cups of coffee and you had to have those two cups placed just right, or it spilled every where. This coffee maker would not do. The problem? It made exactly two cups of coffee. Once those were done, you had to make exactly two more cups of coffee, etc. Given that my dream coffee maker makes 12 cups, I could see the writing on the wall for this coffee maker.

On Saturday, I had enough. We managed to make sure we had just the right amount of money and off to Sam’s Club I went. My goal: get an inexpensive coffee maker. One that would last… well, 10 years! I found the Oster DVXG-!@$@#A-43-o-18-12y model that I think can only be found in Sam’s Club… $38. Just what I wanted, inexpensive and it made 12 cups of coffee. I really was satisfied with my purchase. A lot of times I try to buy the very best I can afford, but this time, I was much more frugal, and bought the very best that I could afford.

I decided to take it out of the box on Saturday night and run the pre-requisite water through it so as to prepare it for our evening cup of decaf. Needless to say, I was giddy with the expectation. A NEW coffee maker!!! I pulled the coffee maker straight out of the box and took two steps to set it on the counter. Something dropped off the coffee maker and hit the floor. Given the sound of crackling glass, I knew it could only be one thing: the decanter. “Did that just happen?” I thought to myself. I looked down and saw the decanter still wrapped in its bubble wrap protection, to keep it from breaking. Obviously the bubble wrap was no match for our ceramic-tile floors. The decanter was shattered.

I tried the old decanter from my Black & Decker which I could not part with since it is made from stainless steel. It was too short.

My next step was to go on the internet and see if I could order a decanter. Maybe it could be here by Sunday morning. Remember, I wasn’t thinking straight. I just busted my Oster decanter on our ceramic-tile floors. I began to realize that the decaf cup of coffee I had my hopes for was now over. So was the fresh pot of coffee I was looking forward to before Sunday services. It wasn’t going to happen.

Late Sunday afternoon, I was committed to taking the Oster back to Sam’s Club. The way I figure it, they didn’t secure the decanter well enough to keep it from falling when removing the coffee maker from the box. Therefore, they need to replace it. We will see how that goes.

I loaded up the boys and headed out to Sam’s, all the way talking to one of the members of my church for a pastoral call. I told her what I was doing and she said she had one I could have if it didn’t work out at Sam’s. You never know what they will take for a return. It didn’t work out at Sam’s. They were closing just as I arrived.

I called the member back and asked her if I could borrow the coffee maker. She said that she would actually give it to me and now I had my fourth coffee maker in a week. This one was a Mr. Coffee, much like the one pictured here. I was really excited about this. If it worked out, I would take the Oster back and get my money back and have a great coffee maker to boot.

Since the Mr. Coffee was used, I had to clean him up. I spent the good part of an hour working on getting him to an almost new looking condition. I had scrubbed, wiped, rinsed, cleaned, etc., trying to make it look like a new one and was satisfied with my accomplishments. I decided to add a cup of vinegar to the first pot of water that I planned on running through the maker in order to help clean off the parts I couldn’t reach. Since we live in an area with a lot of minerals in the water, running vinegar in everything is a part of life.

As I went to add the water to fill it all the way up, I noticed something that was very troubling. The vinegar was no longer in the tank. “OK maybe there is a secret reservoir where the vinegar is now working its magic… I will add some water as well.”

You guessed it. The water was leaking out almost as fast as I had poured it into the tank. I called for help and we used several towels cleaning up the water and vinegar. I couldn’t believe it. This was the same thing that my Black & Decker did. How could two coffee makers, made by different companies, end up doing the same thing?

I went back to the internet. This is when I discovered the problem. Apparently the coffee makers have a certain O ring in them that gives out after time. It is made of rubber or plastic. Along with time, heated water and more time, the O ring becomes hard and no longer offers the seal that it was meant to provide. This was the same thing that happened to the Shuttle Challenger, except in that case, it was cold temperatures, not hot temperatures that caused that O ring to give out. The freebie Mr. Coffee was a failure.

I do appreciate the woman that gave me the Mr. Coffee and I’m glad she gave it to me. For half a moment I thought about fixing it, but when I turned it over, I found the same weird screws on it that the Black & Decker had on it. They must use those in order to keep us from fixing their faulty coffee makers, forcing us to go and buy new ones every five or six years.

As I drink my cup of hot tea this morning… (there is just something fundamentally wrong with that) I ponder my next move. Back to Sam’s? Or do I head in an entirely new direction? Do I go to the church and look in the closets loaded with old coffee makers and try to get one of those to work? Do I give up drinking coffee all together? I’m not sure. But who knew that the very thing that doomed the Shuttle Challenger would befall not only my Black & Decker, but also my Mr. Coffee? You would think they would have a solution by now. I don’t know what is next, but I do know I’m not going for another cup of tea.

Roundup That Matters

Pastor Youcef still needs our prayers plus an UPDATE — as of today, Pastor Youcef is still thought to be alive in Iran even though he has been sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity.

We know that God ultimately holds Pastor Youcef’s future in His hands, so we trust that whatever happens, God will be glorified and the gospel will go forward. But we still must pray for his deliverance and ask the LORD to have him spared from the radicals of Islam.

Here is the latest video on the case:

Not Afraid to Tell Her Story — Here is a post about Athena Dean who was involved in a terrible cult of mind control for the past 12 years. While in it, she lost her husband, family, home, business and car all because she fell under the Satanic control of cult-leader Tim Williams. Her business was running Wine Press, which was a successful small business until Williams and company showed up on the scene. Like many cults, Williams has left a long trail of broken Christians in his path.

Remember, we are to follow Christ, not men, especially when they twist Scripture to support their arguments. Whenever someone says that you should do something because God said so, and they point to the Bible to support their case, realize that this isn’t how Christianity operates. Athena also has a piece of the tactics of the cults.

Seven States File Lawuit over Obama Mandate — Good news. We see that seven states which include Texas, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina, are filing a lawsuit in district court to stop the Obama mandate that would require religious institutions to provide health care that would provide abortions and contraceptions that are against their religious beliefs. As we saw in my post yesterday, the so-called compromise, was not a compromise at all and the mandate as it was written is still the mandate that is being required by Health and Human Services, which is a violation of our rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. The mandate demands that those who believe it is fundamentally wrong to kill a child would still have to pay for services that kill children. With this issue and the issue of Arizona’s immigration law, it’s sad to see that Americans greatest opponent to freedom and liberty is our own president. Alas, but we tried to warn our friends and families who were so ga-ga over this man, yet they would not listen.

Obama Confident He Has Another Five Years — not if we have anything to say about it. King Obama declared to Univision that he has another five years to set his plans in place. There he is quoted as saying the following:

“Well, first of all … my presidency is not over,” Obama, who just a few months ago described himself as an underdog in the presidential race, said in a telephone interview.  “I’ve got another five years coming up. We’re going to get this done,” he said.

“I would have only broken my promise if I hadn’t tried,” he said. “But ultimately, I’m one man. You know, we live in a democracy. We don’t live in a monarchy. I’m not the king. I’m the president. And so, I can only implement those laws that are passed through Congress.”

Given that we know he lies and actually believe and does the opposite of what he says in public, he really does see himself as king. Just given that he made that statement is quite telling. He has actually thought about it, desired it, wished it, so he could do away with that pesky Constitution that keeps him from implementing all his socialistic programs. Thank God we do have the Constitution and we have people who are still standing up for it.
Runaway Slave Still Working for Release — The movie Runaway Slave is still working to be released on a wide scale. The movie was shown in Washington for its premiere to about 200 blacks, all of which gave the movie a standing ovation at it’s conclusion. The movie focuses on how Democrat policies have actually enslaved black people to the Liberal agenda. As on commentator on the movie said… “the Democrats want the government to become our god.” I think the political cartoon at the top of the posts illustrates the point. The more people who are dependent upon government, the more government controls our lives, the more power they have. That is socialism. Every country that has tried it has failed. You can see the failures in Obama’s policies already.
I saw this comment over at Neil’s blog by Roxeanne De Luca, about the hypocrisy of the left. It captures what the movie is trying to say, and the cartoon above:

Amazing smackdown, Neil. Why does the Left never discuss how their own failed policies cause the poverty they are trying to prevent? They make housing obscenely expensive via “free” money and mandates, then cry about how the “free market” caused the housing bubble. They make it nearly impossible to commit mentally ill homeless people, then can’t figure out why we can’t get people off the streets. They undermine the dignity of an honest day’s work, then can’t figure out why people refuse to get off welfare. Then, when they’ve gotten the government and their twisted interpretation of the Constitution to really make a muck of things, the “solution” is more government intervention. As the Queen of Swords and I were saying today, it’s like people who ignore you when you tell them to not eat ten deep-fried Twinkies a day, then, when they turn into whales, say that the only solution to their problem is to eat more deep-fried Twinkies, because eating boosts the metabolism.

Obama Lied With Compromise

The Heritage Foundation has offered a great summary of the problem with Obama’s mandate last week that religious institutions must provide health care for women that pays for abortions, etc. We were led to believe that a compromise was offered, but the mandate  that was put in place, wasn’t changed to reflect any compromise. What this means is that the speech he gave trying to say that the religious institutions would not have to pay for contraceptions or abortions, but that the insurance companies would have to provide them for free, was just a lie. The mandate remained exactly as it was penned.

Watch the video:

Answering an Arminian’s Charges: Part One on Limited Atonement

I had a recent exchange with a former member of the church and his position against Calvinism. Since he was public in his point of view and a former elder, I have no problems answering him publicly and do so for the benefit of the flock entrusted to me. He shall go nameless, and will remain so unless he chooses to respond. I really wanted to leave this be, but given that the effects of those who think and teach this way are so pervasive among the flock entrusted to me and the other elders by Our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, I feel compelled to answer.

Allow me to say upfront that when I say the word Calvinist, I do not mean by it that I get up on the morning and read from John Calvin’s work for my quiet time. I do not mean by the term that I follow John Calvin and that he is any way my LORD and Savior. He is not. He is a fallen man that I believed was simply used by God during his time to express clearly what the gospel was and is according to Scripture. This form of theology is only held to where Scripture confirms it, and where Scripture does not confirm it, we distance ourselves from such things. The Bible is our guide and God’s glory is our goal in understanding how we view the world in which we live.

The opposing view to Calvinist doctrine is Arminianism, which was started by Jacob Arminius. He was a Dutch theologian who lived in the 1600s and he opposed Calvinism with his views. If you are a protestant living today, you fall into either one or the others camp.

My antagonist here will say that he is neither Arminian nor Calvinist, but that he is a biblicist. This is nothing more than an arrogant attempt to sound pious by saying that he holds only to what the Bible says. Let me be clear, both sides hold to what the Bible says, in that we appeal to the Bible for our views. However, I must confess than when I see what the Arminians are saying… it seems they do a lot of disregarding what the Bible actually says. They also do a lot of reinterpretation. For instance, the latest that I have heard is that when it comes to the word “elect,” they are actually saying that God elects “everyone.” This view is unsupportable as I hope you will see.

To the letter:

My position was stated as clearly as possible to the congregation in writing, but those writings seem to have been suppressed as I stated in my resignation letter. Please consider this my position as delineated to the elders of First Christian regarding Calvinism:

The theory which is today commonly known by the name Calvinism was first introduced by Augustine in the fourth century.

Yes, both men agreed on a lot of things because they were drawing their beliefs from Scripture. When the Bible is the place of our beliefs, we tend to agree on a lot of points. John Calvin appealed to Augustine to help show that he (Calvin) was not out of line with Christian orthodoxy, but that it was the Roman Catholic Church that was in error. He was using Augustine, one whom the RCC claimed as a pope, to show their error.

Calvin did not agree on all points with Augustine. But on the main issues, they were in agreement, as are those in the Reformed camp today. The reason this is so, is because these truths that both Calvin, Augustine, and those who are Reformed hold to, are biblical truths (Please note that I was accused of being a Calvinist before I knew what a Calvinist was. Why? Because I was preaching and teaching what Ephesians and the Gospel of John taught us.)

He taught that Christ did not die for all men, but for a chosen few whom God had chosen and predestinated to become His children.

This really is one of those questions that separate Calvinists and Arminians. Who does Jesus truly die for? Most in evangelical circles will start screaming John 3:16!, John 3:16! But those of you who know me know that I reject using John 3:16 for the answer to every Arminian affirmation. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world, not that Jesus died for every single soul to walk the earth. As was recently pointed out by Stan in the comments section, the “so” in that verse is qualitative, not quantitative. In other worlds, God loves the world in a certain way, that He gave His Son. Not that He loved everyone without exception.

This topic is really under the heading of limited atonement, or, what many like to call as particular redemption. The atonement is not limited in its ability, but limited to those whom it is applied to. The Arminians want to say that the atonement applies to all, and it is our responsibility to make it apply to us. Calvinists are saying that it only applies to the elect. In other words, we believe that Christ’s atonement is complete and not faulty at all. He doesn’t need our help in saving us. What He did on the cross was completely sufficient for all who believe and there is nothing that needs to be done by us in order to be saved.

The Arminians, on the other hand, believe that Christ’s atoning work made it possible for all to be saved and only those who really work hard enough will actually be saved. This is basically works theology and human-centered theology. That is the crux of the difference when it comes to our view. Arminians want to say it is about us and our choices, while Calvinist declare that it is God and His Sovereign will.

But back to particular redemption. Why is it that Calvinists hold to this position? We do so because we believe that God’s sovereign and declare will is that there are a certain number of elect and Christ will save everyone completely who is elect. I know, this idea of election causes many to bluster at the thought, but is is Scriptural. We get the idea from verses like Deuteronomy 7:6-8; John 13:18; Romans 9:11-24; 11:5-6; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2 Timothy 2:19; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2, 15, 2:4, 9, 21; 2 Peter 1:10, just to name a few verses.)

The idea of particular redemption stems from this concept of election. Not only did God choose those whom He planned to save before the foundations of the world were laid, but He also guaranteed that they would be saved by Christ’s work on the cross. In other words, His atonement is certain because it doesn’t rest or reside in the one being saved, but in the One who is doing the saving.

Listen to Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. The appointment stems from His election of us. This isn’t based upon anything in us, but because of His own free, immutable and contingent-free will. Before Adam had sinned, God had already decreed whom He would save and whom He would leave to their sin. In this election, He determined that we would be free from His wrath because of the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Christ died for us, the elect. He didn’t die for those who are not the elect. To do so would mean that His death was powerless, otherwise if He died for all, all would be saved. However, we know this not to be true.

This last statement ruffles the feathers of those who seek to let their entire theological view be informed by John 3:16. Their argument is that Christ died for everyone in the world without exception. But… the text doesn’t say that. It said that God so loved the world that He gave His Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.

Only those who believe in Him will benefit from His death. Those who do not believe in Him will not benefit from His death, for they were not destined to believe or benefit from the cross. Who is Christ’s atoning work effectual for? Those who believe AND those who don’t believe, or just those who believe? Calvinist believe that His death is completely effectual for the elect, because this is who Jesus died for.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. Notice who Christ gave Himself for. It was not the world, but the church, those who believe in Him. His purpose is to take the elect, cleanse them and make the ready for the great marriage feast to come. In fact, the Father predestined those who believe to be blameless, holy and spotless before Him (Ephesians 1:4). His death accomplishes this decision by the Father completely. His death on the cross was the specific means for bringing His elect into this holy condition and to make those who are His elect His sons. How? By Jesus Christ Himself (Ephesians 1:5).

This act of grace is not for the world or the non-elect, but for those who are His and have been predetermined to be His. Let me state it again, Christ gave Himself for the church, not for the world.

Paul will say this again in Galatians 1:3-5 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Again, who did He die for? The text says that He gave Himself for our sins, so that we would be delivered from this present again, according to the will of God our Father, and not our wills (John 1:12-13).

Do you see a constant reoccurring theme here? Over and over again, I appeal to Scripture to make my case. I don’t just appeal to ONE verse, but many. I don’t just rest on twisting one verse, like John 3:16, but let Scripture support what I believe.

OK, let’s look as some more verses on this topic. Look at what Christ says about His own people and His own death. John 10:14-15 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. Notice who Jesus say He lays His life down for… His sheep, who know His voice. He doesn’t lay His life down for the goats, but those who belong to Him.

Jesus also goes on to rebuke those who do not believe in 10:26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. It is very simple, those who believe in Him for salvation are His elect. He died for His elect. He rejects those who do not believe because they are not His sheep.

One final verse. Jesus also says that those who are His sheep, not only believe, but also follow Him as well. John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. We see that intimate knowledge by Our Lord. He knows them. He doesn’t just die for us, call us, and redeem us, but He knows us. Those of us who belong to Him, listen to His words and believe as He has taught us.

This is why Calvinists believe in particular redemption. This is why we say that Jesus died for those who are His. We say it and believe it because He said it, and both Peter and Paul said it. This is not a doctrine that we have come up with on our own, but one in which our very LORD gave us. If you do not believe it, perhaps you should ask the question: “Am I really one of HIS?”

Now, let us go back to the words of my antagonist. He writes:

He taught that Christ did not die for all men, but for a chosen few whom God had chosen and predestinated to become His children.

It is true, Calvin did teach these things. He taught these things because Jesus taught these things, so did Paul, and so did Peter. Our antagonist doesn’t offer any proof against this position, he just blasts it and move on. This is the case for so many who rail against Calvinism. They just accept whatever sounds good without looking at the biblical reasons we hold to the positions we do. They think in attack us they are doing the gospel a favor. But they are not. It is better to believe in the truth given to us by God, than try to water it down and make it acceptable to men. I admit, these truths are difficult. But they are the truths of Scripture and we need to try our best to understand them and teach them.

Santorum’s Phony Theology Remark Reveals His Own Phony Theology

I do hope that Rick Santorum gets the Republican nomination for president. However, I’m glad the presidents do not have to take theology tests, because… in his endeavor to truly question Obama’s theology, Santorum reveals his own weak theology. Santorum is right about O’s theology, it is phony and quite clearly non-Christian. But his is just not much better:

“I wasn’t suggesting the president’s not a Christian. I accept the fact that the president is a Christian,” Santorum said.

“I was talking about the radical environmentalist,” he said. “I was talking about energy, this idea that man is here to serve the Earth as opposed to husband its resources and be good stewards of the Earth. And I think that is a phony ideal.

“I don’t believe that that’s what we’re here to do. That man is here to use the resources and use them wisely, to care for the Earth, to be a steward of the Earth, but we’re not here to serve the Earth. The Earth is not the objective. Man is the objective. And I think a lot of radical environmentalists have it upside down,” Santorum said.

Rick, Rick, Rick… this is why whatever denomination you are in needs to return to the catechisms of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Had Rick been catechized as a child, he would not have missed the fundamental principle of man. The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever, not man. Man is not the objective. God is the objective. Until Christians can get this straight in their theology, their theology is not Christian, but Christianized humanism. Sad.

The Truth of Christ’s Cross

For some Sunday morning meditation, the following is from J.C. Ryle:

Let us set fully before our eyes the doctrine of Christ dying in our place – His substituted death, and rest our souls on it. Let us hold on firmly to the mighty truth, that Christ on the cross:

Christ on the cross: Stood in the place of His people

Christ on the cross: Died for His people

Christ on the cross: Suffered for His people

Christ on the cross: Was counted a curse and sin for His people

Christ on the cross: Paid the debts of His People

Christ on the cross: Made restitution for His people

Christ on the cross: Became the guarantee of His people

Christ on the cross: Became the representative of His people

In this way Christ obtained His people’s freedom. Let us understand this clearly, and then we will see what a mighty privilege it is to be made free by Christ. This is freedom which, above all others is worth having.

~ J.C. Ryle

For more on Ryle, go here.

Drug Wars Driving People to Christ

I love seeing stories like the following because they truly demonstrate Romans 8:28 in a real way. People are coming to know Christ in large numbers because of the violence that stems from the drug wars.

When missionaries and pastors serving in Mexico discuss drug violence, a common theme emerges. People are suffering and dying in terrible ways, they say, but the fear this creates is driving unprecedented numbers of Mexicans – especially teens and twenty-somethings – into the arms of Christ.

“Victory in Jesus, that’s what’s happening in Mexico,” says missionary Mary Stroud. “There has always been violence there, but now what used to be done in darkness is being brought into the light.”

She and her husband, Matthew, served for two years in northern Tamaulipas state – one of the most violent in Mexico, and the stomping grounds of the Zetas, the most brutal and notorious cartel. For security reasons, they asked that their real names not be used, as they are still ministering in Mexico. The Zetas sometimes murder people merely for talking about them.

“The Enemy uses deception through the media to paint a bleak, horrible, hopeless picture of Mexico, which isn’t a true one. There’s a tremendous uprising of youth coming to Jesus. Seeds that were planted year after year are coming to fruition. The time of harvest is now.

“Yes, due to the violence people are losing their lives – that’s real. But God is reigning in Mexico. Victory is here, and it belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ!”

This really does demonstrate Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Satan is busy using the drug violence to try and destroy people’s lives, and God’s goodness and grace is overcoming Satan’s wickedness as people are coming to know Christ and being freed from Satan’s snares. Those who know me know that I always point out that the things God works together for good, are not always good. He is so rich in His mercy that He can take the evil things in our lives and use that to draw us to Himself. This is what is taking place in Mexico.

Those who are coming to know Him in Mexico because of the drug wars are finding true and lasting hope in Christ. That is something that they have never had before knowing Christ. It is sad that often times we must go through terrible storms before we realize there is something missing in our lives. But I imagine the youth who are trusting in Christ are grateful the Lord used all that to bring them to Himself. They see that the things of this world are fleeting and worthless. Let’s hope and pray that the LORD shows His grace and mercy to the youth of the United States as well.

The Arrogance of Modernity in Full View

I’ve been dialoging with Wranger concerning my post on the death of Christopher Hitchens. It’s been a good debate but Wranger keeps coming back to his trump card, which is that we know so much more than those of the First Century. Here are his words:

My point is that any ten year old today, knows infinitely more about the natural order, and the universe, than anybody living in the First Century. If it’s arrogant to think that, then I’m arrogant.

This is one of the comments that seems like it’s a real trump card in the argument, because, we know so much more today than they did in the First Century. But alas, I beg to differ. I would say we know a lot less than they did in the First Century.

Wranger is arguing that the ten year old knows more about the natural order, but I bet most don’t know that Chicken McNuggets actually come from chickens. The 10 year olds  of today know nothing about real life because they have been so sheltered from it. They do not know how to raise chickens, kill chickens, clean chickens or cook them. They knew how to shear sheep, milk cows, make cheese, press grapes for wine, mill the wheat and everything that was involved with eating because they had to actually do it.

Our children today may know how to work a Gameboy or X-box, but when it comes to life and living, our children are helpless (excluding those who are raise on a farm). We think we are so smart because we have billions of facts right at our finger tips. But how much of it do we actually know? How many of us could actually rebuild our transmission if we needed to? How many of us could grow enough wheat in order to survive for the winter? How many of us would know the process and patience of making wine?

The people of the First Century knew what it meant to survive. They knew where food came from, how to grow it, process it, cook it and preserve it. While we may know facts about such things, and know that such things take place, could we actually do it?

They also knew about life as well. They knew where babies came from and the women had to band together in order to help one another deliver their children. There were no doctors to swoop in at the last moment and do all the work. There were no hospitals, so they really had to know what it took to have children.

They understood death as well. No morticians to come along and sanitize the process. They had to bury their own dead and did so quite often. They knew war, they knew real peace. They knew life at is basest form and knew how to survive. I wouldn’t give members of the Occupy Wall Street crowd 10 minutes in that culture. They have been taught “infinitely more about the natural order” and can’t seem to make a go of it in our culture today. The entire argument that we can learn nothing from previous cultures and men is a result of the arrogance of modernity. Those who have fallen for this arrogance look back on previous cultures and deduce they are nothing more than a bunch of backwood idiots because we are so far advance in our technology. I concede, we are much farther advanced technologically. But that doesn’t mean we are smart than the previous generations of men who lived on the earth. After all, the smarter man is not the one that uses fire, but the one who discovers fire.

The sad reality is that this arrogance is taught and cultivated in our schools today. Far too many fall for it. Simply because we have more information today doesn’t mean we know more, it doesn’t mean we are wiser, it doesn’t mean we are better off. If fact, given the number of people who have failed the test of godly wisdom, we are much worse off.

Wranger continued:

You still haven’t explained what it is about them, or what it is that they said, that makes you so eager to believe First Century Jews, rather than our overwhelming empirical scientific evidence.

That is simple to explain. What is it the First Century Jews knew? They may not have had empirical scientific evidence about DNA, but the ones I’m referring to knew something much greater than the mapping of the genome. They knew the One who created the genome. They knew the One who gave us science, and life, and breath, and the world in which we live. The knew the One that created us and put the stars, moon and sun in their place. They knew the One that gave the order we find in creation.

They also knew the Redeemer who came to deal ultimately with our greatest problem: sin and death. While we may be able to identify genes the lead to us sinning, we still cannot solve our sinful nature, our problems with death. We still face that judgment and science can do nothing to alleviate us of the problem. Just ask Christopher Hitchens.

Those men in the First Century who knew the Creator were also wise enough to tell us of the foolishness of mankind. The Apostle Paul wrote and warned us that those who sought knowledge, Greeks in his day, would find the truths of the gospel as complete foolishness. Listen to Paul’s words:

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[b] foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The scientists and modern thinkers cans sit and ponder what fools we are who follow Christ all they want, but they offer us nothing to give us true and lasting hope. All of them still sin. All of them still die. All of them face judgment, yet, they want us to believe that they have the answers because they have mapped out the human genome? They want us to follow them into their theories of evolution just because they think they have evidence of evolution in genetics?

I tried to point out to Wranger that those who believe in evolution still do not have incontrovertible evidence for evolution. As I have said before, if there was evidence beyond a shadow of doubt, then we would celebrate the scientist who discovered the evidence with yearly parades. But in the end, all scientist can say is, “the evidence leads me to believe that evolution is a fact.” Which… is not science, but faith.

Even Stephen J. Gould, admitted that there was no evidence before he died when he presented his theory on punctuated equilibrium. In the introduction of his book, he stated that there wasn’t a shred of evidence, but that evolution was still a fact. He then went on to say that the missing link happened so quickly that there was no trace of it. In other words, he was coming back to what God has told us, that the created order was put together in six days… so quickly that there are no traces of it.

But alas, even Stephen J. Gould succumbed to death. He is no longer here to defend his punctuated equilibrium and the scientific community has moved on in their quest to rid the world of a Creator.

Wranger continues

And as for choosing science and DNA over the magical claims of First Century Bronze Age desert Jews, I will quote Christopher Hitchens;

“I want to live my life taking the risk all the time that I don’t know anything like enough yet. That I haven’t understood enough, that I can’t know enough, that I’m always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom. I wouldn’t have it any other way…take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way.”

That was the second time he made sure to mention that the Jews lived in the Bronze Age. That is the arrogance coming through loud and clear. It is as if he is saying, “Christopher Hitchens is by far, superior in intellect, knowledge, etc., than those idiots of the First Century. What could the possibly know?”

He then quotes Hitchens, who is saying he really doesn’t know enough yet… but is placing his faith and trust in the knowledge that will be known someday. In fact, I would have to say that Hitchens was seeking salvation through the form of knowledge, kind of like the Greeks in Paul’s day, who, would meet in the in the Areaopagus in ore to hear some new thing. They really didn’t want anything that was consequential in their lives, just something new to tickle their ears.

Yet, all the knowledge that Hitchens knew and hoped to know did not save him from the worst of fates: death without the hope of salvation. He might have known many philosophies or even some genetics. He might have known multiple theories on evolution. But He lacked knowing the One that created the heavens and the earth. He didn’t know the One who made him. He didn’t know the One that could have redeemed him from sin and death.

While I may not know all the theories of evolution that are currently floating about, I would much rather know Him who saves us from this body of death. I may not know how genetics works, or much about the human genome, but I do know the Savior and, more importantly, He knows me.

Wranger, I cannot answer you on a lot of scientific facts. But you have seen my answer. I would rather be known by and know Christ than be well thought of in the world academia, or science. Those two offer a lot of facts to be known, but nothing that answers the greatest problem we all face: sin, death and judgment. Without being known by Him, in a way that leads to salvation, all the theories, genetic maps, ponderings of how the world work are worthless. In fact, one of those men from the Bronze Age that you so belittle said something along those lines:

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

UPDATE: Via Neil’s Eternity Matters, Stand to Reason has an excellent piece on scientist who question evolution. Here is just a snippet:

You have no friends of religion here. These men are inside of the established scientific community, not outside of it. Yet each offers scientifically rigorous and compelling arguments against the idea that known natural processes are adequate to explain the biological complexity of our world.

Michael Behe is a cellular biologist with impeccable credentials. In his book Darwin’s Black Box, he shows that the irreducible complexity of life can’t be explained by Darwinian gradualism.

James Shapiro of the University of Chicago, a molecular biologist and a deeply committed evolutionist, made this candid remark in response to Behe’s work:

There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject–evolution–with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses work in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity.  James Shapiro, “In the Details…What?,” National Review, September 19, 1996, pp. 62-65.

You can read the rest here. He also bring’s up Stephen J. Gould’s punctuated equilibrium as well, which truly demonstrates the problem that evolutionist are having in supporting their faith system. He summarizes the problem of the two camps by quoting Phillip Johnson:

Phillip Johnson has made a fair observation when he states, “If eminent experts say that evolution according to Gould is too confused to be worth bothering about, and others equally eminent say that evolution according to Dawkins rests on unsubstantiated assertions and counterfactual claims, the public can hardly be blamed for suspecting that grand-scale evolution may rest on something less impressive than rock-solid, unimpeachable fact.”

Study Concludes: LET THEM EAT CAKE! for Breakfast

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!!! A new study out shows that eating cake for breakfast can be a good thing. Yup, is says that by eating cake for breakfast, just one piece, helps us feel full and we don’t have the cravings we do throughout the day, which lead to eating less healthy once we get to our next meal.

In the study, obese participants who ate a breakfast high in protein and carbohydrates that included a dessert were better able to stick to their diet and keep the pounds off longer than participants who ate a low-carb, low-calorie breakfast that did not include sweets.

The findings suggest that both meal timing and meal composition play a role in weight loss. Carbs and protein eaten at breakfast may keep us full throughout the day, plus allowing ourselves some sweets helps to stem cravings for these foods, said study researcher Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, of Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Can you believe this? Eating cake may lead to weight loss. I always knew cake for breakfast was a good thing. After all, cake is filled with eggs, flour, sugar, icing… all four major food groups. So it can’t be bad for us… right?