Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Does God Creat Evil?

A Question from a faithful briggs blog reader:

"Does God place Evil in man's heart? Does God create Evil?"

Let's start the discussion with a few verses:

Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." (King James)

Amos 3;6 "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?" (NASB)

The NIV translates "evil" as "disaster" as both verses seem to be talking about natural disasters not evil... but still...

Exodus 4:11 "Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?"

So where does evil come from?
Where does disaster come from?
Is it from God?
Is it from man?
Is God responsible for evil even though He may not have created it?

"No Mr. President!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Everyhting moves sooooo fast

Good little tid bits of information
the average American teen sends 2272 texts a month
75 text a day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Two Tier Approach to truth

On Sunday we discussed the 'Two Teir' approach to truth
This is a concept i got from Pearcey's book 'total truth'
her she is in her own words
(to read the whole article het the link below)

The first step in forming a Christian worldview is to overcome this sharp divide between "heart" and "brain." We have to reject the division of life into a sacred realm, limited to things like worship and personal morality, over against a secular realm that includes science, politics, economics, and the rest of the public arena. This dichotomy in our own minds is the greatest barrier to liberating the power of the gospel across the whole of culture today.

Moreover, it is reinforced by a much broader division rending the entire fabric of modern society—what sociologists call the public/private split. "Modernization brings about a novel dichotomization of social life," writes Peter Berger. "The dichotomy is between the huge and immensely powerful institutions of the public sphere [by this he means the state, academia, large corporations] . . . and the private sphere"—the realm of family, church, and personal relationships.

The large public institutions claim to be "scientific" and "value-free," which means that values are relegated to the private sphere of personal choice. As Berger explains: "The individual is left to his own devices in a wide range of activities that are crucial to the formation of a meaningful identity, from expressing his religious preference to settling on a sexual life style." [4] We might diagram the dichotomy like this:

Modern societies are sharply divided:

Personal Preferences


Scientific Knowledge

In short, the private sphere is awash in moral relativism. Notice Berger's telling phrase "religious preference." Religion is not considered an objective truth to which we submit, but only a matter of personal taste which we choose. Because of this, the dichotomy is sometimes called the fact/value split.

Values have been reduced to arbitrary, existential decisions:

Individual Choice


Binding on Everyone

As Schaeffer explains, the concept of truth itself has been divided—a process he illustrates with the imagery of a two-story building: In the lower story are science and reason, which are considered public truth, binding on everyone. Over against it is an upper story of noncognitive experience, which is the locus of personal meaning. This is the realm of private truth, where we hear people say, "That may be true for you but it's not true for me."[5]

The two-realm theory of truth:

Nonrational, Noncognitive


Rational, Verifiable

When Schaeffer was writing, the term postmodernism had not yet been coined, but clearly that is what he was talking about. Today we might say that in the lower story is modernism, which still claims to have universal, objective truth—while in the upper story is postmodernism.

Today's two-story truth:

Subjective, Relative to Particular Groups


Objective, Universally Valid

The reason it's so important for us to learn how to recognize this division is that it is the single most potent weapon for delegitimizing the biblical perspective in the public square today. Here's how it works: Most secularists are too politically savvy to attack religion directly or to debunk it as false. So what do they do? They consign religion to the value sphere—which takes it out of the realm of true and false altogether. Secularists can then assure us that of course they "respect" religion, while at the same time denying that it has any relevance to the public realm.

As Phillip Johnson puts it, the fact/value split "allows the metaphysical naturalists to mollify the potentially troublesome religious people by assuring them that science does not rule out 'religious belief' (so long as it does not pretend to be knowledge)." [6] In other words, so long as everyone understands that it is merely a matter of private feelings. The two-story grid functions as a gatekeeper that defines what is to be taken seriously as genuine knowledge, and what can be dismissed as mere wish-fulfillment.

Just a Power Grab?
This same division also explains why Christians have such difficulty communicating in the public arena. It's crucial for us to realize that nonbelievers are constantly filtering what we say through a mental fact/value grid. For example, when we state a position on an issue like abortion or bioethics or homosexuality, we intend to assert an objective moral truth important to the health of society - but they think we're merely expressing our subjective bias. When we say there's scientific evidence for design in the universe, we intend to stake out a testable truth claim - but they say, "Uh oh, the Religious Right is making a political power grab." The fact/value grid instantly dissolves away the objective content of anything we say, and we will not be successful in introducing the content of our belief into the public discussion unless we first find ways to get past this gatekeeper.

That's why Lesslie Newbigin warned that the divided concept of truth is the primary factor in "the cultural captivity of the gospel." It traps Christianity in the upper story of privatized values, and prevents it from having any effect on public culture. [7] Having worked as a missionary in India for forty years, Newbigin was able to discern what is distinctive about Western thought more clearly than most of us, who have been immersed in it all our lives. On his return to the West, Newbigin was struck by the way Christian truth has been marginalized. He saw that any position labeled religion is placed in the upper story of values, where it is no longer regarded as objective knowledge.

To give just one recent example, in the debate over embryonic stem cell research, actor Christopher Reeve told a student group at Yale University, "When matters of public policy are debated, no religions should have a seat at the table." [8]

To recover a place at the table of public debate, then, Christians must find a way to overcome the dichotomy between public and private, fact and value, secular and sacred. We need to liberate the gospel from its cultural captivity, restoring it to the status of public truth. "The barred cage that forms the prison for the gospel in contemporary western culture is [the church's] accommodation . . . to the fact-value dichotomy," says Michael Goheen, a professor of worldview studies. [9] Only by recovering a holistic view of total truth can we set the gospel free to become a redemptive force across all of life.

The Real Informant

There is a new movie coming out with Mat Damon in it called "The Informant" It is basically a dark comedy about a cooperate whistle blower. But as usual Hollywood misses the real compelling story. The whistle blower, Mark Whitarce actually became of believer in this process before he went to jail. Check out some of the real story here:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Intelligent Design

I came across this quote today by Richard Dawkins in his book "the blind watchmaker" p. 287

"Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory... we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories."

Read that again

Have we missed the point in trying to argue the scientific facts in intelligent design?

Does the evidence even matter?!

Dawkins gives a resounding NO!

Here is another quote from the magazine "Nature" by S.C. Todd a Kansas State prof (as quoted by Pearcey in Total Truth p.168)

"Even if all the data points to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic"

And there it is

It is not the scientific evidence

It is not the facts

It is not science's noble, impartial quest to discocer truth & follow the evidence where ever it leads (does anyone still think that science & scientist are neutral & unbiased anymore?)

It is thier WORLDVIEWS made up ahead of time to automatically exclude anything but the naturalistic interpretation

It is their Philosophical Understanding that gudes thier science

Philosophy of Naturalism
Nature MUST be the force behind everything

It can NEVER be the Supernatural
It can never be GOD

Their philosophy necessarily dictates to them what their conclusions will be beforehand
It is a volitional decision made beforehand

We can argue the FACTS till we are blue in the face

but that will never convince them until we get to the philosophy behind their thinking

until we get to their hearts

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Bible is a violent Book!

What are we to do with the scenes of sex & violence in the Bible?

This morning, at the ungodly hour of 6:15 am we were doing a very Godly thing; having a Bible study at the diner, we are studying the life of David. Chapter 17 is the thrilling victory of David over the mighty giant Goliath.

David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword

Somehow I don’t remember the decapitation scene in the Veggie Tales version!

The Bible is a violent book!

Read of the Violence in the Old Testament:
Annihilation of entire cities (Gen 19:23, Jos 6:21, 8:22-26, 10:34-42)
Bludgeoning of a thousand men to death (Jud 15:15-16)
Burning Victims alive (Num 16:35, Jos 7:25, Jud 9:49, Dan 3:22)
Cannibalism (2 Kings 6:28)
Cutting off of thumbs (Jud 1:6-7)
Human Sacrifice
etc. etc.

Even Jesus does not shy away from describing things in gruesome details! Check out these parables in Matthew
Matthew 7:24-26 House built on sand: destruction of houses
Matthew 18:6 Millstone tied around neck and drowned
Matthew 18:7-9 Picture of sin’s seriousness: gouge out eyes, cut off hands
Matthew 18:23-35 The Unforgiving servant: choking, torture in prison
Matthew 22:1-13 The Story of the wedding feast depicts beatings, murder, war, and arson
Matthew 24:45-51 Faithful and unfaithful slaves: Beatings, drunken parties, bodily dismemberment!
Is the Bible rated 'R' for violence?!

Worldview Question:
How does this relate to our viewing choices of movies & TV programs?

Godawa in his book “Hollywood Worldview” writes:
Although violence and sexual immorality are results of the Fall in Eden, all accounts of sex and violence are not intrinsically immoral. It is the context through which these misbehaviors are communicated that dictates their destructive or redemptive nature It is not merely the detailed acts of violence portrayed in teen slasher series like Friday the 13th, Scream, or Nightmare on Elm Street that make them detrimental to the minds of youth. It is that these acts exist within a nihilistic view of the world as survival of the fittest, with murder demythologized through diabolical detail… The devaluing of human life is realized through evil as entertainment. On the other hand, films like Schindler’s List, Braveheart, and Saving Private Ryan portray equally graphic brutality, but their context is ultimately redemptive. That is, the depiction of man’s inhumanity toward man points toward righteous resistance and ultimate redemption from such evil. Similar extremities of violence can issue from different contexts and produce opposite results.

He provides us some guidelines for making wise choices in what we watch when it comes to violence

1. Intent
2. Depiction
3. Consequences
4. Context

Here are some movies - You be the judge
Which ones are in which ones are out- What’s you list?

Saving Private Ryan
Indiana Jones
Star Wars
Fight Club
Pulp Fiction
Natural Born Killers
Silence of the Lambs
Usual Suspects

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Tale of Two Murders

James Pouillon: a Prolife advocate and protester, was murdered Saturday Sept 12th.
He was shot down while holding his anti-abortion sign outside a High School
check out the article here: http://www.lifenews.com/state4410.html

and here: http://www.freep.com/article/20090911/NEWS06/90911020/1319/Pro-life-activist-shot-dead-near-Owosso-High

The Question is will this murder get the attention that Dr. Tiller's murder got in June? Will there be calls to denounce this murderer as there was for Tiller's murderer? Or will there be a double standard?

A Collision of Worldviews

COLLISION - 13 min VIMEO Exclusive Sneak Peek from Collision Movie on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One of the BEST books on Worldview

Francis Schaeffer
“Christianity is not a series of truths in the Plural, but rather truth spelled with a capital “T.” Truth about total reality, not just religious things. Biblical Christianity is Truth concerning total reality- and the intellectual holding of that total Truth and then living in the light of that Truth”

Worldview Sermons Series Staring September 13th

Sermons in the Series:
Sept 13th: "What is a Worldview?"
Sept 20th: "How do i know truth?"
Sept 27th: "Where did i come from?"
Oct 4th: "Why is the world so messed up?"
Oct 11th: "How should we then live?"

Some of the books i'm reading on worldview

Monday, September 14, 2009

Welcome to Allan's Blog

Hopefully in the weeks to come this blog will be a useful resource to go along with my sermons & lessons each week. Extra resources, research & readings will be posted to enrich