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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hot Wheels

I dreamed of having this in my room as a kid. Sadly, it remained a dream. My creativity was limited by my orange plastic tracks. I am sure my childhood was probably better for it, however.

A fun video, but the noise would drive me mad. You may want to turn the sound down a bit.


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Strategy

Starting Monday I am on jury duty watch for the week.

If I happened to get called to court, I'm hoping my idea for getting dismissed on the first day will work.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...













Here's your dinner instructions for this year:

Thanksgiving Letter

...Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy. I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don't feel like you have to feed an army.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sarfati Interview

Jonathan Sarfati was interviewed about his book The Greatest Hoax on Earth, a refutation of Richard Dawkin's Greatest Show on Earth. The best discussion comes on the second video in my opinion. They're worth the 22 minutes or so of your time.

HT: Dustin Segers

Part 1



Part 2

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

All Hail AZ.

So me and the family made a trip across the American Southwest to Phoenix to see the in-laws. The trip was lovely as we rented a more up-to-date and reliable van for the drive. I now want XM radio.


Anyways...


The day before we left, a friend of mine sent me this video. Now I am regretting NOT getting that special "Act of God" insurance the rental place tries to hoist upon you. Revelation 16 comes to mind.


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gleanings from Daniel [16]

Antiochus IV: Precursor to the Anti-Christ
[Daniel 8:9-14; 23-27]

Daniel 8 is a second vision the prophet Daniel was given during the third year of Belshazzar's reign.

Daniel once again saw a vision of animals representing kingdoms.

To recap the vision:

Daniel first saw a ram with two horns. One was longer than the other, but the second one quickly out grew it. This ram went out pushing and butting all the other animals. THEN - As Daniel was considering this ram - a he-goat comes flying out of nowhere and attacks the ram. The goat has one large horn.

The angel Gabriel comes to Daniel and interprets the vision. The ram represents the Medo-Persian empire, an interesting prophecy seeing that the Medo-Persians had yet to capture Babylon at the revelation of this vision. The He-goat represented Greece and the one large horn on the goat was Alexander the Great who attacked the Persian empire and over came it. The one large horn (Alexander) on the goat is broken, and out of the remains, four other horns grow. These four horns were four of Alexander's key generals who split his empire into four parts, with each ruling his designated portion. The vision notes that they do not gain the power and authority Alexander had.

The vision, however, goes on to reveal one other little horn that would arise. This horn will grow exceedingly great toward the south, east, and towards what is called "the beautiful land." What or who is this horn? Gabriel interprets this vision for Daniel and his description of this horn tells us it can be only one historical person: Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

I. The Horn's Identity [8:9-10]

Out of the four horns came one little horn. The text states he started small, but grew great. He also has significance to the Jews because of what Daniel describes this horn as doing. It "threw down the starry host." The expression often pictures angels, but in some cases, like here in this context, it speaks of a holy people - the saints (8:24), or Israel. The horn "throws" them down and tramples them, which means simple that it persecutes them.

There is only one specific individual all scholars agree fits this description, a fierce persecuter who follows after the fall of Alexander the great and comes from the remnants of his four generals, the 8th ruler of the Seleucid Greek Empire - Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He specifically was a ruler who persecuted the Jewish people. He was also a "master of intrigue" or as Daniel describes him, one who "understands sinister schemes." Antiochus was known for his political manipulations through extortion and bribes. His kingdom started small, but then grew exceedingly great. He also called himself "epiphanes" which is to say, "deity manifest" or "the illustrious one." This fits Daniel's prophetic description of one who "rises against the prince of princes," or the Lord God. The historical, but non-canonical Apocrypha books of Maccabees, tell how Antiochus came to persecute the Jews, [1 Macc. 1:29-32, 41-64].

II. The Horn's Deeds [8:11-14]

The main act the horn does is persecute God's people. He persecuted the Jews two ways.
Physically - Harsh persecution by slaying the Jewish people.
Religiously - The text states this horn brings the sacrificial system of the Jews to cease and casts down the sanctuary. Antiochus did this when he asserted his authority over Israel. He prevented the Jews from worshiping God and in one instance, he erected a statue of Zeus on the temple mount and offering pig flesh to this statue.

A couple of thoughts about the horn's deeds.

The Reason: Daniel 8:12 mentions this happens "because of transgressions" and 8:23 notes "when the transgressors have reached their fullness. First Maccabees, the non-canonical history written during the intertestimal period explains what this transgression was and why the Jews were given over to judgment:

In those days there went out of Israel wicked men, and they persuaded many, saying: Let us go, and make a covenant with the heathens that are round about us: for since we departed from them, many evils have befallen us. [1 Macc. 1:12]

These Jewish apostates involved themselves in the worship of heathen gods.

The length: Daniel 8:13, 14 states a time marker for the length of time the transgressions of the horn will take place: 2,300 evenings and mornings. The question is raised, "what exactly is meant by this figure? Additionally, "are these real evenings and mornings, or merely a symbolic figure of time?"

The most unusual interpretation that played out in the 1800s is William Miller's view that the figure meant 2,300 years, the evening and mornings being "days" that symbolically represented years. He calculated that the 2,300 days was the date of Christ's return and predicted Christ would return sometime between March, 1843 and March, 1844. This led to the Great Disappointment and the founding of the SDA cult led by Ellen G. White.

There are basically two legitimate perspectives of the figure, however:

1) The "evening and mornings" total 1,150 days, because Daniel is referring to the daily sacrifices that take place in the mornings and evenings. Because there are two daily sacrifices given during one day, 2,300 divided by 2 is 1,150 days. This means the period of the horn's persecution would be a little more than three years. If the termination date of Antiochus's sacrilege is Dec. 14th, 164 B.C. when the temple was rededicated, calculating back 1,150 days would be December 167 B.C. The beginning date of this prophecy would start at the setting up of the statue of Zeus. The actual 1,150 days go back to Sept./Oct. of 167, a few months before Dec. Which means Daniel's prophecy was meant as a close approximation, and that the sacrifices were possibly ended during those months prior to the sacrilege of the temple in Dec.

2) But, a more plausible way to look at the prophecy is to take these days as genuine, 2,300 days. There is good reason for this view.

First, the phrase is literally "evening morning 2,300" in Hebrew. The OT usage of "evening morning" means day. A precedent set in Genesis 1.

Second, when Hebrews wished to make a distinction between the two parts of a day, the number of both was given, for example "Forty days and Forty nights."

Third, the term "daily sacrifice" doesn't appear in verse 14, and it is assumed it is the meaning of the phrase "evening morning."

Fourth, when the two daily sacrifices are specificed, the order in the OT is always "morning and evening," never "evening and morning."

Taking the 2,300 as really 24 hour days indicates a period of six years and almost four months. Starting at Dec. 14, 164 B.C. as the termination point and adding 2,300 days, the beginning of the persecution is the fall of 170 B.C. Something significant marked the starting point: the murder of Onias III, a former high priest by the order of Menelaus, a high priest appointed by Antiochus. From that point on, Antiochus led a persecution against the Jews that continued until the Maccabees rededicated the temple and when the holiday of Hanukkah was established. Thus, the 2,300 days are not a reference only to the end of the sacrifice, but the entire period of the little horn's persecution of God's people.

III. The Horn's Demise [8:25]

Daniel 8:25 states Antiochus will die apart from human means. In other words, he would die of natural causes and not be killed by assassination. This is precisely what happened. He died of grief and remorse after a major military defeat at the city of Elymais and after receiving word that his forces had been routed by the Jews in Palestine.

Antiochus foreshadows the Anti-Christ, a greater eschatological villain who will rise up to persecute the Jews before the return of Christ and the establishment of His earthly kingdom. Like Antiochus, the Anti-Christ is pictured as a horn who rages against the God of heaven and seeks to destroy God's people with he hatred. In the same manner that Antiochus died apart from human hands, the Anti-Christ will be destroyed personally by Jesus at His return (Rev. 19).

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FBT Update

Preparing to go on a bit of a holiday to the in-laws next week. Blogging will be intermittent.

For those interested, I gave a series of devotionals to my volunteers on the subject of mortification of sin. The messages are short and to the point.

Mortifying Sin


Also, I recommend a message given by my friend Travis in GraceLife a few weeks ago. He preached an outstanding message on the wedding at Cana passage in John 2.

The Sign of the Wine

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Casteller

Saw this on Dan's site Friday.

Something tells me that here in the finger-wagging, nanny-driven state of California, the various HOA neighborhoods here in Santa Clarita Valley couldn't start a competition like this. Heck. If they won't let people dive into the deep end of the community swimming pool, I seriously doubt it.

Do they really think those helmets will prevent the children from getting spinal cord injuries?


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Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Dispensationalists Believe

Helping My Reformed Covenant Bros. Move Beyond the 1950s

After the spirited exchanged I had with a few Reformed covenant folks in the combox to my post on Wednesday, I was left wondering if there was a good way to help them understand what dispensationalists believe. Many of them I have personally interacted with over the years seem to languish in the 1950s as to their understanding of Dispensational theology. It's like they are frozen in a Scofield study Bible bubble.

Compounding the problem are the converted, Reformed covenant newbies like Jamin who write vigorously against their dispensationlist past, but who are often misinformed with their criticisms due to being exposed to only secondary, critical sources of Dispensationalism that are extremely dated or poorly written. Regrettably, when I have engaged individuals like this as to their sloppy research, they become agitated for some reason. Also, there is a misconception that the various flavors of Dispensationalism like classic and progressive somehow proves Dispensationalism is erroneous because it has fragmented into different expressions. Yet I don't see how that is any different from the various flavors of Covenant Theology or Calvinism like Federal Visionists, Theonomy, and Amyraldism; and hyper-dispensationalism is no more reflective of true Dispensationalism as hyper-Calvinism is of true Calvinism.

These same Reformed guys are rightly irritated when non-Calvinists like George Bryson and Dave Hunt display the same sort of lazy, contemptible criticisms against Calvinism. Why do they do a similar thing against Dispensational theology?

I do wish to be fair, however, because I have interacted with many fine Reformed Covenant guys who provide honest critiques of Dispensationalism. But still, there is a much larger group who who believe and perpetuate many misconceptions.

So, in order to pull my Reformed covenant friends out of the 1950s and show them Dispensationalism is more than the fanciful diagrams of Clarence Larkin, I thought I would compile some resources.

The best place to begin is with Dr. Michael Vlach's website where he has posted a list of

40 Recommended Resources for Understanding Dispensationalism


The list is mostly book length studies that one will have to find on Amazon. Highlighting just a few of those items he lists, I would recommend John Feinberg's article on systems of discontinuity found in the compilation book, Continuity and Discontinuity. The entire book is worth the read, but that article lays down the essential points defining Dispensationalism. Next would be Alva McClain's The Greatness of the Kingdom which is a comprehensive study of the Kingdom of God and probably one of the best works on the subject in print. I was thankful to find a brand new copy at Archives in Pasadena last year for just 15 bucks. I personally think non-dispensationalists would benefit greatly from this work.

The biggest difference between the covenant and the dispensationalist is the application of hermeneutics. The way one interprets the Bible is going to have a major impact on how one sees the progress of Divine revelation from the OT to the NT. Additionally, how one sees the OT fulfilled in the NT. Some helpful articles regarding hermeneutics:

Michael Vlach's article, New Covenant Theology Compared with Covenantalism has an extended section detailing the matter of hermeneutics. In fact, the Master's Seminary faculty devoted the entire fall 2007 journal to discussing New Covenant Theology and because NCT shares similar theological views with Covenant Theology, there are some helpful discussions. The issue is Volume 18, Number 2, Fall 2007.

For a few articles a bit more simplistic, I would troll myself. I did a series of posts on eschatology and spent a good number of them addressing the subject of hermeneutics:

Out with the Old, in with the New


Type Casting the Bible


Israel => Church

Philosophical Considerations in the Development of Hermeneutics

The Reforming of Hermeneutics

The Wooden Literalist: Beast of Theology Lore Part 1 and Part 2

For a couple of book length study, see Mal Couch, An Introduction to Classic Evangelical Hermeneutics and James White's Scripture Alone. Ironically, James is a Reformed Baptist who would have nothing to do with Dispensationalism, but he provides a study of hermeneutics and exegesis I find well done and when applied consistently, only confirms my understanding of Dispensational principles.

Moving to some more readily available sources on the web,

The on-line teaching of S. Lewis Johnson is all excellent, but noting a couple of of his series,

The Divine Purpose of History and Prophecy

The Future of Ethnic Israel

also, this article from the TMS journal highlighting a specific passage in Galatians 6:19,
Paul and the "Israel of God" an Exegetical Case Study

Dan Phillips, Twenty-five Stupid Reasons for Dissing Dispensationalism

R. Bruce Compton, Dispensationalism, The Church, and The New Covenant

Paul Henebury, Answering the 95 Theses Against Dispensationalism

These are some good places to start. If folks have additional recommendations, note them in the comments and I'll add them to the main list here.

Now:

To be balanced, I would also ask my Reformed Covenant friends for material explaining Covenant Theology. I am more interested in positive presentations rather than critiques of Dispensationalism. Recommendations outlining the rhyme and reason of Reformed hermeneutics would also be a plus.

I can think of the classic work (but a brutal read), The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man by Herman Witsius.

And then the two work by O. Palmer Robertson, The Christ of the Covenants and The Israel of God. His lectures on Covenant Theology can be downloaded HERE.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

With All Due Respect, Hubner's Latest, Triumphalistic Screed Against Rosenberg is Just Lame

Jamin Hubner has turned his guns towards dispensationalists:
(Cross posted at AOMin)

The unsound theology of historic Dispensationalism has produced many bad fruits. There’s the rotten apple of eisegesis forged by the faulty hermeneutical principles of unnecessary literalism. The foul-smelling equivocation of cosmic escapism with the gospel. And the sour notion of two separate destinies for Israel and the church, a seven year tribulation, the re-institution of sacrifices, and so on and so forth.

Man, Oh man. Unsound theology? Eisesgesis? Unnecessary literalism? Sour notions? So on and so forth? Them dispensationalists sound like they're trouble.

He goes on to describe one of the rottenest dispensational fruits of all:

But there’s one particularly bad fruit that stems from the large tree of non-covenantal – and often anti-covenantal – thinking: hard-line Christian Zionism.

I don't think Mahmoud Abbas could have said it better.

What stirred up Jamin that he felt it necessary to expose the dark underbelly of dispensationalists?

Joel Rosenberg wrote a post.

Yep. Joel Rosenberg, political analyst and popular novelist, who happens to adhere to dispensational beliefs.

The problem, however, is two-fold: A) Joel Rosenberg didn't advocate for Christian Zionism in his post. He pointed out the wrongheaded statement made by the Vatican that Israel is no longer the chosen people of God, a sentiment Jamin happens to share as a Reformed covenantalist guy: and B) It's Joel Rosenberg, political analyst and popular novelist.

First, if one were to read the post that Rosenberg wrote for David Wheaton's Christian Worldview website, all he did was to note what a Vatican synod stated regarding the current day Israeli and Palestinian conflict. The synod officially proclaimed pretty much the same thing every wacky Jew hating leftist says about Israel: they should placate the Palestinians and give up territory they took after (and let's be honest here) Muslim hordes attacked them. No mention about the Palestinian authorities abusing and killing their own people, nor them running their territory like a concentration camp.

Anyhow, Rosenberg turned to Scripture and briefly, like in 5 or 6 short paragraphs, explained what the Bible says about the Jews and God's love for Israel. Now I guess if you are a chest thumping young Reformer guy wanting to make a name for himself, you could construe a few brief comments to mean Christian Zionism, and accuse the author of equating biblical Israel to the modern Israeli state. No matter, because what Jamin did was to merely use the post to launch into criticisms against the dispensational view of Israel and the Church.

Which brings me to my second point: it's Joel Rosenberg. You know, the political analyst and novelist. It's like shotgun blasting baby ducks in a pond. Could he had not picked a more worthy dispensational opponent to examine? Someone who has actually written at theological length on the subject of Israel, the Church, and dispensationalism. Barry Horner (and he isn't even dispensational)? Robert Saucy? Harold Hoehner? Instead he goes to a popular, Christian novelist? That would be like me being appalled at something Charles Stanley wrote against Calvinists and then launching into a rant against Arminians. C'mon.

When I left a comment at his blog pointing out the disingenuous use of Rosenberg as an example of dispensational theology, Jamin retorted that he doesn't need to be familiar with what current day dispensationalists write and his lack of familiarity with their theology is irrelevant to the overall arguments he was making. Okay, I guess. My follow-up comment got deleted. And I thought I was nice. Pointed, but nice. I think the last time I was deleted was when I was poking at some KJV-only folks. Oh, well.

If he chooses to remain safely in his Reformed, covenantal bubble that's his business. But it will only make any criticisms against dispensationalists appear to be petty and lame.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Timescapes

Saw this over at Challies place last week and meant to post it.

Don't know what the slow motion dancing girls are about...
All I can say is, "That was weird."




There is a feature film in the works and a website available. More similar videos there.

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Dinosaurs and Man

dinosaurrescue Evolutionary, deep time enthusiasts have to suffer with living in a world of hypocrisy. Anyone born and educated in an industrialized society has been taught, without any doubt, that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago before even the common ancestors of modern men had evolved from their lower mammalian kin. The entire dinosaur species was killed off by a massive comet impact some 65 million years ago that devastated the entire globe. This means that mankind, at no time, lived simultaneously with any dinosaur. I was taught this, along with everyone else in the late 20th century, as undeniable fact.

Yet, our pop culture, particular in the television and cinematic media, portray dinosaurs and men living together in many of their programs and movies. Entire generations of audiences have been raised watching cartoons, like the Flintstones, Sid and Marty Kroft’s, Land of the Lost, movies like the Godzilla series from Japan, 1,000,000 B.C., Jurassic Park, and Dinotopia. Such shows have to aggravate the atheist gatekeepers of societal “truth” over at the National Center for Science Education to no end.

Now my deep time detractors, both religious and irreligious, are going to say: “Now Fred. C’mon, everyone knows TV shows and movies are meant to be fantasy. You’re being ridiculous.” However, the idea of dinosaurs and men living together is not a modern day phenomena found only with children’s programming and blockbuster films. History is replete with eye witness stories of men seeing sea serpents and dragons. These creatures are found represented in bothgwangi literature and art work that goes back thousands of years in nearly every culture in the world. Of course, the typical response once again by deep time detractors is to say these mythical creatures merely represent the fancy imaginations of tall story tellers or drunk sailors. People were telling stories about monsters to scare kids to good behavior, or dead giant squids were being misidentified. Plus, they will add, none of these animals looked like what we know about dinosaurs from the fossil record.

But this is not entirely true. How does one explain the images of dinosaur-like animals found among such native Indian cultures as the Mayans and Incas in pictographs, on pottery, in carvings, and woven in textiles? Indian cultures generally did artistic renditions of animals they saw with their own eyes. Horses, buffalo, deer, bears, snakes, birds and other similar animals are visually represented in much of their artwork. So are dinosaur-like creatures. But again, the response by the “scientific” elite is to say they were either simpletons who didn’t know how to draw a proper alligator or barking mad young earth creationists are twisting the images to mean what they want them to mean. Both of those scenarios are a bit absurd seeing that ancient cultures made excellent visual representations of animals we see today and those animals in their art are easily identifiable. There are also some stunning details often overlooked and dismissed by modern critics.

dino2For example: consider the rock carvings of the Mongollon Indians who once inhabited the American Southwest. There are a few images on the rocks to the left. The most dominate two is what appears to be a deer or antelope on the right, but an odd looking creature on the left. It’s walking on all fours, has an elongated head, what appears to be a tail, and stripes down its body.

dino1

A person could say it’s just a bad etching of an armadillo; it is an animal native to the American Southwest. But, seeing that I have hit plenty of them with my car over the years, I find that hard to believe. Armadillos don’t have tall, slender legs, plus the big ears are missing. I don’t think an ancient Indian artist, no matter how prehistoric, would miss such obvious details. The image, however, does look an awful lot like a hadrosaur, the duck-billed species of dinosaur. The stripes running down the image’s body are a bit intriguing. In 2007, a mummified hadrosaur specimen was discovered in North Dakota. A portion of the animal’s skin had been fossilized, so a CT scan was performed on the remains at the Boeing aircraft facility in Seattle. The most interesting discover made by the scan is the skin had a striped camouflage pattern, which indicated the entire body of the dinosaur was striped similar to other modern day reptiles. If this happens to be an eye-witness of this animal, the striped pattern would be a significant detail.

hadro

Another group of cultures that feature “dragons” or dinosaurs in their art work is found among the Indians in Peru. For instance, note this carving found among the Wari’ Indians:

bronto

There are at least two “dinosaur” looking creatures placed in amongst other animals found in Peru like leopards and birds. In the top left corner, an odd animal that resembles a three-horned dinosaur, a Triceratops, and then next to it is a long necked sauropod animal like an Apatosaurus. The Apatosaurus carving is remarkable, because a distinct serpentine neck is visible, as is a long tail with its body being supported by four legs underneath it.

Now, the easy thing to do is declare all these carvings, pictographs, pottery, and other similar artifacts to be frauds or hoaxes. Especially when you have such a clear example of what appears to be dinosaurs. Perhaps there are some examples of fraud and outright hoaxing, but all of them? Really? It is also easy (more lazy, really) for creationist critics to claim anyone who sees “dinosaurs” is a crank. I stumbled across one website operated by some eccentric atheist woman who rebuilds harps and writes against creationists with the finesse of a Peter Ruckman. She has devoted a lot of her time arguing all creationists believing and teaching dinosaurs lived with men are con artists and liars. But the fact I personally know a few of these individuals she accuses of being professional liars, it is fairly clear to me the woman is working out her God issues in her rants. Yet, let us grant there are some muddled creationists seeing dinosaurs with some of these relics that aren't really there. Are all of those images being misidentified?

In addition to the ceramic art and pictures, the more stunning proof of dinosaurs and men living together is the forensic evidence being uncovered by evolutionary paleontologists. As I have noted on a few occasions over the last 4 years, viable dinosaur tissue is being extracted from supposed fossilized remains; enough so that protein and DNA can be identified and marked. How is this explained? Typically by sticking their fingers in their ears. Not even that kooky harp woman deals with it in any meaningful depth in her screeds against creationists.

At any rate, creationist critics will continue to say Christians are dumb to believe God created dinosaurs on the sixth day of creation, and will still complain bitterly of the Creation Museum is teaching junk science for having a model dinosaur that children can sit on (like practically every secular museum does). Meanwhile, artifacts will continue to be uncovered that exposes their folly. Ultimately, the outrage against creationists who believe men and dinosaurs lived together has nothing really to do with defending the truth. It has all to do with rejecting the history of the world the Bible reveals.

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Slave

John has a new book coming out soon. It's on the subject of slavery in the Bible and the proper translation of the word doulos in our English translations. Here's a brief "trailer" for the book,




A couple of things to highlight:

I personally wrote on this subject for two posts addressing KJV-only apologetics. They can be found here: Part 1 and Part 2

Then, for those interested, John did do a message on this subject that can be downloaded or read: Slaves for Christ.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Atheist Dreams

Ken Pulliam died this past weekend. For those readers unfamiliar with his name, Ken was a cranky internet atheist. Yet he was more than just an internet atheist: Ken was an apostate. According to his bio, he was "saved" in a militant, fundamentalist church. He attended Bob Jones and even graduated with a Ph.D. of some sort.

However, he wrestled long and hard with his fundamentalistic tar baby for quite sometime until he finally gave up and abandoned it altogether around 1995 to become as militant with his atheism as the fundamentalists he despised are with their fundamentalism. When "blogging" became popular, he began posting under the title of "Former Fundy." Phil has a bit more regarding his background HERE. There was no facet of Christianity that remained untouched by his hammer.

His family and friends have been remembering him as a "great guy" who was intelligent, a prolific writer, an all around tremendous chap. I guess everyone, no matter how odious, has endearing qualities with some people. Karl Marx's children always noted how they enjoyed their father's sense of humor. I, however, don't remember him with such fondness. When I encountered him, I thought he was a whiny crybaby and an egotistic blowhard who only sought to sow strife and shipwreck the faith of the brethren.

I tussled with Ken back in April of this year in the comments under a post at the GTY blog. The subject had to do with evolutionary deep time, evangelical compromises, and the interpretation of the book of Genesis. Ken initially joined in with a handful of theistic evolutionists to criticize biblical creationism. I thought his appeal to various atheistic urban myths, like Christians forbidding the use of anesthesia on women during child birth, to be a bit odd, but I dismissed it as youthful theistic evolutionary naivete. Yet, when pressed as to his orthodoxy in other areas of Scripture, Ken avoided answering our questions. Several people, including myself, interacted with him nearly the entire day until I started thinking his name sounded familiar. So I did a search on who he was. I discovered immediately that he was an apostate atheist who ran in the little circles of a rather eccentric group of radical skeptics which clearly explained his citations of urban myths.

When I exposed who he was to the other commenters, he became a bit annoyed and then agitated. The conversation degenerated from that point onward. He began writing insulting comments against my pastor and our church that we never approved for the blog so he left never returning. He then personally emailed me several embittered remarks complaining (whining) as to being mistreated unfairly and maligned on the GTY blog and that I was a mean, ogre of a Christian. He didn't like that I described his derogatory remarks "nasty," for example. One of my favorite statements he wrote was how Christian apologists like Michael Licona and Norm Geisler always welcomed him warmly at the Evangelical Philosophical Society meetings and gave his "views" a fair hearing. Go figure.

Ken's atheist comrades have been eulogizing him the last few days. I find it strange how atheists mourn what would simply be, according to their perspective anyways, the termination of a biological machine; a super advanced machine for sure, but it's a machine none the less. Even more snort worthy is their indignant outrage against those Christians who have confronted the cognitive disconnect within their philosophy. If men are merely biological machines, bags of animated meat, why are atheists offended when their perspective is pointed out to them. "There needs to be sensitivity to the person's loved ones!," they opine. "He had a wife and kids for crying out loud!" Really? Since when do machines have "loved ones?"

Consider the bare, naked faith one "biological machine" wrote about Ken:

We know he isn’t being tortured somewhere. We know he isn’t being forced to eternally worship a tyrannical god. We know he isn’t cold, hot, hungry, thirsty, or tired. He feels no pain, pleasure, happiness or depression. He’s just…..dead. The same state we enter after sleeping for two or three hours, he is in forever.

He sounds fairly confident. Such a bold faith; especially coming from a person who would otherwise demand evidence for such convictions. He says "We know" at least three times in the first few sentences. But how does this fellow know these things? What does he know about what happens after a biological machine shuts down? They go to "sleep?" Do they dream in analog or digital? Or about electric sheep?

Atheists sure do claim to know a lot about stuff and they are zealous when they go about correcting all of us dumb religious people. But in reality, it is tragic ignorance.

Two passages come to mind:

Proverbs 6:12-15 states: A worthless person, a wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth; he winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points with his fingers. Perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows discord. Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.

and then Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.

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Monday, November 01, 2010

The Tea Party in Context

My buddy Dan posted this at his site over the weekend.

I thought I would share for a different readership.




I was chatting with a friend on Saturday while standing in line for a bounce house during the annual AWANA fall festival. Our conversation turned, of course, to politics and we began discussing the circus that was, as of Saturday morning, taking place in DC. The gathering on the Mall there in Washington was suppose to rival, if not surpass, that Glenn Beck gathering back in August. The lefty progressives, at least the local ones I regularly encounter on the web, were semi-live blogging the event (until wireless service was shut down). A few of them were crowing that the TEA Party movement was losing momentum and will be passe' by next January. All of them were doomsaying the "new" TEA Party candidates who will merely join hands with the Republican machine and compromise all those values that allegedly distinguish them as TEA Party members.

My friend pointed out that the left has never really "gotten" the TEA Party. Since its inception a couple of years ago, the participants have consistently been characterized by their lefty opponents as nothing but a loose affiliation of red necks who do nothing really but listen to conservative talk radio and were sore losers over the fact a "colored" man was in the White House.

But as the movement began to grow among the ranks of normal, middle class people and gain traction politically, the progressive left began picturing them as a bunch of old folks clinging to dinosaurish ways who don't realize the world has moved on from the 1950s -- and plus they are bigoted racists. Over the last month or so, these people have been described as being afraid of the future and when a person is uncertain about how he will feed his family the next week and whether or not he will find a job, they gravitate to the kind of extremist talk generated by the leaders of the TEA Party. It's the kind of zeitgeist that got Hitler elected.

This dumb rhetoric reveals how out-of-touch the left truly is. They have spent the last year and a half listening to the sounds of their own echo chamber. They have no real clue as to the whirl wind they will reap on Tuesday. As I noted back in April of this year, the TEA Party is more than just disgruntled red neck hicks and old people. It's regular folks; like me. I have never been to a TEA Party rally. I will probably never go to one. But I can tell you that I agree pretty much with what they stand for as Klavan outlines in his video.

You see: Regular folks rarely, if ever, protest. Progressive lefties generally do all the time. It's in their blood. Protesting is like their version of a tent revival. It is what stirs their soul. Moreover, lefties typically have the ability personally to rally at the drop of the hat because they are young with no real world commitments like raising families and working full time. So the enormity of the clown review over the weekend in DC doesn't really bother me, because rallying and protesting is what progressives do all the time. However, when the normal people are stirred to rally, when they are willing to make vacation time and bring the family, this is the tip of a much larger iceberg. A few hundred thousand normal people rallying means there is more than likely 100 times that number who feel the same way.

btw: Remember my Voter Guide

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