Monday, October 26, 2015

One of God's purposes for the State of Israel

I do not wish to defend all the actions of Israel and its leaders.  Human wickedness has no political or religious boundaries.  However, had the Muslim world accepted the UN 1947 Partition Plan, Israel would have had a state, and the Palestinians would have had a state. But in order for the Muslim world to accept that plan, they would have had to acknowledge that Islam was not the true religion that needs to be accepted by the entire world. And they refuse to acknowledge that. As a consequence, Israel's borders have expanded.

So what to most of the world appears to be merely a human story is in the spiritual world a much bigger story. God is using the nation of Israel as a witness against Islam. God chose Isaac and not Ishmael. God chose Jacob and not Esau. God gave the promised land to Israel. And the gifts of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:29. Paul said this in regard to the Israel that had not accepted Jesus, not the Church.

Further, it is a witness against Islam that Muhammed is not God's prophet. The oracles of God were entrusted to the Jews, not to anyone else. For salvation is from the Jews.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Something we all should be concerned about: The chances of a "Solar EMP."

An EMP, or electomagnetic pulse, can be caused by either a solar flare or man-made nuclear device.  Either way, if the pulse is large enough, the effects - knocking out our power grids and burning out the transformers - could be catastrophic, possibly resulting in mass starvation.  This article from NASA says the chances of solar EMP by 2020 are 12%.

According to this article, protecting our nation from the effects of an EMP would cost about $20 billion, which sounds like a lot, but certainly sounds worth the investment when compared to the potential consequences of doing nothing.

I think this is one time when all of us, regardless of our political affiliations, could agree that we should contact our local, state, and federal officials to demand immediate action.  It doesn't take long to look up who your representatives are online and send them an email.  If enough of us do it, they will pay attention and probably act on it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

C.S. Lewis on Choosing among the Myriad of Religions

From C.S. Lewis's essay (warning:  the online version has quite a few typos) "Christian Apologetics",

For my own part, I have sometimes told my audience that the only two things really worth considering are Christianity and Hinduism. (Islam is only the greatest of the Christian heresies, Buddhism only the greatest of the Hindu heresies. Real paganism is dead. All that was best in Judaism and Platonism survives in Christianity.) There isn’t really, for an adult mind, this infinite variety of religions to consider. We may salva reverentia divide religions, as we do soups, into “thick” and “clear.” By thick I mean those which have orgies and ecstasies and mysteries and local attachments: Africa is full of thick religions. By clear I mean those which are philosophical, ethical, and universalizing: Stoicism, Buddhism, and the Ethical Church are clear religions. Now if there is a true religion , it must be both thick and clear: for the true God must have made both the child and the man, both the savage and the citizen, both the head and the belly. And the only two religions that fulfil this condition are Hinduism and Christianity. But Hinduism fulfils it imperfectly. The clear religion of the Brahman hermit in the jungle and the thick religion of the neighboring temple go on side by side. The Brahman hermit doesn’t bother about the temple prostitution nor the worshiper in the temple about the hermit’s metaphysics. But Christianity really breaks down the middle wall of the partition. It takes a convert from Central Africa and tells him to obey an enlightened universalist ethic: it takes a twentieth-century academic prig like me and tells me to go fasting to a mystery, to drink the blood of the Lord. The savage convert has to be clear: I have to be thick. That is how one knows one has come to the real religion.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Is the Atheist my Neighbor? A Review

 Are you a religious person who has a friend or relative who is an atheist or agnostic, but they just don't fit the usual categories of someone who wants to lead a selfish life of sin? Instead, they seem like pretty decent people?  And you just don't know  how to fit them in with what you have been told the Bible teaches about such people? 

Or are you an atheist or agnostic who is tired of religious people telling you that you actively suppress an innate belief in God, borne of a hatred of God and a desire to be wicked?  And to bolster their case they cite passages, such as  Psalms 14:1 and 53:1 in the Hebrew Bible, or Ephesians 2:12 or Romans 1:18-21 in the New Testament?

 Then the  book,  Is the Atheist my Neighbor?, by theology professor Randal Rauser, is for you.  In it Randal explains why none of these biblical passages are good reasons for accusing atheists of blindly, stubbornly ignoring God out of a desire to sin.  And he shows how often they can be good, reasonable people that are worth getting to know and befriend.  People who would make good neighbors.

Is the Atheist my Neighbor? is a short (97 pages), easy read.  But I think it is an important work, that can help change the tone of the conversation between believers and non-believers from hostility to respect and even friendship.  That's something we all could use a lot more of in this world.  Pick up a copy.  After you read it, I think you'll want to pass it on to that special friend or relative.