Archive for August, 2007

Friends,

I’m nearly finished with Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life, which is, sadly, what evolutionists and atheists do. Anyhow, here’s what Piper had to say about this subject of altruism:

No beaver or bee or hummingbird or ant consciously relies on God. No beaver ponders the divine pattern of order and beauty and makes a moral choice to pursue excellence because God is excellent. No beaver ever pondered the preciousness and purpose of God and decided for God’s sake to make a dam for another beaver and not for himself. But humans have all these potentials, because we are created in the God’s image. We are created to image forth God in these ways. When God commissions us to subdue the earth–to shape it and use it–he doesn’t mean do it like a beaver. He means do it like a human, a morally self-conscious person who is responsible to do his work intentionally for the glory of his Maker. (140)

I hope you have a nice day, wherever you are, and wherever the Lord moves you today. Be Blessed and a Blessing.

jerry

Outside My Window

hummingbird.jpg

Friends,

Good Morning! I hope you enjoy this picture that I took from my living room window the other day with my Verizon LG Camera Phone. I then sent the picture to my high speed internet connection via Verizon text messaging service. So: Cell phone to computer. Go figure! I remember sitting in high school thinking that Print Shop for the Commodore 64 was about the coolest thing ever. I’ve since changed my mind.

jerry

Friends,

Homosexuals are continuing to push their agenda on the church, the body, of which Christ is the Head. I’ll pass you along to some other places in a moment, but first consider these words from Luke Timothy Johnson, Roman Catholic Scholar at Candler School of Theology at Emory University: (CLICK HERE FOR THE ESSAY)

Many of us who stand for the full recognition of gay and lesbian persons within the Christian communion find ourselves in a position similar to that of the early abolitionists-and of the early advocates for women’s full and equal roles in church and society. We are fully aware of the weight of scriptural evidence pointing away from our position, yet place our trust in the power of the living God to reveal as powerfully through personal experience and testimony as through written texts. To justify this trust, we invoke the basic Pauline principle that the Spirit gives life but the letter kills (2 Corinthians 3:6). And if the letter of Scripture cannot find room for the activity of the living God in the transformation of human lives, then trust and obedience must be paid to the living God rather than to the words of Scripture. (Emphasis added)

Then a paragraph or two later:

The challenge, therefore, is to discern what constitutes the positive and negative in sexual behavior. A start would be to adapt Galatians 3:28 and state that “in Christ there is neither gay nor straight”-and on that basis, to begin to ask serious questions concerning the holiness of the church, applying the same criteria on both sides. If porneia among heterosexuals includes promiscuity, violence, and exploitation, then the church must condemn similar forms of homosexual activity. If the church condemns the bath-house style of gay life, it must also condemn the playboy style of straight life. Similarly, if holiness among heterosexuals includes fidelity, chastity, modesty, and fruitfulness, we can ask whether and how the same elements are present in same-sex love.

What is left but to chuck the entire canon of Scripture into the garbage heap and burn it? If Scripture doesn’t mean anything, why bother at all? If Scripture can be re-written to say anything we like, why bother at all with the work of preaching, teaching, or learning Biblical languages? Johnson is right about one thing: This is about the threat to biblical authority. If the Scriptures are not authoritative, but somehow we regress to a simply man-made law, then what’s next: Church-wide acceptance of kidnapping, bestiality, pedophilia? Based on Johnson’s argument, and re-envisioning of Galatians, we might say, “…in Christ there is neither pedophilia nor rapists nor bestials nor kidnappers nor dog-fighters (insert favorite perversion or sin here).”

No, I’m afraid that Mr. Johnson has allowed his understanding of Scripture to be skewed and twisted. More commentary on Johnson’s essay can be found at Albert Mohler’s blog. Mohler makes a brilliant point about Johnson’s exegesis, writing,

This rejectionist approach means that Professor Johnson directly rejects what the Bible teaches on this issue, and does so with a boldness shared by few others in this debate. He accepts that “the Bible nowhere speaks positively or even neutrally about same-sex love.” Even as he argues that the church has “never lived in precise accord with the Scriptures,” he suggests that Christians pick and choose which biblical commands they will take seriously. Nevertheless, he straightforwardly acknowledges that the Bible condemns same-sex sexual acts.

He claims that the authority of Scripture and the tradition of the church are “scarcely trivial,” but criticizes those “who use the Bible as a buttress for rejecting forms of sexual love they fear or cannot understand.” In other words, he argues that those who believe that the Bible’s clear condemnations of homosexual behaviors are still authoritative for Christians do so only out of fear or a lack of understanding of homosexuality itself. As he explains later in his essay, he has grown by experience to overcome this fear and ignorance. He now believes that the Bible is simply wrong.

Well, how can one consider themselves even remotely Biblically astute when they are practicing such exegesis as Johnson is? Are we really supposed to start trusting ‘human experience’ over the Scripture? Really?

Here’s one last story for you to consider, from the Episcopal Church. Once again, they are pushing the issue of the homosexual agenda forward with the nomination of an openly lesbian for the post of bishop:

The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago recently announced that the openly gay Rev. Tracey Lind, dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, was included among five nominees for the vote to take place on Nov. 10. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)

I’m not certain what the church is supposed to do about this anymore. When prominent scholars are declaring open season on the Scripture, when an entire denomination is promoting the agenda of homosexuals by making homosexuals leaders in the church, when those who think this is profoundly wrong are chastised as being somehow ‘too judgmental,’ and when church leaders are vowing to ‘enter into civil unions’ with their homosexual partners, what are we to do?

Mohler asks another very pertinent question concerning Johnson’s template for how to understand the current ‘debate’ that is raging in the church over homosexuality:

If we are to trust human experience as an authority superior to that of the Bible, whose experience are we to trust?  He can only mean his own experience and that of others whose experience he chooses to privilege.

Whose experience shall we trust? Mine? Yours? I think this is another reason why we must stick with Scripture as our only rule of faith and practice (in keeping with recognized orthodoxy). If the Scripture is the very Words of God to us, then we don’t have a right to challenge. We must persist in the truth. This is a matter of the authority of God’s Word. The question now is whether or not the church is going to continue to be bowled over by those who have no authority from Scripture or whether the church will continue to preach what is in accord with the ‘faith once delivered,’ and ‘sound doctrine.’

jerry

PS–Here’s one last story about a lesbian ‘pastor’ who is, evidently, in some sort of ‘trouble’ from her denomination for ‘marrying’ homosexual couples. But I’m having trouble understanding the problem: She, the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr, is a lesbian herself. Why would they (the church) care what a lesbian does when the tolerate a lesbian in the pulpit in the first place? I think that is the height of hypocrisy. Shame on the Presbyterian Church (USA)! If they are going to tolerate lesbian ‘pastors’ and ‘revs.’, then they ought to tolerate lesbian weddings. (I’m only being a little sarcastic; no, a lot.)

Friends,

I’d like to leave you with a happy thought for today from John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life:

Why don’t people ask us about our hope? The answer is probably that we look as if we hope in the same things they do. Our lives don’t look like they are on the Calvary road, stripped down for sacrificial love, serving others with the sweet assurance that we don’t need to be rewarded in this life. Our reward is great in heaven. ‘You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just’ (Luke 14:14). If we believed this more deeply, others might see the worth of God and find in him their gladness. (109)

So to all my believing friends, and to all my evolutionist and atheist friends, I bid you good evening and hope and pray you will find your gladness in Christ, see the worth of God, and know hope through Calvary. Until tomorrow.

jerry

Friends,

Once again the Darwinists have put their foot in it, so to speak. Here’s an excerpt from a recent column by Chuck Colson:

I don’t get it. What does evolutionary theory have to tell us about the “positive aspects” of genetic defects? More importantly, what does it tell us about the human capacity for altruism and compassion—the very things Dr. Boehm is advocating? The answer is: Nothing.

Dr. Boehm is a classic example of muddled thinking.

Darwin insisted that natural selection would “rigidly destroy” any variation—such as Down syndrome—that would hurt its possessor “in the struggle for life.” As much as we love kids with Down syndrome, it’s impossible to imagine how Down syndrome helps people in “the struggle for life.” Quite the contrary: it’s a variation that, if Darwin were right, should have been “rigidly destroyed” a long time ago.

And clearly evolutionary theory can’t explain the compassion and love that parents shower on their Down syndrome children. If evolutionary theory is right, then the time, resources and energy it takes to raise a child with special needs could be put to better uses: such as raising children who are more likely to strengthen the species.

The late philosopher David Stove, who was an atheist, called Darwinian explanations for altruism and compassion “confused” and a “slander” against man. They miss the obvious fact that man “is sharply distinguished from all other animals by being in fact hopelessly addicted to altruism.”

The “addiction” that Stove talked about is not the product of evolution. It is the product of being made in the image of God.

Now, as you might expect, this is not good enough either for the evolutionists. One person had posted a response and said that Colson ignored ‘evidence’ so that he could jump straight to a ‘goddidit’ explanation. He put a link to an essay by one Eric Strong called ‘The Evolution of Altruism.’ Here’s how Mr. Strong explains altruism (in part) in nature:

Since b and c are always positive, and N is always greater than 1, we can immediately see that selfish individuals will always have more offspring within a given population than altruistic individuals. A specific numerical example is shown below using a hypothetical population of 100 individuals in which half are altruistic and half are selfish. N’ is equal to the total number of individuals in the next generation and p’ is the proportion of A-type individuals in the next generation.

Look, I make no secret about the fact that those numbers are absolutely meaningless to me and, I suspect, most people (except for Dan and Jon) who will read them here or there. But what do they prove?

He concludes this way:

Altruism is one of the great mysteries of social behavior in animals, as it appears to contradict our understanding of natural selection. Even one hundred years after the birth of Darwinism, scientists are still continuing to debate the causes and effects of altruistic behavior. Whether the mathematical models of group selection, the instinctive qualities of kin selection, or the trusting attributes of reciprocal altruism, are the prime explanations of the development of this behavior is still largely unknown. In the end, it will probably be found that it is the combination of all three possibilities that plays a significant role in the natural world.

Or, could it be that as creatures made in the image of God, at least in humans, we have been given just a bit of that divine character? Could it be that we learn how to love by being loved, by witnessing love? I agree with Colson, whatever the case, that it has something to do with our being made in the image of the One who is supremely loving, kind, and compassionate. I don’t think altruism just happened by chance. But you see, for the atheist, for the evolutionist, there has to be a natural history of everything. (That’s why they can write books titled ‘The Natural History of Rape’ and get away with it. It’s scientific inquiry, after all!). So, when we do bad things it’s not because we are morally defunct, corrupt to the core, or, worse, sinners. No, for the evolutionist its because we have, somehow, had our genetic code altered in some way by our environment. And when we do the right thing its, well, there’s a mathematical formula to explain how we came to be so.

“We love because He first loved us,” 1 John 4:19.

There. I have presented two sides of the argument. I have examined the evidence on both sides. I still disagree that evolution is wrong and a lie.

jerry

PS–I wonder how many other ‘natural history’ stories we can find on the internet? Hmm. “A natural history of twinkies.” “A Natural History of Rape.” “A Natural History of Human Sexuality.” “A Natural History of Love.” Are there any others?

Friends,

I have been enduring the mindless gibberish of a couple of my atheistic, evolutionary friends lately. They continue to visit my blog even though they are quite aware of the fact that I’m not about to give any credence to the theory of evolution. So, since our conversation has been taking place on a ‘back lot’ of my blog, I thought I’d put a few questions here on the main page for them to see. These are in no particular order of importance.

First, would you please interact with the essay by Freman Dyson that I posted earlier.

Second, (for Dan) why do you feel sorry for me? I’m the one with hope. I don’t really need your sympathy. Seriously, I’m not the one who is going to die someday and simply die. I’m already alive and will be long after you have ceased breathing.

Third, (for Dan) how does my use of particular inventions prove that we have ‘descended with modification’ from anything? What does my use of medicine or computers or running water for that matter have to do with proving anything evolves? All it tells me is that curious people have tinkered around with their environment and made some cool stuff that makes life slightly less complicated. (Although, I should also point out that science has given us nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons, hazardous waste, cloning, and a hoste of other things that are in no way beneficial, or at least only moderately, superficially beneficial, to humans.)

Fourth, if evolution is so evident, why do so many people, including many, many scientists, reject it out of hand? And why do so many argue, much better than I (and with supporting, logical, factual evidence) that evolution is a fraud?

Fifth, if evolution is so evident, why have some scientists felt the need to perpetuate it, from time to time, with lies, fraudulent fossil ‘evidence,’ and other suspicious ‘evidence’?

Sixth, (for Dan) do you mean, with reference to heliocentrism, that the world does not revolve around you? Well, if that’s the case, then of course I believe in heliocentrism! (Oh, I’m just kidding. Of course the earth goes round the sun. Only really shallow people don’t believe that.) However, what does that have to do with proving evolution again? (Seriously, Dan and the rest of you evolutionists need to lighten up a bit. If you would learn how to laugh at yourselves you’d have a lot more fun blogging.)

Seventh, for all, I want all of you evolutionists who are so angry at people who believe in Genesis 1 (and all the other chapters and books of the Bible) to know this one thing: I’m not nearly as offended at your acceptance of something as ridiculous as evolution as I am at your rejection of Christ. (And please, all you ‘christian evolutionists’, spare me your drivel. I’ve already explained how I feel about that nonsense and if my point doesn’t stick, ask Richard Dawkins if you can be a Christian and an evolutionist. On this point, Dawkins and I are in complete agreement: there is no such thing.) But my point is this: Even though I don’t believe the two are compatible, I’d rather you believe it (evolution) and be a Christian than not be a Christian at all.

Eighth, now here’s where it gets rather technical. Michael Denton, certainly has not argued for a specific creationist point of view, and I don’t even know if he claims to be a Christian (I don’t think he is, and at any rate, I don’t believe that evolution and Christianity are at al compatible so even if he is a christian it is a ‘christian’. He doesn’t even argue that things are suited for specifically ‘our’ version of life, but rather what he calls an ‘advanced carbon-based humanlike or humanoid life.’ That’s encouraging.) Anyhow, he wrote a handsome volume called ‘Nature’s Destiny.’ I’d like to begin this inquiry by quoting from him and asking you to respond.

He writes, “There is simply no tolerance possible in the design of the celestian machine. For us to be here, it must be precisely as it is.” (14)

Denton also writes, “…both the Darwinian and the creationist worldviews are based on the same fundamental axion–that life is an unncessary and fundamentally contingent phenomenon. Where the creationist sees organism as the artifacts of God the supreme engineer, The Divine Watchmaker, Darwinists see them as the artifactual products of chance and selection.” (xviii)

OK, so I’d like to begin with how you would assess that statement. True or false. (PS–Denton has an earned Ph D in developmental biology from Kings College, London).

Well, that’s all for now friends. I appreciate your time and patience. I’m sorting through all of this. I’m trying hard to understand how I can be the product of a meaningless, random process and still have value, purpose, and a reason to wake up tomorrow. On the other hand, if I am created in the image of God…well, now that’s something else entirely and I’ll gladly wake up and enjoy each breath I take, and every fly that buzzes around my head, and every bee that crawls on my sunflowers. I might even enjoy my stupid dogs.

To end my thoughts, I’d like to post a passage from the Scripture that is simply amazing:

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:    2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel
       with words without knowledge?

    3 Brace yourself like a man;
       I will question you,
       and you shall answer me.

    4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
       Tell me, if you understand.

    5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
       Who stretched a measuring line across it?

    6 On what were its footings set,
       or who laid its cornerstone-

    7 while the morning stars sang together
       and all the angels [a] shouted for joy?

    8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
       when it burst forth from the womb,

    9 when I made the clouds its garment
       and wrapped it in thick darkness,

    10 when I fixed limits for it
       and set its doors and bars in place,

    11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
       here is where your proud waves halt’?

    12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
       or shown the dawn its place,

    13 that it might take the earth by the edges
       and shake the wicked out of it?

    14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
       its features stand out like those of a garment.

    15 The wicked are denied their light,
       and their upraised arm is broken.

    16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
       or walked in the recesses of the deep?

    17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
       Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death.

    18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
       Tell me, if you know all this.

    19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
       And where does darkness reside?

    20 Can you take them to their places?
       Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

    21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
       You have lived so many years!

    22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
       or seen the storehouses of the hail,

    23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
       for days of war and battle?

    24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
       or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

    25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
       and a path for the thunderstorm,

    26 to water a land where no man lives,
       a desert with no one in it,

    27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
       and make it sprout with grass?

    28 Does the rain have a father?
       Who fathers the drops of dew?

    29 From whose womb comes the ice?
       Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens

    30 when the waters become hard as stone,
       when the surface of the deep is frozen?

    31 “Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades?
       Can you loose the cords of Orion?

    32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons 
       or lead out the Bear with its cubs?

    33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
       Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

    34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
       and cover yourself with a flood of water?

    35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
       Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?

    36 Who endowed the heart with wisdom
       or gave understanding to the mind

    37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
       Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

    38 when the dust becomes hard
       and the clods of earth stick together?

    39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
       and satisfy the hunger of the lions

    40 when they crouch in their dens
       or lie in wait in a thicket?

    41 Who provides food for the raven
       when its young cry out to God
       and wander about for lack of food?

Friends,

I hate to say I agree, but…

“We all make mistakes,” said Michael Vick. “Dogfighting is a terrible thing and I reject it … I found Jesus and turned my life over to God. I think that’s the right thing to do as of right now.”

Gee, that didn’t take long.

I didn’t think the curtain on the “finding Jesus” act would rise until after Vick went to jail, but alas, it came on the same day he made his plea deal official.

It took Paris Hilton a few hours in the slammer before she met Jesus, and Vick does it even before lockup. Who knew?

Full Story

Isn’t it nice to know that ‘it’s the right thing to do as of right now.’

OK., everyone say it with me, “Jesus, please let the judge be lenient so I can get back to playing football as soon as possible.” I hate to say it, but this is exactly the sort of publicity that Jesus doesn’t need.

But there will be some who are convinced this is a good thing: After all, doesn’t Jesus need a few more celebrities touting his cause? (It makes the whole christianity thing look good when we have some credible witnesses on our side. Doesn’t it?)

I have to go. (To the bathroom.)

jerry

PS–lest you think I am insensitive or uncompassionate, I sincerely hope Mr Vick has been found by Jesus. I suspect, however, that if he has been, his troubles are really only beginning.

John 11:28-37

 

28And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 32When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34″Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35Jesus wept. 36Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

 

Death. It is a terrible word. It is a word that makes me shudder with apprehension, recoil in disbelief, grow nauseated in disgust. Death is not a happy word. Down through the ages, death has reigned. Ever since the Garden. Sadly, evolution has not found a way for man or any creature to overcome death. “It is appointed for each man [person] to die once, and after that face judgment.” We live each day, each moment, with the prospect that death is looming large, like a shadow we cannot escape. Death is always near. And death’s purpose is very clear: It is hungry, never satisfied, always lurking, waiting, hoping for another taste, another victory. Then came along one day Someone who changed all that. Along came One who turned death’s purposes upside down. One day, Someone came along and used death. Oh, yes. He used death to accomplish His own ends. Thus death became a tool, a pawn, another piece of the plan.

“For the believer, the time of death becomes far less daunting a factor when seen in the light of eternity. We have already seen that, granted we lived under the sentence of death, the exact timing seems less foreboding a subject that it does for people who feel that threescore years and ten are their due. But now something more positive can be introduced. Although death remains an enemy, an outrage, a sign of judgment, a reminder of sin, and a formidable opponent, it is, from another perspective, the portal through which we pass to consummated life. We pass through death, and death dies. Christians whose hope is genuinely lodged in what it means to be ‘for ever with the Lord’ cannot contemplate what the world would see as premature death with the same indignation. Indeed, from one perspective, such death is a great blessing.” (DA Carson, How Long O Lord, 133)

Along came Jesus.

You see, death was never part of the plan. Life was the plan. That’s why God put in the Garden the Tree of Life and not the Tree of Death. Although he certain gave an option in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: On the day you eat of it you will surely die. And die they did. It is perplexing though why, even then, we were more intrigued by death than we were consumed with life. But for some reason, that day, the day of Adam and Eve, they were hungry for something they had not before tasted: Death. So they ate; and all were satisfied.

I’m not a big fan of death. I have no particular interest in involving myself in any studies of death any time soon. I have no particular reason to want to do a thesis paper on death or write a doctoral dissertation on death. I don’t happen to think that Jesus was particularly enamored with death either: Death was, to Jesus, the greatest enemy. And part of his work on this earth was to destroy that enemy once and for all.

Mary said the same thing to Jesus that Martha had said: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Neither Mary nor Martha knew that it was precisely because Jesus wasn’t there that their brother would live.

Jesus looks around and what does he see? He sees scores of people weeping and grieving and mourning. Great distress had overtaken these people at the death of Lazarus. Jesus saw it and, John tells us, He was ‘agitated and angry.’ He was terrible bent out of shape, so to speak. He saw this death of Lazarus and he was outraged at the hubris of death, enraged at the coldness of death, beside himself at the capriciousness of death. Death is no friend of humanity and Jesus makes that known by his actions. Jesus was not weeping because he had lost a good friend or because he saw the others weeping at their lost friend. Remember: Jesus already had in mind what he was going to do (see verse 4). Jesus was weeping here at the outrageousness of death, at the implacability of death, at the violence of death. But even they misunderstood Jesus’ tears that day.

You see our greatest enemy is death. And can you imagine that the Son of God saw that and wept?

But many in this life are still on course for communion with death. People continue to lead reckless lives that are filled with the same hubris and madness that characterized Adam and Eve’s choice in the Garden. People are hungry for death and they don’t even take time to notice how offensive death is. They court death. They taunt death. They sneer at death. What they don’t do, sadly, is take time to realize that death can be, has been, and will be overcome at last. What evolution has failed to do: increase life expectancy to any significant degree, Christ has done. What evolution has failed to accomplish: the defeat of death entirely, Christ has done completely.

We preach the Good News of Jesus Christ in the hopes that more and more people will realize that death is conquered only in Christ. That apart from Christ, people are living dead, dying while they are walking, dead before they die. My hope is that all people will surrender to Christ and rise to walk in newness of life. Jesus hates death, and only Jesus has the power to do anything about it. As he will show us in our next meditation.

Soli Deo Gloria!

sky1.jpg

Friends,

Since I didn’t post much today, I thought I’d leave you with something wonderful to ponder from the prophet Isaiah 40:12-28: (I took that picture with my cell phone.)

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
       or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
       Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
       or weighed the mountains on the scales
       and the hills in a balance?

    13 Who has understood the mind of the LORD,
       or instructed him as his counselor?

    14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
       and who taught him the right way?
       Who was it that taught him knowledge
       or showed him the path of understanding?

    15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
       they are regarded as dust on the scales;
       he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

    16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
       nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.

    17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;
       they are regarded by him as worthless
       and less than nothing.

    18 To whom, then, will you compare God?
       What image will you compare him to?

    19 As for an idol, a craftsman casts it,
       and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
       and fashions silver chains for it.

    20 A man too poor to present such an offering
       selects wood that will not rot.
       He looks for a skilled craftsman
       to set up an idol that will not topple.

    21 Do you not know?
       Have you not heard?
       Has it not been told you from the beginning?
       Have you not understood since the earth was founded?

    22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
       and its people are like grasshoppers.
       He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
       and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

    23 He brings princes to naught
       and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.

    24 No sooner are they planted,
       no sooner are they sown,
       no sooner do they take root in the ground,
       than he blows on them and they wither,
       and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

    25 “To whom will you compare me?
       Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

    26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
       Who created all these?
       He who brings out the starry host one by one,
       and calls them each by name.
       Because of his great power and mighty strength,
       not one of them is missing.

    27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
       and complain, O Israel,
       “My way is hidden from the LORD;
       my cause is disregarded by my God”?

    28 Do you not know?
       Have you not heard?
       The LORD is the everlasting God,
       the Creator of the ends of the earth.
       He will not grow tired or weary,
       and his understanding no one can fathom.

And Isaiah 42:5:

This is what God the LORD says—
       he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
       who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
       who gives breath to its people,
       and life to those who walk on it…

This is our Great King! Our Great Lord! This is the Great Creator and Majestic Sovereign! I praise the God of heaven and earth who made the sky and the seas and all that is in them. I praise the God who gives us the breat of life and hope in Christ our Lord! Thank you merciful God for Creating this life, this planet; the smallest atom, the largest galaxy! Praise you Creator King!

jerry

Friends,

I think by now you realize that I am a big fan of creation.  I delight in the beauty of it, the majesty of it, the purpose of it–things that evolution seems to rather ignore. This is illustrated in a story that Richard Dawkins tells in his book Climbing Mount Improbable:

I was driving through the English countryside with my daughter Juliet, then aged six, and she pointed out some flowers by the wayside. I asked here what she thought wildflowers were for. She gave a rather thoughtful answer. ‘Two things,’ she said. ‘To make the world pretty, and to help the bees make honey for us.’ I was touched by this and sorry I had to tell her that it wasn’t true. (256)

My little girl’s answer was not too different from the one that most adults, throughout history, would have given. It has long been widely believed that the brute creation is here for our benefit. (256)

What are flowers and bees, wasps and figs, elephants and bristlecone pines–what are all living things really for? What kind of an entity is it whose ‘benefit’ will be served by a living body or part of a living body?

The answer is DNA. (268)

Well, there you have it. The only purpose found in the ‘brute creation’ has nothing to do with honey, beauty, or even God. It’s all about DNA. I contrast this with words from the witty GK Chesterton’s Orthodoxy:

His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encorethe bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffen, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance. (65-66)

I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller. (66)

As I begin a week of back to school, back to the cafeteria, back to my study, back to blogging, back to soccer, piano, scouting, and a host of other duties, I say Good Day to You. And I thank God for creating this world and all that is in it: even evolutionists and atheists.

jerry

Our Mother and FatherFriends,

You know I am passionate about science and that I am always looking for some new information that will help those of us on planet earth live better, more productive lives. Well, I came across this story at www.foxnews.com (I realize this automatically discredits the story, but I’ll post it anyhow). (That picture you see, well, that’s probably carrying our mother and father on it!)

Well, here’s another, uh, evolution story. Oh, it at least is an origin of life story. Here’s how it begins:

Life almost undoubtedly began in space, and specifically in the hearts of comets, rather than on Earth, a new study claims.

Chandra Wickramasinghe, an astrobiologist at Cardiff University in Wales, and his team say their calculations show that it is one trillion trillion times more likely that life started inside a slushy comet than on Earth.

“The comets and the warm watery clay pools in comets are settings in which the organic molecules are transformed into living structures in comets,” Wickramasinghe said. “That transformation is more likely in some comet somewhere in the galaxy than in any small pond on the Earth.”

It sort of makes one wonder what these people actually have to do to earn their Ph D’s. Thankfully for us, it is all still speculation:

Wickramasinghe and his colleagues’ idea rests on the assumption that comets are full of porous clay particles that can hold water in a liquid form for eons.

Cometary missions such as Deep Impact have found evidence for a variety of silicates existing inside comets, but not clay per se, Morrison said.

The “assumption that Earth has very little clay while comets are full of clay is the key to their argument, and it is at best speculation,” Morrison said.

It is also an open question as to whether comets do indeed contain liquid water inside them and whether other star systems support comets at all, let alone clay-, water- or life-bearing comets.

If you’d like to subscribe to the prestigious International Journal of Astrobiology, it’s going to cost you: $300 for an institutional subscription, $109 for an individual subscription (must be very few people subscribing). Is there biology in the stars for us to actually study? Is there biology in the stars for people to write journals about?

Well, have fun this with theory! Seriously, what are the actual academic requirements for a degree in Astrobiology?

Here’s an Amazing Story

M64Friends,

Check out this story about the universe: Story (THE ABOVE PICTURE IS NOT FROM THE STORY AT FOXNEWS.COM. IT IS FROM ASTRONOMY PICTURE OF THE DAY.)

Here’s what scientists said:

“The cosmic blank spot has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter. It is 1 billion light years across of nothing.

“That’s an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of emptiness, a University of Minnesota team announced Thursday.”

Can you believe that? There is empty space in space! I’m glad we have scientists to teach us these things. Next thing you know, they’ll be telling us that humans need water to survive. All this proves, and my only point, is that there is so much to learn, so much we don’t know, so much we don’t understand about life and the universe. One would hope that such a revelation would be cause for a little humility by everyone.

jerry

Friends,

The perversion, feminization, and death of the church continues in America. Gene Robinson is a downright abomination to the Church.

He is now planning a ‘civil union’. He said:

“We were looking for a three-day weekend which would allow people to travel more easily, and that happened to be the fifth anniversary of my election as the Bishop of New Hampshire and thought that would be an appropriate date,” said Robinson, according to the Church of England Newspaper.

There is one voice of reason:

The archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Peter Akinola, considered the most powerful leader in the Anglican Communion, said the absence of even one province from the meeting would indicate that the Lambeth Conference “effectively ceases to be an Instrument of Unity.”

“I believe that Peter Akinola, the Archbishop of Nigeria, one of the primary spokespeople against my election, I believe he is following his call from God as best as he can,” Robinson said in the interview. “I just wish he could believe I am following my call from God as best I can.”

I’d like to know where God said in Scipture: Follow me as best you can directly into sin. What about that part in Scripture that says: “Those who in Christ are new creatures.” What about ‘taking off the old self, putting on the new self, which is being recreated in the image of its Creator’? What about ‘be holy as I am holy’? What about ‘be perfect as I am perfect’? What about ‘clothing oneself with Christ’?

jerry

Friends,

I’m encouraged by how many folks have been stopping by and reading the blog. Anyhow, this is a short post to encourage you who read to also post a reply. Most of the time, I respond to replies, sometimes not. Either way, you are encouraged to interract with the posts I make and let me know what you think.

I think it is fair to say that I don’t agree with evolutionists, atheists, homosexuals, or liberal theologians, but this doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good spirited argument every now and again. So I especially encourage folks holding to those positions to reply. Just be warned: I believe the Bible is Truth, so be prepared to defend your position if you don’t think the Bible is Truth. Please feel free to leave your thoughts anytime you like, whether for or against, and let’s continue the conversation.

I’ll be posting again later on this afternoon after some sermon and lesson writing for this weekend.

jerry

PS–One more thought. If you are a Christian who holds to evolution, atheism, liberal theolgy, or homosexuality, I really encourage you to reply. I really want to talk with you!

Friends,

All I did was type in the search box ‘Church News’. I ended up at the homepage of the United Church of Christ. I had some trouble at their page with a story I wanted to read so I went right to the source, the homepage of the Cathedral of Hope, located in Dallas, Texas. This ‘church’ bills itself as the ‘world’s largest gay church.’ In August they hosted a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum series designed to ‘train educators to teach human sexuality to 7-9th grades.’ (You can find this info at their page link above near the bottom of the page.)

But Wait! There’s More!

From their website:

Dallas, Texas – August 12, 2007 – The Cathedral of Hope, known as the world’s largest gay church, announced today that it received $3,135,484.48 in cash and commitments toward its “Miracle Offering,” taken in order to build an Interfaith Peace Chapel designed by world-renowned architect Philip Johnson. The offering, taken on Sunday, July 29 in celebration of the church’s 37th anniversary, was given as the culmination of a yearlong “Miracle Project” and is the largest offering in the church’s history. Gifts were made by people living in three countries, 32 states and 98 cities in Texas.

Said the Rector of the “Church”

“Members and friends of the Cathedral of Hope have prayed, saved, sacrificed and worked hard to make the Miracle Project a success,” said Rector and Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson. “The real miracle, though, is this congregation’s continued commitment to serve our community by giving away more than one million dollars every year in goods and services while living into a God-given dream of creating a house of prayer and peace for all people, regardless of their faith.”

They have all the bases covered. I’d like to know where in Scripture it says that there is fellowship between Christian’s and people of ‘other faiths’? What exactly is a ‘gay church’? There is only one Church.

What I don’t understand, quite apart from the tolerance of homosexuality, is the house of prayer and peace for all people, regardless of their faith? What Muslim in his right mind would worship with a Christian? What Jew in his right mind would worship with a Muslim? What Mormon would worship with a Jehovah’s Witness? What Buddhist would worship with a Hindu? What Christian would worship with any of these pagan unbelievers?

What part of “There is no way to the Father except through Me (Jesus)” is difficult to understand? What part of “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” is complicated? What is mysterious about “There is One Name given to men by which they must be saved”? Has the good pastor Jo actually read the part of Scripture that says, “the homosexual will not inherit the kingdom of God”? Has she read that part that says “Be holy, for I am holy”? Have they read that part that says, “There is no fellowship between Christ and Belial, light and dark”? Seriously. What are we to do with those passages in Scripture God says that the only way to Salvation is through the Son? What are we to do with those passages that say “if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation”? Or, “we must put off the old self, and put on the new”? Or, “repent”?

And, on top of that, 3.1 million dollars to build a meaningless building while Christians in the Middle East are being killed for their faith.

And we wonder what is wrong with the church in America. Did you see that story I linked to last night, the one about Rwandans?

jerry