November 19, 2015

Facts About Grace

  1. The county with the highest concentrated internet searches for “grace” in Google Trends is Jamaica. This might be because Grace Jones the singer and the popular Grace Foods company (offering “Grace Mackerel”) are from Jamaica.[1]
  2. The Webster's Dictionary definition of “grace” has 8 categories with additional sub-categories.[2]
  3. The Canadian band Three Days Grace coined a name that, “...refers to a sense of urgency; with the question being whether someone could change something in one's life if one had only three days to make a change.”[3]
  4. The word “grace” in the Old Testament is translated from the Hebrew word, “chen” and in the New Testament as the Greek, “charis”, which Strong's Concordance defines as, “...a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ.”[4]
  5. Grace is described in scripture as a central aspect of existence and purpose, as ordained before the beginning of time.[5]
  6. Testimonies of God's grace underscore the ability of God's grace to inspire, challenge and transform us to the very core.[6]
  7. A panel of religious experts could not decide Christianity's unique contribution. C.S. Lewis replied, “Oh, that's easy. It's grace."[7]
  8. The secular atheist philosophy “Objectivism” repudiates grace, kindness, charity, generosity, forgiveness, and basically altruism in general, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.[8]
  9. Plato coined at least five quotes on grace, including: “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity - I mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character, not that other simplicity which is only a euphemism for folly.”[9]
  10. The fragrance “Amazing grace” is described as, “Philosophy's bestselling fragrance. Amazing grace is always appropriate...”.- although this perfume has been labeled as, “old person smell” by some.

October 29, 2015

19 Reasons Why I Don't Celebrate Halloween

I'm not going to judge someone else if they feel a strong desire to celebrate this holiday, per Colossians 2.16. But I believe there are a number of very good reasons not to celebrate Halloween, as outlined in an article by Michael Snyder, and re-published below in full. And  I would like to add one more reason to the list. When I was a kid, I would canvass the town with a friend and fill up one pillow case of candy that would last me for about three months, if I didn't binge. However, candy has changed significantly since then. Studies are increasingly demonstrating the the genetically modified corn syrup found in most present-day candies wreaks havoc on one's health.
For example, a recent study out of Egypt, published at,  has confirmed what scientists at least five years ago in Austria and Russia had already determined, that GMO foods cause sterility. According to the study by the Food Technology Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Anatomy and Embryology, and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt, after just 91 days, many of the rats fed a GM diet were completely sterile. So, add Halloween candy to my list of reasons why I'm opting out of Halloween because I love and care for my family.

18 Reasons Why I Don’t Celebrate Halloween

Halloween Fire - Public Domain

This year, 64 percent of all Americans will celebrate Halloween, but I will not be one of them.  For me, it is a wretched, horrible holiday that celebrates the darkest side of humanity, and it is deeply rooted in ancient pagan traditions that would get people thrown in prison if they attempted to duplicate them today.  With each passing year, the sexually suggestive costumes being marketed to our young girls become even skankier, the horror movies become darker and even more demonic, and the number of Americans that participate in occult ceremonies just continues to grow.  In fact, it has been estimated that the number of self-identified witches in the United States is doubling every 30 months.  Those that are deeply into the occult take this holiday very seriously, and the dark forces that they are dealing with are very real.  So no, I don’t want anything to do with this festival of death.  In no particular order, the following are 18 reasons why I don’t celebrate Halloween…
#1 I don’t want anyone in my family to observe a holiday that celebrates death, witchcraft and the occult.  This year, millions of Americans will participate in activities that could potentially open up a door for demonic activity.
#2 The average American spends $74.34 on the holiday.  I would rather save the money.
#3 Millions of women use Halloween as an excuse to dress like street walkers, and millions of men use Halloween as an excuse to act like sexual predators.
#4 Even little girls as young as three years old are being dressed up in sexually provocative costumes.  What kind of message does this send to them?
#5 Dressing up little children as ghosts, demons and vampires is not healthy for them.  In recent years, there has been a trend to make costumes for children as hellish as possible.

April 03, 2015

Five Core Needs and Five Lies of Technology by Kathy Koch

Kathy writes, “The lie, 'I deserve to be happy all the time' is one of five I unpack in my new book, Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World.” (2015).  Dr. Koch has some very compelling insights to offer regarding some of the deleterious effects of technology in society today, especially as this relates to raising healthy children.

Time Tuned Into Technology
A report published in 2009 by Stamford University concluded that Americans spend 90% of waking hours staring at glowing rectangles. The lead author of the report, Dr. Richard Menken said, “From the moment they wake up in the morning, to the moment they lose consciousness at night, Americans are in near-constant visual contact with bright, pulsating rectangles.” The researchers identified 30 varieties of glowing rectangles that play some role throughout the course of each day and offered, "We discovered in almost all cases that Americans find it enjoyable and rewarding to put their faces in front of glowing rectangles for hours on end,". Though there are many true benefits to the current technological revolution, it's a fact that increasingly engaging technology can be addictive and can have a more serious impact on children that have more difficulty in separating truth from fiction in media.

The Five Core Needs of Life

The fixation with artificial intelligence and virtual video worlds is especially poignant when we consider the types of media directed at children and how it influences their perception of reality and values. Dr. Koch doesn't just outline the problems. In another book, Authentic Hope, she goes into depth regarding how our sense of identity controls our behavior and how our five core needs can be met in much healthier ways than with video games. As you review the five core needs, its easy to see how a video-game world offers a very warped perspective on addressing these needs at an impressionable age of life. The first need is for security—Who can I trust? The second, identity—Who am I? The third, belonging—Who wants me? The fourth is for purpose—Why am I alive? And the fifth, competence—What do I do well? The full title of that book is Finding Authentic Hope and Wholeness: 5 Questions That Will Change Your Life (2005).

February 14, 2015

Arguments for God from Metalogical Necessities

Metalogic is defined by Oxford Dictionary from meta-logic theory as follows: “A theory whose subject-matter is a logistic system”. When using systems of logic to determine logical deductions, the question can arise: What is required for logical systems to work practically and reliably in the real world? There are at least two important aspects that flow from this question. One is the implicit teleological aspect of logic. The second is the implicit referential aspect of perfect truth and validity found in logic.This investigation was inspired by Jay's Analysis website, from an article titled, “Numbers Prove God” in which the author states:
“Reality, at every single point, and in every single act of predication, requires infinity.  That itself is a huge mystery, but no one would be so ridiculous as to say that mystery means we cannot know anything.  What philosophy or theology can make sense of how infinity is present and necessary at each point?  How does a finite, created mind access or touch upon infinity, if infinity is something only present to, and confined in, our realm of existence?”
As the use of logic is examined, it becomes clear that there are implicit references in logic to infinite perfection and also moral teleological aspects. Because secular humanism and atheism are ill-equipped to provide an objective basis or anchor these kinds of references and touchstones, the implications of logic and metalogical necessities ultimately point to God's necessary existence. The identification of God as Creator meshes well with the necessities of metalogic because of the necessary moral obligations a creature has in relationship to the Creator. In accordance with this worldview, there is a perfect logical cohesion between metalogical necessities and teleological requirements. The first step is to establish that choosing to employ logic is a necessary first-order decision, if one is to embrace a logical and cohesive understanding and avoid an illogical and incoherent one. After this is confirmed, then this conclusion can be used in another argument supporting a necessary teleological anchor.
The Importance of Logic

Logical principles and systems are not perfect and there is not a one-size-fits all for various conditions in the real world, however, if
logic helps to evaluate priorities and our values and priorities are ultimately based upon our most basic metaphysical opinions, then people should consider employing logic as in life as a high priority in order to evaluate their most basic metaphysical beliefs.
Argument from First-Order Metalogical Values

1. If logic is required to identify and verify social human values and priorities, including levels of urgency in life, and our highest values and priorities are based upon our most basic metaphysical and social beliefs, then people should consider employing logic as a first-order priority in life in order to evaluate their most basic metaphysical beliefs. 

2. Logic is required to identify and verify social human values and priorities, including levels of urgency in life, and our highest values and priorities are based upon our most basic metaphysical and social beliefs.

3. Therefore, people should consider employing logic as a first-order priority in life in order to evaluate their most basic metaphysical and social beliefs. 
If it is true that reality and metaphysical questions can be tested and understood using logic and that the opposition to logic allows for no possible coherent explanatory understanding or explanatory power, and a person understands the difference, then, in accordance with these conditions, a person should choose to employ logic.
Logic is a first-order consideration because it can be used to evaluate any decision or value judgement that a person can make. A person may claim that human values are only based on personally chosen goals as "shoulds"in life. But this would be an absurd proposition because, if logic has any value, we should also use logic in helping to decide our highest values and highest priorities in life. These questions ultimately have metaphysical significance and logic can be used in order to help discern true and valid choices. I've found that many secular atheists simply presuppose that their underlying assumptions are true, despite logical implications that would suggest otherwise.
Proverbs 1.20 outlines the urgency of employing logic: “Wisdom (logic) shouts in the streets wherever crowds gather.” (CEV)
Logic as a First-Order Subject

Logic can be used to evaluate goals, and the evaluation of goals, and the evaluation of an evaluation of goals, and the values behind the evaluation of an evaluation of goals, and so on. Using logic, we can address metaphysical questions, such as, why do we exist? Is there any deeper value or purpose in life?
Argument from a Necessary Teleological Anchor
1. A functioning system of logic explains reality with objective reliability, consistency and cohesion.
2. If logic is used to explain and clarify teleological values and  teleogical values explain what people "should" do, then people should employ logic.

3. Secular atheism offers no objective explanation or anchor for the “ought” of life towards a cohesive and comprehensive explanation of reality.
4. The only possible logical and cohesive explanation for the teleological “ought” of life and the only possible objective teleological anchor is the unchanging nature of an eternal, holy, just, and perfect Creator God.

5. If 1-4 are true, and the only possible objective teleological anchor is the unchanging nature of an eternal, holy, just, and perfect Creator God, then God must exist.
6. Points 1-4 are true, and the only logical anchor for the "ought" of life is the unchanging nature of an eternal, holy, just, and perfect Creator God, therefore, God must exist.

February 04, 2015

Why Secular Atheism Leads to Nihilism

Secular atheism, when lived out with intellectual honestly, leads to nihilism. Why is this? Because there is ultimately no objective basis for purposeful meaning in life for the secular atheist. Inventing meaning is neither rational nor logical. For example,  a sign that states “Dead End” would offer an incoherent and false meaning if placed alongside a continuous superhighway. A sign, or anything in life that conveys meaning, only has valid and coherent meaning when it is linked to a corresponding reality in some type of logical manner. Many atheists are confused on this point. Richard Dawkins. for example, has claimed that an “adult” view of life is to subjectively “make” meaning in your life, in whatever manner you may wish to do this. In reality, this is a childish and superficial approach to a deep subject. Children, not adults, are fond of creating make-believe worlds. The following is a quote of Richard Dawkins from the God Delusion:

“The truly adult view [...] is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it. And we can make it very wonderful indeed.”

Unlike Dawkins' make-believe meaning in life, Christian debaters, such as William Lane Craig, have  demonstrated that a rational and logical worldview is possible only when it is based on logically framed precepts arranged in a logical syntax, and not merely based on pretentious whims.

Why Richard Dawkins' View of Meaning is Absurd

1.  Valid and coherent meaning in life must be somehow verifiable with objective logical principles.
2. Any proposed meaning that is not verifiable with objective logical principles is irrational and ultimately absurd.
3.  Richard Dawkins offers that we should subjectively “make”meaning in life.
4. Therefore, Richard Dawkins' concept of meaning in life is irrational and absurd.
Richard Dawkins' concept of meaning in life seems to consist of an existential secular Spaghetti Monster dressed up in a cheap tuxedo. You can call invented and make-believe meaning in life “adult” or “wonderful” or even “very wonderful” - but it's still seems to be absurd to live life based upon make-believe meaning. What do you personally believe about the concept of meaning?

A. Meaning is an objective facet of life.
B. Meaning is arbitrary according to your whims.
C. Neither A nor B.
D. Both A and B.

An atheist writer posted an article at Dawkins' website, the Richard Dawkins Foundation, which outlines a view of meaning that seems to be a bit more objective than Dawkins' own view of meaning. The post is titled, "Why identify as atheist and not nihilist?" and the author states, "If logical, rational thinking is used then I fail to see how nihilism cannot be the conclusion." and, furthermore, "If you don't believe in a creator or divine plan and you understand how our minds and emotions have evolved as chemical signals and electrical pulses then where do you fit the meaning in to this? I enjoy being alive and live as hedonistic lifestyle as possible yet I am under no illusion that this has any meaning outside of my own mind." It's not surprising that Dawkins' own website offers views that contradict and oppose his own views on meaning. The New Atheists have not offered anything in the way of valid logical arguments to support their position. 

Secular Atheists Have no Logical Basis to Affirm Purposeful Meaning in Life

William Lane Craig posted an article at his website entitled, The Absurdity of Life without God, postulating, "Why on atheism life has no ultimate meaning, value, or purpose, and why this view is unlivable."

January 31, 2015

Friend Check: How to Clear the Air

There are certain personal questions that you can ask people to help clear the air, build up relationships and develop personal and spiritual growth. This can help foster a powerful testimony of sincere and authentic love in a Christian community. Some people don't like discussing personal issues at all. But most people do appreciate it when you try to make sure that things are copacetic and that you would care enough to make sure that there isn't some old festering resentment about something.

When I recently began asking some friends on facebook to critique my life, one remembered an argument from 15 years ago. Another friend asked me to do the same for him, to critique his life using the same questions. Asking friends to be honest with you and critique your life with some constructive criticism can seem pretty scary at first. But I believe you will find that it helps to clear the air, rekindle older friendships and support personal growth. On facebook and other social platforms, there can be a tendency towards focusing on the more superficial aspects of relationships while not addressing some important deeper questions. Time limitations and personality differences don't allow us to be close friends with everyone, but we can try to keep lines of communication open and sincere.

A couple of friends asked me, “Is this a part of a Bible study?” In a sense, it is. There are some powerful verses on relationships that can be meditated on and applied. Verses describe the powerful apologetic nature of sincere love and sincere relationships within a Christian community. And there are verses that apply towards clearing the air and detoxing the Body of Christ from built-up negativity. Other verses encourage us to give thoughtful words of grace that build each other up and help in personal and spiritual growth:

January 20, 2015

Isaiah's Logical Reasoning Rings True After Thousands of Years

At first glance, a few sentences offered by the prophet Isaiah don't seem to carry very much philosophical weight, even though he challenges his readers to, “Come now, and let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1.18). But the few words that he penned on the subject of moral reason have far-reaching implications and underscore some serious challenges that atheist philosophers struggle with to this day and have yet to overcome. When Isaiah stated, “Though your sins be as scarlet,” he was stating a premise that can be explained within a completely logical context in accordance with a logical worldview. By contrast, no secular atheists to date have been able to adequately offer a logical and reliable basis for human ethics and human morality that will not ultimately lead to a very cold and very brutal society. The fact is, the world is quickly becoming a more brutal and corrupt place. I'd offer that the human condition and human society today are worsening mainly due to the rejection of basic Christian principles and ethics that had been prominent for approximately 2000 years. A number of points outline how post-Christian society is becoming more and more twisted. Contrary to a popular myth, the crime rate is increasing today when undocumented government crimes and widespread white collar crimes are taken into account. Let's consider the wisdom of Isaiah in contrast to alternative secular positions. 

January 02, 2015

True World Crime Rates Much Higher Than Statistics Report

True crime statistics outlining actual crimes committed would reveal that the crime rate is actually much higher than what is being projected. One of the issues at hand is that vast networks of high-level criminals that are breaking laws are not being prosecuted, therefore, the mainstream world crime statistics are artificially low. The reality of this expanding elite criminal class has been documented in numerous sources. It is not just that elite criminals are being left alone, but that values are being totally reversed as well. Even the crime of torture is not being prosecuted in the US today. When searching for world crime statistics, the main subjects that appear are "homicide" and "murder." But there is much more to the picture. Consider, for example, that governments are not likely to allow their own government agencies to report on criminal activities presently occurring by the very same governments. But this is typically how global crime rates are reported.

I. The Economist Highlights how Crime Statistics are Based on A Small Fraction of Categories

The Economist journal published a misleading post titled, "Why is crime falling?" wherein the same post offers a revealing quote that contradicts the title: "Electronic crime and fraud has distracted some professional criminals from traditional ways of stealing stuff." The author claims that "fraud" is distracting run-of-the mill criminals from petty crimes. I would offer another opinion: Petty crime statistics are distracting statisticians from the much more widespread and pervasive problems of white-collar corporate crimes, government crimes and twisted ethical positions and laws that no longer define heinous crimes as crimes. Crime is not actually "falling" today at all, it is alive and well, even as the Economist article insinuates. The statistic problem is plainly outlined, though, that statisticians who focus on petty  crime categories and standard crime categories while white-collar corporate crime, government crime, and twisted ethical and legal positions should also be considered prior to claiming that, "crime is falling."

December 26, 2014

Another Study Confirms That Religious People Experience Greater Happiness - But Reviews Falter

A freshly-published study on happiness highlights a greater degree of happiness for religious people. What I find notable is that two of the most popular summaries published on the Internet focus on the significance and benefits of meeting with others once a week, but neither summary posits the possibility that tangible joy and happiness could be heightened through a tangible experience of God's presence within the context of community among fellow believers. Psalms 22.3 states, "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel." (KJV). Psalms 16.11 states, "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (NIV).
Religions that do not advocate a tangible presence of God would not offer that quality as a context for happiness. However, an objective reviewer of this study could have taken a minute to research and note that in the U.S., where the study was performed, evangelical Protestants still make up a majority, 51.3 percent of the religious population, as noted at Pew Research. Even so, Catholics, Orthodox and even Jews could also experience God's presence in worship services in accordance with Protestant understandings of scripture and theology. In accordance with Einstein's 1954 essay, "Science and religion" - science is basically "blind" when the implications of religion are not fairly assessed employing true critical thinking and true objectivity.

December 17, 2014

21 Signs You Might Be Living In A Post-Christian Society

The following are 21 key points underscoring the fact that we live in a twisted post-Christian society where things are getting worse rapidly. I've followed this by offering 21 key points that highlight how we have excellent reasons to be hopeful and optimistic during this time, despite the increasing darkness.
1. If the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court have opened with prayer for centuries, exemplified by a prayer of  Benjamin Franklin on June 27, 1787 at the Constitutional Convention, but these days a public school student can be suspended from class for saying the words, “bless you”, as was Kendra Turner, then you might be living in a post-Christian society.

2. If a religious lifestyle has been shown to provide the greatest sense of happiness in scientific studies, such as ones mentioned here and here, and “Studies show that rates of depression for Americans have risen dramatically in the past 50 years.” – with 1 in 10 US adults presently reporting a struggle with depression, then you might be living in a post-Christian society.

3. If the phrase, "In God we trust" first appeared on U.S. 2-cent coins in 1864 and the phrase, "In God is our trust." is in the official US national anthem and “one nation under God” is a phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, but presently public school students are censored from saying the word “God” or “Jesus” in their personal farewell valedictorian speeches, as was Kyle Gearwar, then you might be living in a post-Christian society.

November 12, 2014

Pastor Zehnder Claims "Longest Speech Ever" Title in Guinness Book

Pastor Zehnder of Florida preached for 53 hours and 18 minutes. According to a summary in Christianity Today,  he was inspired to raise money for a non-profit cause as a part of his speaking marathon:

"The Powerhouse Addiction Recovery Program will help people with addictions including alcohol, drug and sex among others. The target of $100,000 was surpassed on Monday with a $10,000 cheque that took the total to more than $102,000."

October 27, 2014

Truth and Treat - Turning a Negative Into a Positive on Halloween

There is a lot of negative energy on Halloween and a lot of pressure aimed at children towards conforming to the celebration of evil, darkness, death, the occult and witchcraft. I believe, however, there are some excellent teachable moments and talking points available that can help parents engage children together towards, “overcome evil with good” as scripture directs us (Romans 12.21). Your own convictions and guidance by God's Holy Spirit will help you as a Christian to determine if and how you can exchange the worldly standard of “trick or treat” for some helpful truth and treat. The following are some points to consider:

1. Real witches increasingly support the truth of the spiritual realm - Real witches are increasingly coming out of the broom closet. A survey of 822 witches revealed that a majority have already come out of the closet.  A 2009 book, “Out of the Broom Closet: 50 True Stories of Witches Who Found and Embraced the Craft” is celebrated by a majority of reviewers on Amazon . A recent Huffington Post article outlines how a present-day academic, “witch in multiple pagan traditions,” Sam Webster delights in the rise of witchcraft and the significance of Halloween for these people: "There is a national holiday that showcases our religion every year!" He adds, "In the West we've started taking that word (witch) and using it as a word of power. We've taken on an insult and reclaimed it." Children appreciate it when you tell them the truth, especially when it comes to subjects that interest them. There is in fact a spiritual realm and the promotion of witchcraft by real witches underscores this truth.

September 18, 2014

If Your Life was a Word Cloud - Would There be More Positive or Negative Words?

Are you a positive person or a negative one?  Do you tend to affirm others and build others up in person or do you tend to gossip and put others down when they are not around? Do you have positive "self-talk" in your private thoughts or are you producing negative emotions and negative results through your private thought life? If a day in your life was reduced to a word cloud, what would it look like? What would your entire life look like as a word cloud?

After over 20 years of research, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson "..shares how experiencing positive emotions in a 3-to-1 ratio to negative emotions leads people to achieve what they once could only imagine."

September 15, 2014

The Positive Life Challenge

The reason for coming up with this challenge is fairly simple. I was looking into the scandal with Victoria Osteen, as described at this link, and as I researched a bit on the benefits of positive in life, I found that there is scientific evidence that demonstrates how living with a positive attitude really is a very good approach to life. I have generally lumped the emphasis on the positive and the "Word of Faith Movement" together and there were usually obvious contradictions with scripture that immediately had turned me off. After looking a bit more into this subject, however, I've come to see the emphasis on the positive as very important and desirable, when taken in a biblically-sound framework. There are a number of points I had studied earlier that seem to come together in this subject and, if you are interested, you can take on the challenge along with me to become more positive in life. This will be a process for me and I will no doubt continue to adjust the precepts and the ideas in this challenge as I learn more. I will explain why I believe the following points are a good beginning. I also want to emphasize that these things can be put into practice today in anyone's life with the understanding that the ultimate basis of a meaningfully positive and optimistic outlook is knowing God.

Caveat: What the Positive Life Challenge is Not

I'd like to first draw a clear distinction between being positive and optimistic versus a presumptuous expectation to be happy, healthy and prosperous in life. The former is something that the scriptures admonish us to do. Jesus, our example, was described as a man of sorrows who suffered and endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Though our circumstances can be difficult circumstantially our outlook can always be positive spiritually. The latter is something that the Bible does not promise us. We are not promised unequivocal emotional happiness, health and prosperity in this life in scripture. The greatest good is simply to know God.

The Positive Life Challenge

1. Practice the presence of God each day.

2. Use at least 3x more positive speech than negative.

3. Do justice and love mercy.

I'd like to emphasize that this is not meant to be a formula of some kind or a legalistic set of practices. These are just some principles and guidelines that I wish to aim for in my own life and I believe they could be helpful for others as well. Like a good marriage, it goes without saying that the love and the personal relationship are of utmost importance, while learning helpful principles about marriage also helps. Ultimately, the emphasis should be on the personal aspects of life, not just the principles.

No matter what your basic beliefs are, there is evidence that we are all under the influence of a "negativity bias" wherein we humans are wired to remember the negative much more than the positive in life. This can effect us, and often does, based on experiences as far back as from childhood. This is just one reason why we should probably attempt to achieve a "positivity bias" in our lives.

September 11, 2014

9-11: Important Facts Everyone Should Probably Know By Now

This trivia is far from trivial. Test your 9-11 knowledge. It's been 13 years since the tragedy, and, surprisingly, a lot of people still don't know some of the most basic facts regarding what happened on 9-11-01. Following are 11 facts on 9-11 outlined by A & E For 9-11 Truth:

1) The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 

It is commonly known that the Twin Towers fell on 9/11, but did you know that a third World Trade Center high-rise building also fell that day? WTC Building 7, a 47-story steel-framed skyscraper located one block from the Twin Towers was not hit by any plane, but collapsed at 5:20 that evening, imploding in the exact manner of a professionally engineered demolition. It fell suddenly, straight down, at near freefall speed, and landed in a compact pile of rubble, barely damaging any of the surrounding buildings. These are but a few of eleven characteristics of Building 7's collapse that are consistent only with controlled demolitions. Further, the leaseholder of the three buildings, Larry Silverstein, said in 2002 on PBS that on the afternoon of 9/11 he suggested to the NYC fire department commander that they "pull" WTC 7. "Pull" is an industry term that means "demolish," but it normally takes a team of skilled people many weeks to design and implement large demolitions. Astonishingly, there is no mention of WTC Building 7's remarkable collapse in the 571-page 9/11 Commission Report. 

2) Fire has never — prior to or after 9/11 — caused any steel frame building to collapse. The sudden, vertical, explosive, and total collapse of the Twin Towers at near freefall speed can only be explained by controlled demolition.

3) The WTC steel, which if fully examined could have relvealed the effects of explosives, was quickly shipped overseas and melted down. This was an unprecedented violation of federal crime scene laws.

4) Whenever contact is lost with any airplane, fighter jets routinely take to the air to investigate. This commonly occurs about 100 times per year in well under 20 minutes. But on 9/11 nearly two hours passed without any interception.

September 05, 2014

Newsflash: Osteen and Piper Agree on Christian Hedonism

A lot of people are throwing Victoria Osteen under the bus for her recent comments, with claims of heresy and blasphemy topping the list. What is remarkable is how similar her quotes are to quotes by John Piper regarding his concept of Christian Hedonism. Ultimately, this is the question: "What do you believe is the true basis of and motive for glorifying God?" Both Osteen and piper offer that enjoying pleasure is the primary means by which we glorify God, thus, they both agree to the central tenet of Christian Hedonism. Mrs. Osteen is being raked over the Internet coals for a video clip in which she stands by her approving husband at church (the largest church in the U.S., BTW) and says the following:

 "I just want to encourage every one of us to realize that when we obey God, we're not doing it for God — I mean, that's one way to look at it — we're doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we're happy. That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy.”

 “So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you're not doing it for God really. You're doing it for yourself, because that's what makes God happy. Amen?"

Everyone from Bill Cosby (in a pirate YouTube spoof) to the ex-gay Christian blogger, Matt Moore are basically heaping it on. Personally, I do not agree with most of the Osteen family Christian message, including these quotes. However, what I find interesting is that no one seems to be pointing out that this subject of seeking pleasure in God is actually a pretty deep and complex one that deserves a bit of thought. And what would you say if I outlined some quotes by revered Christian figures, such as Blaise Pascal, Jonathan Edwards, John Piper and C.S. Lewis that emphasize the same focus but offer a bit more care and eloquence:

 Quotes on Seeking Pleasure in God

1.      "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever" – John Piper (his version of the shorter Westminster catechism)

2.      "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." – John Piper (Desiring God – 1986)

August 18, 2014

Why Jesus is the Most Controversial Person in History

Following are 25 reasons why Jesus was and is considered the most controversial person in history. Jesus didn't become controversial because He was bad, rather, because He went around doing good things that disrupted, rather, burst the seams of the existing status-quo system. Jesus made extraordinary claims and He demonstrated the truth of His claims with extraordinary actions and extraordinary resolve.

Because Jesus was a spiritual light in a world of corruption and darkness, He stood out like a shag on a rock. In case you aren't aware, this shag idiom is an Aussie reference to a sea bird alone on a rock in the middle of the ocean, not quite the same as Mike Myers' use of the word as Austin Powers. Jesus wasn't politically correct, but He was spiritually correct. I noticed that Greg Laurie prepared a video clip on the same subject with excellent quotes on the controversial figure of Jesus: The Most Controversial Figure in History?
List of 25 Reasons Why Jesus is Considered the Most Controversial Person in History
  1. Jesus experienced an extraordinary divine conception.
  2. He performed extraordinary miracles.
  3. Jesus claimed to be divine, as Messiah.
  4. Jesus offered an extraordinary sacrificial death.
  5. He rose in an extraordinary resurrection.
  6. Jesus never sinned.

July 31, 2014

Core Essentials of The Christian Faith

Recently, Bill Gates' "Common Core" program for U.S. Education faced massive opposition. The Christian common core of the gospel has faced massive opposition over the centuries, but has stood the test of time. It's important to understand that there is common ground on the rock of truth in Christian theology that overlaps doctrinal differences. This underscores our common basis for fellowship and community within the universal Christian Church at large. On the other hand, promoting false teaching on core issues is labeled as heretical and unacceptable according to scripture. 
If you are familiar with the teachings of pastor Rob Bell and his book, “Love Wins” - then you are probably aware of his promotion of  universal salvation for all people. Rob Bell teaches that there ultimately is no eternal punishment for those who reject Christ, but that all people are eventually welcomed into heaven by God's grace. His belief that, "We can have all the hell we want.” - doesn't really mesh with scripture. Based on Bell's example, it is fairly obvious that accepting God as a gracious being is not enough to establish practical common ground for us as Christians, that is, if you believe that doctrines repeated throughout the Bible form the basis of the Christian faith.
So, what is the true common core basis of Christianity? While there is a lot of “liberal theology” today, most Christian scholars who regard scripture as the most dependable and accurate basis of spiritual truth would agree with the following list:
List of Core Essentials of The Christian Faith 
1. The Divinity of Jesus Christ 
2. The Resurrection of Christ 
3. Salvation in Christ Alone 
4. Salvation by Grace 
5. The Gospel 
6. The Trinity 
7. The Virgin Birth