Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Here is what Dr. David Berlinski, a mathematician, who is not even a Christian, says about Darwinism.
Knowing what the scientific method entails, it is really hard to believe evolutionary theory is a science. It is science only by dictum but not in practice. Here Berlinski argues against from an engineering standpoint.
Evolution plays so much on this thing called "randomness", meaning - accidental. Perhaps this is the best time now for me to assert that randomness in science does not really exists but it is a mathematical construct, a bit bucket to direct our none-knowlege of information we do not yet possess. Philosophically and mathematically there is no such thing as randomness.
Let me explain, take the process of tossing a coin in the air, probability says that it will land 50% heads or 50% tails. Now that is true if we do not have more information than the possibilities of outcome. However, if I know that the landing of heads or tails is influenced by other factors, like wind direction, weight of the coin, material composition, if I know the starting angle my thumb lifts it and the height it goes and the material it lands (it could bounce), I will be able to predict what comes up and not rely on 50-50 chance. The reason why we go by probabilities is only because we do not know these factors, but if we do, we will not calculate what face will land based on it, we will use these information to build a formula and that is what we will use.
Evolution says that information is random but randomness when you go down to the core is none-existent.
As a person trained in mathematics, I have to have more faith to believe that evolution theory is science.
Friday, December 26, 2008
I read of one pastor having a good cry each time it is Christmas or Easter.
Well, I have watched It's A Wonderful Life for the n-th time and once again according to my semi-religious Christmas tradition, I watched it for n+1. I do not know how many times I have seen this good heart movie but I never cried. I am serious, no kidding. I am not a crier.
Anyway, I just realized I was being teary when little boy George Bailey got slapped in the ear by Mr. Gower, that did me in and the missus saw what was happening. She called the visitors to see the show, me having a cry. I do not cry easy that is why she called them to the living room. So visitors and all, watched the film with me.
This George Bailey is a sweet guy, he is good natured. He is a gentleman. You can learn a lot from him, specially his love for reading, the way he denied himself for the sake of family and friends, the little people of Bedford Falls.
Now I have read people watching this film and they swear they cry every time. As far as I can recall, only this year did I cry.
Do you want to know why people cry when they watch this movie? Because deep down inside each and everyone of us longs to see what is beautiful, lovely and what is right, triumph once in a while. We want to see what is noble get to the top for once.
What do you think? Perhaps you can better articulate what I am saying. Give me some points. Could it be the imago dei in us?
A few things I can spot in this film worth learning is that we should
Remember no man is a failure who has friends.
Last of all, Bailey will teach you to say "Hee Haw".
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
39(AH)One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, "Are You not the Christ? (AI)Save Yourself and us!"
40But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
41"And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong."
42And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!"
43And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in (AJ)Paradise." (NASB)
We note here that this man did not get a chance to do any good work, did not get the chance to undo what he had done. In fact this man was even a clear violator of the Law, he admitted his guilt. Lastly, this man did not even get a chance to cooperate with infused grace that manifests in action. This is simply a case of Acts 2:21.
It seems to me, the most offensive part of Justification By Faith Alone is the "ALONE" part. If one does not believe that it is by faith alone, then there must be something added along side faith.
I heard people claiming that this particle "alone" is not even used by ancient Christians in their language, that it was an invention of Luther. So I browsed through my book, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture VI Romans, edifted by Gerald Bray (I have not enough money to buy the entire set, so if there was a volume I had to get, it had to be Romans). On p.100, on Rom 3:28, Origen says this...
It remains for us who are trying to affirm everything the apostle says, and to do so in the proper order, to inquire who is justified by faith alone, apart from works. If an example is required, I think it must suffice to mention the thief on the cross, who asked Christ to save him and was told: "Truly, this day you will be with me in paradise"...A man is justified by faith. The works of the law can make no contribution to this. Where there is no faith which might justify the believer, even if there are works of the law these are not based on the foundation of faith. Even if they are good in themselves they cannot justify the one who does them, because faith is lacking, and faith is the mark of those who are justified by God. Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.
Now, this clearly shows it was not Luther who invented that kind of language. Further, I admit I have not studied all of Origen's doctrine, but let us say that in some portion he amplifies infused grace and righteousness. What can we conclude? Then at least we should conclude that Origen was not consistent with his own self! But surely we can not conclude that the "alone" language was invented by Luther... "alone". History is showing that the claim against Luther's contention is propaganda.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
So time went on.
A month ago she and her husband went to a fiesta held by the Filipino community here in Melbourne. She was hired by our friends to distribute some promotional leaflets, so naturally she bumped into lots of people in the fiesta.
Amazingly she did bump into one of her old time friend from Manila. So she and this friend began to talk. In the course of conversation, the friend semi-proudly said to my in-laws that she attends a "born again" Christian church. In my sister-in-law's excitement she and her husband spoke about me and how they now attend church with me.
Her friend disappointedly said to them, "oh what a shame, he should be Full Gospel and should attend a Full Gospel Church". This threw my sister-in-law into a confusing spin. When she reached home with a concerned face, she relayed this incident to me. I had to do a lot of explaining.
My reply to her: "You see these folk believe there are several components to the Gospel. Unlike us, these folk do not believe that there is one and only one Gospel - the forgiveness of your sins at the Cross of Christ freely given by God. For them, it is just one aspect of the Gospel. Jesus came not just to die for you but to make you healthy, wealthy and wise. These for them are all equal in importance to Jesus' payment for sins. So when we simply preach Jesus at the Cross, they criticize us for being not-Full Gospel".
Full or Fool Gospel?
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Example of what is falsifiable: Theory of Gravity: It says what goes up must come down ( spinning wheel ... I won't sing it). Assume this theory is false, is there a way of confirming its falsehood? Yes, throw an object in the air and if it does not land down, you can say - heck Newton was wrong. Ergo: Theory of Gravity is scientific.
Take the case of Theory of Evolution - is this falsifiable? No. There is no physical method of validating its falsehood. Why? You need ions and ions of time and by that time, the experimenter is already dead before he sees evidence of this. So, sorry this is not science. I don't buy it for that reason - it does not meet falsifiability. There is no physical way of observing this phenomenon in action
Aha, but maybe there is!
Enter Kurt Godel (my patron logician - see my picture? another Lutheran , OK you get it I am biased). Godel brought Einstein's Theory of Relativity (ETR) to its final conclusion. Godel calculated that by virtue of ETR, it is possible to do time travel, if you travel at the speed of light.
So how does Godel help falsifiability of Evolution?
Simple, we ask the Evolutionary Theorist when she thought a particular specie evolved to another - she says , this happened according to carbon dating, for the sake of argument, 10Billion years ago.
Easy. We set the time machine to year = -10,000,000,000 years and go there and observe Evolution in action. You can even see that specie giving birth and even die.
Sounds good? Ya with me? No? You think this is nonsense? Well at least deep nonsense.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Consistency is appealing to many people. Common sense can detect when statements are contradictory. Apologists would point to the Law of Non-Contradiction, that it is not violated by their theology, and so on and thus it must be true. So laymen are easily sucked up by such propaganda.
Do not get me wrong, consistency is very very important and it must exist in a system. However, it is not enough. It is a necessary condition but it is not sufficient; and this is where the unsuspecting Christian gets rounded up. They get rounded up because they look at consistency syntactically, and not semantically.
When it comes to TRUTH, consistency is not enough. Rather you must demonstrate a world wherein your statements are true (in logic, this is called a model).
All unicorns are horses that have one horn.
Silver is a unicorn.
Ergo: Silver has one horn.
This is good syllogism, and it is consistent, valid reasoning. But this is not yet true. We must demonstrate there are indeed unicorns. We must demonstrate also there is a unicorn named Silver. So where is that world?
The name calling in Calvinism/Hyper-Calvinism or Arminianism/Hyper-Arminianism etc happening in the Evangelical world hinges on the concept of consistency, but consistency is not enough.
Consistency is good, and it is mandatory, we will not accept any less, but the question with consistency is this - consistent with what? With philosophy or the Bible?
This is where I find Lutheranism different. It has no shame, no insecurity and no sense of guilt when it is not able to answer certain questions. Faith does not always have the answers, it believes what the Scripture promises even when the senses say otherwise.
Friday, December 05, 2008
The nice thing about the Web is that it has made the world a lot more smaller. With it we can know what is happening in a remote section of the world. So I have been reading on the storm brewing in SBC regarding the subject of Calvinism and the recent John 3:16 Conference last October 2008. Hopefully this does not finally divide the denomination but right now it is a source of controversy. What is controversial is the attaching of the label hyper-calvinist to some Calvinistic promoters within SBC.
More than a year ago, I came to the conclusion that most Calvinists in the popular evangelical scene are really Owenian rather than Calvinian. I mean they are Owenian in their staunch defense of Limited Atonement.
Before I go on, we may need the input of the following in this conversation: JK, who happens to be a Southern Baptist, and David who writes about Calvin and Calvinism.
OK, back to the argument of Owen for Limited Atonement.
John Owen, that revered awesome Puritan theologian, offered the following argument in favor for believing in Limited Atonement:
He puts the universal atonement believer on the stand and asks this question.
You will say, “Because of their unbelief; they will not believe.” But this unbelief, is it a sin, or not? If not, why should they be punished for it? If it be, then Christ underwent the punishment due to it, or not; if so, then why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which he died from partaking of the fruit of his death? If he did not, then did he not die for all their sins? Let them choose which part they will.
But as Pr. Neil Chambers pointed out in his Th M thesis (an acquaintance of mine), Owen's position leads to the elect being justified already at Calvary. Here is what Rev. Chambers' said
What needs to be seen is that Owen’s argument defeats itself by proving too much. If, in Owen’s terms, Christ died for all the sins of some people, the elect, then he must also have died for their unbelief, where ‘died for’ is understood to mean having paid the penalty for all their sins at Calvary. If this is the case, then why are the elect not saved at Calvary? If Owen replies that it is because the benefits of Christ’s death are not yet applied to them, then I would ask what it means for those benefits not to be applied to them? Surely it means that they are unbelieving, and therefore cannot be spoken of as saved. But they cannot be punished for that unbelief, as its penalty has been paid and God, as Owen assures us, will not exact a second penalty for the one offense. If then, even in their unbelief, there is no debt against them, no penalty to be paid, surely they can be described as saved, and saved at Calvary. That being the case, the gospel is reduced to a cipher, a form of informing the saved of their blessed condition.
Notice I highlighted the portion which is of interest to me. Owenian Limited Atonement therefore leads one to believe that the elect are already justified at the Cross. Therefore that means the elect are justified with out faith. But then, this means that this is not JBFA.
Now does not that sound familiar to you? Does not this Limited Atonement conclusion lead to something we are familiar with and have been discussing for some time (hint look at the few posts below on justification)?
I am amazed and struck at the similarity of conclusion.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Can you imagine no Christmas? I can.
20 years ago it would be hard to imagine but with the triumph of political correctness, the increasing hostility against things Christian plus the economic depression, it is for certain that 50-100 years from now, no more Christmas.
Read something funny, or else you will cry so I recommend Strange Herrings.
Actually, I believe Sacramone and Martin Luther (Doktor) is the same person. The news that one is the assistant of the other is just --- red herring to me.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Sometimes I wonder off in Internet land and I listen to a web cast hosted by a Reformed Baptist. I have been intrigued with this host because each time he introduces his guests, he introduces them with the words... 'a theologically Reformed pastor', 'an evangelically Reformed person' or something like that etc.
Why is it so important for him to let people know that the guest happens to be a 'Reformed' person?
The label "Reformed" is a covetted word nowadays in Evangelicadia.
With the chaos, confusion, disillusionments happening in the Evangelical movement, it is no surprize that people are leaving this movement. The move away is happening specially to university/college kids brought up in Evangelical environment.
It is understandable that they are moving towards Reformed confessions or theology. For after all Evangelicalism is a melting pot which has been fed by several streams. The Reformed movement has some Revivalistic/Puritan streak anyway. Some heroes would be Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield etc. However there are other sources too like John Wesley, Charles Finney etc. So young people looking for their roots will naturally gravitate to what is closest and semi-familiar. But why?
Well because Evangelicalism has become a faith without a confession. They have these 16 lines in their Statement of Faiths but that is precisely why they are in a mess right now. Anyone who does not attack those 16 points can get away with murder.
Probably the most influential Reformed (Calvinist) preacher today would be Dr. John Piper who actively promotes his 5-pointedness. He is popular amongst young people and they are soaking up his books and sermons.
Well, I have been there, done that, spat the dummy and I gave away the T-shirt.
Young people should stop reading Desiring God and instead pick up the movement's confession and compare it with Scripture. Hopefully they are not in for another bum-steer.
But then again, young people are into fads. What if being Reformed is just another Evangelical fad?