Archive for July, 2008

27
Jul
08

Argument From Scripture—Part 1

Professor Richard Dawkins is not the first one to attack the legitimacy of Scripture. Many many others throughout centuries of history have tried to condemn Scripture or even to destroy it. ALL have FAILED.

I would guess that the Bible is scrutinized more than any other work in history. This is GOOD! I wouldn’t buy a house without a thorough inspection, so why would I blindly anchor my life on a foundation that hasn’t been tested? That wouldn’t make any sense.

Professor Dawkins writes in chapter three of The God Delusion, (92):

The fact that something is written down is persuasive enough to people not used to asking questions like: ‘Who wrote it, and when?’ ‘How did they know what to write?’ ‘Did they, in their time really mean what we, in our time, understand them to be saying?’ Were they unbiased observers, or did they have an agenda that coloured their writing?’

I find it ironic that Dawkins writes this about the Bible—the one book that has been questioned more than probably any other written work in all of history. Not only that, but it has SURVIVED (!) the severe scrutiny through the centuries, even to this day.

Irony aside, Dawkins is right. A lot of people have lazy minds and will just blindly gobble up whatever somebody sets before them. (Not just Christians but also agnostics and atheists too. There are lazy minds everywhere.) And that’s a damn shame.

What about The God Delusion? Do the readers understand that Dawkins himself is a biased observer? Do they realize that Dawkins has an agenda in his writing? Do they seriously investigate what they read, or do they just eat up whatever appeals to them.

And what about this blog? I have a bias too, of course. I do not have perfect understanding. I am not an authority over ANYthing! I should certainly hope that you take responsibility and look into these things yourself.

If you really want to know whether or not God is real, don’t turn to Dawkins or to me. If you want to know whether God really exists, then SEEK HIM out! Read the Bible. Earnestly ask God to show himself to you. God is the God who reveals himself to us. If God exists, he WILL BE KNOWN. Pray that he will show you the Truth. What harm could come from that?

The argument from Scripture is an overwhelming task and is going to take some time. In order that my posts do not get too long, I think it best to follow this particular argument with several posts to come. I also do not desire to delay my writing regarding the rest of Dawkin’s book. (Especially since I am borrowing the book from a friend.) So I will try to maintain both interests simultaneously.

More to come…

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13
Jul
08

Dragons and Dinosaurs

When I lived for a year in Europe I learned that you can’t take everything you were taught at home or in school for granted. [For example: In the states we learn that there are seven continents on the globe. My Swiss host father, however, insisted on five. The Swiss do not count Antarctica, and they lump North and South America together and count it as one. Neither one of us was incorrect in our count, we just identify the continents differently. Funny how “known facts” aren’t necessarily “known FACTS” across the globe.]

In that case both of us were right. But that is not always how it is. Sometimes only one can be right, and the other one must be wrong. So it was in the following exchange…

My Swiss host brother at the time was really fascinated with dinosaurs. He had dinosaur t-shirts and toys and bed sheets and books… I looked through one of his books one day and couldn’t believe what I was reading!

This family believed that dinosaurs and man existed TOGETHER!!!!!


WHAT??!


Everybody knows that dinosaurs became extinct long before man walked the earth! That’s what I learned in school and I accepted it as fact without question. (I didn’t question things too much then.)

Of course I was reading a foreign language, so I could easily have been mistaken. So I pursued the topic with my host mother (again in german) to find out more. Our conversation made me even more curious. She gave me quite a bit to consider…

It is very curious that numerous legends from all over the world(!) speak of the same fire-breathing creature. How did they all come up with so similar a beast?

In the book Dinosaurs and Creation, Phycisist Donald B. DeYoung reminds us that heat/blaze firing phenomena is not necessarily absent from the animal kingdom. We observe similar stunts in creatures today. The electric eel is capable of producing enough electric voltage to start a spark (in the right circumstances). A chemical reaction within the Bombardier beetle creates a boiling-hot liquid/gas, which is expelled out the abdomen for defense. And every animal, just by the natural process of digestion, produces a flammable methane gas. (And my husband’s band could prove it as they used to get a kick out of igniting their own farts… Boys!)

Archaeology has uncovered numerous dinosaur skulls containing hollow chambers and crests. We can only make guesses about what purpose these cavities served for the beast, but it is possible that chemicals collected in these hollows allowing the beast to breath smoke or perhaps even spark a blaze. Who can know?

Some petroglyphs may be interpreted as dinosaur-/dragon-like beasts. Even breathing flames? Who knows. Again, we can only guess about the drawings, no one (not even scientists) can seriously know for sure what is actually depicted in these peculiar petroglyphs. But it does beg the question—WHAT kind of animal inspired these drawings? Did man actually encounter such creatures??

Obviously none of these above discoveries prove anything…but it does spark interest. (couldn’t resist the pun). Is there any reason why there couldn’t ever have existed a creature who breathed smoke or fire-like blazes from his nostrils? I didn’t live way back in the dinosaur age. (According to some scientists, no human ever did. Are those scientists insisting they have all the facts about what existed MILLIONS of years ago, even before man ever walked the earth??)

I do not claim to have the facts about creatures that are long extinct. I don’t believe anybody can claim that. But I seriously cannot rule out the possibility of “fire-breathing” dragon-like beasts. And I am convinced that humans and dinosaurs were contemporaries. The Bible describes dinosaur-/dragon-like creatures. I know a lot of people interpret these beasts as the crocodile or the mammoth or whatever. But those interpretations are flawed, they don’t really match the descriptions. I believe the Bible is a reliable and complete source. I believe these beasts really existed as they are described–even flame-breathing creatures such as the leviathan.  AND I believe man has encountered these beasts.

And now you all think I am out of my mind. That’s okay. Maybe I am.

10
Jul
08

God is Spirit

The Shorter Chatecism Questions 4 and 5:

Q.4: What is God?

A: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and truth.

Q.5: Are there more Gods than one?

A: There is but one only, the living and true God.

I suspect that some of you, upon reading my previous post, may argue that GOD is not unlike the other imaginative creatures our human minds produce. “Spirits” after all are not unknown to us, and therefore GOD is so fabricated from already existing components.

If you are an atheist, and this is your argument, I would be very curious. This argument would imply that you acknowledge spirits do exist. Is that consistent with your atheistic paradigm?

Maybe you will say that we have a spirit in ourselves. Describe what you mean by that. Does that spirit in us have life? (Or is it some kind of non-living “drive” deep within or perhaps the “ego/id” or “inner-self” of pop-psychology.) How did we ever come to identify something so intangible within us?

If you are otherwise religious, I do not know of what faith you are. I am not concerned with any god but the One True GOD, the ONLY God who has REVEALED himself to us. If you worship mother nature, or if you rub the rabbits foot, or if you bow to Buddha, or kneel to Allah, or pray to Mary or the saints, then I agree with the atheist—your gods are all made up.

But for there to be false gods, there must be a true God, a true spirit…

Or wherever does the idea of a spirit originate if it does not truly exist? If our human minds do not have the capacity to imagine anything beyond what already is, then does it not follow that there must exist at least one true spirit? (After which any false spirits may be imagined.)

This blog entry will make more sense if you read the previous post titled “The Ontological Argument”.

09
Jul
08

The Ontological Argument

I had never heard of the Ontological Argument before. Dawkins presents the argument in chapter three of his book The God Delusion. Apparently (according to Dawkins) the argument dates back to 1078 and  is credited to St. Anselm of Canterbury (80). If you want to know for sure, however, I would double check those facts. So far I am not very impressed with Dawkin’s research in his book.

I must admit, when I first read about the argument I thought “this is ridiculous! What for kind of dumb twisted logic is that?” Of course Dawkin’s immature presentation of the argument does not encourage the reader to take it seriously.

Upon further thought, however, it occured to me that the ontological argument is something I actually have pondered myself. I had no idea it was an actual proposed argument for the existence of God. And I didn’t know there was a name for the study of “beingness.” (I had to look it up in the dictionary.) But I have certainly entertained ontological questions in my head…

For years I have tried (seriously tried) to imagine something that does not already exist—some kind of life form or machine, anything. Sure I can make up ridiculous creatures or diseases or futuristic gizmos…and I can attribute to them all sorts of qualities and functions. It’s easy to make-up imaginary monsters and new technology. But of what are these creatures and machines actually composed?

muscle? teeth? bacteria? lasers? spandex? cereal box tops and bubble gum? Or maybe even Dawkins’ favorite—fine china and spaghetti? Why not all of the above?

Our imaginations can whimsically rearrange and reassign components that already exist and call the end product a “flux capacator” without which time travel is impossible. But essentially it is a metal box with wires and lights and maybe a dial. Big whoop.

The same with life forms. We can imagine all we want. But our minds will only go so far.

We have the ability to pretend. But can our minds conceive something that does NOT exist at all?

I cannot do it. Can you? Try to conceive something that does not exist at all. If you succeed, please comment. I would be interested to know what imaginary “thing” you’ve come up with. (And don’t tell me you “can’t describe it.”)

The question then remains…

Is it possible, that our human minds could imagine a god, if no such being ever existed/exists?

04
Jul
08

The Death of Death

Reader,

If thou intendest to go any further, I would entreat thee to stay here a little. If thou art, as many in this pretending age, a sign or title gazer, and comest into books as Cato into the theatre, to go out again,—thou hast had thy entertainment; farewell! 

About a year ago (or more?) I started to read The Death of Death by John Owen. I got through the introduction okay, and even made it through Owen’s letter to the reader. The actual book doesn’t begin until page 45. It wasn’t many more pages before I understood why my husband thought Owen would be too difficult for me. He is hard for me to read. I have to inch myself along in paragraphs (rather than chapters). 

After a couple months (and only a couple chapters) I put the book down for most of the year, exhausted from the depth of Owen’s writing. But I never put the book out of my mind. Owen’s first couple chapters kept my wheels spinning the next several months.

I am much more studious in the mountains than I am at home. So last weekend when my husband and I took some extra days off work to go to the mountains, I was eager to finally start reading Owen again. 

At page 67 I have finally become accustomed to his writing style, but I continue to read and reread the same paragraphs two or three times in order to absorb all that I can. Owen is so thorough and rich and certainly worth serious study. It is no wonder that he began his note to the reader with the above warning.

Can’t wait to go to the mountains again…

01
Jul
08

Fleetwood

This is my dog. She weighs more than I do. Listens better too.

 




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