ARE YOU A FOOL LIKE ME?

Great Easter message. Pass it on

Unshakable Hope

I’m sure it’s the little boy still hiding in my 57-year-old paralyzed body, but I enjoy trying to pull off a good April Fools Day joke on Mary. In our thirty-two years of marriage, I probably have a 75% success rate.

It can be a real challenge to carry out a successful April fools joke with ALS because I can’t speak so I have to attempt to fool her via email or using my computer’s (no inflection) robot voice (the only “voice” I’ve had for the last twenty years).

As I’m sure you know, April Fools Day and Easter (the day we celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead) fall on the same day this year. The two have not fallen on the same day since 1956.

Are Christians foolsfor believing that Christ was literally raised from the dead?

Atheists, agnostics and those of other faiths, believe it…

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THE ATHEIST DELUSION

What a great video by Ray Comfort. A must for your unbelieving family and friends.

Having to prove the existence of God to an atheist is like having to prove the existence of the sun, at noon on a clear day. Yet millions are embracing the foolishness of atheism. “The Atheist Delusion” pulls back the curtain and reveals what is going on in the mind of those who deny the obvious. It introduces you to a number of atheists who you will follow as they go where the evidence leads, find a roadblock, and enter into a place of honesty that is rarely seen on film. From Living Waters, creators of the award-winning TV program “The Way of the Master” and the hit movies “180” and “Evolution vs. God,” comes the powerful film “The Atheist Delusion.” Executive produced by TV co-host and best-selling author Ray Comfort (Hell’s Best Kept Secret, Scientific Facts in the Bible). Learn more at http://www.AtheistMovie.com

WHY AN ATHEIST CHANGED HIS MIND

“To continue in atheism, I would need to believe:

Related image

nothing produces everything,

non-life produces life,

randomness produces fine-tuning,

chaos produces information,

unconsciousness produces consciousness, 

non-reason produces reason,”

I had to add: goo produces you by way of the zoo 

Lee Strobel wrote. “I simply didn’t have that much faith.

While not everyone agrees with Strobel’s assessment, “The Case for Christ” author saw a slew of people who were moved by his framing of faith and belief.

 

 

DANIELS – GOD’S IRRELEVANT IN VICTORIA

Slavery to atheistic dogma rife in Victoria

Religious liberty is all very well and all that, but it has its limits in Victoria’s state schools where principals are bound by Ministerial Direction 145.

The determination allows faith-based religious instruction at the principal’s discretion providing no child attends for more than 30 minutes a week, and then only in the lunch break or in the hour before or after school. Parents must complete form CD145 — available in 15 languages — to give consent.

Instructors must be referred to as instructors or special instructors, never as teachers. Teaching material cannot be described as “curriculum” and may only be referred to as “materials” or “program materials”.

The Safe Schools program is different. There is no parental red tape to navigate since Safe School classes are compulsory and will be conducted in every state school by next year.

In summary, parents must apply to have kids study the Biblical canon, but they don’t get asked if they’d like their kids to study OMG I’m Queer, OMG I’m Trans, Gayby Baby, or anything else included in the School Action Toolkit “that explores family diversity in a fun & insightful way”. Principals don’t ask parents, they consult an amorphous entity that the Department of Education calls “the broader school community”. OMG indeed.

For a glimpse of what a Bill Shorten prime ministership may entail, head to his home state of Victoria where Daniel Andrews’s track record reads like “a wish list for progressives”, according to one fan writing in the Huffington Post, an online journal for readers who find The Age too conservative.

“Australian-first program of medical cannabis? Check,” writes the fan. “A $572 million package for domestic violence, more money even than the federal government spends nationwide? Check. An Australia-first LGBTI ‘pride centre’ and specific gender-diverse health services? Check.”

The OMG list gets worse. ­“Directly defying Canberra and standing in opposition to cutting funding for LGBTI education program, the Safe Schools Coalition? Check. A huge increase to legal services for asylum-seekers? Check.”

As Paul Kelly reminded us on these pages last weekend, the Andrews government now wants to legalise what it delicately calls “voluntary assisted dying”. Putting poor old Grandpa out of his misery? Check.

Andrews is undoubtedly the most hardline, ideological, left-wing premier to assume office in this or any other state. As Liberal MP Bernie Finn said recently: “This bloke makes Joan Kirner look like a softie.”

A half-century ago Gough Whitlam flew to Melbourne to tell the state’s left faction they were behaving like a bunch of losers.

“We construct a philosophy of failure, which finds in defeat a form of justification and a proof of the purity of our principles,” he told them, raising his voice above the jeers and catcalls. “Certainly the impotent are pure.”

Whitlam was Labor’s first leader to hold a university degree, a handicap many assumed disqualified him from the job. Today the party is full of them, but sadly few have the learning of Whitlam, who graduated long before the education was dumbed down.

Today Whitlam would probably be scratching his head and wondering how it came to pass that a morally vain extremist such as Andrews, armed with the soft-headed philosophy of cultural inclusion, could ever have been elected in the first place, let alone be seen as a serious contender in the polls next year.

Andrews has achieved the seemingly impossible in reconciling the sensitivities of the sophisticates with the day-to-day anxieties of the masses.

He has an army of media minders to run a virtual newsroom, turning out dozens of asinine press releases weekly, whistling to both audiences.

On one hand they are steeped in symbolic concern about the vulnerable, pledged to give a voice to the voiceless, dedicated to restoring fairness and promise to make Victoria a safe place.

On the other hand they boast of jobs precincts, better kindergartens, new school buildings, level-crossing and road improvements, addressing the practical concerns in the regions and outer suburbs.

Meanwhile his government panders to activism by handing out thousands of grants, large and small, to community organisers of every stripe. It pays for the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council’s Multicultural Dinner, hands over a lazy half-mill to LGBTI support groups to counsel LGBTI Victorians disturbed by a plebiscite, and chucks money at the Feminist Writers Festival in recognition of its “important role in challenging sexism and gender stereotypes, and fostering cultural change”.

It embarks on “a creative new approach to reduce homophobia” by subsidising the development of “an engaging digital app that will give players of all ages insights into the experiences of LGBTI people and the prejudices and discrimination they can face”.

The government funds Literacy Leader Induction Workshops to provide every government primary school with “a trained literacy leader”. Just one, apparently, but it’s a start.

And so in countless feel-good ways, announced in countless fawning press releases, the Andrews government funds a growing bullshit industry, employing countless professional do-gooders in meaningless bullshit jobs.

When Andrews boasts of the jobs he has created, he neglects to mention that the taxpayer is paying for most of them. The growth in education, health, welfare and much heavy construction is funded by the state. But when your only work experience is in politics, that probably doesn’t matter.

At best the bullshit industry is merely ineffective, but we suspect the moral harm is worse. The application of identity politics, the constant affirmation of diversity and the pleas on behalf of the vulnerable feed a culture of complaint and entitlement. It erodes the personal virtues of prudence, fortitude and courage by outsourcing responsibility for individual destiny to the machinery of state.

It is customary for outgoing Labour governments to leave a fiscal deficit on the doormat. The moral deficit Andrews is likely to leave behind will be altogether harder to clean up.

Nick Cater is executive director of the Menzies Research Centre.

HOW A WELL KNOWN SECULAR JEW CAME TO FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST

Edgar Award-winner and New York Times bestselling novelist tells of his improbable conversion from agnostic Jewish-intellectual to baptised Christian and of the books that led him there.
No one was more surprised than Andrew Klavan when, at the age of fifty, he found himself about to be baptised. Best known for his hard-boiled, white-knuckle thrillers and for the movies made from them—among them True Crime (directed by Clint Eastwood) and Don’t Say a Word (starring Michael Douglas)—Klavan was born in a suburban Jewish enclave outside New York City. He left the faith of his childhood behind to live most of his life as an agnostic in the secular, sophisticated atmosphere of New York, London, and Los Angeles. But his lifelong quest for truth—in his life and in his work—was leading him to a place he never expected.
Klavan’s coming to faith took place over a process of many years where he wrestled with many philosophical quandaries and the author is quick to point out that reason can only get you so far.

CP asked Klavan how important he thinks experiencing God is in light of how contemporary culture values thinking over feeling, particularly the reasoning that what we think is objectively true and the things we experience are subjective and therefore invalid.

Among other things, Klavan noted, the subjective experience of falling in love with his wife over the course of many decades was an epiphany of sorts; love showed him that just because something might be subjective it does not mean it is not real.

“That led me to start to think ‘Now, wait a minute, maybe if you can be deceived in your subjective perceptions, then maybe you can be right in your subjective perceptions,” Klavan said.

Along the way, Klavan’s rejection of atheism was in part because he found important truths in places many devout Christians rarely look. Klavan told The Christian Post that one of the most important engagements he had with a work of art was with French author and philosopher Marquis de Sade.

“De Sade wrote some of the most sadistic pornography — some of the most disgusting stuff I ever read — and his books are laced with atheistic philosophy. And when I read that atheist philosophy and I saw that pornography that accompanied it, I said to myself, ‘That is honest atheism. That is only true, truly reasoned atheism I ever saw, that if you wanted to be an atheist, this was the logic of it and it turned me away.’ I turned my back and walked away from it.”

“So here’s this ugly guy but writing brilliant art, brilliant psychopathic art, that contained a truth that I needed to find,” he continued.

“The one thing I would love to see Christians do, is to stop leaping to condemn art that doesn’t immediately echo their deeply held beliefs. Because I truly believe that all great art is speaking truth. God is god of the real world, he’s not God of fantasy land. When you shut people off from the ugliness of life, from the physicality of life and the passion and the lust that are in the Bible and in the arts, you shut people off from the real God,” he said.

“I think that the arts are one of the ways that human beings relate their inner experience to one another. And I think in that inner experience is where we are going to find our faith and find our God. So learn how to read the arts, learn how to read something that repels you, it actually may have a truth inside that people need to know.”

When asked what he would most like readers to take away from his memoir, Klavan reiterated the importance to examining the evidence for faith for oneself, against the fierce cultural tide of unbelief.

“You have to step out of that current, as hard as it is, and see the world fresh and start to find the truth from there,” Klavan said. “Because as the X-files always told us, the truth is out there. And it really is staring you in the face, and it really is speaking to you, singing to you, virtually, from every corner of the world.”

“The Jews are the chosen people of God and they brought the notion of God back into humanity after we lost track of it after The Fall, they were the doorway for God to re-enter the world and people hate them for it. To take it even one step further, people hate the Jews because they hate God, and you hate God because you hate yourself. I really do think that that is the failure to accept original sin.”

“And I feel like if you will experience my story with me, it might resonate. You might turn to your own life and say, ‘You know, once I start to listen I hear that song and it might help to draw you out of this tide that is washing you in something that is utterly untrue,” he concluded.

Andrew Klavan’s story demonstrates that God can use whatever, whenever to bring us to a knowledge of the truth – His truth about His world. A world which He judged on one occasion (Noah’s worldwide flood that laid down all the fossils), and He tells us in His Word that He will pour out His wrath upon all the earth again in the not to distant future, if my reading of the signs are correct.

 

 

 

MOVIE “THE ATHEIST DELUSION” – DESTROYS ATHEISM WITH ONE SCIENTIFIC QUESTION

Evangelist Ray Comfort’s “The Atheist Delusion” movie, claims that it’s able to “destroy atheism with one scientific question.” It is set to premiere at the Ark Encounter, a life-sized Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky.

“From the start, we were concerned that people wouldn’t take seriously a movie that ‘destroys atheism with one scientific question.’ But it does exactly that by scientifically confirming the existence of God. Having a respected, scientifically based organisation like Answers in Genesis being willing to premiere it is such an honour,” Comfort said.

Thousands have already viewed the movie within the first two days of its pre-release as a paid download, but on October 22, its official release date, it will be streamed live from the Ark.

Comfort said, “This film isn’t likely to convince the average proud and closed-minded atheist.” But hopefully, countless others who are open-minded, will be convinced by seeing the irrefutable proof for the existence of God.

The best-selling author and filmmaker, whose movies have been viewed by millions, added, “We would love for millions more to watch ‘The Atheist Delusion,’ and invite Christians to host the live-streaming event from their church or home. The world premiere will be highly evangelistic, as well as thoroughly encouraging, equipping, and inspiring to seasoned believers.”

Does John Lennon offer any answers in “IMAGINE”?

In the wake of the recent tragic terrorist attacks, a popular video on You Tube with nearly a million views shows an unnamed pianist before a crowd on the street in Paris playing a piano with a giant ‘peace sign’ painted on it. He’s playing John Lennon’s song, “Imagine”—a song with a strongly secular humanist, antireligious message. In the lyrics, Lennon writes:  Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us only sky, Imagine all the people,  Paris-attack-John-LennonLiving for today …, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too, Imagine all the people, Living life in peace.

Lennon was blind to the implications of this humanistic worldview he was promoting. If there is no heaven or hell, that means there is no ultimate reward or punishment for anything you do while living on this earth. This was what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’” (1 Corinthians 15:32)

What does a world look like with no moral constraints from God? Far from the peaceful paradise that Lennon ‘imagines’, the history of the 20th century bore out the results, as the Marxist, atheistic communist regimes took over and committed murder and genocide on a mass scale never before seen in history. The simple fact is, the true morality of the Bible looks absolutely nothing like the actions taken by militant Islamists.

When terrible things like this happen, people always are moved to ask why a good God would allow such evil things to take place; but what people sometimes fail to realize is the very idea of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ that they are using to judge the situation comes only from God in the first place. Take this as an opportunity to share the Good News with those who are looking for answers!

Extracted from article by Paul Price http://www.creation.com

Answering an atheist on meaning and purpose of life

I hope this article “Answering a reasonable atheist on deep philosophical questions” from Creation Ministries International (CMI) 30th September, 2012 provides helpful answers for Christians and unbelievers as well.

To demonstrate that not all of CMI’s opponents are hostile and unreasonable, we publish feedback by Tim W. of the USA to our article – Answering the ‘new atheists’ (interview with Doug Wilson). In this, Tim W. sought to defend the proposition that atheism can provide meaning and purpose. Tim W.’s email is printed in its entirety  (red), and then followed by point-by-point responses by Dr Jonathan Sarfati.

This is an interesting article. I think you are on the right track when you suggest that modern atheists are worried at the resurgence of conservative Christianity in the United States. Frankly, it concerns me that so many politicians have anti-abortion views with which I strongly disagree. Part of my moral beliefs value limited rights of women to choose the fate of their unfertilized eggs, embryos and their own bodies. Similarly, I understand that Christians have legitimate reason to be concerned that unbelievers will influence a policy or social climate that permits the destruction of actual or potential human organisms. The stakes are high so it should be no surprise that the voices of atheism rise to compete with the voices of religion.

I also agree with the author, and with Hume, that one cannot infer what ought to be, in a normative sense, from what is, was or will be the case. In this way, it is reasonable to say that naturalism or ‘scientism’ cannot suggest a specific theory or morality. However, that does not mean that morality is not compatible with materialism, naturalism or atheism. It only means that morality must come from philosophy (ethics) rather than from theology. There is no reason why an atheist cannot have a more sophisticated ‘sense’ or theory of morality than someone who bases their beliefs of right and wrong conduct (or thoughts) on the teachings of a formal religion. My own beliefs are more consistent with a general sense of basic ‘fairness,’ than obedience to the demands of a deity.

Lastly, I don’t understand the basis of a statement such as “The atheist cannot put forward, within his own framework, a justification for why reasoning is trustworthy, or even worthwhile,” or “the atheist can’t account for reason if there is no God.” These are philosophical questions that do not seem to be contingent on the existence of a God. Is reasoning trustworthy or meaningful? Those are matters of epistemology, not theology. Moreover, I think it is far from obvious that neither life, nor anything else for that matter, can have meaning unless one believes in God. God may give your life meaning, but that does not mean that nothing can provide meaning for an atheist’s life. I can imagine an atheist saying that her daughter, for example, gives her life meaning. Would you call her a liar?

Response

Dr Jonathan Sarfati replies: Thanks (on behalf of CMI and the article author).

TW: I think you are on the right track when you suggest that modern atheists are worried at the resurgence of conservative Christianity in the United States.

JS: What is really striking is how many modern atheists have become such delicate little flowers. They are hurt and offended by plastic baby Jesuses at Nativity scenes and are in danger of having a stroke if they hear a student-led prayer at a football game. (But of course, anyone objecting to obscenity or porn should just look the other way or change channels.) Even leading atheist Richard Dawkins is not such a wimp; he joins in Christmas celebrations. What a contrast the modern activists are with the far more robust atheists of yesteryear who vigorously debated the formidable G.K. Chesterton, and remained good friends even after finishing second.

TW: Frankly, it concerns me that so many politicians have anti-abortion views with which I strongly disagree.

JS: It would concern me if we didn’t have that many. Once we dehumanize one class of humanity, there is no limit. See for example article – Unborn babies may “be planning their future”: What now for the abortion lobby?

TW: Part of my moral beliefs value limited rights of women to choose the fate of their unfertilized eggs, embryos and their own bodies.

JS: Well, there’s the problem: the unborn is not part of a woman’s body. A reductio   ad absurdum I’ve explained is: this would entail that a mother carrying a son must have a penis.

TW: Similarly, I understand that Christians have legitimate reason to be concerned that unbelievers will influence a policy or social climate that permits the destruction of actual or potential human organisms.

JS: Yes, that’s exactly the issue. Without the protection of life, no other right, real or assumed, has any meaning. ‘Rights’ to private property, housing, employment, medical care, or anything else, mean nothing if one is not alive to exercise them.

TW: The stakes are high so it should be no surprise that the voices of atheism rise to compete with the voices of religion.

JS: The problem arises when voices of atheism try to silence the voices of Christianity. This includes university ‘speech codes’, ‘hate speech’, the persecution of Christians in atheistic communist regimes, and the GayStapo attacks on the Church and family. See Gay marriage, politicians, and the rights of Christians.

TW: I also agree with the author, and with Hume, that one cannot infer what ought to be, in a normative sense, from what is, was or will be the case.

JS: A key point.

TW: In this way, it is reasonable to say that naturalism or ‘scientism’ cannot suggest a specific theory or morality. However, that does not mean that morality is not compatible with materialism, naturalism or atheism. It only means that morality must come from philosophy (ethics) rather than from theology.

JS: It certainly can’t come from the axiom ‘God does not exist.’

TW: There is no reason why an atheist cannot have a more sophisticated ‘sense’ or theory of morality than someone who bases their beliefs of right and wrong conduct (or thoughts) on the teachings of a formal religion. My own beliefs are more consistent with a general sense of basic ‘fairness’, than obedience to the demands of a deity.

JS: But where does the notion of ‘fairness’ come from in an evolutionary world? Surely it’s just a delusion caused by certain neurochemical activity that happened to be useful for our ancestors to survive. Just like rape was useful to spread our genes, as two evolutionists seriously argued in a book (look how one squirmed to justify why rape should be considered ‘wrong’). Similarly, the article Bomb-building vs. the biblical foundation documents how leading atheistic philosopher/logician Bertrand Russell could not explain why right vs. wrong was any different from choosing one’s favourite colours.

Think of consistent evolutionist and atheistic philosopher Peter Singer, who justifies infanticide, euthanasia, and bestiality. It’s also notable that some critics of my article Abortion ‘after birth’? Medical ‘ethicists’ promote infanticide claimed that Singer was an anomaly among atheists. Yet I showed that his pro-infanticide views were shared by the Journal of Medical Ethics and the vocal antitheist P.Z. Myers. See also Bioethicists and Obama agree: infanticide should be legal. He also wrote the major Encyclopaedia Britannica article on Ethics (1992), and earlier this year, the Australian Government gave him Australia’s highest honour, Companion of the Order of Australia.

TW: Lastly, I don’t understand the basis of a statement such as “The atheist cannot put forward, within his own framework, a justification for why reasoning is trustworthy, or even worthwhile,” or “the atheist can’t account for reason if there is no God.” These are philosophical questions that do not seem to be contingent on the existence of a God.

JS: I would say they are, as natural selection explains only survival value, not truth and logic. In Canada, one atheistic philosophy professor argued that these things would have selective value. I responded that this is not necessarily so under his belief system. After all, he must regard theistic religion as one thing that evolved for survival value, yet he would regard this as false and illogical. Thus survival, under his perspective, can be enhanced by the false as well as the true.

TW: Is reasoning trustworthy or meaningful? Those are matters of epistemology, not theology. Moreover, I think it is far from obvious that neither life, nor anything else for that matter, can have meaning unless one believes in God. God may give your life meaning, but that does not mean that nothing can provide meaning for an atheist’s life.

JS: One of my colleagues wrote in Answering life’s big questions: Only the Bible provides the answers:

Today we are effectively told, in the evolutionary story, that life is a fluke, a cosmic accident. In this case our existence lacks any purpose, so life is a farce. And where are we going, in this view? Fertilizer! In short, life is: Fluke … farce … fertilizer.

Evolutionist Richard Dawkins said that we live in a universe that has “no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference”. The evolutionists’ universe has no purpose because it is an accident; a cosmic accident. With evolution so widely taught in schools and universities, is it any wonder that so many lack any purpose or meaning to their lives?

As Susan Blackmore, psychologist and disciple of Richard Dawkins said, “If you really think about evolution and why we human beings are here, you have to come to the conclusion that we are here for absolutely no reason at all.”

TW: I can imagine an atheist saying that her daughter, for example, gives her life meaning.

JS: But hardly ultimate meaning, since both mother’s and daughter’s entire lives are just a blink of an eye in the uniformitarian cosmic scheme. Bertrand Russell said in his anti-Christian book Religion and Science:

Man, as a curious accident in a backwater, is intelligible: his mixture of virtues and vices is such as might be expected to result from fortuitous origin.

TW: Would you call her a liar?

JS: Not at all. A lie implies intentional deception, not just falsehood. As you could see from searching our site, we are very sparing with accusations of ‘lying’ (although some evolutionists justify deception and are just being consistent), as opposed to having a faulty interpretive framework. (However, we won’t deny that this prior adoption of this faulty framework is culpable according to Romans 1:20 and 2 Peter 3:3–7 and foolish (Psalm 14:1). But the point remains that a valid deduction from a faulty framework is not a lie.)

DEFEND GOD’S WORD – GET EQUIPPED

In the famous tale from Homer’s “Odyssey” the fortress of Troy was defeated by the Greek army leaving a large wooden horse (secretly filled with soldiers) behind as a supposed gift. The Trojans willingly took it into their city leading to their defeat.

This video retraces how ‘deep time’ infiltrated the church in a similar way, and led to the lack of biblical authority we see today.