Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Morality vs. Fertility


While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor....
Numbers 25:1-3

Quote of the Month

"I delight in the company of those who enrich my thinking."
- Ravi Zacharias

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Secret: Uncovered

(Updated on July 4th 2015)

"The Secret teaches us that we create our lives, with every thought every minute of every day. Living The Secret offers tools and ideas to help you live The Secret and create the life of your dreams." - TheSecret.tv

"The Secret is the culmination of centuries of great thinkers, scientists, artists and philosophers. Here we take an exciting look behind the scenes of The Secret’s life-transforming power." - TheSecret.tv

Rhonda Byrne’s intention is to empower all peoples to live a life of joy. It's a beautiful idea, but it will not save souls. It's empty and gives people a dillusional view of what reality is. I want to show you how Jesus understood the world--then from investigation show how The Secret trades on a completely different view of reality. This reminds me of the da Vinci Code and how it uses partial truths to prove it's claim. Greg Koukl, President of Stand to Reason said, " 'The Secret' is not the deep wisdom of the universe, but is rather the oldest lie ever told." My job here is to investigate the facts and bring out the truth; the good and the ugly.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Is God Racist?

Is God Racist For Choosing His People?

An Atheist and even a Muslim remarked to me that the God of the Bible was racist because in the Old Testament He chose only Israel wholly to Himself. If we look to the New Testament we see Paul giving an answer against a people who were thought to be the most powerful nation in the Mediterranean. The Greeks thought they were the superior race on earth, but in Jesus' time they were governed under the Roman empire.

In his address to the Athenian philosophers the apostle Paul made a definitive statement about God's plan for the ages: "From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from us" (Acts 17:26-27).

Paul says that every race and culture was present in God's mind before he created them and gave them their territories on earth. God positioned each of us in a particular race and yet Paul reminds us that not just as part of our race but as an individual, He is not far from any one of us. This assurance that God planned the very core of your personality, that you were purposefully born and fashioned according to God's plan, and that He is near to you wherever you are is reason to celebrate the way He has, to use the "woven you."

In the vastness of God's creation, your birth and your reach is something unique. With the psalmist we may personalize it and say, "What is there in me that you take notice of me?" (Psalm 8:4). "You knit me together in my mother's womb. . . . I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:13-14).


Resource: Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Long Live The Queen?

Canadians don't want a Queen, even if she's done a great job

By Amy Minsky, Canwest News Service June 16, 2010


Queen Elizabeth II may feel a little alienated when she arrives in Canada later this month, on the heel of news that the majority of Canadians believe the country should sever its ties to the monarchy once her reign ends.

Two in three Canadians agree the Royal Family should not have any formal role in Canadian society, according to the results of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Canada.com and released Wednesday.

But according to one expert on the monarchy, the sentiment is simply a product of Canadians being "woefully misinformed" about our institutions.

"Canada has always been a monarchy," said Matthew Rowe, a spokesman for the Monarchist League of Canada. "It's part of who we are as a nation. We didn't spring from the Earth fully formed. We're part of an institution."

Canada's association to European crowns dates back through centuries. Now, as a sovereign nation, Canada is a constitutional monarchy, meaning the powers of the monarchy in Canada are limited by the Constitution.

According to the poll and not surprisingly, the strongest voices favouring abolishment of the monarchy in Canada come from Quebec, where eight in 10 people believe ties to the monarchy should be cut when the Queen's reign ends, but 53 per cent think she has done a good job in her role as monarch.

On a national level, the Queen's approval rating is at 73 per cent.

"Find me a politician who has that approval rating," Rowe quipped.

As for what would replace the Queen, a majority of Canadians surveyed in the poll said they would prefer a republic system where the Governor General would become the elected head of state.

"Right now, our Governor General can't act as the constitutional referee," said Tom Freda, director of Citizens for a Canadian Republic, pointing to the fact the Michaelle Jean approved both of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's requests to prorogue Parliament. "It's not appropriate to have the prime minister appoint our head of state — and she does act as our head of state . . . Some dinosaurs in Ottawa and the Monarchist League are inhibiting the democratic evolution of the country."

But ridding Canada of the monarchy and reconstructing the government would be enormously difficult, Rowe argued.

"This would be something on a scale unheard of. It would be completely rethinking the basis of our legal system, the basis of our government structures. It would be a fundamental shift," he said. "And I don't think there's an appetite in Canada for that kind of shift in constitutional discussion."

The poll of 1,017 adults was conducted June 10-14, and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Read more

The Difference A Vowel Makes

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Secret: A Fatal Attraction


New from Greg Koukl

As America's most influential "pastor" and spiritual guide, Oprah Winfrey has used her bully pulpit to preach "The Secret" of the Law of Attraction to her 22-million-person congregation. Included in Oprah's fold is a multitude of Christians who believe that this New Age deception, found in Rhonda Byrne's bestselling book The Secret, is consistent with Christianity.

In this illuminating new presentation, Greg sketches out the worldview of Christianity--that is, how Jesus understood the world--and then shows how The Secret trades on a completely different view of reality. In the process, the real secret of Byrne's book is exposed: that "The Secret" is not the deep wisdom of the universe, but is rather the oldest lie ever told.

get your copy of The Secret: A Fatal Attraction at STR.org

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Anti-Christian Bias In The House

National Post, Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Re: Why Is OK To Pick On Christians?, Eyra Levant, June 1.
Incredible. The leader of a political party in Canada, under the cowardly cover of House of Commons immunity, feels he has the right to name political volunteers and state their religious affiliation.

What will Gilles Decuppe do next? A listing of all Freemasons in Parliament? All Knights of Columbus in the Commons?

Eyra Levant is right. There does seem to be an anti-Christian attitude prevalent in Canada today. The proof? Mr. Duceppe would never have had the balls to say such a thing in its absence.

Marty Burke, Geulph, Ont.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

What Is Truth?

In the conversation between Jesus and Pontius Pilate at his trial, Jesus said, "I come to bear witness to the truth," Pilate responded, "What is truth?" As Christians, we are often told we have the burden of proof. But this is not so. The Bible says that God reveals Himself in creation, in our conscience and in revelation so that man is without excuse. It is the folly faith of the atheist that bears the weight of disbelief on which they suppress the truth and God's evidence that is clearly visible to the naked eye.

From the perspective of our existence, the fundamental truth of our origin defines everything from there on. If we are the random product of atoms, then there is no one to thank for life, for nature is "red in tooth and claw." On the other hand, if we are the handiwork of God, the psalmist's words ring beautifully true:
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
--Psalm 19:1-3 ESV

Notice what the psalmist really does here. He speaks of creation as a language. A language not limited to one single group. It is a language that the whole world can understand. From that starting point he goes on to point out how perfect the law of God is and how pure His commandments, revealed in His Word. Taking the reader through the majesty of creation with a speech all its own to the Law, a written revelation, the psalmist ends by saying, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14). From a language that requires no words to the Law that did require words, he ends ultimately with a commitment that would honour God with the word.

Yes, truth is a property of propositions that is in keeping with reality as it really is. That one ultimate reality is God Himself. Nietzsche, and atheist, played with words when he spoke of worshipping at the altar where God's name is truth. Gandhi, a pantheist, said at the end of his search for God, "God is Truth and Truth is God." From different perspectives they both found it impossible to posit truth without using the word God. The Christian knows that in Christ the Word became flesh and dwelled among us, full of grace and truth (see John 1:14). If you want to know what truth is, look at Jesus Christ. He always is. His Word is always true and He told us that to know Him is to know the truth. His being defines reality as it was meant to be. To know Him is to know the consummate expression of wonder. It is defined in Him.

If you want to know what truth is, look at Jesus Christ.

Resource: Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias.

The Ultimate Gift

Looking back at what God had said through Isaiah--"What more could I have done for you than I have not already done?" It was Isaiah who first hinted at the answer. The giver was now going to give more. The provider was now going to provide the ultimate. The one who spared Abraham's son would not now spare His own. The author of life would now demonstrate what it meant to sacrifice life. The broken body would be that of the innocent, not the guilty. At the cross Jesus gave the final and ultimate gift of unmerited favour. The disfigured body of our Lord was a reminder that even though God had kept His part of the commitment in the face of such betrayal, He would sacrifice His own lamb--His Son--as one last demonstration of His love. If it were not sufficient, nothing would be.


Resource: Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Soul of Seduction

"Once the heart has been trained to submit to a habit it is hard to change because the repitition of a ritual engenders a state of mind that brings a sense of peace, lifting it to the semblance of wonder."

In his book, Ravi Zacharias explains the misdirected search for wonder in religion. Ravi presents the contrast of sleep and the imitation of sleep by inducing unconsciousness with an anesthetic. Religion can be an anesthetic when we think that religion is the answer to our search for wonder. Just like an anesthetic that desensitizes our body and manufactures the brain condition that disconnects its ability to feel, religion desensitizes us and disconnects us from true spirituality.

Different religions enjoin different routines--prayers at given times; the direction one must face during prayer; a language through which God communicates that has been given as a private revelation to only a handful in this world (any attempt to translate that language results in losing the inspiration); certain festivals, feasts, and fasts that one must observe at the cost of placing one's life in jeopardy; converting to another religion brings risk of slaughter to one's family. Is it any wonder that any presentation of a counterperspective on God is seen as an attack upon one's culture?

What this all means is that spirituality for the sake of the spirit is not a sufficient reason for being spiritual. There are many traps in the world of religion.

A question was put to Jesus once when the disciples, who were hungry, took some consecrated bread and from the temple and ate it. It was a defining question and a tough decision in a culture where religion and ritual had become one. Had the disciples desecrated the temple and the bread by eating the bread? Jesus was put on the spot by the ecclesiastical powers who were horrified by what the disciples had done. "No," said Jesus. "I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:6-8).

In that one statement Jesus put our relationship with God in a direct line with our relationship with Himself. You see, the Christian faith is reallz not one that calls us to a higher ethical life. It challenges us to remember that by our own efforts we cannot produce a truly spiritual life. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit in us. That, religion cannot do. Ceremony has the power to soothe and mollify the conscience, but ceremony no more changes reality than outward behaviour guarantees love. It is to this "greater than the temple" that we bring our temples--our bodies--and find that in the process of seeking physical, material, or even spiritual sensation is to seek a sensation without finding the source of wonder.


Resource: Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Straight Through The Gospel

It Is Why They Are Called Atheists

A Letter from Greg Koukl at Stand to Reason

Atheists no longer believe there is no God, apparently. Instead, they merely lack belief in the divine. They are not un-believers. They are simply non-believers. And non-belief is not a claim, so it requires no defense.

This, atheists think, makes their job easier by relieving them of any responsibility to provide evidence for their view, er…their non-view. After all, no one is obliged to give evidence for the non-existence of fairies. Thus, atheism secures the inside lane as the default view for reasonable people. Or so atheists claim.

For example, if you asked me which Rugby team was the best in England, I wouldn’t know where to start. Since I have no interest in the question and no information on the issue, I cannot form a belief one way or another. Because I have no beliefs about the quality of Rugby competition in the UK, I am truly a non-believer regarding the question. I am neutral.

This is not the case with atheists. It’s true, atheists have no belief in God, but they are not neutral on this question.

For an atheist to enter a debate, he has to take a position. If he takes a position, he asserts a belief. And when he asserts a belief, he makes a claim. When he advances an argument, presumably he believes the conclusion that flows from his own reasoning. Theists say there is a God, and atheists argue they are wrong. This is not neutrality.

To say you do not believe in God is very different from saying you lack belief about God. Anyone who has a point of view has a belief. And atheists have a point of view. This makes them believers of a very particular stripe: They believe God does not exist.

There’s another problem, though, that apparently has escaped the notice of those atheists who claim the high road of reason as their own. Given any point of view (e.g., “God exists”), there are only three possible responses to it. You can affirm it (“God does exist”), you can deny it (“God does not exist”), or you can withhold judgment (“I don’t know”), either for lack of information or lack of interest.

In the God debate, the first is called a theist (of some sort), the second an atheist, and the third an agnostic. The alleged non-believers in question here are neither theistic nor agnostic. Only one logical option remains: They deny God exists, which is why they are called atheists to begin with. An atheist (a = not, theist = regarding God) is a person who holds there is not a God. That is an active claim, not a passive non-belief.