September 2007

Here's a video where Greg Koukl and Deepak Chopra discuss the meaning of faith. Click the link to see the streaming video. (6:22 long)

Chopra seems to love saying what people want to hear rather than saying things that actually make sense. Is sin merely ignorance as Dr Chopra says? That seems ridiculous. Certainly if a person truly isn't aware that what they are doing is immoral then we cannot blame them for what they are doing. But that is not what sin is. Sin is when people do things they know are wrong … and if we are honest with ourselves we know that we sin all the time.

On the topic of sin, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron encourage an evangelism style that confronts people with the Ten Commandments. They ask people if they've broken the Ten Commandments, and then when people inevitably admit that yes, of course they have, then therefore they are "sinners" in need of forgiveness. While true in a sense, a non-Christian could easily simply deny the Ten Commandments and their argument falls apart. After all if a person doesn't believe the Bible is the word of God, why should they give credence to the Ten Commandments? However, IMHO it's totally unnecessary to bring the Ten Commandments into the argument, and it works just as well without even mentioning them. Here's why:

Regardless of whether a person is Christian or not, everyone has their own moral standards; aka their moral conscience, or moral rules. And whether a person accepts God's moral rules or not, every person must admit that they have broken THEIR OWN moral rules.

The question then becomes: Who do you think has higher standards when it comes to morals … you or God? If you say God has higher standards, then we're in a heap of trouble, because we've already admitted that even by our own standards we don't measure up, so that means we fall WAY short of God's own standards, whatever they may be. If someone were foolish enough to claim that we have higher standards than God, then they would be claiming that we have greater (more just, more accurate) moral standards than the God who is the source of all moral standards, which is absurd.

Greg makes a great comment near the end of the video regarding "guilt", which is also made in an article on Greg's website:

Folks, we don't get rid of guilt through denial . We get rid of guilt through forgiveness. And that forgiveness can only come from the One whom we have offended. The One who gave the law in the first place. (Read Greg's full article here.)

Further reading:

After posting my essay, I realized that there were some areas that should be expanded. There was a word limit on the paper when I originally wrote it so I had to shorten some sections and leave other things out entirely. I'm working on a rewrite to expand its scope and add more detail. When it's done, it'll be released as a PDF instead of HTML, since it's way too time consuming to convert it. (Saving in a PDF: instant. HTML: an hour or more) Also it'll be under a Creative Commons license so hopefully it'll get copied & passed around. :)

So look for that hopefully soon! I'll probably wait until I receive the copy of Mark D. Roberts' new book Can We Trust the Gospels? I ordered so I can review it before I post the new version of my article. (It's on its way right now from Amazon! :))

Bible - with heartI spent several hours tonight converting one of the essays I wrote for my Master's degree at Tyndale Seminary into HTML format. I still somewhat consider the essay a work-in-progress and will continue to add to it as I see fit, but I did take the liberty of adding some extra links to the end of most of the sections to further information on the web.

Read the article here:
The Historical Reliability of the New Testament
(Approx 4,000 words)

Whew. That took a loooooooong time. And now, I'm going to bed! :)

I'm not sure how accurate its numbers are, but this "World Clock" purports to give you statistics on a number of different worldwide metrics, updated dynamically, including:

  • Population
  • Births
  • Deaths (sorted by method)
  • Abortions
  • Number of cars, bicycles, and computers produced
  • Etc …

You can also click the Year, Month, Week, Day, and Now buttons at the top to limit the results to a specific period of time. For example, since I started writing this post, 200 abortions have occurred. In the last week, the number of abortions that occurred was approximately 258,000, compared to 17,000 from all STDs including HIV/AIDs. Now, all of these figures are sad and alarming, and I am in no way trying to belittle the AIDS epidemic. In fact I regularly support the blood:water mission in their efforts to provide clean drinking water and clean blood to help battle the HIV/ADS crisis in Africa.

However, although the shockingly large number of abortions does not itself prove anything about the ethics of abortion, it should lead us to think seriously about the morality of this issue: Year-to-date nearly 31 million abortions have occurred. If abortion does take the life of a human person, that is 31 million murders.