Archive for the ‘Religion’ category

Rejecting the Right God

October 5, 2017

Depositphotos mage ID: 46970151 Copyright: JanMika

It occurs to me that the “new atheists” are rejecting the wrong God. They are famous for saying that they don’t believe in the Christian God any more than they believe Zeus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It seems to me that, if someone is going to reject God, they ought to be rejecting the right one.

Not all gods are created equal. The Christian concept of God is not on a par with Zeus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, to say the very least.

The ignorance of the new atheists about these things is rather shocking, though it shouldn’t be altogether surprising. They admit they find no use for such things as gods and, therefore, have spent no time studying or considering them. The ignorance is more willful then due to any lack in ability to understand.

I can’t do justice to the subject in a short blog, but I will try to summarize. The only serious contenders for consideration as God are the gods of the major world religions. They can’t all be true because they are incompatible with each other[1], so which one, if any of them, is the most likely candidate?

(more…)

Advertisements

In Need of a Raja

June 28, 2017

Depositphotos Image ID: 42117413 Copyright: vverve

Most of us have heard the story about the blind men and the elephant. I heard it in a world religion class in 1978, my first year of college. The story is most often told in the context of the world religions. And, the story is most often told as an allegory suggesting that all religions are really getting at the same thing (the elephant).

If you haven’t heard the story, I will re-tell it. If you have heard the story, please bear with me because telling the story with its original conclusion is an important exercise in understanding the message.

If your antennae are up, you might have caught the hint that this story, with the original conclusion, has a twist. The story usually isn’t told with the original conclusion, so the point of the original conclusion is often “lost in the translation”. And, the original conclusion leads to a very different point than the commonly asserted message.

(more…)

Was the Jesus Story a Copycat from Pagan Myth?

April 23, 2017


The answer is pretty decisively, no! Much has been said of this popular Internet opinion by actual historians and biblical scholars of every stripe, Christian, agnostic and atheist. No modern scholars, meaning men and woman who have proven themselves in the world of academia, which usually means have been vetted by peer review, hold to this view today.

This is true whether the scholar happens to be a theist or atheist, believer or nonbeliever. There simply isn’t any credible evidence for it. The only evidence lives in the active imaginations of people who want it to be true, like Bill Maher. In fact, he did a movie about it.

(more…)

Rabbit Holes from Age to New Age

March 18, 2017

From the Steven Bancarz YouTube channel

I have never been into New Age religion. I swerved close to it at one time. I was intrigued by Buddhism and tended toward Eastern religion at that time. New age philosophy was also intriguing to me in those days, though I didn’t have a label for it. But, my path took a turn away from New Age philosophy and Eastern religion a long time ago.

I have been a student of religion since I took a world religion class in college. For what it is worth, I have never thought that scientific truth and religious truth were incompatible, but I have never felt that one necessarily leads to (or excludes the other) the other. Further, it seems self-evident that all truth is harmonious, and any contradiction between the science and religion is likely due to an errant interpretation of one or the other, or both.

Science deals with the realm of the natural world, matter, energy and all the things that we can touch, feel, measure and quantify. Religion deals in the metaphysical, which is no less true. Beauty is no less “true” than gravity, but they cannot be approached in the same way.

We all put our faith in something; though materialists don’t want to believe that. A materialist is someone who believes simply and only in the material, natural world. The materialist puts his confidence in that premise and entrusts himself to it. That is a faith as sure as anyone who believes in a god.

Truth matters. I could ignore the truth of gravity, but I do that to my own peril. My disbelief in gravity at some point is likely to get me into trouble, and it might land me in the hospital. Spiritual truth matters as well, though it is much more difficult to grab hold of for obvious reasons. So I am attracted toward people who are able to reach some clarity in the realm of spiritual truth, like Steven Bancarz, a former expert in “spirit science”.

Steven Bacarz was the owner and editor of the Facebook page, Spirit Science and Metaphysics. He wrote for the largest New Age website on the Internet. Steven’s website was so successful that he had 150,000 to 200,000 views every day and “was making a killing off of ad revenue”, but he terminated the webpage and now advocates a different way. (more…)

Religious Pluralism Sounds Nice, but Is It True?

January 8, 2017

Pluralism is the idea that all truth claims are equally valid. So does that include the truth claim that all truth claims are not equally valid? Think about it. The claim of pluralism is already in trouble right from the start.

Religious pluralism is “the acceptance of all religious paths as equally valid, promoting coexistence”.  Religious pluralism sounds nice, and the motives for wanting to believe in religious pluralism are largely nobles ones. The idea of religious pluralism is born out of a desire for unity, respect for others and harmony, but does it hold water?

That we want religious pluralism to be true doesn’t mean it is true. We would like for gravity not to be “true”, especially while climbing a ladder, but wishing it so does not make it so.

My thoughts today are spurred on by a presentation by Vince Vitale on religious pluralism. You might want to listen to what he has to say about it before or after considering my thoughts.[i] He addresses several bad assumptions and several good desires that lead to pluralism. I only address two of the three assumptions here.

(more…)

The Light Shines Lightest in the Darkness: the American & Global Church

October 16, 2016

I just watched God’s Not Dead 2. I know, I am a bit behind the times. But the movie sparked some thoughts about the plight of the Church in the US and around the world.

Before getting to the point, it’s worth noting that courtroom movies are usually not very realistic. Movies rarely get the courtroom scenes right. But, I was pleasantly surprised. They got it right! I am talking about the rules of evidence, the questioning of  witnesses, the objections.

I am an attorney and did a brief in college focusing on religious freedom in schools. That was a long ago, and I have not remained completely up to date on the details regarding how the law has evolved since then, but I pay attention to what is going on. I have represented public school districts, which has given me the opportunity to update my knowledge periodically.

Unfortunately, the odds in this country are increasingly being stacked against the believer. (more…)

The Myth of Objectivity

September 16, 2016

Thoughtful and thought-provoking articles are a source for many articles I write. When those two characteristics are exemplified in the same single article, I often use it as a springboard. An article by Trent Horn, Neil DeGrasse Tyson Shows Why Science Can’t Build a Utopia[1], is my springboard for this article.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, of course, is the outspoken agnostic ambassador of science. The Horn article was precipitated by Tyson’s tweet: “Earth needs a virtual country: #Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence”[2] and Horn’s counter-tweet: “@neiltyson ‘Rationalia’ is as useless as ‘Correctistan,’ or a country whose constitution says, ‘Always make the correct decisions.'”

To illustrate what he means by his counter-tweet, the author used the example of a driverless car. Fatalities have already happened with them and will undoubtedly happen again. That isn’t the point, though. The point is this: how should they be programmed when confronted with two options – to run over pedestrians or run into an object that may kill the passengers?

How does Rationalia weigh the evidence to determine which is the best course? (more…)


Humanitarian Explorer

Dylan Raines is walking the world to raise awareness and funds for causes that work to end poverty

Quotes, thoughts and musings

“God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul

A Pilgrim in Narnia

a journey through the imaginative worlds of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings

Sparkonit

Science - Simplified

Paradigm Shift

A Godly Perspective To Refocus Every Day

Life, God, and the Universe

Inspirational insights revealing the secrets to a life of abundant joy, meaning, purpose, and love

Cat Battista

Faith. Family. Fête.

resurrecting orthodoxy

Joel Edmund Anderson

Spiritual Sisters

Embrace, Encourage, Empower.

Work in Progress

My thoughts as I journey through this thing called life.

Small Town Girl Taking on the World

"The world is a book and those who do not travel only read a page." - St. Augustine

t2gospel

Core Ideas of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Convergent Christianity

Where Evangelical, Charismatic and Historic church expressions are brought together in unity.

WolffPoetry.com, Poetry, Publishing Resources & Writing Tools

Wolff Poetry is a free resource that offers poetry writings, publishing and writing resources for poets, and writers, and poetic writings of Linda J. Wolff

The Truth Will Make You Mad

Skeptical believer. Christian anthropicist. Post-partisan Hayek-Friedman-Reagan classical liberal.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

Comments on the New Testament and Early Christianity (and related matters)

WIT

Women in Theology

Real as the Streets

Faithfully Authentic

Reflections

We are what we think.

Rationalising The Universe

one post at a time

The Life Project

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

%d bloggers like this: