Christian Nationalism? Conflating neo-Paganism with Christianity

What I find interesting about the article by Rachel S. Mikva (USA TODAY) is her grouping these people with Christianity. For instance, she seems to think that the horned guy mentioning “god” means he is referencing “God” (the Judeo-Christian God). For instance, here is a decent article zeroing in on the neo-Pagan aspects of the white supremacy movement. Of which I know personally about being that I was in jail for almost a year-and-a-half. I know their neo-Pagan systems of belief well. As well as studying the Third Reich love of this Paganism. See for instance:

  • God vs. Hitler (RPT)
  • NAZI Occultism (RPT)

…more to follow audio…

Here is an excerpt from THE CONVERSATION:

Then Jacob Chansley, sometimes called the “QAnon Shaman,” took his bullhorn and announced gratitude to God for being able to “send a message to all the tyrants, the communists, and the globalists that this is our nation, not theirs.”Bare-chested to expose his white supremacist tattoos, he had paused briefly to remove his Viking-inspired horned headdress and cap — presumably to assume a properly humble posture as he claimed the United States for himself and his fellow-believers.  

One thing that should make it very clear where Angeli’s politics lie are his tattoos. On his torso he has a large Thor’s hammer, known as Mjölnir, and what appears to be an image of the Norse world tree, Yggdrasill.

Mjölnir is one symbol we can be pretty sure was used by the original adherents of the Norse belief system, perhaps to summon the protection of the god Thor. Yggdrasill is the giant ash tree that supports the Norse cosmos, its branches reaching into sky realms inaccessible to humans, and its roots to the subterranean realm of the dead. Unlike Thor’s hammer, it was only rarely depicted by the Vikings, and representations such as the one below are modern interpretations.

Above these tattoos with a central place in Norse mythology is one that is more contentious. It depicts a valknut – an image that appears on two Viking-Age stones from Sweden carved with scenes from Norse mythology, including the Stora Hammars I stone on the island of Gotland.

The symbol’s original meaning is unclear, but it appears in close proximity to the father of the gods, Odin, on the stones. As Odin is closely connected with the gathering of fallen warriors to Valhalla, the valknut may be a symbol of death in battle.

Snorri Sturluson, a medieval Icelandic collector of myths, tells us in his “Language of Poetry” that a famous giant called Hrungnir had a stone heart “pointed with three corners”, and so the valknut is sometimes also called “Hrungnir’s Heart”. Whatever its original meaning, it has been used in more recent times by various neo-pagan groups – and increasingly by some white supremacists as a coded message of their belief in violent struggle…..

Another post with some names of the Norse gods is here. When I was in jail, I met a couple “Odinites”

ODINISM

…Odinism is another term for Asatru, a pagan religion. But in the FBI’s Project Megiddo, it was described as a:

… white supremacist ideology that lends itself to violence and has the potential to inspire its followers to violence in connection to the millennium. What makes Odinists dangerous is the fact that many believe in the necessity of becoming martyrs for their cause. — FBI Report: Project Megiddo

In response, a prominent Asatru organization published Asatru/Odinism: A Briefing for Law Enforcement Officials

ARTICLES:

The New Romantics ”A Swedish expert on right-wing extremism says that racist Odinism is the radical religion of the future.” By Mattias Gardell, professor of religious history at the University of Stockholm’s Center for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, writing in the Spring, 2001 edition of Intelligence Report (published by the Southern Poverty Law Center). See also: Clarification, by Mattias Gardell.

SEE ALSO

(APOLOGETICS INDEX)

ASATRU

What is Asatru?
Long before Christianity came to northern Europe, the people there – our ancestors – had their own religions. One of these was Asatru. It was practiced in the lands that are today Scandinavia, England, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and other countries as well. Asatru is the original, or native, religion for the peoples who lived in these regions. Simply put, you might think of it as ”the religion of the Vikings” since they were its main followers in the years just before our ancestors were forced to adopt Christianity.

What does the word ”Asatru” mean?
It means, roughly, “belief in the Gods” in Old Norse, the language of ancient Scandinavia in which so much of our source material was written. Asatru is the name by which the Norsemen called their religion.

[…]

What are the basic tenets or beliefs of Asatru?
We believe in an underlying, all-pervading divine energy or essence which is generally hidden from us, and which is beyond our immediate understanding. We further believe that this spiritual reality is interdependent with us – that we affect it, and it affects us.

We believe that this underlying divinity expresses itself to us in the forms of the Gods and Goddesses. Stories about these deities are like a sort of code, the mysterious ”language” through which the divine reality speaks to us.

We believe in standards of behavior which are consistent with these spiritual truths and harmonious with our deepest being.

How does Asatru differ from other religions?
Asatru is unlike the better-known religions in many ways. Some of these are:

We are polytheistic. That is, we believe in a number of deities, including Goddesses as well as Gods. (We have a tongue-in-cheek saying that a religion without a Goddess is halfway to atheism!)

We do not accept the idea of ”original sin,” the notion that we are tainted from birth and intrinsically bad, as does Christianity. Thus, we do not need ”saving.”

We do not claim to be a universal religion, a faith for all of humankind. In fact, we don’t think such a thing is possible or desirable. The different branches of humanity have different ways of looking at the world, each of which is valid for them. It is only right that they have different religions…..

Asatru is also called Odinism:

  • Asatru (pronounced AS-a-tru or OW-sa-tru) is a word which means ”those true to the Gods” in Icelandic. It is one of the words used to label the pre-Christian, native religion of Scandinavia and the Germanic countries. Another term used for these beliefs is ”Odinism,” and it will be used throughout this document as meaning the same as Asatru. (Source: A Brief History of Asatru, or Odinism)

That quote is part of an article titled, Asatru/Odinism: A Briefing for Law Enforcement Officials. It was written in large part in response to the inclusion of Odinism in the FBI’s Project Megiddo report:

Finally, Odinism is another white supremacist ideology that lends itself to violence and has the potential to inspire its followers to violence in connection to the millennium. What makes Odinists dangerous is the fact that many believe in the necessity of becoming martyrs for their cause. For example, Bob Mathews, the leader of The Order, died in a fiery confrontation with law enforcement. Also, William King relished the fact that he would receive the death penalty for his act of dragging James Byrd, Jr. to his death. Odinism has little to do with Christian Identity but there is one key similarity: Odinism provides dualism — as does Christian Identity — with regard to the universe being made up of worlds of light (white people) and worlds of dark (non-white people). The most fundamental difference between the two ideologies is that Odinists do not believe in Jesus Christ. However, there are enough similarities between the myths and legends of Odinism and the beliefs of Christian Identity to make a smooth transition from Christian Identity to Odinism for those racist individuals whose penchant for violence is not being satisfied. (Source: White Supremacy, Project Megiddo)…..

(APOLOGETICS INDEX)

“Amen” and “A Woman” | Crazy Democrats

(WIKI) Amen (Hebrew: אָמֵן‘ʾāmēn’; Greek: ἀμήν‘amín’; Arabic: آمین‘āmīna’; Aramaic/Syriac: ܐܵܡܝܼܢ‘ʾāmīn’) is an Abrahamic declaration of affirmation first found in the Hebrew Bible, and subsequently in the New Testament. It is used in Jewish, Christian and Islamic worship, as a concluding word, or as a response to a prayer. Common English translations of the word amen include “verily”, “truly”, and “so be it”. It is also used colloquially, to express strong agreement.

[….]

The usage of amen, meaning “so be it” (as found in the early scriptures of the Bible), is a word of Biblical Hebrew origin. The word originated in the Hebrew Scriptures, as a confirmatory response; it is found in Deuteronomy as a confirmatory response made by the people. Moreover, in the Books of Chronicles (16:36), it is indicated that around 1000 BC, the word was used in its religious sense, with the people responding “Amen” upon hearing the blessing, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from now and unto all eternity”. The basic triconsonantal root from which the word is derived, is common to a number of languages in the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages, including biblical Aramaic. The word was imported into the Greek from the Judaism of the early Church. From Greek, amen entered the other Western languages. According to a standard dictionary etymology, amen passed from Greek into Late Latin, and thence into English. Rabbinic scholars from medieval France believed the standard Hebrew word for faith emuna comes from the root amen. Although in English transliteration they look different, they are both from the root aleph-mem-nun. That is, the Hebrew word amen derives from the same ancient triliteral Hebrew root as does the verb ʾāmán.

Grammarians frequently list ʾāmán under its three consonants (aleph-mem-nun), which are identical to those of ʾāmēn (note that the Hebrew letter א aleph represents a glottal stop sound, which functions as a consonant in the morphology of Hebrew). This triliteral root means to be firm, confirmed, reliable, faithful, have faith, believe.

LIBERTY LOFT

Charlotte, NC — To open each Congressional session, a prayer is said. At the start of a new Congress, a prayer is said for that specific Congress. This year, the prayer was said, but it was a complete slap in the face to our founding fathers and our nation’s history.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) opened the session in prayer. Cleaver was a United Methodist Pastor and the prayer did not deviate far from normal until he was near the end of his prayer.

Cleaver said he was praying to the monotheistic God, Brahma the Hindu god, and God known by many different names by many different faiths. It’s a significant departure for a nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian faith. But that’s not all.

To conclude his prayer, Cleaver apparently thought he was going to pray gender-neutral and said the words Amen and a woman. You can see his comments below and the Washington Examiner does a great job sharing that the word amen is not a reference to masculinity, but rather a word that translates “so be it.”…..

Here is the video:

DAILY WIRE great commentary:

….The first explanation for the bizarre expansion of “amen” to “amen and a woman” could be that Rep. Cleaver is simply guilty of appalling ignorance. However, given that Cleaver served as the pastor of St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri, from 1972 to 2009, it seems difficult to believe that such a statement can be chalked up to irreligious stupidity. Surely, after almost 40 years in the profession, Cleaver would know that “amen” doesn’t mean “a man?”

Then, what is to blame? The answer, quite obviously, is the absurd gender politics which have taken root at the heart of progressivism. After all, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has “proposed eliminating references to gender and establishing an Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the House.” Like Pelosi’s actions, could Cleaver’s laughable inclusion of “a woman” be another example of a pre-radical Democrat trying to survive in this new radical world?

Regardless of whether or not Cleaver is a true believer, what should cause further concern for conservatives — beyond the inaccuracy of Cleaver’s redefinition or his blatant pandering — is that his prayer demonstrates how nothing is safe when it comes to the new and fluid demands of the radical Left.

Long gone are the days of “Chairperson” replacing “Chairman” or “Chairwoman.” Similarly, long gone are the days of meaningless linguistic inventions such as “Latinx” or “womxn.” The radical Left’s lust for cultural dominance is never satisfied, and their appetite has been forced to grow more refined as their targets become harder to identify.

The scary part is not the absurdity of the radical Left or their fundamental premises — these have always been nonsensical — but the continued enthusiasm of those held hostage, forced to bow to their ever-changing demands. Even a pastor, an apparently religious man who presumably respects the words and meaning of scripture, is happy to bastardize language in order to survive another day.

It is this detail which should remind conservatives that the battle for language is more important than ever before. This “prayer” represents far more than ignorance or meaningless pandering. It shows that even religion — the one last entity which transcends the power of “the state” — has fallen into the cross-hairs of a radical Left who hope to dominate our language in their quest for power.

It’s not enough that we laugh at the absurdity of “amen and a woman.” It’s time we realized that the cultural battle is being fought on yet another front.

This sparked some responses

MY FACEBOOK:

What kind of a woke moron ends a prayer with “amen and awoman”? Amen is Latin for “so be it.” ohhh a Democrat.


Cleaver ended his prayer to open up the 117th Congress on Sunday with the words “amen and awoman.”

Video of the prayer’s ending was posted to Twitter by Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, who pointed out that the word “amen” is Latin for “so be it.”

“It’s not a gendered word,” Reschenthaler wrote. “Unfortunately, facts are irrelevant to progressives. Unbelievable.”…..

(DAILY CALLER)

BEN SHAPIRO + CLIFFORD D. MAY

THE O.T. via JERRY ADAMS


SOME APOLOGETICS


SEE ALSO:

The Bible vs. Andy Stanley (Updated)

I do wonder if Andy Stanley considers Trump, like he did Obama, a “pastor-in-chief.” But I like how REFORMATION CHARLOTTE puts it: “Andy Stanley’s Church Closing is a Blessing From God to His People, We Should Thank Him!” Heh, so true.

This is an updated post regarding the false teacher, Andy Stanley, with some more video by Wretched (above). But always the J. Gresham Machen’s portion comes first — with some video of the questionable sermons added as well:

J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism, first published in 1923, has shown amazing resiliency in the applicability of its message. When I heard Andy Stanley’s recent comments that we should stop asking, “What does the Bible say about that?” Machen’s words immediately came to mind. According to Stanley, that terrible question should be exchanged for, “What does the New Covenant teach?” or “Even better, what does Jesus teach?” because the two covenants conflict. Watch his comments here, or the full message entitled “Mix ‘N Match”. In light of Stanley’s teaching, read the quote below from Machen, but every time Machen writes about the modern liberal substitute the name Andy Stanley.

If the Christian make full use of his Christian privileges, he finds the seat of authority in the whole Bible, which he regards as no mere word of man but as the very Word of God. Very different is the view of modern liberalism. The modern liberal rejects not only the doctrine of plenary inspiration but even such respect for the Bible as would be proper over against any ordinarily trustworthy book. But what is substituted for the Christian view of the Bible? What is the liberal view as to the seat of authority in religion?

The impression is sometimes produced that the modern liberal substitutes for the authority of the Bible the authority of Christ. He cannot accept, he says, what he regards as the perverse moral teaching of the Old Testament or the sophistical arguments of Paul. But he regards himself as being the true Christian because, rejecting the rest of the Bible, he depends upon Jesus alone.

This impression, however, is utterly false. The modern liberal does not really hold to the authority of Jesus. Even if he did so, indeed, he would still be impoverishing greatly his knowledge of God and of the way of salvation.

The words of Jesus, spoken during His earthly ministry, could hardly contain all that we need to know about God and about the way of salvation; for the meaning of Jesus’ redeeming work could hardly be fully set forth before that work was done. It could be set forth indeed by way of prophecy, and as a matter of fact, it was so set forth by Jesus even in the days of His flesh. But the full explanation could naturally be given only after the work was done. And such was actually the divine method. It is doing despite, not only to the Spirit of God but also to Jesus Himself, to regard the teaching of the Holy Spirit, given through the apostles, as at all inferior in authority to the teaching of Jesus.

As a matter of fact, however, the modern liberal does not hold fast even to the authority of Jesus. Certainly, he does not accept the words of Jesus as they are recorded in the Gospels. For among the recorded words of Jesus are to be found just those things which are most abhorrent to the modern liberal Church, and in His recorded words Jesus also points forward to the fuller revelation which was afterwards to be given through His apostles. Evidently, therefore, those words of Jesus which are to be regarded as authoritative by modern liberalism must first be selected from the mass of the recorded words by a critical process. The critical process is certainly very difficult, and the suspicion often arises that the critic is retaining as genuine words of the historical Jesus only those words which conform to his own preconceived ideas. But even after the sifting process has been completed, the liberal scholar is still unable to accept as authoritative all the sayings of Jesus; he must finally admit that even the “historical” Jesus as reconstructed by modern historians said some things that are untrue.

So much is usually admitted. But, it is maintained, although not everything that Jesus said is true, His central “life-purpose” is still to be regarded as regulative for the Church. But what then was the life-purpose of Jesus? According to the shortest, and if modern criticism be accepted, the earliest of the Gospels, the Son of Man “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mk. 10:45). Here the vicarious death is put as the “life-purpose” of Jesus. Such an utterance must, of course, be pushed aside by the modern liberal Church.

The truth is that the life-purpose of Jesus discovered by modern liberalism is not the life-purpose of the real Jesus, but merely represents those elements in the teaching of Jesus—isolated and misinterpreted—which happen to agree with the modern program. It is not Jesus, then, who is the real authority, but the modern principle by which the selection within Jesus’ recorded teaching has been made. Certain isolated ethical principles of the Sermon on the Mount are accepted, not at all because they are teachings of Jesus, but because they agree with modern ideas.

It is not true at all, then, that modern liberalism is based upon the authority of Jesus. It is obliged to reject a vast deal that is absolutely essential in Jesus’ example and teaching—notably His consciousness of being the heavenly Messiah. The real authority, for liberalism, can only be “the Christian consciousness” or “Christian experience.” But how shall the findings of the Christian consciousness be established? Surely not by a majority vote of the organized Church. Such a method would obviously do away with all liberty of conscience. The only authority, then, can be individual experience; truth can only be that which “helps” the individual man. Such an authority is obviously no authority at all; for individual experience is endlessly diverse, and when once truth is regarded only as that which works at any particular time, it ceases to be truth. The result is an abysmal skepticism.

The Christian man, on the other hand, finds in the Bible the very Word of God. Let it not be said that dependence upon a book is a dead or an artificial thing. The Reformation of the sixteenth century was founded upon the authority of the Bible, yet it set the world aflame. Dependence upon a word of man would be slavish, but dependence upon God’s word is life. Dark and gloomy would be the world, if we were left to our own devices, and had no blessed Word of God. The Bible, to the Christian, is not a burdensome law, but the very Magna Charta of Christian liberty.

It is no wonder, then, that liberalism is totally different from Christianity, for the foundation is different. Christianity is founded upon the Bible. It bases upon the Bible both its thinking and its life. Liberalism, on the other hand, is founded upon the shifting emotions of sinful men.

J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1923), 64-66. (FREE HERE)

(PRINCE ON PREACHING)

EVANGELICAL DARK-WEB

The Evangelical Dark Web exposes Andy Stanley’s heretical worldview. Andy Stanley is a pastor at one of America’s largest megachurches 5th according to Wikipedia, #1 according to Outreach. His influence on the evangelical church is perhaps second to none. As a result many, Christians and churches are influenced by his teachings. This video is intended to be a concise way to show fellow believers that Andy Stanley is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

UNBELIEVABLE

[Editor’s note: I think the main issue is shown well at the 1hr-2-min and 25 second mark] Don’t miss this very special event! Tell the world! Andy Stanley and Jeff Durbin spend time discussing Andy’s book, “Irresistable”. They have a radio debate on the “Unbelievable Radio” program with Justin Brierley. Andy has claimed that we should “unhitch” the Old Testament from the New Testament. He claims that we the Old Testament Law (like the 10-commandments) is not binding upon Christians, today. In this radio show, Andy and Jeff discuss apologetic methodology (how to defend the faith) and whether or not the Law of God in the Old Testament is relevant for Christians, today.

FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH

Andy Stanley Denies the 10 Commandments (and the Old Testament)

 

Good Humor Chooses Black Nationalism Over Racism (Wait, What?)

This was a 2nd portion of another post, but with the latest news regarding the well-known ice-cream truck JINGLE being rewritten — I have to break off that smaller portion and expand on it. So let’s deal with the origins of the song first, and then work towards the newer issues as I see them.

ORIGINAL POST

The song “Turkey In The Straw” came out in the late 1820’s to early 1830’s. The first part of the song is a contrafactum of the ballad “My Grandmother Lived on Yonder Little Green”, aka “My Grandma Lived on Yonder Little Green”, aka “My Grandma’s Advice”, published in 1857 by Horace Waters, 333 Broadway, New York, which itself is a contrafactum of the Irish ballad “The Old Rose Tree”.(WIKI) The original song was just a favorite tune of fiddle players, it was only started to be used in mistral shows in the early 1900’s. A Democrat changed the song to a racist tune in 1916. I say Democrat because Harry C. Browne had a brief career campaigning for the Democratic Party. In fact, William Jennings Bryan, then the Secretary of State, offered Browne a diplomatic position in February 1914, Brown later declined.(WIKI) As the old saying goes, anything the Left touches it ruins.

Harry C. Browne was born in 1878 in North Adams, Massachusetts. Before his acting career, he served in the Second Massachusetts U.S. Volunteers during the Spanish–American War and had a brief career campaigning for the Democratic Party. In fact, William Jennings Bryan, then the Secretary of State, offered Browne a diplomatic position in February 1914 but the latter declined. Browne later worked for a stock company as an actor, casting him in plays such as Arizona and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm in the early 1900s.

A skilled banjo player, Browne performed in vaudeville for seven years before recording a series of songs for Columbia Records, starting in 1916. His first record, perhaps his most well-known, is a re-interpretation of the American folk song “Turkey in the Straw”. Released in March 1916, Browne appropriated the standard as a coon song re-titled “Nigger Love a Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!”. It is commonly referred to as one of the most racist songs in American music: the song relied heavily on the watermelon stereotype, a belief popularized in the 19th century that African-Americans had an unusual appetite for watermelons. For the B-side, Browne chose to record the minstrel show favorite “Old Dan Tucker”, marking the tune’s first commercial appearance on a major label.

Between 1906 and 1925, Browne appeared in at least 14 Broadway shows, including Oh, Lady! Lady!!. His film debut is believed to have been in August 1914 with the release of The Eagle’s Mate. During his acting career, Browne had roles in notable films such as The Unwelcome Mrs. Hatch, The Heart of Jennifer, and Closed Doors. Afterwards, he worked as an announcer and production director for CBS radio, a position he resigned from in 1931.

(WIKI)

PART TWO


Enter, Good Humor

Ice-Cream & RZA


Enter RZA (via GOOD HUMOR) from Wu-Tang Clan. Here is RZA explaining the issue:

Here is a bit more THE NEW YORK POST:

Get ready to scream for ice cream — with a brand-new song.

RZA, of the Wu-Tang Clan, has partnered with Good Humor to write a cheerful new ice cream truck jingle in place of “Turkey in the Straw” — an earworm with a troubled history long criticized for being racist.

“Remember that ice cream jingle?” the rap legend, 51, said while introducing his new song. “Of course — we all know it. I’m not gonna play it right now because we come to find out that it has racist roots.

“But check this out — Good Humor, they called me up and they was like, ‘We gotta do something about this, Riz. We can change the dynamics. We can make a new ice cream jingle for a new era,’ ” the rapper added…..

(See also FOX NEWS‘ story) But I have been writing about this issue for a long time, and, I can confidently say this was a horrible mistake by Good Humor. My first post dealt with the racist emblem Jay-Z wore to an NBA game.

So a small blurb that is a good one-paragraph read on who the founder of the Five-Percenters (the Nation of Gods and Earths):

  • As a member of the Nation of Islam, Clarence 13X was an avid student of Malcolm X and NOI literature and lessons. He also became a member of the Fruit of Islam. In 1963, Clarence 13X began teaching his NOI students that the Black man (collectively) was the “Original Man” and “God,” and he “rejected” the Nation of Islam’s doctrine that its light-skinned founder, Wallace Fard Muhammad, was Allah. Between 1963–1964 Clarence 13X left the Nation of Islam, renamed himself Allah, and founded what is known as the Five-Percent Nation or Nation of Gods and Earths. Five Percenters called him “The Father” because “many of them were the products of broken homes and this was the only father they knew.” Thus, Clarence 13 also became known as Allah the Father or Father Allah. (WIKI)

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA also adds to the understanding a bit:

….Clarence expanded or altered many of the original views of the Nation of Islam in developing the doctrine of the Five Percent Nation. He taught that the doctrine of God as black meant that all black men are God, or Allah. The movement derived its name from a second doctrine that separates all people into three categories. Most people, 85 percent of humanity, were believed to be ignorant of God’s true identity and thus to be unknowingly working to destroy themselves and others, being misled by the 10 percent of humanity who possess knowledge and power but who falsely teach that God is an invisible supernatural entity. Only 5 percent of humanity is made up of righteous people who understand the truth—that the living God is the black man who teaches freedom and justice to black communities.

Clarence also referred to his movement as the Nation of Gods and Earths, a name based on his belief that black men are Gods and black women are queens, or Earths. Within the movement itself, only new members refer to themselves as Five Percenters. Once a black man has realized his own divine nature, he becomes Allah, a God, and a black woman becomes an Earth. Within Clarence’s ideology, men can obtain the divine perfection of the number 7, while women can only rise to the number 6. Therefore, only women in the Five Percent Nation consider themselves Muslims and follow Allah; the men are Allah incarnate…..

This is a good short explanation of the main “gist” of culture and the Five-Percenters as well:

Born Justice Allah, who became a part of the Five Percent Nation when he was 15, explains some of the basic concepts of the Five Percent Nation and questions Jay Z’s affiliation.


A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE


In this broadcast of Giving An Answer, H.C. Felder interviews Stacey Jacobs who talks about the origins and beliefs of The Five Percent Nation and how they differ from Christianity.

Reflections from My Local Bucks (Coffee, Books, and Father Figures)

Freud took this psychological argument and made it a very popular and influential one. He didn’t argue the truth value of the belief; he just argued that you couldn’t trust most thoroughly in a short book, The Future of an Illusion. Of course, the illusion was religion. He didn’t consider religion true or false, he just considered it a psychological illusion that arose from our primitive needs for protection. Our basic infantile unconscious desires a father who would look after us and to satisfy these needs we create the illusion of God.

Freud claimed that one of the oldest psychological needs of the human race is that for a loving, protecting, all-powerful father, or divine providence.

Paul Vitz, Paul Copan and Charles Taliaferro [editors], The Naturalness of Belief: New Essays on Theism’s Rationality (New York, NY: Lexington Books, 2019), p.177.

(See my previous excerpt from this book, HERE)

??????’? ????: This is true regarding secularism more so than religious belief… although it runs through all mankind in general. C.S. Lewis noted that “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction of those desires exist…”. This particular desire is one that cannot be fulfilled in total, or completeness in this realm. We look towards the finish line in heavenly hope…. what Blaise Pascal in his Pensees (10.148) mentions as a “God shaped vacuum or void”:

  • What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God himself.

A friend noted the following:
  • In Healing the Masculine Soul: God’s Restoration of Men to Real Manhood, by Gordon Dalbey, the author speaks of Christ addressing the disciples’ father hunger.

When secularism tries to fill this void, we often end up with death on a grand scale. Take for instance Stalin, who, was often referred to as “Papa.” Here is one recollection fitting the Freudian narrative of the human need for “loving, protecting, all-powerful father, or divine providence” – the State is the “all-powerful aspect” here:

My first impressions of Stalin came when I was little. I listened to stories my Dad told of his life. They were always short, just a few compressed sentences, and never judgmental. Never did he say a word against the Soviet rule. Many times, when he mentioned Stalin, he called him otéts rodnói (“caring father”). And every time, a steely caustic smile flashed on his face.

Now, pushing 60, I know smiles. I’m sure my Dad would have put a bullet between his eyes if he had a smallest chance.

The poster below says: “Hail our teacher, our father, our leader Comrade Stalin!”

Similar stories are told of Mao, Lenin, Pol-Pot, and the like. Persons seeking power by manipulation take advantage of this void. (Likewise, a political Party’s – or jaundiced religions overly promising health and wealth Think of the televangelist TBN types or Buddhist/new age offerings expecting wealth in return. Alternatively, those promising “universal” health care and student loans paid as well as housing. Etc)

We often refer to this “need” in varying ways, like: “she is looking for a father figure” to describe the emotionally harmed woman/girl from a broken home. We all suffer from a distorted need[s] that in our fallen nature we imperfectly try to fill on our own (male or female).

God, fellowship with his Word, and the Christian worldview — as well as relationships in His Body are the best prescribed medicines to begin to fill this void well, only having it complete when we see how He sees us (reunion in Heaven).

Just some thoughts via my local Bucks’ coffee, and reading contemplatively.

What Is “Liberal” or “Progressive” Christianity?

A friend asked the following: “Question… Can you tell me what Liberal Christian means. In short form so Lisa can understand….” The Gospel Coalition defines it thus:

  • Liberal theology is rooted in modern, secular theories of knowledge and has moved towards participation in the work of the church as the priority for Christians at the expense of delineating theological belief, which has led to the abandonment of many orthodox beliefs in many mainline denominations.

Likewise, a friend noted, “I understand liberal theology as subscribing to the Enlightenment presuppositions concerning naturalism. Thus, liberal theology is skeptical concerning supernaturalism. Like Occam, they look for a logical/natural explanation for everything, including the 10 plagues of Egypt, the virgin birth, and the resurrection.”

But this seemingly short definition is followed by a larger article discussing it’s origins. The enlightenment and the differing forms it took were also heavily influential on liberalism both in religious and political reals, as well as “critical theory” stressed by Jacques Derrida:

Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) was the founder of “deconstruction,” a way of criticizing not only both literary and philosophical texts but also political institutions. Although Derrida at times expressed regret concerning the fate of the word “deconstruction,” its popularity indicates the wide-ranging influence of his thought, in philosophy, in literary criticism and theory, in art and, in particular, architectural theory, and in political theory. Indeed, Derrida’s fame nearly reached the status of a media star, with hundreds of people filling auditoriums to hear him speak, with films and televisions programs devoted to him, with countless books and articles devoted to his thinking. Beside critique, Derridean deconstruction consists in an attempt to re-conceive the difference that divides self-consciousnes (the difference of the “of” in consciousness of oneself). But even more than the re-conception of difference, and perhaps more importantly, deconstruction attempts to render justice. Indeed, deconstruction is relentless in this pursuit since justice is impossible to achieve.

(STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY)

What follows below will travel between the theological aspects of liberalism, as well as the attacks on our Founding documents (political).

Ravi Zacharias does a decent job in showing the basics of liberalism in it’s “questioning” aspect, and that this has been around a long time — that is — the postmodern tendency:

(I deal with the postmodernism of the church and the Emergent Church in my chapter, “Emergen[t]Cy – Investigating Post Modernism In Evangelical Thought“)

The following quotes by the author who put a warning shot across the bow of the modern “liberal” attack of the church… J. Gresham Machen. However, these quotes can in some sense be applied to the Constitution as well (more on this in a bit).

  • The chief modern rival of Christianity is “liberalism.” An examination of the teachings of liberalism in comparison with those of Christianity will show that at every point the two movements are in direct opposition.
  • Here is found the most fundamental difference between liberalism and Christianity–liberalism is altogether in the imperative mood, while Christianity begins with a triumphant indicative; liberalism appeals to man’s will, while Christianity announces, first, a gracious act of God.
  • It is no wonder, then, that liberalism is totally different from Christianity, for the foundation is different. Christianity is founded upon the Bible. It bases upon the Bible both its thinking and its life. Liberalism on the other hand is founded upon the shifting emotions of sinful men.
  • The movement designated as “liberalism” is regarded as “liberal” only by its friends; to its opponents it seems to involve a narrow ignoring of many relevant facts.
  • According to the Christian conception, a creed is not a mere expression of Christian experience, but on the contrary it is a setting forth of those facts upon which experience is based.
  • But if any one fact is clear, on the basis of this evidence, it is that the Christian movement at its inception was not just a way of life in the modern sense, but a way of life founded upon a message. It was based, not upon mere feeling, not upon a mere program of work, but upon an account of facts. In other words it was based upon doctrine.
  • Faith is essentially dogmatic. Despite all you can do, you cannot remove the element of intellectual assent from it.

So here is a “Basic” rundown… but a good definition comes from IMPACT 360 INSTITUTE (a long article):

Theology matters because beliefs are connected with behavior. In addition to this fact, one’s theology also reveals the true source of authority serving as the ultimate foundation. Am I going to be faithful to Scripture or conform to what is culturally comfortable? A recent example of this is the book, Untamed, by Glennon Doyle, which is #1 on Amazon’s “Christian self-help” category and currently #1 on the New York Times best-seller list. It is written from a loosely Christian perspective, utilizes Scripture, and speaks about God, faith, Christianity, and morality. It also teaches that you can find God within yourself, promotes moral relativism, teaches that sexuality and gender are fluid, and blames the Bible for creating a culture that oppresses women.

Blogger, speaker and apologist Alisa Childers (author of the IMPACT 360 article [linked] above) talks to us about a dangerous form of Christianity invading our churches.  (Alicia has a YouTube Channel HERE)

Liberal Christianity does not mean a “politically leftist form” of the Christian Faith. Although, the same “sickness” applies that lead to similar outcomes, whether in religious beliefs or political beliefs.

That is, true conservatives conserve ideas born from natural rights, as immutable and objective —  written in stone so-to-speak… the liberal progressive sees things not “in situ” (situated in the original, natural, or existing place or position) but in flux.

Changing in that, modern definitions and understandings supersede the previous outdated ideas and definitions as applied by those earlier thinkers. Dennis Prager talks about a popular saying when he was going to college in the 60’s/70’s, it was,  “don’t trust anyone over 35 [years old].”

What do I mean about the same sickness?

Here is a must read (a bit long) for the avid fan of Dr. Norman Geisler who enumerates the founding “in situ” nature of the political conservationist. He deals with our countries Founding ideas:

THE CONSERVATIVE AGENDA: ITS BASIS AND ITS BASICS

The Conservative Agenda:

Its Basis and Its Basics

by Norman L. Geisler

Take for instance Joe Biden’s saying that he won’t be “satisfied” until half of the U.S. Supreme Court is filled with women who hold a “living document” view of the Constitution. To wit, a poll taken by C-SPAN a few years back notes “that 48 percent of voters overall agree that ‘the Constitution is a living document which should evolve to recognize ‘new rights’ and changing circumstances.’ That includes 80 percent of liberals and 66 percent of Democrats — but only 22 percent of conservatives and 26 percent of Republicans. Another 42 percent of voters overall say that the Constitution “should be interpreted according to its original words and meaning.” The survey found that 15 percent of liberals and 23 percent of Democrats agree with this, compared to 68 percent of conservatives and 64 percent of Republicans.”

To read the Constitution through an originalist framework means we seek to interpret and apply it in the way people understood it at the time of ratification. Human nature was no different or advanced then as now. In other words, we look at what supporters said each provision meant as they were “selling” the Constitution to the people and trying to overcome intense opposition to ratification. The assertions of supporters served as the basis upon which the ratifiers – the elected representatives of the people – agreed to adopt the Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution is essentially a contract forming a union of states. In any contract, provisions have a fixed meaning. [One author notes that The U.S. Constitution is a Contract, Not a Rule Book] When you sign on the dotted line, you expect them to remain constant over time. When disputes arise, you always attempt to ascertain what the parties believed they were agreeing to. The ratifiers acted with this expectation.

James Wilson was a Pennsylvania lawyer and politician. He was a key member of the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the Constitution, and one of its most influential supporters during the ratification process. His State House Yard Speech laid the foundation for the ratification effort. In 1790 and 1791, Wilson delivered a series of lectures titled Of the Study of Law in the United States. In one of these lectures, he asserted this was the proper way to interpret legal documents.

✦ “The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.”

Think about it. Would you sign a living, breathing mortgage? Would you enter into a living, breathing employment contract? Would you sign a living, breathing agreement with a builder to build an addition on your house?

Of course not! Because you would have no idea what that contract really means. And you certainly wouldn’t agree that the other party to the contract gets to decide how it will be interpreted.

[….]

Progressives want a living, breathing Constitution because they want to mold society into their own image. They crave power. Originalism constrains power. And despite their lip-service to constitutional fidelity, conservatives want the same thing – power.

But the rule of law requires consistency. Otherwise, government becomes arbitrary. When the limits on government power become subject to reinterpretation by the government itself, it becomes limitless in power and authority…..

(TENTH AMENDMENT SOCIETY)

The same with Christianity, and how “leftist” progressive Christians see Christianity (even if they do not word as well):

  1. True religion is not based on external authority….
  2. Christianity is a movement of social reconstruction….
  3. Christianity must be credible and relevant….
  4. Truth can be know only through changing symbols and forms….
  5. Theological controversy is about language, not about truth….
  6. The historical accuracies of biblical facts and events are not crucial, so long as we meet Jesus in the pages of Scripture….
  7. The true religion is the way of Christ, not any particular doctrines about Christ….

(THE GOSPEL COALITION)

Here is another excellent article entitled “5 Signs Your Church Might be Heading Toward Progressive Christianity

  1. There is a lowered view of the Bible….
  2. Feelings are emphasized over facts….
  3. Essential Christian doctrines are open for re-interpretation….
  4. Historic terms are re-defined….
  5. The heart of the gospel message shifts from sin and redemption to social justice.

LONG PRESENTATIONS:

We are living in a day when liberal theology has made deep inroads in the church. Many professing Christians and even ordained ministers no longer believe in the authority of Scripture or the resurrection of Jesus Christ. How can people deny these essential doctrines and still call themselves Christians? In this message, Dr. Sproul explains that liberal Christianity is not Christianity at all. It is nothing more than unbelief.

In this in-person interview, I sit down with Alisa Childers to discuss “Progressive Christianity.” Is this new movement dangerous to Christianity?

What was the infectious inroad into Democrats thinking about the Constitution being alive and breathing? Darwinism and his evolutionary view of biology, via Woodrow Wilson’s impact on progressivism. This is a large excerpt from Gary Demar’s article, Charles Darwin, Woodrow Wilson, And The Evolving Constitution


APPENDIX


“In Wilson’s book, Constitutional Government (1908), he came out in favor of implementing a Darwinian view of evolution to civil government.

Constitutional Government praised the presidency as the central political office: head of the party. This was a self-conscious break from the Constitution’s view of the office. The Constitution does not mention political parties, and the Framers had hated political factions in 1787. Wilson, having switched to Progressivism, had to undermine this older political faith. He turned to Darwin as the solution.

“The framers had been Whigs because they had been Newtonians, he correctly argued. This Newtonian Whig worldview is incorrect, he insisted, and so is the Constitutional order that assumes it. ‘The government of the United States was constructed upon the Whig theory of political dynamics, which was a sort of unconscious copy of the Newtonian theory of the universe. In our own day, whenever we discuss the structure or development of anything, whether in nature or in society, we consciously or unconsciously follow Mr. Darwin; but before Mr. Darwin, they followed Newton.

Some single law, like the law of gravitation, swung each system of thought and gave it its principle of unity’ (pp. 54-55). The checks and balances built into the Federal government by the Constitution are now a hindrance to effective political action, he said. This language of balances reflects mechanism. We need to overcome this mechanical way of thinking, Wilson wrote.

“The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick cooperation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is a body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day of specialization, but with a common task and purpose. Their cooperation is indispensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no successful government without leadership or without the intimate, almost instinctive, coordination of the organs of life and action” (pp. 56-57).

Does any of this sound familiar? The Constitution is a “living, evolving document” to be directed in its evolutionary development by leaders who believe that government is the divine force for change.

So the next time you hear someone talk about how the Constitution is a living document, think of Woodrow Wilson, but more specifically, think of Charles Darwin.

The Naturalistic Origin Of Life (RNA World Critiqued)

The Origin of Life, two world views, Darwinian evolution theory vs Biblical Creation.

The RNA World Hypothesis is presented in the first half of this video from Dr. Pierre Durand, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. PhD student Nisha Dhar Quote (Via TImes Live):

  • ‘RNA molecules were the first molecules which could have given rise to life.’
  • ‘This event is believed to have taken place possibly 4 billion years ago, at a time when a young earth was a hostile place with a volcanic activity and an atmosphere that had yet to contain oxygen. RNA, said Durand, was hardy and would have survived these kinds of conditions.’

Presenting the Biblical Creation science explanation for the origin of life, Dr. James M. Tour (PhD., T. T., and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry Professor of Computer Science Professor of Materials Science and Nano Engineering — Rice University. Smalley-Curl Institute and the NanoCarbon Center.)

APOLOGETIC PRESS notes this of the RNA World Hypothesis:

  • [Editor’s Note: The following article was written by A.P. auxiliary staff scientist Will Brooks and one of his students. Dr. Brooks holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and serves as Assistant Professor of Biology at Freed-Hardeman University.]

….Evolutionists would have us to believe that non-living elements and molecules joined together and developed increasing biological capabilities. Those who believe in intelligent design reject this hypothesis, insisting that neither RNA nor living cells are able to evolve spontaneously. While some disagreement exists among those in the evolutionary community on the time frame for such alleged reactions to occur, the consensus is that, given large amounts of time, single-celled bacteria were formed. But all known biological principles militate against this notion. Even billions of years could not provide mechanisms for the reaction products to evolve advantageous characteristics and form DNA and cell proteins, let alone create strings of RNA nucleotides, arriving at just the right sequence in order to code for a functional protein. The four nucleotide bases that form RNA (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil) can be arranged in an exponential array of combinations and lengths. For an actual, functional protein to be coded, a precise sequence of nucleotides must be obtained. Forming the code for even one protein by evolutionary means is impossible, without even considering the necessity of the number that work together in a single cell.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that RNA is spontaneously being created and capable of forming pre-cellular life today. While some artificial ribozymes have been created in the laboratory (reviewed in Chen, et al., 2007), there are still significant holes in reproducing an RNA world to support the hypothesis. The ribozymes created artificially lack the abilities to sufficiently process themselves, and there is no evidence of them producing large quantities of advantageous nucleotide sequences. Moreover, no system has ever created cellular life. There is even significant debate among scientists over the conditions and constituents of a “prebiotic Earth” model.

The RNA World Hypothesis is simply another attempt by scientists to explain the origin of life to the exclusion of the divine Creator. Given the absolute impossibility of life originating from the reactions of non-living matter, it can be justified that RNA did not predate other biological molecules. All biological molecules were created together to work in concert. RNA was designed to be the essential intermediate between DNA and proteins, making our cells capable of sustaining life as it was created. The designer of this system must be the intelligent Designer, the God of the Bible.

FOLLOW UP ARTICLES

Geisler Speaks About (Atheist) Antony Flew’s Conversion

(First Posted June 2011)

This is an old podcast of Dr. Norman Geisler discussing ex-atheist Antony Flew’s book that detailed his leaving atheism. Here is a “Flewism”

  • “My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato’s Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads.” After chewing on his scientific worldview for more than five decades, Flew concluded, “A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.” Previously, in his central work, The Presumption of Atheism (1976), Flew argued that the “onus of proof [of God] must lie upon the theist.” However, at the age of 81, Flew shocked the world when he renounced his atheism because “the argument for Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it.” (See my DNA post: RNA/DNA = Information | Or, What “IS” Information)

Flew’s God was: immutable, immaterial, omnipotent, omniscient, whole [one, or indivisible, perfectly good and necessary exists.

Human Zoos (Evolution’s Dehumanizing Ethos/Racism)

This is a not-too-well-known subtitle of Charles Darwin’s work. I have an introduction to this idea entitled, “Racism and Evolutionary Thought“. Stephen Jay Gould notes the affects of Darwinism on culture:

  • “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they have increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory”

Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press, 1977), 127.

Human Zoos tells the shocking story of how thousands of indigenous peoples were put on public display in America in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Above video description:

Often touted as “missing links” between man and apes, these native peoples were harassed and demeaned. Their public display was arranged with the enthusiastic support of the most elite members of the scientific community, and it was promoted uncritically by American’s leading newspapers. This award-winning documentary explores the heartbreaking story of what happened, shows how African-American ministers and other people of faith tried to push back, and reveals how some people today are still drawing on Social Darwinism in order to dehumanize others. The film also explores the tragic story of eugenics in America, the effort to breed human beings based on Darwinian principles.

Human Zoos was an official selection of the African World Documentary Film Festival and has won awards for Best Editing (Oregon Documentary Film Festival), Best in Show (Cinema WorldFest Awards) and Awards of Excellence from the Impact Docs Awards and the Hollywood Independent Documentary Awards.

Be sure to check out these other videos about social Darwinism.

Here is a small snippet from a larger audio of Carl Jackson making a point about race relations. The larger audio of Mr. Jackson filling in for Dennis Prager is here


Here Is An Older Post Originally Posted In July Of 2010


SEE MORE AT ANSWERS IN GENESIS

Skull-hunters killed Aborigines and legitimized this act asserting that they were doing it for science. The skulls of the hunted natives were sold to museums after some chemical reactions that would make them look old. The skulls with bullet holes were filled in with utmost attention. According to Creation Magazine published in Australia, a group of observers that came in from South Galler were shocked when they saw that dozens of women, children and men were killed by evolutionists. Forty five skulls were chosen among the killed Aborigines, the flesh of them were set aside and boiled. The best ten were packaged to be sent to England.

Today, thousands of skulls of Aborigines are still in the warehouse of Smithsonian Institution. Some of these skulls belong to the corpses dug from the graves where as some others are the skulls of innocent people killed to prove evolution.

There were also African victims of the evolutionist violence. The most famous one was the pigmy Ota Benga who was taken to the world of the white men to be displayed as a transitional form. Oto Benga was caught in 1904 by a researcher Samuel Verner in Kongo then a colony of Belgium. The native whose name meant friend in his native language, was married and had two kids. Yet he was chained, put into a cage and sent by a boat to the evolutionist scientists who within the same year displayed him in the St. Louis World Fair together with other monkey species as the closest transitional form to humankind. Two years later, he was taken to Bronx Zoo in New York where he was, this time displayed as one of the ancestors of human beings together with a few chimpanzees, a gorilla called Dinah and an orangutan called Dohung. Dr. William T. Hornaday, the director of the zoo who was also a fanatical evolutionist delivered long speeches about how he was proud of having such a precious transitional form. The guests, on the other hand, treated Ota Benga as an ordinary animal.  Ota Benga could not bear the treatment he received and committed suicide. (Here is a reggae song dedicated to Oto on A BITTA WORLD by BORROW SHANGO.)

From RAE:

….The many factors motivating Verner to bring Ota to the United States were complex, but he was evidently .much influenced by the theories of Charles Darwin” a theory which, as it developed, increasingly divided humankind into human contrived races (Rymer, 1992, p. 3). Darwin also believed that the blacks were an inferior race’ (Vemer, 1908a, p. 10717). Although biological racism did not begin with Darwinism, Darwin did more than any other man to popularize it among the masses. As early as 1699, English Physician Edward Tyson studied a skeleton which he believed belonged to a pygmy, concluding that this race was apes, although it was discovered that the skeleton on which this conclusion was based was actually a chimpanzee (Bradford and Blume, 1992, p. 20).

The conclusion in Vemer’s day accepted by most scientists was that after Darwin showed “that all humans descended from apes, the suspicion remained that some races had descended farther than others … [and that] some races, namely the white ones, had left the ape far behind, while other races, pygmies especially, had hardly matured at all” (Bradford and Blume, 1992, p. 20). Many scholars agreed with Sir Harry Johnson, a pygmy scholar who stated that the pygmies were “very apelike in appearance [and] their hairy skins, the length of their arms, the strength of their thickset frames, their furtive ways, all point to these people as representing man in one of his earlier forms’ (Keane 1907, p. 99). One of the most extensive early studies of the pygmies concluded that they were “queer little freaks” and

The low state of their mental development is shown by the following facts. They have no regard for time, nor have they any records or traditions of the past; no religion is known among them, nor have they any fetish rights; they do not seek to know the future by occult meansin short, they arethe closest link with the original Darwinian anthropoid ape extant” (Burrows, 1905, pp. 172, 182)….

God, Evolution And Quantum Theory

(Originally Published  March 2016)

  • “One of the things about quantum mechanics is not only can nothing become something, nothing always becomes something,” says Dr. Krauss. “Nothing is unstable. Nothing will always produce something in quantum mechanics.”

Commenting on Krauss’ central claim that particles emerging from the quantum vacuum are like creation out of nothing, Dr. Albert writes:

But that’s just not right. Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-­theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings — if you look at them aright — amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing (emphasis in the original).

[….]

A quantum vacuum, on the other hand, is something—it consists of fields of fluctuating energy from which particles appear to pop in and out of existence. Whether these particles are uncaused, or are caused but are merely unpredictable to us, is unknown. There are ten different models of the quantum level [the most accepted of those is the Copenhagen interpretation], and no one knows which is correct. What we do know is that, whatever is happening there, it is not creation out of nothing. Moreover, the vacuum itself had a beginning and therefore needs a cause.

(CROSS EXAMINED)

This is a couple page excerpt from Dr. John Polkinghorne’s chapter entitled, “God and Physics”:

GOD, EVOLUTION AND QUANTUM THEORY

The potentiality present in the laws of nature has been turned into actu­ality in the course of the 13.7 billion years of cosmic history by a variety of evolutionary processes. While the biological evolution of life on earth is the most familiar of these scenarios, evolutionary process has also been of great significance for the physical structure of the universe. In the course of the first billion years of cosmic history, the initial almost uniform ball of matter-energy turned into a world that became grainy and lumpy with stars and galaxies. Where there had been a little more matter than average, there was an additional gravitational attraction, which then drew in further matter in a kind of snowballing process. In this way the initial small inhomogeneities were enhanced to produce ultimately a starry universe.

The essence of any evolutionary process is an interplay between con­tingent variations (in this case, small fluctuations of matter density in the early universe) and lawful regularity (in this case, the force of grav­ity). A slogan way of expressing this is to talk about chance and neces­sity. It is important to recognize that in this phrase “chance” is by no means a sign of meaninglessness but stands for the contingent particu­larity of what actually happens. Even in the course of 13.7 billion years, only a tiny fraction of what could have happened has actually taken place. The formation of stars and galaxies illustrates the general scien­tific insight that regimes in which true novelty emerges are always “at the edge of chaos,” where order and openness, chance and necessity are interwoven. Too far on the orderly side of that frontier, and things are too rigid for the emergence of anything really novel to be possible; too far on the haphazard side of the frontier, and no novelty that does emerge will be able to persist.

The theist has no need to be worried by the widespread role of evolu­tionary process. God is the ordainer of nature, and God acts as much through natural processes as in any other way. Commenting on Charles Darwin’s great discovery of biological evolution, his contemporary Charles Kingsley said that we had been shown that God had not made a ready-made world but had done something cleverer than that, making a world in which creatures “could make themselves.” chance is simply creation’s shuffling exploration of divinely given fertility, by means of which potentiality is made actual. The theist will see the twin roles of chance and necessity as the gifts to creation of both independence and reliability, by a God who is both loving and faithful.

The physicist may well see this interweaving of order and openness reflected in the character of quantum physics and speculate that at the subatomic level this has been an important property in allowing the uni­verse to be biofertile. While quantum physics is only capable of assign­ing probabilities for a number of possible results of a measurement, the range of these possibilities is also constrained by the actual character of the wave function describing the system. It is certainly not the case that anything might happen. The wave function itself evolves in time accord­ing to the Schrodinger equation, which is a deterministic differential equation. According to the widely accepted indeterministic interpreta­tion of quantum theory, it is only when the definite form of the wave function is used to calculate the consequences of a measurement that probabilities enter the theory. Most physicists understand measurement to be the irreversible macroscopic registration of a state of affairs in the subatomic system, and it is not necessarily associated with the direct influence of a conscious observer. In other words, surely quantum pro­cesses had actual outcomes over the many billion years of cosmic history in which there were no observers present in the universe.

The interpretation of quantum theory is still a contentious issue, with a variety of incompatible points of view being advocated, but the notion of “observer-created reality” is very much a minority position. At most, “observer-influenced reality” (in laboratory experiments affected by choices of what measurements to make) is as much as should be said.

Quantum theory has also contributed to a growing recognition that nature is deeply relational and that atomism is only part of the picture. Once two quantum entities have interacted with each other, they can retain a power of mutual influence that is not diminished by spatial sep­aration. Acting on one here will have an immediate effect on the other, even if it is now “beyond the moon,” as we conventionally say. Einstein was the first to recognize the possibility of quantum entanglement, but he thought it was “too spooky” to be true. He considered that its predic­tion must show that there was something wrong with conventional quantum mechanics. However, experiments have abundantly confirmed the phenomenon. The instantaneous character of the influence conveyed does not contradict special relativity, since it turns out that it cannot be used to transmit information faster than the velocity of light. Nature, it seems, rebels against a crass reductionism: even the subatomic world cannot be treated atomistically. The theist who is a trinitarian thinker will not be surprised to learn that created reality is relational.

Finally, physicists can not only peer into the universe’s past but also foresee aspects of its future. The timescales are very long, but in the end the prediction is that it will all end badly. As far as the earth is concerned, in about five billion years the sun will have consumed all its hydrogen fuel. It will then turn into a red giant, burning to a frazzle any life then left on the earth. By then life might well have migrated elsewhere in the galaxy; that, however, would only be a temporary reprieve. Over immensely long timescales, the universe itself will die, most probably by continuing to expand and becoming ever colder and more dilute. Carbon-based life will certainly prove to have been a tran­sient episode in the history of the universe.

Eventual futility lies at the end of science’s “horizontal” story, ex­trapolating physical process into the distant future. However, theism has a different, “vertical” story to tell, based on the everlasting faithful­ness of God. For the religious believer, the last word lies not with death but with God. That is a conviction that goes beyond anything that phys­ics can speak about, either for or against.

FOR FURTHER READING

  • Holder, Rodney. God, the Multiverse and Everything. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2004.
  • Polkinghorne, John. Belief in God in an Age of Science. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.
  • _________Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • _________Quantum Physics and Theology. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.
  • Smolin, Lee. The Trouble with Physics. London: Allen Lane, 2006.

Here as well is an article from my Study Bible:

  • Jeremy Royal Howard, “Does the ‘New Physics’ Conflict with Christianity?,” in The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith, ed. Ted Cabal et al. (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), 1306–1307.

The Bible portrays God as a rational Being who created the world from nothing and rules over it as Sovereign. Logic, order, purpose, natural law—these qualities are etched into the universe as reflections of the will and mind of God. Moreover, God made humans in His own image, which means our minds are equipped to operate according to God’s rationality. Finally, since God is the author of the world and humanity, we are intellectually ready-made to understand truth about God and the world He made.

Some people say quantum mechanics (QM) refutes these beliefs. QM studies the bits of matter that are the size of atoms and smaller. It was long assumed that these micro-objects would follow the physical laws Newton described, but modern research shows that quantum entities behave far differently than the objects of our everyday experience. For example, photons (light) can take the form of particles or waves. However, the problem is that waves and particles are contrary things. Waves cover a wide zone, but particles can only be at one tiny place at a time. Physicists are baffled that photons can do both. Next, tests reveal that in laboratory settings, quantum particles separated by a vast expanse can still affect one another as if they are in direct contact. This is like scratching someone’s back from two thousand miles away. Finally, experiments suggest that quantum entities behave lawlessly, meaning there are no “rules” for their actions.

These oddities prompt some observers to conclude that QM overturns natural law and rationality, leaving us with an incomprehensible, uncreated universe. Standard physics says matter can be neither created nor destroyed by natural means, but some scientists (falsely) claim that quantum particles naturally pop in and out of existence. From this, leading atheists claim the whole universe “sprang” into existence naturally. No Creator necessary. Furthermore, they say that even if God exists and created the universe, QM shows He made a world He cannot control. Once He uncorked this world, not even God knows what will come of it. Theologians who favor science fads over Scripture conclude the same thing: QM implies God cannot govern creation or know the future.

Scientists have historically taken the appearance of mystery or irrationality in nature as a sign that they do not yet know enough about the object under study. However, following the lead of Niels Bohr’s Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) of QM, many physicists refuse to count their inability to understand or predict quantum action as a sign of ignorance. Rather, they claim QM is basically a finished science that reveals a genuinely lawless and irrational world—a brooding cauldron of chance actions and purposeless conclusions. This fits well with non-Christian concepts of the universe. In fact, Bohr and his colleagues enthusiastically asserted that QM endorses Eastern worldview images. Today, popular science opinion is captive to Bohr’s CI, and thus holds that QM supports New Age or atheistic worldviews.

I suggest the following starting points for the Christian response: First, for all the wild attributes that may hold true in QM, we note that macroscopic reality behaves in a predictable, law-like fashion and everywhere presents us with evidence of its fundamentally rational construction and operation. So even if quantum particles could do lawless things like pop in and out of existence naturally, no such thing happens in the realm of everyday objects. Quantum oddities, whatever you make of them, are detained at the door to the larger realities we experience.

Second, many of the astounding behaviors attributed to QM occur only in highly artificial laboratory settings. There is no certainty that these things can actually happen in real-world settings. Thus, we are justified in casting an indifferent eye on many of the zany headlines coming from physics laboratories.

Third, science’s ability to penetrate the microphysical world is still very rudimentary. This leaves room for exceptionally high degrees of speculation and error. In this light, Christians should join the chorus of noteworthy scientists (like Einstein) who have insisted that QM should not be the basis for worldview assertions. This problem will apparently not be fully alleviated in the future, for scientists acknowledge that the mega-scale facilities and energies required to verify the most important claims of QM will forever lie outside our reach.

Fourth, science would be impossible if this world were not created by a personal, rational Being who designed both physical reality and human beings to reflect His rationality. Any scientific theory that supports non-rational worldviews is self-defeating. After all, the deliberations involved in reaching the conclusion that “this world is fundamentally irrational” have relied on the very rationality whose legitimacy is denied in the conclusion.

Finally, a growing body of experts believes the CI will someday fall out of scientific favor, thus shifting the dominant paradigm of QM to models supporting rationality and natural law. Whether or not this happens, Christians can rest assured that this world is the creation of a rational God who rules as Sovereign over all things, including the wily objects of the quantum realm.

Besides QM, some suggest Chaos Theory and Special Relativity impinge on the Christian worldview. Special Relativity shows there are no fixed reference points in the universe. All motion or apparent non-motion is relative to a specific frame of reference. Some have imagined that this undermines our ability to form fixed judgments that apply universally, but of course our inability to do this in physics is irrelevant to our assurance about unalterable, universal truths revealed by God. As for Chaos Theory, the name itself is deceptive. Properly understood, it only says that many deterministic physical systems are so sensitive to initial conditions that we cannot fully predict their future behaviors unless we perfectly comprehend all of those conditions. Hence it is our ignorance, not creation itself, which sets up the appearance of chaos in physics.

In summary, the new physics highlights human finitude but does nothing to overturn God as Author and Ruler of creation.

And Frank Turek answers the issue in a manner that uses science and experience via science. In other words, while scientists do not know all the ins-n-outs of the quantum theory on it’s “sub-atomic level,” there is NOTHING to suppose the laws of science or logic are undermined. None:

Some atheists will appeal to the quantum level to question the law of causality. But just because we can’t predict cause and effect among subatomic particles, doesn’t mean that there is no cause and effect. That could be a matter of unpredictability rather than uncausality. In other words, the limits of our knowledge of the quantum level might be the issue.

Moreover, any conclusion the atheist makes about the quantum level would use the very the law of causality he is questioning. That’s because his observations of the quantum level and his reasoning about it use the law of causality! While it is possible that causality does not apply at the quantum level, given the fact that the law seems universal everywhere else and the scientist uses it in all of his conclusions, why would anyone conclude it’s more plausible to believe that causality does not apply at the quantum level? Could it be because it helps one avoid God?

Frank Turek, Stealing from God (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2014), 233-234; Does Causality Apply Outside of Space and Time? (Cross Examined).

Ravi Zacharias (RPT’s Tribute)

(Almost all the videos or audios below are from my YouTube Channel. I recovered many of them from my Vimeo account and my MRCTV account. Enjoy, I have worked all day on fixing audio and video to make them more presentable)

  • If C.S. Lewis was the greatest Christian expositor of the 20th century, Ravi Zacharias might well go down in history as the greatest of the 21st century. Both are often described as “apologists,” but that sounds defensive to the modern ear. (WASHINGTON TIMES)
  • “To my friend, my mentor and a great hero of the faith [Ravi Zacharias] — Thank you,” Tim Tebow wrote. “I know I’ll see you again and I look forward to that day. Love you brother.” (PJ-MEDIA)

First, let me say, I am a fan of Ravi Zacharias. A huge fan. He has impacted me in countless ways, and thus, he has impacted my family. As a three-time felon, I benefited from his insights into what a Christian worldview should look like, and how a Christian should present himself. But he is a man — in need of a savior and prone to missteps and falls. Like any of us. His statement via CHRISTIANITY TODAY makes note of this:

  • “I have learned a difficult and painful lesson through this ordeal,” Zacharias said. “I failed to exercise wise caution and to protect myself from even the appearance of impropriety, and for that I am profoundly sorry. I have acknowledged this to my Lord, my wife, my children, our ministry board, and my colleagues.”

Ravi, like many a person I know (myself included), will always make claims not in line with reality to lift ourselves up to a greater status in life to impress others. It is almost a default of our prideful nature. I acknowledge all these faults in Ravi, and in my own life — it is a long and complex life filled with spiritual falls, scrapes, wounds, and battles. Ravi’s message of how the Christian worldview is coherent whereas others are not is not changed by his faults and missteps. God’s truth is unchangeable. As imperfect vessels, we imperfectly reflect His perfection. As you can see one of Ravi’s misstatements is made in the following video… but that retelling of flawed history by Ravi has no impact on the truth of his response in showing the self-deleting assumption of the questioner:

With that being said, Ravi passed from this place to the next. In March 2020, it was revealed that Zacharias had been diagnosed with a malignant and rare cancer within his spine. If one wants a book by him that shows the elegance of his thought and skills as a writer, his book “The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives” is the book I recommend the most. A portion of this book in audio form has been used by myself in a presentation while filling in at an adult Bible study at church (Grace Baptist). the Below is an older post of mine (updated a bit) discussing this section of the book where God’s design of our life doesn’t end with Him knitting us together in the womb — along with the mentioned audio:


BEAUTY IS MORE THAN SKIN DEEP


In this presentation Ravi Zacharias takes his time explaining a talk he was present at where Dr. Francis S. Collins (WIKI) compares a cross section of DNA to a stained-glass Rose window from Yorkminster Cathedral. The design is apparent and Collins mentions it a huge boost to his faith.

At The Veritas Forum at Caltech, Francis Collins shares two images representing the scientific worldview and the spiritual worldview. He asks whether there is a way to merge science & faith, and suggests that his experience is that these two perspectives are not in conflict. (The full presentation can be seen HERE):

RAVI WRITES:

“The picture (of the DNA) did more that take away one’s breath; it was awesome in the profoundest sense of the term – not just beautiful but overwhelming. And it almost mirrored the pattern of the Rose windowThe intricacy of the DNA’s design, which pointed to the Transcendant One, astonished those who are themselves the design and who have been created semitranscendant by design. We see ourselves only partially, but through our Creator’s eyes, we see our transcendence. In looking at our own DNA, the subject and the object come together.”

TO WIT…

 


END of POST


I have other uploads as well I have used in conversation over the years as well that are instructive to the armchair apologist. Here they are (some recently imported from my VIMEO account:


AUDIO/VIDEO


Ravi Zacharias responds with “precise language” to a written question. With his patented charm and clarity, Ravi responds to the challenge of exclusivity in Christianity that skeptics challenge us with.

A student asks a question of Ravi Zacharias about God condemning people [atheists] to hell. This Q&A occurred after a presentation Ravi gave at Harvard University, and is now one of his most well-known responses in the apologetic sub-culture. This is an updated version to my original upload. I truncated the beginning as well as editing the volume of the initial question. I also added graphics and text quotes into the audio presentation.

A Muslim student at Michigan University challenges Ravi Zacharias on Christianities seemingly lack of ability in keeping the “law” like Islam and Judaism do so well. How can Christianity be true if it isn’t doing that which God demands? (I have recently enhanced, greatly, the audio in the file from my original VIMEO upload… and reconfigured slightly the visual presentation.)

 

(February 12, 2014) This is for a group of men that are going through Gregory Koukl’s book, “Tactics.” Often times a person merely need to ask his accuser questions to better open up what they mean by their questioning.

Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” AND WHEN HE HAD SAID THIS, HE WENT OUT AGAIN…. (NASB – emphasis added)

One example of this “Socratic Method” can be seen here: “Socratic Method ~ Falling On Their Own Sword (Origins Myths)” The students start out sounding like experts and often times the Christians will shy away from conversation when in fact the person is basing their assumptions on a self-refuting idea[s], and all that is needed to bring it out are a few questions.

(March 31, 2013) Ravi Zacharias does a great job in explaining what pornography does to shame, the Holy, and the insatiable fire of not being able to satisfy men’s archetype they build in their minds eye.

(February 11, 2014) A quick witted response brings a light heart to a serious subject. This comes from an event today from the University of Pennsylvania, titled, “Is Truth Real?” Ravi Zacharias International Ministry has the longer version here.

 

“She Bear” (Short Version)

I truncated a much longer response and isolated my original thinking in the area of a common atheist charge of evil towards the Judeo-Christian God. I want Prager to read it!

2Kings 2:23-25

He [Elijah] went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys. From there he went on to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.

Here the skeptic posits God’s wrath on 42 children, presumably innocent in that their greatest offense was calling someone a “bald-head.” It would be similar to a guy being called “four-eyes” by a bunch of kids and then whipping out an AK-47 and mowing them down… and then expecting you to view him as a moral agent. In accessing the following books,

✦ The New Manners & Customs of Bible Times;
✦ Manners and Customs in the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Daily Life in Bible Times;
✦ An Introduction to the Old Testament;
✦ The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament;
✦ Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament;
✦ A Popular Survey of the Old Testament;
✦ New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties;
✦ Hard Sayings of the Bible;
✦ When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties.

I noticed something was missing. That is, a bit more of what is not said in the text, but we can assume using and accessing what any historical literary critic would with the principles that predate Christ — mentioned in the above “latte” link. Mind you, many of the responses in my home library that I came across were great, and, in fact they made me dig a bit further. (I do not want the reader to think that I place myself on a higher academic level that these fine theologians and professors.)

[…..]

This crowd of persons was older than what is typically posited by skeptics. Secondly, this group was a very bad lot. But didn’t explain why bald-head was egregious enough for God to call 42 scurvy bastards to judgement. To be fair, I sympathize with the skeptic here. That being said, there is more to the story.

I want us to view some artistic drawings of historical figures from Israels history: priests, prophets, spiritual leaders, and even Flavius Josephus.

What did you notice above in the cover to an A&E documentary? Yup, a turban as well as a cloak which covers the heads of the priests and prophets. Take note of the below as well.

I posted multiple images to drive a point home in our mind. The prophet Elisha would have had a couple cultural accoutrements that changes this story from simple name calling to an assault. He wouldn’t have been alone either, in other words, he would have had some people attached to him that would lay down their lives to protect him. And secondly, he would have had a head covering on, especially since he was returning from a “priestly” intervention. So we know from cultural history the following:

  1. He would have had a head dressing on — some sort of turbin;
  2. and he would have had an entourage of men to dissuade any attack or mistreatment of a priest of Israel on a journey.

One last point before we bullet point the complete idea behind the Holy and Rightful judgement from the Judge of all mankind. There were 42 persons killed by two bears. Obviously this would require many more than 42 people. Why? What happens when you have a group of ten people and a bear comes crashing out of the bushes in preparation to attack? Every one will immediately scatter! In the debate I pointed out that freezing 42 people and allowing the bears time to go down the line to kill each one would be even more of a miracle than this skeptic would want to allow. So the common sense position would require a large crowd and some sort of terrain to cut off escape. So the crowd would probably have been at least a few hundred.

Also, this holy man of God was coming back from a “mission,” he would have had an entourage with him ~ as already mentioned, as well as having some sort of head-covering on as pictured above ~ as already mentioned.

QUESTION:
So, what do these cultural and historical points cause us to rightly assume?

ANSWER:
That the crowd could not see that the prophet was bald.

Which means they would have had to of gotten physical — forcefully removing the head covering. Which means also that the men with the prophet Elisha would have also been overpowered. So lets bullet point the points that undermine the skeptics viewpoint.

✔ The crowd was in their late teens to early twenties;
✔ they were antisemitic (this is known from most of the previous passages and books);
✔ they were from a violently cultic city;
✔ the crowd was large;
✔ the crowd had already turned violent.

These points caused God in his foreknowledge to protect the prophet and send in nature to disperse the crowd. Nature is not kind, and the death of these men were done by a just Judge. This explains the actions of a just God better than many of the references I read.

[May I also add here that there is a bit of “free-will” actions here that could have contributed greatly — although this is still an example of God intervening with nature. I suppose that these mother bears may have minded their own business while keeping their cubs safe. But the ruckus created by this large crowd caused alarm enough in these mother bears to roust their natural instinct to protect their own. That is all. If this crowd had not done the above, everyone could have gone their own way on their respective journeys and “survived.” So while I think God DID intervene, miraculously, the actions natural or Divine were based on the violence of men]