Archive for May, 2011

I know others will be in prayer about the recent devastation for our neighbors down in Joplin, Missouri. Below are some links for disaster relief in that area. I hope to be able to post more links later. May God be with those in that area (Psalm 46:1):
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*Special note for Chariton, IA Community (in Lucas County Area) – added May 25: There will be a community-wide effort to gather the following items and deliver to Joplin, Missouri for disaster victims: Baby food and formula, diapers and wipes, batteries and flashlights, cleaning supplies and workgloves, personal hygiene items and toiletries, washclothes and towels, bed linens and blankets (these do not need to be new, but need to be clean and ready to use), large storage bins and school supplies; NO CLOTHING PLEASE. Items may be dropped off at 125 S. Main, Chariton, IA, between the hours of 9am and 3pm (closed Sunday). Deadline for drop-off will be Wednesday, June 1st at 3pm. This is an opportunity to come together as a community and help the folks in Joplin. For more into of if you would like to help please call 515 – 371 – 3359. One way you can help is to volunteer at the drop-off site*

(For others outside the Chariton Area):
Financial donations to The Salvation Army disaster relief efforts may be made by texting the word ARMY to 90999 for an automatic $10 donation. To make a credit card donation, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or click here. and designate to Joplin tornado relief. Checks may be mailed to The Salvation Army, 3637 Broadway Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111.

Click to give online to… Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief

$10 can be donated to the Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999. Online donations can be made here.

By now many here in Iowa, as well as in other places, have seen billboards and heard about Harold Camping’s judgment day prediction. Among various other scripture passages which can be rightly noted about “not knowing the day and hour” of this occurrence, I’m reminded of Jesus’ post-resurrection words found in Acts 1:7 “And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.’” Later in the same section of scripture following Jesus’ ascension the messengers of God spoke the timely words “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?” (Acts 1:11a). As Bible-believing Christians, we affirm Jesus is coming again, but until then, we have a task at hand. This task is found in Jesus’ words sandwiched between the above verses where it says “you shall be witnesses to Me…” (Acts 1:8). Being prayerful word and deed witnesses of Christ is explicitly what we should be about the business of doing, and not getting caught up in things that are “not for us to know.” Since I began serving in churches (going back to the late 80’s) I’ve heard countless predictions like this. I remember full-page newspaper ads that read “88 Reasons Why Jesus Will return in 1988” and also a prediction from a church overseas that Christ would return in October of 1992. Apparently Mr. Camping even made his own previous prediction back in 1994.

There have been several famous Christians in church history who were asked what they would do if they knew Christ would return within the next twenty-four hours, and they responded by saying they’d do what they’d always done – being witnesses and servants of Jesus Christ. I think that’s a “sober” perspective to have. It’s not about being “ready” in May of 2011 – it’s about always being ready (Matthew 25:1-13; I Thessalonians 5:1-11; 2 Peter 3:10-13; I Cor. 15:58). For certain, be ready, but not “shaken in mind” (2 Thess. 2:1-2 NKJV). Warren Wiersbe comments on this passage by saying “The purpose of Bible prophecy is not for us to make a calendar, but to build character. Paul emphasized this fact in both of his Thessalonian letters, and our Lord warned us not to set dates for His coming (Matt. 24:36,42). Date-setters are usually upsetters, and that is exactly what happened in the Thessalonican assembly” (Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Victor books c.1989, p. 196).

For further reading, here is a link to a more detailed analysis of Camping’s predictions that I consider to be pretty solid.

The following is an excellent article by one of my favorite authors. I thought I’d re-post it here for others to read (which is by permission from “To the Source”)
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Cosmologists Race for Darwin Status

The highest honor bequeathed to a scientist by history is to have his name simply identified with the science, so that the name and the science are synonymous. Such is the case with Charles Darwin. The belief is that this man conquered the field of biology, cracked the code, explained everything worth explaining, and there is nothing much left to do but a little mopping up.

It seems that there is a race on now in regard to the origin and structure of the entire universe, a race among cosmologists for Darwin status in their science, a race to provide the simplest of explanations of why everything exists at all without invoking God.
May 17, 2011 by Dr. Benjamin Wiker

Darwinism and Darwinian are, for many, the noun and adjective interchangeable with evolution and evolutionary. Before Darwin there was darkness in regard to biology. After Darwin, all was light. Biology is therefore demarcated between B.D. and A. D., Before Darwin and After Darwin. Darwin and Darwin alone explained the origin of biological species, and everything else about them – from the color and constitution of their hair, scales, hide, or feathers, to the shape of their feet, fins, hooves, or beaks, from their peculiar hunting habits to their particular mating habits – can be explained entirely by Darwin’s simple formula.

That formula is so terribly, awfully simple. The various offspring of whatever living creature you can name all vary. Some of the variations are beneficial. These variations help the lucky creatures to survive, and hence pass on to their own offspring the beneficial traits. Add up the slight changes over time, and you can explain anything and everything – all without God.

That is what gave Darwin his almost unparalleled status in science. He’s the hero that gave us a Godless biology. He did so with the simplest of explanations that seemed, in one fell swoop, to have swept away any need for a religious explanation for the wonders of life.

Now I should make quite clear at this point that I am convinced that this simple story is false. It is false, not in the way the 2 + 2 = 5 is false, but in the way that Stone Soup is false.

You remember that wonderful folk tale where three hungry soldiers come upon a town and find that the people are hiding all their food from them and pretending to be so poor they cannot spare even a dried bean. The soldiers scheme, and tell the townspeople that they will help them by making some Stone Soup – a thick, satisfying soup made from only two ingredients, a stone and some water. They then dupe the townsfolk into adding onions, celery, potatoes, spices, carrots, and beef, and also bringing along fresh bread, jam, and beer. After the great feast, the foolish townsfolk exclaim, “Amazing men, those soldiers! They made soup fit for a king with only a stone and some water!”

“Amazing man, that Darwin! He explained all that biological complexity with just random variation and natural selection!”

Stone Soup. Now I don’t wish to deny that there really was water and stone in the soup, just as random variation and natural selection are undoubtedly part of a cogent explanation of biological complexity. But the problem in both stories is that two small ingredients are taken to be entirely sufficient to explain the whole, rich, bubbling feast, while the rest of what actually needs to be added to make it all work is, oddly and foolishly, ignored.

By the time we add in what it takes to make random variation and natural selection work even for the smallest of changes – a finely-tuned universe uniquely fit for life, the biocentric nature of the laws of nature and the elements themselves, the extraordinary fitness of earth for life, the existence of an astoundingly complex living cell in which functional DNA can exist and have an effect, the top-down functionally integrated complexity of the living creature in whom variations can be either beneficial or harmful, and so on – then we’ve got something that goes far beyond Darwin’s Stone Soup explanation of biological diversity and change. In fact, we’ve got something that demands a divine designer, an intelligent cause.

Unfortunately, most people still accept Darwin’s Stone Soup explanation. Thus, his exalted status remains almost entirely unchallenged. And that, of course, is why other scientists long to become the Darwin of their discipline.

Nowhere is this more clear than in cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the universe, its origin and structure. It encompasses several sciences, from astronomy and physics, to chemistry and even the rudiments of biology. Cosmologists are after the biggest prize – the simple explanation of everything.

They long to do for the universe what Darwin did for biology: give a simple explanation that, in one ingenious fell theoretical swoop, explains everything about the universe. They want to be the noun and adjective that is synonymous with the science that finally solves every mystery, all without God.

Given the stakes, it is no surprise that cosmologists (such as Stephen Hawking, Steven Weinberg, Alan Guth, Max Tegmark et al) are in a race to “solve” the greatest question, “Why are we here?”, and thereby make the greatest name for themselves. What honor could be greater than, by dethroning God, to become the equivalent of the all-knowing God, the mortal that finally figured out how the universe works?

Nor should it shock us that, in this great race to become the Darwin of everything, Darwinian reasoning has taken such prominence. After all, if it worked once, well then, let’s try it on a bigger scale.

So it is that one of the most popular ways to explain the universe while explaining away God is Multiverse Theory. With Multiverse Theory you don’t really have to explain anything about the wonderful intricacy of our universe. You simply need to assume that our universe is one of the lucky ones. The parameters, laws, and fundamental constants of the universe can vary over an enormous range, just as we can have genetic variation over an enormous range in biology. Some cosmological variations lead to dud universes, some lead to a good universe like ours. The fit survive, the unfit don’t. According to the wildest of cosmologists like Max Tegmark, every possible universe actually exists, including one where Hitler did take over the world, and one where Alice’s adventures in wonderland actually occurred.

I will not focus on the details of any one of these fantastic Multiverse Theories. I would rather turn our attention to the strangeness of the race for Darwin status itself. What fuels this fire? Is it really the desire to know? Or is it the desire for honor, especially honor of a particular kind, the honor of being the man who finally slew God, who put Him out of the biggest of pictures once and for all?

I cannot read hearts, but my suspicion is that it is both these things, and something more. These Darwin wannabes are indeed fired by the desire to know, but given the kinds of explanations they allow (and the kinds they don’t), it is also clear that they want to know, once and for all, that God doesn’t exist.

That, they imagine, would allow humanity to breathe a great sigh of relief, and make them the greatest of benefactors to all future peoples. We could then get on with our short lives here on earth, making the best of it, enjoying what pleasures we can, avoiding what pains can be fended off or anesthetized, and then, after our time is done, blinking out of existence without the anxiety of facing a stern Judge who searches the depths of our souls.

As atheist and devout Darwinian Richard Lewontin once candidly admitted, “we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
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Benjamin Wiker
Author and speaker Benjamin Wiker holds a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Vanderbilt University, and has taught at Marquette University, St. Mary’s University (MN), Thomas Aquinas College (CA), and Franciscan University (OH).

He is a Senior Fellow of the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College, a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute, and a Senior Fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

Send your letter to the editor to feedback@tothesource.org.

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© Copyright 2011 – tothesource

With respect to those who differ, I consider the blog article linked below to be a solid response regarding the “myths” abut the movie “Soul Surfer.” My wife and son who went with me to see the film would agree also. My wife, in particular, is keenly sensitive to one of these subjects but had no issues with this film. For those who might differ, know that you’re loved and respected by me.  

-Pastor Eric

Read Jonathan’s review here.

I know many are in prayer for the situation in the Southeastern states – with the tornado damage and fallout. Personally, I have many friends in that part of the country I went to school with in New Orleans. We have one individual from our church who is currently working down there with the Red Cross.

There are also other agencies through which you can give to disaster relief. Below are some of them. Give as God leads:  

NAMB Disaster Relief

Salvation Army

World Vision