Thursday, June 2, 2011

Complete Video of Brown/Smaw Debate on Same-Sex Marriage at UCF - Voice of Revolution

 This was a very good Debate, especially juxtaposed against a debate Dr Walter Martin did on television back in the early 1980's. Society has gotten worse. Ignoring Smaw's crudeness and ill-preparedness on one side, the issues and arguments have not changed. Back then people were more willing tom stand with what the Bible says. Today, as this debate shows, people want to live their own way and willing to throw out common sense to do it.  I posed the Martin debate from Mariano Grinbank in the following post, just follow the link.

Complete Video of Brown/Smaw Debate on Same-Sex Marriage at UCF - Voice of Revolution
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Reformed Apologist: Women Worship Leaders - Just a Few Thoughts

This is a post that had my mind hanging open.
May women lead in worship?
The answer to the question should be obvious. Women may not lead worship because women may not lead God’s people. Let's be loving to our sisters in Christ and in humble obedience lead them out of such roles.

I read the whole argument and it didn't make sense. Let's see what the Bible says. There are instances in the Bible where women lead worship. Here is one:

Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. - Exodus 15:20


1 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
 2 “When the princes in Israel take the lead,
   when the people willingly offer themselves—
   praise the LORD!
 3 “Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers!
   I, even I, will sing to[a] the LORD;
   I will praise the LORD, the God of Israel, in song.- Judges 5:1-3

There is no reason to think that women cannot lead worship.

Reformed Apologist: Women Worship Leaders - Just a Few Thoughts
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Debunking Christianity: Time Magazine Cover: Is Hell Dead?

I was wondering when would John Loftus would get around to commenting Rob Bell.

Christians have been reinventing their faith from the beginning. It won't stop. That's my prediction. So what will become orthodoxy in 20-30 years? This will. The orthodoxy of today started out as the unorthodoxy of yesterday.

I'm aware of the firestorm surrounding Bell's book Love Wins. Bell admits that his viewpoint is not new - in the slightest. If Loftus is correct then Rob Bell's ideas should be new without any precedent. However, it is far from new that people will throwout and misinterpret scriptures simply because it doesn't match their concept of God.

From the article Loftus linked to:

Particularly galling to conservative Christian critics is that Love Wins is not an attack from outside the walls of the Evangelical city but a mutiny from within — a rebellion led by a charismatic, popular and savvy pastor with a following. Is Bell's Christianity — less judgmental, more fluid, open to questioning the most ancient of assumptions — on an inexorable rise? "I have long wondered if there is a massive shift coming in what it means to be a Christian," Bell says. "Something new is in the air."

Read more:,8599,2065080,00.html#ixzz1KJGfxPfH

Yup, I smell it too: Heresy

God warned us about this.

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. - 2 Timothy 4: 1-5

Debunking Christianity: Time Magazine Cover: Is Hell Dead?
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FacePalm of the Day #82 -Debunking Christianity: A Challenge to Theists

John Loftus posted the following video from StampCollector who has issued a challenge to theists.

Before he gave the challenge, Stampcollector ranted and raved about the frustration of dealing with theists who ask atheists to prove that there is no god because the burden of proof is on the theist and not the atheist. I share his frustration because I agree that this trope has been pulled out time and time again and theism has shown how silly it is so I won't bring it up again. But it was telling that he slipped into that "one-less-god" crap. I think everyone who thinks that argument is persuasive argument should read Guest Post: One Less God

His challenge to theists is prove that one god made the universe. He thinks that even granting that the universe is created and fine-tuned it does not necessitate that a a personal god created it. He says he is not making a claim that there is no god or that there are multiple gods. He further does not want the Bible (or any Holy Book) used as proof or to point to faith as an answer.

The difference here is between evidential methods of Apologetics vs the revelational/presuppostitional  approach. Both work when discussing the existence of God. However I'm going to skip the revelational approach right now and ask "Is there enough evidence to point to the existence of a single omnipresent and omnipotent  being?" Is there enough evidence from which we can deduce what that being wants and expects from us.

Unlike StampCollector I do have a background in science and engineering so I'm going to be focusing on that sort of evidence. Consider these points that most people agree with so I can be equally clear..

1. The Universe - Times & Space; Matter & Energy - all came into existence.
2. Stamp Collector granted that the universe is fine-tuned to a precision that defies imagination making life on earth possible.
3. The assumption that there was an outside agents(s) responsible for all of this was already conceded for the sake of this argument. He is asking that someone show it had to be a single God.
4. I'm assuming that he is referring the supreme, personal being of the three monotheistic religions we call "God".
5. Genetic info - the information encoded in every living thing on earth must also be designed if the universe was designed.
6. The universe is decaying - the second law of thermodynamics. 

Omnipotence - being all powerful - has to be a characteristic of  who ever it was who brought the universe into being. The fine-tuned design of the universe and the genetic codes on which life is based would most likely be the product of one mind - one being who has to know everything to plan out such complexities - omniscience. Have you ever tried to design anything in collaboration. It can be interesting...sometimes fun...but it can also be a headache because you will always have disagreements that would be hashed out. We know that the universe is decaying - loosing energy as it's changed from one form to another - order dissolving into chaos.If this being is omnipotent why would this being - we call "God" - need anyone else to bring his creation into existence.

There are other qualities we can learn about the creator. The creator is intelligent, humor, desires diversity, loves color and beauty. It doesn't matter if God is truly like this or if we are programmed to see beauty and be awestruck by the works of his hands because in either case it would have been up to the one who made everything.

The next question is: "Has the creator spoken to us? Has the creator revealed himself to us?". As a Christian, I 'd  say "Yes" and that the Bible is the best candidate "Holy Book" for what that revelation really is and is not. The Bible over the Quran because while they agree that there is one supreme being that created the universe, the Bible tells us why it decays:

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.- Romans 8:18-30

Debunking Christianity: A Challenge to Theists
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