May 22, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Josh McDowell, a renowned Christian apologist and evangelist, has produced a series of videos that prove Christ lived and died.
In the presentations, McDowell refutes claims that there is no evidence to verify Jesus’ actual existence. Throughout history, skeptics have claimed Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, or his miracles were parlor tricks, or the disciples stole his body from the tomb. Some have simply dismissed him, claiming he did not exist. But as Reverend McDowell points out, there is as much evidence–or more–for Jesus’ existence as for any other historical figure of the ancient era.
It is important to note that McDowell uses only non-Biblical evidence to prove the existence of Jesus. In other words, no citations from the Gospels or writings of early Christians.
To watch the videos, right click on the following link and open the presentation in a new window:
The above reprinted with permission from: Y-Jesus Website
- Did Jesus exist, and if so, who was he? From “The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict” (jmdansville.wordpress.com)
- Josh McDowell – His 12 Most Exceptional Quotes (crossquotes.org)
- You Are a Letter; Deliver It! (oceanfaith297.wordpress.com)
- Who was Jesus part 2: a look at the Resurrection from “The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict” (jmdansville.wordpress.com)
- Why engage in Apologetics? (joelogle.wordpress.com)
May 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Holy Land–One Place, Three Faiths is a coffee table book with an ecumenical mission.
Instead of focusing on differences among the three monotheistic religions–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam–this book celebrates their similarities. After all, they each worship a single divine being–Yahweh, God, Allah–who created all human beings. They each believe in Adam and Eve, are inspired by angels (especially Gabriel who visited Mary and also Mohammed), revere the patriarch Abraham, and share common prophets. With the exception of fringe elements, each emphasizes brotherhood, peace and love. Theologically, each religion shares a set of common beliefs:
1. One Lord
2. The promise of divine assistance
3. Daily prayer
4. Weekly worship
6. Charitable giving
7. Reverence for holy places
8. Shared holy men
9. Sacred texts
10. Salvation tied to faith and practice of good deeds
In the authors’ view, the Divine transcends the trappings of the three religions, and it is time for religious leaders to stop dividing and start uniting us. Echoing this conclusion, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is quoted as saying: “In the midst of multiple insecurities, we need now the confidence to recognize the incredible, glorious dignity of difference.”
Book Citation: Sullivan, Robert, Editor, with an Introduction by Cahill, Thomas, Holy Land–One Place, Three Faiths, Time-Life Books, Volume 2, Number 8, New York, 2002.
May 9, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Up and down the New England coast, lobstermen are heading out into coastal waters to attach their baited traps to color-coded buoy lines. During the night, hungry lobsters will enter the traps, eat their last meal, and become highly prized seafood. Here’s a picture of one recreational lobster boat setting out from the harbor in Osterville, Massachusetts.
- Good News For Lobster Lovers (spendmatters.com)
- Warm Ocean Waters Worry New England Lobstermen (boston.cbslocal.com)
- Setting Day for Lobster Season (dreamingfrompei.wordpress.com)
May 4, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Stephen Barr is a rebel.
In Modern Physics, Ancient Faith, Barr, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware, argues that Christianity and Judaism better explain divine creation than scientific materialism. To put it simply: the universe happened by plan not by accident.
Professor Barr clearly summarizes current thinking among many theoretical scientists about planned versus accidental creation.
Here are a few random points that struck me when reading his book:
1. Even atheists in the scientific community are coming around to reconsider creation based on overwhelming evidence from the Big Bang to the unique, finely tweaked balances among elemental forces-–nuclear (weak and strong), gravity and electromagnetism. These phenomena simply could not have happened by chance.
2. In the “un-accidental tweaking” of elements and forces, one can see the masterwork of a Grand Designer who made the universe and the world of human beings.
3. If the earth were any closer or farther away from the sun, it would be either too hot or too cold to sustain life.
4. If there were not a moon at the exact distance from earth, we would not have predictable tides or regular seasons. Instead the earth would wobble in orbit making it difficult to grow vegetation and provide comfortable temperatures for widespread life.
5. If there were not a giant planet, Jupiter, to catch debris sucked into the sun’s vortex, earth would frequently be bombarded by asteroids and comets.
The list goes on and on, especially at the atomic level, with a persuasiveness that leaves one in awe.
Barr quotes one scientist as saying:
The chance of the universe occurring by accident
is about as likely as an archer shooting an arrow
across the universe–30 billion light years–
and hitting the center of a bull’s-eye on the far end!
Barr makes the point that the Catholic Church in the Age of Enlightenment got it all mixed up and lost credibility by falling for old Greek theories–the earth is the center of the universe, sun revolves around earth, earth was created 6,000 years etc–that just fell apart in the face of scientific observation (remember Galileo and his telescope?) and discovery. Religion would have done better to just have just stuck to the first sentence of Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” tacitly acknowledging that a day in God’s time can translate into a billion years in our timeline.
How wondrous now in an age of atheistic materialism that those who have spent their lives ignoring or denouncing God are acknowledging His handiwork in the creation of the universe.
Barr, Stephen, Modern Physics, Ancient Faith, University of Notre Dame Press, 2006; also available at Amazon.com ( http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Physics-Ancient-Faith-Stephen/dp/0268021988 )
- Fiat lux! (bennasmith.wordpress.com)
- Information about and trailer for “Cosmic Origins” (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- What Science Really Says about Religion (americanthinker.com)
- The Fool Says, ‘There is no God’ (lacykitkat.wordpress.com)
April 30, 2013 § 2 Comments
Flowering shrubs and perennials have been running 1-2 weeks late in response to a sluggish spring here in New England. But, at last they are making their presence known. Glorious yellow and white blooms are everywhere on Cape Cod — nature’s harbingers of warmer days to come.
Photo Copyright Jack T. Scully
- Plantwatch: Under attack – the wild British daffodil (guardian.co.uk)
- Daffodils in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County – Litchfield Connecticut, CT (travelpod.com)
- Daffodils – One of the First Flowers of Spring (proflowers.com)
- Tulips and Daffodils (poeticparfait.com)
- “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth (teresaedmond.wordpress.com)
- Quote of the Day – Signs of Spring (jacktscully.wordpress.com)ryry
April 26, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Imagine a school of silvery herring, individually less than 12-inches in length, but massed together to fill a cubic mile of the Atlantic Ocean. In that doughnut-shaped ball as many as five billion fish pulsate as one massive organism, epitomizing safety in numbers. All winter, they have been feeding on plankton at the edge of the Continental Shelf. And then one day in April, probably responding to warming ocean currents, they break apart into hundreds of divisions and run a watery gauntlet, sometimes 400 miles in length, to the very fresh water pond or river in which they were born.
How do they do it? No one really knows, but somehow they instinctly find their natal spawning grounds, dodging trawling nets, predators, and man-made obstacles, to lay and fertilize their eggs. Marine biologists marvel at their endurance, fortitude, and sheer determination. At the Stony Brook run on Cape Cod, where we watched herring climb fish ladders the other day, people were calling their journey “miraclulous…mysterious…even magical.” Fair enough. But, let me add another adjective: spiritual. I see the Creator’s handiwork here, even at the level of the lowly little herring. Or as Cecil Alexander wrote on a trip to Ireland over a 100 years ago:
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things, wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
- Writers of the Rivers (michelemanningwrites.wordpress.com)
- Sitka Sound having another herring spawning wave (juneauempire.com)
- Renovated Damariscotta Mills fish ladder ‘a magic thing’ (bangordailynews.com)
- Herring spawn inspiration (bluelanternstudio.wordpress.com)
- Alewives win full passage to St. Croix River watershed without LePage’s signature (bangordailynews.com)
- ‘Citizen scientists’ volunteer to count herring (patriotledger.com)
- Herring depleted by overfishing (timescolonist.com)
- After Remaking the Way for Fish, Huge Increases Follow for Migrating Herring in a Massachusetts River (usresponserestoration.wordpress.com)