Friday, October 30, 2009

How Do Zombies Impact Your Worldview?

With Halloween right around the corner, we've seen zombies popping up all over. Well, not really, but in pop culture, books, films, etc. Just to name two: there's the recent movie, Zombieland and the literary mash-up, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which hit the top of several best-seller lists.

Then last night I came across this intriguing question on Andy Crouch's Making Culture website:

What do zombies assume about the way the world is? Well, there are
several kinds of zombies. . . For this discussion, I will stick with. . . pop-culture zombies of page and screen
And here was one reader's response:

For me, zombies are a metaphor about the way we live. They don’t have cognitive ability, and we act like we don’t. They don’t have souls, and we act like we don’t.

Look around most churches on Sunday morning and you see a fair number of zombies.
~ Marcus Goodyear

And in case you're interested, there are more questions and comments about zombies, their worldview, and how they reflect the worldview of our current pop culture:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Questions Continue and the Answers Remain the Same Part II

Last Thursday I answered questions 4-6 of a You Tube video which asks Christians ten questions and starts by claiming that Christians only have "...silly excuses for God" in answer to the questions. The video concludes that the only reasonable answer to these questions is that "God is imaginary." I warn parents that the video is intended to bring doubt upon the Christian worldview.

Here is the video:

Question Number 7 - "Why didn't any of Jesus' miracles in the Bible leave any evidence behind?" I have to admit that I am not really sure what the point is of this question . What kind of evidence would one expect to be left behind that we could find today from someone being healed of blindness, raised from the dead, or a lame man made to walk? It seems to me that the video is arguing that it is unreasonable to believe in miracles if they happened before video cameras were invented. Other than people following Jesus with cameras capturing all of his miracles, I am not sure what the naturalist would acknowledge as evidence. Honestly, I would wager that if video footage of Jesus' miracles existed, the naturalist would not be willing to accept the video footage as authentic evidence.

I wonder if the naturalist honestly expects someone to dig up a stone tablet with the inscription "April 4th year 26 Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding, all of the undersigned here vow that they are eye witnesses to this event." I have heard atheists say that even if the Gospels - except for Luke - were eye witness accounts, they would not consider the Gospels as evidence for miracles. Furthermore, any video footage of Jesus' miracles would probably be explained away with special effects and talented editing. Worldview will determine how one interprets any evidence. Presuppositional apologists are not against evidence, but they do believe evidence will be interpreted through one's worldview grid.

Question Number 8 - "How do we [sic] explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you [Christians]?" Again, I find it difficult to take this question seriously. The video's argument seems to be that Jesus never appeared to you; therefore Jesus does not exist. I am sorry, but that is definitely a non sequitur, and therefore a weak argument. The argument would carry weight if the Biblical claim is that Jesus is guaranteed to appear to you. However, anyone with a passing familiarity of the Bible would know that is not the Biblical teaching.

Question Number 9 - "Why would Jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?" Since I was raised in a Christian home I understand that this statement of Jesus is ultimately meant to be understood in context of his death on the cross and the covenant sign and seal that is carried out in communion. When Jesus begins the sacrament of communion at the last supper, he uses bread and wine to symbolize his body and blood. The Bible does not teach that the bread and blood are actually the body and blood of Christ. Catholics, who believe in Transubstantiation (the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ), still hold that the bread and wine do not become the body and blood of Christ in the form of a piece of flesh and actual blood. The Bible does teach that Christ is Spiritually present in the Communion but the bread and wine never cease being bread and wine. I understand that the naturalist could be ignorant of this, however, if I were to make arguments against naturalism that did not seek to understand what naturalists believe, and accurately represent their belief, I would be inviting scorn and contempt upon myself from the naturalist. It is important to note that the early Christians were continually having to correct the accusation of the wider culture that they were cannibals.

Question Number 10 - "Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians?" This argument falls under the fallacy of arguing from the character of persons who hold to an idea and not the idea itself, otherwise known as an ad hominem (to the person) argument. However, let me say that there needs to be a call to professing believers to submit themselves to the will of God as revealed in the Scripture rather than follow their own desires. In the end, the will of God will be more satisfying. Furthermore, I also believe that there needs to be a call to the church to practice Biblical discipline. The video does put together an actual (if weak) argument after the question. The argument states:

1.) God is all powerful

2.)God has joined married couples together

3.) Jesus declared that what God puts together "...let no man put asunder (separate)."

4.) Men do put asunder what God has joined together.

5.) Therefore God cannot be all powerful.

I will assume that the video really believes this argument to fit the context of the passage where Jesus says "what God had joined together let no man put asunder (let no man separate) Matt 19:6" otherwise it would seem the video was grasping at straws. Jesus is explaining to the pharisees the basis for life long marriage. Jesus goes on to explain that Moses gave certificates of divorce because the hardness of the Israelite's hearts but that it was not that way from the beginning. Clearly we are talking about a moral category. God has joined the two people together in what is meant to be a life long covenant but people in there sin can break that covenant. The language the Scripture uses exhorts men to not separate what God has joined together not that man is unable to do so by sin.

The Video concludes with the claim that the only way to make sense of these questions is to assume that God is imaginary. However, I say that the only real way to make sense of these questions is to assume that God exists. If He does not exist, then the questions are meaningless.

Next week I am going to put a hold on critiquing the atheistic worldview. I am hoping to do a worldview analysis of Dean Koontz's "Odd Thomas" and "Frankenstein" series.

Monday, October 19, 2009


This is too good to pass up. Mohler hits the nail on the head again. When you have a Christian Worldview as a Life View, be ready!!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Belonging To One Another

Have you given any thought about, “belonging to one another”. What is our relationship with one another as believers in the Body of Christ? What does it means to belong to each other – i.e., to live in right relationship with each other?

The “One-Another” Verses of Scripture

The New Testament has much to say about our relationships with one another as fellow-members of the Body of Christ. Here is a collection of these “one-another” verses.

1. We BELONG to one another as fellow-members of the Body of Christ

Romans 12:4-5. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

2. We are to LOVE one another

John 13:34-35. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

3. We are to SERVE one another

John 13:14. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

4. We are to be HOSPITABLE to one another

1 Peter 4:9. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

5.. We are to ENCOURAGE one another

Hebrews 3:13. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.


Hebrews 10:24. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

7. We are to COMFORT one another

2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

8. We are to SUBMIT to one another

Ephesians 5:21. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ

9. We are to CONFESS OUR SINS to one another

James 5:16. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

10. We are to FORGIVE one another

Colossians 3:13. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Compiled by Wayne Becker for the Agape Class at Fort Myers Evangelical Free Church in the winter of 2008


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Questions Continue and the Answers Remain the Same Part 1

I wanted to finish addressing the You Tube video that asks ten questions of Christians and concludes that the only answers the Christian has to the questions are "silly excuses for God." If you go back and read my earlier posts that dealt with the first three questions (which were posted quite a while ago) you will notice that my answers to each question are very similar. The answers are similar because the questions make very similar mistakes. The natures of questions 4-10 are also similar enough that I am able respond to all of them in two posts. I will give a general answer to begin with, and then I will address each question and apply the general answer in more specific ways. I would also like to warn parents that the questions are intended to cause doubt concerning the Christian faith.

Here is the whole video:

General Response:

Most of these questions make a basic worldview mistake. They attack the Christian worldview with questions that have no meaning if there is no God. So the video has to assume the Christian worldview in order to attack the Christian worldview. The unbeliever must use the very Truth of God to attack God's existence. Hopefully, as I apply the general principle in specific ways, the idea will become clearer.

Applying the General Principle to the Specifics:

Question 4 - "Why does the Bible contain so much anti scientific non-sense?" The problem here is that the naturalist worldview cannot consistently give an account for scientific reasoning. Scientific reasoning requires that the universe operate under consistent universal physical laws. Starting with consistent physical laws, science relies upon the inference that the past will be like the future. The sun has always come up before so it will come up again (I realize the earth goes around the sun not the other way around). However, there is no basis in the naturalistic worldview to infer that the future will be like the past. Why should the future be like the past? Why should the sun come up tomorrow? In a naturalistic worldview, where there is only physical matter, why attribute consistency to that physical matter? The naturalist could argue that people have always observed the laws of nature to be consistent. That argument only begs the question of how do we know they will be consistent tomorrow?

The Christian is able to say that the future will be like the past and the sun will come up tomorrow because the universe in governed by a consistent, all powerful God, who maintains the laws of nature. The naturalist may want to argue that God cannot be known to be consistent Himself, therefore Christians have the same problem. However, this fails to recognize, that in the Christian worldview God is a person who has revealed Himself in His creation and through special revelation, and can therefore be known. Furthermore, God, as a person, is a mind and can therefore organize and maintain. Leaving the epistemological question of knowing God aside, the Christian worldview, at the very least, is consistent in affirming regular natural laws while the naturalistic worldview is not. Even if the natural laws were eternal, they can at best only be brute forces, and therefore have no ability to ensure consistency.

I do, however, need to say that the Bible is full of non-scientific accounts. I do not mean the Bible is full of accounts that are not historically accurate. I mean the Bible has true accounts of events that happen which are outside the bounds of science. Miracles, by definition, are outside the realm of natural law. I would have used the account of God stopping the sun for Joshua, but the video gives different examples. The video gives examples of: 6 day creation, Jonah in the belly of the fish, and Adam being created from the dust of the ground. The video claims that those things could not happen. However, the video must assume the truth of naturalism for the criticism to make any sense. If God exists, then He can create in six days, sustain Jonah in the Belly of the fish, and create Adam from dust. The video's argument at this point is essentially: Adam could not have been created from dust without God; therefore there is no God. Does that really make any sense as an argument? At this point the naturalist is doing the same thing he often accuses the Christian of doing, assuming the conclusion (there is no God) to argue the conclusion (there is no God).

Question number 5 - "Why is God such a huge proponent of slavery in the Bible?" The kind of slavery that the Bible talks about (especially Old Testament Jewish slavery) is far different from the kind of slavery that the video assumes (i.e. slaves are not people they are possessions). Old Testament slavery was a means for someone to work, provide for themselves and their family, and to pay off debt. There were strict laws governing the treatment of slaves that maintained their humanity and person hood. The Old Testament had to make allowances for slaves that chose to remain with their master's instead of going free. I have yet to interact with a naturalist who is willing to look at the Old Testament in depth and discern the vast difference between what the Old Testament conception of "slavery" is and the modern conception of slavery which is rightly seen as abhorrent.

If the New Testament explicitly condemned slavery (setting aside the many differences to modern day slavery), when all the nations were practicing slavery, the spread of the Gospel would bring anarchy and chaos. There would be civil war after civil war. "My name is Spartacus." The New Testament, instead, addresses the reality of finding oneself as a believer who is a slave, and the importance of honoring Christ in slavery.

This, also, is not the first time that the video has fallen under the naturalistic moral dilemma. The video will declare some action to be immoral (slavery), however, the naturalistic worldview cannot provide a standard to base the accusation of moral evil upon. Why? Because the naturalist believes that there is nothing but the physical universe. Are moral standards physical? No they are not. However, Let us give the naturalist the benefit of the doubt and assume that universal non physical moral laws are consistent in a naturalistic universe. Whose morality applies? If morality is subjective then it would be pointless to condemn God for "condoning slavery", since according to God's own subjective morality, slavery may be perfectly okay. If morality is objective, from where does the objective standard come? It cannot come from gravity, protons, electrons and neutrons. It cannot come from people, because people do not agree on morality. Even when a majority of people agree, does a majority make morality? And why does the majority have the authority to force their morality on the minority who disagree? The existence of a personal lawgiver, who is the creator, is the only logical foundation for objective morality.

Question 6 - "Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?" In the Christian worldview there are no good people. All people are rebels against God unless God changes their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. All of mankind lives in a fallen world. Mankind lives in a post Genesis 3 world. As a result of sin, injustices and sufferings are inevitable. I do not want to downplay people's sufferings and the need to weep with those who weep, and feel the emotional impact of someone who cries out against God because of evil and suffering. However, I do want to expose the faulty line of reasoning the video is using at this point. Also, note that this question once again assumes that there is an objective standard of morality so that there can be a category of "good people."

I am going to stop here and post the responses to Questions 7-10 next Thursday. The responses are already complete so, God willing, they will be posted next Thursday. I just wanted to give the reader a little mind break.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Fist and a Blow

The information was bitter, the pastor of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church was accused and a meeting of the congregation called to decide his fate as a pastor.

All of this is paraded before a pagan culture and those who have no idea of what this is all about. The Church is besmirched and so is one of the Lord’s anointed, a pastor.

There is a guiding Scriptural principle that has been neglected here by the attackers and should always be in front of us as leaders, teachers and parishioners. DO NOT attack the Lord’s anointed. (or any other person)

There are three interesting accounts in Scripture involving the relationship of Saul and David. Each incident accents the principle: the Lord’s anointed are not fair game for us to destroy, mar, and batter, castoff and attack.

Consider: Incident 1: The wilderness of Engedi: 1 Samuel 24:1-22

(1 Samuel 24:6 NIV) He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD."

Incident 2: The wilderness of Ziph: 1 Samuel 26:1-25

(1 Samuel 26:9 NIV) But David said to Abishai, "Don't destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?

Incident 3: Ziklag; 2 Samuel 1:1-16
(2 Samuel 1:14 NIV) David asked him, "Why were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?"

"anointed one." A word that is important both to Old Testament and New Testament understandings is the noun mashiach, which gives us the term messiah. As is true of the verb, mashiach implies an anointing for a special office or function. Thus, David refused to harm Saul because Saul was "the Lord's anointed" (1Sa_24:6). The Psalms often express the messianic ideals attached to the Davidic line by using the phrase "the Lord's anointed" (Psa_2:2; Psa_18:50; Psa_89:38, Psa_89:51).
Vine: OT

What I would like to remind us:
Our pastors are called of God and are appointed by us to serve.
They are to be in our prayers, especially while they preach.
Should there be an issue, there is redress which must involve love and reconciliation.

The folks at Coral Ridge or any church where there is an issue, need prayer. Pray for reconciliation and restoration.

Pray for your pastor.