Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And now for something completely different...

My oldest son, Daniel, is starting to ask all kinds of questions (he’s four), and thinking deeply about all manner of subjects. One of my favorite Biblical teachers, Steve Gregg (‘The Narrow Path’), says of children, “Children, especially those about six to ten years old are the deepest thinkers and greatest philosophers you will ever find. How many of you have recently contemplated, for any length of time, what you would be like if you were a tree? These are the kind of things children think about.”

Anyway, Daniel has been asking questions about Heaven lately, and as I have recently studied the topic and am currently teaching our Church’s High School class on it, I am full of all kinds of fun information to share with him.

Daniel was concerned recently about dying, and I (and my wife) had re-assured him that there will be a time when God will give His followers their own bodies back to them, but in a perfected form that will never get sick or break again. After thinking about this for awhile, apparently trying to get his head around the idea that our resurrection bodies will not break or grow old ever again, he asked, “Will we be made of concrete? ‘Cause I don’t want to be concrete. Not ever.”

Obviously, in his mind, concrete is the only possible substance capable of such imperviousness to injury and illness.

A day or so later, my wife had drawn a hopscotch diagram on the slab deck in our backyard, and Daniel was trying to play on it. Suddenly, my wife, working away in the kitchen, hears him shouting from the backyard, “Help, Mom, I need help!”

Running into the backyard, she finds Danny standing on the number two square of the hopscotch diagram. “What’s the matter, Danny?” she asked him.

“Help, Mom, I can’t do this!”

“Why? What’s the matter?”
“Because,” said Daniel, while looking at the number 3 square, “I don’t have three legs.”

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

God Speaking

(Caption: Greg Koukl, founder and President of the Christian Apologetics organization Stand to Reason.)

Last week I was listening to a great lecture on “Decision Making and the Will of God,” given by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason when this summary of some of his material jumped out at me. It is so insightful that I couldn't help sharing it with you.

To setup his comments, Mr. Koukl had spent the previous hour discussing the idea, much touted in the Christian community today, of listening for God’s private, personal messages and guidance when it comes to everyday decision making (should I marry this person, take this job, buy this house, etc.).

After exegeting numerous Biblical examples of God speaking, Mr. Koukl deducted several key points of commonality from the texts regarding how God speaks and the nature of messages He communicates when He does:

  1. It’s very rare – There is no indication that God’s intervention to tell a person do something particular is the standard way of doing business in the Bible (think Peter’s dream on the roof top).

  2. It’s an intrusion – You don’t see Paul or any of the Apostles stuck where they are, waiting to hear from God so they can know what do next. It always happens while people are on the move. God stops them, and redirects them in some fashion.

  3. It’s supernatural – It’s a voice out of Heaven, it’s Jesus appearing in a vision, it’s an angel tapping you on the shoulder (literally).

  4. It’s Clear – Whenever God speaks, the audience gets the message. It’s never up to us to listen carefully to try to hear what God is saying (often we are told that we don't hear from God because we are not listening). It’s up to us to obey when He does communicate. You can’t obey an unclear message.

  5. It’s often against wisdom – If it was with wisdom the followers of God would (hopefully) be doing it anyway, they wouldn’t need to be told by God.

  6. It becomes God’s moral will for you – It must be obeyed.

Now for Greg’s summery:

"Frankly, I don’t think we really take our own belief in God speaking very seriously. I had to speak at an engagement once and the person in charge of was giving me some information about the details, and I said “Well, what should I speak about here?” And the person said, “We prayed about it and we think that God wants you to address this topic or that topic. But you can do whatever you want.” By the way, this from a very spiritually mature and astute person. And I questioned that; I said “If God said it, then how is it that I have the liberty to ignore it?”

We do that all the time, as I mentioned before; “God told me to do this" one day and the next day they were doing something opposite. We don’t really take it seriously. I don’t know if you realize how serious a claim it is when you tell others that God told you to do something. When the prophets in the Old Testament did that they put their lives on the line. Step back just a minute from Christian lingo and just imagine, is it a serious thing to say that God told you to do something? I mean, is that serious or what?

But these kind of words trip out of our mouths every single day and we don’t give it a thought, and then we hear someone say “Oh God!” and we say “How dare you use God’s name in vain!” Yet you have been vainly spewing out the name of God on a regular basis with damage! “Oh God,” that does no damage, the other does. Stop it! It’s misleading to young Christians it’s destructive to all Christians."

By the way, if you haven’t ever checked out the articles and resources on Stand to Reason’s web page, I highly recommend it. It’s very left-brained kind of stuff (which is why it appeals so much to me), and it is some of the best stuff out there on the topics they cover; hard-hitting, well thought-out, clearly communicated, easy to understand, and solidly grounded Biblically.

Check them out.

Monday, November 06, 2006

More of the Truth: 9-11

(Caption: This is a photo of the Pentagon lawn taken moments after the airliner struck the building. The piece of aircraft skin in the foreground clearly bears United Airlines markings.)

When I wrote the previous post, I could not remember the address of the very first myth-debunking site that I came across. Titled "9-11 Research," this site appears to be setup with the intention of drawing in unsuspecting conspiracists. If you read the introduction on the index page of the website it appears that the creators of the site disbelieve the "official story."

However, nothing could be further from the truth. While is devoted to hard science and expert analysis, 9-11 Research is devoted to what can be shown of the tragic attack through photos, news reports, and eyewitness accounts.

This site has the largest quantity of unique photographs from 9-11-2001 and the following days that I have seen, plus a comprehensive archive of eyewitness testimony regarding the Boeing 757 that struck the Pentagon and the crash of United Flight 93 (If you haven't seen the movie of the same title, I highly recommend it).

Another site that I couldn't remember is "Debunking 9-11 Conspiracy Theories," which may be an even better science and analysis site than It contains a huge number of photos, and analysis from world-renowned experts in the fields they are commenting on (whereas, the doctors and experts on the side of "9-11 truth," tend to be from other, non-related fields of research). I highly recommend spending some time at this page.

If you know someone who doubts the "official story," or is be wavering on the brink of conspiracism because of "facts" (oft-repeated lies) put forward by the "9-11 Truth" movement, please send them to these two sites in particular, they are the best of the sites I have discovered: - maybe my favorite (even though it was created by a self-described "flaming liberal;" just goes to show that even liberals can exercise common sense when they really want to) - Please spend some time at this site, especially reading the eyewitness accounts, if you have any doubt at all of the truthfulness of the "official story."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Standing Up for 9-11 Truth

Over the last several years, few things have bothered me as much as the so-called "9-11 Truth" movement. For the uninitiated, this movement is a large and diverse group of people, comprised primarly of private citizens and university professors all over the world who believe that the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, were perpetrated by President George W. Bush, or others high-up in the government. There are many theories floating around the net as to what actually happened, but most focus on the "facts" that the WTC towers and WTC 7 were destroyed in controlled demolitions; the Pentegon was not hit by United Airlines Boeing 757 (current favorite: it was probably a missile fired by a small commuter plane, like a Learjet); and United 93 did not crash but was diverted to somewhere in Ohio (no one can say what happened to the passengers).

I have spent many hours scouring the internet for good information, photo archives, anything that challenges the conspiracy theories currently running roughshod over the truth. But finding information on the web that supports the truth is a much harder task than you might imagine. If you go to any major seach engine and type "9-11 attacks," "9-11 photos," "World Trade Center attacks," "Pentagon attack," etc., you will be presented with am enormous list of websites all supporting one conspiracy theory or another.

A recent poll have shown that nearly 50% of New Yorkers believed that the U.S. Government had some complicity in the attacks (it should be noted that this poll was conducted on behalf of, a very extreme conspiracy website). I believe that that numbers like that reflect the difficulty the average citizen has in getting good information about what happened that day; all they see are websites peddling lies (repeated so often and in so many places they have become "common knowledge"), non-expert analysis (although well written, well presented, and with enough technical jargon to convince the average Joe of it's veracity), and cherry-picked facts and qoutes that support the claims of the conspiracy theorists.

In that light, I would like to put out some links to some webpages with good information and analysis that I have finally discovered after hours of seaching. I hope you find them informational and informative: - Middle East Media Research Institute. Contains a number of good reports on items like the supposed Israeli and Jewish involvement in the attacks.
Political Research Association - This group is very concerned about the "Religious Right's" involvement in politics, so I wouldn't normally recommend them, but they do have good stuff on 9-11 conspiracism, which this link goes directly to. - This should be your one stop shop for all things debunking 9-11 conspiracies. Execelent analysis, plenty of photos, and links to other good information.
Mike J. Wilson's 9/11 Report - An excellent computer recreation of what happened at the Pentagon.

There are more, I will add them as I have time. But many of the better sites are linked to at