Ben Stein’s Expelled

Ben Stein has a movie coming out April 18th titled “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” which criticizes the way proponents of intelligent design has been laughed off, discriminated against, or ignored. Many Christians are optimistic this will open doors to discussions of intelligent design, creation, and theism or at least get people asking the right questions. I don’t know if this secular movie creates an opportunity for sharing the gospel or not, but many think it will. It at least challenges closed minded thinking that any idea other than evolution is laughable and that the book on that subject has long been shut. Here is an excerpt of a letter from Chris Bougie sent out to campus ministry leaders everywhere:

The evangelistic opportunity we're referring to will
be created by the release of the cutting-edge,
controversial documentary by the well-known and
brilliant Ben Stein.   Continue reading 

Christ as foolishness

Is it logical/illogical to believe/not believe in God?

The Bible itself, ladies and gentlemen, says that based on logic, reason and science, it is foolishness to believe in the cross of Christ. Is it logical to believe that one man dying on a Roman cross as thousands of others did can make a bit of difference what happens to me when I die 2,000+ years later? No. Do I believe it makes a difference? I’m betting my afterlife on it.

Paul’s letter we call I Corinthians says that the preaching of the cross is foolishness.  That’s a little KJVish, but it still comes out “folly” in the ESV.  It’s okay, it means foolish.  It actually says in Chp 1 v. 18 “…folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  We know that it sounds a little foolish to believe in the power of the cross; it’s because God designed his plan of salvation that way.  To “confound the wise of the world.”  Verse 21 says “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.”  Saving knowledge of Christ requires a faith outside of reasoning and logic.  If we could prove through geometric proofs and scientific findings that God is real, exists, created and maintains the universe, then anyone open to reason would have to believe it.  Never gonna’ happen, folks.  Because in God’s plan, he’s looking for the faithful; people faithful to Him no matter what, including when having faith doesn’t make sense.  Verse 27: “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”  Christ’s death on the cross looks like defeat to the world; logic tells you that Christ’s work is done, his ministry cut short on Calvary.  But in Christ’s weakness, the plan of God for salvation was carried out.  If Jesus had appeared to Pilate with a fanfare of trumpets and flashes of lightning and said to his face “I told you so,” he would have had no choice but to believe.  God never leaves us with no choice.  He will save those of faith, and the unfaithful who rely on their own understanding will perish.

I think it’s reasonable to believe that God might exist, and based on my own research and experience, I believe the Christian God of the Bible is the right one (thanks internet monk).  It is illogical to say that no god could possibly exist.  But at some point the debate over reason and logic no longer applies, as the God of the universe exists beyond our ability to reason or even imagine.

A God “gene”

Here’s what I believe: that God put in each one of us a tendency to look for God.  We want to understand things.  It’s pretty obvious that human nature is to worship; if not God, then sports figures, political icons, the moon and stars, perhaps Oprah, whatever.  God designed us with a space that must be filled, and only He really fits.  But the world keeps looking for something to fill the space, sometimes anything but God is what we want.  Humans are built by God to worship, but also naturally rebellious.   

Okay, let’s shake things up a bit.  I’m going to link a blog post from a professed atheist about whether or not “religious impulses” are encoded in our DNA, and if that gives some a Darwinian advantage. 

www.spaninquis.wordpress.com/2008/03/24/religion-under-the-microscope/

I came across this by chance (or design?), but I wasn’t sitting around trying to read some really good atheism, if that’s what you’re thinking.  Read the article, let’s discuss.  Note: if you would be offended by a sacreligious portrayal of the Last Supper (there’s a nude woman in the place of Jesus), then don’t go.  If you think your faith might be damaged by reading one atheist argument, then 1) don’t read it, and 2) your faith needs help.  If the only reason you clicked on the link was because I mentioned the nude woman, you have a whole different kind of problem.  I was just thinking it would be a fun discussion to have, or you could even reply to the Spanish Inquisitor.  I did, but of course he may or may not publish my response.  What do you think?