Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Introduction to Intelligent Design

Parents listen up. If you have children in the United States public school system, these next few posts will be very important to you. As the debate over evolution becomes more and more common in our court system, you need to be armed with a basic understanding of the issues.

Earlier this week I read a news article entitled Pennsylvania Lawmakers Debate Evolution in Schools. The article went on to explain that there was a big debate over whether or not to allow “Intelligent Design” theory in public schools before a federal court. Definitely not uncommon. However, having studied this concept at the Master’s level, I was more than interested to read the article.

Predictably, I was saddened at the lack of understanding of Intelligent Design theory, especially by such a large group of educated people.

As such, I’ve decided to do a series on Intelligent Design. As you can imagine ID can be a pretty complex topic so my goal is to break it down into bite sized pieces that make sense.

I want to look at topics like: What is Intelligent Design? Is Intelligent Design really just hidden creationism? Is it in use anywhere today?

Now I’ll be upfront, the purpose of this series is NOT to defeat Darwinism or evolution; nor is it designed to explain Specified Complexity. Those are a topics better suited to a different series at some point in the future. The purpose of this series is simply to help make the theory of Intelligent Design a little more understandable. As always, I’ll do my best to quote from reputable Scholars so you have a chance to research what I have stated, on your own.

As you go through the series and learn more about what Intelligent Design is and is not, I’d like you to keep in mind the following quote from the article as it shows a very common attitude from the ACLU towards the theory of Intelligent Design”

“’How many new biotechnology companies will want to locate here in Pennsylvania if our students are being taught a watered-down version of the complexities of evolution?’ asked Larry Frankel, legislative director for the state’s ACLU chapter”

If you would like to read the article in its entirety, Click Here

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Great Omission

I was reading a book by Robertson McQuilkin (I know, what a name) called The Great Omission. The following story is taken from that book. I thought it was pretty thought provoking and wanted to share it with you.

In a dream I found myself on an island – Sheep Island. Across the island sheep were scattered and lost. Soon I learned that a forest fire was sweeping across from the opposite side. It seemed that all were doomed to destruction unless there were some way of escape. Although there were many unofficial maps, I had a copy of the official map and there discovered that indeed there is a bridge to the mainland, a narrow bridge, built, it was said, at incredible cost.

My job, I was told, would be to get the sheep across that bridge. I discovered many shepherds herding the sheep who were found and seeking to corral those who were within easy access to the bridge. But most of the sheep were far off and the shepherds seeking them few. The sheep near the fire knew they were in trouble and were frightened; those at a distance were peacefully grazing, enjoying life.

I noticed two shepherds near the bridge whispering to one another and laughing. I moved near them to hear the cause of joy in such a dismal setting. “Perhaps the chasm is narrow somewhere, and at least the strong sheep have opportunity to save themselves,” one said. “Maybe the current is gentle and the stream shallow. Then the courageous, at least, can make it across.” The other responded, “That may well be. In fact, wouldn’t it be great if this proves to be no island at all? Perhaps it is just a peninsula and great multitudes of sheep are already safe. Surely the owner would have provided some alternative route.” And so they relaxed and went about other business.

In my mind I began to ponder their theories: Why would the owner have gone to such great expense to build a bridge, especially since it is a narrow bridge and many of the sheep refuse to cross it even when they find it? In fact, if there is a better way by which many will be saved more easily, building the bridge is a terrible blunder. And if this isn’t an island, after all, what is to keep the fire from sweeping right across into the mainland and destroying everything? As I pondered these things I heard a quiet voice behind me saying, “There is a better reason than the logic of it, my friend. Logic alone could lead you either way. Look at your map.”

There on the map, by the bridge, I saw a quotation from the first undershepherd, Peter: “For neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no way from the island to the mainland whereby a sheep may be saved.” And then I discerned, carved on the old rugged bridge itself, “I am the bridge. No sheep escapes to safety but by me.”

In a world in which nine of every ten people is lost, three of four have never heard the way out, and one of every two cannot hear, the church sleeps on. “How come?” Could it be we think there must be some other way? Or perhaps we don’t really care that much.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I Was Just Thinking...

I was taking a break from the never ending task of planning my wedding (I had no idea it would be this intense) and I began to look back over my journal of some of my experiences as a prison chaplain. I came across the following entry and it got me thinking:

...I also learned that there are Chaplains from many other religions out of the same office that we are in. I found this interesting due to the belief structures of some other religions. For example, Christian Scientists do not believe in the problem of sin or evil so what would a Christian Scientist Chaplain give as cause for the person who is in jail? Buddhists believe life is an illusion so are those bars that are keeping you locked up an illusion too? Muslims believe that Allah predestines everything so what do you say to a Muslim who is behind bars? “Sorry, but stop complaining because Allah clearly wants you there?” I hope I have an opportunity to talk with some of these other Chaplains over the course of my time there.

I haven't really come up with the answer to these questions yet. Perhaps it is because God created each one of us to love and care for our fellow man. Of course this naturally leads to the question "Why would God create us to care for our fellow man unless He cares for him too?" If this is true, that God does care for man, than there may be serious contradctions in these religious worldviews as they do not necessarily promote a God that is caring and loving. This then brings us back full circle to my original question of why are some of these other chaplains here? Interesting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I'm Back!

Okay, It’s official…… I am back! Thank you for your patience with me and this website as it has been neglected for the past few weeks.

As I stated earlier I just finished my Master’s degree in Christian Apologetics (defending the truths of Christianity) and I’m not sure if I’m now wiser or even more confused than when I started

As if that wasn’t stressful enough, the day after I graduated I was off to Scotland to work with some Christians who have been in an intensive 10 month leadership training program.

And then to top it all off, I got engaged to the most amazing woman in the whole world last week. (I know every guy says that their wife is the most amazing woman in the world but that’s only because they haven’t met my Emily).

So needless to say it has been a stressful few weeks… But I have recouped and am ready to hit the ground running.

I’d like to say thank you to Tony for his kind words about my site in his newsletter. For those of you who are new to Reason To Believe I’d like to say welcome. The goal of this site is to show that there are intelligent and logical evidences for the truth of Christianity and that a life without a relationship with Jesus Christ is really no life at all.

I’m thinking about beginning a series on abortion but as always I am open to any ideas from you, simply send me an email at “RemovingDoubts AT aol DOT com” (You just need to replace AT with the @ sign and DOT with a period [I have to do this thanks to the SPAM]).

Again welcome to the site and thanks for stopping by