Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Simple Faith Test

Do you have enough faith to be an atheist? Take this simple quiz and add up your score to find out:

1. (T/F) Matter can sponaneously arise from non-matter.

True: +1
False: +0

2. (T/F) Living matter can arise from non-living matter.

True: +1
False: +0

3. (T/F) Order can spontaneously (i.e. without assistance) arise from non-order.

True: +1
False: +0

4. (T/F) If the letters from the word "artichoke" are jumbled up every 30 seconds (forming gibberish such as cartohike, etc.), then, given enough time, the words "zebra," "apricot," and "fountain" will inevitably be formed eventually.

True: +1
False: +0

5. (T/F) It is possible to reach the end of an infinity.

True: +1
False: +0

Scoring:

5 = Hardened Atheistic Evolutionist
4 = Common Atheistic Evolutionist
3 = Agnostic
2 = Theistic Evolutionist
1 = (Unsure) Creationist
0 = (Confident) Creationist

Friday, July 4, 2008

Why Do We Pray?



MudSkipper asked:



"Why do Christians pray? I mean, God is omniscient, and pretty much knows what you are thinking before you even think of it. Every time I go over to a Christian person's house for dinner, which is fairly often, I often ask myself that question when we pause to pray. "We" being the 3rd person way of being polite, since it is really "They" who pause ( With a curious look on my face as I look at the somber lot talking to someone who isn't there). What could you possibly say, or ask for, that God in his omniscience, doesn't already know? What do they hope to accomplish? Do they want to change God's mind? . . . . He even knows that you would ask him, and has already issued a response before you even asked!"
? ? ? ? ?
Why do we pray if God already knows what we are going to say? Steve (MudSkipper) has deemed this a "Silly Question" on his blog, but I think it's a rather good one. I'm going to open this one up to reader-response.

Comment Away!

In Christ's Love,
Matthew

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why Did God Send Bears to Maul Innocent Children?





OK, so here's my hardest question:

Why does God maul children with bears?
For example, why did God kill 42 children for saying to Elisha to "Go on up baldhead"?

He could have just spanked them, but mauling them with bears was somehow necessary.

So tell me, why does God kill children like that?

If you can somehow convince me that mauling children with bears is justified, then I will become a Christian, I give you my word.


Read the story here:

2 Kings 2:23-25 (KJV)

23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

25 And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.

First off, a few things to consider about this verse:

1. The word translated “children” (‏נַעַר‎) would more accurately be deemed “young men.”

2. The fact that an incredible 42 were killed suggests that this was more than simply a small group of individuals making fun of a man’s baldness. This was organized and possibly premeditated.

3. The term “bald head” (‏קֵרֵחַ‎) was most likely a reference to leprosy (Leviticus 13:40-44), not merely a comment on physical appearance.

4. The phrase “go up” (‏עָלָה‎) is likely a reference to Elijah having been caught up to Heaven (2 Kings 2:11-12), thus we see here that this was specifically a case of religious persecution, not simple ridicule.

In conclusion, they were most likely not “children” in the sense your question suggests, they were not simply mocking Elisha’s physical appearance, and it was organized religious persecution, not coincidental ridicule. Furthermore…

You specifically challenged to me prove that this action was “justified.” Justifying it is in fact the simplest part of your inquiry. You see, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). It is not that the children were very unfortunate, but rather that we are extremely fortunate that we haven’t been mauled by bears ourselves. We should praise God for having the mercy to withhold His wrath from us for a season, and, for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for eternity.

I’m sure you’ll find several things to disagree with here, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that your key complaint will be that you don’t agree with God’s standards. That, of course, is your opinion and you are free to feel that way, but surely you know that if there is a God then He has every right to be the one who sets the standards.

In Christ’s Love,
Matthew

P.S. - For the rest of my readers, Steve didn't post this part on my blog but he put it on his. You might find it interesting: I'm going to do like Jesus said, sell all my possessions and follow Him if mauling children is justified. I'm waiting, with anticipation of the answer to this question...

All the more reason why I'm sure this answer won't be good enough for him... he's staked too much on this issue.

By the way, I promised Steve a prize if I ever created a post based off one of his questions, so... here it is!