Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

IMG_1513.JPGImage by Brett Jordan, used through a CC License. This photo has not been altered.

“America deserves the Osteens. The consumer culture, the cult of the therapeutic, the marketing impulse, and the sheer superficiality of American cultural Christianity probably made the Osteens inevitable. The Osteens are phenomenally successful because they are the exaggerated fulfillment of the self-help movement and the cult of celebrity rolled into one massive mega-church media empire. And, to cap it all off, they give Americans what Americans crave — reassurance delivered with a smile.”
– Albert Mohler, via http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/09/03/the-osteen-predicament-mere-happiness-cannot-bear-the-weight-of-the-gospel/

I can’t really add anything to this. I truly believe the Osteen’s and their ilk are a judgment from God on the culture-at-large, and the American church in particular.

There really is nothing new here. Nothing these people do surprises me any more.

Read the whole article. It’s a good read on a bad theology that is very dangerous.

Here’s a link to a humorous and appropriate response to Mrs. Osteen:

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams

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20140805-093752-34672680.jpgStrasbourg Cathedral – Stained glass windows – Jesus calming a storm, used through a CC License.

“It is not entirely unreasonable for those who want to be followers of Jesus to think that because he is in the boat suffering will not arise. But suffering does come, and the wind roars around and the sky turns black, and the storm of all storms appears to envelop all in darkness and terror. Jesus, don’t you care that we are perishing becomes an incredulous for all who would wish for immunity from the troubles of life. But Jesus’s answer reminds us that faith does not insulate us from life’s storms. Indeed, as noted author Craig Barnes has written “Faith…has little to do with our doctrines or even with our belief that Jesus could come up with a miracle if he would only pay attention. Faith has everything to do with seeing that…the Savior [is] on board“
– Ravi Zacharias

via http://www.rzim.org/a-slice-of-infinity/questions-in-the-boat/

We all have those questions…you know, the ones that basically begin with “why God…?”. The difficult thing is that He doesn’t ever clearly answer the “why” question. When Job asks it The Lord answers with “were you there when I created the universe?”. He simply refers Job to His Eternality and Omnipotence.

When the disciples ask Jesus about the killing of priests by Roman soldiers, Jesus replies with “unless you repent you will all likewise perish”, referring to the fact that the universal problem is not the fact that people die, but that they die in their sins. No clear answer to the why question.

In the boat story, Jesus doesn’t answer the disciples questioning of His not caring. He simply stills the storm, and rebukes the disciples for their lack of Faith.

There will always be questions about theodicy (the theist’s response to the problem of evil). It is an emotional, as well as rational conundrum.

Why doesn’t God answer the question straightforwardly?

If you’ll allow some sanctified musings, (my own personal opinions), I propose a couple of possible reasons.

1. It could be that this side of resurrection, we are too dain bramaged to understand the answer.

2. It could be that The Lord knows no answer that He gives to people in the midst of suffering will ever fully answer emotions or reason.

3. It could be that The Lord doesn’t need to justify His Ways to us, so we had just better trust Him, and seek His face while suffering.

None of these answers will ever satisfy the suffering. Perhaps we’d better stop trying to give intellectual reasons, or isolated Scriptures taken out of context, and just sit with the suffering, and cry with them.

After all, the real troubles for Job began when his friends decided to chime in on the theodicy question. Before that, they sat quietly and mourned and comforted Job for several days.

Maybe we should keep our mouths shut, and our tear ducts open.

I’m just sayin’…

20140627-124942-46182154.jpgPhoto titled Counterfeit by Gillian Frew, used without alteration through a CC Attribution 2.0 license

“This is not the case with atheists. People don’t write books about things they don’t have any beliefs about. No one debates about non-beliefs. If they did there would be nothing to talk about.

This attempt to change the definition of atheism to a lack of belief is a tactic to try to shift the burden on proof. But it won’t work. The belief that there is no God is a belief. And if the atheist thinks it is a reasonable belief, he should have evidence to believe it.
– Tim Barnett, from the article “Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief in God?”

via http://feedly.com/e/bGdQnP68

20140621-122649-44809928.jpgImage title Playing Safe by Brett Jordan through a CC 2.0 Attribution License

“Although morality is arguably just as murky for the religious, at least there is some bedrock belief that gives a reason to believe that morality is real and will prevail. In an atheist universe, morality can be rejected without external sanction at any point, and without a clear, compelling reason to believe in its reality, that’s exactly what will sometimes happen.”

Read that last section carefully, because Baggini is arguing, as we have argued here many times, that atheists have a hard time grounding morality, much harder than the religious do.  Speaking to his atheists friends, he says, “Anyone who thinks it’s easy to ground ethics either hasn’t done much moral philosophy or wasn’t concentrating when they did.”

Baggini also admits that “in an atheist universe, morality can be rejected without external sanction at any point, and without a clear, compelling reason to believe in its reality, that’s exactly what will sometimes happen.”  In other words, on atheism, the ability to rationally reject morality is built into the system.  There is nothing that ultimately guarantees that morality can be grounded, and so an atheist who decides that morality is simply optional is within their rational rights to do so.  And, according to Baggini, that is exactly what sometimes happens.” — Bill Pratt

via Can Atheism Lead to Nihilism? | Tough Questions Answered.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams

20140621-121245-43965997.jpgImage by Nemo through a Public Domain CC0 License

“Hall claims that Atheism’ logical conclusion is a more humane way of living. This is simply not the case. Atheism, if taken as derived from a Naturalistic worldview is Darwinian in nature, which, as said above, does not lead to any sense of morality to speak of. If we are, as the naturalistic view would have us, without value, worth, meaning, purpose, or morality, we are merely animals, and in this world “might makes right.” Its easy to sit back in a first-world country and give platitudes of morality that we all respect, but tell that to those who were under the rule of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, or Joseph Kony. If God does not exist, then there is no objective morality to speak of or to adhere to. Morality does not begin and end with us, as Hall states. It begins and ends with God, who is also the one who create all men in his image, which gives us intrinsic value, worth, meaning, and purpose.”
-Matt V. Walker, Anchor a Apologetics

via http://anchorapologetics.com/2014/06/09/is-atheism-in-america-undergoing-a-radical-change-a-response-to-salon-magazine/

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams

20140621-115214-42734210.jpgImage by the_steve_cox through a CC License

“An atheist is one of the most daring beings in creation,—a contemner of God, who explodes His laws by denying His existence.”
-John Foster

URLhttp://www.bartleby.com/348/106.html

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams

20140613-162339-59019061.jpgImage from the Boston Public Library through a CC License. This image has not been altered from the original.

“Religions merit our attention for their sheer conceptual ambition; for changing the world in a way that few secular institutions ever have. They have managed to combine theories about ethics and metaphysics with a practical involvement in education, fashion, politics, travel, hostelry, initiation, ceremonies, publishing, art and architecture – a range of interests which puts to shame the scope of achievements of even the greatest and most influential secular movements and individuals in history.”
-Alain de Botton, (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion, 18)

via http://www.christianapologeticsalliance.com/2013/06/18/an-atheist-admires-the-contributions-of-religion/

Well said. The rise of Scientism has obscured the long held value of metaphysics and the ethics of religion-especially Christianity. Even science has unprovable presuppositions that are based on philosophy, logic, or metaphysics. It is historically arrogant to dismiss metaphysics and theology as a foundational science, simply because we think we know better now because of science. Scientific inquiry will only be beneficial so far. It can never lead to moral improvement, or the appreciation of truth, beauty, or the good. It can never lead beyond the beginning of the universe. It can never lead to the universal cry for meaning and purpose in life. It can only lead to despair.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams