Came across this interesting piece today about Lennon’s true beliefs vs. popular image of his beliefs: http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjmnolte/2011/06/29/more-on-john-lennons-move-away-from-imagine-evolution-is-absolute-garbage/
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|Youcef Nadarkhani||Iran (Islamic Republic of)||October 2010||June 30, 2011|
|Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old pastor from Rasht, about 750 miles northwest of Tehran, was arrested in October 2009 after he protested a government policy that required children, including his 8- and 9-year-old sons, to study the Quran in school. Youcef told school officials that the Iranian constitution allows for freedom of religious practice. As a result of his protest, secret police called him before a political tribunal and arrested him for protesting. The charges were later amended to apostasy and evangelism of Muslims. Youcef was tried on Sept. 21–22, 2010 by the 1st Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal and sentenced to death on Nov. 13 for apostasy.
The pastor is imprisoned in Lakan prison, where authorities have used various methods, including medication, to convert him back to Islam.
After Youcef refused to convert to Islam, his wife was arrested, put on trial without an attorney and sentenced to life in prison. She was later released after an attorney appealed her sentence. The Nadarkhanis’ children were cared for by a relative while they were both in prison.
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I recently bought Michael Brown’s new book A Queer Thing Happened to America: And what a long strange journey its been. And I’m waiting for the Apologetics Group to finish their DVD, Is Gay OK?
This is an issue that Christians need to become more involved in – and I don’t simply mean politically. I mean taking time to seriously understand all of the issues involved. It’s not enough to point to a few verses to complete your understanding of homosexual sin. I’ll have more to say on this in the future, but for now, here are some links worth reading.
“You have to understand something,” he said, leaning forward in his chair. “I don’t see people as gay anymore. I don’t see you as gay. I don’t see him as gay. God creates us heterosexual. We may get other ideas in our head about what we are, and I certainly did, but that doesn’t mean they’re the truth.”
I did not always believe as I now do about homosexuals. I used to believe homosexuality was a choice due to a perverse sexual lust that homosexuals refused to control, and that “sexual orientation” was merely a political euphemism calculated to divest the issue of homosexuality of any sense of responsibility. Furthermore, since I saw that the Bible condemned homosexuals, the plumbing didn’t match up, and radical gay activists were off in the deep end, the question of choice seemed like a pretty open and shut case…
…I want to tell my gay friends that the Reformed faith has answers for them. Most evangelical Christians can only offer them the Pelagian answer that all sin is a choice, and since homosexuality is a sin, it too must be a choice, and unless they can choose it away they will perish. I want to tell my gay friends that even if they didn’t choose their homosexuality it is still a sin, and they will still be judged by God because their plight is the plight of all mankind. We are all doomed to perish not [just] because of our sinful choices but because of the imputation of Adam’s sin to our account and the inherited corruption of our nature. The doctrine of original sin is extraordinarily difficult for most people to swallow because it says that we had no choice in the matter of our eternal fate. It speaks of our utterly helpless and hopeless condition before a holy God, and people don’t want that. Instead they want to fool themselves into believing that they can still choose to be moral.
But the homosexual is not fooled. He knows differently. He experiences every day what it means to be truly powerless to morally redeem himself, and every day he must live in the misery of that condition. I want to tell gays and lesbians about the good news of justification through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to their account, exhort them to take hold of Christ by faith, and like Abraham who contemplated his own body to be as good as dead, to look away from themselves and ahead to the promise of the resurrection of the body (Romans 4:19-25).
Aside from the universal atonement at the very beginning and end, I think this is a great video:
Those who are most zealous in the cause of God are the most likely to be targeted as being filled with pride. When any person appears, in any respect, to be noticeably excelling others in his Christian walk, odds are ten to one that it will immediately awaken the jealousy of those about him.
They will suspect (whether they have good reason or not) that he is very proud of his goodness and that he probably thinks no one as good as he is, so that everything he says and does is observed with this prejudice.
Those who are themselves cold and dead, and especially those who have never had any experience of the power of godliness on their own hearts, will easily entertain such thoughts of the best Christians. This arises from nothing less than a secret hostility against essential and fervent holiness.
But the zealous Christian should take heed that this does not prove a snare to him, and the devil take advantage of it to blind his eyes from beholding the true nature of his heart and to think that because he is charged with pride wrongfully and with an unkind spirit, that such charges are not sometimes valid…
…Because of the nature of spiritual pride, it is the most secret of all sins. There is no other matter in which the heart is more deceitful and unsearchable and there is no other sin in the world that men are so confident in. The very nature of it is to work self-confidence and drive away any suspicion of any evil of that kind. There is no sin so much like the devil as this for secrecy and subtlety, and appearing in great many shapes that are undetected and unsuspected.
-Jonathan Edwards : http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/works1.ix.v.i.html
Daniel Chew, currently studying at WSC, recently wrote a paper on science. http://puritanreformed.blogspot.com/2011/05/paper-science-as-paradigmatic-critical.html
He offered some additional comments not in his paper in this post: http://puritanreformed.blogspot.com/2011/05/science-and-fallacy-of-induction.html
It’s straightforward, lucid, and worth sharing a taste:
In Fig. 3, we once again see our proposed equation in black, and the alternate equation in red. Now however, we have a competing equation of the form y=3x-1+ 1/(1000-100x). Now, it can be seen that no matter how much data we have from 0<x<9 thereabouts, there is simply no way to differentiate between the two equations. If all our data points are within that range of x values, then we simply have no way to choose between them.
What does this tell us about science therefore? Science is limited. Science cannot give us the truth of anything. What science does is to give us a working description of reality (which is of course immensely practical in application), but it does not explain it. And the working description of scientifically derived laws are circumscribed by the limitations of the experiments, but we can cannot go beyond it. As I am sure it is still taught in classes on scientific methodology, scientists are not allowed to extrapolate their equations beyond the range of their data. For instance, in the initial data set of 3 points given, nothing should be said of anything with an x value of 4 or 5. If the data set has a highest x value of 7, nothing should be said of what the case would be if x=9.
This has implications especially for what is called ‘historical science’, which is the investigation of the past using scientific methodology. Since scientists are not and cannot be in the past, all of such historical science investigations are inherently fallacious. Most of them of course are done within the framework of naturalistic uniformitarianism, which as a philosophy is not science and is not testable. Translated into data interpretation, it is a hopelessly naive methodology which assumes that the simplest interpretation of existing data points must hold true in the past too. Thus, if we have the data set above, uniformitarianism simply assumes that the equation must be a linear one. If another data set seems to follow a quadratic or simple logarithmic equation, then that must be the right type of equation.