Epilogue – What Brett Learned About Christmas

What Brett Learned About Christmas

book-thumbI just added an Epilogue to my ebook The twelve Days of Christmas. I wish I had put it in earlier. The book is about a man who decides to take a trip in an attempt to escape some bad memories associated with Christmas. Instead, he meets a young hitchhiker who helps him discover what Christmas is all about.

In the Epilogue I go into detail about the true meaning of Christmas.  If you haven’t read my book, I hope you will. If you have read the book, or if you just aren’t sure what Christmas is really all about, here is the Epilogue:

Brett Riley, with the help of Grace, learned the true meaning of Christmas. You may think that’s about being generous or helping others in need. This is certainly something that we do in the spirit of Christmas, but it’s not the true meaning of Christmas. If you’d like to learn what Christmas is all about, read on. Read more…

It Takes Faith to be an Atheist

Atheists think that those who believe in a creator strictly operate on faith. They think we don’t care about science or evidence. They say we use the concept of God to explain things that we don’t understand. They’ll accuse us of inserting “God in the gaps” to give us answers for things we don’t yet know. Actually, I think it’s the atheists that require more faith, and they insert science in the gaps all the time.

Let’s look at the facts from cosmology. First, we now know there was a beginning. That wasn’t always the case. At one time scientists just assumed that the universe was eternal. It was always here, so there was no need for a creator.  It’s now pretty much incontrovertible that the observable universe came into existence about 13.5 billion years ago. Prior to that there was nothing. By nothing I mean not anything. People visualize the big bang sometimes as a bunch of matter exploding into space, but that’s not what it was. There was no matter. No energy. No space. There wasn’t even time. That’s right. It all started with the big bang. At that point matter, space and time all came into being out of nothing.

Second, scientists can now see that the initial conditions at the time of the big bang are incredibly tuned to support life. If the conditions and constants were just the tiniest bit off in any direction, the universe would have expanded into a lifeless, barren space, with no stars of planets forming, or it would have collapsed back in on itself.

These two things are a problem for naturalists, who are people who believe nature is all there is. An article in Discover Magazine points out the problem, and the way that naturalists try to get around it.

Call it a fluke, a mystery, a miracle. Or call it the biggest problem in physics. Short of invoking a benevolent creator, many physicists see only one possible explanation: Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multi­verse. Most of those universes are barren, but some, like ours, have conditions suitable for life.

The idea is controversial. Critics say it doesn’t even qualify as a scientific theory because the existence of other universes cannot be proved or disproved. Advocates argue that, like it or not, the multiverse may well be the only viable non­religious explanation for what is often called the “fine-tuning problem”—the baffling observation that the laws of the universe seem custom-tailored to favor the emergence of life.

That is a perfect example of “science of the gaps”. The evidence of a beginning and fine-tuning points to an intelligent designer, but that does not fit a naturalistic worldview. The only reason to postulate an infinite number of universes is to avoid the conclusion of a creator–to avoid the idea of God.

So, if you look at it this way, atheists need to have as much faith in their multiverse theory than theists do in an intelligent designer–if not more.  They are both metaphysical ideas that are based on something outside the physical universe.  Plus, the evidence points towards that something being an intelligent agent, and away from blind chance. Yes, it takes quite a bit of faith to be an atheist.

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You Didn’t Build That!

I hate to say this, but I completely agree with Barack Obama and his surrogates when they say that many Republicans are taking the President’s words out of context when he said “You didn’t build that.” Before you stop reading–assuming that would make you stop reading–hear me out.

First, I think that by taking his words out of context we hurt our cause. It’s obvious what he meant if you listen to the entire quote, and those who do hear the entire quote will assume that’s what conservatives do — take something out of context to fit our agenda. It also makes it harder to point a finger at Debbie Wasserman Shultz when she does the same exact thing. Read more…

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Chicken, Intolerance, and a Costly Cup of Free Water

Record numbers "eat mor chikin" in support of Chick-fil-A on August 1, 2012

I’m sure you’re well aware of the firestorm surrounding Dan Cathy and his company Chick-fil-A. Wherever you stand on the issue of same-sex marriage, there are a couple of things that are clear from all of this. First, most liberals (at least the most vocal ones) don’t have a clue what the word tolerance means. Second, one’s words and actions have consequences.

Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A, made some personal comments in a Christan magazine indicating his support for traditional marriage.  This should not be a shock to most people. He is a bible-believing Christian who runs his company according to his Christian beliefs and values. You can’t get a Chick-fil-A sandwich on Sunday.  Dan Cathy, following in his dad’s footsteps (Truett Cathy) makes sure all stores are closed on Sundays to honor that day of rest and to make it easier for his employees to attend church.  Less obvious to most is the Chick-fil-A corporate purpose statement which is: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

Read more…

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A Life Lesson in Conservative Ideals

I was watching a few of the Sunday news shows today. Kyle was there with me.  He had to stay home from Church because of a fever the last few days. All the shows were covering the SC primary, and I got a chance to give Kyle a little lesson in conservative versus liberal values.

He asked me if I liked President Obama. I thought a moment how I might answer this, because I didn’t want it to sound like it’s a personal thing for me, because it’s not. I told him I didn’t like his ideas. He asked what I didn’t like. I explained  that the President believes that it’s the government’s job to take care of people’s needs, and that he believes he should be able to take a lot of money from others who earned it in order to do this. He also thinks it’s not fair that there are some people who have more money than other people. I explained further that I believed that individuals need to take care of most of their needs on their own, and that having the government take money from others just to try to make things fair for everyone doesn’t work. Read more…

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How would you handle a “debt ceiling” at your house?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a big rock, you’ve heard about the ongoing fight in Washington as to whether Congress should raise the US debt ceiling.  The Republican’s are holding the line that if we’re going to raise the debt ceiling, we must ensure there are cuts in spending that more than make up for any additional borrowing.  They’ve also said that raising taxes is off the table (we’ll see about that, though).  The Democrats want to do more with what they like to call revenue increases, which really means raising taxes.  They figure if they say that the additional taxes will only be on the “millionaires and billionaires” and “private jet owners”, then most of America will be on board with that. Read more…

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Are you ready for the rapture?

I’m hearing reports that the rapture is taking place on Saturday. This is quite shocking!  I haven’t made any arrangements. I haven’t stopped my mail. I haven’t started on my bucket list.  I’m not even sure what my bucket list is.

In Christian circles there are a few interpretations related to the rapture. Some think it will occur before the tribulation, which is that terrible time of suffering right before Jesus comes back to kick tail and take names. Read more…

The abortion questions not asked

The silly season is almost upon us, and we have a growing pack of Republicans who’ll be running against President Obama, who is the sole candidate on the Democrat side. We can expect that the question of abortion will come up. It’s an important question, but there are key follow-up questions that are never asked, and if they were, I suspect there would be some awkward silence. Read more…

Intelleigent Design and Science Shoud Not be At Odds

Bill Nye the Science Guy

I was reading an article in Popular Mechanics, which is basically a Q & A with Bill Nye the Science Guy about whether evolution should be taught in schools. It highlights major misunderstandings that many in science have, including Mr. Nye, regarding the role of science, and the theory of intelligent design.

In the article Mr. Nye bemoans the fact that a recent survey showed “only 28% of teachers taught evolution as a well-supported fundamental idea of science”. This actually surprised me, because I thought far more teachers were toeing the line, and were teaching what they learned in their biology books years earlier. The survey also showed that 13% of teachers taught Intelligent Design exclusively, and 60% are somewhere in between.  He  characterizes this as “horrible”, saying “Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back”. Read more…

An Animated Discussion about Abortion

I just completed this animated video that I thought would be a unique way to highlight a case for the pro-life position. I’ve always thought it would be interesting to discuss the issue with a pro-choice advocate, so this allowed me to do a mock debate in a fun way.

Please take the time to watch it all the way through, and share it with others. If you have pro-life friends, I think this will provide them with some good arguments for their own position.  If you have pro-choice friends, it will help them think through their position. It will challenge and expose some of the extraneous reasons often given to justify abortion, and drill down to the only question that is really important–what is the unborn.  Finally, there are many out there who don’t have a strong opinion either way. If they watch this video, I hope it will help them realize the importance of the issue.

While my animated presentation of this information is pretty unique, I can’t claim the ideas as my own.  Many thanks to Greg Koukl, President of Stand to Reason, and Scott Klusendorf, who used to work with Greg, and who is now the President of Life training Institute here in Atlanta.

Here are two resources from Greg and Scott if you’re interested in more on this topic:

Making Abortion Unthinkable: The Art of Pro-Life Persuasion

The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture

Read more…

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