Eyewitnesses

Seems like creationism, and specifically young-earth creationism, is poking its head up once again in the wake of Rubio’s uninformed comments regarding what we know about the age of the earth. As Ed Brayton reports, both Bryan Fischer and Joseph Farah have recently argued that no one knows how old the earth really is because none of us were there when it was first created. God is the only eyewitness, they claim, and therefore we should just take His Word for it.

Well, Bryan and Joe, I hate to disagree with you, but if you take Genesis literally, then God is not the only eyewitness. I’ll grant you there’s no human alive today who was around at the origin of the earth. But if you read Genesis 1, you’ll find that God created the heavens on the same day He created the earth. And we’re all eyewitnesses to the (non-)creation of the universe.

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The New Bigots

Here’s an interesting transcript, published by newsbusters.org (“Exposing & Combating Liberal Media Bias”). It’s from an interview with Rick Warren on CBS This Morning, which newsbusters describes as “hounding” Warren on his anti-gay bigotry. Apart from one or two asides, though, most of the post consists of excerpts from the original transcript, including this particular nugget:

WARREN: The problem is that ‘tolerant’ has changed its meaning. Tolerant used to mean, I may disagree with you completely, but I’m going to treat you with respect. That’s what tolerant means. Today, to some people, tolerant means you must approve of everything I do. That’s not tolerance. That’s approval. There’s a difference between acceptance and approval. Jesus accepted everybody no matter who they were. He doesn’t approve of everything I do or you do or anybody else does either. So, you can be accepting without being approving. That’s an important point.

I originally wrote this as an exercise in imagining a society in which Christians were “tolerated” the same way Christians have traditionally “tolerated” gays, i.e. being given verbal “respect” while not allowing them to practice anything unless everyone else agreed with it. On re-reading the full transcript, however, I’m beginning to wonder if we’re seeing a shift in Christian tactics.
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How to fight atheism

We don’t very often have good things to say about churches here, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due. And for once, we’ve got a church that, as the San Antonio Express-News reports, finally gets it right.

Call it the battle of the billboards.

In Lexington, a church has decided to lease billboard space to respond to a recent message from an atheists’ group.

Pastor Jared Henry of Lafayette Church of the Nazarene told the Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/PUE72k) that the church has gotten “almost exclusively positive feedback” after posting its message, which says: “We believe in God. Join the right club. John 3:16.”

It came on the heels of a billboard message in September and October that said: “Don’t believe in God? Join the club.”

No death threats? No vandalism? Wow.

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Religious right to meddle

The Conservative Hideout is all up in arms about what they call a “war on Christians.”

Notice that there seems to be a war on Christianity under way? Well, the folks at Hobby lobby have noticed, as they went to court to escape the the ObamaCare regulations that require them to provide coverage for the abortion pill. Unfortunately, it seems that at least one federal judge seems t think that Religious Freedom really doesn’t exist.

By “Religious Freedom” (capitalized), the writer of course means Christians having the power to control women’s lives with or without their consent. The idea that women might also be entitled to religious freedom (in the sense of actual, you know, liberty) does not seem to occur.

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Prerequisites of intelligibility

Over at Evangelical Realism we’re starting our analysis of Pastor Stephen Feinstein’s second post in his debate with Russell Glasser on the subject of presuppositional apologetics, and this week’s topics deal largely with the subject of the intelligibility of the universe, and the prerequisites for that intelligibility. Thanks again to Russell for setting up this whole debate, and for doing such a good job holding up his end of it. To get Pastor Feinstein’s actual assessment of how well Russell did, let me quote two snippets from Pastor Feinstein’s second post. The first is from the top:

When Russell and I agree that the debate is done, the comments will be enabled thus allowing people to comment on it.

And the second snippet, from the bottom:

No comments:

New comments are not allowed.

That about sums it up.

AiG’s outreach to atheists

I actually got this off a friend, but it’s kind of fun. You know how Answers In Genesis likes to target most of their material at weak and wavering Christians (especially if they have too much cash on their hands)? Well, now they’re extending that same hand of duplicity fellowship to atheists as well, in the form of a post entitled “Dear Atheists,” by Bodie Hodge. And believe me, it’s everything you’d expect from a ministry like AiG.

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OMG, Biblical Christianity is dying!

Now this is more like what I was expecting yesterday: overblown Christian hysteria in reaction to Election Day’s free reality check. Writing for forbes.com, Bill Flax weeps and wails over the imminent demise of Biblical Christianity in America.

And it’s all a terrible misunderstanding. Christians never wanted a culture war, you see. They just wanted to be left alone. If only those mean old liberals had just given them the chance to stay quiet and neutral on issues of society and morality.

In the election’s aftermath, the culture war looks like a rout. Few ever relished this fight; most preferred simply to be left alone. We aren’t community organizers. Sadly, neutrality was not realistic. No, being Switzerland was never an option. By not defending America’s heritage of limited government, free markets and biblical morality, we’re being overrun a la Belgium.

Yes, those poor disorganized believers who were barely able to raise billions of dollars and initiate successful drives to add anti-gay amendments to the constitutions of roughly two-thirds of the states in the Union—they aren’t community organizers. They’ve never defended limited government, free markets, or biblical morality. They’re all just weak and helpless victims here.

Come on, work with me on this one.

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A persecuted church

I thought this story might be an amusing look at yet another Christian group hypocritically claiming martyrdom and persecution. It isn’t.

A decade ago, God spoke to Jane Whaley, and she says he told her to fight…

“God told me, ‘Jane, you are at the beginning of a holocaust,’ ” Whaley says. “Before … we turned the other cheek. We let them run all over us. And God said, ‘Jane, they’re going to close your doors if you don’t rise up and fight.’ ”

Sure, just another believer making extravagant claims that their “persecution” was going to be just like Hitler wiping out millions of Jews, right? I hope that’s all it is. Then again, even David Koresh had to start somewhere.

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Ah, theism

In Traverse City, Michigan, there’s been a bit of a kerfluffle over a Veterans Day choir concert at a local church. As mlive.com reports:

[Pastor] David Walls decided to “censor” the concert three weeks ago over the objections of the church’s choir director.

Walls told the paper that the prayer was rejected because the church did not want to offend their congregation and military veterans they planned to honor that day…

Walls told the paper the prayer was “in Arabic, addressed to Allah, with references to Muhammad for an event that was intended to honor veterans.” The prayer was to be led by an Islamic leader from Grand Rapids.

The decision reportedly offended a Traverse City West Senior High student of Muslim faith who was in the choir. On the flip side, an NMC college trustee, Doug Bishop, told the paper he would have been offended at having to observe the prayer.

Somebody should lock Jehovah and Allah in a room to duke it out between themselves so the rest of us can have some peace.

Christianity, atheism, and worldviews

Over at Evangelical Realism, we’re discussing Pastor Stephen Feinstein’s claims regarding Christianity, worldviews, and what he says are the inherent inconsistencies and irrationalities of the atheistic worldview (which according to Pastor Feinstein is a single, well-defined worldview with a distinct set of unique and identifiable properties). I expect some of you will enjoy that sort of thing. I know I do.