Let me say at the outset that this is not a challenge, a demand for evidence, a call for miracles, or anything of the sort. I pose no grand test for believers to meet, nor do I intend this as a trap for the dimwitted. There is a very simple way that atheists can be persuaded to believe in god, and I will reveal it in this post. If those who call themselves religious ever want to defeat the big bad atheism once and for all, this is how to do it. Just realize that it will come at a bit of a price.
To persuade an atheist to believe in god, all one has to do is define “god” so broadly that it cannot possibly be doubted. …
The religious could claim every prominent scientist as one of their own if they would merely expand their definition of god and jettison that little matter of the supernatural.
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_—–____——-__–__-_-_ HT: The Atheist Revolution
You might need some time to listen to this whole lecture, but it’s worth it. This lecture series, Chosen by God, has turned more people into Calvinists than anything else I know about.
I was up late last night with Larry King. He interviewed Joel Osteen and his wife, Victoria. For the first time in my life, I actually liked some things Joel said, and this interview gave me a new perspective on the Osteens.
1. A caller asked how much money he makes from the church, and he told the caller that he takes ZERO money from the church, and his only income is from outside sources, mainly from his books.
2. Larry asked if Joel saw any problem with a minister having lots of money. Joel said Abraham was a rich man, so was David and Solomon, yet they were men of God. Thus, he concluded, the key is whether “you have the money or the money has you.” He also admitted that Jesus wasn’t about money, and that Jesus lived for other people not himself and that we should follow his example. When someone put him on the spot and asked, “What causes do you give to?” He said he gives to many causes and quickly named two: Feed the Children, and Mercy Ministries. He says that’s why he thinks God blesses people—so that they can be a blessing to others.
3. My favorite part of the interview was this: Larry tells Joel that some people say he preaches a prosperity gospel, and Joel says he doesn’t like the term “prosperity gospel,” because, and I quote, “There’s only one gospel.” But what did Joel say that gospel was? That Christ died for us to make a way for salvation. Sounds very similar to what the average evangelical layperson would say.
4. When asked what he wants his legacy to be, he says he wants to be remember as someone who brought hope to the world and drew people closer in their walk with God.
I have to admit, I enjoyed hearing Joel talk about his faith. He’s got a contagious enthusiasm. I’m not saying he knows how to preach the Bible well, or that his hermeneutics are typically on point. From the interview, however, it appears that most of the worst things people say about him aren’t true.
If you think I’m wrong, give me your best shot. Point me to some direct quotations from Joel that prove he doesn’t believe in the gospel or somehow fundamentally contradicts it. Show me the worst possible quotations from the man’s lips you can find.
Larry’s show ended by showing his worship team singing Amazing Grace at a Lakewood worship service …
my chains are gone I’ve been set free
my god my savior has ransomed me
and like a flood, his mercy reigns
unending love, amazing grace
Larry King concludes, “What an inspiring Group.”
Biochemist Gregory Petsko makes a convincing argument that, in the next 50 years, we’ll see an epidemic of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, as the world population ages. His solution: more research into the brain and its functions. He also shares a few simple things we can do for ourselves to keep our brains healthy. (Recorded February 2008 in Monterey, California. Duration: 3:46.)
Ok … I’m trying something new here. Instead of writing my post, I’ve got it in audio format so you can click on it above or below (Love Beyond Diversity) and listen while cleaning your room, getting dressed, or cooking breakfast. The written form will be found sometime today at Christ, My Righteousness, where Celucien has been posting on racial unity over the holiday season.
Here’s a video I found on a link from Mike Fox’s blog. Mike believes this video is part of the evidence that President Bush should not be considered an evangelical, and most consider it proof that he is a universalist. I’m not sure about either one of these claims.
Are inclusivists not evangelical? Most arminians I’ve met are inclusive in some way because they believe that people who have never heard of Christ will be judged according to how they responded to the revelation they did have exposure to. Other evangelicals are even more inclusive and for different reasons. So … as far as I can tell, evangelicalism is not exclusively exclusive.
Is George Bush a Universalist? Do people who believe Muslims and Jews are going to heaven automatically fit the definition of universalism? I thought universalism was when you believed that all people of all religions (not just Christians, Muslims, and Jews) are going to heaven, and even all non-religious people. Universalism by definition is the belief that all people will ultimately be saved.
Anyway … here’s the clip.