Sunday, June 26, 2011

You know you are getting old when...

You know you're getting old when... ~

You and your teeth don't sleep together.
Your try to straighten out the wrinkles in your socks and discover you aren't wearing any.
When you wake up looking like your driver's license picture.
It takes two tries to get up from the couch.
When happy hour is a nap.
When you're on vacation and your energy runs out before your money does.
When all you want for your birthday is to not be reminded of your age.
Your idea of weight lifting is standing up.
It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.
Your memory is shorter and your complaining lasts longer.
Your address book has mostly names that start with Dr.
The pharmacist has become your new best friend.
Getting "lucky" means you found your car in the parking lot.
It takes twice as long - to look half as good.
You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there.
You have more patience, but it is actually that you just don't care anymore.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Someone is going to be very disappointed!!

Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A mobile phone on a bench
rings and a man engages the hands-free speaker function and begins to talk. Everyone else in
the room stops to listen.

MAN: "Hello"
WOMAN: "Hi Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?"

MAN: "Yes."
WOMAN: "I'm at the store now and I found this beautiful leather coat.
It's only $2,000. Is it OK if I buy it?"

MAN: "Sure, go ahead if you like it that much."
WOMAN: "I also stopped by the Lexus dealership and saw the new models. I
saw one I really liked."

MAN: "How much?"
WOMAN: "$90,000."

MAN: "OK, but for that price I want it with all the options."
WOMAN: "Great! Oh, and one more thing. I was just talking to Janie and
found out that the house I wanted last year is back on the market. They're asking
$980,000 for it."

MAN: "Then make an offer of $900,000. They'll probably take it. If not,
we can go the extra eighty-thousand if it's what you really want."
WOMAN: "OK. I'll see you later! I love you so much!"

MAN: "Bye! I love you, too."

The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are staring at him in
astonishment, mouths wide open.

He turns and asks, "Does anyone know whose phone this is?"

Saturday, June 4, 2011

How do we tackle the issue of Evil. Is it real?

Zachary Wigmore

Here's an email 'mentoring letter' that I received from Greg Koukl, one of my favorite Christian apologists, about the problem of evil. Don't let non-Christians throw you off the real issues with this attack. I believe Christianity has the most satisfying answers when challenged with the very real issue of evil in the world (including natural disasters). I hope this helps you stand confidently in the face of challenges to your faith:

"After decades of addressing the problem of evil, I have discovered an approach that has massively simplified my task, one that subtly turns the tables on atheists, hanging them—appropriately—on the horns of their own dilemma.

Here’ s how it works. I do not begin my response with tactical concerns (maneuvering on the specifics), but rather with a strategic point (the big picture) meant to show that the atheist himself is not off the hook with the problem of evil.

To set the stage, I begin by clarifying the challenge in vivid terms. I spell out the logic of the complaint. Then I offer an anecdote, illustration, or graphic piece of news (there’ s always some horror in the headlines) accentuating the gravity of the atheist’ s protest. In short, I try to increase the emotional force of the objection.

Next, I tell the audience I do not grapple with the problem first as a theologian, or a philosopher, or even as a Christian, but as a human being trying to make sense of my world. Evidence of egregious evil abounds. How do I account for such depravity?

But, I am quick to add—and here is the strategic move—I am not alone. As a theist, I am not the only one saddled with this challenge. Evil is a problem for everyone. Every person, regardless of religion or worldview, must answer this objection.

Even the atheist. What if someone is assaulted by personal tragedy, distressed by world events, victimized by religious corruption or abuse, and then responds by rejecting God and becoming an atheist (as many have done)? Notice that he has not solved the problem of evil. He has simply eliminated one possible answer: theism.

The atheist cannot raise the issue, turn on his heal, and smugly walk away. His objection is that evil actually exists, objectively, as a real feature of the world. Otherwise, why raise the complaint? Even if theism fails to give a satisfying answer, the problem doesn’t disappear. Evil remains.

The atheist still has to answer the question, “How do I explain evil now, as an atheist? How do I answer the problem of evil from a materialistic worldview?” He no longer has the resources of theism to draw from. So what is he left with?

There is only one solution for him. The atheist must play the relativism card. Morality is either the product of a social contract or a trick of evolution. That is the best materialism can do. His own answer to the problem of evil, then, is that there is no problem of evil. Morality is an illusion. Whatever is, is right. Nothing more can be said.

Do you see the difficult place this puts the atheist? If this is the right answer to the problem of evil, then his initial complaint vanishes. The only evil that can get traction as a problem against God must be the real deal—objective evil—not something that is merely a cultural or biological invention.

Here’ s the irony. The existence of evil initially made the atheist furious, yet his own worldview turns the objective evil he was so livid about into a complete illusion.

The great 20th century atheistic philosopher Bertrand Russell wondered how anyone could talk of God when kneeling at the bed of a dying child. His challenge has powerful rhetorical force. How can anyone cling to the hope of a benevolent, powerful sovereign in the face of such tragedy?

Then Christian philosopher William Lane Craig offered this response: “What is the atheist Bertrand Russell going to say when kneeling at the bed of a dying child? ‘Too bad’? ‘Tough luck’? ‘That’s the way it goes’?” No happy ending? No silver lining? Nothing but devastating, senseless evil?

They cannot speak of the patience and mercy of God. They cannot mention the future perfection that awaits all who trust in Christ. They cannot offer the comfort that a redemptive God is working to cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. They have no “ good news” of hope for a broken world. Their worldview denies them these luxuries.

Which brings me to the most important question to ask of the problem of evil: Which worldview has the best resources to make sense of this challenge?

The answer is not atheism. The answer to evil is God, in Jesus, on a cross, at Calvary. The particulars still need to be developed. But I start with the strategic issue first. That sets the stage. Only afterward do I get into details."

It has taken me a couple of readings of the article to get the point. I may be slower on the uptake than I anticipated.