Alexander Vilenkin: “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning”

WINTERY KNIGHT

I’ve decided to explain why physicists believe that there was a creation event in this post. That is to say, I’ve decided to let famous cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin do it.

From Uncommon Descent.

Excerpt:

Did the cosmos have a beginning? The Big Bang theory seems to suggest it did, but in recent decades, cosmologists have concocted elaborate theories – for example, an eternally inflating universe or a cyclic universe – which claim to avoid the need for a beginning of the cosmos. Now it appears that the universe really had a beginning after all, even if it wasn’t necessarily the Big Bang.

At a meeting of scientists – titled “State of the Universe” – convened last week at Cambridge University to honor Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday, cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston presented evidence that the universe is not eternal after all, leaving scientists at a loss to…

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Robin Collins explains two kinds of fine-tuning

WINTERY KNIGHT

About Robin Collins:

Robin Collins (PhD, University of Notre Dame, 1993), is professor of philosophy at Messiah College, Grantham, PA specializing in the area of science and religion.  He has written over twenty-five articles and book chapters on a wide range of topics, such as the fine-tuning of the cosmos as evidence for the existence of God, evolution and original sin, the Doctrine of Atonement, Asian religions and Christianity, and Bohm’s theory of quantum mechanics.  Some of his most recent articles/book chapters are “Philosophy of Science and Religion” in The Oxford Handbook of Science and Religion, “Divine Action and Evolution” in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology (2009)  “The Multiverse Hypothesis: A Theistic Perspective,” in Universe or Multiverse? (Cambridge University Press), and “God and the Laws of Nature,” in Theism or Naturalism: New Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).  He recently received a grant from the John Templeton Foundation…

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More Christian Rebuttals of Atheist Challenges

Christian Apologists

The following blog is organized in a rebuttal to challenge format in which challenges are posed by atheists and rebuttals follow by Christians.

Atheist challenge: We think the New Testament was authored 100+ years after Jesus died, so its authors were not eyewitnesses.

Christian rebuttal: Though scholars disagree on the precise dates in which the gospels were written due to their presuppositions, we have good evidence to suggest that the vast majority of the New Testament was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. This assertion is based on the fact that the destruction of Jerusalem, which was a major event on the same level as a great war, is not mentioned in the New Testament. In 70 A.D., the Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus and ordered by Nero, destroyed Jerusalem and its second temple. Jesus had prophesied this destruction in Matthew 24: 1-8…

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More Christian Rebuttals of Atheist Challenges

The more thoroughly researchers investigate the history of our planet, the more astonishing the story of our existence becomes. The number and complexity of the astronomical, geological, chemical, and biological features recognized as essential to human existence have expanded explosively within the last decade…Are we simply the result of a colossal matrix of innumerable, narrow coincidences, against all odds, or is there a more reasonable explanation?” (p. 14).

Source: More Christian Rebuttals of Atheist Challenges

Stephen C. Meyer debates intelligent design with two scientists on NPR

WINTERY KNIGHT

British Spitfire and German Messerschmitt Me 109 locked in a dogfight British Spitfire and German Messerschmitt Me 109 locked in a dogfight

Evolution News reported on a 27-minute debate featuring Dr. Stephen C. Meyer – probably the best proponent of intelligent design there is.

Description:

We often say that Darwinists are reluctant to debate advocates of intelligent design, but here are two who deserve a tip of the hat. Keith Pannell is a chemist at the University of Texas at El Paso who hosts a program, Science Studio, on the NPR station there. He invited Stephen Meyer on to talk about the science of ID, pegged to the Dover anniversary.

Clearly Pannell is an ID critic so he gets kudos for being willing to have a civil and informative conversation. Perhaps feeling insecure about facing the author of Darwin’s Doubt by himself, Dr. Pannell invited a biologist colleague, Ricardo Bernal, to serve as “co-host.”

So it was two against one…

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Evidence of the Resurrection Accepted Even by Atheist New Testament Scholars

Cyber Penance

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This blog post is based on the Minimal Facts argument for the Resurrection of Jesus by Dr. Gary Habermas, and it one of the strongest arguments that I have seen for the resurrection.

Dr. Habermas is an American historian, New Testament scholar, and philosopher of religion , and he has been studying the resurrection for around 40 years now. During this time he has been cataloguing the accepted facts of the resurrection by every New Testament scholar he can find, regardless of their belief.

He says this about his Minimal Facts argument:

My Minimal Facts Argument in favor of Jesus’ resurrection was developed many years ago while writing my PhD dissertation.  It has two requirements for the historical facts that are used: each must be confirmed by several strong and independent arguments, plus the vast majority of even critical scholars must recognize the occurrence’s historical nature.  The critical scholars can…

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GRACE: The consummation of Mercy and Justice

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Recently,I got into a talk with a friend on the matter of Grace. It was some talk really! It got me thinking and I had to go back to study again. I had earlier requested on the social media some insights from friends on what they understand about ‘Grace’. I got some responses, had some trouble sifting through the comments but I went through all of them eventually.

If a poll were to be taken,the most common understanding of grace is of it as “unmerited favour”. Some people also talked about “saving” and ” serving” grace. Grace also talks about the power of God working in man and helping him complete tasks given him by God. It is very true that the personification of grace is Christ Jesus.
I believe these in any manner represent to a large extent our present teachings on Grace. Someone had also pointed out that we are no longer under the Law.

I very much understand what they are saying in all those. I believe these truths also. But I’d like to say something. It is very true that the letters of the Law kills but we must realise that there is a Spirit behind those letters and which still subsist even today. By Spirit,I don’t necessarily mean a condensation of form or person but  rather a reason or more accurately a motive. It is this Spirit the Bible tells you and I that brings life.

I believe that the Apostle Paul was teaching this when he said in Rom3:31″ Do we then nullify the Law through faith?May it never be! On the contrary,we establish the Law.” We need to understand that the Law was given to establish righteousness( whether it achieved that purpose or not is a topic for another day) and what Christ said in Matt5:17 was an affirmation that righteousness has not been done away with.
Amidst all the comments I received and in that talk with my friend, there seemed to be something that was not “directly spoken” but which was overtly implied.

We often brandish the “Dispensation of Grace” as though it were a license or so to say that excludes our unbecomings.
Grace is not the colossal excuse to indulge our proclivities. In usage,we have erroneously regarded it thus even if we don’t directly say it.
When we say that Jesus Christ is the personification of Grace,I always remember a very “awkward” relationship that exists in His person. If we must fully understand Grace,I’m strongly persuaded that we must master the implication of this mix.

The Patriarch David under the unction of the Holy Spirit prophesied in Psalm85:10 saying ” Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness(Justice) and peace(Mercy) have kissed each other.” This he had said concerning the Messiah.

Under Moses,the scale tilted (it would seem) towards justice(righteousness). Mercy was “earned” or so to say. When Christ came,it appeared seemingly that He came to present to the world a Peaceful and Merciful God. It would also seem that less emphasis was laid on justice( righteousness) or that it has been done away with( a friend actually cited the narrative of the woman caught in adultery and brought before Christ as proof of this).

I wish this were the issue. If we have ever bothered to study properly, I think we will realise that it was never hinted nor spoken of by anybody that righteousness(justice) was no longer important. The way Grace is taught today (as Unmerited Favour),it implies overtly that it doesn’t really matter what you did or did not do,that God will still be faithful( if for nothing else) for His Name sake.

If that were exactly true then the statement of Paul in 2Cor7:1 “Therefore,having these promises,beloved,let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit,perfecting holiness in the fear of God”, was totally unnecessary. Paul in all that he understood Grace to be also knew that righteousness was a requirement if Mercy will function effectively under Grace.

The result of such teachings is that Christians pursue daily living under the full regalia of carnality.” It doesn’t matter how you lived your life” afterall we are under the dispensation of grace and Mercy will always speak for you. Does this sound like Love in anyway to you? Please,don’t misconstrue me: I’m not prescribing “works of the Law” here. The “works” spoken of by Paul in Rom3 is very different from that spoken of by James in James2. If we truly Love God,then I believe we should try really hard to please Him by living righteously.

Paul will talk of working out your salvation with fear and trembling. Judgement alone couldn’t produce righteousness. Also,as much as we’d love to argue this,Mercy alone cannot produce righteousness. They both kissed in Christ and this unfathomable ( two formerly disjoint matters) mixture is Grace. Grace is God’s special equipment handed down to us to enable us function effectively in the Dominion He has given us. You are graced! I’m not trying to make you happy. Grace is who you are!

Remain a blessing.

Genesis Six

(vs.3) Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh;…(vs.5) Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (vs.6) The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
(vs. 11-12). Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

 

I have selected these few verses for convenience sake but I would that you read the whole chapter. I will like to remind the reader again( you may have seen this before), I write with the Body of Christ in mind. Outside this, this may prove greatly unprofitable for you.

 

We face a problem on earth today. Much so because we live in a time when it seems that knowledge is increased. By knowledge i want to lump opinions, human rights and the ilk together. This problem is not exactly nascent; it is ancient. It is a problem ‘problem’ today because it has worn a new look. It has become sophisticated as we say.

Without much ado, i’m talking of sin. A sickness with a cure isn’t really much of an issue. It only becomes an issue when the supposed cure isn’t a cure no longer or rather it is failing to do that which it was created to do.

Please, follow me carefully. There are several reasons why a cure may not work (as intended). I’m particular about one for now: sometimes an instrument used to deliver a cure is defective. You see, the problem is not the cure per se but the device through which it is delivered.  And which follows, that for that cure to be effective, the means of its delivery must be working properly.

 
What am I talking about? A cure exists for sin. His name is Jesus Christ. And He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all!

While I’m not exactly discussing sin or it’s cure thereof now, I will take on the instrument of the delivery of the cure for sin: The Lord’s Bride, The Body of Christ, the Ecclesia.

 
I think I need to remind myself and you the mandate of the Body of Christ on earth today per chance we have forgotten. As lights and salts, we are redeemed for good works with an agenda of enforcing righteousness on earth, teaching people everywhere of the payment for sin enacted on the cross by Christ Jesus to the end that men will be saved totally.

 
The preservation of our society and indeed of creation depends on our( the Body of Christ) pursuing this mandate with vigour. In the wake of recent events (in ‘Christendoom’) , one can’t help but wonder if we really understand why we are here. I mean, I don’t really have a problem with tares growing among the seeds but I do have a problem with the seeds becoming indistinguishable from the tares.

 
That brethen is where we have arrived now!

 
Never at any time since creation has the moral fiber of the society been eroded like is occurring now. Morality we must understand isn’t just an abstract thing. God designed it and handed it down to man. With the waves of alternative lifestyles and the likes, man is making himself the center of morality and not God. It is only a question of time, ceteris paribus, before men start marching for rights to steal, defile children and all those.

 
That these will be is probably inevitable. They may be part of the grand agenda but that isn’t my concern. But that the enforcer of morality, that is the Body of Christ,  in the society is plegic or in many instances spear heading the erosion of morality is a pitiable position. Talk of a light hidden under a bushel and a salt that is fast losing its taste.

 
With our tongues in our cheeks, because of what ‘people’ may say or think of us, we have stood mouth shut or rather looked away from these very things of darkness we were redeemed to shine the Way. To go a step further, we are totally inseparable from tares. We are distracted!

 Society have gone a full cycle again!

 
We look like the Genesis Six generation, only just a bit more complex maybe.

 
…but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men (Matt5:13).

 
There is a sword coming! Judgement will start in this house!

 

Let him that has ear hear!

Jesus Christ: The Revelation of the Father

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John14:6[NASB]

God,…in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things,…And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature… Heb1:1-3 [NASB].

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Emmanuel (which translated means ‘God with us’). Isa7:14

Let’s talk some more about Christ today.

You must have read the opening scripture on this post. I need you to go back and read it once more.
Did the boldness of the claim in that scripture strike you? It strikes me. Every single time.

In this age, it is a very ‘fanciful’ thing to say ‘I am a son of God’. We have so thrown that about that little or no meaning is attached in respect to the implication of that statement.

What was Christ really talking about?

That single declaration in John14:6 has been the subject of many a discussion. All sorts of things has been put up as explanation to what He was actually saying. Some people have argued that with the several religions existent on earth today (with some adherents of such religions morally sound) that Jesus Christ can’t be the only way to the Father.

I would have you look again at the choice of words in that statement. Before Jesus Christ, no one knew God the Father. The active word here is ‘no one’. Not Noah, not Abraham, not Jacob, David, Moses etc. No one knew Him as Father. Very interesting isn’t it?

They knew God the Judge, they knew God the deliverer, and provider, and healer etc. Moses knew God the friend. They knew the God that allows them to marry as many women as they want so long as she doesn’t belong to another. But as Father, that was inconceivable!

So, when Christ appeared on the scene and dared to call Him Father, they picked up stones to kill Him.  The implication of that statement dawned on them. Up till this very moment, it is still happening. A lot of people on earth can’t stomach this truth.

So, a lot of these people you have to understand are in touch with certain aspects of God. But, you can’t know God really when you are only in tune with a part. You must behold Him wholly. As you grow in your understanding of who He is, your countenance begins to glow and reflect Him. You grow from one level of glory to another. No man comes into His Presence and remains the same.

Transformation must be in His Presence.

Men have sought and still seek this experience. When they talk of eternal life, these men know exactly what they seek. Eternal life has been revealed. They just don’t realise it yet.

Men have always reached out to God. At their best they met portions of Him. They were coming through ways very imperfect. God knew that man will never find Him! So, He came to man!

Christ is God saying to man ‘This is the way you must come through in order to receive that which you seek’. He was made manifest in the Flesh to show flesh that pleasing the Father is possible.

His came and did what He did in order that He may as Paul puts it ‘bring many sons to glory‘ Heb2:10. He came to open a door way and Himself as a bridge to an experience that was lost in the garden of Eden, an experience that men through the ages caught glimpses of and desired more of. An experience called ‘the kingdom of God’, thus making the Father known.

The Kingdom of God is on earth today living in people. These ones have walked into an experience many still seek. God desires that all people’s come to this experience. You too can be a part of His large family.

Let me close by reminding you that all that you seek in Life;every single thing is existent in the Kingdom.

Read this very slowly and carefully

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. Matt6:33[NASB]

Remain a blessing!

51 Random truths every Christian should know about money

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1. Money is a means of exchange but a poor store of value. Any money simply stored up is either stolen or gradually eroded away. “Moths destroy and thieves do break in and steal.”

2. What you do with your money shows what you believe and what you live for. Your heart and your treasure go together.

3. What you give to shows what you truly wish to prosper.

4. What you refuse to give to is what you do not believe in. What you say is not as important as what you do.

5. You always give to whom and what you love. Love is tied to giving.

6. Money is unreliable; it is not a faithful friend. You cannot tell when it will go away.

7. Money in itself is not evil, nor is it righteous; it is just a plain matter. It doesn’t take sides either with God or with the devil.

8. The character of money is given by the handler of it.

9. The love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. Once you put money first in what you do, you are a lover of money. It doesn’t matter what you preach or what you think you believe.

10. Loving money puts your spirituality in danger; it will lead to outright backsliding.

11. Peaceful money comes to those who do not set their hearts on acquiring money.

12. Peaceful money comes to those who know how to use it.

13. A cheerful giver is special in the eyes of God.

14. A wicked man doesn’t like to give.

15. A wicked man reserves all his money for himself and his family with him, at most.

16. Plenty money is disappointing to those who wait for it to make them happy. Money cannot buy satisfaction.

17. You cannot simply give your way out of poverty; there are other things to do.

18. Your sins are not forgiven by giving.

19. Money is never a substitute for a blood sacrifice. The blood of Jesus, and the forgiveness therein, is not acquired by money.

20. Money gifts convey the spiritual substance in the heart of the giver. There is no guarantee that you will receive money for giving money.

21. Give and don’t expect anything in return. Expecting something when you give is not the way faith works; it works by love. Love never ties a desire reward to its gifts.

22. God is able to make all kinds of grace flow in your direction, that you will become very rich, despite a very poor beginning.

23. God is the giver of all good gifts, not human ability or natural background.

24. If God gives you money, you will enjoy it. If you labour by yourself to acquire it you will be frustrated.

25. Always give to those who you desire to honour. Giving is honouring.

26. Giving money to get undeserved favour brings a curse upon you. It is called bribery.

27. It is possible to exchange your soul-energy for money through physical and spiritual transactions. If you succeed in doing this you won’t live long.

28. Heaven will never ask how rich you were when you lived on the earth.

29. It is possible to be very rich in money but Jesus will look down from heaven and see you as being very poor. Spiritual substance is more important.

30. The lack of money is not the root of all kinds of evil, though we accept that it may tempt someone to steal.

31. Prosperity is good while poverty is bad, but having too much of money is as bad as having too little of it; both are temptations in life.

32. You will never be judged for being rich or being poor.

33. Currency is mass delusion. Now, that is an interesting fact.

  34. The world’s government deliberately erode the value of currency all the time. America was doing it to the tune of almost 100 billion dollars a month in ‘Quantitative Easing’ to come out of recession. Not funny!

35. You cannot give a portion of your income and think you have settled God. That is not Christianity. All your money belongs to Him and you must spend every penny in a manner pleasing to Him.

36. There is no one-cap-fits-all proportion in the Christian practise of giving. Some may be accepted with 5% while some other with 99.5%

37. Some persons are called into the giving ministry. Yes, there is such a ministry. Their main work for God is by giving.

38. First-fruit is not all your first salary; rather, it is that very first thing you do after making money. It is not the volume but that it is the first. It is a token of gratitude.

39. God doesn’t spend money, so he doesn’t receive it. What He receives is the spirit of the giver which is expressed in the act of giving. Are you giving to get, or giving to help?

40. A man of faith is always generous.

41. No matter how sweetly he talks about faith, a tight-fisted man does not have faith.

42. The widow of Zarephat did not prosper because of one single offering. It was her lifestyle to help the poor and to trust in God. We should wonder why Elijah got to her door to receive that one offering in the first place. There is a lifestyle that brings Elijah to your door.

43. Giving is a habit, not a payment when you need to get something.

44. Any money given to help the poor is given to God.

45. Every Christian should give to the preaching of the gospel.

46. If your pastor or preacher blesses you spiritually and you have some money, it is wrong to say ‘thank you’ with a handshake; say it with money.

47. You cannot inform God of what you gave so that He will give you back. It is a fatal error.

48. Investing your money so it can grow is godly, but don’t use that as a means of securing tomorrow.

49. A life spent chasing money is a wasted life, even if the person got plenty of it.

50. Having plenty money attracts unnecessary friends; while poverty drives away necessary friends. Manage both prosperity and poverty well to avoid these things.

51. Money is a tool, and must remain such. It is a great tool but a very wicked master. Don’t ever allow it become your god.

Pastor Bankie.
Jan 2014