Former Atheist: Christianity Really Does Make Sense

by Lillian Kwon (The Christian Post)

Holly Ordway was a highly educated atheist who thought Christianity was “a historical curiosity” or “a blemish on modern civilization,” or both.

“Smart people don’t become Christians,” she thought, according to Biola University.

Her worldview, however, began to change at age 31. She recounts her journey from atheism to Christianity in the recently released Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith.

“It is no light matter to meet God after having denied Him all one’s life,” she writes in the book. “Coming to Him was only the beginning. I can point to a day and time and place of my conversion, and yet since then I have come to understand that He calls me to a fresh conversion every day.”

Ordway, a professor of English and literature at a San Diego-area community college, wasn’t raised in any religious faith. She never said a prayer in her life and she never went to a church service. Her exposure to Christianity while growing up was minimal and her few encounters with Christians involved televangelists or hellfire and damnation preachers.

“Religion seemed like a story that people told themselves, and I had no evidence to the contrary,” she said in an interview with Biola University, where she is currently studying for her second MA, in Christian Apologetics.

To her, the Bible was a collection of folktales and myths – no different than the stories of Zeus or Cinderella.

“I was a college professor – logical, intellectual, rational – and an atheist,” she writes…

To read the rest of the article, Go here: Former Atheist: Christianity Really Does Make Sense

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The Day After the Elections – A Biblical Perspective

The cultural shift toward Darwinian humanism was displayed in its fullest form yet in the elections of 2008 in the US. Here is one theologian’s perspective that I HOPE will be the normal reaction from professing Christians to this year’s presidential election.

Since you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ, in God. Colossians 3:1-3

Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman on Faith and Their Daughter’s Tragic Death

If you missed the Robin Roberts of Good Morning America sensitive interview with Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman on Good Morning America (Aug 6, 2008), you can still see their converstation about the death of their daughter and how it effected their faith here.

There is also a very moving article by Janice Johnston and Emily Yacus on the ABC website. The article also contains the complete video interview.

Please continue to pray for the Chapman family.

O That I had Wings Like A Dove… A Spurgeon Devotional

How many times have we faced various kinds of trouble in this life and thought to ourselves how much we wished to just go right to heaven? But God has us here for a purpose – to do the work he has set out for us and to glorify His name in the earth. Then we can enjoy his presence forever…

John 17:15
I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world.

It is a sweet and blessed event which will occur to all believers in God’s own time-the going home to be with Jesus. In a few more years the Lord’s soldiers, who are now fighting “the good fight of faith” will have done with conflict, and have entered into the joy of their Lord. But although Christ prays that His people may eventually be with Him where He is, He does not ask that they may be taken at once away from this world to heaven. He wishes them to stay here. Yet how frequently does the wearied pilgrim put up the prayer, “O that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away and be at rest;” but Christ does not pray like that, He leaves us in His Father’s hands, until, like shocks of corn fully ripe, we shall each be gathered into our Master’s garner. Jesus does not plead for our instant removal by death, for to abide in the flesh is needful for others if not profitable for ourselves. He asks that we may be kept from evil, but He never asks for us to be admitted to the inheritance in glory till we are of full age. Christians often want to die when they have any trouble. Ask them why, and they tell you, “Because we would be with the Lord.” We fear it is not so much because they are longing to be with the Lord, as because they desire to get rid of their troubles; else they would feel the same wish to die at other times when not under the pressure of trial. They want to go home, not so much for the Saviour’s company, as to be at rest. Now it is quite right to desire to depart if we can do it in the same spirit that Paul did, because to be with Christ is far better, but the wish to escape from trouble is a selfish one. Rather let your care and wish be to glorify God by your life here as long as He pleases, even though it be in the midst of toil, and conflict, and suffering, and leave Him to say when “it is enough.”

From Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional

Would you like a copy of the devotional book by Spurgeon? Find it here: Christianbook.com Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

More Arrogance From The “Scientific” Establishment

Here’s an interesting quote.

“It’s (EXPELLED) going to appeal strongly to the religious, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists, and the ignorant –– which means they’re going to draw in about 90% of the American market.”
-Atheist blogger and fabulist PZ Myers, on a film he (had) not yet seen.

So, P.Z. Myers, one of the country’s alleged leaders in science, thinks that 90% of you are “religious” (like it’s supposed to be an insult to be religious…), paranoid, a conspiracy theorist, or ignorant.

P.Z. Meyers thinks 90% of us are stupid, and he thinks he is smarter than 90% of you.

How very tolerant of him. Certainly the epitome of religious neutrality.

This only illustrates how arrogant the people who have been deciding what is in your child’s science curriculum can be. And he’s not the only one who feels this way. You only have to go to the main page of the NCSE (National Center for Science Education) to see the fervor with which the NCSE not only try to defend their stance on Darwinian evolutionary theory, but how they fairly froth at the mouth to discredit any other position to the point of excluding any debate on the subject. Period. One would think they had actually proven that life had come from nothing and that there was, in fact, no God. This they have not proven – not even close.

Whether they like it or not, the monopoly on scientific commentary is now being opened up to some pretty serious competition (although they would beg to differ), which in my opinion only causes quality to go up. It will perhaps open up areas of research that have been cut off due to the prejudicial scientific funding process and rules, and it will force scientists who manipulate data to fit their philosophical (humanistic) worldview to be more honest in their assessments and perhaps make their headlines less propagandistic in nature.

The “scientific bigwigs” must learn that just because they keep repeating the same thing over and over again, it doesn’t make it true.

The Enemy in Our Midst: Popular Culture and the Battle for Men’s Hearts (Pt. 1)

By Eric Holmberg

Tuesday, 04 September 2007

Who’s the character in Seinfeld with the funny hair?” A chorus of hands shot up excitedly. “Kramer!” came the almost universal reply. “What time does Friends come on?” Again, there was no hesitation. “Eight!” “Thursday nights.” “NBC,” offered one young lady, nailing the coordinates in both space and time.

“Complete this line from Spiderman: ‘With great power comes….?” “Great responsibility!” over seventy-five voices cried in unison.

“Now can someone tell me the difference between rap and hip-hop? Or emo and goth?” There was a brief silence as the audience cast about for the best spokesman to address the nuances of the question. But after a few initial observations were made, the response again became lively and democratic. Person after person shared either their thoughts on the distinctions or at least illustrated them by identifying their favorite artists in each category.

“OK,” the speaker said. “Let’s now take the advice of Colossians 3:2 and turn our minds from the things of man and consider the kingdom of heaven. Who was the man of God in the Old Testament who had no hair?”

Silence.

“What hour of the day did Jesus die on the cross?” Emboldened by the narrow range of possible answers, a few hands went up and numbers were offered. But it was obvious that nobody really knew.

“Complete this line from Proverbs 3: “Trust in the Lord with all you heart and….”

“…obey Him?” the NBC girl offered hopefully.

“Sorry, although obeying Him is certainly a good idea. OK, someone explain to me the difference between justification and sanctification.”

The silence among the church’s college group was now deafening.

In the last chapter of the book that bears his name, the great reformer Nehemiah addressed an evil that had grown up among the Jewish people. As they had intermarried with neighboring pagan tribes, their children were no longer able to read or speak the language of Scripture. Instead, the tongue of Ashdod (Heb. “destruction”) had won the day. The City of Man was again moving toward the day when it could conquer the newly restored City of God.

How did Nehemiah respond to this great danger?

“And I contended with them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair; and I made them take an oath in the name of God (to stop). Nehemiah 13:25

I can identify with Nehemiah’s passion ─ even if his methods would get me into a world of trouble! (How far we have fallen! Many Christians today would leave the church if their pastor dared to just preach a sermon suggesting that they may need to repent.) I too can no longer be silent as I watch the salt losing its savor, compromised by its conformity to the image (and the images) of this world. And I can no longer stand idly by and watch the “meat” of culture progressively decay, nurturing an army of maggots that spread the disease of perversion, idolatry and violence throughout America and the rest of the world.

I will be silent no more.

Michael Medved’s Hollywood vs. America and the writings of Dr. Ted Baehr of the Christian Film and Television Commission, among others, have done an good job of documenting the blasphemous, relativistic, humanistic, sexually perverse, violent, occultic, and profane proclivities of a culture obsessed ─ in the words of Neil Postman ─ with “amusing itself to death.” One would have to be waking up from a decades-long coma to not know that a walk down the aisle of a local video store or a scan through the internet or the channels on your cable box is to see the words of the poet William B. Yeats ─ no friend of Biblical morality ─ fulfilled:

We had fed the heart on fantasies,
The heart’s grown brutal from the fare.

Consider just one “snapshot” of the American psyche. The Superbowl has been called our greatest game, pastime, and ritual ─ a super-sized and super-charged “public square” where advertisers wait in line to pay $75,000.00 a second to wave their product before the eyes of 130 million people in the US and five-times that from around the world. The climax of the 2004 half-time show─where a platinum-selling singer exposed the breast of another “superstar” while singing about getting her naked─ was just one more flashing sign warning us of our culture’s long descent into the abyss of nihilism and amorality.

Five years before, the whole world was subjected to the surreal spectacle of dozens of dancers wearing S&M inspired outfits writhing to the “music” of a band (KISS) that just a few decades before was almost universally condemned for their violent, occultic, and sexually charged lyrics and fantastically debauched lifestyles. Holiday Inn, an all-American hotel chain founded by a Christian, chose as their entry into the sweepstakes of Superbowl advertising a media spot with a transsexual-theme. One of Budweiser’s 2004 ads alluded to bestiality. Two other companies hawked drugs touted to help men with “erectile dysfunction.” And even before the infamous “wardrobe malfunction,” almost a billion people were assaulted with Janet Jackson singing about a man’s “package” (street slang for “sex organ”) and how she was gonna have to ride it tonight; a self-described “bad boy” (with illegitimate children and a penchant for carrying guns and throwing parties where nude women cavort in the pool) bragging that he’s half man, half drugs. Ask the clubs – bad boy, that’s whassup; another rapper grabbing his crotch while asking his dance partner to take off all (her) clothes; and a self-avowed “pimp” and “trailer-trash” porn connoisseur (whose hit album featured such pleasant sounding ditties as F**k That and F**k You Blind) performing a medley extolling the virtues of “crackheads,” “crooked cops,” “hookers,” and pornography.

Could there be more than a little irony in the fact that this took place as roughly the same number of people around the world celebrated the most important feast of Islam: Eid-al-Adha, the day where Muslims commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac? Even as our troops watched the Superbowl in Iraq─there to defend “truth, justice and the American way”─we were displaying to the Arab world the ugly side of that way. Like-it-or-not, the conflict in Iraq is seen by the majority of Muslims as a religious war; a struggle between good and evil, Allah and Satan. And there we stood, giving ample evidence that our culture had indeed become demonic.

———————————————————————————————

“The Enemy in Our Midst: Popular Culture and the Battle For Men’s Hearts” will be presented in several parts. Look for the second part soon.

Eric Holmberg is the founder and director of The Apologetics Group, based in Tennessee. He has been a champion for the cause of Christ for thirty years now, and is showing no sign of slowing down. To check out what else he has to offer, check out his website at

Religion Externalized

By Dr. George Grant  (posted on Grantian Floriegium November 20) 

Culture is simply a worldview made evident. It is basic beliefs worked out into habits of life. It is theology translated into sociology. Culture is a very practical expression of the common faith of a community or a people or a nation. Culture is, as Henry Van Til famously quipped, “religion externalized.”

 

What a person thinks, what he believes, what shapes his ultimate concerns, and what he holds to be true in his heart—in short, his faith or lack of it—has a direct effect on his material well-being, behavior, and outlook; on his sense of what is good, true, and beautiful; on his priorities, values, and principles. After all, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

 

What is true for one person is equally true for a whole community of persons. In 1905, Max Weber, the renowned political economist and “founding father” of modern sociology, affirmed this fundamental truth for modern social scientists in his classic work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. He argued that the remarkable prosperity of the West was directly attributable to the cultural, personal, and ethical prevalence of the Christian tradition. In contrast to so many other cultures around the globe, where freedoms and opportunities were severely limited and where poverty and suffering abounded, Weber found that faith brought men and nations both liberty and prosperity.

 

The Christian faith changes people. Therefore, the Christian faith changes culture. The reasons for this are multitudinous:

 

First, true faith reorients all of us fallen and sinful men to reality. Because of our selfish proclivities we are all too naturally blind, foolish, ignorant, and self-destructive. More often than not, we are ruled by our passions, our lusts, and our delusions. We simply have a hard time facing reality without the perspective of faith. Faith in Almighty God, however, removes the scales from our eyes and the shackles from our lives. In Him we are at last acquainted to what is right, what is real, and what is true.

 

Sociologist James Gleason has said, “Faith serves us all well as a kind of reality-check. It is a transcendent value that enables us to more adequately and objectively evaluate our most bewildering situations and circumstances. In other words, it gives us a perspective beyond our own purblind vantage.”

 

A culture shaped by what is right, what is real, and what is true will manifest significantly art, music, literature, science, and ideas just as surely as a person shaped by them will.

 

Second, the Christian faith counteracts the destructive effects of sinful actions and activities. Sin is not a concept that has much currency with modern social scientists, economists, politicians, community organizers, civil rights activists, and social service providers. It has become rather politically incorrect to even speak of it. Men who have rejected God and do not walk in faith are more often than not immoral, impure, and improvident. They are prone to extreme and destructive behavior, indulging in perverse vices and dissipating sensuality. And they—along with their families and loved ones—are thus driven over the brink of destruction. On the other hand, faith reforms us with new and constructive values. We are provoked to moral and upright lives of diligence, purity, sober-mindedness, thrift, trustworthiness, and responsibility.

 

According to psychologist Nancy Hellman, “Where poverty, violence, and destruction germinate in the rotting soil of sin, productivity, harmony, and hope flourish in the fertile field of faith. If we were to recover the concept of sin in our society—even from a moderately secularized perspective—we would go a long way toward eradicating the evils of modern life.”

 

In other words, a culture that understands the character and nature of the Fall is going to be tangibly, substantively, and manifestly different than a culture that does not.

 

Third, the Christian faith establishes a future orientation in our hearts and minds. All too often the modern men and women either flounder in a dismal fatalism or we squander our few resources in an irresponsible impulsiveness. Many of us are terribly short-sighted, unmotivated, and naive. And “where there is no vision the people perish.” On the other hand, genuine faith provokes us to live thoughtfully, to plan, to exercise restraint, and to defer gratification in order to achieve higher ends. We are induced to self-control, wisdom, and careful stewardship in order to build for the future.

 

Bartok Havic, the great Czech historian, has said, “History’s record is clear: a people who cannot look past the moment, past the fleeting pleasures of fleshly indulgence, will be a people whose culture vanishes from the face of the earth. Ultimately, only faith gives men a sustaining vision for that which is other than their own selfish desires.”

 

Fourth, the Christian faith provokes us to exercise responsibility. Outside of the bounds of faith in God we are all naturally prone to selfishness, wastefulness, and sloth. Faith on the other hand enables see past ourselves, growing into selfless maturity. We are able to become more responsible to redeem our time. We are able to become more responsible to make the most of every opportunity. We are able to become more responsible to fulfill our calling in life. We are able to become more responsible to use our money wisely, to care for our families, to serve the needs of others, and to be an example of redemptive love before all men everywhere. It is this very kind of diligent responsibility—this very fruit of faith—that we most need if they are ever to fully recover the vision of life and culture that brought the Western world to flower.

 

“It is faith,” says George Gilder, “in all its multifarious forms and luminosities, that can by itself move the mountains of sloth and depression that afflict the world’s stagnant economies; it brought immigrants thousands of miles with pennies in their pockets to launch the American empire of commerce; and it performs miracles daily in our present impasse.”

 

Senator Ted Kennedy once asserted that, “The ballot box is the place where change begins in America.” Although he has been fiercely and vehemently wrong in the past, Kennedy has never been more wrong than this. As George Will has argued, “There is hardly a page of American history that does not refute that insistence, so characteristic of the political class, on the primacy of politics in the making of history.” In fact, he says, “In a good society, politics is peripheral to much of the pulsing life of the society.”

 

This is the great lesson of history: it is ordinary people of authentic Christian faith who are ultimately the ones who best able to shape the outcome of human events–not kings and princes, not masters and tyrants. It is laborers and workmen, cousins and acquaintances that upend the expectations of the brilliant and the glamorous, the expert and the meticulous. It is plain folks, simple people, who literally change the course of history–because they are the stuff of which history is made. They are the ones who make the world go round. For, as G.K. Chesterton said, “The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.”

 

Ultimately, that is our greatest hope for the future. It is simply that a new grassroots majoritarian emphasis on things that really matter–on the Gospel and its fruits–will emerge as we train up the next generation of culture-shapers. It is that a love for hearth and home, community and culture, accountability and availability, service and substance, morality and magnanimity, responsibility and restoration will capture hearts and minds and lives. It is a hope that may be stymied, obstructed, and hampered–but ultimately it cannot fail.

 

As the famed journalist H.L. Mencken once said, “The man who invents a new imbecility is hailed gladly, and bidden to make himself at home; he is to the great masses of men, the beau ideal of mankind. His madness must necessarily give way to right, sooner or later, though usually later.”

 

Or as the poet F.W. Faber wrote:

 

“For right is right, since God is God,

And right the day must win;

To doubt would be disloyalty,

To falter would be sin.”

 

(Dr. George Grant is the founder and president of King’s Meadow Study Center located in beautiful Franklin, Tennessee. He is also in high demand as a lecturer and is an accomplished author.)