Archive for the 'Notes from Cyberspace' Category

Why won’t God heal atheists?

Courtesy of the New York Times, I ran across an atheist propaganda website, Why Does God Hate Amputees?. Basically, the author, Marshall Brain, argues that because God doesn’t act like atheists want him to, God can’t exist. Because he’s smarter than God and knows better. A funny response to his teachings can be found at Why Does God Hate Deputies?

Marshall Brain also challenges Christian leaders to read 30 embarrassing Bible verses on national television. Of course, they’re hand-picked by the atheist and they’re out of context.

So, in the spirit of good fun and fair play, here are some sentences from that atheist website, hand-picked by me and out of context:

The Bible is the book that contains the Ten Commandments, the revelation that Jesus is our resurrected savior and the story of our creation. This is God’s holy word to his children.

God seems to be interacting with our world and answering millions of prayers on planet Earth every day.

God’s power often can be quite dramatic.

Jesus is actually in our midst and God answers our prayers.

God is ready and willing to answer your prayers no matter how big or small.

“Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight.”

When a person says, “ask anything in my name, and I will do it,” what does he mean? Presumably, Jesus means that if you ask for anything, he will do it. What else could he possibly mean…?

If you are having a problem with unproductive behaviors, what you need to do is either educate or rehabilitate yourself. You would do that by talking with a counselor or seeing a therapist.

That is about as clear as mud, isn’t it?

Every biologist will tell you with certainty that all of life is a chemical reaction.

God has never taken over all the TV and radio stations and broadcast a message to mankind.

Every Christian should jump at the chance to spread God’s word on national television.

If God is real and if God inspired the Bible, then we should worship God as the Bible demands. We should certainly post the Ten Commandments in our courthouses and shopping centers, put “In God We Trust” on the money and pray in our schools. We should focus our society on God and his infallible Word because our everlasting souls hang in the balance.

Keith Drury, humility, and Aspergers

I’ve decided my antisocial clumsiness is due to subclinical undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome. Nothing can be my fault. No, I’m not serious. Not about Asperger’s. Not about my blamelessness.

I wish I was. It would explains why I don’t pay enough attention when people engage me in conversation, including other bloggers. Maybe it’s humility, but I don’t think so. Because I was very interested when I read Leaving Munster (finally) and noticed favorable comments about my post on Islam and Christianity.

One comment said, “it was a real crackerjack. i saw it coming and loved every nanosecond. it reminded me of a keith drury post.”

Okay, so let’s take a look at some Keith Drury posts. A Wesleyan writer, backpacker, and professor with a historically Mennonite beard. Do you like? I do.

Who steals books on ethics?

Philosophy professor Eric Schwitzgebel has been studying whether ethicists behave more ethically than other people. So far, his research suggests that books on ethics are more likely to get stolen from the library. Mindhacks summarizes some of his theories.

I wonder if books on ethical relativism are stolen more often than books on Biblical ethics. I hope so.

Theatrical illusion in the service of reality

The email appeared to be Christian spam, advertising a book and no personal greeting, but why did it come to me? I looked over the website it referred to, and then I could see why.

For thirty years Paul Kuritz was a respected (and atheistic) theater professor. Then, faced with personal crises and divine interventions, he found himself praying that God wouldn’t make him a born-again evangelical Christian. God did anyway, and Kuritz wrote more about his new perspective in the Porpoise Diving Life.

I wouldn’t agree with everything in the book The Fiery Serpent, which I haven’t read. For example, the email refers to the supposedly “undeniable truth: that Christian filmmaking and theatre… are having global impact on our world today.” I’ve already summarized my disappointing first-hand experience with imaginative conversions and Christian theater here. There really is a difference between drama and real life. You might also wonder how he can use Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Kazan’s On the Waterfront as examples in a book on Christian film and theater. But Kuritz is no wooly-minded, starry-eyed artiste. He doesn’t baptize the status-quo so much as he is calling for it to change. And he is calling for filmmakers and theater people to change.

Ugly is the new beautiful

Amidst the call for artistic excellence in worship, we can easily reach standards that Jesus didn’t bother to strive for. Fellow Anabaptist blogger Graham pointed me toward Celtic blogger Carolyn and her composition The Ugly Song.

What would Jesus listen to?

Anabaptist Pentecostals

Like early Pentecostals, early Anabaptist Christians got into trouble for believing that believers could be filled with the Holy Spirit, though they didn’t boast about it. But just as most Anabaptists today find themselves far from their roots, so do most Pentecostals. (more…)

I think I am, therefore I am


Neumatikos
writes:

“So many people believe that they have the Holy Spirit because they are Christians, and Christians are, by definition, those who have the Holy Spirit. This is backwards; it cannot be! (more…)

Reflections on community

A member of my church is starting a house church in Tucson, Arizona. This summer he shared some reflections on community, based on five years among us.
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