Reasons4faith just launched April 21, 2015. See “About Us” for purpose and vision.


Please use the “Contact Us” option to ask any question or to contribute an article. Or post a question using the “leave a comment” hotlink above an article. Comment on any existing blog to get a discussion going. The site is here to help you get past any roadblock to faith, to quench nagging doubts, or to just know the firm scientific, historical, and reasonable foundations of the Christian faith.

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The Great Orchestrator (Part One — Politics)

Whenever I see many highly unusual and unlikely events occurring, my radar goes up — is this divine intervention?  My radar went wild with the last election cycle.


Let’s look back:  with the eighth year of the Obama presidency closing, we hit some major “tipping points” — points at which, if we continued much further, would damage or destroy this nation.  Obamacare (one-sixth of the total economy is healthcare) getting so expensive and with such limited care that it is falling apart, an almost $20 trillion debt (that’s $20,000 billion, or $20,000,000 million, if that helps put it into perspective), the relentless growth of a terror organization that didn’t even exist until we opened the way for its development with an accompanying refugee crisis, and a level of governmental corruption so massive that (as we see from Wiki Leaks) has grown almost “too big to fail”, where those in power were systematically killing ways that they could ever lose the power they had grabbed — these factors have almost reached the point of no return.  Throw in the Supreme Court, which appeared almost balanced a year ago (balanced in that it drew almost equal fire from the right and the left), will only return to that balance if a highly conservative judge is appointed, and wee see that almost everything that shapes this nation was at stake in this election.


The United States has had a number of such events in its history:  its founding in the first place, where it was basically outnumbered and outgunned by England; the civil war that were it not for amazing leadership and fortune would have split the nation; and World War II, which we were losing until the Battle of Midway and where we developed the nuclear bomb ahead of the Germans (ironically with the help of a defected German scientist).  These were the most dramatic, but there were many other smaller yet miraculous events in our history.  When such events occur, do they mean just good luck, or is God working in such a way to make them happen?


Now let’s consider this election.  The election itself was remarkable:  the right states came together to give Trump the electoral majority he needed.  He had a crazy goal to reach, and the polls said there was virtually no way it would happen.  He needed some states that were generally Democratic strongholds, such as PA and WI.  Trump even at his age was able to keep a frantic pace going right through the last day.  But even wilder were the Wiki Leaks revelations and the FBI on-again off-again responses — the FBI moves repeatedly broke FBI tradition and protocol.  All of the “tipping points” mentioned above were hitting a climax around the election.  And Trump won, against all odds.


It remains to be seen if the Trump presidency really brings the nation back from the brink.  But considering the events leading up to the election, I have to wonder if this was God’s amazing work in the extremely complex events that made this election’s results possible is the real explanation.



Teleportation: Is It Really You?

Science Fiction popularized the notion that we could be transformed into an energy beam, sent at light speed somewhere, and then transformed back into ourselves.  The word “transformed” really means destroyed in one form before being reconstructed.  It looks cool on TV, but really means that you would have to die first.  OK, an exact copy of you appears elsewhere.  Is that actually “you” that appears there?  Hey, you could repeat the reconstruction process and get two copies!  Why not?


Now, if it were possible to truly duplicate you, where would “you” be?  If I used a supercomputer to record and copy your body down to the last detail, which of you is “you”?  Where would your conscious mind be?  Would you be somehow in the copy too?  Or if you die first by the teleport, and a copy appears elsewhere, would the “you” follow along?  Or would that existence be foreign to you, even though it was you?


God put eternity in our hearts.  We examine ourselves and realize instinctively that there is something special about our consciousness.  We recoil at the idea that it will just vanish one day when our life ends.  And so we should.  Something precious would be lost.  If, however, we are just advanced creatures on the evolutionary chain, why do we even care?  We eat, drink, and try to be happy, and die another day.  No big deal, right?


Look at thought.  Look at consciousness.  Why, after all the evolution of computers (OK, if you can use the term “evolution” to describe beings coming about by random occurrences, I can use evolution to refer to the random assembly of supercomputers, which are a whole lot simpler than we are — but I digress:  I covered this topic in another blog) we have not seen any remote signs of artificial intelligence consciousness, should we expect that to somehow develop as computers evolve further?  Will they ever develop an ability to care about anything, no matter how complex they become?  Yet, we care deeply about all sorts of things, and we can enjoy life and want it to continue.  Where did that come from?


Some would say “yes” — given enough complexity, computers would eventually develop a consciousness and start to care about things.  They might also say that because life obviously came about without a designer (just like computers, eh?) that the random set of forces must surely happen again somewhere, and we can expect life elsewhere in the universe.  These are beliefs — world-views that they have which they project without evidence — that have become very popular through stories and movies.


Please think this through.  The fact that you can think is miraculous.  I think it incredible that chaos brought about an ability to think orderly, and that we can apply that thought to examine the forces that are supposed to have been our creator.  Think about thinking:  what do you think about it?


And, would you ever be satisfied that a technological copy of you would ever be you?



Rush Limbaugh’s Dad’s Reason For Faith

Here is a surprising story from an unexpected source:  Rush Limbaugh tells the story of his Dad trying to explain why he believed in Christianity to his young son.  He had to put it in very simple terms, so rather than giving a bunch of complex reasons, he just noted that we all have an ability to imagine a wonderful existence with a loving God in eternity.  Since we have that ability, he considered it would be extremely cruel for our creator to have planted that desire within us, only to have it be unattainable. 


Imagination is one of our most remarkable assets.  Along with our ability to love beyond our own self interests, to think rationally to such an extent that we can figure out how many things in the universe actually work, and our desire for justice, imagination is a great wonder that points to a magnificent creator.  And we can imagine things that we’ve never seen and long for them.  Would our creator give us such ability and longing, only to dash those dreams against the rocks? 


There are many “soft” arguments for God that when, considered together, add up to some pretty hard evidence.  The evidence for a designer is all around us, and if we look deeper, so is the evidence of a God who looks very much like the one Jesus portrays.

Rules on Comments

I appreciate the complimentary comments I’ve been receiving, but they are not usually advancing the discussion.  If you have a question, or want to talk further about the points of an article, I will accept your comment.  But general, cookie-cutter comments will no longer be accepted.  The blog community needs invigorating commentary!  Please help us keep the discussions going.

The Danger in Assumptions

Evolutionists continually point to “transitional forms”.  There are presumed transitional fish/mammals, land/birds, and even predecessors of humans.  The transitional forms pointed to in the fossil record have aspects of both species that they bridge in the assumed evolutionary process.  And those transitional forms aren’t alive now.  So the assumption is that the evolutionary process continued past that intermediate form as time progressed.


We look around and see a remarkable variation in life today.  If God did create the life forms, He obviously likes variety.  He has formed species with about every type of limbs imaginable — fins, paws, hand, wings.  These limbs give the creature mobility.


There is a supposed transitional form in the fossil record that appears to be part fish and part mammal, with limbs that work in the in-between world near the sea.  Since they have aspects of both land and see creatures, they are thought to have bridged between.  Now, what if these were simply another variety that God created for the environment at the time?  Such as the dinosaurs.  The species are extinct, but at the time they existed they had a rational place in the world at that time.


It makes just as much sense for these “transitional” creatures to have just been other species that didn’t survive over time as it is to assume that evolution stepped them into the new creature.  For evolution to drive a creature towards becoming a different sort of creature in stages sounds very much like a planned, engineered process with a goal in mind, rather than a random set of processes which has no plan or goal.   But if God created all sorts of varieties for His pleasure, any species was an end unto itself.


Assumptions drive us off the tracks when trying to pursue truth, unless we are willing to challenge them when they don’t quite fit the evidence.  The fossil record shows many “transitional forms” to have existed at the wrong time to be part of a progression.  But to consider that they may be direct creations doesn’t fit the evolutionary narrative.


Be careful of assumptions!  They are subtle, but not necessarily correct.

Napoleon’s Novel Reason For Faith

History enthusiasts may know of Napoleon’s decision, but how many know his reasoning?  Napoleon was amazed at how one man, Jesus, had “conquered” more people after dying than any military commander had ever conquered, and not through force.  Napoleon saw that his men would die for him, but only because of his charisma.  Jesus had people willing to die for him simply because of love.


Napoleon coveted such love and devotion, but realized that only Jesus had ever achieved it.  Christ asked one thing of His followers:  their hearts.  And He got what He asked for — over and over again throughout history.  He got a complete, 100% devotion from the core of His people.  Napoleon could only marvel at that.


Religious leaders have certainly invoked passion and devotion to their causes.  Gandhi is a great example.  Much of what he taught resonated with  people, yet how many would die for him personally?  No leader has provoked such a great love that continues centuries later except Christ.


How could that be?  It may not prove Christ is who He said He was, but it makes Jesus completely unique.  Only Jesus throughout all time has “conquered” like this.


But, of course,  we Christians aren’t even willing to die for ideas alone, or even for a dead person’s teachings.  We are living and dying for the God who personally walks with us and has promised Himself to us forever.  Napoleon could never give his soldiers that.  Nor could any human.  We give ourselves now so we can continue to have that relationship forever.

Is Asking Jesus In Enough?

In Scripture, James appears to turn the idea of coming to God just by asking upside down, because he says that faith without works is dead.  Without doing some good works as a result of coming to Christ, he questions whether we are even Christians.  But Paul so clearly emphasizes that we don’t and can’t work our way into heaven, and in fact if we try to do so, we are binding ourselves to the Law, which is death.  So which is it?


When you or I come to Christ, we bring not just our words, but our hearts.  True, our hearts are fickle, but at least we try to give our hearts and if we come closer to Him, more of our hearts really do go to Him.  Even for a friend, you will do “works”:  you would help your friend move to a new home, talk out a problem, and otherwise go out of your way for your friend.  But some say that they accept Jesus, and then do nothing He asks, and nothing to draw closer to Him.  They have just taken out an insurance policy against a bad afterlife.  Sure, accepting Christ with your words is important.  But we are to confess with our mouths and believe (substitute the word “trust” if you stumble over “believe”) in our hearts.  Both count.


James is pointing out that a heart turned towards God is going to act like it.  Certainly some changes will appear.  And some of those changes will be natural, and some may require effort.  But the heart will steer the person.  Works show that the heart has changed.


So, have you: 1. accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior (not just one, but both), 2. headed towards Him and not just continued on your old course, 3. felt a new affection for Him, which drives you to want to please Him?  If you can’t say 2 and 3, they are really within your control.  Hear and read what Scripture has to say.  Think of things in your life from a Christ-centered perspective, and not just the old way.  Jesus commands us to “learn of Him”.  To learn about Him is to come to love Him, especially when you see that He doesn’t demand works to come.  But the works will come, even unexpectedly, if you spend time with Him through Scripture, church, good teaching, and even talking to others about Him.


If you just want the insurance policy, do you really want God?  Or do you just want an afterlife free of punishment?  Forever serving and being with someone you don’t even like is not fun.  Yet you are trying to work that deal with God.  It will fail if that’s all you want, and you don’t really want the deal either because the deal involves an eternity with God!  All these things work together.  Can you see why works must appear in your life, and how they can help others and even yourself know that you are a Christian?


Secular Excellence

Recently, the church I attend (Willow Creek Community Church) held a “Global Leadership Summit”.  This was televised at a huge number of locations all over the world and included many famous people, including the co-founder of PIXAR.  Many non-Christians were there.  It was a huge splash in the secular world (check out “GLSNext” app if you want to see what it was all about.)

Here’s the thing:  Christians should be at the top of the class, so to speak, in many areas outside of religion.  In fact, they are armed with a major body of wisdom from Scripture that the rest of the world often knows little about.  Take that wisdom into any secular arena, and look how it puts a whole different spin on the subject.  You might look up some of the GLS events to see what I’m talking about.


If Scripture is really God’s inspired word, then it makes sense that what He said would be excellent.  There is so much wisdom there which the rest of the world has a tendency to reject out of hand, because it came from the Bible.  Such a shame!  They really throw the baby out with the bath water (old expression) in the process.


If you are one who ignores Scripture because it is “religious”, check out Proverbs and Jesus’s sermon on the mount for starters.  You’ll be amazed, and may even realize this sort of wisdom doesn’t just pop out of a bunch of random authors.  This screams to me, like so many aspects of Christianity, that God really did speak to us in the Bible.

Cecil and God’s Creation

The news of Cecil the lion being hunted and killed illegally rocked the social media world.  Responses were mostly angry at the hunting process, and the sadness at killing such a magnificent creature.  But the lion’s life was limited as is the span of any life here.  Death is eventually inevitable.


Note the word we use:  “creature”.  That term means creation — the same root of the word is used.  We don’t call the lion a “naturism”.  We sort of know that such a magnificence isn’t just a random event.  And since the video of his death has been seen by millions, it brings out the horror of death.  Much less have the videos of aborted baby body parts being sold by Planned Parenthood had that impact, except for those already opposed to abortion.  Nonetheless, one way or another we are seeing the sadness and loss of death, and we are angered when we see life cut short.  I’ll argue the inconsistency of getting more upset over the lion’s death than the deaths of infants later…


For those who can’t consider that this life is only a part of the picture of eternity, and that there is life beyond, how can you handle the fact that your life, and everything you’ve worked for, will one day disappear?  Death is a sad thing, unless you see beyond it.  It’s still sad, but sad more like having a family member traveling off to another country and out of contact, not the sadness of saying goodbye forever.  God created life, and He has full control of its “loss”.  And looking at His nature as revealed by Scripture:  He is in the business of preserving whatever is good.


God created us.  He created Cecil.  Perhaps even those animal creatures have an afterlife — we don’t really know.  The focus of Scripture is our afterlife.  Be motivated to answer the question of eternal life as much as you possibly can!  Do you want to just take a chance and hope for the best?

What Happens Without God?

I was recently reminded of how we are moral people, and we either choose our morality to be based on God, or based on our own or popular thinking.  Someone who I know has been saturated with Christianity her whole life is now rejecting it.  She can’t argue that there is anything wrong or untrue in Scripture, but she is nonetheless hostile to what it says.


One thing we dare not do when considering the truth of Christianity, but yet we all tend to do it:  inject our own emotions into it.  Something isn’t made true or false just because we want it to be either.  We may really want to be able to fly, but the results of jumping off a tall building will be the same regardless.  Truth just sits there and lets us judge it, but if we judge incorrectly because of our own emotions, truth is unchanged and unaffected.  If there is a collision between us and the truth, at some point the truth wins and we lose the battle.


As you consider whether Scripture is truth, please make sure that you are not injecting your own desires into the consideration.  The stakes are too high, and if you reject God, He is unchanged and you are the loser.  You may think God is there to “ruin your party” and you don’t want that, so you turn away from Him.  You realize that following Christ means you turn away from things you think you must have, or ways of life you think you can’t give up, so instead you reject Him.  You haven’t won anything if you do that!


It is a great frustration of an evangelist to talk to someone, have all the arguments cleared, and yet that person won’t follow Christ.  If you find yourself throwing up every argument possible, getting reasonable answers, and just getting a whole new batch of arguments, maybe that is happening to you.  If you don’t want to accept God’s “rules”, and just want to live your life “free”, that’s understandable.  Then the thing to do is examine what you think God is going to mess up for you, and see if you really have a problem with Him in your life.


In another article I’ll try to explain why God isn’t going to “ruin your party”.  If you did accept Christ later down the road, and could somehow talk with your “future self”, you’d be amazed at how those objections fell away and you are really happier God’s way.  But that may take some convincing.  Please don’t reject the evidence for God’s truth though for the wrong reasons — truth won’t be hurt, only you.


Moral Necessity

When we hear of atrocities, such as ISIS beheading people or Planned Parenthood admitting to harvesting aborted baby body parts for cash, part of us screams out for justice in the world.  We hear Darwinism yelling that we are all a fortuitous accident, and that the real justice of existence is the survival of the fittest.  In other words, the humanists don’t have an answer to the need for justice.


While it is not a “proof”, the argument that justice must exist and the scales must be righted eventually is a strong argument for Christianity.  It could be said that it argues for a few religions, and I leave the evidence that only Christianity really answers the argument fully for other articles.  The main point is:  we have within us a great need to see justice in the world, as though it were designed into us somehow.

Continue reading Moral Necessity

Separation of Church and State

We know from both history and modern times of countries where the religious leaders control government, and where government squelches religion.  Here we’ve attempted to keep the two respectfully separated.  Unfortunately, those who find it in their best interest to have the separation be a one-way street often don’t see the contradiction, and the subsequent danger they pose to the very integrity of the “separation”.


Making the state an arm of the church has been tried, and usually creates a lot of false believers who are putting on a show.  Trying to force out religion or reduce it to “just a private matter” steps on beliefs and causes resentment and persecution.  We’ve so honored the sincerely held religious beliefs that even military service, when it was compulsory, had an exemption for those who believed God would not accept their killing of others.  We’ve gone from that to the point where people can be compelled to provide homosexual wedding services against their beliefs.  What happened?  Continue reading Separation of Church and State

Biblical Inerrancy — Why Does it Matter?

You may have wondered, “Is everything I read in the Bible literally true?  Is it totally accurate?”  Those are actually two different questions, but they sound alike.  But here is the core problem:  if the Bible is only partially true, how do we know which portions to believe?  We have a real problem if we have to pick and chose which portions to accept and which to consider as someone’s opinion or cultural understanding.

The Bible claims to be inspired, or “God-breathed”.  It claims to be written under the supervision of the Holy Spirit, but the writers’ personalities and cultures has a part to play.  After all, the writers were people too!

Continue reading Biblical Inerrancy — Why Does it Matter?

Religion Before Christ

I had an interesting question in email:  “what religion did people practice before Christ?”  The short answer is the Jewish faith.  Of course there were other religions, as there are now, but the forerunner of Christianity was Judaism.


Jesus (the Christ) was a Jew.  He also said that He came to fulfill every aspect of the Jewish law as told in Scripture.  Much prophecy in the Bible points to Christ, so in hindsight as we look at the Christ we now know and project back across what we call the Old Testament, we see a continuity.  Jesus was the Father’s plan all along, and the world was being prepared for Christ’s coming at exactly the planned time.


As far as whether those people who accepted Scripture before Christ came were saved:  see a recent comment to a similar question under Open Questions.  The short answer is “yes”, if they accepted the knowledge of God that He had provided up to that point.



Reasons to Believe Meeting

Hugh Ross has an organization called “Reasons to Believe (RTB)”.  This is a worldwide organization, but they have a local Chicago chapter that meets in “Ginger Creek” church in Aurora.  Here are the details:

 Note:  this meeting is past, but on the first Saturday of each month this group meets — except for July and August, sorry! 

Oh no! “Evolution under the Microscope” – the newest DVD from RTB – is already out of stock. But Chicago has it! And we will be watching portions of it this Saturday.

The Big Picture of evolution, the traditional arguments taught in high school or college biology classes can seem to be intimidating. Dr. Fazale Rana responds to these arguments or ideas from a Creation Model perspective. Join us this Saturday for this special presentation.

Date          Saturday, June 6

Time         9:00 – 10:30 AM

Where      Ginger Creek Community Church                   2850 Ginger Woods Parkway, Aurora, IL 60502

Room        City of Life, Room 223

Map          Click here for a map to Ginger Creek Community Church

I’ll Always Have Doubts, So How Do I Really Know What Is True?

Have you ever played “devil’s advocate”? You take the other side of the argument to the max and see what happens. Try that with the doubts that are plaguing you. I think you will find that, while doubts are good at causing trouble, they are lousy at building a real alternative.

Take the most prevalent trouble-making argument out there: evolution. Sure, you can compare simpler life to complex life, find similarities, and suggest that the simpler became the complex. It seems simple enough. However, when you actually consider what it takes for a worm to become a butterfly, you realize that nature would have had to take major trips down blind alleys that would have destroyed the evolving intermediate forms before ever coming up with a design that would allow the transition to a butterfly. The caterpillar goes through a destroy and rebuild process that only a designer with a long-range view of the blueprint could have ever brought into existence. Nature would begin the destruction process and produced a lot of dead caterpillars, without ever blindly figuring out how to create the rebuild process. The leap is much too great. Continue reading I’ll Always Have Doubts, So How Do I Really Know What Is True?