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March 31, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Best Christian Videos Available Online

First, Andy Stanley’s Series are available at their Your Move Is Website (aka Your Move dot Is) or you can view them on YouTube on Northpoint’s Community Church’s YouTube Channel (you can also record them via DVR on your local NBC affiliate.  Andy Stanley’s message comes on after Saturday Night Live)

Series include: Guardrails, Growing Your Faith, Marriage Expectations, The Message of Jesus, What Can You Expect from God?, Prayer, Your Move, Managing Personal Finances, Balanced, and other relevant messages.

Second, I Am Second Short personal videos which tell stories which have relevance to the key struggles in life.  Well produced, personal, and sooooo honest. (there is also a section on Christian Life Questions)

Third, The One Minute Apologist may be helpful for those who need answers to the questions of skeptics.

Fourth, the Christian music station K-Love has a YouTube channel that includes live music performances in studio as well as Christian music artists telling their story.

Fifth, God Tube is a YouTube like site thats focused on Christian and faith videos.  Its much more faith based on YouTube will ever be or can hope to be.  The music performances and artists themselves are quite entertaining.

Sixth, God Vine I believe is a much, much smaller website that Godtube–I’m not sure if it has any additional content.  I imagine most videos in this category are available and posted to GodTube.

Seventh, Gibbs Game Plan for Life includes videos from a number of former athletes.  I would say that the I Am Second Videos have more variety and are probably more dramatic, but these videos may also carry credibility with teens and young adults, especially those who like football.

Eighth, you might also seek out individual Christian artists on Youtube.  They are also available here on Todays Christian Music under the Videos tab.

March 30, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Top Ten Best Christian Teen Books for Boys

These are for males and females–but the focus of my list is on Christian teen books for teenage boys:

1) Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, by Alex Harris and Brett Harris  (also their book Start Here).  You can visit their website here at Rebulition.com or their books on Amazon here.

2)You Were Made to Make A Difference, Max Lucado

3) Heart of an Athlete,  Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Fellowship of Christian Athletes has a number of books available, including an athlete Bible).  You can view their book on Amazon here.

4) Gifted Hands, Teen Edition (about Ben Carson) (link) *

5) Make Everyday Count, Max Lucado (link)

6) You Have a Brain, Teens Guide to THINK BIG, by Ben Carson (link)

7) Its Not About Me, Teen Edition by Max Lucado (link)

8) Just Like Jesus, (for teens) by Max Lucado (link)

9 and 10) A Teen Daily Devotional and a Teen Bible (well chosen) can also be helpful

Here is a longer list on Amazon of great books for Christian teens (link).  I’ve tried to filter that list to the best 7 on the list in the interest of focus and saving time.

* Not sure about the target audience for this particular Ben Carson book.

March 28, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

The best of Cold Case Christianity by J Warner Wallace

Cold Case Christianity is one of the best blogs for Christian apologetics research, especially for younger apologists who are looking for straightforward answers to their questions about the Historical Jesus, the Christianity worldview, and critiques of the new Atheism (Hitchens, Dawkins, et. al).  And J Warner Wallace is uniquely qualified to provide those answers, as a former detective and someone who was an agnostic himself and found the case for Christianity and the Historical Jesus to be compelling after seeking out the real answers for himself:

1) Jesus is evidence that God Exists, J Warner Wallace from Cold Case Christianity

2) The Dangers of Scientism and Overreliance on Science, J Warner Wallace from Cold Case Christianity

3) 3Ms that Naturalism Can’t Provide, J Warner Wallace from Cold Case Christianity

4) The Case for the Reliability of the New Testament, J Warner Wallace from Cold Case Christianity (Bible Insert)

5) The Case for the Reliability of the Old Testament, J Warner Wallace from Cold Case Christianity (Bible Insert)

6) How to Evaluate Supposed Contradictions in New Testament Accounts, (Bible Insert)

Finally, here is J Warner Wallaces list of compiled answers to the Objections from Atheism.  You can purchase J Warner Wallace’s books on Amazon here (I think he’s most noted for Cold Case Christianity).  To learn more, you can view presentations by J Warner Wallace on Christian apologetics on Vimeo like this one on the Reliability of the Gospels in New Testament.  Finally, you can read more at Cold Case Christianity and Please Convince Me.

If I’ve left a particular article or blog post from J Warner Wallace from my list, I would be glad for you to email me or leave a comment.  As always, thanks for reading!

March 20, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

The Atheist Lie Machine–When Bad Memes Rely on Fallacious Memes in an Attempt to Win

Why are you an atheist? Thats the substance…thats the justification…thats the why. Thats belief.

Is there a why behind the belief? Is there justification? Thats what defines a worldview, ideology, or belief system?

Well, that would call into question question your baseline atheism belief. It would also define all Christians as atheists.

Saying NO to everything….is still belief. Also the necessity to justify it (ie the undelying belief) is part of the system. If atheism wasn’t a belief system….there wouldn’t be
1) books
2) conferences
3) meaningful conference
4) people calling themselves atheists with some sort of meaning there.

Moreover, your no thanks generally comes with a why…..or some context of history which provoked the feeling or ideology or belief or philosophy. The way you both describe it sounds honestly more like a causal feeling….not the way I’ve heard it defend or “justified” on Quora. And I know you think its more than a feeling or emotion. That seems a little intellectually problematic for me.

If you really believed the “no thanks” part…I would just get blank stares (aka no responses in the digital ether.
————————————————————————————————
Really?

You can have thoughtful versus thoughtless beliefs. My guess is most atheists at least have some thought as to what they belief in and don’t believe in.

Thoughts are the basis of beliefs. They are the building blocks of beliefs and belief systems.

Certainly atheists come from a number of different belief perspectives…..but the similarities are unmistakable in my experience reading what atheists write about and how they argue and the patterns their arguments follow.

Moreover, this diversity is not all that unlike the diversity within Republicans and Democrats who can to a certain extent be said to be both Pro and Anti various things. And I’ve already listed those similarities with no real response from either commentor.

At a atheist event….or just meeting an atheist out…..I don’t think the statement “I don’t agree about anything you think about atheism or life or faith” ever rears its head. Otherwise, massive dissent would exist (the conferences, communication, and conversations would resemble the tower of Babel or the UN, but without translators).

I’m confused how you can believe in memes and think that atheism isn’t a meme. At that level you turn atheism into a unicorn of sorts…which it really isn’t given that humans are the operating systems we’re talking about at the end of the day.

What do you believe about atheism?
What do you believe about Darwin?
What do you believe about religion?
What do you believe about Jesus?

You’ve thought about it.
You’ve probably shared about it.
You’ve probably read about it.
You’ve probably noticed similarities and differences between you and other Atheists in terms of your beliefs and belief structures.

• How much time do you spend on your atheism?
• What financial investment have you made in Atheism?
• What ego-involvement do you have in atheism?
• How much does atheism influence your identity?
• How many atheist blogs to you read?
• How many atheists books have you read?

That brings to mind the question: what is your past-time? Some might say…I don’t have a past-time…but its precisely that lack of a past time that is in fact your past-time (its just unconscious….its just your default). In the same way you can’t avoid having a past time…you can’t avoid having beliefs….particularly with such a controversial issue as atheism.
————————————————————————————————
First, there is definitely a belief system at the level of:
1) individual
2) sub-group (as discussed & semi-agreed to before)
3) cultural community

You are correct atheism exists as an identity category as subgroups. Yes, thank you. Those subgroups are communities. Those communities have to have something in common, or they wouldn’t exist.

At least two core beliefs:
1) Anti-supernatural
2) Many apparently don’t believe they have beliefs (which is itself a belief)

Your analogies and examples don’t really get you anywhere–they are just explanatory (aka they are pretty much useless) they are just helpful if you win the top level of the argument.

The question is one of: what will I fill my glass with……how will I live my life, how will I fill my time, what are my core commitments. At an individual and group level–your claims simply don’t make any sense.

The logical extension is:
1) anti-thought
2) anti-idea
3) anti-discovery or anti-eureka moment.
4) anti-group
5) anti-community
6) anti-identity
Those simply are non-sensical entities….which your theory seems to miss the point of.

Yes, atheism is different than pro groups….but all con groups have a core identity. You can widen what you call atheism (equivocate)–but thats just shifting definitions….plus it still has all the theoreitcal problems I’ve outlined in this thread.

You can’t apply this same logic in the case of anti-groups I pointed to. I seem to remember listing a half-dozen.

You couldn’t call yourself an atheist group or atheist community. Groups form for reasons (i.e. motives) and shared reasons. Atheism wouldn’t have any endurance or sustainability if people joined up “just cause” because for instance they just liked groups. All of social movements literature to my knowledge indicates that movements are formed on the basis of shared beliefs, histories, enemies, or stories.

• Does it have a beginning?
• Does it have a founder?
• Does it have advocates?
• Which advocates do you read or follow?

Yeah…BTW, you talking about other sub-groups who are dis-alike from you isn’t really much of an argument.

• If you don’t have a belief or worldview…..what is it you as an individual stand for?
• Why is taking a stand at all so anti-thetical?
• Why all this time and effort and communication over a non-belief belief?
• Why are you making the term atheism so meaningless?
• Why are you making the atheism community so meaningless?

This just cause notion is still a belief….its just one based on bias and emotion….rather than grounded on reason. And if I know or intuit anything about you…..I don’t think that’s the type of person you are.

The belief in an anti-thought or anti-belief is a farce (IMHO) made up to make atheism more tenable….but only by actually just proves that atheists will make up bad and fallacious arguments to support their identities. This is formally known as a distinction without a difference. At the other parts the argument takes on flat out denials of the way in which the human brain operate. Humans are belief machines. That’s what the theory of memes say. That’s how our brains stores beliefs (something like folder in a folder). So at a biological and neurological level….this argument is simply groundless. Not to mention it goes against EVERYTHING we know about groups and identities.

March 18, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Quotes from Christian Apologist Frank Turek from “Stealing from God”

In reference to the testimony about Jesus in the New Testament, Turek points out:

Early testimony
Eyewitness testimony
Elaborate testimony
Embarrassing testimony
Excruciating testimony
Expected testimony
Extra biblical testimony
Frank Turek, Stealing from God

Here are proofs/evidence of the existence of God when compared to the universe that atheism presupposes:

The beginning of the universe
The fine-tuning of the universe
The laws of nature
The laws of logic
The laws of mathematics
Information (genetic code)
Life
Mind and consciousness
Free will
Objective morality
Evil

Frank Turek, Stealing from God P. xxiv

Crimes is an acronym that Turek uses as a memory device for remembering a number of key arguments about the Christian faith:

CRIMES =
Causality
Reason
Information and intentionality
Morality
Evil
Science
Frank Turek, Stealing from God, P. xviii

March 18, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Critique of unmitigated skepticism–epistemology meets reality

“The strict demands for unimpeachable certainty leave one with so small a set of basic beliefs that they can’t possibly bear the weight of all that we believe. A moment’s reflection shows that the thousands of beliefs we hold about matters aesthetic, moral, religious, political, economic, historical, scientific, philosophical, and so on can’t all be derived from the very small set of basic beliefs insisted on by strong foundationalists.”

Jay Wood, Epistemology: Becoming Intellectually Virtuous, 1998, p 94-95

February 8, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Fredrick Douglass’ Real Perspective of Christianity and Slavery

Its critical to understand five key issues:

1) Fredrick Douglas isn’t criticizing Christianity of the Bible, but a specific hyper-capitalistic, racialized version of Christianity that uses the Bible to justify slavery (that was pretty much exclusively used in one historical moment and in one geography by one class of people).  That is….Douglas is mad at the abuse and dehumanization of slave owners who manipulate the Bible to justify slavery.  That is to say…..he’s taking issue with the exact interpretation that atheists apply to the Old Testament text.

2) He became a Methodist after his experience with slavery.  That is to say, his conclusion–his overall viewpoint is that of endorsing Christianity in both principle and practice.  To read him outside of this context is to warp his legacy and his words in fundamental ways.

3) Lets be clear.  There are two perspectives on the issue
• Majority accepted interpretation of the Biblical text (ie freedom and justice)
• Extreme minority interpretation of the Biblical text (ie slavery)

His issue is with twisting the words and it being unChristian and unethical to warp the meaning of Christianity to justify slavery.

4) This is a quote that I believes appears in the Forward of his book to clarify this issue.  To not include this, is to warp history and to lie about the legacy and words from Fredrick Douglas’ real perspective:
“I find, since reading over the foregoing Narrative, that I have, in several instances, spoken in such a tone and manner, respecting religion, as may possibly  lead those unacquainted with my religious views to suppose me an opponent of all religion.  To remove  the liability of such misapprehension, I deem it proper to append the following brief explanation. What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the ~slaveholding religion~ of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity  proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference–so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject  the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked.  To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other.  I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial  Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt,  slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering,  partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of “stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.”  I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate  the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me.
Old Testament and New Testament are justice and liberation.”

So, its not Christianity that he has a problem with, but people who call themselves Christians and do the opposite.  This is an indict of a specific group of individuals who attend church, but don’t live like Christians during the week.  That’s descriptive of a sub-group of individuals–not all Christians.  Fredrick Douglas believes in Christianity or he wouldn’t have been a Christian himself.

5) The narrative of both the Old Testament and New Testament are about justice and liberation.  Erasing that narrative is to warp the overall theme and purpose of Christianity more broadly.  That’s not a real critique, but only a weak strawperson attack that mischaracterize the Bible, its mission, its purposes, and its texts.

* The quote itself makes the argument I’m making of critiquing a specific instance of specific Christians, not Christianity more broadly.  (The Bible makes arguments like this about false teachers).  Moreover, the Appendix may have additional reasons in it given its exclusive reason is to ensure that his legacy is not warped and used against Christianity.  His argument is using unChristian arguments against Christianity is unChristian and warped.

Here’s more from the conclusion of the appendix:

Such is, very briefly, my view of the religion of this land; and to avoid any misunderstanding, growing out of the use of general terms, I mean by the religion of this land, that which is revealed in the words, deeds, and actions, of those bodies, north and south, calling themselves Christian churches, and yet in union with slaveholders. It is against religion, as presented by these bodies, that I have felt it my duty to testify.

I conclude these remarks by copying the following portrait of the religion of the south, (which is, by communion and fellowship, the religion of the north,) which I soberly affirm is “true to the life,” and without caricature or the slightest exaggeration. It is said to have been drawn, several years before the present anti-slavery agitation began, by a northern Methodist preacher, who, while residing at the south, had an opportunity to see slaveholding morals, manners, and piety, with his own eyes. “Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord. Shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?”

Further Reading & Research:

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