Happy New Year! We want to wish you the best for a year full of love and good things that will make your life full of meaning and purpose.
Our Year-End Report for the year 2002 is available. If you are in regular communication with us, we will send one to you with that communication. If you do not have regular contact with us, send us a 37¢ postage paid envelope and we will be glad to mail you a copy.
Every year we make available an Index of articles and subjects that appear in this journal. If you would like a copy, send us a self-addressed, 37¢-stamped envelope, and we will send one to you.
We are announcing our Summer Seminar for 2003 in this issue. Every summer we try to have some kind of a special training seminar for people interested in going into apologetics in depth or in getting questions answered. Sometimes this seminar is a classroom program as it was in 2002 at Rochester College. This summer it will be a field trip in which we will visit major canyons and parks in the American Southwest. For more information see the Canyon Country Tour announcement on page 31.
Study shows young people have had enough of relativism. Many of us have heard the challenge to the Church which says that generations X and Y do not want the "old values and religious practices of the past." In 2000, the Phillips Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to Colleen Carroll to study the relationship of young people to Christian orthodoxy. The study deals with values, worship styles, and life styles in generations X and Y. In September 2002, the study was released in a book published by Loyola Press titled The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy. What is interesting about the study is that it shows that young adults reject the immorality of American culture and racy television shows that are in prime time. They also are looking for worship that is less showy and entertaining and involves more personal reflection.
--Reference: Christianity Today, August 5, 2002, pages 41-45.
"In-God-we-trust" atheist may be facing perjury charge. Michael Newdow brought suit to stop his daughter from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, saying that the girl was emotionally injured, had stress, anxiety, and a sense of being left out by being forced to recite the Pledge. It now appears that Newdow was separated from his wife and daughter and that none of the claims he made were true. Neither the daughter nor his wife want any part of his claims. Apparently Newdow lied while under oath, which is perjury according to the law.
--Reference: Austin Miles, Assist News Service via Crosswalk.com.
One of the things making the news on a regular basis is how much pollution
is affecting all of our lives. There is no question that all of us need
to get involved in controlling pollution; in Genesis God told man to take
care of the garden so this is a biblical mandate. It now appears that nitrate
pollutants, one of the major agents causing problems for mankind, has a partial
natural origin. Two of the gases--methyl nitrate and ethyl nitrate--have
now been shown to be produced naturally in the oceans. A lot still has to
be learned about how to keep natural materials in balance with man's needs;
however, not all the detractors are man-made, but may be a natural by-product
of the earth's complex biochemistry.
Miracles at al-Qaida graves. The question of miracles seems to be one that perplexes all of mankind in one way or another. In an AP release on August 25, 2002, is a story from Kandahar telling of thousands of people coming to the graves of Moslem martyrs called shaheed and having miraculous cures take place when they pray to killed al-Qaida fighters. Included in the claims are blind people gaining their sight back, lame people being able to walk, and the curing of all illnesses. As long as people rely on untested claims and emotionalism to determine what is truth, false religions and perversions of Truth will continue. We believe the claim of the Does God Exist? program that you can logically and rationally believe in God and in the Bible as His Word is as valid and as important today as it has ever been.
Summer camp for atheists. Camp Quest in Ohio has gotten national media attention as a camp to promote not being ashamed of atheists beliefs. The attention first came from the Wheeling, West Virginia, Intelligencer in their July 8, 2002, issue. The article tells about 46 children who were in the camp this past summer attending a camp started by Edwin Kagin and the Free Inquiry Group of greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The aggressive nature of atheists in the United States will become more and more obvious, as they continue to promote their agenda at all levels of society and in all kinds of ways. More and more, our children are going to have to know why they believe what they believe and not just be what their parents were with no involvement of their own in their spiritual identity.
Buddhist growth. According to the American Religious Identification Survey in 1990, 401,000 Americans identified themselves as Buddhist. In the year 2001, that number had grown to 1, 082,000 people. That would be a 170% growth in one decade. Harvard University studies show that the actual number is closer to six million. Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of Insight Meditation Society says the reason is that "Buddhism encourages investigation and resonates with our psychological and scientific paradigms" The tendency of Christian leaders to denigrate science and create an adversarial relationship between faith and science has a far greater destructive effect than anyone can realize. --Reference: Science and Spirit, September/October 2002, pages 8-10.
Good hoax source. US News and World Report had a special issue on hoaxes and fakes titled "Gotcha" in their August 26/September 2, 2002, issue pages 30 - 77. Crop circles and a history of people who foisted hoaxes on the public are described. It is a good source to have available when these issues come up.
Out-of-body experience (OBE) causes. Many times when people die and are resuscitated, they have stories about falling through a hole and seeing a bright light at the bottom of the hole. There have also been claims of contacts with God while in these OBE incidents. We have pointed out for many years that most of these symptoms can be explained in terms of chemicals that affect the brain--both natural and man-made. Diethyl ether, for example, frequently produces the sensation of falling through a hole or tunnel. In Nature, September 19, 2002, a study shows that there is a part of the brain known as the angular gyrus that can be causing these experiences. The main point is that attempts to use these experiences as a proof of something either scientifically or religiously is a misguided attempt.
Burial boxes and
closed mindedness. Has a burial box been found that has the names
of James the brother of Jesus and the son of Joseph, or is it a hoax? What
is interesting to me is that skeptics have already said that no matter what
the evidence is, it proves nothing because there are lots of James around
and it is reasonable that one might have a brother named Jesus and a father
named Joseph. In other words no matter how good the evidence looks it will
be rejected because it does not meet their preconceived ideas.
|When:||July 14-18, 2003|
Motorcoach provided by Grayline Tours
Boat trip on Lake Powell
Instructionand devotionals with John Clayton
Alan Doty, and Dave Strong included.
|Who:||The first 50 people who make $100 deposit for the trip|
person: Single--$600; Double--$425;
Child under 12 sharing room with adults--$275
transportation in deluxe motorcoach
4-night accommodations, including breakfast,taxes, and porters
All fees for national parks
Boat tour on Lake Powell
All materials for classes and lectures
other than breakfast
Laundry, phone calls, souvenirs, etc.
Cancellation insurance ($29 per adult, $17 per child)
Transportation to Phoenix where tour departs
College credit expense, if desired
To reserve a space, send $100 deposit per person and the form below (or a copy of it) to John N. Clayton, 1555 Echo Valley Dr., Niles, MI 49120
City __________________________ State_____ Zip_________
E-mail__________________________ Phone ______________
Accommodations Desired: Single _____ Double_____
Triple_____ Quadruple_____ Child under 12 _____
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, JanFeb03.