REMINDER OF JANUARY'S ANNOUNCEMENTS. We have a large number of new projects that have been completed. Last month, we announced the 2005 Does God Exist? Summer Training Seminar for Christian Leaders to be held in Dowagiac, MI. The seminar is free, but we must have everyone who participates pre-registered so we will have adequate food and materials. We also announced the 14th children's book in our children's series titled Animals of the Cold. See last month's issue for details.
ANNOUNCING THREE NEW BOOKS. The Does God Exist? program is pleased to announce three new books that have just been completed and are available from the program. The first of these is a new edition of our "Evidences of God" series. This series is a reprint of articles that we have had in the bimonthly journal. We started doing this in 1972 and have bound volumes of the article for every issue from 1972 on. This new volume which is volume IX covers articles from 2001-2003.
The second book that we have available is a rewrite of our basic children's course guide. This is a set of 13 lessons for grades 3-6 with an exhaustive teacher's guide. It is the teacher's guide that has been updated and matched with our children's video series that is now available.
The third book that is available is another book in our series on how Christianity allows us to deal with pain and suffering. We have three other books in this series--one on the struggles with having a child born with multiple birth defects by John Clayton, one on the struggles with cancer by Judy Hines Ragsdale, and one on disabling illness or injury by Ralph Scott. This new book is written by Phyllis Clayton and involves living with diabetes. Phyllis is an insulin- dependent diabetic who has lived with diabetes for over 56 years. It is titled Living Successfully With Diabetes and tells from a personal standpoint how diabetes can be lived with (not for), what the complications can and have been for her, and how a Christian can approach and live successfully with this disease.
Like any of our materials, these books can be borrowed or ordered from us at cost. See bottom of this page for an order form and prices. Contact us about borrowing materials.
FLEW BACKS OFF ATHEISM. One of the world's leading atheists has decided he does not want to stay in that camp. Many of us are familiar with British philosophy professor Anthony Flew who has had debates against the existence of God on many college campuses in the United States. Flew is quoted by the Associated Press as saying ". some form of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation of the origin of life and the complexity of nature." Flew justifies his change in views by saying, "My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads." Flew is not backing the Christian concept of God and goes to great lengths to say he is a deist, not a believer in a God who is actively involved in people's lives. Our reaction to this is that such a statement is at least a beginning.
--Reference: AP Release, New York, December 9, 2004.
PURDUE DEBATE BRINGS INTERESTING VIEWS. The Does God Exist? lectureship series that is held on weekends throughout the United States and Canada deals almost entirely with scientific evidence and things related to the integrity of the Bible. In recent years, there have been numerous debates by those trained in philosophy in a public venue. This past fall, Purdue University had a debate between atheist scholar Austin Dacey and Christian philosopher William Lane Craig. As opinions are stated about the debate, it has been interesting how many students are quoted as believing that there is good evidence for the existence of God, but also stating they do not want to accept God's existence due to the life style change it would demand. One atheist student is quoted as saying "a commitment to Christ will crimp my social life." Perhaps some of our atheist friends have a better handle on this than some who claim to be believers.
--Reference: Christian Leadership Ministries, September/October 2004, page 41-44.
KINSEY AND HOMOSEXUALITY. One of the sources of data thrown around in the debates over homosexuality has been the data supposedly gathered by Alfred Kinsey around 1948. In The Week, November 26, 2004, is a report that Kinsey did not believe that there are homosexuals or heterosexuals, but that all humans engage in acts which can be classified that way. His data then was based upon this assumption and the rating system that he used was skewed badly by it. The more the data is looked at in this debate, the more bad science you see on all sides.
VIRUS THEORY OF EVOLUTION SPEAKS OF DESIGN. One of the problems that evolutionists have struggled with is that the creative forces of evolution have been poorly understood. The jump to mammals, flowering plants, and man are very difficult for evolutionary theorists to explain if mutations and natural selection are the only forces operating. Dr. Luis Villarreal contends that an overlooked evolutionary force are viruses, which have been around since life began, but whose functions are not well understood--especially the positive things they do. Villarreal contends that junk DNA really is the coding of viruses, designed to promote the development of things essential for life to survive. The theory is radical, but it would answer many questions that evolutionists have not been able to address. We would suggest that if this discovery stands, it is a beautiful demonstration of the design built into the cosmos, a tool that is programed to lead to the positive things needed for life. Chance would have a difficult time explaining the virus and its operation, but as a tool of God, it makes sense and tells us why viruses exist.
--Reference: News Service article, December 6, 2004.
MAMA DINOS AND BABIES. The more data one sees on dinosaurs, the more he realizes that the pictures we have been given by the media and entertainment industry are far from the truth. Dinosaurs have been portrayed as laying eggs and then running off to feed. In Liaoning, China, an adult Psittacosaur dinosaur has been found curled around the skeletons of a large number of its babies. It is obvious that our understandings of dinosaurs has a long way to go, and the complexity of their lifestyles may be very high.
--Reference: Discover, December 2004, page 10.
MEDIA NONSENSE ON THE BIRTH OF JESUS. One way to sell magazines these days seems to be to make an issue with a lot of traditional religious material and then proceed to try to show how silly it is. Newsweek, December 13,2004, pages 49-58, goes this route with an article titled "The Birth of Jesus." The article is a strange mix of Bible quotes, historical figures' opinions, and pagan tradition. The biblical scholars quoted are mostly minimalists whose view is that "the story can't possibly be true so here is an explanation of what really happened." We would suggest that people need to read the Bible and look at the teachings of Jesus to determine whether they are true or not. Human theories and the battles between professors in human institutions do not determine what is Truth, nor do they provide an objective factual method of deciding whether what is presented is true or not.
Order form for new materials mentioned on page 29
(Mail to: John Clayton, 1555 Echo Valley Dr., Niles, MI 49120)
_____ Evidences of God Volume IX @ $4.00 ppd.
_____ Evidences of God complete set (7 books) @ 24.00 ppd.
_____ Christian Evidences basic course set @ $5.00 ppd
_____ Living Successfully With Diabetes @ $2.00 ppd
_____ Christianity and Suffering series (4 books) @ $10.00 ppd
City _______________________ State_____ ZIP__________
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Does God Exist?, MarApr05.