Good news: Five reasons to believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead — it isn’t just that I love the “minimal facts” argument for explaining why Christianity is true and supportable by facts and logic, this article was actually in the Washington Post. Hopefully it got lots of people to reconsider matters of eternal importance.
Professor Gary Habermas had the following piece in the Washington Post (of all places). It’s not often that a politically-left leaning media outlet allows content which shines positive light onto Christianity.
(Washington Post) – I will assume nothing special about the New Testament writings whatsoever. I will use only the historical information that is accepted as historical by virtually all scholars who have studied this material today-no matter how skeptical or liberal they are. That means, for example, that I will only cite New Testament passages, ones that pass the customary skeptical standards and are recognized as such. Using only these “minimal facts,” I will still maintain that Jesus’ resurrection is the most likely explanation for what we know.
(1) Most scholars agree that Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty shortly afterwards. With almost two dozen reasons favoring this report alone, what best explains this? Other hypotheses do not account for all the data.
(2) Many eyewitnesses assert that they saw the risen Jesus, both individually and in groups. Even apart from the Gospels, we can establish this totally from just two passages in Paul’s “undisputed writings”:
–Paul told the Corinthians that he had received the Gospel resurrection report from others (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
–The consensus critical view is that Paul probably obtained this material in Jerusalem, when he visited the eyewitness apostles Peter and James, the brother of Jesus (Galatians 1:18-24).
–Paul returned to Jerusalem 14 years later and specifically checked out the nature of the Gospel message, again with eyewitnesses Peter, James, and now John (Galatians 2:1-10).
–All the apostles agreed that Jesus appeared to them after his death (1 Corinthians 15:11).
Ten Q&A on Same-Sex Marriage Canards and Evasions — this is a pithy yet thorough list. You mainly need the first three.
1. What’s love got to do with it?
Nothing. Romanticizing this debate by claiming that any two people in love should have a civil right to civil marriage is a foolish distraction. Neither judges nor legislators have any business discussing “affection” as a factor in defining civil marriage. Clergy who bless marriages have a legitimate and separate role in discerning the internal dynamics of couples. But not the state.
2. What is the state’s interest in marriage?
First, to recognize the union that produces the state’s citizens. Second, to encourage those who sire and bear the citizens to take responsibility for rearing them together. That’s all, folks. Proponents of genderless marriage often answer this question with non sequiturs such as property rights (irrelevant), civil rights (extraneous to the question), and “love and stability” (not a function of state involvement).
3. Why should state interest in marriage be about children if not all marriages produce children?
It’s thoroughly irrelevant that many heterosexual couples lack children because of intent, infertility, age, or health. Claiming that this is relevant to the case for genderless marriage suggests the “fallacy of composition“: inferring that something must be true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole. Citizens of the state can exist only through the female-male union, no matter how the union occurs — whether traditionally, artificially, or in a petri dish. That’s the only fact that provides any grounds for state interest in marriage.
And here’s a great summary:
It violates the rights of children by serving to deprive them deliberately of biological parents. It violates everybody’s civil right to religious freedom by setting up a collision course in which conscience protections will be trumped by a nonsensical legal definition of marriage. It violates our freedom of association by removing the buffer zone of family (and all mediating institutions) that insulate all individuals in society from abuses of state power. It violates freedom of expression by requiring Orwellian Newspeak of everyone, especially those accused of hate for objecting to same-sex marriage.
In the end, the primary beneficiary of this social experiment is a tyrannical minority hell-bent on controlling every aspect of our lives and eventually dictating all of our personal relationships.
From the “This is a piece from the Onion, right?” category, Hiring Lifeguards Who Can’t Swim in the Name of Diversity:
More than 90 percent of the students at Alhambra High are black, Latino or Asian. On a recruiting effort there over the winter, the city’s Melissa Boyle tells students she’s not looking for strong swimmers. Like many under-resourced schools, Alhambra doesn’t have a swim team.
“We will work with you in your swimming abilities,” Boyle says.
Vandalism of pro-life display at The Ohio State University:
Pretty bizarre. So she is apparently only for abortions by mothers who are poor or on drugs and she thinks middle class and above drug-free people shouldn’t be able to have abortions. That’s an interesting branch of fiscal conservatism! My guess is that she’s really pro-abortion all the way, including taxpayer-funded abortions without restriction, but she’s just posing as caring for the poor.
‘Billions and Billions and Billions’: Biden Has No Comment on Fisker Failure — Just one more reason we need to let the free market pick the winners and losers.
“This is seed money that will return back to the American consumer in billions and billions and billions of dollars of good new jobs.”
– Joe Biden, Oct. 27, 2009
“With the help of UAW lobbying efforts for advanced vehicle manufacturing and federal dollars, the plant will become a production facility for Fisker Automotive, a new American car company that plans to produce 100,000 electric hybrid vehicles per year by 2014.
“GM’s former Wilmington [Delaware] assembly plant was selected for its primary global production facility based on its size, production capacity, access to shipping ports and rail lines, and skilled workforce.”
– United Auto Workers, February 2010
“Once again, the American public lost when the Obama administration attempted to pick ‘winners and losers’ in the free market. Today the electric car company Fisker Automotive, which received nearly $200 million in taxpayer money, is laying off three-fourths of its U.S. workers.”
– Sarah Palin, April 5, 2013
I started to read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire based on the recommendation of the Bumbling Genius. But after the most excellent summary on Winging It maybe I don’t need to . . .
In Volume 1, Chapter 9, Gibbon describes for us what he calls “barbarians”. What makes a “barbarian”? He starts with the premise that they are not masters of letters. Without a firm grasp on the written word, he argues, they cannot learn and pass that learning on to subsequent generations. Written communication is key. And I look at the texting and facebooking and Twitter stuff that today’s younger generation is using and ask myself, “Do they have a firm grasp on the written word?” The number of times I see their own generation ask, “What are you talking about?” suggests that they don’t. But he goes on with a very interesting next characteristic. He says that barbarians are lazy and yet energetic. Huh? Well, he says, they aren’t really interested in doing any industrious work, but they are inexhaustible in their efforts to find the next big sensation. They lived for big experiences. You know, like extreme sports. Oh, wait, no, that’s our time. Oh, wait … could it be that we are headed toward being barbarians in Gibbon’s view?
Gibbon argues that Rome fell for a few basic reasons. First, they were strong as long as they had wars to fight and places to conquer and enemies to subdue. They got soft when they got rich and comfortable. Gibbon argues that, just as humans live under a “no pain, no gain” sentence, so also do civilizations. Second, in their rich and comfortable decline, they experienced moral decline. They indulged every whim, outsourced their work to other places (yes, that’s one of his observations), surrendered any sense of civic virtue, and pursued pleasure as the ultimate good. Now if that doesn’t describe America, I don’t know what does.
Ben Carson: White Liberals Are Pretty Darned Racist — Yep. Get back on the plantation! If you don’t agree with the White Liberals then you are obviously an Uncle Tom. Haven’t you seen how well our policies have worked out in Detroit?
(Mediaite) On his radio show last night, Mark Levin had on newfound conservative “hero” Dr. Ben Carson to discuss all the lashings he’s received from the “left-wing media” over his views on gay marriage and religion. While discussing his being a black conservative, Carson told Levin that, in his experience, white liberals are the “most racist people there are.”
“They need to shut me up, they need to delegitimize me,” Carson told the radio host while explaining why he believes the media has scorned him for lumping homosexuality in with unsavory sexual acts like bestiality and pedophilia.
Levin added that the doctor has been attacked by “white liberals” because he is a black conservative, to which Carson replied: “They are the most racist people there are. Because they put you in a little category, a little box. You have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?”
They forgot to mention “racists.”
I grew up thinking the entire world called the grass between the sidewalk and the street the “devilstrip.” Apparently this term was unique to the NE Ohio area and especially Akron.