Archives for July 2014

Beware of Stealth Calvinism!

Beware of Stealth Calvinism!Several times here I have expressed concern that some Calvinists are attempting to take over churches by stealth. I frequently hear from church members (mostly Baptists but occasionally also Pentecostals and other evangelicals) that their new pastor turned out to be a five point Calvinist without their knowing that when he was called. They only contact me about this when the new pastor attempts to impose Calvinism on the congregation—for example by insisting that a … [Read more...]

Are We Descending into Barbarity?

Are We Descending into Barbarity?We Americans like to think of ourselves as among the most developed and civilized countries in the world (if not at the top of the list!). But much of the rest of the world thinks otherwise. We don't help our case when we continue to engage in acts that can only be called barbaric. According to published news reports, during the last year various states have carried out what can only be called botched executions described as "preventable horrors." Most … [Read more...]

Evil As Signal of Transcendence

Evil As Signal of TranscendenceI admit it; I'm obsessed with evil. Not doing it, of course, but understanding it. It seems to me that evil is a basic fact of reality as we live and experience it. Evil is. And to call it anything other than evil, such as "harmful," is to betray it, to minimize it, to fail to do it full justice. Yes, this is another go 'round in my debate with atheism. One atheist interlocutor here recently admitted that "evil" is a term he would prefer to avoid because of … [Read more...]

Illegal Immigration of Children: The Underlying Problem Nobody Seems to Talk About

Illegal Immigration of Children: The Underlying Problem Nobody Seems to Talk AboutAccording to news reports, about sixty thousand unaccompanied children have arrived in the U.S. from Central America via Mexico in the last one to two years. Some have died in the desert attempting to cross the border alone. Many are being smuggled to the border by "mules" who charge their families large amounts of money. (Why this is not being labeled a form of human trafficking by anyone is curious.) Once the … [Read more...]

Can Atheism Support Ethical Absolutes? Is Ethics without Absolutes Enough?

Can Atheism Support Ethical Absolutes? Is Ethics without Absolutes Enough?Whenever I comment on atheism here, atheists who otherwise pay no attention to this blog flock here to respond. Often, I believe, they have either misunderstood or intentionally misrepresent my points. Also, often, they misdirect the discussion by appealing to "bad Christians" and/or "good atheists."My point has never been that atheists are bad people or automatically do bad things because they are atheists. Nor … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts about the Current Accreditation Kerfuffle (and Academic Freedom)

Some Thoughts about the Current Accreditation Kerfuffle (and Academic Freedom)I love the word "kerfuffle" but don't use it often enough. I happen to believe that, at least in America, we are reducing our vocabulary to too few words. I recently heard that one needs only 500 English words to engage in English conversation. But there are so many great words in English—like "kerfuffle." Let's all stretch our vocabularies to include unusual but descriptive words.Recently a professor at a u … [Read more...]

There Are No Atheists in Foxholes…Or Anywhere?

There Are No Atheists in Foxholes…Or Anywhere?According to journalist Nury Vittachi, writing for the web site Science 2.0 (Google it), "Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that's not a joke." Of course, the "joke" is the old saying "There are no atheists in foxholes"—meaning under threat of death everyone prays to some god.Vittachi's essay reports on the studies of atheist scientist Graham Lawton (writing in New Scientist) that indicate everyone is hard wired to bel … [Read more...]