How Now Shall We Live? By Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey

August 28, 2007

This is a MUST read for all Christians.  It is an incredibly powerful book that I highly recommend.  There is also a study guide for this book that I recommend as well.  This book examines the great spiritual battle today that is a cosmic struggle between competing worldviews.  The authors utilize true stories and compelling teaching to demonstrate the following:

– Expose false views and values of modern culture

– Live a more fulfilling life the way God created us to live

– Contend for the faith by understanding how nonbelievers think

– Build a society that reflects biblical principles

I ran across a review on amazon.com that I thought really did a great job of capturing the core of the book.  It is below.   

5 out of 5 Stars – The Way We See The World Can Change The World, June 21, 2006

“Centuries ago, when the Jews were in exile and despair, they cried out to God, “How should we then live?” The same question rings down through the ages. How shall we live today? Pearcey and Colson’s primary observation is that “the way we see the world can change the world.” (pg. 13) This is because our choices are shaped by what we believe is real and true, right and wrong, or good and beautiful. In short, our choices are shaped by what Pearcey and Colson call our “worldview.”Every worldview attempts to answer three basic questions: (1) Where did we come from and who are we? (2) What has gone wrong with the world? And (3) What can we do to fix it? According to Colson and Pearcey, the culture wars are not about extraneous issues like abortion or public education. Fundamentally, they are about worldviews–between competing secular and spiritual answers to those three basic questions.

The demise of objective truth, profoundly expressed in the halls of academia, also extends into the popular press and culture. The result has been a postmodern worldview which embraces relativism and reduces all ideas to social constructions shaped by class, gender, and ethnicity. Under this view, the world is just a power struggle for meaningless prizes. Their one absolute is that morality is not absolute. Other existing worldviews include “traditionalism,” found in many small towns filled with churches; and modernism, found among pragmatic social and business leaders interested in personal material gain, but less interested in philosophical questions and social issues. Against this backdrop, Christians are challenged to provide answers to those three basic questions in a compelling manner.

C. S. Lewis observed, “The Christian and the materialist hold different beliefs about the universe. They both can’t be right. The one who is wrong will act in a way which simply doesn’t fit the real universe.” Thus Colson and Pearcy observe that choices are not without consequences. The Christian worldview says we were created by God. Compelling evidence that life does not have a random origin can be found in the current arguments for intelligent design. Christianity claims that God created the universe with a material order and a moral order. If we live contrary to that order, we sin against God. Thus, what has gone wrong with the universe is human sin.

The way to redeem our culture is to help people realize which universe they’re living in. If it’s a materialist’s universe, then the answers don’t revolve around taking moral principles seriously. But if the real universe was made with a moral law (as Colson and Pearcey argue), then it stands to reason that the solutions to our problems begin with recognizing that fact, and taking steps to educate people in ways that will help them live lives that are not inimical to the way we were designed to live. This, Colson and Pearcey argue, is how we should live.”

For more information on Charles Colson visit his website at www.breakpoint.org and for more information on Nancy Pearcey visit her website at www.pearceyreport.com.

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No Doubt About It: The Case for Christianity By Dr. Winfried Corduan

August 28, 2007

This book is an excellent introduction to apologetics.  A wide range of issues related to the Christian faith are covered in a simple, clear and effective manner.   

Some of the topics included are the following: 

– Faith, Reason and Doubt

– Truth, Knowledge and Relativism

– Testing Worldviews

– Worldviews in Trouble

– The Existence of God

– God and Evil

– Miracles: Liability and Asset

– The New Testament and History

– Who Is Jesus?

– From Christ to Christianity

– Truth and Our Culture 

I highly recommend this book to Christians interested in defending their faith as well as to any skeptics struggling with the above topics.  For more information on Dr. Corduan visit his website at http://members.tripod.com/~Win_Corduan/cv.html.


True for You, But Not for Me: Deflating the Slogans that Leave Christians Speechless By Dr. Paul Copan

August 28, 2007

 

This is a short book at 192 pages but it is very, very powerful.  Since reading it I have become a huge fan of Paul Copan’s work and am now reading his other books.  This book provides solid, logical, and well reasoned responses to defeat popular slogans that non-believers use to attack Christianity.  It is a must read for all Christians. 

Some of the topics included are the following: 

“That’s True for You, But Not for Me”

– “So Many People Disagree – Relativism Must Be True”

– “You’re Just Using Western Logic”

– “Christians Are Intolerant of Other Viewpoints!”

– “What Right Do You Have to Convert Others to Your Views?”

– “Your Values Are Right for You, But Not for Me”

– “Who Are You to Say Another Culture’s Values Are Wrong?”

– “You Have the Right to Choose Your Own Values”

– “We Act Morally Because of Biological Evolution or Social Conditioning”

– “To Be Good, We Don’t Need God”

– “Christianity Is Arrogant and Imperialistic”

– “If You Grew Up in India, You’d Be a Hindu”

– “Mahatma Gandhi Was a Saint If Ever There Was One”

– “You Can’t Trust the Gospels. They’re Unreliable”

– “Jesus’ Followers Fabricated the Stories and Sayings of Jesus”

– “Jesus Is Just Like Any Other Great Religious Leader”

– “People Claim JFK and Elvis Are Alive, Too!”

– “But Jesus Never Said, ‘I am God’”

– “If Jesus Is the Only Way to God, What About Those Who Have Never Heard of Him?”

– “It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe –as Long as You’re Sincere”

– “Who Needs Jesus? And How Are They Going to Find Out About Him?”

– “Why Can’t We Simply Give People the Gospel?” 

I highly recommend this book.  For more information on Dr. Copan visit his website at www.paulcopan.com.

 


The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture? By Dr. Voddie Baucham

August 28, 2007

This is an excellent introduction to understanding the culture/spiritual war that is raging in our society. 

The core message of this book is that we live in a post-modern/post-Christian culture that embraces all lifestyles and religions and rejects the idea of absolute truth.  Our faith is constantly challenged by a culture that uses words such as narrow-minded, intolerant, and bigoted to describe us. We must take a stand and challenge the culture instead of conforming to it.  We must use the unchanging truth of God’s Word to engage the culture for transformation.  As Dr. Baucham writes, “the unchanging truth of God’s Word still holds preeminence in relevance and answers to contemporary life issues” and “as followers of Christ, we must stand humbly but boldly in the marketplace of ideas and proclaim the truth to a culture void of everlasting answers”. 

Although the book is only 210 pages, Dr. Baucham covers a lot of ground and very effectively conveys his message in a simple, logical and relevant way.  This is a very important book for all Christians to read in order to begin to understand the dynamics of the culture war.  I highly recommend it.  For more information on Dr. Baucham visit his website at www.voddiebaucham.org.


Pa. scientist again attacks evolution

August 20, 2007

The below is a recent book review of Dr. Michael Behes’s new book, The Edge of Evolution, by Cameron Wybrow that was recently published in The Philadelphia Enquirer.

The Edge of Evolution
The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
By Michael J. BeheFree Press. 320 pp. $28


Reviewed by Cameron Wybrow


“In 1996, Pennsylvania’s own Michael J. Behe launched a frontal attack upon Darwinian evolution with the publication of Darwin’s Black Box. Behe, a mild-mannered molecular biologist at Lehigh University, argued politely but vigorously that the standard Darwinian explanation (random mutations plus natural selection) simply couldn’t explain the evolution of a number of significant structures and processes observed in living things. Intricate processes like human blood clotting, and intricate structures like the bacterial flagellum (which is built uncannily like an outboard motor) were “irreducibly complex” arrangements that couldn’t have arisen by a series of chance steps. They therefore must have been designed, by an intelligence of some kind. Behe’s book soon became the flagship of the movement known as intelligent design (ID).Behe’s presentation and subsequent defense of ID (including his testimony at the Dover trial in 2005) outraged much of the biological community. He was denounced by the self-styled defenders of science – biologists like Ken Miller and Jerry Coyne, and non-scientists like Michael Ruse and Barbara Forrest. They accused Behe (along with his allies in the ID movement) of recycling disproved arguments, of insolently refusing to genuflect before the Darwinian consensus, of misunderstanding the nature of scientific theory, and of trying to slip God (disguised as “the intelligent designer”) into public-school science classrooms. Intelligent design, if not nipped in the bud, would turn science classes into seminaries, set back modern medicine by denying the evolution of antibiotic resistance, and destroy confidence in science in general, relegating America to a backward technological status.There was some reasonable criticism. Behe said that the bacterial flagellum could have been created only by multiple coordinated genetic changes, and that such coordination was beyond the power of random mutation. Miller argued that, given enough time, random mutations could accumulate, producing a flagellum by stages. Behe’s purely qualitative argument couldn’t disprove this possibility; without hard numbers, how did he know what random mutation could or couldn’t accomplish?Behe’s new book, The Edge of Evolution, provides some hard numbers, coupled with an ingenious argument. The key to determining the exact powers of Darwinian evolution, says Behe, lies with fast-reproducing microbes. Some, such as malaria, HIV, and E. coli, reproduce so quickly that within a few decades, or at most a few millennia, they generate as many mutations as a larger, slower-breeding animal would in millions of years. By observing how far these creatures have evolved in recent times, we can estimate the creative limits of random mutation.

In the case of malaria, the creative limits appear quite low. Over the last few thousand years, several thousand billion billion malarial cells have been unable to develop an evolutionary response to the sickle-cell mutation, which protects its human bearers from malaria. On the other hand, malaria has proved able to develop Darwinian resistance to the antibiotic chloroquine. This resistance is based upon two simultaneous mutations affecting a malarial protein. Yet this rare double mutation has occurred fewer than 10 times since chloroquine was introduced 50 years ago, during which time a hundred billion billion malarial cells have been born. If this indicates the typical rate of occurrence of double mutations, then the Darwinian transformation of our pre-chimp ancestor into homo sapiens, which would have required at least some double mutations, would have taken at least a thousand trillion years, a time span greater than the age of the universe.

Drawing upon parallel mutation studies of HIV and E. coli for confirmation, Behe concludes that random mutations cannot explain the origin of most of the complex structures in living things. He concedes that Darwinian processes can make new species, but argues that they are incompetent to generate new kingdoms, phyla, or classes. The creative limit, the “edge of evolution,” lies somewhere between the level of species and the level of class. Darwinian processes can account for the difference between a dog and a wolf, maybe even a dog and a bear, but not the difference between a lizard and a bird. Something other than random mutation must have produced such differences; for Behe, the “something” is intelligent design.

The response to Behe has been predictable. The editors of the major print media have assigned known enemies of ID to trash the book – Richard Dawkins for the New York Times; Coyne for the New Republic; Miller for Nature; Ruse for Toronto’s Globe & Mail. A large part of each review is ad hominem, concerned with Behe’s alleged religious agenda, his minority status among biologists, and other irrelevant matters. In Dawkins’ review, the science is barely touched, and it’s not clear from Ruse’s review that he has even opened the cover of the book. Behe deserves better. The Edge of Evolution makes a serious, quantitative argument about the limits of Darwinian evolution. Evolutionary biology cannot honestly ignore it.”


Cameron Wybrow is a freelance writer with a doctorate from McMaster University. He has published two books on the origin of modern science.


Book Review: The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ by Lee Strobel

July 28, 2007

A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ

I was blessed recently to receive an advance copy of Lee Strobel’s soon to be released book, The Case for the Real Jesus.  I read this book within a few days because every time I picked it up I simply could not put it down.  I am reading it a couple more times because there is so much outstanding material to absorb.  It is another outstanding book from someone who has become one of my favorite authors.

I became a big fan of Lee’s several years ago when I read The Case for Christ.  This book had a huge impact on my life.  It strengthened my faith immeasurably and gave me an insatiable desire for studying Christian apologetics.  I have since read other books by Lee Strobel, such as The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, The Case for Easter and The Case for Christmas.  I have found all of Lee’s books to be incredibly powerful with  loads of evidence for the Christian faith.     

The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ is an investigation by Lee Strobel, a former Yale Law School graduate, award-winning legal editor for the Chicago Tribune and spiritual skeptic until 1981.  In this book Lee tackles hot topics, such as:

Did the church distort ancient non-biblical documents that paint a more accurate picture of Jesus that the four Gospels?

Did the church distort the truth about Jesus by tampering with early New Testament texts?

Do new insights and explanations finally disprove the resurrection?

Have fresh arguments disqualified Jesus from being Messiah?

Did Christianity steal its core ideas from earlier mythology?

Lee provides the reader with the evidence to evaluate the arguments and evidence being advanced by prominent atheists, liberal theologians, Muslim scholars, and others.  Sift through the expert testimony and then reach your own verdict.

For me the evidence led to where it always has since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at an early age.

Sadly, we live in a time where so many attempt to re-write history and change the truth about Jesus.  Everyone wants to put their own spin on Him to fit their agendas. 

I highly recommend this book to both skeptics and believers.  Whether you are a skeptic or believer you have to respect Lee’s forthrightness in being open and honest in tackling the tough questions.  He is an excellent writer, a very effective communicator and this is another fine piece of work from him.  I look forward to reading this one a few more times and to his next one.


Book Review: Family Driven Faith by Dr. Voddie Baucham

July 28, 2007

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I just read the latest book from Dr. Voddie Baucham, Family Driven Faith.  This book is absolutely phenomenal.  I enjoyed it so much and there is so much excellent information in it that I read it three times.  I highly recommend this book for all Christians who desire to raise their children biblically as devout followers of Christ. 

I was beginning to write a review on this book and decided that the writing inside the front sleeve of the book captured it best. 

“More teens are turning away from the faith than ever before.  It is estimated that as many as 88% of teens who profess Christianity walk from their faith by the end of their freshman year of college.  Something must be done.

Family Driven Faith equips Christian parents with the tools they need to raise children biblically in a post-Christian, anti-family society.  Voddie Baucham, who with his wife has overcome a multi-generational legacy of broken and dysfunctional homes, shows that God has not left us alone in raising godly children.  He has given us timeless precepts and principles for multi-generational faithfulness, especially in Deuteronomy 6.  God’s simple command to Moses to teach the Word diligently to the children of Israel serves as the foundation of Family Driven Faith.

This bold new book is an urgent cal to parents and the church to return to biblical discipleship in and through the home.”