Friday, December 31, 2010

The Irrational Audacity of Atheism

This is the full essay by Ravi Zacharias which can be found HERE


The Undeluded Truth?
Is the Christian faith intellectual nonsense? Are Christians deluded?



More from Ravi Zacharias

“If God exists and takes an interest in the affairs of human beings, his will is not inscrutable,” writes Sam Harris about the 2004 tsunami in Letter to a Christian Nation . “The only thing inscrutable here is that so many otherwise rational men and women can deny the unmitigated horror of these events and think this is the height of moral wisdom.” [i] In his article “God’s Dupes,” Harris argues, Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music.” [ii] Ironically, Harris’ first book is entitled The End of Faith, but it should really be called The End of Reason as it demonstrates again that the mind that is alienated from God in the name of reason can become totally irrational.

Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins suggests that the idea of God is a virus, and we need to find software to eradicate it. Somehow if we can expunge the virus that led us to think this way, we will be purified and rid of this bedeviling notion of God, good, and evil. [iii] Along with Christopher Hitchens and a few others, these atheists are calling for the banishment of all religious belief. “Away with this nonsense” is their battle cry! In return, they promise a world of new hope and unlimited horizons once we have shed this delusion of God.

I have news for them—news to the contrary. The reality is that the emptiness that results from the loss of the transcendent is stark and devastating, philosophically and existentially. Indeed, the denial of an objective moral law, based on the compulsion to deny the existence of God, results ultimately in the denial of evil itself. Furthermore, one would like to ask Dawkins, Are we morally bound to remove that virus? Somehow he himself is, of course, free from the virus and can therefore input our moral data.

In an attempt to escape what they call the contradiction between a good God and a world of evil, atheists try to dance around the reality of a moral law (and hence, a moral law giver) by introducing terms like “evolutionary ethics”. The one who raises the question against God in effect plays God while denying He exists. Now one may wonder: why do you actually need a moral law giver if you have a moral law? The answer is because the questioner and the issue he or she questions always involve the essential value of a person. You can never talk of morality in abstraction. Persons are implicit to the question and the object of the question. In a nutshell, positing a moral law without a moral law giver would be equivalent to raising the question of evil without a questioner. So you cannot have a moral law unless the moral law itself is intrinsically woven into personhood, which means it demands an intrinsically worthy person if the moral law itself is valued. And that person can only be God.

Our inability to alter what is actual frustrates our grandiose delusions of being sovereign over everything. Yet t he truth is we cannot escape the existential rub by running from a moral law. Objective moral values exist only if God exists. Is it all right, for example, to mutilate babies for entertainment? Every reasonable person will say “no.” We know that objective moral values do exist. Therefore, God must exist. Examining those premises and their validity presents a very strong argument.

Being Honest Ourselves

The prophet Jeremiah noted, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, ESV). Similarly, the apostle James said, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22-25).

The world does not understand what the absoluteness of the moral law is all about. Some get caught, some don’t get caught. Yet who of us would like our heart exposed on the front page of the newspaper today? Have there not been days and hours when like Paul, you’ve struggled within yourself, and said, “ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… . What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? ” (Romans 7:15, 24). Each of us knows this tension and conflict within if we are honest with ourselves.

Therefore, as Christians, we ought to take time to reflect seriously upon the question, “Has God truly wrought a miracle in my life? Is my own heart proof of the supernatural intervention of God?” In the West we go through these seasons of new-fangled theologies. The whole question of “lordship” plagued our debates for some time as we asked, is there such a thing as a minimalist view of conversion? “We said the prayer and that’s it.” Yet how can there be a minimalist view of conversion when conversion itself is a maximal work of God’s grace? “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV).

If you were proposing marriage to someone, what would the one receiving the proposal say if you said, “I want you to know this proposal changes nothing about my allegiances, my behavior, and my daily life; however, I do want you to know that should you accept my proposal, we shall theoretically be considered married. There will be no other changes in me on your behalf.” In a strange way we have minimized every sacred commitment and made it the lowest common denominator. What does my new birth mean to me? That is a question we seldom ask. Who was I before God’s work in me, and who am I now?

The first entailment of coming to know Jesus Christ is the new hungers and new pursuits that are planted within the human will. I well recall that dramatic change in my own way of thinking. There were new longings, new hopes, new dreams, new fulfillments, but most noticeably a new will to do what was God’s will. Thomas Chalmers characterized this change that Christ brings as “the expulsive power of a new affection.” This new affection of heart—the love of God wrought in us through the Holy Spirit—expels all other old seductions and attractions. The one who knows Christ begins to see that his or her own misguided heart is impoverished and in need of constant submission to the will of the Lord—spiritual surrender. Yes, we are all gifted with different personalities, but humility of spirit and the hallmark of conversion is to see one’s own spiritual poverty. Arrogance and conceit ought to be inimical to the life of the believer. A deep awareness of one’s own new hungers and longings is a convincing witness to God’s grace within.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sarah Palin Not Intellectual Enough To Stand Against Obama?

Full article by Meredith Dake -- Juan Williams is Right, Palin Can't Stand on Same Intellectual Stage as Obama

We all supported Juan Williams when he was dumped from NPR for actually trying to have an honest conversation about terrorism. We cheered for him as he was hired by Fox News. I applaud O’Reilly when he has Williams host. I mean, when was the last time Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann had a moderate conservative sit in for them? Over the weekend, however, Juan Williams reminded us all why he is still a “brain-dead” liberal.




There is no doubt that if Palin went back to college at an Ivy League university and received a Ph.D. in physics that liberals would still say she was “anti-intellectual” or just plain stupid. They hate her. They hate her family, her husband, her children, and her beliefs. They hate her success and the adoration that she has gained from a large amount of the American population. This will never change. And just has these realizations were frustrating me as I watched this clip, I realized that Juan was right. Palin can’t stand on the same stage, intellectually, with Obama.
If you’ve watched 10 minutes of Sarah Palin’s Alaska on TLC or even a 5 minute interview with Sarah you’ll recognize instantly that she doesn’t mince words. Sarah Palin doesn’t beat around the bush. She doesn’t hide her meanings and she doesn’t use childish analogies about cars in ditches to illustrate America’s complex problems. She talks straight, albeit sometimes in extraordinarily laymen’s terms.
When the media world was turned upside-down with the announcement of Palin being on the Presidential ticket with McCain, the media did it’s best to discredit every word she had ever uttered. They did their best to find flaws in her stories at the 2010 Republican National Convention speech and scoured through her gubernatorial debates to find unfulfilled campaign promises to discredit her truthfulness. And the MSM failed, quite miserably. Nothing the MSM could bring out would stick so they decided to invent things (see the “Bush doctrine” question as a prime example). In other words, Sarah Palin has been proven over and over again to be a person that tells the truth when she speaks. When she made campaign promises about the Alaska government becoming more transparent and fiscally responsible, she actually meant it and has a record to show for it. The same could not be said for the President who promised transparency and a more responsible government.

So, it looks like Juan Williams is right, Sarah Palin cannot stand on the same “intellectual stage” as President Obama. Or rather, Obama cannot stand on the same stage as Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is a straight-talking, articulate (although, rarely qualified as much by the MSM), super-mom turned political pundit. President Obama is a sleek, charismatic but somewhat emotionally aloof politician who can read a teleprompter like nobody’s business (except when it references the military – then he’s a little lost). People who will be impressed but such theatrics (like “brain-dead” liberals) which look great on camera but do little toward the preservation of our country, will be impressed by such things. Juan Williams is one of those people and yet he somehow managed to stumble on to the truth in his Palin Derangement Syndrome rant: Sarah Palin, when it comes to intellectual honesty, is miles above President Obama’s “stage”.

For more great articles visit bigjournalism.com

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fun Facts

* Gays will now be allowed to serve openly in the military. Let's hope the enemy doesn't use their gaydar.

* "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is being replaced with "I Wish You Hadn't Told Me."

* One good thing about gays in the military.. The barracks are going to look great with some drapes to accent the drab windows that give it an elegant look even on a budget. War is FABULOUS!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What Has Christmas Become?

Let's get this out of the way first. I have wonderful Christmas memories from my childhood. I remember the fun family times looking at the lights, and decorating the tree, going to Christmas eve candlelight services.. and I still believe families should do those things. And I believe that Jesus' birth is sacred and truly miraculous.
That being said..
I am starting to become a cynic about all things that are supposedly good in America. Christmas takes the cake. It simply is THE most manufactured, hyped, human centered celebration topped only by our own birthdays.
It seems to me that in America we have a problem, especially in our churches. We can't quite grasp the fact that we don't have to bury each other in earthly toys to celebrate a day in which ironically the King of Kings came into this world in the most humble, non-materialistic way imaginable. In fact I firmly believe that Jesus hates our version of Christmas. He would hate the fact that people use his entrance into this world to get their businesses "into the black". He would hate the fact that the only thing the media can report on is how retail sales are up or down from last year. He would hate the fact that we start celebrating this holiday two months before it even takes place.. and yet when the day comes to celebrate the fact that Jesus died on a cross to pay the ultimate sacrifice that saved us from hell, we spend the night before picking out pretty clothes, we spend Sunday at an hour-and-a-half long service, then we go home and hide eggs and take a nap. Barely a whimper is made, there aren't songs that we sing for months ahead of that time to remember the true saving grace that occurred. It's a tiny blip on our radar, while Christmas takes up a fifth of our entire year with a climax at the end of giving material things to each other that we don't need in the first place.

I'm not a scrooge. I don't hate people spreading cheer. But that's not really what I see, especially working retail. I see people going into debt to buy toys for each other. I see people in chaotic traffic jams honking at each other. I see people literally fighting over parking spaces. It's a contest to see who can outspend. Really the whole thing has become a caricature of itself. And Jesus would hardly endorse it.

Again.. when you have families it is important to spend some time as a family talking about Jesus, making memories that are peaceful and pleasant. The songs can be nice.. (although this year I was ready to stick two ice picks into my ears). And in general if we took away the chaos and the massive amount of gifts, it could be a very worshipful time.

Christians are asleep. Jesus IS coming back soon, and I'm just not convinced that the American church is as Christ-centered as we like to think we are. Myself included. I am guilty of being a Sunday Christian just like we all do from time to time. Meanwhile there is an un-believing world out there that looks at our actions this time of year and it looks like it's the new Apple product that is giving us our joy and not Jesus, who actually happens to be our First, Last, and Only hope.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pigford: How To Get 50K By Simply "Attempting" To Farm

I tried to get tomatoes to grow ten years ago, If I were black, I'd be banking right now.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fun Facts

* If you ever get the pleasure of seeing two people fighting over a parking place at a crowded mall, don't try and break it up, just enjoy it. That's a piece of Americana happening right before your eyes.

* I love kids, however they seem to be walking containers of viruses, germs, and disease. When I come into contact with any kid around cold and flu season I immediately feel the need to go home and take a bath in waterless hand sanitizer.

* Americans have so perverted Christmas that I almost think it might be more Holy to just not celebrate it at all. If you have your kids singing "Happy Birthday Dear Jesus" and then tearing into their new store bought possessions then you aren't doing it right.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mitch McConnell Proposes One Page Bill Instead of the 2000 Page Spend-a-thon

Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.. a One Trillion dollar bill!?!? It makes me wish "the big one" earthquake that is supposed to strike California some day will move over to Washington DC. Okay, so maybe I wish it would strike both. Anyway here's Mitch McConnell saying what the American people are thinking.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fun Facts

* If animal rights activists really cared about animals then they would care about bugs and spiders too. I have never seen anyone in Walmart protesting the Raid and Roach Motel section.

* If you wear a Bluetooth and you are talking on the phone and then you get upset when a stranger mistakenly thinks you are talking to them.. Then you should be executed publicly by firing squad. You are a cancer on society.

* An older man in Florida was held up at knife point by two thugs who demanded his wallet. The man pulled out his gun which he had a concealed carry license for and blew one of the assailants head clean off his shoulders. I for one think it's great. And if we learned anything from The Untouchables it was NEVER bring a knife to a gun fight.


Monday, December 13, 2010

It's My 6 Year Blogiversary

6 years ago today I sat down at my computer and started typing things. Today I continue because my readership has grown from 1 person to as much as 6 people on any given day. Watch out Drudge Report we are on your tail!

Here's what you can expect in the coming year on TLAT...

* A 6 part expose' investigation on the whereabouts of Amelia Earhart.

* Hard hitting news and commentary about how liberals equal "bad" while everyone else equals "not as bad".

* My Interview with the late Paul Harvey.

* Fun Facts.

* A sweepstakes giveaway to your choice of several fabulous ports of call.

* The third annual Life and Times Alaskan Cruise where you can meet me, and sit through several nights of seminars and symposiums about topics that I come up with the night before.

* General useless observations.

* And finally my annual "favorite things giveaway" where I go through my cabinets and give you things that I was probably going to throw away anyway!

All that and so much more in 2011 and beyond!

Or probably not... So stay tuned!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Greatest Classic Silent Film Of All Time

Laurel & Hardy in Big Business.. featuring one of my favorite actors, the guy with the wonky eye.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Predictions For 2011

It's time once again to look into the future and see what we have in store for us next year...

* In order to fly, you must be willing to fly naked. Only turbans will be allowed (Gotta be sensitive to the Muslims!)

* Lady Gaga will try and shock us in some predictable, anti-morality way. Probably involving blasphemy and nudity in some way. But still gay dance clubs will soak it up everywhere and will be filled with flamboyant prancing pseudo-hippies.

* Reality TV will continue to have less to do with reality than most half hour sitcoms.

* Weezer will put out 8 albums, none of them will be any good.

* The post office will raise the cost of the stamp to 99 cents each or 10 for 8.99 on Itunes.

* Justin Bieber's voice will start to change. Not to fear, Auto-tune will make sure to he keeps that sweet 12 year old girl sound for years to come.

* The liberals will hate Sarah Palin. This prediction was the hardest one for me to make. I mean, Liberals are so open-minded, generous, and kind that it's hard to think they could possibly hate.

* Jesus Christ is on his starting block waiting for the Father to shoot the starting pistol signaling his return to come rescue us off this horrible spinning ball and take us to where we will thirst no more. If only it were this next year. Come Lord.. We're ready!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Dear America

Does anyone else not see the writing on the wall? Here are the 6 signs that Jesus said would signal the end of the world..

* FALSE PROPHETS AND CHRISTS -- There are so many other "ways" around it's not even funny.. Everything from transcendental meditation to Scientology. All of them purport to be your savior.

* WARS -- Just watch one 24 hour news cycle. So many wars.. and the big one is brewing just beneath the surface.

* FAMINES -- We have a problem in America where we believe that everyone is fed well simply because we have a Burger King on every corner. We live in the 21st Century yet much of Africa and Asia is starving.

* EARTHQUAKES -- A staggering number of seismic events occur around the world daily. And we all know the big one is any day now.

* TRIBULATIONS -- We are told by the media that Christianity is infecting the world with it's message.. In truth, Christianity is under attack more than ever. Ask a missionary in a Third-world country. Martyrdom is a real possibility in so many places around the globe.

* THE GOSPEL WILL BE PREACHED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD -- This may be the one thing holding off the final curtain. There are still unreached people groups.. although that number is dwindling.

I hate to be that weird guy with the "End is Near" sign on the street corner.. But it's kind of hard to ignore what is happening around us at a rapid pace. Wake up America.

Sincerely,
TLAT

Monday, December 06, 2010

Fun Facts

* The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, apparently has yet to find time to mosey over to WikiHaircuts.

* Our country is broke. It's time we start selling things on Ebay in order to pay down the national debt. Would anyone really be that sad if we wrapped up Alaska and returned it to the Russians? What's the return policy on that one?

* If tomorrow America cut off all trade with China we would only be able to buy McDonald's hamburgers and Shop-vacs (I looked it up, they are still made in the U.S.).

Sunday, December 05, 2010

What In The World!?!?

Check out this video... I have NO idea what is happening... But... I...Can't...Turn...Away...

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Ravi Zacharias Answers Stephen Hawking

Perfectly brilliant response. The men that the world sees as brilliant scholars are for the most part nothing but utter fools. To deny God is to deny the most fundamental truth known to man, and there is no way someone like that should be considered brilliant. Here is Part 1.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Dear Mr. President

Mr. President, I woke up this morning to hear the news that unemployment rose to 9.8% today. I was taken aback. But then I was even more shocked when ABC News said that it is actually a sign that the recovery is continuing. Mr. President.. You said your task now was going to be "Jobs, jobs, jobs!". I am asking you to simply do nothing.
Socialism is not working. Raising taxes on the "rich" during one of the worst economic times since the depression will be a disaster of epic proportions. If you stop pushing forth your agenda of class warfare you might be able to salvage a legacy of just being another Jimmy Carter.. with the path you are on now you are headed towards being seen as a villain, not a "robin hood" like you would like to think of yourself.
I know you don't love America, because no one who even liked America would sabotage it so openly as you are. Please reverse course or simply do nothing. For you see, doing nothing would be far superior to what is happening now. I recommend just watching movies in the White House theater, going golfing, or going on vacation all around the world. The tax money we will spend for you to go play would be much more of a savings then you staying in the Oval Office and pushing fourth your toxic ideas on the American people.

Thank you.

Concerned Citizen,

The Life And Times

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Steve Wiebe Is The King of Kong Again

Steve Wiebe is the King of Kong again | Joystiq

Not sure how I missed this. If you have ever seen the outstanding documentary called The King Of Kong then you will know what I am talking about here. Donkey Kong, the arcade game has long been considered one of the hardest, if not the hardest game in history to get a high score on. So naturally a documentary about the high score of a video game would be fascinating, right? Well, it turns out it is amazingly fascinating, riveting, and even emotional.
Most people walk away from the movie with a need to see Steve Wiebe (The nice guy) beat Billy Mitchell (The arrogant, not-so-nice guy) so that we can see the underdog win.

At the end of the movie you feel a vindicated.. however if you followed the drama after the movie you know that Billy Mitchell simply submitted another tape with another high score and the cycle continued..

Well great news! Steve Wiebe, the likable underdog is back on top!
If you haven't seen the movie, you don't know what you are missing. It is truly great. Here's a preview. You really need to see this movie. It is so much more entertaining then it sounds.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010