Saturday, March 2, 2013

This Documentary will be a Must-See

To come out later this year...

"The Drop Box" - Documentary PROMO from Brian Ivie on Vimeo.


Quite a story! 22 year old film maker Brian Ivie heard of the heroic work of South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak and realized it had to be captured on film.

But during his second visit to South Korea, the film-maker realized himself that there was someone occupying the center of the universe - and it was not him, but the One this courageous pastor represented, and he became a Christian.

The film went on to win first place honors at the San Antonio Independent Film Makers Awards.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Insecurity, Self-Completion and Pride - A Warning to Many Who Would Enter the Ministry

I had a horrible, vacant, relentlessly self-centered father. I caught his inexplicable disdain and disapproval of me during the bulk of my formative years.

But boy, when I became a believer, did I ever want to go into the ministry - more than any other thing in my consciousness.

Ostensibly, it was to serve Jesus whom I believed had saved me with His loving hand. It was the least I could do - give my life up for the One who had done so much for me.

Or was it really for myself?!

Not that my motives were entirely set in one direction or the other. They were always at best, mixed. And so much was done unbeknownst to myself in terms of motivations.

But this I have come to see - that via my mega-insecurities, I probably should have done something different with my life. Neither I nor those around me were smart enough to see it though.

In the prime of my life I went off to seminary and sacrificed (by the time you add Bible school plus seminary plus internship) you have no less than seven full years of my life studying how to do what? Conquer my own insecurities! How? By becoming SMART! Smart about WHAT? About GOD things - the main things. Why? So people would look up to me and think well of me. And if they thought well of me, they would accept me. And if they accepted me, I would finally have my great goal - self-approval! Self-completion! A vicious utilitarian (unselfconscious) scheme.

Yet Jesus sacrifice was pure, self-conscious, the very embodiment of love.

So I followed that mixed pursuit my entire adult life. Fortunately I was never led into positions and power opportunities that so often turn abusive-latent. Many who taste and experience the power of self-completion through ministry become the most abusive and dangerous of all religious opportunists.

Only question that remains? Why does it take an entire lifetime to discover such about yourself? And at an age where you are too old and too set in your ways, and too worn out to do anything to change it?

If the Holy Spirit one day allows a break-through into the veneer of transcendence, and I perceive, actually embracingly perceive that the broken little boy is fully and unhesitatingly accepted by the Center of the Cosmos Himself, I might be able to stand down from this damnable treadmill. Or if I can witness true, unconditional love and acceptance, on any level. (I have hints of that it seems, yet I'm never as willing to receive as others are to give).

In the meantime, in the words of Solomon "watch the door to her house (yes, he was referring to "the strange woman", but I take just a bit of liberty here referring to ministry and self-approval), those who enter, enter into the house of death."

New Atheists Playing With Fire

My tastes in Apologetics run decidedly in the Van Tillian camp. For this reason I bemoaned more than most the passing of our dear articulate spokesman, Greg Bahnsen in December of 1995. If Bahnsen were around today, clearly the New Atheists (Christopher Hitchens - God rest his soul, Richard Dawkins, Samuel Harris, et, al) would not be making waves with their media-polished pseudo-scientific answers for why God simply cannot exist. Bahnsen would be eating them for breakfast each morning.

But alas, until we see a new crop of champion Apologists (be they Presuppositional, Evidentialist or a mingling of both, as the New Testament does it), we are stuck limping along (with all due respect) with the likes of Frank Turney, Samuel Craig and Ravi Zacharius (probably the best of them all).

However, in watching the full debate recently held between Dr. Samuel Craig and Alex Rosenberg on the topic "Is Faith in God Reasonable?" some things jumped out on both sides as red flags. Flags of both hope and warning

The first was the question posed by an attendee from Costa Rica who raised the question most feared among Atheists, (the flip side of the question of evil so often thrown at Theists) "if you claim this to be a purely material universe how do you account for the existence of a universal abstract entity known as evil?"


Of course Rosenberg had no answer, shifting quickly to the existence of "pain and suffering", mustering evolutionary biology (natural selection) to his side - lame to say the least. If you put a face, say Hitler, Stalin, Dahmer to the process of evolutionary biology you have just admitted to an abstract, universal entity called "evil". Then the Atheist is in big trouble. Period.

But the saddest part was the wide open door left for Dr. Craig at just this point, which he refused to even enter. Oh how we miss you Mr. Bahnsen, sir!

The second was the passion at which Prof. Rosenberg wanted to distinguish himself from Richard Dawkins and Samuel Harris. He seem to believe that the inconsistent pseudo-scientific "win-by-being-a-good-debater-or-media-man-than-by-good-argument" way of approach is ultimately counter-productive to the Atheist cause and so he wants very much to distinguish himself. He wants to be the one who actually plays by the rules - with true, consistent empirical science.

Unfortunately Rosenberg is not just a scientist playing all day in some lab with empirical data, of which tiny orb he has to draw some basic conclusions. Rather, Rosenberg is also a philosopher - a social philosopher. It happens to be his task to look at all the strands of scientific data, including but not limited to biology, physics, anthropology, humanities, history of philosophy in general and so much more. With his plate being thus full, he must do two things and do them well. He must think, and he must conclude, (at least tentatively conclude) with the highest degree of logical consistency that he can, bound inseparably to metaphysical naturalism as he is.

So he has unilaterally taken on a position in contrast to Dawkins and Harris where he proudly affirms (my paraphrase) "let science be science and to hell with the distasteful conclusions one must come to given emotions, meaning, intention, conscience, morality, objectivity, aboutness, etc"

Sounds like pure Nihilism to me. If pure Nihilism is the future of New Atheism, we're (they're) really playing with fire, but not just a fire. How about a land mine which will blow up in their faces.

If any segment of our culture, our youth especially, buy into this philosophical black hole, it will make our current suicide rates seem like a walk in the park. We better hope this guy doesn't get a hearing. We'll have a culture full of Friedrich Nietzsches walking about like a world of zombies!

In fact Rosenberg himself is a very Nietzsche-esq character himself, throwing little bombs everywhere, one went like this "did you know that 95% of physicists were atheist?".

Wonder if he took a survey of theologians? I doubt it. We're all still pre-committed to our world views and neutrality is still a myth.