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Number One Favorite Smell…

Posted by Mats on 18/10/2010

Original

Barbeque is the number one favorite smell, on most people’s smell list. It brings instant salivation. The top favorite color is blue. That makes sense, because blue gives us a sense of well-being. Who doesn’t appreciate a clear blue sky? What are some of the every day pleasures you enjoy? Good music? How about the first bite of a tender steak, or some liquid that hits the spot on a really hot day? Imagine losing all of those pleasures. Imagine if you found yourself in a place where a terrible thirst could never be quenched.

I don’t need to “imagine” such a place. I am 100% convinced that Hell exists; and Hell is a place where there is no pleasure. No friends. No parties. I believe this because I know that a Creator exists, because creation exists: It is…therefore He does. As mocking atheists say, “Goddidit.” It doesn’t take too much thought.

I know intuitively that the Creator is good, because I am part of a “moral” creation. No animal has concerns about justice and truth. Only man. If God exists and is good, He therefore must care about justice. Billions feel as I do. Simply ask any human being what God requires of them, and they will say that He expects us to “live a good life,” etc. From there, common sense dictates that murderers and rapists will ultimately be punished. That’s a given. But what most of humanity doesn’t understand is that the standard of goodness that God has is infinitely higher than ours. That means that on Judgment Day His justice will be infinitely more demanding.

To believe that God doesn’t exist–that there is no absolute morality, no ultimate justice, and you can live as you wish, is to have all your eggs in one broken down basket, with a loose handle. If you are guilty on Judgment Day (and remember that lust is adultery in God’s eyes–Matthew 5:27-28), you will give up all of life’s wonderful pleasures.

Think about what “damnation” actually means. Crying out “I’m so sorry, I was wrong, God help me!” will mean nothing. The door of mercy will be closed. You laughed at His servants, you mocked His gospel, you blasphemed His name, you were ungrateful for the life he gave you, and lived in a way that was abhorrent to Him. Now you must face the music. Justice will have finally caught up with you, and there will be Hell to pay.

For the Christian, Hell has already been “paid.” Justice has been satisfied through the suffering death of the Savior. We can leave the courtroom. We will have pleasure for evermore, on a new earth…one without tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, disease, pain, suffering, death, etc. God hasn’t even begun to show the pleasures He has in store for those that love Him (see 1 Corinthians 2:9). We have instant salvation the moment we call upon Him, and eternal salivation awaiting us.

So what’s holding you back from repentance, and faith in Jesus? We both know the answer to that, don’t we? It’s two-fold. Your pride, and your love of your sin. Maybe the next time pleasure comes your way, you will consider these sobering thoughts. I hope so.

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Is God Good

Posted by Mats on 16/07/2010

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“No Ultimate Meaning Without Immortality and God”

Posted by Mats on 29/06/2010

William Lane Craig

  • Photo of: William Lane Craig William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He is well known for his work as an apologist, speaker and debater. He is the author of Reasonable Faith. View all resources by William Lane Craig

http://www.bethinking.org/who-am-i/introductory/no-ultimate-meaning-without-immortality-and-god.htm

If each individual person passes out of existence when he dies, then what ultimate meaning can be given to his life? Does it really matter whether he ever existed at all? It might be said that his life was important because it influenced others or affected the course of history. But this only shows a relative significance to his life, not an ultimate significance. His life may be important relative to certain other events, but what is the ultimate significance of any of those events? If all the events are meaningless, then what can be the ultimate meaning of influencing any of them? Ultimately it makes no difference.

Look at it from another perspective: Scientists say that the universe originated in an explosion called the ‘Big Bang’ about 15 billion years ago. Suppose the Big Bang had never occurred. Suppose the universe had never existed. What ultimate difference would it make? The universe is doomed to die anyway. In the end it makes no difference whether the universe ever existed or not. Therefore, it is without ultimate significance.

The same is true of the human race. Mankind is a doomed race in a dying universe. Because the human race will eventually cease to exist, it makes no ultimate difference whether it ever did exist. Mankind is thus no more significant than a swarm of mosquitos or a barnyard of pigs, for their end is all the same. The same blind cosmic process that coughed them up in the first place will eventually swallow them all again.

And the same is true of each individual person. The contributions of the scientist to the advance of human knowledge, the researches of the doctor to alleviate pain and suffering, the efforts of the diplomat to secure peace in the world, the sacrifices of good men everywhere to better the lot of the human race—all these come to nothing. In the end they don’t make one bit of difference, not one bit. Each person’s life is therefore without ultimate significance. And because our lives are ultimately meaningless, the activities we fill our lives with are also meaningless. The long hours spent in study at the university, our jobs, our interests, our friendships—all these are, in the final analysis, utterly meaningless. This is the horror of modern man: because he ends in nothing, he is nothing.

But it is important to see that it is not just immortality that man needs if life is to be meaningful. Mere duration of existence does not make that existence meaningful. If man and the universe could exist forever, but if there were no God, their existence would still have no ultimate significance. To illustrate: I once read a science-fiction story in which an astronaut was marooned on a barren chunk of rock lost in outer space. He had with him two vials: one containing poison and the other a potion that would make him live forever. Realizing his predicament, he gulped down the poison. But then to his horror, he discovered he had swallowed the wrong vial—he had drunk the potion for immortality. And that meant that he was cursed to exist forever—a meaningless, unending life. Now if God does not exist, our lives are just like that. They could go on and on and still be utterly without meaning. We could still ask of life, ‘So what?’ So it is not just immortality man needs if life is to be ultimately significant; he needs God and immortality. And if God does not exist, then he has neither.

Twentieth-century man came to understand this. Read Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know. In a tragic portrayal of man, Beckett wrote another play in which the curtain opens revealing a stage littered with junk. For thirty long seconds, the audience sits and stares in silence at that junk. Then the curtain closes. That’s all.

One of the most devastating novels I’ve ever read was Steppenwolf, by Hermann Hesse. At the novel’s end, Harry Haller stands looking at himself in a mirror. During the course of his life he had experienced all the world offers. And now he stands looking at himself, and he mutters, ‘Ah, the bitter taste of life!’ He spits at himself in the looking-glass, and then he kicks it to pieces. His life has been futile and meaningless.

French existentialists Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus understood this, too. Sartre portrayed life in his play No Exit as hell—the final line of the play are the words of resignation, ‘Well, let’s get on with it.’ Hence, Sartre writes elsewhere of the ‘nausea’ of existence. Camus, too, saw life as absurd. At the end of his brief novel The Stranger, Camus’s hero discovers in a flash of insight that the universe has no meaning and there is no God to give it one. The French biochemist Jacques Monod seemed to echo those sentiments when he wrote in his work Chance and Necessity, ‘Man finally knows he is alone in the indifferent immensity of the universe.’

Thus, if there is no God, then life itself becomes meaningless. Man and the universe are without ultimate significance.

Please follow this link to read the whole chapter
The Absurdity of Life Without God – ‘Reasonable Faith’, Chapter Two

  • © This is a sample from the book ‘Reasonable Faith’ by William Lane Craig, copyright 1994, page 51-75.

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God to atheists: First Learn How Things Work Before Calling it “Bad Design”, ok?

Posted by Mats on 11/05/2010

The eyes have it.

idnet.com.au

I can’t let this one go without posting the reference to the paper generating all the fuss.

Retinal glial cells enhance human vision acuity. A. M. Labin and E. N. Ribak
Physics Department, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel

“We construct a light-guiding model of the retina outside the fovea, in which an array of glial (Muller) cells permeates the depth of retina down to the photoreceptors. The retina is revealed as an optimal structure designed for improving the sharpness of images.

The results provide evidence for a natural optical waveguide array, which preserves almost perfectly images obtained through a narrow pupil.

Light guiding within the retinal volume is an effective and biologically convenient way to improve the resolution of the eye and reduce chromatic aberration. The retinal nuclear layers, until now considered a source of distortion, actually improve the decoupling of nearby photoreceptors and thus enhance visual acuity.

The fundamental features of the array of glial cells are revealed as an optimal structure designed for preserving the acuity of images in the human retina. It plays a crucial role in vision quality, in humans and in other species.”

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