March 2011


Here is an important excerpt from an article by Drew Dyck, discussing one finding from his personal research into the question of why so many teens leave the church:

Another unsettling pattern emerged during my interviews. Almost to a person, the leavers with whom I spoke recalled that, before leaving the faith, they were regularly shut down when they expressed doubts. Some were ridiculed in front of peers for asking “insolent questions.” Others reported receiving trite answers to vexing questions and being scolded for not accepting them. One was slapped across the face, literally.

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Matthew reports a guard being stationed outside of Jesus’ tomb (Mt 27:62-66; 28:4,11-15).  While it is often assumed that the guard was a Roman guard, the text does not say this.  While it may have been a Roman guard, it is also possible that it was a Jewish guard seeing that the temple in Jerusalem employed its own guards.  Which was it?

Reasons to think the guard was a Jewish temple guard:

  • The guards return to the chief priests rather than to Pilate or a Roman officer
  • It is unlikely that Roman guards would agree to spread a story for which they could be executed (execution was the punishment for Roman soldiers who fell asleep on watch).
  • While the mention of the governor in Mt 28:14 may indicate this is a Roman guard, if it was a Roman guard then it is difficult to see how the Jewish leadership could have done anything to keep the governor for killing his own soldiers.  What influence would they have in Roman military affairs?

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Could Jesus have rolled away the stone that covered his tomb?   The entrance of a Jewish tomb was quite small, so the stone needed to cover the opening would only be 4-6’ in diameter, and approximately 1’ thick.  How much would such a stone weigh?  Depending on the type of stone used, it could weigh between 1-2 tons (2000-4000 pounds).[1] This is quite heavy, but two men could move it into place (Mt 27:60; Jn 19:38-42).  The more difficult task was removing the stone.

Generally speaking, the rolling stone was set inside a groove in front of the entrance, and secured from falling over by a stone wall that stood in front of tomb opening (the rolling stone was sandwiched between the tomb entrance and stone wall as the pictures below illustrate).  Often, the groove was not level, but slightly sloped.  To close the tomb, the stone would be rolled down the groove at a decline and come to rest in front of the entrance.  To open the tomb, the stone would have to be rolled up the groove at an incline.

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That is the finding of the Public Religion Research Institute.  Not only do Catholics support same-sex marriage in higher numbers than other religious groups, but they even support same-sex marriage in higher numbers than the non-religious (even though the percentage of support for SSM is higher among the non-religious than Catholics–56% vs. 42%–since there are more Catholics than non-religious Americans, the actual number of Catholics who support SSM is higher than the number of non-religious citizens who support SSM).

According to PRRI: (more…)

Here’s another example of liberal “tolerance” at its best.  Apple has been “forced” to remove an app created by Exodus International that is intended to help people with a homosexual orientation overcome that orientation.  How did this happen?  A small pro-homosexual crowd expressed their displeasure with having an application available with such content.  And presto…Apple buckles and removes it.

According to Apple they removed it “because it violates the developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.”  Do they really consider 146,000 people a large group?  What would they do if 1,000,000 people signed a petition saying they find the removal of the app offensive?  Would they put it back up again?  I doubt it.  (more…)

Those aren’t my words (although I concur with them).  Those are the words of John Horgan, a science journalist and former editor of Scientific American.  Horgan recently published an article in Scientific American discussing the dismal state of origin-of-life research.  He describes the research as being at an “impasse,” and resorting to “far out…speculation” as exemplified by the theory of panspermia (life originated in outer space and was brought to earth).

Just one week prior to the publication of Horgan’s article, science writer Dennis Overbye published an article in the New York Times on the same subject.  He reported on an origin-of-life conference at Arizona State University in which two dozen top-ranking scientists from a variety of disciplines converged to discuss the problem.  While Overbye touted the RNA World hypothesis, he noted that “one lesson of the meeting was how finicky are the chemical reactions needed for carrying out these simple-sounding functions,” and “even if RNA did appear naturally, the odds that it would happen in the right sequence to drive Darwinian evolution seem small.”

It’s not often that the public is made aware of the fact that scientists have no adequate naturalistic explanation for the origin of life, so it’s refreshing to see this being discussed by ideological opponents in venues as important as the New York Times.

How the article ends gives you a good sense of it: “We wouldn’t dream of dropping our daughters off at college and saying: ‘Study hard and floss every night, honey—and for heaven’s sake, get laid!’ But that’s essentially what we’re saying by allowing them to dress the way they do while they’re still living under our own roofs.”—Jennifer Moses.

 

HT: Justin Taylor

 

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