You Don’t Know What Will Happen When You Die

“You are going to die…  And though you may believe you know what will happen after you die, I don’t believe you do.  I believe we all tell ourselves things to mediate what otherwise might be a constant whir of pain and doubt”.  

Response: I appreciate your openness, honesty, and courage.  Most people are not willing to take their beliefs to their logical conclusions and to share this with the whole world.  So my hat is off to you.

I think it is fair to say that the logical end of evolution is nihilism – the notion that no one knows what happens when we die, that nothing matters beyond what we identify as our own self-interest, and that any means are justified by this end (self-interest, or in evolutionary terminology, self-preservation).

If evolutionary theory is true, then we are just animals, albeit smart animals, tender feelings are in fact phantom pains, and life has no higher purpose other than self-interest and survival.  By the way, I think it takes much greater faith to believe in evolution than creation by an intelligent being.

I would agree that from the evolutionary / nihilist perspective, any means are justified.  So because there are no rules, anything goes, including infanticide, abortion, polygamy, bestiality, murder, etc.  Life would be a jungle, with self-preservation the one and only life goal.

In your column, you stated: “You are going to die…  And though you may believe you know what will happen after you die, I don’t believe you do”. 

If someone is lost in the jungle, on what basis might they assume that everyone else is also lost in the jungle.  But is it a valid assumption?  The most brilliant person in the world may know 5 percent of all knowledge that exists.  Is it not possible that knowledge of the sovereign, living God could be in the other 95%? 

In his book “The Math of Christ”, retired Army Colonel Stephen Bauer calculated the odds of just 40 of the fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament to have happened by chance to be one in 1×10 to the 136th power.  If you covered the earth with silver dollars, including a red one, and asked a blind man to find the red one, his chances of success are one chance in 3.5 x 10 to the 17th power.  Dr. Emile Borel, who created the basic law of probability, stated: “The basic law of probability states that the occurrence of any event in which the chances are beyond 10 to the 50th power is an event that we can state with certainty will never happen.” 

There is someone who knows the way out of the jungle – a life of purposelessness and despair, and His name is Jesus.  In contrast to the evolutionary / nihilist perspective, Biblical Christianity is based on the notion that we were created in the image of the sovereign, living God, that we have meaning and purpose in our lives, and that we were created with the capacity to have a RELATIONSHIP with God (not just a BELIEF) that continues beyond the grave.  That invitation is open to each of us.

When Religion Fosters Evil

Letter to the Editor:

In “When Religion Fosters Evil”, North Carolina scholar Charles Kimball claims that religions may fall prey to five corrupting influences, each the result of human corruption.  He states problems (of evil) may arise when “zealous and devout adherents elevate the teachings and beliefs of their tradition to the level of absolute truth claims.”

Fascinating – Kimball, an ordained Baptist minister, claims that:

  • Christianity is not really true, but is merely a tradition,
  • truth claims in Christianity are due to human corruption, and
  • authentic faith [in what?] is the only means to combat the ensuing evil and violence.

Taking Kimball’s advice on how to avoid further problems of evil, we must conclude that Kimball’s own views merely reflect his own tradition, and are not really true.

Best regards,

We Are Not to Judge Others

“We are not to judge others.”


For many Christians (and non-Christians) “judge not” is essentially another commandment, based on Matthew 7:1a: “Judge not lest you be judged”.  The result is that they look the other way in the face of real sin, and can themselves rationalize various sins.

Even more insidious is the double standard of many critics of Christianity, claiming that Christians are narrow-minded and always judging others, when in fact that is what they are doing themselves.  “You are bad people because you are always judging others” is a statement of judgment. 

Looking deeper, we discover that while there are instances in the Bible where judge means to condemn, the more common usage of the word “judge” in Greek is Krino”, which means “to divide, separate, make a distinction, come to a decision”.  With this definition, it is clear that all of us “judge” matters every day, which is essential for us to survive.  Now read the following passages with this definition in mind – to make a distinction. 

But there is more to this issue, starting with the full context of this passage:

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.              Matthew 7:1-5

In this passage, Jesus is commanding us to not judge hypocritically.  He is not commanding us to never judge, but to remove the plank from our own eye (repent of our own sins first) so that we help our brother more effectively.

“But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.”           I Corinthians 2:15

We are to judge all things (not people).  Abortion, theft, murder, etc. are things – actions and fruits that we are to judge.  To gain a more complete understanding of the Biblical perspective on judging, let’s look at additional passages:

“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”             Matthew 7:16-18

In this passage, Jesus distinguishes between good and bad fruit (behavior), and implies that we should do the same.  This requires judgment, as does the following passage:

“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?  If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?”                           I Corinthians 6:2-4

“How much more, things that pertain to this life?” covers all of our lives and our behavior.  There is a difference between mistakes and sin.  Mistakes are typically unintentional, while sin is intentional.  We may apologize for mistakes, but we need to repent of our sins.  And churches need to teach us the difference.  

“Only fools don’t judge.  Judging can keep you safe. Judging can keep you from making bad decisions. Judging can keep your butt out of hell.  What would Jesus do?  I’ll let you be the judge.”       Coach Dave Daubenmire, July 31, 2014



We Are Not to Judge Other Religions – a Window Into the One World Religion

“We are not to judge other religions; we just know that Jesus Christ died for us.  Besides, what about all those people who have never heard of Jesus?”

Response: Thank you for the stimulating conversation on our recent road trip.  I wanted to pursue the issue we discussed about Christians judging other religions. 

The Bible is clear that there were other religions in place at the time of the Old and New Testaments, and they were judged and condemned by prophets in the Old Testament and Christ and His apostles in the New Testament. 

  • Moses directly confronted the spiritual leaders of Egypt, who espoused another religion.  He could have said: “Perhaps you worship God in other ways, so who am I to judge?”  No, he rejected their religion and their gods, and each of the plagues brought upon the Egyptians demonstrated that their gods were impotent against the God of Israel. 
  • There are many other examples of Old Testament prophets rejecting pagan gods and their practices such as sacrificing their children by passing them through the fire.  (In similar fashion, since 1973, our nation has sacrificed over 50 million unborn babies to the gods of convenience, lifestyle, and reputation.)
  • The famous scene where Elijah challenged the priests of Baal to a contest to see whose god would prevail in burning the sacrifice of a bull is another example.
  • The New Testament is also full of examples of Christ and His disciples rejecting other religions.  Christ clearly taught that the (Talmudic) Judaism taught by the Pharisees and Sadducees was insufficient to go to heaven.  He told Nicodemus, a Pharisee, that he must be born again to go to heaven. 
  • When Paul spoke to the Greek philosophers in Athens, he noted that they had statues to many gods, then expounded on their “unknown god”, making the case that their unknown god was really the God of the Bible.

There is no reason to believe that this rejection of other religions does not apply to today as well.  Jesus stated:  “I am the way, the truth, and the light; no one goes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6  This claim to exclusivity is either true or false; there is no middle ground.  He was either who He said He was – the Son of the sovereign, living God and is the only way to heaven, or he was a false teacher and charlatan.  His statement speaks directly to  other religions today as well as then.

The Great Commission, the command of Christ to go therefore and make disciples of all nations is nonsensical if other religions are of equal value to Christianity.  Furthermore, there is compelling evidence that we are approaching the end times – a time of a one-world economy, one-world government, and one-world religion.  The notion that all religions are pathways to God provides a perfect rationale for the one-world religion, which is fundamentally anti-Christ. 

“Besides, what about all those people who have never heard of Jesus?”

Response: Regarding the eternal destination of those who have never heard the Gospel of Christ, I see two possible explanations:

  1. General revelation, the notion that God reveals Himself and His nature through the created world, is taught in both the Old Testament and the New Testament:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.”
Psalm 19:1-2

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”  Romans 1:20   

This passage teaches that God’s eternal power and divine nature are “clearly seen” and “understood” from what has been made, and that there is no excuse for denying these facts. With these Scriptures in mind, perhaps a working definition of general revelation would be “the revelation of God to all people, at all times, and in all places that proves that God exists and that He is intelligent, powerful, and transcendent.” (quote from Wikipedia)

  • The second response is that God is merciful, and ultimately we throw ourselves upon His mercy in this life and the next.  This is certainly true for babies (born and unborn), and may apply in other cases as well.

Finally, looking at these issues from an overall perspective, what difference does it make?  One’s eternal destiny is a very serious thing, because eternity is a long, long time and the consequences are beyond description.  I have learned that the Lord also takes it very seriously. His Word not only articulates a coherent world view and theology that is exclusive, it provides a strong admonition against those who teach other views: 

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”                                         Galatians 1:6-9

Life is short.  God is great, and He invites us to walk with Him every day.

Best regards,

We Are All One and We Are Divine

“Perhaps Jesus wouldn’t have others see him as Jesus, either, but rather as an embodiment of Truth.  Perhaps when he told his followers to go and do as he had done, he meant to likewise embody the divine as he did. 

It seems that for this to happen, it calls for a letting go in some way, of one’s claim to one’s own separate identity, even while the appearance of separation may persist.  Finally, what would you see peering into anyone’s soul, including Jesus?  Perhaps each soul is a unique expression of the divine.”

Point #1:  “Perhaps Jesus wouldn’t have others see him as Jesus, either, but rather as an embodiment of Truth.”

RESPONSE:  I think Jesus gradually revealed who He was to his disciples and to the public over time, perhaps because that was the most effective way to reveal who He really was.  If someone arrived into town, and announced they were God in the flesh, in all likelihood they would have been run out of town, or more likely, stoned to death, the penalty for blasphemy in those days.  But it is also clear from scripture that He saw himself as the unique son of sovereign, living God, and not merely an embodiment of Truth. 

He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one goes to the Father but through Me.”  He could have said: “I am one of the ways, part of the truth, and some of the life”, but He didn’t.  It was also clear that the Pharisees understood that He claimed to be God, as the chief priest tore his clothes after quizzing Jesus about who He was.  Chief priests don’t just tear their clothes as a habit – it is a specific action indicating that the chief priest heard blasphemy (someone claiming to be God, not merely an embodiment of Truth), the penalty of which is death.

Point #2:  “Perhaps when he told his followers to go and do as he had done, he meant to likewise embody the divine as he did.”

RESPONSE:  Jesus did promise them that they could become one with Him and with the Father if they were totally repentant and seeking a close relationship with God.  But they would never be God.  That was the first lie in the Garden of Eden from Satan to Adam and Eve – “Ye shall be as gods”.  It was also Satan’s claim to godhood – to be the same as the sovereign, living God that led to his downfall.  From a traditional Biblical perspective, Jesus’ followers could become a part of the body of believers, who would enjoy fellowship with God on this earth and in heaven.      

Point #3:  “It seems that for this to happen, it calls for a letting go in some way, of one’s claim to one’s own separate identity, even while the appearance of separation may persist.”

RESPONSE:  Jesus called the children of Israel, and His followers called the Gentiles to let go, but not of their separate identity.  He called them to let go of their self-centeredness – of their sin – of everything that keeps them from loving God and their fellow man with all of their heart, mind, and soul.  He was not preaching self-improvement, but self-abandonment to a life in Christ.  We are to become new creatures with new identities, not the abandonment of our separate identities to become a part of The All.  The separation of us as individuals in the physical world is obvious, and is not merely an appearance. 

In the spiritual world, Jesus and the prophets of the Old Testament describe two worlds – God and His dominion, and Satan and his demons, and the two do not meet.  Jesus told His disciples that when they died, they would go to heaven, and that He will go before them, “to make a place for them”.  They would retain their identities, they would be in an incredible place where they could fellowship with each other, with other believers, and the sovereign, living God.  They would not lose their identities as drops of water that enter the ocean.

 (Personally, I would rather go to the former place rather than cease to exist as a person).  Jesus told a parable about a selfish rich man who died and went to hell, and asked God to warn his friends and family.  God’s response was that that gulf was too wide to bridge, and that his friends and family have the prophets to accept or reject.  

Point #4:  “Finally, what would you see peering into anyone’s soul, including Jesus?  Perhaps each soul is a unique expression of the divine.

RESPONSE:  I would agree that each soul is a unique expression of the divine as a created person with body, soul, and spirit.  However, the Bible makes clear the distinctions between God, His created beings, and the rest of creation.  So only God is truly divine (absolutely holy, without sin), and His created beings were created in the image of God, although that image was tarnished by Adam and Eve.  The rest of creation reflects God’s nature and order, in contrast to the evolutionary perspective that life – extraordinary order – evolved out of nothing, or perhaps an explosion.

The hourglass will be empty.

One of these years, you or I (or both) won’t be at the annual Community Development Society conference.  Our time will have been up – all of the sand in our hourglass will have flowed to the bottom.  At that time, each of us will cease to live on this earth, other than in the memories of families and friends.  Unlike each day that stretches before us, once that happens, we are out of control – our destiny is set. 

Lee Strobel, former Legal Editor, Chicago Tribune, and author of The Case for Christ, undertook an exhaustive investigation to disprove the claims of Christianity.  His conclusion:  “In light of the convincing facts I had learned during my investigation, in the face of this overwhelming avalanche of evidence in the case for Christ, the great irony was this:  it would require much more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to trust in Jesus of Nazareth!”

Robert Greenleaf, a renowned Jewish legal scholar and the foremost expert on rules of evidence, came to the same conclusion.

I lovingly challenge you to do the same – to examine the evidence with a critical but open mind.  The stakes couldn’t be higher – your eternal destiny.  And eternity is a very, very long time.

The Sanctity of Science and its Limitations

“Science should be the final arbiter on all these issues.”

Response: I appreciate your respect for science, as it has yielded tremendous insight and progress for all of us.  And yet, if we look deeper into science, we can discover what it can and cannot do.

Key Point #1:  Science is driven by paradigms – world views that explain the world. 

One of my favorite books is “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by MIT Professor Thomas Kuhn, written over 50 years ago.  Kuhn made a compelling case for paradigms – a world view or way of looking at things.  So political philosophies, religions, etc. are all paradigms.  Kuhn contended that we don’t see the world as it is, but as we are – through our lens, which focuses on some information (that which reinforces our paradigm), and ignores information that does not.  For example, an environmentalist, a business person, a labor organizer, and an engineer would all see a manufacturing plant in totally different ways, through their respective paradigms. 

Kuhn attacks the notion that scientific knowledge accumulates like money in a bank account, and makes a compelling case that scientists (and everyone else) see the world through a lens, a paradigm.  As time goes on, facts will emerge that don’t fit our paradigm.  We can just ignore these anomalies, but true scientists would hold on to them, and if at some point the pile of anomalies overwhelms the current paradigm, the scientist would examine all of the evidence, and change paradigms to a paradigm that more effectively explains reality.

At one point in our history, scientists believed that the earth was flat.  This flat earth paradigm was commonly held until more and more evidence accumulated that the earth was in fact round.  So the paradigm shifted.  At another point in our history, doctors believed that bleeding a person through leeches or cuts was a valid medical treatment.  In all likelihood, this “best practice medical procedure” contributed to the death of our first president, George Washington.  Over time, researchers discovered that this practice was harmful, and the paradigm shifted.

Key Point #2:  What gets funded gets studied – the influence of vested interests and funding on establishing paradigms.

These paradigms (and their funding sources) directly impact the assumptions, methodologies, and conclusions of scientific studies.  Furthermore, what is published in scientific journals is what scientists investigate.  So a scientific study, funded by a multi-national pharmaceutical firm shows that some new drug reduces the chances of getting cancer.  But the study does not reveal that a natural plant remedy has the same effect.

Our federal government has made tremendous funding available for studies of global warming.  If you as a scientist believe that global warming is not caused by our current industrial era, you will not receive any funding for your research, and you may end up teaching high school science classes, or perhaps delivering pizza.

Key Point #3:  Resistance to changing paradigms in science can emerge because of religious reasons. 

The predominant paradigm in science today is the theory of evolution – the belief that our world started with nothing, or something that exploded and eventually became more and more complex, yielding the world as we see it today, with plants, animals, and people.  There are more than 10,000 scientists in our nation that embrace creation science, and there is substantive evidence that exposes the fallacies of evolution.  And yet there is tremendous resistance to creation science because it implies there is a God.  To those who reject God, they will hold to evolution, or the notion that life came here from another planet.

At the same time, an Intelligent Design movement has emerged within the community of evolutionary scientists who have concluded that the complexity of nature could not have happened by chance, thus denying the validity of Darwinian evolution and contending that nature reveals design by some intelligence.

Key Point #4:  If something looks crazy to you, it is because you don’t grasp the underlying paradigm.

A common reaction to unusual behavior is to describe it as crazy:  “Oh, he is just crazy!”  But what it really means is that you don’t understand the underlying paradigm that is driving that behavior.  This can be very helpful, and it starts with the assumption (usually true) that there is an underlying paradigm, and it requires an inquisitiveness to discover what that paradigm is.  Ask “Within what paradigm would this make perfect sense?”

For example, President Obama recently gave a speech before the United Nations and stated that the future belongs to those nations that respect the prophet (Mohammad).  Your question for the day is this – within what paradigm would this make perfect sense?

Key Point #5:  Ultimately, science cannot tell us what we should do.

Although science has obvious limitations, it does shed light on many facets of our lives, and has opened up many new opportunities for our nation and the world.  There is one more limitation that is often overlooked, that science cannot tell us what we should do.  Science only tells us what is; it cannot tell us what should be.  That is our province as thinking, feeling, spiritual human beings.

  • Science and technology can show us how to build an atomic bomb; it does not tell us if we should build them or if we should use them.
  • Science and technology can show us how to do extraordinary medical procedures, some of which are extremely expensive.  Science does not tell us if they should be used, and for whom – the very wealthy?  Those with political connections?  Only those under 50 years of age?  First come, first serve?
  • Science and technology can prolong life via machines for a very long time, but it cannot tell us if we should do so.
  • Science and technology can now splice human genes into animals and vice versa; it does not tell us if we should.
  • Science and technology can record and scan all voice, text, fax, and e-mail communication across the world; it does not tell us if we should, and for what purpose.
  • Science and technology now has the means to implant a chip into our forearm that is a smart chip, able to be used as a credit card for buying and selling.  But it does not tell us if we should.

Key Point #6:  Science operates solely in the natural world, so it has no capability or authority in the supernatural world.

The Christian perspective is that we live in two overlapping worlds – the physical, material world, and the spiritual world.  When Jesus appeared on the scene two thousand years ago, He announced that the Kingdom of Heaven is here.  Empirical science is based on the ability to observe, to measure, and to manipulate things in the natural world.  Similar to trying to measure temperature with a ruler, science is incapable of understanding or studying the supernatural world.  Atheistic scientists may contend that there is no god, but they are on thin ice because nothing within science can prove that their assertion is true.

The Bible is a record of the sovereign, living God creating and intervening from the spiritual realm into the material universe over time.  It is a special revelation of truth as revealed to us from God.  Many early scientists believed that science was merely a new way to learn about the world as God created it.

The Sanctity of Life and Its Enemies


Great to see you here in Little Rock recently.  We were relieved to hear that you made it home.  I want to share some perspectives with you, but first want to let you know that nothing you do, say, or believe (or who you vote for) alters my love for you.  Really!  That should be freeing to you. 

In this missive, I want to focus on one issue – human life.  This is an attempt to describe a pro-life perspective and apply that perspective to what is going on in the U.S. and the world.  This is a 5 year or perhaps a 10 year letter.  You may dismiss it now, but five or ten years from now you may have an experience that connects with some element of this letter.

As you know, the Biblical perspective on human life is that we were created in the image of God; although He is a Spirit, we are like Him.  We look like Him, we have a spirit that can connect with Him, as well as emotions, will, and reason, which He also has.  We are not merely animals but are a special creation. This sanctity of life perspective shaped the foundation of our nation, and is in contrast to the cultures and political systems from which our forefathers and foremothers came. 

Furthermore, God is not a respecter of persons, and we – both men and women – are all equal under the law of God. Under kings, the king and his cohorts are elite rulers who make all of the decisions; the people have little or no voice.  The same is often true for sultans, czars, emperors, pharaohs, and chiefs.  Many of these considered themselves to be gods, and some practiced human sacrifice.

So the rule of law, in which everyone is equal under the law, was a departure from historical precedents.  One of the first to embrace this was when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.  Even Moses was treated as equal to other people by God, and was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of his transgression.  In most of the elitist systems, human life was cheap and expendable for the cause of the regime in power.  In direct contrast, early Christians rescued abandoned babies off the trash heaps in ancient Rome because they believed in the sanctity of human life.

I would add that our nation’s history and treatment of Native Americans and African Americans has been a dark stain on our nation’s history, for which there is no excuse.  Our Declaration of Independence laid out the basic premise that all men are created equal, but it has taken years and at least one war before that ideal has started to become more fully realized. 

Although our nation is still a work in progress, the existence of slavery, persecutions, and lack of basic freedoms and economic opportunity in many other countries today may account for the continued flow of people into our nation from other nations.

Modern attacks on the sanctity of human life and the notion that we were created in the image of God come from:

  • Charles Darwin, who favored evolution (really macro-evaluation from one species to another) as the best explanation of origins, leading to the perspective that we are merely animals, albeit smart animals.  If we are merely animals, then there is no creator with a purpose for our lives, and we can make up our own rules.  This is taught in most public schools and universities as “scientific”, ignoring the substantial body of knowledge in creation science that confirms the Biblical world view.  The Intelligent Design Movement consists of a group of evolutionary scientists, some of them quite prominent, who have concluded that the data, and the intricate nature of nature forces them to conclude that nature (like Mount Rushmore) did not happen by chance, but by design from some kind of intelligence. 
  • Radical environmentalists embrace evolution and are more concerned for the future of the earth and its ecosystem than people.  This leads to laws that protect endangered species (such as the spotted owl) at the expense of the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of people in Oregon, Washington, and other states.
  • The New World Order, espoused by every U.S. president since George H. Bush, is a movement toward a one world government, one world economy, one world financial system, and one world religion.  New World Order advocates are globalist elitists – leaders of multi-national corporations, foundations, banks, and governments, who see population reduction as an essential part of their agenda.  The New World Order people are ruthless criminals who start wars and have absolutely no regard for human life.
  • Hitler also embraced evolution, and sought to eliminate those people who he did not view as highly as the Aryan race (Jews, gypsies, handicapped, etc.), as well as individuals who opposed his regime (Christians, priests, traditional German patriots, etc.)
  • Karl Marx and Frederich Engels founded Marxism, a materialistic, totalitarian system which advocates replacing God with the state (federal government), and destroying or co-opting all intermediary associations between the individual and the state, including families, the church, businesses, and voluntary organizations.  (This is exactly the agenda described by the Communist Party USA, when they met in the 1960s). 

Based on the faulty presupposition that we are by nature good, Marx contended that as capitalism is replaced by socialism (government control of the means of production), which then evolves to communism (government control of the entire society), there will be no crime because everyone’s needs will be met, and the state will “wither away”.  The reality is that communist states become repressive, totalitarian states ruled by ruthless thugs, with a track record of murdering tens of millions of their own people, even during peace time. 

That is why millions of people have fled those countries to come to the U.S., while a much smaller number of Marxist idealists have chosen to move there.  These totalitarian societies eliminate freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, and freedom to own private property.  (It is alarming that these freedoms are now under assault in this country and in the world.)  It is not uncommon among Marxists (even in this country) to discuss the need for millions of people to die (particularly those opposed to their regime), which they see as a necessary evil if the “dictatorship of the capitalists” is to be replaced by the “dictatorship of the proletariat” i.e. the working people.

Although they have the same goal – a totalitarian communistic state, there are two camps within Marxism – those who advocate violent overthrow of existing capitalist systems, and those who favor the gradual takeover of a society’s institutions from within.  Antonio Gramsci, an Italian Marxist count, advocated the latter.  One of his ardent students was Saul Alinsky, the infamous community organizer from Chicago, who wrote “Rules for Radicals” and dedicated it to “the first rebel, Lucifer”.  Alinsky has a famous pupil in very high political office, Barack Hussein Obama.  As you may know, I was a Marxist for a time, studied Marx and Alinsky in grad school, and have visited five communist countries.  I also presented a paper on Marxism at a national conference.  A close friend lost her position in the University of California – Davis History Department when the Marxists took over and she would not toe the party line.

  • Hinduism has a system of castes that people are born into and from which there is no escape (without leaving that system).  Unlike Christianity, with its admonition to feed the poor, the Hindu perspective is that if you help someone in dire poverty, you will interfere with his/her karma, in which he must suffer in this life for wrong-doing in his previous life, in order to be reincarnated at a higher station of life in the next life.  New Agers basically embrace Hinduism, its reincarnation, and pantheism.
  • Islam is a special case.  We can learn a lot by studying the founder of a religion.  While Jesus treated women with respect and taught his followers to love their enemies, Mohammad personally led multiple raids on passing caravans for booty, women, and slaves.  Observing the gradual increase in Muslims in a Western nations, the pattern that is emerging is that rather than assimilate within the culture, Muslims increase their demands for sharia law, with its barbaric treatment of criminals and women.  A few other clues:
    • Within Islam, the only sure way you know you are going to Paradise when you die is when you die in Jihad – holy war.  Perhaps that is why a Palestinian mother exclaimed a few years ago that the happiest day of our life was when her son blew himself up as a suicide bomber in Israel.  Amazing – this describes a culture of death!
    • During the Iran-Iraq war, a war between two Muslim nations, Iran sent out thousands of its teenagers to clear the minefields prior to a military battle.  They became human fodder in this tragic war.
    • Honor killings takes place in the Middle East and this country when a family member, usually the father, kills another member of the family who has shamed the family.  If a young woman is raped, she is killed by her father because she has shamed her family.  Meanwhile, the rapist faces far lesser charges.  Unbelievable.  So the family’s “honor” is more important than human life.
    • In similar fashion, an Egyptian professor at Cairo University converted to Christianity and had to flee because his father was about to kill him to restore honor to the family.
  • Abortion – with the perspective that human life is just a blob of tissue, abortionists have killed an estimated 70 million babies in the U.S. since Roe vs. Wade in 1973.  The tide turned somewhat when “Silent Scream” came out – a video that shows the pain that an unborn child experiences during an abortion.  Under President Obama, our government pressures other nations to embrace abortion.  I heard an interview with a pastor from Kenya, in which he described how the U.S. government pressured Kenya to change its constitution to accept abortion.  President Obama has also sought to force Christian health organizations (Catholic hospitals, etc.) to provide abortion services, in direct conflict with their fundamental beliefs.  Worldwide, approximately a billion babies have been killed since 1973, for which our nation bears some responsibility.  The blood of these murdered babies cries out from the ground against our nation and our government.

Abortion leads to bizarre things happening.  I recently read that 400-500 babies every year are alive due to botched abortions.  I saw a video clip of one of these individuals, in which she told her story of how her mother and abortion “doctor” tried to kill her, but she survived.  Now that is a dysfunctional family!

In contrast, the Word of God states: 

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me…  for You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;marvelous are Your works, that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”      Psalm 139:7-16

Unlike materialistic/communistic systems, in which people have no transcendent or special purpose other than utility, or systems that embrace evolution in which we are just animals, the Biblical world view describes a world in which we were created by God teleologically – with a purpose. 

Just as nature is a product of design (as opposed to evolutionary chance), so was human life was designed with a purpose.  We – you and I, were created by God with a purpose, and that purpose is to draw close to Him on earth, to reflect His love and truth to all people, and to enjoy His presence here on earth and in heaven when we die.  But He won’t force anyone to be there who does not want to be in the presence of God.

God invites us to into a relationship (not just a belief) with Him, in which we fellowship and can be led by the Holy Spirit of the sovereign, living God.  And this is truly amazing.

Many people’s experience with Christianity has not been positive.  Perhaps they encountered a dead church or Christians who did not walk the walk, or were stuck in stifling social roles.  Or perhaps they were just seeking a social organization, and became tired of hearing about Jesus, sin and guilt.  (False guilt comes from man and is often manipulative; true guilt comes from the Lord and is redemptive.)

Most people don’t like to be called sinners – it is like telling someone they are a bad person.  I find it more useful (and Biblically accurate) to note that teleologically, sin is merely missing its mark, like a car that runs off the road and hits a tree.  Cars were not designed to hit trees; they are designed to drive down the road.  In like manner, we were not created to crash off the road; we were created with the capacity and desire to know the Lord.  This is expressed in the following – the Greatest Danger.

The Greatest Danger

The greatest danger facing all of us is not that we shall make an absolute failure of life, nor that we shall fall into outright viciousness, nor that we shall be terribly unhappy, nor that we shall feel that life has no meaning at all – not these things.

The danger is that we may:

  • fail to perceive life’s greatest meaning,
  • fall short of its highest good,
  • miss its deepest and most abiding happiness,
  • be unable to tender the most needed service,
  • be unconscious of life ablaze with the light of the Presence of God,
  • and be content to have it so.

That is the danger – that some day we may wake up and find that always we have been busy with husks and trappings of life and have really missed life itself.

For life without god, to one who has known the richness and joy of life with Him, is unthinkable, impossible.  That is what one prays one’s friends may be spared – satisfaction with a life that falls short of the best, that has no tingle or thrill that comes from a friendship with the Father.                                                           Phillip Brooks (1835-1893) 

Sophia, God of Wisdom

“I am at point in time where I question belief systems (be they spiritual or otherwise) to see how they fit into my experience…  I remain open to receiving “answers” that are always true no matter time/space/circumstance.  I must say though when I have received such information it has come from within….”

[Paraphrase]  I am drawn to Sophia, personified wisdom (and Goddess of Wisdom); here is a link to an article about Sophia’ Exile and Return” written by Kathleen Granville Damiani. She articulates here (much better than I can) a significant part of my questioning/thinking.

“Who is Sophia? Literally she is Wisdom, because the Greek word Sophia means “wisdom” in English. More than that, Sophia is the Wisdom of Deity. She has been revered as the Wise Bride of Solomon by Jews, as the Queen of Wisdom and War (Athena) by Greeks, and as the Holy Spirit of Wisdom by Christians… Sophia personifies wisdom, an ancient tradition concerned with integrity in the marketplace, politics, and royal court. Because the teachings were rooted in life instead of doctrine, Sophia became problematical and excluded from the religious formulations of monotheism.”


Great to hear from you.  Thanks for your thoughts, and sharing “Sophia: Exile and Return” with me.  I found it very interesting and revealing about Ms. Damiani’s personal journey.  I appreciate her openness and your sharing her story with me.  Each of us is on a personal journey, and although our journeys may intersect or be along the same path for a time, it is still personal and one that each of us must live out in our lives.

I also question belief systems to see how they fit into my experience.  And as I meet people, read books, and have other encounters, they inevitably become part of my experience.  Although I used to see religion as a matter of belief, a “blind leap of faith”, I now see a profound opportunity – that of a relationship with the sovereign, living God, the creator of the universe.  Furthermore, I see many manifestations of God’s supernatural intervention into the natural world and our lives.  A few examples:

  • A colleague of mine who is on the faculty at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences campus told me about an experience that transformed her life.  In the 1970s, she said it was the worst time of her life.  She was going through a divorce, and she had a 2 year old girl.  She felt strongly that she should stay home and take care of her daughter, but didn’t have enough money.  So she wrote down how much money she would need, and then said: “Lord, you know I want to stay home with my daughter and take care of her, but you know I don’t have the money.  So let me know what I should do.”  The total amount of the money she needed was $10,750.56 (this was back in the 70s).

The next day she received a letter from her mother, telling her that she knows she is going through a tough time in her life, and perhaps this will help.  Enclosed was a check for the exact amount of $10,750.56!  The letter from her mother was sent a day before she wrote down the amount.  I think this is how the Lord works – something happens in our life and we know it could not have happened by chance.

  • Three weeks ago, I heard a large man, whose name is Ed, tell his story – an incredible story, in some ways similar to the story of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament.  Ed was drafted into the army and went to Vietnam, where he witnessed great brutality and became heavily involved in drugs.  When he returned, he became an enforcer with the mob in New Orleans.  He was arrested for a murder he did not commit, and was sentenced to die.  While on death row, he heard an audible voice tell him “I know who you are and what you have done”.  At first he thought it was a guard, but finally realized it was the Lord, and became a Christian.  He was still destined to be executed, when another person confessed to the murder.  As soon as he was free from prison, he was arrested for a murder he did commit.  He was let out on bail after several years, and now goes to visit prisoners to tell them how they can become spiritually free.
  • The New Testament is full of stories of the Holy Spirit guiding, nurturing, convicting, and supporting the apostles and early believers.

As I mentioned before, I find it helpful to make clear distinctions whenever possible, which gives us choices and perhaps provokes us to deeper thought.  Here are some distinctions (please forgive me if I don’t do justice to Sophia):

  • Where Sophia, personified wisdom, looks to personal experience, illuminated by myths, stories, and legends, Biblical Christianity looks to the sovereign, living God of the universe as the ultimate source of wisdom.
  • Sophia, personal wisdom, encourages us to listen to ourselves, and seek wisdom from our experience that emerges from our unconscious.  For a Christian, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord: a profound respect that God for who He is and recognizes our inadequacies and sin in the presence of the Holy God.

Ms. Damiani stated in her dissertation: “Wisdom used to be the highest virtue, but with the coming of Christianity, wisdom left the Western world.”  An astute observation, and I agree with her. 

The two realms – human wisdom and wisdom from God are distinct and ultimately compete for the attention of people.  It is interesting that the Bible addresses this very issue: 

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’

Where is the wise?  Where is the scribe?  Where is the disputer of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  …For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”                                                                     I Corinthians 1:18-25

Perhaps the ultimate question is this:  how can human wisdom guide us in eternal, supernatural, spiritual matters – an arena in which our human senses and reason fail us, but can only be understood as revealed by the sovereign, living God of the universe?

By the way, I just read a book entitled: “The Math of Christ”, by retired Army Colonel Steve Bauer.  Bauer calculates the odds that 40 of the Old Testament prophecies that have been fulfilled happened purely by chance.  He found the odds to be one chance in 10 to the 136th power.  To gain some perspective on this number, let’s say that the United States was covered by silver dollars, one of which is red.  If we asked a blind man to go out and pick up the red one, his chances of success are one chance in 6.8 chances x 10 to the 13th power.  Fulfilled prophecies are another indication of God’s intervention into our natural world.

I hope this note finds all is well with you.  On with the journey…

Best regards,

Some Day We Will Stand Before the Lord

Good to hear from you.  Yes, I appreciate our ability to agree on many things and disagree on others.  This is what happens when we get older – we share with each other when our next operations are.  I have another lithotripsy in July as well, although I am sure it is much milder than what you have had to endure.  Best of luck to you with your surgery.

It strikes me that we have a lot in common – an intellectual bent toward reason, science, evidence, and the like; observations about the changing climate (which I believe are real, regardless of their cause), and a concern about the future of our nation and possible hyperinflation.

By the way, I heard an interview with a private investigator who has a friend who is high up in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  His friend indicated that the Department of Homeland Security is anticipating hyperinflation in the U.S. and great civil unrest.  The term he used is “massive civil war”.  Perhaps that is why the Department of Homeland Security recently purchased 450 million hollow point bullets, enough to kill every American 1½ times.  So the huge federal debt, which we have discussed and which everyone has known is unsustainable, will likely lead to a financial crisis that will be terrible for our nation and probably the rest of the world.

I confess that when I visited you in your hospital bed, I thought it might be the last time I would see you.  But you are a tough guy, and have survived to live another day.  You have been given another chance at life.  Good for you.  As a friend, I would encourage you to think about what happens when you die.

Simon Greenleaf was the nation’s most eminent legal scholar on the rules of evidence, and the U.S. Supreme Court often referred to his books on tough cases.  A Jew, Greenleaf occasionally would speak disparagingly about Christianity.  When his students challenged him by asking if he had ever examined the evidence for Christianity, he replied that he had not, but agreed to do so.  After several months of examining the evidence for Christianity, Greenleaf converted to Christianity, convinced that the evidence was so compelling, he had no other choice.

Ken, some day you (and I) will meet the Lord.  We will stand before Him and give an account of our lives.  The key will not be what we have done to help the poor, to alert people about global warming, or how much we know.  The key will be whether or not we know Jesus, the son of the sovereign, living God, who died for our sins and set us free, and whether or not we have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. 

Now we have that choice.  Once we cross the line from this earth to eternity, it will be too late.  The Lord does not force people to go to heaven, but He welcomes all who seek to spend eternity with Him and His son, Jesus Christ.

I hope this note finds all is well with you and your beloved.

Best regards,