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Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Signature in the Cell by Stephen C. Meyer was released in June 2009 and has been viewed as “the first book to make a comprehensive case for intelligent design based upon DNA”. Meyer defines what ID is and is not and shows that the argument for intelligent design is not based on ignorance or ‘giving up on science’, but instead upon our growing scientific knowledge of the information stored in the cell.

The book has been well-received and made the list of “Top Ten Best Selling Science Books of 2009” at Amazon.com. According to the Discovery Institute, by November 2009 the book had entered its fifth printing.

The book was endorsed by scientists such as Philip Skell, J. Scott Turner, Alistair Noble and Edward Peltzer, and received a favorable review from philosopher Thomas Nagel, in The Times, who wrote that “Signature in the Cell…is a detailed account of the problem of how life came into existence from lifeless matter – something that had to happen before the process of biological evolution could begin … Meyer is a Christian, but atheists, and theists who believe God never intervenes in the natural world, will be instructed by his careful presentation of this fiendishly difficult problem.” The book also received a favorable review in TELICOM, “The Journal of the International Society of Philosophical Enquiry.”

When Thomas Nagel submitted the book as his contribution to the “2009 Books of the Year” supplement for The Times, many in the philosophical and scientific community responded negatively to his recommendation. Specifically, Stephen Fletcher, chemist at Loughborough University, wrote in The Times Literary Supplement, Nagel is “promoting the book to the rest of us using statements that are factually incorrect.” Fletcher explained “Natural selection is in fact a chemical process as well as a biological process, and it was operating for about half a billion years before the earliest cellular life forms appear in the fossil record.” In another publication, Fletcher wrote that “I am afraid that reality has overtaken Meyer’s book and its flawed reasoning” in pointing out scientific problems with Meyer’s work by citing how RNA “survived and evolved into our own human protein-making factory, and continues to make our fingers and toes.”. Meyer responded to Fletcher’s criticisms of the book via an unpublished letter to The Times Literary Supplement that was posted on Meyer’s website, stating that “To support his claim that scientific developments have ‘overtaken Meyer’s book,’ Fletcher cites, first, a scientific study by chemists Matthew Powner, Beatrice Gerland and John Sutherland of the University of Manchester. This study does partially address one, though only one, of the many outstanding difficulties associated with the RNA world scenario, the most popular current theory of the undirected chemical evolution of life. Starting with several simple chemical compounds, Powner and colleagues successfully synthesized a pyrimidine ribonucleotide, one of the building blocks of the RNA molecule. Nevertheless, this work does nothing to address the much more acute problem of explaining how the nucleotide bases in DNA or RNA acquired their specific information-rich arrangements, which is the central topic of my book.”

In May 2010, the Discovery Institute, which is directed by Meyer, released a free 105 page eBook titled Signature of Controversy: Responses to Critics of Signature in the Cell with chapters by Discovery Institute fellows David Berlinski, David Klinghoffer, Casey Luskin, Stephen C. Meyer, Paul Nelson, Jay Richards and Richard Sternberg.

Debate with Michael Shermer dealing with objections to intelligent design, the existence of design in nature & “Who designed the designer?”

For more information about the book, further reviews & related debates go to http://www.signatureinthecell.com.

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The Pilgrim’s Progress

September 29, 2010 1 comment

The Pilgrim’s Progress (…from This World to That Which Is to Come) is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.

The Pilgrim’s Progress was written during Bunyan’s imprisonment for violations of the Conventicle Act, which prohibited the holding of religious services outside the auspices of the established Church of England.

Pilgrim’s Progress is ranked #9 on Amazon in classic British literature at the time of this writing. It received a 5 star rating from 87% of readers.

The “Anti-Dust Agreement” can be downloaded here.

Here’s a preview of a recent movie that may appeal more to those that struggle to start a new book. The book has much more detail & should still be well worth the read.

Categories: Biblical Tags:

How saved are we?

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

We Don’t Need A “Great Awakening” — We Need A Rude Awakening!

Has the Church fallen asleep in the enemy’s lap?

For years we have preached a defective message—and now we have a defective Church. This unsettling book challenges us to ask ourselves what kind of born-again experience we have had if it calls for almost no personal sacrifice, produces virtually no separation from the world, and breeds practically no hatred of sin.

Read this book and find out just how saved we are. It will create in you the desire to live a life truly dedicated to God. It is time for a rude awakening!

The “Anti-Dust Agreement” can be downloaded here.

Categories: Apostasy, Biblical, Culture Tags:

Almost Christian

September 25, 2010 Leave a comment


A large-scale departure from a biblical understanding of what living as a follower of Jesus looks like in the lives of modern adults has brought about an epidemic of young people whose basic concept of religion is centered around a sense of enhancing their own, and others’ emotional well-being, which has almost created a new religion, though its “followers” still outwardly identify with the name of an existing religion. Kenda Creasy Dean, a professor at Princeton’s theological seminary, published a book called  Almost Christian: What the Faith of our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church that explores the emerging ramifications of the lack of passion and faith in God in previous generations.  This book is based on the National Study of Youth and Religion by Christian Smith and Melinda Denton which gave this new religion the name of moralistic therapeutic deism:

As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these:

1. “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”

2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”

3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”

4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”

5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.”

These recent studies testify to the fruit that decades of a consumer-driven, therapy mentality have brought into our churches.  Dr. Michael Brown’s books, How Saved Are We and The End of the American Gospel Enterprise, point to a very similar attitude that was already entrenched in the American Church over twenty years ago:

The American Church at the end of the twentieth century is experiencing a crisis. For years we have preached a cheap gospel and peddled a soft Savior. We have taught salvation without self-denial and the crown without the cross. We have catered to the unsaved and compromised with the world. Now we are paying the price.  (How Saved Are We.)

Our contemporary gospel has bred complacency instead of compassion, success instead of sacrifice, prestige instead of prayer.  We no longer ask what we can do for Him, but rather what He can do for us.  (American Gospel Enterprise.)

Dean says there are four things that deeply religious teenagers, whose faith affects their day to day lives have in common:

Dean says committed Christian teens share four traits: They have a personal story about God they can share, a deep connection to a faith community, a sense of purpose and a sense of hope about their future.

Recapturing a passionate, articulate faith in teenagers and young people requires not simply a new “method” to reach them, but rather a revitalization of faith and devotion in the day-to-day living of adults.  According to Dean,

Since the religious and spiritual choices of American teenagers echo, with astonishing clarity, the religious and spiritual choices of the adults who love them, lackadaisical faith is not young people’s issues, but yours… So we must assume that solution lies…in modeling the kind of mature, passionate faith we say we want young people to have… We have successfully convinced teenagers that religious participation is important for moral formation and for making nice people… Yet these young people possess no real commitment to or excitement about religious faith.

What is the one thing that truly differentiates faith from religion?  Dean says this:

Faith is a matter of desire, a desire for God and and a desire to love others in Christ’s name…Love gives Christianity its purpose and meaning.  Religion functions as an organized expression of belief… Yet Christianity has always been more of a trust-walk than a belief system…Faith depends on who we follow, and that depends on who we love.

John Wesley, whom Dean quotes, experienced in his own life a time when he called himself “almost a Christian,” while living with the same kind of approach many do today:

I did…good to all men; constantly and carefully using all the public and all the private means of grace…and…doing all this in sincerity… Yet my own conscience beareth me witness in the Holy Ghost, that all this time I was but almost a Christian... The great question of all, then, still remains.  Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart?  Can you cry out, “My God, and my All”?… Is he your glory, your delight, your crown of rejoicing?

Another crucial question is this: how can we experience this passionate love of God if we have not seen the man Jesus tortured, bleeding, dying, and abandoned because of the depths of sin in our own hearts?  The only true knowledge of the incredible love of God that evokes such devotion can come through a changed heart which has been wrung by a deep conviction of sin and repentance, and has seen the cost God afflicted on Himself in order to rescue us from the power of sin and bring us into fellowship with Himself.

Dr. Michael Brown reviewed the first few chapters of Almost Christian on his Line of Fire Radio show, and here is a quote from his closing remarks:

We are fundamentally off: with much of our preaching, with much of our emphasis…we’ve been in the wrong direction for years. We have soft-peddled the gospel, we have by-passed the cross.  We haven’t preached a faith which is glorious and wonderful, and a savior who is so extraordinary, who delivers us from a wrath which is so terrible, that we JOYFULLY give up everything to have Him!

Changed hearts in the church as a whole is the only way to see the transformation that so many adults in the church have said they desire to see in their children, as Dr. Brown stated in The Jesus Manifesto:

The dawning of the 21st century finds the church of America in a moral and spiritual crisis. Decades of self-centered living and worldliness have taken their toll. Years of compromise and toothless gospel preaching have had their effect. And now we have reached the moment of truth: Either we wake up, stand up, speak up, and act up, or we run the risk of becoming a mere historic curiosity, an irrelevant religious sideshow, an entertaining, harmless spectacle. Something must change, and it must change now. There is no other choice.

Original review here.

Categories: Apostasy, Biblical, Culture, Deception Tags:

Creation “In Six Days” as described by 50 PhDs

March 29, 2010 2 comments
“During the past century, the biblical story of Genesis was relegated to the status of a religious myth and it was widely held that only those uneducated in science or scientific methods would seriously believe such a myth. However, my experience in organizing this book is that there are a growing number of highly educated critically thinking scientists who have serious doubts about evidence for Darwinian evolution and who have chosen to believe in the biblical version of creation.


In this book, 50 scientists explain their reasons for this choice. All the contributors have an earned doctorate from a state-recognized university in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, or Germany. They include university professors and researchers, geologists, zoologists, biologists, botanists, physicists, chemists, mathematicians, medical researchers, and engineers.” – John F. Ashton, PhD

Read the full book online here.

Categories: Apologetics, Creation, Science Tags:

Shack Theology : Pervasive. Disturbing.

March 24, 2010 1 comment

Download the review of this massively popular (and subverting) book here: The_Shack_Review.pdf

Categories: Apostasy, Culture, Deception Tags: ,
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