Showing posts from March, 2011

Convictions of a lifetime II

Following up from my post previously regarding LKY's conviction, I continue to ponder about my own conviction to extend the Kingdom of God. I can't help but to notice Paul's convictions for God:
Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without foo…

Macbook Pro!

My first Macbook Pro. Strangely, it feels weird, so long since I last used a Unix-based OS.
Recently, the Psychic Hotline and Psychic Friends Network have launched hotlines for frogs. Here is the story of one frog and his discussing with his psychic.

A frog telephones the Psychic Hotline and is told, "You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you."

The frog says, "This is great! Will I meet her at a party, or what?"

"No," says the psychic. "Next semester in her biology class."

Perceptive lyrics from Black Eyed Pea

What's wrong with the world mama?
People living like aint got no mamas
I think the whole worlds addicted to the drama
Only attracted to the things that bring you trauma
Overseas yeah we tryin to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin
In the USA the big CIA the Bloodz and the Crips and the KKK
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And if you hatin you're bound to get irate
Yeah madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
You gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love y'all

People killing people dying
Children hurtin you hear them crying
Can you practice what you preach
Would you turn the other cheek?
Father Father Father help us
Send some guidance from above
Cause people got me got me questioning
Where is the love?(where is the lovex3)(the love2x)

It just a…

Privilege in trials and tribulations

We often ask ourselves, why do we have to go through shit, aka trials and tribulations, or in more layman terms, suffering. The issue of suffering is a big question mark whether we are believers or not. In fact the issue on why man have to go through trials and tribulations is a big obstacle that stop people from believing that there is an all-loving God who is gracious and merciful. But I want to address this issue in the context of what happens to a believer, and therefore by some extension, to an unbeliever.

The bible has two anchor verses on trials and tribulations (by no means exhaustive):
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. - Romans 5:3-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, bec…

The relevance of Christian Theology in our Christian life

According to Alister MacGrath, in his book 'Christian Theology', Christian theology is supposed to be exciting and interesting to the Christians. I, at least, find this true. It should be true. Christian theology, in its very essence, is relevant to the Christian life, as it looks deeply into the doctrines of Christianity and attempts to answer the questions of Christianity, such as who is God. The answers to these questions form the basis of our understanding on who God is. I would think that theology is more than just an academic exercise. But it is understandable why people tend to shy away from theology. 

For one, theology tends to go into the abstract and 'chim' philosophies to understand Christian doctrines and issues. Try understanding the doctrine of eschatology or Christology in the light of maybe Augustine or Calvin. Try reading Aquinas and Paley, or Leibniz, or Barth. I think they are the same league as Hegel and Kant and Humes. Sometimes you wonder how can a…

Apologetic Methodologies III

One strength of the classical approach to apologetic is that it does not take into account the inerrancy of the bible  in its proof of God's existence. For the evidentialist, it does not take into the fact that the bible is an inspired text and therefore treated the bible as a historical document as the rest such as Homer. The presuppositional approach is a wholly different approach altogether.

The central basis for a presuppositionalist is that for every argument we make, we have certain basic presuppositions that we cannot run away with. Because of the noetic effect of sins, we are incapable, therefore, of deriving proper knowledge outside of the word of God. Moreover, since we assume something as basic everytime we make a proposition, why not let the word of God be the basic presupposition of knowledge? In other words, the presuppositional approach to apologetics is to presuppose the truth of the Word of God to prove the authenticity of the Word of God.

Essentially, I would arg…

Genes vs Design

I am currently reading LKY's Hard Truth, along with the many books I am reading now. I am pretty 'disgusted' by his adamant view on genetic Darwinism, that intelligence is inherited and all the examples he cited have certain flaws in them. I still believe in creationism (not without intellectual warrant), that we are who we are because God created us, though He may make use of the genetics from our parents, it does not necessarily follow that we will be the same as them.

Going back to his example... I think the examples he cited are people who are in families with enough resources to nurture the young minds at a very young age. Everyone is born with a certain degree of intelligence, but I am inclined to think that those born in more privileged environment are more in the position to harness those potential simply because they have the resources to do what they want to do. Poor folks like me will have to save and make do with what I have.

Eventually, LKY's theory of gen…

Convictions of a lifetime

"The more we're being tested, the more I have to be around to make sure we pass the test. No, no, this is a life-long commitment." - LKY, Hard TruthsA non-believer, having no transcendental reason to be committed to his cause, finds himself saying that his endeavour is a lifelong commitment. I wonder how many Christians, having an eternal reason and purpose in the person of Christ, will be able to stand up and say that he is ready to be around to make sure he passes the tests so as to prove his commitment to God?

The peril of secular philosophy

The past few months I have been exposing myself to different philosophies (those relevant in the defense of Christ) as well as different types of theologies. After listening and reading about some of them, it is not difficult to understand why some secular philosophies (esp those nihilistic and existential ones) are so attractive and stumbling to the common believers. Think about what Aldous Huxley said:
"I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantegous to themselves... For myself, the philosophy of meaningless was essentially an…

The illusion of neutrality

First dentistry was painless.
Then bicycles were chainless,
Carriages were horseless,
And many laws enforceless.
Next cookery was fireless,
Telegraphy was wireless
Cigars were nicotineless,
And coffee caffeineless.
Soon oranges were seedless,
The putting green was weedless,
The college boy was hatless,
The proper diet fatless.
New motor roads are dustless,
The latest steel is rustless,
Our tennis courts are sodless,
Our new religion — godless.It seems chilling that Ravi Zacharias used this poem by Arthur Guiterman during his talk in NUS a few years back to describe our current state or attitude towards the issue whether can Man live without God. I have just read another post in one of the Singaporean websites, criticising an article posted by the Christian Post a few years about opening up the secular space for religious discussion. This echoed GK Chesterton's sentiment in his book 'Orthodoxy':
“You are free in our time to say that God does not exist; you are free to say th…

Apologetic Methodologies II

Reflecting on apologetic methodologies, I just got reminded of GK Chesterton who commented that he came to know Christ not because of the positive arguments given by apologists, but by reading the different arguments offered by different people against Christianity. The contradictions of these different arguments against each other led him to think that there is either something very wrong about Christianity or there is something very wrong with the people offering the different arguments. The point he was trying to make is that the contradictions of Christianity are not coherent enough to contradict the very thing they are trying to contradict.

Anyway, moving on to cumulative approach. I guess this may be the most favored approach by most people. A cumulative approach to apologetics states no preference to any one kind of argument and instead maintain that all the evidences and arguments add up to form a comprehensive case for Christ. This is way different from the classical and the …

Apologetic Methodologies

I have been reading up on a book on apologetic methodologies and the book talks about 5 common approaches used, namely classical, evidential, cumulative, presuppositional and Reformed Epistemology. Essentially, the purpose of apologetic is to defend the faith that Christian professes and in the process, strengthens the faith that believers already have. The fact that I have 5 views here means that there is no one way that Christians agree upon on how to approach apologetics.

Just in case you were wondering what these methods were all about, hold on or read up. I will be doing my own critic on apologetic methodologies. But first up, I have to admit here right from the start that I see myself more inclined towards the evidential approach, given my own academic training. Why so? The evidential approach on apologetics sees the usage of evidence as an one-step approach. Most evidential apologists, or the one I read about in the book as represented by Gary Habermas, use evidence, especially…

Aren't you Christian too?

I am supposed to be working on a piece of paper right now, but I think I want to take a mental break and engage a bit in polemic. I believe that I have talked about this before. It increasingly bothers me to see believers beginning to take on certain line towards the Roman Catholic Church and its followers as a whole. Essentially, what I have always heard is that they see Roman Catholics, and they talk about God and they dun know God and not considered believers (!?!?). The argument is somewhere along that line.

My response (in brief) is multi-faceted. Firstly, nowhere in my study in theology has I come across any writers or theologians who classify Roman Catholics outside of Christiandom. It's not Christianity and Roman Catholicism, but it's just Christianity. Based on what I have heard from people (yes, even in Hope Church and among some of the more matured believers), they need to think about this, why.

Secondly, the fact that Catholics practices are different from the main…

God is placing people whom I have lost touch with for sometime back into my life.

And these are the people whom I was praying for during my early days in Christianity.

Seems like God is telling me something...