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MCT: October

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MCT: October

Post by Bela Kiss on Thu 04 Oct 2012, 9:46 pm

A continuation of MCT: September. In reply to Eileen:

It was indeed disappointing to only get to four posts. Your classes also sound cool, and I'm surprised you would almost like pre-calculus the best. Isn't calculus freakishly difficult?

Do you think you'd like to learn another language besides Spanish? Are you learning any cool songs in orchestra or choir?

It's good to hear Lauren is probably doing good. Do you know what happened to Nadine? And PeggySnow? And everyone else who was ever on this site?

Last Saturday we went to a Christian conference and spent the whole day listening to some awesome speakers. One of them was Ravi Zacharias and the other William Lane Craig (I think most of the audience came just to hear at least one of those guys speak). There was also Frank Turek, who likes to yell at the audience, and he talked about the problem of evil and suffering. He argued that free will is the fundamental cause of evil, and that the so-called "health and wealth gospel" is a complete fraud. Evil doesn't disprove God either, he argued. In fact, evil is an argument for God! His point was that if you call something evil, it's only evil when you have good to compare it to, and good has to have some "foundation," and that would be God. So, evil means objective morality, which means God exists.
One of the speakers, Dan Wallace, talked about why it doesn't work to attack the New Testament by saying it's "translations of translations of translations, etc." Especially because we have thousands more manuscripts of the NT than of other ancient authors, and the manuscripts of the NT are way closer to the original manuscript in time than other ancient authors, being 50 years or so from original, while other ancient manuscripts have 500 years between them and the original. All the differences between manuscripts of the NT are to be expected, since there are so many manuscripts; in addition, none of the differences affect essential doctrines of Christianity.
Ravi Zacharias talked about the three stages society is going through, 1. Secularization--toss religion/spiritual stuff aside. Secularization leads to "no shame/guilt." 2. Pluralization--pick whatever religion/spiritual stuff you want, let someone else pick secular stuff if he wants, and it's all true for you and true for him. Pluralization leads to "no reason." and 3. Privatization--keep your beliefs to yourself, shut up and don't talk about it (I think, he wasn't really clear on that). Privatization is the combination of secularization and pluralization, in that it is both having "no reason" and "no shame," comparing it to Hitler's Nazi regime. He said the answer to all this chaos is Jesus (just check out my signature).
W.L. Craig went over the usual stuff, arguments for God's existence: The Kalam (from the universe's beginning), the Teleological (from the universe's fine-tuning), the ontological (God as the greatest possible being, must exist therefore), and the moral arguments (things are right and wrong, so God exists). Except this time he brought out an empty chair and pretended Richard Dawkins was sitting in it. He talked to the chair and listened to Richard D.'s "response" to his arguments, then he replied to those responses. It was kind of weird.
The first speaker, Todd Wagner, talked about why it's important for the Church to use apologetics. "When we shrink back, other ideas go forward." Basically he said that Christians keep their mouths shut, and then society conforms to non-Christian ideas, and the gospel can't be heard properly because those other ideas make it out to be false or improbable. His main point was "The final apologetic is love."
There was also Greg Koukl, his talk being on "bad arguments against religion." He mentioned why when someone calls a Christian a bigot, or stupid or whatnot, that does nothing to show Christianity is false. He talked about why the idea of "there is no truth, therefore don't try to figure out what's true" is self-refuting. He also talked about the idea that many of Christianity doctrines, like the existence of a soul, have no scientific evidence, but that doesn't mean they're false. A motive, for example, has no scientific evidence for existing. That doesn't mean a person doesn't have a motive in a crime. Next he showed that Christianity doesn't teach "blind faith," the so-called "don't ask questions, just believe." His main point was that "The reason intelligent people don't believe in God is the same reason unintelligent people don't believe in God: We "have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I would add we just want to be autonomous, our "own men."
Then there was John Stonestreet. He talked about how Christians have to be "culturally-minded." Instead of going with the flow, we have to "shine as lights in the world." He asked "What's going on, really?" in the culture. Here were his answers: 1. The drowning of truth in perpetual noise--distractions and diversions for us at every turn, no time to stop and reflect. 2. The captivity of our imagination--he mentioned a quote here from Alexander Solzhenitsyn: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/solzhenitsyn/harvard1978.html. (not the whole thing, but from some part of it) 3. The deep sense that something is wrong--here he mentioned "the Scream" painting, and the painter's comments about his work. 4. The deconstruction of the human person--people are considered to be merely material, even just animals (he was probably thinking of abortion, and he mentioned pornography as a huge factor in this "deconstruction"). 5. The loss of a common, controlling narrative--here he was talking about how America is so split over ideas, there is no "common morality" anymore.

On Sunday we went and saw the Dead Sea Scrolls. They were boring.
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Bela Kiss
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