A Defense of Absolute Truth – revised and expanded for comprehension – part 1 of 2

If you notice on the right, taking the no. 1 spot the “Top Posts” in this blog is “A Defense of Absolute Truth”, a message originally spoken by Ravi Zacharias and annotated by the members of a now-defunct blog called “Garage Scholars”. This is my attempt to make Ravi’s argument more clear per his message, which is available here in video form: Ravi Zacharias Speaking To LDS 1 of 7  2 of 7  3 of 7  4 of 7  5 of 7  6 of 7  7 of 7 (h/t to user Reuven Goldstein). For further background, this is the first of a three-part series entitled “In Pursuit of Truth”, given on November 13, 2005 at the University of Utah Mormon Tabernacle. A DVD can also be purchased here.

[Start of post revision/summary and expansion of Ravi’s original remarks]

Sexuality, marriage, stem-cell research, genetics—these things are getting very, very complex. It’s hard to know how to address this tangled subject with meaning and coherence. In today’s modern age, there are two worldviews in conflict: relativism and absolute truth.

This is the nature of truth: we must come to conclusion that truth does matter, especially when you’re on the receiving end of a lie. For example, in a trip to courtroom with family, Ravi witnessed the trial of man accused of raping two minors. After the prosecutor finished, Ravi was certain he was guilty. But then after the defense attorney spoke, Ravi was not so sure of what the truth was. This being a criminal trial, how much more important is it that we understand the truth and the source of truth about life’s essence, meaning and destiny?

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Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a Christian?

Today would be a good day to address this topic.

I was at one point perusing the web to research claims that MLK drew from the example of Ghandi in his push for civil rights, and happened upon this very telling website (written by a black baptist [?] woman). She sets up a very good argument as to why MLK was far from a preacher – he was a heretic with a humanist message.

The site (Jesus-is-lord.com) is unfortunately no longer up and running, as it seems that they have been “preyed upon” by suspicious unknown person(s), and upon an attempt to join the mailing list, I got redirected to a Christian feed directory listing with apparently “1,955,024” subscribers.

This story is almost over. I decided to join one list called “THE ELIJAH LIST,” who’s byline reads (partially):

Find out DAILY what Christian Prophets and prophetic people are saying to the Church and regarding Continents, Countries, Regions and States. When we encounter a mature word that we believe to be from the Lord, which seems to be for the entire Body of Christ, and it appears that this word will either encourage, correct, exhort, edify, (etc) the Lord’s Family, we will put that word out to the whole list now numbering over 130,000 subscribers…

So I thought, interesting. Upon subscribing, though, this is partially what I got:

  1. Jeanette Reed: “PREPARING FOR THE DAYS AHEAD–WHEN DOES LOVE EQUAL CALAMITY?”
  2. “Right NOW, You Can Reach an Enormous Audience!”
  3. “Join Up With God’s ‘Throne Room Company!'”
  4. JIM DROWN, TODD BENTLEY, JEFF JANSEN, JOSHUA MILLS, and JOHN CROWDER; Feb. 28 – Mar. 3, 2007: Norcross, GA (PLEASE FORWARD TO YOUR FRIENDS)
  5. “It Has Been Given to YOU to KNOW the Mysteries!”

Needless to say, I would hesitate before subscribing…

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Marc thread – on Buddhism and the significance of “naming the nameless”

Marc, I’ve brought the thread over to my site.

As it seems , there are many names & words for God & Christ, & there are others, was not Elijah God incarnate as well.

The name “Elijah” meant “God is Lord”.

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Global warming will cost world $9 trillion: report

If someone knows where I can find a copy of the Stern report they mention, please drop me a line.

Indeed, with reports like this coming out nearly every day, it’s hard not to be schizophrenic.

via ABC News Online Australia.

The world’s biggest economic evaluation of climate change says if countries do not act now the world will face a depression worse than that of the 1930s.

The report puts the global cost of global warming and its effects at $A9 trillion – a bill greater than the combined cost of the two world wars and the Great Depression. It represents a fifth of the global economy.

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A Defense of Absolute Truth

4/30/2013 note: If you are coming here from Google, here is the update to this post. I tried to make use of some editing skills to make it more readable.

Reposted from what seems like a now-defunct Garage Scholars blog (argh!). A very good recap of a Ravi Zacharias message, “A Defense of Absolute Truth”, which details why secularism fails to provide a coherent set of answers to the problems of the world (part 1 | part 2).

An interesting anecdotal defense of this point is in the second result of this Google search.

Here’s a gem: Secularization = no shame. Relativism = no reason. Privatization = no meaning. [All three have occurred to varying degrees in Westernized civilizations.]

Original post has been reposted below.

[note: in case you missed it, this is a recap which has taken on a kind of bullet-point form. I’ve reformatted parts of it for readability. If you don’t get parts of it, feel free to comment.

note #2: thread available at Newsvine. I’m thinking about manually importing it.]

On Saturday, March 12, the Garage Scholars, named that day by Robert Grange, held their second meeting and listened to a talk by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. This talk was given the day before Ravi’s talk at the Mormon Tabernacle.

Ravi Zacharias
A Defense of Absolute Truth
11/13/05
The University of Utah

Sexuality, marriage, stem-cell research, genetics—“these things are getting very, very complex.” It’s hard to know “how to address this tangled subject with meaning and coherence.”

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Junaman thread – Empiricism vs. Rationalism – Pt 5

The formatting always gets lost in translation… even with html. Bleh.

The tags are a good indicator of what this thread’s about (maybe will work on a summary later).

A: It’s fine, I suppose. But the longer it takes, the more disingenuous your pursuit of “exposing incompetence”, as it were, will look (recent post(s) nonwithstanding).

J: You put a bit much weight on a tagline…

That’s not just a tagline… it’s also the title of your blog.

…How is this conversation exposing incompetence.

Well, that one should be obvious. The incompetence comes in the form of dogmaticism regarding the “ultimate truth” of science, which is implied from your For Christians page.

The real incompetence is not whether you believe in a god [or not], but what you use that belief for, what objective you try to achieve with that belief.

I can agree if you’re referring to “amoralism”, e.g. in the case of Hitler and Bush. I don’t think proselytising necessarily bring you to the same conclusion.

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Junaman thread – Empiricism vs. Rationalism – Pt 4

A continuation of part 3 (reposted for readability, loading time, and the fact I knew it would be intially filtered by akismet). Topics include the probability of mass hallucination (ref: 1st century Christianity | apologetics), Junaman’ s atheistic generalization of rationalism, the scientific method, the fallacy of “rational knowledge”, and reasons why “objectivism” is a fallacy (with brief mention of why the Nobel Prize exists).

Sorry for taking so long to reply…

It’s fine, I suppose. But the longer it takes, the more disingenuous your pursuit of “exposing incompetence”, as it were, will look (recent post(s) nonwithstanding).

First of all, not all religious people claim they have “seen” or “experienced” god,

This is true, but…

secondly the ones who have can all claim they saw different things,

…this is a generalization, which leads you to inaccurately conclude…

no one’s belief is truly identical to another’s, hence is it really a “mass hallucination”, or just different people hallucinating different things.

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Daijinryuu thread – on historical Christian violence

Daijinryuu, I’ve brought the thread to my site in case you wanted to discuss further here (also due to readability errors and recent force of habit).

I could never be a Christian because both my spiritual and literal ancestors were mercilessly and unnecessarily killed when the christ-god said “thou shant murder”. where does jesus get off saying his followers do not have to fast or follow kosher anymore, or sacrifice to the god who is called i am? and how come just because a woman has a vagina and womanly hormones, she is automatically subservient to man (even though galations 3:8 states oppositely that there is no jew/gentile, slave/master, man/woman in god?). and, of course, why is he called jesus of nazareth instead of jesus of bethelehem, because everyone either bore the name “x of/from some city” or “x son of y”. and studying israeli history shows there is no city called nazareth in that day or age.

my god desires sacrifice, but is best pleased with song, water, plants, or devotion. (i am a devotee of krishna.)

There’s obviously no excuse in the actions of supposed devotees of the past. I can only offer my apologies and say that I, myself, have learned, or have a greater understanding of the teachings of Jesus and illegitimatacy of the justifications used for preemptive war as a result of it. (Although, that’s far from the case for many American Christians today… in fact I used to be one of those in support of the Iraq drumbeating)

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“Wondrous Miracles” Grow Pastor’s Church

This article was posted back on 7/25 on the GFA website, but I was reminded of it when I read the last article they sent me.

And it made me think back to a class the adult group in church was having on euthanasia in bioethics. The “lecturer” proceeded to inform us about the Terri Schiavo case insomething like this:

Life is precious. [Therefore, we should seek to preserve all life.]

Seemed pretty secular to me. Firstly, no one is going to argue that life isn’t precious. Even the Extremist Muslims in the Middle East feel that life is precious. Unfortunately, they just have a different view of what that means for them on earth. To segue, secondly, Jesus’ idea of life was entirely different than the one secular humanism believes in.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Matt 10:39

In any case, because this particular man was a doctor, I’m sure he thought (as I learned, through a heated discussion) that his experience in the field would thereby lend credibility to his case. But here were my questions: what about the will of God and the power of God?

Wouldn’t God have allowed Terri Schiavo to live if he so chose? Wouldn’t prayer and a sincere heart for God have worked a miracle? I doubt he would’ve answered yes.

Moreover, it is indicative of an increasing self-reliance vs. reliance on God.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Matt 7:24-25

Miracles are in no short supply! They just don’t tend to happen where people have little to no faith.

http://www.gfa.org/gfa/latestnewsarticle?wid=DnfnePbS0lVrA3ABz0HrmA

Pastor Darpan’s church is thriving.

“God is using Pastor Darpan vigorously and doing wondrous miracles as he ministers and prays for the sick and needy who approach him,” writes a GFA correspondent.

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The Battle for One Soul

Dreams are an important part of our existence. Although clearly not as central a component to American culture today (Gone with the Wind) as compared to Japanese mass media (Princess Mononoke, Final Fantasy, Evangelion, et. al), dream – ethereal visages or personal ambitions – tell a lot about our sense of personal image and our main concerns.

They have major ramifications in terms of moral obligation and future endeavor.

It’s too bad we in the “civilized countries” don’t pay too much attention to them anymore.

http://www.gfa.org/gfa/newsupdate100306?motiv=WA6A-G1LP

At 8:00 one evening, Prasad lay down to sleep as usual. However, as he would soon find out, the evening would be anything but normal, as his sleep was interrupted by two bizarre dreams.

In both dreams, dark-clothed men surrounded Prasad, but a host of angels fought on Prasad’s behalf with bow-and-arrow, swords and other weapons. The angels won the battle, and the men of darkness fled.

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