Some time in 2007, I happened to be tuned in to a radio station and heard a discussion that struck me as highly relevant to this blog. Unfortunately, I wrote a draft but never got to the point of publishing it. So, 6 years later, here it is!
>> I was listening to the radio today and was amazed at how many of the apocalyptic points he hit on that overlapped with the site’s content. Although I’m not sure what to make of some of his theology, I do want to say that his knowledge of world affairs and evaluation of the direction the world is headed in is expansive and realistic, and stems from a strongly biblical perspective. Some major points he touches on are the compatibility of faith and reason, anthropologically-driven apocalypse, the unsustainability of modern civilization, and a few doctrinal issues.
Original link, now broken: http://www.wbez.org/Program_WV_Segment.aspx?segmentID=13012
Chicago Public Radio program description: Many in the United States are unfamiliar with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Many believe it’s just a Greek or Russian version of the Roman Catholic Church. Closer examination reveals that this ancient branch of Christianity differs from Roman Catholicism and also Protestantism in significant ways.
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?
By now the talk about global warming on this site amounts to beating a dead horse, as the granting of the Nobel prize to Al Gore should demonstrate. Clearly, because we fail to take necessary action now as well as in the immediate (as in, the next 3-5 years) future, we are headed towards some catastrophic changes in the way the ecosphere functions to support our main life support systems. There are irreversible changes occurring all around the planet due to the chain of events started by industrialization, the least of which are the opening up of the Northwest passage, the melting of the Siberian permafrost (releasing massive amounts of methane, a far more potent source of pollution than carbon dioxide), rapid melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, and increases in chaotic weather (and I’m putting it mildly – like the recent 40 degree drop in temperature from 90 to 50 in the past few days here in Chicago), to name a few.
Hi “Melanie” (an explanation on the quotes coming further down the post),
I’ve decided to move your four last “responses” here, as well as copy your earlier ones to create an exclusive post. My responses are quoted (you can tell by the date following them) or interspersed.
This is not a Lie or a Joke. Jesus returned in Spirit in the Spring of 2006. He talked to only one person. Again this is not a lie.
Jun 30, 11:09 AM
… and, where did this “contact” occur?
Jun 30, 5:33 PM
Hi Albert, God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost came to North America. Not to far from where Joseph Smith’s alleged talk with God happened. Maybe God just likes this place.
Jul 12, 9:19 AM Continue reading
As horrible as such a decree might sound, I think it actually brings the true catholic “Church” nearer to truth – in terms of orthopraxis – although it’s clearly offset by its person/institution of origin. The bare fact is that the Church is to be as a united and uniformly pure gathering of individuals after the return of Jesus, not as some arbitrary decree from a “recognized” (that is, recognizably flawed) institution like that of the Vatican.
That said, as a follower of the Way, our identity is formed and dictated by our relationship to God and one another, not to any earthly institutions.
Vatican: Non-Catholics ‘wounded’ by not recognizing pope
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — The Vatican on Tuesday said Christian denominations outside the Roman Catholic Church were not full churches of Jesus Christ.
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”.
Jesterballz, I’ve migrated the thread to my site for readability/loading time.
Taken from this post for readability.
I honestly can’t see how you can seriously say “I welcome civilised argument in the comments” when your name is “jesterballz”.
In any case, we can do this the easy way (testing for coherency, universality, and uniqueness of claim to truth) or the polemic way (point by point rebuttal/back and forth until no conclusion is reached). Up to you.
There are a whole lot of people out there who believe in “God”. Billions of people are Christian, Muslim or Jewish, and are following their religion (most often blindly). But I strongly refute the claim that this particular “God” exists, and I have pretty good reason, too. So all those curious people out there, please read this and maybe you will realise your mistake. That said, I am not accusing anyone who believes in God of being stupid. Please make comments to explain your reasoning if you disagree with my theory.
The concept of a God or god-form is not necessarily an absolute, but a conjuration.
You’re already starting off on the wrong foot: God is the embodiment of the absolute.
Sorry for the late response. The thread has clearly blown up, so I’m taking the liberty to move it to my blog for legibility.
I said (quoting jesterballz‘s logic):
If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking. – George Patton. [ed: my quote]
I’ve addressed your topic in my For Atheists page under Junaman thread – Empiricism vs. Rationalism, but I’ll respond to your logic w/in the framework of Christianity:
1. Assume God exists.
Define “God”. You do that in 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8, not 1. The Old Testament, throughout the course of its 39 books, does it in a similar fashion, but comes up with a different conclusion.
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.
A Defense of Absolute Truth
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.”