Archive for December, 2005
December 23rd, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News...
The article “Spectacular Fraud Shakes Stem Cell Field” had a rather interesting quote in it, with which I wholly disagree.
“It’s a stain on the honor and integrity of the whole field,” said Dr. Robert Lanza, a cloning expert at the biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology.
While I admit, his intent in this quote was to point out that the South Korean scientist who perpetrated the fraud (Hwang Woo-suk) basically ended up sending a large number of researchers on a wild goose chase, the phrase “honor and integrity of the whole field” caught me as particularly inappropriate. How can embryonic stem cell research possibly be considered honorable or full of integrity? I honestly don’t understand how these researchers live with themselves, knowing that each day, the materials they work with (embryonic stem cells) were created at the expense of human life.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not against stem cell research. I just wish our research efforts would be focused on the use of adult stem cells, which are becoming more and more readily obtainable from patients, and whose usage does not result in the destruction of human life.
December 23rd, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in » Devotions / Bible Studies
This may be more suited to a discussion forum, or perhaps several different blog posts, but I wanted to post it to get a bit of discussion and help spur a bit of thought about Christmas. The following is a short Bible study that I put together for my Sunday School class back in 2001, slightly updated to make it a bit more applicable to web discussion.
1. What does tradition tell us about Christmas?
2. What does Scripture tell us about Christmas? (reference Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1:26-2:20.)
3. Why do you believe there is a difference? Is the difference between traditional beliefs about Christmas and Scriptural accounts of Christmas important or significant to you? Why?
4. What can we learn from the scriptural accounts of Christmas?
5. How are these Biblical truths about Christmas important to you this Christmas, specifically?
December 22nd, 2005 | 2 Comments | Posted in » Just For Fun...
(no, the link is not to a song parody… just click it and enjoy!)
December 22nd, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News...
Found this article on MSNBC.com today: Jesus’ Miracle — A Christmas greeting from a Jewish brother
Interesting perspective from one of our Jewish friends, in which he reflects upon his love for Christmas. I pray that out of his enjoyment of Christmas, his appreciation for Christians, and our common root of faith in God, that he will find joy in Jesus, not just as the object of the Christian faith upon which this season is based, but as Lord and Savior.
December 15th, 2005 | 7 Comments | Posted in » Devotions / Bible Studies
20“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Let me get this straight… I pray to Jesus, and He prayed for me? WOW!
Maybe that’s not real earth-shattering, but it’s something that should be (if it isn’t already) a comfort to each and every one of us who have faith in Him. Jesus cared about us as believers, enough to plead for us before God the Father.
But what did He ask God for? This is where it gets convicting. Unity. Unity amongst the church. Amongst believers. Amongst the saved. Amongst God’s children! Unfortunately, we’ve fallen WAY short of this — we have Catholics, Baptists, Episcopals, Assemblies, Unitarians, Lutherans, Methodists, and many others — all with at least partially differing beliefs about God’s will and ways. I can’t help but think, “Jesus must be SO disappointed”.
It’s a difficult topic to address, if you ask me. Unity is such a difficult thing to achieve, yet that’s Christ’s desire for His children. Where do we draw the line when it comes to differing views on Scripture or on God’s will? I don’t have the answer (I wish I did). I would have to say that certain things cannot be compromised (the divinity of Christ, salvation though faith, the virgin birth, inerrancy of Scripture, etc.), but the others? I guess we just have to learn to agree to disagree on things that are not clear-cut in Scripture (as so many things can be read more than one way). It’s a hard thing to do, I know… but absolutely necessary. That doesn’t mean we have to water down our faith, but it does mean that we need to maintain harmony amongst believers. How sad it is that our disagreements become yet more excuses for a lost world to reject our Savior.
I pray that God may touch the hearts of people of all denominations of Christianity, that we may all realize that our commonalities outnumber our differences, and that with Christ as our foundation, we can move forward in unity to make a difference in this world. Big goal, I know… but with God, all things are possible.
December 15th, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News...
Interesting article above regarding a “study” linking religious faith to societal ills, and reaction from a number of Christian leaders.
Just another researcher who doesn’t seem to understand the difference between correlation and causation.
December 13th, 2005 | 5 Comments | Posted in » Church Stuff...
In the past couple days, I seem to be stumbling across a lot of links regarding “emergent Christianity”, “emerging churches”, “emerging conversation”, etc.
From what I can tell, it’s somewhat of a worldwide movement involving Christians of all denominations and backgrounds, looking at new ways of “doing church”. It seems to reflect the belief that traditional ways of doing church are not working well in today’s culture, and that we need to find new ways to reach non-believers with the gospel.
I’m really not quite sure what to think, though… I’m suspicious there’s much more to this than I understand, having only seen a few web links and a lot of controversy.
Anyone have any thoughts?