Adopt an Atheist.
As God’s dearly beloved children, we are instructed to pray for all men. In the Sermon of the Mount, the Messiah confronted the superficial religiosity of the spiritual leaders of His day by going beyond the letter of the Law and holding them accountable to the Spirit of the Law. It was no longer sufficient to love your neighbor as revealed in the Mosaic Covenant. The instructions of the New Covenant would require God’s adopted children to be God-like, Christ-like in their desire to see the salvation of all men, even their enemies, II Peter 3:9.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Matt. 5:43-46
So we are beginning a brand new campaign at the Creation Studies Institute. We are calling on all of our supporters to join our “Adopt an Atheist Prayer Movement” by praying for the salvation of these men and women.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Bill Nye: The Science Guy
|Neil deGrasse Tyson
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, I Tim. 2:1.
While most of those we have added to our “Adopt an Atheist” section of the CSI website would rather we didn’t single them out for prayer, we continue to ask God to be merciful to men and women of science who are devoted to a completely materialistic worldview. This includes the anointed successor to Carl Sagan. We are asking everyone to pray for Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Aside from his duties as the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and as a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, Dr. Tyson is famous for his hosting of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. This is an update of Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage television series originally presented in 1980.
At CSI, we know something those atheists like Dr. Tyson will fail to tell their adoring public. There are many scientists, past and present, who have a firm and abiding belief in the God of the Bible and His revelation to mankind in the form of His Word. Dr. Tyson is definitely not one of them.
In an interview with internet forum, Big Think (2012), Tyson said, “So what people are really after is my stance on religion or spirituality or God, and I would say if I had to find a word that came closest, I would say agnostic... at the end of the day I'd rather not be any category at all.” In an earlier interview entitled, “Called by the Universe: A conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson” in 2009, he said: “I can't agree to the claims by atheists that I'm one of that community. I don't have the time, energy, interest of conducting myself that way... I'm not trying to convert people. I don't care.”
Dr. Tyson has either changed his mind, or the paycheck involved with his narration of the newest incarnation of the Cosmos miniseries has trumped his previous thoughts on the matter. I say this because throughout the first four episodes of the Cosmos, Dr. Tyson (2007) has gone out of his way to make certain that you know that his view of science cannot tolerate a higher power. His true mindset concerning this is evidenced by his long time opposition to the Intelligent Design movement. Dr. Tyson has argued for at least the past 15 years that intelligent design thwarts the advance of scientific knowledge, (Tyson, 2005; 1999).
Although he has made his views known about science, spirituality, and the spirituality of science, when asked if he believed in a higher power, Tyson responded:
Every account of a higher power that I've seen described, of all religions that I've seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence.
This statement from Dr. Tyson is stunning. I will not speculate on why he chose to ignore the obvious, only to say that he excluded the Gospel from “the many statements with regard to the benevolence of a higher power.” Now you know why CSI is asking others of like-precious-faith to pray for Dr. Tyson. We want God to open his spiritually blind eyes so he would be able to see the Messiah, high and lifted up on Calvary, nailed to a tree as an atoning sacrifice for his sins.
While Dr. Tyson says that the universe is a dangerous place, he fails to give any credence whatsoever to the fact that, as far as we know, we are alone in this incredibly large and continually expanding universe. Carl Sagan and Dr. Tyson viewed our planet as a pale blue dot of insignificance in the vastness of space. Those who have placed their faith in the risen Savior, see the Earth, with its unique ability to sustain life in all of its various forms, as evidence of a benevolent Creator. He is the One who has fine-tuned every element of His creation so that life can continue to “be fruitful and multiply.”
We also know that the danger in our world comes from unregenerate men and women who, rather than acknowledge the Creator and thank Him for His provision of forgiveness and everlasting life in Messiah, take issue with Him. They deny His existence and look to their own finite minds for the answers to the big questions of life. Who are we? Were did we come from? What is going to become of us?
So, Dr. Tyson is right about the universe being a dangerous place. But the greatest danger of all is to reject God’s redeeming grace as revealed in the life, death, burial and resurrection from the dead of Jesus of Nazareth, the Holy One of Israel.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved, John 3:16-17.
Big Think (2012). ‘Neil explains his views on YouTube.’ Originally uploaded April 25, 2013. Retrieved 4.9.14.
Tyson, Neil D. (2009). “Called by the Universe: A conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson.” Originally uploaded from Sciencenetwork.org. Retrieved from YouTube 4.9.14.
Tyson, Neil D, (2007). Neil deGrasse Tyson on "Intelligent Design" at "Beyond Belief.”
Originally printed in Natural History Nov. 2005. Retrieved from YouTube 4.9.14.
Tyson, Neil D. (2005). "The Perimeter of Ignorance.” Originally printed in Natural History Nov. 2005. Retrieved from Haydenplanetarium.org. 4.9.14.
Tyson, Neil D. (1999).“Holy Wars.” Originally published in Natural History Oct. 1999. Retrieved from Haydenplanetarium.org. 4.9.14.
Tyson, Neil D. (2009).“Neil deGrasse Tyson at UB: God and Science.” Uploaded on April 9, 2010 from a speech at University of Buffalo. Retrieved from YouTube 4.9.14.
|Bill Nye: The Science Guy
You might want to pray for Bill Nye. Although he is not as vocal as atheists Richard Dawkins or P.Z. Myers, he is a dedicated humanist, a member and fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Of late, Mr. Nye has become an ardent defender of Darwinian evolution and a vocal opponent of creationism.
His career has included success as an American science educator. He is best known as the host of the Disney/PBS children's science show “Bill Nye the Science Guy” (1993–1998) and for his many subsequent appearances in popular media (Wikipedia, 2012).
Bill Nye studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University where one of his professors was Carl Sagan. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1977. In May 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by The Johns Hopkins University. In May 2011, he received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Willamette University, where he was the keynote speaker for that year's commencement exercises (Wikipedia, 2012).
Mr. Nye has ended up back in the limelight by claiming that teaching your children creationism is “inappropriate” and he likens it to believing that the earth is flat.
Therefore, the Creation Studies Institute (CSI) is asking those who support this ministry to pray for Bill Nye and others who think they are more logical or more astute than those who disagree with them. Bill Nye is asking parents not to teach creationism to their children. Under the title “creationism is not appropriate for children,” Nye opines “And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future,” (NCSE, 2012).
While some consider it a badge of honor to be placed on CSI’s “atheist’s prayer list,” we are undeterred. We realize that all who have denied the Creator are laboring under a strong delusion. We understand that until you have experienced the risen Savior in our own life and been born again, John 3:3, you cannot make any sense of the Word of God or the message of the gospel.
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, I Cor. 2:14.
When you deny the Creator, you are denying the Savior, Col. 1:16-21. The pride of men causes them to remain spiritually blind. The Bible repeatedly confirms this truth, Surely, He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble, Prov. 3:34; James 4:6; I Peter 5:5. God’s grace is His unmerited favor towards men and women who are lost in the darkness of unbelief, living merely by sight without the benefit of the gift of faith that opens blind eyes and unstops deaf ears, Eph. 2:8-9.
It seems that Bill Nye’s prideful statements put him in jeopardy where God’s grace as revealed in the gospel is concerned. However, God understands that the pride of man is an obstacle to one’s ability to understand the gospel. Often He allows a humbling to take place, circumstances in a person’s life to cause them to seek God and His righteousness. When this is coupled with godly sorrow, e.g. a grief rooted in the knowledge that God alone is holy and we are not, the gift of saving faith is given. When we receive the gift, we enter into the New Covenant and we are born again. The gospel of God’s grace, (God’s Righteousness At Christ’s Expense), is God’s solution to the sin problem of man.
We will continue to pray for Bill Nye the science guy and others who have been indoctrinated by the extreme evolutionary materialism that automatically denies and censors any explanation that infers the existence of the Creator.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, II Peter 3:9.
NCSE (2012). Bill Nye Video on Creationism. National Center for Science Education. Accessed 8.31.12.
Wikipedia (2012). Bill Nye. Accessed 8.31.12.
Wikipedia (2012). Ibid.
|Mark Zuckerberg: America’s newest instant billionaire
The world’s newest instant billionaire has come upon hard times. Well, not really hard times. But after the initial public offering (IPO) of Facebook shot Zuckerberg’s net worth through the roof, $19.1 billion based on a $38.00 a share back in May 2012, it had dropped 7 billion dollars to a measly $11.98 billion by July.
All joking aside, by worldly standards, the 28-year-old wunderkind has led a seemingly charmed life. Born and raised in New York by his dentist father and psychiatrist mother, Mark showed promise writing software programs as a hobby in middle school and excelling in classic literature in high school.
Mark later enrolled at Harvard majoring in computer science and sociology. It was during his college years that Mark developed a dating website dubbed Fasesmash where Harvard students could post their photo in the hope of meeting other students. Although short-lived, this became the template for Facebook and the rest is history (Wikipedia, 2012).
Mark, and others who are very successful, run the risk of turning their wealth into a kind of security blanket for them and their loved ones, Ecc. 7:12. Money is not evil; however, the love of money is the root of all evil, I Tim. 6:10. The Word of God warns us about the pitfalls associated with wealth, James 5:1-6, as well as the deceitfulness of riches, Mark 4:19. King Solomon was the wealthiest and the wisest of all of Israel’s monarchs. He had the resources to pursue any goal he wanted, and according to his testimony recorded in Ecclesiastes, that is exactly what he did, Ecc. 2:10-11. His conclusion rings out as a warning to all who would pursue their dreams apart from God’s will according to God’s Word:
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity,” Ecc. 12:8
Many who are extremely wealthy and deny their Creator are in danger of finding themselves in the same situation as the rich man in the Gospel of Luke chapter 16. In this true story, parables never use real people with their proper names, i.e. Lazarus and Abraham, Jesus explains how riches can insulate people from seeing their own need for the Savior. The startling truth concerning this story was that the rich man was not an atheist, yet he rejected the testimony of Moses and the prophets. When the rich man begs Abraham to go and warn his five brothers so they would not end up with him in torment, separated from God’s grace and mercy. Abraham’s response is recorded for us:
Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead,’” Luke 16:27-31.
It is important to understand that believing “in” God has no particular merit associated with it from a biblical perspective. Many people are religious and they believe “in” God, but the Creator requires us to “believe” Him, to take Him at His Word, And Abraham believed the Lord and it was credited to him as righteousness, Gen. 15:6. That is the difference between a believer and a make-believer, a child of God and someone who has not yet tasted and seen that the Lord is good, Ps. 34:8. Not only that, but atheists and others also ignore the historical fact that, nearly two thousand years ago, the Messiah rose from the dead. They reject the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth choosing instead to believe that these eyewitnesses to the resurrection and ascension of the Messiah must have been suffering from a series of mass hallucinations. Or worse, that they willingly chose to deceive the world and face certain death for something they knew to be a lie. Both of these scenarios strain credulity; however, once you reject the truth, the only explanation left has to be a lie.
So we ask all who have had their eyes opened especially those who have been redeemed from the darkness of atheism, to pray for Mark and others who have succumbed to this illogical worldview. Atheism is a faith-based belief system rooted on a lie that a creation can come into existence without a Creator; that, contrary to all the laws of physics, an effect as great as the cosmos could possibly exist without a greater First Cause. It is far better to embrace this simple and logical truth expressed so well in the first verse of the Bible, “In the beginning God…” and follow that testimony to the biblical conclusion concerning the Creator who became the Savior:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men… But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:1-4, 12-14.
By Steven Rowitt, Ph.D.
Paumier, G. (2012). Photo by Guillaume Paumier. Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-3.0. Accessed 8.13.12.
Isidor, C. (2012). Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth falls by $7.2 billion. CNN July 27, 2012. Accessed 8.15.12.
Wikipedia (2012). Mark Zuckerberg. Accessed 8.14.12.
|Steven Pinker: Experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist and author
That was the opening quote from Steven Pinker that is listed on the Famous-Atheists.com website. Dr. Pinker earned his PhD degree in experimental psychology at Harvard University in 1979. After a year of research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he became an assistant professor at Harvard and then Stanford University.
Dr. Pinker is a prolific author whose academic specializations are visual cognition and psycholinguistics. He continued his career in education from 1982 until 2003 teaching at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. Eventually he became the director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, taking a one-year sabbatical at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1995-96. As of 2008, he is the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard. In June 2011, it was announced he would give lectures as a visiting professor at the New College of the Humanities, a private college in London (Wikipedia, 2012).
Something that strikes me as very peculiar about the secular or cultural Jewish mindset is the way these secular or cultural Jewish people can so easily distance themselves from their biblical roots. I can identify completely with the Apostle Paul. Paul self-identified as a Jewish man. And even though he was called by God to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul often had to defend his Jewish heritage as well as God’s plan of redemption for the lost sheep of the House of Israel:
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew,
Paul fought against those who were impugning his credentials as an Apostle. He wrote to the body of believers in Philippi:
…though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless, Phil. 3:4-6.
While Dr. Pinker and other vocal atheists have no difficulty passing judgment on the God of the Bible, often using examples of God’s wrath from the Bible, they easily dismiss other portions of the Word of God as “merely the writings of men.”
At the time when young Jewish boys traditionally transition into manhood; the young Steven Pinker claims, he “converted” to atheism. While spiritual conversion as described in the Bible is the experience of being transformed from a sinner into a saint, by grace through faith in the Messiah, Professor Pinker claims to have had a “conversion” to atheism. It makes perfect sense that he would continue following his conversion to materialism and naturalism into a lifelong study and promotion of evolutionary psychology.
Admittedly, my Bar Mitzvah in 1963 is a distant memory. Still, I cannot imagine being able to come to the conclusion that Dr. Pinker came to at the ripe old age of thirteen. Perhaps that is the real difference between secular/cultural Jews and those who have not closed themselves off entirely to spiritual truth.
Pray for Steven Pinker. Ask the Father of Mercies to lead him back to his Messiah. Only God can open blind eyes and unstop deaf ears. Circa 750 years BC, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed the real problem that mankind has concerning the Creator:
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
that it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear, Is. 59:1-2.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is omniscient. He hears everything, but does not respond to all prayers. The hearing ear responds. That is why the Messiah often prefaced His teachings with: “He who has ears to hear, let them hear…” God reveals Himself to everyone. He does this, first and foremost, through His created natural universe, Ps. 19:1-4. Additionally, He promises to reveal Himself to all who earnestly seeks Him, Is. 55:6-7. It is in the gospel that the problem of our sin, the unbelief that blinds us to God (and His Messiah, John 14:6) and separates us from Him, has been solved.
While most vocal atheists like to blame God for everything, including free will, sin, death, hell and anything else they can use to continually to reject God and His Messiah, they cannot save themselves or anyone else.
So we will continue to pray for Professor Pinker. That he too, like Paul and the other Jewish Apostles of Jesus of Nazareth, would be able to proclaim:
“We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph,” John 1:45.
By Steven Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.
Wikipedia (2012). Steven Pinker. Accessed 3.21.12
|Steven Weinberg: Theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics
“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
That insightful quote came from Steven Weinberg, Ph.D. who was born in 1933 in New York City to Jewish immigrants Frederick and Eva Weinberg. Even though he is a direct descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, my kinsman according to the flesh, he decided early in life that he was an atheist. He is considered to be one of the top fifty atheists of all time, according to those who seem to know a lot about atheists, both living and deceased (brainz.org, 2011).
Weinberg received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1954, living at the Cornell branch of the Telluride Association. He left Cornell and went to the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen where he started his graduate studies and research. After one year, Weinberg returned to Princeton University where he earned his Ph.D. in Physics in 1957 (Wikipedia, 2011).
After completing his Ph.D., Weinberg worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Columbia University (1957–1959) and University of California, Berkeley (1959). He was later promoted to faculty at Berkeley (1960–1966). In 1966, Weinberg left Berkeley and accepted a lecturer position at Harvard. In 1967, he was a visiting professor at MIT.
There is no doubt that Dr. Weinberg is a brilliant physicist and theoretician. After his 1967 seminal work on the unification of weak and electromagnetic interactions, Professor Weinberg continued his work in many aspects of particle physics, quantum field theory, gravity, supersymmetry, superstrings and cosmology, as well as a theory called Technicolor, e.g. models of physics beyond the standard model that address electroweak symmetry breaking, the mechanism through which elementary particles acquire masses (Wikipedia, 2011).
We are asking our Creation Studies Institute family to pray for Dr. Weinberg and his family. We are asking, as did the Apostle Paul before us, that God will open the eyes of his understanding and reveal his Messiah to him. He is one of the natural branches of the ‘Olive tree of faith’ that has been broken off because of unbelief, Rom. 11:17-23. We pray that God will grant him the gift of repentance, II Tim. 2:25; Acts 5:31, and graft him back in to God’s Vine, John 15:1-5.
By Steven Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.
Brainz.org (2011). The 50 Most Brilliant Atheists of All Time. Accesses on 8.17.11 at http://brainz.org/50-most-brilliant-atheists-all-time/.
Wikipedia (2011). Steven Weinberg. Accessed 8.17.11 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Weinberg#cite_note-0.
Wikipedia (2011). Technicolor (Physics). Accessed on 8.17.11 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki /Technicolor_(physics).
|Ron Reagan: The Classic Progressive Atheist
If there was ever a time when the old adage “the fruit does not fall far from the tree” does not apply, this is a case in point. Ron Reagan, a.k.a. Ronald Regan Jr., is the 53-year-old son of conservative icon and late two-term president of the United States, Ronald Reagan. Ron, who is the exception to the “fruit not falling far” cliché, can be contrasted to his adopted brother and conservative pundit, Michael Reagan, who is proof positive concerning the likelihood of fruit remaining close to the tree from whence it fell.
Ronald Reagan Jr. declared himself an atheist at the ripe old age of twelve. And for that reason, he informed his parents that he would not longer be attending church services with them. Ron seemed to be the typical rebellious child. He was expelled from the Webb Schools of California (a private prep school) and later dropped out of Yale University in 1976 after only one semester to pursue his dream of becoming a ballet dancer.
Ron had considerable success achieving his dream. He was accepted into the prestigious Joffrey Ballet in pursuit of his lifelong dream and danced professionally with them for several years. Ron followed his left-wing leanings and spent a significant time denigrating the Bush administration for their attempt to associate themselves with his father’s persona. He was (as were most progressives) opposed to the Iraqi war. In contrast to his vocal criticism of George Bush, however, he was always extremely respectful of his parents and never commented negatively on his father’s presidency, even though his personal political leanings were far from the conservatism that characterized his father’s presidency.
Reagan became more politically active and vocal once his father left the White House in 1989. In 1991, Reagan was the host of The Ron Reagan Show, a syndicated late-night talk show addressing political issues of the day. In recent years, Reagan has worked as a magazine journalist, and has hosted talk shows on cable TV networks such as the Animal Planet network. From 2008 until its demise in 2010, Air America Media aired The Ronald Reagan Show from 6 pm to 9 pm EST.
True to his leftwing ideology, Ronald Reagan Jr. endorsed the now president, but then junior Senator from IL, Barrack Obama. Ronald Reagan Jr. is very protective of his father’s reputation. But not in the way you might think. He has tried to revise his father’s legacy. While admitting that his father was “a lower-taxes-and-small-government kind of guy,” Ron Reagan the younger would have us believe that, politically speaking, Sarah Palin and his father had nothing in common. This revisionist view of his father can be understood when seen through the prism of love that Ronald Reagan Jr. has for Ronald Reagan Sr, coupled with Ron the younger’s radical ideology. This, together with the near fanatical hatred liberals like Ron Reagan have for true conservatives, is not entirely unexpected.
When you combine the idealism of youth with the natural rebellious nature of fallen man, you get the Ronald Reagan Jr.’s of the world. It is a perfect wedding of adolescent angst and the sin of unbelief described in Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy…rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. II Tim. 5:1-5.
Is this not a perfect description of our society today? It is easy to see how Ronald Reagan Jr., and so many others, have rejected the wisdom of their parents, becoming disobedient and blindly following their own rash and conceited thinking into the darkness of atheism. That is why we are praying for Ronald Reagan Jr. He, and others of his ilk, might scoff at us, denying their own need for the Savior’s redeeming grace and mercy in their lives. However, there but for the grace of God go you or me.
Two thousand years ago, the King of the Universe was born of a Jewish virgin for one purpose, to become a ransom for sinners, Mark 10:45. He came to save sinners, not to condemn them, John 3:17-18. He is both the eternal High Priest of Israel, Heb. 4:14, as well as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, John 1:29. He told His own covenant people Israel, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins,” John 8:24. This is the real reason we are praying for the lost. Therefore, we are asking all of our CSI family to put Ronald Reagan Jr. on your prayer lists and ask God to reveal Himself to Ronald Reagan, Jr.
|Sam Harris: The poster boy for the “Science is God” movement
I must say, I feel a kinship with Sam Harris. Like Sam, I grew up a in Jewish home; however, I was raised in the Reformed tradition of Judaism. This is a liberal form of Judaism that grew out of a desire of many Jewish immigrants, who, unlike their Orthodox counterparts, felt the need to assimilate into their community. While Sam was raised in a completely secular Jewish home,1 I was circumcised on the 8th day according to the tradition of Judaism. I became a Bar (son in Aramaic) Mitzvah (commandment) when I turned thirteen. Like Sam, religion was almost never discussed in my home, and my personal religious affiliation with Judaism ended with my Bar Mitzvah.
I too experimented with drugs in my youth and, like Sam, I dropped out of college as my drug dependency increased and my life became increasingly unmanageable. Like Sam, I too sensed a spiritual reality beyond the realm of my five senses. Like Sam, I too I went back to school enrolling in a Ph.D. program long after my drug abuse had ceased.
The major experiential difference between Sam and I was that I came to believe in the God of my fathers through His Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. While my addiction had brought me to my knees (and ultimately into the arms of the Savior), Sam’s drug experiences drove him back to school in a quest to understand the spiritual feelings he had experienced while under the influence of powerful drugs. Sam earned his Ph.D. in Neuroscience attempting to comprehend what part of the human brain is functioning when sensing and the interpreting spiritual experiences. In his research, Sam used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) 2 to pinpoint the part of the brain that is active in spirituality.
Sam could be the poster-boy for the “Science is God” movement. He is well known for his best-selling books The End of Faith (2004), Letter to a Christian Nation (2006), and The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010). As is evident from the titles, the majority of his work is targeted against people of faith. He lumps all religion into the same basket, and his articles are regularly posted on the über-liberal website the Huffington Post.
Without taking too much time to counter many of Dr. Harris’s illogical positions, i.e. that scientific materialism is winning the war against religion or that science can provide adequate moral instruction without religion, I will ask everyone to pray for Sam Harris. Pray that the God of his fathers would lift the veil of unbelief off of Sam Harris. Like all who deny the Messiah, Sam has been blinded to the truth of God’s amazing grace. The idol of scientific knowledge has blinded him to the God of Science. Instead of praising His Creator, Harris and others prefer to ridicule people of faith. They have a special vehemence devoted to those who have placed their faith in the God of the Bible, the God of the Judeo-Christian worldview.
Two thousand years ago, a Pharisee known as Rabbi Shaul of Tarsus a.k.a. the Apostle Paul, 3 had this very same veil of unbelief lifted from him. This same Messiah who gave sight to the blind two millennia ago gives sight to those who are spiritually blind today. Paul wrote to a body of believers in Corinth he had established during one of his missionary journeys. He wrote to them concerning the problem of spiritual blindness and the absolute necessity of divine intervention to cure that malady:
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, I Cor. 2:13-14.
Paul would continue to expound on this spiritual truth as did the Apostle John, And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it, John 1:5. This is a principle of physics that, like many other physical truths, has a spiritual application. Without entering into the New Covenant and being spiritually born again (John 3:3), a person cannot understand spiritual truth. While there are many spiritual realities in our present world, there is only One Holy Spirit and without Him, people inevitably remain in darkness. Paul explained this in his follow-up letter to the church at Corinth:
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them, II Cor. 4:3-4.
For this reason, we are asking all of our partners in ministry to pray for Sam Harris. Pray for him and his family as well as the other candidates on our “Adopt an Atheist Prayer List.” He would not be the first “hard nut” that God has cracked and created anew in the image and likeness of His Son, our Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.
1. Jewish TV Network. (2010). Details of Sam Harris’s upbringing. Retrieved Jan. 6, 2011
2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize internal structures. Ironically, the equipment Sam Harris used to perform his dissertation research was invented by a Bible-believing Christian, Dr. Raymond Damadian. It is a matter of historical record that Dr. Damadian was ignored for the Nobel Prize simply because he was a vocal creationist. Click here for details of the scandalous and inexcusable omission of the inventor of MRI in the award of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for M.R.I.
3. Many people mistakenly think that God changed the name of Saul to Paul when He confronted him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). Shaul is the Hebrew pronunciation of Saul. Paul is derived from the Latin form of ancient Greek (Saulos) and the Latin transliteration (Paulos) form of the same name. This is similar to the translation of the Anointed in the Hebrew (Moshiach) that is transliterated into English as Messiah. The Greek (Christós) and the Latin (Christus) are transliterated into the English as Christ.
We want to place on our prayer list the very vocal, and almost always antagonistic to people of faith, Richard Dawkins.
The latest in a long line of his books about Darwinian Evolution is The Greatest Show on Earth. In it Dawkins continues to promote his naturalistic and materialistic worldview. If nothing else, Dawkins is a prolific writer who becomes downright gleeful when poking fun at all people of faith, especially those who embrace the Bible as the Word of God.
God is exceedingly gracious and attentive to the prayers of His people. That is why we are asking everyone who reads this to put Dr. Dawkins on your prayer list. Prayer changes things and those who know the Lord personally, understand the power of prayer.
In our attempt to invoke the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on behalf of those who are still clinging to the illogical and unscientific position of materialism, we ask all who desire to see the salvation of the Lord transform sinners into saints to pray for Michael Shermer.
For those of you have not heard of this gentleman, Michael Shermer is the founder and publisher of Skeptic magazine. He is also an avid evolutionist who, although often out of his depth, did in times past take on creationists in debate. While we do not think turning a skeptical eye on matters is unscientific per se, Mr. Shermer has an incredible blind spot when it comes to the evolutionary musings concerning origins in particular and the Theory of Evolution in general.
He is vocal, as are other evolutionists, about the fact that Darwinian Theory does not speak directly to the issue of origins. However, the inference of materialism and naturalism does have much to say about origins. Evolutionary scientist’s statements concerning origins notwithstanding, science has attempted, albeit inconclusively, to prove an origins connection, i.e. the Miller/Urey experiments. You can take the position of evolutionary science and believe that life came from a rock approximately 4 billion years ago, give or take 500 millions years, or you can believe the testimony of the Word of God, e.g. In the beginning God created, Gen. 1:1.
Evolutionary bias and long ages aside, this skeptic needs to come into a personal relationship with the Creator and Savior of mankind. He, like all who buy into the theory that slime + time = every living organism that has ever lived, falls into the category described by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the body of believers at Rome.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (Rom. 1:21-23)
Please put Michael Shermer on your prayer list. You can add him next to our first-ever candidate for CSI’s “Pray for an Atheist Campaign” Richard Dawkins. Please pray that all who read Mr. Shermer’s Skeptic magazine will turn their skepticism in the direction of their own worldview. A worldview that embraces only what they can understand and quantify through the narrow lens of naturalism taken to completely absurd extremes.
We are adding another outspoken atheist to our “Adopt an Atheist Prayer Campaign.” This time it is the associate professor biology at the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM) and the author of the science blog Pharyngula, P.Z. Myers. Myers is openly hostile to all religion, but he is especially critical of the God of the Bible, Intelligent Design, and Creationism. He describes himself as a self-avowed “godless liberal” and outspoken atheist. He is a vocal skeptic of all forms of religion, superstition, spirituality and pseudoscience. He is quoted as having “nothing but contempt for ID,” arguing that it is “fundamentally dishonest” (Mosedale, 2005).
Professor Myers earned his Ph.D. doing research in the field of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). That is probably the reason for the title of his popular science blog “Pharyngula.” For those of us who are not evo-devo educated, pharyngula is one of the developmental stages in the embryonic development of vertebrates. If you doubt this characterization of Dr. Myers, all you need to is go to his blog see the tagline which reads, “Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal” (Myers, 2010).
This vocal atheist is near and dear to the hearts of all who work at the Creation Studies Institute. Being a very vocal critic of anything that tends to shed light on the inaccuracies of the evolutionary paradigm, P.Z., with his science students in tow, showed up at the Morris Evangelic Free Church. No, he did not come to seek the Lord or worship; he came to get ammunition for his blog. He came to ridicule the Founder and President of the Creation Studies Institute, Tom DeRosa, and show off in front of his students. What he failed to do was to actually discuss any of the subject matter Tom had shared during his lecture. While Professor Myers does not often discuss the actual criticisms of Darwinian evolution, he does find time to insult and ridicule those he disagrees with.
All who reject the Word of God and replace the Creator with materialism usually refuse to discuss the limitations of their “molecule-to-men” theory. Many would rather ridicule the opposition than discuss the facts. This condescending and acerbic style of confronting anyone who dares to disagree with the apparently all-knowing Myers has gotten the Professor into trouble. Myers wrote a review of a book by noted inventor, scientist, author, art historian, and collector, Stuart Pivar. The book was entitled Lifecode: The Theory of Biological Self Organization. In his review of that book, Myers calls Pivar a “classic crackpot.” (Myers, 2007)
I do not recommend actually going to the Myer’s blog, however, it you can stand the use of profanity and don’t mind the comments that are virtually oozing with sarcasm (why are all these evolutionists so angry?) you could easily understand how ridicule passes for true criticism in the minds of these über-materialists.
Today we are not praying for all those who frequent Myer’s blog, we are praying for P.Z. Myers to come to the place of repentance. God is willing and able to open blind eyes. He desires all people, even avowed atheists, to come to knowledge of the truth. Please pray with us this month for P.Z. Myers.
Myers, P.Z., (2010). Tagline on Myer’s blog Pharyngula: “Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.”
Myers, P.Z., (2007). Another review of Pivar’s Lifecode. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/09/another_review_of_pivars_lifec.php.
Mosedale, M. (2005). "The Mad Scientist, interview with PZ Myers". City Pages. Nov. 23, 2005.26 (1303).
This list is usually reserved for scientists who are also atheists, however, this month’s addition to our “Adopt an Atheist Prayer Campaign is non other than George Clooney (Born May 6, 1961). For those of us who are of baby boomers, we know George’s famous aunt, Columbia recording artist, Rosemary Clooney. George was raised as a devout Roman Catholic. He began his education at the Blessed Sacrament School in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. He Spent part of his childhood in Ohio where he attended St. Michael's School in Columbus, and St. Susanna School in Mason, Ohio. He spent several years in college but did not graduate. He was athletic and he even tried out for the Cincinnati Reds in 1977, but they declined to offer him a contract. Baseball’s lose was Hollywood’s gain and from 1978-1994, Clooney bounced around playing bit parts on TV shows and even landing a semi-regular supporting role on the hit TV series “Rosanne.” A few movie roles later, Clooney got his big break playing Dr. Doug Ross on the mega hit TV show “ER.” After leaving the series in 1994, Clooney embarked on a movie career that has been nothing short of spectacular, even by Hollywood standards.
To his credit, Clooney, unlike so many other Hollywood success stories, has used his fame and fortune to advocate several humanitarian projects. Perhaps his most famous effort is on behalf of the suffering people of Dafur. Clooney is also involved with Not On Our Watch, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities.
George Clooney is an immensely popular man, on and off the silver screen. Recently, he was a guest on the HBO program “Real Time.” When the anti-Christian, Anti-everything religious, incredibly elitist and bombastic, Bill Maher, tried to throw Christians under the bus with regard to the tragic conditions in Darfur, George Clooney interrupted the applause of Maher’s über progressive audience by informing everyone present that it was evangelical Christians who were at the forefront of the humanitarian work to bring relief to Darfur and end the genocide taking place there. You could have heard a pin drop.
There are some wonderful believers in Hollywood. They can make an enormous impact on our society. George Clooney is just one of them; however, this month he makes our Pray for an Atheist Prayer Campaign. While Clooney is not a vocal proponent of atheism, when he is asked always identifies himself as an atheist. Pray for George Clooney, that he might see the Savior high and lifted up. That he might come to the realization that the only hope for a sick and dying world, a world that will sit by passively and watch mass-murder take place, is the risen Savior, Jesus of Nazareth.
Who is Dave Silverman, and why should we pray for him?
This is a good question considering that most people will not know that Dave Silverman is the current president of the American Atheists Association. This organization states that,” it was founded to protect the civil liberties of atheists as well as to advocate for the complete separation of church and state.” It provides speakers for colleges, universities, clubs and the news media. It also publishes books and a monthly magazine called the American Atheist.
The organization was founded in 1963 by the late Madalyn Murray O'Hair. It was originally called the Society of Separationists. After the legal cases Abington School District v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett (1959) were consolidated, they were used to successfully remove Bible reading and prayer from public schools. In the 50 years since this court decision, prayer and Bible reading has been replaced with metal detectors nationwide. Over the years, the American Atheists Association has followed up their initial success. They have filed numerous lawsuits against public institutions and individuals it considers to have breached the wall of separation between church and state. The organization, which has approximately 2,200 members, is headquartered in Cranford, New Jersey.
Mr. Silverman claims to have been an atheist since the age of six. He has grown up to become a very vocal and active defender of atheism. Being proactive about his atheism, you can find him at the forefront of lawsuits that attack the freedom of religion in the guise of “separation of church and state.”
This famous line is from a letter written by then president, Thomas Jefferson, to the Danbury Baptist’s association in 1802. Jefferson assured them that the government would not establish a state religion. Jefferson alleged that a “wall of separation” existed between the government, e.g. the state, and religious institutions. Although progressives (many of whom are agnostics and atheists) are fond of stating this phrase appears elsewhere in American history (and it does), it always appears, as Jefferson originally noted, to restate the prohibition against the government creating, promoting, or sponsoring a specific religion or denomination. This truth is clearly delineated in the “establishment clause’ of the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and this is all that Jefferson meant to communicate when writing to the Danbury Baptists. Those who have followed the way this phrase has been taken out of context by subsequent Supreme Court justices and others understand that the Constitution affords us “freedom of religion” not “freedom from religion.”
Pray for Dave Silverman. He can often be found debating people of faith, mostly Christians, and proudly acting as the media face of the American Atheists Association. When you pray for him, remember one of Mr. Silverman’s ancestors was the Apostle Paul, himself a man who came into the kingdom after persecuting his own people for proclaiming Jesus of Nazareth as their promised Messiah. God can open blind eyes and unstop deaf ears. Join with us today as we ask the Creator to grant Dave Silverman (and his family) the gift of repentance. A prayer enjoining God’s grace for him, that he might be able to change his thinking and see his need for the Savior.
It hit the news wires like a sucker punch from the guru of cosmology and theoretical physics, Stephen Hawking. Hawking studied mathematics and physics at University College, Oxford earning his B.A. in 1962 and his Ph.D. from Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1966. In the early 1960s, Hawking contracted a rare form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable degenerative neuromuscular disease and to his credit (if we must leave God out of this) he is the oldest living survivor of ALS on record.
This disease is known also in the United States as Lou Gehrig's disease being named after the Hall of Fame Yankee baseball superstar of by gone days.
Hawking has always been a vocal proponent for the possibility of extraterrestrial life. He is quoted in an interview concerning the possibility of life in outer space. Hawking’s logic on aliens is, for him, unusually simple. The universe, he points out, has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved:
“To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational,” he said. “The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like,” (Leake, 2010).
To be completely honest about Hawking’s views, he is not entirely committed to the atheist point of view. He is not saying that God was not involved in the creation of the universe, only that His involvement was not necessary as he writes with co-author Leonard Mlodinow. In this book he rejects Sir Isaac Newton's theory that the Universe did not spontaneously begin to form but was set in motion by God.
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” (Hawking & Mlodinow, 2010).
Aside from the fact that ‘gravity’ is a really poor substitute for the uncreated First Cause of all space and time, when we begin to ascribe deity to a law of physics, well what’s next? This begins to sound unusually close to the Apostle Paul’s statement concerning those who reject the Creator:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, Rom. 1:18-22. NKJV
Still, Dr. Hawking resists the concept of a personal God. He cannot envision a God who would step into our material world in the Person of His Son, the Messiah, and offer Himself as sacrifice for our sins. In his bestselling 1988 book entitled A Brief History of Time, Hawking rejects Sir Isaac Newton's theory that the Universe did not spontaneously begin to form but was set in motion by God.
In June this year Prof Hawking told a Channel 4 series that he didn't believe that a “personal” God existed. He told Genius of Britain:
“The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can't understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second. If you like, you can call the laws of science ‘God’, but it wouldn't be a personal God that you could meet, and ask questions,” (Roberts, 2010).
I find it ironic that Hawking can so easily reject the rational faith of a man like Isaac Newton and substitute Newton’s law of gravity in place of the Creator. Newton was a giant of science. His 1687 publication of the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (usually called the Principia) is considered to be among the most influential books in the history of science, laying the groundwork for most of classical mechanics.
I also find it interesting that many so-called giants of science today are credited with discoveries of nothing other than theoretical musings. What exactly is Quantum Mechanics (a.k.a. quantum physics or quantum theory)? It is a theoretical discipline of mathematics that goes beyond classic mechanics which is concerned with the set of physical laws governing and mathematically describing the motions of bodies and aggregates of bodies geometrically distributed within a certain boundary under the action of a system of forces. Quantum physics or quantum theory is a branch of physics providing a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. It departs from classical mechanics primarily at the atomic and subatomic scales, the so-called quantum realm.
So should we, like Hawking, reject Newton’s God? It is evident from Hawking’s own statements that he is completely willing to embrace Newton’s theories of science, but he rejects Newton’s conclusions concerning matters of faith. When you get right down to it, quantum mechanics is some ways is akin to biblical faith. It operates in the realm of the unseen. It assumes things to be true that it cannot observe with the naked eye. Quantum mechanics, like faith, is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, Heb. 11:1.
Pray for Stephen Hawking. He is a gifted theoretician, a man with insight into the creation and someone who God loves and desires to adopt into His family. He is not completely convinced, as many atheists claim to be, that God does not exist. Pray that God would shed His amazing grace on Stephen Hawking, that he may truly know the One who created the heavens and the earth.
Hawking, S., & Mlodinow, L. (2010). The Grand Design. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
Leake, J. (2010). Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking. The Sunday Times. April 25, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/space/article 7107207.ece.
Roberts, L. (2010). Stephen Hawking: God was not needed to create the Universe. Telegraph.co.uk. Sept. 2, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/ science-news/7976594/Stephen-Hawking-God-was-not-needed-to-create-the-Universe.html