Archive for the Truth Project Category

Truth Project III

Posted in Truth Project on June 8, 2014 by rundalel

In 2009 my Friday night Bible study went through the Truth Project….. twice….. in a row….. We considered it to be so deep, so extensive and so important that we went through it twice to ensure we could glean as much as possible out of it. Last night, almost 5 years later we have begun The Truth Project Again…..

The speaker begins making the point that his goal is for us to come face to face with the Living God! This is quite a goal. Funny how my blog write up of the previous viewings does not include this point. This was his “fundamental point” and I failed to include it. The lesson begins with the question, “For what reason did Jesus say that He came into this world?”  The teacher asks his students and they give all kinds of good, but ultimately wrong answers. Jesus told Pilate, during his trail that He came into this world to “Testify to the Truth!

The goal of The Truth Project is to see the truth claims of God and compare them to the lies put forth by the world. These truths will be in every area we can imagine. We understand that the world does not believe Christianity’s truth about such theological questions like is there a God, who is Jesus, what must one do to be saved, or is salvation even necessary. But the truth claims of God and the corresponding lies of the world are not restricted to the field of religion. The Bible has much to say about family, economics, science, history, sociology…. etc. and the world is doing its best to present opposing beliefs in EVERY area. This will be very interesting to see..

In this introductory lesson there were a couple of other ideas that stood out. He discussed faith. Lots of people say that they have faith. I know someone who once got a tattoo saying faith. The important thing about faith though is the One you have faith in. To the world it seems sufficient to have faith in anything or even to have faith in faith itself.  This is nonsense. Faith is trust. What exactly do you trust? What exactly is your faith in? If it is in God and the Truth He has presented your faith is meaningful and powerful. If you have faith in faith itself , you are trusting in the concept of trusting something without anything actually there to support that trust. There was a video of a child jumping into a pool to the arms of his waiting mother. Faith, like a child, placed on something dependable, something substantive – mom. We also must have faith, simple, and sure, placed on some One dependable, someone ultimately substantive – God.

The teacher then asked do we really believe, that what we believe is really real? Do we really believe God? Do we really believe what He has to say? Do we really depend on Him for the things He has told us to depend on Him for? Do we know he is our Author, Creator, Provider, Healer, Savior….. and much more? Too many Christian, I believe, have faith in Jesus to be their Savior, but do not understand or trust Him to be everything else….

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Truth Project #7 – Sociology

Posted in Truth Project on June 11, 2009 by rundalel

The basic synopsis of this week’s lesson is that God has ordained an order to all of the units within a society: The Family, Labor, State, Community, Church and the God/Man relationship. It is not that he sat around and thought to himself, “I wonder how a marriage would work best?” or “What type of role should church leaders have within the church?”

The order prescribed by God comes from the very Nature of God himself. This falls in line with the lesson we learned earlier which taught us that the laws of God are not random or made by God, but his choice as much as they are made by God because of His very nature. For example, it is wrong for us to lie, because it is against God’s nature to lie.

Part of God’s nature, from the beginning, from the infinite past measure of time, is what we call the Trinity.

Circle TrinityIn this relationship God – The father is the head. Jesus, the Son, though He is God lowers himself, and submits to the will of  God the Father. They both send out the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit obeys and honors both God the Father and Jesus, the Son. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one, but they have different functions. It may not be crystal clear in the trinity, but if we compare this to God’s prescription for the family it begins to make sense.

Circle FamilyThe Husband is the head of the family. The wife, though equal to the husband submits to the husband. The husband loves the wife as himself. The children come from the husband and wife, are to obey the husband and the wife and are to honor the husband and the wife.

The relationship repeats itself in the church:
Circle ChurchJesus Christ is the head of the Church. He loves the church and gave up Himself for her. The Church is called the bride of Christ. We are in the position where we are called to submit to the authority of Jesus himself. Within the church there is the leader / congregation relationship that mimics the Jesus / Holy Spirit or Parent / Child relationship. The congregation is to honor and obey Jesus and they are to honor and obey the church leadership.

Once again, the main point here is that within these societal structures there is an ordained order. There is a prescription for how they are supposed to work. Society, however, is set on undermining anything that is ordained or prescribed by God. This husband /wife / children model is under attack.

The other societal structures mentioned above are to be discussed in subsequent lessons.

Truth Project #6 – History – Who’s Story?

Posted in Truth Project on June 9, 2009 by rundalel

A few bullet points:

  • History, is in reality His Story – The story of our Creator God and his unending desire for relationship with we the people he has created. Unfortunately, man in his effort to deny the very existence of God has sought to make the story of history to be the story of himself.
  • What we believe in the present is determined by our past. You read these sentences because in your past you have learned to read the English language. If in your past you have come to believe in Jesus, then you probably agreed with the first statement. If you have not come to a previous faith in Christ you probably did not accept the first statement.
  • Since our belief of the present is determined by our belief about the past, if you can change someone’s belief about the past, you can get them to believe something in the present.
  • This is Historical Revisionism. The example quoted by Del in the truth project was a quote from the Mayflower Compact as stated in a current history textbook. The text did not change or actually misquote anything, but it excluded every reference to God and faith. By leaving God out of the quote, the reader would believe that the pilgrims had a completely different and incorrect purpose for their coming to America.
  • A lie, by the way, is historical revisionism. If I do one thing and tell someone else I have done something else, I have revised history for the person I have lied to.
  • Postmodernism – our current way of thinking. It believes that there is no meta-narrative. No underlying order or absolute truth to our world or our place within it.

Once, years ago, I was debating with a young person about the merits of belief in Jesus and we came upon the subjects of freedom and of truth.  I argued that you cannot have freedom unless you understand the Truth (as defined in the Bible.) Apart from this truth people are enslaved to searching for alternative meaning and purpose in their lives. They may think they have freedom, but they have simply replaced the Truth with materialism, or humanism, or worse. The person with whom I was discussing declared that there is no absolute truth. This is the basis of postmodernism. I argued to him that his statement was in itself a contradiction. If the statement “There is no absolute truth” were true, than the statement would itself be an absolute truth, but the statement says that it cannot be….. absolutely…..

Well, you understand.  If you have read my previous truth project summaries you understand that the God of creation, the God of redemption, the Bible. This God has placed His story into motion and we are part of it.  The ultimate purpose of the story is for us to have the choice to be willing friends of His, or not.

Truth Project #5 part 2 -What is Truth?

Posted in Truth Project on June 3, 2009 by rundalel

The second part of the Truth Project’s discussion of science got into the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. The video focused on the theory’s inability to explain the first cell. I have heard many arguements through the years explaining the problems here, but have heard no good solutions. Here are a couple of problems:

When Darwin proposed his theory in the 1850s science thought that a simple cell was simple – just a blob of protoplasm. Now, of course, we know that there is no such thing as a simple cell. Even the simplest cells are incredibly complex. Evolutionist realize the problem here and have proposed panspermea (sp?). In the recent movie: Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein got a noted evolutionist to explain panspermea: Aliens did it…… Top evolutionary science actually believes that the first cell came from some other civilization in space. That is preposterous. First of all, that does not explain how that civilization of the first civilization came up with a first cell, it just moves the problem into outerspace. Second of all, the idea that this cell could have traveled here from somewhere outside of our solar system is impossible.

Evolution by mean’s of natural selection also fails to account for many, many examples of living things or systems within living things. One day about 10 years ago I was driving down Interstate 5 with a couple other science teachers and it came up that I did not believe evolution. Here is the arguement that ended the discussion:  Woodpeckers are irreducibley complex. In other words Woodpeckers have a whole group of features that are unique to them and all of these features must be in place for any one of the features to be useful. These features could not have evolved one by one, slowly over time.  A woodpecker lives by boring holes in trees and reaching in to dig out bugs. To do this they have a special heavy duty beak. If you put that beak on a regular bird and that bird hit a tree, they would fall off the tree because they do not have the right kind of feet to grip the tree. So the woodpecker has to get a special beak and special feet at the same time! If it got both of these and it hit its beak on the tree it would fracture its skull because a normal bird’s lightweight skull could not handle the impact. In addition the wookpecker has to have a special really long tongue. To go with the tongue is a special storage area in its sinus. So far there are 5 distinct features listed found only on woodpeckers. None of the features by themselves are usefull, so if the features developed slowly, one by one, natural selection would have selected away from them. Imagine some regular bird somehow developing just the woodpecker tongue!!

The Truth Project #5-part 1 What is True?

Posted in Truth Project on May 2, 2009 by rundalel

Tonight we investigated the truth claims of science. We started with a quote for Carl Sagan’s video on The Cosmos. He starts with the claim that the cosmos is all that is and all that was and all that ever will be. If you eliminate the possibility of a God, an eternal universe is what you’d like to believe in. But even if the universe were eternal, you have scientific problems if you eliminate God.

When we look at the existance of matter and energy – our universe, there are only 2 choices. Either it had a beginning or it didn’t.  If it had no beginning, if it were eternally ancient the 2nd law of Thermodynamics states that it would have run out of usefull energy.  One way to look at that is to understand that the main fuel for stars is Hydrogen. Stars take hydrogen and through nucleur fusion build Helium and then larger atoms. When the star runs out of Hydrogen it builds larger and larger atoms, eventually becoming a red giant or a super giant. It may produce a SuperNova – an explosion of all those large atoms out into space – and then it collapses. Given an eternity of past time all of the Hydrogen would have been converted to larger elements and stars would no longer have their fuel to burn. Without stars, we could have no usefull planets.

If the universe had a beginning, which is explained by the big bang theory. What caused it to be? What the big bang says is that there was nothing, then nothing, then nothing, then BANG – everything! I heard a reputable astrophysicist say, by the way, that the big bang theory is the best supported theory in all of science. Apart from God, however there is no suitable explanation for its cause. Some scientists have proposed that the universe is in a big bang cycle. It started with a big bang and will end with a big crunch when all the universe collapsed back into the original position and then explodes out again. The latest readings of the motion within the universe have made that idea impossible. The universe is acceleration as it expands outward. In order for it to accelerate outward there must be a force on the outside pulling it out. They call that force dark matter (or dark energy.)

So again, we are left with the universe came to be from nothing. Well, not nothing, it came to by the work of the One Being capable of making it come to be – God.

If we study what is to happen in the distant future, we also have problems with an atheistic model. Well, at least problems with the continued existance of our earthly life forms. Our sun will one day run out of hydrogen as stated before. It will expand and then collapse. Earth itself will be enfulfed in the expansion. Life would be snuffed out long before by the increasing heat output of the sun. Life on earth is doomed – in several billion years.

Atheists armed with this knowledge begin to look for means to leave earth and find a suitable planet elsewhere. The nearest stars have already been eliminated as having earthlike planets, but it is a big galaxy.  Maybe, if we can’t find a place soon enough we could build a space station and just live on it as we go explore. There is another problem. The Milky Way, our Galaxy is on a collision course with Andromeda. Liveable planets are not likely to survive that collision. We are left with the thought of having to travel millions of light years to get to anyplace else….. Are we there yet?

As scientists realize this they come up with very far fetched ideas. Worm Holes, that we could perhaps travel through and come out somewhere else in the universe, or maybe even in another universe. This is an interesting hypothesis, but remember that it is only hypothesis. There is no evidence of any such a thing. There can be no evidence of such a thing. Want to be the first to fly into a black hole in a space ship and see if you live? Of course there is still the problem that the nearest black hole is perhaps in the center of our milky way – some 50 thousand light years away. It would take millions of years to get there and try it out!

Psalms 19:1-4
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

The heavens – our universe and a logical understanding of it clearly testify that there is a creator God, yet many deny Him.

Romans 1:18-20 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Truth Project #3 – Who is Man?

Posted in Truth Project on May 2, 2009 by rundalel

We have taken several Fridays off in a row… Good Friday, an Emmaeus Walk and a Worship Coference.

A while back, we did week #3 – Who is Man?

The answer to this question divides Christianity from, well, basically the rest of the world. The dominant answer to this question from ‘others’ is that man is the most evolved creature on earth. That we are simply the smartest product of star stuff.  (The various elements are theorized to have come from the process of dying stars. When large stars die the explode in what is called a super nova – spewing various elements out into the universe.)

We believers, however, understand that we are God’s special creation. We are the one he designed and created the whole universe for. We are the ones made in His image – with His capability of choice, with His desire and ability to design, with His desire for relationship.

My 4th Day begins!

Posted in Truth Project on April 21, 2009 by rundalel

Yesterday I started my 4th day. A 4th day is sort of like a 1st day of the rest of my life. This 4th day (1st day) has begun with new purpose. New focus on “abiding” with Christ.

Jesus taught a parable, in which He identified himself as the vine and us believers as the branches. Our purpose as a branch was to produce fruit. The secret to producing much fruit is for the branch to abide in the vine. Jesus said in John 15, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (New King James Version)

As branches connect to grape vines, and their attachment grows thicker, these same branches develop the ability to produce more grapes. It is my desire to grow a super thick attachment to my Lord Jesus Christ. This blog will journal my progress.