Healthy For Life: News Report

My high school daughters produced this amazing video for their Nutrition Class. I hope you enjoy it, and learn some healthy-living facts along the way. With much appreciation to Dr. David Perlmutter, whose work was a significant part of their research.

Byzantine iPad found in Shipwreck!

byzantineipad

I was amazed to find this article about an ancient invention found in the Yenikapi excavations in Istanbul, Turkey. They call it a Byzantine iPad because of its portable nature: “a notebook and tool in one.”  In the bottom is a hidden “app,” that helped the captain to guide his ship.

Facts of the matter…HERE

Many people think that those in the ancient world were ignorant and unsavvy. This was made after the time of “King Arthur” and Charlemagne, when Leo the Wise was Emperor of the East. We see in it a desire for a portable all-in-one device. Certainly our modern-day techno-tech, silicon-based society was based on this same desire. But for people before the advent of the transistor, the microchip, and internet, those who came before us had their share of fascinating technology. History is full of interesting artifacts such as this.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like for someone from those days to see, for just a few minutes, a smartphone or a television. What would go through their mind? What criticisms would they have of it? 

Change over time, Compare and contrast, Evaluation, Analyzing Viewpoints

What do you think?

Say you lived in the days of Marcellus from Trunk of Scrolls, or in the days of King Arthur, or even as far forward as the days of George Washington, and say you travelled to the modern world… what would you think of the modern inventions of the smartphone and the television? What criticisms would you have of it? Comment below.

Our Daily Bread Crust

bread-1393447_1920Bread has crust. It*s a scientific law of breadmaking.

It will have a crust, because it’s got an inside and an outside. And the outside will become crusted in the oven. BREAD CRUST holds a special meaning for Christians, or it should.

We pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” and yet we look to tomorrow.  We ponder it, worry over it, plan it, hate it, anticipate it, can’t wait for it. We’re always wanting to live for tomorrow, live in tomorrow–almost like the proverbial green grass over the fence.

We want to make sure we’ll have tomorrow’s bread. So we worry over making right choices today, double-guessing our decisions today, regretting today and rejoicing in dreams of tomorrow. But all this time we forget that our daily bread has a crust.

Just like bread has a crust, days have an edge surrounding them front back and sideways.

We only have today.

Jesus said, “Sufficient for the day is the trouble thereof” just after he commanded his disciples, and those listening to NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW. All we have is today, and the grace we are given is sufficient for the day.  But as for tomorrow, that belongs to God.

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  So, in our time of need (our right now) we can draw near and find grace.

Just like you cannot OBEY God for your friend,
or GIVE TITHES for your uncle from your salary,
or COMMIT your wife’s LIFE TO GOD for her,
you cannot BORROW strength or joy or success from tomorrow.
It doesn’t work like that.

But if we are like Martha, busy and concerned about many things, how can we not worry? It can help to remember the Bread Crust.

(If you’re limited in time, fast forward to 5:31)  “The sugars in the dough caramelize in the crust. They give us that beautiful brown crust. Only the crust can caramelize. It’s the only place that gets hot enough.”

So in essence, all bread by nature is going to have a CRUST. It is protecting the rest of the bread, it’s taking the heat and covering the dough. It is sacrificing itself, in a sense, in order to keep the inner bread soft and fluffy.

HOW TO FIGHT WORRY

Remember the crust to fight worry over tomorrow. The boundaries around your day protect you from the good, the bad, and the ugly of tomorrow. You have today. You are alive. Today. You have with you today things that make you happy.

Frame of Darkness

Yesterday, maybe you had someone or something you wish were still with you today. Tomorrow you maybe hope for someone or something to be with you. But today you have today. You have life, for sure. Today is framed by the darkness of yesterday’s night and the darkness of tomorrow’s morning. Darkness surrounds today. But you have today.

This framework is from God. The Bible starts by setting out limits. Light and darkness are limited, day and night, fish and birds. And time.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,  and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. Genesis 1

Stay within the Crust

That is, our days are limited. Our days have a crust about them. Delving into tomorrow promises nothing but dissatisfaction with today. It does no good. You don’t know what it holds, but God’s got it all under control. Stay within the crust.

Dwelling on yesterday’s failures promises nothing but discouragement with today’s efforts. It does no good. Forgive them. Forgive yourself. Stay within the crust.

Enjoy today to the limits, doing all you can “while it’s called today.”

“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13

Time Limits and God

God defines himself as Who Was, and Is, and Is to Come.” He encompasses all time dimensions, remains the same through each mode of time.

Human beings, however, are limited by today. We shed a million cells a day, so we are always changing. (Not to mention losing 60-100 hairs per day, though God knows how many we have.) We are continually changing, growing, “metamorphasizing.” Tomorrow we are not the same person we were today. Our changeability is one reason Jesus told us to focus on today. We can’t change our height or add a single hour to our life.

Lego-Bricks of Today

Next time you feel overwhelmed by the implications of today’s actions on tomorrow, remember that if you do today RIGHT, you don’t need to worry about tomorrow. Let me double the metaphor. Tomorrow is made up of the little Lego-bricks of TODAYs.

lego-674354_1920

And if you have lived each one right, it makes a whole picture of right. And if you have lived each one

  • reading your Bible
  • praying
  • sharing your faith
  • repenting from sin
  • praising God
  • in acts of mercy and kindness,

then you’ve made a life of all the things you are meant to be doing, as Jonathan Edwards said in 1723,

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time.
Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

(He might have actually become that person he makes the supposition about.)

So let tomorrow remain in its darkness. And if tomorrow rises up against you like a Shrieking Eel, tell it to get back on the other side of the crust. All the promises of God are yours TODAY.

Work on the Brick that is today. Make TODAY the way you want your life to be. And do this one the best you can. To the edge of the crust. Then reap your reward, your daily REST. You will awake to another TODAY.

————-

see also

Scientific American Article on Enzymes and Bread Making

Science of Bread

Baking Science

dailycrust

Athiest Claims to See Hell

Can a changed life provide evidence that
a proported event has happened?

In the case below, this college professor on his death-bed experiences some of the pains of what he says was hell.  The change in his life shows that SOMETHING happened. What would a scientist say to these claims? How would the scientist explain this experience?

Part One

Part Two

It’s science week. How do we approach this from a scientific perspective? A scientist sets up the observation. Looks at the evidence. Considers the laws at work, and looks for the best explanation. Then the scientist tests their theory.

Looking at the Evidence

We have watched the videos. The man says he was an athiest. He got sick and died/almost died. During this time he had a horrifying experience which he called hell. His experience in “hell” changed when he called out,

“Jesus, please help me!”  

Then positive things happened, resulting in his coming back to this life and being healed by the doctors.

Considering the Laws at Work
& Looking for the Best Explanation

This is an issue in the mental-psychological realm

Either he saw something. (Truth-teller)

Or thought he saw something. (Self-deceived/delusional)

Or did not see anything, but said he saw something. (Liar)

From the change in his life we can probably rule out the Liar option, since many years passed between the experience and the recording, yet he did not change his story. It appears he obviously believes in his own story. So either he is delusional or telling the truth.

How can science help us know if he is telling the truth or not? Do we need to determine our boundaries?

Reductive Naturalism

…would say that the answer has to lie in the physical world. It could not be true that he experienced something in the supernatural. It was in his mind, and something he saw flipped his view of reality. So he would be delusional, somehow. They would run a battery of tests to find out what kind of psychological problems he has. Simple.

A Theistic Explanation

…would not automatically reduce the possibilities to physical world, so the option of super-nature is still on the table. He might have seen something, and that something might be supernatural.

Testing the Theory

How can we test if he is telling the truth about what he said?

We could test for delusional psychology. Test how he interacts outside of this recording. Is his lifestyle consistent with his profession of faith in God? (Or does he speak on contrary topics elsewhere, for example). We’d need to check his life. To see if he is a habitual liar, or if his actions reflect someone who is not in touch with reality.

If his lifestyle is consistent with his profession of faith in God, we could test if he speaks in accordance with theistic laws.

When I listened to him, I was keenly aware of each point he said, and compared it with what the Bible says. Why the Bible? Because through other reasoning I have come to the confidence in the reliability of the Bible in matters of supernature.

I measured his words against the Bible. It didn’t seem to contradict…

It seems simplistic, because by the same measure we would also have to say that those who see aliens could possibly be telling the truth. And those who are in non-Christian religions who have similar experiences have to be taken at face-value.

I am prepared to consider their cases in the same way. And in the same way, I would measure their words against the Bible’s presentation of the supernatural/natural world connection.

Case in point–

 “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven”

This best seller about a boy who “saw heaven” had a lot of rubbish, inaccurate according to the Bible. It came out later that the boy and his father were lying. The boy fessed up, but the father keeps reaping the royalties.

Afterlife Travelogues

Unfortunately, the “afterlife travelogue” presented above is firstly questionable because it has dangerous implications. If we believe he went to actual hell, he would be disproving the existence of hell.

What I mean is, we understand hell, and the power of the name of Jesus, from Scripture.

The Bible says,“man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment.” Heb 9:27

If his experience was actually hell,
one man’s experience would be disproving the book of Hebrews.

And if he disproves Hebrews, all of Scripture is suspect. And if Scripture is suspect, his being saved by the name of Jesus is suspect. Meaning that if he were actually in the hell Christ spoke of, he was not where he thought he was, and he could not have been rescued by the one he thought rescued him. It’s self-contradicting.

Experience must bow to Scripture. If your experience tells you something contrary to the Bible, your INTERPRETATION of your experience is wrong.

It [the afterlife-story phenomena] is not harmless. It denigrates the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. It confounds faith with superstition. It subtly elevates human experience to a higher level than the Word of God. It purports to reveal things about God and the heavenly realm that are not taught in Scripture. And it repeatedly insinuates that the testimony of someone who has been mystically enlightened can be a more effective stimulant to faith than Scripture alone…

Thus says John MacArthur. He continues…

This is just one example of a large and growing subgenre of afterlife travelogues popular today—a genre that includes at least two mega-best-selling titles from evangelical publishers. The authors of these stories—and evi­dently millions of readers as well—regard these testimonies as authori­tative, reliable, and full of superior insights that can take readers to a higher level of understanding and enlightenment beyond what we can get from the Bible.

In other words, all of these books take a similarly protognostic stance on heaven and the afterlife. All of them are dan­gerous and misleading. That includes the ones that seem fairly benign as well as the ones that are clearly steeped in occult superstition. All of them stand as reminders to us that Scripture and Scripture alone is the only safe place for Christians to learn anything about the immortality of human souls, what happens to a person after death, what heaven is like, what awaits the unrighteous in hell, and what we can expect in the judgment to come.

Conclusions

So my final conclusion (after testing his life/mental state) might be that he saw something. Maybe a dream or something dream-like. But he did see something.

But he did not go to hell.

Because his life changed drastically, 180*, I know a frightening experience happened to him. He had a supernatural, near-death experience that shook his foundations. But according to Scripture, he did not die and he did not go to hell. He got a chance to make things right. Good for him.

Comments: What do you think?

The Language of the Universe

The WORD became flesh is so much more than an IDEA.

It is a PERSON, a joining of the laws of nature, the laws of God, humanity and divinity.

A virgin conceived: the merging of supernatural and natural.
The word became flesh: God’s thoughts and desires and power got eyes and ears and feet.

The LOGOS

In times past, the idea of reason actually existing “out there” was developed by non-Christian philosophers and thinkers. Philo, Marcus Aurelius, Heraclitus…men such as these were grappling with this idea they had, which natural theology brought them to, of a…

Single Unifying Principle

…the Source of order, the Source of reason and intellect, somehow connected to God.

Saint John begins his gospel with the concept of LOGOS becoming flesh. The ideas that had been spinning around found concrete reality in Christ. Through John, God also clarifies at the beginning of John’s first epistle:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—  that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:1-4

JOY TO THE WORLD!

Nature*s Call

I am grateful for the work of Hugh Ross, Fuz Rana, and others at Reasons to Believe. Their ministry has enabled me to understand more of this world, natural and philosophical, and the apologic it carries:

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice[b] goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.  Psalm 19

In this season of remembering the Logos, make sure to remember that it was not only angels declaring the praises and message of God. Nature was there as well, the STAR joined in the announcement.

(this links to a theory as to what the star was)

Merry Christmas! In all you do this season, may your hearts be drawn closer to the:

Immanuel, God with us.

Earthquakes and Agnosticism

1. The Accusation
2. The “Self-evident” Premises
3. The Y factor
4. Objectively Verifiable Truths

The accusation

Neil deGrasse Tyson: It is not good for earthquakes to happen. It proves that there is no “good” God who made this system.

Facts: Lisbon, Portugal.  Date 1755.  An earthquake happens on All Saints Day.  80,000 people die in church. MORE INFO

Six premises, all tied up into one conclusion:

PREMISE

A:  Good is defined as interested in mankind’s health and longevity.

B. Either God is not all powerful or God is not all good.

C: A powerful God could have kept the earthquake from happening.

D: It is not good for people to die in church.

E. A good God would have wanted an earthquake to not happen.

F: The earthquake was not stopped and people died in a church.

Written in simplified logic form this would be:

I.

  1. If x is q, then p is q and if x is ~q then p is ~q.
  2. Either p is q or p is ~q
  3. q is r
  4. therefore either p is r or p is ~r

II.

  1. Either p is r or p is ~r
  2. ~r is ~q
  3. therefore either p is r or p is ~q

III.

  1. Either p is r or p is ~q
  2. r is ~s
  3. therefore either p is ~s or p is ~q

IV.

  1. Either p is ~s or p is ~q
  2. Not ~s, therefore s
  3. Therefore p is ~q
  4. Therefore x is ~q

x-God

p-God’s will

q-to be good

r-to be concerned about health and life of man

s- an earthquake happening

I.So with the premises filled in, it looks like this:

  1. If God is good, his will is good and if God is not good, his will is not good.
  2. Either God’s will is good, or God’s will is not good.
  3. It is good to be concerned about health and life of man
  4. Therefore either God’s will is to be concerned about health and life of man, or Gods will is not to be concerned about the health and life of man.

II.

  1. Either God’s will is to be concerned about health and life of man, or God’s will is not to be concerned about the health and life of man.
  2. To be not concerned about health and life of man is not good.
  3. Therefore either God’s will is to be concerned about health and life of man, or God’s will is not good.

III.

  1. Either God’s will is to be concerned about health and life of man, or God is not good.
  2. To be concerned about health and life of man means there will be no earthquake.
  3. Therefore God’s will is that there will be no earthquake, or God’s will is not good.

IV.

  1. Either God’s will is that there will be no earthquake, or God is not good.
  2. It is not the case that there was not an earthquake and there was an earthquake.
  3. Therefore God’s will is not good.
  4. Therefore God is not good.

CONCLUSION

Therefore, there is no all-powerful, all-good God.

The “Self-evident” Premises

  1. q is r
  2. ~r is ~q
  3. r is ~s

These were never proven. Let us look at them briefly.

p-God’s will //  q-to be good  // r-to be concerned about health and life of man // s- an earthquake happening

  1. To be good means to be concerned about health and life of man.
  2. To be not concerned about health and life of man is not good.
  3. To be concerned about health and life of man requires an earthquake not happening.
Is it true, though?

If God’s goodness requires his only consideration to be the health and life of man, that would require him to pause every other consideration to enable man to continue in the way he is going.  To be an “air bag” so to speak, or a slave to the cause of mankind’s health and life.  Is that true? Must there be a being whose only definition is the welfare of man?  No.

Of course we’d like him to be only concerned about that, but maybe his consideration for man is higher and greater than just health and life that can be stopped with an earthquake.  If there is some greater truth to consider, say perhaps a bigger benefit for man, then he would be ‘required’ by that same goodness to not stop the earthquake.

So our new self-evident premise would have to be

y-a bigger concern is good

q is r unless y is q 

If we put that into the equation, the conclusion would be:

  1. Therefore p is ~q unless y is q
  2. Therefore x is ~q unless y is q

Without taking into consideration what “y” could be, we might be led to the conclusion Neil deGrasse Tyson comes to.  But what could the “y” be?

Can we make a self-evident premise that says ~y?  That he “has no bigger concern.” We cannot. If God is that Being we are considering, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good.

We can only either suppose he must conform to our human-centered view of what his goodness requires, or delve into that y.

My Response

The Bible does claim, in God’s words,

“I do not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they would turn from their ways and live.” Ezekiel 33:11

Even if those in church were “wicked,” it would not have pleased God for them to die.

So how could something happen that does not please God? Because of the “y-factor.”

The Y Factor:

Y is a BROKEN SYSTEM That is Being Fixed.

The only way to reconcile this is to see that something that is Good was broken, and goodness requires that the method of fixing it does not save those people from the earthquake.

The world strikes us as a place that SHOULD be good. The fact that we want good (no death, no earthquakes, no tsunamis, no disease) tells us that it fits the system for things to move in a positive way.

If something is broken, we would hope it would be the duty of an all-powerful, all-good God to fix it.

Complicating factor: He is also all-just, and put in us an alarm that stuns us when we cross the line. Namely, conscience.

God did do something to fix it, namely send Christ and a way for us to enter into a new and fixed system. Through death.  I think that welcoming his faithful, who will die anyway, into a new system that is wholly GOOD is much better than letting them stay in a broken, sad, heartbreaking system.

Especially if those people are already aware of his ‘secret passage’ to this new dimension, namely through the bond of faith in Christ.


Objectively Verifiable Truths

Neil deGrasse Tyson says,

“Objectively verifiable truths are needed.”

Which is only difficult for us because we no longer have the sample available to prove the claims of research done in the past. But we have four verified research reports by four different researchers finding the same conclusion regarding the sample.  We had skeptics test the hypothesis and change their theories after testing.

The problem is, the sample is no longer available for direct test.  If it were, perhaps DNA testing and video recording would have been used to verify what eye-witnesses attested to.

What we do not have is counter-examples, or proofs from the time against the test. Certainly there were people who did not like the conclusions. And yet the only writer/researcher who attempted to stop the theory, converted to the theory himself.

How can we test?

There are four dimensions in this five-sense testable world

  1. Height
  2. Depth
  3. Width
  4. Time

There are also several other dimensions that I am aware of, which we sense without our eyes and ears, without this four dimensional world.

  1. The world of mind. (calculates, figures, reasons)
  2. The world of passion. (feels, hates, loves)
  3. The world of dreams. (imagines while I’m awake and asleep)
  4. The world of soul. (senses the holy, feels guilt, understands contact with the Creator)
  5. The world of memory. (recalls in often vivid detail the moments I have lived)
  6. The world of angels and demons. (often it can be breached, especially by those who call upon it)
  7. The world of heaven. (I am aware that those who have died have moved on, a dimension NDE’ers speak of)

Today we can test the validity of the sample (Jesus of Nazareth), from the evidence we have before us, as historians.  If we objectively approach the testimony of Dr Luke, Matthew, Mark and John we find that something happened that changed their lives. And they wrote down what happened to them.

What does it mean to be OBJECTIVE?

Objective. adj.  (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts: “Historians try to be objective and impartial.”  • not dependent on the mind for existence; actual (Apple Dictionary).

NO ONE can be objective about anything they observed. The fact that the ‘gospel writers’ are not objective, but that their testimonies corroborate as to the miracles and claims and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, speaks into the dynamic experience they had.

Denying the testimony of these eye-witnesses, because we do not like what they say, would be like some leader denying that anything happened to the Armenian Orthodox people of Turkey in the early 1900, because he does not like what they say.  Something happened, in both cases, and the non-objective testimony of eye-witnesses speaks loudly.

It was hard to believe, during WWII, that such a thing as a place like Auschwitz could exist. People who heard, immediately denied it could be true.  But history has shown that things that go against reason have in fact happened. For their own reasons.

Dr. Tyson is correct in saying that there is an aspect of this that leans on evidence not visible equally to everyone. This awareness is not attained through speculation, logic, and reason.  As in the quantum-world, things are not universally observed.  Unfortunately for some, this plain-view “Atlantis” is hidden from eyes of some.

2 Kings 6:17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.


Novel Connection

In Trunk of Scrolls, the problem of suffering is delved into as Christians face the God of the Earthquake, asking the same questions Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson asked, of how a good God could allow evil to happen to his followers.