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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Can You Reprogram Your Nervous systems and Brains?


The Octopus Outsmarts Darwin Again


...In a paper published in the journal, "Cell," Tel Aviv University researchers Joshua Rosenthal and Eli Eisenberg report that unlike almost all other animals, cephalopods routinely bypass the instructions in their DNA and 
In biology class, you probably learned that ribonucleic acid, or RNA, transcribes and carries the information coded in deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, to protein-factories in the cells. These proteins, built based on instructions from the DNA, are what make up our bodies. But what if we could edit the messages in our RNA to change the kind of protein produced? As it happens, that's what cephalopods do — on a scale unknown anywhere else in the animal kingdom, and specifically in one area of their bodies: their nervous systems and brains.
The Tel Aviv researchers found "tens of thousands" of such RNA recoding sites in cephalopods, allowing a creature like the octopus to essentially reprogram itself, adding "new riffs to its basic genetic blueprint." In other words, these invertebrates don't care that they didn't inherit the smart genes. They make themselves smart, anyway.
Of course, an animal can't be the author of its own intelligence, and this is not a process anyone believes cephalopods perform consciously. Rather, it is a marvelous piece of "adaptive programming" built-in to their biology.
Darwinists have tried to spin this feat as "a special kind of evolution." But the folks at Evolution News cut through this nonsense and identify RNA editing for what it is: "non-evolution."
"Neo-Darwinism did not make cephalopods what they are," they write. "These highly intelligent and well-adapted animals edited their own genomes, so what possible need do they have for…blind, random, unguided" evolution?
This is also an emerging field of research, which means it's possible, in theory, that other organisms make extensive use of RNA editing, and we're just not aware of it, yet.
If, as one popular science website puts it, other creatures can "defy" the "central dogma" of genetics, the implications for Darwin's "tree of life," and his entire theory, are dire.
But if cephalopods and the complex information processing that makes them so unique are in fact the result of a Programmer — of a Designer — the waters of biology become far less inky.
Originally posted at breakpoint.org.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Rational Faith is Reason Plus Revelation & " The Language of God"



Collins: Why this scientist believes in God

 By Dr. Francis Collins
 Special to CNN April 6, 2007

Editor's note: Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Human Genome Project. His most recent book is "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief."

ROCKVILLE, Maryland (CNN) -- I am a scientist and a believer, and I find no conflict between those world views.

As the director of the Human Genome Project, I have led a consortium of scientists to read out the 3.1 billion letters of the human genome, our own DNA instruction book. As a believer, I see DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God's language6, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God's plan.

I did not always embrace these perspectives. As a graduate student in physical chemistry in the 1970s, I was an atheist, finding no reason to postulate the existence of any truths outside of mathematics, physics and chemistry. But then I went to medical school, and encountered life and death issues at the bedsides of my patients. Challenged by one of those patients, who asked "What do you believe, doctor?", I began searching for answers.

I had to admit that the science I loved so much was powerless to answer questions such as "What is the meaning of life?" "Why am I here?" "Why does mathematics work, anyway?" "If the universe had a beginning, who created it?" "Why are the physical constants in the universe so finely tuned to allow the possibility of complex life forms?" "Why do humans have a moral sense?" "What happens after we die?" (Watch Francis Collins discuss how he came to believe in God )

I had always assumed that faith was based on purely emotional and irrational arguments, and was astounded to discover, initially in the writings of the Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis and subsequently from many other sources, that one could build a very strong case for the plausibility of the existence of God on purely rational grounds. My earlier atheist's assertion that "I know there is no God" emerged as the least defensible. As the British writer G.K. Chesterton famously remarked, "Atheism is the most daring of all dogmas, for it is the assertion of a universal negative."

But reason alone cannot prove the existence of God. Faith is reason plus revelation, and the revelation part requires one to think with the spirit as well as with the mind. You have to hear the music, not just read the notes on the page. Ultimately, a leap of faith is required.

For me, that leap came in my 27th year, after a search to learn more about God's character led me to the person of Jesus Christ. Here was a person with remarkably strong historical evidence of his life, who made astounding statements about loving your neighbor, and whose claims about being God's son seemed to demand a decision about whether he was deluded or the real thing. After resisting for nearly two years, I found it impossible to go on living in such a state of uncertainty, and I became a follower of Jesus.

So, some have asked, doesn't your brain explode? Can you both pursue an understanding of how life works using the tools of genetics and molecular biology, and worship a creator God? Aren't evolution and faith in God incompatible? Can a scientist believe in miracles like the resurrection?

Actually, I find no conflict here, and neither apparently do the 40 percent of working scientists who claim to be believers. Yes, evolution by descent from a common ancestor is clearly true. If there was any lingering doubt about the evidence from the fossil record, the study of DNA provides the strongest possible proof of our relatedness to all other living things.

But why couldn't this be God's plan for creation? True, this is incompatible with an ultra-literal interpretation of Genesis, but long before Darwin, there were many thoughtful interpreters like St. Augustine, who found it impossible to be exactly sure what the meaning of that amazing creation story was supposed to be. So attaching oneself to such literal interpretations in the face of compelling scientific evidence pointing to the ancient age of Earth and the relatedness of living things by evolution seems neither wise nor necessary for the believer.

I have found there is a wonderful harmony in the complementary truths of science and faith. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory. By investigating God's majestic and awesome creation, science can actually be a means of worship.

What is your take on this commentary? E-mail us

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the writer. This is part of an occasional series of commentaries on CNN.com that offers a broad range of perspectives, thoughts and points of view.
Your responses

CNN.com asked readers for their thoughts on this commentary. We received a lot of excellent responses. Below you will find a small selection of those e-mails, some of which have been edited for length and spelling.

Lorri Carlson, Prescott, Arizona
I am greatly encouraged to read about Dr. Francis Collins' intellectual and spiritual perspective. It is positively refreshing. A thinking person who recognizes the complementary relationship of faith in Jesus Christ and science! Thank you so much for making this article available.

...
James Lampert, Fountain Valley, California
The best case of all for the existence of a supreme being is in the very laws of physics: the fact that physics HAS laws, and that those laws are knowable, internally consistent, and elegant.

...



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Did Jesus Exist in the Beginning?

Did Jesus Exist in the Beginning?


Image result for Jesus is the only way to heaven

John 1:1-2 simply states this when it says
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
And who was the Word? Just a few verses later John clearly tells us
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” (John 1:14-15)
Who was it that became flesh to dwell among us, the only begotten of the Father (John 3:16)? Who was it that John bore witness to? It was Jesus. Jesus existed in the beginning with God, and not just existing with God, but Jesus was God in the beginning! (He is still God today of course. 🙂 )
Isaiah the prophet heard a message from God where God the Father said
Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘ I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6)
God is the First and the Last, nothing existed before God and nothing will exist after Him, He is the first and the last. In Revelation Jesus identifies Himself as ” I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Revelation 22:13) The Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the greek alphabet, in English it would be the A and the Z. There are no letters before A, and none after Z. Jesus is the first and last, the beginning, and the end.
How is He that both God the Father and Jesus can be the first and the last? This is only possible because Jesus is God. Remember what John 1:1 said, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Both are God in a complex Godhead( Trinity) , even though they are individual.
I AM ( I AM Who I AM)

I AM WHO I AM 我是(自有永有的)(轉貼)( for further discussions in Chinese, click this link)

In the Old Testament God would refer to Himself as simply “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). That in itself is an awesome statement. Jesus later when talking to the Jews, told them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was," I AM.”” (John 8:58). Jesus is not only saying that He existed since before His physical birth on earth, but He is identifying Himself as being God, as being the " I Am ". Jesus again identified Himself as the "I AM" when He was being arrested in the garden. The soldiers asked if Jesus was “Jesus of Nazareth” and Jesus replied in such a way that the soldiers fell to the ground. “Now when He said to them, “I AM He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6)
Jesus is the Creator!


When God is creating man He says “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;” (Genesis 1:26). Who is God talking to here? Who is God referring to by saying “Us” and “Our”? God is not a single being but three, completely separate beings, three deities that are in the same Godhead. The Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1). This is an example of how Jesus did exist in the beginning.
Not only was Jesus with God in the beginning, before creation, but Jesus is the Creator. John 1:3 says “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” Jesus did not come only to die for His Father’s creation, but also His own. Isn’t this amazing? Jesus knew what He would have to go through, He knew all of the suffering He would face before He created us, yet He still choose to do so!...
 How unfathomable is His love for us!

 ( *The "only begotten of( from) the Father" applied only to Jesus' unique incarnation--the virgin birth, not Jesus was created by God the Father in the beginning; this insight has just recently dawned on me. 

See John 1:14 below, it was clearly after Jesus became flesh
( incarnation) then we beheld His glory, a glory of an ONLY Begotten from the Father.
In 4th century, Arius claimed "there was a time when the Son was not"; that is incorrect, because Jesus pre-existed His earthly birth as Son of man(God/man).*)

(Berean Literal Bible John 1 :14)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld His glory, a glory as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.)




Friday, April 21, 2017

Who created God?


“If you think God created everything, who created God?” who created God words
“Well, when you work criminal investigations, you’re always looking for the ultimate cause of any crime. So, in the end that, that person who is the cause of this crime is the suspect you’re trying to identify. So I understand the impulse people have when they ask this question.
But I want to offer this: even as an atheist (I wasn’t a theist until I was 35), all of us are looking for the first ‘un-caused cause’. So if I’m an atheist today who believes in a primordial, quantum vacuum from which our universe came into existence, I would be offering the vacuum as the eternal ‘un-caused cause’. All of us believe in an eternal ‘un-caused cause.’ Theists aren’t the only people who are arguing for this. The only question is: is the uncaused, first cause of the universe personal or impersonal?
As a Christian, I obviously believe the cause of the universe is personal: God. And as a Christian, I hold a very particular definition of God. He is the un-caused Creator of the universe. So, to ask a silly question like, “Who caused the un-caused Creator of the Universe” is a bit silly. He is uncaused by definition. And once, again, all of us have the same dilemma. Whether you’re an atheist or a theist, you are looking for the first, un-caused cause of the universe. I would simply argue that, given the nature of our universe (the appearance of design in the universe and in biology, the existence of humans who have minds and free-agency, and the existence of transcendent, objective moral obligations), the best and most reasonable inference for this cause is God.
So, I do think, in the end, the choice is clear. Is the first uncaused, cause of the universe personal or impersonal? If it’s a personal cause, then we’re stuck with a Being very similar to what we see described in the scripture as God. A transcendent, non-spatial, immaterial, a-temporal, intelligent Being who is responsible for the fine-tuning of the universe, the origin of life, the appearance of design, the existence of mind and free-agency and the source of all transcendent, moral obligations. That’s why I believe Christianity is true, and that why I reject the idea that the un-caused, first cause of the universe is something other than a personal God.”
This brief answer was modified from my interview with Bobby Conway. To learn more and watch many other short answers to difficult questions, please visit the One-Minute Apologist website.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Why Good Friday Is Called "Good"?



Dear friends:

Happy late Easter!

Good Friday probably should be called Worst Friday, right? Jesus the sinless righteous Man was crucified for all human sins on the cross. He was wrongly accused as " the King of Jews", guilty of sedition in a Roman court, Was He a king without even one single soldier?( Indeed He is our King, our Lord but not in the political and secular sense.) Jesus was accused as blasphemous against God in a Jewish court before the high priest because He claims that He is the Son of God. According to Jewish laws, if that claim is not true, then He deserves to be stoned to death. But the Jewish leaders were not allowed to put someone to death, only the Romans had the right. So they brought Jesus to Roman court. The Roman governor Pilate couldn't find Him guilty at all, yet he yielded to the Jewish mob's request to crucify Jesus at the end. All these schemes and other twisted accusations are the culminations of all kind of evils. How then could it be called " Good" Friday? Well, although Jesus' crucifixion is the worst injustice case in human history, yet it has accomplished God's salvation for mankind. Furthermore, the resurrection of Jesus has changed the perspectives of this worst injustice case. Jesus has risen from the death and lives forever!
In a word, Jesus drank the cup of God's wrath for us, so if we accept Jesus' offer of Salvation then we don't need to drink the cup of God's wrath ourselves, thus it is called Good Friday. 
( i.e. the day itself and its crime is horrible, yet we are talking about the accomplished salvation for mankind it brought about; that is surely good.)

However, have you ever wondered what kind of "cup" Jesus had prayed earnestly for God the Father to remove from Him in His last prayers at Gethsemane just before He was arrested illegally ? Jesus knew He would rise from death after 3 days in tomb, so it was not the death and physical pains He feared the most to face. Then what is He really struggled to face? He is totally holy yet was going to be contaminated by human sins, to really be under God's wrath for all human sins and to suffer the unprecedented separation from God the Father which is unbearable no matter how temporary that separation was.
...Key passages in the Bible connect God’s wrath with the imagery of a cup. Jeremiah 25:15 tells us, “Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: ‘Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.’” Then Isaiah 51:17 says, “O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering.” In Revelation 14, an angel speaks, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger” (verses 9–10).
Jesus confirms this connection in Gethsemane when he prayed, the cross looming just ahead, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).
The disciples will drink a cup, too — a cup of suffering (Matthew 20:23). But Jesus’s cup of suffering is different from theirs because Jesus’s suffering is under God’s anger. Jesus drinks the cup of God’s wrath, a cup that has accumulated the fury of God against sins of all types. Heinous crimes, adultery, careless words, dishonoring thoughts, lies — all of it will be punished by God. (None of us is sinless according to God's absolutely holy standard: the cardinal sin could be "Denying our Creator God to be our Father in Heaven", don't you realize that?)
This is the cup Jesus drinks willingly on the cross for us. That shows us how deep His love for us.

Come and Drink This Cup

Holy Communion, because by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body. We also call it: the holy things (ta hagia; sancta) - the first meaning of the phrase "communion of saints" in the Apostles' Creed - the bread of angels, bread from heaven, medicine of immortality, viaticum. . . . [ CCC 1331 ]There, at Golgotha, our Savior drained God’s cup of burning anger down to the dregs. God poured out his wrath, full strength, undiluted, onto His Son. Paul summarizes the meaning of this great event, “For our sake He ( God the Father) made Him( Jesus, God the Son) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”
(2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath for us so that he could extend the cup of God’s fellowship to us, that is a cup of Salvation offered in Jesus. It might include suffering, but not wrath. We don’t get wrath anymore — now we get God. We get the sweet, satisfying reality of his eternal fellowship in Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.
This is the cup we drink now and forever. This is the cup that we offer to those who don’t know Him yet, imploring them in God’s mercy, Come, drink this cup with us because Jesus drank that cup for us.

( click the link below to read more)

The Cup Consumed for Us | Desiring God


Furthermore,
...God's wrath is not anger out of control. An angry God bothers some so much that they take ever tack possible to remove the obvious meaning of the text. One scholar argued that Paul did not mean to indicate a personal reaction on God's part but the reaction of a "moral universe." All such attempts seem grounded in the idea that anger is inherently wrong and sinful, and so a lot of anger (a fairly common definition of wrath) would really be wrong and sinful. The Bible teaches otherwise. "Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath" (Ephesians 4:26). Anger is not always irrational. Jesus was angered at hard hearts (Mk. 3:5; Jn. 2:15-16). What feeling should such callousness as the Pharisees exhibited evoked in our Lord? To see sin ruining lives, both now and in eternity, and not be angry at the devil and foolish people who allow themselves to be taken by him is unthinkable. Righteousness loves light, and hates darkness (John 3:20). Thus, every expression of darkness must be met with righteous indignation or anger.

However, there is an enormous amount of difference in human anger and divine wrath. In a time when child abuse is widely reported it is important that our  Heavenly Father not be portrayed as some sort of raging tyrant, mindlessly and wildly hurting His children. This portrait of God is painted when people decide God's wrath is like man's wrath. "God gets angry like we get angry," our humans mind can think, "only His anger is bigger and more powerful." In reality, most human anger is not righteous anger, and so James affirm: "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20). We get angry because our egos have been slighted, and because we did not get our way. Further, human anger usually expresses itself in ways that are hurtful to others around us. God's anger in no way resembles our (sinful) anger. God is not angry because He has some gigantic ego that we have failed to gratify. His righteous anger is directed at evil people who refuse to be what He made them to be and thus hurt themselves. He is angry at the senselessness of men and women who send themselves to hell because they will not heed His word. Additionally, as we shall see, Paul develops the critical point that even the expression of God's wrath is not designed to hurt sinful man but bring him to his senses that he will return to his maker and be saved.

( click the link below for the whole article)


"The Cup our Savior Drank" (Matthew 26:42) -

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Is Truth Dead Too ?



Dear friends:

Friedrich Nietzsche declared "God is Dead!" long long time ago, guess who is long dead now?

Amazingly, God is not dead even after centuries of stone throwing by many atheists, philosophers, theologians...etc.

Here below is an article worth thinking deeply.

God and Truth. Time Magazine Sees Connection (Sort Of).

TIME magazine is running out of things to declare dead. But their latest obituary is a worldview lesson on a silver platter.

(Photo: Time magazine)Time magazine covers from April, 1966, "Is God Dead?" and April, 2017, "Is Truth Dead?"



You may have seen the bumper sticker that says "Know God, know peace," (both with a "K") and then, "No God, no peace," (with just an "N"). This kind of pun usually draws a groan from the kids these days, but it really is accurate. And it remains accurate if we replace "peace" with "truth."

In 2017, our world is a living demonstration of the fact that no accurate understanding of reality can prevail when God is thought of as irrelevant.


In 1966, the cover of TIME magazine asked in giant red letters: "Is God Dead?" Evoking the famous quote by German atheist Friedrich Nietzsche, the accompanying article discussed the way science, technology, modern philosophy, and even some theologians had rendered God more or less obsolete.


Well, fifty-one years later to the week, TIME mirrored that cover except for one word, and many Christians are struggling to not say, "We told you so."


The latest issue, using the same bold, red letters, asks, "Is Truth Dead?". The article, written by Michael Scherer, is far more narrow, aimed specifically at President Trump and what one of his GOP primary opponents called his "tenuous relationship with reality."


Scherer hits the president for his "alternative facts" about the inauguration crowd size, his accusation that President Obama wiretapped him during the campaign, and his claim that three million illegal immigrants voted."Trump," he writes, "has discovered something about epistemology in the 21st century. The truth may be real, but falsehood often works better."

Now of course, there is a direct connection between God's existence and truth. And perhaps I should be grateful that TIME is seeing the connection between God and truth at all. But the irony of reading an elegy for truth in a Magazine that last month featured a second transgender individual on its cover is almost too much.


"Beyond he or she," read the teaser, "How a new generation is redefining the meaning of gender."


It should be blindingly obvious to anyone with two eyes that TIME, itself, has a tenuous relationship with reality. The idea that a man can dye his hair, put on lipstick, and somehow become a woman by sheer will is a much more obvious falsehood than anything the president has claimed thus far. Of course, no falsehood is okay. But for TIME to bemoan the demise of truth mere days after claiming male and female are concepts up for redefinition is unbelievable.


But they're not alone. As I explained recently on my other daily commentary, The Point, National Geographic has launched a social media campaign calling potential subscribers to — and I quote — "Stand behind the facts. Stand with science. Stand for the planet." Once again, the irony was somehow lost on this magazine, which just a few weeks prior ran a cover story featuring a nine-year-old boy with dyed pink hair and leopard print tights declaring, "The best thing about being a girl is that I don't have to pretend to be a boy."


Look, we often say it here on BreakPoint that ideas have consequences. And bad ideas have victims. Without God, we have no grounding for truth. And without God, we lose sight of what it really means to be human. For more details, see Psalm 135: 15-18.


But let's be clear about this: When TIME asked half a century ago whether God was dead, the answer then was a resounding "no." And the answer to the question they asked last week about the truth is the same. Though decades ago certain quarters of our culture gave up on God and then truth and then a coherent sense of the human person, the attempt to replace reality with sheer will and feelings is futile.


Like God's existence, the truth about the world and humanity is not subject to our feelings or our opinions; nor is it changed by academic or political fashions. God is. Reality is. Truth is. Amen.


Originally posted at breakpoint.org.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

"I Got Jealous of Jesus" said Ex-Atheist Lee Strobel


Related imageImage result for Ezekiel 36:26

...After his wife's conversion to Christianity, Strobel, a journalist with the Chicago Tribune at the time, sets out to disprove Christianity, which strains his marriage and causes great internal struggle. But after an intense investigation lasting nearly two years, the evidence points to "the truth of Jesus Christ" and he accepts Christ as his savior.
Lee Strobel admitted in the interview with Laurie that one of the main reasons he initially was resistant to his wife's new-found faith was jealousy.
"I got jealous of Jesus, I felt like there was another man in our marriage," he admitted.
"I felt like she was cheating on me; she's got this emotional support she's getting from this Jesus guy."



Leslie Strobel shared part of her own struggle, revealing that she felt she could share anything with her husband, other than her faith in Christ.
"What I did find out over time is that the best way to reach him was to continue to let God grow me," she said.
She told Laurie that she began praying a specific verse for her husband, namely Ezekiel 36:26, which reads:
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart, I will put a new spirit within you, and I will take your heart of stone, and turn it into a heart of flesh."
"Once I heard that verse, I prayed it daily and daily, and that's when I started seeing his willingness to at least crack the door open a little bit and look," she said.
Laurie showed clips from the movie to the audience, and when talking about the moment Strobel turned to faith in Jesus Christ, he called it "one of the most powerful moments, it brought me to tears."
Leslie Strobel said of her husband's conversion: "There was no indication that he was close to making a decision, but when he came out and just said 'I believe,' I cried. I simply just lost it."


The powerful story shows that even when Strobel was trying to get his "wife out of the cult," God was "working in his life," Laurie highlighted.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/greg-laurie-brought-to-tears-by-lee-strobels-the-case-for-christ-urges-atheists-to-see-it-177891/#riGWyIGOtr1f34Qc.99



...Lee Strobel tells CP that, during that time in his life, he felt that God was an invention of people's own fears.
"I thought that the mere concept of an all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe was absurd. I thought that God didn't create people, but people created God because they were aftraid of death — so they invented this idea of Heaven. Those were the kind of thoughts that I had," he says. "I was hostile toward Christianity. I used to mock and make fun of people who believed in Jesus being Divine."