May, 2011 Archives

16
May

Is science the end of faith?

posted in Daily Devotional by Jim Denison


is science the end of faith?

Credit: Stephen Coburn

Thank you for reading and responding to our recent series on hard faith questions.  So far we have discussed evil and suffering, disappointment with God, and the realities of heaven and hell.  Today I’d like to pose another: the relationship of science and faith.

Here’s why: Last week I was privileged to address a group of physicians and other health care professionals on this issue.  Later in the week I spoke with a group of business leaders in Dallas on the same subject.  Then I read an article over the weekend which raised the issue yet again.  Michelle Boorstein, writing in the Washington Post, cites Keith Ward, a British philosopher who served for years as canon of Oxford’s cathedral.  Dr. Ward stated recently that the rise of science has led to two things in the Western world: literalism, because people no longer value things they can’t prove, and secularism, because people now view the Bible like any other book. Read the rest of this entry »

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13
May

The secret to spiritual significance

posted in Daily Devotional by Jim Denison


Engraving of Edwards by R Babson & J Andrews

Engraving of Edwards by R Babson & J Andrews (Courtesy of user scewing at en.wikipedia.org)

NATO bombs have struck government buildings in Tripoli, while unrest continues in Syria.  Meanwhile, headlines around the country are announcing that Ashton Kutcher will replace Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men.  This is news we need to know?

The Bible never makes that mistake—every word is practical and significant.  We do our best theology when we share the biblical focus on here-and-now relevance.  For instance, in reading with gratitude your comments on yesterday’s essay I especially appreciated one reader’s response to another reader: “if your view is right or Jim’s is right, how would it change how you and I live our lives today?” Read the rest of this entry »

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12
May

Ten days until the world ends?

posted in Daily Devotional by Jim Denison


Truck with announcement of the of "End of the World" on May 2011, 2011 per the prediction of Harold Camping.

Truck with announcement of the of "End of the World" on May 2011, 2011 per the prediction of Harold Camping. (Photo by Bart Everson via Flickr)

You have only 10 days until the Rapture comes, if Harold Camping is right.  The man behind the campaign which declares “Judgment Day May 21″ claims that “the Bible guarantees it.”  His Family Radio Worldwide has spent as much as $3 million to broadcast its message on billboards, RVs and the Internet.

Mr. Camping is a self-ordained minister with no theological training.  He arrived at May 21, 2011 by studying carbon dating, tree rings and other data to determine that Noah loaded animals into his ark in 4990 B.C.  Since “a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8), the seven days it took Noah to load the animals represents 7,000 years.  Adding 7,000 to 4,990, we arrive at 2010.  But since there is no “year one” in the Bible, the correct year is 2011.  Noah’s flood began on the 17th day of the second month in the Jewish calendar, a date which Camping claims corresponds to May 21 on ours. Read the rest of this entry »

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11
May

A prelude to the end of the world?

posted in Daily Devotional by Jim Denison


Pleiades Star Cluster

The Pleiades, a star cluster whose supposed influence is sometimes tied to the 2012 phenomenon (Credit: NASA)

Is this a warning of things to come?  Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Mars were visible this morning in the dawn skies, aligned along the path the sun will travel today.  Uranus and Neptune were visible through binoculars.  End-of-the-world prognosticators say the same thing will happen again on December 21, 2012, contributing somehow to the destruction of our planet.  Unfortunately for them and fortunately for us, astronomers say that nothing like today’s alignment will occur again next year. Read the rest of this entry »

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10
May

The man with a new face

posted in Daily Devotional by Jim Denison


Full face transplant patient Dallas Wiens is seen with his four-year old daughter Scarlette. The 25-year-old Texas man has received the first full face transplant done in the United States, Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital said on May 9, 2011.

Full face transplant patient Dallas Wiens is seen with his four-year old daughter Scarlette (Credit: Reuters/Courtesy of Lightchaser Photography/Handout)

America’s first full face transplant recipient appeared in public for the first time yesterday.  Dallas Wiens was painting a church in 2008 when he hit a power line which destroyed his eyes and face.  He underwent the transplant in March.  The first thing his daughter told him after the surgery was, “Daddy, you’re so handsome.”  One day all Christians will get new faces and bodies in glory.  When does this happen? Read the rest of this entry »

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9
May

Juxtaposing adversity and character

posted in Daily Devotional by Jim Denison


Andrew Bynum walks off the court after being ejected from game 4 of the Dallas Mavericks - Los Angeles Lakers 2011 playoff series

What began yesterday as a non-religious event turned into an experience of profound spiritual significance for me.  This morning I’d like to do something I rarely do—write a devotional about a local sporting event.  Janet and I were invited by some very good friends to attend Sunday’s Dallas Mavericks—Los Angeles Lakers NBA playoff game.  History was made on the court and off, with a life lesson worth discussing today. Read the rest of this entry »

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6
May

The future of terrorism

posted in Daily Devotional by Jim Denison


CBS Evening News, Al Qaeda video targets children, May 4, 2008 4:22 PM. Mark Strassmann reports.

What is the future of terrorism after Osama bin Laden’s death?  According to today’s Reuters website, intelligence recovered from his compound in Pakistan indicates that al Qaeda considered attacking an American train on September 11, 2011.  This after an Afghan immigrant plotted a suicide bombing campaign last year on Manhattan’s subway system.  Are we safer now that bin Laden is gone?  What are your thoughts? Read the rest of this entry »

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5
May

The courier who led us to Osama bin Laden

posted in Daily Devotional by Jim Denison


A resident tries to look into the Abbottabad compound where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad May 4, 2011. (Credit: Reuters/Faisal Mahmood)

A resident tries to look into the Abbottabad compound where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad May 4, 2011. (Credit: Reuters/Faisal Mahmood)

Last night, President Obama decided not to release images of Osama bin Laden’s corpse.  Some agree that such photographs could incite further violence and that skeptics would only claim that the images were doctored.  Others argue that the images will inevitably come out and that America deserves such closure.  What are your thoughts? Read the rest of this entry »

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4
May

How Osama bin Laden became a mass murderer

posted in Daily Devotional by Jim Denison


The remains of the World Trade Center 6 days after the attacks

The remains of the World Trade Center 6 days after the attacks (Credit: US Navy/Chief Photographer's Mate Eric J. Tilford

I am researching a book on radical Islam and learned yesterday that Congress has spent a total of $1.283 trillion (the entire GDP of Russia) for military operations since 2,792 Americans were killed on 9/11.  More than 5,123 American military personnel have died in the War on Terror.  Osama bin Laden was more responsible for these deaths and costs than any other single individual.  We have traced his story from his birth in Saudi Arabia to the birth of al Qaeda.  How did the favored son of a construction magnate become the world’s most wanted man? Read the rest of this entry »

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3
May

Is Osama bin Laden really dead?

posted in Daily Devotional by Jim Denison


USS Carl Vinson conducting flight operations in Persian Gulf

USS Carl Vinson conducting flight operations in Persian Gulf (Credit: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Timothy A. Hazel)

Conspiracy theories have already begun.  Skeptics allege that his burial at sea is a cover-up for the fact that he is still alive, or has been dead for years.  Some suggest that it is a re-election ploy by the president; others accuse the military of staging the event for troop morale.

How do we know that Osama bin Laden was really killed Sunday by Navy SEAL operatives?  According to today’s CNN website, authorities used facial recognition software, visual ID (bin Laden stood 6’4″), body features, identification by one of his wives, and DNA matches to family members.  What else do we know about the world’s most wanted man? Read the rest of this entry »

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