When Science Masquerades as Philosophy

In Alex Rosenberg’s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, he attempts to demonstrate why science is “our exclusive guide to reality.” Here, Rosenberg attempts to provide a neat synopsis of life’s big questions, along with what he considers to be scientifically reliable answers. Here are some of life’s big questions that he thinks science can answer:

Is there a God? No. What is the nature of reality? What physics says it is. What is the purpose of the universe? There is none. What is the meaning of life? Ditto. Why am I here? Just dumb luck . . . Is there free will? Not a chance. What is the difference between right and wrong, good and bad? There is no moral difference between them. Why should I be moral? Because it makes you feel better than being immoral. Is abortion, euthanasia, suicide, paying taxes, foreign aid, or anything else you don’t like forbidden, permissible, or something obligatory? Anything goes.[1]

Here, Rosenberg makes the assumption that what science reveals to us is all that is real. But as Edward Feser points out, Rosenberg is guilty of a reductionist view of reality. Feser illustrates:

  1. Metal detectors have had far greater success in finding coins and other metallic objects in more places than any other method has.
  2. Therefore, what metal detectors reveal to us (coins and other metallic objects) is probably all that is real.[2]

Continue at: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/03/04/when-science-masquerades-as-philosophy/


Living Stones

This passage, 1 Peter 2:4-10, is a really rich one, but it might seem a little confusing at first because of the imagery involved, that of living stones, but as you’ll shortly see, this, too is a simple passage to understand.  To begin with, Peter writes:

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5

Read more at: https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/living-stones-2/

When You Feel Insecure

“A new command I [Jesus] give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”John 13:34

Do you ever walk into a room full of strangers with the sense that you are the only one who feels insecure? The fact is that others, at least some of them in that room, probably feel the same way, especially if they are also strangers to the group. Feelings of insecurity are part of the human condition because we are all wounded in some way to some degree.

We visited a new church on one occasion where nobody bothered to talk to or welcome us, so I decided to talk to others and welcome them. “It’s good to have you here at church today,” I said and asked, “are you a member?” In fact, just this last Sunday morning after church I saw a man standing alone, so I specifically went to speak to him and help make him feel welcome. He turned out to be a first-time visitor. A little later this same man sought me out to thank me for talking to him, and told me that I was the only person that bothered to stop and speak to him.

So, when in a group of strangers, talk to a person who may be standing alone and ask him/her about him/herself. This will get you out of yourself and in time you will feel much better about yourself. I’m not suggesting that we be phony, but sometimes we just need to acknowledge our fear, but don’t allow it to control us or hold us back from doing the right thing.

If we keep reaching out to others with a sincere motive and do the loving thing, in time this will help us to become more secure ourselves. It may be a challenge at first, but it is what Christ commanded us to do. That is, to love one another. One way to do this is to reach out to a stranger in your midst who is all alone.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, in my insecurity help me to reach out to others, and to learn to love and accept myself as you love and accept me, not in any way to boost my own ego, but so I can become a freer channel through whom your love can flow to others. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

Comment at: http://www.actsweb.org/daily.php?id=1060

Be Holy as I am Holy – podcast


Despising God’s Word Might Not Mean What You Think It Does

“Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.” –Proverbs 13:13

Better read the rest: http://www.mikeleake.net/2018/09/despising-gods-word-might-not-mean-what-you-think-it-does.html

What Does This Prepositional Phrase Modify? (Acts 14:1) – Mondays with Mounce 327

~ Bill Mounce

Bill is the founder and President of BiblicalTraining.org, serves on the Committee for Bible Translation (which is responsible for the NIV translation of the Bible), and has written the best-selling biblical Greek textbook, Basics of Biblical Greek, and many other Greek resources. He blogs regularly on Greek and issues of spiritual growth. Learn more about Bill’s Greek resources at BillMounce.com.

Prepositional phrases are generally adverbial, but certainly not always. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell what they modify.

Take Acts 14:1 for example. Paul and Barnabas have just been run out of Pisidian Antioch and have entered Iconium. The NIV reads, “At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual (κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ) into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.”

The Greek is, ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν Ἰκονίῳ κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ εἰσελθεῖν ⸀αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν τῶν Ἰουδαίων. So what does κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ modify?

I thought the NIV was pretty straightforward. “According to the same” is adverbial, the point being that it was their custom to first go to the synagogue when they came to a new town.

The NASB has, “They entered the synagogue of the Jews together” (also ESV; KJV has “both together”). BDAG B5bα gives “together” as a possible meaning, citing 1 Sam 121:11, so presumably they have some evidence of the meaning of the idiom. To me this sounds redundant and therefore less likely. Of course they went in together; Luke just said that a few words earlier.

The CSB is unfortunate. “In Iconium they entered the Jewish synagogue, as usual.” It sounds to me that it is saying Paul had a normal way of entering the building, perhaps through a back door? I know that’s not the case, but by placing “as usual” next to “synagogue” the prepositional phrase sounds adjectival to me.

The NET reading is especially odd. “The same thing happened in Iconium” (also NLT). They are connecting κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ with the preceding Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν Ἰκονίῳ.

Idioms can be especially difficult to translate, and Acts 14:1 is a good test case for the flexibility of prepositional phrases.

I haven’t beat this drum in a while, but so much for the myth of a literal translation, or the myth of the English translation reflecting the underlying Greek structure. Translating word for word would be nonsense, and there is no way an English reader could get from “as usual” or “together” back to a prepositional phrase.

Comment or subscribe on his page: https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/what-does-this-prepositional-phrase-modify-acts-14-mounce/

Francis Chan: If All You Had Was Scripture, What Would Church Look Like?