1/22/13 11:18 AM – WSJ Article on Abortion Attitudes Survey

The Wall St. Journal did a sizeable article today on American attitudes toward abortion, yesterday being the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.

The percentage of people wanting Roe v Wade overturned was 24%. But, only 31% thought abortion should be legal in all circumstances, which under federal law, it pretty much is today. Look at the following chart of survey results:

Since Roe v Wade and its companion case, Doe v Bolton, roughly 55 million babies have been aborted. That is equal to just over 17% of the current U.S. population. Add in the children that these would have had and it is more like 1/3 of the U.S. population. Today, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an affliliate of Planned Parenthood, the largest U.S. provider of abortions, 22% of pregnancies end in abortion. This makes the womb of an American woman an exceedingly dangerous place to live during the first five months of life. Eleven percent of abortion providers even offer abortions after 24 weeks, the age at which babies can live outside the womb, assisted by an intensive care unit.

Population-control advocates may laud these figures, as well as those who point to the fact that 42% of women having abortions live below the poverty line, but those who believe that only God can take the life of an innocent person should be dishearted by the numbers but find some hope in the attitudes toward abortion that are much less favorable then they might have thought.

Here is the article link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323301104578255831504582200.html?mod=ITP_pageone_1

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 at 11:49 am

Tue 5/29/12 – Apologetics Q&A with Students at Central Church of God

I will be fielding questions from the high school and college kids at Central Church of God regarding the truth and rationality of the Christian faith Wednesday evening between 7:00 and 8:00 PM in the Youth Building. Anyone is welcome to join us.

Dave Whisler and perhaps a couple member of the UNCC Ratio Christi group are scheduled to be there and Dave will help me answer questions. Call me at 704-698-1040 or CCOG at 704-364-5003 for questions or directions.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Sat 5/26/12 11:42 PM – Healthy Spiritual Diet

Some things that are essential to your spiritual diet only grow in valleys. Others grow on the plains. Little grows on mountain tops and nothing on which you can long support spiritual life.

Mountains are for exhiliration and to serve as markers to which you can point back and relive the temporary thrill. Only when you get to heaven will that thrill become lasting.

In this life, if you can’t experience joy, peace, fulfillment and all the other legitimate human desires on the plains and in the valleys you will not find them much during your Christian walk.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 26th, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Swamped by a Storm — David Wilkerson Today

A friend sent me the following from David Wilkerson. Its a good thing to read if you or someone you know is in the midst of a great storm.

From: DAVID WILKERSON TODAY
Date: March 2, 2012 3:02:03 AM EST
To: devotions-en@lists.worldchallenge.org
Subject: SWAMPED BY A STORM
Reply-To: devotions@davidwilkerson.org
David Wilkerson Today

FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 2012

SWAMPED BY A STORM
by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

Are you facing trouble in your business or career? As you read the following verses, be reminded that career people and businessmen here are likened to seamen in ships. The great waters signify the big world of competition, an ocean of activity.

“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. . . . They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end” (Psalm 107:23-27).

These people are God’s beloved saints. They are in awe of His greatness and power, but a storm breaks out that is beyond their control. It is not judgment for sin, yet suddenly waves are swamping them, swallowing up their boat. They are staggered by problems on all sides, and it looks as if their ship is going down. Suddenly they are confused and perplexed: “Their soul is melted because of trouble” (verse 26).

Many career people have told me, “It looks bad. I don’t know what happened, but suddenly I’m in a mess.” They were able to solve their own problems in the past, and to escape one crisis after another. With this trial, however, there seems to be no way of escape. They are mentally and physically exhausted.

How easily we forget that our loving heavenly Father is our partner in our work, regardless of our career or calling. Indeed, nothing happens to us without His involvement. He has power over all our difficulties and He has a reason and purpose behind them all.

What can you do when your business partner has no advice and consultants cannot help you? Where do you turn when your spouse, your pastor, your best friend has nothing to say to you? I am not a businessman but I can point you to the seamen in Psalm 107:

“Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven” (Psalm 107:28-30).

Read this devotion online: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/17156?src=devo-email

It reminds me of Jeremiah 18 where the clay is marred in the potter’s hands so He forms it into something new. I don’t think that refers just to salvation but to our walk with Christ.

Clay, being inanimate, has no sense of touch. I wonder if when we are being pressed and kneaded and remade we sense the Master’s wise and loving hands around us. More likely we blame ourselves, others or circumstances and give little credit to the One doing a good work in us and through us.

Praise God that He is completely trustworthy!

This entry was posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2012 at 12:11 pm

National Conference on Christian Apologetics – Oct. 28-29

If you are not familiar with the National Conference on Christian Apologetics, put on by Southern Evangelical Seminary, the seminary from which I graduated with a degree in . . . you guessed it, Christian Apologetics, you ought to be.

I have missed only one conference since they started somewhere between 15 and 20 years ago; I have lost count. It is held the last Fri. and Sat. of October in the Charlotte, NC area. This year it is at Northside Baptist Church in Charlotte. Cost is $65 for adults and $35 for youth, with discounts for groups of 15 or more. So far, my group has 8 but I expect that to grow. All told, they expect between 1,200 and 1,500 attendees from all 50 states and several foreign countries.

Some of our greatest Christian apologists hold forth at the conference. Greg Koukl, William Lane Craig, William Dembski, Mike Licona, Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell and others. If you read much apologetics, the discipline of defending the Faith, you know these names. If you don’t, I can say from experience that your knowledge and faith will grow by hearing them.

William Lane Craig and Mike Licona have successfully debated the top atheists and skeptics in the world. Gary Habermas helped lead William Flew, the world’s most prominent atheist to belief in God. Craig is so good these atheists will not debate him any more. Sam Harris, one of the best known atheists said debating Craig would put the fear of God in any atheist.

In addition to the group speakers, there are roughly 100 breakout sessions to choose from. I will be teaching one entitled, The Best Objections to Evolution.

I highly recommend that you go. Details are at www.ses.edu You can also contact me at dhoshour7@gmail.com

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2011 at 8:36 am

The Dust of the Earth

I realized this morning what a primitive idea I had of how God formed Adam out of the dust of the earth. Here’s the verse in the NASB: Gen 2:7 – Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Without really thinking about it, I guess I had a picture of God scooping up a handful of dirt, making mud out of it and fashioning it into some sort of super-realistic Gumby doll, then blowing the breath of life into its nostrils.

Funny, how we just gloss over things sometimes without really thinking them through. Let’s think about this one.

Remember Carl Sagan’s famous line in The Cosmos, “We’re made of star-stuff”? Did anyone laugh at that? No, scientists who hold to the Big Bang believe that the universe was once nothing but hydrogen, then hydrogen and helium and that mainly through subsequent supernovae, that is the explosion that accompanies the death of some stars all the elements of the universe were created. Those scientists who are strict naturalists, believing that nature is all there is, then go on to say that evolution formed us out of stardust, the elements created as the result of these star explosions.

So what is so different about being taught that we are formed out of star dust by evolution and that we are formed out of earth dust by God? Not much really, the main difference is not in what dust we are made of but who did the forming — random chance or a super-intelligent eternal being with unlimited knowledge and power. My vote is for the latter.

So, back to the original Gumby image. This is apparently poetic, figurative language to describe man being formed out of the elements of creation and receiving a soul through the direct action of God. How did He do it? I am not sure. I think about the verse that God knit us together in our mother’s womb. That is surely poetic, figurative language (no knitting needles involved) to describe the real truth that we are creations of a God intimately involved with his creation. The Bible is full of poetic images that communicate real truth. Bible believers should not worry about describing Genesis 2:7 as poetic truth.

Whether we are the product of random chance in a universe that simply popped into being out of nothing or the special creation of a caring, directly involved God makes a tremendous difference in the meaning of life and our destiny when our last breath has been drawn. That’s the real point. How God whipped up Adam out of earth elements is a mystery probably beyond the reach of science. I am just glad that I am not beyond the reach of a God of wonders that is connected in a caring way to his creation.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2011 at 8:17 am

Thursday, August 4, 2011 – Hard Times in the Economy

Are the economic troubles in the US and Europe God’s judgment for both turning their backs on God and kicking reference to anything godly out of the public square?

I don’t presume to speak for God. I don’t know what to ascribe to his judgment and what is simply due to the workings of this fallen world. Those who announce that Katrina or an earthquake or whatever are God’s judgment speak judgmentally and presumptively. Many Christians are just way too negative in what they say and they harm their witness thereby. Leave it to God. When the Day of Judgment does get here, no one will have any doubt.

With that large disclaimer, let me note this. In trouble, people often do turn to God and nothing in this universe could be more important. In the biblical book of Deuteronomy, in outlining his covenant with Israel, God did promise economic hard times if Israel turned away from God. Over and over that was the case and God constantly wooed his bride back to back to Himself, their best and highest calling.

Economically, when one pursues materialism and pleasure to an extent that he is willing to go deeply in debt, trouble nearly always follows. A little leverage can be good but the kind of indebtedness many have taken, including our government has to be painfully paid in one form or another. That can last a long time and the hangover from a 50 year credit binge likely is a giant, long-lasting headache of the kind that makes one ask, “How could I have been so stupid?”

Consider the following chart 1870-2011 that shows total US debt from consumers, businesses and all levels of government. I posted this on my investment blog earlier this week.

Without getting too technical, this is not the level of debt in dollars. One would expect a mountain chart due to compounding. No, this is the total debt relative to the size of the economy. That will take a very long time to pay down, especially since our economy is not growing much at all.

Think it’s all the government’s fault? Think again.

This shows household debt as a percentage of disposable income. This could serve as a chart of materialistic attitudes and increasing antagonism toward God. We don’t carve idols out of stone anymore. Now we can also make idols from lumber, steel, plastic, rubber, silicon and a whole host of other materials. How far we’ve come!

Some will say things will only get worse until the end. Well, they also undoubtedly said that during the Great Depression and several costly wars. Antichrist has supposedly been a long list of names.

I don’t know. My job is to pray, study my Bible and lead people to Christ, as well as to do my job in a Christian, servant-hearted manner, relying on God each day. That’s what I recommend. That’s enough for me to work on.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 4th, 2011 at 5:51 pm

The Most Selfish Generation?

In the budget impass, Republicans blame the president or each other. Democrats blame Republicans. Talk show hosts inflame emotions. Angry voters flood DC switchboards. Conservative freshmen congressmen have become a popular target.

Behind this is a warning that anyone trying to include Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid in a solution will be removed from office if not shot first. In this crisis but also in life in general, NIMBY – “not in my back yard,” has become NOMB – “not on my back.” Why? Answer — the rich have money to spare and I don’t.

Now, this post is not about politics. It’s about what underlies these attitudes. That is personal self-centeredness on a scale never before seen in America.

We have become a nation of self-proclaimed victims who feel someone ought to pay to better our lot. News often focuses on tragedy, anger and weeping. Why? — because we are fixated on emotion. Its like never-ending group therapy in which everyone just gets worse.

We have become a thoroughly existential nation, that is, we live for the moment, we live for emotion, we live for pleasure — agnosticism and Darwinism having taken our hope. There is a reason why skepticism and despair are such a feature of today’s youth culture.

Tom Brokaw called those who suffered the Depression and fought WWII the greatest generation, partly due to their willingness to sacrifice for the common good in doing what needed to be done.

Today it is all about us, our material prosperity and our feelings. Well did Paul prophesy, “In the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money . . . unloving, irreconcilable . . . without self-control . . . haters of good . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (1 Timothy 3:2). Is there a better short description of America today?

Some might quarrel with unloving but love is “willing and acting toward the highest good of another” (Thomas Aquinas). Love is inherently unselfish and that’s rare indeed.

Jesus’ return is truly at hand. As his followers let’s be known as those who seek to do the will of God even if it varies from our own interests. Let’s be known for self-sacrifice in the service of others. Let’s be known as examples of love, filled with the fruit of the Spirit — “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 5:23).

A lit candle in daylight is a curiosity but a candle in the darkness is riveting. These are dark days. Let’s shine, not whine. Live like we have Christ in us, the light of the world.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 9:20 am

What Does the Lord Require of You?

Some people want to know, “What’s the least I an get away with in terms of my obligations to God?” Two verses come to mind.

The mildest is this: Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” Many people can live with that – do the right thing, be loving and humble.

But, “walking with God” is a much higher requirement. That requires walking in the same direction and keeping close company. “Can two walk together except they are in agreement?” In other words, mankind is supposed to be of the same mind, same goal, same love of God’s presence and conversation.

The other verse is Deut 10:12 “Now, Israel what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

Now that’s really tough. “Love God with all your heart and all your soul?” Love is a requirement, not because God is narcissistic or lonely but for our own good. That’s what true love wills, the highest good of the other, not in their perception but in God’s perfect knowledge.

While this is addressed to Israel, Jesus reaffirms it in the New Testament as being the foundation for the whole of the Old Testament Scripture (mark 12:28-32). Since Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law (Romans 10:4) and our example (Romans 8:29) and since He made it to the centerpiece of his last meal with his disciples (John 13-17) I think we can safely say that requirement continues to this day.

If you are walking with God, start talking with Him. Its a walk of faith, whole-hearted love and obedience that results in our own good.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2011 at 4:36 pm