God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

Book Review: Hidden Treasures In The Book of Job

"Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job: How The Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions" by Christian astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross


 Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job: How The Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions by Hugh Ross is a book that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. Dr. Ross is one of my favorite authors when it comes to integrating science and the Bible. He wrote this book to demonstrate that from a scientist's perspective, it is amazing just how much accurate information about nature is recorded in the oldest book of the Bible. Not only does this provide much evidence for the divine inspiration of the Bible but it also provides solutions to much of the issues we see today regarding the planet. In the interest of "full disclosure", this is a review copy provided by Reasons to Believe. My review will be of the typical chapter-by-chapter summary format with my thoughts to follow. But before I get to the review, check out the trailer for the book:

Hidden Treasures from RTB: MEDIA on Vimeo.

Prologue & Chapter 1: Answers For Today's Issues

Dr. Ross begins the book telling of his experiences throughout the writing process of this book. He explains that his friends warned him that suffering in his life might increase and the current suffering would be highlighted by the study of Job. He shows how their warnings proved true, and how such a study helped him through those times. He states that even though his study started out as a study of strictly the scientific aspects of Job, he was forced to focus also on the questions of suffering. Because of all this, Dr. Ross decided to combine the two in this book. His focus is on exploring the many other aspects of Job in the context of modern scientific discoveries. He states:
At no other time in history have such spectacular and widespread increases in affluence, technology, education, and communication occurred. These advances have yielded a wealth of new knowledge. All this knowledge, however, has done little to satisfy people's deepest longings and to answer their most pressing questions...God's wisdom embedded in Job seems to have anticipated not only knowledge advances but also the anxiety and insecurity future generations would face as their knowledge and technology progressed. (pg 16)
He lays out the different topics he wishes to cover in the book and challenges the reader to see the book of Job as speaking on more than just man's dealings with suffering, but that those dealings with suffering highlight the awesomeness of God's creation, God's power, God's love, God's justice, God's mercy, and God's sovereignty.

🎃As A Christian, Should I Celebrate Halloween?🎃

Halloween is the day that kids dress up as their favorite heroes and go from door to door asking the same question: "Trick or treat?" Some people gladly dispense candy to add to the kids' collections. Some people see it as an opportunity to provide tracts explaining the occult origins of this holiday, and encourage the reader to come to Christ. Others completely shun the day and explain that those who participate in the festivities are enabling Satan to corrupt yet another generation of young people.

Should I or Shouldn't I?
Even though Halloween is not what it used to be (celebrated by the majority as an occultic holiday), I find myself still trying to figure out whether to recognize it or not. My family never participated in Halloween celebrations when I was a kid, so participation is foreign to me. Generally, I'm not a fan of the holiday because it uses way too many dark images and figures that are meant to instill fear in people.

Herman Cain On Abortion- A Reasoned Approach

It came to my attention in the last couple days that one of the US Presidential hopefuls for 2012 (Herman Cain) clarified his position on abortion. The report can be found here. Abortion has historically been a hot-button issue between the Democrat and Republican candidates for all positions within our government. Among voters, it is one of the determining factors of which candidate a person will choose- and for good reason. Both Democrats and Republicans believe that human life is valuable and worthy of government protection. Our unchallenged laws against the murder of human beings is a testament to that agreement. The issue is this: If the unborn is a human life, then it deserves government protection.

Voters have been able to determine how a candidate would handle such a situation by knowing what the candidate believed about when life began. But Herman Cain has complicated the issue by bringing in another factor that voters need to be aware of.

The Rapture, Judgment Day, and Christ's Resurrection

**IMPORTANT UPDATE**:  Family Radio Founder Harold Camping Repents, Apologizes for False Teachings

**IMPORTANT UPDATE #2**: Harold Camping Admits Sin, Announces End to Doomsday Predictions

This post was written prior to the news above. Please read it with that context in mind: 

Harold Camping made worldwide waves last spring when he started being more vocal about his predictions that the Rapture (return of Christ) would happen on May 21, 2011. As many may already be aware, Camping has a history of making failed predictions on Christ's return and the end of the world. The most recent was May 21, 2011. He claimed that he made some calculations based on scripture and came up with this date. Since nothing of apocalyptic levels happened on that day, Camping has explained how his prediction was still accurate and that the world and all unbelievers will be annihilated on October 21, 2011. You can find Camping's official statement here. In his revised "pre"diction Camping claims that Christ returned to earth spiritually back in May.

Peer-Reviewed Only, Please

Not too long ago I was talking with a college student about scientific theories and whether they accurately reflected reality. As is to be expected on a topic like this, we discussed evolution. Specifically the natualistic kind. He provided me some reasons why he believed that evolution explained the diversity of life that we have today. I disagreed and proposed some counter-evidence from some researchers. He became immediately defensive and asked if the works were peer-reviewed.

This question kind of irritated me. Not because the works weren't reviewed by the researcher's peers but because the question was beside the point. It seems to me that this shouldn't matter. I've been thinking about why someone may ask this question and what might be a response that keeps the conversation moving (my irritation certainly won't).

Evidence For vs. Proof Of

In my discussions with nonbelievers when I offer an argument that supports Christianity, they will sometimes tell me, "That doesn't prove anything." I also hear claims that "there is no evidence for Christianity." I could understand the first statement, but the second normally causes me to make some weird faces, as I'm trying to figure out how such a claim could be made.

Not too long ago, the distinction between proof and evidence was offered to me. Evidence being a series of arguments that, if sound, point towards the truth of Christianity. Evidence has an objective sense about it. Arguments that are sound do provide evidence of their conclusion. However, a lot of the time, the conclusion offered is not exclusive.