What do you think?
What do you think?
If your a male under 25, know what ESPN is, and owned a television at some point in your life, it wouldn’t be a stretch to make the claim that this “call out” scene in the Sandlot could quite possibly be the highlight of your childhood. For those unfamiliar, tensions have been rising all film as the “rag-tag” Sandlot misfits have been the laughing stock of Phillips and his prissy group of talented sluggers. The product of a relentless exchange of insults, Ham “the great bambino” Porter has seen enough and takes a stand against Phillips and his preppy followers by doing the unthinkable. Porter is enraged after having just been told that he “bobs for apples in the toilet, and likes it!” Regaining his composure, he responds with the infamous line, “You play ball like a giiiirlllllllllll!”, as the camera’s pan the field and illustrate the magnitude of the proclamation. Nearly buckled at the knees and fumbling for words, Phillips ups the anty replying, “Tomorrow. Noon, at our field. Be there, buffalo-butt breath.” As the scene concludes with Porter accepting the challenge, the boys part ways with their chest’s held high. There is something about a challenge, a ‘mono y momo’, 1 v 1 showdown that jiggles the heart of all of us. Whether in old Western’s, Disney Movies, or out in our own front lawns, these “call outs” seem impossible to elude or ignore. Incredibly similar to this scene in the Sandlot seems to be the current and historical relationship between the Theists and Atheists. Constantly bantering over a host of topics in which they disagree, debates seem to be the by-product and spectacle in which people around the world can gather to observe these intellectual giants “take the plate.” Backing down to a debate request is like keeping a wall post from your great-great-second removed-great grandparents about the time you wet yourself at Christmas dinner on your Facebook profile. Its a no-no.
To the astonishment of many in the field, the very prominent and respected atheist intellectual Richard Dawkins has turned down not one, but four recent debate offers to debate William Lane Craig this fall at Oxford University. Arguably the most notable names from each side of the coin, a debate between Craig and Dawkins would be one for the ages, a “can’t miss” spectacle. Though the tides are recently changing, the majority of our world still without question holds the false assumption that Christianity has no business in the ring the greats in the scientific and philosophical realms. Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, recently debated Craig at Notre Dame and in his opening statements admittedly stated that Craig “is the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists.” In light of the student and scholarly reviews of the Harris-Craig debate, one wouldn’t be stretching to suggest that Harris may have left that debate a little “frightened” of Craig himself. Dawkins states in summary that his reasons for not participating in the debate are that “I have no interest in this.” For a man typically so quick to engage in argument and discussion, this debate refusal leaves many with the jaw dropping reaction much similar to the one seen in on the Sandlot. As far as statements by Dawkins go, this one is about as bold as it gets. The “banquet of the brains” has by many seemed one the Christians scarcely dine, could William Lane Craig be pulling up a chair?
Thanks for reading,
Like white on rice or dots on a dice, religion and foolishness seems to have become intuitive throughout modern western thought. “Religion is like a buffet anyways, there are thousands of choices and picking the right “meal” seems all but impossible anyways, why even bother?” As I commonly acquire an acute onset of stage fright amidst a buffet of freshly prepared entrees, it seems all too common that the food seems to be the one consuming me. Captivating and strangling in unison each of my 5 senses, staring in awe over the options tends to be a welcome alternative to that daunting “d-word.” Requiring commitment and proactivity, decisions always spoil the meal as they commonly leave us with a bad taste in our mouths. I wonder sometimes if our western culture has ever woken from its “deer in the headlights” approach to the cafeteria of religions long enough to see which “food” is fresh? Have we checked into some of the fundamental beliefs of each of these positions to see if any have “expired”?
Along my journey in the pursuit of answers to the “big questions” in which I was always amused by, one thing which seemed to elude me w
as this concept of what truth is. Fueling our cars or paying the phone bill are examples of truth in action as we believe with a high degree of certainty that failing to do either with leave us not only stranded on the side of the road, but with no way of calling for help. We can define truth quite simply as calling it as it is. Intuitive to even a kindergartner, truth seems to be everywhere we turn yet oddly enough when religion is thrown on the plate we seem to suddenly become “full” and uninterested. I would like to ask you to consider whether this is an intellectually legitimate approach to such issues? Can any religion really be “right”, or all they all just seeing the same thing from a different perspective?
Just as political dinner conversations with your in-laws start great at first but end in heaps, different religious leaders make claims that in some areas overlap and work in harmony yet in others are flat out contradictory. “Loving one another” seems to be a tenant in nearly every religion, so that pretty much makes them exactly the same right? Not exactly. To illustrate, think back to some modern thinkers who believed the earth was flat. Though they believed it at the bottom of their hearts, the truth is that planet earth was always round regardless of how much they believed that it was flat. We now conclude that the earth is round, and if someone were to say otherwise it would logically imply that they are in fact flawed in their belief. The important key to note in this example is that the truth (the earth is round) never changed, only our beliefs about that truth changed. This is an important skill to use when looking into different religions, as different ones make different claims about the same event. Imagine one man robbing a bank, we would assume police would investigate and question witnesses on the scene to obtain evidence as to who committed the crime. If 3 on lookers say “tiny tim” robbed the bank and 3 witnesses say “billy bob” robbed the bank, its obvious that one of them has to be wrong. We similar parallels to this example with the claims made by different religions with the resurrection of Jesus. Christians say that Jesus died and rose again, Muslims say that Jesus didn’t die which will logically lead us to the conclusion that both of these religions can’t be right. This may seem to leave you with your forehead steaming, fist clenched, and “intolerance” on the tip of your tongue. However, it seems illogical and unreasonable that two positions who claim contradictory beliefs on something cannot both be right. That seems not not be an “intolerant” position, but just a purely simple and air tight truth regardless on which side upon it you stand.
Where does this leave us and why should I care? Truth is important because ideas are important. Because we cannot exhaustively prove with 100% certainty which worldview (which includes atheism) is correct, we are left to decide which “entree’s” at the dinner table are more consistent with reality as we understand it. I would encourage anyone reading this post to take a second to ponder on what they believe about the truth.
We have to remember that truth is not changing, only our beliefs about that truth, and some beliefs are MUCH more reasonable than others. I personally believe that it takes more faith to not be a Christian than to be a Christian. Yes, that may currently sound absurd to you, but I believe the “proof is in the pudding”.
We’re all in this journey of life somewhere, and neutrality is not an option. What if our conclusions to these questions do matter? Ideas have consequences. Good ideas have good consequences, bad ideas have bad consequences.
Jesus is all about breaking chains and setting people free as He steps into our mess and gives us life. Could the truth be something that mends broken hearts, illuminates darkness, and opens our eyes? I believe that without question it can, and He’s willing. While still chained to this world which offers nothing, Jesus called me not to wave a flag, but to fall in love. Check out the evidence. Maybe this love Jesus claims is a peculiar and scandalous thing, maybe its something to fall in love with. If your like me, you might be surprised how liberating it is to hear those chains smash against the ground for the very first time. You don’t realize how tight those chains are until you get them off.
Thanks for reading,
Vision enhancement even Lasik can’t offer
Opening your eyes underwater in the “kiddy” pool is a bad idea. If you don’t believe me, try it. Whether you’re trying to score points with your girlfriend’s mom by amusing her 3 year old brother you can’t stand, or playing the modern day “David Haselhoff” role at the aquatic center, the fact is that the 50:50 ratio of chlorine and water in those kiddy pools leave you emerging from the water with less than encouraging words. Rubbing your eyes just makes it worse and at this point your probably wondering why on earth you were there in the first place. I thought this blog is supposed to be about apologetics? Yeah, you’re right. But this very feeling of freshly exposed chlorine eyes is exactly the one I got when I was exposed to the importance of vision. Now before you think I sound like some kind of self help book that we can all agree doesn’t work, I’m not talking 20/20 vision here, I’m talking about another kind of vision, the lens in which we see not only visible spectrums of light, but the lens in which we see the reality of the world.
“What we need is a framework that ties everything together, that allows us to understand society, the world, and our place in it, and that could help us to make the critical decisions which will shape our future” *
We are all exposed to the “chlorine” of this world. Babies raped, bombs dropped, elderly robbed–You name it, this world has it. Every person under the sun has a lens in which they see this world which has seemingly lost its moral compass. When you see a 3 year old baby smothered in blood under a stack of debris after a tsunami roll onto the screen of your television, a response is not optional. Whether you cry, change the channel, or somehow rationalize to yourself how that its not that big a deal, each one of us see’s these things through a different “lens.” The board room executive on the 12th story of a multi-million dollar facility is probably going to respond to the death of this baby a little differently than the mother who is weeping over it. As brutal the comparison may seem, the point is we all have on the glasses, and your viewing this world whether you like it or not.
Your glasses might seem pointless when viewing things up close, but what about those things that seem to be to far away to see or perceive? When someone asks what your purpose in life is, how you got here, or even the really hairy one, what happens when you die, how do you respond to those questions? I think we can agree that the glasses we have on that view the world are a little more important than grandma’s cheaters you knocked off the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Each and every one of us has thought at one point about these questions, and for some reason every time we think about them, it becomes eerily apparent how important the answers to these questions really are. But that doesn’t matter now. It’s all good. Ill worry about that next year. I can’t imagine I’m alone on this, but when the big questions present themselves they aren’t always fun to entertain. Its easier to procrastinate, and the answers are always like trying to grab a wet bar of soap. I don’t mean to play on anyone’s emotion here, that’s not what apologetics is all about. But what if the answers to these questions are out there? If you find yourself already losing hope on finding those answers, I’m confident to tell you that there are answers. From professions ranging from philosophy and science to art and zoology believe that the lens God has revealed to us in the Bible is the one that most accurately illuminates those answers you desire most. The best part, there’s evidence to believe it. Yeah, there is evidence the Bible is more than a book. If you want answers, check back tomorrow, were just getting started.
Appreciate your time and/or patience with whatever it is I have to say!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it. Amongst a busy college schedule, job, team, fraternity/sorority, you may be thinking your headache is bad enough without reading what has to come out of my mouth. For what its worth, I probably wouldn’t blame you for having that opinion on this blog, but hey, you’ve made it this far, your swamped enough, whats a few more minutes to ya?
For those of you I don’t know, I’m pretty stoked your reading this blog. A 19 year old from Pleasanton, California, my name is Kevin Zehnder and I’m to be quite honest I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing with my life. Thankfully, I met this guy named Jesus who has completely transformed my life and given this self conscious and hard headed junior hockey player a hope and purpose that far exceeds anything I could ever put into words. For this of you who know Jesus, you probably can probably close your eyes remember exactly where you were sitting when you received this love for the very first time. If you find yourself thinking that this “love” which you Christians talk about is ridiculous to the point of disgust, I hear ya, I’ve been there before. My goal is not to “convert” anyone here on this blog, however, I do hope that in whatever time you do spend reading what I have to say that I can give you a better understanding and maybe a different perspective of who this Jesus guy is, and why I believe He truly is much more than some irrational delusion.
If you have made it this far, all I can guarantee is that the next time your getting soaked by the sweaty guy, deodorant optional, at DMV for 4 hours you can know that there is worse out there, and for that I guess you did leave with something from this blog! My goal in writing this blog was to provide a resource to discover why on earth we Christians believe what we do. That this God who came to earth and dwelt among us is in Jesus wants us to give us a life in which we could have never imagined. Yeah I said it, God wants to give you life. I can’t explain it or put it into a test tube and analyze it, but God has given me and millions of others something we can’t explain, but I don’t believe its irrational or illogical by any means! So your telling me that you believe in something that can’t be put into a test tube and you still want me to believe it? Now that my friends is where my vision for this blog is just getting started! I myself was very skeptical about the Christian claims of truth, however, the more I dug in and sought the truth about this guy Jesus who claimed to be literally God on earth, I was surprised with what I found. If your ready for a mind blowing look into the evidences and defense of what Christians believe, why the bible is true, and why this Jesus can promise you eternal life in His presence, I’m stoked to have you here. If this blog reaches even one person, and opens their eyes to the truth of the existence and love of Christ, I say praise God for that! If you leave here enraged that I just actually said that Christianity in fact the most plausible explanation for our existence, and that there is scientific and philosophical foundation to believe this, I just ask that with an open mind you would examine the evidence with an open mind regardless of your current position or background.
Apologetics, the fancy name for defense of Christianity, has become a passion of mine, and the depth of my faith in Jesus has grown exponentially since I have began to realize how powerful the truth of Christianity truly is. If you are a believer in Jesus, I would love for you to give this blog a chance to see what it could do to your current relationship with God. I know this is an area of Christianity that seems to get neglected, and if you feel overwhelmed with how to respond to questions about God from friends, family, or anyone else, this is a great place to be heard and to get answers to those things burning inside. I would also like to make it clear that I would be foolish to claim that I’m an expert in apologetics. That’s why I’m leaving the “heavy lifting” on my blog to some of the greats in this field including William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, Lee Strobel, CS Lewis, and an assortment of others. We are told in 1 Peter 3:15 to “have a defense for the hope that is within us”, and I feel as Christians we are unable to articulate a legitimate answer to this question a lot of times. Hopefully at the very least this blog can leave you with some resources to check into.
Sorry for the lengthy post, appreciate your time! Positive, negative, questions, insults to me, tomato throws…..whatever it is…..the thing I would love to see most is discussion and to be able to dialogue together. No hatred, discrimination, just a search for truth.
Have an awesome night,