Berlinski on The Devil’s Delusion

“Has anyone provided proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close. Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close. Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close. Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough. Has rationalism and moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough. Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close, to being close. Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough. Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ball park. Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.”
David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

In Jesus of Nazareth, the divine and the human have come together in a salvific way, and this reconciliation is the long awaited kingdom of God. Though there are many themes that run through the Hebrew Scriptures, there is one motif that is consistent and persistent: the passionate and aching desire for deliverance, the cry of the heart toward the God from whom the people feel alienated.

Random Thoughts on Life & Mind

I have established this “Blog” as a place to collect random thoughts about life and philosophical questions.  Many of these will not be original with myself, but rather a collection of pieces and articles that I like and believe to be worthy of saving.


Daily Gospel Reflection, Courtesy of Bishop Robert Barron

Matthew 20:20-28
Friends, in today’s Gospel, the mother of James and John asks Jesus in their name that they might play leading roles in his kingdom. This Gospel reveals that the brothers are in a bad spiritual place. We have to move from the play that we are writing, directing, and starring in to the play that God is directing.

To be fair to them, their request makes a certain amount of sense, as the Messiah was expected to be a new David, and David was a man of tremendous power and honor. Power is the capacity to get things done; without it, nothing of value would ever have been accomplished. Honor is a way of signaling to others something that’s worth noticing.

But James and John are asking for these two things in the wrong spirit. When the ego grabs power and honor for itself, things get dysfunctional very quickly. So what must we do? In other versions of this story, Jesus placed a child in the midst of the Twelve, showing someone who had neither power nor honor. Here he simply says, “Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.”

A 09/11/01 Phone Call Ends in a Lesson on Giving Thanks

Just thinking, how surprise events and happenings tend to change our lives … and the change can be for the good or for the better. Yesterday was, as we all know, a remembrance day for our September 11, 2001 tragedy.

That day has a special meaning for me, as I will explain. Shortly after I got to work that ill-fated morning, my office phone rang, and I heard the voice of my wife’s sister-in-law asking me if I had seen the news; I had not. She had, and was well aware that our son happened to work on the 38th floor of Tower One. We knew that he would normally be there by that time. His chances of surviving would be slim.

Now I do not take such news easily. The suspense was downright painful. Calling was useless since all the telephones were down. Here is where the word “patience” comes to mind … and I’m not very good at that. But there is no alternative. After several hours of this suspense, we heard what to us was a miracle; the phone rang and our son was on the other line telling us he was okay.

It just so happened that because he had worked late the night before, he could come in later than normal the next morning, 9/11. He said that he was just getting off the subway and going into the building when he saw people running in panic out of the tower. So he turned around got away as soon as he could.

We could collectively breath a sigh of relief. But much more than that this horrifying event, and the close call has brought to us a deeper and abiding sense of thanksgiving. That experience has taught me to be thankful to God on a continual basis, and to love people as though we might never see them again, because that incident might have easily turned out the other way for our son, as it did for so many other dear people we never made it out of the inferno. Everyone was a “loved one” to someone. Let us love our neighbours as though they were our own.

The Lordship of Christ: Serving Our Savior All of the Time, In All of Life, With All of Our Heart – Vern Poythress (2016)

Dr. David Steele’s review of a book that sounds like one I want to read.

Veritas et Lux

Vern Poythress. The Lordship of Christ: Serving Our Savior All of the Time, In All of Life, With All of Our Heart. Wheaton: Crosswaypoy
Books, 2016. 224 pp. $14.49

The Dutch statesman, Abraham Kuyper famously said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine.’” Such is the theme of the recent book by Vern Poythress, The Lordship of Christ: Serving Our Savior All of the Time, In All of Life, with All of Our Heart.

Poythress attempts to show readers that the Lordship of Christ extends to every area of life, including politics, science, art, the future, education, and work. Nothing is excluded.

The author sets the stage by making the crucial assertion that the lordship of Christ extends to believers and unbelievers alike. No one is excluded. Every atheist, agnostic, neo-pagan…

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Two More Movies to Make You Think in 2018

I have seen both of the films mentioned, and as the author says, they are sometimes unpleasant to watch, but both are excellent films, well worth your time.



How much of your recreation time is devoted to watching movies? For many people, watching films at the theater and viewing movies at home are staples of their pastime enjoyment. As a philosopher, one of the things I most enjoy in life is learning something significant about truth and reality. Therefore, I like watching films that are true stories or based on true events, and especially ones that make me think about the deep questions of life.

This year, I want to recommend two more films (see my previous recommendations for 2018 here), both released some years ago, for people like me who want to think about the deeper issues of life and history. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BC) said that human beings were made to reflect on life and that the pursuit of reflection is part of finding a fulfillment and satisfaction that is unique to humans.


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