Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Battle for God: Confronting Neotheism

The people closest to me can testify to this: When I read a good book, everyone knows. I talk about it. I quote it. I carry it around. I read it in the car (when I am not driving, of course).

Before I tell you what the book is, I must tell you where I got it and why I wanted it. I bought it at a garage sale for 50 cents! Woo hoo, always proud of finds like that! Why am I so excited about it? Last year when I attended Summit Ministries I had the honor of meeting the author and hearing him lecture. He spoke on philosophy and the existence of God. He is an amazing man and has a fantastic mind! (Not to mention he has a classic sense of humor!)

His name is Norm Geisler. The book I am reading is called ­The Battle for God: Responding to the Challenge of Neotheism. And yes, the information in the book is as big as its title.

What is neotheism?
Neotheists state that God changes, is limited in knowledge and has the ability to learn. Neotheism says God can hurt and humans can make Him feel pain. They believe that God is temporal, made of parts, mutable, needs help, does not know the future, gives away His power, is not infinite in power and makes errors. They think the Bible has mistakes.

Basically, they believe in a powerless, unloving, weak, changeable and limited God. This, in reality, is no God at all.

Who is God?
That is the monumental question Geisler seeks to answer. It is a crucial subject to unravel since our view of God sets the foundation of life, whether one admits it or not. When people have a twisted, tainted, false or apathetic view of God it affects their decisions and perspective.

The book examines a few of God’s vital characteristics, such as: Omniscience, Impassibility, Eternality, Simplicity, Immutableness, Authority, Power and Infallibility. I know, I know, big words. Here is a breakdown of terms:

God knows all things, past, present and future.

God is impassible. Nothing can hurt or act upon Him. He acts out of His grace and mercy.

God is eternal (non-temporal).

God is simple, not composed of parts. He is absolutely and indivisibly one in essence.

God does not change. He is perfect and any change would be for the worse.

God sovereignly reigns over all things. Not one atom in the universe is outside His control. God allows us to participate in His plan of salvation, but He does not need us.

God is omnipotent: He can do anything that does not contradict His nature. He gives but does not give away His power. His power is infinite- without limit.

God cannot err in any respect.

Selected Quotes
~ God's Exhaustive Knowledge:
“He [God] knows everything immediately, not be acquired understanding.”
(Try to get your brain around that! Ask God any question and he without delay knows the answer. Actually, His knowledge is so infinite that he knew the question you were going to ask and the answer before you asked it… before you were born; wait… before He created the world!

~ God’s Certain Foreknowledge:
“Since God dwells in eternity, He has comprehensive insight into all past, present and future reality. To God, the past is as real as though it was happening in the present. The future is as certain as though it was the past.”

~ God’s Contingent Knowledge:
“Not only does God know with complete certainty all of the future, He also knows what would have happened had He degreed otherwise.”

What about me?
Personally, I love to think about God. I love trying to picture Him. I love attempting to figure out who He is. I know that it is an impossible task, which makes it all the more intriguing!

In my quest for becoming more like Jesus and in my battle with sin, I consider it mandatory that I ponder His supremacy. Even more staggering is the thought of His supremacy and His love united! To imagine an all-powerful and an all-loving God is stupefying! Where else can I find comfort in my weakness? Where else do I find hope? Where else do I find forgiveness when I do mess up? Why would I want a god that would offer me less?

God gave His own life for me, extending an offer of salvation and promise of heaven to me- for FREE! Although it is a free gift that I accepted, I am only asked in return to give my life to Him in service and love. I will do so gladly, for it is a small price for me to pay in comparison to what I receive.

So, Neotheists, believe what you may. When your dreams and hopes come crashing down, when you are overwhelmed by fear and uncertainty and when you are groping for answers, do not wonder why. The god you worship is of your own design and proclaimed by you to be weak. The true God of power, love and grace is always ready for you to return to Him.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Monkey Business

I am currently working on several blog postings:

1- Home Education Part 2- Differences: Parents and Children
2- The Battle for God: Confronting Neotheism
3- The Garden of Courtship

But, since those are still in progress, I thought I would provide a link to a fantastic essay by Greg Koukl. In it he discusses the impossibility of evolution creating ethics. If there is no ruling Creator or purpose to life, why be good? Still, for some reason, even those who believe in evolution think we should be "good". What basis do they have? None, really. They contradict themselves in most every arguement. I also enjoyed an essay by Michael Bauman that I linked for you as well! Enjoy!

Greg Koukl: Monkey Morality
Michael Bauman: No God, No Good

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Future of Homeschooling

Just this morning I was thinking to continue my posts on homeschooling. The Queen has posed very interesting and thought provoking questions regarding homeschooling that I decided to answer on my blog.

The Queen asks:
I know there's several of you who were homeschooled yourself and who plan to homeschool your own kids. So I have several questions.

First, why?

I will homeschool my children because I feel it is the best mode of spiritual and acedemic education that I can give my children. I believe Scripture teaches that the responsibility of education falls to the parents. Second, I want to spend hours upon hours with my little ones, watching and forming them as they grow! I cannot imagine sending them away 8 hours a day! Third, some of my fondest childhood memories were made during the time that other children were sitting bored in a classroom! I want my children to be able to say the same thing. Lastly, I want to leave a rich heritage behind me. I want to raise children that are so in love with Jesus and will change the world because of it! I truly believe that is much harder to do when children go away to school.

Is it more experience based or conviction based?

Both. I had a great experience as a homeschooled child, yet this is not the main reason I will homeschool my children. There are many things I did not like when I was being homeschooled! Now that I am older I understand how blessed I am to have parents that invested their lives in my spiritual and academic future! Overall, though, it is conviction based. I believe wife and mother should be at home. I believe that God designed mother to teach her children things of God and things of education. I believe the husband and father is the head of the home and the overseer of his children's education. I believe a husband should be able to trust his wife with their children while he is away... with both acedemic and spiritual teachings!!!

Is it for the same reasons your parents homeschooled or totally different reasons?

My reasons for wanting to homeschool have developed out of why my parents began homeschooling me. They labored in sweat and tears to begin the foundation. Truly, they have done the hardest work! They were the ones who had to face the opposition of family and close friends. They have raised me out of the pains of beginning the work! I want to finish the foundation and build the next level. My path to homeschooling my children is much easier.
Second, Do you find yourself unusual among your homeschooled friends?
I think we are all unusual! Hahaha...no, we all have a similar family life, convictions and hobbies. We all love to sit around and laugh at how people view homeschooled children.

Do they plan to homeschool? And if they don't, what do you think the difference is?

I love asking this question to homeschooled children of all ages. All of my homeschooled friends plan on homeschooling their children. We are all first generation homeschooled children, so it will be fun to see how we do!!! I believe there have only been 2 people who answered that they will not homeschool their children.

And how do you feel about your grandkids being homeschooled?
I WANT my grandchildren to be homeschooled. I pray that I will raise children that fear the LORD and want to please Him in all they do. Since I do not have children yet... well, since I do not have a husband yet, I guess I have not thought much about my grandchildren being homeschooled. All I know is that I want my children to want to homeschool.

So there are my snapshot answers. I think I will ask my siblings and homeschooled friends now! I am also writing my post "Home Education Part 2- Differences: Parents and Children". Should be interesting!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Kissing, Fainting and Trusting God

Yes, yes, I know what you are thinking, "What do kissing, fainting and trusting God have in common?"

Let me enlighten you. The answer is: Monday night. PLEASE read the whole post!!!

It was a joyous evening. I was at the home of a dear friend surrounded by eight of my best friends. We had eaten, played games, laughed, talked, reminisced and were now digging into the ice cream. Darrah had been in a wedding the past weekend and was sharing details.

(You need one piece of critital information before reading further. All nine of us believe in courstship. Our age range is 16-21. None of us have dated. None of us have ever kissed before. All of us are committed to our first kiss being at the altar on our wedding day.) Now, you may continue...

Eric, the group jokester, but deep thinker spoke up, "You know, I have been thinking. None of us here have kissed before. Personally, I'm a little nervous. When the pastor says, 'You may now kiss the bride.' I am going to stand there and think, 'I don't know what to do!' "

We all burst into hysterical laughter.

I was in the middle of a bite of yummy chocolate ice cream covered in Heath shell topping. I was lauging uncontrollably. The ice cream did not make it down correctly, so I started coughing. I moved away to clear my throat and felt a sharp pain in my chest.

The next thing I know... I am laying on the floor surrounded by my brother and friends. I blink and try to focus. I lick my lips and try swallowing. My head is throbbing with excruciating pain and my elbow hurts. My friends sigh with relief and begin praising God. My brother is lifting my head into his lap, hugging my neck and praying praises. My bowl of ice cream is spilled on the floor. Bethany starts drilling me with questions from the 911 operator.

"What is your name?" (I was so scared, not sure of what had happened, and afraid I would answer the questions wrong.) I answered, "Jaclyn." Bethany relayed that I had answered correctly. "Jaclyn, what year is it?" I had to think a moment, "Two thousand five." Alright, I passed two. "Who is the president." Before I tell you what I answered, let me say this: It is not a good time to crack a joke. I responded, "John Kerry." Everyone started laughing and saying, "She's fine!" Bethany, though, wanted the right answer, "JACLYN, WHO is president?" I smiled, "George W. Bush."

"What happened?" I asked. "Am I okay?"

People started chattering and telling me what had happened. No one had seen me pass out, but they all heard a loud thump. I was out cold, turning white, eyes open and making a raspy breathing sound for 30 seconds to a minute.

After checking my pulse and calling 911, my brother had laid his hand on my forehead. He begun to earnestly pray for me. Eric said, "Your eyes were so hard, so lifeless. Ben was praying and as soon as he said, 'Lord Jesus, protect her.' your eyelashes began to flutter. Life returned to your eyes and you began to move. Then you blinked and said, 'What happened?' "

Although I will not bore you with details of the police, firemen and the rest of the evening, I must testify. I must testify to God's mercy. I must tell you of His gace. I have to tell you of His protection. I have to tell you of my burning faith. I suffered a head injury and slight concusion, as well as a bruised elbow. Yet, I did not bleed, nor did I die. I was surronded by Godly, calm and loving friends.

AND... I pray that I will never, ever, EVER take for granted OR minimize the power of the name of Jesus.

My friends also promised to warn my future husband of my fainting at the thought of our first kiss. They are also threatening to rush up to me when the pastor says, "You may now kiss the bride." to hold me up. Hahaha, guys!

A test of faith. A test of trust. This was not trusting God with money. This was not faith in God with circumstances. This was not trusting God with people. This was my own body. So fragile. In one moment everything changed. Life is short.

More than that, I know exactly why it happened to me. I have been on a journey with God in learning to trust Him completely and growing in my faith of Him. When I was told that at the name of Jesus life had been restored to my bones, I was overwhellmed with faith- TRUE faith in Jesus Christ. God and I have been having these conversations lately.

"God, I want to believe You. I want to trust You completely."
"Do you REALLY, child?"
"Yes, God, I do."
"Do you know what that means?"
"I want to know You, God!"
"Ok, Jaclyn. Hold on for the ride of your life. Watch this! Jaclyn, did you see THAT? That was MY grace. That was MY power! You thought you knew me? Baby, we are just getting started!"

Monday night was a time when I said back to God, "I saw, God. I understand. You are all-powerful. You are gracious. You are loving. You heal at the name of Jesus. You build my faith when I ask you to."

Now, did I think God would cause me to faint in order to increase my faith? No. Do I have more faith than I did at 6PM on Monday? Yes. Is the journey of faith over? No way!

I truly believe that faith is not something we receive by going to church. We do not get faith from a simple Bible study. Faith is not easily attained. That is why we must work at it with all our hearts. We must see every trial and pain as another key to faith. With each key that God hands us, if we accept and open the new door, it leads to more and more access to the character of God Himself. Granted, each key may become a greater challenge, but God has been there all along! He has walked right beside me! He has never given me reason to doubt. Because of what I saw with the last key, I can rest assured of the door I am opening now.

Salvation is secure. Hope is constant. Faith is gained. Faith is being SURE of what you hope for and confident of things not seen. Faith parts Red Seas. Faith shuts the mouths of lions. Faith walks into the firey furnace. Faith hides spies. Faith talks to Pharoah. Faith is stoned. Faith makes sense of scars and tears. Faith assures and calms fears.

God, increase my faith and teach me to love You with every fiber in my being.

Monday, May 16, 2005


The questions were shot rapid fire in my direction. "How do you know there is only one God? What about all the other religions? Are they wrong?"

The young man who spoke cocked one eye and smirked. The other students in the room continued to chatter, oblivious to the magnificent questions posed by the rebel. Silencing the whispers I proceeded to restate the questions. The room became almost silent.

I responded with passion welling up in my soul, "The idea of more than one god is logically and philosophically impossible. If there are two gods fighting against each other for power, one would have to be weaker. If one god was weaker it could not be a god at all. The whole point of a god is to be more powerful than anything else."

"Well, I have decided I don't believe in God," was the definate reply.

I love these types of questions. I love philosophy. I love theology. There are just some things in the world of logic and philosophy that are impossible.

There cannot be more than one god. There especially cannot be a god of good and a god of evil at the same time. What do you think of when you picture the idea of a god? Here are the most common responses I have heard:

1- Powerful
2- Good
3- Present everywhere
4- Knows everything
5- Punishes bad people

Now tell me something... how can you have more then one god taking care of these responsibilities? How can you have 2 or 500 powerful gods? How can you have gods that are present everywhere? And my favorite... can you have more than one god that knows everything?

It makes no sense to believe in a god and in the next breath say that there could be more than one god. That eliminates hope and trust. How can I trust a god if I am not sure he is the only one? What if I do not believe in the one that will treat me right? How can I hope that this is the god that will meet my needs or answer my requests?

This is the problem many cultures face. They are told there are many gods. They must worship them all. If they forget about one, they may be punished by that one. They have idols for them all, even to ones they do not know about yet... just to be safe. Just to cover their backsides. But what about the rules? What if the gods contradict themselves? What if one says yes and another says no?

So people drown in hopelessness and fear. They work so hard to obey all gods. There is no peace. There is no confidence in an eternal reward. They worry that they will miss a god or break a rule. This type of lifestyle defeats the whole purpose of believing in a god int he first place!

Therefore, others have decided there are no gods at all. They do not want to follow a bunch of rules and regulations so they disregard the idea altogether. They look at people who believe in a god or many gods as weak. Little do they see that their end result is the same as those who believe in many gods. Hopelessness, fear, no rewards and purposelessness.

The athiestic perspective is as illogical and unphilosophical as believing in many gods. I could get into this, but do not have time.

The Only God
God of the Bible stands alone. God needs no one. God makes the rules. He is all-powerful. His knowledge has no boundaries. He is Perfect. Good. Just. Righteous. Present everywhere. He has no equals. He has no peers. He never fails. There is only one God.

I have hope because He is the Only One where I can place hope. I can trust that what He says is true because He is the Only One that says what is true. I know that He loves me for He is the Only One that is Love. I know He will punish those who do wrong because He is the Only One who has authority to punish. There is no one like Him, so I never have to fear that He will be dethroned or that I will make another god unhappy.

I believe God is who HE says He is. I believe God can do what HE says He can do. I believe He has always been and always will be. I believe in Him alone. Why choose another? Why have several when I have The Only One?

If you do not believe in the only God, do not delay in turning to Him! He loves you with love no one can understand . He cares for your deepest needs. He will forgive you of all you have done wrong. Do you want to know the most amazing thing? He died for you. He died to set you free. He came back to life to show His power over death. Do not waste another day in hopelessness!

"Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me." Isaiah 46:9

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Path of Freedom

Psalm 85:10 "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other."

The truth is this: I am a sinner. I am unclean and separated from God. God's justice and wrath scream "GUILTY!" against me. There is no way to avoid this truth. I cannot cover it up with good deeds. I cannot hide under a bush. I cannot wear a pretty smile. Truth says I deserve hell because I am not perfect. Only perfection enters God’s presence.

But wait... here comes mercy! Mercy tells me that because God loves me He has with-held the punishment I deserve. Moreover, His love demands that HE become the punishment for me. Mercy sees the truth of my condition. Mercy knows I am sentenced to death. Now here they are- mercy and truth holding hands! Jesus’ death on the cross provided a way for truth and mercy to unite!

Oh no, but then follows righteousness close behind. I am stuck again. I am not righteous. The truth about me agrees with righteousness that I am not worthy. I am not right with God.

Peace quickly follows righteousness and explains everything to me. Peace says that I must see the truth of my sinful condition. I must accept the mercy extended and purchased by God. I must understand that I am not righteous. Peace was made complete through the blood of the perfect Lamb. Believe these things and Peace becomes the final shield before righteousness.

Can you imagine it like a court room? Everyone is watching you. Will you accept the offer of mercy extended to you by the Judge Himself? Will the party against you and the one for you shake hands? They are waiting for your reply.

I accept!

What sighs, what cheers arise from the crowd!

Mercy steps forward. Peace is walking beside. Mercy extends a hand to Truth.

They shake!!!

Peace is so overwhelmed by the fact that mercy and truth have met. Righteousness and Peace kiss.

I am free!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Trust and Obey

I was reminded of the old, precious hymn this morning that says:

Trust and obey
For there is no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

God's promises are trustworthy. His commands I am to obey. There truly is no other way to be happy. I am feeling a mite troubled and discouraged. There is no reason that I should be, but my own flesh and the enemy!

God is in control. He knows all, sees all and loves me. Discouragement and a troubled heart are not from Him. I am loved by Him. I am blessed, accepted, adopted, redeemed, chosen and forgiven. None of those are reasons to feel down!

Father, Your grace and patience amazes me. That You wait for a sinner such as I to repent is unfathomable! Your compassion on this downcast soul keeps me longing for You. I know I am safe in Your presence. Oh, that I would trust and obey You more!

Dawn, I lvoe you! You help me talk myself right out of the troubles I feel. Thank you for being an encouragement, understanding friend and support!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Mental Flexibility Test

This test does not measure your intelligence, your fluency with words, and certainly not your mathematical ability. it will, however, give you some guage of your mental flexibility and creativity.

Example: 16 = O in a P
Answer: 16 Ounces in a Pound


1) 26 = L of the A
2) 7 = D of the W
3) 1001 = A N
4) 12 = S of the Z
5) 52 = C in a D
6) 9 = P in the S S
7) 88 = P K
8) 13 = s on the A F
9) 32 = D F at which W F
10) 18 = H on a G C

How are you doing? Should I stop here for today? Nah, you can do it!!!

11) 90 = D in a R A
12) 200 = D for P G in M
13) 8 = S on S S
14) 3 = B M (S H T R)
15) 4 = Q in a G
16) 24 = H in a D
17) 1 = W on a U
18) 5 = D in a Z C
19) 57 = H V
20) 11 = P on a F B T

Need a break? 15 more to go!

21) 1000 = W that a P is W
22) 29 = D in a F in a L Y
23) 64 = S on a C B
24) 40 = D and N of the G F
25) 76 = T in the B P
26) 50 = W to L Y L
27) 99 = B of B on the W
28) 60 = S in a M
29) 1 = H on a U
30) 9 = J on the S C


31) 7 = B for S B
32) 21 D on a D
33) 7 = D of the W
34) 15 = M on a D M C
35) 2 = P in a P

There you have it! How many did you get? How many days did it take you? Which ones were the hardest for you? How many people helped you? Leave me some comments on the process you used!