Tuesday, November 21, 2006

ROUNDUP: Recent Kingdom News Worth Knowing ( 21 November 2006)

The American Spectator

Worth reading is "The Great Stem Cell Error," by Tom Bethell in this month's American Spectator. In the opening paragraph the author sets the context: a passion by scientific men to discover the Fountain of Youth and immortal life ...
The era of stem cells, an advocacy campaign from the start, began eight years ago. On November 6, 1998, articles reporting the isolation of embryonic cells appeared in Science, and, not coincidentally, on the front page of the New York Times. The lengthy Times article was written by Nicholas Wade, a tireless champion of stem cells and their medical promise. More articles by him appeared in the next few days, some reporting that stem cells are immortal. For a while it seemed possible that defective tissue might eventually be replaced by immortal tissue, so that death itself might become a thing of the past.
The author of this piece does an excellent job of keeping it lay-friendly ... even I understood his arguments. I know his critics will say I'm a dumb religious whacko, with no scientific credentials to support my agreement with Bethell ... but that's okay, what they don't know can't do anyone any harm!

After providing a historical synopsis of the key literature, Bethell closes with an explanation of why things look dark for those who desire to play God ...
The idea that the cells of the growing body "learn" by coming into contact with one another is something that scientists would prefer not to think about. It means that understanding the cell will turn out to be a hundred times more difficult than it already is. Another consequence is that the stem-cell dream might have to be postponed indefinitely. A recent New York Times article, headlined "Some Scientists See Shift in Stem Cell Hopes," hinted at this. Many "no longer see cell therapy as the first goal of the research," but envisage "a longer-term program," Nicholas Wade wrote. He added that "work since 2001 has produced no significant advance."
Again and again God thwarts man's efforts to pull himself up to the heights of Babel or pull God down to the plains of the pathetic.


Apologist: Church Is Anti-Intellectual; It Must Change - ChristianPost.com
Philosopher, writer, and Christian apologist J.P. Moreland mixed contemporary culture with Christian history and jokes that drew laughter with a serious challenge for Christians to become more intellectual on Friday at a megachurch-hosted apologetics conference.

Moreland spoke to a crowd of about 1,400 evangelical Christians at the D.C.-area McLean Bible Church during the three-day apologetics conference entitled “Loving God with All Your Mind” ....

Who goes to hell? - Dallas Morning News

Talk about an article that serves no useful purpose ...
Many people don't believe in hell at all. Non-Christian faiths have their own take, of course. Judaism, the religion that birthed Christianity, teaches of the eternal nature of the soul, a divine judgment, and a mostly undefined "World to Come." But specifics are left up to God.


Modern Christianity has many answers to who goes to hell. On the one extreme are universalists who say that a loving God could leave nobody in eternal torment. On the other are strict Calvinists who say that God picked a small elect for paradise before the world was created, and everyone else is simply stuck in the Handbasket to Hard Times.

The Christian discussion generally starts with this passage from the Gospel of John: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

But how does Jesus decide who he'll take to the father – and who he won't? Not every Christian claims to have a straight answer.
This whole piece was a make-work project from the beginning; if we haven't answered this question in the past 6,000 years nothing will do so now!

Hollywood decides it's time for a leap of faith - Houston Chronicle
Faith-based films, once relegated to church basements and hired halls, are increasingly getting mainstream distribution as Hollywood discovers that the Lord's business may indeed be compatible with business-as-usual.

"People are hungry, deeply hungry, for this kind of entertainment," says Stephen Simon, director-producer of Conversations With God.
Evangelicals revive Christianity in Europe - UPI
Evangelical Christian churches are growing in Europe ... most of their membership [are] immigrants from Asia and Africa.

The evangelical movement comes at a time when the traditional European churches are shrinking, the Washington Times reports. While only about 2 percent of the population belongs to evangelical churches, they are also influencing the practices of protestant denominations and the Catholic Church.

"Non-belief, doubt and secularization continue to progress, but increasingly we're witnessing a spiritual turning in recent years," said Christopher Sinclair of the University of Strasbourg. "What's striking ... is that it's ... answering a spiritual need."

Kirk joins the debate on euthanasia - Sunday London Times
Church of Scotland leaders have joined the euthanasia debate, claiming doctors should be given the right to withhold treatment from seriously ill newborn babies in exceptional circumstances, writes Marc Horne.

Their view, that some children should be allowed to die is contrary to the current presumption that life should be preserved at any cost. It follows the publication, last week, of an inquiry into the ethics of resuscitating and treating extremely premature babies.

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