Checking My Brain At The Door

dawkins

As a follower of Jesus Christ I want to tell everyone about my faith.  Early in my “old is gone and new in Christ walk”  I experienced that “high” of a new relationship and was “hooked” on the feeling of being so in love with my Lord.  I still love Him of course, it is just that as a mature believer I know my relationship with God is more than a feeling and is grounded in fact. However, this I also know – that many of those who interact with “Christians”  think that we are all about the “feel good” and that there is no basis, other than myth and emotion that gives is the reason for our faith and hope.

We are accused of checking our brains at the door, because a thinking person could not possibly believe the Bible, or that some guy rose from the dead or that there even is a God…after all, isn’t this world full of pain and tragedy?

How could a God, especially a good God allow that? It’s all about our God-given free will, but that is a topic for later discussion.

However, when I was a sophomore in college I had to take a psychology class that required me to study Friedrich Nietzsche among many others. (DeCartes, Hume, Freud etc.). Nietzsche’s famous quote ”Gott ist tot”  (God is Dead) has been atheists battle cry for centuries.

The Richard Dawkins quote above is another perfect example of this.  He is perhaps the most renowned 20th century atheist alive (only surpassed by Steven Hawking, theoretical physicist, cosmologist at Cambridge University). However, both men espoused the same “intelligent” and high brow attitude toward people of faith, in particularly, Christians.  Dawkins is famous by his manifesto, The God Delusion and through his academic approach based on hypothesis and hyperbole, he has re-directed or reproached many, advising to take the “wide road” that leads away from personal faith in Jesus Christ and on to a destination of destruction.   His future meeting with God does not look bright unless by His grace, he turns and repents.

That said, this weekend I attended the opening of a movie that calls attention to the atheistic attacks on Christianity and offers well-thought out academic arguments that poke scientific holes into many of the arguments that have thus been presented against a divine creator.  See the review below:

God’s Not Dead, the movie, presents a college freshman (Josh Wheaton) and devout Christian who finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson.

The Professor begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future.

Josh refuses the request, albeit politely and provokes an irate reaction from his professor. Since Josh refuses the assignment, his Professor decides to make him take on an assignment to prove to him and the class, that God is not dead.  If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God?

In attending the movie, I went with 9 teenage young women who are believers as well. Interestingly, each of them described the impact it had on them too, with one of them texting me later and saying “this movie changed my life.”

Why?  Well because whether we are “cradle Christians” (those who grew up in the faith) or people who come to accept Christ as their Lord later in life (like me) – one day we ALL have to own our own faith.  We have to defend what we believe on the facts, not the feelings. The Apostle James reminded of this as well when he wrote, that if we are double minded, we will be tossed around like a boat in a storm…we need to use our brains AND our hearts to understand the character of our God and WHY we believe what we do.

I found that this movie helps in doing that, especially appropriate for young people getting ready to go on to higher education  – as they will face professors like the one in the movie. They too will be called on throughout life to defend their beliefs in fact – not feeling. That said, I urge all to go see the movie, invite as many believers and non-believers as possible and be prepared and girded to have to some interesting and perhaps tough conversations afterward – and be sure NOT to check your big, beautiful GOD-made brain at the Door!

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Watch The Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90PWFEeRApA

MORE INFO:

What the media is saying about God’s Not Dead….

“It’s shaping up to be a year in which Hollywood finds religion, and GOD’S NOT DEAD delivered that message powerfully.” ~SUSAN KING, LOS ANGELES TIMES

“GOD’S NOT DEAD is a box-office winner.” ~USA Today

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (March 24, 2014) – Pure Flix announced today that their film GOD’S NOT DEAD opened with a stellar per screen average of nearly $12,000 and ranked #4 of all movies released the weekend ending March 23, 2014. Amid a flood of other faith-based movies, GOD’S NOT DEAD’s per screen average is an all-time high for wide release Christian films.

Only showing on 780 screens in its debut weekend among many other releases on over 3,000 screens, GOD’S NOT DEAD outperformed virtually all movies on a per screen average basis and was sold out in many locations prompting theaters to add additional show times and larger rooms. Pure Flix and Freestyle Releasing are adding hundreds of runs for the second week, bringing the total number of theaters to approximately 1,000.

“Demand for GOD’S NOT DEAD in the faith-based community has been significant because the message is culturally relevant to millions of Americans,” said David A.R. White, Managing Partner of Pure Flix and an actor in the film playing Reverend Dave. “As Variety noted this weekend, GOD’S NOT DEAD is providing content for a much underserved audience and Pure Flix exists to help fill that void.”

Termed the “biggest surprise” of the weekend by Entertainment Weekly and the “biggest shocker” of the weekend by Variety, GOD’S NOT DEAD’s success did not surprise Pure Flix.

“We’ve seen for months a huge interest among consumers in GOD’S NOT DEAD, evidenced by our massive social media fan base which has over 1 million followers on Facebook,” said Michael Scott, Managing Partner of Pure Flix. “Our grassroots marketing efforts encompassing the church, social media, events and publicity were laser focused on our core market. That focus, coupled with the overt faith-based message of this film, contributed to its success.”

– See more at: http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/blog/#sthash.4HfmtOCE.dpuf

CLICK BELOW LINKS FOR ADDITIONAL UNDERSTANDING AND DISCUSSION

Understanding the arguments in God’s not Dead: Part I of III

Understanding the arguments in God’s not Dead: Part II of III

Understanding the arguments in God’s not Dead: Part III of III

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Checking My Brain At The Door

  1. My wife and I saw the movie this past weekend and enjoyed it. I have a tendency to over analyze things so here goes. I am not sure how realistic it is to think a freshman with good manners would confront the Prof. so directly or assuredly as Josh did. I did like the movie in that it showed Christians that you don’t know who is watching and who might be blessed from standing up for your beliefs.
    The other issue I had was that the challenge was to prove God exists. It wasn’t that the God of Christianity existed. Though Christianity was what the Prof. was angry at and why the movie was made. The best defense to the existence of God I have heard came from R.C. Sproul. If anyone is interested you might try a search or I could post it if you are unable to find it.
    One small correction to the article if I may. Hawking is not deceased.

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    • Thanks for the feedback AND the correction. I thought Hawking died in 2009. Indeed the obit I read was actually a farce. Will be making that correction. My English professor in college would have flunked me for that one! Btw – I know a few well mannered HS junior boys who would take on a professor like that on…I suspect you know them too. LOL. Why don’t you blog the RC Sproul article and I will post it in your honour? Thanks as ALWAYS for the feedback. 🙂

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      • R.C. Sproul did a proof of God lecture using his shoe. The audio can be found here.
        PartI
        http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/objections-answered/the-existence-of-shoes/ 20min+
        PartII
        http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/objections-answered/something-is-eternal/? 20min.+

        I condensed the lecture down to bare essentials. Below is my humble attempt to keep it simple.

        There are only four possible explanations as to any existence.

        1.)It is an illusion
        2.)It created itself
        3.)It is self existent {eternal}{always been}
        4)Made by someone or something

        1.) If it is an illusion than all this discussion is not taking place either. But the old saying “I think therefore I am” shows us that we are real. Descartes formed this first principle of certainty. That someone or something must exist to have doubt to begin with. And following that logic all the way out then we must be real and so must everything else even if not everything can be totally trusted.

        2.) It can’t be self created because this violates the law of non-contradiction. It can’t create because it does not exist and something can’t come from NO THING. Out of nothing, nothing comes.
        Self creation of the universe presupposes that he universe came into being out of nothing, by nothing through the power of nothing.

        This leaves only two possibilities it is self existing or ultimately created by someone or something that is self existent.
        If it was made by someone or something than that must be made by someone or something and so on and so on. If you get all the way back to the universe then we end up in the same situation. Someone or something created it or it is self-existing. Since we observe stars wearing down and everything else in existence deteriorating, everything is finite and temporal, all matter has the properties of mutability then we know that these things are not self-existing. If one argues that there is some point or place in the universe that contains all the energy or power to continue the universe than we come to the only possibility left. It becomes necessary that something is self eternal or a self existing being.There is someone or something that is self existing that is creating everything. We only argue as to their address.

        By definition this is your god.

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        • Dan, pls excuse my delay in responding. Spring is the season of manic for the family….that said this is fascinating! Thanks for the effort. I will take this answer and present it as a blog post. Too interesting and TRUE to not highlight it. Please send more thoughts anytime. I already know what kind of exceptional writer you are…want to post too? If I can figure out how to give you access, you can post anytime. 🙂

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          • Not a problem. This is a great time of year that reminds us of the Love of God.

            The post isn’t a spiritual kind of thing. I wasn’t sure that something this cerebral would fit in. I use these types of things to argue and dialogue with unbelievers. I also get a bit passionate with my politics and the compassion that our God inspired system was originally.

            If you wish I can send you things on my mind and you can use your discretion to not post them. My wife says I am not diplomatic and don’t know what isn’t appropriate a lot of the time. If you want things then I can offer some but you will need to edit and discard as appropriate as I am unable to discern such things. I think your blog is great as it is and I get great insight and an uplifting spirit when I read the articles you post.

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