Woody Allen Interviews Billy Graham

While reading about the movie Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham which was just released over the weekend, I came across a reference to this interview done by Woody Allen on his show back in the 60’s.

It’s fascinating how folks back then could be so civil and witty even as they make clear from the very start that they’re on opposite sides of the fence. That’s the way conversations should go.

Part 1 of the interview is here:


..
and Part 2 is here:


..

Good exchange between two people who respect each other.

..

..

BlinkAdd to Blinkslistdel.icio.usadd to del.icio.us digg.itDigg it StumbleUponStumble It! Redd.itredd.it Vineseed the vine
..

Advertisements

Original Sin

(…continued from Judging God)

..

She is doing what millions of billions of people have done since the serpent deceived Eve and Adam.

“This is the real score: God doesn’t want you to be like him, to know good and evil”, the serpent said.

But Eve and Adam decided that it was indeed desirable to be like God, to know good and evil. They thought that it was unfair of God to keep them from being like him in that way—so they went ahead and ate the forbidden fruit.

This is the original sin: the desire to be like God, able to decide for oneself what is good and what is evil—independent of God!

Man the creation looks at God the Creator and says, “I can be like you, you know. I can decide for myself what is good and what is evil. I can set my own standards. I don’t have to depend on your standards”.

So man sets his own standards for judging what is good and what is evil. Then he compares his standards with God’s—and then evaluates God’s standards according to his own standards.

“Well, OK, I know that you said that is wrong, but, you see, it actually depends. That may be wrong in this situation, but I think you’ll have to agree that it can actually be the right thing to do in this situation…”

Then…
“You know what? I’ve done a lot of thinking. That thing you say is wrong? It’s not just the right thing in some situations, but come to think of it, it’s actually the right thing in all situations!”

Still later…
“There’s no real right and wrong anyway. It all depends. If I may say so, you were a bit off there, God, when you gave us the entire notion of sin, of right and wrong. No such thing, big guy. It all depends.”

“How do I know? I’ve got wisdom, big guy. I know what’s right and what’s wrong. I ate the fruit which—in your selfishness!—you told me not to eat”.

And…
“I don’t need you to tell me what is good and what is evil, what’s right and what’s wrong. I can decide all that for myself, thank you. I don’t need your standards. I don’t need your guidance.”

“In fact, guess what? I don’t even need you at all.”

“You give me no good standards. What you call evil I call good. What you call good, well, me no like.”

“You don’t give me wisdom. You don’t make me happy. In fact, I’ve found other gods who give me more wisdom. They give me more happiness. They deserve my loyalty more. Jealous yet?”

Finally…
“I can be wise all by myself, and if I need it find more wisdom elsewhere. I can be happy without you, and find still more happiness elsewhere.”

“I don’t need you.”

“Remember you said I would die if I ate that fruit? Hah! Newsflash! I’m still alive! And you’re—dead! Bam! Goodbye!”

“You were right about that fruit, though—I AM much wiser now.”

And the serpent laughs.

To be continued

..

This is Part 2 of a series. Other posts in this series:

Part 1: Judging God

Part 3: To Understand, Stand Under

Part 4: Dying for Rebels

..

..

BlinkAdd to Blinkslist del.icio.usadd to del.icio.us digg.itDigg it StumbleUponStumble It! Redd.itredd.it Vineseed the vine

..

.. 

Expelled Victims

Here’s an interesting account of three scientists featured in the movie Expelled. As I have posted earlier, the movie is about alleged prejudice experienced by scientists and professors who either support Intelligent Design, or fail to support evolutionary theory.

The article was written by Dr. Ray Bohlin, holder of MS and PhD degrees in molecular biology from the University of Texas at Dallas. Here’s a brief intro on the three scientists he writes about:

Richard Sternberg has a double PhD in evolutionary biology. As editor of a scientific journal, he oversaw the publication of an article promoting Intelligent Design and critical of evolution. As a result, he was harassed and falsely accused of improper peer review. He has been blacklisted.

Caroline Crocker is a a PhD with degrees in pharmacology and microbiology. A research scientist who taught introductory biology, she made the mistake of including questions about evolution contained in science journals. She was accused of teaching creationism and eventually lost her job, and has been unable to find work ever since.

Finally, Guillermo Gonzalez is a well published astronomer who has accumulated over sixty peer-reviewed publications in various science and astronomy journals. In addition, he has presented over twenty papers at scientific conferences, and his work has been featured in such respected publications as Science, Nature, and Scientific American. He has been denied tenure because he supports Intelligent Design.

…Trust me, you’ll find it hard to believe what you read.

Check out the article here.

You can find more data on the article’s writer, Dr. Bohlin, as well as the other speakers and writers of Probe Ministries.here.

..

..
Related post:

EXPELLED! No Intelligence Allowed!
..

..

MERRY CHRISTMAS! (Did the First Christmas Really Happen?)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Lee Strobel, investigative reporter, former award-winning editor of The Chicago Tribune, and former atheist, presents his case for Christmas (in admittedly greatly summarized form):

..

The Case for Christmas From Eyewitness Testimony

..

The Case for Christmas from Early Records

..

The Case for Christmas from Historical plus Embarrassing Records

..

May we all have a special experience of the love of Jesus Christ this Christmas! God bless you!

..

Are the New Testament Documents Reliable? What About the Differences in the Manuscripts?

(continued from  Are the New Testament Documents Reliable?)

.. 

To recap the previous post on the topic: the amount of New Testament manuscripts available to scholars dwarfs the number of manuscripts of any other ancient literature.

Not only Greek manuscripts are available, but also thousands of manuscripts in several other languages, including Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, etc. [1]

It is inevitable, of course, that there would be variations among these thousands of manuscripts. There would be spelling errors, transpositions of words, etc. After all, there were no photocopiers during those times, no eyeglasses to correct for myopia, presbyopia, or astigmatism, no bright electric lights, etc., and the sources of the copies would many times be faded manuscripts. This is the subject of the second important question of manuscript analysis—how much do the manuscripts differ from one another?

If the differences are too big, then they would greatly compound the difficulty of deciding which manuscripts are reliable copies of the originals and which are not, and what the original documents really said.

But if the differences can be attributed to scribal errors (such as misspellings and word transpositions), then it would be easier to ascertain the contents of the original documents.

And our confidence that we have the original message of the original documents would be greatly enhanced if we also have manuscripts in other languages coming from different places. As renowned scholar Dr. Bruce Metzger explains, “The more often you have copies that agree with each other, especially if they emerge from different geographical areas, the more you can cross-check them to figure out what the original document was like. The only way they’d agree would be where they went back genealogically in a family tree that represents the descent of the manuscripts”[2].

Dr. Metzger himself made a study comparing the extents of differences in the manuscripts of three famous ancient literary works: the Iliad, the Mahabharata, and the New Testament. Don Bierle, in citing Metzger’s study, says “The works varied in length from 15,600 lines for the Iliad, 20,000 for the New Testament, and 250,000 for the Mahabharata[3]. All variations which did not affect the meaning of the line (such as misspellings and word transpositions) were ignored. Only those variations which affected the meaning of the text were counted.

The result of the study?

According to Dr. Metzger, the Iliad had about a 5% distortion rate—764 lines out of about 15,600 were corrupted or led to readings or interpretations that were either uncertain or differed among the different manuscripts. The 5% distortion rate means that the meaning of roughly one out of every twenty lines is uncertain. Yet, as Dr. Bierle points out, this fact is very rarely, if ever, pointed out in literature classes where the Iliad is assigned as a reading. “Its integrity is assumed without question”[4].

The Mahabharata fared much worse, with a distortion rate of about 10%. This meant that “One out every ten lines of this religious book was ‘up for grabs’, so to speak”[5].

How about the New Testament? The data, according to Dr. Bierle, is “incredible. Only 40 of 20,000 lines, or 1/5 of 1% (0.2%), are distorted. This is 1/25th of the distortion found in the Iliad, which itself has a low distortion rate among ancient writings”[6].

The following chart summarizes the findings of Dr. Metzger’s landmark study:

Distorion rate of New Testament documents vs. other ancient literature

(This chart is copyrighted by FaithSearch International. Used with permission.)

..
Drs. William Nix and Norman Geisler have this to say: “The New Testament, then, has not only survived in more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity, but it has survived in a purer form than any other great book”[7]. Pure indeed. Following Dr. Metzger’s findings, the New Testament documents can even be said to be 99.8% pure.

Further, Metzger explains that the variations tend to be minor rather than substantive. That is, “The more significant variations do not overthrow any doctrine of the church. Any good Bible will have notes that will alert the reader to variant readings of any consequence”[8].

Another renowned Biblical scholar, Dr. F.F. Bruce, concurs: “the variant readings about which any doubt remain among textual critics of the New Testament affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice”[9].

So the reliability of the New Testament documents is demonstrated by the results of answering the first two questions of manuscript analysis: (1) how many manuscripts are there, and (2) how much do they differ?

The answers: (1) New Testament manuscripts far outnumber the manuscripts of other ancient literature; and (2) these thousands of manuscripts differ much, much less from each other than the fewer manuscripts of other ancient literature. So our assurance is greatly increased that what we have in our present Bibles correspond quite substantially to the original writings.

But how do we know that what the original writings said were true? Even if what we have now are 100% faithful copies of the originals, if those originals were only made up of legends, then it does not do us much good, does it?

..

To be continued…..

..

Related posts:

Are the New Testament Documents Reliable?

Was Jesus Christ a Real Person?

..

[A very sad note: Dr. Bruce Metzger, greatly esteemed for his scholarship and much admired for his character, died early this year, on Feb. 13, 2007. A tribute at Christianity Today can be found here, and a tribute from another widely respected scholar, Dr. Ben Witherington III, can be found here.]

..

[1] Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ,p. 76* and Don Bierle, Surprised by Faith, p. 30.
[2] The Case for Christ, p. 76.
[3] Surprised by Faith, p. 35.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] As quoted by Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ, p. 85. Quoted from the book General Introduction to the Bibleby Norman Geisler and William Nix.

[8] As quoted by Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ, p. 85. From a one-on-one interview between Strobel and Metzger.
[9] Surprised by Faith, p. 35.

(*page numbers for the book The Case for Christ refer to the Philippine edition, published locally by OMFLit.)
..

..

BlinkAdd to Blinkslist del.icio.usadd to del.icio.us digg.itDigg it StumbleUponStumble It! Redd.it Vineseed the vine

Theistic Evolution?

A visitor posted the following comments:

I do wonder why people don’t even consider that there might be a God who created everything through evolution

and

I do try to be tolerant of people, but thus far, I have seen nobody make a powerful argument for ID or creationism being an empirical science

I was about to respond to him that there are actually Christians who believe in what is called “theistic evolution”. Before I could do that,  I came across a favorable review in Christianity Today of a new book (2007) by Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome project. It’s called The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, and it argues for—guess what?—theistic evolution!

Soon as I could, I plan to get a copy of the book and read it, and I would also like to invite the original commentor to check it out, too, if he has time.

In the meantime, if anybody has already read the book, I would be VERY grateful for your comments. I think this idea is worth investigating, with the end of “following the evidence wherever it leads”. Thanks!

Note:
I am not yet for or against this position, as I have not yet had time to study it. But I think it is worth investigating and discussing, by Christians and non-Christians alike.

..

..

EXPELLED! No Intelligence Allowed!

expelled-flyer-for-blog.jpg..

Just learned about this. Late again, as usual 😦 .

Anyway, it’s still in Feb ’08.

A provocative movie, about the alleged suppression of Intelligent Design in the scientific and academic world.

According to the movie, scientists and professors who dare question Darwinism, or who openly admit the possibility of ID are ostracized, pressured, and sometimes even have their reputations smeared among their peers:

..

Here’s a longer (9 mins) trailer:

..

expelled-summary-for-blog.jpg
..

Looks like love month Feb ’08 would be a provocative month 😉 . One more movie to watch for!

..
Related post:

Expelled Victims
..

..
BlinkAdd to Blinkslist del.icio.usadd to del.icio.us digg.itDigg it StumbleUponStumble It! Redd.it Vineseed the vine