Blog Archives

New TLD a Reality?

ICANN, the independent agency that maintains the database of registered domain names, recently approved a resolution to add .xxx as a top level domain (TLD) exclusively for porn sites.

As a person who has struggled for many years (sometimes unsuccessfully) with porn addiction, I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, filtering will be a breeze–but only if existing porn sites are required to move their activities to a .xxx domain. That’s not likely to happen.

On the other hand, it could end up costing big bucks in trade name protection. Existing companies will be forced to purchase the .xxx version of their name so that porn dealers can’t. Cybersquatters will likely move in and purchase .xxx versions of popular porn and legitimate business sites quickly, and then resell them at huge profits. This could be a bigger headache than it’s worth.

From what I’ve read on this, the porn industry opposes this because they feel it will lead to censorship. The church opposes this because they feel it legitimizes smut. I’m not sure about big business, but I’m sure that they oppose this due to the potential high cost of maintaining another domain name version of their trademark.

All of this begs the question: Why do this if everyone is against it?

But there’s an unexplored side to this. It is only 89 cents plus ICANN registry to purchase a .info domain name from GoDaddy.com. That’s how I happen to own three (now two): christiandelusion.info, godisnotimaginary.info, and the recently expired fastfoodmanagement.info. Active-domain.com prices .info domains at $2.89 for the first year. Domain.com sells them for as low as $9.29 in bulk registration, up to $10.29 for single names. If the .xxx domain becomes like the .info domain–that is, very cheap; given the ease of setting up a free website hosted by Google Sites with a custom domain; and given the fact that even the most technologically impaired can upload pictures directly from their cellphones to sites like Facebook; isn’t this just going to exponentially increase the amount of porn–especially amateur porn–available online? And is that a good thing for anyone concerned?

Seminary Decisions

I need to obtain my bachelor’s degree before I can even think about entering a seminary, so this entry pondering a future seminary is rather premature. I had been considering Winebrenner, which is local (Findlay, OH). Even thought it’s a forty-five minute drive, the information packet I had looked at said that I’d only need to attend class one night per week. So that would be doable.

Denver Seminary has a M.Div program with a concentration in philosophy of religion, which would be ideal considering that I want a bachelor’s in philosophy. However, they don’t have a 100% online program at this time, so they’re out. I’m not moving to Denver just to attend seminary.

I was, however, seriously considering Liberty Theological Seminary prior to the debacle with Ergun Caner. Once I started hearing about his dishonesty and misrepresentation regarding his past, I became much less enthusiastic about this option.

Today, I have finally decided that Liberty is not an option for me. A Liberty student’s blog had this to say:

We also discussed the various approaches to apologetics. I do not agree with the presuppositional view. This approach is often known as the Limited Atonement approach. Believes that Christ only died for the elect, and that only the elect can understand the evidence. They must first agree on certain presuppositions before the Gospel can be effectively presented. (source)

She’s in Dr. Caner’s Theology 101 class, and this information came from day one. Presuppositional apologetics has nothing to do with the Limited Atonement or who can understand evidence. An apologist utilizing this approach assumes that the Bible is the revealed Word of God as a matter of course, and argues from there. This is how the apostles witnessed (in every instance of their preaching, neither the existence of God nor the authority of Scripture are up for grabs).

Most apologetics today is evidential; that is, first we prove that a God can exist and that he would reveal himself to mankind in some way. Then we establish the authority of Scripture and go from there.

Dr. Caner’s remarks about presuppositional apologetics reveal his anti-Reformed stance. I refuse to believe that he is just that ignorant about apologetics.

The anti-Reformed bias has nothing to do with my elimination of Liberty as a potential candidate for a seminary. The dishonesty of its leader and the teaching of complete falsehoods to advance an agenda are the reasons I will not be attending Liberty University.

Explaining God to a Two Year Old

Until I attempted to explain the concept of God to my two-year old daughter, Ashleigh, it never occurred to me how complex some of this really is.

I was strapping her in to her car seat to go to church, and she said that we were going to see Mimi and Papa (that is, her grandparents). I said, “No, we’re going to church to see God!” I realized my blunder (Jn 1:18), and hoped that Ashleigh wouldn’t notice.

Of course, she seized the opportunity right away and as we were driving kept saying, “We go to church. See God.”

I finally said, “We can’t actually see God, sweetie. But we can see Jesus! Of course, he isn’t going to be at church. But we will learn about him.”

After considering that statement for a moment, Ashleigh asked, “The bad man get Jesus?”

“Nope,” I said. “Jesus defeated the bad man. For good!”

After a few more minutes, Ashleigh said, “We no see God. God no at church.” Laugh now, and laugh hard, my atheist readers. She’s only two and doesn’t get concepts like “immaterial,” “spirit,” or “omnipresent.” Don’t read too much into her statement.

I said, “No, honey, God is everywhere. We just can’t see him.” She seemed to consider this, but didn’t ask any more questions or make any additional statements related to church or God. Sometime, I need to have a more detailed conversation with her about God and Jesus, but not while I’m trying to concentrate on the road.

Exciting News!

On February 3, 2010, my wife and I had a new addition to our family. Gabriel John Tucholski arrived at 1:48pm by c-section, weighing in at 8 pounds, 12 ounces and measuring 20 inches.

He’s been doing fine, and my daughter Ashleigh loves being a big sister so far.

Open Challenge to Caleb (But All Skeptics Welcome)

In my previous post, I recounted the sad deconversion of a close friend. Although I tried to keep him anonymous, he outed himself in the first commment. The deconverter is Caleb, a good personal friend of mine and regular commenter on this blog. It is sad to see any brother (or sister) in Christ reject the gospel, but it is even more sad when that person is good friend.

In reading some of the links provided by Caleb, and the little bit of his own writing that he has done on the subject of his deconversion, I’ve uncovered two recurrent themes that seem to come up in most deconversions.

First, the assertion that the Bible is full of errors and contradictions. What errors and contradictions we are always left to guess, because this is generally argued by soundbite. That is, it is asserted without any corroborating evidence being provided.

Second, that the deconverter faced many situations that simply could not be reconciled using a Christian worldview. Again, we are always left to wonder what situations the writer is speaking of, because this is always asserted with no evidence being provided.

That brings me to the purpose of this post. I’m issuing a two-fold challenge to Caleb, but any skeptic is welcome to participate. This is my proposal:

Challenge #1: Provide an example of where the Bible is in error, or else provide a bona fide contradiction. In over 2000 years of biblical scholarship, the Bible has never been found to be in error, nor has anyone been able to show a bona fide contradiction.

Challenge #2: Provide an example of a situation that simply cannot fit into a Christian worldview. I look most forward to the entries for this challenge. I have yet to see any situation that contradicts a Christian worldview.

All right, skeptics, you have your homework. I’m looking forward to seeing your entires in the comment section below. Of course, no entires at all will speak volumes on its own…

The Emptiness of God as a Philosophical Concept

It is a sad day when any Christian renounces his former faith and rejects the gospel. It is even more sad when the Christian in question is someone who was an active evangelist and a close friend. I had a feeling that I knew what he meant when he posted “[name withheld] is free of the cult and not afraid.” But I checked the litany of comments below the status to confirm what I feared: the “cult” he meant was Christianity.

He now believes that God is love, but nothing more than that. Of course, this belief is informed by Scripture, which he also rejects. Leaving that contradiction aside, we find that what my friend has done is to reduce God to a mere philosophical concept.

He appears to understand that God is necessary for existence. He would probably agree with me that God is the First Cause, or the Uncaused Cause, that touched off the chain of events that eventually became our universe. Other than that, my friend seems to have no way to inform his understanding of God other than to label him “love.” This is reducing God to a speculative philosophical concept.

The Christian, however, believes in a deity that is more than just a philosophical concept. The Christian has real object for his faith, that is, the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus suffered all of the same things that we suffered, emerging victorius, so that we can have real comfort with someone who has been there before. Jesus is God’s way of getting closer to us: by becoming flesh and blood and suffering though life as one of us.

A philosophical concept, however, is a cold and impersonal force that has never experienced life the way that we can. This isn’t a real person that we can retreat to when times are rough. So, when times get rough, while the Christian sees Jesus as the anchor and the rock to weather the storm, my friend won’t have such a rock. He’ll only have himself.

Once he has to weather a storm relying only on himself, it is easy to conclude that a philosophical concept did nothing for him. So why not shed the philosophical concept altogether?

Reducing God to a mere philosophical concept is only a few steps away from atheism.

What an Anti-Climactic Ending

The parents of Madeline Neumann were given probation and thiry days in jail.  I guess it’s okay to deny your children medical attention!

The parents faced 25 years each in prison for denying their daughter medical care that would have saved her life. Instead, they prayed over her and thought that her deteriorating condition was a test from God.

Atheist Double Standard

My laugh for today is this comment, from a reader who identifies himself as Steve:

How in God’s name are you going to publish a book? You work in fast food and don’t have the credentials or credibility to even think about a book. It’s almost insulting to the people who have spent much time and money in their education and relevent [sic] work experience. You can’t just say “I’m going to write a book” There are prerequisites.

I have to wonder if this guy would have said the same thing to a fashion editor publishing on the history of religion (Christopher Hitchens), an evolutionary biologist publishing on philosophy (Richard Dawkins), or someone with a high school education becoming a fellow of an academic think-tank (Tom Verenna, aka Rook Hawkins).

Atheists, when they publish, are granted free license to write about any topic they so choose. As long as it serves the name of atheism or anti-theism, they are granted credibility by their audience of admirers whether they have it or not.

The site that I’m answering in my proposed book, God is Imaginary, is allegedly written by Marshall Brain, founder of HowStuffWorks.com. According to Wikipedia, Brain has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s in computer science. This qualifies a person to maintain websites debunking religion? Yet, that site is often referred to as a resource for debunking Christianity by many atheists online. The site has a credibility that it should not have.

As academic layman in the category of religion, Brain and I are equals. No one would take on these sites from the academic community because they aren’t argued from an academic perspective. Having an academic, such as William Lane Craig, I take on these sites would be overkill. Therefore, I’m the perfect candidate to write a rebuttal, since I am an academic layman also.

What happens if the credibility factor does become a problem, and agents and publishers reject the proposal based on that? No problem, I have other writing projects that I am working on at the moment where credibility isn’t a problem. I can always try again with this proposal in a few years, when I will have the academic credibility.

That said, I would like to welcome long-time reader John C back! I hope that you find this blog more to your liking. I promise not to focus so much on Rey’s replies, as I should be taking on the best arguments from the other side, not the worst arguments from our own.

Announcement

For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I wanted to take the time to make a very special announcement.

My wife and I are expecting our second child! I don’t have a due date yet, but I will post later with more information. This is almost a surprise, as we weren’t going to start trying until this month. We are certainly not disappointed that God has chosen to do things this way. His way is always better than our way!

Jury Convicts Leilani Neumann

It only took the jury four hours of deliberation to convict Leilani Neumann, mother of Madeline “Kara” Neumann, of second degree reckless homicide in the death of her daughter from untreated diabetes.

I believe in the power of prayer, but I believe that it is supplemental to competent health care. God works with and through our efforts, not in spite of us.