Reasons to Believe

Staying Connected 2004 December

 

* Due to copyrights, original graphics and tables do not appear in these articles


To Believe, or Not to Believe

by Kathy Ross

Whether you have seen it or not, you probably know that the beautifully animated movie The Polar Express (based on the award-winning children's book) came to theaters a few weeks ago. And, if you've gone anywhere near a retailer this holiday season, no doubt you've seen cards and gifts emblazoned with its theme: "Believe!"

This message bothers me. Does it bother anyone else? I want to shout, "Believe what?" Maybe it's just the editor in me jangled by the (incorrect) use of a transitive verb without its object, but I think it's more. It's the idea, the not-so-subtle assertion, that the act of believing is laudable in itself, apart from the object of belief.

During this holiday season, let's remind ourselves and all the children in our lives that believing is a good thing IF (and only if) it's attached to truth. There's a huge difference between the cute North Pole fantasy and the true story of Christmas. In contrast to what the film says, when we decide to get on a train, it DOES matter where that train is going. I'm hoping the movie will spark a good conversation with someone in your life, a conversation about the crucial difference between blind believing and biblical faith. (by Kathy Ross)


Inside the Mailbox

I want to thank you for allowing yourself to be used by God to be a blessing in my life at the age of 52. Thank you for putting together a forum of respect for the Bible and the sciences that creates both worship and understanding.

While God had answered many of my questions some thirty years ago, others have lingered, buried in the 'cares of this life.' Viewing Journey Toward Creation and other materials [aired] on the John Ankerberg Show answered questions and confirmed views and assumptions that had been set aside for a long time.

However, I was moved to a profound sense of 'awe' at the Creator-God of the universe. Creating this sense of worship and awe is both deliberate and appropriate on your part. The facts should not only feed our minds but move our souls to respond to our gracious Creator. (Steve)

Would you like to take a journey into outer space, back to the time when light first separated from darkness? If so, you'll enjoy watching Journey Toward Creation, RTB's award-winning DVD. Gorgeous scenes of planets, stars, and galaxies stir a sense of wonder. You'll be amazed to discover just how finely tuned our universe must be, from the big bang onward, so that life can exist on planet Earth.

Ambassadors

RTB is more than scholars and staff. It's dozens of chapters and thousands of you who help spread the compelling message that science and Christian faith go hand in hand. You're the ones who multiply this ministry and in so doing expand the Kingdom of God. Please take a moment to let us know how you've been an RTB ambassador for Christ. Your example and ideas may encourage others to take action. Call our toll-free number or e-mail us at stayingconnected@reasons.org.

Here's what some active ambassadors recommend: Donate a set of RTB books to a library, such as your kids' school library. This way you'll ensure that this learning environment has accurate and up-to-date scientific information. (Chris and Ruth)

Once you've read Connections, pass it along to someone else who might be interested in-or surprised to discover--the link between science and Scripture. (Kathy)

If you're a Message of the Month member, invite some friends over once a month to listen to the message. The theme for 2005 is human origins, and each month's discussion fills you in on the latest findings. If you're not yet a member, we'd love to have you join! (Esther)

If you live near a college, ask some students over to your place for a home-cooked meal-a welcome break from cafeteria food! Then show an RTB video/DVD and invite conversation about it. International students, far from home and family, especially appreciate your hospitality. (Mary)


Chapters Come Together

On October 25-26, thirty representatives from RTB chapters across North America gathered at our Glendora office. Another joined us live via the Internet from Argentina! It was our first-ever chapter leaders convocation, a time for them to interact with each other and with RTB scholars and staff-including our publicist, who came from Colorado to share ideas for impact. Together we all gained a renewed sense of our role in something much larger than any of us can imagine-a timely, strategic evangelistic enterprise. What an exciting, inspiring time! We look forward to more opportunities like this in the years to come. If you're interested in learning about or participating in an RTB chapter in your area, please contact Ken Hultgren by phone at (800) 482-7836 or by e-mail at chapters@reasons.org. If no chapter yet exists in your area, you may wish to consider starting one. If so, you'll be part of a dynamic group that is changing the world, one chapter at a time.


What Others Are Saying

"Hugh Ross...has a strong, articulate voice in defense of truth. I appreciate very much his ministry, Reasons To Believe, and consider him a very valued ally in a great cause to defend truth in the world today, the one true God."

Charles W. Colson
Founder, Prison Fellowship Ministries

"I have found Dr. Hugh Ross to be a man of integrity and sound wisdom as he has continued to offer 'Reasons to Believe' to an increasingly skeptical generation of seekers. In my conversations with him on the interpretation of Genesis chapters one and two, I found him solidly committed to the inerrancy of Scripture and to sound principles of interpretation. I commend his works to all for their thoughtful reflection on the magnificence of our great Creator living Lord."

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.
President, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary,
Hamilton, MA


Reasons Institute

Enrollment is now open for winter 2005! Here are the courses that will be offered this quarter as part of our Web-based educational program:

  • Creation and the Bible, taught by several RTB staff scholars
  • History of Christian Apologetics: St. Paul through C. S. Lewis, taught by Kenneth Samples
  • Creation v. Evolution, taught by Hugh Ross and Fuz Rana-NEW!
  • Critical Thinking Skills, taught by Kenneth Samples-NEW!

College credit and continuing education units are available.

Reasons Institute is well adapted to the needs and interests of home school students and educators.

Students currently enrolled say, "I'm enjoying studying these materials… I need the mental sharpening… I love these classes!"

The winter quarter begins January 10, 2005.For more information or to enroll, visit www.reasonsinstitute.com. Or, you may contact the course coordinator, Bob Stuart, at (626) 335-1480, ext. 116, or at bstuart@reasons.org.


New Law for Vehicle Donations

A new law takes effect on January 1, 2005. It limits the amount you can deduct when you donate your vehicle to a charity. Until December 31, 2004, a donor can (typically) write off the fair-market value of the donated vehicle. In 2005, donors will be allowed to write-off no more than $500 unless they can prove that the car actually sold for more than this amount.

So, if you're eager to free up some space in your garage or yard, you may want to make a vehicle donation by the end of the year and save yourself the added steps. We'll be happy to help you out. Just call us at (800) 482-7836, ext. 141.

Even if you cannot act that quickly, your donated vehicle still represents a significant benefit to RTB. Such a donation means you can avoid the hassle of trying to sell the vehicle yourself, and the ministry gains support for its ongoing efforts. Donating is easier than you may think. To find out, just call (800) 482-7836, and we'll gladly arrange to have your car, boat, truck, or RV picked up free of charge. Most vehicles will be accepted, even if they don't run.


Announcing Regional Conferences

RTB will take its conference "on the road" in 2005, beginning with these two:

  • Christ's Church of the Valley, San Dimas, CA, January 21-22
  • Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL, February 11-12

Hugh Ross kicks things off Friday night with an outreach talk, plus Q & A. On Saturday, he and the rest of the scholar team give a series of presentations on their latest research. For these first two conferences, a youth track is also in the plans. All events are open to the public-no charge for Friday night, and a nominal registration fee for Saturday.

Please visit our Web site for more details. We hope you'll join us!


RTB Web Site Goes On and On…

In preparation for his interview with Hugh, one television show's co-host decided to take a look at our Web site. Prior to this time he knew very little about Reasons To Believe, and what he had heard came mostly from those who hold a distinctly different view on science and creation. The interview went very well, and afterward this young man commented, "Hugh, your Web site is so deep that I couldn't get to the bottom of it! It's loaded with content, the kind of information I've never seen anywhere else. It's great!"

What did he find at www.reasons.org?

  • Articles on a wide array of topics: the creation-evolution controversy; the origins of the universe and of life; the fossil record; biblical creation accounts; evidences for divine design; and many others
  • Personal testimonies, both in print and in audio form, by our scholars, as well as biographical information about them
  • Information about the Christian faith and worldview
  • A store offering books and other resources, even shirts and stationery
  • Magnificent photos of the universe
  • Creation Update web cast, live shows and archives
  • Today's New Reason To Believe, postings of daily scientific discoveries
  • Back issues of our Facts for Faith magazine, and much, much more!

Beware. You may find yourself staying up late, drawn in by the fascinating faith-related facts from the frontiers of science!


RTB Calendar of Events

Reasons To Believe is coming to...

JANUARY
  • Voice of America (global) 1/7/05
  • Voice of America (global) 1/14/05
  • Sierra Madre, CA 1/16-17/05
  • Azusa, CA 1/20/05
  • San Dimas, CA 1/21/05
  • Voice of America (global) 1/28/05
FEBRUARY
  • Chicago, IL 2/11-12/05
  • Lake Forest, IL 2/13/05
  • Scottsdale, AZ 2/26-27/05
MARCH
  • Anchorage, AL 3/5/05

For information on these and other events, please check our Web site at www.reasons.org or call us at (800) 482-7836.


RTB Resources

Apologetics Hotline (626) 335-5282

Discuss your science-faith questions with one of our apologists.
Available daily from 5:00 - 7:00 P.M. (PT)

Creation Update Web Cast

Listen live through our Web site.
Tuesdays, 11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. (PT) or visit archived broadcasts any time.

Prayer Team

We acknowledge your prayers for RTB--and for the people we hope to impact with the Gospel-as a precious gift. Thank you to all who help us in this way! If you wish to join the RTB prayer team, contact us at prayerpraise@reasons.org.

Science and Evangelism Training--Reasons Institute

Reasons To Believe's in-depth training course, once available only on CD or audiotape, is now provided through Reasons Institute. The course's content is provided in the combination of two classes, "Creation and the Bible" and "Creation v. Evolution." Please call Bob Stuart at our toll free number for more information.