Reasons to Believe

Staying Connected 2006 September


 

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


No Go for UFOs!

Contributed by Arthur Morris

Influenced and awed by outer space since I was a child, I often watched science-fiction thrillers wondering "if only." If only we could travel through space and meet people or creatures like no human being has ever seen. Night after night I stared into the heavens for a sign or a possible visitor from someplace far away.

My wife Nancy and I met in 1977. As a Christian couple searching for activities of mutual interest we came upon an exciting and potentially life-changing venture -- UFOs! We became seriously involved as official UFO investigators for a renowned national UFO organization. An article I wrote about our investigations appeared in OMNI magazine. Nancy and I tromped through fields of Indiana crop circles, attended meetings held by retired U.S. military personnel, talked with worried families about flying objects invading their farms, and chased down medical personnel who supposedly kept alien bodies hidden in military hospitals. We saw firsthand some convincing evidence and heard some astounding UFO stories.

A few years ago I discovered Reasons To Believe. Drs. Ross and Rana spoke at a conference I attended, and then I read Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men. What I learned blew me out of the sky! This material and other RTB books provided me with a real spiritual awakening. I came to know and understand that we humans are IT in this vast universe and that each and every one of us has been purposely selected, like it or not!

I'd always thought it would be a huge letdown to realize we're "it" in the cosmos. But now I understand how unique everyone and everything is-from the tiniest molecular structure to the largest galaxy cluster. A delicate balance in an incomprehensible, unfathomable masterpiece of deliberate, intelligent design! Thank you Lord for this unrepayable gift!

All the years of believing in the possibility of intelligent life, hoping to communicate with other worlds, looking to the skies for clues, and listening to UFO testimonies. All the UFO books, movies, and articles. These had fueled my desire to find one piece of evidence-an alien's sandwich, a rusty UFO muffler, or at least a remnant of some creature's $3 bill from Zeta Reticuli- in hopes of proving real contact with a pen pal from the other side of the universe!

I now realize I spent 49 of my 54 years looking to the heavens for the wrong reasons. Though I still enjoy a good sci-fi film, one that is carefully crafted with creativity and imagination, my life is different. I can sleep at night untroubled by thoughts that I might be abducted for experimental use.

Though my years of searching for UFO's and aliens proved fruitless, I know that in one very significant way we humans are not alone. There is intelligent life "out there." Earth has had a physical visitation. He came to us 2000 years ago and told us exactly what we need to hear and understand. He brought miraculous abilities and spiritual wisdom beyond comprehension. When He was finished delivering His message of salvation and love, we humans rejected, tortured, and killed Him. Then He forgave us and ascended to heaven. And after all that, He wants to return? You're kidding! I would have flipped off Earth's light switch forever! But Jesus purposely left that light on to show us all that there are endless "reasons to believe!"


Creation as Science -- Coming This Month!

Hugh Ross leaps into the creation/evolution/intelligent-design controversy with a unique approach-one that brings real hope for progress in pursuit of the truth. Enjoy a sneak peak into the contents of this groundbreaking book scheduled for release mid-September.

PART I: THE PERENNIAL CONFLICT

  1. The Creation/Evolution Battlefield
  2. Battle Plans: Who's Saying What?
  3. Applying the Scientific Method

PART II: BUILDING THE RTB CREATION MODEL

  1. The Biblical Framework of RTB's Creation Model
  2. The Cosmos Tests the RTB Creation Model
  3. Planetary Science and Life's Origin Test the RTB Creation Model
  4. Life's History on Earth Tests RTB's Creation Model
  5. The Origin and History of Humanity Test the RTB Creation Model
  6. The Why Challenge
  7. The Power of Proof
  8. Testing Creation/Evolution Models with Predictions
  9. Speeding the Truth Quest

Appendices

  • Creation/Evolution Verbal Warfare
  • Does the Constitution Bar Creation Teaching?
  • Biblical Origins of the Scientific Method
  • Functional Roles of "Junk" DNA
  • The Purpose and Extent of Noah's Flood
  • Predictions Arising from Four Creation/Evolution Models

Order yours today from RTB and save 36% off the retail price. That's the LOWEST price anywhere -- just US $13.95 (+ s/h). Deeper discounts available on quantity purchases.

To order call (800) 482-7836 or visit www.reasons.org/shop.


Happy 20th Anniversary, RTB!

As you speed along the runway, your senses tell you when the airplane's wheels are about to leave the ground. The momentum of the past five years seems to have carried us to such a point-at least that's the feeling described by RTB staff and supporters alike.

The pace of publication has accelerated dramatically. With a larger team of scholars and editors working on books, we released five new titles and completed two additional manuscripts in that period. Connections hit its quarterly stride, and Staying Connected emerged to fill the communication gap in the months between. "Today's New Reason To Believe" became a daily feature on our Web site (also available via e-mail).

Apologetics training escalated with the advent of Reasons Institute, and now Reasons Academy, too. Given this boost from our online courses, the number of RTB chapters and volunteer apologists across the U.S. and around the world has more than doubled.

Instead of presenting one conference every two years here in Southern California, we began presenting multiple conferences per year in different regions of the country, targeting those areas where chapter members are available to help with both coordination and follow-up. Thus the impact of these conferences has begun to multiply. Media opportunities have also increased, and Journey Toward Creation became a multilingual outreach tool accessible to a huge international audience.

By God's grace, RTB is poised to take off toward new heights of effectiveness in helping people, particularly "influencers" and leaders, move past their own faith barriers and maximize their fruitfulness in outreach. Stay tuned (next issue) for a glimpse at our dreams and plans for the years ahead.


A Neanderthal Birthday

by Fazale (Fuz) R. Rana, Ph.D.

Everybody loves a birthday. For little kids, it's a chance to get showered with presents; for us older folks, it means we made it through one more year.

In August the scientific community celebrated an unusual birthday, of sorts. It's been 150 years since the first Neanderthal fossil was discovered. And to commemorate the occasion, a joint team of scientists from Germany and the U.S. announced plans to complete a draft of the Neanderthal genome (an organism's entire genetic makeup) within the next two years.

This research program provides an unimaginable opportunity to test various theories about humanity's origin. Since that first fossil's discovery, Neanderthal's identity and place in humanity's origin have fascinated scientist and layperson alike. Traditional evolutionary models assert that Neanderthals played some role in human evolution. The Reasons To Believe model, on the other hand, maintains that there is no evolutionary connection between Neanderthals and modern humans. If the RTB theory is correct, Neanderthals should prove genetically distinct from modern humans. In Who Was Adam? I discuss work done on mitochondrial DNA sequences isolated from Neanderthals. These studies indicate that the creation model's predictions about Neanderthals are likely correct. Yet these sequences constitute a small, specialized fraction of Neanderthal DNA.

With the Neanderthal genome in hand, we will be able to definitively test the predictions of our creation model. I expect it will show, once and for all, that these hominids did not evolve into modern humans. What a wonderful birthday present!


Regional Conferences

Mark your calendar for these upcoming Reasons To Believe conferences:

  • October 13-14, 2006: Rochester, NY
  • January 26-27, 2007: Ft. Myers, FL
  • February 23-24, 2007: Houston, TX

Each conference begins on a Friday evening with Hugh Ross briefly sharing his personal story and highlighting the latest discoveries that point to the God of the Bible. Saturday sessions feature Hugh and other members of our scholar team, each describing how recent findings in their field strengthen the case for Christ as Creator. Visit our Web site for registration and details.


Reasons Academy -- RTB's Online High School Electives

Enroll Now for Fall 2006!

If you have 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-graders interested in exploring the links between science and the Bible, we offer new courses just for them. For enrollment and other details, go to www.reasonsinstitute.com or contact Bob Stuart at (800) 482-7836, x116.


No More Guessing…

Do friends and family have a hard time knowing what to get you for your birthday or Christmas? Now you can let them know exactly what you want by using the new "wish list" function in our Reasons To Believe Web store! Simply log on to your Web store account, or create one if you haven't yet (it's easy to do). Then browse through our products and click on the "Add to Wish List" button beside each product you want. You can e-mail the list to your friends and help them to get the perfect gift for you!


New Chapters

It is our pleasure to welcome two new chapters to the RTB family-Rochester, NY, and Michiana (also known as South Bend), IN. If you live near either one and would like to get involved, we encourage you to e-mail them at RochesterNY@reasons.org and Southbend@reasons.org respectively.


RTB at BIOLA University

This past year RTB scholars Fuz Rana and Kenneth Samples were invited to teach graduate courses at Biola University. Kenneth taught two courses, World Religions and Science and The History of Apologetics, and Fuz taught An Advanced Seminar on Human Origins. Hugh also participated as a guest lecturer in Dr. John Bloom's apologetics seminar. We're glad to report that this partnership with Biola in preparing students to impact their world for Christ will continue in the school year ahead.


Events

Reasons To Believe: Events


RTB Resources

Apologetics Hotline (626) 335-5282

Discuss your science-faith questions with a trained apologist. Available daily from 5 - 7 P.M. (PT).

RTB Chapters

To find an RTB chapter in your area or to receive information about starting one, contact Ken Hultgren at Chapters@reasons.org.

Creation Update Web Cast

Listen live through our Web site each Tuesday, 11 A.M. - 1 P.M. (PT). "Special Edition" Web interviews to be announced.

Prayer Team

Prayer on behalf of Reasons To Believe is a precious gift. A hearty thank you to all who pray for us! If you'd like to join the RTB prayer team, please contact us at PrayerPraise@reasons.org.

Science and Evangelism Training

Anyone looking for in-depth study of science-faith issues will want to register for our new online classes. Reasons Institute courses may be taken for college credit or the sheer joy of learning. For more information, please go to www.reasonsinstitute.com or call Bob Stuart at (800) 482-7836, ext. 116.