Reasons to Believe

Staying Connected 2007 March

Now I Enjoy Studying

Growing up in Japan as a missionary kid, I experienced what may be described as a “zigzag” educational path. I was home-schooled, along with my three older sisters, through my elementary years. I attended a Japanese junior high for three years, and since then I have mostly learned on my own. But to be honest, through most of my school years, studying seemed a meaningless drudgery. I could not have imagined the radical transformation that awaited me.

In 1996, my father attended a lecture given by Dr. Hugh Ross at a Christian school here in Japan. Motivated by the discovery of Reasons To Believe (RTB), my father began to discuss RTB’s worldview extensively with my sisters and me. Gradually I began to realize the uniqueness of the RTB perspective.

As I became more familiar with RTB via its resources, my respect grew–and so did my interest. RTB’s commitment to testable truth intrigued me most of all. After taking the online high school course, “Good Science, Good Faith,” I became even more eager to integrate my faith with the seemingly countless facts discovered in various fields of research. I was fascinated to see how the words of Scripture perfectly reflect the reality that continues to be revealed in all science disciplines.

This newfound thirst for knowledge and integration of all Truth along with the aspiration to be a part of this cutting-edge ministry stimulated my decision to enter the RTB apologists training program. Taking that course undoubtedly required study, an activity I had been less than enthusiastic about in the past. Yet, the course content so inspired me that for the first time, I began to enjoy studying! I cannot say the classes were easy, but I am certain that taking them was worth the time and perseverance required. In fact, the process ranks as one of the best learning experiences of my life.

Now, as RTB’s youngest graduate (to date) from the program, I have begun to assist my father in constructing a Japanese-adapted framework for integrating science and the Bible, an approach we think will be helpful in reaching many Japanese people for Christ. It is also my hope to use my RTB training, sometime in the future, to teach Japanese children the importance of integration in discerning what’s true. Their avidity to acquire English-language proficiency is an open door through which I can share ideas foundational to the RTB biblical creation model and convey the importance of a commitment to Truth. If and when these children become part of the Kingdom of God, they will be well-prepared to advance the Kingdom. This is my desire.

Contributed by Kokoro-el Barger, age 18

2007 TAX BENEFIT FOR THOSE 70 ½ AND UP

Are you 70 ½ or older? Do you want to make a donation to Reasons To Believe from your IRA but are concerned about being taxed? If so, thanks to the Pension Protection Act of 2006 you can make a tax-free gift directly from your traditional IRA or Roth IRA to a church or charity. This provision extends to the end of 2007. Simply contact your IRA custodian and let him/her know the amount you wish to donate to Reasons To Believe–up to $100,000 is permitted. They can then issue a check payable to RTB. Your donation will help those who are still searching to find reasons to believe in Jesus Christ. Thank you for making an eternal difference in their lives!

REASONS INSTITUTE

It’s not too late to enroll for the Spring 2007 term!

Classes begin Monday, April 9. College credit is available.

We also have courses for homeschoolers!

For more information or to enroll, visit us online at www.reasonsinstitute.com.

In the Mailbox

“God bless you, Dr. Ross, and everyone else at RTB…. Your ministry was the chief tool God used to reach me, and for that I will always be grateful.” Erik / Michigan

“I have to admit I was surprised by it [Creation as Science]. In examining creationism and evolution, you have managed to touch on many difficult issues in a most sensible and rational manner. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read this very thought-provoking book.” Ronald / Pennsylvania

“Just a note to say that the DVD Journey to Creation is excellent.” Fr. Adrian / via e-mail

GLOBAL WARMING

By Hugh Ross/Jeff Zweerink

Global warming is real. But its causes–therefore its solutions–are more complex than most people seem to realize. We tend to think Earth’s climate will always be optimal for human civilization if we just take good care of it. But nothing could be farther from the truth. When we put emotion and politics aside and take a rational look at our planet’s history, we see a different picture.

Ice and sediment cores show that over the past four million years, the global climate has oscillated many times. The changes are caused by variations in Earth’s orbit. Each cycle lasts about 100,000 years with an ice age typically taking up 90,000 of those years, and a global warming effect, the other 10,000 years.

Many natural phenomena significantly affect the global climate. Atmospheric conditions are impacted by tectonic activity, erosion, and changes in Earth’s biomass, for example. While politicians and activists focus on the effects of fossil fuel burning, no one seems to mention that the breeding and domestication of cows and cultivation of rice, for example, actually do more harm than does the driving of SUV’s.

According to the Journal of Quaternary Science, over the last 8,000 years cattle farming and rice crop cultivation alone have nearly doubled the quantity of methane in the atmosphere. At the same time, deforestation has increased the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. Both methane and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases that trap the sun’s heat. Contrary to the claims of a few high profile politicians, celebrities, and environmentalists, some of our human activities in fact create a cooling effect. The release of aerosols and particulates actually blocks out sunlight and generates light-reflecting cloud layers, especially over densely populated and highly industrialized regions where pollution is loosely, if at all, regulated.

The bottom line here is that there are dozens of physical, chemical, and biological processes that contribute to both heating and cooling the planet. When any one of these factors gets out of balance with the others, Earth is at risk of losing its optimal climate for human civilization. This delicate balancing act of multiple and diverse natural processes and human activities gives us reason to be cautious. But to suggest that we can stop global warming simply by cutting back on fossil fuel combustion and altering our industrial processes is naive at best. If we ignore one or more of certain mechanisms that contribute to either global warming or cooling, our attempted solutions could actually make matters worse.

Scientifically speaking this intricate balance, designed specifically for humanity’s benefit, is no accident. The amazing fine tuning observed in all these complex processes gives us a clear picture of a Creator who exquisitely prepared a place for humans to live in and to launch–at least for awhile–a global high-tech civilization.

THE WAIT IS OVER!

For years, many of you have requested a popular-level science apologetics study guide. Your wait is over! Majesty of the Maker: Evidence for Design is now available. This study guide is the first in our Majesty of the Maker series. It’s ideal for use in your Bible study, Sunday school class, or small group. This five-lesson booklet features Scripture discussion questions, a short DVD presentation by an RTB scholar, and additional questions and readings to introduce participants to key science-and-faith issues.

If you want this study for your individual use, you’ll need the Leader’s Edition, which comes with the required DVD. This edition sells for US$13 (+s/t/h). For group study, you’ll want one Leader’s Edition and enough Participant’s Editions (without the DVD) for all the members of your group. Participant editions are available for US$7 each (+s/t/h) or in packs of five for the discounted price of $30/pack (+s/t/h).

Don’t wait any longer. Order today at www.reasons.org or call (800) 482-7836.

EVENTS

February
Local & Regional / Houston, TX 2/22-25
Local / College Station, TX 2/27
March
Local / Dallas, TX 3/16-17
Local / Anaheim, CA 3/23
Local / Hartford, CT 3/23-25
May
Local / Colorado Springs, CO 5/2-4
Local / Escondido, CA 5/16
Local / JAPAN 5/18-28
Local / Asheville, NC 5/30-6/2

Apologetics Hotline

Discuss your science-faith questions with a trained apologist at (626) 335-5282. 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 Webcast (and Podcast)

Listen live through our Web site each Tuesday from 11 A.M. - 1 P.M. (PT), or visit the archives.

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 online classes. Reasons Institute offers college (and graduate) credit, or study for the sheer joy of learning. For more information, please go to www.reasonsinstitute.com or call Bob Stuart at (800) 482-7836, ext. 116.