Staying Connected 2007 June
The Lord Jesus Christ was all I knew about life from the time I was born until I entered grade school. Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for the secular bombardment that awaited me, and I had trouble handling it. While my sixth grade teacher preached the theory of evolution as if it were the gospel truth, I plugged my ears. Although he disciplined me for my "act of defiance," the people at my church applauded me when they heard about it. I was proud of myself back then. That was 1963.
As I grew older, my interest in the Moon and in space missions intensified. I watched the launch of every Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo flight. Hollywood's space flicks like 2001: A Space Odyssey and television's Lost In Space and Star Trek series fueled my passion. During this period of exploration in my life, my agnostic and atheist friends managed to convince me that the big bang was a random event and that Darwin was right—it all happened naturally, without God. The Universe WAS "God," they said, and I began to chew on the words of the Beatles' John Lennon: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain."
And yet I couldn't quite swallow those words. For a while I played the game, masquerading as an atheist sold out to naturalism, but this lifestyle didn't ring true deep inside me. I always sensed I was under God's watchful eye and never could digest these "new thoughts."
After far too many years of stumbling along in the wrong direction, I met a pastor named Bill. He helped me understand that not all Christians accept the 24-hour-day interpretation of the creation account in Genesis. These people take the Bible literally and authoritatively, and they see no conflict with science. Bill introduced me to Reasons To Believe.
I loved astronomy, and once I understood what the big bang was about I felt hugely relieved. I had always suspected God was behind it although I hadn't read anything that actually said so. For some time I had been coming up with my own independent thoughts that the Bible was probably given to man in its simplest form, to reach the simplest of humankind. Highly educated people found ways to factor God out of the picture—simply because they couldn't bring themselves to attribute creation to an Entity other than "Nature" or "Chance."
Creation happened. How did it happen? Why did it happen? These are questions I can answer today, thanks to your ministry. So far I've read The Creator and the Cosmos and Beyond the Cosmos. When I read Beyond the Cosmos it was so interesting and convincing I just looked up to the heavens and cried out, "This makes so much sense! Thank you, God!"
God bless you all in your great work. There are intelligent people out there who have left their first love, Jesus Christ. They need to be nudged back into orbit around the King. Reasons To Believe is a vehicle that can help accomplish that goal—I am sure of it!
Steve - California
Reasons Institute (RI) is a fully accredited, Internet-based learning program. RI currently offers five courses:
- Creation and the Bible
- Creation vs. Evolution
- Critical Thinking Skills
- World Religions and Science
- Advanced Seminar on Human Origins
These courses can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit or simply for the love of learning.
Classes are forming NOW for the summer term. Visit www.reasonsinstitute.com for enrollment information.
Upper division high school courses are also available. Click on the "Looking for homeschool courses?" link on the Reasons Institute Web page.
"As our current small group study was coming to an end, my husband proffered the idea that we take on this new study from Reasons To Believe entitled Majesty of the Maker. To my surprise, the idea met with much enthusiasm. As the time grew nearer to our first lesson, I grew anxious. I am not a scientist, and for the first time in a long time I felt insecure about approaching a Bible study—especially one that had a scientific focus. Shortly into our first lesson, one of our members thanked us for having the courage to lead the group into this study. He said this material was offering a fresh, new perspective on our all-powerful God, a view we might never have gained without it. After two hours of nonstop interaction with the group, I lifted a prayer of praise to God for guiding us to this study. Since that initial lesson, we have continued to have incredibly thought-provoking discussions each time we meet. It's been so exciting to see our group grow in awe of our Almighty Creator God!"
The Majesty of the Maker small-group study guide is a great way to introduce your friends, family, neighbors, Bible study group, Sunday school class, coworkers, and others to RTB's message and mission. It focuses on the Scriptural support for some key science concepts. Whether you have a science background or not, this study will be of benefit. The five-lesson booklet features Scripture questions, a short DVD presentation by an RTB scholar, additional discussion questions, and intriguing "Did You Know?" facts
The Leader's Edition (also useful for individual study) comes with the DVD and 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 each member 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).
To order, simply call us at 800-482-7836 or visit www.reasons.org.
RTB chapters multiply the impact of RTB by reaching out to their own communities and spheres of influence. Below is how our Phoenix chapter helped others become aware of RTB's message.
"On February 25th my church began a Bible study series from Saddleback Church called 'S.H.A.P.E.' A primary goal of the study is to help participants determine the type of ministry God has designed for each one. The course culminated with a Ministry Fair on Sunday, April 1st. This event helped people become familiar with ministries already active in the church and encouraged them to 'try out' the ones that best fit their 'S.H.A.P.E.'
The RTB-Phoenix Chapter saw this event as an opportunity for impact. At our booth we invited everyone who might be interested in hearing more about RTB to join us for "lunch and a movie" immediately following the fair. We provided pizza, wings, and drinks and showed the Journey Toward Creation DVD. I followed up with an explanation of how 'a dime's mass worth of difference' in the early moments of creation would have meant no possibility for life—ever. Those who came were amazed at the evidence they saw and heard that reveals the existence of God. Here's hoping their enthusiasm will carry them into more effective personal outreach—and into the chapter.
I also hope our experience will encourage others to do something similar at their churches."
Contributed by Tom Walker: firstname.lastname@example.org
RTB volunteers are taking the Good News around the world. Here's a recent story from Asia:
"We had a great outreach at the International University. I spoke to the biology majors and other students. This time I used Origins of Life and Who Was Adam? as well as some material from Icons of Evolution. The presentation was interesting for me because I got my first serious heckler. He kept me on my toes the entire lecture, but he ended up bringing out a number of important arguments and rebuttals so that the presentation was even more effective. After a couple more days of making friends, we saw two Russian students and one Mongolian student come to the Lord."
Name withheld for security reasons
Local June 10 - Glendora, CA
Local June 11 - San Dimas, CA
Local June 30 - Washington, D.C. Local July 6-8 - Cambridge, England
Discuss your science-faith questions with a trained apologist at (626) 335-5282. Available daily from 5 – 7 P.M. (PT)
To find an RTB chapter in your area or to receive information about starting one, contact Ken Hultgren at email@example.com.
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 any time, day or night.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Science and Evangelism Training
If you're looking for in-depth study of science-faith issues, check out our online classes. Reasons Institute offers degree credit or study for the sheer joy of learning. For more information, go to www.reasonsinstitute.com or call Bob Stuart at (800) 482-7836, ext. 116.
Web site: www.reasons.org