Staying Connected 2007 September
- Unforgettable Night at the Bookstore
- Age Has Its Rewards
- Are You Ready For College?
- Q-&-A: Why People Reject the Bible
- For Adults Who Love to Learn
- A Remnant In the Desert
- In The Mailbox
- RTB Calendar of Events
- RTB Resources
On my way into Borders bookstore one evening, I paused at the sidewalk display. An enormous volume sporting a huge photo of the Sombrero Galaxy caught my eye, and I began to leaf through it. A woman nearby was trying to coax her seven-year-old son away from the war-game books. I overheard her say something like, "Why not look at the star book like that man over there." I immediately turned to spectacular photos of black holes, supernovae, and spiral galaxies and invited both mother and son to take a look. "That's beautiful!" she exclaimed. The son took a closer look.
I mentioned that my sons enjoy NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (also available on RTB's Web site). "Sometimes we even get to view objects like these—double stars, globular clusters, and Saturn's rings—through telescopes up at nearby Sky Meadows, with the help of professional astronomers," I said. This comment really sparked the mom's interest, and she wanted details so she could take her kids.
By now, her second son appeared and began looking through the book with us. As we turned to pages illustrating the cosmic background radiation and the filamentous structure of the universe based on dark matter measurements and such, I commented, "We now know this did not occur by chance. The evidence shows that the universe was created." They considered what I said. "By our Creator," I added.
The mom lamented, "It's a shame they don't teach astronomy like this in school." So I directed her and her two sons to www.reasons.org, a Web site "we visit regularly." She made note and thanked me, then headed to the parking lot. A few minutes later as I turned toward the door, star book in hand, she drove past in her van, rolled down her window, and thanked me again. She repeated the Web address and Sky Meadows information just to make sure. "See you there," I said, "and don't forget to check out that Web site to learn more about the Creator."
Inside the store, as I waited for the clerk to ring up my purchase, the customer behind me looked over my shoulder. "What a nice book!" she said.
"It shows plenty of evidence that the universe must have been designed," I said, opening to some photos depicting the fine-scale and large-scale structure of the universe.
Her teenaged daughter, standing nearby, spoke up. "You mean they think it was made by somebody outside the universe?"
"Yep!" I replied.
"Like giant people or something?" she asked.
"Like God, our Creator," I said.
Then the clerk jumped in. He paused mid-transaction to ask if I had heard of a book by the guy who writes the Dilbert cartoons. "He says that whoever designed the universe has to be all-powerful and all-knowing, and that he didn't have to make it but it looks like he did." After a split-second pause he went on, "One question really bothers me—what will it matter when I cease to exist?"
Within earshot of everyone, I flatly stated that we are souls who never cease to exist. That this Creator, God, made us to last forever, and so it does matter a whole lot. As he handed me my receipt and change, I directed him (and everyone listening) to the same Web site, reasons.org, for more information. The mother and daughter wanted to talk some more. So I walked them to the door, again directing them to RTB's Web site for answers to their questions.
Finally I joined my discussion group in the coffee shop—my reason for coming to Borders in the first place. The photos of the heavens made a great conversation piece there too. It was like reading Psalms, only in pictures. By the time I went home, I had a whole new appreciation for how "the heavens declare the glory of God." And they surely opened up some great opportunities for me, as well.
Contributed by Dr. Nick Tavani, Virginia
In case you haven't heard, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 offers a special tax benefit to those aged 70 1/2 and older. It allows you to withdraw up to $100,000 from your traditional IRA or Roth IRA without paying tax on it—as long as you gift that money directly to an eligible non-profit, such as Reasons To Believe. And this Act is in effect till the end of 2007.
To take advantage of this opportunity, simply contact your IRA custodian and let him/her know the amount you wish to donate. That person will issue a check payable to the ministry of your choice and send it on your behalf. If you choose to make such a gift to Reasons To Believe, please ask the custodian to include a note indicating the gift is from you.
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♦ Registration for Reasons Academy!!!!!
Take action now to prepare for the challenges of a secular culture. (Parents, here's something you can do to help your high schoolers!)
Reasons Academy is designed specifically for 10th–12th graders. Classes on crucial apologetics issues begin October 1, 2007.
Want to know more? Go to www.reasonsacademy.com, call (800) 482-7836, or send an e-mail to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response to surveys, people offer a variety of reasons for rejecting the Bible, but one of the most common is the apparent conflict between science and Genesis (1-2). Tragically, these people don't realize there is no conflict. The supposed problem lies in popular misunderstandings of the Bible or science—or both!
For example, some Bible teachers and commentaries place the viewpoint for Genesis 1 in the heavens, looking down on earth from afar. They miss the fact that verse 2 of Genesis 1 identifies the viewpoint as under the thick, dark clouds and on the surface of the planet. This one correction goes a long way toward eliminating the seeming discrepancy between the biblical and the scientific order of events. It indicates that on the fourth creation day, the sun, moon, and stars became visible for the first time from the vantage point of an observer on Earth's surface. In the same way, other apparent conflicts can be resolved by a careful examination of the scientific facts and an accurate reading of the Bible. Since God is responsible for both, they must agree.
(For more information read The Genesis Question (book) or Genesis One: A Scientific Perspective (booklet). To order call (800) 482-7836 or visit www.reasons.org.)
Do you ever wish you could provide your friends and co-workers with better answers?
Do science and theology seem "too heady," but you want to learn more?
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Sign up for Reasons Institute (RI), our fully accredited, Internet-based learning program. RI currently offers five courses that will enhance your understanding of vital apologetics issues and provide a firm foundation for your faith.
Any of the following courses can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit—or simply for the joy of learning:
- Creation and the Bible
- Creation vs. Evolution
- Critical Thinking Skills
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- Advanced Seminar on Human Origins
Classes are forming NOW for the fall term. Visit www.reasonsinstitute.com for enrollment information.
by Fazale 'Fuz' Rana
There were no hotdogs, watermelons, or fireworks for me this year on the 4th of July. Instead, I "celebrated" Independence Day walking the streets of London. I was in England for a "holiday" and to speak at City Temple, a church in downtown London established in 1640 AD—136 years before the birth of the United States of America.
Based on what I experienced, it's clear that the British have a deep respect for Christianity. They see it as central to their heritage. Yet, few have much interest in living out the Gospel. Sadly, England is a spiritual desert. But a remnant of dedicated Christians refuses to let the flame extinguish. The believers at City Temple are passionately committed to the Lord and to evangelism.
I spoke at the church's Thursday midday service, targeting the business community. This service—inaugurated at the turn of the last century—has been well known throughout London for decades. That same evening I delivered a lecture on human origins, followed by Q-&-A.
The audience for both events was comprised mainly of Christians eager to be better equipped to deal with objections from skeptics. The one objection they encounter most frequently is the notion that "science has disproved Christianity." They were excited to hear RTB's approach and to learn that science and Scripture are in harmony. Many saw the obvious value of science apologetics for their evangelism efforts.
Throughout my day at City Temple, I heard stories about how RTB's materials had impacted the lives of Christians in London—and around the world. A physician from Nigeria recounted how Beyond the Cosmos helped him gain a bigger picture of God. A physicist became emotional as he related how Who Was Adam? changed his life and helped him make sense of the biblical account of human origins in light of his science training.
When you support Reasons To Believe, you help us reach doctors, physicists, lawyers, scientists, and many others with facts from science that refresh the soul. You also help us equip those faithful Christians who seek to make an eternal difference in a spiritually dry culture.
"I am a homeschooling mother of 6, and I also teach science for upper elementary students at our 'school for homeschoolers'…. I will be incorporating your ideas into my classes as much as possible. … My husband is an immunologist and your books and magazines made him able to once again embrace the Christian faith after being disillusioned by years of evolutionist teaching and young-earth creationist notions." Amy
"When Trish gave me this unbelievable book—I was speechless. I have prayed for guidance as I am learning more about God's love through God's creation. I have searched bookstores lately and found only one book that begins to address spirit and science. As I held Creation as Science and stared at it, I couldn't believe my eyes or contain the joy I feel still. As I write to say what a truly wonderful gift you have given, my face is wet with tears. Thank you! Introducing me to Dr. Hugh Ross has created a shift in my life I could not make on my own." Irene
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