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Saturday, March 11, 2017



10 years ago Dinesh D’souza wrote “WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT CHRISTIANITY”. In it Dinesh D’souza writes that religion is on the upswing all around the world. He reminds us that Christianity is still the fastest growing religion with Islam second and that secularism is losing the battle. To us in the West that doesn’t seem right or true but Dinesh proves it out with statistics. Christianity is losing ground in the US and Europe but gaining in all the rest of the world. China and India have the fastest growing Christian populations for example.

It's a good read.

Why is this so? How can un-provable beliefs in the likes of miracles and impossible events be winning over secularism and plain old facts?  Being a "Just the Facts Mam" guy I was curious.

Dinesh writes {The Reverend Randy Alcorn, founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries in Oregon, sometimes presents his audiences with two creation stories and asks them whether it matters which one is true. In the secular account, "You are the descendant of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm washed up on an empty beach three and a half billion years ago. You are the blind and arbitrary product of time, chance, and natural forces. You are a mere grab-bag of atomic particles, a conglomeration of genetic substance. You exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an empty corner of a meaningless universe. You are a purely biological entity, different only in degree but not in kind from a microbe, virus, or amoeba. You have no essence beyond your body, and at death you will cease to exist entirely. In short, you came from nothing and are going nowhere?' In the Christian view, by contrast, "You are the special creation of a good and all powerful God. You are created in His image, with capacities to think, feel, and worship that set you above all other life forms. You differ from the animals not simply in degree but in kind. Not only is your kind unique, but you are unique among your kind. Your Creator loves you so much and so intensely desires your companionship and affection that He has a perfect plan for your life. In addition, God gave the life of His only son that you might spend eternity with Him. If you are willing to accept the gift of salvation, you can become a child of God:' Now imagine two groups of people—let's call them the secular tribe and the religious tribe—who subscribe to these two worldviews. Which of the two tribes is more likely to survive, prosper, and multiply? The religious tribe is made up of people who have an animating sense of purpose. The secular tribe is made up of people who are not sure why they exist at all. The religious tribe is composed of individuals who view their every thought and action as consequential. The secular tribe is made up of matter that cannot explain why it is able to think at all.}

The religious tribe’s “animating sense of purpose” is the key I feel to religion winning out over secularism. Science’s ignoble facts and reasoning provide us with all sorts and kinds of life improving luxuries and comforts. Nothing is wrong with that. But what is the why?

Religion is the why.  It provides the rhyme to the reason. Religion makes sense of reasoning - gives it a rhyme. Facts are one thing. Reasoning is another but the rhyme which makes sense of the reasoning is hope in something beyond oneself – religion – or the “animating sense of purpose”. As I would argue at AA meetings, our ability to reason and free will are the God given tools we have but it is how we use them that will determine how we go through life.

Arthur Brooke of American Enterprise Institute in defining the basis of what makes capitalism work came up with the term “earned success”. 

He stated in his book, “The Battle”, “Knowing as we do that earning success is the key to happiness,...” we should as a society enable it. Please note that he talks of earning success. Not success given to you or money for that matter. 

It is my idea that this act of earning is what triggers the mechanism in the brain which makes us feel happiness and it is that definition of “Happiness” that the founders thought of, as in the “Pursuit of Happiness”.

Brooks went on to say this. “To truly flourish, we need to know that the ways in which we occupy our waking hours are not based on the mere pursuit of pleasure or money or any other superficial goal. We need to know that our endeavors have a deeper purpose.”

So now I’ve talked about the human desires for an “animating sense of purpose” and lastly to a “deeper purpose”; why are these important to us?

I read an article recently about how religious or spiritual thoughts cause the brain to release endorphins stimulating the brain into a sense of well-being and pleasure. The article compared this religious endorphin release to thoughts about sex, drugs, and thoughts of peace and love etc. all of which release these endorphins.

The article equated the good religious expressions with the bad – with a Lutheran woman reading the bible in Minnesota to an ISIS member contemplating violence. This endorphin secretion is again the tool, how we use it – for hope or self-destruction – is our own choice. The point is that the very thing – this thought of hope – while on the face of it may not be sensible or factual is the very thing that allows people to overcome insurmountable obstacles and perhaps the key to man progressing though history. Ironically the key to what makes Darwinism possible is religious fervor.

Regards, Bob Carr
Live Dangerously, Tell the Truth

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