And the winner is…

Congratulations to Andrew Reiners of Lincoln for winning the recent giving for The Mysterious Islands.

Stay tuned for more giveaways.  I have lots of movies to give away!


GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Copy of The Mysterious Islands

I’m giving away a copy of the DVD documentary The Mysterious Islands. In my previous post, I reviewed film, so if you haven’t had a chance to read the review, please do so!

Here are ten ways you can enter into the drawing (you only have to do ONE):

1.  Re-Tweet this (or post on Facebook and tag my name if you aren’t on Twitter).
2.  Follow me on Twitter.

For the rest, leave a comment on this post telling me what you did:

3.  Subscribe to Beneath the Cross via RSS or Email.
4.  Give your husband or wife a kiss.
5.  Buy someone a meal.
6.  Sit next to someone at church without leaving five seats in between.
7.  Don’t yell at anyone in another vehicle today while you are driving.
8.  Memorize a Bible verse.
9.  Do something nice for someone.
10.  Get that “thing” done you’ve been saying you’ll get done.

On Friday, October 8, I will draw from the combined pool of those who re-Tweeted this giveaway, posted it to Facebook, followed me on Twitter, and commented here.


The Mysterious Islands Review

September was a horrific month of blogging for me. My apologies. Let’s start off October with a film review. Last night, Carly and I watched The Mysterious Islands, a documentary about a team of researchers who explore the Galapagos Islands — the “ground zero” of Darwinism — off the west coast of South America.

Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands nearly 180 years ago.  He wanted to observe the animals on the islands in order to better understand how life began and how species evolve and adapt.  It wasn’t until 1859 that Darwin would consolidate his observations into his famous Origin of the Species and change the way the Western world looked at life and nature.

In this film, Doug Philips, his son Joshua Philips, Dr. John Morris, and their team witness the majesty of the wild that Darwin saw: giant tortoises that can live to be 200 years old (and nearly 6 feet long!), white-tip sharks in the cold Atlantic waters, ferocious birds dive bomb the coast to find breakfast, and much more.

Their main goal, however, is to show that these islands are a showcase of God’s creation, not a laboratory of evolution. Philips and Morris attempt to answer this question by examining three things on the island: the volcanic rock beneath their feet, the cormorant bird with wings too small to fly, and the salt-sneezing marine iguanas.

Perhaps their most compelling argument against evolution came when the director asked Philips, “What would it mean for the world if Darwin’s theory of evolution was true?”  Philips responded by saying that human life would have no inherent value. He proceeded to talk about the connection between evolution, racism, and genocide.  Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) and Adolf Hitler are two examples Philips mentioned who held to evolutionary theory. They took it to its logical level: bringing about the survival of the fittest by their own power.

Philips and Morris have clear answers, and their arguments are convincing and faithful to God’s creative design and objective research.  The evolutionist will no doubt find their answers to be biased and tainted with Christian lenses, but Philips addresses this. The team uses good science, but perhaps most importantly, they do not litter the film with Bible lingo and Christian clichés.

As for artistic value, this documentary is solid film making.  The cinematography is masterful.  The music is stirring. The dialogue is engaging, and the story is entertaining, intellectual, and compelling. My wife and I both agreed that it was the best Christian film we have ever seen. You could say that doesn’t mean much. But this documentary would stack up against any other for its beauty, creativity, and controversial nature.

I recommend The Mysterious Islands to anyone who wants a scientific, holistic, intelligent, fresh approach to Creationism. Christian or not, I promise, you will not be disappointed.

I will be giving away a FREE copy of The Mysterious Islands.  Make sure to read my next post to find out how to enter to win.

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Disclosure: I received on more more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention in here. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Blogging My Church’s Sermons (Sermon 1)

Carly and I go to an Evangelical Free church here in Omaha called Brookside.  I’m going to try to blog the notes I take from each Sunday’s sermon.  There won’t be any real format, and this is mostly for me personally to reflect on what I heard the day before.  Hopefully, though, it will be beneficial to you as well.

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Can Faith and Science Co-Exist?
Series: Debated: Answering Hard Questions about Christianity
Pastor Steve Moltumyr

  • Genesis 1-2 has little to do with the science of how the universe was created, and more to do with who created the universe.  These chapters also have to do with Moses fighting against the theological heresy of polytheism which was so prevalent in his day.
  • Genesis 1-2 was written as poetry, not history, and the word “day” could mean 12 or 24 hour periods, or even “ages.”  There is no reason for Christians to fight over this, because the Bible is clear that God is the one who created everything, even if it’s unclear on how he did it.
  • Two reasons for why people think faith and science cannot co-exist:
  1. Christians can misunderstand certain parts of the Bible (such with Galileo and Psalm 104:5).
  2. Scientists often state theories as facts.
  • Two reasons science strengthens our faith:
  1. The origins of the universe.  This leads us to believe in a personal God (see Ps. 19:1-4; 102:25).  There is no answer for the origins of the universe except for the belief in the God of the Bible.
  2. The Anthropic Principle. This is the collective name for several ways of asserting that the observations of our physical universe must be compatible with the life observed in it.  This principle informs us that the conditions for life are exactly right on earth and no where else.  It helps us understand that it took purpose, not chance, for the “Goldilocks” principle — the name for the fact that the earth is perfectly distanced from the sun and moon to give it the right conditions for warmth, cooling, gravitational pull, etc.  Finally, it informs us of the “strong force,” which is the name for the .007 conversion rate from hydrogen to helium.  Life could not exist if it was either higher or lower.  It must have taken a personal, powerful, wise, creative God to make all of this happen so perfectly.
  • Jesus is the one who sat with the Father and spoke the universe into existence (Col. 1:15-17).

You Can’t Make Science to Mean Something it Doesn’t Mean

I’m not a scientist.  My science classes in college were geology, meteorology, and food science.  The best I did in high school was a B in honors physics at a public school.  And even that grade should be investigated.

So allow my non-scientific mind to think through something with you.

Often in debates about evolution and creation, I hear people argue for evolution (that is, the origin of the universe via big-bang) by saying, “Science proves it.  Science is not faith, it’s fact.”   They do this by talking about carbon dating, fossils, and the fact that Noah couldn’t really have had all those animals in the ark.

Well, science is “fact” if you are talking about how a tree grows, how a car moves, or how my heart works.  You can prove those things.  But science cannot prove the origin of the universe.  “Yes it can!” people tell me.

No.  It can’t.

Why?  When we refer to science, we usually mean “systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.”  We come to this knowledge of the physical world by using the scientific method, which Merriam-Webster defines as “principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.”

You cannot re-create a universe as vast, complex, organized, and beautiful as ours in a test tube in order to collect data about how it began.  It just can’t happen.

So if you hold that the origin of the universe is due to a randomized explosion of atomic particles, that’s fine by me.  Just don’t call it science.  Call it what it is: faith, belief, and religion.