Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Expelled: A movie review

This past weekend, I had a chance to see the new movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" produced by and starring Ben Stein. This movie has received a lot of negative press, unlike its documentary brothers such as "An Inconvenient Truth". Why is this? One of the main reasons is that it gets to the heart of how we all got here and it challenges the science community's party line of Darwinian evolution. As I watched this film, many of the truths I have already learned from reading and study were echoed by Stein. Other parts gave me a fresh perspective on Darwinian Evolution's implications on our society. Here are a few things that stood out to me.

The Sound of One Hand Clapping: In our country for several decades now, there has been one side of an argument that has been purported as scientific fact, namely, Darwinian Evolution. This system attempts to answer the question, where did life come from? In Darwin's book, the Origin of Species, he writes that we all evolved from a common ancestor through natural selection, with the strong surviving and the week dying off. There is no intelligence involved in the process, just blind chance. Our education system has accepted this and taught this as if it were the only viable explanation. However, as was said by one of the leaders of the Intelligent Design community, there are two possible answers to the question of how we all got here. One is the blind chance of Darwinian evolution, the other is that some Intelligent Designer was involved in the process.

In our society, half of the argument is missing from the conversation. What Ben was getting at, more than almost anything else in the movie, was that we need to be open and honest about the question in this country and not suppress any idea. Richard Dawkins would have us believe that life began on earth by Aliens planting basic genetic material here, but he is completely closed minded to even the possibility of an Intelligent Designer. So, we are to believe in Aliens, but not in God? Is that the answer from the scientific community? It seems like they are willing to entertain any theory, as long as thoughts of an Intelligent Designer, a Creator, or God are left out of it.

Implications of Evolution: As a person who is ethnically Jewish, the images and the ideas that came from the Holocaust were especially impacting for me. The science of Hitler's day had also bought wholly into the idea of Darwinian Evolution and the idea that we are all here by chance. The holocaust came about as a natural progression of that idea. If you believe that the way to better humanity is to have strong humans and dispose of the week (natural selection), then you would have no problem with euthanasia for the sick, handicapped, or elderly who weren't considered strong. Darwin himself compared humans to animals when he spoke of the foolishness of breeding a dog that had a defect. To him, it was an obvious choice to let the weak die off to make way for the strong. The Nazis believed that the Jews, the elderly, the mentally and physically handicapped, and the deformed represented all that needed to be purged from humanity in order to make the whole species stronger. This led to the slaughter of millions in the name of bettering humanity. Now, I agree with those in the film, that not everyone who believes in evolution will become a Hitler. But, you can't have Hitler or Nazi Germany without the foundation of Darwinian Evolution.

This belief cheapens the human life. It reduces it to having no more value than a strain of bacteria or a household pest. Why would a sick human be any different from a sick horse? According to Darwin, there is no difference, and both should be taken care of in the same way. This has led to the justification of the wholesale slaughter of unborn babies in America. Millions are killed each year because people believe that they are just a mass of tissue that is unwanted. There is no belief in the sanctity of life anymore. Our own politicians have forgotten the words of the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I strongly believe this as an American and as a member of the human race. It sickens me to think of all the bloodshed that has happened because we have lost sight of our Creator and what He intended for His creatures, whether they are black, white, Jew, Gentile, born, or unborn.

Final Thoughts: I would highly recommend this movie for everyone to see. It has been receiving scathing reviews from the media and the science community. It has them frightened that Ben might accomplish what he set out to do: create a forum for honest discussion about Darwinian Evolution and Intelligent Design. Use this film as a means to talk to your friends about the issues at stake. Read up on Intelligent Design so you know their actual arguments and not just what the evolutionists say about them. Together, we can topple this "Berlin Wall" of our time and open up the scientific community again to the idea of a Creator God.

Romans 1:18-20 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plan to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Enriching our Affections

I recently returned from the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY. It was quite an incredible couple of days. Of the many elements that I could write about, I'll focus on one near to my heart, and that is the worship time. Bob Kauflin did a superb job of choosing songs that had particularly good lyrics in relation to the sermon that had just been preached. I think in particular of singing with 5,500 other churchmen and women "And Can it Be". After hearing so many great truths about God breaking the chains of our slavery, it was great to reflect on that in our singing. The singing became more than a repetition of words we all knew; it became a joy-filled time of singing back the truths of scripture to God. That, I believe, is essential to having an effecting time of worship before God.

Too often we worship God with our affections and not with our minds. We sing songs with very repetitious lyrics that are about as deep as a kiddy-pool. Our affections are raised, but not based on anything substantial. On the other side, we can often get bogged down with lyrics and melodies that restrict our worship. Our minds become enriched, but the affection is lost as we try to process too much information. The ideal is to marry both of these in a balanced way. That is what I love about a lot of the old hymns and a lot of what Sovereign Grace puts out from their ministry. The songs take great truths from scripture, often quoting scripture, and join them with melodies that raise the affections in accordance with the truths being sung. As a worship leader myself, I really appreciate being led in a way where I think deeply about God and still worship him deeply in my spirit. I hope we all can regularly enjoy worship in that way.