Monday, April 24, 2017

Proof

The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

-- Acts 1:1-3

“I’ll believe, in God, when I see some proof that there actually is one.” Have you ever heard someone say that, or something similar? Much like Thomas, the doubting disciple, many people want to see proof. Unlike Thomas, however, we don’t usually get any.  In John 20:29 we are given comfort about our lack of proof, “Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”” We are blessed who believe with little to no proof. But that isn’t something that will satisfy an unbeliever’s demand for proof. So, how do we answer them? I’m not sure we can, at least not without the Lord’s guidance, but let’s take a look.

I once was engaged in a debate on a Star Trek fan sight about religion in Star Trek which quickly devolved into a handful of us trying to “prove” that God and Jesus existed. I gave up when someone posted that he would die, turn to dust and would still be dust when the “real Zefram Cochrane makes First Contact.” What I learned from that conversation has steered me toward a different type of witnessing. But first, here’s my biggest take away from my Star Trek experience.

Never engage in an argument about historical evidence. In this case, the definition of argument would be “a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.” However, what argument usually becomes is contradiction, which is “just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.” It is never fruitful. You can bring up Josephus but his references to Jesus will be dismissed as interpolations by Christian scribes at a later date. You might mention Simon Greenleaf’s conclusion that the evidence for the existence of Christ would stand up in court and have it dismissed because lawyers can’t be trusted. You cannot win. It doesn’t matter if you bring up Pliny the Younger, Lucian or Tacitus they will be dismissed. I know. I’ve tried. People may say they want proof but they don’t. It reminds me of the Babel Fish from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The Babel fish is small, yellow, leechlike, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centers of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.

Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the NON-existence of God.

The argument goes like this:

`I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'

`But,' says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'

`Oh dear,' says God, `I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.

`Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

-- The Hitchhiker's Guide of the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

You can’t argue someone to Christ. So, what do you do? The older I get the more I believe that the only way to witness to the world is to love people. Love and live. Love all and live for Christ. Be a reflection of Him so that others may see Him and believe. It sounds easy, but you’ll need the Lord’s guidance to do it.

Each person is different and therefore they each experience love differently; you’ll need to be constantly in prayer so that you may love each person effectively. That being said, the Golden Rule is a good starting point. “Treat others in the way you would like to be treated.” I believe that this is truly the best way to witness. Forget about finding or providing proof and just be the proof.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

WCTL Blog Posts

Somehow along the way I forgot to post links for my Blog Posts on WCTL.org and it’s a real shame. I guess I’ll have to make sure I do a better job at it from now on. Not to mention, I’ll need to catch up too.

So here are the links for every post since April:

Blog 14 – Render Unto Washington

Blog 15 – God is Green

Blog 16 – With A Promise

Blog 17 – A Better Role Model

Blog 18 – God Hates Divorce

Blog 19 – What Do You Think?

Blog 20 – When A Plan Comes Together

Blog 21 – Real Men Do Cry

Blog 22 – Prayer: “Hailing Frequencies Open”

That’s all of them for now. Stay tuned for more, hopefully, each month.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Free Book in Exchange for Honest Review

Light CoverI am giving away free copies of my eBook Light in the Dark in the hope of generating honest reviews. You may enter for a chance to win one of fifteen copies at LibraryThing or you can use coupon code UA92C at Smashwords. Both the contest and the coupon end August 31, 2016.

You are welcome to review the book on your personal blog or at your favorite eBook seller or social networking site. Just remember to be honest; I am not looking to have my ego inflated.

Note: This is a Christian title, if you are someone who is offended by that you are probably not going to be able to write an honest review. However, you are more than welcome to try.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Dead and Damaged Blog Tour: Day Two

dead&damagedblogtour

Dead and Damaged, the sequel to The Endangered, will be published on July 14th and the publishers are having a blog tour all this week to spread the word. The book, Dead and Damaged, picks up with, main character, Lori attempting to track down the source of stealth technology rogue vampires are using to hunt humans. Her pursuit leads her into the arms of a government agency with similar objectives. A temporary alliance is formed in an effort to stop the corporation responsible for putting the technology in malignant hands. Their mission goes awry, however, and leaves Lori with more enemies than friends.

Her situation worsens when, vampire leader, Marcus learns that the corporation has also been working with vampires to develop daylight suits and synthetic blood. He convinces his clan that this organization and its infinite resources will be a valuable asset in the evolution of their kind. They begin questioning Lori’s motives and Marcus takes the opportunity to capitalize on their distrust. Consequently, Lori soon finds herself on the run from her former clan and turns to Vega for help exposing the truth behind Marcus and his new deceitful allies.

We, of course, will be reviewing the book as soon as we can so stay tuned. If you want to check out our review of the first book it can be found here. You can also fin our interview with the author, S L Eaves, here. The publishers are giving away copies of the book; you can enter to win under Dead and Damaged Giveaway to the right.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Coming Soon!!

CoverPharos Publishing is happy to announce that we will be publishing Richard L. Foland Jr.’s new e-book Light in the Dark on June 30th. You can now pre-order it practically everywhere.

The book is an eclectic collection of Blogs, Articles and Talk Transcripts on Christian themes. Topics range from keeping your faith in the middle of a divorce to honoring your parents, from witnessing like Jesus to giving your time to the Church and from taxes to the environment. Ever suffer from Naked Fear or wonder what to do about Teens and Church? Have you wondered why, if God has a plan for your life, it seems that terrible things happen? Within these pages you may find your answers or at least a signpost that will point you in the right direction.

Richard L. Foland Jr. is an Author, Lay Speaker and former Youth Leader. He has lived a mostly nomadic life in western Pennsylvania, southeastern Ohio and (briefly) western New York. Currently, he resides somewhere in the chimney of Pennsylvania with his wife and a constantly shifting array of children and stepchildren. He hates divorce, having been through one, and loathes large gatherings. The latter probably explains why he would prefer to sit alone at a keyboard rather than go to a party.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Review: Wizard Of Ends: Dark Creature

Just over a year ago I reviewed book one in the Wizard of Ends series
and I had planned to review book two shortly after. Of course that means that I'm finally getting around to doing it about a year late. This is in keeping with precedent for the series. Check out the previous review to see what I mean.
Dark Creature picks up from the cliffhanger at the end of Wizard of Ends. The Queen of Ends has been cursed into a creature of darkness. Only Rune Arcana might be able to remove the curse. Lashlor believes he can find Rune in the Mountains of Eclador. The only trouble is – Rune now despises him, and, in all of recorded history, no one has ever returned from these mountains. Fearing the Wizard of Ends will not be able to bring help, the king goes against Lashlor’s advice by enlisting the aid of other magic users.
This book is more of a traditional quest than the previous entry but that's not a bad thing. The plotting is excellent and the characters dance across the pages. Last year I said that the two books read as one and I still stand by that. They could easily be edited together with no sign that they were originally separate novellas. I love this book except for, once again, the cliffhanger ending. My problem last time was that I felt that the story wasn't over but this time it felt like the ending was tacked on after the credits, so to speak. The author could have just left it out and I would still be looking forward to book three.
The bottom line here is, if you've read the first book this one is a must. If you haven't, well in that case, you'd better grab them both and just consume them consecutively.

Vanessa Finaughty Bio:
Vanessa Finaughty is an author of many genres who now focuses on fantasy and science fiction. She’s published 15 books, of which 6 are fantasy. Vanessa grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and still lives there with her husband of fifteen years, her baby daughter and plenty of furry, four-legged ‘children’. Vanessa has always been passionate about books, and knew from a young age that she wanted to write them one day. She loves animals, coffee and the smell of wet grass, and hates liars, sweltering weather and long queues. Her interests include reading, photography, the supernatural, mythology, aliens and outer space, ancient history, life’s mysteries and martial arts, of which she has five years’ experience.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Even More WCTL Blogs

Throughout March and the first half of April 6 more of my Blogs have been published on WCTL.org and they can be read at the links below:
Blog 8 – Teens and Church
Blog 9 – A Talent for Giving
Blog 10 – Naked Fear
Blog 11 – No Greener Grass
Blog 12 – God’s Not Dead
Blog 13 – Witness the Jesus Way
Roughly once a month I will post links for the blog posts that were published over the course of the previous month or so. If you’d rather catch them as they go live, check out WCTL.org/blog each weekend. My articles generally go live on Friday four times a month.