Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

“Nor Does a Fool Understand This”

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“O Lord, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man does not know, nor does a fool understand this” (Psalm 92:5-6).

You will notice that the Psalmist refers to those who question God as being foolish and senseless. The words may seem harsh, but similar, harsher things are said by the other side.

For example, one atheist I came across on the internet wrote the following:

“The fantasies and delusions are equally foolish whether it’s the belief and obedience to a psychotic voice in the head or an imaginary deity residing in some magical place no one can see. Religious beliefs should be placed in the same class as mental sickness or any other serious psychological disorder that degrades the quality of life and the individual’s ability to deal with reality.”

The warfare between right and wrong, good and evil, sin and righteousness, has always been and always will be. Two things come to mind as we consider this truth.

One, trust in your faith. It is rational, founded in the reality of Christ Jesus as our Savior. He did live, did die on the cross, and His resurrection was witnessed by many (cf. 1 Corinthians 15).

Two, never think for a second that the world (or the worldly) is your friend. The world is under the sway of the wicked one, who seeks to devour the child of God (cf. 1 Peter 5:8). This is why Paul wrote, “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

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In the News: Consciousness & God

ImageA common question in science and common theme of science fiction is the potential of robots to become sufficiently complex to become conscious. That is, have self-awareness. In a sense, it would mean that they are alive, would have self-will, and (as happens often in Sci-Fi novels and shows) perhaps would rise up in revolt against mankind (cf. Terminator, among others). Like I said, science fiction.

There is a theory out there about how the brain works, called Quantum Brain Dynamics (it’s a real theory). It states that our brains not only give us the ability to hear, see, taste, feel, etc., — our brains also use quantum mechanics to create consciousness in us.

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Fellowship and the “Days” of Genesis

creationIt is interesting, and rather disheartening to note that brethren can quickly become complacent with regard to false doctrine. Typically, when a false doctrine is introduced, it is dealt with by those who uphold the truth, sides are taken, and the issue fades. Unfortunately, those who hold to the error are seldom fully expelled from fellowship with God’s people. This was the case with Israel, which failed as a nation to eradicate idolatry. As such, the worship of foreign gods was a constant sin of the nation throughout its history. It seems that we have not learned from history. In this generation, God’s people continue to fellowship those who bring error into the camp. As Paul wrote, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

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In the News: Faith vs. Fact?

FactsI recently read at the Washington Post online, a review of the book, Faith vs. Fact (Why Science and Religion are Incompatible) by Jerry A. Coyne. The review itself was written by Jeffrey Schloss, a biologist at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. The book apparently consists of a series of logical arguments designed to pit religion against science, with the author’s assertion that ultimately, religion’s methods “are useless for understanding reality.”

The review is largely complimentary of the book, but Schloss argues that Coyne falls short in some areas in his treatment of the topic. Consider the following quote by Schloss from the article:

“The preface [of Coyne’s book, SC] begins with a quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson: ‘The good thing about science is that it’s true, whether or not you believe in it.’ But this is simply wrong. Facts are true whether or not one believes in them. Science is an impressively reliable but fallible means for ascertaining facts. Indeed, facts are true whether or not science itself believes in them.”

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In the News: Drunken Robots

Image Last month, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) held its annual Robotics challenge. The main competition was a testing of android like robots in skills such as walking across uneven surfaces, opening doors, turning knobs, and flipping switches.
There is a youtube video that is making the rounds, showing the robots failing miserably at the assigned tasks. Type in this URL: http://tinyurl.com/p563vz6 to see the video.

Now, to be fair, some of the robots probably did a good job, but it is interesting to note just how difficult it is to get these kinds of robots to perform successfully the simplest of tasks. This, despite amazing technological advances that have been made.

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Anti-Supernaturalism

Image In this short article we wish to deal with a presupposition commonly made in our day. It has been stated (in Josh McDowell’s, The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict) as anti-supernaturalism.

The bias can be expressed in several ways. The most common is the belief that there is no God. If God does not exist, all that remains is a natural explanation for the existence both of the universe, and life on earth. Another belief is that while there may be a god, this god has no interest or involvement in the affairs of men. His existence is unproven and unprovable, and therefore we are still left with naturalism as an explanation for everything.

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Whatadinosaur!

whataburgertrex-1Those in our Apologetics class on Wednesday night saw the placemat brother Hatch brought from Whataburger. You may have heard my response, “Here we have it, definitive evidence that man and dinosaurs inhabited the earth at the same time!” A T-Rex devouring a Whataburger, when the Whataburger restaurants were not established until 1950!

For those not in the class, here is a short recap of our study about dinosaurs. First, the creation account, if accepted as historical narrative, requires a relatively young earth, and the co-existence of men and dinosaurs. It may be that most dinosaurs (reptiles) became extinct because of the flood and possible climate changes that followed, but the creation week of Genesis 1 accounts for all life that has existed upon earth.

Evolutionists dismiss evidence that men and dinosaurs walked the earth together, but evidence (both direct and indirect in nature) does exist. A few examples:

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In the News: Robots With Morals?

Image The question of morality has always been an interesting one as it pertains to technology. In fact, it is a common theme of science fiction, as writers consider what will happen as robots and computers develop more autonomy. Way back in 1942, Isaac Asimov famously produced the Three Laws of Robotics, to govern the behavior of autonomous robots. They are:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Continue reading » In the News: Robots With Morals?

In the News: Are We A Persecuted People?

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Are Christians a persecuted people?

The answer to this question is an obvious and unequivocal, “Yes.” It is the lot of every Christian to suffer persecution of one type or another as a consequence of the profession of faith. It happens, and it is not uncommon. Fortunately, in our country we have enjoyed a long history of religious tolerance. Such tolerance is, in fact, a bedrock of our nation. We have long escaped state sponsored persecution and oppression. The persecution we have witnessed and experienced as Christians in America has been rather mild. For this reason we hesitate to even categorize it as such, fearing that we will be perceived as less than valiant.

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Sermon: Six Things Christians Should Just Stop Saying

Spring Meeting 2014

The lesson is a review of the contention of a religious writer for the Huffington Post, who claimed that Christians should just stop saying:

  1. The Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God
  2. We just believe the Bible
  3. Jesus is the only way to heaven
  4. The rapture of Jesus is imminent
  5. Homosexuality is a sin against God
  6. The earth is less than 10,000 years old

Audio

From the Preacher’s Pen: Fideism

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Ron Doss shared with me a word that he recently came across, with which he and I were not familiar. The term was fideity, or fideism. (Interestingly, my spell checker in the computer program I use to prepare this bulletin doesn’t know the term either).

There are two definitions for fideism I want to share with you—both from online dictionaries. 1) exclusive reliance in religious matters upon faith, with consequent rejection of appeals to science or philosophy—dictionary.com; 2) The doctrine that knowledge depends on faith or revelation—oxforddictionaries.com.

The term would be used disparagingly toward Christians, as clearly indicated by the first definition. The question is, is it true? Well, it depends a bit upon the actual definition of the term. According to the second definition, absolutely so! We are dependent upon God’s revelation regarding what is true. Even if such revealed truth is counterintuitive to what we think would be true, we accept revelation above our own thoughts. “Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). However, if it is claimed that belief in God and His word is contradictory to true science or philosophy, and in order to believe we must be unreasonable, that is categorically untrue. As Paul wrote, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

If you want an example of unreasonable dependence upon faith, how about the idea that all you see today is the result of mere chance? Now that is a true example of fideism!

Stan signature

In the News: Something from Nothing

Image This past week I came across a YouTube video, where an apologist for the theory of evolution was seeking to explain the origin of the universe. Said apologist is taken with a book written by Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing , which posits that the universe came from, as the apologist states, “literally nothing.” Please read the following quotes carefully from that video:

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In the News: The Age of the Universe?

Image In 2009 the European Space Agency launched a satellite designed to record and map cosmic background radiation. In the time the satellite has been in orbit, scientists have compiled a 50 million pixel image of that radiation. Basically, 15 months were spent recording the radiation, and filtering out dust emissions and radio frequencies.

From this data and image, stellar evolutionists have postulated a new age for the universe. The new guess is that it is 13.81 billion years old, about 80 million years older than previously believed.

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A1 – The Logical Consequence of Belief in God

Sermon: Dinosaurs and the Bible

Wayne explains how the reality of Dinosaur fossils fits into a worldview that is centered in a belief in the Bible.

Audio

Powerpoint Slides