Saturday, April 29, 2006

Belief - discusion

I've just uploaded the outline of the "debate" we had on Wednesday here.  We looked at the questions: did God create the universe? Relative values / Good and Evil and How do we know that God exists?


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Incredible Design of the Earth and Our Solar System

Check this out:


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

How do we know if God exists - some of the arguments for and against

I've been looking into the arguments further and here is a summary of what I've found so far...
Arguments for:
Arguments against:
But science has explained everything - evolution etc.
  • Primarily a theist will base there answers on the supernatural answers, where as a scientist will base their beliefs on what can be "observed".  That, of course, does not mean that the two are entirely mutually exclusive, or that either can prove that the other is right or wrong.
    • See God of the Gaps - the idea that we attribute the bits we don't understand to God.  The more we understand, the less need we have for God.
  • Evolution: fact or fiction?   The main points in this book are:
    • not every scientist believes evolution to be true
    • there are two types of evolution - "micro-evolution" which evolution within a specific species and "macro-evolution" which says that one species can create other new species over time 
    • there is no dispute that "micro evolution" occurs - this can be proved.   Those who breed animals do this via cross breeding etc. to introduce small changes.
    • there is no direct empirical evidence to support "macro-evolution", be that in the laboratory, or fossils, palaeontology etc.   Anybody who says otherwise is basically theorising or taking an educated guess.
    • "Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and palaeontology does not prove them", i.e., there is not evidence that shows the gradual changes of one species to another.  There are some attempts to explain this, but it's just theory.  I heard some argue that can't prove it because it not enough time has elapsed - i.e., if evolution takes millions of years, it might take us millions of years (or a long time) to prove it.
    • The fossil records also indicate "explosions" of life in very short periods of time, which does not wholly fit in with evolutionary theory.  There is some argument that this points more towards a creationist view point
    • The book suggests that homo sapiens are separated from all other species that can not be explained by evolution.  There are several listed, including "We [humans] have a spiritual dimension, a sense that these is a world beyond the material".  Why is this? Why do we have a spiritual dimension?
    • Young-Earth Creationism
    • Old-Earth Creationism
    • Theistic evolutionism, also known as "evolutionary creationism"
    • Neo-Creationism
  • Even Richard Dawkins doesn't completely rule out the existence of God "We cannot prove that there is no God, but we can safely conclude the He is very, very improbable indeed"
  • The Bible was not written from a scientific point of view
Other points of interest
  • Atheists - a common mistake that Christians make is assume that Atheists are those who do not believe in God. An Atheist can also be someone who makes no claim either way.  I've heard several atheist argue from the point of view that have not yet been convinced that God exists, which from their point of view is different to not believing in God.  In several arguments I've heard, the atheist will use this card...i.e., argue I'm not anti-god, it's up to you to prove god's existence to me...
  • In debates between Evolutionists and Creationists, some Evolutionists seem to use the term to refer to the whole process of creation where others refer to different sciences:
  • Check out the articles here
  • Special revelation - "knowledge of God or spiritual matters that would not be available to mankind without God's intervention to make that knowledge available"
  • General revelation - "the knowledge of God and spiritual matters which can be discovered through natural means, such as observation of nature, philosophy and reasoning, or conscience"
    • All of nature points to God (is there some verse about nature cries out glory of god etc? Psalm 91:1?)
  • Some Christians argue that their "Faith gives us hope", i.e., that there is something better than this life, this world etc.  To an Atheist, this life is all that there is - if there is no hope here, then tough luck!
If we assume that God does exist...
Video's you might use
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Friday, April 21, 2006

Ice Age: The Meltdown - talk ideas

Just been to see Ice Age: The Meltdown.  It was fairly predictable.  A few ideas for clips:
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Why does bad stuff happen?

I mentioned other week, I'm thinking of doing some sessions on tricky questions such as Why does bad stuff happen. While I don't want this to be an academic debate, I thought I'd try and come up with all arguments and some of the counter arguments. Here are some that I've come across so far:

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

God 360

Check out Andy Flannagan's new "devotional" book God360.  There's even a pod cast available in iTunes or you can download an mp3 from the God360 site.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back from Spring Harvest

Just got back from Spring Harvest - it's been good.  Got an email from Chris who's just started blogging.  He's pointed me at, and it looks interesting.  Check out the Comeback's - lines you could use to get out of tricky situations, drugs, drink or whatever.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

War of the worlds - ideas

War of the Worlds is about in invasion of planet earth by aliens.
You could use the first 30 mins or so (I didn't make note of the time) to talk about fear and parenting.   The film starts when Robbie and Rachel are dropped off at their fathers (Ray) house.  It's clear that Ray is not into the parenting thing - he kids appear to be a burden to him.  This is not helped by Robbie's attitude towards his father.  You could ask questions about what it means to be a parent, a father, responsibilities, attitudes towards your parents and vice versa.
A short time later the film a series of storms break out. In reality the aliens are causing the storms.  There's a great bit where the first of the alien's "tripods" appears from underground.  Use this to talk about fear or the unexpected etc.
Later in the film, the family is on the run, trying to flee from the aliens.  There a scene that you could use for "choices".  Robbie runs off to try fight the aliens, Ray runs after him leaving Rachel by herself.  While he's chasing after Robbie, someone tries to take Rachel away.  Ray is forced to choose to loose Robbie or Rachel...


Monday, April 10, 2006

Mr Deeds - Bad attitude, Greed, Bad language

Watch Mr Deeds again today. Very good! I reckon you could use Chapter 10 (22 mins 30 seconds - 25 minutes 50 seconds) for a talk on Bad attitude, or Greed or Bad language. Basically Kevin Ward, the New York Jets Quarterback, comes into the room demanding a pay rise. He's rude, swears and greedy. Deeds sacks him because of his attitude. Later on in Chapter 15 (about 43 mins) he calls Deeds on the phone, apologises and asks for his job back.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Girl Next Door - talk ideas

The Girl Next Door is one of those films like American Pie that is full of sexual innuendo etc. and finish with "the prom".  Here are some bits that I reckon you could use:
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Friday, April 07, 2006

Old video's

I've got some old video's going for free as I've just bought some replacement DVD's. The videos have been used and you will find some talks to go with them here
Here's what I've got:
Please mail me if you're interested in any (will post to UK only)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Some ideas for "next terms" Think it thru and FOCUS topics

We had an interesting discussion last night...I think it would be interesting to specifically look at some of the following issues next term:
I'm thinking that we should present several different points of view, both secular and Christian.  I've recently been listening to Phil Fernandes, and a lot of his stuff connects with some of this.  See and his sermon audio page
Other stuff I've listened in the past month or so that might help:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Youthwork the Blog: Pandora Rox

Check this out: Youthwork the Blog: Pandora Rox. It really does seem to do what it says it does!

Life after school - outline

I've just been thinking about the up and coming talk "life after school":
Introduction ideas
General Questions
Bible bit
Stuff to consider
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Monday, April 03, 2006

Recycling in Churches

Selly Oak Methodist Church have some useful tips on recycling here. There's also a leaflet you can download that gives advice on how you can recycle a variety of different stuff.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hitch - relationships, time, advice talk ideas

I first watched Hitch at Spring Harvest this time last year. We'll be there again at Skegness over the Easter weekend. Hiede will be there the week before as she is leading the under 5 team during week 2. Say hello if you see her! Anyway, here are some thoughts on this film...

Scene 1 (first 6 mins). Alex (Will Smith) explains how the dating game works and how any man can get a woman. Some questions you could discus:
  • What the point of dating? What's it for?
  • What advice would you give to someone looking for a relationship?
  • What are the unwritten rules?
  • Scene 4 (12 mins - 14 mins). Alex thinks back to when he was at collage...he's a geek and doesn't have a clue when it comes to women.
    • Some of us fall apart around the opposite sex...why is that?
    Scene 5 - 7 (14 mins - 25 mins). We're introduced to Albert who is clumsy, nervous accountant for some big firm. He explains he wants go out with Allegra Cole, a supermodel. He admits this is "ridiculous" but he is willing to try anything. Next time he sees her he's in a business meeting with all his colleagues and his boss is there. She's asking for financial advice. Rather than toeing the line, Albert's stands up for Allegra and ends up quitting his job....that gets her attention. Questions:
    • Who are you interested in?
    • What are you looking for in a relationship?
    • What are you willing to do, to get a man / woman? How far would you go? Look at the positive and negative sides to this...
    • Who do you talk to about boyfriend / girlfriend stuff?
    Scene 8 (28 mins - 31 mins 30). Alex goes to meet some guy he basically wants him to help get a woman so he can "bang" her. Alex strongly objects, as that's not what he's about.
    • Use this as a example of a bad attitude towards women.
    Scene 10 - 11 (33 mins 30 - 40 mins 30). Dating disasters...Alex takes Casey on a date and it turns into a complete disaster...he kicks her in the head and digs up some old family history that she's doesn't want reminding about...there's a murderer in the family...

    Scene 15 (47 mins - 30 mins). Making a fool of yourself...this is one of the funniest bits of the film...Alex tells Albert how to dance or put another way, how not to dance.
    • Use this as a clip about giving and receiving advice...
    Scene 16 (50 mins - 54 mins). Timing is everything...Alex shows Albert how to do the "first kiss". "eight out of 10 women believe that the first kiss will tell them everything they need to know...". Apparently it's all about timing!
    • This could be used to discus time / timing...there's a time for this that and the other. Maybe you could use this as an intro to this talk

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    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    Brits die each year...

    From Laurens blog...did you know...
    ...something for the next quiz I do...

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