Saturday, April 29, 2006
Belief - discusion
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
The Incredible Design of the Earth and Our Solar System
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
How do we know if God exists - some of the arguments for and against
- Intelligent design
- The apparent design and order of the universe suggests that there must have been a "creator"
- Why do people start of ask these big questions when they take the time to look at the night sky...the stars...nature etc. etc.
- Psalm 8
- Why does bad stuff happen? This can be used to argue for the existence of God - the concept of "good" and "evil" assumes that there is a universal set of moral values. Christians would argue that these come from God.
- It is commonly accepted that humans have a highly developed sense of "right and wrong". We have to ask where has this come from? Theists argue that this is something that God has put within us. If God has not put it there, then where did this sense come from? How is this compatible with evolutionary theory? Surely there is no morality in the "survival of the fittest".
- Archaeology backs up much of the old testament
- New testament history
- New_Testament Authorship
- Christian manuscripts - this summaries a lot of the "standard" evidence that people give to support the Bible
- Pascal's wager - "it is always a better "bet" to believe in God"
- The Watch maker analogy - "an argument in support of the view that the universe are the product of a conscious designer or designers"
- Transcendental argument for the existence of God
- Cosmological_argument - if everything has a cause, then who causes the first cause...God?Ontological arguments - using logic to argue for the existence of God
- Incompetent design - some people argue against "intelligent" design by saying that some things show a poor design
- If there is a God, who created him?
- The Problem of Evil / Epicurean paradox - "the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent god". My research on this is here
- Creationism is not consistent with the fossil record
- Some critics have maintained that Christianity isn't even founded on an historical figure whatsoever, but rather on a mythical creation
- Note that some of the arguments "against" are part of the "arguments for"!!
- 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.
- "Science covers the mental field of knowledge and religion the mental field of belief. Belief starts where knowledge ends."
- 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"
- 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
- 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!
- Read this for laugh http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm
- The Six Blind men of Indostan - the idea that we all see God from a different point of view...all Gods are the same etc.
- Video for Fatboy Slim: Right Here, Right Now - http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2434562?htv=12&htv=12. Basically this is a music video that show the theory of evolution.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Ice Age: The Meltdown - talk ideas
- about 1 hour into the film Sid the Sloth (who seems fairly lively for a Sloth) is kidnapped by a load of little sloth's...they worship him as "fire king" or something like that. They eventually offer him as a sacrifice by throwing him into the fire.
- through out the film there is this squirrel like character called Scrat. Basically he keeps trying to get this nuts, but he keeps failing...however he tries and tries again, even when it's tough...there are some good spiritual lessons there
- the film finished as Scrat is entering the gates of heaven...which is full of nuts...best of all, a great golden nut. A good one for talking about heaven, the afterlife and all that
Labels: Video clip ideas
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Why does bad stuff happen?
- A God of love will not force you to do something...he will allow you to make your own choices
- God teaches us through suffering
- Bill Hybels in Finding God in the Storms of Life talks about "rouge winds", suggesting that when they strike it causes us to focus on what is really important. It also results in some people coming to faith.
- God tests us though trials
- God may allow certain things to happen for the greater good - we are not in possession of all the facts.
- Look at the story of Joseph in
- See Matthew 7:7-12
- Rob Bell Nooma "Kick ball" DVD uses this analogy
- James Sire "A transcendent God, as a First Cause, created the universe but then left it to run on its own? ...To the deist, then, God is distant, foreign, alien."
- Bill Hybels in Finding God in the Storms of Life..."God took a risk of unimaginable proportions by giving human beings free will...it's like giving a fifteen-year-old kid the keys to a Ferrari...". He also quotes Jeremiah 17:9 and suggests that sometimes we deceive ourselves. There's an example of some guy who smokes 3 packs of cigarettes every day...he gets lung cancer. Who's fault is this? I guess the same principle would apply to things like drink, stress, work or the way we deal with anger, problems etc.
- Genesis 2:15 - 17 "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
- Romans 3:10 - 18
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
"Wars and murders come from yourselves because you are greedy and lust for power"
- "1) Evil and suffering exist in the world 2) If God were all-powerful, he could prevent evil and suffering 3) If he were all-loving, he would want to prevent these 4) If there were an all-powerful, all-loving God, there would be no evil and suffering in the world 5) God is therefore powerless, loveless or non-existent"
- "If all living things on the earth were created by God, and he was a loving God who made man in his image, how do you explain the fact that he must have created the tapeworm, the malaria parasite, the tetanus germ, polio, ticks, mosquitoes, cockroaches and fleas?"
- "When people respond to tragedy by asking, 'how can there be a just God?' their question is logically flawed, as without him words like 'just' and 'unjust' are purely matters of personal opinion"
- "Far from moral problems ruling out the existence of God, our sense of things being right and wrong, fair or unfair, just or unjust is a strong clue that there is some transcendent standard that affects us all"
- "...suffering reminds us of our physical frailty and of our dependence upon God"
- There is an interesting challenge on page 18. Some guy who wants to know why there was "so much evil in the world" is challenged to say "what you have done about the evil you see within you"
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Back from Spring Harvest
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
War of the worlds - ideas
Labels: Video clip ideas
Monday, April 10, 2006
Mr Deeds - Bad attitude, Greed, Bad language
Technorati tags: youth talks, youth ideas
Labels: Video clip ideas
Sunday, April 09, 2006
The Girl Next Door - talk ideas
- Chapter 1 - 2 (first 3 mins 25 seconds). Matthew Kidman (the main characters) is trying to write a paragraph for his year book. It starts "I will always remember....". This could serve as an introduction to the "Live after school" talk I outlined here.
- Chapter 4 (7 min - 9 mins 44 seconds). Temptation / consequences...as Matthew is walking to class, a load of his peers make for the beach. He's tempted to skip class and go his self because they never doing anything like that. Anyway, he decides to go...and as he's sat in his car he visualises what could happen...it all goes wrong...very wrong. So he decides not to go. When he's imagining what would happen, he get's caught because he doesn't cover up his car registration plate...the others cover theirs with cardboard. You could also use this to talk about been "worldly wise".
Labels: Video clip ideas
Friday, April 07, 2006
- The Man in the Iron Mask
- About a boy
- The Matrix
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Some ideas for "next terms" Think it thru and FOCUS topics
- How do we know if God exists? What do people say? What do we think? What difference does it make? Can we prove it one way or another?
- How do we know that God is in control? What does it mean "God is in control"? If God is in control then why does bad stuff happen to good people?
- How do we know that the Bible is true?
- Reasons to believe...
- Where is God when life gets tough?
- Why Christianity? Why not some other faith? After all, aren't they all the same?
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Youthwork the Blog: Pandora Rox
Life after school - outline
- Billy Elliot - Billy comes home to find a letter on the table telling him whether or not he's go in to the collage. You could follow this through to where he leaves on the bus etc.
- Post cards - start with by inviting them to pick a post card (I've got about 50 different postcards) that they "connect with"
- How do you feel about moving on?
- What things have you enjoyed the most about school?
- What will you miss?
- Ask those who left last year to share their experience
- What opportunities does this give you?
- Some people like the idea of been able to "start over". You could "re-invent" yourself...in a good way, or a bad way.
- What are you looking forward to?
- You are all going have more freedom...
- You'll be out and about more
- Some of you will be moving away in September
- How will that effect your relationship with your parents?
- Privacy? Finances? Cooking?
- Who will you look to for support?
- What new expectations do you think society expects from you?
- Look at what it means to have a "mature" or "adult" faith. Whilst researching this, I found this website http://www.lwml.org/quarterly/f00/bible_study/milk_meat.html. I reckon you could use this as a good outline. Note the verses:
- Where does grieving come into this?
- Is there an equivalent to the book It's Your Move?
Monday, April 03, 2006
Recycling in Churches
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Hitch - relationships, time, advice talk ideas
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?
- Some of us fall apart around the opposite sex...why is that?
- 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?
- Use this as a example of a bad attitude towards women.
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...
- 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
Technorati tags: youth work, youth ministry, youth talks, youth ministry resources, relationships, advice
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Brits die each year...
- 3 Brits die each year testing if a 9v battery works on their tongue.
- 142 Brits were injured in 1999 by not removing all pins from new shirts.
- 58 Brits are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of screwdrivers.
- 31 Brits have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the fairy lights were plugged in.
- 19 Brits have died in the last 3 years believing that Christmas decorations were chocolate.
- British Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year after cracker pulling accidents.
- 101 people since 1999 have had broken parts of plastic toys pulled out of the soles of their feet.
- 18 Brits had serious burns in 2000 trying on a new jumper with a lit cigarette in their mouth.
- A massive 543 Brits were admitted to A&E in the last two years after opening bottles of beer with their teeth.
- 5 Brits were injured last year in accidents involving out of control Scalextric cars
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