Showing posts from 2014

Is the Virgin Birth a Myth? (Part 3)

Read Part 1 | Part 2

Why do skeptics accuse “that Christianity is not unique in its story of Christ’s incarnation, but that stories of supernatural births are common to pagan gods”? (Source: Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics) In short, they claim that our belief in the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus was, to quote an infamous line from a Filipino movie, “nothing but a second-rate, trying hard, copycat.” 
According to Dr. Norman Geisler, Christian defender of the faith, “One reason for the vehemence of these pronouncements is that, if true, the virgin birth establishes beyond question the life of Jesus as a supernatural intervention of God. If antisupernaturalists [those who do not believe in miracles and in a supernatural God] concede at this point, they have no case left.” (Baker. Emphasis added.) 

If the virgin birth really happened, then our faith is factual. If not, then it is fake.
One proof that the virgin birth really occurred was that, unlike myths, “Persons, places, and …

“Live. Die. Repeat.”

“Live. Die. Repeat.”

That’s the tagline of Tom Cruise’s “Edge of Tomorrow” 2014 sci-fi movie. 

Major William Cage was a soldier in a future alien invasion in Europe. Apparently, the aliens (called Mimics) could predict every move Cage’s United Defense Forces would take even before they took it. That gave them the winning edge in every battle. Humanity was losing the war.

(Don’t worry. No spoilers ahead.)

Cage accidentally discovered the secret behind the Mimics’ “sixth sense.” In a fatal fight against an alien, he got sprayed with its acid-like blood before he died. Surprisingly, he woke up moments before they were deployed in that last battle. The aliens employed a “time loop” strategy. That’s why they already knew what their enemy would do every time they would go back in time. Cage got caught in that loop. Like the aliens, he would improve his fighting skills every time the battle starts over. It’s not an instant replay. It’s a restart. 

How we wish we could have that “time loop” abi…

The Ozone Inferno

“Go to the office ASAP! - Kabayan”

That’s the message on my pager (Yes, I’m that old) that woke me up at about 5AM. Immediately, I got up and dressed up. While taking a bath, I was listening to the radio trying to see what breaking news brought about that message. Either a plane crashed or a ship sank or a massacre happened. I just heard about a fire somewhere. But our boss usually didn’t call us in the wee hours of the morning just to rush to a fire scene (except when it’s during our New Year’s Eve coverage). So, I didn’t give much thought to the news. I asked the cab driver to floor the gas pedal.

As soon as I got in the booth of DZMM, Kabayan Noli De Castro told us to rush to Ozone Disco. I learned that a fire broke out there. I was one of the media men who got in first after the firemen extinguished the fire.

When I got in with my cameraman Rommel Juanesa, the strong smell of burnt flesh almost overcame us. On the dance floor near the only known exit, we saw a lot of bodies burned t…

Detour, Not A Dead End

A dead end, according to a dictionary, is “an end of a road or a passage from which no exit is possible.” According to another dictionary, it is “a situation, plan, or way of doing something that leads to nothing further.”

There were times in my life when I thought I was in a dead end. 

Impasse. No way out. Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. I was like Moses. There’s the Red Sea in front of me and the Egyptian army behind me. Only this time, I can’t part the sea. 

I failed. Many times. My dreams became a nightmare. And my nightmare came to pass.

(Of course, I can always blame others. The fact is, it’s not entirely my fault. But why waste time blaming? So, I’ll just take responsibility for where and why I failed.)

I got burned out. I got myself into stress-related disorder when I pressured myself so much because I always pushed for nothing below A-minus grades (For me, “A” is greater and “A+” much greater) in my seminary classes. Simply put, it was pride. That led to a lot…

Acceptance, Yes. Approval, No.

It appears the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) issue is getting a lot of press lately.
Here in the Philippines, a lot of airtime, online data and newspaper space have been devoted to this issue from the murder of transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude to the declaration of Filipino international singer Charice Pempengco over “The Oprah Show” that, “Basically, my soul is male, but I’m not going to go through that stage where I'm going to change everything.” (Source: GMA News Online. Emphasis added.)

In the US of A, Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly came out of the proverbial closet: “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” (USA Today. Emphasis added.) 

Of course, we witnessed the short-lived euphoria over the latest Vatican Synod document’s apparent reversal of the Church’s stance regarding homosexuals (“Are we capab…

Scars, Not Just The Stars

Like kids who just arrived home from school, we love to show off our stars stamped on the back of our hands. But, when it come to scars, we do everything from concealers to cosmetic surgery.

We display our victories and downplay our defeats.

Gilas Pilipinas Coach Chot Reyes gave an awe-inspiring talk on “The Gilas Spirit: Giving Your Best Shot To Succeed, Not Just Win” at the recently held 15th Achievers and Leaders seminar of Salt and Light Ventures, with its very apt theme “Crucial Leadership During Critical Times.”

There, Coach Reyes showed not only his stars but also his scars.

He knew first-hand how it feels to go, in the words of Joaquin Henson, “from toast to roast.” (Source: PhilStar.Com) Fans from this basketball crazy country commended him at the FIBA Asia Championships and at the FIBA World Cup and then they condemned him at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. He got shot down from celebrated to crucified.

Indeed, we love winners and winning. We hate losers and losing.

In hi…

“Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

That is not only the cry for deliverance of the prophet Jonah inside the belly of the great fish (Jonah 2:9, ESV). That is also the core message of salvation. It is all of God and none of us. We cannot add to it. We cannot subtract from it. We cannot substitute anything for it. 
Evangelist D. James Kennedy illustrated it this way. Imagine that you are a tightrope walker. You are about to cross from the edge of a cliff to another which is a hundred feet away. Would you be comfortable if you would cross a 90-foot rope attached to a 10-foot thread? Of course, not! What if you have a rope that is 99 feet and 11 inches long attached to a one-inch thread? Kennedy wrote, “You see, if you have one inch of thread, you will be just as dead on the rocks below as if you tried to cross on a hundred feet of thread. The rope obviously represents what Christ has done and the thread represents what we have done. We must trust in Christ alone.” (As quoted in Tom Holladay and Kay Warren’s “Foundations: 1…

A Crack in the Door: The Same-Sex Marriage Challenge

Two news items caught my attention lately. Both news were about support for same-sex marriage. 
According to the first news, “Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has expressed his support for same-sex marriage” (Source: Inquirer.Net). In his State of the City address, Mayor Bautista declared his dream: “I look forward to the day the Philippines or Quezon City will have an equality marriage ordinance.” (Ibid) 

When I read the news, I confess the first word that entered my mind was, “Votes.” Why? It appeared to me he just made those grand statements to merely court the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) votes. Before my LGBT friends jump for joy, keep in mind that the mayor could not do anything about same-sex marriage beyond words (read: praise release) at the moment. Though the mayor said he is open to officiate such unions, he also admitted, “I need to do some research on whether that’s allowed.” (Ibid)
It was all talk. The Family Code of the Philippines defined marriage as “a…