Showing posts from August, 2014

Whose Illusions? (Part 3)

Read Part 1 | Part 2

The wheels of justice are turning so fast that crime is eating its dust. The witnesses flawlessly corroborated on what they saw on every detail. The physical evidences fit perfectly together. Seeing that denial is futile, the suspect on trial tearfully admitted to the crime in a tell-all confession. The judge banged his gavel and declared, “Guilty beyond reasonable doubt!” Justice is served!

That’s what we usually see in TV crime shows. But that’s not what really happens in a real criminal court hearing. Such shows create what came to be known as the “CSI [Crime Scene Investigation] Effect.”   As crime shows focused on cutting-edge forensic investigative techniques have spread throughout the prime-time television landscape, prosecutors and defense lawyers have started to take note and respond. During jury selection in high-profile criminal trials, it’s now commonplace for lawyers to ask potential jurors whether they watch a lot of TV police shows. The fear is that fo…

A Dose Of Dawkins’ Own Medicine?

“Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”
That’s what Richard Dawkins, atheist biologist and bestselling author of the “God Delusion,” tweeted back when one of his followers (“one of our respected regulars on,” as Dawkins described her) posted on Twitter: “I honestly don’t know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma.” (Source: The Independent)

Not surprisingly, he got a lot of hate tweets. According to Dawkins, “[T]he whole affair blew up into [a] feeding frenzy”. (Source: Richard Dawkins Foundation)

In his “apology,” Dawkins blamed the seeming brouhaha on Twitter’s 140-character limit. He explained that if he had more than 140 characters, he would have answered it this way: Obviously the choice would be yours. For what it’s worth, my own choice would be to abort the Down fetus and, assuming you want a baby at all, try again. Given a free choice of having an early abor…

Whose Illusions? (Part 2)

Read Part 1 | Part 3

When we say it’s infallible, what we mean is that the Bible has no error in what it teaches. When we say that it’s inerrant, what we mean is that it has no error in what it contains. 

For me, we cannot believe in its infallibility if we cannot believe in its inerrancy. We cannot say that the Bible has no error in what it teaches and, at the same time, say that it has errors in what it contains.

Evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem put it this way in his “Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine
The definition in simple terms just means that the Bible always tells the truth and that it always tells the truth concerning everything it talks about. This definition does not mean that the Bible tells us every fact there is to know about any one subject, but it affirms that what it does say about any subject is true. (Italics his)Skeptics have questioned the truthfulness of the Bible. For example, in his “Illusions of biblical inerrancy” posted on his “Freet…

Robin Williams, 63.

The story is told of a man who consulted a psychiatrist about his struggle with severe depression. The psychiatrist said, “I know a clown who’s so famous for making people laugh. I would like you to watch him.” The man sadly replied, “I am that clown.”

Sadly, it’s no longer a story.

I could not believe my eyes when I saw on my Facebook timeline that the beloved comedian, Robin Williams, was discovered dead in his home at Northern California due to an apparent suicide. According to the Marin County Sheriff's Office, “At this time, the Sheriff's Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made.” (Source: HuffPost)

In my heart, I secretly hoped it was another Internet hoax.

But it was not. 

Williams made us all laugh and, as one friend lamented, “It’s sad that he could not make one person laugh. Himself.” Another friend added, “He is a tortured soul.” Lately, it is said …

Whose Illusions?

Read Part 2 | Part 3

“The more I read and learned, the more that trust withered.” That’s how Andy Uyboco described his journey from devotion to doubt in his “Freethinking Me” opinion column (Source: Sunstar Davao). 

According to this former English teacher in a Christian school,[1] “I grew up believing that the Bible was the inspired and inerrant Word of God. … It was later in my thirties when I began to seriously question the Bible’s authority.” (Ibid) It appears that it was not mid-life crisis that led Uyboco to question his faith. He claimed that what drove him towards “serious biblical scholarship” was his quest for truth. “Life is simple when you just pick a side and don’t have to think so much. Unfortunately for me, I was not wired that way. I had to know more, because this book was supposed to be the one driving my life. It was supposed to be my guide to life on earth and even beyond. I had to know if I could really trust it. The more I read and learned, the more that trust withe…

That’s It, Pancit! The Tangled Noodles of Freedom

Imagine a family sharing a plate of pancit (noodles). However, one member does not like calamansi (Philippine lime) on it. To be fair, the mother did not put calamansi but just placed the sliced halves on the side of the plate for the rest of the family who likes it. Everybody happy.

How I wish life is as simple as a plate of pancit! But, I think life is more complicated than tangled noodles. 

This pancit parable came about in my FB discussion with a friend who happens to be an atheist.  

What ignited the conversation was my post regarding the Department of Education’s decision to remove “God-loving” from its vision statement last September 2013. (The old vision statement went like this: “By 2030, DepEd is globally recognized for good governance and for developing functionally-literate and God-loving Filipinos.” To read their new vision statement, click here.)

In its June 2014 newsletter, the VOICE (Values Orientation In Classroom Education) Philippines lamented that omission; “That DepEd…

Heart Restoration

“We are not in the problem solving business. We are in the heart restoration business.” That’s what Dr. Wayne Vanderwier, Executive Director of the Overseas Instruction in Counseling, declared during the three-day “Biblical Counseling” training that I attended along with another member last week. 

No, it did not train us to become professional therapists. We did not become experts or specialists overnight. It was about reminding us the responsibility of every believer: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2, ESV) As far as our trainers are concerned, “Biblical counseling is the ministry of graciously applying the truths of the Bible to the challenges of life.” Simply put, it is soul care. 

Don’t think that is about pounding the Bible on people’s heads or thinking that it has a ve…