Reject uncritical approach to technology, Mitchell says at Southern Seminary’s Norton Lectures – News – SBTS

“We have to reject uncritical consumeristic adoption of digital technologies,” said Mitchell, provost, vice president for academic affairs, and Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University. “Remember our humanity and resist excarnation. … Resist the notion that efficiency is the summum bonum, the chief end, and seek to have our desires formed by the good news of the incarnate Christ.”

In a series of lectures titled “Homo Sapiens to Homo Deus: Technology as Mastery or Master?” Mitchell explored how digital and scientific technologies attempt to redefine humanity by overcoming limits to human knowledge and ability. He described the potential dangers for using technology and robotics to strive for immortality, which undermine the creation narrative and blur the lines of reality and one’s relationship to the world.

“Three major technological innovations — information, nano[technology], bio[technology] — are challenging us to rethink those dichotomies which have been part of our way of inhabiting the world and have tempted us to begin to redefine what it means to be human,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell identified human self-loathing, or “the lament of limitation,” as the driving force behind the culture seeking technologies that perfect the human condition, without concern for how they may disorder desires and restrict human freedom. Philosophers and scientists promoting transhumanism, eugenics, and robotics hope to create a “techno-utopia” of an enhanced human experience that no longer looks very human, Mitchell said. He called for believers to engage in serious theological reflection on how the structures and patterns of technology may work against the desires that shape a faithful Christian life.

“Do not loathe your incarnation; you were made embodied creatures in the image of God,” Mitchell said. “We are not just brains on sticks; we have been made whole persons in the image of God … we must not exchange our incarnation for a new Gnosticism.”

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Research on Ancient DNA Could Test Predictions of Non-Darwinian Speciation Models | Evolution News

Independent of each other, different groups of researchers (e.g., Hössjer et al. 2016), more or less skeptical of common ancestry, have recently suggested the alternative model of initial heterozygotic diversity. The common element in these models is the working hypothesis of a large variation of beneficial alleles in terms of heterozygosity, later transformed over time by migration, isolation, and natural and sexual selection into phenotypically different populations or descendent species.

By “heterozygotic,” what do I mean? Briefly, the following: Genes can come in different variants. These are called alleles, always present in pairs in species like ours with two parents, possessing two sets of chromosomes from mother and father respectively. In each organism the pair of genes can either have the same allele (homozygosity) or two different alleles (heterozygosity).

For example, assume a hypothetical gene for hair length. It can come in the allele L for longer hair and S for shorter hair. Organisms with the heterozygotic combination LS can have an intermediate or variable condition, or long or short hair if one of the alleles is dominant. A heterozygotic parent can pass on either allele L or allele S. Therefore, the offspring of two heterozygotic parents can have all possible combinations, either heterozygotic LS / SL or homozygotic LL or SS. The latter will usually differ significantly from the phenotype of their heterozygotic parents. Homozygotic organisms can only pass on a single allele type and thus have less information than heterozygotic parents.

The suggestion, noted above, of initial heterozygotic diversity can explain the origin of genetically different populations and descendent species from an ancestral species in relatively short time. Such a process of speciation would not be evolution in the sense of gradual successive generation of new beneficial information by mutation and selection. Instead, it would represent a process of devolution through partitioning of information that was initially set in the ancestral species. As soon as the original heterozygosity of beneficial alleles is partitioned into separated homozygotic populations, the process of further speciation would slow down or even come to a halt. Genetic decay would then accumulate through mostly neutral and detrimental mutations (Sanford 2014).

Such decay could either increase general heterozygosity or, in the case or bottlenecks and isolated subpopulations, decrease heterozygosity. Obviously, the prediction from this model is that we should find more genetic diversity of beneficial alleles in ancient populations or ancestral species of a lineage, while finding less diversity of such beneficial alleles in recent populations or descendent species. We should also find most beneficial alleles in the ancestral groups and hardly any new beneficial alleles in the descendent groups. Finally, we should find a growing percentage of detrimental alleles in successively more recent populations.

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The LHC Just Discovered A New System of Five Particles

  • Today, CERN announced an exceptional new discovery that was made by the LHCb, which unveiled five new states all at once.
  • The team notes that this revelation improves our understanding of quantum theory in general and, most notably, gives us new clues about the earliest moments of our universe.

Over the coming months and years, the LHC will use its amazing amount of energy to open up the “dark sector of physics,” revealing currently unknown particles and helping solve some of our greatest cosmic mysteries (such as dark matter, parallel dimensions, and what happened during the earliest moments of the Big Bang). With new updates coming to the LHC, the team promises “even more impressive” physics opportunities.


On Meddling & Professional Ministry

After some years away from the IFB movement, I began to see that a common sin in nearly every sect of clergy is “Lording” (1 Peter 5), whereby they act as divine mediators between God and mankind. No one starts out by saying, “Today, I am going to play God with people’s lives.” So, I tried to understand why a leader would get sucked into Lording. The most obvious answer is their subtle desire for position, power & empty glory. Another reason is their practical distrust of God’s ability to direct or correct someone Himself. 

Then, it occurred to me. There is something more elementally wrong and more widespread than the above reasons. It has to do with making a career out of “professional ministry.” These people are paid to sit around all day and basically try to think up ways of both adding attendees and turning them into their brand of “Churchianity.” They must do this, because they view ministry as only what happens inside the church building or church-sanctioned activity. It is true that believers edify one another as they gather together. Yet, leaders often do not see that their only role is to equip the believers for the true, everyday ministry which happens out in the world… and to which God has called every believer in his/her place (1 Corinthians 7:17ff).

Instead of knowing / holding down “real world” jobs themselves, they hole up in the 4 walls of a church building or other Christian institution, where their analytical minds inevitably turn critical and obsessed over minutia… which only leads to meddling in others’ affairs. They think they are serving God, but what they are really doing is meddling.

Meddle: to interfere in or busy oneself unduly with something that is not one’s concern.

Jesus and all of His Apostles had either trades or professions that they did not see as “in conflict” with accomplishing the Great Comission. The difference between the Apostles and modern-day clergy is the Apostles could have expected pay but they did not for the Gospel’s sake (1 Corinthians 9; Philippians 4). Even the Bible itself warns against meddling and states that suffering comes from it. What is more damning, the Bible states that idle people are often the ones who meddle most… and that, meddling is a sin listed right alongside murder.

Once I learned these truths, I decided I would never make a career out of “ministry.” Even though I studied the Bible and ministry for 8+ years, it would be something I would do voluntarily—willingly but “not for filthy lucre.” And I vowed that I would hold a “real world” job. To this day, I do not receive any pay for pastoring; and I—as a result—have more compassion and empathy for others. [I do receive random gifts or “buy outs” for my time] 

I see no need to make others into a sectarian poster child or just like me or like anyone else for that matter. I trust God is able to direct and correct their lives. They are His disciples, not mine. If I do anything, it is to serve others in their struggles… to point them to a direct relationship with God Himself, teach them how to correctly interpret the Word for themselves, to supply what is needful for faith, hope and love; to ease their burdens, lift up the downhearted, to see the “stuck” and overwhelmed get freed up and try to be a healing ointment for their wounds.

Israel’s Tribulation Covenant that Ends this World! | Bill Salus

Ancient biblical prophecies reveal that in the last days, Israel will make a peace-pact that is so problematic that the world as we know it ends seven years later. In prophetic circles this treaty is commonly called the “FALSE COVENANT,” the covenant that leads to the “7-YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD!”
What is the true content and who are the signatories of this lethal covenant? There are different theories about this agreement. Many Bible prophecy teachers today believe that its content is involved with bringing about Mideast peace between Israel and the Arabs in general, and the Palestinians more specifically, perhaps, a 2-state or 1-state solution. However, there appears to be no scriptural support for this geo-political scenario. In fact, the Bible predicts the illusive peace that Israel desperately seeks will be achieved militarily, rather than diplomatically.
This article, which is taken from my book entitled, Apocalypse Road, Revelation for the Final Generation, explores the intricacies of the false covenant. This article provides a cursory explanation of what is thoroughly expounded upon within the book.
THE 7-YEAR COVENANT (Daniel 9:27 and Isaiah 28:15, 18)
There are at least two major prophets that prophesy about this covenant. They are Isaiah and Daniel. Daniel’s predictions are the ones most familiar to prophecy pundits. Daniel says;
“Then he (the Antichrist (A.C.)) shall confirm a covenant with many (Israel and another party) for one week; (of 7 years) But in the middle of the week He (A.C.) shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)
Daniel provides the following important information about the covenant:
1. The Antichrist confirms it.
2. Israel is a signatory of it.
3. The seven-year term of it.
4. The breach of it after three and one-half years by the Antichrist.
Unfortunately, Daniel does not provide all of the significant details about this world changing covenant. Fortunately, Isaiah does! Over 100 years before Daniel penned is prophetic foretellings, Isaiah authored his.