Risen

Swaziland

 

Jill and I are excited to continue spreading God’s love this summer back in Swaziland!  This is a video made by the missionary we will be staying with, LaSalette Duarte.  Very powerful.  The spots in the video are the very spots where we will be serving this summer.  Please take am moment to watch!

Is It Wrong to Claim a Religion Is True?

posted by Stand To Reason here on Feb 4, 2016

Jesus on Cross statue

Here’s a challenge I received:

No-one can “validate” his/her own religion. Likewise, no-one can “invalidate” any other religion. I believe in some type of god/gods, but I choose not to associate that belief with any specific religious teachings, because I’ve never felt qualified to refute the equally unprovable beliefs of other cultures. You can’t claim anyone’s beliefs to be “right” or “wrong” when it’s all based on conjecture.

I can’t help but draw your attention to the self-refuting nature of the last sentence. We need to ask the question, is the belief that “you can’t claim anyone’s beliefs to be right or wrong,” based on conjecture? If so, why is he telling me it’s wrong to “claim anyone’s beliefs to be right or wrong?” Doesn’t he think he’s right? Isn’t that why he’s correcting me? He thinks my claims about my beliefs are wrong and his claims about his beliefs are right.

Having said that, let’s get back to responding to the broad challenge—you can’t claim anyone’s beliefs to be right or wrong. This person has expressed a very common confusion. He’s confused objective truth with subjective truth. Let me define what I mean by these terms.

By subjective truth I mean that the belief or claim is made true by the subject’s personal preference. So if I said, “The best flavor of ice cream is Butterscotch Ripple,” and you said, “The best flavor of ice cream is Chocolate Peanut Butter,” both claims about the best flavor of ice cream would be true. But how can the best flavor of ice cream be both Butterscotch Ripple and Chocolate Peanut Butter? That’s simple! It’s because the claim is true for you. That is to say, the truth of the belief only depends on the one who believes it. It turns out that when I claim that Butterscotch Ripple is the best flavor of ice cream, I’m not actually saying anything about the ice cream. I’m only talking about me. That’s how subjective truth claims work.

Now just imagine how ridiculous it would be if I said, “Your belief that Chocolate Peanut Butter is the best ice cream is wrong.” Why is this so ridiculous? Well, it’s because you can’t tell someone that his or her personal preference is wrong. It’s their preference after all. Thus, no one can invalidate your personal preferences. I think this is what the challenger is trying to get at when he says, “No-one can ‘validate’ his/her own religion. Likewise, no-one can ‘invalidate’ any other religion.” The only problem is he has assumed that religious claims are personal, subjective preference truths.

Objective truth is very different. Objective truth is about the way the world really is. It’s when a belief or claim corresponds with reality. If I say, “Insulin regulates diabetes,” then I am making an objective truth claim about the real world. If I have diabetes, it doesn’t matter if I like insulin or not, or if I believe it works or not. My beliefs and preferences don’t change the fact of the matter; insulin controls diabetes. So objective “insulin” truths are very different from subjective “ice cream” truths.

As I hope you are beginning to see, our challenger believes that religious truths are simply subjective “ice cream” truths. However, he couldn’t be more wrong.

Every world religion makes claims about the real world. Just take the central claim of Christianity that Jesus physically rose from the dead. This is a historical claim. It’s about an event that took place in time and space. It either happened or it didn’t. He either rose or He didn’t. But, make no mistake, it’s not the kind of thing that can be true for me but not for you. Notice that if this claim is true, then Christianity is validated and many other religions are invalidated by default. Let me show you.

The Muslim will tell you that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead because He didn’t actually die on the cross, but rather, a substitute took His place. (Some say that Judas Iscariot was made to look like Jesus and the Romans actually crucified Judas.) So, Muslims don’t believe in the resurrection. A Jewish person will tell you that Jesus was a false messiah, and that after He was crucified He stayed dead. The Christian teaches that Jesus was crucified by the Romans, buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb, and on the third day rose physically from the dead.

Now if it turns out that Jesus really did rise from the dead, then Christianity is vindicated, and Islam, Judaism, and every other religion that denies Jesus’ resurrection would be wrong. This is simple logic.

Therefore, Christianity is not the kind of thing that can be true for you and not for me. It makes objective truth claims about reality. So, in principle, it can be falsified. The Apostle Paul said it himself in his first letter to the Corinthians.

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:14-17)

These words are absolutely striking. Essentially, he’s saying that if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then we are really wrong. Paul knew he was making an objective truth claim about the resurrection. Now whether that objective claim is indeed true is another question.

I answer the question “Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?” in this presentation. You can book me to come to speak at your church on this topic by clicking here.

February Athlete of the Month: Kim Beeler

Please welcome us in congratulating Kim Beeler, our next Athlete of the Month here at Notch 8! Please check out her bio below.


-What is your fitness background?

I played basketball and ran track and cross country in high school.  I had school records in track and I was a starter in basketball.  Then I did almost nothing for 25 years and had four children.  I would hop on the treadmill if I gained a few pounds, but since I didn’t have a weight issue, I wasn’t focused on fitness.  I started running half marathons two years ago because I knew if I didn’t do something, I was going to start deteriorating beyond reclamation.

-How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I have been doing CrossFit for exactly one year!

-What or who got you started in CrossFit or how did you learn about CrossFit?

I started reading about CrossFit after I came across information about it on running blogs.  I knew it involved weights and I wanted to give it a try because I felt like my legs weren’t very strong.  This can be a real obstacle when running.  My cardio/breathing was excellent, but my legs felt tired at mile 1.5. I wanted to run a sub 2 half and I came really close with a 2:03 in the 2013 Monumental.

My neighbor, John Lubbe, was running and he told me he had been doing CrossFit and that people could run half’s sans long run training, which are the 6-12 mile long runs you put in on the weekend to train for a half.  I liked the sound of this because I have a love hate relationship with the long runs.  He told me that Notch 8 was having a wellness challenge and it would be a great opportunity to get involved.  His amazing wife, Donna, then said,.”John’s been trying to get me to join.  I’ll do it if you will.”  So, we bo
th signed up.

-Tell us about the first time you walked into CrossFit Notch 8.

he first time I walked into Notch 8 was the night that everyone was measured for the wellness challenge.  I could immediately identify all the established CrossFitters because the contour of their every muscle was visible.  I was really excited about this because I thought there might be hope that I could develop a calf muscle, however, I was also intimidated because I knew that I didn’t look anything like a CrossFit athlete and I felt really out of place.  But everyone was incredibly nice to me and Esther measured me without laughing.

-What was your first CrossFit workout like and what did you think about it?

My first workout was the 8-8-8 baseline WOD for the challenge.  There was some rowing..maybe 250 meters, then 8 burpees, 8 kettlebell swings, and 8 box jumps, AMRAP in 8 minutes.  I really liked it because I felt like I had run 5 miles, but all that pain and gain had taken place in 8 minutes as opposed to 40 minutes of running.  This was definitely my kind of workout.

-What’s your favorite part of CrossFit?

My favorite part about CrossFit is that there is always something new to learn and master.  Everyone is always working on some skill or technique.

-What surprised you about CrossFit?

Two things surprised me:  the strong sense of community and the lack of mirrors.  I was actually glad about the lack of mirrors.

-Why Notch 8?

I live in Avon, so it just made sense.  However, I think I am at the best box ever!!

-What is your most noted CrossFit accomplishment or achievement to date?

I was really happy to get toes to bar.  But the truth is, anything I actually do correctly is an accomplishment.

Has CrossFit had an impact on any other part of your life?

Many of my friends are sick of me talking about CrossFit.  And possibly a few strangers.  But in all seriousness, CrossFit has helped me remain strong and courageous in my daily life.  CrossFit has taught me that I can do hard things in the gym and in life.

I’ve also been arm wrestling my students and winning!!!

-What is your favorite workout/movement?

My favorite workouts are ones that include running.

-What is your LEAST favorite workout/movement?

I am no fan of inchworms.

-What’s your secret weapon in your gym bag (wraps, protein, jump rope, lifting shoes, etc.)?

It is a tie between lipstick and shoe bling.  Lipstick reminds me to be bold and shoe bling makes me want to put on my shoes and come to CF.  I rely on Donna’s gym bag for anything else I might need.

-What’s the best advice you have received?

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12

-What’s your favorite cheat meal?

I made a rule that I can eat whatever I want, therefore, I never cheat.

-What motivates you?

Learning new things is very motivating to me.

-Tell us about your family?

I have four boys..Nathaniel James 14, Levi Samuel 12, Joel Daniel 9, and Luke Josiah 6.  I had some amazing girl names that I will have to save for cats.  My boys are all active and I enjoy being a “boy mom”.  There’s a lot about the quest to be the alpha male that I can’t relate to, such as not being able to pass a brother without throwing an elbow, etc, but it is an adventure and some days are a lot of fun.

-Tell us about your role models?

I belong to Indy Honor Flight, which is an organization that flies WWII vets to DC to see their memorial.  They are all amazing and inspiring.  I have met an army nurse that was shot down on three different planes in the same day and she tended patients the entire time, an army nurse that was on Omaha Beach on D2, a medic that was at the Battle of the Bulge and liberated Buchenwald- which was the first concentration camp American’s laid eyes on..rumors of such atrocities had been reported by the Russians, but largely dismissed by the West.  I have met Bataan Death March survivors, POW’s, Tuskegee Air Men, USS Indianapolis survivors, Pearl Harbor survivors, and men who worked in Red Hill which was a hidden underground fuel and storage facility (in Hawaii) and an engineering wonder.  I have heard incredible stories of unimaginable events.  I have learned about courage, grace, and perseverance from these extraordinary Americans.

-Favorite book or movie?

I like WWII books ..Unbroken, Fly Boys, Ghost Soldiers, and Voices From the Pacific.   A Higher Call was really amazing..at the risk of facing the German firing squad, German Ace Franz Stigler escorts Charles Brown’s(yes, a real Charlie Brown) bombed out B-17 over the German Flak line and to safe waters instead of shooting them out of the sky.  The two met 40 years later and became friends.  I’m intrigued with stories of humanity coupled with the brutality of war.

-Favorite restaurant?

I have four boys..I never go to restaurants.

-What tips would you have for folks new to CrossFit and/or Notch 8?

CrossFit is for anyone at any time in their life.  Anybody can start CrossFit at any time because of the scaling options.  Few other fitness activities cast as wide of a net as CrossFit.

-Words to live by or Favorite Quote?

Change will happen when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

-Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I have my motorcycle license.

Fill in the Blank

I like…talking to people and learning from their experiences.

I eat…only when I’m hungry.  So, if I eat a huge meal and I’m not hungry when the next meal time rolls around, I don’t eat more food just because of the time on the clock.  This may seem radical, but my weight doesn’t fluctuate.  I weigh what I weighed when I graduated from high school.  This could also explain why I have no calf muscle.

I do…things that push me out of my comfort zone…I find that discomfort facilitates growth and insight.

I am…in complete shock to be named Athlete of the Month at Notch 8.  It is an amazing honor and I am really grateful to have such awesome coaches, as I lack sequencing skill and strength, yet every coach has invested in making me better and has been genuinely interested in making sure that I progress. I have been in situations where coaches focus on those who have a great deal of natural talent or ability and only spend minimal time on those who are less skilled.

Anything else you would like to share?

CrossFit and the beautiful people of Notch 8 have gotten me through the most difficult time of my life.  In 2014, it became necessary for me to end a 27 year relationship that included 19 years of marriage (yes, I am that old) and, as a result, I have been a single mom 24/7/365 for almost two years.  Notch 8 has been a safe place for me to come for one hour and just be me.  I really love the challenge of CrossFit, as I lack any natural talent for this kind of activity, but everyone has been amazing and supportive and helped me to get better and progress.  The kindness of all the coaches and members has been like medicine for my soul and I have appreciated each and every one of you beyond measure.  Thank you for making me feel welcome and a part of such an outstanding and incredible family!