So my wife showed me this really interesting article: http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-concluded-that-the-universe-shouldn-t-really-exist

The short version it says: “All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the Universe should not actually exist,” says one of the researchers, Christian Smorra.”

On a side note, but somewhat related to this article; I’ve also been entertained by the sheer number of Atheists that got enraged when I posted this to the Christian Reddit board. Before I started spending any time on religious groups forums and Reddit boards, I never understood when Christians have told me that they are relentlessly attacked by Atheists questioning their faith. I love to debate and argue, so it does not bother me in the slightest. I am disappointed in the amount of Christians that do not push back with science against them. Atheists feel this is their domain.

Both Christianity and Atheism is based on faith. Atheists believe the Universe spontaneously formed from nothing, (such as the Big Bang, or a Multiverse bubble, etc), where as different religions believe a God is the creator. 

I would rather be wrong about God not being real when I die, then not believing and he does exist. Then, if you believe there is a God, you go down the rabbit hole of which religion is the most likely to be real. I feel all evidence points to Christianity, but there will be countless more articles written by me that support this in the months and years to come.

Most Atheists point to physics and science to explain away God. Often I struggle with many of these questions, and while I have read about countless famous physicists that believe there must be a God, I was curious as to what the more modern Physicists and Theologians thought on this topic.  Upon doing some research on the topic, I came across a really interesting site that explores this topic. The article is written by PHD Fr. Robert Spitzer who has written some very highly regarded books on the subject. This article, https://strangenotions.com/how-contemporary-physics-points-to-god/, goes into some of the modern theories on the Big Bang Theory, the Multiverse Theory, and the theory of an oscillating universe in higher dimensional space. 

“Guth concluded this study as follows: “In my own opinion, it looks like eternally inflating models necessarily have a beginning…As hard as physicists have worked to try to construct an alternative, so far all the models that we construct have a beginning; they are eternal into the future, but not into the past.”3This snippet is from a point in the articles where three separate papers by written by the Physicists Borde, Vilenkin, and Guth all came to the same conclusion. The article is very scientific and parts are hard to understand, but if you are a science nerd, you will find it fascinating. 

On a side not, there is a massive list of books recommended by this site that this site recommends, many of which will be added to my exhaustive reading plan. https://strangenotions.com/books/

Another article that was dumbed down, but the final page has a super interesting article. Watch the double slit test. I had read about this recently and was baffled. 

Article on the Afterlife

More recently in 2007, one scientist claims to have discovered a theory within quantum physics that provides and explanation for death and afterlife. Dr. Robert Lanza, developed the theory of biocentrism which states that the existence of life and biology are central to being, reality and the cosmos—our consciousness. In essence, it is that life creates the universe, rather than the other way around. Dr. Lanza uses the famous ” double-slit test ” to illustrate his point: the double slit test is an experiment of light and matter which found that it can display characteristics of both waves and particles—it’s behavior changes depending on the observer’s perception and consciousness—quite an unexplained phenomenon of quantum physics! Dr. Lanza asks “Why does our observation change what happens? Answer: Because reality is a process that requires our consciousness.” He claims that this experiment would explain the quantum effects of the afterlife and supports the many reports of afterlife experiences by people who have died, visited another realm and lived to tell about it. One such supporter of this theory is Dr. Eben Alexander, whom cannot scientifically explain his experience visiting heaven when he was clinically brain dead from meningitis, thus making it scientifically impossible to generate any neurologic activity and brain function. Yet, he had such a powerful afterlife experience that he has lived to tell.  He said, ‘My journey deep into coma, outside this lowly physical realm and into the loftiest dwelling place of the almighty Creator, revealed the indescribably immense chasm between our human knowledge and the awe-inspiring realm of God.”  He goes on to state, “The brain itself does not produce consciousness.  That it is, instead, a kind of reducing valve or filter, shifting the larger, nonphysical consciousness that we possess in the nonphysical worlds down into a more limited capacity for the duration of our mortal lives.” (Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife, 2012) While Dr. Lanza’s theory is not widely embraced by fellow scientists, his discovery in conjunction with quantum physics certainly could shed light on God’s promise of eternal life to those who believe (John 3:16). As the Bible so beautifully explains in 2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/galleries/how-quantum-physics-proves-gods-existence.aspx?p=5#3Goy0mweW5FM4G6f.99

Another non-scientific article that has a good statement by a Physicist:http://bigthink.com/dr-kakus-universe/we-physicists-are-the-only-scientists-who-can-say-the-word-god-and-not-blush

Today I got to thinking when considering a purchase, what am I allowed to do on the Sabbath? Am I allowed to shop? Am I allowed to buy online? Does that still apply to the New Testament? So many questions…

In the dictionary the Sabbath is referred to as: a day of religious observance and abstinence from work, kept by Jews from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and by most Christians on Sunday.

This site is quite good and explains a lot about the Sabbath: https://www.sabbathtruth.com/ They are very keen on observing the Sabbath on Saturday. In fact many of the sites I see seem to be insistent on it. I’m curious then, why do every church observe on Sunday (for the most part)?

Another site describing the Sabbath: http://www.crosswalk.com/church/worship/what-is-the-purpose-of-the-sabbath.html with some interesting information.

This site is much more liberal about the Sabbath and does not believe it should be followed to the letter like many others. It has a passage showing what Jesus (who obviously is the ultimate authority on everything) says in several passages:

https://www.gci.org/law/sabbath

“Jesus always compared the Sabbath to ceremonial laws, not to moral laws. When his disciples were picking grain, he used the example of the showbread, and the work of the priests in the temple (Matt. 12:3-6). Those rituals were just as important as the Sabbath. He said that circumcision could be done on the Sabbath (John 7:22), which indicates that circumcision is a more important law than the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a ritual law—it says that behavior that is perfectly good one day, is forbidden on another, simply because the earth has rotated. But true morality does not change from one day of the week to another. When ritual laws became obsolete when Jesus died, it should be no surprise that the ritual of the Sabbath also became obsolete.

Jesus said that daily chores could be done on the Sabbath (Luke 13:15). Even hard labor could be done in an emergency (Luke 14:5). He told a healed man to carry his sleeping mat, even though there was no hurry (John 5:8). He even used the word “work” to describe his activity (v. 17). Many Christians follow this example. They remember that Jesus consistently criticized the Sabbath rules of the Pharisees, and that he treated it as a ritual law.”

The site also states:

  1. The first place we see a command for the Sabbath is in the law of Moses.
  2. The law of Moses contains many commands that Christians do not have to keep.
  3. Even laws that came before Moses, such as circumcision, can be obsolete.
  4. To see which laws are obsolete, we need to study the New Testament.
  5. The New Testament never commands the Sabbath.
  6. Jesus always criticizes Sabbath rules, and never tells anyone to be careful about what they do on the Sabbath.
  7. Jesus always groups the Sabbath with ceremonial and ritual laws.
  8. Peter and Paul could live like Gentiles if they wanted to.
  9. Paul said that something about the Ten Commandments was fading away

This site makes a ton of other great points. Without stealing too much of their content, the also point out a passage from Paul (one of Jesus’s disciples) that says “In Romans 14, Paul writes that some Christians consider “one day more sacred than another,” whereas other Christians consider “every day alike.” In the Roman church, partly composed of Jews and partly composed of Gentiles, it is obvious what kind of days might be considered sacred.”

Here is another site with similar view points: https://www.gty.org/library/questions/QA135/are-the-sabbath-laws-binding-on-christians-today

This is another site that kind of has an in-between message: https://www.gotquestions.org/Sabbath-keeping.html they quote from the Colossians and state:  “In Colossians 2:16-17, the apostle Paul declares, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Similarly, Romans 14:5 states, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” These Scriptures make it clear that, for the Christian, Sabbath-keeping is a matter of spiritual freedom, not a command from God. Sabbath-keeping is an issue on which God’s Word instructs us not to judge each other. Sabbath-keeping is a matter about which each Christian needs to be fully convinced in his/her own mind.”

I believe a combination of the last two thoughts are the most accurate. The Sabbath was not meant to be a chore for man. It was designed for the ancient Israelites to have a day of rest and worship. Today we do not do 6 days of hard labor.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, and suddenly the real possibility of dying hit me, I suddenly started to think real hard about what happens next. Do I go to Heaven? Do I go to Hell? Do they even really exist? Was Jesus just a charlatan that convinced people he raised from the dead? What if another religion had it right? What if there is no God and we just cease existing? 

I’ve always been into science, so many of the  common theological themes in the Bible were explained away in my mind as metaphors. These same themes are derided and poked fun of by mainstream pop-culture and late night comedians, forming the fabric of  my understanding of Christian ideals. Sure I went to Church as a child, and attended a few times during Christmas, etc. I knew the basics, and the few times I looked deeper I found many of the stories to be extremely difficult to believe.

Before my first big surgery I started going to church. Went with some friends, it was ok, and I kinda felt the connection with the people there, but it didn’t move me. My wife and I decided to try one of the other local churches, I liked the pastor a lot better. He wasn’t preachy, very down to Earth, and I felt a bit more of a connection. I listened, enjoyed the overall message of being a good person, but it still didn’t help me believe all this was real. I started doing a bit more research, but after my surgery I started chemo, and was a bit too miserable to explore too much.

Then I died.

It took them 6 shocks to bring me back to life. I was on ice for 4 days. I was on my third round of chemo. I was part of the very unlucky 1% to have a spasm in the heart from a component of the chemo. You could say I was also extremely unlucky in even getting cancer to begin with. No family history, I was only 35 years old, and I was in very good shape, ate healthy, etc. I was lucky though. I was part of the 6.2% to survive the cardiac arrest. At this point I am scared. I had only completed three rounds of chemo. I was stage 3C so had a high risk of re-occurrence. I did a ton of research and someone on a cancer forum directed me to a clinical trial for a vaccine that was highly effective in early trials for people who had completed adjudicative therapy. I contacted a doctor at Duke, flew there, but learned it was full and I got on a waiting list. I found another at the University of Michigan, but learned that one had a blind trial and I didn’t want to spend all that time and money to possibly get the placebo. I started emailing any and all doctors for trials that sounded similar. When I had just given up hope I was granted one of the last 8 slots at the University of Pittsburgh. I have been in remission for 1 year in two weeks from the time of this writing. I had no damage to my heart or organs, and am doing great!

Obviously, God had other plans for me.

During the time after my cardiac arrest, my impending thoughts of death had reached a new level. I NEEDED to figure out what I believed. I started reading books about people that had died like myself, but actually remembered it. I lost all my memory for a few weeks leading up to the event, and only have fragments of that memory now. I read books about ghosts, religions, etc, searching for answers.

I then came across a book that really changed my perception: How to Know God Exists by Ray Comfort – This book was a little lame in the first chapter or so, but after that, it really gets into the science. It talks about so many famous scientists and physicists that started out denying God, but later acknowledging that life could not be possible without him. This book set the foundation to my true belief. I would recommend anyone wanting to understand; start with this book!

The second book that made a big impact and set me on the path to Christianity is: A Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel – This book is written by an award winning investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune, who was also an atheist. He cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis who are recognized authorities in their own fields. Strobel challenges them with questions like, How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event?

These two books set the foundation of faith. First you have to believe that God truly exists. The first book really helps with that question. This second book helps answer the question of Jesus really existing. I’ve read countless other sites, commentaries, information disputing these claims, yet nothing I have read could debunk the events that happened. Like Lee Strobel, I kept finding more evidence it DID happen as opposed to it not happening. Once you truly believe that God exists, and that Jesus was the son of God, then suddenly your world is turned upside down. When you believe that the words of the Bible are in fact true, then it sets an entirely new reality. One that is scary, yet extremely comforting as well.

I began reading the Bible. I decided I was just going to read it cover to cover. I have been reading it for months, some nights a lot, some nights hardly any. I began jotting down my questions as I went, and created this website to try and find answers to share with others. I felt this could be my calling, since it was a skill I employed. I know there is more I need to do. I started listening to a podcast called The Bible Project – I can’t say enough good things about them. They also make short videos (which I have no watched yet), and eventually I plan to listen to Tim Mackie’s sermons as well. They don’t preach at you and are so easy to understand, you learn so much from them. I can honestly say they have helped reinforce my faith greatly. 

These are the most notable, I will compile a list of everyone and everything I have found helpful eventually, but those are the standout stars I would recommend to anyone struggling to understand and believe. There is no more important decision in your life than this one. 

Since I was a bit behind in my Bible readings (pushing through The Chronicles), I thought I would try and tackle a common question. With horrible things happening, like the Las Vegas shootings, etc. Why does God allow these things to happen? Even if you take the assumption of everyone in that crowd has sinned in their life, there are countless other situations where children and babies are victims. In my search for answers I found some great sites giving some thought provoking answers:

“The materialist and the atheist, those who would deny God, believe that at death, all is over. Life is finished, it is done and complete; we are dust, mere food for worms. To these people, pain has no meaning other than what it is: pure, unadulterated suffering, without any redeeming purpose. To the atheist, there may be a certain formless heroism attached to the person who faces suffering with courage and without complaining. But if we are all body and flesh, and no soul and spirit, if we are mere products of a selfish gene and nothing more, one wonders why this heroism would in any way be significant.

There is, though, a greater point, and that is that the atheist is convinced that these years we spend on earth—perhaps 80 or more if we’re lucky, and only a handful if we’re not—are everything we have, and constitute the total human experience. Christians, on the other hand, believe that these years on earth, while important and to be used wisely and to be enjoyed, are preparation for a far greater life to come. They are, in effect, a thin ray of light from the great sunshine that is eternity and life in heaven with God. “

http://www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies/articles/theology/why-do-bad-things-happen-to-good-people.html

In an excellent paragraph it says: As to the specific issue of pain and suffering, C. S. Lewis, who watched his beloved wife die of cancer, put it this way: “But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” God’s plan is for us to return to him, and to lead the best possible life on earth; sometimes we need to be reminded of our purpose. Pain is a sharp, clear tool to achieve that purpose. A needle may be necessary to prevent disease or infection; nobody welcomes or enjoys the injection, but it prevents a far greater suffering, just as what may seem like even intolerable pain now will lead to far greater happiness later.

Another (long) interesting article during a preaching by the former Aethiest and best selling author of A Case for Christ: https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2012/07/why-does-god-allow-tragedy-and-suffering/

While no one truly knows the answer to this question, the main takeaway I found was that God gave us free will. With that free will, we inflict suffering, pain, and horrors upon each other. Bad things can accidentally happen to us, to children, and to people we know and love. How we react to those things are part of our test in this life. Hell is described in the Bible as a place away from God. Eternal happiness, health, and joy are in his presence, and those who choose not to follow him will experience what eternity is like away from him. 

It took cancer, which at the time was not enough, and then sudden cardiac death for me to wake up. I hope to use whatever time I have left to show others this undeniable truth as well.