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How studying science led this atheist to God

24 May, 2016 Leave a comment
May 2016

Douglas Ell was shocked to discover overwhelming evidence for God in an unlikely place

Plenty of people enjoy treating God like a joke. One of them was Douglas Ell. Sure, Ell had grown up in a church, but as he matured, he shed his faith. By the time he was a teenager, he was comfortable labelling himself an atheist – and was courteous enough to mail his pastor to tell him so. The minister sent Ell a book to read, but Ell was beyond doing any additional homework on God: he had far too much homework ahead of him on the topic of science.

Ell grew up a self-described nerdy kid, writing out long numbers for entertainment and devouring books on complex, intellectual topics. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he achieved undergraduate degrees in maths and chemistry, then trotted down to the University of Maryland to obtain an MA in theoretical mathematics.

Despite his great talent for such subjects in an abstract field, the jobs were much like the numbers: theoretical.

Ell obtained work for a few years as a computer programmer before figured out what he really wanted to do for a job, and went to law school, graduating with honours.

Ell’s rise in the legal field was rapid and prominent. He became a sought-after attorney to nationally recognised corporations, unions and pension plans. He litigated before Congress for the rights of employee benefit laws. If God ever figured in his thinking, the idea was dimissed with disdain.

The turning point

But there was a small inconvenience for Ell’s atheism: his newborn son. After having a child, the decision was made that the family should go to church. And so, despite his disbelief, Ell and his wife attended a local congregation for the sake of their son.

Ell decided to treat the church like a social club. This was, after all, simply a community of friendly and supportive families meant to create a nourishing environment for his child’s development. No sense letting the little matter of supernatural belief get in the way of cordiality.

However, Ell was confounded by the easy inner peace that the Christians around him seemed to have. It wasn’t something he seemed to have access to, and it wasn’t something he could easily explain away either.

As time went by, Ell’s career led to further travel, and he fell back into his boyhood pattern of reading up on the sciences during lengthy trips. However, this time he added the topic he had specifically ignored in his youth: religion.

He initially expected science and Christianity to be like oil and water: strictly refusing to cohere. But Ell was surprised to find the opposite. After much reading on the topic between airport terminals and crowded train compartments, Ell found that Christianity drew the sciences together for him in seven distinct ways:

  • Evidence for the beginning of the universe
  • The apparent ‘fine tuning’ of the universe
  • The specified complexity of life, and the lack of any reasonable explanation for its origin
  • The futuristic ‘technological’ nature of life
  • Evidence against unguided Neo-Darwinian evolution
  • The unique and special nature of Earth
  • The universal language of Mathematics

Ell’s training in law had educated him in how to construct cogent and considerate arguments, and the more he considered it, the more science pointed towards God’s existence and the truth of Christianity. Finally, Ell accepted that Christianity must be true, and joined the community of the church he attended in earnest.

Proving God

More than just joining them, however, Ell was excited to share how the existence of God – and truth of the Christian worldview – had brought together the sciences for him. Ell began speaking at his church and others about his developing arguments for the truth of Christianity, based on science and maths. As his message caught on, Ell sat down to work properly on his arguments. The conclusions he came to were astounding.

Using his advanced knowledge of mathematical analysis, combined with the latest science, Ell came up with probability calculations which were incredible: practical proof, he concluded, of a designed and ordered universe. Sitting with his friend Peter Fisher one evening, Ell told him, ‘You know, someone should write a book about this, because I’m finding modern science strongly supports belief in God.’ Fisher, who is now head of the physics department at MIT, responded, ‘Maybe that someone could be you.’

Thus inspired, Ell poured out his findings into his book, Counting to God, which takes the more theoretical elements and breaks them down to an understandable level, by which Ell hoped to convey the beauty he saw in science and maths to the eyes of the reader.

Ell now travels across America speaking on his seven-point theory of God and the sciences; and giving lectures on probability theory and how it points to God. To Ell, God was no longer disdained as a delusion but became the very centre to which the universe and his own life pointed.

This blog was originally published on examiner.com by Joel Furches  

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Categories: Christian Tags: ,

Who Will Stand Up for the Christians?

20 August, 2014 Leave a comment

By RONALD S. LAUDERAUG. 19, 2014

WHY is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference.

The Middle East and parts of central Africa are losing entire Christian communities that have lived in peace for centuries. The terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped and killed hundreds of Christians this year — ravaging the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza, in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, two weeks ago. Half a million Christian Arabs have been driven out of Syria during the three-plus years of civil war there. Christians have been persecuted and killed in countries from Lebanon to Sudan.

Historians may look back at this period and wonder if people had lost their bearings. Few reporters have traveled to Iraq to bear witness to the Nazi-like wave of terror that is rolling across that country. The United Nations has been mostly mum. World leaders seem to be consumed with other matters in this strange summer of 2014. There are no flotillas traveling to Syria or Iraq. And the beautiful celebrities and aging rock stars — why doesn’t the slaughter of Christians seem to activate their social antennas?

President Obama should be commended for ordering airstrikes to save tens of thousands of Yazidis, who follow an ancient religion and have been stranded on a mountain in northern Iraq, besieged by Sunni Muslim militants. But sadly, airstrikes alone are not enough to stop this grotesque wave of terrorism.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is not a loose coalition of jihadist groups, but a real military force that has managed to take over much of Iraq with a successful business model that rivals its coldblooded spearhead of death. It uses money from banks and gold shops it has captured, along with control of oil resources and old-fashioned extortion, to finance its killing machine, making it perhaps the wealthiest Islamist terrorist group in the world. But where it truly excels is in its carnage, rivaling the death orgies of the Middle Ages. It has ruthlessly targeted Shiites, Kurds and Christians.

“They actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick” a Chaldean-American businessman named Mark Arabo told CNN, describing a scene in a Mosul park. “More children are getting beheaded, mothers are getting raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.”

This week, 200,000 Aramaeans fled their ancestral homeland around Nineveh, having already escaped Mosul.

The general indifference to ISIS, with its mass executions of Christians and its deadly preoccupation with Israel, isn’t just wrong; it’s obscene.

In a before thousands of Christians in Budapest in June, I made a solemn promise that just as I will not be silent in the face of the growing threat of anti-Semitism in Europe and in the Middle East, I will not be indifferent to Christian suffering. Historically, it has almost always been the other way around: Jews have all too often been the persecuted minority. But Israel has been among the first countries to aid Christians in South Sudan. Christians can openly practice their religion in Israel, unlike in much of the Middle East.

This bond between Jews and Christians makes complete sense. We share much more than most religions. We read the same Bible, and share a moral and ethical core. Now, sadly, we share a kind of suffering: Christians are dying because of their beliefs, because they are defenseless and because the world is indifferent to their suffering.

Good people must join together and stop this revolting wave of violence. It’s not as if we are powerless. I write this as a citizen of the strongest military power on earth. I write this as a Jewish leader who cares about my Christian brothers and sisters.

The Jewish people understand all too well what can happen when the world is silent. This campaign of death must be stopped.

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Denne mand tager på dates. Selv om han er gift. Lyder usympatiskt, men jeg er på hans side.

13 April, 2014 Leave a comment

Jarrid Wilson er en mand, præst, forfatter og blogger. Og han har en tilståelse, der har fået alle i tale på det seneste. Du vil se hvorfor herunder.

På Jarrids blogindlæg, der hedder “Jeg tager på date selvom jeg er gift”, skriver han:

“Jeg har en tilståelse at komme med. Jeg går på date nogen, selvom jeg er gift.

Hun er en utrolig pige. Hun er smuk, smart, snu, stærk og sprituel. Jeg elsker at tage hende ud at spise, se film og shows, og fortæller hende altid, hvor smuk hun er. Jeg kan ikke huske sidste gang, jeg var vred på hende i mere end fem minutter, og hendes smil lysner altid op på min dag uanset omstændighederne.

Nogle gange besøger hun mig på arbejde uanmeldt, laver en fantastisk frokost til mig, eller kan endda overraske mig med noget, hun selv har bagt. Jeg har svært ved at tro på, hvor heldig jeg er ved at date nogen, selvom jeg er gift. Jeg opfordrer dig til at prøve det og se, hvad det kan gøre for dit liv.

Og forresten – fik jeg nævnt at den kvinde, jeg ser jævnligt, er min kone? Hvad troede du?

Bare fordi du er gift, betyder det ikke at dit romantiske liv og dates skal slutte.

Jeg har brug for at fortsætte med at gå ud med min kone, selv efter jeg har giftet mig med hende. At forfølge min kones kærlighed burde ikke være slut, bare fordi vi begge sagde, “Ja, jeg gør.” Alt for mange gange ser jeg forhold stoppe med at udvikle sig, fordi folk stopper med at tage initiativ til at stræbe efter hinanden.

Når man går på date, har man en tid, hvor man kommer til at lære en person at kende på en speciel og unik måde. Hvorfor skulle du ønske, at det nogensinde stopper? Det burde det jo ikke. De sommerfugle, du fik i maven på den første date burde ikke stoppe, bare fordi årene er gået. Vågn op hver dag og stræb efter din ægtefælle, på samme måde som hvis I stadig var på jeres første dates sammen. I vil se en drastisk ændring til det bedre i jeres forhold.

I ethvert forhold er kommunikation og ​​konstant jagt på hinandens kærlighednøglen. Ingen ønsker at være sammen med nogen, der ikke ønsker at vinde dem helhjertet.

Jeg vil opfordre dig til at gå på date med din partner, jage hans/hendes kærlighed helhjertet, og forstå, at dating ikke burde slutte bare fordi I sagde, “Ja, jeg gør.”

– Jarrid Wilson

Categories: Christian Tags: , ,
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