Posts Tagged ‘Christians’

SON OF HAMAS

I read a fascinating book by a courageous person: Mosab Hassan Yousef.  Mr. Yousef gave up so much that he held dear to follow the beliefs of his new religion, Christianity.  His devotion to Christ led him to helping people, all people: Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc.  His father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, was one of seven Palestinians that created Hamas in 1986, but Mr. Yousef was a principled and honorable man, unlike many of the other Hamas leaders, and led me to conclude that he is mostly responsible for his son also being a principled and honorable young man.

Christianity opened young Mosab’s mind to compassion and forgiveness and enabled him to take a second look at the Israelis, whom he had been taught to hate by the culture he was raised in.  At some point he thought that he could save many lives on all sides of the Palistinian-Israeli conflict by working with Israel’s Intelligence service, the Shin Bet.  In fact, he did save many innocent lives, including his father’s.

In the epilogue, postscript and afterwards, Mosab ends the book by telling about his encounters in America, which I found to be very interesting, because by the end of the book I cared about what happened to him.

The book forced me to rethink Hamas and its true intentions: political power or a genuine concern for Palistinians?  It also gave me a better appreciation on how being raised in a culture where hatred is celebrated, and also think about how fortunate I am for having been born and raised in America.  If you are interested in the Middle East, care about the people who live there, and want to understand what is happening there, this book should help.

CREATIONISM vs. EVOLUTION vs. INTELLIGENT DESIGN vs. NO GOD

I agree with three of the four alternatives mentioned in the title to this article: Creationism, Evolution, and Intelligent Design.   For the religious, if God is capable of doing anything, then why could he not simply create the world through natural means…through evolution?  For the secular, how do you know that God is not behind the creation of the universe and all life in it, using natural methods such as evolution (“Intelligent Design”)?  I see no contradiction between evolution and special creation.

I believe that Christians and Orthodox Jews  might say that Moses explains in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Bible that God created Adam and Eve on the sixth “day”.  However, biblical scholars did not interpret the length of the period of time which is simply called “day” as a 24-hour day.  So a “day” could be two-billion years and seven of those “days” could be 14 billion years, which is about the age of the universe.  Moreover, when Moses wrote Genesis, no one back then would have understood anything as complicated as evolution.

For believers in evolution, how can you know that there is no God?   I have a Trilobite fossil that’s from the Ordovician Geologic period which was about 400 million-years-ago.  Moreover, dinosaur bones have been dated, using radioactive “half-lives,” as being about 60-million-years-old.  There’s simply too much fossil evidence that supports some form of evolution.  However, the universe is unimaginably vast and the human body alone so unbelievably complex…could these things evolved without an “intelligent design” by (you name it) God, Allah, a Supreme Being, etc.?  I think it is more likely that there is God and that some interpretation of the Biblical story of creation, if you specify that God used natural means, is probably true.  There is no contradiction.  Incidentally, it’s now known that birds evolved from dinosaurs, which I think shows that God has a sense of humor.

Aside from the objective reality of whether God exists or not, the idea of God is positive and uplifting and helps people get through the inevitable crises in their lives.  The Bible got me through a huge brain tumor that almost killed me and was able to survive the consequent  destruction of my first marriage.  God and religion are the foundation upon which ethics and morals stand.  Even for those that do not believe in God, the foundation of whatever ethics and morals they have, ultimately came from a religious ancestor.  Finally, it appears to me that Creationism and science are compatible: you can believe in both.

Anyone interested in exploring religion to discover one that is right for him or her should enjoy reading M. Scott Peck, M.D.’s books on The Road Less Traveled.

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