Warm Christmas greetings to you and yours!
Want to regain your youth? Try withholding his allowance-that usually brings 'em back!
Okay . . . maybe not. More seriously, please join us in throwing a long, strong lifeline to tens of thousands of youth through the winning, ever-growing publication program of FTE. (More about this in a minute.)
First, let me share with you a breathtaking story about the role intelligent design played in preventing a deadly betrayal of the U.S. in the mid-20th century. What occurred then makes WikiLeaks' exposure of classified State Department documents look like a skip in the park.
Do you remember the Cold War and what seemed to be the relentless spread of Communism? One of the most important events of this period, an event which led to the exposure of a notorious and dangerous Russian espionage effort and perhaps prevented a crisis of major proportions for America, was the conversion of Whittaker Chambers. Chambers, a committed Communist, was one of several agents in this spy ring-until he was stopped in his tracks by a powerful example of intelligent design. Here is his own account of his conversion in his book, Witness, one of the most bracing and important books of the 20th century:
Avalanches gather force and crash, unheard, in men as in the mountains. But I date my break [with Communism and the Soviet Union] from a very casual happening . . . . I was watching [my infant daughter] eat. She was the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in my life . . . . My eye came to rest on the delicate convolutions of her ear - those intricate, perfect ears. The thought passed through my mind: "No, those ears were not created by any chance coming together of atoms in nature (the Communist view). They could have been created only by immense design." . . . I did not then know that, at that moment, the finger of God was first laid upon my forehead.
Following his conversion, Whittaker Chambers outed Alger Hiss, whose position in the State Department gave him access to the U.S. military and nuclear secrets which he had been passing to Chambers. The nation was riveted as day after day, Congressional hearings brought more of the plot to light. Writing about it later in his epic book, Chambers observed, "At heart, the great [Chambers-Hiss] case was a critical conflict of faiths." Witness shows that once God bestows his grace, our foreheads-that is, our minds-are never the same. Had America's exposure to the work of Alger Hiss and his ring of Soviet spies gone unchecked, the U.S. could be ruled by the Soviet empire today. (I am very grateful to Marvin Olasky for bringing Witness and this valuable story to light in his article, Holiday Reading: A Witness for the Ages).
Need I say it? This conflict of faiths rages on today, threatening to submerge our precious young people in the secular forces of scientific materialism. Surveys show that a majority of Americans, particularly young Americans, no longer believe in moral absolutes. For instance, the Barna Group includes moral absolutes as a key component in defining a biblical worldview. In a 2002 survey of teens, they found that only 4% had a biblical worldview. Here's a Memo: If there is no designer, as most public education insists and many courts enforce, then there is no moral order which we must uphold.
This is precisely the worldview that was so passionately articulated and defended 30 years ago on PBS by Cornell professor of biology William Provine:
Even though it is often asserted that science is fully compatible with our Judeo-Christian ethical tradition, in fact it is not . . . . beginning with Darwin, biology has undermined that tradition . . . the extreme mechanistic view of life, which every new discovery in biology tends to confirm, has certain implications. First, God has no role in the physical world . . . second, except for the laws of probability and cause and effect, there is no organizing principle in the world, and no purpose. Thus, there are no moral or ethical laws that belong to the nature of things, no absolute guiding principles for human society . . . .
Why are we surprised by the outcomes of this worldview on our institutions, our economy, our political system, and our culture? We are all moral free agents, right?
Working alone, none of us can fix the problem, but we can join forces with one or more effective efforts to make a great impact.
Some Highlights from 2010
Some Highlights of FTE's Plan for 2011
Thank you for the most generous gift you can make at this time. FTE has had major encouragements and breakthroughs, but the contribution income has declined in 2010 over 2009 by more than $62,000. We have cut back on activities even while eliminating debt. Nevertheless we have fallen further behind on salaries, and must reverse that trend, and enter the new year stronger.
We are so grateful for your partnership with us!
Because He lives,
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