Day: January 30, 2015

Theodicy: Questioning God’s Existence

I don’t know how long you have been working on your computer so far. If it is 30 minutes then you need to know that in those 30 minutes, 30 children have succumbed to malaria. This means that one child under the age of 5 dies every minute, according to a report by the World Health Organization.[1] UNICEF further claims that about 4,000 children die each day from water-borne diseases due to lack of clean drinking water.[2] Statistics released from the American Cancer Society indicated that 1,665, 540 new cases of cancer were projected for the year 2014 in the United States alone![3]

These statistics and many others pointing to gratuitous suffering and pain have reportedly made some to conclude that there is no God.

In his book, The Case For Faith, Lee Strobel writes that Charles Templeton, once a fellow evangelist with Dr. Billy Graham, told him in an interview that one reason he abandoned his faith in God and came to the conclusion that God does not exist was a photo he saw of an African woman cradling her dead child in her arms.[4] The child had died from the effects of a severe drought. Templeton concluded that if there was a God, he would not have withheld the much-needed rain that could have saved that child’s life.

Every time the issue of suffering and pain is raised as an objection against the existence of God, it is associated with a human being. This means that the objectors attach some intrinsic value to human beings. Their argument becomes a moral argument. But what is it that gives human beings intrinsic value? Isn’t it the fact that they are made in the image of God? Without God human beings would merely be products of matter animated by chemical reactions and electricity. So, why should it matter if they suffer?

Dr. Ravi Zacharias, a notable apologist, addresses this objection in his book, Can Man Live Without God? This is how he puts it: “If you argue from the existence of evil to the non-existence of God, you are assuming the existence of an absolute moral law in order for your argument to work out. But if there is such a law, then that would also mean that there is such a God, since he is the only One who could give us this law, then the argument itself is flawed, since you have had to assume the existence of God in order to argue that he doesn’t exist.”[5]

One wonders, if all the reasons for theodicy were to be given, would that suffice for the objectors? Would they finally acknowledge the existence of God? Ironically, people in places that have experienced terrible suffering and pain never once question the existence of God. On the contrary, they cling to their faith in God as to a life line.

It is true that pain and suffering are an enigma. But one way to know how God feels about suffering and pain is to look at the cross of Jesus Christ. Jill Carattini, managing editor of A Slice of Infinity from RZIM aptly observes that “On the cross, in the person of Christ, the problem of pain was God’s own, felt acutely, absorbed personally, endured as one person—and answering as many problems of pain as there are sorrowing creatures.”[6]


[1] World Health Organization. “Malaria: Fact Sheet No. 94.” 2014.

[2]UNICEF. “World Water Day 2005.” 2012.

[3] American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts & Figures 2014.”

[4] Lee Strobel, The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity (4th ed.) 2006. Zondervan Publishing House. Grand Rapids, MI.

[5] Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God? 1994. Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publisher.

[6] Jill Carattini (managing editor). Every Problem of Pain. RZIM. Atlanta. Georgia.

Cancer Awareness

Preventive health is a health strategy that is significantly cost effective and can be adopted by anyone. Prevention costs nothing, but the benefits are priceless. The etiology of cancer of any form is complex since there are numerous factors that can exacerbate its development including genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The article below is timely and to the point. Its guidelines have the potential to reduce the risk of cancer and where cancer has already developed, they have the potential to delay its progression.

Cancer Awareness

Your diet is one such factor that you can tweak to help lessen your risk of developing cancer down the line. In fact, of the nearly 569,500 cancer deaths that occurred in 2010, it’s estimated that one-third were related to physical inactivity, poor nutrition, obesity or being overweight (also often diet related), and therefore could have been prevented.1
You’ve probably already heard the advice to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, or at least five servings a day, to help fight chronic illnesses like cancer. But, just as important as knowing which foods to eat to help prevent cancer is knowing which foods to avoid.

The Top Cancer-Causing Foods to Avoid
In order to use your diet as a strategic “weapon” against cancer, one of the easiest things you can do is make sure the following foods are not a part of your regular diet.

1. Processed Meats
You may love hot dogs, lunch meat, bacon and sausages, but these meats are among the worst of the worst for your health. When you eat processed meats, you’re almost assuredly consuming sodium nitrite (or sodium nitrate), which is added to processed and cured meats as a preservative, flavoring, color fixative and antimicrobial agent.
Unfortunately, nitrites can be converted into cancer-causing nitrosamines in your body, which may explain why numerous studies have linked processed meat consumption to cancer. For instance:

  • People who eat a lot of processed meat may be 50 percent more likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who eat the least.2
  • Increased consumption of processed meat is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer.3
  • Eating a lot of processed meat is linked to a 68 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer compared to eating only a small amount.4


  1. Red Meat
    While some red meat can safely be included in your diet (for instance, grass-fed beef, which contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that may help to fight cancer),5 there is evidence that eating a lot of red meat can increase your cancer risk. One such study found that eating red meat daily for 10 years (in an amount equivalent to a quarter-pound hamburger) increased men’s risk of dying from cancer by 22 percent, and women’s by 20 percent.6
    Separate research has also linked red meat consumption to an increased risk of breast,7 colon and prostate cancers.

    3. Charred and Well-Done Meats
    The way you cook your meat may actually make a big difference in the cancer risk it poses to you, with well-done and char-grilled meats among the worst offenders.
    Many studies have shown a correlation between eating well-done meat cooked at high temperatures and an increased risk of cancer, and at least part of that risk is likely due to toxic cooking byproducts.

    For instance, when amino acids and creatine (a chemical found in muscle meats, including beef, pork, chicken and fish) interact with high cooking temperatures, heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are formed. At least 17 different HCAs have been identified that may increase cancer risk,8 including colon cancer, stomach cancer and others.
    Further, a review of 30 epidemiological studies found that 80 percent showed a link between eating well-done meat and cancer.9 A separate study also found a link between charred meat and pancreatic cancer, with those eating the most very well done meat at a 70 percent increased risk compared to those who ate the least.10

    4. French Fries and Potato Chips
    Potato chips and other snack chips and French fries may contain high levels of acrylamide, another carcinogenic substance that forms when foods are heated at high temperatures, such as during baking or frying.
    Animal studies have shown the substance increases the risk of several different types of cancer, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer states that acrylamide is a “probable human carcinogen.”
    Generally speaking, acrylamide may be found in any food heated to a temperature above 248 degrees Fahrenheit, but potato chips and French fries have been found to contain the highest levels among foods tested.11

    5. Sugar -Particularly Fructose
    You may have heard the notion that sugar feeds cancer cells, and although all cells, even healthy cells, use glucose to grow, cancer cells use sugar more efficiently, and in greater quantities, than healthy cells. Research shows a strong connection between sugar consumption and cancer, so much so that you may want to limit or at least moderate your intake to reduce your cancer risk. For instance:

  • Women who ate the most high-glycemic-load foods were close to three times more likely to develop colorectal cancer.13
  • High blood sugar levels, caused by health conditions like diabetes along with eating too many sugary foods, have been linked to cancers of the pancreas, skin, uterus, urinary tract and breast. Further, women with the highest blood sugar levels were found to have a 26 percent higher risk of developing cancer than those with the lowest.14
  • Women with the highest carbohydrate intake (62 percent of their diet or more) were more than twice as likely to develop breast cancer than those with a lower carb intake (52 percent or less).15

One recent study also found that fructose — found in soda and many other processed sweets — may feed cancer cells even more than glucose.16

The researchers “fed” both glucose and fructose to pancreatic cancer cells in lab dishes and found that although the cells thrived on glucose, they used fructose to divide and increase proliferation. The researchers even suggested that limiting the intake of refined fructose may disrupt cancer growth.17

Cancer is currently the second most common cause of death in the United States (heart disease is first), accounting for nearly one of every four deaths.18 While it may be impossible to eliminate your risk entirely, cutting back on, or eliminating, these cancer-causing foods from your diet is one simple way to stay healthy and help keep your cancer risk as low as possible.

Again, eliminating cancer-causing foods is only one way to use your diet to lower your cancer risk. Stay tuned for an upcoming newsletter on the best foods to eat more of to help keep cancer away.


  1. American Cancer Society Facts & Figures 2010
  2. Journal of the American Medical Association (2005); 293(2):172-82.
  3. Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2006), 98(15):1078-87.
  4. Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2005), 97(19):1458-65.
  5. Cornell University Department of Animal Science, The Bauman Research Group, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Studies.
  6. Archives of Internal Medicine (2009); 169 (6):562-571.
  7. Archives of Internal Medicine (2006); 166: 2253-2259.
  8. National Cancer Institute, “Heterocyclic Amines in Cooked Meats” September 15, 2004.
  9. Nutrition Reviews 2005 May; 63(5):158-65.
  10. April 22, 2009.
  11. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. World Health Organization. Summary report of the 64th meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), February 8-17, 2005.
  12. National Cancer Institute “Acrylamide in Food and Cancer Risk.”
  13. Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2004); 96(3):229-233.
  14. Diabetes Care, Vol. 30, No. 3, March 2007: 561-567.
  15. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention (2004); 13, 1283-1289.
  16. Cancer Research (2010); 70: 6368.
  17. August 2, 2010.
  18. American Cancer Society Facts & Figures 2010.

Article: Courtesy of The Cancer Nutrition Centers of America (CNCA) Health:

New Prints Available in Support of Ray’s Brain Tumor Diagnosis…

This family needs our support in any possible way.