Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Compromising Genesis and Deep Time

For a mighty long time, the book of Genesis was understood to be history, not allegory or anything else. Josephus, the respected Jewish historian, also recognized the straightforward reading of Genesis. One in a while, some owlhoot would try to change the literal days of Genesis into something else In the days of the Reformers, some folks tried to make the days much quicker, but most accepted literal creation days


Later, professing Christians compromised on the meaning of the days of Genesis in order to accommodate atheistic interpretations of "science", and commenced to shoving millions of years into the text. They also began rejecting creation in favor of evolutionism, and the faith of many was shipwrecked. I suspicion that religious folks didn't want to look stupid to the burgeoning secular science promoters, and were fearful of ridicule. Did they, and do people today, want to please men, or God? 

There are various attempts to marry up Genesis and atheistic science, but all of them require extreme eisegesis. They also elevate man-made science philosophies into the magisterial position above the written Word of God.
A recent Pew Research Center poll showed the number of Americans who professed to be Christian declined by 7.8% between 2007 and 2014, while the number professing other faiths or identifying as unaffiliated increased by 7.9%.1 Only 50% of the younger millennials (born 1990–1996) believe in God with absolute certainty, and only 52% believe that Scripture is the Word of God. These are alarming figures that reflect our postmodernist culture and our views of who God is and what He has done. A telling indicator would be a millennial’s answer to the question “Did God really create the world in six days?”
The Christian community holds varying views on the first chapter of Genesis. Some simply believe the biblical six-day creation narrative as it stands, while increasing numbers of people attempt to fit creation into the hypotheses of modern secular science or other views consistent with a deep-time paradigm of a universe billions of years old.
To finish reading, click on "Genesis Doesn't Fit with Deep Time".


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Scripture is Given by God and Necessary

It should be obvious that people who identify as Christians must rely on the Bible as their final authority in spiritual matters. Unfortunately, many people elevate man-made traditions, false authority, teachings from teachers they admire, and even their own opinions above God's Word.

The Bible is God-breathed, essential for Christian life, and true from the very first verse.
Credit: Pixabay / StockSnap
Many translations translate a word in 2 Timothy 3:16 as inspired, which causes some confusion because people say William Shakespeare, John MacArthur, J.S. Bach, and other writers are inspired. The word in the Bible is θεόπνευστος and is more correctly translated as God-breathed. God gave us his inerrant Word for instruction in righteousness, doctrine, daily living, and other matter essential to Christian life. It is true from the very first verse. Bible-believing Christians who read it on a regular basis and receive sound biblical teachings are less likely to fall under the influence of owlhoots who are bringing false doctrine.
The doctrine of Sola Scriptura was at the heart of the Protestant Reformation,1 serving as a guard around Scripture to protect it from unbiblical ideas being imposed upon it.2 Nevertheless, many Christians today struggle to defend this vital doctrine while others say that Sola Scriptura is not even taught in the Bible.

The Apostle Paul, however, told Timothy that Scripture was sufficient for him in his ministry. This article will look at what 2 Timothy 3:16–17 says about the sufficiency of Scripture.
To read the entire article, click on "God-Breathed Scripture & Sola Scriptura".


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Thoughts

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

On this distinctly American holiday where people traditionally celebrate family, friends, and what we have, we need to remember the greater blessings. Many of us have things we take for granted. We have electronic devices that are "essential" to us that didn't even exist ten years ago, and we panic when they're not working. A bit of perspective, people! I can turn on the faucet and get clean water that we put through an attached filter to make it even better, but there are those who have to scrounge for muddy water to drink and hope it doesn't kill them. Even if we're not living in splendor, we need to be thankful for what we have, you savvy?


Be thankful to God for what we have, not just one day a year, but daily.
The Thankful Poor,  Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1894
A thankful spirit is important in the Christian life, and we should focus on giving thanks to God who gave us life, and eternal life. He doesn't have to bless us in so many ways, but he does it out of his love for us — even mockers and blasphemers who are consumed with hate still have life. What happens to them in eternity for rejecting God is their problem, God has done his part and made the gospel clear

This atheopath racist who cheers the deaths of Christians delights in
blasphemy in the course of his continual but fruitless persecution.
Screenshot used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes.
(Click for larger.)
While having a day of giving thanks set aside once a year is good, it is better to be thankful every day of the year, and to praise our Creator and Redeemer for all he has given us. As for me, I'm thankful for living in good conditions. More importantly, I am redeemed by the blood and resurrection of Jesus. 

I'd like to share a couple of links for your perusal, ifn' you don't mind and have a few moments. First, "Thanksgiving Requires a Receiver". Next, a post that involves MacGyver and the Mayflower, "Thankfulness and - Repurposing?" Also, the video below by Dr. Stanley should communicate better than my faltering attempts:


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Josephus and Genesis History

Some professing Christians are unaware that the Bible means what it says, all the way back to Genesis. Old Earth believers often claim that biblical creationists are being divisive by insisting on actual solar days of creation instead of treating Genesis as allegorical, mythological, or needing deep time interpretation. Such views are false. In fact, the interlopers are those who add millions of years to Scripture!


Respected Jewish historian Josephus believed that Genesis discussed literal, recent creation
Image of Flavius Josephus obtained from Wikimedia Commons
The church fathers almost universally viewed creation as a recent event, and most accepted literal days of creation. Likewise, the Reformers believed in recent creation. If those sources are insufficient for some owlhoots, how about going way back to a respected Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus? 
Many people who compromise on the plain meaning of Genesis claim that the literal interpretation is a modern invention. Instead, they claim that most commentators in the past took a long-age view.

On the contrary, the vast majority interpreted the days of Genesis 1 as ordinary days. Furthermore, even those who did not, such as Origen and Augustine, vigorously attacked long-age ideas and affirmed that the world was only thousands of years old. Among the Jewish commentators, the first-century historian Flavius Josephus (AD 37–ca. 100) stands out from the rest.
To continue reading, click on "Josephus says, ‘Genesis means what it says!’"


 
That's a Fact - Creation Days from Institute for Creation Research on Vimeo.
Genesis says that God created the universe in six days.
But some people question what the word “day” means! What is a creation day?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Logical Thinking and the Christian

Sometimes it seems that people are intimidated by the word logic. Perhaps they have images of professors making diagrams that resemble algebraic equations and discussing the laws of logic, and that us reg'lar folk cannot relate. While the academic image is real and fine for those who want to study the fine points of logic, you and I use logic on a daily basis.


God is the source of logic and knowledge, and he wants us to use them
Credit: Pixabay / PIRO4D
The auto mechanic who discovers why your vehicle stalls out at a certain point, the baker following a recipe, computer programmers, playing chess and similar games, doing a jigsaw puzzle — these all require the use of logic. When attempting to solve problems or learn the truth, we attempt to gain as much information as we need and then use our reasoning skills to reach answers. We usually do this without thinking about thinking.

Logic is actually a part of the mind of God. We are made in his image, and he has given us some knowledge as well as senses and skills to acquire more knowledge so we can reason. In addition, the Christian has the mind of Christ, and all knowledge begins with God. (One reason that biblical creationists emphasize logical thinking and spotting errors in reasoning is so that we can honor God.) Do a Bible search on mind and reason, and see that God not only enables us, but makes it possible because logic is the way God thinks.

Consider the fact that many founders of modern science were not only Christians, but biblical creationists as well.  It may startle you, but we are to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, so it is a moral duty to be as rational as we are able. To think in a worldly way, with it's "wisdom" and materialism, is very limiting and goes contrary to God's will! We can reason from Scripture and see when someone is giving false teaching as well.
Logic is the study of the principles of correct reasoning.  To be logical is to think rightly: to draw reasonable conclusions from the available information.  Correct reasoning helps us to have true beliefs, and acting on true beliefs tends to have a far better outcome than acting on false beliefs.  Clearly, it is to our great advantage to reason correctly.  And while all human beings have some capacity to be logical, we can improve our reasoning by taking a class or reading books or articles on the topic, and by studying the Bible.  A thorough knowledge of logic can be immensely helpful in our own reasoning, or when reasoning with others.  But in addition to any pragmatic advantage, we have a moral obligation to be logical.  Thinking rightly is not optional for the Christian.  It is something God requires of us.
To finish reading, click on "Logic: Our Moral Obligation". Also, I recommend "Is Christianity Irrational?"

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Made in the Image of God

We read in Genesis 1:26 that we are created in God's image. That phrase can be a mite confusing, and one angry atheist used it as a "proof" that the Bible is true because we are physical beings, or some such. A photograph or a painting is also an image of something. If I held up a picture and said, "This is my daughter", a rational person would not conclude that she is flat and fits in a wallet. Also, that image would not negate the existence of the real person.

God our Creator made us in his image and likeness
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / ESA / CXC / STScI
(Usage does not imply endorsement of site contents.)
The rest of verse 26 says that we're created in God's likeness. That adds a bit of depth, too. He's the creator of the universe, gave us life, is our Redeemer — image and likeness? Kind of hard to lasso the concept, I know. Let's dig a little deeper.
This passage shows that man reflects God in some way and represents him.1 The image of God distinguishes mankind from the rest of creation. Mankind reflects and represents God in a way which cannot be said of anything else in God’s creation, but what does this mean? The image of God has significant impact in both theology and ethics, and so it is helpful to understand what it is.

First it is important to note that the image of God does not make men identical with God or the same type of being. Isaiah 43:10 says “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” People are not divine, are not little gods, and cannot become gods. 
To read the entire article, click on "The Image of God".
 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Reformers and the Age of the Earth

Despite the claims of some old-earth compromisers like Hugh Ross, the church fathers believed, for the most part, in a young earth. For that matter, the Genesis Flood, recent creation, and similar matters were largely undisputed and a defense of the position was generally considered unnecessary. The concept of deep time is the new gelding in the theological stable.

Young earth was the view of the Reformers
Credit: Pixabay / strecosa
What about the Reformers? You know, that Protestant Reformation that is considered to have begun back yonder about 500 years ago? Yeah, those guys. Remember, a movement does not usually happen in a moment; there is groundwork and developments until the thing commences to happen. We know that Martin Luther took Genesis seriously, but we may wonder about the other Reformers during that period of years. It's a reasonable question, since liberal theologians and many professing Christians today believe the old earth view — especially since Christians ceded both science and theology to secularists.
All Christians believe that God the Father Almighty is the Maker of heaven and earth. This belief is like a great river that runs through Christian history. It distinguishes Christianity from other forms of spirituality. Yet within this river there have been two streams of thought about how to understand Genesis: the allegorical reading and the literal reading.

The Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries marked a return to the literal reading of Scripture. The Reformers taught that God revealed in Genesis that He created all things in six ordinary days about six thousand years ago.

In this article, I will sketch out these two streams of thought, describe the teachings of the Reformers, and show how these teachings crystallized in their confessions of faith.
To continue reading this interesting article, click on "What Did the Reformers Believe about the Age of the Earth?