Wednesday, March 20, 2019

No Gospel in the Stars

There are people who believe that the constellations contain the gospel message, and it was there before the Bible was completed. Then, it became unnecessary. This is according to a woman named Frances Rolleston, whose work was published in 1865 and influenced many people. Unfortunately, he work was full of serious errors.

There are people who believe the story that the gospel message is in the constellations. It is based on bad biblical handling and even worse scholarship, and should be avoided.
Map of the Northern Sky with representations of the constellations / Albrecht Durer, 1515
Her books was published posthumously as a collection of notes. (I wonder if some of those were notes to herself to conduct further research, but when I do that I usually have a "look up" or "check on" phrase.) The concept of the gospel in the stars relies on spurious research and taking verses out of context. Like atheists and evolutionists, Rolleston seemed to use the scientific principle of Making Things Up™. She also took verses out of context to make this presentation.

Sincere people and even good pastors have believed this false story. While it is not directly harmful, it does show how people can believe something because they want to, and because things appear to have been researched before they were presented. Christians and creationists need to exercise caution, especially when someone comes along with a "new" concept or revelation. (This is aside from the falsehoods of the old earth creationists who claim that biblical young earth creation is a new concept. In reality, an old earth is the new kid in town.) Several cults and other false teachings have begun with "something new" (see "Lost World of John Walton" for a similar caution).

If someone was to have taken a different approach and say that they are going to use the constellations to present the gospel message but disregard the mythology associated them, fine. It would take a great deal of work. But the best way is to use what God has given to us in his Word. 
The gospel in the stars is a popular topic with many recent creationists. In an earlier paper, I examined some problems with this thesis. Since that earlier publication, the primary source on the subject has become available, allowing this much more detailed examination. In this current study, I identify many problems with the assumptions, methodologies, and conclusions made with the gospel in the stars thesis. The etymologies of terms and names are questionable at best and most likely are simply wrong. The biblical arguments are poor, and some conclusions are contrary to biblical principles. While well intended, the gospel in the stars is fraught with problems, and Christians are discouraged from using it.
The entire article is quite long. The link has a PDF download option, and for ebook readers, I suggest using Push to Kindle which gives you the option to do exactly that, or to download in MOBI or EPUB formats. To continue, click on "A Further Examination of the Gospel in the Stars".

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Recent Creation and the Gospel Message

It is a sad fact that many professing Christians do not have a solid understanding of what the Bible teaches. This tempts them to abandon good teaching so they can ride the Owlhoot Trail of false doctrines. Related to this is the opinion that origins and recent creation are irrelevant. While they are not essentials for salvation, recent creation and origins are extremely important to the gospel message.


Many people, including professing Christians, say that questions of origins and recent creation are irrelevant. They are actually very important.
Image source: RGBStock/rizeli53
Atheists, old earth proponents, theistic evolutionists, compromisers, and other enemies of the Word of God exploit this ignorance. They come along with sciencey pronouncements and Scripture twisting, plus a heapin' helpin' of hostility and ridicule toward those of us who believe that God means what he says (including name-calling and labels such as "YECism"). People are timorous when it comes to standing for biblical truth, and when you mix in ignorance with intimidation, folks put the blinders on and join the crowd.

Incidentally, many of us shun the "YEC" (Young Earth Creationist) designation, because it implies that we are doing the same as enemies of the truth. Namely, forcing the Bible to say what they want it to say through eisegesis. No, we prefer the term biblical creationist because we believe the Bible teaches a young creation. Old earthers put current atheistic interpretations of science in the superior role over God's Word. We use biblical exegesis, and we use science correctly, without atheistic presuppositions. See the difference?

People have a lack of understanding of the implications of long ages, a local flood in Genesis, evolution, and other things. They do not realize that they are actually doing damage to the gospel, and even impugning Jesus himself.
Those of us who still believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and that God intended it to be understood by ordinary people—not just by scholarly specialists in science or theology—have been labeled “young-earth creationists.”
We didn’t choose that name for ourselves, but it’s true that since we believe God is capable of saying what He means and means what He says, we believe that the whole creation is far younger than evolutionists accept.
To finish reading, click on "The Importance of Recent Creation".



Thursday, March 7, 2019

When Professing Christians Attack Other Christians

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited 3-09-2019

As Christians, we have to stand up for the faith against Satan's schemes and false arguments against God's Word (Jude 1:3). We have a great deal to do in accurately presenting the truth to unbelievers, pulling down fortresses raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:3-5), refuting old earth and evolutionary falsehoods, and more. We don't need to be commencing cat fights with each other.


Christians must show proper attitudes toward other Christians, and be able to accept biblical rebukes and instruction. Put pride and carnality aside.
Credit: Pixabay/maturika
This has gone back practically to the beginning, where believers seemed to want to be better than others (1 Cor. 1:12-23, Luke 9:46). The Bible has a passel of things to say about pride, old son. I think that pride is one reason folks are swapping lead in the internet style, shooting at people who do not do things or believe the way other people think they should. Don't be disunderstanding me. When people are publicly teaching false doctrine, they need to be called out. What bothers me is when these hissy fits are over minor points where pride is at the root of it all. I've seen witch hunts against teachers, and it is quite distressing to say the least.



On a personal level, believers are instructed to not only put aside pride and other works of the fleshly nature that unbelievers practice (Gal. 5:19-21), but we are to walk in the Spirit (Eph. 5:18, Gal. 5:22-23). We are also to instruct and rebuke other believers (2 Tim. 4:2, Titus 1:9), taking care to do it in love and using care with older believers (1 Tim. 5:1-2). Paul rebuked Peter (Gal. 2:11-14), so nobody is too established in the faith to receive instruction.

However, not only must we give rebukes and instruction, we must also receive them. I reckon that when such things are not done with the love of Christ and the truth of the Word, the one doing the rebuking may not be walking in the Spirit.

I had occasion to challenge someone on Fazebook who is burning with hate toward atheists. He or she set up a Page to strike back, but there is no sign of love of the lost or urging them to repent. Just revenge. This bothered me, so I posted a comment to rebuke them:
Just...no. Sorry, but I'm having trouble keeping the players straight in this game. YES, we can respond to mindless attacks of atheopaths. YES, we can use them as bad examples. But NO, we cannot act just like they are (this only applies to Christians, however). Christians have to be above their level, and glorify God with not only our apologetics and proper use of reason, but our attitudes.
It is tormenting to these insignificant cheerleaders of atheopathy when they are ignored. Their father down below pulls their strings and they dance, and the dance step is often to waste our time. If this Page is run by a Christian, I urge you to repent and get into your Bible.
After several days, I received a reply:
Do me a favor and focus more on attacking militant atheists instead of engaging in self righteous rants against fundamentalist Christians like myself.
Whiny, pompous, and overly judgemental "Christians" like yourself have splintered Christianity into numerous factions that weaken it and give strength to the enemy. 
Remember who the actual enemy is and who the greatest deceiver of all truly is.
In these times we need warriors for Christ and not mealy-mouthed pushovers.
Notice the pride and judgmental attitude. It smells of self-importance, and is loaded with fallacies that I will not take the time to examine. But what's this about "warriors"? Since they did not use any Scripture, I doubt that this was in reference to 2 Cor. 10:4-5 or Eph. 6:10-20. I wrote another response along the lines of, "Yeah, who needs Jesus", then deleted it a few minutes later. The next response was extremely carnal:
Go run your own page. Your poor interpretation of scripture isn't wanted here. I'll worry about my own salvation you pompous pr**k (followed by a laughing with tears in the eyes emoji).
I didn't see any sign of humility or respect for someone who has been in the faith for many years. Also, the personal attack with profanity makes me wonder some things. First, is this person actually a Christian? Second, do they pray for their enemies, or are they just content to slap them down and keep the cycle going? Third (and worse), is this an atheist pretending to be a Christian? They do that, you know. A few other Christians joined in. EDIT: That Page seems to have been removed. I posted my screenshot here.

It can be difficult in the heat of the moment to accept chastening or caution from another believer, I'll allow. Even so, a Spirit-led believer should be willing to consider the words of a Christian trying to pull on the reigns and slow the gallop. Outsiders are watching our conduct, often laughing about it.

Unbelievers should know that we are Christians by our love (John 13:35, Rom. 12:10, Phil. 1:9, Heb. 13:1, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:10). This includes humbling ourselves by receiving and prayerfully considering instruction and rebuke (Prov. 27:6), especially in our apologetics methods and attitudes. We don't need to be giving enemies of God's Word reason to rejoice, you savvy?

EDIT: I forgot to add something. Some people seem to think that love is a manifestation of sappy emotions, which has nothing to do with biblical teachings. Here is a post with links to some sermons by Dr. John MacArthur on the subject. Also, it should not have to be said, but people progress in different rates in their sanctification. That means we're not as skilled in some areas as we are in others. This adds to the importance of being willing to listen to others who are more mature in the faith, as well as getting into the Word.



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Making Hybrid Creation Stories

Addendum added later the same day as published.

As any rancher worth his salt knows, you can have a hybrid animal such as a mule (offspring of a horse and donkey). It will likely suit your purpose, but critters like this are not likely to spread life. The same can be said for hybridized accounts of creation that mix the Bible and millions of years.


Although the Bible plainly affirms a literal recent creation, some people want to make up hybrid accounts incorporating naturalism into their beliefs. They are degrading Scripture.
Credit: Library of Congress/Carol M. Highsmith archive
Some folks reject the Bible's authority. We expect that from atheists and other non-believers, but there are professing Christians who also downplay the Word of God. Scripture plainly says that everything was created in six days. Instead of humbling themselves and submitting to Christ, they light a shuck out of there and head for the comfort of riding the owlhoot trail. They are degrading Scripture.

Why would a supposed believer want to compromise? It seems to me that these owlhoots don't want to look like one of those people who reject deep time, so they seek the praise of men rather than God. Another reason is that they want to accommodate atheistic views of science and their interpretations of evidence so they can allow for evolution. Some of these alleged Christians get a notion to add millions of years to the Bible by pretending it doesn't mean what it clearly says. Using the right chronogenealogies and using verses in the proper context, plus some decent research, is mighty helpful.

However, the age of the earth and of the universe itself is not clearly delineated in secular science, nor is evolution. Some of Darwin's disciples fight light badgers in a burlap sack about all sorts of things, and despite the protestations of devolution atheists, evolution is not settled science.


The greater irony here is this "Spock" jasper is eminently illogical
People who try to compromise with theistic evolution, old earth creation, and hybrid creation accounts do not accomplish anything of value. Indeed, such tinhorns mock God, his people, and Scripture. Do they really believe? Their insistence on eisegesis over exegesis, ridicule of Bible-believing Christians, and giving comfort to enemies of God causes me to lack belief that they do so.
There are several different approaches to interpreting Genesis 1 and 2. Theistic evolutionists not only try and read billions of years into the text, they also allow for something that is indistinguishable from straight-up evolution and big bang ideas.

Progressive creationists believe that the universe is very old, that God is the creator, and that He created things in groups, occasionally, across vast periods of time. In general, they reject chemical evolution and Darwinian evolution, but totally accept cosmological and geological evolution.

Day-age theorists can be considered a subset of progressive creationists (e.g. Hugh Ross calls himself a ‘day-age creationist’ but is widely considered a ‘progressive creationist’). Most believe the universe is as old as secularists claim, but this young man did not. Instead, he thought the universe was maybe hundreds of thousands of years old.

A popular option in (respectability-craving) seminaries is the framework hypothesis, which regards the days of Genesis 1 as real days, but in a literary framework rather than real history. This theory is less than 100 years old, and the original proposers were open about trying to fit long ages (and evolution) into the Bible.

Lastly, there are the biblical creationists. This is our preferred label for CMI’s stated beliefs. [Biblical creationist is also my view, and that of many others. -Cowboy Bob]
To read the entire article, click on "Hybrid approaches to Creation — Is there a middle ground?" ADDENDUM: Two more articles came to my attention that I want to recommend that fit the overall theme. First, "The Gap Theory" by Dr. Jason Lisle. Second, this lengthy article (a PDF download is available) is worth the attention of those who deal with the cult-like following of Rossites, "Critical Analysis of Hugh Ross’ Progressive Day-Age Creationism Through the Framework of Young-Earth Creationism".



Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Genesis Axiom to Grind

An axiom is a statement that is assumed to be true without evidence, and often used as a starting point in arguments or discussions. We all use them whether we know it or not, and they make up our worldviews. They are important in logic and mathematics. The word is based on the Greek for value or worth, and the area of philosophy called axiology can be traced back to the same word.

An Old Testament scholar wanted to use humanist philosophy to judge the declaration of God that creation is good. He is horribly mistaken.
Garden of Eden image credit: Free Christian Illustrations
Jaco Gericke, an Old Testament scholar, took a notion to do some axiology on Genesis 1. God called everything good, and he seemed to take exception to that. He says it makes no sense to call something good without an axiological frame of reference. Philosophy (and its related categories of logic and ethics) is good to study in principle, but the "great thinkers" and their philosophies are brought to nothing by the Word of God (1 Cor. 1:19-25). Christians should know that there is no one greater than God. When we take an oath, we swear by God, who is the greatest. Who does God swear by? Himself (Heb. 6:13, Jer. 44:26, Deut. 1:8).

I reckon that Gericke is on the prod about God not having a frame of reference based on humanistic philosophy. He needs to read Job 38-41, because God is sovereign and doesn't need to consult with humans. God is good (Psalm 34:8, Mark 10:18). It is his nature, and what he does is good (see "The Goodness of God"). Yes, some things are "good" in different ways. Chocolate tastes good to me, but it's not good for my waistline, and it is lethal to Basement Cat. Other things are good in some ways but not so good (or even bad) in others. God's declaration that his finished work of creation is a different matter.
What God created in the beginning was “very good.” Old Testament scholar professor Jaco Gericke does not believe that: God creating things for the first time and calling them good without an axiological frame of reference is unintelligible. His philosophical reconstruction of the Most High and the axiology of Genesis 1 leads him to claim, among other things, that the “character” in the text was a realist, naturalist, and subjectivist; none of the things that God created had any objective value; nothing was assumed to be perfect; and what was good depended on whether or how much it was desired. The aim of this paper is to show that it is not unintelligible that God created everything good from the beginning; it is only unintelligible to the person who makes the claim.
It's a bit of a long paper, but worth your time. To finish reading, click on "The Most High and the Axiology of Genesis 1: Could God Create Everything Good from the Beginning?"


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Science is Impossible Without God

Addendum added 2-17-2019


Many people despise the truth, some do not know it, but science is impossible without God. In the same way, evolution is also impossible. Find out why.

For Question Evolution Day, we are going to examine something that atheists and other anti-creationists loathe, and something of which many professing Christians are unaware. Some people claim that evolution is science, but this shows the paucity of their understanding of the nature of science. Simply put, evolution is not only opposed to actual science, but science is impossible in an atheistic worldview.


via GIPHY

To be consistent, evolution is random, but its proponents want to perform science. If evolution were true, science would be impossible because the laws of logic, consistency of nature, and other things could not be consistent. Someone may object that they rely on their senses, but that is circular reasoning because they cannot know their senses are actually working; it could all be an illusion, false memories and all. Scientific predictions could not be made.

The Bible is true, God is the Creator, and he upholds all things. An atheist may get the bit in his teeth and jump the corral fence, saying, "I don't believe in God and I do science stuff anyway!" Yes, unbelievers can conduct scientific research and make predictions, but their rejection of God does not make any difference. The fact that God is real, making the laws of logic and nature possible is not negated by unbelief. It is akin to someone saying he doesn't believe in oxygen while using it.
Evolution is fundamentally incompatible with the scientific method.  That is, if neo-Darwinian evolution is true, then there would be no rational basis for trusting in scientific procedures.  Conversely, if science is a reliable tool for understanding how the universe works, then particles-to-people evolution cannot be true.  Here is why:
To read the rest of the article, click on "Evolution vs. Science". I recommend that you bookmark it or even save a copy to your ebook reader because it's worth reading a few times.

ADDENDUM: Dr. Lisle posted feedback where an angry atheist attacked the post and Dr. Lisle himself. The atheopath has the focus of a ball bearing in a blender, and did not have anything rational to say. To read this, click on "Is Genesis Historic and Reliable?"



Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Origns Discussions and the Main Message

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

In the lead-up to Question Evolution Day, I posted and promoted "Taking a Stand for Biblical Creation". Naturally, this garnered a prairie schooner-full of comments. Normally, that Fazebook Page is not intended for debate, but I let them go for a spell. Nobody that I saw gave any comments about the content of the article that was featured.


In discussions about origins, some Christians seem to forget that this is not a parlor discussion. We must not keep the gospel out of it if we care about the eternal destiny of other people.
Credit: Openclipart
Naturally, we had atheopaths and other anti-creationists show up to tell us how st00pid we are because atheism, because evolution. Obstreperous trolls get banned, but some seemed to want actual discussion. At first.

I have to mention that it become very difficult to keep track of the comments and respond to them, and we have to track them down when informed, "Horatio Hornblower replied to your comment..." (This is especially difficult when I'm checking during breaks at the workplace, but not much better at home on the big computer.) I tried, though. Unfortunately, the notifications seldom go directly to the comments like they used to.

Those of us who use presuppositional apologetics begin with the truth of the Word of God, our Creator, and naturalists don't want anything to do with him. One aspect of this method is to do an internal critique of the unbeliever's worldview, and they get burrs under their saddles when we show that they are inconsistent and the failings of their logic. They have their faith in materialism and evolution, and are hardcore presuppositionalists themselves.

We also have to be prepared in our apologetic to show that the Bible is the foundation for logic, wisdom, and science itself. Unfortunately, some of the theists were commending themselves on their intellectual development, or congratulating unbelievers on some aspects of their worldview. They would also give stock answers for reasons to believe that God exists. From the content, I lack belief that some of these theists have saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Brethren, these things ought not to be!

In some cases, I was able to picture people sitting in the drawing room with cigars, wearing smoking jackets while they intellectualized and made the discussion very clinical. This is not a game. While we can and should provide some evidences in a presuppositional framework (none of that "neutral ground" nonsense) which may remove some stumbling blocks that are in the minds of some people, we cannot make others comfortable in their rebellion against God! I'm am not saying to use the Sword of the Spirit as a club, but we cannot divorce faith and reason.

One Christian responded by pointing out the inconsistency in an atheist's position, and received a lie in response, followed by, "How very Christian of you". The Christian did show some of the problems in the atheist's worldview. (I was going to add to it, but another Admin decided that some of these recalcitrant atheists had run amok long enough and banned some. I was getting very close to doing that myself.) The atheist wanted to hold Christians to our standards in his concept of Christianity. How Saul Alinsky of him! And, uh, to what ultimate moral standard do you live up to, Mighty Atheist™? None. His worldview is incoherent.

Discussions are useful, and I'll allow that they can be difficult on social media. However, we must remember that people are going to Hell if we do not tell them about Jesus. Savvy that? Many Christians know the middle part of 1 Peter 3:15, "...always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you..." but neglect the first part, "Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts". God is the source of all wisdom and knowledge, and we must keep in mind both love and their eternal destiny. You do want to meet them in Heaven, don't you?