Thursday, March 23, 2017

Professing Christians Disparage Jesus

Almost from the beginning of Jesus' incarnation as a man, there have been strange heresies about him. Owlhoots have been trying to find ways to denigrate him and make him less that who he was when he walked the earth, and nowadays, such heresies are no longer restricted to Gnostics, atheists, and other cults; the false teachings have infected mainstream churches.

Some professing Christians disparage Jesus
Credit: Pixabay / Hans_Hofer
C.S. Lewis referred to unbelievers' remarks about Jesus being a "great moral teacher" as "patronizing nonsense", but some professing Christians are at that same level. Even though his own words, Old Testament prophesies, New Testament writers, the church fathers, and so on have made it clear that Jesus is God the Son who humbled himself and took on human form, seems that people don't cotton to paying attention. Strange when they claim to believe the Bible, but then say that Jesus made mistakes. Quite often, you can find these false claims about him from believers in long ages, especially theistic evolutionists (I believe TEs are actually Deists) and other compromisers.
Astonishingly, there are people in today’s churches who, while strongly proclaiming their evangelical credentials, actually teach that Jesus could have been mistaken about some of His teaching! Of course, since the earliest days of Christendom, people with heretical views have plagued the Church. This is why there are so many warnings in the New Testament against false teachers—to imbibe their ideas is to wander off into myths, with the serious risk of ‘faith-wreck’ (see From fables to truth). Unfortunately, the advocates of a fallible Jesus are not merely a fringe group. Rather, their ideas are becoming increasingly and worryingly influential.
To finish reading, click on "Jesus, just ‘a man of his time’?

 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is the Inerrancy of the Bible Important?

Some folks have a modicum of respect for the Bible even if they do not actually believe it. To call it the "good book" and pick out various words of wisdom is to miss the important fact that the Bible makes serious claims about itself: it is the inerrant written Word of God. What does that mean?

When investigating the statements of faith from various churches and ministries, there are some phrases about the Bible that seem a mite baffling. Expressions like verbal plenary and inspiration stand out. The first one is expensive talk for the whole of Scripture, every word, is given by God. Inspiration is a horse of a different color, because we use that word to mean several different things. Some folks say that the Bible was "inspired" the way an essayist or even a skilled fiction writers is inspired. In the Bible, it is the Greek word θεόπνευστος, theopneustos (pronounced thay-ah-noo-stahs) that many versions translate as inspired, but is more correctly rendered God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16 NIV), the World English Bible also translates it this way. Another important verse is 2 Peter 1:21 ESV, which tells us that men were carried along by the Holy Spirit (often translated as moved).

The Bible, George Harvey, 1845
These two verses are part of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. We do not have the original "autographs" (documents) that are inerrant, but are confident that the Bible we have is extremely close to what was originally given by God. There are minor errors in translation and copying, but textual criticism assures us that the major translations are quite reliable.

Do the terms God-breathed and carried along mean that the writers of Scripture took dictation directly from God? No, their personalities are evident in their writings, but the Spirit did not allow them to include errors. Pay attention here: the "errors" that are in the Bible are not errors of the Bible. That is, Scripture records when people lied, cheated, stole, committed adultery, and other things — the Bible is accurate history.

If we cannot trust the Bible to be given by God, we are in trouble as to what we can choose to be accurate. There are many reasons to believe in the important doctrine of inerrancy.
“You don’t really believe the Bible is true, do you?”

The shock expressed by those who discover someone who actually believes the Bible to be without error is often quite amusing. Inevitably, their next question takes us right back to Genesis. But what does the Christian mean by “without error,” and why are we so sure?
To read the rest, click on "Why Should We Believe in the Inerrancy of Scripture?"


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ancient Chinese Artifact May Portray Genesis

China has one of the oldest cultures on Earth, so perhaps we should not be surprised to find traces of the Bible, even in this now-Communist land. Older Chinese pictographs have been demonstrated to show some elements of Genesis, and an ancient artifact from Sanxingdui may have some correlation to Genesis as well.

Chinese artifact may illustrate book of Genesis
Adam and Eve by Raphael
The identification of artifacts can be difficult, but the interpretation can be a mighty tricky thing. A bronze tree in Sanxingdui may have significant correlation with the Genesis Flood and the dispersal of nations at Babel. You might rightly wonder why, so I'll give you a couple of spoilers from the article linked below: this big tree made of bronze has a passel of details linking it to Genesis, but it is dated to about the time Moses was penning the Pentateuch. They weren't exactly telegraphing each other. So...
In 1986, workers from a brickyard near Guanghan, China, were digging for clay in the countryside when they discovered various pieces of bronze. They contacted the authorities, and archaeologists from Huaxi University in Chengdu came and excavated two different pits that were filled with outstanding artefacts of the Sanxingdui People. These archaeological efforts followed earlier excavations in the area dating back to 1929. From these two pits nearly 1,000 artefacts were recovered, including objects made of jade, bronze, gold, ivory, pottery, marble and implements of bone.
. . .

The archaeologists also recovered pieces of a tall bronze tree, which they cleaned and reassembled. As with most archaeological discoveries, there is little debate about what has been found. However, there is great debate about the meanings that are attached to the items recovered and their implications. In particular, “The meaning of the tree has been the subject of disagreement”.
To read the entire article, click on "The Bronze Tree of Sanxingdui — the oldest man-made Genesis artefact?

 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Adding Evolution to the Bible?

Once upon a time, a guy was involved with biblical creation science. Or, as he called it, young earth creationism (YEC). He became disillusioned with it, embraced evolutionism, turned on his fellow creationists in a show of public humiliation, and refused to give his name due to "harassment" from creationists. He trolls the Web to this day promoting his new religion and hating biblical creationists while pretending to be a respected Christian "professor". His knowledge of the Bible, creation science, theology, and other matters show that he is a fake creationist. I lack belief that he is a Christian.


Adding evolution to the Bible
Modified from an image at Morguefile by cbcs
But this is not about that sidewinder and his fictitious story. Instead, we're talking about Denis Lamoureux, who rejected biblical creation and embraced theistic evolution. The only way to get millions of years and evolution out of the Bible is to put them in through eisegesis. Like the character described above, Lamoreaux he was formerly a biblical creationist and rejected biblical truth to embrace Darwin. Lamoreaux's book shows his lack of understanding of both creation science and theology, and he clearly does not understand the repercussions and inconsistencies of compromise. He even goes as far as to claim that Genesis 1 was an ancient poetical structure (which has been disproved many times) and somehow, mysteriously, the first eleven chapters of Genesis are mostly irrelevant, but from chapter twelve onward, Genesis is no longer unreliable. Worse, Lamoreaux believes that Jesus didn't refute erroneous beliefs, but accommodated their brutish ignorance; Jesus was a liar.
Over the last number of years, influential evangelical theologian and scientist Dr. Denis Lamoureux has been actively promoting evolutionary creation. In his new book Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes! Lamoureux offers a number of explanations to justify his belief in evolutionary creation. This review will focus on several key issues raised in the book.
Even if you're not planning on reading the book that is reviewed, I'd be much obliged if you'd read the article. Just click on "Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say No!"


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Genesis, Foundations, and Persecution

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

As I have stated many times, all major Christian doctrines have their origins in Genesis, which is foundational for the Christian faith. Some folks wave off Genesis and creation as incidental and want to get to what they consider the "good stuff", but they are doing themselves (and others) a tremendous disservice. Of course, atheists, theistic evolutionists, and other owlhoots malign Genesis because it threatens their faith in evolutionism, and they know the importance of Genesis to the Christian faith.

Why do we wear clothes? It's found in Genesis. When did sin begin? Genesis. What is first promise of the Redeemer? Genesis, again. What is the foundation for marriage? That's right, Genesis again. The world is increasingly hostile to the truth of Scripture as well as more accommodating to secularism and atheism. Although persecution in the West is mild in comparison to what Christians endure in other parts of the world, it does exist and is escalating.

Genesis is foundational to the gospel. That is one reason that compromisers and other unbelievers attack it and persecute uncompromising Christians.
Credit: Pixabay / Alexas_Fotos
I have three examples of persecution here that ended reasonably well, but they illustrate the intolerant trend in society. First, pastor Mark Mackey was arrested for reading a Bible aloud outside a Department of Motor Vehicles in California, and the court ruled in his favor. Next, Tony Miano was arrested during street preaching in London. He said that homosexuality is a sin. He was charged with “using homophobic speech that could cause people anxiety, distress, alarm or insult.” Arrested for telling the truth, really. Suddenly, the charges were dropped. 

Third, another from the UK, Gordon Larmour was arrested for what he said in the course of street preaching. He was asked what God thinks of homosexuals, and he responded by telling them that God created Adam and Eve to have children. The homosexual man who asked the question argued with Larmour, and even chased him. But Larmour was arrested. Eventually, the charges were dismissed. I suggest that you read his story here.

The second and third stories involved homosexuality and marriage. Again, marriage is established in the foundational book of Christian doctrine, Genesis. People of the world, whether atheists, false Christians, or anyone else who is not redeemed by the blood of Jesus, hates the righteous (1 John 3:11-13, Luke 6:22, John 8:44). Hate is a characteristic of people under Satan's control, and I think this gives us an understanding of why they try to shut down uncompromising truth in God's Word.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Adam and the Tree of Life

Some folks may miss the important of the tree of life if they're quickly reading the Bible. (It's also very difficult to find a public domain image of it.) This tree first mentioned in Genesis 2:4, along with the one we've heard about quite a bit more, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam sinned, death entered the world (Gen. 2:16-17, Rom. 5:12, 1 Cor. 15:22). There are people who will agree with Satan and charge God with lying, because we read in Genesis 2:17, "...for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die", and Adam lived 930 years. That's one of the problems we have with translation, especially ancient Hebrew to modern English: meanings are difficult to communicate and still make the text readable. More literally, it reads, "dying you shall die". Adam and Eve were not going to die, but by eating the forbidden fruit, they began the dying process.

After Adam and Eve sinned and death entered the world, God would not let them eat from the tree of life. This was actually a tremendous act of mercy.
Image credit: Pixabay / OpenClipart-Vectors
God did not want Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of life after they had sinned, and stationed a guard to keep them out (Gen. 3:24). (If you study on it, you'll realize that Eden must have still been there, guard and all, for mankind to see up until the Flood happened.) The tree that was mentioned in the first book of the Bible is also discussed in the last book at the restoration of all things (Rev. 22:2). But what was the big deal? Adam ate from the forbidden tree, why not from the tree of life? This was actually a tremendous act of mercy.
In Genesis 2:9, we are told that in the midst of the Garden of Eden, God placed the Tree of Life as well as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam was permitted to eat of every tree in the garden except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God warned that if Adam ate of its fruit, he would surely begin to die. (See this article for an explanation of why that is the best understanding).

In Genesis 3, the Bible describes the fall of mankind and how sin, death, and suffering entered the world when Adam disobeyed God’s commandment and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
To read the rest, click on "Why did God prevent Adam from eating from the Tree of Life after he had sinned?"


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Creation in Evangelism

For Question Evolution Day, I thought it would be helpful to emphasize the importance of a strong position on biblical creation when presenting the gospel message. Some people claim that creation is unimportant in evangelism, it's just a side issue after all, and we should just focus on Jesus. Some who believe that Earth is old, especially theistic evolutionists, spread the falsehood that creation is a hindrance to the gospel. Not hardly! Yes, creation is a sort of "side issue", but it is still very important.


Some people think creation is an irrelevant or even harmful side issue. On the contrary, it is important in sharing the gospel.
Image credit: Pixabay / qimono
When Peter preached in Acts, it was to monotheistic Jews. Paul preached to pagans, and went back to creation as the foundation. Creation evangelism is important on the mission field and in paganized evolutionary cultures in western society as well as elsewhere. Genesis is the source of all major Christian doctrines, and it is the most attacked section of Scripture. Atheists and evolutionists have teams hitched up to their propaganda wagons and are running wild, spreading atheist-making evolution, which is their mythology of creation. You can't escape it. Television, music, movies, the Web — evolution and long ages are presented as irrefragable, even taken for granted. When witnessing to unbelievers, knowledgeable creationists can show that evolution is not all it's made out to be, that God is our Creator, and we're accountable to him.
Recently I had a series of unplanned admissions to hospital. This resulted in a couple of unexpected opportunities to witness to fellow patients regarding my Christian faith. The responses varied, but we can all learn lessons from the reasons they gave for their unbelief.

The first opportunity involved a discussion with two men—the guy in the bed next to me (guy A) and the guy diagonally across from me (guy B). Guy A, in his late 60s, was a tough manual worker on a country estate farm. He was recovering from a heart attack and awaiting coronary bypass surgery. Guy B, in his mid-60s, was retired, recovering from a life threatening chest infection that had very nearly irreversibly damaged his heart. During our time together we had some interesting three-way conversations; one lasted for almost an hour, by which time we were all exhausted. I listened to what they had to say and they listened to me.
To read the rest, click on "Biblical creation proves pivotal to evangelism".