Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Mystery of the Trinity

Although orthodox denominations bearing the name of Christ have their differences in some doctrines, they tend to historically agree on major articles of faith. (With the increase in apostasy, that may not be happening so much nowadays.) One of the most common areas of agreement is the Trinity: The Father is God, Jesus is God, the Holy Spirit is God. And yet, there is only one God!

Although that word Trinity is not in the Bible, the teaching is clearly present from the beginning.
Trefoil (Trinity) symbol image credit: Pixabay / Philip Barrington
People get bothered when a theological question is given the response of, "It's a mystery". That is often an excuse for someone who does not know what he or she claims to believe, or maybe does not want to actually look for an answer. This is devastating to children. However, there are times when mystery really is the best explanation. We are not expected to fully understand everything about the eternal Creator God, our Redeemer, you know. We cannot fully understand the Trinity.

Some owlhoots and cultists deny the existence of the Trinity. One of their excuses is that the word is not found in Scripture, but the doctrine is clearly indicated there. They tend to "proof text" by lassoing verses that fit their preconceptions, ripping them out of context, and corralling them as "evidence" for their views. Doesn't work that way, old son.

Even though biblical creationists emphasize that God the Son is the Creator (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16), we know that the Trinity was present at creation,  Also, the early Church Fathers clearly believed in the Trinity. This doctrine is essential to salvation, but cultists, atheists, uninformed religious folks, and ultra-liberal "Christians" say that we are wrong.
It may surprise some to learn that we have supporters who like our work on biblical creation, but disagree with central Christian doctrines which we hold and strongly defend. Bruce B., Australia, wrote,
For my rejection of the false belief of the Trinity, I need only to rely on history, and just one Bible reference although there are many. That reference is Mark12:29-34. Here Jesus defends the Shema, which every Jew learns when he first learns to speak, and repeats each morning. This was an ideal time for the Lord Jesus to teach the Trinity. But he did not. Why?

With 8 or so texts that tell you Jesus has a God, and it is the Father, Who is omnipotent, (Micah 5:4; Matt 27:5,6; John 20:17; Ephes. 1:3; v. 17; 2 Cor. 11:31; Heb 1:8-9;Ps 45:7; 1 Pet 1:3; Rev 3:12) how can you persist in your spiritual blindness? You are still using the term “God the Son, which is a term you will never find used in the Bible, NOT even once. You will find Son of God. Why do you persist in adding to the Scriptures? (Deut. 4:2)

I have studied this topic on and off for 50 years. I wouldn’t dare to accept your delusion. Why don’t you re-study it? You work for Creation Ministries, which talk a lot about checking things out. The tremendous work you do is marred by this fallacy. It’s TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Lita Cosner, CMI-US, responds:
To read Lita's response, click on "Discussing the Trinity".


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Bible Affirms the Genesis Flood

Unfortunately, many professing Christians (including pastors) have not given serious thought to the Genesis Flood. Many accept atheistic interpretations of science philosophies, accepting millions of years and evolution. This makes it more difficult to present the gospel message because of the compromise involved. Also, accepting deep time usually means rejecting the Genesis Flood. This leads to a series of biblical errors and, ultimately, rejection of Scripture.

Many professing Christians do not realize that the Genesis Flood is stated as history throughout the Bible.
The Animals Entering Noah' Ark, Jacopo Bassano, 1570s
I have pointed out several times that when people say that the Flood was local or tranquil (or never happened at all), they are calling Peter, Paul, Jesus, and others wrong or even liars. They said it was a real historical event. Peter likened the Flood to the end times, and Judgment by fire — will that be a tranquil, local event also? Not hardly! When you claim to believe the Bible but doubt the Holy Spirit's divine inspiration, you have some serious problems, old son.

Try setting aside the excuses for rejecting the straightforward account of the Flood, and read about it in Genesis 6-9. Ask yourself if it sounds reasonable to make such extensive preparations for a local flood. Check the terminology, and look for the purpose of the Flood. Local floods do not last such a long time. Why compromise on the truth of God's Word? Indeed, there are many things to ponder.

Some things make sense just by giving an honest reading and thinking about them, but there are other aspects (such as Hebrew terminology) that provide additional impact. The article linked below is one of the best I have encountered about the importance and purpose of the Flood, and how it is relevant all through Scripture. It's not that difficult, either. I hope you'll not only read it, but save it for future reference.
Today, most Christians around the world (including seminary and Christian college professors) accept the idea of millions of years of earth history. In doing so, they either ignore Noah’s flood or reject its globality or historicity and think it has nothing to do with the question of the age of the earth. But the flood is critical to that question. Here I present the overwhelmingly clear biblical evidence that Noah’s flood was a global catastrophe that destroyed all the land animals, birds, and people not in the ark, and by implication ripped up all the vegetation on the land, killing millions of sea creatures, and buried many of those plants, animals, and people in sediments that now cover the earth in the form of sedimentary rocks layers filled with fossils. The flood is a vital reason for concluding that the earth is only a few thousand years old.
I'd be much obliged if you'd keep reading. To do that, click on "Noah’s Flood: a Unique, Historical, Yearlong, Global Catastrophe".


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Suicide and your Creator

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This child has had problems with depression for decades, so I can relate to the frustration people feel when they are told to "get over it" or have similar dismissals. It seems like some folks just do not care. While that may be the case, we have to use our minds in our depressed moments — which can be difficult at times.

Depression and suicide are on the increase. Our Creator Redeemer has provided a means to deal with this.
Credit: RGBStock / Jeff Grace
People are caught up in their own problems, whether it is relationship issues, bad employers, family difficulties, their own shallowness, health troubles, and maybe their own depression or mental health challenges.

Seems that everyone gets depressed now and then over circumstances, so the callous "get over it" is at least a mite understandable. Others have depression problems because of chemical imbalances or other medical causes that need to be diagnosed and treated; it annoys me that some of my hypertension and other medications contribute to depression. I believe that knowledge of what is happening is a step toward dealing with the ongoing problem.

I took medication for depression for several years, but went off it some time ago. Now I have to examine the situations and my reactions, and trust God. Don't run off, I'm not saying that becoming a Christian makes everything peachy keen. In fact, it can be a difficult life — but it has rewards, both in this life and especially in the life to come. Some folks get an emotional high after their conversion, but they need to mature in the faith, growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You may have noticed that depression and suicide are on the increase. A good part of that is focusing on negativity. Atheists are the most negative, angry, and bitter people I have ever encountered. Indeed, atheists have a high suicide rate. Is it surprising, since they cling to an evolutionary worldview, where we are all the products of time, chance, and random processes? If all you are is a bunch of chemical reactions, you cannot trust your own thoughts to be rational or even real. When you die, you're worm food; no afterlife, no justice or judgement, and no hope. 

Materialistic and postmodern philosophies are unable to get to the root cause; it is not just psychological or medical, but primarily spiritual (people who do not know God are belong to and are controlled by their father down below). There is a way for change, but it involves humbling yourself and accepting the salvation offered through God the Son, who became a man, was crucified for our sins, and bodily arose, thereby defeating death. Then, God the Holy Spirit indwells us. He also guides is when reading the Bible, the written Word of God.

There is someone I knew that was a happy Christian for some time, but has not only problems with depression, but a habitual negative outlook. This is not what God prescribes for us! Like atheists, she developed a habit of seeing the bleak side of things and dwelling on disappointments. She forgot (and sometimes I may forget like I did when I had suicidal thoughts not all that long ago) that she has a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe, who has redeemed her and lives in her. Perhaps she needs to examine herself and make certain that she really has received Christ. Unfortunately, too many professing Christians are actually false converts, giving intellectual assent or are "cultural" Christians.

I recently heard a sermon that mentioned the book of Ruth. Her mother-in-law Naomi had some serious setbacks in life, and told people to call her Mara, meaning bitter, because she felt that God had dealt bitterly with her. Later, when she's helping Ruth get acquainted with Boaz, you can see that her spirit had improved. The fact that her attention was no exclusively on herself may be a big part of the change.

People need the proper perspective. Although I detest the trite saying, "Count your blessings", there is truth in it, but it needs to be taken further and developed. To borrow something my father used to say, "Ya gotta wanna". Now I'm going to turn you over to the article that inspired what I have written here.
Entering a relationship with your Maker through Jesus Christ is the key to healing suicidal tendencies, but there’s more to work on after you become a Christ follower, because even Christians can get depressed and suicidal. There are some day-to-day thought processes that need to change, and will change, as the Holy Spirit enters your life and begins to work. His work will accelerate as you study God’s word and learn to trust God in prayer. Finding Christian friends at a solid, Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church is extremely helpful for preventing suicidal thoughts from coming back, but there is more you can do silently in your own mind when you are alone.

I want to share what I think is the greatest daily therapy for preventing suicide, and that is: ‘Cultivate Gratefulness.’ It sounds too easy, but think about it. Look at what this one habit of mind can do for you.
I really hope you will read the entire article. To do so, click on "Creation Therapy for Suicidal Thoughts".



Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Best Evidence for the Young Earth?

Biblical creationists are occasionally requested to give what we consider the best evidence for creation, and closely following, the best evidence that the earth is young. We have quite a bit of scientific and logical evidence for both. However, it is a serious mistake to try to "out evidence" a skeptic, because they often counter with something else (often unrelated — be careful of distractions), then you counter the counter, ad nauseum, even though the evidence is on the side of biblical creationists.

Although evidence for the young earth is on the side of biblical creationists, we need to be very careful how we present it.
Credit: Unsplash / Robert Lukeman
Many times, atheists and evolutionists will reject what we present out of hand because of their naturalistic and deep time presuppositions. They are not in the habit of honestly considering books, videos, articles, and so on, and find rescuing devices. Creationists often have links thrown at us, which can be from atheistic and evolutionary sites, compromising Christians, and so forth. Scoffers have a habit of finding something written for us reg'lar folk and saying, "That doesn't prove the earth is young!" and conveniently forgetting that we have thousands of items to offer, which is another rescuing device.

Christians have presuppositions as well. We should be presupposing the truth of the Word of God. The scientific evidence does support recent creation. The problem is, people have been indoctrinated in the deep time view. As Christians, the Word of God is our ultimate starting point, and it causes serious problems if we put atheistic interpretations of scientific evidence in the magisterial position.

"But Cowboy Bob, the world looks old!"

People do say that, don't they? It looks old...based on what? There is no way to compare old and young worlds, and such opinions are tainted by deep time conditioning.

Don't be disunderstanding me now! Presenting scientific evidence for our position is important, but we must do it right. That is, we cannot "leave the Bible out of it" and discuss on "neutral ground". There is no such thing, and we are agreeing with their naturalistic presuppositions. Worse, we are denying what Scripture says about the mind of the unsaved person. Instead, believe the Bible, and present evidence from a Christian presuppositional framework, which means not divorcing evidence from Scripture. This is one of the most serious problems with the Intelligent Design movement.
In our evangelism we need to present design arguments along with the Scriptures. Don’t let Satan lead you into thinking that in your witness to skeptics who reject the Bible as God’s Word you cannot use the Scriptures at the same time as you use apologetics. Use Scripture and apologetics and never forget that whether people believe it or not, the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God and is sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Faith comes from hearing the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17).
I agree with you that “to bring intellectuals to Christ takes good apologetics, love, prayer, and patience (or of course, an encounter with God!).” . . . We need to overcome our fear of using the Bible when we talk to skeptics. We must resist their insistence that we leave the Bible out of the discussion. It doesn’t matter if they don’t believe the Bible. God promises to honor his Word as we humbly and respectfully share it with others. We also need to expose and refute their faulty philosophical presuppositions (which most intellectual skeptics don’t even realize they have).
I'd be much obliged if you'd read the entire article, which also includes a passel of links to useful material. To read it, click on "What Is the Most Compelling Scientific Evidence of a Young Earth?"



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Inconsistent Message of Compromise

Edited about 19 hours after publishing.

Israel was warned by God to stay true and avoid the idols and false teachings of other nations, but they repeatedly rebelled. Eventually, they were decisively conquered. Later, God provided the Redeemer, and Christians were told in no uncertain terms to stay true to God's Word and the teachings of the apostles. Still, compromise happened and many false teachings had to be opposed by the faithful.


Cry of prophet Jeremiah on the Ruins of Jerusalem, Ilya Repin, 1870
Gallop ahead to more recent times. Scientists believed in recent creation until the likes of Hutton, Lyell, and Darwin hijacked science with gradual change and deep time. Christians saddled up with them, compromising on the plain teachings of Scripture.

We have that problem today, and biblical creationists are the minority while compromisers are doing great harm to the truth. One big problem is, I believe, that professing Christians, from the 19th century through today, seem to feel the need to be considered something like "moderate, genuinely rational, pro-science Christian believers". Another problem is the conflation of science with evolution and millions of years. 

Such things are based on atheistic interpretations of data. Using the opinions of God's enemies to tell God what he said and meant is mighty improper. What kind of message is that? You believe the Bible from cover to cover — except the first chapters of Genesis, you need humanist "wisdom" for that. If they study on it, they should see that it causes a chain reaction of compromise (and even calling Jesus, Peter, Jude, Paul, and others liars) all the way to Revelation. Compromise leads to bad theology leads to bad apologetics, old son. If you put death before sin, your belief system becomes an inconsistent shambles.

After I had published this, an angry atheopath who is incapable of accurately representing creationists had a diatribe with this comment: "Non-creationists think Jesus, Peter, Jude, Paul, and others were 'liars', Bob? No. They think they were uninformed about modern science." While this is not the main point of the article linked below, it is worth addressing, although I wonder who appointed him the representative of non-creationists.

First, he needs to learn to read. The chain of compromise has people calling those listed as liars, I did not say that non-creationists call them liars. Second, it's a non sequitur because this is about the spiritual implications. More importantly, theistic evolutionists have stated that Jesus and the others did not know modern science. When they do this, they are admitting that they reject the divine inspiration (θεόπνευστος) of Scripture, and are denying Jesus, who is the Creator, is God. The effects of the chain of compromise are serious indeed.

Atheists, evolutionists, and professing Christians who ride for the long age brand know the importance of adherence to biblical truth. Many hate biblical creationists, and seek to destroy us through defamation, misrepresentation, and so on. Some unbelievers are savvy enough to trip up those who claim to believe the Bible but force-fit long ages into it. 
Sooner or later, anyone involved in the subject of Christian apologetics will be asked about the existence of death and suffering. The question can take many forms: Why is there so much suffering in the world? Why does God allow it? What about suffering caused by natural evil? Historically, the Christian response to this question has been to explain that the original creation, which was declared by God to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31), did not contain such aberrations as death and suffering. Apologists then typically point to the historical event of the Fall as that which allowed sin and death to enter and corrupt the created order (Romans 8:20–22). Such a response is a biblical one, yet many are seemingly oblivious that this answer can only be used consistently within a ‘young-Earth’ framework. While correctly pointing to the Fall as an explanation for death and suffering, many apologists who accept the evolutionary long-age paradigm of earth history are unaware of the massive inconsistency. Old-Earth belief directly undercuts the biblical defence against objections posed by death and suffering. The secular paradigm is built upon ‘dating’ methods and assumptions which place death, suffering, disease, cancer and carnivorous activity long before the Fall of man. Thus, pointing to the Fall as the terminus a quo for death and suffering is logically inconsistent, and many thoughtful sceptics have picked up on this.
To read the rest, click on "Christian apologists trip over the age of the earth … again". Also, I strongly recommend "Genesis and the Gospel". 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

That Awful Question about Children who Died

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This is an article I did not want to write, and a subject many of us try to avoid discussing. Sadly, anguished parents and many other people want to know if their children who died early are in Heaven. They may have been lost through accidents, miscarriage (a word I detest because it implies that the loss is the woman's fault), or other reasons. For whatever cause, a child is missing.


Where do infants and small children go when they die?
Credit: Pixabay / Gerd Altmann
Atheists and some uninformed professing Christians chide Bible believers, saying that infants and young children are damned because they did not make a saving profession of faith in Jesus. Such a vile, wicked claim is based on bias and woefully incomplete theology. It also impugns the integrity and mercy of God, and raises the question that Abraham asked God in Genesis 18:25.

The question of the eternal destiny of the very young is not something that is Calvinist versus Arminian theology, either. I have some problems with both camps, as many adherents seem to think that they have everything figured out in the area of theology. Sorry, but no human knows everything, even with the help of the Spirit and the written Word; some things we cannot understand fully.

Have you, as a Christian, ever known something, but cannot systematically justify it? I have always believed that young children go to Heaven, but the best I could do was say something along the lines of, "God understands, and is merciful. He does not judge unrighteously". Years ago, some people were using a witch board in the apartment across the hall. I learned later that one girl (I think she was fifteen years old) had an abortion, and asked the board if her child was in Hell. That lying demon told her that it was. I was furious!

Some Calvinists would appeal to the doctrine of election and say, "God is sovereign, and he may have predestined some for Hell for his glory". Then Arminians rail against Calvinists by saying God takes pleasure in sending infants to Hell. Both sides need to be educated, and to learn about the love of our just and holy Creator. We are all created in the image of God, and children have a special relationship to him.




Related to this is my late brother, who was born with Down Syndrome and only had the mentality of a small child. I have said in several places that my father, who did not know who he was at the end, my mother, who died of a malignant glioma, and I will have a grand reunion in Heaven. All of us will be in our right minds. Atheists and evolutionists do not have such a hope, and believe that when you die, you're worm food whose only purpose is to pass on their genes. (No wonder they're so angry and bitter.) Children who die, the mentally impaired, and others have a blessed hope, and reasoning from Scripture can help reassure the hearts of many.

Let's move on to the collection of short articles by Pastor Jesse Johnson that give tremendous insight. Special thanks to Todd Friel at Wretched for mentioning the site.
Finally, a video message from Pastor Johnson is below. You can also see it, download the audio only, and get the notes at this link. I hope this information will give people peace, hope, and confidence.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Creation and Other Miracles

Christians must necessarily presuppose not only the existence of God, but also that miracles have happened. Creation itself was a miracle. Other miraculous events, such as the Genesis Flood, involve God using what already exists but still transcending the usual workings of nature. The power of God was shown when he bodily raised Jesus from the dead.


Miracles are in the Bible, and there are some happening today.
Credit: Freeimages / Robert Linder
Unfortunately, the word miracle is vastly overused and cheapened. "I rode my horse all the way into town and he didn't go lame, it's a miracle!" No, it's not. "The boss miraculously kept the meeting to the allotted time". No miracle there either, pal. Dr. John MacArthur is much more specific:
What is a miracle? Let me give you a simple definition. A miracle is an interference with nature by a supernatural power. A miracle is something outside our box invading our little box, something outside our world coming into our world and making waves and ripples. Miracles are events in the external world wrought by the power of God. A miracle is God stepping into the universe, setting aside the normal laws of nature to do a supernature act. The Bible describes miracles usually, especially in the New Testament, in three terms: signs, wonders and mighty works. And therein you have the definition of miracles, really. They were mighty works to create wonder, to act as a sign.  
. . . 
Miracles are designed by God to invade the natural world, to show the natural world that there's a supernatural world. And if you continually try to explain miracles away by natural reasoning, what you're doing is just acting like an atheist. You're disallowing God. Miracles are mighty works to create wonder that points to God.

"The Bible Verifiable by Miracles", which is well worth reading or hearing. Free, as usual.
Miracles in the biblical sense point to God, and those in the Bible were used to establish authority and credibility of God's representatives, as well as God the Son in the Gospels. Somewhere between the claim of the car starting "miraculously" and the raising of the dead 2,000 years ago are those other miracles.

I heard a debate between an atheist and a man who had written a large book documenting healings that could realistically be explained as miraculous. The atheist rejected them because of his materialistic presuppositions and despite the evidence. There are subjective experiences that we cannot document, cannot back up our views, but we are fully convinced of God's intervention and mercy. I believe God answered our prayers and had mercy on Basement Cat, but I can't prove it. Won't even try.

Does God work any miracles today? I reject the idea that all miracles went away, not only because that is not taught in Scripture, but also from my own experiences and those of others.
As scientific creationists we can, if we are not careful, become focused on our main issue of the historical and scientific accuracy of the Creation / Fall / Flood / Tower of Babel account of Genesis 1-11 to the point that we fail to remember that our greater mission is to uphold the authority of the entire Bible. But our underlying and greatest mission as believers in Jesus is to make disciples as we go into the world. That was the last of all the commands of our Lord Jesus that we are to obey. Our effort to uphold the truth of Genesis is only one important tool that helps Christians to effectively present the gospel as being a reasonable thing for the world to believe by faith. It can enable that world which has been completely cursed by sin and “reconfigured” by paganism, postmodernism, and all sorts of other “isms,” to see that the Bible is true and that it is relevant not only to modern life but ultimately to eternity.
To read the rest, click on "God of Creation - God of Miracles".