Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Even Unbelievers Understand the Importance of Genesis


Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing! — G. Richard Bozarth, "The Meaning of Evolution", American Atheist (February 1978), p. 30.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  (2 Peter 3.3-7 KJV)
Here is a bit of a follow-up to this article.

Even the atheists "get it", as shown above. But note the equivocation where he said, "Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science..." Evolution is a philosophy about the past using interpretations of evidence. It is not "science" per se. No, nobody is fighting science! We are fighting the philosophies of materialism and uniformitarianism. Especially since they fail to accurately explain the evidence.

When Christians present a reasoned explanation for the gospel (apologia, ἀπολογία), we need to be clear that the Bible is true from cover to cover. What good is it to say that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and then say that it does not mean what it says in Genesis? "The creation week was actually long periods of time, 'day' does not mean 'day', the global flood at the time of Noah was not really a global flood, Adam was not a literal man" and so on. So, how can we expect someone else trust the rest of the Bible to mean what it says?
  • Death began with the sin of Adam (1 Cor. 15.22, Rom. 5.12, Rom. 8.22)
  • The first promise of the Redeemer was in Genesis (Gen. 3.15)
  • The first covering for sin was in Genesis (Gen. 3.21), a foreshadowing of the covering for sin in the Old Testament, fulfilled in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ because he loves us (Gal. 2.20)
  • Peter reaffirms the creation (2 Peter 3.5)
  • Peter reaffirms the global flood, which was a judgment on mankind; another global judgment is coming — by fire (2 Peter 3.6-7)
  • Paul refers to Jesus as the "last Adam" (1 Cor. 15.45)
Again, I ask you: What is your ultimate authority? Do you bow to the ever-changing whims of man-made science philosophies, or do you put your trust in the Word of God?



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stumbling Apologists

Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.


Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Prov. 30.5-6, NKJV

Here is something else that I cannot understand: Willful ignorance. At least, it looks like willful ignorance to me.

There are some apologists for the Christian faith who are utterly brilliant and have taught me a great deal. There are also some that are brilliant philosophers of theology that I do not try to understand because I find the depths of philosophy that they practice to be tedious and impractical, and I do not want to expend the mental energy in following what they're saying. Then there are the philosophers that do great work, and I do need to expend the mental energy to learn from them.

How is it, then, that a layman like me can spot flaws in their work?

I mentioned one time that a certain apologist said that he would not let science tell him how to view Scripture, and so he rejected evolution. Then, he promptly said that young-earth creationism is wrong because of what science has shown! Wait — the same facts, methods, techniques of science that support the belief that the earth is ancient are also used to support evolution, are they not? Why the inconsistency? More importantly, why the reluctance to accept a plain reading of Genesis at face value?

What baffles, irritates, irks, flusters and befuddles me is why these apologists (as well as knowledgeable laypeople) who proclaim the inerrancy of Scripture will keep trying to make the unnatural stretch of turning the days of Creation Week into some huge amount of time. There are a few possibilities of which I am aware:
  • Compromise. To them, the Bible does not mean what it says because they want to accommodate scientific philosophies. "Theistic Evolution" is an escape for people who believe in evolution but want to appear religious, and deny the Bible. "Progressive Creation" also denies important aspects of the Bible, and its adherents should consider well the words of Proverbs 30.6. There are other variations of compromise, but these two cover a great deal of ground and require extensive theological gymnastics of tampering with the Bible.
  • Not thinking it through. Some people just have not thought about the ramifications of their position, and how they are letting the latest whims of man-made science philosophies dictate their understanding of the Word of God.
  • Bad information. Young-earth creationism has been badly misrepresented. (I'll be blunt: There are people who claim to be Christians that have actually lied about young-earth creationists and their beliefs, and also called us liars because they do not agree with our views!) People who reject young-earth creationism have often only heard from its opponents, and have not bothered to seriously investigate the framework of the young-earthers. It seems a bit hypocritical to criticize atheists and "skeptics" for getting their information about God and the Bible from sites like "I hate God even though he doesn't exist and his book is wicked too dot com", and yet, ignore the material presented by Bible-believing scientists.
  • Bandwagon theology. This is simply a herd mentality. "Everyone in my church believes in an ancient earth and universe, I will too", or, "Dr. Philos Offy has two earned doctorates and 144 honorary doctorates, and he believes the universe is old and accommodates evolution, he's my hero, so he must be right".
  • Some other biases or presuppositions.
When debating with old-earthers, I point out that the word yomיוֹם, translated as "day", has several meanings [1,2]. The obvious meaning is a literal day, another meaning is an indefinite period of time. (There are, unfortunately, old-earthers who misrepresent young-earthers' views on this, saying that we insist that it can only be a literal day. Examining, say, Answers In Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research or Creation Ministries International will show that such claims are disingenuous at best.) For the most part, "day" means "day".

Cannot locate original source to give credit. Wish I could, I really like this humor that makes a point.
Several times, I have come across people who point out the few exception to the general rule of yom with an ordinal number meaning a literal day (such as Hosea 6.2), and they make the exception into the rule; that is, since "day" with an ordinal is not always read that way, other ways of reading the text must be allowed. This is horrible thinking, especially since if God wanted to say that creation happened in huge amounts of time, he did not need to have the author use yom.

What do they do with Exodus 20.11, by the way?

One analogy that I have used is dominoes. If you compromise in Genesis, which is foundational to the gospel, you have to continually compromise all through the Bible. Let me show you.

I was very disappointed when I read an apologist put forth the view that it was perfectly acceptable to think that at some point during evolution, God suddenly granted consciousness or enlightenment to a male and female, and they were made into Adam and Eve! Adam was considered a real person in the genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3.38), Paul said that Adam and Eve were real people (1 Timothy 2.13-14), Jude called Adam a real person (Jude 1.14). Death entered the world because of Adam's sin (Romans 5.12), but "progressive creationists" and "theistic evolutionists" require death before sin. But worse for this view is that it is an insult to Jesus, since Paul referred to Jesus as "the last Adam (1 Cor. 15.45). What does that mean? Was Jesus the next stage of evolution?

Why do they do this? There is no valid reason for such extreme eisegesis!
Many Christians have conceded to uniformitarian dogma by imposing theories on Genesis like the day-age view, gap theory, and the framework hypothesis. Christians taking on names—progressive creationist, theistic evolutionist, or even young-earth creationist—implies Genesis 1–11 does not have one clear interpretation. [3]
Now look, nobody is saying to put "our" view of the Bible over your daily experience or observable science. If the Bible said that things fall upward when dropped, we would have a problem to deal with, and I would expect that the context would indicate that this was figurative or allegorical. The science used for evolution, the age of the Earth, the age of the universe, all of that is not observational science. In fact, such historical science is in a state of constant change. (For scientific evidence against evolution and for a young earth, I have a site called "Evolutionary Truth by Piltdown Superman".)

People disagree about models and mechanisms all the time. Evolutionists themselves are not unified about evolution itself [4]. Creationists also disagree, and put forward their own models to interpret the evidence and see if the data fit. Great! That is what science is about! The real question is, "Who is your authority? Is it the ever-changing whims of man-made science philosophies of the day, or the unchanging Word of God (Isaiah 40.8)?" If you disagree about, say, the age of the earth because you have given honest consideration to the available evidence (including evidence from young-earth creationists), well, fine. That's your prerogative. But watch your presuppositions and make certain where your final authority lies. You don't want God calling you a liar because you added to his Word.

My work here is done for now. Is anyone up for a game of dominoes?

Addendum: I wrote a follow-up to this article, here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Breaking Fellowship — A Rant

Once again:
"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will."
2 Tim. 2.22-26, ESV

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Most of the time, I try to keep these articles instructive and/or practical. This time, I am making the article a personal thing because I am hurt and angry. (Plus, some instructive and/or practical bits.) At the risk of sounding pretentiously noble, my "hurt" was not from personal attacks. Rather, I am hurting because of the way Christians act.

A while ago, I wrote that Christians get judgmental and will, in essence, slap down and break fellowship with a believer who is not "spiritual" enough to please them. My suggestion was that we can give instruction to the other believer (Gal. 6.1 NKJV).

There are times, however, when we are to distance ourselves and even break fellowship with some people who call themselves Christians (1 Cor. 5.11, 2 Thes. 3.14). If they repent, they should be restored (2 Cor. 2.6-8 NIV, Gal. 6.1 ESV). There is no need in this article to go into all of the reasons for breaking fellowship or putting someone out of the church.

One of the most frequent problems in the church is strife. (And "infighting", more than discussing areas of disagreement, is one of the reasons I left the faith for several years.) I have had some specific problems with the Calvinist-Arminian strife. Yes, I said strife! I have mentioned how I am bothered by the attitudes of some Calvinists who act like they have the One True Faith. But I have recently encountered some positively vicious attitudes among Arminians. Ironically, some say that they are attracted to the teachings of Jacobus Arminius because they seem kinder or gentler. His "disciples" that I have encountered lately are anything but kind and gentle! The main problems I have seen involve the Arminians’ dislike of the Calvinist position of "election" or "predestination".

Now I have a problem. I can try to give extensive documentation and, I feel, become part of the problem, or I can tell people to take me at my word (or do their own research), taking the risk that I will be called a liar. Fine, call me a liar if you wish. I have to go with Scripture and my conscience.

My recent encounters with Arminians have been quite startling, because they are acting like atheists. That's right, I said it!
  • Mockery, such as this unconscionable poster
  • Straw Man arguments, making caricatures of Calvinism to knock down
  • Selective citing and misquotes
  • Misattribution
  • Guilt by association; Calvin believed and taught thus and so, and he had certain character flaws. I heard a caller to Matt Slick on CARM radio ask him if he believed in something. He said, "No". The caller replied that John Calvin taught that. Matt replied, "Well, Calvin was wrong, then". News flash: Calvinists do not treat the writings of Calvin as if they were Scripture!
  • Hate and rage; "You're right to criticize Calvinism (not its people) — It's sickening!" Tell me, how far is it from "poking at the god of Calvinism" (through mockery and disunderstanding) to mocking and hating other believers in Christ? I feel that soon, this will turn into actual hatred of Calvinists themselves
  • Idolatry; "My God doesn't..." This includes putting preferences, feelings and opinions above the Word of God
  • Excusing and justifying themselves
Let me stop right here and point out that not all of the Arminians approved of the discussion, and there were some other voices of reason to point out the errors of the angry Arminians. I posted a few comments, and posted a link to a pertinent article (which I believe only had two visits, so they were not exactly interested). Also, I have a strong feeling that these Arminians do not trust God!

Not only are these angry Arminians attacking fellow Christians, they are unwilling to listen to others who pointed out flaws in their logic. Just like modern atheists who are only interested in showing off their uninformed opinions rather than actually understanding the concepts involved (Prov. 18.2), they compare notes with other angry people who lack proper understanding. Then, they justify their strident, hateful comments and positions.

It would be nice if more Christians would try to get the attention of these angry mockers and attempt to correct them. Also, all mature Christians can pray for them.

Do you know what this is, really? It is pride! It really looks like they would rather be "right" than to express Christian love. I really cannot get over how their prideful attitudes remind me of so many of the obstreperous atheists that I have encountered!

One of these people on Facebook wants to be an apologist. With his emotional bias and unwillingness to learn about what he is attacking, I think he will end up humiliating himself and the name of Christ.
Infighting among Christians is a source of derision for unbelievers, and a stumbling block for believers. When some professing Christians insist on causing strife, breaking of fellowship may result.
Listen, I am not a Calvinist. Nor am I an Arminian. I have agreements with both camps, and have problems with both camps. But I cannot stand for such contempt for fellow believers. So, instead of continuing to try to point out that these Christians are acting in a most un-Christian manner (and, frankly, making me wonder if they really are Christians in the first place, John 13.35, Luke 6.44), I cannot continue to fellowship with people who promote pride, strife and division in the body of Christ. Not until they repent.

What do you think? Am I right? Am I wrong?

There are things in the Bible that I do not like. For example, I wish that everyone could be saved and go to Heaven. So, I could take me "theology" even further than certain Arminians wish to go and become a Universalist. Also, I do not like the concept that some people are "elected" or "predestined" for salvation. Personally, I do not think this doctrine is correct (stumper: Acts 13.48), but I am open to the possibility that I may be wrong. I am not going to mock other Christians who hold to this view, because their view is based on Scripture, whether I agree with their understanding of Scripture or not.

And there are other things in the Bible that I do not like. Why? Probably because I do not understand them. We, the created beings, cannot fully comprehend the Creator! That there are things in the Bible that we do not like, or do not understand, does not make them untrue. Nor does it give us any right to ridicule those who hold to a position that we disagree with.

In a comments area on a Facebook posting, I asked some of these people if they obtained their information from informed Calvinists, and I named a few examples. I was told, "I've had Calvinists themselves tell me this." So? Does that mean that those people were skilled and informed about the theology that they espouse?

I listened to a series of lectures on Roman Catholicism, and the lecturer said that we were probably better informed about the official teachings of Rome than the overwhelming majority of Catholics. Many times, I have heard Mormon callers to radio shows (or read commenters on articles) dispute what was quoted by the experts because they were uninformed about official Mormon teachings. The same with Mohammedans who say, "The Koran does not say this!" Uh, yes it does, here is the reference. And so on.

So, if you're going to criticize the doctrines, be very certain that you are understanding it correctly! Even with my lack of knowledge of Calvinistic teachings, I still caught the angry Arminians in significant errors.

Please, for the sake of Christ, we need to stop being so outright vicious to each other. Unless were are not truly his followers (John 13.35).
  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More about Evolution and Abortion

I won't take much of your time. This "video" is actually an audio. It runs for 1-1/2 minutes. If you're really pressed for time, you can skip the last thirty seconds.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Abortion and Conscience

Perhaps I am going about this post the wrong way. It has several items in it (audio, video, links to articles) and I do not want you to lose interest. On the other hand, I do not want to spread them out and have you lose your place. So, I will keep them together.

First, I have written an article at "Piltdown Superman" discussing the relationship between evolutionary thinking and how it encourages abortion. I hope you will indulge me and click here to read it.

Second, here is a 1-1/2 minute audio from Ken Ham at Answer in Genesis discussing the link between evolution and abortion (or click here if the embed fails):




Third, here is an article by Tony Perkins at Answers in Genesis:
The abortion debate is far more than a mere political issue. It strikes at the heart of every society. Without the light of God’s Word upholding the sanctity of human life, Western nations lose all respect for the sanctity of the unborn.

Having grown up in a Christian home and having accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior at the age of nine, I just assumed that I was pro-life, even though I can’t recall ever hearing a sermon on the topic. After all, I thought, aren’t all good Christians pro-life?

In the summer of 1992, I came face to face with the realization that being pro-life was more than a slogan on a bumper sticker—it was an understanding that what some have relegated to a mere political issue is in fact at the very nexus of a God-honoring, just society.
For the rest of  "Fighting Abortion—The Measure of a Just Society", click here. But come back here when you're done, OK?


Fourth (yes, I know, I'm giving you quite a bit), there is a podcast that I discussed in an article at "Stormbringer's Thunder". After the introduction, there is a direct link to the MP3. (You may wish to pull my trick with most lengthy audio materials, download them and play at accelerated speed). Click here for "Strong Arguments for Pro-Lifers". But come back here when you're done, OK?

Finally, I am going to make another demand on your time. Below is the "180 Movie" on abortion that was released on September 26, 2011. Not only am I asking you to spend about half an hour to watch it, but to forward the link to this article. No, I don't have anything useful of my own, but the video and other materials are important. Are you ready? Here is the video:

Monday, September 12, 2011

An Experiment


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4.8, KJV


This article will be nice and short.

I have written several times in various places that I like a couple of analogies about the mind. My use of them is inconsistent, and even overlaps at times. Oh, well. The first one is that the mind is like a computer. It uses the information that you give it, and GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) is often a very accurate description.

The other analogy is that the mind is like a garden. I find this one to be more consistently accurate than the computer analogy, because thought seeds are planted, fed, watered, encouraged and eventually yield some kind of crop for good or ill. We need to be careful of what we receive into our thought processes because we can dwell on and nurture whatever it is.

Here is an experiment for you.
  • Establish a period of time, hopefully for more than just one day (but not too long, because then it may become a burden). I suggest a week, or three days.
  • Keep yourself from secular media influences in song lyrics, movies, television, magazines, books and so forth.
  • Fill the void with good input. Spend more time with instrumental music such as classical or jazz, listen to Christian music (I've heard some good "sermons" in Petra and other groups' lyrics), read your Bible more, get some good Christian apologetics books and that sort of thing, listen to sermons on audio (you can catch up on the resources that I keep putting on this site).
After the experiment is over, check your attitude. Has your thought life improved? Have you grown spiritually? Are you exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5.22-23)? My guess is that your answer is "yes".

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Deception - A Big One

Here is a video that I feel is important to Christians to emphasize the importance of the question of origins. Originally, I was going to put it at Piltdown Superman, but realized that it is better suited for believers. Get comfy, this will take about an hour. Unless you have a downloader and grab it from YouTube, that is.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Resource: Now What?


I thought I was done with Thursday's article. Then Dr. Charles Stanley of "In Touch Ministries" caught my attention with his broadcast of "I'm Saved — Now What?" Although it does not directly apply to that article, several points in there complement it. Although it is targeted for new Christians, there is a great deal of useful information for all Christians. Even if you know the material, the occasional refresher does not hurt. And I strongly suspect that there are items in there that you had not considered.

The forty-something minute video is here, or you can listen to/download the MP3 podcasts, Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bibles for the Armed Forces

Special note for members of the US Armed forces: Thank you for your service. Second, if you would like a free Bible, you can obtain it here. A second source is to write here, and provide your name and the pertinent information.

As my regular readers know, the purpose of this Weblog is to encourage, educate, edify Christians. We are engaged in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6.12). Not only do we need to keep our own spiritual lives in order (1 Peter 5.8), but we must be presenting the gospel (Luke 24.46-47, Acts 1.8, 1 Peter 3.14-15, Jude 1.8). Our spiritual warfare is difficult enough, but at least most of us do not have people actively trying to kill us.

Soldiers are fighting for our freedom. They need spiritual comfort and support, especially since they are being attacked both physically and spiritually (including the "atheist chaplains" mockery of faith). Bibles are supposedly made available to armed forces personnel, but they decline them or lose them. When they want a Bible, it is difficult to obtain.

Do you care? Would you like to help?

The first option should be obvious to most followers of Jesus, but sometimes the obvious things need to be said: Pray. We need to pray for the members of our armed forces, and that they will be able to obtain Bibles and other spiritually-uplifting materials.

In addition to prayer, we can contribute in several ways. I spent some time going through several ministries, and believe that I found two that meet my own standards. I rejected some that did not "feel right", were too obscure, had difficult site navigation and so forth (this is July 2011, one still had not updated their 2010 material).

There are several ways to participate. Quick and easy: Donate. Biblica has a program to purchase New Testaments and get them to military chaplains so they can distribute them to personnel. Soldiers Bible Ministry has a similar program, but goes further than just a New Testament. One of their partners is the aforementioned Biblica.

If you are ambitious and want a higher level of involvement, get your church involved (through proper channels, check with your pastor or board member). Your church can express their gratitude for the service members as well as show concern for their spiritual well-being.

The next level of participation is personal: Buy one and ship it. If you know someone in the military, you can buy it yourself and then ship it directly to the service member. Biblica has several Bibles to choose from. You could also buy one or several for yourself as reminders that we are in a spiritual war.

Now we come to a part that is a dilemma for me. All of the above is good, and you can stop here. At this point, I am going to suggest some special military Bible purchases and use my affiliate links. I know it looks tacky.

The fact is, I am doing it for your convenience because it is the most effective way to do "show and tell". To leave me out of this, take a few steps: Click on the link, highlight and copy the product name, close that window, go back to the site, paste the product name in the search box and go. I am saying this because I am quite serious about not wanting to make a commission on Bibles for soldiers.

But whatever you do, I hope you will pray and contribute so that our military people can have Bibles available. You can examine the sites linked above.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

How Do You View Genesis?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
 
My regular readers know that I am a biblical creationist. Now, don't panic and run off, hear me out, OK? Some of my past articles (like this one) have dealt with the problems associated with compromising with Genesis.

I need to clarify something at this point.

Many people are overwhelmed with the pressure to compromise because they are told what to think, that evolution is true, the earth is old, the universe is ancient &c. Many do not really think about it at all, but simply go with the flow. Others see the problems that occur when they tamper with a plain reading of Scripture, so they force-fit a gap between the first two verses of Genesis, invoke the "Day-Age Theory", say that the first few chapters of Genesis is allegorical and that those of us who believe that it means what it says are fringe-group nuts.

One apologist said something that angered me quite a bit. He said that he does not believe in evolution, and will not let "science" tell him how to interpret Scripture. Great! However, (you knew there would be a "however", did you not?)  he could not believe in a recent creation because it did not fit Big Bang cosmology, which he felt was sufficiently established. That angered me. Not only did he contradict himself and promptly let science philosophy influence his view of Scripture, but he did not realize that he was doing violence with a great deal more of the Scriptures. Also, he was out of touch with the fact that the Big Bang theory is not established, but disputed among scientists. I felt that he casually compromised the Bible to fit science philosophy, and that I could not trust him any longer to give me useful apologetics information. Perhaps I should not have been surprised after reading that dreadful book on the New Age that he wrote several years ago...

Some people have not casually accommodated the whims of the current trends of science. They believe that the universe is old. I would in no wise consider them incompetent or that they are not really Christians. (That is the clarification that I wanted to make, the purpose of this article.) But I would really like for them to consider the implications of their positions and how it relates to Scriptures.

Especially if these people believe that the Bible really is the Word of God, and is their final authority.

I will not stifle myself about a few basic facts:
  • Yom יוֹם means a literal day when it is with an indicator like a number, evening, morning and so on. When this happens throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, it is accepted that yom means a literal day (with very few possible exceptions). "And there was evening and there was morning, one day", has three indicators. Why should the first part of Genesis be the exception? It means literal day.
  • Some people want to say that "day" was a long period of time. Well, yom means and indefinite period of time when the indicators (such as numbers) are not there. To justify this, people will say, "The Bible says one day is with the Lord as a thousand years". Read the rest of 2 Peter 3.8, Zeke. It also says "and a thousand years as one day". Keep going, read the context. This verse is not attempting to define "day".
  • Still not convinced? Exodus 20.11 tells us outright that God made everything in six days, and rested on the seventh day. He did this as an example for us. He did not work for six thousand years and rest for one thousand years. We would have some extremely rough work weeks with that exegesis!
  • You're calling Jesus a liar. That's right, I said it! In fact, you're in a bad place with the New Testament, because the early chapters are the most quoted passages. Adam was a real person (1 Cor. 15.45, Jude 1.14) the flood of Noah's time really happened (1 Peter 3.20). Need I go on?
Do you see how one compromise leads to another, and can affect our understanding of the entire gospel message? Where is your authority? Who are you going to trust? Isaiah 40.8


I'll be back in another יוֹם or so.
Addendum:I just found this excellent article on the
subject and hand, and strongly recommend that you click here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Touchy-Feely Jesus 2: The Sequel

Yes, I know. Lousy title. I just wanted you to know that I blundered across something that makes a good follow-up to an article I did on this subject a while ago. It seems that we have made an image of Jesus to fit a "niceness" image that we have created. Why? To make Jesus more palatable? I pointed out that he was not always Mr. Nice Guy. I see I'm not the only one who sees a difference between what has been presented, and the real Jesus.

Don't get me wrong! There is truth to the kind, gentle Jesus (Matt.11.28-30). But this truth is out of balance, because he is also the righteous judge that we will face some day.

Anyway, this video... About two minutes into it, I perked up because he was saying something similar to what I had said. Hope you like it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Don't Wanna Be a Casual Christian!

This is almost a dual post at "Stormbringer's Thunder", but with a few changes.
Just over a year ago, I rededicated my life to Jesus. One of the things that convicted me was getting reacquainted with that Christian music that I knew years ago. Petra, White Heart, Larry Norman, Malcolm and Alwyn, Darrell Mansfield and others. DeGarmo and Key had meant a great deal to me. Somehow, DeGarmo and Key ministered to me the most. I saw them in concert three or four times. 

Like the other artists, they gave encouragement as well as admonition. Evangelism should go without saying; the "buy one get one to give away" cassette deal has stuck with me for years. (Dig this blues version of a song they mastered earlier, "Are You Ready?".) Dana did that thing that several other Christian rock artists have done: He went into the ministry. Not a surprise, because music is a ministry for many of them.

I was shocked and very saddened to learn that Dana Key died on June 6, 2010. There are several tributes around (I linked to one in my own tribute), including this one I just found. Someday, I will meet him again. We will have forever for him to show me how he played that guitar. Good thing, it will take me almost that long to learn how he did that stuff! It will be a family reunion...

One song they did was very powerful for me, and other people feel the same way. It sums up my feelings (and reminds me of my failings), but is also an encouragement.
It's more than a wish, more than a daydream
More than just a passing whim
Yes, I've said this all before
A thousand times or more
I don't want to waste my life in chains of sin


CHORUS:
I don't wanna be a casual Christian
I don't wanna live a lukewarm life
But I wanna light up the night
With an everlasting light
I don't wanna live a casual Christian life


This life is filled with strong distractions
With pulls from the left one from the right
I've already made up my mind
Gonna leave this world behind
Gonna live my life a living sacrifice.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Genesis of Confusion

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3, NKJV)


And now for something completely different. Actually, the message itself is not different, but the way I am going about it is quite different for me.

First, some background. As my regular readers know, I am a Biblical Creationist (my Weblog with Creationist messages is here). No, I am not saying that if you are an old-earth Creationist that you are not a Christian. Nor am I saying that if you use a form of "theistic evolution" that you are not a Christian. But I do say that if you claim to believe the Bible, you end up doing some interesting eisegesis to compromise and force-fit your beliefs into what the Bible says.

Evolutionism has taken such a stranglehold on modern society that it causes a great deal of confusion to new believers as well as those who want to seriously consider the message of Christianity. Does the Bible mean what it says? Is the Bible wrong in the first place? Can we trust the Bible at all? I am not going to lay out the whole case for Genesis here (but I can refer you to Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research, and Creation Ministries International to get you started.

Confusion, apostasy, atheism, compromise are all rampant and seem to be increasing. The good news is that interest in solid Biblical teaching also seems to be increasing (here is just one example).

This is the part where I let other people tell their stories. It is a bit tricky. The following content was posted on Facebook, so not everyone will be able to follow a supporting link. I have permission to reproduce the "Note" and comments, and I removed the full names of the participants. If they wish to identify themselves, they can use the comments section. Also, I did a small amount of editing for clarity when people added their own corrections, but that is at a minimum. Finally, Facebook comments do not allow bold, italic, highlighting and other formatting, so people are occasionally used to type IN CAPS for emphasis.




Kevin wrote, "On Militant Anti-Creation 'Christians'"


For the life of me (and in spite of my article which argues that some professing Christians who believe evolution can actually be Christians), I can't understand why someone bothers with the rest of Christianity, or professes to be a Christian at all, when he finds any part of the Bible--let alone the foundational chapters--so at odds with what he "knows" to be true.
Apart from any debate on Creation or evolution, what is it about the rest of Scripture and Christianity that's so much more convincing (is Christ's resurrection actually more in line with current "scientific" thinking?), and why would it even seem so when it's so "obviously" wrong about Creation and Christ Himself is apparently mistaken about it? What would draw anyone to a Person claiming deity who goes against "known" science and can't even correct the "mistakes" of the earlier Scripture writers when He brings them up?

Why, if evolution is true, doesn't one just take it with all the rest of secular "science" and dismiss all the rest of Scripture where it presumes to give a recounting of history, especially of Christ's resurrection and other miracles--surely much less "scientific" than creationism?

— May 31, 2011
Kevin added, "Because I've been misunderstood in the past about the same thing, let me point out that my use of quote marks around "Christians" in the title is simply because I don't know (but I DO know that not EVERY professing Christian IS one) and to indicate that the person in question apparently professes to be one — regardless of anyone else's questions about it or even his own lack of evidence for the new life he's supposed to have...I agree that science DOES verify the Bible and tried to carefully use quote marks to indicate the other guy's view, not my own."

Tad wrote, "What I love is how science--viewed from a Godly stance--PROVES the truth and inerrancy of the Bible. Remind me one day to tell you about the Christian astrophysicist who was able to use the Bible to explain a 24 hour discrepancy between mathematical calculations and empirical data."

Linda joined in, "Ok, you will probably not believe me 'cause the coincidence seems a little weird. But I had the very same thought earlier today while reading one of the scientific vs unscientific discussions. 

"The very same question came to mind - if you just can't accept creation, how could you possibly accept the resurrection? I feel I am in very good company, so thanks. I just wish I had posted the point when it came to mind."

The highlighted part of her comment brings out something of vital importance that Creationists have been pointing out for a long time.

Now it's Grahame's turn: "Tad, I need to hear that as a friend of mine keeps saying that Creationism serves no useful scientific purpose!"

Timely posting, isn't it? That is the kind of thing with which we constantly have to contend. What usually happens is that someone reads a book written on a popular level, dismisses all of Creation Science and then other disbelievers congratulate each other on being more intelligent than us. All based on a serious absence of effort on their parts.

My mouthy self added, "Rereading 'The Lie: Evolution' by Ken Ham. It's a bit older and could stand a bit of updating, but it still points out how Genesis is the foundation of Christianity. This was one of my baseline teachings. If Genesis isn't true, you have the domino theory of Christianity, one tips into another into another... Jesus referred to Adam as a real man, not a point in our evolution. The flood of Noah's time was not only referred to as an actual event, but a symbol of Christ and the coming judgement (the next time, by fire). In other words, you'd have to do some fancy theological footwork to make excuses, because Jesus, Peter, Paul and the others who referred to Genesis as actual events would be lying!

"By the way, none of this 'local flood' nonsense. Not only does the Bible make it clear that it was global, but God wasted an 'undred years of Noah's time building an ark when God could have said, 'Pack your bags and move to a different valley, because this area right here is flooding out'."


Don made some interesting remarks: "I posted this comment on Ashley's wall a couple of days ago:

"Creation/evolution was the biggest issue I had to deal with when I first became Christian in my first year of college some 30 years ago. I could not honestly reconcile what I read in Genesis with the theistic evolution presented in apologetic books like 'Science Speaks' by Peter Stoner. I just wanted to know the truth. If evolution was true then I knew the first chapters in the Bible were false. I guess I’m someone who can’t compartmentalize my thinking: If I can’t trust the first few chapters in the Bible to tell the truth, then how can I trust the rest?

"I remembered in high school reading a review of 'The Troubled Waters of Evolution' by Henry Morris in a local paper. The review mocked the book, but I remembered the title and I sought the book out in the local library. Reading it was like a breath of fresh air. I then found a copy of 'Evolution: The Fossils Say, No!' By Duane Gish and gobbled that up. And the rest is history.

"I’ve been debating evolutionists ever since then. The debate gets tiring online at times because the semi-anonymity of the Internet causes many evolutionists to be a lot more dishonest than they normally would be face-to-face. The bald-face lying of Jim Thorpe on CMI’s fan page comes to mind."

Kevin returned with, "
I read all three of the books you mentioned long ago myself also and had the same problem with 'Science Speaks', at least later, when I was clear enough in my understanding to see the problems with his belief in an old earth. I was somewhere in my mid-teens when I read my father's copy of Henry Morris's 'Scientific Creationism,' the first one I read, out of curiosity, and what started me following the whole Creation/evolution and apologetics issues. (Now my dad comes to ME with related questions and uses material I've written in his Bible studies and other Christian training.)"

Ashley joined the discussion: "You know, I was like Don. When I started my life as a Christian, Evolution was a big obstacle. I tried to reconcile by looking up materials by theistic Evolutionists and talking to college professors here from a popular Christian colledge called Southeastern University (George Bush Jr. visits regularly). They compromised big time by teaching that Darwin believed in God and didn't have any beef with him, Evolution is true, and that radical Christians (Creationists) make Darwin out to be a bad guy. 

"Needless to say, I spent a lot of time in limbo trying to figure out how in the world Evolution didn't contradict the Bible to no avail. It did every way I looked at it. Then, one day, I went to a "theme" park called Dinosaur World. While reading the information they gave about the individual dinosaurs, everything had peculiar information. Like, "it is uncertain", "unknown", "maybe", was written on every single plaque. Something minor like that pushed me to learn more about Evolution and Creation. 

"Through that journey, I, to this day, have no idea how any reasonable person can think/say that theistic Evolution is legit or back Evolution up altogether. It is so.....flawed. There's no other way of saying it. It takes incredible faith to believe in such a flawed concept. At least things being discovered that the Bible has recorded is consistent. Nothing that has been observed has contradicted it. Not one thing. I don't understand why people are willing to compromise."

Addendum: Ashley wanted me to add this link to "Creation: Why It Matters". OhMyYes!

Tad contributed, "Here's another point to throw in the face of these "scientists": it's called the THEORY of Evolution. THEORY. Not LAW. If they truly understood science, they would know that there are WORLDS of difference between the two concepts, and so might find it more readily easy to abandon such a flawed concept as evolution. Oh, silly, silly me — that's probably why they try to teach it as if it were a scientific law. To easy to lose adherents if it were merely a scientific theory. Hence, of course, MY use of the quote marks when referring to "scientists". Guess there are professing scientists, same as there are professing Christians, eh?"

Jonathan cautioned, "Tad, all the same, be careful about such statements, as shown in http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use#just_theory".

These people had questions and doubts that may have eventually caused them to abandon their faith. Fortunately, they did some investigation and learned the truth about the Bible and Creation Science. This is an excellent example of why it is so important to know what we believe, why we believe it, and are able to explain that our faith is not blind, but is actually reasonable (1 Peter 3.15).

Centuries ago (OK, so I'm exaggerating, but it feels like such a long time), Ken Ham pointed out the problem and the solution. The problem is that we are not defending our Biblical foundations, but our enemies are attacking them. What are we doing? Taking pot-shots at the issues, doing nothing, going in the wrong direction, shooting each other or even helping destroy our own foundations:

 

We need to not only defend our foundations, but strengthen them and stand on God's Word as our source of truth (Isaiah 40.8, 58.12):
 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Whose Opinion Matters Most to You?

Some of us have been getting ridicule for taking a stand for our beliefs (Matt. 5.11-12, John 15.20-21), the most recent deliberate misunderstandings are based on voicing our beliefs on Christian modesty (if you're curious about the hate, you can see some in comments here and here). They can continue with their vituperation, but not only will they leave reality itself unchanged, but they will have no influence on our commitment to the teachings of the Word of God. They will have to explain themselves someday (Matt. 12.36, John 5.28).


Here is a song that demonstrates the standards of Bible-believing Christians, and it is also an encouragement to us. Petra has meant a great deal to me for many years, and this is another reason for it. The "video" is audio-only. Lyrics are below.





"Godpleaser"
Words and music by Bob Hartman
Based on Prov. 14:12; Eph. 6:6; Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 4:1; Matt. 6:2, 25:23; Col. 3:23

So many voices telling me which way to go
So many choices come from those who think they know
There's a way that seems right to a man
But it only brings him death
I wanna go the way that leads to life
Till I draw my dying breath

(Chorus)
Don't wanna be a manpleaser - I wanna be a Godpleaser
I just want to have the wisdom to discern the two apart
Don't wanna be a manpleaser - I wanna be a Godpleaser
I just want to do the things that please the Father's heart

Some make a sacrifice and never let it show
Some make a point of letting everybody know
Some will live their lives as unto men
And they have their reward
I just wanna do everything I do
With all my heart unto the Lord

I just want my life to glorify His Son
To make my Father proud that I'm His child before I'm done
No need to pat me on the back or stop the shake my hand
I just want to hear my Father say "Well done, well done"
I just want to hear my Father say "Well done"

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday Resource: Are We Making Him Known?

As Christians, are we keeping the truth to ourselves? When we meet God on Judgment Day, will we have people say, "Yes, Lord, this one led me to you"? For that matter, are we sure that we are right with God, or are we playing religious games with ourselves?

Today's resource is not going to take you all that long (this time). It is about twenty minutes. You can click the link and listen to the audio, or right-click and "save as" so you can listen to it offline. It is by Dr. Charles Stanley, and it is called "Making Him Known". I sincerely hope that you will use this link and give it a listen.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Resource: Evolutionists' Assumptions

Evolutionists like Dr. Richard Dawkins speak authoritatively as if their not-even-theory were as good as fact. But building a case for naturalistic evolution is like trying to build a house in midair. No matter how solid the construction, the house will collapse without a foundation. Thus, evolutionists must assume biblical grounds to support their worldview. These biblical grounds—such as logic, morality, and uniformity—stem from the nature and power of the Creator God as revealed in the Bible. Yet evolutionists deny the Creator while resting their faulty beliefs on His foundation. By challenging their faulty basic assumptions that the laws of logic, absolute morality, and the uniformity of nature exist apart from the Creator, the Christian can prove that reasoning, absolute moral standards, and science itself must be based on the biblical worldview.
Click here for the article.