Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas and Genesis — What's the Connection?


Hope you are having a great Christmas, and taking time to reflect on the true meaning. If the festivities have quieted down and you want to take some time to think on these things, I have two items for your consideration.

Many of us know that Jesus is the Creator of the universe (John 1.3, Col. 1.16-18) and can be overwhelmed that God cares about his creation (Psalm 8.4, Psalm 19.1, Luke 2.11). But there is more to it than this. Did you know that mixing evolution and "deep time" do violence with the gospel message itself?

Two help increase your understanding, please see this article, "Christmas and Genesis".
   

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Video: Dinosaurs and the Bible

A short video discussing dinosaurs and the Bible. Several basic questions are answered. Some people might be surprised to find out that the fossil record is actually a friend of the Bible! I hope this encourages people to check out creationist sites and find out more.


Piltdown Superman (this site points to other biblical creationist sites)
Institute for Creation Research
Creation Ministries International
Answers in Genesis
Apologetics Press

Friday, November 23, 2012

Noah's Flood and the New Testament


For some reason, people want to add to God's Word so they can justify their belief in an old Earth. There is nothing in Scripture that justifies such a position, but some people want it anyway. Why? What value is there in accepting atheistic interpretations of ever-changing origins science?

Old-Earthers cannot have a global flood because it explains geology and the fossil record far better than uniformitarian geology, and points to a young Earth. If the Earth is not billions of years old, evolution cannot happen. (Actually, given an infinite amount of time, evolution still cannot happen.) You can find out more about the science aspects of the global flood at Piltdown Superman.

But if old-Earth advocates, including theistic evolutionists, proponents of the mostly-abandoned "Gap Theory", "Progressive" Creationists, Day-Age Theorists and others have some serious problems when they compromise on the plain words of Scripture. Ultimately, they are calling Peter, Paul, Jesus and others liars!
Many Bible skeptics regard Genesis 1–11 as mythical, copied from Enuma Elish, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and other such ancient writings—so not only is it a primitive myth, it’s not a particularly original one, in their view. We’ve often written about the characteristics of Genesis that show it claims to record history.
Sadly many believers have bought into these interpretations, but as Christians, aren’t we supposed to believe what Jesus did? And it’s easy to extend that to believing what the apostles that He appointed and inspired by the Holy Spirit to author Scripture believed as well. If Christians don’t believe the Bible, in what sense are they ‘Christ followers’? So let’s look at what Jesus believed and what the New Testament tells us about the circumstances surrounding Noah’s Flood.
You can read the rest of "The global flood—according to the New Testament", here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Spirit of the Thing

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Decades ago, I thought that I could use occult methods and still be a Bible-believing Christian. My mental image was almost comic book, where I would be using "good" magic against the forces of evil, complete with eerie glows and bolts of force emitting from my hands (Amos 3.3 NKJV). (If this had happened in modern times, I would probably have had a Harry Potter image of myself.) I had several errors going on in my naïve mind. One error was basic wishful thinking; I wanted certain things to be true, despite the Bible's admonitions against magic and occult practices (Deut. 18.9-12a, Isaiah 9.19-20, Jer. 27.9-10). There was no distinction between "white" and "black" magic, all was forbidden and condemned. I justified my opinions because I believed that the Old Testament does not apply to Christians. Of course, I ignored the fact that those warnings were there for a deeper reason that to just keep Israel separate from the other nations; those practices are detestable to God.

Also, I conveniently neglected the New Testament passages where occult practices were condemned as well as being abandoned by converts to the faith (Rev. 22.14-15, Acts 13.6-12, Acts 19.19-20, Gal. 5.20-21). Self-justification is a powerful thing because it is difficult for the Word of God to penetrate a determined, foolish mindset. (More about what the Bible has to say regarding the occult is here.) Instead of obedience to what God has said in his Word, I had something better: My opinions.

Funny how I refused to have Ouija boards, though. Go figure.

There was a time when I foolishly thought that I could use magic on the side of good. Then I learned about how foolish that idea really was.
Ouija board (modified) / FreeImages / zaid zolkiffli
I read many things and was ready to self-initiate. No joining a group for me, because I had unique views with my mix of good intentions, lame theology, opinions, excuses and wishful thinking. It came up in conversation, and a co-worker made a simple comment that rang in my ears: "Get a Christian perspective".

So I did. I think I picked up several books on the subject in the Christian section tucked away in the back at the local bookseller. The one that I fondly remember is Demons in the World Today, by Merrill F. Unger. Unfortunately, it is out of print, but Biblical Demonology appears to be a suitable replacement.
I stopped my activities in occult exploration, boxed up all the books I had and took them outside.

Fortunately, I was alone in the house, so my activities could not be argued or questioned. It was a cold winter's night. We lived on the outskirts of a small town, and the back yard was rather spacious. I walked on the crusted snow, dragging my box of occult books. A bit of gasoline, a shovel, matches, dreadful feelings of being watched. Flame on! I burned the books. Neighbor dogs were making some very odd barkings and whinings while this was going on; I half expected to see some thing charging out of the woods behind the property at me. And I seem to recall singing spiritual songs, too.

There is a void that needs to be filled when something is removed. The co-worker who recommended that I get a Christian perspective happened to call after I had done my deed and pointed this fact out to me. So, I got back into the Word and good spiritual teachings.

I have been wanting to share a scaled-down version of my occult experience. No, nothing sensational, no glowing eyes in the dark or demonic voices. But I suspect that those would have happened if I had continued on my path.

Now I have something else to share with you. Uh, you're not busy, are you? Anyway, there is an interesting article on whether or not ghosts are real, and what they may actually be. Let me start you off:
For centuries people have claimed interactions with entities that appear to be supernatural in nature. The seeming reality of the experience often has a transforming effect, even to the extent that the experience itself becomes a new kind of worldview filter. For example, today people claim interactions with alleged aliens and even abduction experiences at their hands.
If an interdimensional (as in, it looks as if it suddenly emerged out of nowhere) entity suddenly appears at the foot of someone’s bed in the middle of the night and claims that it is from the Pleiades cluster, then on most occasions the person will believe that its claims are true. The belief in the experience often changes their views about the big picture issues of life, such as “Where did we come from?” and “Where are we going when we die?” So, because of the experience, they are also given over to the larger claims of the entity that may include tales that the alien benefactors were originally humankind’s creators; that they have been overseeing our evolution for millennia; and that in the end they will redeem and restore the human species and the Earth to some kind of utopian paradise. In short, most experiencers undergo a kind of religious transformation or ‘awakening’ and many researchers believe that this is the actual purpose of the deceptive entities.
Click here to read the rest of "Are Ghosts Real?", here. I recommend that you also read the follow-up feedback and response, here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Resource: Logic, Atheism, the Gospel and More



This edition touches on several topics, including evolution, the importance of Genesis, atheism and logic. But more importantly, it dealt with how Christians should present the gospel message, and what kind of foundation we should have.

Sunday, October 14, 2012 was an interesting day for me. I was invited ("invited" as in, "hounded the guys until they gave in") to be on the "Evidence 4 Faith" radio show/podcast. Host Keith Kendrix was away, and Kirk Hastings was filling in. It was my first live guest spot on a radio show, not including call-in shows. (Before that, I was involved in a three-part  podcast for Theopologetics, but that was recorded and not a live broadcast.) I was hesitant a few times, not wanting to steamroll over Kirk — it's not my show. And I had a dry throat problem on occasion.

Perchance they wish to have me on again, there are some items that I would like to expand upon. The next time should be better.

If you find this material helpful, I hope you will pass it along to your friends. You can listen to the show on the site, linked above, or download the MP3 at this link.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

But So Many Scientists Believe Evolution!

Source unknown, found on Facebook, click for larger 
Two "arguments" have the same problem. First, "Most scientists believe evolution". Second, "Most modern Christians do not accept the first eleven chapters of Genesis as actual history". Those are the ad populum fallacy, where people will accept something as true because many people believe it. In addition, we also have the appeal to authority fallacy ("scientists believe"). While it is valid to cite an authority on a topic, people make mistakes. Especially when appealing to authority and majority instead of using reason.

Still, it is puzzling. So many people believe something that is contrary to God's Word. Why is that? Well, why do you think? "Science" is practically worshiped by many people, and is used as an excuse to ignore or even replace God. If scientists say something, well, we had better accept what they say, yes? No. For one thing, scientific conclusions, procedures and so forth "proving" an ancient Earth and evolution are not undisputed, even within the secular scientific community. Thanks to publicity, however, people are deceived into thinking that everything is "case closed". And so many people compromise their theology with the ever-changing whims of man-made "science". Why?
What better place to teach geology than the Grand Canyon? Exposed there is a large slice through the rock record of a major part of earth history. Every year we take groups through the Grand Canyon, and people see in-depth the compelling evidence for the global, cataclysmic Genesis Flood.

Overwhelmed by this evidence, a common response is: “How could most scientists be wrong about its formation?” If the evidence for the catastrophic accumulation of the rock record and its contained fossils in only a year or so, rather than over millions of years, is so compelling, why don’t all geologists accept the evidence and agree that the biblical Flood accounts for the rock and fossil records?

Such questions demonstrate that most people do not understand how geologists deal with the rock and fossil evidence. The only facts are that the rocks and fossils are observed in layers. They can be measured and tested repeatedly in the present.

When it comes to explaining how the rocks and fossils formed, however, those are events that occurred in the past. They can’t be repeated and observed. Thus, explanations about how rocks and fossils formed in the past are interpretations, not facts.
I think you'll want to read the rest of "How Could Most Scientists Be Wrong?", here.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday Resource - Refuting Compromise (Video)

Although it is just over an hour, this video is well worth your time. Dr. Jonathan Sarfati shows how proponents of an old Earth are using the same atheistic interpretations of scientific facts. Worse, he shows how compromisers like Hugh Ross and BioLogos are on terrible theological ground. The real question is about biblical authority versus man's opinions. Let him explain. NOTE: Skip ahead to the seven minute mark to where he actually begins talking.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reinterpretation and Other Old-Earth Compromise Efforts

It constantly baffles me why some Christians insist that the Bible does not mean what it says back in Genesis. Some blatant compromisers like Hugh Ross and BioLogos can be seen as dangerous to the gospel. It is disheartening when a respected philosopher like William Lane Craig actually mocks biblical creationists. When people I respect, like Greg Koukl of "Stand to Reason", keep making efforts to say that Genesis does not mean what it says (as he did in his radio show on September 2, 2012, at about the 1 hour 10 minute mark), it is discouraging. Especially when I know that Koukl has a great deal of worthwhile material!

As I have said before, we are sending people a mixed message:

The Bible is true, and contains what we need for salvation and a godly life, it means what it says. You don't need to be told what to think, have a "Watchtower" magazine or Book of Mormon. Except for the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Then, we have to go with the current trends of modern science philosophies; do not go with the plain reading of the text, nononono!


But many of us do believe what the Bible says. We do not need the ever-changing whims of science philosophies to tell us what it means. Why the compromise? Why the insistence on eisegesis, forcing "deep time" into the Bible? What is the purpose of using atheistic interpretations of scientific data? If people want to let "science" tell us what we should believe, why stop at Genesis? "Science" also says that water is not turned into wine, virgins do not conceive a child from the Holy Spirit, men do not rise from the dead... Compromise begets more compromise.

Here is an article about theological tap-dancing and reinterpretations of the text that old-Earth people commit.
Since the rise of uniformitarian geology in about 1800, many in the church have capitulated to this new ‘science’. Thus they have rejected the traditional plain historical-grammatical interpretation of the creation and Flood accounts. They routinely resort to erroneous reasoning to support their compromising reinterpretation. Following are discussions of the three most common errors committed.
I urge you to read the rest of "Common errors made by deniers of a young Earth", here.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Resource Video: Defend what you Believe


In this 38-minute video, Mike Riddle gives an overview of some of the key points regarding evolution and the age of the Earth. He does this from a Biblical standpoint. Although the video is not the best quality, he is a dynamic speaker and the message is well worth your time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why Do Christians Deny Genesis?

It seems that most people simply believe in "deep time" and use current science philosophy trends to interpret the Bible. As I have said before, I believe that many people have simply not bothered to examine their theology, and see that their opinions are actually doing violence to the rest of Scripture. Others are actively compromising and denying the authority of God's Word.

What causes people to accept what "science" says, and to interpret the Bible according to secular belief systems? Here is an article that has some good answers.
Evangelicals believe that the Bible is the word of God, but most of them (in the Western world outside the USA, at least) do not believe that God created the universe in six literal days about six thousand years ago. Furthermore, they say that those who do believe it are interpreting the Bible wrongly. Why? Are they right? And why do so many of them say it? Also, why are so many resistant to even considering this matter? This opens up a huge area of discussion, and this brief foray does not intend to be comprehensive. Also, I write it in the knowledge that many ‘old-earth’ Christians are very sincere in their belief and commitment to the Gospel.
First, my own experience. Although I never believed in macro-evolution, for many years I was convinced that the ‘millions of years’ were a proven fact of science. I was aware that if this were true, it would mean that God’s method of creation involved millions of years of death, disease, violence, suffering and waste. I was uneasy about this, but the evidence for a billions-of-years-old universe seemed incontrovertible. However, I kept searching for the truth and the light finally dawned when I came to realise that the millions-of-years scenario is by no means a proven fact of science and is totally incompatible with the Bible. In fact, the scientific evidence supports the literal understanding of Genesis 1–11. The turning point, for me, was when I read Refuting Compromise.
You can read the rest of "Evangelicals and Biblical Creation", here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ashamed of Christians

Servants, be obedient to those who according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ; not in the way of service only when eyes are on you, as men pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men; knowing that whatever good thing each one does, he will receive the same again from the Lord, whether he is bound or free.
Ephesians 6.5-8, World English Bible

I've got nothing against God,
it's his fan club I can't stand.
— Unbelievers' slogan

This is not an easy article to write. Here I am on vacation, the place to myself, and I'm running all over chasing after shiny things instead of actually writing it. Then I had to walk away to think and pray. Once you read it, you will see why I had difficulties. Although I do not set out to irritate people on this Weblog, I am certain that people on both sides of the chasm will be annoyed.

In previous posts, I have taken Christians to task over several things (and tried to encourage people to get into the Word and live according to God's purposes in our lives).  The verses at the top are somewhat out of context. In modern usage, they illustrate a principle for employees to realize that their ultimate employer is God and to work to please him most of all. I believe that this principle is valid for all we do as followers of Jesus, that we should strive to do our best in all things.

If we are going to identify ourselves as followers of Christ, we must live and act like it (Rom. 15.5-6, Rom. 12.1-2, 1 John 1.5-6, 1 Peter 2.12 NIV, James 3.13). Our conduct, as well as our words, are supposed to be part of our testimony to the lost (1 Peter 3.15-16 NASB). Those of us who take the Bible seriously enough to share the gospel have enough difficulties already from getting tongue-tied, having interruptions and distractions, trying to make the most of our opportunities, people finding excuses to disbelieve and more. We do not need liberal church-ians ("Christians" who use church-going as a religious social club and a "Get Out of Hell Free Card") making things more difficult with their attitudes and conduct! Nor can we have Bible-believing Christians giving in to their weaknesses (Gal. 5.16-21), either.



Listen, everyone is going to have bad days and foul up. I get that. I do that. We need to repent of our conduct and attitudes, and not make excuses for them. Worse, we cannot make a lifestyle of such things. If we do that, what good are we to God?

I came across some comments, and obtained permission to use them here (without identification). The first commenter said:
So, I really don't like the "Church Crowd." (The people that go out for food and such right after church.) We were at [an area restaurant] yesterday (awesome) and it was just filled with all of these well-dressed Sunday types. OK, that's cool, just waited in line.
But then, all of them one after another just kept treating the staff like crap because their food was taking longer than usual (busy day, duh!) and just kept downtalking them and whispering to one another basically agreeing that everyone other than them were a lesser being. Basically they all just go from being all fake-nice at church, and then immediately show who they really are once outside the doors. So thank you for validating one of the main reasons I don't go to church in the first place. (The other one being that MOST-not all- people there are always so conceited and full of the "I'm better than you" attitude. That's the stuff.)
Here is a reply:
Having worked in food service for [many] years, I appreciate your observations. I hate working Sunday mornings for the same and have formulated my own theory on this Sunday behavior.

People will go about their whole week being cordial towards one another unless otherwise provoked. When church day comes, they come to their lord with apologetic hearts and minds to be degraded by their pastor for being sinners. They endure this mass humiliation for nearly 2 hours, having become convinced that they are scum, leave their church to take this new self-loathing out on the serving public (who did not go to their god for apology) to feel better about being sinners now that they can live up to the title.
I, too, have been in food service. One of the ugliest things to see is someone who is not getting the food that they want when they want it, "church-goer" or not. But there is a problem here when church people as a whole can bring shame on Christians (and, ultimately, the name of Christ) because of selfishness and bad conduct. All of us can use improvement (1 John 1.9).

My regular readers know that I spend quite a bit of time dealing with logical responses and the lack thereof from unbelievers. These readers also know that I am well aware that we cannot live our lives being analytical all the time and stifling our emotions. We are human, after all.

But we can have some control over our emotions and learn some clear thinking practices. That is one reason I wrote the "Logic Lessons" series. Since I use real examples for those lessons, there are some things I would like to point out in the above dialogue.

First, there was an assumption that this was a "church crowd". This is based on the time of day and their clothing. Although it is a reasonable assumption, it is not conclusive. From the information given, they could have been on lunch break from a convention at a hotel down the road. Still, I will assume the original assumption is probably correct.

Second, "Basically they all just go from being all fake-nice at church, and then immediately show who they really are once outside the doors." Let's see...abusive ad hominem, hasty generalization, appeal to motive, maybe a bit of poisoning the well fallacies. These kinds of things seem most likely to occur from an emotional response.

Third, "So thank you for validating one of the main reasons I don't go to church in the first place. (The other one being that MOST-not all- people there are always so conceited and full of the "I'm better than you" attitude. That's the stuff.)" More of the same. I could give the same approach and say about a rock concert, "Rampant promiscuous sex, un-American values, use of illegal drugs — thank you rock and rollers for validating one of the main reasons I quit listening to rock in the first place." See, this kind of thing is emotional, not substantive. And I wonder about "all of them" being rude.

I have some serious issues with the respondent's comments that followed.

"Having worked in food service for [many] years, I appreciate your observations. I hate working Sunday mornings for the same..."

S/he is speaking from experience, no quarrels there.

"People will go about their whole week being cordial towards one another unless otherwise provoked. When church day comes, they come to their lord with apologetic hearts and minds to be degraded by their pastor for being sinners. They endure this mass humiliation for nearly 2 hours, having become convinced that they are scum, leave their church to take this new self-loathing out on the serving public (who did not go to their god for apology) to feel better about being sinners now that they can live up to the title."

In logic, this is known as a prejudicial conjecture. According to Dr. Jason Lisle,
This is where a person substitutes an arbitrary conjecture for knowledge. He has failed to study the topic in question, and so he simply begins stating guesses based on nothing more than imagination. A prejudicial conjecture is not making a reasonable guess based on the best information available; this is perfectly acceptable. A prejudicial conjecture is where the information in question is publicly available, but the person has failed to do his homework. If he would have simply gone to a public library and done 30 minutes of research, he would know better than to make such an uneducated claim.
In my apologetics work, I encounter this kind of thing frequently. People make arbitrary statements as if they were fact, but if they had "done their homework", they would not make such statements. In addition, it has a straw man argument, hasty generalization, abusive ad hominem and appeal to motive.

(By the way, I have been on this planet for quite a while, and do not know of such places that treat their members with such emotional abuse. Any pastor to acted that way would have an empty church. The problem is quite the opposite, there is too much "feel good now" stuff and not enough respect for the Creator of the universe.)

Again, it is unreasonable to expect people to be analytical all the time. Whether they have a reasonable basis for what they feel, they still feel it. In my experience and learning, people feed their feelings over a long period of time. If you are in a face-to-face conversation with someone who is describing their bitterness, it is not a good idea to list their logical fallacies; this write-up is for your edification and is not a prescriptive method.

Instead, we can take a questioning approach. Questions like, "What do you mean by that?", "How did you reach that conclusion?","Why do you feel that way?" and similar questions. (Asking an avowed atheist, "Why is it wrong for Christians to act in a way you don't like actually wrong in your worldview?" is for advanced students!)

While I was writing this article, I was subjected to a personal attack on Facebook. Again. It is arrogant, condescending, has a disingenuous pretense of nobility, is full of fallacies (a later comment even took a victim approach) and other efforts to provoke and waste time. This is his opening comment. I'll let you figure out the fallacies:
You held true to form doing what almost every religious adherent does who runs these pages. If something is too threatening or you cannot adequate support your position, the pattern is usually throw a fit, then block and pretend like it never happened.

I expect you are young (at least you seem to be by your responses). I only hope that one day you mature enough to be able to reflect upon why you would have such a visceral response to such things. Also, I would hope you one day will be able to admit when you are wrong and actually LEARN from debates. That, to be honest, is the only benefit to such discussions. Otherwise, people only spin their wheels and leave with a deluded sense of victory. Anyway, best wishes and good luck on your journey.

People like this are motivated by hate and pride, and I do not waste much time on them (Matt. 7.6). Their minds are made up. By the way, this troll was been reported to Facebook and blocked. After I took a screenshot.

It is the other people, the ones who had the dialogue that was analyzed, that bother me. Like I keep saying, whether it is "reasonable" or not, they have these feelings. They can be pain, anger, resentment and other things — or a mixture. In fact, there is a wall that they have constructed. We can try to get through that wall through discussion, prayer and a reasonable defense of the gospel (ἀπολογία).

But it is much, much more difficult to do when Christians act like jerks.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Is Genesis to be Taken "Literally"?


One of the reflexive responses of compromisers regarding Genesis is, "You can't take it literally". To me, that says, "I reject anything that indicates a creation week of 24-hour days, a young Earth and a Noachian flood, because I add millions of years and interpret the Bible through "nature", which is the 67th book of the Bible."

That is a very bad idea:

But...what does it mean to take Genesis "literally"? I tend to cringe when people say that, because misotheists will find all sorts of strange things to take out of context and then accuse Christians of believing "that" (which is not only a transparent attempt at manipulation through ridicule, but a straw man fallacy). No, I take a rational approach. Most of us Biblical creationists do, in fact.
Creationists are often accused of believing that the whole Bible should be taken literally. This is not so! Rather, the key to a correct understanding of any part of the Bible is to ascertain the intention of the author of the portion or book under discussion. This is not as difficult as it may seem, as the Bible obviously contains:
No, I'm going to make you finish reading this excellent article called "Should Genesis Be Taken Literally?", here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Apologetics, Evangelism, Motive and Regard for Scriptures

As I have said many times here, when we engage in apologetics, we need to be well-grounded in the Word and good instruction, as well as walking in the Spirit (Eph. 5.18), using the armor of God (Eph. 6.11-19). We must be proclaiming the gospel with boldness (Eph. 6.19, Acts 13.46, Phil. 1.14). Prayer is essential to our task as well as our daily lives (Eph. 6.18, Jude 1.20, 1 Thess. 5.17). If we attempt to engage in apologetics without having a real Christian walk, we are asking for trouble.

Further, people who do not really believe the Bible simply undermine the gospel, and the efforts of apologists who do believe the Bible is God's Word; a "high view" of Scripture is essential. When compromisers say that the Bible needs to be interpreted by adding current man-made science philosophies, that it is only for "spiritual truth", adding views that are either unscriptural or anti-scriptural, saying that the Bible is not reliable — they need to examine themselves and see if they are actually saved.

What is our motive for apologetics? We must be brutally honest with ourselves before God. Some people share the gospel with joy, remembering that they were lost sinners and are now saved by grace through faith, and want to see others receive the gift of salvation. There are people who are reluctant, and do this because of Christian duty. Some do nothing, and are possibly not actually saved themselves, or uncaring about the eternal destination of others (or not believing that Hell is waiting for them).

"Is that all of the motives people have, Cowboy Bob?"

By no means. There is a certain possibility that I want to discuss because it is very important — and very unpleasant.

Are we doing apologetics to impress others with how intelligent we can be and to win arguments? To be blunt, such motives stink. We are to be sharing the gospel with the lost and seeking to glorify God, not glorify our egos. Witnessing is done through the power of God, not through our own cleverness of speech and intellect.

To take this further, people who want to "win" often have a tendency to argue on "neutral ground", leaving behind their belief that the Bible is true. Dr. Jason Lisle pointed out that there has to be an ultimate standard by which we evaluate data. If the so-called "neutral ground" is used to judge the ultimate standard, then it becomes the ultimate standard!

Some readers may see that I am leaning toward what is called "presuppositional apologetics". Some clarification is in order. I have heard evidential apologists demean and even ridicule presuppositional apologetics. Some of them are simply locked in with evidentialism, others do not have a proper understanding of presuppositionalism. One annoying assumption on the part of some evidentialists is that presuppositionalists never use evidence. Not true. Also, evidentialists do have presuppositions.

To be direct, I am struggling with a proper understanding of it myself! There are some presuppositional apologists who are overbearing and confusing. (Unfortunately, I believe some of them have a problems with pride, just like some evidential apologists). To make matters worse, there is no single "school". My own approach is a mix. I use evidence, but refuse to go to "neutral ground" or leave the Bible behind.

There is an article that is making an impact on me (present-tense, because I am going through it again), and would like to recommend that people give it a serious examination. Also, I recommend Ultimate Proof of Creation by Dr. Jason Lisle. He gives what I consider an excellent explanation of presuppositional apologetics. (It's quite readable. And he uses evidence.) So, the article that I am strongly recommending that you read is "Evangelism and Apologetics".

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Theological Physics, Compromise and Homosexual Marriage

If we are going to be effective soldiers for Jesus, we have to be firm on the basics: Get into the Word, spend time in prayer, fellowship with other believers and get good teaching. If you are not doing these things on a regular basis, you have no business getting in Satan's face — you'll be shredded. But if you are doing those, then add your spiritual combat gear (Ephesians 6.10-18) and apologetics training books, videos, lectures, audios or whatever. And remember, the whole thing is not only about being strong in the Lord and growing in faith ourselves, but to be able to present the gospel. You do care that people are dying without Christ and spending eternity in Hell, yes?

The first part of the basics, getting into the Word, is vital.

Do you believe the Word of God? Or is the Bible something that you do not consider all that important? If that is the case, I urge you to check yourself and see if you are truly saved. You cannot expect to be an effective witness if you do not believe the Bible.




When it comes to peripheral matters, there is room for variation, accommodation and disagreement. Unfortunately, too many Christians have sold out their convications at the foundation of the foundation, which is Genesis. Christians made concessions by saying that Genesis is not historical, but allegorical and get bad theology, such as:
  • Theistic evolution. God used evolution to create man, but this trade-off creates more theological difficulties than it solves (Mark 10.6-8, 1 Cor. 15.45)
  • The "Gap Theory", where there are millions or billions of years between the first two verses of the Bible.
  • "Progressive Creation", where God stepped in ever few million years and made adjustments.
  • Local Flood. (Compromiser Hugh Ross says that Noah's Flood was "worldwide, but not global", an amazing bit of semantic tap dancing.) This raises some serious difficulties in dealing with other verses in the New Testament (2 Peter 3.5-7, Luke 17.26-27).
  • Further accommodations because the foundation has been negated.
I have said before that when we are weak regarding Genesis, then it leads to a domino effect of further compromise, all the way through the Bible. But I learned that dominoes can knock over bigger dominoes than themselves, transferring energy. In a kind of theological physics, the transfer is not of kinetic and potential energies, but of spiritual power. When we gave way on the essentials back in Genesis, the chain reaction gets bigger and bigger, and we can become willing to cop out on pretty much anything.


Think compromising (this Dutch piece is about 1 min. 38 sec.):


It turns out that big things happen, and God's people are sitting there slack-jawed, wondering what happened and hoping that maybe somehow God will swoop down and fix things that they should have handled from the beginning.

Here is the latest big issue with which we are confronted.

Suddenly, a small minority of homosexuals is gaining political power. Atheists, political leftists and others who hate God's Word and his servants are using this "issue" against us. Suddenly, we are expected to say that "gay is okay", and waive not only our convictions, but redefine marriage itself as it has lasted for thousands of years. Here is an excellent article on how compromise on Genesis has led to Christians being taken by surprise and pretty well overpowered by worldly forces when it comes to so-called "gay marriage".

Globally, there is a debate about what marriage is, and whether we should, or even can, redefine it to include unions between two men, or between two women. Many make this into a civil rights issue, saying that to deny the right to marry to two people who love each other is deeply and fundamentally unjust. To complicate matters, many people have friends and family who identify as homosexual, so this becomes a personal issue for a significant portion of the population. Even more complex is the existence of church leaders supporting gay marriage, even professing evangelical ones.
I hope you will finish reading "Gay ‘marriage’ and the consistent outcome of Genesis compromise", here.
 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Science, Faith, Genesis and Compromise

Did you know that the one who was most influential in forming the modern scientific method was a Biblical creationist? Yes, it was Sir Francis Bacon. Although he has been called a great man of faith, he actually did damage to our understanding of science. He wanted to leave God out of science and be strictly secular with it.

He had an unscriptural belief that God's revelation was expressed in "two books". One of those is the Bible, the other is nature. When "interpreted correctly", they are in harmony. (Frankly, this sounds cultic, smacking of the Mormon claim that the Bible is true "as far as it is translated correctly".) Compromisers like Hugh Ross will give priority to the current understanding and beliefs of modern science trends, interpreting the Bible to fit with those preconceptions.

Christians gradually surrendered science to the secularists. Then, they began sacrificing their belief in the authority of Scripture.

There are two parts to the following article, linked after the introductory excerpt:

About 400 years ago, there lived an English nobleman, philosopher and lawyer by the name of Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1626), who is regarded as the father of the ‘scientific method’. As did many other great men of science, such as Sir Isaac Newton, he professed faith in God and the Bible. However, his writings, which have had a profound influence on the whole Western world, have achieved much harm as well.
Bacon’s main objective was to free up ‘natural philosophy’, as science was called back then, from any and all impediments which would hinder its proper development for the common good of mankind. The obstacles, as he saw them, which hindered scientific progress were so offensive that he called them ‘idols’ and he urged his readers to banish them completely from their minds.

‘Leave the Bible out of it’

Near the end of the list of ‘idols’ which Bacon said must be ‘abjured and renounced’ were any systems of natural philosophy which were built on Genesis 1, Job, or any other part of the Bible. This wilful and untrue presupposition, that the Bible has nothing to teach us about understanding the workings of nature, is the ugly root which has influenced some of the greatest scientific minds from Bacon onwards. The mindset among scientists to set aside the Bible did not commence with Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) nor prior to that with Lyell’s 3-Volume Principles of Geology (1830–1833). The trend had been firmly launched more than 200 years earlier in Sir Francis Bacon’s works. The scientific method, we were told, allowed no room for divine revelation. Bacon wrote that man ‘understands as much as his observations … permit him, and neither knows nor is capable of more.’
Read the rest of "Part 1: Culture wars: Bacon vs Ham, The story behind the modern-day separation of faith and science", here. You can follow the link at the end of the article to Part 2, or come back and click on "Part 2: Culture wars: Ham vs Bacon", here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Learning from Past Mistakes in Defending the Faith

And whoever is so bold that he ventures to accuse God of fraud and deception in a single word and does so willfully again and again after he has been warned and instructed once or twice will likewise certainly venture to accuse God of fraud and deception in all His words.
— Martin Luther

In a previous brilliant article (oops, almost forgot that this is not the "with attitude, in-character" Weblog), I discussed Fundamentalism and anti-intellectualism, and the errors made regarding the defense of the faith. Now I have learned something else that runs parallel.

One of the fundamentals of Fundamentalism is the inerrancy of Scripture. (I am not a Fundamentalist, but I hold to this position, as do many other non-Fundamentalist Christians.) Although Christians had been instrumental in the development of sciences through the years, we surrendered to the secularists. The Bible came under assault from Darwinists, uniformitarianism and "Higher Criticism". Instead of adhering to their presuppositions that God's Word is true, they traded for the presuppositions of secular science philosophies. When people are enamored with "science" and impressed with the results of practical science, it becomes difficult for many people to resist the allure of historical science philosophies: "The world is billions of years old, science proves it". Actually, the opposite is true, but that is beyond the scope of this Weblog.
William Jennings Bryan

Although Fundamentalists in the 19th and early 20th Centuries generally did not compromise on evolution, they did compromise on the plain teachings of Genesis. That meant fanciful "explanations" like Lucifer's Flood and the Gap Theory. They wanted to believe the Bible, but were unskilled at refuting the science philosophies. By compromising and adding "deep time" to Genesis (including nature or "general revelation"), they actually hurt their own position on the inerrancy of Scripture.

The following article is a bit long and it's not "fluff", but extremely informative and (to me) very interesting:
The Christian fundamentalist movement in America played a key role in defending and promoting the importance of biblical inerrancy. While often ridiculed and mocked, early American fundamentalists withstood the tide of theological liberalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Nevertheless, many of these staunch advocates of biblical inerrancy failed to understand the importance of defending the traditional view of Genesis. This mistake led to some of the movement’s greatest failures, and ultimately contradicted the central doctrine for which fundamentalists so fervently stood. This article will survey the history of Christian fundamentalism in America along with its strengths and weaknesses, victories and defeats. The significance of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy will also be examined.
I hope you finish reading "The Rise and Fall of Inerrancy in the American Fundamentalist Movement", here.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Resource: OEC Compromisers

It seems that Old Earth Creationists (OECs) who use atheistic methods and interpretations of science and then add huge amounts of time into the early chapters of Genesis are more extreme than I thought. No, I am not saying "extreme" as in "blowing up buildings belonging to Biblical creationists". What I mean is that they have to keep twisting Scriptures and forcing excuses to justify their compromising positions.

From Ken Ham's Weblog:
After watching what turned into a two-hour debate between Hugh Ross and me on TBN television last week, AiG board chairman, Pastor Don Landis, gave an address to the AiG staff yesterday morning titled “Contending for the Faith” (Jude 3). Jude 3 states “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.”
His powerful address focused on challenging the staff to understand that compromising with millions of years is really an attack on the work of Christ — it is an attack on the Cross.
I really urge you to listen to this very powerful and moving 40-minute presentation. You can do that by clicking below:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dealing with Arrogant Atheists

Thank God that the modern obstreperous atheist movement is fading. Ironically, this fundamentally flawed worldview has helped modern Christianity by forcing questions and issues into our faces that were sidestepped and ignored. (I think some of the questions were also in the minds of believers as well, but we did not bother to ask.) One reason that people have abandoned their faith is when they would ask questions about the very first book of the Bible and receive scolding or pious non-answers.

Apologists have been becoming more skilled, more knowledgeable and more plentiful. The same with apologetics ministries. I have been encouraging Christians from the beginning of this Weblog to know what and why we believe (2 Peter 3.18) so that we can share the gospel effectively (1 Peter 3.15, Jude 1.3 NASB) and be on guard against false teachers and compromisers (Matthew 7.15 ESV, 2 John 1.7, 2 Cor. 11.13-15).

This includes the so-called "New Atheist" movement. (It has been pointed out that there is not much "new" in it, just an increase in loud hatred of God and his servants.) The "Logic Lessons" are useful in defusing the intimidation of atheists when we learn that they make a tremendous number of logical fallacies.

One resource I provided here before was a set of links to a talk by Andy Bannister on dealing with atheists. Another recommendation is for True Reason: Christian Responses to the Challenge of Atheism (only 2.99 USD at Amazon, free Kindle book software is available if you need it). My recommendation is qualified, however, because authors of the book did not take the Apostle Paul's approach in Acts 17 of going back to Genesis. I offered to remedy that in a future edition if the editors are interested. Still, there is a great deal of philosophical and rational information that dismantles the atheistic worldview.

I have a similar qualified (that is, I noticed the lack Genesis or creation) recommendation for the following article by Alan Roebuck. It's called, "How to Deal with a Supercilious Atheist", and definitely worth your time:
Not all atheists are supercilious, of course. Many are content to live and let live, and some even grant that religion (which, in America, basically means Christianity) does some good.  But atheism as an organized, evangelizing movement has been on the offensive lately.  Witness the "New Atheists" such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, with their aggressive stance against God and their bestselling books attempting to debunk religion. So, assuming you are a theist, what do you say to the atheist who asks, "You don't (chuckle) actually believe in God, do you (snicker)?"

The natural response would be to start giving evidence for God: the origin of the universe in the Big Bang requires a cause that is beyond matter, energy, space and time, the design of life requires an intelligence to account for the information that it contains, the many accounts of miracles and the supernatural cannot all be fabrications, and so on.  Entire libraries have been written on the evidence and arguments for God.
I encourage you to finish reading the article here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Are Old Earth Creationists Heretics? Part 2

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Part 1 of this 2-part series is here.

Interesting... I was attacked three times in three days by OECs (Old Earth Creationists). I should not be surprised, I suppose. People love their pet doctrines, and get very passionate, even unchristian, in promoting them. The OEC in the previous post was banned for being obstreperous, illogical and judgmental, and had to continue fussing at me in e-mail correspondence. Also, there was another OEC who pulled similar nonsense and was extremely condescending. He met Mr. Banhammer as well.

As I discussed in the previous linked post, OECs essentially use current trends in science and science philosophy to tell God what he meant in his Word. Although this kind of compromise (that's right, I said it) does not guarantee that the person disbelieves the Bible or is not really a Christian, their lower view of Scripture causes a domino effect on theology, with further compromise and excuses as a result. Liberal theology has a slight resemblance to Biblical Christianity. The rampant compromise and intellectualis (which I believe has a basis in wanting to look clever to the world instead of pleasing God), emotional man-pleasing teachings, New Age ideas (2 Timothy 4.3-5) make OEC beliefs very much at home.Unfortunately, compromisers do not seem to care that Genesis is the foundation of Christian doctrine.

Take a look at this screenshot:

The above is from the third one who attacked me. This one had a dim view of the Bible. For claiming that the Bible is the Word of God, I also learned:
What time line are you talking about in Genesis. We know that the exodus did not happen as described in the bible, we know the conquest of Canaan was not on the scale or the time period in the bible and so forth...do this mean it is telling lies? (if you're taking it as literal yes) if you're seeing it for what it is...then NO!

I did not state the bible is unreliable, I said the opening of Genesis is not a historical account of creation. Much of the history in the early books in Genesis is not history as we would know it. It's very plain to see this. 
Actually, no, it is not "very plain to see this". This person was ignorant of history, archaeology, theology and a proper understanding of the Bible. I was also told, " I am here answering some questions that I have seen atheists put forth, I am not here to tell them what to believe or how to believe."

Further, I was chided for taking the Bible "literally". That is a loaded term, and I declined to answer. For an excellent article on "Should Genesis Be Taken Literally?", click here.

I keep maintaining that the whole question is Biblical authority. If the Bible is not our foundation, then what do we have? Why are we here?

Image credit: Answers in Genesis

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Are Old Earth Creationists Heretics?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This should be interesting, because I consider this a collaborative effort. From a Facebook exchange in one Page (taken from screen shots) to other forums with people offering some very insightful comments, and I am putting this together.

From the outset, I have to repeat some things that I have stated before regarding Old-Earth Creationists (OECs):
  • Many are caught up in the evolutionary propaganda and simply assume that the Earth is millions of years old
  • Some have not thought through the theological implications of adding huge amounts of time to the Creation account
  • Some have been deceived by OECs who misrepresent Young Earth (ie, Biblical) Creationists (YECs)
Although I am reluctant to claim the label "YEC" because it is not complete, I use it. But instead, I prefer to be faithful to what the Bible teaches, and that is my final authority.

Image credit: Answers in Genesis
In fact, the whole thing seems to come down to Biblical authority. There are OECs who are teaching some off-the-wall stuff that compromises, and some of them are in educational apologetics positions. The arch-compromiser Hugh Ross has some strange views and has affected many people. One of the beliefs that he and his disciples have is that there are two kinds of revelation, "general" and "special". Ross and others believe that "general revelation" (the natural world) is authoritative in its own right. Since both "books" came from God, they cannot contradict each other.

Sounds good at first. The problem is that "general revelation" has to be interpreted. So, the ever-changing whims of current science philosophies are chosen over what is revealed in the Bible. Bad idea (2 Tim. 3.16 NIV, Isaiah 40.8, 2 Peter 1.19-21 NASB). Current science philosophies will not tell me what God said and meant in his Word.

Here is where this gets personal, and rather distressing to me. Highlights of a "discussion" follow. It may get tedious, but please keep going because this is important.

I posted a link (which will appear at the bottom of this article) to a kind of debate on TBN's "PTL". (Yes, I know about TBN, but I have to be prompted to watch that network). Hugh Ross, Ken Ham, Eric Hovind, John Bloom, Sean McDowell and Ray Comfort were on the show.

"Charlie" (last name withheld, but he can identify himself in the comments if he wishes), said:
The more I see of Hugh Ross the more I wonder 'how can he be so blind?" He says so many right things, but mixed right in there is something that makes me go...what? Really? And he is so convinced he is right, he can't see it. And his fallacy starts by considering nature to be equivalent to Scripture. He describes here that God wrote two books: the Bible and Nature. He equates nature with Scripture on the authoritative level. He clearly missed this verse: "Heaven and earth shall pass away by my Word shall never pass away." I do hope he really is a believer but I pity both those whom he teaches and him when Jesus asks him to make an account for what he taught.
Enter M.R, who bills himself as "Education Director/Apologist" at an apologetics network, took exception to my remarks and started with, "Are you trying to say that Dr. Hugh Ross is an 'arch compromiser?' On what objective basis do you make such a statement?" I told him, "'Objective basis?'" This isn't a laboratory. He [Ross] doesn't believe what the Bible plainly says, and forces it to say what is not there. He tap dances around the plain meanings and insists on millions of years despite what Scripture says." My "objective basis" was my opinion that Ross manipulates the Scriptures to fit his own viewpoints. Wonderful beginning for an apologist, is it not?
M.R.: "So if we remove the idea of the 'objective basis,' we are left with the idea that he has a different interpretation than you." Me: "'Different interpretation'? No, he's doing violence to the Scriptures." I also furnished a link to Christian Answers dot net. I did not realize that he was a devotee of Ross.

M.R.: "
You said 'violence to the Scriptures.'. Would you tell me specifically what you mean by that." Me: "He denies the global flood, force-fits millions of years into the Bible, believes in some kind of 'progressive creation'. Do you want more to read?" I also furnished him with a link to an article on the false claims of Hugh Ross.

I also said, "In the interview, Ross said that we have the Bible and the book of creation (nature), and we use them together. In other words, man-made science philosophies (which are ever-changing) are used to interpret the Word of God."

M.R.: "
Asserting billions of years is not a 'force fit.'. It is a valid interpretation based on the Hebrew word "yom." Me: "It is a valid interpretation based on the Hebrew word 'yom.'" Absolutely untrue." I gave him a link to this article on the days of Genesis

Later, M.R. said: "Why is it untrue? Yom has four meanings in the Hebrew. One of those is a long, but finite period of time. So, as scholars such as Gleason Archer and Walter Kaiser say this allows for the interpretation. Ultimately, we are dealing with differing interpretations." I countered with, "That is not true. When "yom" is used with an indicator such as "evening" or morning", it means a literal day. When it's used with a number, it means a literal day. In Genesis, you have "evening and morning and [number] day". God nailed it down, there is no room to make millions of years. Hebrew scholars say that Genesis 1 was intended to be taken as literal days.
From Answers in Genesis [Click here for the excellent article that I referenced]:
A number and the phrase “evening and morning” are used with each of the six days of creation (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).

Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with a number 359 times, and each time it means an ordinary day.9 Why would Genesis 1 be the exception?

Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with the word “evening” or “morning”11 23 times. “Evening” and “morning” appear in association, but without yom, 38 times. All 61 times the text refers to an ordinary day. Why would Genesis 1 be the exception?

In Genesis 1:5, yom occurs in context with the word “night.” Outside of Genesis 1, “night” is used with yom 53 times, and each time it means an ordinary day. Why would Genesis 1 be the exception? Even the usage of the word “light” with yom in this passage determines the meaning as ordinary day.
"So again, I'm asking why you MUST have those long ages. And caution you with this: 'Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar'. (Prov 30:6, NKJV)"
M.R.: "You questioned the interpretation by questioning the motivation as being pleasing to secularists. I know that AiG interprets it this way. Hebrew scholars, such as the ones I mentioned, say that the twenty four hour is not demanded by the text. 'Evening and morning' is better interpreted as 'ending was and beginning was." ... "As to dual revelation, God is the Creator of the universe and author of the Scriptures. Since both have God as their author, they will not contradict each other when correctly interpreted."

There you go! "Since both have God as their author, they will not contradict each other when correctly interpreted." This smacks of cultism. Mormons say that the Bible is true as far as it is translated correctly, but we need their special books for the whole truth. Here, we interpret the Bible by man's current understanding of science. In fact, I told him so: "'I know that AiG interprets it this way.' Straw man, or genetic fallacy? Hard to tell. 'Hebrew scholars, such as the ones I mentioned, say that the twenty four hour is not demanded by the text.' What, did you dredge up some oddball liberal ones? [Actually, he was clinging to the old Earthers that he cited before.] Most Hebrew scholars, even those who do not believe it, accept that Genesis is intended to convey literal days. 'Evening and morning' is better interpreted as 'ending was and beginning was.' In all my years, I've never encountered that silly thing. [Apparently, CMI and AiG are aware of it.] 'As to dual revelation, God is the Creator of the universe and author of the Scriptures. Since both have God as their author, they will not contradict each other when correctly interpreted.' Not only is that a fallacy of composition, but you sound like a cultist! 'The Bible is true as far as it is correctly interpreted. And it is interpreted by man's opinions of science'. Yep, you and Ross belong together. [I was getting irritated.]

To counter his scholars, I trumped with, "
One leading Hebrew scholar is James Barr, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Vanderbilt University and former Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University in England. Although he does not believe in the historicity of Genesis 1, Dr. Barr does agree that the writer's intent was to narrate the actual history of primeval creation. Others also agree with him.
"Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; . . . Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the "days" of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know."
Sometime later, I gave him a link to the numbering pattern of Genesis.

Back to another comment from Charlie on the TV debate:
I found it interesting how Sean McDowell and John Bloom always took 'neutral' sides. It seems as though John Bloom was used to mediate between Ken Ham, Eric Hovind, and Hugh Ross. I do agree that all sides believed that it is not a salvation issue, but I am very much on Ken Ham's side in the Biblical authority side. And I like his approach in that he doesn't see himself as a YEC, but as one who holds the Bible as the ultimate authority. And that's the real issue with the debate. What is the ultimate authority. Hugh Ross claims that nature is on par with Scripture, but in practice, he actually holds science ABOVE Scripture. And that is where the compromise is. That is the root of it all. And anything held above God and his Word is an idol. That includes science (and yes, it can include Facebook too :)).
M.R.: "If I believed that Dr. Ross and RTB sacrificed the Scripture, then I would reject him. However, I have found that RTB upholds Biblical inerrancy and attempts to interpret both the general and special revelation responsibly. Again, both general and special revelation are authored by God and will not contradict one another." Me: "'‎Again, both general and special revelation are authored by God and will not contradict one another.' He chanted his unscriptural mantra."

M.R.: "
Why is that statement unscriptural? On what objective basis do you make such a statement?" Again with "on what objective basis" stuff. Here's the objective basis: It's unscriptural because it's unscriptural! In fact, the concept that God revealed himself in "two books", the "general" and "special" revelations, was an idea by Francis Bacon in 1605! Yes, it is unscriptural.

Charlie had some remarks that make this article stronger than ever:
I posted this above. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall never pass away." Hugh Ross insists on using ALL of Scripture to interpret Genesis. And so I shall. Here is a verse that says we CANNOT use 'nature' as a 'second book' next to the Bible. If Nature and Scripture were two equal 'books', this verse would never have been said. Nature will be gone and the Bible will remain. The whole heart of Hugh Ross's arguments and his position is tied to the very thing Ken Ham pointed out in OP: Scriptural Authority. The moment you put science and Scripture on the same level, you actually put science ABOVE Scripture. And Hugh Ross puts his entire philosophy on this foundation. He claims to support Scripture first and foremost, but the moment he puts science on par with Scripture, his claim fails.

Bob, since he kept harping on the "yom" issue, ask him this: if it is open to interpretation, could he consider a literal 24-hour meaning? Hugh Ross doesn't. He insists it HAS to be periods of time. Where's the context that supports it? His entire argument is "it has four interpretations". I've heard him several times and read several of his articles. Hugh Ross NEVER says WHY he picks periods of time. We do. And in a way, I'm surprised Kent Hovind, Eric Hovind, Ken Ham, have not brought that issue up. They always go to the 24-hour defense. Why use periods of time when there are three other interpretations to us? Why not use 12-hour periods which is another literal interpretation? Why long periods of time? I have not heard Hugh Ross state that step. And the only reason I can think of, is he has a pre-conceived mindset of millions of years. It is a compromise. The idea of millions of years (before Darwin made it popular) was always there to not counter creation but to counter Christianity. Because after all, if you can't trust the Bible for what it says in Genesis 1, how are you going to trust it in Matthew 27-28? Or anywhere else? There is no logical place for the line to be drawn.
"Chris" had this to say:
Its funny that Ross uses nature as equal to scripture, As i often talk about evo's as being pantheist not atheists. . . . . "The natural man is spiritually discerned he cannot know the things of God". Any belief of a unified nature is a compromise to pantheism. He seems to be an evolutionist appealing to nature's most important supernatural prop, . . . which is . . . time.
"Ross" reminded me that OECs use naturalistic foundations that they have in common with atheistic interpretation of scientific data:
Sadly they can't understand that the OEC belief is based on atheistic/naturalistic foundations which are nothing but shifting sands! What gets me is that, as Christians, they don't seem to understand that the Word of God is more solid than man's machinations! It boggles my mind that Christians would place the word of man higher than the Word of God! I just don't get it! :-/
Why M.R. is in a position of teaching and directing apologetics escapes me, because he supports some dubious theology put forth by Hugh Ross. Also, I found his logic to be sorely lacking. And what kind of a message is this for any apologist to give? "We trust the Bible, it is inerrant. But don't trust Genesis, we'll have to tell you what it means". Outrageous!

I try to save the science aspects for my other Weblogs, but I have to make something clear. We are not talking about the Bible having a conflict with actual, observable scientific facts. Instead, the conflict is with what is called historical science. This is inference about the past using scientific methods. It is not practical or observational science. If we read something odd, like, 3 Peter 3.16 says that things fall sideways on the full moon, then yes, we'd have a scientific or biblical interpretation problem. So, this is not about choosing the Bible above actual scientific facts.

The whole thing is about our submission to the Word of God. Do we trust God and his Word, or do we need to mix man-made science philosophies with it, or use them to interpret the Scriptures? Doing so is a bad idea, and heading toward heresy.

Edit: Charlie had this to say after he read the article, and he pointed out something important:
The only thing I would have added to that is the link between the fautly OEC claims to the effectiveness of the redemption of Christ. I pointed that out in my paper. OEC leads to heresy of what Christ's sacrifice actually covers. Those that believe accurately about Christ and believe OEC have a conflict in what is covered. Romans 5 is critical to WHY we must interpret Genesis 1-11 literally as YEC does. Hugh Ross wants ALL of Scripture. I can give it to him and he will put up more hoops to jump through.
Click here for the two-hour video that got this discussion rolling if the embedding below fails. A sequel to this article appears here.