Thursday, December 29, 2016

Reasons to be a Biblical Creationist

I reckon the most common term to refer to those of us who believe that the Bible means what it says, and that the first eleven chapters of Genesis are presented as actual history, is young-earth creationists. It is accurate to some extent, but it implies a skewed priority. We don't believe Earth is young and then plug into the Bible. Rather, we believe that Earth is young because the Bible teaches that. I'll allow that the abbreviation YEC is convenient, but I've learned that the more accurate term is biblical creationists.

There are good reasons for Christians to be biblical creationists. Unfortunately, many do not think about how they adversely affect their theology by compromising with atheistic science trends and interpretations.
Image credit: Freeimages / Flavio Takemoto
When professing Christians add "deep time" to the Bible, they immediately begin to use eisegesis instead of exegesis. Scripture is not up for personal opinions or forcing in trends in atheistic science interpretations, old son. God said what he meant. When someone begins compromising to make the Bible more palatable to our science-loving culture, that person actually does violence to the text from Genesis to Revelation. Often without realizing it. Many people add long ages (and often, evolution) to the Bible without giving serious thought to what they are doing to their theology and the gospel message itself.
There are many Christians who think that the issue of how God created the world doesn’t really matter, that this type of intellectual bickering doesn't affect how we live our Christian lives. There may be intellectual arguments that have little effect on our lives, but creation is not one of them. Here are seven wonderfully practical benefits of being a biblical creationist.

Biblical creationists, in particular, can take comfort and joy in these things. And anyone who isn’t or doesn’t think that creation really matters should take the time to seriously consider the seven reasons below.
To find out more, click on "7 Practical Reasons Every Christian Should Be a Biblical Creationist".


Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Mysterious Magi

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

It's kind of sad that the manger scenes we have are wrong. Well, not exactly wrong, just...not exactly accurate. I had one of those barn things with figurines and three plastic wise men on camels. When I learned that the magi were not there to see the birth of Jesus and arrived much later (possibly even two years later), I put the figurines away from the manger scene and said, "They're on their way". Kind of difficult to include them in a Christmas celebration if you're going to be a stickler for historical accuracy, but that's just me.


There are many traditions and opinions about the magi (wise men) of Matthew 2, but who were they really? Some historical material may surprise you.
Adoration Of The Magi, Sandro Botticelli, 1500
We know the song about the "three kings of orient are", but who were they, really? There are a passel of traditions and opinions about them. The only reference we have to the magi (wise men) is in Matthew 2:1-12, but we can't justify the tradition of three wise men on camels. Three gifts are mentioned, but no camels (although that's not so far-fetched). 

They were mighty important, too. This was not some guys that said, "Hey, there's the Christ star! Saddle up, Clem, we're burnin' daylight. Better grab some gifts, too!" This was at the time of Herod the Great (he earned his title before he became such a wretch later in life), who was a powerful figure with the approval of the Roman authorities. Do you think some jaspers would have been able to show up at his palace and be allowed to have a chat if they were nobodies (Matt. 2:7)? Nope. They were a powerful and respected group, and most likely had an impressive entourage.

More importantly, they revered God, and were quite possibly descendants of the people that Daniel taught and supervised in Babylon (Daniel 1:20-21, 2:48-49). When the magic saw Jesus, they rejoiced and bowed down (Matt. 2:10-11). These powerful men (who were Gentiles) sought the King of the Jews and humbled themselves before him. There's a lot going on here!

At this point, I'm going to turn you over to Dr. John MacArthur. He has two sermons that have some fascinating historical information on the magi that were the inspiration for this post. They're not short, so maybe you can listen to them when you have some time, or save them for later. "What the Magi Mean to Christmas, Part 1" has download buttons for the video as well as MP3s, or you can listen/watch online. "What the Magi Mean to Christmas, Part 2" doesn't have the video available at this writing, but the audio is there now.

Wishing you and yours a blessed, safe, joyous Christmas celebrating the time that God the Son became a man for our salvation!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Yes, the Old Testament Matters

When someone has just given his or her life to Jesus Christ, one of the first things that the evangelist does is give them a New Testament with the recommendation of reading one of the Gospels. Then, keep going and get acquainted with other books in that volume. By all means, that's an excellent start.

While reading the New Testament is important, we cannot stop there. The Old Testament helps us further understand the work of Jesus the Creator.
Image credit: Freeimages / John Harris Pe
Unfortunately, some people stop there. Worse, some people are "Red-Letter Christians", who believe the red letter versions where the words of Jesus are in red, and only read those. The entire Bible is the written Word of God. To gain a fuller understanding of the work of Christ the Creator, we need the Old Testament, which points to him.
It is common today for pastors/ministers to focus mainly on the New Testament in their preaching and ministry while hardly citing the Old Testament. Even worse are superficial slogans such as ‘This is a New Testament church’ or ‘Just preach Jesus’.

Some of this can be due to either uneasiness or embarrassment about plain teachings such as six-day creation and the global Flood. This has become much more prevalent because many theological institutions—even conservative ones—deny, spiritualize or explain away these early chapters of Genesis as allegory or reworked pagan myth.

So it’s easy for a church leader to maintain or even promote the misconception that creation is an ‘Old Testament issue’. Thus it is one to be relegated to a much lower order of importance and priority. But as will be shown, Genesis creation is an important part of the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).
To read the rest, click on "The importance of the Old Testament". 

 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Unicorns in the Bible?

When people hear the word unicorn, they typically think of the mythical magical horse with a horn on its head. I'll allow that it's a reasonable assumption, since we only hear about the beasties in fantasy stories. So why did the King James Version of the Bible use the word unicorn?

Mockers complain about the use of the word "unicorn" in the King James Bible. Actually, there's a good reason for that.
Monoceros, Canis Minor, and Atelier Typographique by Sidney Hall, 1825
Let's look at Numbers 23:22 KJV, one of several uses of unicorn. John Wycliffe and associates in the late 1300s rendered this verse, "The Lord God ledde hym out of Egipt, whos strengthe is lijk an vnicorn". The Coverdale Bible of 1535 rendered it, "God hath brought the out of Egipte, his stregth is as of an Vnicorne". In 1587, the Geneva Bible translated this verse as, "God brought them out of Egypt: their strength is as an vnicorne". Several Bibles before the KJV, including non-English translations such as Martin Luther's version, also used unicorn. Many modern versions translate

We're not confined to just the Bible referring to unicorns as real creatures. One of the constellations in the picture above is Monoceros, which is the Greek word for (wait for it...) unicorn. Somewhere around 1612, cartographer Petrus Plancius introduced this and seven other constellations on a celestial globe that was published in Amsterdam.

The fantasy horsie and the historical one-horned creature were concepts that existed at the same time for a long time. Reckon that the historical creature of great strength is extinct now, so that's part of the confusion; the mythical scenario continues. No, God did not use mythical creatures in his Word.
Unicorns mentioned in the Bible—not only in English King James Version but also in other languages—are not the fairy tale creatures many people think of nowadays, but real creatures familiar to the people living in those ancient times.

So what kind of creature was the Bible talking about? If there really was a historical unicorn, when did the word start referring to a creature of fantasy? And why did Bible translators use a word that could dredge up fantasy images in documents intended to reflect genuine history?
To read the entire article, click on "Will the Real Unicorn Please Stand Up?" You may also want to see "Mythical Critters and Scoffers".

Friday, December 2, 2016

Was Adam Real or an Archetype?

Liberal theologians and theistic evolutionists attempt to say that Adam was not a literal person, but an archetype (or "protoplast"). The Bible does indeed use "type and shadow" imagery with real people (such as Joseph as a type of Christ), but that does not excuse saying that Adam was not real.


Some liberal theologians and theistic evolutionists say that Adam was not an actual person, but just an archetype. This compromising view has many serious problems.
Adam and Eve expelled from Eden / Paul Gustave Doré, 1866
Saying that Adam was not real is essentially saying that Jesus, Peter, Paul, and many others in the Bible were wrong or even lying. The motive behind this is to reject the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, and elevates man's opinion above God's Word. Some people compromise with evolutionary ideas without thinking it through, but it leads to further serious compromises all the way through the Bible.

There are some old Earth creationists as well as theistic evolutionists who falsely say that the Church Fathers rejected a literal Adam, or that the ancients did not understand science, so they told stories to make a point. That's chronological snobbery and not how it works, old son. While the Church Fathers did not write the canon, they were closer in time to the apostles, and what they had to say is worthy of consideration.
This paper explores teaching from the early church that relates to the nature and formation of Adam. This is in response to John Walton’s claim that Adam was just an archetype of humanity and not the first-formed man and ancestor of all. Instead of speaking of Adam as an archetype, the Apostle Paul and Church Fathers use the language of protoplast (the first-formed) to define Adam. Where archetype is used by early theologians it is in the context of Christ being the archetype for Adam and humanity as a whole. It can be seen then that those who believe that Adam and Eve were the first couple, and the ancestors of all humanity, are in line with the teaching of Scripture and the traditional understanding of the early church.
I know that Church Fathers and church history do not appeal to everyone, and this article is a bit on the long side. Nonetheless, I hope you'll invest some time in this interesting material. To read the rest, click on "Adam as the protoplast — views from the early church in response to the archetypal view". You may also want to see "Theistic Evolution: Old Heresy Rebooted".

Saturday, November 26, 2016

What Caused Society's Moral Decline?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Pastor Chris "Fighting for the Faith" Rosebrough presented a lecture that I used as a springboard for this article.

First, some background on the spiritual condition. Western society has never had morality that we can be proud of, since it has been in a decline for quite a spell. And it's getting worse. Increasing violence, sexual immorality, atheism and other false religions, mental illness, abortion, defamation, lying, corruption at many levels, and so much more. How did we get in such a state?


There are two related causes for the decline in morality in today's society. Whose fault is that?
Image credit: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The simple answer is sin, which began in Eden. It escalated (Gen. 6:5) and God judged the world with the Great Flood (Gen 7:23). It didn't take long for man's sinful nature to rear it's ugly head afterward, but God promised never to flood the entire world again (Gen. 9:14-15). Don't think we're getting out of this easily, because the next Judgement will be by fire (2 Peter 3:7) and we will all have to give an account of ourselves before God (Rom. 14:10-12).

A good part of the morality problem is because the church as a whole has been compromising on biblical standards, accepting naturalistic evolutionary views, and normalizing sinful activities. In the 18th century, a thing called "higher criticism" became accepted: although the Bible describes miracles as historical events, they became allegorized and "demythologized". Jesus rose from the dead? Nope, it means he rises in our hearts and gives us a new dawn. The Israelites crossed the Red Sea? Wrong again, it was a swampy region that wasn't all that deep (although how the Egyptian army drowned in a few inches of water is not explained by liberals). And so on, ad nauseum.

Now we get to take a fork in the trail and ride on toward science beliefs.


Science thrives in a Christian environment. Unfortunately, Christians began ceding science to materialists, like we did with theology. In the 1830s, Charles Lyell wrote Principles of Geology, and wanted to "free science from Moses", presenting geology to philosophical and methodological naturalism (which includes long ages). His work was an expansion of James Hutton's naturalistic views in the 16th century. Lyell influenced backslidden theology student Charles Darwin, who wrote On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, which was published in 1859. In 1871, Darwin published The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, as well as other works over the years. 

At first, Darwin's conjectures were met with rejection and often hostility, but people eventually settled down and began accepting long ages as well as one form of evolution or another; people who wanted excuses to reject God and appear intellectual were happy. Some professing Christians wanted to accommodate the current man-made science philosophies but still have a veneer of Bible belief, so they came up with the "Gap Theory", "Framework Hypothesis", and other untenable compromises.

Many of these compromises against the Word of God is based on faith in science and scientists. Somehow, people have bowed to the altar of Scientism, believing that empirical science is the way to truth, and that "science" will provide the answers to various problems. People also tend to think that scientists are bastions of integrity, and are free of personal biases. Not hardly! There are many instances of flawed peer review, plagiarism, bad scientific research, and outright fraud in the scientific community (both past and present). Here are some slightly edited comments I received while taking notes for this article:
When I was a public school teacher and a bachelor, I shared a house with another bachelor teacher who taught biology at the same school. He was a Quaker and believed in Theistic Evolution. When confronted with Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, etc., he would dismiss these as isolated incidents of fraud. When I gave causes for motivation for fraud similar to those cited in this article [I was given a link to "Why the epidemic of fraud exists in science today"], including man's sin nature, my friend would say "But they (scientists) just wouldn't do that!" He blindly believed in the moral and professional integrity of ALL scientists, except for perhaps YECS.
You may have noticed atheists' smug disdain toward the Bible heats up when it comes to the question of origins. The religion of atheism needs evolution to be their mythology of beginnings, and they fight with all they have to destroy the truth. A serious problem is that far too many Christians do not take a stand for the truth, or even know the contents of the Bible that they claim to believe! Then Christians are deceived by intellectual-sounding arguments from poor atheist philosophers like C. Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye the Propaganda Guy, and other tinhorns. 

Science, history, archaeology, logic, and a passel of other things support the truth of Scripture, but our faith is not based on current science trends. If your faith is based on scientific "facts" (which are frequently just speculations presented as science), where is your faith when those "facts" change? Let me give you something that applies to both morality and science: the so-called "gay gene". They were "born that way", so we have to let them have their immoral and rebellious lifestyles. Surprise! There is no "gay gene". Deviant-sexuality advocates are actually protesting! Seems to be the current trend to protest to try and change reality. One other point about false science and morality: evolution is used to justify abortion.

Bible-believing Christians are persecuted, including harassment, ridicule, and bullying. In some countries, our brothers and sisters in Christ are tortured and murdered for their faith, and that is coming West. Again I say that we need to know what and why we believe, and take our stand so we can be credible and effective in the world. In this pagan evolutionary culture, we would do well to pay attention to Joshua 24:15.

So, take a look-see. We rode a side trail for a spell, and ended up on the same one we started with. Both liberal "Christians" and atheists reject the authority of God's Word. There are theistic evolutionists who join hands with atheists in ridiculing biblical creationists, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a TE that doesn't act like an intolerant atheist. Lackadaisical professing Christians argue from materialistic, God-denying presuppositions. Our presupposition should be that the Bible really is God's Word, and is true from the very first verse. By letting trends of worldly society run rampant, letting atheistic interpretations of science underpin morality, and compromising on the Bible, we're equipping the enemies of Christ.

Morality and faith were compromised years ago because of intellectual-sounding philosophies from liberal theologians, and people also accommodated atheistic interpretations of science. These trends are accelerating. Now, even though liars for Darwin will call biblical creationists "science deniers" (based on the fallacy of equivocating evolution with science), they can still be given the truth. That is, if we truly believe the Bible. Are we willing to follow the commands of Jesus to preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins and make disciples, or are we going to just float downstream?

If you'd like to hear the powerful lecture that tripped my trigger to write this, you can listen or download for free Chris Rosebrough's "Two Kingdoms The Church's Role in the Moral Decline of Society".

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Fresh Words from God

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

We need something new. That Bible on the shelf (or wherever it is, I can't find mine) is tired and old. Fortunately, we have apostles that are busy anointing other apostles, and they are proclaiming direct revelations from God! I can be blessed, especially if I make seed offerings to their ministries. Praise the Lord! It's all about me, God needs me to fulfill my dreams, the Holy Spirit can't function without me, God wants me to meet all my material needs and desires, and maybe I, too, will be told by an angel to preach "Kingdom Power". I'm so special, I don't know how he made it so long without me.


Christians are ignorant of what we're supposed to believe and are functional heretics. Worse, we uphold false teachers because we will not - or CAN not - use biblical discernment.

Well, isn't that the kind of thing people are saying? Christians have turned into a bunch of biblically illiterate selfish owlhoots. We have enough problems of alleged "former Christians" who have rejected God and claimed he doesn't even exist (or God is evil) because he's not a magic wish-granting genie that jumps through hoops and is not at their beck and call. Then some professing Christians treat our sovereign Creator the same way! Say a formula and demand that God gives them what they want. God is holy and just, old son, not your errand boy, savvy?

It's amazing that we have false teachers in pulpits, television, the Web, and so on that are being applauded for saying nonsense when people should be walking out on them. Can't be biblically judging a false teacher because "I don't want to miss out on a blessing". Such "theology" is feckless and fearful, and people like that need to repent.

Many professing Christians are actually functional heretics as seen in a survey of Americans. I think it's well established that spiritual trends happening on this continent have already been established in Europe, and to a greater extent. People are not exercising healthy skepticism. The Bereans checked the teachings of Paul and Silas to see if they were supported by Scripture (Acts 17:11). Likewise, when I was a theologically liberal and ignorant teenager, a Fundamentalist would say something about the Bible, and I'd want to know if he could back up what he said. Today, we have people who are ignorant of the Bible that they claim to believe, and accepting false teachings because those folks stoke egos very well (2 Tim 4:3). Pay attention, also, to how those "teachers" claim to speak for God through the Holy Spirit, but glorify themselves instead of Jesus (John 16:14).

God made it clear how to know that he sent a real prophet (Deut 13:1-4 and 18:20-22, Isaiah 8:20, Matt. 7:20) Many self-appointed "prophets" are frequently wrong and self-serving, in the style of Mormon false prophet Joseph Smith. Political "prophesies" are abundant. Opal Covey ran for mayor of Toledo, Ohio five times, and lost every time even though she was "told by God" that she would win. When she lost, she said she really won, but the election was stolen from her. (False prophet blaming others, and God cannot keep his promises, it seems.) William Tapley and Vonda Brewer are off the rails: Tapley says Donald Trump is the Bible's "777", and Brewer prophesied a terrorist attack on Election Day (she also said God told her Trump would be discarded by the Republicans). I saw people posting on Facebook that Donald Trump would win, and there was an utterance that God said the next president would "be a Senator". Not difficult to claim such things are prophesies, and when they go wrong, oh well, move on and do it again since professing Christians who follow them do not use discernment.

One of the things I've emphasized in both creation science and theology is definitions. For example, the word evolution has several definitions. Some people will say that "change in allele frequencies" is evolution, therefore, muck-to-mocker evolution is true. Not hardly! The "change in allele frequencies" thing is accepted by creationists and has nothing to do with evolution.

Similarly, people who promote the "sign gifts" (tongues, prophesy, and the like) deal from the bottom of the deck when giving proof texts and definitions of their views. Dr. Michael Brown dismissed the clear teachings regarding false prophets, saying those people are not false prophets, but instead, prophesied falsely. Besides, we're not ancient Israel, so those rules about false prophets always being right don't apply today (similar to arguments used to redefine marriage and sexual morality today). What is with this guy? He has the arrogance to change clear teachings of Scripture? A bit of that healthy skepticism should have people ask, "Where did God change the rules on prophesy, according to Scripture? Are Hebrews 13:8 and Isaiah 40:8 irrelevant now?"  

Once again, if people knew and believed the Bible, they'd leave these false teachers in droves. I think it's a sign of the end times that people are abandoning the faith and following liars (Matt. 24:10-11, 1 Tim. 4:1-2) instead of exposing them (Matt. 7:15-16, Rom. 16:17, Titus 1:9 and 1:13, Eph. 5:11-13, 2 Thess. 3:6, 2 Cor. 11:13-15).

To hear more about Dr. Brown's compromises and affirmations of sidewinders, I refer you to this podcast and passel of supporting links from Pirate Christian Radio.

Time is short, and we have work to do. We cannot be biblically illiterate, vague on the essentials of the faith, compromising, or condoning false teachers. Bible-believing Christians must saddle up and ride for the brand — the Word of God — and not go following other trails to those who do not believe the Word, and seek glory for themselves instead of Jesus.

 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Another Challenge for Christians

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This is a follow-up of sorts to my previous article, "Challenges for Christians". It follows the same trail and then branches off onto a slightly new one.

There are Christians who complain that their spiritual lives are not what they should be. Worse, when attacked by atheists and evolutionists with various "Gotcha!" challenges, they don't know what to say. Well, don't blame God, Pilgrim.

What are you putting in your mind?


Many Christians wonder why their spiritual lives are lacking. A good part of the problem is what we put into our minds on a regular basis.
Image credit: Pixabay / johnhain
When looking at "Likes", posts, "Tweets" and so forth from friends and followers, I see a mixed bag. Sometimes I wonder if they consider themselves Christians and creationists because they like certain Pages and sites, have watched a couple of Bible-oriented movies, share a funny captioned picture (take that, evolutionists, I really showed you, ha ha ha), read the blasphemous book The Shack and the admittedly fake Heaven is for Real, the discredited Holy Ghost movie, and so on. People seem to be more concerned with action movies, Pokemon, woman-degrading obscene rap, death metal, and other negative things than they are with wholesome and biblical matters.

People are giving their money and attention to movies with gratuitous sex and violence. Now, we all know the violence done with special effects, CGI, and so on, and people usually aren't hurt for real. Still, we seem desensitized by the storyline. "Sure was a great dinosaur flick. I loved the scene where the buy was bit in two and then each part fell on..." Movies range from one-on-one personal violence, all the way up to monster and giant robot flicks where, again in the storyline, millions of people would have been killed. Maybe I'm the only one that doesn't like large-scale death in stories.

Television shows have fornication, adultery, profanity, violence, and much the same as in movies, but on a smaller scale. The show Dexter was about a guy who had a hobby of killing people, but only those who "deserved it" while taking an introspective approach. It was a big hit, violent, and about Dexter's own vigilante justice. Who is he to decide who "deserves it"? Like atheists who attack Christians because our worldview "deserves it", even though they have no consistent moral standard for their views; such a decision is arbitrary. The Dexter lessons are — what? Are they consistent with a Christian worldview? I've read posts from professing Christians about how much they like Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and other shows for which I'm rather startled to learn of professing Christians expressing enthusiasm.

Christians especially need to be careful what we're feeding our minds. No, I'm not saying we have to be Pollyannas. Sometimes some violent things, or possibly even sexual, are worth watching. In 1971 or thereabouts, my father took me to see The French Connection, which had an "R" rating in the US (no one under 18 permitted without parent or guardian) because of the anti-drug subject matter. There are some rough films or television shows worth watching. I suggest you hear this free Matt Walsh podcast. Hold on, before I give you the link, I want to tell you something. If I linked to the podcast itself, there's no download or listen options. Instead, go to this page and look for "Dear Christians, We Need to be More Careful About the Shows We Watch" on 10/28/16.

Two "D" words apply for what we listen to, the shows we watch, the games we play, and even the people we hang around with: Discretion and Discernment. I want to add that we should be associating with people who are not negative, but uplifting. Even if the way was "associate" with some people can be by listening to their recordings or watching characters on a screen. Scripture is clear on what we need to be dwelling on (Phil. 4:8, Eph. 4:29, Acts 2:42, Col 3:16, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, Heb. 13:9), and we must walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)

Even if what we spend our time and intellectual energy on isn't actually harmful, it still takes time away from what is important. Christians cannot have good spiritual lives, respond to atheists and evolutionists, have confident walks with God, if they don't spend time in the Word and get solid biblical teachings. (Sometimes I feel, "Thanks for slapping me down in the love of Christ, Dr. MacArthur, and you don't even know I was here". Or other teachers. You get the idea.) In the video embedded in that last article that I linked to up top,  Dr. White made a reference to a term that Mohammedans use for Christians and Jews: People of the Book. He said, "The People of the Book often tend to be more of the People of the 'Net". How much time do we spend on Tweetbird, Bookface, forums, playing games, or what have you?

My challenge to you is to examine yourself and see how much time you're spending on things that are contrary to God's Word, and how much time you're spending with God. I suggest you take some time off from some things and replace them with God-honoring material. See the improvement in your spiritual life.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Challenges for Christians

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

One of the most significant problems that Christians and creationists encounter from atheists is that they seem to want us to accept their evolutionary materialistic naturalistic presuppositions, but they do not want to let us have our own presuppositions. Because we reject their views and believe God's Word and in miracles, we are often labeled "science deniers" or "reality deniers". The problem here is that they are denying logic itself by imperiously setting the definitions of "science" and "reality" in their favor. From there, they feel entitled to ridicule and misrepresent us. I don't rightly recollect anybody appointing atheists to be in charge of definitions.


Christians and creationists are often ambushed by atheists with cherry-picked Bible "problems". Unfortunately, neither side can be bothered to do their homework. An atheist issued "A Challenge to Christians", and received an excellent response.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons / Larch
Although village atheists claim to believe in "reason" and "science", they frequently display little knowledge of or skill in either one. (For example, there is a narcissistic atheopath who used profanity in comments on my posts, and said he would apologize if I admitted he was right on other things. Aside from being blatantly irrational, he was also blackmailing me and telling me to lie that he was right so he would apologize for his bad behavior!) We have to deal with outright lying, prejudicial conjecture (offering an uninformed but strongly negative opinion), and other fallacies. Even more so for those of us in apologetics.

Something we frequently encounter is the straw man fallacy. Basically, it's a misrepresentation of an opponent's position and then attacking that instead of the real position. Professing atheists do this frequently. Making a straw man argument is easy to do, and people often do it by accident.

It's no surprise to come into contact with atheists and evolutionists who misrepresent the Bible, Christians, creationists, and so on in a malicious way. They'll cherry-pick things out of the Bible that are taken out of contexts (not just the context of the surrounding verses, but historical, cultural, linguistic, and so on). Then when they have their bucket of picked cherries, they dry gulch Christians with items for us to defend. I'll allow that other times, someone gets a wrong notion and makes a challenge on something out of context, but is not being malicious.

An atheist on YouTube posted a little-watched video (269 views at this writing) called, "A Challenge to Christians". He seems to want to be reasonable and hear our side of the story, but he has grabbed some things that are, again, out of context. (Interesting how people claim to come up with stumpers or even things that cannot be answered, but don't bother to do their homework; most of the answers are readily available online through various apologetics ministries.) The video begins with a vague misrepresentation of Matthew 10:33 to prod us into participating or we're denying Christ, but I can hazard a guess as to why he didn't actually use the context, even if only the whole paragraph in Matthew 10:26-33.

It is indeed unfortunate that many Christians are slack jawed when confronted with the alleged stumpers that atheists throw our way. That's because too many professing Christians do not actually believe the entirety of the Bible, yet claim it's true enough to give them eternal salvation. My challenge to Christians (as I've stated many times before) is to know what and why you believe. Get into the Word and good biblical teaching, not that Rev. Dr. Feelgood-style nonsense. We are to be ready to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15). Those of us who are biblical creationists have many excellent resources available to not only build up our own faith, but to help equip us to give answers.

Dr. James White took that atheist's "Challenge to Christians" and pointed out several flaws in the author's naturalistic presuppositions and reasoning. (He was under time and other constraints, so he could not go into as much detail as he'd like.) The video is embedded below, and the link to the audio is here. The first part of Dr. White's discussion about something else is also helpful, but the pertinent area begins at the 14 minute 14 second mark and ends at 34:12. I'd be much obliged if you'd see how the atheist's misrepresentations are answered. If you want to see it, the atheist's original video is here. For more about evidence, presuppositions, and logic, you may want to see my article, "Evidential or Presuppositional Apologetics?"



Saturday, November 5, 2016

Is God Foolish?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

People get mighty fond of their learning and intelligence, and usually detest being called ignorant or stupid. Humanistic philosophies elevate "science" (which is a philosophy in and of itself) to supreme authority and importance in matters of truth. Mankind as a whole looks down on God and considers his wisdom as foolishness. Quote miners may find the phrase "the foolishness of God" and use it to their own advantage. Inquisitive honest people may want to read the source, 1 Corinthians 1:25, and see that it means something completely different.


People are fond of their wisdom, and consider the wisdom of God to be foolishness. The opposite is true.
Image credit: Morguefile / Plume
Those who are wise in the eyes of the world arrogantly require God to do things their way, and fallaciously claim that if they cannot understand God's methods, he does not exist. What happens is that they become idolators, creating a false god that they can reference but has nothing to do with the true Creator God as revealed in the Bible.

The wisdom of man? God doesn't pay that no nevermind (Isaiah 29:14, 33:18, 1 Cor. 1:20-25). It really puts a burr under the saddles of humanistic intellectuals that God has not seen fit to have people encounter him on their terms and in their alleged wisdom. Instead, he has revealed his ways to the humble (Matt. 11:25-30). Believers are fools according to worldly wisdom, which is arbitrary and resorts to the genetic fallacy! Indeed, the knowledge we have is because God has given it to us, whether we believe he exists or not; without God, knowledge is impossible (Prov. 1:7, 2:6).

Let me stop here and refer you to a couple of excellent sermons by Dr. John MacArthur that go into detail on this. Like just about everything else I recommend, they are free to listen online or download. Or you can read the transcripts: "The Foolishness of God, Part 1" and "The Foolishness of God, Part 2". I'm letting y'all off easy, there's a 12-sermon series I wanted to post...

Humanists, professing atheists, "wise" people — they make up their own standards and rules, then promptly make a passel of logical fallacies. In a debate with James White (who argues from a Calvinist position), atheist David Silverman showed the paucity of atheistic thinking. He made false accusations and committed atrocious logical fallacies in his efforts to make God the bad guy, bringing to mind Job 40:8. He even redefined "straw man" to suit his own purposes and justify his use of it! Silverman acted like an anthropologist and historian with his fantasy about the origin of "religion", but when challenged about cosmic evolution, he said, "I am not a cosmologist". Further, when cornered about theology, Silverman said, "I am in no position to interpret". His worldview is arbitrary and inconsistent; atheism itself is incoherent. Also notice that Silverman goes back to the Christian foundation: Genesis.

To see David Silverman show his sidewinder nature in the debate with James White, brace yourself, the whole shootin' match runs about three hours. (I grabbed software to convert it to MP3 so I could hear it at my leisure, and option worth considering.) It's worth hearing to see worldly "logic" and "reason" in action, and what is considered the foolishness of God is still light years above the wisdom of man. For the video of the debate on whether or not the New Testament is evil, click here.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Rewriting the Ten Commandments for Today

Ever since God gave the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), people have been a mite cranky about them. The Israelites broke them, and everyone else has been happy to oblige in breaking them as well (which is one reason taking people through the Ten Commandments is a powerful witnessing tool). They've been around for a few thousand years, and have been making people mighty uncomfortable.


For some people in this pagan evolutionary culture, the Ten Commandments aren't good enough. Some have tried to rewrite them.
Ten Commandments Monument in Austin, Texas image credit: J. Williams
Some folks have tried to rewrite them, including Clinton Richard Dawkins (who does not even keep number eight). It's not like there's anything wrong with them — except to misotheists and liberal culture revisionists who mock the authority of God's Word. We're in a pagan evolutionary culture, and the Commandments make for a hostile environment.

Some yahoos at Seeker dot com decided to replace the Ten Commandments with their own rules for the "good person" (defining "good" by their own subjective opinions), which would be right at home in a modern Bible-denying church, I reckon. For a discussion of Seeker's spurious version compared to the truth, click on "Do the Ten Commandments Need a Modern Update?" Unless, of course, you need to run to your safe space.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Scientifically Proving the Existence of God

A common occurrence for Christians and creationists is to have a smug atheist issue the demand, "Prove to me that God exists using science". These people who claim to believe in science and "reason" are arguing from their naturalistic presuppositions, but demonstrate not only their ignorance of the nature of God, but are also committing the formal logical fallacy known as the category error. That is, it's impossible to use man-made science philosophies and methods to "prove" the existence of God, who exists outside the confines of time, space, and matter. Then the owlhoots claim victory over the stupid Christian and proclaim that God does not exist, then try to prove evolution. However, there is abundant evidence for the existence of God, beginning from inside the questioner (Romans 1:18-23, Psalm 53:1 ESV).


Christians and creationists are often challenged by atheists to "scientifically prove the existence of God". Similarly, they ask, "Who made God?" Such approaches are irrational.
Image of God by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, painted in the 1500s,
modified by a graphic from Clker clipart
Similarly, another irrational question is asked, "Who made God?" It may seem reasonable on the surface, but people who claim to know logic and philosophy should know that this question requires infinite regression: who made God, and who is above that maker who made him, who made him, ad nauseam. There has to be an ultimate starting point somewhere.
This question is a major objection that atheists put forward to justify their disbelief. Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), a famous British philosopher, in his influential little essay, Why I am not a Christian, put this forward as his first objection.1 Today’s atheists repeat the objection, including Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and Australia’s own Philip Adams at the 2010 Global Atheists’ Congress in Melbourne Australia, who said,

“The great argument for God was that there had to be a Creation, a beginning. … But my objection was simple. If God was the beginning who began God?”

The universe had a beginning; almost no one disputes that, because the laws of thermodynamics demand it: the universe is running down and it cannot have been running down forever, or it would have already run down. No stars would be still churning out energy and we would not be here.
To read the rest of this excellent article, click on "Who created God? — It’s an illogical question". Wait, there's more! I also recommend reading "How Do We Know There Is a God?", and for those who want a challenge, click here for Dr. Greg Bahnsen's refutation of the Bertrand Russell essay.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Understanding Your Audience

In matters of sharing our faith in accordance with Jesus' command (Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 1:8), we need to take a thoughtful approach. First of all, we must remember that we are not the ones who are doing the saving with our own brilliant arguments, that's the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:1-5). That's why people come to Christ through simple one-on-one evangelism from an excited new convert who is unskilled in theology and philosophy.


When presenting the gospel to people with different worldviews, it's very helpful to know where they're coming from.
Modified from an image on Pixabay by geralt
People have pointed to Peter's sermon in Acts 2:14-41 as a model for evangelism, but that message was given to monotheistic Jews. For people who have different religions such as paganism, atheism, evolutionism, Mohammedanism, Hinduism, cults that claim to be Christian, and others, a different approach is needed. A good working knowledge of their worldview is very important to establish communication. People who engage in serious debates take the time to learn where the other is coming from.


Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes
At The Question Evolution Project, we had bully who was engaging in spam, prejudicial conjecture and other logical fallacies. When I called him out on them, he replied, "You call it 'bigotry, prejudicial conjecture, falsehood, spam', I call it truth." In the above image (a further reply to my rebuke), you can see the bigotry and prejudicial conjecture quite plainly. Further, he arbitrarily decided to create his own "truth" based on his preferences. He had said earlier that he wanted to have "discussions", but that was obviously false based on his conduct. The point is that he had no interest in knowing what biblical creationists actually believe and teach, but wanted to express his own uninformed opinions (Prov. 18:2 ESV).

I'm not saying that we need to have encyclopedic knowledge of other worldviews, that would be ridiculous. However, when having discussions with people, we can be prepared for some of the more common belief systems, and do some homework when having planned discussions with people.

When attempting to reach the lost for Jesus Christ, we need to know our own theology. From there, we must have Christ-honoring apologetics, which includes having some familiarity with the other person's worldview — even though few want to extend the same approach to us.
Before looking at Acts 17, it is important to understand the origin of religion; in order to know the meaning of anything, we have to understand its origin. The origin of religion began in the Garden of Eden when God clearly revealed himself to Adam. However, Adam and Eve rejected that revelation and chose to believe a falsehood about Him. In this act of disobedience, they chose to follow Satan’s worldview over God’s worldview (Genesis 3:4–5). They created the first human religion, rejecting God’s perfect and true religion.

Adam’s disobedience had consequences for the rest of his descendants since it affected how they viewed God and creation. This can be seen at the event of the Tower of Babel, which was the beginning of the religious diversity we see in the world today (see Deuteronomy 32:8, 16–17, 21). At the Tower of Babel, monotheism devolved into polytheism, pantheism, and the worship of anything other than the one true, living God. When the people were dispersed at Babel, they would have taken with them a hybrid truth of the living God mixed with the twisting and distorting of the truth of that revelation about Him (Romans 1:18–32). Religion then is first of all a response to God’s revelation—it is either in faith or rebellion. It is either based on God’s Word or man’s word.
To read the rest in context, click on "Exposing the Underlying Worldview: Acts 17".
 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dancing the Heresy Two-Step

We are seeing 2 Peter 3:3-4 happening right before our eyes. Worse than that, Christianity is being eaten away from the inside. People will proclaim themselves as modern prophets and apostles with "new revelations" from God. Christians should be saying, "Hang on a minute. Where did you get that from the Bible? Oh, you heard from God personally? You know, like Joseph Smith? The canon of Scripture is closed,  as are the offices of apostle and prophet. Let me check your presumptuous pronouncements against the written Word of God". Instead, too many are staring in wide-eyed wonder, being gullible, and being whipped into a frenzy by the false teachers.

Image credit: Morguefile / clarita (modified)
Many false teachers with throw some Scripture into the mix, but it's a bait 'n' switch tactic, the Heresy Two-Step. Be discerning and watchful. Notice that they are not fond of reading verses in context, often reading a bit and then telling you what the passage says. This is false, they're telling you what they want it to say and mean. Even worse, they elevate feelings and experiences above the Bible. "God spoke to me, I'm a prophet, I have stories of miracles that can't be substantiated." The undiscerning get all excited about it and think they're praising God for his miraculous works.

I'll allow that it's not easy sometimes, since some of these false teachers have good presentations with personality and humor; they're often likable. 

People don't want to hear the truth, that's why they're not walking out on hucksters that tell them to give a "seed offering" to their "ministries" so they'll be blessed. Watch for it, there's a Jewish feast time, and Heaven will pour riches on you! Liars.

In another disturbing aspect, there are false teachers who appeal to the other crowd: people who want to listen to a well-reasoned presentation. These, too, use a bait 'n' switch tactic, using a little bit of Bible. People will teach "doctrines" that have nothing to do with Scripture, and are the products of imagination and traditions that nullify the Word of God. They speak with confidence and authority, which is persuasive. Like theistic and other evolutionists, they steal from the scientific principle called "Making Stuff Up™", and make their pronouncements convincing.

Here are two podcasts from Fighting for the Faith that give examples of these things. Pastor Chris Rosebrough plays material right from the sources, and does a sermon review in the second hour. Yes, second hour. You can listen online or (right-click) download the MP3. I suggest you download it, but that's just me. To get the first audio, click on "Frozen 'The Sermon'". Second, and I know I'm asking a lot of you but these are important, "Doctrines That Were Made in America". For those who are pressed for time, there are a couple of comedy sketch and promotional breaks that you can move past. For "Frozen", you can skip from the 28 minute 42 second mark and resume at 37 minutes, and the second break is at 1 hour 3 minutes 40 seconds, resuming at 1:07:02. In the "Made in America" episode, you can skip from the 29 minute 55 second mark and resume at 40 minutes, with the second break at 1 hour 12 minutes 41 seconds and resuming at 1:15:36. 

Those who are following false teachers: you need to repent.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Unravelling the Bible from Genesis

The way some people cling to their "deep time" beliefs, sometimes including evolution, while claiming to believe the Bible is mighty disconcerting to me. They are elevating man-made science philosophies to the magisterial position and are telling God that he is wrong. Scriptural teaching begins to unravel — and that's why unbelievers attack the foundations of the Christian faith, the book of Genesis.


Some professing Christians may not really know what the Bible teaches, and that compromising on millions of years starts to unravel the gospel message beginning in Genesis.
Image credit: Pixabay / bluemorphos
Now, don't get all het up, I'm not saying that every professing Christian who goes in for long ages is deliberately sabotaging the Bible or is unsaved. (If you study on it a spell, you might begin to wonder why some people attack biblical creationists and have a fervent desire to believe Earth is ancient.) What I am saying is that many people really don't know what the Bible teaches, and the implications of forcing millions of years into the text. Especially when Jesus, Peter, Paul, and many others in Scripture believed the Genesis Flood was real, Adam was an actual person, and teachings that refute long ages. 

"But I've been a Christian for years, and never heard this kind of science denial stuff!"

A good part of the problem is modern church-ianity. Switch on a religious cable television network, and what do you get? Stuff to make you feel good, with some Scripture thrown in to make it seem authentic. Watch for it, they'll tell you what the Bible "says" instead of reading from it in context — especially 2 Timothy 4:1-4 or Jude 1:3-4. False teachers do this a lot. Big churches and major denominations have become religious social clubs in too many instances, not teaching the truth of Genesis, nor Jesus Christ crucified and risen for the forgiveness of our sins. They want you happy and giving them money, not saved or growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.

Compromise and eisegesis are dangerous things.
Christians who accept millions of years of Earth history may be unaware of the inconsistency of their position. On one hand, they profess to believe the Bible, but on the other they fail to accept Genesis 1–2 as written. They might attempt to dismiss the issue by telling themselves it isn’t that serious. After all, can’t one accept the rest of the Bible as written yet reject the doctrine of a recent six-day creation? Unfortunately, accepting an old earth logically undermines the entire Bible.

If the world’s sedimentary rocks really are millions of years old, then the fossilized remains of plants and animals within those rocks are also millions of years old. These include the fossilized remains of thorny plants. This would imply that thorns were in the world long before the first humans. So, how can thorns be punishment for man’s sin as described in Genesis 3:18? And if the third chapter of Genesis is wrong about thorns, why would we trust the promise of the coming Savior in Genesis 3:15? And why should we believe its claim that death is the penalty for sin (Genesis 3:19)?
To read the rest of this short article, click on "Genesis Compromise Unravels the Bible".

Friday, October 7, 2016

Does God Continue to Create?

A plain reading of the Bible seems to make it clear that once God was done creating, he was done, period. Varieties of theistic evolutionists join the gang at the Darwin Ranch in a hoedown, dancing around what Scripture says. One group disbelieves the Bible, the other pretends to believe it a little bit. But how can anyone get around the part that says, "God rested"? Sounds like God is done, I reckon.


Theistic evolutionists try to sneak the idea of ongoing creation into their worldview by tampering with the meaning of Scripture. Proper reading settles their objections.
This post gives me an excuse to show Basement Cat resting on my e-book reader.
I took the option of finding something else to read.
Some people have no serious regard to what Scripture says, preferring to give current science philosophies the magisterial position above God's Word. Some people sort of baptize evolution by associating God's name with it, but that's as legitimate as baptizing the cat. They come up with some incoherent and self-refuting philosophies (click for larger):


Theistic evolutionists try to sneak the idea of ongoing creation into their worldview by tampering with the meaning of Scripture. Proper reading settles their objections.
Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes
After a couple of additional exchanges, this character was banned after an obscene comment.

The way theistic evolutionists manage to sneak the idea of God's continuing of creation into their worldview is through massive eisegesis, conflation, and other tricks of intellectual dishonesty. Some of their points and objections may seem plausible at first glance, but they're reigned in with reasoning from the Bible and proper exegesis.
According to Scripture, God finished making the whole universe in six days, and rested on the seventh. However, theistic evolutionists insist that God made galaxies, planets, and all living things by means of natural processes, using the same physical laws that govern the universe today. But, if the laws of nature possess such creative power and the world continues to evolve under their influence, then is creation really a finished work? Many theistic evolutionists openly declare that it is not. Even though the Bible says that God completed the world long ago, theistic evolutionists say the world is still under construction.

Below, we will examine the Bible’s treatment of this subject in more detail. Afterward, we will consider various strategies theistic evolutionists use to try to get around the Bible’s teaching, and explain why they do not succeed.
To finish reading, click on "God’s rest — A problem for theistic evolution".