Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Compromising Genesis and Deep Time

For a mighty long time, the book of Genesis was understood to be history, not allegory or anything else. Josephus, the respected Jewish historian, also recognized the straightforward reading of Genesis. One in a while, some owlhoot would try to change the literal days of Genesis into something else In the days of the Reformers, some folks tried to make the days much quicker, but most accepted literal creation days


Later, professing Christians compromised on the meaning of the days of Genesis in order to accommodate atheistic interpretations of "science", and commenced to shoving millions of years into the text. They also began rejecting creation in favor of evolutionism, and the faith of many was shipwrecked. I suspicion that religious folks didn't want to look stupid to the burgeoning secular science promoters, and were fearful of ridicule. Did they, and do people today, want to please men, or God? 

There are various attempts to marry up Genesis and atheistic science, but all of them require extreme eisegesis. They also elevate man-made science philosophies into the magisterial position above the written Word of God.
A recent Pew Research Center poll showed the number of Americans who professed to be Christian declined by 7.8% between 2007 and 2014, while the number professing other faiths or identifying as unaffiliated increased by 7.9%.1 Only 50% of the younger millennials (born 1990–1996) believe in God with absolute certainty, and only 52% believe that Scripture is the Word of God. These are alarming figures that reflect our postmodernist culture and our views of who God is and what He has done. A telling indicator would be a millennial’s answer to the question “Did God really create the world in six days?”
The Christian community holds varying views on the first chapter of Genesis. Some simply believe the biblical six-day creation narrative as it stands, while increasing numbers of people attempt to fit creation into the hypotheses of modern secular science or other views consistent with a deep-time paradigm of a universe billions of years old.
To finish reading, click on "Genesis Doesn't Fit with Deep Time".


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Scripture is Given by God and Necessary

It should be obvious that people who identify as Christians must rely on the Bible as their final authority in spiritual matters. Unfortunately, many people elevate man-made traditions, false authority, teachings from teachers they admire, and even their own opinions above God's Word.

The Bible is God-breathed, essential for Christian life, and true from the very first verse.
Credit: Pixabay / StockSnap
Many translations translate a word in 2 Timothy 3:16 as inspired, which causes some confusion because people say William Shakespeare, John MacArthur, J.S. Bach, and other writers are inspired. The word in the Bible is θεόπνευστος and is more correctly translated as God-breathed. God gave us his inerrant Word for instruction in righteousness, doctrine, daily living, and other matter essential to Christian life. It is true from the very first verse. Bible-believing Christians who read it on a regular basis and receive sound biblical teachings are less likely to fall under the influence of owlhoots who are bringing false doctrine.
The doctrine of Sola Scriptura was at the heart of the Protestant Reformation,1 serving as a guard around Scripture to protect it from unbiblical ideas being imposed upon it.2 Nevertheless, many Christians today struggle to defend this vital doctrine while others say that Sola Scriptura is not even taught in the Bible.

The Apostle Paul, however, told Timothy that Scripture was sufficient for him in his ministry. This article will look at what 2 Timothy 3:16–17 says about the sufficiency of Scripture.
To read the entire article, click on "God-Breathed Scripture & Sola Scriptura".


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Thoughts

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

On this distinctly American holiday where people traditionally celebrate family, friends, and what we have, we need to remember the greater blessings. Many of us have things we take for granted. We have electronic devices that are "essential" to us that didn't even exist ten years ago, and we panic when they're not working. A bit of perspective, people! I can turn on the faucet and get clean water that we put through an attached filter to make it even better, but there are those who have to scrounge for muddy water to drink and hope it doesn't kill them. Even if we're not living in splendor, we need to be thankful for what we have, you savvy?


Be thankful to God for what we have, not just one day a year, but daily.
The Thankful Poor,  Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1894
A thankful spirit is important in the Christian life, and we should focus on giving thanks to God who gave us life, and eternal life. He doesn't have to bless us in so many ways, but he does it out of his love for us — even mockers and blasphemers who are consumed with hate still have life. What happens to them in eternity for rejecting God is their problem, God has done his part and made the gospel clear

This atheopath racist who cheers the deaths of Christians delights in
blasphemy in the course of his continual but fruitless persecution.
Screenshot used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes.
(Click for larger.)
While having a day of giving thanks set aside once a year is good, it is better to be thankful every day of the year, and to praise our Creator and Redeemer for all he has given us. As for me, I'm thankful for living in good conditions. More importantly, I am redeemed by the blood and resurrection of Jesus. 

I'd like to share a couple of links for your perusal, ifn' you don't mind and have a few moments. First, "Thanksgiving Requires a Receiver". Next, a post that involves MacGyver and the Mayflower, "Thankfulness and - Repurposing?" Also, the video below by Dr. Stanley should communicate better than my faltering attempts:


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Josephus and Genesis History

Some professing Christians are unaware that the Bible means what it says, all the way back to Genesis. Old Earth believers often claim that biblical creationists are being divisive by insisting on actual solar days of creation instead of treating Genesis as allegorical, mythological, or needing deep time interpretation. Such views are false. In fact, the interlopers are those who add millions of years to Scripture!


Respected Jewish historian Josephus believed that Genesis discussed literal, recent creation
Image of Flavius Josephus obtained from Wikimedia Commons
The church fathers almost universally viewed creation as a recent event, and most accepted literal days of creation. Likewise, the Reformers believed in recent creation. If those sources are insufficient for some owlhoots, how about going way back to a respected Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus? 
Many people who compromise on the plain meaning of Genesis claim that the literal interpretation is a modern invention. Instead, they claim that most commentators in the past took a long-age view.

On the contrary, the vast majority interpreted the days of Genesis 1 as ordinary days. Furthermore, even those who did not, such as Origen and Augustine, vigorously attacked long-age ideas and affirmed that the world was only thousands of years old. Among the Jewish commentators, the first-century historian Flavius Josephus (AD 37–ca. 100) stands out from the rest.
To continue reading, click on "Josephus says, ‘Genesis means what it says!’"


 
That's a Fact - Creation Days from Institute for Creation Research on Vimeo.
Genesis says that God created the universe in six days.
But some people question what the word “day” means! What is a creation day?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Logical Thinking and the Christian

Sometimes it seems that people are intimidated by the word logic. Perhaps they have images of professors making diagrams that resemble algebraic equations and discussing the laws of logic, and that us reg'lar folk cannot relate. While the academic image is real and fine for those who want to study the fine points of logic, you and I use logic on a daily basis.


God is the source of logic and knowledge, and he wants us to use them
Credit: Pixabay / PIRO4D
The auto mechanic who discovers why your vehicle stalls out at a certain point, the baker following a recipe, computer programmers, playing chess and similar games, doing a jigsaw puzzle — these all require the use of logic. When attempting to solve problems or learn the truth, we attempt to gain as much information as we need and then use our reasoning skills to reach answers. We usually do this without thinking about thinking.

Logic is actually a part of the mind of God. We are made in his image, and he has given us some knowledge as well as senses and skills to acquire more knowledge so we can reason. In addition, the Christian has the mind of Christ, and all knowledge begins with God. (One reason that biblical creationists emphasize logical thinking and spotting errors in reasoning is so that we can honor God.) Do a Bible search on mind and reason, and see that God not only enables us, but makes it possible because logic is the way God thinks.

Consider the fact that many founders of modern science were not only Christians, but biblical creationists as well.  It may startle you, but we are to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, so it is a moral duty to be as rational as we are able. To think in a worldly way, with it's "wisdom" and materialism, is very limiting and goes contrary to God's will! We can reason from Scripture and see when someone is giving false teaching as well.
Logic is the study of the principles of correct reasoning.  To be logical is to think rightly: to draw reasonable conclusions from the available information.  Correct reasoning helps us to have true beliefs, and acting on true beliefs tends to have a far better outcome than acting on false beliefs.  Clearly, it is to our great advantage to reason correctly.  And while all human beings have some capacity to be logical, we can improve our reasoning by taking a class or reading books or articles on the topic, and by studying the Bible.  A thorough knowledge of logic can be immensely helpful in our own reasoning, or when reasoning with others.  But in addition to any pragmatic advantage, we have a moral obligation to be logical.  Thinking rightly is not optional for the Christian.  It is something God requires of us.
To finish reading, click on "Logic: Our Moral Obligation". Also, I recommend "Is Christianity Irrational?"

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Made in the Image of God

We read in Genesis 1:26 that we are created in God's image. That phrase can be a mite confusing, and one angry atheist used it as a "proof" that the Bible is true because we are physical beings, or some such. A photograph or a painting is also an image of something. If I held up a picture and said, "This is my daughter", a rational person would not conclude that she is flat and fits in a wallet. Also, that image would not negate the existence of the real person.

God our Creator made us in his image and likeness
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / ESA / CXC / STScI
(Usage does not imply endorsement of site contents.)
The rest of verse 26 says that we're created in God's likeness. That adds a bit of depth, too. He's the creator of the universe, gave us life, is our Redeemer — image and likeness? Kind of hard to lasso the concept, I know. Let's dig a little deeper.
This passage shows that man reflects God in some way and represents him.1 The image of God distinguishes mankind from the rest of creation. Mankind reflects and represents God in a way which cannot be said of anything else in God’s creation, but what does this mean? The image of God has significant impact in both theology and ethics, and so it is helpful to understand what it is.

First it is important to note that the image of God does not make men identical with God or the same type of being. Isaiah 43:10 says “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” People are not divine, are not little gods, and cannot become gods. 
To read the entire article, click on "The Image of God".
 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Reformers and the Age of the Earth

Despite the claims of some old-earth compromisers like Hugh Ross, the church fathers believed, for the most part, in a young earth. For that matter, the Genesis Flood, recent creation, and similar matters were largely undisputed and a defense of the position was generally considered unnecessary. The concept of deep time is the new gelding in the theological stable.

Young earth was the view of the Reformers
Credit: Pixabay / strecosa
What about the Reformers? You know, that Protestant Reformation that is considered to have begun back yonder about 500 years ago? Yeah, those guys. Remember, a movement does not usually happen in a moment; there is groundwork and developments until the thing commences to happen. We know that Martin Luther took Genesis seriously, but we may wonder about the other Reformers during that period of years. It's a reasonable question, since liberal theologians and many professing Christians today believe the old earth view — especially since Christians ceded both science and theology to secularists.
All Christians believe that God the Father Almighty is the Maker of heaven and earth. This belief is like a great river that runs through Christian history. It distinguishes Christianity from other forms of spirituality. Yet within this river there have been two streams of thought about how to understand Genesis: the allegorical reading and the literal reading.

The Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries marked a return to the literal reading of Scripture. The Reformers taught that God revealed in Genesis that He created all things in six ordinary days about six thousand years ago.

In this article, I will sketch out these two streams of thought, describe the teachings of the Reformers, and show how these teachings crystallized in their confessions of faith.
To continue reading this interesting article, click on "What Did the Reformers Believe about the Age of the Earth?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Date-Setting Disappointment

Back on October 22, 1844, followers of William Miller (Millerites) expected Jesus to return. This was called the "Great Disappointment" for obvious reasons. People kept going with it, modifying views and such, eventually spawning outfits like the Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses. I guess you could say they evolved from a common ancestor.

Those of us who have a few decades under our belts have experienced several "end of the world" prophesied events. Nothing happened. In 2016, some of us endured the "Super Shemitah" and blood moons business — and it was a business for people like Jim Bakker and others. But, as usual, those sidewinders kept on a-selling to their gullible followers.


At this writing, the latest big thing was supposed to have happened on September 23, 2017. People were interpreting the signs in the heavens, earthquakes, storms, wars and rumors of wars, and so on as indications that the time of Christ's return was near. They also took some proof text Bible verses to throw into the stew. Again, nothing happened. But you can be sure that people will make some adjustments, get new insights, reinterpret, and other things. Maybe the end of the world began but we just don't know it yet, and a specially-blessed prophet will explain it to us. Actually, there will probably be a dozen or so with competing special revelations. Not revelations from God, of course, but from the god of this world.

This child doesn't have a spiritual gift of genius, but something stands out. People who are deceived by false prophets, end-times date-setters, various cults, movements, and so on have something in common: lack of Bible. They do not exhibit knowledge of sound doctrine or discernment. Biblical ignorance is a primary reason people are deceived.

Dr. Danny Faulkner wrote some articles prior to the recent apocalypse folly. He has an excellent follow-up that I strongly recommend. It's not a quick read, so I suggest that you keep it until you're ready to pay attention.
Now that September 23, 2017, has passed with no major incident, it is time to reflect. I’ve waited a month after September 23, until the Hebrew month Ethanim (Tishri) ended, for reasons I will explain shortly. First, let me recap. In the previous 2.5 years, many self-professed Bible prophecy teachers suggested that the Lord likely would return on September 23, 2017. They primarily based this teaching upon a peculiar understanding of Revelation 12:1–2,
To read the rest of the article, click on "Reflections on September 23, 2017".


Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Legacy of Martin Luther

It is October, 2017, the month of the Reformatin's 500th anniversary. The Reformation is considered to have begun when Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door — a kind of social media of the time, and not an act of vandalism. He wanted debate, or serious discussion, on some matters that had been troubling him about the Roman Catholic Church, faith, the Bible, and more.

A movement does not typically happen in an instant, and Luther was a priest and a monk who had been pondering some things for a long time, including his own salvation. He learned some things from Scripture that brought problems into focus, and his writings caused him a heap of trouble, and he was investigated for heresies at the Diet of Worms in 1521. We've heard and read about it a great deal lately. It sounds like a California fad eating style, but actually a diet back then was a formal assembly, and this was conducted in the city of Worms. Now the term makes sense, doesn't it? It's interesting to note that the Protestant Reformation made use of modern technology: the printing press. We use our modern technologies extensively, some for good, some for evil, some for silly pictures.

For people who want to dig deeper, read about John Wycliffe, who laid some of the groundwork that influenced the Reformation.


Martin Luther did not intend to start the Protestant Reformation, but he has a tremendous legacy
Luther at the Diet of Worms, Anton von Werner, 1877
There are people who point to some of Luther's character flaws and views, such as his antisemitism. That does not mean that we should reject everything he taught, that would mean remaining Roman Catholic, which is contrary to God's Word.

Something else that we seem to hear about these days is a legacy, how people will be remembered. Martin Luther did not intend to start a world-changing movement, but the Protestant Reformation eventually ran at full gallop, and others joined in. When you hear about "the Reformers", it was not just Luther and a few friend in Germany, but people in other areas as well. This lasted for several years. Luther wanted the truth of Scripture available to people in their language, and translated the Bible into German. He also took the foundational book, Genesis, very seriously. Many other important considerations were brought to the fore as well.

To learn more, I hope you'll read "Luther's Legacy". For some biographical and historical information, I recommend "Martin Luther: the monk who shook the world".

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Martin Luther Took Genesis Seriously

One of the main problems for Christian theology occurred when Christians ceded the proper understanding of Genesis to secular science. Not only did those owlhoots compromise on long ages, but they often included evolution as well. At this time, liberal theologians were stampeding through academia and the churches, causing a great deal of confusion and apostasy. Theologians back then had forgotten the importance of a solid foundation.


"When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are." - Martin Luther
Martin Luther had a different problem than we have: some people
rejected six day creation because it seemed too long!
(Click for larger.)
In the course of events leading to the Reformation, Luther realized the importance of the foundation of Scripture itself. He also held fast to the foundation of the gospel message itself, which begins in Genesis. Our creation reformation requires rejecting compromise on biblical truth, beginning from the very first verse.
Five hundred years ago in Wittenberg, Germany, an unusual scholar changed the course of human history using pen and hammer. Dr. Martin Luther protested unbiblical teachings and practices—especially selling indulgences—sparking the Protestant Reformation. Unsurprisingly, a review of Luther’s treatment of Genesis shows how taking Scripture seriously logically leads to taking creation seriously. In fact, Luther appreciated creation enough to record detailed observations of jackdaws and ravens.
To finish reading, click on "Luther, the Reformation, and Taking Creation Seriously".

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Reformation and Creation

As most Christians are aware, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, so don't be surprised when you see a whole passel of articles, sermons, and so forth all over the web. While major movements begin suddenly and have various events leading up to them, October 31 is considered the "official" date when Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. Then things really took off. No, not because of the apparent vandalism, because that was the form of social media back then. Instead, things really took off because of what Luther had written.

Like Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, creationists are calling for a reformation as well: authority of Scripture
Luther nailing 95 theses, Ferdinand Pauwels, 1872 / Wikimedia Commons
Luther emphasized the solae ("alone"): Scripture, faith, and grace. In later years, "Christ alone" and "glory to God alone" were added. The religious authority of the Roman Catholic Church had usurped its authority, focusing on tradition and selling of papal indulgences. Luther also wanted the Bible available in the language of the people. A common thread is the authority of Scripture.

Biblical creationists have also spurring along a Reformation as well. Evolution is not simply a discussion for academics and scientists, but has ramifications in civil life as well, such as eugenics. Many professing Christians have compromised on the authority of Scripture in favor of atheistic interpretations of ever-changing whims of science. While creationists present evidence that refutes evolution and affirms special creation, we also emphasize upholding the authority of Scripture. Like the Reformation of 1517, many creationists are attempting to call Christians out of secularism and humanism, and back to the Word of God — beginning in Genesis. If we can't trust what God says in the first eleven chapters of the Bible, it should be no surprise that people doubt what God says about sin, repentance, and salvation!
Posting such topics for debate on church doors was the social media of the time. And like incendiary topics in today’s social media, Luther’s “post” soon went viral, setting off a long-lasting firestorm of political and theological conflict across Europe. In the world of that time, royalty and religion, princes and popes, were thoroughly entwined, so such a declaration not only rocked the foundation for church authority, it also destabilized the political structure of the day. The ensuing Reformation, replete with its heroes and villains—their identity often depending on which side of the aisle you occupied—was a turbulent time that turned theology as well as European papal and political power on its head. But apart from strictly historical aspects of the movement, what is the take-home message of the Reformation for today’s Christian?
To read the entire article, click on "The Relevance of the Reformation".
 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Asking Questions to Reveal Answers

While it is helpful for someone to give his or her viewpoint in detail, the good stuff comes after they've finished a presentation. This can be seen in formal debates during what is sometimes called the "cross examination" period (here is one example), and audience questions after a press conference or something similar.

Credit: Pixabay / Gerd Altmann
Most of us don't commence to speechifyin' or debating very often, so how about questions in a more personal setting, without the crowds? Much better. People can ask questions to clarify meanings and positions, and even get to know the other person a little better. On social media, it gets difficult to have a good discussion with someone unless it's in private messages, else other people chime in.

Greg Koukl has something he calls the "Columbo Tactic", based on the television detective, that helps you (and often the other person) get to the heart of a discussion. Two short articles on the subject are at the Stand to Reason weblog and the Stand to reason main site. He also has a book called Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions that goes into more detail. It's interesting that Koukl uses evidential apologetics while I emphasize presuppositional apologetics, and last I knew, he believed in an old earth while I am a biblical creationist, but the material mentioned above fits mighty fine with creationary, presuppositional approaches.

Christians and creationists can use the approach of asking questions to help someone see the problems with their viewpoint, and also show them scriptural truth. We can also use the discussion to present pertinent information. Ultimately, we hope to lead them to salvation in Jesus Christ.
Do pointed questions help people think? Good questions can make them curious and open their minds to things they might not have considered. When people express doubts about the truth of the Bible, asking the right questions can help guide them toward the right answers—biblical answers.
To read the rest, click on "Using Pointed Questions to Point to Answers". The video below may prove helpful as well.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Those Dying Leaves

In my neck of the woods — well, North America — it's autumn. (I reckon some folks call it fall because that's what leaves do.) This time of year has been used in many songs, often denoting sadness. Others are fond of this time of year, even planning to drive through areas on "color tours". You might want to consider taking route 209 which comes up here to Kingston, NY and runs down past Port Jervis into Pennsylvania. Kind of a difficult two-lane road, though. How about going off 209 into Ellenville, then onto Route 52 past Cragsmoor and into Pine Bush? You'll clip some of the Shawangunk Ridge State Forest, see some Catskill Mountains, and get lasso yourself some colored leaf viewing.

An interesting question is that if death entered the world when Adam sinned, what about plant death before then? The answer is in specific Hebrew terminology.
Image credit: Pixabay / pixel2013
I kind of wandered a mite. So, what about those leaves? People like looking at them, but get irked when having to rake their yards and clean the gutters by their roofs. We agree that they're dead leaves. Or are they? Death came into the world because Adam sinned, but we read in Genesis that everything was originally vegetarian. That means plants were eaten. How did plants die before death entered the world? There's some specific Hebrew wording involved here, as plants are not "alive" in one specific sense.
Fall in America and throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere is a beautiful time of year. Bright reds, oranges, and yellows rustle in the trees and then blanket the ground as warm weather gives way to winter cold. Many are awed at God’s handiwork as the leaves float to the ground like Heaven’s confetti. But fall may also make us wonder, “Did Adam and Eve ever see such brilliant colors in the Garden of Eden?” Realizing that these plants wither at the end of the growing season may also raise the question, “Did plants die before the Fall of mankind?”

Before we can answer this question, we must consider the definition of die. We commonly use the word die to describe when plants, animals, or humans no longer function biologically. However, this is not the definition of the word die or death in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word for die (or death), mût (or mavet), is used only in relation to the death of man or animals with the breath of life, not regarding plants. This usage indicates that plants are viewed differently from animals and humans.
I won't leave you out on a limb. To finish reading, click on "Do Leaves Die?" Don't forget the last part about how leaves get their color, that's at the end. 

 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Biblical Response to Racism

Bigotry exists in many forms, and people have had fear, suspicion, and even hatred of those who are different in some way. It can even be based on geographical locations. (I've been snubbed by people in the Southern United States for being a "Yankee" — I knew an American of German ancestry who detested people in France! Strange.) The most common form of antipathy toward people who are different is commonly called racism, and I believe that both skin color and cultures are distinguishing characteristics to make it easier to hate people of other "races". The race issues will be the limiting factor for this post.

The correct response to racism is in a proper understanding of the Bible
Credit: Pixabay / Rhythm_In_Life
Today's politically-charged climate brings racism to the fore in ways that are unprecedented, many times with loaded terms and false accusations leading to violence. The racism issues seem to be either excessively complicated or oversimplified, often prompted by people having political and cultural "tunnel vision" and "thinking" with their emotions.

Some jaspers will use any excuse to cry "Racism!", which I reckon to be downright stupid because trivial and unjustified accusations detract from the real thing. As a side note, a writer on proper word usage is advising people to get away from the cutesy "grammar Nazi" handle because it trivializes the evils of real Nazis. And, therefore, of racism.

As I said, racism existed for a mighty long time, but Darwin and his followers managed to make it fashionable and "scientific" until it became unpopular. (See "Evolution, Racism and the Bible", "More Modern Evolutionary Racism", and "Further Studies in Scientific Racism", for starters.) There are evolutionists today who will use abuse of science to justify racism, but the biological differences between people are extremely small.

Anti-creationist bigot supports evolutionary racism
Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes
Click for larger
People groups exist, and there are definite differences. These extend to skin color, culture, languages, geography, and so on. However, biblically speaking, there are no races. I shouldn't have to say this, but bigotry has no place in the body of Christ. Jesus did not die on the cross for any particular race, and all are one in our risen Lord (Galatians 3:28, Ephesians 2:14-17, Matthew 27:50-51). We can trace backward and see that people groups came from Noah's sons, and the dispersion at Babel. The correct response to racism is not in evolutionary science or politics, but in biblical Christianity.
Our nation and society continue to suffer from strained race relations and subsequent racism. This is evidenced by the increased racial tensions experienced with tragic consequences such as killings, destruction of property, and general social unrest over the last two years in cities such as Ferguson/St. Louis, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; Charleston, South Carolina; New York, New York; etc. For our reference and understanding on the terms of race and racism, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines race: family, tribe, people, or nation of the same stock: division of mankind based on hereditary traits; racism: discrimination based on the belief that some races are by nature superior.

This article will attempt to provide some understanding on the divisive issues of race and racism and how we can cope with these issues, with considerations from a creation and creation science or naturalistic evolutionary perspective. To help us understand and cope with the issues of race and racism I will address a number of important distinctions between creation and evolution as they relate to man or mankind and our social, moral relations.
I hope you'll invest a little time and read the rest. Just click on "Race and Racism: Understanding and Coping". Something else Christians may want to look at (but I'm not endorsing the entire site, haven't read more than this here article), "Critical Theory and the Unity of the Church".
  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Handcuffed by Evolutionary Indoctrination

Darwin's disciples have done an excellent job in promoting their materialistic viewpoint, with the conflation of evolution with science as one of their main tools. This provides these owlhoots with an emotional manipulation tool, since people do not want to be seen as "science deniers" when they reject minerals-to-misotheist evolution.

The propaganda is everywhere we turn, whether textbooks, television documentaries, entertainment... A scene in the 1977 movie High Anxiety has Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke (Mel Brooks) giving a lecture and saying, "...that each patient is a supreme individual endowed with those qualities that distinguish the human being from the slime from which he emerged". Even Bugs Bunny used it when he was told to start at the beginning: "...in the beginning, there was no life. The earth was forming..." To appear intelligent and sciencey, add evolution. Just keep your eyes and ears open and you'll see what I mean.


People are handcuffed by evolutionary propaganda and indoctrination
Credit: Pixabay / ROOKIE23
Bible-believing Christians go to church on Sunday and sometimes midweek, read the Scriptures, talk to God, and so on. With the constant bombardment of secularism and evolutionism, how is someone supposed to hold to biblical truths about creation and theology? Let's face it, many Christians do not put much effort into meeting challenges, or nominal Christian parents do not provide sufficient information to their children, which contributes to their minds being enslaved by secularists.

Nathan van Ree professed to be a Christian, but significant areas of his life were lacking. The bombardment of Darwinism at the foundation of the faith helped accelerate his doubts, but strangely, he was not taken in by the hollow arguments of Sam Harris and his ilk. Nathan was not going to float downstream with the rest of the deadwood, and started investigating. Biblical creation science materials are rare in Christian bookstores, and mighty scarce in secular bookstores. (Fortunately, we have a wealth of material online and through special order.) Nathan was able to learn the truth. Children are not so fortunate, being in church for a couple of hours a week, but at the mercy of government-run indoctrination centers many hours a week for several years. We must be proactive!
Around the beginning of 2015 there was trouble looming in my life. I realised my desire to attend church was completely missing. Perhaps even worse, late in the evenings, discussions between me and my wife often arose about the whole issue of faith. It all seemed to boil down to the question of whether what we heard every Sunday was all true and was written in our Bibles. In fact, the problems started a few years earlier, partly because of a particular Bible translation in Dutch that we had started reading after dinner. It had never occurred to me so much before, but this new translation told things in a plain, understandable way and it hit me—entire peoples being slaughtered, that sort of thing. I couldn’t help feeling that what we were reading wasn’t right. Mind you, we hadn’t reached the New Testament yet. As we continued reading through the Bible, I would get angry occasionally, and pouring out my frustrations on my wife wasn’t, of course, very helpful.
To read the rest, click on "Breaking the shackles of evolutionary propaganda — One man’s testimony of ‘seeing the light’"
   

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Heresies, Modern Thinking, and Evolutionism

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

People who want to slap leather with biblical Christianity may think they have some new concepts, but they are actually reworking old false teachings. This applies not only to those things that have been condemned as heresies, but the remarks of mockers and "skeptics" are often rehash hoary thinking from past centuries.


Socinianism, evolutionism, and other heresies affect the church
Fausto Sozzini (Faustus Socinus) was cracked
Derived from a public domain image at Wikimedia Commons
Before I go further, I must say that I'm doing something I've done before: taking material from smarter people and adding thoughts that pertain to my own areas of study. This article was heavily influenced by Phil Johnson's series on five major heresies (linked below). I hope you'll ride the trail with me and you'll see how some things come together.

There have been several times in Christian history when the faith appeared to be on its way to becoming hopelessly corrupted. God raised up faithful men to uphold the faith, sometimes appearing to be all alone in their efforts. I reckon that that they thought of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:14. 

As a side note, legend has it that the giver of gifts in secret, bishop Nikolaos of Myra (who later became associated with Santa Claus), didn't deck the halls at the Council of Nicea in 325. Instead, he decked the heretic Arius. Don't think Jude meant exactly that when he said to contend for the faith (Jude 1:3-4).

Emperor Constantine, who called for that Council, had a "Why can't we all just get along?" approach, and wasn't overmuch concerned with doctrinal accuracy. I commenced to pondering that evolutionism is rooted in bad thinking and paganism, but also invading the church. Indeed, theistic evolution is a form of the Pelagian Heresy. Also, evolutionism has elements of Gnosticism, which is esoteric knowledge imparted by the enlightened, and is found in New Age teachings.

The church fathers almost universally believed in recent creation through most of church history. Today, we have people who are compromising, adding deep time and evolution to the Bible, and accusing biblical creationists of being "divisive". Not hardly! They are the dividers.

Something that really takes the rag off the bush is a newer aberration called the Socinian Heresy. An owlhoot named Fausto Sozzini (in Latin, Faustus Socinus) was the driving force behind this one, drawing inspiration from his uncle, Lelio Sozzini. It is a collective, incorporating several other heresies and logical fallacies. Essentially, modern liberal theology is Socinianism. Postmodern and post-truth philosophies can have comfortable homesteads in Socinianism as well.

Socinianism essentially relies on two major points: rationalism and skepticism. Both of those philosophies are antithetical to biblical Christianity, as well as to science — and even rational thought itself. Rationalism is hardcore humanism, making human reason the arbiter of truth. Skepticism is a bit confusing for some people, because thinking people need healthy skepticism.


Unfortunately, many times folks who call themselves skeptics are not seeking convincing evidence. Rather, they are like those who practiced the ancient philosophy of skepticism, maintaining that absolute knowledge is impossible. (It's like some forms of agnosticism, "I don't know, and you don't either".) They have their minds made up, but are asking questions without being desirous of learning or answers. True Christianity is bad medicine to skeptics, postmoderns, and the like, because we affirm that there is ultimate truth, and it is found in Scripture. These "no truth" people are unthinking, and should realize that, according to their own philosophies, they are worthless people! That's a long ride on a bad trail away from the truth that each person has value in Jesus Christ.

Mr. Johnson quoted from John Calvin regarding Lalius Socinus, who kept badgering him with insincere questions that were intended to undermine the faith. Calvin wrote:
You need not expect me to reply to all the monstrous questions you propose to me. If you are gratified by floating around in such high-minded speculations, I pray you permit me, a humble disciple of Christ, to meditate on those things which tend to the edification of my faith. And hereafter, by my silence, I will indeed accomplish the thing I wish for: that you no longer annoy me in this way.
Biblical creationists have to deal with annoying people like this, and we get our share at The Question Evolution Project. We are trying to glorify God, presenting the truth of creation, and upholding the authority of Scripture. "Skeptics" come along with insincere questions for which they have already determined their answers, seeking to justify their rebellion against our Creator, and reveling when a Christian's time is wasted. Calling us cowards for refusing to waste our time on disingenuous, self-gratifying misotheists is preposterous. We've been expecting them (2 Peter 3:4-7). Most likely, other apologists would agree with me that we want to be about our business and have those tinhorns find other sources of gratification.

I regret reporting that there are some professing Christians who accept many heresies in one form or another, even renouncing logic and reason. Crackpot religious people like that (among others) are pleasing to angry atheists, who use the fallacy of hasty generalization to present those oddballs as representatives of all Christians (or even all "religious" people). No, we do appreciate logic, because it is a part of God's nature. Despite the claims of many atheopaths, faith and reason are at definitely not at odds with one another.

Elements of heresies can be found in churches, and in liberal theology. Bad philosophies and religious views, including pagan evolutionism, have crept into the church. We need to take a stand for the truth, even if we're unpopular and feel alone, like Elijah.

I'd like to strongly urge you to give a listen to the messages in Phil Johnson's series, "A Survey of Heresies".
It’s important for Christians to have a grasp of heresies that the church has battled over the centuries, because they often return with new clothing, and the unprepared Christian is likely to fall into these old pits. Phil does an excellent job of looking at some of the major heresies that are revisiting the church today: Socinianism, Arianism, Pelagianism, Gnosticism, and Judaizing. This is an excellent 6 part series that will shore up some weak points in the church today.
They are free to hear online or download the MP3s. USA and Canada, you can order the CD free of charge as well.
 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Doubting the Authority of God's Word

Christians are concerned that young people are leaving the church, causing a rise in the "nones" category (people who claim "no religions affiliation"). Atheists are gleefully trumpeting this increase, inaccurately claiming that the survey proves an increase in atheism. (What they conveniently ignore is that yes, some people do renounce the faith, but others are not currently attending a church while still having strong Christian beliefs. In some areas, it is difficult to find a Bible-believing church.) Various studies and surveys have been made in an attempt to determine why young people are shunning church attendance.


Credit: Freeimages / Sufi Nawaz
One of the main reasons Christianity becomes unpalatable is when adherents treat it like a buffet-style religion. "I'll take some mercy, resurrection, verses out of context that make me feel good, social justice, being inclusive, compromise with atheistic science interpretations, those are nice. Don't be giving me none of that eternal punishment, truth of Genesis, Jesus is the only way to salvation, authority of Scripture, and all that!" The very last item in the list is very important: people reject the authority of the Bible that they claim to believe. The Bible is God's written Word, and has a great deal to say about itself. We need to find out what it says and be uncompromising on essential doctrines. Further, we must know what and why we believe, so we can give answers and resources to people, young and old, who ask us.
Two-thirds of young people are walking away from the church by the time they reach college age, and many aren’t coming back. As Already Gone has shown, many of these young people are leaving because they have unanswered questions about the Christian faith that led them to doubt God’s Word.
. . .

Churches have offered many different solutions to combat this growing exodus. One popular so-called solution is to water down the authority of God’s Word. Proponents of this view argue that most people in today’s world don’t believe the Bible, so we shouldn’t treat it as if it were the absolute truth because this will drive people away.
To finish reading, click on "God’s Word: The Authority Over Us".
   

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Dinosaurs, Evolution, and Christianity

Dinosaurs are often used to promote evolutionism, which in turn has caused some professing Christians to jump the fence and run off into compromise — and even outright atheism. Christians need to know what and why they believe, and be able to reason from both Scripture and true science when confronted with what seems to be evidence against their beliefs. One of these apparent contradictions that puts a burr under the saddles of some folks is the idea that dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time, and not millions of years apart.


Dinosaurs and man living at the same time. Not a conflict of facts.
Credit: Pixabay /aitoff
Christians who are grounded in the Word and have some critical thinking skills will strap on the feedbag of serious investigation. After all, we have the internet and a large number of printed material, videos, and more from biblical creation science ministries. Then we can see the assumptions and just-so stories behind evolutionary pronouncements, and learn that creationary accounts correctly handle not only Scripture, but science as well. Sensible Christian parents can commence to telling their children the things they're going to be told from materialists, explain the Bible, and advise them on how to think. (Secularists indoctrinate children, telling them what to think, and only give them a sanitized view of dinosaurs and evolution.) When handled properly, apparent conflicts and contradictions can be resolved. Yes, dinosaurs and humans did live at the same time because they were created together.
Tom Holland, popular author and documentary presenter, wrote an article for the New Statesman entitled, "Why I was wrong about Christianity". While this primarily dealt with his realisation that Western morality derived from Christianity rather than other ancient philosophies, it also provided some very telling information about how dinosaurs influenced his boyhood thinking and subsequent path in life. Speaking further about his article on Premier Christian Radio (UK) Holland described his love of dinosaurs as a child and how they fuelled his imagination, seeing them as exciting, large, glamorous, fierce, and extinct. Certainly, dinosaurs were truly magnificent creatures, and those words resonate with many children (and adults) too.
To read the entire article, click on "“A shadow of disbelief is still thick over me” — A boy, dinosaurs, and Christianity".
 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Most Self-Absorbed Generation?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

It has been said that every generation has a dim view of subsequent generations, but seldom with good reason. Some of this frowning is based on rejection of cultural traditions, changing etiquette, new methods of socialization, and other less consequential areas. More importantly, however, is the way morality has declined, as have critical thinking skills, in younger generations. This is very apparent in the group called the Millennials.

I'd better reign in for a spell and make a couple of points. First, sometimes we just have to say that when discussing a people group, generalities are necessary. Second, while stereotypes exist for a reason, I'm not saying everybody in younger generations (or whatever group I'm talking about) behave, think, believe, or whatever according to their age, ethnic group or demographic. People can't be pigeonholed so neatly, you savvy?


The Millennials are the most narcissistic generation, celebrating sin and denying science
Credit: Pixabay / Gerd Altmann
A recent sermon called "Lovers of Self" inspired this here article. In fact, I listened to it a second time and took notes. Before I give you the link, I'm going to get the bit in my teeth and run off in my own direction.

Now, I don't cotton to putting handles on generations. Beginning in the 20th century, generations were given labels and time periods that are imprecise. The "Lost Generation" refers to people who "came of age" during World War I, followed by the "GI Generation" (also called the "Greatest" by some) because they lived during World War II. This was followed by the "Silent Generation". I'm tagged as a member of the "Baby Boomers", a group name that I loathe. "Generation X" follows, and I reckon they were low on ideas for names by then.

Of course, "Generation Y" (the Millennials) follows, and that's where I'll stop the list because they are the main subject under discussion. Let's backtrack a bit first.

Sexual promiscuity and experimentation (as well as drug abuse) of the 1960s and after were actually rebellion against God's standards of morality. Someone might object and say that they were innocent back then. Not hardly! Also, the 60s were not just peace, love, and grooviness, but rebellion against "squares" and "the establishment" was not just sexual, but included domestic terrorism and other forms of violence. Seeds were sown for later generations.

Sin does not spontaneously begin in a generation. It began with Satan's pride (Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:12-19), and he appealed to Eve's pride (Gen. 3:6) and then Adam, bringing death and sin into the world (Rom. 5:12). There have been no "good" periods in history, but nowadays, sin has been rapidly increasing. Seems to me that the violence, stupidity, and false beliefs from previous generations intensify as time goes on, and bad behavior from the younger ones feed back into older ones to some extent. Especially in secularized cultures.

The Millennials seem to be leading the charge to embrace postmodernism and the destruction of the family unit, and to reject morality — especially biblical morality. While demographics for professing atheists are rather tenuous (including the fact that some "atheists" do not know what atheism means, as some even believe that God exists), it appears that atheism increases among Millennials. (Due to the narcissistic nature of both groups, this is hardly surprising.) This rejection of morality is seen in the celebration of abortion, homosexuality, transsexualality, and other impairments that are both mental and spiritual in nature.

In Paul's second epistle to Timothy, he wrote a list of things of how people would be in the last days. The top of the list in 2 Tim. 3:2 is lovers of self. This is a primary characteristic of Millennials which I believe far surpasses that of previous generations. Millennials are the most secularized generation, and Americans in this age range reflect the intolerance and totalitarianism of Europeans. They support socialism and globalism as well as the moral and spiritual deficiencies already mentioned. It's ironic when people will call someone a "fascist" because they dislike him or her (or a particular group), but have no idea what that word means. (It's also ironic to be called a fascist by a Brit who should know what fascism did to Europe and the rest of the world.) Millennials are primarily leftists as well as deniers of their Creator's authority. They do not tolerate people expressing, or even holding, views that disagree with theirs. Notice the leftist tantrums thrown when elections and votes do not go their way. There are complaints, tears, rioting, burning of dumpsters, irrational complaints to and by the secular press — and an observer can find Millennials in the thick of it.

Hatred of the Christian faith is another characteristic of Millennials, since they are confronted with the reality that they are sinners and God makes the rules, not them. That hurts their pride. I've noticed that this age group especially hates biblical creation science, and will fight red in tooth and claw to believe in the pagan religion of evolutionism, which is, in turn, foundational to the religion of atheism. Darwin requires huge amounts of time, so long-age uniformitarianism is also defended against contrary evidence. Children are born with a belief in the Creator, so evolutionary indoctrination is accelerating. A young earth as well as the Genesis Flood, which was God's judgment, are denied outright as well as ridiculed. Interesting that Scripture seems to warn us about those things as well in 2 Peter 3:3-6. We are also told about the coming Judgment that will be by fire (2 Peter 3:7).

Another aspect that I've seen regarding the Millennials is a profound absence of logical thinking (which seems to be common among secularists). Interesting that Darwin's devotees will call biblical creationists "science deniers" because we reject evolution. That is irrational, and based on the equivocation of science with evolution. No, we use science every day. There are many examples of logical fallacies from the hands at the Darwin Ranch (over yonder by Deception Pass) which I've documented many times elsewhere. Unfortunately — tragically — far too many Christians are unable to engage in critical thinking, and are buffaloed by obstreperous atheists and fundamentalist evolutionists who assert their presuppositions as if they were proven facts, and have a terrible view of knowledge itself. Know what and why you believe, people, and how to present it (1 Peter 3:15). The world does not need uninformed, feckless professing Christians who cannot understand their own faith.

I am sorry to say that lack of critical thinking is not only a characteristic of Millennials, atheists, and leftists. Professing Christians show a lack of logic in many ways. Some will jump on a bandwagon and either love or hate a person because it's trendy, and someone they like told them what to think. Pastor Dour has a sermon based on tradition and opinion, and his followers believe what he says, not checking his source material or the Bible. Professor Liberalwhiskers starts using selective citing to denigrate Scripture, saying the Bible is unreliable, and people believe him because he has his doctorate. Doctor Mystuff claims to be a Christian, but teaches that evolution is true, there was no Genesis Flood, evolution is a fact, and Earth is billions of years old. People believe him because he's a "scientist", and put their Bibles on the shelf while they slide into apostasy, and even side with atheists against those of us who actually believe the Bible. Happy Heretic makes people feel good, and twists Scripture to "prove" his points. People buy his books that have no gospel in them.

Meanwhile, biblical creationists are trying to encourage Christians to learn critical thinking skills and spot logical fallacies, as well as proper apologetic methods. Reasoning abilities apply to being able to biblically discern false teachings, and encourage people to require evidence instead of blindly following the declarations of those in error. My own skeptical nature and developing thinking skills prompted me to ask my Christian school teachers, "Where does it say that? How do you know...?" Made them work, and it helped my own doctrinal discernment. Come on, Christians! We need to think and to believe our Bibles — and put what we read into practice (James 1:22).

Want to know who the real science deniers are? Those who redefine marriage from what God ordained, and also assert that a transgendered "man" can "give birth", and call it a miracle. What ineffable twaddle! Gender "reassignment" is denial of science. Listen up, old son. A vote, court ruling, or anything else cannot change the reality of marriage, and bodily mutilation, hormones, social approval of perversion or anything else cannot make a man into a woman, or vice versa.

God made you. We are created in God's image. Someone can be angry about how they were born, but it's utterly senseless to say that they "feel like" the opposite sex. You were born the way you are, and have no way of knowing what it feels like to be what you are not. Apparently, that is too difficult for Millennials and others who rebel against God to understand.

A whole heap of repentance is in order. People are going to a terrible eternity, and we need to stand for the gospel message — beginning from the first verse of the Bible.

I strongly recommend the sermon that was the impetus behind this article. It's free, and called "Lovers of Self" by Dr. James White, and runs about 45 minutes. You can get that at this Sermon Audio link. You can listen online or download the MP3. If you click the download button, it will ask for you to sign up. Click "maybe later" and it will commence downloading.