Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Would Paul the Apostle Debate Modern Evolutionists?

Speculative questions can be as useful as a hole in a milk bucket, as you can spend a lot of time working at them, but not much get accomplished. You get a "what if" and a "yeah, but" added now and then, and folks get a mite overwrought.

On the other hand, if handled properly, though, thought experiments can be interesting and productive. Uncle Albert Einstein liked them, after all. So, let's see if we can make use of the question about whether or not Paul the Apostle would debate modern evolutionists if he rode into town today.


If the Apostle Paul were here today, we can wonder how he would have dealt with evolutionists. He did that very thing before.
Made at Break Your Own News, background image St. Paul Preaching in Athens, Raphael, 1515
Paul was enthusiastic, to say the least. He would reason, discuss, debate, and so on at the drop of a hat, and he'd drop his own hat if nobody else did. Okay, the last part is an exaggeration, but I don't reckon it's too far afield.

However, how would he deal with evolutionists? Would he try to "out evidence them" with piles of facts, hoping that if he was the best orator with the biggest prairie schooner-full of evidence, people would realize that they need to repent and bow to Jesus? That'll be the day! As I study on it, I believe one of the biggest problems with evidence-only apologetics is that the method not only appeals to the pride of the sinful man, but the pride of the apologist who is doing the presentation. We are supposed to be glorifying God, not ourselves, and Scripture clearly tells us that unbelievers are blinded and under the control of Satan. An even bigger problem is that by doing this, we are actually agreeing with unbelievers that the Bible is not true!

Now, don't be getting vexed. I'm not saying that there is no place for evidence, but it needs to be presented properly. Look at Paul in Acts 17-16-34. He was making his argument to the pagan evolutionary philosophers, just like we do today. Western society has been hijacked by materialistic philosophies, postmodernism, atheism, and evolutionism. How are we supposed to follow 1 Peter 3:15, "...ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you"? We sure as shootin' can't be an expert in every philosophy or every science view that is in vogue.

We have to believe the Bible, first and foremost. We presuppose that Scripture is true, and then we can present evidence in the proper framework that honors God. Jesus, Peter, Paul, and the others did the same thing. Also, the Bible is self-affirming.
If we jump back to Paul and consider his missionary journeys, sermons, and epistles, he saw a great number of people and surely encountered a great number of beliefs. 

. . .
In the greater context, we find Paul forced into a debate with Epicureans and Stoics. In fact, because they disagreed with him, they take him to Mars Hill (the Areopagus) to defend his views in front of the whole crowd of philosophers. So Paul masterfully begins his defense, which has gone on to become the basis for creation evangelism.
I'd take it mighty kindly if you'd read the rest of this article. To do this, click on "If Paul Were Around Today, Would He Argue Against Evolutionists?" Also, you may want to hear this short podcast of Scripture on Creation, "Creation's Role in the Gospel".

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Genesis as History: Short Form

There are times when we need to ride up to yonder hill and get the view from up there. That is, a broad view or big picture. Biblical creationists maintain (with a little help from Occam) that the basic approach is true: Genesis is written as history. Some owlhoots read all sorts of things into the text in order to work in long ages and evolution.


People wonder if Genesis is meant to be taken as history. Yes, it is.
Creation of the World III, Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, 1906
I have long wondered why some professing Christians insist on compromising with atheistic, ever-changing whims of man-made science philosophies. It is also an inconsistent message to say that we believe the Bible is true from cover to cover except the early chapters of Genesis. Those, we have to interpret according to man's wisdom. Oh, please! So when do we start believing the Bible, and when do we stop? Can we trust John 3:16-17, or is that just allegory? By the way, even if the first few verses of Genesis were allegorical, that does not mean they are untrue and that there was no history in them, you savvy?

Some go as far as to say that Jesus, Peter, Paul, and others in the Bible were unaware of science. Reign in there, pilgrim! First, Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17), so that is an indirect attack on God's integrity by calling him a deceiver. Second, Jesus is God and created all things (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16). This is essentially saying that Jesus is not God — you are an antichrist (1 John 4:2-3, 2 John 1:7). If you want to deny six-day recent creation, go ahead. But do not attack God in your efforts to compromise with eisegesis and bad hermeneutics.


We have many reasons to believe that Genesis is written as history. We can examine how scientific evidence supports this (you may want to see my review of the video Is Genesis History?). Also, we can demonstrate in great deal how the days of creation were meant to be taken as literal days. But let's get that view from the hill, shall we?

The early chapters of Genesis contradict ancient history as portrayed in public schools, television, and movies. For example, our culture insists humans evolved from ape-like creatures, while Genesis says we were made in God’s image. Culture says the earth formed over eons, but Genesis 1 says it took God just six days. Is it possible to believe both the Bible and evolution’s history? Many try. Some say early Genesis doesn’t convey real events and that God never intended for us to take Genesis 1–11 as history but as poetry. How well does this idea work?
To read the rest of this short article, click on "Is Genesis 1–11 Actual History?"



Saturday, August 4, 2018

Non-Human Persons, Pro-Life, and Evolutionary Thinking

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

One aspect of the extreme environmentalist movement is to give "rights" to animals, even going so far as to call them non-human persons. Naturally, vegans also saddle up to ride for this brand, which is primarily based on evolutionary thinking. Professing Christians are also joining in. Christians and creationists need to think logically, and not fall for emotional manipulation tactics, nor get their values from worldly thinking.


The idea of non-human persons is a ludicrous view based on evolution.
Ham the chimpanzee in the biopack couch for the MR-2 suborbital test flight
Credit: NASA (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
Be wary of word games, because not only do extremists use loaded, emotion-provoking terminology, but they redefine words. It is interesting that just before I wrote this, I saw a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called "Lonely Among Us". Commander Riker told someone, "We no longer enslave animals for food purposes". Enslave? A slave is a person, not an animal. We are also told that killing animals is "murder". When trophy hunter Melissa Bachman showed off her kills, she was castigated for murdering animals, and ironically, some people wanted her to be murdered! 

Then there's the word person. The idea of a non-human person is ridiculous. It amazes me that some people wanted legal rights for an orangutan, and took the case to court. Also, some want rights for chimpanzees. I guess the next time we send one up in a rocket, we need to have the critter sign off on it to make the whole thing legal.



There are people who use emotional manipulation and lack of thinking by going to the extreme, "You don't care that animals are tortured!" Did anyone say that? Sorry, not interested in defending something I, or we, did not say, and do not believe. We were created by God, in his image. Animals were created as well, so we do not share an evolutionary lineage. For that matter, we should be able to kill all we want to be consistent with evolutionary views, you savvy? But knowledgeable Christians do not act that way, because God made us stewards of his creation, and we are not to abuse it. These facts are found in Genesis, but liberal theology does not recognize it as legitimate or even important.

Some owlhoots at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, a part of the Southern Baptist Convention, put up a video with a Roman Catholic comparing animal rights with the pro-life position, and was scornful that pro-lifers were not involved in animal rights. (That's just as sideways as the tinhorns that claim my political views negate everything I write and post about creation science). It's called being focused, and not chasing rabbit trails. Do enough of that, and you lose sight of your calling, old son.

This article was inspired by a discussion on The Dividing Line by Dr. James White. Since I prefer to avoid embedding longer videos here, I'll link to the appropriate part, which takes about 24 minutes of the 1 hr. 41 min. episode. While the whole thing is interesting, I know y'all are busy, so this link should take you to the 54 min. 34 sec. mark. Please give it a look. If you want the MP3, Sermon Audio has it at this link. Interesting that what he says parallels several things that I have said, but he has quite a bit more to say on the subject that I should let you hear him cover.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Roses for Afghanistan?

Poppies are nice to look at, but the plants have chemical properties that can be lethal. Opioids are processed from them, and some are for good purposes. Unfortunately, the opium poppies in Afghanistan are mainly used for heroin. Follow the money: people who foolishly use heroin are ultimately funding the sidewinders of Islamic terrorism! With any drug trafficking comes violence and criminal activity. What's a poor Afghani farmer to do who wants to put food on the table? Personally, I'd find something else to do that doesn't involve the deaths of many people.

Damask roses are a means for farmers to make a living better in many ways than from poppies.
Damask rose image credit: Wikimedia Commons / Kurt Stüber (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Enter the Damask rose. It is native to Afghanistan, appeals to the eye and nose, is more profitable than poppies, a renewable resource, is a source of employment, and more. God has given us all sorts of things for us to use. We can use them through biomimetics, or use them directly — if we know how. Our creator gave us minds and expects us to use them. Part of this is done through finding ways to observe, use, or develop applications from or inspired by what he has given us.
Need some good news for a change? Some Afghan farmers are finding better profits growing roses than growing opium poppies.
. . . 
Sales of opium poppies create many well-known evil effects downstream. Drug trafficking, though illegal in the country, engenders gang violence and international conflicts, and fuels much of the economic ties of violent countries to other violent countries. . .
But what if the poor farmers could be convinced to grow something good instead? Something beautiful, useful, and in high demand? What if they could make a better living growing roses?
The farmers who are trying it, according to the article, are finding these benefits in switching:
You can read the rest by clicking on "Will Everything Come Up Roses in War-torn Afghanistan?"


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

External Pressures and Internal Changes

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Over at Piltdown Superman, I've been posting material from ICR on engineered adaptability and the continuous environmental tracking model. Essentially, Charles Darwin supposed that organisms change because of external "pressures", a concept that his followers cling to even today. They don't cotton to the notion that critters adapt (without evolving into something else altogether) through internal mechanisms (see "Targeted Changes and Engineered Adaptability" if you want to see an example). The Master Engineer built in the ability to make changes.

Using biological concepts as illustrations, external pressures and engineered adaptability are contrasted in the Christian life.
Modified from a Library of Congress photo (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
Let's take this biological concept into another area — and flip it.

People have been blaming others for their actions for a very long time. Go back to Eden, and see that Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed Eve and God ("the woman you gave me"). This happens all the time. Just pay attention for how many times you come across someone using a phrase similar to, "It's not my fault!", or how many times you do it yourself.
  • The boss cheated me out of my lunch break, so I'll cheat back the time
  • I had to lie so I wouldn't look bad to my peers, then I had to lie some more
  • My husband isn't man enough, so I had sex with another guy
  • I hate her because she said something I don't like
  • Christians are big meanies, it's their fault that I'm an atheist now
See that? We have external pressures and we react to them. Unlike the creation science principle of engineered adaptability, external influences are not in conflict with our inner nature, and there is no need to change. (If anything, the more we give in to our urges, the worse we get.) Something needs to change, old son, before we drift into full postmodernism.

The root of the problem is sin. If we fess up and agree with God that we are sinners, and are giving in instead of living for Jesus Christ, by whom and for whom we were created. If you belong to God, you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. People who truly believe the Bible, have repented, have Jesus as the primary place in our lives, and seek to glorify  him have the Spirit's engineered adaptability. We can take responsibility for our actions, stop blaming other people and external pressures, and let God work inside us so we are not "under the circumstances".

I have a couple of sermons by Voddie Baucham for you and they're free, as usual. Mayhaps I'm asking a lot, but this is important. Note that each one is a direct link to the MP3, and I'd be much obliged if you'd give them serious attention. First, "Errors In The Modern Day Gospel". Second, and for me this one supplemented the first, "The Supremacy of Christ in Truth in a Postmodern World", which actually begins at the 3 min. 45 sec. mark. Let's get serious with God, and let him work his engineering inside us so we're not adapting to sinful influences.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Mystery of the Trinity

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Bible Affirms the Genesis Flood

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

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

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

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


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Suicide and your Creator

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Best Evidence for the Young Earth?

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

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

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

"But Cowboy Bob, the world looks old!"

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

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



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Inconsistent Message of Compromise

Edited about 19 hours after publishing.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 17, 2018

That Awful Question about Children who Died

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

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


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

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

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

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




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

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


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Creation and Other Miracles

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


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

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

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

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




Thursday, May 31, 2018

From the Beginning of Time

A common sentiment in love songs and starry-eyed romantics is a promise to love someone "until the end of time". They are unknowingly admitting that time itself has a beginning. There is a related idea that God was bored, sitting there doing nothing since eternity past, so he decided it was time to commence doing some creating. This view erroneously assumes that time always existed. It is fair to ask where time itself came from.


The Bible gives insights on where time came from, when it began, and when it will end.
Credit: Unsplash / Tim Aterbury
It causes some amazement when people stop to consider that Genesis 1:1 describes time, matter, and space in one verse. All three are linked. Some secularists know this, and manufacture their own atheistic creation mythologies involving the Big Bang, the "inflation theory", evolution, and so forth. Only the biblical worldview makes sense of reality.

Further, God is outside the limits of those things he created, but he steps in when he sees fit. This is difficult for us to contemplate, because were are the created being and are constrained to space, time, and matter. The beginning of time is difficult to consider, and to strain the mind further, consider that time will also come to an end.
Questions about time often arise in discussions of Genesis and Earth’s age. Could billions of years have elapsed before the “in the beginning” of Genesis 1? When did time start? Science and Scripture suggest some answers.

As one of the seven fundamental quantities of physics, time is essential to our existence. It sets “the stage on which reality plays out.” It permits possibilities to become real and allows causes to produce effects. Over time, we observe matter change state or form. People grow, learn, and get to know one another and God. Because of time, we humans get the privilege of experiencing the present, remembering the past, and hoping for the future.
It's time for you to finish reading this article by clicking on "Time and Creation".



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ulrich Zwingli, Neglected Reformer

I suppose you thought that everyone was finished with material about the Reformation. We had the 500th anniversary of what is considered the beginning of the whole thing, where Martin Luther put out his 95 theses on what was the social media of his day. 

Huldrych (Ulrich) Zwingli has been called the "Third Man of the Reformation"
Huldrych (Ulrich) Zwingli by Hans Asper, 1531 / Wikimedia Commons
The Reformation continued developing and theology was being refined. Newer Reformers appeared on the scene, and not all were in agreement. Sincere, thinking people will disagree (just like not all biblical creationists are in lockstep). Ulrich Zwingly is often tacked on as an afterthought to Christian history, which is unfortunate. He upheld the authority of Scripture and was in trouble for disputing Papal decrees. This was not just a dispute over religion, but was a threat to governmental authority at the time. One reason I delayed posting this was to make an emphasis about how Zwingly is neglected.
[S]trangely, one of the leaders of the Reformation, often called the “Third Man of the Reformation” (behind Luther and Calvin) is often omitted. That man was Ulrich Zwingli (sometimes spelled Huldrych Zwingli). Due to his death early in the Reformation, he seems to have been largely forgotten or relegated to passing mentions in books covering this time period. This is unfortunate, as Zwingli had (and still has) a profound effect on Protestant theology. The Reformers’ aim was to point people back to the authority of Scripture, to encourage the translation of the Bible in the common tongue of the people, and to reject any tradition or man-made teaching that contradicted Scripture. Zwingli was passionate for these principles.
To read the article in its entirety, click on "The Forgotten Reformer—Ulrich Zwingli".
 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

You Cannot Be Neutral

Neutral is useful for machines and a color palette, but for people, not so much.

You can be neutral about a variety of topics, but that kind of neutrality is often hitched up in the team with apathy and ignorance, among others. Will Manchester United win the next FA Cup? I neither know nor care, so I'm neutral. Do you have an opinion on my picture of the Catskill Mountains near the Ashokan Reservoir, or are you neutral. I'm neutral about your opinion.



When emotions are involved, it becomes more difficult to remain neutral. From there, we have matters of involving spirituality, origins, and so forth. Whether atheists and evolutionists believe it or not, they have faith-based positions just like Christians have.

When discussing God, the Bible, creation, evolution, and other things, unbelievers often say that they want to "leave God out of it" and to discuss on "neutral ground". Sorry, pilgrim, you cannot be neutral. As the late Dr. Greg Bahnsen said about people who want you to be neutral, "They're not, and you shouldn't be". This is not about evidence, as you can "one up" each other until the cows come home. Instead, it is a spiritual matter — something that secularists deny. Why do you think secularists defend evolution so much? It is their creation myth, which is foundational for atheism.

The neutral ground plea is actually getting you to admit that the Bible is not true about the heart of sinful man. We presuppose the Bible is true, and they want us to drop our presuppositions and deny Scripture, instead standing on their naturalistic presuppositions. Someone may demand that we "prove that God exists using evidential or scientific means", but God has already said that they know he exists (Romans 1:18-23). Also, to attempt such a proof, that the Creator, who is spirit and is not confined to space and time that he created, can be materially proven is a logical fallacy called the category error. Not going to do that, old son.

The unbeliever has a worldview through which he or she filters evidence, just like we have. But when you're talking, they are often telling themselves (or maybe telling you as well), "That's not true!" or even calling you a liar because they do not like what you say. They cannot logically refute it, and their worldview is threatened, so they get on the prod. Be firm, and do not compromise on your stand. An honest enquirer is more likely to respect you and be open to Scripture. For a more complete explanation, here is an article that makes some excellent points.
Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Matt. 12:30).

Those seeking to secularise society often claim that their position is the most reasonable because it is the only one that’s neutral—the only one that’s free from influences arising from religious beliefs. Prominent among these is Jonathan Miller, who rejects the label, ‘atheist’, describing himself simply as a ‘disbeliever’. This, of course, implies that he has no belief. How ridiculous! As someone who doesn’t believe in a creator, he must believe the alternative—that life arose by only natural processes. As someone who does not believe in God, he must believe that there is nobody to whom we are morally accountable. Presumably, as an ardent Darwinist, he also believes along with Richard Dawkins that we are no more than ‘survival mechanisms—robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.
To finish reading, click on "The myth of neutrality". For something that is not easy but very enlightening, a 49-minute video of Dr. Greg Bahnsen, "The myth of neutrality". (I used a YouTube-to-MP3 online converting service so I could listen to it instead of watching.)



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Apostasy, Deconversion, and Atheism

There are people who have actively chosen to leave the Christian faith, using a pretense of intellectual and even moral superiority to those who do believe. Some professing atheists claim that they are "former Christians". These riders of the owlhoot trail exhibit little or no accurate knowledge of the Christian faith, however, and often attack Bible believers, even seeking to destroy us in the public square. Especially biblical creationists, as they need evolution in atheism.


Atheists, compromising Christians, and others rebel against God
Credit: Pixabay / Edward Lich
Although atheism is a blatant rebellion against God, another form of rebellion is to "deconvert" from orthodox beliefs. Michael Gungor used to believe in creation, then went on to theistic evolution, and went on record rejecting the inerrancy of the Bible. Singer Don Francisco came out rejecting inerrancy as well. Some pastors and teachers who held to the Bible's teaching on homosexuality jumped on the compromise wagon. Karl Giberson does not exhibit much knowledge of Christianity, and prefers to promote his religion of evolutionism. Andy Stanley is rebelling against Scripture, and seems to be getting worse. What I have seen in many cases is when people rebel against God, their compromises lead them to further apostasy.

Whether it is an atheist, theistic evolutionist, theological compromiser, or something else, it is frequent that these people who jumped the fence to run to their false freedom try to convert others to their way of thinking. Atheists flat-out seek to destroy the faith of Christians, and the others are more subtle, trying to "reason" with others to join them in their slide toward apostasy. Note that quite often, any of these types will play the victim card.

One that made news early in 2018 is Jen Hatmaker. She claims the moral high ground, and shreds Scripture while trying to gain converts to her viewpoint. Thanks to The Domain for Truth for the link to this article.
When it comes to reaching the “lost,” one of the most tried-and-true methods is the personal conversion story. Whether done privately or publicly, it’s compelling to hear about how someone came to believe in the truth of the gospel and the Bible. Such testimonies can personalize and soften the message so it is more easily understood and received.

But when it comes to reaching the “found,” there’s an equally effective method—and this is a method to which the evangelical church has paid little attention. It’s what we might call the de-conversion story.

De-conversion stories are designed not to reach non-Christians but to reach Christians. And their purpose is to convince them that their outdated, naïve beliefs are no longer worthy of their assent. A person simply shares his testimony of how he once thought like you did but have now seen the light.
To read the rest of this very interesting and informative article, click on "Jen Hatmaker and the Power of De-Conversion Stories". For a related article, you may also appreciate "Pain, Disappointment, and Apostasy".