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".



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Logic and the Bible 2: Unbliblical Worldviews

In "Logic and the Bible", we saw that the three main laws of logic are impossible without God. That does not mean a requirement to believe in God's existence, or to be a believer in Jesus Christ is necessary for logic to work. However, it works because God exists, whether someone believes or not. Now we can saddle up for another part of our journey.


people will try to generate excuses to get around the necessity of God for logic to exist
Credit: Freeimages / Drew Pendleton
It seems like we should be able to file this under "Completed", but some folks will not be satisfied with what Dr. Lisle said before. Just as we see Darwin's disciples use rescuing devices even after deep time and evolution are shown to be insufficient, people try to get around the necessity of God for logic to exist.

We cannot assume laws of logic exist because of our experiences, because we may have faulty memories, be deluded, and the irrational assumption that logic will be the same in the future. There is also the claim that logic is a convention; that is, the laws exist because we agree on them. That doesn't work, because other people may come up with their own logic systems and expect them to be true, but that cannot happen. Someone else may say that laws of logic are simply the way the universe is, and there is no need for God the Creator. Since the universe keeps changing, there is no reason to expect the laws of logic to remain constant. 
We saw previously that the Bible can make sense of laws of logic and their properties, and that the three laws of thought are rooted in the nature of God.  However, non-biblical worldviews cannot make sense of laws of logic or their properties.  As one example, consider materialism: the belief that all things that exist are physical and extended in space.  It is quite obvious that materialism cannot make sense of abstract laws because abstract things are non-material, and the materialist does not allow for the existence of the non-material.  But really, any worldview that denies the Bible cannot make sense of the existence and properties of laws of logic.  Why should there be abstract laws that govern all correct reasoning?  Who decides what these laws are?  Why would such laws be universal, and invariant?  Even if a person were to presume that laws of logic existed and had all these properties, how could that person possibly know that laws of logic are such?  What are some possible ways in which the non-Christian might attempt to account for laws of logic?

My remarks are just an overview, but you can read Dr. Jason Lisle's more detailed explanations about those points and more. I'd be much obliged if you'd read the rest by clicking on "The Failure of Unbiblical Worldviews to Justify Laws of Logic".

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Deity of Jesus

Some people try to do away with the extremely important doctrine of the deity of Jesus. Some will give a simplistic reaction along the lines of, "He never said 'I am God'", somehow demanding that exact phrase in the Bible, and ignoring all the other evidence that Jesus did indeed claim deity. Other owlhoots such as cultists, atheists, and liberal theologians sidestep the truth for their own purposes.


Scripture clearly indicates that Jesus is God
Credit: Unsplash / Jacob Meyer
The idea that Jesus is not who he claims is an ancient heresy called Arianism, which was made by Arius in the 4th century. It has been around in various forms for all these years, and the most common example is evinced in the Jehovah's Witnesses. 

As C.S. Lewis pointed out in Mere Christianity, it is nonsensical to claim that Jesus was a "great moral teacher" while claiming to be God. Indeed, Christianity itself is worthless if Jesus is not God in the flesh, our Creator, who died for our sins and then bodily rose from the dead.

I have three items to present. The first is a rather lengthy article that gives conclusive evidence from the New Testament that Jesus is God. Second, a sermon by Phil Johnson that I found fascinating (and hope you will agree) that the Bible establishes the deity of Christ. He also makes some other historical references. Third, links to three sermons on the first chapter of John by Dr. Albert Mohler.  I hope you will bookmark or otherwise save this link or the ones below for future reference.

Here is the article:
I’ve heard many people, especially Jehovah’s Witnesses, say that the Bible does not teach that Jesus is God. In response to that claim, I took a deep dive into Scripture, particularly the New Testament, to see how much evidence there really is for the deity of Jesus. What I found was astounding. There is overwhelming evidence that the NT authors intended to present Jesus as God come in the flesh. In this “article,” I’m providing a resource for you to use next time someone challenges you on this issue.
I go through the books or sections of the New Testament noting different times that Jesus is revealed as God. Though this is not an exhaustive list, I have identified more than 120 verses or passages that express the divinity of Jesus in some way. Some of the verses taken by themselves are not absolute proof of his divinity, but when viewed along with the many other passages on the subject, they strengthen the case for the deity of Christ.
Jesus is either claiming to be God, accepting or demanding worship, claiming to possess attributes that only God can possess, claiming to do things that only God can do (and then doing miracles to prove it), or others are making these claims about Jesus.
To read the rest (get comfy, it's long but worth it), click on "The Divinity of Jesus Revealed in the New Testament".

Next is the sermon that I mentioned. It is called "Jesus is YHWH", and is free to listen online or you can download the MP3.

Finally, three sermons by Dr. Mohler, also free to listen online or download the MP3s:
John 1:1-3, then  John 1:3, finally John 1:4-8.



Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Astral Beings and Aliens

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Years ago, I had a fascination for occult-related things. Even though I was a Christian (albeit with a weak theological foundation), I studied and thought I could do a "white magic" thing and be a force for good, or something like that. I never had an out-of-the-body experience, saw a ghost, encountered a UFO, or anything like that. God delivered me from occult involvement, but my studies from a Christian worldview have been beneficial at times.

This is a very broad topic, and scores of books have been written on it. I have to confine myself to a few comments on some of these subjects.


There is a startling parallel between demonic oppression in astral projection and with alien abductions
Credit: Pixabay / Karen Smits
Every once in a while, I have some odd coincidences happen in my life. Sometimes I think God is trying to get my attention. In this case, I had recently written and posted my review of the movie Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a Deception. The movie makes a very strong case (using science, theology, and more) that personal encounters with and supposed abductions by alleged aliens from outer space are actually demonic interactions. A day or two later, I was scanning the Page at Why?Outreach and saw an article about what is often called astral projection. What startled me is that this 2015 article mentioned several things supporting the case that aliens are demonic beings. I had to saddle up and ride. Well, type, actually.

My perspective includes personal studies as well as material from Alien Intrusion. I will be focusing on the article "Astral Projection Unveiled: The Demonic 'Astral' Realm".

If you study on it, stories of hauntings, alien abductions, other occult experiences seem to happen when people are in an altered state of consciousness. That is, falling asleep, drowsy, partially awake, under the influence of drugs, and so on. Indeed, the UFO/alien discussions include the idea that aliens are transdimensional — they go to and from another dimension. That seems plausible, and is consistent with demonic activity as well. It seems that the boundaries between the physical world and the spiritual get blurred at these times.

Astral projection is common in New Age and other occult circles, and there is a great deal more to it now than when I was doing my studies. The way I understood it, out-of-the-body experiences were usually things that "just happened", but some folks learned how to control it. Nowadays, there is a great deal of mythology surrounding the practice, including uninformed opinions and conforming to a group.

We have to be mighty careful when listening to testimonies of people who have had experiences, especially when they are posted online. Investigators have contact with people, and ask about alcohol, substance abuse, history of mental illness, and so on before proceeding. Online, you can have a range or reports that include sincere narratives and people under demonic influence. Kind of hard to tell who is on the level. Also, people may be sincere but very wrong in their interpretations. Don't get me wrong, many people do have experiences with demons, but they may have been mostly formed in their minds. Not imagined, not faked, but placed there.

Supposedly, you can travel with your spirit guide, feel love, build temples, participate in occult practices, make "friends", and more. Sometimes, something comes back with you and affects your waking world. This would be more likely when someone has been tampering in the occult.

One thing in common between "alien abductions" and some aspects of astral projection is paralysis. This may be sleep paralysis, but in detailed examinations, this particular paralysis is indeed of demonic origin. 

Another aspect of astral encounters is sexual. People have reported being raped and having other bad experiences in psychic realms (and there is a sexual aspect in so-called alien abductions as well). This is compatible with the idea that the Nephilim of Genesis 6:1-4 were demons who were having sex with human women. (I will not enter that debate here, there are several schools of thought on it.) Also, Satan and his demons hate God and God's people. Sex is a gift of God, so it makes an odd kind of sense that they would corrupt and pervert it.

Something else that alien encounters and demonic astral projection experiences have in common is that they stop at the name of Jesus. The article linked above makes it sound like a token to make such activity stop, but I disagree with the way this is handled. Calling on the name of Jesus may have some effect, but can backfire. Acts 19:13-17 tells of some people trying to drive out demons in the name of Jesus, but they were not "walk the walk" Christians, and had a very bad experience. The authority of the believer does not have much power when attempted by people who only have an intellectual assent to the gospel.

I had a problem with the way demonic possession was presented as a side effect to astral projection. Possession is generally not something that "just happens", whether doing astral travel or something else. It begins when a kind of door is opened, and Satanic influence is being cultivated through occult activity and rebelling against the Word of God. (An individual's family history, such as occultists in someone's ancestry, can have an impact as well.) From what I've learned, demonic oppression and influence are more common than possession, and oppression seems to precede possession.

I can tell you about some people who claim to be former Christians, then grew in hatred of God, blasphemed by calling God a liar, attacked God's Word and his people, and grew increasingly angry and bitter. Some of these are indeed demoniacs. Galatians 5:19-20 tells us that various forms of rebellion, including idolatry and witchcraft, are closely related.

People have had encounters with demons in various guises, there is no real question about it. Like with alien experiences, many people keep this to themselves and need to be delivered from them. I hope that people who need help will repent of all occult involvement and turn to saving faith and commitment in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, this is a very serious issue.

Also, I recommend reading this article that appeared the day I began writing this. (Here we go, another odd coincidence on this subject.)
After attending a screening of our movie Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a Deception, David H. wrote in with the following question.
Just a question: I saw your movie tonight, and was interested by its explanation for many alien/UFO phenomena as being spirit-based. But I don't understand how UFOs: (1.) can be tracked on radar and (2.) similarly recorded on film and in photographs while still being spirit-based? And some of them are recorded as performing very complex high-speed maneuvers. How can this be possible for spirit-based entities?
Gary Bates, CMI-US CEO and writer/producer of Alien Intrusion, responds:
To read the response, click on "Can spirits manifest physically?"


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Logic and the Bible

Some people are intimidated by discussions about logic, there is no need for that. We use it all the time. Obviously, most of us do not get formal with it, we just reason our way through problems, play games, and so forth. Although logic discussions can use notations similar to those of algebra, the letters are shorthand and make sense.


Jason Lisle discusses three basic laws and how logic is biblically based.
Credit: Freeimages / Aleksandra P.
There are some things about logic that may seem surprising. Laws of logic are intangible, like numbers. If you write "5" or "law of identity" on a board, then erase it, the number or law does not cease to exist. Logic is actually a reflection of the mind of God, and we use it because we are created in his image. Without God, then logic, numbers, and science would be impossible! Dr. Jason Lisle explains the three main laws of logic and their biblical basis in this article.
Laws of logic are the rules of correct reasoning.  They reflect the way God thinks and the way we must think if we are to think correctly.  Laws of logic are also called “rules of inference.”  Correct reasoning can never violate a law of logic.  There are many laws of logic.  But three are considered the most basic or primary.  Let’s examine these three and how they stem from the mind of God.
I'd be much obliged if you'd read the rest. Just click on "The Biblical Basis for the Laws of Logic". Also, you may want to look at a previous post on how using logic is a moral obligation, "Logical Thinking and the Christian". If you have a notion to read up on some logical fallacies (atheists and evolutionists use these to manipulate Christians and creationists quite frequently), click on "Logic Lessons". Finally, if you want to get going on the follow-up article on logic and unchristian worldviews, click on "Logic and the Bible 2: Unbliblical Worldviews".



Thursday, April 12, 2018

Is Christianity Fading Away?

There was a time when church-going had the appearance of being respectable, even if people were insincere about their beliefs. Today, there is open contempt for Christianity, and atheists claim that their numbers are increasing. However, that is a bit difficult to tell, because sometimes not even atheists know the meaning of atheism, such as "Christian atheists". Those folks seem a mite confused, don't you think?

In addition, hardcore atheists like to claim that the increase of "nones" in surveys mean that they are "winning". Not hardly! "None" means not affiliated with a particular religion or denomination; it does not mean a rejection of God. I'll let you in on something: I left the church I was attending because of what I considered their "stealth creationism" — they believed in it, but didn't want to be "labeled". This area has apostate churches or strange gatherings, so this child is, by some measure, a "none"!

Christianity is growing despite the efforts of atheist regimes, Mohammedans, and secularists. We have received persecution, and it is on the increase. Persecution has happened from the beginning. In the United States, we've had it comparatively soft, and people have become lackadaisical in their theology.

Bible believing churches are getting stronger
Credit: Unsplash / Ben White
Yes, we see many church buildings in Western countries repurposed or outright closed. People are leaving mainstream liberal denominations. Why? One big reason is that young people are not given much reason to stay. That is, they are not being given answers to their questions, and their parents are not exactly being inspiring in their professions of faith. Do they talk the talk, or walk the talk? The truth is, Christianity in these here United States is still alive. Churches that practice what they preach, and teach that the Bible is true from the beginning, are thriving. We can grow, and grow stronger.
We’re used to hearing that religion is dying in America, secularization is inevitable, and that young people are leaving the faith in droves. But a new Harvard research study has great news for Christians. Previous research typically focuses on the massive increase in the proportion of people who claim atheism or ‘no religion’. But these reports generally don’t address where the decline is happening. This new research demonstrates that the decline is in ‘moderate’ religion. So it turns out that ‘religion’ isn’t dying, but the differentiation between believer and unbeliever is becoming clearer.
To read the rest, click on "Christianity in America is not dying!"



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Those Specialized Christian Words

"Excuse me, Cowboy Bob, can you spare a moment?"

"Sure."

"I am concerned with your conduct a few moments ago. It was not consistent with some biblical principles."

"Thanks for bringing that to my attention. My sanctification in that area is rather lacking. Please pray for me."

Christians have their own specialized lingo
Credit: Pixabay / StockSnap
People have their own specialized words and terms in various places, and sometimes they seem to be speaking a somewhat different language. A mechanic can tell you what needed to be repaired on your vehicle, the sergeant gives instructions to the troops, my wife tells me what went on in her workplace, the cowboys on the ranch discuss work that is being done, Christians can write and talk to each other, and so on. Some use "regular" words that have entirely different meanings in various contexts, some words are unique for the people involved. Most of us, even as individuals, have lingo that needs to be explained to other folks.

For Christians, the basics of salvation are simple, but it is a lifetime journey to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). The Holy Spirit is leading, teaching, and convicting us, and the Word is absolutely essential for our growth. With that comes specialized vocabulary. 

Even definitions are important. For example, if someone says, "I believe that God is the Creator", he may not mean six-day recent creation, but instead could believe in the false teaching of "evolutionary creation". Define creation. Also, if you ask a Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Roman Catholic, and a Southern Baptist if Christ is the only way to salvation, they would all probably answer in the affirmative. Define Christ, salvation, only way. In both examples, clear definitions can result in greatly different responses.

It is interesting to see remarks from "former Christians" (even some who have claimed to be pastors) who display no understanding of the Bible or Christian terminology. "I went to a church for years..." If that person really went, I wonder if he or she paid any attention, or if the pastor believed the Bible in the first place.

So, Bible believers do their studying and have fellowship, but have to be careful of how they address spiritual things to unbelievers. For one thing, they are unable to understand the deeper things (1 Cor. 2:14, 2 Cor. 4:4, John 8:44). However, we are commanded to spread the gospel (Matt. 28:18-20) and be ready to talk to someone who asks us (1 Peter 3:15). When that happens, we must avoid as much Christianese as we can so we don't confuse people.


via GIPHY

Many professing Christians are nominal, giving intellectual assent to the principles of the faith, but not having an adequate understanding of them. Dr. Jason Lisle has a very helpful article for all of us.
The Christian says, “You need to repent and trust in Jesus for salvation.”  The unbeliever responds, “Salvation from what?  Why would I need Jesus?”  The Christian then says, “You need to be born again to be saved from your sins.  Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.  His blood will atone for sin, and you can be justified and sanctified before God.  The alternative is an eternity in hell.”  The unbeliever responds, “I am basically a good person.  I don’t think a loving God would send me to hell.”

Perhaps you have heard, or even been a part of, such a conversation.  Christians have a tendency to use certain “religious” terms that are either directly from Scripture, or which are used as shorthand to describe a biblical principle (such as the ‘Trinity’).  There is nothing wrong with this.  However, it can be a problem in communicating with unbelievers.  Christians tend to assume that unbelievers understand such terms, but that is often not the case.  Even Christians sometimes misunderstand certain biblical terms.  We here examine, define, and explain some of the more important biblical terms that are helpful in understanding the Gospel.   We will include relevant verses that shed light on these terms.
I hope you'll read the rest of the article, and possibly save the link for later reference. To do either or both, click on "The Problem of Religious Language".

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Laminin Cross and Apologetics Gimmicks

The best-known symbol of Christianity, the cross, is used in merchandising, jewelry, decoration, and more. This is sometimes done by unbelievers, or people who give an intellectual assent to the truth of the gospel but do not have serious convictions about its meaning.


The resemblance of laminin to a cross is not a reason to use it for Christian apologetics
Credit: Open-i / NIH
(Usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
One of those misused things is the protein called laminin. In some instances, it has a resemblance to a cross.  Some folks got all het up about it and used it as evidence for God's existence and the truth of the gospel. Some may reckon it as evidence for creation (take that, evolutionists!), but it is nothing of the kind. This is not apologetics, old son. We need to cowboy up and do some serious work for the presentation and defense of the gospel and biblical creation.


via GIPHY

On a related note, we had someone at The Question Evolution Project who was enthusiastic about supporting Genesis 6 and insisting that hoax pictures of "giants" were real. (Genesis 6 does not actually say giants, but they are mentioned elsewhere.) He seemed to think we were doubting God's Word, but he was using pictures that were not real and a misunderstanding of the Genesis Flood to support the Bible! 

Let's face it, too many professing Christians and creationists are more interested in captioned pictures, out-of-context Bible verses, and trite sayings than knowing what and why they believe. Some stories are cute, but are nothing more than mind candy: no nutrition, and can be harmful. We can celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross, his death, burial, bodily Resurrection, and defeat of death without degrading the message with gimmickry. We have powerful evidence, and the truth is on our side.

So, just what is this laminin thing, anyway?
Laminin, interestingly, is in the shape of a cross . . . In fact, a quick Internet search turns up multiple websites selling T-shirts, mousepads, stickers, coffee mugs, and a host of other items with a picture of the laminin protein. These items usually include a catch phrase such as “Great designers always leave their mark” or “Fingerprint of The Creator.” As a molecular biologist, I can certainly appreciate excitement concerning a protein (which really shows what a science nerd I am!), but a protein as an icon of Christianity?
To read the article in its entirety, click on "Laminin and the Cross".



Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Enoch, the Bible, and the Flat Earth

You have probably heard the story that Christopher Columbus defied the consensus of the flat earth by taking his voyage, but that is a myth. The truth is, most people believed the world was spherical, even from ancient times. Sure, there have always been a few folks who believed the world was flat, but for some reason, there has been an increase in flat earth proponents in recent years.


Some professing Christians believe in a flat earth, taking Bible verses out of context and using the false Book of Enoch
Image credit: Pixabay / JooJoo41
Unfortunately, professing Christians are getting caught up in this, as well as secularists. In my opinion, some of those Christians want to feel superior to those of us who believe in the spherical earth because they really believe the Bible. But it does not teach this. Some atheists are milking the idea that the Bible teaches a flat earth in one of many efforts to misrepresent Scripture and especially biblical creation science. Kind of like when J. Edgar Hoover's enemies spread the discredited story that he was a crossdresser.

One tinhorn is doing the typical atheist thing: he found some creationists who believe the earth is flat, therefore, the Bible and creation science are wrong. But then, if I recollect rightly, logic on his planet includes square circles and married bachelors, too.


via GIPHY

To continue the "I'm special" belief, these professing flat earth Christians believe outrageous conspiracies, including all of NASA lying for decades, and that all science supporting the round earth is wrong or fake. Impugning the integrity of other Christians inside NASA as well as others does not seem to matter to them. But it must be true, it's on YouTube!


via GIPHY

Taking it further, these religious folks also take Bible verses out of context. While they're saddled up and riding the Out of Context Owlhoot Trail, they bring in extrabiblical  texts like the Book of Enoch. Some give excuses for believing it, although it has no basis to be accepted as authentic. Worse, they take parts of Enoch's supposed book out of context, sometimes even ignoring parts of verses that refute their claims. This is not exegesis, old son, this is eisegesis — and beyond.
The Book of Enoch is an important source for those who promote the notion that the earth is flat. A few portions of this rather long book teach that the earth is flat, but other passages are ambiguous about the earth’s shape. Flat earthers are selective about which portions of the Book of Enoch that they cite, because other passages clearly contradict aspects of the flat-earth model promoted today. The book of Enoch almost certainly is pseudepigraphal because there is considerable doubt that the patriarch Enoch wrote it, despite the claim within the book that he did. The Book of Enoch is not canonical. Therefore, it ought not be used to interpret Scripture, particularly in claiming the Bible teaches that the earth is flat.
To finish reading this very interesting article, click on "The Book of Enoch and the Flat Earth". For more posts and articles refuting the flat earth stuff, I assembled several of them here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Using Secular Science to Negate Bible Miracles

There was a time when the Bible was respected as a source of history from believers and secular scholars alike, but that seems to be fading nowadays. As atheism, anti-creationism, postmodernism, and other things are ramping up, attacks on the Bible are also increasing. 


Secular researchers attempt to explain the miraculous Red Sea crossing by the Israelites through scientific means
Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center
(Usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
However, blatant attacks on the Bible by village atheists who get false information from their bigotry clearinghouses are the domain of amateurs. Many will argue from their materialistic presuppositions by asserting that miracles cannot happen, and find excuses to dismiss them individually. To get even more viperine, scoffers rely on the public's adoration of what "scientists say", then use scientific finagling to discredit miracles. This is inconsistent, since they are trying to disprove events that they claim never happened in the first place.

In this example, we have the crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites. The analysts do not believe the Bible, but are trying to explain the miracles involved through natural means. They contradict themselves and each other, and do not take into account the source documents of Scripture.
Some secular scientists have a new strategy: instead of completely rejecting Scripture, they accept parts of it in exchange for the power to filter out God and His works, especially miracles. An example of this strategy is found in the attempt to explain the Red Sea crossing as a natural phenomenon. However, these explanations cannot explain the details of the biblical accounts or tests of self-consistency.
To read the rest, click on "The Red Sea Crossing: can secular science model miracles?"


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Legacies of Eve

Eve sinned but later had faith and hope in the promised Redeemer
Adam and Eve, Lucas Cranach, ca. 1520
Way back yonder in Genesis, God formed Eve from Adam's side and then brought her to him. It's easy to read Adam's remarks as a kind of dull speech, but take a look:
This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man. (Gen. 2:23)
I have to agree with someone, I disremember who, that said Adam was making a joyous exclamation that could be heard with the excited voice when a guy says, "Allll RIIIIGHT!" Personally, I expect Eve was a hot babe. In fact, the first couple were probably the best looking folks in history — despite their depictions in classic art.

We know what happened in the third chapter of Genesis: the serpent deceived Eve by appealing to her pride (a strategy he successfully uses with humanity even today), she gave the fruit to Adam who probably watch the whole deception thing happening, death entered the world through sin. That's one legacy of Eve. Another is that Adam named his wife Eve because she would be the mother of all people (Gen. 3:20-21).

So, people may be tempted to think of Eve as a wicked woman that cause everyone a great deal of grief, and causing women to have increased pain in childbirth (Gen. 3:16). Easy to think negative things, especially when we don't read the text carefully. The Redeemer would come through her seed. Don't just stop in Genesis 3, either, since Eve shows hope and faith.
The first woman carried a lot on her shoulders—by encouraging her husband to rebel against God, she helped bring suffering and ruin upon her children and all their descendants. Yet she found hope in the same promised Seed that we all look to.

I’ve always been intrigued by Eve. She was the original “bad girl” of the Bible, and most people think of her legacy as one of sin and despair for all mankind. She has another legacy, however, one of hope in her Seed, the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ. Understanding Eve and how God worked in and through her gives us hope and teaches us the importance of looking to Christ.
To finish reading, click on "Eve’s Legacy—Hope Amid Despair".