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".