Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Matrix-Illusion and True Knowledge

Occasionally, apologists encounter discussions that all of reality is imaginary, as envisioned in several science fiction stories. (In one,our reality was the result of another being's dream, and it was waking up. They had to lull it back to sleep.) Sometimes the self-refuting Boltzmann Brains thought experiment is used. Another concept is drawn from The Matrix. How do we experience reality?

The study of knowledge and the reliability of our senses lead to many discussions. Only the biblical presuppositional method is coherent.
Credit: FreeDigitalImages / Stuart Miles
Presuppositional apologists will often ask unbelievers how they know what is real, and how they can account for their epistemology (the study of knowledge). How can we know that what we perceive through our senses is real or are we in a Matrix-like reality? Atheists appeal to their senses, but even without those imposed Matrix-illusion scenarios, this is not reliable as a universal principle. For example, someone with a mental illness or other altered state of consciousness may "see" and "experience" things that do not actually exist. This indicates using the senses to define reality is insufficient, and therefore cannot apply to everyone everywhere.

Presuppositional apologists show that the biblical worldview explains the necessary preconditions of human experience. Unbelievers resort to viciously circular arguments, inconsistency, and arbitrary assertions that fall apart upon serious examination. One angry atheist was unable to explain or defend his worldview, and was content to irrationally say something along the lines of, "It works for me".

Some classical or evidential apologists (the differences between the two are too subtle to discuss here) dislike or even oppose presuppositional apologetics. This is unfortunate, because evidentialists are disregarding the Bible that they are claiming to defend. Essentially, the condition of the unregenerate person (both spiritual and intellectual) is ignored and appeals are made to their pride: the unbeliever is judging Almighty God who is holy and righteous to determine if God is worthy of praise and worship!

Dr. Jason Lisle had a pair of articles where he was responding to an article by Dr. Richard Howe which was in turn an attempted refutation of Lisle's views. It did not go well for Howe. The articles linked below are lengthy, but note that one stands on the Word of God, the other uses logical fallacies. You can learn about logic, philosophy, and how presuppositional apologetics operates in a biblical manner.
Seven years ago, I participated in a written debate followed by a panel discussion on the topics of apologetic method and the age of the earth.  It was a strange combination of topics, and yet I argued that the common thread between both was biblical authority.  Namely, if a person has a high view of Scripture, taking it as his ultimate standard and interpreting it exegetically, he should employ a presuppositional approach to apologetics and should be a biblical (“young-earth”) creationist. 
. . .
One of the problems I see with Howe’s philosophy is that it is ultimately unjustified.  That is, if all knowledge begins with sensory experience, then how do we know that sensory experience is basically reliable (true to reality)?  This cannot be proved by sensory experience since this is the very issue in question.  And if it is proved by some other standard, then sensory experience is not truly the foundational beginning of knowledge.
If you're ready to begin, get comfortable, maybe get each article for your ebook reader (this service has a download button to convert into several formats), and get ready to work both your mind and spirit. How do I Know that I Know? – a Response (Part 1) and How do I Know that I Know? – a Response (Part 2).

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Theistic Evolution and Bad Theology

It is difficult to drill down deep into the minds of theistic evolutionists (or their deceitful oxymoronic moniker "evolutionary creationists"). They claim to believe God's Word, but elevate atheistic interpretations of science philosophies into the superior position. This causes tremendous biblical problems.

Theistic evolutionists are known for bad theology and deceptive practices, but there are some issues that some people may not have raised before.
Credit: Freeimages / Ramasamy Chidambaram

Why do they want to do this? I think it's to appear intellectual and not like one of those st00pid dumb Xtian fundie creationists that actually believe the Bible. They tell us that the Bible doesn't mean what it says, and even twist it to suit their evolutionary ends. (Indeed, TEs saddle up with atheists and ride for the Darwin brand, ridiculing biblical creationists together. Sure, that really convinces me that they have a high regard for Scripture.) In addition to tap-dancing around troublesome verses, TEs also have serious problems with having a consistent theology. I agree with others, they are more like Deists than anything else.

We have seen in the past how theistic evolution requires adherents to reject the authority of Scripture, it interferes with worship, helps them give support and comfort to the enemies of God, requires suffering and death before sin, and more. The article linked below is adapted from a chapter in a book, and it brings up some excellent points. If evolution were true, Neanderthals and other humans before God blessed Adam and Eve (TEs say they were not literal people) and gave them souls (Bible reference, please?), then just when did sin enter the picture?

Strange as this question might first appear, a logical consequence of ‘old earth’ and theistic evolutionary viewpoints is that the world was rife with sinful thoughts and actions for hundreds of thousands of years of ‘prehistory’, long before the biblical Adam and Eve existed. The following extract from Evolution and the Christian Faith explores this much-overlooked subject.

Over the years, much of the theological debate between historic special creationists and believers in a billions-of-years-old earth has been over the issue of death. Was there death in the world before the Fall? And if so, what kind of death was it, and to which creatures did it apply? These are important questions, but there is a related question that seems to be neglected almost completely. If, as many theistic evolutionists argue, human beings are descended from hominid ancestors—which, going backwards in time, were progressively less human—when do they envisage that sin itself entered the world? For the New Testament is unambiguous: sin came into the world through the historical rebellion of Adam and Eve.

To read the rest of thought-provoking excerpt, click on "Sin before the Fall of Adam?" By the way, I am using the Blogger platform which is owned by Google. It was acceptable before, but they have changed the interface, which is now dreadful. I am seriously considering moving to a new company for my writing needs.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Recognizing True and False Christians

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This may come as a shock to many professing Christians, but they may actually be lost. There are several ways that help determine if someone is a real Christian. However, many people urgently need to seriously determine if they really are in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5).

There are many professing Christians who are actually lost and in need of repentance. Here are some ways to tell if you are in the faith.
Credit: Unsplash / Joshua Earle
Some assume they are Christians because of culture or because they are not members of another religion. Perhaps it's because they attend the "true" church, maybe perform the rituals, said the "sinner's prayer" and got their ticket punched, put their hands in the air and get emotional — but have no idea what salvation means and could not lead someone to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

There are some people who are Christians but act like cultists. I have been told that if I don't believe in their doctrines, I am an immature Christian, or even unsaved. Similarly, I was in a social media group for Christian apologists (which for some strange reason included atheists and cultists), and the subject of heresies came up.

Heresy is a strong and contentious word, and the majority of Christians have stood against those. (We may not know the names of things like Arianism, Sabellianism, Docetism, Modalism, and others that you can read about here, but they are condemned by most Christian denominations.) One tinhorn tried to dismiss heresies by saying that one church will call another one heretical over doctrinal disagreements. Not hardly! Disagreements over points of doctrine between, say, Presbyterians and Baptists will not have them having gunfights in the saloon and shouting, "Die, heretic!" They discuss things, shake hands and part friendly. By the way, I left that group.

Ever hear about how Drs. Michael Brown and James R. White strongly differ on some points but each affirms the other as a brother in Christ? In a similar manner, although this child is a strong biblical (young Earth) creationist, I cannot say that those who believe in an old Earth are going to Hell. They have problems with their theology, science, authority of Scripture, and soteriology, however.

There are external indications of someone who has been regenerated (2 Cor. 5:17). This does not mean other professing Christians are to appoint themselves as police officers: "Well, you did passably well on the first five items of this here checklist, but you really botched six, twelve, fifteen, and nineteen. Nineteen is a big one for me. You're not a true Christian!", then fold their arms like the native chieftain and sonorously declare, "I have spoken". That's unrighteous judgement, old son.

Unfortunately, there are those who think they've done some God-pleasing formula and are going to Heaven when they die, then proceed to live like the devil. Doesn't work that way. Those of us who are in the faith should exercise righteous judgement and, in Christian love, say to the other person, "We need to talk". If you've ever seen Ray Comfort's videos where he is street preaching and someone says, "Yeah, I'm a Christian", then takes the Lord's name in vain and admits to a sinful lifestyle, Ray will still present the gospel message to someone like that.

Don't be disunderstanding, we all sin on occasion. A real Christian will not be happy about it, confess the sin to God (1 John 1:9), and repent. Sin again? Confess and repent again — but with sincerity, not as a ritual or formula. So yes, the whole thing is something to be approached with caution; accusations and superior attitudes are not advised. Remember that we all stumble, and that not everyone progresses in sanctification at the same rate.

Before I set you loose on an article, I'd like to urge you to check out a couple of messages by Ray Comfort. They are "True and False Conversion" and "Hell's Best-Kept Secret". Free to listen online, download, or read the transcripts. You can follow the links from here.
What is a Christian? Many people today call themselves Christians. For example, an atheistic evolutionist named Anders Breivik hailed himself online as a Christian before he murdered 77 people in Norway. He viewed Europe as culturally Christian as opposed to culturally Islamic, but his view of Christianity had nothing to do with Christ or God. Leading atheist Richard Dawkins also identifies himself as a cultural Christian, and even more particularly as a cultural Anglican! 
. . . 
At what point should a Christian say, “Enough is enough,” and start judging a tree by its fruit?
Many people call themselves Christians, but their words and actions are grossly unchristian. Such contradictions stain the name Christian as people look and say, “That’s a Christian? Well then, I don’t want to be a Christian.” Obviously such behaviors reveal that these people—who claim to be Christians and yet promote open sin—deny the Bible as the authority in their lives (Titus 1:16).
You can read the rest at "Christian: What Is a True Believer?"


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Miracles and Natural Selection

To the naturalist, there is no room for God or miracles. The position of the Bible-believing Christian is quite different. If you study on it, everything is a miracle because our Creator us continually keeping the universe together; it would disintegrate. There are miracles above and beyond this, however.

People use naturalism to replace God, who made natural laws. Miracles exist, so does natural selection, but there's even more.
Credit: Pixabay / A. Schüler
Deists essentially believe that something started the whole shootin' match and then left us to our lonesome. (I reckon there's very little difference between them and theistic evolutionists because of their low regard for the authority of Scripture.) Naturalism is an attempt to replace God. Laws of nature were designed by God, and natural selection shows that living things were engineered for their environments, adapt, or do not survive. Then we have something else to consider: supernatural selection.
What does it mean for something to be supernatural?  We might think of the parting of the Red Sea, Jesus turning water into wine, the resurrection of Lazarus, or even the creation of the universe as supernatural events.  These are all great examples of God’s power.  But is that what makes them supernatural?  Isn’t the normal operation of the universe also an example of God’s power?  After all, the universe continues to exist only because God upholds it by the expression of His power (Hebrews 1:3).  By Christ, all things hold together (Colossians 1:17).  Doesn’t God cause the sun to rise and the rain to fall (Matthew 5:45)?  If “supernatural” merely meant that something happens by God’s power, then everything would be supernatural.  God is in control of every atom in the universe.
I'd be much obliged if you'd read the rest of this enlightening article by heading on over to "Supernatural Selection".


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

God's Design: Stay in your Lane

Many people want to follow their own desires because they believe it will make them happy, and act like our Creator wants people to be miserable. That is a blatant misrepresentation of God's design. The truth is that we are happiest if we follow his plan.

Many people want to follow their own desires because they believe it will make them happy. Following God's design leads to true fulfillment.
Y'all might rightly figure this was mostly made at Atom Smasher
While appealing to science to support gender confusion and homosexuality, they cannot deny true science regarding gender confusion and the lack of a "gay gene". Indeed, special interests are hijacking science and manipulating its terminology for their own ends, and people are making themselves miserable. However, real science continues to support what people have known for millennia.

God designed us and knows what's best for us despite our sinful defiance. Ultimately, we must repent and submit to him in all areas of our lives — including our thinking. Then a person is spiritually regenerated with a new heart and mind, and ultimate fulfillment.
The only way humans can be fruitful and multiply is to have heterosexual unions, just like all sexually-reproducing species do. In chapter 2 of Genesis, the pattern of monogamous, heterosexual marriage is stated: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). The male and female forms complement each other for the production of diploid gametes which yield babies of the species, which need the care of the parents. Thus we see the original design for the family. This plan for union, since God pronounced it “very good,” He made to be pleasurable as well, because He is good. He seeks our ultimate happiness. It follows that violations of this plan are bound to cause problems, just like tools break when used for other than their designed functions.
You can read the rest by clicking on "Be Happier Conforming to the Creator’s Plan".


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Sentinels

Throughout history, sentinels have been posted to protect people and places. When someone approaches or a situation changes, they issue challenges or sound an alarm. Lighthouses have been called sentinels because of providing alerts through light and sometimes sound. We need sentinels in spiritual matters.

Some creatures have sentinels to sound alerts for their groups, a behavior that baffles evolutionists. Christians and creationists must exhibit similar behavior.
Approaching the sentinel of the Big Sauble Lighthouse on Lake Michigan
Even some animals have guard duty. Darwin's disciples disagree about why this happens because survival of the fittest essentially relies on selfishness. It is not a safe duty because the watcher can be the first one picked off by a predator and is further from safety.

For that matter, evolutionists have their own kind of watchers, ready to warn the faithful that evil creationists are applying science, logic, reason, and theology against naturalism. Those of us who accept the realities of the Bible and biblical creation need to sound the alarm about false teachings. We also need to be willing and able to show people the truth.
Watch out! Dangers lurk everywhere—these are surely perilous times. One of the apologetics-exhorting themes in Jude’s epistle is the need to beware of—and to forewarn others about—scoffers who distort and resist God’s truth, as we contend earnestly for it.

. . .

One habit that prey populations often exhibit is the practice of appointing a sentinel—a dedicated “watchman on the wall,” so to speak.

. . .

This behavior is quite puzzling to evolutionists, who assume that ultimately there needs to be a selfish advantage for every activity, as opposed to some creatures behaving altruistically because that is what they do or are programmed to do.

. . .

For humans, giving a warning can be a moral duty. Moral accountability is unique to human behavior because only we humans—being uniquely made in God’s image—are Earth-dwelling creatures who have true moral accountability for our activities.
You can read the entire article at "Sentinels Are Needed in Perilous Times".


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

If the Days in Creation Week Varied in Length

People have trouble accepting the literal creation week of 24-hour days, mainly because they have been heavily influenced by secular science philosophies. Some have legitimate questions about the irreconcilable difference, others look for excuses to shoehorn creation into deep time.

I took this picture of a nice flower bush while walking down the street
Someone had an interesting question about whether or not the days in creation week were variable. Part of them were actual 24-hour days, but the first three may have been much, much longer. Context, people! This idea would not work, causing more problems than it would appear to solve when considering other parts of the Bible and science.
D.J. from the United States writes:
I just listened to the creation video discussing the word day. I can understand the context argument if we add that God created the earth with age, much like the creation of Adam. But, you can’t simply add that day mean 24 hours given the fact that the sun and moon were created in day 4. Remove the moon and the earth spins every 6hrs. Remove both and the rotation could be … eons? Chapter 2 in the day the Lord created …
My point is the rotation of the earth does not have to be restricted to a relative time table to be faithful to the text. Second, the earth indicates some level of age, whether hrs or ions—Yosemite Valley, Yellowstone. Both can reflect God in creation.
It has always seemed like the 24hr day forces an unnecessary issue.
CMI’s Shaun Doyle responds:
To read Shaun's response, click over to "Did the Genesis 1 ‘days’ vary in length?"


Friday, July 31, 2020

God, the Church, and Government

While the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has prompted many people to learn many things about it, we have also seen how certain American government officials who have contempt for God have not only made restrictions on human rights in the US, but also around the world. Churches in the US are being forced to decide between God and Government.


Setting the record straight regarding #COVID19, God, and government. We also hear from John MacArthur and the defiance of the California governor's dictates.
Made at PhotoFunia
People may be surprised to know that God has ordained government to enforce laws and protect the people. If you study on it a mite, you'll realize that the "you can't legislate morality" canard is foolish, because most laws are based upon morality. When governments act according to their purposes, the church and the state get along fine. When the state rejects God wrongly exceeds and claims power, we have problems.

Prayer in schools is outlawed, Christians are told to shut up and stay out of government (apparently government is only for secularists now), teaching that evolutionism is a religion and its science is flawed is bad medicine for leftists, telling us that we cannot gather while condoning "protests", abortions, and other gathings — then Christians object to discrimination and resist those in power.

In the first of two posts, Jason Lisle explains how and why government exists, its purposes, limitations, and the ultimate authority to whome the church — the Bride of Christ — and the state are responsible.
Many people have the impression that the Church is God’s institution and that the government is not.  Consequently, the Church must abide by the Bible in all matters, but the government must stay away from religious matters.  After all, isn’t there a separation of Church and state?  In reality, both the Church and the state are God’s institutions and both are morally obligated to abide by biblical principles.  When a government functions in the way God has specified, it is a blessing to all the people.  But a government that will not follow biblical principles inevitably becomes a tyrannical “beast” that oppresses its own citizens.
To finish reading, click on "God vs. Government". Be sure to come back for our second item.

In late July 2020, Grace Community Church in Sun Valley (a part of Los Angeles), CA, under the leadership of Dr. John MacArthur defied the dictates of leftist Governor Ralph Northam. At first, the church respected the urging of government officials to suspend public gatherings. The Wuhan Virus was new back then. However, as more facts became available and it was clear that government shutdowns were political machinations and continued to harm churches and citizens, Grace Community Church took a stand.
Christ is Lord of all. He is the one true head of the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18). He is also King of kings—sovereign over every earthly authority (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Grace Community Church has always stood immovably on those biblical principles. As His people, we are subject to His will and commands as revealed in Scripture. Therefore we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.
You can read the rest of Dr. MacArthur's article (note that I found this extremely slow to load, but never that bad in the past), click on "A Biblical Case for the Church’s Duty to Remain Open". In addtion, you can watch or listen to his sermon, "We Must Obey God Rather Than Men". The video below has a discussion between Eric Metaxas and Dr. MacArthur. It covers this discussion and touches on a few others. You will hear, "We have to take a break", and "...in the second hour", but it has been trimmed to about 38 minutes.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Repenting of Old Earth Creationism

It may be surprising, but repentance is not preached nearly as much as it should (Matt. 4:17, Mark 1:14-15, Luke 24:46-47, Acts 3:19, 2 Tim. 2:25, 2 Peter 3:9, Rev. 3:19). It applies not only to the unsaved, but to Christians who are not following the truth. How does this apply to old-earth creationists?

Those who give the false teaching of an old earth need to repent.
Credit: Modified at imgflip from a graphic at FreeImages by Claudia Meyer
Repentance from false beliefs is readily apparent, such as Arianism, Pelagianism, Gnosticism and Docetism, and others. These are far more significant than, say, disagreements regarding baptism. (I have to restrain myself about the war between Reformed and Arminian doctrines, each has adherents that act like cultists belonging to the One True Faith™ and essentially calling the other side heretics. Why I oughta...) There is a difference between heresies and disagreements. Learn it.

One thing that many false teaching have in common is denial of scriptural authority. Theistic evolutionists are coyotes smuggling evolution into the Bible, and with that comes a form of the Pelagian heresy. For owlhoots like that and other old-earthers, the Bible doesn't mean what it says, biblical creationists are deluded or dishonest, and we need to elevate atheistic interpretations of science into the magisterial position above God's Word.

While biblical creationists are not saying that believing in millions of years or evolution is a guaranteed ticket to Hell, those people need to examine their priorities. Why are long ages so important to them? It is also curious that they need to perform massive eisegesis by putting long ages into the Bible so they can pull that concept back out. The authority of current trends in man-made science are clearly more important to them than the inerrancy of Scripture. Mayhaps they should seriously consider repenting of their disparagement of God's Word and alliance with atheism.
A while ago I wrote an article explaining how the idea of millions of years entered the church, and I closed with a call for repentance. At a recent seminar, a man asked me publicly to explain my strong words. After all, aren’t all of us, even the godliest believers, subject to error? Must we confess every error before God?

This man was specifically concerned about the implications for two old-earth creationists he highly respected. As he explained in a later email, they were dear brothers in Christ who had dedicated their lives to the gospel. They may be wrong, he said, but there is “a difference between being wrong and sinful deception.”

That’s a good question that has broad implications for every believer’s walk with God. It is hard to imagine how any of us could avoid errors in our thinking. So is it possible to walk in fellowship with God even though we are wrong about some biblical issues? Or are we living in sin until we correct those wrong views?
To read the rest of this interesting and helpful article, click on "Old-Earth Creationism—Is It a Sin?" You can also consider the principles for applications in other areas.
 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Losing Faith in an Old Earth

It may come as a surprise to many people that a number of those involved in biblical creation science ministries had quite different views before becoming biblical creationists. Some were atheists, others theistic evolutionists, and some like Dr. Brian Thomas held to an old earth view.


Many biblical creationists formerly believed in an old earth, but like Dr. Brian Thomas of ICR, changed their views in light of evidence and Scripture.
Credit: StockSnap / Lauren Mancke
One problem people like Dr. Thomas and others have is that they are only aware of one side. Many do not even know that other — superior — interpretations even exist, and have never heard of biblical creation science. Brian's faith in long ages was challenged by several factors. He could not reconcile the old earth narrative with observed evidence, and most importantly, he saw that secular interpretations of the facts did not fit the truth of the Bible.
A student recently asked what I believe about the age of the earth. I replied that at one time I felt absolutely certain that the world was billions of years old. I even wrote a song that mentioned “the age of dinosaurs.” Now, however, I believe the dinosaurs that got fossilized lived when (but not where) Noah lived. They got locked in rocks through Noah’s Flood only 4,500 or so years ago. Four specific facts helped change my mind.
To finish reading this short article, click on "Why Do I Believe in Recent Creation?"

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Honor-Shame Cultures and the Gospel Message

In the United States and many other countries, the gospel message is rather straightforward (with some variations, of course). Unfortunately, evangelists tend to leave out Genesis, which has the origin of everything and tells us where sin and death began. Things get more complicated when dealing with people who have honor and shame in their cultures.

When sharing the gospel with people from cultures emphasizing honor and shame, we must learn how they think and show how the gospel meets their needs.
Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos / tawatchai
Honor and shame are closely associated with pride, but in some cultures, it affects the entire family. Also, they want to save face, and even help you or I to do the same so dignity is maintained. People will "accept Jesus" without knowing what that means, and those who believe in many false gods will add the real one into the mix. 

Missionaries have reported false conversions through misunderstandings, but have had far better success when beginning with Genesis. We need to learn about the people we are talking with and to change tack so we can take their mindset into account. We can tell them about the shame and humiliation that Jesus endured, and how God honors us in salvation.
Maintaining honour and avoiding shame are hugely important aspects of life and worldview for the majority of the people of the world, particularly those who live in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. They may be Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Judaists, animists, polytheists, or atheists, and they have the least access to the Christian Gospel and Christian resources.
. . . 
In these cultures, relationships guide decision making, so the most important identity is the family, rather than each individual, as in the West. The family makes the decisions, and the primary concern of members is to maintain honour and avoid shame (or ‘save face’) for their family, because what a person does brings honour or shame not only upon themselves but upon the whole family—indeed often also upon the entire community. Great respect is usually given to the elderly in the family, and in some cultures this may extend to the honouring of the spirits of dead ancestors by means of food offerings. In such cultures, often the father is the main decision-maker on behalf of the family.
The full article is found at "Preaching the Gospel in honour/shame societies".



Thursday, July 2, 2020

Evolution, Creation, and the Dilemma of Death

Professing Christians who accept the pronouncements of secular scientists about the age of the earth and evolution are faced with several dilemmas regarding death and God's very good creation. We can watch it on television and movies, read about it in books, but death is not entertaining when it happens to those we care about.

When it comes to dealing with death, secular ideas like evolution only cause confusion and offer no hope. The truth is found in God's Word.
Credit: Morguefile / ClarksGirl
Secularists tell us that death has been here all along. God's Word tells us that death is an intruder into creation, an enemy that was defeated at the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Death was not God's process of creation over long ages, and there will not be there at the restoration. The lie of evolution causes confusion and raises questions, but the truth in the Bible — beginning in the very first verse — gives us answers. You won't get answers or any hope from secularists.
Why is the world filled with death? Why did my friend’s three-month-old son recently die in the ambulance on the way to the hospital? What kind of God would make a world where three-month-old babies die?

. . .

But we don’t just struggle to explain human death. What about the death of so many animals that we find buried in the earth’s fossil-filled rocks? On every continent, thousands of feet of sedimentary rock layers are filled with billions of dead plants and animals. Why are they there? Did God make the world that way?
You can read the full article or download the MP3 at "The Problem of Death". You may also be interested in a related article, "The Fall of Man and Animal Death".



Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Nephilim and the Sons of God

Moses, under the inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV) of God, did not give us many details about the identity of the Nephilim in the sixth chapter of Genesis. There are many speculations and even controversies about them and the "sons of God" circulating for a long time.

An area of controversy is the identities of the sons of God and the Nephilim in Genesis. The linked article discusses this in depth.
Credit: Pixabay / Stefan Keller
Who were these mighty men of renown that perished in the Genesis Flood? There seem to be four major views about them. The article that is linked below is a revised section of the book Alien Intrusion by Gary Bates (my video review is here), showing that each view appears to have biblical support to some extent, but only one seems to make the most sense.
Probably the most often-used and controversial passage of Scripture by pro-ETH (extra-terrestrial hypothesis) UFOlogists is the account of “the sons of God” and their resultant offspring, the Nephilim. 
. . . 
For proponents of the ancient astronaut and astrogenesis theories, the “sons of God” or even the Nephilim refer to extraterrestrial visitors to Earth. Erich von Däniken and Zechariah Sitchin, among others, believe these interfering aliens had sexual union with humans and/or genetically engineered humans or prehuman creatures in an effort to oversee mankind’s evolution. This is a grand assumption based on an interpretation of the text that is clearly incorrect. 
. . .
The text itself readily refutes the ‘primitive authors’ idea. In the first chapter of Genesis, we read that God created mankind fully formed and intelligent. Adam was even given the job of naming all of the land animals (Genesis 2:19–20). In the subsequent chapters, we see Adam’s offspring described as musicians and craftsmen (Genesis 4:21–22), demonstrating they were not primitive. The Scriptures are full of detail to show that, prior to the account in Genesis 6, man was already fully human, vastly intelligent, and engaging in spiritual worship—facts so readily ignored by those looking for the slightest opportunity to squeeze a UFO or two into the Bible. Unlike their rejection of earlier passages in Genesis as being real history, they readily accept that the Nephilim incident in Genesis is based on true events. But their ‘primitive authors and UFO’ interpretation is impossible if we accept that the earlier descriptions in Genesis are also true.
However, even among Christians, the meaning of this passage is sometimes hotly debated. There are probably four major views regarding the expression “the sons of God” in Genesis 6, with some surprising connections to UFOlogy:
The full article is extremely interesting, but it's going to take a while. You can do like I did and use a "send to ebook reader" service, or many browsers have add-ons like Reader View (it is built into recent versions of Firefox) to reduce clutter. Anyway, to get going, click on "Who were the ‘sons of God’ in Genesis 6?".

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Fall of Man and Animal Death

It has been a month ago today that we had to make that awful trip to the vet and put an end to the suffering of Basement Cat, but I still get misty. When the box with her ashes arrived, I was upset all over again. When I was drifting off to sleep that night, I "heard" her meow like she often did at bedtime. When did animal death enter God's very good creation?

We miss Basement Cat. Some professing Christians say that animal death is a part of creation, but that is contrary to Scripture and the nature of God.

Animals suffer and die, and it hurts those of us who love them so much. Biblical creationists maintain that death entered the picture with the Fall of Man. After all, God does not approve of the mistreatment of animals (Prov. 12:10), and he even providing for birds (Matt. 6:26). For some reason, professing Christians who insist on exegeting huge amounts of time into the Bible concoct weird interpretations of Scripture — some even say that death is a good thing! Also, suffering and death are, to some owlhoots, a part of God's creative process through evolution. Such absurdities are inconsistent with God, our loving Father. At the restoration at the end of all things, there will be no death or suffering.
Did animals die before the fall? The short answer is “no,” but let’s unpack that answer. There are several reasons we believe animals did not die before the fall.

For one, God created the world “very good,” and a very good world would not include animal death. It is obvious from God's statement in Genesis 1:31 (at the end of day 6 of creation), which would mean no sin, no death, and no carnivory. Satan almost certainly rebelled after day 7 as well. God created everything perfect, but it didn’t stay that way for long. In Genesis 1:31 the Hebrew term translated as “very good” is טוֹב מְאֹד (tôb meōd). The word tôb refers to things that are pleasant, qualitatively good, morally good, or that has good character, while meōd serves as an intensifying adjective in this verse. Thus, Scripture did not merely say that all that God made was good—it declared that it was exceedingly good. This verse describes the Lord’s assessment of his creation, so we need to keep his character at the forefront when discerning what “very good” means. Since God is perfect, anything short of perfection could not accurately be identified as “very good.” Would the perfectly holy and morally pure Creator call a world full of death, suffering, and disease “very good”?
You can finish reading at "Animal Death Before the Fall?" A related article on animal death and God's character is "Animal death before the Fall — Cruelty to animals is contrary to God’s nature".


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Happiness of Unbelievers?

Whether knowingly or unknowingly, people are in rebellion against God. Some simply do not care about spiritual matters, other have a nominal religion with religious trappings but no commitment, others mask their hatred of God by claiming they "lack belief". How do they attain happiness?


People who reject God may have some degree of happiness, but that is based on circumstances and things that are fleeting. What happens when things get really rough?
Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos / alexisdc
According to surveys, there has been an increase in people who say they are unaffiliated with certain religions. I don't know if that means specific denominations, but this does not necessarily mean an increase in atheism. A person can be a Bible-believing Christian and yet not identify as Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. Atheism is irrational and incoherent, and impossible to live it consistently.

When atheists spend their time angrily ridiculing Christians and misrepresenting biblical creationists — indeed, seeking their identities in unbelief — it is exceptionally difficult to believe them when they say they are happy. Sure, people can have some amount of fulfillment in wealth, political activism, social status, sex, drugs, alcohol, prestige in employment, marriage, and so on. Some say they believe in science and gain their purpose in evolution. But where can they turn when things come crashing down?
Yes, agnostics can find contentment, and many describe themselves as happy. But do they derive their happiness from their beliefs?
Valerie van Mulukom, a Cognitive Scientist at Coventry University, decided to find out if unbelievers find solace in life in times of crisis. In her piece at The Conversation, she presents what she found. Her opening sentences, though, suggest a bias toward asserting that one doesn’t have to believe in God to be a happy, fulfilled person.
The saying “There are no atheists in foxholes” suggests that in stressful times people inevitably turn to God (or indeed gods). In fact, non-believers have their own set of secular worldviews which can provide them with solace in difficult times, just as religious beliefs do for the spiritually-minded.
The aim of my research for the Understanding Unbelief programme was to investigate the worldviews of non-believers, since little is known about the diversity of these non-religious beliefs, and what psychological functions they serve. I wanted to explore the idea that while non-believers may not hold religious beliefs, they still hold distinct ontological, epistemological and ethical beliefs about reality, and the idea that these secular beliefs and worldviews provide the non-religious with equivalent sources of meaning, or similar coping mechanisms, as the supernatural beliefs of religious individuals.
In this opening, Mulukom asserts equivalence between religious contentment and non-religious contentment, leading one to believe that it’s simply a matter of individual choice. The results are the same; take your pick. Her intimation fits well with today’s post-truth mentality that individual happiness is more to be desired than truth.
To read the rest of this first article, click on "Can Unbelievers Really Be Happy?", but by all means, come back for the conclusion.

People who have their worldviews rooted in naturalism are inconsistent because science is impossible without God. For that matter, numbers and mathematics are not tangible. Nor is morality or love. Misotheists actually are standing on the biblical worldview, beginning with creation.
The previous entry described coping mechanisms used by unbelievers to deal with ‘uncreatedness’ and crisis. Let’s think about them.
Earlier today, we analyzed the article by Valerie van Mulukom at The Conversation, “How non-religious worldviews provide solace in times of crisis.” We summarized responses of unbelievers to crisis (atheists, agnostics and ‘nones’) into a list 13 coping mechanisms for dealing with what Francis Schaeffer called ‘uncreatedness’ – a perceived uncaring universe, autonomous to itself. Here’s the list again:
I highly recommend that you read the rest of this article. That can be found at "Can Unbelievers Really Be Happy? – Commentary".



Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Hominids and the Bible

Quite a few Christians are buffaloed by the claims of Darwinists who tell us that the parade of hominid ancestors is an accurate representation of evolution. Some Christians have tenuous faith and want the claims of evolutionists refuted. There are some very basic things that everyone should know.

Christians are buffaloed by the claims of evolutionists, some even thinking that scientists have disproved the Bible. We must stop and think for a few moments.

That parade is strictly imaginary. While anthropologists have assembled images from bones and such, they have mostly conjecture about the appearance of the apes and ancient humans — nor did they have any scientific reason to presume that our alleged ancestors became white Europeans to rule the world. The links are missing, but evolutionists use apes, imaginary creatures, and humans. Our faith is in the Word of God, not the atheistic interpretations based on naturalism.
A recent survey showed that the most persuasive argument for evolution comes from the iconic drawing of the apes-to-man parade. This popular picture illustrates ape-like animals evolving into a human. If this image reflects actual history, then the history in Genesis is wrong. If we came from apes, then we didn’t come from Adam and Eve. That also casts doubt on the other Scriptures—and their human authors—that refer to Adam as our real ancestor. Do certain fossils demand we take scissors to our Bibles?
To finish reading, click on "How Do Hominids Fit with the Bible?"


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Appearances of Jesus in Genesis?

The Bible tells us that no one has seen God (John 1:18). Moses wanted to but was told in no uncertain terms that it was not possible (Exodus 33:20). However, there are statements in Scripture about seeing God (such as the rasslin' match between Jacob and God in Genesis 32:24-30 or Isaiah's terrified exclamation in Isaiah 6:5). How do we reconcile these things?

People saw God before the Son became a man. These were most likely pre-incarnate manifestations.
The appearance of the angels to Abraham, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1728
Specifically, no human can see God the Father face-to-face and live. The reference in Isaiah and other places were visions, yet certain people experienced the divine. God has been involved with humanity from the beginning, which includes visitations from angels. Now we come to an interesting aspect.

In Genesis and other places we read about "the angel of the Lord". When you read those accounts, this angel is distinct from other angels that God sends to people. Although theologians disagree on this, most seem to believe that this was Jesus, God the Son, before he took human form as we read in the Gospels and later. Except for assorted cults and heretics, professing Christians know that Jesus is God, and therefore the Creator. Even Satan knows this fact.
When unbelievers think of Jesus, many strictly think of a man who lived about 2,000 years ago. Sadly, many Christians in the church pews adopt this same thinking. But when we do, we unwittingly devalue who Jesus really is.
. . .
The point is that Jesus Christ has been actively involved in the world from the very beginning. So the question arises, “Do we see Jesus anywhere in Genesis?” Yes! These pre-incarnate appearances of Christ are called theophanies (from two Greek words meaning “appearance [phaneia] of God [theos]”), or more specifically Christophanies. They are generally believed to be appearances of the Son of God prior to His coming “in the flesh” two thousand years ago (1 John 4:2).
You can read all of this short article by clicking on "Appearances of Christ . . . In Early Genesis?"


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Satan Testified that Jesus is the Creator

There are times when someone who opposes a person or belief and admits something that is favorable. In American legal parlance, it is a statement against interest, and can be used in court proceedings. Satan knows full well that Jesus is the Creator, and indirectly admitted this fact.

A surprising witness to the fact that Jesus is the creator is Satan, the ultimate sidewinder. This is a form of statement against interest.

There are fools who deny God's existence (Psalm 14:1) or pretend that Jesus is a myth, but even Satan and demons have sense enough to be afraid (James 2:19 NIV). When Jesus was on the earth, he was able to do creation miracles, and Satan (the ultimate sidewinder) tried to use that against him.
Matthew’s Gospel (4:1–4) has the following account of the temptation of Christ by Satan: ‘Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” ’
To finish reading this startling article, click on "A remarkable witness to creation—Satan". If you've a mind to, you can also hear the audio version.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Unbelievers Riding the Bandwagon

As biblical creationists, we want to be able to share the truth of creation, help equip Christians, and to ultimately share the gospel message. There is clearly abundant evidence refuting evolution and affirming special creation. We also provide evidence for the Genesis Flood. Why do unbelievers reject the truth?

Evidence is abundant refuting evolution and supporting special creation. As creationists, we try to share it but wonder why unbelievers will not listen.
Credit: Cropped from Pixnio / Adrian Pelletier
There are many reasons. I have long maintained that they reject the truth because they do not want it, preferring instead to embrace materialism as well as justify their rebellion against God. Also, they are under the control of their master down below (1 Cor. 2:14, 2 Cor. 4:4, John 8:44), which supports the idea that it is a spiritual matter and not about evidence. Remember, it is not our job to save anyone, and not every discussion will lead to a commitment to Jesus Christ. We do our parts and leave the rest up to the Holy Spirit.

Then there is the matter of pride. Atheists and other evolutionists want the approval of others, so they join in with derision and rejecting the evidence they pretend to desire. Most people accept evolution (as well as rejecting Christ, see Matt. 7:13-14), and folks want to appear smart. What would their friends say? It wouldn't do to hop off the bandwagon — at least, in their eyes.
We may discuss Y chromosomes that contain only a few thousand years’ worth of mutations, as expected from Noah. We may talk about a sedimentary rock layer deposited by a mud pulse that blanketed a whole continent at once, as expected from Noah’s Flood. Hundreds of similar superb science examples support Scripture. How do nature-only scientists treat these observations?

For the most part, they won’t even look at them.

A human behavioral trend called the bandwagon effect might play a role in this avoidance. The American Psychological Association’s online dictionary defines it as:
You can read the rest of the article by clicking on "Why Don't They Believe in Creation?"


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Behemoth Baffles Bible Scholars

If in Job 40:15 behemoth was simply noted and God moved on, it is easy to assume that Bible readers and scholars would have imply written it off as some animal of which Job was aware. The confusion results from the further descriptions of behemoth in the rest of the chapter.

It is fair to ask what God was talking about when he mentioned behemoth, and there are several reasons for confusion. However, one problem is the rejection of the truth of the Bible.
Image cropped from Pixabay / Ladycoffee
There are several reasons why scholars and us reg'lar folk may wonder what that beasie is, what with having immense power and a tail like a cedar. The first is that the Bible does use real animals and names in symbolic passages, such as Rahab (Joshua 6:25, Isaiah 51:9) and Leviathan (Job 41:1, Isaiah 27:1). Since the behemoth was unknown, maybe this was something strictly symbolic. But that doesn't fit with the text because God was not referring to mythical or symbolic creatures.

A second reason people are baffled is because this animal is unknown and apparently no biblical references exist outside the book of Job. Biblical creationists believe that the text supports the idea that this was a dinosaur (Job 40:16-18) that hadn't seen fit to become extinct yet. Through the years, people did not have a frame of reference until fossils of sauropods were unearthed and reconstructed.

But what is the biggest problem is that professing Christians and believing Jews give the magisterial position of atheistic interpretations of science philosophies. These owlhoots are denying the authority and perspicuity of Scripture.
In Job 40:15, God tells Job to “Behold, Behemoth,” calling him to take notice of this creature. The Hebrew word bĕhēmôt (בְּהֵמוֹת) is the plural form of bĕhēmâ (בְּהֵמָה), a generic word used to describe the domesticated “beasts/livestock” of the earth that God created on day six of creation week (Genesis 1:24) and that went onto the ark and then came out of the ark (Genesis 6:20, 9:10). In verse 15, the plural form bĕhēmôt refers to a single creature but uses the plural of majesty. Scholars recognise that this implies a “super beast” or “the beast par excellence.” What is clear, from v.15, is that Behemoth and Job have one thing in common: they are both creatures of God. The words “which I made as I made you” work “against the view that “behemoth” is a mythical creature.” A real earthly creature is clearly in view, as Konkel rightly recognizes in his commentary on Job:
To read the article in its entirety, click on "Scholars and the Mystery of Behemoth".


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