Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Creator in the Psalms

Some people try to pass off Genesis as some sort of poetic imagery or allegory of creation, but if you study on it a spell, you'll see that such a claim doesn't hold water. For one thing, take a look at what Jesus believed about Genesis, as well as the other writers through the Bible who referred to Genesis as history.

Genesis is written as history, not allegory or poetry. However, poetic sections of Scripture help us gain a fuller understanding of Creation in the Bible.
King David Playing the Harp, Gerrit van Honthorst, 1611
However, we do find poetry about creation outside of the early chapters of Genesis, and they have some mighty powerful and interesting messages for us. Here is a series of three articles by Lita Cosner of Creation Ministries International:
Also, Dr. Ben Scripture has been doing an intermittent series of "Scripture on the Creator". These are about fifteen minutes each. To listen, click on this link, and then the "Launch Sermon Player" link so you can scroll up and down to select the messages.

We need to gain a proper understanding of God's work in creation, but also appreciate its significance in Scripture, and to uphold the authority of God's Word.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Strength in Suffering

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

In another article, I discussed how some people will turn their backs on God because of disappointment in their lives, whether trivial, expecting God to be a cosmic wish-granting genie, bringing problems upon themselves and then blaming God, or from serious hardships. Some find excuses to suppress the truth of God, preferring their own sin and pride to submission to their Creator. There are others who seek God in the midst of their hardships and remain faithful. See "Pain, Disappointment, and Apostasy".

There are people who blame God for their problems that are real, trivial, or brought upon themselves. Others, such as "June", praise God in the midst of suffering and remain faithful.
Image credit: Pixabay /jill111
Paul the apostle had hardships (for example, see 2 Cor. 11:16-33, Acts 4:19-20), and you'd think that if he was relying on his own strength, he'd be quite willing to say, "Too much! I'm taking the next stage outta Dodge!" In Second Corinthians, he wrote, "By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, that I should not be exalted excessively. Concerning this thing, I begged the Lord three times that it might depart from me. He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me. Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong." (12:7-10, World English Bible).

Recently, I was communicating with a woman I'll call June. Aside from a bit of editing, I'll let you tell her story:
I am just over 34. I like animals; dogs, cats, horses, giraffe, things like that. Yellow is my favorite color with dark green as a second and light purple as a third. I love music maybe one day I will learn the piano and harp.  
Now that the simple is done on to more important things.

I became a believer at 9. I was born with several medical problems, lack of medical knowledge did not give a good prognosis then. I have CHARGE syndrome which is an acronymn that is impossible to remember, essentially it involves the eyes, ears, and digestive track as well as heart and lungs. I have bilateral coloboma in my eyes and am legally blind so cannot drive, reading can be tricky best not to have all caps, bizarre colors or overly small fonts. My left ear is deaf. I also have several autoimmune disorders Lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, arthritis, anemia, fibromyalgia, and celiac, that would all take too long to explain, I have mild cerebral palsy and scoliosisI can walk (as good as any healthy 65 year old). As a child I had several surgeries and feeding tubes. I am very loyal to my friends, I can get very defensive of them, never make a short girl angry. Apart of it is having a mother's heart, if the LORD has me marry I hope to adopt children.
June has not only remained faithful to Jesus, but is also a biblical creationist. She added that people putting forth "old earth nonsense offends us with medical problems. We do not serve a cruel God, and evolutionists tend to see us as disposable". How true! Atheists and evolutionists look for utilitarian and pragmatism. (For instance, they search for reasons for beauty in nature, waving off the remote possibility that God gave them for our benefit!) It is evolutionary thinking that gave us eugenics, after all.

This woman has had many difficulties throughout her life, including childhood surgeries and things she has to deal with even now. She has a heart for the gospel, praising God, helping other Christians, and is very pro-life. Some people would rage at God, forgetting that we're in a fallen world (Rom. 8:22, Rom. 5:12) that was originally perfect (Gen. 1:31). All will be made new, and death will be defeated (2 Peter 3:5-10, Rev. 21:1-4, 1 Cor. 15:26). People who look to themselves and their own strength will have disappointment in life, but when we focus on life in Jesus, we have tremendous hope — and our strength is in him.

Please share this article so others can be encouraged. I'm going to conclude with a gospel song that June likes:

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Season of the Witch Hunt?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Way back yonder in my school days, kids would get together based on hate. They didn't really understand hate, but they were upset with someone and disliked him or her. Then they'd recruit others to join them in their persecution efforts. You see that kind of thing today with the advent of the Internet, which became a useful tool for cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is a crime (not that people care about the law until they're actually captured). In some cases, cyberstalking and vicious bullying have driven people to suicide — and worse, such as in the case where it led to the deaths of three people.

While it's fine to fellowship with people who agree with you on things (Christians are exhorted to do so throughout the New Testament, for example), recruiting people to join in a witch hunt is petty, childish, and harmful. Part of that is based on an inner need for acceptance and to feel important (some people want to save the world from the "evils" of biblical creation but do not have a consistent moral foundation for good and evil, for example). I reckon some people never grow up, and go on a kind of witch hunt against "the enemy".

Unfortunately, Christians do the same nonsense.

There are professing Christians who act in a most unchristian manner, joining in on witch hunts against fellow believers. They need to do some thinking, fact checking, and just plain grow up.
The Witch Hunt, Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1888
On a side note, the witch hunts of history were done by people who had little or no knowledge of what the Bible teaches, especially the New Testament. Here in the U.S. of A., I consider the Salem Witch Trials a travesty and a black mark on the histories of the country and those who pretended to represent God. And I don't have good things to say about the witch hunts in other parts of the world, either.

I'm going to start with one of my latest experiences of being the hunted witch. No, not from childish atheopaths, but from a professing Christian. Tiny Matt was angry because I posted a link refuting the lies and bad scholarship claiming that Easter has pagan origins. Because of this, he "unliked" The Question Evolution Project and told us off. Apparently, he deleted his comments, but I have some from my e-mail notifications and assembled a screenshot:

Used under "Fair Use" for educational purposes. Besides, it's in my e-mail.
For a professing Christian, he is acting in a very unchristian manner. He disliked the Easter post (which he refused to read, preferring Kent Hovind's material). The entire Page is a "false prophet site" because of one item with which he disagrees? He used to like the posts. (Good thing he didn't find out I'm not a member of the King James Onlyism cult!) I challenged him to find something that was false in the Statement of Faith, but that received no response. Hero worship is a bad thing, as is poor knowledge of biblical teachings about our liberty in Christ.

EDIT 4-02-2017: I was able to locate his witch hunt post where he was being a "good Christian" by telling falsehoods:

Used under "Fair Use" for educational purposes.

Chris Rosebrough endured his own witch hunt. Tullian Tchividjian is a disgraced preacher, and Chris wanted to get more information and urged people to slow down on the matter. Because Chris Rosebrough refused to join in the persecution of Tchividjian, he received his own harassment from people who could not be bothered to actually learn the facts, or even give a Christian a fair hearing. You can learn more at "A Statement RE: Tullian & the New Allegations" as well as audio at "What Constitutes a Witch Hunt?" EDIT 7-02-2017: Rosebrough gave him a chance, but Tchividjian turned out to be dishonest, and no longer can associate with him until Tullian repents.

Dr. James White had his own harassment. He wrote a post about a black kid flipping off a police officer, speculated about the times in which we live, and the kid's upbringing. The resulting firestorm said that that Dr. White is a racist, and people were repeating the allegations without checking the facts and White's public history. He later wrote a detailed article on this, and dealt with a libeler. What was interesting to me was that he echoed some of what I have been saying about anti-creationists who view things through their Darwin spectacles (presuppositions). Dr. White talked about how people use their "lenses" to view the world, and often have to interpret events based on ethnicity and culture. See the long but important article, "Gospel Lenses and the Search for Allies (Updated with Full Response)". Also, he responded in an earlier "Dividing Line" episode (free to watch or download the audio") at "Ethnic Gnosticism and the Gospel".

My experiences being the hunt-ee are insignificant in comparison to those of Chris Rosebrough and Dr. White, as I have not been attacked by anyone of consequence or had large-scale harassment that needed much of my attention. But those two had to take significant amounts of time in the instances above, and at other times, to spend time making clarifications. (And no, although my remarks about cyberstalking being a crime and having caused the deaths of people, White and Rosebrough are not going to be driven to suicide. But some people are setting themselves up for criminal prosecution and also litigation.) Brethren, these things should not be!

This witch hunt mentality is one reason I sometimes despair of calling myself a Christian, since too many Christians are seeking self-importance instead of the truth. Some of us emphasize critical thinking and checking facts instead of spreading sensationalistic material and libeling others. Ministers end up  having to waste precious time defending themselves over false allegations when they want to be about the business of proclaiming the truth. Come on, Christians! To be blunt, this kind of behavior is expected from children, atheists, and cultists. You're being fools. Although we all sin, some need to do some serious thinking, repenting — and growing up.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Resurrection and Our Broken Planet

Even though there is a great deal of beauty in the world, the fact is, it's broken. We have no concept of what it was like just after creation. More than that, the world is broken in other ways. We have natural disasters, diseases, the origins myth of evolution foisted on the public as "science", false religions, profiteering pretend Christians, man's inhumanity to man, and much more.

We all know there is a great deal of evil in the world. What is the source, and where do we get answers?

Some folks reckon that bad things happening is a sign that God doesn't care, can't do anything, or doesn't even exist. Some even say he's evil. (Interesting, they don't use evil in the world as evidence for the existence of Satan, who is a liar and destroyer.) Such "bad God" ideas are simplistic, springing from looking for excuses to rebel against him. When these excuses are examined, they cannot withstand scrutiny.

The problem of our broken planet goes all the way back go Genesis. And that's where we begin to learn about the solution and final victory through the life, crucifixion, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus.
It is hard to deny that the world we live in is broken. Terribly broken. We are constantly bombarded with news of senseless shootings and terrorist attacks. Wars continue without end. Natural disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods claim many lives each year. Despite our wonderful modern medical technology, thousands and thousands of people die every year of cancer, stroke, diabetes, or some severe infection.

Beyond this, we see greed, poverty, abuse, jealously, racism, and seemingly every possible manifestation of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. It’s an ugly picture. This world is broken and can’t seem to find its way.

So where is the all-knowing, loving Creator God in the midst of all this pain and suffering?
To read the rest, click on "Why Is the World Broken?". 


Saturday, March 5, 2016

What About Other Views of Genesis?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

When biblical creationists take a stand for the plain reading of Genesis (historical-grammatical exegesis), some people get on the prod and want to throw down. Those are the ones who belong to cults, the Old Earth Creationists, Progressive Creationists, others — and especially theistic evolutionists. (For extensive material on theistic evolutionists, see "Waterless Clouds, Wandering Stars"). I'm puzzled as to why people who call themselves Christians want to compromise on what God's Word plainly says in order to accommodate atheistic interpretations of man-made science philosophies. I'm also amazed that compromisers team up with haywire atheists in attacking us; it gets mighty difficult to tell the atheists from those "Christians" at times!

Even though a young Earth was taught throughout church history, many Christians want to go against the plain teachings of Scripture. It's not difficult to see that the Bible does teach a recent creation, and compromise at the beginning leads to serious problems in scriptural understanding.
My e-book reader and an actual paper book.
"Science has proven that the Bible is wrong, Genesis must be an allegory, and science — "

Yeah, yeah. Hooray for the religion of Scientism. But science views keep changing, and a good understanding of science will show that there's a whole passel of circular reasoning and cherry-picked data to support long ages. But why stop there? "Science" has shown that there are no virgin births, nobody can change water to wine, people are not raised from the dead, and so on. Keep on compromising, throw away your Bible and watch videos of cats (here's one of a cat chasing a bear up a tree). Don't disunderstand me, no respectable (and knowledgeable) creationist says that believing in a literal, recent creation is a "salvation issue". However, we do contend that it's not consistent and does violence to the text, as I indicated. For example, dealing with what Jesus said about six-day creation is difficult for those people, and they come off sounding like they really don't believe the Bible at all.

When Christians began to give science over to the materialists, one consequence was rampant compromise on Genesis, despite the fact that church history shows recent creation being the established view. Even though material from owlhoots like Hutton, Lyell, Darwin and others was unscientific and sometimes dishonest, Christians were buffaloed into believing that "science" had "truth" above the pain teachings of Scripture.

One accommodation for deep time was around 1814 when the Gap Theory was introduced. It was discredited, but people brought back this zombie of bad theology. The strange concept shoved millions of years between the first two verses of the Bible. In addition, it included a pre-Adamite race of hominids, the rebellion of Lucifer, a flood wiping out all life back then, plus the misuse of the word "replenish" in Genesis 1:28 KJV. One simple problem is that God told Adam and Eve to replenish (correctly translated, "fill", Genesis 1:28) the Earth, but how can it be refilled when it was never filled with humans in the first place? Just a thought. The Gap Theory involves mistranslations, eisegesis, Scriptural saddle swapping, and much more. I recommend reading "From the beginning of the creation — Does Genesis have a ‘gap’?"

Some people will complain that we need to allow for "other interpretations" of Genesis. Why should we? Sure, people have a right to their opinions, but if they study on it, they should see that the only way to get millions or billions of years out of Genesis is to put them in there to begin with, and then commit massive eisegesis. That leads to a domino effect of compromise throughout the Bible, making Peter, Paul, Jesus and the others into deluded fools or liars! Listen up, Pilgrim: If you want to be a consistent Christian, you should know who Jesus is, and also what he believed about creation. Unless you have not only a low view of Scripture and its authority, but also a low view of Jesus, then we can't help you.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Question Evolution Day and Presuppositional Apologetics

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

On this, the fifth annual Question Evolution Day, I thought it would be helpful to discuss presuppositional apologetics (or "covenental", or "transcendental", or other names) and how it relates to biblical creation science, but also why this approach is important to apologetics in the first place. I'm not going to claim to be an expert on this, but I do have a good working knowledge of it. There are also various versions (VanTil/Bahnsen, Gordon Clark, John Frame, Michael Butler, and others). Some of they get mighty arrogant, wanting to slap leather with each other because their version of presuppositional apologetics is "wrong". I want to slap faces and say, "We're here to honor Christ, not Clark, VanTil or some other jasper who did not die for our sins!" If you have a preferred method, great! Just don't attack others who differ in their presup methods. You savvy? And some will probably be upset because I use presuppositional apologetics, and I do not claim the labels of "Reformed" or "Calvinist".

But I digress. I tend to do that, don't I? But it was important.

Although this is intended for Christian readers, there will undoubtedly be professing atheists and agnostics who take a gander at it. But they will not be able to understand it. Not necessarily from lack of intelligence, but because it's a spiritual matter (1 Cor. 2:14, 2 Cor. 4:4). Still, they may get a little something out of it. I hope Christians get a great deal from the material contained herein.

Paul Preaching at Ephesus / Eustache Le Sueur, 1649

In simplest terms, presuppositional apologetics means to have a consistent approach to knowledge and reasoning from our biblical foundations; there is no "neutral ground". Atheists and evolutionists are not consistent in their worldviews, using arbitrary assertions and ad hoc arguments with many logical fallacies thrown in. They hate and ridicule presuppositional apologetics because it's bad medicine for their incoherent paradigms, and claim that they have "refuted" it through straw man arguments and ridicule. (Ironically, they are hardcore presuppositionalists themselves, basing their worldviews on naturalism and humanistic philosophies.) We all have our starting points, and the Christian's starting point should be to elevate God's revealed Word above man's philosophies.

We believe that the unbeliever is in no position to put God on trial and determine through his intellect whether or not God exists and is worthy of his worship. That's extremely arrogant, if you study on it. The limited created ones who are in rebellion against God thinking they can reason about the infinite Creator, a spirit, using naturalistic methods? That's called the category mistake, pilgrim.

An article for Question Evolution Day on apologetic methods, atheists, disingenuous apostates, and presenting the truth of the Creator in a biblical manner.

Unfortunately, there are Christians such as RC Sproul who misrepresent presup based on biases and a misunderstanding of the method. Just like the squabbling over who is "right" in the presup method, misrepresentation is not Christ-honoring, either. Yes, presups use evidence, and evidential apologists use presuppositions. We happen to present our evidence in a presuppositional framework, going back to the foundations, and do not make evidence our primary focus. Our worldview is all-encompassing, not just about science, logic, and creation, because Jesus has authority over all things, not just religion and morality.

To have coherent logic, certain things must be true about the world. Presups start with God, unbelievers start with humanism. Science needs consistency and logic, neither of which can be accounted for in a naturalistic worldview. When an atheist performs science or uses logic, he is tacitly admitting that God is real (Heb. 1:3, Col. 2:3, John 1:3, Col 1:9), because they are abandoning their worldviews and standing on ours (for example, Bill Nye). A professing atheist can reason and do science stuff because of the truth of God's Word, and because he is created in the image of God — but they cannot account for logic, morality, and so on.

There have been times when atheists have complained about my inconsistencies, both real and imagined. For instance, a complaint that we ban people from The Question Evolution Project, and I reject obstreperous and defamatory comments elsewhere (Prov. 22:10): "Do your own fascist tendencies not bother you? Apparently not since you have set up a north korean [sic] style propaganda blog for creato-fascism and suppression of unwanted facts". I have challenged atheists by asking, "So what? If that is true, why is it wrong in your worldview? Why can't I act like an atheist? Why can't I use 'survival of the fittest' and do whatever I think is right that helps me to better survive?" Indeed, to quote Mr. Gordons, we are "meat machines" — that is, in an atheistic and evolutionary worldview, we are bundles of chemicals responding to our electrochemical impulses; there is no right and wrong. Not only do they have no business complaining about a Christian's perceived faults (and irrationally using those to conclude that, therefore, there is no God), they have to live with it — we were born this way!

Just like some people will say that biblical creation creates barriers to people receiving the gospel message, the same accusation is made about presuppositional apologetics. I reckon that this charge is based on biases and lack of understanding. I have to continually refine my own apologetic, and can see that not only was it rather poor a few years ago, I've made headway, but I still have a long trail yet to ride.

Dr. James White had Pastor Jeff Durbin as a guest on The Dividing Line. This was rudely scheduled at a most inconvenient time for me, just before Christmas 2015 and then Question Evolution Day coming up. (As a Christian, I have to forgive them for their lack of consulting with me about my convenience, but also for ignoring my efforts to contact them about Question Evolution Day. Atheists cannot account for forgiveness, even on real infractions, in their worldview.) The video was a response to a video posted by Noah Adam, who roundly criticized Jeff Durbin.

I really hope that you will spend time on the video (or audio download). Yes, that bad boy is quite long, but you have the option of taking it in installments. (I got excited about it, saved it, and re-listened with extensive note-taking on January 22, 2016, the day I wrote this article.) If you do, you will notice that I drew heavily from material in the first half hour (can you hear that much, at least?). You will learn about presup, and also see it in action.

Side note for the presenters: Maple syrup on an Arby's roast beef sounds good to me. Try it with duck sauce sometime.

Dr. White and Pastor Durbin were too charitable to apostate Noah Adam in my opinion. That owlhoot was downright disingenuous, acting like a concerned Christian who wanted to give suggestions to Durbin, but is actually an agnostic. Pretending to be a believer and offering suggestions is an all too common manipulative trick that unbelievers employ. What would be the final goal if Durbin took Adam's advice? He would be abandoning a biblical apologetic method in favor of sinful man's philosophies. Ain't happening, old son.

It would also mean that White and Durbin are stupid, because Adam offered tribble-droppingly bad arguments based on lack of research, bigotry, and prejudicial conjecture, which brought to mind not only Psalm 53:1, but also Prov. 18:6). He also used loaded terminology in an effort to poison the well against Pastor Durbin. One thing I emphasize is that people need to learn how to spot basic logical fallacies and employ critical thinking. F'rinstance, you can see that Noah Adam is assuming that Durbin is wrong, and then attacking that position.

Enough of my presentation. I hope you'll watch or listen, go to this link: "Responding to Noah Adam’s Criticism of Jeff Durbin (with Jeff in Studio)". In addition, I recommend Dr. Jason Lisle's "Ultimate Proof of Creation" (a video on that topic is here). A video by Dr. Greg Bahnsen on "The Myth of Neutrality" is extremely helpful, but you may want to act quickly because those tend to disappear from YouTube. Speaking of Bahnsen, you can also get the book Always Ready. Jeff Durbin recommends another book in the video, pay attention for that one. I'll stop with the philosophy of science series by Michael Butler on Sermon Audio.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fighting for Question Evolution Day 5

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Once again, I had the privilege of being interviewed on Fighting for the Faith by Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio, and we not only had a good discussion on creation, evolution, Question Evolution Day, the folly of theistic evolution, and theology, but we also had some fun with it. He said he asked me back. Although after last year's interview he said he'd have me back, but I wonder how much of it is because I "reminded" him of it a few times. Hearing this back, I realize that really need to get a new microphone.

I had a passel of notes ready to go, but only used some of them. It's just as well, I had the bit in my teeth and Chris had to say whoa more than once. (The reporter I had a phone interview with the other day also found out that I like to talk on these subjects, that went for an hour.) I had some references that his regular listeners will catch, plus a couple of Monty Python remarks. Pastor Rosebrough clarified something for me, and I think you'll get a short but important theology lesson from him in this interview.

We discussed celebrating Question Evolution Day. Pastor Rosebrough suggested that we have a meal. My wife and I are having (primordial) soup, (ancestral) fish fry, and (geologic column) layer cake. There's another very appropriate idea for dessert, but neither of us are interested in that.

Clearing up some misconceptions about Question Evolution Day. People can participate wherever they are, as little or as much as they wish. Also, difficulties for biblical creationists to be heard in Bible-believing churches.
Made this using a chalkboard menu generator.
It's interesting how both of us are working in parallel on some things, which includes dealing with bad reasoning and "proof texting" (in evolutionary science, the Darwinistas use "cherry picking"). Both of us also use snark to some extent, and I appreciate Chris' recommendation of Pastor Hans Fiene's message on the use of it.

Some things I brought up are definitely worth mentioning here in addition to Question Evolution Day. Christian churches need to take a stand for biblical creation and against compromise by having Creation Sunday, click here. Second, there are legislators in the US that want to establish "Darwin Day". Not hardly! Secular humanism is already creeping in as the established state religion, against the Constitution, and making a Darwin Day just makes this establishment of religion more blatant. Check out "Stop Darwin Day" for more information. 

Am I already in trouble for making waves on a government religious holiday?

Also, I told him about the fabulous Christian rock parody band, ApologetiX. See their excellent video "Monkeys for Uncles", below.

Jumping ahead, after the interview was Pastor Rosebrough's review of a heretic's "sermon". Interestingly, there were some things I saw in there that go back to Genesis. The hyper-faith sidewinders emphasize the power of your words to speak things into being, and they often refer to creation week: God spoke, and it was so. Now you speak and "release your faith". Except that I have never seen or heard of someone causing something to appear from nothing. (Well, some atheists say that everything came from nothing, but that's their blind faith masquerading as science.) When people hear that stuff, they need to slow down and check the claims with the Word in context.

All right, I've run on at my unregistered assault keyboard long enough. If you've a mind to hear the podcast, click here to listen online or download. On my browsers, I right-click on the part that says "download" and save the MP3 that way.