Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Praying to Plants?

This is one of those times when we may wonder if the apostasy of the end times is upon us, especially with the extremely rapid moral decline in society. It is one thing for people to have no concern or even contempt for God, but to pray and confess our sins to plants?

When alleged Christians begin praying to plants, you can be reasonably sure that they have rejected their foundations.
Credit: freestocks.org
Some Native Americans would pray to the spirits of the animals they had killed, and they had other elements of pantheism and animism in their eclectic religions. Now some global warming activists and owlhoots at an allegedly Christian seminary are having people confess their sins to plants. Union Theological Seminary was, for a short time, orthodox in its theology until it became extremely liberal. They are the ones involved in these shenanigans.

Let's ride up on the hill and look at the bigger view for a spell. We have to look all the way back to Genesis, where God gave us dominion and stewardship over creation. Plants were created on the third day of creation week, with land animals and, ultimately, humans on the sixth day. Biblically, plants are not alive in the sense of nephesh chayyāh (נפש חיה), having the breath of life. This term is used for humans and animals, but never for plants. I'll allow that it may seem that way at times, since plants actually communicate (for example, see "Tree Mail in the Wood Wide Web"). They are not sentient beings, despite the desires of New Age foolishness.

Further, there were no carnivores at the very beginning (Gen 1:29-30). This happened after the Fall where Adam and Eve's sin affected all creation. People started gnawing on critters after the Flood (Gen. 9:2-3). Nothing in the Bible about praying to animals or people, but only to God.

Not only have these "spiritual" people abandoned the foundations of the Christian faith, they are also using evolutionary thinking. According to them, we all came from a common ancestor, so humans are not special in their worldview. It is a strange mix of atheistic materialism and pagan religious practices to have so-called Christians confessing "sins" to plants. That's not how it work, pilgrim.

I would like to turn you over to the inspiration for this here post, Dr. Albert Mohler. He has three segments in his podcast that are downright startling: Part I: "Union Theological Seminary Confesses Sin to Plants: If You Do Not Worship the Creator, You Will Worship the Creation". Part II: "The Worldview of the ‘Corn Mother’ — A Sign of Cultural Insanity". Part III" Do Plants Talk to You? One Scientist Insists that They Speak to Her". I'd be much obliged if you would listen online, download the MP3, or read the transcript. To do this, click on The Briefing Thursday, September 19, 2019.

As for me and probably most rational people, I am going to pray to the giver of food, not to the food itself.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Christians and Philosophy

Cowboys riding the long trail usually clam up, but once in a while, someone commences philosophizing. When the subject is met with little more than grunts from the others, silence ensues again. If you study on it, it seems that everybody has a philosophy of some sort. There are many philosophers throughout history, and many are relegated to history books.

Some people are put off by philosophy, some do not care, some are enthusiastic. The Bible actually has a great deal to say about it.
Le Philosophe by Henri Martin
When people talk about philosophers, images of smug intellectuals taking solitary walks and pondering, or discussing their versions of the meaning of life while smoking pipes. I have stated that I find philosophy useless because I have no use for the ideas of Kierkegaard, Rousseau, Kant, and so on. However, I learned a few things about philosophy since then, especially the practice and purpose.

Some folks shy away from philosophy as ungodly, referring to Colossians 2:8. Context, people! Chasing after worldly philosophies can be very harmful, but the Bible is actually loaded with philosophy. Regular readers know that I emphasize logic, which is a branch of philosophy. So are ethics (morality, right and wrong), the nature of reality, and the study of knowledge.

"But Cowboy Bob, I don't care a whit about philosophy. I study science!"

Science is a philosophical means of interpreting evidence according to one's worldview. Also, ask the scientist who has a doctorate what PhD stands for. So, someone who shuns philosophy in favor of science is still doing philosophy.

Just like having some knowledge of evolution is important for a biblical creationist (many creationist scientists are former atheist evolutionists), a knowledge of some of the basic secular views can be helpful. Remember, however, that true wisdom and knowledge are found in God's Word.
A colleague of mine once said, “Stay away from philosophy.  The Bible says that philosophy is bad and that we should avoid it.”  But does the Bible really say that?  What exactly is philosophy, and what does the Bible really say about it?
The word ‘philosophy’ comes from the Greek word meaning “love of knowledge” or “love of wisdom.”  In this sense, the Bible is very pro-philosophy.  The Bible commends obtaining both knowledge and wisdom.  Proverbs 2:6 states, “For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  Proverbs 3:13 states, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.”  But what is meant by the English word ‘philosophy’ and does the Bible really condemn it?
To read the rest, click on "Beware of Philosophy!"


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Listen to my Bible Story?

Our choice of words is vital when we want to communicate about important subjects. An important reason of this is the connotations of words. For example, my mother took exception to my description of a fragrance: it reeks. It did reek, but that word implies that the fragrance was unpleasant.


Words change their meanings over time, and have different associations now than they had before. One of these is the word "story".
Credit: Clker clipart
Words change their meanings over the years. One example is in Genesis 1:28 KJV, where God commanded mankind and animals to replenish the earth. Back in 1611, that was understood to mean fill, but newer translations avoid replenish. In A. Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story, "The Adventure of Black Peter", we read: "The outhouse was the simplest of dwellings, wooden-walled, shingle-roofed, one window beside the door and one on the farther side. Stanley Hopkins drew the key from his pocket and had stooped to the lock, when he paused with a look of attention and surprise upon his face." As Americans can probably see, an outhouse is more aptly named than the American, uh, relief station.

Our focus is the word story. It has several meanings, including a valid historical account, but it can also mean fictions that cowboys tell while riding the trail back to Dodge. I was told a story (as in, "We want to tell you our experience") about two American sisters visiting another country. The tour guide presented something rather fanciful, and one sister said to the other, "That's a story!" Problem was, the guide had just stopped talking and many people heard the remark.

It has reached a point now that when we tell Bible stories such as Creation, the Fall, the Flood, the Resurrection, and others, people tend to think of them as cute and fun, not as important historical events. I'll allow that it's a mite frustrating at times to avoid referring to the story of Jesus changing water into wine because of the positive use of the word story. We need to do a rethink, and find valid substitutes so people — especially children — know that these are not simple entertainment when we are doing serious apologetics. Fortunately, the article linked below gives us a few options.
I grew up with Bible “stories.” I heard them in Sunday School and youth programs. I read books about Bible “stories.” I was taught about Bible “stories” for years and years. People have compared Bible stories with other stories and fictional movies like the Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Aesop’s Fables, or Star Wars. I even talked about Bible “stories” when teaching in the past.

But all that changed.

One day I made a comment about the evolutionary “story.” I had a man come up to me, and he was clearly not happy. He was very upset that I had called evolution a “story,” because to him, it wasn’t a “story” but the “truth.” He was okay with me calling biblical accounts “stories,” because, as he put it, ”the Bible was full of myths and fictional accounts so they could rightly be called stories.” But how dare I call evolution “a story” in his view.
To finish reading, click on "What’s Wrong with the Word Story?" And please get rid of those dreadful bathtub-style cutesie Noah's Ark things. Don't you want the kids to take the Flood and God's Judgment seriously?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Science and the Depravity of Man

It is interesting and sometimes fun to identify ways in which scientists have discovered things that were in the Bible long before. Yes, we know, the Bible is not a science textbook. When scientific items are mentioned, however, it is always correct. It seems that scientists are learning about human depravity.


Another place where secular science inadvertently supports the Bible is the depravity of man. They may begin to realize that materialism cannot produce moraltiy.
Credit: Freeimages / Cyan Li
God's Word tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart of man is (depending on the translation) desperately sick, wicked corrupt, incurable. Our righteousness is repulsive to God (Isaiah 64:6, Psalm 10:4, Ephesians 2:1-5). We may have the notion that we are good people and God looks on us fondly, bragging to the angels about how wonderful we are, but that is the opposite of the truth. Our hearts are deceitful and corrupt, and we think we are doing good things for the right reasons, but that's not necessarily the case. Sure, sometimes people will do great things, but that is because God has placed knowledge of himself in our hearts (Romans 2:15), even though people try to suppress knowledge of God (Romans 1:18).

A major tenet of several denominations is often called the total depravity of man. That name is a mite misleading because some folks may take it to mean that nobody does anything good, ever, but Jesus shows in Luke 11:11-13 that we are capable of some good. But we are likely to do something rotten. That's why we have jails and such.

There are people who claim that they do not need the Bible to give them morality, that they have it in themselves — such a claim supports the Bible. Others say that they get their morality from evolution instead of the Creator. Survival of the fittest? That justifies all sorts of wickedness, including lying, cheating, stealing, even murder. If those things help someone to survive, why not do them? Indeed, atheism, evolutionism, and materialism cannot account for morality; if someone is helping himself survive better, the materialist cannot be consistent in his or her worldview by raising objections to being on the receiving end.

Since secularists deny God, they attempt to alleviate human problems with social programs, psychology. Their false salvation fails almost from the onset, and cannot replace the real thing. Some researchers have confirmed what God has told us all along about human nature. They conducted some rather interesting studies.
Science reveals that people are just like what the Bible says they are: image-bearers of their Creator, yet fallen into sin.

If evolution is true, people would be incapable of apprehending objective reality or agreeing on immutable moral standards. They would be selfish and concerned only with survival. If the Bible is true, by contrast, people would be exceptionally noble above the animals, would have an innate sense of right and wrong, and yet would have a bent toward sin that could be overcome by trust and obedience in their Maker (in this life, at least partially). Evaluate the likely correct view, considering these recent empirical observations.
To read the rest, click on "Science Confirms Biblical Human Nature". A short article fits this subject well, "Psychologist Confirms Depravity of Man". Finally, "Secular Materialism vs Morality", which has a satirical piece by David F. Coppedge on cannibal rights in the future.



Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Virtue Signaling and Denying Genesis

A prideful trend in religious circles is virtue signaling. People want attention for being trendy, and this humanistic trend also appears among anti-creationists.
by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Over the years, this child has had to endure new expressions while riding the Christian Life Trail. Members of the body of Christ  have been lacking in their commitment to the Word of God almost from the get-go, as the early epistles will attest. It seems that things are getting worse nowadays.

Some of the new expressions include woke and wokeness, critical race theory, and other anti-Christian humanistic philosophies that are found mostly on the political left and with liberal professing Christians. A large part of that is virtue signaling, which involves prideful "dig me!" trumpet sounding from those who seek the approval of men instead of proclaiming the truth and authority of Scripture. When these signals and philosophies come from professing Christians, they are even more disgusting than when leftists scream in the streets.

Notice how there has been a great deal of news lately about professing Christians who have apostatized such as Michael and Lisa Gungor, Marty Samson, Joshua Harris, and others. Further, in my experience, atheists are becoming angrier and more obstreperous. Leftists are becoming more and more extreme about upholding behaviors that God hates, and our religious liberty is under attack even in America. Seems to me that these things are connected.

All major Christian doctrines have threads leading back to Genesis. You can have a discussion with a professing atheist, and when it comes to showing how their mythologies of origins (including the Big Bang and universal common ancestor evolution), they really get on the prod. Sanctimonious owlhoots make a pretense at religion, put on the "Why can't we all just get along?" masque, then ride for the Darwin brand. They team up with atheists to ridicule biblical creationists. These alleged Christians who attack us also do a whole heap of virtue signaling: they reject Genesis for the applause of God's enemies, then brag about how they are more intelligent and spiritual. How perverse is that?

Phil Johnson presented a talk that was very informative and useful to the Bible-believing Christian. I'd be very much obliged if you'd spend just over half an hour hearing what he has to say. You can watch the video here, or listen to it on SoundCloud. If you click on the "More" button, there is an option to download the MP3. Also, here is his short article on the subject. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Confronting Atheistic Worldviews

When engaging your typical internet village atheist, the Christian apologist seldom encounters rational discussion. To use a common expression, I have found that these professing atheists are control freaks. Not only do they insist that their worldview is superior to ours because atheism, they are hostile to our presentations of reason.


Sometimes atheists wish to have rational discussions, preferring instead to justify their rebellion against God. Challenge their worldview and keep them on topic.
Credit: Pixabay / Arek Socha
Atheists and other anti-creationists attempt to justify their worldviews and morality by attacking God and simultaneously saying they "lack belief" in his existence and creation. Evidence for his existence is rejected based on their materialistic presuppositions, not because of flaws in our logic or the evidence. The use of presuppositional apologetics is something that really puts burrs under their saddles because we give critiques of their worldviews, expose flaws in their epistemology, point out logical fallacies, and especially because we stand on the authority of God's Word. 

Some get downright nasty when they are challenged. One creepy anti-creationist was defeated because he could not cogently respond to my challenges; his misrepresentations and failures can be seen here, and some examples of his logic failures are here. One of those was when he claimed that I was lying, so I posted that even if I was, how would that be wrong in his worldview? He was unable to answer.

Here is another example. This rancorous owlhoot refused to read the material and was harassing someone else who commented on a post. Like others, he demanded that I answer his objections, making me his errand boy:


Click for larger
Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes,
text enhanced because text on original screenshot was too faint
From my experience and learning, I see that people get on the prod when their excuses for rebellion against God and biblical authority are challenged. I've been subjected to bullying and manipulation before, so I was not having it. This guy, like others, needs to humble himself and repent.

In many discussions and "debates", atheists and anti-creationists are given answers and then jump around like they are fleeing a brush fire. Hitler's alleged Christianity is often invoked. The following article that I learned about from The Domain for Truth contains a written discussion between a Christian and an atheist. Note how the Christian uses presuppositional apologetics and calls out the atheist on his bad reasoning. It's very interesting and I hope it will be helpful to you. Note that I am not endorsing the entire site, I don't even know the identities of the authors. To read it, click on Got Mittens — I mean, "Gott mit uns".

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Separating Genesis from Science

Biblical creationists and other professing Christians freely admit that the Bible is not a science book. That is a good thing, because it would have to be constantly rewritten — especially regarding origins. There are people who wonder how we should handle the first eleven chapters of Genesis and hot it relates to science.

There are Christians who want to elevate science above the Bible and are frustrated that God does not tell us how he does miracles. Some wonder if the first chapters of Genesis are merely poetry.
Credit: RGBStock / Billy Frank Alexander
Some folks wonder if the first part of Genesis is poetry, a polemic, or something else. The Bible is history, and this fact has been verified many times. It also records miraculous events, which puts burrs under the saddles of materialists. God does not tell us how he did many things, but we trust God not only for the miracles of history, but Christians trust God for our salvation, the return of Jesus, and the restoration at the end of all things. Science does not warrant a superior position over God's Word even though it is a useful tool. 

A letter to CMI asks,
As someone who takes by faith that God created the universe and all that is in it, as Hebrews would instruct us, it would seem though that in the Genesis account, we are not provided with detail of the “how”. Is this not the scientific question? Seeking to understand more of the “how?
And as the scientific endeavour continues, and as we come alongside other scientists looking for answers, what if we indeed wade in along with them to uncover the “how”?
You can read the rest of the correspondence by clicking on "Is Genesis poetic? Doesn’t Genesis explain the 'why' and ‘science’ the 'how'?" Take note of the links in the responses as well as the related material afterward for more articles.

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