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".


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Hezekiah in History

Many years ago, I attended a Christian high school that was run by Fundamentalists, but the school was interdenominational. Quite a change for this child who was being raised in liberal theology. Anyway, they had a daily "chapel" for the small high school. One guest pastor told us to turn to the book of Hezekiah. I started flipping through my Bible, and the girl next to me was doing nothing. For good reason.

Some people doubt the biblical account of Hezekiah his encounter with the Assyrians. There is historical and archaeological evidence supporting the narrative.
King Hezekiah crying out to God.
Image credit: Sweet Publishing via Free Bible Images (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Many of the kings of Israel and Judah were mighty wicked folks, but when it was Hezekiah's turn, his heart was right toward God. Trouble is, they had neighbors that would get the occasional notion to make war. The Assyrians attacked, and things looked bad until Hezekiah implored the Lord for help. He got it in a big way.

Bible deniers have said that archaeology has found no evidence of some things recorded in the Bible, therefore, the Bible is full of myths and legends. That's ridiculous reasoning. For one thing, it's an argument from silence. Another problem is the huge time gap between when people started searching for places to excavate and the times of the people and events. Also, many places cannot be excavated because people are living there. "Excuse me, mind if we set up an encampment and dig in your front yard for a few months?" That'll be the day!

However, nothing in archaeology has contravened a biblical narrative. In fact, there is historical and archaeological evidence supporting the existence of Hezekiah and his encounter with the Assyrians.
One of the most remarkable examples of God’s deliverance in the Bible is the encounter between Hezekiah, king of Judah, and Sennacherib, king of Assyria, at the end of the 8th century BC. A detailed account, from the Israelite perspective, can be found in 2 Kings 18–19. In recent times, this story has been made all the more fascinating since archaeologists have uncovered abundant evidence to corroborate many of the details in the biblical record. Given that the discipline of archaeology must rely upon whatever physical evidence just happened to survive the ravages of time, archaeologists are not able to confirm every historical detail in Scripture. Yet there are numerous cases in which the excavated evidence supports the Bible in spades, as it does in this instance. What follows in this three-part series of articles are many of the significant discoveries that help to confirm the Bible’s record of the confrontation between Sennacherib and Hezekiah.
These will take some time, but they are quite fascinating.

When God rescued King Hezekiah, part 1
Archaeology confirms the biblical account of Judah’s deliverance from Assyrian invaders 


When God rescued King Hezekiah, part 2
Archaeology confirms the biblical account—Hezekiah’s preparations in Jerusalem


When God rescued King Hezekiah, part 3
Archaeology confirms the biblical account—Jerusalem’s deliverance and Sennacherib’s end


Also of interest, The prophet Isaiah’s signature?

Labels