Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Problem of Evil and the Biblical Worldview

One of the biggest problems for unbelievers and Christians alike is what is often called the problem of evil. People have different concepts of what they consider evil, but those are essentially based on trends in cultures or even personal preferences.

People say that something is evil, but they need a consistent standard. This is a way to deal with it and to realize that we are finite; we cannot understand everything. We live by faith.
Credit: Freeimages / createsima
The candies I'm chawing right now are evil because I'm not supposed to have them, but it's my fault for eating the things. The bird that flew away with Captain America's hot dog was evil. There are some Christians who consider rock music to be evil because, well, because. Others consider country music evil. Those examples are personal preferences (and a bit of sarcasm), not there is no actual evil involved.

Natural disasters are evil because of the destruction of property and loss of life, but that is really nature doing what nature does. Terrorists are evil, but from their perspective, they are seeking some kind of greater good. Brian Sims acts like pro-life activists are evil, but pro-life people consider him evil for advocating the murders of unborn children. One tinhorn considers biblical creationists liars and evil because we present evidence refuting his deep time and idolatrous position.

There has to be an ultimate standard for good and evil. This cannot be found in an evolutionary or atheistic worldview, since they think we are simply responding to our chemical impulses; when they complain that something is evil, they are standing on the biblical creationist worldview! I challenged the tinhorn mentioned earlier that, if I was indeed lying, why would that be wrong according to his worldview? He was defeated because he could not give a cogent answer, and displayed his subjective opinion instead.

There are people who reject God because of evil in the world. After all, why doesn't he do something about it? God is the Creator and he is sovereign. We are not entitled to understand everything he does, but what kind of God would he be if his finite creation could fully understand him? Christians are to respond in faith that he has purposes and that ultimately, everything glorifies him. No, that is not an ego thing where he wants us to applaud his every move. The glory of God is far deeper than that.
Perhaps the most frequent argument used by skeptics against the Christian faith is that a good, loving, and all-powerful God wouldn't possibly allow evil (along with sorrow, pain, bloodshed, etc.) into his world. Evil obviously exists in our world. It is all around us. Thus, the biblical God can’t possibly exist. If he did, and he was indeed omnipotent, he would obviously do something about it! It is not only skeptics, however, who struggle with this “problem of evil.” The Christian who shares his faith will find that this question probably causes more people to doubt the validity of the Bible and the Christian faith than any other. This author, based only on his own anecdotal experiences, would argue that it is a greater stumbling block to people than is even the creation-evolution debate. Therefore, the Christian must be prepared to explain the existence of evil. Fortunately, within the Christian worldview it is possible to do just that. Outside the Christian worldview, it is not. There are no adequate explanations for evil in other worldviews.
To finish reading, click on "Creation and the Problem of Evil".

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Make a Bible Casserole with Current Trends

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Christians who believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible have been scorned for centuries. Many of us have been persecuted in varying forms, even to the point of death. People do not want to be reminded that there is a Creator who is also their Judge, and they are accountable to him. We could make it easier by giving in on certain areas.

When we mix the Bible with cultural and secular science trends, we are elevating those above God's Word. Some folks think we should just give up and get with the times.
Credit: RGBStock / John Byer
Get with the times, don't be on the wrong side of history! Society changes, so should religious people, right? Not hardly! Cultures can change quickly. What was scandalous a few years ago is acceptable today. And back again. It was acceptable to be ant-Semitic in Germany, but that fell out of fashion, except that it is becoming acceptable for American leftists and Louis Farrakhan. Should we join in or is there an ultimate standard?

Women can be pastors despite what Scripture says. Atheist women can be pastors despite the Bible (and rational thought). Marriage can be redefined to include marriage to yourself, your pet, someone of the same sex, or whatever despite what God established — and societies accepted for millennia. Science is being hijacked to support leftist causes such as transgenderism and denying scientific facts of differences between men and women. Should we saddle up and ride with everyone else?

Science has shown that Earth is billions of years old, universal common ancestor evolution is a fact, everything began with the Big Bang, and so on. We don't need the clear teachings of the Bible, and we can pick whatever "science" confirms our biases. All that scientific evidence for the young earth and refuting evolution can be discarded so we can just get along with everyone. Should we join in?

While we're compromising, we may as well keep going. "Science has shown" that the virgin birth could not have happened. Miracles cannot happen at all because atheism. Obviously, Jesus could not have been raised from the dead. After all, Jesus as just a man of his time. Same for Paul, Peter, and the other New Testament writers, so all of them were limited in knowledge and made mistakes. Scriptura sub scientia using naturalistic (atheist) interpretations of ever-changing man-made science philosophies. God can take a nap in the next room, we'll call him if we decide he is necessary.

Group hug, everybody!

When people reject the Bible's authority, they make it into a casserole:
  • obtain sciencey foundation as your large dish, making sure to select leftist trends and evolution to help undermine notions of biblical inerrancy
  • insert things that you want to believe
  • add a generous dose of cultural trends
  • select views from various religions for flavor
  • bake in the fires of Hell until golden brown
  • top with opinions of the moment
  • serve 
Variations on this recipe have been used for many years, but the acceleration toward evolutionary thinking and secularism have added more buffalo chips than it had in the past.

Without our biblical foundations, we have no basis for science and logic (which may be a reason so many secularists and leftists are unskilled in critical thinking). More than that, our faith is worthless — not only are we wasting our time, but we are without hope facing eternity.

Who do you want to please? I don't pay no nevermind to those who think I am a fool for Jesus and for the Word of God. Any Christian who believes the Bible should focus on the author and finisher of our faith, not the opinions of men and women. Those who reject the authority and inerrancy of the Word need to repent.

This article was inspired by one from Dr. R. Albert Mohler. I recommend for your edification "Should Christians Just Admit That The Bible 'Got It Wrong' And Move On?"

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Thought Experiment: Rebuilding Science

The thought experiment concept has been around for a very long time, even before mathematics became a formal discipline. Scientists use it for a "what if" approach to imagine the results of an event or procedure. Here, we start with an apocalyptic event.

Read a thought experiment where the world is devastated and we have to rebuild. However, we also need to rebuild science. We can do it - because we still have the Bible.
Credit: Pixabay / Pete Linforth
In a sudden global catastrophe, our nice planet gets wrecked. (In my version, atheists tried to destroy all creation science materials through special bombs, but they backfired and destroyed all science and many other things.) Yep, something terrible happened. We have to commence rebuilding, but we don't have science to work with.

So we have to rebuild science as well.

The Shivas were not able to destroy our Bibles, much to their chagrin. But the Bible contains what we need to make a new beginning. We can learn theology, logic, that the nature of the universe is predictable, and more. Atheists and other anti-creationists can help, but we cannot use their views for our foundations because science is impossible without God.

What follows is a set of three articles presenting the thought experiment and working through it.
Imagine that humanity has emerged from the rubble of a nuclear holocaust. All the science textbooks are gone. Years have passed and many things have been forgotten. In many cases, we don’t know what’s true and what isn’t. Is the earth round or flat? Does the earth go around the sun, or is it the other way around? We don’t have access to any of the sources we would normally turn to with questions like this, and if we want to find out, we have to build the tools to do so from scratch. But as you stagger forward from the ruins of civilization, you’re not completely bereft of everything, because you’re still holding a Bible, and your thinking is shaped on a fundamental level by the culture that arose from it.
To read the rest, click on "Dystopian science Part 1: Why the Bible enables science to work". Don't forget to come back for next two parts.
We know that the Bible can give rise to science in our dystopian scenario, because it has already given rise to science in the real world. From history, we know the founders of most of the branches of modern science were Christians. They were doing science because they believed they were, in the words of the great astronomer Johannes Kepler, “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.” They were using these very assumptions, and these assumptions are what underpins the entire field we call “science”. We can now go out and perform experiments, and then extrapolate those results logically (since logic is based in the Person and Word of God) to come up with conclusions about how the world works. So it is not illogical to suggest that in a dystopian scenario, the Bible would again give rise to science, as long as there were still people around who wanted to “think God’s thoughts after Him.”

. . .

Science advances as older, sometimes flawed ideas are challenged and replaced with better ideas. And the Bible allows for this, because, while it is not a science textbook, it gives us a framework and a mandate for science. It also gives us a way of thinking that should enable us to more and more closely approach the truth, or at least to disprove false ideas.
You can read all of this installment by clicking on "Dystopian science Part 2: Conspiracy theories require a magical world". We have one more after you get back.
God is a God of order (c.f. 1 Corinthians 14:33), and we can easily see this in Scripture. For example, He made the sun, moon, and stars “for signs and for seasons, and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14)—that assumes knowledge of astronomy, physics, mathematics, a concept of linear time, a calendar system, rationality, and the ability to make empirical observations—all in one verse! Thoughts like this help us to understand that there is a normative order in nature and provides the basis for a pragmatic, practical use of science.

Our thought experiment has turned out unexpectedly optimistic! God has given us all the foundation we need in Scripture to do science and to test the claims of others who claim to be authorities. So where do we start?
To read the final article in its entirety, click on "Dystopian science Part 3: Rebuilding science from the ground up".

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Triassic Tumors or a Very Good Creation

Biblical creationists have some challenges to meet in order to remain faithful to Scripture. One of those is with fundamentally flawed dating methods used by secularists as well as religious compromisers. In this case, a Triassic tumor dated to be 240 million years old.

Secularists and religious compromisers on long ages challenge biblical creationists with faulty evidence. Here, a fossil with bone cancer dated at 240 million years is used.
Pappochelys rosinae reconstruction image credit: Wikimedia Commons / Rainer Schoch
We maintain that the Bible says what it means, and to change the plain reading to accommodate long-age owlhoots is unfaithful to the text (Prov. 30:6, 1 Cor. 4:6, Isaiah 40:8). But what of radiometric dating that puts critters back millions of years, and some of them had cancer? Despite the claims of secularists, radiometric dating has serious flaws. This includes wildly disparate results — including for rocks of known ages. Fact is, the Genesis Flood is a more rational description for what is found in geology.

Compare faulty claims of deep time to Scripture, where God said his creation was very good (Gen. 1:31). It beggars reason to believe that God used the waste, inefficiency, cruelty, and chaos of evolution as his method of creation. He allowed cancer to be in his very good world? No. Death and disease were not there at the beginning, and will not be there at the restoration of all things, old son.
German researchers described rare bone cancer in a Triassic reptile fossil found in limestone near Velberg, Germany. The find reignites conversations about the origin of diseases and ultimately of life.

The team published micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scans of the creature’s femur in the journal JAMA Oncology. It showed the insides of the enlarged region and confirmed the haphazard bone growth characteristic of a periosteal osteosarcoma—a rare bone cancer. According to the PhysOrg news that announced the discovery, this disease affects about 850 U.S. citizens each year, but occurs at an even lower rate in fossils.
To read the rest about this fascinating research and its meaning to biblical creationists, click on "Triassic Tumor Raises Creation Questions".

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Appearances of the Creator in the Old Testament

On Resurrection Sunday, most Christians celebrate the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead. While the man Jesus began his earthly life in Bethlehem, God the Son has always existed. He made himself known in several places in the Old Testament. These are called theophanies.

While we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we can also remember that he is our Creator. He also appeared in the Old Testament.
Abraham Receiving the Three Angels by Bartolome Esteban Murillo, 1667
There is disagreement among scholars about the nature of theophanies. In the broadest sense, they were encounters with God. There is some debate about the identity of the angel of the Lord (although the text indicates that this was the preincarnate Christ). God was active in human history before he (our Creator) took the form of a man, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, was buried, and rose again the third day. This is one of many reasons to humble ourselves and rejoice.
As Easter approaches, we tend to focus our reflections on the life, death, and glorious resurrection of Christ. We even mark the timeline of history by whether events happened before (BC) or after (AD) Christ’s birth. But Christ’s existence didn’t begin with His time on Earth.

. . .

The Lord Jesus Christ was present at the beginning of creation—He was and is our Creator. His pre-existence is further affirmed by His many appearances documented throughout the Old Testament. Theophany is a theological term that refers to an encounter with God prior to Christ’s incarnation. There are over 50 possible theophanies recorded throughout the Old Testament, primarily concentrated in Genesis, in the Exodus and conquest events, in Judges, and in the prophets.
To read the entire article, click on "Theophanies in the Old Testament: The Creator at Work in His World".

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Christians, Censorship, and Book Burning

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Christians were warned from the get-go that we would have persecution (1 John 3:13, Mark 4:17, 2 Tim. 3:12, 1 Peter 4:19). They were tortured in various ways, including being thrown to the lions (some atheopaths seem to want that practice reinstated, I have seen this image posted more than once). Today, atheist-run countries actively persecute Bible-believing Christians (such as China), and Mohammedans are rampant; they wiped out entire villages in Nigeria. This is only one example. However, many persecutions of Christians and biblical creationists in Western countries are subtle and insidious.

Anti-Christian and anti-creationist falsehoods that we oppose science are increasing. People who do not have the grit to learn the truth are easily deceived.
Credit: Unsplash / Fred Kearney

Poisoning the Well

Atheists and anti-creationists try to silence Christians and biblical creationists by demonizing us. After all, if you poison the well against individuals and organizations enough, who will want to listen to what we have to say — I mean, aside from bigots who seek confirmation for their biases? You will hear cries that we are "anti-science", which is based on conflating evolution and old Earth philosophies with the word science. This Machiavellian logic implies that if we reject their materialistic philosophies, we reject science itself. An intellectually honest person who peruses sites, books, videos, and so forth of biblical creationists can see for themselves that we use real science.

Suppressing the Truth

I am convinced that in their efforts to suppress the truth (Rom. 1:18-23), anti-Christians seek to justify their rebellion against our Creator. One tinhorn calls God a liar. He also claims since the Ice Age is not in the Bible, the creationist view is "fictitious" (an idea that's plumb loco, but I don't have time to explain the logical fallacies involved). He also says the Bible teaches that the earth is flat. Further, he demanded an explanation of why dinosaur fossils have not been found at the Grand Canyon, was given a link explaining that neither secularists nor creationists expect this, ignored it, and kept on making the same demand. His approach seems to be a kind of Gnostic effort to deny the Bible while elevating personal philosophies above God's Word while simultaneously making a pretense of religiosity. All this while suppressing the truth.

Old Earth proponents also deny the Genesis Flood. After all, if Jesus was wrong about the mustard seed, he was not really the omniscient Creator in the flesh. May as well ignore what he said about the Flood, God's design for marriage, and whatever else strikes a compromiser's fancy. After all, if the Bible has errors, then you treat Scripture like a buffet and pick out what you like. See how that works?

In addition, propagandists spread the falsehood that the Bible teaches that the earth is flat, and that the church fathers also held to this error. In reality, the flat Earth idea was spread by anti-Christians. The tinhorn mentioned previously cries that the Bible teaches the earth is flat based on his mishandling of Matt. 4:8. (His error is clearly explained here, but he is too  pusillanimous to accept correction.*) For a passel of links refuting the flat earth both scientifically and theologically, see "The Bible and the Flat Earth".

Over in the formerly Great Britain, the rights of people to actively practice their faith is coming under pressure. (Of course, it is Christians and Jews that are targeted, not Mohammedans or atheists.) While saying that it is acceptable for parents to teach their children about faith, secularists contradict themselves by claiming that children are not receiving real knowledge. I reckon that secularists do not like having their monopoly on indoctrination in atheism challenged. See "The real extremism" for more about these efforts at censorship and persecution.

People like this are intolerant despite their protestations that they favor free speech. Those with opposing view are attacked for expressing their views. Actually, we are hated for even having differing views. Especially because we uphold the Bible. Those people need to repent, and do it quickly.

Who are the Active Censors?

Sidewinders in the secular science industry are building on the "Christians are anti-science" pedagese. They maintain that we favor censorship and maligning the apostle Paul. in a straw man argument. One in particular is asserting that Paul was in favor of book burning, and that he was therefore anti-science. Folks who don't have the grit to use their think bones or even read the passage in question will accept this prevarication. Paul didn't order it, and may not have even known that the voluntary burning of occult books by people who renounced evil had happened.

Religious schools are challenged to cave in to secular ideals. Religious liberty is under assault. For more on this, listen to or read the transcript of The Briefing for March 26, 2019.

An amazing instance of blatant censorship occurred in a 1986 debate at Oxford University. Clinton Richard Dawkins and John Maynard Smith debated A.E. Wilder-Smith and Edgar Andrews. Dawkins told the audience not to vote for the creationists. He thought a vote for creationists would be a disgrace to Oxford (bigotry and the fallacy of special pleading). Someone tampered with the numbers, and the usual amount of press that such events received did not happen. Dr. Wilder-Smith wrote in his memoirs:
In December 1986, I received an inquiry from the Radcliffe Science Library, Oxford, asking if I had ever really held a Huxley Memorial Lecture on February 14, 1986. No records of my having held the lecture as part of the Oxford Union Debate could be found in any library. No part of the official media breathed a word about it. So total is the current censorship on any effective criticism of Neo-Darwinian science and on any genuine alternative.
You can read the report with the above quote at "Fraudulent report at AAAS and the 1986 Oxford University debate". See the very last link on the page regarding the theft of intellectual property.

Those who seek to keep us silenced, who keep creationist research out of the mainstream science publications, those who demonize people they hate, cannot use or understand logic ("You're a liar! Prove me wrong!"), blatantly misrepresent Christians and creationists while playing the victim card — those jaspers are the real censors. Amazingly, secularists pretend that they are the victims and we are the oppressors.

Believing Falsehoods about the Apostle Paul

One reason such vile persecution succeeds is because people shun critical thinking. I also firmly believe that people are getting intellectually lazier nowadays. The subtle persecution continues.
Paul warned that Christ followers would be slandered. A book review in Nature shows it is still going on.
. . . Robert P. Crease reviewed his own book – a practice that is quite unusual. At least we know what the author thinks of his own words. That Nature printed it without any criticism tells us that the journal editors pretty much agree with him. Their headline reads, “The rise and fall of scientific authority — and how to bring it back; Robert P. Crease harks back to the shapers of our scientific infrastructure and what they can tell us about how to handle the threat we now face.” Watch for the bogeyman!
So what does Robert say about his own book under Nature's imprimatur?
To read the entire article, click on "Was the Apostle Paul a Book Burner?"

Lyrics available at the YouTube link

* As in the demand for an answer that he likes for dinosaurs in the Grand Canyon, he repeated this demand while dodging the topic under discussion. Apparently he is expecting others to be mind readers: for AiG to read his mail when he is blocked by them (and blocked by many other people). This makes me think of how leftists demanded the Mueller report about Donald Trump, did not get what they wanted, and are making fools of themselves by demanding more.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Jesus and the Mustard Seed

Among the many parables that Jesus told, one was about the mustard seed. He said that it was the "smallest" seed in Matthew 13:32, which atheists and anti-creationists attack by saying that there are other seeds which are smaller, which means to them that Jesus did not know what he was talking about.

Jesus said that the mustard seed was the "smallest". Atheists and other anti-creationists jump on this, but an examination of context and other factors gives us the truth.
Credit: / jk1991
We expect atheists to find excuses to claim that Jesus is not God, but it is disheartening when owlhoots who claim to be Christian will also claim that he was mistaken in an effort to justify theistic evolution. No, he is the Creator, and knows what he is doing (Col. 1:16, John 1-1-3). As is the case in many instances of confusion and alleged Bible contradictions, context is vitally important. Here, we can look at not only the immediate context, but the greater context.

Jesus was not giving a botany lesson, pilgrim. The parable was an illustration about the kingdom of Heaven. He would have used figures of speech. In fact, I referred to someone as "the tiniest thing", but there are many things tinier. It is interesting that the New International version translates the phrase as, "the smallest of all your seeds" which would apply to the context of his audience. The phrase has also been translated as "the least of all the seeds".

While I have discussed the context, purpose, and figure of speech aspects, the article featured below adds some science aspects for our consideration.
In the parable of the mustard seed, Jesus calls it the smallest seed. But was it really? Both evolutionists and old-earth creationists latch onto this parable, evolutionists to discredit the Bible entirely, and old-earth creationists to prove that the Bible does not have to be taken literally. Both approaches attempt to undermine the authority of God’s Word and challenge the foundation upon which the Christian faith is based.
To read the rest, click on "Are Mustard Seeds the Smallest or Was Jesus Wrong?"