Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Christians and Space Alien Stories

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

As many Bible believers know, the Christian life can sometimes be like walking through a minefield. We have to stay close to God to lead us through it. This involves getting into the Word, prayer, receiving solid biblical instruction, and more. We also must keep in balance. While many pleasures are not inherently sinful, we need to be careful about what we allow into our minds. How about science fiction?

Can Christians like science fiction involving space aliens? The answer is not clear-cut.
Credit: Pixabay / JavierRodrigues
Some Christians seem almost fearful that if they do anything that is not spiritually edifying, they will dishonor Christ. This can be truth out of balance because of the need of building up faith and godly wisdom, and focusing on those things is important — especially for a new Christian. (I'm all in favor of going a mite overboard for a while in that area.) I'm listening to classical music while writing this. While it's "secular", it's not harmful to my spiritual life. Savvy?

By necessity, biblical creationists read and watch material supporting metaphysical naturalism and evolution. Some even read material from atheists, but those people tend to be grounded in the faith and use those things for ministry purposes.

"Why were you watching Stargate SG-1 earlier, Cowboy Bob?

Research! Always looking for material. (Actually, I tweaked a line from Sam Diamond in Murder by Death.) Besides, the Stargate shows are currently my favorite science fiction. 

The science fiction category is extremely broad, including speculative and cautionary stories, fantasies about the far future, monsters, and more. Unfortunately, many presuppose evolution and atheism. In the Stargate SG-1 series, there are numerous snide remarks disparaging "religion", but those are not usually upfront. One premise of the series is that certain aliens pretend to be gods, obtain fanatical following, then use their power to enslave people and gain more power.

There is a fallacious presumption included that since there are evil beings pretending to be gods, there are no gods at all — especially the Creator God of the Bible, who generally goes completely unmentioned. Also, the false "war between reason and religion" is often implied. The most blatant caricature of religion was in the episode "Icon". In this one, the team reached a world where sensible people had to contend with "religious fundamentalists" who were loyal to the false gods that used the Stargate. People were awaiting the return of those gods who would reward the faithful. Sound familiar?

Harry Harrison was a noted science fiction author who wrote the often hilarious Stainless Steel Rat series as well as the Deathworld trilogy. Every once in a while in SSR, there would be remarks like, "Sure is good that we're free from the shackles of religion!" The second Deathworld novel was originally titled The Ethical Engineer. This one was a blatant attack on Christianity disguised as a dialogue between the main character and a religious nut. I was tempted to write an article on this novel, but it was long, tedious, and irritating. Besides, it's the same boilerplate tripe that we hear from fundamentalist atheists on a regular basis, and therefore has been refuted many times.

When referring to science fiction, stories of spaceships and aliens often come to mind. Prominent in these are atheistic humanism and evolutionism. Darwin's disciples operate under the presuppositions that since life evolved on Earth and since there are possibly a septillion stars in the universe, then life must have evolved on planets out yonder as well. These stories are usually based on Big Bang cosmogony. Indeed, the Time Lords of Doctor Who were the "oldest" and "most advanced", which assumes evolution, deep time, and the Big Bang.

Can Christians believe that space aliens exist? It's not a salvation issue, but there are serious theological problems with that view, akin to those found in theistic evolution. Can or should Christians indulge in science fiction? More specifically, when it involves extraterrestrial life?

Well, I've drawn inspiration from such stories, including Star Trek:TNG episodes. (If you've a mind to, you can read "Science Fiction and Genetic Engineering" and "Engineered Nanobot Evolution".) This whole shootin' match about Christians, entertainment, secular pursuits, and stories with space aliens is complicated. Wisdom, a biblical foundation, and Spirit-led counsel are necessary.

The following article deals with the aliens issue. I hope you'll read the letter and response (it's actually shorter than what you just read here), and note that there are several articles linked in the text and at the end for further investigation.
Throughout life, there have been preachers who state sci-fi is evil, or Satanic. My father just told me not to worry, Star Wars and such is all in good fun. I enjoy movies with a critical eye and know when the writers are putting in a political or anti-biblical agenda.
I honestly don’t see why there can’t be Christian science fiction. I’m unsure as to why your team have the view that aliens or extra-dimensional beings would be a result of an evolutionary act. There are Christians, here in Oklahoma who believe any of that sort of stuff is actually angels/the fallen ones…I’m not so sure about all that!
To read the full article (a letter and reply), visit "Is otherworldly science fiction biblical?"


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Two Basic Worldviews

Not so long ago, we would hear people pontificating about two kinds of people, such as, "There are two kinds of people: those who believe the Bible, and those who do not".* It may come as a surprise to some people to learn that there are only two worldviews.

We all have a worldview, which is like spectacles through which we interpret information and live our lives. Essentially, there are only two.
Original image before modification: Freeimages / Kenn Kiser
Most people have probably not made a study of their worldviews, but they are the basis of how we live our lives, our presuppositions, our epistemology, and so on. Atheists presuppose there is no God, so their misotheistic spectacles impact how they live their lives and interpret evidence. The same with Christians. There are variations within worldviews of course, such as biblical creationists who are Christians, or professing atheists who are not entirely unreasonable. Essentially, there are only two worldviews.

Picture two people in a living room. A man puts on green-colored glasses, and a woman puts on red-colored glasses. Everything the man sees has a green tint while everything the woman sees has a red shade. The couch may be brown, but to the man it will be a greenish-brown. The chair may be white, but to the woman it will have a pinkish-hue. Everything is colored by the glasses the man and the woman wear. That’s what happens with a worldview.

To read the rest of this short but informative article, visit "Only Two Worldviews".

* My favorite send-up of these things came around when the fad was fading, "There are two kinds of people: those who divide people into two kinds, and those who don't".

Thursday, October 8, 2020

The New Testament Affirms Created Kinds

If you study on it, languages can be tricky things. Using the wrong word, or using the right word but being misunderstood, can cause a passel of confusion. Translating a language is challenging enough, but factor in different cultures from long ago and the situation becomes rather intricate.

Mostly made at Pablo

The English language has, I believed, devolved over the years. (Read some of the classic literature from the 18th and 19th centuries and you'll see that the eloquent prose from days gone by stands in stark contrast to much of what is available today.) This may be the case for other languages. Most of the New Testament is translated from Koine Greek, which was very precise. While I can say that I love my wife or love good food, the word love is the same but with different meanings. Koine Greek had four words to describe love.

Digging deeper, wording made a great difference. Sorry I can't find something to back this up (maybe someone can add a comment), but I heard a talk where the questions that Paul asks in 1 Cor. 12:29-30 use wording that indicate a negative answer: "Are all prophets?" The "no" is built in. 

Christians know that Jesus is God the Son and he is the Creator. The word translated created in Colossians 1:16 is not as simple as we may think. It actually has a structure that indirectly refers back to Genesis and the created kinds. Yes, biblical creationists believe that the kinds remain in place, but we reject the fixity of species. Indeed, speciation is a part of God's engineering. We are told that our Creator upholds all things by his power — he did not tell his creatures to go into all the world and turn into something else.
The opening chapter of Genesis makes a significant and scientifically accurate statement concerning the fixity of created kinds. During the creation week, we repeatedly read the phrase that every type of living thing was created “after its kind.”

While there is observable variation within plant and animal kinds, we don’t see one fundamental kind evolving into another, nor do we see any evidence of transitional forms in the fossil record. Interestingly, we see the Creator’s upholding of fundamental, creation-based principles reaffirmed in the Greek text of the New Testament.

To finish reading, see "New Testament Upholds Created Kind Stasis".

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Christians Must Stop Being Defensive

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Since this post will undoubtedly get many people angry, timorous Christians can stop reading now. Is there anybody left? Great! I have some blunt truth for both of you.

Just recently, I had a crisis of — what do I call it? Not of faith. The reasoning of online village atheists is childish, full of logical holes and excuses so I'm not going over to the darkness. It's also a great time to be a biblical creationist, as we already had a passel of evidence and reason to support special creation and refute the Bearded Buddha's evolutionary machinations.

But I wanted to give up. More than once.


Christians and creationists are marginalized by secular elitists. Problem is, too many of us take it. The truth is on our side, and we must go on the offense.
Charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, Frederic Remington, 1898
This may seem a strange time to tell y'all this, but it's in keeping with the rest of the article and the one linked below. When everything's looking good with faith, reason, and evidence, why should I want to quit? Because of professing Christians. Because of lazy Christians. As I have said before, my goal is to glorify God and help equip the saints to stand on the Word of God. Why should I waste my time researching and writing when religious people "fight" evolution through captioned pictures, or fight each other over trivial matters? 1 Peter 3:15-16 is not just for doctrine, but for faith and presenting reasons that we believe. 

This child thinks that although mediocre "Christians" have been around from the get-go, it's getting worse now in the Western world. Many of us don't fight back against worldly philosophies, liberal theology, and leftist government in Western countries. In stark contrast, the church in persecuted countries is growing — they take the faith seriously and pay dearly for living it.



We hear and read about heroes of the faith that did not back down, make admiring noises, and then fill our minds with worldly pleasures. Do we really wonder why we get horsewhipped in discussions with atheists and evolutionists? There are pastors and teachers who try to build up other believers and equipment for the fight. We can try to learn.

If you want to stand on the sidelines and offer plates of cookies and group hugs to enemies of God instead of contending for the faith (2 Cor. 10:4-5, Jude 1:3, Eph. 6:11), you can at least pray for us who are in the battle. However, we are all called to contend for the faith. When we are lazy and uninformed, Satan's handmaidens walk all over us.

Expect persecution if you're going to stand up for the Word. None of this "God wants me to be happy" nonsense. The Christian life is not easy, so that's probably why we have so many CINOs (Christians In Name Only). We were told persecution would happen (2 Tim. 3:12, Mark 4:17, Acts 11:19, Rom. 8:35), and it comes in many forms. Is your commitment to the approval of man, or the approval of God?

In addition to praying for those on the front lines and giving financial contributions (no, I don't want your money), get into the Word and know your doctrine (applicable instruction). Some people think that doctrine is almost a dirty word or reserved for Bible scholars, but that's not true. Romans 16:1, 1 Timothy 4:6, Hebrews 6:1 and others indicate that laypeople as well as elders know doctrine. Otherwise (as is too often the case), professing Christians are deceived by false doctrine (Eph. 4:14, Acts 20:30) and bad philosophies. Biblically illiterate religious people who operate by emotions and take verses out of context sicken me. That's right, I said it! 

Learn about creation science. No, not to be an expert, but a good working knowledge is important when dealing with evolution. (I have no advanced degrees, but I'm writing posts and articles. You savvy that?) We can also refer honest enquirers to those ministries that are more likely to answer their questions if we are unable. There are thousands of articles, books, videos, and so on available. Many of those are free. Use them.

Why is biblical creation important? I'll let you head on over to the creation science ministries that are linked in many of these articles for more details, but know this: evolution is foundational to atheism, and Genesis is foundational to all major Christian doctrines.

Many of us in biblical creation science ministries try to encourage people to learn how to think. There are many resources on this site that are helpful (as well as on Piltdown Superman, such as this one). It is extremely useful (and I think it's even fun) learning to spot and how to avoid using logical fallacies. I saw one brilliant author and teacher debate a famous atheist about evolution. The atheist cleaned his clock. Not because of evidence, but because the Christian didn't call him out on the many logical fallacies employed, and he did not use a biblical apologetic.

When we catch atheists and evolutionists in fallacies and bad science, they become incensed. I reckon one reason is that these owlhoots are used to dealing with timorous Christians who are in awe of The Mighty Atheist™. But they are full of malarkey, man, and hate it when knowledgeable people stand up to their bullying. Proper use of the Word of God and apologetics shuts their mouths (Rom. 3:19). Not literally, since they resort to invective and distractions, but their worldview is shown to be fundamentally flawed and they have nothing cogent to say.

As Christians, we are attacked, intimidated, and marginalized by secularists. Why? Because of a faulty understanding of "being loving"? More likely, it's because of the things discussed above. We have the truth on our side, and we are on God's side! The Creator of the universe became a man, died on a cross for our sins, bodily resurrected, ascended, and the Spirit indwells all believers. And you're afraid of God's enemies?



It's time to stand, fight, and win. Be bold, not pusillanimous. We may not see the results immediately or even in this life. Meanwhile, people are wise in their own eyes and going to Hell while we hide our lights under bushels. Part of loving God is with our minds. Not everyone is a genius, but we are called to use what we have been given. We are most definitely not called to, as one preacher said, "Go ye into all the church and wait until I come and get you". After you read the article linked below (yes, I'm asking a lot, but this is important), get your armor on (Eph 6:10-20).
The Apostle Paul took on the greatest philosophers and thinkers in Athens and other cities of the Roman world. While staying humble and acting in love, he and the other apostles were unashamed (Romans 1:16) and bold (Acts 4:13, 31). Their churches helped launch a philosophical and cultural revolution that changed the world. There have been many ups and downs in the interim, but Biblical worldview holds its own even today centuries after the scientific revolution and 161 years after the Darwinian revolution. The academic consensus belittles “evangelical Christians,” but so did the Stoics and Epicureans in Paul’s Day. Numerous also-rans for philosophical dominance have come and gone, often attacking Christianity as part of their strategy. The Bible is an anvil that has broken many hammers.
Today, “evangelicals” are marginalized by the so-called “elites” of our culture as a voting block or political category that opposes science. With Yoda Complexes in gear, secularists try to psychoanalyze these strange people who don’t follow the “consensus” of scientific or political thought. But Christ followers have equal rights in the marketplace of ideas. If they had the courage of their convictions, they could turn the tables and analyze the secular mindset. In fact, they are in a better position to do so, since they have a necessary and sufficient cause for the origin of the universe and life with all its specified complexity and functional excellence. Why be shy about it? Why let the secularists dictate the terms of the discussion? Why not go on offense?
I'd be much obliged if you'd read the rest at "Christians Need to Stop Retreating and Take the Lead in the Marketplace of Ideas". Please pray for this ministry and the others who are seeking to edify God's people.



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Matrix-Illusion and True Knowledge

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Theistic Evolution and Bad Theology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Recognizing True and False Christians

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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