Friday, September 30, 2016

Prophesy Beginning in Genesis

The Bible is historically reliable and very specific, such as the Table of Nations in the tenth and eleventh chapters of Genesis. However, prophesy is both specific and hidden at times. It is a tricky thing for several reasons, including the idea that a prophet is always in the business of telling what is going to happen in the far future. If you study on it, the primary job of the prophet was to speak for the Lord, often calling people to repentance. There are short-term events that may be considered forth-telling, such as when Elisha told Naaman to dip himself in the Jordan seven times so his skin disease would be healed (2 Kings 5:14). Another specific prophesy was that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), but it wasn't apparent that this was Jesus until after the fact.

Prophesy can be direct, other times it becomes unveiled over a long period of time The promise of the coming Savior was given in the first book of the Bible, and has its ultimate fulfillment in Revelation.
Image credit: Answers in Genesis / Dan Lietha
I'm not talking about modern jaspers who call themselves "prophets" and commence to making false prophesies. No, this is about the real thing in the Word of God.

 Many of the long-term prophesies are veiled, and cannot be fully understood until the conditions are right. People have studied the prophetic and apocalyptic literature in Daniel, Revelation, and other books for a mighty long time. (Sometimes it seems like they're ready to have an O.K. Corral-type shoot-out over the meanings of passages. Settle down, boys, and remember we don't need to act like atheists, we're bought by the blood of the Savior, you savvy?) What is probably the prophesy with the longest term and gradual unveiling is the protoevangelium in Genesis 3:15, which was given shortly after the creation of everything, and the Fall of Man. This prophesy in the first book of the Bible has its ultimate fulfillment in the last book of the Bible.
Private conversations between individuals have often turned the tide of history. Think of just one example: the secret meetings between Roosevelt and Churchill, settling the Allies’ war aims before the United States’ entry into World War II. We’d all be surprised if we knew how much our everyday lives are affected by conversations among powerful individuals at the highest levels of government and society. Yet the combination of all those conversations pales in comparison to a brief, tragic conversation that took place in a beautiful garden six thousand years ago.

The conversation is recorded for us in Genesis 3. It was a dark episode in human history—involving a serpent, a woman, a man, and God. Yet from this scene shines forth the greatest beacon of hope the lost world has ever known.
To finish reading, click on "Seed of Promise in Genesis 3:15". A second, shorter article also provides some interesting commentary, "Genesis Prophesies".

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Andy Stanley, Frank Turek, and Bad Theology

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Andy Stanley has been disappointing some people, and causing quite a few to be alarmed by his opposition to the authority of Scripture. (Note: Do not be confused. Charles Stanley is his father, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and heard on In Touch Ministries. I've found most of his teachings to be doctrinally sound, and he upholds the inerrancy and authority of the Bible.) Unfortunately, megachurch director Andy Stanley has been saying things that are destructive to the truth, including recommending the false teaching of theistic evolution.

Megachurch leader Andy Stanley has been getting into trouble over his denial of the authority of Scripture. He has also had some very dubious defenders. Here is some information to help bring the issues into focus.
Gray wolf image credit: US National Park Service
While shooting from the hip can be a good thing, someone claiming the title of pastor should reign himself in. Stanley was disrespectful of small churches, then apologized later. In another instance, "What did he just say?", Stanley may have used a very bad word in a sermon. When the segment was legally posted on YouTube according to Fair Use provisions, his organization filed a take-down order and then edited out the questionable area. Making corrections in a Weblog post or article is one thing, but this looks like they're trying to hide a bad blunder.

For quite some time, Bible-believing theologians have been giving warnings about Andy Stanley. Back in May 2012, Albert Mohler noticed Stanley's tacit approval of homosexuality. Moving forward a few years, I'm more familiar with Chris "Fighting for the Faith" Rosebrough's podcasts about Stanley. Early in 2016, Rosebrough examined a sermon about the so-called "Temple Model" and a rewriting church history. He also reviewed the "Atheist 2.0" message, and others that you can search for on the site.

Andy's antics have been attracting the attention of others. Apologist Frank Turek, author of the book Stealing from God. (Ironic, because he says that atheists have to stand on the Christian worldview because theirs fails, which is what Cornelius Van Til and Dr. Greg Bahnsen said long ago. Who is stealing from whom?) Turek's bad theology and weak apologetic methods were the impetus of his defense of Andy Stanley, which was addressed by Dr. James White in devastating (albeit lengthy) detail on The Dividing Line. You can watch the video or find the link to the download here, the good stuff begins at the 12 minute 55 second mark. (If it helps, here is a link to the YouTube post of the same item, I instructed it to begin at the pertinent section.) There are several other video/audio links at Dr. White's Alpha and Omega Ministries site where he discusses Stanley's false teaching.

Most of what I've posted has been multimedia. For those who do not have time or interest but prefer to read, here is a very good article:
Andy Stanley has a church network of over 30,000 people in the Atlanta area, and his church was rated the fastest-growing in America in 2014 and 2015. Recently, he has been criticized by many evangelicals for saying that we need to take the focus off the Bible and put it on the Resurrection, because he claims that gives us a firmer foundation for our faith. As Stanley put it: “We believe Jesus rose from the dead not because the Bible says so. It is way better than that! Christianity does not hang by the thread of ‘The Bible told me so’.” And: “The original version [of Christianity], the pre-Bible version, was defensible, it was endurable, it was persecutable, it was fearless, it was compassionate, and it was compelling,” but he claims “it is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible”.
To read the rest, click on "Pastor Andy Stanley says the Bible is too hard to defend". We can pray for Stanley's repentance and submission to the Word of God.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

ETWN is not Roman Catholic Enough?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

When translating the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible, Jerome had an easy-to-make but serious "oops" with Genesis 3:15, the protoevangelium, the first prophesy of the redemption of man. Most Bibles render it, "...he shall bruise you on the head (or, crush your head), and you shall bruise him on the heel". But Jerome made it say, "...she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel", as found in the Douay-Rheims Roman Catholic Bible.

Jerome translated the Latin Vulgate, and fouled up in Genesis 3:15. Roman Catholics have used this for their own mythology, yet admit the error. One self-appointed RC "prophet" isn't happy with the ETWN Catholic network over this.
The Virgin and Child (The Madonna of the Book) - Sandro Botticelli, 1480
Where can I get a hat like they have?
That mistranslation fits in well with Roman Catholic mythology where Mary is the co-redemptrix along with Jesus, which is a blatant violation of Scripture. Although the Vatican's Neo-Vulgate corrected the error, Catholics still managed to force-fit poor Mary into the text, since she gave birth to Jesus. If you study on it for a spell, you'll see that RC theologians have managed to weave a tangled web of deception that can be torn down by examination of the Bible.

The Eternal Word Television Network promotes Roman Catholicism, and they also admitted that Jerome did the translation of Genesis 3:15 wrong. Enter William Tapley, self-proclaimed scholar of prophesy (with experience in furniture), "Third Eagle of the Apocalypse" and "Co-Prophet of the End Times". He said so, then it must be true. Tapley is Catholic, and was unhappy with ETWN's admission. Now we can let Pastor Christ Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith come in. He played some of Tapley's material and gave commentary. My recommendation is that you click here to download the episode, skip ahead to the 18 minute 37 second mark, and listen through 27 minutes 30 seconds. Or just play the whole thing if you like. For the original Tapley video, click here. But I'll give you my conclusions on him: his porch light is burning, but ain't nobody home. And how nutty can you be when another nut calls you out?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Light Without the Sun in Creation Week

Scoffers of the Six-Day Creation have been known to say something akin to, "There were no days yet because the sun wasn't created until Day Four". Then they say that the Bible doesn't mean what it says (or just plain wrong), and commence to adding huge amounts of time in their conveniently rewritten or ignored biblical account so they can have an old universe and accommodate evolutionism.

Scoffers often claim that the Bible is wrong about creation week because there was light, but the sun wasn't made until Day Four. It's not a difficult thing to deal with.
Image credit: Freeimages / Juan Ferran
When the scoffers add to God's Word like that, they are making serious errors right out of the gate. They are bringing naturalistic presuppositions and imposing them on God's Word, which describes the miraculous, then they judge God by their limited understanding and assumptions. That's a category error, old son. You can't ascribe physical properties to God, who is spirit and outside the confines of time and space. Similarly, I heard a discussion a few years ago on the "Unbelievable?" radio show between an atheist and Craig Keener, who had documented miracles. Even though Keener had written a two-volume book of documentation, the atheist rejected it out of hand because, in his belief system, miracles don't happen.

Yes, there is no reason that there could not be actual days without the sun. What is needed? Light, and Earth's rotation. Where did the light come from? The Bible doesn't say, but the best probable answer is the glory of God. Do a search online, use a Bible concordance, or maybe some Bible software like this one, and do a study on the word light. The words light and glory are frequently used together. Something else to consider: the sun is temporary, but God's glory is eternal. The universe began without the sun, and there will be on sun at the end of it all (Rev. 22:5). The sun being created on Day Four is not a problem. I recommend the following article for more:
In Genesis 1:3–5 we read: “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. And God saw the light that it was good. And God divided between the light and the darkness. And God called the light, Day. And He called the darkness, Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

Genesis 1:14–19 tells us that the sun and the moon were not created until Day 4, nevertheless there was still a day-night cycle as at present (Exodus 20:11). To account for this, creationists usually conclude that God provided the Day 1 light source, that it was on one side of Earth, and that it was the cause of the day-night sequence on a rotating Earth.
It would be a bright idea to read the rest by clicking on "Light, life and the glory of God".

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Deceit and Philosophies Masquerading as Science

Adam and Eve were still new in Eden when Satan appealed to Eve's pride. "What's that you say? I can be like God? And that fruit sure looks mighty tasty..." according to my paraphrase. Even though they had direct communication with God the Creator in the very good creation, they chose to disobey.

Mankind has elevated science philosophies to a position of supreme authority. God's Word is still the ultimate truth.
Evolutionary philosopher Epicurus image credit: Wellcome Images CC BY 4.0
Since mankind doesn't fancy being accountable to anyone, he has sought to disregard the authority of Scripture, even to the point of pretending that God does not exist. People are arrogant, and are passionate about human "wisdom" and their philosophies. Science is elevated to a supreme authority position, and yet it is a philosophy as well, a means of interpreting observations. Many things that have been considered scientific facts have changed through the years, and the "facts" of evolution are based on tendentious interpretations as well as conjectures asserted as scientific evidence. People have faith in evolutionary philosophies, but the smart move is having faith in the revealed Word of God.
The account of Adam and Eve’s temptation and subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden is familiar to many. It contains hidden truths that are just as true today as they were when the world was new. One of these truths concerns how Satan deals in the world. Satan consistently tempts his victims through both outright lies and subtle deception. If we are to remain firm in our faith, then we should learn how to resist his tactics by rooting ourselves in the inspired Word of God.
To read the rest, click on "Modern Science and Vain Philosophy: An Ancient Deception in Our Midst".