Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Hydrologic Cycle and the Bible

For centuries, people speculated about where water comes from and where it goes. Sure, we have rainfall, and sometimes plenty of it, but that does not account for most of it. Some of the ancient Greeks thought there could be a huge underwater lake that supplied the water into the ground. It was not until 1674 that a more accurate understanding of the hydrologic cycle was determined.

Credit: RGBStock / MARMIT
Interestingly, bits and pieces of the water cycle are described in the Bible in reference to our Creator's work. While the writers were not attempting to write a scientific treatise, their comments were still accurate. That's what happens when the Bible refers to scientific matters, it's always right. After all, Matthew Maury read about the "paths of the seas", which lead him to important work in oceanography. Perhaps if folks put the verses about the water cycle together, we may have known more details about it sooner. 
Every living organism relies on water to survive, and the distribution and movement of water (known as the water or hydrologic cycle) is taught from primary school through to university.
This pattern of water movement is well understood. Water evaporates, condenses in the clouds, and then returns to the earth as precipitation (rain or snow). Some soaks into the ground (infiltration) and is stored as soil water and groundwater. From there, it is transpired back into the atmosphere by plants. Some becomes stream flow, eventually making its way back into lakes or the ocean. An obvious enough process, but did we always understand it?
To read the rest of the article, click on "The water cycle — H2O goes with the flow".

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Prophecies and the Bible

Something that inspires awe and faith in Christians, but consternation and excuse-making in professing atheists, is biblical prophecy. In simplest terms, a prophet is someone sent by God to proclaim his message. (There are quite a few qualifiers, however.) People think a prophet primarily foretells the future, but that is only a part of his job.

Prophecy in the Bible is further evidence that it is God's written Word. This is joy for Christians and rage for unbelievers.
Credit: Freeimages / John Harris Pe
There are far too many self-appointed "prophets" who contradict Scripture. God made it clear that Scripture is God breathed, and a prophet must be right every time. These modern sidewinders are not only presumptuous in announcing, "God said to me...", but are often vague, and have a terrible record for accuracy. If they tried their shenanigans in ancient Israel, they wouldn't live long (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

God himself prophesied directly about the coming Redeemer in Genesis 3:15.

I'll allow that prophesy is a difficult subject, since some were far in the future, such as the birthplace of Christ in Micah 5:2 and other Christmas prophesies fulfilled in Jesus. There are many amazing fulfilled prophesies about Jesus that are worth a study if you're so inclined. Then we have the apocalyptic (end times) prophesies, the interpretations of which are greatly disputed. Other prophesies established the credentials of the prophets so their message would be heard.

Atheists and liberal "Christians" try to dismiss prophesies because they disbelieve that such things can happen. Accusations that people like Daniel, Isaiah, and others were writing about past events instead of telling the future are utilized. Such things are simply base assertions that have no evidence, and accusers try to use them to put Christians on the defensive.

Prophecy in the Bible is amazing, and helps establish that it is indeed God's written Word. He told us about the creation of the world, the Redeemer, many other details — and the final triumph at the fulfillment of all things.
The Hebrew word for prophecy simply means inspired communication. It could be delivered by speech, by song or in writing. The Greek word has the same meaning, but includes the idea of poetry. In the Bible the word prophecy is always used to indicate divinely inspired communication. The ministry of a prophet was to deliver a message from God. A false prophet would therefore be someone who was pretending to declare divine messages. The current idea of prophecy associates it with predicting future events.

There are several reasons for prophecy. The primary reason was to deliver a message from God. This did quite often include prophecy that we would call “predictive.” It would also deal with current issues of the time the prophecy was delivered. An important reason for predictive prophecy in the Bible is to demonstrate the divine origin of the message, not only to those who first heard it, but also to those in our present time. Many times a message given would be for people who would not be born for many centuries.
To read the rest of the article, click on "Why Bible Prophecy is Genuine".

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Compromising Genesis and Deep Time

For a mighty long time, the book of Genesis was understood to be history, not allegory or anything else. Josephus, the respected Jewish historian, also recognized the straightforward reading of Genesis. One in a while, some owlhoot would try to change the literal days of Genesis into something else In the days of the Reformers, some folks tried to make the days much quicker, but most accepted literal creation days

Later, professing Christians compromised on the meaning of the days of Genesis in order to accommodate atheistic interpretations of "science", and commenced to shoving millions of years into the text. They also began rejecting creation in favor of evolutionism, and the faith of many was shipwrecked. I suspicion that religious folks didn't want to look stupid to the burgeoning secular science promoters, and were fearful of ridicule. Did they, and do people today, want to please men, or God? 

There are various attempts to marry up Genesis and atheistic science, but all of them require extreme eisegesis. They also elevate man-made science philosophies into the magisterial position above the written Word of God.
A recent Pew Research Center poll showed the number of Americans who professed to be Christian declined by 7.8% between 2007 and 2014, while the number professing other faiths or identifying as unaffiliated increased by 7.9%.1 Only 50% of the younger millennials (born 1990–1996) believe in God with absolute certainty, and only 52% believe that Scripture is the Word of God. These are alarming figures that reflect our postmodernist culture and our views of who God is and what He has done. A telling indicator would be a millennial’s answer to the question “Did God really create the world in six days?”
The Christian community holds varying views on the first chapter of Genesis. Some simply believe the biblical six-day creation narrative as it stands, while increasing numbers of people attempt to fit creation into the hypotheses of modern secular science or other views consistent with a deep-time paradigm of a universe billions of years old.
To finish reading, click on "Genesis Doesn't Fit with Deep Time".