Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Bad Thinking about the Pre-Flood World

As regular readers have noticed, the Christian worldview makes sense of what is seen in the world. Logic, science, mathematics, and other necessary but intangible things are impossible without God. It is often easy to dismantle spurious arguments from professing atheists, but Christians are called to a higher standard.

Christians have the foundation for reason and science, and the responsibility to use them properly. Dr. Jason Lisle shows a Christian his many errors about the Genesis Flood..
Deluge (II) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, 1904

A professing Christian decided to slap leather with Dr. Jason Lisle regarding the lengths of the days before the Genesis Flood and why days are longer now. It did not go well. The challenger acted like an atheist in several ways by using logical fallacies, uninformed conjectures, exceeding what was written in the Bible — and lying. Dr. Lisle corrected him with Scripture, reason, and mathematics. This guy, like atheists, seemed to resent being kept on topic.

We here examine some assertions made by Troy, a young earth creationist who has made some very unorthodox claims about conditions before the Genesis flood.  He believes that the length of a day was much shorter before the flood, only 18 to 20 hours per day, and that the flood somehow changed this.  As errors go, this is a fairly mild one, and there is nothing heretical or theologically damaging about such a speculation. But the way in which Troy attempted to defend his conjectures involved serious errors in reasoning, in science, and in biblical interpretation.  And these are the same kinds of errors that often lead to bad theology and even heresy.  It is crucial that Christians “accurately handle the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).  And sometimes the best way to learn to reason properly, and to interpret the Scriptures correctly, is to see how someone else fails to do these things properly.  Thus, by examining Troy’s many errors, we can become better thinkers, and more accurately handle the Word of Truth.

This continues in a pair of rather long articles. (You may want to see mine, "How to Deal with Long Posts and Videos".) What appears above is continued in "Faulty Speculations on the Pre-Flood World: Part 1", and there is another, "Faulty Speculations on the Pre-Flood World: Part 2".

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Bad Science, Bad Theology, and Grasshoppers

Unbelievers often look for any excuse to mock the Bible, thinking that if they can find a meaningful error, the entire Bible is wrong. (That is the fallacy of composition.) One of these alleged errors is when Moses wrote that grasshoppers were four-legged insects. Waitaminnit!

Scoffers claim the Bible has errors, often misquoting verses or taking them out of context. One claim is that Moses said grasshoppers have four legs.
Credit: Unsplash / Natália Dudás
Scoffers as well as honest enquirers find something that seems wrong at first glance, but resourceful people tend to dig deeper instead of using superficial readings to "settle" the matter. (Skeptics try to find alleged contradictions, but those are easily dispatched.) Sometimes it's a matter of the scoffer misquoting a verse.

We have frequently considered context here, and there are several ways consider that:
  • The immediate context of the verses above and below the one in questions
  • Larger context, including chapters
  • Context including other books of the Bible
  • Historical and cultural contexts
  • Linguistic context
  • Science (some owlhoots have complained about the Bible not using scientific classifications that would not be invented for centuries)
Most people should be able to take care of things by checking if a verse is quoted accurately (including the wording of the King James compared to modern translations). Commentaries and online searches from reliable Bible-believing sites can help a great deal.

In the matter of Moses allegedly writing in Leviticus 11:20-23 that a grasshopper has four legs, well, no. A closer reading, plus a basic knowledge of science, is helpful. Grasshoppers have six legs, but the condition is based on how they use their main four legs.
The secular world blasts and bombards students everywhere—as it does all of us—with the false claim that science (an all-too-often-misrepresented term) somehow proves the holy Bible is unreliable on scientific topics. Trumpeting such disparagements, secular platforms taunt Bible believers. No surprise there—this is what Peter and Paul predicted: “scoffing” by ungodly unbelievers (2 Peter 3:3) and “science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20, KJV).

But how do you face and fend off pseudo-intellectual bluff-and-bluster bullying? By carefully studying what God actually said in Scripture (Acts 17:11). So-called clashes between Scripture and science routinely reduce to sloppy science, sloppy theology, or both.

You can read the full article after the jump (heh!) at "Grasshopper Apologetics: No Need to Get Jumpy".

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

All Education is Religious!

It may come as a shock to many people, but all education is religious in nature. If you commence to cognating on it, everyone has a worldview. It is formed through the values and presuppositions that we use to make sense of the big questions in life. People who teach operate from their worldviews.

Secular education is not neutral, and your child is indoctrinated in atheistic naturalism. Christian teachers and parents have a tough row to hoe.
Modified from a photo at Freeimages, original from Jeramey Jannene
Studying on it further, we see that worldviews are religious in nature. Some people claim that secular means neutral, but that is not the case: it is impossible to be neutral. It has been clearly demonstrated that secular schools are most definitely not neutral. They are, in fact, operating from atheist naturalism and even persecute Christian teachers who oppose anserine values.

In an interesting twist, this indoctrinator maintains that so-called "neutral" science is anything but. She is unhappy about "science" that may omit things that she perceives to be "facts", but are actually leftist and atheistic propaganda points! Gotta include those in "education", you betcha!

Christian parents have a tough row to hoe. In the formerly United States, children are under the control of secularists for several years. It takes a great deal of work and guidance to counteract anti-Christian and anti-creation indoctrination that is done through prime hours of each day. Parents have less time, and most certainly should not leave teaching to the church and Sunday School.

One alternative is Christian schooling, but those need to be carefully vetted because some are CiNO (Christian in Name Only), and are expensive. Another alternative is homeschooling. However, there are some insidious curricula (such as the one discussed in these links), so discernment is necessary. We need to make use of the time available to us with wisdom, discretion, and prayer.

According to National Center for Education Statistics, the range of days that states mandate for in-class instruction for kindergarten through 12th grade is 160–180 days per year. Taking the average of the range, that gives us 170 days/year or 2,210 days for 13 years of K–12 education, not including preschool. . . .

Your son or daughter will learn biology, grammar, algebra, history, art, physical education, sports, social skills, geography, and many other useful things. But underlying whatever education your child receives is a worldview. A worldview is a lens through which your children will look at the world. It addresses origin, morality, meaning, and destiny among other areas. The worldview in the education they absorb, either directly or subtly, becomes the foundation for the rest of their life. And this worldview, by its nature, is religious.

I hope you'll read the full article. It is found at "Christian Education vs. Public School".

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Video Miniseries: UFOs, Aliens, and Genesis

There is a four-part miniseries by biblical creationist Ian Juby that originally aired on the Miracle Channel in North Texas — I mean, Canada — and when it became available on his Wazooloo YouTube channel, I shared the episodes on The Question Evolution Project. The episodes are about half an hour each, so I wanted to do this post and make the links convenient.

The UFO / AEP sightings have increased in recent years, and respected people are discussing them. Ian Juby has an excellent video miniseries on this.
Title added to a screenshot from one of the videos. Used without permission.
For a long time, flying saucers or unidentified flying objects were considered the stuff of someone who was crazy as a loon. While there were legends of aerial phenomena long ago, it took off (heh!) in about the 1950s. While some were hoaxes, mistakes, and occasional insanity, not all can be easily dismissed.

Reporter and radio announcer commenced to doing some investigating, and I remember reading his 1966 book Flying Saucers — Serious Business (which Amazon is disingenuously marketing as a 2017 publication, fifty years after Edwards died). In this book and others back then, space aliens and their craft had disparate manifestations. While the vessels are still recalcitrant to uniformity, it seems that the alleged occupants have settled into the elongated shapes that are reported today.

Reports of strange craft and entities have been greatly increasing in recent years (probably due to global warming). Although respectable people in the past admitted to seeing UFOs (now in the formerly United States, called UAP), it is becoming commonplace:

"You see that alien thing last night, Luke?"

"Nope, missed that one, Wyatt. Did I tell ya about that big 'un me and my pals saw last month?"

People from all walks of life, and many in very respectable (and responsible) positions are discussing them.

An unpleasant aspect is abductions. While there were stories fifty years ago about going on board a flying saucer, modern abductions are traumatic for people. They are not just, "We'll drop you off here" events. Victims often have repeated encounters. Interestingly, "walk the talk" Bible-believing Christians can stop them in their tracks by calling out to Jesus. That smacks of demonic activity, old son, not technologically advanced and "more highly evolved" life forms. Indeed, they speak against Jesus and the Bible, and push evolution. 

Barry McGuire nailed it back in 1978.

Enough of the introduction. I'd take it mighty kindly if you'd watch these four videos. Mr. Juby explains that some technology of aircraft that has been the subject of experimentation, the rise in popularity, how some UFO investigators are very uneasy about what's happening. More than that, there is an important spiritual aspect, and even how the whole shootin' match ties in with the creation-evolution controversy! Also, I recommend the book and movie of Alien Intrusion. Ian also recommends this book.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Animals and Dinosaurs on Noah's Ark

There are people who promote compromise views against creation and in favor of an old earth. However, the מַבּוּל (mabbul, the Hebrew word that is used only for the Genesis Flood) was very destructive and caused what is seen in geology today. Secularists and churchian compromisers adhere to uniformitarianism (slow and gradual processes), so they cannot have the global deluge in their paradigms.

Christians who compromise on authority of Scripture cannot answer why an Ark and animals. Also, we look at feasibility of having dinosaurs on the Ark.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Cimerondagert (CC by-SA 4.0)
The Bible makes it clear that the earth was created in six literal days, and that the Flood was global, not local. Those who ridicule biblical creationists have problems with biblical authority, and since we know believers by their fruit, they need to examine themselves to see if they are indeed in the faith. That's right, I said it! Atheists, Deists, and old earthers ride for the same brand. Why is that? Mayhaps they prefer the praise of men over the praise of God. It may come as a shock, but the global Flood had both punishment and the grace of God!

We have two somewhat related articles for your consideration.

First, a simple but profound problem for local flood proponents: animals. Aside from the obvious considerations about such a flood (such as Noah could have simply moved, no need to build a huge Ark in the first place, water seeks its own level, etc.), God brought animals to be transported on the Ark. Eight people and a passel of critters were confined for over a year.

Promoters of compromise views such as old earth creationism, progressive creationism (i.e., the viewpoint of Hugh Ross), as well as theistic evolutionists (a.k.a. “evolutionary creationists”) all have one thing in common: their adherence to secular views of history and geology forces them to discount the possibility that Noah’s Flood was a global event. They all postulate that Noah’s Flood was a local/regional event that could somehow be harmonized with secular gradualistic views of geology, even if they have wildly differing ideas on how exactly that harmonization is supposedly achieved.

. . . 

In a local or even a regional flood, with 120 years’ advance notice, both Noah and all the animals could have simply walked to safety. This has of course been pointed out many times by biblical creationists, and as a result the various compromise camps have had to come up with explanations for why God would have chosen to instruct the building of an Ark with animals on it.

To read the full article, see "Animals on the Ark — A troubling conundrum for compromise views", and I hope all y'all will come back for the next section.

A big question for many people is how dinosaurs (who lived at the same time as humans) were on the Ark. It is a simple fact that people operate from their presuppositions, not only for interpreting evidence, but for making models. Of course, we must be careful to get accurate details and not work from assumptions and what we think we remember. Both secular scientists and creation scientists use speculations, but creationists tend to avoid the principle of Making Things Up™ that is common in the evolutionary science industry.

What follows is a discussion on the feasibility of dinosaurs on the Ark. Reasoning from science as well as Scripture, pieces of the puzzle are assembled. Also, some of the care and feeding aspects could be applied to other animals on the Ark.

People often wonder how all of the animals could have fit on the ark. Often, “bathtub arks” are loaded down with various species of animals, rather than the biblical kind, which is approximately at the family level of biological classification. Noah didn’t need to bring lions, leopards, and tigers onto the ark, just a single pair from the cat kind. We see so many illustrations of large creatures packed tightly into a little boat. But this image is inaccurate too. Noah’s ark was so much larger than it is usually depicted, and many of the animals were probably smaller than are shown in popular pictures.

. . . 

Due to evolutionary indoctrination, many people can’t picture man living alongside dinosaurs, or if they do, they think of the Jurassic Park/World movies and view all dinosaurs as wanting to trample or eat people. Even if they overcome or set aside this stumbling block, we still get questions of how dinosaurs could even fit on the ark, particularly when considering the massive dinosaurs, especially the sauropods.

To read the article in its entirety, visit "Dinosaurs on the Ark: How It Was Possible".

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Sinkholes in Christian Life Foundations

This post will have some informative material before moving on to more serious matters, and I enjoyed putting it together. While there is a similarity between potholes and sinkholes, the two should not be confused — even though the potholes New York, Michigan, and other places can probably be seen from the International Space Station.

Water erodes rock foundations and can produce sinkholes. Christians need to be aware of compromise that ruins foundations in our lives and organizations.
Cover-collapse sinkhole in limestone near Frederick, MD
Image credit: US Geological Survey / Randall Orndorff (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
Sinkholes vary in size and are found worldwide, but most often in areas where the water remains below the surface and erodes underlying rock. The process is usually gradual and may not be noticed for a long time. Eventually, they collapse, such as the one on Washington Street in Kingston, NY — which troubled residents for five years. They can also occur quickly due to factors like when a water main breaks, heavy rainfall, and others.

Let's talk about the power of water for a bit, which some people tend to underestimate. When flash flood warnings are issued, pay attention! They may start as a trickle, but can become overwhelming. Those people giving weather advisories say not to drive through running water in the roadway, and you'll know they're right after it's too late and your vehicle is carried away.

Water can be made to move faster when its pathway narrows. The typical hand-held sprayer at the self-serve car wash typically runs at around 1,200 PSI, but I learned the hard way that putting the sprayer very close to the vehicle can start to remove the paint. Crank water pressure up to 10,000 PSI and see what it does to watermelons (which would easily remove your hand). Or you can cut rocks and just about anything else with a 60,000 PSI waterjet.

Although the above information is interesting and some is useful (again, respect moving water), we need to circle back to sinkholes. The damage is being done out of sight, and the foundation fails — sometimes destroying structures that are built upon them. Part of the foundation for Christians is the inerrancy of the Bible, and another is Genesis, which is the source of all major Christian doctrines.

These are extremely important for the individual Christian's life and go with sound biblical instruction, but the problem with compromise is affecting churches and institutions that profess to be Christian. One example is the vile curriculum all gussied up as being something legitimate. We must use discretion about what we allow into our minds and spirits.
As we examine nature closely, parallels can be found between what we observe physically and what we observe spiritually (Matthew 7:24-27). Recently, one ICR scientist met with leaders of a well-known Christian education institution. In previous generations, this prestigious seminary was famous for training men and women in God’s truth and equipping them to serve Him responsibly all over the world. Although the number of students at this school has grown impressively over recent decades, the school’s distinctively Christian educational quality has diminished just as noticeably.

Sadly, that school is now compromised theologically, socially, and academically. It flies a flag of Bible-based Christian education, yet its programs now deliver predominantly worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:19-20). Its educational courses focus on the academic equivalent of what C. S. Lewis called “being like [secular] folks.”

To read the full article, click on "Beware Sinkholes and Other Failing Foundations".

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Days of Noah, Days of Sodom, Future Judgment

It has been often pointed out how Jesus said that the world at the time of his return would be like the world before the Flood, where people were doing what they wanted until the watery judgment came (Luke 17:26-27). In the experience of this child, teachers tend to just touch on the following verses about Sodom. There are some similarities, however, there are important differences.

God judged the world with the Flood. Later he judged the cities of the plain. Jesus and Peter used both as warnings of the final future judgment.
Lot and his family leaving Sodom, Peter Paul Rubens, 1625

The world before the Flood was full of evil. Later, Sodom and the cities of the plain were full of wickedness as well, including sexual sins. Today, people are increasingly callous to their wretched behavior and are proud of their perversions. Interestingly, some people appeal to cherry-picked verses to say that the sins of Sodom had nothing to do with sex. These instances of eisegesis and scripture twisting are handily eliminated.

We have two judgments that Jesus used as instructions and warnings for us today. People need to repent for salvation, and professing Christians need to repent and draw closer to God.

Although critical scholars, because of their naturalistic mindset, view the account of Sodom’s destruction as just another legend or folk tale, the Bible clearly teaches it was a genuine historical event. Just as Jesus and the apostle Peter pointed to the flood as a guarantee of future judgment, so they both also pointed to God’s judgment of Sodom by fire as a guarantee of future judgment. . .

Just as with the days before the flood, Jesus spoke of the days before the destruction of Sodom as a time when people were indifferent and solely concerned with the things of this life: eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. In other words, people were caught up with material things of life, which caused them to have a lack of concern for the things of God. Then the destruction by fire and sulfur came quickly and unexpectedly, destroying them all.

Likewise, when Peter spoke of the judgment that took place at Sodom and Gomorrah, turning it to ashes, it was to foreshadow the coming future eschatological judgment by fire (cf. 2 Peter 3:7). This final eternal judgment, however, will not engulf everybody. Just as God preserved Noah and seven others in the judgment of the flood, and Lot in the judgment of Sodom, he will also spare the godly while judging and destroying the ungodly (2 Peter 2:9).

Given the significance that both the Old and New Testament place on the destruction of Sodom as a warning of future judgment, it is important to understand this event.

You can take pride in reading the entire article at "The Destruction of Sodom and the Future Judgment". Also, you may like to see "Geology and the Doomed Cities of the Plain". 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

A Dangerous False Curriculum

As any skilled totalitarian dictator knows, indoctrinate children early with propaganda and disparage God's Word. But we are not contending with a physical person or organization. It is spiritual in nature, and uses people, false religions, governments, and more to strike at the heart of biblical Christianity.

There are deceitful methods used to indoctrinate children into despising the Word of God and accepting liberal theology. This curriculum is viperine.
Credit: Freeimages / bayek
We are not at war with flesh and blood, but instead, Satan and his minions (Eph. 6:12). People who are unsaved belong to Satan and are serving him willingly or unwillingly (1 Cor. 2:14, John 8:44, 2 Cor. 4:4). Professing atheists blatantly attack God's Word, but others put on a guise of religiosity, even professing to believe in Christ. Some are sincere, but sincerely deluded. They are clever enough to attack the very foundations of the faith which are found in Genesis.

Parents are to instruct their children (Eph. 6:4, Deut. 11:19, 2 Tim. 3:15) so they are able to deal with struggles and deceptions in life. A viperine "Christian" curriculum denigrates the Bible and presents numerous heresies and other falsehoods, standing on atheistic naturalism and liberal theology for their foundation. This curriculum would be great for people who want to have their children leave the faith and despise the authority of Scripture.
Compromised views of the Bible (i.e. catering for millions and billions of years and, in some instances, attempts to “baptize evolution into our Christian worldview”) all have one thing in common: a departure from clear teaching of Scripture. That is certainly true of the religious education curriculum resource, Exploring science and Christian belief, reviewed here: God and the Big Bang (GATBB). A certain amount of mental gymnastics is required of the students and a lot of philosophical opinion is put forward but in the guise of scientific language. In the introductory section, it is clear that the authors are actively promoting both the big bang and human evolution.

Read the rest at "Deceitful religious education — Review of God and the Big Bang: Exploring science and Christian belief (ages 11–18) by RE Today Services".

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Satan Does Not Care about Losing a Misotheist

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

Every once in a while, people come across a report that someone has left atheism and become a theist. One famous example is Antony Flew, who was raised in a liberal denomination and decided he was an atheist in his teenage years. Later, he decided that the evidence proves there is a God. He apparently never came to a saving faith. Simply believing that God exists is nowhere near enough.

When an atheist becomes a theist, that is not enough reason to rejoice. They need to come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, not just some religion.
Credits: Satan Calling Up his Legions / William Blake, 1804, modified at PhotoFunia
Unfortunately, several reports have Christians rejoicing more than they should over former atheists that have joined heterodox religious groups, false religions, and even cults. Back when Adam, the federal head of humanity sinned, Satan took control of this world (Rom. 5:19, John 8:44, 2 Cor. 4:4). All have sinned (Rom. 3:23), and we are deserving of Hell (Rom. 6:23).

Just believing that God exists is not enough. Even the demons know God exists, and they have more sense that the typical atheist (James 2:19). When an atheist changes horses and decides to ride for the theism brand, he or she is still under Satan's dominion and the wrath of God! That person is still lost, and "believing in God" is no threat to Satan, nor is it a guarantee of right-standing with God.

Repent and put faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation — not "good works", not a religious system, not being "spiritual". What the devil hates is for someone to humbly come to Christ for salvation, which also entails being adopted as a child of God. To learn more, please click here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Toxic People, Overexplaining, and False Salvation

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

While Christians need to obtain their spiritual knowledge from the Bible, pastors, godly teachings, and so forth, the Holy Spirit can sometimes prompt us to learn things from unexpected sources. Indeed, although psychology is entrenched in evolution and naturalism, it can have occasional benefits — but is dangerous to those who are not grounded in the Word of God.

A secular advice video discussed how people try to gain approval from others who do not care about us. Our ultimate value comes from God, not others.
Credit: Pixabay / Gerd Altmann
You and I may be souls whose intentions are good, so we don't want to be misunderstood. It's natural to clarify what we say to some extent. When it comes to dealing with someone who is accusing and unwilling to believe what we say, why try so hard?

In "Toxic Misotheists, Being Alpha, and the Bible", one of the points discussed was how toxic people manipulate others. A recent video by Ashley Berges (one of my previous sources) titled "Over Explaining is a Trap - Are You Trapped?" brought this into focus in a different way. For some reason, many of us seek the approval of others who don't really care about us, and want them to throw us a bone. When accused of something, we naturally defend ourselves, but become excessive with certain people. It seems that we cater to the manipulators.

Long ago, I learned that if someone is going to say or think evil of me, there's nothing I can do about it. Ronon Dex said, "I try not to let things I can't change bother me". Although a fictional character in a science fiction series heavily based on evolution and (surprise!) meditative spirituality, this phrase in itself is good.

Why do we want that certain person's approval, especially when we are reasonably well accepted by coworkers, friends, and family members? When accused of wrongdoing, we keep on explaining and overexplaining. This turns into excessive words, which is something the Bible warns us about (Prov. 10:19, Eccl. 6:11, Matt. 6:7, Matt. 12:33-37).

Ever notice that parents lose battles with children because they let them control the conversation with endless questions and badgering?

In overexplaining and using many words to defend ourselves, we are actually giving someone things to use against us. Giving them power over us. Dehumanizing ourselves. This happens in interpersonal relationships or trying to present biblical truth to scoffers. There was an article written in the character of "Mr. Mafioso" that discussed using silence as a means of leverage and extracting information. He said that he would keep as silent as possible, then the other person would babble away and give out personal details.

Berges also keeps saying, "Your truth". This can easily mean, "The truth of what you're saying". In other places, however, Ashley seems to say that truth is relative. There is no your truth or my truth. Ultimate truth is found in Christ and is explained in the Word of God. She needs to repent of relativity and self-idolatry. 

When it comes to having discussions with unbelievers, especially online, we can keep going and going, banging that drum, but their batteries never seem to run down. Except for carnal or even false Christians who want to win arguments or seek revenge, our goal is to sanctify Christ as Lord and be ready to make a respectful argument (1 Peter 3:15) and ultimately to lead them to Jesus. Creationists uphold the truth of creation and how Genesis is foundational to all major Christian doctrines, trying to remove stumbling blocks so that people can come to faith.

Ashley pointed out something that many of us in biblical creation and other areas of apologetics have realized. I'm rephrasing it now, and it is how everyone has a worldview: People have a narrative and filter through which they interpret data. That includes the things that someone is saying, overexplaining, but those people may have already decided the other person is wrong or not to be believed. We experience automatic rejection by those with Atheism Spectrum Disorder all the time. 

She said, "Our value is not created from someone else's acceptance". Very true, but here is where biblical discernment applies. Ashley's channel is saturated with "self love" and "self acceptance" (such as this video), but the heart of the unbeliever is wicked (Jer. 17:9). She also is into meditation.

While she says many helpful things, her worldview contains philosophies and psychology that are contrary to the biblical worldview. It contributes to a false kind of salvation (see "Mystical Feelgood Salvation"). We need to be born again, and seek to please God. So, she had some truth about someone else's acceptance and our own value, but our ultimate value comes from a right relationship with God. We have value to him (Rom. 3:8, John 3:16).

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Mystical Feelgood Salvation

While Bible-believing Christians understand salvation as being made right with God and spiritual deliverance, other people want salvation in different ways. Because of its Christian connotations, other people seem to avoid the word. But they still seek relief from suffering and to obtain a feelgood experience.

Trends in psychology include mindfulness, counting blessings, and a mental happy place. These produce selfishness and are contrary to Scripture.
Modified from an image at Unsplash / Erik Brolin
There is a trend in psychology toward mindfulness which is a form of meditation that Christians should avoid. Actually, everyone should. Supposedly it relieves stress, but is actually counterproductive. Another secular feelgood technique is to count your blessings, but it leaves out God who provides our blessings. (I fell on Monday and needed medical care. Afterward, I thanked God that it wasn't worse, and that the people at the urgent care clinic had skill and compassion.) Another false feelgood salvation is to have people go to their "happy place", which often has a setting in nature.

Mindfulness actually causes selfishness. Counting your blessings is focusing on yourself and what you have, not thanking God for what he has provided. Nature  as a happy place without awareness of the Creator is further selfishness. The Christian life is the opposite, and our Creator tells us to seek the good of others as well as having humility. These secular feelgood salvation efforts are temporary when they work at all, but true salvation involves repentance and getting our priorities straight through Jesus.

At this point, I would appreciate it if you read "Can You Have Godliness without God?"

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Adam was not at War with Creation

Some opponents of biblical authority tamper with the words so they can change the meanings, or even impugn the character of God. Something that cannot be emphasized enough is context. Theistic evolutionists are known for manipulating context for their own ends.

Some theistic evolutionists attempted to use certain meanings of Hebrew words to say that humanity is at war with nature. This is a misuse of context.
Credit: Pixnio / Luis del Rio
There is an old joke that, although oversimplifying, makes a point. A man wanted to hear from God about a problem in his life, so he opened the Bible at random, plunked down his finger, and read that Judas went and hanged himself. Well, that was unhelpful. He tried again and found where Jesus said to go and do likewise. This was getting annoying. His third attempt gave him where Jesus told Judas to go and quickly do what he was going to do. The man realized he was using the Bible the wrong way.

Context takes several forms, including the chapter and even the whole of Scripture. Sometimes people need to drill down into the original languages to understand context more fully. Some owlhoots riding for the Darwin Brand and waving the flag of theistic evolution decided to grab certain words for nefarious purposes. It did not go well.

The Dominion Mandate for Adam, Eve, and humanity itself is to subdue the earth. While those TEs did not exactly misuse the Hebrew words, they used a meaning that implies Adam was at war with nature. They ignored the other meanings of benevolent rule, as well as how the original creation was very good. Such efforts to undermine God's character and find excuses to shove in evolution are...truly bizarre — as well as viperine.

Because of their less-than-biblical worldview, theistic evolutionists often strive to find supposed imperfections in the creation week in Genesis 1. A common argument from theistic evolutionists is that the Hebrew words used in Genesis 1:28 for “subdue” (kābaš) and “rule” (rādâ) imply that there was death before the fall. In a recent YouTube video, apologist and theistic evolutionist Michael Jones (Inspiring Philosophy) used this argument:

To read the rest of the article, click on "War and Conquest in Genesis 1?". For some related material on word manipulation regarding homosexuality, see "Does the Greek word arsenokoitai in 1 Corinthians 6:9 really mean ‘homosexuals’ or something else?"

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Rejecting Lies and Herd Mentality

Many people who claim to "follow the science" really do not. Appeals to authority linked with lack of critical thinking, plus ignorance of actual science, are disastrous to societies as well as individuals. Culturally correct, consensus, and "woke" views actually dismiss scientific realities in favor of political trends and emotionalism. Taking a stand for truth and reality can be hazardous to careers — and even personal safety.

People are following trends and false science that denies facts. Truth is not determined by culture or feelings and Christians must take a stand.
Credit: Pixnio / Rachel Claire (slightly modified)
Darwin's hijacked version of natural selection as well as neo-Darwinian evolution are thrown around as if they were established truth. We are bombarded with the "fact" of evolution, and assertions are often subtle. Most people go along with the herd and accept what is presented as science.

What is more disturbing is that in recent years, secular scientists have been saddling up and riding with deviant behavior. Considering how the formerly United States is under divine judgment (as are many other nations), God is giving people over to their sin. Now people can supposedly change genders at a whim despite true science; feelings do not change reality. This is in opposition to God's clear design for men and women. Some of us reject lies and pressure to accede to live with herd mentality. Bible-believing Christians must follow the truth, not false science or current trends.

Perhaps my parents were naïve. They raised me to respect my teachers, the government, and other authorities, and to believe these entities acted in my best interests and certainly wouldn’t lie to me. I was warned about the duplicity of politicians and used-car salesmen, but they were mostly grouped in classes by themselves.

Now I know I was misled by these authorities on some very important things. For instance, in biology class I was taught as scientific fact a totally fanciful—and atheistically religious—story that “survival of the fittest” caused the evolution of life on Earth. Disseminating that lie was an abuse of youthful trust in authority.

The lying has gotten far worse. Back then, I never felt institutional coercion to join a perverse government-led movement that affirms as truth many things I and most other people can clearly see are false. For example, until recently it was basic common sense to recognize that male and female are the two biological sexes. Today, anyone daring to speak common sense is publicly pummeled with disparaging names (or worse) by members of a rapidly growing deviant movement. They use a hostile crowd to systematically isolate people from each other by making everyone afraid to be associated with the pummeled person lest it also happen to them—a method to strong-arm conformity in thinking and control the behavior of an entire group.

I hope that you will take the time to read the entire article. To do so, head over to "Refusing to Live by Lies".

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Answering the Critics Without Being Foolish

There is a pair of verses that may perplex Christians at first glance, and scoffers call it biblical contradiction. This is Proverbs 26:4-5. The claim that they are a contradiction is easily dismissed, but the question about not answering a fool according to his folly, followed by answering, can be clarified. It is also a powerful method for defending and presenting the faith.

Christians are to engage with unbelievers who want to have good discussions, but we must not let them derail a talk and be foolish ourselves.
Originally, this now-public domain image by Sidney Paget
was used to illustrate the 1903 Sherlock Holmes story "The Empty House"
The Bible makes it clear that God calls unbelievers fools. That's not God being on the prod and calling them stupid, but it is deeper than that because it is about character, not intelligence (although some exhibit a lack of intelligence).

Do a Bible search with theWord, other software, or online and look for fool, foolish, and similar words. It's not gratuitous abuse. I can't think of a good way to open a discussion by telling someone that he or she is a fool, that would be counterproductive. Nor should any Christian be smug when dealing with unbelievers (unlike some groups I could mention who have the "one true doctrine", but never mind about that now). After all, we want them to come to Christ!

Also, many misotheists try to put Christians on the defensive with assertions, generalities, accusations, and so on. Such things are frequently used to derail the discussion — suddenly, it is on their terms. There are ways to handle these tactics and keep them on the subject without joining in their folly.

Instead of my self-consciously cringing internally whenever someone asked about my faith, my one-on-one conversations with non-believers became fun and exciting—not least because of the potential eternal benefits for them! I’d like to recount here one such conversation, not just because it was tremendously encouraging and memorable for me, but also because in hindsight I can see I unwittingly brought into play a number of scriptural injunctions relating to evangelism, including ones that atheists wrongly say are contradictory: Proverbs 26:4 and 5.

The conversation extended unbroken for more than three hours during a commercial airline flight from the northern Australian city of Darwin to Brisbane on the east coast.

To read the full article, see "Answering fools’ folly". Also recommended is "Fool-Proof Apologetics — A Powerful Way to Defend the Christian Faith".

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Species Extinctions, Earth Day, and Christian Stewardship

Earth Day was established on Lenin's 100th birthday and is most definitely not just a good idea for conservation and care of the planet. Political and economic Machiavellian machinations aside, however, many people sincerely want to do good things for the world.

Although Earth Day is also Lenin's birthday and saturated with evolution and Marxism, Christians have a responsibility to care for endangered species.
I thought you otter know that this photo was taken by Joe Tomoleoni for the USGS
(Also, I hope you sea that usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
Unfortunately, the environmental movement is saturated with evolutionary thinking. That is, humans and other living things ultimately came from a common ancestor. To be consistent, why should we care that various species are becoming extinct or are endangered? We crawled to the top of the food chain, so we should reign supreme and do whatever we please, right? Fortunately, secularists, pagans, evolutionists, and others are not consistent.

Christians (and especially biblical creationists) should care about the environment — God has created us in his image, and we are stewards of living things. Not just the cute ones, either. When a species is removed from an ecosystem, there is a kind of domino effect that affects other creatures.

Secular environmentalists are quite concerned about disappearing species. But how are Christians to respond to the loss of these creatures?

. . . 

We should also preserve species for the benefits we might derive from them. God’s design in nature inspires new technologies (biomimicry) that make our lives safer and our products more efficient. For example, scientists looked at whale fin design to create a better model for airplane propellers, and a recent study of mussel adhesion could help create a product to clean up oil spills.

Today many prescribed medicines come from plants or other natural products, and scientists are constantly turning to nature for its health benefits. . . .

Beyond considering the practical reasons for preserving species from extinction, we must remember that creation exists, in part, to declare God’s glory and remind us to worship him. His invisible attributes are manifested in the physical creation (Romans 1:20). His infinite wisdom and artistry are also revealed in the stunning engineering, aesthetics, and symmetry of all life. With every extinct species, we lose valuable insight into our heavenly Father’s creative mind, characteristics, and care for his creatures.

To read the full article or listen to the audio version, see "Should We Abandon Some Species to Extinction?"

This song by Camille and Kennerly is a tribute to their grandmother, who had recently passed away.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Evaluating Truth Claims in Genesis

Some people try to dismiss Genesis as myth containing spiritual truth using elements from the pagan neighbors of the Hebrews. Others say it is misunderstood, as if the Creator of the universe was unable to communicate with us. With closer inspection, we see that Genesis is a historical narrative.

Regarding Genesis 1-3, some people say there was a communication problem between God and us, or that it was myth. A closer look reveals the truth.
Credit: RGBStock / Billy Frank Alexander
The idea that the early chapters of Genesis are mythological should not be accepted by professing Christians, as there are serious problems that result. (One of these is that Jesus, Peter, Paul, and others referred to these chapters as literal history, so by denying this, one is calling them liars!) Also, there are repercussions with the gospel message.

Read some classical mythology, then come back to Genesis and see the difference. Myths are vague and have a different flow, but the Bible is precise. Indeed, even the sequence of creation days is specific — a day itself is defined. Interestingly, many translations have in Genesis 1:5 less accurate by using, "...the first day". The New American Standard, Revised Standard Version, Christian Standard Bible, International Standard Version, and several others have this detail correct.

In The Genesis Account, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati wrote:

The days of Genesis 1 have an interesting pattern in the Hebrew, which is not often reflected in English translations. The first day has a cardinal number (i.e. one, two, three …), yôm echad (יום אחד) Day One. The others have ordinal numbers, which are used to refer, for example, to the order of runners finishing a race (second, third, fourth … ). But in Genesis 1:5, the ordinal ‘first day’ (which would be yôm ri’shôn יום ראשון) is not used.

Also, days 2–5 lack an article (ה, ha, ‘the’) while days 6–7 have one on the number but not on the day. So a literal translation of Creation Week would be Day One; a second day; a third day; a fourth day; a fifth day; a day, the sixth; a day, the seventh. One English translation which correctly reflects the presence or absence of the articles is the NASB. For example, for Genesis 1:5, the ESV’s “the first day” doesn’t reflect the Hebrew as well as the NASB’s “one day”. The LXX also reflects the Hebrew article pattern, except for lacking an article on the sixth day.1

I took the liberty of stressing a couple of points that are not emphasized in the article linked below, which is less technical on Hebrew. The main point is that the early chapters of Genesis are written as historical narrative, and God knows how to communicate.
Many Christian scholars have suggested that Genesis 1–3 was never meant to convey historical truth. Instead, they say it is like one of Christ’s New Testament parables. God merely shared a made-up story to convey spiritual truths. Does the Bible give us any clear guidance to know for certain whether Genesis 1–3 is a parable?

After all, as Christians, we believe that there is only one particular way to understand the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, His perfect and personal communication to His people for all time (2 Timothy 3:16). Accordingly, we cannot carelessly read the Scripture any way we want. To rightly understand His Word pleases Him (2 Timothy 2:15), but to twist the Scriptures offends Him and can lead to destruction (2 Peter 3:16). God has placed a premium on grasping what He really said.

To read the rest or listen to the audio by an excellent reader, follow "Genesis—The Original Myth Buster".

1Sarfati, Dr. Jonathan D., The Genesis Account: A theological, historical, and scientific commentary on Genesis 1-11. MOBI edition, Creation Book Publishers, October 2015. The Hebrew may differ slightly from this book, as it would not copy well and I had to obtain it elsewhere on the web.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Misotheists and the Blue Pill

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This article has several related sources that refer to the movie The Matrix, which has made its mark on modern culture. It added to discussions about living in a computer simulation, and the red pill/blue pill concepts have been quite interesting.

Some people define reality as atheistic naturalism, then ridicule those of us who believe reality comes from God. They took the blue pill, not us.
The popular "What if I told you...?" line in the "memes" was not used in the move.

In a previous article, I wrote about how narcissists, sociopaths, narcissistic atheopaths, and the like manipulate other people for their own purposes. This is somewhat related because many are attempting to create their own reality. One of my references was the YouTube channel of Matt Cross and "Alpha Male Secrets". While most of his content about how to get the girls and be the most interesting man in the room have no appeal to me (Christians should sanctify Jesus as Lord in their hearts and seek to please him more than anyone else), Matt has some interesting things to consider.

In this video, he discusses the blue pill concept and how people are essentially taking it to escape from reality. This alternative reality is found in movies, superheroes (living vicariously through those who have great powers), video games, and so on: people are not accepting their own lives. It is about escaping reality. Matt also hates pornography and says how it contributes to false perceptions. (Do those videos show real people who actually like each other?) Guys watch the models who are chosen for their appearances, to get views, and sell subscriptions to porn sites — then think that real women are like those portrayed in videos.

Mr. Cross has a problem that I've learned to call truth out of balance. Several things in his video are true, but are too extreme. He dislikes escapism because he would rather be working on ways to improve his life and his business pursuits, or other things that are based in reality. As Christians, we are to seek the kingdom of God and to glorify him. There is nothing wrong with having a bit of escapism to decompress. (F'rinstance, I read, write, and screen material to post, but I read a bit of fiction and watch some television). Like anything else, when escapism becomes dominant in someone's life, it becomes a form of idolatry.

By the way, who cares about the identity of someone walking through the observation deck in the opening credits of Star Trek: The Next Generation?

Professing atheists are usually naturalists (nature is all that exists), and they presuppose that reality itself can only be explained in this way. When presenting material that refutes their worldview and especially evolution, their responses include calling Christians and creationists "reality deniers" and simple denial of scientific facts. Some are so desperate to suppress the truth, they humiliate and refute themselves. Mayhaps it would be helpful to actually read the material before making knee-jerk reactions? For example, see this screenshot (I cut out the image in the middle):

Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes (click for larger)

To jump back to the video by Matt Cross, I've checked profiles on social(ist) media of naturalistic atheists. Many are saturated with anime, superheroes, and other escapism that has nothing to do with reality. And sports. Lots of sports. (Sadly, some professing Christians give such things a priority, then wonder why their spiritual lives are disappointing.) Those of us who believe the Bible know that science, numbers, logic, and everything else are impossible without God. We are not the ones who take the blue pill and deny reality. We affirm it.

The video that inspired this article has a great deal of profanity and some crude content. With that disclaimer, those who want to see it anyway can click here.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Answering Good Friday and Easter Questions

Many events occurred during what many Christians call Holy Week, leading up to the Crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday and his bodily Resurrection on Sunday. Some professing Christians are confused, annoyed, and even judgmental about our celebrations of Easter, and misotheists join in the attacks.

Some Christians and misotheists falsely claim that Easter has pagan origins. There is also the question 3 days and nights that Jesus was in the tomb.
Credit: Free Christian Illustrations
One of the questions people have is when they count on their fingers, they believe that Jesus could not have been crucified on Friday and rise from the dead on Sunday. This comes from shoehorning modern counting methods into ancient Jewish reckoning. We do want to be honest with the text, don't we? 

Another problem some people have is the claim that Easter is based on pagan traditions. Unfortunately, this nonsense is spread by modern church traditions and ill-informed pastors. Ignorance of history and languages are not excuses for Pecksniffian attitudes religious people who look down on those of us who choose to celebrate Easter. 

If you get up on the hill and look down for the bigger picture, so what? If the name and dates associated with the Resurrection were originally from the pagans and then Christianized, it would not change the reality of the Crucifixion and bodily Resurrection of Jesus! Many names in our culture today have pagan origins. This is being written in March, which was named after Mars, the Roman god of war. It is posting on Wednesday, named after Wodan (the equivalent of the Norse god Odin). I used to schedule these on Thor's Day. Does anyone care about those names, and many others? That'll be the day!

In fact, I used to believe the pagan tradition think myself, and took down some posts I had made years ago where I spread the error.

"But Cowboy Bob, not Jesus or anyone else commanded us to celebrate his Resurrection or Christmas, either!" 

That's an irrational way of forbidding something, because there are many things that were not commanded that should be refused if those people wanted to be consistent. Also, Jesus celebrated the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), which was certainly not commanded. Looks like the wheels came off that wagon.

Let's move on to the article featured here today. It was written in 2008 and updated in 2020, so we got that goin' for us, which is nice. It is quite in-depth and I found it fascinating. It would be very helpful to you to read it. Also, below is a 16-minute video that covers some of the highlights of the big one. After that, a few other links of interest. Read, watch, learn. Savvy?

To read the article, head on over to "Easter and Good Friday: questions and answers". The other material follows.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Proof and the Unbeliever

There are times when a mocker will say something like, "Prove to me your God exists". A Christian may ask, "What kind of evidence are you willing to consider?", which is a reasonable question. (One actually told me to provide it, then he would consider if it was acceptable. I knew where that would lead!) Unbelievers already have all the evidence they need, but they suppress the truth (Rom. 1:18-23).

Christians often have wrong ideas about giving proof to unbelievers and persuading them to come to faith in Christ. The reality may seem surprising.
Credit: Photos-public-domain.com

We can present all the evidence (or proof) we can, and if someone does not repent and make Jesus the Lord of his or her life, we may think that we've failed. But our job is to sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts and be ready to make a defense of our hope (1 Peter 3:15), and salvation comes through the working of the Holy Spirit, not because of our skill and eloquence (1 Cor. 2:1-5). Considering how many Christians get uppity because they have the One True Interpretation of Scripture™, perhaps pride is one reason that God has not made the salvation of others up to us (1 Cor. 1:12-13). We must be ready to present the gospel message (Matt. 28:18-20). We may be simply planting seeds at the time and never know the results, but those are up to God.

At a local Bible conference, a respected seminary professor unintentionally contradicted the apostle Paul. During the Q&A session, he opined that “you cannot prove the existence of God to anyone because you must choose to believe in God.” While the second half of that statement is correct, the first half fails Forensic Evidences 101, clashing with the proof principles taught in Romans 1:18-28.1

Did the seminary professor’s reasoning mischaracterize God’s proofs of His creatorship? If so, how did he stumble? The professor confused proof with persuasion.

To read the rest, see "Do the Unpersuaded Have Enough Proof?"

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