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Showing posts with the label Theology

The Mystery of God the Holy Spirit

The doctrine of the Trinity is as confusing as it is mysterious. Christians believe in one God, but he is also three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are many articles and videos available online that discuss it, but we have to admit that this doctrine — vital to our salvation — is taken by faith. Some may find the Holy Spirit the most difficult. He descended on Jesus like a dove (Luke 3:22), but apparently does not take physical form, even in visions. Some folks adore him because he makes them feel ecstatic at times, but forget that he testifies of Jesus (John 15:26). Holy Spirit like a dove, Pixabay / jplenio Many professing Christians are so caught up in what they consider to be spiritual gifts that they are scripturally shallow, and lack knowledge about who the Spirit is and what he does. Some people think he speaks audibly to them, but such claims seem to be based on emotion (and, let's face it, charlatans making money). On the other hand, this child beli

Prophecy, God, and the Future

Humans are a strange lot when it comes to knowledge of the future. Some say that nobody knows, others consult spirits, the stars, tarot cards, and other things. (Why the dead know about the future has not been adequately explained.) Some folks say nobody knows the future, but then use fortune tellers. It may be difficult to grasp that God is not subject to the same limitations that face us. He is the Creator of matter, energy, time, and space. A wrong theology called open theism  claims that God does not know the future. Time, Pixabay / Gerd Altmann (geralt) To say that God does not know the future is to demonstrate lack of knowledge or even disbelief about the Bible. In it, he claims to know the future. We also have hundreds of prophecies that have been fulfilled — many of them are very specific. Further, there are prophecies about the end times that are yet to be fulfilled. God's knowledge of the future is important to us as Christians. In a fallen world filled with death, suffe

No Ultimate Truth, but You are Still Wrong

The philosophy du jour  is postmodernism , which is very nihilistic. Previously, modernism  held to the belief that truth could be found, but postmodernism essentially holds to the claim that there is no ultimate truth. Biblical creationists as well as all Christians are to be ready to share the gospel to anyone, but a person having a philosophy of hopelessness makes it a mite difficult. One reason is that the "no absolute truth" aspect is self-refuting, but people who hold to it do not grasp the absurdity. Postmodern (because I said so) photo taken by Cowboy Bob Sorensen and modified at PhotoSketcher Some people may think that postmodernism fits with atheism, but that is not exactly right. While postmodernism complements the skepticism that is so common in society, but atheism disqualifies itself because they believe they have ultimate truths. Effective evangelism with postmodernism as well as atheism and others needs the examination of a worldview for internal consistency.

Bad Times on Good Friday

When Bible-believing Christians say that faith in Jesus is the only way to salvation, some people become indignant. They believe, without reason, that there are many roads. Such a thing is not possible. The Crucifixion of Jesus proves it. Reading one of the four Gospels, one may get the notion that circumstances and also the blunt words of Jesus came together to get him nailed to a cross. Those things and people who hated him were a part of it. However, the greater context takes us back to Genesis. Red and white neon cross, Unsplash / Rod Long Adam and Eve sinned against God, who is holy. He had no reason to do anything other than let us go on our self-destructive path. However, humanity earned  death because of sin, but God loved us even then, and offered the gift of life (Rom. 6:23, Gal. 2:28, John 1:12). There was only one way possible for all this to come together. It was a mystery, and if Satan understood, he and his minions would not have crucified Jesus (1 Cor. 2:7-8). Friday wa

The Gospel and — Clothing?

It takes a lifetime to master some parts of the Bible, but no human can fully understand all of it. In my own life, there are parts that I find desperately dull and have even asked the Lord why he preserved them. Sometimes a teacher will come along and make certain areas interesting. The main reason we wear clothing (aside from cold weather) is found in Genesis after Adam and Eve sinned. An area that is difficult to understand is the minute detail given to garments, especially in the Old Testament. These actually build on the themes of sin, covering, and eventual atonement. Clothes hanging, Pexels / mali maeder Intertwined with the passages on clothing you will often read about blood. Priestly garments had to be pure and unsoiled by blood, yet the blood of sacrifice makes them pure. Jump ahead to the New Testament, and see that we are told to "put on Christ" (Rom. 3:14) like a garment. There are many references to whiteness of clothing, because the blood of Christ purifies. T

God Had Reasons for Creating in Six Days

Upon reading the Epic of Gilgamesh , one quickly realizes that the gods and goddesses are petty and childish . It is much the same way in mythologies as well. Allegedly divine beings can do what they will, and meddle in human affairs as if people their playthings. Creation myths are downright silly. Contrast them with the Bible, which has specifics such as matter, energy, time, and space in Genesis 1:1. Readers learn there are acts of creation for each of the six days, and then God rested (ceased that act of creation) on the seventh. Sunrise over the Pacific, International Space Station, June 20, 2023 / NASA But why six days? Myths have things pop into existence, or in the cosmic evolution myth, it takes billions of years. (Those who insist on long ages and not literal days have to contend with Exodus 20:11, 31:17 as well as other areas in the Bible.) While God is not confined to space and time, he is still very much with us — which is one reason for the six days of creation. Some peop

Intolerance in Theological Liberalism

In some ways, liberal  implies being generous and having a kind heart. Politically, liberalism has changed its meaning over the years, so classical liberalism is very different from leftist modern liberalism. Theologically, liberalism does not hold to the inerrancy and authority of the Bible. Liberalism can emphasize dialogue, which may seem reasonable on the surface. Dialogue is important for clarifying points and determining viewpoints. However, the dialogue of liberalism also involves compromise and change in areas where these things do not belong — often in the name of being "progressive". With liberalism, to be progressive may seem like a worthy goal, but it "progresses" away from the Word of God. (Indeed, I did a web search on apologetics resources which yielded items "you can trust" that include theistic evolutionists and other untrustworthy sources. Biblical creationists were conspicuously absent.) Notice that theological liberals believe few if a

Free Will and Evolution?

Misotheists often level a complaint about Christianity that there is no free will, sometimes indicating that God is a marionettist pulling our strings. When we sin, he punishes us even though it is not our fault. Admittedly, questions about free will have been debated by Christians for centuries. When such shallow attempts at theology are made by atheists, they conveniently ignore the fact that in their worldview , free will is impossible. Materialists reject the existence of God, so everything — even morality — does not make sense. Modified from image of train tracks merging, Unsplash / Cowboy Bob Sorensen Some believers in fish-to-fool evolution admit that the logical conclusion of their worldview is that we are all dancing to our chemicals in the pale moonlight. There are some who presuppose evolution believe it provides free will. Debate in their camp ensues. A big problem here is that people do not understand the meaning of free will. We can make choices that are only consistent w

Denying Original Sin and the Plain Meaning of the Bible

It is both annoying and baffling how some folks do not want to take the Bible at face value, instead elevating their opinions or secular science views above Scripture. If you study on it a spell, false religions do something similar: We  will tell you what the passages mean, do not think you  can understand it. When someone cites William Lane Craig, I am on guard. While he can dismantle atheism, he has compromised in key areas of Christian doctrine . One of these is original sin. The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man , Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens,1615 I'll allow that the words  original sin  do not appear in the Bible, but other essential Christian doctrines, such as the Trinity, are not found under the names we know. That does not make them any less real. Although Craig mocks original sin (Adam and Eve at the forbidden fruit, and we inherit the sin nature), it is clearly evident from a plain reading of Scripture. This heresy is serious, and people should be very

Gardens, Rewilding, and the Dominion Mandate

Gardens. Many people make gardening a major hobby, spending hours in them, weeding, pruning, planting, and doing all sorts of things to gussie them up. The results can be quite impressive. Then some folks do just enough to keep their small patch going. People who read classic (in this case, old) literature, they have probably noticed gardens being mentioned or even playing significant parts in the stories. If you study on it, you should remember that gardens were in the Bible. The first was Genesis 2:8 when God planted a garden in  Eden. Church garden, RGBStock / Adrian van Leen Biblical creationists talk about the dominion mandate , which is when God told mankind to subdue and rule over the earth as stewards. That means we take care of it for its benefit , not exploit or run roughshod over it. Environmental extremists have an evolutionary view that makes Earth more important than humanity. One approach is rewilding , which is essentially to just l et everything go and have nature take

Heresies about Jesus Today

Although it is an old word and often used when movie studios mock Christians who are the villains shout it, heresy is useful. Heresies about Jesus abound. Perhaps it is a heresy when an atheist claims there is no God (or the absurdity that he never existed), but we will focus on heresies among professing Christians. Unfortunately, people believe at least three of the most common false teachings. Why do they believe them? Because they are easily deceived. Bluntly, this usually comes from spiritual laziness and biblical illiteracy. The Good Shepherd , Public Domain Pictures / Bernard Plockhorst, mid-1800s As mentioned before, I was raised in a theologically liberal denomination. When I went to a conservative Christian school for my last three years, I had no understanding of the Trinity or that Jesus is God the Son. Yes, the Trinity cannot be fully understood and must be taken by faith, but we can learn basic teachings in the Bible. Some teachings are not heresies but are heterodox, oft

A Strategic Hill to Die On

An interesting expression is that some concept is not a hill to die on . This implies that the speaker does not consider the idea to be all that important, or that it is something a bit interesting but he does not have enough information or motivation to argue it. Similarly, some people say that the age of the earth is a side issue; it is not a hill to die on. While informed creationists say that belief in recent creation or the age of the earth are not requirements for salvation, they are still important  issues. Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock, Wikimedia Commons / Scglossop1 ( CC BY-SA 4.0 ) In settlements and the military, people would want to fortify the higher ground because it was easier to defend. It could be costly for opposing forces to lead a charge up that hill. Conversely, those making the defense should be aware that they are defending the correct hill and not ignoring the importance of another hill nearby. It may be surprising, but defending the hill of the young earth a

Transgenderism and Genesis

There can be no denying that the idea of someone changing sexes has gone from a rare aberration into acceptance in recent years, and the rest of us are being coerced into being enthusiastic about it. We are called hateful and phobic for not accepting the the reality they are attempting to create and foist upon the world . Even more so for Christians and biblical creationists who believe what God's Word says about the created order. It is not  "hateful" for speaking the truth and trying to turn people from their flawed beliefs; they deny the Bible and science . Distorted woods, original image by Cowboy Bob Sorensen Amazingly, people try to put evolution into Genesis and pull out transgenderism! People who do this reject the Bible and denigrate those of us who believe it. They ignore creation science evidence (and some, albeit inadvertent, secular evidence) supporting how we all came from Adam and Eve. Evolutionists believe humanity had multiple first ancestors, and because

God and the Bad Things

Although professing atheists like to say that if God is loving and powerful, he should be able to stop evil in the world. Even Christians ask these kinds of questions (albeit without the sneering). After all, God created a perfect world. It is natural to question and even argue from our own perspective, but we tend to forget about trying to see things from the point of view of someone else. What is God's side of the matter? If people will allow him to speak, he tells us in the Bible. Living and dead trees in the woods via Cowboy Bob Sorensen, modified at PhotoFunia People, plants, animals get sick. Everything that is born, dies. Evolutionists depend  on death because that supposedly gives rise to new life forms that are more equipped to survive. Yet they still resent it instead of celebrating that the aged and sick are out of the way. That's because they know that God is real. Deep inside, we know that death is the enemy, just like the Bible says. This enemy has been defeated b

Filling the Gap Theory

First of all, the word theory  is often used by people who simply have a conjecture or an idea they are making up on the spot. In science, a theory is a step above a hypothesis  and is expected to have an evidential basis. The Gap Theory  has nothing to do with science, but is not just an off-the-cuff speculation, either. Even though it has been refuted long ago, people zombify it and let it roam around, annoying theologians and confusing lay people. Standley Chasm, Unsplash / Stephen Mabbs There are some variations on the Gap Thing (you make my heart sing). It exists as a compromise for professing Christians to say they believe the Bible and also have deep time. The gap supposedly exists between the first two verses of Genesis, but is supported by an illegitimate reading of the text — and a heapin' helpin' of eisegesis. Now we have a gap. Want to see what's in it? Billions of years. The fall of Satan. Lucifer's Flood, which is supposed to explain geology. Ruin and reco

Pain and the Curse in Genesis

A common argument from misotheists against the existence of God is that since there is suffering in the world, God either does not exist or does not care. Some suggest he does not have much power. Christians also wonder why pain exists. God is condemned by unrighteous people to justify their rebellion (Job 40:8), but they do not see things from his perspective. They use prejudicial conjecture and statements without knowledge. Darwinists will say that pain evolved to help organisms survive; keep your fingers out of the fire. Cross and crown of thorns, RGBStock / Adrian van Leen Six days ago, this cowboy had torn meniscus surgery. It's a comparatively minor knee surgery and I went home the same day. It still hurts there and in other parts of the leg. Ibuprofen helps somewhat, but I really don't want to take the prescribed opioid. Naturalism relies on the complex scientific principle of Making Things Up™ because they are working from other conjectures that are also made up. While

Bad Reasons to be a Creationist

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen  Biblical creation science is in a special niche of evangelical Christianity, and is not extremely popular. Many people who do follow it are enthusiastic and attentive. Because creation science is more intellectual than other areas that interest professing Christians, many people have little use for it. Take a look at the name: It has Bible, creation, and science. Another name that is commonly used is young-earth creation (YEC), but many of us are using that much less than before because we follow what the Bible teaches, and are not trying to force-fit science into Scripture. Creation, Pixabay / Karin Henseler It seems reasonable to assume that those involved in a smaller area of interest would be glad to have other people join us. Sure, it's great to fellowship with like-minded individuals, but this is not just a religious social club. Someone who identifies as a creationist isn't necessarily a Christian. In fact, there are a few reasons that people shou

Why Sin is Serious

It is common to hear people make an appeal to a form of religiosity by declaring something is a sin. Presumably this is done to give their declaration some form of power or impact, but it usually just sounds trite. My wife's parents said it was a sin to throw away food. I say it's a sin to eat Brussels sprouts. Anyone can make such a claim, but can seldom support it with Bible verses or scriptural principles. This is not surprising, since most professing Christians are biblically illiterate. Worse, t hey are functional heretics and are unsaved ! To say that something is sinful without having knowledge is trivializing sin and the death of Jesus on the cross. Kneeling at the Cross, PxHere When posting material that refutes the idea that Christmas and Easter are of pagan origin, I see many professing Christians clinging to their uninformed opinions and traditions rather than examining the well-researched material. They were judging knowledgeable Christians and acting like they wer

Christmas and the Big Picture

At this writing, we are in the final days before Christmas 2022. From the condition of the formerly United States to other parts of the world, and even in the lives of individuals, some people are not feeling it. Put up the tree, watch some movies, buy presents. Depression is rampant at Christmas. We get focused on our obligations, our problems, our ailments. All those songs about feeling happy seem to make things worse for some of us. I reckon that the problem is not with Christmas (how can it be?), but with our focus. Bible and Christmas, Pixabay / congerdesign It's time to saddle up and ride to the top of the hill and get the big picture. The big stores, songs about "the most wonderful time of the year" (which are nonsensical outside certain latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere anyway), other trappings are add-ons or even corruptions of the true meaning of Christmas. It is far, far greater in its scope and impact than people can imagine, and prophesied back in Genesis!

The Problem with God Begins at Creation

Many people claim they have a problem with God, or that God has a problem, because they think he is wicked or incapable. They are making their case from a limited perspective. We are human and God is infinite; the created cannot fully understand the Creator. In addition, people are in rebellion against him. Misotheists pretend God does not exist, then absurdly ridicule Christians who say that there is plenty of evidence for him (Romans 1:18-23). Read or listen more and they are condemning God to justify themselves (Job 40:8). The most common complain is evil in the world. Question mark and big door, Unsplash / Jac Alexandru Of course, things God considers evil are often accepted by these people. They are working from personal preferences and arbitrary standards. There's a prairie schooner-full of speculation, guesswork, uninformed opinions, prejudicial conjecture and all that good stuff used to contemplate and "explain" God. Very disrespectful. How about his point of view