Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Virtue Signaling and Denying Genesis

A prideful trend in religious circles is virtue signaling. People want attention for being trendy, and this humanistic trend also appears among anti-creationists.
by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Over the years, this child has had to endure new expressions while riding the Christian Life Trail. Members of the body of Christ  have been lacking in their commitment to the Word of God almost from the get-go, as the early epistles will attest. It seems that things are getting worse nowadays.

Some of the new expressions include woke and wokeness, critical race theory, and other anti-Christian humanistic philosophies that are found mostly on the political left and with liberal professing Christians. A large part of that is virtue signaling, which involves prideful "dig me!" trumpet sounding from those who seek the approval of men instead of proclaiming the truth and authority of Scripture. When these signals and philosophies come from professing Christians, they are even more disgusting than when leftists scream in the streets.

Notice how there has been a great deal of news lately about professing Christians who have apostatized such as Michael and Lisa Gungor, Marty Samson, Joshua Harris, and others. Further, in my experience, atheists are becoming angrier and more obstreperous. Leftists are becoming more and more extreme about upholding behaviors that God hates, and our religious liberty is under attack even in America. Seems to me that these things are connected.

All major Christian doctrines have threads leading back to Genesis. You can have a discussion with a professing atheist, and when it comes to showing how their mythologies of origins (including the Big Bang and universal common ancestor evolution), they really get on the prod. Sanctimonious owlhoots make a pretense at religion, put on the "Why can't we all just get along?" masque, then ride for the Darwin brand. They team up with atheists to ridicule biblical creationists. These alleged Christians who attack us also do a whole heap of virtue signaling: they reject Genesis for the applause of God's enemies, then brag about how they are more intelligent and spiritual. How perverse is that?

Phil Johnson presented a talk that was very informative and useful to the Bible-believing Christian. I'd be very much obliged if you'd spend just over half an hour hearing what he has to say. You can watch the video here, or listen to it on SoundCloud. If you click on the "More" button, there is an option to download the MP3. Also, here is his short article on the subject. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Confronting Atheistic Worldviews

When engaging your typical internet village atheist, the Christian apologist seldom encounters rational discussion. To use a common expression, I have found that these professing atheists are control freaks. Not only do they insist that their worldview is superior to ours because atheism, they are hostile to our presentations of reason.

Sometimes atheists wish to have rational discussions, preferring instead to justify their rebellion against God. Challenge their worldview and keep them on topic.
Credit: Pixabay / Arek Socha
Atheists and other anti-creationists attempt to justify their worldviews and morality by attacking God and simultaneously saying they "lack belief" in his existence and creation. Evidence for his existence is rejected based on their materialistic presuppositions, not because of flaws in our logic or the evidence. The use of presuppositional apologetics is something that really puts burrs under their saddles because we give critiques of their worldviews, expose flaws in their epistemology, point out logical fallacies, and especially because we stand on the authority of God's Word. 

Some get downright nasty when they are challenged. One creepy anti-creationist was defeated because he could not cogently respond to my challenges; his misrepresentations and failures can be seen here, and some examples of his logic failures are here. One of those was when he claimed that I was lying, so I posted that even if I was, how would that be wrong in his worldview? He was unable to answer.

Here is another example. This rancorous owlhoot refused to read the material and was harassing someone else who commented on a post. Like others, he demanded that I answer his objections, making me his errand boy:

Click for larger
Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes,
text enhanced because text on original screenshot was too faint
From my experience and learning, I see that people get on the prod when their excuses for rebellion against God and biblical authority are challenged. I've been subjected to bullying and manipulation before, so I was not having it. This guy, like others, needs to humble himself and repent.

In many discussions and "debates", atheists and anti-creationists are given answers and then jump around like they are fleeing a brush fire. Hitler's alleged Christianity is often invoked. The following article that I learned about from The Domain for Truth contains a written discussion between a Christian and an atheist. Note how the Christian uses presuppositional apologetics and calls out the atheist on his bad reasoning. It's very interesting and I hope it will be helpful to you. Note that I am not endorsing the entire site, I don't even know the identities of the authors. To read it, click on Got Mittens — I mean, "Gott mit uns".

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Separating Genesis from Science

Biblical creationists and other professing Christians freely admit that the Bible is not a science book. That is a good thing, because it would have to be constantly rewritten — especially regarding origins. There are people who wonder how we should handle the first eleven chapters of Genesis and hot it relates to science.

There are Christians who want to elevate science above the Bible and are frustrated that God does not tell us how he does miracles. Some wonder if the first chapters of Genesis are merely poetry.
Credit: RGBStock / Billy Frank Alexander
Some folks wonder if the first part of Genesis is poetry, a polemic, or something else. The Bible is history, and this fact has been verified many times. It also records miraculous events, which puts burrs under the saddles of materialists. God does not tell us how he did many things, but we trust God not only for the miracles of history, but Christians trust God for our salvation, the return of Jesus, and the restoration at the end of all things. Science does not warrant a superior position over God's Word even though it is a useful tool. 

A letter to CMI asks,
As someone who takes by faith that God created the universe and all that is in it, as Hebrews would instruct us, it would seem though that in the Genesis account, we are not provided with detail of the “how”. Is this not the scientific question? Seeking to understand more of the “how?
And as the scientific endeavour continues, and as we come alongside other scientists looking for answers, what if we indeed wade in along with them to uncover the “how”?
You can read the rest of the correspondence by clicking on "Is Genesis poetic? Doesn’t Genesis explain the 'why' and ‘science’ the 'how'?" Take note of the links in the responses as well as the related material afterward for more articles.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Global Flood and Extreme Prejudice

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

There are people who say that God was too severe with the Genesis Flood. Atheists use this as a way to set themselves up to condemn through their own self-righteous "morality" to judge God (that they claim doesn't exist anyway!) with a fallacious argument from outrage (see Job 40:8). Many professing Christians are not a whole heap better.

Unbelievers and some professing Christians alike say that the Genesis Flood was too severe. There is a severe lack of knowledge in who God is and who we are.
The Deluge / John Martin, 1834
Let's be direct. God's Judgment is not a pleasant subject, whether it is Hell, the Flood, or other forms. People get a mite uppity, forgetting that God is our Creator and is holy and just. His actions and character are not evil simply because we do not like what he says and does. When Adam sinned, he began blamestorming even though he was told that in the day he ate of the fruit, he would die. Literally, "dying you shall die", as the process began and his sin affected all of creation (Rom. 5:12, Rom. 8:22).

I wonder how many times Adam saw what was happening while he was working by the sweat of his brow and stepping on thorns. He saw one son murder another, and people in the world growing more and more corrupt. Indeed, it got to a point where man was only thinking about evil all the time (Gen. 6:5) except for righteous Noah (Gen. 6:9). There were probably decent folks during his lifetime, but by the time of the Flood, they were gone.

Here is a wander along a side trail for a moment. I have read a few novels based on the time of the Flood that were attempting to balance biblical faithfulness with artistic license. One had the last two children on Earth who were murdered by evil people, and an angel took them to heaven. It has been said that the more selfish and wicked a society becomes, they less they want to bear children. You can read remarks from politicians and celebrities who do not want to have children "because of climate change" or somesuch, and we see modern sacrifices to Molech in the guise of "reproductive rights", called abortion. Some countries are begging people to reproduce because they are facing a population crisis. After I wrote this post, I had to come back and add something. Dr. Mohler had some observations in the second and third parts of The Briefing that may support this (admittedly unusual) idea of no children at the time of the Flood.

Misotheists rail against God by essentially saying, "Oh, the poor children! Your God is bad according to my subjective judgment and limited knowledge!" Aside from impugning the integrity of our holy, just, and righteous God, they assume that he will not do what is right. But did you ever notice that there is no mention of children in the chapters on the Flood, nor in other references to it in Scripture? I will not add to Scripture, but that author may have been onto something, that maybe there were no children when the Flood happened. Just something to ponder, but it's not a hill I would die on.

We forget who we are and do not have a grasp of the holiness of God. He was under no obligation to spare anyone from the Flood. For that matter, he could have wiped out the human race from the get-go. I seem to recollect that there are verses about mercy and love that are why we still live. Some people wonder why Jesus is the only way of salvation We are the created beings and can only understand what almighty God has revealed about himself, you savvy?
Bible critics have long claimed the God of the Old Testament was unjust and mean. Some cite Noah’s Flood as an example: If God is really good, then why would He drown all those humans? The best answer to give depends on the attitude of the questioner.

Most who say God is unjust probably have little interest in the truth. Those with bad attitudes don’t listen well, and Christians shouldn’t waste time trying to defend our good God to people with closed hearts. But how can we be sure of another person’s attitude?
To read the rest, click on "Was the Global Flood Too Extreme?" You may also like to read "The Dirt on Theistic Evolution 2: Mabbul".

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Christians and the Battle with Sin

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

There are a couple of messages from Phil Johnson that I am recommending, but before that, a bit of a lament.

Many Christians are not serious about their spiritual lives. We may go to church on Sunday and listen to the sermon, maybe read the Bible once in a while, pray a bit, then forget about God most of the time. Others may get what can be called "tunnel vision" by focusing on favorite subjects. Those of us who are involved in apologetics need to learn theology as well as materials to defend the Bible, and biblical creationists have an even more specialized calling. We also must learn theology, but we can have our own tunnel vision.

I try to avoid that by listening to sermons and such while doing data entry work. This gives some variety and is edifying in other areas. There have been some pleasant surprises where I might think, "Well, I'm low on material, may as well listen to this", and been impacted by the message.

We must not focus on favorites to the exclusion of other areas. I am not saying that we cannot have some recreation in our reading, listening, and viewing, but the Christian life is not an easy ride on the buckboard through the countryside. We need consistent maintenance to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and should not shy away from things we need. Keep things in balance.

Many professing Christians shy away from serious teachings and then wonder why their spiritual life is in shambles. Here are two messages by Phil Johnson about dealing with sin and our thought lives.
Phil Johnson, image used by permission
There is someone I know who is galloping toward the cliff by listening to "Christian" teachers about giving angels commands and casting spirits out of things. (I told her that Basement Cat was sick and she told me to cast out the spirit since demons enter animals. No, she had an injury or arthritis and then had a bad reaction to the pain medicine. She's better now.) When I offered some solid biblical teachings including biblical creation, a subject she seemed to appreciate, she declined and continued with nutty stuff. 

Doing an online creation science ministry at The Question Evolution Project, I have occasion to glance at several profiles and see what people "like". From this and their posts, many professing Christians put a great deal of junk in their minds (see "What Are You Putting In Your Head?"), then wonder why their spiritual lives are lackluster. Every message cannot be a sip of sarsaparilla and we may have to dig in anyway. You may be pleasantly surprised by something; I did not expect to get as much helpful information as I did about postmodernism, for instance.

Who wants to talk about how to deal with sin when the latest superhero movie is available to discuss? The characters did not die on a cross for your sins and bodily rise from the dead. You may not be dealing with prominent sins in your life. Or maybe you are. These things begin in your thought life.

Mr. Johnson has a couple of message that I am recommending. First, "Create in Me a Clean Heart", using Psalm 51. Second, from Colossians 3:5-10 is "The Christian’s War with Sin". These are free to download or listen online. I hope you'll give them some time at your convenience. Now that I've heard the sermons and wrote up this here post, I can commence to doing creation science for a while.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

When Professing Christians Attack Biblical Creationists

Sometimes Christians who have a view of apologetics and an old earth attack Christians who believe in recent creation and presuppositional apologetics, sometimes reasoning like atheists. Such things need to be addressed.
by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

One of the most difficult things about being a Christian is: other Christians. Believers can have their faith adversely affected or even set it aside and unbelievers use our treatment of each other as an excuse to ridicule the faith and justify their rebellion against God. Those verses on how believers are supposed to treat each other seem to have been excised from Bibles nowadays. It gets discouraging.

It gets mighty frustrating when we are working on helping the church with apologetics and biblical creation, then some tinhorn from a different camp comes along with his or her own ideas and flings horse apples at us in the guise of "reason" while pretending to do Jesus a big favor. We expect viperine tactics from atheists and other unbelievers, but it gets mighty smelly coming from professing Christians.

Southern Evangelical Seminary and Bible College has a doctrinal statement that seems reasonable to me, but some things are missing that people like me would like to know about. Adam Tucker and others make it clear that they are none too keen on biblical creation science. It may be from loyalty to one of the founders, Dr. Norman Geisler, who believed in an old earth. SES people think creation science and the age of the earth are not all that important, but they have had more than their share of attacking biblical creationists. It reminds me of atheopaths who exclaim, "I don't hate God because he doesn't exist!", then seek their identity in their professed unbelief and act like drunken outlaws shooting up the town at sunset.

Tucker has had Ken Ham in his sights more than once. Like Bill Nye, he acts like creation beliefs are unique to Ham despite the numerous like-minded organizations and individuals. Let me rein in a minute here and say that I have some disagreements with Ken Ham as well as other creationists (thinking people do that), but there is no reason to tear down individuals and the ministries they represent.

I was getting "prepped" for presuppositional apologetics through several creationist organizations, and it was brought home to me by Dr. Jason Lisle's The Ultimate Proof of Creation. From my observations and experiences, people hate presuppositional apologetics because they have been misinformed about the apologetic, and also because we have a high view of Scripture; the ever-changing whims of man-made science philosophies are not above the Word of God. 

Learning and promoting this apologetic has been very beneficial for me, but it is frustrating to see division in the church over not only apologetic methods (Norman Geisler supported classical apologetics and I understand that he was no friend of presuppositional apologetics), but which flavor of presup (bringing to my mind 1 Cor. 1:12-13). It is indeed unfortunate that Adam Tucker's attack on Ken Ham was two-pronged, going after presup and biblical creation.

Listen up, pilgrims. If you're going to saddle up and ride the Criticism Trail, don't be acting like an atheist, you savvy? Tucker's article reminded me of an atheist who said, "There is something wrong with all religions. Therefore, Christianity is also wrong and there is no God". Like atheists, Tucker used personal attacks, argued from ignorance, used straw man arguments, brought in a heapin' helpin' of prejudicial conjecture, and more.

Worse, he attacked a Christian personally while damning him with faint praise. Tucker does not believe biblical creation (young earth), nor does he understand presuppositional apologetics. Those difficulties do not stop him from writing uninformed polemics. He called Ken Ham's views "dangerous", but what is truly dangerous (and disgusting) is Tucker's malignant reasoning. Ironically, Tucker's logic was self-refuting — if he was consistent, he could not believe the Bible himself!

Here is an article that I learned about through The Domain for Truth. It contains an examination of  Adam Tucker's complaints and arguments that I hope you will find very useful.
It’s an article written by my past internet foil, Adam Tucker. He has provided us with a helpful treatise expaining the methodology behind how SES teaches apologetic engagement. He excellently contrasts a classical/Thomist approach to apologetics from a presuppositional/Bible-based one that I believe lends us insight for sharpening our apologetic focus.
To read it all, click on "Ken Ham vs. the SES Apologetic".

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Creation and Embarrassment

It has long seemed contradictory to me that there are Christians who ride for the defense of the Bible, but then shy away from the Genesis Flood, creation, and the young earth. It appears that those Christians are not fully signed on with the inerrancy of the Word, treating biblical authority like a buffet.

There are professing Christians who claim to believe the authority of the Bible, then deny recent creation and the Flood. The evidence supports our faith.
Credit: Morguefile / imelenchon (modified)
Am I doing them a disservice by questioning their commitment to the authority of the Bible they profess to believe and defend? I'll go a bit further and also say that I think that they have a problem with pride. We want the hands at the Darwin Ranch to think we're sorta smart after all, so we cede the age of the earth and the Flood to secular views. In an older article, I asked if we shut up about creation, would unbelievers leave us alone?

I disremember where i said it, but I attended a church that claimed to believe in recent creation. They did not want to be "labeled" and kept their belief tied up out back. I considered this stealth creation to be cowardly and dishonest.

One of the primary verses for apologists is 1 Peter 3:15, but many forget the first part about sanctifying Christ as Lord. Our ultimate authority is God's written Word, not the ever-changing whims of secular science interpretations. However, although we walk by faith, God expects us to use the minds that he has given us. We not only reason from the Scriptures, but we also have evidence to support our faith.

No, belief in evolution or an old earth isn't going to get you lassoed by Satan and dragged off into Perdition. Genesis is foundational for major Christian doctrines, however. Look at what is happening in the world today where marriage and sexuality are being defined away from what God originally established. People reject the authority of the Word and they become gods; this is a form of idolatry.

Those of us who are not ashamed of the Bible can take a stand, even if some subjects are unpopular. Although our faith is not grounded in scientific evidence, we do have reasons for our belief in recent creation and the Genesis Flood. We do not have any valid reason to compromise with worldly philosophies or to get the approval of others.
Does the age of the earth matter to your faith? The witnessing approach known as Evangelism Explosion was known for its diagnostic questions, so let me take that approach and ask a few diagnostic questions. Answer yes or no to the following:
    Question 1: Does the account of the creation of the universe as presented in Genesis depict literal events in a historical manner the way the gospels present the life of Jesus in a historical manner?

    Question 2: Is it important to stand up for a “literal” understanding of the creation of the universe as depicted in Genesis the way we stand up for a “literal” understanding of the death and resurrection of Jesus?

    Question 3:  Are you as proud and willing to stand for and defend the doctrine of creation  as depicted in Genesis – in 6 days – as you are to stand for and defend the resurrection of Jesus on the third day?

. . .

Many Christians think it sufficient simply to testify about Jesus and not concern themselves with “divisive” matters of origins. But is it sufficient? If you just preach Jesus, which Jesus would that be? . . .

You see if you can’t (or won’t) ground your Jesus in the scriptures which speak of the origins of all things –  the scriptures which  Jesus says testify about him (John 5.39) –  then people will break the 2nd commandment (not to make idols Ex 20.4) and create a Jesus in their own image to suit their own likings.  And they will reject the Jesus who scripture says created all things (John 1.3).  Along with that  rejection of Jesus as creator – is coupled the rejection of humans as male and female. And who are you to stop them? If you reject the clear teaching on origins, are they not right to claim they can likewise reject the teaching on origins? Further, if the teaching on origins  (which includes the genesis of genders) is inconsequential, is it not also inconsequential if they form, and make up their own genders?  If you cannot bring yourself to affirm, as did the early Jews,  the early church, early Jewish historians like Josephus, and Jesus himself (Mark 10.6) – the foundational teaching that at the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days, and on the sixth day, created humans as male and female; if you you cannot honor and accept that yourself , then why would you have any expectation that an unbelieving generation would honor and accept God’s design for humans?
To read this article in its entirety, click on "Are young earth evidences needed to defend Christian Faith?"