Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Teaching Evolution — the Right Way

As we approach the 9th annual Question Evolution Day, we must remember that people will learn about universal common descent concepts. Some folks have objected and said that we do not need to teach our children that stuff or even learn it ourselves. The opposite is true. Let me 'splain, Loocy.

Some Christians may object, but we need to be the ones learning about and teaching our children evolutionary concepts. But we must do it the right way.
Background image: RGBStock / Steve Woods
The school systems have kids for many hours a day for many years, so they are indoctrinated in secular science philosophies and values that run contrary to the Christian worldview. Sadly, many supposedly Christian schools reject biblical authority as well as recent creation and the Genesis Flood. Evolutionary ideas are everywhere, so their is no shielding anyone — which is a bad idea. As I have repeated several times, secularists tell us what to think, biblical creationists try to teach us how to think. That is, rationally and in keeping with God's Word.

Something about debates applies here. In a formal debate (not the kind on social media and such where anyone with an axe to grind can chime in), both sides are expected to accurately understand and represent the position of the opponent. Evolutionists and atheists are notorious for misrepresenting creationists and Christians. We need to be careful to properly understand and present evolutionary concepts, especially if we want to present the gospel to the lost.

When students and the rest of us are bombarded with tendentious evolutionary ideas, it is important to be able to think critically and ask the right questions. In evangelism, we need to challenge the assumptions in the worldviews of others, and evolution is a primary reason people fall away from the Christian faith or simply reject it outright. People have said that they could not get answers about the age of the earth, origins, and so on, and uninformed parents and others would essentially tell them  to simply believe. Sorry, Sigmund, but our faith is not blind. The Bible is self-affirming, with a passel of evidence to support it. We must equip our children and ourselves so we can deal with the hard questions. There are many biblical creationist sites available (regular readers know because I keep linking to them), and they have answers to a passel of questions.
As a science teacher in Christian schools, I’ve noticed a predictable progression when students begin studying evolution. They start with a mocking attitude that “evolution is stupid.” But when I present the details accurately, a bewildered hush falls over the class. Quizzical looks are followed by raised hands and vociferous objections. They sound betrayed.

Finally, as they discover biblical answers from the creation perspective, light bulbs turn on, and their perplexity is replaced with relief. They then are able to communicate their thoughts about origins more coherently and confidently.
. . .
Here are the four most helpful principles I’ve learned for effectively teaching evolution. They are useful in any educational environment—home, church, or school.
I'd be much obliged it you would read the entire article (or download the audio). You can find it at "Teaching Evolution to the Next Generation". You'll thank me later.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Genesis is History

We know that Genesis is actual history through archaeology and other historical records, and nothing in it or the rest of the Bible has been controverted. There have been some illogical criticisms such as, "The Hittite Empire never existed because archaeologists have not found evidence for them" (a type of argument from silence), but that was refuted. Interestingly, mockers occasionally use debunked criticisms today. The opening chapters of Genesis are not subject to archaeology, but they are historical as well.

Genesis and the rest of the Bible are clearly historical records. Unfortunately, some professing Christians try to change the meaning of the text in Genesis 1 to mean long ages.
Image credit: Pixabay / qimono
I'll allow that the creation and the Flood are miraculous events, yet they are written as history. (Scoffers reject miracles out of hand because naturalism; they presuppose their own interpretations.) There are professing Christians and other religious folks who reject the plain reading of the creation account because they elevate atheistic interpretations of modern science philosophies into the magisterial position above Scripture.

To claim that modern science indicates long ages and evolution yet say they believe in the miracles and Resurrection of Jesus is self-contradictory. Why suddenly believe those and reject creation and the Flood — which are clearly taught throughout the Bible, including by Jesus, Peter, Paul, and others. It's like changing horses in midstream, and is inconsistent. Some of these owlhoots may even be accredited linguists, but they put their own assumptions first and let the exceptions become the rule in pretending that the early chapters of Genesis are not historical.
Steve R. asks us how to answer a Bible translator who tries to avoid the clear teaching that Genesis is historical narrative. We first ask the motivation for this, second, point out that we should never allow rare exceptions to overrule the general case, and third, the two-fold reason why Genesis should be interpreted as historical narrative whereas the translator addressed only one.
To read the rest, click on "Yes, Genesis really is historical narrative". You may also like a related article, "Could thorns have existed outside of Eden, and what about the Framework Hypothesis?"

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Purpose is Found in the God of Creation

People try to find meaning in life in many ways, but those leave them ultimately unfulfilled. Much of the search for purpose in life is ultimately based on selfishness, while others seek it through altruism and charitable giving, which is often rooted in feeling good about themselves.

There are many ways that people try to find meaning and purpose in their lives, even by denying the existence of meaning. There is only one way.
Credit: Freeimages / Radu Fizesan
Some seek fulfillment in the arts, even using them to express yourself and the things that are important to you, or art for art's sake. Other people spend time caring for animals. I think we all know people who try to gain a sense of purpose in their lives through their jobs and making lots of grotzits. Then there are those who seek political power. Some are shallow and deranged, feeling good about themselves through manipulation and narcissism. Psychology, psychiatry, Eastern religions, liberal religions, occult practices, prescribed as well as illicit drugs, pleasures of the flesh — they still leave people with emptiness inside.

Atheists claim that life has no purpose, then try to validate their identities in denying God, hating God's people, and mocking the Bible — especially biblical creation. Evolutionists want meaning in a blind, gibbering, mad god of their empty faith. Feral environmentalists insist that their "evidence" is the truth, and everyone else is a liar. "Don't listen to him, even though he has facts to back up his statements! Listen to me, I am trying to feel important promoting evolutionary ideas and leftist causes!" Hate and attempts to control the narrative also fail to give someone true meaning. People like this appeal to atheistic interpretations of science philosophies as if science is the be-all and end-all of truth, but scientists are fallible and live in the dark hills like the rest of us.

None of these result in giving ultimate meaning to life.

Unfortunately, egos get in the way. All of us have to repent and put our faith in Jesus Christ, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Humbling ourselves is the first step. One tinhorn is so confused that he thinks meaning is in meaninglessness.
Scientists know that purposelessness is harmful to health, but where will they find a purpose in their purposeless universe?
You could go to a Bible-believing church to find meaning in life, but secular culture wants you to trust science for everything. And so we see UC San Diego putting out a press release, “Have You Found Meaning in Life? Answer Determines Health and Well-being,” along with a smiling psychologist. The subtitle says, “Study examines meaning in life and relationship with physical, mental and cognitive functioning,” but nothing about a soul or spirit. It’s a “study.” Well then. We hope they studied hard about finding meaning in meaninglessness.
To read the rest, click on "Find Your Meaning in Creation".

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Hope at Christmas

Some of us get depressed at Christmas. Perhaps we are missing friends and family, or we could be thinking of those who have passed on. Maybe that very un-Jewish manger scene gets you down. There are other circumstances that can get us down. However, Christians can remember the hope that we have.

Some of us get depresses around Christmas. We need to remember the hope that we have in Jesus.
Credit: Unsplash / Tim Mossholder
Step up on the hill and get a bigger picture. We have all sinned (Rom. 3:23, Rom. 6:23) against the holy and righteous God, yet he has mercy on us. God the Son is the Creator (Col. 1:16, John 1:1-3), who humbled himself and took on human form (Phil 2:6-11) and died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8). He bodily rose from the dead (Luke 24:6-7, Acts 2:32) and we are adopted as children of God (John 1:12-13, Rom. 8:15-17).

Yes, we have our down times, worse for some than others. We need to lift our focus off ourselves and our circumstances and remember what God has told us. We do have hope. Not only at Christmas, but always.
Even though some of us may feel lonely or isolated during the Christmas holidays, it’s important for us to remember the hope that Jesus brings. The Incarnation, God becoming a man, is the very reason why we have hope. Without Jesus, we have no hope and only death to look forward to (1 Thessalonians 4:13–14). But for those of us who are in Christ Jesus, we are no longer hopeless! Scripture says, “"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead"” (1 Peter 1:3). This living hope is the hope and promise of eternal life (Titus 1:2) through Jesus Christ, “"our hope"” (1 Timothy 1:1). We have hope because Jesus came as a man, lived, died, and rose again.
To read the entire article (it's not very long, I know y'all are busy), click on "Jesus, the Hope of Christmas".

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Making Scripture Insufficient

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

This is one of those times when what appears to be a coincidence may be providential instead. Many of the past few posts have been about the authority of Scripture and how the Bible is under attack in one way or another. A short time later, I came across a two-part message on the sufficiency of Scripture that not only works with the other posts, but it is excellent by itself.

Although the Bible is sufficient for wisdom and Christian living, some people think they need to add philosophies of science and other strange teachings.
Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos / Matt Banks
The messages that prompted this article are by Dr. John MacArthur. They were preached in 1985 and by my reckoning are more important today than they were all those years ago.

Christians need to read their Bibles. Although that is said frequently, many who profess faith in Christ are dismally lacking in knowledge and understanding of what Scripture says. God puts a strong emphasis on reading and meditating on the Bible because it not only helps us grow spiritually, but it imparts wisdom. Also, having the Word in your spirit gives wisdom for the things we need and decisions we make (Psalm 119:130). It helps keep us from deception as well.

There is a problem when people get the notion that the Bible is incomplete or insufficient, so they decide to add philosophies to clarify it. These can be "additional" testaments, the traditions of religious teachings, sign gifts and false miracles, mixing in Eastern religious beliefs, secular science, and more. While receiving good solid teaching is very important (after all, Paul wrote entire epistles to instruct pastors), biblical teachers trust and believe the Word of God so they can impart its wisdom to believers.

Although Dr. MacArthur did not emphasize science philosophies, there is a growing problem for Christians today of putting atheistic interpretations of man-made science ideas in the magisterial position over the Bible. If "science says" something (which "science" may "say" something different next year), well, the Bible is considered wrong. 

Similarly, many climate scientists base their spurious research on political agendas, emotionalism, and especially atheistic presuppositions. Important facts are ignored or suppressed. There are Christians as well as hysterical climate change cultists who fall into these traps. If God exists, they assume, he is not in control, does not have a plan, and it is up to us to save the world (cue superhero music). Strangely, some tinhorns try to twist the Bible and use it against us by saying that the Bible doesn't mention global warming, so let people who reject Scripture deal with it. That is galactically stupid reasoning. The Bible is sufficient and gives wisdom. Christians are constantly using scriptural principles for not only daily living, but true science and stewardship of the planet. And everything in between.

Things that are supposedly factual in science philosophies have a tendency to change, especially when doing so is expedient for the agendas of secularists. Likewise, "revelations" to false teachers are known to change. Look up Mormonism and others of this nature.

The Bible is the written Word of God, and it provides what Christians need. It is insulting and even blasphemous to add to the Bible or interpret it through the opinions of humans or trends. Now I would like to strongly urge you to listen to or download Dr. MacArthur's two sermons, "The Sufficiency of Scripture. You can download them here, but if you want to read the transcripts, just click on each title listed on that page and you can commence to reading.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Christian Instruction Hindered by Evolutionism

A word that is common among Bible-believing teachers is edify. (This word has the same root as edifice.)These days, it generally means to instruct and build up people spiritually; a major part of The Question Evolution Project is to edify Christians, for example. Evolutionism hinders the edification of Christians.

Evolutionism is detrimental to Christian life and theology. We need to realize how Christian growth is hindered by this.
Credit: Pixabay / WikimediaImages
Climb up on yonder hill for a bigger perspective. Modern science was built on biblical principles, but Christians ceded science over to secularists when Darwin and Lyell came on the scene. In a comparatively short time, it was unfashionable to believe the Bible and to understand it properly. People didn't want to look ignorant, so they tried to mix the Bible and current trends of atheistic science views. Bad idea.

Today, people are confused and do not realize that they are damaging the core of the gospel message, and that compromising on the truth of creation is ridiculous because the evidence for recent creation is on the side of the creationists. 

A spell back, I asked a local pastor what his church's views were on creation. He essentially waved it off and it seemed like he rolled the dice and it landed on the foolish "Framework Hypothesis". While he apparently rejected evolution, his reaction told me that the pastor was uninformed about the importance of Genesis and that he was lacking in hermeneutics. This is just one example of how evolutionism and belief in long ages is harmful to Christian edification.
Can evolutionary theory be reconciled with the church’s basic functions of worship, evangelism, and the edification (building up) of believers? . . . How does it affect a believer’s growth in the Lord?
To read it all, click on "Evolutionism Maligns Christian Edification". 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Temptations of Jesus: It is Written

Christians who use their Bibles for more than just decorations and actually read them are familiar with the narratives concerning the temptations of Jesus by Satan. When tempted, Jesus replied with, "It is written". The Bible should be the foundation for our lives and conduct, and "It is written" should be second nature to us under many circumstances.

When Jesus was tempted by Satan, he responded with Scripture. We need to know and believe the Bibles as well as sound doctrine.
Satan Tried To Tempt Jesus by James Tissot
Jesus is an example to us. Even though he was God the Son, he knew Scripture. So did other people in the Bible. Someone may object that they were special and inspired by God, but we are to know the Bible which gives us life and guidance.

When I was a child, I was told that Satan could not enter a room that contained a Bible, which doesn't hold up when we see apostate churches loaded up with them in the pew racks. Also, Satan was able to step up his game by quoting Scripture as well, but took verses out of context as well as misquoted — just like he did in Eden (Gen. 3:1). Jesus knew what Scripture said, and responded to Satan with the corrected contexts. Note that Jesus also quoted from the books of Moses, which are under attack today; if they were incorrect, he certainly would have told us. We need to know and believe the Bible from the very first verse, as well as solid doctrine, then stand firm.
As well as showing Jesus’ total submission to the will of His Father, the Father was getting His Son ready for His Messianic ministry. Hebrews 2:18 tells us that “because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” Thus, it needed to be manifest that Jesus was able to conquer Satan and all Satan’s temptations. Note that when God the Son took on human form in the Incarnation (Philippians 2:6–8), He was able to experience many things that were not possible of God in His divine essence, including being tempted, as the Gospels describe.
To read the rest, click on "The Jesus defence: 'It is written'".