Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Questions for Confrontations on the Bible

Some people get on the prod and want to attack God, the Bible, creation, and Christians. It seems they just want to watch the Bible burn — and to shake our faith. Others, however, have serious inquiries and we can help remove stumbling blocks. What follows is helpful for Question Evolution Day.

There are some attacks on the Bible and creation that we want to answer. Asking questions can clarify things and help in communication.
Credit: Freeimages / Marek Vesely
It is not uncommon for an unbeliever to come roaring with accusations against God and the Bible, and some say, "Prove to me scientifically that God exists". That one is the logical fallacy known as the category error, and is irrational. In other cases, use your discernment and use the principle of Proverbs 26:4-5. That is, do not allow the unbeliever to put you on the defensive and make the rules, but show how his or her views are erroneous.

As we have seen before, we need to ask questions. This can be a mite disconcerting for someone who is looking for a fight, but it also shows that you are listening and can be a possible bridge to a discussions. I'll allow that it is more difficult on social media and more effective in person, but sometimes it is still effective. This also clarifies; it's not helpful to try to answer a question or comment that was not what the other person meant! Also, you may learn some things about the person and it can help in future encounters. It's happened to me.

Always remember it is not about winning arguments. Our goal is to glorify God and to prompt the other person to think. We cannot expect instant repentance, but to use a term I learned long ago, we can "plant seeds". God is the one who does the salvation, not us.
Some contend that science proves the Bible wrong. They may ask how the Bible’s supposedly good God could allow so much pain and evil in the world. And who hasn’t heard that science has proved humans evolved over eons?

Does a Bible believer need a bunch of college degrees to answer these claims? Education helps, but even non-expert Christians can use one basic tactic to address such attacks.
To read the rest, click on "How Can I Answer Attacks on the Bible?" For related material, see "Evidence and Asking Questions" and "Asking Questions to Reveal Answers".

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Pyramids and Other Structures Before the Genesis Flood?

Once in a while at The Question Evolution Project, people will ask about structures built before the Genesis Flood. These questions may include the pyramids of Egypt. A proper understanding of Flood geology indicates that it is extremely unlikely that any prediluvian construction could have survived the catastrophic activity of the Flood. However, some people have tried to tamper with biblical texts to say otherwise.

Some people think the Egyptian pyramids were built before the Genesis Flood. Poor scholarship presented on YouTube needs to be refuted.
Credit: Good Free Photos
The original manuscripts of the Bible no longer exist. The discipline of textual criticism is the method of determining what those original manuscripts contained, and it can be an arduous process. Just ask Dr. James R. White (who has made security guards nervous by reading ancient manuscript fragments through the glass at museums). Manuscripts are compared, and many scholars are confident that modern Bible translations are extremely accurate.

Ever notice the footnotes in your Bible that refer to the Septuagint? It is an old manuscript where the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek by 70 or 72 scholars (also denoted as the LXX). When using dubious Egyptian chronologies and insisting that the Septuagint is the superior text, the pyramids can be made to seem that they were built before the Flood. Many people are deceived by faulty scholarship to support anti-vaccinations, the flat Earth, and pre-Flood pyramids when they see things presented on YouTube.
Many people have asked us about a YouTube video entitled Were the Pyramids Built Before the Flood? by Nathan Hoffman. Over the space of a half hour, he makes multiple erroneous statements, applies several misdirections, and makes many grand assertions that are simply not based upon fact. His main thesis is that the Greek Septuagint (LXX) version of the Old Testament has the correct chronology and the Hebrew Masoretic text (MT) originated from deliberate Jewish tampering. It takes him a while to get to the main point, however, because he starts off talking about Egyptian history and the pyramids.1 However, he makes multiple errors that he could have avoided if he had been more familiar with text criticism and the history of this debate, which is almost as old as the Church itself.
To read the full article, click on "Were the Egyptian pyramids built before the Flood?"

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Turning the God Spot Concept on its Head

A claim that is invariably made by professing atheists is along the lines of, "Atheism is the default position. People are born that way until they are indoctrinated with religion". When you ask for evidence for such an assertion, you are ignored or they change the subject and attack. In fact, research indicates that children are born as theists.

Secularists cannot understand why people believe in God, so they try to find a biological cause. Their fundamentally flawed reasoning works against them.
Original image before modification from / yodiyim
Materialists and evolutionists contradict their own epistemology by searching for the soul, and search the brain for free will. They deny that these immaterial things exist but search for them anyway. Then there is the idea that belief in God is based on brain "wiring". (No real wires, but it's a useful term. I like it.) Let's commence to doing a bit of the logic that we've been stressing.

First of all, they are presupposing that the material things are all that exist. Therefore, God must be some kind of electrochemical reaction. But such an assumption was not reached through the empirical research that they espouse. Also, instead of allowing them to control the narrative and put us on the defensive (atheists and evolutionists are mighty fond of doing that), we can turn it back on them. In so doing, we are demonstrating the truth of Romans 1:19-23.
Is religious faith due to brain wiring? If so, then so is materialism.

Evolutionary scientists love to scientifically analyze religion. They don’t realize what they do to themselves when they try to relegate religion to an evolutionary artifact of brain development.

The latest example from Rice University via is slightly different. Titled, “Can religion be explained by brain wiring?", the article shows what researchers from Rice found when they queried people about the hypothesis of a ‘God spot’ in the brain that explains religion. Most people said no.
This is not that difficult, and logical thinking glorifies God. To read the rest of this article, click on "How to Refute the ‘God Spot’ Hypothesis".

Monday, January 20, 2020

Astrology, Millennials, and the Rejection of God

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

In the post titled "Atheism and Irrationality", it was pointed out that atheists are not quite the disbelievers in the supernatural that they pretend. Instead, they believe in some form of the supernatural and many indulge in occult practices such as astrology. Most atheists are in the generation classification known as Millennials.

Millennials as a group are fond of astrology. This is another sign of rejection of God as Creator.

Before we go further, who makes up those "generation" names? They are not even generations in the usual sense. The Baby Boomers were born from 1946-1964 in the post-World War 2 time. I could understand 1946 to, say, 1950, but I don't cognate on the rest. Millennials were not born in or on the turn of the millennium, but were 1977-1995. Whatever you say, Skippy. Also, the description reads like a socio-economic-astrological chart for these here United States, even using expressions like characteristics and on the cusp. Click here if you want to see it. Personally, I don't take none too kindly to being indexed.

Not only are atheists into astrology and the like, but so are Millennials in general. A co-worker of my wife gave her an astrological book for Christmas (let's slap Jesus in the face with the fortune telling offal that he detests). Turns out that she falls in the the Millennial category. Astrology is appropriate for the self-absorbed and those who reject the Creator, who gave them over to themselves (Rom. 1:21-23).

This is another article that was inspired from material by Dr. Albert Mohler's The Briefing. If you want to hear his excellent report and analysis (I hope you will), click on the link and look for the section, "The Resurgence of Astrology Among Millennials: Why the Big Questions of Life Just Won’t Go Away". You may also be interested in a similar article, "The Most Self-Absorbed Generation?"

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".