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Atheism- Evolution- Cosmology, 2-11


[1578] WEEK IN REVIEW- Okay- I need to share one of those weird moments- at times in the past I’ve had signs and stuff that to be honest- do freak me out. So this week, as I have been reading various bible chapters- kinda skipping around- I read the words of Jesus in Matthew about the last days. So I realize I kinda joked about it the other day- wrote a post called ‘doomsday is here’ and shared a few thoughts. So as I was looking at some of the bible passages on the end times- I focused in on a verse- one that I have liked/written down in the past- It’s Jesus doing the talking [you know- the red letters] and he says ‘when I return- it will be no secret- everyone will know- it will be just like the lightning that shines from one end of the sky all the way to the other’ [my paraphrase- which means I’m basically making the king James version easier to understand] Some versions say ‘like a bright light that will shine from one end of the sky to the other’. Okay- no joke- I’m watching CNN the other day [yes- the doomsday channel- go read the other post] and sure enough Wolf Blitzer [In Letterman’s top 10 the other day- he had the top 10 things said at Larry Kings retirement party- one was ‘will somebody tell Wolf Blitzer to put on a shirt’!] has a story about a strange light that ‘shone from one end of the sky to the other’. So I watched the story- yes in some state [?] many people witnessed a bright unknown light that lit up the whole sky- and they said it went from ‘one end of the sky to the other’ they had one video of the reflection seen on the ground- it looked like a huge flash from a camera- only longer. It was weird- you say ‘Okay brother- you have gotten me mad with your politics- you rub me the wrong way with all your bible stuff- and now you got me a little scared- kinda wondering- so what do you want me to do’? Okay- sow a financial seed for $1,000 every time you see …. [okay- I know- I need to top doing stuff like this]. The story is true- just kidding about ‘the seed’ [I don’t take money- ever].

Kinda wanted to stay on track with the last few posts [guess I already blew that] but let me do this- let’s do a ‘week in review’ thing- and at the end I will post the study I did on the book of Galatians- it’s in keeping with the bible study I’ve been sharing.

Okay- the week is gone- we had the terrible shooting in Arizona and the nation mourned. The [liberal] media made total fools of themselves- they blamed the deaths on Sarah Palin and the right wing- day after day Chris Matthews said ‘where is Palin! Why won’t she talk! Come out and take responsibility [for something you didn’t do?]-or you will be erased’. Then- after the entire nation realized that the shooter held to no specific political ideology [though you could make the case that he is a radical liberal- he is an atheist- had Marx’ book in his possession- he certainly does not fit the description of a right wing radical Christian fundamentalist] after a few days of Mathews and one of the main stream news networks accusing her of being responsible- she finally puts out a video [yes- I now the blood libel thing] and she says she is not guilty for the shooting [which is true] simply defends herself in public after being accused, and the main accuser [Matthews] saying day after day ‘why are you in hiding- it’s proof of your guilt’ so what should the woman do? She ‘comes out of hiding’ and yes- the liberal media says ‘can you believe the gall of this woman! To have the nerve to make a statement and to shame the victims by trying to steal the spotlight from the dead 9 year old girl’ wow. I believe MSNBC should just go away- this network- along with the entire group of accusers who jumped the gun [Paul Krugman] these people are a shame to humanity [am I blunt enough?]

A few years back we had some guy fly his plane into the I.R.S building in Austin [Texas capitol] at first people though ‘right wing nut job’ found out later that he was a disgruntled left wing ‘nut job’ an avowed Marxist. Oh well. A year or so ago we had some guy try to blow up a car bomb in Times Square- mayor Bloomberg opined ‘maybe it’s someone on the right, disgruntled with the health care law’ wrong again- radical Islamist. Strike 2. Okay- one more chance to find a real right winger- I know- remember Ted Kaczynski [Unabomber]? He was the guy sending bombs to corporations and stuff- blowing up people for many years- they finally caught him- it turned out that he was a radical environmentalist- had Al Gore’s book in his hut- and he saw the industrialized world as the enemy- strike 3. I do not recall in any of these instances- a single media story about the danger of radical left wing speech- about Chris Matthews dangerous rhetoric when he says ‘someone needs to shoot a co2 pellet into Rush Limbaugh’s head’ in none of these stories was there even an inkling of blame placed upon those who hold to left wing ideology. But the media this week not only blamed Sarah Palin personally for the victims in Arizona- but the entire mainstream media, when caught with their pants down- haven’t themselves apologized for jumping the gun in the shameful way that they did- they haven’t retracted their accusations [in the main] nor have they personally apologized for doing stories about Palin ‘targeting’ the district of the woman that was shot- linking the silly political ‘targeting of the district’ with the horrendous shooting of the congresswoman- this single piece of reporting has been the most irresponsible piece of biased journalism I have seen in years.

So to finish for the week- I think the president gave an excellent speech the other day- did not play into this hype- and deserves credit for being a good president- a president who represented both sides of the aisle.

[1573] Let me just give you guys a heads up today. These past few months or so I have been doing a lot of posts on Philosophy. Sometimes I do a bunch of history- or science- or another subject. For those of you who come to the site strictly for bible teaching- yes- there are times where I do an entire book of the bible- or cover a series on a biblical truth [Justification by faith- etc.]. On the blog [corpuschristioutreachministries]- if you go to the February 2010 posts- you can find all these studies. But for today let me just do a brief overview of where we are at- by the way I also wanted to mention the referendum in Sudan [Africa] today- today southern Sudan will vote on whether or not they want to be independent from the North [I’m almost positive they will vote for independence]. Sudan has been in a civil war for over 20 years, around 2 million people have been killed [massacred] in the process. The ruling north is predominantly Muslim- the South Christian [another long story having to do with independence from Britain in the early days]. So why should we pray for Sudan today and in the next few weeks? Because if the South does break away- many Christians who live in the North will be in danger of severe persecution as retaliation for the South’s vote- so let’s pray today [1-9-2011] and in the next few weeks for Sudan. Okay- the brief overview I want to do is to simply remind all our readers that the main truth- or thing we all need to re-focus on is the reality that the Christian message is one of reconciliation- that God, thru Christ- has ‘brought back’ the world to himself as a Divine gift. In essence the Christian message is not ‘turn your life around- be good- and then go to church and you will be saved’. Now- being good- going to church- all of these things are good to do- but many times people get the cart before the horse and the world never really understands the message of the Cross. When the bible says ‘repent and believe the gospel’ it is not saying ‘stop sinning and believe the gospel’ in the sense that your telling a drug addict ‘once you quit the habit then God will accept you’ the word repent in the new Testament does of course carry with it the idea of ‘turn away from sin’ but it mainly means ‘change the way you think’ or basically it means ‘are you finally tired of what you’ve been doing? Then let’s try the God thing’ [of course that’s my spin on it]. In essence the message of Jesus and the church is ‘God forgives and accepts people, not based on how good they are- but on the fact that his Son died for you and rose again’. In the book of Romans the apostle Paul says ‘If God gave his son for us- how much more will he freely give us everything else’. People [Christian’s/ preachers] often make the message confusing- sort of like if you don’t get all the details just right- you aren’t ‘saved’. The fact is if God gave his son for us- paid such a high price to save man- then why would he also go thru all the trouble to make ‘getting saved’ so difficult- that most of mankind will miss out on it! The basic way we are saved is thru faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ- this is what the gospel [meaning good news] is according to the New testament [1st Corinthians 15]. If you read the gospel of John, the letter to the Romans- or the letter to the Galatians [all New Testament books found in the bible] you will read the story of how God chose to save men when they would simply believe in Jesus- yes- the gift of God is eternal life thru Jesus Christ. Now- as a student of theology and history- I certainly am familiar with all the many controversies surrounding the various churches and how they implement the sacraments- or baptism- or ‘the sinner’s prayer’ when encouraging people to accept Christ. The main point I want to make today is the reality that many times in the New Testament the bible speaks about those who believe in Jesus, that these are ‘the sons/daughters of God’ [John chapter 1]. If you just pick up the bible this next week or so and read thru the gospel of John- you will be surprised to see how many times Jesus himself connects simple belief in him with eternal life ‘for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life’ 3:16- ‘he that hears my words and believes on him that sent me has everlasting life’ 5:24- ‘he that believes on me has everlasting life’ chapter 6- the last chapter of John says ‘many other things did Jesus do that are not written in this book [John’s gospel] but these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God- and thru believing you might have life thru his name’. I want you to think differently today about ‘Christianity’ or ‘going to church’ or ‘God’. Over these last few months I have engaged in lots of arguments for the truth claims of Christianity- refuting the contemporary atheists- showing the historical proofs for Christianity. For many people they hear things thru out their lives- little bits of info that cause them to doubt certain aspects of the faith- and then they use these arguments- often easily disproved- as excuses to say ‘that whole Christian stuff is a bunch of bull’. So the apologetic arguments for the reality of God are intended to ‘un-do’ many of these excuses- but at the end of the day the message of eternal life is simple- it’s a free gift given to all who will simply believe. I was going to post one of the bible studies here at the end- but just go read one or 2 of the ones I just mentioned from the blog- or pick up a bible and read a chapter or 2 a day- I mean the book of Galatians is only 6 chapters, you could read it in a single sitting. Okay- that’s it for today- remember try and pray for the church in Sudan- that all will go well and there won’t be any violence because of the vote- and do a little bible reading the next day or so. God bless, John.

[1570] NOTE- please pray for my daughter Becky this next week or so- she has a serious health issue that she is facing- thank you]

This past week we have been able to read more of the Wikileaks memos; what more have we found out? It was revealed that last year we put pressure on the president of Afghanistan to remove a corrupt official from his govt. The man- Ismail Khan- was a former warlord for the Mujahedeen, he heads up the water and energy department. It is estimated that he is stealing around 100 million a year- his total cash assets say he’s worth around 250 thousand- what a shame. When we put pressure on Karzai to get rid of the man, he said he was told by Hillary Clinton that he could stay- as long as would appoint better officials under him- our U.S. ambassador says he told the president [Karzai] that if he didn’t fire the man- we would stop giving them financial aid. When all was said and done, Karzai kept the man- basically saying ‘I don’t care what you do’- we are still giving them the aid.

In Iraq- the govt. finally cobbled together a unity coalition from the various ethnic/religious tribes and formed a ‘unified’ govt. One of those included [Muqtadar Alsadr- I’m guessing on the spelling?] was one of the chief warlords who used to be deemed a serious threat to our troops in the region- he had his own militia and he killed our men- as we did his. I remember years ago during the height of military action we said we were going to kill the man and dismantle his little army. Now he’s part of the government. After he got in- the president of Iraq gave a major press statement- he said the 2011 date for the removal of all U.S. forces was non negotiable- even though our country was hinting about extending the deadline. I’m glad they want us out- the point is once again those in authority are not leaders who are embracing western democracy [except for the corruption!] nor do they view us as their friends- these are the countries our sons and daughters are spilling blood in.

Last but not least. In the province of Punjab [Islamabad, Pakistan] their progressive- pro western governor was assassinated by one of his security team. This governor was educated in the U.S. [Harvard?] and was considered one of the most moderate voices in the country. Why was he killed? He publicly criticized the death penalty verdict given to a Christian woman who broke the blasphemy law of Pakistan. This woman said something that was deemed offensive to Islam [?] and she was given the death penalty- by a government that is supposed to be our ally- who we pour billions of dollars in aid every year- this same government whose intelligence agency is infiltrated with those who we are fighting- yes our boys and girls have shed much blood working hand in hand with this government.

The other day the Pope gave an address after the recent bombings of Christians in Egypt and Iraq. He said there were 2 main threats in the world today; religious extremism and secularism. Secularism is the belief that religion and morality should be a private matter- that nations and governments should be totally free from the influence of religion and those who wish to practice it should practice it in private. The other threat- radicalism- is the belief that religion and those who embrace its tenets should try and impose their views on others by force. The Pope saw both of these extremes as being dangerous. As I’m reading thru the book by Christopher Hitchens [god is not great] those of you who have been reading my posts see that I am very critical of the man- showing his flaws in logic- the obvious mistakes he is making in his quest to ‘secularize’ religion. Yet at the same time I must admit I agree 100 % with his argument against radical religion- the ‘fundamentalism’ spoken of by the Pope [not talking ‘fundamentalism’ as defined as the bible churches we see spread throughout the Bible belt].

The main reason we are in Iraq and Afghanistan is to repel Al-Qaida from territories where they might plan attacks against the U.S. [of course the other ‘main reason’ we are in Iraq is because of false intelligence that said Iraq was amassing W.M.D.’s] The terrorists who flew the planes into the towers on 9-11 were people who have been influenced by radical Islam- not all Muslims hold to these views- but the majority of terrorist networks in the world today do. In our attempt to ‘rid the world’ of this danger- we have embarked on a worldwide agenda that has cost the lives of many innocent women, children- as well as our soldiers and even soldiers who joined the Taliban or Iraqi forces simply as a means to put bread on the table- many Taliban fighters are in it for the job! After all these years of trying to deal with the threat of radical fundamentalism thru the means of force- where has it got us? The poor [deceived] religious fanatic who took the life of his governor in Pakistan- he killed him because the governor spoke out in defense of a Christian woman who was given the death penalty [by stoning!] because she insulted Islam. My friends- this is a war that cannot be won with bombs and guns- we cannot rid the world of the threat from ‘fundamentalism’ by means of violence. The sooner we figure this out- the better off we will all be.

[1569] HITCHENS BOOK- Let me do some more on Hitchens [I’ve been critiquing his book- god is not great- he is an atheist]. Okay- read a few more pages and must admit I’ve written notes on the side of the page like ‘this man is an idiot’ of course I would never write that on the blog! Why do I say this? Let me just say Hitchens uses old- disproven arguments- that have been proven false years ago- yet he seems to have not done recent research before he wrote the book. I actually double checked the date the book was written- trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. If it was written in say the year 1995- then okay- some of the more recent scientific and historical discoveries might have not been available at the time- but the book was written in 2007 [I’m writing this critique in 1-2011] so he simply does not know his subject [trying to disprove the existence of God] well enough to be touted as a brilliant man [which many have said]. Mistakes- he uses the old argument from DNA- called ‘junk dna’ which says we have strings of DNA in us that serve no useful function. DNA is sort of a computer code within us that maps out the basic structures and life functions that we as humans need to exist. Over the years we found DNA that at the time seemed to have no purpose- thus the name ‘junk’. But recent research has shown us that yes- there are functions that this so called junk DNA plays- it’s not junk after all. Yet Hitchens appeals to this silly argument as proof that ‘see- this dna was leftover from evolution’. He also uses another faulty argument form the human tailbone- if you look at the human skeleton- the tailbone seems to look like- well a tail! So people over the years have said this is a vestigial body part [which means it was left over as we evolved- and that’s why it’s there- people have said this about the appendix, the lobe of the ear, and lots of other stuff- today we have found that all of these things that at one time seemed to be ‘leftover’ do indeed have a function]. So Hitchens pulls out the old tail bone rabbit from the hat. The tailbone serves as a balance mechanism for the human to walk upright- it also serves as a primary connecting structure for other parts of the human skeleton- basically we have known for quite some time that the tailbone is not ‘vestigial’- I guess Hitchens just threw out any old arguments he has picked up over the years and figured the reading public would never know- he figured wrong. More? Okay- he contradicts himself page after page. He actually uses one of the proofs against Darwinian evolution- to argue for Darwinian evolution! He is familiar with the ‘Cambrian explosion’ this piece of scientific evidence shows us that some 500 million years ago [the Cambrian era] there was an ‘explosion’ of new body structures that form the basic structures of life- and that these life forms did not evolve over millions of years- they just appeared at once! When science found this out years ago- it thru a monkey wrench into the whole idea of Darwinian evolution- it said things indeed did not evolve slowly over millions of years- but they showed up at once. This kind of scientific truth goes against evolution and actually backs up the biblical claim that things were created at a set period of time- in complete form. So the whole Cambrian explosion thing is evidence against evolution- To Hitchens he just talks about it- acknowledges that the explosion does indeed contradict Darwin’s view [the tree paradigm- that things evolved over time ‘like a tree’ you started with one common base and things all branched out- the Cambrian evidence disproves this theory of Darwin]. And after admitting that all this proof does not back up Darwin- he then says see- ‘this is proof for evolution’. I don’t know if this man is out to lunch or what? And last but not least- he covers the fact that other civilizations have had myths about creation- the flood- and stuff like that. This argument [very old one- refuted years ago] basically says ‘see- because we have found these stories in other cultures- that means the bible stories about creation are fake’ man- I don’t even want to do the whole thing right now- I’ll try and simply paste the stuff I wrote about this at the bottom [or if you go to the blog site you can find all these posts under the evolution section]. Basically this theory has also been refuted- the fact is that if you find other cultures with ‘creation- flood’ stories, this in no way means creation or a flood never happened- to the contrary- this would be proof that it did! Overall he contradicts himself when tying to refute the Christian argument from design [that is we see design in the universe- people- animals- this argument is called Teleology] and Hitchens says ‘look- we see faults in humans, animals, the cosmos’ animals eat one another- humans have bad design with the eye structure [another famous- and also refuted argument about the so called faulty design of the eye] and therefore there must not be a grand designer [God] because look at the flaws in the product. Geez- another stale argument that’s been around for ages. Basically the way we refute this is to say ‘so- if I told you the car in the driveway was designed and made by an intelligent being- Ford- and you show me that the design has flaws- okay, I will have to find a way to explain the flaw’ but then for you to say ‘see, because it has flaws- it CAME FROM NOTHING’! Geez- well yes- I would think you were an idiot! The explanation for the so called flaws [predatory animals- the suns future demise, etc.] is the reality that yes indeed- Christian teaching says God made man and creation sinless, and after the fall of man into rebellion- the earth and all of creation plunged into a state called ‘the curse’ or in Hitchens eyes ‘bad design’. So all in all his arguments are old-outdated and easily refuted. Kinda starting to feel sorry for the man- thought he would have done a better job than this- believe me- if you are an atheist and are looking for arguments against the existence of God- historically others have made a much better case- I still think their arguments are wrong- but they have made a better case- Hitchens is the wrong man for this task.

[1567] FRIEDRICH SCHLEIERMACHER [and Hitchens] – Okay, before I get too far behind in our study of Modernity- let’s do another post. F.S. [the guy above- don’t want to keep writing the name] was one of the most influential thinkers/theologians to come at the turn of the 19th century. He too challenged the sterile rationality of Enlightenment thinkers- and tried to craft a way to look at religion that was unique. Instead of religion being this dry approach to the world and existence as mediated thru mans senses [natural religion- Kant, etc.] he said religion was actually meant to be this experience that man has as he interacts with the whole of creation- an ‘intuition- sense’ that is more than something we can dissect and put under the microscope of reason. F.S. was a sort of go between- he was both trained in academia- a true intellectual- and also a ‘man of the cloth’. He knew the arguments that some of the Romantics made against ‘dead religion’ and he challenged their rejection of religion and wrote the famous book ‘On religion- speeches to its cultured despisers’ in 1799. The book was targeted toward his fellow academics in the universities of Germany who scoffed at religion- he appealed to their sense of art and beauty as true Romantics- and made the case that true religion is ‘the sense and taste for the infinite’ that is religion can be an expression [above reason] that seeks to embrace this sense of the infinite, this ‘feeling’ in man that there is more to life than meets the eye- and you can be ‘cultured’ and religious at the same time.

Okay- actually this is a good spot to jump into more of my critique of Christopher Hitchens book ‘god is not great’. Hitchens fits in good with the ‘cultured despisers’ that F.S. was writing to. I have found some points of agreement with Hitchens; he sees the Catholic church’s stance on no condom use as dangerous- especially in places like Africa- because condoms can be an effective way to reduce the AIDS virus. As a Protestant, I am not against condom use/contraceptives- but the flaw in Hitchens argument is he presents the case in a way that says ‘see- if it weren’t for the church’s teaching on condoms- Africa would not be in this epidemic’. Point of fact- one of the major ways AIDS is spreading on the continent is thru the vocation of male prostitution and other promiscuous type lifestyles. Would Hitchens have us believe that as the male prostitutes are getting ready to ‘go to work’ that they look in the drawer- see the condom and say ‘geez- I would really like to use a condom- but my strict adherence to Catholic doctrine will not allow me to do it!’ The reality is the church’s teaching on condom use- if practiced in accordance with ALL THE OTHER TEACHINGS of the church- would not increase the spread of aids [the church teaches monogamous only relationships- these relationships are not contributing to the spread of the virus in Africa]. Hitchens also has an entire chapter on pig meat! Yes, I’ve heard Hitchens speak over the years- and for some reason he has this obsession with pig meat! Anyway he defends the poor pig- makes fun of the Jewish Kosher diet- and then proceeds to give his personal view on why pig meat became a ‘no- no’ to kosher Jews. He actually believes [for real!] that pigs taste and act so much like humans [their intelligence- and their screams when being slaughtered] that the Jews associated eating pig with eating humans [and Hitchens even describes the taste of pig meat tasting like human meat- no joke!] he believes this is the secret reason Jews don’t eat pigs. He also defends pig meat as being healthy. Okay- I’m not a pig meat aficionado- but being I am a student of the bible [including the Old Testament] I can assure you that the Jewish dietary laws of the Old Testament are in fact very healthy laws! For hundreds of years people did not know why pigs, shrimp, etc. were forbidden to be eaten by the Jewish people- and over time science has discovered that these meats were indeed unclean. The prohibition against certain sea food- later these types of fish were found out to be scavengers, they are the ‘trash eaters’ that keep the oceans clean- that’s why they are unhealthy. Pigs- Hitchens favorite meat- pig meat is not good for you [in general- I’m a very happy pig eater- on pizza- with eggs- out of a bag with spices on it- pork rinds] because the digestive tract of the pig is very short, what they eat ‘becomes’ part of their flesh/life without going thru a long digestive process- not like the cow who ‘chews the cud’ [multiple processes of digestion]. Basically pigs are in fact a ‘less healthy’ meat than other types of meat. All in all Hitchens- once again- is just misinformed about stuff- lots of stuff. Geez- I wrote this short critique from basic knowledge gained thru out my life- believe me I did not have to Google ‘is pig meat clean’. So once again we see the ‘brilliant mind’ of Hitchens at work. I’m reminded of an article I read a few years back- it was a column by Maureen Dowd [the liberal columnist]. She gave her conservative brother a free shot to use her column to blast liberals. He went at it- in pure tea party fashion. As he went down the list- hitting all the favorite sore spots- he got to a line where he spoke of his senator- obviously a liberal- he simply said ‘Sheldon Whitehouse- you sir- are an idiot’ and that was that. As I continue to read Hitchens book- this line comes to mind.

[1566] HITCHENS’- STOCK GUYS- AND THE GRAND DESIGN- Let me talk a bit on how we, as human beings, allow ourselves to believe things- things that we know are wrong- but it makes us feel better to believe them- so we do. First- those of you who are stock/financial advisers- this post is not meant to undermine your field, but to reveal how we at times make decisions that are not in our best interest. A few years ago, before I retired from the fire dept., we had some company come in and offer us a supplemental investment thing- it basically was a 401k type thing- not our main retirement [one of the few fields that still have traditional retirements]. At the time I was the only person who invested and stuck the money in a guaranteed instrument- it was a C.D. type thing that guaranteed around 4 %- tax free. Everyone else followed the stock advice and eventually lost around half of their money- this was right before the market crash. Only one other friend did well- he followed my advice and put his money in the fixed account. Now- are all stocks bad? No. But if I were to tell you that I have this investment for you- it might make 6-10 % [which was about what you could make at the time] or you might lose it all- O-one more thing- this investment also rides heavily on THE WORDS A SINGLE MAN SPEAKS [Federal reserve chairman- Warren Buffet- the treasury secretary- etc. etc.] That is this investment can lose millions/billions in a single day- if the market interprets the words of this man in a negative way [yes- this has happened more than once]. Or you could invest in another instrument [heck- even a 10 year treasury note was yielding around 3.5 at the time!] that on average might make a few points less, but this investment is guaranteed to not go down and you will never lose your initial investment [theoretically]. Of course, any sane person would pick the safer- better investment. But the advisers never tell you this- because their jobs depend on you not knowing this! So as my buddies lost their small fortunes [and mine rose] I watched as they would ask me ‘gee John- you think I should pull out now- I lost 30 thousand’ and of course it was too late. Then as a year or 2 rolled by, the advisers kept saying ‘well- we invest for the long haul- we don’t ride these ups and downs’ so everyone felt good- like they might recoup their initial loss. Then after a few more years most of the financial guru’s [cnbc, Bloomberg, etc.] started saying ‘now it’s time for people to accept they will never again make back the money they lost- but because you’re so broke now- you can’t afford the safe investment- so YOU MUST be in the market now!’ and Walla- most people stayed in the market- took advice from the same people who ruined them. Okay- the point is we at times don’t want to accept the possibility that we were hoodwinked- we want to believe the lie!

So as I continue to read Chris Hitchens book- god is not great- he seems to sound like these stock advisers in the above scenario. Hitchens makes the case for atheism and says ‘look at the wonders of the human intellect- the Hubbell telescope- we can see billions of stars and galaxies- or look at Stephen Hawking’s theory on Black Holes- how he theorizes that we can pass a point called the Event Horizon and be in a place where both the future and the past collide’ [this is simply a theory by the way- we don’t know this as fact]. And then Hitchens compares these great discoveries of man with the bible ‘and look what the bible gives us- a burning bush!’ He basically is glorying in the intellect of man [which is Hitchens god, he glories in his own intellect much- and yet this same ‘intellect’ makes glaring mistakes in knowledge, logic and the basic facts of the subject he is covering- if your gonna glory in anyone’s intellect- at least find one that makes sense!]. Okay- where’s the flaw in his logic? All Christian apologists have shown-over and over again- that the heavens, galaxies, black holes- and any other phenomena like this- are proofs of the greatness and majesty of God. There are actual bible verses that say this ‘the heavens declare the glory of God- the firmament shows his handiwork’ [Psalms] ‘God has revealed himself to us thru the creation he has made’ Romans chapter 1. I mean no Christian appeals to the burning bush story as a sign of the majesty of God. Everything Hubbell discovered, or Hawking found out- was simply AN OBSERVATION of a grand design [the name of Hawking’s latest book]. For Hitchens to appeal to the greatness of creation- and then use this greatness as an argument that God does not exist- well that’s like listening to the stock adviser say ‘being you stuck with me this far- into poverty- might as well stay on for the rest of the ride’.

[1565] HITCHENS- BLOOMBERG AND ADAM- Okay- being I’m finishing up my last book, I made the mistake of going to half price books yesterday- mistake? Yes- I’m going thru some courses right now on philosophy and really shouldn’t be starting any new books right now- but heck, I couldn’t help myself. So as my custom goes- my wife dropped me off [they know better than to wait at the store- I usually take a few hours] and I begin the obsession. First I go thru all the shelves of the targeted category [theology, philosophy, etc.] and pluck out the books I think are relevant. Then when the process is complete I usually purchase 3-5 books from the collection [yes- I leave the rest on the shelf for the poor book worker to put back into the proper section]. So anyway as I was walking outside after the purchase I sat at one of the outside coffee areas where lots of people usually hang out [you know- the professors- one time there was a guitar playing hippie singing about the war in Vietnam- in 2009!]. But this day it was surprisingly empty- only one homeless guy. As I sat to start Christopher Hitchens best seller ‘god is not great- how religion poisons everything’ I realized that the reason the spot was empty was because the homeless kid was sitting there at one of the tables- playing with one of those kids toys- you shake it back and forth and it claps- and he seemed to be talking to himself. To be honest- some of these guys are my best friends- I’ve spent thousands of man hours just hanging out with these brothers over the years. I really didn’t talk too much- trying to dissect Hitchens- then my wife drove up and beeped the horn. As I got up to leave- I saw the brother kinda look my way- seemed to be waiting to see the scared- or violent type response they usually see- you know ‘stay the hell away from me’ type thing. I caught his eye and just gave him a friendly ‘hey brother- how you doing’ he was so glad to be seen as a human being. I walked over and figured I’d talk for a minute or 2. I didn’t realize it at first, but he was wearing headphones and listening to music- he wasn’t talking to himself after all. He told me he was listening to Floyd- I told him I too am a big classic rock fan- that while living in Jersey I missed their concert in 1979-80 ‘The Wall’. He knew the year- it was 1980. I just spent a few minutes having a friendly talk with him- maybe the first real communication he’s had all day- most of these brothers are nice guys- yet they often struggle with mental issues- he looked to be in his late 20’s, originally from some northern state- probably headed south for the winter. As my wife was waiting in the car- beeping the horn- probably thinking ‘Oh know- another one of his homeless friends’ [yes- I’ve met hundreds over the years- and they’ve all been to the house many times] I told my buddy I got to go- he asks ‘what’s your name’? John. Hi John- my name is Adam. Strange- the man who was made in God’s image- Jesus said ‘in as much as you helped one of the least- the down and out- you have helped me’.

Okay- once again I really needed to do a post or 2 on philosophy- before I get too ahead of myself in the study; but let me make a few comments on Hitchens book [see- I told you I shouldn’t have hit the book store!] Okay- I’m gonna try and be nice to Hitchens- he is one of the famous atheist writers of the past few years- these guys are referred to as ‘the new atheists’ the group consists of some notable names- Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris- a few others. These guys kind of became popular in reviving some of the old arguments against religion and God- most modern readers are not aware that they are simply re-hashing the same old arguments that have been refuted in the past- and to be honest this bunch make a whole lotta errors in their thinking/arguments. Most well trained Christian apologists have thoroughly refuted them. But being Hitchens is dying [or died? I haven’t checked recently] of cancer- I’ll try and be nice [try!]. Okay- like some of the book reviews I read- Hitchens is crude and mean- and yes- at times ignorant of his glaring mistakes. He describes a nice old teacher he had as a youth- as a young boy growing up in England- she taught the schoolboys about nature and science- and yes- God. I thought he was being nice telling the story. Then he calls her ‘a pious old trout’. He refers to the sex abuse scandal that’s rocked the Catholic church- he calls it the ‘no child’s behind left’ scandal [a takeoff on the no child left behind policy]. So yes, this book- while containing some real good history- also sounds overly crude. Hitchens also appeals to mans great intellect and sophistication as being all we need for true morality- he says man does not need God, religion or the bible to be moral- after all we have the great works of literature! Sounds good- right? He then goes on and mentions the names of the great authors- he mentions Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy among others- and makes the argument ‘see- we have morality and truth contained within these books without needing religious truth’- geez- every well read person will tell you that these authors are known for their books being inundated with religious morality- it’s no secret that these 2 authors are considered some of the greatest Christian/religious writers of their time. How Hitchens could appeal to the ethics contained in their writings and say ‘see- we don’t need religious ethics- we have these guys’. I mean these types of obvious flaws jump right out at you- to be honest I have only read the reviews from these famous atheists in the past- but most of the reviews have pointed stuff like this out- I just didn’t think these guys would be this ‘amateurish’ [geez- don’t want to call the guy an idiot- or an old trout- that wouldn’t be the Christian thing to do]. So anyway I guess I’ll hit a few high points of the book the next week or so.

Last- but not least. Have we had our own Greek crisis? Those of you who follow the news are aware that this last year the European Union has suffered from a severe debt crisis- many states that make up the union have struggled to try and cut costs and sure up their economies- Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland are still very much in trouble. So the other healthier economies in the union [Germany] have put pressure on the weaker ones to get their houses in order- they refer to this as ‘austerity’ taking measures to reign in the financial crisis. As a response to these cutbacks- like raising the retirement age and hiking college tuition- many citizens have taken to the streets in protest- govt. workers going on strike and all. People have wondered if stuff like this could happen in the good old U.S. of A- it looks like it might just have! In sort of sneaky way. The blizzard that has wreaked havoc on the north east these last few days has caused problems for N.Y. and N.J. [my old home turf]. The mayor of N.Y. – Michael Bloomberg- has come under fire for not getting the streets cleared in time. Word has gotten out that some of the street workers were told by their bosses ‘go slow in the clean up’ so to put pressure on the mayor to not eliminate their jobs- sort of like an under the cover strike. If this is true [we don’t know for sure] then it would be our own workers rebellion against our austerity measures- while it’s not as bad as what Europe has gone thru- never the less it’s still bad.

[1559] RATIONALISTS- EMPIRICISTS [Western intellectual tradition] – Okay- for those of you who are following my sporadic teaching on modernity [philosophical period between the 17th 20th centuries] let me overview a little of what we have covered so far. We discussed the Christian thinker- Rene Descartes’- and how in the 17th century he challenged the faculty at the university of Paris [the leading university of the day] to argue for the reasonableness of Christianity thru rational means- he said we can prove the existence of God without having to appeal to church tradition or the bible. The Empiricists [those who challenged the ‘rationalists’] argued that all knowledge comes to us from the senses- so we can never prove God’s existence from reasonable/natural means. In fact they argued that religion in itself is irrational and any attempts to make it rational/reasonable were futile. David Hume and Denis Diderot [one of the first openly professed atheists of the time] would argue from this position. Then in the late 18th century the very influential German thinker- Immanuel Kant- would respond to Hume’s pure skeptical Empiricism and ‘awake out of his dogmatic slumber’ [a term he himself used to describe his reaction to reading Hume] and challenge the skeptics. Kant did accept the Empiricist’s idea that we can’t ‘prove God’ by rational means- thru knowledge obtained thru the 5 senses- yet he taught that it was perfectly ‘reasonable’ to come to the conclusion that God exists. Just because you can’t prove God like Descartes’ said [according to Kant- I personally believe Descartes’ was right] it is still rational to ‘purport’ the necessity of God- in essence we ‘need God’ and natural religion for man to function in society- and it is logical to conclude that there must be an initial cause to all creation-even though we can’t discover him thru natural means. Okay- just a brief overview of what we already covered. I guess at this point I better go ahead and start a separate study under the title ‘The Western Intellectual Tradition’ [on the blog]. Why should Christians [especially preachers/pastors] even be concerned with stuff like this? While I agree it is not necessary for all Christians to study all subjects about all things- yet these historical/cultural movements play a major role in the debate going on today between believers and those who reject God. Just like in the scientific field- if Christians simply give up the fight- that is if we come to the table of ideas- trying to engage society in a coherent way- then we need to have some ability to argue intelligently for our position. To have even a ‘surface’ understanding of some of these cultural movements that have shaped the way we think and know is important when we get into debates with unbelievers who have appealed to the skeptics [Hume] to argue against the existence of God.

[1556] REALISTS-NOMINALISTS- Let me do a little more on the development of philosophy and how Christians played a major role in new ways of thinking and ‘knowing’ [epistemology]. I mentioned Rene Descartes the other day- Descartes challenged the Christina thinkers of his day to approach apologetics [arguments for God’s existence] from rational grounds; instead of saying ‘God exists because the bible/tradition teach it’ he showed we can argue from the ground of reason. Descartes was a ‘realist’ that is a thinker who believed in Universal principles- the ancient philosophers [Aristotle, Plato- etc.] taught that there were universal ideas that existed- the example was if you think of a Horse- or a Chair- that in the mind of people we all have this concept of what these things are- but the reality of the universal idea of horse/chair exist outside of us- they are not only thoughts in our minds. The Nominalists rejected this idea- they taught that we interact with our 5 senses with things in the world- and thru this interaction our minds passively receive this knowledge and we come up with ideas- not because these ideas are universal ideas that already exist- but because our minds have ‘discovered’ them thru the senses. These thinkers were also called Empiricists. Men like David Hume would take this approach. Then in the 18th century you had the German philosopher Immanuel Kant challenge the skepticism of the Empiricists and he would become one of the most influential thinkers for our time. You would be hard pressed to find another philosopher who has had more influence on western thought than Kant. Kant too believed that man could not prove God absolutely thru natural means- but he did teach that it was rational/reasonable for man to believe in the existence of God- though he said you can’t totally prove him thru natural means. This was a different approach from the pure Empiricists- they taught that God/religion were irrational. Kant put a twist on Empiricism- he said that man does interact with the world thru his 5 senses, but instead of ideas/knowledge being a product of the mind of man passively receiving this knowledge- mans mind categorizes these interactions and it is thru this function of mans mind that we have knowledge. He carried the idea a little further than Hume. In the end of the day Immanuel Kant believed that not only is it rational to believe in God- but it is necessary. For society to ever function properly man needed to believe that his soul was immortal, that an eternal being existed that would some day judge man [or reward him] for his actions in this life. Though Kant did not accept the Realists view that we could prove God by rational means- yet he did believe in the necessity of man to believe in God. It has been said that Kant kicked God out the front door- but snuck him in thru the back. Okay- know some of this gets dry at times, but I think it is important for Christians to have some idea of the development of thought and philosophy thru the ages- many atheistic philosophers have argued against the existence of God- but many Christian thinkers have made just as strong [if not stronger] arguments on the other side- we need to know both sides.

[1555] I really want to cover a little more Philosophy/history- but let me mention a few recent news/political developments. This past week Richard Holbrook died. He was our special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan. I actually wrote a post about him a week or so ago. The Wikileaks revealed him to be less than truthful in his dealings with the public. The reason I want to mention him is because after he died the media [both left and right] praised him as a wonderful man- a great humanitarian- on and on. Holbrook was said to have been the highest diplomat in his area of foreign policy who never became secretary of state. If you remember during the presidential campaign many thought he would be picked to take the position if a Democrat won. He was also said to have had a ‘big’ image of himself- he saw himself as a very important figure. I saw an interview he did with Rachel Maddow one day- he simply gave the same justifications for the war in Afghanistan as Bush and Cheney gave- no difference. Holbrook was involved with our actions in East Timor in the late 70’s [Carter administration] and also played a role in our ‘war’ in Yugoslavia. During the 90’s under the Clinton administration we ‘sided’ with the Muslim’s who were fighting the ‘Christians’. Slobodan Milosevic was the president and we backed the Muslims because we claimed the Serbs were practicing Genocide. So the Muslims did the same against the Serbs when it was their turn. Holbrook had a hand in those killings as well. So whatever a persons political leanings are- we should also be truthful about the history of people. If someone has leaned more heavily towards the justification for U.S. action- and has pushed for the more aggressive role- than let the record show that. When Cheney or Rumsfeld die- I’m sure you will have some who will praise them- and others who won’t. In Holbrook’s case there seemed to be no one telling the other side.

Okay- let me quickly cover a few more things. I’m doing a study right now on the Western Intellectual tradition- covering the period between 1600-2000. Some if it gets a little dry- but it’s important for believers to have a basic grasp on this period. Many thinkers went thru a transformation during this time- in the pre-modern era philosophy and theology went hand in hand. But during the enlightenment and scientific revolution many new ideas arose. In the midst of the 17th century [1641] the famous Christian thinker- Rene Descartes’- sent a letter [called the Meditations- it would be released in book form later] to the university of Paris [the leading university of the day- theology and philosophy were the main fields of study] and he challenged the thinkers of the day to ground their arguments for God in Reason as opposed to Revelation [meaning tradition and what God has ‘revealed’ to us thru the bible]. Descartes’ believed that the Christian thinker could argue his case in a more powerful way if he based his argument on reason. Now to be sure this idea was not new- you had men like Thomas Aquinas advocate this in the 13th century- and as far back as 400 years before Christ the philosopher Aristotle used this line when speaking of the ‘prime mover’ [God]. But Descartes is credited with challenging the church of his day to do philosophy on this new ground. John Lock, Immanuel Kant and others would take certain aspects of Descartes ideas and develop them more fully. Some were more skeptical than others- and some rejected the idea that any reason/rationality could ever be combined with religious belief. Later on in the 19th century you had many openly advocate a type of reasoning that would totally exclude God from the picture. But for the most part the earlier thinkers did not go down that road- they thought it foolish to deny the existence of God- all things coming into existence from nothing seemed be a non starter for them- yet many of today’s most famous atheists seem to have no problem espousing a view that is absolutely proven to be false [you can never- ever- ever get something from nothing- which is the most popular view of the big bang theory among many atheists today]. So I think Christians today should be more aware of making the argument for the existence of God through rational/reasonable means- the other day I heard a radio preacher trying to debunk the theory of Evolution- he argued that it can’t be true because the bible says God made everything. Well this argument doesn’t cut it with people who don’t believe the bible! Likewise we need to be able to give a defense for the faith- without always appealing to the articles of the faith while doing it.

(1554) MODERNISM- okay- need to take a break from politics [current!] and news! Let’s do some history/philosophy. Modernism [modernity] refers to the time period between the mid 17th century to the mid 20th century [loosely]. During the scientific revolution, coming off the heels of the Reformation- there were many challenges to past ways of thinking about religion, knowledge, politics and existence in general. Many new thinkers felt the old forms of thought were outdated- and as man advances he needs to ground his existence in rationality as opposed to religion [Descartes’]. Not all thinkers rejected religion- John Locke and Immanuel Kant tried to show that religion could be rational- not all religion had to be ‘blind faith’. Others rejected that idea [David Hume] and said if you wanted society to be rational- you had to reject religion as a foundation for thought. Modern atheists- like Sam Harris- would say the same thing. In Harris’ 2004 book- The End of Faith- he teaches that all true religion is radical in nature- that those who believe you can be moderate in religion are wrong- that the religious texts themselves [Koran- Bible] call for radicalism and violence and therefore the only hope for peace in the world is to eliminate religion. Basically I think Harris should stick to atheism and not delve too deep into Christian philosophy. The Christian ‘religion/ethic’, while possessing scriptures [Old testament] that certainty do advocate violence- yet the central historical event in Christianity is the event of the Cross and the person of Christ- whose message said ‘Moses said- but I say’. Christianity contains within her texts the mandate to reject the old forms of violence and to embrace a new way of love- so Harris missed the boat on this one. But you have had thinkers [past and present] who have said ‘we need to eradicate the world of all traces of religion in order for man to reach his highest good’. The thinker Nietzsche would pronounce ‘God is dead’ in his 1882 book called The Gay Science [I’ll leave it alone]. Both Marx and Freud would join him in their rejection of God in the last half of the 19th century. So many felt the rise of modernism- along with the descent of religion was mans ultimate goal- as man advances he would mature from this ‘psychological’ weakness and accept a world without God. Than in the 20th century you had some major events that questioned whether or not modern man could survive without true religious morality. We had the world wars and the most violent century in our history as ‘moderns’. The election of Jimmy Carter- the first self professed ‘Born Again’ Christian to become president- and the Iranian revolution in 1979- the rise of an Islamic state based on radical interpretations of Islam. These events challenged the ‘hope ‘of those who felt like religion was waning and mans rationality was winning the day. So that’s why you had the rise of the new atheists who began a campaign to revive the ‘death of God’ movement and to advocate for what they felt was necessary for man to advance along the modern path. Today we are actually living in what’s called ‘the Postmodern Era’ but for the purpose of this short note we don’t want to go down that road at this time. Has man advanced- ‘modernized’ to the point where he does not need ‘God’ anymore? Can man simply build a Utopian society without God? All those who advocated for a society without God- ultimately failed in coming up with a rational basis for law and order- for who has the right to ‘make the rules’ in this new society- in essence those who tried the Freudian way could never come up with a system of govt. and law without having to borrow from the Christian world view- man cannot simply govern himself based on some atheistic principle of ‘reason’ apart from God [who decides whose reason is right?]. The atheist’s charge that all religion at its core is radical and dangerous- without reason- has been proven false. True religion can very much be reasonable- that is being rational and religious can go hand in hand- all religious adherents do not have to be ‘Fundamentalists’ as Harris claims- and the Modern experiment has not shown us that mans ultimate destiny is to rise above religious belief and attain some type of society without God and faith- that experiment has been tried- and found wanting.

[1538] MORE ON THE POPE’S BOOK- Let me cover a little more Catholic history, being I’m still reading the Pope’s book [Jesus of Nazareth]. The last 2 chapters I read dealt with the temptations of Jesus by the devil- and the concept of the ‘Kingdom of God’. I like Benedict’s interpretation of the temptations- how he applies them to today. He sees the temptation of turning stones into bread as saying ‘God- if you’re really there- then why are there so many starving people in the world- why don’t you provide! Just ‘turn the stones into bread’’ if you will. The Pope develops this thought as a general cause of doubt that occurs in the world; how many people seem to question the existence of God because of the many injustices we see in the world [in theology we call this Theodicy- the Pope I’m sure knows the term- but he’s trying to write for the common reader so he doesn’t use the term]. All in all I liked the argument. He also [surprisingly!] equates the temptation of the devil to Jesus- when the devil says ‘fall down and worship me and I will give you the kingdoms of the world’. Interestingly the Pope applies this to the ongoing temptation that the church has always had to deal with- the temptation of the church ‘bowing down’ in order to exert control over the kingdoms of the world. He compares the church’s ‘marriage’ to Roman govt. [4ht century Constantine] as a weakness of the church- that she in essence opted for outward political control and in a way rejected the kingdom of Jesus- the meek kingdom that would inherit the earth. Now, this observation has been made many times before- but mostly from Protestants! It’s surprising to see a Pope make the same observation! Also liberal Catholic theologian Hans Kung has made this argument- he’s not a theologian in good standing with his own church- a few years ago he openly made the argument that the church should reject Papal infallibility [the doctrine] and got an official censure from the Vatican. So any way I found the observations of Benedict enlightening and surprising- over the next few weeks I’ll probably hit a few more notes from the book [probably should have done a complete book review now that I think about it- but I’m in the middle of making some new radio programs and didn’t want to focus too much on a book review]. Anyway- if you get a chance pick up the book [published in 2006- but any Catholic bookshop will have it] it’s a worthwhile read.

-[1522] Wasn’t sure which way to go today; felt like refuting [or as Sarah Palin says ‘refudiating’!] the recent Stephen Hawking book- he’s basically saying nothing new, and what he is claiming has been shown to be ‘less than true’ [heck, you don’t want the call the man senile, though who knows?]. In a nutshell the book claims that Gravity itself needed no originator, that it created all things, even itself! Yikes! This is a complete violation of the Law of Non contradiction- which states ‘a thing cannot be and not be at the same time and in the same relationship’ for gravity to have created itself [which Hawking is saying!] then it had to ‘be, and not be’ at the same time- not only is this not good science, it is lunacy. For my new facebook readers I’ll try and post a few notes at the bottom. I also just walked passed my T.V. while going into the study, sure enough there was a television evangelist on the tube doing the whole money thing- man if I get into that it will be bad. So for today let me stick a few relevant posts at the bottom and lets all remember the fallen heroes of 9-11-2001. It’s there day for sure.

-[1516] YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! Okay, the other week I watched a ton of stuff on wormholes, the universe and modern theories of cosmology. I do really get into this stuff, but I couldn’t stop laughing [crying?] at some points. Those of you who have read my evolution section have read posts on Dark matter/Dark energy. In those posts I explained how dark matter, an idea espoused by Alan Guth from M.I.T., became a necessary ‘evil’ [or unknown] in order for modern physics to explain the function of the universe. Basically physics teaches us that you need so much matter to generate enough gravity for the planets and everything else to function properly; the problem is we have never detected the matter. So Guth said ‘I know, let’s come up with the word’s ‘dark matter’ and blame everything on that’! Excellent idea isn’t it? But if some Christian did something like this you would laugh him out of the room. So anyway dark matter eventually became the word to describe this UNKNOWN element that holds the universe together- much like the way Chance is used by many in modern theory. So as I watched the programs narrated by Morgan Freeman, I found it interesting that in one show they admitted that Dark Matter really isn’t anything, it’s just a word we use to fill in an unknown blank- exactly what I have been saying for years. But then in the next show in the series, you had a bunch of scientists refer to Dark Matter as a real, proven thing. They were contradicting themselves. But the clincher came when they ran the show called ‘are we wrong about everything’. This one dealt with all these new up and coming scientists who are actually challenging all of the old theories, they even debunked the whole theory of Dark Matter [so I was right all along?]. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Then for the grand finale they spoke about a new theory called Dark Flow [these guys just can’t get away from dark stuff!]. This idea says there is this ‘flow’ in the universe that seems to be all going in one direction; that is they think there is some outside force [in theology we call this transcendence] that exists outside of the known universe, and this unseen force might actually be the cause for the functionality of our known universe. In essence they are saying ‘it’s not Dark Matter that causes things to function properly, but it’s this ‘thing’ that exists outside of the universe that is doing it’. Really, this is too good to be true; modern theory is now saying ‘some being/thing is causing this to happen’. Of course Christians knew this all along. The bible says that Christ is holding all things together by the power of his word, this language speaks exactly to the problem of Dark Matter- that is we have never been able to detect by natural means, anything that is ‘big’ enough to be responsible for holding everything together. Christians have believed that the very nature of God is responsible for doing this; he exists and fills in the empty space- the so called function of dark matter. I don’t mean to ridicule these fine men who have given their lives to the worthy pursuit of modern scientific theory, it’s just when their own scientists begin to tells us ‘look, these other guys have been wrong all along’ then we really need to take a second look.

[1506] CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS- Last night I caught a brief interview of Christopher Hitchens; the atheist intellectual. To my surprise he has had cancer for 2 months and the prognosis does not look good. He was asked whether or not he has changed his stance now that he is dyeing- he stood strong to the end- he said he still does not believe in a God and that if he gets so sick that he loses his faculties and says some type of prayer at death, that it should be chalked up to loss of mind. He mentioned how some web sites have sprung up calling for his death, but there were others that have called for prayer- as a matter of fact they have designated a special day of prayer just for him! The host asked him ‘do you want to ask those Christians not to pray for you’ and he quickly said ‘oh no’ you could sense in his tone that he was hoping; but then he said ‘well, if it makes them feel better, then let them pray’. He also said that sometimes psychosomatic things can have a real effect; sort of like if people ‘pray’ and believe a person will get healed; that in some cases it works. He mentioned ‘the Almighty’ in the conversation; he referred to him as a real being, even though he is an atheist. So he basically confessed that prayer sometimes works and that the Almighty exists, though he is an unbeliever. God takes the foolish and causes them to acknowledge him- truly every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. I feel no ill will towards Hitchens, I just mentioned him in prayer- but it should be known that he is part of the crop of current atheists who has gone out of his way to mock and ridicule believers; unlike some atheists of the past who have been more respectful in their denial of God. I heard Hitchens mock mother Theresa after her death, not good. Any person who devotes his life to trying to cause other people to reject the faith, surely he has wasted much of his life. Jesus said it was better to have a stone tied around your neck and dumped into the ocean than for a person to cause a ‘little one’ to be offended. Hitchens has offended many little ones. Let’s pray for the man, and also be realistic about his willful rejection of God- the scripture says the atheist does not reject God on purely rationalistic grounds, but that he rejects God because of sin. Hitchens, like everyone else, has an appointment with God- it would be better if he spent some time with him before the meeting.

-[1474] YE THAT LOVE THE LORD, HATE EVIL- Psalm 97:10a. The other day I had a discussion with a college student, they are studying biology/evolution and they asked a bunch of important questions. I gave the person an overview of the true things we have learned from evolutionary theory, but I also explained how science has also shown us the limits that the theory has [went into information theory and DNA and the fossil record]. The person then asked all types of questions about the bible- I went into the manuscript evidence and historical proofs of scripture. Then the person asked about a society ‘free from religion’ sort of like Lennon’s theme in the song imagine. I explained that this project has been tried before and found wanting; covered the history of the Enlightenment and how those who advocated for a society free from God could not justify law and morality; they ultimately have to borrow capital from Christianity. I also explained that these experiments ended up in failure [socialism]. After giving the student a broad overview for the reality of God they said they thought I should teach it to their fellow students because they are not hearing both sides of the argument. I believe the apologetic arguments for the proof of God and Christianity can only go so far, then you need faith to embrace Christ; but there are many sincere students who get lambasted for the faith and are being duped out of believing what is true. After explaining some of the views of Christianity the person actually began seeing some of the flaws with the arguments that they have heard on the other side. It is progressive and open minded and ‘pluralistic’ to hear both sides of these issues, but many times in the university setting the student does not hear both views. After listening to both sides, it is obvious to see that those who advocate for a Godless society ultimately go down a road that is evil, governments that destroy and devalue human life. We have tried the atheistic experiment and it has failed; you that love the Lord, hate evil.

-[1462] ANSELM- Over the next few months I will do some brief overviews on important historical figures from church history. They will be under a separate section after the same name. Anselm was born in Italy in the year 1033, he eventually became a very influential church teacher and is famous for a few things; he came up with an argument for the existence of God called ‘the Ontological argument’ ontology is a word that means the nature of being. His idea went like this ‘Because there is no other greater conceivable being than God, that means God must exist’ in so many words he said because humans have this conscious belief in God as the greatest being, that therefore he must be that being. I’ll admit when I first read this argument I had some difficulties with it, I think you can find problems with it. But he nevertheless introduced it and it has become one of the classical apologetic arguments for God’s existence. The second major teaching that Anselm gave us was the teaching on the Atonement; Anselm taught that Jesus died to ransom man back to God, the penalty of death was a penalty paid to God. You say ‘what’s so new about that’? Many other church teachers taught that Jesus died to pay a ransom to the devil, that at the fall of man satan gained dominion over man and that Jesus death purchased us back from satan. Though there is some truth to man being under the dominion of satan after the fall, yet Anselm was ‘more right’ in the way he approached it. As a matter of fact His teaching eventually became the norm for the church. Anselm introduced Reason into the argument for the existence of God. Many teachers used scripture and appealed to the church fathers to prove the reality of God, Anselm was one of the first to lean heavily on logic when arguing for Gods existence. He is considered one of the greats of church history and we still benefit from the influence of Anselm to this day.

-[1458] CONTACT! The other night I caught the movie Contact; I have seen it before but figured I’d re-watch it. The movie pits science against religion; the religious figure [Mathew Mconaughy] is talking to the scientific atheist [Jodie Foster] as she makes her case against God she asks the religious figure ‘are you familiar with Ockham’s Razor’ [wow, isn’t she smart!] and the ex-priest says ‘no, is it some sort of porno movie?’ and of course the atheist goes on to quote the famous saying. Ockham’s razor is the principle developed by William of Ockham that says when you have multiple solutions to a problem that the simplest answer is usually the correct one. Sounds good, what’s the problem? The problem is William of Ockham was indeed a Christian philosopher; he was a contemporary of Thomas Aquinas and John Duns Scotus. They all lived in the high middle ages [13th-14th centuries]. So for Jodie Foster to have appealed to him while trying to make the point that religion and science don’t mix, well it would be like me debating someone on Halloween. I say it never existed as a pagan holiday; you insist it did! As we debate, I say ‘have you ever heard of the term trick or treat’ and you say ‘no, what’s that’. I then changed the channel to the news and they were doing a story on some scientist who supposedly invented synthetic DNA, they then gave the various statements from religious groups who were against it and thought it violated ethics. It was a replay of the same themes of the movie, pitting science against religion. Science and religion are not enemies, the scientific method was invented by the church, most of the greatest minds in science have been Christian [or religious] and even till this very day many of the great men of science are believers. At the end of the movie they gave a short dedication to Carl [Sagan]. Sagan was the famous atheist who said the universe is all there ever was and all there ever would be. The apostle Paul said ‘men chose to worship and serve the creation rather than the creator, therefore God gave them up to reprobate minds’. The other night I watched the special called ‘Hawking’s universe’ I don’t know why they called it Hawking’s, it was a simple rehash of the idea of cosmological evolution, nothing new at all. Let’s make something clear, those who espouse the idea that because we have discovered that most all of the base elements of creation and man are also found in the stars, this in no way proves that men and creation all evolved from stars! This is one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever heard, and yet many learned men are making this case. Some are saying that when stars explode [novas] that these base elements then form planets and people and monkeys and elephants and- well you get the idea. What mechanism are they giving us that shows us that something like this is even possible? Absolutely none. They are simply making the claim that because we share most of the same matter, that therefore the stars themselves created everything. This is not only not true science, but it doesn’t pass the smell test of elementary school! It would be like me stumbling across some computer disk, and then finding a computer to pop it into. Lo and behold I have found the complete works of Shakespeare on the disk. How did they get there? Sure enough some analyst figures out a way to examine the matter that makes up the disk [not the intelligence on it!] and lo and behold he identifies the makeup of the disk. He then proclaims ‘aha, I have figured out where the works of Shakespeare came from’ and he then goes on to give us the elements that make up the disk. What’s the problem? He simply identified the matter of the disk, he did not identify where the actual intelligence on the disk came from. So when people espouse the idea that the stars ‘made everything’ they are talking absolute nonsense. The only true explanation for the contents on the disk [or the intelligence found in the universe] is the reality that an intelligent agent put the contents there. There is no other rational explanation. Jodie Foster was right- when you have multiple solutions to a problem, the simplest is usually correct. Either the stars made everything [impossible], or God. I’ll go with God.

-(1447) THE BARNES AND NOBLE JESUS? WAS B.P. A GOD CAUSED DISASTER? Yesterday I saw my recent issue of Christianity Today had arrived, I planned on reading some news papers and catching up on the weeks past events; but instead I spent about an hour going thru the mag. Found it interesting to see many of the ruffled feathers among the elites of the day. Brian McLaren finally responded to Scot McKnight’s criticism of his most recent work; Brian defended himself as not being anti evangelical. Tom Wright had a book review done by Michael Horton [that could be trouble!] but Horton was pretty fair, and pointed out how Wright pictures the Reformers as neglecting virtue and morality on the altar of faith. Horton exposes this weakness in Wright, surely many of the reformers [particularly the Puritan strain] emphasized virtue and morality. Found it interesting that some of these authors responded to recent critiques in a way that seemed to indicate that the critics served a good purpose; it caused the authors to have to defend themselves and make statements saying they were closer to the evangelical faith than their critics indicated. As I read the back and forth between these fine men, I couldn’t help but wonder what practical effect all this is having on the church at large. Are they simply hashing things out amongst the book store crowd [of which I am one] and in the end the church at large is preaching/believing in a Jesus who would probably be uncomfortable hanging out at the Barnes and Noble? Okay, this week my governor said the B.P. oil spill in the gulf was an act of God; the critics got on him and he had to defend himself. It does seem strange that a failed oil rig can be blamed on the Most High. The broader question being, how do we explain the real natural disasters of the world? In the 18th century [1755 to be exact] believers from all over the world were in church celebrating All Saints Day, just off the coast of Portugal a major earthquake struck, thousands of believers who were attending services in the capital city of Lisbon were crushed under the collapsing buildings. Many fled to the coast and were swept up in the tsunami; it was a major disaster for the time. One of Christianities critics, Voltaire, used this event to refute the popular notion that God was sovereign over all things and good as well. Voltaire, who is often accused of being an atheist [in actuality he was a theist- believed in a God but rejected Christianity] found evil in the world as proof of God being absent from the daily affairs of men, a common accusation from atheists/agnostics. How do believers explain these types of events? Did God purposely cause the earthquake to happen on that day, knowing that all the worshippers would be in church that morning? God of course knows all things, and nothing happens outside of his sovereignty. But we also live in a world that is a result of mans choice to sin and plunge the creation into a cursed situation [Genesis, Romans] so things happen in the world that are a result of the curse that came upon creation when man sinned. Things like the B.P. spill are obviously not God caused disasters, but we also can’t blame every natural disaster upon God. True, sometimes they can be a divine act of judgment [Noah’s flood] and there certainly are scriptures that speak about God revealing himself and his wrath thru these types of events, but we also should not discount the reality that some events happen as a result of mans failure to properly take care of the creation that God put under his dominion. The fact that God is not directly involved in all these types of events does not mean that he is removed from the scene, but we also need to be careful when we blame God for things that are clearly not his fault.

-(1442) WHAT ABOUT THE ARIZONA LAW? This week Arizona passed one of the most restrictive immigration laws in the nation. Many have opposed the new law; there is so much speculation by the media that it’s hard to get to the truth. I personally would be against any law that made a U.S. citizen have to show his birth papers or be detained. But I also understand the major border problem that Arizona and the other Mexico/American Border States have to deal with; I live in Texas, one of these states. Last night I caught an interesting interview on the Rachel Maddow show, she had on some guy from a group that supposedly had something to do with crafting the new law. I never heard of the group before but they seem to be one of the right leaning groups that at times espouse things that can be taken as racist. The interesting thing was Rachel’s staff looked up all sorts of past statements and beliefs of people associated with the group; she then grilled the representative on the air. The problem was she found past statements that held to the belief that some races of people are more ‘evolved’ than others, statements that said some humans possibly have a better learning capacity than others. And she also brought out those who held to the belief that it would be better for humanity as a whole if we did not encourage the ‘lesser groups’ to breed! What Rachel did not realize is she was quoting to the tee many of the beliefs of social evolution. At one point she brought out a picture from a magazine associated with the group, the title of the article was ‘Homo Erectus walks among us’ it actually showed a picture of a half black/ape like being. In essence Rachel was rightfully condemning social Darwinism, a belief that she personally holds to! I have written on this before and don’t want to re teach the whole subject, suffice it to say that many have warned that these racist views of evolution are extremely dangerous, but if a person truly believes in Darwin’s theory, then the logical conclusion is yes- there are races on the planet that are less advanced than others- you can’t get around it, evolutionary theory breeds racism. I like the Rachel Maddow show, and like most North Eastern liberals they are usually able to see the faults and racist tendencies of the right, but are totally blind to their own racist views. I personally am weary of any law that puts people under suspicion because of their race; whether it be White, Hispanic, Black or any other group. If the federal govt. did not drop the ball on immigration and border security then Arizona would not have been pushed into what looks to be a bad law, I hope that we can come to a fair solution to the immigration problem. For the record I am pro immigrant, I have said this before and want to be up front about it. I take the Catholic view on immigration; I side with treating the immigrants with mercy and grace. I know there are legitimate arguments on both sides of this issue; I just wanted to be upfront about where I stand.

-(1434) THE WINGLESS BEATLE- Recently there has been some hot debate going back and forth amongst Christians over the concept of I.D. [intelligent design] and evolution. I want to bring out a few important points; first, why are there intelligent Christian thinkers and scientists who hold to the idea of evolution? Are all of these smart men simply being duped? Of course not. We need to understand that the breakthroughs in science since the time of Darwin have shown us the reality that species very much do ‘evolve’ over time, the mechanism called Natural Selection is real. Many Christians believed that the various types of different animals in certain groups were all created by God in their original form in the first 6 days of creation. What Darwin observed was that animals [finches] actually would adapt to their environment over time, and these changes would indeed get passed off onto the next generation. So as science advanced we have seen that this process called natural selection does work in this way. The problem with a full throttled Darwinian view is Darwin concluded that this process was the reason why we have all the different species of life on the planet. Darwin carried his idea too far. Why do I say this? As science has advanced over time we have also discovered that living cells are highly complex, animals and humans have encoded within them a sort of computer program called DNA, in Darwin’s day we did not know this, but today we know it. As a matter of fact one of the main arguments of the ID movement is the very fact that there is absolutely no naturalistic explanation to where this information [program] has come from, but in fact all observable evidence around us indicates that you can only get intelligence like this from an intelligent mind. DNA does not evolve over time, in that succeeding generations of living things are developing new information; this does not happen. In order for Darwinian evolution to be true, then you would need some naturalistic explanation to where this new information is coming from. Now to the beetles, there is a case where these beetles were observed on this windy island over a period of years, the wind would blow the beetles into the ocean and they would drown; over time the beetles ‘lost’ their wings. Yes, successive generations of beetles would be born wingless. The process of natural selection worked in a way that the species dropped off the information in their DNA that called for wings. Does this mean Darwin was right? Not at all, what happened with the beetles is over time the species adapted to its environment by losing information, not by gaining it- in essence this is what natural selection does, it mutates, adapts, drops off info. But in no case does it create new data, in order for you to have new data you need some intelligent force/being to actually program the info. Most computer people have no problem with this concept. So Christians need to be careful when they reject all the good science that has come down the pike since Charlie’s day, but the evolutionist too needs to be willing to go where the data leads, thus far we have much data that says one species has never changed into another new species, you need a programmer for this to work.

[follow up comment on Trevin’s site] Good interview Trevin/Gina. I would note that there are ‘psychological’ reasons to why people embrace atheism [i.e.; believing I am not accountable to a higher authority just being one!] but I like Gina’s openness and hope she would read some of the more recent arguments for the existence of God, Keller’s work being one of many. Okay Gina, here you can stereotype me ‘lets pray for Gina’ sorry, couldn’t help it.

-(1425) SPECIFIED COMPLEXITY- In the struggle over evolutionary theory, one of the approaches used to debunk Darwinian Theory is the concept called ‘information theory’. This idea refutes a purely atheistic view of evolution. First, we must understand that the most popular form of evolution today is absolutely proven to be untrue! I know that’s a surprising statement to some, but stick with me. The current theory that most atheists hold to is the idea that at one point in time nothing existed [true]. They then say ‘by chance all things eventually came into existence’ they do not believe, for the most part, that any being existed prior to creation. This idea is blatantly false from the start, it is scientifically impossible to get something from nothing- people must know this. Now does evolutionary theory explain how all things came from no-thing? Absolutely not. That’s why some evolutionists espouse a theory called panspermia, this idea says that it’s possible that life started somewhere else, possibly by extra terrestrial beings, and that it was seeded on our planet either by accident or design. Men like Richard Dawkins [the famous atheist] have espoused this idea. If you were to ask them ‘and exactly what do you think this being is like, is it intelligent or not’ they would reply ‘oh, it’s definitely intelligent- how else could it have spawned intelligent life’ [good question!] if you then asked ‘is the being powerful, does it have the skill to do great things’? ‘Oh yes, of course, how else could it have spawned matter and life’? Another excellent question! One last thing, how old is this being, has he a starting point in history as well? Come to think of it, now that you ask, he [or his ancestor] must have been around forever, because if there was a point in time where he did not exist, then we have the problem of explaining where he came from, so logic tells us that this all knowing, all powerful, ever existing being is the only logical explanation for the existence of the created order. In a nutshell the atheistic evolutionist has come to the logical conclusion that some being, which just happens to possess all the attributes of the Christian God, must exist in order for anything to exist, after all you can’t get intelligent life from non intelligence. The evolutionist who espouses this view [and there are a growing number of them by the way] has simply replaced the idea of God with another god that he has developed in his own mind. This very dilemma, trying to explain how everything came from nothing, how information in the human cell got there, these questions can only be answered by the scientist who embraces some type of deity, that’s why the famous atheist Antony Flue finally embraced belief in God after many years of denying his existence. He realized the futility of holding on to a world view that said all things came from no-thing. How bout you?


-NOTE- I have some very good atheist friends- these posts are not targeted towards them! I actually have hesitated on posting some of the ‘atheist’ posts because of this.
(1421) THE FOOL HAS SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE IS NO GOD- Psalms. Caught an interesting special last night on evolution; they got into many of the fallacies and false things that have been foisted upon the general population over the years. They went to a famous natural history museum and interviewed the scientist responsible for teaching one of the most popular missing links for whales. Darwin believed that whales came from swimming bears who after many years evolved into whales- stuff that today would put you into the intellectual category of believing in a flat earth! Darwin held to many primitive beliefs that are disproven today, many of these beliefs were central to his theory. He believed in spontaneous generation, that living cells can self generate from dead matter. His proof? Well look at the piece of meat that is left out and rots, sure enough over time maggots ‘self generate’. This man believed this! It took a simple test to prove this theory false; they put cheesecloth over the meat, which prevented flies from landing on the meat and laying their eggs in the meat, and Walla- no maggots. This silly belief of Darwin cannot be written off as ‘well he wasn’t perfect’ no, this belief is central to the idea of evolution; it has been proven false beyond all doubt. So back to the whale fossil, as they interviewed the famous scientist responsible for the whale fossil, they also spoke to other scientists who fully held to the belief that science has proven the missing link of the whale. They pointed to the famous specimen of a 4 legged animal with this elongated nose and, well yes, the tail of a whale! All the men interviewed used this as proof of evolution, many school text books taught it, surely it must be true! As they looked at the actual fossil [not just the pictures in the books] they discovered that the famous fossil actually has no tail. They then asked the scientist where he came up with the tail. He said he had to speculate at that point. What! The most famous evidence for the evolution of the whale, the fossil that all the other experts noted as absolute proof for evolution- it was a creation in the mind of an evolutionist. The history of fossil hunting is shot thru with these types of examples; there is actually an entire cottage industry of ‘fossil hunters’ who have been caught time and again fabricating missing links. Why so much effort? They know that many would pay much money for these fossils. Why? Because they do not exist for real. If you were finding tons of these transitional fossils, which Darwin said we would have to eventually find if his theory were true, then there would be no market for the fake ones. And the history of fake ones is quite large; they have caught people doing this a lot. Chinese fossil hunters presented to national geographic 2 so called fossils that were supposedly proof that dinosaurs turned into birds. They hired a top team of researchers to look at the fossils. The team determined that the Chinese fossils were frauds. The first fossil was shown to have been fabricated with modern day materials. Then the Chinese finders found another one- hey there’s much money in this field. The second fossil was also proven to have been ‘fixed’ by the finders. To the surprise of the researchers, national geographic went with the fossil anyway [hey they need to pay the bills too!] and it was presented as absolute proof for evolution. When the true researchers, the ones who proved the fossils fake, confronted the scientists who were on the payroll of national geographic, they responded that yes- all the fossils coming from china have these types of problems. In essence they said the standard practice of faking it was to be expected. These types of things are usually not known by the general public at large, hey we’re taught things in school, we see the pictures, and who has time to do the research? The apostle Paul said men chose to reject the knowledge of God; they have made a conscience choice to do stuff like this. There actually is a psychology to atheism. Believers need to be aware of these so called belief systems and contend for the truth. In the end many of the opponents have reprobate minds; they don’t want to really see the truth, and they will fabricate stuff to prove their points.

(1414) A SMASHING SUCCESS- This week we had the first successful test of the Hadron Collider. This is an underground tunnel/chamber like device that stretches 17 miles around in a circle and is used to smash atoms. It was built in Switzerland at much cost and when they first tried it out around 6 months ago it failed. Well this week they did a test and it worked great. They shot 2 protons at each other at 99% the speed of light and they examined the explosion, they hope to find clues to the beginning of creation by doing this test. It was the first time man has ever come close to examining an explosion of this type. Einstein would have loved it, one of his thought experiments was to see what a beam of light would look like if he were traveling at the speed of light and glanced over; for theoretical physicists this is a big deal. I would note that quantum theory and quantum mechanics has its critics; some in the scientific world doubt many of the ideas that these physicists have espoused. Einstein himself disagreed with another famous physicist of the day-Neils Bohr. Einstein had his doubts about some of the basic premises of quantum theory, ideas that said you work only in probabilities and not in the realm of fixed, certain truth. Einstein believed that all science and testing could ultimately lead to very exact equations, he himself proved this thru his own exact theories that would be mathematically proven over time. As believers we should not be wary of true science, it’s just we need to discern between what is really science and what is pure speculation. Some quantum theorists espouse an idea that says human beings have ‘alter egos’ of themselves living in another realm of the universe, these ideas not only violate common sense, but have all types of theological problems that go along with it [i.e.; If I am saved, what about my alter ego! Yikes!] So we should be careful when we are sold things under the heading of science, when in reality it is simple nonsense. I look forward to the success of the collider, it really is the future for particle physics, hopefully we can learn some things that will bring us closer to our understanding of the beginning of time. The article I read in the paper was loaded with language like ‘we can now discover what Genesis chapter one means’ and stuff like that. These were scientists talking this way in a secular news paper for heaven’s sake! Seek and ye shall find, and if you really want to know what Genesis chapter one means, then go read it.

(1406) ‘Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him man. For he was a doer of wonderful works…this man was the Christ, and when Pilate had condemned him to the Cross, upon his impeachment by the principle man among us, those who had loved him from the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive on the third day, the divine prophets haven spoken these and thousands of other wonderful things about him. And even now, the race of Christians, so named from him, has not died out’- Josephus, Antiquities, 18.3.3 [1st century historian] A few months ago while surfing the internet, I stumbled across an interesting apologetic ministry, I forget the brothers name but he had a well developed radio and on line ministry. They had lots of great tools for people who wanted to learn good teaching, historic stuff and all. But I also noticed that they were very anti charismatic, to the point where I felt they weren’t being honest with both scripture and church history in their view of non charismatic stuff, it was also the time of the Todd Bentley situation in Lakeland Fla. I mean they left him no room at all, he was branded an unbelieving heretic thru and thru [I personally had lots of problems with the Lakeland thing, but still pray for Todd and his situation]. Within a week or so of finding the site, the ministry folded and the main teacher got divorced, I thought it odd that they were up and running for many years, and I just happened to stumble across them at the end of their career. One of the things that I have found troubling over the years is the inability of certain believers to ‘judge righteous judgment’ the bible says of Jesus that he will not judge by outward appearances, but he sees the true motives. Often times the charismatic expression of Christianity will write off all reproof as ‘those unbelieving intellectuals’ they see that their critics willfully reject the portions of scripture that speak of supernatural stuff, and they simply think that all the critics are blind; they don’t ‘see’ the truth. Then at the same time when trying to deal with other real problems [like the unbalanced prosperity gospel] they too think the critics just don’t ‘see’ the truth about prosperity, so they write the critics off. In general this type of thing happens all the time in the Body of Christ. Josephus gave us an historical account of the reality of Jesus and his movement; he based his account on factual evidence, not fairy tales! Josephus was a true historian who had little gain from making up a story that could be proven false; it would damage his reputation among the Roman elites if he did that. But he, like many others, looked at the evidence and was open minded, he came to the conclusion that the historical resurrection did actually take place in time, though it was a supernatural event, yet it passed the smell test of historical inquiry. The above apologist seemed to be a good man, he left no room open for the possibility of certain charismatic gifts as being legitimate for our day, he rejected the supernatural aspect of the gifts of the Spirit. And many who hold to the reality of the gifts, these often have little education in the other areas that they are not focused on, they too leave the door wide open to much unbalanced stuff. As the historical people of God, a true worldwide movement that the historians look at, they will know we are Christians by our love; as we correct and reprove each other, we need to make sure that we are doing it in love.

(1403) SIGNS, SIGNS, EVERY WHERE ARE SIGNS. BLOCKING UP THE SCENERY, BREAKING MY MIND, DO THIS, DON’T DO THAT, CANT YOU READ THE SIGNS- Tesla. Yesterday while reviewing some old radio messages, I listened to a message made around 6 years back- as I was debating how to check it off [either good to play, or don’t play] I shared on the tape how at the time of making the program it was pouring rain and how the rain seemed to be a sign because I was teaching on the feasts of Israel and talking about the rainy season and stuff [it was record rain for Texas, like more rain than in 100 years type thing]. I also mentioned how these ‘signs’ can happen even if you’re listening years later, I basically dated the radio message for the purpose of saying ‘look, no matter when you are hearing this message on the radio, it can still be significant’ sort of like be on the lookout for weather signs. I thought ‘geez, I don’t think I will play the message, sounds too spooky’. Then as I was in my yard trying to study, the sky got dark and it started down pouring, I mean I got flooded, I was upset- too much rain! Then the hail came, ice balls all over the place, my kids are like ‘hey dad, it’s raining ice’. Now, we get hail maybe a few times a year? It’s certainly not a monthly type thing. I’m sitting in my yard on a spring like day, just planted tomatoes and am surrounded by ice all over the ground, maybe I’ll play the tape after all. Okay, the point being we need to not read too much into stuff like this, but also not be too intellectual to dismiss these types of things. The other day I was watching an apologetic show and a woman called in and asked whether or not dreams mean anything, the able teacher basically said no, that Christian theology does not teach that dreams have meaning. A few years back I was listening to another apologist, Ravi Zacharias, and he was relating an experience about this tribe of people who converted en mass to Christ. One morning they woke up and as the day went on they all found out that the same evening everyone in the tribe had dreamed of Jesus coming to them. They took the dream as a sign from God and converted. If you do a detailed study from genesis to revelation you will find many instances of God using dreams and signs, in the book of acts Paul has a vision of a man from Macedonia calling for him to come. The bible says they took it as a sign from God. Without getting into the whole debate over cessationist doctrine, the point I want to make is God can give us direction in ways that seem unorthodox. The apologist who simply answered the woman in a way that he felt was safe ‘there are no meaning to dreams’ really didn’t do justice to the scriptures by giving this type of answer. I understood his concern for opening the door to all types of problems with the whole charismatic movement, but the honest answer should have included the pros and cons. I’m glad the tribe who converted to Christ because of their dreams didn’t ask the apologist first.

(1399) A FISH FOSSIL? I was watching a show last night and they showed the standard view of how fossils become fossils. The scenario explained how they get fossilized fish. It went like this; when a fish dies it sinks to the bottom of the body of water, it lays there for many thousands of years and eventually over a long period of time it gets covered with sediment and it becomes a fossil. Now, this stuff is actually taught today as scientific truth! How many fishermen do we have out there? How many times do you remember being out in the water and spotting a dead fish just sitting ON THE BOTTOM of the water? Then let’s say you come back to the same fishing hole year after year, would it still be sitting there, intact and waiting for the thousands of years of slow sediment to cover it? The way fish get fossilized whole, is they get buried rapidly by some cataclysmic event [let’s say like Noah’s flood] and this quick burial preserves the fish from rotting and predators, and this gives us a perfect fossilized fish. After the famous eruption of Mt. Saint Helens in the 1980’s, scientists discovered phenomena that they used to think took million-billions of years to happen. They noticed sedimentary rock layers that formed in days after the disaster, they found ravines/caverns that were forged in a short period of time- things that they used to argue could not happen unless millions of years of time slowly passed and caused these things to occur. Why make these arguments? The point is there is lots of ‘science’ that cannot only be debunked by other scientists, but that the average fishermen could spot as silly. The reason these debates are important is it gives us another look at evidence that we were taught as school children that might need a little re-tooling. I mean the stuff on a fish lying, intact, at the bottom of the ocean for thousands-millions of years until it slowly gets buried, this is absolute nonsense, it could never happen, ever! We need the courage and conviction to tell our kids ‘yes son, this is what we have learned thru the natural sciences, and this other stuff is simply not true’.

(1396) THE NATURAL STATE IS MOTION- Jesus said there are 12 hours in the day [Jewish day] and that if we walk during the day we would not stumble. He said that he came to do and finish the work that the father gave him to do, that he had to keep moving to arrive at the final destination, he described this work as his meat- the very thing that sustained him. Ancient physics taught a theory that said the natural state of things on earth was ‘rest’. They observed that if you drop something from the air that it always finds the lowest spot and stops. But they taught that the natural state of motion in the heavens was circular, they observed the stars and moon and planets and saw that things orbit, they go in circles. The ancient view of Aristotle [Ptolemy] was the earth was the center of the universe and that there was this crystalline type sphere surrounding the earth and that the stars and moon and sun revolved around us. Galileo and Copernicus shook the world of science when they discovered that the earth really wasn’t the center of all things [Anthropic principle- man being the center of everything] but that our solar system was heliocentric instead of geocentric [we orbit the sun, not the other way around]. Isaac Newton is often said to have discovered gravity, in the sense that he observed things falling to the ground [the public school story of the apple hitting him on the head] but this observation of things falling was really no secret. What Newton discovered was that the motion of things in heaven [celestial motion] and things on earth [terrestrial] was the same- that is the natural state of things was not rest for the earth, nor circular for the heavens. But that all things would naturally flow in a straight line, unless acted upon by another force [classical view]. This ‘straight line motion’ [inertia- Newton’s first law] would be interrupted by gravity and cause the things in motion to be drawn off course. Thus when the apple falls to the ground, if it weren’t for the ground stopping the fall, it would keep going in motion- gravity is pulling it to the earth and the ground is stopping the motion. The same for the heavens. The earth’s gravity is ‘pulling’ on the natural straight line motion of the moon and causing it to deviate from a straight line path and orbit the earth. The same with stars and planets and our sun. Depending on the size [mass] and distance of one body from another, you get varying degrees of pull and this is how everything functions. During the turn of the 20th century we entered the era of modern physics, and Einstein and others would challenge many of the classical norms. Newton’s theories still hold true, but not everywhere at all times, when things approach the speed of light, everything changes. But for the most part Newton’s laws are still valuable when dealing with modern engineering and the basics of science. So what did we learn? That God created things to be in motion, not stagnant. Jesus said he had to keep moving ‘in the day’ because when the night comes no man can work. Proverbs tells us that the lazy person will not work during the planting season, and therefore will wind up begging in the harvest. The Old Testament says ‘get out of the city and dwell in the fields, even Babylon, and there I will be with you and deliver you from the hand of the enemy’. We all know the story of king David, when it was the time for kings to be leading their men in war, David stayed home and saw Bathsheba. What has God called you to do? Are you doing it? Have you organized your life around the priorities of his purpose for you? The natural state of motion on earth [and in heaven] is forward motion, what’s stopping you?

-(1394) THE TEXAS SCHOOL BOOK DEPOSITORY? In John 12 the Greeks come to Jesus disciples and want a meeting with Jesus, the Greeks are those who prided themselves in their wisdom. Jesus basically brushes them off and refuses to cow tow to the elites. He responds ‘unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone’ in essence- you guys ‘abide alone’ [no meeting with me] until you take up the Cross and follow me. This week [yesterday] the news has been reporting the Texas school book story. Basically every few years Texas school board members go thru the process of what the books for the state should include; basic guidelines and stuff. Texas is the nation’s number one purchaser of textbooks, so the theory is if Texas ‘conservatives’ get their way, then the rest of the nation gets stuck having to buy books that are tainted with backwoods idiots who imposed their views on the rest of the ‘Greek’ [intellectual world]. Do our schoolbooks in general steer away from the religious history and statements of many of the founding fathers? Yes. Do our schoolbooks in general avoid/edit out religious statements from their coverage of the founding documents. Yes. Why? There is a basic mistake made by many of the publishers of schoolbooks that say ‘if we show religious content, then we are violating the separation of church and state idea’. The problem with this approach is they have left out a large portion of history while trying to produce a product that will be accepted in both ‘liberal’ and conservative states. If you read the founding documents in their entirety [Mayflower Compact, etc.] they read like a ‘church covenant’ that any Christian community could adopt. Yet when the history books show quotes and portions of the documents, they never quote these sections, why? Because of what I just showed you. This has happened time and time again over many years until we have gotten to the point where many public school children are really not learning an accurate history of the country. The well meaning [but grossly misinformed] opponents simply do not know this. They see the struggle as one between ‘those darn Christian ignoramuses’ versus the enlightened crowd, they are really the ones who have no idea what they are talking about. Now, are we- quote ‘a Christian nation’? Not really. At least not in the way that some Protestant preachers claim. During the founding of our country you had the mindset of the European enlightenment affecting much of western society. Lines were being drawn that pitted a humanist form of belief in God [Deism] against the classical Christian view. Some of our founding fathers did adhere to a Deistic view. Deism said ‘we do not need tradition or religion to inform us of human value and dignity, we can hold to these principles by virtue of our human nobility and intelligence’ that is they believed these truths to be self evident, sort of like the current theme from some of the more popular atheists ‘do good for goodness sake’ [which by the way, fails in the long run- too much to explain right now]. Now, with this background, when our founding documents say ‘we hold these truths to be SELF EVIDENT’ this term smacks of the fact that some of our fathers did indeed reject the classical Christian view. So what does this show us? That some of the founders purposefully included language that would veer away from the Christian view. But you will never understand or learn this simple thing that I just showed you, if we continue to expunge from the record all the religious statements and views of the fathers! So the point is, when these so called enlightened ones try and approach teaching from a biased view, a view that they often don’t realize is biased, they do more harm than good to their cause. The Greeks said ‘we are willing to hear Jesus, let’s set up an appointment’ they went further than most of the liberals on the Texas school board.

(1389) THIS IS A LARGE WORK I HAVE CALLED YOU INTO, DON’T BE OVERWHELMED BY IT- Jesus to his men, message version. The other day I read some stuff from a fairly conservative blog site [Christian post] and was surprised to see that one of the blogs they recommended had a scientist espouse a sort of theistic evolutionary view. He spoke about ‘human like beings’ who lived before man and had no souls and all, he also gave a version of Noah’s flood that said it was possible that meteors might have impacted the ocean and caused a regional flood. The man is smart and gave many fine examples and stuff, I just felt like he was off the mark. Over the years of looking at the various views among believers I have noticed that often times we can believe that biblical accounts happened, but we have a tendency to want to reduce them down to size. The God of deism has no problem with a God who is ‘hands off’- that is they view God from a perspective that says ‘yes, he started things at the beginning, but it took billions of years for things to form’. Sort of like God could have created the first living cell, but in no way could he have actually formed a complete man in one lump sum! In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean there is this huge ridge, a possible crevice that broke up during the shifting of the Tectonic Plates when the continents first separated. Some scientists believe this happened when the planet spread apart in the distant past. Now, it is perfectly plausible to theorize that if this event happened in a short time [like a year] instead of a long time over many thousands of years, that this breaking up of the floor of the ocean might very well have created an effect that caused the ocean floor to rise and much of the water in the Atlantic could have ‘spilled out’ and easily covered the entire planet in a short period of time [Gore thinks a little ice melting can do it!]. The biblical account of Noah’s flood tells us that it not only rained for 40 days and nights, but that the ‘fountains of the deep broke open’. The point being there are many plausible ideas on how the earth could have experienced a global flood, much like the account in Genesis gives us. But we have a tendency to want to break things down into small chunks, and then think these ‘small chunks’ are reasonable enough for enlightened man to accept. I am personally an ‘old earth’ adherent, I do not believe the earth is only 6 thousand years old, but at the same time we need to be open to the arguments that both sides of these issues make. To be honest, many of these endeavors are ‘large’ that is God has called the church to engage in all realms of society; science, philosophy, etc. – at times it seems like a huge task, something that can be overwhelming to the average student of the bible, take heart, there are many able believers in all these fields that are doing a superb job. Don’t let ‘science’ tell you that all the facts are on the side of the atheists, that’s just not true.

(1383) WHEN PEOPLE REALIZE IT IS THE LIVING GOD YOU ARE PRESENTING AND NOT SOME IDOL THAT MAKES THEM FEEL GOOD, THEY ARE GOING TO TURN ON YOU- Jesus, message bible. In keeping with the above comment [those reading from the ‘most recent- teaching section’] let’s talk a little. Some authors have reintroduced some of the more liberal versions of Christianity and it’s good for people to be aware of the pros and cons. Recently I received a teaching catalog from an excellent company called ‘the teaching company’ as I perused the courses they had some really good stuff; I ordered and have already started on a course on Einstein and Quantum theory [Physics] I love the course and these teachings http://and%20book are really at the university level. But I have noticed an area where the able professor is mistaken; he says ‘the universe is ruled-governed BY CHANCE’. Now, I know what he means, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is violating the laws of logic and reasoning by making this assumption [by the way this professor is also a philosopher, he should know better!]. Basically you can say ‘there are causes, things happening in the material realm that we are unaware of, as of now we have no definite identified cause’ but to say that ‘chance’ itself is the ruling agency is nonsense. The point being we should all have some background before accepting anyone’s teaching 100%. So in some of the recent Christian teaching some have resurrected the older liberal theories that arose in the 19th century out of the universities in Germany. Some teachers taught that the first 5 books of the bible couldn’t have been written by Moses because at the time of Moses writing was unpopular, and that the concept of ‘codified law’ was foreign, and that the commandment against idols was ‘too advanced’ for Moses to have written down around 14-1500 BC. So these liberal theories espoused a sort of view of God and religion that was ‘evolving’ over time. Von Harnack, Wellhausen, the philosopher Hegel all advanced this view [sometimes referred to as the documentary theory]. Well as time rolled on and we became more proficient in archaeology, low and behold we found out that 3-500 years before Moses societies were advanced enough to write down laws. The famous code of Hammurabi was discovered, it was a law code with 282 specific laws written down; something that supposedly was never done at the time. So how did the liberal theologians respond? ‘You are right, Moses very well could have written down the 10 commandments around 1500 BC, as a matter of fact we now think he copied it from Hammurabi’! Yikes! You see when people exalt their view-theory above the actual evidence, then you have problems. It’s not to say that we should blackball their ideas, it’s just we need to know that some of these ideas have been around for a while and they have been fairly well debunked by other able theologians. Just because a ‘new’ theory sounds interesting, doesn’t mean it’s correct. In the teaching course catalog that the teaching company sent me, they also have stuff on the bible and early Christianity and theology. I did not order those courses because I am familiar with the theology of the professor [Bart Erhman] and though I’m sure he is a good man, I know he espouses views that are really not in keeping with mainstream thought. Now, if I had the teachings already, sure I would work the course, but I won’t spend a few hundred dollars on stuff that I already am aware of and have rejected. The point today is historic orthodox Christianity has answered many of the critics questions over the years, it’s not ‘wicked’ for a teacher/writer to reintroduce some of these ideas all over again, but people need to be aware that these things have been floating around for a while and the historic orthodox view is really the better [more historically reliable] view. Yes, momma and daddy’s church, old fashioned as it may be, probably had it right all along!

Just a comment I left on an ID debate, even scientists can be wrong at times. ‘something can come from nothing…absolutely proven’ me thinks you might be fudging on your credentials [I hope!] the example you give does not work my friend, the Quantum leap and all related ideas do not ‘prove’ or even come close to the impossibility of ‘something coming from nothing’ you err, not knowing the scriptures or the power of God.

(1377) Last night I caught a good program on Christian apologetics. Apologetics is the term used to describe the ministry of those who contend for ‘the faith’. In the early church you had men like Justin Martyr who defended the nascent church from those who would accuse her of wicked things [like cannibalism! A misreading of the Lords supper]. The show last night had a bunch of apologists that dealt with cults; they included the main ones as well as some Christian branches of Pentecostalism. They critiqued the UPC [untied Pentecostal churches] as a cult because of her unique view of the ‘oneness’ of God as seen thru Jesus. Now, I have written on this before [under the Trinity section] and don’t want to explain it again, but I do want to examine the way believers view other churches. During the program the able apologists used lots of wording from the early creeds and councils; Subordinationism, Monarchianism, Modalism, etc. These are all words I am familiar with and have used on this site, as a believer who loves to study church history I understand where these men are coming from. But at one point it seemed as if they were critiquing certain aspects of other churches, sincere believers who have certain views that they have developed thru their reading of the bible, and that these apologists were really not giving a fair shake to these other groups. You also had both the cults and some of the more extreme restorationist groups [restorationism refers to those Christian groups who reject the Protestant Reformation as being ‘the offspring’ of the Catholic church and view their faith thru the idea that we should return to the original sources, primarily the book of Acts, and start from scratch] share the view that the historic Orthodox churches [Catholic, Orthodox, Reformed] were basically pagan expressions of Christianity and their creeds and councils usurped the word of God. I believe there are real expressions of Christianity found in all of the above [excluding the actual cults] and that the Christian church should know the historic creeds and councils, but also be willing to see how these other Christian groups have come to form their opinions thru actual scripture. I mean at one point there were so many categories being quoted by the apologists to refute the Pentecostal view, that they weren’t really allowing the scriptures to be the final authority on the matter [I agreed more with the apologists, being I am one myself, but at the same time sensed too mush rigidness]. I also believe it’s dangerous for any Christian group to leave the impression that most other historic expressions of Christianity are out right pagan. Overall we all need grace when dealing with others that we disagree with, yes there are times when we need to take a strong stand on stuff and let the chips fall where they may, but at the end of the day we should be striving for unity as much as possible.

(1376) I AM DOCTOR AMY BISHOP! This week a Harvard trained professor shot and killed 3 of her fellow professors. As the story unraveled it seems that the woman has a history of treating ‘biological life’ with disdain; she shot her brother with a shotgun when a teenager, killed him. She was suspected of sending a bomb to another person, and she had a history of seeing herself as better than other ‘less developed’ people. One time at a restaurant another lady took the last child seat and Bishop yelled ‘I am doctor Amy Bishop’! Obviously the poor woman has some problems, but what the media is failing to tell you is this professor is no ordinary teacher- she is a biologist, a person whose main study is evolution. A while back when reading the story of the serial kill Jeffrey Dahmer, he said the way he justified in his mind the senseless taking of other human life was thru his belief in evolution. If people are truly just these overgrown blobs of meaningless flesh, then why not eliminate the ones we deem less desirable? Can you imagine the way the media would be in an uproar if this person was a creationist or believed in Intelligent Design? I mean that’s all you would hear about the case, how these ignorant tea party types have allowed their radical beliefs to undermine society at large, but they never report on the obvious effects of a belief system that says all people came from slime. While I do not label all evolutionists and see them as Amy Bishop’s, the truth is the way a person views the value of other people effects the way we treat them. Professor Bishops ideology permitted her to see herself as someone who had more value than the other less developed people she would run into thru out her life, the Christian ethic would have told her ‘no, you can’t kill or poison or shoot other people with shotguns just because you deem them less worthy’ but Bishops worldview seemed to have no problem with it.

(1375) SOCIAL EVOLUTION- As I have been doing some blogging on other sites over the science of evolution, I thought it would be good to do a little on the philosophical ideas that spawned from it. Many sincere people do not realize the bias that comes along with a full embrace of a purely materialistic approach to life. There once was a woman named Margaret Sanger, she was a strong believer in Evolution and its sister science, Eugenics. Eugenics was an idea espoused by a relative of Darwin that taught that if you ‘quickened’ evolution by eliminating the so called ‘inferior races’ by human action, that this would advance the purer races faster and man would arrive at his Utopian state quicker. Darwin himself used the Black Aborigines tribes as an example of the inferiority of the ‘lesser races’. He looked at them as an in between race of people who were not fully human [like the white race] but were sort of a mix between man and ape. Anyway Sanger developed this idea to the point where she set up an organization that would assist the inferior races in the rush to eliminating their offspring; less child bearing, the quicker the more noble whites would advance. She received praise from another man who believed in the same principle, Adolph Hitler. After WW2 it became quite unpopular to continue to associate her organization with a megalomaniac who also carried out the same plan with the Jews, so she renamed her organization- today we know it as Planned Parenthood. Now as hard as this is to believe, the facts on this have been out there for many years. This is also why many advocates for minorities are upset that the planned parenthood clinics are located in poor minority areas, they see this as an attempt to get rid of minorities. The point today is the social construct of evolutionary theory has had disastrous effects; from biblical theology [documentary theory advanced by Wellhausen- he taught that the bible followed the ‘evolutionary model’ of mans advance from primitive religions to Monotheism, an idea espoused by the philosopher Hegel] to the public school systems embrace of evolution as the answer to all things from biology to cosmology. When Christians advocate a progressive-theistic evolutionary model, and when they do a worldwide ‘Darwin week’ [like we just did!] we need to also recognize the social effects of Darwinism as well as the scientific advances that some believe have been made thru the theory.

(1371) CAN SOMETHING COME FROM NOTHING? Part of the recent debate going on in the field of Physics argues whether or not you can get something from nothing. One of the arguments says ‘look, we have been able to detect certain phenomena that seem to show us things popping into existence from A FIELD [AREA] WHERE NOTHING EXISTS’. Now, the same Quantum Physics that supposedly shows this, also teaches that our universe has around 90 % of all matter hidden, they say that this ‘dark matter’ is everywhere, you can’t escape it! Yet at the same time we have no way of detecting it. My question for the Quantum physicist would be ‘where are you getting this pristine field, this area where ‘nothing exists’ that you are examining, that seemingly shows you things coming from nothing?’ The problem with some of these brothers is they make nonsensical statements, things that violate the laws of logic, and then they call us idiots!

(1369) Been reading Hebrews 11 ‘by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things we see were not made from things that appear’ in keeping with the last few posts, it seems that God himself has said we will eventually get stuck at a point of irreducible complexity- or at least we will get to a point where the actual act of God creating the physical realm will be ‘unseen’ by physical means [Physics]. Any way I wanted to mention Moses, Hebrews says that by faith his parents hid him for 3 months, by faith he forsook the pleasures/riches of being a son of pharaoh, by faith he kept the Passover and sprinkling of blood, etc… Often times Moses and the story of the children of Israel fleeing Egypt is seen thru a materialistic lens- ‘look, God gave them all the riches of Egypt on their way out, a Divine transfer of wealth’ actually God simply made the Egyptians reimburse them for all their years of free slave labor, we call that evening the playing field [reparations]. The point I want to make is Moses made a conscious decision, by faith, to not walk the path of the highly successful ‘jet setter’ he rejected a lifestyle that would have elevated him to the top of society and instead chose to ‘suffer affliction with the people of God’. Hebrews 11 also speaks of those who ‘by faith’ were tortured, not accepting deliverance- that is in today’s church world we very rarely view successful faith thru this lens- we actually give the impression of Jobs friends ‘surely Job, you must be messing up in some way, look at the hell your going thru’ but the scriptures teach us there are definite times where the cost of faith will be making the decision to not take the bait, to make the decision to make less money- or to attain less status; these are very real choices that the bible tells us about over and over again. If we were told ‘look, I am going to give you a book by some revolutionary, in it he will give you the keys to greatness and being a true follower’ and then you received a New Testament, and you start reading it for the 1st time- you would be inundated with a message and calling that says over and over again ‘unless you forsake all, you can’t follow me’ ‘whoever loves this life, can’t be my disciple’ ‘unless you take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of me ‘you can’t serve God and money ‘it’s harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom than for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle’ I mean you would be hard pressed to walk away from the New testament with a message of wealth and luxury! Moses, by faith, chose to forsake a life of luxury and success, he chose ‘affliction’ for the sake of a higher calling- I want to challenge you guys today [especially all our Pastor/leader readers] have you been influenced too much by the modern ‘health/wealth’ message? Has the busyness of ministry and the pressures of life ‘choked these words that they have become unfruitful’ [Jesus parable of the sower]. Remember, Jesus said the enemy comes to steal the words of Jesus; he tries to cause us to forget, to ‘not see’ the actual things that Jesus said. Don’t feel guilty if this is you, just rethink what I shared in this post and by Gods grace make the adjustments- God is challenging many ministries at this season, there are good men who mean well, but lots of ministry that is focused on extreme wealth and needing millions to accomplish the mission, these are going to be challenged in the economically challenging days ahead. But if your ministry/mission is seen the thru lens of the great revolutionary [Jesus] you will do well. Hey, sometimes faith is the act of walking away from the status and limelight, sometimes it’s ‘forsaking the riches of Egypt’ and embracing some affliction.

(1368) FOR HE LOOKED FOR A CITY WHICH HATH FOUNDATIONS, WHOSE BUILDER AND MAKER IS GOD- Hebrews. In keeping with the last post, let’s talk some more on the debate between Evolution and Design. When the able Stephen Barr shot the round that was heard around the world [at least the world of IDer’s] he made some good points, even though I disagree strongly with the way he represented the other able scientists in the field. One day I had a talk with a geologist, it was a happenstance meeting [friend of my daughter] and during a normal friendly conversation I brought up many of the opposing views to ‘uniformitarianism’ and the challenges to a ‘deep time’ geology. While not a young earther myself, I found it amazing that this scientist was totally unaware of any opposing viewpoints to the standard theories. In the halls of academia the majority opinion is without a doubt that of Darwinian Evolution, it is also true that many people [even scientists!] are really not familiar with all the data [lots of data!] that challenge the standard view; many have come to challenge the basic Darwinian timeline [thus punctuated equilibrium] and have admitted that the tremendous ‘gap’ in the fossil record, along with the discovery of high complexity in the most simple cell, that these scientific discoveries have made it difficult to accept the Darwinian idea. Now the adherents of Evolutionary theory accuse the IDer’s of resorting to a ‘God of the gaps’ excuse. That is they claim that all the IDer’s are doing is finding places in the record that have no explanations [information, complex machines, etc.] and are inserting ‘God’ into these gaps. The Evolutionists say ‘given enough time, maybe we will find naturalistic explanations to fit the gaps’. And they claim that any ‘gap theory’ actually hinders scientific discovery, because it has a tendency to say ‘well, might as well stop looking for a naturalistic cause, God just filled the gap’. First, the IDer’s are not saying that because we have run across unanswered difficulties, lets stick God in there. What they are saying [for the most part] is that observable data [science] show us, in every case, that when you have complex systems that are ‘irreducible’ and stored data/info at the most simple level; that these facts point to an intelligent mind having been the cause of these things. Now, Stephen Barr and Francis Beckwith [two of the main scientists/philosophers in the debate] do not reject the idea that yes, an intelligent mind is behind the design/info, what they are saying is it’s still possible that science will discover a ‘naturalistic’ explanation/mechanism to it. That is God might have created some other unknown mechanism that is simple [or complex] that can be credited with bringing into existence the design/info. They are simply arguing that it’s possible, and not in contradiction with historic Christianity, to embrace this view. Barr also seems to be saying ‘yes, it is very possible that we will never find a reasonable, naturalistic explanation for this, and at that point the IDer’s might be right, but then you jump out of the field of science [observable data] and carry the argument into another classroom’. I believe the ‘God of the gaps’ accusation is erroneous, I also believe that far too many adherents to Evolutionary theory are not giving the proper weight to the gaps, some are not even aware of them! Thomas Aquinas is sometimes misunderstood and is said to have advocated a secular/religious division in apologetics; that is some say he taught that the natural sciences and religious truth were 2 totally different fields, sort of like the thought of Emanuel Kant [Physical/Metaphysical division] but Thomas taught that science could show us many truths about God, just because you have naturalistic explanations to things, this does not discount the Divine hand- but he also taught that science could only go so far down that road- for instance it would take many years to arrive at a naturalistic proof of Gods being, while revelation [thru tradition and scripture] could get you there quicker. Also science can prove that God exists [prime mover] but for truths on the nature of God [Trinity] you need revelation. So Aquinas leaves room for science to go so far, and if it ‘hits a gap’ then yes, you have every right to carry the argument into ‘another classroom’ so to speak. It is not wrong to say ‘yes, we are searching for a city, one that has been built by God’ but to also recognize that the city has foundations [whether discovered thru naturalistic or religious truth]; both seekers can be on the right track, arriving at different times/ways.

(1367) IS ‘I.D.’ DEAD? I read an article the other day on ID [intelligent design] it was written by an able scientist, Stephen Barr, and it severely challenged the science of ID. ID is a field of study that would fit under the apologetic category of ‘teleology’ the argument for the existence of God from design. That is we see design in the cosmos, in living things, etc. And all evidence indicates that design/information cannot randomly appear without an intelligent mind as the source. Many have challenged this idea; Richard Dawkins [the famous atheist] calls it ‘the appearance of design’. In the field of ID, many very capable scientists [Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, Michael Behe] and others [lawyer Phillip Johnson] have shown us that you can ‘use’ evolution as a tool to try and explain how things got here, but as a tool it is utterly helpless in showing us where design/information actually come from. Sometimes this argument is referred to as ‘irreducible complexity’. That you can simplify things down to the most basic form of life, and even at that level you have an extremely high degree of information [DNA] that evolution has no way of explaining how this information got there [this field is called information theory]. So the basic argument from the ID standpoint is science shows us that evolution is not the answer to the origin of life [which Darwin never claimed it was- he claimed it was how species got here, thus the 1859 book ‘on the origin of the species’]. Yet most average students of science [high school stuff] think that evolution is a proven theory that has answered these questions. If the truth be known the more we learn, the less likely evolutionary theory will answer these questions. Now in the article the Christian scientist challenged the other Christian scientists over the validity of ID. Science has various definitions; the actual word simply means knowledge. But some say unless you can demonstrate a repeatable experiment in the lab, that it’s not technically science. Yet evolution, in all of its efforts to demonstrate the most basic plank of its theory, has failed miserably. Science has not been able to demonstrate how one species can change into another [common ancestry] the many hundreds of thousands of poor fruit flies who have been genetically engineered in trying to get this to happen, has failed over and over again. Science can’t even demonstrate the most basic plank of evolution, never mind all the other impossible things that evolution supposedly does. So if the truth be known, according to this definition of science, neither evolution nor ID work. But this is not the only way to define science, when dealing with origins [how things get here] you can never find a theory that can be viable according to the definition of ‘repeated, observable testing’- creation itself is not a repeatable event [unless of course God decides to create something!] The article stirred up a hornets’ nest among both sides of the debate [the article is on the catholic site ‘first things’ you can also link to it from Christianity Today- it’s called the death of ID]. As you read some of the debate it can get a little Ivory Tower, but for the most part it’s a good debate to have and many well informed points have been made by both sides, I would encourage all of our readers to go check it out.

-(1357) I WILL UNCOVER THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN HIDDEN SINCE THE WORLDS FIRST DAY- [Jesus]. Yesterday I read an article in the paper that talked about an amazing dinosaur find in China; they found around 15 thousand fossils in a cave area. The amazing thing was the fact that so many dinosaurs would have been in one place right when they died. I immediately saw this as proof that would back up the creationist cataclysmic view of a worldwide flood destroying all life on the planet. As I read thru the article they explained how much of ‘fossil science’ has been done thru finds in the U.S., but over the last few years China [and the eastern world in general] have undergone their own industrial revolution and this has led to the unearthing of new ground for the purpose of construction and these new projects are unearthing these fossils. Much like what took place in the 19th century when many archaeologists were discovering ‘hidden things’ that seemed to be buried ‘since the foundation of the world’. In the 19th century it was popular for the intellectuals in theology to embrace the ‘historical/critical’ method of bible learning. Many began to reject the early dating of the New Testament [early- a.d. 50-70] and began accepting a theory that said much of the New Testament was written in the 2nd century. These ideas were promoted by men like Rudolph Bultman and were made popular at the German university which he taught at [in Marburg]. So it became ‘intellectually fashionable’ to accept this new way of critiquing scripture. One problem- as the industrial revolution took off in the west archeology rose as a new science and we now had the ability to historically search for clues. A famous historian by the name of Sir Ramsey went on this exhibition to see whether or not the bible was accurate when it spoke about ‘so called’ first century things. Our bibles do have lots of names of political characters and certain historical events that can be measured for accuracy. Ramsey found to his dismay that all the evidence leaned towards the ‘less enlightened’ view of an early dating of the New Testament. This was a tough pill to swallow by the intellectuals who had already formed their opinions on the subject, but in due time most trustworthy scholars would come to accept [for the most part] the earlier dating. So now back to the dinosaurs, as the article went on they admitted that it’s possible that a Tsunami might have caused the dinosaurs to gather in one place before their deaths- A FLOOD! It’s funny because some in the modern scientific community have argued, very convincingly, that the Geologic table and the extinction of the dinosaurs can be attributed to a world wide flood. Others have vehemently opposed this idea [most evolutionists]. And now the new evidence seems to be backing up a flood theory, they simply don’t want to admit it. Like the intellectuals of Sir Ramsey’s day, the smart thing to do is to go where the evidence leads. The facts don’t lie; these are ‘facts’ that are being now uncovered, things hidden ‘since the world’s first day’.

-(1332) Been doing some reading on church history/philosophy, it’s interesting to see the role that theology/Christianity played in the universities. Theology is referred to as ‘the queen of the sciences’ and philosophy was her ‘handmaid’. They saw the root of all learning as originating with the study ‘of God’. Many modern universities have dropped the term ‘theology’ and call it ‘the study of religion’. The study of religion is really the study of how man relates to God, his view of God; this would fit under anthropology/sociology, not under theology. Modern learning has lost the importance of the study of God and the role it plays in all the other sciences. The classic work of Homer [8th century BC] called the Iliad, has Achilles debating whether or not he should ‘stay and fight along the city of the Trojans’ and attain the legacy of a warrior; or to go ‘back to my homeland and live a long life’. He chooses to fight and lay his life on the line. The themes of the classics [courage, heroism, etc.] are biblical themes, even if God is not directly mentioned. The point being to try and exclude God from learning is silly, you can’t do it. Around the 17-18th century you had the philosophy of Existentialism rise up, as an ‘ism’ it really is a misnomer; ‘ism’ is a suffix that you add to the end of a word that makes it a system- ‘humanism’ ‘secularism’ etc. but existentialism is a word that means ‘anti-system’. Nevertheless the person who popularized this belief was a Christian, Soren Kierkegaard. The system he was rebelling against was the dead institutionalism of the Danish church, he felt that Christianity devolved into dead orthodoxy and lost all of its passion for true living and experiencing God. Nietzsche would pick up on this philosophy and apply it to atheism, and in the 20th century men like Albert Camus and John Paul Sartre would also embrace it from an atheistic worldview. They would say things like ‘man is a useless passion’ or write books titled ‘Nausea’ summing up the human condition. Though the 19th century atheistic humanists tried to give value and exalt the state of man, in their rejection of God and Christianity they were taking away the foundation for mans value. If you tell society that they arrived on the scene by some cosmic accident of evolution, and when you die you dissipate into nothingness, then how do you at the same time glory in his natural abilities to reach some point of Utopia? As the late Frances Schaeffer said ‘they were philosophers who had both feet planted firmly in mid air’. The point being when you neglect the reality and role that God and Christianity play in every sphere of life, you are then removing the foundation that these spheres were built on, true science and learning derive their basis from God. The greatest scientific minds of the past were either Christians or Deists, they were too smart to try and reject the reality of an eternal being.

(1324) THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY- Ephesians 3:9. One of my favorite historical persons is Einstein; I like him because he was sort of a rebel for his day. In the university he did bad, missed class and scored low. He could not find a job in his field of physics so he took a job in Berne, Switzerland as a patent approver. During his spare time he wrote a few papers on theoretical physics and these papers were circulated but had no good response. Why? No one took seriously the writings from a patent worker! Then one of his ‘letters’ made in into the hands of one of the top scientists of the day, Max Planck, and he would make history. Planck recognized the genius that others couldn’t see. In Ephesians 3 Paul says the Lord gave him [and the apostles and prophets] the gift of being able to ‘see’ and understand truths that were hidden in God since the beginning of the world. Now, it was good to have the gift, to be able to see the truths that others could not yet see; but this gift would be useless unless it came along with the ability to effectively ‘make others see’ it too. So Paul prays for the churches that he is writing to that they, by the Spirit, would have the gift to comprehend the mysteries that he was writing about. In essence the Spirit was Paul’s Max Planck! In time others would see the great things Paul was teaching but there needed to be the Divine work of revelation both on the part of Paul as well as those who were reading his stuff. Paul would call this dynamic ‘the fellowship of the mystery’. In the book of Acts there were those who willingly rejected this revelation and that was their own choice. Paul says they themselves made the choice to cut themselves off from eternal life. Today we don’t have ‘revelation’ [new truths] in the same way Paul and the apostles had, but we certainly have gifted ones who the Spirit is communicating truth to, but we must not make the mistake of Einstein’s peers, they saw him as a layman and initially missed out on the revolutionary truths he was seeing. They chose to cut themselves off from the ‘fellowship of the mystery’ how bout you?

[this was just a note I left on Ben Witherington’s site, it was left in the comments on a Colbert interview of Stephen Collins, the Christian theistic evolutionist] Great interplay; thought it interesting that Collins told Colbert ‘you’re like a fruit fly, you need an upgrade’. The fruit fly of course is the sad little subject that we use in trying to make macro evolution work in the lab, they breed quickly so you don’t have to wait too long to see if the genetic experiments are working or not. After all the many sacrificial fly’s have given their lives on the lab table of science, we have found one conclusive fact; we always end up with either a dead or living fly, we never get something other than a fly, which is what the whole endeavor is about. Thanks for the show Ben, I do like Colbert! God bless from Corpus.

(1312) THE INCARNATION- The most influential philosopher on Western thought is probably the philosopher Immanuel Kant. Kant wrote the influential work ‘In critique of pure reason’ at the close of the 18th century in response to the pure rationalists [David Hume] of the Enlightenment. Kant read Hume’s works and was said to have been ‘aroused out of his dogmatic slumber’ and dispatched his response. Kant espoused that you had the physical and metaphysical worlds, and the 2 are completely separate. He refuted the argument for God made by the apologists and said it was impossible for man to ‘know God’ thru rational/physical means. Kant did not totally reject ‘the idea’ of God; he simply said the efforts of the Christian philosophers to prove God were futile. Was Kant right? Yes and no. In the 13th century you had another great Christian thinker by the name of Thomas Aquinas, Thomas is considered one of the greatest [if not greatest] thinkers of the Catholic tradition, Thomas wrote extensively and re-introduced the Greek philosophers back into Christian theology. Sometimes referred to as ‘Aristotelianism’ [Aristotle]. Thomas taught that it was possible to obtain true knowledge of the existence of God from the natural world, but that to have particular revelation from God you needed the church and tradition [revelation]. Some feel that Thomas was teaching a ‘secular/sacred’ division that hurt the work of the church. But if you read Aquinas in the context of his time he really was not doing this. Thomas ‘rescued’ apologetics [proof for God] from the philosophers of Islam who were teaching that you could have 2 types of truth- religious and scientific. They taught that religious truth could ‘be true’ by faith, but that it could be false by science, and vice versa. Thomas was refuting this idea and was showing us that real truth, whether from the natural sciences or from ‘revelation’ never contradict, it’s just science can only go so far in arguing for the existence of God. But the influence of Immanuel Kant on western thinking has many believing that God and ‘religion’ are okay things for people to believe, but that ‘real truth’ is found in the natural sciences and God is excluded from this ‘secular’ realm. This is a false view. God can be ‘proved’ by studying the natural sciences, like Aquinas said. Now this doesn’t get you all the way to the God of Christian theology, but it can take you up to the point where God’s existence is proven to be reality. The main point is it is wrong to think Christianity is relegated to the realm of faith while ‘real truth’ is in the realm of science. The Incarnation was God’s divine act of breaking into the physical world thru the birth of his Son. God became man and dwelt among us, you can study all the history of the time and find many historical proofs of the reality of Jesus and the fact that he died and rose again, these ‘truths’ are not only religious in nature, they are factual in history. So while I appreciate the work that Kant put into his book, I will stick with the other ‘Emanuel’ the God who is with us.

(1280) 2ND KINGS 20 Hezekiah gets sick and the prophet Isaiah tells him that he will die. Hezekiah seeks God and before Isaiah leaves the courtyard God tells him ‘turn back, he will get another 15 years’ God extends his life. But he asks for a sign from the Lord to know that he will live, God gives him the sign of ‘the sundial’ it will go back 10 degrees and not forward. Hezekiah allows the Babylonians to see all his treasures and God rebukes him for ‘casting his pearls before swine’ and pronounces judgment that will take place when his son comes to the throne. This chapter also mentions the project that Hezekiah built, an underground water source [tunnel] that ran from the spring Gihon and brought water secretly into Jerusalem. This was a smart engineering move on the part of the king, in bible times when one king attacked another he would cut off the water source from the city; this secret underground tunnel was undetectable. For many thousands of years this story has been in the bible, some mocked it ‘where is the source’? In 1880 archaeologists found the tunnel with inscriptions on it. Let’s do a few things; the story of the sun dial going back is like the story of Joshua and God keeping the sun from setting a whole day until Joshua routed the enemy. One of the major challenges to believing the bible literally [face value] was the entire discovery of how our solar system worked [Copernicus, Galileo] and fitting that in with the biblical accounts [sun setting and rising language]. So many of the biblical critics came to reject these stories based on the fact that in order to ‘make the sun go back/stop the sun from setting’ you would have to stop the earth from rotating, or turn the rotation backwards! And science tells us that this would have catastrophic effects on the earth and seas, the gravitational effects would be enormous. In essence natural science tells us this can’t happen. Are all miracles like this? The event of the worldwide flood had natural events that caused the earth to flood. In today’s world a few well placed meteors hitting the oceans could easily repeat the event, so some supernatural acts of God coincide with natural explanations. But some don’t. The God of Christian theology is both Transcendent and Immanent, that means he is ‘above us’ [higher class than humans] and yet omnipresent, he has his hands in everything! Transcendence does not mean he is simply geographically far away, but that he operates in another dimension, he is not limited to the time/space continuum like we are. Einstein blew away many preconceived ideas about time and space with his ingenious theories, he showed us that things don’t always work the way we think. A being who can operate outside of these dimensions can do things that would defy all natural explanations, this is what I believe happened with these types of miracles, we don’t always have to find a natural explanation to a supernatural event. God spared Hezekiah and he was a great king, he made some mistakes and suffered for it. Yesterday I lost my vehicle keys, I looked all day and interrogated my wife and kids [they have taken them before] and after many hours of seeking I came to the logical conclusion that they were gone for good. My wife told me ‘lets wait and see, who knows maybe they will show up’ Oh yea sure, I guess they will just fall out of the sky! I am a man of action and decision; the keys were to my truck and my 1966 classic mustang in the garage. So I did what any reasonable man would do- I removed the ignition from the mustang [yes this is bad] and cut the wires out so I could splice the new ignition in its place. The official way to replace it calls for the removal of the dashboard and that’s quite a job. I could have called the lock guy and they could make a key, but I was already having a few problems with the ignition so I figured just do the whole thing. I also got the number to the dodge dealer so I could call them and get another key made from the VIN number on the truck. At around 11:00 pm the keys were found in the spot where I accidently put them, in a few hours I will be heading to Pep Boys for the ignition, the car sits in the garage with the wires hanging out from under the dashboard. Hezekiah was a good man, he did good things; but he also acted presumptuously at times, he let the Babylonians see the stuff that was supposed to be secret. Sometimes we can have all the good intentions in the world, this still will not immunize us from stupid decisions.

(1273) 2ND KINGS 17 in some ways this is a transitional chapter; up until now foreign countries attacked and suppressed Israel, but in this chapter we see the first real captivity of the people as a whole. Hoshea the king over the northern tribes [Israel] rebels against the king of Assyria who had them under tribute. So the king of Assyria puts Hoshea in jail and besieges Israel for 3 years, they take the city [Samaria] and they remove the majority of the people out of the land. He also places foreigners in the land to repopulate it. These foreign nations eventually mix in with the remnant that remained and these descendants are what we read about in John’s gospel, they were considered ‘half breed’ Samaritans. Now after the new inhabitants settle in the ‘Lord sent lions among them’. The people see this as judgment from God and request the Assyrian king to send them a priest so they could learn the ways of the God of the land and not die. This priest arrives and to some degree teaches these pagans the true worship of God, they of course kept their pagan beliefs as well, but it is interesting to see how the Lord even used a judgment scenario to redeem people. Okay, last night I was reading some of the history of the 18th-19th centuries and how after the French Revolution and the era of Napoleon many Europeans began to fear the idea of total and free Democracy, there was a sort of romantic musing upon the good old days of the Monarch. Many Frenchmen longed for the stability of the old Catholic church, these were called ‘Ultramontanists’ which meant ‘beyond the mountains- Alps’ and stood for their desire to re attach with the old Roman church in a way that allowed the church to reassert a global oversight over France as it used to have before the Revolution and Reformation. Part of the fear had to do with the nation states being their own sovereign, that whatever the nations wanted to now do they could do without any outside oversight; in essence part of the role of the Roman church was to provide a type of ‘united nations’ oversight over the individual states. Ultimately Democracy would eventually prevail and the new world of the Americas would be the first nation to adopt Democratic principles right from the start. When reading the history of the world, often time’s revisionists put their own spin on stuff. For instance we often read the history of Darwin in the latter half of the 19th century and see him as some enlightened figure who stood up against the bigotry of the church. But a generation or 2 before Darwin you had many ‘enlightened’ Evangelicals who fought for human rights and the dignity of man. William Wilberforce and the ‘Clapham community’ were men who used their political and social status as a means of freeing the Black man from the horrendous slave trade in Britain. Clapham was a small town around 3 miles outside of London; the town was sort of an elite place for the higher ups of society. Sort of like the Hamptons. Yet it was from this area in the late 18th century that many of the modern programs of the Evangelical movement were launched. The wealth and influence of these men launched the first bible societies, they started mission organizations for the poor; and even tried to instill a schema of social justice in their business dealings [the head of the East India trading company was part of the group]. These men wrought good social change and fought for the rights of the Black man, for him to be treated as a human and not some type of lower class chattel property. Darwin’s ideas would put into print the racist ideas of those who opposed the outlawing of slavery as a legitimate trade. Those who resisted freeing the slaves [both in Britain and the colonies] believed that the Black man was an inferior race to the White man. Darwin taught these beliefs openly in his books; he believed the Black race was proof of Evolutionary theory, that the Blacks proved to us that there were intellectually inferior races of men that did not advance along the more educated road of White men. The point being that a full 70 years before Darwin you had very influential Christian men who fought for the rights and freedom of Black men, and yet history normally portrays Darwin as the person who fought the bigotry of the church in his noble journey for truth. Okay, God allowed his people to be taken captive, they rebelled against him and they lost their freedom as a people, yet they still had a history of great and noble deeds, they accepted proselytes into their nation and treated the poor in their land with respect. It would be wrong to view the entire history of Gods people [both now and then] from the lens of the sins and wrongs that occurred, yes the church has made her mistakes and it sounds noble to say ‘lets cast off all the restraints of religion’ but in the end you might wind up looking past the Alps for some help.

(1271) 2ND KINGS 16- Ahaz the king of Judah is attacked by Israel and Syria; he takes the treasures from the temple and buys the help of the Assyrian king. The king in return attacks Syria’s capitol city of Damascus and Ahaz is off the hook. Now Ahaz goes to check out Damascus and the job that he paid to have done; as he is there he sees the pagan altar of the Syrians and likes it so much that he sends the design back to his ‘arch bishop’ [priest] and tells him to make one for them. He also takes the brass/bronze altar from Gods tabernacle and mixes it in with this pagan contraption. Okay, first we see that once you open the financial door it’s hard to shut it. What made the king think about buying the services of Assyria with the temple goods? Well they did this before and once it became a viable option it was easy to just go back to the same source. That’s why we need to be careful as a country as we establish ‘new sources’ of income for various projects; these sources tend to get raided when needed [S.S. trust fund!]. Also Ahaz desecrated the holy things by his willingness to mix pagan worship along with God’s true worship. He basically liked the artistic value of the pagan altar at Damascus and wanted one. Last night I watched the documentary of the Monte Python guys. Back in the 70’s they were popular where I grew up in Jersey and they hit the TV about the same time as SNL. I never really saw how ‘anti Christian’ these guys were. I know they spoofed the Holy Grail stuff and all, but as they were talking on the documentary you could tell that they were truly ‘enlightenment’ babies. British mockers of the faith. Now, right after the documentary they showed their film ‘Life of Brian’ which I never really saw before [just parts] and it was a total mockery of the faith. The actor who spoofed Christ died not long after, he got cancer and died young, in his 40’s [I’m not saying God killed him!]. They showed his funeral during the documentary and it was sad, in keeping with their style the comics cursed at the Eulogy, dropped the ‘f’ bomb and said ‘we now know that Graham is gone, he no longer exists, all we have is memories’. They did the best they could, but as you saw the kids in the audience and the faces of friends and family, this end of dissolving into nothingness seemed so hopeless. The kids were taught you live, do what you want in life without purpose or meaning, and then evaporate into the cosmos! No real hope at all. I appreciate art, I don’t really get too offended when Christians are spoofed and all, I think our skin is too thin at times. But the constant mocking of Christ and the faith at the ‘altar of art’ seems to parallel Ahaz and his willingness to allow the beauty of the pagan altar to become part of his worship. Much of the so called ‘religious art’ is simply a mockery of the faith. Crosses in urine, the Virgin Mary depicted with porno- stuff that simply is not art. I read an article a few years back, the picture showed a 70 year old Black janitor standing next to a bunch of trash; it was dog poop, an old coke can and a bunch of trash just sitting in some building, it was actually one of the art displays. The poor janitor saw it while he was cleaning the museum at night and like any good worker, he threw the ‘dung’ out. Oh was he excoriated for this senseless act of disrespect and his inability to appreciate true art! In the article he said ‘it just looked like trash to me’ amen brother.

(1263) THEY MADE HIM WALK ON NON WALKING FEET! A few weeks ago I wrote an entry on Evolution [Ardi the monkey boy] at the time I had read a few articles on this so called missing link, but it wasn’t until last night that I caught the show on TV, it was a 2 hour special done by one of the science channels. Boy was it eye opening. First, when I wrote the entry a few weeks ago I saw enough from the few articles that I read that they tried their ‘darndest’ to make these silly bones walk! That is one of the most sought after fossils in the evolutionary community is a bi-pedal monkey/man. A link that began walking on 2 feet. The show was unbelievably biased, they showed you the development of the find over the past 15 years, many efforts at making computer graphic images and artists rendering and all types of advanced technology and many man hours to make these scattered bones do what the evidence shows they could not do; walk on 2 feet! I was surprised to see them admit that the actual fossils of the feet [a toe bone] were the feet of a mammal that were exactly like the feet of other mammals THAT DO NOT WALK ON 2 FEET. They explained how the bone structure from Ardi’s feet were the bones of animals that did not walk on 2 feet. That all living species today that have these types of feet do not walk upright. They also admitted that all fossils ever found with feet like this came from animals that did not walk on 2 feet. Then in an unbelievable turn of events, they said ‘therefore Ardi is such a special find, he/she is the first fossil ever found where the creature walked on feet that were not designed for walking!’ This stuff is too funny to be legitimate. Why is this absolutely snake oil science? These men realized that the biggest problem of presenting this find as some type of link between men and monkeys was the fact that the feet were non walking feet. They waited 15 or so years before coming up with this absolute fantasy; and they made a conscious decision to tell the unsuspecting public that this animal walked on 2 feet with feet that were designed to climb, not walk. It would be like me trying to prove monkeys can fly, and I spent a whole lifetime looking for a flying monkey. But these creationists insist monkeys didn’t fly. In my mad rush to prove my point, I find a monkey fossil that I think might make the headlines, I present it as ‘the flying monkey’ and I realize that my creationist critics are going to be watching very carefully for the proof I have that monkeys actually did fly. And during my argument I show all these computer images of flying monkeys, I hire an ‘artist’ to draw me a flying money. But when I show you the actual bones from the monkey, Walla- they show no wings. So I state ‘this fossil is so special, we never anticipated such a find, this fossil is the first creature that used its feet to fly’. This my friends is not true science, which is allowing the evidence to speak for itself; this is false/faulty science with an agenda, after all their hours of work and effort and personal prestige on the line, they actually took the evidence of a non walking animal and made him ‘walk on feet that can’t walk’ this is what Paul described in the book of Romans ‘they did not want to retain God in their knowledge, so God gave them over to a reprobate mind’ these fellas have minds that do not function properly.
[This is the original article I wrote on Ardi] (1252) ARDI THE MONKEY BOY! Okay, I was gonna do 2nd kings 8 but I just couldn’t resist. The other day I read an article from the N.Y. times that spoke about the most recent discovery of a missing link. The problem is this ‘missing link’ was discovered in 1992, 17 years ago. The article showed you the drawing of a wonderful looking ‘half man/ half human’ being. It went on to tell us the story of Ardi, he/she was found in an area of Africa not too far from the famous Lucy fossil. Ardi is a little over 4 million years old, Lucy is over 2 million. So Ardi fits in well with a transitional species that could tell the story of human evolution. O how the story went on, it explained how Ardi lived and often would come down from the trees and walk on 2 feet [bi-pedal, to find a link that walks on 2 feet is essential for the theory of evolution to be true]. The article really described well everything that the evolutionist would need to tell his story. The problem? Ardi is a collection of monkey bones that were scattered all over the place; these bones are so brittle that the process of cleaning them for examination actually destroyed the bones. All indications are that these highly questionable bones are simply brittle monkey bones, this is why it took 17 years before ‘the find’ hit the headlines. So why did Ardi make it into the papers now? Because fellow evolutionists put the pressure on the original archeologists to ‘come out with the truth’! So they made up a wonderful tale, with pictures and all, and Walla- Ardi the monkey boy lives! How can I be so sure that Ardi was not a bi-pedal half man/monkey? Because science tells us this, not religion. If Lucy comes along 2 million years after Ardi, then surely Lucy must have really mastered the art of walking on 2 feet. Evolutionists have actually spent many years trying to ‘make Lucy walk’. The more they found out, the less proof she walked. First, the original find did not have hands and feet with it, so they gave her human like hands and feet. But after they found many other species of the same kind, they found many hands and feet also, they were not human like at all, the feet were truly monkey feet and not the structure you would find from a ‘walking monkey’. Next, they examined the bone structure of Lucy over many years and there were some major problems with the hip area that needed to be different if Lucy was to walk. Finally they made a documentary on Lucy and explained away the problem with the hip, they said that it was possible that a dear stepped on the hip and crushed it. So they had a brother on the show explain that he had to ‘re-make’ the hip back into the original hip. They actually showed him grinding down the model, with chips flying in the air, to get the walking hip. I mean it was hilarious! Years ago we also found a bunch of human footprints close to where Lucy lived in Africa, these prints were touted by the evolutionists as proof of Lucy being a bi-pedal monkey/human. The prints were so human like, many wondered if they were human. The only difference between these prints and a normal human print was the arch of the foot, it was a little flatter than ours. But after careful examination these prints did fit the exact prints of tribes that lived their whole lives bare foot. In essence these were human prints! The prints also had the foot prints of little feet inside the adult feet. How did this happen? More than likely the kids were having fun and stepping in the prints of their parents. So after many years of trying to make Lucy walk on 2 feet, the evidence shows otherwise. So if Lucy didn’t walk on 2 feet, there isn’t a chance in Hades that Ardi did! A few years back I was watching a Seinfeld episode and George wanted a cool nickname, so during lunch he orders a T Bone steak, he figures the nick name will stick. But sure enough the next guy orders a T Bone as well, and they give him the nick name. George is furious! So he confronts his co worker in the hall and you can see George jumping up and down and arguing for the right to the name ‘T Bone’. His co worker gives in and says sure, the only problem is the boss and the other guys saw George thru the window when he was throwing his fit, and they said ‘look, George looks just like a monkey’ and before George could tell everyone that he obtained the rights to T Bone, they stuck the nick name ‘Coco the Monkey boy’ on him. I appreciate the N.Y. times, the picture of Ardi looked great! But I think they tried to stick us with a tale, they tried to gives us Ardi the Monkey boy, when in reality he was just a bunch of brittle monkey bones.

(1258) WHAT LASTS? – These past few weeks while praying early in the mornings, I have been meditating on verses like ‘the steps/paths of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in his way’. David said he desired to always dwell in Gods ‘tabernacle’, while thinking on these verses I felt like the Lord was speaking to me about the effects we have, the planting of his word in regions. I even began thinking about the fact that we will die, and the people we minister to will pass away, but in some sense the words we taught will remain. In essence the thing that will last is the gospel and truth that is sown, not the institutions, or even the people, but the word. Now John says because we have the word in us we will abide forever, that is the word of God will raise the dead up some day and they will endure forever; but it’s the word of truth that is lasting. So anyway I felt like the Lord was directing me to read Isaiah, I read the first 10 verses of chapter 40 and the theme goes like this ‘all flesh is like grass, it will pass away; but the word of God endures forever’ basically exactly what God was speaking to me. This section also speaks of John the Baptist ‘prepare the way of the Lord, make a straight highway/path for him in the desert’ this was along the lines of ‘creating a path/ place for God’s word to flow’. Isaiah also has the famous verse ‘you will be called the restorer of paths to dwell in’. I felt like God was telling us to lay down some paths, have consistent areas where you faithfully teach and speak truth and these areas will ‘abide forever’ that is your impact will affect many generations to come. Right after the 16th century Reformation you had what is referred to as the Enlightenment, or the ‘age of reason’. Many thinkers began to challenge the institutional church [and institutions in general] and believed that reason and rationality would lead the way. In France [1700’s] Paris became a center of thinking for these Deists. These men were smart enough to realize that the total denial of God was too ridiculous to accept, they instead embraced Deism. Deism is a type of belief that said God started the ball rolling, but he left the rest on auto pilot; the same belief that the Greek philosophers embraced. Now, one of the famous ‘Philosphes’ [sic] was a man by the name of Voltaire, he is well-known as an infamous atheist today, but he did not totally reject God. These men did have tremendous influence and they produced the French Encyclopedias which backed up their cause. Eventually they would overthrow the Catholic Church and kill the king in their mad rush towards ‘reason’. They were wrong on their basic understanding of reason and rationality as they applied it to the church. They believed that rational thought meant ‘naturalistic thought’ that is in order for things to be rational, they could not be supernatural. They were wrong, in fact those who would later take the next step into full atheism would deny the laws of reason and logic all together. I saw Richard Dawkins do an interview the other day, he is one of the popular atheists of our day. These men who reject God accept a view of creation that violates the laws of logic; they teach/believe that all things came from ‘no-thing’ a scientific impossibility. This idea violates the law of ‘reason’ known as the law of ‘non contradiction’. This law states that a thing cannot be and ‘not be’ at the same time and in the same relationship. For all things to have come from nothing [self creation] would mean that all things created itself. It would have to ‘have been’ before it was. This common system of belief is absolutely irrational, even though the atheist believes it to be rational. To believe that God is a self existent being who created all things does not violate the laws of logic, you might think it does, but it doesn’t. For someone to have existed forever does not violate the classic laws of logic. So these thinkers who thought that their rejection of God was ‘rational’ were in fact wrong. Their ideas led to effects that were horrendous, they in effect ‘planted seed’ [bad doctrines] that would outlast them and their generation, their bad ideas had bad consequences. But the truth of God and his kingdom have also been ‘planted’ in the world, these seeds will last forever. If you want to effect society for good, then plant the seeds that will have an eternal impact, for ‘he that does the will of God will abide forever’ [1st John].

(1255) 2ND KINGS 8:7-29 Elisha goes to Damascus and the king of Syria hears about it, he sends his servant to inquire ‘of the prophet’ whether or not he will get well from some sickness. The servant goes and finds Elisha and Elisha says ‘yes, he would recover. But instead he will die’. What ? Elisha sees that the sickness would not be fatal, but that the king will be assassinated! The servant in front of him will be the killer. So Hazael goes back to the king and says ‘he said you would get well’ true enough, but he left out the part where he was going to kill him! So the next day he does the deed and becomes the king. A few things, I find it interesting that the Syrian king had no problem receiving Gods prophet. They believed in prophets! Now, they did not have a ‘Christian/Judeo’ culture, but they had a religious background that accepted ‘messengers from God’. In today’s world the church needs to take advantage of the willingness of other world religions to listen to prophets. We need to appeal as much as possible to the Muslim world and use any agreement on religious things as a tool to share the gospel. Right after the 16th century reformation the world would embark on a couple hundred year age of exploration and colonization. The Protestants were good at exploring the seas and impacting Europe, but they failed at reaching the Far East. Instead the Catholic Church had great success thru the Jesuits at impacting the Far East. They would make inroads into Japan and China and eventually take the gospel to the influential city of Peking. The problem arose when the Dominicans and Franciscans [Catholic orders] came in after them. They felt that the Jesuits were too accommodating in mixing in the religious beliefs of the east along with Christianity. Many Chinese believers were still practicing a form of worshipping dead ancestors and stuff like that. The Jesuits justified this by seeing these things as cultural beliefs and felt like allowing them to ‘keep their culture’ along with the faith was okay, the Dominicans and Franciscans disagreed and took the argument to Rome. Eventually this disagreement would leave a bad taste with the leaders in China and all Catholic expressions of the faith would be banned. This is called Syncretism, the mixing of religious beliefs. Now, why get into this? Christians should appeal to the willingness of Muslims and other world religions to hear religious voices. Both Jews and Muslims believe in Jesus, now they don’t believe the way Christians believe, but we should take advantage of this basic belief when appealing to them. Muslims reject the doctrine of the Trinity, but a careful study of history shows us that the actual Trinity they are rejecting is not the Christian understanding. Muhammad was actually rejecting a skewed view of the Trinity that saw Jesus and God and Mary as the Trinity. Obviously a pretty big mistake. So we as believers should be willing to correct and give a word to the ‘Muslim messengers’ when they come looking for answers. We should give them credit where credit is due, like their development of apologetical arguments in the Middle Ages [the Kalaam cosmological argument] but at the same time present the uncompromising gospel of Jesus Christ to them. I side with the Franciscans and Dominicans on this one.

(1252) ARDI THE MONKEY BOY! Okay, I was gonna do 2nd kings 8 but I just couldn’t resist. The other day I read an article from the N.Y. times that spoke about the most recent discovery of a missing link. The problem is this ‘missing link’ was discovered in 1992, 17 years ago. The article showed you the drawing of a wonderful looking ‘half man/ half human’ being. It went on to tell us the story of Ardi, he/she was found in an area of Africa not too far from the famous Lucy fossil. Ardi is a little over 4 million years old, Lucy is over 2 million. So Ardi fits in well with a transitional species that could tell the story of human evolution. O how the story went on, it explained how Ardi lived and often would come down from the trees and walk on 2 feet [bi-pedal, to find a link that walks on 2 feet is essential for the theory of evolution to be true]. The article really described well everything that the evolutionist would need to tell his story. The problem? Ardi is a collection of monkey bones that were scattered all over the place; these bones are so brittle that the process of cleaning them for examination actually destroyed the bones. All indications are that these highly questionable bones are simply brittle monkey bones, this is why it took 17 years before ‘the find’ hit the headlines. So why did Ardi make it into the papers now? Because fellow evolutionists put the pressure on the original archeologists to ‘come out with the truth’! So they made up a wonderful tale, with pictures and all, and Walla- Ardi the monkey boy lives! How can I be so sure that Ardi was not a bi-pedal half man/monkey? Because science tells us this, not religion. If Lucy comes along 2 million years after Ardi, then surely Lucy must have really mastered the art of walking on 2 feet. Evolutionists have actually spent many years trying to ‘make Lucy walk’. The more they found out, the less proof she walked. First, the original find did not have hands and feet with it, so they gave her human like hands and feet. But after they found many other species of the same kind, they found many hands and feet also, they were not human like at all, the feet were truly monkey feet and not the structure you would find from a ‘walking monkey’. Next, they examined the bone structure of Lucy over many years and there were some major problems with the hip area that needed to be different if Lucy was to walk. Finally they made a documentary on Lucy and explained away the problem with the hip, they said that it was possible that a dear stepped on the hip and crushed it. So they had a brother on the show explain that he had to ‘re-make’ the hip back into the original hip. They actually showed him grinding down the model, with chips flying in the air, to get the walking hip. I mean it was hilarious! Years ago we also found a bunch of human footprints close to where Lucy lived in Africa, these prints were touted by the evolutionists as proof of Lucy being a bi-pedal monkey/human. The prints were so human like, many wondered if they were human. The only difference between these prints and a normal human print was the arch of the foot, it was a little flatter than ours. But after careful examination these prints did fit the exact prints of tribes that lived their whole lives bare foot. In essence these were human prints! The prints also had the foot prints of little feet inside the adult feet. How did this happen? More than likely the kids were having fun and stepping in the prints of their parents. So after many years of trying to make Lucy walk on 2 feet, the evidence shows otherwise. So if Lucy didn’t walk on 2 feet, there isn’t a chance in Hades that Ardi did! A few years back I was watching a Seinfeld episode and George wanted a cool nickname, so during lunch he orders a T Bone steak, he figures the nick name will stick. But sure enough the next guy orders a T Bone as well, and they give him the nick name. George is furious! So he confronts his co worker in the hall and you can see George jumping up and down and arguing for the right to the name ‘T Bone’. His co worker gives in and says sure, the only problem is the boss and the other guys saw George thru the window when he was throwing his fit, and they said ‘look, George looks just like a monkey’ and before George could tell everyone that he obtained the rights to T Bone, they stuck the nick name ‘Coco the Monkey boy’ on him. I appreciate the N.Y. times, the picture of Ardi looked great! But I think they tried to stick us with a tale, they tried to gives us Ardi the Monkey boy, when in reality he was just a bunch of brittle monkey bones.

(1249) 2ND KINGS 6:8-23 The king of Syria wars against Israel, but every time he tries to set up an ambush someone keeps informing the king of Israel about it. So the Syrian king calls in his men and accuses them of leaking the info. They inform the king that this is the prophetic work of Elisha. So they go get him. As the Syrian army encamps around Elisha’s place, his servant wakes and up sees the troops and panics, Elisha prays and asks God to ‘open his eyes’ and he gets a sneak peek into the supernatural realm and sees all these chariots of angelic hosts around him ‘there are more with us than with them’ a famous verse indeed. So Elisha prays to the Lord to ‘blind’ the Syrians from his true identity [sort of like when Jesus was with the disciples on the Emmaus road] and he goes to the troops and tells them ‘the man you’re looking for is not here, follow me, I’ll show you where he is’. So he leads them into the midst of Samaria and right into the hands of the king of Israel. Then he prays ‘Lord open their eyes’ and they are in ‘shock and awe’ [to quote Rummie]. The king of Israel asks Elisha ‘should I slay them’? Elisha says no, but feed them and treat them well. He asks the king ‘would you slay those whom you captured thru military means’? Obviously the answer is no, so likewise they should be treated like captives and not harmed. Okay, how should we read the biblical narratives on war? One of the most known atheists in the country today is Sam Harris; he is a sincere writer and speaks against what he sees as the flaws of war based religion. He echoes the words of Thomas Paine in his book ‘the age of reason’ [18th century]. Harris sees the danger of world religions embracing a war mentality and believing that terror and warfare are on their side. He cites realities like the Muslim radicals who shout ‘God is great’ as they blow themselves and innocents up. He points out the stories in the bible where God commands his people to wipe out other ethnic groups [genocide] and he berates the Christians for their militaristic end time views and how their beliefs in a violent return of Jesus hinder world peace. Many thinkers have raised these questions and the church shouldn’t simply shrug these men off as pagans. In the story we just read it should be noted that God himself, thru his prophet, commanded the fair treatment of captives. That Jesus and the New Testament revelation are a radical revolution of peaceful demonstration ‘if your enemy hits you, don’t retaliate and return evil for evil. Instead bless them’. In general believers need to reorient their world view around the gospels and the actual message and life of Christ. When using the Old Testament we are to look for the hidden nuggets of wisdom that can apply to our lives today, but we need to avoid a direct application of wiping out our enemies with today’s military conflicts. The church in our day really needs an overhaul in our thinking in these areas, just the other day the U.S. military accidently killed an Afghan family of 6, kids and parents. A few months back we bombed an area and accidently killed around 140 civilians. The military at first said it was possible that the Taliban killed these people. After a few months review we came out and admitted that we did not properly screen these homes for civilians. We messed up and killed a bunch of people. I know all the reasons behind the things we are doing [I think!] but if your wife and kids were just bombed right now, by accident, would it make you feel better to know they really didn’t intend on killing them? Our country was/is up in arms over the sprinkling of water on the face of a few terrorists, one of the reasons is said to be that when we ‘torture’ terrorists we give fuel to the Muslim world by not playing by the rules. Or when we detain enemy combatants at Gitmo that this becomes a selling point to Muslim radicals that they can use to recruit people to their cause. I can see no greater ‘recruiting tool’ than the accidental killing of innocent Muslim women and children, yes I do realize that we do not mean to ‘kill them’ but this still does not change the reality on the ground.

(1248) AX HEADS THAT FLOAT!- 2ND KINGS 6:1-7 The prophets tell Elisha that their current ‘dwelling place’ is too small, they request permission to go to the Jordan and build a new dwelling. Jordan in scripture represents more than just a river that John baptized people in. In the history of Israel Jordan has been a type of crossing over from a previous identity and becoming mature and responsible as Gods people. It was a cutting off from the old land and economy and things they trusted, and coming into a new kingdom, one ruled by God. This also played a role in Johns baptism, Israel knew what Jordan meant; John was telling them to leave their old world mindsets and step into a new kingdom. So the prophets go and build a new place by the Jordan. One of the brothers dropped an ax head into the water and panics ‘Oh no, I lost the ax head, it was borrowed’. Elisha brakes off a stick and throws it into the water and the head floats, King James say ‘it swam’. So the brother got the ax head back. How do we relate stories like this and make them applicable to our day? I know, let’s say you were working at a building site and dropped the power saw in the water, and… Well not really. The bible has lots of ‘unorthodox’ stuff in it. I mean Paul sent handkerchiefs to sick people and they were healed. Jesus turns water into wine. Ax heads float. Our Christian experience very much entails supernatural stuff. The other side of the coin is ‘the fake stuff’. Recently the author Dan Brown released another book on supernatural stuff, he wrote the previous best seller ‘The DaVinci code’. These books appeal to mans natural desire for supernatural stuff. The problem with Dan brown is he mixes all types of fairy tale stories in with some valid points. The average reader can’t really tell the difference. I have a book here in my study titled ‘the lost books of the bible’. I bought it years ago for a few dollars at half price books. It really is a treasure; I mean it does have great books from antiquity in it, to get it for a few dollars was a great deal. Now, some of the books were legitimate contenders to have possibly made it into the bible. The epistle of Barnabus, the Didache, possibly the Shepherd of Hermes. There were a few books that the early church debated about including in the canon. But you also had a plethora of obviously fake stuff. The Gnostic writings were well known as cheap imitations of the real thing. These writings are from the late 2nd, 3rd centuries. No legitimate argument was ever made about these writings; all Christians rejected them as being authoritative. But the Dan Brown stories have people thinking that these writings were at one time up for possible inclusion into the canon, that’s just not so. How do we tell the difference between stuff that’s historically reliable and stuff that isn’t? In the field of historiography [looking at ancient writings and weighing their legitimacy] you have scholars who have spent years doing this sort of thing. You look at the actual recording of the events, were they written down fairly closely to the event? Did the authors know the people they were writing about, were they eyewitnesses? How many manuscripts are left? Were they widely accepted? There are real ways to determine stuff like this, the bible stands head and shoulders above all other ancient writings. The Greek New Testament has over 5 thousand original manuscripts. The only other work that comes close is Homer’s Iliad, it has a little over 6oo. Most others have around 10-20. If you include the Latin versions [and other languages besides Greek] you have around 25 thousand copies. The evidence is overwhelming. Now this does not speak to the inspiration of scripture, but it shows us that the bible itself is a highly reliable document when measured by historical standards. What about the Gnostic wrings? They do not stand the test of time in this way. The point being Dan Brown might have piqued the interest of many novice readers of history, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just Christians should be able to give a defense of their faith and appeal to a broad range of actual proofs that defend their position. Hey, if you want interesting stories, come ‘back to the bible’ it has ax heads that can swim for heaven’s sake!

(1242) Read a few chapters from Brian McLaren’s ‘everything must change’ thought I’d comment. I like Brian’s writing style, I agree with him on believers needing to be challenged to see things differently, but I disagree on some of his ‘everything’s’. He challenges the idea of objective thinking as defined as foundationalism. He explains well the questioning of modern intellectuals after the world wars and Holocaust of the 20th century. He shows how certain thinkers began looking for answers to the problem of society’s failure as seen in these events. He also shows how some blamed the events on ‘foundationalism’ which is a way of ‘seeing things’ [epistemology] as defined by Rene Descartes. These thinkers diagnosed the problem as society’s acceptance of absolutes, they felt that this led to an ‘overconfidence’ in right and wrong and this in turn allowed for these atrocities to happen. Many modern thinkers would disagree with this conclusion. I find it interesting that Brian makes some statements about Evolution that seem to say he accepts the theory, but yet he fails to see the role that Social Darwinism played as a precursor to the Holocaust. You could make the opposite argument that it was the rejection of absolutes, and the rise of liberal theology from the universities in Germany that led to these events. Many scholars began questioning Gods truth and laid a foundation that said ‘we really can’t trust Gods truth’ [or even know it]. To be honest these debates are a little philosophical and I didn’t think Brian would go down this road, but he does so I will deal with it. Many ‘post moderns’ believe that one of the things that must change is the ‘old’ [what is termed modern] way of thinking. These new thinkers assert that truth itself, as an absolute thing that people can know for sure, is out of mans reach. They question the modern way of thinking that teaches there are certain absolutes [preconceived ways of thinking that everyone accepts]. These new thinkers say this ‘foundationalism’ is the problem. Did the enlightenment invent this mode of objectivism? No. Thinkers from Aristotle to Aquinas to Descartes all approached thinking this way. It was defined more clearly during the enlightenment period. But this is a philosophical debate that goes on in these various camps. You have had very smart people disagree on these things. The great theologian Karl Barth would say you are not truly educated until you can ‘affirm both sides of an argument, accept contradictory definitions of the same thing’ many believe this would lead to lunacy! The two greatest theoretical physicists of the last century also disagreed on this. Neils Bohr would say that you can have two contradictory truths about a subject, and they could both be true, Einstein disagreed. So these things have been around for a while, many of the eastern religions teach the same [Zen]. So I would disagree with Brian on this, but do agree with him on the need for believers to expand their concerns from simple ‘going to heaven when I die’ concerns, to social justice concerns in the nations. He does give some good examples along these lines.

(1233) 2ND CORINTHIANS 10- Paul defends himself once again, he says ‘the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty thru God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations [arguments] and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God’. Contrary to popular opinion, Paul is not speaking about ‘spiritual warfare’ in the sense of casting demons out of the sky, but he is talking about refuting false opinions and ideas that the false teachers were popularizing. In essence true spiritual warfare is presenting the truth of Christ in its purist form and undoing false/popular ideas that don’t line up with scripture. Paul also defends his right to speak into their lives/location. He says he has been given a sphere/place of authority by God, and this area did indeed cover Corinth. He also claims authority for other regions. In scripture Apostles do have more of a regional authority/influence than other types of callings. Paul did not exercise his authority in a way that said ‘you guys must only listen to me’ in the sense that ‘submitting’ to authority meant actually listening to him preach every Sunday. The New Testament churches had tremendous freedom and sharing in their corporate get togethers. It actually was the false teachers who tried to cause these early believers to come under their control. In Galatians Paul says ‘who hath bewitched you’ or cast a spell on you. Paul would only come in and use his authority in a strong way when the churches strayed from the simplicity that was in Christ. In this chapter he says the authority that he had was for the purpose of building them up, not tearing them down. The main way Paul ‘did battle’ was thru the refuting of the false teachers thru the scripture [Old Testament] and presenting the fullness of Gods grace in Christ. Paul often used examples from urban life to help him get his point across- things like sports, arenas, military, etc. Jesus used more of an agrarian type setting in his parables- fishing, seed planting, etc… Of course they both used other symbols as well, but the point was they spoke and argued their ideas in ways that their hearers would be familiar with. When Paul refuted the philosophers at the Areopagus [Mars Hill, Acts 17] he made use of the public forum to get his points across. Paul operated in an intellectual world, as opposed to Peters fishing background. But they all presented Christ in his fullness, whether the message came from a fisherman or a theologian. Paul simply had a little better equipment when it came to refuting the false philosophies of his day. He didn’t buy the argument that ‘they were not in his sphere’ sort of like religion belongs ‘in the church building’ but leave the science and philosophy to us. He had authority from God to function in those spheres.

(1215) BE WISE NOW THEREFORE O YE KINGS, BE INSTRUCTED YE JUDGES OF THE EARTH- Psalms 2:10 This is the psalm that speaks about the rulers of the earth trying to cast off the restraints of God and ‘his anointed’. Scripture says God will have them in derision; he will laugh at their stupidity. This reminds me of the atheistic enlightenment philosophers, men who embraced ‘rational thought’ and supposedly would not believe anything unless it was ‘scientific’, men like Nietzsche and Freud who felt like the problems with man were the restraints that the church put on people. Freud taught that the reason mankind suffered from so many ailments was because the church and religion put these Victorian restraints on man and that these false restraints [like not sleeping around] were the root cause of mans problems. So Freud tried to ‘cast off the restraints of God and his anointed’ he taught that man should fully embrace sexual freedom and do whatever he wanted, the result- total devastation of mans psyche [and body]. God had them in derision. Getting back to N.T. Wrights book that I’m reading [surprised by hope] Wright brings out a great point, he shows how the materialist [those who say they will only believe things that can be proven scientifically] are contradicting themselves when they reject the resurrection and historical claims of Christianity on these grounds. Wright shows that every one of them accepts all types of historical facts that can not be proven ‘by science’. Let’s see, do you believe in Lincoln? Or say the civil war? There are tons of non scientific historical events that people believe all the time, one time events that are nor repeatable and can’t be proven by the scientific method. He makes a good point. The rationalists said ‘we will only believe in reason, not in faith’ this is a false view of faith. Pope John Paul the 2nd said ‘faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth’ [Fides Et Ratio]. To believe in God, and to be reasonable/rational go hand in hand. The atheist claims to only believe in things that can be proven, yet the claims of Christianity [the death and resurrection of Christ] have more historical/rational proofs then any other historic event in history, the historical method used to examine things shows us that these things did happen, for real! Just because an event is a one time supernatural event, this does not automatically make it ‘irrational’ or untrustworthy. If the event passes the smell test of historical inquiry [which it does] then it is as ‘believable’ as any other historic event in history. You see, God said those who try to cast off the restraint of God and church would make fools of themselves, that they would think they were wise when they were fools. I think this is a good example.

(1210) SAVE THY PEOPLE AND BLESS THINE INHERITANCE. FEED THEM ALSO AND LIFT THEM UP FOREVER- Psalms 28:9 I guess I will hit a few scattered Psalms, these last few weeks I have been reading the Psalms and trying to add a verse to memory every day or so. Sort of praying/meditating on them like the famous ‘Jesus prayer’. The Jesus prayer is an ancient simple prayer that says ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner’ but you actually say it all day long until it becomes part of your psyche. So these single Psalms can be used in this way. Okay, God wants to feed his people and bless them, Jesus told Peter ‘if you love me, feed my sheep’. In the 20th century you had the famous existentialist/atheist philosophers like John Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, these guys sought for purpose and meaning thru philosophy but wound up as nihilists [no hope] because of their rejection of God. Sartre would say ‘man is a useless passion’, Camus would say the only question left for philosophy to answer was the viability of suicide. The famous atheist Antony [Anthony] Flew, who has now become a believer in God [Theist], used to use a parable about a garden to challenge belief in God. He said man and his religious quest is like men who are journeying thru a forest and all of a sudden they come upon a garden; it is manicured and detailed in every way, it ‘appears’ to be a product of a designer. But then flew said as the men look around for the gardener they can’t see him, they then espouse all types of ideas about the master gardener. They come to various conclusions; he must be all knowing, very talented, transcendent- they develop views about this gardener/God that in Flews mind were just as silly as saying you might as well have no gardener at all! Flew thought if believers came to all these ideas about God, what’s the difference whether you believe in a God or not? The obvious answer is ‘then where in the world did the garden come from’. The challenges to Christianity, Theism, Deism try and convince people that there really is no purpose to your existence, you are a ‘useless passion’ you came from nowhere and are heading nowhere. Initially, this philosophy sounded liberating to those who embraced it. Sort of like telling the kids that schools out and you have no more teachers to listen to. But when you embrace this form of meaninglessness, you can not then try and instill purpose and meaning into people. Sartre and Camus rejected the foundational basis for man to have meaning in life, they tried to tell man ‘look, here is the purposeful garden, but it came from nowhere’. After many years of Anthony Flews insistence that there was no gardener, the evidence that caused him to change his mind was the evidence of design. He kept telling himself ‘there is no gardener’ and realized he was trying to convince himself of a lie, he knew he was logically wrong. He has since joined the ranks of those who now seek to know more about the master gardener.

(1192) ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE DUMMIES? Still in Luke 18, the disciples forbid the young children from coming to Jesus; Jesus rebukes the disciples and tells them that the Kingdom of God is made up of little children. There is a theme in the New Testament that goes like this ‘become childlike in your faith and trust in me, but be mature in your thinking and understanding’. Often times these two things are confused. Why? In the letter to the Corinthians Paul will rebuke the wisdom of the world, he states that when he was among them he did not use men’s wisdom to convince them of the message of the Cross. Paul also encourages believers to be ‘child like’ as well. Many confuse Paul’s teaching with an idea that says Christians should not be engaged in the development of the mind. Paul was not rebuking all wisdom and forms of knowledge, but a specific kind of wisdom. In Acts 17 we read of Paul at Athens, the Greek intellectual city of his day [Alexandria was the philosophical center in Egypt]. As Paul disputes with the philosophers of his day he actually quotes their own poets/philosophers in his sermon, he does not quote from the Old Testament, but uses the sources that they are familiar with. Right after Athens Paul goes to Corinth, the cites are very close geographically. There was a form of philosophy at Corinth that was very popular, you had the Sophists and the professional speakers [Rhetoric] operating out of Corinth. The Sophists were the philosophers that came right before Socrates in the Greek cultural world, around 6 centuries or so before Christ. Their form of philosophy was what you would describe as the first Relativists [or post modern thinkers who appeal to subjective knowledge as opposed to objective] they taught that philosophy and arguing were simply things you do ‘just for the heck of it’. Sort of like a hobby of simply disputing things while never being able to arrive at truth, something Paul will rebuke in the New Testament by saying some people were ‘always learning and never being able to come to the knowledge of the truth’ Paul himself tells the Corinthians ‘where is the disputer of this world’. So the Sophists were famous for this type of thing. Now the great philosopher Socrates disagreed with the Sophists, Socrates taught that thru the practice of thorough debate and the art of constantly asking questions, that you could arrive at truth [seek and ye shall find type of a system]. He believed real knowledge could be found thru seeking after it. Socrates stirred the waters too much, he was put to death by being made to drink the famous hemlock, the city where this happened was Athens. So Paul more than likely is disputing the system of thought that said you could not arrive at objective truth. It’s no secret that his letter to the Corinthians has one of the strongest statements of factual [objective] belief found in the New Testament. The great chapter 15 reads like an early creed to the church ‘Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures…’ It’s very probable that this chapter was used as a sort of creed in the early Pauline churches. So, what exactly was Paul saying [and Jesus] when they taught us to be like children, to reject the wisdom of the world for the wisdom of Christ? Simply that our approach to God and the things of God should be done in a humble manner, being childlike and open to God all throughout our lives. Paul was not teaching us that the following ages of great Christian thinkers was wrong; men like Anselm, Aquinas, C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton. It is perfectly acceptable for the believer to become well versed in the field of philosophy, to argue the Christian worldview from a biblical perspective. While it is true that no church was founded by Paul after his Athens visit, and some feel he abandoned his use of ‘worldly wisdom’ at Corinth because of this failure, but I think Paul continued to appeal to the intellectual world thru his great wisdom [God given] thru out his life [read Galatians and Romans!]. Ultimately it is the wisdom of the Cross that saves people, a wisdom that Paul said he communicated not in the words of mans intellect, but in the direct ability of the Spirit to speak. Sometimes that ability came thru a sermon that quoted the philosophers of old [Athens] sometimes thru the simple sharing of the message of Christ. Jesus grew in wisdom and stature with God and man, he knew the ideas of his day, so did Paul. Do you?

(1190) In Luke 18 Jesus gives the story of the woman who keeps hounding the judge for vengeance, the judge is not a good man. He does not fear God or care about man, yet he finally avenges the woman because of her consistent pleading. Jesus says we should learn the principle of consistent prayer thru this story. At the end of this chapter a blind man comes to Jesus and begs for mercy, Jesus asks ‘what do you want me to do’? The man says ‘restore my sight’ Jesus did. Some times we as believers overlook the obvious, we plan and scheme and strategize, we come up with bible formulas to make stuff happen, often times we forget to simply ask. Now, sometimes we have to wait for a while before we see results, but it is during these waiting periods that God enlarges us. I like studying Cosmology [universe] and science, one of the major breakthroughs in science occurred in the last century with Hubbell’s discovery of the expanding universe. Some have a limited idea of what this means; for instance if you took a game board and placed a bunch of stars and planets on the board, you could move the planets and stars away from the earth and it would give the appearance that the earth is the center of the universe, how else could everything be moving away from one point, unless that point were the center? Well this really isn’t what is meant by the expanding universe, a better model would be like taking a balloon and placing a bunch of stars and planets on the balloon, as the balloon inflates the stars and planets all move away from all the other points at the same time. The stars and planets are not actually moving; they are simply part of an expanding universe. So in this model the earth would not necessarily be at the center, because the expanding universe creates an environment where all things are expanding at once. Okay, I don’t know if you got it or not, the point I want to make is during times of waiting and asking and trusting, God ‘expands our universe’ if you will, he doesn’t just bring us along further down the road [distance] but he ‘enlarges our steps under us’ [Psalms] The bible says a mans gift makes ‘room’ for him. Jesus said he was going away to prepare a place for us, that in his Fathers house there were many rooms/mansions. We often read this as meaning Jesus is building us a spot in heaven. A better reading would be that Jesus was leaving the disciples so that they would ‘move into the room/place’ that God had for them [on the planet]. His leaving would allow the Spirit to come and then they would function in the capacity that God had for them. Sort of like saying ‘I am leaving to prepare a place for your gifts and abilities to function, they will only function by me leaving and creating space for you to function in by my absence’ got it? So the bible says a mans gift makes room/space for him, it expands your field of operation. The gifts are described as precious stones, in whatever way it turns it prospers. This speaks of a multifaceted gem, a diamond that you can observe from many different angles. During times of waiting God allows us to grow, not just in size, but depth. The bible says ‘God stretches out the heavens’ this is a good description of the expanding universe, given centuries before science knew about it. God also taught us that we would grow and expand during seasons of waiting and trusting, I think he knew what he was talking about.

(1177) I would like to talk on a few things today to be honest, I just heard a good radio debate on evolution and it gets me in the mood to argue; but I am still in Luke and want to hit some stuff. Jesus said he came to set a fire on the earth, that he would cause divisions in homes and among ‘families’ [even church families]. His radical kingdom passion had people lining up on opposite sides. Mother and father against son and daughter, stuff like that. I have found that most revolutionaries get this type of response, it comes with the territory. You find some who hear and think ‘wow, this is the best teaching I have ever heard’ and others who say ‘look, he’s stirring the waters too much’ Jesus was that type of a preacher. Okay, let’s do the science thing; the debate I just heard was good, the presenters of the Christian show did a good job airing it, yet they were a little confused on thinking that Intelligent Design and Creationism were the same thing, they are not. Lets talk a little on the Scientific Method, during the enlightenment of the 18th century you had the method develop called ‘the analytical method’ this added to the scientific method and stated that you had 2 sides to examining and learning stuff- the inductive side [gathering of facts/data] and the deductive side [coming to some basic conclusions based on the facts]. The biggest problem with modern science in my view [if I can be so bold] is it’s inability to rightfully use the second part of this method, that is there comes a time where any scientific endeavor has to capitulate to the overwhelming inductive data and come to some basic set of beliefs. You can’t go on ad infinitum looking for missing facts to prove your conclusion. That would be getting the method backwards. So for example if you are looking to prove that a living cell can come into existence ‘by chance’ without any real cause, then you look at as many examples of living things and try and trace a point where something popped into life without a prior cause. After a few hundred years of doing this, science has gathered tons of real evidence that show us that this never happens. Now, if your theory on evolution NEEDS this to happen, and you continue to promote that this ACTUALLY HAS HAPPENED, you are basically taking the scientific data and coming to a false conclusion, you have deduced an idea that is not consistent with the facts. Now, you can argue that there still is the slight possibility that new data will arise to back up your theory, possible. But the point is you can’t promote your theory [evolution] over other theories [creationism or intelligent design] and say yours is science while the opponents is not. This just is not true. The field of intelligent design is loaded with scientific facts that lead to the conclusion that there was intelligence behind the created order. They have the science to back up their theory, evolution does not! [Darwinian macro view] So anyway Jesus said he was going to set fire on the earth, he was starting a revolution that would get out of control, I think it’s time for us to start some fires.

(1174) Almost finished with Noll’s book [scandal of the evangelical mind] and thought it time to comment. The book was published in 1994 and I realize a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. Noll brings out great points; he shows a fundamental weakness in American evangelicalism because of the way the movement shaped a sort of anit intellectual way/thought pattern of viewing the world and society. He really takes the dispensational wing of the church to task, frankly, I was surprised how willingly he dismantled many of their belief systems. I agree with him on this issue, but was surprised that a very popular book would go this far [and still be nominated book of the year by Christianity today- back in 1994!]. I think an area of weakness in the book is Noll’s ‘over association’ of young earth creationism with the Seventh Day Adventist church, and his repeating of the charge that creationists [and fundamentalists in general] are practicing a form of ‘modern Manichaeism’. He basically links an ‘anti material spirit’ that was seen in the early Christian heretics [Gnosticism, Docetism and Manichaeism] and applies this to the views of creationists and their so called unwillingness to allow the facts from nature speak for themselves. I wrote the note ‘way too much’ a few times when reading the book. I think he’s basically mistaken on this, many early Christian thinkers did hold to a young earth view, and they were the same thinkers who rebuked these cults who rejected the natural world as evil. Overall the book is a worthwhile read, it exposes the weakness of the fundamental/evangelical movement to ‘think Christianly’ about the world and society around them. Too often believers think ‘thinking Christianly’ means introducing bible verses into the conversation, this is not what Noll is speaking about. He shows the fundamental error that arose during the modernist/fundamentalist debates of the 19th/20th centuries, and how this caused the church to accept modes of thinking and learning that were disconnected from the fathers of these movements. For instance, Jonathan Edwards, who is considered to be the greatest homegrown thinker of the American experience, he embraced an acceptance of the natural sciences as a way to learn more about the ways of God. True studies of the earth and universe and things in the world were accepted as a means of God communicating truth to his people thru the ‘book of nature’. Noll shows how the fundamentalist movement came to reject this willingness to look at the natural world and learn from it. Thus his overstated charge of Manichaeism, a group that saw the natural world as evil. A blind spot of Noll is his seeming belief that the majority of all Christians/scientists accepted as fact the old earth views of the Geologic table and the other sciences that arose at the time [like evolutionary theory]. He paints a picture that says ‘see, most believers were open to learning from science back then, but the fundamentalist movement and the rise of creationism side tracked the church’. This is simply not true. Many scientists and Christians did not accept the science of an old earth and the interpretation of the geologic table. Many fathers of the church accepted a young earth view [Noll’s creationism] since the beginning of church history. Though Noll quotes saint Augustine in his defense of thinking critically, yet Augustine himself believed in a young earth. He actually believed God made everything in an instant and the 6 days of Genesis 1 were symbolic, that God used the ‘6 day framework’ to show us his creative acts. The point being, Augustine’s spiritualizing of the days of creation did not make him an old earth believer! So there were a few things like this that I take issue with, overall I think every evangelical/protestant believer would benefit from reading the book. Noll’s challenge to the evangelical church to ‘think Christianly in all areas of life’ is a needed rebuke to many in the church. Noll is correct in showing the weakness of the American protestant church and her basic disdain of intellectual learning, thinking that higher learning in and of itself is a bad thing. This has fostered a community of believers that has cut itself off from the basic institutions that effect society as a whole [the research universities being one example]. If Christians shy away from the natural sciences and the reality that even unbelievers have at times revealed to us true things thru these studies, then we are going down a road that will eventually cut our influence off from the broader society at large.

(1162) I mailed the materials off yesterday, let me mention one more thing about the letters from my friends in prison. The letter from Leonard, it is full of praise and thanksgiving and glory; it reminds me of the testimonies of new believers. Many times over the years I have noticed good friends of mine come to know the lord, doing things in ministry and fellowship together. Sometimes these brothers struggle for years and go back to prison. The genuine brothers really do experience a ‘mini’ revival when this happens. It’s common for the average person to judge them as getting ‘jail house religion’ they can’t see that the process of chastening and the guys renewing their faith are a real process that brings great joy to them. Believe me, I have seen this happen many times and know that for the most part these guys are not faking. Okay, in Luke 9 we have lots of good stuff; Jesus sends his guys out light ‘don’t take money, extra goods, etc.’ Herod hears about Jesus and wonders if it’s John the Baptist risen from the dead [guilty conscience no doubt!] Lets hit the statement ‘some of you standing here will not die until you see the kingdom’. Over the years commentators have had various views on this, a common view is right after Jesus says this the transfiguration happens and this might be referring to that, it’s possible? The New Testament has various statements like this that the critics of Christianity have used over the years to debunk the faith. The famous atheist Bertrand Russell wrote a book called ‘why I am not a Christian’ one of the reasons stated was the so called missed prophecies of Jesus, these statements in the bible about Jesus coming kingdom that would take place within the lifetimes of those who heard him. Russell also rejected the faith based on a faulty idea from the philosopher John Stewart Mill. Mill said if every thing must have a cause, then God must have a cause, and if God is the first cause, then why not say the universe/world are the first cause instead of God. Russell believed this faulty argument, the law of causation does not teach that every thing must have a cause; it teaches every effect must have a cause. Any way Russell got duped by this fictitious argument and kept it his whole life. But back to those who read the statements in the bible about Jesus coming quickly, the things being written that will happen shortly [revelation] and stuff like that. There is some truth to the Preterists argument that the ‘last days’ that were taking place were speaking of the end of the present age of law and the introduction of the new age of grace. These brothers also link most of the ‘seeing the kingdom come’ verses with a.d. 70 and the destruction of the Jewish temple and law system. There are various views on these subjects. What about Jesus saying that some of the disciples would not die until they saw God’s kingdom? Preterists think the transfiguration happened too quickly after the statement for it to be speaking of that, it’s possible? I think some of the Preterists are too ‘futuristic’, let me explain. Jesus is functioning and operating out of the reality of Gods kingdom, he’s healing people, raising the dead, doing all sorts of things that are contrary to the natural order of things. He is introducing God’s kingdom to his disciples, they are actual witnesses to the events of Gods order breaking into mans order. The greatest events of this kingdom that they will witness will be the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, these ‘parts’ of the kingdom will be the most significant aspects that they will ever SEE in their lives. I prefer to see the reality of God’s kingdom, and the statements about certain followers being alive at the time of God’s kingdom coming, thru this lens. To push the majority of the significance out to a.d. 70 and the destruction of the temple seems to miss the great reality of Jesus death, burial, resurrection and ascension as actual witnessed events of the first century church. So, Russell and others who thought Jesus statements were false prophecies did not really see the reality of these things. I do believe that the events surrounding the destruction of the temple are important, and that you can find many verses that speak of the passing of the old testament order as the ‘end of that world/age’ but I believe the actual work of Jesus in redemption, as being witnessed by the early church, would be a better ‘location’ for the explanation of these types of things. Got it? [note- the main point being the importance the new testament puts on the eyewitness accounts of the disciples to the work of Jesus in redemption, any connecting with ‘the seeing’ of things and the witnesses of those things ‘seen’ has to be viewed thru this lens, the most important ‘seen things of the kingdom’ are without a doubt speaking of the great work of Jesus. This was so important that when Peter mentions the replacement for Judas office, he states that the new apostle must have been a witness of these things from the beginning of Jesus ministry]

(1156) Okay, lets talk about something simple today, no more quoting 18th century Scottish philosophers for heavens sake! I know, let’s talk Quantum Physics and the study of sub atomic particles! [No, I am not kidding ] One of the most difficult obstacles for the atheist to overcome is the question ‘what was there before the big bang’? They really have no answer to this question, the answer can’t be ‘nothing’ and if it was ‘something’ then what was it? [Of course we know that something is God] So this has led the atheistic scientists down a path to see if we can find something popping into existence from nothing, the ultimate uncaused effect. Have they found it? No. But this won’t stop them from trying. The most popular scientific evidence used to prove that you can get something from nothing is found in the field of Quantum Physics [the study of really small things]. Scientists have discovered a phenomenon that occurs when a Proton strikes an Atom. It seems as if the Electron will disappear and reappear at the same moment in another location, without having traveled the distance. The second it disappears it shows up at another location. Some type of metaphysical wormhole? Who knows. The point is some have said this is proof for the idea that matter can pop into existence without a prior cause. Not! All this shows us is that material things can act in such a way that the examiner cannot explain what’s happening. In the above case you have matter already existing and a clearly recognizable repeatable pattern that can be observed. This in itself is an argument for an intelligent designer and a caused effect [the proton striking the atom and causing the electron to disappear/reappear]. So today I thought I would show you what goes on in the debate over trying to come up with an uncaused effect, and how vital this question it is in the area of apologetics. Oh, I almost forgot, do you know what the name of this phenomenon is? It’s the famous ‘Quantum Leap’.

(1155) let’s do something for our intellectuals out there. Over the course of the last few hundred years you have had smart philosophers/atheists challenge the Christian faith. The current bunch [Dawkins, Hitchens or a comedian like Bill Maher] are really lacking in the intellectual prowess of past atheists! Let’s hit a few arguments that are made against the Christian faith. In the field of proving the reality of God, one of the classic arguments is a First Cause. I have taught it before under the evolution section. If you study things you realize there are no events in history that happen without a cause, nothing happens out of thin air. Logically this would lead us to the conclusion that somewhere down the line you have to have an ‘original causer’. Logically you can’t go on forever without an initial cause somewhere down the line. This is a real argument made for the existence of God that has been popular over the centuries. In the 18th century you had a Scottish philosopher by the name of David Hume who challenged our ability to know causes. He taught that man simply observes stuff happening, he perceives supposed connections to what the cause is, but he can not say 100% what the cause is. The famous example he used was the pool table, we see a man use the cue stick to hit one ball and it bangs into another and goes in the hole. Hume said it sure seems like the cause of this series of events is the act of the pool player hitting the ball, but he said we don’t know for sure whether this is the cause. Grant it, Hume had a point, but we observe things all the time in the field of science, we come to conclusions based upon reasonable evidence, and we ‘trust’ our senses to a degree. But some have taken this argument by Hume and have used it to rebut the Christian argument for a first cause. This use of Hume is dishonest. Hume did not say there were no causes for things, he simply said we can’t be 100% sure of what the cause is. Hume himself said ‘chance is simply a word used to define our ignorance of real causes’. Many appeal to Hume and use the argument that things can happen ‘by chance’ sort of like chance has the ontological status of causing things to come into existence! Hume said chance was simply a word we use to fill in the blank until a true cause is determined. Well, I hope I didn’t lose you guys today, but this is one of the more popular arguments used in the field of philosophy to try and refute the Christian faith. So I thought it good to refute the refuters!

(1154) Something else I wanted to mention about the book ‘Why we’re not Emergent’ was they bring out the penchant of some bible teachers to over do the comparisons between pagan myths and Jesus as Gods Son. When I was reading the book by John Crossan [ultra liberal scholar who denies the resurrection] I found the book to be full of examples that Crossan would quote, then after the quote he would say ‘see, the Romans believed in a divine incarnation who would come and save the world from sin’ but if you read the actual quote he used, it said nothing of the sort! Likewise the Emergent movement has some associated with it that do this same thing. It’s become a common internet ‘truth’ that there was a saying running around about Caesar in Jesus day; it said ‘there is no other name under heaven given among men where by we must be saved’. Wow! Doesn’t that sure seem to cast doubt on the Christian religion? The brother who popularized it seems to honestly want to challenge the traditional church and her views, sort of like saying ‘look how much we have been affected by the culture’. The problem is there is no evidence that this saying is true. As far as I can tell, this story about Caesar is not true. So in general we need to be careful when reading certain sources, some are over associating the early pagan myths with Jesus. Now, there are no doubt certain myths that shared common traits to the early church, but to over do these associations is not right. Also when I was reading the book from Crossan [in search of Paul] it had lots of heavy historical information, stuff that I personally like to read. But for some reason I could not get into the book. I got around half way through and quit. I very rarely do this. Then I was reading in another source how at one time Crossan posited the possibility that dogs came and ate the remains of Jesus Body, that’s why you had the empty tomb. Needless to say this is blasphemous. So when studying any subject, be open and willing to hear both sides. Don’t jump to early judgments about people or movements, but if there are enough warnings along the way, then feel free to come to a final conclusion. One of the more popular quotes from an emergent leader has him answering a question about homosexuality, he basically says no matter what way he answers some one will get offended, so he gives no answer. This response has been quoted a few times as a type of wise answer. I think this sums up one of the problems with the church, we at times want everybody to like us, there are times where we need to say what is true, sure we might not be 100% sure of our belief, but there are many beliefs we can be sure on. I am sure the dogs didn’t eat the remains of Jesus!

(1152) In Luke 4 we read the temptation of Jesus by the devil. The basic temptation to lust [eat bread- hedonism] to gain self glory [all the kingdoms will be yours] and last but not least, the temptation of victim hood [cast yourself down!] Being I am reading somewhat on the various ideas of the inspiration of the bible, let’s do the response of Jesus to the bread test. Jesus said ‘man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’. Over the centuries you have had various views on the inspiration of scripture, did the historic church believe in it, some ask. Others say the doctrine was invented by scholars in the 19th century. Some say the main intent of God is inspired ‘the voice’ of God, while the individual words are not. Karl Barth is considered one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century. The Swiss scholar had a view of inspiration that said the bible ‘becomes’ the word of God to us when the Spirit himself communicates to us thru it. It was sort of a ‘Rhema’ type teaching, that which is popular among Word of Faith churches. Barth was actually making a noble effort to regain the authority of scripture at a time where many scholars were throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Is Barth’s idea the same as what the historic church believes? No. Does his idea have some truth to it? Yes. There are times where we as believers ‘hear’ God in a special way thru scripture. He might even speak to you in a way that is ‘out of context’. Sort of like if you were seeking insight to something, and then a verse says something that causes you to see things from a different perspective. The verse might not be speaking directly about your situation, but you know the Lord has spoken to you. This is okay for personal stuff, but you should not use this method to develop doctrine. Jesus told the devil that we need to live off of every word from God, the whole voice of God in context with the whole story. To proof text stuff [picking out single verses and making them say what you want] is not eating every word! As the church changes and reforms in our day, some have seriously questioned the idea of inspiration. Some have questioned the idea of whether or not we can even know what God is saying! Ultimately, the truth of God must be objective in order for any case to be made about anything. Is it possible for things to be true even if the record of those things are not infallible? Of course! We believe the history of our country and the history of the world based on fallible documents. We can know certain facts beyond a reasonable doubt with out having to have an infallible recording of those facts. But this is not what the church teaches about the bible. The church teaches that we have an inspired record of those facts. The word of God is true, it does not err! I believe this, though I am somewhat of a radical in the things I teach, whether it’s on church reform or end time stuff or railing against the prosperity movement. Yet without a truth standard that we can all go by [the bible] these arguments would all fall to the ground. As we change and reform as the people of God, we want to be open to different sides of the debates that go on in the church, hear and listen to what people are saying. But don’t reject/challenge things just because it’s popular to do so, in the end we don’t want a whole new crop of believers who don’t believe in the word of God, this would hurt the cause of Christ.

(1149) Just started reading Luke, in chapter one we see the story of the birth’s of John and Jesus. We see the dual ways that God works. In John’s birth the angel appears to his parents and reveals that Elisabeth will get pregnant, though she and her husband are old. She has been unable to have children and they have prayed for kids. God does it thru a miraculous intervention and reveals it thru an angel. The same angel appears to Mary and tells her she will have Jesus, Mary asks ‘how can this be, I know not a man’. It’s almost if she was looking at the miraculous situation of her cousin and the fact that God allowed her to get pregnant, but yet there were natural means that God used. John’s parents did sleep together and God gave them the child; miraculous in that Elisabeth was beyond the age of kids, but also a natural explanation can be seen. So Mary must be thinking ‘now Gabriel, I do realize you are an angel and all, you have a pretty good prophetic track record when it comes to announcing births; but you must understand there is only so much God can do, if you don’t know yet, I’m still A VIRGIN!’ The fact is that both John and Jesus births were considered miraculous, the fact that a natural explanation could be attributed to the process with John, this did not mean that there had to be a natural explanation to all miraculous births! As we just came off a series of posts on creation and science, I want to overview a few things when it comes to the miraculous. First, the act of creation itself is a tremendous miracle that can never be fully explained by naturalistic means. Hebrews says ‘by faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God’ there are things that God does, that often can not be explained thru science. Though we try and make a noble effort to use the tool of science to argue for the reality of God, yet we don’t want to fall into the trap of Mary, who thought ‘how can this be?’ It ‘can be’ because God said it can be! God’s creative power causes things to be! There is a danger of skepticism creeping into the ranks when we try and affix a scientific explanation to all the aspects of creation, the fact is the actual act of God bringing things into existence by his spoken word is a mystery that can never be fully explained by science. We can try and understand things as much as possible, like the light from galaxies that are supposed to be 13 billion miles away, if the earth were only 6-10 thousand years old, then we wouldn’t be able to see the galaxies yet. The light wouldn’t have had enough time to travel to our telescopes! Okay, sounds good. But then the young earth creationists will explain that the light from all the super novas that occur [the deaths of stars that put off tremendous light] if the planet were billions of years old, we would be seeing the light from many more of these star deaths than we currently see. The light from these explosions would literally be bombarding the planet at a much higher rate than we now observe. So these are two good arguments made from both sides of the debate. But can we hold God down to these types of natural explanations? How can science fully measure the creative act of God? The appearance of all things from nothing can not be measured in the same way as all other things that currently exist. The divine act of creation was a one time event that can not be repeated. It does not fall under the scientific category of testability, it is in the category of observable past events. We know it occurred, we look at it, but we can’t repeat the process and test the event itself. Some say that at the initial creation God created the light ‘in transit’ he was not limited to the natural speed of light that would need 13 billion years to travel from the furthest galaxies to the planet, he made these things in a truly miraculous way! To be sure there are many other things like this that can be used to defend both sides of the issue, today’s point is in the situation with the miraculous births of John and Jesus, both were considered miracles, but one birth had a natural explanation to it [God used his power to enable the barren womb of Elisabeth to conceive thru natural means of conception] and the other didn’t [Mary was really a virgin, the only way you could explain the event itself was that it was a miracle from God- no natural explanation could suffice]. When it’s all said and done we do our best to understand and love God with our minds and intellect, but there are things that we cant always wrap our minds around, these are the ‘things we understand by faith’.

(1147) Lets do a brief overview. Those of you reading these last 10 or so entries from the Genesis Study will see that I taught the chapters 12-50 a few years ago. I had no real reason to have left out the first 11 chapters; it just worked out that way. It gave me some time to look at both sides of the creation debate [young versus old earth]. First, I want to say that I still lean towards old earth myself, but do not consider myself a Progressive Creationist. These brothers view the creation days as long ages, the problem I have with that view is it has God intervening directly and creating life at many different intervals over millions of years. I don’t hold to that. But I do believe it’s possible to have an old earth and a literal reading of the days [I already explained it in these last few posts]. Most of all I want to stress that the bible is not clear when it comes to the age of the earth. The young earth brothers have made a very noble effort from verses that connect the beginning of creation with man [Mark 10:6] or other verses speaking about things from the start [Mark 13:19-20, Luke 11: 50-51]. Too much to do now, but it is a long argument for a young earth. The other word that comes up often is Phenomenological, this word is used to explain the language of scripture that is used when speaking to the common man. Like when the bible speaks of the Sun set and Sun rise, most of us realize that the Sun is not the object that is moving! So to technically argue something that we know is ‘not true’ would be silly. Mark Noll wrote about stuff like this in the popular book ‘Scandal of the Evangelical mind’. So, how much science do we accept? Do we use these arguments to open the door to Evolution and everything else that comes down the pike? Of course not! But we try and stay open to science while at the same time staying true to Gods word. For many years science and philosophy believed in an eternal earth and universe. It wasn’t until the tremendous breakthroughs of the 20th century that the Big bang Theory became accepted science. If you listened to Einstein’s theories at the beginning, they seemed utterly ludicrous! His ideas about time not being fixed, and the relationship between time and space were way out there. Many Christians did not accept his ideas. But there were many atheistic scientists who were more troubled, if Hubble and Einstein were right [they were] that would mean the universe had a starting point [the so called point of singularity] the atheists knew that this would sound the death bell for their belief in atheism. If there was a starting point to time and matter, then there was no way to get around it, you would need an initial starter [Aristotle and Aquinas would be right- prime mover, though they both believed in an eternal universe]. So today the majority view of cosmology is the Big Bang theory, some scientists still argue for the eternal universe, but most believe in the Big Bang. In essence this is an example where science has handed to the theologian one of the greatest weapons to argue for the existence of God. But just like the age of the earth debate, you have believers who challenge Big Bang cosmology. Some are smart and have good reasons to challenge it. When I say I believe in the Big Bang, I am not saying I hold to the various views of evolutionary processes that come along with the theory; things like the stars producing the matter that swirled out over millions/billions of years and formed planets. There are obviously parts of the Big bang theory that are questionable. So scientists try and come up with ideas to make the questions go away. A major problem to the Big bang theory is how can the universe have such a stable balance of temperature all over the place. If everything expanded [that’s really a better word to explain it than explosion] at such a rapid rate, you would not have the stable atmosphere that science shows us. So a professor at M.I.T., Alan Guth, came up with an idea called ‘inflation’ he guessed that at the initial point of singularity, everything first expanded to the size of a basketball and all the matter of the universe was stabilized at this point. Then the massive expansion took place and that’s why you have a steady balance when there shouldn’t be one. To say the least these ideas are very questionable, that’s why some scientists don’t accept the whole theory. But for the most part the accepted truth that all matter did have a beginning point is one of the strongest apologetic arguments that science could have ever given to the church. The point being we as believers need to look at both sides of these issues, the debate between young and old earth creationism has at times lost the Christian mandate to deal charitably with each other. I realize the views held are sincere, and many believe the integrity of Gods word is at stake. But we need to present our views and let the chips fall where they may. I will probably finish this short excursion into Genesis tomorrow, but those of you reading these entries from other parts of the blog besides the ‘Evolution/Cosmology’ section, I would suggest reading the stuff I have written in that section along with these last 10 posts. It will help give you a better idea of where I am coming from.

(1146) SONS AFTER THE FLOOD- In Genesis 9 we read the account of Noah and his sons repopulating the planet. God promises Noah that he will never destroy the earth again [by way of water- what about fire? We’ll get to that in a minute] and we see the beginning of man eating animals for the first time, the institution of the death penalty and civil justice [Romans 13] and the famous promise of the rainbow ‘when ever it rains again you will see my bow in the clouds and know I will not flood the earth again’. Are there natural explanations to things that the bible ascribes to God? Yes. Does that mean the bible is a book of myths and fables that were fake and only meant to give us moral lessons? No [contrary to liberal theology]. The fact that we know every time there is a rainbow in the sky, that there is a natural explanation to it, this does not mean this story is fake. God obviously created a repeatable situation that never occurred before, and he told man it was for a sign. Just because science can ascribe a naturalistic explanation to a thing, this does not mean the thing has no supernatural elements to it. This is also where the theistic evolutionists/progressive creationists make parts of their case. Does the fact that God created something mean that there are no possible natural means for him to work by? They will show you that when David said God formed him in his mothers womb, that obviously ‘God formed’ David in a different way than Adam! When you look at ‘a test tube baby’ do you not see a creation of God? Yes, even though there are obvious natural explanations to the conception and birth [like the rainbow being explained by nature] yet the actual life itself is still a mystery that can only be attributed to God. Also God reassures man not to worry about a total future destruction of the planet, in the last verse of chapter 8 he says as long as the earth remains there will never be another worldwide ceasing of the created order [seedtime and harvest]. How do we square this with the Christian doctrine of ‘the end of the world’? Now, this can get complicated and take more time than I have right now, but lets try and take a quick ride. The famous New Testament verse on the future ‘destruction’ of the planet is found in 2nd Peter 3 [the same chapter that deals with the flood] Peter says the elements will melt with a fervent heat and we await a new heaven and earth. In the gospels Jesus also speaks about ‘the end of the world’ the word for world does not mean the planet, but the age. Just like when the bible says ‘satan is the god of this world’ it speaks of age, not earth. So a careful reading of the ‘end of the world’ verses show us that there will be a future time of cleansing ‘by fire’ that will usher in a new age/order. Preterists [those who believe the future judgment scenarios were speaking of a.d. 70 and the end of the old order of the law] take these verses to mean that God was ending ‘the old order/age of law and bringing in a new age of grace’ I see partial truth to this, but don’t fully accept that there is no future aspect to it. The futurists [dispensationalists] see a destruction of the world and sometimes allow this view to effect their responsibility to the planet and society at large ‘heck, why worry about the environment and future stuff, it’s all coming to an end soon’ type mentality. Some, not all, have this mindset. The Preterists think the Futurists have made a fatal mistake in misreading the verses that should say ‘age’ instead of ‘world’. There are very good points that the Preterists make, though I don’t fully embrace everything they have to say. Overall we see that God wanted to reassure man that he was not going to totally wipe the earth out again like he did in the past. Whether you see the future fire burning up the elements as some sort of nuclear thing [I don’t] or a reference to the glory of Jesus burning up the chaff at his return, the important thing to remember is God wanted man to know that the natural order of day and night would go on, and a new heaven and earth would continue to exist for all eternity. The mindset of ‘don’t give up on the mandate to have dominion and care for the planet’ was being instilled in Noah and his sons. I think it would do the evangelical church some good if we looked more seriously at some of these issues.

(1145) THE FLOOD- Okay, this is a hot topic. First, the flood really happened! Some old earth creationists insist on a local version of it, others say it was worldwide [I’m in the world wide camp]. God tells Noah to embark on a very long building program. He certainly looks like a nut to those around him. Eventually the Ark is finished and Noah and his family get in, they bring 7 of every clean animal and 2 of every ‘unclean’ type. It rains [some say 40 days and nights, others think it rained longer] and the ‘fountains of the deep are opened up’ obviously a reference to some type of Tectonic action. After everything dies, the Ark rests and Noah and his family repopulate the planet. The young earth creationists have good arguments from this story [real event!] some of the old earth brothers tend to trivialize it. Ever since the science of geology gained ground [19th-20th centuries] many have argued for a very old earth based on the geologic table. They look at the different strata of the earth [levels] and say ‘see, these levels took millions of years to develop, you have dinosaurs buried in the lower levels, then other types of animals, birds and then man is rarely found fossilized’ these brothers see a sort of scientific record that backs up the progressive creation view. They say the creation days are ages, and the science shows us deep time. Are there any other explanations for the various fossil levels? Yes. The young earth brothers will make a very good argument that the cataclysmic effect of the flood caused the levels. They say the reason you find dinosaurs and other land animals at lower levels is a result of natural panic and survival during the flood. The slower, heavier animals would die first and get buried first. The birds lasted longer of course; they kept flying to high land until they too died off. Man was the smartest of the bunch, he managed to survive longest, and that’s why you don’t find as many fossils of man as you do other creatures [those who die late would not get covered in sediment and would simply rot!] This argument isn’t that bad, to be honest. There are of course many other things besides this, the point I want to make is if you rule out the biblical record of a world wide flood, then you are leaving out other interpretations of the data. Most young and old earth brothers agree on the actual record [i.e.; we do see things buried at different levels] they simply disagree on the interpretation of the data. Lets do a few practical things here, God had Noah prepare things ahead of time. He also spent some down time in a huge boat with a ‘lot of dung’ [ouch!] Often times on the journey we hit spots that don’t look [or smell] that great. People might even mock us ‘look at that idiot Noah, he’s even got his family believing in this stuff!’ but when it was all said and done he was vindicated. Those who tend to spiritualize the stories of Genesis usually see the first 11 chapters as a mix of symbol and history. The genealogies of chapters 4, 5 and 11 are sometimes seen as not exact [by the way, in the last entry I used Enoch as an example of the ascension, the Enoch who was taken up was the Enoch of chapter 5]. The reasons are various [like the other ancient near east genealogies used 10 generation lists, both chapter 5 and 11 are 10 generation lists]. Some do this in order to fit more time into the biblical record. Jesus, Peter and the writer of Hebrews all speak of Noah and his flood as a real historic event! There should be no reason for believers to doubt or spiritualize these stories away. But we also want to be open to the reality that other cultures had their own tellings of these stories, and that the recording of genealogies does not mean there is no room for an older earth [the genealogies are accurate, but they don’t start right at the beginning of time!]. And let’s finish in a practical way, are you going thru a season of feeling stuck in a big box with a lot of dung? Sometimes the word of the Lord to us is ‘just survive at this time, when the storms over things will look better again’. The Lord used Noah to have an influence on the entire civilization that would re-populate the planet! God will increase your influence if you simply find a way to survive the flood.

(1144) CAIN AND ABEL- After the fall of man, God kicks him out of the garden and he loses intimacy with God. Eventually Eve has kids and Cain kills Abel his brother. In Hebrews 11 and 1st John we read the story. Abel brought an animal offering, Cain brought from the fruit of the ground. Some say this was a comparison between Jesus [typified in Abel’s sacrificial animal] and the law [Cain’s work of his hands, the ground]. Maybe so? Hebrews says God accepted Abel’s offering because it was in faith and rejected Cain. Cain got jealous and killed his brother, the first recorded murder in the bible. Cain has a son named Enoch [which means teacher- rabbi] he builds a city and names it after his son [God is building us, the city of God- we are named after his son, the Body of Christ] and Enoch will eventually be caught up bodily into heaven [a type of the ascension]. The skeptics often ask ‘where did Cain get his wife’? The most likely answer would be from his extended family. There was no rule against marrying your kin back then, so this sounds reasonable to me. But wait! The skeptic says because we don’t know for sure where Cain got his wife, therefore atheism is true. They then will tell you where all people really came from. Around 15 billion years ago nothing existed [not even God] and from this point of nothing something exploded into existence [without an exploder!] eventually the earth showed up and it rained on the earth for millions of years. Somehow the rain on the rocks produced this soupy mixture [primordial soup] that all by itself produced the first living cell. After millions of more years man showed up. Yeah brother, that explanation sure puts to shame the Cain and his wife thing! The story of Cain warns us of the danger of jealousy, comparing ourselves with others. Putting pressure on people to make things happen so you look better. I recently read a story about a mega church [not in Corpus] and they went thru a few years of battles. They were building a new expensive building; the pastor put pressure on the people to give. Some of the people felt like they were always being challenged to give more money. Then word got out that the Pastor bought expensive gifts for his friends with church money, 3-4 thousand dollar suits and jewelry. He was flying all over the world at great expense, doing public speaking and stuff. It was a big mess, lawsuits entailed and relationships ruined. From what I read about it in the news paper stories that were on line, it seemed like there were mistakes on both sides, both the church leadership and those who wanted to expose it. The bigger problem is this basic style of church, the high powered world traveling leader, spending lots of money on seemingly okay things. The people being supporters of the gifts and persona of the charismatic personality [whether thru media or personal travel] this whole system is being rightfully challenged at the present time by a new generation of community minded believers who see that this high powered style of an individual leader is not the pattern of church found in the New Testament. Often time’s jealousy can be a factor on both sides of these issues, but we also need to understand that there are legitimate challenges against this whole expression of church. Most of all we want to avoid taking things into our own hands, trying to personally stop what we might perceive as wrong. Cain was jealous; he allowed his rage to lead him to the killing of his own brother. He might have gotten rid of the thing he felt was an obstacle, but he would live with the guilt for the rest of his life.

(1142) MAN, GODS UNIQUE CREATION- Okay, we already saw how God made the animals and fish and birds, but when he describes mans creation he shows us that it is unique. Out of all the other created things, man alone is in ‘Gods image’ and bears his likeness. Man is a moral being with a built in conscience, he has the capacity to know God and live with him forever. This is the basis of the Judeao Christian value on human life. Those religions who believe in the Genesis account of creation, see man as having special value. The Darwinian worldview [social Darwinism] sees man as a simple blob of meaningless flesh, no different than the other life forms along the line. I always found the atheists reasoning to be a little illogical; they will argue that they are the real intellectuals, the so called ‘brights’ [a recent term they have come up with to describe their group] they will then explain to you how their view of their mind and brain is purely naturalistic, their brains are simply these jumbled masses of cells that are the result of thousands of years of meaningless process. Their whole being started as an accident, they have no initial purpose or final end. They see themselves, and along with it, all their reasoning and education and knowledge as being the result of years and years of luck and chance, and then they want you to trust in their conclusions! Ah, the utter foolishness of mans wisdom. God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into him his own breath and man became a living soul. Though the basic material of man is the same as the other material things God made, yet he only breathed his own image into man. The great 17th century philosopher/mathematician Blaise Pascal was reading the gospel of John one night, he was meditating on John 17 and had an awakening, he began to see that God was ‘the God of Jesus’ not the God of the philosophers. He saw that having a real relationship with God was different than simply knowing the things about him. God built into man the capacity to know him, while all other creatures are valuable and special to him [Jesus said not even a little sparrow dies without God caring about it!] yet man alone has the capacity to know and be in true communion with his creator, man was created in Gods image.

(1141) UNIFORM OR CATASTROPHE ? One of the key verses in the debate between young and old earth creationism is in 2nd Peter chapter 3. Peter says that in the last days scoffers will doubt two specific things; the second coming and the flood of Noah’s day. I find it interesting that some theories on the long age of the earth also incorporate a local flood for Noah’s day. The young earth guys will use the Peter verse to show that if you purposefully rule out a world wide flood from your theory, that you fall into the snare of viewing certain scientific data [geologic table] as being a result of millions/billions of years of gradual uniform time [uniformitarianism] as opposed to being a result of the flood. The young earth brothers point to the fact that much of the fossil evidence and geologic column [like the Grand Canyon] can be a result of the universal flood. These brothers see the catastrophe [catastrophism] of the flood as the cause for these things. Does Peter [or any other bible passage] shed light on this subject? Yes, even though the bible does not speak to us in scientific language, it is reliable on all the things it does speak about; history, events like a flood, the future judgment, the second coming, etc. So it is important to not rule out the effects that a worldwide flood might have had on the data. Do we have any examples of the bible referring to worldwide things, and not really meaning ‘the whole world’? Yes, in Acts 2 the bible says there were people gathered from ‘every nation under heaven’ at the time, but the chapter gives us the nations that were there, there were obviously no people from America! So does ‘every nation’ simply mean every nation from the known world of the time? Yes. So some local flood believers use this type of stuff to defend their view. We do need to be careful when doing theology like this. Does the biblical account give us other clues that the flood was worldwide? Sure, why in the world would God have Noah build a huge ark, gather all these animals, have them in it for a long time while the earth floods. If the flood was regional, just tell the guy to move! The biblical account says the waters covered the highest mountains of the day, this could not happen unless the flood was world wide. So even though the bible does say ‘world wide/all nations’ at times in a non literal way, this does not mean we can change all the events described as world wide into local events. Some who read the first few chapters of Genesis in a poetic language way, also have the problem of deciding when the poetry stops! Is the Genesis 6 account of a flood real? What about the tower of Babel in chapter 11? Once you start going down the road of over spiritualizing the bible, you can run into problems. Overall I believe we need to be open and willing to see both sides of this argument [young and old earth views] there is somewhat of a tendency to view opposing views as real heresy [I sense this mostly from some of the young earth writers]. But there is also a condescending attitude towards young earth believers that at times seems to say ‘how can you be so behind the times in your views’? This debate on the age of the earth and the various progressive stages of evolutionary progress [cosmological evolution- stars producing basic elements over billions of years and these things ‘birthing’ planets and so forth] these theories are in no way definite! There are a lot of things that we simply don’t know for sure. But at the same time there are and have been true scientific breakthroughs that have challenged the mindset of the church and have corrected the church’s view in certain areas. As believers we need to hear both sides, while avoiding the warning of Peter who did say that there would be scoffers who purposefully would overlook the historical event of the flood of Noah’s day, we must let scripture form our views, while at the same time understanding that the bible does not give us a scientific explanation for all things.

(1140) CREATION DAY 7- On the seventh day God rested and enjoyed what he had made. This does not mean he was tired, or that he ceased from activity. But is shows us the process and ways of God. When you read the parables of Jesus he often uses land and seed analogies to explain God’s kingdom ‘the kingdom is like planting a seed’ and stuff like that. God rested because it was his purpose to initiate the first 6 days of creation and for that creation to be self sustaining/propagating [under his sovereignty]. It’s important to see this aspect of creation. In chapter 1 God chose to use the words ‘let the waters bring forth’ and ‘let the ground bring forth’ when speaking of land and sea creatures. Why not simply ‘let there be animals, fish’? It seems as if God himself is leaving some room here for a reading of the text that has more to it than meets the eye. Does this mean the Progressive creationists are right? [or theistic evolutionists] not necessarily, but is shows us that there is some language in the text itself that shows a sort of ‘co-operative effort’ where God caused the initial base elements to ‘bring forth’ life. Some see this as God using simple language to describe deep scientific truths that would be found thru out the ages. Some equate this language with deep time ideas [old earth]. Also in chapter 2 we see the Lord describe the entire creation event as happening in ‘a day’ [singular]. This simply meaning ‘at the time period’ the young earth creationists are correct in pointing out that this does not mean the first 6 [or 7] days were not literal 24 hour periods. Scripture does use the word Day to speak figuratively at times; the ‘day of the Lord’ and stuff like that [meaning both a day and a time period]. But the point can be made that very early on [Gen 2] God chooses to use the word Day in the singular to describe the entire event. Also the writer of Hebrews will ‘spiritualize’ the phrase ‘and God rested on the seventh day’ to describe the age of grace, the new covenant ‘rest of God’ [read my Hebrews commentary, chapter 4- To be honest I don’t remember what I said at the time, but I’m sure I must have explained it!]. Once again, this would not necessarily leave the door open for a symbolic, non literal reading of day 7. But it shows us the various ways other new testament teachers used these scriptures, they were not afraid of applying them in theological ways. Of course we can get into trouble if we carry this too far. In the early days of the church you had the Alexandrian school, a great 3rd century Christian school, that adopted a highly symbolic way of reading scripture. The famous teacher Origen would head up the school at one point. He taught a type of spiritual interpretation of the bible that had 4 meanings to it, it was a little [or way] overboard to be honest about it, but the school was very influential. Eventually saint Augustine would embrace many of these ideas. Augustine was a titan in the early church and has been said to have had more influence in the later centuries of the church than any other teacher next to the apostle Paul! So we have had somewhat of a history at how far we should go when reading these texts. I would simply point out that there is some room here, early on in the bible, to see that even a straight forward reading of the text leaves room for some progressive ideas, some ‘spiritualizing’ of certain aspects, and a certain feel for the text that seems to say ‘there’s more going on here than initially meets the eye’. This does not mean we should abandon a literal view of the days, but shows us that God can use natural, normal days and extend his ideas to us in a manifold way [like Jesus use of the seed in his parables- real seeds, greater meaning]. Also the text shows us that God created the heavens and earth first and used language that said ‘let the waters/ground bring forth’ showing us that all other things were made from the basic stuff of the original heavens and earth. Does natural science go along with this? Yes, science shows us that all the base elements of all things come from the initial base elements that were used in the creation of the material world [The 90 or so elements found in the periodic table- hey, it’s been a long time since high school!] So even science itself would agree with the biblical record! How would the writer of Genesis have known this at such a pre scientific time? These things testify of the Divine nature of scripture itself. So we need not abandon a literal view, but we also see there is room for more than initially meets the eye.

(1139) CREATION DAYS 2-6 There are various views on these days; of course the literal view, each day is a 24 hour day that ends with the description of ‘evening and morning’. The symbolic view would argue that there was no ‘real’ evening and morning until day 4, because on day 4 God made the sun. So an ‘evening and morning’ that would be measured by the earth’s rotation as it relates to the sun [solar day] could not happen in a literal sense. These see certain poetic elements in these verses. A repetition of certain phrases- evening and morning, let there be, God said. These repetitive phrases show a stylized Hebrew narrative. It should be noted that this argument is true, whether you believe in the literal or figurative reading. It is still possible to have this type of stylized element, while at the same time speaking a real historic narrative. Another interesting view is called The Framework Theory. This view has been around since the early 20th century. It’s a topical view of the creation days. It sees the first 3 days and the 2nd set of three days as basically describing the same time frame. Basically this view says that God simply used the ‘framework’ of the 7 day week to give to man a real historic explanation of creation, but God used the framework of the 7 day week in a symbolic way for mans benefit. This view will compare day 1 [the first day of the first 3 day set] with day 4 [the first day of the second 3 day set]. Day one has God creating light, day 4 has the sun and stars. This view says these are 2 descriptions of the same creation act. The light from day one comes from the luminaries in day 4. Day 2 coincides with day 5. Day 2 has the heavens appear when God divides the waters [heaven and sea] day 5 [the second day of the second set] has the things that fill the heavens and seas- birds and sea creatures. Day 3 has land and vegetation, day 6 has land animals and man- things that eat the vegetation and walk the earth. It’s interesting, though not exact. You could see the seas as being part of day 3, and as you read both creation accounts [Genesis 1 and 2] there is a mixture of when things showed up. Are there other explanations for why the account in chapter 2 differs from chapter one? [chapter one has man being made after the animals, chapter 2 shows Adam before the animals, God brings the animals to show Adam, he sees nothing fitting for him and God then makes Eve]. Some see a purposeful inconsistency, put in the text by God himself, to show man that this was not to be taken in a literal, consecutive way. Sort of like the critics of the gospels, they will find various inconsistencies in the gospel narratives, like one gospel having two angels at the tomb, the other showing one. The critics say ‘see, inconsistent’ but the other argument can say if you had exact testimony from various eyewitness accounts in a courtroom, this would not convince the jury that their testimony was true, to the contrary it would indicate that the witnesses were coached. So the various different details might be actual clues to the validity of the gospel writers! So in Genesis, some feel there are purposeful poetic structures and differing accounts for the purpose of telling the reader ‘don’t take this too literal’. I don’t personally hold to this, but do see the point. It should be noted that in Exodus 20 and 31 Moses will speak about the creation days as historical narrative. No matter which view a person takes [literal or symbolic] the fact that creation itself happened by the hand of God is an undeniable fact of history and science. All things could not have come from nothing, there had to be an initial cause some where down the line. This initial cause himself had to have had no beginning [logic and science show this] and it just so happens that these attributes belong to the God of the bible, even before we knew that creation needed an initiator that possessed them!

(1138) CREATION DAY 1- In Genesis 1:1-5 we have the first recording of Gods creative acts, over the years Christians have struggled with this text. One of the main reasons believers ‘struggle’ with it is because modern scientific understanding [majority view- not all!] indicates that the earth is quite a lot older than 6 thousand years. Some scholars believe that the church has been duped into believing in old earth science and because of there acceptance of science, above Gods word, they have come to compromise Gods word. A simple reading of the first 5 verses of Genesis tell us that ‘in the beginning’ God made the heaven and the earth. At this point, God is not constrained to a time/space continuum of ‘day’ [the Hebrew word Yom]. The day itself will be created in this time period called ‘in the beginning’. God will create light and separate the light from the darkness and call this ‘day’. I see the possibility of there being a very long period of time having passed at this point, at least according to this text [we will look at Exodus 20:11 in a moment]. I do not see a need to create a ‘gap theory’ between verse one and verse two, some theorize that you had an entire pre adamic world, that God judged this world and this is how they explain the long age of the earth. I believe that a simple reading of the first five verses could go like this ‘at the start of all things, God made the heaven and the earth [no day constraint yet] and he also made light and dark [now we are getting into Gods cycle for man] and he saw that all these things were good. He made the day itself at this time, and the day became mans measurement of time’. Now, this is my paraphrase on how this text could be read. I do find it interesting that out of all the scholars I am presently reading on this subject, none of them are making this simple point; that the 24 hour day constraint was itself created ‘in the beginning’. Now, exodus 20:11 does say that God made all things in ‘6 days’, this verse seems to indicate that there was a time constraint to the actual making of the heaven and earth ‘in the beginning’ so to be fair to both sides [young and old earth creationists] I had to throw this in. Jesus also refers to the creation of man as an historical event [as opposed to a theistic evolutionary view] he says ‘in the beginning God made them male and female, and for this cause a man leaves his parents and is joined to his wife’ the young earth brothers will use this to show that Jesus believed that God created man ‘in the beginning’ as opposed to there being billions of years passing before man showed up [which is also a progressive view of creation- a sort of joining together the timeline of long age science with the Genesis account]. The point I would make is if God created time at ‘this point in time’ then the phrase ‘in the beginning’ could refer to thousands, or millions of years all being ‘at the start’ [compared to forever!]. I do not hold to a ‘progressive view’ myself, I simply believe that a plain reading of the first 5 verses of Genesis shows that the time constraint of day [Yom] was itself created at this time. The Exodus verse does seem to say that all the events of Gods creative acts did fit into the time/space of 6 days, but this first Genesis reading seems to leave room for a longer period of ‘one day’ when speaking of the creation of heaven and earth. While the young earth creationists do seem to fault the old earth creationists for trying to make scripture fit into current scientific theories of the earths age, I would like to point out the fact that both sides [young and old earth groups] see the first 3 days as distinct from all the other days that have occurred since that time. All agree that the sun was not the original light source for the first three days [well, some believe God was not giving us an exact consecutive recording of creation. So these see the sun as being the source of light for all the creation days] the charge could be made that even the young earth creationists are admitting that some of the creation days are not ‘days’ in the classical sense of the word. These first days were not solar days! The whole point is we do find some room for the interpretation of the creation days as having some areas that we don’t fully understand, or at least we don’t know all that was going on in a scientific sense [was the light for the first three days God himself? Possible. But then that would leave the door open that God created himself! A much greater theological heresy than the long earth view!]. I also believe that the fact that ‘the day’ itself was said to have been created by God ‘in the beginning’ leaves much room for a longer time period of the earths age. Out of all the other ancient near east [A.N.E] stories of creation, none of them have ‘a god’ who himself transcends time and space and actually created time itself. For thousands of years the common belief was that either matter itself always existed, or that time always existed. So the competing stories of creation found in other cultures have a god that was himself formed from matter, or creation itself was a process of these dependant gods fighting each other. No other view has a god that transcends time and space and actually creates time and space. It wasn’t until the 20th century that science itself proved this to be a fact, Einstein’s theories on time and space gave us proof that all things did have a starting point [big bang cosmology]. So anyway, in the coming weeks I might hit on these things a little more, but for today I wanted to emphasize that a simple, literal reading of Genesis 1:1-5 does show us that God created ‘the day’ [the actual time measurement that man goes by] during his initial act of creation. God himself was not ‘bound’ or constrained to the time/space continuum, he actually made the time/space continuum at ‘the time’.

(1137) Not sure which way to go, either the danger we are in right now as a country; that both sides [right and left] seem to be going to extremes, some wanting failure for the purpose of feeling vindicated. Or the liberal side that seems to always overlook the devastation of late term abortions. Never able to actually see and realize that we are actually dismembering real babies, babies that cry and squirm and wince on screen as they actually have taken pictures of this horrible act! Of course the murder of the man who engaged in this act for 5 thousand dollars a shot was wrong, very wrong. But the act itself is still horrendous! Both sides [right and left] are truly wanting the failure of the other side, even if it means national disaster! Bad stuff indeed. Okay, recently I have been reading up on the various views of Genesis and the recording of creation. Some scholars see the reality of other ancient near east [A.N.E] stories about a flood and creation, that have similar things to the biblical account, they see this as a key to understanding the Genesis account [I don’t fully hold to this myself]. While it’s interesting to note that some of these other stories have similarities [7 days are used frequently, the story of a man building a boat and saving his family as the world floods] and some of these stories existed before the Genesis account was written [around 1500 years B.C.] this in and of itself does not cast doubt on the biblical version. So what was the reaction to those who found out that these other stories had similarities to Genesis, and were written before Genesis? Some saw this as a clue to understanding the Genesis account; for instance they would say that when Moses recorded the Genesis account, he was a man influenced by his time and culture, so he obviously wrote in a sort of symbolic way, a style that he knew would be understood by the culture of his day. These scholars don’t reject the belief that creation did happen by God, they are simply trying to resolve some of the seeming problems [like God creating light on day 1, while the sun wasn’t created until day 4!] and feel there are some answers by using this paradigm. How else could you resolve the fact that other cultures [Babylonian, Egyptian] actually had their own stories of creation and a flood, before Genesis was written? Well the other possibility is that if Genesis is telling us the literal truth, that all people came from Adam [and later Noah] and that a great flood occurred, and that God really did make everything in 7 days, if these things really happened [by the way, I believe they did!] then why would you think it strange that the Babylonians and Egyptians had their own telling of these events, the other explanation for these other cultures having their own stories about these things is that these things really did happen to them! If all people really did come from Adam, then every culture would eventually have some type of telling of these stories passed along thru their culture. The possibility that some of these stories would be recorded before Genesis, does not diminish at all from the biblical account. No where in scripture does it tell us that the bible is the only book that would ever record the events of creation or a worldwide flood. The way people view these various truths depends a lot on their pre conceived mindsets. If you lean towards skepticism, then you tend towards seeing these things as ‘aha, I knew the bible was fake all along’ but if you lean towards a real belief in scripture, you could see it like the way I just showed you. In the future I will tackle some more of these issues [like light being created before the sun] and will try and give you both sides of the debate. But for now I wanted to just drop this in, to give your mind some things to chew on. The over spiritualizing of the creation account can be dangerous, Paul and Jesus both use the creation account in their teachings as historical narrative! In Romans Paul even says ‘like death entered into the world by one mans disobedience [Adam] we receive eternal life thru one mans obedience [Jesus]’ so to over spiritualize the creation account can be problematic. But even the literalists have some hurdles to overcome when reading the account. Most of all we know we can trust God’s word, and if there are portions of it that are Prose, Narrative, History or Phenomenological in language, this does not mean the Word of Gods is not true.

(1132) Nehemiah 9- as the people repent, they stand, fast, confess their sins and read from God’s law for a quarter of the day! There is a real renewal that takes place thru the reading of the word. In the last chapter we saw the emphasis on the teaching of Gods word, the bible says the Levites not only taught/read, but also gave the sense, the meaning of it. Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day, not because they weren’t ‘reading/quoting’ bible verses, they were doing it all the time! But because they weren’t really grasping the principles behind the word. In this chapter the people were not only hearing, but also understanding. Now they also do an historical remembrance of Gods great past works. They recount his promise to Abraham, the story of Egypt and Gods great deliverance. The giving of the law to Moses and the rebellion of their fathers during the time of the judges. It’s a great retelling of their history, sort of like Stephen in Acts 7. They also praise and worship God as the creator of all things. I have been reading a good book on the current debate between ‘young earth’ and ‘old earth’ creationists. Though I personally lean towards the old earth idea, yet the book brings out very good arguments for a young earth. They show the historical development of the geologic table [the levels of earth and the dating of these levels] and the book also brings out the fact that though many of the church fathers spiritualized the days of creation, this did not mean they were old earth creationists! Augustine believed in ‘instantaneous creation’ in a moment. So his idea was really young earth, even though he did not take the creation days as literal. One of the points brought out is the basic belief in God as creator, man seems to have a difficult time simply believing in the fact that God made all things out of nothing [Ex-Nihilo] whether you are an old earth or young earth advocate, the fact is God made it all by his word! The people in Nehemiah’s day praised him for his great works as seen in creation. It’s important to see the role that the reading of the law played in this national revival. We see this happen a few times in Israel’s history. Times where they rediscover the law after many years and repent as they return to Gods precepts. Recently I have been reading/studying from around 11:00 am to 3-4 pm. Not every day, but a few days a week. I found it interesting that the people were giving one fourth of their day to reading the law; God saw it as vital for the restoration of his city and people. I want to encourage all my Pastor friends, as you build Gods people, don’t underestimate the importance of good bible teaching. Don’t just give people verses to memorize/hear [what the Pharisees were good at] but give them the understanding too. God used his law [word] to revive the people after the walls were built.

(1130) Nehemiah gets the walls up, the doorways [gates] are in place, all that’s left is to put the doors on the hinges! The bible says ‘the wall was built, the spaces were large [broad in space] but the houses and people were not established yet’. As a man of wisdom Nehemiah knew that he had to get the walls up before he could build the town. Often times in ministry leaders read these verses and apply them to actual building plans for, well buildings! The better way to view these is thru the paradigm of Gods people being a glorious city, the ‘city that comes down from God out of heaven’ and we as leaders are given skills to help get Gods city established. One of ‘the walls’ that needs to be repaired is the basic lack of belief in the authority of scripture. Many believers struggle with the concepts they learn at college, the things the public schools teach ‘as fact’ that seem to contradict what they were taught as kids. Okay, let’s hit evolution again. I was reading an article from a scientist [I don’t believe he was a Christian?] who simply said that enough time and research has passed in the effort to prove whether or not life can simply spontaneously appear from dead matter. In order for the most popular form of atheistic evolution to have happened, you need spontaneous generation. Now, science has two major problems when it comes to trying to prove that atheistic evolution can actually happen; the appearance of matter from nothing, and the appearance of life from dead matter. Both of these things have been shown thru science that they never happen, not once! The scientist mentioned above simply was saying there comes a time where enough evidence comes in and you have to admit that the possibility of your theory is simply unworkable. Evolution [macro-Darwinian] has seen its day come and go. It is interesting that the foundational belief for many evolutionists, the science of ‘abiogenesis’ [the belief that living organisms can spontaneously come about from decaying matter] was actually disproved by Louis Pasteur in 1861, just a couple of years after Darwin published Origin of Species. Pasteur showed that the common belief that life sprang forth from dead stuff was false! This has nothing to do with religion or faith; this is pure scientific fact that simply states that the spontaneous generation of life springing up from some type of primordial soup can not happen! Now, is it still possible that matter came into existence from nothing? Or that life, living cells came forth from dead matter? Can ‘chance’ make the impossible happen? Chance is only a word that describes the odds of a certain thing happening, chance in itself can not make anything happen! The point is we as a society have swallowed the prevailing secular view that Darwinian evolution is a scientific fact, and the biblical worldview needs to be adjusted. This wall of secular thinking needs to come down, while the ‘wall’ of true biblical and scientific reason go back up. True science is in no way an obstacle to biblical faith, the problem is false science is too often peddled as true!

-(1127) let’s see, I wanted to do Nehemiah, talk a little about the recent abortion debate, and also discuss modern philosophy! Let’s see what we can do. In Nehemiah the workers are scattered all along the wall, they are responsible for their section. Nehemiah tells them that because they are so far apart, they need the ability to be able to hear the warning from the main overseer of the work [namely him!] so he has this trumpet guy next to him, if danger shows up he will blow the trumpet and they will be forewarned, hey in a day without electronic communication, this is a good idea! Recently [5-09] there have been some debates over the abortion issue and some high profile cases as well. Just 2 days ago one of the most notorious abortion doctors in our country was shot down in cold blood, his name was George Tiller. His abortion clinic was only one out of three places in the U.S. that performed late term abortions. This is the procedure where you insert a forceps into the womb, pull apart the legs and arms of the baby. Then you position the forceps over the head and squeeze till the brains come out [I know this is graphic, if you want to learn more about it, go to the Priests for life icon on my blog roll]. While we in no way shape or form condone the murder of doctor Tiller, it should be noted that he took part in the most wicked act that can ever take place, the murder of unborn children. Now in this debate some Christians [Catholics] have brought up the recent speech by president Obama at Notre Dame, some boycotted the speech. The problem was that Notre Dame actually honored the president with an honorary law degree. It is one thing to allow both voices to be heard, quite another to honor the most anti life president in the history of the untied states! He has made more pro death decisions than any other president in history. The U.S. Catholic Bishops had passed a resolution a few years back that stated no Catholic institution should give honorary degrees to those who are in violation of the churches teaching on major issues, obviously Notre Dame violated this rule. Now, some Catholic media persons were defending Obama, they even criticized their own church for hypocrisy! They were saying that honoring Obama was no different than honoring any other leader who might be pro capital punishment. These Catholic media persons were equating the churches stand on abortion with her stand on capital punishment; these two are not in the same league! The Catholic church teaches a sort of hierarchy of offenses [as a boy I still remember being taught mortal and venial sins] the church sees abortion as an intrinsically evil act, the outright murder of innocent defenseless persons. The church also teaches against the death penalty, but the execution of a criminal is not to be equated with the murder of unborn innocent children [some 4 thousand per day!] so these Catholic believers were wrong on the stance of their own church. Today’s ‘post-modern’ philosophy will argue that truth and morals are relative [subjective] they see truth thru the lens of ‘that might be wrong for you, but not for me’ or ‘I personally am against abortion, but I don’t want to push my views on others’. In the world of postmodern thinking, this is considered acceptable. This view of right and wrong is based on the view that there really is no objective truth, that is truth does not correspond to any outside reality. Truth, in their view, is simply the way various cultures perceive and understand things at different times in human history, but it’s possible for other societies to interpret the data coming into their senses and arrive at another view of truth, and who am I to say that ‘my truth is real and yours is false’. Obviously in the field of theology this would be [and is!] disastrous. Paul himself would say ‘if Christ be not risen [a real fact!] then we are of all men the most miserable’. The biblical worldview of truth is objective; truth is something that corresponds to something else that is real. This does not always mean material, but real never the less. For instance mathematical equations are real truth, or feelings of love are real, but not material. This would be the foundation for saying ‘the murder of babies is wrong, always has been, always will be’ whether my view is contrary to your view is meaningless, the act itself is wrong! Your view of that oak tree might be different than mine, but if you run into it with your car, the only view that counts is what reality is. It really was a tree that was there, it was not simply my perception of ‘a tree’ my perception corresponded with reality and the truth was that the tree really was a tree, whether you like it or not! The modern philosophers would say ‘the only real question left for philosophy to answer is the viability of suicide’ [either Sartre or Camus said this] When philosophy severs itself from true moral reason and foundational ethics, it has no leg to stand on. When society can accept that murder might be wrong for you, but not for me, then the basic fabric of civilization is no more. Well I think I covered all three of the things I set out to do at the start, hope it helped.

(1124) Let do some more apologetics [by the way, the word means ‘give a defense’ it does not mean to apologize! It comes from the bible, in Peter it says ‘be ready to give an answer to those who ask for a reason for the hope in you’] One of the other areas of doubt raised by the atheist is the fact that there are various accounts of creation and the ‘flood story’ found in other civilizations. The Babylonians have ‘the epic of Gilgamesh’. This is an account of a worldwide flood. The fact that there are other stories about a major world event, would not in and of itself cast doubt on the event! Where I grew up in New Jersey you would have been able to actually see the world trade center disaster on 9-11. As an Italian, say if I wrote a report of the events for my fellow Italian buddies. Then lets say a thousand years go by and you find out that the Cuban papers also reported it, and the Puerto Ricans, as a matter of fact you might find many cultures that have their own reporting of this event. Would that cast doubt on my report? No, as a matter of fact if no one else had a report, except me, then that would cast doubt! Now, how do we know which report is true? Out of the various other stories about creation and a flood, the one that is the ‘least fantastic’ is the biblical one. The others definitely have a tinge of unreality about them. Some say the earth was flooded, but it rained for 7 days [not long enough to flood the earth!] and the waters receded in one day [cant happen!] the biblical account has both a longer period of rain as well as a longer period of the waters receding. The actual dimensions of Noah’s Ark were huge! The huge boat looked more like a giant rectangular barge, you could fit huge jetliners in the thing! It was three levels high, but not like the silly kids pictures found in fables. That topsy turvy thing with animals peeking off the deck! The actual dimensions could have worked, really! The point is the simple fact of other cultures having their own stories of events like this does not mean the events themselves were fake, to the contrary, if only one culture had these stories, that would cast more doubt on the events themselves.

(1123) FORM CRTICISM back in the early part of the 20th century you had various scholars come up with new ways to approach scripture, it seems as if the intellectual capacity of certain scholars was not being satisfied by the normal historical approach and belief in scripture. While most scholars accept the reality that there are different styles of writing in the bible; poetry, symbol, apocalyptic, etc. The form critics would take this study another step [out in left field!] and say that the gospels are actually stories that ‘were formed’ by the evangelists from small portions of deeds and sayings of Jesus. In essence they were saying that between the time of the actual events in the gospels and the recording of them [20-25 years] that the early Christian communities simply developed the stories in the gospels for the sake of the community, the only ‘reliable’ historical portion was the passion narrative. One of the most famous of the form critics was Rudolph Bultman. Over a period of time these brothers would make it next to impossible to accept the basic truths of the gospels. The famous writer C.S. Lewis found it amazing that these 20th century German thinkers, some 2 thousand years removed from the actual events themselves. Those who did not live in the actual culture of the time, didn’t speak the language. Yet these modern day critics somehow stumbled across this way of interpreting the bible that really unlocked the true intent behind the writers. Lewis himself lamented many times over the way the critics of his own writings were almost always 100 % wrong when it came to their judgment of his own motives behind what he wrote. He did not ‘mind’ the actual criticism of his writings, but the criticisms that said ‘this is what he really meant to say’ or ‘this is why he said this’ Lewis would testify that they were almost always [if not always!] wrong when they leveled these charges at him. He then turned the table on the form critics and said that they were engaging in this same type of criticism of the gospel writers, who were removed from the present day by some 1900 years! Lewis simply found it unbelievable to accept the possibility that they were even right 1% of the time. Ultimately these higher critics would be proven wrong for the most part by the discoveries that were taking place in archaeology. Many doubted the stories of scripture, their historical accuracy; things like the names of families in the book of Genesis, many said these family trees were fake, archeology proved otherwise. Or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, most of the new critics simply saw these stories as ‘myth’ symbolic stories meant to convey spiritual truths, but were not really true. Then lo and behold, they uncovered the historical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and also found evidence of some type of natural disaster that actually ‘rained down hot hailstones that burned up the cities’ Ouch! The higher critics were squirming in their seats as these historical facts were being uncovered. For the most part these popular early 20th century ways of approaching scripture have now been rejected. Of course you still find some who lean towards that system, but most able scholars realize that these brothers went so far out into left field that they were ignoring the most basic principles of true historic criticism and were engaging in a type of philosophical critique that had no real basis in truth. How in the world did these brothers determine what sayings of Jesus were really his, and which were not? The same goes for Paul’s letters and the rest of the New Testament. C.S. Lewis was open to modern ideas and concepts about Christian truth, but he could also see the things that were simply trends that had no real foundation in truth, Lewis was a wise man indeed.

(1121) ‘Dinosaurs with wings and Darwin’s winged rats’ Let’s do a short thing here; recently I have seen a few silly things and thought I should expound. First, the common argument on the road of evolution is that dinosaurs turned into birds [or as G.K. Chesterton expounded, evolutionists would have you believe that running rats turned into flying ones!]. I know that the average consumer of public school evolution does not fully realize the total lunacy of many of evolutions claims. What would be the most obvious problem with dinosaurs turning into flying reptiles/birds? If you had a very slow period where many thousands of species SLOWLY evolved wings where their front legs used to be, this species would be the first to die off! For Darwin’s theory to work, only the fittest survive! So according to Darwin’s own theory, the so called ‘in between’ species would have never been able to have made it! This is the exact observation that G.K. Chesterton used [famous Catholic writer] about the rats, he said it was quite obvious to any rationally thinking person, that if the walking rats slowly developed wings and turned into the flying ones, how in the world would the sad little rats have survived during the many thousands of years where they couldn’t walk or fly? You say ‘Now John, surely there must be a reasonable explanation to this dilemma, true thinking evolutionists aren’t that dumb’ the majority of evolutionists believe that all things came from no thing, a scientific impossibility. If they could swallow that, then surely they could swallow anything.

(1107) let’s teach a little today. Recently I have been listening to lectures on Philosophy; they got into the modernist/liberal movement that took place in the 19th/20th centuries, the higher criticism that was taught mainly in the Christian universities in Germany. This view tired to ‘modernize’ the bible and make it more compatible to modern man, though these brothers meant well, they for the most part would come to reject the historic truths of the faith, including the bodily resurrection of Christ. But you had others who were not quite that extreme. The famous theologians Karl Barth and Emil Brunner taught that it was possible for Jesus, in his human nature, to make mistakes! Why? Jewish tradition attributes the first five books of the bible [Pentateuch- Greek word meaning ‘5 scrolls’, Torah in Hebrew, meaning Law] as being written by Moses. Later on certain scholars would challenge that assumption [after all Moses didn’t sign the books!] and reject the Jewish tradition. Is that a problem? Somewhat. Jesus himself speaks of the books as being from Moses, he often says ‘Moses said to you this’ and he is quoting the Torah. So now we have a problem. Barth and Brunner reconciled this by saying Jesus was simply speaking out of the tradition of the time, most Jews believed the books were written by Moses, Jesus in his humanity would have no way of knowing who wrote them, so he attributed them to Moses as well. Now this is a problem, theologically speaking. Barth and Brunner used a classic belief of historic Christianity to back up their idea; the early church councils had said that the human and divine natures of Jesus were separate and that they did not share each others attributes. The example would be when Jesus was asked abut his coming and he said ‘no man knows, not even the Son, only God’ so Barth was on some good grounding for his idea. The Catholic Church would come to reject the division between the human and divine natures of Jesus. Why? For theological reasons, the Mass teaches that the physical body of Jesus is actually present in all Catholic churches at the same time. The only way this could happen is if the Divine attribute of omni-presence was shared with Jesus’ physical nature. St. Thomas Aquinas would call this ‘the communication of attributes’. So anyway the liberal scholars tried to reconcile so called ‘modern historical truth’ with scripture. I personally do not accept the theory that Jesus might have made a mistake in his teaching, this would verge on the questioning of his sinless perfection and challenge his requirement to die for mans sins! During the time of the higher critics an interesting thing happened, you had the industrial revolution take place. Men began laying rail road tracks, digging up the earth for commercial purposes. And what did they ‘accidentally’ find? A ton of evidence baking up the historical claims of scripture! The very things the critics were doubting! This was the era of Archaeology; the historians would find evidence backing up the historical accuracy of scripture. Many critics doubted the New Testament [and Old] documents, they said the names of political rulers of certain districts were false. When Luke records things in Acts they said there was no proof of Luke’s accuracy. All this changed thru the science of archeology. As a matter of fact the historical accuracy of Luke [Acts] is now said to have been at the highest of levels! In the Popes recent book ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ he critiques the historical method [not the true historical findings, but the liberal trends coming from the universities] and warns that if your view of Jesus devolves into this forensic examining of him thru an historical lens only, then you run the risk of missing out on a true devotional experience with Jesus as Lord and savior. I agree. One time the religious leaders said to Jesus ‘tell these people to stop praising you’ and he said if they stopped testifying to who he was, that the ‘rocks’ would cry out. I think they have. [Rocks- archaeology, get it?]

(1104) was watching one of those ‘prophecy conference’ things last night, you know, the brothers with the charts on the wall and all. Kind of funny, as they were being introduced the moderator shared their backgrounds ‘he belongs to the pre-trib study group for advanced stuff’ and then mentions the books and all the brothers wrote. ‘In the 1990’s he wrote the best seller THE END IS NOW UPON US, THERE IS NO TIME LEFT!’ [something to that effect] it does seems strange that it is now 2009 and he’s still around to talk about it! Don’t get me wrong, these are all fine believers, it’s just we need to take a second look at the persona/image that we are projecting out to society at large. As I have been reading the gospels I like the mindset of Jesus ‘the Kingdom of God is now here/coming’ to be sure the historic church has had battles over these concepts, and I don’t want to re-do it all here, you can read more on it under my end times section. But I want to look at the scope of Jesus teaching/outreach ‘ministry’. Even though he limits himself physically to a small region of the world, he had no desire to travel the globe, but yet he sees his purpose thru a much broader paradigm ‘the kingdom of God is here!’ How could such a limited charitable ministry make such bold claims? He was giving himself for ‘the least of these’ and the Father would recompense him for it ‘the gentiles shall come to your light, kings and nations shall be influenced by you’ declared the prophets. Now, in the current day we often see ‘ministry’ as going to a town/area and establishing some type of meeting environment where people will attend every week and hear preaching. While this is okay to a degree, it is fundamentally disconnected from the kingdom mindset of Jesus. He believed that he was starting a word-wide movement that would shake the foundations of all mankind! Quite a bold mission statement from such a seemingly insignificant life ‘Come on Jesus, you have never even studied in the upper-class schools of the day’ but that didn’t stop him. These followers of his are not the primary focus of his calling; understand that in today’s ‘church mindset’ everything is focused on getting so many people to attend/join/partner up [money!] we measure our self worth by these things. Jesus told us ‘cast the seed on the ground; sure some will be eaten by birds, others will spring up quickly and have no root. But some will take root, these will change the world!’ He didn’t spend a whole lotta time trying to convince the unproductive seed/plants to ‘re-dedicate’ give it one more shot ‘please attend my meetings’ type of a thing, he had no time for that sort of silly stuff, he was changing the world for heavens sake! I want to challenge you today, God does have a great purpose and destiny for you, you do not exist simply for the purpose of helping people ‘get saved’ while the rest of the planet goes to hell in a hand basket! Jesus started a world wide revolutionary movement that has competed with all the major world philosophies of the last 2 thousand years, the church has been the greatest influence in society for good, more than any other single institution [despite what Christopher Hitchens says!] we are truly the people of God. See yourself as a citizen of this movement, as Christians we are members of the city that is set on a hill; our purpose isn’t just to ‘be the city’ but it is to shine to all of those that see us on the hill and affect the planet for good. It’s time to tear down the silly prophecy charts and get to business, don’t you think?

(1097) Okay, lets do one on apologetics, the last few posts drained me too much! During the time of the Reformation, Enlightenment and scientific revolution [15-1700’s] you had people dealing with the reality that many of the former institutions that they trusted in [Catholic Church] were being challenged at the core. Though the scientific method was introduced by the church, yet as time advanced many would use science as an excuse to challenge the existence of God. As certain philosophers grappled with the effect that this would have on society [Immanuel Kant] they developed belief systems to explain the necessity of some type of belief in a moral higher power, versus the other extreme which is defined as Nihilism. That is the basic belief that nothing really has meaning at all, as the rock group Kansas put it ‘all we are is dust in the wind’ [p.s. try not to listen to this song if your feeling depressed!] Those who advocated Nihilism [Niestche] still had to explain away the reality of this almost universal belief in God. Where does it come from? Why do people gravitate towards this belief? For the most part the atheistic philosophers said it was born out of this innate desire of man to want more than Nihilism, basically man could not accept the reality that he came from nothing and was heading nowhere, so that’s why he came up with God and religion. Now it was important for the atheistic philosopher to come up with some answer to the dilemma, and this was basically it. What’s the problem with this answer? The majority view of God [Christian, Jew, Muslim] is a view that God is this all-powerful being who knows all things. He also has this moral code that if broken demands strict punishment, and man in his humanity has a really difficult time living up to this code [of course Christians solve this problem thru the Cross!] and any man who lives his life as a lawbreaker will not be able to escape this all knowing judge who has all power to carry out all justice for all men. In short, if man developed a god for psychological reasons, as some type of cosmic crutch to help him thru his meaningless existence, for heavens sake it wouldn’t be this one! Thus the explanation that the atheistic philosopher gave didn’t really solve the problem. Now Immanuel Kant rejected natural theology, he did not believe the arguments used to prove the existence of God from natural means were valid [Anselm, Augustine, Aquinas] but he was accused of driving God out of the front door and letting him in thru the back. Kant said in order for man to have rule and order, civil society, that you would need some basic things. Man would have to have some type of moral code to live by, he would also have to be assured that those who broke it would have to pay some type of penalty [in the after life as well as now]. In order for a just future judgment you would need an all knowing judge who you couldn’t slip something by, he had to be just, not one you could bribe! He would also have to be all powerful, if by chance he couldn’t execute the judgment then crime would still prevail. Kant called this basic moral requirement ‘ought ness’ that is the things that all people ‘ought to do’ the moral code implanted in man. Kant recognized the danger of Nihilism, if man had no outside moral agent to whom he was accountable to, then civil society would eventually be lost. So you now see the problem with the period of human history where men went thru a revolutionary stage. As they tried to cast off the church and God, they also realized that these things provided the very foundation of civil society. If Nihilism won out, society would eventually collapse.

(1094) I know I shouldn’t write posts when mad, but I can’t help it! I am on the verge of just deleting the Emergent Village icon from my blog roll. Just listened to an interview by Tony Jones, he’s talking to a Christian minister who wrote a book from the view point of Evolution as fact; now, I know there are many theistic evolutionists [Christians who embrace evolution] and I do understand their arguments, but the tone of this interview just irked me! ‘what’s the psychological reason/problem with believers not accepting it as fact’ [paraphrase]. I don’t want to get into all the scientific reasons that Christians [and many non Christians!] do not accept the theory, but it just seems like Tony Jones has responded to his many critics by taking on a casual persona that allows him to make statements that turn many sincere believers away. Any thinking Christian can easily find evidence against Darwin’s theory; the problem is certainly not a psychological one!

(1085) I was reading Ezekiel, this verse struck me ‘the Lord took me to a high mountain, and I saw something like the structure of a city on the south’ [40:2]. To my Corpus friends, these types of verses are really prophetic. The Lord uses imagery in scripture; the Church is a city, a ‘city set on a hill’ that cannot be hidden. Sometimes the atheists try to hide us, they make arguments that the whole Christian faith is a big lie, that we have all been duped! Then they say the church has been the biggest force of evil known to civilized man. If I believed the Easter Bunny was a myth [I do, by the way] and then I spent the rest of my life tracing the history of Easter bunnies; how everywhere you turn they have affected society, from kings to peasants. These bunnies are everywhere! Both of these arguments can’t be true at the same time. Either they are insignificant things that people made up, or they are so insidious that they are the biggest nuisance the world has ever known! The poor atheists haven’t got a clue. God says he has set up his people like a city on a hill, he says she ‘can’t be hidden’ both the good and bad stuff has been recorded for all human history to see. The fact is, since this city has been impossible to erase from the annals of history, this fact in itself testifies to the reality of the masterbuilder who created her. Jesus said we would be set on a ‘hill’ a mountain for all the world to see, they have seen!

(1079) let’s see, I was gonna talk about the movie ‘there’s something about Mary’ they have been playing it on cable. It is funny! But a little too racy. Then I thought about doing one on ‘the Ort cloud’ a so called spot in space where comets are waiting on the runway to launch into our solar system, after all comets lose mass in their orbits. If you measured the amount of mass being lost with the old age of the earth/solar system, they wouldn’t be around any more! So the Ort cloud is ‘an idea’ that fits in with the old age theory [I lean towards the old age theory myself]. And last of all I was going to delve into the authorship of the New Testament, I spoke about this a few posts back and thought we should do a little more. Right after I started reading the bible I came across an interesting fact, I noticed how the letter of Jude was almost identical with a chapter in 2nd Peter. It was more than just common themes; it seemed to be a duplication. I remember mentioning this to my Pastor [a good man who had graduated from a fundamentalist bible college] he was not aware of this. I told him I had no problem with it, that it was certainly possible for the Holy Spirit to inspire two separate writers to say the same thing, and I left it at that. Are there any other solutions to this type of thing? Well, it is also possible that Peter [or Jude] read the other brothers letter and used a portion of it. Peter states in his writings that he was reading Paul’s stuff. The New Testament leadership knew each other fairly well, ALL the early Christian leaders lived in the same region of the world and had contact. There is one more explanation that scholars give; in the first century it was common for a writer [scribe-personal secretary of an author] to write/compile the teachings of a few various leaders [with permission!] and to attribute the whole letter to the main contributor. The book of Proverbs is attributed to Solomon, yet there are a few other authors mentioned in the book [king Lemuel, Agar] same with Psalms. So it is possible that a compiler [scribe] put together a letter with parts of Jude in it, but the entire letter would be attributed to the main contributor, Peter. The point being that there are solutions to difficulties like this, Christians should be familiar and trained in stuff like this. My original pastor, though a good man, was not familiar with stuff like this because the strong fundamentalist background simply ignores these types of scholarly questions. All in all I believe 2nd Peter [and Jude] are inspired books canonized by the church for our benefit, but the first century writers did not write [or compile] in a vacuum, they did use scribes [Paul did as well] and sometimes this sort of compiling did go on, not in deception, but as an accepted practice of first century writing. I would have no problem with accepting a book as inspired, even if it was possibly a compilation of more than one author.

(1075) Last night I caught a good interview on ‘the Colbert report’. They had Bart Ehrman on, the author of ‘Jesus interrupted’. I had just read a critique of his book on Ben Witherington’s site [go check it out, he did a great job. His site is on my blog roll]. Colbert actually used some basic Christian arguments to refute Ehrman. Basically Ehrman is somewhat of an intellectual critic of Christianity, his background is one of ‘fundamentalist’ and as he learned of various criticisms of Christianity he became a vocal opponent. When young kids are brought up in church, taught the basics of bible faith, they then go off to college [Christian ones] and depending on how ‘liberal’ the university is, they get challenged on many of their core assumptions. Now, some of these challenges are good, believers should be familiar with the basic challenges to the authenticity of the faith. We often fail to prepare younger believers for this world. What Ehrman seems to be doing is taking many of these basic challenges and saying ‘see, all true university professors know that there are many contradictions/falsehoods in the bible, it’s a secret that the average bible toting Archie Bunkers don’t know about’. Well, he does overstate his claim. What are some of the basic challenges to the faith? Some teach that the scriptures [gospels] teach contradictions, last night Ehrman said that the crucifixion accounts were contradictory. He quoted from various accounts and said ‘see, one writer has Jesus depressed, the other upbeat’ to be honest, NO gospel shows Jesus ‘upbeat’ on his way to the Cross! But he was basically saying the gospel writers told conflicting stories. Geez, I could have come up with better challenges myself! Or the accusation of plagiarism, I am presently reading a book written by John Crossan, an ultra liberal ‘Jesus Seminar’ brother. They challenge everything about the faith. He chops up the scripture in a way that would make it next to impossible to comprehend. He has the list of the letters that most accept as legitimate [Paul’s] then the list of ‘maybe Paul’s, maybe not’ then those he says were not written by Paul, though the letters themselves claim to be written by him. Is it possible that a letter in the New Testament could have been written by someone else? Sort of like a ghostwriter? To be honest about it, it’s possible. Now wait, I know some of you will write me off for this. It’s possible because 1st century writers did do stuff like this, the official name for doing this is [I know I can’t spell it] called ‘pseudepigraphal’ or something like that. The point is it would not be wrong or deceptive for a first century Christian writer to have done this, it would not be considered lying. Do we have any examples in scripture where stuff like this happened? There are references [not symbolic] that have writers in scripture saying ‘greet those at Babylon’ or ‘to those at Babylon’ and the writer means Rome [I think Peter and John do this?] In these few cases it is understood that they used Babylon because they were writing to areas that they did not want to be exposed, they did not want Rome to know who or what they were writing about. So this is considered acceptable, not a deception. Likewise in the gospels you read one account of Peters denials where it says ‘before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times’ and another gospel says ‘before the cock crows’ well, which one is right? They both are, one is just giving more detail than the other. Is this lying, of course not. It was perfectly acceptable in 1st century biographical writing to do stuff like this. Biographies are held to different standards then intense historical accounts. That is not to say the gospels are not historical, it’s just to say the writers were writing biographies and it should be understood that way. Even Colbert [a Roman Catholic believer] brought this out in his mock challenge to Ehrman, he used the classic elephant example. Four blind guys all give different descriptions of the part of the elephant they feel. I think believers should be familiar with the historical arguments against the faith, they should not simply respond ‘that’s God’s word and that settles it’ while this might suffice for ones personal faith, it does nothing to refute Ehrman, or his disciples! NOTE- I believe all the letters, writings in the New Testament that say who wrote the actual letter, were written by that writer. The problem is some writings do not say who wrote them. But we can still figure out some of them by other means. Luke tells the person he addressed Acts to, that he wrote his gospel account on an earlier occasion. John’s gospel says it was written by the ‘disciple who Jesus loved’. So even writings that do not specifically say ‘written by Matthew’ or Mark or whoever, you still can find hints to who wrote them.

(1069) 1ST KINGS 18- After three years in hiding the Lord tells Elijah to show himself to Ahab, rain is on the way! He appears once again on the scene and Ahab says ‘here he is, the one causing all the trouble’. Elijah says ‘you got it wrong buddy, it’s your wickedness and turning away from proper paths that has caused this trouble’. Elijah sets up a contest ‘go, get all the false prophets of Baal and let them come and set up an altar. Let them place a bull on it and pray and see if Baal will come and show himself alive’. So Elijah has them crying and cutting themselves [pagan ritual] and pleading all day for Baal to come and consume [by fire] the sacrifice. He even mocks them ‘where is Baal? Maybe he went on a trip? Maybe he’s sleeping’? One translation says ‘maybe he’s on the pot’ [toilet] Elijah was not above scathing sarcasm! So after Baal doesn’t ‘act’ Elijah sets up his own altar, puts a bull on it, soaks the whole thing with water and prays for God to reveal himself. Sure enough fire falls from heaven, burns the bull, stones and everything else! Elijah takes the false prophets and puts them out of their misery. These brothers had a bad day, the same day they find out that their religion is false, they meet Jehovah face to face! And then Elijah tells Ahab ‘get ready, the rain is coming’. God ‘showed’ himself thru a great act; he let it be known that the true God made a real difference. I recently read a story about an atheist. He is an intellectual and lives in Africa. Over the years he observed these ‘silly Christians’ coming to his nation and spreading their ‘ignorant beliefs’. He also noticed something else, they were the only real ongoing group of people who regularly gave their time and lives for the betterment of his fellow Africans. Sure, his intellectually arrogant friends would look at the whole thing as a charade, watching these missions groups spending time trying to teach silly stuff like the Trinity, declaring that this Jesus was ‘Gods son, God in the flesh’ but the atheists never organized a community that would actually help his fellow Africans, there was almost a built in bigotry that said ‘why even help these poor blobs of flesh, after all, we all came from nothing. When we die we simply cease to have feelings and pleasure, our lives basically consist of enjoying pleasures and being happy, what eternal significance is there in caring for the poor ignorant masses’. The observant atheist realized that thru out his life, his closet friends, the people who shared his own beliefs. They were the ones who didn’t ‘give a damn’ about his fellow black countrymen, but the Christians whom he and his friends spent their who lives mocking and resisting and verbally abusing, these Christians were the ones who gave of their lives for the betterment of his fellow man. God revealed himself thru Elijah’s ministry on this day, he showed the people that the God [system] you believe in really does matter. In all of our talking and debating between various religions and belief/unbelief systems, at the end of the day look at the results, Christianity has had her faults to be sure, but she has done a lot better than the prophets of Baal!

(1066) EVOLUTION- It’s time to do a little update. These past few weeks in Texas we have had a debate on evolution and how it should be presented in the text books. The final decision seemed to give both sides a little wiggle room. During the debate news papers would report things like ‘all scientists agree that proofs of evolution are all around us’ and basic misinformation on the whole subject. But to be fair, what do the advocates of evolution mean when they say there are proofs all around us? Basically they are speaking about known changes in the various classes of species that exist. Technically they are claiming that genetic mutations are proof of evolution. What are genetic mutations? All living things have a specified code of information built into to their systems, this code is called DNA. Over time as science has advanced in its ability to examine and test DNA, the evolutionists thought for sure that they would find NEW/ADDED genetic information in the changes that were taking place in the various species. In point of fact, if Darwinian evolution [macro] were true, you would find numerous examples of new information in these mutations. How many species have they found with this new information? Absolutely none! Again, stuff like this isn’t just a glitch in the system, it is absolute scientific/observable truth that tells us evolution, on a large scale, never happens. What does happen is various changes take place within their own set/class of being. That is God made things ‘after their own KIND’ this would mean that God did not create all the changes in the various species in the initial act of creation, but he set things in categories ‘kinds’ if you will. Now, in no way is it a violation of scripture for species to change/adapt along the way, this would be consistent with the language used in the bible. But what have we discovered? We have found that whenever a change takes place, the ‘change’ that is taking place is simply a rearrangement of already exiting information. DNA has the ability to replicate itself, sometimes in the process of duplicating, mistakes happen. Sort of like if you copied something and the copy had a glitch. Well when this happens you have a mutation, a change in the DNA. Sometimes this process actually is beneficial to the species. This is basically what they mean when they say ‘evolution is all around us’, what they are not telling you is that this actual process has proven that new information NEVER shows up. That in order for evolution to happen you NEED NEW INFORMATION, new genetic information that did not exist in the original parent. So to be honest about it ‘all the proofs’ that are around us are simply showing us that evolution, to the point of new species evolving from previous ones, actually never can happen! This singular problem in the field of genetics is considered to be the single greatest obstacle that science has run into in trying to prove the reality of evolution. When Richard Dawkins [one of the so called new atheists] was asked if he could give any examples of new information being discovered in living things, he hesitated and stuttered as he realized that the interviewer had him trapped in a corner. The atheist knows that this is only one of many scientific proofs that speak against evolution. Like I said before, the more science advances, the more proof we have against Darwin’s theory.

(1052) 1st KINGS 4- ‘And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness [generous] of heart…and his wisdom was greater than all the children of the east and Egypt…and all the people and the kings of the earth [gentiles shall come to thy light and kings to the brightness of thy rising] came to hear the wisdom of Solomon’- In this chapter we read of the tremendous storehouse of goods and resources that God gave to Solomon. His wisdom was in many areas, not just ‘theology’! He was a true Renaissance man. Before the reformation and the ‘enlightenment’ you had the Renaissance period. For many years the wisdom and knowledge that prevailed in early Greco-Roman society was lost/hidden from the public. Through process of time and events [like the crusades] some of these hidden resources of knowledge were re-discovered and the world went thru a renewal period in wisdom and philosophy. It was thanks to the catholic churches preserving of these early works [Monks and monasteries] that would later lead to them being recovered. Now, even though these works were recovered, they weren’t readily available to the general public on a wide scale. You simply did not have the tools [internet/public libraries in abundance] to disseminate the information at large, but you did have men who became educated in these areas and they were the ‘renaissance men’. Sort of like walking libraries of wisdom, ‘Solomon’s’ if you will. Solomon wrote and studied on all sorts of subjects, he did not limit himself to one field only. Often times in the area of ‘full time preaching’ we send kids off to college [okay] and they get an education that only applies to one field [full time ministry]. I think it would be better if all the ‘preachers’ became well rounded in many practical areas of learning, getting skills in various areas [Paul-tent making] that would enable them to transition when reformation happens [like the current challenge on church practices and the full time pastoral office. Many sincere men are too dependant on their jobs as full time ministers to seriously reconsider the scriptural grounds for their office]. So Solomon was the type of brother who could converse with you in all types of fields. Many of the world’s greatest scientists/mathematicians were Christians, a common mistake is to think the scientific revolution was launched by anti religious men, this is simply not true. A careful study of history would show you that the majority of the great scientific minds were products of the church. It was common to major in theology and use that field of study as the foundation for all the other fields of learning. Jesus said of Solomon that kings and queens went out of their way to hear the wisdom of Solomon [the Warren Buffet of his day] but yet a greater than Solomon was here! [speaking of himself]

(1045) Okay, I am up early and just finished prayer time. I kind of heard [spiritually speaking!] the lord speaking to me about a few various subjects, things I haven’t recently studied. I also ‘heard’ the verse ‘there are 12 hours in the day, if a man walks when it is light out, he does not stumble. Walk while you have the light, for a dark time is coming when no one will be able to walk’[Jesus- John’s gospel]. These last few weeks have been pretty bad for me, my work injury has been bad. I really am not sleeping at night because of the severe back pain. I only missed one early prayer time because of it. Not because I am some super hero, but if I don’t ‘walk when it’s light’ [or dark! 3-5 am] then I miss the daily opportunity of real prayer. I realized that to miss a daily prayer/study/teaching time is detrimental to my own health. To get up early and start is difficult, I make a few attempts at standing before I make it to the yard for prayer. I always walk while praying, but after the hour or so prayer walk, I can function okay for a while. I realized that my day starts at around 3:30 am, and it usually ends around 3-4 pm- 12 hours! Jesus gave us a 12 hour work day, we complain about 8! Actually the Jewish day was a 12 hour day, that’s why he said it. Now, let’s talk a little on apologetics. I recently read a few statements from various church traditions that seemed ‘apologetic’ and defensive. The historic church still ‘smarts’ over the whole Galileo affair. Let me defend the historic church a little. A few hundred years before Christ the great philosopher Aristotle developed a cosmology [stars and stuff] that wasn’t that bad. It is a common error to believe that we all believed the world was flat before the 16th century, only a few people believed the flat earth theory, most accepted Aristotle’s [and later Ptolemy] view. Aristotle’s concept was improved a few centuries later by Ptolemy. Ptolemy developed a system that had the sun and planets and stars all orbiting around the earth on a system of ‘Crystalline spheres’ sort of like the earth was the center of an onion and the stars/planets were stuck on these outer layers and they appeared in certain places at certain times. Now, Ptolemy did not differentiate between stars and planets. He simply saw the planets as stars that were ‘irregular’ in their patterns. These ‘irregular stars’ were called ‘wanderers’ that’s where we get the current term for planet. Well anyway this system was obviously flawed, but it worked well for almost 2 thousand years. So during the 15-16th century when Copernicus came up with a more accurate system [our present understanding of the solar system- one where we orbit the sun and not visa versa] he was initially rejected on good grounds. What! Do you mean to tell me you believe in the old idea? Of course not, but the first system Copernicus floated was actually wrong! Many people don’t know this. When the church and science looked at the initial theory they found it to be lacking in certain areas. Copernicus had the planets orbiting the sun in a circular orbit, they orbit more on an Ellipsis like pattern. Also Kepler had to make other adjustments to the system to get it to work [complicated stuff like the retrograde motion of mars]. So the church had some ground to stand on when they rejected Copernicus/Galileo. Of course we later accepted the truths of science and do not see science and reason as ‘anti’ Christian. But it is this embarrassing history that puts us on the defense at times, that’s why some notable Christians have embraced evolution as a tool that God used to create man. These Christians are over compensating [in my view] for the bad history on stuff like this. I reject evolution based on scientific grounds, not biblical. If God wanted to use evolution as a tool to create man, he most certainly had that option. But science does not show that ‘tool’ to be true. Those who reject all the evidence of Intelligent Design are standing with the Bishops of Galileo’s day, who when invited to just look into the telescope and ‘see for yourself’ rejected the invitation.

(1041)THEY DID IT AGAIN! A few posts back I wrote on the topic of evolutionists and their inability to admit defeat. I shared how they were actually clinging on to new theories/ideas that contradicted evolution, and then claiming that evolution made these new theories possible! Sure enough I read an article from a secular paper [non Christian] that had a scientist say ‘most all of us accept the theory of evolution, its accepted science. But there are many new ideas about the MECHANICS of evolution. Though the mechanics are coming into question, yet evolution itself is not’. What happened here? Remember when I wrote on ‘the bubble universes’? [under the evolution section] I showed you how people can change the definition of a thing midway thru the debate, and that by doing this you are committing the classic mistake of Equivocation. That is in the laws of debate and logic, when someone changes the definition midstream, he is cheating. Now, in the above statement ‘evolution is not being challenged, but the mechanics are’, what’s wrong with this statement? Evolution is a theory ABOUT MECHANICS! Make no mistake about it. Darwin’s original book that popularized this theory was titled ‘the origin of species’ [1859] the whole premise of the book was to say how various species ‘originated’. The ‘mechanics’ that Darwin espoused was called natural selection [survival of the fittest] he claimed that over very long periods of time, the stronger more ‘noble’ genes win out. The weaker, inferior species die off and more advanced species arrive on the scene thru this process [the mechanics of natural selection]. Now, like I taught many times before, the main problem today is science has advanced to the point where we have absolutely no evidence that stuff like this ever happens. The whole ‘mechanics’ of evolution is shot thru with holes. So what did the scientist do in the above argument? He changed the real definition of evolution [which most definitely is one of mechanics/mechanism] and said ‘evolution itself is true, but whether things actually evolved or not is up for debate’ these guys must take us for total idiots! To all of my ‘laymen’ readers, keep an eye out for this in the coming years. I believe science is on a sure road of absolutely proving evolution to be a fallacy, beware of those who will try and change the meaning of the word and make you think that evolution has made possible the fact that things did not evolve!

(1034)Ecclesiastes 8:4 WHERE THE WORD OF A KING IS, THERE IS POWER. AND WHO MAY SAY UNTO HIM ‘WHAT DOEST THOU’- The other day I took my daughters out to eat Chinese food. My daughter’s friend came along, she is studying to get her degree in geology. So I thought it would be a good chance to talk a little on Evolution. Though she is a Christian, she had no idea about the science against Evolution. We got into Eugenics [Darwin’s relative came up with this ‘science’ it was what Hitler used to justify the holocaust and the murder of handicapped people. It justified [in Hitler’s mind] the destruction of the weaker races in society. Though Darwin did not call for forced ‘natural selection’ yet this theory led to Hitler’s justification of it] I was surprised that she knew nothing about it. Especially the fossil evidence against Evolution, she is studying Geology for heavens sake! Some how we started talking about the various things you can read in the fortune cookies. My kids came up with stuff they have read and all. Of course I had to add my two cents, I said ‘I had a note that said ‘Chinese rule and Whites drool’. My daughter’s friend said ‘are you kidding me’! Of course I was. Now, when the word of a king goes forth [when God is speaking truth about any thing at any season- Evolution and its false claims, Church structure, Reformation] then our only option is to learn and make adjustments as time goes by. We all have a tendency to stick with the popular opinion, until it gets overturned. Wisdom allows you to spot the trend and get in on it at the beginning, to see that God is speaking about a subject and be willing to go with it as God leads. I am absolutely convinced that science will reject evolutionary theory in a few years. Like I said before, they will do it in an ‘unrepentant way’ but it will be done. Certain things going on in the ‘church world’ right now are going to be ‘the norm’ in a few generations. I believe the church is going to re-think our whole world view concerning ‘church’. Now, we will not abandon the ‘faith once delivered to the saints’ [the body of Christian truth that all Christians hold in common] but there is going to be a revolution in our basic understanding of ‘church’. When God decides to ‘speak into the community at large’ we really have no option. We just need to listen and make adjustments in his time. The key is knowing when it’s God who is speaking! I do not advocate jumping into every new fad and new Christian movement that goes on in Christian circles. But I recognize there are key times when God is speaking with a loud voice to the church in the world, when God is speaking there is power. Don’t say unto him ‘what doest thou’ [or who gave you the right to speak].

(1028)TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE, IF ONE STUMBLES THE OTHER CAN HELP HIM. AND A THREEFOLD CORD IS NOT EASLIY BROKEN- Solomon understood the principle of 2 or more witnesses. Our laws usually go by this principle based upon Old Testament law, we recognize the importance of corroborating evidence. Yesterday I listened to the testimony of the Texas school board president as he laid out the case for teaching both the strengths and weaknesses of evolution. He is a doctor who is well versed on the facts, not some ‘creationist nut’. He quoted sections of the most accepted literature on the subject. They were excerpts from books that evolutionists themselves published. These men stated the major problems with evolution [though they themselves believed in it]. First, the fossil record shows the ‘stasis’ of all things. Once something shows up in the record, it does one of two things. It either remains the SAME throughout its existence until the point of extinction, or it is alive today in the actual form of when it first appeared! In essence ALL the science shows that these life forms do not actually evolve. Number two, the advanced knowledge we have today in genetics and DNA show us the virtual impossibility of species ‘jumping’ categories and turning into other species. As noble as Darwin’s theory was, he simply did not have the ability to test whether or not this could actually happen, today we KNOW that this does not happen. And for the ‘third cord’. Evolution demands a simple cell, cellular life at the basic level that is sort of a ‘blob’ of simple matter that can be shaped and formed and change as time goes by. We have proven that this is absolutely not the case. The ‘simple cell’ is not simple! We have discovered that it is a complex machine that has very intricate systems and functions that far surpass our most advanced computers. In essence, the cell is NOT some shapeable, moldable matter that can evolve over millions of years. It is a complex thing that has to be functioning in a complete, cohesive way right from the start. Notice, all three of these scientific discoveries have nothing to do with religion, this is simply the process of science examining the evidence and trying to fit the pieces together. Many of the men who were helpful in discovering these facts were actually evolutionists, they also recognize that the science is moving further and further away from Darwin at a very rapid rate. A wise man told us many years ago that 2 proofs are better than one, but when you have three definitive proofs of something, you would be a fool not to give it some serious thought. Many evolutionary scientists are giving it some serious thought.

These are some qoutes from Darwin, it shows you the inherent racism in his beleifs-
“ It has been asserted that the ear of man alone possesses a lobule; but ‘a rudiment of it is found in the gorilla’ and, as I hear from Prof. Preyer, it is not rarely absent in the negro.
“The sense of smell is of the highest importance to the greater number of mammals–to some, as the ruminants, in warning them of danger; to others, as the Carnivora, in finding their prey; to others, again, as the wild boar, for both purposes combined. But the sense of smell is of extremely slight service, if any, even to the dark coloured races of men, in whom it is much more highly developed than in the white and civilised races.”
“The account given by Humboldt of the power of smell possessed by the natives of South America is well known, and has been confirmed by others. M. Houzeau asserts that he repeatedly made experiments, and proved that Negroes and Indians could recognise persons in the dark by their odour. Dr. W. Ogle has made some curious observations on the connection between the power of smell and the colouring matter of the mucous membrane of the olfactory region as well as of the skin of the body. I have, therefore, spoken in the text of the dark-coloured races having a finer sense of smell than the white races….Those who believe in the principle of gradual evolution, will not readily admit that the sense of smell in its present state was originally acquired by man, as he now exists. He inherits the power in an enfeebled and so far rudimentary condition, from some early progenitor, to whom it was highly serviceable, and by whom it was continually used.”
“It appears as if the posterior molar or wisdom-teeth were tending to become rudimentary in the more civilised races of man. These teeth are rather smaller than the other molars, as is likewise the case with the corresponding teeth in the chimpanzee and orang; and they have only two separate fangs. … In the Melanian races, on the other hand, the wisdom-teeth are usually furnished with three separate fangs, and are generally sound; they also differ from the other molars in size, less than in the Caucasian races.
“It is an interesting fact that ancient races, in this and several other cases, more frequently present structures which resemble those of the lower animals than do the modern. One chief cause seems to be that the ancient races stand somewhat nearer in the long line of descent to their remote animal-like progenitors.”
“It has often been said, as Mr. Macnamara remarks, that man can resist with impunity the greatest diversities of climate and other changes; but this is true only of the civilised races. Man in his wild condition seems to be in this respect almost as susceptible as his nearest allies, the anthropoid apes, which have never yet survived long, when removed from their native country.”

“The above view of the origin and nature of the moral sense, which tells us what we ought to do, and of the conscience which reproves us if we disobey it, accords well with what we see of the early and undeveloped condition of this faculty in mankind…. A North-American Indian is well pleased with himself, and is honoured by others, when he scalps a man of another tribe; and a Dyak cuts off the head of an unoffending person, and dries it as a trophy. … With respect to savages, Mr. Winwood Reade informs me that the negroes of West Africa often commit suicide. It is well known how common it was amongst the miserable aborigines of South America after the Spanish conquest. … It has been recorded that an Indian Thug conscientiously regretted that he had not robbed and strangled as many travellers as did his father before him. In a rude state of civilisation the robbery of strangers is, indeed, generally considered as honourable.”
“As barbarians do not regard the opinion of their women, wives are commonly treated like slaves. Most savages are utterly indifferent to the sufferings of strangers, or even delight in witnessing them. It is well known that the women and children of the North-American Indians aided in torturing their enemies. Some savages take a horrid pleasure in cruelty to animals, and humanity is an unknown virtue….. Many instances could be given of the noble fidelity of savages towards each other, but not to strangers; common experience justifies the maxim of the Spaniard, “Never, never trust an Indian.”
“The other so-called self-regarding virtues, which do not obviously, though they may really, affect the welfare of the tribe, have never been esteemed by savages, though now highly appreciated by civilised nations. The greatest intemperance is no reproach with savages.”
“I have entered into the above details on the immorality of savages, because some authors have recently taken a high view of their moral nature, or have attributed most of their crimes to mistaken benevolence. These authors appear to rest their conclusion on savages possessing those virtues which are serviceable, or even necessary, for the existence of the family and of the tribe,–qualities which they undoubtedly do possess, and often in a high degree.”
“Slavery, although in some ways beneficial during ancient times, is a great crime; yet it was not so regarded until quite recently, even by the most civilised nations. And this was especially the case, because the slaves belonged in general to a race different from that of their masters.”
“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”
“The partial or complete extinction of many races and sub-races of man is historically known….When civilised nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race…. The grade of their civilisation seems to be a most important element in the success of competing nations. A few centuries ago Europe feared the inroads of Eastern barbarians; now any such fear would be ridiculous.”
“[Flinders Island], situated between Tasmania and Australia, is forty miles long, and from twelve to eighteen miles broad: it seems healthy, and the natives were well treated. Nevertheless, they suffered greatly in health….With respect to the cause of this extraordinary state of things, Dr. Story remarks that death followed the attempts to civilise the natives.” [–Obviously the problem was trying to civilize these barbarians!]
“Finally, although the gradual decrease and ultimate extinction of the races of man is a highly complex problem, depending on many causes which differ in different places and at different times; it is the same problem as that presented by the extinction of one of the higher animals.”
“There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other,–as in the texture of the hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body …Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Every one who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have been struck with the contrast between the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America and the light-hearted, talkative negroes. There is a nearly similar contrast between the Malays and the Papuans who live under the same physical conditions, and are separated from each other only by a narrow space of sea.
” A certain amount of absorption of mulattoes into negroes must always be in progress; and this would lead to an apparent diminution of the former. The inferior vitality of mulattoes is spoken of in a trustworthy work as a well-known phenomenon; and this, although a different consideration from their lessened fertility, may perhaps be advanced as a proof of the specific distinctness of the parent races.”
“So far as we are enabled to judge, although always liable to err on this head, none of the differences between the races of man are of any direct or special service to him. The intellectual and moral or social faculties must of course be excepted from this remark.”
“The main conclusion arrived at in this work, namely, that man is descended from some lowly organised form, will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many. But there can hardly be a doubt that we are descended from barbarians. The astonishment which I felt on first seeing a party of Fuegians on a wild and broken shore will never be forgotten by me, for the reflection at once rushed into my mind-such were our ancestors. These men were absolutely naked and bedaubed with paint, their long hair was tangled, their mouths frothed with excitement, and their expression was wild, startled, and distrustful. … He who has seen a savage in his native land will not feel much shame, if forced to acknowledge that the blood of some more humble creature flows in his veins.”
“For my own part I would as soon be descended from …[a] monkey, or from that old baboon… –as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.
“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman–whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands…We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on ‘Hereditary Genius,’ that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.”
“The greater intellectual vigour and power of invention in man is probably due to natural selection, combined with the inherited effects of habit, for the most able men will have succeeded best in defending and providing for themselves and for their wives and offspring.”
For most normal achievements, women will do as well as men, given a chance. Women do just as well as men at being, say, a family doctor, an accountant, a real estate agent, a high school teacher, etc.
It’s only in outstanding achievements – either for good OR for ill – that men tend to dominate. One way of seeing this is that the curve of women’s achievements fits inside the curve of men’s achievements, either way.
Natural selection does not explain this because most men who have outstanding achievements do not contribute a great deal to the gene pool as a consequence.
Either they produce few or no children, or their children do nothing outstanding. So Darwin did not really have a good explanation for this fact.
“The advancement of the welfare of mankind is a most intricate problem: all ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their children; for poverty is not only a great evil, but tends to its own increase by leading to recklessness in marriage. On the other hand, as Mr. Galton has remarked, if the prudent avoid marriage, whilst the reckless marry, the inferior members tend to supplant the better members of society. Man, like every other animal, has no doubt advanced to his present high condition through a struggle for existence consequent on his rapid multiplication; and if he is to advance still higher, it is to be feared that he must remain subject to a severe struggle. Otherwise he would sink into indolence, and the more gifted men would not be more successful in the battle of life than the less gifted. Hence our natural rate of increase, though leading to many and obvious evils, must not be greatly diminished by any means. There should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring.”
“We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”
NOTE- we just celebrated the 200 hundred year anniversary of Lincoln and Darwin. One man gave his life for the emancipation of the black man, the other treated him with utter contempt. I find it amusing that many people today view Darwin as some great emancipator, a man who ‘freed’ humanity form religious dogma and the like. I would be ashamed of myself if I celebrated a man who displayed such extreme bigotry.

(1024)ECCLESIASTES 3:11 ‘No man can find out the work that God has made, from the beginning to the end’. No man can completely find out Gods works from beginning to end. A few weeks ago as I was praying/meditating I had a thought; I said to myself ‘what in the world are the evolutionists going to say when science ultimately overthrows their theory’ and in a moment of clarity, I kinda heard ‘they will slowly develop ideas that will make it look like they were right all along, even when these ideas themselves are contrary to evolution’. I realized that mans inability to admit he was wrong will cause him to lie. Sure enough, a few days later I caught an interview on the P.B.S. news that had 2 scientists who were speaking on Darwin. It just so happens that both Darwin and Lincoln celebrated their 200 year anniversaries on the same day. During the interview these men reveled in the wonder and amazement of Darwin, they were falling over themselves in worshipping the man. They explained how evolution is this reality that is the basis of all types of scientific advances. They went on and on. The interviewer then asked about all the science and opponents on the other side. How there were most certainly proofs that seemed to debunk Darwin’s theory. They responded by saying ‘Evolution has opened the door for all sorts of understanding and theories, one of them is called ‘punctuated equilibrium’, evolution has made this idea possible. Therefore thanks to evolution we have these other truths to look to for answers’. These men were doing the exact thing I ‘thought about’ a few days earlier. They were taking the scientific data that disproves evolution, and saying ‘evolution made this possible’! Punctuated Equilibrium [or Equilibria] is a theory that was espoused to explain how things really did not slowly evolve over millions of years. In effect the scientific evidence shows us no slow evolving of one species into another. As this reality began to settle in, the scientists realized that they needed to begin floating alternative theories to Darwin. They knew that if they religiously stuck with Darwin, that someday they would be disproved. So they floated this competing theory. The theory basically says that since the fossil record shows no data that things slowly evolved, how do we answer this? They said ‘maybe things changed so fast [what!] that the fossil record didn’t catch it’. In essence this theory says things did not slowly evolve! This theory does not back up evolution at all, it denies it. In essence the evolutionists in the interview were contradicting themselves, they were taking proofs against evolution and saying ‘see, the wonderful knowledge of evolution has lead us to this point in human history where we now know species DID NOT slowly evolve’. Are you guys kidding or what?

(1021)LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS ON HER FINGERS? I talked about the Lucy skeleton the other day. She is the closest thing that comes to a missing link. When they found her bones in the 1970’s she was scattered all over the place. Some think she is actually a collection of different bones from various species. Either way when they found her she had no hands or feet! You might think this was a bad thing for the evolutionist, but it turned out pretty well. The fact that she was absent hands and feet allowed the model makers to craft human hands and feet onto her. Since the initial find we have discovered plenty of hands and feet from other ‘Lucy’s’. Her species of ape has been found on a number of occasions, it is no longer a secret, the hands and feet are 100% ape. This fact is disheartening to the cause of Lucy. One of the main things the evolutionist looks for is a transition ‘ape’ that walked and held things just like humans. They have committed themselves to this picture. I mentioned a few entries back on the model of Lucy in the Seattle museum, well most natural history museums have their own models of Lucy. Some look much more human than others. One museum [I think Chicago?] had such a human like model that they were informed that the current evidence shows the model to be wrong. The model shows human hands and feet, the scientific community has notified the museum that the updated data has changed, Lucy looked nothing like that. The museum took it down for a little while, but eventually put it back up. Hey, funding is scarce nowadays, they can’t afford a new model! When they were confronted again by the obvious false impression they were leaving with the community, they responded by saying they realize that the display does not factually represent the real Lucy, but they are going to use it because it ‘gets the point across’. What point? You see evolution itself has religious connotations to it, it is more of a worldview than true science. In this case the Museum acknowledged the fact that they were misrepresenting the evidence, but their point was being made. They simply wanted to make the point that monkeys do turn into people, and if they need to skew the evidence to ‘make their point’ so be it. The Lucy statue had hands that you could slide a diamond ring on. The real ‘Lucy’s’ have hands fashioned for grasping and climbing, they don’t even come close.

(1017)MONKEY BONES AND SPACE SHIPS- I read an interesting piece on the exhibit of Lucy in Seattle. The article showed how the famous bones, discovered in the 1970’s, were not getting the attention they felt it deserved. The display itself was considered less than what it had been advertised, many said they were surprised at the small amount of scattered bones that comprised the main exhibit. It almost seemed to look like a scattered display of monkey bones! [watch out] But alas, as you progressed to the part of the ‘show’ that had the man made models of what Lucy might have looked like with flesh and structure and all, sure enough she looked great! Exactly like a missing link. The article also mentioned how the scientist, who was an expert in bone structure, that when he was first contacted to ‘create’ the model for the exhibit, that he was quite surprised at the bones too. He said he had a very difficult time in structuring a bi-pedal model [walks on two feet] from the scant bone evidence. What made it difficult was the bones all seemed to indicate that the creature was exactly like a regular ape! [He didn’t realize that he was letting the cat out of the bag] But nevertheless he fulfilled his obligation and did his darndest to make a statue like being, contrary to what the bones really showed, and it looked great. Those who doubted the actual evidence at the exhibit were convinced by the good looking model. Now to the space ships. What if I told you we discovered a small scattered section of a U.F.O.? I created a special exhibit and explained to you all my theories on how this craft ‘evolved’ from other craft and eventually became the modern plane. I went thru all sorts of efforts to back up my claim. Then we discover that Joe’s mechanic shop out in the New Mexico dessert actually has a working fleet of these craft! He has been flying them on routine missions for years [thus all the sightings] he uses the fleet for all sorts of projects; delivering the local produce to parts unknown, he holds special stunt shows and all for the regulars. We have hit the jackpot when it comes to finding out the truth about the U.FO. Mystery. We certainly don’t need the old exhibit of scattered parts that was promoted in days gone by. In essence this is what we have when it comes to examining the evidence of whether or not monkeys turned into people. We have the capability thru advanced DNA testing to show us the very unique makeup of living things. This advanced knowledge shows us one conclusive fact; living things stay in their categories! They have such unique genetic coding that it is impossible for one group to jump and become another group. We really don’t need to look at all the scattered ‘bone’ evidence to determine whether or not monkeys turn into people. We have the actual ‘craft’ to examine! The bible says that God created things ‘after their kind’ they would reproduce and multiply within their specific genetic group. For many thousands of years the bible plainly stated that these species do not slowly [or quickly] jump into anther group. Darwin said they did, after 150 years of research, science has advanced to a point where we can clearly examine ‘the working fleet’. We don’t need a bunch of dead bones to figure this thing out. I just wish the evolutionists would get on the bandwagon and come take a look at Joe’s fleet.

(1010)CORINTHIANS 15:1-19 Paul will deal with the greatest threat yet to the Corinthian church, their doubt over the physical resurrection of the body. Various ‘Christian’ groups over the years have doubted the physical resurrection. Now, some have done this out of a sincere attempt at trying to defend the faith! [their view of it] In the 1900’s you had one of the most popular theologians by the name of Rudolf Bultman [most of his career was spent at the University of Marburg, Germany. Much of the higher criticism of the day originated from Germany] He wrote a book called ‘Kerygma and Myth’. What he tried to say was that any modern man living in the 20th century, with all the breakthroughs in science and knowledge, could not ‘literally’ believe the miraculous stories in scripture. Or even the way scripture spoke of heaven and hell and used limited terms to describe spiritual truths. He used the bibles terminology on Cosmology as an example. How could man believe in a Cosmos where ‘heaven is up there, with the stars and all’ and he felt that enlightened man needed to ‘re-tool’ the bible and cleanse it from all these mythical images, but yet keep the spiritual aspects of it. The moral teachings of Christ and stuff like that. So you have had sincere men doubt the truth claims of scripture. The problem with this attempt [higher criticism] is it throws out the baby with the bathwater. The resurrection of Jesus is presented by the apostles as a real event. The fact of this resurrection can also be attested to by examining the historical events of the day. Simply put, there is a ton of proof for the real resurrection of Christ. Bultman and others meant well, but some of the ‘facts’ that they were using were later proven to be false. Bultman used a model of cosmology that would later be rejected by science. Yet the testimony from scripture would remain sure. Paul told the Corinthian’s that they needed to reject any attempts at spiritualizing the resurrection of Christ. Sometimes believers grasp hold of limited proof’s for certain doctrines. For instance, the New Testament does speak of a spiritual resurrection. In Ephesians Paul says we are presently raised with Christ. In Romans chapter 6 we have all ready been raised with Jesus. This reality does not mean there will be no future resurrection of the saints. In Johns gospel Jesus speaks of the resurrection as being a future real event, as well as a present reality. Those in the graves will hear his voice and be raised from the dead. And those who were presently ‘dead in sins’ would ‘come alive’ [spiritually] when they heard and believed the testimony of Jesus. It is important for the believer to be familiar with the various theories and ideas that theologians and believers have grasped over the years. It is a mistake to simply see all higher learning as ‘liberalism’. There are some very important things that we have learned thru the great intellectuals of the church. But we also need to stick with the ancient traditions as seen in the creeds, as well as the plain testimony of scripture. If Christ ‘be not raised from the dead, then we are of all men most miserable’.

(1005)HAS DARWINS ‘TREE’ DIED? This week the Texas school board voted down a standard that was in the school system for 20 years. They got rid of a clause that said when teaching evolution, you should teach both the strengths and weaknesses of the theory. Certain lobbying groups wanted this out because they felt it gave an open door to intelligent design theorists. So they gave it the boot. When stuff like this happens it’s usually reported as ‘another victory for intelligence versus backwoods creationists’. I read a statement from a scientist who is an agnostic [not a Christian]. He shared how many scientists have abandoned Darwin’s theory based on the facts. In the last 25 years or so science itself has dealt a real death blow to evolution. The poor brothers are in a real bind. Some realize that Darwin was way out of his ‘skill set’ compared to today’s understanding and knowledge. These scientists see the absolute silliness of many of Darwin’s thoughts and ideas, but they also realize that to associate yourself with the ‘anti evolution crowd’ is to heap upon yourself ridicule and scorn. The science is on their side, evolution doesn’t just have ‘weaknesses’ it has basically been overthrown by science, but you don’t dare say this out loud! [The movie ‘Expelled’ by Ben Stein deals with this]. Now, what is Darwin’s tree all about? Darwin surmised that the more we learn and ‘unearth’ over the next few centuries after he espoused his theory, that what we should find [if he was right] was a sort of ‘tree’ paradigm. The evidence would show simple cell organisms evolving and growing into multi-cell organisms and you would see a pattern of all life [plants, animals, humans] having evolved from a single original cell. The symbol for this was Darwin’s ‘tree’ analogy. Now, what has science found? Science has discovered no tree, to the contrary we have found that the ‘tree’ concept is actually false. Religion hasn’t proved this. Bible toting backwoods idiots haven’t shown this. But atheistic, agnostic, unbelieving scientists have discovered this. Do you now see the dilemma? These poor brothers don’t know what the heck to do! [Also many believing scientists have seen this, the point I am making is this discovery is not religious in nature]. Basically science shows this; around 3.8 billion years ago [for the sake of this argument I will use ‘old earth’ age, I realize that this is a very hot debate among many groups] the first life showed up on our planet. It was a single celled organism called ‘Blue-Green Algae’. Now, if Darwin were correct, you would be able to trace following eras as slowly evolving from simple cell to multiple cell life over a very long period of time. Well what does the evidence show? Science says [not religion!] that in the Cambrian era we have what has come to be known as the ‘Cambrian Explosion’ [around 400-500million years ago. The dates vary depending on whose ‘science’ you are using]. This evidence showed us that the basic structure and systems of multiple celled organisms showed up all at once. No ‘tree’ or evidence of things slowly evolving over millions of years. We went from ‘Blue Green Algae’ [3.8 billion years back] to a whole strata of life [known as Phyla- things like sponges, certain vertebrates and stuff like that] in one giant leap! Nothing evolving from the 3.8 billon year mark to the 4-500 million date of the Cambrian Explosion. This is verified fact amongst the majority in the scientific community. This is just one of hundreds of ‘weaknesses’ to Darwin’s theory. The evidence is not there! We know this! But when the average citizen reads a story like this in the paper, he simply thinks ‘there go those bible thumping ignoramuses trying to outlaw true science’, they really don’t have all the facts.

(1003)CORINTHIANS 13:4-10 Okay, what exactly is this love that we need? Paul has told us that all religious activity apart from it is vain. Paul here simply gives us a picture of the way it acts. You can read this section and substitute your name for the word love ‘love puts up with stuff and is kind’ ‘John puts up with stuff and is kind’ [ouch] ‘It does not boast or show off’. ‘It does not seek its own benefit’ a ‘what’s in it for me’ type mentality. Love is being just like Jesus. James tells us ‘if you fulfill the royal law of scripture, you do well’. The law is to love thy neighbor as yourself. Paul also shows us why love outshines the other gifts of tongues and prophesy and knowledge. He says ‘we know in part, prophesy in part. But when we are made perfect and mature at the appearing of Christ the partial gifts will no longer be distinguishable. Only love will rule’ [my paraphrase] I find it interesting that Paul says knowledge itself will cease. Will actual knowledge cease? What exactly is ‘knowledge’? When we use this term in society what we usually mean is the degree of ones learning/education compared to someone else. If you have a masters and I have a high school diploma, we see a difference. We measure knowledge by the amount we have as compared to others. Now, at Christ’s appearing when we all ‘shall know, even as we are known’ this fine distinction will ‘pass away’. We still will have knowledge, but as a tool that we use to measure one another, it will cease. It wont make a difference how much of the ‘knowledge pie’ [know in part] you possess, at that time everyone one will have ‘all pie’. Knowledge is a funny thing, our understanding of it has developed thru the centuries. During the enlightenment era the concept of ‘what does it even mean to know’ was tackled. One of the famous sayings was ‘I know/think, therefore I am’ [Descartes? Hey, I forget sometimes] the study of ‘how we learn/know things’ is called epistemology. The enlightenment produced a way to approach knowledge that can be called ‘modernism’ mans modern way of knowing stuff. In essence, there exists real truth that a person can know and learn. There is/was a challenge to this mode of thought. Many in the Emergent church movement would grasp on to another theory of ‘knowing’ loosely defined as being in the category of ‘post modernism’. Some challenged the actual ability to know a thing. The emphasis is on who is actually viewing/learning the thing. The terms ‘metta- narrative’ are sometimes used to describe this dynamic. There is some truth to the fact that our context, who we are and where we are coming from, can shape the actual stuff learned. But the question is ‘does our perspective actually change the thing, make it real or not’. Some in the field of Cosmology have grasped on to this post modern theory and have surmised that the very act of human beings studying and examining a thing can in and of itself cause the thing ‘to be’. You can see how this theory would be helpful to the atheist. ‘Where did every thing come from?’ ‘it is a result of human kind’s thoughts and inquiry’ [Ouch]. This sounds a lot like the metaphysical cults that espouse that reality is a product of what you think, confess. That man has the power to create reality simply by the act of studying a thing. Well this is of course a challenge to the truth of God. Jesus and the Cross aren’t ‘real’ because men ‘put their mind to them’. They are real whether or not man ever thought about them. ‘Let God be true, but every man a liar’ Romans. Paul tells us that all these varying degrees of knowledge will some day ‘pass away’. We will all stand before a self existent God and give an account of our lives. This day is coming whether you ‘think about it or not’.

(1002)1ST CORINTHIANS 13: 2-3 ‘and though I have the gift of prophecy [Pentecostal, prophetic expressions] and understand all mysteries and all knowledge [Orthodox, Reformed, intellectual creedal churches] and though I have all faith that I could remove mountains [the Faith camp] and have not charity [Agape- love] I am nothing’. Whew! Thank God us mission/outreach type guys are not in there. ‘And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor [ouch] and have not love it profits nothing’. I love the various expressions of the church, I feed from the Reformed brothers teaching, Love reading and studying Orthodoxy and Catholicism. I of course favor the outreach/hands on type ministries, but according to this text we can have all these things and still be missing the mark. Our intellectual type brothers are engaging the culture and defending the faith, but without love we don’t even put a dent in the culture. The apologists are great at refuting the new atheists, to be honest about it the Christian intellectuals are head and shoulders above the atheists [Craig Lane and men like him] but I have noticed that we don’t really change that many minds even when all the proof is on our side. And I cant tell you how many well meaning missions and soup kitchens I have been too, but often times there is a disconnect between the people being served and the ‘servers’. You get the feeling sometimes that the well meaning helpers are simply punching a time card. We all need to reevaluate our motives. People can tell when we are in ‘ministry’ for the love of the business. Or for the self glory and adulation that comes with our service. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because they truly were in it for the recognition of men. They wanted others to see that they were ‘successful in the ministry’ so they could receive recognition in public. Paul tells the Romans ‘he that shows mercy, let him do it with love [cheerfully]’. It’s easy to fall into a rut and simply be functioning out of a sense of duty. Now duty can be a good thing, there are times where we just need people to report for duty! [The harvest is plenteous, but the workers are few] but we need to examine ourselves and make sure we are functioning out of the Love of God. Often times the various ministries and expressions of the church are simply God ordained ‘places’ where we can connect with people. As we interact with the lost world, lets do our best to win the arguments, give proof for the legitimacy of Christianity. Combat false ideas and mindsets that are imbedded in our culture, but lets leave room for the other side to get in with us. Understand that they have a ‘missing piece’ [Augustine’s hole in the heart] and we are the only ones that can show them how to fill it.

(976)THE NEW ATHIESTS LOSE AGAIN! I watched a good debate last night between an atheist [Christopher Hitchens] and a believer. I like Hitchens, but the shallowness of his arguments were very revealing. Richard Dawkins [one of the so called ‘new atheists’] has said that Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist. Oh really? During the debate Hitchens challenged the ‘morality’ of the Christian church. He rightfully exposed the hypocrisy of Christian leaders who abused children and the many other sins of the church. He says ‘how dare these immoral Christians challenge my morality. I am more moral than many of them’. Now, where does Hitchens come up with his standard of ‘morality’? The very fact that morality exists as some existential character measurement is simply making one of the classical arguments for God. One of the proofs for God is that man has this moral conscience that tells him what is right or wrong. This moral code that is implanted in the conscience of humankind is one of the historic arguments for Gods existence. Poor Hitchens made a big boo boo. Second, the whole argument of Hitchens [and most every other atheist] is one of naturalism, materialism. That is they claim that the believer argues his point from the mindset of ‘faith’ while the atheist argues his point of view from the hard facts [Dawkins so called intellectually fulfilling position]. The main problem with this view is when the atheist is asked to explain the most fundamental question of science ‘where did all things come from’ his response is one of the most un-intellectual arguments that can ever be made. When Hitchens was posed the question, he simply said ‘all things came from nothing, and I have no intellectual curiosity or need to say any more’ [and they call this being intellectually fulfilled? Gee, maybe my daughters play station game would fulfill them!] What’s the problem with this response? The problem is the Christian answers the question with the only scientifically feasible answer that can ever be given. He says ‘there was a preexistent actor who entered into the physical realm and caused the effect of what we now know as creation’. The Christians response is in keeping with all the known laws of physics and reason. If science teaches us anything, it teaches the impossibility of something coming into existence from nothing. This is thee most attested to scientific fact in all of human history. When we study ‘nothing’ and put it under the microscope, we never, ever get ‘something’. Now when we study ‘something’ [any material thing that can ever be studied] there is one scientific fact that can be applied to all the ‘something’s’. That fact is that some other thing caused, or preceded the ‘something’. That is it is scientifically impossible to get an entire creation and universe and all things that exist out of nothing! But this argument is the most prevalent argument used today by the intellectually fulfilled atheists! Now, many brilliant men realize the stupidity of this position. Some of the intellectually fulfilled atheists have proposed the possibility of other extra terrestrial beings who might have ‘deposited’ some type of ‘space dung’ [I am not kidding!] when their craft flew thru our solar system, and that this ‘dung’ might have spawned life on our planet [who ever thought they could lower their family tree from a monkey?]. The very fact that many scientists are actually espousing the possibility that there might be other civilizations that spawned life on earth shows you the dilemma of proving, from a materialistic perspective, that all things came from ‘no thing’. To put it bluntly, these scientists [some of whom are atheists] realize that the argument Hitchens and all the other ‘fulfilled’ thinkers are making, are sheer nonsense and stupidity! How can any thinking person espouse the belief that all things came from nothing? I don’t want to go on with this, but I simply wanted to show you that in the debate I watched last night, the atheist espoused arguments that were nonsensical. It is all too common today for the rejecter of God to give the impression that Christians are idiots, while they are intellectual. This just simply isn’t being ‘intellectually honest’ [or fulfilling].

(964) MORE PROOF FOR GOD- Okay, what’s up with ‘dark matter’? In the 20th century the amazing breakthroughs in science showed us that what we thought was a limited universe, was actually a growing universe that was expanding at a faster rate every day. The further out you got, the faster it was expanding. This discovery [Hubble] worked in harmony with Einstein’s theories. This discovery also created a problem. If the universe is so much more vast than previously thought to be, then the amount of known matter needed in the universe in order to maintain the proper gravitational force was not there. Basically you need so much matter to exist in order for this newly discovered expanding universe to hold together and function right. The problem is that the matter is not there![some say it is still not detected]. So the theory of ‘dark matter’ [unseen, undetected matter] has been floated. This invisible matter is supposedly the single greatest matter in existence, though we have no proof that even one tiny particle exists! Ahh, when stuff like this happens, we need to pay close attention. Why? Well some who defend the young earth theory of creation use this to back up their claim of a young universe. It’s kinda technical stuff, but this ‘dark matter’ has to be there to defend the old age theory [for some!]. Another problem is we have absolutely no proof that this dark matter exists. It is simply believed in because the naturalistic explanation demands it! Sort of like coming to a part in a puzzle where a piece doesn’t fit, so you simply make something fit. Now, the bible does teach that the vast universe is held together [a key role of so called dark matter] by Christ’s absolute power. The other explanation for how the vast universe is able to function smoothly, without the needed matter to create the huge amount of gravity, is that God himself is holding all things together by his omnipotence. In essence, we need God for this puzzle to fit. I am not saying the idea of dark matter is totally false, but as far as we know today, there is no proof that it exists. We as believers should not take an anti scientific stance on everything, to the contrary, true science always backs up the Christian world view [in general] but we also need to be suspicious when science floats an idea that can be explained by the existence of a creator. If the idea is simply out there, with no proof at all [the multi-verse] then we certainly have the right to challenge whether the whole thing is a bunch of ‘dark [invisible] matter’!

(954)NOW IT’S A PARALLEL/BUBBLE UNIVERSE! I watched the first TV special I ever saw on the multi-verse theory. I think it’s the first one of its kind by the history channel. It was very eye opening. It seems as if its defenders have been told ‘your initial argument is nonsensical’ and they have made some adjustments. As you read down thru the Evolution section you will see that one of the arguments against a multi-verse is that it is a ‘non physical’ argument. It is metaphysical. This meaning that you could never truly prove the existence of another universe thru the science of Physics. Why? Because the original definition of ‘the universe’ was every thing that exists in the time/space continuum. If by definition, all that can be seen or detected is ‘part of our universe’ then how in the world can you detect something outside of it? [they have some ideas on this, but its pure speculation as of right now] Once you detect it, it, by definition is in our universe! Well the brothers now realize that they fell into this obvious contradiction, so they seem to be moving the goal posts a little. In the special I just saw, they now seem to be saying that our universe is simply one ‘bubble of universes’ that’s floating around in space [before, space and the universe were synonymous!] so they seem to be simply shrinking down the definition of universe and making it mean ‘our closed existing time space continuum, which is simply one of many’ Ahh, you guys are cheating with this one! But hey, how many viewers realized this? That’s the problem with these theories, they come up with them for the purpose of having another explanation for existence, but they then get into more trouble trying to keep their theory alive. Remember, the reason this theory started in the first place was to come up with some type of explanation, apart from God, to explain the fine tuning of the Cosmos [read my sections on fine tuning under Evolution]. The unbelievable fine measurements that have been found to be exactly right to support life have no other real explanation apart from a creator. The multi-verse theory simply says ‘well, if you have millions and billions of unseen universes [pure speculation!] then the odds on one of them getting it right just went up’. So this theory was originally floated for this reason. Now, even if this theory were ever proved [according to the new definition of the universe!] it would simply mean that instead of trying to figure out how ‘our universe got here’ [the original question] now we have to figure out how they all got here! It really proves nothing. But I thought it interesting to see how these giants of Academia now realize that they were violating the basic laws of logic by espousing the theory in its original form! [In essence, all these so called floating, bubble like universes would have originally fallen under the heading of ‘the universe’. You wouldn’t have seen them as a bunch of separate universes. But they had to change the definition in order to keep their argument in the boundaries of logic and common sense]. They also borrowed from Einstein’s theory on worm holes. But Einstein surmised that worm holes might be these tunnels in space/time that one could travel thru and exit at another dimension, a different location of the universe. He did not use this idea as traveling from one ‘bubble universe’ into another, like the proponents of the multi-verse were doing. The show then got too silly to even give it a speck of serious thought. They then theorized that there are possible duplicates of us, and duplicates of other sports teams and presidents and all types of stuff. They thought it possible for the Giants to have won the super bowl in one universe, though losing it in ours [and you call this science!] they even said that this theory has moral implications. How did they come up with this? One of them explained that you could be ‘good’ in one universe, but if you realize that this holy altar image of yourself is doing good somewhere else, then this might effect your choice of being righteous in ‘this universe’ WOW! As we continue our study thru the book of Corinthians, keep in mind Paul’s teaching on the foolishness of men’s wisdom, I think we just saw a good example of it. There is this stature that we give in our modern day to any ‘Tom, Dick or Harry’ that comes down the pike with any nonsensical idea. We see them as a special class, the Academics can’t be wrong! After all it sounds intellectual. A few centuries before Christ you had the great philosopher ‘Philo- Betto’ [O wait, that was Clint Eastwood’s character in ‘every which way but lose!’] I mean Plato. Truly Plato and Aristotle and Socrates have had tremendous influence on Western thought. You would be hard pressed to find other later philosophers who have had the same influence [maybe Immanuel Kant]. Plato built this great school of learning in ancient Greece. He bought the land from a man by the name of ‘Academe’. Eventually we would call this pursuit of knowledge ‘the Academic world’ or Academia. Hey, don’t be intimidated by these guys.

-(951)MORE PROOF FROM SCIENCE- Yesterday I went to pick up my daughter from the airport and picked up a science magazine to read while waiting. The magazine was the December 2008 issue of ‘Discover’. They had a real interesting article on the reality of ‘fine tuning’ in the universe and how the only viable alternative [apart from God] to try and explain this fine tuning is this theory of multiple universes. The article kept referencing God! The interviewer went into all the unbelievable scientific discoveries that have been made in the field of Physics these last few years. He explained how these truly unbelievable measurements that must exist in order for life and man to exist, that these measurements have no naturalistic rational explanation of how they ‘just happened to be exactly right’ [I explain fine tuning in the Evolution section]. The article quoted other scientists as saying ‘even though the concept of a multi-verse is very, very doubtful, yet it is the only excuse for not having a creator in your system of belief’. The person being interviewed admitted that he did not want to accept the God explanation. The interviewer challenged him on the absolute shallow idea of a multi-verse [this is absolutely not true science!]. The scientist admitted the doubtfulness of the whole theory, but then said ‘what other options do we have? It must be true, because there is no other explanation apart from God’. The article was very revealing. The obvious bias of the defender of the multi-verse concept came thru clearly. The other scientists admitted the possibility of God as being the only true answer to the problem. They even showed the utter foolishness of the multi-verse theory as being true science. The fact that the ‘God question’ came up over and over again made me stop and look at the cover of the magazine to make sure I wasn’t reading this article from Christianity Today [Okay, I am exaggerating for effect]. The interviewer [also a scientist] explained the anthropic principle to the tee! This principle being the fact that the universe and all of its unbelievable components seem to be existing for the sole purpose of serving man. Returning to the old idea that things exist for mans benefit, man isn’t simply a blip on the cosmic radar screen. This concept was supposedly ‘undone’ by the Copernican revolution when he revealed that our Solar system was Heliocentric as opposed to Geocentric [the earth revolves around the Sun, not the other way around]. But all the recent developments in cosmology have turned the tables back to the idea that the universe really does exist, and has been designed for the purpose of mans survival. The multi-verse concept is a theory without any proof. Even if it were proven to be true, it still does not explain the obvious problem of ‘where did this universe spewing machine come from? How in the world did we ever arrive at a time in history where some unknown, non existent universe duplicator simply popped into existence from nothing?’ the multi-verse in reality is a desperate attempt to not believe in a creator. Even if it were proven true, you still haven’t really solved the problem.

(948) PROOF FOR GOD FROM THE LAW OF CAUSALITY- One of the foundational laws of man and physics is the law of causality [cause and effect]. In essence this law teaches us that every effect has a cause. Nothing can just happen on it’s own, some previous thing [or series of ‘things’] had to precede the event. This is basic scientific reality that cannot be denied. Now, this truth allows for only 2 possible scenarios to explain the existence of man and the universe. One idea says ‘there was no initial cause, or being who started the ball rolling. All you have had is an infinite number of past caused events’. This idea is contrary to the laws of logic and math. For instance, today we live in a certain time in history [11-2008]. There are real phenomena that surround us. Existence is without a doubt real. Now, for us to logically have arrived at this point in time, you had to have had a beginning point. If you hold to the old earth theory, you say the earth ‘happened’ around 5 billion years ago, the universe around 15 billion. Logically, this leads us to a future point in time where we can ‘be here’. There were so many events of the past that brought us to this time. No matter how you measure this, it can be measured. Now for the concept of an infinite number of past causes and events to have occurred, logically you could never arrive at ‘now’. Why? Because how many previous billions of events have to have occurred to bring us to the present? If there was never any starting point, then today could never have arrived! [I don’t want you guys to think I am nuts and making all this up, many brilliant thinkers use this as proof for Gods existence. It is an argument made that is consistent with the laws of logic]. In essence the only workable solution to this problem is there had to have been a ‘prime mover’ [Aquinas]. Someone who actually ‘caused’ the first event. Now don’t make the mistake that some smart men have made. They mistook the law of cause and effect to mean ‘every thing, or being had to have had a cause’. This is not what the law says. It says ‘every effect had a cause’. These two are not the same. So the belief that there was an infinite, eternal being who was around forever allows for there to be an initial ‘causer’. This idea is in keeping with the current accepted science of ‘big bang cosmology’ [that every thing started at a specific time in history]. This view allows for there to have been a definite first cause, which according to the laws of logic allow for us to ‘be here today’. Got it?

(945)1 CORINTHIANS 2- Paul tells them that when he came to them to declare Gods wisdom, that he did not do it with excellency of speech or with enticing words of men’s wisdom. What is he saying here? Remember, Corinth had the background of traveling philosophers of rhetoric who could ‘dazzle the average folk’. Sort of like the role science would come to play with modern man. All science is good, it’s when man in his arrogance begins to espouse or ‘twist’ things to his advantage that the problem arises. That’s when the arrogance of mans wisdom simply says to the average Joe ‘who do you think you are to question me! I am a man of wisdom’ Phooey! [I know it’s corny]. The fact is that natural man has always had the ability to deceive or come up with ‘evidence’ just in the nick of time. Did you know there was/is an entire cottage industry in ‘finding’ fossils to prove evolution is true? Do you really think men were above deception in the 1800’s? That they were above the temptation to come up with findings so their funding would not be cut off? Darwin wrote his famous book ‘the Origin of Species’ in 1851. Right after the book became popular there was a race among the archeologists to find the missing link. It just so happened that within a few short years they found it! [or something they thought fit]. It was also a ‘coincidence’ that some of the findings were discovered right before the grant/funding would run our for the researcher. Now, don’t you think the poor brother was tempted to fudge? Do you think that some of these findings, which later fell into the category of various bones simply being found in one location, were simply hyped for the benefit of the researchers to continue their work? You bet stuff like this happened. Some of the discoveries of skeletons that looked a little different were determined to be modern humans that simply suffered from various growth deficiencies. Scientists said this publicly! But this finding didn’t ‘fit’ all the excitement that was happening around the ‘new knowledge’ of Darwin. And the fact is that some of these early findings, with all of these obvious opportunities for fraud, stand today as the best evidence for evolution. After 150 years, these guys just happened to come up with the best evidence under these highly suspicious circumstances. But the average man, like the brothers living in Corinth, were simply dazzled by all the technical jargon. ‘Neanderthal man’ wow, that’s scientific brother! The name comes from a Christian whose name was ‘Neander’ and the famous discovery of the bones were in a field where he lived. Now that’s what I call the wisdom of man! So Paul lets the Corinthians know that his gospel isn’t some fabricated wisdom that has no basis in reality, he was preaching the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! [chapter 15]. He does say this wisdom and truth of Jesus is ‘hidden wisdom that the princes of this world can’t grasp’. He teaches that only God himself can teach a person this true wisdom of the gospel. But when Paul says ‘hidden wisdom’ he is not talking about the Gnostic belief [early cult of Christianity] of ‘special wisdom that only an elite few have’. Paul is saying mans unregenerate nature cannot grasp the great riches of the gospel. God regenerates us and gives us freely of his Spirit so we can ‘know the things of the Spirit of God’. Make no mistake about it, in Christ there are tremendous sources of riches and wisdom. This wisdom is sound and sure, not like the wisdom of the philosophers. There wisdom often times was based on sheer fantasy.

(944)1ST CORINTHIANS 1:18-31 Paul declares the actual preaching of the Cross to be the power of God. The Jews sought for a sign [remember the sign of Jonas?] and the Greeks prided themselves in wisdom. Paul declares that Jesus IS the wisdom and power of God. In Christ is contained all the wisdom and power [signs] in the universe! Paul says God destroyed the wisdom of unregenerate man and that Gods foolishness is wiser than men’s greatest achievements apart from God. Wow, what an indictment on enlightenment philosophy. Man goes thru stages of learning and knowledge [renaissance, enlightenment. Industrial, scientific revolution] these are not bad achievements in and of themselves. Many of the greatest scientists and scientific discoveries were made by men of faith [Newton, Pascal, Faraday, etc] the problem arises when men think that sheer humanistic reasoning, apart from God, is the answer. Right now there is a movement [11-08] going on where some atheists bought ad space on the sides of buses that say ‘why believe in a god? Do good for goodness sake’. So they had both sides [Christian /Atheist] debate it. The simple fact is, sheer humanism cannot even define ‘what good is’. ‘Good’ becomes a matter of what serves me best at the time of my decision. Without God and special revelation [scripture-10 commandments] good can be defined by Hitler’s regime as exterminating one class of society for the benefit of the whole. Only Christian [or Deist, Jewish, Muslim] beliefs place special value and dignity on human life. It is a common misconception to think that all the enlightenment philosophers were atheists; this was not the case at all. Locke, Hume and others simply believed that thru human logic and reason people could arrive at a sort of naturalistic belief in God. This would form the basis of Deism, the system of belief in God but a rejection of classic Christian theology. Benjamin Franklin and other founding fathers of our country were influenced by this style of belief. Now, getting back to the Greeks. Paul says ‘God destroyed the wisdom of this world’. What wisdom is Paul talking about? The enlightenment philosophers of the 18th century had nothing on the Greek philosophers going all the way back to a few centuries B.C. Plato, the Greek wrestler turned philosopher, had one of the most famous schools of Greek philosophy. At the entrance of the school the words were written ‘let none but geometers enter here’. Kind of strange. Geometry simply meant ‘form’ in this use. Most of the great theoretical physicists were also great mathematicians [Einstein]. The Greek philosophers were seeking a sort of ‘unified theory’ that would explain all other theories and bring all learning together under one intellectual ‘roof’. Sort of like Einstein’s last great obsession. The Greeks actually referred to this great unknown future ‘unifier’ as ‘the Logos’. Now, some atheists will use this truth to undercut the New Testament. They will take the common use of these words ‘The Logos’ and say that Johns writings [Gospel, letters] were simply stolen ideas from Greek philosophy. This is why believers need to have a better understanding of the inspiration of scripture. John’s writings were no doubt inspired, he of course calls Jesus the ‘Logos’ [word] of God. But he was simply saying to the Greek/Gnostic mind ‘look, you guys have been waiting for centuries for the one special ‘Word/Logos’ that would be the answer to all learning, I declare unto you that Jesus is this Logos’! So eventually you would have ‘the wisdom of the world’ [both Greek and enlightenment and all other types] falling short of the ultimate answer. They could only go so far in their journey for truth, and ultimately they either wind up at the foot of the Cross [the wisdom of God] or the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’. God said this ‘tree’ [sources of wisdom and knowledge apart from God] would ultimately lead to death if not submitted to ‘the tree of life’ [the Cross]. You would have some of the enlightenment philosophers eat from this tree all the way to the ‘death of God’ movement. Man in his wisdom would come to the conclusion that ‘God is dead’. If this is true, then the slaughter of millions of Jews is no moral dilemma. If God is dead then man is not created in his image, he is just this piece of flesh that you can dispose of at will. To all you intellectual types, it’s Okay to have a mind, but you must love God with it. If all your doing is feeding from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will surely die.

(933)HAS MODERN SCIENCE PROVEN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD? Does the long age theory of the earth and universe disprove God? After the enlightenment era and the general scientific/industrial revolution, many people were taught that science held to ‘real truth’ while scripture dealt with ‘myth’. Myth in this context did not mean ‘fake’ but simple stories that conveyed spiritual meaning. In the field of theology you had what was called higher criticism. Well intended theologians tried to come up with liberal ideas that could join science and theology together in a compatible way that would suit the modern man. Many people grasped a naturalistic explanation to the universe and world and life on our planet. After Darwin advanced his theory of Macro- Evolution, science began a long haul survey of the data and came up short. After 150 years of honestly searching for the proof of Evolution, the sincere scientists [many of whom are Atheists] have seen the writing on the wall. What they were told to look for is not there! The data show that even if you were to follow the old age theory of the earth and universe [15 billion for the universe, 5 billion for earth- approximately] this in no way would leave enough time for the random development of life on our planet. Even the old age model doesn’t work. The evidence for the old earth perspective shows that life appeared on our planet around 3.5 billion years ago. Even if you believe in the spontaneous generation of the living cell [which is actually very difficult to believe in!] the short time period between the earth’s age and the first appearance of life [according to the science itself] is in no way enough time for the random development of life to have occurred. In actuality the 15 billion year old date of the universe would still not be enough time, according to the scientific statistical odds, for life to have spontaneously developed by mere chance. The problem is the average public school taught citizen does not know this! He thinks that science has somehow proven that all life and existence has come about by naturalistic means. Science has PROVEN this to be impossible! Even unbelieving science. In 1980 you had the famous conference on macro evolution held in Chicago, the famous paleontologist from the Museum of natural history in New York, Niles Eldridge, said ‘the pattern that we were told to find for the last 120 years does not exist’ [New York Times- Nov. 4, 1980]. He was stating the obvious findings of the scientific community, that Darwin’s ideas, no matter how noble and ‘enlightening’ they seemed to be, were completely shown to be false. Some from the scientific community were willing to accept this truth and begin a new journey for a different explanation of life. Some espoused that life could have started some where else, and wound up on our planet by chance [or design!]. This explanation seemed to give a little room for the impossibility of random chance to have brought about life in the short timetable and constraints of earth. Simply put, this idea acknowledged that life could in no way have developed on its own; therefore some other set of circumstances that might exist in some other place [extra-terrestrial] might have done this. Of course this idea is getting very close to the biblical world view of life having started with a creator. In essence the ‘extra terrestrial’ is actually God! The whole point is the ‘average Joe’ simply believes that science has answered all the questions of the origins of life, but the scientific community knows otherwise.

(923)2ND SAMUEL 7- As David’s house is becoming established, he says to himself ‘I live in this great cedar house, and God is dwelling openly in this tent. I know what I will do; I will build a house/building for God also’. Good intent, bad imagery! David tells the plan to Nathan the prophet and Nathan says ‘go, do all that is in your heart’ and everything seems fine. That very night the Lord appears to Nathan in a vision and rebukes the whole scheme ‘Have I ever asked for someone to build me a house? All the years of journeying with my people, don’t you think if I wanted to dwell in some temple that I would have already done it!’. Basically Nathan and David get reproved big time. Why? Up until now God ‘dwelt’ in 2 separate tabernacle/systems. The Mosaic one was a type of law and separation between God and men. You had the classic veil separating God from the people. The ‘holy of holies’ [back room] was a type of mans separation from God because of mans sin. Now, after David retrieved the ark and brought it to Jerusalem. He set it up under an open tent called ‘the tent/tabernacle of David’. From this vantage point you had a beautiful picture of the future Messianic reign under Christ [of whom David is a symbol] where the people would all have open access to God. In essence ‘no more veil’. So even though David’s intentions are good, he is messing up the image. God still confirms his calling on David and his family/dynasty and we see one of those dual messianic prophecies that speak of Solomon and Jesus at the same time. God says he will raise up a permanent throne thru the loins of David and David will have a never ending rule. For this to happen someone obviously needs to be born from the lineage of David who will ‘have the power of an endless life’ [Hebrews]. Gee, I wonder who that could be? God’s intricate plan of salvation that is contained in these Old Testament books, written many years before Christ, couldn’t have been some made up 1st century story. It would have been impossible to have coordinated all the prophetic portions of scripture that tie together in Christ. Even the original writers and readers of Israel’s history could not have seen the unfolding of prophetic events that were to be fulfilled in Christ. We finish the chapter with David praising God and recognizing in humility that God has spoken about his family and purpose for ages to come. David sees that God is calling him to something greater than just being a human king, having a brief political history. God has plans for David even after David’s death! God spoke of David’s ongoing effect thru his seed [kids] that would continue for many generations to come. God wants all of us to live with a kingdom [not human!] legacy in mind. Paul the apostle built a gentile church that has lasted for 2 thousand years, he was a man of humble means. He left behind no edifice or bulky institution. But his ‘seed’ [spiritual kids] have outlasted him for many generations to come.

(919)EVOLUTION AND THE EARTHS AGE? One of the difficulties in harmonizing the biblical record of a 6 day creation with modern science is the measured age of the earth and universe. Christians and scientists have debated this issue for years. Some believers explain away the seeming contradiction by challenging the science used to estimate the age of things. There are a few separate ways science measures this. The problem with challenging the actual science is these different ways of measuring do seem to confirm the long age belief [universe around 13-15 billion years old. The earth less than 10 billion]. One of the ways science measures this is thru carbon dating. All living things have radiation remnants in them. When you measure the carbon ratings [carbon 14 and carbon 12] that are in fossils, you can come up with an approximate age based on the ‘half life’ of carbon 14. Basically it looses so much carbon after so many years. If you assume this loss to be at a constant level you can approximate the age of the fossil. Some young earth creationists say this science is questionable [possibly so] and they simply say the amount of radiation that was lost in the early days could have been much greater than what is being lost now, therefore it ‘looks’ like the fossil is millions of years old, but in actuality it is young. Some teach that God could have made the original young creation with ‘age’ already planted inside the creation. I do not hold to these ideas myself, but I understand the possibility of these things being so. Now, if you trace the biblical history of man and compare it with modern archeology. You find surprising agreement between the two. The biblical record of the Bronze Age speaks of Tubal- Cain as the inventor of bronze instruments. The archeological record dates the Bronze Age to be around 4500 years ago, the same date of Tubal Cain. True archeology confirms biblical dates. Now, after the creation of Adam on day 6, most all of the known ages of man are in line with the bible. The problem arises when you try and date the previous 5 days of creation. The bible says God did this in ‘6 days’. Some teach the ‘day-age’ theory. The bible says a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and they teach that these are simply descriptions of long ages. Others say there was a gap between verse one and two of Genesis and you had a whole pre-Adamic race of men. And of course some say they literally believe the 6 day account and all science that points to billions of years is either wrong, or that God tested man by putting fossils in the earth with ‘pre-programmed’ age already in them. Let me espouse another way to look at this. In the field of theoretical physics, Einstein came up with the single most amazing breakthrough in time and matter, the famous E=Mc2. This theory [which is no longer theory, but proven law] showed that time itself is relative. Up until Einstein’s day, the accepted law on time was Isaac Newton’s understanding that time was absolute. No matter where a person was in the universe, time was always the same. Now Einstein challenged this and taught that time itself, depending on who is ‘holding the clock’ actually changes. You can have a single event in history, and 2 different people can actually have 2 real different measurements of the same event. If one of the clock holders is approaching the break neck speed of light, his actual measurement of the one event will be different. We are not saying it simply seems different, but there actually are different times that the same exact event transpired in. This has been proven to be true. This opens the door for a possible real 6 day creation [not spiritualizing days into ages] and also the scientific measurement of a 15 billion year old universe. The difference is between who is ‘holding the clock’. After man was created on day 6, it seems as if man was holding the clock. And that’s why most biblical and archeological dates are the same. But before day 6, who was holding the clock? Now, I am not saying the 5 days prior to day 6 have to be taken as ages. It’s scientifically possible for the actual 5 day event to have taken place in 5 literal 24 hour days, but the fact that God is ‘holding the clock’ can explain the seeming contradiction between 6 thousand and 15 billion years. This is an actual scientific possibility that was made understandable because of Einstein’s break thru theory. I am not saying this explanation is the correct one, but I am trying to show you that we are not as smart as we think we are. NOTE- I read this idea from Gerald Schroeder. A Ph.D who is Jewish, not Christian.

(903)WHY BELIEF IN GOD IS PROOF AGAINST EVOLUTION- The theory of evolution is an attempt to explain all human life and interaction from a naturalistic perspective. The theory not only attempts to say ‘we came by way of natural selection’ but if this theory were true, it would by necessity have to be able to explain the totality of the human condition. His reason for life, his emotions and goals, even his ‘irrational’ belief that God is! Now, if you were studying a tribe of isolated pygmies, and time and again you noticed that they all gravitated towards a belief in a supreme being. If natural selection were true, then the ‘more advanced’ this tribe became, you would find less of a belief in a supreme being. But instead, as man has ‘evolved’ the process of natural selection [which would mean the inferior species are falling away] has not been able to produce this superior race of beings who have advanced to the point where evolution itself has become the obvious explanation of all things. The fact is, the more man ‘evolves’ the more religious he becomes! The mere fact that human beings have this inner belief and desire for a supreme intelligence can not be explained away by saying ‘well, this silliness will eventually pass away’. The facts show us that this ‘silly belief in God’ is increasing at an alarming rate among the most ‘advanced peoples’ of the earth. If natural selection were true, then the end result is ‘God exists’.

(901)SAMUEL 18- David is accepted by Saul and seen as a hero. Upon his victory over the giant all the women begin praising and worshipping in the streets with tambourines and musical instruments. Why this exuberant awakening of the women of Israel? It seems to me that David’s skill as a warrior/worshiper brought a degree of respect to the ministry of praise and music that might have been lacking up until this time. Even though the Lord instilled worship as an intricate part of warfare [Judah=praise], yet it seems likely that being a musician during a time in Israel’s history where violence and war were respected might have been seen as a less than noble pursuit. So David restored a sort of freedom and respectability to praise. Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, becomes ‘linked’ to David in a strong way. Some advocates of the gay lifestyle have actually tried to use this scripture to defend the gay lifestyle, but it seems to simply be saying that Jonathan and David became best of friends. What might have caused this initial bonding? Don’t forget Jonathan himself was a warrior who was willing to lay it all on the line against great odds. He already confronted the enemy single-handedly and won! It’s possible that during Goliaths 40 days of mocking and tempting Israel that Jonathan said ‘I’ll do it dad’ and Saul would have never allowed his own son to face the giant. If so then the victory of David was even sweeter to Jonathan than the others. David begins receiving praise from the people because of his wisdom and skill on the battlefield. Jealousy arises in Saul and he tries to kill David with a spear. This begins the history of Saul trying to kill David on various occasions and David’s noble responses. Never trying to hurt Saul himself. Let’s end this chapter with a re-cap of the open type worship that is happening with the women under David’s ministry. It is much like the taboo that Jesus broke in the gospels. Jesus ministry was revolutionary in the way he welcomed and allowed women to be an open part of his ministry. The other written works of the day did not see women from this open standpoint. This is one of the proofs used to defend the canonicity of the scripture. If the stories were all being made up, then you would never include women in this way. Because it would tend to discourage others from believing the story! Jesus broke barriers, David’s ministry and rule will be a picture of the restoration of the dignity and usefulness of women in society. David’s Psalms were actually the song book of the nation. These songs were written during the time of David’s ministry in Jerusalem when the tent of David was the only thing containing the retrieved Ark of the Covenant. A type of the open access that would come to all people under the future ministry of Jesus. David was not only a great warrior, he was a passionate worshipper of his God.

(886)SAMUEL 4- DOES TRUE SCIENCE BACK UP BIBLICAL CREATIONISM? The reason I stuck this in here is because this chapter deals with the Ark of the Covenant [the box that ‘contained God’ or his ten commandments!]. I want to deal with the biblical revelation of Gods character and how it relates to creation. Do you remember the Indiana Jones movies? The Raiders of the Lost Ark. They showed a view of the Ark of the covenant as God being this super energy/light force that if ‘unleashed’ would completely decimate everything around it. Sort of like an Atomic bomb. The biblical account of creation is that in the beginning [of time and all matter and everything else, except God] that all you had was this self existent all powerful being who is Spirit [not matter]. And that by a singular act of speaking he created all matter and everything else in our universe. This concept was rejected by philosophers and scientists for over 2 thousand years. Even Saint Thomas Aquinas, the premiere apologist of the Catholic Church, believed that the universe always existed. He chose to defend God from the idea of ‘prime mover’. That is God is the initiator of all motion. He accepted the basic belief that the universe always existed. So you had the biblical world view, as seen in those who said ‘all matter and existence came into being at a point in history where God [this being of infinite energy and light] spoke and unleashed his creative power’. The majority scientific view was ‘this is impossible’. The 20th century will go down in history as the century that made the most breakthroughs in scientific thought up until the present time. Michael Faraday [the 19th century] would unlock certain keys that would become the groundwork for Einstein’s breakthrough in Physics. Up until that time all science treated energy and matter as separate fields. Faraday discovered that light itself was a beam of energy. He discovered Electro Magnetism. Einstein had an obsession with light as a little boy. He wanted to know what it was, how it functioned. Einstein’s famous theory E= MC 2 combined energy and matter in a way that was revolutionary to the scientific world. For the first time science would view energy and matter as co related fields. What worked in one field was true for the other. His theory stands for ‘Energy = Matter times the square of the speed of light’ C represents the speed of light- 670 million miles per hour! Einstein unlocked a tremendous secret that was hidden to the world of science up until his day. He showed that time itself is relative. Until that time Newton’s view was if you could actually travel at the speed of light and ‘catch up’ to the end of a beam of light, that it would still be moving away from you at the speed of light. Einstein believed this didn’t make sense. But the laws of physics up until his time did not leave room for a reasonable explanation. His breakthrough idea was that if you could actually catch up to the speed of light, you would theoretically be at a point where time stood still. These concepts seemed ridiculous before. The only place where you would find such silly ideas as ‘time being no more’ or as ‘all matter came into existence by this supreme light force’ were in the ancient biblical texts. So true science was getting closer to biblical revelation, not the other way around. Now Einstein’s theory meant that if you not only caught up to the speed of light, but actually surpassed it, what would happen? The energy used to surpass the speed of light would turn into density, matter. So you would actually be able to get matter [Hebrews 11] from ‘things that are not seen’ [immaterial]. This theory also meant that if you could unleash the potential energy from matter, you would be unleashing one of the greatest forces known to man. The Atom Bomb. Einstein’s theory has been measured and been proven to be true. As hard as it is to wrap your mind around, studies have shown that things do not age as fast when traveling at high rates of speed for extended periods of time. Einstein’s theory has made possible the belief that all things came into existence at a specific point in time. This supreme being of light and energy had the potential to create all the matter in the universe in a matter of seconds. This ‘super fast light being’ also transcends time, a thing thought to have been impossible in the past. Einstein enabled man to come closer to the ‘stuff of God’ more than at any other time in history. One other thing, Einstein’s theories break down right at the point of ‘singularity’. The exact moment of creation. Hey, God isn’t going to let you see it all without having some faith! NOTE- I am not advocating Pantheism here [the belief that the universe and the creation itself are actually God]. Light and energy [power] and ‘Logos’ [The Greek word for ‘Word’] are all descriptions of God, that he himself uses to reveal himself to finite man. But because he is the creator of light and energy and all things, he is revealed to man by his creation. But God himself is a personal self existent being. In his revelation of himself thru Jesus Christ he also exists in a bodily resurrected state at the right hand of the majesty on high.

(883)WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE THE CATHOLICS/ANGLICANS THINKING? Our readers realize that I am not anti catholic at all. Some believe I am too pro catholic! But these past few weeks have been horrendous for Intelligent Design proponents [like me!]. First, a bunch of Catholic statements have been made that are pro evolution. While nothing is ‘Ex- Cathedra’ [the official stamp of approval from Rome] many Catholic statements have been made in defense of evolution. The Anglican Church just officially apologized to Darwin for heavens sake! What’s going on? You have many good Catholic scientists who do lean toward Darwin’s theory in the sense that they view all the GOOD science that has come from the reality of grappling with the issue. And there have been great strides made. The fundamental error of Darwin is there is tremendous scientific evidence against all life forms having evolved from one common cell. Even if a person wanted to believe that living cells erupted spontaneously from a pre biotic soup, the honest reality is that it is absolutely unproven that humans themselves can be traced back to a single pre biotic living cell. Now a few years back you had the major scientific finding that all humans shared a common human parentage. The secular media actually reported this story as ‘the genetic Eve’ [the mother of all living]. This scientific breakthrough showed us that the ‘silly’ bible story of Adam and Eve might actually be literal! Yes folks, science says that we all have a common mom and pop! But can we trace a common ancestry to a single original cell from which ALL LIFE came from? Absolutely not. To the contrary you would be better off trying to make an argument for multiple ‘first cells’ instead of one. The study of DNA absolutely shows us the impassible gulf between human and animal life. No matter how hard science tries to bridge this gap, it can’t. They have tested monkeys that seemed to show human traits, hoping that the link between human and monkey could be made. What have they found? To their dismay, it was a monkey. All science shows us that human beings and animals are of distinct origin. If one wants to reject the literal reading of creation in the Genesis account [which seems to be what all the recent fuss is about] you still cannot teach Darwinian Evolution as a viable alternative. True science will not allow it.

(870)ROMANS 14: 10-23 ‘As I live…every knee shall bow and every tongue confess’. Paul teaches that we will all give an account of ourselves to God. He shows that one of the proofs that ‘he lives’ rides on this fact. How? The context of every one giving an account of his life is speaking of a future judgment day. But we also see the reality of Gods existence in the fact that most people [even atheists!] have at one time or another ‘spoken to God’. I was listening [or reading?] a testimony of a woman who was an atheist. Her child became critically ill and as the days went by in the hospital she had a conversation that went like this ‘I cant pray to God now. I would be a hypocrite. I have denied him my whole life’. The point is she actually knew that in time of need you should pray to God. This universal reality that most people on the planet have at one time or another ‘confessed to God’ is proof of his existence. Paul says because of this fact that we all will give an account to God, therefore don’t judge other people [motives] before the time. If you have the freedom to ‘eat meat’ [less legalistic] then by all means do so. But if this freedom causes another to stumble, then your first priority as a Christian is to live your life in an unselfish way for the benefit of others. So do not let your freedom become an offence to those who have ‘weaker faith’. Do all things with the benefit of others in mind. When Paul says ‘don’t judge your brother’ he is not saying there is never a time for correction and reproof. Paul used very harsh language when dealing with the Judaizers. These Jewish legalists did believe in Christ, they just mixed the law in with the gospel. Paul rebuked them harshly [just like Jesus and the religious leaders of his day]. But when dealing with new believers, those who are ‘weaker in the faith’ you don’t want to overload them with too much stuff. You want them to grow and mature in the proper time. If you used to be legalistic [not going to movies, not eating pork, all types of stuff] and now are more mature in your thinking [though some movies are bad and pork isn’t real good for you!] you should not despise those who still see the practice of their faith thru this lens. Paul said ‘he that eats, eats unto the Lord. He that abstains does it also to the lord’. In these less important restrictions that some believers abide by, most of the times their motives are pure. We shouldn’t demean them. We should try to live peaceably with all men as much as possible, we will all give an account some day.

(863)INTELLIGENT DESIGN- In some of my recent posts on Evolution, I have tried to show the desperation that many scientists are experiencing because of the evidence that is mounting on the side of Intelligent Design. All scientists have ‘preconceived ideas’ that affect the way they view the evidence. Some hold to a theory [note- this is only a theory!] that all things ultimately have to be explained thru naturalistic means. For instance, no matter how much evidence arises on the side of intelligent design, they will continue to reject the theory. Why? Because they are approaching modern science from a naturalistic perspective. They will say ‘if it can’t be explained by natural means [things that can be examined physically- Physics] then we must continue to look for other theories’. This mindset is not necessarily scientific. Nor have all scientists, past and present, assumed this position. So, first we need to understand that the view of science that says ‘no matter how much evidence points to intelligent design, I will never accept it’ is an actual bias on the part of the scientist. Also some of the most ‘notable’ critics have actually embraced this same ‘metaphysical concept’ [that which can’t be seen or measured thru naturalistic means] in trying to refute a creator. [Note- intelligent design and creationism are not the same thing. Intelligent design is simply the discovery of complex information and fine tuning in both the Cosmos as well as created beings. There are so many factors that lead us to believe that a ‘higher intelligence’ had to have been involved. Some espouse other ideas on what/whom the higher intelligence is. For Christians, Muslims and Jews he is God]. Hawking [Stephen] has espoused a ‘multi-verse’ concept of the universe. I have explained it before and wont do it here again [It’s under the evolution section]. The hypocrisy of this theory is it is by definition ‘metaphysical’. It is a theory based, by definition, on ‘supernatural/other than natural’ explanations. It theorizes that there might be an untold number of universes out there, and therefore we are not as unique as we think. The problem is this theory could never be proven by way of using the ‘naturalistic mindset’ that Hawking espouses. By definition ‘any thing that we could see or ever examine by natural means would be in our universe’ [Physics]. So in essence those who hold to a natural explanation to all things are actually contradicting themselves when they espouse this theory. They are using the same scientific logic as the ones who embrace intelligent design. They are saying ‘since we can not come up with a naturalistic explanation to the existence of all things. We too are espousing a ‘metaphysical theory’. The only difference is there god is called a ‘multi-verse’.

(860)WHAT WAS IN THOSE DARN BUCKETS? Imagine yourself sitting on some roadside and you witness way up on a mountain the sight of an old man throwing a bucket of some unknown substance off the cliff. You then assemble a group of detectives and begin researching what was in the bucket. You interview eyewitnesses who say ‘we saw a bucket full of numbers’. Some say the bucket had even and odd numbers, others say only odd numbers. Well, now we have a dilemma. Both sides are adamant about their belief! They will not budge. So you begin an exhaustive 150 year archeological dig to find the numbers. After 150 years you have found ones and threes and sevens and so forth. You have found thousands of these odd numbers. What would your conclusion be? The evolutionist has had 150 years since Darwin to ‘unearth’ all the ‘missing numbers’. We have found fossils of all different kinds of life forms. The problem is there are no ‘even numbers’ [transitional species]. How do we explain the absence of all these so called ‘transitional species’? The intelligent thing to do is admit there were no ‘even numbers’ [transitional species] from the start? But the evolutionist can’t admit ‘the old man had a bucket full of odd numbers’. So he comes up with all types of explanations for the ‘missing numbers’. The problem is there is absolutely no reasonable explanation for why all the odd numbers survived [fossils of complete things, structures] and not a single even number has been found! [Though some clever ‘number hunters’ will try to pass off a broken odd number every so often]. They have even found so called ‘missing even numbers’ and later discovered that they were fakes! I think its time to admit that the old man on the hill had a ‘bucket full of odd numbers’ [there never were any so called ‘missing links’!]

(858)EVOLUTION- I just read another one of those articles in the news paper. How Florida just mandated the teaching of Evolution in their public schools [I figured it already was mandated?]. They of course described the theory as the ‘central organizing principle of life science’ BULL! Now, I have heard scientists say ‘what in the heck do you mean by this’ [the so called idea that evolution is this amazing ‘organizing principle’]? The truth is evolution has fallen so badly in recent years that many scientists are scrambling for alternative theories. The ones that disbelieve in creation or intelligent design are even looking for a way out of evolution! The old theory has no more legs to stand on. Let me try and show you the desperation of some. Stephen Hawking has espoused various theories on the universe. One of the theories [which is difficult to describe without diagrams] basically looks like a ‘funnel’ or ‘cone’. The present accepted scientific theory of Big Bang Cosmology would look like a cone, with a minute starting point that grows wider as you pan to the top. This accepted theory shows a ‘point of singularity’. This is basically the point on the diagram that says ‘all things started here’. Now, even though this is accepted science, the ‘contrarians’ are desperately trying to come up with other alternatives. Why? Because if the ‘big bang’ is true, then God is a necessary being! So how does the brilliant Hawking get around this? He comes up with a theory [besides the ‘multi-verse’ one!] That says ‘my cone/funnel has a round indistinguishable knob for a point’. Sort of like a dunce cap with a ball at the end [Prophetic? Just kidding]. Hawking espouses that there is no discernable ‘edge’ or starting point. He feels that this concept can explain away the ‘point of singularity’. Why is this absolutely ridiculous? It would be like me trying to prove to you that this roll of duct tape that I hold in my hand ‘had no beginning’. And if I was able to ‘hide’ the starting point of the tape, where you couldn’t peel a piece off, that this would prove ‘walla, the tape has no starting point’ [that is it was never made]. Absolute lunacy! You say ‘well, John, who are you to question the intellect of such an austere man as Hawking’? Many other Physicists have said the exact same thing. It’s simple logic that tells you this. Just because you can hide the beginning point of a thing, this does not mean the thing had no beginning! I just get riled up when I read these news paper articles and they espouse some of the most ridiculous stuff. Maybe their world really does look like a ‘dunce cap with a knob on the end’. God created the one I live in.

(853)ROMANS 9: 30-33 ‘What shall we say then? That the Gentiles which followed not after the law of righteousness have attained it, even by faith’. Paul concludes the chapter by summing up his ‘righteousness by faith’ argument. Natural Israel, who sought to become righteous by law, who were always striving for perfection thru the keeping of the law. They did not attain that which they sought after. Why? Because they sought it ‘not by faith, but by law’. No law could ever make a man righteous. The Gentiles, which were not even looking! They got it. Why? Because they simply believed in the Messiah, it was the best message they ever heard. They were told their whole lives ‘you are separated from Gods promises. You are not included in the commonwealth of Israel’. They never dreamed that the Jewish Messiah would say ‘neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more’. They received Gods righteousness by faith. Israel ‘stumbled’ at the stumbling stone. Jesus is called a precious stone and also a rock of offence. To those who believe, he is great, precious. To those who don’t believe he is this tremendous obstacle. The unbelieving world doesn’t know what to do with him. I was watching Ravi Zacharias the other night. He is a good Christian apologist. He was telling the story of being in Russia and speaking to a large group of Atheists. During his talk they were really aggressive, making motions with their hands and all. He was told ahead of time to be prepared. At the question and answer time a Russian Atheist asked ‘what are you talking about when you say God? I have no idea what you mean by this false concept’. Ravi asked him ‘sir, are you an Atheist?’ He replied yes. ‘What is an Atheist’? Ravi asked. The man responded ‘someone who denies God’. Ravi said ‘what exactly is it that you are denying’? The unbeliever has come up against this ‘rock of offence’. He tries to get around it, to develop all types of systems and philosophies to deny it. The rock is there, you can either ‘fall on it’. That is admit he is who he claims to be. Submit and be ‘broken’. Or it will eventually ‘grind you to powder’. You will pass from the scene and the next crop of Atheists will rise and face the same dilemma. This rock ‘aint going away’.

(852)EVOLUTION AND RACISM- Jesus said if you call someone a fool ‘without a cause’ that you would be in danger of ‘hell fire’. One of the most famous ‘Evolution versus Christian’ cases in the 20th century was known as ‘The Scopes Trial’ [monkey trial]. I remember as a boy watching the made for T.V. movie ‘Inherit the Wind’. The movie portrayed the Christians as ‘ignoramuses’ while showing the defense side as ‘enlightened’. The key figures were Clarence Darrow [1857-1938] and William Jennings Bryan [1860-1925]. John Scopes was the teacher accused of teaching evolution from the book ‘Civic Biology’ by George Hunter. Tennessee had recently passed a law forbidding the teaching of evolution in their schools [Butler act]. Scopes was found guilty and fined 100 dollars, but the intent of trying to show the Christian fundamentalist as ‘backwoods idiots’ was achieved. Darrow managed to get Bryan to admit that the creation account of Genesis might be speaking of ‘ages’ when it says ‘days’ [the very popular gap theory was accepted by many fundamentalists at the time. C. I. Scofield’s bible popularized this belief in the notes]. After the trial the fact that the A.C.L.U. lost the case was insignificant, they won in the media. Till this day many people see this event as a victory for freedom and human rights. What is not commonly known is that the book Scopes taught from was one of the most racist books of the age. It freely taught Eugenics [the stronger more ‘nobler’ races winning out over the less valuable inferior races!] it even had a scale showing the 5 races of humans from the most valuable and intelligent, to the least valuable and ignorant. The book had whites at the top and blacks at the bottom. Bryan was a defender of civil rights for all humans, he stood on the side of blacks and minorities being equal. The so called ‘advanced’ bunch [the evolutionists] were on the side of the K.K.K., they espoused the doctrine of white supremacy as taught in the book Scopes used. Bryan felt the danger of this so called ‘scientific theory’ was that it would lead to disaster and the degrading of human dignity. It is an historical fact that Hitler read and believed in Eugenics and Evolution, he felt his atrocities against the Jews were simply mans way of ‘wiping out the inferior races’. His demonic attack would occur a few years after Bryan’s warnings. Now, for those who view the famous ‘Monkey Trial’ as a great victory for humanity, I have one response ‘the men who wrote and espoused such racist beliefs were quite obviously FOOLS!

(842)PROOF FROM DNA- One of the other fields of science that has radically identified ‘intelligent design’ in creation is the study of human DNA. Scientists have discovered [to the dismay of the Atheist!] an unbelievable amount of ‘data’ that has been stored in DNA. They have found a code consisting of four basic parts [referenced by 4 letters] that is much like the computer programs of our day. This information that is stored in DNA has no rational [or scientific] explanation of how it got there! Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection can not explain how this massive amount of information has been stored in DNA. As scientists have racked their brains in trying to come up with an explanation, some have simply said ‘all evidence points to an intelligent being who had to have had a hand in this’. Even those who are not believers in God have said stuff like this. The point is that as science advances, there is more evidence of a designer, not less! To add this information to the other fields of science is no doubt causing great consternation to the atheistic scientist. He can no longer reject the proof of intelligent design as seen in science. God is proving himself a better ‘chess player’ than they thought.

(838)FINE TUNING IN THE UNIVERSE- Over the last 20 years or so, science has discovered such overwhelming evidence for an ‘intelligent designer’ that even the naturalistic scientists have said ‘the level of fine tuning in our universe cant be explained in any other way, except for the fact that some one has been messing around with the controls’! What exactly is fine tuning? In the field of Physics [which can get complicated!] scientists have discovered these unbelievable ‘measurements’ that exist in the universe, that previously were unknown. One of these is called the ‘Cosmological Constant’ [the measure of energy density in empty space]. This measurement has to be so finely tuned, that if it were just off a tiny bit, life could not exist in the universe. It has been explained like this; if you took a ruler [12 inch kind] and extended it lengthwise thru out the whole universe, and then had a random penny fall from space. If the penny did not land exactly on a specific ‘inch measurement’ on the ruler, life could not exist! Now, what are the odds that a ‘random penny’ would hit this spot? The odds of this happening by pure chance are next to impossible. But you say ‘well, it might have been an accident’. The problem is this isn’t the only measurement you need to get ‘right on target’ in order for life to exist. You have the same problem with Gravity. Science has also discovered the same unbelievable measurement with Gravity. A small degree off of the present measurement would crush everything. It would prevent the actual ‘combining’ of mass and material where you couldn’t even have a universe! This measurement has been found to simply be exactly correct. There are no laws of nature that make this measurement exact. In fact, logic would dictate that if everything is random, that the measurement would be at the higher end of the spectrum, but instead it is very low on the scale. Now, putting these 2 unbelievably precise things together [both the Cosmological Constant and Gravity] would make the odds next to impossible that this just ‘happened’. It would be like you walking into a Museum and finding a pre built enclosed ‘world’. As you entered the model you saw all types of very technical gauges on this control panel. Say around 30 gauges. These were precise settings that all had to be exact, set to the smallest possible place on each dial. Now, if before you left the room, little Johnnie went over and messed up each dial, he spun them around and screwed up the entire display. You would quickly tell Johnnie ‘let’s go see the Dinosaur exhibit’. You got out of there as soon as possible! Now say if little Johnnie insisted that he left one of his favorite toys in the ‘fake world’. You finally take the risk of getting caught and go back to the model world. Surprise! All of the very technical gauges have been set and put back in order. Did this just happen by mere happenstance? Of course not. Obviously some knowledgeable person [an intelligent designer] found out about the problem and put the gauges back in their proper setting. This is basically what Physics has found out over the recent years. And the finely tuned measurements that need to be set just right keep going up! That is we keep finding more things that need to be ‘just right’ in order for life to exist. Many in the field of Physics realize that these discoveries are a huge ‘smoking gun’ that backs up the argument for intelligent design. They realize that if this knowledge ever becomes public, to the degree where the average person grasps and understands this truth, that the reality of an intelligent designer being behind it all is the only explanation for it. Contrary to public opinion, science is getting closer and closer to proving the existence of God [though ultimately he can’t be totally proved by science, he exists outside of the physical realm]. I just wish the Atheists would quit trying to convince everybody that they are the ones who are on the side of true science!

(837)ROMANS 7:14-25 Paul now shows us the reality of Gods law and its effect on man. ‘When I do something that I DON’T WANT TO DO, then I consent unto the law that it is good’. Did you ever think of this? The fact that you [or even the atheist!] have done things that ‘you don’t want to do’ proves the existence of God and natural law [which the 10 commandments were only a glimpse, they reveal a small part of Gods character and nature]. So if you, or anybody else, have ever struggled with ‘I am doing something that I hate’. Then why do it? Or better, why hate it? You yourself are an actual living testimony of ‘the law of God’. Your own conscience testifies that there are ‘good things’ and ‘bad things’. You also testify of the fact of sin ‘why do you keep doing the bad things’? Alas, that thing called ‘sin’ does exist! Paul shows us that the experience of every human member on the planet testifies to both the righteousness of God and the sinfulness of man. Freud [the father of modern Psychology] saw this war rage in the psyche of man, he came up with an idea that we need to ‘free man’ from this inner moral struggle. He espoused the idea that in mans ‘head’ he has this preconceived image of ‘God’ and right or wrong. Being Freud was a child of the Enlightenment, as well as a student of Existentialism [though the Father of Existentialism was a Christian, the Danish theologian/ philosopher Soren Kierkegaard] he taught that if we could just eliminate this ‘God idea’ and ‘church moral code’ from mans mind, then all would be well! Geez, I could hardly think of a more destructive thing than to tell man ‘if it feels right, do it’! Paul taught ‘if you can’t stop doing something that ‘feels right’ then you are sinning!’[if that which ‘feels right’ is making you miserable!] And the very fact that you can’t escape the guilt, proves that God exists and that his law is this unstoppable force that invades all human consciences. Paul knew the struggle, he testifies thru out scripture that he tried to become right with God over and over again, but the ‘law of sin’ [the sinful nature. Here ‘law’ is speaking of the ‘principle of sin’ and the fleshly nature] prevented him from keeping the ‘law of God’ [doing what’s right], he then found the ‘righteousness of God that comes thru faith in Christ’. Paul ends the chapter ‘O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death’? ‘I thank God thru Jesus Christ my Lord’. Paul found the answer, his name was Jesus.

(833)EVOLUTION- I hate to interrupt Romans, but I needed to share some stuff while it’s fresh. I also finished frank Violas book, Pagan Christianity, and have put off commenting on that as well. For all my Atheist and Agnostic readers, it absolutely astounds me to read the research and evidence coming from the scientific community against evolution. Many hold to very outdated theories and ‘religiously’ will not let them go! One of the most famous experiments that has been touted for years as evidence for evolution was the ‘Stanley Miller experiment’ [1953]. This experiment used the supposed atmosphere of the early earth and created a scenario using electrical sparks, to simulate the possible environment of lightning causing human cell life. During the experiment, Miller was able to produce a ‘goo’ that contained Amino acids [basic building blocks of life]. Now, don’t get too excited. Even if this were possible, it’s quite a leap to start with an ‘atmosphere and lightning’ as well as an unexplained earth! The experiment would only prove the possibility of naturalistic life, it would not be able to explain the intricate design of the planet and universe that Miller assumed were ‘just there’ [besides the fact that Miller spent hours technically designing this ‘atmosphere’ in the laboratory- this is what we call ‘intelligent design’!]. But for years this experiment was used to ‘prove’ evolution in the classroom. Now as time has passed since Stanley’s experiment, science has discovered that the atmosphere that Stanley used could not have been the atmosphere of the early earth. While there still is disagreement on the exact atmosphere, there is agreement that Stanley’s model got it wrong. If you used the current accepted model, do you know what you would get? You get Formaldehyde and Cyanide. Hum, what do they do? They make it impossible for actual cellular life to co exist! The real experiment would prove contrary to evolution. We use these chemicals today, they are called ‘Embalming Fluid’. God does have a sense of humor.

(822)ROMANS 1:21-32 the scripture says that all creation ‘knew God’. The indictment is ‘there is no excuse’. The previous verses proved that God not only made man, but that because man was made in Gods image, he therefore had an ‘inner imprint’ of his maker inside him. Now man chose to ‘change the image of God into that of animals’. Man could not escape this inert desire to worship, this thing in him that said ‘there’s more to life than simple flesh’. So he didn’t just become an atheist [though that’s what they would have you believe] but they became ‘changers of Gods image’. They came up with an alternative ‘religion’. Scripture says they changed God’s image into that of an animal [idolatry] and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator. Evolution was Darwin’s feeble attempt at ‘changing the image of God into that of animals’. How so? Modern man was too enlightened [after all we had the enlightenment!] to actually go out and make an image of an animal and bow to it. Instead he bought into the idea that he evolved from animals. Scripture says we are made in Gods image, evolution says ‘we are made in the image of an animal’. Men did not ‘like to retain God in their knowledge’. They had to have some controlling worldview, they came up with one. Now Romans says God gave them up to become like that which they chose to worship. Man was designed to worship God, in seeking and going after God they would become more like him. When man chooses to empty his mind from the creator, God allows him to fill it with what he wants. He receives a ‘reprobate mind’. He fixates on the animal instincts that are a natural result of ‘worshipping four footed beasts’. Now man has no choice but to be formed into the thing that he worships. Paul is here telling us that man became immoral as a result of his own choice to eradicate God from his thoughts. Man received the just recompense of his choice. At the end of the chapter Paul closes with ‘they know that those who do these things are worthy of death’. Once again the idea of judgment ‘the wrath of God is revealed from heaven’. Paul’s summary; Man is unrighteous. God is righteous in punishing man. Man chose to become like this. The only way to escape an inevitable meeting with wrath is to ‘become righteous’. This is accomplished thru believing the gospel. When you believe you become righteous and are no longer on Gods radar screen for judgment.

(810)WHY SO MANY THEORIES? I know I jump around a lot! Recently I have been reading some stuff on all the recent [50 years] evidence of God coming from the study of the Cosmos. I have mentioned that the accepted science for the existence of our current universe is ‘the big bang theory’. Now, the reason this theory is ‘accepted’ by well over 90 percent of the scientific community is because as time progressed after it’s initial discovery, all the evidence kept pointing to an initial event [big bang] that was the beginning point of all matter, time, energy and space. For many thousands of years thinkers and scientists did not believe this. It was considered ‘ignorant’ to hold to an idea that said ‘there was a beginning point to time and space’. To many of you this sounds strange even now! But be assured, science has proven this to be true. One of the great intellects of the 20th century, Albert Einstein, who came up with the ‘theory of relativity’ introduced new concepts of time and space that were revolutionary breakthroughs in thought. After a multiple of new discoveries [Hubble- the expanding universe] the century progressed to a point where that which was seen as ignorant in days gone by [that time and space actually had a beginning point] was now accepted mainstream science. Now, all scientists were not so willing to give in to the accepted theory. Many of them openly said ‘if this theory [big bang] is true, then God is a necessary being’. Many realized that for all things to have had a starting point, especially time and space, that the only reasonable explanation for the existence of all things is ‘God’. I know it’s hard to grasp the concept that God exists outside of the parameters of time and space. We often see God as this being who was ‘floating around’ in eternity in some empty void, who one day said ‘Let there be light’ and he began creating things. But in all actuality God wasn’t ‘floating in space for all time’, he simply WAS. That is there was no time or space for him to have been floating in! His omniscience and omnipresence was all there was! Now, as hard as it is for us to grasp this concept, I want you to see that the only people who held to this idea of a transcendent being [someone who transcends time and space] were people who believed in God! It seemed humorous and ignorant to believe in a pre existent being who was self existent and lived outside of time and space. But be assured, this ‘silly’ belief in Gods characteristics, as revealed thru scripture, is now absolutely proven to be the most feasible solution to the existence of our universe! That’s why Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins and others have tried very hard to introduce other views of the existence of our universe [multi- verse, oscillating, steady state, ‘vacuum’] all attempts at trying to undo the majority accepted view. The problem is at this point they are not fighting the Christians as much as their fellow colleagues! After a hundred years of true science, we now know that all things [except God] had a beginning point. The atheist knows if this is true he will have to admit God. They should listen to one of the great thinkers of all time who when trying to come up with an overriding answer that would ‘unify’ [explain] all the various fields of science, said ‘God doesn’t roll dice’. Einstein was too smart to leave God out of the equation.

(806)WHY A ‘MULTI-VERSE’ THEORY IS FALSE. Jumping back to apologetics. Some atheists have espoused the ‘multi-verse’ idea to try to explain away the unbelievable complexity of the universe and our galaxy and solar system. The further along we advance in the study of Physics and Cosmology, we find a degree of ‘fine tuning’ in the universe that is incomprehensible. We have learned things about our universe that were previously thought of as mere chance. Even though we theorize that there may be millions or billions of planets in the universe, as far as we know the only one that has the unbelievable delicate balance of air and atmosphere to support life is ours. Our unique placement in our galaxy [Milky Way] allows our solar system to be in a position where we can ‘see’ our actual location in space [thru telescopes of course!] there are many other ‘spots’ that we could have been placed in that would not have allowed our own viewing of our position. Did God realize [did!] that there would come a time in human history as man advanced in wisdom where he would figure out the absolute need for a designer to have done these things? Richard Dawkins and other atheists realize what a losing game they are playing. They see how it is impossible for all of this complexity and design to be in our universe and for all of this to have happened from no thing! So in sheer fantasy they have come up with a solution. A ‘multi-verse’. That is if the probabilities of our existence in our own universe are so complex, then instead of admitting the astronomical odds [impossibility!] of all this happening by chance, they just ‘changed the odds’. How so? If you flipped a coin and it landed on heads, all day every day for the rest of your life. What conclusion would you come to? You would check out the coin to make sure it doesn’t have 2 heads! Or in other words the first reasonable, logical conclusion would be ‘someone designed the coin to make this happen’. Now say if you had someone who said ‘I don’t believe that someone designed this to happen’. I would ask ‘then how else can you explain, that by pure chance this unbelievable result has occurred’ he could then say ‘well, say if right now as you were flipping the coin, at the same time there are an untold number of other people all over the world right now flipping coins. Let’s say the whole population of 6.5 billion people on the planet are flipping coins!’. Well, I would have to admit that the odds of one person getting heads every time just went up. Even though it would still be highly unlikely that out of all 6.5 billion people you would still have one who hit heads non stop for 25 years in a row, yet the fact is the odds have changed in favor of my friend who does not believe in ‘an intelligent designer who caused the unbelievable odds to happen’. This in a nutshell is what the ‘multi verse’ brothers believe. They have simply changed the odds by saying ‘there are an infinite number of universes’. Now, what evidence do we have that there are multiple universes existing outside of our present universe? None! No wait ‘absolutely none’. Well John, do you mean to tell me that these geniuses of intellect are trying to pass off something as ridiculous as this without any evidence’? Yes. The fact is by definition there can be no evidence. Our universe is described as all that is presently existing in our space/time continuum. Anything that we could ever learn or see is by definition ‘in our universe’. This is why science has proven that for all things [space and time included] to have had a beginning [which is scientific fact!] then there must have been an outside causal agent, who himself was not limited by time or space [our universe!] who acted upon his own purpose and will to bring into existence all things. For Dawkins or Hawking to simply say ‘well, we believe there are untold numbers of infinite big bangs and infinite universes’ is as ridiculous as saying ‘everyone else on the planet are flipping coins’! NOTE- the ‘multi-verse’ idea is gaining ground as an answer to the intelligent design problem seen in our universe. The increased complexity and fine tuning that science is discovering in our universe poses a tremendous threat to the old ‘it just happened’ theory. The obvious ‘silliness’ of the multi- verse theory is its absolute contradiction. In essence it says ‘we have been saying for years that the high improbability of our universe coming into existence from a ‘big bang’ which has no prior cause, is next to impossible’. But this ‘impossible’ supposition is now explained by saying ‘there have been an infinite number of big bangs and an infinite number of universes’. If the odds on all of this coming into existence from ‘nothing’ are small [impossible] what are the odds that this next to impossible phenomena has been going on for ever?

(803)Let’s throw in one on Evolution. The dating of the earth and universe and when man appeared in modern form vary somewhat depending on who you listen to. But for the most part you have these brothers who think the earth is under 10 billion years old while the universe is over that [around 13 billion or so, give or take a few billion!]. Now, these brothers also espouse the idea that man in his present form evolved around 150 thousand years ago. At least this is the official stuff you’re taught in high school. Now, according to the atheistic scientist [There are tons of Christian scientists by the way, who reject Evolution as a theory that has been unproven!] man showed up 150 thousand years ago. At the present population growth rate of a little less than one half percent growth annually, do you know how many people would be on the planet by now? A number way over the present population [around 6.5 billion is the present population of our planet]. The number you would get by estimating the 150 thousand date would be so great that you wouldn’t be able to fit all the people on the planet [this of course includes the death rate as well]. Well say if you lowered the evolutionary number and said man showed up around 100 thousand years ago? Still too high. What about 50? Nope. 25 thousand years ago? Still too high. Well let’s see what these silly ‘bible Christians’ believe. The bible gives the date of mans appearance on the planet to be around 6 thousand years ago. But wait, these silly Christians also believe the story of Noah and some huge ark that held all these animals and stuff, along with eight people. The date for Noah’s ark is around 4,500 years ago. Lets say we used the present growth rate for the human population [a little under 1 half percent annually] and ran the numbers from 8 people who left the ark 4500 year ago. I wonder what the number would be. Between 6.4 and 6.5 billion! Wow, for a bunch of people who believe these silly stories in the bible, they keep ‘getting lucky’ when it comes to the facts. NOTE- In keeping myself honest, I am not necessarily a ‘young earth creationist’. I believe it’s possible for the earth to be a lot older than 6 thousand years old. Now, you have varying views among Christians on this. You have ‘young earth creationists’ ‘old earth creationists’ [which I lean towards] and ‘Theistic Evolutionists’. The Theistic Evolutionists basically believe the naturalists timeline on man evolving from primitive life forms. The main problem with this theory is most of the recent [last 50-75 years] discoveries in Paleontology, Biology and Physics absolutely prove otherwise. The ‘Cambrian explosion’ is this early fossil ‘level’ [some say 540 million years ago]. This level contains multiple life forms and structures appearing in complete form. This fact is an admitted problem among evolutionists. They know this does not line up with their theory. In the world of Cosmology [Cosmos!] we have discovered an unbelievable amount of ‘fine tuning’ in the universe and solar system. Our Solar system contains 9 Planets [well, I think they dropped Pluto off the list?] In this system you have a Planet, Jupiter, that is larger than all the other planets combined. We now realize that this creates an effect that cause meteors to either be deflected by the strong gravity of Jupiter, or to be drawn in to it. This formerly unknown reason for the size of Jupiter now has a reason. In the past you had one basic scientific theory on the universe. It was the ‘static theory’. All scientists held this theory for thousands of years. You had Greek thinkers who espoused this before Christ. The only people who had a theory that the universe had a beginning were the Christians, Jews and Muslims. Basically all who believed in the Old Testament. You were considered ‘loony’ to have believed this. In the last century [1900’s] science came to the conclusion that this silly ‘religious belief’ was correct. You have a very small number of scientists who deny that the universe had a beginning [Stephen Hawking has a ‘multi-verse’ idea. He believes that our universe is part of a series of never ending big bangs. That from all time there have been big bangs that have birthed universes and then this kept repeating from eternity past. It should be noted that very few, if any, other scientists believe this. Some hold to the old steady state theory and deny the big bang]. So anyway after all these year’s science has got it right again! Sort of like Jack Blacks wrestling partner in the movie ‘Nacho Libre’. Black asks him why he never got baptized and the brother says ‘ I believe in science’. Then Black [Libre] forces his head into a pan of water. Hey, they were going up against ‘satan’s kids’ that night! [In the ring]. So we now have the young versus the old earth creationists. Let me say even though I lean towards a possible older earth, I do not see a gap theory [a belief that between ‘in the beginning God created’ and ‘the earth was without form’ that you had a pre adamic civilization]. I believe it’s possible to simply have an extended time from ‘in the beginning’ [Gen 1] and the 6 days of creation. I do not see a race of men that had ‘no souls’ and then later another human race. Some old earth brothers espouse this idea. The young earth brothers simply see the 6 days of creation literally [as I do!] but leave no room for any time period for an older earth. To be honest they have some very good proof that has come out to defend this argument. And some of the proof for an old earth is not as strong as you might think! But I want to stress that all the proof shows that there was a beginning to our universe, and that fact alone is one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time. This fact also backs up what the Christians were teaching all along.

(796)I just had a dream [about an hour ago] and I was with an old friend from New Jersey. We were both going to join the high school football team. I remember saying ‘wow, weren’t we doing this 25 years ago? Can you believe after all this time we are partnering again?’ Yesterday I spent a lot of time re reading the parables of Jesus. His mindset in the parables are so much different than ours. He says ‘The good seed that God planted grows up among the weeds that the enemy plants’ and they ask him ‘should we root out the bad tares?’ and he says ‘no, leave them alone. Let them grow together until the harvest [end of the age] and then the reapers [referring to the angels] will come forth and separate them’. Do we think like this? How many times has the ‘good wheat’ [believers] tried to root out the bad? We start movements that seem to tell the lost world ‘we don’t want you influencing our kids, we want your lifestyle as far away from us as possible’ in essence we try to ‘root them out’. Jesus said the field in this parable was the world. He told us to stop trying to pull the weeds out of society! Now, we are here as salt and light. We are supposed to have an effect on society. But the message and spirit that the lost world ‘feel’ from us should be one of reconciliation, not condemnation. We offer hope and forgiveness to the unbeliever. At the end of the day after all the sides are taken and the arguments are over. It’s up to us to be there for the unbeliever when his life and philosophy fail him. I just heard a testimony on how one of the most famous atheists of the last century, Anthony [Antony] Flew rejected his former belief and had to acknowledge the absolute scientific impossibility of all existing things having come from a point in time where no thing existed. Now, most unbelievers do not realize the total absurdity of holding on to a belief like this. Flew was considered one of the top intellectual atheists of the 20th century. He debated the best of them. But the simple reality of his false belief system finally was too much to bear. In his book explaining why he changed positions, he had to admit that the unbelievable intricacy of man. The complexity of human DNA. All of these complex systems that science has shown us over these last 25 years. They are proof of someone having to have a hand in designing the things. To believe that such unbelievable complexity could have arrived from NO THING is absolutely scientifically impossible! You can not get life and the universe and all other things from NO THING. He agreed. Jesus told us there would come a time at the end of the world where God would separate the good wheat from the bad. Until that time comes we need to let both grow together, some times what we thought were weeds turn out to be wheat.

(768)ACTS 28- After the shipwreck they wind up on an island called Melita. Paul meets the barbarous people and they welcome him. During a bon fire type thing, Paul is collecting wood and a poisonous snake bites him. The people think ‘surely this man is a murderer and ‘vengeance’ got him!’ Notice the fact that moral/natural law was imbedded in the consciences of these savage like people. Where in the world did they come up with such an idea of right and wrong and justice? The atheists say ‘well, all people simply come up with some type of code to live by. This is really not proof for moral law’. The Christian answers ‘so how come you never find some isolated tribe who rewards murder and punishes goodness’! Now, I realize there are distant tribes who practice violent stuff. The point is in all of these societies, there is a basic right and wrong that is honored. If the tribe is violent, they still don’t reward the cowardly killing of one of their own kids! These savages had the built in conscience of moral law that Paul teaches in Romans. Now after Paul doesn’t get sick or die from the bite, they ‘change their minds’ and say he is a god! People are fickle. Paul heals the father of the chief of the island, a small healing revival breaks out. Paul demonstrates the power of the gospel in word and deed. Even today, in many 3rd world countries you see healings and miraculous signs along with the preaching of the gospel. They launch off and land in a few more spots and finally make it to Rome! Paul calls the Jewish leaders and makes his familiar defense. He lists the accusations against him and defends himself. He thought the whole Jewish world knew about the gossip! The leaders tell him ‘we haven’t heard any stuff about you, but tell us more about this sect’. Leaders, don’t make the mistake of defending yourself over personal stuff from the pulpit! Often time’s people don’t now what you are talking about. Paul does set up a day and teaches the Jews in Rome from morning till evening showing them all the scriptures that testify of Jesus in the Law of Moses and the prophets. He ‘testified of the Kingdom of God and Christ’ [they go hand in hand!] Some Jews believe, others don’t. Paul then quotes the most quoted verse from the Old Testament in the New Testament ‘Isaiah was right about you! Having eyes you can’t see, ears you can’t hear…’ Luke ends the chapter [and book] with Paul living 2 years in a rented room and preaching the kingdom of God to all who will listen. Paul finished his days infecting the capitol city of the empire with the gospel! Church history tells us that Paul [and Peter] were martyred under Nero’s persecution. John [the apostle] writes about the beast making war against the saints and killing them. No wonder why the early church called Nero ‘the beast’. Paul writes one of his best letters to the Roman saints and the church will forever have an ‘eternal witness’ in the city of Rome. Paul got his wish.

(760) ACTS 23- Paul continues his defense before the council and chief priests. He realizes that the council is divided ‘politically/religiously’ along the lines of the Pharisees versus the Sadducees. Though these were both religious groups who were Jewish, yet they had major disagreements. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection or spirit or angels [why in the heck would you even want to be religious if you rejected these things? ‘Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die’! The philosophies that rose out of the enlightenment era and the French revolution were based on ‘nihilism’ the idea of having no moral compass. The rise of Marxism and other communist expressions of Government had good intentions at times! The problem was they espoused the atheistic philosophies of the time and ultimately this leads to a total loss of purpose and meaning. Though these philosophers tried to say that religion and the ‘God delusion’ were the cause of all the ills of society, there grand scheme would ultimately lead to forms of human government that disrespected human life. Hitler of course was an extreme example. He did embrace eugenics, the idea that the stronger races will eventually win and the weaker races/classes will die off. He simply thought he was speeding up the process by exterminating Jews. Though the philosophers of the enlightenment fall into different groups. Some for example did believe in deism and they felt God could be proved from natural means. Others saw religion as the ‘opiate of the people’ and ultimately did disgrace unto the human race!] The Pharisees believed in resurrection. So good old Paul stands up and says ‘I am a Pharisee, and the very reason I am in trouble is because I believe in the hope of the resurrection’ Paul knew how to ‘triangulate’ [politically]. Well of course the Pharisees say ‘well, we see nothing wrong with this man. If an angel or spirit appeared to him, then Gods will be done’. So the group splits. Paul is put under guard and eventually appeals to the next step. The authorities send him to Governor Felix in Caesarea for the next appeal. Why is it important to see the legal maneuverings of Paul? Jesus even appears to him again and says ‘you will testify of me in Rome’. The religious leaders of the 1st century did all they could to not report the facts of the early followers of Christ. The gospels tell us that they even resorted to outright lying to cover up the fact of the resurrection. Paul’s interjection into the legal arena caused there to be a written record of these events! The historians of the day were covering the legal events of the day. The record of Jesus and his followers would be forever imbedded in the historic records of the time. God wanted Paul in this system as a sure testimony of the witness of Christ’s resurrection. We end the chapter with Paul waiting at Caesarea for the accusers to come and make their case.

EVOLUTION- I just read an article about the debate going on in Texas over allowing the theory of Intelligent Design to be mentioned along with Evolution in the schools. I do realize that the opponents are not always anti Christian. But I must admit that their obvious ‘ignorance’ of the actual science itself is amusing. One of the statements the ‘anti design’ spokesman made was ‘I can’t believe we are debating this in 2008’ another said ‘I believe in God, but religion should not be taught with science’. The reason we are still ‘debating’ this in 2008 has nothing to do with religion. The overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that has built up against Darwin’s theory of Macro evolution is becoming insurmountable. The science against evolution is building up by the day. Many scientists, even non believing atheists are seeing this. The poor people who kinda think they are ‘advanced’ when they speak condescendingly about ‘society is too advanced to embrace anything but evolution’ simply do not realize that the theory is being proven to be false by science itself. I saw testimony from scientists who flatly admitted that if Darwin knew the unbelievable complexity of the human cell, he would have never been able to teach his theory. The basis for Macro evolution [the type of evolution that says one species has evolved from another] is the concept of ‘simple cells’ really being simple! That is you would have to prove, scientifically, that the basic human cell is actually ‘basic’. Any proof of the simple cell being complex would be seen as scientific proof against the concept of man evolving over millions of years from simple to complex life. In essence the scientists were stating the scientific reality [not religion!] of modern sciences discovery of the complexity of the human cell as insurmountable evidence against Darwinian evolution! This is why I feel sorry for the ‘simple understanding’ of the pro evolution people who say ‘we are too advanced to embrace a foolish idea like intelligent design’ they do not realize that Darwin’s theory has been losing ground at a tremendous rate thanks to the actual advance of science itself!

I have been wanting to write a few entries but have hesitated to break into the Genesis study. Recently a noted atheist/scientist Richard Dawkins has been making the rounds to defend the non existence of God. In his comments he has unwittingly defended the existence of God! He is on record as stating that it’s possible that there had to have been a pre existent being who started the ball rolling. He states that this being would have to have great ability and tremendous understanding, very advanced in wisdom. He also acknowledged that he would have had to have either been around forever, or some other being before this being who was around first. He even surmises that this being could be some type of extra terrestrial life. An alien for crying out loud! I am not kidding. Now, what’s wrong with this picture? He seems to not realize that he is making the ancient philosophical case for the existence of God! This whole train of thought is what the ancient philosophers used to prove the existence of God. Thomas Aquinas goes on for hours using this very reasoning. He doesn’t call the being ‘an alien’ but the whole theory of a pre existing intelligent designer is the exact case that Dawkins is making. He seems to be totally out of his league by making this argument. A knowledgeable atheist would never make the drastic mistake of arguing for a pre existent being who started the ball rolling. A true atheist knows that this is basically the proof for the existence of God! I do find it funny how so many people have fallen for Dawkins and the other recent atheists who have become popular. Its funny how one of their leading advocates has actually advocated for God.

(715) PARABLE FROM A WATCH- Recently there has been much public debate on the origins of life. Two famous atheists, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have written books on the subject. These books have been debunked fairly well by others in the scientific community as well as believers. Ben Stein, the comedian who used to be on T.V. and other various projects has made a movie called ‘expelled’. I haven’t seen it yet but it shows the very real discrimination that is played out against professors who even think to mention the theory of intelligent design. These professors are often silenced, not on the grounds of science, but because of the stigma that comes with being a contrarian when it comes to evolution. Now the parable; Say if 2 people were walking along the highway and stumbled across a watch. They have never seen one before. The materials of the watch are foreign to them. What is this strange thing? One of them espouses the idea that many billions of years ago nothing existed. You had no matter, no life giving entity. You believe that as billions of years went buy, out of nothing came something [a scientific impossibility!] but for the sake of argument, we agree. Now this ‘material’ that came into existence from nothing still had to be formed and designed into this complex watch that we have found. The materialist espouses another billion or so years go by and you had this explosion. Where did the explosion come from? Well let’s stick with the same theory of where the materials came from. It just happened! No explanation at all. No scientific fore thought, everything just went ‘boom, boom’. At this point I begin wondering if my materialistic friend is off his rocker! But from this unexplained explosion we have millions of more years [he seems to think the simple concept of millions of years can itself create matter and cause action and create design. This idea is absolutely contrary to all true science. All true science, observable facts, show us that from points of disorder you do not get design! Say an explosion of some other thing, you do not derive order and complexity from the simple act of an explosion. An explosion can never in a billion years produce a watch. It would be like using the common example of an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of keyboards for an infinite number of years and producing the complete works of Shakespeare!] Now from this viewpoint the materialist says ‘this is how the watch got here, I am a man of knowledge and science’ now as the innocent bystander, I would say ‘you my friend are a complete and total idiot’ [I like using parables, you can have the characters say things that you personally would never say as a believer!]. The bystander says ‘as far as we can tell from all other observable data that we have around us, there has never once been a time where a complex machine like a watch could have simply appeared from nowhere and nothing. You had to have had some initiator [designer] somewhere along the way to have crafted the thing. This designer, be it aliens or whatever, had to have had the ability to also have created the elements of the watch. By sheer logic, this designer himself had to have been around forever or else you would come up with the same problem of ‘something/someone coming from nothing’. The bystander deducts that although he can not explain scientifically all the ins and outs of this designer, yet he without a doubt is much more ‘scientific’ than the materialists idea that all things came from no thing! So today, we have the ‘average Joe’ who simply believes that the materialistic scientist must have the real answers. The average Joe thinks ‘surely I haven’t been believing in a total absurdity my whole life!’ He takes ‘by faith’ the materialists explanation. Most average Joes have heard the argument ‘well, the schools teach science, not religion. Therefore we must believe this absurdity’. It is a proven fact that complex things, be they watches or humans or solar systems, must have come from a designer. How is it proven? It is proven in the sense that all observable complex things have never been shown to have appeared from nothing. Science has never once witnessed the arrival of a new species from nothing. Science simply shows us the factual data that all things that we can now observe coming into existence [births of animals, humans, etc] come into existence by the actions of other things that already exist. The belief the bystander has espoused! So in reality what the average Joe thinks is true science, that all things came from nothing, is not true science at all. As a matter of fact, that which he thought was ‘silly religion’ actually has been closer to the facts all along!

(690) SERMON ON THE MOUNT- ‘ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER THAT YE WOULD THAT MEN SHOULD DO TO YOU, DO YE EVEN SO TO THEM: FOR THIS IS THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS’ this might be the most important single verse in these 3 chapters. Was Jesus opening up a Pandora’s Box here? How did he know people would choose right? He didn’t say ‘treat others according to the ten commandments’. He said ‘treat them the way you want to be treated’. Jesus taught the concept of natural law here. If you remember a few years back when Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court. One of the main questions he was asked was whether or not he believed in ‘natural law’. Natural law is the idea that there exists in man this ‘moral compass’ of right and wrong. Paul teaches this in Romans. The fact that all men have a basic idea on how they want to be treated shows you that there is more to man than simple flesh! He has within him this God-given conscience that deep down inside knows what’s right or wrong. The reason senator Joe Biden made such an issue out of it when questioning Thomas, was because those who believe in natural law do see an inherent right to life. The abortion issue. When the Supreme Court legalized abortion, the court found a ‘constitutional right to a woman’s privacy’. Many lawyers, even liberal pro abortion ones, believe this decision is wrong based on faulty law. It would be like saying slavery is acceptable because there is an inherent ‘right to private property’. While there is a right to private property, the problem with this reasoning is OTHER PEOPLE ARE NOT PRIVATE PROPERTY! So even if you believed in a so called ‘right to privacy’ how in the world do you extend that right to include the murder of another human being! All human rights derive from the basic right to life. If human govt. deprives people of the inherent right to life, then you might as well forget about any other so called rights. Some say ‘well, abortion is established law’. So was the racist law of not allowing Blacks to vote! I don’t care ‘how established’ a law is, if it allows for the destruction of biological human life, it’s flawed. Frances Beckwith just released a book on this [1-08] and he shows the legal justification for overturning Roe V Wade. So Jesus was confident enough in ‘natural law’, the basic belief that inherent in man is the concept of right and wrong, that he said ‘do unto others as you want done to you’. He knew men had a basic idea of fairness and justice. Even kids on the playground will shout ‘that’s not fair’. No matter how hard man tries to deny the reality of natural law, its there!

(664) DARWINS DILEMMA When Darwin studied the Finch [bird] on the Galapagos Islands he saw the variations in design with the birds beak. Some were longer than others. He thought this was a sign of Evolution. He figured as time went by nature caused this change in the beak for the survival of the bird. The longer beaks could more easily pick food out of closed spaces and stuff like that. This theory would then be used to explain the existence of man! Quite a jump indeed. But for those who prided themselves in naturalism [natural explanations to the origins of life] they held to a type of intellectual pride that said ‘see, we are intelligent. Not like those ignorant Christians!’ Well Darwin himself admitted that if his theory were true you would eventually have to find lots of ‘in between’ fossil stages. Sort of like if I found a tricycle, bicycle, car and airplane fossilized in the ground. I would look at all 4 different things and say ‘gee, wonder how these 4 separate functioning units got here?’ If I surmised ‘hey, I know! First you had the tricycle, then over a million years it became a bike. Then you had another million or so years go by and the car showed up. And last of all, the wonder of time and chance produced this plane!’ For me to test this theory I would say ‘well, let’s spend the next 100 years digging up these things all over the planet. If you are right, we will find lots of ‘tricycle/bicycle’s’ and ‘bicycle/cars’ and, well you got it. So over the last 150 years how many of Darwin’s ‘missing links’ have we found. Absolutely zero! Not even one. For his theory to hold water you would need MILLIONS of missing ‘links’. That’s how many fossils of things that we have found in the other stages! So the atheist sees this. And in his mad dash for the evidence has come up with some stuff. ‘Piltdown man’ and other so called stages of men that they ‘built’ from missing skeleton parts that they have found [or simply from a single tooth of a pig!] Sort of like the wheel of a tricycle. You could find the wheel of any of the 4 things above and say ‘see, here’s the missing ‘trike/bike’. And I would say ‘that aint no trike/bike, that’s just some wheel from one of the machines!’ And this is what has happened with the ‘Lucy’ fossil and these other things. They have either been found to be hoaxes, or simply parts of human and/or ape skulls. No big discovery at all. This has happened on more than one occasion. Hey if Evolution were fact, you would have TONS OF THESE TRANSITIONAL SPECIES. As of today we have ZERO! That’s what makes me laugh when the ‘average’ evolutionist thinks he’s on the side of science, when he doesn’t realize that his mentors have used him as a guinea pig, convincing him to be an advocate for a theory that is just as ludicrous as a ‘flat earth’. And then to see these ‘flat earthers’ running around priding themselves in their wisdom makes you laugh. So how in the world do we explain the 4 types of machines I have espoused? Well I know the wheel of the plane sure looks like the wheel on the bike. They have the same engineering and all. Maybe instead of this meaning the plane evolved from the bike. It could mean that the original engineer who built all 4 of the vehicles liked the design and used it 4 different times! [The eye, ear, etc.- man and animals have common traits, as well as uncommon ones. Common designer, not all evolving over time!] You say ‘well brother, all this sounds convincing. But I will stick with science’. Hey, where do you think I get all this stuff from? NOTE; I just read an article on how many scientists and educators fully believe in Intelligent Design. All the fossils that we mentioned in the above case [the example I used on the 4 vehicles] were found over hundreds of years in complete form. This EVIDENCE is what intelligent design refers to. [As well as tons of other stuff!] It is simply real TRUE evidence that shows things appeared on the planet already ‘formed’ or designed! All the evidence points to this. No evidence points to the slow evolving of one kind of species into another. So many scientists, even those who hate God, will tell you the evidence for evolution simply does not exist. The article I just finished reading documented how the secular universities are firing these educators when they realize they have real doubts about evolution based on the facts. That’s why when I read articles in my local paper by Libby Averyt [the editor] thinking she is very ‘progressive’ when saying Intelligent design is ‘religious’ and Evolution is science, these people really have no idea what they are talking about. They think they are on the side of ‘all scientists’ when in reality the most educated ones are seriously questioning Darwin’s ideas!

(632) More scientific stuff! The Earth is the only planet in existence [as far as we know] to have the EXACT balance of gases and oxygen in its atmosphere to sustain life. If you were to scale down the distance of the Sun from our planet to 100 miles, in this scale if the Earth were either ¼ of an INCH further away from the Sun we would freeze, a ¼ of an inch closer, we would burn to death! If the rotation of the Earth didn’t have the ‘slight’ wobble that science has discovered, we would eventually fall out of orbit and all die. If the Moon wasn’t exactly where it is, with the exact gravitational pull having its effect on our planet, we wouldn’t exist! Not to mention the effect of all the other planets and stars in our Solar System. Do you know what the odds are on this? If you took every computer in existence and linked them together, this would not be enough capacity to even calculate the odds! If you went to Vegas and hit the Dice table, it would be like rolling Sevens every time, all day, every year for millions and billions and trillions of years in a row without ever once missing! Or like walking down to the ocean and finding my 66 Mustang in complete restoration and someone saying ‘the ocean did this’. You would say ‘are you totally nuts!’ and if they said ‘wait, listen to my reasoning. It took the ocean millions of years to do it’ I would still think you were nuts. Yet this scenario is what millions of people believe to be true about the Universe. The world of Physics today is going thru a tremendous upheaval as it is seeing the stuff I just showed you. They are the ones who have come up with these numbers! And I didn’t even include the reality of the most simple cell in the human body and how its design is incomprehensible. And for our planet to be the only one in the entire vast universe to have ‘happened’ to accidentally have this life on it is impossible to have happened by chance! Like I said earlier, the scientists are getting to the top of the mountain of inquiry and finding the Christians sitting at the top!

(621) Let’s do another science one. I have told people that the most proof for the existence of God, in the scientific world, has come in the last 50 years. In the last century you had one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time. Do you know what that was? It was the theory that the universe was not only much greater than previously thought, but that it was ‘getting greater’ every day! It was actually expanding! When this theory was first espoused, many scientists rejected it. Why? If this were true [which it was!] it would show that the universe actually had a starting point. If it had a starting point, than ‘someone’ had to start it. At first many scientists rejected the theory. The leading Physicist who came up with this idea had another negative, he was a Catholic Priest. Many thought he was biased towards his theory. As time rolled on, his theory gradually gained support from many other scientists. He had ‘theorized’ that the proof of an ever expanding universe would be a residual ‘heat’ that you would be able to detect in the atmosphere. Another scientist, who was studying something else, released his proof of finding a background radiation that existed in the universe that was coming from all angles. He proved the Priest was right! Today 99 % of science believes that the universe had a starting point. This is accepted science. Very few hold to the old ‘static theory’ that it always existed at the current size. Now, some stayed with the old view. Do you know why? They actually said that if the new view were true [which it is!] that this would undeniably be proof of the existence of a creator. The doubters said this! They in essence were scientists who were not willing to go with the science! They were in the category of the religious skeptics who were not willing to go with science when it showed our solar system to be Heliocentric as opposed to Geocentric [our earth going around the Sun as opposed to the Sun and planets going around the Earth]. During the time of Galileo many scientists believed the old way. When Copernicus came up with the idea that we hold to today, the Church rejected science because of religious bias. Well today you have certain scientists who reject science because of religious bias [the religion of secularism- the worldview that sees a naturalistic explanation for all things]. The fact that science now holds to a ‘big bang’ theory, as well as all the overwhelming evidence against evolution, should rattle the unbelievers. We are at a time in history where science has come to the top of the mountain of exploration, and has found the theologians sitting at the top! NOTE; the story goes that Galileo was before the Bishops and was imploring them to ‘look into the Telescope’ and see for your self the evidence! And the church refused to look, saying all they needed was Gods word. How true this is no one knows. Many skeptics have used the ‘Helio/Geo centric’ argument to show the ignorance of the church. These skeptics say ‘see, the bible taught that all the planets and Sun revolved around the Earth, and science proved otherwise’. First, the church came to this understanding by the themes in scripture of the Planets and Stars in their course and stuff like that. The scripture never taught as fact that the Solar System was Geocentric. When the scientific evidence proved that the Earth revolved around the Sun, the church should have accepted this. Of course she has now. But this should work both ways. Another Catholic scientist wrote a book a few years back ‘Darwin’s black box’ he brought out undeniable scientific proof that Evolution was false! Too much to explain here, but the proof goes along the lines of man having in him ‘closed systems’ that had to have been complete and sealed from the start in order to work. Sort of like what I taught on ‘complex machines’ in this section. The author brought out the fact that man could not have slowly evolved. These parts of man had to have been fully formed and sealed at the time of creation. So the skeptics are just as guilty as the church when they refuse to ‘look into the Telescope’! NOTE- The catholic scientist in the above entry was not the first to espouse the idea of an expanding universe, but he was instrumental in proving this to be true.

(530) A few years ago a famous atheist, Anthony Flew, renounced atheism and professed belief in God. A very intelligent atheist, he saw the impossibility of life and all things being a result of a past history where supposedly nothing existed. It is impossible! I just read an article how in the year 2000 a famous Paleontologist, Meave Leakey, discovered evidence against evolution. In Kenya she found 2 skulls that were supposed to have been ancestors who ‘evolved’ millions of years apart. She found them in the same location. The same ‘level’ that proved beyond all doubt that these so called ‘ancestors’ lived at the same time. To be honest these so called ‘ancestors’ are simply different species of Apes and Monkeys that people find thru out time. The knowledgeable person realizes this, the evolutionist doesn’t! The fact that Leakey’s find wasn’t published until 2007 [ in the scientific journal ‘Nature’ August 9] makes me wonder why it took so long. Well obviously the find goes against evolution, the evolutionists religiously defend their belief. If they themselves find evidence against their theory, it doesn’t help their ‘religious belief’ to publish it! I just thought it worthwhile to keep you all up to date on the evidence from both atheists and evolutionists that back up Christian belief.

(548) In reading Deuteronomy God tells Israel to tear down the altars and high places where the pagan nations worshipped their god’s. Later in Israel’s history we find out that they didn’t fully obey God in this. Eventually Israel would wind up offering their children on the altar of Moloch. Moloch was a god [demon] that the pagans made an idol of. This statue was heated up by fire until the arms of the idol were bright red. Then the people would place their babies into the arms. God told Israel they made their babies pass thru the fire unto Moloch. They eventually adopted the practices of the other nations. We do this today, in a much more hidden environment. We allow for a woman to go to an abortion clinic and for a doctor to insert a knife and dismember the baby. We do this under the guise of ‘a free and open minded society’. We lie! I have found it sad how those who pride themselves in being liberal minded often hold to the most bigoted idea’s one could espouse. In Darwin’s last book [descent of man] he taught a type of evolution that said ‘the whites are further along down the path of evolving. It is obvious that the Negro is still much closer to the Monkey/Ape than the white. Both physically and mentally’[paraphrase]. Now, for any liberal to hold to this mans ignorant ideas, and to hold to them in such a way that he is proud to say ‘I believe in Darwin’ is total stupidity. Darwin’s theory has come apart at the seems in the world of science. Many scientists have come to the conclusion that the theory can lo longer be honestly held. There are tons of scientific reasons for this. But the simple fact that many in today’s society pride themselves in being ‘disciples’ of Darwin then also think that those who oppose his views are ‘bigoted’ these same people hold to one of the most racist ideas ever put in print. Hitler himself read and was a believer in Darwin’s theory. He actually believed that the extermination of the Jews was a faster way to eliminate the inferior races. This theory of Evolution is demonic at its core. It makes it easy to abort children with no consideration of the actual life of the child. We have our own Moloch’s today! NOTE; God Said that men who did not retain him in their minds would be given over to foolishness. Recently the fossil ‘Lucy’ has been making the rounds to different countries by way of airplane. Many scientists were up in arms that the flying around of this ‘precious fossil’ might endanger it. There were all sorts of debates on how to protect it and all, the best first class service for sure. How satan must be laughing at the stupidity of men who go to great lengths to protect the flying bones of a monkey, while at the same time aborting thousands of children on the planet who were created in the image of God!

(594) I am a little hesitant to do this, but what the heck! Let’s do another book review. The last one I did, I put on another site [moving on] and the kids ‘cussed’ me out real good! I did not expect the negative response. Some was good criticism, but others were really offended over it. They are ‘ex cult’ members and did not like Christians posting stuff on their site at all. Well I finished the Dahmer book ‘Dark Journey Deep Grace’. It tells of Dahmers conversion in prison. I liked it a lot. The Minister who worked with Jeff was Church of Christ, so some might have some theological differences over Baptism, but it is very real. No doubt that Jeff was a Christian. Found it interesting that Jeff was concerned about a lot of the legalistic problems facing the Church of Christ. He had questions on music in worship, how to take the Lords supper and certain technical issues that the Minister was surprised that Jeff was even concerned about. The minister was a man of grace and tried to focus Jeff on grace. Jeff also said how after his father sent him some materials on Evolution being fake, that this was a ‘hinge’ point in his conversion. He states how he actually used evolution as a way to appease his conscience when committing his horrible crimes. He would think ‘if we are all just random acts of slime, we then have no one to answer to’. After his dad sent him the stuff, Jeff began thinking about answering to a higher court! The story is a good read. Jeff is killed in prison to the dismay of the minister who was developing a good friendship with him. I get the sense that Jeff was a real brother in the Lord. He of course committed terrible crimes, but God forgave him. I also used the name Jeff while writing this entry because one of the point’s of the book was how many people, even believers, were not willing to accept his conversion. No one wanted to speak of him as ‘Jeff’ but only ‘Dahmer’. To personalize it was too much for some. I don’t want to underestimate Jeff’s crimes, nor the great mercy of God and the power of Jesus blood!

(87) I just made contact with one of my old friends. This person responded to one of the emails I sent out to old classmates. This person is an atheist, but was very polite in their response. I obviously returned the favor. I also told the person I am glad they contacted me, and I would love to keep in touch, atheist or not! Recently Stephen Hawking [One of the foremost scientists of our day] has been attending a Christian church. When questioned about it, he said something to the effect of ‘I guess I’m looking for something more’. There have been very famous intellectuals over the centuries who have come to embrace the Christian worldview [or Deism] to some degree after many years of searching. The simple fact is, for the scientist who is an atheist; there are too many holes and unanswered questions as time rolls on. Today we know that DNA teaches us that human blood has 30 or more ‘ingredients’ that all must be present and working AT ONE TIME in order for blood to function properly. These are referred to as ‘complex machines or mechanisms’ that must have a coordinated order of function at the initial stage; we didn’t discover these things until we became proficient in DNA [This last decade or so]. These truths of science absolutely debunk the mindset of evolution, which teaches all life started from simple forms and slowly evolved over millions of years. These both cant be true. Blood couldn’t have slowly evolved; it had to have had these ‘machines’ in place and operative at the incipient [beginning] stage. Well the more intellectuals see these developments this challenges their worldview. Though the ‘average’ public school student is never taught these facts, those in the know see the inconsistencies in their thinking. This is simply one of the many problems facing the atheistic scientist today. Believe me, there are many more! I believe the church has a responsibility to answer the atheist’s questions with more than just ‘the bible says so’. They deserve an intellectual answer to their honest questions. I personally believe ‘the bible says so’ philosophy, but that argument doesn’t work with someone who doesn’t believe the bible!

(88) For the sake of my ‘atheist friend’ and any other skeptic that might read this in the future, let me talk a little more in the area of apologetics and defending the faith. One of the most ‘miss informed’ proofs for evolution is actually a ‘proof’ that it’s not true! This is known as ‘fossil evidence’. Basically when Darwin popularized the theory of evolution in the 1800’s there were many questions that would still need to be answered [and would be answered] as science progressed. One of these is the ‘fossil evidence’. Fossils show that ‘things’ [life forms] came into existence at specific periods of time, as opposed to a slow process of evolution over millions of years. We have fossils of all types of living things in COMPLETE FORM [humans, dinosaurs, birds, horses, and on and on]. In all of these cases we not only don’t see a ‘missing link’, but you would need to have whole families of ‘missing links’ between all of these ‘life forms’. The fossil evidence simply shows us that things didn’t slowly evolve, but ‘showed up’ at once [or at least in complete forms]. You would think that scientists would see this, wouldn’t you? Well they have. Some explain it by embracing the Christian worldview, and say ‘God created all things’. Deists [people who believe in God, but don’t claim to be Christian] also embrace the view that God created life. What I want you to see here is these honest scientists have followed scientific facts that led them to these conclusions. The ‘fossil’ evidence falls on the side of ‘things showing up at once’ [complete forms] versus things slowly evolving. You might say that I am biased because I am a Christian; well I must admit I am. But even the atheistic scientist sees the inconsistency in the stuff I just showed you. The scientist who still doesn’t embrace faith, knows there needs to be some type of explanation for what I just told you. Well they have one! They came up with a theory called ‘punctuated equilibria’ [wow!] this theory recognizes the lack of evidence for things slowly evolving over millions of years. This theory basically says ‘evolution happens so fast [as opposed to so slow!] that the ‘fossils’ just didn’t catch it’. What! These guys call themselves intellectuals? This argument is basically a capitulation to the biblical worldview. The evidence doesn’t show things ‘changing’ from one form to another. If the ‘punctuated theory’ brothers want to embrace this silly theory, then they must do so by faith, because the very theory admits the evidence isn’t there! [They admit the fossils missed it!]. Well I don’t want to make enemies out of my friends [or friend] who are atheists, I just want to be able to engage in thoughtful dialogue while giving a defense of the faith.

(92)Let me go back to our intellectual readers. I talked about Stephen Hawking the other day. Stephen is one of the most famous physicists of the last 20 years. Many other physicists do not see him as the foremost authority. They seem to view him as being responsible to have popularized their field of study, but they do not see him as one of the key movers and shakers of their field. One of the reasons for this is Stephens’s idea on black holes. Well this might be hard, but let me try to explain. Black holes are ‘spaces’ or ‘voids’ in space that are created when a star dies. These holes are thought to suck up anything that comes within its range. If you get too close it will take you in. The line that that you cross, from which there is no return, is called ‘the event horizon’, if you remember this was a title from a movie a few years back. Well there is a question [in the scientific world] over what happens to the things that get sucked into the hole. Stephen said they disappear [or cease to exist is a better way to say it]. This was contrary to the law of Physics that said ‘information’ cannot disappear. It is theorized that the information in the universe cannot ever disappear completely. Most assumed that even though this information was being ‘sucked’ into this whole, it would still exist and possibly resurface at some other time [or in some other place]. Well after spending 30 years defending his belief that information ceased to exist after being swallowed by a black hole, he suddenly changed his theory! Most scientists never agreed to Hawking’s first theory anyway. So he comes out at some big conference of Physicists and announces a major new breakthrough. He states a new theory that admits he was wrong for the past 30 years [scientists can be wrong, I mean really wrong!] He admits that information’in a black hole cannot truly disappear [cease to exist], but that it simply goes to another ‘parallel universe’ and exists there. What! This sounds like something from the ‘Bizzaro world’ from a Seinfeld episode! Stephen Hawking sounds more like Stephen King in this scenario. Hawking said that there are many different parallel universes, some have ‘black holes’ and others don’t. All the information lost in the universes with the holes, is later retained in the universes without the holes. When you get to this ‘level’ of theory, you are not really doing true science [in my mind]. This is a type of psuedo science that is more like a scientific philosopher. Most other physicists think this is silly! The average person seeing stuff like this on the science channel simply accepts it as truth, not realizing that the majority of true scientists think its wrong. This is the problem in modern education. The public schools [which all my kids attend] never get around to correcting some of the errors that the kids were taught at a younger age. So the average person goes thru out the rest of his life embracing theories that are not only silly, but at times dead wrong! NOTE: Let me give another example. For years the science books had a moth that they found with spots on it. They found hundreds of these moths with these spots. The books had pictures and actually taught that these spots were proof for evolution. Years later they realized that the spots actually were coming from the pollution that the factories were putting out in the area. You could still find some of the science books with the fake story in them many years later! Kids think they are being taught truth, when they are not!

(92) One of the things I forgot to mention about Hawking is he spent 30 years ‘looking into’ a black hole [these are not my words, this is how others have characterized him]. I find this interesting. I believe there are times, wilderness experiences if you will, that feel like you’re spending a lifetime looking into a black hole! God uses our ‘death’ experiences for his glory. President Lincoln aged 30 yrs [it looked like it] during the years of the civil war. If you look at the pictures of Lincoln at the beginning of his presidency, and then near the end, the contrast is dramatic. The weight of the responsibility caused him to look severely ‘sunken’ and aged. I believe there is a level of brutal honesty with God and man that can only be achieved thru these means. Many of the great biblical characters [Moses, Elijah, Jonah] actually prayed to die. There just seems to be a level of authority that comes thru severe testing. You can’t seem to achieve it any other way. You also cant seem to avoid it, once you start going down that road you simply allow God to bring forth out of you the thing of value. The garden of Gethsemane was a place where you oppressed [I meant to write pressed and the spell check spelt oppressed!] olives. The process of tremendous pressure produced something of value. I just felt like today’s word was this, take it for what its worth. [Next day]. What I wanted to express is the concept of ‘bearing the Cross’ God uses things in our lives that ‘tare’ us. This process ‘opens us up’ [remember the earlier imagery of God smiting the rock and water coming out!] and allows deep truths to come forth. The day Jesus was crucified; scripture says ‘the veil of the temple was rent’. This veil was a covering over a room in the temple [the holy of holies] the rending [tearing] of this cloth represented us having full access into Gods presence thru the Cross. Most of us know this. But Jesus Body is called ‘the veil’ in the book of Hebrews [New Testament]. The ‘rending of the veil’ on the day of the crucifixion was a type of what was presently happening on the Cross that day. The ‘tearing’ [piercing] of Christ allowed there to be a ‘flow’ of Grace and wisdom that were unavailable until that day. The ‘door’ of heaven was opened [Jesus is called the door, his Body was ‘opened’ on the Cross] and this ‘bearing the Cross’ brought forth precious fruit that no other singular event would ever match!

(116) I want to go back to Germany and the fact that after WW2 the United States brought over from Germany all of the scientists that eventually were the originators of our ‘space program’. The U.S. acted wisely in recognizing that the German scientists had a level of knowledge that exceeded what we had. Einstein actually gave us the technology to build the bomb that eventually ended the war. Einstein is the most well known of these German scientists [though he came over before the war ended]. Einstein truly was a genius. One of the goals he had was called ‘the unified theory’. He believed it was possible to ‘tie’ all the various fields of science together, and see a harmony that would show that everything didn’t just happen by accident, but there had to be some greater overall ‘thing’ that was at work. Though Einstein wasn’t a Christian, he did believe in God. Some of his fellow scientists came up with a theory that said chance and ‘luck’ played a role in how things work. Einstein disagreed and said ‘God doesn’t roll dice’. Some of these guys held to the idea that there had to be a beginning point to all things. Today we call this the ‘big bang theory’. A basic scientific reality that things did come into existence at a certain point in time. It has been said that the fact that something exists now is proof that God exists! I know this is simplified, but let me explain. The fact that we have a creation today, sun, moon, stars and the intricacy of our planet earth. The tremendous complexity in the human body. Even the most ‘simple’ cell is now known to be highly ‘complex’. These realities lead us to question ‘how did all this happen’. If the earth were a little closer to the sun we would all burn up, a little further and we would all freeze! As science learned these complex things over the years, she has grappled with the question of ‘how’. Science has racked its brain on the beginning stage. Was there a time where nothing existed at all? And if so then how can anything exist now? If matter is infinite [which some try to leave as a possibility] then this contradicts everything else we know from science! Thermodynamics teaches that all things are ‘decaying’ from the original stage. The sun looses its strength over many years. The earth and the solar system and everything else are resources that deplete themselves. This fact shows us that ‘matter’ or things didn’t always exist. If at the beginning you had a few cells and things floating around that eventually ‘exploded’ into this tremendous organized universe [which in itself takes faith to believe!] then where did these gases and early forms of matter come from? They had to start somewhere. And if you eventually traced it all the way back to the time where this was nothing, then the scientific fact is you would have nothing today! Matter doesn’t just appear, and matter is not eternal. These simple scientific proofs lead us to the conclusion that something [or someone] outside of this present world had to initiate these things. This ‘someone’ also had to have been around forever, if not then you have the whole problem of where did he come from, what was his beginning, and all the same questions would arise. So Einstein and others saw these things. The most brilliant minds of man came to the conclusion that a greater being had to exist in order to get the ball rolling. If you took a sealed room with absolutely nothing in it, and nothing else could get in or leave. And then after a million [or billion!] years you opened it up, nothing would be there! This is a scientific fact! The process of time, in and of itself, does not have the power to create something out of nothing! Well then we wind up at the place we started, the fact that ‘anything’ exists is proof that God exists! [Note: Let me give credit to our Catholic brothers once again. Saint Thomas Aquinas ‘Doctor Angelicas’ wrote heavily on these issues long before the Protestants began looking at them. St. Thomas is considered to be one of the greatest theologians and apologists of the Catholic Church].

(275) Let me speak on abortion. I mentioned earlier on this blog about the Catholic and Protestant divide in the 16th century. One of the fears the Catholic Church had was the fear of the divine right of Kings. That if nation states ‘broke away’ from Rome that eventually the states would do whatever they wanted. Some look at the atrocities of Hitler and point to this as a proof. I personally don’t hold to this view, but I do find it interesting that Hitler came along after Darwin and Eugenics. Eugenics is the science that teaches certain races are more ‘pure’ and others are less pure. It taught a type of ethics that said if you get rid of the weaker ones in society that eventually you would have a healthier, purer race. You saw this mindset in Hitler’s attempt to have an ‘Aryan race’. The man who came up with this ‘science’ was a relative of Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin was the ‘popularizer’ of Evolution. If someone truly believes that all Humans are simply an accident of evolution; there is really no moral grounds to value life. If we are all simply blobs on this experimental earth, then why not eliminate the weaker ones for the benefit of the whole race? After all we know this to be true, science teaches it! There you have it, a slippery slope down a course that ultimately leads to a time in our country where we actually allow, by law, a woman to come to a clinic/hospital. Walk in at 7 months of pregnancy, get an appointment with a Doctor and get a ‘partial birth’ abortion. This procedure allows for the actual baby, living and feeling safe in the mother’s womb to be ‘partially’ delivered, leaving ‘part’ of the baby inside the mother. The other ‘part’ sticking out and the Doctor kills the baby. By law it’s not murder, the baby still has a ‘part’ in the mom. The only difference between this child, and others who are born and live a wonderful life, is a few inches. The procedure is defended by politicians who say ‘I personally am against abortion, but I am for a woman’s right’ What about the right of that beautiful little baby girl who you just destroyed in a manner equal to Hitler’s holocaust? This little girl has rights too. Some of our Politicians couldn’t care less about the ‘right’ of the woman; they allow murder for the political expediency of their constituents! Thank you Pontius Pilate. I recently saw on the news a state that is trying to pass a law that would require the mother to see a sonogram of her baby before she gets the abortion, they are persuaded that if a woman ‘looks at the baby’ that she will of her own free will decide to not kill it. They then had the opponents/proponents give both sides. Those against it said things like ‘ we don’t require a person to look at a tumor before its removed’ babies are not ‘tumors’ or any other type of ‘matter’ that you dispose of at will. I once had actual pictures of ‘buckets full of babies’ that were taken outside of some abortion clinic back in the 70’s. These buckets were filled to overflow with burned, chopped up, mutilated little babies. Just sitting there waiting for some dump truck to haul them to the local incinerator. Now we have cleaned up our act, we ‘burn’ them before they get a chance to be spotted by the public eye. God forbid that we would force society to look at ‘these tumors’. May God help us all. NOTE; a few years back there was an abortion doctor who took an actual sonogram of an abortion procedure. They later made a video. The picture was front page on one of the national magazines of our country. It was called ‘silent scream’ it showed the baby actually grasping hold of the instrument that was inserted into the mother’s womb, and the baby was trying to keep it from stabbing it. The babies face could clearly be seen screaming bloody murder. This doctor, who was not a Christian, could not continue performing this procedure no matter how many politicians call this ‘a woman’s right to choose’! UPDATE ON PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION # 305

(607) I just read an article in my local paper on a school teacher who was fired over an evolution thing. I remember watching the whole court case a few years ago on some northern state trying to get ‘intelligent design’ taught in the schools. I think it was Pennsylvania? The judge would rule against intelligent design on the grounds that the schools should teach science and not religion. To put it bluntly, the judge was truly an idiot! Now, why do I say this? If you watched the whole case you saw the evidence, given by the scientific community, that showed Darwin’s theory to have been proven wrong. All the evidence showed how no where do we see any scientific proof that ‘macro evolution’ ever happened in a natural environment. Macro evolution is Darwin’s theory that species change from one thing into another. This has never once happened, ever, according to the evidence. What has happened is ‘Micro evolution’ the adapting of species to its environment. Now, during the hearings this was brought out very plainly by the scientists on the creation side. To be honest, the other side for some reason did not have scientists defend evolution. They had an arrogant school board lawyer who was out of his league on all the scientific issues. Those hearing the case even brought this out. Ultimately when the judge ruled against creationism, it really wasn’t based on science. During the case the evolution side tried to show that ‘Intelligent design’ was a secret way to slip ‘creationism’ into the classroom, and therefore it would be a violation of the separation of church and state. The interesting thing about the case [I think it was in a town called Dover?] was the fact that Darwin’s theory was proven false. Now, the other side can say ‘but you never know, we might find other evidence some day?’ while that may be true, the school system should not be teaching a theory as fact when all scientific evidence shows it to be wrong! This argument is really not about religion, it’s about science. All the fossils and stuff clearly show that things [life forms] appeared on the scene at set times. Not ‘slowly’. This evidence shows that some where these life forms had to have been ‘designed’ prior to there appearing. This is fact, seen from the evidence! Now, whether you want to delve into a creator having designed them, or some other theory, is really irrelevant to the debate. The fact is the evidence shows these life forms to have shown up in complete form, not slowly changing. I find it funny how those who fight creationism by saying they believe in science, really can’t see how science goes against Darwin’s theory, and backs up the Christian worldview!

(608) Let’s do a little more on Evolution. When Darwin popularized the theory, he knew that over a period of time he would be proven right or wrong. If his theory was right you would eventually find Fossils of all types of species in the transition stage. You obviously wouldn’t find something actually changing, but you would see stage 1. Then over a few million years stage 2 and so forth. As a matter of fact you would find these ‘stages’ of fossils all thru out the Evolutionary time table. You would not only need them for one species going to the next, but for all the species that have changed! Over a few hundred years how many have we found? A thousand? 500 hundred? 50? How about the big ZERO! That’s right, science has found none. Wow, you think if this were true that scientists would drop the idea. Many have. Even those who hate God! I have read where scientists have said the biggest problem with Darwin’s idea is the blatant hole in the fossil evidence. They have said ‘we don’t have the evidence to back it up’ or ‘as a matter of fact the evidence we have disproves Evolution’. Now there have been some famous hoaxes. As a kid I used to go to the museum of natural history in New York City. I remember seeing the famous ‘stages of evolution’ on display. They were statues of man evolving. They showed the proof behind each level. One of the levels was a whole man developed by a tooth they found in the ground. Surely science deals with facts. The tooth later was proven to have come from a pig! They built the whole guy from a pig. You guys are really smart. Another great proof was a skull that was found in the ground. It was trumpeted for years as a missing link. They found out it was fake. They were testing it and found ‘Plaster of Paris’ in its ‘DNA’. What has happened is a theory has been held to religiously and made us look like a bunch of idiots. The simple fact that atheistic scientists have come out and said ‘Darwin’s theory is fake, not because religion says so, but because science says so’ should concern all the evolutionists who think they are aligned with the evidence.

(658) OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN CHURCH HISTORY- Let’s do a little overview of my story. When first coming to Texas I had a catholic upbringing but was pretty well ‘lost’. After truly coming to know the Lord I had the privilege of meeting believers from various backgrounds. I knew good Baptists, Assembly of God, Church of Christ and other good Christians. It didn’t take long to see how the more legalistic believers from all the above groups [some more than others] would view the ‘church down the block’ as either a cult or heretical. They would develop these views from sincere differences they saw from scripture over water Baptism, Gifts of the Spirit, Eternal Security and other important doctrines[I had a friend who would point to the statue of Mary in front of a catholic church. It showed other statues of kids kneeling and praying around Mary. He would say ‘Look, Idols worshipping Idols’!] The infighting from some of these brothers was really detrimental to unity in the Church. Many, like myself, would eventually move on in the Christian experience and continue to hold to the historic doctrines of Christianity while rejecting the strong sectarian mindset that can exist in many of these groups. I still see all of the above groups as Christian. I still actually hold to some of the basic tenets of the Baptist church, as well as the assemblies of God. You would even find me agreeing with my Church of Christ brothers on stuff. But for the most part I see many of these differences as divisive. Some ideas are important to discuss, some basic historic truths are worth dieing for! But not necessarily the ones these brothers have argued over. Other believers who have left the more independent churches will eventually become ‘anti Christian faith’ some will view all Christianity from a negative standpoint because of being burned by one of the above expressions of Christianity. As you study Church history along with the Bible you will begin to see the great revolution of the people of God and the reality of Christianity as the major hinge factor in world events for the past 2 thousand years. You can not trivialize the impact that Christianity has had on world affairs. Some recent books written by Atheists have tried to blame Christianity for all the ills of society, while at the same time others atheists will try to say that Jesus and his movement are a farce and have had little impact historically. Hey, you really cant espouse both of these views at once. The simple fact is Christianity has had a major impact on the world. To refute Christopher Hitchens recent book ‘God is not Great’ he tries to prove that Christianity and religion have done no good whatsoever and the world would be a better place without it. He is not honest about the facts. The truth [historically] is that Christianity has been the major force behind the most noble institutions in our country. The hospital system in the United States as well as the University system was founded by the Church. The major scientific thinkers of history have been Christian [or deist]. The majority of the founding fathers of our country were without a doubt Christian. It is common today for our Public schools to focus on Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson or George Washington when teaching on the founding Fathers. And because you will find certain non Christian statements from Franklin, yet he himself still embraced religion. But more from a Deist standpoint [belief in God while not being a Christian]. This small focus on a few of the fathers [there were at least 50 historic figures who would fall under the category of founding Fathers. Some actually started bible societies. Wrote their own version of the Bible and stuff like that] seems to leave the impression that the founding of our country was by men who were ‘fleeing Christianity’. To start a new world free from religious expression. This is in no way true. Most of the early settlers of our country were called ‘Puritans/Pilgrims’. ‘Pure’ from what? From religious expression? They got the name from being ‘Non Conformists’ under Queen Elisabeth’s rule in England. During the reign of Elisabeth England was dealing with the problem of the ‘Non Conformists’. These were the Christians in her realm who were Protestant, and they didn’t feel the ‘Protestantism of England’ went far enough in her reform. The Church of England was ‘too catholic’ for these brothers. So Elisabeth actually persecuted Protestant brothers under her reign, though she herself was considered to be the ‘Protestant Queen’ after her sister Mary, the infamous ‘bloody Mary’ martyred Protestants. You would think the Protestants under Elisabeth were happy, but they weren’t. Eventually Elisabeth would pass a law that told all the Protestant Pastors to keep wearing the catholic Collar on their vestments during ‘church services’. Eventually these ‘non conformists’ would get their name for not wanting to conform to these regulations. So these eventually would flee England. Some to Holland and other areas. Eventually to the Americas. This is the basic moral underpinning of the religious Puritans [pure form of Christianity as they saw it] who founded our country. In this background you will find the idea of ‘Separation of Church and state’ seen. Though our founding documents reference Christ and God many times, yet this phrase comes from a letter during this time. The phrase itself has been used in the hands of strict separatists as meaning something different from the original ideas of the fathers. Our constitution does have what is called ‘the establishment clause’ ‘Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise’ but if you read this in the context of all I just showed you, it is quite easy to see that they didn’t mean society should be free from all religious/Christian expression. But they used this language to protect the church from the intrusion of government interference. These fathers were fleeing England and a Queen who kept telling them to ‘conform to the sates standards’. They wanted to make sure no state, not even the new one being founded, would ever tell the church how to run her affairs again. I know the other side [the strict separatists] have a different belief about the founding of the country. But this is simple history, you don’t have the option of changing the facts! This is also why Congress still opens in Prayer. Why the Ten Commandments are still found on the walls of government buildings. Why they still ‘have the gall to have our Senators sworn in on the Bible’! It is quite obvious that the majority of the founding Fathers were not atheists who were founding some new world that would be free from religion! Now, this new religious freedom allowed for the ‘starting of many churches/religions’. You would have the rise of many types of religious movements. The breakaway groups from both the catholic church as well as the protestant church would find new freedom in America. Many of these expressions are the churches that I mentioned at the beginning of this entry! But you would also see the rise of ‘cults’. The first major wave of ‘anti cultism’ seen in this country was the strong resistance in the early 20th century against the metaphysical cults. These are the groups know as ‘unity’ ‘Christian science’ or ‘theosophy’. These groups were seen as THE major threat to Christianity in the first part of the 20th century. You would have scholars from the universities, that were founded by Christians, writing against these movements. Princeton, the university from my home state, was one of the Universities that had these scholars. You would also have a strong anti catholic spirit among some of the writings of these Reformed scholars. These were good men who held faithful to what they still saw [and see!] as the major errors of Catholicism. This backlash and anti catholic spirit was seen in the real fear that Many had when John Kennedy ran for President. Kennedy would have to make it clear that his religion would not interfere with his allegiance to our country. The Pope would have no control over him in matters pertaining to state and government. Some feel this is what was behind his assassination, a strong anti catholic spirit. Of course we know this not to be true, Oliver stone [movie maker] has shown us the truth behind his assassination! [of course I had to put this in!] So this leaves us with a good country, with much religious freedom. This also has led to the freedom for one type of Christian church to bash another type. Even to view them as heretics! So the Christian church of our country is not forced to ‘love our brother in Christ’ by human law, but I think we could find another law in scripture that supersedes human law! Note- There is a ‘curse’ or judgment that believers bring upon themselves when they view other Christian faiths as in total error or apostasy simply because they are catholic, or traditional. I know and believe there are important differences that still need to be dealt with in love. I believe heresy should be dealt with. But I have seen on too many occasions how Christians ‘use’ their judgment on the traditional church in a way that blinds them to truth. How many times have I tried to show someone that Jesus was not about materialistic living. Though he told his followers he would meet their needs, yet he walked above the pursuits of this life. I would get responses like ‘Oh that’s that old tradition/religious teaching the Catholics teach. Vows of poverty and stuff like that.’ These believers sincerely cant see the major body of truth in scripture dealing with the warnings of money because they grasped an idea that all the Catholics or traditional churches are simply wrong. Proverbs says ‘don’t move the ancient landmarks that your fathers put down’ we need to be careful that our view of ‘those deceived Catholics’ is not a blind spot [or should I say log!] in our own eye! NOTE- If you think about it, the effect of the founding fathers writings, our constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Who would have thought these ‘documents from a revolution’ would have had such a major impact? Even today it is considered ‘heresy’ to question the Constitution. Is it a ‘living document’ that changes and grows with the times? Some conservatives will burn you at the stake for saying this! I believe a reason for the influence of these writings can be attributed to the same ‘idea’ as Paul’s letters. Paul wrote most of the New testament. These letters were not ‘university papers’ that Paul spent hours pouring over in some library. These were ‘documents from a Revolution’. Things written during a time of major world upheaval. The instituting of Gods rule thru this new King called Jesus! Writings produced from a Revolutionary mindset. I think we need to get back to laying everything down for this cause once again. We are living and writing from a ‘safe’ harbor. This explains the tremendous lack of authority in the things we are communicating!

(547) I woke up yesterday and wrote down ‘subscribe to a few Christian magazines’. I have subscribed to some years ago, but it’s been a while. When I went to my P.O. Box later in the day, I saw that Charisma magazine sent me a free subscription! The issue [Oct/sept 2007] dealt with so much of what I have been teaching this last year. I wonder if Lee Grady reads my blog? [I have sent him my books over the years] I liked the article he wrote. It was a warning against exalting natural Israel to a point where we undermine the need for Jews to be saved thru the blood of Christ. It was a lot like the themes I have spoken on this year. Then when you went thru the rest of the magazine it was filled with articles and ad’s for all types of Jewish stuff! ‘Buy this Hebrew prayer shawl’ and things like that. It was a little funny to be honest with you. I have subscribed to charisma before, to be honest they are way to ‘shallow’ to truly learn from. Now I am not saying I am too good for them, I think the abundance of articles from well meaning women preachers [I am not against women!] on ‘you can have what you say’ or ‘you can achieve some goal’ is not cutting it in preparing believers to live in society. I was at the homeless shelter a few years back and just hanging out with some homeless friends. I wasn’t preaching or anything. Some brothers were talking about the Lord and a new guy but in. He said he was at one time a professor from Berkeley [the liberal university in California] and that he had taught an entire course on how Greek wisdom and writings contained all types of Christian thought before Christ. Things like the story of Hercules and myths on ‘a son of the gods who would come and save the world’. He explained in true atheistic fashion that all of these sources contained much of what you find in scripture, therefore scripture and the story of Jesus are fake imitations of Greek wisdom. Now I usually do not get into these debates with homeless guys, and to be honest this guy probably thought I was homeless! The long hair and scraggly clothes fit in well with this bunch. But I had to correct this ‘professors’ attack on the faith. I explained to him that I was familiar with this teaching, and that the way I usually answer it is to tell the person [which I was about to do!] that before you had ‘Greek thought’ you had ‘Jewish though’ [the Old testament Prophets and stuff] and that in ‘Jewish thought’ are contained all the hidden shadows of a future Messiah and all other types of ‘pre Christian’ ideas. Therefore any overflow of this ‘thought’ into ‘Greek thought’ was simply a Greek copy of the true! So therefore all of this ‘professors’ refutation of Christianity is now refuted! Touché. He seemed a little depressed over this. It was like he never heard his false ideas challenged before. I did do it in love. But he should have just kept his mouth shut and not have tried to use his ‘Berkeley wisdom’ on some red neck town deep in the heart of Texas [Kidding a little here!] What’s the point? The point is if we keep feeding the church messages on how to get wealthy and to have a successful career, then we are not truly equipping them for society. I thank Charisma for sending me the free magazine, but like I said in the past, the only good stuff in it seems to be the short introduction from Lee Grady.

(102) I am watching an HBO special right now. It’s called ‘the friends of God’ its not a real critical look at Christians, but it does portray them as a little goofy/silly. One of the defenses the Christians are giving for their belief in creation versus evolution is ‘I believe the bible’. The person making this documentary [Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, the first woman speaker of the house] obviously isn’t going to interview the multitudes of scientists who also don’t believe in evolution! But some of the Christians do look silly, to be honest. Some of the arguments Christians use to defend the faith are shallow. Do you believe the bible? Do you believe it is scientifically accurate [I do], well when the bible says the ‘sun rises’ do you believe it actually ‘rises’? Not really! Most of you accept the fact that the earth revolves around the sun and rotates at the same time. Scientifically the ‘sun doesn’t rise’. The language used in scripture to describe ‘the sun rising’ isn’t lying, but it is simply using the natural flow of language that people communicate with. There are things like this that believers need to become more familiar with in our defense of the faith, or else we look like people who still believe the earth is flat! NOTE: I personally don’t like the ‘persona’ that is being put forward from some of the more strident evangelical preachers. Though I would agree with them doctrinally on many subjects, it’s just the overall ‘us versus them’ mentality that turns me off.

(139) A couple of things today. Last night on the discovery channel they aired a special on the ‘lost tomb of Jesus’. Another ‘Davinci code’ criticism of Jesus and the Church. I find it interesting that after 2 thousand years people are still gossiping about Jesus. I wonder if he’s thinking at the right hand of God ‘father you said I would be criticized, but I never thought it would last this long’. I do find the stupidity of the critics entertaining at times. First, if you spend whole lifetimes denying the existence of someone, the last thing you would do is ‘discover his tomb’ [supposedly with his bones in it!]. Second, why spend so much money and effort explaining away something that is supposedly fake. I don’t see any TV specials on denying the existence of ‘Santa Clause’. Me thinks the critics doth protest too much!
Now a word to ‘our critics’. First I want you guys to know I pray for you every day ‘Lord, let judgment come swift and fast!’ [Just kidding!] But honestly sometimes criticism can be good. I have had people tell me that my sharing of the stories of helping people is violating the principle of Jesus to ‘let not your right hand know what your left is doing’. That is don’t boast about your good deeds or else you loose your reward in heaven. This is a good point that I should not dismiss out of hand. Jesus ‘modeled’ things by example, as well as actual teaching. Many years ago I had a prophetic word given to us that said ‘thru my example many would see and understand the works of Jesus’. The whole word spoke on our ‘style’ of ministry as being unique and ‘showing’ thru example the works of Jesus. When I first started sharing stories and stuff I saw it more as the Lord telling me to do it in this way. Jesus told the story of the ‘good Samaritan’; he was speaking of himself in this parable. The main thing Jesus was dealing with when telling the people ‘don’t do things just to be seen’ was the mindset that existed in the religious community of his day. They lived for the public recognition of society around them. Their prayers and fasting were done solely for them to be seen as pious and holy. They had absolutely no intent on actually doing service to God or helping their fellow man. It was in this environment that Jesus said these things. You do find Paul having to ‘boast’ of his accomplishments in order to teach the Corinthians stuff. Well any way I thought I would clear this up. And to all my critics, take comfort in the fact that I am going to pray right now, and you are going to be in my prayers! [Still kidding a little].

(275) Let me speak on abortion. I mentioned earlier on this blog about the Catholic and Protestant divide in the 16th century. One of the fears the Catholic Church had was the fear of the divine right of Kings. That if nation states ‘broke away’ from Rome that eventually the states would do whatever they wanted. Some look at the atrocities of Hitler and point to this as a proof. I personally don’t hold to this view, but I do find it interesting that Hitler came along after Darwin and Eugenics. Eugenics is the science that teaches certain races are more ‘pure’ and others are less pure. It taught a type of ethics that said if you get rid of the weaker ones in society that eventually you would have a healthier, purer race. You saw this mindset in Hitler’s attempt to have an ‘Aryan race’. The man who came up with this ‘science’ was a relative of Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin was the ‘popularizer’ of Evolution. If someone truly believes that all Humans are simply an accident of evolution; there is really no moral grounds to value life. If we are all simply blobs on this experimental earth, then why not eliminate the weaker ones for the benefit of the whole race? After all we know this to be true, science teaches it! There you have it, a slippery slope down a course that ultimately leads to a time in our country where we actually allow, by law, a woman to come to a clinic/hospital. Walk in at 7 months of pregnancy, get an appointment with a Doctor and get a ‘partial birth’ abortion. This procedure allows for the actual baby, living and feeling safe in the mother’s womb to be ‘partially’ delivered, leaving ‘part’ of the baby inside the mother. The other ‘part’ sticking out and the Doctor kills the baby. By law it’s not murder, the baby still has a ‘part’ in the mom. The only difference between this child, and others who are born and live a wonderful life, is a few inches. The procedure is defended by politicians who say ‘I personally am against abortion, but I am for a woman’s right’ What about the right of that beautiful little baby girl who you just destroyed in a manner equal to Hitler’s holocaust? This little girl has rights too. Some of our Politicians couldn’t care less about the ‘right’ of the woman; they allow murder for the political expediency of their constituents! Thank you Pontius Pilate. I recently saw on the news a state that is trying to pass a law that would require the mother to see a sonogram of her baby before she gets the abortion, they are persuaded that if a woman ‘looks at the baby’ that she will of her own free will decide to not kill it. They then had the opponents/proponents give both sides. Those against it said things like ‘ we don’t require a person to look at a tumor before its removed’ babies are not ‘tumors’ or any other type of ‘matter’ that you dispose of at will. I once had actual pictures of ‘buckets full of babies’ that were taken outside of some abortion clinic back in the 70’s. These buckets were filled to overflow with burned, chopped up, mutilated little babies. Just sitting there waiting for some dump truck to haul them to the local incinerator. Now we have cleaned up our act, we ‘burn’ them before they get a chance to be spotted by the public eye. God forbid that we would force society to look at ‘these tumors’. May God help us all. NOTE; a few years back there was an abortion doctor who took an actual sonogram of an abortion procedure. They later made a video. The picture was front page on one of the national magazines of our country. It was called ‘silent scream’ it showed the baby actually grasping hold of the instrument that was inserted into the mother’s womb, and the baby was trying to keep it from stabbing it. The babies face could clearly be seen screaming bloody murder. This doctor, who was not a Christian, could not continue performing this procedure no matter how many politicians call this ‘a woman’s right to choose’! UPDATE ON PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION # 305

(409)I watched the second Republican debate for 2007 last night. It was interesting. One of the questions [from Wolf Blitzer] was to Rudy Giuliani. Wolf asked him to respond to the recent comment from A Catholic Bishop that compared his abortion stance to what Pilate did in betraying Christ. Basically Pilate allowed Christ to be crucified, even tough he was ‘personally against it’ Pilate knew Christ was innocent but permitted his execution to appease a political constituency. As Rudy responded it began to lightning, this caused his mic to go out and you couldn’t hear a word thru the TV. Rudy joked about it. Sort of like ‘I guess God is trying to tell me something’. A few other candidates kidded also. As Rudy talked the lightning kept cutting out his remarks. Everyone just took it as a joke. The ‘funny’ thing was as the other 9 candidates spoke [all pro life!] this ‘interruption’ didn’t happen. As soon as the mic went back to Rudy it started again. You could almost see in everyone’s faces that this wasn’t a joke! Rudy is the only ‘pro choice’ candidate in the Republican field. Also this debate took place in Hew Hampshire at a Catholic University ‘Saint Anselm’. the moderator harped on asking a few of the Christian candidates their view on evolution [which should have nothing to do with whether or not you make a good President!] It was asked in a way to make these guys look like idiots. One of the candidates answered wisely. He basically said he doesn’t know if God created the world in a literal 6-day period or longer, he affirmed the scientific reality that all creation could not have simply come by mere chance. He gave an intelligent response to the question. He also challenged the question. He believed it really shouldn’t be in a Presidential discussion. Though he defended himself well. Wolf Blitzer wanted to make these guys look like idiots. So after the answer he says ‘you were asked whether or not you believed in a literal 6 day creation, you dodged the question, answer it’. The candidate told Wolf ‘I did not dodge the question, I told you that I don’t know if the literal account in Genesis is speaking about periods of time or 24 hr days’. Wolf looked like the idiot! The point is they were so obsessed with getting a certain response that Wolf didn’t ‘hear’ the answer. When it’s your main job [moderator] to ‘hear’ the answer, and you don’t hear it, you look stupid. The ‘after’ show that discussed the debate brought up ‘why are all these candidates injecting God into it’ and then ridiculing them for various reasons. Even though it was obvious that these candidates were not bringing the ‘God issue’ up on their own, they were annoyed to be getting these questions. The Democrats actually are bringing it up more on their own because they are trying to appeal to the Christian vote in a greater way [which is fine]. I think Rudy is a good man, I like him. I am an Italian that grew up where he was mayor. I don’t think God was necessarily ‘judging him’ by the lightning. I felt it more to be a prophetic sign that said ‘If you refuse to speak up for those who have no voice in society [the unborn] I in turn will remove your voice from society’. NOTE: The obvious bias of the media is seen clearly in these types of things. It would be like me asking you ‘do you believe in Hitler and the oppression of Jews’. And you would respond by saying no, and then begin to explain the atrocities of Nazi Germany. Then later I had a discussion with a panel and said ‘can you believe they were even discussing Hitler? I know, what a bunch of racist bigots!’ For the media to do this is an insult to the average American. These elitists truly think that Christians are ignorant idiots. They then show their blatant bias by doing this. NOTE: God takes men and turns them into fools when they willingly reject him. These people who look at creationists as ‘back water’ idiots, believe that at one point in time there was nothing. From nothing gases ‘showed up’ one day [this is a scientific impossibility!] these unexplainable gases had an unexplainable explosion. From this all creation came into existence. Now science does show us that there was a point in history where all the worlds ‘mass’ or matter was at a beginning point. And that from this point thru an unbelievable event all creation came. This is scientifically accurate. But for this to have occurred from nothing is scientifically impossible. There had to be something from outside of the material realm that had the ability to act upon the material realm in order to make this happen. Whether you believe this something is God or not is irrelevant to this argument. The FACT is all created things could not have come from nothing! For the unbeliever to hold to this obviously childlike explanation of all things is absolutely foolish. But they see their belief in this as being intellectual. God has truly changed their wisdom into total foolishness. If you had a point in time where nothing existed, it is scientifically impossible to have matter now. The only scientific explanation is something else had to act upon this ‘void’ in order to bring about matter. This is not religious belief, this is scientific fact!

(411)I had a friend years ago who worked with me at the Fire Dept. He was ‘sort of’ an Atheist. He did ridicule Christians a lot. He would challenge them on all sorts of stuff. I remember discussing something with him one day. Some type of challenge. In the middle of the argument I simply said ‘if all of this you are saying is true, then why do you believe in God’. He was shocked. He couldn’t answer back. It was like the Lord knew he always held to a secret belief in God but never revealed it. I guess he never thought anyone would ‘see this secret of his heart’ [prophecy].


About ccoutreach87

my sites- www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com- ccoutreach87.wordpress.com- facebook.com/john.chiarello.5


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