An intriguing movie hits sixteen hundred theaters nationwide this month beginning on April 7. In order to save his marriage, an avowed atheist seeks to disprove the Resurrection with a rigorous detective-like investigation. But he is surprised by what his analysis uncovers.
The Case for Christ, the movie, is based on the true story of award-winning journalist Lee Strobel. He is a confident atheist who is determined to disprove his wife’s newfound Christian faith. He applies his well-honed investigative and legal skills to try to disprove the Resurrection of Jesus and thereby recover his wife. However, compelled by the hard evidence he finds and the reality of Christ in lives around him, he becomes a believer in Jesus Christ.
This past week, I ran across a great blog article about how to handle disagreements among Christians. It is very much what I have been learning in my Ephesians class about maintaining Christian unity. Christians should be united in love.
So, how do we handle it when, according to the best of our knowledge, someone is teaching against God’s Word? Hugh Ross is an astrophysicist and Christian teacher, who advocates old earthism. So, the writer, Bruce, of the blog post that I mentioned above asked me to present some of the things that Hugh Ross teaches that are exegetically inaccurate.
A quick note on exegesis. Where interpretation is needed in scripture, scripture should be used as the principal interpreting tool. If there are other scriptures that can be used to aid in the interpretation, then that scripture should be used to help guide the interpretation.
Death before sin – Ross teaches that death, disease, and bloodshed have been present among God’s creation for millions of years prior to Adam’s sin.
Genesis 3 – Death is a result of Adam’s sin
Romans 5 – Man brought death into the world
Romans 8 – The sin of mankind brought a bondage of decay to all of creation such that creation would groan as it awaits liberation from its frustration.
I Corinthians 15 – Man brought death into the world. The final enemy to be defeated is death
Genesis 1 – When God had finished his creative work, he declared his creation “very good.” Ross claims that Adam’s sin caused only human death and that animal death has been happening for millions of years. If animal death is “very good” as Ross claims, then why would Almighty God demand that the picture of the death of his Son be represented by the death of an animal without blemish? The unjust death of the Son of God on a cruel cross was represented for thousands of years by the sacrifice of a lamb. According to Ross, lambs must not have value since they have been dying upon their emergence (Ross does not teach evolution) and that Adam’s sin had no effect on the bloodshed that has existed for millions of years.
Genesis 1:29-30 – God clearly intended man and animals to be vegetarian. Prior to the sin of Adam and Eve, man and animals ate plants, and yet Ross teaches that predatory behavior existed for millions of years prior to the curse of sin.
The Days of creation are not literal days – Redefining the biblical account, Ross teaches the same cosmic evolution as Dawkins, De Grasse, Bill Nye, and Stephen Hawkings: Big Bang Cosmology. Ross does not teach that the cosmos emerged from gravitational disturbances like Hawkings. Ross does teach that God began the universe by his great power, but after God created the universe, Ross teaches that the forces of the universe constructed stars, galaxies, and planets over billions of years. Ross claims that the Bible teaches the big bang cosmology by explaining expansion when God stretched out the heavens.
Genesis 1 – The Hebrew word for day is “yom.” This word can be used similar to our English word for day in that it can mean 24 hour day or a period of time. Never have we found a usage of the word “yom” that means billions of years. Context is key, and in this context, the days are clearly limited to 24 hour periods. Each day is given an ordinal (the 1st day, the second day, the third day…) Each day is also bounded by evening and morning in a typical way that we understand 24-hour days to work. This is counter to what Ross teaches.
Genesis 1:14-20 – Ross claims that the cosmos emerged from the big bang prior to the creation of earth, plants, fish and birds. This is opposite what the Bible teaches. He claims that the Hebrew word for day, “yom” is flexible enough to mean millions of years. Yet in Gen 1:14-20 the word day is being wildly stretched by Ross to mean both 24 hours (Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day (yom) from the night) and billions of years (and there was evening and there was morning – the fourth day (yom)). Is the word for day (yom) really so flexible to mean both 24 hours and billions of years in the sameparagraph? This is a radical misinterpretation of the text that is counter to author’s intent.
Exodus 20:11 – The Hebrews were told to work and rest in the same pattern as God performed his creative work. “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the seas, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.” The Hebrews were not commanded to work for six eras (billions of years) and then rest for an era as Ross would teach.
Exodus 31:17 – This is further confirmation of the six day pattern that God established for his chosen people. It’s not just a pattern of ratios as Ross might ascribe. If it were just a pattern of ratios, God could have used a different word like he does in Daniel 9. It is clearly a pattern of days as the scripture reiterates.
Mark 10:6 – Jesus declared that God created man and woman at the beginning of creation. According to atheists and Ross, the timeline of the universe is billions of years and mankind has only been present at the very end of this timeline. Jesus declared the opposite in his teaching to the Pharisees.
Luke 11:49-51 – Jesus again declares that the beginning of the world was not billions of years prior to the creation of mankind. “Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel…”
The Flood of Genesis 6-9 was a local flood – Ross says that the flood of Noah’s day was “universal.” What he means when he teaches this is that the flood was universal to Noah’s perspective…not global. Ross gets his radical interpretation from his understanding of Psalm 104:6. He assumes that the poetic context of Psalms 104 is ONLY about the creation week. Should we really use poetic accounts to re-interpret historical accounts? Poor exegesis.
Genesis 6 and 7 – There are 20 superlatives (all, only, every, entire, everything…) describing the extent of the flood. To say that the flood is local, Ross has to bring his own interpretation to the text rather than letting the text speak for itself.
Genesis 7:17-20 – “The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.” The only mountains mentioned in the Genesis text are the mountains of Ararat. We know that the highest point in the mountains of Ararat is almost 17,000 feet high and if the ONLY mountains mentioned in the text were completely covered as said in verse 19, then we know that at a minimum the water level had to be at least 17,000 feet high. There is no basin in the middle east that can contain water levels over 17,000 feet high. So, to say that there was a local flood in the Mesopotamian basin that covered the mountains of Ararat but was not global is biased to the point of re-interpreting scripture for one’s own radical view.
Genesis 9 – God promised never to flood the earth again like he did in the days of Noah. If Ross’s teaching of localized flood is true, how does that make God’s promise look? There have been countless devastating local floods since Noah’s day, but there has never been another global flood.
Psalm 104:6 – Ross teaches that this poetic text is only about the creation week, so that waters could not cover the earth again during the flood. But the language of Psalm 104:6-9 has language that is closely tied to Noah’s account in Genesis 8 and 9 where God rebukes the waters back to the ocean basins. You can see later on in the passage of Psalm 104 that the lions roar for their prey, so this is clearly after the Fall (which is after the creation week) since God says, “to all the beasts of the earth… I give every green plants for food.” Predatory behavior is a post-fall result of the curse, so Psalm 104:6 cannot restrict the flood to local Mesopotamian basin. So, Ross’s assumption that Psalm 104 is only about the creation week is demonstrably wrong.
Isaiah 54:9 – “To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.” The Hebrew word for earth is the same word for earth as in Genesis 1:1. If we use scripture as our guide to determine the depth and breadth of the flood, the way that Genesis uses the word “earth” is not in a regional manner…it is global.
Genesis 6 – If it was a local flood, why did Noah have to spend over 100 years building a big boat? In 100 years, he could have moved anywhere on earth he wanted to avoid the localized storm. It only makes sense if the flood were global.
1 Peter 3:21 – The worldwide covering of the earth by water symbolizes baptism. If the flood was a local flood, does baptism just need to be partial covering of water? The symbolism of Jesus’ death (which was complete) and the complete covering of the earth by water, is strongly recognized in the complete submersion by water in baptism. Ross would have to disagree with this or create another “epicycle” to accommodate his teachings.
If it is so important that Christians remain united, why should we “create” controversy by identifying someone specifically for teaching differently? If someone claims to be a teacher of God’s Word, we should expect them to remain consistent with their exegesis. With Ross, we have found that many words have to be re-defined to fit his old earthism.
Day = billions of years
Literal = figurative
Universal = small localized
All = some
Very Good = billions of years of death, disease, bloodshed
Beginning of creation = billions of years after creation
So, it is the plasticity with which Ross interprets scripture that necessitates a scriptural rebuke. With interpretations like his, we get liberal churches ordaining gay ministers and other ignoring scriptures that do not fit their pre-conceived notions of political correctness. So, I invite Dr. Ross and those who have followed his teachings to return to unity in the teachings of the Bible.
With the exception of bringing in the scientifically verified height of the highest point in the mountains of Ararat, all of these points show problems with Ross’s biblical exegesis. There are also bountiful scientific evidences that corroborate the teachings of scripture and are in opposition to Ross’s teachings. Ross likes to say that nature is the 67th book of the Bible, and while this is wildly inaccurate, creation does verify the teachings of scripture and bring glory to God (Romans 1).
Since we can trust God’s revealed Word about the past, we can trust him with our future.
EXTRA CREDIT: Do a little thought experiment with me.
If God intended to reveal something like what Ross teaches about creation and the flood, I can think of thousands of revisions that would make it more clearly stated that the earth is billions of years old, that animals have suffered and died for millions of years, and there was a small flood in the middle east.
But how would you change the Bible to show that God intended to reveal that his creative works took 6 literal days about 6000 years ago and that he judged the entire world with a flood?
Last night there was a nationwide one-night-only release of the movie, Is Genesis History. My family went to watch, and the theater was packed. In fact, it appeared that they oversold the movie, because several people stood along the walls and sat on the floor. This tells me that there is a market for such movies. In fact, as I was researching their website this morning for this post, there will be a second one-night-only release of the movie on March 2nd. So, if you missed last night’s showing, grab a friend, and see if the question gets conclusively answered.
“Is Genesis History” is a documentary in which Dr. Del Tackett travels the world trying to answer the question of whether the conventional paradigm (cosmic evolution, geological evolution, and The Grand Theory of Evolution) or the Genesis paradigm best accounts for the evidence that is seen in today’s world. He defined a paradigm as the framework in which evidence in interpreted. So in this question, do purely naturalistic forces best account for the evidence that is observed today or does the narrative of Genesis give us insight into earth’s history.
***** SPOILER ALERT!!! The conclusive answer to the question of whether Genesis is indeed history is revealed below. ******
I won’t give away all of the spoilers in the movie, as there were over a dozen scientists weighing in on the evidence, but I do want to hit a couple of the highlights.
This blog addresses whether God’s Word is the authority, so let’s start with the imminent Biblical scholar, Steve Boyd PhD, and what he had to say about Genesis. When questioner, Dr. Tackett asked Dr. Boyd about whether Genesis claims and/or appears to be historical, Dr. Boyd replied unequivocally that the author of Genesis intended his audience to understand the text as having actually happened in history. The Hebrew people were God’s chosen people, and Genesis reveals the history of God’s interaction with their patriarchs in a smooth genealogical line. A paraphrase of one particular interaction with Tackett, Dr. Boyd says, someone would have to bring their own alien interpretation into the Genesis text to claim that the Bible can accommodate billions of years by redefining the Hebrew word for day. It is clear from the text, that the Hebrew word for day in this context is not plastic enough to mean billions of years as some groups would have us believe. So, from this interview, the question is answered with the affirmative: Genesis is history.
Dr. Tackett also interviewed Dr. Paul Nelson. They met in a computer museum and talked about the history of information. One particular interaction caught my attention. They discussed how biological evolution claims to be plausible by building from a single celled organism to all of the diversity of life by compiling more and more cells over millions of years. In the same way, do we get complicated computer operating systems and programs by adding zeros and ones (which is the foundation of computer language) randomly over years and years? Both ideas are equally ridiculous according to their interview. This interview also affirmed that Genesis is history.
The last point I wanted to make in this post wasn’t drawn out in great detail, but the idea of the Eye Witness was brought up. When discussing issues of history, an eye witness has value. As an analogy, consider a crime that is being investigated by a local police station and the FBI. Both offices employ a forensics team to help determine the culprit, however, the FBI has an eye witness that was at the scene of the crime. Now consider that this eye witness was a justice on the supreme court…someone who is very familiar with evidence, law, and judgement. Would the local police office, who employed ONLY a forensic team in their investigation be able to build as solid a case that accounted for all of the information as the FBI, who employed a forensic team and had an eye witness? The Genesis narrative is written as history from the perspective of the Supreme Judge, and his eye witness account is not lightly dismissed.
I highly recommend the movie. There’s no action, no CGI, and no plot twist, but the information is fantastic, the experts well-spoken, and the conclusion is important.
Since we can trust what God has revealed about history, we can trust Him with our future.
In debates between Christians and Materialists, sometimes Christians will bring up the apologetic that since there is an objective morality, then there must be a God. Materialists have countered using the Euthyphro Dilemma. In short, this dilemma was a story told by Plato describing a fictional encounter between Socrates and Euthyphro. In it Socrates asks, “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods.”
To transliterate this parable to modern thinking and applying it to the monotheistic God:
“Does God define what is right, or does good define God?”
The dilemma then, for Christians, would be if they answered affirmative to the first part of the question, “Yes, God defines what is right”, then the materialist can say that God has the ability to be arbitrary or capricious. God could essentially change his mind on what He defines as right and wrong.
Were the Christian to answer the second part of the question with the affirmative, “Yes, Since something is good then God commands we do that,” then God is unnecessary since there is a standard greater than God to which he must submit. If there is something greater than God, then that greater something is what should be worshiped.
Neither answer is palatable for the Christian, and that is why it is so important that Christians study their Bible. With correct Bible study, we see that this is a false dilemma.
Isaiah 45:19 says “I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right.”
Does this spring the materialist’s trap into saying that God can arbitrarily decide right from wrong? It might, unless we take further notes from his eternal Word.
Hebrews 13:3 tells us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Malachi 3:6 “I the LORD do not change.”
So, God both defines what is right, and He never changes. God’s very nature is good. “For the LORD is good. His steadfast love endures forever.” Since God’s very nature is good, then He defines for us what he expects and how we should reflect his image by our actions. We were created in God’s image, and to be excellent reflections of his image, it is imperative that humans follow his commands…and thus, fulfill our purpose.
In part 2 of this post, I want to go deeper into this discussion to see if we as Christians can answer this question of absolute morals, how it is communicated, and what is our purpose.
If you’re interested in further research on how philosophers discuss the Euthyphro Dilemma, you can look here.
In a technologically modern world, we have become so accustomed to having things instantaneously. The latest fad is to purchase external Siri, Alexa, Google boxes that answer your voice questions and perform simple online tasks. Today’s window of focus is 140 characters or seven second Vines.
We can be easily tempted to let someone else read, study, pray over, and digest God’s Word – so that they can summarize the message for us. But as a citizen in the eternal Kingdom, don’t let that temptation manifest itself in your life as your primary intake of the Word. Study your Bible. Besides the benefit of enjoying a nourishing time with the Creator and pondering the Words of life, there’s a danger in only letting someone else tell you their thoughts about God’s Word.
In my most previous two posts, I pointed out the exegetical flaws of some men, who have metastasized their peculiar interpretation of scripture. So that they can accommodate their belief in billions of years, they are forced to claim that the flood of Noah’s day was a local flood. It has been shown over and over again how this teaching is false, but in my personal Bible study this week, I came across yet another scripture that refutes their teachings.
Isaiah 54:9 says, “To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So, now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.”
Hugh Ross assumes that Psalm 104:9 is talking ONLY about the creation week, so that the waters of creation could not cover the earth again in Noah’s day. But Isaiah clearly teaches that the waters DID completely cover the earth during Noah’s day, so Ross’s assumption that Psalm 104 is solely about creation week is false.
Another reason why we know that Psalm 104 is not solely about creation week but also includes post-fall timeframe is because of verse 21: “The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God.”
Genesis 1:30 tells us that carnivorous activity was not part of God’s original creation. “And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it- I give every green plant for food.”
If lions are stalking prey in the poetry of Psalm 104, then it must be, at the very earliest, after sin’s curse affected the universe, but is even more likely talking about the post flood world in which the author of the Psalm lived.
Studying God’s word for yourself is a blessing in so many ways, not the least of which is being able to identify false teachings.
Since we can trust God about what He has revealed about the past, we can trust Him with our future!
Earlier this week I reviewed at debate between Biblical creationists and old earth creationists. I pointed out the clear problem that old earthers have with Bible exegesis.
Today, I want to bring light to a major problem that they continue to propagate. The old earther, Hugh Ross, continues to claim that the Bible teaches that the flood of Noah’s day was a local flood. There are a number of biblical problems with the claim that the flood of Noah’s day was simply a local flood. We’ll discuss a few of them here.
Hugh Ross struggles to make his point using Psalm 104 as his primary text. In fact, the only place in the Bible that he can bend the words to his liking is verse 9 of Psalm 104.
You (God) set a boundary they (the waters) cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.
This poetic passage includes phrases like:
“O LORD…you are clothed…”
“He wraps Himself in light”
“He stretches out the heavens like a tent”
“He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the winds”
“He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants”
“He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved”
This passage is clearly a passage of poetry. Why build one’s doctrine on poetry at the expense of historical revelations from God?
So, Ross’s assumption is that the entire passage of Psalm 104 is a commentary about only the creation week, and he claims that (rather than Genesis’ historical account) this poetry is a solid foundation upon which to establish his untenable position. In his belief that the entire Psalm 104 passage is about creation, Ross says that the flood of Noah’s day could not have covered the earth since verse 9 says that the water will never again cover the earth. Since the creation account talks about how the earth was brought forth from water, Ross thinks that his sandy foundation in the Psalms absolves him from proper exegesis. It is important for us a Christians to interpret the Bible according to its genre and within the context of the whole of scripture. I’ll show below how the rest of scripture does not allow a local flood.
For a biblical creationist, the resolution is simple. Psalm 104 is a poetic account of both creation, the flood, and post flood world as a way to bring glory to the Almighty.
So, let’s look at some of the other reasons why the local flood advocated by Ross is contradicted by God’s Word.
At the end of the worldwide flood in Genesis 9:11, God promised to never flood the earth again. His covenant was memorialized with God placing the rainbow in the sky. If Noah’s flood was a local flood, then God would have broken his word by allowing local floods all over the earth.
From Genesis 6:17 – Genesis 7:23 God reveals in his Word 20 superlatives describing his utter destruction of the earth and all air-breathing animals with a flood. The old earthers have got to overcome or dismiss each usage of these 20 superlatives to accommodate their local flood story.
Genesis 7:19 says “They (the waters) rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.” It cannot be a local flood because all the high mountains under heaven were covered with water.
Genesis 8:4 specifically mentions the mountains of Ararat. Today Ararat measures almost 17,000 feet high. It’s likely that this peak was taller in the past since it has lost height from multiple eruptions. The only mountain specifically mentioned in the Biblical account was Ararat. So, we know that the flood would have had to at least cover this mountain. There is no basin deep enough to contain the amount of water necessary to cover Mt. Ararat. Therefore, the flood of Noah’s day could not be a local flood according to the Bible.
Matthew 24:38-39 are the words of Jesus. “For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood took them all away.” Another superlative. All were washed away in the flood. Everywhere on earth, all were washed away according to Jesus, and if they are all washed away, it must have been a worldwide flood.
1 Peter 3:20 Only 8 people in all of the earth were saved from the worldwide flood.
1 Peter 3:21 The worldwide covering of the earth by water symbolizes baptism. If the flood was a local flood, does baptism just need to be partial covering of water. The symbolism of Jesus’ death (which was complete) and the complete covering of the earth by water, is strongly recognized in the complete submersion by water in baptism.
2 Peter 2:5 Only 8 people in all of the earth were saved from the worldwide flood.
2 Peter 3:6 The world was deluged and destroyed. There’s no room here for a local flood.
The old earthers have to dismiss or re-interpret each of these revelations from God in order to make their localized flood fit.
There’s no need to build doctrine on the poetry of Psalm 104 at the expense of the historical account in Genesis as well as the other passages in scripture that clearly teach God’s judgment on the sin of mankind with a worldwide flood.
Thankfully, there is hope. God has a plan of redemption that those who confess their sin and rely on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus will not only be spared from God’s wrath but be joint heirs with Him in the eternal kingdom.
Justin Brierley hosts a weekly podcast called Unbelievable. Combing through his archives I found and listened to a debate about whether the earth was young or old. He moderated a debate between the Biblical Creationists (Andy McIntosh/Stephen Lloyd) and old earth creationists (Hugh Ross/Ken Samples).
There were several problems with the old earther’s positions. Ken Samples ridiculously claimed that the young earth position was peculiar, and that since a day can mean more than just 24 hours, then the proper interpretation for Genesis 1 is that the word day should conform to his meaning of millions (or billions) of years. He also wrongly claimed that days 1-3 couldn’t be real days because the sun and moon were not created until day 4. Projecting his own injection of poor scripture interpretation onto the biblical creationists, he called the youth earth model unbiblical.
Let’s analyze Samples’ claims using God’s Word and some common sense.
Genesis 1:14-15,19 says
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from he night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so…And there was evening and there was morning-the fourth day.
So, the Hebrew word for day is yom or yowm. And it can mean a 24 hour period, the hours when the sun shines, or a passage of time. In verse 14, the first use of the word “day” clearly means the hours of light in the daily cycle. The second use of the word “yom” needs no interpretation to understand that it is a 24 hour period, which is synonymous to the earlier meaning of identifying the light/dark cycle. But Sample’s peculiar and radical interpretation is to cram 14 billion years into the meaning of “yom” in verse 19. Samples re-interprets the final “yom” (in verse 19) to fit his preconceived notions rather than letting the same paragraph of scripture clearly speak as to the limits of the day in the context. In the same passage, the word yom means the daily cycle, but Samples wants his billions of years to be included in scripture, so he stretches the meaning of the word to accommodate his model.
Samples also ignores the passages in Exodus 20:9-11 and Exodus 31:17 that says, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God…For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.” So, God’s command was for the Hebrews to work for six days as He worked and then rest on the Sabbath as He did. Using Sample’s radical re-interpretation, the Hebrews would have needed to work for 14 billion years before finding rest. I prefer to stick with scripture rather than the old earth model.
Regarding Sample’s problem understanding how days 1-3 could be literal days before the sun existed, it’s really quite simple. What did Genesis tell us was the first purpose of the lights in the heavens? Time keeper. So, Samples is telling us that there could not have been time before the time keeper. Or put another way, prior to the invention of the stop watch, seconds didn’t exist, because we couldn’t measure seconds. I’m sure Kenny is a nice fellow, but his logic and Biblical interpretation are deeply flawed.
This is a problem because God revealed himself in scripture, and it clearly teaches that death is a penalty for sin. Jesus came to pay the price for mankind’s sin by dying in our place. If death is something that God created as part of his “very good” creation (Gen 1:31), then is brings into serious question why Jesus had to come at all. If death, disease, and suffering were just part of creation as Ross and Samples teach, then the coming of the Messiah to restore peace and defeat death (I Cor 15:26) are brought into question.
We can trust God’s revelation about the past, and that gives us hope that we can trust him with our future.
Happy Thanksgiving! On a day when we are more aware of all of our many blessings, I thought I’d post yet another reason why it is so important to be thankful to the Creator.
Romans 1 tell us:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.
Don’t give thanks to God as the undeniable Creator and you risk foolishness.
Paul continues in Philippians 4
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
[Note: Emphasis is my addition]
Being thankful to the all-loving God is spiritually medicinal. With thankful hearts, we are healthy in our thoughts and can give sacrificially as Jesus gave (and continues to give).
Everyone interprets evidence according to their worldview. If you find evidence that might somehow seem to conflict with reality, one is forced to come up with a rescuing device to protect their worldview. People are usually more concerned with protecting a worldview than knowing the truth.
Here’s an example: Humans were not supposed to have started working with aluminum until about 200 years ago (materialist worldview), so aliens must have visited earth 250,000 years ago (rescuing device).
So, instead of the Biblical worldview, which states that mankind was working with metal just 7 generations after Adam (Genesis 4:22) , someone, who has a naturalistic worldview will need to fabricate stories about aliens bringing complex metal workings from other galaxies as a rescuing device.
Don’t let an atheist tell you that they have evidence and a Christian has only faith. Everyone has the same evidence. We all interpret evidence according to our worldview. Here’s another example:
DNA has verified half-life of 512 years. The extrapolated maximum time that DNA is readable under perfectly preserved conditions is less than 1 million years. So, if DNA is found in a dinosaur bone then there are at least two options when interpreting the evidence.
The creationist says, ‘Since we know how long DNA can last, and we found DNA in dinosaur bones, then the dinosaur bone is MUCH younger than 65 million years. This fits well with a biblical time frame.” The worldview is defined by the Bible.
The atheist says, ‘Since we know dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago, and we found DNA in dinosaur bones, then there must be some unknown mechanism that preserves DNA MUCH longer than we expected.” The worldview is defined by deep time.
Same evidence…but because of different worldviews, then different conclusions are reached.
In the original case above, the atheists use aliens as a rescue device for their worldview since they do not believe the biblical account that humans have been smart from the beginning.
Therefore, evidence alone does not determine truth. One must evaluate the mechanism for interpreting the evidence (worldview) to see if the worldview can withstand scrutiny. The Christian worldview can make sense of
Preconditions for intelligibility
Universal-unchanging-immaterial laws (laws of logic, physical laws…)
Beauty, Truth, Love, Purpose
The atheistic worldview is deficient in its ability to accommodate these self-existent properties.