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.

 

Give Thanks, Prevent Foolishness

Posted: November 24, 2016 in Uncategorized
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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).

Worldviews Matter

Posted: November 16, 2016 in Uncategorized
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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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…)
  • Absolute morals
  • Beauty, Truth, Love, Purpose

The atheistic worldview is deficient in its ability to accommodate these self-existent properties.

 

So, I’ll be teaching a new class at our church starting tomorrow called the 8 C’s of History. For some of you, the title will look vaguely familiar as I took the general idea from Answers in Genesis and expanded on it. They developed a curriculum called the 7 C’s of History. I’ve not read their curriculum, but it spurred the idea for my class. “The 7 and 8 C’s of History” confirm how the significant themes of the Bible are historically accurate. Their seven C’s are:

  • Creation
  • Corruption
  • Catastrophe
  • Confusion
  • Christ
  • Crucifixion
  • Consummation

For the purpose of my class, I added “Covenant” between Confusion and Christ…I mean, for Heaven’s sake! That’s almost 2200 years of time that God was working with his chosen people in the form of the Covenant. So, Answers In Genesis SHOULD have included “Covenant” as one of their C’s, but maybe they were on a budget.

It should be noted that I’m not getting any money from this endeavor, and I am giving credit for the general idea to AIG ministries. Ultimately, it is God who receives the glory and it is because of Him that we live and breath and have our being. All of the pictures in the slideshow are linked images and suitably credited. So, no lawsuits please!

I’ve created Google Slide presentations that I will post here for people to keep up. Feel free to share the links or use the material to spread the Good News of God’s redemptive plan as revealed in his word!

  1. Creation
  2. Corruption
  3. Catastrophe
  4. Confusion
  5. Covenant
  6. Christ
  7. Crucifixion
  8. Consummation

 

Here is a timeline that I constructed as supplemental material for the class. Enjoy!

I was recently asked to give the eulogy at my grandmother’s funeral. As I was preparing the words to say, I wanted to speak openly about the importance of worldview questions at at a time when people ask questions about mortality and purpose and afterlife.

IMG_4913

 

In the past when I have talked about BIG worldview-type questions, I have used these questions:

  • How did we get here?
  • What is the purpose to life?
  • What happens when I die?
  • Is there right and wrong? How can I know right from wrong?
  • Is there a God?

But as I was preparing the eulogy, the last question really stuck in my throat. As I’ve come to understand my Bible better through the teachings of several apologists, it is plain that God’s existence is self-evident. There is no question as to the Creator God’s revelation through nature, his written word, and his Son Jesus.

So, I’ve changed that question to be: Who or what will I worship?

Everyone worships something. People will either worship the Creator God who is worthy of all praise, or they will worship something lesser. These lesser things most often include themselves, but can also include money, security, fame, or something else in creation. To do this, one has to suppress their knowledge of God as revealed in Romans 1:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse;

There is a danger in not recognizing God as Creator and worshiping him. As Romans 1 continues:

21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

Be thankful to the Creator God and worship him or face the prospect of futile, foolish, and darkened thinking.

The question of God’s existence isn’t in question; just your object of worship.

The Grand Theory of Evolution continues to fail as a predictive model when scientists are actually allowed to use data rather than assumptions and extrapolations.

Dennis Venema is professor of biology at Trinity Western University, and he has written some articles that claim evolution to be verified by the data.

Interesting, because when the research is analyzed, what it shows is the exact opposite.

So that you don’t have to read the entire article, here are a few snippets from the researchers:

If the evidence can confirm evolution, then it also can disconfirm evolution.

What does it say? …for it seems that what the science shows is that Venema’s claim, that the genetic evidence confirms evolutionary predictions, is inaccurate.

For starters, phylogenetic incongruence is rampant in evolutionary studies. Genetic sequence data do not fall into the expected evolutionary pattern. Conflicts exist at all levels of the evolutionary tree and throughout both morphological and molecular traits. This paper reports on incongruent gene trees in bats. That is one example of many.

In fact one evolutionist, who has studied thousands of microRNA genes, explained that he has not found “a single example that would support the traditional [evolutionary] tree.” It is, another evolutionist admitted, “a very serious incongruence.”

It is not unusual for similar species to have significant differences in their genome. These results have surprised evolutionists and there does not seem to be any let up as new genomes are deciphered.

The prediction that the mouse and rat genomes would be highly similar made sense according to evolution. But it was dramatically wrong.

In other words, out of the 1,071 trees, there were zero matches. It was “a bit shocking” for evolutionists, as one explained: “We are trying to figure out the phylogenetic relationships of 1.8 million species and can’t even sort out 20 yeast.”

And although evolutionists thought that more data would solve their problems, the opposite has occurred. With the ever increasing volumes of data (particularly molecular data), incongruence between trees “has become pervasive.”

If the pattern fits the evolutionary tree, then it is explained as common evolutionary history. If not, then it is explained as common evolutionary forces.

With all of this contradictory evidence, even evolutionists have realized in recent years that the traditional evolutionary tree model is failing. As one evolutionist explained, “The tree of life is being politely buried.”

 

So, with all of this contradictory evidence, will people be persuaded to believe in a Creator instead? Probably not. Just more epicycles and sub-hypothesis are created to extend the evolutionary story.

Romans 1 tells us that there is sufficient evidence to believe that the Creator God is evident from what he has created, and there’s enough evidence to pass judgement on the unbeliever.

We can trust God’s Word in what it has revealed about our past, and we can therefore trust Him about our future.

As you look through the pages of the Bible, it is very clear that the universe is not billions of years old. Jesus’ own words in Mark 10:6 says, “At the beginning of creation God made them male and female.”

orion_large-e-mail-view

Orion agrees with Jesus. This short article from the scientists at ICR is worth the read.

Orion is one of the most well-known and easily recognized constellations of the winter sky. The three bright blue stars in Orion’s belt seem to draw our attention instantly.1 Such stars are a strong confirmation of the biblical timescale.

The evidence seems far more consistent with the biblical account—it appears that stars were supernaturally created only thousands of years ago. With blue stars scattered across the cosmos, our universe certainly “looks” young.

Since we can trust God’s Word about history, we can trust Him with our future.

I haven’t even finished reading this article yet, but it’s so good that I want to share it on my blog before I forget or something comes up. The writer outlines clearly the point that people interpret evidence according to their worldview, so evidence cannot properly push someone into the Kingdom of God.

People must repent of their sins so that they can see the emptiness of their atheistic worldview. As Romans 1 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

There is not enough evidence to convince an atheist that God exists, because they are suppressing this evidence.

There are some big words and complex ideas, but here are a few excerpts that I thought were very good. Still, the whole article is worth the read:

Defending the Christian faith (apologetics) is an injunction that wields a fruitful endeavor. Presuppositional apologetics is a Reformed modus operandi that commences and concludes with God, presupposes the veracity of Scripture, disproves the futility of human contrivance that obstructs truth, and argues that it is inextricable to deny the sensus deitatis (sense of deity) because it is intrinsically recessed internally which leaves everyone without reprieve.

Here’s the quandary: both are given evidence (Scripture), but there are two diametrically opposed conclusions. The affirmations brought into the evidence are their presuppositions. This is the contradistinction between a presuppositional apologist and an atheist: a presuppositional apologist (does not demand evidence for God’s existence) can corroborate their knowledge claims because of revelation from God, while the atheists cannot (demands evidence for God). The former justifies the very concept of evidence, while the latter does not.

This article is not denying evidence as edifying to a Christian. The creation account, the worldwide flood, parting of the Red Sea, and the miracles of Christ: casting out demons, cleansing the lepers, healing a man born blind, healing Peter’s mother in-law, raising the dead, restoring an ear, walking on water, stilling the storm, turning water into wine, feeding thousands and resurrecting gloriously and miraculously are all captivating proofs. Do all of the aforementioned miracles need to be given to a person who demands proof for God’s existence? Absolutely not! According to Thomas Aquinas: “To one who has faith no explanation is necessary. To one without faith no explanation is possible.”

What are the dissimilarities between an atheist and a theist? The atheist cannot account for anything as they appeal to their autonomous reasoning, and seek to justify doing so with their autonomous reasoning. How do they know their reasoning is valid? Apart from revelation, they cannot. A theist (Christian) can account for the laws of logic because of a super naturalistic worldview that is consistent with universal, abstract invariant entities, and is justified by revelation. This is why an atheist has to borrow from the Christian worldview because they are impotent of justifying anything apart from God.

An atheistic worldview cannot account for moral absolutes because they have no justification for absolutes of any kind. Most atheists will say that they are absolutely certain that there is no such thing as absolutes, which is self-refuting babble. Why can’t an atheistic worldview justify moral absolutes? If an atheist denies the existence of God, they lose their appeal to absolute knowledge and nothing could be absolutely morally wrong.

Because we can trust God’s revelation through scripture about the past (and this is corroborated by the evidence we see around us), we can trust God’s revelation about our future. Romans 8

[Rom 8:18-25 ESV] 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

I’ve read that there’s no such thing as bad press, but when a certain group endorses your organization, you might not want anyone to really know about it.

Satan supports Planned Parenthood

The title of the article is “Satanists Defend Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic From Pro-Lifers on Good Friday”

 

“The Satanic Temple believes that the body is inviolable, subject to our will alone,” Blackmore told the news outlet last year. “We consider theocratic reproductive mandates an attempt to control and degrade the individual.”

I’m sure the Satan worshipers didn’t intend to be self-contradictory in their statement of value for individual humans. Clearly, it was an oversight. And I’m sure they don’t hate the biological sciences as a plain reading of their statement would suggest. Since humans sexual intercourse is biologically designed to produce human offspring, it’s not clear why the Satan worshipers would blame childbirth on “theocratic reproductive mandates.” Why do they hate science?!!?!??

Planned Parenthood (PP) might not tweet out, “We thank the Satanists for their staunch support” out of a bit of shame, but really, I’m thinking the Satanists are getting a bad name by associating with the human butchers (PP).

Thankfully, God’s grace is bigger than the sin of Satan worship. God can redeem sinners of all flavors and perversions. Abortion is not beyond the forgiveness that is found in Jesus through repentance of sins. That’s the good news. Repent and believe.

I read an article this week about myths regarding Old Earth Creationists. It had some good points, although it still boggles my mind how they can see the clear teaching of scripture and think there’s room for billions of years.

But it motivated me to write a short post on how people believe certain myths about biblical creationists. Only unborn children are treated worse in our culture than those who believe the the validity of the Bible…but a large portion of the mockery is because of misconceptions and strawmen arguments. So, following are the most prominent myths about biblical creationism:

myth-v-truth

  1. Myth 1 – Biblical creationists hate science. Those who would say this are not listening. Biblical creationists love science and learn about the world just like Darwinian scientists. The difference is that the evolutionists would start with the idea that there is no God, and they proceed to interpret evidence with this presupposition. A creationist will interpret evidence with the presupposition that there is a God that has revealed himself throughout history. As we read God’s special revelation in scripture, we see verification of this in the created world around us.
  2. Myth 2 – Biblical creationists are ignorant of or deliberately ignore scientific evidence. This is related to the first myth, but it attributes a little more deviousness or cognitive dissonance onto creationists. It again goes back to one’s starting point. If one starts with the idea that there is no Creator God, then one will assume that everything must be explainable by naturalistic means. But someone who believes there is a God will interpret the same evidence that an evolutionist uses to confirm his worldview, to show that God is indeed active in the physical world. An example of this would be homologous structures in animals. Reptiles (some of them), birds, and mammals have legs, so they must all have come from a common ancestor…right? The evolutionist would answer yes, but a creationist would say that the same evidence leads them to believe that it was a common Designer. Further evidence shows that it would not follow logically to attribute common features to evolution since the same structures (legs in this case) are governed by different sets of genetic code. Were evolution to be true, the same set of genes would control the same feature as shown from the picture below. GeneticHomologyDebunked
  3. Myth 3 – Dinosaurs, fossils, and the geologic column disprove the Bible. This myth is the complete reversal of the truth. If one had never dug into the soil, but had read the Bible through, one would predict that because of a worldwide flood about 4500 years ago, there should be billions of dead things buried in water sorted layers. That is exactly what is found. In fact, those who believe in billions of years are the ones ignoring the evidence (poly-strata fossils, marine fossils on mountaintops, no erosion/bioturbation between layers) left by the flood. As for dinosaurs, there are examples of artwork, sightings, and historical accounts that are evidence showing that mankind has had interactions with dinosaurs in the past…the recent past, because further scientific research shows C14 in dinosaur fossils and short-life DNA and soft tissue in un-fossilized dinosaur bones.
  4. Myth 4 – Biblical creationists care only about Genesis. Genesis is indeed foundational to God’s revelation, but scripture is a cohesive view of God’s redemptive plan throughout history. All throughout scripture we see confirmations of the validity of the Genesis account. Exodus speaks about the seven days of creation in the formation of the Jewish week and Sabbath. The Psalms confirm the creation week and God’s judgement through a worldwide flood. Jesus’ very words in the gospels show how He created mankind at the beginning of creation. The gospels also include the chrono-genealogies, and Paul’s message in Romans and Corinthians shows how death is a result of a historical Adam’s sins. Peter’s message shows how only eight people survived the worldwide flood and prophetically how people will one day scoff at the idea that there was a flood that destroyed the world. God’s revelation in scripture is cohesive throughout, and it is in perfect agreement with the general revelation of nature.

 

We can trust God’s word about history and therefore have faith that our future is in his hands.