Goodness Gracious!

God is good. We can see this from several texts in the Psalms and in the gospel of Mark.

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Psalm 119:68 You are good and do good

Psalm 135:3 Praise the LORD, for He is good

Mark 10:17-18 A man ran up and asked him, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.’

While this list is not comprehensive, we get a picture that one of the characteristics of God and the way that he acts is his Goodness. The English word from these passages that has been translated to be “good” is the Hebrew transliteration: towb.

This same word is used in Genesis 1 as God describes his new creation. After the first, third, the fourth, and the fifth days, God describes his creation as ‘towb’ or good. Genesis 1:29-31 says, “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 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. And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning the sixth day.” In fact, since God called his creation “good” twice on days 3 and 6, there is a total of seven “good” descriptors of his creation. As seven is seen throughout scripture as the perfect number, God is bringing extra emphasis on the goodness of his creation. Creation wasn’t just “good” in a trivial sense, it was made to reflect God’s goodness and glory (Psalm 19:1).

We know that later on in chapter 3 of Genesis, it describes Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God’s one command. Sin caused pain, thorns, and death to pervert God’s “very good” creation. Romans 8 confirms this when it says, “creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole of creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

Sin perverted God’s “very good” creation. And God revealed that the curse of sin included death, pain, thorns, and creation being in bondage to decay.

When archaeologists dig down into the layers of earth, what do they find? Fossils of billions of dead things. Fossils of dinosaurs and other animals that had terrible diseases like cancer are found. Some fossils show teeth marks of predators in layers that evolutionists date as having been buried millions and millions of years before mankind walked the earth. Even fossilized thorns have been found in layers that evolutionists date as being 400 million years old.

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But there are Christian teachers out there, who are trying to harmonize clear teaching of scripture with billions of years of bloodshed, suffering, and death. Is this what the Psalmist would relay as a character quality of the Almighty? But that’s exactly what Hugh Ross,  the Rossians, and John Walton would have us believe. To make this work, they have to re-define the Hebrew word “towb” to mean potential or ordered.

It is no small thing to attribute billions of years of cancer, bloodshed, pain, and death with the perfect character of the Almighty. Yet, when Walton and Ross redefine the same word “towb”, which is used to describe God’s character, as inclusive of death, one has to question their understanding of scripture.

Lastly, Isaiah 11:6-9 describes a time when God will restore his perfect creation. God revealed to Isaiah that there will come a time when predatory behavior, harm, and destruction will be a thing of the past. But Ross and Walton would say that predatory behavior, harmfulness, and destruction was a part of creation prior to Adam’s sin. Their interpretation of scripture has serious problems that affect the gospel. If death and destruction and harm were part of God’s very good creation, then why did Jesus have to die a horrific physical death on the cross? Romans 8:21 “Creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay.”

Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

We can trust the Good God Almighty about what he has revealed about the past, and we can trust him about the good He plans for the future. Praise Him!!!

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The 8 C’s of History

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!

Myths About Creationists

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 in 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.

6. Age of the Earth—What Did Jesus Say?

There are many theories by Christians that would have you believe that Genesis is a collection of myths or poetic writings that simply refer to God as the Creator. They place little or no value on the historical veracity of Genesis, thereby bringing doubt to most of the rest of the Bible. Most of these Christian theories would however, trust the new testament as authoritative. Well, ok, let’s see what Jesus had to say about Creation as recorded in the new testament gospel of Mark.

“From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.”

The words of Jesus speak clearly that he believed that humans were created at the beginning of creation. Someone might argue that Jesus was just shooting from the hip, and didn’t really intend for his audience to understand the REAL beginning of creation.

Do you not think that gifted modern speakers are very careful with their words? Would not “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), the man who has “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68) have total control of his words to speak exactly what he intended?

There are many examples of New Testament writers showing a clear understanding of Genesis as historical record.

Bible-Science Guy

(2 Minute Read)

Earth

Explicit references to Creation by Jesus show that He placed the creation of man at the Beginning, not after long eras of evolution leading up to man.

When teaching on marriage Jesus asserted,
From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female
(Mark 10:6-9).
Thus according to Jesus, God created mankind fully formed as man and woman ready for marriage at the Beginning, not after billions of years of evolution following the Beginning.

While pronouncing woe on the Pharisees Jesus said, “…in order that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world,…from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah.” (Luke 11:50-51) Chronologically, Abel and Zechariah were the first and last martyrs of the Old Testament. We see from this that Jesus believed that Adam’s son Abel lived close to the foundation of…

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Creation in the New Testament

I few years ago, I listened to the audio book trilogy from Bryan Liftin: The Gift, The Sword, and The Kingdom. I recommend them. The premise of the books is that our world is destroyed, and a remnant of people survive in a Medieval-type “new world.” This remnant of humanity only had access to the Old Testament. It’s a fun story about how they looked for the continuation of the story.

But, what if things were reversed. If we had access only to the New Testament, what would we really know about our origins or the creation account? Check out this video.

Creation in the New Testament

 

It Only Takes One Generation

I Kings 12-14 records the steep decline of morality among God’s chosen people once King Solomon died. It was a sad time for Israel and led to their eventual destruction for breaking God’s covenant. In a single generation the chosen people of Almighty God rejected his covenant, blessing, and protection for worldliness, wickedness, and unfaithfulness.

America is NOT God’s chosen people, and it could be debated that the government of the United States has ever been Christian in nature, but the culture of the American people has been strongly influenced by the Bible and Christian morality. For generations the vast majority of Americans would have declared themselves to be Christian. Even today, polls show that about 70% of Americans identify as Christians.

The numbers continue to fall, and over this next generation, the numbers will fall precipitously. I would propose that the single biggest factor in this decline is the prominence that has been granted to evolution. The grand theory of evolution is a naturalistic origins story that purportedly replaces the Creator, and as evolution has been taught as the only viable origins story in all public schools for the past 60 years, it’s no small wonder that today’s youth find no need for the Bible or a Redeemer. Sadly, many people who claim to be Christians endorse this naturalistic tool without realizing the way it dismantles people’s faith.

Today’s article from the Slate identifies evolution as a primary reason for the decline and fall of Christianity in America:

The increase in younger people embracing evolution is “quite striking,” says Kenneth R. Miller, a biologist at Brown University and an expert witness the landmark court case Kitzmiller v. Dover, which kicked “intelligent design” out of public school classrooms in 2005. “We’re moving in the right direction.”

Evolution has been used as a bludgeon to beat down belief in the Creator. Youth and adults alike fear the stigma of being identified with creationists if they are not worshiping at the altar of St. Darwin.

Sadly, as Darwinism extends its iron grip on the American culture, certain side effects are inevitable. From the same article:

To turn that cultural tide in such a short period of time, the supporters of gay marriage had to do something far more difficult: change deeply rooted attitudes and beliefs. Similarly, for the movement behind evolution to triumph, younger Americans who have been raised to believe in creationism need to be open to changing their minds. Fortunately, today’s generation is growing up in a time of greater open-mindedness and willingness to listen to evidence-based thinking, Wolfson says. Rather than being blinded by ideology, today’s young adults are open to evidence, facts, and reason.

The author hypocritically or ignorantly attributes ideology to Christianity without showing how evolutionary ideology is tyrannical in its extreme prejudice.

Romans 1 (I’ve included the text at the end) speaks clearly of this cascade of steps in which wicked people engage:

  • They suppress the Truth of God as Creator
  • Instead of thanking and glorifying God, they claim to be wise
  • This causes futile thinking and darkened hearts
  • They attribute God’s creative works instead to created things (evolution did it)
  • Therefore, sexual impurity becomes rampant and accepted

If anyone ever wondered before about the strength and prophetic power of scripture, reading Romans 1 erases doubt that the Spirit revealed to Paul how quickly a culture could be sabotaged from the inside. The Roman culture quickly crumbled once immorality became acceptable. We’re seeing the same thing in our American culture today.

Where’s the hope? Hope is in Christ alone. Our culture like every other culture that has thought it would last forever will end up in the landfill. But as Deuteronomy 6 stresses, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children.”

It only takes one generation that unlike their parents, rejects God’s commands, and the culture will be irrevocably changed.

The only hope for cultures, ourselves, and our children is in the redemption that only Christ can bring. Avoid the cascade of Romans 1 by first of all giving thanks to God as Creator. Don’t let evolution corrode your faith in his creative and redemptive works.

 

 

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; 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.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

How Long Were Those Six Days?

Genesis 1 lays out the historical account of God’s creative work. According to the account, the Creator took six days to make everything, and then he rested on the seventh day. Exodus 20:11 and Exodus 31:17 confirmed the Genesis account when it 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 earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.”

Many people have tried to reconcile the modern understanding of deep time with the historical Biblical account of creation even though they are diametrically opposed.

It is so important that we start with the foundational Truth of God’s revealed Word, and then interpret evidence based on this Truth. Since we can trust God in historical matters, we can trust Him with our future as well.