The Enemy Within – Part 1

Do you remember the epic journey of Odysseus, Achilles, and Agamemnon in their quest to “rescue” Helen from the clutches of the Trojans? Since the Greeks won the war, they got to portray the Trojans as the villains, but what if a Trojan history book had survived. Could it be that Paris rescued Helen from an abusive marriage to Menelaus? What might have changed in the perspective of the story in how we remember this ten year war today?

And do you remember how the Greeks were finally able to defeat the Trojans after failing for TEN years? The Trojan Horse. The Greeks constructed a massive hollow horse and hid a dozen warriors inside. They left the “gift” at the gate of Troy and pretended to sail away. Once the Trojans let the horse through the gates of their protective wall and celebrated the departure of the Greeks, their fate was sealed. The Greek warriors inside the horse opened the gates of Troy to allow the Greek army inside, and sleeping Troy was destroyed.

The wall that protected Troy for a decade was impotent to stop the attack from within. Once the Greeks deceptively eluded the walls with the gift horse, the destruction of Troy was imminent.

Today, the idea of a Trojan horse is synonymous with inviting something that looks attractive into a vulnerable interior to its ultimate doom.

The Word of God has stood as an impenetrable wall around Christendom since Guttenburg first printed the Bible on his printing press. Once people could read the Bible for themselves, heresies in the church were slowly discarded and evangelism has been able to grow. The bride of Christ has been under constant attack from many angles, but God’s Word has repelled the attacks.

But in the last 150 years, a cleverly devised and insidious plot has surfaced to attack faith in God as Creator.

Check back for The Enemy Within – Part II

Is Genesis History?

genesis

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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!

Jurassic Nightmare

Who has seen Jurassic World? I’m anxious to see it as I was a huge fan of the original Jurassic Park from 1993. The idea is that scientists were able to clone dinosaurs from dino DNA that was retrieved from amber-trapped blood parasites. Great story, but it is built upon a foundation of irrationality.

The dominant paradigm of billions of years of evolution acting on genetic code to form all terrestrial life from a single cell ancestor is completely at odds with the historical account of the Bible. It is said in this dominant paradigm of scientism that the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.

The problem for this epic fairy tale is that the dates are wrong. The bards of this epic fantasy tell us that radioactive dating has proven that the fossil material recovered in archaeological digs is absolutely dated as older than 65 million years. The problem is that they have disregarded one of the Creationist’s best friend, Carbon-14 testing.

This article shows how the story of evolution is coming apart.

The CRSQ study authors tested seven dinosaur bones, including a Triceratops from Montana, hadrosaurids, a cartilaginous paddlefish, a bony fish, and fresh-looking wood and lizard bones from Permian layers in Canada and Oklahoma. Five different commercial and academic laboratories detected carbon-14 in all the samples, whether from Cenozoic, Mesozoic, or Paleozoic source rocks.

carbon14_Dinosaur

Evolutionists are left with the choice that either radiometric dating is untrustworthy because ALL fossils have carbon-14 (and therefore, they cannot prove that fossils existed millions of years ago) or carbon-14 is a reliable dating method (and therefore since all fossils have carbon-14, then not enough time has passed to validate their fantastic tale.)

It’s a nightmare for the evolutionists.

But all of these dates verify the historicity of the Bible. At every point, we find that God’s Word can be trusted. We find that since we can trust God about his revelation of history, we can trust Him in his prophecy about our future.

Global or Local Flood

Today’s mantra of global warming has grown tedious since the “evidence” turns out to show exactly the opposite of what those who would have us give up our rights are advocating.

But there are all kinds of interesting websites showing the new coastlines if the polar ice caps melted. Gone would be New Orleans, Florida, the East coast, and most of England. It would be sad to see Disney World submerged, and I so enjoy watching the English Premier League (it just wouldn’t be the same if it were the English Premier Water Polo League.) And I didn’t even mention the lost habitat of the lovable polar bears. This terrible scenario would all be as a result of the waters rising a little over 200 feet.

It’s been said by the old earth movement that the flood of Noah’s day was a localized flood. They have put up reasons like, there’s not enough water, the writer of Genesis would not have known about the whole globe, and there’s no evidence of a global flood. All of these objections have been answered and shown to be false multiple times. A serious objection to the old earth theory of a local flood is God’s promise never to flood the earth again. Genesis 9:8-17 records God’s repeated covenant that he would never again flood the earth like he did when he destroyed all life and the earth. If we are to accept the old earth proposal that this was a local flood, then God would have broken his word because there have been many catastrophic local floods.

One argument that I have never heard used to counter the old earth local flood heresy is the water level above Mt. Ararat argument. Today, Mt Ararat stands almost 17,000 feet above sea level. Many volcanic eruptions have been recorded from this mountain, so it’s safe to say that this mountain has been much taller in the past. Mt. St. Helens lost over 1000 feet to its overall height when it erupted in 1980, so it’s not beyond reason to believe that Mt. Ararat would have been much taller the further back in time we go towards the catastrophic flood of Genesis 7-9. But for the sake, of argument, let’s say it was at its current height of 17,000 feet.

We know from Genesis 7:20 that “the waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.” Some translations have cubits calculated at about 20 feet. We also know from Genesis 8:4, that the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters would have had to cover Mt Ararat to be in accordance with scripture, so what would happen to the coastlines if the seas were to rise about 17,000 feet? Our four memorialized Republican presidents on Mount Rushmore would be over 2 miles below the surface of the water. The Eiffel Tower would be three miles below the surface. And remember this is if we assume the waters to ONLY be as high as the old earth people tell us. If we take the Bible at its word, we know that it covered all of the mountains however high they were at the time. At the very least, we know that the flood covered the high mountains of Ararat, so if we take the old earth view of a local flood seriously, we have to assume that God put up some kind of imaginary boundaries at the edge of his flood area…but why would we want to do that. Why not take the words of scripture to mean what they actually say rather than trying to inject one’s pet theory into the text?

https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/global/local-or-global-flood-what-does-erets-indicate/
https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/global/local-or-global-flood-what-does-erets-indicate/

An ardent old earth advocate might say, “Well what if the ark landed at the base of Mt Ararat? The local flood waters could have just carried the ark to the base of this mountain.” Nice try, but the text says that the waters covered the mountains to a depth of fifteen cubits. So, it doesn’t matter at which point on Mt. Ararat that the ark landed; the only mountain mentioned in the text is surely covered by more than 15 cubits of water. That’s a minimum of 17,000 feet.

We can trust God’s Word to be the authoritative source for interpreting evidence. We can trust what God’s Word has said about history, so we can trust what God’s word tells us about salvation and our future hope! You are valuable because you are created in God’s image, and he purchased your future with the death of his precious Son.

Jesus. Myth or Historically Verifiable

If the only sure things in life are death and taxes, can we be sure that Jesus actually lived on Earth? The Bible says he paid taxes (Matthew 17:24-27), and it goes into graphic detail about his death (Mark 15, John 19), but for some, the Biblical accounts of Jesus’ life are not enough. What about the countless personal testimonies from people whose lives have been changed by giving their lives to Jesus? Nope. Still not good enough for some.

So, can a person look at historical documents besides the Bible to see whether Jesus really lived? Is there enough evidence to overcome the obstacle that would keep someone from salvation? **

While I enjoy history, I’m not really a true historian. But I came across this article that should help those interested in researching the historical viability of Jesus to see the Bible as accurate.

Thallus (52AD)
Thallus is perhaps the earliest secular writer to mention Jesus and he is so ancient his writings don’t even exist anymore. But Julius Africanus, writing around 221AD does quote Thallus who previously tried to explain away the darkness occurring at Jesus’ crucifixion:

“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.” (Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1)

– See more at: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/is-there-any-evidence-for-jesus-outside-the-bible/

Tacitus (56-120AD)

Mara Bar-Serapion (70AD)

Phlegon (80-140AD)

Pliny the Younger (61-113AD)

Suetonius (69-140AD)

Lucian of Samosata: (115-200 A.D.)

Celsus (175AD)

Josephus (37-101AD)

Jewish Talmud (400-700AD)

The Toledot Yeshu (1000AD)

This is not a comprehensive list of the historical sources, but it is a good start for someone interested in checking on the Bible’s veracity.

The followup question on Jesus’ historicity would be, “Well, just because he existed, it doesn’t mean that he is God. How can we know that he was truly the God?”

This question is actually not as difficult as it appears, because Jesus claimed to be God (John 8:58). Since he made the claim to be God, he was either telling the truth, he was a liar, or he was crazy. Those are the only three choices.

  • If he told the truth, then He is deserving of worship. The truth of his claim is verified mostly in the fact of his resurrection and his fulfillment of hundreds of old testament prophecies.
  • If he knew that he was not the eternal Creator God, but he wanted others to believe this, then he was a liar. Liars are not generally regarded as good men, and because of his resurrection, he possesses a great deal of leverage to his divinity claim.
  • Was Jesus crazy, delusional, wacko? Did he unfortunately believe that he was the eternal Creator God? Again, he would not be regarded today as a good teacher if he believed something was was sheer lunacy, and because he backed up his claim with his prophecy-fulfilling miracles and resurrection, it is certain that he was not a lunatic.

Just understanding the historicity of Jesus is not enough. If Jesus truly lived and he really is God, what does that mean for you? You are certainly paying taxes, and you certainly will die. I can’t get you out of the taxes dilemma, but you can have life without end.

UPDATE: This is a good article from the same guy that wrote Cold Case Christianity.

Ignatius and Polycarp were direct students of the Apostle John; Clement was a direct student of the Apostle Paul. These students later became leaders in the early Christian Church and wrote their own letters to local congregations.

 

Even if people disregard the historical veracity of the Bible, Jesus still appears in historical writings.

 

**Disclaimer: The authority of God’s Word is the basis for being able to know anything. In other words, if the God of the Bible is not true then we cannot know anything for certain. Because He has revealed Himself, we have the necessary preconditions for intelligibility. So believing that God is the Creator and his word is true must be the foundation of our faith. If researching historical documents and seeing the evidence of creation helps someone overcome the obstacles of unbelief as a step towards salvation, I’m more than happy to help lay out the case for a historically verifiable account of the Bible.