Welcome to the Great Debate

IMG_7019For years Matt Walsh has been an outspoken conservative commentator and blogger on politics and abortion. He has amassed an ardent audience through his multiple media portals. I’ve enjoyed reading  many of his opinions.

With the release of his YouTube video, Why I am Not A Young Earth Creationist, this past week, he took a bold step into an area of theology for which he appears to be completely unprepared.

Walsh brings to the discussion monumental misunderstands of what biblical creation teaches …and not much else. Here are the glaring misunderstandings that he attributes to biblical creationists:

  1. Biblical creationists take every single thing in the bible completely literally. Poetry, parables, exaggerations, symbolism are all held the same as history, doctrine and the words of Jesus. 
    1. This is a ridiculous view. Biblical creationists take the genre into consideration when reading God’s revealed word. Walsh’s opening point is very polemic and unhelpful to the conversation. Genesis is written as history. The author’s intent was to to convey to his readers that the events in Genesis are part of the history of God’s interactions with humanity and specifically the origins of the Hebrew people. The rest of the old testament and dozens of times in the new testament, Genesis is quoted as having actually happened. Genesis regarded by Moses, the other old testament authors and the new testament authors as history. Should Walsh want to believe that part of Genesis was metaphor and part history, where does this switch happen? 
  2. Biblical creationists demand that Genesis be a scientific encyclopedia that explains all fields of science in the greatest depth.
    1. Again, this polemic misrepresentation adds nothing to the discussion. Nothing in scripture is intended to be a scientific treatise, but where scripture covers something scientific, it’s never incorrect. The creation story in Genesis 1 and 2 is not concerned with teaching humanity about profound scientific principles. It is God’s revelation of his miraculous acts of creation. Since creation was supernatural acts involving his supreme power, why do old earthers, like Walsh, expect naturalistic explanations for these miracles but not the other miracles in the Bible? Virgin birth? Resurrection from the dead? These things are scientifically impossible. Why do old earthers specifically segregate the miracle of creation as impossible? 
  3. Biblical creationists demand that the word day means 24 hours every single time it is used throughout scripture without exception. According to Walsh, a day can be measured on earth, Pluto, or Saturn because God was not clear in his revelation, so he can take whatever frame of reference he wants a day to be. Walsh: “We have no reasons at all to assume that the days in Genesis 1 were 24 hours long.”
    1. Biblical creationists agree that the Hebrew word “yom” can be translated in many ways. The key to understanding what it means in each passage, and specifically Genesis 1 is called exegesis. Look at the context and where scripture talks about this event in other places to see what the word means here. Each of the days of Genesis 1 are denoted with an ordinal (THE 1st day, THE 2nd day, THE 3rd day…), and each of the days is bounded by evening and morning. Looking at Exodus 20 (which is a passage that NO ONE says is poetry), God says your weeks should be like my creation week. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God…For in 6 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, by exegesis we have 100% verification that God intended his people to work for six 24-hour days and rest on one 24 hour day…just like He did during the creation week. So if old earthers want to change the definition of a day in this context they have to overcome the direct command from God about the course of a week and the ordinals and familiar boundaries of evening/morning.
  4. Biblical creationists hate science and they think that all scientists in all fields of science are lying about their conclusions of long ages. 
    1. Again, more straw-man arguments that are not true. Most branches of science were started and developed by biblical creationists. There are axioms and assumptions in all scientific research. Biblical creationists forsake the naturalistic assumptions that the modern paradigm relies upon for their old earthism. If Walsh wants to accommodate old earth cosmology because the vast majority of scientists believe it, he is bound to accept the biological origins of humanity as well, which is also untenable from a biblical perspective.

Walsh starts his video with this friendly sounding quote: “We should be able to discuss an important and interesting issue without getting angry and without getting offended.”

But the more you watch his video, he is not interested in rational discussion. He is clearly not trying to be persuasive but is instead purposefully mischaracterizing those with whom he disagrees as morons.

Walsh gets his arguments mixed up at one point by saying there are days prior to there being an earth…except the first sentence in the Bible says that God created the earth at the beginning. He then misunderstands the definition of a day saying that there must be a light source or days mean nothing. This is not true. The definition of a day is 1 rotation of the earth on its axis. No light source necessary. But for his old earth position, he has a HUGE shortcoming in his foundations since a year is defined as the time is takes the earth to revolve around the sun. What are the units of time prior to the sun and earth coalescing from primordial space dust and how is that calibrated? They would say it’s 9 billion years, but what is a year prior to the calibration of a year existing?

Watching his video once was bad enough, but going back through it again to highlight his misunderstandings is nearly unbearable. So, while there are more strawmen arguments and lazy analysis of biblical creation, it is sufficient to say that Walsh could use a serious re-adjustment of his perspective regarding God’s revelation in Genesis. Our understanding of science is based upon God’s revelation from the Bible; not the other way around.

Should he want to do his due diligence (and he doesn’t care for Ken Ham) there’s more than enough information to learn what real biblical creationists teach from these resources:

  1. Bible
  2. ApoloJedi.com
  3. Creation.com
  4. crev.info
  5. TheCreationClub.com
  6. BiblicalScienceInstitute.com
  7. Icr.org
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Christians = Terrorists

Sadly, the church in America has gotten a little too cozy with the government of the USA. There’s too much “rah-rah; kick ’em in the jaw!” when it comes to bombing Muslim extremists or assassinating Bin Laden. The church has been fine supporting and giving more power to the government.

What will happen if when the government adds Christians to the terrorist bucket?

It has only begun.

Now, the SPLC is not the government, but the government has been using the SPLC’s lists of hate groups to build their strategies. The SPLC even added Dr. Ben Carson to their extremist list back in 2015. There is a strong desire by those in power and those with “the microphone” to marginalize Jesus and his Word.

All of that to say that being an outspoken disciple of Jesus is becoming and will become more unpopular. All the more reason for us as Christians to stay grounded in the Word because our hope and our citizenship is not in this world (Phil 3:20.) Since we recognize Jesus as King, we must continually be reminded that our King’s kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). The kingdoms of this world have fallen and will continue to fall, but Jesus’ kingdom is an eternal kingdom, and it is for this kingdom that we should endeavor to serve. There is a battle, but our enemy is not abortion or liberalism or agendas or the Gaystapo. Those seem like ripe targets as Christians, and I’ve struggled with battling those physical targets. Ephesians 6:

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

So let yourself be filled with righteousness, truth, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God.

Remember that history is written by the victors and we know that the victory has already been won. So, it will be unpopular and it will get tougher to be a disciple of Jesus, but that should not dissuade us from being lights in a dark world.

 

UPDATE: Now the courts are making it a standard practice to punish those who express quiet thanks to God in a public place.

If You Want to Defame the Bible…

…at least do it properly. Do a little research, and then shoot your best shot. Christianity has survived 2000 years of constant attack and persecution.

Meme-DefameBible

At least a dozen “science” reporting outlets falsely reported that the Bible got history wrong. If they had just done a few minutes of research by actually reading what the Bible said, they would see that forensic science is only JUST NOW catching up with divine revelation.

Here’s one of the headlines:

“The Bible was WRONG: Civilisation God ordered to be KILLED still live and kicking”

Sadly, God’s people were duped (Joshua 9) and flat out disobeyed in several other circumstances (Judges 1) to allow the Canaanites to live among them. The findings of this forensic research doesn’t conflict with the Bible…it confirms scripture!

Finding Canaanite DNA in living people is exactly what one would expect to find, because that is how the Bible reported it.

We can trust God’s divine revelation about history, and we can trust him with the forgiveness of sins. Jesus fulfilled the scriptures by taking on the punishment of sin and defeating death. It is his great love that leads us to repentance.

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.