Hey Dr. Luginbill,
I figured I'd send you a quick email. I hope your classes are going well. I prayed for you and your mother. I hope everything works out.
I have a question. I read through Genesis the other day. I've read it before, but this was my first time reading it straight through. I usually skip around. It connected more, if that makes sense. It was interesting watching the progress of Abraham's descendants. I got the sense that his line was a very important thing. There is lots of talk of firstborns, birthrights, blessings, and strife between siblings. What is the significance of all that? Cain killed his brother Abel. Jacob took his brother Esau's birthright and blessing. They even fought in the womb. Jacob came out holding onto his heel. When Jacob was blessing the children of his own son Joseph, he crossed his arms essentially giving the younger what belonged to the older. It said that Joseph was displeased and tried to stop him. Joseph's brothers hated him and sold him into slavery. There was so much fighting between siblings. It also seems like mistakes that people made would repeat themselves somewhere down the line. Favoritism seemed to be a recurring theme. Can you explain all this?
Good to hear from you. I hope you are doing well with your final exams. This has been a tough semester for many people . . . for many reasons.
As to your question, it covers a lot of ground! Genesis is quite a wide-ranging book, in literary terms, theologically speaking, and in the amount of time covered (from the beginning of the universe to the death of Joseph).
I would say two things. First, the narrative certainly does demonstrate that people have always been people, with the same hopes and aspirations – and sin natures; and that salvation has always been an individual thing: some are interested in having a relationship with the Lord, but most are not.
Secondly, I read this in scripture:
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4 NKJV
So it safe to say that all of the actions and interactions are valuable to consider. Figuring them out with all of their implications and applicability to us is best done on a case by case basis, however. In terms of themes, the blessing of the righteous and their salvation through difficult times and circumstances is certainly the main one: the family of God was pretty much a straight line until the Exodus when salvation becomes focused on a special people, and that continues until Pentecost where instead of a linear progression salvation explodes exponentially to fill out the full number of the Church (and we are getting very close to that critical point).
Finally, it is also important to note that the events recorded in Genesis actually did happen in exactly the way scripture says they did. So while it is certainly important to look at things thematically, considering just why the Spirit directed Moses to record what he recorded and in the way he did so, we also have to avoid falling into the trap of seeing this as a "story" – when in fact it the true "history" of God's working out of salvation for the human race, from the beginning of time up until the point when Israel would become a nation.
Thanks so much for your prayers! I'm keeping you in mine as well.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
Got another question for you -
2 Peter 3:8 (KJV)
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Psalm 90:4 (KJV)
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
The Creation was in Six (6) literal days. The Lord rested on the 7th day, but Christ rose after the Sabbath on the 8th day (or Sunday), Feast of First Fruits – 8th millennium (beginning of the 8 thousand years). Was Adam created, in secret, on the Sixth (6) literal earth day of creation and placed in the garden of Eden? And on this same day, Eve was also created? Then The Lord rested for a thousand earth years (a day to Him) on the 7th day of creation. Adam & Eve could see no difference in the days (earth or heavenly) with God there. If the brightness of the Lord out shines the sun & moon (and the stars), then Adam & Eve were ‘at rest’( in the peace of God, which passes all understanding) in the presence of The Lord in the garden of Eden, the paradise of God, for Sabbath rest a thousand years? In other words, they were not aware of earth time, while in the garden of God ( or the 24 hour literal earth day, night & day, cycle)? It appears to me, that time (24 hour earth days) were in motion, but in the garden of Eden, it seemed like a ‘moment’ to Adam & Eve, until they were cast out and no longer in the presence of God? ow they saw the literal 24 hour earth rotation with day & night. Considering Jewish calendar, the lunar night (and the evening and the morning was a day) was upon the earth just before Adam was placed in the garden of Eden, before the Sabbath began. Does this make sense?
1) Adam was created, somewhere and then placed in the garden of God? In the garden, Adam became a living soul?
2) Eve was created 'in the garden'? or Eve was created somewhere and then brought to Adam in the garden of God?
Could you comment on any and everything?
The Genesis narrative plainly indicates that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth (literal) day of re-construction. The seven days are not original creation; that takes place in Genesis 1:1; then we have a gap before verse two where the post-judgment condition of the universe following Satan's revolt is described (see the link: "The Genesis Gap"). The creation of the first man and first woman happened in the garden of Eden (as opposed to any other place). I don't see anything "secret" here – although the entire series of events had to have come as a tremendous shock to the devil: Satan would have realized very quickly the implications of potential replacement of him and his fellows – something which he had deemed as impossible and which had therefore formed a large measure of his confidence in the success of his rebellion (see SR1: Satan's Revolt and Fall from Grace).
In terms of the later time-line, Adam and Eve appear to have been in the garden for some fifty, literal, chronological years before their fall (see the link for the chart: "The Seven Days of Human History").
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Not in secret? What about this verse then?
Psalm 139:15 (KJV)
My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
This is referring to David's body in the womb, not to Adam's body in the garden. The Hebrew in context suggests that man cannot see the process by which the body is formed in the womb. That is the sense of it, more "hidden" than "secret" (as the first part of the verse explains).
In our Lord Jesus,
Hello again Dr Luginbill. I pray all is well.
I was just wondering the reasons behind the differences in Genesis 1:26-28 an 2:7
There aren't any differences in substance. The reason for the two accounts is that, following Genesis 2:4, we have been given a more detailed explanation of the sixth day of creation (so that we might know the additional, important details about the nature of our species, spiritually speaking). These matters are discussed in great detail at the following link: BB 3B: Anthropology: "The Creation of Man".
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
You state in part two of Satanic Rebellion your belief that Genesis 1:3 begins the literal restoration of the earth beginning with light. I am far from being a language scholar of the Koine Greek. Even so, according to Taylor's Septuagint Lexicon, the word for light, "phos", is either a nominative neuter singular, or it is an accusative neuter singular. If we accept the first, then the light is more than simply literal or metaphorical, according to Taylor's definition of "phos"; it has a name. If we accept the latter, then we are defining the light by means of establishing its identity by limitation. That is, not "lights", but rather a light distinct, unique, and singular. "Darkness", that in Genesis 1:2, is listed as having the same two cases. Chief point being, the celestial bodies giving literal light upon the earth were not created until Genesis 1:14. While we understand that it is by means of the sun and moon and stars that day and night come about on the earth, which is the chief means by which humans account for time, days, and seasons, we are also left with Genesis 1:5, which precedes the lights created in Genesis 1:14 by means of the statement that "...there was evening/morning, the first day". In other words, God's celestial time clock began its countdown before creation of the celestial bodies of Genesis 1:14 and humanity in Genesis 2.
My Zondervan NT Lexicon has the same grammatical construction for "phos" in John 1:4, hence, I believe we may properly assume that the choice of cases may remain the same in John 1:4 as in Genesis 1:2 & 3. If, to accept your conclusion that the state of the earth in Genesis 1:2 is the result of Satanic rebellion, AND we accept that the light of Genesis 1:3 is not literal, that is, it came about before the creation of humanity but after Satan's rebellion and before Genesis 1:14, then we are left with Colossians 1:12-21, whose chief passage, for our purposes, is vs. 20: "...and through him making peace by the blood of his cross, to reconcile all things to Himself through Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in the heavens". In other words, Jesus Christ is the light of Genesis 1:3; reconciliation by means of his blood was offered to the angels in heaven, all the angels forced by Satan's rebellion to make a choice while the clock, the divine timeclock counting down the days to final judgment, was yet ticking. We may effectively combine the Genesis 1:3-5 passages with John 1, I John 1:5, and the Colossians passage.
Your thoughts, for which I thank you in advance...?
Thanks for your interest in Ichthys and in this study. I appreciate your connection of light with the message of truth it represents. What I would say in general is that I would consider what you write here more of an application of the themes of scripture than an interpretation of the literal biblical texts for the reasons stated below.
Let me start by saying that Genesis is written in Hebrew, not Greek. The Septuagint is a much later translation with a tortured textual history. It is occasionally of some small use in matters of textual criticism of the Masoretic text (though it must be used with caution), and also sometimes for vocabulary comparison in cases where the Hebrew words are not well established by way of infrequency (although here as well one has to be careful because it is not entirely clear that the Greek translators understood the Hebrew words in question either). But the LXX certainly can't be used in place of the Hebrew.
The light in Genesis chapter one is literal, physical light. God is light, and Jesus is the light of the world. But neither of these blessed facts prohibits Him from manifesting physical light in the world which is real and actual, nor prevents that light from being an analogy to the more important light of the truth. Also, the celestial bodies which emit light only began to do so (again) on the command of God in Genesis 1:3 on the first day of reconstruction, and this light was only centralized in discrete places in Genesis 1:14-18 on the fourth day of reconstruction.
Jesus Christ is the plan of God, and the reconciliation mentioned in Colossians is the final disposition of all things at the end of the 7,000 years which the seven Genesis days represent. So as I say, I don't disagree with the connections you are making in terms of themes or expressing them in terms of applications of the truth of scripture. In this ministry, however, I find it important to draw a clear line between what passages actually mean and how they may be applied for purposes of illustration.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
One Pastor in India is claiming to have done some research and coming up with an idea of Darkness being self-existent like God. But I know this is not scriptural, as Only God is Self- Existent and other things are created later,
Would you please throw some light on this from Scriptural backup?
Thanks & Regards.
Good to make your acquaintance. You are entirely right, of course. As it says in the first book of the Bible, "in the beginning, God created . . ." (Gen.1:1). In fact, there is actually no "the" present in the Hebrew, so that a better translation is "FIRST God created" (this is exactly the same situation we find in John 1:1 in the Greek, by the way).
God is light, and there is no darkness in Him (1Jn.1:5). That being the case, and given the fact that God existed before creation, preceding time and space which only came into existence by His creative act ex nihilo (from nothing), darkness must of course be derivative (Is.45:7). Indeed, darkness is always the result of and a sign of divine judgment. In the eternal state, the New Jerusalem, when we who have chosen to believe in Jesus Christ and be born again find ourselves in God's presence forevermore, there will be no more night (Rev.21:25; 22:5), the old things having passed away – including the premier sign of divine judgment upon creature rebellion, darkness. Here is a link which give additional scripture references which may be of help: The Darkness; see also "What does the Bible say about ex nihilo Creation?"
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
What do you think of this?
Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children (YouTube)
I don’t know if you will pick up on it but what struck me as odd were these statements:
"Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's like, it's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.
"Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution"
"I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they're at a different point in their life-cycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent."
"And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems."
Here is what I read in scripture:
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Hebrews 11:3 NIV
God tells us that the universe was made from nothing at His command (Gen.1:1; cf. Jn.1:1). Believers accept the Word as true, but science views the universe, the result of divine, ex nihilo creation, then postulates backwards to a different theory (one which happens to be entirely false). Bill Nye does not believe the Bible (obviously), so he wants us to teach our children scientific theory rather than divine truth. No believer who truly believes is going to follow that ridiculous satanic advice. Perhaps even more to the point, everyone, even Bill Nye, at one point in their lives – before the self-inflicted hardening of the heart that follows rejecting truth and accepting lies set in – did understand that God made the world:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
Romans 1:18-20 NKJV
Like all other unbelievers, this person will be "without excuse" when he has to explain to the Lord not only his own decision to reject the absolute truth for some preferred lie, but also why he influenced others to make the same horrifically bad bargain through speeches such as this. This will be even harder to do given the fact that there are and have always been plenty of good scientists (Newton comes to mind) who were not only not atheists (or evolutionists, which seems to amount to the same thing), but were actually saved.
For more on issues such as this, please see the links:
Science and the Bible
Science and the Bible II
The problem of science and the Bible
Charles Hodge and Charles Darwin
Is the earth ever described as round in the Bible?
The origin of the four seasons
The shape of the universe according to the Bible
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Would it be wrong to be open minded to some of the things in evolution? Not for the sake of fear of being seen by the world as fools but so I don’t say things out of scripture.
For example I heard a Muslim argue that Jesus can't be "begotten" that the translation should not be that word because it gives the impression that he was born from sex, not as a virgin. And on your website I saw that it is a mistranslation, that this word does give the wrong explanation and only confuses the message of the gospel. (I recall you saying something like that)
There's also me doing some research on beliefs myself and seeing that, like all beliefs excluding Christianity, there exist absolute truths but the core of it, the reasons we do things are messed up and it all has to do with their own method of salvation. Like in humanitarianism helping out humanity is encouraged but only due to humanism: they reject a deity saving them because they believe mankind is not sinful but inherently good. Seeing that the bible says that "he has revealed himself upon all mankind so there without excuse" it would make sense for there to be similarities between beliefs but for the core to be messed up because they "replace the truth for a lie".
This has to do with the whole Ken Ham v s Bill Nye thing. I feel pressured to not say the world is 6,000 years old due to this guys constant bullying of creationists, but at the same time I don’t know that much when it comes to Creation in Genesis. I know Adam and Eve exist as did the flood, the apostles affirm this as did Jesus, but when it comes to how old the earth is, it doesn’t say how old. Isn’t how old the world is based on secular learning?
I know you support Ham's view but should I comment on things like this despite not knowing much about it? I haven't studied this area yet and I don't want to put things in God's mouth.
I know you support Ham's view but should I comment on things like this despite not knowing much about it? I haven't studied this area yet and I don't want to put things in God's mouth.
A couple of initial clarifications. First, I don't follow this person but I believe that Ken Ham is a "young earth" creationist, someone who sees the world as only 6,000 years old from initial creation, and as such does not accept the truth of the Genesis gap. So I would certainly not want to be linked or lumped with this person or his teachings. We don't know how old the world is, as you say, because we don't know how long the world was around after creation in Genesis 1:1, or how long it was thereafter before the Lord created the angels, or how long it was thereafter before Satan rebelled, or how long after the rebellion it was that the Lord judged the universe now defiled by the devil, or how long the Lord let it sit in water and darkness before the six days of creation. So on balance I have to say that on this point the two parties are arguing over an incorrect translation of scripture (explained at the link: SR 2: "The Genesis Gap").
So as to your "open-mindedness" question, I invite you to have a look at part 2 of the Satanic Rebellion series (see the link). In point of fact, the universe no doubt really is eons old. Creation occurs at Genesis 1:1, but there is a gap between that first verse of the Bible and the verse that comes next, which should be translated something like, "But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled . . . (i.e., as a result of judgment)". Inside the gap, we have Satan's revolt.
Therefore we do not know how much time passed between God's original creation and His creation of the angels, or how much time passed between the creation of the angels and Satan's revolt, or how much time passed between the revolt and God's judgment upon that revolt (blacking out the universe and filling it with the universal deep / tehom; see the link), or how much time passed between the judgment and the six days re-construction outlined in Genesis 1:3 and following. We do know that some time passed, and that it was considerable when all these prior periods are added up is very likely. We cannot say how close science is to discerning the exact time from the evidence they are looking at (their theories change faster almost than anyone can keep track of), or how much of the data is to be put down to creation with only apparent age (God created Adam and Eve as adults so that anyone who saw them the afternoon of their creation would assume they were years old when they were only hours old). What we can say is that the answers are always there in scripture – to all the questions worth asking and to everything the Lord wants us to know (even if we have to persevere and have patience some times before we get them).
Keep fighting the good fight!
In Jesus Christ our Lord,
Hello Professor, thank you for your tutelage. I have been studying so much over the past few months and I have come to some great divine understanding in so many areas of God's Word. I have been studying the Word since I was 5 years old and granted I knew and understood a lot, I truly believe that through the grace of God, I have learned more understanding in the past 5 months than the past 39 years. Stumbling upon your website was definitely God's will. I study differently, pray more, and make better decisions. I would love to write and book because I have so much on my heart but you have said it all. I was a Navy and Army journalists so writing a book wouldn't be too difficult. I also considered creating a Q&A Biblical app. I planned trying to get into medical school but now my desire is to truly know what God's will is for my life and walk in it. Through the Holy Spirit I have always been an excellent teacher of the Word but now because of your willingness to teach and God's providence I could really impact the masses for the Glory of God, countering things like this recent headline:
Bill Nye the Science Guy predicts end of creationism is nigh
You could do a lot on this too. When you study the geological fossil records it seems as if the Most High slowly created everything over various time periods as if He was experimenting with different time periods.
Thanks for your recent emails, and for all your good words. I draw encouragement from your spiritual progress, and pray that you will find a way and a place to put your own considerable skills, gifts and Bible knowledge to work for our Lord Jesus Christ.
As to Bill Nye, I have received several emails of late on this subject, and did also have occasion myself to hear this individual (who is otherwise well-spoken and certainly knowledgeable) discourse in this sad, lost way.
My own forte is not apologetics (as I very often have recourse to point out). Up to a point, I do try to answer direct questions to this ministry, even if they are clearly of ill-intent (1Pet.3:15), but it is neither the purpose of this ministry nor within my own particular "gift-set" to seek out confrontation in the public square with celebrities of one sort or another who have clearly got it wrong. From my own point of view, evolution, like global warming, is much more of a religious belief than a scientific theory. Science, in the traditional formulation going back to Greek times at least, used to be all about reproduction of results. However, theories which are impossible to test, either because of their massive scope (we don't have alternative worlds to test the global warming hypotheses) or because of their duration (we don't have billions of years to test out evolution) have to remain just that: theoretical. Trumpeting them as "the truth" without such proof normally demanded in scientific inquiry requires a measure of faith that has never been asked of any chemist, for example – at least since the demise of alchemy. You can no more tell an evolutionist like Mr. Nye that his beliefs are incorrect because they cannot be proven and expect a positive response than you can tell a Mormon that Joseph Smith made up the golden tablets story or tell a Muslim that Mohammed never actually had any contact with the One true God. Religions such as this are predicated on blind faith. Christianity, on the contrary, is based upon believing truth that everyone knows is true – in the heart – because the Spirit makes it known as the truth whenever the gospel is given (just as everyone – at one point – knows that there is a God through His process of natural revelation; see the link).
Still and all, there is value to the work of apologetics. You show an interest; perhaps that is what the Lord is calling you to do.
As to the geological record, here is what I read in Genesis:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
God does not need to experiment, and everything He has ever done has always been done in absolute perfection. That is clear enough from a consideration of the human body, which is absolutely amazing, even examined in its sinful and corrupt state.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
After Genesis 1:1, we do not know how long the devil was allowed to "experiment" with the original creation between the time of his fall and the time that God blacked out of the universe and filled it with the universal deep (i.e., the tehom). No doubt much of the evidence you are speaking about comes from this time and may well have this source. However, the living flora and fauna we see today all has its origin in the re-creation of the world during the six days as our Lord re-made the earth and its surrounding atmosphere so as to be habitable again for the introduction of mankind into the angelic conflict. Any similarity between what is "now" and what was "then" I would be tempted to say is purely accidental (there is certainly no line of descent as evolutionist wrongly conclude: Heb.11:3), but then again all of the original life forms created came from One Creator (e.g., it is no accident that angelic beings and human beings share a similar form even though we are so different in other ways and were created on opposite sides of the Genesis gap).
Best wishes in your search for just the right ministry for the sake of the Church of Christ and for your own eternal reward.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
It's sad to say this, but I have become increasingly skeptical of the materials provided by creationists such as Creation Ministries International, not because of the science, but because of the theology.
If you believe that the behemoth is a hippopotamus in Job or that Satan fell before the six days of creation, there is an implied view that you are choosing to obey "man's word" over "God's word," and other such clichés, as if there are no good reasons that one would believe something differently unless you're a friend of the world. If their theology is bad, then it makes me question how good their science is. While having mistakes is not a good reason to throw out an apologetic resource, the fact that they dismiss opposing evidence and choose instead to double-down on their mistakes is scary indeed.
"Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them." (Proverbs 26:12)
Unfortunately, your website and facts which I have gathered and evaluated independently are the only apologetics resources that I have at my disposal. My current method of dealing with the flood and evolution is to show that the theories are inconsistent and have changed too often to be trusted (and I know how they have changed).
I'm with you 100%, my friend!
You're knowledge of the whys and wherefores is precisely why you are good at this (coupled with packing the intellectual gear). There needs to be someone who keeps up with evolutionary theory well enough to mount a good defense. I haven't seriously studied it since the early 80's. At that point, they were just getting away from the natural-selection-only mechanism (because mathematically it defies reason), and were just getting into the evolving consciousness thing ("you have doubts? See, that's a defensive function of evolution"). Like you, I would not want to waste time in silliness as with these numerous groups out there in evangelical-dom who are not disciplined enough to do real science and not willing to really learn the Bible either (the worst of both worlds).
You are in my prayers for coming to the right place for you for your service to the Lord.
I noticed that your last batch of updates deal with science and God. But I think that I should say this: saying that the purpose of science is to find solely materialistic explanations is like saying that the purpose of a rocket ship is to use fuel in space. It is true that finding materialistic explanations and using fuel are both important activities of science and rocket ships, but to focus exclusively on that is to miss the point.
I'm sure I never said anything like "the purpose of science is . . . ".
I have no idea what "the purpose of science" is . . . because it is not a person with a will. One would have to ask the individuals who are and who have practiced it, and who are and who have sponsored it (including the devil), about the "purpose question".
Personally, I'm not that interested. "Science" comes from the Latin scientia and means "knowledge", but the only knowledge eternally beneficial to human beings is the truth – and it only benefits them if they believe it: natural revelation of truth leading to repentance; belief in the gospel witnessed by the Spirit so as to be saved; and, for believers, accepting the truth of the Bible so as to grow and, hopefully, produce a good crop unto eternal reward. Pursuit of secular knowledge can have materialistic benefits in this world and in this life, but the problem with the approach of modern science today is that it ipso facto proclaims in blind faith that there is no spiritual dimension to creation. That is not what Newton believed (nor Einstein, I believe). But to be accepted in the scientific community today you have to accept that tenet of their materialistic religion (or pretend to) to get anywhere.
A search for knowledge that ostracizes those who understand that there is more to it than what can be empirically measured is by definition the blind leading the blind. Worse than leading others into the ditch, however, this attitude of hostility as opposed to agnosticism leads to political involvement, persecution of alternative views, and downright self-delusion – that, at any rate, is the only way I know of to explain the zealotry around evolution and climate change "science" we see today.
Yours in our dear Savior Jesus Christ the Lord,
I was reading two articles by researcher Gwen Dewar, who is a biological anthropologist. You can probably imagine where this is going. She runs a website about parenting science which, according to her colleagues, is "a welcome antidote to the opinion dressed as science that parents are constantly being fed."
The first article was about the belief of an afterlife among kids. The study, not surprisingly, concluded that children overwhelmingly believe in the existence of our thoughts independently from our bodies. She commented that `maybe it’s just very difficult for kids to imagine a world where they don’t feel,' as if this were some kind of defect.
The second article talked about her urge to eat her children (literally). And I quote:
Many a parent has felt it – that overwhelming sense of deliciousness, the impossibility of getting enough. You don’t just want to protect your baby. You want to gobble it up. What is this impulse to nibble? Why do we want to eat the people we love? I’ll be honest. The first time I ever talked about these feelings, they concerned the family dog. I was about five years old and remember asking my mother why I wanted to eat him. Years later, after I’d read Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, we called this urge "the Lennies," after the innocent but intense longings Lennie Small felt for tending and petting rabbits.
As the good LORD warned us: `If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.' (Leviticus 26:29).
The moral of the story: to debate someone whom God has decided to leave to his desires is never productive. If he will let them abandon natural sexual urges and fill them with the desire to eat their children, what kind of discussion can be held?
It really is a sick world out there. Without God in Christ, there is no limit to the evil one can become involved in. Blessedly, the seemingly unlimited varieties of evil are more than matched by the "multifarious grace of God" (1Pet.4:10), for all who are willing to respond to Him.
In our dear Lord Jesus Christ,
Geologists claim stats, science prove Jesus buried in Jerusalem with wife and supposed son
An Israeli geologist believes he has found the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, and this time, the tomb of his supposed son is buried along with him. After 150 chemical tests, Canadian-Israeli filmmaker-journalist Simcha Jacobovici and geoarcheologist Aryeh Shimron claim they’ve reached a scientific breakthrough with theological implications. The finding has been over 35 years in the making, amid court cases, legal restrictions and scientific and biblical pushback. Through methodical scientific testing, Shimron and Jacobovici say that were able to connect the James ossuary – whose existence was announced in 2002 and containing inscriptions referencing the burial of Jesus – to the long disputed "Jesus Family tomb" in the capital’s East Talpiot neighborhood – thus archeologically and statistically proving the existence of Jesus. The discovery, according to the researchers, proves that Jesus was buried in Jerusalem along with nine other people, one being "Judah, son of Jesus," another his supposed wife, "Mary" – an obvious affront to the common-knowledge New Testament theology. "He [Shimron] has made what I think is a huge discovery," Jacobovici told The Jerusalem Post. "I have been following him and his work for the past seven years, this is not an overnight thing." Shimron’s work has linked together two findings that on their own hold less significance, but when put together they lead to what Jacobovici calls "an archeological slam dunk." The story began with the 1980 discovery of the Talpiot tomb, otherwise known as the "Jesus Family Tomb." At that time, the discovery was not considered controversial as more than 800 tombs were unearthed during the construction boom in Jerusalem at the time, most dating back to the Second Temple period and the time of Jesus. The bones in the tomb were in boxes known as ossuaries, with multiple ossuaries in one tomb. Three thousand ossuaries from the Second Temple period have been found to date – 2,000 are in possession of the Antiquities Authority, but the rest are in private ownership, many sold by vendors in the Old City. Around 20 percent of the ossuaries have inscriptions on them. In the tomb found in East Talpiot there were numerous inscriptions that fit the story of Jesus. One ossuary was a box with the inscription "Jesus son of Joseph." Next to it there were "Maria," "Joseph," another "Mary," "Yose" (a name associated in the New Testament with the brother of Jesus), "Matthew" and most controversially of all – "Judah, son of Jesus." For 16 years the relics lay with the Antiquities Authority, unreported and disregarded due to the lack of proof backing its possible significance. After all, Joseph, Mary and Jesus were all common names at the time. Jacobovici was producing a documentary on the artifact, and went to a statistician from the University of Toronto, who told him those names each separately composed approximately 8% of the population. But of that population who had the common names, a very small percentage had a mother named Mary and a brother named Joseph. Jacobovici was sure there was something more here. So he had the patinas of the tombs scraped and analyzed, searching for links proving or discounting the New Testament connection. "But there was something here that becomes theologically upsetting to Christians," Jacobovici said. "Many people that believe that Jesus spiritually rose to heaven. But many others believe that he stood up, left the tomb, and physically went up. But now there’s a bone box here with his tomb, thats not good." Work on the findings came to a halt in 2007 when archeologists deemed the chances too slim for the story to be real. Jacobovici’s documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus, produced by James Cameron (Titanic) was first broadcast on the Discovery Channel in 2007. The second prong of the mystery emerged in 2002, with the discovery of a bone box in the private collection of Oded Golan, the largest collector of biblical ossuaries in the world. While examining Golan’s collection, an academic from the Sorbonne found an ossuary with the inscription "James son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." This is became known as the "James ossuary." At the time it made headlines as the first archeological evidence that Jesus existed. The hype grew around the discovery, until the story came crashing down when Golan was accused of forging the inscription. Shimron and Jacobovici linked up on the project and began their search for more evidence. If the James ossuary originated from the "Jesus Family tomb," it was possible that the ossuary held the bones of brother of Jesus. They knew chances were near statistically impossible, but continued pursuit. The Antiquities Authority declared the "brother of Jesus" part of the inscription a forgery and pressed charges against Golan. After seven years, a Jerusalem court found him innocent. Golan spent seven years on trial on charges of forging the inscription on the ossuary. He was found innocent in 2012. Just two weeks ago, Shimron received access to the James ossuary, enabling him to cross reference findings between the two tombs. Shimron said that testing the patina, as Jacobovici did, was not enough to prove the scientific connection, as the surface of patinas could be contaminated. He scraped underneath the patinas of the box to get into the ossuary itself. He ran approximately 200 tests on the chemistry of the samples from 25 different ossuaries. As Shimron did further tests, the results for magnesium, silicon and iron matched up. It seemed statistically too good to be true. He found that the Talpiot tomb had a unique chemical signature and that the random samples did not match that signature, but that the James ossuary did. He also found that the soil that seeped inside the James ossuary perfectly matched the soil that seeped inside the Talpiot ossuaries, including the "Jesus Family tomb," thus illustrating that the James ossuary spent most of its existence in the East Talpiot location. "This find illustrates that the James ossuary is authentic and the Jesus Family tomb indeed belongs to the family of Jesus of Nazareth," Jacobovici said. Today the Talpiot tomb is sealed underground between apartment buildings in East Talpiot, and its ossuaries are back with the Antiquities Authority. The James ossuary is with its owner, Golan, who according to The New York Times, keeps the box in a secret location. The findings of the James ossuary and the "Jesus Family tomb" have the ability to shake up the Christian debate, and Shimron and Jacobovici are well aware of that. They expect the Christian community to not take well to the findings, but they argue that their research is purely scientific, and not theological, in nature. If true, not only do the findings prove Jesus’s existence and burial in Jerusalem, but they also lead scientists to believe he was buried with his supposed son, Judah. The case has already aroused international interest, after the Times devoted an Easter Sunday feature to the claims. In response to the finding, Prof. James Tabor from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte said that scholars should take these kinds of findings as historical data. He believes that archeologists, geologists and scholars should remain in search of truth and fact. "If in fact Jesus’s tomb is found, the procedures would be no different than the discovery of any other tomb," Tabor said. "But in the case of Jesus everything changes, because he is such a lightning rod figure for so many people – because if you find the bones of Jesus in a tomb then he did not rise from the dead." This discovery would be a concern for evangelicals, Protestants, Roman Catholics, even the Vatican, due to its contradiction of the faith. "There are lots of more modern Christians who view the resurrection as more spiritual, and as a historical and scientific event that doesn’t threaten the faith," Tabor said. "But for most it is very controversial, let’s face it. With the James [ossuary] added to the mix, it puts the likelihood the tomb is real up to 99%. The ossuary says ‘James son of Joseph brother of Jesus.’" "It doesn’t necessarily contradict biblical findings, but it contradicts faith more," he said.
You can't make this stuff up! Well, actually this is all made up.
Some things are too ridiculous to worry about refuting. But thanks for the heads-up!
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior (resurrected, in heaven, and married only to His Church).
Well, certainly none of this stuff has been peer reviewed. And what highly credentialed, reputable peer is going to touch this? Nothing has changed much since the machinations of the Pharisees. Faith doesn't require "scientific proof." That's why it's faith and God's Word is evidence enough. I could spend the rest of my days sharing the countless miracles that I've experienced throughout my life because of my love of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and our Heavenly Father. Countless. What this article claims pales by comparison to what I've come to know and experience through my relationship with the Holy Spirit. I KNOW the LIVING CHRIST. And because I know Him and love Him, I follow His commandments. By following His commandments, I have come to know His beloved Counselor. Ossuaries, bones and inscriptions are meaningless.
All I can say is "amen!".
Yours in our dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you Robert. I appreciate the discussion. I want to let you know where I'm coming from in my approach. As I mentioned previously, I am looking for the truth, which I believe "is" the Word of God. However, just as science is God's handiwork, which I believe it is, and if I may refer you to "The Science of God" by Gerald Schroeder, it will confirm and verify God's Word.
I believe this serves as a strong witnessing tool to so many people who believe "science" is anathema to God or the Bible. Hence, the more we become aware and acknowledge this fact, then so the odds increase in bringing in people who would otherwise be lost.
This is in fact the case with Schroeder, as he was a non believer prior to his discovery. This adds another dimension giving the non believer something to think about instead of simply dismissing the subject. With this knowledge, we then do not have to resort to terms such a "pagan" which have a negative o condescending tone and serve no useful purpose in a discussion.
Being aware that God used His own "elements" from nature, i.e. locust, floods, etc., to convince and bring about the changes He desired; that He didn't just "snap" His fingers to make something occur, should alert one to the necessity of learning about His science. We need to speak the language of the non believer if we want to succeed in convincing the more "sophisticated" audience of this present time otherwise, eventually, we end up preaching only to the choir as so many good intentioned people do. Have no fear of science; it is God's language.
You are very welcome.
Let me start by saying that I am not at all anti-science or anti-knowledge. I have benefitted greatly personally from the scientific and resultant technical advances of society and have no wish to go back to the dark ages. I do hope, however, that I have a balanced perspective on this issue (see below).
I am not an apologist nor is this an apologetic ministry. I have said many times (1Cor.12:4-6) that we all have our own gifts (from the Spirit), our own ministry fields (selected by the Lord), and our own effects (produced by the Father). Certainly, for someone involved in evangelism, or in apologetics, understanding this "faith" in science on the part of the unbeliever in this day and age is probably a good thing. It's important when talking with someone who has made a religion out of science but who is groping for salvation nonetheless, not to throw science or his/her attachment to it out the window immediately (that would be a terrible approach). Also, if someone is involved in apologetics with a scientist or materialist, then knowing something about their "religion" would certainly be helpful, if only to avoid falling into pitfalls of sloppy argumentation that might tend to vitiate an otherwise good approach – just as, for example, a Christian who is evangelizing or doing apologetics with Muslims ought to know something about that religion and its book.
On the other hand, it is also problematic to bend over backwards too far (finding more value in the Quran than one ought, e.g.). So when you say that "science is God's language", I would have to disagree. Why?
First, science, from the Latin scientia meaning "knowledge", is supposed to be just that, namely, a search for actual, objective knowledge. Now that "search" is being conducted by human beings who are, as human beings, sinful, imperfect, and inherently subjective. So the fact that this "search" is being conduced by persons who cannot really live up totally to the standards their discipline proclaims cannot be overlooked (and shouldn't be overlooked by them either if they have the least bit of humility).
Secondly, as a Christian you understand that God exists, that there is a supernatural dimensions to all things. So you know, for example, that human beings have an immaterial part, a human spirit. Science, however, at least the science of today, is deliberately agnostic towards anything that is not completely material (to put the kindest spin on this – whereas we know that many scientists are actively hostile towards the notion of anything supernatural). How effective, then, can brain science be, for example, when it purposefully ignores such a fundamental fact about the inner person? Without the spirit, the brain would function in an entirely different way. Or take astronomy and physics. You know, as a Christian, that God created the universe from nothing. But if it has to be a fundamental tenet of the scientific "faith" that there was no such ex nihilo creation, then how will that not negatively effective the understanding of the whole? One could go on at great length.
Thirdly, science in our day has also become political. If a person is trying to get tenure at a major research university, that will probably depend in no small part on winning grants for their research ideas. However, if a person is a climatologist, for example, and honestly, objectively, and without any religious agenda whatsoever is skeptical of computer modeling that "proves" global warming, said person is likely not going to get the grant he/she needs to get the tenure he/she needs to continue in a scientific career. So he/she had better be careful to "believe" the "right things". Some search for pure knowledge.
I will stipulate that the material world has been created by God in a perfect, patterned way, and that it is possible, with hard work and objectivity, to learn much about those patterns. This is the proper role of science, and of course over the centuries science has made a good deal of progress in figuring out some of what God has done. What I find particularly illuminating about the sin natures of those involved in the process, however, is the general trend toward scientific arrogance in spite of growing ignorance. What do I mean by that? I mean that the more that is learned, the more it becomes clear how much more there is to learn. Rather then "zeroing in on the goal of total knowledge", the more actual scientific knowledge that is gained, the more it is revealed that the percentage of what we know is much smaller than we thought before, and exponentially so. One would think that this would lead to humility instead of the growing arrogance. But when I hear things, even from the scientifically literate, like "it's settled science", or "science says/proves" – without qualification or any kind (as if total knowledge were indeed already possessed) – it always makes me cringe. Clearly, we are always learning more about our ignorance day by day, and that would be the proper mind-set from which those who are honestly promoting science ought to have . . . in my humble opinion.
Here are a few links where these issues are discussed further:
Science and the Bible
The problem of science and the Bible
Charles Hodge and Charles Darwin DNA and the Virgin Birth
DNA and Neanderthals
The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap
Is the earth ever described as round in the Bible?
The origin of the four seasons
More on Science and the Bible
Aliens and Space Exploration
Do feel free to write me back about any of the above.
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you again Robert. As always, I appreciate your information. I agree with your "political" statements etc. However, my concern at this time is not so much about those who "make a religion out of science," but more in the direction of the Church. Based upon observation, it is very apparent that the Bible is on an ever increasing exponential collision course with expulsion due to the increase in secularism, unless the Church abandons the "park your brains at the curb" approach to the Biblical teaching. Thankfully, there are some pastors such as Chuck Missler and Hugh Ross who recognize this. In an attempt to keep our discussion more in the realm of specifics, and less generalized, I would like to focus on the point of contention you mention in your reply, my statement re: "Science being God's language" and your retort to it. What I mean is that God created science, man did not create it; he only discovered it; man has only discovered what God created. "Science" says: "nothing comes from nothing," which is an admission by scientists themselves that it takes "something to make or create something; in essence, this points to a Creator. We have to "believe" to the extent that we are not fearful of science; remember God created it and it will point in His direction if you will let it. This is the issue and crux of problem that the Church creates, with its unyielding stoic, staunch position of "every jot and tittle;" its embattled stance and dependence upon "circular argument," is likened to an opiate. They have to understand there have been alterations to the original autographs of the Scriptures. The "search being conduced by sinful humans" you mention, includes sinners such as myself who if fact, if you "believe" it, transcend, if you will, by virtue of belief in what Jesus did for us on the Cross, the sinful nature, which then allows them to continue to communicate God's Word via God's science, in an effort to communicate in more modern, and, effective terms, perhaps, with non believers so that the "Ark of God's Word remains afloat and upright. Your question asking how the "tenet of scientific faith that there was no ex nihilo creation," is exactly why they need to hear how God's Creation, as delivered in Genesis IS exactly the way it is described, and in the correct order as the way science claims it was; science then confirms God's Word. (this is exactly what is stated in Gerald Schroeder's book "The Science of God." Robert, this is my point;we need to get on the bandwagon; get on the same page etc. The first big "turn-off" in religion to non-believers is the fact that there are too many denominations within Christianity; the number is staggering this creates an immediate red flag to anyone who can think above the waist. When this is dealt with, the "scientific arrogance" you mention ill begin to wane. Also, changing our stance, would absolutely turn the tables on what you say about "learning more about our ignorance;" just as it has with Schroeder and Hugh Ross and others such as Frank Tipler, the author of "The Physics of Christianity". I agree with your statement that "science is agnostic" but that does not mean they are "down and out" either. "Agnostic" is not the same as atheism. We must get off the tunnel- vision "merry-go-round," wake up and possibly smell the carcass of Christianity that may one day exist. Please allow me to further explain: It could happen someday that the Bible could become banned as is the current situation is some countries; it could be deemed false by virtue of these "other" texts, the Sumerian Tablets I originally mentioned. If that were the case, Christians would of course continue to believe despite of the government censor or, perhaps another scenario, one not quite as severe: it could be that the "other" texts could make their way to the forefront, overwhelming the "opposition" just by virtue of the facts that exist; the "facts" in fact that you dismissed in your first correspondence to me: the delivery of the Word by the Holy Spirit to Moses. By the way, "what was the spirit given to Moses? It would seem that it was a spirit put upon Moses, as it were. Or, could it have been a spirit already within him, a God-given charisma or mark of personality or of special receptivity"? This question posed, taken from an article on the subject of the Spirit placed upon Moses. I would like to delve into this subject next time. However, due to time constraints, I must conclude for now that my point and concern is to keep our minds open; be aware of the facts. The fact that Jesus said we would do greater things than He is very telling. We have the ability to reason for a reason; what is that reason? The bottom line is that God exists even without the Bible. There are many examples of Scripture that have been altered. The Roman Catholic Church is key in this. Jesus quoted Enoch. Why is Enoch not included in the Cannon? So many questions persist we must remain vigilant. All for this time. Thank you.
I'm not political; rather I am apolitical, and that is what I always counsel other Christians to be too: there are no political solutions, only spiritual ones. So, to begin, I fear you have confused this ministry with others you find offensive when you say, for example, to "get off the bandwagon" – as I have never been on it in the first place. This is a Bible teaching ministry pure and simple, and it shuns all things political. Many Christians today, it is true, are consumed with "fixing" the country or the world – but this world is under the devil's sway until Christ returns, and trying to fix it only plays into the devil's hands (please see the Satanic Rebellion series at the link). Science is a part of his world system, just as almost everything else outside of pure biblical Christianity is on some level. We have to live in this world, but we are not to love it, and that includes refraining from getting too emotionally attached to worldly things like science.
When you say "God created science", I couldn't disagree more. As I tried to explain last time, science is a man-made system of seeking out the material "truth" of the physical universe which is handicapped by its presupposition that nothing spiritual exists. The Sumerians, Assyro-Babylonians, and even the Greeks, at first, sought to explain the material world via mythology. Beginning with the Pre-Socratic philosophers, however, the Greeks began the process of looking for answers in the material realm alone. In the west, over time, "science" developed, and science, the human search for knowledge of the material (predisposed entirely to reject any non-material ideas or solutions) has its developed its own methods and approaches. These are not entirely pure (as I tried to explain last time).
As I also stipulated last time, I have no problem with a Christian who is trying to reach the scientific community or the scientifically inclined learning well both science and its philosophy the better to do so. What I do worry about, however, is the tendency toward "Stockholm syndrome" in being overly captivated by those one is trying to reach to the point of undermining one's own faith and one's own principles (i.e., by seeing their "point" so well that one begins to doubt one's own). That is bad enough, but what would be even worse would be to shift the focus and to use that vitiated approach to try and convince other Christians that they are wrong and that they should be more materialistic in their approach. Believe me, the church visible here in Laodicea is materialistic enough already.
Another problem I find with the approach here is generalizing about what Christians and churches teach and believe. I suppose it would be nice if the "too many denominations" you complain about all believed and taught the same things – but that is not the case at all. In fact of course this particular ministry is not attached to any denomination. Arguing about principles in a vacuum is often pointless – especially if they and the terms used to describe them have not been established. When you say of science that "nothing comes from nothing" is some sort of admission on their part, I would respond that everything has come from nothing . . . in material terms; and that everything has originally come from God in spiritual way and without material agency. Thus science by refusing to accept the most basic of truths puts itself at a tremendous disadvantage in its supposedly objective search for "truth". Science is looking for the truth it wants to find and doing so more and more in ethically questionable and intellectually dishonest ways. That is their business (in fact that is the history of all unbelievers in a nutshell). But it has nothing to do with me or any Christian seeking God's truth, except if they are taken in by the "magic" of this new religion. Unbelievers want a universe without God and science increasingly is devoted to "proving" that this vain lust is true – and in providing alternatives (new planets to supply all our needs, aliens who'll fix all our problems, medical advances to allow us to "live virtually forever", etc.). This is what the devil wants too – and why he rebelled; but neither he nor science nor every garden-variety unbeliever will get anything else but the lake of fire for their impudence.
As to what might happen in the future, I commend to you the Coming Tribulation series (at the link). Indeed, antichrist will soon be on the scene and Christians will be faced with all manner of terrible oppression and unexpectedly difficult moral choices. To meet these one will need not more scientific information or more flexibility toward the truth but exactly the opposite: to survive the Tribulation with our faith intact will require a deep and unshakable faith in Jesus Christ the living Word of God and in His words to us in the Bible, the very Word of God. One third of the true Church will be martyred. We need to be ready to die for what we believe, not rationalize it away to save ourselves physically for a few short unhappy years (one third will also apostatize; see the links).
That brings me to one other point you have brought up several times here, one which I find the most disturbing of anything you have said. You mention "alterations in the autographs" of scripture. Let me put your mind at ease on this. The English Bible you have (almost no matter what version you have) is a "good" translation of a text which, in both the Greek and the Hebrew, is 99% plus pure – and the instances where the small problems are 1) theologically significant and/or 2) incapable of resolution via the art and science of textual criticism by persons such as myself who have spent a lifetime acquiring the proper training and credentials are virtually nil. What this means is that you can trust your Bible absolutely – although of course it does take accessing a good, solid, orthodox Bible teaching ministry to grow past a certain point (because there are only so many truths to a certain depth which can be extracted by those without the gift of teacher and without the layered preparation necessary to do a good job understanding and explaining the scriptures). No, the problem is not that we have something wrong with the Bible or the canon; the problem is that most Christians today are very little interested in what it teaches.
I hope you will be able to accept this message in the spirit of love in which it is intended. If there are any particular issues – places where it is imagined that there is some conflict between scientific "truth" and the scriptures – I would be happy to discuss these with you. I do commend your intention to bridge the gap between the scientific community and the truth, but in doing so it would be good to remember that 1) it is they who need the help, not believers, and 2) there is a danger for yourself in getting co-opted if your faith in the absolute integrity of the Word of God is undermined in any respect.
Yours in Jesus Christ our Lord – who is the very Truth.
Hello again Robert.
1. So, trying to "fix" the world is wrong; in other words, until the return of the Lord, we are to not mess with anything? It seems then even "helping your neighbor then becomes questionable using this concept. There isn't even enough definition within the Scriptures when it comes to establishing a criteria of what is and what isn't considered "helping someone." This is the reason I stated: "parking your brains at the curb" in my prior correspondence.
2. "Science is part of satan's world system, just as almost everything else outside of his world system." The baby is being thrown out with the bathwater without even realizing it. However, you do leave a little leeway when you say: "almost everything else." I'm curious as to just what you might not throw out that still does not meet your criteria between the two extremes you present.
3. "Science" does not necessarily rule out spirituality. What Scripture is this taken from? Even Einstein believed in God. I would hate to conceive of a present day world where "science" hadn't pulled ahead of what was then the present day "Copernican" world. So called "Christians" of that era executed people for believing anything outside the realm of their narrow minded assessment of what God's Word states. You can't have it both ways; either it was God's hand on the wheel at that time, directing us away from this kind of "unfounded judgement," as Copernicus termed it, (and what it appears you seem to cling to), or, it was His enemy "directing" us toward the path you insists upon. Which do you choose Robert? Where would be be today had that "belief" taken hold, or was still he "order" of the day? Again, I thank God for the intercession. Who do you thank?
I would like to focus on these few items for now. Let's take this in smaller pieces at a time so as to avoid overload or burnout. I would appreciate your rebuttal. system been allowed to prevail. I thank GOD for that direct message from Him. Where do you draw the line?
As to point #1, I couldn't disagree more with seeing these two things as in any way related. If my brother needs something to eat, I give him something to eat. That is good and of God – in other words, that is true charity. If I perceive that there are hungry people in the world and organize a political party and take control of the state "to help them", and tax you to give my brother food . . . and kill you if offer any opposition, that is evil and of the devil – in other words, that is politics. If you don't see the difference here, then I would advise you to spend some time in the Satanic Rebellion series (link). One further important point on this is that in the political way of "fixing" the world, my brother never actually does get fed, with the person/group that takes over merely exploiting for their own gain the stupidity of those who can't tell the difference.
As to point #2, I said specifically that I am not throwing out science. I enjoy electric lighting et al., and have no wish to live in a Luddite or Amish society. But it is sophomoric not to understand that "science" is no more pure than the sinful human beings who are engaged in the "quest for knowledge". Science is often used for evil purposes because it can be. The main thing I am trying to get across to you and anyone else listening is that it is a grave mistake to think of science and scientists and the scientific method as "pure" or "inherently good" when that is not even close to being the case. This world is under the devil's nominal control at present, and all the science in the world is not going to prevent antichrist from gaining complete political control of the world in the very near future – in fact that rise to power would be impossible without the technological shrinking of the world and the moral degeneration to which it has been an important handmaiden (by empowering the sin nature and giving it more tools for expression).
As to point #3, you are setting up another straw man here, as I have never said or implied that a scientist couldn't be a believer. It is certainly true, however, that the religion of science is inimical to biblical Christianity which recognizes the true cause of all things as being the Creator. Certainly, there have been some scientists (Newton comes to mind) who have managed to be good at their craft without losing faith, but that is relatively rare. Einstein believed in God? Great. Satan also believes in God's existence (how could he not) . . . he just doesn't obey Him, and there is no indication that Einstein was born again. I'm not sure I understand the rest of the paragraph here. It seems to me that you wish to tar anyone who has the least reluctance to proclaim science holy and virginal with the brush of Roman Catholic medievalism. That is as unkind as it is inappropriate. I'm happy to have a computer; I don't, however, fail to understand that most people are using them more for ill than for good. I don't wish to get rid of them; but I won't stick my head in the sand and pretend that the expansion of evil in our world is not happening thanks in no small measure to scientific and resultant technical advance. I find it ironic that defenders of science want to be unrealistically romantic about all this and it is left to believers to be the realists here.
Finally, "faith" is the key . . . but faith in the truth. Many people talk about belief and faith and how they have "it"; but it makes all the difference in the world what you believe . . . or rather whom. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He is the Light of the Word, the only Truth, the God who took on humanity and threw in His lot with us that we might be saved by His sacrifice in dying on the cross for us all, dying for all of our sins. Without believing that, no one can be saved, science notwithstanding:
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 3:18 NIV
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Hoping we can continue and that you not become irritated or feel this is not worth your time etc. I truly appreciate your assistance and please remember, I am only seeking the truth and ask that you bare with me as I am someone who, as I have described, not believe in parking our minds at the curb so to speak.
Again, there are such a great number of "beliefs" that exist out there, it is no wonder why so many question persist. If I may, and in an effort to help bot myself and you as well, I feel it is necessary to divide this huge subject into even smaller, in fact, tiny bite size pieces. This way it will help you so that you will not have to type so much information in each reply. That being said, here we go:
I would like to hone in on what I brought forth in my previous email regarding Copernicus. Being that Copernicus was a scientist, and that his intention was to correct, if at all possible the Church, at that time, in it's incorrect understanding of God's creation of the universe in general and our solar system in particular, to become a heliocentric one, my point is, without that "scientist," without that "scientific" revelation, we wouldn't have even ever become aware the Church's understanding of God's Word was incorrect. Am I right or am I right? Just this much for now; "one small step for man; one large step for mankind." Thank you
This is a good place to start because this most recent email demonstrates pretty clearly the entirely different way in which we are thinking about these things. I am not a Roman Catholic, and I have no great interest in the history of their denomination (although I have studied it pretty extensively out of necessity). The fact that the pope and company persecuted scientists is not surprising nor important – at least in terms of the history of the true Church (believers in Jesus Christ who are born again, regardless of affiliation). Recently the pope wishes to castigate those who don't automatically succumb to the pseudo-science of supposed catastrophic man-made global warming. One would think that anyone who was presenting himself as a man of God would realize that God is in control of things that are beyond the reach of man – as this supposed "problem" clearly is for all practical purposes whatever one may think of the specifics, at least within the time that is left: in a few short years the Lord will return; so all of these political / scientific machinations will make no significant long term difference . . . but they will in the short term to the poor people who will be impoverished by them (losing jobs, not being able to afford basic energy), all in the name of science and religion.
Whether or not Copernicus was correct makes no difference to a Christian trying to walk with Jesus today; and whether or not a pseudo-church in the past persecuted him in the name of Christ (just as true believers are being persecuted today in the name of Christ . . . and many more will be once the Tribulation begins, by antichrist's religion as he proclaims himself to be Christ) is inconsequential to the genuine issues of spirituality any Christian faces today: "What does grain have to do with straw?" (Jer.23:28).
Copernicus didn't have anything to do with God. The pope didn't have anything to do with God. Science doesn't have anything to do with God. Science is a secular search for material knowledge apart from any spiritual dimension. It is part of life and of the world, the devil's world. I would be proud to have a family member who was a scientist (and do have plenty in engineering and related technical specialties). But these are professions – like being a cobbler is a profession. When science becomes a religion, that is when it becomes a spiritual problem . . . for all who buy into that religion.
Hope this answers your question.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I remember a long time ago you sent me links concerning the fall of the evil one and his war with God, and recently found out about this Biblical view called 'Creationism', and then another called 'Intelligent Design', which seems to be a melding of Genesis and the theory of evolution, a fairly common among the church. I was wondering what you thought about it? I thought back to the evil one's fall, and his war with God, and remembered that a day is a thousand years to God, and a thousand years is but a day. I looked for those links but have difficulty finding them – they're in my files somewhere, I'm sure. Was it possible either of those have any validity? I only wonder this because of the time frame, and the two seem to be opposites. I apologize for seeming so disorganized, but I was curious as to your thoughts on these ideas.
I'm reluctant to comment on either of these "-isms" because they mean different things to different people and are not always described in identical ways. Also they are not in the Bible. The Bible is very clear. God created the world out of nothing. He then reestablished it after a "gap" of unknown eons, creating animal and human life also from nothing. I would suggest reading SR 2: "The Genesis Gap", where this is discussed (there are other "gap" links at Ichthys too which may shed some light on this for you). Do feel free to write me back about any of this.
In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Just recently a fellow emailed me about being part of a first-time class at my university that talks about science and faith in the context of engineering. I thought the class looked interesting at first glance, and it would certainly be an opportunity to hone what knowledge of such things I already have. My experience with most so called "dialogues" between scientists and Christians has been net-negative (so too with "dialogues" between Muslims/Buddhists/secular humanists and Christians), but this particular class seemed like it might buck the trend. I attached the advertising flier/syllabus for the class, so you can take a look for yourself.
Anyhow, I'd appreciate any warnings or comments you might have about this sort of thing (this class in particular), and whether you think this would be useful or a waste of time.
I had a look at the syllabus. This would not be the type of class I would take, but you may be of a different mind. The "vibe" I am getting from the syllabus is that the unstated true objective of the course will be to crunch Christians between science on the one hand and other religions on the other. Given that when it comes to some of the issue which will be brought out many Christians have wrong-headed, non-biblical ideas (e.g., such common misconceptions as that Genesis 1:2ff. describes original creation or that life begins at birth, etc.), it seems to me that a solitary Christian in such a class who does have the truth would be hard pressed to stand up for it against not only the professor and his grad student helpers but also the different religious factions the class is likely to attract – including other Christians who are immature in their beliefs. The "scientists" will speak with one voice; the "religious" with many, and there will likely be divisions among the Christians. This might be a good experience for someone who is aiming at an apologetic ministry (so I'm certainly not telling you not to do it). I'm sure you would learn something, mostly about tactics of group discussion when outnumbered in the midst of a divided group. What I would not want you to be unaware of going in are the facts that 1) it could get ugly and be unsatisfying in terms of wanting to stand up for the truth, and 2) it would probably negatively affect your grade in the class to do so (the trend of late is for groups to grade group member participation with obstreperousness for whatever reason paying a penalty).
Hope this is of some help. How are things going with the other believers you mentioned?
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
I was thinking the same sort of thing about Christians getting sandwiched here between two hostile parties (but it's not like college is exactly friendly towards Christians in the first place). I emailed the professor to see what the application looked like and there was bit more of the "fine print" there than in the initial advertising. Just some of the highlights:
"In this course, the well-established major discoveries of science (the Big Bang, plate tectonics, evolution via natural selection, climate change, you name it) will be accepted as fact."
"In this course, there will be no proselytizing (trying to convert folks to your tradition or world view, or to demonstrate that your tradition or world view is superior to another)."
It seems to me that at least evolution and climate change are in no way "well-established major discoveries of science." Debate over climate change still wracks the academic community, and the global warming cheerleaders have a nasty tendency to ad hominem "climate change deniers" rather than actually engage in objective dialogue about statistical evidence. Evolution cheerleaders have a similar tendency, with the added fact that they tend to deny research money to any person who does not accept their particular version of evolution as unconditionally and absolutely true.
I don't quite understand how a discussion about the integration of faith and science can start out with the presupposition that science is already right, all the while proclaiming that it is part of the "rigorous, truth-seeking, intellectually demanding academic setting that defines __" Similarly, plainly stating that one is not allowed to talk about the legitimacy and logical basis for different faith positions seems to deny any truly productive dialogue between religious groups. If I am not allowed to point out mathematical errors in the Koran because it is "demeaning" or "not nice," I fear for truth in the course.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but it is somewhat a pity. I may email the professor asking several rather pointed questions, and if the answers are anything like what I suspect they will be, I may avoid the class simply because it would be unproductive as grounds for ministry even if not spiritually harmful in and of it itself.
As for my Christian friends, we have had one Bible study and have another one planned for tomorrow. I am taking them through "Read your Bible" . I think this fellowship has great promise, but it is going to take some work.
Thanks for your insight,
That's great news about the fellowship! That's how Bible study groups (and churches) often start.
Not surprised either about this class. Asking you to accept up front things that are not true – and considering you disruptive if you have qualms – is not exactly what I would call free speech or open discourse.
Yours in Jesus Christ our Lord who is IS the truth.