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Monthly Archives: August 2012

We Are NOT Embarrassed

I was notified of a couple of posts the other day concerning the honesty of a couple biblical explorers who did not find what they had hoped to find when they did their archaeological dig in the Holy land. The author of the posts was actually giving them their due for being ‘honest’.

You can read the details here in the posts authored by minimalist, he has a quote from Wm. Dever in the first one and a blurb about Callaway in the second immediately following: http://atheistforums.org/thread-10260-post-327759.html#pid327759

The issue for this post is in the following quote  also found in the posts mentioned above:

“Apparently, theological embarrassment is more important to fundies than truth.”

The thing is, we are NOT embarrassed if an archaeological investigation reveals nothing of a person, city, town or whatever that is identified in the Bible. The Bible doesn’t instruct believers to follow the archaeological record for God knew and we all know now that the archaeological record is missing about 95% of the information and structures that once existed in the past.

This disparity is outlined quite well by Kenneth A. Kitchen in his book, The Bible In Its World. The first chapter deals exclusively with archaeology and the minute amounts of information it recovers. We do not recover very much and a lot of ideas are mere speculation of what might have been.

In R. K. Harrison’s book (and other works on the ancient Egyptians) we learn that the ancient Egyptians altered their history to look better for future generations. This is one reason why we do not find any mentioning of the Israelite sojourn in their land.

Not finding any ‘evidence’ for the biblical record is not an embarrassment  because of the reality. In one of the posts mentioned above, the lost city of Ai is discussed and how they could not find any remains at the selected site. Well, we know the reality. Ai was destroyed by Joshua, what remains would there be?

Then with the invasions of the Babylonians, the Assyrians, The Greeks, and the Romans, not to forget the Arabs, and given the timeline of approx. 3,000 years, I would say it would be unrealistic and impractical to expect to find anything remaining at the biblical location for Ai.

Modern science and archaeology still cannot find any trace of Roanoke and that existed a mere 400 years ago approx. and there were no invasions by multiple armies bent on destroying what they found. How do archaeologists expect to find Ai,especially since there are no ‘welcome to Ai’ signs lying in the dirt?

{To read up on Roanoke click here: http://historicmysteries.com/lost-colony-of-roanoke}

The other important issue is, believing the Bible is not a game where evidence plays a role. it is a decision between belief and unbelief. We either believe God and His word or we do not. The demand for evidence demonstrates unbelief, just as doubting Thomas exampled when the other disciples told him Jesus had risen from the dead.

The use of faith and trust that God told us the truth demonstrates belief and love for God. 1 Cor. 13 tells us that love believes all things so if we love God, we believe His words without demanding any proof.

That is the key. The unbelieving world wants evidence but even if we produced evidence, there is no guarantee that the unbeliever will accept it and repent. In fact, I have usually found the opposite action. In presenting what physical evidence we do have for the biblical record I have seen unbelievers dismiss it without consideration, demand more or simply deny it is evidence.

We believers do not play by secular people’s’ rules. We go by God’s and God has said faith is part of the equation. We will never get enough physical evidence to meet anybody’s demand because most has already been destroyed, either by natural means or man created ones. it doesn’t exist anymore thus a person is left with simple faith.

A choice has to be made to believe God or not regardless of what evidence there is for or against the biblical record. We cannot provide any evidence for heaven, the new Jerusalem or even the Garden of Eden as those locations need faith to believe they exist or existed. Thus the call or demand for evidence by unbelievers is merely a hoax as they want an excuse to not believe. They refuse to play by God’s rules .

The believer must stop playing by secular man’s rules and follow God’s. Faith will always be part of the equation which is why we are NOT embarrassed by the lack of physical evidence. God doesn’t require it for salvation or eternal life.

 

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in archaeology

 

What About God?

This is a question Dr. McGrath posted over at his website and it was accompanied by a video detailing some christian students transition from believing creation to accepting and believing evolution. You can view the video here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/

The question, if asked by an open-minded and serious person, is a good one. If they aren’t then the true believer is just wasting  their time, except maybe to plant a seed.  But let’s look at this issue rationally and logically.

We won’t be addressing the secular version’s idea about God because he doesn’t exist in their theory. They simply have a simple life form magically appearing on earth and developing the diversity of plant, animal and human life we see today and it was done randomly.

We will look at the theistic evolutionists (TE)and progressive creationists’ (PC)idea of God together as there really isn’t much difference between the two theories. Both take secular science over God’s word and then try to marry biblical ideas they like to the theory. It is an attempt by alternative thinkers to creation to have their cake and eat it too.

Their idea of God is this Supreme Being who possess immense and awesome power who has always lived and always will live, who rules over all things, and much more YET opts to ‘create’ life via a one-celled life form and take millions of years, plus allowing death and sin to be present from the beginning. Then, this version of God decides to mislead and lie to his very own creation by saying He did one thing but actually did another.

God wants those very human creations to follow and worship Him but He seems to have little respect for them and is incapable of providing the truth to them.  What the TEs and PCs have done is made the sinless, infallible, all-powerful God into a fallible, sinful weak being, no greater than the creation He wants to have worship Him.

Who in their right mind would follow and worship such a God? Who would want to follow and worship a Being that sinned and lied? Maybe He is lying about salvation as well? Logically and rationally, the TE and PC idea of God makes no sense and they have removed all hope from people’s lives as they have demoted God to human levels. He isn’t even  God.

The creationist idea of God is as the Bible describes Him. Sinless, infallible, all-powerful and He puts it on display by creating a vast universe and all the diversity we see simply by speaking. Then He records what he actually did and tells His creation the truth, so we can have confidence in His words recorded everywhere else in the Bible. We can then trust His words on His plan of salvation and look to Christ for forgiveness of sins and have hope for our lives.

What we learn from God’s display of His power at creation is that we are protected, He is stronger than anyone else; He can avenge us when we are persecuted; He is in control of all things because His demonstration proves he is master of all.

We can go on about what we learn about God at creation which we cannot learn via the TE and PC versions of origins but this is not the time to be redundant. The Bible records for us already what we need to know about God.

What does this mean for the believer who have children in public schools and universities that teach evolution? It means that any alternative to the creation account destroys God and renders him less than or equal to sinful humans and that their children need to not listen to their teachers who teach such things.

Too many believing children are tempted by the lies of secular science. They are told that they are ‘doing science’ if they do it in disobedience to God. They are told that evolution has all the evidence and creation has none. Both statements are untrue. creation in fact has all the evidence and evolution has zero.

They are told that those who believe in creation are ignorant of science and do not know what they are talking about. That is untrue as well, as we have the truth with the Bible and the evolutionist only has assumption, conjecture, speculation and hypothesis. They have no truth, no facts, no verification.

I do not want to rehash all the different points I have made, not only here but also at www.dakotascba.com so I encourage you to search both sites to get more details on how to prepare your students for unbelieving teachers and professors. Science is not the authority we are called to follow or listen to. God and Jesus are and their words trump any scientist’s because the scientist is a fallible human being subject to the corruption and sin that entered into the world at Adam’s sin and they do lie.

Jesus was talking about heaven to His disciples one day and he makes the statement: ‘if it were not so, I would have told you.’ The same statement works for creation. If God did not create as He said in Genesis, and throughout the Bible, then Jesus would have told us. He would not have told men who rejected Him and dismissed His words.

Logically and rationally, creation as recorded in Genesis is the only option for origins for it gives us a powerful and mighty God who is above all things. Any other version removes God and gives us nothing.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in creation

 

Two Questions

I listened to a video posted by Dr. Mcgrath over at his website, found here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/08/evolution-what-about-god.html

Except for Ken Ham the ‘christians’ depicted in the video are mislead and misinformed. They have been turned from their faith and have accepted the lie of evolution.

The really sad part is that their turning comes at the hand of supposed christian pastors and professors in christian colleges and seminaries.

If supposed christian leaders do not believe God’s word, how can we expect children to believe it?  But that is not one of the two questions this post is about.

The questions come from seeing so many people claiming to be christian follow after the lies told by evolution supporters. The first one is

1. Where did God or Jesus give permission to follow after those who do not believe?

Darwin rejected God, saying his supposed conversion did not take, thus he would be one of the deceived Paul wrote about in 2 Timothy.  He would also be one of those who did not have the Spirit of Truth provided to believers to guide them to the truth, spoken about in John 14. He would not have the Holy Spirit to guide him as he was not a believer-John 16.

So why would any believer want to accept his words? Darwin would not be telling the truth because he does not have it. They do so, because they are lead to disobey God by those they are told to trust.

2. Where did both God and Jesus teach or give permission to follow science over their words?

Both of them called to people and said ‘Follow me’. Jesus went as far as to say in John 5:45-7 that if you do not believe what Moses wrote how will you accept my words? 

There is no permission to use secular science to study origins because God has already said how it was accomplished. Science is a tool to learn about what God did NOT how He did it or when.

We need to address health issues, so we need to learn how the bodies of humans, animals and plants work. We need to understand how growth or photosynthesis works, thus we can use true science to learn about those functions.

But at no time can true science be used for origins because origins is not a scientific issue nor within its scope. The delusion being taught all students is that they are ‘doing science’ when they pursue evolutionary thought.

They aren’t; for evolution is not scientific and no scientific experiment has been conducted that can be called evolutionary. The evolutionary scientist doesn’t even use the original conditions or ingredients to draw their conclusions. It is all a charade and far from real scientific work.

The people in the pews in the churches need to have their eyes put back on God and removed from the lies that comes from secular science and its adherents.

Christian schools need to stop disobeying God and remove the lie of evolution from their curriculum. We are to teach the truth instead of saying that God lied and mislead His followers.

The secular world, the evolutionist, of all varieties, does not have the truth and we are not to follow them. We are to shed light on the secular world and show them their errors, even in science, but we cannot do that if we accept their teachings because thir science and scientists say so.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in creation

 

God’s Rules

Over at Roger Pearse’s website he has posted an article on what is bad scholarship, http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2012/08/29/what-is-bad-scholarship/

and he lists his idea of the criteria that has to be met for someone’s work to be considered good scholarship. Some of his points are quite good but they do not take into account what God wants and has taught.

For the believer, we do not need to follow secular man’s rules when they go against God and His wishes. Being an archaeologist, a biblical scholar or theologian does not make that person an authority others have to obey or even listen to, especially when they teach things not of God.

God has His own criteria for proclaiming His word and will to all. #1. Do not lie. This is something God does not like and liars go to hell just like rapists do. Believers are to tell the truth no matter what, though being tactful is a wise move.

Jesus speaks of the truth quite a bit and He even said ‘if heaven were not as I spoke then I would tell you.’ In other words, Jesus did not lie nor misrepresent  to us so believers must do the work and get to the truth and tell that to others; regardless of the fact if it meets secular human scholarly human rules.

#2. God said,’He who is not with me is against me’, that means for the believer they must make sure their words line up with God’s and that they do not accept anyone else’s words if they go against what God has said in the Bible.

It doesn’t matter if they are ‘experts’, scientists, or scholars, etc.,  if their words go against God’s then those people are wrong NOT God, NOT the Bible, NOT the disciples and most certainly NOT Jesus.

Jesus said we shall know the truth thus we seek the truth not an opinion nor an interpretation. Interpretation, even by experts, is not necessarily the truth but someone’s best guess. We are not called to find the best interpretation or even to follow it, we are called to follow Jesus and He spoke the truth. So must we after we follow the Holy Spirit to it.

#3. Proverbs continually tells us to get wisdom and understanding. These two elements of thought are very important when trying to discern between good and bad scholarship and truth and error. They also help us grasp what others are trying to say and allows us to see if those words are correct or not, or the product of mature or immature believers.

Without wisdom and understanding it is easy to assume the wrong idea, leap to false conclusions and speculate way too much. These two elements of God’s rules, help us to stay on right path and leads us to correct ourselves and others when we or they stray.

#4. John 16:12-16 makes this very clear. Those words are not just for the disciples or the ancient world but they are for believers today. If they weren’t then how would we ever get to fulfill Jesus’ words or understand them. How could we preach the gospel if we did not have access to the truth?

John 14: 15-17 tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and Jesus has sent Him to us to help us. The passage also says that the unbeliever cannot receive Him  because they do not see nor knows Him. That tells us that the unbelieving world are not the people we listen to. They do not have the truth.

Finally, John 5:45-47 tells us that believing the words of Moses (including Genesis 1) is criteria for believing Jesus’ words. If we do not believe God’s word in Genesis, how can we believe God’s word in John 3:16? Doubt and unbelief already exist in a person’s life and it doesn’t go away if a person rejects one part of the Bible but accepts another.

What this means is, that God’s criteria includes belief in Genesis as well as the good parts of the NT. Believers are to follow God’s rules not man’s, even in academia.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in archaeology

 

Archaeological News

Haven’t done much archaeology lately as there really hasn’t been much going on. This post will take from the ASOR blogs weekly roundups so people can get an overview of what has been happening during many of this season’s digs.

http://asorblog.org/?p=2895

http://asorblog.org/?p=2867

http://asorblog.org/?p=2810

http://asorblog.org/?p=2768

 

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in archaeology

 

Logical and Rational Thinking

Many people who do not accept the Genesis account of the global flood always make the remark that there is no evidence to support it.  They claim that any geological evidence discovered supports another form of developement for the landscape we enjoy today.

Their thinking does not seem logical or rational as it relies upon the speculative powers of men and women they have never met (for the most part). It also relies upon those people who cannot agree with each other except in the larger general picture.

Plus, they limit their supposed logical and rational prowess to only those people who tell them what they want to hear, even if the theory is more illogical and irrational than the biblical account. Their claim that there is no evidence for Noah’s global flood needs further examination for it is indeed illogical and irrational.

First, God never said, and you will find no scripture verse granting permission to take science’s word or work over God’s word. God said, ‘the just shall live by faith…’, ‘faith pleases Him…’ and we have Hebrews 11 extolling the virtues of faith.

Noah’s global flood is not exempt from God’s requirement of using faith. Faith is always part of the equation. Yes we will get some physical evidence but that is to shore up a person’s faith in God thus we will never get so much physical evidence that it will destroy what God says pleases Him.

No matter how you look at it, the secular world will never get all the evidence they demand because God has said faith is part of the criteria.

Second, we must ask the dissenters this question? ‘What kind of evidence are they looking for? There has been only 1 global flood in all of history so how will we recognize it when we find such evidence?

Noah and his sons did not waste time recording the damage they saw after leaving the flood so we have no ancient account of what evidence for a global flood looks like. So what we find today would have no documentation  with which to compare.

Third, in the few thousands of years since the global flood countless local floods have taken place. These events would mar any physical evidence left behind by Noah’s grand flood. Then on top of that we have earthquakes, landslides, storms, wars, construction, travel, and on it goes. All of these events would do damage to any physical evidence left behind by Noah’s flood.

Fourth, all documentation from the pre-flood world was destroyed. We have no idea what the earth looked like prior to Noah’s flood. So, like point 2, we have no ancient pre-flood works to see the changes that took place.

All of this logical and rational analysis does is point back to point #1 and faith.  To accept the global flood as told in Genesis we have to use faith because the physical evidence we have is very limited. To see evidence for Noah’s global flood click on the link and scroll down as you read

http://www.dakotascba.com/Evidence-for-Noah%27s-Flood.php

Logical and rational thinking doesn’t glibly dismiss what the Bible says. it takes a closer look at the situation and sees what the reality is. We cannot dismiss a global flood based upon the lack of physical evidence because the lack of evidence doesn’t tell the whole story.

To be logical and rational one must be open to  the whole picture and is honest with oneself. To say that the evidence points to a series of local floods is ridiculous simply because that doesn’t disprove a prior global one but just shows that the researchers are giving up when they discover what they want to hear.

Noah’s global flood took place just as the Bible says and true believers do not need physical evidence to believe that, they need logical and rational thinking.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in archaeology

 

The Writing of the Gospels

I was glancing through the Tabor blog, when I read the following article:

http://jamestabor.com/2012/08/25/the-strange-ending-of-the-gospel-of-mark-and-why-it-makes-all-the-difference/

Secular scholars, and sadly many ‘christian’ ones, would have you believe several things about the writing of the gospels.

First, they want you to believe that they know which Gospel was written first. They do not know. There is nothing anywhere that indicates who was the first to pen the Good News.  They would like you to believe that Mark was first, but there is no evidence to suggest such a thing. He could have been the first but we will never know.

” Scholars and historians are almost universally agreed that Mark is our earliest gospel–by several decades”

Second, they want you to believe that they know what is to be included or excluded from the gospel pages. They think they can tell what is authentic and what are not simply by looking at old manuscripts. They can’t because they do not know the history of those ancient manuscripts, who wrote them and by what motivation were they written by.

We know for a fact that many alternative thinking believers, like Marcius, wrote their own versions of the Biblical text, with some eliminating many books because their ‘faith’ did not allow for them to be included. But since the majority of texts do not come with the name of the author, or I should say copyist, we cannot tell which mss. or fragments were handled by legitimate believers and which were not.

To assume they are all the genuine article from true believers is a fatal error on the part of the one making the assumption. This means that though a ms. may be older than another, it does not guarantee that it is a legitimately God preserved product. it could be the product or an unbeliever much like the JWs, Mormons and others alter the Bible for their own purposes today.

“The evidence is clear. This ending is not found in our earliest and most reliable Greek copies of Mark”

Third, They want you to believe that they can tell the difference between a forged biblical fragment and the authentic ones.  They can’t. See point 2 above for more details. It is hard to say what fragment is forged or not 2,000 years after its original writing. Too much data is lost to make such a determination.

Also, since we do not have the original penned mss. from the Gospel writers themselves, we cannot say for certain what was included and what was excluded. To say that Mark 16:9-20 is a forgery is leaping to a conclusion without proof.

One can point to all the early mss. they want but until they know for sure that those documents are authentic themselves, they have no evidence for forgery. Then if they were authentic, it still doesn’t prove that the last half of Mark 16 was added later. There would be numerous reason s why the last bit wasn’t included and one such would be laziness. Believers today leave out passages all the time, it all depends on the whether they made a mistake and discarded the ms. or their purpose was not to focus on those verse.

“Here is that forged ending of Mark:”

Fourth, they want you to believe that what they consider to be important is what God considers to be important. They want you to think that the order written is vital but if it were God would have let us have that information.

The order in which the Gospels were written doesn’t matter, it is a distraction not a vital piece of NT theology that is part of the plan of salvation. What is important is the message and teachings the Gospel writers recorded for us and all believers from the time of Jesus onward.

Matthew and John were eye-witnesses and knew Jesus personally, along with the other disciples. They didn’t source material for their books because they were source material plus they had the help of the Holy Spirit which means that they did not need to rely on someone else’s book for their material.

Mark and Luke worked with Peter and Paul. peter an original disciple was once again source material and what Paul witnessed of Jesus we do not know; though he was old enough to lead a gang of men from the time of the stoning of Stephen we are not sure of how much of an overlap with the life of Christ he had.

Regardless, Luke said he researched but the Bible doesn’t tell sus who and where he researched. Why? Because it is not germane to the purpose of his Gospel account. Again, it is the message and commands that he records that are important not when he wrote, if he came before or after Mark or John or even who he used as His sources. He had the Holy Spirit helping him thus he would not be using false resources and would not be led to lies.

The order of authorship is just a scholarly exercise and a waste of time. People need to focus on the words written not when they were penned.

“Most general Bible readers have the mistaken impression that Matthew, the opening book of the New Testament, must be our first and earliest Gospel, with Mark, Luke, and John following.”

Fifth, They want you to believe that each gospel must say the exact same things or they are not authentic or written by the men who have their names in the title of each book. Why should God be redundant to please a bunch of secular scholars? That isn’t His purpose in writing the Gospels., there are other subject matters that need to be dealt with.

if God had each writer pen the exact same words, then these scholars and the secular world would charge God with recopying one book. God can’t win with the unbelieving world. They will find charges to aid in their disbelief no matter how God writes His word.

What good would come of having the exact same stories written in the exact same style and words? Nothing. People would become bored with the Gospels and turn them off declining to study them as they say the same thing.

Mark does not have to have a virgin birth story because it was done by Matthew and Luke. He had other things to address. Believers are to have faith that God keeps His promises and that He will preserve His words for all to read. That includes keeping the last half of Mark 16 in the Bible. I know of no divine command given to any man that states it should be removed.  Just because some scholars do not like the fact that it is not found in every ms. doesn’t mean it should be removed. We do not confuse secular ideas with divine guidance.

God placed two warnings in the Bible about adding and subtracting His words thus we should be very cautious when dealing with the Biblical words. We know it has been done before and is being done now but that doesn’t grant permission for believers to remove a passage of scripture.

I also have not read where God said to use inclusion in ancient mss. as criteria for what He said. We believers have to be careful not to construct false criteria for calling some biblical words authentic and others forgeries. The Holy Spirit will help greatly with this problem, as He knows what was written and included in the originals thus we need to rely on him more and less on secular scholars & textual criticisms.

ms. = manuscript

mss. = manuscripts

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in theology

 
 
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