I Wonder…

…if you get as tired of the alternative holders’ rhetoric as I do?  These are people who claim to be Christian yet have a mouth (or keyboard fingers) on them worse than a merchant marine sailor.

I have been involved in discussions over the years with all types of people and those who claim to be Christian (I am talking about those who hold to a Christianized version of evolution) somehow ignore everything the Bible teaches about treating others.

Allow me to provide a few examples. The following is from a discussion over at Formerly Fundie, but be warned if you try to look for it you may have to go through over 340 other comments. I will not put the whole comment up  but just highlight a few.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/creationist-ken-ham-vs-bill-nye-the-science-guy-why-im-forced-to-root-against-creationism/#comment-1224114239

Creationists are, of course, the ones who so often in their rhetoric are delusionally trying… relying on a religious myth that is factually false and arbitrarily ignoring… audacity to pretend…What a joke…common fallacy…engage in the dishonesty… believing in their false beliefs…making utterly vacuous argument… flagrantly denying reality…

Then over at Exploring Our Matrix, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/01/the-creationist-agenda.html we have the following,

If your church is anti-science, you don’t only look anti-modern, you look stupid.... they have to pretend…and their ilk,

I think you get the picture and these words are not as extreme as some of the ones I have had to deal with. If the alternative theories had anything of God in them, one would expect that their adherents would follow Christian teaching and Jesus. Sometimes I see these people using their alternative beliefs to allow them to ignore what the Bible teaches in order to purposefully do personal attacks, insult those who disagree with them, be abusive, be a bully and a whole lot more.

Here are some of the NT teachings that these people throw to the wayside in their haste to browbeat those who decided to stick with Christ and the Bible:

#1. Luke 6:31
Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

#2. John 8:7

But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

#3. Gal. 5

14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

#4. Eph. 4

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, [m]excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart

22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old [p]self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new [q]self, which [r]in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

#5. Phil. 4

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [e]lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [f]dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

#6. Col. 3

Therefore [b]consider the members of your earthly body as dead to [c]immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which [d]amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come [e]upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living [f]in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. [g]Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old [h]self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being [i]renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—

Now I am not perfect and have insulted others in my discussions but I do learn from the mistakes and switch to a better way to address others. We will all make mistakes but in the alternative holding world, they do not do that as those people become more abusive, more bullying and more vulgar when they see that the other person is not going to abandon their faith for the lies of secular science or alternative beliefs.

It is not easy to  resist the temptation to return in kind but it is a better way to do things. ‘Turning the other cheek’ is a smart thing to do in discussions because it does give you an edge, you are practicing what you believe and not undermining your argument with hypocrisy.

I certain get tired of dealing with the same abusive rhetoric day in and day out and am pulling the plug on the discussion forum this website has because of it. I am not getting discussion but the same old anti-Bible hatred and it gets old after a while.

I dislike it when atheists and alternative theory holding people demand evidence and when you present evidence they simply dismiss it without consideration or using an objective open-mind. Then they claim you never presented evidence, all the while what they present for their side is pure conjecture and claim it as real evidence.

But allow me to exhort you to implement NT teaching into your discussions. We believers do not have to resort to bullying, abusive behavior, lies, personal attacks, insults and so on to get people to believe what we believe. We simply need to do as Jesus did and present the truth and let the other side make their decision.

That method saves a believer a lot of stress and a lot of worry. Stick to the truth because

2 Corinthians 13:8

For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.

 

The unbelieving world cannot defeat the truth.

Much To Talk About- 29

Since I have the day off, I thought it wise to deal with more issues being raised by those who do not believe the Bible. I had trouble putting a title to this one as I wanted to use questions for people to think about but I do not think I would be able to be consistent and carry the questions throughout.

There will be questions with no answers because you need to think about these issues and see for yourself how far the unbelieving world goes in violating their own rules to avoid the truth.

#1. Pottery Inscription: http://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/keith-whitelam-on-the-jerusalem-ostracon/

Even though this is linked to a West article, it is not about West. It is about the words Keith Whitelam used and were quoted by West.

It is one more example of the way in which biblical archaeology tries to incorporate even the smallest of finds into its network of interpretations in order to establish ‘facts on the ground’.

I believe it was last year that I asked Chris Rollston the question, ‘When does a Hebrew inscription mean a Hebrew Inscription?’ It was asked after reading his article turning a Hebrew Inscription into a writing from another language.

So now I get to rephrase it and ask Mr. Whitelam, when is biblical evidence biblical evidence? If biblical evidence is not evidence for biblical people or events then why is anyone trying to dig in the Holy Land?

Basically, that quote is an example of hypocrisy and a double standard in action. Unbelieving scholars and archaeologist do the exact same thing as Galil does for their theories and evidence against the biblical record yet they think it is okay for them to do it but not for Bible believers.

Now I may not go as far as Galil did and say it proves King Solomon existed, because one, I already know that he did and two, there is no real way to connect that inscription to Solomon. I do agree with Galil that it does prove a level of literacy in the ancient world and if the translation is correct it does tell us that the ancients were able to determine the difference in qualities of wine, among other products.

Of course, I am only going on what I have read in that linked post and would need more information before going any further. The other part that demonstrates the same hypocrisy and double standard on the part of unbelievers is found in the following words:

the claims that have made for the significance of this find, even by the standards of the extravagant claims of biblical archaeology, are a string of mind boggling assumptions

Obviously he hasn’t read many unbelieving archaeologists’ works or theories, not to mention evolutionary ideas.

#2. The Christian Response?: http://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/from-the-total-depravity-file-the-case-of-larry-brinkin/

What a despicable person.  His sentence is insufficient.  Indeed, it is far too inadequate.

Though I agree the man did very wrong and sinful acts I can’t bring myself to be as judgmental and condemning as West does. Whenever children are involved in a crime, whether as victim or violator, people lose all sense of justice, fairness, mercy and they forget the other biblical teachings that guide us in these matters.

Where is the call to prayer for this man? Where are the people working to get him to repent of his sins? Where are the calls to forgive and to remove the beams from out own eyes before we cast judgment?  Last I looked, child pornography was not the unforgivable sin yet many people act like it was. Last I looked, none of us are perfect and sinless, though we may not commit such crimes, our sin disqualifies us from being judge jury and executioner of others.

We need to approach all sins and crimes biblically, bring justice for if Christians do not do it, who will? And if justice is perverted in one case then no one has justice. Yes we need to protect the innocent but we do not sin in the process.

#3. Ancient Aliens: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paula-froelich/proof-of-ancient-aliens-i_b_4682168.html?utm_hp_ref=arts&ir=Arts

One of the most amazing, inspiring museums a lot of people will (sadly) never get to visit is the National Museum Of Iraq in Baghdad.

It has collections that include art and artifacts from ancient Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Chaldean civilizations – collections that put the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre to shame. And, despite being looted in 2003, it also has the Nimrud gold collection–which features gold jewelry and figures of precious stone that date to the 9th century BCE–and the collection of stone carvings and cuneiform tablets from Uruk that date back to 3500 and 3000 BCE.

Basically, there’s some old, ancient shizz in there. And amongst the old, ancient art are some jars with some really weird, unexplained figures on them…Because, If this ain’t proof of aliens, I don’t know what is.

Two things: First, this article is evidence to support the argument that unqualified people should not interpret ancient artifacts; Second, She doesn’t know what proof is for ancient aliens. For all we know the potter may have been a bad artist or just having a bad day or yet, the clay just wouldn’t work the way it should have.

There are many more legitimate reasons for the face on that pot than leaping immediately to ancient aliens. For all we know, modern art made its debut 3,000 years ago. Or it is just a fad. Better still, maybe Picasso wasn’t an innovator after all.

One thing we do know is that art is a very subjective and creative field which has a host of reasons why figures are depicted in the manner that they are. We can’t limit an ancient artist’s intent to one modern wing-nut theory just because it is a popular idea today.

#4. Worldview: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/01/clean-up-after-your-worldview.html

Cookies and worldviews crumble. That yours does so is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Really, does this mean that McGrath thinks his will not crumble and be the last ‘worldview’ standing?  Actually, I have come to detest the word ‘worldview.’ I do not even know what it really means or how it is applied.

I have an idea that the word is being used to mean that there is no such thing as a right or wrong belief, but it is hard to say. People have so many distorted definitions of words to choose from in order to present their alternative ideas.

It is a nice hiding place for those wishing to avoid the truth, though. I can hear it now–“well, that is your worldview, mine is different.” One thing I know is that the word is not new and have heard it in some movie or television show or documentary from the 50s or 60s approx.

To let you know, Christianity isn’t a world view. It is a personal belief that has implications for the whole world. It sheds the light on false religious beliefs and worldviews so people can see their error and know what is the truth.

Don’t get caught up in modern jargon because you might end up confused and lose sight of your purpose as a believer in Jesus.

#5. The Bible and Science: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/01/father-george-coyne-on-the-bible-and-science.html

I really wish McGrath would stop putting quotes inside images because I do this either early in the morning or late at night and it is easy to make a mistake when quoting manually.

The Christian Scriptures were written between 3600 and 1400 years before the development of modern science. How in the world could there be any science in the Bible? There cannot be. The Bible is not teaching science.

Modern scientific evolutionary is the best explanation we have of the origin of the universe and all life…

Really? SO why is the man working as a representative of God then? Obviously, he is wrong on the best explanation for origins and he needs to resign from representing God to the world. He is now representing secular science and telling people God is wrong.

Who would want to believe in a God that is proven wrong by sinful, deceived, fallible unbelieving mortal man? Who would want to represent such a god?

The best explanation for origins is Genesis 1 because it is the truth.

#6. Parenting: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/01/a-new-commandment.html

We recently talked here about the suggestion that the ten commandments were a missed opportunity to mention other important things. And so I thought this proposed new commandment was worth sharing.

The author of that new ‘command’ seems to forget that God did tell parents how to raise their children

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.Prov. 22:6

God has given parents some latitude to raise their children but he does not give permission for others to force their ways upon parents. Parents are being told here they have freedom in child rearing, after all free choice applies to parenting just as it does to origins and religious beliefs.

What God is not doing is giving permission to train children to sin or be evil and there are many other passages of scripture guiding parents on what to do when it comes to parenting. The author of that quote does not have that authority nor does he or she get to say what is or isn’t thinking.

Just because some people do not accept or agree with the Bible doesn’t mean that those who do are not thinking or being told hat to think. Of course, you realize that evolutionists are violating that quoted precept by gaining a monopoly upon the science classroom and forcing their evolutionary ways upon vulnerable students.

#7. Clean/Unclean: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/01/something-in-the-flood-story-isnt-kosher.html

One that was drawn to my attention recently is the mention of kosher or clean animals in the flood story in Genesis. Genesis 7:2 is the first reference to clean animals, and it is made without explanation. The author and readers take it for granted to such an extent that they don’t even notice that a detail is being introduced into the story that required explanation – for Noah, if not for them.

If we didn’t know that notions of clean and unclean food predate the flood story in its present form, we might consider the Book of Leviticus to be what in television is known as “retconning” – something introduced later in a series to address an earlier discrepancy or puzzle.

But that still wouldn’t solve the problem. Noah didn’t have access to that book.

And so presumably at some point someone will need to introduce a time travel plot twist to finally explain how Noah could know what animals were kosher.

This is an example of finding some minute point to distort and build into a mountain in an act of desperation to justify one’s rejection of the biblical record. Just because God doesn’t record knowing being told about clean and unclean animals doesn’t mean Noah didn’t know about God’s rules on eating.

We do know that Noah was a righteous man but how was he righteous if he did not know God’s rules? We have no record of God providing laws previous to Moses YET the world was punished for sinning with a global flood. How could God do that if the people were not apprised of God’s rules somewhere in the past?

Then how could God judge and punish Cain for murder if Cain was not aware of God’s rules about taking a life or that murder was actually wrong? Contrary to evolutionary thinking, the animals didn’t tell them, nor did we inherit a sense of morality from the animal kingdom.

The only rule we know that God gave to Adam and Eve was:

16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [n]eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2 NASB)

Then later after the fall we read

25 Adam [o]had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him [p]Seth, for, she said, “God [q]has appointed me another [r]offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call [s]upon the name of the Lord.

If they called upon the name of the Lord, God must have instructed them at some point as to right and wrong including dietary habits. God does not have to mention every little thing he did in order for it to have taken place. Sometimes we do get to use our common sense and see what is important to include in scripture and what is not important.

Mosaic law was not copied from Hammurabi or any other ancient law code. It is the latter than copied from God because God had laid down the rules from the beginning.

#8. Cheering Against God: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/01/bill-nye-vs-ken-ham-giving-credibility-to-nonsense-or-walking-into-an-apologetic-war-machine/

Bill Nye will be debating Ken Ham in a week’s time–inexplicably, on Ham’s home turf, where he controls the terms and the crowd.

Nye is either going to get destroyed by Ken Ham or at least grow extremely frustrated with Ham’s tactics.

I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not (unless I am, but we’ll need to wait and see).

Of course, Peter Enns doesn’t see it that way as he puts this debate on a human level and he is not the only person to have this attitude. There is a thread over at Formerly Fundie that does the same thing

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/creationist-ken-ham-vs-bill-nye-the-science-guy-why-im-forced-to-root-against-creationism/#comment-1222181505

Now no one thinks that Ken Ham is God but he is representing God’s word and on God’s side thus in effect, cheering against Ham is equal to cheering against God. Why? Because people are choosing to root for a lie over the truth.

The question is Why would people who claim to be Christian root for a deceived, sinful, fallible unbelieving mortal man over the Most High God who is holy, sinless, undeceived,infallible and immortal?

It does not make sense especially when they make false accusations against God’s representative

Ham can’t and won’t give one square inch on his science because if he does his finely tuned worldview will crumble to the ground–a worldview that includes deeply held (and erroneous) views of God and the Bible.

There is that word ‘worldview’ again and it means absolutely nothing here except to make creation human instead of divine. Notice that Enns does not elaborate on those erroneous held views of God and the Bible. He can’t because he holds them himself.  Plus Ham can’t change his science because it is being built upon the foundation of truth not the lies of secular science.

The truth doesn’t change this is why we do not see Genesis 1 being altered by God over the centuries. The only thing that changes are lies and eventually, the person holding to lies has to change to the truth, . Many people love secular science because it changes, well that should tell them that secular science doesn’t have the answer and needs to keep changing when proven to be supporting lies.

What makes that view wrong is that many people die without hearing the truth. Secular science robs them of that benefit.

Ham is not capable of true debate, and his views are not worth debating to begin with.

So much for open-mindedness and objectivity on the part of those who do not believe God. The unbeliever demands that the believer be open-minded and objective when listening to the secular viewpoint but the unbeliever rarely returns the favor.

I do not always agree with Ken Ham on his views or actions and he does and says things that may not be the smartest thing to do or say. Sometimes I challenge his views as I do not see some of them as biblical but that disagreement does not make Ken Ham wrong nor does it invalidate a young Earth creation. It also doesn’t mean that evolutionists are correct. Evolutionists of any variety are not correct at all.

All it means is that Ken Ham doesn’t have all the answers yet. I don’t have all the answers yet that is why there are so many of us out there proclaiming the truth, we need each other to make sure we do not get too prideful and fall. When there is disagreement that does not mean that there is a schism in the faith, it just means we may not have the correct answer as God ha snot revealed it yet.

One thing is for sure, when creationists disagree that does not open the door for OEC or evolutionary ideas. It means we look to God for the answer not secular science or deceived people.

Rooting against God is not a smart thing to do. It makes the person rooting for evil  an enemy of God. That is not a good position to be in whether one claims to be a Christian or not.

So pray for Ken Ham and the debate. Ask God to make sure Ham speaks the truth and that that truth will reach many an unbelieving ear, changing them to believing ones.

Q, A Postscript

Joel Watts has decided to enter the conversation about Q and has added his thoughts to the discussion.

http://unsettledchristianity.com/2014/01/before-you-go-on-in-the-q-discussion-on-dispensing-with-q/

It is the illogical thinking that draws me to this post, which you can see in the following quote:

Q does not, in my opinion, qualify itself with the literary innovations and structures of the time. Further, as I pointed out in my book, Matthew would need no other literary source related to Jesus but Mark.

The question is, why would Matthew need Mark at all? Why would an eye-witness need to go to a book written by a person who did not know Christ, was not an eye-witness to the events and only learned about them at the feet of an eye-witness?

Matthew was an eye-witness  and a disciple of Jesus, he had first-hand knowledge of all the events in his book; then he had 11 other disciples to go to first if he was hazy on a detail or two. So we must ask why he would think of using Mark to help him write his book?

We do not even know if he owned or had access to a copy of Mark’s work so how can anyone assume Matthew used it? We do not even know if they were in the same country when either were written, thus it is impossible to say that Matthew relied upon Mark.

If anything, Mark could have relied upon Matthew but the same questions apply. The same questions also apply to the supposed Q document. Trying to make the Gospels, or any biblical book, a human effort fails in logic and any other type of rational reasoning. The explanations to support such thinking just do not make sense.

Watts continues interjecting his opinion in another post on Q

http://unsettledchristianity.com/2014/01/farrer-goulder-goodacre-theory-is-a-better-methodology/

And I am going to take issue with some of the things he says

#1. It suggests that Matthew and Luke used several sources because their verbiage, when they are in agreement, doesn’t fully agree.

Different wording is not evidence of copying and changing a few words. It is evidence that two different people wrote the two different books using their own words to describe the same event but it does not make one the source of the other nor does it mean that they had the same literary source.

#2. For instance, Matthew could have easily taken Matthew 6.9-15 directly from various parts of Mark. While Sanders and others would allow for undefined sources,

I have briefly dealt with this above but one of the key points that is ignored is that while some scholars suggest certain dates for the penning of each Gospel, the reality is, we do not know exactly when each was written.

For all we know, Matthew wrote his first and Mark used it to help him recall certain events that Peter told him about.  In any case, I believe the Holy Spirit guided each Gospel writer and a need for ‘human’ sources beyond the disciples was unnecessary.

We are also not privy to how the Holy Spirit worked in guiding the biblical writers and only have to references to that work-one from Paul and the other from Peter These references remind us that humans did not author the Bible.

#3. We can discuss, using the same methodology, how John used Mark and Luke as his primary sources if you would like, but I’m afraid that may bog us down at the moment.

The same questions I asked above apply here as well. The other question is, why do scholars have this need for biblical authors to have human sources for their works? John was supposedly in exile, would he have access to the other gospels?

The human factor just doesn’t make any sense but then most scholars want the Bible to be a human book so that they can ignore much of what it teaches. Of course, you also realize that people like Watts and modern scholars cannot verify one thing they say.

They have nothing but their own opinions to fall back upon and that is not enough to say who copied whom.

‘Q’ Revisited

The bloggers are talking about a new poll over at the Jesus Blog which contains a simple question. “Do you Q?” You can answer it at the following link

http://historicaljesusresearch.blogspot.kr/2014/01/do-you-go-in-for-some-variation-of.html

So far 53% of those who responded answered in the affirmative. I did not join that group. Jim West was more of a bully about it

http://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/i-voted-yes-and-you-should-too/

Mark Goodacre posted a good article on the topic

http://ntweblog.blogspot.kr/2014/01/q-or-not-q-is-there-any-shift.html

I certainly feel much less lonely than I did fifteen or twenty years or so ago when it was automatically assumed in the USA that anyone who denied the existence of Q must also, of necessity, deny the existence of Marcan Priority too.  Indeed, Q sceptics probably thought the earth was flat too, and that Elvis was still alive.  I well remember Stephen Patterson describing the view as even more obscure than Griesbach.

He also wrote an earlier post on the topic

http://ntweblog.blogspot.kr/2007/06/synoptic-problem-poll-some-reflections.html

I do not recall but one of my reasons for rejecting Q probably came from him. The document Q has never been attested to anywhere in ancient writings. The Church Fathers do not refer to it nor does anyone else which is a big barrier to overcome.

Nor does Polycarp mention it and his friendship with the apostle John  would make him the most likely person of all to know about source material for the Gospels. No one in the ancient world speaks of source material for the gospel writers.

The structure of the criteria for entry into the one volume Bible being constructed would cast some light on source material but the main point for inclusion seems to limit the sources to the apostles themselves. The criteria are:

Basically, the early church had three criteria, he said. First, the books must have apostolic authority–that is, they must have been written by apostles themselves, who were eyewitnesses to what they wrote about, or by followers of apostles…

second, there was the criterion of conformity to what was called the rule of faith. That is, was the document congruent with the basic Christian tradition that the church recognized as normative?

And third, there was the criterion of whether a document had had continuous acceptance and usage by the church at large. (The Case For Christ, by Lee Strobel, pg. 66)

If Q was the source for the gospels and it met those 3 conditions, why not use it instead of one of the others? Why let Q, if it ever existed, disappear from history? It would have been valuable eye-witness evidence.

Obviously, if it existed, Q did not meet any of the above three criteria and is ruled out as a source for the gospel writers. After all, why would Matthew need a source when he was an eye-witness to the events he wrote about?

Mark had Peter to get his information from and possibly the other disciples as well so he would not need an external source to help him write his book. The only possible person who may have needed source material would be Luke, who states up front that he investigated before writing

1Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things [a]accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning [b]were eyewitnesses and [c]servants of the [d]word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having [e]investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [f]taught. (Luke 1 NASB)

The things we do not know about Luke are most germane to his authorship. If he was a disciple, why would he need to investigate everything? He would have been an eye-witness to what he wrote about.  If he was too young, then he would need to investigate but why would he go to a book that wasn’t written by the disciples to get his information?

Q has no apostolic pedigree even if it had existed so its information would not have been eye-witness material. After all, Luke had the Apostles to talk to, he had Mary, Jesus’ mother and his siblings to talk to. Plus he would have a myriad of eye-witnesses to bits and pieces of Jesus life to go to for information so in reality he would not need a source book like Q.

In his book, A Case For Christ, Lee Strobel interviewed different legitimate scholars to obtain his material, which is why I have no problem with quoting from his work. In 2 separate interviews, one with Craig Blomberg and the other with Gregory Boyd, he asks about Q and they both gave him the same answer, independent of each other

It is nothing more than a hypothesis…(Pgs. 26 & 122)

That is the key. Certain scholars who saw similar material in the gospels came up with the idea that the gospel writers had to have used the same source material. They were not satisfied with the writers being eye-witnesses or students of eye-witnesses, they had to conjure up a book instead.

I say conjure up because , if you recall I said it was not attested to anywhere in any ancient writers’ works. It also did not leave a manuscript trail or any other evidence one would expect to find when one refers to an ancient work. Basically the scholars pulled it out of thin air and declared it to be the source. Here is their premise

Throughout the nineteenth century, the study of Q was facilitated by a cluster of factors that succeeded in accrediting Q as the most viable solution to the so-called synoptic problem: How is it that Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell much of the same story in much the same order, whereas John has a completely different procedure? Answer: Matthew and John used the same two sources, Mark and a no-longer-extant collection of sayings, commonly called Q. (The Sayings Gospel of Q in English and Greek by James Robinson, Paul Hoffmann & John Kloppenborg, pg. 11)

It is far-fetched for as has been said, the book never existed. These authors also admit to they non-existence of Q:

Now Q need no longer remain purely hypothetical, a mere postulate lurking unattainably behind Matthew and Luke. The result in more recent times has been a multiplication of reconstructions of the Greek text of Q, in whole or in part. The Sayings Gospel Q presented here in Greek and English is based on the collaboration of a team of scholars who, since 1985, have been working together as the International Q Project. (Ibid pg. 12)

So scholars are trying to reconstruct a book that has never existed. Of course, they can put any scripture they want into that supposed volume because there is no way to verify if they got it correct. They are basically constructing a non-existent book and claiming that is the actual source of Matthew and Luke.

This is the way it is with unbelieving scholars and they actually trap believing scholars into this mess because it is work done under the scholastic and academic umbrella.

To sum up, Q is like the theory of evolution. It does not exist and never has but enough people have bought into it because it gives them an alternative to the truth and they get to make the rules and decide its content. They do not have to rely upon God for anything.

The Gospel writers did not need a source book. John and Matthew were apostles who lived with and heard Jesus on a daily basis. Mark and Luke had access to and learnt at the feet of the eye-witnesses.

If they are similar then that is because they are talking about the same stories in the order that they may have taken place. They were not using the same source. Why God had them do that is a question for another day. The important thing to remember is that Q has never existed and it was never used as a source by the Gospel writers.

Plus, the theory of Q comes from deceived unbelievers not men of God.

Much To Talk About- 28

Since there are no classes right now, I have lots of time on my hand. Most of it has been used to add new pages to the sister website http://www.dakotascba.com . Today, there will be an extra post here because there is a lot to talk about. Some of the points below will come from the comment section made in some discussions I have been involved with over at the Formerly Fundie website.

#1. Theologians, Biologists and geologists: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/christian-outsiders/#comment-1219179654

Young-earth creationism has almost as little standing among theologians as it does among biologists and geologists.

End times “theology” was not regarded as anything to be taken seriously among all but a few far-out sects until quite recently. It’s current “respectability” has less to do with theology than it does with marketing.

If you want to be an effective witness for your faith, I suggest learning it’s history, some outside-of-your-bubble facts, and taking a more reasonable tone. Right now, you’re one of the least-convincing examples of the good in Christianity that I’ve ever read.

It really doesn’t matter how high a regard theologians, biologists and geologists (among other scientists) have for YEC or even creation. Choices like this are not dependent upon their view of what God has said.

Those people have made their choice and one really needs to not let their unbelief influence their decisions. You have to make your own choice. Theologians, geologist biologists and so on, make mistakes, choose what appeals to them and their opinions are not inspired or infallible.

They hold no greater ability than you do in choice making and their opinion is not better than yours. If you want to be an effective witness for God, then you side with God and keep to the truth. Telling people what they want to hear is not being a ‘good witness’ it is merely appeasing those who do not want to believe.

We do not have to obtain a 100% repentance record with everyone we talk to. It is okay for people to reject the truth because that is their choice not yours. As long as you obey God and tell others what he wants you to say, you are fine.

#2. Observable Evidence: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/creationist-ken-ham-vs-bill-nye-the-science-guy-why-im-forced-to-root-against-creationism/#comment-1218660490

But if that’s your argument, for a scientist, you have a remarkable disregard for observable evidence.

Observable evidence is very vulnerable to the beliefs or unbelief of the person doing the observing. But it always amazing me how those pro-secular science people fail to do any critical thinking on their own principles.

They appeal to ‘observable evidence’ like it is some infallible act yet refuse to consider that the results seen from those observations were attributed to a source and no evidence was presented that the attributed source was responsible for those results.

How these actions are used to justify a theory are amazing scientific gymnastics. If a fruit fly develops a new wing, it is automatically declared observable evidence for evolution. Regardless of the fact that in 40,000 generations or so, evolutionists have produced nothing but fruit flies.

If evolutionists want to demonstrate that evolution is true then they need to start at square one with the original life form, the original conditions, the original environment and without interfering with the process (including halting injections of any foreign substance not present at the time).

Observing a chemical reaction or a malfunction in the operation of the genetic code is not proving evolution true or that it exists. It just proves that the scientist will have blind faith in his theory and science and refuses to consider other possibilities for the results.

#3. Biblical Conflict: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/christian-outsiders/#comment-1219349808

Genesis 1 conflicts with Genesis 2

The simple answer is no it doesn’t. Chapter 2 is just providing more details that Chapter 1 could not. But unbelievers do not accept the simple answer thus they need to re-define what the word ‘conflicts’ means in order to make their point.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conflict

You can read the definition there and when you compare Chapters 1 with 2 you will see that nothing is in conflict . God still created humans and the animals, but chapter 2 was just more specific about the actions God took. Genesis 1 is just a general overview of creation and with general overviews details are left out.

Now if Chapter 2 had said animals were not created by God but a process was used then that would be a conflict with Chapter 1.  Those that do not want to accept creation love to make up these non-existent problem using minute details as their source and forgetting that they are not allowing God to do the same thing as some humans do when they are explaining their work or project, etc.

That argument is an appeal to the absurd and is only used to excuse the unbelievers rejection of the truth.

#4. Abortion & The Bible: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/01/abortion-and-the-bible.html

It is common for people to think that the Bible contains clear teaching about abortion…Yet the irony is that there is no unambiguous mention of abortion at all…

This is another argument from the absurd. Just because the Bible does not use the word ‘abortion’ does it mean that there is no unambiguous teaching against it. The commandment, ‘thou shalt not kill’ is quite unambiguous.

A person who has an abortion is killing, I do not care what people declare the status of the fetus to be. One is still killing and the Bible is very clear on this point. The Bible talks a lot about killing and how doing it to another person is murder, so how McGrath gets the idea that the Bible is silent about abortion, is a mystery.

#5. Millstone & YEC: http://steve.rogueleaf.com/2014/01/26/drowning-from-young-earth-creationism/?fb_action_ids=10151838586875670&fb_action_types=news.publishes&fb_ref=pub-standard&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=[265822080247275]&action_type_map=[%22news.publishes%22]&action_ref_map=[%22pub-standard%22]

This is actually a new argument used by OEC adherents on YEC people. I have used it many times against the OEC people as they are actually turning people away from God and Christ by their teaching that secular science and people are right and God is wrong.

YEC people are actually trying to get or keep people believing in God and the truth so the verse is being mis-used by OEC people. In looking at the 4 results posted there one wonders how honest were the questions asked .

Christians are too confident they know all the answers.” (35%)

No, we should be confident that God knows all the answers. Science certainly doesn’t.

Churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in.” (29%)

Actually, science is out of step with God and the world he created.

Christianity is anti-science.” (25%)

No, Christianity is anti the lies told by science and evolution is a big lie.

[I have] been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.” (23%)

Is it that believers proclaim God’s word to be true that is turning people off of creation or is it their listening to the lies of the unbeliever that is doing the trick? Don’t blame creationists for things they are not doing. If the OEC/evolutionary crowd are trying to convince young believers of their theories then it is the OEC/evolutionary crowd turning their faith from Jesus to evil not the creationist.

The twisted millstone argument falls short because it automatically accuses and condemns the creationist without real evidence. When one looks deeper into the arguments and situation we see that the reverse is true and that the creationist is being falsely accused.

#6. Intelligent Design: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/01/responding-to-intelligent-design.html

The point is a simple one: Either God can create a universe that can organize itself, in which case the claim of ID fails; or God cannot create such a universe, in which case the proponent of ID ought to be asked to explain why they view God as limited in this way.

I am not a fan of the Intelligent Design movement simply for the reason that they allow for alternatives to God’s word and to God himself. The are like the compromiser of the debate. They seem to have the  ‘we want to believe God but…’ type of mentality.

McGrath’s trap is misguided though. He ignores something very important in his haste to trap people and get them to doubt God and his word. He does an either or situation in that quote forgetting that creation wasn’t an either/or problem for God.

Yes God could create a self-organizing universe and inhabitants. He has that power to do so BUT he CHOSE not to do it that way. God has free choice as we do, and if you study the words ‘in our image’ you will see it is not physical appearance he is talking about.

He has free choice, so do we. He has emotions, so do we. He has intelligence, so do we an don it goes. God chose to create in 7 24 hour days because it suited his purpose for his creation. He was not limited to that method, it was just one of a myriad of options available to him.

McGrath fails in his trickery as he fails to see who God is and what he possesses.

#7. Bodily Functions: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/01/ark-poop-problem.html

I would have used Scott Bailey’s website link but he did not have the commentary to go with the cartoon.

It is not enough to say that you believe a story in the Bible to be literally true and historically factual. If that story, treated as history or science, has implications, then you are saying that you take those things as literally factual as well. You cannot just say “I believe the Bible” when it comes to the flood story and not explain how they had fresh water, why if they took water with them it did not sink the ark, what they did about the humans and animals on board relieving themselves, and everything else that goes along with approaching the story in that way.

McGrath’s words tells us that he thinks God is very incompetent and wouldn’t have thought of these problems or made arrangements to solve them. Here again, like Genesis 1 and 2, we are missing some specifics so the unbeliever takes this as a sign that the story is not true.

Well, if God provided all the details of what he did, the Bible would be so thick and boring no one would read it. God does leave things up to the common sense he provided us.

Instead of thinking God is worse than a nerd in a mechanics shop, McGrath should have used his head a little. A couple of years ago I met a vegetarian and he was telling me about his diet. The result of his diet, he said, was that it meant he did not poop a lot thus since God knew what a wrong diet would do on the ark, I am sure he had Noah gather the right food to limit this expenditure.

It is arrogant to demand of God that he write down everything he did and allow humans to go over and approve the list. That is raising humans to be above God and that i sot a smart sin to commit.

Sometimes we just have to have faith like a little child and know that God took care of such details and we didn’t need to know about them. Having faith in God is not criticizing him for omitting certain details, but knowing that God thought of it all and took appropriate action.

14 Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall [j]cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred [k]cubits, its breadth fifty [l]cubits, and its height thirty [m]cubits. 16 You shall make a [n]window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from [o]the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. (Gen. 6 NASB)

Those are God’s instructions to Noah. With rooms and three decks one can safely conclude that God had Noah use some of those rooms and decks for waste products. After all, God already knew that Noah, his family and the animals would be in the ark for 1 year.

19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. (Gen. 6 NASB)

Notice that God did not say ‘gather EVERY animal’ by two but rather God said ‘gather two of EACH KIND.’ The amount of animals on the ark were not as many as unbelievers claim. This small amount of animals cuts down on the amount of waste product Noah had to deal with.

21 As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” 22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did. (Gen. 6 NASB)

Notice God only says to collect food, so where McGrath got the idea that Noah placed a year’s supply of water on board is beyond anyone’s guess. Rain water is fresh water so God could have had Noah build ballast tanks to hold the water as it came down over the forty days.

I do not know the details concerning water but I do know that McGrath doesn’t know what he is talking about here. It would take a large amount of water to sink the ark and a year’s supply isn’t that large, especially if the animals were all young pups. People do not need 8 glasses of water a day to survive, so McGrath is off in his estimates.

That should do it for today. This Thursday to Sunday is the big lunar holiday so I do not know how consistent I will be in posting here. I may take a couple of days to stock up on things to talk about.