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Category Archives: creation

Peter Enns & Genesis

You can read his full article at the following link. We are only going to address those statements that are interesting and need to be addressed.

https://peteenns.com/blog-post-ask-4-questions-christianity-evolution/

I recently sat down with myself to ask myself some questions that keep coming up
every
single
time

I post anything on evolution.

It is these questions and some of his comments that we will look at here. Strange that he never comes to a different answer than that science trumps God.

#1. why do you think evolution is true?

I believe that evolution is one of the things that science has gotten right, along with many other things we take for granted every day, because this is the resounding conclusion of the scientific community, including Christians trained in the sciences.

We will have to ask a couple of questions that have not been answered by anyone. First, where in the Bible do both God and Jesus say to take science over their words?  They don’t but that doesn’t seem to stop some people from doing it anyways.

Second, who is the scientific community and what authority do they have that they can say God is wrong? Of course, most people siding with science try to make the Bible a human-authored book. This way, in their minds, they are not attacking God but subjective human thinking. Unfortunately for them The Bible is not a human authored work.

We disagree. Science has not got evolution correct. In fact, they change their minds so much about that theory that the theory is useless to anyone. The fact that evolution has never existed seems to escape the mind of Mr. Enns. Another fact that seems to escape Mr. Enns is that the scientific community is made up of unbelievers, the very people Jesus described as lost, blind and deceived. So how can they get our origins right when they do not have the truth or the SPirit of truth helping them

Without actually being trained in the sciences, it would be rather stupid and arrogant of me to feel I have something to say that would sweep all that away.

It is not arrogance to sweep away the lies produced by the scientific community with the truth of God.

#2.But what about the Bible? Doesn’t Genesis have something to say about all this?

Simply put, no—not in the sense that Genesis is a competing “data set” to scientific models of cosmic and human origins.

Uhm, Mr. Enns, the correct answer is — yes. Genesis has a lot to say about our origins. Especially since our origins was not done in a scientific manner. It is science that has no say about our origins. Creation was a one-time supernatural act that was conducted by a supernatural being with all supernatural power. Science cannot comprehend that fact. What science describes is an unverifiable and unprovable alternative created by people who do not believe God and want nothing to do with him or have him part of their scientific work. How can they know more than God?

The stories in Genesis were written somewhere between 2500 and 3000 years ago, and clearly reflect cultural categories older still.

This is absolutely not true. The quoted idea comes from those scholars who do not believe the Bible or that anything prior to Omri actually took place. Usually these scholars are called Minimalists. They throw out most of the OT because they claim that there is no evidence. When shown evidence, they will close their eyes and state that the events did not happen or try to undermine the evidence in some way.

The Bible was not written as Mr. Enns claims. Most of the OT was written prior to the 5th to 7th centuries BC. Then the OT is not an adaption of other civilizations cultural works or beliefs. That would eliminate God, his supernatural status and power. It would also end salvation as we know it and have billions of people running around looking for God and his divine instructions.

Mr. Enns has no idea what his thoughts do or what problems they cause for himself and everyone.

I don’t expect Genesis or any other Bronze or Iron Age text to answer the kinds of questions we can answer today through calculus, optical and radio telescopes, genomics, biological and cultural anthropology.

Briefly, Mr. Enns does not realize it but those research fields, etc., do not answer any of our questions like Genesis does. They usually bring more questions.

#3. But aren’t you forgetting that the Bible is the very word of God? Why are you assuming that science trumps the Bible?

I’m neither forgetting nor assuming anything, nor am I unconsciously enslaved to some deeply held anti-God presupposition.

Rather, I have come to conclusions about these matters.

They are erroneous conclusions which he refuses to change when shown to be in error. We have tried before. Mr. Enns needs to answer the question, how does he think that fallible humans who use only partial evidence can come to the truth over the God who was there, did the did and has all the evidence?

The Bible speaks the “language” of ancient people grappling with things in ancient ways, and therefore what the Bible records about creation or the dawn of humanity needs to be understood against the cultural backdrop of the biblical writers, not the past 200 years of scientific investigation.

No the Bible is a divine revelation to man, who penned God’s words which contain the truth about our origins. There is no grappling being done in those pages of scripture and there is no ancient cultural spin put on God’s words. Science is not a light illuminating the truth to a dark world. Scripture is.

#4. But doesn’t Jesus trump all of this? I mean, he refers to Adam and seems to take Genesis quite literally. Don’t you think you need to obey Jesus rather than science?

The Bible says if you do not believe Moses how will you believe the words of Jesus (paraphrase John 5: 45ff). Obviously, Mr. Enns does not believe Moses and he does not believe the words of Jesus. He is not the person to go to find any answer.

As irreverent as that may seem, it is an implication of the incarnation. Jesus wasn’t an omniscient being giving the final word on the size of mustard seeds, mental illness, or cosmic and biological evolution. He was a 1st century Jew and he therefore thought like one.

So to him Jesus was just an ordinary man who can be trumped by science. Yet does Mr. Enns hold to John 3:16? If so, how can that be if he does not believe Jesus’ words about creation, Adam and Eve and other OT events? Does he pick and choose which words of Jesus he will accept and which ones he will deny? How was Jesus qualified to be our savior if he was not whom he said he was and did not have the final word on everything?

How can we go to Jesus with our problems if he was like Mr. Enns said? Obviously, Mr. Enns demotes both God and Jesus to sub standard deities or humans while promoting science over them. That is heresy, blasphemous and more negatives.

#5. So, to sum up, and since you asked, to reject evolution on Christian grounds would be to claim some superhuman insight into scientific matters that can only be described as idiosyncratic bordering on delusional, to misunderstand the nature of Scripture they are trying to protect, and to sport a heretical Christology that doesn’t take seriously Jesus’s full humanity.

First, the only one being heretical is Mr. Enns as he makes Jesus after his own image and does not grasp the full reality of who Jesus was. Second, Both God and Jesus said to believe them not science so we reject evolution on Christian grounds because it is not the truth. It is a man-made alternative to trick people into destroying themselves.

Third, those of us who know the truth know that the only delusional are those who opt for evolution over God’s word. We know that science is blind, deceived, lost and looking for answers in the wrong places by going down the wrong paths. Science is in need of a savior, it is not the savior.

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James McGrath & Inerrancy

James McGrath is another professor we have talked with through his website over the years, until we were banned. We do not see eye to eye on many things, including inerrancy. We are using his meme article as it is short and says the points we like to address. Unfortunately, we cannot copy memes, but will do our best to manually quote them

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2018/06/inerrancy-redux.html

But first a look at his opening statements.

#1. As I emphasized in recent posts, the reason that I abandoned biblical inerrantism is that it is not merely unbiblical, but anti-biblical

What authority makes this claim? if you follow the link in the quoted words, you have to go to his article to do that, you will see that his conclusion is not based on any religious authority, it is not based on God’s words, but merely of his misunderstanding of the bible and the way it was written. His reason is as follows:

The contradictions, discrepancies, and difficulties are there within the Bible, because human beings have put these texts with their differences into the collection we call the Bible.

He cannot prove those claims and most contradictions are not contradictions. The same goes for discrepancies. Rational and logical research has borne that out.

#2. It silences all but at most one of the diverse voices within the Bible, and denies or explains away rather than accepts the evidence that the Bible itself provides for its own human fallibility

Actually, it silences false teachers, false prophets and those who reject the truth.  There is no evidence showing any hint of human fallibility. These are mere accusations to allow someone to pursue and believe their own personal subjective ideas about Christ, God and Christianity. By removing the label of inerrancy, people get to import their personal preferences into the faith and the Bible.

#3. Bible inerrancy has no real impact on making the Bible clearer or making those who read it correct, but rather the only effect of Biblical inerrancy is to make its adherents more dogmatic

Dr. McGrath is in error here as we see that his argument is not really against inerrancy but the truth. He does not like what the Bible says so he needs a way to change it. Instead of providing real evidence, from alternative divinely inspired material, he goes after the softer and easier target. Inerrancy does make the Bible clearer for we see that God created as he said he did and we learn in Genesis 2 that God provides different details about his creative act. If the Bible was not inerrant, then any opinion, theory and conjecture would be clouding the issue.

Confusion is not of God but that is what Dr. McGrath is promoting with these words and his stance on biblical inerrancy. He takes away the answers God gives us and opens the questions up to a multitude of ideas that would overwhelm anyone who didn’t know any better.

#3. Inerrancy is about the desire to have one’s own views regarded as inerrant

There is more to that quote but this is the main point. It is a wild accusation because Dr. McGrath cannot verify this and he cannot state that those people he claims to be presenting their own views are actually presenting their own views over the truth. The above statement also flies in the face of Jesus’ words– ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Inerrancy helps us see the truth and know it. Any other status for the Bible does not do that. Those alternatives merely hide the truth from its readers.

and the failure to humbly recognize one’s own human proneness to err… shows that this doctrine is not merely wrong but a direct frontal assault about the Bible’s teaching about God…

What makes that quoted statement wrong is the fact that Dr. McGrath thinks that anyone who disagrees with him is wrong. Changing to the truth actually does show that people recognize humbly that they made an err and now change to what God is saying in the biblical text. Inerrancy helps correct those erroneous views. His words also show that he and others like him are the ones doing the frontal assault on biblical teaching about God. They are changing the Bible and who God is, not those who declare it inerrant.

We are not going to quote more from that article because the issue of inerrancy has ramifications that Dr. McGrath does not like to think about. if the Bible is not inerrant and filled with human thinking, then we have no assurances of salvation or eternity. It is impossible for anti-inerrantists to pinpoint exactly which scripture passage is inerrant and of God and which one is from a human point of view.

Under their thinking, we cannot know God or Jesus and we can never find the truth even though Jesus said we could. In that article, that we quoted from, there were many links to other articles. We took the time to read through some of them and what we found was that Dr. McGrath and others he quotes, do not use one biblical argument to support their view.

It is all their personal opinion and the faulty use of passages that bring them to their conclusions. It is not God leading them to the truth because Dr.McGrath and others like him have never found any alternative divinely inspired scriptures to replace the passages they claim are in error and of human origin. We have made that point before but it is an important point.

Without those verified alternatives, and by verified we mean approved of by the ancient church, written by apostles, etc., they have no foundation for their arguments. Those alternatives have to meet the ancient criteria and not modern ones.

If their arguments are correct, then we must ask, where are the replacement scriptures to guide the church and believers today? Who gets to decide which  scriptures are out and which new ones are in? Obviously, we cannot appeal to the apostles because they have been gone for some time now. We should note that when the apostles caste lots for replacement disciples, they did not impose their personal views or preferences at all. They left the selection up to God. We do not know of one Bible scholar willing to do that today.

The argument against anti-inerrantists is not long. We just point to the passage that says God is not the author of confusion. Anti-inerrantists introduce confusion not bring the truth to light. Who are the anti-inerrantists that they think they know better about the Bible than God does? They do not have any smoking guns, they do not have any historical verification for their words and they do not have textual confirmation for their claims. If you get a chance to compare the ancient manuscripts, you will see that they all basically say the same thing.

Dr. Bart Ehrman and others may claim that there are over 400,000 errors found in the NT alone. According to Dr. Daniel Wallace that is more than the number of words in the NT .Also, according to Dr. Wallace over 99% of those errors do not change a doctrine, an instruction, a command and so on. In other words, anti-inerrantists have nothing to stand on except the fact that they cannot humbly accept God’s word and feel the need to change it according to their personal preferences.

The Bible is inerrant and that should scare a lot of people.

 

Peter Enns & Creation

We do run out of topics to write about. News stories are not varied enough to continually use as sources for biblical points. In our early blogging days we used to go to supposed Bible scholars as our source. But if you have read those people, you would see that writing about their points is difficult. That is because they go on and on and on and on and on… you get the point. James Tabor is notorious with that skill.

But in spite of that we have decided to use Bible scholars as sources again. We will just be more selective in the articles we address.Our problem is that there are an overwhelming amount of material we can choose from. To get away from the abuse issue for a bit, we decided to address Peter Enns and his view on creation:

11 Recurring Mistakes Evangelicals Make in the Evolution Debate

You can read about it at the following link:

https://peteenns.com/11-recurring-mistake-evangelicals-make-evolution-debate/

If we can we will only take about 1 point from each of those 11. The topic of evolution is another subect that will not go away. The reasons for that are for another post.

#1. It’s all about the authority of the Bible

The Bible is not just “there.” It has to be interpreted.

He is wrong. Why? because there is no biblical instruction or command to interpret the Bible. That idea is sinful and leads people away from the truth. There is not one verse in the Bible where God tells Moses or any of his biblical authors his words, then turns around and says, now have my people interpret what I said. The list of reasons for why that point is wrong is long and detailed. Suffice it to say that if God’s word is to be interpreted, then how could God judge disobedient people?

We see example after example of people, start with Eve, who ‘interpreted’ God’s instructions, did sinful acts and then got punished for them. If God’s words were meant to be interpreted they could not be punished. Also, there is also no command or instruction given by either God or Jesus to use the secular world and secular science as a light on God’s word. The reverse is true but the church cannot be the light unto a dark world if it let’s darkness influence its vision.

No legal system could function if interpretation was to be the guiding teaching.

#2. You’re giving science more authority than the Bible.-

To say that science gives us a more accurate understanding of human origins than the Bible is not putting science “over” the Bible—unless we assume that the Bible is prepared to give us scientific information.

Again Mr. Enns demonstrates his error filled thinking.  He also demonstrates his lack in understanding God and the Bible. Science cannot give us a more accurate understanding of human origins because human origins was not done in a scientific way. It was done in a way that God demonstrated his power over everything in this world. His creative act gives us confidence that God is stronger than anything life throws our way, even when unbelieving Bible scholars try to usurp the biblical record.

The Bible doesn’t have to give us scientific information about human origins. It only has to record the truth and what God actually did. It has to give us biblical facts and the truth.  Science had nothing to do with creation. Creation was a one-time supernatural act done by a supernatural God who has more power than any human can image. The Bible tells us the truth about God and our origins.

#3. But the church has never questioned the historicity of Adam-

Knowing what the history of the church has thought about Adam is not an argument for Adam’s historicity, as some seem to think/, since the history of the church did not have evolution or any scientific discoveries to deal with until recently.

We put a / in that quote to divide what we are talking about. Before that line Mr. Enns errs. It is an argument for Adam’s historicity. If Adam was not historical, the biblical authors would have corrected the error and if they didn’t, Jesus would have during his time here on earth. Since neither have done so and there are no credible manuscripts recording that they did, the fact that the church throughout history has accepted Adam’s historicity is an argument for it and that tradition has been substantiated by the evidence.

People like Marcion and Thomas Jefferson have tried to cut Adam out of the Bible, you know where their thoughts lie in history and in the church.

After the /, Mr. Enns demonstrates his lack of knowledge of history. It is well recorded that the first recorded discovery we have of evolution being discussed was found in the 6th century BC in China. The book After the Flood by Bill Cooper has that remark recorded. Then Solomon’s words that there is nothing new under the sun does not exclude evolution.

The idea that something came from nothing has been around for a very long time. A lot longer than Mr. Enns envisions. Mr. Enns also forgets that supposed scientific discoveries were made by unbelievers. These are people who do not have the spirit of truth guiding them to the truth. Their supposed discoveries come with the help of evil, who deceives and lies to people. Those supposed scientific discoveries should not be accepted by the believing world.

#4. Both Paul and the writer of Genesis thought Adam was a real person, the first man. Denying the historicity of Adam means you think you know better than the biblical writers-

All biblical writers were limited by their culture and time in how they viewed the physical world around them.

This is a lie. One that Mr. Enns has repeated on a number of occasions. So have other supposed bible scholars, scientists and evolutionists. Like Hitler said, if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it as true… (paraphrased a bit).  That is what Mr. Enns and others are doing. They lie about the biblical writers, deny their supernatural help and make claims about them that they cannot verify. Peter told us that early biblical prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit when they wrote so why would God leave that out of the equation when his authors wrote his words?

Where does Mr. Enns get this tidbit about biblical authors? It certain wasn’t from the Bible nor was it from Jesus. In fact, in John 5 Jesus validates Moses’ words when he said, how can you believe my words when you do not believe Moses’ words? So if it isn’t from the Bible and it isn’t from Jesus or his disciples, where is the origin of this so-called fact about biblical authors?

It comes from evil. Why? So that people’s faith can be destroyed. The biblical authors had divine help and knowledge and what they recorded was the truth. Secular science does not even attempt to find the truth so their ideas need to be ignored.

#5. Genesis as whole, including the Adam story, is a historical narrative and therefore demands to be taken as an historical account-

It is a common, but nevertheless erroneous, assumption that Genesis, as a “historical narrative,” narrates history

We forget the name of the archaeologist or historian who once said- if the OT is not true, then Israel becomes the only nation incapable of writing its own history. The idea that the people of Israel cannot write their own history and need the help from outsiders is preposterous. It is ridiculous as well. How can people working with limited amounts of sources, evidence, and 2 to 5,000 years away from the events be more correct than the people who lived the history?

No it is erroneous to think that Genesis is not history. One glaring fact that undermines Mr. Enns’ point is, where is the true history of Israel if the OT is not true? We do not get any credible, or divinely inspired alternative history from anyone including believing archaeologists, bible scholars and historians. There is none. Genesis is actual history

#6. Evolution is a different “religion” (i.e., “naturalism” or “Darwinism”) and therefore hostile to Christianity.

Christian evolutionists do not see their work in evolutionary science as spiritual adultery.

Of course they don’t. They are deceived people who have ceased or failed to believe God. 1 Cor. 13 tells us that love believes all things. You can’t claim to love God when you do not believe him when you disagree with parts of the Bible.

We also disagree with calling evolution a religion. It is merely false teaching, a lie, heretical and those who opt for it over God’s words in Genesis are sinning.

#7. Since Adam is necessary for the Christian faith, we know evolution can’t be true-

Evolution causes theological problems for Christianity.

No it doesn’t. For years we have asked the question, Where in the Bible do both God and Jesus teach that we are to take science over their words?’  So far we have not received one answer. That is because they don’t. Both God and Jesus tell us to believe them and believing Genesis, the creation account as stated in that book and other biblical books is part of believing and loving them.

When you start believing evolutionists, Christian theistic evolutionists, Progressive Creationists and others who tell a variation of the creation story, you have stopped believing God on that issue.

#8. Science is changing, therefore it’s all up for grabs-

Science is a self-critical entity, and so it should not surprise us to see developments, even paradigm shifts, in the near and distant future.

The Bible does not teach that the truth changes. Being self-critical does not mean that science has a hold on the truth or that it is even bringing the truth to the people. In fact, science and its supporter publicly state that science is not about answers or the truth. It is about the best explanation. But neither God nor Jesus said to go for the best explanation. Again, John 5 tells us that we are to follow the spirit of truth to the truth.

Science does not hold the truth and refuses to accept it.

#9. There are scientists who question evolution, and this establishes the credibility of the biblical view of human origins-

However, the presence of minority voices in and of itself does not constitute a counterargument to evolution.

Yes it does. The majority is not always right. Remember the Bible tells us that people are like sheep. This means that we cannot trust the majority view to be the truth because many people will follow lies. This is underscored by the verse, men love darkness rather than light and other similar verses which tell us the evil men will get worse and so on.

You should have noticed by now that Mr. Enns does not use one scriptural passage to support his views. That failure is important and lets believers know that the arguments against the Bible are not true, from evil and have nothing to do with God. Neither does the teacher, speaker or the writer. Mr. Enns may claim to be a Christian, love the Bible, Jesus and so on but his words demonstrate otherwise.

#10.Evidence for and against evolution is open to all and can be assessed by anyone-

Since evolutionary theory is the product of scientific investigation, it follows that those best suited to evaluate the scientific data and arguments are those trained in the relevant sciences—or better those who are practicing scientists and therefore are keeping up with developments.

Again the answer to this is a solid ‘no’. It ignores the fact that there are false teachers in the world and the fact that science, any variety of it, is permeated with false teachers. The best people to assess scientific thinking is not fellow scientists but those who know the truth and can spot false teaching.  Being scientific is not criteria for knowing the truth. This applies to any field of study.

#11. Believing in evolution means giving up your evangelical identity-

Many arguments I have heard against evolution come down to this: my evangelical ecclesiastical group has never accepted it, and so, to remain in this group, I am bound to reject it too.

Since we do not care about ‘evangelical identity’ we are sure you would not be giving that up if you decide to believe the evolutionary false teaching. YOUR CHRISTIAN identity is another matter. The word Christian is defined as Çhrist-like’. Jesus never claimed that Moses and the first 2 chapters of Genesis were wrong. To be Christ-like, then means you follow suit and reject false teaching and accept the book of Genesis like Jesus did.

As we stated earlier, to love God means you believe all  things. Those ‘all things’ include the first 2 chapters of  Genesis, the flood account and more.

False teaching comes in many varieties. They are not found just in secular academic institutions. They can be the nicest of people, claim to be Christian, go to church and Sunday School. The Christian has to be discerning, not desperate. The Christian has to go for the truth and let the spirit of truth guide them to it. The spirit of truth will not lead anyone to disagree with God’s word.

 

When Unbelievers Claim There is no Evidence

It happens a lot. One of the more popular targets is the biblical account of Noah’s Flood. Atheists and unbelievers claim there is no evidence for the deluge recorded in Genesis. They are lying of course, because even secular explorers have found evidence for the flood and have recorded it. The problem is, those explorers credit the discovery to some other issue catastrophe.

For an example, we are going to use wikipedia because the information is common

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_Provincial_Park

The park is situated in the valley of the Red Deer River, which is noted for its striking badland topography. The park is well known for being one of the richest dinosaur fossil locales in the world. Fifty-eight dinosaur species have been discovered at the park and more than 500 specimens have been removed and exhibited in museums around the globe. The renowned fossil assemblage of nearly 500 species of life, from microscopic fern spores to large carnivorous dinosaurs, justified its becoming a World Heritage Site in 1979.

What Wikipedia and other websites fail to mention is that the majority of these dinosaurs were found fleeing something. They laid where they were overcome. The secular world would have you believe that a comet or some other catastrophe wiped out the dinosaur population but those theories do not make sense when you see how the bones lay and their global presence.

But there is documented evidence for Noah’s flood

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

That webpage only documents a few of them. But we are getting a little far afield here. You may find, as we have, that many unbelievers, including atheists, have claimed that there is no evidence for certain biblical events. But they would have a hard time proving that Mardi Gras takes place in New Orleans in one year, let alone prove that it was a yearly event. Especially when they only have a minute amount of artifacts, literature and other pieces of evidence to draw their conclusions from.

It is also difficult for believers to prove that the Amalekites were a real people. But they were and God placed a judgment on them

Scripture records the long-lasting feud between the Amalekites and the Israelites and God’s direction to wipe the Amalekites off the face of the earth (Exodus 17:8–13; 1 Samuel 15:2; Deuteronomy 25:17).(https://www.gotquestions.org/Amalekites.html)

When God destroys something, it is pretty difficult to find any evidence of their existence. It is not impossible as God left evidence of the pre-flood world. Right now, we are siding with the theory that the Hyksos were the Amalekites. We can’t prove it because both peoples have no evidence for their existence. Just the similar  historical record and the coincidence of lining up with God’s judgment.

Then  there are other reasons why we cannot find physical evidence. One such reason is the misguided idea that certain evidence must be found in a certain manner. When Sir. Woolley said he discovered the remains of Noah’s Flood, he was rebuked by his peers and the archaeological establishment at that time because the evidence was not uniform.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it,there has only been one global flood. No one except God would know what the physical evidence should look like for a global flood.

That misguided assumption is just one reason why we cannot locate all the physical evidence unbelievers demand to see before they believe. But,sadly, even if believers did come up with evidence for biblical events, and they have i.e. Sodom and Gomorrah, those pieces of physical evidence are often rejected, even by those claiming to be Christians.

One lesson that needs to be learned here is that believers do not dig to appease or convince unbelievers. Nor do they dig at the command of those same sinners. You can discover the ark itself and prove beyond a shadow of doubt that it is THE ark and most unbelievers will find some excuse to dismiss it as a fake. If we dig, it should be for the right biblical reasons.

Remember we are under the command to have faith not search for physical evidence. Of course, believers should be participating in archaeology and cover the same ground as unbelieving archaeologists if nothing else but to keep the latter honest. The former should be producing the truth not more theories or conjectures, assumptions etc. about the past. Sometimes we are hard on Christian archaeologists but that is because they follow secular rules and do not follow God’s instructions in their work.

Other reasons that allow unbelievers to claim that there is no evidence for the bible comes in the form of natural disasters, construction, wars and more. We get a news letter on archaeology which has a story on one construction project that may wipe out a lot of our historical past

http://patternsofevidence.com/blog/2018/05/11/desert-dams-threaten-digs-near-bible-lands/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Thinker113Dams&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=Thinker113Dams&inf_contact_key=167187a95d9f771c23693f68606ca67f66947d284bf877531a226733c77097e6

Desert, Dams Threaten Digs Near Bible Lands by Dave Aeilts | May 11, 2018

For years, archaeology has focused big money and time uncovering and unraveling the mysteries of Egypt. Because of the Exodus, those interested in the Lands of the Bible have closely followed what is unearthed in the land of the pharaohs. Would it surprise you to learn that some of Egypt’s pharaohs came from an ancient land known as Nubia (the Land of Cush or Kush) whose boundaries straddled today’s Egyptian-Sudanese border.

Researchers are now racing to excavate Nubian ruins at sites scheduled to be inundated by water when Sudan constructs three dams planned for the upper Nile River. If rising lakes behind the dams do not bury these ruins, howling desert sandstorms and the urban creep of a population hungry for a better lifestyle may destroy these antiquities.

It is a very good article on why physical evidence for our past has disappeared over time. Construction projects wipe out a lot of our history. You may recall how some homeowners in Israel have dug underneath their homes and found ancient buildings etc. Archaeology is limited and one of its limitations is that archaeologists cannot dig everywhere. That is not an argument to employ more archaeologists but stating the reality that homes, office buildings etc., cannot be moved to please the unbeliever and their demand for more physical evidence.

As K A Kitchen has pointed out in his book The Bible In Its World, archaeologists are lucky to excavate up to 5% of any given site, including Megiddo (one of the few continuous excavations that is still ongoing). Not only is construction a nemesis of archaeology but erosion and other natural events fall into that category as well. Earthquakes destroy a lot of the archaeological record. So do landslides, tornadoes, tidal waves and more.

Wars take their toll as well as invading forces ruin or destroy archaeological sites. The most recent groups are the Taliban and ISIS. The latter of course has been accused of looting to raise needed money.

What does all of this mean for the believer? While physical evidence does help our argument, it is not essential. When an unbeliever demands physical evidence to prove a biblical event or our words, we merely point out to them that God placed everyone under the requirement of faith. We will have physical evidence to help our arguments BUT we will not have so much that our faith is destroyed.

Faith is always going to be part of the equation. That is our response to unbelievers who make demands for physical evidence. To find salvation, they need to follow God’s rules. One of those rules is that we come to Jesus by faith. We accept Genesis by faith, we accept the whole Bible by faith, so must the unbeliever if they want to see God and enter his kingdom.

The Bible tells us that it is by grace through faith that we are saved. We are not saved through physical evidence though it will help unbelievers take that step of faith required for salvation. Some physical evidence will also shore up our faith. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, we have that evidence. it is not the northern location championed by some one we know and have opposed for years.

It is not where Ron Wyatt claimed either. it is found in a region that has been uninhabitable for millennia

https://christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a007.html

http://www.icr.org/article/have-sodom-gomorrah-been-discovered/

It is funny to us, not ha ha, that the very reason Dr. Stephen Collins and some of his associates dismiss the southern location is the very reason that proves the location. They have told us directly in discussions years ago, that the land surrounding Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira was so bad why would anyone live there? Their question stems from their faulty perception of the territory. They were not looking at the land as the Sodomites and Gomorrahians, plus Lot and Abraham, saw it. They were looking at the territory after God had destroyed it and came to their faulty conclusions.

As believers, if we are going to use archaeology in our evangelistic efforts, we must be looking at the physical evidence from the correct perception point. We must be honest and not force the evidence to fit our beliefs. There is plenty of evidence to prove the Christian faith and the Bible true without altering any of it or forcing it to fit our perspective.

When unbelievers ask why we reject one archaeologist’s conclusion over another, we must be ready to give an answer. That answer must be the truth. Why do we reject Dr. Collins’ identification as Tall el-Hamman as Sodom, when so many biblical scholars and archaeologists accept it? Because he manipulates the evidence to fit his views and he manipulates the biblical passages for the same reason. He ignores real evidence that demonstrates he is wrong, for whatever reason he may have.

You see using physical evidence is not going to be a sure thing when trying to convert someone to the Christian faith. It is not always enough to keep Christians from making archaeological mistakes. When unbelievers ask us for physical evidence, you can always respond by stating how Christ changed you. That is physical evidence as well and it is real, in the present and happening to a live person. It is not something that came from thousands of years ago.

 

Special Announcement

We have been asked to start a Bible Institute in Panabo City, Philippines. While there are many Bible Schools in the country, certain church leaders felt there was a need for one in this city. One reason was that there isn’t one in the city.

After prayer and consulting with different pastors we agreed to take on the responsibility to establish the school. We also agreed to fill the teaching position. We were asked because we have the education, the experience and the qualifications to handle these duties.

Like any new Bible School, we do have needs. So far, we have found a temporary building to use which is an answer to prayer. This gives us time to locate a better building that will meet the student’s and teaching needs.

The list of our needs may be a bit long but that is because some explanation is required to inform you of the real situation we face.

#1. Books:

Good books written in English are hard to come by in this country and they are not cheap. We need to establish a library as well as obtain as many books that can be used as textbooks as we can. The subjects include but are not limited to the ones mentioned in the list below:

History, Archaeology, Church History, Theology,  Textual Criticism, Prayer, Science, Origins, Bible Studies, Commentaries, Old & New Testament Surveys, Book son  specific books of the Bible, Education, Controversial Issues (divorce, suicide, homosexuality, transgenderism, tattoos, tithing, etc.), Evangelism (including history of evangelists, etc.), Missions (including history of), Apologetics, Church Fathers, Comparative religions, Cults, Men & Women of the Bible, Difficulties with the Bible, Ancient authors

 

#2. Magazines:

For research and general knowledge magazines, old or new are vital for us. The list is not limited to but includes:

National Geographic, Smithsonian, Leadership, Christianity Today, Church History, Archaeology, Theological Journals, Evangelism, Missions, Alliance Life, Apologetics, Denominational magazines and so on.

We cannot think of every title that would be useful.

** You can send duplicates, fiction books and as many as you can spare. One of our goals is to open a used book store to help provide revenue to keep us self-sufficient.

Donations:

Once we get the SEC clearance in this country we will be opening up a Pay Pal or Skrill account to help facilitate cash donations. We have office and other expenses like salaries that need a boost until we get firmly established.

We are registering as a non-profit, so your donation s may be tax deductible. There are some specific areas where donations would come in handy:

#1. Sponsoring Students:

While our tuition is low at 3,000 pesos per each 6-week section, that is a figure that is a little out of reach of some of the Filipinos in this country. We are starting off with a 10-month certificate program divided into 6 sections. That is 18,000 pesos per year.

We require the students to pay at the beginning of each section. Because you may not know the name of the student, just mark your donation Student Scholarship and that money will be set aside for those students in financial need.

#2. General Expenses:

Until we can become self-sufficient we will have some general office and school expenses to meet with your generous support. These include but not limited to whiteboard, markers & erasers, office supplies, school supplies, rent, utilities, taxes and so on.

Just mark your donation General expenses and your money will be set aside for these needs

#3. Salaries:

We do not expect anyone to work for free or for non-living wages. We will need to meet certain salary expectations for those people we employ. Until we become more established and have a regular income we will need help in this area.

Just mark your donation Salaries.

Of course, we will need prayers as well. But remember God uses people and if they ignore God’s leading to act in meeting physical needs, then nothing gets met.

 

We hope you can help us get this Bible Institute up and running as we already have some verbal promises from prospective students who are interested in developing and adding to their theological and spiritual knowledge.

 

For further information you can write the president of the Panabo City Dove Bible Institute at kinship29@yahoo.com. You have a little time to prepare as we are still setting up addresses, accounts and other important contact information.

 

What is Missing in Education

We are not going to play favorites here as both the Christian school system and the secular one make the same mistakes. Some schools, teachers and officials are good in both systems but sadly, those are overshadowed by others who do not perform as they should. Too often, schools in both systems tend to favor teaching ideology instead of educating the students correctly. This is so in spite of the warning given in the book of James.

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. (NASB 3:1)

We know this as we have seen education first hand and have tracked the misdeeds of teachers, administration staff and education officials for several years. These people, even in Korea, treat students as objects not worthy of the best information possible or teaching as just another job. It is no longer a profession worthy of their best behavior, best effort, or having any character or integrity. It is now a means to an end, hopefully by padding their bank account and pension fund.

Teaching has lots a lot in recent years and there is enough blame to go around. No one group is solely to blame as all have contributed to the demise of education– even in Christian circles.Sadly, we saw this in our own undergraduate alma mater as well.Then when you see stories like the following article:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/teacher-accused-feeding-puppy-snapping-140248186.html

Teacher Accused of Feeding Puppy to Snapping Turtle in Front of Students

{and the title is enough of an example}

You know that something has been lost in teaching. It doesn’t matter the level because all levels have been infected with the same disease. In the book, Hitler Furies, a study on the female Nazis of that era, it was stated that Hitler introduced dumbing down into the German education system. It is much harder to manipulate and control educated people. The most successful educational program in the west since the 1980s has been the strategy to dumb down the students.

We have seen this first hand as well. But it was not limited to just the students who got a lack of an education. The teachers were dumbed down as well. We saw that over the years in Korea as teacher after teacher heading towards that country were not smart, lacked education and some could barely string a sentence together. There is something missing from education. Probably several elements are no longer in the profession. But again, that is not true in all cases.

As we thought about that article linked above, it was brought to our attention what God wanted done with his people. But many believers will probably miss their importance because the instructions are found in the Old Testament not the New. Non-believers won’t normally know these passages unless they read Deut.in their spare time. But then even if they do, will they believe God’s word pertaining to how their profession should be handled? It is highly doubtful.

But the book of Deut. is filled with verses providing God’s instructions on what should be taught in his people’s schools. Here are some of those verses:

“Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you (NASB 4:1-2)

See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ (NASB 4:5-6)

10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to [b]fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’(NASB 4: 10)

 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. (NASB 6:1-2)

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up (NASB 6:6-7)

And on these verses go.

God has said very clearly what he wanted taught to his people and their children. These instructions have not been voided by the New Testament.

As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, (NASB 1 Tim. 1:3)

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you (NASB 1 Tim. 4:16)

holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. (NASB Tit. 1:9)

The firs set of verses has what is missing from teaching that takes place today in both the secular and Christian school systems.

so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God,

The fear or respect of God is what is lacking. No one that we know of, is doing this today. God is not feared and his ways are not taught. While the secular world and some Christians run around looking for human answers to school shootings, we have that answer here from God himself. The fear of God would stop many shooters from committing their evil schemes. Plus, if they were taught the ways of God then they would know that taking a life is wrong and should not be done.

When you make God’s rules appear as human origin rules, then it is easy for people to forget about God and ignore these human based rules. If people are not taught God’s ways, instructions and commands, how will they learn how to live properly? Ho will they treat their fellow human correctly if they do not know the better way to live?

These lessons start in the home where the parents teach it to their children and their grandchildren. Eventually, those lessons will reach politics, science, education and so on. God’s OT instructions and commands are not just for an Old Testament group of people who lived 4000 years ago. We bring the fear of God back to the lives of families, education and so on then we bring back the other missing elements in education.

You may ask what are we doing about this instead of just posting the thoughts God wants us to share on the internet? We have lived these principles in Korea as we taught. We had problems, criticism, attacks, but in the end, because we obeyed God and taught the way he wanted us to teach, we were rewarded as well. Maybe someday we will post some pictures recording those rewards.

We have been preaching in the Philippines using God ways. Now we have been asked to be the preacher of one church full-time as well as start a new Bible College. We opted for the latter. We are working on setting up a new Bible college that will have God’s instructions as the guiding force behind our teaching. Do not worry we do not plan on asking for money. We will need books though, lots of them. We will make that request when the time is right. Eventually we will be looking for teachers but that is a ways down the road. We will need prayer as well.

But we do what we can to practice what we are teaching in these web pages. This means we may not have time to post here but that remains to be seen. Christians need to take action and it is not done by teaching interpretation or ideology. It is done by following the Holy Spirit to the truth. Then accepting that truth and teaching it to others.

If you want a better education system, then it begins with the fear of God.

 

We Read The Headlines

But it is impossible for us at this time to address every pertinent issue that the church faces. In this article, we hope to address 3 issues that do or will affect the Church in general.

#1. Believers & Unbelievers

https://www.christianpost.com/news/stephen-hawking-nothing-existed-before-big-bang-christian-astrophysicist-hugh-ross-220309/

This article warrants being included here because it deals with an important Christian issue. Believers have been warned by God in the Bible not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly and changing views about creation to the secular ideas is walking in the counsel of the ungodly. It does not matter what secular position a person holds or the amount of their education they have or the number of experiments they have conducted.

What matters is if their thinking lines up with God or not. If they say that God is wrong and that what he wrote in the Bible is in error, then those people are not to be followed and their views are not to be accepted. Both Mr. Hawking and Mr. Ross hold alternative views to God and the Bible and while the latter claims to be a Christian, his views cast doubt on that claim.

People like Mr. Ross embrace John 3:16 because it gives them a feeling of acceptance, salvation and an escape from hell. But they do not like Genesis 1 because it contradicts what secular science is saying about our origins.While they try to shoe horn God into the secular scientific models on our origins,they are merely exposing their unbelief.

Why would men and women like Mr. Ross want to believe in John 3:16 since it was written by the same God who they claim made errors in Genesis 1 or did not tell us the truth about his creative act?

This is the issue for the Church. How can they bring people to Christ if they say that the same God they want unbelievers to embrace does not tell the truth? How can anyone have confidence in John 3:16 if Genesis 1 is faulty? How can anyone trust that God?

The church has failed its people, they have failed unbelievers, and they have failed God when they send this type of message to the world. It is no wonder so many false religions and faulty denominations exist and it is no wonder that many supposedly Christian denominations embrace evil. They have been taught that the God of the Bible is wrong.

They have seen that the very people claiming to believe God and his word, do not believe God and his word. Who wants to join a church that does not believe their God? They create their own religions to find that perfect God who loves and accepts them as well as tell the truth about himself.

The church is not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly because the ungodly are the ones who are blind, deceived, lost and in need of a savior. The church is none of those things if they follow God correctly. The church is the light to the world not the other way around. The church cannot be the light if they do not believe God.

#2. Billy Graham

There are numerous stories published about Mr. Graham and while we have not always agreed with his point of view, we are grateful that he was the man he was. But we have concerns about what is happening since his passing. One article talks about his legacy. Another talks about how some misguded Christians are trying to get a holiday named after him.

https://www.christianpost.com/news/prophet-american-civil-religion-historians-billy-graham-legacy-220298/

https://www.christianpost.com/news/petition-billy-graham-holiday-gets-over-100000-signatures-220465/

Both articles show some misguided thinking. While Mr. Graham was a man of God, he was not his creation. He was a man-made by God and that is where our focus should lie. We disagree with the idea that a national holiday should be named after him because that distracts people from Jesus and places their attention on a human who served God faithfully.

We already have 2 national holidays in honor of Christ, Christmas and Easter. A third honoring God’s servant would not help. This brings us to Mr. Graham’s legacy. There are biblical scholars and others who are debating this topic right now. But to us his legacy is clear. Mr. Graham was an evangelist who humbly obeyed God.

That brings the focus back to where it belongs. On the God behind the man. Without God Mr. Graham would not have achieved what he did. While we are grateful that Mr. Graham lived his life the way he did, we cannot take our eyes off of God and place it on a human being. When we do that we sink in the faith and fail to see who God is and what he can do through us.

It also creates an unrealistic standard that is impossibe for most humans to meet. We remember back to our undergrad days where there were some students who did not meet the accepted vision of what constitutes a full time Christian worker. They were ultimately denied licensing wwith the denomination because they did not meet what the authorities of the denomination thought should be the public face of the Church.It was a sad situation, one that does not seem to have been rectified.

Part of Mr. Graham’s legacy shows us that God will use those whom religious leaders reject. Remember that Mr. Graham was rejected by Bob Jones Sr. His legacy tells us to look on people as God sees them and instead of applying our own ideas and standards, we see what we can do to help those humanly rejected candidates achieve what God wants them to do.

Obedience to God is important and Mr. Graham has shown what takes place when a man humbly obeys God. If Mr. Graham can do it, then so can most other believers. Jesus’ statement that we would do greater works than he, was limited to only those each denomination finds acceptable.

On another note but related, is the topic of this article

https://www.christianpost.com/news/billy-kim-the-billy-graham-of-asia-inducted-into-nrb-hall-of-fame-220454/

We are sure the man is worthy of the honor but we are not happy that the Church has copied the secular world and created a hall of fame.If the church wants to make an impact for Chrst, it should stop copying the secular world and live as Christ instructed.

As this article shows

https://www.christianpost.com/news/cma-denomination-decides-not-to-discipline-ravi-zacharias-over-credentials-illicit-relationship-220615/

men of God make mistakes. That is why we are to focus on the God behind the man.

#3. Artificial Intelligence {AI}

We are sure that you have heard aboout or read the numerous articles on this new technology. What is developing is a wide application for these new robots. From flipping burgers to driverless cars and trucks.

https://www.christianpost.com/news/ai-robotic-arm-takes-over-grill-california-fast-food-chain-220620/

We do not like driverless vehicles and think that is one area of life that should be off-limits to AI. We may be a little biased as we love to drive. We also do not like robots cooks and we have written about how science and scientists have never been accused of being good cooks. We will avoid restaurants that rely on science to prepare their foods.

But one really important issue has begun to emerge in the AI discussion. That is how AI relates to the church.

https://www.christianpost.com/news/10-commandments-of-artificial-intelligence-top-bishop-issues-list-warns-of-power-to-destroy-220431/

This bishop has proposed his 10 commandments to govern AI development, application and use. But he is a bit idealistic. While it may be nice to have robots do what the church wants, the church must remember that AI has no soul, it has no life and it is created by fallible, deceived, sinful, non-perfect people. It does not understand morality, right and wrong or good and evil. It is a slave to its programming. AI cannot make moral decisions.

If you click enough links at CP you will find another article stating that Dan Brown claims that AI will replace God? How can that be? AI is a human creation, it is not eternal, perfect, holy nor does it offer a plan of salvation. It also does not heal the sick, help the poor, feed the hungry and so on. It does what its masters tell it to do. That creation cannot replace God, even though there is a former Google executive who is trying to register an AI church.

This, then, brings up the question about AI developing life and taking over the world. It is a scenario offered by many top scientists and billionaires. The answer to that paranoia is that AI cannot develop life nor turn itself into life. God did not give the power to create life to humans. That remains in his domain only. Inanimate objects also do not have the power to make itself into a life form.

Anyone who thinks it can is being deceived or misguided. The creation of life is not in the hands of unbelieving scientists. Should Christians jump on the AI bandwagon? No. Robots cannot replace humans in what God wants humans to do. Robots are programmed machines not independently thinking human beings. If anything Christians should be looking for the truth in this issue and seek to influence AI development so that the evil people of this world do not use AI to further their nefarious schemes.

This is the last thing we are prepared to say on this issue at this time. AI makes it easier for one person or a minority of people to rule the world. It is not AI that you have to be afraid of. It is the sinful people behind AI that you should be concerned about. They are ruled by evil not God and that relationship only means trouble for God’s creation.

 
 
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