The Evil Within, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, November 22, 2017 0 comments

by David Odegard

On November 5, we had a brutal demonstration of human evil in a little Baptist church on the outskirts of San Antonio, TX. Devin Kelly entered the church intending to kill his ex-wife’s grandmother. In the course of events, he slaughtered a total of 26 people including the pastor’s kids. Kelly killed women and children because of his blurry hate. Evil is latent in the heart of man.

The root of bitterness finds fertile and welcome soil in the hearts of so many people. Kelly nursed his hatred, fed it, and cared for it. The root of bitterness prospered in his heart. It poisoned everything about the young man.

I have read only a few details of Devin Kelly’s life. He was kicked out of the Air Force. He was convicted of animal cruelty because he closed fist punched a dog, picked it up, and choked it. Worse yet, he beat his wife and child. It seems that his ex-wife’s grandma, Lulu White, urged Kelly’s wife to get away from him before he killed her someday. Grandma was right on.

But Kelly blamed Lulu White’s interference, rather than his own violence. Kelly had a diseased and fallen soul, but he refused to agree with God about that it was in fact fallen. He did not repent, rather he justified himself, like so many do.

The anger deepened, and he began to console himself, like Esau did, with the thought of murder. It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually the hateful roots spread their wicked tendrils throughout his entire heart until it was completely consumed. It began to express itself in the afore mentioned criminal acts. After his bitter lust for revenge conceived, it gave birth to death.

Just shooting his former grandmother-in-law did not satisfy his evil. He had to kill 26 people. Women. Little children! And finally, like a coward, he shot himself. “Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death” (James 1:15).

My nephew is taking a psychology class in college, so you can imagine he has a lot of questions. Right now, he is knee deep in Freud and Skinner. Recently he asked me to summarize Freud’s and Skinner’s philosophical basis and then contrast it with Christianity. I just wanted him to help me clean out my barn, but instead I got a Psych 101 exam.

But please, constant reader, allow me to offer you the briefest sketch of what I told him, because all Christians need to see the contrast for ourselves.

Freud was committed to philosophical materialism; that is, he interpreted life from an evolutionary framework. Those who believe the Bible, on the contrary, believe that God made everything and that we were created as human beings in the image of God.

According to Freud, the id is a hold-over from a lower stage of evolution of human beings, through which humanity was rewarded by its ability to procreate and fight off competitors. The id perhaps should have been discarded after an earlier stage in the evolutionary path to humanity. Freud defined the id as the pleasure center of the brain. It motivates a human being by lust for sex and violence, demanding fulfillment, but often by sabotaging our best intentions in modernity.

Evolutionists and Christians look at the same characteristics in human beings and posit explanations which account for the data and their preconceived philosophical commitments. What Freud has to call the id, a holdover from evolution, we Christians call the fallen nature.

Christians know that at the Fall, humanity changed into desperate sinners. Human nature corrupted into the cruel image we now see every day in the news. Even Freud could see the effects of the Fall, even if he completely failed to discern their origin.

Christianity has a deep understanding of the human heart. We have been studying the soul for thousands of years now, in contrast to evolutionists like Freud’s paltry century.

Excuse my use of Greek, but the New Testament teaches that humanity’s basic problem comes from the Pathos — the diseased state of the mind, will, and emotions. The diseased soul. From the diseased soul the various lusts (epithumea) surge out—the hot passions of anger, rage, malice, and lust, which spring like the tentacles of an octopus from the pathos. Like Hercules’ hydra, cutting off the tentacles does little to kill the beast. So cutting of various sins does not change the diseased state of the soul—only Christ can do that!

The Bible teaches that at the Fall, our nature was twisted. Like a blacksmith trying to make a knife out of the spring from a truck, no matter how many times the steel is hammered flat, it still wants to curl back up because it can’t forget it was once a spring. It is forever distorted. The only remedy is to melt it down and recast it. (See Romans 6.)

Why do human beings choose to do evil when the path to the good is apparent? Is it because we still have monkey-genes swirling around in our DNA? No, human beings have not evolved from lower forms of life. We come from the dirt and the hand of God. Then our creator blew the breath of life into us: A living spirit. Like Him. And we became alive—forever.

The Bible clearly describes the source of all human evil and its cure. Evil began when human beings sought to live independently from God, but the cure is found in the perfect obedience of Christ. Jesus has made reconciliation with God possible through his sacrifice on the cross. Friend, don’t justify yourself. Agree with God that you are a sinner and receive His cure. You need a new heart. Jesus makes that possible. Till next week. Blessings.

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Israel: The 5th Gospel

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, November 21, 2017 0 comments

by Aaron Felty

Let me explain how I see Israel as the 5th gospel. Recently my wife and I spent 2 weeks in Israel. A group of 45 of us embarked on a Biblical studies tour of the Holy Land. On our first day, the group was in the dining area of our hotel doing introductions. The leader of our group, Larry Erhlich, made a statement that stayed with me the entire trip. Initially it kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but by the end of the trip I began to embrace it as well. He said, “Israel is like a 5th Gospel.” HERESY! First of all, there is only one Gospel and that is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, but I get what he meant. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are 4 writers of the Gospel message and Larry’s assertion and mine is that Israel is something of a 5th gospel. In short, a visit to Israel communicates God’s message of salvation to all who will listen. 

Obviously land cannot save anyone, so I am not saying that a requirement to get into heaven is the land of Israel. After all, that does not even make sense. However, what I am saying is that the land teaches us a couple of very important lessons that parallel our salvation. 

First of all, God is a promise keeper. If God makes a promise, He will certainly keep it, but what if He establishes a covenant? A covenant is even stronger than a promise. In Genesis 12, God entered a covenant relationship with Abram. Often, we Christians forget all that is included in that covenant. Yes, we remember the phrase, “blessed to be a blessing,” but we often fail to remember that the covenant included Genesis 12:7: “To your offspring I will give this land.” If God entered a covenant with Abram some 4500 years ago and it has come to pass (in 1948 Israel became a country, and a few weeks ago I was in the very room where it all went down), then all the promises He has made in Scripture will come to pass. The Bible says it is impossible for God to lie. So the very fact that Israel is a nation is good news, what God says in His word will come to pass. 

Secondly, the message of salvation is the story of the human experience, which is also demonstrated by the land of Israel. Before anyone comes to faith in Jesus Christ, two things must be present: 1) an awareness of sinfulness, our enslavement, and 2) faith that God has provided the only solution for that problem. The Bible says we are slaves to sin before entering a relationship with Jesus. The Israelites were slaves in the land of Egypt and God led them out, into the promised land as free people.

Our team spent 4 days in the wilderness looking at the place where Moses struck the rock to make water come out. We also saw the place where Solomon mined for copper, the place where the Israelites began to grumble about how difficult the wilderness was and bronze serpents came up and killed many so Moses had to lift up a serpent on a pole and those who looked at it were healed. We saw the caves of the En Gedi (pictured at right) where David hid from Saul, and so much more. However, the most profound thing was how bleak, desolate, difficult, barren, dry, harsh, and deadly the wilderness is and most certainly was. That place is HORRENDOUS - rocks and dirt as far as the eyes can see for hours! (See photo below.) I completely understand why the Israelites grumbled to Moses and wanted to go back to Egypt. I will not chastise them ever again for grumbling.

God led them out of slavery into a land flowing with milk and honey. The only problem was, there literally was no milk and honey and the people grumbled. Deuteronomy 8 says that during their time in the wilderness, the Israelites’ shoes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. For 40 years?? I was there 4 days and my feet swelled up! I bought expensive shoes for this trip and in 4 days they were wearing out. We had 45 people in our group; Moses had anywhere from 50,000 to 1.5 million people in his group (depending on who you ask).

Here is my profound revelation: without God, you will die in the wilderness, and that is the human experience. There is no way they survived that “other worldly” place without divine intervention. There is no water, no wildlife, and no plant life, only rocks and dirt! I cannot even hypothesize how God could keep 45 people, let alone 1.5 million people, alive in that place for 40 years. It is beyond comprehension, and mind you we went in the winter season, not during the time where the temperature is 40 degrees hotter. The land of Israel showed me that without God’s direct and regular action I will die. That is the message of the Gospel. There is nothing I can do to save myself; God has done all the initiating!

If we place our trust in the words of God we will never be let down. Our response to God’s word should be obedience inspired by love, that is, we love God because He first loved us. In Deuteronomy 8 (referenced above), Moses warned the people to not disobey when things are good. If I reword those sentiments positively it would be: “When things are good, obey all the more as a sign of gratitude.” 

The only sensible response to the Gospel message is a desire to obey inspired by love. Going to Israel has given me a much deeper appreciation for the covenant that God has entered with us through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. I want to love Him more because I have seen the literal ongoing fulfillment of His covenant with Abraham and Moses in the promised land. Our only hope for living in the wilderness is trusting what God has done through Jesus Christ on our behalf. Will you trust Him?

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What Does the Bible Say About Sex After Marriage?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 20, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Last week I wrote on what the Bible says about sex before marriage, so that begs the question: what about sex after marriage?

Before answering this question, we first need to establish what marriage is. Marriage is between one man and one woman. It can’t be redefined to be anything else, because it was instituted by God. The marriage relationship should be like that of God and the church.

Hebrews 13:4 talks about sex both before and after marriage: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Keeping the marriage bed pure means that sex will only happen between a husband and wife. Once two people have intercourse, they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

The apostle Paul gives advice to married couples in 1 Corinthians 7. Verses 3-4 say, “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” Once a couple is married, Paul commands them to stay married, because they are already united as one flesh, in verses 10-11: “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.”

Similarly, the Bible tells us that sex after marriage should not include adultery (sex with someone other than your spouse) or prostitution.

“You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.'” (1 Corinthians 6:15-17)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

Regarding the details of sex between a husband and wife within the context of marriage, the Bible is not very specific. But the general guideline to follow is to determine whether that particular act is good, beneficial and loving. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul says, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but I will not be mastered by anything.” While the context of this passage is not specifically related to sex, the concept still applies. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or beneficial. That’s where discernment and discussion between the husband and wife needs to take place.

So what does the Bible say? While sex before (or outside of) marriage is condemned as sin by the Bible, sex after and in the context of marriage is encouraged.

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The Faith of Joseph

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, November 19, 2017 0 comments

by Logan Ames

Just over a week ago, our nation held its annual observance of Veterans’ Day. It appropriately falls just a few weeks before Thanksgiving and the beginning of our Christmas season, as it reminds us that we have much for which to be thankful in this country and much that we so often take for granted. The service and sacrifice of so many in our military remind us of our Savior, who gave up his very life for not just our nation, but the sins of the whole world.

A word that might most accurately describe our veterans’ service is “legacy." They love their country and want to be remembered as having contributed to maintaining the freedoms it provides. One man who couldn’t bear the thought of his legacy not including some sacrifice or contribution to preserving those freedoms was former NFL player, Pat Tillman. He is known for having given up his comfortable life as a professional athlete to join his brother in the Army Rangers during our national conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan. While anyone who has heard of his story knows that Tillman lost his life in Afghanistan in 2004, many have continued to wonder why he would give up the life that so many would want. The answer can be found in an interview he did the day after 9/11, part of which can be viewed here. Tillman mentioned all of his family members who had proudly served their country, then considered that he, by comparison, hadn’t done a thing. He would eventually come to the conclusion that a legacy of service and self-sacrifice was better than a legacy of athletic success and lavish living.

How we live, and for that matter how we handle the fact that our lives are but a fraction of God’s whole story in the world, says everything about the legacy that remains long after our time. Our hero of the faith for this week is Joseph, and he certainly left a lasting legacy of faith and dependence on God. Hebrews 11:22 tells us, “By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones." This verse shows us that Joseph had an opportunity to do what many don’t, and that’s give direct instructions to those who will carry on his legacy just before he dies. Let’s go back to the Old Testament and take a look at his story.

Genesis 37:3 tells us that Joseph was loved by Jacob more than any of his brothers. This caused his brothers to hate him. Frankly, Joseph doesn’t appear to be that bothered by this, because he dreams that his brothers and his parents will all eventually bow down to him and has no problem sharing these dreams with his family. It’s quite possible that Joseph knew how favored he was, and that this led to some level of arrogance. Later in Genesis 37:18-36, we see that his brothers plot to hill him, but instead come up with a better plan to sell him into slavery to a group of foreign merchants, who in turn take him to Egypt and sell him to a man named Potiphar, who was a high-ranking official in Pharaoh’s administration. Joseph then spends at least the next 11 years in the home of Potiphar, and although God has allowed terrible and unfair things to happen to him, he lives a life of obedience. When Potiphar’s wife tries to sleep with him, he refuses because such an action would be a sin against God (Genesis 39:6-10). Unable to deal with his rejection, Potiphar’s wife ultimately tries to force him and when even that doesn’t work, she accuses him of attempted rape. That’s a death sentence in that time and culture, given that she was the wife of a high-ranking government official.

But God continues to work in Joseph’s life as Joseph continues to be obedient and faithful despite his circumstances. He is put in prison, but just so we’re clear, it’s nothing like the prisons we have in America today. Psalm 105:18 tells us that Joseph’s “feet were bruised with shackles and his neck was put in irons." Despite this discomfort, Genesis 39:21-22 tells us that God gave Joseph favor in the eyes of the prison warden, who then put Joseph in charge of the business and the people in the prison. Joseph didn’t know it yet, but God was preparing him for a time in his future when he would use his experience and leadership to save others. After a few more years in prison and some other unfortunate and unfair happenings, Joseph has an opportunity to interpret dreams for Pharaoh himself. When he does it, Pharaoh puts him in charge of all of Egypt (Genesis 41:41). During his service to Pharaoh, Joseph plans ahead and stores up grain during 7 years of abundance because God reveals to him that 7 years of famine are coming after that. When the famine happens, Joseph is able to feed and save people who did not prepare for it.

The group of people saved includes his family. Jacob hears of grain in Egypt and sends Joseph’s brothers there to buy some. Eventually, Joseph recognizes his brothers and after a while chooses to reveal himself to them (Genesis 45). This is his best opportunity to really hammer them for what they did to him years earlier, but Joseph’s faith and obedience to God are shown in his unwillingness to get them back. He thinks only about how he can help them. At the end of Jacob’s life, Joseph’s brothers fear his revenge. But Joseph directly tells them that even though they meant to harm him, “God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). That kind of perspective on God’s work in everything reveals that Joseph trusted God with even his suffering, knowing that a God who created the universe out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3) could handle his trials and any necessary vengeance.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Joseph kept that faith in God’s great plan in the midst of suffering even to his last breath and actually, beyond it. He could think of nothing better to pass on to his brothers and future Israelite generations than a trust that God would do as he had always promised. In Genesis 50:24-25, he tells them that God will “surely” take them out of Egypt and back to the land he had promised to the forefathers. He then makes them swear an oath that they will not bury him where he dies, in Egypt, but will instead take his bones with them WHEN (not “if”) they go back to the Promised Land.

Things would get much worse for the Israelites in Exodus 1 when a new king (aka “another Pharaoh”) who couldn’t care less about Joseph takes over. It would be 400 years until Joseph’s prophecy is fulfilled and Moses does as Joseph asked (Exodus 13:19). Yet, all throughout those 400 years, Joseph’s body and bones remained in a coffin above the ground, so that anyone who walked by and wondered about it could be reminded that God is still in control and still working in the midst of their circumstances, no matter how bleak they appear.

As things seem to be spinning further and further out of control in our country and around the world today, what legacy are you leaving for your children and those who come after you? Is it one of fear and a need for security? Or are you leaving a legacy of faith and freedom in the knowledge that God is at work and will SURELY do as he promises? If you haven’t done it yet, let go and trust God!

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Pandora’s Box: Old Earth Creation

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 17, 2017 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

In this series about false teachings, there is one that opened the door for the Prosperity Gospel and the Emergent Church among many others: Old Earth Creation. Back in 2014, I wrote about three flavors of "OEC" here, here, and here, and those three are what I predominantly had in mind in writing on this topic. There are new versions that have popped up and they tend to follow the same patterns. I do consider it a false teaching which has swept many of the churches in the West, and it carries out the same tactics used by both the Prosperity Gospel and the Emergent Church. And I cannot help but notice that more than any other teaching, none have opened the door so wide for so many others than old earth creation models. It is not necessarily as “offensive” as the Prosperity Gospel or Emergent theology, however it was the opening of Pandora’s Box and paved the way for a full out attack on Scripture.

Now, there are many, many sincere people who believe in an old earth and some of whom I would stand in court and testify they are believers. Likewise, there are true believers who have been caught up in other false teachings as well. I am not judging people’s salvation on any of these posts. However, a false teaching is still a false teaching and not only must it be addressed, but my purpose in these posts is for you to see what they are so you can avoid them, so you can escape them, or help someone else escape from them.

The Old Earth models have a very short pedigree in the church. They did not exist except for 200 years in the 2000-year history of the church. While many of its supporters will cite early church leaders who suggested an instantaneous creation, none of those church leaders ever supported an old earth. When the ideas of millions of years showed to be “demonstrable” with ideas of uniformitarianism, the church in the mid-1800s panicked and instead of standing upon the authority of Scripture and making a stand, they sought to figure out ways on how to include the deep time idea into Genesis. Right then and there, the church surrendered the sufficiency and authority of Scripture and the assault on Scripture has only increased since. Now, those who stand for the sufficiency and authority of Scripture are considered dogmatic, closed-minded, bigots, or worse.

Old Earth Creation models are frequently described as a compromise by the Young Earth organizations. The claimed compromise is joining the two opposing philosophies of Biblical authority and secularism. But I am going to take it a step further and suggest it is not really a compromise but something much worse. While there are many variations of old earth models, they all have this in common: it is the secular models of deep time, or at least parts of it, covered in Christian language. It is not a joining of two models, but a cosmetic covering of one with the other’s language and terms. Just as the Prosperity Gospel is the pagan “Law of Attraction” fit and tweaked with Christian terms and using misquoted and misapplied Scripture to “back it up,” when you boil these models down to what they actually are, the Bible has absolutely nothing to do with it. I have asked numerous OEC where they get their figures and their history from, and time and time again the Bible is nowhere to be found, no exceptions. The Bible is cited more to question YEC than to support OEC, and the only positive references are used, misquoted, and misinterpreted to back up the godless models, and often completely ignore many other passages while at it.

Like the Emergent Church, OEC roosts above the Bible with a false humility, claiming to take a low, humble position, but able to dictate what God meant because we have figured out so much about science, even when it completely contradicts what Scripture actually says. They put the Bible under their microscope of scrutiny, whereas a Christian is supposed to put himself under the scrutiny of Scripture. Like the Emergent Church, OEC will reference how the people back then did not know what we know now, thus insinuating that right now we are at the peak of man’s knowledge and can figure it out. This approach is not one of humility but of arrogance. Their claim is the Bible and the science they have figured out (referencing to secular understanding of science, where God nor any of his accounts are ever part of the equation) are on equal footing. Their practice, however, is that the secular understanding always trumps what God says. Man’s knowledge in his rebellion against God, is always taken over what Scripture actually says. Many apply this to the entire Old Testament, not just Genesis.

Most Old Earthers I have come across consider Sodom and Gomorrah to be allegorical, and the 10 Plagues and Crossing of the Red Sea can be explained naturally, and the falling of Jericho’s walls to be figurative, and Jonah’s encounter with a large fish to be just a myth. There are a few exceptions, but most I have encountered do not believe these events actually happened as recorded. They struggle to consider miracles into their equations because that makes the accounts not able to be analyzed scientifically. To which I say, “That’s the point, so you can’t explain God’s action without him.” But then they believe in the Resurrection of Christ, so they say. How? The answer is simple: they put themselves in authority over Scripture where they can pick and choose which parts are believable or not. Here is reality: the OEC does not believe God nor the Bible, despite their insistence that they do. They believe themselves because they are the highest authority, able to dictate what the Bible should actually say or mean. That is the height of pride.

When Old Earth Creation took root, man became the authority over Scripture, allowing him not only to determine which parts he wanted to believe, but even to go as far as defining who God is and what heaven would be like, and all with removing the core of the Gospel. I have seen that while a few teachers of the Prosperity Gospel, the Emergent Church, and OEC will mention sin, all three teachings take a very low view of it, and I have watched all three make little to no mention about actually being conformed into the image of Christ. In presentations, sin is seen as mistakes or “imperfections,” but not the outright rebellion against God that it is. Because OEC has enabled those in the churches to consider Original Sin to be of little consequence, now we have Emergent Church leaders suggesting that man has divinity and that our sin does not separate us from God. Not all Prosperity Gospel or Emergent Church teachers are Old Earthers or vice versa, however, Old Earth paved the way for a large number of the Satanic assaults on the integrity of Scripture to continue and it has completely removed the power of the church to address the issues it faces. If you can consider just one part of Scripture to be “unimportant” or “just a side issue,” or make it "your interpretation," you are telling everyone around you that you can choose whatever you want to believe and the next generation will always take it a step further than you are. It paves the road for all the other false teachings to take root, and whether you follow that road or not is not the issue. The issue is that the path is open and enabled.

You can look at any of the articles I have written about Creation, Evolution, and Old Earth by myself, by Steve Risner, or Bill Seng on the search bar on the Worldview Warriors blog page, or ask for more clarification in the comments or on Facebook.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


The Broken Record

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, November 16, 2017 0 comments

by Steve Risner

This week we will trot along as we look at attacks waged by evolutionists (theistic as well as atheistic) when they tell creationists they don't understand evolution. This is a very common tactic from proponents of evolution. They assume that someone must not understand it if they reject it. However, they fail to recognize that several creationists who are authors, debaters, and/or educators once taught evolutionary biology at the college level or have degrees specific to or related to evolution. Surely these people understand it. But to be honest, I feel it's pretty safe to say that no one understands it, really, because they get it wrong very frequently. They're always rewriting the story. Darwin mused over the lack of transition fossils in the fossil record. Here we are 150 years after Darwin's work with no real transitions to speak of (we'll get into that more later in this writing), but the theory hasn't had any issues with that at all, although the fossil record should be filled with transitions. I've been told that I don't understand how evolution works because I don't believe transition fossils exist. I've also been told that EVERY fossil is a transition fossil, but that's just blowing smoke to shut down discussion.

Are there transitions in the fossil record? The overwhelming response must be “NO!” Of course there aren’t. If there were, we'd have all heard endlessly about it. We do hear about them on occasion, but we later find no one, sometimes including the person that discovered it, actually still thinks it was a transition from anything to anything. Let's get back to Darwin:

He said in On the Origin of Species: “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, (must) be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” Remarkable, right? Now, just to be clear, Darwin didn't really blame this on his theory at all but on the evidence! He even had a chapter in his book called “The Imperfection of the Geological Record.”

It's no different now than it was then. Stephen Jay Gould, a very well-known evolutionist, said “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips.” He says “extreme rarity,” but I think it's more accurate to say “absence.” Darwin asked why the geologic column was not loaded with transition fossils and even with direct lineages from one organism to the next. If gradualism (slow changes over very long periods of time) is true, the fossil record should be ripe with evidence for it. He claims the evidence for Darwinism isn't there because the fossil record doesn't keep good notes, essentially. The (unverifiable) idea that Gould liked the most was that changes occur over a shorter period of time with long periods of no change. This seems to help the theory out, but 150 years and millions if not billions of fossils later, we still don't have anything we can truly call a transition. How could this be?

The rescuing device (suggesting that the transitions just aren't captured in the geologic column because they happen in short intervals) really is nothing more than wishful thinking. Darwin says that intermediates (transition fossils) must exist in huge numbers. We don't find them. He also states that it must be because the fossil record just didn't preserve them for us. The other alternative, obviously, is that his theory is incorrect. But as we've discussed before, since the facts don't help the evolutionist, they accommodate anything and everything (and sometimes claim they've had it right the whole time).

If we're honest and really think on it, the fossil record should be filled with not only the random transition fossil, but entire lineages should be represented. There are estimated to be, now, nearly 9 million different species. Surely we'd catch at least one ancestral line from something primitive to something modern. There are about 5700 family distinctions in taxonomy in the animal kingdom alone. There is nothing in the fossil record that connects them. If you recall the quote from Dr. Gould, he even says that the “tree” Darwinists love to talk about and claim is reality only has representatives at the tips of the branches. There is literally nothing to connect any of them. According to Eugene Koonin, Senior Investigator at the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Library of Medicine, “The general lack of transitional forms between species in the fossil record is a constant theme in evolutionary biology.” Here's a fact for us all to enjoy: the fossil record undeniably demonstrates stasis (lack of change) and NOT evolution.

When a fossil is found, it's generally quickly identified as a type of this or that. It's always something we know existed because something similar exists now, or if it's extinct we've found numerous other examples. There's never a question of “Oh, perhaps this is transitioning from an amphibian to a reptile,” or, “You know, this has several characteristics of a reptile and a mammal.” We just don't see them. In fact, the idea of transitions in and of itself is illogical. Evolutionists require it for their humanist theory, but it's impossible.

Darwin said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” He went on to say he knows of no examples of this (of course, or it would have destroyed his theory). But for a guy in the 1850's to be expected to have any real degree of knowledge on biology and physiology is a little much—at least not to the degree we do today (which is still rather small). There are numerous issues for Darwinism based on irreducible complexity. Evolutionists will claim this is not true, but my opinion is that the issues are fairly obvious. I've written on it before. There is no logical or fact-based defense for the evolutionist against irreducible complexity or specified complexity. But because they have to believe it or their religious beliefs have no hope, they hoist it up as though it's explainable through some magic of atheism.

The number of transition fossils allegedly found between some ape/human ancestor must be in the dozens. Yet, to date, every one can easily be identified as either completely ape or completely human (or completely bogus/fraudulent). The same can be true of nearly any alleged transition fossil found. And, again, if evolution is a reality, not only should we find more transition fossils, but we should find more of them than non-transition fossils. The record should be loaded with them! We've got none. How does that work?

Creationists see the fossil record and see 2 things: all life originated abruptly and with no ancestral lines to trace them back to something less complex, AND the planet's surface was annihilated by a great Flood that killed an unknowable amount of life forms all at one time. Both of these ideas are supportive of the Biblical account and neither is helpful (or acknowledged) by evolutionists. They do enjoy denying the obvious.

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The Unfaithful Reading of Scripture

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, November 15, 2017 0 comments

by David Odegard

Last week I wrote about Rene Descartes’ foundationalism. He began with an awareness of his own consciousness and rationalized all of his beliefs on that basis. He reckoned that all of his beliefs could be held without the shadow of a doubt, including his belief in God, as long as they were justified along these lines.

The level of indubitability that Descartes was looking for was impractical because the skepticism that arose in response to him proved that one can always be skeptical of anything, no matter how well-founded is the belief. An endless litany of “But what if it wasn’t though?” could always follow whatever belief someone had, even Descartes’ famous line: “I think therefore, I am.” The skeptics became a very popular school of thought.

Many philosophers, like Kant, began to address this skepticism but really only made matters worse. Kant suggested that there were two worlds: the material world (phenomena) which we could perceive with our five senses and could be measured and observed, and that which lies beyond perception (noumena), which cannot be measured or observed. This is the spiritual world, basically.

For Kant, the material world could be known and therefore the data concerning it could be called knowledge. The spiritual world could not be known (in Kant’s opinion) except through subjective experiences and therefore could only ever be “belief” but never “knowledge.” This separation between belief and knowledge remains today.

So according to Kant and those who follow him, one could never say, “We know that Jesus Christ rose from the dead,” because such a statement cannot be substantiated by material or physical evidence. Let me hasten to say that Kantians are in error even here. The resurrection of Jesus is a known historical fact. It has been substantiated by material, physical evidence. The resurrection of Jesus, therefore, constitutes knowledge not merely belief even by Kant’s less-than-ideal standards.

Kant believed that one could not know anything that belonged in the spiritual world with any degree of certainty; one could only ever guess. He also believed that no one could ever speak to us from the spiritual world and so we would never know anything about it. After all, he might have reasoned, when you ask the dead about the spiritual world they say nothing, so it must be nothing.

This thinking became the basis of reading the Bible with a hyper-critical point of view. In the opinion of the intellectuals that followed Kant, the Bible had to be demythologized, that is that all of the spiritual or supernatural accounts had to be reinterpreted with nothing supernatural admitted. Hence, neither Jesus nor anyone else could have performed miracles. He could have risen from the dead and neither will you when you die. Jesus was not born of a virgin, did not feed the five thousand, and did not heal a blind man. And on and on the hellish litany drones.

This way of reading the Bible bears several names even today among them: German higher-criticism, hyper-criticism, demythological reading, JDEP, etc. (You can look them up for fun sometime.) But the common denominator in all of these names is that the supernatural doesn’t exist and so the Bible had to be reinterpreted.

This kind of reading is actually foreign to Scripture. The Bible teaches that we can know what lies in the spiritual world and that we have had many voices speak to us from that side (see Hebrews 1:1) especially now that Jesus has come and spoken to us (Hebrews 1:2 plus the entirety of the New Testament). Nevertheless, this alien hermeneutic was imported into reading the Bible. These Germans (calling themselves the Academy) were actually reading the Bible to justify UNbelief. That is why it is an unfaithful reading of Scripture.

This hyper-criticism has destroyed the European church. It was imported to America in the early 1900’s through the mainline churches, most notably the Presbyterian Church. It has sterilized and destroyed that once-great center of Christianity along with much of the mainline denominations of the 20th century. Now it is at work among Evangelicals in many different ways but among them Progressive Christianity, the Emergent Church, Affirming Churches, etc.

The Bible is a supernatural book that teaches that God is there and that He can be known. He acts in supernatural ways both in the past and still today. A system of belief that denies this fundamental truth is contrary to Scripture and foreign to true Christianity. But these unbelievers want to have a semblance of religion and so they play word games with the Bible, importing this alien interpretation to the Scripture and denying the Lord.

Hyper-criticism is a cult.

If you don’t believe me, read an account of a hyper-critical insider who happened to be born again and then subsequently left the Academy. You can find it here; be prepared, it is powerful.

If you are going to know God, you must begin by taking the Bible at face value. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). You will never have true knowledge of the spiritual world if you predetermine that it does not exist. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile” (Psalm 14:1).

We can talk more about this sometime, but for now, friend, reject any Bible teacher who denies that the Bible is truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Reject any Bible teacher that denies the supernatural or miracles. Reject teachers who say that this or that book is “non-historical” or that Paul didn’t write 2 Timothy, or that Moses didn’t write Genesis, etc. They don’t know, can’t know, but are driven by their personal unbelief. They would like you to also not believe the truth of the Bible, even while they pretend to be the Bible’s friend. They lie. They are apostates. They have wandered from the faith.

“For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 4).

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.