Four Horsemen

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, January 31, 2018 0 comments

by David Odegard

There is a reason that the West is suffering under such despair and Darwin, Freud, Nietzsche, and Marx are the articulators of that suffering. Or as the youth pastor at our church has named them, the four horsemen. These four men are responsible not for causing the shift in thinking, but for justifying the shift philosophically.

Darwin’s theory of evolution was a way to expel God from His creation. It never was a theory to explain the origin of life, but rather to explain the diversity of creatures. Darwinism explains existing matter only, but it does not answer where matter came from originally. Furthermore, Darwin wanted to explain the natural world without reference to God; it has come to be known as naturalism or philosophical materialism.

Christianity recognizes that God made the world. The present fallen state is a reflection of sinful persons; it reflects a world that has gone astray from the love of God and way of life as intended by its Maker. The wreckage of humanity washes up on God’s pristine shore. He did not cause it, but He sends Jesus to clean it up.

Freud sought to apply naturalism to the human being. If we evolved slowly over time, that would mean our psychology was vastly different than the ancients knew. Rather than having a soul made in the image of God, human beings had a psychology which was animalistic and vicious. Freud’s explanation of humanity isn’t altogether unrecognizable. Human beings are savage sinners. Even though we know better, we still behave like animals. Freud’s answer is that we are animals. He then builds his psychological theory based on philosophical materialism.

Christianity recognizes that we may act like animals, but it is because we are out of sync with our identity as God’s image bearers. That sin has infected the human race and we are shivering with its fever still. The sickness is unto death, but God sends His son, Jesus, to heal the sick and raise the dead.

Marx sought to expel God from the state. In the absence of a God to order the world, people must turn to the next most powerful thing: the state. But a state that has no accountability to a good God morphs into a monster of the “vilest mien, to be hated needs but to be seen. But seen to oft, familiar with face, first we endure, then pity, then embrace.” Marxism has killed more people than anything. Marxism fueled the states of Chairman Mao, Lenin and Stalin, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, and filled the mass graves of those who disagreed with an all-powerful state. Marxism replaced God with the state and demanded worship. Babylon. Head of gold.

Christianity recognizes that power belongs rightfully to the good God. He alone can order and sustain the universe. Peace doesn’t come through force; it comes through transformation by the Son of God. All peoples of the earth gather together and take their stand against the Lord and against His only Son. They build in their own pride and shake their fists at God and say, “Never will you extract from us our pride—we will go down to the depths unsubmitted.” But God sends His Son, Jesus, as the stone that strikes down all the governments of the world—grinding them to powder. But He Himself is the stone not cut out by human hands which will fill all the world with God’s good governance. And all the righteous shall rejoice under His rule and reign.

Nietzsche rejoiced in the idea that God is dead. Not because he ever believed in God, but because he was glad the world was not engaged in a grand fiction. Now we could get on with real life—life in this life rather than the one to come. He advocated for expelling God from everything. But as I wrote last week, since Nietzsche believed there was no God for us to be an image of, he saw an opportunity to make ourselves into any image we pleased. He believed that the superman would assert himself in spite of what weaklings saw as moral. Hitler loved this idea.

Nietzsche believed that humans craved power and that they were free to grasp all of it they could swallow since God was dead. One must first kill the policeman living inside and then grasp power. Can you see Hitler? Can you see every strongman, every mafia boss? Might makes right. Power is its own reward. He sees the exploitation of others as the key to successful living. He says in On the Genealogy of Morality, “It is just as absurd to ask strength not to express itself as strength, not to be a desire to overthrow, crush, become master, [not] to be a thirst for enemies, resistance and triumphs, as it is to ask weakness to express itself as strength” (sec. 13, pg. 8). As one writer (Douglas Blount) put it, “by successfully exerting one’s will to power, one may for a time dominate one’s world, thus temporarily winning the cosmic equivalent of king of the hill. But to what end?”

But Christianity recognizes that there is a world after this one. One that makes right every wrong. One that balances every scale. One that rewards good and punishes evil. Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

Christianity recognizes that we possess hideous strength to do harm and evil, but are weak to do good. We are fallen. Every monument that we have erected to the greatness of man has been built by forced labor, through manipulation or coercion. We are weak but our strongman, Jesus, comes to save us. It is because of God’s mercy, not our strength, that we are saved. By His gospel, not our virtue, we are saved. Heaven is only for those who admit their own weakness and receive the strength of Christ.


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What Does the Bible Say About Dreams and Visions?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 29, 2018 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

The topic for this week is what the Bible says about dreams and visions. Yes, that does mean dreams like the kind you may have when you fall asleep at night. Visions are often prophetic in nature, meaning they tell of things yet to come.

The primary thing we see in the Bible on this topic is that God does sometimes reveal things to His people through dreams and visions. A few examples of this are in Genesis 37:5-10, 1 Kings 3:5-15, Daniel chapter 2 and chapter 7, Matthew 1:20, Matthew 2:13 and 19, Acts 10:9-16, and Acts 16:9. There are many more examples beyond this as well.

But just because we see or experience something in a dream does not mean it’s from God. Jeremiah 23:25-27 warns of this in that some dreams are deceptive.

Does God communicate with us today through dreams and visions? Perhaps at times He does, but we need to make sure that any message we think we’re receiving from God lines up with the Scriptures. We know that all Scripture was given to us by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and we should test whatever we think may (or may not) be from God (1 John 4:1-3).

Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us that the primary way God communicates to us today is through His Son, but that doesn’t rule out that He would occasionally use dreams or visions. We do see in Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17 that in the “last days” that people will have dreams and visions. Are the last days happening right now? Possibly; no one knows for sure.

Any dreams or visions you have that might be spiritual or prophetic in nature should always be checked against what we know to be true - God’s Word.

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The Faith of Samson

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, January 28, 2018 0 comments

by Logan Ames

I used to be a pastor at a small rural church in Ohio for about three years. During the course of my time there, we never had a true worship leader or music team as some churches are accustomed to having. However, that didn’t stop us from worshipping the Lord. When I first got there, a friend of mine who had experience with drums but did not see himself as a singer was actually the one to get up on stage each week and lead the congregation in singing worship songs off the computer. Eventually, my wife, who has an amazing voice, was willing to takeover the singing duties each week. When she wasn’t there, however, myself and my friend who had led in the past occasionally led worship together. It was the first, and ONLY, church where I was able to sing on the worship team. God made me a lot of things, but a singer isn’t one of them. Yet, I learned a valuable lesson from that experience, and my friend who viewed me as his pastor and mentor actually set the example for me. We joked that neither one of us could carry a tune in a bucket, but together we sounded much better than individually. It was a good lesson in teamwork, but the bigger lesson for me was that God uses even our weaknesses.

Most of us know our own strengths. We are aware of our weaknesses, but rarely talk or even think about them. We’re so focused on what WE are able to do that we rarely stop to think about what GOD is able to do when our ability just isn’t there. As we continue to look at the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11 in order, we come to a man who was quite possibly one of the strongest men who ever lived. But, despite that overwhelming strength, he was commended for his faith in God that he showed when he was weakest in the physical sense. In Hebrews 11:32-34, one of the names mentioned is Samson, and the description of what was accomplished by faith that most clearly fits his life is “weakness was turned to strength." As with all the other heroes, we must look back to learn and find hope for the future.

The full story of Samson can be found in Judges 13-16 and I encourage you to read the whole thing. I’ll touch on certain parts of it so we can understand his weakness and his faith. Because Israel was still going back and forth from following God to doing evil in his eyes, God allowed them to be overtaken by one of the most notable enemies of the Israelites in the Old Testament - the dreaded Philistines. We see that before Samson was even born, an angel appeared to his mom and explained that she would have a child who would “take the lead” in delivering his people from the hand of the Philistines (Judges 13:5). What’s interesting is that it doesn’t say he will be THE deliverer. He will start the process, but there’s almost this understanding from the very beginning that he will not complete it. This shows both God’s omniscience (he knew the sins Samson would commit and their ultimate consequences) and his omnipotence (despite Samson’s failures, God was able to use others to complete the deliverance). The circumstances of Samson’s birth, how he would be raised, and his parents’ knowledge of God suggest that Samson had a great spiritual foundation on which to build his faith.

If we can learn anything from Samson’s life, it might be that a great spiritual foundation alone does not make one faithful. Each person is responsible for his or her own choices. Even when we seemingly have all the advantages, we should remember, like the old Progressive commercial says, to “be careful, because that kind of power can go to your head." Samson’s actions as an adult reveal that he may have thought he was invincible. He marries a Philistine woman in Judges 14 and even when his parents try to remind him that it’s unacceptable, he simply says, “She’s the right one for me." While God was certainly using this situation for his ultimate purpose of confronting the enemy of Israel (v. 4), that doesn’t excuse Samson’s giving into temptation. But let me stop and address that for a minute. Why would God need to confront the Philistines himself? Apparently, there was no one in all of Israel who was willing to do it. Samson was supposed to lead that charge and instead married one of their women. It seems like he kind of went the other way on that one!

It’s no wonder that Samson was basically comfortable in his sin and figured he could walk outside of God’s commands and still receive his blessings. The entire nation and culture was doing it! With Israel’s previous enemies who ruled over them, there was ruthless oppression and forced labor, but we don’t read of that with the Philistines. It’s like everyone was accepting of the status quo, which was the people of God living together with the unbelievers, but the unbelieving culture was ruling over everyone and the people of God were comfortable with it. Does this remind you of any particular culture or nation? God is always looking for a leader who is willing to lovingly confront and challenge a culture that desperately wants to drag people away from him and enslave them. We cannot let ourselves remain comfortable with our sin!

In the chapters that follow in the Book of Judges, you can see how Samson’s comfort with his sin leads him down a path of destruction. He breaks every part of the Nazirite vow that his mother had taken for him before he was born, gets drunk, gambles, deals with a nagging wife who ultimately sides with her own people the Philistines against him, calls her a heifer, kills a bunch of people in order to pay his gambling debt, and feels justified and invincible through it all. His own people hand him over to the Philistines, but he is able to break loose and kill a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. This only strokes his ego and feeling of invincibility even more, so he forgets that his mighty strength comes from the Lord. He ends up in a sinful relationship with pagan woman named Delilah. He is infatuated with her, so she plans to use that against him. She seduces him to the point where she is able to tie him up and let the Philistines take him captive. He seems to enjoy the seductive games she is playing, probably because he feels nothing and no one can defeat him. But Judges 16:20-21 tells us that his sins eventually catch up to him as the strength that God had given him is taken away and he ends up being captured by the Philistines, who gouge out his eyes, bind him in shackles, and take him to their prison.

This seems like the lowest of lows for the man God called to deliver his people from the Philistines. Not only did he not do that, he now finds himself without eyes and totally at the mercy of the enemy he was born to defeat. They force the imprisoned Samson to perform for them at their parties. He is a laughing stock and a total failure in the eyes of many. But it is precisely in that moment of his blindness, submission, and total weakness that he remembers that God had given him all the gifts he had in the first place. He remembers that while his circumstances had changed, God was still God. As he is placed between the pillars at the Philistine temple, where thousands of people are gathered, he cries out to God and asks for the strength to be returned to him just one last time so he can kill many Philistines in his final breath. God grants him this dying wish and gives him enough strength in that moment to bring down the entire temple and kill thousands of people who worshipped pagan gods (Judges 16:23-30).

Samson could’ve just focused on all his failures and basically quit life. But in his biggest moment of weakness and despair, he chose to focus on what GOD could do rather than what HE could not do. If you have fallen into sin and the consequences have weakened you, or if you simply sense that you don’t have what it takes to accomplish a task God has given you, know that GOD alone has all the strength you need. If you put your faith in his ability over your own, you will accomplish great things even in weakness!

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.


Did Humans and Dinosaurs Coexist?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, January 27, 2018 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Along with my sci-fi interests, an equally challenging question for me as a teenager was, "What about the dinosaurs?" I mean, did we coexist, or was there an age between them and us?

I wrestled with this as a new believer in Jesus, because it seemed to me that it challenged the account of creation if there was millions of years between us. Even after I learned and wrestled through the 'day/age' theory (the idea that the days of creation in Genesis each represented thousands of years), I still wondered how we could have co-existed. Growing up I had seen shows like "Land of the Lost," where a family falls into a split in the earth and they find a tropical biosphere with full sized dinosaurs. This family daily had to survive and try to find their way back home. The scale of the dinosaurs was so huge compared to them that it was fantastic to believe that we could exist in the same time. And yet, they survived episode after episode, while continuing to reinforce the evolutionary view and separation of humans and dinosaurs in history.

As a teen, when I asked my pastor about all of this, he took me to Genesis 1-3 and we read about creation, specifically pausing at Genesis 2:19-20. My pastor asked me, "How many animals does it say God created?" And then he asked, "How many did Adam name?"

The answer was obvious to me, even then: ALL. This was the first time that I considered it possible that humans and dinosaurs existed together from the beginning. I still would come back to this from time to time and check my assumptions from new scientific or Biblical information. As I learned about the forgeries in fossil reconstruction by archeologists determined to prove evolution and then began to learn about the archeological assumptions made in excavating human towns, animal bones, dry river beds, etc., I began to challenge both my assumptions and the assumptions of scientists who made leaps in connecting physical data to ideological presumptions. All that to say, I approached my own assumptions and theirs with skepticism and relied on scientific and Biblical evidence to determine what is true.

I was content with a sort of "limbo" in regard to when and how the dinosaurs existed and whether there was an "age" between us for quite some time. But a very simple encounter with a life sized model of a T-Rex changed my thinking. I have stood next to elephants and models of wooly mammoths. And as big as they are, I never had a reason to doubt that we have coexisted with them, and that Adam likely named them something way back in Genesis 2. When I went to a science center focused on wildlife of land and sea, I walked into a room with a life-sized model of a T-Rex, and it was like a switch flipping inside me on a visceral level. All the drama and exaggerated scale of and every dinosaur movie/show suddenly evaporated.

As I looked at the model, it dawned on me that it was really NOT that much bigger than an elephant. I actually imagined what it would be like to harness it and ride on its back, and I realized that it was a reasonable possibility that we could do so. And for all the fear mongering and indoctrination from "Land of the Lost," the irony of their survival became absurdly clear to me. Yes, it was a fictional show, but by its very own storyline it dismantled its own message about the big, scary, dangerous predators of ancient history. And while Jurassic Park tried to make this more believable by killing people in the story and having the dinosaurs eat them, the irony of the survival of the main characters remained.

So, for me, suddenly the extinction of the wooly mammoth as an accepted and settled reality in our history was exactly the same as the extinction of the dinosaurs - not just as a fantastic pre-human event, but as a very probable event within the span of human existence. In that moment, it was more realistic and believable that Adam could have named the dinosaurs, just as the Bible indicates.

We have had many animals, large and small, go extinct within human history, and we currently have animals equal to and larger than the average dinosaur. The Bible says Adam named all the animals God created, and I believe it is correct. 

If you want to dig deeper into the additional considerations on the age of the earth, evolution, creation, etc., feel free to check out some of our blog posts by Steve Risner and Charlie Wolcott.

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.


To the Church at Thyatira

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, January 26, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

In continuing this series about the letters to the seven churches of Revelation 2-3, the fourth letter is to the church at Thyatira. I classify this letter as one of the three where Christ is most displeased. The other two are with Pergamos and with Laodicia (though Ephesus would be fourth in this list). Thyatira’s problem was similar to Pergamos only to a greater extreme. Pergamos’ problem was compromise. They claimed to follow Christ but had allowed false teachings to the pulpit as well. With Thyatira, it was not mere allowance of other teachings in their midst, it was allowing false teachers as the leadership. Thyatira’s problem was the result of Pergamos’ problem: going from compromise to corruption.

With Pergamos, Jesus described himself as having a sword. With Thyatira, Jesus describes his eyes like a flame of fire and feet like fine brass. Having the sword alone should be scary enough. Here, the sword isn’t put away. But Jesus’ eyes are blazing and more often than not, fire and eyes together is the image of wrath. Let me make this clear: Jesus is not this sissified pansy that many tend to think he is with just love, fluff, and a god-like teddy bear. He is kind and gentle, but he is a raging fire and he will consume all who are not under his protection. He is coming with a rod of iron to crush and dash the nations to pieces (verse 27). He is not to be trifled with and too many of us (yes, that includes me) are guilty of doing so.

Jesus started with a few positive notes. He recognizes their works, love, service, faith, and patience. However, I get the sense that he just wants to get that part out of the way and get to the issue that has caused his eyes to burn with fire: Jezebel. I wrote about Jezebel and her net a couple months ago. Many know who Jezebel is and her marriage to Ahab and her defiance of Elijah the prophet, however by this time, Jezebel’s name had become synonymous with false teaching. Thyatira had been corrupted enough to where they allowed the spirit of Jezebel into their pulpits and leadership. Jesus specifically pointed out the sins of sexual immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols, however do not be fooled that this is the only area this applies.

It is far easier to find a false teacher today than it is to find a solid one. If one knows anything about sound doctrine, they keep coming out of the woodwork and exposing themselves. Paul Washer made a very interesting statement which caught my attention and he’s not the only one I’ve heard it from. These false teachers are not con-men; they are the judgment upon their congregations for seeking after teachers who will tickle ears. Is he right? I have a hard time saying no. David Wilkerson also had a solid sermon about this issue that is worth listening to. I’m not going to repeat everything they say, but those resources are valuable and part of what inspired me to write this whole series.

Jesus let the false teachers go for a while so they might repent (verse 21), but they would not. Jesus does not want to carry out his judgment upon man. He longs for them to repent. However, there comes a point where the person will not repent and any hint towards it has to do with getting caught and losing out on self, not a recognition of their rebellion against God. Jesus said he will judge her, make her sick. Those who lie with her will be cast into a great tribulation unless they repent. Her children will die and he will give according to their works. It is important to note that good deeds will not save you if you are in bed with a false teaching. You can teach Bible study, go on mission trips, and give to the poor, but if you are attached to a false teaching by covenant (intentional or not), all those good deeds will go to waste, because when the judgment comes on the false teacher, it will come on all who associated with him or her.

However, Jesus offers hope for those who have not submitted to that false teacher. They are still in the church because that is where they are located, not because they wanted to listen to the false teachering. I do believe that in every congregation, no matter how blatantly false the teachings are, there is a group of solid, true believers in and among them. Exactly why they stay is not what I will address here. Jesus is speaking to this solid, true believer group in verses 24-28.

Jesus is not going to put an extra burden on them. Why? It’s hard enough to sit in a church where a liar and satanic puppet is spewing forth pure evil in the name of God and remain pure. Jesus’ command to them is to hold on to the truth they know and to not let it go. It is hard. Peer-pressure is hard enough as is from the secular world, but when it comes from those who are supposed to be your allies, it is almost unbearable. God is always going to provide an escape, however, that does not make it wise to stick around, and it is most unwise to purpose to go to such an area to be “be a witness” so you can get the benefits. Paul warned the Romans and the Philippians to mark and identify the false teachers and avoid them.

Are you in a Thyatiran church? Could you recognize it as such? If so, if you have the means of leaving that church and finding a body where you can both get fed and serve, then do so. However, if for whatever reason you cannot, I will not judge that decision. But like Jesus, I charge you to take a firm hold of the truth and do not let go of it. False teachings act like a poisonous miasma, like yeast, seeking to infiltrate anything it can. Beware of them because they are many and they look like sheep.

Next week, I will look at the church of Sardis who lacked life, sleeping on the watch. It is because the watchmen have not been doing their job why these false teachings have crept in so readily. The church needs to be alert and alive to all that is going on around them. That’s for next week.

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.


They Want a Divorce But They're Still Married

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, January 25, 2018 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Have you ever gotten into a discussion with someone who believes in evolution? In any of those conversations, did the origin of life ever come up? “You don't know what you're talking about! That's not part of the theory of evolution!” This is a very common claim by evolutionists primarily because abiogenesis (life coming from non-life) stops Darwinism before it can even get started. So they stomp their feet and tell you that you don't understand evolution. Is this claim valid?

Every commonly used textbook out there on biology talks about evolution. You wanna guess how they start the conversation? That's right—with life coming from non-life. If this has nothing to do with Darwinism, why is it taught WITH evolution in every biology text? The truth is, the two ideas—abiogenesis and universal common descent—are inseparably married. Mutations and natural selection cannot act on genetics, and populations of life cannot get started from non-living matter; that's why they throw a fit when you bring it up. And, of course, the “go to” for them is to say the person bringing up abiogenesis doesn't understand evolution. This tends to shut down discussion (which makes them happy since the topic is embarrassing for them). Is there some merit to abiogenesis? Let's take a look.

Abiogenesis is defined as the original evolution of life or living organisms from inorganic or inanimate substances. Funny how the definition includes the word “evolution” right in it. Google even claims that a synonym for abiogenesis is spontaneous generation. Spontaneous generation was believed by many for a long time to be a real thing. Spontaneous generation is the production of living organisms from nonliving matter. This sounds a lot like abiogenesis, but let's not split hairs. Louis Pasteur, who was a pioneering scientist in the fields of biology, microbiology, and chemistry, looked into this over 150 years ago. He was not friendly to Darwin's theory and, as a result, this was part of his motivation for conducting experiments concerning abiogenesis. His work proved that life does not come from non-living material and even resulted in the Law of Biogenesis. This law states that life arises from pre-existing life, not from nonliving material. This law stands in direct contradiction to the idea that life originally arose from non-living material. This is one of at least a few laws of nature that evolutionists (and atheists in general) need to suspend for their origins myth to seem tenable. They rely strictly on natural/material processes to explain everything in the universe, even though many laws of science must be ignored in order for them to defend their religious beliefs. Some go so far as to say that spontaneous generation is the idea that life can come from non-life “under normal circumstances.” Cute, I know. They modify the meaning just a little so it doesn't make them look witless. “Under normal circumstances” doesn't help them, it simply begs the question, “What circumstances would allow for life to evolve from non-living matter?” There is literally no scientific answer for this question.

So if you bring up spontaneous generation to an evolutionist, they'll tell you that this has nothing to do with abiogenesis (although their definitions are essentially identical). The explanation they'll give is that spontaneous generation was only about fully-formed and complex organisms like mice or maggots and abiogenesis is about the first self-replicating living thing. In other words, they believe exactly in spontaneous generation but want to say they don't so they don't look foolish. Do you see why? With abiogenesis and spontaneous generation, the difference is the complexity of the organism. The difference is very much like the difference in saying that a fairy tale says that a frog can become a prince after a kiss from a princess, but if you allow for hundreds of millions of years in between with innumerable generations, evolutionists believe an amphibian will eventually evolve into a human. The factor of time is really the only difference. So they believe in spontaneous generation, but only of a single-celled organism. Keep in mind that individual cells are mindbogglingly complex. You can read about that here. It was okay for Darwin to believe that a single-celled organism could spontaneously generate because he didn't know any better. He basically believed a cell was a tiny bag of goo with not much happening there. Now we know that cells are fantastically complicated and have a ridiculous number of things going on inside them at all times. To believe anything even approaching a cell could spontaneously pop into being—from non-living to living—is naive at this point. We can give Charles Darwin a pass for thinking something we know now is so absurd. He's credited by some as the greatest biologist of all time (even though he didn't hold a single scientific degree), yet his “theory” at its very foundation was an impossibility—literally. I know, I know, they're not related… but they really are.

There has been no successful attempt to make life in a test tube. They've tried for a long time because they want to support Darwinism. There have been many experiments over the decades, and none have produced anything even close to a living thing. This is because I believe life is not merely a chemical reaction. Life is not what chemistry just does. Genetics (which in and of itself makes a mockery of Darwinism) forces chemistry to do what it normally would not. And, truly, if someone managed to piece together something they claimed was alive in a lab from non-living material, they would need to provide the programming to run the organism they manufactured. They would, in essence, be supporting Intelligent Design—the idea that life demands an intelligent Creator—since they'd have used their intelligence to produce whatever it was they claimed was alive. DNA is a storage device that holds the code to build living things. DNA is the medium by which the blueprints are stored to make people, puppies, and pine trees. Where did this code come from? A code, by necessity, has an intelligent source and is intended to be deciphered by an intelligent recipient. I'm getting off topic, so let me bring it back to the point.

Abiogenesis is very clearly a fundamental part of the atheist origins myth. If we can't get life from non-living matter, then the rest of the story isn't even important. Theistic evolutionists will try to suggest that they get a pass here—they have God. Atheists have to believe in magic because they need abiogenesis to be something real. But theistic evolutionists think they've got it figured out. God made this stuff happen, right? Either this or they truly have no use for God whatsoever—He just stood by helplessly watching while nature (the real god of theistic evolution) did the impossible. Either way, you can't separate the two—life from non-life and universal common descent go hand in hand.

Further, we can take the atheist's need to explain the universe without God even deeper in time. The atheist wants to explain life from non-life to get to universal common descent, but what about the evolution of the solar system? Where did earth come from? The explanation my son told me they gave him in school made me laugh out loud. How did stars evolve? Yeah, they have stories they like to tell about it, but they've got not a shred of evidence for such things. They like to talk about “star nurseries” and other interesting ideas, but we've only seen stars die, not be born. Now, “star nurseries” may be a thing. My worldview doesn't care about that really, although the ideas are intriguing. They like to talk about Pop III stars (which have never been observed by the way) which have apparently all died out but made it possible for all the other stars and the heavier elements to exist. You see how they do that? They just make up stories, pass them off as settled science, and no one bothers to ask questions. Then we go all the way back to the beginning of the universe. It's hilarious they want to suggest they know anything about it. And here we have more laws of science violated in order to allow for the atheist's origins myth. Sadly, some theistic evolutionists are on board with all of this as well. Not all, but many. They battle Bible-believing Christians and they'll join forces with God-hating militant atheists to do it. All this time, they'll suggest they're Christians, too.

Let's keep in mind that universal common descent (often simply termed “evolution” so as to add confusion) is absolutely incompatible with Christianity. And let's keep in mind that universal common descent is completely incompatible with science and reality.

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What Does the Bible Say About Dinosaurs?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 22, 2018 3 comments

by Katie Erickson

Dinosaurs have gone in and out of popularity in our culture, often depending on what movies are popular at the time. Dinosaurs fascinate us because they aren’t alive today, but we have evidence that they existed, primarily in the fossil record.

The word “dinosaur” is not in the Bible at all, but that word was developed in 1841 by Sir Richard Owen. It comes from the Greek words “deinos” (meaning terrible or monstrous) and “sauros” (meaning lizard). So there is no ancient Hebrew or Greek word that literally means dinosaur.

So are dinosaurs mentioned specifically in the Bible? One passage that is often pointed to for dinosaurs is Job 40-41. Job 40:15-24 references “behemoth.” The word “behemoth” is a literal transliteration from the Hebrew; that’s how the Hebrew word would be pronounced. Scholars disagree about its meaning; it could mean hippopotamus, or elephant, or a very large creature. The Hebrew word is very similar to the one used in Genesis 1:24-25 that’s often translated as “cattle” or “livestock.” But from the description in the book of Job, the Behemoth definitely sounds like how we would picture dinosaurs.

In Job 41, the Leviathan is another creature that we aren’t really sure what it is. Its description again makes it sound like how we would picture dinosaurs. Leviathan is also mentioned in Psalm 74:14, Psalm 104:25-26, and Isaiah 27:1.

So if these creatures were around in Biblical times, where are they now? The most likely explanation is that they were wiped out in the flood of Genesis 6-7. Other than the fossils that have been discovered, we have little way of knowing what animals were wiped out in that great flood approximately 4500 years ago. We know from the fossils that dinosaurs were once alive, so they were created by God, but the Bible is pretty quiet on the subject.

Fortunately, the issue of details surrounding dinosaurs is not a matter of life and death; our salvation is not dependent on dinosaurs but rather on our faith in Jesus and His saving death and resurrection on the cross for us. What we believe regarding dinosaurs is irrelevant on that matter, which is why it’s okay that the Bible doesn’t share much on that specific topic; it just doesn’t really matter.

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The Faith of Barak

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, January 21, 2018 0 comments

by Logan Ames

With it now being early in 2018, we are in the season of awards shows. The Golden Globes took place two weeks ago, the Grammys are coming up next week, and the Oscars will happen in a little over a month. While I know they are part of pop culture and appointment viewing for many fans, I’ve never cared much for them, especially more recently since they have been very politically-driven. But one part of them that I always enjoy is listening to the acceptance speeches. Whether it’s one of the awards shows I referenced above or an athletic achievement such as the Heisman Trophy or an MVP award, I love hearing about all the people that worked hard behind the scenes to help the winner get to that place in life.

It’s always the person out front with the known name and fame who gets the glory. However, the acceptance speeches give those people the opportunity to give credit where credit is truly due. The ones who work hard behind the scenes generally accept that they don’t get the credit because that’s the nature of the work they do. But what if they are deserving of the spotlight and still don’t get it? Sometimes, a person does the leg work AND produces excellence, but the credit is given to another. How do you react when you KNOW you deserve praise but someone else gets it? Your answer has a lot to do with your level of faith in a God who promises an eternal reward regardless of what we receive on earth.

There was a man in the Bible named Barak who had enough faith in the Lord to proceed and win the victory even after he was told he would not get the credit for it. Because of his faith, he is listed in the group commended for their faith in Hebrews 11:32. Like all of the others we have studied so far, Barak did not have a perfect faith. He had at least one moment of weakness that ultimately cost him the honor he would have otherwise received. But God doesn’t require us to have perfect faith; he only requires a willing faith that will participate in HIS work to the extent that he commands.

The story can be found in Judges 4. As they often did throughout their history, the Israelites were still going back and forth from living by faith to doing evil and worshipping idols. This had a lot to do with their leadership, or the lack thereof. After a period in which they did evil and God allowed them to once again be overtaken by a foreign king and army with 900 iron chariots, the Israelites cried out to God for help. It’s interesting that verse 3 tells us that Sisera, the commander of the pagan king’s army, “cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years” before they finally turned to God for help. How long does it take you to turn to God? How many times do you have to suffer consequences or try all the wrong solutions before turning to the One who you knew had the right solution all along? It’s hard to believe they stayed stuck in their ways for twenty years despite their consequences. Then again, maybe some of you reading this have been oppressed by your own sinful choices for even longer.

The great news is that God hears us and responds to our cries no matter how long we have walked away or rejected him. God brings Deborah, who was both a prophetess and a judge/leader in Israel, to light a fire under someone in Israel who would be willing to put a temporary end to their misery. It turns out that someone would be Barak. In verses 6-7, she sends for him and tells him to round up 10,000 men and go up to a mountain top to get ready for her to lead Sisera and all his chariots and troops to the river below where she will give them into Barak’s hands. In other words, he has the chance of a lifetime to make a name for himself and win the greatest victory of his generation. How does he respond to this opportunity? Well, he basically says he’ll only do it if Deborah goes with him (v. 8).

In 2007, I sat in a coffee house in Findlay, Ohio with an elder from my church in Pennsylvania. We and a handful of others had traveled to Ohio for the seminary graduation of a friend of ours from the church. I had known for years God was calling me to go to seminary and learn to be a pastor and I knew that would take me to Findlay, Ohio, but this was my first time visiting the seminary and the city. I had been in a little bit of a spiritual rut in my life and wasn’t really doing what I was most passionate about despite being a youth leader at the time. The elder and I were talking about life and I was explaining my lack of passion and adventure and he simply said, “Logan, I imagine you will continue to feel that way until you do what you know the Lord is calling you to do." Less than two months later, I began to make plans to move to Ohio and go to seminary. A little over a year later, I made the big move.

As I look back on that moment in my life, what strikes me is that it’s not like the elder told me what the Lord was calling me to do. It wasn’t his call to make. He only reminded me of what I already knew the Lord was calling me to do. The issue wasn’t a matter of confusion about the call for me. It was a lack of faith and a choice I had been making to try to assure comfort if and when I would do what God wanted. The same is true with Deborah and Barak. In Judges 4:6, we read that Deborah tells him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you." The King James Version of that verse leads us to believe it is more of a reminder: “Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded... ?” It’s a rhetorical question to remind him of something God had already previously revealed to him. Again, the issue was his faith and level of comfort, not the call. When he responded initially, he was only halfway in. Like me, he wanted a comfortable way to follow God’s call. But that was soon to change.

Deborah responds to his request by choosing to go with him, but declares that his half-committed response means that he will not receive the honor most would for defeating an oppressive regime, and the Lord would use a woman to complete the job by killing Sisera (v. 9). To Barak’s credit, he seems to accept this and moves forward in obeying God’s command anyway (v. 10). The one example we have to show us that Barak grew in his faith throughout this time is that when Deborah tells him Sisera and his army are ready to be overtaken, he doesn’t hesitate (v. 14). He could stay up on the mountain where it would be tough for Sisera’s chariots to reach him, but instead he trusts the Lord and advances down the mountain and wins the victory (vv. 14-15). True to the word spoken by Deborah, Sisera is eventually killed by Jael (vv. 17-21).

The cool thing is that Barak may not have even had to do too much. Judges 5:21 shows us that the river where Sisera and his army were actually “swept them away." When we ultimately follow God’s commands, even if we initially had very weak faith, God always comes through. He will accomplish things that you and I cannot even imagine on our own. We may not get all or even any of the credit, and someone else who didn’t do as much might get it. But we know that the victory is ultimately God’s anyway so it’s irrelevant which human being is honored. When we move forward in faith, we get to watch and participate in what God is doing in the world. If you know God wants you to do something different or take a big step of faith, now is the time. Don’t expect him to show up and show off until you’ve taken that step out of your comfort zone.

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What Does the Bible Say About Aliens?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, January 20, 2018 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

I am still a fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, and many other sci-fi related storylines. Yes, I can quote specific lines, moments, and character references, as well as pick out the “nods” to series prequels, historical canon, etc. All that to say, when it comes to wondering about aliens and life on other planets, I started asking what the Bible had to say about that when I was a teenager. It was one of the questions that often caused me to doubt God’s existence and the point of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

As a teenager I discussed this at length with the pastor of the church I started attending. He asked me, “What difference would it make if there was life on other planets? What would it change about God’s relationship to you?” It was a great question in that it focused me on why I wanted to know and what assumptions I was making. Part of asking that question was expressing a doubt about God’s existence and the validity of the Bible. Then he took me to Genesis 1, and asked me, “What did God make?” My answer, of course, was “everything.” And he said, “So, whether there is or isn’t life elsewhere isn’t really the question. The question is who made it and who is in charge. If it’s God, then we need to take His Word and apply it in our relationship with Him and let Him reveal what we need to know as we need to know it.”

That was a great start to answering the question, by refocusing on what’s important. As I grew in my relationship with God, I discovered Psalm 8, Hebrews 2, and most significantly Colossians 1. Now, just to be clear, I am not lifting these from their context, but I am drawing conclusions from what these passages do teach in their context. The Bible never speaks of life on other planets directly, but these passages do clearly make statements that should inform our understanding of life in the universe. Another point of clarity for those who do word searches of the Bible is that you will find the word “alien” in the Bible, but it is always referring to people on earth from other nations.

Psalm 8 explains how God created humanity and where we fit in the realm of all creation, and Hebrews 2 takes that understanding and relates it to Jesus. Both explain that we are God’s creation, given honor and glory, and although our form is a little lower than the angels, God has put us in authority over creation. That is an important affirmation. We tend to overlook our God-given place and authority in creation and seek alien life forms when we don’t believe that God created ALL of this universe for us. We seek out alien life when we struggle with the idea of being ‘alone’ in the universe, again because somehow 6+ billion people and God himself are not enough to satisfy our loneliness, sense of belonging, or purpose. We seem to enjoy the idea of other cultures, other humanoid inhabited worlds, and other intelligent species typically for two reasons: because it is entertaining fantasy, or because it gratified some longing that ‘there must be more.’

Colossians 1:15-20 puts a rather clear and precisely focused point on the entire issue. Read the passage and reflect on it. Look at how specific the language is:

  • ALL things are made through Christ, and for Christ. 
  • In Him all things hold together. 
  • JESUS IS the image of the invisible God. 
  • He is before all things.
  • In Him all things on earth and in Heaven are reconciled through Him.

So, if He is THE image of God, and we are made in the image of God, and all things are made through Him and for Him, then it stands to reason that any sentient life anywhere in the universe would be humanoid and share the same attributes as us. And if there are other worlds inhabited by humans, and ALL things in Heaven (meaning the heavens/universe) and earth are reconciled through Him, then that means they have the same story as us - fallen by choosing sin and separation from God, and needing rescued, redeemed, and reconciled to God through Jesus. This also means Jesus then would have been born, walked among them, died for their sin, and resurrected to reconcile them to God forever.

Did Jesus die on multiple planets over and over again in their history? Romans 6:10 quenches this idea by stating that Jesus died “once for all” - meaning “once for everybody at all times.” So, is it possible that he lived simultaneously on multiple planets, and was sacrificed and resurrected at simultaneous moments on all planets? I find that unlikely and not genuine to the understanding the Jesus was fully present and fully involved in His earthly ministry and His sacrifice on our behalf. It wouldn’t be an atoning sacrifice if Jesus wasn’t really present in the flesh and didn’t really die.

So, what does the Bible say about space aliens or life on other planets? Directly, nothing. Indirectly, a couple of things:

  • Seeking life on other planets is a reflection of our pride, insecurity, or denial of the evidence of the universe and earth as a created and intentional place for human existence.
  • Seeking life on other planets is a denial of Jesus’ significance and our significance to God.
  • There is no dynamic of the universe or life that is separate from God, and all of it holds together and exists because of Him.
  • Humanity is God’s treasured creation, and He did ALL of this to express His love for us, His creativity toward us, and the lengths He would go to in making a place for us to live to the fullest of the potential He gave us.

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To the Church at Pergamos

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, January 19, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

In this study of the letters to the churches found in Revelation 2-3, the letter to Pergamos is one of the three with the more dire warnings. Two weeks ago, I wrote about Ephesus and the importance of getting the love for God back in order. Here, the situation is much worse. Pergamos was a very idolatrous city. Ephesus was known for hosting the Temple of Diana, considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. Pergamos was an idolatry capital most noted for being the first city in Asia (Asia Minor and the Middle East) to emphasize Caesar worship. To the Romans, the Emperor himself was considered a god and was to be worshipped as such. Pergamos was the first of the cites in the region to not just embrace but enforce such idol worship. This is why Jesus describes Satan’s throne being at Pergamos. It was a center of great evil.

Jesus opens this letter by reminding them that he carries the double-edged sword, the weapon which pierces bone from marrow and discerns the hearts. The Christians in Pergamos were faithful to the name of Christ and would not deny him, even when Antipas was killed for it. But that is the only good thing Jesus had to say about them, because there were much bigger issues at hand.

The problem Pergamos had was compromise. They had false teachers in their midst whom they did not address nor kick out. The Ephesians stood firm against false teachers, but lost their love in doing so. Pergamos had the opposite problem: too much love and not enough guts to stand against false teachings.

This church did not renounce the name of Christ, but they allowed false teaching to come into their midst. In this case it had to do with the doctrine of Balaam who was cursed for continuing to get payment to curse Israel, yet could only preach blessings. Here, Balaam is accused of suggesting to Israel’s enemy, Balak, to entice them to eat meat sacrificed to idols, committing sexual immorality, and following the Nicolatians. Jesus told this church to repent of this sin quickly lest they fight against him and his sword.

Compromise is a major problem in the church today. I wrote a couple months ago about the dangers of Old Earth Creation behaving as a Pandora’s Box. It is the secular model of Evolution or parts of it, decorated in Christian language, with God’s name slapped onto the back of it in the end. Like the Old Earth crowd who believes in practice that it is just fine to worship God and secularism at the same time (ALL their methods for determining their models come not from Scripture, nor from quality science, but from the secular corruption of science), Pergamos seems to think it was fine for some to worship Caesar and the other gods as long as you didn’t deny Christ. Antipas was killed because he would not compromise and said Jesus was the ONLY God. It was the primary reason of the Roman persecution not directly ordered by the emperors. Not because Jesus was not another god to add to the collection, but because Jesus was the only God and all others were false. Paul is praised for standing up in Athens at the intellectual capital in Acts 17, but his message was not merely, “Here is the identity of the Unknown God.” It was also, “All other gods are false.” Many riots were started because he was taking away from the business of the idolaters around him.

It is not easy to stand for truth in the pit of hell. Many aspire to be a John the Baptist in their field or career, but unless they are built and prepared for crosses and prison, living on the outskirts of society, and very disliked by the established powers, it will be a very short time before the corrupted field influences that person before they ever start to change that field. You cannot go into academia and think you are going to change them to Bible believers easily. If you think you can go into the darkness and change the system, you are fooling yourself. No Christian is ever called to go save the system. We are actually called to rescue the lost FROM the system. And being a rescuer sent into enemy prison camps means there are guards looking for you.

Don’t forget about what the church of Smyrna had to prepare for. If you are not in position to prepare for this, be very watchful because compromise will come easy and you will start looking like the world. This world is going to burn and perish. If you stick with this world’s system, you will go down with it. If God pulls you away from it and you long to look back on it, remember the lesson of Lot’s wife.

Compromise with this world is very dangerous. There may be some areas where it does not affect you and your faith, but it most certainly affects anyone you listen to. When you compromise with any other pagan idea (New Age, Wicca, Islam, Hinduism, humanism, secularism, etc.) you are telling everyone else around you that not only do you really not believe anything, but it’s okay to be a Christian and believe nothing else. The real scary thing is most don’t realize they have compromised, because they have made the compromise their standard for truth instead of the Bible alone.

However, Jesus gave an encouraging word to those who had not bowed to this compromise. He will give them hidden manna to eat (vs 17). What is that hidden manna? There is no private interpretation of Scripture, so it’s not talking about a secret truth. What I believe this is talking about is real spiritual food that cannot nor will not be accessed by the compromisers. The fake Christians will be denied the real food, having to settle for the imitation brand, getting a chew toy instead of beef ribs, as a friend of mine one said. If you want real meat, you need to go to the real source, Jesus Christ and his Word, and leave aside all other worldly knowledge. Why eat good food and poison yourself alongside it?

But there is something else Jesus gives: a stone with a new name that only they will know what it is. I do believe this name is what is going to be written in the Book of Life. Abram, Sarai, Jacob, Simon, and Saul were each given new names after an encounter with God to Abraham, Sarah, Israel, Peter, and Paul. When someone is born again, they are born with a new nature and new identity and with that identity is a new name. We still retain the earthly names we are given, but this verse indicates each believer is given a new spiritual name at the point of salvation which is the identity to be used on Judgment Day. We’ll know for sure when we get there. Next week is perhaps the harshest of the letters: to Thyatira.

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Harumph Harumph Harumph

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, January 18, 2018 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Editor’s note: Due to the previous popularity of this post, we’re re-posting it today for your enjoyment.

It’s difficult in these days to have an intellectual conversation if Christianity has some sort of direct or indirect relationship to the topic. Generally, I find that people very quickly reduce the conversation to insults, highly spun information, hand waiving, and a bunch of “Harumph! Harumph! Harumph!” This is true in the origins debate in general. I am not only pointing a finger at those who may disagree with me on origins. Everyone views evidence with bias. Everyone gets very emotionally involved in the discussion, so tempers seem to flare up and boil over quite frequently. I’m guilty of it and I am very concerned with that, personally. I have been praying about and working on keeping my cool when an evolutionist is in the middle of telling me how stupid I am, how anti-science I am, or while they’re arguing against some strawman creationist point they’re preparing to knock down. I’m a work in progress.

This is a strange intro, I realize. I’m trying to set the tone for a series of blog posts I am, at this point, planning to write in response to another blog post. This blog post, titled “Ten Theological Questions No Young-Earth Creationist Can Answer” can be found here. It is very difficult to read something where, from just reading the title, you know the author has not thought well on the subject. This introduction to this series will only deal with a little background information. The author, Tyler Francke, writes for God of Evolution and seemingly attempts to insinuate that being a Bible-believing Christian means you’re dishonest, uneducated, and unthinking. It’s unfortunate. As I stated in my opening paragraph, it’s very difficult to have a conversation with such people. In responding to his post on these allegedly impossible questions for Bible believers—what he terms “fundamentalists”—I have no doubt he is completely uninterested in my words. However, I will inform him that I am indeed going to answer his unanswerable questions. It’s very possible my answers will be mocked and ridiculed as it seems he is fond of doing. I say this hesitantly as I truly despise going there in this introduction but glancing over the God of Evolution site tells me he’s long since abandoned intellectual discussions and reasoning with people who disagree. It seems as if he’s moved to writing for rubbernecks who can pat him on the back.

Reading the testimonial section of the site, in my opinion, is sad. At the top of the testimony page, we see a call for submissions from those who feel alienated by their churches or by religion. This is odd, especially when you read the testimonies, since I am constantly bombarded with bogus stats that claim almost everyone, Christian or not, believes in Darwinian evolution. I’m very frequently told by theistic evolutionists that those who believe in the Biblical creation story are “fundamentalists” and a dying minority. So what’s the deal? In the call for testimonies, he says, “If you’ve ever felt alienated by your church or the larger Christian community because of its rejection of evolution and/or its hostility toward other mainstream scientific ideas, this community — and the world — need to hear from you.” I’m curious what are the “other mainstream scientific ideas…” that Christianity is hostile toward. But, as I’ve mentioned many times in other blogs and even alluded to earlier, Darwinism is a consensus science and you can find support for that claim on the God of Evolution website. Very frequently, you will find when pressed for evidence, there will usually come a point where the evolutionist will spout off something about “99% of all scientists” (or some such nonsense) believe in evolution. I wrote a small piece on that which you can read here. Suffice it to say, consensus science is opposed to free thinking and true scientific inquiry. It’s also noteworthy to mention that many of the greatest minds science has ever known were creationists. I hate to keep linking to other writings, but I addressed the nonsensical nature of the “creation science oxymoron” in a blog post you can find here. I believe it’s just a poor demonstration of one’s willingness to interact with, discuss, and work through the differences with people who disagree with you when this is the sort of thing we see.

Sadly, a reading of the testimonies gives us information as to who he’s targeting with his writings. One testimony writer says he “…came to the conclusion that evolution was true and Genesis 1-3 was not.” Rejecting God’s Word as a result of secularism is not something I would celebrate as a follower of Jesus Christ. It is Mr. Francke’s opinion, I believe, that Biblical creation is something that is harming Christianity the world over. This is, of course, not true at all. It’s true that churches, parents, and Christians in general don’t educate themselves enough on these subjects and, therefore, don’t educate their students on these matters. As a result, because of a lack of understanding of the topic, many “fundamentalist” Christian young adults will have their faith shaken when they get to high school or college. I was educated on the subject mildly and had no issues with the evolutionary and atheistic bias I encountered in college level biology or philosophy courses. If you’re a parent, I would highly encourage you to look into this and begin to prepare yourself and then prepare your children to enter into a world that hates Jesus. Something interesting to note is that Christianity isn’t suffering as many theistic evolutionists will proclaim. (A theistic evolutionist is one who believes God uses Darwinian evolution to create life on earth rather than how the Bible says He created life.) In fact, especially outside the Western world, the Church is growing by enormous numbers. In places not buried under the oppression of the religious zealots of Darwinism, the Body of Christ is expanding in large numbers. You can read a little about the growth of Christianity here.

One of the largest, if not the largest, issues with theistic evolution is that science is used to understand the Bible rather than the other way around. In other words, man’s incomplete, ever changing, and very limited knowledge of nature is used to determine what God actually meant in His Word. This is exactly backwards. Please keep that in mind and understand that “origins science” is nothing more than story telling—whether from a creationist or atheist, religious person or secularist, whoever. We grab some science and arrange it to tell the story we like. There is no such thing as facts for evolutionism and facts for creationism. There are simply facts. We interpret those facts based on our worldview.

With Mr. Francke’s blog post, you’ll find it seems logical or common sense. But this is because it’s incomplete. When you evaluate the subjects he touches on, you’ll see very large amounts of information that seems to have been skipped or shoved to the side. So he jumps from a small statement to a huge conclusion. In all honestly, we’ve all done that and I know I do that even now. Because we already know what the evidence will tell us (because of our presuppositions, worldview, whatever) we find a small piece that supports it. Instead of following that fact to the next and so on, we jump immediately to the conclusion we wanted in the first place. This is why some of his points seem to make sense. And I do believe that he at least brings up some things to consider. But most of his “unanswerable questions” are nothing of the sort. It’s also telling that he claims “no young-earth creationist” can answer these questions. That’s odd. This would mean he’s asked all of us and we’ve all been incapable of responding. I actually know a lot of Biblical (what he terms young-earth—a misnomer) creationists who have not been asked any of these questions. I have never heard a single one and I’ve been engaged in this debate since 1993 to one degree or another.

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Nietzsche’s Will to Power

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, January 17, 2018 0 comments

by David Odegard

Nietzsche is famous for saying, “God is dead.” What he meant by that was that society no longer considered God to be there and hence they were on their own. Nietzsche did not believe in God, but he recognized that without a Good God to order the universe, two things would happen.

First, no one could ultimately say what was true. Truth as a universal, rational principle to organize all of life around was an impossibility. Nietzsche was one of the first to admit this. Truth was impossible. One could only hope to find something true for oneself. This became your own narrative of meaning. So instead of Truth with a capital T, there is only truth—truth to your individual story. However, there is no larger story “out there” by which to judge your individual story or your individual truth. Truth is entirely relative. One can only hope to live “authentically” to your particular community’s standard. So if you belong to a community of cannibals, well—live authentically.

Nietzsche was not the first one to believe this. The ancient Sophists, the pre-Socratic travelling philosophers, also believed that all truth was relative. For the most part they didn’t believe in universal truth, so they had only rhetoric or persuasion. What was true or just was up to the people who could persuade others—persuasion to your truth rather than using reason to discover universal truth, see the difference? This closely resembles Nietzsche’s position.

Socrates and Plato hammered the Sophists for this. They believed that truth could be known by using reason; they could come up with a system of belief that was anchored in universal truth and would bring forth the Good Life. Neither Socrates, Plato, nor Aristotle did achieve this universal system, but they believed that by concentrated efforts of reason and working through the data, universal truth would eventually be arrived at.

Christianity obviously holds this position as well. We claim that universal truth is found in the Bible and especially in the person and work of Jesus Christ. One can achieve a universal system of knowledge that will give ultimate meaning to our existence. Christian knowledge is utterly reasonable. One must believe that the prophets are speaking truthfully and that Jesus is speaking truthfully. If one accepts them as truthful, it is entirely reasonable to conclude that Christianity is a universal truth around which all of society can be upheld. It worked for about 1500 years in Europe and then America.

The Nietzschean philosophy, on the contrary, is doomed from the outset. Francis Schaeffer said that it plunges below the “line of despair.” The despair comes from giving up on the idea that universal truth can be known.

A second implication Nietzsche foresaw in a world that rejects God is that without a Good God governing the universe, without a universal moral objective, right and wrong are in the eye of the beholder. Morality is created from thin air by convention. There is no universal agreement of right and wrong.

You might immediately think that is great, now you can binge watch Netflix and live off of the government without a pang to your conscience. But sorry, it means that anyone’s sense of right and wrong can be put in place. Well, anyone with enough power to enforce it. That is what Nietzsche meant by “will to power.” Might makes right. That is all that is left in a world where there is no objective standard of good and no universal judge to hold people accountable at some point.

Morality is decided by those with power. And in most cases since there is no God or gods to govern, morality is decided by the government. Furthermore, there is no objective standard for them to be judged. If the government decides, like the 1930-45 German government did, that Jews ought to be dehumanized and ultimately destroyed, they just did it. No one operating by modern morality can say that they were wrong by objective moral standards, because there are none. Modern thinkers below the line of despair can only say that they don’t like it. But morality is decided by those with power and in the 1940’s in Germany that was the Nazi, the National Socialist Party.

The Nazi connection is an important one, because they used Nietzsche’s idea of “will to power” and it became the operational philosophy of the Third Reich. Also, the justification for ethnic cleansing was also adopted from Nietzsche’s √úbermensch, or Superman. This superman would operate for his own best good, pushing forward his own set of ideals without regard to traditional moral norms. He would decide for himself what was right and wrong.

Hitler blamed the Jews for putting Germany in moral bondage to their sense of right and wrong. He felt it was time to cleanse their conscience of Jewish morality. He adopted the final solution. You can say that he was wrong, as genuine Christianity certainly does, but without God there is no ultimate moral law, so you must make your appeal to a higher-than-human moral law. There is no universal standard of right and wrong by which to judge the Nazis outside of God’s authority. There is only power to enforce your own viewpoint. There is no Truth, only rhetoric. That is what Nietzsche understood.

The heartrending reality is today in Europe and America, we are in the same spot. Think about that next time a Christian is forced to bake a cake for someone, anyone, whom they don’t want to. It is a naked grasp for moral power through force.

IT IS WRONG because God says so.

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What Does the Bible Say About Aliens from Another Planet?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 15, 2018 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

And now for something kind of different… what does the Bible say about aliens from another planet? When I first read that topic, my response was that I couldn’t think of a single Bible passage that talks about aliens. But let’s dig into it and see what the Bible tells us on this topic.

A key part of answering this question lies in defining what “aliens” are. Generally speaking, aliens are defined as beings similar to humans - capable of making decisions, having intelligence, and having emotions. Aliens are not algae, bacteria, single-celled organisms, or anything like that.

We know from Genesis 1-2 that God created the entire universe - including earth of course, and all the other planets. God created the earth before He created the sun, moon, or the stars. God created the earth to be inhabited by humans (Isaiah 45:18). Humans are still exploring the vastness of the universe, but of all the planets we have been able to send technology to, none of them are capable of supporting life as the earth is. We know that when God created humans, he put them on earth. There is no evidence in the creation account that God did the same thing anywhere else in the universe.

Genesis 1:31 tells us that, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” At the time of Creation, before mankind sinned, EVERYTHING that God had made was good - including the entire universe and all other planets. Romans 8:19-22 tells us that the whole creation fell when humans sinned and has been suffering ever since, so if there were aliens on another planet, they would be suffering as well. We know that Jesus Christ came to earth to die once and for all (Hebrews 7:27) to save mankind from our sins. He didn’t do this on any other planet, but on earth. So if God had created aliens elsewhere, they would be left to suffer in their sin without even the hope of a savior; would a loving God do that? I’d venture to say no.

The Bible gives us no reason to believe that there are aliens on any other planets in the universe. So what does the Bible say about aliens from other planets? Nothing, because they don’t exist.

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The Faith of Gideon

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, January 14, 2018 0 comments

by Logan Ames

Have you ever felt like God was giving you way more than you could handle? I’m not sure there is a human being out there who would say “no." We’ve all been at those points in our lives and many who have at least some knowledge of the Bible immediately think, “Well, either that can’t be true or God is a liar because the Word says he will never give us more than we can handle." If you’re a Christian and a follower of that Word, and you’ve come to a point in your life when you just can’t take anymore suffering, then you’ve probably had to go back to that place in the Word to see what isn’t adding up.

The verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13. Click on that link and read it to see what it REALLY says. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and I’ve realized there is a big difference between “handling” something and “bearing” it. As human beings, we want to be in control. We want to have a handle on things. However, when it comes to the battle against temptation, we’re not told to handle it or control it by our own willpower. We’re told to bear it by the power of Jesus Christ. That’s why the last part of that verse says that God will “provide a way out so that you can endure it." The way out is the Lord Jesus Christ, who demonstrated for us how to bear with temptation (Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13), then defeated death, sin, and temptation by raising from the dead after his crucifixion. Without Jesus, we are still susceptible to those things. But as we walk in the power of our Lord, we can bear our temptations and walk away from them. We do this time after time because we will not be fully separated from darkness and temptation until Christ returns, but the life of a Christian is to be lived to show that Christ is in our hearts even now and with HIS power we can bear with temptation until that glorious day.

One way that we continue to fight this battle and bear with temptation is to remind ourselves of others who have battled and the things that God did to get them through. As we remember the works of God, we gain more confidence and trust that he will continue his work in us. The series we’ve been doing on our heroes of faith from Hebrews 11 has been a good reminder for me, and I hope for you also. The stories of these men and women who were ordinary sinners like you and me help us grow stronger and more committed in our own faith. It’s good to pause and consider where we are in the series. The writer of Hebrews is now done giving us the details of each person’s faith story. He now will give us a few names, knowing that our curiosity is piqued enough at this point that we will do our own research to learn about their faith. In Hebrews 11:32, the writer basically tells us he doesn’t have time to keep telling us these stories, so hopefully we get the point by now and can study the rest on our own. I wonder why he writes that and frankly, I don’t have a clear answer. We don’t know for sure who the writer is, but many believe it was Paul. If indeed it was Paul, he seemingly had all the time in the world, having written his other letters mainly while traveling or sitting in prison. Again, maybe he just decided it was time for his audience to do their own study and be blessed!

The first name he mentions is “Gideon." Let me tell you, I was blessed by going back and studying this story, which can be found in Judges 6-8. As you can see for yourself if you read those chapters, Gideon enters the scene during a dreadful time for the Israelites, who were God’s chosen people. As a nation, they had done evil in the eyes of the Lord, so he allowed them to be overpowered by an enemy, the Midianites. The oppression from the Midianites was so bad that the people of Israel had to go and live in mountains and caves. Then, when they worked hard to produce crops and livestock for themselves, the Midianites simply came and stole everything. After being stuck in their sin for so long, the Israelites finally cried out to God to rescue them (Judges 6:6).

God responds first by sending the Israelites a prophet who reminds them of the great things God has done in their history but also reminds them of their sin. It was important for them to see their sin and remember God’s faithfulness anyway before they could be released from the hand of the Midianites. Then, an angel of the Lord comes and appears to Gideon, while he is threshing wheat in a winepress. This was not a normal place to thresh wheat, but it was the only way to try to keep it for himself and his family. Judges 6:12 tells us that the angel says, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." Gideon may have laughed at this. He may have even turned to look behind him to see if the angel was talking to someone else. He sure didn’t feel very mighty while he was having to thresh wheat in a private place for fear of the enemy stealing it. After that, he asks an obvious question that we’d all ask: how can the Lord be with us when we’re dealing with so much suffering? At that point, we realize it’s no longer an angel of the Lord, but the ACTUAL Lord himself who is talking to Gideon. This would’ve been an Old Testament appearance of the Christ, who came to assure Gideon that he indeed was with him and was sending him to rescue Israel from the Midianites.

At this point in our reading, we see that Gideon and the Lord then have a prolonged discussion in which Gideon questions the choice (he admits he is basically the weakest in all of Israel), then asks for some signs to show that God really is with them and will deliver the Midianites into their hands. We can learn from this that weak faith is better than no faith at all. Weak faith and insecurity are not heresy. Gideon is still listed among those commended for their faith in Hebrews 11, so clearly God can use anyone who puts even a little bit of faith in him even when we have doubts. God was patient with Gideon and saw the warrior in Gideon that Gideon didn’t even see in himself yet. Once Gideon discovers it truly is the Lord talking to him, he is given a command that may have seemed like a test to him, but was frankly more important than dealing with the oppressive enemy. Gideon is told to destroy the altar to Baal and the Asherah pole that his father and many other Israelites had been worshipping. The Israelites, like many of us, focused more on the external threats and circumstances than their own sin. They continued to worship idols even as they suffered at the hands of Midian. God knew that sin is a far greater oppressor than any foreign enemy, and it had to be dealt with FIRST.

Gideon obeys God and takes down the altars. Once the sin was properly dealt with, he was ready to move forward and accomplish God’s will. The enemy would have well over 100,000 troops, yet God planned to use Gideon and only 300 other men to defeat them. God wanted to make sure that stubborn and arrogant Israel did not take credit and boast of their victory, so he had Gideon reduce the army all the way down from 32,000 through two cuts. Once Gideon was down to 300 men, outnumbered over 400 to 1 by the enemy, he was truly ready to let God lead him to victory. Read the story yourself to see how God does it. Basically, Gideon and his band of merry men were collectively God’s tag-team partner. God did all the work, then tagged in Gideon and his army to finish the job and pin the enemy. God caused the enemy to be afraid, which led to them turning on and killing each other.

Gideon had to be tempted throughout the story to walk away from the Lord and give in to fear. But once he understood that the Lord was with him, that gave him power to bear that temptation and endure the struggle. It was power he didn’t know he had, and truthfully, he didn’t have it until he was obedient and got to know the Lord. If you are tempted, if you feel like you can’t take anymore suffering, if you are overwhelmed by the enemy, then put your trust in the Lord and find the power you need from him. Faith in him is the only thing that allows us to endure.

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.