Age and Shape of the Earth

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 28, 2019 5 comments

by Steve Risner

We are hip deep in answering 10 questions Mr. Michael Roberts wanted to ask Biblical creationists. I stumbled upon this writing online and decided it would make a nice series to write about. We covered Mr. Roberts' intro here and his first question (Is the Gospel more about the Rock of Ages than the ages of rocks?) here. This week's question is sort of interesting because, by itself, it's a good question. But with his commentary on it, he quickly erodes the question into false statements and nonsense. Let's look at it:

Does the age of the earth – or its shape – matter to a Christian?

I don't think the age of the earth is on the forefront of every Christian's mind all the time. In fact, I'd wager that most don't pay that much attention to it. I don't think they care about the shape of the earth either as the Bible isn't perfectly clear on that, but it does give us some clues about it. Isaiah 40:22 tells us that “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth ...” The word translated circle here can easily be rendered sphere or, as the link here indicates, vault. I doubt a flat disc would be considered a vault. I'm not sure if Mr. Roberts is eluding to being a flat earther, but it makes no difference really. The earth's shape is mentioned in the Bible, but we're not given complete specifics on it. However, we are told very specifically when creation occurred. I fear his combining these two different things into a question are his way of equating the two, which really would show how disinterested he is in functioning as a follower if Christ. But that's another topic.

I mentioned that the poser of this question was going to make some false statements. This is seen in his remark that the Bible makes no indication of the earth's age. As stated above, it actually clearly states when creation occurred. I'll outline that below.

The Bible obviously doesn't give a date for creation. That would be impossible, actually. It does, however, give us exceptionally easy clues to follow so we can figure out when the creation and Flood took place. Here's how it works:

We start with Genesis 5 where we have genealogies recorded for us from Adam to Noah. This is not just a record of who was someone's father, but it also gives the number years in between. This is not like most other genealogies in the Bible which may be incomplete or without these age indicators. This makes them reliable for calculating time to within a year or so. Genesis 7:6 tells us how old Noah was when the Flood started. So, using the years indicated in Genesis 5 which ends with Noah and Genesis 7:6, we reasonably know that the Flood occurred 1656 years after Adam's creation (which was on day 6 of the creation week). This is reasonable but could be off by 10 years or so, depending on how the years actually fall. Genesis 11:10 begins another genealogy with ages assigned to its members from Shem, the son of Noah, to Abraham. Genesis 21:5 tells us how old Abraham was when Isaac was born. Genesis 25:26 tells us how hold Isaac was when Jacob (Israel) was born. Genesis 47:9 tells us that Jacob was 130 when he went to Egypt. Using only these numbers, we come up with Jacob moving to Egypt 2298 years after the creation of Adam.

Exodus 12:40 tells us that Israel was in Egypt for 430 years (confirming what God told Abraham about his descendants being in Egypt for 400 years). This puts the Exodus at 2728 years after the creation of Adam. Israel wandered the desert for 40 years, so they entered the Promise Land 2768 years after the creation of Adam.

Now we need to move on to 1 Kings 6:1, which states clearly that it was 480 years after the Exodus that Solomon began working on the Temple of God in Jerusalem. This means Solomon began work on the Temple 3208 years after the creation of Adam (that's over half the history of the world now). Based on the chronologies written for us in the Old Testament (which are too complex to list here), we know that the time from the Temple to the Exile was about 345 years. I say “about” because it is a little less solid a number, but it's certainly not thousands or millions of years off. It's probably within 100 years and likely much closer than that. This puts the Exile of the Israelites at about 3553 years from the creation of Adam. Here we can jump from the timing found in the Bible and put it in our terms. The Exile is generally considered to have occurred in 586 BC. That means the year 1 AD was 4150 since the creation of Adam, plus or minus no more than 50 years! Then we add 2018 years to get us to 2019 and we end up at 6168 years since the creation of Adam, who was made in the image of God on the 6th day of the creation week.

Does the Bible say when God created the heavens and the earth? Well, actually, quite clearly it does. It’s not possible to give us a date, but it does give us a timeline—a very clear timeline with years attached to give us a very discernible time frame for when God began creation. For Mr. Roberts to indicate the Bible is not clear on the matter only exposes his desire for the Bible to not be clear on the matter. It is, in fact, very clear and people have calculated the years since creation for many centuries. It's not a new idea by any means. In fact, it's a much more recent idea that the earth is billions of years old.

Mr. Roberts goes a step further, showing us his hand when he says, “to go against the proven results of science is simply folly.” This statement says so much about where his authority lies and what he truly thinks of the Bible. The “proven results” of science are ever changing—being modified as more data comes in. However, we know for a fact that if you use 3 different methods to date a rock or fossil, you'll get 3 different ages—sometimes wildly different. This is true if we use the same test multiple times on samples as well. The “proven results” of science are far from a sure thing. In fact, they're based on numerous assumptions and built on the presupposition that such information is true prior to it being verified. The circular reasoning here is astounding and for an intelligent person to not even question it is disappointing to say the least and also a little alarming.

My advice here: if you read the Bible and get a VERY clear message (as we do with the creation account and the timing of it) and you “read” nature and get a very different idea, you've read one of these two things incorrectly. We know this because you cannot have 2 conflicting ideas at the same time. However, one of these messages is from God and is captured in His perfect Word. The other is a fallen man's biased (there is no denying bias) interpretation of a fallen world that was ravaged by a global catastrophe that wrecked the entire surface of the planet (as is stated numerous times in the Bible). It would be wise to follow Martin Luther's statements here when he said, “When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.”

In other words, if what you think you're seeing in nature doesn't line up with the clear teaching of Scripture, you'd be better off accepting what the Bible clearly states rather than trying to make it fit what you, a fallen human being viewing a cursed world, sees in nature.

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Psalm 19

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, February 25, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
(Psalm 19)

In his book Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis wrote, "I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world” referring to Psalm 19. This psalm is a beautiful one in the original Hebrew, and scholars praise it for both its beauty and theological depth. It’s known as a “wisdom hymn,” divided into 3 segments: praise of Creation in verses 1-6, a psalm of wisdom in verses 7-11, and a prayer for guidance in verses 12-14.

As the psalm begins in verse 1, we see how all of creation declares who God is and what He has done. Even if a person doesn’t specifically have a relationship with God through the work of Jesus, this psalm indicates that they have to at least know something about our Creator by looking at the world that He has created for us. The heavens and the skies alone show that, not to mention everything else! This is reminiscent of the fourth day of creation, where God put the sun, moon, and stars in the skies in Genesis 1:14-19. The verbs here for “declare” and “proclaim” are both participles in the Hebrew, which means they’re continual action. It’s not that the skies and heavens just proclaimed God’s glory once when they were created, but they continue to do so.

Every day and every night, we see what creation is revealing to us (verse 2). Creation does not directly speak to us with words, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t communicate (verse 3). God’s wisdom is revealed to us through His creation, as referenced in Proverbs 8:22-31. This natural revelation isn’t limited by specific words, languages, or speech, but it goes out into the entire earth. It has no geographic or linguistic barriers to those who want to hear it and ponder the one who created all of this.

In verses 4-6, the psalmist’s attention is specifically on the sun. Today with our scientific advances, we know that life is only possible on earth because of the sun and our precise distance from it; any closer and we’d be too hot, and any farther and we’d be too cold. The psalmist knew that the sun was important for life, and he describes it metaphorically as a bridegroom or the champion of a race. Of course, we also know that it is not the sun actually rising and setting, but the earth is rotating and moving around the sun. The sun shows God’s power as all-encompassing, as “nothing is deprived of its warmth” (verse 6). The sun communicates without words how God’s power is over all of the earth, no matter what.

For us today, this first section of the psalm should remind us of Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Everything that God has created reveals Himself to us, at least in a general way.

Next, the psalm moves to discussing the more specific revelation of God’s law. The word translated “law” is literally “torah” in the Hebrew, the name by which the Old Testament is known. While nature reveals God without words, God’s Word is the revealing of Himself in a more detailed and specific manner through the use of language. We see in verses 7-8 that this law encompasses statutes, precepts, and commands - meaning nothing is left out. The characteristics and benefits of this law as a whole are that it is perfect causing refreshment, trustworthy causing wisdom, right giving us joy, and radiant giving us light.

Verse 10 gives us specific examples of how this specific revelation of God’s Word is greater than the general revelation of creation: it’s more precious than gold and sweeter than honey. God’s words are more valuable than any money we could strive for, and they’re better than any of the finest foods. Why? Because “by them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (verse 11).

We are warned of ways we could fall away from God and break that relationship, so the Word can be used to guide what we say and do. If we could keep God’s law, there would be great reward in it for us of eternal life with Him. However, we know that this is not possible for any human being to do, as we all sin and fall short of God’s standards (Romans 3:23). But we also know that Jesus was able to live that perfect life that we could not. He kept God’s standards perfectly, so through our faith in Him and His sacrificial death and resurrection, we will be able to receive that great reward! We know about all this because of the revelation of God’s Word, which we have in the Bible.

This psalm concludes with a prayer, with the psalmist asking for God’s forgiveness for the sins he has committed and His guidance to keep him from future sins. The psalmist recognizes that he needs to be perfect and won’t live up to that standard, but he knows that God can and will guide him in that endeavor (verses 12-13). The psalm closes with verse 14, which is a prayer that we all should pray on a regular basis: “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

As you reflect on this psalm, take a look at how God is revealing Himself to you in your life. Do you see and recognize the wonders of His creation, that only an all-powerful God could have created? Do you read His Word to get to know Him better? What are you doing to see God revealed in new ways in your life? I pray that your heart (and mine) would echo the psalmist’s desire to be pleasing to the Lord in all that we think, say, and do.

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Use It or Lose It

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, February 24, 2019 1 comments

by Logan Ames

I took my wife out to dinner recently for Valentine’s Day. For the second time in four years, we chose The Melting Pot to celebrate our love for one another, and as we got the bill and were reminded of why we’ve only been there twice in four years! It’s a wonderful place, totally worth the price and I would recommend it to anyone, but it’s easily more than three times the cost of a normal meal when we go out to eat. We had a great time and the food was amazing, but I can assure you that we made sure to eat every single thing they brought out and I did my best to drink every ounce of the water and Diet Coke on my side of the table because we were determined to get our money’s worth. We had already paid for it all, which meant that if we didn’t use it, we would lose it!

James tells us that if we are not careful, the same thing will happen to our understanding of God’s Word. In James 1:22 he urges us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." God’s Word is a gift that has been given to us and as we saw in last week’s post, the previous verse says that gift is “planted in you." The more we hear and understand God’s Word, the more it takes up residence in our hearts and minds. But there’s still another step. We can know the Word and still choose to do the opposite of what it says. When we do that, eventually even the implanted Word within us can’t do anything to help us. We become like the “hypocritical liars” mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:2 because our “consciences have been seared as with a hot iron."

If you think about the people you know in your local congregation or churches you’ve visited, it’s fairly easy to see that there are many people who are satisfied with simply coming to a worship service each week and hearing a good message from the Word. Maybe this description fits you; I’m certain that it fit me for a very long time. If you’ve been in that rut, then you know that it’s based almost entirely on emotion and walking out of church feeling good, but there are no actual concrete steps being taken as a result of the message. With no changes and no steps forward, you’re left with waiting until the next time somebody can make you “feel” inspired with another message that you HEAR. And the cycle keeps repeating itself.

James’ older brother, the Savior of the world, talked about the clear difference between those who merely hear His words and those who actually put them into practice at the end of His famed Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 7:24-27, He explains that those who DO what they have heard Him say are “like a wise man who built his house on the rock” and found that it was able to withstand the storms because of its strong foundation, while those who hear his words and do NOT put them into practice are “like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” and found that it was destroyed when the storms came. The interesting thing about Jesus’ words there is that the houses don’t necessarily look any different. They both look strong and beautiful, but the truth is revealed when the storms come.

The same is true about Christians who attend church and hear a great message. We may not be able to tell the difference between someone who does nothing about what they’ve heard and someone who puts the message into practice right away. But when the trials come, that’s when the rubber of faith meets the road of life and we can see who has a firm foundation of living according to God’s Word and one who does not. That’s why James specifically says we are deceiving “ourselves” when we refuse to do what the Word says. We’re not deceiving God; He knows the truth. And while we may be able to deceive others for a short time, they will eventually see the truth when life’s hardships come our way. So, the only ones we are truly deceiving is ourselves!

Charles Spurgeon once said, “I fear we have many such in all congregations; admiring hearers, affectionate hearers, attached hearers, but all the while unblest hearers, because they are not doers of the word." If we want to be blessed by what we hear and understand in Scripture, we have to USE it. Otherwise, we’ll lose the chance at that blessing. James continues that someone who doesn’t do what the Word says is like someone who studies himself in the mirror but then walks away and can’t even remember what he looked like (James 1:23-24). When we look into the mirror, we generally don’t just give it a passing glance. We want to make sure any necessary corrections to our appearance are made, so we study the picture a little more intently. James is saying that even those who study Scripture and put it under intense scrutiny might still only be hearers of the Word. You can be a Bible expert and still not really do anything with that knowledge.

When you look in the mirror, how much of your time is spent admiring yourself? Someone who is looking to get the most out of life will likely want to DO something about their appearance, versus someone who doesn’t really care and accepts things the way they are. Likewise, reading and listening to God’s Word will reveal some things that need to change in your life, and you have to decide whether you care enough to change them or if you’d rather stay the same and ignore God. James finishes this section by explaining that Jesus has brought a perfect law, and anyone who looks intently into it to the point of doing what it says will be blessed (James 1:25). Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17), but He is the Word who became flesh, which means He is the perfect embodiment of the law. And His law is one of liberty. It IS indeed a law, but it’s a law that breeds freedom for those who pay attention to it and follow it.

Have you been hearing the Word for years and never really changed anything about your life? If so, have you noticed the general lack of power to help you live the Christian life? Your foundation has been shaky and even though you thought you had a good understanding of God’s Word, it didn’t really help you when the storms came. The good news is that it’s not too late to start living according to this Word. It might be difficult to make some major changes, but it’s not impossible and the Holy Spirit will help you. Let us go forward speaking out God’s Word not only with our voices but also with our deeds.

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Another Jesus, Part 3

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 22, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

As I go through this series (part 1 is here and part 2 is here), my desire in exposing all these false images of Jesus is not to condemn anyone who believes in these figments of imagination, but to help you see if you recognize yourself falling into one of these categories and if so, to get out before it’s too late. There are few churches left promoting the real Jesus and few pastors willing to preach who He really is. I have six more “other Jesus” models to address. Next week we’ll study the real one.

A very popular model of Jesus among scientists and politicians is the Unknowable Jesus. This Jesus is one you can praise and acknowledge, but you really can’t know who he is or what he is like. His standards, if any, are unclear, and he often allows us to do whatever we desire. He is acknowledged as being out there and as existing, but he is treated like many of the ancient near east cultures treated their gods: treating religious rituals as nice rituals, but having no real bearing on their everyday lives outside of that. The “Emergent Church/Progressive Christianity” movement presses this Jesus a lot. They say both God and the Bible cannot really be known so they must be “interpreted” in according to the culture. The Greeks knew there was a True God out there but did not know who he was or what he was like so they set up an altar to the “Unknown God” and worshiped Him as they did all their other gods. When Paul came to address the Greek experts at Mars Hill, he revealed who the True God was and most laughed him out, though some believed.

Closely related is the Distant Jesus. The Distant Jesus is the one who created everything and set things in motion but left us to do our own thing. This is the Jesus that Theistic Evolutionists and most other Old Earth believers follow, whether they recognize it or not. They may claim fealty to Christ, but when they describe him, how he acts, and how he does what he sets out to do, it looks nothing like what the Bible describes of him. This same Jesus is available for saving us from hell but does not rule over every area of our lives. He is only concerned that we get to heaven with him, but not with purity, holiness, or even an intimate relationship with us. This Jesus is correctly identified as distant from those who believe in this type of Jesus, because they are so far from the real one because of their sin that they have become blind to the issue. Beware of judging others for believing in this type of Jesus, because many Christians think they can do whatever they want without regard to input from Jesus. And this one hits closer to home than many of us would like to admit if we were truly honest with ourselves.

Many Old Earthers act like cult leaders in one primary aspect: they believe in an Enlightened Jesus. This Jesus is the one who gives special revelation to certain people and secret knowledge. This usually can only be acquired through either ‘proper education,’ or personal study. It is knowledge of God and what he did that was not accessible before as the Bible was being written, but revealed to us later now that we have enough science and technology to step away from the old accounts. The Enlightened Jesus tells each generation what they are capable of understanding and as a newer, more educated generation comes around, he explains a totally new idea that fits the better education. This Jesus is never above the knowledge base of the generation and culture and constantly changes according to what the leadership decides is the best way for him to operate. Peter warned us against such notions and told us that none of the prophecies of Scripture were of private interpretation. Paul also tells us that the wisdom of this world is foolishness and contrary to what God actually teaches. So, if anyone tells you they have special knowledge of God, beware because it’s likely not true. I do believe God will speak to us in regard to our personalities and perspective, but anything He says to one person will never contradict what He says to another nor with Scripture. If it does, someone got it wrong and we should always look at self first as the one being in error. That is one thing you will never see the Old Earth crowd do.

The Worldly Jesus is similar to the Enlightened Jesus. He is the one who works and operates in and through the world’s system, as they are the solution. Many American Christians have fallen for this, especially with Trump’s presidential administration, because they have turned towards politics or using politics as the solution to solving the problems instead of the Gospel. I want to say this clearly: Trump is not the savior for the U.S. from an ever-present anti-Christian agenda. The best he can do is delay it. So while as Americans, it is good to defend our rights and our freedoms, we MUST remember that that is Americanism, not Christianity. The True Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world.” While God most certainly uses political entities and rulers for his purposes, and while we are to honor and respect our authorities, never are we to turn to them for our answers. God always got on the case of the kings who turned to other nations for their salvation rather than to God to deliver them. And we as Christians in America need to be preparing to suffer for our faith as has been the norm for the bulk of Christianity across the world and history.

The Social Jesus is related to the Worldly Jesus. This Jesus’s primary goal is to fix the problems in society, to save the turtles or save the planet, but doesn’t worry about things like sexual purity or any moral issues. If you have listened to any of the Emergent Church/Progressive Christian teachers, you have heard about this ‘other Jesus.’ This is the Jesus of the “Social Justice Warriors.” This is the Jesus who would side with Judas that the most precious possessions should be sold and given to the poor rather than given to the real Jesus. Now I am not saying don’t do any of these things. We should care for the poor. We should be good stewards of our planet. But why? The poor will always be with us and this planet is eventually going to burn with fire. The reason to care for the poor is because we care about their souls, and we show that by meeting their physical needs. The reason we take care of our planet is so those living on it can live properly on it. But that is not the end goal. The end goal is the glory of God. Social Jesus wants to save this planet for this world’s sake, not God’s sake, and when people address morality, that is a problem for that agenda. The True Jesus never called for social reform, nor did He fix any societal problems by any political means. Any changes He made was through the preaching of the Gospel and changing people’s hearts.

The last one I will address in this mini-series is the Pantheistic Jesus. There are two flavors of this one. A number of the Prosperity Gospel preachers declare a Pantheistic Jesus. They love to talk about God and his provision, but if you listen closely, when they talk about God, he is not the Lord and Sovereign King over the universe, but a New-Age mystical energy that comes to you to give you what you want. The Divine Butler and Genie Jesus line up with this one quite well. But what makes Pantheistic Jesus separate from those two is that many Old Earthers describe him as such too. I recently finished a book titled “The Physics of Christianity” and the author, Frank Tipler, ‘defines’ God as a “Cosmological Singularity” from which all the “multiverses” come out from and return to. While he tries to claim that this Cosmological Singularity is transcendent from the rest of the universes (yes, plural), everything he describes is “God is in nature and part of it.” Many Theistic Evolutionists ultimately describe God as little more than the laws of nature, which replace the ancient gods of Greece and Rome. That is not the God the Bible describes. He is not of this world nor is He comprised of anything in this universe. He is completely separate from it, yet interacts with it.

Do you recognize any of these “other Jesus” models in your circles, in your church, or more importantly in your own life? I’d hate to admit it, but as I wrote this series, I can still see hints of some of these lingering in my own life. There are other “other Jesus” models out there, but there is only one true Jesus Christ. Next week, we’ll take a look at who He really is and we’ll start by looking at some of the names He wears.

Like Charlie’s writings? You can purchase his book Biblical Foundations here!

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.


Rock of Ages or Ages of Rocks

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 21, 2019 2 comments

by Steve Risner

Last week, I began a series in response to a set of 10 questions an old earth creationist (possibly a theistic evolutionist) named Michael Roberts wanted to ask young earth creationists (what is appropriately referred to as a Biblical creationist). I was happy to find this set of 10 questions to help him on his path to understanding the Word of God and the Truth found in it. You can find that writing here, but I will be directly quoting his questions in these writings if you don't want to read ahead.

I find it necessary to get into the discussion here with this non-Biblical creationist because he appears to be not very knowledgeable on the subject of creation—especially from a Biblical stance rather than a stance based on the humanist origins myth. I know this because he's posted things in groups online that are exceptionally weak strawman arguments against Biblical creation, including nonsensical things like this picture of the Ark:

Of course, no creationist that I know thinks this is what happened and if he knew anything at all about what he's rejecting, he'd know how foolish it makes him look to suggest such a thing. My experience with old earth creationists and theistic evolutionists is that most, if not all, are extremely ignorant on what the Bible actually says about creation and, therefore, what Biblical creationists believe. They create numerous strawmen so they can knock them down, appearing to vindicate the erroneous teachings of deep time and/or evolution. Michael Roberts is no different. Some will often claim that they were once “young earthers” and therefore know all the ins and outs, but if that's true, they had no idea what the idea was they have since rejected. I feel many of them do know what the case for Biblical creation is, but they intentionally distort it in their presentations on origins so they can make it look foolish. This is truly the worst type of error—an intentional one. It is deception and is not the way a believer should conduct themselves. I don't know which Mr. Roberts is, or perhaps he's both. However, I've chosen to give him the benefit of the doubt and rather than assume he's lying, I've decided he must just not know what he's talking about. But let's look at his first question. It is, in fact, an area we can agree on and it's a good place to start.

Can we start by agreeing that the Gospel is more about the Rock of Ages than the ages of rocks?

Sure thing! The good news of Jesus Christ is that death has been defeated and sin no longer has us as slaves because of what the Son has done. This is what life in the Garden of Eden was like at the beginning and we're told it will return to this in the future. However, the Gospel message is exclusively the result of the creation, fall, and curse. What are we to be saved from? The sin nature which is part of every human heart as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve. Why? Because they rebelled against God who gave them instructions on how He wanted them to live. They had one rule and they broke it. They passed this on to us. Hence, all of creation is cursed. Work would be harder. Child birth for women would be harder. The ground was cursed. Death would result eventually. And why do we care what God says about all this? Because He's the Creator—He's the one who has a say in it. Who else can demand a standard of living but the one who created us and fashioned each of us? The Gospel hangs on whether or not Genesis is true. If Adam isn't a real man and was not “from the beginning,” then Jesus need not be real either. You see, one is called the first Adam while the other is called the last Adam. In the first, we all die. In the last, we all can live. If Genesis is true, then we have a reason for a Savior, who was actually mentioned in the Genesis account.

In short, the Rock of Ages rests comfortably on a foundation of Genesis from the Biblical perspective. From the old earth and theistic evolution perspective, it's more difficult to make sense of it. This is why it's easier to find old earth creationists and even more so theistic evolutionists who don't believe Christ is the only Way but simply a way to the Father. They join Oprah Winfrey in espousing Christianity as their faith but allow for others to have their own truth as well. I'm not saying Roberts is like this. But to be sure we understand what I'm saying: There are many great theologians and scientists and wonderful Christian people who believe in deep time, whether that means old earth creation in one of its various forms or theistic evolutionism. However, straying from the foundation of the solid and easily understood message of creation, sin, the fall and curse, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel means it's that much easier to deny other major doctrines as well. This is no slippery slope fallacy but simply my observation and that of many others.

There are people who repeatedly say things like this question from Michael Roberts—isn't the important thing Jesus? But these people will also repeatedly attack Biblical creationists and the Bible in general while they hold hands with atheists and other God-hating individuals, using their ideas and beliefs to attack “fellow Christians.” This must stop! My zeal for this topic stems from my desire to show people the Truth of Jesus Christ. I see young people being drawn away from the faith because they accept the unscientific premise that we can date the age of the earth or rocks or the universe, and these dates conflict with what the Bible very clearly teaches. So, my desire is out of love for people that they come to find Jesus Christ and know Him deeply as Creator, Lawgiver, and Savior/Redeemer as well as the soon coming King. They need to know they can trust His Word. But the concern from many (I'm sure not all) old earth creationists and theistic evolutionists appears to be based on arrogance and the desire to win a debate. They don't mock and ridicule Biblical creationists because we don't believe God's Word; they mock us and claim we're ignorant or stupid or gullible because we see past the facade of deep time and all that comes with it. They rail on us because we disagree with them and their “science.” It masquerades as science when it's not. We express concern for the souls of the lost while they express anger for us not agreeing with the humanist origins myth.

Yes, the Gospel Truth is far more important than each of the details of it—but they all must be in place for the Gospel to even make sense. We need a Savior because man fell away 6000 years ago, probably shortly after the creation. God created. Man sinned. There were consequences for this rebellion and we're still dealing with that today. Jesus Christ is the answer in all this! And we're stuck with this very simple question: are we going to believe God Almighty or not? There is literally no indication from Genesis that it should be read as anything but a historical narrative. And if the beginning is something other than actual history, when does that stop? There is no indication in the text that something changes, so really it's either all true or it’s all just some myth that doesn't have any truth to it. Which is it? I prefer to let the context tell me. That context is perfectly in line with reading it as history, and the rest of Scripture confirms this. In short, the old earth creationist and theistic evolutionist have no Biblical basis for their beliefs on origins at all—none. And the Gospel and the Rock of Ages stands firmly on a literal reading of Genesis. Mr. Roberts claims that “The center of the Gospel is the crucified and risen Christ, and everything in the Old Testament leads up to that,” but he doesn't seem to believe that as he's thrown out the core of the Old Testament and its foundations.

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Social Osmosis

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, February 20, 2019 0 comments

by David Odegard

In the same way that all of us consume and appropriate nutrients from our food, so we all also consume the cultural and social world around us. We cannot help but hear and see and feel the time and tide of culture. Social or cultural osmosis occurs today at astonishing speed and with hideous power.

The zeitgeist means the spirit of the age; it is the mood of an entire era. Think of the Roaring 20s when the Federal Reserve first discovered it could just print money and artificially raise the stock market. Poverty was supposed to have been eradicated. The cultural mood in America was unlimited prosperity, low moral standards, celebration, and heady optimism. After all, the U.S. had just won the war to end all wars, World War I. Moral codes fell dramatically, and hemlines rose accordingly. Booze flowed like ink from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s pen.

There was much pressure on young Americans to adopt the common outlook. The power of culture, though, took a megawatt boost on November 2, 1920. It was the very first broadcast of a commercial radio station, KDKA out of Pittsburgh, which chose that day because it was election day. For the first time people would hear the election results before reading it in the newspapers. (The winner was Warren G. Harding, by the way.) Never before could one person speak to more people at once than someone could meet in person in a lifetime.

A scramble to control the airwaves ensued. Politicians, corporations, and religious leaders all wanted to gain the upper hand over the airwaves so that they could be the one speaking directly to America. The radio became the undisputed king of culture.

Americans began to assume a system of the world, or a way that the world is, without thinking. The advertisements presented a way of life that was accepted uncritically. Society was changing dramatically and it was fueled by the cultural pressure. Many good things occurred, such as women receiving the vote. Cars were being mass produced and 26 million of them were sold in the 1920s. Passenger aviation began to be a viable enterprise, and there were many more technological advancements that transformed everyday life so that many aspects of life would be unrecognizable to someone born only a hundred years before.

All these technologies made the nation seem smaller, but it also made the human person smaller. No one had a voice if he or she didn’t also have a microphone. Eventually the elite got control of the microphones, the government controlled what could be said over the radio, and the common American voice grew almost inaudible under the din of the ten-thousand-megawatt voice bought and paid for by elites.

Then suddenly the world was turned upside down in the 3rd and 4th quarter of October 1929 during a series of corrections, slides, and then eventually crashes to the stock market. Seemingly overnight the zeitgeist moved from optimism, permissiveness, and celebration to humility, repentance, and despair. Everyone was influenced by this new spirit of the age, but the radio remained king. With the proliferation of technology, cultural experiences became far more standardized with everyone feeling the common cultural mood. People could be molded by influencers like never before, and it all happened so naturally.

Fast-forward this narrative and you will see television, color television, an explosion of programming and commercials, cable television, satellite TV, and finally the internet all adding irresistible power to the standardizing influence of culture upon the average American.

A pattern of public manipulation has emerged through the controlling influence of media, and the internet is not immune. As every new technology arrives, everyone scrambles to master it. Eventually a few companies control access, profiting off of the ads and access. Then the government controls appear, controlling content and maintaining monopolistic powers for a chosen few. This has not yet occurred completely in the case of the internet, but it is plainly beginning to occur. Already corporations like Google and Facebook control access, monitor usage, sell the data, and censor content that they do not like. Meanwhile the government has proposed legislation time after time to tax the internet, control speed and bandwidth, stifle competition, regulate content, spy on everyone, etc. If the historical pattern endures, these elite interests will eventually win control. I can only guess that humans will immediately begin working on yet another technology free of these controls, perhaps blockchain?

What does all this have to do with Christianity? Christians, like everyone else, are swimming in the zeitgeist. It influences us whether we realize it or not. Being aware of that fact helps us to take precautions against it and, with hope, avoid some of the worst outcomes.

One of the most important steps in our journey to Christ is to become aware of our own worldview. That is, we actually take off the interpretive lenses through which we view the world and examine them. Are we getting an accurate picture of the world as it really is? Does our worldview transform the blurry, unfocused, and confusing elements of the world into a clear picture? Can it explain both the past and present, and does it provide predictive models with more accuracy than competing worldviews?

Christianity does that for us when it is sufficiently understood. It is the best explanation for the world as it is. It has better answers for the origin of the universe, the existence of life rather than mere matter, the existence of consciousness, the existence of qualia, the fine-tuning of the universe, etc. Science almost always supports a Christian worldview rather than a materialistic one.

Worldview development is vital to passing on genuine Christian values, therefore the Christian has to develop resistance to the zeitgeist in order to be faithful to Christ. I would invite readers to check out the many books written on Christian worldview. An easily accessible online resource is the work of Summit Ministry; there is a fun and free worldview pop quiz here. Feel free to share your results in the comment section of this page. How Christian are you?

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Jesus Still Doesn’t Want My Sock Monkey

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, February 19, 2019 8 comments

by Chad Koons

“Bruce… you’re still here?!” I shouted with tears streaming down my face. This was a good day, though terribly traumatic. I lost a bit of childhood wonder that afternoon, but what I gained was far more valuable. Maybe Jesus wanted something that I just couldn’t give Him. Or maybe I was giving Him the wrong thing?

Let me back up. I was 5 years old when this happened, and I’d never be the same.

I was a skinny, bullied, but happy little kid with dimples and a bowl cut. There were only a few things in life that I truly cared about: my mom and dad, God, our black dog named “Brownie” (don’t ask), and Bruce. Not necessarily in that order, as sometimes Bruce would command a pretty strong first place. Who was Bruce? Bruce was my best friend, a homemade sock monkey stuffed with nylon stockings.

Our church had Vacation Bible School (VBS) every summer. My aunt Betty would pick me up for it. She was simply awesome. She had the kindest blue eyes, a loving smile, big blonde hair, and smelled like a million bucks. Like if Dolly Parton was your aunt, only better. I’d stand outside waiting for her, and sometimes Bruce would tag along, too. She’d stop at the end of our driveway and I’d hop in. “Ready to go, Chad?” she would say with a grin. “Weeee!” she would say, mashing the gas pedal and shooting us up the mountain like a 4-door rocket ship. Ah, the 80’s were a great time for me.

That particular year, VBS centered around a most profound theme: giving Jesus your best.

I remember sincerely struggling to understand the meaning of this. Whatever my “best” was, God wasn’t physically “there” to give anything to! And didn’t He already have everything?! I was beyond frustrated. This may have been the first time I’d grappled with making sense of an abstract idea. The Lord was drawing me even then, and if God wanted my best, then He’d get it. I prayed, saying “God, what is my best?” After thinking about it all week, I had come to some conclusions.
1. The best thing I had was my parents.
2. If I “gave” them to God, whatever that meant, then I’d have no one to take care of me!

What a horrible realization! This was a no-win situation. I remember specifically thinking, “Doesn’t He know that we need our parents?” And how would this work, would God show up and swoop them away or something?

God wasn’t explaining Himself. Thanks a lot, Jesus. You want my best, but you won’t talk to me about it. I decided to rethink this whole thing. Some days later, the most horrible revelation dawned upon me.

“Oh no... not this!” fear surging through my body. God didn’t want my parents; He wanted BRUCE!

Now this made me cry. What did Jesus want with a sock monkey?! I looked into Bruce’s button eyes, that tattered monkey who I’d never known life without, hugging him with.all my might while coming to terms with his soon to be departure. Come Saturday, I would do it. Bruce would be given to Jesus.

Saturday afternoon arrived. I trudged down our steps and into the front yard, Bruce in tow. I confessed to Bruce that we couldn’t be together anymore, that God wanted him for some reason and that he’d go live with Jesus now.

Being as strong as a 5-year-old could be, I relinquished Bruce, laying him upon the ground. I turned my back and walked away, closed my eyes and whimpered: “Take him, Jesus.” I broke down, waiting for something, anything to indicate that Jesus had come down to whisk Bruce away. But nothing happened. Unable to wait any longer, I turned my head and peeked… WHAT?! Bruce was still there! I ran to him, snatching him up with glee. Though my smile soon faded, I realized that maybe I hadn’t given Jesus enough time to get him. Maybe it was like Santa Claus, and He wouldn’t come if I was watching?

I offered Bruce for a second time. Much to my confusion, God just left him lay there again. This was becoming too much for me to handle. Was I doing something wrong? One last chance, I thought. There would be a final offering. Once more, Bruce found himself laid upon the ground, silently awaiting the return of Jesus to whisk him away. I turned my back and waited. How heart-broken I was, I remember looking skyward and shouting at the heavens, nothing made sense. Where was Jesus? He wanted my best and I was trying to give it! Come on, Lord, please just finish this already!

After giving the Lord ample of time to collect Bruce, the moment had come to face my fate. If Bruce was gone, then Jesus was happy with me. If Bruce was still there, then I would get to keep him. I slowly turned around. “Bruce?! You’re still here!” I shouted wildly, half blinded from the tears streaming down my face. I ran to him, snatched him up and just about squeezed his nylon stockings out! But something felt very wrong. I couldn’t understand why all of this had happened. I was left wondering, did Jesus want something that I was unable to give Him, or was I simply offering Him the wrong thing?

I must admit, sometimes I look at my life now and wonder if I’m still getting it all wrong.

To be clear, God doesn’t want our stuff. He lacks nothing, He does not have a need that we can fill.

I’m no longer offering sock monkeys, sadly it has gotten much worse than that. Instead, I’m offering Him the grown-up sort of wrong things, like my duty. That’s what He wants most, right? If God were to interrupt my life, if He were to literally appear while I’m simply being a husband, being a daddy, performing my ministry position, in my workday, or anywhere else… would I feel ashamed, knowing that I’m serving my duty over serving Him? I’ve become so good at living my Godly life that I could almost do it without God. This is absolutely bone chilling, nothing could be more terrifying.

Do you know what God wants? Please allow the gravity of this next statement to sink in: He wants “us.” Call it our heart, our life, whatever. You and I are the offering, bare, broken, and breathing. Every single moment is built upon this, dear readers, and it MUST begin there. Remove the sandals from your feet, approach Him as He made you, not upon your own inventions; you are standing upon holy ground. In Christ is our eternal launching point. Our work may be tremendously important, but our work is not the desired offering. You and I are the sacrifice. See Galatians 2:20-21 and Psalm 51:17. Remember how Adam walked with the Lord? I want this so deeply. To keep in step with the Spirit. Letting our work become an overflow of who we are as we daily walk with Him. In this way we give God what He actually wants, not what we think He wants. See Galatians 5:25 and Hebrews 11:26-27.

Jesus still doesn’t want my sock monkey, but He’ll always want me.

So, what about my old sock monkey Bruce? He’s still around. Full of holes and patches, but I can count on him to always smell and feel like home. I’m pretty sure he’ll always be around. Unless Jesus changes His mind and takes him after all…

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Psalm 18

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, February 18, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:1-2)

The main reason I chose to write on Psalm 18 is its first couple verses. These two verses are pretty powerful so I want to focus primarily on them.

While much of the Bible is about love, it occurred to me that we don’t often see the words “I love you” in it like this. The word for “love” here in the Hebrew is not the most common verb for love. There are multiple words to express love, but this one is most often used to refer to the mercy and compassion that God has on mankind. It’s often associated with the nurturing love a mother has for her children. Using this particular word here shows that the psalmist (David) is communicating how intimate his relationship is with God and how it contains a love that is compassionate, nurturing, and merciful.

David further clarifies this relationship by calling the Lord his strength. Through God’s love and their relationship, David has seen God working in his life. God chose David even though he was the youngest and smallest of Jesse’s 8 sons (1 Samuel 16). David saw God’s strength firsthand when God worked through David to defeat Goliath (1 Samuel 17). David had plenty of proof in his life of God’s strength, so God being David’s strength is a key component to their relationship.

David goes on to describe the Lord with three more terms: rock, fortress, and deliverer. God is referred to as the rock of Israel multiple times in the book of Deuteronomy, including 32:4: “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Rocks are generally considered to be unmoving (at least in the days before heavy machinery), so this picture of God shows that He is forever faithful, not changing in His ways or opinions. We can count on God to always be who He is, no matter what.

David was a warrior, so the military term of “fortress” would have been a part of his normal vocabulary. David also refers to God in these terms in Psalm 31:2: “Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.” David would have been very familiar with physical fortresses such as Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:7) or his stronghold in the wilderness (1 Samuel 24:22).

God had already delivered David from Saul’s murderous rage (1 Samuel 18-19), so “deliverer” was another aspect of God that David had lived out in his life. David had gone through many battles where he knew they won because of the Lord’s hand, not simply because of David’s strength. God truly was his deliverer.

David then uses parallelism and repeats the same idea again with slightly different words. The first address of God uses the divine name of YHWH, while the second is the more generic “God.” This English translation uses the word “rock” twice, but in Hebrew those are two different words for “rock.” His use of “shield” is similar to “fortress,” and “salvation” is similar to “deliverer.” The word for “salvation” is the same root where the name of Jesus comes from. The final attribute of “my stronghold” could also be translated as refuge or fortress.

We see a lot of military sort of language here, because that was David’s world that he was familiar with. We see a richness in David’s language here, and maybe some of these words resonate with you strongly too. If you were writing a psalm of love to God, what words would you choose?

I encourage you to read the rest of this psalm and see what else David has to say about God, but I’ll summarize it a bit for you here. After focusing on praising God for His character, verse 3 explains the purpose of this psalm: to call upon God for salvation. David then goes on to describe the situation that God saved him from (verses 4-6) and how God saved him from that (verses 7-19). David then shares why God desired to save him (verses 20-27), and then about how God was so good to him (verses 28-34). David shares how God provided him victory over his enemies (verses 35-45) then praises Him for it (verses 46-49).

The psalm closes with verse 50: “He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants forever.” This brings it back full circle to where the psalm started - with David professing his love for God. All of the things that God did for David were wrapped up in love; God’s love for us is the reason we can have relationship with Him, and it’s what that relationship is built on.

How is God showing that love in your life? What has God done for you, similar to the victories He gave King David, that have proven His love for you and His strength in your life? Reflect on God’s love in your life this week, and all that ways He is working in your life.

Like Katie’s writings? You can purchase her book What the Bible Says About... here!

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.


Two Ears, One Tongue

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, February 17, 2019 0 comments

by Logan Ames

When I was a child who didn’t want to pay any attention to my parents or other authority figures in my life, I would occasionally be told the same thing I’m willing to bet many of you were told as well: “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen!” In my sarcastic mind, I wanted to respond, “How come God didn’t make me care?” When someone comes down on you for not listening, the issue isn’t that you can’t physically hear them; it’s that you couldn’t possibly care less about what they are saying. Generally, it’s because you are more focused on yourself and whatever you desire in that moment. The older we get, the more easily we can fake it and at least give the impression that we are listening to someone even when we honestly do not care about what they are saying. But God’s Word tells us that listening more and talking less is not only the mark of a believer but also the easiest path to harmony and peace.

In James 1:19-20, the writer addresses a topic that has plagued humanity from the very beginning of the human race, to the beginning of the Christian church, to the present time. Remember that the Book of James is widely considered to be the first one written, chronologically speaking, in the entire New Testament. It was written to the earliest believers who were all Jews that had been scattered. Anger stemming from the unwillingness to listen was a problem for them, just as it was a problem for the very first family of all mankind. In Genesis 3:12, Adam blames Eve for causing their downfall by eating the forbidden fruit (even though Adam was responsible for telling his wife what God had commanded). I’m generally assuming that there was anger when he blamed her because it typically accompanies blame in our lives, though I do admit Scripture does not say that. However, in the very next chapter and with the very next generation of human beings, we see that the son of Adam and Eve, Cain, “was very angry and his face was downcast” over the fact that God accepted his brother Abel’s offering and not his (Genesis 4:4-5). From those early moments on, anger has been a part of our world and the way we relate to one another.

James considered it enough of a concern in the early church that he decided to specifically address it in his letter and call their attention to it: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20). It’s easy to look at these verses and then try to will ourselves to do better in these areas, but a true change would require us to get to the heart of the matter. The best way we can learn to be slow to become angry is by first listening more and talking less. If you think about it, when we are quick to become angry it is most often because we are focused on ourselves and OUR feelings or expectations. Listening to others and refraining from talking are two ways to practice being focused on others. James understands what our natural sinful inclination is, yet he’s telling them that one mark of a brother or sister in Christ is that they are “slow to become angry."

The old saying is actually TRUE; God does give us two ears that are always open and one mouth that actually hides the tongue which we need in order to speak. I don’t believe this is a coincidence. If we use these gifts accordingly, we’ll be much more likely to be slow to anger. But the next verse is where James tells us WHY we should be slow to become angry. The words “human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” have always jumped off the page at me. I was taught growing up that there is such a thing as “righteous anger." The Bible supports this. Jesus could certainly be described as “angry” when he cleared the temple courts and overturned the tables that people were using to conduct business in the Father’s house in John 2:13-17, and Paul quotes Psalm 4:4 when he says, “In your anger, do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). I don’t believe the apostle would give this command if it were impossible to keep it.

The question, then, is what constitutes righteous anger? I can assure you that probably 99% of the times that “righteous” anger was pointed out to me growing up, it certainly was not righteous. Many times, we think that because we are Christians and something about sinners angers us, our anger is RIGHTEOUS. We lazily and carelessly pretend that God feels the same way we do about things. This unfortunate attitude is spreading like wildfire right now in our country on BOTH sides of the political divide. Conservatives think their anger toward liberals is justified because they’ve already labeled and condemned them as heathens for the policies to which they adhere that don’t line up with Biblical truth. Liberals think their anger toward conservatives is justified because there is no way in their minds that God would be okay with guns, border security and immigrant deportation, forcing women to birth children that have already been conceived, or people being unable to afford healthcare or education. The reaction of anger from each side to the other, and then considering it “righteous anger," pains me greatly because of Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." When are we going to accept and live knowing that, regardless of how sure of ourselves we are, GOD DOES NOT THINK LIKE WE DO?

James clearly says that “human” anger does not produce righteousness (James 1:20). Because of this, I’ve struggled with whether it is even possible for us to have righteous anger. James didn’t specify with “unrighteous” human anger. He just refers to anger which is “human” in nature and leaves it at that. I’ve wondered how someone can have righteous anger when they are not righteous. As I go back to the example of Jesus and the words of Paul, I must still conclude that righteous anger is possible for the believer. But we MUST understand that most of the anger we justify as righteous is not so. True righteous anger cannot be “human” and cannot come from within us; it must come from God through the Holy Spirit who guides us. This is why he also said we must be SLOW to become angry combined with being quick to listen and slow to speak. In other words, we cannot have anger that is truly righteous without taking the time to consider its source before opening our mouths.

We should always ask several questions before expressing anger over something that our gut tells us is a righteous cause: 1) Am I sure my view is in agreement with God’s and His Word? 2) Even if God’s Word is clear on this subject, is there anything extra that I’ve chosen to make personal? 3) Does God want me to speak up about it right now? 4) How can I speak the truth in love? That is not an exhaustive list of questions but they are good ones to ask nonetheless. If we do not take the time to reflect and just carelessly assume we are right in God’s eyes, we will almost certainly do more damage and throw gasoline on fires that don’t need any more of it. Human beings must tread carefully when choosing to speak for God.

In the last verse for this section, James tells us to “get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:21). This requires action because evil does not go away on its own. We have to be willing to attack our sin with the same vigor that we attack that which we feel is unrighteous in others. James says the only way we can truly receive God’s Word is to do so “humbly." This means we can’t assume we have cornered the market on what God thinks and what He says. And the more we fill up our lives and minds with other “filth," the less likely we are to be thinking clearly when the anger sharks are swimming. This concept goes back to Cain as well. God told him, “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it” (Genesis 4:7). Cain allowed himself to be filled with evil and his anger ended up destroying him. If we allow ourselves to be filled with God’s Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then anger and any other emotion that flows out of us will not be “human” in nature, but RIGHTEOUS. Be humble today and receive His truth.

Like Logan’s writings? You can purchase his book Heroes of the Faith here!

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.


Another Jesus, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 15, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Exposing false teachings is never really enjoyable. It makes me mad when I see them and I have had to often tell my tongue to stop before I blow up on the person espousing them, though often I fail. But there is one part of exposing a false teaching that is exhilarating: light is being shined and truth is being revealed. While it is more critical to know how to identify fakes by studying the real thing, it is very good to know how the fakes get in, what they look like, and how they act. Satan has a very limited playbook. He’s not very creative. Yet, he knows well how to disguise the same tactics. If we learn the main tactics, regardless of decoration, even if they are wrapped in Christianese and look like Jesus, we will be able to identify them no matter the form. See part 1 in this series on “Another Jesus” here, beginning to identify the false images of our Savior in our “Christian” culture.

The Transmogrifier Jesus has been makings his rounds in major Christian circles lately. This Jesus is the same savior for every religion, not just Christianity. The God of the Bible and Allah of Islam are the same. All religions point to God. They all have the same core truth. He appears to the Christian, to the Muslim, to the Hindu, to the Buddhist, to the African jungle tribes, in different ways but all go to the same God. If this Jesus was real, then what was the purpose of identifying all the false gods throughout the Old Testament, let alone the New Testament? God frequently describes Himself as being unique and separate from all the other gods. All it takes is a cursory study of the character of the gods to know that God is very different from all of them. Jesus cannot be Savior for them all because they all are unique and different in their claims. And He would also be a liar for declaring that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life; that no one could come to the Father except through Him. Jesus is not the god of any other religion than that which has been revealed in Scripture.

Related to this is the Universal Jesus, the Jesus that brings all people to heaven no matter what they believe or what they do. This Jesus emptied hell because he certainly doesn’t want anyone to suffer and instead wants everyone to be in paradise. And since he is so powerful, so good, and so full of love, even if they don’t want to actually follow him, he’ll still let them in and stay out of their way while in heaven. This Jesus is also promoted heavily in the “Emergent Church/Progressive Christianity” movements, though it is not necessarily a teaching particular to them. This Jesus is a liar because the Bible records a True Jesus who warned what hell would be like and even made clear that the majority would end up there. Take notice that in this Universal Jesus’s heaven, there is no God ruling it, nor is there any reference to anything being about him. This too is a figment of the imagination. It is absolutely true that the Universal Jesus would never send anyone to hell; he cannot send anyone anywhere because he doesn’t exist.

One alternative Jesus I have not seen until I began to converse with Old Earth Creationists is the Imperfect Jesus. This Jesus was a nice man and a good teacher, but he was limited in his knowledge and what he spoke about, because he lived in the first century and we are so advanced in our scientific knowledge now that he missed some things. After all, a mustard seed is actually not the smallest seed overall (though context is actually describing garden plants, or plantable seeds) so clearly Jesus really didn’t know everything. So when Jesus spoke about Genesis regarding the nature of marriage, the timing of its history, the nature of the conditions surrounding Noah’s Flood, and identifying Abel as the first prophet, clearly he was just referencing the myths and stories of the people, not actual history, because we know better now. This Jesus appeals to his humanity, denying that the True Jesus was the actual Creator in the Trinity, was God in the flesh, and had such a perfect unity with the Father that He did not speak anything that his Father did not say. So anyone claiming that Jesus might have gotten something wrong is also saying the Father got it wrong too, boasting his own intelligence and education as being higher than God. Said people are in for a rude awakening when they give an account for such claims on Judgment Day.

Related to this one is the Human Jesus. This particular Jesus was not the Son of God but just a man who lived exceptionally above and better than anyone else. He was not God, but just a man. He was a good teacher, a great expositor, and had wonderful thoughts of love and peace, but he wasn’t God, one of the persons of the Trinity. C.S. Lewis easily addressed this one. The True Jesus was no mere man. He was either Lord, Liar, or Lunatic, but He could never be just a man, a good teacher, or the like. He claimed to be God, which often nearly got Him stoned. If He was wrong, He was a liar and a fraud or insane; but if He was right about being God, then He truly is Lord and is God and no mere man.

Also related to this one is the Deified Jesus. Now the True Jesus is indeed God, but this false Jesus started as a man and then became a god. This is what the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses claim, but it’s also in the teachings of numerous TV preachers. What goes along with this Jesus is the claim that because Jesus was once just a human who became a god, we too will become gods as well. Jesus is just the one who showed us how its done. The problem with this one is that Jesus always was God. He never stopped being God. He laid down His power and humbled Himself to become a servant, but He was 100% God the whole time.

Still related is the Created Jesus. Not exclusive to Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, this is the idea that Jesus is just the son of God, not the Son of God. He was born, had an origin, and even had a brother by the name of Lucifer. This idea pulls from the fact that Jesus is the “begotten” Son of God, therefore he did not actually exist until he was born of the virgin Mary. This is easily refuted by examining the descriptions of Jesus. He did not just come into existence 2000 years ago, but as part of the Trinity He is from of old and everlasting. He is the Word of God become flesh. The Father and Jesus are described in a Father-Son relationship so we can see how the authority structure works. That is also why the Father identifies himself with the male gender, despite being neither male nor female but spirit.

The last one I’ll address in this post is what I would call a Mirror Jesus. This “Jesus” is basically a reflection of the person speaking about him. This is perhaps the most popular and most used false version of him. When someone talks about Jesus, ask them what he is like. In most cases, you will find that he likes what they like, hates what they hate, supports what they support, judges and condemns what they disapprove of, praises those they like, puts down those they don’t, etc. Quite frankly, he looks a lot like them if they were to be God.

You may notice a common trend with all these: they all put self on the throne and at the highest authority. They believe in God because they don’t want to look like idiots and deny the obvious, but they don’t want to submit to the True God and instead they make a god of their own interests and desires. I have six more versions of these “other Jesus” ideas that are quite rampant among our culture today, so look for them next week.

Like Charlie’s writings? You can purchase his book Biblical Foundations here!

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Answering 10 Old Earth Questions

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 14, 2019 6 comments

by Steve Risner

Biblical creationists have been the “norm” in the faith for literally thousands of years. In fact, as I've stated in another blog post, I believe Adam was the first “young-earth” creationist, and the Judeo-Christian faith has maintained that position since that time. It's only in recent years (the last couple of centuries or so) that some have tried to insist there is another truth—one that the Bible doesn't so much as hint at. This “truth” is deep time, that of the “old earth” creationist.

I recently was shown a blog post by an old earth creationist (possibly a theistic evolutionist, I can't remember in my interactions with him) that I had encountered years ago in various groups online. This blog post, which you can find here, consists of 10 questions this old earth creationist thinks are actually good questions to ask a person who believes what the Bible actually teaches about creation—that being the Biblical creationist, or what Mr. Roberts (the blog post's author) calls a young earth creationist. They are, I guess, supposed to be “gotcha” questions that should make Biblical creation look incorrect. However, as I hope to express quite clearly over the next few blog posts, they are nothing of the sort. In fact, they're not difficult questions at all.

First, about the author: Michael Roberts is a retired priest of the Anglican church. He also claims to be a geologist, and he’s authored a book or two. That is really the extent of the info I could gather on him. I do know he's acquainted with my biggest fan, Ashley, also from England, I think. I have interacted with Mr. Roberts in the past, as I stated above. He was usually less than cordial. Perhaps that's just the culture clash of the UK and the USA. I don't know, but I've always found him very condescending when talking with people that don't believe as he does, myself included. I'm sure this blog post will be shared in groups he may frequent on Facebook where I will be mocked and ridiculed when, in reality, their beef isn't with me. Their issue is with the plain teaching of Scripture.

The intro to Mr. Roberts' writing says he'd like to ask people who believe what the Bible teaches about creation and when it happened these 10 questions, so I'm glad I can answer them for him. Perhaps he'll come to the light.

He rightly states that “at first sight” one must believe in a “young earth” because Genesis teaches such a thing. That's exactly right. That should be the end of the discussion, but he feels he needs to trump the obvious teaching of the text with man's skewed interpretation of nature. He follows this first statement up with an appeal to the majority and, to be frank, he makes a claim that is wildly erroneous. That claim is that for 2000 years (the time since Christ walked the earth) most believers believed in an older earth. I say “older” because, to me, 6000 years is really old. I'm 41, so 6000 years seems like a long time. But to state that “most Christians have not believed in a young earth” since the time of Christ is an incorrect statement. He also makes the claim that creationism based on the Bible has only recently become a thing.

To me, these statements are absurd to an exceptional degree. “Young earth” creationism, which we appropriately term Biblical creationism, has its foundation taken directly from the text of Scripture. The details, mechanisms, and processes surrounding that which are not found in Scripture have been theorized by scientists and theologians for quite some time. These models are always changing as new information arises. But the text is exactly what our position is based on. Suggesting that Jews and then Christians believed anything except what the Bible clearly teaches makes me suspicious that Mr. Roberts is even concerned with accuracy or truthfulness. Perhaps he's just not well informed on the subject. I'm not sure. The fact is, although he states that Biblical creation is a thing developed only in the last 50 years, Biblical creation has always been the overwhelmingly accepted interpretation of the text primarily because it's exactly what the text says.

Mr. Roberts has written other pieces explaining how Christians never cared about geology or deep time until the Seventh-Day Adventists invented the idea of reading the Bible and accepting its teachings. This, of course, is farcical at best in my opinion. It's no secret that early Church fathers believed in the literal or natural reading of Genesis. Concerning geology and its connection to the Flood of Noah's day I've written on the origins of Flood geology in the past, and I want to include part of that writing for you here:

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus was a very early Christian writer. He wrote on a variety of topics in the very early 3rd century AD after his conversion. It’s true he had issues with some Church teachings, but the point of addressing him is that as early as the 3rd century, less than 200 years after the establishment of the Church, Christians believed that the days of the creation account were literal and that the earth was formed 4000 years before them. Flood geology, the belief in the so-called geologic column, is claimed by some to be a recent development. However, Tertullian said that the global Flood explained why marine conches and tritons’ horns were found high in the mountains. This particular man is regarded as the father of Western theology. A little later we have John Chrysostom, a legendarily eloquent speaker and apologist who wrote in the late 4th century, who was also a literalist when it came to the creation week. At nearly the same time, we have the well-known Christian philosopher Saint Augustine. Some claim Augustine of Hippo believed in an allegorical creation story and, therefore, that he believed the earth to be much older than the Bible tells us through genealogy. This is a mistake. Although Augustine did believe the creation story was symbolic, he actually believed the opposite of the creation week when compared to old earth creationists, gap theorists, or theistic evolutionists. His contention was that the creation of the universe was instantaneous and that the 6 days of creation were allegorical to describe the single instantaneous act of creation for us. These 3 philosophers in Christian thought, which are only a sample of those we can pull from, show us that it was only just over 100 years after the Apostle John’s death that Christian writers were fully convinced of the natural interpretation of Genesis. The Apostle Peter also seemed to believe in a literal Genesis and the global Flood when he wrote of it in 2 Peter 3:3-7. This was likely written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in 70 AD, thus placing Christian writings on the literal interpretation of Genesis within 30 or 40 years of the Church’s birth. Couple that with the obvious beliefs of the Old Testament prophets and writers and the case for a natural reading of the creation history is pretty clear.

Attributing most geological formations to the Flood or shortly after the Flood is a major pillar in the Biblical creationist's origins theory. We see that early writers in Christianity and even the Apostles themselves seem to have been sold on the idea of a natural reading of Genesis. So, claiming that this is some sort of new idea is simply nonsense to be frank. It doesn't fit with history, logic, or any of the facts. In the U.S., a nation that claims a large number of Christians (many of which are Christians in name only), only 40% of us believe in human evolution. That number was declining at that time of the poll. Also, 42% of Americans (all Americans, whether Christian or not) believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis. It seems like Mr. Roberts' ideas on the numbers might be a little off.

The problem here is that creation according to the Bible is not just some story that we can gloss over or create cartoons for our children to be entertained. It's not a story we can choose to believe or distort if we like. The book of Genesis (not just the first 11 or 12 chapters, where most old earth creationists start to accept what it says) covers about 1/3 of earth's history! The foundation for our faith is found in Genesis. That foundation is that God created everything—He is all powerful, all knowing, and all present as He is not a physical being. He created man in His image and has given man instructions on right living. Not living according to those standards is called sin. Once man sinned, there were consequences that all of creation suffered as a result. One of those consequences is death and decay. God tells us the payment for sin is death. This is why Jesus Christ died for our sins—He was a perfect sacrifice and paid the price for the sins of mankind, reconciling us to God Almighty. Except for that last statement, every bit of that is found in Genesis and the last statement is alluded to in Genesis. If we read Genesis as anything but a narrative on actual history, it falls apart and Christianity has no foundation whatsoever.

It's also about trusting God and taking Him at His Word. If He tells us He's done something, of course that's what He did. If we find that science disagrees with what is clearly taught in the Bible, then we've misinterpreted the science. In this case, however, the “science” is not science. It's a little bit of science misapplied with a great deal of presuppositions that guide extrapolation that ends up with a conclusion that is unknowable and not scientific.

Mr. Roberts has not started this blog post of his well, in my opinion. He's made wildly inaccurate statements and that doesn't look good for the rest of his statements. We'll see more 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.