Peace in a Discordant World

Friday, February 21, 2014

“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 KJV).

While there is turmoil outside, there need not be any inside.

Trouble—such is the lot of sinners in a fallen creation. Job spoke firsthand, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not” (Job 14:1,2). A human’s earthly life is ever so brief, and sin makes it ever so complicated.

In the context of today’s Scripture, our Lord Jesus is preparing His apostles to bear the worst life experience they have known. They do not understand it yet, but they will soon witness horrific events—Messiah’s arrest, torture, and death by crucifixion. Their King will perish, and their whole world will be destroyed. In the verse preceding today’s Scripture, Jesus says, “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (verse 32). Not too far into the future, all of Jesus’ followers will abandon Him, terrified of the Roman and Jewish governments.

Today’s Scripture is actually the conclusion of Jesus’ departing words to His Jewish believers (He started in John 14:1: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me”). He also told them, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

Israel’s Little Flock would have difficult days ahead, but, “in Christ,” they would have God’s peace. Likewise, in this world filled with grief, uncertainty, and suffering, “the God of hope [will] fill you with all joy and peace in believing [God’s Word to you, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon], that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). 🙂

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #12

Thursday, February 20, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

Evolutionists very desperately attempt to bolster their theory. While not true of all Evolutionists, from personal experience (oral and written discussions with them, literature, debates, and so on), I know many exaggerate figures, ridicule us Bible-believing scientists as “not being true scientists,” promulgate artists’ imaginations as fact, and admit inconsistencies and unanswerable “mysteries” (even in their own theory). While Evolutionists claim to be “open-minded,” very few have ever been willing to meaningfully discuss Creation/Evolution matters with me.

Several questions thus arise. How can Evolutionists still believe their claims, even when they admit their theory is riddled with “speculation” and “mysteries?” How can they look at the design in nature and still deny God’s existence? Why do they reject the Bible? Frankly, it is better to believe evolutionary theory, than accept the Bible’s creation account. They hold to fallacies, lest they be forced to see their sinful state, their need to submit to their Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe and trust what He did for them on Calvary’s cruel cross.

Scripture says, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain [empty, worthless] in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:19-22).

Early man knew his Creator God, but when sin entered, mankind lost that connection with Him. When confronted with the proof of God’s existence, sinful man simply tunes God out. The result is a mind that has no desire to ever see God’s truth, and a heart that has no desire to ever believe it (today’s Scripture).

NOTE: For our readers’ sakes, we will temporarily suspend this devotionals arc. More advanced Creation/Evolution studies are coming at a later date, so stay tuned!

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #11

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

THE FOSSIL RECORD. Worldwide, geologists and biologists, especially paleontologists, have unearthed and studied innumerable fossils, remains of historical life forms preserved within rock. Over the centuries, these data were used to construct the “geological timescale,” a table that organizes Earth’s history into various sections of time, complete with fossils of life forms “evolving” at each time. From oldest to youngest, we find the prokaryotes (single-celled organisms, first appeared 3.8 billion years ago) to eukaryotes (multi-celled organisms, first appeared 2 to 2.5 billion years ago), “simple” bacteria and algae (“first life forms?”) to “complex” humans (the “pinnacle” of the process thus far).

COMMON ANCESTOR. “In addition, the fossil record has provided compelling evidence for the theory of evolution” (My college-level textbook, Biology, Brooker et al., 2008, page 469). (Bold emphasis mine.) The fossil record is assumed to document how new species mutated from preexisting ones through a four-billion-year-long process (generating the diversity of life we observe today). However, biologists acknowledge that genetic barriers are present in life forms today, and species can only reproduce with like individuals; the “common ancestor of all life forms” explanation for the fossil record is quite unbelievable—based on Scripture, and basic science!

THE GREAT DELUGE OF NOAH’S DAY. Except for a few disputed specimens, we have not found definitive “transitional fossils,” preserved remains of species that served as “bridges” to new species. We only find fossils of fully-formed creatures, and unless those species died out, they are identical to what we see alive in nature today. Due to lack of transitional fossils, a more plausible explanation for the fossil record is that it documents the order in which life forms—fully-developed life forms—perished in the Great Flood. Man, assumed to be the “most recently evolved,” was actually the last life form to delay his death in the floodwaters, frantically escaping to higher ground (perishing nevertheless).

Yet, despite it all, Evolutionists deny there is evidence for a Global Flood….

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #10

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

Just where did all that water come from to cover the globe in Noah’s day? Notice Genesis 7:11: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” While much of the scientific community dismisses the Bible’s human authors as “writing from a limited point-of-view due to their ignorance,” Moses seemed to be far more familiar with Earth science than even they realize.

You might be surprised, as I was, to learn some non-Christian scientists’ view of Genesis 7:11. Many years ago, in my undergraduate years in geologic training, I found a pamphlet about groundwater (water that exists underground). Although it was written by the United States Geological Survey (not a Creationist organization at all!), it quoted that Bible verse in its opening words (evidently, these scientists thought Moses was not dumb like Bible skeptics commonly portray him!). Not only was there water coming down from above (from the Lord Jesus Christ in the third heaven), but the Flood also involved water coming up from beneath.

The Bible says that Earth’s crust—especially its oceanic crust—was “broken up,” meaning aquifers, geysers, hot springs, and deep-sea vents were activated worldwide. Molten rock from Earth’s interior gushed out, which caused volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, rising sea temperatures, and tsunamis (giant sea waves).

In addition to “all of the fountains of the great deep” being rent, the “windows of heaven were opened.” That is, for 40 days, a large water mass from God in heaven slammed Earth. As that water passed through outer space, it surely caused great atmospheric and astronomical disturbances, and pummeled Earth with asteroids and meteorites (rock masses from space), forming craters on Earth we still observe and study worldwide.

Let us now discuss what the Great Flood meant for Earth’s biosphere….

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #9

Monday, February 17, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

THE BIBLE AND AN OLD EARTH. “No longer could geologists compress all of Earth history into the short span suggested by the Old Testament of the Bible” (my college-level historical geology textbook, The Earth Through Time, by Levin, 8th edition, 2006, page 17). (Bold emphasis mine.) Dr. Harold Levin—an Evolutionist geology professor, not a Creationist—admits the Old Testament does not support an old earth. (So, why do some professing Christians assert Scripture teaches an old earth?)

WHY AN OLD EARTH IS NECESSARY. Do you remember my previous comments about why scientists believe in an old earth? Now, we allow them to affirm what we discussed earlier: “The hypothesis of Earth’s immense antiquity also was supported by Darwin and other biologists, who saw the need for hundreds of millions of years to accomplish the organic evolution apparent in the fossil record” (The Earth Through Time, page 33). (Bold emphasis mine.) Again, “deep time” is critical to biological evolutionary theory!

PLATE TECTONICS. Eschewing great detail, suffice it to say that Earth’s crust (outward surface on which we live) is divided into two-dozen plates, “rafts” that float on a sea of circulating molten rock (Earth’s mantle). These plates split apart to open ocean basins (divergent), collide to build mountains (convergent), or the plates slide past one another (transform faults)—these plates’ motions generate earthquakes and tsunamis, and are related to volcanic eruptions. Today, these plates move at most 4 inches (10 centimeters) per year. Thus, thousands-of-miles-wide ocean basins are assumed to have formed over tens of millions of years, and miles-high mountain ranges are assumed to have taken millions of years to rise.

THE GREAT FLOOD AND ACCELERATED PLATE TECTONICS. It is my personal belief as a geologist that plate movement rates were significantly accelerated during the Great Flood, rates that we do not observe today. Genesis 7:11 describes Earth’s plates rending (breaking) in order to release subsurface water (groundwater) that became floodwaters.

Let us continue discussing the Great Deluge….

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #8

Sunday, February 16, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

THE ORIGIN OF LIFE. “Obviously we cannot take a time machine back 4 billion years and determine with certainty how these events occurred. Instead, scientists study the existence of modern life, as well as geological processes and fossils, and speculate about the conditions that existed on primitive Earth. This approach has led researchers to a variety of hypotheses [ideas] regarding the origin of life, none of which can be firmly verified. Nevertheless, certain possibilities are becoming more plausible [likely] and perhaps even compelling” (My college-level textbook, Biology, Brooker et al., 2008, page 458). (Bold emphasis mine.)

Evolutionists openly admit that they do not know how life began on earth: none of their various hypotheses are definite. They concede that they are “speculating,” so why do they reject the Creationist’s Bible as “speculative?” Frankly, they know that if the Bible’s “speculation” is correct about the origin of life, it just may also be right about the origin of DEATH and their need for a Saviour to rescue them from their sins!

COMMON ANCESTRY. “Humans Evolved from Ancestral Primates. Although humans are closely related to chimpanzees and gorillas, they did not evolve directly from them. Rather, all hominoid species shared a common ancestor” (Biology, page 738). Right from their own literature, we learn that gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans all share one common ancestor!

Scripture says God “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). The Bible says God used dirt, not preexisting primates, to form the first man, and man alone received from God the “breath of life!” This is one of many blatant contradictions between evolutionary theory and Scripture. Now we see why people want to re-interpret Genesis chapters 1 and 2 as figurative rather than literal.

More will be said about this later, but for now, we move on to related topics….

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #7

Saturday, February 15, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

As a scientist (geologist, Earth scientist) and a Bible student and teacher, I have discovered in conversation and literature that very few professing Christians ever grasp the overall scope of the Creation/Evolution matter—they neither fully understand the Bible’s creation account nor man’s evolutionary theory.

For instance, while I have never personally heard the first two chapters of Genesis taught in science class in any public school I have attended, I have heard many professing Christians say “God used evolution” and “Scripture and evolutionary theory are compatible.” Or, consider what one Roman Catholic priest told me when I asked him to clarify paragraph 390 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, “That is right, Genesis chapter 3 is not literal but figurative [allegorical/symbolic].” (One can only wonder if he was deliberately attempting to blend Scripture and evolutionary theory.)

The aforementioned statements from professing Christians demonstrate the ignorance we hope these studies are addressing and suppressing. Saints, my desire—yea, God’s desire—is for you to have a firm grasp of other views before you reject them. While space limits us, our goal here is to delineate the major tenets of evolutionary theory and compare them with the Bible. If someone were to ask you why you reject evolutionary theory, “the Bible does not teach it” is too shallow and insufficient a reply: you must be armed with specific examples (facts!).

When our Apostle Paul confronted pagan Greek philosophers in Athens, he reminded them, “For in him [God] we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:28). Paul demonstrated he was familiar with the poetry/writings/speeches his critics esteemed. Likewise, we too must be familiar—not necessarily experts—with evolutionary literature to reach them. We need their quotes and we need God’s Word; oftentimes, one is lacking in such a discussion.

Let us proceed to deeper discussions….