Faith During Life’s Storms #4

Saturday, September 6, 2014

“And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm (Matthew 8:25,26 KJV).

Like Israel learned in today’s Scripture, we too must realize to trust the Lord Jesus Christ when “the storms of life” batter us.

To demonstrate to His disciples that He was the Creator God in human flesh, the Lord Jesus commanded the winds and the sea to be quiet… and instantly, the waters were just as calm as before. JEHOVAH stills the noises of the raging seas and waves (Psalm 65:7; Psalm 89:9; Psalm 107:29); JEHOVAH in the flesh (Jesus Christ) did likewise. “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still” (Psalm 107:29). If He could create those natural laws from nothing with just a few spoken words, He could easily manipulate them to disassemble a storm (with just a few spoken words!).

Both before and after Jesus Christ calmed the storm, His disciples were guilty of unbelief (today’s Scripture; Mark 4:40; Luke 8:25). Their sinful hearts were deceitful. “But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:27). Mark (4:41) put it this way, “And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Luke wrote (8:25), “And they being afraid wondered, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.” Oddly enough, Jesus’ disciples were just as troubled during the storm as they were after He had dissipated it! The Scriptures indicate they still did not get what He had taught them.

What Israel of the future can learn is this… despite all the horrors of the seven-year Tribulation period, that “storm of life” will pass, and there will be peace as such the world has not seen since the creation week….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who is ‘the great cloud of witnesses’ of Hebrews 12:1?

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 #5

Wednesday, February 12, 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….

Concerning the Creation/Evolution issue, but also regarding any Bible verses that people do not like, the question of Bible translation arises. “How can we trust the Bible? It has been translated and copied many, many times. You expect me to believe your interpretation of that ancient text?” We are more than eager to reply.

If anyone, anywhere, anytime has an issue with an English Bible, we assume they must rather appreciate Bible texts written in the original languages, and that they have already translated and “interpreted” them. (Note, “I do not know Greek or Hebrew” is not a valid counterargument, since their earlier objection appeared to be a presumption that they knew more about the Bible’s original languages than the Christian offering English Bible verses!).

We scientists share our ideas around the world constantly, and since we communicate and report in our respective languages, translation is vital to the scientific community. We do not reject translated scientific journals and experiments; we should not reject a translated Bible either. Translation is not the hang-up; skeptics dislike the text being translated (the Bible).

The English Bible (same in Hebrew and Greek) contains many scientific facts: indeed air has mass, indeed our universe is expanding, indeed washing our bodies under plenty of running water is key to personal hygiene, indeed there is a global fossil record (explanation), indeed earth is spherical not flat, indeed humans had one original ancestor (explanation), indeed the oceans have currents, indeed the continents were one supercontinent (explanation), indeed people speak various languages (explanation), and so on. (For an “ancient text copied and translated many, many times,” it has some astonishing insight!)

All scientists would agree these verses have been translated correctly, would they not? Again, translation is not the problem; it is the text being translated (the Bible). They especially dislike Genesis, not because it is ancient or translated, but because it testifies against their hypotheses and theories.

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #4

Tuesday, February 11, 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….

DETERMINING THE AGE OF THE EARTH. How old is earth? Does the Bible lead us to conclude that the earth is very young, as some claim? Or, does the Bible support a very old earth, as some claim? Does it really matter whether we believe in a young earth or an old earth? As a geologist, I remind you why most scientists believe that the earth is very ancient (currently estimated to be 4.55 billion years old).

Firstly, billions of years are critical to biological evolutionary theory. If the earth were young (thousands of years old), not enough time would have elapsed to produce all the genetic mutations to generate present-day species. Without “deep time” (that is, if earth is young), organic evolutionary theory falls apart!

Secondly, billions of years are critical to geological evolutionary theory. If the earth were young (thousands of years old), not enough time would have elapsed to produce the present-day configuration of continents and ocean basins. Without “deep time” (that is, if earth is young), geological evolutionary theory falls apart, too!

Unfortunately, about two centuries ago, church leaders and theologians began “harmonizing” Scripture with modern scientific thought, lest they be “unscholarly, simple-minded” Bible believers. Perhaps there were huge gaps of time between the “days” of the creation week in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, just not recorded in Scripture (gap theory). Maybe each “day” of the creation “week” was actually a geologic age (large expanse of time), not a literal 24-hour day as previously taught in churches (day-age theory). What if the Bible’s creation “week” was actually millions or billions of years long? What if God used evolution in the creation week (theistic evolution/progressive creationism)? In other words, “Yea, hath God said…?” (Genesis 3:1).

More will be said about this later. For now, suffice it to say that modern scientific thought does require the earth to be old and the Bible does not require it to be old.

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #3

Monday, February 10, 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….

GREAT DELUGE OF NOAH’S DAY. The Great Flood is probably the most ridiculed idea in the Creation/Evolution debate. Skeptics ask, How could a few “primitive” (uneducated?) men build a 450-foot-long boat that could actually float for a whole year on a global sea? How could all of today’s species fit into that ark and be fed by eight people? What scientific proof is there of a global flood? How could the natural laws we see operating today be overridden or suspended to produce such an event?

Although more will be said later, for now, we offer the following brief replies:

  • Throughout various ancient cultures worldwide, there exists the basic story of a man building a large boat in anticipation of a global flood. These peoples lived thousands of miles apart, so how did they all adopt this strikingly similar narrative?
  • Ancient cultures and languages can be very complex, so “primitive” Noah was not stupid like Bible scoffers suggest.
  • Animal hibernation probably played a major role in limiting volumes of food and dung on the ark.
  • Apparently, only major animal species boarded the ark (today’s subspecies were represented genetically, not physically, on the ark).
  • Some (compromisingly) suggest the Bible teaches a regional, rather than global, flood. Ridiculous! A single riverbank overflow should have alerted Noah to, not build a boat, but migrate out of the valley and seek higher ground! (Surely, God did not make Noah waste 120 years of his life.)
  • As a geologist (Earth scientist), some years ago, I began developing my own hypothesis regarding the “scientific [geologic] proof” of the Great Flood. I have never published it or shared it with anyone, but I do hope to one day (I am still forming the underlying concepts).
  • Above all, never forget: We geologists admit that, in history, the rates of the operation of natural laws have periodically increased from “normal”/current rates (the Great Flood was not the only event in history to “upset” natural laws)!