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 #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 #2

Sunday, February 9, 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….

ORGANIC EVOLUTION VIA NATURAL SELECTION. Evolutionists disagree about life’s origin on earth. The many hypotheses offered—extraterrestrials, meteorites, lightning/atmospheric phenomena, and deep-sea vents are popular—are not infallible (thus, they remain “hypotheses,” ideas subject to change).

Furthermore, every organism’s genome is its entire genetic “blueprint” complete with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA is a language that governs how the organism (in embryonic stage) will be organized (its physical traits) and how it will develop and function (its growth rate, role in nature, et cetera).

Charles Darwin argued that when an environment grows hostile toward an organism (predation, food shortage, et cetera), mutations (changes in its genetic material) equip the organism to adapt to its surroundings, survive, and pass those new traits to its offspring. Nature selects against organisms that fail to adapt to their environments, and thus, they die, but nature selects for the individuals that adapt, so they survive and reproduce (“natural selection”). Just how mindless, random nature “selects” these advantageous traits before the organism/species dies out [and then it cannot “evolve”] is a “mystery” to Evolutionists [they admit it], since only intelligence [such as God] has a capacity to make such critical selections.

Over many millions of years, innumerable random mutations allegedly generated significant genetic changes: a bacterium evolved into the first fish, a fish evolved into the first amphibian, a dinosaur evolved into the first bird, a great ape evolved into the first human, et cetera. Mutations are actually rarely beneficial, and my physician re-affirmed to me that genetic boundaries cannot be crossed as evolutionary theory teaches (all species could not have descended from one ancestor).

Rather than embracing random genetic mutations and universal common ancestry as origin of the species, the Bible creationist understands that the Creator is the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, at creation, crafted into the perfect original organisms of their “kind” (“family”) all pertinent genetic material. Once man’s fall and the curse of sin, the Lord “switched on” that information to ensure survival.

Proceeding onward….

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #1

Saturday, February 8, 2014

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

Herein is offered the first of several (brief) devotional arcs addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate.

As a Bible teacher and student, and a geologist (Earth scientist) pursuing my Master of Science degree (anticipated later this year), I enjoyed the debate. Raised in a Christian home where Bible creationism was believed, and spending nearly two decades in public schools learning evolutionary theory (over seven years in university), I will here evaluate both views and reduce them to “layman’s terms.”

Unfortunately, many professing Christians vacillate concerning, or completely avoid, the Creation/Evolution issue. Sadly, they are unsure how to answer the “scholars’” anti-Bible theories and “evidence,” or they prefer to avoid the “superstitious Bible-toter” stigma and exemption from the “in-crowd”—mainstream scientific community and its agreeing public.

The Creation/Evolution issue actually predates Christ’s earthly ministry. It has been especially controversial during the last 150 years, since British naturalist Charles Darwin published his book, “The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life” (notice this full title [rarely seen or reported] conveys racial undertones—evolutionary theory was once utilized to teach there are superior human races!).

It is now imperative to define terms.

Evolutionary theory asserts that all life forms (bacteria, plants, animals, humans) descended from one original ancestor (which itself “evolved” when random organic molecules mysteriously combined), and this morphing of one organism into totally different species we see today—in order to adapt to environments and survive predation—involved a four-billion-year-long process of genetic mutations (man is considered “most evolved”).

Bible creationism, embracing the Bible’s creation account (Genesis chapters 1 and 2 especially) as literal, historical narrative, teaches that all life forms (bacteria, plants, animals, humans) are not genetically related, but each “family” of organisms was created perfectly by the Lord Jesus Christ within six literal days in the recent past, but which species then used pre-inserted genetic material to adapt to a fallen world (the curse brought on by man’s sin).

Proceeding onward….

Shallow #5

Saturday, October 26, 2013

“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:34 KJV).

If the professing “Church” is to impact our culture as the Lord Jesus Christ intended, then it had better recognize today’s Scripture as applicable to it!

For 120 years, Noah, “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5), built the ark according to God’s instructions, and warned the world of the impending Global Flood. Eight people—Noah, his wife, and their three sons and their wives— boarded the ark just before the Flood (Genesis 7:7). God gave mankind an additional seven days to change their mind, believe His Word as spoken by Noah, and come into the ark of safety (verses 4,10). Of these perhaps four billion people in the world, not a single one came into the ark!

Jesus Christ Himself commented that when the waters of the Great Deluge came from above and from below, humanity was still pursuing carefree, satisfying lifestyles (Matthew 24:37-39). Although God’s Word, the warning of His impending judgment, was the least of their concern, violent waves of water immediately drowned their physical bodies and the flames of hell surrounded their souls. Most of the animal and plant species perished too (their fossilized remains form the geologic rock record that scientists still study today).

Approximately 150 to 200 years after the Great Flood, we come to the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). The new human population (Noah’s descendants) rejects the knowledge of God (just as Noah’s antediluvian generation did), defying God’s command to multiply and scatter over the face of the earth (Genesis 1:28; Genesis 9:1). Instead, they collaborate and begin to construct a city and a tower (place of false religious worship), Babel (just south of present-day Baghdad, Iraq). That false religious system is the “mother” of most present-day world religions. In order to slow down man’s rebellion against Him, God confounded their languages and scattered mankind across the globe (the origination of Gentile nations).

After God gave the Gentiles over to Satan, He selected one man, Abram, through whom He would create a nation of people, Israel. Now, let us see if Israel will be any different from the previous Bible-rejecters….

Good Riddance! #3

Thursday, April 11, 2013

“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13 KJV).

God’s people have never been welcome here in “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) because He has never been welcome here. In short, if lost people could utter two words to us Christians after we have been raptured out, it would be, “Good riddance!”

Our sinful world despises absolute standards concerning morals and ethics (it does demand them regarding finances). Christians preaching and teaching sound Bible doctrine are a dam that holds back Satan from having complete control over every person. While the devil has fooled much of the world with all sorts of carnal and religious errors, unfortunately for him, those Christians who are King James Pauline dispensational Bible students are not so easily persuaded. Satan can only rule over ignorant people. Thankfully, we are well aware of what is occurring in this world. Man thinks he is on the rise (in actuality, his thinking is upside-down!).

For nearly 20 centuries, both the professing church (Christendom) and (sadly) the genuine, Holy Spirit-indwelt Church the Body of Christ, have allowed the errors of the world to creep into their assemblies, desensitizing them to ungodliness. This is to be expected when sound Bible doctrine is willfully ignored. What is the hallmark of lukewarm Christianity? The member of the average “Christian” church is just as “godly” as the average heathen of the evil world system, resulting in “Christians” siding with and defending the heathen and his social preferences! The heathen and the phony Christian alike hate the true Christian (today’s Scripture)—he, his God the Lord Jesus Christ, and his Holy Bible, are threats to “progress.”

Indeed, we Christians are viewed as “hindrances to progress.” Young earth Bible creationism, monogamous heterosexual marriages, owning weapons for self-defense, having a job, and driving a fossil-fueling-burning vehicle are respective threats to foolish pagan philosophical evolutionary theory, sexually-perverted lifestyles, pacifism, slothfulness, and “mother earth.” In this world, it seems like every belief is to be “tolerated”—except anything from God’s Holy Bible! As the context of today’s Scripture will demonstrate, this was true in the past, and it will be true in the future….

A Pet Lover’s “Pet” Verse

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is the “pet” verse of pet lovers everywhere!

From the massive blue whales and gigantic dinosaurs to tiny ants and puny microorganisms, animal life has always fascinated mankind. After all, “whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” (Genesis 2:19). Adam, the first man, was also the first human scientist: he studied animal life, and in his brilliance, invented names for each of those creatures! Before he and Eve fell into sin, they probably had some of these as pets in the Garden of Eden. Even today, thousands of years later, mankind is still enjoying the billions of creatures that he has adopted as “family.”

Owning pets can be very rewarding, but it is equally painful when they pass away. Recently, my family marked the ninth anniversary of the death of our first pet dog. The poor animal extensively suffered from a disease during his last few days, and it was a great loss when he died. Reflecting on my childhood, I remember the deaths of other pets—fish, hermit crabs, a cat, and even an unknown insect species. I was diligent in feeding them, cleaning their habitats, and studying their behaviors.

Weeks ago, our current family pet dog was severely injured, and when I observed his wounds in the veterinary clinic, I was deeply disturbed as he floundered helplessly in agony. Although he survived, we grew very concerned because of his unknown prognosis.

According to today’s Scripture, “a righteous [just, fair] man regardeth the life of his beast.” He pays attention to the wellbeing of the animal he owns and he gives it adequate care. This is contrasted with “the wicked,” whose “tender mercies… are cruel.” They cannot be trusted to treat their animals/pets with kindness. Instead, they abuse them and neglect them. These owners are unsympathetic when their pets suffer.

So, what art thou? A “righteous” master, or a “wicked?”

Unknown by Face (For Now, Anyway)

Monday, March 12, 2012

“Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: but they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me” (Galatians 1:21-24 KJV).

Today’s Scripture says Jewish believers in Judaea (surrounding Jerusalem) merely heard of Paul’s conversion. They had not seen him in person. Nevertheless, these saints rejoiced because Paul, the very man who once murdered God’s people, was now God’s apostle of the Gentiles! Paul wrote “they glorified God in me.”

The Church the Body of Christ spans some 2,000 years. Its members, scattered worldwide, lived during various centuries, all having never met face-to-face (I have never met most of you in person). Paul never met the Laodiceans and the Colossians (Colossians 2:1)… in this life, anyway. When the Body of Christ is complete, at the rapture, we will see—in person—our brethren, the Christians of the past 20 centuries (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Get excited!!!

Several weeks ago, I received an email from a young grace believer and college student who discovered our devotionals blog (he will be reading this too!). Yesterday, we were finally able to fellowship via telephone… spanning the 1,000-mile distance between us. We know not each other in person—we are both “unknown by face”—but we “glorified God in [each other].” We rejoiced in the Lord, how by His grace, we stood for the grace message (the Gospel of the Grace of God), the King James Bible, young earth creationism, and Pauline dispensationalism. How we were both encouraged by each other’s dedication to sound doctrine, even as our “higher education” systems consider us “outcasts.” Our fervor for upholding God’s Word rightly divided, even in the midst of persecution, encouraged him, and vice versa (1 Thessalonians 3:7,8).

Brethren, when we read or hear about other grace believers proclaiming and defending sound Bible doctrine (Gospel of Grace, King James Bible, Paul’s apostleship, et cetera), let us “glorify God in [them],” even if they are “unknown by face [for now, anyway]!”

When Christ Returns

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things…” (Acts 3:19-21 KJV).

The perfect planet that existed prior to man’s rebellion and fall has been absent for 6,000 years now. According to the Bible, “as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). It was in Genesis 3:16-19 that the LORD placed a curse on creation, “the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21). Consequently, we have sickness and death, thorns and thistles, and women have birth pangs. That is only until Christ returns….

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Peter tells Israel that Jesus Christ will return one day to earth to set up His earthly kingdom (“the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution of all things”). He will also restore and forgive Israel. After Christ’s Second Coming, the curse of sin will be lifted from creation and Earth will revert back to the conditions of the Garden of Eden! Isaiah 51:3 says: “For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”

Ezekiel 36:33-36 also describes Israel’s barren land restored: “This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited” (verse 35). Isaiah 11:1-10 describes Christ’s earthly kingdom. There will be no carnivorous or poisonous animals—children will not be harmed by snakes, wolves will dwell peacefully with lambs, and leopards will coexist calmly with baby goats. Wow!

For now, the human, plant, and animal kingdoms will continue to suffer—sickness, heartache, and ultimately physical death. But, this is not permanent. Creation will be restored to its original glory, and finally delivered from the curse of sin… when Christ returns….

When the Fulness of the Time Was Come – 333’s 200th

Saturday, December 17, 2011

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4,5 KJV).

In the beginning God set the first man, Adam, on earth to “subdue [control] it,” to “have dominion” over it and everything on it (Genesis 1:28). Alas, Adam sided with Satan, joining the rebellion against God. The human race, now marred by sin, was unable to fellowship with its holy Creator God.

Fortunately, God promised mankind’s Redeemer in Genesis 3:15: a Man who would do what Adam failed to do—rule earth for God’s glory. Adam was “the figure [preview/type] of him that was to come” (Romans 5:14c). About 4000 years after Adam, the “him that was to come” finally came—Jesus Christ. How human history was forever impacted when that Redeemer came!

Jesus Christ’s birth was not some haphazard event of nature. God the Father had preplanned the exact moment of the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture). Recall that, unlike us, before His physical birth, Jesus Christ lived as a Spirit in heaven’s glory with His Father (John 1:1,2; cf. Micah 5:2).

When the appointed time came, at His Father’s behest, Jesus’ Spirit came to earth to indwell the body in the virgin Mary’s womb. For nine months, God Himself actually lived inside Mary’s womb! Being delivered, He lived a sinless life of 33 years, despised by His family (Israel) and the world. As one dear Christian brother explained, “That was the greatest life ever lived in a human body!”

No event in human history compares to the coming of Jesus Christ. As today’s Scripture teaches, the Lord Jesus became a small Baby… to become a grown man… to become Israel’s rejected Messiah… to ultimately die for us, the wretched Gentiles! God became a man, to “give Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6).

We are ever grateful that “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son….”

Saints, we have reached a milestone – #200. WOW!