Monday, 31 August 2009

Church Group Urges Sceptics to Think Again

Church of England Newspaper
The Evangelical Alliance has issued a robust response to those who dismiss the Easter story as mere myth. Published to coincide with the broadcast of the BBC's documentary "Son of God" the paper presents 10 'points to be considered' by anyone inclined to dismiss the biblical record of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.

The paper, which is entitled "Real Easter": The Plausibility and Historicity of Jesus' Resurrection, emphasises that the Christian faith is based on well-founded evidence.

The paper's author, Alliance Theological Adviser the Rev Dr David Hilborn, commented: "Son of God is a stunning piece of television, both visually and technically. It impressively evokes the society into which Jesus was born, and outlines some of the evidence for his life and deeds. But it bypasses a good deal of data relevant to the central claims of Scripture about Jesus -- date which suggest that he was much more than a good teacher or revolutionary martyr."

Real Easter summarises recent historical, archaeological and scientific research and urges sceptics to think about 10 factors surrounding the Easter story. It starts by focusing on the death of Jesus, saying that medical evidence backs up the claim that Jesus actually died. David Hilborn then states that it would have been impossible to steal the body and that soldiers would have had little motive for colluding with the disciples to aid them in this.

The veracity of women being the first witnesses of the resurrection is also pointed out, with the author stating: "If the Gospel writers had wished retrospectively to 'normalise' these accounts, they would surely have placed the male disciples at the scene, rather than the women, since in Jewish culture at the time the testimony of women had a relatively much lower legal status." After spelling out his 10 points -- see box -- Dr Hilborn cites the continuing growth of the Church world wide as a further sign of the resurrection's significance and power: "From utter despair, the disciples were rapidly transformed by the resurrection into one of the most influential movements the world has ever known," he writes.
"It seems unlikely that they would have been motivated to lead this movement on the basis of a few self-generated mental pictures or by a 'legend' concocted in a matter of days.

"It is quite improbable that a motley band of 11 weak, shell-shocked disciples would, within 36 hours or so of their leader's death devise a deception in which his body would be stolen and disposed of anonymously, so that they could devote their lives to a new religion
born of that same deception," states Dr Hilborn. "On the contrary: their faith, and the faith of the worldwide Church they pioneered, is most genuinely represented as a faith based on these core events: that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried in Joseph's tomb and on the third day was raised bodily from that tomb, leaving it empty."

The 10 points:

1 Medical evidence shows that Jesus died, not swooned on the cross

2 The disciples could not have stolen the body on Easter Sunday -- there would have been a guard of probably 16 heavily armed soldiers who could have been executed if they had been caught asleep.

3 Suggestions that soldiers conspired to steal Jesus' corpse are unlikely -- pagan soldiers would have been uninterested.

4 If, as some claim, the women went to the 'wrong' tomb, the authorities could have gone to the right one and produced the body.

5 Eyewitness events match other historical events, such as the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44BC. It is improbable that the 500 who together witnessed the resurrection (1 Cor 15:6) were all delusional.

6 The fact that women were the first witnesses is remarkable given their lack of legal status, and bears out the veracity of the Gospels.

7 Given that it was in the interests of the Roman and Jewish authorities to find the body, the fact that they didn't increases the likelihood that the resurrection did take place.

8 Gospel reports of Jesus sharing food and allowing himself to be touched after his resurrection departs from the notion that those around him were suffering delusions.

9 Many early Christians, and those today, die for their faith. Such widescale, long-term martyrdom is rarely commensurate with movements founded on a systematic lie.

10 Science may argue for the extra-ordinariness of the resurrection, but it cannot disprove it.

END


Reference: http://listserv.virtueonline.org/pipermail/virtueonline_listserv.virtueonline.org/2001-April/002167.html

Faith: Historians Say Resurrection A Reality

By UWE SIEMON-NETTO, UPI
Religion correspondent

WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) - "If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and our faith is also empty," the Apostle Paul wrote only a few years after the Crucifixion (1 Corinthians 15:14).

The Resurrection narrative in all four gospels is the one story on which all Christian hope is fixed. Is it a ruse? Was it the figment of the scared disciples' hysterical imagination that Jesus appeared to them after his execution?

The late Pinchas Lapide, a Jewish New Testament scholar, considers this suggestion of 19th and early 20th-century liberal theologians preposterous:

"This band of disciples was beaten and weary. Yet almost overnight it transformed itself into a victorious faith movement," he wrote.

"If this had occurred simply on the basis of auto-suggestion and self-deceit, it would have been a much greater miracle than the Resurrection itself."

In a dramatic turnaround from post-Enlightenment skepticism, historians are now inclined to give much more credence to the New Testament accounts of the Resurrection than their predecessors.

"There is so much evidence pointing to its veracity," wrote professor Juergen Spiess of Marburg University in IDEA, a German Protestant news service.

According to Spiess and several other historians, Christ was probably crucified on April 7 of the year 30. If this is so, the Resurrection occurred on April 9, a Sunday.

There have always been doubters claiming that Jesus never died on the cross. Mohammed denied it. But the Biblical passion stories are backed up by at least one irreproachable secular source:

The Roman historian Tacitus (55-120 A.D.) wrote that the "founder of this sect (the Christians) was executed during the reign of (emperor) Tiberius by the Governor Pontius Pilate" (Tacitus, annals XV). "This corroborates Scripture," Spiess explained. "Historians work like lawyers," he continued, "They reconstruct past events on the basis of sources, evidence and eyewitness accounts."

Helga Botermann, a professor at Goettingen University, has shown that in researching the Good Friday and Easter events, the evangelist Luke followed the same methodology used by modern historians.

Luke, a Greek physician, "endeavored to present the facts as they had happened. He used eyewitness accounts and -- in the Book of Acts -- his own recollections."

Botermann went on to state, "Luke wrote for his contemporaries, who were capable of judging his account of these facts with which they were familiar either from their own experience or the reports of others.

"Thus there is no justifiable reason to approach his rendering of history with prejudicial skepticism ... Luke's sources were also his critics. This makes it very unlikely that he embellished his story willfully with his own prejudices or intentions."

Spiess sees Christ's empty grave as a key piece of evidence for the veracity of the Resurrection story. Here he agrees with William Lane Craig, arguably one of America's finest Christian apologists.

In an article published in Truth Journal, Lane pointed out that even "the earliest Jewish polemic presupposed the empty tomb." It simply interpreted this phenomenon differently.

"In Matthew 28, we find the Christian attempt to refute (this)," Craig wrote. "That polemic asserted that the disciples stole away the body. The Christians responded ... by reciting the story of a guard at the tomb, and the polemic in turn charged that the guard fell asleep."

The long and the short of this dispute is, though, that both sides provided evidence for the empty tomb, Craig said.

Pinchas Lapide, the Jewish scholar, added another point favoring the Resurrection account. The first people to find the grave empty and encounter the risen Christ were women.

But women had such a low standing in Hebrew society at that time that their testimony would not have even been considered in court. Hence, Lapide reasoned that anybody trying to fake a story in 1st-century Palestine would hardly have presented women as his prime witnesses.

Another argument against the Resurrection narrative survived in multiple variations for almost 2,000 years and was eagerly picked up by rationalist German scholars of the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Christ, they averred, did not actually die on the cross, but was taken down and placed alive in the tomb. He escaped to convince his disciples that He had risen from the dead.

Even Friedrich D. E. Schleiermacher, the father of modern theology, embraced this theory no serious scholar believes anymore. Craig fields two arguments against it:

"1. It would have been virtually impossible medically for Jesus to have survived the rigors of his torture and crucifixion, much less not to have died of exposure in the tomb.

"2. A half-dead Jesus desperately in need of medical attention would not have elicited in his disciples worship of him as the exalted Risen Lord and Conqueror of death."

Apart from that, the Risen Christ had too many eyewitnesses for the Resurrection story to have been invented. Many saw him between his Resurrection and his Ascension. All four gospels, the Book of Acts and Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians relate their stories. "Can one invent this," asked Spiess, the Marburg historian.

Half a century ago, liberal theology's attacks on the veracity of the Resurrection story began to die down. This occurred at Marburg University where theologian Ernst Kaesemann took issue with the historical skepticism against Jesus, a skepticism ardently promoted by his own teacher, Rudolf Bultmann.

Kaesemann's new approach was much later echoed by the late New Testament scholar Norman Perrin of the University of Chicago: "The more we study the tradition with regards to the appearances, the firmer the rock begins to appear upon which they are based."

"If one wants to have assurance, one must read the New Testament," Marburg University's Juergen Spiess wrote.

Commented William Lane Craig: "The resurrection of Jesus is the best explanation for the origin of the Christian faith."


Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.


Reference: http://listserv.virtueonline.org/pipermail/virtueonline_listserv.virtueonline.org/2001-April/002166.html


Some say that Christ's resurrection was a myth, not history. Is this possible?

Some critics charge that the Gospels have obscured the historical Jesus of Nazareth by cloaking Him in layers of legend and myth.[1] They claim that the Bible's stories of Christ's resurrection are myth, not history. There are at least FOUR REASONS why the mythological interpretation fails.
  1. Comparative literature demonstrates that myth takes a number of generations to develop. There are no parallels in other literature of myth developing and being believed in the presence of eye-witnesses and within the short timeframe in which the New Testament was formed.[2] (for more info)

    Historical research is on the side of an immediate belief in Jesus' resurrection. An early apostle's creed includes the Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-9) and has been dated by many scholars to within 3 to 7 years of Christ's death and resurrection.[3] This implies prior public belief. Scholars agree that the first letters by St. Paul appeared within 25 years or less of Jesus ministry, and the four Gospels within 21 (and no later than 65 years).[4] The preaching of the apostles always centered on the Resurrection. In a very short period of time, devout Jews throughout the Roman Empire who had formerly faithfully worshiped God on the seventh day of each week, converted to Christianity and began meeting on the first day, in celebration of Christ's resurrection.

    Hundreds of witnesses saw Christ alive after his death. Once he appeared to 500 people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6).

  2. Many of these eyewitnesses to Christ's public ministry were hostile toward the Jesus the Gospels describe (Matthew 12:22f). These opponents had both motives and means to correct falsehoods about Him had the first disciples attempted them.[5] Yet their opportunity did not produce a serious correction.
  3. The Gospels don't resemble either Greek myth or Jewish legend.[6] In contrast to those, the Gospels understate and lack embellishment, yet contain details counterproductive to the invention of legendary heroes. For example, the following six factors in John chapter 20 are at odds with the tendency of legendary material:
    • With great restraint, no attempt is made to describe the resurrection itself.

    • Mary neither initially recognized the risen Jesus (the “hero”) (John 20:14).

    • nor even considered that there was anything special about Him (John 20:16).

    • Indeed, even by the end of the day, the disciples (the secondary “heroes”) were still in hiding "for fear of the Jews" (John 20:19).

    • And, were the Gospels the free creation of paternalistic bias, as feminists charge, it is incredible the writers would have chosen women to be the first witnesses of the risen Jesus. The testimony of women didn't even count legally.[7]

    • Yet, it was their courage the morning after the Resurrection that put the men's contrasting cowardice to shame.

  4. Jews were the poorest of candidates for inventing a mythical Christ. No other culture has so opposed mythically confusing deity with humanity, as did the Jewish.[8]


SIX SKEPTICAL OBJECTIONS most frequently leveled by critics of Christ's resurrection


  1. Christ's resurrection is a myth, not history.

  2. The Resurrection stories are full of contradictions.

  3. Miracles are not possible.

  4. The body was stolen.

  5. Jesus only fainted and then recovered from His wounds.

  6. The witnesses were just “seeing things.”

Reference: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t009.html

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Pragmatism

The post-modern world is an insane asylum. It is in a pragmatic movement that has a loss of meaning—privatizing how we define our self. We accept the truth that there is no absolute truth. The world is struggling to find answers. I thank the Lord that we have His Word and we can abide in it.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Blasphemous Uses of God's Riches: Hold Your Tongue

Here is a list of some curses and alternative curses people used back in the day and today to blaspheme:

  • Jesus Christ!
  • Jeez, or Gees, or Geez! (alt. Jesus)
  • Jeepers Creepers! ( alt. Jesus Christ)
  • Jiminy Cricket (alt. Jesus Christ)
  • Jumping Jehoshaphat/Jehosaphat
  • Dog gummit (alt. God Dammit)
  • Gosh Darn (alt. God Damn)
  • In God's name!
  • O My God!
  • O My Gosh! (alt. God)
  • O My Goodness! (alt. God [Whom is "Good"])
  • Golly! (alt. God)
  • By George! (alt. God)
  • I Swear to God! (James 5:12)
  • O My Word! (His Word)
  • What the Hell?
  • What the Heck? (alt. Hell)
  • What in God's name?
  • Bless his/her soul/heart... but...(Intentionally bruising another believer and appearing righteous as they do it)

If you don't believe me, look it up in the dictionary.

And any grumbling, groaning, and ungrateful curses to the life God has given to us is also blasphemous.


Alternatives of the F-word: Frick, Freaking, Frigging, etc.

The list goes on! Also, any laziness, complaining and whining is an insult to the life God gives us. You can change the word so it's less harsh, but it's still a curse.

Now, sometimes one person may use OMG in astonishment of something so miraculous, that's different. But using God's without regard to Him is disrespectful. Using God's name so loosely is like dragging His name through the mud. We don't even deserve to call Him, let alone have His mercy. But as gracious as He is, He allows us to live, He freely gives us life through repentence and faith in Jesus Christ. After what He has done for you, How could you use His name profanely?

If we don't get what we want, we should not whine and complain, but put our faith in Jesus. When we whine and complain we expect that life should be going our way. This is because of our pride. After we repent, acknowledge what He did on the cross and put our trust in the Lord we must be meek and humble, remove our pride, and become lower than the dirt we walk on and crawling things in the earth, and declare that we are unworthy of this life that was given to us on the cross because God loves us so. We are not saved because of a pithy apology, but because of what Jesus did on the cross. Put your thanksgiving and faith into the Lord Jesus Christ every day.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Encourage

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Galatians 6:1-3

Encourage and build each other up with love and gentleness. And do not fall into their theologies, or theories, or humanistic ideals.

He who spares his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Proverbs 13:24

If there is one of your brothers or sisters who is lost, guide them to the Scripture promptly with love and meekness reminding them of God's perfect will and what He expects in our growing sanctification.

Monthly Quotes - Being A Radical Christian

A boy with his brother sold themselves to a slave owner so that they could share the Gospel to slaves. In departure of their land onto the slave owner's boat they shouted back to their parents, "Shall not the Lamb have the full reward in suffering?" They drift off the dock into a lifetime of slavery.
Paul Washer remarks this by saying, "And you think you're a radical Christian when you wear a t-shirt?" He continues to encourage us by saying, "Die for something worth dying for, live for something worth living for." "Work with men!"
Where are the men and women of God? Stop playing video games, going to see the latest movies, buying the latest fashion trends, texting your girl friends, facebooking, and twittering. I'm not saying that these things are wrong, I am stating to you; Don't waste your life! DO SOMETHING! Jesus said, "Go and make disciples of all the nations." Matt. 28:19
GO!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Contending For The Faith

If we are to say that our God is a tolerant God we would have to deny His divine authority of the judgement on law breakers. We would have to erase the cross and say that Jesus suffered a meaningless death on our behalf. We would have to deny Jesus as our Christ and Saviour.

Our society is telling us to be not tolerant to intolerance. Our God is not a tolerant God. Just look at the Ten Commandments and His wrath upon the law breakers throughout the Bible. God does not tolerate sin. He has displayed this throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Christ Jesus said, "He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me." He is asking us to deny ourselves and to follow His path. He was a man whom God incarnated Himself. He was not just showing the right path, but He announced, "I AM the way, and the truth, and the light; none go to the Father but through me." By the authority of God Himself Jesus calls us to take up our cross and to follow Him.

References: Ps. 119:105; John 8:18-19; 9:58; 14:6-7; Matt. 10:38

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Tornado, the Lutherans, and Homosexuality

By: John Piper

I saw the fast-moving, misshapen, unusually-wide funnel over downtown Minneapolis from Seven Corners. I said to Kevin Dau, “That looks serious.”

It was. Serious in more ways than one. A friend who drove down to see the damage wrote,

On a day when no severe weather was predicted or expected...a tornado forms, baffling the weather experts—most saying they’ve never seen anything like it. It happens right in the city. The city: Minneapolis.

The tornado happens on a Wednesday...during the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's national convention in the Minneapolis Convention Center. The convention is using Central Lutheran across the street as its church. The church has set up tents around it’s building for this purpose.

According to the ELCA’s printed convention schedule, at 2 PM on Wednesday, August 19, the 5th session of the convention was to begin. The main item of the session: “Consideration: Proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality.” The issue is whether practicing homosexuality is a behavior that should disqualify a person from the pastoral ministry.

The eyewitness of the damage continues:

This curious tornado touches down just south of downtown and follows 35W straight towards the city center. It crosses I94. It is now downtown.

The time: 2PM.

The first buildings on the downtown side of I94 are the Minneapolis Convention Center and Central Lutheran. The tornado severely damages the convention center roof, shreds the tents, breaks off the steeple of Central Lutheran, splits what’s left of the steeple in two...and then lifts.


Let me venture an interpretation of this Providence with some biblical warrant.

1. The unrepentant practice of homosexual behavior (like other sins) will exclude a person from the kingdom of God.

The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)


2. The church has always embraced those who forsake sexual sin but who still struggle with homosexual desires, rejoicing with them that all our fallen, sinful, disordered lives (all of us, no exceptions) are forgiven if we turn to Christ in faith.

Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)


3. Therefore, official church pronouncements that condone the very sins that keep people out of the kingdom of God, are evil. They dishonor God, contradict Scripture, and implicitly promote damnation where salvation is freely offered.

4. Jesus Christ controls the wind, including all tornadoes.

Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? (Mark 4:41)


5. When asked about a seemingly random calamity near Jerusalem where 18 people were killed, Jesus answered in general terms—an answer that would cover calamities in Minneapolis, Taiwan, or Baghdad. God’s message is repent, because none of us will otherwise escape God’s judgment.

Jesus: “Those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:4-5)


6. Conclusion: The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners.

Resource: http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1965_the_tornado_the_lutherans_and_homosexuality/


NEWS

The Minneapolis Convention Center has sustained approximately 1,800 square feet of roof damage and has some water damage. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was holding its national convention at the center at the time of the storm. About 2,200 people were registered for the convention. People inside the Convention Center were taken to a safe location, and there were no reports of injury.

Resource: http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/Tornado_Downtown_Minneapolis_Aug_19_2009

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The Message

Why was The Message written?

The best answer to that question comes from Eugene Peterson himself:
"While I was teaching a class on Galatians, I began to realize that the adults in my class weren't feeling the vitality and directness that I sensed as I read and studied the New Testament in its original Greek. Writing straight from the original text, I began to attempt to bring into English the rhythms and idioms of the original language. I knew that the early readers of the New Testament were captured and engaged by these writings and I wanted my congregation to be impacted in the same way. I hoped to bring the New Testament to life for two different types of people: those who hadn't read the Bible because it seemed too distant and irrelevant and those who had read the Bible so much that it had become 'old hat.'"


I'm sorry, 'old hat?'. Since when was the Bible over used and worn out like an old hat?

The goal of The Message is to engage people in the reading process and help them understand what they read. This is not a study Bible, but rather "a reading Bible." The verse numbers, which are not in the original documents, have been left out of the print version to facilitate easy and enjoyable reading. The original books of the Bible were not written in formal language. The Message tries to recapture the Word in the words we use today.


In the Introduction to The Message Peterson clearly states that he did not intend to write a watered down version of the bible. I'm sorry, but that's what it is!!


A Note by John MacArthur

Let me just give you a little hint. If you ever hear a preacher say, “We need to bring the Bible into modern time?” Translators think they need to do that, tamper with the text. “You don’t want to give people antiquated, old expositional messages. Got to be updated. We have got to bring the Bible into modern times.”

That is exactly opposite what you should do. You never want to bring the Bible into modern times. You want to take people back into ancient times. When you teach the Word of God you want to recreate the setting so the person is there, so the Bible comes through with its divine message in its original context. Anything less is robbing Scripture, snatching verses here and there to make them mean whatever they want. If you are going to retain the true meaning of the Scripture you have to go back into the original context.

And let me tell you something about the Bible. The meaning of the Scripture is the
Scripture. Did you get that? That is not circular reasoning. The meaning of the Scripture is the Scripture. If you don’t get the meaning right you don’t have God’s Word. You may own a Bible. You don’t have God’s Word until you know what it means by what it says. And the meaning is in understanding the context.


Apostasy Alert!!!

Did you know?
  • The Message removed homosexuality in the text. (you know, because we don't want to offend homosexuals?)
  • The Message is sexual orientation and gender friendly. (it's good for everything then, eh?)
  • The Message says that Jesus calls himself "the Human One" instead of "Son of Man" (you know, because it might offend women?)
  • The Message calls the darkness, "the shadow" (you know, because it might offend dark coloured people?)


Like they say, "NO MSG!"

Please, if you own this book (I can't even call it the Bible), I am saying this for the sake of your salvation, THROW IT OUT and BURN IT!

Visit http://justinpeters.org/The_Message%5B1%5D.pdf for a brief outline of The Message.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Darwinism vs. Christianity

Science became something it was supposed to be. Darwin was driven by the philosophy of his theory of evolution. Many modern scientists are trying to find the "missing link" to disprove the bible. You see, they are trying to find something that they want to find. This is not science! They chase after it based by their feelings against the God of the bible. Since they remove God from the universe they have to recreate what God had already made in the beginning.


Ravi Zacharias
in The End of Reason

It's ironic how Charles Dawkins and Daniel Dennet would argue that the reason that people are diluted by religion is by the usage of emotions. Whereas, in Christianity God makes it clear that you should not act on feelings, it's selfish. Dennet would further argue that religions are using love as a leash to hold people in the faith. Dan Barker would put it as a primitive understanding of how the universe works and of the unreasonable question to 'Why are we here?”

Evolution still falls under a theory of ever-changing biology, chemistry, etc. It cannot be used in ethics or morality. There is no room for an absolute because that would decommission the attributes that make up the idea of evolution. If we choose to use it as a relative for moral ethics then by our nature we'd change or 'evolve' what we believe is right and wrong. There would be no reasoning. This would cause confusion and chaos.


Notes on Darwinism

Perhaps the main reason why Britain had not followed France into the anarchy of Revolution in the 19th century was because of the great revival sent by God through the preaching of John Wesley, George Whitfield, and others in the 18th century. That godly legacy led to all the great reforming laws, such as the abolition of slavery and child labour.

But this legacy was squandered. An evolutionary survival-of-the-fittest attitude to society itself has led the nation of Great Britain—and much of the world—away from biblical principles. Charles Darwin’s legacy is a nation which scorns the God who made the world.

Ultimately, to know what this “Darwin Year” is all about as far as the secular world is concerned, I point you to Romans 1:18-32:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonour their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practise such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practise them.


The story of evolution leaves no room for a supernatural Creator. Evolutionary processes are supposed to be purely naturalistic. This means that even the need for a supernatural Creator disappears because it is argued that the natural world can create new and better or more complex creatures by itself. The implication of this is very revealing: evolution means “no God” and if there is no God, then there are no rules—no commandments, no God-given rules which we must obey. We can therefore live our lives as we please, for according to evolutionary philosophy, there is no God to whom we have to give an account. No wonder molecules-to-man evolution is attractive to so many, for it allows them to live as they please. This is called relative morality.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/


An Absentee God?
by Dinesh D'Souza

In my debate with atheist Christopher Hitchens in New York last October he raised a point that I did not know how to answer. So I employed an old debating strategy: I ignored it and answered other issues. But Hitchens' argument bothered me.

Here's what Hitchens said. Homo sapiens has been on the planet for a long time, let's say 100,000 years. Apparently for 95,000 years God sat idly by, watching and perhaps enjoying man's horrible condition. After all, cave-man's plight was a miserable one: infant mortality, brutal massacres, horrible toothaches, and an early death. Evidently God didn't really care.

Then, a few thousand years ago, God said, "It's time to get involved." Even so God did not intervene in one of the civilized parts of the world. He didn't bother with China or Egypt or India. Rather, he decided to get his message to a group of nomadic people in the middle of nowhere. It took another thousand years or more for this message to get to places like India and China.

Here is the thrust of Hitchens' point: God seems to have been napping for 98 percent of human history, finally getting his act together only for the most recent 2 percent? What kind of a bizarre God acts like this?

I'm going to answer this argument in two ways. First, I'm going to show that Hitchens has his math precisely inverted. Second, I'll reveal how Hitchens' argument backfires completely on atheism. For my first argument I'm indebted to Erik Kreps of the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.

An adept numbers guy, Kreps notes that it is not the number of years but the levels of human population that are the issue here. The Population Reference Bureau estimates that the number of people who have ever been born is approximately 105 billion. Of this number, about 2 percent were born in the 100,000 years before Christ came to earth.

"So in a sense," Kreps notes, "God's timing couldn't have been more perfect. If He'd come earlier in human history, how reliable would the records of his relationship with man be? But He showed up just before the exponential explosion in the world's population, so even though 98 percent of humanity's timeline had passed, only 2 percent of humanity had previously been born, so 98 percent of us have walked the earth since the Redemption."

I have to agree with Kreps's conclusion: "Sorry Hitchens." But actually Hitchens’ plight is worse than this. As I pointed out in a recent three-way debate with Hitchens and radio host Dennis Prager, Hitchens’ argument poses a far bigger problem for atheism than it does for theism.

To see why this is so, let’s apply an entirely secular analysis and go with Hitchens' premise that there is no God and man is an evolved primate. Well, man's basic frame and brain size haven't changed throughout his terrestrial existence. So here is the problem. Homo sapiens has been on the planet for 100,000 years, but apparently for 95,000 of those years he accomplished virtually nothing. No real art, no writing, no inventions, no culture, no civilization.

How is this possible? Were our ancestors, otherwise physically and mentally indistinguishable from us, such blithering idiots that they couldn't figure out anything other than the arts of primitive warfare?

Then, a few thousand years ago, everything changes. Suddenly savage man gives way to historical man. Suddenly the naked ape gets his act together. We see civilizations sprouting in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, and elsewhere. Suddenly there are wheels and agriculture and art and culture. Soon we have dramatic plays and philosophy and an explosion of inventions and novel forms of government and social organization.

So how did Homo sapiens, heretofore such a slacker, suddenly get so smart? Scholars have made strenuous efforts to account for this but no one has offered a persuasive account. If we compare man's trajectory on earth to an airplane, we see a long, long stretch of the airplane faltering on the ground, and then suddenly, a few thousand years ago, takeoff!

Well, there is one obvious way to account for this historical miracle. It seems as if some transcendent being or force reached down and breathed some kind of a spirit or soul into man, because after accomplishing virtually nothing for 98 percent of our existence, we have in the past 2 percent of human history produced everything from the pyramids to Proust, from Socrates to computer software.

So paradoxically Hitchens' argument becomes a boomerang. Hitchens has raised a problem that atheism cannot easily explain and one that seems better accounted for by biblical account of creation.


Ending Notes

Evolution is not science, it's driven by a philosophy.