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Archive for the ‘Biblical Science’ Category

from Got Questions:

It is a fairly well-established fact that Jesus Christ was publicly executed in Judea in the 1st Century A.D., under Pontius Pilate, by means of crucifixion, at the behest of the Jewish Sanhedrin. The non-Christian historical accounts of Flavius Josephus, Cornelius Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, Maimonides and even the Jewish Sanhedrin corroborate the early Christian eyewitness accounts of these important historical aspects of the death of Jesus Christ.

As for His resurrection, there are several lines of evidence which make for a compelling case. The late jurisprudential prodigy and international statesman Sir Lionel Luckhoo (of The Guinness Book of World Records fame for his unprecedented 245 consecutive defense murder trial acquittals) epitomized Christian enthusiasm and confidence in the strength of the case for the resurrection when he wrote, “I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

The secular community’s response to the same evidence has been predictably apathetic in accordance with their steadfast commitment to methodological naturalism. For those unfamiliar with the term, methodological naturalism is the human endeavor of explaining everything in terms of natural causes and natural causes only. If an alleged historical event defies natural explanation (e.g., a miraculous resurrection), secular scholars generally treat it with overwhelming skepticism, regardless of the evidence, no matter how favorable and compelling it may be.

In our view, such an unwavering allegiance to natural causes regardless of substantive evidence to the contrary is not conducive to an impartial (and therefore adequate) investigation of the evidence. We agree with Dr. Wernher von Braun and numerous others who still believe that forcing a popular philosophical predisposition upon the evidence hinders objectivity. Or in the words of Dr. von Braun, “To be forced to believe only one conclusion… would violate the very objectivity of science itself.”

Having said that, let us now examine several lines of evidence for Christ’s resurrection.

The First Line of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

To begin with, we have demonstrably sincere eyewitness testimony. Early Christian apologists cited hundreds of eyewitnesses, some of whom documented their own alleged experiences. Many of these eyewitnesses willfully and resolutely endured prolonged torture and death rather than repudiate their testimony. This fact attests to their sincerity, ruling out deception on their part. According to the historical record (The Book of Acts 4:1-17; Pliny’s Letters to Trajan X, 97, etc) most Christians could end their suffering simply by renouncing the faith. Instead, it seems that most opted to endure the suffering and proclaim Christ’s resurrection unto death.

Granted, while martyrdom is remarkable, it is not necessarily compelling. It does not validate a belief so much as it authenticates a believer (by demonstrating his or her sincerity in a tangible way). What makes the earliest Christian martyrs remarkable is that they knew whether or not what they were professing was true. They either saw Jesus Christ alive-and-well after His death or they did not. This is extraordinary. If it was all just a lie, why would so many perpetuate it given their circumstances? Why would they all knowingly cling to such an unprofitable lie in the face of persecution, imprisonment, torture, and death?

While the September 11, 2001, suicide hijackers undoubtedly believed what they professed (as evidenced by their willingness to die for it), they could not and did not know if it was true. They put their faith in traditions passed down to them over many generations. In contrast, the early Christian martyrs were the first generation. Either they saw what they claimed to see, or they did not.

Among the most illustrious of the professed eyewitnesses were the Apostles. They collectively underwent an undeniable change following the alleged post-resurrection appearances of Christ. Immediately following His crucifixion, they hid in fear for their lives. Following the resurrection they took to the streets, boldly proclaiming the resurrection despite intensifying persecution. What accounts for their sudden and dramatic change? It certainly was not financial gain. The Apostles gave up everything they had to preach the resurrection, including their lives.

The Second Line of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

A second line of evidence concerns the conversion of certain key skeptics, most notably Paul and James. Paul was of his own admission a violent persecutor of the early Church. After what he described as an encounter with the resurrected Christ, Paul underwent an immediate and drastic change from a vicious persecutor of the Church to one of its most prolific and selfless defenders. Like many early Christians, Paul suffered impoverishment, persecution, beatings, imprisonment, and execution for his steadfast commitment to Christ’s resurrection.

James was skeptical, though not as hostile as Paul. A purported post-resurrection encounter with Christ turned him into an inimitable believer, a leader of the Church in Jerusalem. We still have what scholars generally accept to be one of his letters to the early Church. Like Paul, James willingly suffered and died for his testimony, a fact which attests to the sincerity of his belief (see The Book of Acts and Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews XX, ix, 1).

The Third and Fourth Lines of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

A third line and fourth line of evidence concern enemy attestation to the empty tomb and the fact that faith in the resurrection took root in Jerusalem. Jesus was publicly executed and buried in Jerusalem. It would have been impossible for faith in His resurrection to take root in Jerusalem while His body was still in the tomb where the Sanhedrin could exhume it, put it on public display, and thereby expose the hoax. Instead, the Sanhedrin accused the disciples of stealing the body, apparently in an effort to explain its disappearance (and therefore an empty tomb). How do we explain the fact of the empty tomb? Here are the three most common explanations:

First, the disciples stole the body. If this were the case, they would have known the resurrection was a hoax. They would not therefore have been so willing to suffer and die for it. (See the first line of evidence concerning demonstrably sincere eyewitness testimony.) All of the professed eyewitnesses would have known that they hadn’t really seen Christ and were therefore lying. With so many conspirators, surely someone would have confessed, if not to end his own suffering then at least to end the suffering of his friends and family. The first generation of Christians were absolutely brutalized, especially following the conflagration in Rome in A.D. 64 (a fire which Nero allegedly ordered to make room for the expansion of his palace, but which he blamed on the Christians in Rome in an effort to exculpate himself). As the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus recounted in his Annals of Imperial Rome (published just a generation after the fire):

“Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.” (Annals, XV, 44)

Nero illuminated his garden parties with Christians whom he burnt alive. Surely someone would have confessed the truth under the threat of such terrible pain. The fact is, however, we have no record of any early Christian denouncing the faith to end his suffering. Instead, we have multiple accounts of post-resurrection appearances and hundreds of eyewitnesses willing to suffer and die for it.

If the disciples didn’t steal the body, how else do we explain the empty tomb? Some have suggested that Christ faked His death and later escaped from the tomb. This is patently absurd. According to the eyewitness testimony, Christ was beaten, tortured, lacerated, and stabbed. He suffered internal damage, massive blood loss, asphyxiation, and a spear through His heart. There is no good reason to believe that Jesus Christ (or any other man for that matter) could survive such an ordeal, fake His death, sit in a tomb for three days and nights without medical attention, food or water, remove the massive stone which sealed His tomb, escape undetected (without leaving behind a trail of blood), convince hundreds of eyewitnesses that He was resurrected from the death and in good health, and then disappear without a trace. Such a notion is ridiculous.

The Fifth Line of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

Finally, a fifth line of evidence concerns a peculiarity of the eyewitness testimony. In all of the major resurrection narratives, women are credited as the first and primary eyewitnesses. This would be an odd invention since in both the ancient Jewish and Roman cultures women were severely disesteemed. Their testimony was regarded as insubstantial and dismissible. Given this fact, it is highly unlikely that any perpetrators of a hoax in 1st Century Judea would elect women to be their primary witnesses. Of all the male disciples who claimed to see Jesus resurrected, if they all were lying and the resurrection was a scam, why did they pick the most ill-perceived, distrusted witnesses they could find?

Dr. William Lane Craig explains, “When you understand the role of women in first-century Jewish society, what’s really extraordinary is that this empty tomb story should feature women as the discoverers of the empty tomb in the first place. Women were on a very low rung of the social ladder in first-century Israel. There are old rabbinical sayings that said, ‘Let the words of Law be burned rather than delivered to women’ and ‘blessed is he whose children are male, but woe to him whose children are female.’ Women’s testimony was regarded as so worthless that they weren’t even allowed to serve as legal witnesses in a Jewish court of Law. In light of this, it’s absolutely remarkable that the chief witnesses to the empty tomb are these women… Any later legendary account would have certainly portrayed male disciples as discovering the tomb – Peter or John, for example. The fact that women are the first witnesses to the empty tomb is most plausibly explained by the reality that – like it or not – they were the discoverers of the empty tomb! This shows that the Gospel writers faithfully recorded what happened, even if it was embarrassing. This bespeaks the historicity of this tradition rather than its legendary status.” (Dr. William Lane Craig, quoted by Lee Strobel, The Case For Christ, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, p. 293)

In Summary

These lines of evidence: the demonstrable sincerity of the eyewitnesses (and in the Apostles’ case, compelling, inexplicable change), the conversion and demonstrable sincerity of key antagonists- and skeptics-turned-martyrs, the fact of the empty tomb, enemy attestation to the empty tomb, the fact that all of this took place in Jerusalem where faith in the resurrection began and thrived, the testimony of the women, the significance of such testimony given the historical context; all of these strongly attest to the historicity of the resurrection. We encourage our readers to thoughtfully consider these evidences. What do they suggest to you? Having pondered them ourselves, we resolutely affirm Sir Lionel’s declaration:

“The evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

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from DirtyHands

Like nearly every little boy I know; I grew up fascinated with dinosaurs. In museums, the only thing I wanted to see were the fossils and the reconstructions of life-size dinosaur skeletons. I devoured any dinosaur book I could find. I was enthralled with the Discovery Channel programs about them. The only thing that could have made my childhood fascination with dinosaurs complete was if the Lego company had come put with a line of dinosaurs. Much of their fascination came from their size and the mystery surrounding their disappearance. Was it an asteroid? Rapid climate change? Super volcano eruption? A combination of those or other unknown factors?

As I got older my fascination didn’t wane, but I became aware of a problem.The popular story surrounding dinosaurs and how long ago they lived was at odds with the account in the Bible of the world’s beginning. Even as a child I began to be aware that they couldn’t both be true and so for a time I lived with this sort of cognitive dissonance. Everything seemed to point to the fact that dinosaurs had lived millions of years ago. And yet I also believed that God created the world in six days, no where near that long ago. My struggle continued until a T-Rex came along and settled the debate.

Let me begin by saying that it was not my faith in Jesus that was destroyed by a T-Rex fossil; but my faith in science. Or, to be more precise, it was my faith in the conclusions that are drawn from solid science that were shaken. But first, some definitions.

FAITH: One of the greatest definitions of faith in the Bible comes from the book of Hebrews. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.

Another picture of faith is given in the encounter that Jesus has with one of his disciples after his resurrection. The other ten disciples had already seen Jesus in the flesh, but Thomas wasn’t there. When they delivered the incredible news that Jesus was alive Thomas didn’t believe. He refused to believe. He said, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later Jesus came and stood before Thomas. Jesus said, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas proclaimed, “My Lord and my God.” To which Jesus responded, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:19-29)

SCIENCE: Now this is how Webster defines the word “science,” and it’s a pretty basic and standard definition. “Science is knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation.

The problems all began with a T-Rex bone in 1991. “In 1991, [a scientist by the name of Mary] Schweitzer was trying to study thin slices of bones from a 65-million-year-old T. rex. She was having a hard time getting the slices to stick to a glass slide, so she sought help from a molecular biologist at the university. The biologist, Gayle Callis, happened to take the slides to a veterinary conference, where she set up the ancient samples for others to look at. One of the vets went up to Callis and said, ‘Do you know you have red blood cells in that bone?’ Sure enough, under a microscope, it appeared that the bone was filled with red disks. Later, Schweitzer recalls, ‘I looked at this and I looked at this and I thought, this can’t be. Red blood cells don’t preserve.’ Schweitzer showed the slide to Horner. ‘When she first found the red-blood-cell-looking structures, I said, Yep, that’s what they look like,’ her mentor recalls. He thought it was possible they were red blood cells, but he gave her some advice: ‘Now see if you can find some evidence to show that that’s not what they are.

Instead, Mary discovered collagen consistent with blood vessels along with red blood cells, in the thigh bone of that juvenile T. rex in Montana. ‘What we found was unusual, because it was still soft and still transparent and still flexible,’ she says. Her discovery excited much controversy in the evolutionary community, as it seems quite impossible that anything could preserve something so chemically ‘fragile’ for millions of years. Evolutionists date the first dinosaur in which Schweitzer found the soft tissue to 68 million years ago. Many insisted the material she had found must be microbial contamination because no known process could account for such long preservation of organic material in bone, the molecules of which tend to be readily broken down and particularly for the preservation of its pliability and elastic qualities. In ongoing studies, Schweitzer has discovered soft tissue and confirmed the presence of collagen in other dinosaur specimens alleged to be 145.5 to 199.6 million years old.” “Dinosaur Shocker,” Smithsonian Magazine, May 2006.

All of that left one large question; how could soft tissues survive for millions of years? “Schweitzer and her team noticed that iron particles are intimately associated with the soft tissues preserved in dinosaurs. But when they chelated – or removed the iron from – soft tissues taken from a T. rex and a Brachyolophosaurus, the chelated tissues reacted much more strongly to antibodies that detect the presence of protein, suggesting that the iron may be masking their presence in these preserved tissues. They then tested the preservation hypothesis by using blood vessels and cells taken from modern ostrich bone. They soaked some of these vessels in hemoglobin taken from red blood cells, while placing other vessels in water. Two years later, the hemoglobin-treated soft vessels remained intact, while those soaked in water degraded in less than a week.

“We know that iron is always present in large quantities when we find well-preserved fossils, and we have found original vascular tissues within the bones of these animals, which would be a very hemoglobin-rich environment after they died,” Schweitzer says. “We also know that iron hinders just about every technique we have to detect proteins. So iron looks like it may be both the mechanism for preservation and the reason why we’ve had problems finding and analyzing proteins that are preserved.” For more information click Here Since her initial findings soft tissue has also been observed, not just in well-preserved dinosaur bones, but in what some call “junk” fossils as well.

So, here is the problem. Many people were rightly disconcerted about the discovery of soft tissue in fossils. That discovery called into question the popular narrative that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. And so, when Mary discovered the preservative effects that iron can have on soft tissue in a lab setting over a short period of time they jumped at that life-line. But in doing so, they made an incredible leap of faith. The conclusions reached by some scientists that want to extrapolate the results of a two-year experiment into millions of years isn’t science. Its faith. Remember the definition of science is “knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation.” Based on the tests performed indicating the possibility of iron acting as a preservative, at best an honest person could conclude that, under strictly controlled laboratory conditions iron has a preservative effect over the spans of a few years. To extrapolate that observable and repeatable finding, into millions of years isn’t science. Its faith. It’s the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.Perhaps those big old bones aren’t as old as we were led to believe…

An article on Mary Schweitzer’s find from the Smithsonian

Another article looking in more depth at this soft-tissue find

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Genesis 1:6-8:

“Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.”

Genesis 7: 11-12:

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.”

from The Huffington Post:

Scientists have discovered a massive reservoir of water 400 miles below the United States.

The discovery appears to confirm that water actually filters through the Earth, from the oceans, collecting in vast reservoirs under the surface.

The evidence suggests that water molecules become trapped inside the minerals of mantle rock found deep below the Earth’s surface, and then gradually cycle back up due to plate tectonics.

Discovered by geophysicist Steve Jacobsen and University of New Mexico seismologist Brandon Schmandt, the huge reservoir could help scientists better learn how the Earth was formed.

Speaking to phys.org, Jacobsen explains the significance of their findings:

“I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades.”

Interestingly this isn’t a reservoir in the conventional sense; there isn’t a vast floating ocean underneath America. And no, there are no dinosaurs wandering its shores.

Instead the water is trapped inside the molecular structure of minerals found within the mantle rock.

Incredibly if just 1% of the Earth’s mantle rock contained H2O that would amount to three times the amount of water that’s in our oceans.

The theory was first postulated when a mineral called ringwoodite was discovered as part of a volcanic eruption in Brazil.

It’s believed the mineral was brought up from a depth of around 400 metres below the Earth’s surface. What scientists found when they analysed it was a surprising amount of water was actually trapped inside.

“The ringwoodite is like a sponge, soaking up water, there is something very special about the crystal structure of ringwoodite that allows it to attract hydrogen and trap water. This mineral can contain a lot of water under conditions of the deep mantle.”

To give you some idea of just how little we know about our own planet, that sample of ringwoodite is the only known sample of it to have come from within the Earth.

 

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Genesis 1:14:

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years

from MSNBC:

QuasarPhotoAstronomers have discovered the largest known structure in the universe, a clump of active galactic cores that stretches 4 billion light-years from end to end.

The structure is a large quasar group (LQG), a collection of extremely luminous galactic nuclei powered by supermassive central black holes. This particular group is so large that it challenges modern cosmological theory, researchers said.

“While it is difficult to fathom the scale of this LQG, we can say quite definitely it is the largest structure ever seen in the entire universe,” lead author Roger Clowes, of the University of Central Lancashire in England, said in a statement. “This is hugely exciting, not least because it runs counter to our current understanding of the scale of the universe.”

Quasars are the brightest objects in the universe. For decades, astronomers have known that they tend to assemble in huge groups, some of which are more than 600 million light-years wide.

But the record-breaking quasar group, which Clowes and his team spotted in data gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, is on another scale altogether. The newfound LQC is composed of 73 quasars and spans about 1.6 billion light-years in most directions, though it is 4 billion light-years across at its widest point.

The newly discovered LQC is so enormous, in fact, that theory predicts it shouldn’t exist, researchers said. The quasar group appears to violate a widely accepted assumption known as the cosmological principle, which holds that the universe is essentially homogeneous when viewed at a sufficiently large scale.

Calculations suggest that structures larger than about 1.2 billion light-years should not exist, researchers said.

“Our team has been looking at similar cases which add further weight to this challenge, and we will be continuing to investigate these fascinating phenomena,” Clowes said.

The new study was published Friday in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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The belief that God used evolution for creation has so many pitfalls it is hard to know where to begin!

First off if God used evolution for the creation of man, how then could God hold man accountable for acting in a depraved manner?

Secondly it would make a mockery of Jesus sacrifice at the cross! Why would God send his son to die on the cross for mankinds sins, when sinful depravity would have been a natural and intended result of God’s creation?

And it goes on!

from Worldview Weekend:

As we start the new year and consider what the ministry of AiG can do (as God blesses) to reclaim biblical authority in America (and other nations), I think of the biblical compromise that still runs rampant in the church. Here is another example:

BioLogos (an organization set up to try to get the church to adopt evolution and millions of years) recently published what I would argue is one of their most disturbing articles yet. Thomas Burnett, the BioLogos Associate Editor, wrote an article titled, “Surveying George Murphy’s Theology of the Cross.” George Murphy is a theistic evolutionist, a former science professor, and a retired minister. He wrote a book titled The Cosmos in the Light of the Cross, from which Burnett draws some of his claims.

Now, Burnett is very quick to dismiss biblical creationists along with atheists, writing, “The trouble with both of these views is that they tend to invoke a completely abstract, philosophical god, not the living God of the Bible.” Wow! So if I take God at His word in Genesis chapters 1–11, that means I’m not looking to the God of the Bible? That clearly doesn’t make sense-but it fits with Burnett’s compromised view of Genesis.

Burnett’s thesis is that God works in unexpected ways-so why couldn’t God have used evolution? And while that is a tired argument, his analogy is really rather shocking. Burnett writes, “If God Himself is willing to die, particularly in such a gruesome way, then perhaps we should at least consider the possibility of God allowing the death of other creatures, too.”

You see, aside from a brief mention at the beginning of the article, Burnett seems to ignore the reality of sin. And yet, Genesis 3 tells us that it was because of Adam’s sin that death, disease, and suffering entered the world. What’s more, sin is why Christ came to die. Where is sin in Burnett’s worldview? He certainly doesn’t place the weight on it that Scripture does when it comes to the origin of death.

What Burnett has done here is drawn a false analogy to make his claim. The death of Christ is unrelated to the supposed millions of years of animal death and suffering that evolutionists propose. He didn’t die on the Cross to fix His own mistake (creating a world full of death and suffering). Such a thing would be absurd because God cannot make mistakes. No, Christ died to correct the problems we brought into this world at the Fall.

While “the whole creation groans” because of Adam’s sin (Romans 8:22), it’s not logical to equate the death of Christ, which rescues those who believe from the eternal consequences of their sin, with an evolutionary viewpoint that implies God called death, disease, and suffering “very good.” It is completely inconsistent to believe in theistic evolution and the Cross of Christ (though, of course, we at AiG affirm that a belief in a young earth is not necessary for salvation-but it is an important authority issue). Since Christ came to die for our sins, and man’s sin is the origin of death, you cannot use the Cross as an analogy for evolution where animals die and have diseases and eat each other before Adam’s sin. This comparison is not only illogical-it is shocking.

In his final attempt to make a case for evolution and millions of years, Burnett claims, “In all honesty, creation through evolution is not what we would expect from God, but Scripture is full of examples in which God acts in unexpected ways. After all, God’s choosing to undergo an agonizing death on a cross is not what we would expect from the all-powerful Creator of the universe, either. In both cases, new life comes about through pain, suffering, and death” (emphasis mine).

Burnett’s claim minimizes a crucial attribute of the Creator-His justice. While we may not have anticipated Christ’s death, burial, and Resurrection as God’s solution to man’s sin problem, it is absolutely “rational,” even though Burnett says otherwise. Since man sinned against the infinitely holy God, man’s action was infinitely evil, and the punishment must fit the crime-eternal separation from God. The Bible consistently shows that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins (Hebrews 10:4); only the blood of a blameless man, who is the infinite God, could remove sin once and for all. This plan of God flawlessly fulfilled the requirements of His perfect justice.

You see, Burnett’s entire argument is based on the idea that God uses suffering to bring new life. But Burnett completely ignores Genesis chapters 1–3 in his article. He doesn’t deal with the Fall or with how death and suffering entered the world. He assumes that they’ve always been here, that nature has always been “red in tooth and claw.” He doesn’t deal with the Fall because he believes in evolution and rejects the Genesis history as true.

Really, to use Christ’s death on the Cross as justification for evolution is a perversion of the real message of the gospel. Romans 5:12–21 makes it clear-Adam’s sin brought death, suffering, and the Curse into the world, including animal suffering (Romans 8:22; Genesis 3). As descendants of Adam, all mankind has been in rebellion against the Creator-we’ve all sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And that’s why Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day to provide the free gift of eternal life for all who believe on His name. This is the real message of the Cross, and it goes completely against the evolutionary concept of millions of years of death and suffering before Adam’s sin.

We cannot pick and choose which parts of Scripture to include or ignore, as Burnett seems to have done in this BioLogos article. Genesis 1–3 explains clearly how death, suffering, and disease came about-and evolution is not a part of that picture. These things make sense when taken in light of all of God’s Word-because we can trust the Bible, from the very first verse.

And here is something that is very sad. So many Christian academics applaud BioLogos and then teach such compromise to their students in Christian colleges and seminaries. Be so very careful where you send you kids to college. I urge you to look at the Christian colleges listed at www.creationcolleges.com.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken

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from Got Questions:

Asking why biblical creationism is important is like asking why a foundation is important to a building. Biblical creationism is foundational to the Christian faith. Christianity is established in the book of Genesis chapter one, with “in the beginning God created . . .” This one statement affirms creationism and opposes any view that embraces evolutionism (the belief that the universe started with a “big bang” and has been constantly evolving ever since). The way we answer this question reflects whether we believe the Word of God or call its truthfulness into question. As Christians, we must differentiate between creationism and evolutionism; i.e. how are they different, which one is true, and as Christians, come to terms with whether it is possible to believe in both. Those questions can be answered by defining what biblical creationism is and how it affects our fundamental belief system.

The importance of biblical creationism is that it answers the fundamental questions of human existence. 1. How did we get here? Where did we come from? 2. Why are we here? Do we have a purpose, and what is the cause of all or our problems? Are the issues of sin and salvation important? 3. What happens to us when we die? Is there life after death? Genesis is the foundation for the rest of Scripture in which these questions are answered. Genesis has been likened to the root of a tree in that it is the spiritual life-blood of Scripture. If you cut the root from a tree, it dies. If you discredit Genesis, you remove the authoritative value of all Scripture.

Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” gives us three great truths which are the foundations of biblical creationism and the Christian faith. First, we learn of the oneness of God. This stands in contrast to the polytheism and dualism of modern humanist philosophy. Second, we learn of the personality and attributes of God in contrast to pantheism, where God is imminent in the world but is not transcendent to the world. Last, we learn of the omnipotence of God in contrast to the idols that modern humanists hang on to and worship. This one verse tells us that God is eternal—He was before, is now, and always will be—and that He created all that is out of nothing by His spoken word. This answers our creation question of beginnings, but what about our second question, why are we here?

Biblical creationism and the Genesis narrative answer the question of the condition of the human race. It deals with the fall of man but also leaves us with the hope of redemption. It is important that we understand we are unified in one man, Adam—a literal, real-life person. If Adam is not a literal person, then we have no plausible explanation for how sin entered into the world. If mankind did not fall from grace by Adam, then mankind cannot be saved by grace through Jesus Christ. First Corinthians 15:22 (NKJV): “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” This parallel of Adam as head of the fallen race and Christ as head of a redeemed race is important to our understanding of the salvation process, and it is essential to understanding its efficacy. “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” Romans 5:18-19 (NKJV).

Considering this, we must then look upon biblical creationism as not only the basis for our value system, but we must look at the creation narrative as factual and not just a story, for if it is a fictional story, then the values it imports are man-reasoned, subject to change as man “evolves,” and therefore invalid. This is the basis of the conflict between science and religion (especially Christianity), that science is fact and religion is philosophy. If this is true, then our Christian values are just that, values for Christians, but they have no relevance in the secular world.

The last question for mankind is what happens to us when we die? If man is merely part of the evolved universe and returns to the dirt of the ground when he dies, we must contend that we have no soul or spirit and this life is all there is. This belief leaves us with only one purpose in life, that is following the plan of evolution—survival of the fittest. Christianity, on the other hand, presents us with a moral good that has been established by a higher, transcendent, supernatural Being. The morality of God sets an unchanging standard that not only promotes a better life for us personally, but teaches us how to love others and ultimately bring glory to God, which is our highest calling. This standard is exemplified by the life and work of Christ on the cross. It is through His life, death, and resurrection that we find purpose for this life and hope of a future life with God in heaven.

Biblical creationism is important because it is the only system that answers the basic questions of life and gives us significance greater than ourselves to live for and by. It should be clear to all Christians that we cannot believe in both systems as being true; they are mutually exclusive, and stand in opposition to one another.

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from Got Questions:

It is a fairly well-established fact that Jesus Christ was publicly executed in Judea in the 1st Century A.D., under Pontius Pilate, by means of crucifixion, at the behest of the Jewish Sanhedrin. The non-Christian historical accounts of Flavius Josephus, Cornelius Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, Maimonides and even the Jewish Sanhedrin corroborate the early Christian eyewitness accounts of these important historical aspects of the death of Jesus Christ.

As for His resurrection, there are several lines of evidence which make for a compelling case. The late jurisprudential prodigy and international statesman Sir Lionel Luckhoo (of The Guinness Book of World Records fame for his unprecedented 245 consecutive defense murder trial acquittals) epitomized Christian enthusiasm and confidence in the strength of the case for the resurrection when he wrote, “I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

The secular community’s response to the same evidence has been predictably apathetic in accordance with their steadfast commitment to methodological naturalism. For those unfamiliar with the term, methodological naturalism is the human endeavor of explaining everything in terms of natural causes and natural causes only. If an alleged historical event defies natural explanation (e.g., a miraculous resurrection), secular scholars generally treat it with overwhelming skepticism, regardless of the evidence, no matter how favorable and compelling it may be.

In our view, such an unwavering allegiance to natural causes regardless of substantive evidence to the contrary is not conducive to an impartial (and therefore adequate) investigation of the evidence. We agree with Dr. Wernher von Braun and numerous others who still believe that forcing a popular philosophical predisposition upon the evidence hinders objectivity. Or in the words of Dr. von Braun, “To be forced to believe only one conclusion… would violate the very objectivity of science itself.”

Having said that, let us now examine the several lines of evidence which favor of the resurrection.

The First Line of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

To begin with, we have demonstrably sincere eyewitness testimony. Early Christian apologists cited hundreds of eyewitnesses, some of whom documented their own alleged experiences. Many of these eyewitnesses willfully and resolutely endured prolonged torture and death rather than repudiate their testimony. This fact attests to their sincerity, ruling out deception on their part. According to the historical record (The Book of Acts 4:1-17; Pliny’s Letters to Trajan X, 96, etc) most Christians could end their suffering simply by renouncing the faith. Instead, it seems that most opted to endure the suffering and proclaim Christ’s resurrection unto death.

Granted, while martyrdom is remarkable, it is not necessarily compelling. It does not validate a belief so much as it authenticates a believer (by demonstrating his or her sincerity in a tangible way). What makes the earliest Christian martyrs remarkable is that they knew whether or not what they were professing was true. They either saw Jesus Christ alive-and-well after His death or they did not. This is extraordinary. If it was all just a lie, why would so many perpetuate it given their circumstances? Why would they all knowingly cling to such an unprofitable lie in the face of persecution, imprisonment, torture, and death?

While the September 11, 2001, suicide hijackers undoubtedly believed what they professed (as evidenced by their willingness to die for it), they could not and did not know if it was true. They put their faith in traditions passed down to them over many generations. In contrast, the early Christian martyrs were the first generation. Either they saw what they claimed to see, or they did not.

Among the most illustrious of the professed eyewitnesses were the Apostles. They collectively underwent an undeniable change following the alleged post-resurrection appearances of Christ. Immediately following His crucifixion, they hid in fear for their lives. Following the resurrection they took to the streets, boldly proclaiming the resurrection despite intensifying persecution. What accounts for their sudden and dramatic change? It certainly was not financial gain. The Apostles gave up everything they had to preach the resurrection, including their lives.

The Second Line of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

A second line of evidence concerns the conversion of certain key skeptics, most notably Paul and James. Paul was of his own admission a violent persecutor of the early Church. After what he described as an encounter with the resurrected Christ, Paul underwent an immediate and drastic change from a vicious persecutor of the Church to one of its most prolific and selfless defenders. Like many early Christians, Paul suffered impoverishment, persecution, beatings, imprisonment, and execution for his steadfast commitment to Christ’s resurrection.

James was skeptical, though not as hostile as Paul. A purported post-resurrection encounter with Christ turned him into an inimitable believer, a leader of the Church in Jerusalem. We still have what scholars generally accept to be one of his letters to the early Church. Like Paul, James willingly suffered and died for his testimony, a fact which attests to the sincerity of his belief (see The Book of Acts and Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews XX, ix, 1).

The Third and Fourth Lines of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

A third line and fourth line of evidence concern enemy attestation to the empty tomb and the fact that faith in the resurrection took root in Jerusalem. Jesus was publicly executed and buried in Jerusalem. It would have been impossible for faith in His resurrection to take root in Jerusalem while His body was still in the tomb where the Sanhedrin could exhume it, put it on public display, and thereby expose the hoax. Instead, the Sanhedrin accused the disciples of stealing the body, apparently in an effort to explain its disappearance (and therefore an empty tomb). How do we explain the fact of the empty tomb? Here are the three most common explanations:

First, the disciples stole the body. If this were the case, they would have known the resurrection was a hoax. They would not therefore have been so willing to suffer and die for it. (See the first line of evidence concerning demonstrably sincere eyewitness testimony.) All of the professed eyewitnesses would have known that they hadn’t really seen Christ and were therefore lying. With so many conspirators, surely someone would have confessed, if not to end his own suffering then at least to end the suffering of his friends and family. The first generation of Christians were absolutely brutalized, especially following the conflagration in Rome in A.D. 64 (a fire which Nero allegedly ordered to make room for the expansion of his palace, but which he blamed on the Christians in Rome in an effort to exculpate himself). As the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus recounted in his Annals of Imperial Rome (published just a generation after the fire):

“Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.” (Annals, XV, 44)

Nero illuminated his garden parties with Christians whom he burnt alive. Surely someone would have confessed the truth under the threat of such terrible pain. The fact is, however, we have no record of any early Christian denouncing the faith to end his suffering. Instead, we have multiple accounts of post-resurrection appearances and hundreds of eyewitnesses willing to suffer and die for it.

If the disciples didn’t steal the body, how else do we explain the empty tomb? Some have suggested that Christ faked His death and later escaped from the tomb. This is patently absurd. According to the eyewitness testimony, Christ was beaten, tortured, lacerated, and stabbed. He suffered internal damage, massive blood loss, asphyxiation, and a spear through His heart. There is no good reason to believe that Jesus Christ (or any other man for that matter) could survive such an ordeal, fake His death, sit in a tomb for three days and nights without medical attention, food or water, remove the massive stone which sealed His tomb, escape undetected (without leaving behind a trail of blood), convince hundreds of eyewitnesses that He was resurrected from the death and in good health, and then disappear without a trace. Such a notion is ridiculous.

The Fifth Line of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

Finally, a fifth line of evidence concerns a peculiarity of the eyewitness testimony. In all of the major resurrection narratives, women are credited as the first and primary eyewitnesses. This would be an odd invention since in both the ancient Jewish and Roman cultures women were severely disesteemed. Their testimony was regarded as insubstantial and dismissible. Given this fact, it is highly unlikely that any perpetrators of a hoax in 1st Century Judea would elect women to be their primary witnesses. Of all the male disciples who claimed to see Jesus resurrected, if they all were lying and the resurrection was a scam, why did they pick the most ill-perceived, distrusted witnesses they could find?

Dr. William Lane Craig explains, “When you understand the role of women in first-century Jewish society, what’s really extraordinary is that this empty tomb story should feature women as the discoverers of the empty tomb in the first place. Women were on a very low rung of the social ladder in first-century Palestine. There are old rabbinical sayings that said, ‘Let the words of Law be burned rather than delivered to women’ and ‘blessed is he whose children are male, but woe to him whose children are female.’ Women’s testimony was regarded as so worthless that they weren’t even allowed to serve as legal witnesses in a Jewish court of Law. In light of this, it’s absolutely remarkable that the chief witnesses to the empty tomb are these women… Any later legendary account would have certainly portrayed male disciples as discovering the tomb – Peter or John, for example. The fact that women are the first witnesses to the empty tomb is most plausibly explained by the reality that – like it or not – they were the discoverers of the empty tomb! This shows that the Gospel writers faithfully recorded what happened, even if it was embarrassing. This bespeaks the historicity of this tradition rather than its legendary status.” (Dr. William Lane Craig, quoted by Lee Strobel, The Case For Christ, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, p. 293)

In Summary

These lines of evidence: the demonstrable sincerity of the eyewitnesses (and in the Apostles’ case, compelling, inexplicable change), the conversion and demonstrable sincerity of key antagonists- and skeptics-turned-martyrs, the fact of the empty tomb, enemy attestation to the empty tomb, the fact that all of this took place in Jerusalem where faith in the resurrection began and thrived, the testimony of the women, the significance of such testimony given the historical context; all of these strongly attest to the historicity of the resurrection. We encourage our readers to thoughtfully consider these evidences. What do they suggest to you? Having pondered them ourselves, we resolutely affirm Sir Lionel’s declaration:

“The evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

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