Ian Juby’s recent video linked below also summarizes some of this.
For over a hundred years naturalists have attempted to undermine Genesis as history. Christians who accept the naturalist’s worldview think they can add God to deep time, abiogenesis or evolution leaving their Christianity unharmed. What they do, however, is undermine Christianity from within making a similar mistake the Trojans did when they accepted that horse given to them by the Greeks.
Weekly Bible Reading:Zechariah and Malachi Commentaries: David Pawson, Zechariah, Part 58 and Malachi, Part 59, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Zechariah and Malachi Weekly Torah Readings 14 Tevet, 5782, Vayechi: ParashatExodus 47:28-50:26; HaftaratI Kings 2:1-12
As a popular guide Steve told his clientele what they wanted to hear about the history of the island, its famous sandy beaches, its monarchy (or rather dictatorship), and the concentration camps. Things went well for him until he himself stopped believing the narratives he told others.
His doubts began when construction workers discovered mass graves followed by the leaked results of forensic analyses. His suspicions were confirmed when the graves suddenly disappeared and every major news outlet reported over and over again that the graves never existed nor had any “forensic analysis” ever, ever, been conducted implicating the royal house.
Since he was merely a tourist guide Steve felt safe including his suspicions, albeit in a hushed tone, during the narrations he gave of the island figuring he ought to slip the truth through the cracks if he could. When he lost clientele he suspected he must have crossed someone’s line in the shifty island sand, but that no longer bothered him.
When I was about ten years old, I recall reading how chickens evolved from dinosaurs in some publication for children telling me about “science” to help improve my reading skills. At a party I told my aunt all I knew about it which wasn’t much. She thought I was funny, but played along. My uncle with more concern over what I was reading corrected me, but he didn’t have the authority in my child’s mind that the publication I could now read did.
Today, decades later, I still have to trust authorities, but I am more skeptical realizing these authorities serve an underlying set of presuppositions. They explain observational data to support their presuppositions. That is really what “explanation” means. Given a set of presuppositions and some facts come up with some rationalization so that the presuppositions do not have to be falsified. Then try to convince others that those explanations are plausible.
If one’s presuppositions are true, there is nothing wrong with that. So one has to be careful not to throw out true presuppositions for false ones. One would be deceived in rejecting one’s original presuppositions if they were true.
For a Christian, the Bible should be the way to test one’s presuppositions and one understands the Bible through the Holy Spirit. Realizing this I am wary of any argument that attempts to undermine either the Holy Spirit or the Bible. As I’ve come to realize, they are more consistent, more coherent, and in line with more operational science than evolutionary alternatives.
So, what about those chickens that allegedly evolved from dinosaurs?
The evolutionist presupposition is that species evolved from non-living chemicals building up their genetic diversity over hundreds of millions of years. This allows them to either reject a creator God entirely or assign God a role of guiding this evolutionary story. They believe that mutations and adaptation, not creation, are the mechanisms allowing life to build up its genetic information.
The biblical creationist presupposition, based on Genesis, is that God created mature baramin. These baramin, or created kinds, can be seen as loaded with genetic diversity at the time of creation. Adaptation allows them to diversify into the various species we see today. These adaptive changes occurred within each baramin, not across baramins. In contrast to the evolutionist view, mutations drive a species to extinction by eroding away genetic information. They do not increase it.
To justify the speculation that the chicken evolved from the dinosaur, the evolutionist needs to find intermediate fossils showing creatures that look like both birds and dinosaurs. They have tried to describe some fossil data, such as Archaeopteryx, Scansoriopteryx, and Microraptor, as “feathered dinosaurs”. However, not even all evolutionists find those explanations plausible.
From a creationist perspective Jonathan Sarfati and Robert Carter remarked, “Scripture explicitly teaches that God made birds (and other air creatures) and sea creatures on Day 5 of Creation Week. He made land animals and man on Day 6. Since dinosaurs were land animals, they have a different origin from birds, and indeed came after birds. Therefore the Bible contradicts dino-to-bird evolution.” Any “feathered dinosaur” would be interpreted as a bird or a land animal, not some mixture of both.
As I see now my uncle was right. I regret I did not realize that when I was ten years old. I could try to excuse myself pointing out that I was still young, but I am tired of making excuses. Besides, it is repentance, rejection of the “wicked way”, that leads to the “way everlasting” of Psalm 139.
Weekly Bible Reading:Haggai and Zechariah Commentaries: David Pawson, Haggai, Part 56, and Zechariah, Part 57, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Haggai and Zechariah Weekly Torah Readings 30 Kislev, 5782, Mikeitz: ParashatGenesis 41:1-44:17; HaftaratI Kings 3:15-4:1
Pharaoh’s annoyance increased when his magicians, one after the other, and then his wise men could not come up with a satisfying interpretation of his dream where seven thin cattle ate seven fat cattle. After the chief butler remembered how Joseph, a foreigner and prisoner, once calmed his own anxieties with dream interpretations that later came true Pharaoh ordered that Joseph be brought to him.
Joseph told Pharaoh that his dream meant he should set a discerning man over Egypt to reserve a fifth of the produce from seven years of plenty, represented by the fat cattle, so the people would have food to eat during the later seven years of famine, represented by the thin cattle. The interpretation pleased Pharaoh as well as many of Pharaoh’s top courtiers who saw themselves being chosen to lead the project.
Joseph’s humility in crediting his own God rather than himself for any dream interpretation he gave impressed Pharaoh. Not trusting his own courtiers he set Joseph in charge.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Given that the universe is only a few thousand years old, which you may not accept but at least assume for the sake of argument, there is not enough time for an extraterrestrial civilization to build a space ship and brave the dangers of interstellar space to reach Earth. Before we might have been worried about nearby inhabitants of Mars or Venus, but I doubt anyone today thinks there is life of any sort on those planets.
Indeed, the only reason we thought in the past that such civilizations might exist at all was due to a belief in the myth of evolution over deep time. However, there is no mechanism for evolution. Genetic entropy put an end to the speculation that mutations filtered by natural selection over a lot of time and with a lot of luck could pop out life without God’s creative power. Mutations lead to extinction not evolution.
So, assuming the age of the universe is only a few thousand years and recognizing that evolution has no known way to occur, we do not have to worry about these material aliens from other planets nor any star wars scenarios with them.
That leaves spiritual aliens such as angels or demons. Indeed, there is evidence from the Bible (see Ephesians 6 quoted above) that we do “wrestle” with these “spiritual forces of evil”.
Ian Juby fills in some of the details in his four-part series on UFOs and aliens.
We should not forget that from a different perspective we ourselves are aliens, that is, foreigners, exiles, sojourners, strangers, or pilgrims in this world (1 Peter 2:11). From that perspective we should be storing treasures in heaven, our true home, not here (Matthew 6:20).
Weekly Bible Reading:Habakkuk and Zephaniah Commentaries: David Pawson, Habakkuk, Part 54, and Zephaniah, Part 55, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Habakkuk and Zephaniah Weekly Torah Readings 23 Kislev, 5782, Vayeishev: ParashatGenesis 37:1-40:23; HaftaratAmos 2:6-3:8
When George saw his simple-minded companion, Bart, go through the narrow entrance way showing George how to squeeze in if he bowed down a bit (actually quite a bit) George realized he wouldn’t fit, at least not with all the baggage he had. After yelling at Bart to come back, calling him an idiot for going through that hole in the wall, and seeing its door close George gave up on his companion as lost.
Later in the evening George saw Bart through a bright window at the very wedding feast they were both originally planning to attend. He went back and found the door banging on it after he, George, of all good and worthy people, was refused admission by the doorkeeper.
His complaints turned into weepy indignation which George alternated with teeth gnashing, a futile rebellion at this point. The fire burning inside him synchronized with the growing darkness as he uttered ineffective curses against those at the wedding feast, a feast he declared he wouldn’t attend now if they paid him.
The geologist Michael J. Oard is writing a multivolume account of the Earth under a biblical creationist perspective. The chapters of his first volumes are freely available on Flood/Ice Age Research for download. The one I have been reading is Earth’s Surface Shaped By Genesis Flood Runoff. This volume gave me an introduction to geology and the philosophical presuppositions surrounding the science.
In the 18th century the narrative of the catastrophic global flood in Genesis 6-9 was replaced by a narrative presuming that uniformitarian processes visible today along with local catastrophes operating over deep time shaped the Earth into what we now see. The problems are these uniformitarian processes are low-energy while the permitted, non-global-flood-like catastrophes are not large enough. All they are able to do is erode away how the Earth is currently shaped.
Does it look like a catastrophic, global flood formed the present geological structures?
Yes, it does. For example, given wide and high plains (planation surfaces) all over the globe with hard, rounded gravels like quartzite transported hundreds of miles on top, the global flood would provide the high energy water force over a large area needed to accomplish that. See Chapter 27. Rivers or local floods do not have the power or width to deposit these gravels or smooth that surface.
Could this have happened only a few thousand years ago?
Yes, it could have. For example, given current measured erosion rates, the formations we now see can not be very old. See “erosional remnants” in Chapter 9. These are structures like Devils Tower in Wyoming or Ayers Rock in Australia. They were once buried in sediment. How long ago could that have been? Given current erosion rates, in 10 to at most 50 million years the entire continent would be flattened to sea-level from typical erosion one sees today. So these structures could not be older than that. But one can reduce that age further. Based on the debris at the base of Devils Tower, the events exposing the formation should have completed less than 10,000 years ago. If someone should claim it is older, where is the debris that would have fallen over that period of time? Why is Devils Tower still standing?
Should one find a fossil allegedly hundreds of millions of years old all that means, given present erosion rates, is that there is something wrong with whatever dating method was used. Those deep time dates are not consistent with present erosion rates. See Chapter 35.
Once we reject the uniformitarian detour taken in the 18th century we can start asking the right questions about why the Earth is shaped the way it is.
Weekly Bible Reading:Micah and Nahum Commentaries: David Pawson, Micah, Part 52, and Nahum, Part 53, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Micah and Nahum Weekly Torah Readings 16 Kislev, 5782, Vayishlach: ParashatGenesis 32:4-36:43; HaftaratHosea 11:7-12:12
Greg told his three friends sitting with him in a booth for lunch that he had peeked out from under a cultural blanket of deception, a demonic snow job, that had covered him for decades. They listened politely amused by the stuff he came up with knowing he’d be over with his revelations shortly.
It’s not that he had been right often before. Generally he got things wrong especially when he offered health tips for losing weight. But he seemed pretty sure about what he had seen.
That they thought he was nuts only confirmed Greg’s suspicions, which he tactically kept to himself for the moment, that the cultural deception he experienced had disarmed them as well.
These are old photos. I wonder why I keep using them. In the photo above, the detailed textures of the footprints remind me that, being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), we are a distinct and separate creation from anything else that God created. For example, we are very proficient at speaking and understanding words. We are not silent and our words express moral power through blessings or curses.
In the photo below the textures of the white stone, red gravel, dark cavities, green vegetation and fallen leaves presented together seem to have enchanted me. I’m glad Eugenia offered the word “enchanted” for her Thursday Prompt which gives me an excuse to describe them in that way.
Being enchanted, however, suggests to me on the negative side being “manipulated”, “deluded”, or “under a spell of words”. Having been under many I am wary of enchantments. I wonder: Why am I so fond of these photos? To avert any harm, if they seem enchanting to you, may they also be blessings.
Although I mainly remember that Jonah was in a great fish (whale as I heard it told) for three days, David Pawson noted that there were eight miracles recorded in the book. He further claimed that if you believed any one of them you might as well believe the other seven.
Although I find the story of Jonah to be rather humorous, I realize that the prophet Jonah son of Amittai was an historical figure mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25 and the events were not recorded to make fun of him. The only sign Jesus said He would give was the “sign of Jonah” (Matthew 12:38-41), that is, His Resurrection after being dead for three days.
Here are the eight miracles that Pawson listed.
God sent a wind when Jonah fled in the boat. (Jonah 1:4)
The sailors cast lots to find who was responsible and God made the lot fall to Jonah. (Jonah 1:7)
After they threw Jonah overboard, God calmed the sea. (Jonah 1:15)
God sent a fish to swallow Jonah. (Jonah 1:17)
At God’s command the fish vomited Jonah alive onto dry land. (Jonah 2:10)
God provided a plant to shade Jonah in one day. (Jonah 4:6)
God told a worm to eat the plant the next day. (Jonah 4:7)
God sent an east wind with a hot sun to torment Jonah. (Jonah 4:8)
What makes all of these events miracles is that each event explicitly involved an action by God. God sent that wind. God told a worm and a fish what to do. It was not that the wind blew by chance. It was not that the worm just happened to be nearby and hungry. Explaining the miracles with naturalistic explanations that do not involve God’s action would not be explaining them as they were told in the book.
Since the naturalist, and likely the deist as well, rejects God as a cause, the naturalist would have to reject all eight of these miracles. I would expect the naturalist to dismiss the entire book as myth.
Others who do accept, say, the east wind blowing since God sent it might as well accept the part about the fish that God sent, because ultimately they would be expected to believe the truthfulness of the “sign of Jonah” that Jesus referred to: Jonah died and three days later came back to life.
Weekly Bible Reading:Amos and Jonah Commentaries: David Pawson, Amos, Part 50, Jonah, Part 51, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Amos and Jonah Weekly Torah Readings 9 Kislev, 5782, Vayeitzei: ParashatGenesis 28:10-32:3; HaftaratHosea 12:13-14:10