SES National Conference on Christian Apologetics

I just got back from the 2017 SES National Conference on Christian Apologetics which took place in Charlotte, at the Calvary Campus, and was for two days, home to some of the greatest apologetic minds of our day. It was a bit like going to Disney World for me. This was my Super Bowl.

I met the great Norman Geisler,

IMG_1496
Norman Geisler

and his son, and spoke with many great minds from different fields. There was not always agreement about theological interpretation, but all these men and women love the Lord, and it was wonderful to see the camaraderie and the shared mission of the speakers, to make disciples for Jesus Christ and the truth of the resurrection.

There was much to hear, I bought many new books, and of a most interesting conflict among the scholars was of course young verses old earth opinions. I may do a follow up article on that, as it was quite unique the way scholars who believe in the big bang theory have to explain themselves under the paradigm of a creator. They certainly have rebuttals and evidences all neatly decided upon, however, to me (though I am no astrophysicist), these explanations fall very short, and completely contradict what we find in God’s word. You can play interpretation games all day long, but as Ken Ham said quite correctly at the conference, you do not get the idea of millions of years from a simple reading of bible. It is a man-made worldview, which must then be shoehorned into the text to make it seem to fit.

There was a particularly potent and personal talk I attended, given by a neuroscience Doctor, a Dr. Camp. She (pictured above) was discussing specifically the tendency of Christians, within the social and secular construct of this world as a perfect storm, to be anxious and depressed, and why that is, rather than full of joy for Christ. Personally, this is something I struggle with, and so I attended her class away from my group, and learned a bit more about how our brains were wired. What I learned both comforted me, because there were solutions, one of which was knowledge, and also scared me, because of how are brains become hardwired to believe the lies we tell it.

There was an atheist vs God debate, based on things like philosophy, and the perceived tyrannical nature of God in the Old Testament. Dan Barker from the Freedom From Religion Foundation debated Dr Howe, and did very well. I commend him for braving the venue, and standing before all the Christians making a very direct and succinct case. It created a great many good topic questions for us later in groups, and his overall communication skill was terrific. Clearly he is passionate, though I disagree with his goals and conclusions. We discussed in groups questions like, can God commit murder? And, the importance of context when discussing bible stories/verses.

Frank Turek and J. Warner Wallace were amazing, and I loved meeting Dr. Sanford who wrote Genetic Entropy, an excellent case against evolution from the observable degradation of the human genome.

All in all, it was a fantastic and mentally stimulating trip, and I’d love to make it a tradition. Honestly, I’d love to lock myself in there and just study and drink coffee for a year, however, that seems slightly impractical.

 

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Supposed Final Words of Steve Jobs

Widely reported as the last words of Steve Jobs, though inspired and interesting, is most likely a false deathbed speech. We can easily imagine thoughts such as this passing through our minds at the end. Though most likely not genuine, it is interesting to consider them, and how they reflect our hopes for our lives:
“I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.
In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.
However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.
In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.
It should be something more important:
For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.
Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.
Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbours.”

I have never personally faced a life threatening illness. But I have had my life threatened, as well as watched the life of a loved one deteriorate. I have watched helplessly at a bedside, when the only power I had was to pray to God. And the only hope that I had in my heart was that if that loved one passes from this world to the next, I will get to see them again, and stand with them before a God who saved us both through His mercy and grace.

These final words go far, and they are serious, and wise, but do they go far enough? The author mentions God, but if there is one and only one infinite God, He alone is to be sought. And if that God has declared the one door to Him is through His son, Jesus Christ, then I would lovingly declare this statement does not go far enough by any stretch of the imagination. An atheist who lived out Steve’s advice would die with memories, and still with no hope. And those who remembered them, would also perish, and so the love that had been attained in a lifetime of wholesome philosophy would be lost to history. This alone is not the answer. That is why I often repeat my favorite verse in these articles, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

In John 10:9, Jesus says, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

In John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This may seem narrow-minded to some, or dogmatic, and I assure you it is, unless it is the truth.43dc6e87710d1c4d4f780482f310a7df If it is the truth, if God entered His creation to die for our sins, and that sacrifice resulted in the legal and moral substitution for a judgement we deserve, then it would indeed be the only way, and the truest act of love. The author mentions God, and speaks of the importance of love in this life. True words, sir, and a very fine philosophy for living. Yet those with money, and those with loving memories both still stand to lose all if they do not address the truth of salvation.

The bible is not ambiguous on this point. There isn’t one way for Christians, one for Muslims, one for Buddhists, and another path for New Agers. There is one door, which is why Christ Himself includes that He is the truth, as well. It is a warning, given in love, and providing hope for all, for all are fallen, and all face death. To Mr. Steve Jobs, I say, boldly and beautifully said, a sad and grave wake up call against the things that drive us. But, I also say, your love and memories cannot save you. Living for a fallen version of love will still leave you wishing and hoping in a hospital bed. There is only one door. Though it is now, more unpopular than ever to state, and offends many, we cannot be so timid as Christians that we cannot claim the truth, and that is that Jesus Christ is our door to salvation. It is said that this speech, despite its lack of authenticity, has inspired many. But we must ask, does talk like this truly help? or does it give a false sense of meaning, and therefore provide a complacency more dangerous than the position of men who admit they are evil. Change is only possible when one realizes it is necessary.

 

Archeological/Geological Response to Atheist Part 5 of 5

Atheist: Here’s a very incomplete list of things that cannot be explained by your flood or fit into the young earth creationist’s timeline (continued):

(for part 1, click here)

(for part 2, click here)

(for part 3, click here)

(for part 4, click here)

nor [evidence for] the global flood,

As you can see from the many examples given in this 5 part series (not exhaustive by any stretch) we can be encouraged and edified in trusting the word of God to be accurate,  and to be a realistic telling of the events that occurred in history, as it is embedded within observable science and laws. Many of our major geological features are not only explainable in a deluge model, but this is in fact the easiest way to explain them all at once! If someone says, there is just no evidence of the flood; its ridiculous.

Particularly difficult to apply the principle of uniformitarianism to:
1. Cause of mountain building
2. origin of geosynclines
3. origin of petroleum
4. Cause of continual glaciation
5 overthrusting mechanics
6 cause of peneplains
7 volcanism causing vast volcanic terrains
8 origin of mineral deposits
9 saline deposits
10 granitization
11 origin of coal measures….. and others….

One geological note about where I live specifically:

There are over 1700 water gaps in the Appalachian mountain ranges alone, where water should have gone around, not through mountains. This could only happen if water was carving valleys while over the mountain tops such as in the great flood of Noah’s day. Water doesn’t run uphill, and takes the path of least resistance, an embarrassment to uniformitarianism. The geology of the Blue Ridge Mountains could not have been formed, except through this catastrophe.

Geological evidence is being pointed to, forcing geologists to admit to catastrophism and the quick twisting and reshaping of the earth’s surface. Evolutionists such as Gould, and Krynine admit to it, stating uniformitarian thinking is contradicted by facts. Gould says “”present is key to the past” is a smokescreen hiding confusion for both teacher and student.” – Is uniformitarianism useful?- 1957

Evolutionist and geologist, KE Caster states, “the vast bulk of stratified rock is shallow water deposits.” These layers are riddled with fossils. FOSSILIZATION DOES NOT NORMALLY HAPPEN TODAY. IT REQUIRES SUDDEN DEATH, SUDDEN BURIAL, AND GREAT PRESSURE. There are no fossils in the bedrock granite. Fossil creation is so rare, and yet Millions of animals died SUDDENLY! Evolutionist Colbert states,”At this spot in Wyoming… the concentration of fossils was remarkable; a veritable mine of dinosaur bones; piled in like a log jam.”

The many fossil graveyards means, at some point in history, vast amounts of animals were buried suddenly, all over the earth. For anyone to look at the earth’s crust and state there is no evidence… must be trying very hard not to see it.

 

I encourage more study into any areas of interest, but in regards to the flood being actual history, one note to be made is that we have presently over 270 ancient flood legends from different people groups around the globe! There are over 270 ancient flood legends and traditions recorded in ancient history, 80% of them mention a large vessel saving the human race. 88% involve a favored family. In 70%, survival was due to the boat. In 95%, the flood was responsible for the death of mankind. This is remarkable evidence that a flood occurred to the ancestors of all people groups. In fact, you could even imagine if there were no flood legends, this would be quite the effective criticism from atheists, saying how come there is no written or oral history to back up the story other than the bible? 

Also, the  city of Nineveh in the Bible had its Library of Ashurbanipal excavated in the 1850’s. But in 1872, George Smith of the British Museum discovered cuneiform writing that had to be deciphered. It said, “The mountain of Nisir stopped the ship. I sent forth a dove, and it left. The dove went and turned, and a resting place it did not find and it returned.”

This Babylonian flood legend, along with the much older Atrahasis epic, and Sumerian deluge story, make up some of the over 270  legends we have catalogued in archaeology, all having astonishing areas of agreement with the Bible, lending veracity to its historicity.

 

nor a couple million Hebrews wandering in the desert (zero trace of that), and in fact contradicts several parts of the bible, like cases where the stories reference a city that did not exist at the time the story supposedly took place (but DID exist hundreds of years later when the bible was actually written).

These points were mostly addressed. Often critics accuse the bible of being written later than what is reported, therefore explaining the exactitude of its prophecies. Unfortunately for the critic, this doesn’t hold water either. Again, archaeology proves time and time again that even the people groups, cities, economies, and famines described were true. From the price of a slave, to the grave of Joseph, to many eye-witness accounts, we do not have to fall for the critic’s accusation here. These continue to be either arguments from silence, or in most cases now, ignorance of the embarrassing amount of evidence we have.

They try this with the New Testament as well, since it predicts many things about Jesus’ life in great detail. How accurately was prophecy fulfilled? Could a book have predicted accurately over 500 years before in OT: Zec: 11 “I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.”
NT: Matthew 27 – Judas returns 30 silver coins to the chief priests and the elders, they decided to use it to buy the potters field.

or

Micah 5:2-5 But you Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are of old, from ancient times…

Fulfilled over 500 years later: Matthew 2: 1-6 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”

or

Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:18, 25
Born at Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matt. 2:1
He would be preceded by a Messenger Isaiah 40:3 Matt. 3:1-2
Rejected by His own people Isaiah 53:3 John 7:5, 7:48
Betrayed by a close friend Isaiah 41:9 John 13:26-30
His side pierced Zech. 12:10 John 19:34
Crucifixion Psalm 22:1,
Psalm 22:11-18 Luke 23:33,
John 19:23-24
Resurrection of Christ Psalm 16:10 Acts 13:34-37

So, it must have been written after to be so accurate, yes? Josh MacDowell teaches us this:

“If you are not satisfied with 450 BC as the historical date for the completion of the Old Testament, take into consideration the following: The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, was initiated in the rain of Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 Bc). It is rather obvious that if you have a Greek translation initiated into 250BC, can you had to have The Hebrew text from which it was written. This will suffice to indicate that there was at least a 250 year gap between the prophecies being written down in their first fulfillment in the person of Christ.”
There is nothing scientifically accurate about the bible.

This absolute statement shows the bias against the bible. Even scientists who believe in evolution have used the accuracy and history of the bible to find many discoveries. To say there is “nothing” is to show the true and emotional disdain towards the idea of a creator God. That being said, evolutionists and materialists often criticize the bible for its belief in miracles at large. If something is claimed to be a supernatural event, science will automatically dismiss it, and therefore, if anything supernatural exists at all, science will never find it. But consider, if the first verse of the bible is true, that means all miracles within it are indeed possible. This goes not only for the creation itself, but miracles like the parting of the Red Sea, healings, Sampson’s strength, and of course the Resurrection. So with the realization that the bible is a book about a supernatural, or beyond-natural being who is above space time and matter, we can conclude that He can act supernaturally within His creation.

But there is more evidence within the bible that proves its natural scientific accuracy as well. It spoke of many things long before science proposed it, or understood it to be true:

Stars are innumerable (Genesis 22:17; Jeremiah 33:22)
Stars differ in glory (1 Corinthians 15:41)
Stars follow a predictable pattern (Jeremiah 31:35)
Earth is round, not flat (Isaiah 40:22; Psalm 103:12)
Earth hangs on nothing (Job 26:7)
Water cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7; Isaiah 55:10)
Sea currents (Psalm 8:8)
“Fountains of the deep broken up” (Genesis 7:11)Job 38:16, God asked, “Have you entered the springs of the sea? (water coming up into the ocean from the crust)
Life in the Blood, Blood circulation (Leviticus 17:11)

Many of these may seem obviously true to us now. But much of history was ignorant to these simple truths. We thought the world sat on the back of a tortoise, and blood letting was performed even up to recent history.

Considering these biblical truths, inspired and breathed by the God who created them, we would expect them to be accurate. And as it turns out, that is precisely what we find. As I always state, the bible is not a science book, nor a book on taxonomy, biology, or geology. It is much much more. But nevertheless, if it is full of true history, and we would expect to find a great many explanations in it that fit with what we observe today. After all, science just means knowledge. For one to claim that within God’s word there is no knowledge… well, we can only pray that one day, like it says in Phil 2:12, that the atheist who said it will continue to work out his salvation with fear and trembling.

Science tells us it is impossible that the current human population of the world came from a single breeding pair, or even three pairs. The minimum estimated population during the most severe bottleneck in our past was at least a few hundred, and probably closer to a few thousand individuals.

Our final point, and again the more ludicrous of the two options is the evolutionary premise, which would have us believe that mankind in one form or another, has existed between 1 million and 7 million years, depending on who you ask and when you start counting them as man rather than some ape ancestor. The premise is that in these pockets of slowly evolving people  lived in nomadic tribes, and that life was so harsh that the population remained stable until about 5000 years ago when agriculture was discovered. This is the catalyst that skyrocketed the population. As you can imagine, this creates a long, long, long long long, ridiculously long timeline of no population growth until just about the exact time that the flood occurred. According to creationists, the population sprang up from the 8 people on the ark about 4500 years ago. Tracking basic population rates, longevity in different periods, death rates, etc, we easily and rationally can surmise the 7 billion people of today coming from just a few people a few thousand years ago.

“In the “out of Africa” model of genetics, evolutionists say that humanity went through a near-extinction bottleneck before a population expansion. Why is the bottleneck part of their model? Because they are trying to explain the lack of diversity among people spread across the world. The diversity is much less than they first assumed. The bottleneck is an ad hoc addition to evolutionary theory. But low diversity, and all coming from very few (a bottleneck) has been part of the creation model from the start.”  -Dr Robert Carter.

The fact is, the creationist population growth analysis makes perfect sense, and what’s more, the history laid out within the word of God supports what we observe in genetics as well. It would be quite unreasonable to assume a mankind only slightly more sophisticated than apes, with no art, or music, or play stations, or golf clubs, and virtually no forms of escapism from everyday life, to not do the one thing that seems to come naturally to all mammals. The math here is unmistakable,  which is why we have the agriculture story to try and prop up the cave-man mythology. If the population doubles 29.5 times between now and the flood (once every 152 years) we have achieved the current population. (The world’s population was approximately 600 million in the year 1650 and increased to about 2,400 million by 1950. This means that it would have doubled twice in 300 years, at an average rate of once every 150 years). It fits perfectly.

So again this point is slung like so much spaghetti against the wall, to see which strands stick. Unfortunately it isn’t rooted in facts. This is why evolutionists must assert presumptions into an un-testable model. Agriculture, nomadic tribes, population wiped out several times. At the end of the day, I would hope that hanging one’s faith upon the hopes of a weak evolutionary model isn’t the determining factor on whether or not that person considers a relationship with a God who loved us enough to come die for us.

 

Again, these 5 articles are not meant to be exhaustive. But as an enjoyable exercise for myself, and hopefully to bolster the faith of other bible believing Christians who are constantly being told that the bible is ridiculous and inaccurate, it was neat to counter typical atheist criticisms for a bit. I would encourage you to keep reading, keep praying, and keep building your relationship with God, or if you haven’t then start by reading of His love in the word. We know by now Romans 1:20 – “For from the creation of the world the invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

We know there exists within us a moral law, a realization that design and beauty is all around us, that it couldn’t be random chance, and that God wishes for all to come to know Him. I pray you keep studying, keep seeking, keep searching. The answers are out there. But remember, if the supernatural does exist, and you refuse to believe it possible, you will of course never find it. Not in this life. Your faith instead will be in chance, in time, and in self, three things that cannot offer salvation.

 

 

Archeological/Geological Response to Atheist Part 3 of 5

Atheist: Here’s a very incomplete list of things that cannot be explained by your flood or fit into the young earth creationist’s timeline (continued):

(for part 1, click here)

(for part 2, click here)

huge amounts of chalk,

These are exampled by the thick chalk beds of Dover, England.

The first thing to note is that these chalk beds, like many other large sedimentary examples, stretch across vast areas, even continents! These great rock formations, and how they cover so much land is a great sign that they were laid down not only catastrophically, but that they were part of a global event strong enough to spread them over large territories. Millions of years of slow local processes would not, and could not accomplish this.

“The Cretaceous chalk beds of southern England are well known because they appear as spectacular white cliffs along the coast. These chalk beds can be traced westward across England and appear again in Northern Ireland. In the opposite direction, these same chalk beds can be traced across France, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, southern Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe to Turkey, then to Israel and Egypt in the Middle East, and even as far as Kazakhstan.

Remarkably, the same chalk beds with the same fossils and the same distinctive strata above and below them are also found in the Midwest USA, from Nebraska in the north to Texas in the south. They also appear in the Perth Basin of Western Australia.”  – Dr. Andrew Snelling, Geologist, https://answersingenesis.org/geology/rock-layers/transcontinental-rock-layers/

Dr Ariel Roth of the Geoscience Research Institute (Loma Linda, California) and John Woodmorappe are two of several doctors that again provide math that allows for their thickness, once scientists are willing to see past their uniformitarian assumptions. (Article on Chalk beds by Snelling)

Rather than rehash the same response as with syntectonic deposits, and dolomite, it might be interesting to point out here that a major problem with the two opposing views is interpretation of what we observe. We all have the same facts, large chalk formations, sediment in the ocean, the moon and its features, and we must interpret them depending upon our world view. This has been explained several times, and in several different ways, so I won’t re-explain here. But what one must also do is then weigh these theories, these models, these interpretations, and decide for one’s self if they hold water collectively.

When taken as a whole, the obviousness of the order in our universe is apparent, from the solar system to our DNA, evidence of biblical history, evidence of the resurrection, and the numerous factors that can be viewed easily from a biblically historic perspective, where what we observe matches a history written so long ago, and is still proven reliable and verifiable over and over. Or we can believe that humans have no soul, that life, and reason, and art, and music, and love were accidental. And in believing so, we must adopt mental gymnastics, and propose great gobs of time to develop the godless model of our existence.

So the common argument, in order to hope there is no god, is to say, I have a plausible explanation for everything being random if we add enough time, despite obvious signs of catastrophism the world over.

Dr. George Wald, Professor of Biology at Harvard University, and Nobel Laureate espoused well the necessary belief to convince oneself of such incredible explanation:  “The origin of life”  Scientific American, August 1954 “However improbable we regard this event [origin of life], or any of the steps which it involves, given enough time it will almost certainly happen at-least-once. And for life as we know it, with its capacity for growth and reproduction, once may be enough.”

“Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the “impossible” becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.”

Sounds like faith to me.

 

offset of sediments along faultlines like the San Andreas,

Don’t know much about this, or why it would mean the world is millions of years old. Would have to research, however the conventional opinion of creation scientists is that most or all of the fault lines were created when the fountains of the deep broke open, allowing subterranean water chambers to flood the earth, and forming plates.

the amount of oil and coal in the earth’s crust,

images.jpg.2

 

 

Answered regarding biomass in part 1.

 

 

the mere existence of oil and coal,

Previously addressed numerous times. Here is an excerpt from Diamonds Have Carbon 14:

“Consider this as well: Scientists in a lab made coal in 6 hours. At a different time, in 1982 the British made oil in 10 minutes. Noel McAuliffe of Manchester University triumphantly stated, “We are doing in 10 minutes what it has taken nature 150 million years to do.” This is yes another stellar example of our presuppositions determining our interpretations. Another, more obvious conclusion, if one were not blinded by evolutionary theory would be to instead  triumphantly announce, “It doesn’t take nearly as long as we thought for coal and oil to form!”

So what we have is, depending on conditions and pressure, the scientifically proven ability to form these things quickly. Furthermore, we have evidence that they are from not long ago, with artifacts from mankind having been found in them, such as bells and figurines, as well as having found carbon 14 in them, diamonds, and bones that should at this point be carbon dead.

I would submit that the existence of coal, oil, and the fossil record prove that millions of things were buried quickly andglobally, since this is how they are in fact formed, and do not detract from the reality of a flood, but support it greatly.

the absence of soft tissue in older fossils,

This is an argument from silence. A few years ago, the argument would have been “you don’t have soft tissue in fossils at all!” That of course has changed, since many examples of soft, stretchy tissue have now been found, in T-Rex samples, in triceratops horns, and many others. Now the criticism is, we don’t possess soft tissue from things older than “60 million years”  or “older fossils”. The mineralization of organic material is evidenced all over the earth; millions of animals and plants buried quickly by mud and water. The very nature of how they were buried  provides us with our ample fossil evidence. We know again from observation that most things that aren’t buried do decay quickly, and are consumed by the natural recycling of nature. Any soft tissue of extinct animals would be rare indeed. Soft tissue of such examples only verifies the creation model. A better question for atheists is, why do we have this many fossils at all?!

early fossils found in gastroliths in the bellies of dinosaur fossils,

Interesting assertion here. A gastrolith is a rock swallowed by a dinosaur that is used to aid digestion. As they roll around in the belly of an animal, they become polished and rounded. Evolutionists have found some of these with fossils already in them, so as you can see, if the fossils within the gastroliths were formed before the dinosaurs, then how did the the flood cause both samples to be fossilized at different times? The solution, as verified by Zaleha, M.J. and Wiesemann, S.A., (Hyperconcentrated flows and gastroliths: Sedimentology of diamictites and wackes of the Upper Cloverly Formation, Lower Cretaceous, Wyoming, U. S. A., Journal of Sedimentary Research 75(1):43–54, 2005), is that these gastroliths with fossils are not gastroliths at all, but merely akin to the river rocks of today. Polished, smooth rocks washed miles and miles by water. We can easily imagine in a receding flood, many rocks being eroded and deposited all over the land. Why then are these classified as such? To promote evolution? Perhaps. Or perhaps an evolutionary scientist gets more kudos by reporting on a  supposed “proof” of anti-creation, and a rare gastrolith, then reporting on some river rocks?

(Continued in Part 4)

Archeological/Geological Response to Atheist Part 2 of 5

Atheist: Here’s a very incomplete list of things that cannot be explained by your flood or fit into the young earth creationist’s timeline (continued):

(for part 1, click here)

plate tectonics, the higher elevation and older age of the continents compared to ocean floors,

Plate tectonics is not a criticism of creationism. Both models agree we see observable plate tectonics. However, based on what we observe today, there are many features that can be explained by a global flood. Many canyons and hundreds of volcanoes lining the ocean floor; layered strata, most fossils, the ice age, the Grand Canyon, and yes the tectonic plates, which were created when the great fountains of the deep burst forth. Imagine water exploding violently from great cracks in the crust such as the Atlantic Ridge, forcing water and mud to race around the globe. Great plates of land began to buckle, forming the mountains of today (complete with buried lifeforms on top of them), This is why the major mountain chains are parallel to the ridges from which they slid.

In regards to the assertion that the age of continents are greater than the age of the ocean floor, my response would be, who dated them? This is circular reasoning. One cannot tell me the earth is very very old, and then use the date they tell me it is to prove it is old. This conclusion is based solely on the faith in this evolutionary model. Aside from its obvious assumptions, this is like declaring that the mountains are old because they are old.

the sheer number of animal species that exist,

Doctors and scientists from both AIG and Creation MInistries International have done exceptional work in this area. Taxonomy and speciation have massive hurdles to overcome if evolution is true, as well as does the fossil record. The animals found are stubbornly found complete and distinct, perfectly designed, and in most cases easily classifiable. This would not be the case if evolution is true, and again obvious to a second grader, if slow gradual change was the rule, then it would not be necessary for all evolutionists to scramble at every presumption of a found transitional form, for there would obviously be millions and millions, so many that taxonomy itself would be impossible. The great variety of species is a boon to special creation, because we do not have to assert that humans, bananas, the porcupine, mold, and octopuses are all somehow related!

Further study will allow you to conclude that not only was their room on the ark for all land animals, but that God has provided great variety within His beautiful design. Species in each case can be traced back to either the genus or family level of classification, now known as the baramin, and each baramin can account for the many species and sub-species that micro-evolution has caused over time. But in each case, and this is key, we always find that biological constraints keep one kind from changing beyond a pre-designed, natural, genetic limit. 

angular unconformities,

Not overly familiar (I am not a geologist), though there is a great creation evidence in bent rock layers, evidence that great amounts of earth were buckled and uplifted during a time where all the rock was soft and pliable (no evidence of cracking). This wouldn’t have happened it hard, brittle rock was slowly uplifted for millions of years. Regarding the uncomformities, I’d direct anyone who wishes to delve into it specifically to Creationist Taz Walker’s explanation of the most famous site for angular uncomformity east of Edinburgh, Scotland.

dolomite,

Touting dolomitization as evidence for evolution, we find evolutionists claiming “evolution” as a pervasive force through all sciences. This is done as if natural occurrences are for some reason denied by Christians in a continued attempt to label them “anti-science”. I have hotly debated atheists who are very precise in their definitions, and who attack when attempts to offer different syntax through context are used. It is a great inroad to an ad hominem attack in many cases. That being said, the consensus among the science-minded elite within the debates have asserted emphatically that evolution is defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool. This is from experience, and again, this was emphatically, sometimes rudely asserted. As you can tell from the definition, it applies to organic material. Yet somehow, we keep running across inorganic evolutionary assertions, like in geology here, or in regards to chemical or stellar evolution, where one must deduce that somehow inorganic material is somehow also mutating to provide the universe with different or more abundant types of matter. (We find this as an insurmountable hurdle in the Big Bang Theory model, as matter not only has to explode from the central explosion, but must also keep creating new material along the way).

The reality regarding dolomite is that minerals do change over time. This is hardly anything new, though claiming it is analogous or even a type of evolution, and that biological and geological evolution have occurred together to bring about the existence of man was not something Darwin agreed with, but has become part of the great evolutionary thinking that has been forced to cover many sciences, since without God it must explain everything. That is of course what materialism is. Robert Hazen the geologist wanted dolomitization to be defined as ‘mineral evolution by mutation’ (Hazen, R.M. et al., Mineral evolution, American Mineralogist 93(11–12):1693–1720, 2008).  The bottom line, the chemical changes of minerals over time is well understood, is observable, and does not exclude a creationist account.

massive deposits of salts via evaporation of ancient lakes and oceans,

Remember, the claim is that this is a list of things that CANNOT BE EXPLAINED by a flood or in a young earth timeline. In this case, this is predicated upon evaporation being the definitive cause of these large salt beds, a theory presented by Ochsenius in 1877. Here are a few problems with the evaporation theory, however:

  1. To form a deposit only 1 km thick would require seawater 60 km deep to be evaporated.6
  2. The salt formations show negligible contamination with sand, contradicting the evaporation model which requires a sandbank in combination with consistently dry weather over a long period of time. This process would introduce a lot of sand into the salt evaporation enclosures.
  3. The salt formations exhibit negligible contamination with marine fossils, contrary to what would be expected with seawater constantly flooding into the evaporation area and the enormous amount of seawater involved.
  4. The evaporation areas need to be in regions of high sunlight and low rainfall if the seawater is to evaporate. However, the distribution of salt deposits globally contradicts the idea that all of these areas were once near the equator for the required time to achieve such a result.

This model is wholly inadequate to explain the thickness of these formations. The obvious response to evolutionists is, ‘based on your assumption that the evaporation theory is how these formations formed, we may have a time problem. However, is that how it was formed?’ James Hutton, who introduced deep-time as a geologist, was convinced that these formations had a hot magma, or igneous origin. This model has been studied since and explains the formations much more adequately. So yes evolutionists can debunk biblical chronology only if they cling to assumed theories they know demand great time. This is often the default assumption in science, since they already “know” that evolution is true. It isn’t a surprise that if you devise a theory based on great amounts of time, you can then use that same theory to prove great amounts of time.

syntectonic deposits,

These are simply deposits that accompany tectonic activity, which were of course abundant and global during the flood. Not sure which geological observances around cracks in the earth’s crust would be proof against the flood, but again, I am not a geologist. I would caution those who study it though, to be mindful, just like in the prior salt formation examples. A theory based on deep time to explain a deposit will no doubt be asserted because “we already know evolution and deep time is true”. So you will get lots of “millions of years ago” and “slowly over time” comments. The fact is most geological features we can observe can happen very quickly. Obviously, based on the observation of deposits laid down all over the world catastrophically should lead most to conclude that there must have been a catastrophe. To be blind to it because you have already philosophically ruled out a global flood is not science. It is faith.

To be continued Part 3

 

Apologetics Conversation

This is just as an illustration of the types of conversations we can start. I wanted to post one, a typical one that while on-line or at dinner, we can be aware of a few facts, a few interesting things, stuff to get the conversation going, and ask questions of another to make them think. You will know quickly if the participant is receptive to hearing more about the good news of Christ and the bible, or if they reject it. But the point here is, we do not have to beat people over the head with the bible, or delve in to deep and serious theology at every turn; but fun simple and happy conversations can plant seeds as well. And is it not great to show the joy that comes with not only hope, but with reason, and truth as well. This started by me simply stating what books I was reading. “Why read that?” was the response, to which I am able to reply, “it is quite interesting.
It would lead you on a merry chase towards inevitable conclusions!” Dramatic I know, but true none the less. So the person I was speaking with said, “ok, shoot.”

Cooper:   do you know what a pterosaur is?

#:  Lol no
Dinosaur?

C:  yes, a flying one
featherless, and huge
‘like 50 foot wingspan
we find them in the fossil record.
so, they existed, correct?

#:  Sure

C:  buried by mud and water.
now… physics tells us that this animal could not have flown in today’s atmosphere
the air pressure we experience now wouldn’t have allowed it
but this was not a flightless bird.

#:  Ok

C:  so what can we conclude?

#:  The atmosphere changed.

C:  yes!
that at some time in the past the air pressure was more dense
another example is the size of a braceosaurus’s nostril
it is the size of a horse’s, and with an 80 ft body, and long neck, there is no way, without more air pressure, that oxygen would have sustained such an animal.

#:  Ok well that’s cool. So same thing then

C:  now… we can observe the deterioration of the earth’s magnetism.

#:  Idk…I think there’s a lot of magnetism still😉lol

C:  Yes, enough left for life, but not enough to allow for millions and millions of years.

[The magnetic field] lost 10% of its magnetism in the last 150 years; Archaeological measurements show that the field was 40% stronger in 1000AD; International Geomagnetic Reference Field show a net energy loss of 1.4% in just three decades (1970–2000)
Magnetic field’s energy has halved every 1,465 years.

now, this one scientist grew piranhas in a tank that was magnetized.
know what happened?

#:  No…what?!

C:  they grew to 4 x the normal size of pirannahs.

#:  Oooohhhh

C:  okay, 3 factor, ready?

#:  Hit me

C:  we know from all the oil in the ground
that the amount of trees pre-flood was huge
huge amounts of what we call biomass
what do trees produce?

#:  Oxygen

C:  yatzee!
so, in a pre-flood world, we have
high air pressure, more oxygen, and higher magnetism
this creates a perfect living environment for carbon based life forms.

#:  Dang… hate we missed that! lol

C:  but now, when the veracity of the scriptures come in to question…
men who lived to be 100’s of years old
reptiles that grew to enormous lengths and size
we can now justify this with observable science

#:  Boom!

 

Again, this is just a small conversation, to get others thinking, to start to make others realize that the word is full of truth. In this case, the other person was already a believer, so this would be in order to build faith, not necessarily to prove anything. But confidence in God’s word is a great thing when faced with the hopelessness of man’s worldview. After someone believes, there should be discipleship too. It is such a blessing to know that we can hang our faith on the truth of God’s word.

 

For great reading, please check out my book at amazon.com. 

Law of Non-Contradiction

The law of non-contradiction states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the two propositions “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive. The principle was stated as a theorem of propositional logic by Russell and Whitehead in Principia Mathematica. This is an important part of apologetics, as many people will state, “that is true for you, but not true for me”.
If there is an absolute truth, it behooves us to seek it, and to know it. As an example, in Christianity, we state that Christ died according to the scriptures, and was raised from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures. In Islam, they state that Christ never died on the cross.
(Similarly we have a huge contradiction regarding the deity of Christ (God vs god)).
One can plainly see that these two statements cannot both be true simultaneously. Yet, from a great many who are offended by the gospel message, in a New Age world of anything goes, they will state that Islam is true for them, Buddhism is true for them, and Christianity is true for you, and who are you to say otherwise? But in this case, it is impossible for truth to be relative. Either one is true or the other is. Ignoring that will not make it go away.
In a similar instance a couple years ago, Oprah indicated that there are many names that one might give to that which she calls “God”, including “energy,” “consciousness” and “life”; at the same time she famously stated that Jesus Christ was merely a symbol, and that clinging to the “Old Rugged Cross” was a “mistake”. These beliefs  are in stark contrast to the statements of God’s word,  and have very different consequences than those referred to in scripture, if one applies them to a world view. Therefore the two worldviews are incompatible. Either the bible is lying to you, or Oprah is wrong. There is no logical third option.
In this attempt to be accepting to others, we deny that all these ideas have very contrasting beliefs. One simply cannot believe that every viewpoint is possible and remain honest. But it can become much easier to base belief on feelings as opposed to truth, because of the consequence (social pressure, fear of losing friends). What we must ask is this: is it truly loving to not seek truth in order to protect feelings? If salvation is a reality, and there is one way to attain it, is it kind to not share it for fear of retribution?
C.S Lewis says, “…it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
He offers this advise:
“The great difficulty is to get modern audiences to realize that you are preaching Christianity solely and simply because you happen to think it true; they always suppose you are preaching it because you like it or think it good for society or something of that sort. Now a clearly maintained distinction between what the Faith actually says and what you would like it to have said or what you understand or what you personally find helpful or think probable, forces your audience to realize that you are tied to your data just as the scientist is tied by the results of the experiments; that you are not just saying what you like. This immediately helps them realize that what is being discussed is a question about objective fact — not gas about ideals and points of view.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I continue to work on discipling others and spreading the good news of Christ as best I can, and in love as I am able, but with full knowledge that a) I am utterly imperfect, and b) that God and His truth are utterly perfect. We should all be grateful the morality and truth of God’s word are not malleable. What a terrible thought! But the consequence of a perfect and immovable God is that He is inexorably a God of order, and reason, not a God of confusion, and His nature and the truth of His ways and plans are fixed, all above our wishes and ways.
Again, C.S. Lewis states: “If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.”
The law of non-contradiction is an ugly truth to wrestle with. It shouldn’t be, as it is a plainly obvious law. I am all for debating which perceived truth is correct, and making a decision based the data at hand. But when someone emphatically states there are many truths, that all truth is subjective, and relative, what progress can be made? This is an emotional standing, upon which one feels that he or she is safe. Safe from offending friends, offending God, and incurring consequence. It is interesting to note that the most heated contestations with someone who thinks all world views are acceptable is when you assert that truth is not subjective, but absolute. “That is your truth, not my truth!” It is deemed an imposing of one’s will upon another, rather than a stating of natural, created order. We are at that point asking a person to accept a reality based on objective truth, and objective morality, contrary to what they wish to perceive. This can be a scary and emotional transition.
Boiled down, we are talking about introducing the reality of Law into the worldview of society. This is anathema to naturalism, atheism, and New Ageism. We know we are not saved by the law, but by grace. However, Romans 7:7 says, “What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.””
This is compounded by, James 2:10  “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
This is the introduction of consequence to a worldview, which convicts the heart, and forces one to try and reject the reality of God, or instead to humble themselves before Him.
In relative truth’s simplest form of defeat –  saying truth is not absolute is itself an absolute statement. It is self-defeating.
In conclusion, based on the bible, Christians are admittedly narrow-minded in this truth – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” –  John 14:6
_____________________________
This is the case with Creation vs evolution debate as well, two contradictory world views which once logically considered, cannot be simultaneously believed (for more on that click here).