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.

 

 

Advertisements

Infighting: Young vs Old Earth

Subject Article: Why I Reject A Young Earth View: A Biblical Defense of an Old Earth. 

One of my favorite apologists is Frank Turek. I have really grown to love and respect him, and his methods. He is intelligent, articulate, and charismatic, and it is clear he loves the Lord, and does so with great courage. Frank has written a couple books that I have read and enjoyed, and would highly recommend.

Stealing from God, and Not Enough Faith to be an Atheist.

They are both thought provoking and amazing, and the concepts are very helpful.

Frank also runs www.crossexamined.org, a terrific apologist site. It seems as though everyone involved with this ministry is quite brilliant, and quite talented, and it is with trepidation that I butt heads with them on any issue, simply because I am quite outmatched, both intellectually, and regarding resources.

That being said, I have watched Frank’s responses to the young earth creation theory  very closely during his question and answer sessions, and have just recently read  Jonathan McLatchie’s article again from 2011, Why I Reject A Young Earth View: A Biblical Defense of an Old Earth.  Based on these, I continue to find myself at odds with their conclusions. I do however agree that though this issue should continue to be examined and explored, it should not cause division among Christians. 

I say this humbly, and from experience, because due to my passion for the subject, I have certainly allowed what I believe is the truth of God’s word to cause rifts, heated debate, and even anger between me and other christians. The intentions of my interactions are always out of love, and out of a desire to illustrate the amazing truths we can find in the word, thereby teaching how trustworthy the word of God is. How we are completely justified in our faith as Christians. But of course, the very human, and very fleshy part of me will often surface, and cause me to have less grace than I should, usually to the detriment of the conversation, and I am afraid, also to the detriment of people’s general view of me as a person and a christian. This is something I continue to try and work on in my own life.

I also acknowledge McLatchie’s conclusion in the subject article that the bible does indeed allow for a more literal interpretation for the Genesis days, though he does go on to say it doesn’t demand it. I have addressed this issue several times and in several ways. For more of what I have written, please click here:

“Why do we care?”

“Satan’s Fall”

“Total Opposite”

I have heard Frank state in his answer sessions that he does not believe in macro-evolution, based on evidence, and has therefore stipulated in his answer sessions that man was created in his present form (barring micro-evolutionary changes, or natural selection over time). I agree.

Yet, in another answer session, he will go on to stipulate that he believes based on the laws of physics and the Big Bang’s apparent reality (I disagree, but again, am not a scientist), the universe is/could-be very old.

If we examine the article in question, McLatchie further complicates matters by stating the myth that it could have been a local flood in Noah’s day, which is not only refuted by a simple reading of the biblical text, but also a simple surveying of the millions of drown fossils buried all over the earth among other obvious geological evidences. Genesis 7 assures us “all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” Being fans of science, I would challenge any apologist

2016-6-18-bill-j
pic from answersingenesis.org

 to explain how water rose 15 feet above all the highest hills, and somehow remained “local”. 2 Peter 3:5-6 continues to support the global event; “But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.” We can see from the many examples of great sea fossils buried upon the dry land of every continent that this was so. Andrew Snelling has done great work examining this.images (1).jpg

In regards to the days of Genesis 1, these have been addressed by YEC time and time again. But I would at least quickly point out that the day itself is literally defined in the verse as “there was evening, and there was morning, the first day.” Since it is the first one, God goes ahead and describes it for us, a daylight portion and a nighttime portion seem to make up a day. Literally defined. I would also ask, how many “first days” are there?

We are (or should be) familiar with day-age and gap theory, but specifically the gap theory seems to be the one Frank refers to in his answers, though he does so quite tactfully (and I don’t want to presume to speak for him), as he mentions the space potentially between verse one and two of Genesis. For reference, Thomas Chalmers invented the Gap Theory in 1814, saying that great time could exist in the beginning verses. He was a Scottish minister, professor of theology, political economist, and a leader of the Church of Scotland and of the Free Church of Scotland. He has been called “Scotland’s greatest nineteenth-century churchman”. Unfortunately, he was also reacting to the pressure of man’s idea of uniformitarian theory, and the “great chain of being” theory, which are the precursors of evolutionary thinking.

McLatchie says in his  article, that “… as a scientist, the arguments for an ancient earth seem to be very compelling (needless to say, when it comes to Darwinian evolution, it is a very different story).” So it would appear that both he and Frank are convinced the earth is quite old, yet are also both convinced that Darwin’s theory of evolution is “on its heels right now,” as Mr. Turek had stated. This would mean, unless I am misunderstanding, that both of these  men believe that it is possible, if not probable, that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, that the earth is potentially 4 billion years old, and that mankind was created less than 100,000  years ago (Frank’s date) in his present form.

This would mean that man, whom God made in His image, to subdue the earth, and rule it, has lived here 0.00073% of the time the universe has existed, and during only .0022% of the earth’s history. This would also mean that Jesus lied when He said God made them male and female in the beginning, being off by 99.9988%. So for reasons unknown, time would have been invented unnecessarily, for no one, to run on for ages upon ages without anyone but God to observe it’s passing, which would beg the question, why invent it?

It would further require a theory, since Darwinian molecules-to-man is not stipulated by either apologist, about when the rest of the animals were created. If it was long before man to account for an ancient fossil record, then we are now moving away from a Gap Theory, and trying to mold it in to a day-age theory, where each day is theoretically millions or billions of years. This throws day six into great confusion.

Confusion also arises when  the article addresses the “planting of the garden” taking longer than a day. If someone stipulates that God created light, and stars, and the sun from nothing, and then tries to convince me that planting a garden would take this person great time, it doesn’t sit right with me logically. In fact, Frank himself states; “The greatest miracle in the Bible is recorded in the first verse: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. If that miracle is true, then every miracle in the Bible is at least possible.” I would emphatically agree.

Another factor addressed by McLatchie is the death before sin problem. He states that the first few verses do not definitively say there was no death prior. However, our bible does say: “The wages of sin is death” – Rom 6:23

and

Rom 5: 12 ‘Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses…
17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one…”

If one were to make the case that animals can’t sin, and therefore their deaths for millions of years are irrelevant, you still have to deal with the thorns, cancers, tumors, and various curse-caused issues of the fossil record, a written punishment of Genesis following the fall.

McLatchie tries to use some assumptions about carnivores causing animal deaths here, and goes so far as to mention the lion’s obvious “violence” – the very animal the bible uses to prove that when the curse is lifted, shall be so gentle, a child can lead them:

Isaiah 11:6 – “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”

Since undoing the curse that took place is the theme and scope of the bible entire -Revelations 22:3, And there shall be no more curse –  I feel it is safe to assume the lion could easily be imagined as non-violent in the garden of Eden, since we have a promise it will be so again in the future.

So much internal evidence is thrown askew when the bible is forced to fit man’s theories (e.g. the theory of molecules to man evolution, or cosmic evolution). I would point out that in doing so, we are, like our christian brother Mr. Chalmers did, bending to the will of those who campaign furiously against God, and the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.

In the words of Luther, and despite my shortcomings, “I can do no other.” I will have to continue to support YEC, as I feel it is backed by scripture, and is quite readily corroborated by observable science. But I will also agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Turek that the Lord will not be caring about what we believe the age of the earth is when we arrive to meet him in heaven, but will instead be examining our hearts regarding Jesus instead. It is paramount. My fear though, is that with the bible’s foundation thrown into a confusing obscurity, will it damage the faith of others? I fear it already has.

All this aside, I agree with Mr. Frank Turek and his team of apologists on nearly everything else, and will continue to look to them as a wonderful resource for me, my family, and my church, and recommend them to anyone who finds this article. Since I am so small, and he is out there crushing it, it is unlikely that he or Mr. McLatchie will ever come across this small little blog page. But if that ever happens, I look forward to getting absolutely toasted by a scientist and a doctor. But in closing I will say that it is a blessing to have the education, and the printed bible in my language at all, that would even allow Mr. Turek and I to form opposite opinions on some theology points. There was a time when the word was kept from being studied by all but the clergy,  and someone like me would not have had the privilege to ever read it in my own language, much less the freedom to disagree with my superiors. For this I am grateful. As Tyndale said, “…if God spare my life, I will make a boy that driveth the plough know more of the Scripture than thou dost.” With that purpose having been achieved, we all now have the blessing of studying these mysteries for ourselves, and determining our own salvation… as well we should… with fear and trembling.

 

Introduction- The Last Saint

the-last-saint      The off-duty soldier finished the note, quickly shoving it
between the pages of a diary. A true paper journal, not
the holographic Sky-pad that left nothing sacred. Walking from the coffee shop, he noticed the pursuers for the second time
that day. When coupled with the recurring presence of the drone,
just a shimmer in the sky, it was obvious that this was not
random. Though he exemplified a casual stroll, his heart raced
nonetheless. Gaining distance without being conspicuous wasn’t
easy. They looked so strange, he thought. They were singularly
focused on him. They chose not to break cover in the crowd,
showing some semblance of logic and restraint, however
anything longer than a glance would prove that the twisted
creatures following Lincoln were not mere commuters. The
sporadic, twitchy movements and dead eyes challenged the
camouflage of normalcy. These two were off.
He slipped into the local post office. Waiting in line was a
toe-tapping, knuckle-cracking nightmare; each second felt like
days, but at least there was cover. He kept checking the
windows—glancing, watching for their status to change. Yet the
two followers were content to mill around outside and not draw
attention as they surveilled the building. Lincoln wondered what
type of confrontation they had in mind. If this was base he’d have
a 10 mm XM17 on his hip, and if running an op, full tactical gear,
Armor Survivability Kit, and Rail Rifle. But protocol in Jerusalem
during peacetime dictated foreign soldiers be unarmed within
the city. All that was left, then, was a mind no longer trustworthy.
The world had come loose from its moorings. Was the beginning
of the end imminent? The book had conjecture, yes. Supposition,
even. But it couldn’t possibly be the upstart this attention
suggested, could it? Unless he was onto something, and the diary
was striking too close to the truth for the powers that be to
ignore. The sluggish line finally ended at a counter where he
forced the diary into an envelope. Addressed to his wife, Olivia, it
T he off-duty soldier finished the note, quickly shoving it
between the pages of a diary. A true paper journal, not
the holographic Sky-pad that left nothing sacred. Walking
would ship out to their small condo in the states. She would not
understand it.

Olivia never believed as Lincoln did. He would come home
from church or from a class and start pouring out facts and bits
of trivia, only to see his wife’s eyes glaze over as if to say, “Here
he goes again.” She would almost roll them, but after many years
of eye rolls and witnessing the disappointment that followed, a
practiced gaze of empathy had been perfected. They found this
city, and uncovered that temple, and it all fits with the Bible… he
would explain, with Olivia counting down the seconds until
Lincoln jacked into the home’s office-hub to pour it all into his
book—his diary. The end of these enthusiastic monologues were
always met with a great sigh. Now, after seven years of marriage
broken up by three military tours, there was palpable spiritual
distance between the two. To feel emotional oneness and
physical compatibility only to be denied the spiritual closeness
he yearned for was frustrating. But he did love her. They kept
putting off the possibility of kids. She didn’t want to force God on
a child. Instead, did a child not deserve to grow up without the
mindset of the parents? To be free to think as he or she pleases?
Lincoln, conversely, passed all of his views and opinions through
a biblical filter, and there was no separating them. As time went
on, they had found it tougher to joke and be playful; tougher to
make financial decisions; tougher to agree on the social issues of
the day. Olivia always considered the Bible just a bunch of
stories, and it was baffling to her how an intelligent man like
Lincoln could buy into such ludicrous tales. But he was in love
with a fantasy, so she chose to navigate around it as if it were
merely an obsessive hobby. But it was changing him. Changing
them. There was enmity now, an invisible chasm that neither
could stitch together.

He practically flung the diary at the open mouth of the
mail-bot when departing the post office. The two unusual men
wasted no time reestablishing the tail, following Lincoln north
into the marketplace. They did a decent job blending with the
crowd, but their intensity escalated proportionately with
Lincoln’s speed. And adrenaline will certainly quicken the feet.

“I need my pistol.” As he spoke the words aloud, the gravity
of the situation bubbled over into fear. Deciding it was time to
take the chance, he blasted into a run like a bolt from a crossbow,
ducking through the shopkeepers’ alleyways and corridors. The
tail followed suit, and between breaths he heard their snarling.
Those wet, grotesque mouths. And did they file their teeth? Why
are they so pale? Another joined the chase, forcing the footrace
into a sprint that slipped past clothes racks and knocked over the
local street vendors’ food pyramids. The pretense was fully shed.
They were coming.

The army reserves had inspired an athleticism in Lincoln
that never left. So many miles logged—both running and
marching—so many iron plates lifted. He and Olivia excelled in
physical fitness and agility. On the spiritual battlefield things
weren’t always eye to eye, but their training had always been
magical. Olivia ran and kick boxed; Lincoln preferred climbing
and cycling. When they’d lift weights together, the healthy
competition was fierce. So, why were these pursuers gaining? He
was fit, strong, and able to perform at a moment’s notice. How
were these pale, wheezing figures closing ground? Digging for
every iota of physical prowess created no extra space. All speed
and screaming, like rabid animals, the creatures hurdled the
same carts and threaded the same lines of bystanders. Their
body types were not fit, but after blocks of running, none tired,
save Lincoln. And through it all, they howled the whole way.

Tight corridors in this sprawling mess of an ancient city
were almost impossible to navigate, even if one wasn’t in a
panicked dead run. For Lincoln, the decision to cut left down an
alley proved the last one he would ever make and brought a swift
end to his growing ministry. The old stone wall demised the alley
halfway down, preventing any chance of escape. The frothing
men that plowed beyond physical capability were immediately at
his back, celebrating the hopeless dead-end with fury through
burning lungs. Scanning the grounds for a weapon proved
fruitless, as the rooftops began to fill with more manic, pale
bodies. What had he uncovered? Lincoln turned to face the first
three, sweating and breathing through his mouth. Swimming
through his mind were hundreds of things he would never get to
do. Kiss Olivia again. Drive that Ford Scythe that he had his eye
on. Be a dad.

The possessed men got close, throwing their arms open
and spreading across the width of the alley while intermittently
rifling off shrill, piercing screams. It was like the sound of a train
grinding on its rails to stop. He could see their eyes now. Grayed
out. Dull, but focused. On him. Cracked lips pursed in savagery,
revealing teeth that were certainly formed for scaring, or tearing,
or both. A shriek descended almost on top of him, followed by
another, preventing focus in any one direction. They threw
themselves down from the roofs. The first body landed to his
right with a thud. The flat smack against the stone jarred and
severely winded it. It clawed the ground with great gasps, too
damaged to rise up. The second hit behind Lincoln with the
snapping sound of a large branch. That was its leg, no doubt.
Another jumped from a roof, landing behind the three in the
alley. The ones that had fallen were frenzied and bleeding. The
closest was a convulsing, writhing mess attempting to close the
gap by standing on its shattered leg. Lincoln smelled its rage and
frustration. The other wheezed and clawed along on its belly,
desperate despite how badly its body had been impacted. Lincoln
looked up as the rooftops filled. The drone had called in his
position. So many converging. Some were women. Some barely
more than children.

Lincoln harbored no delusions as the mob circled. This was
where his story ended. He fought the good fight, but was
overpowered in that lonely alley by sheer numbers and surreal
strength. Teeth sank in, elbows and fists rained down, damage
hailed from every direction. A torrent of strikes landed with
maddening force, taking his consciousness and filling his every
sense with thick destruction. His last thought before all went
black was of Olivia. But not in fondness. In worry. He muttered
his last words, “Please God, count her among your sheep.”

To order your copy, printed, or on e-book (limited time only $4.99) please go to amazon.com and order today! Please share intro with friends if you feel they would enjoy a fast paced Christian Fiction! Thank you and God Bless.

Why did I write this Novel?

Everyone wants to write a book, or make a film, or tell a story. Everyone has a fleeting thought about a scenario, or event that would make a fantastic tale. A situation, or predicament. Arching it back to a beginning, bringing it to a satisfying end, those are the difficulties.stock-photo-21876498-colored-books-with-clear-cover-falling-away

It’s within the execution of the telling that life gets in between, that we lose our way, that a great idea fizzles. I should know, because there are dozens of my own untold tales that have decayed in the assiduous assaults of everyday life. I have so many chapter ones that if they correlated with one another, I’d have enough material for another novel. But this novel, The Last Saint, was different. It was an idea that wouldn’t let go, and had to be told.

From a Christian point of view, if there was going to be a rapture, then there was definitively going to be someone who was the last person saved before it happened, the last Christian before the end; and I knew exactly what that looked like. Without the ambitions of publishing, or financial gain, or recognition, I only knew that I couldn’t dispel with the idea until it was fully discovered. The idea was strong, and haunting, and instead of waning, it grew to permeate my days, disturbed my sleep, and play out in my dreams. The need to write it was greater than my ability to dismiss it. It suddenly didn’t matter that I couldn’t write a novel, or that it wasn’t my job, or I probably wasn’t skilled enough, or that I didn’t have time. It was coming out, one way or another.

I found resolve in making a decision to write it. The trigger had been pulled, and like any other passion, be it music, or baking, or dance, I would undertake it’s challenges to make it as excellent as possible.

The first draft was done in one month. The story was out of my head, written badly, but on paper. I was in love. Now, to make it not so embarrassing.

I had written for years, mostly poetry, lyrics for rock songs, some unpublished shorts, none of which required the polished rectitude of a novel. Poetic license was often utilized as a license to remain sloppy, rather than bother to refine a chosen craft. This was true in many facets of life, not just art. But if I was to tell the tale, it would need to be told so that how it was presented didn’t detract from the power of the journey.

At this point, I didn’t even know how long to make it. There are articles on how long first time novels should be, articles on what techniques to avoid, what techniques to employ. A friend, by the handle Inkslick, was helpful in devising setting parameters, and encouraged literary horses, the drivers of common themes within the story. I read blogs from famous authors, and spent days filling my brain with information, until my momentum was stifled by fear. I had to let go of it all, shove it all away, off my desk, clear the mechanism. I chose one or two principles that seemed to resonate with me, and stopped trying to make it what it was supposed to be. I told my tale.

Getting picked up my a publishing company was a blessing, and quite unexpected. I had sent some chapters on a dare, and now a nationally distributed novel of my own will be arriving within days. All because this idea was so strong a year ago, and I didn’t let go. I learned. I learned weaknesses, but also what I am capable of. I learned that there is allowed to be more, much more, that flows from my heart, and into my life. I can add my own creations, my own thoughts, my own beliefs, to the world around me. I simply gave myself permission to do so, and in doing, to explore those little fleeting thoughts that we all have, crying out to tell a story. I just answered.

To order The Last Saint visit https://jrcooper.org/

 

The Last Saint

My first novel, The Last Saint will be coming out this month. I am currently setting up payment methods for any who want to have the book shipped to them. Or it will be available on Amazon.com once released.

The Last Saint by J.R.Cooper.

I am very proud to bring you this work of Christian Fiction. In it, Olivia Fischer seems to have it all together. Smarts, beauty, and a strong husband who is passionate about serving his country. But the arrival of her husband’s diary from overseas, coupled with his mysterious murder, throws Olivia’s comfortable life into a chaotic and dangerous search for answers. World events have been set in motion, events which will impact every citizen on a global scale. One book holds all the answers.

In The Last Saint I explore eschatology from a biblical world view, shining light on tough questions as we weave through a story that unites cultures on the front lines of the battle for humanity.

Look for more updates as we approach a release date. Brought to you by Touch Publishing Services from Arlington Texas. Please follow along here and on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cooper.author

If this looks like something you are interested in, please help me promote, and tell your friends and family. Should be a great adventure in apologetics.

 

 

“Evolution is Fact!” But The Debate Persists…

I have had two very spirited debates as of late, and like others, am noticing a trend of debate mistakes that reoccur, understandably so, because of the emotional nature of the topic. Though one must ask, if your default position is atheism, why adopt the aggressive freedom fighter mentality that usually decays in to insults and personal attacks. I stipulate that both sides do this often, but I suppose I can understand religious fervor to save one’s soul more than a fervor to prove Christians ignorant, fact-denying, brainwashed pseudoscience following imbeciles. I suppose it boils down to what’s at stake. If God and the bible are real, then that means a real creator, real sin, real judgement, and a real way to inherit that kingdom that was denied by said atheist. If Christians can be bullied into submission despite facts to the contrary, I suppose payoff for the atheist is obvious, a life that is consequence free.

During the debate, no evidence was put forth to diminish the word of God, and no evidence was put forth to bolster evolution, nor undermine the creation model. Statements were made such as:

“Christians and Americans are reaaaally good at spreading misinformation, because they don’t understand history”

“countless scientific facts that disprove so many statements and ideas in the bible”

“Believing the words of the bible is no different than believing the earth is flat”

“It is one of the most factually incorrect group of texts ever collected, outside of accepted fiction”

“[The bible} is entirely false. Christian scientists are amazed at their own ability to twist facts to fit their beliefs, but that’s about it.”

“most people who grow up in religious families … choose the much easier path of disbelieving overwhelming evidence and fact”

“Simply, you don’t know what you’re talking about”

“Christians would still stick their heads in the sand and keep believing all the incorrect, illogical, contradictory nonsense written in the bible. Keep believing what suits you, to the detriment of future generations”

Notice anything about these statements? Who was being attacked? Any scientist who is Christian or believes in intelligent design; Christians who are unlearned; religious families; anyone who does not fit with the debater’s presuppositions. I remind you that no evidence was given to support these claims; these were just brazen arrows shot across the proverbial debate table. This brings us to our first debate error, the ad hominem personal attack, and more specifically the ‘Guilt by Association’ technique, which states you must be wrong because you are part of a certain group. Both of these are fallacies, and attack the person for being who they are, which is not a valid reason for giving into that person’s position.

Secondly we find the ‘Hero-Busting’ argument, in this case levied towards Christianity as a whole, stating that because of certain faults, crimes, or errors in the past, the group itself must be wrong on all accounts. Essentially, there are no heroes, and since your hero is wrong, then you obviously are too.

Finally we have two other fallacies utilized often against the creation model, and thosee who espouse them. They are related. One is called ‘TINA’ (There Is No Alternative), and the other is ‘Essentializing’. TINA is stating this is the way it is, so get over it, basically squashing any alternate ideas as ludicrous and a waste of time. This is a bullying tactic, that eliminates all other positions without having to defend them. Essentializing, is also called a ‘default bias’, and just means, something is what it is, and there is no point in discussing it further. This position doesn’t allow for growth in knowledge, or in solutions, and minimizes the efforts of the other position as pointless.

All of these were used on me during my last few debates, and weeding through them on the fly is a challenge. As an example to those reading, the statement was made that  Christians don’t practice actual science, they twist facts, practice pseudoscience, and ignore the “actual scientific process”.  My response was as follows:

“To dismiss the education of a people based on faith is to be ignorant of how many doctors and scientists are at present Christian, and or believe in intelligent design. For example CMI (Christian ministries International) employs more doctors than any other ministry the world over, all of which believe in a literal six day creation, and the authenticity of scripture… To simply negate all christians who are scientists as pseudo-scientists, and bad at science is an ad hominem attack that cannot stand up to genuine scrutiny, for many of the the fathers of science were believers.”

There are many examples, and I have in the past posted an extensive list of Christians who were not only the fathers of science, but who made vast contributions to many fields. This illustrates that the previous emotional statements are not true; that in fact some scientists who are believers do practice real science. This point was unfortunately never conceded to, and on went the denigration of anyone who claimed to practice science but actually believed in intelligent design. This is not an intellectually honest position to have, as one example would crumble the hypothesis.

Since anger was blocking any ability of mine to make headway, I chose to thank him for the spirited debate, and can only hope and pray that God will set learned and strong Christians in his path until his heart is changed. I would count myself blessed to be part of that chain of salvation. I would reiterate to everyone, I know it isn’t facts that change a heart, but God does use the word, sharper than any sword and a conviction to mankind, to change people’s hearts. But sometimes we need to be able to understand that it is possible to rely on the authority of scripture, even though the world does all it can to make it seem foolish. Sometimes just being confident in it can throw others for a loop, and I don’t think that is a bad thing, if it helps others ask questions.

 

Apocalypto, Fear, and 2 Timothy

Flint Sky: Those people in the forest, what did you see on them?

Jaguar Paw: I do not understand.

Flint Sky: Fear. Deep rotting fear. They were infected by it. Did you see? Fear is a sickness. It will crawl into the soul of anyone who engages it. It has tainted your peace already. I did not raise you to see you live with fear. Strike it from your heart. Do not bring it into our village.

I was watching Apocalypto, Mel Gibson’s Mayan adaptation from 2006, and noticed a bit of dialogue that struck a spiritual chord. Flint Sky stood unafraid, and proud, as fearful families of a ravaged village passed by on a hunt. But he picked up on how badly his son was affected by the chance meeting. Like an evil omen, it hung about Jaguar Paw like a wet blanket. And of course, why wouldn’t it? Jaguar Paw, we come to find, has much to worry about. He has a son, a wife, another child on the way, and with danger close, all that matters to him could be in jeopardy. But did his father not incur the same risk? Or even more so, seeing as how his standing in the village, and breadth of his family and influence was even greater? Had he not enjoyed a lasting peace for longer, and come to depend for more years on what had always been?

The viewer is forced to wonder why the father’s experience, or personality, has provided him a stoic surety, that the son yet lacked. Now of course, the Mayans had their own thoughts regarding gods, and afterlife, and I would not wish to compare the belief with Christianity at this time, but it was clear from the context of the film that for whatever reason, there was something  Flint Sky believed in regards to himself that allowed him to face the day with power, despite what may come. There was something that couldn’t be taken away, or even threatened, whether by hunger, or loss, or death itself. He had decided long ago that worry would not steal his joy, or determine his actions. It is in this way that God has called Christians to live for Him.

Consider this verse:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Many are familiar with it, but Flint Sky, the face of a father as he taught his son to not be afraid really brought it home. It became less of a bumper sticker, and more of a decision. This man was choosing to live, as we should, strong and courageous before the dangers of the world. No where in the word does it promise wealth, or merriment, or lack of tumult. On the contrary, what is promised is refinement, tribulations, persecutions. We look around with our spiritual eyes open and see moral corruption, materialism, leaders who have forsaken righteousness for angles towards money, and power. We see the slaughter of innocents for the sake of convenience, or misplaced self-importance. And amidst it all we are called to walk unafraid. If we become poor, or threatened, or jailed, we do so with power. And we teach our families to that end.

Bravely face what is to come; stare back at fear with the armor of God, and do not let it into your home, into your village. Do not let it taint your peace, for your savior has conquered death.

But you must ask, what comes next… to go, therefore, and do what…?

Verse 8-10 says:

 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel

So, despite the fearful  citizens that walk past your hunting party, despite the marauders creeping towards the perimeter of the village, despite the world leering at you with agitated eyes, out to convert your thinking or destroy you and your influence; and even when your throat is threatened by your enemy’s obsidian dagger, you can stand tall without fear, honest in your gaze as you tell your family, do not be afraid. Do not bring it into your home. As for you and your house, you serve the Lord, the creator of all things, who conquered death, and who asks you to call Him father. What could possibly scare you?