Answering Ark Encounter Critic

Creationism is a subject close to my heart, because of many reasons. The vast rich history of mankind, the over 350 flood legends of ancient cultures that corroborate the Genesis account, the geological features that attest to the great volume of water that had to have been covering the world, to even the words of Jesus himself, it is a powerful historical truth that points us towards the ultimate authority of scripture. It is an important lesson in ministry, because only if the beginning is true is the end necessary, perhaps a point for another time.

One of the great attempts of our time to teach this authority of the Genesis account is of course the  Ark Encounter at Ken Ham’s new park in Kentucky. I have been following closely as an apologist, and am continually impressed with Ken’s patience and grace towards his detractors. I was specifically impressed with his handling of Bill Nye, who popped up with a camera crew to fill his own documentary about why he feels Christianity takes away from science. This premise holds no water, but the exposure he gets from making an arch nemesis out of Mr. Ham gets him the publicity he desires, and his impudence towards him face to face, and on the cable access shows following their encounters is childish, petty, and full of ad hominem attacks that have no bearing on the subject in question. Furthermore, his attitude and refusal to show the same respect that Ken shows him is beautifully contrasted, in my opinion, by Ken’s love for people, his desire to do God’s good work, and to spread the gospel. I continue to see Ken’s love for others, as well as his class in the face of those who hate the God of the bible. In fact he welcomes opposition, in hopes that the Holy Spirit will change their hearts.

When I mentioned my respect for how he was handling the aggression of atheists, this comment was shared by another detractor:

$10 million spent on a ridiculous monument to ignorant superstition that could have been spent housing, feeding and clothing the needy. Do Christians ever actually read the bible and study the words of their messiah? I can’t recall a single passage that would indicate Yahushua [sic} would have approved of such a farcical waste of resources that could have undoubtedly been put to better use. Regardless of what you may say to the media, Ken Ham, this monstrosity is nothing more than a gigantic monument to your own vanity.

I would first say, absolutely you have the freedom to not only feel this way, but speak it, as this country grants those God given rights. I encourage questions and opinions on every subject, which is how we grow. It can be inferred by the comment that she clearly does not believe in the authority of scripture, and further that the flood was a made up story with no veracity whatsoever.

With what follows I will elaborate on my initial response:

It was actually $100 million, not $10 million to build the Ark. I would point out that freedom to spend money as they see fit is the right of Americans, and there is nothing stating that though charitable donations have been  given to projects concerning the great commission, which Jesus (Yeshua) did condone since He was the one giving it, that other donations cannot continue to be given towards hunger, shelter, and disaster relief, which is certainly the case. The religious demographic in America is, in study after study, found to be the most philanthropic, and specifically Christians are most likely to donate to the causes mentioned then almost any other group. It is precisely because of the Bible that this charitable heart and a value for others’ lives arises, and is distinctly void or lessened in other world views. E.g. Allah wills it, and it is karma, and survival of the fittest.

Ken, his well educated staff, and many visitors do in fact read their bibles and study the words of the Messiah. In their bibles can be found verses such as:  “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female (Jesus);that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation,  from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple (Jesus);  For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (Jesus)”. We can conclude that Jesus believed in the truth of Moses’ historical creation narrative, and that He did not think the flood, or creation, or any of Moses’ writings were as the comment accused, ‘farcical’, or ‘ignorant superstition’. Instead it is clear that Ken and his ministry continues to teach the authority of scripture, and to spread the gospel to the world, which is exactly what Christ asked us to do in Matthew 28, known as the Great Commission. I personally couldn’t think of a more worthwhile cause then to help those with the means spread the gospel message. 

I would also point out that when people donate $100 million to discover alien life forms under the tutelage of atheist Dawkins, or SETI, or any other endeavor to show that evolution is true through the existence of other evolved beings somewhere else in space (which is their freedom to do), the same outcry isn’t heard from the majority of religious entities, when those resources, according to a Christian or Creationist world view are most assuredly being wasted. But it is the exact belief that this ministry is not a waste, and that the flood is not a myth, as proclaimed by the vast evidence that has been collected by scientists and organizations such as http://www.answersingenesis.org, that lead Christians to exercise their freedoms to teach upon the authority of scripture, the same authority that Jesus lent to it, not to put too fine a point on it.

I want to be respectful of dissenters (although I am admittedly less skilled at it then Ken), however, if with a passing shot over the bow, someone dismiss the bible’s authority as a farce and merely ignorant superstition, and in the same breath attempts to educate creationists on Jesus’ teachings about humanity (from that same bible), I have to wonder which comment I am expected to listen to?  And moreover, what reasoning I would have to do so based on logic? Furthermore, when you add the personal attacks against Ken’s character because his focus at present is different then yours, I can conclude these statements are not based in reason, but in a personal biased against the subject matter.

http://www.jrcooper.org

http://www.facebook.com/cooper.author

Let’s Be Clear… It’s a Young Earth

I have debated many agnostics and atheists over the years, over a myriad of issues, and against both hostile and kind opponents. I appreciate each one, because more often than not it highlights areas of apologetics that I need to brush up on, or better teaches me how to present biblical truth with love, rather than some misguided sense of superiority. Let us never forget as apologists that our sole purpose is to guide others lovingly to the cross. Not to berate or belittle those who lack a relationship with Christ.

But often a discussion will beat around the bush in regards to specifics of the creation model, or not address it at all if it isn’t within the scope of a contested topic, leaving sometimes months of ambiguity about certain positions. This may leave the opponent, or those following along, with unanswered queries that usually are dismissed, no doubt forsaken for a more comfortable choice. When smacked in the face with a glaring challenge to a long understood paradigm, the reaction towards me can be intense. Perhaps I seem dense, ignorant, or even stupid to the debater, and the inevitable response is to pretend it wasn’t said, or to forever think slightly less of me. I have had people throw my bible across a room, I have been told to shut up, and that I know nothing about science, and am met with dumbfounded questions like, “Have you ever even been to a natural history museum?”

So to boldly state it, so there is no room for dismissal or confusion, we will address the elephant in the room. I am a biblicist, young earth creationist who believes the earth, and for that matter the universe, is only about 6 or 7 thousand years old. I have seen science agree with the bible time and time again, and consider deep time science to be filled with assumption, circular reasoning, and un-testable hypothesis. This means dinosaurs and man have always lived together, which concurs with the book of Job. This means languages were confused at Babel, which fits with the science of linguistics, and current understanding of population growth charts. It means archaeology attests consistently to old testament historicity, regarding geography, ancient kings, unearthed cities, and numerous artifacts such as cuniform and bulae. It means we observe limiting factors in cosmology such as volcanic moons on Jupiter which should have long since cooled off, the moon pulling away from the earth in its orbit limiting its age, the impossibility of comets being older than 10,000 years due to the loss of material as it moves, the drifting out of Saturn’s rings and much more. It means we look to a literal world wide deluge about 4500 years ago to explain not only the fossil record, but also the unique and extraordinary geological features we find world wide. This includes explanation of biomass becoming fossil fuels, the Grand Canyon, the ice age, millions of tons of sediment burying pre-flood animals all over the world, like sharks teeth in a South Dakota farmer’s field, petrified clams on Mount Everest, and fossil graveyards that collected thousands of carcasses from varied species in post-flood eddies. It explains how we find man-made objects in coal seems, signs of civilization near the edges of the continental shelf, and evidence of malnourished, nomadic man with primitive tools during a post-flood world. It means we can account for the over 300 flood legends from almost every ancient civilization. It corroborates taxonomy and genetics, and allows for the splendor of natural variety within animal kinds without assuming un-demonstrable macro-evolution. It embraces the natural laws of physics, and does not assume a constant, yet un-observable, violation of these laws in order to add complexity to a closed system.

The creation does not claim to answer every mystery, but it does begin with a basic pre-supposition that the bible, in all of its uniqueness, is an eye-witness account of the history of our world, and so far is the only text proven to consistently get it right.

Without even discussing the over 1800 prophecies fulfilled without error as a mode of proof, let us consider that the bible discussed the cities of Nineveh, Ur, Jericho, and the City of David before they were unearthed in modern times; that it clued us into pathways/currents in the ocean as well as fountains from under the sea floor before man knew they were there; that it told us the earth hung in space on nothing back when men still fought over whether it rested on the shoulders of a god or on the shell of a large turtle.

In the simple telling of truthful history over a  4000 year period of writing from over 40 authors, the bible as a simple matter-of-fact revealed concise details that only later could be verified, and its accuracy continues to astound, causing skeptics to blare from a position of argumentum ad ignorantiam, or “absence of evidence”. At every turn, and within every field of scientific study, a logical position can be taken and defended that stands on the authority of scripture. I encourage questions and curiosities as always, but let us not be scared to proclaim the truth without compromise. And let us not remain ignorant of the fact that evolution is purely faith based. The only difference is the bible offers us veracity as well as hope, where as evolution offers only conjecture and insignificance.

UFO’s and God

5874hreu

There is a large percentage of the population that believes in UFO’s, or more specifically, alien life on other planets. I have studied cosmology and astronomy to a degree (I am by no means an expert), and could write a fairly technical article on the theoretical science behind space travel to convince readers of its ridiculousness.

Example? How about the simple math of exploring the 400 million other stars in our galaxy alone; or applying Einstein’s theory of special relativity and propelling an object at the speed of light, the fastest possible speed (c) which would allow you the ability to get to the next closest galaxy, Andromeda, in 2.3 million  years traveling at 186,000 miles per second where you would have only just begun exploring the universe; except as our speed increases, so does our mass increase necessitating even more power to generate this kind of speed, such that a mere one pound object, far smaller than what is required to transport life, would need the energy of 100 atomic bombs to travel at 50% the speed of light. If we do the math, this means that a modern-day sized ship traveling at 90% the speed of light would require the energy of 73 million atomic bombs. Furthermore, it takes the same amount of energy to slow down the object, meaning a round trip would cost 4x the energy required to make speed just once. But consider also the particles of dust in all of space too small to detect (hence the force fields and deflector shields in sci-fi). Hitting an object the size of a pea at 50% of c would impact like 2 atomic bombs. Even dust would be catastrophic. Safe to say, without a lot of unreasonable mental gymnastics, UFO visitors are not possible.

I understand this can be an emotional subject for certain people. There are those who believe to there core that aliens are so, and no amount of reason or logic will dissuade them. But I would implore you to ask yourself why this is so. My opinion is that evolution requires it to be considered. There has been no gains in the theories pertaining to life-from-non-life, and genetics have proven no friend to the theory of evolution (genetics articles to come). So evolutionary science is forced to look to the stars for answers, so long as the answer is not God. The idea is technically called panspermia, and suggests that life was started by a distant race of other beings. My last article highlighted the influence and suggestion that science has on society. Can we not say that alien mythology permeates our social construct?

Example?  When I say picture an alien visitor, do most people not picture the pale-skinned, long-necked, oval-faced, black-eyed, bald, prototypical alien? In mass interviews from supposed sightings, these were non-existent before the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Afterwards, this became the popular description among those who reported seeing aliens.

Panspermia is a convenient hypothesis for non-believers,  because it requires no proof, passes the problem of life-from-non-life to a distant time and space where it can be assumed to have happened, and can still dismiss the idea of a creator God. Some may find this silly that this theory has reared its head in the annals of science, but it is a strongly considered theory that allows for humanists to kick this pesky can down the road. Even atheist figure heads such as Carl Sagan promoted the idea, without a shred of scientific backing.

Why does evolutionary theory allow for this mindset, you may ask? The logical assumption is, if the universe is considered to be 14 billion years old, and we evolved by chance (or were planted here by someone who evolved by chance) then it stands to reason that it must have happened elsewhere too. This does seem logical on the face of it… almost, but not when science so clearly and so often precludes the result.

The mythology of aliens and appetites for sci-fi have only grown in our modern era. From Star Wars, to Star Trek, to Superman, alien life is fun to consider, no arguments here. But the lines between reality and fiction can often be blurred over time for even the most astute citizens. Without realizing it, people allow for things to be so in their minds that contradict the authority of scripture, and do so without evidence to back it up. Jesus says in Mark 10:6 “In the beginning God made them male and female,” clearly teaching the creation story as accurate. If billions of years existed between the beginning and Adam, this would make Jesus a liar. Furthermore, Christ says in John 5, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” and Matthew 24, “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

Christians must be careful not to strip authority from the very words of their savior, for it is clear that Christ Himself believed in a six day literal creation, the deluge, and historicity of Old Testament events. When you believe in aliens, you indirectly support and believe the reason why they must exist, evolution. If you believe in evolution, there is no getting around disagreeing with Jesus of Nazareth, or Moses, or Paul, or John, or any number of patriarchs. I am not saying you mustn’t believe in evolution to be saved, but I will say you have damaged your testimony in some way by undermining the authority of God’s word, and those who do will have to square with that some day.

Do you succumb to the power of suggestion?

neanderthal_lg

When your kids see this in class, or at the museum of natural history, what is the reaction? Is it an indoctrinating scene? Told of Neanderthals, beginning to walk upright. Even the term Neandrethal naturally invokes images of brutish hairy cave-people. Did you know that it is simply named for the Neander Valley, a small valley of the river Düssel in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, located about 12 km east of Düsseldorf.

Did you know that every time we see an image of cave people, it is purely dependent upon artist renderings, and subject to the presupposition of an evolutionary timetable? They will ask artists to draw, or mold a model based on bones, to which they reply, what would you have him look like? Many times, a find will consist of a bone, or a foot print. You have to be a pretty good artist to know what a guys wife looks like by looking at his footprint. But that is the exact way you and your children are receiving this information. And they receive it as fact.

Let us consider, the oldest known footprints ever found are human. In 1974, it was Leaky who discovered some “3.5 million years old” which showed no difference in ours today. Then the first in England during the ice age at around “800,000” years old showing England was inhabited by man at that time (probably ancestors of Japheth). There are African ones, Chilean ones, and per the fossil record, depending on how they are uncovered and what sedimentary layer they are found in, a date is attributed, and someone gets further funding for their dig. But the truth is, the Laetoli footprints of 1974 show man walked upright, and have shown no signs of evolution since, despite the many pictures suggesting otherwise. Neanderthals used tools, wore jewelry, buried their dead, cared for their sick, and have even been found wearing armor. This information comes to us from evolutionary anthropologists. Interestingly enough, they declare the DNA of Neanderthal to be almost identical to modern man.

Despite tee-shirts and pictures in text books, the fossil record holds no slowly evolving creature that goes from the ground to bipedal,and there is no evidence of information being added to bipedal, modern man in order to evolve him. There have been several finds of “out of place” fossils, or strange anomalies that garner no attention due to the inability to fit them within the evolutionary framework.  Many adults of today still remember being taught of Java Man, Piltdown Man, Rhodesian Man, Taung African Man, Nebraska Man, Peking Man, all of which didn’t hold water. Then we had the Calaveras skull of 1866 that was dated in the tens of millions because it was potentially pre-flood and fully human. Also the Guadalupe Woman, taken off display because of the controversy of finding a perfectly formed 5’2″ woman in a limestone casket from “25 million years” ago.

I would ask that you share, comment, and ask questions, but would leave you today with this thought? Have you been indoctrinated to believe you are nothing more than an evolved mammal? People are extremely susceptible to visual stimulus, and coupled with the respect we have for teachers and for elders, when they tell us this is the case, we listen. But there is no evidence out there, despite our myriad of drawings, paintings, and sculptures, to indicate we have ever been anything but a creation of the Most High.

 

%d bloggers like this: