Is There a God? How Do We Answer?

Obviously, to become a Christian, you must come to believe that there must be a Creator God of the universe. This is an essential step between non-belief and Christ as Lord of your life, but this very basic and obvious truth is attacked, and done so with such vigor, and under the guise of logic, materialism, and science, that it can be an intimidating hurdle for Christians to even explain how it is we know there must be a God.

Certainly there are many ways to unpack this particular question, but the three main logical responses are:

Cosmological

Teleological

Moral

Certainly our bible tells us “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20, This is a true claim, does prove to be accurate, but cannot necessarily be used as an argument against an atheist who gives no credence to the Bible yet. In other words, though the bible is true in its message, if a person doesn’t believe in a god, much less the God, why would they believe in anything that God says.

It used to be quite obvious that people were created, designed, that all of this organized world could not have come from nothing. The axiomatic truth was known to great philosophers, such as Aristotle, who called the creator the “Unmoved Mover.” It was clear to him that someone or something must have started everything, because science, is ultimately the search for causes, and something must always cause other things. Things do not, and never have been observed to have been caused by nothing whatsoever.

Cosmological, simply put, is the shared opinion of both naturalists and theists alike that the universe had a beginning. Things like the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and the general theory of relativity have led both theistic and non-theistic scientists to conclude that the universe had a beginning. Einstein himself stated being “irritated” that his equations pointed to a beginning, so much so that the great mathematician put a fudge factor into his work (dividing by zero!) in order to perpetuate a steady state theory. Arthur Eddington found this proof “repugnant” and said, “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.”

Like it or not, both sides are forced to deal with a beginning, and science continues to drive home the point that not only is a slow heat death occurring, but that “nothing” cannot cause something. There must be a first cause. Whether we believe that nothing caused the universe, or God did, both would qualify as anti-naturalistic miracles.

Teleological proof is simply the watchmaker theory, or an argument from design. There is much research on this, from the irreducible complexity of the eyeball, and human knee, to the detail and beauty of the peacock feather, to the written coded language in our genetic code, 1000 encyclopedias-worth of messages written into each cell in the correct order, in order to create and sustain life. We could walk into a cave and see a picture or message written simply by an ancient culture, and know that it was created, yet this obvious complex and stunning language to make and sustain life is somehow viewed as mere chance. Design is a powerful argument for a designer. In Dawkin’s book, the blind watchmaker, Dawkins himself states how things have the “appearance of design,” a logical and scientific conclusion, but rejects this based on his philosophy and world view, not because of any scientific reason, merely because for him it cannot be true. This is a philosophical rejection.

Thirdly, the moral argument, a basic standard of right and wrong. How do we know things are wrong? What makes the Nazis, baby killers, rapists wrong, and helping people right? An atheist would say that that it is a natural response to help perpetuate a society, but that is subjective, and when analyzed, does not hold water. If we can agree that any one thing is objectively wrong, above and beyond our own opinions and subjective standards, then there must be an objective good. A correct law (yes, written on our hearts) demands a law-giver. Without this, it is simply he who has the bigger stick that makes the laws. We have seen the results of this throughout history, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, from slavery, to genocide, to abortion. Without moral law, people do not by default fall into a paradigm that “works best” for society. It is a matter of opinion. If there is in fact a moral objective, then we should of course find it, and try to follow it. Seeking which morality is correct is maybe another topic, but agreeing that there is one, at this stage, is the goal.

These three arguments define quite simply why it is logical to believe in a creator. It is obvious from observing causes, winding down of the universe, time space and matter, life, that there must be a timeless, space-less, immaterial, personal, intelligent creator. This is the description of the God of the bible. It is merely good science, good logic, good philosophy.

Keep in mind, it is okay to doubt things, doubting helps us adjust our thinking, and leads us to research and find truth, but the evidence doesn’t change. If you go back and forth, good day you believe, and a bad day you struggle with faith, it is you and your emotions that change, not the evidence. The evidence for God, for historicity of the New Testament remain constant and readily available.

 

God vs god

I welcome discussion on this, and look forward to thoughts, so please share, and invite people to like the page, and join the discussion:
I asked  fellow Christians about whether or not the God of the bible and the gods of other religious writings were the same, and got some scary answers, as if Americans got to heaven one way, and the Japanese another, and Islamic states another. The crux of the issue is, are other religious writings from God too? Let us take a look at the Quran as a comparable.
We launch from the pre-supposition that the bible is fact, and was inspired by a holy creator, and we look at the question logically. God cannot contradict himself or lie, and therefore another holy book that contradicts the bible cannot be inspired by the same God. We could do this with the Vedas or Buddhist writings easily, and no one would challenge that they are speaking of the same paradigm. But what about Islam? Some verses to consider:
Does the Quran agree with the bible that Christ is God in the flesh, the only son of God, a considerable doctrinal truth in Christianity to say the least.
Surah 4:171 – …The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son…
Surah 23:91 – No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him!
Furthermore, where is it that Christ will spend eternity according to the Quran?
Surah 3:45 says – Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah
yet
Surah 21:98 says – Indeed, you [disbelievers] and what you worship other than Allah are the firewood of Hell. You will be coming to [enter] it.
indicating that believers “and what (they) worship” will be firewood for hell, which would include worship of Jesus Christ.
Let us remember that Jesus was worshiped by the apostles as Lord, and
John 1:3, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
Col. 1:16-17, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Rev. 1:17, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.’”
Rev. 2:8, “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.”
John 8:24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (NKJV)
John 8:58, “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!”
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
I would ask, with this disparity between the two works, would they both be written of the same God? would one so fully exalt Christ above all things, and the very same author deny His deity, position, omnipotence, and importance?
Whether you follow one school of thought or the other, that is your choice, but we must logically conclude that when it comes to what the author was trying to convey, the two are diametrically opposed. We also must conclude that since God cannot lie or contradict Himself, the Quran cannot contain the same god as the God found in the bible.
puts it this way, which I thought was a most logical and succinct way of viewing the entire issue:

Premise 1: Either the Bible is the Word of God or it is not.

Premise 2: If the Bible is the Word of God, the Qur’an is not.

Premise 3: If the Bible is not the Word of God, the Qur’an is not.

Conclusion: Therefore, the Qur’an is not the Word of God.

For a link to his article explaining this in greater detail,  click here.
(For reference, here is a list of Quran Scriptures that affirm the bible:

Surah Al-E-Imran 3: “He has revealed to you the Book with the truth [i.e. the Qur’an], confirming what has been before it, and has sent down the Torah and the Injil.”

Surah An-Nisa 136: “O you who believe, do believe in Allah and His Messenger and in the Book He has revealed to His Messenger and in the Books He has revealed earlier. Whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and the Last Day has indeed gone far astray.”

Surah An-Nisa 163: “Surely, We have revealed to you [i.e. Muhammad] as We have revealed to Nuh and to the prophets after him; and We have revealed to Ibrahim, Isma’il, Ishaq, Ya’qub and their children, and to Isa, Ayyub, Yunus, Harun, and Salaiman, and We have given Zabur [i.e. the psalms] to Dawud.”

Surah Al-Isra: “Your Lord knows best about all those in the heavens and the earth, and We have certainly granted excellence to some prophets over some others, and We gave Dawud the Zabur (the Psalms). Say, “Call those who you assume (to be gods), besides Him, while they have no power to remove distress from you, nor to change it.”“

Surah Al-Anbiya: “And We have written in Zabur (Psalms) after the advice that the land will be inherited by My righteous slaves.”

The Qur’an  also assert that the prophet Muhammad is prophesied in both the Old and New Testaments, although he is never mentioned. Consider the following verses:

Surah Al-Araf 157: “Those who follow the Messenger, the Ummiyy (unlettered) prophet whom they find written with them in the Torah and the Injil and who bids the what is fair and forbids what is unfair, and makes lawful for the good things, and makes unlawful for the impure things, and relieves them of their burden, and of the shackles that were upon them. So, those who believe in him and support him, and help him and follow the light sent down with him, those are the ones who are successful.”

Surah As-Saff 6: Remember when Isa, son of Maryam, said, “O children of Isra’il, I am a messenger of Allah sent towards you, confirming the Torah that is (sent down) before me, and giving you the good news of a messenger who will come after me, whose name will be Ahmad.” But when he came to them with manifest signs, they said, “This is a clear magic.”)

Renewal of My Mind

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…

Living with joy is not always an easy endeavor, and yet, as a Christian, I know that my life is supposed to be a letter to others:  2 Corinthians 3:3 “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

This joy that Paul discusses over and over, and the reason he is able to praise God in even dire circumstances is due to the transcendent purpose of Christ in His life, and in the lives of those whom he cares for. This allows for a person’s heart to be filled with gladness, and love, and hope, even when all earthly pleasures have been stripped away. But our daily thoughts can be consumed by things we want, things we lack, people we are envious of, false idols, people or powers that stand above our love of Christ in our minds. So how do we renew our minds, and focus on the only thing that truly matters? (For why it is the only thing that matters, check out this blog from last year.)

I would state first that this is something I have not mastered, and am presently working on. My goal is to eventually live with the joy of Christ fully, and for my life to be a letter, a testament to that hope I have in Him. But putting away all the messy darkness must start with prayer, and there are several verses I pray and meditate on daily as I work towards keeping Jesus Christ as the transcendent purpose of my life:

Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

In regards to putting the past behind me, old idols, old hopes, old sadness, old worries, I use this: Philippians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way…”

Him alone? Psalms 62:1 “For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”

All those things we attempt to gain by our flesh, do we someday realize that God intends to give us these freely, if we but humble ourselves:

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
1 Peter 5:10

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” 1 Peter 5:6

This is so powerful. This is freedom from all anxiety, all regret, all pain. I’ve tried to establish my life on my own, my heart on my own. I failed. All was impasse, what love I could muster was selfish, half measures, and insufficient to establish anyone, least of all myself and those I loved. I died there, at the dead end of my decisions, my will. Luckily the mighty hand of God is expert at resurrection. I am thankful for my failures, for there is nothing more humbling than the death of all the best efforts of my heart.

So… the question is, are we humble enough to be truly care-free? I ponder this, and how to walk forward with a renewed mind, singularly focused on the only source of lasting joy. I am free then, to love others as He would have me love others, under His power, and because He first loved me. I hope this is a renewal of my mind, for I need the will of God to replace my own. My own is flawed, and only hurts. I trust His far more.

The Power of Simplicity (abstract)

I was shaving, using an old-fashioned boars hair brush, and homemade farmer’s market shaving soap that smells like sandalwood and lavender, listening to Sinatra, and slowing the haste of the world with my breathing.

This idea of transcendent purpose has affected me as of late, a clinging to a purpose I can serve, one that is larger than the vanities of our day. King Solomon told us that “All is vanity” (Ecc. 1:2). If not but for God, it would seem that Solomon ended up a nihilist. He felt what we all feel eventually, that the toil of life mixed with the purposelessness found in the perfunctory grind of our daily action is the legacy of dead men walking.

We work diligently in thought and deed for great swaths of time towards goals we find give us a sense of relevance. These are different for all. Maybe you are saving the manatees. Perhaps you follow the political battles of Washington D.C., working hard each day to know and understand your platform, so you can defend it, prepared to forgive the trespasses on your side, and militantly oppose the other. You may march with signs. You may work towards a financial goal, or strive to build a business. Perhaps you pursue love, and escape in the delirium of intense desire. You build a world around a hope, an earthly hope that has no choice but to crumble under the weight of your expectations. No matter your interest, as it pulls you from ecstasy to the depths, and back again, any achievement or reciprocation received is short lived, and leads only to bitter unrest at the knowledge that any joy it brings will not endure.

Does this foreknowledge of failure make you negative? A pessimist? Being able to see the collapse of hope in the distance, and unable to stop it often makes us even more dedicated to our dream. It could even be stated that doubt and uncertainty are part of a recipe necessary for coveting that which we cannot live without. It is shocking the violence that takes place in the mind when our desires and fears mix. Compulsive daydreams infect how we perceive reality, and despite the real understanding that all will burn, along with the knowledge that we are helpless to stop it, we choose to run headlong towards an ecstatic finale we know is not there.

So then, what purpose transcends this inevitable disappointment? Further, what transcends our lives? Fame? Sex? Power? Glory? We would need a purpose that exists beyond our time here. One that makes us part of something much grander than our accomplishments. Robert Lewis wrote: “A transcendent cause must be truly heroic, timeless, and supremely meaningful.”

Upon reflection, there is only one thing in the universe that qualifies. That is Jesus Christ. And lo and behold, He has offered to make us a part of His transcendent story.

So these items we cherish, wine, love, money, they as blessings cause enjoyment in one who’s focus is on Christ. They are merely things He has placed in your path as you live and grow in sanctification. But, as idols, they take, and they keep taking, and no permanent  satisfaction will ever be attained from them. The idols like those I have sought to validate me, instead have devoured me, and refusing to admit they were there, it was to the depths I went. “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.” (Psalm 32:3)

But to acknowledge this? How good I perceived myself as being versus how broken my actions had become? So twisted that God had to actually save loved ones from me? Deliver them from me, as I had become a catalyst for pain and lack of peace?  Who was this man I never meant to be? My heart desired what I dare not speak aloud, much less pray for. I coveted. I had false idols. I wished to steal (not just material things, but love, dignity, respect of others, time, freedom, for the most dire things stolen are not things at all). I am angry. I lust. This all means I bear false witness. A liar, especially to myself. One then who is blind to sins known since childhood, sins known to have been written by the very finger of God. What a pretty picture of a Christian.

And the result? Distance from God. Silence in prayer life. Anxiety. Inability to properly love others. Self-loathing. To be the clanging cymbal that has no love in his heart. Despair. And how much more, in these depths, did I rail against the world for my causes, or grasp harder for my purpose, my secular validation? Or, how much more did I escape, self-medicate, choose negligence, indifference. Has the man who militantly blames society for his pain examined his character?  Do the high ideals in the public square extend to his wife and kids? Does he bring the whole of himself home each night, as priest of it? Does he grab his wife’s hand and pray with her, or teach his son or daughter why the bible is true, or how to love? Does the daughter witness from him what she should expect out of a husband someday, or is this not a consideration the father should concern himself with? Can he put himself last and still hope for fulfillment when all the magic he desires is rationed to the fortunate unworthy standing in the wake of his life’s disintegration? Look in his eyes; he is simply not there.

Unfortunately, recognition of who we truly are must proceed change. When we all started this journey, we thought to ourselves, I will be this type of Christian, or this type of spouse, or this type of parent. My intentions are to be purposeful and knightly, and full of honor. But all is vanity; and distractions erode us; and idols fill us; and it isn’t long before we have forgotten how to love, because we have forgotten who loved us first.

The simplicity of life: “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3) The Alpha, the Omega, and your transcendent purpose. It need not be more complicated then this. All else, blessings to be enjoyed, or not.  In a world of distractions, and the great whirlwind of lives to compare and contrast yourself with, and the pressure of forcing idols to answer wishes for love and money, what if we take Christ at His word. What if it is enough? And in this power, as it allows you to love properly again, you live out the life you were meant to?

I was shaving, using an old-fashioned boars hair brush, and homemade farmer’s market shaving soap that smells like sandalwood and lavender, listening to Sinatra, and slowing the haste of the world with my breathing. Starting at the center of myself, and working out. The parts I could control. I could be thankful for the music, and the steam, and be blessed to feel the satisfaction of a proper shave, and the calm in which this romantic chore took place. Like an artist who paints a leaf, there was beauty in the smallness of the moment, and I was “allowed” to be part of it. From here, what man would I chose to be? I could step out and complain about money, or Washington D.C., or be anxious for investment returns, or escape into a fantasy of love never actualized. Would these actions help me love others the way they needed to be loved? The way they deserve to be loved by me?

Or can I step outside the walls of my bathroom and be a different man; a simpler man, and not concentrate on the periphery of the world, but on my walk down the hallway, the embrace of my child, the prayer that my loved ones deserve, the health and wellness my body deserves, the study of scripture that my God deserves. I could ask God to teach me to love others better, and then make efforts to do that. Imagine it! Edifying others without seeking gain!

But I wanted them all to think I was smart, and special, and attractive. I wanted to be worth something to everyone.

But would my worth, according to them, change at all how I could love them, if I was loving them properly? Can I change that? No. I can change only me.

This will change my home. Which will change my church. Which may change my town. Which may change the state. Which may change the country. Which may change the world. But I leave this to God. I won’t yell at you about who you are supposed to be. I will do better at what I should have been doing. Overtime, perhaps I can be forgiven for having loved so badly, and so selfishly. But, it was coming from my flesh, not Christ, so it was bound to an inherently faulty foundation. If I can truly make Christ first, then how I see the world, how I love the world, everything changes. And everything is simplified into one transcendent purpose. Suddenly, I feel blessed just to be allowed to enjoy any of this silly old world at all.

Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

Isaiah 49:4 – But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God.”

And so, I was just shaving, using an old-fashioned boars hair brush, and homemade farmer’s market shaving soap that smells like sandalwood and lavender, listening to Sinatra, and slowing the haste of the world with my breathing. And I thanked God.

Fundamentals, Heroes, and Rabbit Trails

As an author, sometimes, I get caught up in apologetics, and science. It can be a mentally stimulating distraction. But the truth is, though my writing and research may help fortify the faith of others, or raise good questions, or even give people confidence that there is someone out there who “actually” believes that the bible is still real, and relevant, in a world where the power of mankind is idolized, I don’t expect to change many hearts, if any. I dare say, that is not my job, and furthermore, I continue to work on my own as well, learning through study and regurgitating facts, bolstering my faith, wading through the perceived relative truth of the day. But as much as I enjoy learning and teaching, my heart remains… we will say… a work in progress.

One thing I noticed upon meeting some of the apologetic greats of our time, and that is, they had the fundamentals down. They seemed stoic and stable. These were not houses of cards ready to tumble at the first sign of strife. They were prayed up, and forged, soldiers bought by the blood of Christ. It wasn’t just knowledge, and facts, and answers. They loved what they did, and they love the Lord.

Each of us must prepare our hearts, in our own way for what’s to come, what is here, what we walk through. And I would go out on a limb and guess that each of us, despite the constant motion of our trudging actions towards goals, we internally and continually fight off doubt, search for meaning and purpose, and attempt to validate our existences in some form or another. For some it is sexual conquest. For others it is money, others power. But John Eldridge illustrates in his book, Wild at Heart, this common theme of validating ourselves through God, a theme I relate to in my mind, but struggle with in my heart. The bible supports this theme, through Solomon’s Ecclesiastical outlook on the vanity of all things not God, among other places.

But with so many barometers for success held in high esteem all around us, and so many desires in the human heart to chase what makes us happy, despite all morality or consequence, how hard is it to simply be satisfied with who you are in Christ. To present yourself to the world, damaged, and unafraid. Vulnerable. At home in Him. The truth is, the world would eat you up, and spit you out if you did this. Furthermore, I don’t have the strength to do it.

I’ve been in constant prayer as of late, not under the illusion that I will change God’s mind to conform to mine, but instead to search for His will in my life, and to ask for His will to be done in the lives of those I love. I realize I am not the solution, but He is. That I can’t heal myself or others, but He can. I can’t forgive myself, but He did forgive me.

I wanted so badly to be the hero of the love story. To be the one who changed hearts, and gave loved ones sanctuary, and to quell their fears. I wanted my book, my advice, my words, my caring, to be powerful forces in their journeys. I wanted credit in the form of affection for my effectiveness. I wanted the love that was “owed” to me because of all I had accomplished. I wanted to be enough. I am not.

After much prayer, the Lord has seen fit to grant me some perspective, some empathy, and to look at things from outside of the narrow, self-serving lens through which I view them. It is with this perspective that I sense the deep well of pain within others that I do not remove, and cannot touch, and upon which I have no affect. Who did I think I was? Simply the offering of a broken vessel when someone asks you to hold their water.

Furthermore, all the wise words I have collected, and studied, and regurgitated has not healed my own heart. Because my love is insufficient. You know the verse, made popular as a wedding day staple:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.”

It rolls out of us automatic, and we hear it and feel comforted as if those qualities are imbued to us because of our worth. But it is a command, and we fall short. It is a warning, and we fail. What’s more, the warning before it states plainly that my endeavors are simply a clanging instrument, fit for nothing but to annoy, if I do not first have this type of love. I do not.

I have not been patient. I am not kind. I am rude. I am envious and resentful. I struggle to endure, and I struggle to keep hope. How then, can I be anyone’s hero. I cannot save anybody.

I wanted so desperately to be the paladin. The knight that edified those I love. In trying, I engage, and re-engage, jealously coveting accolades and kudos meant for my thoughtfulness, and resenting achieved value obtained by vehicles other than myself. I beg for compliments to sustain my self-worth, and when they fade, I crave reassurance, like an addict. I force answers and demand change, because in my heart I think that I really ought to be enough. I am not.

Let us then let the truth shine.

I am the clanging cymbal. So, to all those to whom I have spoken with insufficient, imperfect love, I am sorry.

I am not light. Christ is.

I am not a sanctuary for anyone in my brokenness. Christ is.

My love is not sufficient to save anyone. Christ’s is.

I am no lion. Christ is. 

I am no one’s king. Christ is.

 

 

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.

 

You Have Two Choices

There are really only two games in town. Both Christian scientists and atheistic scientists agree that the universe had a beginning. I have spoken with post-modernists who offer up alternatives to these two possibilities, such as a past eternal universe, or mere relative understandings of truth. Without getting into the weeds too much, your main theorists and thinkers on both sides reject these ulterior notions based on sound evidence, such as heat death, entropy, and others.

Biblical creationists already have a Genesis account of a beginning, corroborated by Christ, and many writers of scripture, so this news does not pose issue in and of itself.

On the other hand, when scientists discovered that the universe had a beginning, they were not happy.

Physicist Arthur Eddington wrote: “philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of nature is repugnant to me… I should like to find a genuine loophole.”

When Einstein discovered that space-time-matter had a beginning, he was quoted as saying the result “irritates me”, due to its theological ramifications. You could surmise that a multi-verse would somehow change the implications, but it does not. Mathematically (since a multi-verse is hypothetical and un-explorable), a theorem that explains a multi-verse, created by Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin and his scientific team, proves that even if one exists, there is a beginning to them all.

Vilenkin, a believer in a multi-verse rather than God says,  “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).”

So to the point: the two games in town are

a) The universe created itself, i.e. nothing created something, or

b) A creator outside of time, space, and matter created it. Therefore He is timeless, spaceless, and immaterial.

We have delved into space travel, the Big Bang, and other related topics on this site, but to now bring up an additional bit of information in the realm of philosophy, there is a self-evident principle of causality with which we must contend. In its simplest form, the law of causality simply states that everything has a cause. A house has a cause, yes, but that is an easy one. But I can go pick a leaf off a tree, and determine its cause, or a rock laid down by an ancient flood, and it will have a cause. Now, we may disagree on what the forensic evidence points to as an initial cause, but we will not disagree that said object does indeed have one.

This self-evident first principle of philosophy is there, along with others such as the law of non-contradiction, identity, and so on, to prevent the need for an infinite regression of explanations. In other words, if you have to explain everything, then you will never get to the end of explanations, and truth ceases to exist. This is why we must stop with certain obvious realities, or these first principles.

Of course a common retort is, who caused God then? But being outside of time, space and matter, being infinite, there is no logical reason to need a cause. Like our first principle, He is self-evident, or the un-caused first cause – Aristotle said, the unmoved mover. Hence why He refers to Himself as I AM. There is no “was”,  there is no “will be”. For us yes, but not for Him. Besides, you cannot have a higher god that is “more infinite” than infinite. This also is illogical.

Now, in regards to anything within the forensic sciences, something repeatable, observable, or demonstrable, we are looking for causes at the most basic level. Science is basically the search for knowledge, or search for causes – causality.

Therefore, one must now ask him or herself, do I abandon the law of causality when it comes to origins? This isn’t about age of the universe, or dinosaurs, all which do have answers according to a biblical world view. But simply regarding the beginning of it all, do I base my life on the natural and material sciences only, dismissing all possibility of creation, and force myself to choose a beginning that happened in eons past against the laws of all I claim to hold dear?

The great skeptic and atheist Christopher Hitchens was debating Frank Turek, and equated the Big Bang to a suitcase about to pop open, “and everything that is ever going to be is inside that;  that was the best I could do.” He went on to say, “And I don’t think many people could do, if I say it myself, that much better.” For such a revered and intelligent man, to state that the historical narrative of the Genesis account, in all of its beauty, and mastery, revered for thousands of years, and preserved through the ages doesn’t compare with this suit case analogy is quite telling. But in the end, an avid atheist will always struggle with how to articulate a result with no definable cause, because to repeat the point, both sides agree there was a definitive beginning.

There are only two choices. Einstein knew this. I commend atheists for being consistent in their take on naturalism, but as we view all manner of explanation and mental gymnastics to explain godless possibilities, and then relegate those possible happenings to the far unobservable past, do we not firmly place it in the category of faith? Faith in that there must not be a God.

Both sides, as human beings will try to identify the three basic life questions:

Where did I come from?

Why am I here?

What happens when I die?

The last two questions are bound inexorably to the first. Einstein was right, it can be irritating, since there is a beginning. But if nothing can cause something, or more than that, everything, then we have undone what is self-evident, and have removed meaning from all we observe.

There are only two choices.

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 4 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)

the almost universal disarticulation of vertebrate fossil skeletons (complete articulated skeletons would indicate catastrophic burial),

Fossils are found articulated (together), disarticulated (space between vertebrae), and partial. Considering the swirling violent nature of a world wide flood, and the amount of eroding mud and water that was displaced, we get exactly what wPicture100would be expected, which is various fossil graveyards, sea creatures fossilized on mountains, evidence of swirled eddies of decaying flesh buried by mud, and yes, disarticulated spines. A better question, I think, is how do you explain this picture and many like it without a global catastrophe?  Could this happen all over the world with slow natural processes?How were these animals log jammed together in what would become a fossil graveyard? How do 36 bus-sized sea creatures (Mosasaurus) end up buried on the Rocky Mountains? How are petrified clam shells, buried before death (closed), found on Mt Everest? And I guarantee that most of the vertebrate animals finding themselves in these swirling, violent, muddy deathtraps were disarticulated.

ancient sandstone that formed in deserts (not floods),

This is most likely a reference to the Coconino desert sand dunes found at the Grand Canyon. Evolution-believing geologists such as Young, Strahler,  and Stearley use this formation as a slam dunk to discredit the flood. Though, as of Creationist Geologist Dr. John Whitmore’s study, none of these scientists had actually been there. So a team of Creationist Geologists (The study had many participants, including Ray Strom, Paul Garner, Stephen Cheung, and Guy Forsythe, resulting in many scientific publications, presentations, and abstracts within the scientific community, with John Whitmore as the lead investigator) went out there to examine the claims, and do lab work. They found 7 myths being perpetrated upon students of geology regarding these formations that served to convince others it was not formed underwater.  (“Intraformational Parabolic Recumbent Folds in the Coconino Sandstone (Permian) and Two Other Formations in Sedona, Arizona (USA),” January 21, 2015; and “Petrology of the Coconino Sandstone (Permian), Arizona, USA,” December 10, 2014.)

These included, by where not limited to whether or not the sand grains are well-sorted, well-rounded, and the dunes were at the correct angle for being formed under water vs by wind – over 200 samples revealed angles of 20 degrees, not 32, which was indicative of underwater formation rather than wind; corroborated by other geologists, and comparable to observable underwater dunes today. Bottom line? It took Bible believing scientists who saw flaws in the formation story of these dunes to investigate it themselves, without the presupposition of evolutionary time, in order to discover the problems with often adhered to claims. With molecules to man evolution having been widely accepted by academia as true, geologists unfortunately feel no need to re-examine the claims of their peers, despite the fact that contradictions with what is taught in text books exists for all to see and observe.

P.S. Similar results were found at the Navajo Sand Dunes.

P.P.S. We can add this to the list of features (coming up next) about the Grand Canyon that have no evidence which can discredit the flood, but can instead be used to support God’s word. Expected, but still amazing!

 

the physical shape of the Grand Canyon,

Taken at face value, the Grand Canyon continues to be quite the perplexing formation for evolutionists. The dedication to this paradigm forces geologists to theorize beyond what would otherwise be so simple. Creationists who understand the obvious reason for its formation need no such gymnastics to explain it. With proof that great spillways can form rapidly now apparent since the Mt. St, Helens eruption, and with several obvious observations at the Canyon itself, we can take joy in the truth of God’s word:

„Middle is higher elevation than the head waters (Kaibab Plateau)

„Both sides agree uplift of center occurred before the river was there (water doesn’t run uphill; another great observation for second graders)

„Gargantuan river delta that should be present is missing

„Stable, shear cliffs, little rock fall – not slow erosion, but washed out

„No Talus at base of cliffs – Amphitheaters hundreds of feet of sheer Cliffside over one mile from water, with no debris (washed out)

„It is relict – unchanged from what formed it, stable in current condition.

This geological feature becomes quite obviously the result of a global flood. Slow erosion could not have created it, nor could any river system imaginable. Also, the lack of river delta was addressed in an earlier part, which happens to be missing if the 1000 cubic miles of mud and rock were washed away slowly.

[side note: geologist and creationist Dr. Snelling is currently in a lawsuit with the Grand Canyon Authorities, due to them not allowing him to collect samples for his work, because of his beliefs and how they pertain to his field.]

 

ancient stromatolites,

These are algae fossils within the “Pre-Cambrian” strata. Creationists understand that faulty assumptions based on a geologic column that was invented out of the imagination of a bible hater in the 1800’s, and that exists no where in the world except for in the text books where they teach children about evolution, would need to be re-examined. Catastrophism is quite obvious in the fossil record, and is quickly being admitted to even by evolutionary geologists. But throwing away the sacred cow of the faith based geologic column is anathema to evolutionists. That being said, if the circular reasoning of arbitrarily dating the ‘pre-cambrian’ strata, and then using said date to infer that its fossils must pre-date the flood is again not science. It is assumption based on faith. This type of argument is called begging the question. It isn’t logically or scientifically valid.

 

concentrations of helium in zircons (which comes from radioactive decay),images

At the present evaporation rate of helium within zircon, if it were millions of years old, there should be none left, yet we find plenty. This is yet another coffin nail in the evolutionary timeline, along with many various dating issues, such as the Carbon-14 found in diamonds!  The RATE Team (8 doctors who believe the bible) did an 8 year study on this and other remarkable geology. Find it in their book “Thousands, not Millions”.

the changing chemistry of rocks over time,

addressed at dolomite question (part 2)

the nearly complete absence from the earth’s crust of elements like technetium (the most stable isotope has a half life of 4.2 million years),

This element is literally a man made, synthetic element created in the 1920’s.  I had to chuckle when I looked this up. I can’t imagine how this could be levied against Christians in a desire to make their beliefs seem foolish. It being absent from the earth’s crust, being that it’s man-made, would have no bearing on this argument whatsoever. It was hard not to be sarcastic in this answer.

the current temperatures of huge masses of igneous rock (which would have taken millions of years to cool down),

Again, we are creating a problem here based on assumptions. Are we counting Granite which makes up 70% to 80% of the earth’s crust, as igneous rock which must be cooled?  According to Berkley,  “Debate has long centered on whether granite is igneous or metamorphic in origin. Originally granite was thought to form mainly from magmatic differentiation of basaltic magma, but geologists now believe there is simply too much of it for it to have formed this way… Evidence of intrusion or great mobility is considered to indicate an igneous origin that stems from melting of sediments; but where no good evidence of either a magma chamber or of fluidity is observed, a metamorphic origin must be considered.”

This means to the layman, that much of the earth’s crust must have been made chemically, not from being melted. This reduces the amount of rock that needs to be cooled, as the intrusive rock layers, or plutons, which are considered igneous, may instead have a metamorphic origin, which means they were never melted. Polonium halos also speak to granite’s quick formation. See the book, “Creation’s Tiny Mystery”, by Robert V. Gentry.

Again, defining the problems without assumption give us many plausible answers. Much of the crust can most easily be explained by creation on day 3.

Regarding the actual igneous rock formations, many could have actually been formed at the time of the flood during the development of tectonic plate movement. Great strides have been made in the understanding of the viscosity, and its cooling, (conduction vs convection) of plutons. Evidence suggests that these sheets of rock were quickly injected into the earth’s crust, and could have cooled in less than 3000 years.

large metamorphic bodies,

Amusingly, the creation model detractor has put every type of rock we observe in nature on his list for reasons their can’t be a creation or a flood. This has more to do with the fact that geologists have adopted the evolutionary paradigm of biology, and presume millions of years upon every feature they observe. As with the geological sorting that has occurred to lay down sedimentary rock layers showing obvious signs of catastrophe, and likewise the observable processes and evidence of igneous rock formations, we can now consider the observable reality of metamorphic rocks. The evolutionary model of how these formations were formed of course involves millions of years. As with other factors, this is simply not the only possibility, and through studying, can even have evidences stacked against it as a possibility. More importantly than that, though, is the realization that according to the creation model, dry land was formed, created by God on day 3. If God truly created the heavens and the earth, if the bible is in fact true, then the miracles of earth formation, as well as stars, water, the sun and moon, and other actual creative miracles were obviously assumed to be the method of formation in many cases.

Evolutionists will claim this is a “God of the Gaps” argument, that we insert God’s creative powers anywhere that doesn’t fit the biblical paradigm. This could grow into a lengthy answer, if responded to completely. But the short answer is simply, a realization that this is not a fall back excuse, but a believed in process, supported not only by the great design we witness, but by the fact that the alternative is that matter had to have made itself, which is its own ‘evolution-of-the-gaps argument, relying on time and unobserved mutations, violations of laws of motion, and of thermodynamics, to create matter, and order from nothing.

the sheer amount of volcanic deposits…

Most of the volcanic evidence we observe in the earth’s crust was from when when the fountains of the deep broke open. The evidence shows just how volatile the flood really was. Spillways, mountains, volcanoes, oceans, ice age, these geological observances indicate not only the event’s seriousness, but also its scale. Remember this was to wipe out all life.  It is not the mild rains depicted in children’s books. It was a global killer, and is responsible for the fossil record, the ring of fire, and the great amounts of pillow lava we observe, some making up whole sections of continents (Northwest America), evidence that the magma burst forth under water. Again, all this points to the reality of a flood, and continues to.

Archaeology does not support the exodus from Egypt,

This is quite plainly a false assertion. Archaeologists tend to know that despite biblical criticism, the bible ends up being proven right as more and more evidence is uncovered. It used to be that arguments against the bible were made from silence, that is they said we hadn’t found evidence to support it yet. But that is always a dangerous position, as many have found; and as more evidence has been uncovered, in archaeology specifically, it corroborates what the OT has already stated as history for thousands of years. This is true with cities, kings, customs, economies, and more, and we have an embarrassing amount of evidence, such as bulla, cuniform, and architecture to prove it. Anyone making this claim is saying so without proper study, or is being intellectually dishonest, and more than likely wishes there to be no evidence and is willing to take a skeptic’s rant against the bible as true fact.

There are over 52 historical  people from the bible who have been confirmed archaeologically, many cities such as Nineveh, and Ur, Babylon, and Jericho. And there are great studies and documentaries on the subject in question, such as “Patterns of Evidence: Exodus” which detail evidences of the forensic science of archaeology, and how it pertains to the bible.

(Continued in Part 5)