Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Is Nationalism Right? - A Christian View of Nationalism

What is nationalism?  The goal to form a separate country is often based on language and culture.  It can also take the form of putting your country first.  For America, our foundations are the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights within the Christian Worldview.  This does not imply that we worship the State.

Nationalism is the opposite of globalism and we might think of those who conquered large regions of the world:   Alexander the Great, Napoleon and Hitler.  We might take the analogy with a family.  We put our family first, but respect other families.  It's somewhat like the free market - if there are several countries we may have an opportunity to be part of the "best" one.  President Trump is pro-nationalism and contra-globalism.

Scholars have noticed a pattern in different civilizations that is very clear in the book of Judges:

Bondage => Liberty => Abundance => Apathy =>  Dependence => Bondage

As globalism threatens, we still have a sure hope.  Jesus said,  "... I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mt. 16:38).

Borders are from God:

From one man [or "of one blood"] he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. (Acts 17:26) 

Remember the days of old,Consider the years of many generations.Ask your father, and he will show you;Your elders, and they will tell you:When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations,When He separated the sons of Adam,He set the boundaries of the peoplesAccording to the number of the children of Israel.Deut. 32:7,8

This passage from Deuteronomy apparently refers to Babel.  One key lesson from the confusion at Babel is that when all the people of the earth get together and unite against the Lord, it will only lead to trouble.  Much later, God gave the Promised Land to Israel:

I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you.  (Exodus 23:31)

What happened at Babel and why was it wrong?  The world leaders of the time refused to obey the Lord's clear command: 

Let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth. (Gen 11:4) Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." (Gen. 9:1)

Globalism is one world government which might sound nice, but what if our philosopher king is evil?  In 1798,  Napoleon wrote to General Sheik El-Messiri and made this shocking statement:

I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of the Quran, which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness.

Was he being serious?  Was this just some political ploy? 
Should we follow the path of the European Union or Brexit?  In the European Union we see a downgrade of sovereign countries, the result is assaults, hygiene problems and terror attacks.  In addition, free speech has been squashed, homeschooling is banned in some places and Darwin is king.  The Brexit movement is a pushback to that.

In 2006, the Polish Deputy Minister of Education publicly rejected evolution.  In contrast, the European Union (EU)  backs Darwin all the way.  A 2007 non-binding EU statement pushes the molecules-to-man theory:

Evolution is not simply a matter of the evolution of humans and of populations.  Denying it could have serious consequences for the development of our societies.   Advances in medical research with the aim of effectively combating infectious diseases such as AIDS are impossible if every principle of evolution is denied.  One cannot be fully aware of the risks involved in the significant decline in biodiversity and climate change if the mechanisms of evolution are not understood.

The average age of great civilizations is around 200 years.  How long will America last?  Between 1789-1858, France had 16 constitutions, one from 1835 remained in force for only 21 days.

What are the global aspirations of the Muslim world?  The Ottoman Empire, in the late 1600's, almost reached to Vienna and controlled North Africa and the Middle East.   At one time, part of Spain was under Islamic control.  There were even raids into France.

Is nationalism always positive?  In the 1500's there were wars of religion with Protestant areas and Catholic regions.  Let us all urge the young people we know to look into the  Biblical basis for the U.S. Constitution and the Christian  heritage of America.  Here is a thought provoking article on the ethics of globalism vs. nationalism.

Poland and Hungary have relatively stricter immigration policies and as a result they have fewer terror incidents.   Without God, unity can merely become a despotic source of power that is abused.  Consider atheistic Communism and secular socialism.  Concentrated, centralized power can be a serious problem indeed, if God is not its center and source.

Israeli History Professor Yuval Noah Harari (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) gave an anti-Nationalist TED talk.   Last year he wrote Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.  The book description speaks of "our quest to upgrade humans into gods."  What does globalism have to offer?  We read this from the book blurb:

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda?  As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake?  Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century - from overcoming death to creating artificial life.

"Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust." (Is. 40:15)

Was Benjamin Franklin a Christian?

In 1790, just one month before his death at age 84, Benjamin Franklin penned a letter to Ezra Stiles in which he said that he had some doubts about the deity of Christ.  Is this an anomaly and did "The First American" get saved after his flirtation with deism?

The Eagles won their first Super Bowl this year!  Just nine years ago, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was coaching high school.  After the win he proclaimed, “I can only give the praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity."  While coaching high school kids, did he ever get frustrated and say some choice words or has he ever been tempted to road rage?  I don't know.  But would we deny his testimony because of one unkind remark?   Consider the analogy with Franklin - let's consider the bulk of the evidence.

According to his autobiography, he decided to become a deist at the age of 15 around the year 1721.  Despite what many textbooks say, Franklin did not remain a deist.  He even suggested prayer during the constitutional convention!

Voltaire (d. 1778) is often considered a typical deist.  He was very much anti-Christian and ridiculed the Bible.  In his later years, Franklin was no deist and referenced the Bible regularly.  Deism compares God to a cosmic watchmaker who builds the world and then forgets about it with no interaction.  Deists deny the afterlife and divine revelation.

Ralph Frasca wrote Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network and claimed that Franklin was indeed converted (University of Missouri Press, 2009):

Despite being raised a Puritan of the Congregationalist stripe by his parents, who  "Brought me through my Childhood piously in the Dissenting Way," Franklin recalled, he abandoned that denomination, briefly embraced deism, and finally  became a non-denominational Protestant Christian.

In 1735, Franklin wrote A Defense of Mr. Hemphill’s Observations (Hemphill was a local preacher) and said:

... Christ by his Death and Sufferings has purchased for us those easy Terms and Conditions of our Acceptance with God, proposed in the Gospel, to wit, Faith and Repentance ... That the ultimate End and Design of Christ’s Death, of our Redemption by his Blood ... was to lead us to the Practice of all Holiness, Piety and Virtue ...

We are not saved by good works.  Franklin defended this thought in a letter to his  sister in 1743:  "You express yourself as if you thought I was against Worshipping of God, and believed Good Works would merit Heaven; which are both Fancies of your own, I think, without Foundation."  Ben repeated this theme when he wrote to George Whitefield in 1753:  "You will see in this my notion of good works, that I am far from expecting to merit heaven by them."

In Franklin's autobiography (1791), he proposed thirteen virtues with the last two being:

Chastity - Rarely use venery [intimate relations] but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
Humility - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Franklin also referenced Jonathan Edwards' book Some Thoughts concerning the present Revival of Religion in New England in a positive light.  Franklin published George Whitefield's sermons and considered him a friend.

Ben Franklin signed Pennsylvania's first constitution (Sep. 28, 1776).  Members of the Pennsylvania's House of Representatives had to make this pledge:

I do believe in one God, the creator and governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and the punisher of the wicked.  And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.

At the Constitutional Convention Franklin urged that "We should remember the character which the Scripture requires in rulers."  I agree with Bill Fortenberry's  conclusion: "The evidence for Franklin's conversion is far too solid and secure to be shaken by the single admission of a particular doubt in his old age."   Notwithstanding, some scholars do not accept the idea of Franklin's conversion.

Amazingly, Ben Franklin was a creationist and held to a young earth.  Be sure to get your copy of YES - Young Earth Science today.  It declares independence from Old Earth Fallacies (OEF) and contends for a youthful world from history, philosophy and science - what a revolutionary concept!

What do you think?  Did Franklin become a real Christian?

Friday, December 29, 2017

Dr. Michael Brown interviews Conservative Milo Yiannopoulos

Do you know some who is struggling with alternative lifestyle issues?  Milo went on Michael Brown's Line of Fire and had a very unique interview.  Milo is a professing Roman Catholic and has stated that he'd rather not be gay.  He is a harsh critic of mainstream news and said, "Our media in America is largely staffed by children."  
In 2016, Milo Yiannopoulos (tech editor at Breitbart) spoke to students at AmericanUniversity.

Milo has been on The Joe Rogan Experience (featured in Will Smith's Bright) which is one of the world’s most popular podcasts.

Dr. Brown pledged to give Milo his books Outlasting the Gay Revolution and A Queer Thing Happened to America.  The real question is does Milo know the Gospel?  Here is Dr. Brown's testimony.  Let us know what you think:  ned_oa_1657@yahoo.com

MILO is also a chocolate flavored nutritional drink popular in many countries.

Monday, October 30, 2017

500 Years of the Reformation (What Do You Know About Luther?)

Tomorrow we celebrate the beginning of the Reformation when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door.  He was baptized when he was one day old on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours (d. 397 AD) and so was named Martin.

St. Martin actually met Caesar Julian (Julian the Apostate) while in the Roman army.   Martin refused to fight and told the emperor "I am the soldier of Christ: it is not lawful for me to fight."  He was charged with cowardice and jailed, but later was released.  Where did this happen?  In Worms, Germany‼  Truly, the Lord is in control of history (Is. 46:10).  Another Martin opposed authority boldly with gospel truth in Worms.

The Renaissance, printing and nationalism all helped make way for the Reformation.   The end of the Little Ice Age helped spread Luther's views to Northern Europe.
Luther's wife Katie had an interesting way of getting her point across:

She was solicitous of her husband and guarded his times of prayer and study, nursed his infirmities, mothered his students, cheered him in dejection, and worried about him when he travelled. They helped each other focus on God, despite life’s troubles. One day, when Luther was depressed, Katie put on a black dress. Luther asked her: “Are you going to a funeral?” “No,” she responded, “but since you act as though God is dead, I wanted to join you in the mourning!”
Erwin Lutzer wrote Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation and says this in the book (p. xiv):
Here is an audio piece by Max McLean where her describes the Diet of Worms and performs Luther's "Here I Stand" speech.  Truth for Life (Alistair Begg) has put out a great booklet on the 5 Solas of the Reformation:

1. Sola Scriptura: by Scripture alone
2. Solus Christus: by Christ alone
3. Sola Gratia: by grace alone
4. Sola Fide: by faith alone
5. Soli Deo Gloria: glory to God alone
What are some of the consequences of the Reformation?  The Pilgrims and Puritans came to America in search of freedom for their faith.  Methodists John Wesley and George Whitefield (d. 1770) had a tremendous impact on the spiritual health of our nation.  Thus, 1517 let to 1776 and the Constitution.  In 1904, the German sociologist Max Weber wrote The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism arguing that hard work and saving your money has a Reformed heritage.

A number of academics have made the argument that the Reformation gave impetus to modern science.  Reijer Hooykaas, who wrote Religion and the Rise of Modern Science, said this:

Modern science arose when the consequences of the biblical conceptionof reality were fully accepted.  In the 16th and 17th centuries science wasled out of the blind alley into which it had got through the philosophy ofAntiquity and the Middle Ages.  New horizons were opened.  The pictureof the world as an organism was replaced by that of the world as amechanism.  It is not generated but made; it is not self-supporting, but itneeds maintenance.

Speaking of science, what did the reformers think of the age of the earth?  Luther held that this planet was around six millennia old.  Hugh Latimer (d. 1555) was martyred by fire for his Reformed faith along with Nicholas Ridley.  Latimer famously told Ridley “we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England as I trust shall never be put out.”  Latimer said that "all learned men" accepted a young earth of around 6,000 years. [1]  John Calvin said that "... the duration of the world, now declining to its ultimate end, has not yet attained six thousand years." [2]
Be sure to get your copy of YES - Young EarthScience today.  It protests against Old Earth Fallacies (OEF) and contends for a youthful world from history, philosophy and science.

Reformation Resources (Books):
The Anatomy of a Hybrid by Leonard Verduin (Church-State issues)
The Torch of the Testimony by John W. Kennedy (Bible-believers through history)
The Anabaptist Story by William Roscoe Estep
Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World by Eric Metaxas 
Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther - Roland Baintan

Reformation Resources (Videos):

1)  quoted in “A Brief Overview of the Exegesis of Genesis 1-11: Luther to Lyell” by David Hall in Coming to Grips with Genesis ed. by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2008), p. 55.

2)  quoted in "Luther, Calvin and Wesley on the Genesis of Natural Evil" by Thane Ury in Coming to Grips with Genesis ed. by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2008), p. 406.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Evolution 2.0 & Perry Mason

Perry Marshall is an expert in web advertizing (e.g. Google AdWords) and has written Evolution2.0 on the creation/evolution topic.  Justin Brierley (Unbelievable) has written an endorsement.  Perry is the man behind the Technology Prize for the Origin of Information, that is, prove that DNA could arise naturally - he is offering $5M if the process can be patented.

Perry has a friend who favors the young earth view, but could not defend his view from a science standpoint.  He should have read YES - Young Earth Science.

In the book we find this mantra "God could make the universe in a billion years, or he could make it in an instant.  I don't think it matters" (Appendix 2).  Truly the Lord is omnipotent, but this misses the point.  Our Creator is sovereign over events and things happen for a reason.  Prophecy and God's timeline are not arbitrary - Time Matters.

Perry seems to have done little research on the creation side.  Here are a few suggested resources:

He brings up the speed of light (the distant starlight challenge), but seems to be unaware of a number of possible solutions.  The Horizon Problem is an issue for the Big Bang advocates as well.

Perry claims that "science does not testify to a young Earth" yet that are a number of scientists and scholars that support or are sympathetic to Young Earth Science (YES):

  *    David Hume (Philosopher)
  *    Lucretius (Epicurean and poet)
*      James Hogan (former engineer and scifi author)
*      Vine Deloria (Native American scholar)
*      William Corliss (compiler of scientific anomalies)
*      Richard Milton (Mensan and science journalist)
*      Melvin Cook (Chemist, Nitro Nobel winner)

In the section "Putting Faith on the Science Chopping Block" Perry makes an amazing statement on solving apparent Bible-science conflicts, "I'm going to let science and engineering answer the question for me."  A better approach is to realize that the Bible is a message from the Creator and gives true info on history, science as well as the way to heaven:

When I think on my ways,    I turn my feet to your testimonies;The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love;    teach me your statutes! (Ps. 119:59, 64)

Regarding evolutionary schemes for the origin of life Perry rightly states,

None of this is empirical.  We are bullied to believe it simply because it get  repeated many times ... along with the dubious claims like "virtually all scientists accept this."  Consensus is not science.

Unfortunately, Perry fails to apply this same critical thinking to Old Earth Fallacies (OEF).  He also tries to stretch the meaning of day in Genesis chapter one.  However, the pattern evening/morning 1st Day, evening/morning 2nd Day etc.  clearly indicates normal days.  Basil of Caesarea in his Hexameron defended the real days of Creation Week.  The censuses in Numbers 1 and 26 of the fighting men of Israel reaches over 600K.  If the deep time theory was true, Scripture could have used large numbers to describe the vast ages of the past.

Perry claims the "vestigial legs" of a whale point to evolution (pp. 13-15).  Jerry Bergman in his book Fossil Forensics has a whole chapter refuting the supposed evidence for whale evolution (38 pages, 6 pages of references).  He shows that the "floating" bones near the end of whales does have a function.  In 1955, E.H. Colbert (Evolution of the Vertebrates - Wiley) revealed that "no intermediate forms are apparent in the fossil record between the whales and the ancestral Cretaceous placentals" (Fossil Forensics, p. 337).  The current evidence backs this up.  

Perry Marshall should take a few clues from Perry Mason, the classic TV lawyer played by Raymond Burr.  In a screen test Raymond Burr admits "I'm not infallible" (he trades places and plays the DA).  He also deals with the problem of convicting the innocent (2:30 mark).  Has creationism been convicted without a fair trial?  Hopefully, Perry Marshall is also willing to take the tag "fallible" and realize that a young earth is possible.  
Leonard Nimoy (who later became Spock) is confronted with his crime in one exciting episode of Perry Mason.  Marshall should apply some good Vulcan logic to the origins conflict.  He rightly critiques the Origin Of Life (OOL) theories of mainstream science, but fails to see the fatal errors in Darwin's Tree of Life.  In one episode of Perry Mason we encounter this exchange:

Hamilton Burger:  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Mr. Mason has indeed surpassed himself.  He has created for you a story which is pure poppycock! Absolute and complete nonsense.  The defendant in this case is a shrewd, scheming woman.  She seduced her employer, she stole from him, and finally she murdered him.  And as for Mr. Mason's ridiculous theory about a hose, this is an "abandoned" real estate office we're talking about.  The water's been shut off there for over a year. How could anyone possibly...
 Perry Mason:  Your honor, the District Attorney is stating facts not in evidence.   Since he lost the opportunity to get these matters in legitimately, in rebuttal, he is now trying to do it through prejudicial misconduct.  I ask the court to declare a mistrial.

Have Darwinists depended on "facts not in evidence" and should the origins controversy be declared a mistrial?  For a great book on the Scopes Trial, check out Monkey Business by Marvin Olasky (World) and John Perry. 

For another spot-on book review, check out our response to Science Left Behind by Alex Berezow of Real Clear Science and Hank Campbell of Science 2.0 which came out in 2012.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Dear Jon from Malta (WL Craig)

Jon from Malta wrote a letter to William Lane Craig and it was given the title  "Should OT Difficulties Be an Obstacle to Christian Belief?"  Jon says that his trouble with the early chapters of Genesis is, "... the principal reason why I cannot bring myself to accept Christianity, to which I have yet to receive a satisfying response."

Jon confesses that, "when I read the Book of Genesis through (as I have done many times), based on the various exegetical analyses I have reviewed of the Genesis accounts I find it very difficult to avoid the necessity of a literal  interpretation."  Very good.  I would recommend Jon read chapter 6 in Coming to Grips with Genesis where Steven Boyd demonstrates that Gen. 1:1 to 2:3 is historical narrative and that the Scripture teaches a young earth.

Jon specifies a number of his puzzles:

...the whole wild account of Noah's ark and the Deluge, the inordinate life expectancy of the first men which for some reason decreased with each generation, not to mention references to the existence of giants and accounts of women copulating with evil spirits (Genesis 6:4), among many other things which I've no doubt you are aware.  These accounts incorporate very specific language and do not seem to lend themselves to figurative interpretation.

For an excellent account of how Noah and his family could have taken care of the animals and survive and thrive themselves, be sure to check out Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study by John Woodmorappe.  Also, read more on this challenge here.  There is, in fact, a great deal of evidence for the Deluge.

Approximately one fourth of the factors affecting life span are genetic.  Adam and Eve were made perfect and could have lived indefinitely (Gen. 3:22).  Mutations accumulated over time increasing the difficulties of aging.  A genetic bottleneck occurred at the time of the Flood limiting the healthy advantage of a large gene pool.  The Sumerian King List documents long ages before the Global Flood and a drastic reduction in life spans afterward.  It shows eight kings before the flood and if we don’t include Adam and Noah, this matches the historical chronology from Genesis.  If we convert the life spans of the line of Seth from decimal to base 60 (using my method) we can see that the Sumerian King List is somewhat close to the actual values from Genesis.  Chuck Missler has some intriguing thoughts on the nephilim.     
I would argue that the whole Bible supports a young earth.  YES - Young Earth Science defends a youthful world from history, philosophy and science.  If the world is young, then evolution is wrong.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dr. James White and Muslim Dialog

Dr. James White has taken the time to learn Arabic and study the Hadith.  He has participated in numerous debates with Muslim apologists throughout the world and has also written What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur'an (Bethany House).  He has proclaimed the Gospel inside mosques - how many preachers can make that claim?
Recently, American Thinker published an article that severely criticized Dr. White for his dialog with Yasir Qadhi.  Dr. Qadhi is an American Muslim scholar of Pakistani descent.  He is the Dean of Academic Affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute and has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the  University of Houston and Ph.D. from Yale.  Listen to the dialog yourself and make up your own mind.  One factual error that American Thinker makes is the claim that Qadhi is Salafi, the strictly orthodox Sunni Muslim sect advocating a return to the early form of Islam.

In this video White deals with the Eugene Peterson (The Message) controversy and then deals with the Yasir Qadhi dialog (@ 19:30 mark).  Here is another video where Dr. White defends his actions.  James was also on Janet Mefferd Today and you can hear the podcast here (warning: very explosive! & may increase your bpm's).

Dialog Matters:

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.  So he reasoned [dialog] in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. (Acts 17:16,17, NIV)

Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing [dialog] persuasively about the kingdom of God.  But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them.  He took the disciples with him and had discussions [dialog] daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. (Acts 19:8,9, NIV)

After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.  And as he reasoned [dialog] about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment ... (Acts 24:24,25, ESV)

Let's all share the gospel with the Muslims we know.


In the 1990's, there was a debate at the University of Oklahoma (my alma mater) between an engineering prof who was a seminary grad (how many of those do you know?) and a Muslim apologist from Canada.  OU at one time had the highest percentage of Pakistanis among US universities.  The mood in the air was intense, but there was no riot.  "Pakistani Night" @ OU was one of the most fun and entertaining events I've ever attended while going to school!