Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Creationism in the Mainstream?

Ben Hobrink has written Modern Science in the Bible:  Amazing Scientific Truths Found in Ancient Texts.  Hobrink’s book is published by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.  We highly recommend this work.  It’s well referenced and includes a list of suggested books and websites for further study.
A good section of Hobrink’s work is very similar to None of These Diseases, but with updated health info.  The Bible taught sanitation long before Joseph Lister (d. 1902).  The Jews were commanded to stay away from dead animals (Lev. 11:39,40).  Men circumcised as babies have almost no cases of certain types of cancer. [1]

Hobrink tackles the flat-earth myth and explains the Bible’s description of the hydrologic cycle. [2]  Hobrink quotes Baylor sociologist Rodney Stark,

Science arose only once in history… It could only arise in a culture dominated by a belief in a conscious, rational, all-powerful Creator. … Science was not the work of Western secularists or even deists; it was entirely the work of devout believers in an active, conscious, creator God. [3]

Hobrink defends the Flood and Young Earth Science (YES).  Using the K-Ar dating method an eruption in Hawaii that occurred in 1801 was dated to 3 Billion years! [4]  Hobrink rightly points out that, “There are no transitional forms between single-celled and five-hundred-celled organisms.” [5]  Hobrink also deals with Bible difficulties and supposed errors in the Scripture.
Will Howard publish more creationist books?  Howard also puts out the NYT bestseller An Invisible Thread which tells how an 11 year old street kid became friends with a well-heeled sales executive.  This is much like Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore which involves the Union Gospel Mission in Fort Worth.  Hall & Moore came to our church and gave a presentation.  Denver sang and brought his artwork – very moving.  Samuel L. Jackson has been cast to play Denver in the upcoming film.     

Notes:
1) Modern Science in the Bible by Ben Hobrink (Howard Books, NYC, 2011), p. 49.  Originally pub. in Dutch by Uitgeverj Gideon in 2005.  
2) Ibid., p. 117-119, 113-114.
3) Ibid., p. 121.
4) Ibid., p. 177.
5) Ibid., p. 153.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 = EOTW?!

Will the world end on Dec. 21, 2012?  Jesus said that no one will know the day or the hour (Mk 13:32).  Some think it will be the end, while others think that there will be a great transition of global impact.  2012 = End Of The World (EOTW)?
The 2012 film presented the idea of global flooding and referenced Earth’s Shifting Crust by Charles Hapgood which has a foreword by Einstein!  Hapgood’s theory has a number of points in common with Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT).

The beginning of the Mayan calendar was in 3114 BC – note that this is close to traditional dates of Creation and the Flood (4004 BC, 2348 BC).  There was a “new world” in the Post-Flood era.

Physicist Paul LaViolette says that a large Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) could move the crust and cause earthquakes. [1]  Could a terrorist nuke set off the Yellowstone Supervolcano? [2]

Terence McKenna (d. 2000) used hallucinogenic drugs to reach a “higher” state of consciousness and recommended this for others.  He used the I Ching to calculate a calendar and predicted the “end” at 12-21-12 (just as the Mayans). [3]  McKenna claimed that humanity will be transformed on this date,

History is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley … what we need is a new myth… the ego is a product of pathology … we must break out of the silly myths of science, and the infantile obsessions of the marketplace … [we need] psychedelic experience … to make the forward escape into hyperspace … [4]

Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (Jn 17:3).  Only through Jesus can we find “…the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:2,3).  We don’t need funny mushrooms.  Knowing your sins are forgiven is truly mind expanding (Ps. 32).
All of this talk of catastrophe reminds us of the Flood.  If there is a great catastrophe, Christ has promised us that the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church (Mt. 16:18).  “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God” – Corrie ten Boom. [5]

How old is the Earth and how likely is a future global catastrophe?

Notes:
1) Will the World End in 2012? by Raymond Hundley (Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN, 2010), p. 23.
2) Ibid., p. 91.
3) Ibid., pp. 104-110.
4) 2012:  Science or Superstition by Alexandra Bruce (Disinformation, NYC, 2009), p. 153.
5) quoted in Hundley, p. 147.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bart Ehrman – FORGED! (Part 2) - Atonement in Luke

Bart Ehrman claims that we cannot find substitutionary atonement in the book of Luke. [1]  Ehrman seems to assume that all doctrines are in each book – can we say this of the book of Ecclesiastes?

When Zacharias mouth was opened he spoke of the redemption of God’s people (Lk 1:68).  Anna, “…spoke of Him [Jesus] to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Lk 2:38).  Isaiah 44:22 states, “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”  Christ has paid the price for our sin when he suffered on the cross in our place.  Redemption involves paying a price:

Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches,
none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him for the redemption of their souls is costly, and it shall cease forever - that he should continue to live eternally, And not see the Pit (Ps 49:6-9).

If your rich uncle pays your mortgage payment next month, you don’t have to.  Zacharias went on to say about John the Baptist’s ministry of preparation, “To give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God …” (Lk 1:76, 78).  Salvation is by God’s mercy – we don’t work for it.  This is clearly shown by the scapegoat: 

Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. … But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. … Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.  The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness (Lev 16:8,10,21,22).

Atonement involves a substitute who bears our sins – the Lord Jesus Christ!

When Simeon held the baby Jesus in his arms he said, “With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation” (Lk 2:30).  That is, Jesus IS salvation, not the one who points the way to enlightenment.  Jesus died on cross – Christ himself in his own person took the penalty for our hateful deeds.  Jesus is Lord (Lk 2:11), so he is perfect and thus did not die for his own sins – he must have died for the sins of others.

Luke quotes Isaiah 40:3-5 in Lk. 3:4-6 and in the same context we read:

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for … Say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!" (Is. 40:2,9).

Jesus, the God-Man, paid for our sin on Good Friday.  He was our Sinless Substitute.  At Jesus’ baptism, the Father spoke, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased" (Lk 3:22).  This is again an indication of Christ’s perfection – he did not die for his own sin, but that of those he loved (cf. Lk 22:41,47).  Christ, by forgiving sins, demonstrated that he is divine (Lk 5:20-24, 7:48).  Since Jesus is God, he did no evil, so there is no reason that he should die unless he took the penalty that others deserved (Lk 24:52).

Luke 7:22 refers to Isaiah 35:5,6 and in the same context we read:

… but the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away (Is. 35:9,10).

Redemption involves paying a price.  Jesus paid the penalty for sin and so we can have eternal life with him in heaven.

Luke 8:10 quotes Isaiah 6:9 and in this passage the angel says to the prophet, “… Gone your guilt, your sins wiped out” (Is. 6:7 Msg).  God is just and he must punish sin (Pr 11:21, Nahum 1:3).  So how can Isaiah get his sins wiped out?  He was looking for the coming Messiah who would suffer in his place for his unclean lips and other wrongs.

Christ predicted his death and resurrection – another proof of his deity.  Christ is divine and so did not die for his own sins (Lk 9:22; 18:18,19,32,33; 20:14,15).

The donkey in the Triumphal Entry was prophesied in Zechariah (Lk 19:30, Zech. 9:9).  In the same context we find:

… He [Christ] shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.’  As for you also, Because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit (Zech. 9:10,11).

How can we gain peace with God?  Only through the blood of the New Covenant shed by Jesus on the cross for us.

On the road to Emmaus what Old Testament examples did Christ explain (Lk 24:25-27, cf. Lk 24:44)?  Surely Genesis 3:15, where we are told that the Messiah’s head will be wounded – this occurred at the cross.  Apparently an animal had to die to clothe Adam and Eve (Ge 3:21) – a substitute suffered to cover their shame!  Certainly Jesus expounded Isaiah 53 which clearly teaches substitutionary atonement (vv. 4-6).

In Luke 24:46,47, the cross and forgiveness are connected.  Only through the vicarious death of Christ is forgiveness possible.  Mike Horton has written a helpful article on the atonement.

Part 1 of this series on Bart Ehrman responded to his low view of the reliability of the New Testament.
 

Note:
1) Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman (HarperCollins, NYC, 2005), pp. 166,7.

Bart Ehrman – FORGED! (Part 1)

Bart Ehrman claims that much of the New Testament (NT) is forged.  How would Ehrman feel if someone claimed that his dozens of books were written by someone else (cowabunga dude!)?  Paul warned of forgeries, “Don’t let anyone shake you up or get you excited over some breathless report or rumored letter from me that the day of the Master’s arrival has come and gone” (2 Thes. 2:2 Msg).  Paul proved his authenticity, “I, Paul, bid you good-bye in my own handwriting.  I do this in all my letters, so examine my signature as proof that the letter is genuine” (2 Thes. 3:17 Msg).  See also 1 Cor. 16:21, Gal. 6:11 and Col. 4:18.  Tychicus would have verified that the letters to Ephesus and Colosse were really from Paul (Eph. 6:21,22, Col. 4:7).  The Early Church Fathers (ECF) provide strong support that the traditional authors of the gospels really did write them.

Ehrman went to Moody Bible Institute and graduated from Wheaton College in 1978 (cf. 1 Jn 2:19).  In light of his skepticism, it makes one wonder what kind of apologetics Ehrman was exposed to.  Ehrman now denies the God of the Bible, “I don’t ‘know’ if there is a God; but I think that if there is one, he certainly isn’t the one proclaimed by the Judeo-Christian tradition, the one who is actively and powerfully involved in this world.” [1]  Given Ehrman’s opinion, can he give the NT a fair hearing?

Darrell Bock has a clever way of explaining that orthodoxy already existed at the time the NT was written:  Schooling (creeds), Singing (hymns) and Sacraments.  Creeds and hymns in the NT include 1 Cor. 8:4-6, 1 Cor. 15:3-8, Phil. 2:6-11; Col.1:15-20; Eph. 4:4-6 and 1 Tim. 3:16.  The sacraments also proclaim a message (1 Cor. 11:23-26).  Any supposed forgeries would have been exposed since they did not comport with Apostolic tradition.
On another front, Ehrman has troubles with all the variants in NT manuscripts, “Given these problems, how can we hope to get back to anything like the original text …?” [2]  Ehrman’s views are not new – Henry Smith, writing in 1893, claimed that original NT message could not be recovered. [3]  In 1989 Shirley MacLaine was on the Larry King show and claimed that the Bible has been changed and translated so many times that is cannot really be accurate.  Ehrman makes a big deal about a variant that has Jesus as being angry in Mk. 1:41. [4]  Christ is clearly angry in Mk. 3:5 and Mk. 10:14 – anger is not a sin (Eph. 4:26).
Ehrman dedicated Misquoting Jesus to Bruce Metzger (d. 2007) and said that he was “the world’s leading expert in the field [of textual criticism].” [5]  What was Metzger’s opinion of NT variants?  Lee Strobel, former award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and skeptic until 1981, spent 18 pages on his interview with Metzger.  According to Metzger, early NT translations or citations in the Early Church Fathers (ECF) are sufficient to reproduce the entire text. [6]  Metzger said, “The more significant variations do not overthrow any doctrine of the church. … [The NT is] 99.5 percent pure.” [7]  I think I’ll go with “the world’s leading expert.” 

In the days of Nehemiah the copies of copies of the scriptures at hand were sufficient (Neh. 8:8).  Nothing was “lost in transmission” (Ehrman’s suggested title).  To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Is. 8:20).  If the Law is not preserved, how can we use it as a guide?  “Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll, that it may be for time to come, forever and ever” (Is. 30:8).  God’s Word will remain forever (Is. 40:8, Mt. 5:18) so by the Lord’s sovereign plan it will be preserved.  “It is written” appears 61 times in the NT, so Jesus and the Apostles held that the Old Testament (OT) copies they used had sufficient purity to represent the original words that God inspired.  Jesus said that the people in his day have Moses and the Prophets (Lk 16:29) – not that there are so many variants that we don’t know what we have!  The Lord Jesus Christ prophesied that the account of His anointing at Bethany would be preserved (Mk 14:9). 

Is it possible for an ancient text to be transcribed properly?  Look at the notes at the bottom of your Bible in the book of Isaiah – you’ll find that the variants from the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) version are minor.  This represents a basically pure transmission of one thousand years (100 BC to 900 AD).  The fact that the gates of Hell cannot withstand the growth of the Body of Christ ensures that the Bible (OT/NT) will be preserved pure to the end (Mt. 16:18).

Ehrman claims that, “I am intimately familiar with what evangelical scholars have said about the Bible.  I simply do not find their views convincing.” [8]
Greg Bahnsen asked a question in 1980 from a skeptic’s perspective and sounds much like Bart Ehrman, “If God took the trouble and deemed it crucial to secure the entire accuracy of the original text of Scripture, why did He not take greater care to preserve the copies errorless?” [9]  Bahnsen takes 43 pages to answer this question and does a superb job.  Bahnsen points out that, “There is no scriptural warrant for holding that God will perform the perpetual miracle of preserving His written Word from all errors in its being transcribed from on copy to another.” [10]  However, all is not lost.  Can you discern the original Mark Twain quote from these three less-than-perfect versions?
Likewise, we can compare manuscript with manuscript of the NT to restore the original wording.  The good copies correct the bad.  God used imperfect people and copies to preserve his Word, “A crushed reed He will not utterly break, nor will He quench the still smoldering wick, until He has led on Justice to victory” (Mt. 12:20 Wey).
Paul planned to visit Spain (Rom. 15:24,28) and the Apostle Thomas visited India, so the early copies of the NT were widely distributed geographically.  No one person could have corrupted all the texts – there were just too many of them in too many places!  God has providentially protected the message of the NT.  Virtually all the errors are insignificant and the others do not affect any major doctrine.  We should not add or subtract from God’s Word (Deut. 4:2, 12:32; Pr 30:6).  Did not those who copied the NT take reverential care in their task?

Paleographer Sir Frederic Kenyon (d. 1952) held a number of positions with the British Museum.  He was also president of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and concluded that,

The number of manuscripts of the New Testament, of early translations from it, and of quotations from it in the oldest writers of the Church, is so large that it is practically certain that the true reading of every doubtful passage is preserved in some one or other of these ancient authorities. [11]

Philologist Richard Bentley (d. 1742) remarked, "The real text of the sacred writers [of the NT is] … competently exact indeed in the worst [manuscript] now extant; nor is one article of faith or moral precept either perverted or lost in them.” [12]

There are a number of errors in Misquoting Jesus – should we then question the accuracy of the entire volume?

The Hebrew on the dust jacket is upside down
Desiderius is misspelled, p. 70
scriptio is misspelled, pp. 48, 90
πνα is misspelled, p. 91
parablepsis is misspelled, p. 91
Acts 17:30 is confused for Acts 17:27, p. 192
Acts 2:36 is confused for Acts 2:38, p. 160
LaHaye, who helped start icr, is misspelled, pp. 13, 110

The gospel is from God it is not an invention (Gal. 1:11,12, 2 Pet. 1:16).  Does Paul refer to NT scriptures already written in 1 Cor. 15:3?  Paul’s instruction must be obeyed since they have divine authority (2 Thes. 3:14).  Paul’s words in his letters are also God’s Word (1 Cor 14:37).  Peter confirmed that Paul wrote multiple letters and that they are scripture (2 Pet. 3:15,16).  Luke, the doctor with the scientific mind, carefully researched his information and spoke with eyewitnesses when writing his gospel (Lk. 1:1-4). 
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would make sure that the Apostles had total recall of Christ’s words (Jn 14:26).  Many eyewitnesses were around in the time that Paul wrote (1 Cor 15:6).  Richard Bauckham, New Testament Professor at the University of St. Andrews, has written Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, where he analyzes the frequency of Jewish names and how they were used and other lines of evidence to defend the NT.  Peter Williams has given a riveting presentation based on similar data.  John A.T. Robinson (d. 1983), who was part of the “Death of God” movement, has dated all NT books to before 70 AD.  His reasoning is largely based on the fact that no NT author mentions the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.  This, of course, favors the view that the NT is based on eyewitness accounts.

We suggest these works defending the Bible and Christianity aimed at a general audience:

  Skeptics Answered by D. James Kennedy
  How Do We Know the Bible is True? (Vol. 1) ed. by Ham & Hodge.

Timothy Paul Jones of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has written a response to Misquoting Jesus.  The Ehrman Project provides a number of helpful resources, including a dialog between Ehrman and Dan Wallace.  Ehrman’s wife is a committed Christian and part of the Episcopal church. 
Pinchas Lapide (d. 1997), former New Testament Professor at Gottingen University, wrote TheResurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective which defends the historicity of the physical resurrection of Christ.  Lapide was not a Christian and did not accept Jesus as the Messiah.  Time magazine (May 7, 1979) covered Lapide’s conclusions.  Christ’s resurrection verifies his deity, “his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master” (Rom. 1:4 Msg).  Christ’s deity confirms the message of the Apostles (Eph. 2:20) we now have written in the NT.
Has a mainstream NT scholar converted to a conservative view of the Bible?  Yes!  Eta Linnemann (d. 2009) studied under Rudolf Bultmann, but was saved by grace and became a born again Bible-believing Christian.  She apparently took a strong stand on creation. [13]  Linnemann wrote Biblical Criticism on Trial defending the Scripture.  In contrast, Bultmann said, “It is impossible to use electric light and the wireless [radio] …and at the same time to believe in the New Testament world of spirits and miracles.” [14]

Let us heed the wise words of John Gresham Machen (d. 1937) who was Professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary until 1929,

We know that the gospel story is true partly because of the early date of the documents in which it appears, the evidence as to their authorship, the internal evidence of their truth, the impossibility of explaining them as being based upon deception or upon myth.  This evidence is gloriously confirmed by present experience, which adds to the documentary evidence that wonderful directness and immediacy of conviction which delivers us from fear [cf. Rom. 5:1-5]. [15]

… of all the hundreds of thousands of textual changes found among our manuscripts, most of them are completely insignificant, immaterial, of no real importance …
  -- Bart Ehrman [16]

Part 2 of this series deals with Ehrman’s claim that Luke overlooks the atonement.
 

Notes:
1) God’s Problem by Bart Ehrman (HarperOne, NYC, 2008), p. 4.
2) Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman (HarperCollins, NYC, 2005), p. 58.
3) “The Inerrancy of the Autographa” by Greg Bahnsen in Inerrancy ed. by Norman Geisler (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1980), pp. 157, 158 & 460. 
4) Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman (HarperCollins, NYC, 2005), pp. 133-139.
5) Ibid., pp. v, 7.
6) The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1998), p. 59.
7) Ibid., p. 65.
8) personal email, 1-1-2006.
9) Bahnsen, p. 182.
10) Ibid., p. 176.
11) quoted in Surprised by Faith by Don Bierle (Emerald Books, Lynnwood, WA, 1992), p. 36.
12) Bahnsen, pp. 187, 188.
13) Historical Criticism of the Bible by Eta Linnemann (Kregel, Grand Rapids, MI, 1990), pp. 55, 70.
14) quoted in Harper’s Concise Book of Christian Faith by Tony Lane (Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1984), p. 199.
15) Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI, 1923), p. 72.
16) Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman (HarperCollins, NYC, 2005), p. 207.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Atheists Against Evolution

G. H. Harper is an atheist and opposes evolution.  Henry Morris quoted one of his articles published in the School Science Review.  Harper supported the fixity of species (essential types of life would be more accurate).  He was even published in the Creation Research Society Quarterly. [1]
Philosophy professor Thomas Nagel has written Mind and Cosmos:  Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.  Mainstream Darwinism cannot explain consciousness, intentionality, meaning or value.  Matter is not a mind and naturalism … … oh, never mind.  Nagel concludes that “psychophysical reductionism is false” (p. 5).

Nagel is brutally honest regarding the Origin Of Life (OOL), “The more details we learn about the chemical basis of life and the intricacy of the genetic code, the more unbelievable the standard historical account becomes” (p. 5).

Are these scholars read to accept ID?  Who is the Intelligent Designer?


Note:
1)  “Alternatives to Evolutionism” by G. H. Harper, CRSQ 17(1):49-55, June 1980.   

RAPE

Rebecca Kiessling, attorney and pro-life activist, was conceived in rape and targeted for abortion.  You can hear an interview with her here (8-21-12 episode).  One estimate is that 4.7% of rape victims become pregnant.  Kiessling provides powerful arguments against abortion.    

The Scripture clearly condemns rape (Dt. 22:25-27).  Dr. Jack Wilke, President of Life Issues Institute and former President of National Right to Life has definite views on rape and abortion.  An investigation of 813 Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation clinics clearly shows that they cover up statutory rape.
Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and apologist-philosopher Francis Schaeffer made an excellent video series on pro-life issues.  Here is an excerpt.

Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?

Craig Criddle, Environmental Professor at Stanford, demonstrates that the Book of Mormon is actually the work of Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery and Parley Pratt working on the foundation of Solomon Spalding (A Manuscript Found).  Dr. Criddle (not an evangelical) uses statistical analysis to get a literary fingerprint of various authors based on common phrases used.  He is the co-author of The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry.  Here is an in-depth article by Dr. Criddle on Rigdon.  

This chart shows Spalding’s literary signature in the Book of Mormon (the RED lines).  The long lines in 2nd Nephi represent passages taken from the Bible.
Notice the occurrence of unique Spalding phrases (this vid @ 4:23):
Judge W. Lang, Cowdery’s law partner said,

The plates were never translated and could not be, and were never intended to be.  What is claimed to be a translation is "The Manuscript Found" worked over by C. [Cowdery]  He was the best scholar among them. ...  Rigdon got the original [of Spalding’s historical novel] at the job printing office in Pittsburgh ... Without going into detail or disclosing a confidential word, I can say to you that I do know, as well as can now be known, that C. revised the manuscript and that [Joseph] Smith and Rigdon approved of it before it became the Book of Mormon.

Here is a chart from Dr. Criddle portraying the origin of the Book of Mormon.  The detail is not clear – this is just to show the complexity of how the Book of Mormon was created (this vid @ 5:33):
Check out this vid from Christian authors explaining the Spalding origin of the Book of Mormon.
You’ll love this testimony of an ex-BYU Professor who became a Christian.  The author of Is the Mormon my Brother? is featured in this broadcast.
This farcical song from the Tony award winning musical The Book of Mormon is a hoot!  Our prior blog on LDS teaching examined Kolob.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Rick Smalley – Nobel Laureate Creationist

Creationist Richard “Rick” Smalley (d. 2005) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for discovering buckyballs.  Damian Thompson claims that no Nobel Prize winners oppose orthodox Darwinism. [1]

Smalley’s wife said this about her husband,

“I remember him pacing the bedroom floor in anger saying evolution was bad science.  Rick hated bad science worse than anything else. He said if he conducted his research the way that they did, he would never be respected in the scientific community.”
According to Jerry Bergman,

“Smalley at first accepted theistic evolution, but as he studied the issue in detail he became an outspoken anti-Darwinist. … When Smalley realized macro-evolution as science was fatally flawed, he intended to openly challenge the evolution establishment, but cancer took his life before he was able to achieve this goal.”

Notes:
1)  Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson (W.W. Norton, NYC, NY, 2008), p. 38.

Of Pandas and People

In the famous Dover, PA Intelligent Design (ID) case, Of Pandas and People (OPAP) by Percival Davis and Dean Kenyon was at the center of attention.  It was recommended as a reference text for high schools.  It is an excellent book and suitable for homeschoolers and those who want a less technical presentation.  OPAP is the primary text covering the whole of ID.  Dembski and Wells have written something similar.  An episode of NOVA covered the Dover controversy.
Many hold that ID supporters oppose Young Earth Science (YES).  Creationist paleontologist Marcus Ross was at one time a Fellow with the Discovery Institute. [1]  Is this consistent with Jill Schneiderman’s (Prof. of Earth Science, Vassar) claim that, “the bulk of intelligent design creationists are old-Earth [support Old Earth Fallacies = OEF]…”? [2]  Does “bulk” mean 70%, 80% ?  Geologist Timothy Heaton holds that, “Most ID authors accept the antiquity of the Earth …” [3]  This would appear to mean at least 51% of ID advocates are anti-YES.

The co-author of OPAP, Dean Kenyon, accepts YES.  The “Critical Reviewers” of OPAP include such pro-YES scholars as John Baumgardner and Kurt Wise.  Nancy Pearcey holds to fixity of kinds (see how this connects with YES below) and is one of OPAP’s “Editors and Contributors.” [4] 
OPAP seems to favor fixity of kinds: 

“… speciation represents only limited change. … Speciation is a means of creating diversity within types of living things …” [5]

“Many scientists conclude that there never was a progression from one cluster [of organisms] to another – that each really did originate independently.  This idea accords with the theory of intelligent design.  Design theories suggest that various forms of life began with their distinct features already intact:  fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers and wings …” [6]
Man is an intelligent designer and makes kinds of things: chairs, tables, portraits, clocks, doors, ovens et cetera.  People don’t take a clock and “evolve” it into a toaster!  By the laws of thermodynamics, one creation is implied, so all kinds of life began at the beginning.  Given this assumption, the only interpretation of the rock record that appears likely is a Global Catastrophe.  Fixity of Kinds è Global Flood è YES.  OPAP points out that fossilization requires rapid burial. [7] 

Davis and Kenyon reveal that, “Some [design proponents] take the view that the earth’s history can be compressed into a framework of thousands of years …” [8]

Stephen Meyer (Signature in the Cell) co-wrote the “Afterword” for OPAP, but fails to realize the movement of ID towards YES, despite his B.S. in Geology:

“… design implies absolutely nothing about beliefs normally associated with Christian fundamentalism, such as a young earth, a global flood, or even the existence of the Christian God.” [9]

Quite the contrary, philosopher Mortimer Adler (d. 2001) opposed evolution and concluded that the Intelligent Designer must be the personal Creator who made the cosmos.  He also shows that it is reasonable that one of the major world religions is true (Judaism, Christianity or Islam).  Based on Adler’s tests (world evangelism, salvation, immanence v. transcendence and mystery), clearly Christianity wins. [10]  Adler himself became a committed believer at the age of 82 in 1984. 

Listen to this erudite insight from philosopher, mathematician and Global Flood supporter, William Dembski:  “It is no longer credible to conflate informed criticism of Darwinism [or OEF] with ignorance, stupidity, insanity, wickedness, or brainwashing.” [11]
The back cover of OPAP is blank – what does that tell you?  For a hint, read here and here.  Feedback welcome ±   Contact info is in my profile (top right).  The choice is yours – intelligent purpose or pandemonium.

Notes:
1) For the Rock Record ed. by Jill Schneiderman and Warren Allmon (Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley, CA, 2009), p. 86.
2) Ibid., p. 12.
3) Ibid., p. 31.
4) Of Pandas and People by Percival Davis and Dean Kenyon (Haughton Pub., Dallas, TX, 1993, 2nd ed.), p. iii.
5) Davis and Kenyon, p. 19.
6) Ibid., p. 25.
7) Ibid., p. 21.
8) Ibid., p. 92.
9) Ibid., p. 161.
10) Truth in Religion:  The Plurality of Religions and the Unity of Truth by Mortimer Adler (Macmillan Pub., NYC, NY, 1990), pp. 101-110.
11) “The Myths of Darwinism” by William Dembski in Uncommon Dissent ed. by William Dembski (ISI Books, Wilmington, DE, 2004), p. xxxvii.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Adam’s Lost Dream

Was Adam super-smart, a hyper-polymath and mega-Mensan?  Adam and Eve were created perfect (Ge 1:31), but had to suffer the dreadful consequences of the Fall (Ge 3:16-19).  Solomon Veniaminovich “S” Shereshevsky (d. 1958) remembered virtually everything – even long meaningless math formulas.  He could even recite them years later.    
Kim “Rain Man” Peek (d. 2009) had a phenomenal memory.  Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise starred in the film.*  Peek could accurately remember the material in 12,000 books!  John vonNeumann, who was instrumental in the development of the digital computer, had a superb memory.  He could recall everything he read and even translate it into English without hesitating.  Zerah Colburn (age 8) could calculate 8^16 in just a few seconds (281,474,976,710,656)!     

Calculating prodigy, George Parker Bidder (d. 1878) had a brother who memorized the Bible.  Steve Clinton (Ph.D. Systematic Theology) knows two people who have memorized the whole Bible.  It has been estimated that millions have memorized the Qur’an.  There is even a special term for someone who has done so, hafiz:
Did Adam recall his dreams?  Why do we dream?  Some dreams are disturbing (Job 4:13, 7:14).  Dreams often aid our creativity.  Otto Loewi (d. 1961) won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1936 for his research on the chemical transmission of nerve impulses.  His inspiration for a critical experiment came from a dream!  Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz discovered the structure of benzene through a dream (a snake biting its tail).  Madame C.J. Walker (d. 1919) was the first female American self-made millionaire. She founded an African-American cosmetic company that was started by a dream!  Elias Howe, who invented the sewing machine in 1845, got the idea of putting the hole at the tip of the needle from a dream.  Louis Agassiz (d. 1883) saw the shape of a fossil fish he had been puzzling over in a dream!
Did Adam and Eve, the first tellurians, dream of being chrononauts observing life kiloyears in the future?  Did Adam think about creating a dino hologram, skyscraper or Dyson sphere because of a dream?  Did Adam dream of memorizing 67,890 digits of π (like Chao Lu)?    

One idea that came from a recent dream of mine was putting murals on NYC skyscrapers, somewhat like how they use murals in Hollywood.
The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” (Ge 11:6, NIV)

Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man. Why do you contend against him, saying, “He will answer none of man's words?”  For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it.  In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed and conceal pride from a man; he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword (Job 33:12-18, ESV).

*Re: 6° of separation & Kevin Bacon, my wife met Tom Cruise once.

KNO = Knowledge Necessitates Observation