Sunday, December 30, 2018

Apologetics and Jesus

J Warner Wallace (Cold-Case Christianity) has written Forensic Faith which has been endorsed by Gary Habermas among others.  Habermas is known for his great work defending the resurrection of Jesus.  Wallace makes the case for evidential apologetics.  Habermas considers the old earth/young earth debate a peripheral issue.  However, God's sovereignty implies a youthful world.  Habermas & Wallace should read our book YES - Young Earth Science.

Love God with your mind!  We read in Mark 12:30, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  We should be willing to think hard on the difficult objections to those who doubt the Bible.  Here is a longer article we have written on the defense of the faith (Apologetics 101).  How do see evidence in Scripture?  Recall the encounter between Jesus & Thomas:

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”  Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (Jn. 20:27-29)

Thomas was clearly confronted with evidence.  Consider when the Assyrians about to attack Jerusalem.  Isaiah prophesied against the king of Assyria.  Listen to Hezekiah’s prayer:

It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands.  They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.  Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God. (2 Kings 19:17-19)

God's actions in history prove the reality of the true deity.  Likewise, regarding the destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea:

Pharaoh will think, "The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert."  And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them.  But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord. (Ex. 14:3,4)

Do you have an Apologetics Study Bible?  It has many valuable notes and articles.  It's weak on Creation In Six Days (CISD), a Global Flood and a young earth, but quite helpful in many other areas.

Our assurance of salvation is a kind of apologetic:

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 Jn. 5:12,13)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Social Justice and the Gospel

Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness.  We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love. ...We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. ...As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation - either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force.  I decided to follow the latter course.
  -- Martin LutherKing (d. 1968)

In the light of today's confusion in religious and political matters along with the typhoon of gender blender malapropisms, a number of Christian leaders have put together a fourteen point statement on "Social Justice and the Gospel." Endorsers include John MacArthur, Voddie Baucham, James White, Darrell Harrison, Anthony Mathenia, Vesta Sproul, Douglas Wilson and myself.  Here is the affirmation and denial on Race and Ethnicity (point XII):

WE AFFIRM God made all people from one man. Though people often can be distinguished by different ethnicities and nationalities, they are ontological equals before God in both creation and redemption.  “Race” is not a biblical category, but rather a social construct that often has been used to classify groups of people in terms of inferiority and superiority. All that is good, honest, just, and beautiful in various ethnic backgrounds and experiences can be celebrated as the fruit of God’s grace. All sinful actions and their results (including evils perpetrated between and upon ethnic groups by others) are to be confessed as sinful, repented of, and repudiated.
WE DENY that Christians should segregate themselves into racial groups or regard racial identity above, or even equal to, their identity in Christ.  We deny that any divisions between people groups (from an unstated attitude of superiority to an overt spirit of resentment) have any legitimate place in the fellowship of the redeemed.  We reject any teaching that encourages racial groups to view themselves as privileged oppressors or entitled victims of oppression.  While we are to weep with those who weep, we deny that a person’s feelings of offense or oppression necessarily prove that someone else is guilty of sinful behaviors, oppression, or prejudice.(Gen. 1:26–28; Acts 17:24-26; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; 2 Cor. 12:16-18)

You can read and sign the statement here.  Also, be sure to download and share the pdf of the entire document.  What do you think?  Let us know:

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Net Censorship and the End of the Gospel

As far as the mass of the people go, the extraordinary swings of opinion which occur nowadays, the emotions which can be turned on and off like a tap, are the result of newspaper and radio [& now TV & the Net] hypnosis.
  - George Orwell (author of Animal Farm & 1984)

Are Google, facebook, YouTube and Twitter trying to take over popular thought?  Now, certain political views are censored, but what's next?  The definition of marriage, religious doctrine, alternative opinions on controversial scientific issues (e.g. climate change) etc.

Journalistic bias is rampant and the "tek giants" have a virtual monopoly on the internet-of-ideas (IOI).  Mike Adams (,, has produced an explosive report documenting net censorship. 

For example, here is a list of 55 serious errors, poor journalism and fact-checking epic fails in media reporting just about President Trump alone!  This includes the recent Time magazine cover with the crying Honduran child who was actually  never separated from her mother.  Mainstream media often calls the alternative media "fake news."  But who defines the alleged "fakeness" of alleged news?

To whom are the internet fact-checkers and moderators accountable to (SPLC, SNOPES, Politifact)?  The establishment media is losing audience at a rapid rate.  Is their only hope of survival crushing the opposition of conservatives, non-PC voices, #MAGA hats, Christians, Libertarians and so-called "haters" into silence?  Will the Drudge Report survive?  According to Mike Adams,

Maintaining monopoly control over cultural narratives is crucial for commanding primary influence over the worldview held by news consumers, whose beliefs, opinions and “realities” are largely shaped by the news to which they are subjected.

Is CNN, ABC and the like really just indoctrination and propaganda?  Do you think of YouTube as a public utility?  Adams has proposed a number of solutions to Techno-Tyranny through legislative and regulatory actions to halt the censorship of independent media (p. 53+).  Remember James Damore, who was fired from Google?  Adams has nailed it in describing the problem:

The highest priority of news monopolists is to silence independent, opposing voices that encourage individuals to “snap out” of their numbed, passive acquiescence to mainstream news narratives.

Will the Tek Giants be successful in their attempts to crush the Gospel?  Jesus said, "I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mt. 16:18).  But, consider this report from David Roach on attacks from the techie Left on Christians:

National Religious Broadcasters is drawing attention to online censorship of Christian and conservative speech by tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple by launching a new initiative - Internet Freedom Watch ... for documenting cases of internet censorship, including Twitter’s takedown of an ad by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R.-Tenn., in October and Facebook removing former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s post supporting Chick-fil-A in 2012. ...  NRB, which has published a chart with more than 30 instances of internet censorship to illustrate the problem, has sent letters to the tech giants, urging constructive conversation and a resolution to the threats against religious freedom.

Robert Gagnon (fmr. NT Prof. @ Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) wrote a piece on the controversial Revoice Conference held recently in St. Louis.  Facebook removed it and suspended him for a day.  Doug Wilson (Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning) re-posted it on his blog "Blog & Mablog."  Facebook is also throttling Pulpit & Pen (theology-polemics-discernment).  Earlier this year we wrote on President Obama, free speech and banning Bibles.

An error I spotted in Adams' report is about the Flat Earth Myth (FEM) which is on page 28.  
Let us all seek mutual understanding through a Worldview of Wisdom (#WOW)  by dealing with opposing views via respectful dialog and debate.  Feedback (pro or con) is most welcome:

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Young Earth Today - Did Disraeli Deny Darwin? (& other cool topix)

Here's our latest video:

We tackle a potpourri of topics:
  • Thunder ... Lightning ♫ & C-14
  • How Old is the Earth?
  • Tree Rings & Ammonites
  • Norman Macbeth (Darwin Retried) & OMNI magazine
  • Censorship
  • George Bernard Shaw & more!

One interesting paper in Nature from some Japanese researchers last year showed that lightning can produce gamma rays which can lead to the formation of Carbon-14.  Of course, this would require some revisions in radiocarbon dating which does not consider this source.  When was the last time you dated some coal or a dino bone using the C-14 method?  My prediction is that you will get thousands of years and not millions.

"Photonuclear reactions triggered by lightning discharge"
by Teruaki Enoto et al

Can anyone explain this video to me?

Thunder/Lightning - Imagine Dragons ♫

  Dragon = Dino
Let me know what you think!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Are You Washed? - Does Baptism Save?

Please examine this topic with an open mind and an open Bible.  What's gospel? How can we be saved?  Does water baptism save?  Can a ritual bath or shower bring forgiveness?  Is a water rite the climax of a “salvation process?”

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (Jn. 3:16).  This is a good rap on the Gospel in capsule form.  Isaiah 53 is also an incisive summary of the Good News and baptism is not discussed (cf. Jn. 12:37,38).  Paul made it clear that faith is the key (not baptism):

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures ... Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed (1 Cor. 15:2-4,11).
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Rom. 1:16,17).

Paul told those in Corinth, "I because your father through the gospel" (1 Cor. 4:15). If baptism were part of the gospel he could have said, “I become your father through a ritual washing."  Did Paul baptize many at Corinth?

I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, ...  For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel - not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. ... For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. (1 Cor. 1:14,17,21).

Baptism is a work (Matt. 3:14,15).  God "saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy" (Titus 3:5).  "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph. 2:8,9, cf. Rom. 11:6).  Consider this passage from Colossians chapter two:

In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands.  Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead (Col. 2:11,12).

This speaks of spiritual circumcision and spiritual baptism.  Both baptism and circumcision are outward symbols that refer to inward change (Deut. 10:16, 30:6; Lk. 3:16, Acts 7:51).  These rites symbolize our departure from our old wicked ways into a fresh life with God.  "And he [Abraham] received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.  So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them" (Rom. 4:11).  Baptism, like circumcision, is a symbol of salvation, not a button you push in order to obtain heaven.

In Exodus 13:9,16 "sign" is used to mean "reminder" and "symbol."  Abe was saved before circumcision (Rom. 4:8-10).  Inward circumcision of the heart is our crucial need (Rom. 2:29).  No outward ritual saves us.  God saves us through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Galatians clearly teaches that adding works to grace destroys the real gospel:

Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.  You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.  For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.  The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Gal. 5:3-6, cf. 6:15)

The contrast is between works, such as baptism, and grace (a free gift), between circumcision (an outward action) and faith.  Baptism can't give life, only Jesus can!  See Acts 15:1-11.  Why then be baptized if it isn't required for salvation?  Jesus commanded it in Matt. 28:19, isn't that reason enough?

What about Acts 2:38?  "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."  Be sure to check out the context (Acts 2:14-41).  Peter's central Scripture passage is Joel 2:28-32 (vv. 17-21).  Joel spoke of God's promise to pour out the Holy Spirit and he didn't point to baptism but concluded with, "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  

The believers at Cornelius' house received the Holy Spirit before they were baptized (Acts 10:44-48; 11:15-18).  What does "for" mean in Acts 2:38?  "For" is a very broad word: "Jim jumped for joy!" “Sue was given a ticket for speeding." The Greek word for "for," εἰς (eis) can mean “with reference to," "in relation to," "concerning," "because of" etc.  Consider the following uses of eis:

  • "they repented at the preaching of Jonah” (Lk. 11:32)
  • "about" (Eph. 5:32)
  • "take pride in himself" (Gal. 6:4)
  • "beyond" (2 Cor. 10:13)
  • "while he stayed in the province of  Asia" (Acts 19:22)
  • "I baptize you with water as a sign of your repentance" (Matt. 3:11, Phillips)

The thing we have to do in order to gain forgiveness according to the book of Acts is believe in Jesus and repent of our sins: Acts 3:19; 4:4; 10:43; 11:20,21;  13:38,39,48; 16:31; 18:27.28.  Search "baptism," "faith," "repent" and "believe" in the New Testament and prayerfully seek God's will to resolve this issue in your mind.

What about Jn. 3:5? "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."  First, think context (Jn. 3:1-21).  In this passage "born of water" occurs only once, while believe is mentioned seven  times.  Jesus said, "unless a man is born again. he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:3).  "Born again" can also mean "born from above" which tells us that this new and different kind of birth comes from God.  Jn. 1:13 points out that than new birth doesn't come from man's efforts but from God alone.  

In John 3:4 Nicodemus is thinking on the physical level and seemingly seeking salvation through his own abilities.  As "Israel's teacher" he should have thought of Ezekiel chapter thirty six:  

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ez. 36:25-27)

Note the parallels with John chapter three.  Ezekiel is speaking of a spiritual change brought about by the Holy Spirit not an outward ritual required to get to heaven.  Similarly, Isaiah makes a comparison between water and the Spirit (Is. 44:3).  Elsewhere in John we see that Jesus compares the Spirit with living water (Jn. 4:10-15; 7:37-39).  We're born again through the Gospel contained in the Word by the Spirit (1 Cor.  4:15; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23), not by water!  John doesn't contradict himself, we're saved through faith, not water (Jn. 1:12; 3:36; 5:24; 6:28,29,47; 8:24; 11:25-27).  Are you a believer?

... these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (Jn. 20:31)Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (Jn. 3:18)Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God ...  Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? ...  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 Jn. 5:1,5,13)

Faith - not water.  Let us know what you think about baptism ... 

Further Reading
Bob Ross has written on Campbellism and the "restoration movement" (Acts 2:38 or bust).
Jay Adams, famous as a pioneer in the Biblical counseling movement, has written a short but sweet book on baptism.
In the 1800's, James W. Dale produced an exhaustive four volume work on the uses of the word "baptism" from the Scriptural, Patristic, Judaic and Greek contexts.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Was Francis Schaeffer a Creationist?

Francis Schaeffer and former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop made a groundbreaking video series Whatever Happened To The Human Race? on  abortion, euthanasia and related topics.  There is also a book version of this shocking documentary.  Life issues are critical, but what about the origin of life itself? 

Francis Schaeffer (d. 1984) helped popularize the importance of worldview.  Schaeffer, looking at his teachings  overall, falls into the creationist camp.  Schaeffer held to a non-tranquil Universal Flood, the possibility of man-dinosaur coexistence and that nuclear decay rates may not be constant. [1]  Schaeffer said this in his commentary on Romans:   

There is a tendency in our day to view the first three chapters of Genesis as merely myth or parable, an idea or an allegory.  But considering that both Paul and Christ accepted those chapters as real history, if we reject them we are rejecting the authority not only of Paul but even of Christ Himself. ...  There was a historical Fall, bringing death to all people, even those who lived before the giving of the law. [2]

That sure sounds like traditional creationism.  Genesis is indeed history.   Schaeffer was weak on certain points of the Biblical chronology, but if one takes the time to read his complete works, he clearly took a very conservative view on the book of beginnings.
Biographer Colin Duriez states that Schaeffer was "undoubtedly a  creationist" but the term itself has a number of shades of meaning. [3]  Sadly, theistic evolution is still popular among Christian academics.  A better term would be “Theo Evo.”  Francis Schaeffer said Theo Evo is not an option,

… I will now mention two limits that seem to me to be absolute. … The Bible gives a specific limitation:  Adam was created by God, and then Eve was made from Adam by God. … I have never heard anyone holding any form of theistic evolution who follows these two limitations [the 1st was that bara means original creation]. …even if I were still an agnostic, as once I was, I would not accept the concept of evolution from the molecule to man in an unbroken line. …this concept is weak and certainly has not been proven … [4]
Frank Schaeffer, who worked on the fantastic animated film The Great
Evangelical Disaster, in contrast, should not be tagged as a creationist.

For another interpretation of Schaeffer's vision for understanding origins, see the creation statement straight from L'abri itself (last page).

1) Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer by Francis Schaeffer (Crossway, Wheaton, IL, 1982), Vol. 2, pp. 94, 95, 132, 134.
2) The Finished Work of Christ by Francis A. Schaeffer (Crossway, Wheaton, IL, 1998),  p. 141
3) Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life by Colin Duriez (Crossway, Wheaton, IL, 2008), p. 201.
4)  The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, Vol. 2, 2e (Crossway, 1996), pp. 136, 137.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Al Mohler, Jack Collins, Francis Collins & YES

In February of last year, Al Mohler and John “Jack”Collins (OT Prof @ Covenant Seminary) had a debate on "Genesis and the Age of the Earth."  The debate did not follow the traditional formal structure, but the interaction was very engaging.  Here's more info on the event.

Dr. Mohler on the question of whether Old Earth Fallacies (OEF's) constitute heresy (@ 20:00 mark).  He pointed out that some doctrines are more essential than others - "theological triage."  We do not need to separate from a brother because he denies the young earth view.

Church leaders throughout history have mostly held that we live in a youthful world (@ 46:30).  Mohler concluded that OEF's may have "potentially dangerous consequences" (@ 40:00).  He also admitted that much of the data argues for an ancient earth yet at the same time pointed out that the basis for many scientists view on the age-of-the-earth controversy is based on a Darwinian framework with its billions of years.  I hold that one can make a strong cases for a relatively new planet based on history, philosophy and science and have written a book on this, YES - Young Earth Science.

Is there a connection between Francis Collins and Jack Collins?  Francis Collins founded BioLogos, led the Human Genome Project and is director of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda (where I was born).  As you see there is a connection, but the last man on the list is probably a different Jack Collins (☺).  We responded to Francis Collins' views on origins here
Andrew Kulikovsky has written an excellent review of Jack Collin's Science and Faith: Friends or Foes.  Jack should listen to the Duke.  John Wayne's character finally realized that Jesus was the Son of God indeed, but what did Jesus have to say on this issue?  He clearly supported the young earth view (Mk. 10:6, Mk. 13:19, Lk. 11:50,51).  Furthermore, God's sovereignty demonstrates consilience with the young earth position.  Collins seems to endorse some form of the gap theory which has serious flaws.

There was discussion of the scientific consensus, but is should not be forgotten that there have been frauds in science as well as undue political influence.

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?