CHRISTIANITY STANDS OR FALLS ON THE HISTORICAL ACCURACY OF GENESIS

How did Christ and His Apostles view the Old Testament?

According to Jesus, “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) and “not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18). When referring to the Old Testament, He would often assert, “It is written”, making clear that He considered Scripture to be the final authority in all matters of faith and life. Along with the Pharisees He regarded the Old Testament as truly God’s Word. When quoting Genesis 2:24, for example, He affirmed that it was God speaking (Matthew 19:45) even though the passage itself does not specifically state this.6

Looking for Answers pic

In his second letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Commenting on this verse, and the New Testament in general, Frederick C. Grant, Professor of Biblical Theology at Union Theological Seminary wrote, “Everywhere it is taken for granted that what is written in scripture is the work of divine inspiration, and therefore trustworthy, infallible, and inerrant.”7

From this it might be understood that Professor Grant held to a similarly high view of Scripture. Not at all! In fact, he believed much of the Bible to be based on myths. Despite this, and along with many other liberal theologians, he recognised the Apostles’ unswerving commitment to the Old Testament as the Word of God and as unquestionably trustworthy in everything it teaches.

It is not difficult to see why scholars understand this to be true.8,9 In the Apostle Paul’s thinking, the Jews had been “entrusted with the oracles [the very words] of God” (Romans 3:2). When referring to the Old Testament he had no hesitation in affirming, “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers …” (Acts 28:25). Similarly, when quoting from the Psalms, the Apostle Peter stated that, while the words came from the mouth of David, it was the Holy Spirit speaking (Acts 4:2425). Moreover, he affirmed that “no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20–21).

Both Jesus and His Apostles undoubtedly regarded Genesis as history. Jesus, for example, affirmed the creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4), the murder of Abel (Luke 11:5051), the Noahic Flood (Matthew 24:37–39) and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15). Moreover, for Him, these were not simply interesting stories; rather they provided the basis for understanding important spiritual truths. Similarly, the Apostle Paul built his teaching on events recorded in the Old Testament, such as the doctrine of Original Sin (Romans 5) and the role of men and women in the church (1 Timothy 2:12–14). The writer to the Hebrews referred to the accounts of Abel, Enoch and Noah as real events that happened to real people (Hebrews 11). Significantly, this letter was written to encourage Christians who were facing serious persecution; but what use are mythical characters to those potentially facing death? The idea that anyone would think that such people might be helped by reminding them of stories suitable only for Sunday School children is absurd. The writers of the New Testament undoubtedly accepted the first book of the Bible as historical and Huxley was right: if Genesis is wrong, Christianity was built upon no more than “legendary quicksands”.

Where does your church, your denomination stand on the inerrancy of scripture? Ask your pastor to get one of the excellent PhD speakers from Creation Ministries to come speak at your church on the evidence for the Genesis account of Creation. His response may surprise you.

MOVIE “THE ATHEIST DELUSION” – DESTROYS ATHEISM WITH ONE SCIENTIFIC QUESTION

Evangelist Ray Comfort’s “The Atheist Delusion” movie, claims that it’s able to “destroy atheism with one scientific question.” It is set to premiere at the Ark Encounter, a life-sized Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky.

“From the start, we were concerned that people wouldn’t take seriously a movie that ‘destroys atheism with one scientific question.’ But it does exactly that by scientifically confirming the existence of God. Having a respected, scientifically based organisation like Answers in Genesis being willing to premiere it is such an honour,” Comfort said.

Thousands have already viewed the movie within the first two days of its pre-release as a paid download, but on October 22, its official release date, it will be streamed live from the Ark.

Comfort said, “This film isn’t likely to convince the average proud and closed-minded atheist.” But hopefully, countless others who are open-minded, will be convinced by seeing the irrefutable proof for the existence of God.

The best-selling author and filmmaker, whose movies have been viewed by millions, added, “We would love for millions more to watch ‘The Atheist Delusion,’ and invite Christians to host the live-streaming event from their church or home. The world premiere will be highly evangelistic, as well as thoroughly encouraging, equipping, and inspiring to seasoned believers.”

JESUS ON THE AGE OF THE EARTH

Jesus believed in a young world, but leading theistic evolutionists say He is wrong. article by Dr Carl Wieland, Creation Ministries.

The standard secular timeline, from an alleged ‘big bang’ some 15 billion years ago to now, is accepted by most people in the evangelical Christian world, even though many would deny evolution. Some would even say that to dispute billions of years is to place an unnecessary stumbling block in the way of any scientifically-minded potential converts.

This is in contrast to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator made flesh, as several of the biblical  authors, which makes it plain that this is wrong—people were there from the beginning of creation. But in the evolutionary timeline, people have only been around for one or two million years—this puts them toward the end of the timeline. This means that He is most definitely claiming that the world cannot be billions of years old.

For example, dealing with the doctrine of marriage, Jesus says in Mark 10:6 (bold emphases added):

But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.

In Luke 11:50–51, Jesus also says: “That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias … ”. And in Romans 1:20, the Apostle Paul says of God: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”.

Jesus, speaking around 4,000 years after creation, was correct to say that Day 6, when humans were created, was effectively ‘the beginning of creation’ as seen from thousands of years later.
Paul is plainly saying that people have been able to perceive these attributes of God in His creation ever since the creation of the world. Not ever since people were created.

Comparing the appearance of people on the timelines below, which are both to scale, is instructive. Jesus, speaking around 4,000 years after creation, was correct to say that Day 6, when humans were created, was effectively ‘the beginning of creation’ as seen from thousands of years later. By contrast, a creation fifteen billion years ago on the secular timescale would put humans at the end of the time scale. It shows clearly how the acceptance of the secular timeline starkly contrasts with the statements of Jesus.

Today, the vast majority of Christians in not only secular academia, but also theological institutions, Bible colleges, etc. believe—and many teach—that the secular ‘billions of years’ is fact. When one tries to find out how they deal with these repeated references, responses vary. But the ‘explaining away’ that takes place (whenever the problem is not simply ignored) invariably makes it plain that the authority being deferred to is not the Word of God, but rather current secular opinion.

Jesus and the age of the earth

The most striking (and sad) example of this switch in authority source I know of comes from a personal experience. In Melbourne, Australia, many years ago, I had arranged to sit down over a hot drink with a distinguished university professor, a Christian who was well-known for his active opposition to a straightforward view of Genesis. At that time, he was actually the head of a grouping of Christian academics which had been openly set up to provide opposition to the inroads our ministry was making. Over the years, this group has unfortunately been very effective in persuading most Christian training institutions that compromising on biblical creation in favour of secular thinking (evolution, long ages) is the only ‘respectable’ position. This professor himself, in addition to his secular science qualifications, was well regarded in the theological arena as well as being very biblically literate. He had at that time already been a frequent guest lecturer at several leading Australian evangelical training institutions.

During our courteous exchange, I asked him about the above comments by Jesus in relation to the age of the world. I asked, “Isn’t it clear that Jesus taught and believed that the world was young?”

A stunning response

I expected him to do as other Christian evolutionists have done—to try to find ways to torture the text to escape these obvious implications. Instead, he said that he totally agreed that Jesus believed in a recent creation of all things.

Somewhat taken by surprise, I said, “Well, how do you deal with that, then?” (He would of course have assumed, correctly, that I knew of the long-age position of this prominent organisation of theistic evolutionists.) His answer simply stunned me, to put it mildly. He said: “Jesus didn’t know as much science as we do today.”

His words burned themselves indelibly on my memory, while the recollection of my response has faded somewhat. But I recall saying something about Jesus being the Creator, God made flesh; He was there at creation, He does not lie, that sort of thing. To which his reply was once again unforgettable:

“Ah, but that’s where it gets very complex—it has to do with the theology of the Incarnation, where Jesus deliberately laid aside many of the things that had to do with His pre-incarnate divinity.”

Our conversation was nearing the end of its allotted period in any case, but I recall being so stunned by this that it took me till well afterwards to fully process the implications.

What it all means:

Firstly, and very importantly, the professor’s comments were a clear admission that the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, as recorded in the Bible, confirm that He believed that things were recently created.

Remember that this professor was at the time the most prominent of all the professing evangelical academics that were being enthusiastically welcomed into Bible colleges and seminaries—to tell them why it was OK to believe in evolution and long ages. He obviously saw it as hopeless to try to claim other than what the Lord is clearly saying in this Bible text. And this is despite many attempts by others to ‘explain away’ this huge stumbling block for long-agers.

His way of being able to hold onto his theistic evolutionary view was to claim that Jesus was not lying, it was just that He was poorly informed. This was because when He as God the Son became flesh, laying aside aspects of His divinity included divesting Himself of all knowledge about what really happened when He had created all things.

If I had had the presence of mind, an appropriate response might have been to ask something like the following:

“OK, let’s assume for the sake of the argument that firstly, creation was by evolution, over millions of years of death and suffering—and that Jesus did perform some sort of lobotomy on Himself, so that He could no longer recall what really took place. So He just understood Genesis in the most natural straightforward way, not realising what the real truth was. What you’re claiming in that case amounts to this: That God the Father, knowing the real truth, permitted not just the Apostles, but His beloved Son, while on Earth, to believe and teach things that were utter falsehoods. Furthermore, it means that the Father permitted these false teachings to appear—repeatedly—in His revealed Word. With the result that for some 2,000 years, the vast majority of Christians were seriously misled about such things as not just the time and manner of creation, but gospel-crucial matters such as the origin of sin, and of death and suffering.”

[Added by author Nov 2014: The Lord Jesus repeatedly made it clear that His words and actions were on the Father’s authority, in all respects. Some examples are firstly John 8:28: So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me”. And John 12:49–50: “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”]

If even Jesus’ words in Scripture can’t be trusted on some issues, how are we supposed to trust anything in the Bible at all?
One thing is very clear from all this. Namely, that the erroneous belief that ‘science’ insists that evolution and long ages are ‘fact’ is the most serious challenge to biblical authority, and thus to the faith in general, that Christendom has ever faced. If even Jesus’ words in Scripture can’t be trusted on some issues, how are we supposed to trust anything in the Bible at all? See also the box about the ‘kenotic heresy’.

Other leading theistic evolutionists have similarly made plain their belief that Jesus was mistaken. For example, on the American theistic evolutionary site BioLogos, led by Francis Collins, there appeared the following:

“If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, John wrote Scripture without error. Rather, we are wise to assume that the biblical authors expressed themselves as human beings writing from the perspectives of their own finite, broken horizons.”

This is all the more serious because Jesus and the apostles used the history they taught to back up the theology that they taught. The Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15), marriage (Mark 10:1–12), atonement (Romans 5:12–21), and Heaven (Revelation 21–22:5) are only a few of the areas in which compromising Christians are theologically crippled, because they don’t have the same strong stand on Genesis that Jesus and the apostles did when they taught about these areas.

What a tragedy that so many Christian leaders have been bluffed and intimidated into assuming that secular interpretations of the evidence should dictate their understanding of God’s Word. And right at a point in history when there are more scientific reasons than ever to confirm the utter rationality of trusting the Bible, not evolutionary conclusions.

HOW ENGINEERS ARE COPYING GOD’S DESIGN

Take a look at this promo video of Dr Stuart Burgess (Professor of Design Engineering at the UK’s Bristol University) speaking on the complex design evident in the universe and the absurdity of believing it could have arisen by random chance, i.e. without a designer.

It demonstrates that good science emanates from knowing this Cosmos is designed by an all powerful creator. Its complex design and laws can be explored by our minds as we are made in His image to be creative and to investigate what He has given us dominion over.

Scientists who believed in evolution thought that most of the information on DNA was evolutionary junk. The ENCODE PROJECT demonstrates that none of it is junk. It is all designed for a purpose. It’s complexity beyond our understanding. With the Encode Project, like so many others, belief in evolution resulted in poor science.

Significance of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns?

Symbolism of thorns in Scripture

pictures-of-jesus-crown-thorns-1127729-gallery

As well as thorns and thistles being a very real physical component of the cursed world that we all now live in, they carry further symbolic negative overtones throughout the Bible, firmly pointing back to the Curse in Genesis. Their symbolic meaning also creates problems for those who do not read Genesis as a true historical account, as the negative biblical overtones associated with thorns and thistles are integral to their historical origin at the time of the Curse. Without the connection to their historical origin, their symbolic meaning becomes empty and vague.

The numerous references to thorns and thistles throughout the Bible remind us of the historical Original Sin and Curse that followed. The negative biblical overtones associated with thorns and thistles after Genesis 3:18 are demonstrated in their representation as obstacles, punishment, or serving as a reminder of sin and its consequences. For example:

  • In Numbers 33:55, God warned the Israelites that if they did not drive out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, allowing them to remain, the Canaanites would be an obstacle to them. They would be, “thorns in your sides”. Proverbs 15:19 again uses the imagery of thorns as obstacles, saying, “The way of the sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.”
  • The New Testament also uses thorns and thistles in reference to the inner workings of the worldly heart, corrupted by sin. In the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:3-8 some seeds “fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them” (v. 7). Also, the outward expression of that worldly heart which apostatizes from Christ is likened to a barren wasteland, which, “if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:8).

The ultimate fulfilment of the symbolism that thorns and thistles have in the Bible is found in Matthew 27:29:

“And twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ ”

Here the governor’s soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head, to mock him as the King of the Jews. Oh, if only they had known both what they were doing and the symbolism that their actions entailed! Thorns were not present in the original very good world, but the Roman soldiers didn’t have any trouble finding thorns to place on Jesus head. Thorns that were a direct result of man’s original sin are now found in abundance in a world that is steeped in sin. What the soldiers unwittingly did was hugely significant. There is nothing random in the Bible; every word that has been written in its pages is significant. The crown of thorns vividly symbolised the curse of sin being placed on Jesus’s head. It immediately takes the reader back to Genesis, reminding us of why Jesus went to the cross, to take the penalty for sin on our behalf. He died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, so that the Curse that God had pronounced upon this earth because of sin, can be removed for those that believe in him, and that ultimately creation itself can be redeemed. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” Romans 8;20-21. Christ’s actions will blunt every sharply pointed thistle and thorn as well as the other effects of the curse. The Christian can shout, “O death, where is your sting?”

extract from article Why did Jesus wear a Crown of Thorns by and  www.creation.com

AGE OF THE EARTH

There is a great article in the latest issue of Creation magazine Vol 38 No 1 2016, entitled The Z Factor. It is about how a university geology lecturer’s last obstacle to believing a literal Genesis – “What about coal?”- was overturned in an instant.

hammer and rocks

He understood, the above picture revealed that the evolutionary millions-of-years ‘swamp forest’ story telling about coals origins cannot explain the Z-shaped and forked coal seams that are in abundance. They can only have formed through the action of rushing water.

For this Christian geology lecturer, this one picture was sufficient for him to realise Noah’s Flood was the causal factor in coal formation all over the world. “That’s it! That’s it! Noah’s Flood explains coal, the fossil bearing rocks. I believe everything now – the whole Bible. The universe is only 6,000 years old. What a wonderful day this is.”

It is important to realise that Z shaped and forked shaped coal seams are not the only features in coal deposits that defy evolution’s long age “swamp forest” storytelling. Others, include trees penetrating vertically through multiple layers of coal seams with their roots broken off, huge coal seams stacked on top of one another with a regular repeating sequence of rock layers in between, and the fact that coal seams contain much vegetation (like pine trees) that doesn’t grow in swamps!

Near-vertical coalified, fossilized tree stump sitting on the Lower Pilot Seam within the ‘Permian’ coal measures near Swansea, New South Wales, Australia.

For this geologist, evolutionary indoctrination about coal needing millions of years to form in forested swamps had been his final obstacle to believing the whole Bible. Do you believe the Bible, from its Creation account to its revelation of a new heaven and a new earth after the White Throne judgement of all mankind?  If evolution is a stumbling block for you, then can I suggest you get the video, Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels by 9 PhD scientists – available on http://www.creation.com.

 

IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE SCIENCE, IF FACTS OF THE UNIVERSE ARE UNORDERED?

Basic to the unbeliever’s worldview is a denial of creation – the ordered arrangement of the universe according to the mind of God.

The Christian worldview is that not one piece of the created order is where it is, at the time it is, and the size it is , that is not the result of God’s ultimate plan for His creation.

Knowledge requires the ability to differentiate between individual objects (One- and- Many question). This is done by means of universals, or what we might call categories. Examples of categories would be horse, cat, chair, trees, plants and so forth. In the Christian worldview, categories or universals, are part of the creation act of God. This is what unifies everything in the universe (unity and diversity), otherwise we just have a lot of  ‘abstract particulars’ that don’t relate to anything else. Particulars (things, events, words) need something that connects them to something else that will provide meaning to the particular whatever it might be. Right at the foundation of the universe (Genesis 1) God created particulars and kinds (universals), ” The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, each according to its kind …” Genesis 1:11-12.

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In God’s own being, the Trinity, we find both unity and diversity. Christian philosopher, Cornelius Van Til recognized the question of the One-and-Many as a metaphysical issue. “Using the language of the One-and-Many question we contend that in God the one and the many are equally ultimate. Unity in God is no more fundamental than diversity and diversity in God is no more fundamental than unity.”

The doctrine of the Trinity provides a solution to the problem of knowledge , the one-and-many or universals and particulars, and therefore a solution to the issues of relationships, or community. In the Trinity the absolute self-sufficient God is both unity and diversity. Creation reveals a one-and-many universe brought into existence by a one-and-many triune God.

The universe is not an accumulation of unknowable abstractions but a creative act of God. Without such a belief in a unifying principle in the universe, science is not possible. It is the unifying principle, the common denominator, that provides order and coherence – rationality – to the universe. This is one of the unproven assumptions of science. It is no coincidence that science has grown on the back of a Christian culture and worldview.

Extracted from article by Ian Hodge “Trinity’s Truth Reflected in Creation”, http://www.creation.com