Is the Bible full of fantastic creatures? Part 6: Talking Animals and Jonah

These two topics – talking animals and “a man who lived in a fish” more than the others really highlight how your worldview and a priori assumptions influence how you understand any text as we’ll see.  Of course I had to shorten the title up a bit for this one. “A man who lived in a fish” following the series name makes for a long title. But we all know who he’s referring to: the prophet Jonah.  As a reminder, here is the list of fantastic creatures this particular atheist takes issue with, with links to the ones we’ve already covered:

“He follows a holy book with a jealous & genocidal god, ghosts, zombies, seers, devils, demons, witches, satyrs, unicorns, talking animals, a man who lived in a fish and a 7 headed dragon.”[1]
(Not listed but also covered already: The Cockatrice)

Are there talking animals in the Bible?

The answer to this question invokes your worldview presuppositions.  Does God exist? Does Satan exist? Are they active in the world?  How you answer these questions determines whether or not you believe the following explanation. Since that is the case, though it should already be clear, let me be explicit about the worldview from which I address these questions:
Continue Reading

Is the Bible full of fantastic creatures? Part 4: Witches and Ghosts

Some people disbelieve the Bible because they find what I’m calling fantastic creatures – creatures which they believe don’t exist, and thus they conclude the Bible is full of fairy stories and make believe. But nothing could be further from the truth. So in this series we’re looking at the reality behind the creatures which the atheist who tweeted the below finds objectionable:

“He follows a holy book with a jealous & genocidal god, ghosts, zombies, seers, devils, demons, witches, satyrs, unicorns, talking animals, a man who lived in a fish and a 7 headed dragon.”[1]

And though this is not the season for Halloween, next up we’re looking at witches and ghosts.

Are there Witches in the Bible? 

Continue Reading

Is the Bible full of fantastic creatures? Part 2: Satyrs, devils and demons

We continue now into our investigation of a claim made by an atheist who charges that the Bible is full of what he considers unbelievable natural and supernatural characters and creatures:

“He follows a holy book with a jealous & genocidal god, ghosts, zombies, seers, devils, demons, witches, satyrs, unicorns, talking animals, a man who lived in a fish and a 7 headed dragon.”[1]

In my previous article I dealt with unicorns and his misunderstanding of God as a “jealous & genocidal god.”  Now we move onto satyrs – and as it turns out devils and demons fit in here too, so we’ll cover them instead of Jonah as I indicated in the previous article. Continue Reading

Fairytale Apologetics, the Doctrine of Demons and Biblical Inerrancy

Big Bang Fairytale

What happens when you mix a lie with the truth? Do you wind up with a true statement, or a false statement? That’s easy. You get a false statement. For example:

The ark was a huge boat that was 450 feet long. (True – Gen 6:15)
The ark could fly. (False)
Combined:
The ark was a huge boat that was 450 feet long that could fly. (False)

The final statement is clearly false. Unequivocally false. Either the entire statement is true, or it is false. This mixing of the truth with lies is a favorite tactic of Satan. He used it way back in the garden of Eden on Eve:

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
(Gen 3.4-5)

Notice his mixing of truths and lies: Continue Reading

Hell is for liars Part 2: The Heart of the Lie

Satan’s advice: Be proud

In part 1 of this series, I pointed out that God will not allow liars into heaven (Rev 21.8), and then pointed out some of the lies that will keep you from heaven. Some wanted to make a distinction between those actively lying by trying to deceive, and those duped by the lies.  But those who read closely understood that objection was answered implicitly with the analogy of poison: It doesn’t matter if you drink poison because someone lied to you and told you it was a harmless soft drink; Or because you’ve deceived yourself and are now convinced that the poison – say arsenic – is not really poison at all, and it won’t harm you, in fact it’s good for you so you consume lots of it. (Think “did God really say…” Gen 3.1) – regardless of what causes you to drink the poison whether you’re actively deceiving (yourself) or are merely deceived and believe the lie, if you drink it, you will die. Continue Reading

Hell is for liars

The Christian doctrine of hell:  conscious, painful, separation from God for all eternity for those who refuse God’s salvation. Perhaps the most difficult doctrine to deal with – for both Christians and non-Christians alike. This is such a difficult teaching there are plenty of people, cults and religions who outright deny it. After the denial of the deity of Christ, the doctrine of  hell is one of the first Biblical teachings to go.  In its place – everything from annihilation of the soul to universal salvation. Apparently the doctrine of hell is so scary even annihilation – eternal nonexistence –  is preferable to the Biblical doctrine of hell. According to one account, the Catholic doctrine of purgatory (a temporary place of punishment to pay for any un-forgiven sins) came about because punishment consisting of eternal wrath could not be countenanced by at least one early church father[1]. But the doctrine of purgatory is strictly a Catholic add on teaching – it’s not in the Bible. And it’s not what we’re talking about. Let’s be clear about what we are talking about. Continue Reading

The Nashville Statement and the boy who cried wolf

Google “Nashville Statement” (or Bing, or DuckDuckGo – whatever your search engine of choice is).  After a listing for the site, (sometimes even before it) among the first entries you’ll find are a number of articles very critical of the statement – some complete with name calling.  Produced by the CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)  on biblical sexuality, the document called the Nashville Statement was released in 2017 and is a follow up to the 1987 Danvers statement on male and female distinctions, roles, and inherent equality before God. But in this age of gender confusion and so called gay “marriage” being legalized in country after country[1] – a statement on Biblical gender identity was clearly needed. Continue Reading

Weapons of warfare against atheist propaganda

atheist propaganda - do you recognize the lies?

Do you recognize false materialist propaganda when you see it?

Christians must expose the deceit of materialist atheist propaganda 

 

 

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
The weapons we fight with1 are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Cor 10.3-5

As the above scripture illustrates, the spiritual walk of a Christian living in a secular world is often compared to warfare. Correction – it is not compared to warfare, scripture states Christians are in fact engaged in a protracted, ongoing war. We are locked in battle with an enemy intent on killing us. Failing that,  the enemy wants to cause as much damage as possible to his foe – the creator of  the heavens and the earth. Since the enemy – Satan – is powerless to harm God, he has turned his attacks on all that God loves and has created.  Thus his targets have become – first and foremost – the pinnacle of God’s creation: mankind – those created in the image of God.

It is that image the enemy tries to mar and efface by incessant attempts to get individuals to sin, and thus bring upon him or herself the soiling or preferably effacing of God’s image.  The war on mankind extends to attacks on the family (which in these days have become obvious).  The numerous attempts to redefine what “family” is, the attacks to redefine what “male” and “female” consists of, are all part of the battle. Also in the cross hairs: attacks on worship of the one true God. Judging by the many religions; that is one target with which he’s had much success at attacking.

But these targets are just means to an end, for the real goal is to deny God the glory he so richly deserves, by stealing that glory and appropriating it to himself.  Though he tried to hide his plans, Satan could not keep them secret from the Lord God who knows the thoughts of every heart:

You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
Isaiah 14. 13-14

With that in his heart it’s easy to see why Satan hates the antiphonal calling of the angels in heaven:

Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Isaiah 6.3

Yet being powerless to change anything that happens in heaven, the enemy has instead  put a target on the back of every Christian. The question to Christians is, do we behave like we’re in a war zone? Or do we blithely go through our existence acting as if our life is a stroll through the park; seemingly either ignorant or unconcerned about the battle raging all around us?  Continue Reading

Six Day Creation: Written in Stone

The six day creation is written in the Ten Commandments by the finger of God. Exodus 20.1-17

Was the world really created in 6 literal days?

Seven days that divide the world.1 That’s what mathematician, philosopher of science and apologist John Lennox calls the biblical account of the first seven days of the universe.  But why should that be? Compared to the text of  Genesis 3 – the account of the Eve and the serpent,  the account of the creation (Gen 1) is rather straight forward.  Yet it appears there are more interpretations of the straight forward text of the first seven days than there are of the clearly more complex text of Eve and the fall.

Even so, the account of Eve and the serpent is not so difficult that it can’t be easily  understood as I demonstrate in the previous post. Why then, is what appears to be the clear meaning of Genesis 3 not the understanding most bible believing commentators hold to today?2 Which got me to thinking of that question in context of our current section of Genesis 1 concerning the biblical creation account. Both the account of the creation and the account of the fall appear very clear and straight forward. Why then are there so many different understandings of what they mean? That is an important question to answer before looking at the account of the creation of the universe in 6 days.

Jesus asked a very similar question, and also gives us the answer:

Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.
John 8.43

Why were they unable to hear? Because they had an agenda, and they were intent on carrying it out Jesus said. (John 8.44) And as we well know, having an agenda or a priori assumptions that cannot be changed creates boundaries that circumscribe what you will allow yourself to believe, locking out of  consideration anything to the contrary.

The Hidden Agenda

What is the agenda behind people interpreting these two passages of scripture that make some so reluctant to accept the clear message of the text of one or the other (or both)? Interestingly enough it boils down to the same issue: a desire to either support, or remove support for the long ages needed for the bang bang and neo-Darwinian evolution. With regard to how to understand the serpent, a statement made by a Christian blogger3 who supports evolution and thus rejects much creation evidence makes this point crystal clear: Continue Reading

A talking snake and the alien connection

     The serpent deceives Eve. (Gen 3.1-5)  Was there really a talking snake that deceived Eve in the garden of Eden?

I’m a Christian, but the Bible’s all stories1 … ’. As I write this article, that is not only the title of the lead article on Creation Ministries International website, but unfortunately it’s a sentiment shared by far too many devoted, well meaning, but dead wrong Christians; as well as by most Bible skeptics. I lay a good portion of the blame for the many misguided Christians in this area at the feet of Bible teaches and pastors who get in front of congregations or Bible classes every week, and talk about Bible “stories” (stories being typically understood as make believe) instead of Bible “accounts”  (accounts being typically understood as a recounting of something factual that happened). You may think the difference is a minor thing – but the way an idea is labeled is critically important. Why else do companies pay so much attention to branding (a form of labeling) and spend millions to promote their own brand as well as protect it? Why else are there battles over how various issues are labeled?

Why do those who support liberal border policies prefer the term “Undocumented immigrants” over the more accurate “Illegal aliens?”

Why do so many in the LGBT community insist on calling those who support one man,  one women marriage not  “traditional marriage  supporters” but rather  “homophobic” or “haters”?

Because they know how you label an idea is critical to how it will be perceived. And they want to frame how people think about those issues without even discussing it. The church has handed the adversary an easy victory on that front by allowing the historic events of the bible to be labeled as “stories”  – without raising an objection. (Please note my objection!) But terminology is just the tip of the iceberg. The root of the problem lies much deeper.  And it’s tied up with why so many in the church still call Bible accounts “stories.”  The reason: because unfortunately, for many Christians – as the CMI article points out – that is precisely what they are to such Christians: just stories. Not historic accounts, but stories – not to be taken literally. Not to be understood as actual history.

But as Bible and Hebrew scholars2 will tell you, the Genesis accounts (and biblical narratives in general) are presented not as fictional stories, but as straight forward narrative history, and are intended to be understood as such. What then are we do with things like a 6 day creation, and a talking snake?

The reason most people no longer believe in a 6 day creation is they need to squeeze in billions of years because they have embraced the godless theories of the  big bang and neo-Darwinian evolution which require billions of years. I have already devoted a number of articles3 to exposing the numerous flaws of those godless theories so I will spend no time here. Instead, we turn to the objection of a talking serpent.

Some people reason that since snakes neither talk, nor even have the physical capability to do so (no vocal chords, etc.) the “serpent” referred to in the account of the fall in  Genesis cannot be a real snake, and thus they reason, the account cannot be a true and accurate account. But like a murder mystery that seems obvious who-done-it at the beginning, you don’t come to the correct conclusion until you consider all the evidence; and the key pieces are not given until the end. So let’s take a step back,  broaden our view and consider more evidence and determine if the “it can’t be true” position is a premature jumping to conclusions before all the evidence is in.

Who or what is the serpent?

Let’s start with a review of the biblical text: Gen 3.1-4

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”
4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
Gen 3.1-4

There would be no question that the serpent is Satan, or the devil, except for the few who deny that, claiming the serpent is never identified as Satan in scripture4. Perhaps the serpent is not identified as Satan in this small section, but it is simply not true that the serpent is not identified in scripture. Jesus appears to be referencing the serpent when speaking of the devil in  John 8.44; and he clearly does so in his revelation to John:

The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.
Rev 12.9

Only those who don’t know their bible well or are actively trying to deny the connection can miss this clear identification of the serpent as Satan. But that’s the easy identification. Let’s press on to the deeper questions:

Who did Eve speak with? A snake, the Serpent or something else?

You may wonder what’s the difference between a snake and the serpent? Let me suggest that the term “the serpent” acts as a technical term, a code word that in many place in scripture refers specifically to Satan. We see the key to the code in Rev 12.9 (above) – the serpent=Satan (as does the dragon=Satan)5.  Now let’s go back and re-read the passage in light of that understanding – that “the serpent” refers to “Satan”. Continue Reading