Taking Pride in Creation: Genesis: Paradise Lost | Movie Review

 

Genesis: Paradise Lost movie

Since the limited run  of  Genesis: Paradise Lost is almost over (there’s a final encore on December 11, 2017), you may be wondering why another review. We’ll get to that in a moment. But first let me note that a number of even handed reviews have already been written. Here are 3 of them: 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

Is Creation Relevant? Part 1: The Problem

Is teaching and proclaiming God’s creation of the universe and all life relevant for today? Is the biblical proclamation –  “In the beginning, God created … ” a message that 21st century people need to hear; or should we have the same focus as the apostle Paul who said – “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified“? (1 Cor 2.2)

Some Christians see an insistence on adhering to the traditional creation account – that God created in six – 24 hour days about 6,000 years ago – as unnecessarily divisive.  But adherence to any Biblical account can be divisive. Some Christians don’t believe, for example,  that the New Testament witness of the day to worship is on Sunday (Acts 20.7) and insist on keeping the Old Testament practice of meeting on the Sabbath (Saturday).  That has been an issue divisive enough to form separate denominations over. So the question of divisiveness is beside the point.  It does not address the question of relevance. Also, since the divisiveness issue is an in house question (the house of God I mean) that has already been well addressed
[1] I won’t spend time on it here.

Others say that for those who are lost, the account of creation is not a concern. They may have many concerns, but how the universe began is typically not one of them. I had that conversation with a pastor, who said of the many people he speaks to, creation is not an issue. And though not stated, the implication was that creationists spend too much time discussing things that are not of interest. Things such as evolution, the big bang, dinosaurs, the flood, the age of the earth, etc.,  etc.  Perhaps he has a point. Perhaps at the point he speaks with people there is no interest in creation. But does that mean the issue is not there, lurking beneath the surface? Continue Reading

Evolution: Fact or Newspeak?

The language of evolution has evolved into the 1984 language of Newspeak.

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In George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” a totalitarian government – represented by an ever watching Big Brother tries to control everything about life – including what you think and believe. Specially crafted tools were created to bring about the desired belief and thought outcomes. The government-made language Newspeak is used to manipulate what you think and the government-endorsed Doublethink is used to manipulate what you believe. Newspeak is epitomized by the slogans:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
[1]

Clearly, one of the purposes of Newspeak is to redefine the plain meaning of a word and substitute another, often opposite meaning. Thus even during war, the government could claim they were at peace. As we’ll see this tactic has been subtly  adapted to evolutionary speak to the same end: to manipulate what you believe.

Doublethink is epitomized by the Newspeak word blackwhite a word that incorporates both concepts:

“Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”[2]

To disagree with Big Brother and claim any of their nonsense was not true would be committing a “thoughtcrime,” “a Newspeak term for the ‘essential crime that contained all others in itself.’ “[3]

As I watched an episode of the science documentary series How the Universe Works I was struck by how much like the tactics of Big Brother in 1984 are the tactics secular scientists have adopted to try to convince people that the patently false theory of evolution is true.

You think I exaggerate? Consider the evidence. Let’s start with the episode’s title:  “The Universe’s Greatest Miracle.”  This is a masterpiece of Doublethink. Ask a secular  scientist if miracles are possible and he’ll tell you no, or course not. Ask if the universe is capable of providing the intelligence and purposeful intent required of a miracle. Again no. To be clear regarding purpose, the late atheist, evolutionist, and former Cornell University professor Will Provine would have told you:

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us, loud and clear, and I must say that these are basically Darwin’s views: there are no gods, no purposive forces of any kind.[4]

So why are the writers of a secular science documentary using the word  “miracle” – a suspension or superseding of the laws of physics (which they deny) –  performed as an act of discretion by a deity (which they also deny) – to describe what happens as they attempt to explain the origin of life? Is it merely poetic? To which I ask, why use incorrect and misleading poetry when trying to explain the laws of biology and physics? Or could it be that they want to attribute supernatural powers (which they don’t believe in) to help personify and empower an otherwise obviously lifeless universe? Could it be they want to redirect what they know people understand intuitively in their hearts – that God created all life – and attribute that wonder to a lifeless process? Could it be they want the wonder and amazement due the divine being redirected to the cold, lifeless universe – effectively  as the apostle Paul says “exchanging the truth of God for a lie” and praising a created thing instead of the creator who is “forever praised?” (Rom 1.25)

And the title is just the opening salvo. Since I cannot cover here all the Orwellian tactics let me jump to a masterpiece of Newspeak which occurs about 3/4 of the way through the episode when they summarize the “landmarks of evolution” :

If we think of Landmarks in evolution there aren’t very many. I would think of just three:

– The origin of life
– The rise of complex life associated with oxygen
– The rise of intelligence


That’s it. To me, that’s the story of life on earth.[5]
Chris McKay, Astrobiologist

These 3 claims are another masterpiece of Newspeak, attributing what are clearly acts of power and intelligence to a lifeless, powerless, purposeless, unintelligent process. Orwell himself couldn’t have done better. Consider how far from the truth it is for evolutionists to claim evolution is responsible for these events:

1. The origin of life
Evolutionists like astrobiologist Chris McKay credit evolution for the origin of  life. But the truth of the matter is Darwin’s initial theory never made such claims nor even addressed the issue of the origin of life.  Darwin’s claims were made based on having already existing, reproducing creatures. But even the current Neo-Darwinian[
6] variation of Darwin’s classic theory of evolution has no mechanism to create life and thus evolutionary biologists have no idea how life started. They’ve posited the primordial soup based on Stanley Miller’s discredited experiment,[7]  crystals[8] (for their self replicating features) and alkaline thermal vents[9] (for their protection from ultraviolet rays while still providing a warm climate) but none of  these have ever been shown to be the catalyst for the origin of life. Crediting the purposeless, lifeless evolutionary process for the origin of life is quite obviously Newspeak.

2. The Rise of Complex Life
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

Earth 2.0 and ETs: another scientific pipe dream

Some scientists need to be reminded that it’s ill-advised to count your aliens before they’re discovered.
 Artist conception of Kepler-452b with Earth for size comparison.
 Clouds, continents and oceans depicted on Kepler-452b are included though there is no evidence for them.

 

With the discovery of the earth like planet Kepler-452b, we have the opportunity for a valuable object lesson. Contrary to what scientists are hoping for – this will not be a lesson to Creationists that evolution is true and extra-terrestrial life has been found, thus validating evolution. No, the lesson this discovery affords is a demonstration of the foolishness of trying to disprove anything (much less the Bible) when:
1. Your primary evidence has yet to be discovered; and
2. You’re arguing from a scientific theory that flies in the face of the established laws of science.

The object for today’s lesson will be Jeff Schweitzer’s article in the Huffington Post, “Earth 2.0: Bad News for God“.  Schweitzer makes a number of mistakes common to scientists and others trying to debunk the Genesis account of origins. We’ll use his mistakes to identify these common errors so 1. You’re aware these are not unique earth shattering questions, they’ve all been handled before, and 2.  You can more easily identify them, and respond appropriately when next you see them. We’ll look first at the problem with his whole approach and in the process answer his objections. Schweitzer believes he has mounted a serious challenge to the Genesis account. He’s seriously mistaken.

 

1. Lack of Objectivity
Most people believe scientists are objective, impartial promoters of the truth –  whatever the truth turns out to be – because that is the image scientists have projected since the dawn of the modern scientific age. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Exhibit one: an example of a scientists who is biased and has obvious preferences as to what the truth is: Schweitzer himself.  Schweitzer can’t hide his obvious glee at the mere prospect of proving Bible believers wrong.

I would like here to preempt what will certainly be a re-write of history on the part of the world’s major religions. I predict with great confidence that all will come out and say such a discovery is completely consistent with religious teachings.1

“Preempt” the world’s religions? In other words he anticipates the world’s religions being wrong, and he wants to afford them no wiggle room to claim they were not, and thus this “preemptive” strike. An attempt to box them in; and to create the strongest case to say “see you’re wrong, and I told you so.” Hardly an objective position for a scientist. But Creationists and Intelligent Design theorists have been saying that the average scientist is neither objective nor unbiased for a long time. Creationist Ken Ham has been making this point for over a quarter century:

Many think of scientists as unbiased people in white laboratory coats objectively searching for truth. However scientists come in two basic forms, male and female, and they are just like you and me. They have beliefs and biases. A bias determines what you do with the evidence, especially the way in which you decide that certain evidence is more relevant or important than other evidence.2

One’s bias is of critical importance because it determines not only what evidence will be accepted3  but also the a-priori assumptions use in interpreting the evidence. For instance some look at the Grand Canyon and see a little bit of water acting over a long period of time (millions of years). Others see a lot of water (as in a world wide flood) acting over a short period of time. Same evidence, but a-priori assumptions determine how the evidence is interpreted. Clearly such assumptions are critical to one’s approach to both science and life.

2. Incorrect a-priori assumptions

Schweitzer is convinced that life exists out there in the universe, and one day we’ll discover it:

As I stated at the beginning, none of this will matter upon life’s discovery elsewhere.4

I make the case in the Waning, Great Scientific Hope  that the search for life on other planets is a hopeless one, with no chance of success. Why does Schweitzer consider it a certainty, and one day we’ll discover it? It’s based on his a-priori assumptions. Most scientists are naturalists – meaning they will allow only natural causes as scientific explanation. This forces them to adopt an anti-God, pro-Big Bang, pro-evolutionary world view which assumes: Continue Reading

Creating Confusion: Theistic Evolution and Progressive Creation

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve, Benjamin West 1731

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve, Benjamin West 1731

 

The compromises of  theistic evolution and  progressive creationism has caused  confusion and is undermining faith in scriptural accounts.

If you saw the Ken Ham, Bill Nye debate last year you saw proponents of the two major views of Origins: Creation (defended by Ken Ham), and Evolution (defended by Bill Nye). Those two positions – Creation and Evolution – are diametrically opposed worldview positions as you can see from the chart below.

Unfortunately many Christians – including some well known, well regarded apologists and leaders- have elected to undermine the biblical account of origins by taking one of the two compromise positions below.  In their desire to reconcile science and the Biblical  account of the beginnings of all created things (the universe, earth, life), they are attempting to do what cannot be done: have their cake and eat it too. To appease a scientific community that has misinterpreted the data they’ve turned to either Theistic Evolution of Progressive Creationism – both of which are in compatible with the biblical account.

Continue Reading

“Questioning Darwin” – Perpetuating Stereotypes and Misinformation

HBO's Questioning Darwin Documentary HBO’s documentary Questioning Darwin   questions Christian belief instead of Darwin
From Questioning Darwin, an HBO Documentary

The IMDB storyline synopsis of HBO’s recent1  documentary  ends with the statement, “the film takes a balanced look at this 150-year-old debate.”  It appears the film wants to take a balanced look, and they certainly had the opportunity, but if they were trying to achieve a balanced look, they failed miserably.  Either the writers are so steeped in anti-Christian evolutionist doctrine that they couldn’t see their own bias, or they willfully withheld important data that is relevant to the discussion. Or perhaps it’s a bit of both.

If they were seriously trying to present objections of those who “Question Darwin” why have they chosen to only present the case from the point of view of Bible believing Christians (of which I, of course, am one)? Such objections stem primarily from the fact that evolution is in direct contradiction to Biblical teaching. But that is not the only source of objections.  Why did they not also present the case of scientists who do not believe in evolution from a scientific point of view? Surely the existence of scientific objections to Darwin is not a newsflash to the writers of a documentary on Darwin. There is an entire site highlighting the hundreds of scientists who have signed their names to the statement:

” We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

The site is Dissentfromdarwin.org and you can look up all the scientists who dissent yourself.  Instead, the picture that is painted is that only fundamental, Bible believing Christians who,  as the narrator tells us,  “… believe their Bible is the Word of God, the ‘literal truth’ …”2,  don’t believe in Darwinian evolution. That only Christians object to Darwin is clearly not the case and so that is a  misrepresentation.  The fact that they have omitted any reference to any scientific objections to Darwin points to what this documentary is really about: questioning Christians who question Darwin.

Without speaking to those responsible for this production, one  can only speculate as to their motives. But based on what they choose to include (statements from Christians without any investigation as to whether they might be true)  and what they chose to omit (objections from scientists who disagree with Darwin’s theory), and the amount of time they spent explaining how Darwin arrived at his theory vs. the amount of time spent showing Christians who “question Darwin,” the motives seems clear: to present Christians as slightly irrational, slightly backwards, science rejecting people whose opinions should not be taken to seriously in this matter. Unfortunately,  too often Christians provide ample fodder for this distorted view.

A pastor3  is shown saying,  “If in the bible I were to find a passage that says 2 + 2 = 5, I wouldn’t question what I’m reading in the Bible, I would believe it, accept it as true, and then do my best to work it out and understand it.”  Brother, I understand what you’re saying.  It is incumbent on the reader of the Bible to investigate further to work out apparent contradictions so as to resolve the contradiction and understand what the Biblical writer was saying. (Of course that clarification was not in the documentary.)

For instance, Jesus while standing in the magnificent temple that took 46 years to build  is quoted as saying, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days.” (John 2.19) This was clearly misunderstood by his audience, the Jews. (As it would be by anyone in that context who didn’t know Jesus.) Thankfully John, the writer of the gospel explains what he meant – that he was referring to his body.  So Jesus was in essence saying if you kill me, I will physically raise this body and make it live again in 3 days, which is proof of my claims. A prediction and a promise he made good on that first Easter Sunday by his resurrection from the dead.

So I understand the pastor to be underscoring the importance of working out apparent contradictions – though he chose, in my estimation, a poor example to illustrate the point. Arithmetic statements by nature and design leave little room for interpretation; and as such don’t illustrate the broad (though clear) range of meaning that verbal statements may convey, particularly when set in various contexts. So while his point is valid, it was used by this production to stereotype Christians as following blindly without a rational basis. As I state in What is Rational Faith Part 2, Christian Faith does not require a blind leap of faith.

From there, the depiction of Christians gets worse, with a Professor  accusing Christians of lying to children because they teach as truth what’s taught in the Bible; things that contradict evolution such as creation and a young earth. His exact  statement was:

“If the only way you can get your beliefs to persists is to lie to children – which is what creationists do about the age of the earth and things of that nature, if that’s the only way this thing can persist, it’s now worth it, it should disappear.”4

Clearly,  instead of looking at scientists today who “Question Darwin” and how they view Darwin’s theory against today’s evidence, the writers chose to channel the accusations of the new atheists, who accuse Christians of child abuse for teaching them religion.5   Instead of looking at the scientific questions, they chose to look at how Christians interpret the Bible, apparently appalled that Christians can take Genesis “literally”6, and even more appalled that such an approach can be persuasive, noting:

“Creationism – the fastest growing branch of Christianity – not just here in the United States but worldwide.”

That fact is only surprising (and disconcerting) to those who have bought into Darwinism lock, stock and barrel.  While the program does an admirable job of correctly articulating Christian views – since they directly quote Christians, and even shows scenes from Ken Ham’s Creation Museum – still  it is quite apparent that they mean to question those views. With their disdain for the views of those who doubt Darwin apparent, their refusal to show scientists who doubt Darwin gives the show a strong appearance of suppressing the evidence.  This point is underscored by the fact that they had comments from former college professor Dr. Jobe Martin, who has published evidences against evolution in titles such as Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution (I-III), but you don’t see any of his evidences; he provides history and commentary on Darwinism and its effects. Yet as philosopher of science and Intelligent Design advocate Dr. Stephen Meyer put it,

“For every evidence based argument for one of Darwin’s two key propositions, there is an evidence based counter argument.”7

You won’t see any of the counter arguments to Darwin in this documentary however.  In fact to the contrary,  Darwin is presented as a hard working, state of the art (even if it is 19th century art) scientist who worked tirelessly to gather evidence for his theory.  We are told of all the specimens he examined and the correspondences he had with other scientists.  Darwin no doubt considered himself an objective researcher. (We’re supposed to believe that too.)  We’re led to believe that his conclusions were valid based on all the research he did, however the documentary never bothers to mention or even question if the research that he conducted supported the conclusions he jumped to. The evidence suggests his research did not support his conclusions.

The documentary makes clear however that he suffered  greatly at the loss of his favored daughter Annie, and couldn’t understand why there should be evil in the world.  Outspoken creationist, Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis  graciously offers that if his theology professors had told him the source of evil was sin – not God, it may have changed his perspective.  What is more likely the case, (since as the documentary tells us, Darwin once intended to be a clergyman)  is that  Darwin knew what the Bible said about the cause of evil, but didn’t care. It appears Darwin  was determined to reject God in spite of the Bible’s explanation of evil in the world.

The documentary further wants you to believe Darwin let science direct his thinking, not his (anti-God) theology; and that he reluctantly came to the conclusion that evolution is true. We are supposed to believe that he was objective about it all because he is quoted as saying: Continue Reading

Evolution – A Faith Commitment

Trilobite fossil from Chengjiang, ChinaThough they’ll never admit it, most evolutionists adhere to evolution as followers in any other religion adhere to their faith.

 

In what was intended to be the first article I posted on this site –
What is Rational Faith, Part 1
1 – I
mentioned that those who believe in the godless theory of Evolution (which includes most atheists and materialistic scientists)  – adhere to it as one adheres to and follows a religious faith. In other words it has taken on the significance of religion in their lives. Most evolutionists would deny this, as would atheists who think that because they define their atheism as a lack of faith/belief in God, they therefore think themselves immune to the common banalities (as they might describe it) of being a follower of a faith. Yet when you look at the impact of evolution on their lives, and how it changes their thoughts and behaviors, one can only conclude that for those who thoroughly understand the theory, it has taken the place of God in their lives2. Now you’ll note I’ve qualified the statement by the phrase “those who thoroughly understand the theory.”  I do so to distinguish the true adherents from those who follow it without thinking because it’s the “in” thing to do; it’s the majority belief, and they don’t want to be out of the main stream or worse – appear ignorant, or as John C. Lennox puts it, they

“…don’t wish to appear scientifically illiterate…”3

Those who know little about evolution apart from the fact that it supposedly tells us where we came from and it’s what scientists believe, should read articles like Reclaiming The Intellectual and Moral High Ground – which will inform them both on claims made regarding evolution – and why they’re incorrect. If they  still believe in evolution, then they appear to have a faith commitment as do other adherents to the Evolutionary faith.

So now that we understand about whom I’m speaking the question becomes how can I defend such a claim? Simply – by the fact that those believe in evolution exhibit the same signs and behaviors as those who follow any other religious faith. As the saying goes, if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, a quacks like a duck – it’s probably a duck.  There are a number of such tell tale signs, let me just give you a few off the top of my head: Continue Reading

Red Pandas, Trees and Orchards

Red Panda Problems for Darwin’s Tree of Life:
The Red Panda doesn’t fit; nor do a host of other creatures, vindicating the biblical account of creation by kinds.

In the recent Ken Ham vs Bill Nye debate on origins (which one tweeter aptly named the Ham on Nye debate) based on some comments I’ve heard,  it seems to me that a number of people missed one of the main points Ham was making. And since one the reasons for this blog is to defend the  Biblical account of origins let me revisit that point here.

Ham pointed out that the Bible makes specific claims about origins – the origins of the solar system, of people, of all creatures. In contrast the theory that allows Richard Dawkins to be an “intellectually fulfilled atheist” – Darwinian evolution – also makes claims – quite different claims. So the question is which explanation better fits the evidence? On the one hand, in a doctrine known as “common descent” Darwinian evolution claims that all creatures are descendents of a single ancestor. That means that all creatures are related and are part of what’s known as the evolutionary tree of life.

On the other hand the Bible claims that creatures were created by God, “according to their kind” (Gen 1.21, 24, 25, etc.). Continue Reading