In an age of visually oriented communications such as TV, movies and the internet, the power of symbols is not lost on content makers such as advertisers and movie producers. This is particularly true when you combine pop icons with these symbols to make a lasting impression. Case in point: diamonds. The point was indelibly etched in the courting rule book when the iconic beauty Marilyn Monroe sang:
Since then, aside from the numerous remakes2 from beauties trying to channel the appeal and success of Marilyn, we’ve had regular reminders that “diamond’s are a girl’s best friend.” They come right around this time of year – in time for the Christmas shopping season, to reminded you that if you really want to express your love to a lady, the proper way to do it is with a diamond. This year it was done with a twist – taking a form of nature documentary and using penguins instead of people3, but the message was the same.
There are multiple lessons for Christians here – aside from the well known fact that advertisers can use beautiful women to sell their wares. They are as follows:
1. God first used signs & symbols, and continues to use them
During the creation week, God said:
And as the children of Israel were about to enter the promised land, God gave them these instructions:
So God was the first to use signs and symbols.4 And of particular interest is his command to his people to have a symbol of his word, his instructions to them for proper living displayed prominently both on their person , and on their houses. This command was fulfilled with the placing of tephillim (Phylacteries in the New Testament (Matt 23.5)) on the wrist and forehead; and a mezuzah on the house. Why? Because what advertisers have learned, God already knew: the power of a constant reminder in the form of a symbol. His purpose is clear: to impress the importance of His word upon His people, God used symbols – the tephillim and mezuzah – which both symbolized his word and contained portions of it.
Another symbol, mentioned briefly in my article Physical Evidence that Jesus Existed, is that of the Chi Rho (the first two Greek letters in “Christ”). History records how God used the symbol to inspire General and soon to be Roman Emperor Constantine to trust in Christ, not the pagan gods on the eve before what would be a decisive battle for the victor. Constantine’s victory at the Mulvian bridge over his rival Maxentius led to Constantine extending his power, allowing him to legalize Christianity in the Roman empire, ending (eventually) the widespread persecution of Christians and setting the stage for accelerated growth of the church.
A final example: Jesus indicated that his return will be preceded or accompanied by “the sign of the Son of Man” (Matt 24.30). Thus signs and symbols have been in use by God to further the faith since the beginning, and continue to be in use. Clearly we have as a precedent God’s own use of signs and symbols in furtherance of the faith.
2. God redeems and claims symbols for his own use
The cross is arguably the most recognized symbol in the world. For Christians it represents Christ’s passion and redemption, hope and eternal life. Even for non-believers it is a well recognized symbol of Christianity. But it was not always that way. The cross is after all an instrument of death. And not just any death, a death of torture – a slow death of literally excruciating pain. (The root of excruciate is crux – meaning cross). The cross was used not only to execute, but to intimidate. In that regard it also excelled because it became one of the most feared forms of execution in the ancient world.
Even so, God took that instrument of death and torture, and turned it into a symbol of hope, and of the true faith. That transformation from sign of intimation and death; to sign of hope for the faithful has not been lost upon historians: Continue Reading
|7 Popular, but Fallacious Arguments used by Atheists
For those wondering why the apostle cast out a demon providing free advertisement for him, the answer is simple: God’s people are forbidden from having anything to do with demons2 – even if what they do is initially helpful. The amazing thing to Christians is that Paul put up so long with it. I mention it because I likewise feel troubled by the recurring contention of Atheists that the pseudo-gene known as GULO or GLO proves common descent. So let me
1. “GULO proves Evolution”
What is GULO and how does it supposedly prove evolution?
L-gulonolactone oxidase – commonly known as GULO – is a gene designed to synthesize vitamin C from glucose or galactose, but in some groups of animals, the GULO gene does function in that manner, and so it is given the label of “pseudogene.”4
Additionally, the gene is “broken” reportedly in the same place in multiple species resulting in a loss of the ability to synthesize vitamin C. Humans are not able to synthesize vitamin C. Neither are guinea pigs, chimpanzees and several species of monkeys along with some species of birds, bats and fish. Evolutionists look at these facts and conclude that the only way the gene could have broken in the sample place is if the gene of a common ancestor became broken, and that same broken gene was then inherited by subsequent descendants. Thus to their way of thinking the only way this broken gene would show up in multiple species is if it started in a common ancestor.
Recent evidence refutes this conclusion, and the attempts by evolutionists to salvage their conclusion makes matters worse – Continue Reading
Since he does it so well, I’m going to let Morgan Freeman set this up:
According to scientists, the Higgs boson is what gives particles mass. Of course without mass neither the universe, nor life as we know it could exist. Thus the name the ‘God’ particle, at least in some people’s mind – fits since nothing would exist without it. Scientists prefer to call it the Higgs boson or the Higgs particle, but of course for those who report the stories, the ‘God’ particle is a much more catchy headline and moniker – so it has stuck. Purists however will tell you that the name came about when Nobel Prize winner Leon Lederman wanted to name his book about the particle ‘The God – – – – [expletive deleted] Particle‘ – because no one could find it at the time – but his editor talked him into calling it the ‘God’ particle.2 Let’s let Morgan continue:
And thus the Higgs boson – the so called ‘God’ particle – is introduced. The episode goes on to point out problems now that they’ve made the discovery – that in order to eliminate anomalies and make the theory work – there must be not one, but five Higgs types of Higgs bosons. But that’s a simple matter of further discovery – not what I want to discuss here. Of greater interest is a finding that the Higgs boson is in conflict with the standard, universally accepted model of where the universe came from – The Big Bang. And thus we see another problem for the Big Bang theory.
I say “another” because the Big Bang theory of course has a number of problems- such as flatness problem, the monopole magnet problem, and the horizon problem4 among others. Since this post isn’t on the technical details and problems of the Big Bang, let me suffice it by saying that the Big Bang has a number of show stopping issues, many of which were supposedly solved by Alan Guth’s theory of Cosmic inflation – at lest these problems that I’ve mentioned.
Make two mental notes here:
Let’s move on to the latest Discovery. The latest tests with the Higgs boson indicate that the Higgs is Continue Reading
|Where is the outrage over hundreds of bombs raining down on Israeli cities, and the oft stated intentions of Muslim radicals to wipe Israel off the face of the earth?|
How long would the United States tolerate terrorists bombing its capital Washington DC, or its financial center New York City? Well we already know the answer don’t we? When terrorists attacked the US on September 11, 2001 the US response was swift. On September 20, 2001 President George W. Bush declared a “War on Terror” and later vowed to capture the mastermind Osama bin Laden “dead or alive.”1 That sentiment resonated with the American voters and helped win him a second term. That was after one attack on a single day with four targets.
What would the response be if terrorists were raining down bombs by the hundreds over months and years?2 What if they regularly made statements to totally eradicate every last American? I submit the answer is obvious. Americans wouldn’t tolerate it, and would demand swift, decisive military action to eliminate the threat – as President Bush initiated against the war on terror. There would be no tolerance for hiding in bomb shelters nor a felt need to moderate the force used against the terrorists.
Why then does anyone have a problem with Israel’s actions to defend itself? Why the continued calls for Israel to back down on their defensese? Why the sympathetic articles towards the terrorist group Hamas by liberal papers like the The Washington Post? Why is the world, (not to mention her ally the United States), not rallying behind Israel supporting her 150%,? The answer is easy: As one Israeli Christian put it,
“…it is the very height of hypocrisy that the West, which sheds crocodile tears over the horrors faced by Christians in Iraq and Syria, then turns around and condemns Israel for defending its people against the very same horrors.”3
But why the hypocrisy? Another easy answer: Spiritual Blindness. The type of blindness that prevented the Pharisees from acknowledging that Jesus had healed a man born blind in fulfillment of prophecy and thus both demonstrating and asserting that he is the messiah.4
It’s the same type of spiritual blindness that keeps evolutionists from seeing all the evidences of design in God’s creation; that keeps big bang supporters from recognizing that you can not get a universe out of nothing; and the same type of blindness that keeps atheists who are angry with God from seeing that anger or disappointment over some evil in the world does not mean that God does not exist.
Scripture records Jesus reaction on one occasion to the stubbornness and spiritual blindness of those who refuse to answer even a simple a question lest their error and hypocrisy be revealed:
He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts…
If you deny Israel’s right of self defense, or obvious things like the fact that universes don’t pop out of nothing, don’t be surprised to get this reaction from a Christian.
Let me close with a reminder to Christians:
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.
Duane Caldwell | posted 7/31/2014 | Print format
1 Bush pledges to get bin Laden, dead or alive USAToday 12/14/2001
2 Hamas has showed Israel with hundreds of bombs with the intent to kill as many as possible – regarless of whether civilian, women or children and have targeted the capital Jerusalem, and the financial center Tel Aviv.
Hamas rockets reach Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Jerusalem Post 7/8/2014http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Iron-Dome-intercepts-second-rocket-over-greater-Tel-Aviv-361994
This tweet puts the number of rockets fired by Hamas at Israel at 3034 since the start of Operation Protective Edge
3 Israeli Christian Spokesman: Enough With Western Hypocrisy! Israel Today 7/30/2014
4 John 9.1-41; Isaiah 42.1-7
When it comes to the Big Bang Theory, better to deny it and enrage the dragon, than God
I’ve noticed a number of Christians – including some well known defenders of the faith1 – like to use the Big Bang as a way to ease a scientifically minded culture into belief in God since the Big Bang theory requires you believe that 1) the universe began 2) a finite amount of time ago, at a point in time, 3) out of nothing – just like the bible says. That leaves a perfect opening to present the Kalam cosmological argument which, briefly stated, says:
1. Anything that begins to exist has a creator
2. The Universe began to exist
3. Therefore the universe had a creator Continue Reading
Those who can’t see the design behind clearly designed things such as a 747 or a human cell are denying the obvious.
|In his critique of Stephen Hawking’s “Grand Design”, John Lennox writes:
Stephen Hawking is not the only atheist who doesn’t realize he’s engaging in metaphysics by dealing with questions of God. And that is not the only truth atheists fail to recognize. As I demonstrate below, many have a problem acknowledging that they are working not from scientific fact, but from deeply held belief. Lennox is not the first to point out obvious errors to someone who refuses to acknowledge it.
With these words Jesus advises careful and close self examination to avoid not only the charge of hypocrisy, but this current issue of self denial. After all one can hardly miss a “plank” or “beam” in the eye unless one is intentionally refusing to acknowledge it. That’s denial. And while some may find it questionable to poke the bear by appealing to a historical figure that some atheists deny, what is undeniable is the logic and wisdom of the advice. I mention it because one of the reasons for this blog is to point out errors, blind spots and logical inconsistencies that atheists tend to be either unaware of, or attempt to avoid by refusing to address. As a creationist attempting to point out such errors and inconsistencies, I find I keep running into the same kinds of invalid (and often irrational) arguments from atheists, such as:
Often, when you point out these errors, they are not addressed, not because the objection is not understood, but because there simply is no reasonable answer to the objection. So instead of acknowledging a problem with their world view, typically the response from atheists or agnostics will be show their inability to address the issue by to changing the subject and/or launching ad hominem attacks. But in refusing to address a glaring problem in their argument or logic by attempting to side step it, it leads one to an inescapable conclusion:
By irrational I mean untrue, or in the case of an argument, invalid for any of a number of reasons. By refusing to acknowledge or address such blatant errors what they are actually communicating is – Continue Reading
What atheists have noticed that many Happy Thinking Christians have not
Christian Evangelist and defender of the Gospel Ravi Zacharias talks about how to reach the “Happy Thinking Pagan.” He describes their thought process this way:
I mention it because it is becoming increasing clear to me that when it comes to the creation / evolution debate, there is a large number of Christians who are walking in the thought process of the happy thinking pagan – namely
Interestingly enough, thoughtful atheists have noticed the incompatibility between evolution and the Christian faith. Evolutionary evangelist Richard Dawkins has commented:
In fact, so many atheists have begun proclaiming the incompatibility between Christianity and Evolution that one blogger Continue Reading
Among Christians there should be no questions or debates about the origins of life, the earth or the universe.
– How important is this for Christians to deal with?
Dr. Danny Faulkner, Author, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, retired and now on staff with Answers in Genesis and its Creation Museum responded:
True, but Dr. Faulkner misses the elephant in the room. Dr. Hugh Ross, Astronomer and best-selling author responded:
Dr. Ross’ answer not only misses the elephant in the room, but it is also very misleading. Why do the biblical creeds not mention the time of creation? (More importantly the duration.) Because that is not one of the issues they were dealing with at the time. In the first few centuries after Christ’s resurrection, the church was besieged with Christological issues – docetism (Christ only seemed to have a body but was really just spiritual), gnosticism (a whole range of errors regarding God from which we get the phrase “children of a lesser god”; errors regarding Christ; and the nature of good and evil), monophysitism (Christ had only one nature), and so on. So they were concerned with clearly and correctly defining who Christ was – that he was “very God from very God” (from the Nicene Creed) and “one person with two natures” (From the Definition of Chalcedon). The Nicene Creed was written in 325 AD; the definition of Chalcedon was written in 451. The issue of the length of creation didn’t come up until needed for evolution, and Darwin didn’t publish “Origin of Species” until 1859. So of course the creeds don’t deal with that.
Dr. Ross also states big bang cosmology identifies the who of creation as the God of the Bible. Really? Perhaps he should tell that to Continue Reading