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Extra thoughts on current series and events.

Filtering by Category: apologetics

The Bible and Science

Administrator

In our final week of our summer series What's the Elephant in your Living Room? we have a cluster of questions all relating to the Bible and Science. This post is a summary response with links to a number of specific examples the questioner posted. It's also a resource for the sermon content, too. Below my responses with links to the inquirer's questions, you'll find the resource webpage for the list of 10 scientific facts found in the Bible that I shared. This list highlights my ONE BIG THOUGHT for this message: 

The Bible is not a scientific textbook. Rather, it is God’s message to us... and it is scientifically accurate.

This ONE BIG THOUGHT is important for reframing our mindset as we approach this topic, and it serves as our mental hook on which to hang all this stuff. Now to the inquirer's questions: 

Now to the inquirer's questions: 

1.  The first (compound) question is: What is the church point of view on climate change? Why is the Bible Belt in the U.S. refusing to acknowledge climate change as a fact?

I think the best kind of answers are from those well informed. Here's an article and video link to the webcast The Years of Living Dangerously in which Don Cheadle interviews climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, who also happens to be an Evangelical Christian. In the article, she lists five reasons why Evangelical Christians in the South (U.S. Bible Belt) have a 20% lower belief in climate change in response to this question. 

2.  And our second (very compound!) question is: How do we balance Scripture and theology with modern science and what has been learned and discovered in modern times...  

From here the questioner lists five different examples, asking about the relationship between the Bible and some scientific viewpoint. To answer these, please see my comments or links to other resources for you to consider: 

  • e.g. creation vs. evolution; This question is way too broad to consider here as there are a wide range of diverse positions across the entire spectrum. Let me say this as my opinion, however: I don't believe in "evolution" as popularly conceived as life having evolved from inorganic matter by chance, and by continued chance evolved into higher and higher orders of being until we reach the complexity and consciousness of our human state today. In this respect, the theory of evolution is trumped by the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (and a law always trumps a theory; please examine the difference between a theory, a hypothesis and a scientific law). What's that, you say? The law basically states that all things move from a state of organization and coherence to disorganization and incoherence. In other words, all things are slowing down and breaking down. I challenge you to seriously put your own thoughts or the thoughts of your evolutionist friend to come up with a "hard," verifiable example today of an organism having mutated and "improved," plus (because this is required to prove evolution) that this mutation is being reproduced and outperforming the otherwise original or unmutated population, driving them out of existence. Since evolutionists want to claim that theirs is a scientific worldview, then please show us all the evidence. And the evidence is not a few fossils that are subject to theories of what may have happened. On the other hand, I do believe God created us and perhaps all of life with an ability to adapt. We can adapt to changing conditions, but this is not the same thing as "evolution" wherein something changes from one species to another species entirely. 
  • e.g. the timeline of the Bible vs. the timeline of modern science gives us - that the earth and universe are billions of years old: Again, there's a huge span of positions on this on all sides. To answer from both Christian and scientific points of view, please consider The Faraday Papers from The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. Also, consider the website Science and Belief.
  • e.g. how do we incorporate that we all came from Adam and Eve, when we know there are so many different races with distinct genetic differences and who have lived all over the world. In reply: If by "genetic differences" you mean our differences in our physical appearance that we classify as "ethnicities," these are again simply the process of adaptation. Here's a "humane" example of what has happened to humanity through the millennia (as it is considered inhumane to experiment with humans in this same way): All dogs - yes, ALL dogs, all sizes, all breeds, all centuries, have evolved by human manipulation from wolves (yes, more than one "wolf" breed). Research the evolution of dogs (because that's what it's called today, not because it's "evolution" as popularly defined above). Correlate that with our ability to adapt, too, a God-given ability. 
  • e.g. how do we account for “the big bang” theory? Again (yes, "again") the question touches upon a hugely broad field and question, with widely varying viewpoints. One I find particularly compelling, however, is this video freely available on YouTube. Great stuff! 
  • e.g. how do we account for the recent finding that there is another planet similar to earth that can also sustain life? The Bible doesn't say anything conclusively for or against life on other planets. But Dr James Emery White does a great job addressing this popular question and how we as Christ-followers can respond to it. Enjoy! 

I trust each of these will help you as you fulfill Psalm 111:2, 

Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.

SCIENTIFIC FACTS IN THE BIBLE

As the ONE BIG THOUGHT states, the Bible isn't a science textbook from which we study science. Yet it is scientifically accurate. And that makes sense with the Biblical worldview: God is creator and sustainer of all things. Therefore His messages to us are logically coherent and consistent with His scientific knowledge of all things. 

Now I didn't come up with that list on my own, but - as shared with speaking - are drawn from what is called The Evidence Bible. It is a Bible that has extra resources added to help the user share confidently with those posing science-based questions. Here's the link to their web page on this topic, which you'll see includes more than the 10 that I shared on Sunday. 

May you be blessed as you examine these for yourself, and share them with your friends. May your friends come to find God and His message in Jesus Christ, as testified to in the Bible, true, compelling, and resulting in saving faith. May you journey with them in growing obedience to Jesus Christ throughout your lives. 

Can We Trust the Bible?

Administrator

We're continuing in our series What is the Elephant in Your Living Room? and I'm enjoying the process of searching the Scriptures, books, websites and other scholars to help you answer the questions put forward. This week's question deals with defending the veracity - the verifiable truthfulness - of the Bible. 

It has been often stated something like "serious scholars no longer question this historicity of Jesus." Yes, it's accepted as a fact: Jesus did exist! But to your and my friends who probably aren't serious scholars, then we need to review these facts with them. Just to establish this one point, check out these pages: 

  • Wikipedia page titled "Historicity of Jesus," second paragraph. Read together with them as much as each of you like all the references to support this fact. 
  • Here's a great example, too. This one is from an avowed atheist. And still he is defending the historical fact that Jesus existed to other nay-sayers. Hilarious. 
  • This is actually an easy point to address. Just google the question with your friend and look at all the responses from responsible journalism in support of it (while also noting that there will always be irresponsible nay-sayers...but do they really want to be like them?!). 

Once we've established that Jesus is indeed historically proven, then let's see how that fact coincides with what the Scriptures say about Jesus. And even more, how mathematically ... well, either impossible or miraculous ... him fulfilling all of these (or even just a few) staggers the mind. And remember: We're using science, mathematics and historically verified documents to demonstrate that faith in the person of Jesus actually isn't "crazy" at all, but quite rational. 

To do this, however, will take more space than I usually contain in a single blog posting. So, I'm sharing HERE a document from a website (the source link is inside this document, and I give all the credit to them for compiling it). WARNING: It's 18 pages long! Most of that, however, is a list of Scriptures where you'll find the 365 prophecies and passages about Jesus. The preface to that list, however, is the mathematical examples of how miraculously impossible it is that one person fulfils all of them. May you enjoy reading this article, searching the original source website, and the Scriptures about Jesus. With this, may Jesus be lifted up in your eyes and the eyes of your questioning friends. Why? Because, when He is lifted up, He draws people to Himself. And that's just what we want with our friends, too. 

In addition to the above, let me also refer you to the excellent and highly accessible ministry website called Answers in Genesis. They have a series of pages about seven compelling evidences that the Bible is true. Excellent stuff to bless you and your inquiring friends! 

And one more addition! Dr. Timothy McGrew is a Christian theologian, historian and apologist. In a recent conference he shared the incidental details of 8 different passages and how they speak to the veracity of the Gospels due to the knowledge of the authors. The video is about one hour long, so settle in for a good listen and take good notes! 

Enjoy, 

PC

Reach Out & Steal Your Relativistic Friend's iPhone

Pastor Charles

Many of the topics we've been covering in our current series, Jesus Among Other Gods, touch upon moral relativism.

Some might know what that is, but a few others might be saying, "Those are big words and concepts, Charles. What is that?"

Moral relativism is the belief that says what is true for you may not also be true for me. Perhaps in a most limited context there are some places where moral relativism has place in our lives and interaction. In most areas of life and social behaviour, morality is not relative at all.

How does this play out in our lives and conversations?

You and your friend are conversing. You're getting into the nitty-gritty of real life stuff, touching upon what you believe versus what they believe. You each realize that your individual worldviews are impinging upon the others. In reaction to the truth claims of Jesus you're sharing, they reply, "Well, that might be true for you, but that's not true for me. What's true for you isn't true for me." And some are more blatant than this, claiming that there are no moral absolutes, such as those decrying a Christ-follower's lack of enthusiastic embrace toward alternative sexual lifestyles or other areas of morality. "There are no moral absolutes!" they cry.

Really?

How do we respond to this kind of claim?

Reach out and steal your friend's iPhone. This is Andy Bannister's advise. Go ahead. Try it. BUT first, watch his short video on how to follow up this radical action to challenge your friend's claim to belief in moral relativism.

Enjoy!