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Dying in the Middle

Friday, June 25, 2010

You may not be aware of the complete meltdown going on at BioLogos, but yesterday’s post from Darrel Falk, “On Living in the Middle,” undercuts that organization’s claim to hold to historic Christianity. What started as a complaint against the critics of BioLogos, ended with a departure from the tenets of the Christian faith.

It was already clear where Dr. Falk and BioLogos stood on young earth creationism—they reject creation by divine fiat in six, literal, 24-hour days. But his article goes further. Falk, BioLogos, and many of its contributors also deny the special creation of the literal, historical Adam and Eve. Living in the middle? Middle of what?

Apparently they regard belief in a literal Adam as untenable, unbelievable, and incapable of survival in today’s scientific world. I guess they would apply that to other “Adam” references as well—the historical record of Adam’s creation (Gen. 1 and 2), his fall into sin (Gen. 3), his becoming a parent (Gen. 4 and 5), and any genealogical references to Adam (1 Chron. 1:1; Luke 3:38; Jude 14). Further, if they’re going to be consistent with evolutionary science, they’ll have to abandon any fundamental doctrines that regard Adam as a literal and historical person too (Rom. 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:22, 45; 1 Tim. 2:13, 14).

Falk and BioLogos devotees are in danger of denying original sin, if they haven’t already. Start pulling the thread of original sin and the whole fabric of Christian theology unravels. After all, if Adam’s one sin really didn’t lead to condemnation for all men, then why should anyone believe Jesus Christ’s one act of righteousness will lead to justification for all men (Rom. 5:18)? That’s Phil Johnson’s point in this post. I hope they listen.

Falk, and others like him, have clearly “strayed from the faith.” That was precisely why Paul warned Timothy to avoid the “profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20-21). So, how did that happen?

First of all, they abandoned the Bible. Science is the ultimate authority for the BioLogos crowd, not Scripture. Naturalistic science is the determinative force in their thinking; whenever the Bible says something different from the science, they interpret the Bible within the boundaries of evolutionary theory rather than the other way around. So they’ve sacrificed the literal, straightforward interpretation of Scripture, along with any meaningful doctrine of inerrancy, in order to keep in step with science.

Now that Dr. Falk has revealed his lack of biblical fidelity, I think BioLogos needs to reflect that in the “About Us” section of their website. The BioLogos Foundation claims to promote the Christian faith and affirm the Bible as the inspired Word of God. They say their goal is to promote dialogue, explore harmony, and eventually integrate science and Christianity, “allowing science and faith to co-exist peacefully.” Sounds serene, doesn’t it?

It’s not. What they call “peaceful co-existence” is overtly hostile. Falk writes, “BioLogos exists in no small part to marginalize [the young earth creation] view from the Church.” Why? Because, “…we are diametrically opposed to [the view]… that Adam and Eve were created with apparent age…just as we are diametrically opposed to their untenable position that there has been no macroevolution.” If they had their way, they’d put an end to any scientific inquiry that didn’t embrace evolutionary presuppositions.

Others have traveled the middle road ahead of Dr. Falk and BioLogos, with disastrous results. Consider the nineteenth-century liberals—a step into the middle of the road means a step away from biblical fidelity. So, why do they take that step in the first place?

Academic respectability. Period. When they esteem the changing opinions of men (scientists) over the sure Word of God, it’s evident they fear man rather than God; they love the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

That’s sad, because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). And “in [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). That lack of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge is evident in Dr. Falk’s desire to live in the middle road with his atheistic detractors.

Notice how Dr. Falk’s interaction with unbelievers fails to account for the effect of sin on their minds and wills. He complains that his atheist detractors, like Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins, engage in “not fair practice” by misrepresenting his views. Falk believes they would never intentionally distort his positions, and he appeals to their sense of appropriateness and goodness to make it right before their audiences of thousands. That shouldn’t surprise him, but it seems to.

Falk seems to think Coyne, Dawkins, and other atheists are essentially good chaps who would really like Christians, if only they could know them better, if only they felt more welcomed by them. I think not. Those men, along with every other non-Christian, are committed to unbelieving presuppositions. Falk pretends his conversations with atheists take place on the neutral ground of scientific investigation, rather than the battleground of the human heart.

There is no neutrality in the unredeemed mind. We have all inherited a sin nature from our first parents, Adam and Eve—which, by the way, requires them to be literal people (just sayin’)—and we are born with a predisposition to distrust God and disobey His law. Apart from regeneration, the human mind is at enmity with God (Rom. 8:7), suppresses the truth (Rom. 1:18), and loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19).

So, neutrality is a total myth. Unbelievers, to the very core of their being, are devoted to unbelieving presuppositions. They will always engage in intellectual rebellion. They sit on the thrones of their minds as lords of their own realities. They glory in their supposed autonomy and they are unwilling to relinquish it. Falk and BioLogos think they’ll overcome that hostility by providing good dialogue, practicing respectable science, and being nice? Not on your life.

The natural world truly is the common ground we share with unbelievers, but we must always remember it is God’s ground. God created the ground on which we all stand, ordered the natural laws to keep us all standing there, and stamped His image on us. God gave us reason and curiosity to recognize Him through what He made (Rom. 1:19-20); He wrote His law on our hearts and gave us a conscience to convict us (Rom. 2:14-15). Like Paul in Acts 17, we need to preach the biblical storyline—God is the Creator of everything (v. 24), we all descended from Adam (v. 26), and we all need to repent in view of coming judgment by the resurrected Christ (vv. 30-31).

Dr. Falk, The BioLogos Foundation, and old-earthers surrender the only common ground that exists. They’ve departed from Scripture, and by preferring the middle ground, they’ve become comfortable in the enemy’s camp. Long ages of death before Adam, no literal Adam, death not a consequence of Adam’s Fall—call it what you want, but that’s not the Christian faith.

So, I stand by what I said. Rather than avoiding “profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called,” they have professed it and have strayed concerning the faith (1 Tim. 6:20-21). As Dr. Falk and The BioLogos Foundation have illustrated, living in the middle means watching your Christian faith wither away, dying in the middle.


Travis Allen
Director of Internet Ministry


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#1  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 11:47 PM

Thanks for the blog, Travis. While my agreeing with you + a 2 dollar bill will only get me a cup of coffee, I will still do so. The false neutrality of materialist mentalities is a ruse that does nothing more then create smoke that blinds the eyes. Fred Butler's blog of June 15th really demonstrated this, I think. Christians have the flexibility to be neutral, materialist don't. They can't allow God in his creation, (funny that- how are they going to keep him out? What we have here are a whole lot of naked people running around admiring their spiffy new clothing. Clothing that only the initiated intellectual has, while in truth they have nothing to cover their shame.) We would not be having these conversations if Christians had minds as closed as we are told they (we) have. Just a few thoughts.

#2  Posted by Matt Tocco  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 4:14 AM

Thank you all (too many helpful answers to my questions to thank everyone individually) for yout help in answering my questions. I am, through prayerful consideration and the urging of the Holy Spirit, convinced that ours is a young earth literally created by God in a matter of days as we view them. I firmly believe that the Bible is a literal account provided for us by God so the wise can have understanding, not on our own, through our intellectual thought process, but with the guidance provided through God's Spirit.

Through the combination of answers given including the resources referenced, I can now see how it's plausible to consider (and therefore this gives me the necessary ammo to respond when the question is posed regarding the existence of dinosaurs) that the dinosaurs we're shown in museums and movies could very well have existed post Adam (after the fall, original sin and the introduction of death resulting from sin) and could have died off or become extinct by whatever means God had chosen prior to the flood. And that only those reptiles and birds that remained alive at the time of the flood were included on the ark.

It comes as no surprise to me though that there are such strong feelings arguing old earth. Last night as I was flipping channels on public TV there was a show that was stating so matter-of-factly that plant life on solid earth evolved from green algae. And in my own experiences with other "Christians" there are so many issues where people are looking for justification, reasoning or middle ground for things such as abortion, divorce (and subsequent adultery resulting after divorce), stealing, covetousness, false god's (money, power, fame)... instead of forgiveness.

Thank you all again for your help! I pray that the peace that only our God can provide will be with you all.

#3  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 5:12 AM

Let us not ever forget or fail to recognize that this is a spiritual battle. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].” (Ephesians 6:12) Satan, the deceiver, is battling for the hearts and souls of men and women. God has given us His word, which is the Truth, to set us free (John 8:32), to light our path (Psalm 119:105), and to sanctify us (John 17:17). Satan wants to dull this Sword of God’s Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) which is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,” (Hebrews 4:12). He would like nothing better than to cause us to question God’s Word and ponder “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1)

Therefore it is important that we “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” (Ephesians 6:10). Let us stand firm on His Word and remember:

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

GTY, I thank God for your ministry and am praying for you as you continue to proclaim the Word of God.

#4  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 5:50 AM

Excellent post, Travis, just excellent!

You said: "Unbelievers, to the very core of their being, are devoted to unbelieving presuppositions. They will always engage in intellectual rebellion. They sit on the thrones of their minds as lords of their own realities. They glory in their supposed autonomy and they are unwilling to relinquish it."

This could be likened to, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."

These people think, talk, act, and reason foolishly, and do not know that one day EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW before our great Lord and creator. Then all the foolish and vain babblings will cease. What a day that will be!

This has been such an awesome serious here, as well as similar posts on this topic over at Teampyro.

#5  Posted by Larry Bucar  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:06 AM

I peered over to the "living in the middle" site for the first time and ingested the majority of the comments. The dichotomy of their world view compared to GTY is tragic and sickening. As a former R Catholic and die hard evolutionist, I can only compare it to our Lord's comments to the Laodicean church (Rev 3:15-17) vs His comments to the church in Philadelphia (Rev 3:10-12)respectively. Landon, Dirk, Garret, Tim, et al; we can only pray that God will open your eyes and heart to the truth. LJB

#6  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 11:14 AM

GTY has tasted blood and is going for the kill! Travis, I feel for you, and I even agree with crucial parts of your critique. I am by no means a 100% backer of Biologos, but I think they are fundamentally right on the scientific issues and as long as GTY and other YECs remain dismissive of the weight of evidence against their views, groups like Biologos will continue to grow and sadly, so will dissatisfaction with the doctrine of inerrancy, which I think it the whole point of GTY's campaign; to become a leading voice of internet opposition to the growing popularity of harmonizing Christian orthodoxy with old earth/evolution.

Listen, it's clear that, theologically speaking, they are left-center, with a few posters leaning slightly right. On the one hand, they've got pretty solid guys like Waltke, Walton, Keller, McGrath, etc. But, on the other hand, they have the likes of Greg Boyd, and N.T. Wright, two guys with some awfully toxic doctrinal stances. So clearly, they'll take all comers if they say "I like Jesus and I'm cool with evolution." Hence, the diversity of opinion on the comments section. I've heard Giberson say, in an interview with Michael Shermer, that he believes there are other valid paths to God, the site can attack inerrancy as intellectually untenable, etc. This, to me, was a huge disappointment (not altogether unexpected) but I don't quite think they are in the same boat as the resurrection-denying liberals of old. Surely, though, they out to be criticized for their obvious pandering to the atheist elites (they don't want to seem like intellectual hicks) and their dismissive stance on inerrancy.

"Academic respectability. Period. When they esteem the changing opinions of men (scientists) over the sure Word of God, it’s evident they fear man rather than God; they love the approval of men rather than the approval of God."

I agree, that's part of it. But for me, part of it is truly a matter of cognitive dissonance, with folks claiming on one end that accepting evolution means rejecting Christianity and, on the other hand, examining the evidence and finding the YEC movement to be scientifically bankrupt. This blog has aggravated this tension 10 million times over, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, if I'm in the wrong. I respect Phil Johnson and have listened to hrs of his sermons, so to hear him take such a strong stance against Falk et al. tells me I've got some serious work to do.

"Landon, Dirk, Garret, Tim, et al; we can only pray that God will open your eyes and heart to the truth. LJB"

Thanks Larry, I'll take all I can get. Do you think accepting evolution is heresy? The pyromaniac blog gave me the willies when it compared Arius to Falk, even though I don't agree with Falk's take on Adam/inerrancy. I think this is Galileo 2.0, and history will be on the side of those who don't see evolution as invalidating the faith, but I surely don't want to be in the heretic camp.

***Can I get some help here!*** Why, if GTY's reading of Genesis is right, does it seem like none of the evidence fits there predictions of a young earth, global flood, and no common ancestry?! This is a REAL struggle for me, and I don't want to be a lost voice in GTY's valid criticisms of Biologos's shortcomings. How do I deal with this as someone who is entering the field of biological science? Do I have to defend dinos and humans coexisting, speed of light changes, etc? because I find that REALLY hard to do! In short, if God's word says what you say it says, why does science feel like a constant uphill battle against the facts! I've been a regular here for weeks; what am I missing? How do you guys do it?

#7  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 1:45 PM

Garrett

Almost all the scientific evidence you rely your worldview on is based on interpretations and not repeatable facts by people who by all means want to keep God out.

Instead of God in the gaps, they put Darwin in the gaps.

Try look at it from Gods point of view - He created all Very Good in love, but after the fall - man couldn't care less. Now they willfully fights against God, and tries to destroy the Truth, and teach other to do the same.

If God said it - trust Him. This is a command from God. But we don't see it that way. We love Him because He has proven without any doubt that He loved us first.

John 3:16 You have probably read this 1000 times, but do you really really understand that verse?

#8  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 2:25 PM

Greetings Garrett:

I talked recently with a friend who has been a geologist for 30+ years. He did his graduate work at the Colorado School of Mines, one of the nation's best in engineering and applied sciences. He's not as concerned about the age of the earth--long ages aren't required for the biblical worldview, but they are crucial for an evolutionary worldview--but believes the earth is relatively young (as in thousands, not billions).

As my friend talks with other scientists and geologists in his field, he challenges their assumptions. And that's what we're trying to do here. GTY is not anti-science--far from it. We love science, but recognize that science, like all intellectual disciplines, must start with biblical assumptions. There's no getting around the fact that God says He created the world in six normal days, death entered the world as a result of Adam and Eve's sin, there was a global flood, etc.

Having done the exegesis to verify what the Scripture actually says--as I said, and as the atheists are quick to point out, there's no getting around it--Christian scientists allow those assumptions to factor into their scientific inquiry. According to my geologist friend, he believes the creationist position explains the evidence far better than the evolutionary position.

You aren't in a "constant uphill battle against the facts." Facts are just facts--they don't prove anything by themselves. Facts, evidence, data require interpretation. Your constant battle is against an interpretation of the facts, informed by the assumptions of a secularist worldview.

So, here are some recommendations:

(1) Reexamine your epistemological starting point--how do you know what you know? Commit yourself to think God's thoughts after Him (Ps. 36:9), and let His Word shape your worldview, establish your presuppositions, and inform your assumptions.

(2) Enter your field of biological science and subject the assumptions in that field to rigorous, even ruthless scrutiny. Don't be nasty or snarky (be gracious and winsome), but don't let them off the hook. Make them tell you why.

(3) Pursue answers and enjoy your work. The mind not submitted to Scripture is in bondage, but a mind harnessed by God's Word is useful and fruitful. Armed with biblical presuppositions, think within the boundaries of God's Word and He'll bless your study and thrill you with discovery. I'm sure the Spirit of God would be happy to show you around the world He created.

(4) As you explore God's world, understand that you won't be able to find answers to all your questions. Secular science and Christian science suffer the same human limitation of finitude--God is infinite and His ways are beyond us (Is. 55:9). Remember that and it'll keep you humble and less frustrated.

I hope that gives you a start, Garrett.

Warmly in Christ,

Travis

#9  Posted by Jennifer Strange  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 5:32 PM

Having benefited greatly from the Grace to You ministry for some years, I must say I'm rather surprised by this exchange . . . not by the doctrinal position, actually, but by the tone in which it is being presented. If you believe that BioLogos is such a danger, that would presumably produce humility and godly grief, if also righteous anger, but not mockery and ad hominem arguments that presumptuously question the salvation of BioLogos employees and supporters. Phil Johnson's blog, recommended here, does precisely that to my great shock and sadness.

The proverb just below this comment box had already come to mind: are the sarcastic words of this blog and especially Phil Johnson's indeed words fitly spoken, apples of gold in settings of silver (Proverbs 25:11)? Are these words aimed at building one another up as long as today is called today? Or are they merely aimed at tearing down and riling up?

#10  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 5:41 PM

Thanks for that thoughtful response Travis; I will take it all to heart. I know you must be very busy and it means a great deal that you'd take the time to help me out. I think you've exemplified what it means for one to be "prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." I've talked some of this over with an elder at my church, but I think it's time that I speak one to one with my pastor. I have just one thought to put out in the open in response to your advice: when you say "Facts are just facts--they don't prove anything by themselves. Facts, evidence, data require interpretation. Your constant battle is against an interpretation of the facts, informed by the assumptions of a secularist worldview" how is that different from when folks like Dr. Falk say "you have your interpretation of Genesis, we have ours"? Doesn't Phil Johnson's criticism also apply to your statements? Let me adapt what he said to your response: "[Travis'] whole response to my post was basically: You have your interpretation of [the scientific facts]; we have ours. He seems to be suggesting that because interpretation by definition has an element of subjectivity to it, everyone is free to interpret however he or she prefers, and everyone's interpretation deserves equal respect. That may seem a nice-sounding platitude in our current postmodern context, but it is by no means a [scientific] value." Am I drawing a false parallel? For me, one is not free to apply any interpretation on the evidence he/she wishes, and one certainly has no grounds to claim that all interpretations are on equal footing and therefore deserve equal respect. Some are clearly superior to others and it isn't merely a matter of subjective preference. Where is my thinking off here? Thanks again for the help!

#11  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 7:55 PM

I didn't even know about BioLogos. But I think it's clear that anyone (or any organization) willing to find middle ground about anything will not be able to please both sides of any issue.

If they say they are Christians, we need to understand they mean the kind of Christians who don't beleive ALL of the Bible tells the truth. I don't know their thoughts about the Bible. Let's try and stay focused.

This is one issue that will make it clear who will compromise and who will stay true to the faith.

This is no different than what we go through in life. Has anyone been asked lately what they believe about evolution? If you're in school, at work, anywhere, can YOU really say evolution is a lie? or would we, like this organization, have to weigh our answers very,very carefully so as to avoid conflict at any cost?.

The battle lines have been drawn for a long time. Speaking for myself, I'm guilty of playing the compromising game myself. "I believe the Bible, but if you don't, that's fine. Christianity is not for everyone.." is what I used to say. Now, If I say there were dinosaurs 7,000 years ago, give or take a couple thousand years, I have no problem when I get the looks, or the laughs.

But I'm not trying to find common ground with anyone. I feel sorry for those who do. One cannot please everyone all the time.

May God grant the strength to this organization to define their position. One way or the other, it will be very hard to maintain neutrality.

#12  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:34 PM

Garrett:

My point is that facts require interpretation, and interpretations are not neutral. I'm not diminishing the importance of facts--all facts are God's facts. And I'm not advocating a Falk-style, postmodern subjectivism either.

There are many today who believe science is completely objective, and scientific inquiry is conducted in a disinterested, dispassionate manner in an honest, unbiased pursuit of truth. Evolutionary scientists are just going where the evidence takes them, right? Not at all. Their entire investigation is launched, conducted, and concluded according to their own set of a priori presuppositions.

That's why, as I said, you must commit to thinking God's thoughts after Him--"in Your light, we see light" (Ps. 36:9). When God's Word determines your presuppositions, your presuppositions will provide the basis for true scientific inquiry of the natural world. It's God's world, the facts are His facts, and the clarity of His special revelation (His Word) will guide you as you interpret what is not as clear in His general revelation (His world).

Travis

#13  Posted by Paul Schnell  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 11:59 PM

Garrett,

I recently completed a book that helps to answer at least one part of your query. You talked about the evidence that supports the nature-only, uniformitarianism view of evolution causing all things that we see today starting from a common ancestor. I recommend the book--that I struggled with since it didn't take a strict biblical view of creation. The author did, however, carefully examine the arguments put forth in favor of evolution being the creator and dissect the logic therein. Interestingly enough, his name is Phillip E. Johnson (not of GTY staff) and the book is entitled "Darwin on Trial". I recommend it. For a quick look at the unwillingness of the scientific community to entertain any other option than naturalistic evolution see "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" a documentary by Ben Stein which also tackles the discussion from a non-biblical stance.

These resources should cause a careful examination of the "evidence" in support of macro-evolution. In addition to fighting the uphill battle against the second law of thermo dynamics (my personal favorite) that says, in essence, everything is breaking down, so how does man evolve from apes or any other evolutionary change occur if decay is the rule?

For evidence in support of the Bible's portrayal of history, see the wealth of data from icr.org and answersingenesis.org.

This is an issue about which I am passionate and continue to read and ask questions, as do Christian scientists in interpreting the data in light of God's Word.

I am reminded, as I finish, that all this must be accompanied with fervent prayer for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes (speaking for myself as well.)

God bless you,

Paul

#14  Posted by Paul Schnell  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 12:27 AM

One quick note as I considered my last post and before I MUST go to bed. Sometimes I (and I think I speak, too, of we) get wrapped up in the evidence. If I'm a Christian, do I trust God as fully truthful, gracious, just and loving? If I do, why, when I doubt, do I look to man's reasoning for answers instead of prayerfully studying His Word. Is the doctrine of Sola Scriptura true? If it's not, as Paul says, that if our faith is only in this world, we are most pitiable (rough paraphrase.) So, where do we stand? On God and His revealed Word or on the wisdom of man? With Joshua, though failing often, I say "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

#15  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 3:35 AM

Garret

This is just one example of a just-so-story:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100319202526.htm

What do those footprints say: NOTHING, except that the footprints looks just like all other human footprints.

They must be interpreted. What INTERPRETATION would you write from that - knowing what the bible says?

#16  Posted by Sarah Javaheri  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 5:18 AM

Garrett:

I've been a Christian all my life. I was also a biochem and history major, and spent some time in med school before leaving. My belief is that I was not there when God created the world. I know he did it in 6 days, because He told us so, but I don't know how long a day was when He created the world. The earth was a different place; I have no idea how quickly or slowly the earth rotated at the time of its creation. I trust what God said, and go from there.

Here's the inherent flaw in all sciences, including evolution. First, evolution is based on the assumption that all natural laws are eternal. In other words, what was true today was true in pre-historic times, and will be true into the future. The problem with this idea is that there is absolutely no way to verify this assumption, since we cannot go back into time to verify this. Further, scientists acknowledge that the earth was extremely different at the beginning. Their assumptions about the earth cannot possibly be true, even by their own logic. And, in general, scientists (especially in physics) now "know" that a lot of their old presumptions, such as the idea that the rate of time is the same in all areas, is wrong. So, scientists can guess at how old they believe the world is, based on the current rate of decay of certain elements and such, but they can never verify this assumption. Who know how quickly elements decayed in the past? We cannot know this unless we go back in time to run experiments. Also, scientists keep changing the age they believe the earth is.

With regards to evolution, the theory has had to change numerous times in order to fit data found. It stared out as a slow and steady rate of evolution, until the fossil record showed that this was simply untrue. There is little proof of speciation, although there is current studies on adaptation that are believable. There is a difference between the two, but evolutionists tend to conflate the two into one theory. Adaptation can occur within one species without changing it into another. With the fossil record, there are not a lot of in-between species, which would be expected if evolution was true. There are also not a lot of fossils in the world when compared to the amount of animals that have existed. Fossils don't normally get created. Evolutionists are creating their theory on very little data, out of say maybe less then 10% of animals. That's crappy science; it's not enough data to say anything about the past, let alone that evolution is the truth.

Finally, evolution breaks a fundamental law of nature: things go towards chaos and not towards order, unless there is some outside force acting on the thing. Evolution is the opposite idea.

Sorry for the long winded post; hope this helps.

Sarah

#17  Posted by Garrett League  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 7:04 AM

Thanks for that clarification Travis.

#18  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 8:58 AM

Re the statement about the "...complete meltdown going on at BioLogos..." I think it may be a bit premature to be saying such things. Acknowledging the fact that we're talking about a group of regular people here and not Jesus' apostles, I suggest following the counsel of Gamaliel as recorded in Acts 5:38-39:

"And so in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action should be of men, it will be overthrown, but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God."

#19  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 10:25 AM

Tim,

1) Why would you suggest that folks here "stay away from these men" with regards to what is going on at Biologos?

2) Are you saying that the motivations of the folks here are to "overthrow" Biologos?

3) Are you trying to say that the folks here are in essence "fighting against God"?

#20  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 10:27 AM

Hi Folks:

Today, like most days, I get up out of bed and try to get the cobwebs out of my head. It always takes awhile and sometimes a cup of coffee helps, sometimes I just need to let things wake up on their own. It is like an axiom of life, it just happens and I really don't question it. That is not true of all axioms, some we need to question. Some assumptions need to be examined. For instance, some of the assumption regarding what God's intentions were in his creation if no death took place, (if Adam had not sinned). It is speculation, but I don't think God was too worried about it. It is not like the planet would be filled with animals to the point that they piled up past the atmosphere with one little dinosaur, trying to catch some O2, pushes his nose back into the morass to get that tiny bit of air before he turns blue. (Some of you will say- who said that? No one- but it was assumed by the blogger.)

If you have read my blogs, (snore), you know that I like to talk about these base beliefs. These things we take for granted and don't think much about- but everything else hitches on to. Some times our assumptions are based upon speculation. We hear something that sounds cool and intellectual, so we get on the band wagon. We live our lives believing stuff that is garbage.

Evolutionary "doctrine" is an amazing morass (yes- I used that word, maybe molasses is a better word.) of disjointed thinking and a conglomeration of independent threads of data and experimental observation based upon one "fact",the axiom -"No God". The idea gained acceptance according to Julian Huxley because he thought that people wanted a way out of "morality" basically. If there is no "God" to answer to, there are no consequences to immoral behavior.( A critical error if there is a God- don't you think?)

Another assumption, one that has caught me before, is that if you try and pen down an evolutionist in a debate, you may win a debate, but be told that in actuality, that was just that persons interpretation and if you had read this book or spoken to this person- you would have gotten it right. For they -the one you just talked to had it mostly right, but could have used some lessons from so-n-so. It is like pushing a chalk button on a pillow.

So what I have learned is to check under the hood, there may be a lot of "vroom, vroom" being spoken- and when you look for the motor- hi ho nothings there.

And remember the first deceit that was recorded in the Scriptures- "Yea, hath God said..." We still fall for that one... Just a thought.

#23  Posted by John Adams  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 3:14 AM

"There is little proof of speciation, although there is current studies on adaptation that are believable."

How much 'proof' do you want? Dozens of directly observed and documented instances are sufficient for most people.

Just one example;

http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/irwin.html

"With the fossil record, there are not a lot of in-between species, which would be expected if evolution was true."

I'd suggest you read the work of those creationists who are actually trained in paleontology, they know otherwise;

http://www.bryancore.org/anniversary/04.pdf

#24  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 8:31 AM

#23 John Adams

Do you really mean you can change a dog to a Non Dog?

Not even in your dreams can that happen.

#25  Posted by Tim Boan  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 10:17 AM

I hope i didn't skip over this in anybody's post(s), but in reference to the original post by Travis: How do we fit this discrepancy in the calling to love our enemies " Matt 5:43, and Luke 6:27" , and " Matt 7:6" which instruct us to not cast our pearls before swine lest they trample it underfoot?

My thought is: What is our motive behind this? We are sticking to the God's Word, but are we doing it out of love? I feel defensive when i speak of creation accounts, I defend young earth. But even Ray Comfort, who publicly heads up with these aethiests, shows loving actions towards the enemies of God.

#26  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 1:45 PM

"There is little doubt in this author's mind that with the maturity of the creation model will come an explanation of stratomorphic intermediates superior to that of macroevolutionary theory"

That quote is from the paper in your link John Adams. The paper is dated 1995 if I am not mistaken (that would be 15 years ago)? Did you actually read the paper?

Here are a few more recent postings of Dr Kurt Wise:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v5/n1/life-explosion

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v5/n1/preserved-leaves

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v5/n1/tracks-trilobites

I think Kurt Wise sums up his understanding of creation best here:

"The evidence from Scripture is by far the best evidence for creation. No better evidence can be imagined than that provided from Him who is not only the only eyewitness observer, but who also is the embodiment of all truth. All Christians should be content in His claims for creation. There are those, however, who reject the authority of the Scriptures."

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/313.asp

#27  Posted by Peter Heffner  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 2:47 PM

"There is little proof of speciation, although there is current studies on adaptation that are believable."

How much 'proof' do you want? Dozens of directly observed and documented instances are sufficient for most people.

Just one example;

http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/irwin.html

Either you didn't read the article, or you were unable to think things through, but it is clearly stated that the salamanders in question vary but by coloring and do interbreed. The birds also vary by coloring and it is suggested they could interbreed. There is actually a debate on how to define "species" among professionals, and the author, Irwin, seems the be using a broad definition equivalent to "stable population;" ie, a subspecies that does not frequently revert to the typological species forms. In other words, the article actually underscores the Biblical notion of reproducing in kind while at the same time multiplying. The variations all came from potential already present in the extant DNA. This type of variation is interesting, but well-known historically; for example ancient Romans proudly represented themselves in busts with bulbous foreheads and bent earlobe tops to prove their ethnicity, yet no one would pretend this to be macro-evolutionary.

"With the fossil record, there are not a lot of in-between species, which would be expected if evolution was true."

I'd suggest you read the work of those creationists who are actually trained in paleontology, they know otherwise;

http://www.bryancore.org/anniversary/04.pdf

I'd suggest you actually read the article you cite, for on page 217, considerable ink is shed with comments such as, "Because creationist paleontology is not in the state to properly address the traditional transitional forms issue..."

Furthermore, the subsequent review of the basics of transitions would underscore the contention here that Darwin's work simply arranged snapshots by external appearances, without any knowledge of genetic codes. Likewise, one could arrange pictures of anything under the sun -- such as submarines, propane tanks, Zeppelins, sausages, cigars, airplane fuselages, etc. -- and conclude genealogical descent. They all have similar morphology, therefore, they must have descended from a common ancestor. Just give it billions of years. The longer you let that propane tank sit outside in the rain, the greater the chances it will turn itself into an airplane, right?

The Evolutionists' Creed

Everything comes from nothing;

Chaos by its nature leads to order;

The evolutionist mission is to seek hard and fast universal laws to prove that everything is random.

The MacArthur Formula of Evolution

0 x 0 = ∞

#28  Posted by Dylan Perkins  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 6:00 PM

Hmm, tried to post before, for some reason didn't actually show up. Odd.

In trying again, I want to say to Garrett, you're doing very well. I've read your posts in the last few blog entries, and you've got a good head on your shoulders. Just stay the course. YEC does not fit the facts that the universe reveals to us.

#29  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 6:40 PM

DP writes,

Hmm, tried to post before, for some reason didn't actually show up. Odd.

I would imagine that is because you didn't use your real name. Note the guidelines in the side bar up above to the right. We request that you take responsibility for your comments and that means you use your real name. Besides, why does it matter who people know who you are anyways?

YEC does not fit the facts that the universe reveals to us.

The operative words here are "revealed to US." If you start with yourself apart from God's Word framing your understanding of the universe, then I can understand how the "facts" are a problem for you. However, YEC does fit the facts of scripture that have been clearly revealed to us, and that is what matters. "Facts" have to be interpreted. None of them are self-defining and authoritative within themselves. Note Travis' comment #8.

#30  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 6:54 PM

D P:

I'm not surprised your first attempt didn't make it through. You're hiding behind anonymity and encouraging someone in a direction diametrically opposed to the position we're promoting. Not odd at all.

Are you willing to jump into the fray with an argument of your own?

Travis

#31  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 7:12 PM

And as long as I'm checking in...

Tim Helble:

For those whose thinking is guided more by theology than philosophy or science, "complete meltdown" is an apropos description of what's going on at BioLogos. As was said in another place, "it's the beginning of the end of The BioLogos Foundation, at least as the distinctively Christian organization it claims to be."

And that's the essence of the problem. We're not picking on a bunch of "regular people," as you put it, who are innocently trying to find their way. The BioLogos folks put themselves forward as proficient scientists committed to biblical fidelity. Their clearly stated agenda to promote evolution and marginalize young earth creationism undermines the Bible.

Travis

#32  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 7:21 PM

And one more...

Tim Boan:

See #31 above. If you're asking about what we post and how we interact on this blog, we're committed to loving our "enemies" by telling them the truth. We're not throwing our pearls before swine because we're posting and interacting here at GTY, where the goal is to inform and encourage true Christians. That is to say, we're not spending a lot of time in atheist forums.

If you see a particular case where we're not showing "loving actions towards the enemies of God," please feel free to point it out. You're correct in your concern--we need to speak the truth in love, and we need to do it "with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt."

Travis

#34  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 5:29 AM

Tim Boan:

With regards to your post I will answer for myself with regards to motivation:

1)- As with all things we must endeavor to glorify God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism has as its first statement that man's chief end is to "glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever." So, primarily I want to bring glory and honor to the Name of Christ through my efforts. The question becomes, in my mind, do we do that (bring glory to God) by allowing His name and His Word to be trampled under foot without rebuttal by folks Paul would describe as evil doers?...I say absolutely not; and I stand on many verses for my foundation...here are a few:

1)-Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.

While Paul in the passage above was primarily speaking of folks who were pushing circumcision as necessary for salvation I believe his exhortation is key in understanding how to deal with folks who would pervert the Word of God in any fashion. We should properly identify them by their character and be on guard against them and their false teaching.

2)-Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.[a] Be shepherds of the church of God,[b] which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears..."

Notice Paul warned the Ephesian believers for three years about "savage wolves" who would come in and "not spare the flock". Can one effectively accomplish following Paul's example by allowing such heresy as Theistic Evolution to invade the flock without sounding an alarm?...I say certainly not!

3)-Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Notice that Jude says we are to "contend earnestly for the faith".

There are some key words here that should be defined for futher understanding:

Contend is defined as such: To compete, as in a race; vie.

To strive in controversy or debate; dispute

Earnestly is defined as such: characterized by or proceeding from an intense and serious state of mind

4)-In Matthew's Gospel chapter 23 Jesus pronounces 7 woes on false religious leadership. His railing accusations against them are straight forward and very pointed. Jesus ends His assessment of the false religious leadership like this: Matthew 23:33 "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers..."

Those who promote Theistic Evolution are placing themselves in the theological arena and are open to scrutiny accoring to God's Word. However, it is the message I am arguing against. The players are pawns, in my opinion, and can be here one day-gone the next. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10 the following:

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 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.

Finally, I wish to quote two men who addressed such issues...Mark Dever and John Calvin:

Dever:

“God gives life through his Word. He created the world through his Word, and he recreates his people through his Word (Gen. 1:3-4; Ezek. 37:1-10; Rom. 10:14-17; 2 Cor. 4:1-6). Therefore, good preaching is nothing more or less than speaking the burden of God’s Word, relying on the Spirit to impress this message into the hearts of sinners. Whether the text you choose to teach is one verse or one Testament, good preaching aims to communicate the burden of that text.”

Now I realize we are not necessarily "preaching" here but we are indeed "speaking the burden of God's Word" as Mark says above.

Calvin:

“Here, then is the sovereign power with which the pastors of the Church, by whatever name they be called, ought to be endowed. That they may dare boldly do all things by God’s Word; may compel all worldly power, glory, wisdom, and exaltation to yield to and obey his majesty; supported by his power, may command all from the highest even to the last; may build up Christ’s household and cast down Satan’s; may feed the sheep and drive away the wolves; may instruct and exhort the teachable; may accuse, rebuke, and subdue the rebellious and stubborn; may bind and loose; finally, if need be, may launch thunderbolts and lightnings; but do all things in God’s Word.”

-John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 4.8.9 (pp. 1156-1157)

By the way, I agree that all should be done as Travis stated "with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt."

#35  Posted by Rachel Capps  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 7:07 AM

Travis first of all thank you for a great article this is a subject that I have been thinking on a lot lately. I am a born again Christian no doubt about it but I also have a scientific background and have long quietly struggled with the young earth perspective. I have listened to John MacArthur's case and have recently been reading some of Hugh Ross's old earth arguments at Reasons to Believe. His stance is “concordism”, belief that the facts of nature, as discovered by scientific investigation, will be discernibly consistent with Scriptural statements about the natural realm. http://www.reasons.org/files/articles/creation_timeline_chart_color_200805.pdf

I find his arguments very compelling but also strive to be a discerning Christian and a lot of this stuff is far over my head. I'm curious if anyone has read his literature and can provide some insight on his ministry.

#36  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 7:17 AM

Rachel,

Regarding the works of Hugh Ross, you may benefit from this book,

http://creation.com/refuting-compromise-product-info-refutation-of-hugh-ross

It is a thorough treatment of Ross and RTB's apologetic approach. Introductory chapter can be read here:

http://creation.com/refuting-compromise-refutation-of-hugh-ross-introductory-chapter-and-reviews

If you search the creation.com website, there are other, shorter articles interacting with various subjects in Ross's apologetic methodology.

#37  Posted by Rachel Capps  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 7:27 AM

Thank you Fred! I will look into that.

#38  Posted by Larry Bucar  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 10:46 AM

Landon, Dirk, Garret, Tim, et al,

The "evolution has to be a fairy tale for adults" tipping point for me was just the weight of common sense evidence from other fields of scientific study such as:

1. reading that the Mercury-Apollo engineers and scientists were concerned about the depth of dust that would potentially "swallow" the weight of the lunar module. The depth was a few cm's; if the earth and moon were billons of years old extrapolate from say a mm of space dust per 1x10^3 yrs settling for 1x10^9 yrs (pretty thick)!

2. recently, the world's first submarine (a South civil war relic) was discovered off the coast of S Carolina that (from my viewing of the documentary) was covered with with a light layer (inch or so) of marine life and sediment and buried a foot so into the sea bottom. Again extrapolate 150 yr to 1x10^9 yrs.

3. Other things like the lack of extreme sediment thickness evidence at the bottom of oceans near river mouths, 2nd law of thermodynamics, the IMPOSSIBLE odds of a DNA molecule arising from Nitrogen, Hydrogen, Carbon, etc., the measurable slowing of the earth's rotational velocity (extrapolate that over 1x10^9 yrs), and easily thousands more (see the creation web sites). LJB

#39  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 11:19 AM

Larry,

A couple of these items, like the moon dust thickness and the 2nd law of thermodynamics are arguments that are probably not the best. See here to get a more comprehensive reason why:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/topic/arguments-we-dont-use

and a similar article located here:

http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use

#40  Posted by Mike Sexton  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 11:49 AM

Travis and Fred, as I've said before, you brothers have been used by God to really open my eyes to a lot in this series. I was fairly convinced a few blogs ago, but this past weekend I was reading what all was happening over at pyromaniacs and it floored me when I saw that someone who was an unbeliever had been posting along with the OEC believers the whole time, and no one could tell the difference between them. The idea that a non-believer defending evolution mirrored perfectly the positions of believers who were defending OEC and evolution (or is it vice versa?) sealed it for me. If we remove the supernatural power of God from the creation of all things, we remove it from all things period. If God cannot and did not do exactly at creation, what scripture says, then there is no fit rationale for following Him. I choose instead to go with what scripture clearly presents. I'm no scientist and I won't pretend to be an intellectual, so I'm not going to jump into the fray and trip up both myself and others. Just know that God is using this series, and brothers like you to provide clarity for a lot of us, and I thank Him much for that. I will be praying for you brothers as you continue a fight that I'm not able to fight myself.

#41  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 12:56 PM

Tiktaalik is another one of the icons that didn't stand, because tetrapod trackways is dated older:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7277/abs/nature08623.html

By the way - I have a question to you wise guys:

In Genesis 2:17. The sin was disobedience, but what does it really mean - knowledge of good and evil?

Is it about the nature of love, that love isn't real if it is not tested?

I've heard many different explanations trough the years.

#42  Posted by Larry Bucar  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 3:11 PM

#38-39 I always loved those 2 debate topics in question, the moon dust thing always reminded me of Frank Zappa... any way as some old obscure chicken farmer from Indiana turned mediocre basketball coach at ucla and enjoying creation and eternal life with our Lord right now has said,

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts," and

"If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes," and...

"There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior," and

"If I were ever prosecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me".

Oh that we could be blessed with a tribe of J. Woodens'.

#43  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 5:50 PM

Rudi...are you going philosophical on us? :-)

An answer to your question may be speculative. Calvin warned (wisely)against speculating where scripture does not clearly make known the answer.

Perhaps a word on the subject by John MacArthur may be appropriate...not sure if this is what you want:

"...God is not responsible for evil. The source of evil, the source of sin, is outside God. When God created angels and God created humans, he gave them intelligence. He gave them reason, and he gave them choice. And there is a sequence. I put those words in that order for a purpose. Intelligence gave them the ability to understand things. Reason gave them the ability to process that understanding toward behavior. And choice gave them the freedom to determine that behavior. Intelligence, reason, and choice. Bottom line: With what they knew, and with the ability they had to process that information, they would be brought to a choice. And whether angels or men, they would have the choice either to obey God or not to obey God.

Listen to this: To disobey God was to initiate evil. Evil is not the presence of something. Evil is the absence of righteousness. You can't create evil, because evil doesn't exist as a created entity. It doesn't exist as a created reality. Evil is a negative. Evil is the absence of perfection. It's the absence of holiness. It's the absence of goodness. It's the absence of righteousness. Evil became a reality only when creatures chose to disobey. Evil came into existence initially then in the fall of angels. And then next, in the fall of Adam and Eve.

Just put it this way in your mind. Evil is not a created thing. Evil is not a substance. Evil is not an entity. Evil is not a being. Evil is not a force. Evil is not some floating spirit. Evil is a lack of moral perfection. God created absolute perfection. Wherever a lack of that exists, sin exists. And that cannot exist in the nature of God or in anything that God makes. Evil comes into existence when God's creatures fall short of the standard of moral perfection..."

From the sermon The Origin of Evil Code: 90-235

#44  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 10:02 PM

Hi Tim Helble: you ask question Post # 63 has your answer in "A La Carte".

Hi folks: Thanks Fred for the blogs, on moon dust, etc. and esp mutations. Looking for that stuff- guess I looked in the wrong place, he he.

#45  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 11:11 PM

Jennifer Strange #9 “If you believe that BioLogos is such a danger, that would presumably produce humility and godly grief, if also righteous anger, but not mockery and ad hominem arguments that presumptuously question the salvation of BioLogos employees and supporters. Phil Johnson's blog, recommended here, does precisely that to my great shock and sadness.”

ad hominem arguments (arguments that appeal to personal interests, prejudices or emotions rather than to reason) After twice reviewing Phil Johnson’s blog, I could find no biblical evidence of arguments appealing to personal selfish interest but rather, those that argued for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints, demonstrated by a love for the truth and a righteous hatred for the enemies of that truth (see Proverbs 8:13), those who would pervert and twist that truth. Your response demonstrates that you do not understand the difference between being humble before God and being bold before His enemies who would pervert His word. What you call prejudices God calls biblical discernment. I could not agree that Phil’s arguments appeal to emotion. Though some might argue that his arguments do not appeal to (fallen) human reasoning, they certainly do appeal to biblically discerning reasoning.

Your comment about “presumptuously” questioning the salvation of BioLogos employees and supporters demonstrates a deficiency in your understanding of what God has revealed in His word regarding what it is to be saved. Our churches are filled with people who do not understand such things. Our pulpits are filled with men who are not burdened over the eternal souls of those who week after week listen to them. When is the last time your pastor asked “Are you saved my dear hearer? Are you born again?” When is the last time your pastor has explained from the scriptures what the new birth is and what the eternal consequences of not being born again really are? If you, or anyone reading this response, are not accustomed to hearing such things I would wholeheartedly recommend to you Matthew Mead’s “The Almost Christian Discovered”. In the forward of the copy I own John MacArthur writes “…even struggling Christians who are open to reproof and instruction-will find plenty of sustenance on these pages.”

In attempting to evaluate the appropriateness of our responses to those who promote error consider the response of the Apostle John when he “went into a bath at Ephesus, and seeing Cerinthus within, ran out without bathing, and exclaimed, ‘Let us flee lest the bath should fall in, as long as Cerinthus, that enemy of truth, is within.” Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John, “once coming and meeting Marcion, who said, ‘I acknowledge us [a salutation],’ he replied ‘I acknowledge the first born of Satan.” Such caution did the apostles and their disciples use, so as not even to have any communion, even in word with any of those that thus mutilated the truth, according to the declaration of Paul: ‘An heretical man after the first and second admonition avoid, knowing that such an one is perverse, and that he sins, bringing condemnation upon himself’-Titus 3:10-11”.-Book 4 Chapter 14 Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History. Clearly, the current standard for dealing with false teachers has shamefully degenerated- His Unworthy Slave

#46  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 1:03 AM

#43 Thanks Keith, excellent answer

I’ve always wondered why there was no more info given. It’s right there in the beginning, and I have always thought of it as it must be a key to understand both the fall and the nature of God. But you are right. It is philosophical, and thereby open to erroneous views.

The evil is when we do not love God, who is the Truth, perfect love and righteousness.

I’ll listen to the sermon right away.

#47  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 12:40 PM

#43 The sermon was superb.

But I noticed that even John MacArthur can get philosophical :-)

But not this one, a quote which assigns evil to evolution:

Evolution is dependent on decay and death, all effects or reflections of evil. So if God used any kind of evolution to create, then God authored evil. He created decay and He created death. And if God used any form of evolution then His creation was not all good, it was not perfect when He created it and it is what it is now because of decay and death which He must have used in His creation which are evidences of evil then God must Himself be evil. Our God is not evil, God is all good and only good.

I agree

#48  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 1:22 PM

Rudi...

I suppose when one deals with the metaphysical one must dabble with philosophy.

Here is another "sermon" on the very same topic by R.C Sproul. R.C gave this speech a few weeks ago at the Ligonier National Conference. Now, if you want to go on a theological roller coaster ride listen to this great speech!! What great stuff.

http://www.christianity.com/ligonier/?speaker=sproul1

#49  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 3:35 PM

#48 Amen to that. What great stuff.

I've never heard anything like that.

Amazingly simple but what an awesome definition. I'm on fire.

Tomorrow I just have to listen to the other speakers.

Are there any way to download as mp3?

#50  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 5:21 PM

Not sure about the mp3. I would contact Ligonier and ask...they are very helpful.

#51  Posted by Tim Boan  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 11:34 PM

Rudi - if you find the MP3, or any of the MP3's from the conference then let me know. post it here, and my email will update me :-). I looked a little and found that it seems we have to pay for the conference on CD or DVD.

This post was great!--> #8 Posted by Travis Allen | Friday, June 25, 2010 at 2:25 PM

"Greetings Garrett"

So to show my posture on this " Topic of the day " I want to add, I have a tendency towards being brash, I defend the Bible to my best abilities. Where i posted earlier about love is a conviction i seem to get from Christians, who have less interest in teaching what is true.

An issue I find offensive, is the absence of righteousness in our world.

Evil is not. Evil is the absence of righteousness. The teachings of things that are not true, are missing truth, or missing righteousness. Thus these wrong teachings are evil, being absent of what is right.

My personal debate that I struggle with: "Why should I have to learn more about these worldly false teachings, when really I feel I can rest in God, because sooner or later these scientists will find out the truth, because all real facts will lead them to truth, even if that fact is the result of death and eternal hell. All will know eventually."

Here is where others fall off and settle in their camps. they figure " I know enough, or that stuff ( creation ) isn't for me."

This is my motivation : " I feel conviction to learn of these man-made assumptions, only to serve as a helper, a messenger, to those who have been lured into this trap of the enemy to be then slaughtered intellectually by men with ph.d's."

Honestly i dont care what evolutionists say about anything until they repent and believe God for what His word says.

But in love, I say to those half-way thiestic evolutionists, "why? Why bother trying to find a middle ground? Why try to match Bible to science? why not instead read the bible, apply proper interpretation, then go do your science to prove God did what he said He did?" Science is not the final authority, The Bible is. It's like my will verse the Father's Will. I must drop my thought if it doesn't match up with His. Same with science, as soon as we see it isn't matching up with the Bible, then drop it and run.