November 20th, 2013
Several years ago I was taking a [required] course that teaches creationism. I have a few comments about the course I’ll keep to myself [as in it shouldn’t be in the university] but I think most readers know where I stand on university and academia issues and standards. I was asked the question, “Is it surprising that scientific evidence supports a young earth perspective?”
My response is simply that this is a loaded question. I don’t think I can say there’s no evidence for a young earth; however, I find the record of nature to support the proposition that the universe is old (billions of years) by overwhelming evidence. There is hardly any evidence for a young earth, if indeed there is any at all.
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May 1st, 2012
Einstein’s GTR [and aspects of STR] has made incredible contributions to natural theology. Given the fixed speed of light, that nothing can travel faster than light, and the billions of light-years separation between the earth and other stars, it follows that the universe is billions of years old. This has created a problem for young-earth creationists. Current estimations for the age of the universe have been set at 13.73±2 billion years old. Young-earth creationists have adopted three main approaches: (1) embrace a fictitious history of the universe in the spirit of Philip Gosse’s 1857 work Omphalos; (2) view the speed of light as having decayed over time; and/or (3) interpret Einstein’s GTR so that during an “ordinary day as measured on earth, billions of years worth of physical processes take place in the distant cosmos.”
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February 29th, 2012
The following is very brief outline of the book of Genesis.
Genesis: The beginnings (This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord made the heavens and the earth. Gen. 2:4 NASB)
Theme Verse(s): In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:1, 10b (NASB)
Author: Moses (Pentateuch Authorship: Ex. 17:14; 24:4; 34:27; Num. 33:1-2; Deut. 31:9)
Date, Place, and Type of Writing: 1450-1410 BC, General Middle East, Historical
*A. Theological Significances B. Practical Applications C. Major Events —Multiple or None Major
1. The Creation—1-2
A. The Creator creates everything (anything not created is God—cosmological argument—c.f. John 1:3).
- There are supposed contradictory Creation accounts between chapters 1 & 2. Chapter 2 is another account in supplementation to the first account by adding details (i.e. we are told that God created man (a generic term here) male and female (v 27), but this does not mean that the first creature was a male-female combination. The details of that creation of the male Adam and the female Eve are given in 2:18-23. Likewise, verse 5 adds details about the creation of vegetation on the third day.
- Creation was good, untainted by sin (1:10b).
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February 1st, 2012
To answer the question, “Is it surprising that scientific evidence supports a young earth perspective?” I would respond saying that I would almost consider this a loaded question. I don’t think I can find no evidence for a young earth; however, I find the record of nature to support the proposition that the universe is old (billions of years) by overwhelming evidence. There is hardly any evidence for a young earth, if indeed there is any at all.
Before getting to the geologic record of nature one needs to address the cosmological record of nature (the earth cannot be older than the universe). I initially gained my interest in cosmology (and I must say I really enjoy discussing cosmology) was the Kalam cosmological argument, which is an apologetic argument for a beginning of the universe. I’ll put aside the mathematical and philosophical arguments for a beginning of the universe for that would be off topic and I’ll stick with the scientific evidence. If one were to analyze an extrapolation of space and time then that initial singularity for the universe would take us back 13.73 GYA (giga, billion years ago). There are many models of the universe such as the steady state, oscillating, quantum fluctuation, and other string theory models that coincide with former. The most prominent model with the most philosophical, mathematical, and scientific evidence is the standard model (due to cosmic inflation, the big bang). Prominent cosmologist Paul Davies comments,
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January 31st, 2012
The following is an excerpt of a conversation I had with a young earth creationist from about two years ago. This was soon after being falsely accused of positions I hold to and being called a heretic and non-Christian. In this conversation I’m actually called a poor witness to Christ because of my views. I’ve changed the name of the other student for confidentiality. I know it may be difficult to have the full context but you should be able to pick up the jist of it as you read along. Enjoy!
Jack, I appreciate that you feel I am a learned individual, but do you understand how seriously offensive your unsubstantiated accusations are? (My name is not Maxwell).
“First is an apology, I misinterpreted and claimed you believed in evolution (which is in fact heresy saying God is not the creator of the universe) when there is no evidence you actually. No you’re right, I with this new evidence it is not a dividing line between believer and non believer.”
I’m not an evolutionist, but theistic evolution does not deny God as creator of the universe. You claim that there is no evidence for evolution. I believe there is evidence for evolution and to totally dismiss it would be unwarranted. You may not like their evidence, or believe the evidence is wrong, but you cannot simply dismiss it as “no evidence.”
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January 27th, 2012
The following is a guest blog post by John Quin. John, a 40-year-old electronics engineer working for the Australian Government. He was raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist, a fundamentalist Christian denomination that teaches elaborate narratives beyond what even scripture can reasonably support. It has only been in the last few years that John has simultaneously discovered the flaws with fundamentalism and strength of philosophical based Christian apologetics. John hopes to be able to share his new perspective on Christianity with as many people as God places in his path.
The field of interaction between science and religion is quite vast and in this blog entry I will concentrate on a couple of issues that concern the impact science has had on Abrahamic monotheism/Christianity.
For many people who were raised as a Christian and then went on to study Science at University the religion they had once believed with childlike certainty seems to have been totally and utterly falsified. For them believing in Christianity has become completely unthinkable. But what exactly has been falsified, God’s existence, a Divine genesis, or perhaps the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ? I would like to propose the hypothesis that the Christianity that has been falsified for many of these people is what I’ll refer to as “Flannelgraph Christianity”.
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November 21st, 2011
Last week Mike Licona presented his paper, “When The Saints Go Marching In (Matthew 27.52-52): Historicity, Apocalyptic Symbol, and Inerrancy,” to fellow scholars of the Evangelical Theological Society, which included William Lane Craig, Craig Blomberg, Paul Copan, Dan Wallace, and Darrell Bock in the audience.
You may view the paper at Licona’s website.
You may listen to the presentation MP3 at Licona’s website.
I appreciate Licona responding to Geisler in the academic arena. I hope many scholars take this issue and carry the research to verify or falsify this interpretation of Matthew’s raised saints to the best historiography can offer. (Also, you’ll note that Licona takes the modest position of agnosticism at the moment.) I certainly hope that Matthew 27 doesn’t become the litmus test for society membership or that it sneaks its way into some statement of faith (anymore than it already is).
My only hope is that Geisler either responds in the academic arena haven been given the chance to read Licona’s footnotes or that he drop this whole sideshow and move on.
November 8th, 2011
I know this issue is a very large issue for some Christians. I understand that many people disagree with me pertaining to the issue, but I do not believe the Bible advocates a young earth, nor do I believe science supports young earth creationism. I am a progressive creationist (old earth). Young earth cosmology just doesn’t cut it. The scientific account is simply horrible. I’m a proponent of the level two multiverse. (See “Living in the Multiverse–Is it Science?” and “The Theological Attraction of the Multiverse” and “Divine Simplicity and the Multiverse–Thomas Aquinas Approved”).
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November 4th, 2011
Let’s have a thought experiment. If Adam, before sin, had tripped and fell on a big sharp rock and cut his head open, would he die? Think about it, the neurological and cranial damage would be tremendous and even if that wasn’t damaged, there is still the risk of infection. What if Adam wanted to enjoy a swim in the river, what if he got a cramp and couldn’t swim anymore and drowned? I hear the objections already, “Well God could alter the physics or perform a miracle,” or, “Adam would have seen that rock or would have known not to swim at that time.” Sure, these are possible, but not plausible. I think those objections won’t work because you have a problem of a theodicy on your hands, why wouldn’t God interfere with Adam sinning?
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August 19th, 2011
Guest Post by Bryan Raszinski
The wrath of God is a truth that is rarely taught or proclaimed within the Church these days. The Church seems to display greatly the love of our God, the mercy of our God, and the grace of our God…but when His wrath is brought up we just shut down and move forward like it is nothing of any theological importance. J.I. Packer recognizes this problem and says:
“To an age which has unashamedly sold itself to the gods of greed, pride, sex and self-will, the church mumbles on about God’s kindness but says virtually nothing about his judgment…The fact is that the subject of divine wrath has become taboo in modern society, and Christians by and large have accepted the taboo and conditioned themselves never to raise the matter…One of the most striking things about the Bible is the vigor with which both Testaments emphasize the reality and terror of God’s wrath.”
The Bible is clear that the wrath of God plays an important role not only in the life of an unbeliever but also in the life of a believer; Israel and the other Gentile nations.
In Exodus 3:20 it reads: “So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go.” One theological implication of this text is divine justice. Moses was just commissioned to go before Pharaoh by YHWH and demand the release of his people. This is the promise YHWH gives Moses as a sign that Moses is not alone in this deliverance. Israel is being delivered and redeemed back into the land they are supposed to dwell in as was authorized by the Lord back in the Genesis account. YHWH is going to strike the Egyptian nation with His wonders and miracles and as the Exodus account continues it becomes clear that His wonders are divine judgments that go against the 10 major gods of the Egyptians as well as play a part in showing the glory of His power and His name to the nation of Egypt and use this as an example for other nations to see. His wrath on the Egyptians was divine deliverance for His people the Israelites.
As we move in the New Testament, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians gives important implications of the wrath of God. We read in Ephesians 2:1-3-“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to thecourse of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Ephesians 2:1-10 is a popular passage when it comes to sharing the gospel and for good reasons. The first three verses serve as a reminder of the state we were in prior to believing in the Lord and acknowledging Him as Lord. They place us in a place that is often not spoken of…a place we refuse to realize we were in in the first place before being saved and transferred from kingdom to another (Col. 1:13-14). We were devil worshipers and by our very nature a stench that repelled us from our Lord. We were sons of disobedience and walked by the flesh. We were children of wrath. Paul is very clear that before verses 4-10 occurred we were not in a neutral spot ready and prepared to say yes to the Lord whenever we deemed it necessary. We were naturally against the Lord and our minds and bodies were embodied in the chains of sin and depravity. We understand verses 4-10. We tend to only read that section and then move on from that passage praising the Lord for His grace…but do we know why we are praising His grace? Do we understand the full extent of where our sin had us and what He did for us?
The wrath of God gives us this ability. We as believers and co-workers of Christ can rejoice in the wrath of God because of the grace that has covered us for our sins in the past, sin we commit now, and sin we will commit in the future. Believers should not ignore the truth that the wrath of God has ingrained in it. There are two places in eternity- Heaven and Hell. For His children who will reside with Him in heaven we are able to rejoice in both the grace of God and wrath of God for the grace of God, given to us by the act of propitiation that Christ performed on the cross, has covered us and made us holy and above reproach. We can rejoice in the wrath of God because we are commanded to rejoice in the Lord always no matter what (Phil. 4:4) and because the wrath of God gives us deliverance from the sin of the world and separates us from the imperfections and distortions that sin has committed. It is the wrath of God that will eventually eradicate sin and temptation from the world and give us an imperishable place of residence free from such heavy chains (1 Corinthians 15:50-57) and allow us to be able to be what we were originally meant to be- the perfect and holy image of God.