googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

To Be or To Become

Picking a favorite book in the Bible is kind of like picking a favorite child. But if I had to choose one, I would say that the Gospel of John currently occupies that position in my heart. Whenever I quote the Bible or use a passage to illustrate some point, I find myself going to John more often than not. And for deep theology, John chapter 1 is hard to rival.

There is so much to learn from John that an entire blog could be devoted to simply studying his gospel and it’s tempting to turn this blog in that direction. In this post, however, I want to look at how John used different verbs to emphasize the eternal nature of Jesus – identified in John 1 as “The Word” ( λόγος).

Back in Exodus 3:14, in God’s discourse with Moses, He identifies Himself to Moses as ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν (LXX), “I am the one who is” or, in the KJV, “I am that I am.” By the time of the NT, this use of the emphatic had become a personal name for God. Jesus, of course, referred to Himself as the ἐγώ εἰμι. The most notable example occurs in John 8:58 but there are actually many other instances.

The imperfect form of εἰμι is ἦν (3rd person, singular). Could the use of ἦν carry any similar significance to the use of the emphatic ἐγώ εἰμι? In John 1:1, we see the repeated use of ἦν.

ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν λόγος, καὶ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν λόγος.

The Word WAS in the beginning,
And the Word WAS with God,
And the Word WAS God.

The imperfect aspect implies a continuous action in the past. I’ve heard Dr. Spiros Zodhiates (and others) argue that continuous action implied by the imperfect aspect means that ἦν here could be translated more like, “In the beginning, the Word already was.” For the longest time, I was skeptical of his claim. After all, ἦν is an extremely common form and I considered this to be an unusual meaning. Consider, for example, the wedding in Cana described in John 2:1 where it says, καὶ ἦν μήτηρ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐκεῖ·, “and the mother of Jesus was there.” It would make no sense to say, “and the mother of Jesus was already there.” Now, I believe in the eternal existence of Jesus, but I thought his translation was a stretch. I dismissed Zodhiates’ claim as being overreaching.

Lately, though, I’ve had a change of heart. While reading Wallace’s, The Basics of New Testament Syntax, I came across his simple observation that opened my eyes to the possibility. In John’s monologue (v. 1-18), there are many uses of this imperfect verb:

v. 2: οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν. (This one was in the beginning with God)
v. 4: ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων· (In Him was life, and the life was the light of men)
v. 9: ἦν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν, φωτίζει πάντα ἄνθρωπον, ἐρχόμενον εἰς τὸν κόσμον. (It/He was the true light, which illuminates every man, coming into the world).

John uses the word liberally and in what seems to be in a very ordinary sense. But in v. 6, we see a curious departure.

ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος ἀπεσταλμένος παρὰ θεοῦ ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἰωάννης·

“There came a man -- having been sent from God -- whose name [is] John,” (Young’s Literal)

The use here of γίνομαι (ἐγένετο) rather than ἦν sort of leaps out. In John 3:1, concerning the coming of Nicodemus to Jesus, John wrote:

ἦν δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων, Νικόδημος ὄνομα αὐτῷ

“And there was a man of the Pharisees, Nicodemus his name,” (Young’s Literal)

John could have very easily used the same construction concerning John the Baptist yet he chose ἐγένετο rather than ἦν. It is as though John was saying, “Jesus was but John became.”

When looking at the entire passage, it’s conspicuous that ἦν is only ever used to refer to the Word. Everything else is modified by ἐγένετο:

v. 3: πάντα δι' αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν γέγονεν (All things were made through Him, and without Him was made not even one thing which had been made)
v. 10: ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἦν καὶ κόσμος δι' αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο (He was in the world and the world was made through Him)

Toward the conclusion of John’s monologue (v. 14), comes another use of the verb ἐγένετο:

Καὶ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο

“And the word became flesh.”

If I may make an amplified translation of that, it might sound something like: And the Word (which always was) became flesh (something it had never been before).

I admit it’s not the typical understanding of the verb ἦν but I think a case can be made here. In this passage, John seems to overtly contrast the Word with everything else. The Word alone always “was.” Everything else “became.”

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Salvation Message

How can I know God? How do I get to heaven? What must I do to be saved? Over the millennia, countless numbers of people have asked these questions. Perhaps you’ve asked them yourself. The simple fact that your reading this post shows you’ve at least thought about it. So then I will tell you God’s simple plan of salvation.


The mortality rate among humans is 100%. This life and everything you have now will someday pass away. It’s inevitable.

When God created the world, though, it was not His plan that people would die. When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them a perfect world to live in. He gave them only one restriction: do not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. He gave Adam a stern warning, “when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:17). But Adam disobeyed God and ate of that forbidden fruit. When he did that, he exchanged his immortal body for a mortal one.

We now are descended from Adam and we have inherited his body of flesh. As Adam died, we all die (Romans 5:12). It’s a guaranteed. You need to consider what is going to happen after you die.

The Bible says that it is appointed to us to die and then we are judged (Hebrews 9:27). God is perfect in everything He does. The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:8). Because of this, some people believe God will simply overlook everything they’ve ever done wrong. They don’t seem to understand that God is also just.

Imagine a judge in a criminal trial who is sentencing a murderer. The judge says, “I’m a loving judge so I’m not going to condemn you. Instead, I’m going to set you free!” That judge would be an unjust judge. So while God is perfect love, He is also perfectly just. Even though He loves us, He will still hold us accountable for our sins.


Ok. So God will judge us. Have we really been that bad? Be honest with yourself for a moment (it’s just you and the computer) and compare your life to the 10 Commandments.

One Commandment is that we do not lie (Exodus 20:16). Do you think it’s wrong to lie? Have you ever lied? Everyone has. What do we call someone who lies? We call him a liar.

Another Commandment is that we do not steal (Exodus 20:15). Do you think it’s wrong to steal? Have you ever stolen anything (even just a little thing)? Everyone has. We call a person who steals a thief.

We are commanded to not take God’s name in vain (Exodus 20:7). Have you ever said, “Oh my God,” or “Jesus Christ” (in exclamation), or “God damn”? Everyone has. These are examples of taking God’s name in vain. We call people who misuse God’s name, blasphemers.

Is adultery wrong? Jesus said if we even lust after a person, we’ve already committed adultery in our hearts (Matthew 5:28). Have you ever lusted after someone?

Do we need to go down the entire list? Have you always put God first in your life? Have you always kept the Sabbath holy? Have you always honored your parents? You see, it’s not if we’ve broken any commandments. The fact is everyone has broken every commandment. When we stand before a perfect God, we are nothing but lying, thieving, adulterous blasphemers who have broken every law.


God, Who is perfect, cannot bear sin. Every sin must accounted for – and the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). As we’ve already seen, we are all guilty (Romans 3:23). I'm guilty; you're guilty; everyone is guilty! And because we are guilty, the just Judge will condemn us for our sins.

The Bible says that after our works are judged, whoever’s name is not found in the Book of Life is cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:15). This is the second death. We may die physically because of Adam’s sin, but we are condemned for our own sins.


The situation may look bleak. We’re all guilty of sin, the penalty for sin is death, so we’re all are worthy to die for our sins. But this is where the perfect love of God comes in. The Bible says that God loved the world so much that He gave us His Son and whoever believes in Him would not perish (John 3:16)

You see, Jesus is the only person Who has kept the Law. The Bible says He was tempted in every way that we are yet He did not sin. Of all the people who have ever lived, only He was not worthy of death. And even though He did not deserve to die, He gave His life to pay the penalty for our sin. By His sacrifice, God’s perfect justice was satisfied.

Jesus is the only Savior (Acts 4:2). There was no other perfect man: not Buddha, not Mohammed, not Confucius, not even Moses or Abraham. These men were sinners and would have had to give their lives as the penalty for their own sins. They could not give their lives as the payment for our sin.


So now we have a choice. When we stand before God in judgment, we can hope that our works were good enough to save us (a futile notion) or we can plead the shed blood of Jesus as the payment for our sins.

Salvation is really that simple. We gain eternal life by believing in Jesus. Romans 10:9-10 says:
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Luke 18:10-14 tells us about a sinner (a tax collector) who prayed only that God would show him mercy. In his simple prayer, the Bible says he was justified before God. Christians sometimes use his prayer as a model for what we call “the sinner’s prayer.” It’s not a magic formula, but a prayer of repentance should sound something like this:

“God, I know I’m a sinner. I’ve sinned against you and I know I am lost. But I repent of my sins and accept Jesus as my Savior. I ask Jesus into my heart as the Lord of my life. Amen.”

A little child will sometimes ask something impossible of his parents. He doesn’t understand how such a thing is done (or not done); he simply asks believing it can be done. This is the kind of faith we need. We don’t have to understand everything about God before we can be saved. We simply ask for salvation in childlike faith and God will save us. When prayed sincerely, a simple prayer like that shown above will remove a mountain of sin.


If you have prayed and accepted Christ as your Savior, then congratulations, you have passed from death to life (John 5:24). The next step is to find a Bible believing church and begin learning more about Jesus.

There are a couple of clues in finding a good church. For example, in a Bible-believing church, the first thing they will probably ask you to do is be baptized. Another thing you should do is ask to speak to the pastor. Ask him what he thinks about salvation. Print this post and take it with you. Show it to the pastor and ask him if there is anything else you need to do to be saved. If he says, "no" then you've probably found a good church.

Next study, pray, and then tell others about Jesus!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Songs

As I’ve gotten older, I find I’m increasingly annoyed by the secularization of Christmas. One thing in particular I’ve come to have little tolerance for is secular “Christmas” songs. I first recall feeling annoyed when my daughter was 2 and we bought her a Disney “sing-along” video. One line from the song, Here Comes Santa Claus really bugged me:

Peace on earth will come to all if we just follow the light.
Let’s give thanks to the Lord above because Santa Claus comes tonight!

Huh? Give thanks to God for Santa? Something just struck me as odd about that.

Anyway, I’ve come to really appreciate the good, old fashioned, Christmas carols. Most people know these songs but sometimes we don’t know all the words. Some of these songs are mini-sermons. I thought it would be nice to look at a few verses from the favorites. How about this stanza from Hark! The Herald Angels Sing:

Hail! the heav'n-born Prince of peace!
Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die:
Born to raise the sone of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Wow! That’ll preach!! Can you see how that’s a little more inspiring and reverent than saying, “Let’s give thanks for Santa”? And how about this classic?

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;


O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

True God of true God,
Light from Light Eternal,
Lo, He shuns not the Virgin’s womb;
Son of the Father, begotten, not created;
Repeat refrain
Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

Repeat refrain

Yes!! Come let us adore Him indeed!!

Perhaps my favorite Christmas hymn is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. From that song we have the following:

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

Now that will put you into the Christmas spirit!

I’m sure I’ll hear Jingle Bells and Rudolph a few times this year. But it’s the classics that really remind me why we celebrate Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Roger Ebert “Reviews” Stein’s Movie, Expelled

A while back, I blogged about the conspicuous fact that professional movie critics shun overtly religious films. It’s not debatable. Perhaps they don’t want to give press to Christian movies. In the meanwhile, they gush over mediocre films that promote liberal agendas. It’s so obvious it’s actually funny.

Anyway, Roger Ebert proved me wrong by reviewing Ben Stein’s movie, Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed. OK, never mind that the movie came out in April, that it’s finished it’s theater run, and has already been out on DVD for 2 months; he reviewed it so I can no longer say he never reviews conservative films.

Ebert prefaced his review with these words:
I've been accused of refusing to review Ben Stein's documentary "Expelled," a defense of Creationism, because of my belief in the theory of evolution. Here is my response.
It’s odd that someone would begin a review with a comment like this because it sure sounds defensive. If I were a professional critic, I would be too embarrassed to write a review AFTER a film was no longer showing in theaters. But I guess he felt obliged since I’m apparently not the only one who accused him of blatantly avoiding a movie because he disagreed with it.

However, if you read the rest of the review, you can see it’s not much of a review at all. It’s more like Ebert defending evolution, calling creationists stupid, attacking Ben Stein personally, and only occasionally referencing the movie. Even those few references to scenes in the movie are, in my opinion, misrepresentations. For example, in the above quote, Ebert characterized Stein's movie as, "a defense of creationism." The movie is no such thing.

Actually, I’m not going to even count this as a review. It’s more like an admission that Ebert didn't review the movie because he thinks creationists are stupid. It’s kind of ironic in a sense. Stein’s movie isn’t really about evidence for intelligent design (or creation); it’s about the concerted effort of militant evolutionists to squelch any debate or disagreement with their theory. In this scathing “review,” Ebert is actually engaging in the very behavior the movie seeks to highlight.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Biggest Ponzi Scheme Ever – But It’s Not What You Think

OK. So on the heels of a financial crisis, the former chairman of Nasdaq admits to pulling off a $50 billion scam. Reuters is quoted as saying, “Bernard Madoff, a quiet force on Wall Street for decades, was arrested and charged on Thursday with allegedly running a $50 billion "Ponzi scheme" in what may rank among the biggest fraud cases ever.”

Well, I hate to break the news to you but it’s not the biggest scam. It’s not even close. The largest pyramid scheme is hundreds of times bigger – only we don’t call it a ponzi scheme. It’s better known as that “pay as you go” system we like to call Social Security!

Social Security is hurtling toward bankruptcy in only a few short decades. Here’s a quote from the Social Security Administration’s website:

Many people think that the Social Security taxes they pay are held in interest-bearing accounts earmarked for their own future retirement needs. The fact is that Social Security is a pay-as-you-go retirement system—the Social Security taxes paid by today’s workers and their employers are used to pay the benefits for today’s retirees and other beneficiaries.

Social Security is now taking in more money than it pays out in benefits, and the remaining money goes to the program’s trust funds. There are now large “reserves” in the trust funds, but even this money is small compared to future scheduled benefit payments. In 2017 benefits owed will be more than taxes collect­ed, and Social Security will need to begin tapping the trust funds to pay benefits. The trust funds will be exhausted in 2041. At that time, Social Security will not be able to meet all of its benefit obligations if no changes are made.

There you have it folks. The “pay-as-you-go” system of Social Security is a ponzi scheme by definition.

What annoys me is that a lot of the “victims” of Madoff’s crooked dealings thought they were only benefiting from insider trading and not aware they caught up in a pyramid scam. In that case, it’s hard to feel sorry for those people. But we KNOW that Social Security cannot be sustained yet working class Americans are still shelling over 7.5% of every paycheck only to delay the inevitable.

Why is Madoff making headlines while the train wreck of Social Security is continuously ignored? We need to act now and hold those criminals (aka Congressmen) accountable for this economic disaster!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who Were the Wise Men?

Matthew 2 tells us about the coming of the wise men. At Christmas time, these iconic characters are included in nativity scenes all over the world venerating the baby Jesus. Unfortunately, very little is known about these persons and I feel much of our conception about them is wrong.

First off, the Bible does not tell us how many wise men there were. Since the Bible refers to them in the plural, we can only be sure there was more than one – beyond that is speculation. The number three is likely derived by the fact that there were three gifts mentioned in the text (Matthew 2:11) - gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But this cannot be conclusive since each wise man could have given more than one gift. Further, the gifts named might simply be representative of the kinds of gifts given (such as in describing gifts at a baby shower as “clothes, diapers, and toys”).

From tradition, the wise men were named Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. These names, however, do not appear in the Bible nor any Christian literature until around the 6th century AD. The Bible only refers to them with the Greek term, magoi (plural of magos, Strong’s word # 3097) from where we derive the word, Magi. Strong’s defines the word as:
Of foreign origin (Rab-Mag); a Magian, i.e. Oriental scientist; by implication, a magician -- sorcerer, wise man.
Outside of Matthew 2, the word occurs only twice more – both times in Acts 13:6,8. There it is used of the false prophet, Elymas Bar-Jesus, and is translated as “sorcerer” in the KJV. Since the men described in Matthew declared they were coming to worship the King of Israel (Matthew 2:2), it’s not likely they were Eastern mystics or astrologers as some have asserted. They likely were learned men who were at least somewhat familiar with the Jewish prophecies of the Messiah. I do not see the need to believe they were astronomers and, in another post, I stated my reasons for believing the “star” seen by the Magi was not any astronomical event but was more likely an angel.

The Bible does say they saw His star “in the East” but again we are not sure precisely where that means. It could be the Middle East or it could mean the far East. We know they did travel for some distance because the text suggests they traveled for perhaps as long as 2 years! Consider first Matthew 2:7:
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
Then later we read (Matthew 2:16):
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
So Herod chose to kill all the children under two because that’s about how long ago the wise men had told him they had seen the star.

Which leads me to another point: Matthew 2:13-14 tells us that after the visit of the wise men, an angel warned Joseph of Herod’s plans and so Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and Jesus that very night. Yet in Luke 2:21-22 we read that Jesus was circumcised after 8 days. And after the “days of her purification” (40 days according to Mosaic Law), Mary presented Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem. So, were Joseph, Mary, and Jesus in Jerusalem or Egypt?

The answer is really very simple: The shepherds visited Jesus on the very night He was born. Jesus was circumcised 8 days later. Mary presented Him at the Temple 40 days later. And the wise men did not visit Jesus until He was nearly two years old! The nativities showing the wise men with the shepherds presenting gifts to an infant Jesus are all wrong!

There’s much we don’t know about these men. There’s also much we think we know but instead we err. But even these nameless men can teach us a valuable lesson – wise men still seek Him!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Acts 2:38, Repent and be Baptized for the Remission of Sins

In another post (here), I mentioned that I did not believe baptism is necessary for salvation. One text people often cite as support for the idea of “baptismal regeneration” is Acts 2:38:

Πέτρος δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς· μετανοήσατε [φησίν] καὶ βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ὑμῶν καὶ λήμψεσθε τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος.

Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [NASB]

The understanding of this passage hinges on the word “for.” When Peter says “Be baptized FOR the forgiveness of your sins,” does that mean “be baptized in order to obtain forgiveness of your sins”? Some people think so.

The word “for” in English can have different meanings. It can mean “in order to obtain” as in, “He went to the store for milk.” It can also mean “because of” as in, “He was punished for his sins.” The Greek word translated “for” here is the word, εἰς. And like “for” in English, εἰς can have different meanings. The most ordinary meaning of the word is as a preposition meaning “into” but like “for” it can also mean “in order to obtain” and “because of.”

Let’s look at the very easily understood passage of Matthew 12:41

ἄνδρες Νινευῖται ἀναστήσονται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτήν, ὅτι μετενόησαν εἰς τὸ κήρυγμα Ἰωνᾶ, καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Ἰωνᾶ ὧδε.

"The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at (εἰς) the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here." (ASV)

The word εἰς here is translated “at.” In this passage, the very clear meaning of the word is “because of.” Obviously the men of Nineveh did not repent in order to obtain the preaching of Jonah; They repented because of the preaching of Jonah.

So Acts 2:38 can easily be understood to mean, “Repent! and be baptized because of the remission of sins.”

As an aside, I've already mentioned the word εἰς is more commonly understood to mean “into.” The word βαπτίζω (βαπτισθήτω) is an untranslated word meaning, “immerse” (Strong’s word # 907). So, another possible interpretation of the verse is “Repent and be immersed into the forgiveness of sins.” In this light, ceremonial water baptism is not implied at all. Of course, I only offer this as food for thought; we know the converted at Pentecost were baptized in water. This is sort of a “what if” thought.

In conclusion let me just say that we need not endure repeated demands that Acts 2:38 can ONLY be understood to mean we must be baptized in order to be saved. We can see that there are other reasonable interpretations of the passage. Indeed, I believe the “because of” understanding is the correct one.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is There a Religious Case for Gay Marriage?

In the 12/15 issue of Newsweek, columnist Lisa Miller wrote an article titled, Our Mutual Joy, where she tries to make the case there are religious grounds to support gay marriage. Needless to say, her argument is a little weak. She gives a lot of “explanation” about what the Bible says but very few quotes from the Bible. You might say it’s sort of a “Gospel according to Lisa.”

She begins with the observation that Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and other patriarchs of the Bible were all polygamists. I thought that was odd. If she’s trying to support gay marriage, why is she emphasizing all of these heterosexual marriages? The only possible reason I can think of is to plant the seed of doubt that the traditional model of marriage doesn’t really exist in the Bible. Consider this quote from the article:
“While the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family, neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman.”
What?? She can’t be serious! This is an example of what I meant in saying the article is mostly what Lisa says about the Bible and not really about what the Bible says. Perhaps Lisa is unfamiliar with Mark 10:5-9. When asked about marriage (or more specifically, about divorce), Jesus said:
"It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied. "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (NIV)
Now, this isn't what I’m telling you about the Bible. This is what the Bible says. If we read this passage, we see very clearly how the Bible defines marriage: One man married to one woman for life. It’s not a man with a man. It’s not a woman with a woman. It’s not a man and many women. It’s one man and one woman. End of story. Is that so hard to understand?

But I guess it is hard to understand because Lisa doesn’t seem to get it. When Jesus made the above statement, He was quoting Genesis 2:24. In her article, Lisa actually included the Genesis quote, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” But she immediately dismisses it by citing “Bible scholar” Alan Segal saying, “if you believe that the Bible was written by men and not handed down in its leather bindings by God, then that verse was written by people for whom polygamy was the way of the world.”

Lisa has a very strange way of making a point: She tries to use the Bible to support gay marriage; she cites passages from the Bible that support monogamous, heterosexual marriage; then dismisses the passages claiming they were written by chauvinists anyway.

Later, Lisa alludes to Romans 1 where Paul describes homosexuality as a perversion. She again cites another Bible “scholar”, Neil Elliott, who claims that Paul was referring only to the Roman Emperors. Per Elliott, “Paul is not talking about what we call homosexuality at all.” He’s not? Then in verse 27, where Paul says, “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion,” that’s not talking about homosexuality? It sounds to me like Mr. Elliot is not much of a “scholar.”

To Lisa’s credit, she dug deep to try to find any verse in the Bible that supported her position. She quoted 2 Samuel 1:26 where David mourned the passing of Jonathan:
I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
more wonderful than that of women.

So, is she trying to say that David and Jonathan were gay for each other? That’s ridiculous! Need I remind readers of David’s infamous encounter with Bathsheba? I assure you David was very much straight.

In concluding her article, Lisa penned these words:
“My friend the priest James Martin says his favorite Scripture relating to the question of homosexuality is Psalm 139, a song that praises the beauty and imperfection in all of us and that glorifies God’s knowledge of our most secret selves: ‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’”
Huh? How exactly does that verse relate to homosexuality? And that’s the “priest’s” favorite Scripture on the issue? That seems to me de facto evidence of the lack of Biblical support for gay marriage.

In short, Ms. Miller’s article was little more than opinion, out-of-context quotes, and misrepresentations of the Bible. The Bible outright condemns homosexuality and specifically limits marriage to the monogamous union of a man and a woman. If Ms. Miller doesn’t agree, then she’s welcome to disagree. But please don’t resort to the absurd notion that the Bible actually means the opposite of what it clearly says.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Is Obama an Uncle Sam or an Uncle Tom?

Let me start by saying that I’m not asking that question. In the November 24 issue of Newsweek, there was a blurb reporting that Ralph Nader said of the President Elect, “We’ll see if he’s going to be an Uncle Sam or an Uncle Tom.” Admittedly, it’s a racist remark but when asked about it, Nader firmly stood by the statement.

By the way, the Bible curiously never describes people by race. It does describe people as belonging to nations but it further says that all nations are of one blood (Acts 17:26).

So, what makes someone an Uncle Tom? It’s a very easy test really: anyone who is black and is not a liberal is an Uncle Tom. At least, that’s the impression I have. And where did I get that impression? From liberals, of course! Conservatives don’t use the term “Uncle Tom” except when quoting liberals.

I first noticed this phenomenon during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Here was a black man being considered for a seat on the highest court in the land. He was replacing the retiring black Justice, Thurgood Marshall. Justice Marshall was adored by liberals – not necessarily because he was the first black Justice on the court but because he himself was a liberal. But Thomas was vilified by liberals. They didn’t care that another black man was going to hold the esteemed position; he was conservative so he was an “Uncle Tom.” I can’t count the number of times I heard that term used of Thomas.

Since that time I’ve heard the term used to describe many blacks: Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, J.C. Watts, etc. What exactly do these folk have in common (besides being black, of course)? Bingo! They’re all conservative. If you are a black conservative, you are considered an “Uncle Tom.”

I tried to think of any black liberals that have been called Uncle Toms. The only one I could think of was Bill Cosby. Cosby is not a far-left liberal but a few years back, he made some “controversial” remarks about how blacks could help themselves by getting an education, getting good jobs, and stop whining about how they’re “victims.” I had never thought of Cosby as a conservative but his remarks were spot on. Apparently he hit a nerve among liberal blacks who considered his remarks too conservative and so, for a while at least, he earned the title of “Uncle Tom.”

So we now have Nader’s comments about Obama. Will Obama be an Uncle Tom? Liberals feel they have sent a mandate and are putting Obama on notice. He’s expected to champion the liberal agenda. They’re ready with the insults. If he pushes for gay marriage, signs the Freedom of Choice act, and bankrupts the coal industry, he's Uncle Sam. If tries to govern from the middle or reach across the isle, he’s an Uncle Tom!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why I Blog About Creation

One of the reasons I’m so passionate about the evolution issue is because I believe evolution is perhaps the foremost obstacle preventing people from coming to Christ today. The logic goes something like this: people are told evolution is a FACT (have you noticed how evolutionists, when make this statement, always capitalize the word “FACT”?); the people then reject or water down the Genesis account of creation; next, they reject the need of a Creator; soon, they reject the entire Bible; finally, they reject the idea of God altogether. There was no creation, there was no Adam, there was no sin of Adam, there was no Fall, so there is no need of a Savior.

I have to admit it’s a reasonable conclusion. If evolution is true, the whole foundation of Christianity is shaken.

Jesus Himself talked about these very things. There are several passages that we could point to as examples of this. Consider first John 5:45-47:
Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
Here we see a perfect example of Jesus pointing out the simple fact that, if we don’t believe Moses (the author of Genesis), then we won’t believe Jesus either.

Also from John, Jesus gave us these insightful words:

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? John 3:11-12

In this passage, Jesus draws a connection with God’s revelation of earthly things and His revelation of spiritual things. God has told us about the creation of the earth, the Flood, etc. If we don’t believe the Bible about these things, how can we believe it about anything?

Finally, consider the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). There, the Rich Man, being in torment, asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to warn the rich man’s brothers to repent before they came to this place. Abraham told him the brothers had Moses and the prophets (i.e. the Old Testament Scriptures) and that they could repent by hearing them. The rich man insisted that they were not persuaded by the prophets but would be convinced if someone came back from the dead. Listen to Abraham’s response (v.31): “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Today, we have someone who came back from the dead: Jesus Himself. Even so, some people still refuse to believe. Why? Because they don’t believe Moses and so neither will they believe Jesus.

Normally, I don’t care if someone believes something that’s not true. If people want to watch pro-wrestling, look for UFO’s, hunt for Bigfoot, or have Santa come visit their children, you won’t hear a peep from me. I say let them have their fun. But a belief in evolution can have life changing consequences. I cannot simply sit by and let people reject God because they believe something that’s not true.

This is why I blog about creation.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4:4-7

Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,Secretary of State

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Even if You're Rich, You Can Still Be Thankful

I’ve read about a hundred “be thankful” messages in emails this year. You’ve probably seen them too; those short pearls of wisdom that seem to say every cloud has a silver lining. Things like, “Look at the people around you and be thankful that you are not spending Thanksgiving alone.”

Now, it’s true that we are sometimes ungrateful and take for granted the blessings God bestows on us. But I feel it is somewhat short sighted to measure our blessings by comparing our situation to a worse alternative: “I may be out of work but I still have my health.” OK, so what about people who don’t have good health? “Well, maybe they don’t have their health but they still have a family that loves them.”

And what’s more, are we only thankful if we can think of something “good” God has done for us? “God, I know I’m in terrible health but I’m not dead yet so thanks!”

Is that really how some people try to make themselves feel better – by considering how much worse off they could be? To me it’s like being waist deep in quick sand and saying, “I’m thankful that I’m not chest deep like that fellow over there.”

To me, there is exactly one thing to be thankful for: my new life through Jesus. When we are passed from death into life, everything else in this world becomes secondary. It doesn’t really matter if I’m rich or wretched, comfortable or destitute, fat or starving. I’m thankful to God because no matter how good or bad I have it now, I’ve got something infinitely better prepared for me.

Even if I were the richest person in the world, I know that it would someday all pass away so why would I be thankful for that? Think about the rich man in Luke 12:17-20:
“And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”
I have a home ready that was not made by hands. I have a treasure stored up where thieves cannot steal it and rust does not corrupt it. What more could I possibly ask for?

Jesus said:
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Wow! Now that’s something to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Take on eHarmony

OK. So, I’m on the Internet the other day and I hear it again – QUOTE: “if you're a Christian, don't live in a country that values tolerance and diversity.” If I hear one more liberal talk to me about tolerance, I’m going to… Well… I guess I can’t do anything about it but I won’t like it in any event.

It came up in a discussion about eHarmony’s decision (coercion?) to make their services available to gays. Concerning eHarmony, this liberal said, “the right to promote one's values ends where other people's rights begin.” That’s curious. Why can’t it be the right of someone to be gay ends where my right to exercise my religion begins? For ones who wear the mantle of “tolerance”, liberals are the most intolerant people I’ve ever met.

But I’m not here to talk about tolerance. Today, I’m going to talk about the economy. Yes, I think this issue of “fairness” is hurting the economy and I’ll show you how. In my post, eHarmony Caves, I said that if I were the owner of eHarmony, I simply wouldn’t do business in NJ. It just now occurred to me that a lot of people probably feel the same way.

We’re supposed to live in a free market society. To many people, the American dream is to own their own business and to be their own boss. Liberals, of course, believe the American dream is equality to everyone. Not equal opportunity, mind you, but equal results. If someone is very successful in business, and makes a lot of money, the Obama/Biden ticket says it’s time for that person to be “patriotic” and “share the wealth.”

But this eHarmony thing shows another area where liberals want to meddle in the free market. If I run a business, I have to “be fair” in my business dealings as well. Imagine, for example, I save a little money and buy a small house that I’m going to fix up and rent. As a Christian, perhaps I have a moral objection to renting the house to same sex couples. Perhaps I have a moral objection to renting it to unmarried couples. So what? As a Christian landlord, isn’t that my right? I guess not because if I refused to rent to a gay or unmarried couple, you can bet that I’d soon be hearing from a civil rights attorney or even the attorney general.

If I were forced to rent a home and facilitate a relationship that I thought was immoral, I would probably sell the home and forget the whole thing. Likewise, if I wanted to start a business that catered to Christians, but knew I’d have a legal battle from non-Christians and gays, then guess what? I’ll probably not start the business!

What if the owner of eHarmony decided that instead of caving on the issue, he would just close shop instead? In an economy already hurting for jobs, it would be still one more business putting people on the streets.

Now some people will think I’m over reacting. Just ask yourself this: if you are a Christian, would you start a business if you were FORCED to employee gays, give benefits to the same-sex partners of gays, and discipline Christian employees if they dared to object? If anyone answers “No, I wouldn’t start the business” then I rest my case. If even one person doesn’t open a business for fear of violating his religious convictions, then that’s one less opportunity to grow the economy.

Now, if I wanted to open a business that promotes pornography, drinking, dancing, etc, the liberals don’t seem to mind that at all – unless of course I allowed smoking there!

Further reading: eHarmony Caves

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven

"And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:19

In a recent post, I talked about Jesus’ conversation with Peter where He called Peter, “a rock.” In that same conversation, Jesus promised to give to Peter, “the keys to the kingdom of heaven.” What exactly does that mean?

In the KJV, there are exactly eight verses using the word key: Besides this verse it also appears in Judges 3:25, Isaiah 22:22, Luke 11:52, Revelation 1:18, Revelation 3:7, Revelation 9:1, and Revelation 20:1. No other passage cites, “the keys to the kingdom of heaven.”

Of the passages that cite keys, only two are of particular note:

And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
Isaiah 22:22

This is certainly a reference to Jesus as seen in Revelation 3:7:

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Since there is no other passage that explains what the keys to the kingdom of heaven are, we should look at the context of the passage to help us understand.

When we read the entire verse, after Jesus promises the keys to the kingdom, He immediately follows up saying, “and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” I suggest to you that the “keys to the kingdom of heaven” precisely is the power of loosing and binding. Indeed, what else can it be? And furthermore, most people understand this authority of binding and loosing was given by Jesus only to Peter. But the reality is, the authority was not given to only Peter. We see later that Jesus gave this same authority to all of the disciples (Matthew 18:18).

Of course, this begs the question: what is the authority to loose and bind? Some people believe it is the authority of the priesthood to forgive sins. I think an examination of the Greek sheds a little more light on it.

The words binding and loosing appear in the “perfect” aspect. The perfect aspect represent events in the past that have effects into the present (see my post, An Open Door). The most forceful example of this is perhaps Jesus’ persistent use of the phrase “it is written.” It would literally read, “it is having been written.” In this passage, it literally says, “it has been bound” and “it has been loosed.” But both are modified with the future verb estai (it shall be). So the passage literally reads, “it shall be having been bound… it shall be having been loosed.”

Most scholars understand this to mean that whatever the disciples proclaimed on earth, has already been decided in heaven. That is, when they speak, they are speaking not their own will but the will of God. Whatever they say will be bound has already been bound and what they say will be loosed has already been loosed.

As I discussed in another post, God did give certain authority to His prophets and apostles to speak the word of God before we received the cannon of Scripture. I believe here is just another example of that. Jesus tells the disciples that they will have the ability to announce to the world what has been bound and what has been loosed.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Matthew 16:17-18: Who is the Rock?

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ· μακάριος εἶ, Σίμων Βαριωνᾶ, ὅτι σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα οὐκ ἀπεκάλυψέν σοι ἀλλ' πατήρ μου ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν καὶ πύλαι ᾅδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς.

“And Jesus answering said to him, `Happy art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal [it] to thee, but my Father who is in the heavens. And I also say to thee, that thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my assembly, and gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:17-18, Young’s Literal)

There are some people who interpret this passage to be a special commission that Jesus gave exclusively to Peter. That Christ, in this passage, is telling Peter that He will build his church on Peter (the rock). There are immediately 2 things I see in this passage that cause me to think otherwise.

First, Jesus refers to Simon-Peter as, Πέτρος (a rock) but says He will build His church upon ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ (this rock). Immediately we see that there are two different words used here: Πέτρος (Strong’s word # 4074) and πέτρα (Strong’s word # 4073). Why the difference? Admittedly the difference is subtle but the latter generally refers to a massive rock, like a cliff. πέτρα is used in Revelation 6:16, “and they say to the mountains and to the rocks (πέτραις), `Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of Him who is sitting upon the throne, and from the anger of the Lamb,'”

The usual explanation offered for the difference is that πέτρα is a feminine noun and Πέτρος is masculine; Jesus would not have given Peter a feminine name. To that argument I respond that Πέτρος is not even meant to be a name but a predicate adjective. Consider John 14:6, ἐγώ εἰμι ὁδὸς καὶ ἀλήθεια καὶ ζωή· (I am the way and the truth and the life). These are all feminine nouns, rather they are adjectives Jesus uses to describe Himself. So there is nothing in the Greek language that would have prevented Jesus from saying to Peter, σὺ εἶ πέτρα.

The second thing that jumps out at me is the emphatic use of the pronoun, σὺ. As I discussed in another blog, the use of a pronoun here is redundant since it’s already implied in the verb εἶ (you are). The emphatic use of the pronoun creates a contrast between the first clause and second clause: YOU are a rock – I will build my church on THIS rock.

I believe Jesus was referring to Himself as THIS Rock. He identified Peter as “a rock” because of Peter’s faith.

I believe we can all be like Peter. A rock laid on The Rock that was rejected by the builders but now is the cornerstone (Matthew 21:42).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

eHarmony Caves

In case you haven’t heard, eHarmony has recently settled a 7-year-long lawsuit in NJ by agreeing to offer its services for gays to meet same sex partners (source here). Previously, the site only arranged meetings for heterosexual couples with a focus on long-term relationships and even marriage. and Yahoo have long offered their sites/service to gays.

I think it’s a ridiculous case. Some news reports have compared it to “a meat-eater suing a vegetarian restaurant for not offering him a rib-eye, or a female patient suing a vasectomy doctor for not providing her hysterectomy services.”

To have fought the battle for seven years is to be commended but the sudden about face is somewhat disconcerting.

The dating site came into prominence in 2001 after its founder, Clark Warren appeared on James Dobson’s radio show. It immediately received 90,000 referrals and has climbed from 4,000 clients in 2001 to more than 20,000,000 today. According to Dr. Dobson, Dr. Warren told the LA Times that association of eHarmony with Focus on the Family is “the kiss of death.”

And when I say, “cave” I mean they CAVED – big time. Some of the terms of the agreement are as follows:

>eHarmony will launch the new same-sex dating site, named "Compatible Partners," by March 31.
>They will offer a free, 6-month subscription to 10,000 gay users.
>Pay the plaintiff, Eric McKinley $5,000 and fork over $50,000 to New Jersey's Civil Rights division "to cover investigation-related administrative costs." (AKA shakedown money)
> Post photos of same-sex couples in the "Diversity" section of its website.
>Revise anti-discrimination statements placed on company websites, in company handbooks and other company publications to make plain that it does not discriminate on the basis of "sexual orientation"

Now, if I owned eHarmony, I would have simply posted the following on my website:

"We’re sorry but our services are not available to residents of New Jersey. For additional information, please contact your attorney general.”

Further reading: Another Take on eHarmony

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Earth’s Magnetic Field: Evidence for a Young Earth

Surrounding the earth is a force field, a magnetic field that helps protect the earth against harmful radiation. It’s fairly easy to detect the field; all you need is a compass. Like a regular magnet, the earth has poles – we call them the North Pole and South Pole. Compasses always point to the North Pole. This isn’t the north axis but rather the earth’s magnetic pole.

Almost 40 years ago, Dr. Thomas Barnes, a young earth creationist, observed that the magnetic field of the earth is decaying at an observable rate. Based on measurements taken since the late 19th century, as well certain archeological measurements, he estimated the half-life of the field to be only around 1,400 years (meaning the field loses ½ of its strength every 1,400 years).

This spells trouble for anyone believing in an old earth. As we go back further in time, the field would have been exponentially stronger. More than 10,000 years ago, the field would have been so strong it would melt the earth!

Of course, evolutionists disagree. Rather than a decaying field, evolutionists subscribe to the “dynamo theory” where the field is created and sustained by the rotation of the earth and a molten core. Although the strength of the field can vary, the field is continuously being regenerated.

Dr. Russell Humphreys holds a PhD in physics from Louisiana State University and is also a young-earth creationist. He’s had a very successful career in the private sector and, after retirement, continues to do work for ICR and AiG. Though militant evolutionists despise him, he is highly regarded among creationists for research in creationist studies such as the RATE project.

Several years ago, Dr. Humphreys successfully embarrassed secular astronomers by correctly predicting the “magnetic moments” of both Uranus and Neptune. He published his predictions more than 5 years before the Voyage spacecraft sailed past the planets and confirmed his theory. The assumptions he used in his predictions were based on a young universe. The remarkable thing is that his prediction differed from secular scientists’ models (based on the dynamo theory) by an order of magnitude.

There are several other problems with the dynamo theory but the point is this: the earth’s magnetism is running down. No old earth model can explain how this has been going on for even hundreds of thousands of years, let alone millions or billions.