googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: February 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Human “Ancestors” had Modern Footprints

I’ve talked before about how evolutionists are continuously challenged with evidence that upsets their theory. Of course, because of their bias, the data is reinterpreted in such a way that it can be accommodated into the theory. That is, the theory is used to interpret the data – then the data is used as evidence for the theory. We ordinarily call this, circular reasoning.

Here’s a recent example. In a Reuters’ article, it was reported that very modern looking footprints were found that have been dated [according to evolutionary methods] to be 1.5 million years old. From the article:
“Footprints found in Kenya that resemble those left in wet sand by beach goers today show that 1.5 million years ago a human ancestor walked like we do with anatomically modern feet…” [emphasis added].
The article goes on to say:
“"It was kind of creepy excavating these things to see all of a sudden something that looks so dramatically like something that you yourself could have made 20 minutes earlier in some kind of wet sediment just next to the site," archaeologist David Braun of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, one of the researchers, said in a telephone interview.

"These could quite easily have been made on the beach today," Braun added.”
[emphasis added]
The problem with interpreting this information is that, according to evolutionary scientists, modern human is only around 200,000 years old. Yet here is evidence that someone with modern human feet was walking around [supposedly] more than 1 million years earlier.

The human footprint is very distinct. It is quite different from any ape’s – not to mention the upright, bipedal gate of humans versus ape. These tracks are definitely human (unless they later change their mind and say the tracks were made by cows). So, there are at least 3 conclusions we can draw:

1) Modern humans lived 1.5 million years ago. Sorry, but this conclusion isn’t allowed because recent ancestry of humans is too well ensconced.

2) The tracks aren’t really 1.5 million years old and they were left by modern humans much more recently. This conclusion isn’t allowed either because evolutionary theory hinges on its dating methods. To question one is to admit others are suspect.

3) The tracks – no matter how humanlike they appear – were made by some human ancestor. Bingo! They already “know” when and where humans evolved. These tracks can’t change that. Thus they decide (quoting the article), “The remains of the footprints found in sedimentary rock near Ileret in northern Kenya most likely were left by a human ancestor called Homo erectus, also known as Homo ergaster.”

The article concludes:
"The species Homo erectus had a smaller brain than modern people but had generally similar body proportions -- longer legs and shorter arms -- to Homo sapiens. Their remains have been found in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa, with dates consistent with the newly reported footprints.

But no remains of their feet have been found from that time period, Braun said.”
Never mind that we really don’t know what Homo erectus feet looked like. Never mind that these tracks appear identical to modern human tracks. According to their theory, no modern humans were around so the tracks MUST belong to Homo erectus. The theory interprets the data so the data fits the theory. It’s the tail wagging the dog.

How about the creationist interpretation? These tracks were made by a modern human, the modern human lived contemporaneously with Homo erectus, and the tracks aren’t really 1.5 million years old. Doesn’t that theory explain this evidence just as well?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

By or Through: Agency in the New Testament

In Greek, agency – that is, the agent who is doing the action – is often expressed with prepositions. By far, the most common preposition used to denote agency is ὑπὸ (hupo). ὑπὸ typically identifies who is the “ultimate agent.”

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη εἰς τὸν Ἰορδάνην ὑπὸ Ἰωάννου.

“And it happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John.” Mark 1:9

In this passage, John is the agent who is actually doing the baptizing. Therefore, he is the “ultimate agent.” But there are also times when the actions are performed by an intermediate agent. When this occurs, the preposition διὰ (dia) is used.

οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ ἐν Βηθλέεμ τῆς Ἰουδαίας· οὕτως γὰρ γέγραπται διὰ τοῦ προφήτου·

“And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judaea: for so it has been written by the prophet.” Matthew 2:5

The prophet referred to in this passage is the prophet, Micah (Micah 5:2). But Micah is only the intermediate agent who spoke the words. Ultimately, the word came from God (the “ultimate agent”), so διὰ is used to denote the intermediate agency of Micah.

Whenever agency is expressed, it’s interesting to see if the agent is considered the intermediate agent or the ultimate agent. Recently, this came to light in my personal reading.

οὐαὶ τῷ κόσμῳ ἀπὸ τῶν σκανδάλων· ἀνάγκη γὰρ ἐλθεῖν τὰ σκάνδαλα, πλὴν οὐαὶ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ δι' οὗ τὸ σκάνδαλον ἔρχεται.

“Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” (Matthew 18:7, KJV)

While we live in this cursed world, offence will come. Jesus says it is inevitable. The offences often come by wicked men but we see the men are only considered the “intermediate agents” - διὰ. They may commit the offences, but they are not the source of them. This begs the question: who then is the ultimate agent?

I believe John 8:4 answers this clearly:

“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

When we sin, we are only the intermediate agents of sin. The devil is the ultimate agent of sin. Nevertheless, we are not absolved from our actions. Jesus is very clear that we are held accountable. “Woe to the man through whom the offence comes!”

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Look Out! The Fairness Doctrine is Coming!

I feel like Paul Revere during his “Midnight Ride.” The enemy is coming – it’s called the “Fairness Doctrine.”

The Fairness Doctrine was once a policy of the FCC that required holders of broadcast licenses to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was (in the Commission's view) honest, equitable and balanced. Once upon a time, there were only a few radio stations broadcasting and perhaps this policy once had merit. However, in today’s information age, there are any number of media outlets: newspapers, dozens of cable channels, thousands of radio stations, and the internet. Anybody who wants to hear all sides of an issue can certainly do so. In 1987, Reagan did away with the policy.

Now, fast forward 20 years. Radio talk shows are dominated by conservatives. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Gallagher, and a dozen others enjoy audiences of millions of listeners (listeners referred to by the left as “mind-numbed robots”). The Big 3 broadcast channels, CNN, MSNBC, most newspapers, and NPR are decidedly left leaning but call in radio is solidly conservative – and liberals can’t stand it!

In the Washington Post recently, Bill Press wrote the following lament:
Companies are given a license to operate public airwaves -- free! -- in order to make a profit, yes, but also, according to the terms of their FCC license, "to operate in the public interest and to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of issues of public importance." Stations are not operating in the public interest when they offer only conservative talk.

For years, the Fairness Doctrine prevented such abuse by requiring licensed stations to carry a mix of opinion. However, under pressure from conservatives, President Ronald Reagan's Federal Communications Commission canceled the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, insisting that in a free market, stations would automatically offer a balance in programming.

That experiment has failed. There is no free market in talk radio today, only an exclusive, tightly held, conservative media conspiracy. The few holders of broadcast licenses have made it clear they will not, on their own, serve the general public. Maybe it's time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine -- and bring competition back to talk radio in Washington and elsewhere.
Now, I’m sure Mr. Press wouldn’t see the Washington Post as liberal. I’m sure he wouldn’t dream of turning over ½ of his column for a conservative writer to disagree with him. But, in the fashion of a true hypocrite, he has no problem forcing Rush Limbaugh to share his program.

Normally, I’m not bothered when liberals vent like this. Liberals can seldom gain a majority of the public in support of their position. But liberals have a driving need to foist their views upon us anyway. They do this by legislation and judicial activism. What concerns me now is the growing number of legislators who seem ready to take up the cause.

After Mr. Press’s editorial, Senate Majority Leader, Tom Harkin, said the following:
“[Bill,] I love being with you, and thanks again for all you do to get the truth and the facts out there. By the way, I read your Op-Ed in the Washington Post the other day. I ripped it out, I took it into my office and said 'there you go, we gotta get the Fairness Doctrine back in law again.'”
The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is already on record in support of the measure as well as a number of other legislators. And just last week, former President, Bill Clinton also came out in favor of a new law.

This is serious folks. This thing has legs. If a bill is put forth, I’m afraid it could pass. And even though President Obama hasn't publicly supported such a bill, he has spoken openly against talk radio. It’s not likely he would veto it.

Our best defense against this would be a good offense. We need to contact our leaders now and tell them not to consider such a gross violation of free speech.

To arms! To arms!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Americans Believe in Creation

I am constantly annoyed at the snobbish indignation some evolutionists display toward creationists. Their attitude is one of elitism – they are the enlightened holders of true knowledge and they are bothered that they must deal with us backward simpletons. They see it as their personal mission to dissuade us from our beliefs in superstition but their tools are not compassion and understanding. Rather they seek to embarrass us into submission by ridicule and mockery.

Argument by insult is hardly persuasive. If I shame someone into agreeing with me, it is a hollow victory. They may have acknowledged my position only to save face but deep down they remain unconvinced. Let me offer some encouragement to my fellow creationists who have suffered the verbal abuses of militant evolutionists.

First off, remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:10-12:

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

There’s not much more encouragement anyone should need beyond that. But if so, then let me add this: take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans can be roughly divided into 3 groups:

When asked about their belief in origins, 44% of Americans said, “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” Wow! 44% of the US is made up of young-earth creationists.

The next largest group (36%) said that, “human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life but God guided this process.” These people are still creationists, just not necessarily of the young earth variety. They would be considered “old-earth creationists” and subscribe to various beliefs such as theistic evolution, progressive creation, or the Gap Theory.

The smallest group – only 14% of the population – believes in a godless creation. Perhaps a small number of people in this group believe in a god (deists), but it would be an impersonal god who has no role in the universe. The majority of people in this group are most likely atheists who do not believe in any god.
Now, I’m not one to commit the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum but I can’t help but be encouraged by this. When evolutionists loudly boast their superiority, I consider it a squeaky-wheel tactic.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Today is Darwin Day

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. There’s been a certain amount of fanfare leading up to today but not what I expected. Having checked around on the web a little, I’m surprised there wasn’t more coverage of the event. Yahoo didn't mention it on its front page. Darwin didn’t show up in Yahoo’s top ten searches either. And on The Learning Channel, he was totally eclipsed by Abe Lincoln (who coincidentally was also born 200 years ago today).

By the way, isn’t it odd there’s no Newton Day or Einstein Day?

Darwin, of course, is considered the father of modern evolutionary theory. The publishing of his book, The Origin of Species, was a landmark in science, where the idea of adaptation via natural selection was given voice. Today, even Darwin’s name is sometimes considered synonymous with his theory – “Darwinism.” This icon of evolution, though, is also iconic of the attitudes of many disbelievers today.

As a young man, Darwin considered a career in the clergy and studied Theology at the University of Cambridge. But Darwin had begun to doubt his faith and expressed his doubts to his cousin, Emma, whom he later married. Perhaps the turning point in his life came at the death of his 10 year old daughter, Anne. In a letter to botanist, Asa Gray, Darwin wrote the following:
"With respect to the theological view of the question: This is always painful to me. I am bewildered. I had no intention to write atheistically, but I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars or that a cat should play with mice... On the other hand, I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe, and especially the nature of man, and to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance."
Evolution and theism don’t blend well. The god of evolutionists is a cruel one who creates by destroying. To them, death is not the enemy, it’s the favorite tool of god. It’s no wonder that evolution tends to undermine faith.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Matthew 16:18: The Gates of Hell

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

When Jesus uttered these words to Peter, it is the only recorded example where He used the term, “the gates of hell.” What exactly did He mean when He said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”? Over the years I’ve heard various interpretations and there are at least three that warrant serious consideration.

The Minions of Hell:

In Biblical times, the gates of a city represented the seat of power. Most large cities then were walled and whenever visitors and traders would enter a city, they had to enter through the gates. Merchants and notable men of the city would wait there to greet them. An example of this appears in Genesis 19:1:

“And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;”

Another example is from Esther where Mordecai was often seen sitting at the gate with the king’s servants (Esther 2:19, Esther 2:21, Esther 3:2, et al).

In this light, the “gates of hell” could mean the powerful forces of hell (the Devil and his demons). They will not prevail against Christ’s church.

The Dominion of Hell:

As mentioned before large cities in the Bible were walled. The obvious purpose of this was defense. Whenever an enemy army attacked the city, they would try to breach the gate. Strong walls and a strong gate would thwart the efforts of the attackers and the city would be safe.

The Devil is the ruler of this world (John 14:30). He seeks to protect his domain and his gates are designed to hold off the true King. The gates of hell are his defense. But even the strongest gates cannot prevail against the power of Christ’s church.


The Greek word used for Hell in Matthew is ᾅδης (hadēs). This is not the place of judgment or eternal torment but the place of rest for the dead until the resurrection. Other passages describe this as the Bosom of Abraham (Luke 16:22). It’s the same word used in Acts 2:31:

“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”

Gates are often used to keep things out; but they are sometimes used to keep things in. The gates of hell that admit the dead, also keep them in. When Christ died, His soul descended to hell (hadēs). However, these gates were not able to keep Jesus in. The gates of hell could not prevail against the Risen Savior and neither will they prevail against His church!

Whatever the meaning of the term, the promise of Christ is clear. The gates of hell, whenever they stand before us, either to keep us out or keep us in, they will not prevail. Amen!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

One Trillion Dollar Stimulus: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

It looks like the tide of public support is starting to turn against the $1 trillion stimulus package. Congress will have to rethink a few of the details but the package is not going away. It will be back with the claim that all the “waste” has been cut out. We’re going to have a stimulus package and that’s that.

I was thinking in my car on the way into work yesterday: what could the government do with $1 trillion? If there are 350,000,000 people in the United States, the feds could write a $2,857 check to each person. To my typical family of 4, that would mean a windfall of over $11,000!! There are a lot of things I could do with $11K – make a down payment on a new house, payoff some bills, put it aside for my daughter’s college in a couple of years, or maybe replace my wife’s 14 year old car. There are many ways that I could spend it. I can see why some people are excited about it.

But here’s the flip side of the coin. The government doesn’t really make any money (except what it prints). The only money the feds have is what they collect from us in taxes. So a trillion dollar spending spree means we need an average of $2,857 in taxes from each individual ($11,000 from a family of 4) to pay for it!!

In other recent stimulus attempts, the government would cut taxes. This gave people more money to spend in the private sector. Obama’s plan (along with his Democrat partners in crime) is to use our current economic woes as an excuse to expand the government – more government control over business, more government bureaucracies, and more taxes from us.

Don’t be lured by a promise of a “tax credit” for each person. That’s just the bait to get you to swallow the hook. This package will drag America even further toward socialism. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Design in Nature

Have you ever heard comments like “cheetahs are built for speed” or “shark teeth are designed for cutting”? Many times, evolution-believing scientists will make comments like this without seeing the obvious implication: design suggests there was a Designer. The Bible says that the invisible things of God are revealed in His creation (Romans 1:20). When we look around, nature practically shrieks of design and therefore, shrieks there is a Designer. This simple observation has not escaped the notice of prominent evolutionists.

Outspoken atheist and author, Richard Dawkins, wrote about this very thing in his 1996 book, The Blind Watchmaker. In his book, he said, “The complexity of living organisms is matched by the elegant efficiency of their apparent design. If anyone doesn’t agree that this amount of complex design cries out for an explanation, I give up.” Of course, his explanation is the natural one. As the title of the book implies, he likens natural selection to a “blind watchmaker” who, through clumsy trial and error, builds a seemingly “designed” watch.

To devout evolutionists, the design we see in nature is only an “apparent” design. Noted humanist, Aldous Huxley, said it this way, “Organisms are built as if purposefully designed, and work as if in purposeful pursuit of a conscious aim. But the truth lies in those two words 'as if.' As the genius of Darwin showed, the purpose is only an apparent one.” In other words, even things look like they’ve been designed, they really aren’t!

One obvious conclusion of design is the existence of a designer. Yet critics stubbornly reject this. How can anyone deny something so obvious? It comes from their definition of science. Per Scientific American Magazine, "Creation science" is a contradiction in terms. A central tenet of modern science is methodological naturalism--it seeks to explain the universe purely in terms of observed or testable natural mechanisms" [emphasis added]. They reject a supernatural explanation on the flimsy grounds that they will only consider a natural explanation! See my blog, Defining Creation Away.

In an online conversation I had with a poster going by the name of Tyrrho, he made the comment that “scientists know what design is. They just aren't willing to conclude that something is designed when there is no evidence of a designer, and there are alternative explanations as to how it came to exist.” Perhaps is does not occur to Tyrrho that apparent design is evidence for a Designer. So while he might personally reject this a priori as evidence, that doesn’t disqualify it as evidence for others to consider.

The thing that perhaps amazes me the most is the cavalier attitude those that deny the possibility of a creator. By way of analogy, imagine that you are reviewing a set of blueprints – designs for a new car. The evolutionist is in the absurd position of denying there was a designer for the car while still trying to explain the existence of the design.

Imagine also that you are standing in front of Mt. Rushmore. It should be obvious to everyone that the faces were carved into the rock by design and not the result of natural processes like erosion. Yet these are simply faces carved into rock. Evolutionists would have us believe that the four men whose faces are represented in the rock (and who are infinitely more complex than the rock carvings) truly are the result of nothing more than purposeless, natural processes.

In 1802, philosopher William Paley proposed the watchmaker analogy (to which Dawkin’s formed his response, The Blind Watchmaker). It’s a simple analogy: if you found a watch on the beach, you will know immediately that it was designed. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know who designed it or when; the watch alone is evidence for the watchmaker. If I were to reject the possibility of a creator, then I would have no choice but invent some other explanation and cling to it no matter how less likely (even impossible) it seems.