From Mark Copeland... "THE CHURCH JESUS BUILT" Innovations In The Work Of The Church

                        "THE CHURCH JESUS BUILT"

                 Innovations In The Work Of The Church


1. In our previous study, we summarized the work of the church as...
   a. Edification (preparing the saints for service)
   b. Benevolence (providing for the needy saints)
   c. Evangelism (proclaiming the gospel)

2. When we let the local church do its proper work, it will...
   a. "equip saints for the work of the ministry"
   b. "edify the body of Christ"
   c. "grow up in all things into Him who is the head, Christ"

3. Yet it is not uncommon for the local church to be used in ways God
   did not intend, such as for political or social activism...
   a. Not that such causes are without merit
      1) As individuals, Christians can certainly participate in such matters
      2) Using other organizations such as family, community, or
         governmental agencies
   b. But the local church is limited in its resources
      1) It can easily become "burdened" (cf. 1Ti 5:16)
      2) It can be hindered or distracted from fulfilling its true

[Among many churches, innovations have been introduced into the work of
the church.  Though well intentioned, they tend to denominationalize
and/or secularize the church.  One such innovation is...]


      1. The support of human institutions from the treasury of local churches
         a. "...the doctrine or practice of a church sending money to an
            institution of some kind in order to carry out some work
            that the church has deemed worthy of support."
            - http://www.goodfight.com/notes/Institutionalism.html
         b. "... this may include supporting missionary organizations,
            orphan's homes, nursing homes, schools, other churches, even
            political organizations." - ibid.
      2. Such institutions are often called 'parachurch organizations'
         a. "The parachurch is effectively a new form of religious
            organization that dates from the early 19th century."
         b. "In the first quarter of the 19th century, parachurch
            organizations were abundant in many forms -- Bible tract
            societies, independent educational organizations,
            independent missionary groups, and moral reform organizations."
         c. "The defining characteristic of a parachurch is that it
            stands outside of the organizational structure of well-
            established religious bodies."
         d. "Parachurches are often the creation of an entrepreneur or a
            small cadre of people who seek to achieve specific goals."
         -- http://religiousbroadcasting.lib.virginia.edu/parachurch.html
      3. The goal of such institutions are certainly noble:  evangelism,
         benevolence, edification, etc.
         a. The issue in this study is not whether such institutions
            have a right to exist
         b. The issue is whether local churches should support them out
            of their treasury

      1. There is no scriptural support for churches to support human institutions
         a. There is no example of NT churches sending money to human
            institutions as a way of carrying out their work of
            evangelism, edification, or benevolence
         b. The practice began in the 19th century (see above)
         c. In the NT, churches sent money directly to other churches or
      2. It gives oversight of the local church's work to those not its elders
         a. Human institutions are governed by board members, CEOs, or other individuals
         b. Churches 'out source' their work and their oversight by
            giving to such organizations
      3. It turns the local church into a collection agency for man-made organizations
         a. Institutions appeal for churches to support their organizations
         b. The local church thus becomes a mini 'United Way' for human institutions
      4. It tends to denominationalize the church
         a. Institutions usually identify their association with a
            particular group of churches
         b. E.g., a 'Church of Christ school', or 'Church of Christ
            benevolent home', etc.
         c. The use of 'Church of Christ' in such a way contributes to a
            denominational mindset
      5. Additional insights regarding the problems with
         institutionalism come from an article on Parachurch
         Organizations by William McDonald:
         a. "One result is that capable teachers and preachers have been
            called away from their primary ministries in order to become
            administrators. If all mission board administrators were
            serving on the mission field, it would greatly reduce the
            need for personnel there."
         b. "Another result of the proliferation of organizations is
            that vast sums of money are needed for overhead, and thus
            diverted from direct gospel outreach. The greater part of
            every dollar given to many Christian organizations is
            devoted to the expense of maintaining the organization
            rather than to the primary purpose for which it was
         c. "Organizations often hinder the fulfillment of the Great
            Commission. Jesus told His disciples to teach all the things
            He had commanded. Many who work for Christian organizations
            find they are not permitted to teach all the truth of God.
            They must not teach certain controversial matters for fear
            they will alienate the constituency to whom they look for
            financial support."
         d. "The multiplication of Christian institutions has too often
            resulted in factions, jealousy, and rivalry that have done
            great harm to the testimony of Christ. 'Consider the
            overlapping multiplicity of Christian organizations at work,
            at home, and abroad. Each competes for limited personnel and
            for shrinking financial resources. And consider how many of
            these organizations really owe their origin to purely human
            rivalry, though public statements usually refer to God's
            will (Daily Notes of the Scripture Union).'"
         -- http://web.singnet.com.sg/~syeec/literature/parachurch.html

[Whether individual Christians should support such human institutions is
another issue.  There is no authority for local churches to do so, and
it is fraught with problems.  The same is true regarding...]


      1. Where one congregation oversees a work in another area, or the
         combined efforts of two or more churches
         a. "One congregation that especially oversees a project such as
            a mission society, in which other congregations have an
            interest and to which they voluntarily contribute regularly.
            The fact that other churches contribute to a project this is
            overseen by the elders of one church is the central idea."
            - J. D. Thomas, We Be Brethren, p. 355
         b. "A sponsoring church is a congregation which assumes the
            oversight and control of some activity in the general field
            of evangelism, edification, or benevolence." - Kevin Kay,
            Institutionalism: Sponsoring Church
      2. Some examples of sponsoring church arrangements
         a. A church sponsors a foreign work, with its elders overseeing
            the evangelist(s) and the congregation(s) in a particular area
         b. A church sponsors a work beyond its own ability to finance
            (e.g., TV, radio), and asks other churches to financially
            support its efforts
         c. A church sponsors an evangelist, with other churches
            channeling their support of said evangelist through the
            auspices and control of the sponsoring church
      3. The sponsoring church concept was developed as an alternative
         to parachurch organizations
         a. Many opposed human institutions like missionary societies
         b. This alternative sought to do the same work through churches
            rather than societies

      1. There is no clear scriptural support for the sponsoring-church
         a. Some point to Jerusalem as a 'sponsoring church' 
            - cf. Ac 11:29-30; 12:25
            1) Where supposedly the elders of the Jerusalem oversaw the work
            2) But the 'elders' in Ac 11:30 are just as likely those of
               the churches in Judea
         b. Some believe Philippi 'sponsored' Paul's support 
            - cf. 2 Co 11:8; Php 4:15-16
            1) Where supposedly support from other churches were
               funneled through Philippi
            2) But Paul's remarks in Php 4:15 refer to the beginning of
               the work in Macedonia, and 2Co 11:8 can easily include
               support received directly from other churches later
      2. It gives too much oversight to the elders of a local church
         a. Elders were to oversee the flock of God 'among you' 
            - cf. Ac 20:28; 1Pe 5:1-2
         b. Elders of a sponsoring church have oversight beyond the
            local congregation
         c. They oversee works in other places, even churches in other countries
         d. Who gave the elders the right to assume such authority?
      3. It violates the NT pattern for local church autonomy
         a. In the NT, congregations were independent, autonomous
         b. Other than the Lord and His apostles, a congregation was
            answerable only to its elders - cf. 1Pe 5:5; He 13:7,17
         c. Elders of the sponsoring church expects churches and
            individuals they 'sponsor' to be answerable to them
         d. Sponsoring churches have sought to control the actions and
            even the property of churches or works they 'sponsor'
            (especially in foreign countries)
      4. It reverses the goal of scriptural cooperation between churches
         a. In the NT, support always worked toward the direction of
            equality - cf. 2Co 8:13-14
         b. In the sponsoring church concept, smaller churches send
            money to bigger churches
         c. Instead of equality, big churches become bigger at the
            expense of smaller churches
      5. It seeks to activate the universal church
         a. The sponsoring church concept was originally developed in
            opposition to church supported missionary societies (e.g.,
            the American Christian Missionary Society)
         b. The missionary society concept was designed to activate the
            universal church
         c. Thus the sponsoring church seeks to accomplish the same as
            the missionary society
         d. Yet such efforts lead to the next problem...
      6. It leads to denominationalizing the church
         a. Attempts to activate the universal church lead to denominationalism
         b. Invariably, such efforts separate those who support such
            efforts from those who do not
         c. Before long, groups of churches are identified by whether or
            not they support such efforts (e.g., institutional vs.
            non-institutional churches)
         d. People begin asking "Are you with us, or them?", sounding
            like those in Corinth - cf. 1Co 1:11-12

[Both institutionalism and the sponsoring church concept have done much
to denominationalize churches of Christ.  Another innovation has done
much to secularize churches of Christ...


      1. Where churches use their funds to offer social programs
         a. Either for their own members
         b. Or for those in their community and beyond
      2. Social programs such as:
         a. Day care centers, schools, counseling services
         b. Orphan homes, disaster relief, medical missions
         c. Family life centers, gymnasiums, racket ball courts
      3. Through such efforts, using the local church to:
         a. Solve social ills in our society
         b. Provide entertainment for young people to keep them
            interested and out of trouble

      1. There is no scriptural support for the church to support social programs
         a. The church certainly provided benevolence for Christians
            - cf. 1Co 16:1-2; Ro 15:26
         b. As individuals we are certainly to be "good Samaritans"
            - cf. Ga 6:10; Jm 1:27
         c. But there is no indication that the local church became a
            business that offered such a wide range of services
      2. It burdens the local church with activities for which it was not designed
         a. Notice Paul's concern that the church not be 'burdened'
            - cf. 1Ti 5:16
         b. Christians were expected to fulfill their familial duties
            - cf. 1Ti 5:8
         c. Thus limitations were placed on who the church could support
            - cf. 1Ti 5:9-13
         d. The church has its own work to fulfill (e.g., evangelism,
            edification), while the Lord expects individuals, families,
            governments, and society at large to fulfill their duties
            - cf. 1Ti 5:4,14 (family); Ro 13:3-4 (government)
      3. It has the long term effect of secularizing the church
         a. Secularize - To draw away from religious orientation; make
            worldly - American Heritage Dictionary
         b. The effects of secularization on the church through social
            programs are evident:
            1) Elders (shepherds, pastors) become board members,
               directors, managers
            2) Evangelists (preachers, ministers) become staff managers,
               personal counselors
            3) Churches have youth directors, education superintendents,
               family counselors, secretaries, janitors, etc.
         c. Losing its spiritual focus, a congregation becomes:
            1) A business instead of a body
            2) A foundation instead of a family
            3) A corporation instead of a church


1. Again, it is not that there are social causes that do not need to be addressed...
   a. As individuals, Christians can and should make an impact
   b. They can use other organizations such as family, community, or
      governmental agencies
   c. Like leaven, their influence may not be as noticeable, but
      nonetheless real - cf. Mt 13:33

2. But do not forget that the local church is limited in its resources...
   a. It can easily become "burdened" (cf. 1Ti 5:16)
   b. It can be hindered or distracted from fulfilling its true purpose
      intended by God

3. History has shown the impact of institutionalism, the sponsoring
   church concept, and church involvement in social programs:
   denominationalism and secularization

Being 'in' the world, there is the danger of becoming 'of' the world
(cf. Jn 17:14-15).  Should we not be content to "let the church be the
church", especially in regards to its work...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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Note from Gary...
I will need to study this topic and reflect upon its consequences further.  At the moment, I post this for informational purposes only.

Don't Muslims and Christians Both Believe in Jesus? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Don't Muslims and Christians Both Believe in Jesus?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


“In a Muslim seminar, an Imam stated that both Christians and Muslims believe in Jesus, but of different faiths. What say you?”


Muslims are quick to emphasize that they, too, believe in Jesus. Their claim is correct. After all, the Quran alludes to Jesus in a favorable light several times (e.g.,Surah 3:45-51; 5:110; 21:91; et al.). But this claim is misleading, since it fails to own up to the fact that Christianity and Islam are in hopeless contradiction with each other regarding the most crucial contention of New Testament Christianity: the divinity of Christ. On this solitary point, Islam and Christianity, the Bible and the Quran, can never agree. This disagreement is of such momentous import and great magnitude as to make the inexorable incompatibility permanent.
You see, while the Quran speaks favorably of Jesus as a prophet of God, it vehemently denounces the deity of Christ. For example, consider Surah 18:1-5 (as translated by Muslim scholar Mohammed Pickthall)—
Praise be to Allah Who hath revealed the Scripture unto His slave…to give warning of stern punishment from Him…and to warn those who say: Allah hath chosen a son, (A thing) whereof they have no knowledge, nor (had) their fathers. Dreadful is the word that cometh out of their mouths. They speak naught but a lie.
And read Surah 19:88-93—
And they say: The Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son. Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing, whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruins, that ye ascribe unto the Beneficent a son, when it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should choose a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficient as a slave.
Or Surah 23:91—
Allah hath not chosen any son, nor is there any God along with Him (also 25:2; et al.).
These references demonstrate that the Quran depicts Jesus as a mere man—a prophet like Muhammad—who was created by God like all other created beings (Surah 5:75; cf. 42:9,13,21). Indeed, when Jesus is compared to any of the prophets (listed as Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, and Jacob), Allah is represented as stating: “We make no distinction between any of them” (Surah 2:136; 3:84). Though the Quran seems to accept the notion of the virgin conception (Surah 21:91), to attribute divinity to Jesus, or to assign to Jesus equal rank with God, is to utter a “dreadful” and “disastrous” thing—to formulate “nothing but a lie”!
Here, indeed, is the number one conflict between Islam and Christianity—the deity, person, and redemptive role of Christ. If Christ is Who the Bible represents Him to be, then Islam and the Quran are completely fictitious. If Jesus Christ is Who the Quran represents Him to be, then Christianity is baseless and blasphemous. On this point alone, these two religions can never achieve harmony. But the New Testament is very, very clear: the heart, core, and soul of the Christian religion is allegiance to Jesus Christ as God, Lord, and Savior. Jesus identified Himself as the “I AM” of the Old Testament (John 8:58; cf. 20:28-31). In Colossians, Paul forcefully affirmed regarding Jesus—
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist (1:15-17). For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (2:9).
Such depictions of Jesus are frequent in the New Testament. Jesus was certainly a prophet, as the Quran affirms (Surah 4:163); but Jesus was not just a prophet. He was God in the flesh. In fact, oral confession of the deity of Christ is prerequisite to becoming a Christian (Romans 10:9-10). This singular point makes Christianity and Islam forever incompatible. One must be a Christian to be saved (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), and yet one cannot be a Christian without believing in, and verbally confessing, the deity of Christ, and then being immersed into Christ (Romans 6:1-4; Galatians 3:27). The Bible declares that Jesus was the final revelation of God to man (Hebrews 1:1-3). There have been no others.

Babylon: A Test Case in Prophecy [Part I] by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


Babylon: A Test Case in Prophecy [Part I]

by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

It was the most remarkable community of its day—a San Francisco, New York, or London of the antique world. Herodotus (484-425 B.C.), known as the father of ancient history, once visited the great metropolis. He said that “in magnificence there is no other city that approaches to it” (I.178). It was Babylon!
Babylon’s roots reached back almost to the dawn of civilization. Its genesis was with the mighty hunter, Nimrod, who conquered men and made them his unwilling subjects (Genesis 10:10). From that ignoble origin eventually evolved the Neo-Babylonian empire (614-539 B.C.), which figures so prominently in Old Testament history.


The city of Babylon straddled the Euphrates River about fifty miles south of what is now modern Baghdad in Iraq. Herodotus claimed that the town was laid out in an exact square, approximately fifteen miles on each side. The historian suggested that the city was surrounded by a moat (more than 260 feet broad), behind which was a massive wall—some 75 feet thick and 300 feet high, with 15 large gates of brass on each side. Later writers (e.g., Strabo and Diodorus Siculus) gave somewhat smaller dimensions. But these may reflect different areas of measurement, or perhaps other historical periods (Keith, 1840, p. 271). When Jacob Abbott wrote his fascinating volume, History of Cyrus the Great, he suggested that Babylon was four or five times the size of London (1850, p. 190). Modern archaeological investigations have involved a significantly smaller area. One of the prominent features of this illustrious city was Nebuchadnezzar’s Hanging Gardens, constructed for his Median wife who was homesick for her hill-country environment. This botanical marvel was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The Scriptures take note of the fame that characterized this community. The prophets designated Babylon as “great” (Daniel 4:30), the “glory of the kingdoms” (Isaiah 13:19), the “golden city” (Isaiah 14:4), the “lady of the kingdoms” (Isaiah 47:5) who was “abundant in treasures” (Jeremiah 51:13), and the “praise of the whole earth” (Jeremiah 51:41). Surely a kingdom of this nature could last forever.


In order to appreciate the significance of Babylon in light of Bible prophecy, one must understand something of Hebrew history. The northern kingdom of Israel had been destroyed by the Assyrians in 722-721 B.C. The southern kingdom (Judah) had been spared that catastrophe (see Isaiah 37) but, due to her progressive apostasy, was on a clear collision course with Babylon. The prophets warned that if Judah continued her rebellion, Jehovah would raise up Nebuchadnezzar as His “servant” to punish the wayward Hebrews. Many of them would be killed; others would be captured and taken away as prisoners by the marauding Babylonians (Jeremiah 25:9). The Chaldean monarch, however, would not be commended or rewarded for this endeavor; rather, after his subjugation of Judah, the Lord would punish him, and the Babylon regime would commence a journey toward oblivion. Jeremiah summed up the history of this affair in the following way:
Israel is a hunted sheep; the lions have driven him away: first, the king of Assyria devoured him; and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has broken his bones. Therefore thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria (Jeremiah 50:17-18).
But Babylon was the epitome of arrogance. She boasted that no one would be able to conquer this powerful citadel. The Babylonians felt absolutely secure within their mighty fortress, and believed that the capital city would never be vanquished. “I shall be mistress forever.... I am, and there is none else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children” (Isaiah 47:7-8). Inscriptions from the Chaldean archives have illustrated the haughty disposition that characterized the Babylonian rulers (Millard, 1985, p. 138).


Before I discuss prophecies relating to Babylon, there are some preliminary matters that must be considered. First, there is the nature of God—the eternal “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). He is the One Who is, Who was, and Who is to come (Revelation 1:4). He, and only He, knows the future as well as the past. The Lord, therefore, is able to speak of those things that “are not” as though “they were” (Romans 4:17).
Only God can know the future. If, then, we are able to establish the fact that the prophets announced—many years in advance—truths regarding the desolation of Babylon, it would amount to a demonstration that ultimately the biblical record was given by God Himself. These matters never could have been known by mere chance.
There is an interesting passage in the book of Jeremiah that illustrates this point. On a certain occasion in the prophet’s ministry to Judah, Jeremiah was told by the Lord that his cousin, Hanamel, would arrive soon, offering to sell him a parcel of land in the town of Anathoth. Presently, Hanamel came to the prophet and made that very offer. Jeremiah subsequently uttered this significant statement: “Then I knew that this was the word of Jehovah” (Jeremiah 32:8, emp. added). When a prophecy is made—and the prediction comes to pass—one can know that God has spoken, provided other prophetic guidelines are in place.


In this two-part study, we will survey some of the prophecies that focus upon Babylon’s demise. First, though, let us remind ourselves of several principles that govern the validity of genuine prophecy. (1) True prophecies are stated emphatically; they are not couched in the jargon of contingency (unless, of course, contextual evidence suggests that one is dealing with a conditional prophecy). (2) Generally, a significant time frame must lapse between the prophetic utterance and the fulfillment, so as to exclude the possibility of “educated speculation.” (3) The prophecy must involve specific details, not vague generalities. (4) The predictive declarations must be fulfilled precisely and completely. No mere substantial percentage will suffice. One should recognize, though, that occasionally a prophecy may contain figurative terminology; this does not, however, militate against its evidential validity.
In the forthcoming reflections, we will emphasize these important points: (1) Babylon’s fall is announced unequivocally: (2) the time of the beginning of her end is declared; (3) the invading forces are specified; (4) particular details of the Chaldean destruction are chronicled; (5) the final result—Babylon’s utter dissipation—is portrayed quite graphically. These factors, considered in concert, testify eloquently to the divine inspiration of the sacred Scriptures.


In addition to the passage mentioned earlier (Jeremiah 50:17-18), there are many other prophecies that affirm the ultimate desolation of Babylon. In the early eighth century before the birth of Christ, and almost two hundred years before Cyrus conquered the “golden city,” Isaiah declared: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the graven images of her gods are broken unto the ground” (21:9). The double use of “fallen” is for emphasis. Although the verb “fallen” is in the present tense form in English, it actually is in the perfect tense in Hebrew, which represents completed action. This reflects a grammatical idiom commonly known as the “prophetic perfect,” frequently employed in the Old Testament to stress the absolute certainty of fulfillment (Freeman, 1968, pp. 122-123). The action thus is expressed confidently—as though it had been accomplished already.
Again Jehovah, through his prophet, rhetorically calls to Babylon: “Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans” (Isaiah 47:1). Babylon is designated as a “virgin” because for many years she had escaped the ravages of other nations. But that status would come to an end!
Or consider the announcements of Jeremiah: “Declare you among the nations and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken” (Jeremiah 50:2). “Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed; wail for her; take balm for her pain” (Jeremiah 51:8). Among other contexts, a survey of Isaiah, chapters 13 and 14, and Jeremiah, chapters 50 and 51, will reveal numerous declarations concerning Babylon’s impending fall and ultimate desolation.


In giving consideration to the “time” factor in prophecies regarding the destruction of Babylon, two things must be kept in view. First, there was to be an initial defeat of the superpower. Second, afterward there would be a gradual but progressive degeneration of the locale that ultimately would result in total ruin. At this point, we will consider only the first of these matters.
After Judah’s good king, Josiah (639-608 B.C.), died during the battle of Megiddo, he was succeeded by his son Jehoahaz, a miserable failure who reigned only three months. Jehoahaz was taken captive to Egypt (2 Kings 23:30-34), where, as Jeremiah prophesied, he died (Jeremiah 22:11-12). Then Jehoiakim, Josiah’s second son, came to Judah’s throne. He reigned eleven years (608-597 B.C.). During his administration, the compassionate Jeremiah, via his prophetic proclamations, was attempting to bring the southern kingdom to a state of repentance—with little success, I might add. Let us focus momentarily upon the oracles of Jeremiah, chapter 25.
First, we must observe that the material of this important chapter is dated. “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim” (25:1). Thus, the following prophecies can be dated to 605 B.C. The prophet described the horrors that were to be visited upon Palestine by the impending Babylonian invasion. He then announced the fate of Babylon herself.
And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations [Judah and several of her neighbors—WJ] shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, says Jehovah, for their iniquity (Jeremiah 25:11-12).
Thus, almost three-quarters of a century before Babylon fell, when there was absolutely no indication of Chaldean vulnerability, Jeremiah announced the impending doom of the ancient world’s superpower, and he gave a time indicator as to when those circumstances would unfold. There simply was no natural way he could have “guessed” it.


But who would overthrow mighty Babylon? Both Isaiah and Jeremiah provide that information. In a section that concludes with: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon,” the messianic prophet wrote: “Go up, O Elam; besiege O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease” (Isaiah 21:2). As I have noted elsewhere, “Elam is here used to facilitate the Hebrews’ understanding of the source of the impending invasion, since Persia was not yet prominent. Later, Elam is considered as a part of the Persian empire...” (Jackson, 1991, p. 48). Skinner observed that Elam and Media were
[t]he dominions of Cyrus. The former lay east of the Tigris and north of the Persian Gulf; Media was the mountainous district adjoining it on the north. Cyrus, according to the Babylonian records, was originally king of Anzan, in the north of Elam; in 549 he conquered Media, uniting the two in one kingdom (1963, 1:170).
Rawlinson noted that “Elam” is named because it was familiar to the Hebrews, whereas “Persia” would have been a designation alien to them at the time of Isaiah’s writing (1950, 10:336). What precision!
Again, Isaiah detailed the conquering exploits of Cyrus, leader of the Medo-Persian forces and the brilliant strategist who overthrew the city of Babylon:
Thus says Jehovah to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him, and I will loose the loins of kings; to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut (45:1).
The prophecy was uttered two centuries before the birth of the Persian monarch, and yet, as I shall demonstrate subsequently, it set forth a number of remarkable events in connection with the conquest of the Chaldean capital.
Jeremiah was equally specific regarding the invaders of Babylon. “Make sharp the arrows, hold firm the shields: Jehovah has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; because his purpose is against Babylon to destroy it” (51:11). Some have suggested that this passage sarcastically urged the Babylonians to sharpen their arrows and firmly clutch their shields—as if they would be able to defend themselves against the Lord’s forces (Clarke, n.d., 4:388). Others feel that this is a rhetorical charge to the Medo-Persian soldiers to prepare their military implements for attack against the Chaldean forces (Plumptre, 1959, 5:168). “The Persians were famous among the ancients for their archers” (McClintock and Strong, 1969, 1:372). Jehovah has plans for Babylon. He will destroy it by means of the “kings” (tribal rulers) of the Medes. Again, the accuracy of the biblical text is demonstrated by the precise terminology used. As Wiseman has noted concerning Jeremiah 51:11: “Babylonian texts (Nabonidus) show that the title ‘king of the Medes’ (11) was correctly in use in 544 B.C.” (Wiseman, 1979, p. 849).
The historical facts are not disputed. The Babylonian ruler, Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 B.C.), was succeeded by his son, Evil-Merodach (562-560 B.C.), who is mentioned in 2 Kings 25:27-30 and in Jeremiah 52:31-34. Next came Neriglissar (560-556 B.C.), an evil conspirator who was defeated and slain in battle by the Medes and Persians (Sanderson, et al., 1900, 1:54). Labashi-Marduk subsequently came to the Chaldean throne in 556 B.C., but was assassinated after a few months. Finally, there was Nabonidus, who ruled from 556-539 B.C. His son, Belshazzar, was co-regent with his father. Actually it was Belshazzar who was occupying the city of Babylon when it fell (see Daniel 5:1ff.). Inscriptions have been discovered which make it clear that Nabonidus had entrusted the “kingship” of the capital city to his son while he campaigned in Arabia for about a decade (Vos, 1988, 1:276). When Cyrus advanced against Babylon, Nabonidus marched east to meet him, but fled before the Persian general’s army. Later, after Cyrus had captured the city (539 B.C.), Nabonidus surrendered to the Persians. And so, the biblical prophecies regarding the conquerors of the city of Babylon were fulfilled exactly.
In the second installment of this study, I will present some of the many details concerning the fall and deterioration of Babylon—details that were previewed prophetically by the great seers of Israel.


Abbott, Jacob (1850), History of Cyrus the Great (New York: Harper Brothers).
Clarke, Adam (n.d.), Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible (Nashville, TN: Abingdon).
Freeman, Hobart (1968), An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophets (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Herodotus (1956 reprint), The History of Herodotus, George Rawlinson, translator (New York: Tudor).
Jackson, Wayne (1991), Isaiah: God’s Prophet of Doom and Deliverance (Abilene, TX: Quality).
Keith, Alexander (1840), Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Religion Derived From Prophecy(Edinburgh, Scotland: William Shyte and Co.).
McClintock, John and James Strong (1969 reprint), Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Millard, Alan (1985), Treasures From Bible Times (Oxford, England: Lion Publishing).
Plumptre, E.H. (1959 reprint), Ellicott’s Commentaries (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Rawlinson, George (1950 Reprint), “Isaiah,” The Pulpit Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Sanderson, Edgar, J.P. Lamberton, and John McGovern (1900), The World’s History and Its Makers(Chicago, IL: Universal History Publishing Co.).
Skinner, J. (1963), “Isaiah: I-XXXIX,” The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press).
Vos, Howard (1988), “Belshazzar,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Wiseman, D.J. (1979), “Jeremiah,” The New Layman’s Bible Commentary, ed. G.C.D. Howley, F.F. Bruce, and H.L. Ellison (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

A Reaction to Big Bang Euphoria by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


A Reaction to Big Bang Euphoria

by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


I have heard that recent findings from a NASA satellite support the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe. Is this correct?


In 1992, newspapers plastered new findings about the Big Bang theory across their front pages. The Associated Press quoted physicist Joel Primack as saying that the new scientific data represent “one of the major discoveries of the century.” The reports often are couched in highly religious terms, suggesting that scientists have found the “Holy Grail of cosmology.” What is all this talk about, and what is its significance to the biblical record of creation?


The Big Bang theory rests on three basic assumptions: (1) that from some sort of original “cosmic egg,” itself smaller than a single proton, hydrogen and helium atoms were created and ultimately gave rise (through a process called “nucleosynthesis”) to 99% of the visible matter in the Universe; (2) that the heat generated by this initial process has cooled to only a few degrees above absolute zero; and (3) that the Universe is expanding away from a central point. These points have been discussed in a previous article (Major, 1991). But how is the current controversy related to these assumptions, and what ramifications do these new findings have on biblical creation?
Although the extremely high temperatures thought to be associated with the Big Bang could not be measured directly, evolutionary cosmologists felt that one day it might be possible to find a remnant of these temperatures in what they termed “background” radiation—the “afterglow” of the Big Bang. In 1965, two scientists from Bell Laboratories, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, pointed an improvised radio telescope into space and found a uniform background radiation of three degrees above absolute zero (3-Kelvin). Cosmologists took this as evidence for the Big Bang, and Drs. Penzias and Wilson subsequently were awarded a Nobel Prize for their discovery. In 1989, NASA launched its Cosmic Background Explorer satellite (COBE), and it began its survey of deep space. It, too, found a 3-K temperature (or, more correctly, 2.735 ±0.06 K, measured to an accuracy of one in 10,000).
There were still serious problems with the Big Bang theory, however. For example, in any Big Bang scenario—according to evolutionists’ assumptions about initial conditions—the Universe can contain no more than 10% protons, neutrons, and other ordinary matter found in stars, planets, etc. What makes the rest of the matter—90-99% of the Universe—still is a mystery. Cosmologists do not know what it is, and have not found direct evidence of its existence. One suggestion is that it consists of “cold dark matter”—“cold” because it cannot interact with other matter (except gravitationally), and “dark” because it cannot be seen. Evolutionists need this matter—both known and unknown—to allow for expansion and galaxy formation. If this extra matter did not exist, the ordinary matter of the Universe would have scattered into the empty reaches of space without ever coming together to form galaxies.
The problem is, the Universe is “lumpy.” There are clusters of galaxies, for example, which stretch 550 million light years across the sky. The cold dark matter theory cannot account for this, and circumventing this problem is what the current controversy is all about. Big Bang supporters now are suggesting that the “cosmic egg” had small defects—minor variations that could grow into major variations. The existence of these “minor variations” should have had some effect on the background radiation. However, until now, the evidence of any serious fluctuations in the background radiation has been conspicuously absent, leaving the Big Bang concept riddled with problems for which there seemingly were no solutions.
When NASA’s COBE satellite reported its first results, those results supported previous findings of a uniform background radiation. A second survey was carried out to an accuracy not of one in 10,000, but to one in 100,000. The current media reports are all about the results of this last survey, which evolutionists say documents the existence of minor variations in the background temperature of the known Universe.


These variations are presumed to represent early defects, which could explain how the Universe got to be so “lumpy.” However, most people likely are unaware of the infinitesimal nature of the variations being reported. In reality, the “variations” differ by barely thirty-millionths of a Kelvin from the approximate 3-K background. Some scientists doubt that these are large enough to account for the large-scale structure of the Universe (see Flam, 1992). So, while scientists were relieved to find variations, they have been forced to admit that the results are not exactly what they need to “fix” the theory.
Recent articles in science journals also make mention of other concerns. For example, the measured temperature variations, according to the principal investigator, George Smoot, are “well below the level of instrumental noise.” In other words, the variations may turn out to be statistically unimportant, because the instruments are not accurate enough to produce the published results. Al Kogut, who also worked on the initial research project, said: “You can’t point to any one point in the data and say that’s signal and that’s noise” (see Flam, 1992). These evolutionists believe, of course, that they are observing a real phenomenon, and not just instrument noise. [It should be pointed out, however, that the variations were not apparent from the raw data. They were “extracted” by manipulatingCOBE’s data.]


These recent findings are not an unqualified success, and should be downgraded from “greatest discovery” to “interesting,” and from “proof” to “possible corroboration.” The British journal Naturecommented: “The simple conclusion, that the data so far authenticated are consistent with the doctrine of the Big Bang, has been amplified in newspapers and broadcasts into proof that ‘we now know’ how the Universe began. This is cause for some alarm” (1992, p. 731).
Not so long ago, adherents of the Big Bang held to a smooth Universe, and pointed with pride to the uniform background radiation. Then they found large-scale structures, and revised their “predictions.” Now they have found infinitesimal variations, and are hailing them as the greatest discovery of the century. We must urge caution when a theory, claiming to be scientific, escapes falsification by continual modification with ad hoc, stopgap measures. Certainly there is no need for George Smoot to say, “If you’re religious, it’s like looking at God.” This statement spurred the media to seek comments from various religious quarters. According to the Associated Press, the “Rev. Mr. Burnham said many theologians will find having another confirmation of the big bang theory to be very compatible with the belief that God created the universe out of pre-existent chaos.” However, the idea that God just started the creation and left it to evolve on its own is not supported anywhere in the Bible. The evolutionists’ time scale is inconsistent with biblical chronology, and the creation record tells us that God created the heavenly objects on the fourth day. This order of creation differs markedly from the evolutionary account. Overall, this new discovery is not anywhere near as conclusive as its promoters claim. The Big Bang theory still is rife with problems.


Major, Trevor (1991), “The Big Bang in Crisis,” Reason & Revelation, 11:21-24, June.
Flam, Faye (1992), “COBE Finds the Bumps in the Big Bang,” Science, 256:612, May 1.
Nature (1992), “Big Bang Brouhaha,” 356:731, April 30.

Did Jesus Condone Law-breaking? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Did Jesus Condone Law-breaking?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The Pharisees certainly did not think that the Son of God was beyond reproach. Following Jesus’ feeding of the four thousand, they came “testing” Him, asking Him to show them a sign from heaven (Matthew 16:1). Later in the gospel of Matthew (19:3ff.), the writer recorded how “the Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?’ ” It was their aim on this occasion, as on numerous other occasions, to entangle Jesus in His teachings by asking Him a potentially entrapping question—one that, if answered in a way that the Pharisees had anticipated, might bring upon Jesus the wrath of Herod Antipas (cf. Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29) and/or some of His fellow Jews (e.g., the school of Hillel, or the school of Shammai). A third time the Pharisees sought to “entangle Him in His talk” (Matthew 22:15) as they asked, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” (22:17). The jealous and hypocritical Pharisees were so relentless in their efforts to destroy the Lord’s influence that on one occasion they even accused Jesus’ disciples of breaking the law as they “went through the grainfields on the Sabbath…were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat” (Matthew 12:1ff.). [NOTE: “Their knowledge of so trifling an incident shows how minutely they observed all his deeds” (Coffman, 1984, p. 165). The microscopic scrutiny under which Jesus lived, likely was even more relentless than what some “stars” experience today. In one sense, the Pharisees could be considered the “paparazzi” of Jesus’ day.] Allegedly, what the disciples were doing on this particular Sabbath was considered “work,” which the Law of Moses forbade (Matthew 12:2; cf. Exodus 20:9-10; 34:21).
Jesus responded to the criticism of the Pharisees by giving the truth of the matter, and at the same time revealing the Pharisees’ hypocrisy. As was somewhat customary for Jesus when being tested by His enemies (cf. Matthew 12:11-12; 15:3; 21:24-25; etc.), He responded to the Pharisees’ accusation with two questions. First, He asked: “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?” (12:3-4). Jesus reminded the Pharisees of an event in the life of David (recorded in 1 Samuel 21:1ff.), where he and others, while fleeing from king Saul, ate of the showbread, which divine law restricted to the priests (Leviticus 24:5-9). Some commentators have unjustifiably concluded that Jesus was implying innocence on the part of David (and that God’s laws are subservient to human needs—cf. Zerr, 1952, 5:41; Dummelow, 1937, p. 666), and thus He was defending His disciples “lawless” actions with the same reasoning. Actually, however, just the opposite is true. Jesus explicitly stated that what David did was wrong (“not lawful”—12:4), and that what His disciples did was right—they were “guiltless” (12:7). Furthermore, as J.W. McGarvey observed: “If Christians may violate law when its observance would involve hardship or suffering, then there is an end to suffering for the name of Christ, and an end even of self-denial” (1875, p. 104). The disciples were not permitted by Jesus to break the law on this occasion (or any other) just because it was convenient (cf. Matthew 5:17-19). The Pharisees simply were wrong in their accusations. The only “law” Jesus’ disciples broke was the Pharisaical interpretation of the law (which seems to have been more sacred to the Pharisees than the law itself). In response to such hyper-legalism, Burton Coffman forcefully stated:
In the Pharisees’ view, the disciples were guilty of threshing wheat! Such pedantry, nit-picking, and magnification of trifles would also have made them guilty of irrigating land, if they had chanced to knock off a few drops of dew while passing through the fields! The Pharisees were out to “get” Jesus; and any charge was better than none (1984, p. 165, emp. added).
Jesus used the instruction of 1 Samuel 21 to get the Pharisees to recognize their insincerity, and to justify His disciples. David, a man about whom the Jews ever boasted, blatantly violated God’s law by eating the showbread, and yet the Pharisees justified him. On the other hand, Jesus’ disciples merely plucked some grain on the Sabbath while walking through a field, an act that the law did not forbid, and yet the Pharisees condemned them. Had the Pharisees not approved of David’s conduct, they could have responded by saying, “You judge yourself. You’re all sinners.” Their reaction to Jesus’ question, however, was that of hypocrites who had been exposed—silence.
Jesus then asked a second question, saying, “Have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?” (Matthew 12:5). Here, Jesus wanted the Pharisees to acknowledge that even the law itself condoned some work on the Sabbath day. Although the Pharisees acted as if all work was banned on this day, it was actually the busiest day of the week for priests.
They baked and changed the showbread; they performed sabbatical sacrifices (Num. xxviii. 9), and two lambs were killed on the sabbath in addition to the daily sacrifice. This involved the killing, skinning, and cleaning of the animals, and the building of the fire to consume the sacrifice. They also trimmed the gold lamps, burned incense, and performed various other duties (McGarvey, n.d., pp. 211-212).
One of those “other duties” would have been to circumcise young baby boys when the child’s eighth day fell on a Sabbath. The purpose of Jesus citing these “profane” priestly works was to prove that the Sabbath prohibition was not unconditional. [NOTE: Jesus used the term “profane,” not because there was a real desecration of the temple by the priests as they worked, but “to express what was true according to the mistaken notions of the Pharisees as to manual works performed on the Sabbath” (Bullinger, 1898, p. 676).] The truth is, the Sabbath law “did not forbid work absolutely, but labor for worldly gain. Activity in the work of God was both allowed and commanded” (McGarvey, n.d., p. 212). Coffman thus concluded: “Just as the priests served the temple on the Sabbath day and were guiltless, his [Jesus’—EL] disciples might also serve Christ, the Greater Temple, without incurring guilt” (p. 167). Just as the priests who served God in the temple on the Sabbath were totally within the law, so likewise were Jesus’ disciples as they served the “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8), Whose holiness was greater than that of the temple (12:6).


Bullinger, E.W. (1898), Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1968 reprint).
Coffman, Burton (1984), Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Abilene, TX: ACU Press).
Dummelow, J.R. (1937), One Volume Commentary (New York: MacMillan).
McGarvey, J.W. (n.d.), The Fourfold Gospel (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).
McGarvey, J.W. (1875), Commentary on Matthew and Mark (Delight AR: Gospel Light).
Zerr, E.M. (1952), Bible Commentary (Raytown, MO: Reprint Publications).

"You Creationists are Not Qualified to Discuss Such Matters!" by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


"You Creationists are Not Qualified to Discuss Such Matters!"

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

A common quibble laid at the feet of the creationist is that he/she is not qualified to speak about scientific matters relating to the creation/evolution controversy. For instance, Mark Isaak, the editor of The Index to Creationist Claims, stated that “for every creationist who claims one thing, there are dozens of scientists (probably more), all with far greater professional qualifications, who say the opposite” (2005, emp. added). Others assert that creationists make “the elementary mistake of trying to discuss a highly specialized field…in which they have little or no training” (Holloway, 2010). Do these assertions have any merit?
First, such assertions are ironic in light of other statements by some in the evolutionary community. For example, in the “General Tips” section of the article, “How to Debate a Creationist,” theCreationism versus Science Web site tells its followers,
you don’t need to become a qualified expert [in relevant evolutionary subject matters—JM]…but you should endeavour to know as much or more about these subjects than your opponent does (which is often a surprisingly easy task, since most creationists learn only the barest superficialities of any given scientific principle before feeling confident enough to pontificate on it) (2007, parenthetical item in orig., emp. added).
It seems that some do not wish to hold all participants to the same standards. It is clear that the author wished for his audience to be able to win a debate, rather than consider the validity of the arguments being posed by creationists.
It is important to realize that when a person wishes to discuss a certain matter, it is not always necessary for the individual to have the relevant experience or credentials (as deemed necessary by the atheistic evolutionary community) in that area. Consider: Are certain qualifications needed before an individual can quote or paraphrase others who are considered “experts” on a certain matter, as do many creationists and evolutionists (especially in the media)? Does one need a B.A. degree in English before he would be considered qualified enough to be able to cite references? And would thatdegree be enough to prove qualification? Perhaps a graduate level degree in English would be necessary? Such a proposition would be preposterous. Even if a person had such qualifications, it would not guarantee that the person is credible, and it certainly would not prove that the person is infallible. The key, of course, is to determine whether or not the quotations and/or paraphrases are done correctly, regardless of whom the commentator is. Creationists and evolutionists, as well as individuals in every professional field, often cite others who are considered “experts.” This is a reasonable and acceptable practice.
Follow this line of reasoning even further. How far are the evolutionists willing to go in their demand for credentials? Should scientists have direct experience in every field in which they make an assertion? If not, why not? If a biology professor’s doctoral research dealt primarily with the characteristics of St. Augustine grass, is he/she qualified to speak about the evolution of apes and humans? If an atheist only received a B.A. degree in religion, would such a person be qualified to speak on the most notable, alleged, atheistic mechanism for the origin of man—namely the General Theory of Evolution? If not, then atheistic debater Dan Barker has no business speaking out about it and should be silenced (see Butt and Barker, 2009). Even Charles Darwin, the “father” of the General Theory of Evolution, only had a degree in theology, having dropped out of the only other fields of formal education he at one time pursued—the medical and law professions (Thompson, 1981, p. 104). Based on the standards being imposed by some in the evolutionary community, he had no business speaking out about matters pertaining to biology and should not have been taken seriously. And yet his free-lance work as a naturalist was considered substantial enough to gain him credibility upon writing The Origin of Species. We would argue that his qualifications were irrelevant. His ideas should be scrutinized to determine their worth, rather than castigating him for his lack of a science degree. However, in order to be consistent, the evolutionary community must deem him unqualified to discuss evolution, and his theory should be rejected. Consider further: should an atheist be required to have credentials in theology in order to be able to speak against God? Should an atheist have credentials in Bible matters to be able to speak against the Bible? A lack of “qualifications” in religious matters does not seem to stop rabid atheists from attacking Christianity. Clearly, a double-standard in the atheistic evolutionary community is at work.
And how much experience is required before a person can be considered qualified? Who defines where the imaginary line is that distinguishes between the “qualified” and the “unqualified”—whose thoughts and research should be considered and whose should be ignored? Who will be the qualifications policemen? Who determines what qualifications the qualifications policemen must have to be able to deem others qualified? And what credentials do those who ordain qualifications policemen have to have? If scientists were held to such standards, progress into new realms could never be made, since by definition, there are no experts in such areas! Thomas Edison received no higher education (“The Life of…,” 1999), and yet he invented the light bulb, founded General Electric Company, and filed 1,093 successful U.S. patent applications for his inventions (“Edison’s Patents,” 2010). In 1997, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers saw fit to establish the “Thomas A. Edison Patent Award” in his honor, again, in spite of his lack of higher learning (McKivor, 2010). Sir Isaac Newton received a bachelor’s degree, but without honors or distinction (Hatch, 2002). Should his work be disregarded? Consider also that his area of study was mathematics. How was he qualified to discuss physics, mechanics, dynamics, and other mechanical engineering concepts that are taught in engineering schools today? The Wright brothers did not even receive high school diplomas, much less receive a college education (Kelly, 1989, p. 37). The Encyclopedia of World Biography notes that Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, “was a poor student. He never learned to spell or to read well. Ford would write using only the simplest of sentences” (“Henry Ford,” 2010). However, that did not stop people from buying his Model T. Nearly 15,500,000 were sold in the United States alone (“Henry Ford [1863-1947],” 2010). Jesus Christ, Himself, would not have had the credentials deemed necessary by the religious elites of His day to speak on theological matters. And yet, Jesus emphasized that truth is truth, regardless of one’s credentials, and the truth will set men free (John 8:32).
Another relevant point should be considered in this discussion as well. Creationists often speak about various fundamental, non-technical problems with evolution, such as the fact that life cannot come from non-life, the Universe must have a cause, nothing lasts forever or pops into existence, and macroevolution does not happen. These, the creationist rightly contends, disprove atheistic evolution. The evolutionist often attempts to dodge these arguments by claiming that “creationists aren’t qualified” to discuss these matters. But there is a fundamental problem with that assertion. Since no one has ever witnessed, much less been able to study, abiogenesis; or witnessed an effect without a cause; or witnessed kinds of creatures giving rise to other kinds of creatures (e.g., apes giving rise to humans); there is no such thing as being “qualified” in such areas. How can one be qualified to discuss things that do not happen? One person is just as qualified as the next person to discuss such things. If someone has spent his entire life trying to find evidence that fairies fly around inside of children’s eyeballs, all to no avail, does that mean that he is more qualified to discuss that matter than someone else? Of course not. All he has done is waste his time coming to the same conclusion everyone else already intuitively knew. Everyone on Earth has the same amount of experience witnessing the fact that such things as abiogenesis and macroevolution do not happen. So any person is just as qualified as the next person to discuss them. Darwinian evolution is founded on principles for which there is no such thing as “being qualified” enough to discuss them. Conjecture and speculation—not proof—characterize evolutionary theory.
Bottom line: Anyone is eligible to take part in a discussion as long as he or she is not speaking error.That is the critical issue. Consider: does one have to be qualified to speak the truth? Of course not. Truth is truth! It does not matter who speaks it. Unfortunately, many critics of creationists fail to address the creationist’s argument, but instead attack the speaker (e.g., the speaker’s credentials). This sidesteps the argument and attempts to distract hearers from analyzing the argument’s validity, which is a classic example of the ad hominem logical fallacy (“Fallacies,” 2007). Anyone who is able to speak correctly concerning a scientific matter due to personal work or experience, direct study, or through research into the work of others is eligible to take part in scientific discourse on the subject, given that the person is handling the matter accurately. As long as the laws of science are used correctly, anyone can teach their truths and should not be restricted from doing so through the silencing techniques being attempted by the evolutionary community.
As was mentioned above, some evolutionists assert that “there are dozens of scientists (probably more), all with far greater professional qualifications” than creationists (Isaak, 2005)—quite a bold statement, to say the least. It may be true that most scientists have bought into the hoax of evolution, as was the case when scientists believed in geocentricity, or that blood-letting was an appropriate prescription for curing ailments, but appealing to numbers proves nothing, and using such an argument causes one to fall victim to yet another logical fallacy—the ad populum fallacy (i.e., appeal to the majority) (“Fallacies,” 2007).
Although numbers ultimately mean nothing in regard to truth, creationists can certainly come up with an impressive list of “qualified” scientists who have examined the scientific evidence and concluded that the atheistic evolutionary model falls short in explaining our existence. Johannes Kepler, the father of modern astronomy and modern optics, was a firm Bible believer. Robert Boyle, the father of chemistry, was a Bible believer. Samuel F.B. Morse, who invented Morse Code, was a believer. Wernher Von Braun, the father of the space program at NASA, was a strong believer in God and creation, as well as Louis Pasteur, the father of biology, Lord Kelvin, the father of thermodynamics, Sir Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics, and Faraday, the father of electromagnetism. Dozens of other well-known scientists from history could be cited (see Morris, 1990). Creation Ministries International posted a list of some 187 scientists alive today (or recently deceased) who believe in the biblical account of creation (“Creation Scientists…,” 2010). The scientists who are listed all possess a doctorate in a science-related field. Over 90 different scientific fields are represented in the list, including several types of engineers, chemists, geneticists, physicists, and biologists. Astronomers and astrophysicists; geologists and geophysicists; physicians and surgeons; micro-, molecular, and neurobiologists; paleontologists and zoologists are represented, and the list goes on. Jerry Bergman amassed a list of more than 3,000 individuals. Most have a Ph.D. in science, and many more could be added, according to Bergman.
On my list I have well over 3,000 names including Nobel Prize winners, but, unfortunately, a large number of persons that could be added to the public list, including many college professors, did not want their name listed because of real concerns over possible retaliation or harm to their careers (2006).
For over 30 years, we at Apologetics Press have conducted numerous seminars and published hundreds of articles by “qualified,” credentialed scientists who speak out in support of the biblical account of creation as well—scientists with graduate degrees in geology, astrophysics, microbiology, neurobiology, cell biology, medicine, biochemistry, aerospace engineering, nuclear engineering, and biomechanical engineering. Creationists can certainly speak with credibility in scientific matters. However, again, the ultimate question is not how many scientists are standing on either side of the battle line. Majority or “consensus” is not the deciding factor (cf. Miller, 2012). The question is who is speaking the truth? Who is taking the scientific evidence and drawing reasonable, accurate conclusions from the facts? The answer is clear to the unbiased observer. Science supports creation—not evolution.
There is certainly something to be said about the value of having credentials and experience in the area in which one is speaking, because that person will often have a broader perspective about a subject than the next person. But it is also true that that person should not be blindly accepted without critical thinking. Regardless of one’s credentials, the audience must still consider the validity of the argument being offered. When all is said and done, the theory—not the person discussing it—should be where the emphasis lies. As always, we challenge the audience to disprove our contentions. Truth will always win. It will set us free.


Bergman, Jerry (2006), “Darwin Skeptics,” http://www.rae.org/darwinskeptics.html.
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), The Butt/Barker Debate (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
“Creation Scientists and Other Specialists of Interest” (2010), Creation Ministries International,http://creation.com/creation-scientists.
“Edison’s Patents” (2010), The Thomas Edison Papers, Rutgers University,http://edison.rutgers.edu/patents.htm.
“Fallacies” (2007), Handouts and Linkshttp://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/fallacies.html.
Hatch, Robert (2002), “Sir Isaac Newton,” Professor Robert A. Hatch: The Scientific Revolution Homepagehttp://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/ufhatch/pages/01-courses/current-courses/08sr-newton.htm.
“Henry Ford” (2010), Encyclopedia of World Biographyhttp://www.notablebiographies.com/Fi-Gi/Ford-Henry.html.
“Henry Ford (1863-1947)” (2010), About.com, Inventors,http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventors/a/HenryFord.htm.
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