8/4/15

From Mark Copeland... "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT" The Fruit Of The Spirit - Gentleness



                       "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT"

                  The Fruit Of The Spirit - Gentleness

INTRODUCTION

1. The eighth quality which serves to constitute the fruit of the
   Spirit is "gentleness" ("meekness" in the KJV)
   a. The Greek word is prautes {prah-ot'-ace}
   b. This is a difficult word to define, for there really is no
      English word that corresponds to the Greek
   c. Also, while "meekness" is a good attempt to translate the word...
      1) There is a common misconception about the meaning of
         "meekness" itself
      2) It is often used to suggest a form of cowardice and weakness,
         but there is no such idea in the Greek word "prautes"

2. The purpose of this lesson will be...
   a. To define the proper meaning of "gentleness" ("meekness") as used
      in Ga 5:23
   b. To consider the place this virtue is to have in lives of Christians

[We begin, then, with...]

I. DEFINING "PRAUTES" (GENTLENESS, MEEKNESS)

   A. PRAUTES AS DEFINED BY THE ANCIENT GREEKS...
      1. To describe persons or things which have in them a certain
         soothing quality...
         -- E.g, having a humble and kind demeanor which calms
            another's anger
      2. To describe gentleness of conduct, especially on the part of
         people who had it in their power to act otherwise...
         a. E.g., a king forgiving a servant who failed a particular task
            1) The king has the authority and power to render punishment
            2) But chooses instead to show kindness and forgiveness
         b. Such a king would be praised for his gentle and meek behavior
      3. To describe the ability to take unkind remarks with good nature...
         a. E.g., as when embroiled in controversy
         b. Being able to discuss things without losing one's temper
            because of unkind and unfair personal remarks
      4. Most often, to describe the character in which strength and
         gentleness are perfectly combined...
         a. E.g., a horse obedient to the reins, a watchdog friendly to
            the family owning him
         b. There is great strength present, but it is tempered by a
            gentle spirit
      5. Aristotle had this to say about "prautes"...
         a. "the ability to bear reproaches and slights with
            moderation, and not to embark on revenge quickly, and not
            to be easily provoked to anger, but to be free from
            bitterness and contentiousness, having tranquillity and
            stability in the spirit." (On Virtues And Vices)
         b. This does not imply that there is never a place for anger
            in the gentle man
         c. Indeed, the man who displays "prautes" is angry "on the
            right grounds, and against the right persons, and in the
            right manner, and at the right moment, and for the right
            length of time." (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics)
         d. "he will err on the side of forgiveness rather than on the
            side of anger" (Barclay)

   B. PRAUTES AS EXEMPLIFIED BY MOSES AND JESUS...
      1. The example of Moses - cf. Nu 12:3
         a. Though as God's chosen servant he could have rebuked Aaron
            and Miriam, he humbly kept silent - e.g., Nu 12:1-8
         b. His silence was not from personal weakness, however, for consider...
            1) His reaction to the golden calf - Ex 32:19-20,25-28
            2) His pleading with God - Ex 32:30-32
            -- Indeed, Moses was no spineless coward
         c. Rather, his meekness was the result of a humble opinion of himself!
      2. The example of Jesus - cf. Mt 11:28-30
         a. Notice His meekness at His trial - Mt 27:12-14; cf. Is 53:7
         b. But it was not due to lack of strength...
            1) His powerful strength had already been demonstrated:
               a) In denouncing the Pharisees - Mt 23:13ff
               b) In purging the temple - Jn 2:14-17
            2) His meekness at the trial was evidence of strength, not weakness!

[Gentleness (or meekness, KJV), then, is that virtuous quality by which...

"we treat all men with perfect courtesy, that we can rebuke without
rancor, that we can argue without intolerance, that we can face the
truth without resentment, that we can be angry and sin not, that we
can be gentle and yet not weak." (Barclay)

Again, this quality comes from having a humble opinion of one's self,
along with the inner strength to control one's emotions, tongue, and
behavior.  Now let's consider...]

II. THE PLACE OF GENTLENESS IN THE LIVES OF CHRISTIANS

   A. IN PARTICULAR...
      1. We are to receive the Word of God with meekness (prautes)
         - Jm 1:21
      2. We must approach brethren in error with a spirit of gentleness
         (prautes) - Ga 6:1
      3. We must correct those in opposition with humility (prautes)
         - 2Ti 2:24-25
      4. We are to answer inquiries concerning our hope with meekness
         (prautes) - 1Pe 3:15

   B. IN GENERAL...
      1. Meekness (prautes) is necessary for the Christian man who
         would be wise - cf. Jm 3:13-18
      2. Meekness (prautes) is necessary for the Christian woman who
         would be precious in the sight of God - 1Pe 3:1-6

CONCLUSION

1. One who is walking by the Spirit is going to be a gentle person,
   even in the most trying circumstances...
   a. Not because of weakness or cowardice
   b. But because of humility, coupled with the inner strength to
      control one's behavior

2. Such was the case with our Lord, who at all times demonstrated what
   it means to be "gentle and lowly at heart" - cf. Mt 11:29
   a. Let those who claim to be Jesus' disciples seek to emulate His
      example
   b. Let there be found in us that "fruit of the Spirit" which was
      found in our Lord as well!

3. And for any who may not yet be a disciple of Jesus, I encourage you
   to reflect on the words of Him who was "gentle and lowly in
   heart"...

   "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give
   you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle
   and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My
   yoke is easy and My burden is light." - Mt 11:28-30

In the expressions of His day, the metaphor of the "yoke" refers to
becoming His disciple.  To learn what is involved in becoming a
disciple, consider the words of Jesus in Mt 28:18-20...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

Killing, Murder, and the Bible by Kyle Butt, M.A.






https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=2794


Killing, Murder, and the Bible

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

Eight minutes and 18 seconds into his 15-minute opening speech during our February 12, 2009 Darwin Day debate, Dan Barker claimed that the God of the Bible cannot exist because biblical teachings regarding killing are contradictory. He stated:
In Exodus 20:13, in the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not kill.” In Leviticus 24:17 a different phrasing of it with a different Hebrew word: “He that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.” However, we find in Exodus 32: “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Put every man his sword by his side, slay every man his brother, his companion and neighbor.” First Samuel 6: “The people lamented because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.” The Bible is filled with examples of the biblical God committing, commanding, and condoning killing. The God of the Bible says “Don’t kill.” The God of the Bible says “Kill.” He does not exist (Butt and Barker, 2009).
Is it true that the biblical position on killing is hopelessly contradictory and can be used as evidence that the God of the Bible cannot exist? Certainly not. The biblical injunctions about killing and murder are in perfect harmony with themselves, and with the principles of justice, and cannot be used as evidence against the God of the Bible.
First, according to Dan, the command to avoid killing in the Ten Commandments is a blanket statement that includes avoiding every type of killing. Yet, we must consider that just one chapter later, in Exodus 21:12-17, we read several injunctions pertaining to capital punishment in which the death sentence is permitted for those who premeditatively murder another person due to malice, who kidnap a person to sell him, or who curse their father or mother. The original readers understood that the commandment in Exodus 20:13 did not mean that all killing was wrong, including capital punishment. They understood that certain qualifications, as are detailed in the rest of the Law, put limits, restrictions, and allowances on the term “kill.” Barker would have us to believe that whoever wrote the book of Exodus was so ignorant that he did not catch contradictory statements that are separated by less than one chapter. Yet, such an idea is ridiculous in light of the remarkable accuracy and acumen of the Old Testament instructions (see Butt, 2008) that were used by the Jewish community for almost 1,500 years, many of which were the basis for the legal codes of modern nations. The arrogance of the current atheistic community to assume that the original readers of the Old Testament were so dim-witted as to accept contradictory statements less than a chapter apart is astounding. If a statement about killing is made, and then within a few verses, the statement is qualified and expounded upon, the allegation that all killing is being included in the original instruction cannot be maintained.
Second, Barker frequently uses this alleged contradiction in his writings as well as his debates. In his book, godless, he claimed that the commandment in Exodus 20:13 cannot be translated “Thou shalt not murder,” because the Hebrew word ratsach sometimes means something other than murder. To prove his point, he listed the following five Hebrew words most commonly translated as “kill” or “murder”:
muth: (825) die, slay, put to death, kill
nakah: (502) smite, kill, slay, beat, wound, murder
harag: (172) slay, kill, murder, destroy
zabach (140) sacrifice, kill
ratsach (47) slay [23], murder [17], kill [6], be put to death [1] (Barker, 2008, p. 204).
To further “prove” his point, he listed several places in the Old Testament in which the term ratsach, means something other than murder. He cited Deuteronomy 4:42, a verse that uses the term to refer to involuntary manslaughter. He also noted Numbers 35:30-31, in which the term is used for the justifiable capital punishment inflicted on a murderer. Barker’s contention, then, is that if the term can ever be used to mean something besides murder, then it must be used that way in Exodus 20:13.
The fatal flaw in Barker’s assertion is that of equivocation. “Equivocation is classified as both a formal and informal fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time)” (“Equivocation,” 2009, emp. added). [NOTE: Although Wikipedia is not usually considered a scholarly source, equivocation is a commonly used concept and Wikipedia’s wording was the most concise and clear of the various sources consulted.] Notice how Barker is equivocating in this instance. He is rightly saying that the term ratsach might be used for justified killing like capital punishment, but he is insisting that this definition must be used in Exodus 20:13. Yet, when we see the other definitions, such as murder, for the word ratsach that are available, we realize that the definition of murder fits the context of Exodus 20:13, not the concept of justifiable killing such as capital punishment. By forcing the word ratsach to have the same definition in all places, Dan alleges to have found a contradiction. Dan stated: “Modern preacher must be smarter than Hebrew translators if they claim that ratsach means “murder” exclusively” (1992, pp. 207-208). But the claim is not that the word means murder exclusively, but that in the context of Exodux 20:13 the context shows that the word means murder. In truth, Barker must be smarter than the entire Hebrew nation and all linguists since the time of the Bible’s writing to be able to prove that ratsach cannot mean murder in Exodus 20:13, when both the context and standard meanings of the word allow for such to be the case. His logical fallacy of equivocation, however, is plain to see and is inexcusable for a man who has been studying his Bible and debating for as many years as Dan has.
The only proper way to determine the meaning of a word with multiple meanings is to look at the context. In the context of Exodus 20:13 and other injunctions to avoid “killing,” the clear meaning is that some types of killing, such as premeditated murder out of malice, are forbidden, while other types of killing, such as that done by the government as punishment for certain wrong doings, are permissible.
The use of our English word “kill” provides a good example of how words can be used. Suppose we say: “It is wrong to kill your neighbor,” but then we say, “It is not always wrong for a policeman to kill his neighbor.” Are these two statements contradictory? No. Not if in the first instance we use “kill” to mean intentionally, premeditatively killing out of malice, etc., but in the second we mean the policeman may shoot his neighbor if the neighbor was shooting at him, was holding hostages at gunpoint, etc. Biblical statements about killing, murder, and capital punishment are not contradictory.
Besides this alleged contradiction, Dan and his fellow atheists also contend that it is unfair for God to be in the position to decide when killing is justifiable or not. They contend that humans should have the same prerogative about deciding who lives and dies as God should have. Thus, they say, God cannot be in a position to determine when killing is justified if humans are not in this same position—the same rules must apply to God as to all humans. Barker opined: “Why is God special?” (2008, p. 204). Atheists continually overlook, however, the concept of authorization. Not everyone has the same authority to administer punishment. While it is true that a thief might deserve 10 years in prison, an individual cannot capture the thief, lock him in his basement for ten years and be considered moral. Only the government has the right to try the thief, find him guilty, and sentence him to prison. A vigilante cannot break into a federal penitentiary and kill all the inmates on death row, even though they are sentenced to death. Why? Because that individual does not have the authorization to kill those people. God has authority over life and death because He gives it, and he knows all the thoughts of those committing crimes and all the consequences of the punishment He administers (see Butt, 2004). The atheists’ contention that God and humans have the same prerogative over matters of life and death is logically flawed.
In conclusion, the biblical instructions regarding killing, when viewed in context and not equivocated, are clearly harmonious and without contradiction. Certain types of killing, such as premeditated murder done out of malice, are easily identified from the context as forbidden killing. While capital punishment administered by the proper authority is clearly not under discussion in the biblical statements against “killing.” Alleged Bible contradictions that exhibit such poor scholarship and dishonesty should be viewed by the reasonable observer as evidence against atheism and for the Bible’s accuracy and unity.

REFERENCES

Barker, Dan (2008), godless (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), The Butt/Barker Debate: Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Butt, Kyle (2004), “The Skeptic’s Faulty Assumption,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2230.
Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God, (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
“Equivocation” (2009), Wikipedia, [On-line], URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation.

God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.






https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2106


God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written by A.P.’s staff scientist. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and Auburn University, respectively, with emphases in Thermal Science and Navigation and Control of Biological Systems.]
“[T]he principles of thermodynamics have been in existence since the creation of the universe” (Cengel and Boles, 2002, p. 2, emp. added). So states a prominent textbook used in schools of engineering across America. Indeed, these principles prove themselves to be absolutely critical in today’s engineering applications. Much of the engineering technology available today is based on the foundational truths embodied in the Laws of Thermodynamics. As the writers of one engineering thermodynamics textbook stated: “Energy is a fundamental concept of thermodynamics and one of the most significant aspects of engineering analysis” (Moran and Shapiro, 2000, p. 35). Do these laws have application to the creation/evolution debate as creationists suggest? What do they actually say and mean? How are they applied today in the scientific world? Let us explore these questions.
The word “thermodynamics” originally was used in a publication by Lord Kelvin (formerly William Thomson), the man often called the Father of Thermodynamics because of his articulation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in 1849 (Cengel and Boles, p. 2). The term comes from two Greek words: therme, meaning “heat,” and dunamis, meaning “force” or “power” (American Heritage..., 2000, pp. 558,1795). Thermodynamics can be summarized essentially as the science of energy, including heat, work (defined as the energy required to move a force a certain distance), potential energy, internal energy, and kinetic energy. The basic principles and laws of thermodynamics are understood thoroughly today by the scientific community. Thus, the majority of the work with the principles of thermodynamics is done by engineers who simply utilize the already understood principles in their designs. A thorough understanding of the principles of thermodynamics which govern our Universe can help an engineer to learn effectively to control the impact of heat in his/her designs.

THE FIRST AND SECOND LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS

Though there are many important thermodynamic principles that govern the behavior of energy, perhaps the most critical principles of significance in the creation/evolution controversy are the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. What are these laws that not only are vital to the work of an engineer, but central to this debate?

The First Law

The First Law of Thermodynamics was formulated originally by Robert Mayer (1814-1878). He stated: “I therefore hope that I may reckon on the reader’s assent when I lay down as an axiomatic truth that, just as in the case of matter, so also in the case of force [the term used at that time for energy—JM], only a transformation but never a creation takes place” (as quoted in King, 1962, p. 5). That is, given a certain amount of energy in a closed system, that energy will remain constant, though it will change form (see Figure 1). As evolutionist Willard Young says in defining the First Law, “Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can only be converted from one form to another” (1985, p. 8).
figurea
Figure 1
This principle, also known as the “conservation of energy principle” (Cengel and Boles, p. 2), can be demonstrated by the burning of a piece of wood. When the wood is burned, it is transformed into a different state. The original amount of energy present before the burning is still present. However, much of that energy was transformed into a different state, namely, heat. No energy disappeared from the Universe, and no energy was brought into the Universe through burning the wood. Concerning the First Law, Young further explains that
the principle of the conservation of energy is considered to be the single most important and fundamental ‘law of nature’ presently known to science, and is one of the most firmly established. Endless studies and experiments have confirmed its validity over and over again under a multitude of different conditions (p. 165, emp. added).
This principle is known to be a fact about nature—without exception.

The Second Law

In the nineteenth century, Lord Kelvin and Rudolph Clausius (1822-1888) separately made findings that became known as the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Suplee, 2000, p. 156). The Second Law builds on the first, stating that though there is a constant amount of energy in a given system that is merely transforming into different states, that energy is becoming less usable. Extending our wood burning illustration above, after the wood is burned, the total amount of energy is still the same, but transformed into other energy states. Those energy states (e.g., ash and dissipated heat to the environment) are less retrievable and less accessible (see Figure 2).
figure2
Figure 2
This process is irreversible. The implication, to be discussed below, is that the Universe is running out of usable energy. Lord Kelvin stated that energy is “irrevocably lost to man and therefore ‘wasted,’ though not annihilated” (as quoted in Thompson, 1910, p. 288). This principle is known as entropy. Simply put, entropy states that nature is tending towards disorder and chaos. Will the paint job on your house maintain its fresh appearance over time? Will your son’s room actually become cleaner on its own, or will it tend toward disorder? Even without your son’s assistance, dust and decay take their toll. Although work can slow the entropy, it cannot stop it. Renowned evolutionary science writer Isaac Asimov explained:
Another way of stating the Second Law then is “The universe is constantly getting more disorderly!” Viewed that way we can see the Second Law all about us. We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily. Even if we never enter it, it becomes dusty and musty. How difficult to maintain houses, and machinery, and our own bodies in perfect working order: how easy to let them deteriorate. In fact, all we have to do is nothing, and everything deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out, all by itself—and that is what the Second Law is all about (1970, p. 6).
Entropy is simply a fact of nature. Entropy can be minimized in this Universe, but it cannot be eradicated. That is where engineers come in. We must figure out ways of minimizing energy loss and maximizing useful energy before it is forever lost. Thousands of engineering jobs are dedicated to addressing this fundamental fact of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Your energy bill is affected directly by it. If the Second Law was not fixed, engineers could not develop the technology necessary to maximize usable energy, thereby lowering your energy costs.
This concept is analyzed and quantified by engineers using what thermodynamics textbooks call “efficiencies.” Efficiencies reduce to “energy out” (desired output) divided by “energy in” (required input) (Cengel and Boles, 2002, p. 249). For instance, a turbine is the “device that drives an electric generator” in steam, gas, or hydroelectric power plants (p. 188). By taking the actual work done by the turbine and dividing it by the work required to operate the turbine, an engineer can calculate the turbine’s efficiency. Discovering or designing ways to maximize that ratio can be lucrative business for an engineer.
Another type of efficiency is called “isentropic efficiency.” For a turbine, isentropic efficiency is essentially the ratio of the amount of work that is done by the turbine to the amount of work that could be done by the turbine if it were “isentropic,” or without entropy. Again, the closer an engineer can approach 100% efficiency, the better. However, engineers know they cannot reach 100% efficiency because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Energy loss is inevitable. As the engineering textbook Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach states: “Well-designed, large turbines have isentropic efficiencies above 90 percent. For small turbines, however, it may drop even below 70%” (Cengel and Boles, p. 341).
Some engineers devote their entire careers to minimizing entropy in the generation of power from energy. All this effort is based on the principles established by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. These principles are established as fact in the scientific community. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines “law” as “a statement describing a relationship observed to be invariable between or among phenomena for all cases in which the specified conditions are met” (2000, p. 993, emp. added). Since laws are invariable, i.e., unchanging and constant, they have no exceptions. Otherwise, they would not be classified as laws. Tracy Walters, a mechanical engineer working in thermal engineering, observed:
It has been my experience that many people do not appreciate how uncompromising the Laws of Thermodynamics actually are. It is felt, perhaps, that the Laws are merely general tendencies or possibly only theoretical considerations. In reality, though, the Laws of Thermodynamics are hard as nails, and...the more one works with these Laws, the deeper respect one gains for them (1986, 9[2]:8, emp. added).
Evolutionist Jeremy Rifkin stated that “the Entropy Law will preside as the ruling paradigm over the next period of history. Albert Einstein said that it is the premier law of all science; Sir Arthur Eddington referred to it as the ‘supreme metaphysical law of the entire universe’” (1980, p. 6). God designed it. Creationists believe it. Engineers use it. Evolutionists, as will be shown, cannot harmonize it with their theory.

ENGINEERING EXAMPLES EXHIBITING THERMODYNAMIC PRINCIPLES

Some evolutionists argue that creationists take the Laws out of context when applying them to the creation/evolution debate. Mark Isaak, the editor of the Index to Creationist Claims, for instance, alleges that creationists “misinterpret” the Second Law of Thermodynamics in their application of the law to the creation/evolution controversy (Isaak, 2003). So what is the proper context for the Laws of Thermodynamics? Do these principles apply to the debate or not? Are creationists “misinterpreting” the laws?
A host of examples could, of course, demonstrate how mechanical engineers use the Laws of Thermodynamics in design today. Without these laws being fixed and well-understood by the scientific community, such designs would be impossible. As explained earlier, the vast majority of the work engineers do with the laws today is in their application to nature, rather than the study of the laws themselves. The laws already are thoroughly understood. To determine if creationists are “misinterpreting” the Laws of Thermodynamics or inaccurately applying them to the creation/evolution debate, consider three engineering examples that demonstrate the Laws in action.
Example #1. Perhaps one of the most celebrated—and appreciated—engineering designs of the 20th century pertaining to thermodynamics is the air-conditioning system. Briefly explained, an air-conditioning unit is a machine that was designed to acquire a large quantity of air from a system (e.g., a home or the interior of a car), remove heat from that air, and then release the cooled air back into the system, while disposing of the heat into a “heat sink” (e.g., the outdoors). Simply stated, this process occurs through what many engineers call a vapor-compression refrigeration cycle (Moran and Shapiro, 2000, p. 517)—a cycle heavily rooted in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In this cycle, a fluid (called a “refrigerant”) in “super-heated” vapor form flows through a pipe and into a compressor where it is compressed into a hotter gas with a higher pressure. From the compressor, the gas moves into the next phase of the cycle, composed of a set of coils (a condenser). As the refrigerant flows through the condenser, some of the heat is removed, and the refrigerant condenses into a liquid. Moving through an expansion valve, the refrigerant is “throttled” into a colder, lower-pressure mixture of liquid and vapor.
One principle of thermodynamics, as noted originally in 1824 by the French physicist Sadi Carnot (Suplee, 2000, p. 156), indicates that in a system, heat will move from higher temperature sources to lower temperature sources until an equilibrium temperature is reached (Incropera and DeWitt, 2002, p. 2). This principle is directly utilized in the final step of the cycle. In this step, the low temperature refrigerant exiting the expansion valve moves through a set of coils called the evaporator that absorbs heat from the refrigerated area. At this point, the refrigerant has absorbed enough heat to return to its initial vapor state, and is ready to repeat the cycle.
In what way did the thermodynamic laws come into play in this process? One of the major responsibilities of the engineer is to take the principles stated by the laws of science and understand them enough to be able to apply them in new designs. In order to apply scientific laws, engineers must formulate ways to quantify the concepts articulated by those laws. In the case of the above example, engineers must take the principles stated in the Laws of Thermodynamics in particular and quantify them. To apply the First Law of Thermodynamics to design, engineers must first quantify the energy that is or will be present in a system (work, potential energy, kinetic energy, heat, internal energy, etc.). As the First Law states, the amount of energy present in the system remains constant during a closed system process—a system that “consists of a fixed amount of mass, and no mass can cross its boundary” (Cengel and Boles, 2002, p. 9). The engineer must calculate the amount of energy utilized within a system before a process and set it equal to the amount of energy present in the system after the process. The energy may change forms (i.e., work is partially transformed into heat), but the total amount of energy in the system remains constant.
Considering the above example again, engineers would quantify the energy that is being inserted into the system (such as the electrical energy required to run the compressor) and the energy that results from the processes in the system (such as the heat released into the “heat sink”). The energy would then be equalized, with a primary concern being to achieve the optimum usable energy as an output, understanding that there will be a certain amount of wasted energy due to the Second Law of Thermodynamics (see Figure 3). The more usable energy achieved in the system processes, the more financially desirable the process, and the less energy wasted.
figure6
Figure 3
In order to facilitate this endeavor, a quantification of the principles inherent in the Second Law of Thermodynamics is essential. As noted earlier, efficiencies are essentially a measure of the usable energy achieved during a process. Achieving optimum energy efficiencies in the design of different machines helps to reduce the inevitable entropy implied by the Second Law.
Again, in the above example, in order to accomplish the refrigeration cycle, a compressor is used. To run the compressor, work (energy) must be used to compress the refrigerant to the right pressure to go through the condenser. Engineers must design these compressors to yield optimum efficiency, taking the Second Law into account, since the refrigeration/air conditioning process is not an isentropic one (i.e., a process with no entropy). The amount of energy required to operate the compressor to pressurize the refrigerant is more than the heat transfer that will occur from the hot room to the hotter outdoors due to the presence of the Second Law. In other words, usable energy is lost along the way (see Figure 4). This unalterable principle, which governs and permeates all of nature, will be shown to contradict the theory of evolution. Available energy is gradually being consumed. Engineers can slow the process, making the loss as efficient as possible, and maximizing energy usage. However, energy loss cannot be stopped due to the existence of the exceptionless Second Law of Thermodynamics.
figure4
Figure 4
Example #2. A second thermodynamic engineering example is seen in much of today’s electronic equipment. For example, a computer has many microchips (see Figure 5). Due to an understanding of the First Law of Thermodynamics, when work is done within a computer by a microchip, an extremely high amount of heat is released to its surroundings. As noted earlier, the Laws stipulate that the amount of energy that goes into a process must equal the amount of energy that results after the process. As computers get more powerful, the heat energy output becomes a more serious problem, especially considering that the computer components are moving closer to each other as computers become more compact. The intense heat that radiates from chips must be transferred away from the computer, or melting will occur among the system components. Faced with this significant problem, engineers are called upon for solutions. How can we continue to decrease the size of computers, increase their power, and still have the ability to transfer enough heat out of them to preserve their components? By adjusting the amount of power input and the rate at which heat is released in the First Law equation, engineers can ensure that the system will not be overloaded with heat.
figure5
Figure 5
Example #3. A third example of how engineers use thermodynamic principles in design is demonstrated by the examination of a vapor power plant that produces electrical power (see Figure 6). Similar to the air conditioning system, the vapor power plant cycle also often is composed of four components. According to Moran and Shapiro, in this cycle liquid water is passed through a boiler which has a heat input. The water then changes phase to a vapor and enters a turbine, where it expands and develops a work output from the turbine (electrical power). The temperature of the vapor drops in the turbine and then goes through a condenser where heat is passed from the vapor into a “cold reservoir.” Some of the vapor condenses to a liquid phase. The water then passes into a pump (compressor) where the water is returned to its initial state before repeating the cycle (2000, p. 229). Again, engineers recognize the limitations imposed by the Second Law, and must minimize entropy as much as possible when designing the turbine and pump (recognizing entropy cannot be eliminated). The more efficient the cycle components are designed, the more power the world gets and the less wasted energy there will be.
figure6
Figure 6
To recap, the engineering community utilizes the simple concepts inherent in the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics—laws which govern nature in a very straightforward manner. The First Law: Energy in any closed system is constant. The amount of energy in a system before a process must equal the amount of energy that is in the system after the process (though it will change form). The Second Law: The energy in a given system is becoming less usable. Some of the usable energy inevitably will be lost, no matter what measures are taken. It would be beneficial if entropy were zero for an automobile’s fuel system. We could buy one tank of gas and simply reuse all of its energy indefinitely! The fuel would not transform into wasted, less usable forms (heat, exhaust, etc.).

IMPLICATIONS OF THE LAWS

When understood properly, the Laws of Thermodynamics apply directly to the creation/evolution controversy in precisely the same way they apply in the above examples to the work of engineers. In fact, these foundational truths utilized daily by the engineering world, have eternally significant, spiritual implications in that they prove that God exists. How so?
If there is no God, the existence of the Universe must be explained without Him. The Big Bang theory claims that all matter in the Universe initially was condensed in a sphere the size of a period at the end of this sentence (see Thompson, et al., 2003, 23[5]:32-34,36-47). However, this theory offers no explanation for the origin of that sphere. The only logical possibilities for its existence are that it popped into existence out of nothing (spontaneous generation), it always existed, or it was created (see Figure 7).
figure7
Figure 7

Possibility 1: Spontaneous Generation of the Universe

Consider the entire physical Universe as a system consisting of all mass/matter/energy that exists in the Universe. Without a God, this Universe would have to be a closed system. Since our system encompasses the entire Universe, there is no more mass that can cross the system’s boundary, which necessitates our system being closed—without the existence of God. If mass, matter, and energy could enter and/or exit the system, the system would be an open system—which is the contention of a creationist. However, without a God, the entire physical Universe as a system logically would have to be a closed system. Atheists must so believe in order to explain the Universe without God.
The First Law of Thermodynamics states that in a closed system, the amount of energy present in that system is constant, though it transforms into other forms of energy, as in the case of the above compressor. So, if the Universe as a whole initially contained no mass/matter/energy (energy input is equal to zero), and then it spontaneously generated all of the mass/matter/energy in the Universe (energy output is unequal to zero), the First Law would be violated. Applying the earlier example of the compressor, this circumstance would be equivalent to saying that the sum total heat loss and compressor work is greater than the electrical input—which is impossible. Without intervention from an outside force, the amount of mass/matter/energy in the Universe would have remained constant (unchanged) at zero. As was mentioned earlier, there are no exceptions to laws, or else they would not be laws. The First Law of Thermodynamics has no known exceptions. As previously explained, the Law is accepted as fact by all scientists in general and utilized by engineers in particular. Therefore, the Universe, composed of all mass/matter/energy, could not have spontaneously generated (popped into existence on its own) without violating the exceptionless and highly respected First Law of Thermodynamics. The energy level of the Universe would not have been constant. Spontaneous generation would be the equivalent of a zero energy input to a system and a non-zero output (see Figure 8). The Universe could not have come into existence without the presence and intervention of a Force outside of the closed system of the entire physical Universe. The Universe therefore must be an open system that was created by a non-physical force (not composed of mass/matter/energy) outside of the physical boundary of this Universe (above nature, or supernatural) with the capability of bringing it into existence out of nothing. That Force can be none other than the supernatural God of the Bible. Scientifically speaking, the Universe could not and did not spontaneously generate.
figure8
Figure 8
Unfortunately, though this truth is so glaringly obvious, there has been a recent surge of sentiment in the impossible notion that this Universe could have created itself—that something could come from nothing. British evolutionist Anthony Kenny (1980), physics professor from City University in New York, Edward Tryon (1984), and physicists Alan Guth from MIT and Paul Steinhardt of Princeton (1984) are just a few who are open proponents of this notion. However, the truth still stands. Until the First Law of Thermodynamics ceases to be a fundamental law explaining this Universe, the spontaneous generation of this Universe from nothing is impossible.

Possibility 2: Eternal Existence of the Universe

Again, considering the entire Universe as a system necessitates that it be a closed system. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that though energy in a closed system is constant (First Law of Thermodynamics), that energy is transforming into less usable forms of energy (i.e., the Universe is “running down”). This process is irreversible. There is a finite amount of usable energy in the Universe (which explains the widespread interest in conserving energy). That usable energy is depleting according to the Second Law, as illustrated by the less usable heat output in the examples cited earlier. Engineers strive to slow this inevitable depletion of energy, but it cannot be stopped. If the Universe has always existed (i.e., it is eternal), but there is a finite amount of usable energy, then all usable energy already should be expended (see Figure 9). Yet, usable energy still exists. So, the Universe cannot have existed forever. It had to have a beginning. The eternality of matter would be the equivalent of a system with an energy input and 100% usable energy output (see Figure 10).
figure9
Figure 9
figure10
Figure 10
No wonder the evolutionists, themselves, sometimes concede this truth. In his book, Until the Sun Dies, renowned evolutionary astronomer Robert Jastrow stated:
The lingering decline predicted by astronomers for the end of the world differs from the explosive conditions they have calculated for its birth, but the impact is the same: modern science denies an eternal existence of the Universe, either in the past or in the future (1977, p. 30, emp. added).
In his book, God and the Astronomers, Dr. Jastrow reiterated this truth: “Now three lines of evidence—the motions of the galaxies, the laws of thermodynamics, the life story of the stars—pointed to one conclusion; all indicated that the Universe had a beginning” (p. 111).

Possibility 3: The Inevitable Implication

To repeat, there are only three possible explanations for the existence of matter in the Universe. Either it spontaneously generated, it is eternal, or it was created. Atheists use the theory of evolution in an attempt to explain the existence and state of the Universe today. In order for the theory of evolution to be true, thereby accounting for the existence of mankind, either all of the mass/matter/energy of the Universe spontaneously generated (i.e., it popped into existence out of nothing), or it has always existed (i.e., it is eternal.). Without an outside force (a transcendent, omnipotent, eternal, superior Being), no other options for the existence of the Universe are available. However, as the Laws of Thermodynamics prove, the spontaneous generation and the eternality of matter are logically and scientifically impossible. One possible option remains: the Universe was created by the Creator.

CONCLUSION

Evolutionists claim that science and the idea of God are irreconcilable. “Only one of them can be the truth,” they say, “and you cannot prove there is a God.” However, the Laws of Thermodynamics, which science itself recognizes in its explanations of the phenomena in the Universe, were designed by the Chief Engineer. As expected, they prove to be in complete harmony with His existence, contrary to the claims of evolutionists. God, Himself, articulated these laws centuries ago. At the very beginning of the Bible, the First Law of Thermodynamics was expressed when Moses penned, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day, God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:1-2, emp. added). After the six days of Creation, the mass/matter/energy creation process was terminated. As evolutionist Willard Young said regarding the First Law: “Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can only be converted from one form to another” (Young, 1985, p. 8). Through the hand of the Hebrews writer, God also articulated centuries ago what scientists call the Second Law of Thermodynamics: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment” (1:10-11, emp. added).
The inspired writer wrote in Hebrews 11:3, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Paul declared in Acts 14:17, “Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” The psalmist affirmed, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (19:1). Paul assured the Romans, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (1:20, emp. added).
In closing, we return to Lord Kelvin, the Father of Thermodynamics, for fitting final thoughts.
I cannot admit that, with regard to the origin of life, science neither affirms nor denies Creative Power. Science positively affirms Creative Power. It is not in dead matter that we live and move and have our being [Acts 17:28—JM], but in the creating and directing Power which science compels us to accept as an article of belief.... There is nothing between absolute scientific belief in a Creative Power, and the acceptance of the theory of a fortuitous concourse of atoms.... Forty years ago I asked Liebig, walking somewhere in the country if he believed that the grass and flowers that we saw around us grew by mere chemical forces. He answered, “No, no more than I could believe that a book of botany describing them could grow by mere chemical forces”.... Do not be afraid of being free thinkers! If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all religion. You will find science not antagonistic but helpful to religion (as quoted in Smith, 1981, pp. 307-308, emp. added).
So, according to the Father of Thermodynamics, evolutionists are failing to “think strongly enough.” No wonder the psalmist asserted: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (14:1).

REFERENCES

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
Asimov, Isaac (1970), “In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can’t Even Break Even,” Smithsonian Institute Journal, pp. 4-10, June.
Cengel, Yunus A. and Michael A. Boles (2002), Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach (New York: McGraw-Hill), fourth edition.
Guth, Alan and Paul Steinhardt (1984), “The Inflationary Universe,” Scientific American, 250:116-128, May.
Incropera, Frank P. and David P. DeWitt (2002), Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer (New York: John Wiley & Sons), fifth edition.
Isaak, Mark (2003), “Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution,” The TalkOrigins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy, [On-line], URL: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html#proof.
Jastrow, Robert (1977), Until the Sun Dies (New York: W.W. Norton).
Jastrow, Robert (1978), God and the Astro­nomers (New York: W.W. Norton).
Kenny, Anthony (1980), The Five Ways: St. Thomas Aquinas’ Proofs of God’s Existence (South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press).
King, A.L. (1962), Thermophysics (San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman).
Moran, Michael J. and Howard N. Shapiro (2000), Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (New York: John Wiley & Sons), fourth edition.
Rifkin, Jeremy (1980), Entropy: A New World View (New York: Viking).
Smith, Wilbur M. (1981), Therefore Stand (New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing).
Suplee, Curt (2000), Milestones of Science (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society).
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique [Part 1],” Reason & Revelation, 23[5]:32-34,36-47.
Thompson, Silvanus P. (1910), Life of Lord Kelvin (London: Macmillan).
Tryon, Edward P. (1984), “What Made the World?,” New Scientist, 101:14-16, March 8.
Walters, Tracy (1986), “A Reply to John Patterson’s Arguments,” Origins Research, 9[2]:8-9, Fall/Winter.
Young, Willard (1985), Fallacies of Creationism (Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Detselig Enterprises).

Can Quantum Mechanics Produce a Universe from Nothing? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.






https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4584


Can Quantum Mechanics Produce a Universe from Nothing?

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, nothing in the Universe (i.e., matter or energy) can pop into existence from nothing (see Miller, 2013). All of the scientific evidence points to that conclusion. So, the Universe could not have popped into existence before the alleged “big bang” (an event which we do not endorse). Therefore, God must have created the Universe.
One of the popular rebuttals by the atheistic community is that quantum mechanics could have created the Universe. In 1905, Albert Einstein proposed the idea of mass-energy equivalence, resulting in the famous equation, E = mc2 (1905). We now know that matter can be converted to energy, and vice versa. However, energy and mass are conserved, in keeping with the First Law. In the words of the famous evolutionary astronomer, Robert Jastrow, “[T]he principle of the conservation of matter and energy…states that matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed. Matter can be converted into energy, and vice versa, but the total amount of all matter and energy in the Universe must remain unchanged forever” (1977, p. 32). The idea of matter-energy conversion led one physicist to postulate, in essence, that the cosmic egg that exploded billions of years ago in the alleged “big bang”—commencing the “creation” of the Universe—could have come into existence as an energy-to-matter conversion.
In 1973, physicist Edward Tryon of the Hunter College of the City University of New York published a paper in the British science journal Nature titled, “Is the Universe a Vacuum Fluctuation?” He proposed the idea that the Universe could be a large scale vacuum energy fluctuation. He said, “In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time” (246:397, emp. added). Does it really? Cosmologist and theoretical physicist Alexander Vilenkin, Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University, said:
Now, what Tryon was suggesting was that our entire universe, with its vast amount of matter, was a huge quantum fluctuation, which somehow failed to disappear for more than 10 billion years. Everybody thought that was a very funny joke. But Tryon was not joking. He was devastated by the reaction of his colleagues… (2006, p. 184).
Though he was originally scoffed at, Tryon’s theory has gained traction among many prominent evolutionary scientists. After all, if true, according to Vilenkin, “such a creation event would not require a cause” for the Universe (pp. 184-185).

Speculation vs. Observation

The fact is, the idea that such an event could happen is pure speculation and conjecture. No such phenomenon—the conversion from energy to matter of an entire Universe—has ever been remotely observed. It is a desperate attempt to hold to naturalistic presuppositions, in spite of the evidence, when a supernatural option that is in keeping with the evidence is staring us in the face. Evolutionary physicist Victor Stenger said,
[T]he universe is probably the result of a random quantum fluctuation in a spaceless, timeless void.... So what had to happen to start the universe was the formation of an empty bubble of highly curved space-time. How did this bubble form? What caused it? Not everything requires a cause. It could have just happened spontaneously as one of the many linear combinations of universes that has the quantum numbers of the void.... Much is still in the speculative stage, and I must admit that there are yetno empirical or observational tests that can be used to test the idea of an accidental origin (1987, 7[3]:26-30, italics in orig., emp. added.).
No evidence. No scientific observation. Just speculation.
Writing in the Skeptical Inquirer in 1994, Ralph Estling voiced strong disapproval of the idea that the Universe could create itself out of nothing. He wrote:
I do not think that what these cosmologists, these quantum theorists, these universe-makers, are doing is science. I can’t help feeling that universes are notoriously disinclined to spring into being, ready-made, out of nothing, even if Edward Tryon (ah, a name at last!) has written that “our universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time....” Perhaps, although we have the word of many famous scientists for it, our universe is not simply one of those things that happen from time to time (18[4]:430, parenthetical item in orig., emp. added).
Estling’s comments initiated a wave of controversy and letters to the Skeptical Inquirer, eliciting a response by Estling to his critics. Among other observations, he said, “All things begin with speculation, science not excluded. But if no empirical evidence is eventually forthcoming, or can be forthcoming, all speculation is barren.... There is no evidence, so far, that the entire universe, observable and unobservable, emerged from a state of absolute Nothingness” (1995, 19[1]:69-70, emp. added). Therefore, by naturalists’ own definition of science, such an idea is unscientific. There is no evidence that could prove such a thing. The creationist platform is in keeping with observational science and has positive evidence of a divine Being (e.g., the presence of intelligent design in nature, the existence of objective morality, the existence of a Universe which demands a cause, and the existence of a Book that contains supernatural characteristics). However, unlike the creationist platform, those who believe in Tryon’s theory are holding to a blind faith.

Whence Came Energy?

Second, even if such a thing were possible—that energy could be converted to matter in the way that Tryon has suggested—one must ask, “Where did the energy come from?” Alan Guth, professor of physics at M.I.T., wrote in response to Tryon: “In this context, a proposal that the universe was created from empty space is no more fundamental than a proposal that the universe was spawned by a piece of rubber. It might be true, but one would still want to ask where the piece of rubber came from” (1997, p. 273, emp. added).
Energy could not have popped into existence without violating the First Law of Thermodynamics. So in reality, when scientists argue that quantum mechanics creates something from nothing, they do not really mean “nothing.” The problem of how everything got here is still present. The matter generated in quantum theory is from a vacuum that is not void. Philip Yam of Scientific American wrote, “Energy in the vacuum, though, is very much real. According to modern physics, a vacuum isn’t a pocket of nothingness. It churns with unseen activity even at absolute zero, the temperature defined as the point at which all molecular motion ceases” (1997, p. 82, emp. added). Prominent humanist mathematician and science writer, Martin Gardner, wrote: “It is fashionable now to conjecture that the big bang was caused by a random quantum fluctuation in a vacuum devoid of space and time. But of course such a vacuum is a far cry from nothing” (2000, p. 303, emp. added). Amanda Gefter, writing in New Scientist, said, “Quantum mechanics tells us that the vacuum of space is not empty; instead, it crackles with energy” (2010, p. 29, emp. added). Physicist Richard Morris wrote:
In modern physics, there is no such thing as “nothing.” Even in a perfect vacuum, pairs of virtual particles are constantly being created [i.e., by briefly “borrowing” energy already in existence—JM] and destroyed. The existence of these particles is no mathematical fiction. Though they cannot be directly observed, the effects they create are quite real. The assumption that they exist leads to predictions that have been confirmed by experiment to a high degree of accuracy (Morris, 1990, p. 25, emp. added).
Astrophysicist Rocky Kolb, chairman of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, wrote: “[A] region of seemingly empty space is not really empty, but is a seething froth in which every sort of fundamental particle pops in and out of empty space before annihilating with its antiparticle and disappearing” (1998, 26[2]:43, emp. added). Estling continued his extensive observations in response to his critics (mentioned above), saying:
Quantum cosmologists insist both on this absolute Nothingness and on endowing it with various qualities and characteristics: this particular Nothingness possesses virtual quanta seething in a false vacuum. Quanta, virtual or actual, false or true, are not Nothing, they are definitely Something, although we may argue over what exactly. For one thing, quanta are entities having energy, a vacuum has energy and moreover, extension, i.e., it is something into which other things, such as universes, can be put, i.e., we cannot have our absolute Nothingness and eat it too. If we have quanta and a vacuum as given, we in fact have a pre-existent state of existence that either pre-existed timelessly or brought itself into existence from absolute Nothingness (no quanta, no vacuum, no pre-existing initial conditions) at some precise moment in time; it creates this time, along with the space, matter, and energy, which we call the universe.... I’ve had correspondence with Paul Davies [eminent atheistic theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist of Arizona State University, who advocates the supposition that the Universe created itself from nothing—JM] on cosmological theory, in the course of which, I asked him what he meant by “Nothing.” He wrote back that he had asked Alexander Vilenkin what he meant by it and that Vilenkin had replied, “By Nothing I mean Nothing,” which seemed pretty straightforward at the time, but these quantum cosmologists go on from there to tell us what their particular breed of Nothing consists of. I pointed this out to Davies, who replied that these things are very complicated. I’m willing to admit the truth of that statement, but I think it does not solve the problem (1995, 19[1]:69-70, emp. added).
No wonder Jonathan Sarfati said:
Some physicists assert that quantum mechanics…can produce something from nothing…. But this is a gross misapplication of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics never produces something out of nothing…. Theories that the Universe is a quantum fluctuation must presuppose that there was something to fluctuate—their “quantum vacuum” is a lot of matter-antimatter potential—not “nothing” (1998, 12[1]:21, emp. added).
Vilenkin, while explaining the problems inherent in Tryon’s work, said:
A more fundamental problem is that Tryon’s scenario does not really explain the origin of the universe. A quantum fluctuation of the vacuum assumes that there was a vacuum of some pre-existing space. And we now know that “vacuum” is very different from “nothing.” Vacuum, or empty space, has energy and tension, it can bend and warp, so it is unquestionably something (2006, p. 185, ital. in orig., emp. added).
He went on to propose that quantum tunneling could be the answer to the creation of the Universe out of nothing. However, quantum tunneling starts with something and ends with something as well. Particles that can jump or tunnel through barriers still must initially exist to do so. Bottom line: according to renowned atheist, theoretical physicist, and cosmologist of Cambridge University, Stephen Hawking, in order to create a Universe, “you need just three ingredients”: matter, energy, and space (“Curiosity…,” 2011). These three ingredients must exist in order to create a Universe, according to Hawking. So, the problem remains. Where did the ingredients for the Universe soup come from? There must be an ultimate Cause of the Universe.

Non-Existent Quantum Law-Maker?

Third, even if one were to irrationally accept the premise that quantum theory allows for the possibility that Universes could pop into existence, in the words of astrophysicist Marcus Chown:
If the universe owes its origins to quantum theory, then quantum theory must have existed before the universe. So the next question is surely: where did the laws of quantum theory come from? “We do not know,” admits Vilenkin. “I consider that an entirely different question.” When it comes to the beginning of the universe, in many ways we’re still at the beginning (2012, p. 35, emp. added).
Martin Gardner said,
Imagine that physicists finally discover all the basic waves and their particles, and all the basic laws, and unite everything in one equation. We can then ask, “Why that equation?” It is fashionable now to conjecture that the big bang was caused by a random quantum fluctuation in a vacuum devoid of space and time. But of course such a vacuum is a far cry from nothing. There had to be quantum laws to fluctuate. And why are there quantum laws?... There is no escape from the superultimate questions: Why is there something rather than nothing, and why is the something structured the way it is? (2000, p. 303, emp. added).
In “Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” Stephen Hawking boldly claimed that everything in the Universe can be accounted for through atheistic evolution without the need of God. This is untrue, as we have discussed elsewhere (e.g., Miller, 2011), but it seems that Hawking does not even believe that assertion himself. He asked the question, “Did God create the quantum laws that allowed the Big Bang to occur? In a nutshell, did we need a god to set it all up so that the Big Bang could bang?” (“Curiosity…,” emp. added). He then proceeded to offer no answer to the question. In his critique of Hawking, Paul Davies highlighted this very fact, saying, “You need to know where those laws come from. That’s where the mystery lies—the laws” (“The Creation Question…,” 2011). Quantum mechanics, with its governing laws, simply do not leave room for the spontaneous generation of Universes.

Responses

But what if quantum theory could allow for spontaneous generation at the quantum level? What if the First Law of Thermodynamics does not apply at the unobservable molecular world of quantum mechanics but only to the macroscopic world that we can actually see? Even if that were the case (and there is no conclusive evidence to support the contention that there are any exceptions whatsoever to the First Law of Thermodynamics—see Miller, 2010a), according to the Big Bang model, the quantum level cosmic egg eventually became macroscopic through expansion or inflation. Such an event would have been the equivalent of a breach of the First Law, even under such a speculative definition.
But isn’t it true that “one usually assumes that the current laws of physics did not apply” at the beginning (Linde, 1994)? Assumptions must be reasonable. What evidence could be used to back such a grandiose assumption? And again, who would have written the laws at the moment they became viable? And further, if the laws of physics broke down at the beginning, one cannot use quantum law to bring about matter, which is precisely what the quantum fluctuation theory attempts to do. [NOTE: See Miller, 2010b for more on this contention.]

Conclusion

Can quantum mechanics create Universes from nothing? No. Quantum particle generation requires pre-existing energy—a far cry from nothing. Could quantum mechanics spontaneously create Universes from pre-existing (i.e., created by God) energy? There is no scientific evidence to support such a proposition. So it is speculation and conjecture—wishful thinking on par with postulating that aliens brought life to Earth (which some irrationally believe). Tiny quantum particles fluctuating—bouncing around—is one thing. The creation of the entire Universe through a quantum fluctuation? That’s another.
One who wishes to avoid acknowledging the existence of God should be expected to do almost anything to deny it. Reason will be thrown aside, and acceptance of far-fetched theories—theories that are so speculative that they belong in the fiction section of the library along with the The Wizard of Oz—will be latched onto as fact. The Bible gives the rationale for this irrational behavior by explaining that such a person has “itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3). Such a person will “heap up…teachers” who will tell him what he wants to hear, who sound smart, and therefore, will make him feel good about the blatantly irrational position that he holds (vs. 3). He will turn his “ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (vs. 4). Thus, “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). The quantum fluctuation idea is simply another example of this same mentality, and the admonition to Christians is the same as it was in the first century: “But you be watchful in all things” (vs. 5). “Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20).

REFERENCES

Chown, Marcus (2012), “In the Beginning,” New Scientist, 216[2893]:33-35, December 1.
“The Creation Question: A Curiosity Conversation” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7.
“Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7.
Einstein, Albert (1905), “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy-Content?” Annals of Physics, 18:639-643, September.
Estling, Ralph (1994), “The Scalp-Tinglin’, Mind-Blowin’, Eye-Poppin’, Heart-Wrenchin’, Stomach-Churnin’, Foot-Stumpin’, Great Big Doodley Science Show!!!,” Skeptical Inquirer, 18[4]:428-430, Summer.
Estling, Ralph (1995), “Letter to the Editor,” Skeptical Inquirer, 19[1]:69-70, January/February.
Gardner, Martin (2000), Did Adam and Eve Have Navels? (New York: W.W. Norton).
Gefter, Amanda (2010), “Touching the Multiverse,” New Scientist, 205[2750]:28-31, March 6.
Guth, Alan (1997), The Inflationary Universe (New York: Perseus Books).
Jastrow, Robert (1977), Until the Sun Dies (New York: W.W. Norton).
Kolb, Rocky (1998), “Planting Primordial Seeds,” Astronomy, 26[2]:42-43.
Linde, Andrei (1994), “The Self-Reproducing Inflationary Universe,” Scientific American, 271[5]:48, November.
Miller, Jeff (2010a), “Couldn’t There Have Been Exceptions to the Laws of Science?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3713.
Miller, Jeff (2010b), “Did the Laws of Science Apply in the Beginning?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3710.
Miller, Jeff  (2011), “A Review of Discovery Channel’s ‘Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?’” Reason & Revelation, 31[10]:98-107, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1004&article=1687.
Miller, Jeff (2013), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,”  Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article= 2786.
Morris, Richard (1990), The Edges of Science (New York: Prentice Hall).
Sarfati, Jonathan D. (1998), “If God Created the Universe, Then Who Created God?,” Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, 12[1]:21.
Stenger, Victor J. (1987), “Was the Universe Created?,” Free Inquiry, 7[3]:26-30, Summer.
Tryon, Edward P. (1973), “Is the Universe a Vacuum Fluctuation?,” Nature, 246:396-397, December 14.
Vilenkin, Alex (2006), Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes (New York: Hill and Wang).
Yam, Philip (1997), “Exploiting Zero-Point Energy,” Scientific American, 277[6]:82-85.

Does the Bible Approve of Homosexuality? by Brad Bromling, D.Min.





https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=358

Does the Bible Approve of Homosexuality?

by  Brad Bromling, D.Min.

It is becoming increasingly common to read and hear arguments made in defense of homosexuality. Usually no appeal is made to Scripture. However, on occasion, books and articles appear that attempt to address the biblical passages that discuss the subject. This article is a brief response to common claims about the Bible and homosexuality.

GENESIS 19:1-11

Some contend that Genesis 19 should not be used to argue against homosexuality since Sodom was destroyed, not for homosexuality, but because of its inhospitality and pride (see Matthew 10:14-15; Ezekiel 16:48-49). The argument is that the men of the city did not necessarily have any sexual perversion in mind, but just wanted to “know” Lot’s guests in the sense of interrogating them in a disrespectful fashion.
While it is true to say that Sodom was not destroyed merely because some of its citizens practiced homosexuality, it is false to say that Sodom was destroyed merely because its inhabitants were inhospitable and proud. The city was destroyed because its citizens were exceedingly sinful (Genesis 13:13). Ezekiel 16, which does mention their pride, also says they “committed abomination before” the Lord. Their actions at Lot’s doorstep reflected that sinfulness (Genesis 19:4-11). When the men of Sodom said they wanted to “know” the messengers of God, they obviously had sexual intentions in mind. This is clear from Lot’s unfortunate offer of his two daughters. Jude 7 reinforces this view as well: “As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

LEVITICUS 20:13

Although Leviticus 20:13 enjoins the death penalty upon homosexuals, the passage is dismissed as irrelevant to the debate because it is part of a legal/holiness code that no longer is in force. It is no more binding than are the regulations against wearing different materials of cloth and planting different types of seed in the same ground.
It is true that the Mosaic legal/holiness code was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14). However, to trivialize the code by placing all items in it on the same level is dubious. The Levitical condemnation of homosexual behavior is treated differently than the legislations against mixing cloths and sowing mixed seed. The former was under penalty of death; the latter were not (Leviticus 19:19). A better, though more unpleasant, analogy to the Levitical view of homosexuality is seen in the prohibitions against incest and bestiality, which are mentioned in the same context (Leviticus 20:14-16ff.).

WHAT DID JESUS SAY?

It commonly is argued that Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. As our guide and model for life, we should follow Jesus’ example of silence. He taught, instead, that we should love one another in a non-judgmental way.
In response, it should be noted that Jesus’ silence on the issue is no argument that He approved of homosexuality. He never specifically addressed the issues of pedophilia, bestiality, or any number of other sexual perversions. Does this mean that Jesus approved of whatever He did not condemn by name? Are we to think that as long as people feel love, it doesn’t matter what they do? To ask is to answer. In fact, the Lord Jesus always spoke of sexual relations in heterosexual terms. What Jesus did say carries more weight than our views of what He did not say. Clearly, Jesus’ heterosexual view must be taken as normative (read Matthew 19:4-6 et al.).

1 CORINTHIANS 6 AND 1 TIMOTHY 1

Great strides are taken to prove that 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-11 do not condemn homosexuality in general, but rather, abusive homosexual practices and male prostitution in particular.
Although the specific type of homosexual behavior mentioned in these two passages may be male prostitution and abusive homosexual practices, this does not in itself argue in favor of “loving, monogamous, homosexual” relationships. In fact, that concept is foreign to the New Testament. Both of these passages do condemn “fornication.” Fornication is a broad term that includes homosexuality. This is so for two reasons: (1) fornication refers to illicit sexual behavior; and (2) all sexual behavior that violates, is contrary to, or in addition to, the heterosexual behavior implied by a monogamous marriage, is illicit.

ROMANS 1:26-27

Clearly the most problematic passage for all who wish to say the Bible does not condemn homosexuality is Romans 1:26-27:
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
Proponents of homosexuality have tried to remove the force of this passage by suggesting that either Paul was expressing his own uninspired opinion, or he was merely laying the groundwork for his teaching on grace. So he was mainly concerned with idolatry, and not any sin in particular.
Although a biblical writer’s opinion might indeed appear in Scripture (e.g., 1 Corinthians 7:7), the suggestion that Romans 1:26-27 represents Paul’s uninspired opinion and is at variance with the rest of the Scripture, is erroneous. If we cannot trust Paul to express the will of God on this point, where can we trust him? What will be our standard? Unfortunately, our own opinions become the standard all too often.
The fact is, Paul meant exactly what Christians have long thought he meant—that homosexual behavior is symptomatic of sin in the world. This passage is not to be dismissed as too difficult to understand, or as an isolated passage that somehow is outweighed by an impressive array of passages teaching the opposite. Although this passage does not stand alone, from the standpoint of divine inspiration, one reference is enough.

CONCLUSION

The conclusion is this: every time homosexual behavior is mentioned, it is condemned. The Bible is not homophobic (i.e., obsessively hostile toward homosexuality), but it clearly treats heterosexuality as normative (1 Corinthians 7; Ephesians 5; 1 Peter 3; et al.). These unsuccessful attempts to reinterpret the Bible’s teaching on the subject raise an even more crucial question: What Scripture can be presented that legitimizes homosexuality?

From Jim McGuiggan... A TWO-FACED TORAH (1)

A TWO-FACED TORAH (1)

Romans 3.27 wants to know, “Where then is the boasting?” What brought “boasting” into the discussion at this point? Everyone knew the Gentiles had nothing to boast about for God had passed them by in the matter of election and specific covenant and then there was 1:18-32. But 2:17,23 tells us the Jews were boasting about God (as theirs) and in these areas. The boasting in these texts and in 3:27 is not a general discussion about religious people and how they can be self-righteous. The entire discussion centres on the Jews and their boast in the Torah which tied God to them and excluded the Gentiles.
From their own Torah Paul goes on to convict the Jewish nation of widespread and flagrant sin (3:9-19) and since he had already said enough to shut the mouths of the Gentiles that was all he needed to do to close the mouths of the entire human family.
It’s at that point that he claims that the Torah and the Prophets bore witness to God’s righteousness now set forth in Jesus; a righteousness which was independent of the Torah (3:21-26).  It’s at that point he asks and answers his question about boasting, saying it was shut out (3:27, with a passive aorist in the indicative). He doesn’t say it “is” excluded although that is true; he says it was or had been shut out.
So there is a Torah that had been all along bearing witness to a time when God would publicly demonstrate his righteousness which would show itself in Jesus on behalf of the entire human family (3:21-26, 29-30).
Had Israel rightly understood the Torah it would have made sectarian boasting impossible, it would have led them to Jesus Christ who was God’s righteousness revealed to and for all humans. Jesus is both the terminus of and the goal to which the Torah was leading Israel only Israel didn’t see it (Romans 9:31-32—10:4). In being self-absorbed and seeing the Torah as that which made them an end in themselves they established their own national righteousness and missed God’s eschatological righteousness in the Messiah. He was the “telos” of the Torah—both termination and goal.
Paul wasn’t demeaning the Torah—he was validating it and showing it to be greater than the Jews knew (3:31). Did Jesus end all boasting? He certainly did and he is the essential destruction of boasting but in 3:27 Paul is dealing with boasting as it relates to some “Torah” and he insists that the Jewish Torah as seen from the Jewish angle generated boasting (2:17, 23) but when seen (the same Torah!) from the perspective of faith in Jesus Christ it destroys boasting. It was through the Torah Paul as a Jew died to the Torah and the Torah like a trusted servant took Jews by the hand and led them to the Messiah and so worked itself out of a job (compare Galatians 2:10 and 3:24).
The Torah was at the same time an occasion for sinful boasting (if it was looked at as the religion that excluded all but Israel) and a destroyer of sinful boasting (if it was looked at by faith in Jesus the Messiah who was the goal of the Torah and who apart from the Toah set right with God all who believe in Jesus).
It was also a Torah of sin and death and a Torah of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Bible Reading August 4



Bible Reading  

August 4

The World English Bible


Aug. 4
Ezra 1-3

Ezr 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
Ezr 1:2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has Yahweh, the God of heaven, given me; and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
Ezr 1:3 Whoever there is among you of all his people, his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Yahweh, the God of Israel (he is God), which is in Jerusalem.
Ezr 1:4 Whoever is left, in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with animals, besides the freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.
Ezr 1:5 Then rose up the heads of fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, even all whose spirit God had stirred to go up to build the house of Yahweh which is in Jerusalem.
Ezr 1:6 All those who were around them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with animals, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.
Ezr 1:7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of Yahweh, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put in the house of his gods;
Ezr 1:8 even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.
Ezr 1:9 This is the number of them: thirty platters of gold, one thousand platters of silver, twenty-nine knives,
Ezr 1:10 thirty bowls of gold, silver bowls of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels one thousand.
Ezr 1:11 All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up, when they of the captivity were brought up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Ezr 2:1 Now these are the children of the province, who went up out of the captivity of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his city;
Ezr 2:2 who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:
Ezr 2:3 The children of Parosh, two thousand one hundred seventy-two.
Ezr 2:4 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy-two.
Ezr 2:5 The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy-five.
Ezr 2:6 The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred twelve.
Ezr 2:7 The children of Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four.
Ezr 2:8 The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty-five.
Ezr 2:9 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred sixty.
Ezr 2:10 The children of Bani, six hundred forty-two.
Ezr 2:11 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty-three.
Ezr 2:12 The children of Azgad, one thousand two hundred twenty-two.
Ezr 2:13 The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty-six.
Ezr 2:14 The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty-six.
Ezr 2:15 The children of Adin, four hundred fifty-four.
Ezr 2:16 The children of Ater, of Hezekiah, ninety-eight.
Ezr 2:17 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty-three.
Ezr 2:18 The children of Jorah, one hundred twelve.
Ezr 2:19 The children of Hashum, two hundred Twenty-three.
Ezr 2:20 The children of Gibbar, ninety-five.
Ezr 2:21 The children of Bethlehem, one hundred twenty-three.
Ezr 2:22 The men of Netophah, fifty-six.
Ezr 2:23 The men of Anathoth, one hundred twenty-eight.
Ezr 2:24 The children of Azmaveth, forty-two.
Ezr 2:25 The children of Kiriath Arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty-three.
Ezr 2:26 The children of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty-one.
Ezr 2:27 The men of Michmas, one hundred twenty-two.
Ezr 2:28 The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty-three.
Ezr 2:29 The children of Nebo, fifty-two.
Ezr 2:30 The children of Magbish, one hundred fifty-six.
Ezr 2:31 The children of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four.
Ezr 2:32 The children of Harim, three hundred twenty.
Ezr 2:33 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty-five.
Ezr 2:34 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty-five.
Ezr 2:35 The children of Senaah, three thousand six hundred thirty.
Ezr 2:36 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy-three.
Ezr 2:37 The children of Immer, one thousand fifty-two.
Ezr 2:38 The children of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred forty-seven.
Ezr 2:39 The children of Harim, one thousand seventeen.
Ezr 2:40 The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy-four.
Ezr 2:41 The singers: the children of Asaph, one hundred twenty-eight.
Ezr 2:42 The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all one hundred thirty-nine.
Ezr 2:43 The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
Ezr 2:44 the children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,
Ezr 2:45 the children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,
Ezr 2:46 the children of Hagab, the children of Shamlai, the children of Hanan,
Ezr 2:47 the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,
Ezr 2:48 the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,
Ezr 2:49 the children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,
Ezr 2:50 the children of Asnah, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephisim,
Ezr 2:51 the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
Ezr 2:52 the children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
Ezr 2:53 the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Temah,
Ezr 2:54 the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
Ezr 2:55 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Hassophereth, the children of Peruda,
Ezr 2:56 the children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
Ezr 2:57 the children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth Hazzebaim, the children of Ami.
Ezr 2:58 All the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety-two.
Ezr 2:59 These were those who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer; but they could not show their fathers' houses, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:
Ezr 2:60 the children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty-two.
Ezr 2:61 Of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Hakkoz, the children of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name.
Ezr 2:62 These sought their register among those who were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they deemed polluted and put from the priesthood.
Ezr 2:63 The governor said to them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, until there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
Ezr 2:64 The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred sixty,
Ezr 2:65 besides their male servants and their female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty-seven: and they had two hundred singing men and singing women.
Ezr 2:66 Their horses were seven hundred thirty-six; their mules, two hundred forty-five;
Ezr 2:67 their camels, four hundred thirty-five; their donkeys, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
Ezr 2:68 Some of the heads of fathers' houses, when they came to the house of Yahweh which is in Jerusalem, offered willingly for the house of God to set it up in its place:
Ezr 2:69 they gave after their ability into the treasury of the work sixty-one thousand darics of gold, and five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.
Ezr 2:70 So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, lived in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.

Ezr 3:1 When the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.
Ezr 3:2 Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brothers, and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.
Ezr 3:3 They set the altar on its base; for fear was on them because of the peoples of the countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon to Yahweh, even burnt offerings morning and evening.
Ezr 3:4 They kept the feast of tents, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the ordinance, as the duty of every day required;
Ezr 3:5 and afterward the continual burnt offering, and the offerings of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of Yahweh that were consecrated, and of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to Yahweh.
Ezr 3:6 From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings to Yahweh: but the foundation of the temple of Yahweh was not yet laid.
Ezr 3:7 They gave money also to the masons, and to the carpenters; and food, and drink, and oil, to them of Sidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.
Ezr 3:8 Now in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brothers the priests and the Levites, and all those who were come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to have the oversight of the work of the house of Yahweh.
Ezr 3:9 Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brothers, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to have the oversight of the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brothers the Levites.
Ezr 3:10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of Yahweh, they set the priests in their clothing with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise Yahweh, after the order of David king of Israel.
Ezr 3:11 They sang one to another in praising and giving thanks to Yahweh, saying, For he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever toward Israel. All the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised Yahweh, because the foundation of the house of Yahweh was laid.
Ezr 3:12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, the old men who had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:
Ezr 3:13 so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people; for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

 
Aug. 3, 4
Acts 20

Act 20:1 After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, took leave of them, and departed to go into Macedonia.
Act 20:2 When he had gone through those parts, and had encouraged them with many words, he came into Greece.
Act 20:3 When he had spent three months there, and a plot was made against him by Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia.
Act 20:4 These accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater of Beroea; Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians; Gaius of Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.
Act 20:5 But these had gone ahead, and were waiting for us at Troas.
Act 20:6 We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days.
Act 20:7 On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight.
Act 20:8 There were many lights in the upper chamber where we were gathered together.
Act 20:9 A certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, weighed down with deep sleep. As Paul spoke still longer, being weighed down by his sleep, he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead.
Act 20:10 Paul went down, and fell upon him, and embracing him said, "Don't be troubled, for his life is in him."
Act 20:11 When he had gone up, and had broken bread, and eaten, and had talked with them a long while, even until break of day, he departed.
Act 20:12 They brought the boy in alive, and were greatly comforted.
Act 20:13 But we who went ahead to the ship set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had so arranged, intending himself to go by land.
Act 20:14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard, and came to Mitylene.
Act 20:15 Sailing from there, we came the following day opposite Chios. The next day we touched at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium, and the day after we came to Miletus.
Act 20:16 For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus, that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening, if it were possible for him, to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
Act 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to himself the elders of the assembly.
Act 20:18 When they had come to him, he said to them, "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you all the time,
Act 20:19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears, and with trials which happened to me by the plots of the Jews;
Act 20:20 how I didn't shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, teaching you publicly and from house to house,
Act 20:21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus.
Act 20:22 Now, behold, I go bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there;
Act 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions wait for me.
Act 20:24 But these things don't count; nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify to the Good News of the grace of God.
Act 20:25 "Now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I went about preaching the Kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
Act 20:26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am clean from the blood of all men,
Act 20:27 for I didn't shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
Act 20:28 Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.
Act 20:29 For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30 Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
Act 20:31 Therefore watch, remembering that for a period of three years I didn't cease to admonish everyone night and day with tears.
Act 20:32 Now, brothers, I entrust you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Act 20:33 I coveted no one's silver, or gold, or clothing.
Act 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands served my necessities, and those who were with me.
Act 20:35 In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "
Act 20:36 When he had spoken these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
Act 20:37 They all wept a lot, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him,
Act 20:38 sorrowing most of all because of the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.