"THE EPISTLE TO TITUS" Chapter Two OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To note the various instructions pertaining to proper Christian conduct 2) To observe how the grace of God does not give us license to sin, but is designed to produce sober, righteous, and godly lives SUMMARY Having reviewed the qualifications of elders and their work, Paul exhorts Titus to "speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine." Such things include the proper conduct expected of Christians, both male and female, young and old, and of those who are servants. Even Titus was to present himself as a pattern of good works for others to follow, which would also serve to silence any opponents of the faith (1-10). Paul then writes of the grace of God that brings salvation to all men. This wonderful grace instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, choosing instead to live soberly, righteously and godly. It also encourages us to look forward to the blessed hope we have related to the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ, who gave Himself to redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a special people who are zealous for good works. These things Titus was to teach with all authority, allowing none to despise him for doing so (11-15). OUTLINE I. INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING CHRISTIAN CONDUCT (1-10) A. THE OLDER MEN (1-2) 1. Titus is to speak things proper for sound doctrine (1) 2. The older men are to be... (2) a. Sober, reverent, temperate b. Sound in faith, love, patience B. THE OLDER WOMEN (3-4a) 1. In similar way they are to be reverent in behavior (3a) a. Not slanderers b. Not given to much wine 2. They are to be teachers of good things, and admonish the young women (3b-4a) C. THE YOUNG WOMEN (4b-5) 1. They are to love their husbands and their children (4b) 2. They are to be... (5) a. Discreet, chaste, homemakers b. Good, obedient to their own husbands ...that the word of God may not be blasphemed D. THE YOUNG MEN (6-8) 1. In a similar way they are to be sober-minded (6) 2. In all things Titus is to be a pattern of good works (7a-8) a. In doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility b. With sound speech that cannot be condemned 1) So that any opponent may be ashamed 2) Having nothing evil to say of him E. THE SERVANTS (9-10) 1. They are to be... (9-10a) a. Obedient to their masters b. Well pleasing in all things, not answering back c. Not pilfering, but showing fidelity in all things 2. So they can adorn the doctrine of God in all things (10b) II. THE INSTRUCTION OF THE GRACE OF GOD (11-15) A. THE GRACE OF GOD HAS APPEARED (11) 1. That which brings salvation (11a) 2. It has appeared to all men (11b) B. THE GRACE OF GOD TEACHES US (12-14) 1. To deny ungodliness and worldly lusts (12a) 2. To live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age (12b) 3. To look for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (13) a. Who gave Himself for us (14a) b. That He might... 1) Redeem us from every lawless deed (14b) 2) Purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works (14c) C. TITUS' RESPONSIBILITY (15) 1. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority (15a) 2. Let no despise him (15b) REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - Instruction concerning Christian conduct (1-10) - The instruction of the grace of God (11-15) 2) What was Titus expected to speak? (1) - Things which are proper for sound doctrine 3) What was expected of the older men? (2) - To be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience 4) What was expected of the older women? (3-4) - To be reverent, not slanderers, not given to much wine - To be teachers of good things, admonishing the young women 5) What was expected of the younger women? (4-5) - To love their husbands, to love their children - To be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands 6) Why were the younger women to behave this way? (5) - That the word of God may not be blasphemed 7) What was Titus to exhort the young men? (6) - To be sober-minded 8) What was Titus expected to do? (7-8) - To be a pattern of good works - To show integrity, reverence and incorruptibility in his doctrine - To have sound speech that cannot be condemned 9) What was expected of those who were servants? (9-10) - To be obedient to their masters - To be well pleasing in all things - Not to answer back, not pilfering, but showing fidelity 10) By behaving this way, what were the servants actually doing? (10) - Adorning the doctrine of God our Savior in all things 11) What does the grace of God teach us? (11-13) - To deny ungodliness and worldly lusts - To live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age - To look for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ 12) Why did Jesus give Himself for us? (14) - To redeem us from every lawless deed - To purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works 13) How was Titus to speak these things? (15) - By exhorting and rebuking with all authority, letting no one despise him
A Question About Muslim Birthrates
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
“How significant is birthrate among Muslims to the spread of Islam?”
Studies show that the Muslim population is growing at a faster rate than all other groups combined. In the U.S. alone, Muslims will go from less than 1% of the nation, to 1.7% in 2030—an increase from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million. Though 64.5% of U.S. Muslims today were born outside the United States, that percentage will fall to 55% in 2030 as more Muslims are born in the U.S. (Grossman, 2011; “The Future…,” 2011; cf. “The Future…,” 2015).
The significance of these facts is that the Founders of our great Republic set up the country so that the people govern themselves, i.e., they select their political leaders. The Republic they envisioned depends on the majority of the people believing in and being self-governed by the moral and spiritual principles of Christianity. [For example, examine the 15 proclamations the Continental Congress issued to the entire country during the Revolutionary War, in which they repeatedly reiterated the essentiality of Christianity to the perpetuation of the Republic, including these remarks given on October 20, 1779, thanking God in that “he hath diffused the glorious light of the gospel, whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of his eternal glory” and beseeching Him to “grant to his church the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out his holy spirit on all ministers of the gospel…and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth;…that he would in mercy look down upon us, pardon our sins and receive us into his favor, and finally, that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue” (Miller, 2009, p. 36, emp. added). They insisted that the establishment of American independence as a new nation was based on Christianity.]
Observe that, with the origin of America being dependent on this national foundation, if a non-Christian group were to become sufficiently numerous that they were able to exert political control over the civil and educational institutions of the country, they obviously would alter the country’s way of life—including her religious institutions. In the case of Islamic domination, American constitutional law would be supplanted by Sharia law.
The Founders feared this very scenario, but felt hopeful that Americans would never allow such to happen. Contrary to the claim in recent years that the Founding Fathers of America advocated “pluralism” and equal acceptance of all religions, ideologies, and philosophies, the truth is that they feared for the future of the nation should its Christian foundation ever be compromised. Founding Father and Supreme Court Justice James Iredell, who was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President George Washington, reflected this concern in the debates over the wording of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. He felt reassured that Islam would never be allowed to infiltrate America: “But it is objected that the people of America may perhaps choose representatives who have no religion at all, and that pagans and Mahometans may be admitted into offices.... But it is never to be supposed that the people of America will trust their dearest rights to persons who have no religion at all, or a religion materially different from their own” (Elliott, 1836, 4:194).
While America generally has welcomed all nationalities of people to her shores regardless of their personal beliefs, alternative ideologies and religions never were intended to be given credence or encouragement and allowed to transform her into either an irreligious or non-Christian society. Nor was it intended that American civilization be adjusted to accommodate religious principles that contradict the original foundations of the nation. America welcomes people to live in freedom within her borders—as long as they do so peaceably (see Miller, 2013, 33:32). But to adjust social parameters in public life to accommodate divergent religions will weaken, not strengthen, the ability of America to sustain herself.
Founding Father Noah Webster articulated this indisputable fact in a letter to James Madison on October 29, 1829: “[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government.... and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence” (as quoted in Snyder, 1990, p. 253). The “Father of American Geography” Jedidiah Morse succinctly stated: “Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them” (1799, p. 9, emp. added). And Declaration of Independence signer John Witherspoon declared: “[H]e is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promotingtrue and undefiled religion [i.e., Christianity—James 1:27], and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind” (1777, pp. 16,33, emp. added).
It would seem self-evident that if Muslims succeed in transforming America into an Islamic nation, America will be no different from, and will look exactly like, all the other Islamic nations on Earth. What true-hearted American (or Christian) has a desire to move to such a nation?
Elliott, Jonathan (1836), The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Washington, D.C.: Jonathan Elliot).
“The Future of the Global Muslim Population” (2011), Pew Research Center, January 27,http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/the-future-of-the-global-muslim-population/.
“The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050” (2015), Pew Research Center, April 2, http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/.
Grossman, Cathy (2011), “Number of U.S. Muslims to Double,” USA TODAY, January 27,http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-01-27-1Amuslim27_ST_N.htm.
Miller, Dave (2009), Christ and the Continental Congress (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Miller, Dave (2013), “Were the Founding Fathers ‘Tolerant’ of Islam? [Part I],” Reason & Revelation, 33:26-28,32-35, March.
Morse, Jedidiah (1799), A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford, CT: Hudson and Goodwin),http://www.archive.org/details/sermonexhibiting00morsrich.
Snyder, K. Alan (1990), Defining Noah Webster: Mind and Morals in the Early Republic (New York: University Press of America).
Witherspoon, John (1777), The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men (Philadelphia, PA: Town & Country),http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Dominion_of_Providence_Over_the_Pass.html?id=HpRIAAAAYAAJ.
“Christianity Could Not Possibly Be True”
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
What did atheistic author Mike Davis allege was the “smoking gun” that proved to him once and for all that “Christianity could not possibly be true”? What “sealed the issue” and led him to believe “Jesus was wrong...and no more deserving of our belief than any other guy”? When did the case against the Bible and Christianity become “closed”? In chapter one of his book, The Atheist’s Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity, Davis explained that Matthew 24:34 was the deciding factor.
In Matthew 24:34, Jesus stated: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” According to Davis, since “Jesus tells his listeners that the judgment day will come before the generation he’s speaking to passes away,” and since that generation passed away 1,900 years ago, Jesus “could not have been divine” and the Bible is “untrustworthy” (2008, pp. 1-2). In actuality, what Davis confesses ultimately “proved” to him that the Bible and Jesus are unreliable is nothing more than a misinterpretation of Scripture. Jesus was not mistaken in His comments in Matthew 24:34—Jesus’ generation did not pass away prior to witnessing the things Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:4-34. But, Jesus did not foretell in those verses what Davis assumes He foretold. Davis and many others believe that, prior to verse 34, Jesus was describing events that would take place shortly before Judgment Day at the end of time. The fact of the matter is, however, Jesus was prophesying about the coming destruction upon Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and not the final Judgment.
When the disciples went to show Jesus the temple buildings (Matthew 24:1), Jesus said, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (24:2). Later, when Jesus was on the Mount of Olives, the disciples asked Him three questions, beginning with “when will these things be?” (24:3). In verses 4-34, Jesus revealed several signs that would indicate Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem, including the temple, was near. [NOTE: “The fall of the Hebrew system is set forth in the sort of apocalyptic nomenclature that is characteristic of Old Testament literature, e.g., when the prophets pictorially portray the overthrow of Jehovah’s enemies (cf. Isaiah 13:10-11; 34:2ff; Ezekiel 32:7-8)” (Jackson, n.d.); cf. Matthew 24:29-31; see Miller, 2003.] In verses 35-51 (and all of chapter 25), Jesus answered the disciples’ last two questions: “what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). To summarize, in Matthew 24:4-34 Jesus foretold of the coming destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, while in 24:35-25:46 He commented on His future return and final Judgment of the world.
How sad it is that so many atheists and skeptics believe they have disproven the Bible and Christianity, when, in reality, they have simply twisted the biblical text to mean something God never intended (cf. 2 Peter 3:16). The fact that Mike Davis highlights Matthew 24:34 as the verse that once and for all proved to him the Bible is unreliable should tell us something about the extreme weakness of the skeptic’s case against Christianity.
Davis, Mike (2008), The Atheist’s Introduction to the New Testament (Outskirts Press: Denver, CO).
Jackson, Wayne (no date), “A Study of Matthew 24,” http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/19-a-study-of-matthew-24.
Miller, Dave (2003), “There Will Be No Signs!” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1838.
"Unlike Naturalists, You Creationists Have a Blind Faith"
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
We openly grant that the accusation represented by the title of this article is true, at least for many individuals today. But not for all.
“BLIND FAITH”—MANY HAVE IT
What is “blind faith”? What is meant by the accusation? The idea behind “blind faith” is that a person chooses to believe in something or someone (namely, God) without any supporting evidence. The portrait painted in our minds is that of a person who puts on a blindfold and steps up to a ledge. He cannot see what is beyond the ledge. He has no idea how far down the drop is—whether or not he will plummet to his death, break his legs, or simply fall down. He has no idea if there is water, a trampoline, or rocks at the bottom. He simply decides to believe that he will not die if he jumps off—that he will be safe. He has no evidence, only pure, baseless “faith.” So, he takes a “leap of faith.” Question: who in their right mind would do such a thing? Whoever has such a faith truly is naïve, an extremely emotionally, rather than rationally, charged individual, and possibly is in need of counseling, or has an agenda for having such a belief system.
Sadly many people have such a “faith.” Many people call themselves Christians, and claim to believe in the Bible, but clearly have not read it. They have a “blind faith” which, according to the Law of Rationality (Ruby, 1960, pp. 130-131), is irrational. Their belief in God is not based on the evidence, but is a blind leap into the dark without it. Philosphers call this phenomenon “fideism” (Popkin, 1967, 3:201-202). However, the biblical portrait of faith (Greek, pistis—translated equally as faith, belief, trust, or having confidence in; Arndt, et al., 1979, pp. 661-664) is not what some in Christendom have defined it to be nor what Hollywood has portrayed it to be. It is not “believing when common sense tells you not to,” as the 1947 movie, Miracle on 34th Streetsuggested (Seaton). It is not a “leap of faith” like Dr. Jones’ actions in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Spielberg, 1989). The Bible does not advocate a “Feel, don’t think” mentality, like that encouraged by Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars (Lucas, 1999). Biblical faith is based on evidence (Hebrews 11:1). It is trust—comparable to the trust one has in a parent or friend—that is based on proof. We trust someone when he has proven himself to be trustworthy. When one listens to or reads revelation from God’s Word (i.e., what Bible believers call “special revelation”) and the information therein proves to be true, one develops faith in God (Romans 10:17). When one examines the evidence from the created order (i.e., what Bible believers call “general revelation”), and it points to the existence of a supernatural Being as Creator—rather than blind, random, accidental change over time—we learn to trust God based on that evidence.
In short: The biblical model of faith requires evidence. According to the biblical model, the truth of God can be known—not felt or accepted without proof—and it will set men free (John 8:32). Sincere truth seekers examine what they have been told and investigate its veracity by pondering the evidence, as did the “fair-minded” Bereans of Acts 17:11, before becoming Christians. In fact, God (through Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:21) tells the creationist that he is expected to prove or test something before believing it—only accepting what has been proven right or good. Do such passages give the impression that the Bible advocates a blind, evidence-less faith?
Sadly, evidence-based faith is not the faith of many within Christendom. But “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Many of us base our view squarely on the evidence—such as the evidence presented below. [NOTE: See Miller, 2003a for more on the topic of “blind faith” and the Bible. Also, Miller, 2003b.]
BUT WE DON’T
In order for a belief to not be “blind” or irrational, it needs supporting evidence. While the creationist does not claim to hold direct, observable evidence of God, since we cannot taste, touch, see, hear, or smell Him, the indirect evidence—a legitimate source of scientific evidence—is overwhelming. What supporting evidence do creationists put forth? A thorough treatment of this subject is outside the scope of this article, but hundreds of articles and books deal eloquently and credibly with the subject. [NOTE: See www.apologeticpress.org for a library of said material.]
In short, the creationist argues, among other things, that:
- The available evidence contradicts the atheistic model (cf. Miller, 2012b; Miller, 2013c), which logically leaves theism—the Creation model;
- The fundamental evidence that contradicts the naturalistic model, supports the contentions of the creation model, which never contradicts the scientific evidence;
- The existence and teachings of the laws of science demand a non-material, uncaused Cause for the Universe;
- There are numerous natural evidences in the Universe that exhibit the characteristics of intent, purpose, and complexity, which indicate a Mind behind them. Such attributes testify to the presence of intelligent design, which implies a Designer;
- Objective morality exists, which implies a higher Law that transcends mankind, which in turn demands a supernatural Author;
- A Book exists that contains certain characteristics that can only be explainable if it is what it says it is—the Word of the Creator.
These proofs, and many others, provide evidence that demands an explanation and cannot be satiated by naturalistic theories. Only supernatural Creation provides an answer in keeping with the evidence. The Creation model can hardly be deemed unscientific. Its legitimate followers cannot be brushed aside as “blind” believers. Such sweeping accusations are unfair and betray a prejudiced, stereotypical mindset, to say nothing of the fact that such accusations fall victim to the ad hominem logical fallacy (“Fallacies,” 2012).
ACTUALLY, EVOLUTIONISTS DO
In truth, Creation is the reasonable choice—the one not beholden to evidence-less leaps of faith. It is not contingent on the baseless, mythical claim that aliens exist and initiated life on Earth (cf.Miller, 2013a); that abiogenesis—like magic from a fictional novel—is somehow possible (cf.Miller, 2012b); that non-humans give birth to humans, as they do in the tabloids (cf. Flew and Warren, 1977, pp. 25,45,65); or the fanciful idea that Universes spontaneously pop into existence (cf. Miller, 2013c). Indeed, atheistic evolution is simply well-packaged superstition. Creation is the option in keeping with reason and the evidence.
While some who call themselves “Christians,” do, indeed, have an unscriptural, blind faith, in truth, the same can be said of the evolutionary community—and more so. Why? (1) Because unlike evolution, the evidence does not contradict Creation but supports it, even though some have accepted Creation without that evidence; (2) because not all creationists hold to a blind faith. Some examine the evidence and draw the reasonable conclusion that a Creator exists. However, all naturalists must have a blind, evidence-less faith, since atheistic evolution is based on certain baseless, unprovable assumptions, including abiogenesis, naturalism, spontaneous generation or the eternality of matter, etc. (cf. Miller, 2013b and Kerkut, 1960 for other key, baseless evolutionary assumptions). Belief in those assumptions is purely blind. They (1) are not supported by the evidence, which classifies evolution as irrational; (2) actually contradict the evidence; and (3) even show the naturalist to be engaged in self-contradiction, which he blindly ignores when confronted with the evidence of his contradictions (cf. Miller, 2012a). It seems clear that it is the evolutionist—not the creationist—who holds to a blind faith.
Consider the following timeless quotes from various prominent evolutionists concerning the character of the naturalist’s faith:
- Robert Jastrow, evolutionary astronomer and founder and former director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA: “At present, science has no satisfactory answer to the question of the origin of life on the earth. Perhaps the appearance of life on the earth is amiracle. Scientists [i.e., naturalists—JM] are reluctant to accept that view, but their choices are limited; either life was created on the earth by the will of a being outside the grasp of scientific understanding, or it evolved on our planet spontaneously, through chemical reactions occurring in nonliving matter lying on the surface of the planet. The first theory places the question of the origin of life beyond the reach of scientific inquiry. It is a statement of faith in the power of a Supreme Being not subject to the laws of science. The second theory is alsoan act of faith. The act of faith consists in assuming that the scientific view of the origin of life is correct, without having concrete evidence to support that belief” (1977, pp. 62-63, emp. added).
- John Sullivan, once a popular evolutionary science writer: “The hypothesis that life has developed from inorganic matter is, at present, still an article of faith” (1933, p. 95, emp. added).
- Richard Lewontin, evolutionary geneticist of Harvard University: “Our willingness to accept scientific claims against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs..., in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to naturalism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door”(1997, p. 31, 2nd and 4th emp. in orig.).
- G.A. Kerkut, British evolutionary physiologist: Spontaneous generation is “a matter of faithon the part of the biologist…. The evidence for what did happen is not available” (1960, p. 150, emp. added).
- Loren Eiseley, evolutionary anthropologist of the University of Pennsylvania: “With the failure of these many efforts, science was left in the somewhat embarrassing position of having to postulate theories of living origins which it could not demonstrate. After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort, could not be proved to take place today, had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past” (1957, pp. 201-202, emp. added).
- Robert Hazen, evolutionary geologist who received his doctoral degree in Earth Science from Harvard University, a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory, and a professor of Earth Science at George Mason University: “I make an assumption that life emerged from basic raw materials through a sequence of events that was completely consistent with the natural laws of chemistry and physics. Even with this scientific approach, there is a possibility that we’ll never know—in fact, that we can’t ever know. It is possible that life emerged by an almost infinitely improbable sequence of difficult chemical reactions. If life is the result of an infinitely improbable succession of chemical steps, then any scientific attempt to understand life’s origin is doomed to failure; such a succession could not be duplicated in a program of lab experiments. If the origin of life was an infinitely improbable accident, then there’s absolutely nothing you or I or anyone else could do to figure out how it happened. I must tell you, that’s a depressing thought to someone like me who has devoted a decade to understanding the origin of life” (2005, emp. added).
- Fred Hoyle, distinguished atheistic British astronomer, and Chandra Wickramasinghe, professor of astronomy and applied mathematics at University College, Cardiff, Wales: “It is doubtful that anything like the conditions which were simulated in the laboratory existed at all on a primitive Earth, or occurred for long enough times and over sufficiently extended regions of the Earth’s surface to produce large enough local concentrations of the biochemicals required for the start of life. In accepting the ‘primeval soup theory’ of the origin of life, scientists have replaced religious mysteries which shrouded this question withequally mysterious scientific dogmas. The implied scientific dogmas are just as inaccessibleto the empirical approach” (1978, p. 26, emp. added).
If these quotes from eminent evolutionists do not prove that naturalistic evolution is a religious faith, and a blind one at that, what would? It’s no wonder that the late Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History in London, said about evolution, “One morning I woke up and something had happened in the night, and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That’s quite a shock to learn that one can be misled so long. Either there was something wrong with me, or there was something wrong with evolutionary theory” (1981, emp. added). These quotes simply do not characterize true Christianity or the true Creation model—but they do characterize evolution.
Thus, it seems that the rank and file evolutionist’s self-incriminating, venomous accusations towards the creationist are well-represented by the Shakespearean quote, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” (III.2). Be wary of the one who makes accusations the loudest and attempts to deflect attention from his own inadequacies.
Bottom line: The true model of origins will be based on the evidence. It will be the rational model. It will not contradict the evidence at every turn. So atheistic evolution is not the true model of origins.
Arndt, William, F.W. Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker (1979), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second edition revised.
Eiseley, Loren (1957), The Immense Journey (New York: Random House).
“Fallacies” (2012), The Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill,http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/fallacies.
Flew, Antony G.N. and Thomas B. Warren (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
Hazen, Robert (2005), Origins of Life, audio-taped lecture (Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company).
Hoyle, Fred and Chandra Wickramasinghe (1978), Lifecloud (New York: Harper & Row).
Jastrow, Robert (1977), Until the Sun Dies (New York: W.W. Norton).
Kerkut, George A. (1960), The Implications of Evolution (London: Pergamon).
Lewontin, Richard (1997), “Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review, January 9.
Lucas, George, dir. (1999), Star Wars Episode I—The Phantom Menace, Lucasfilm.
Miller, Dave (2003a), “Blind Faith,” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=444.
Miller, Dave (2003b), “Modern-Day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation--EXTENDED VERSION,” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1399.
Miller, Jeff (2012a), “The Atheistic Naturalist’s Self-Contradiction,” Reason & Revelation, 32:53, May, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1029&article=1763.
Miller, Jeff (2012b), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32:2-11, January,http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.
Miller, Jeff (2013a), “Directed Panspermia and Little, Green (Non-Existent) Men from Outer Space,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4620.
Miller, Jeff (2013b), “Don’t Assume Too Much: Not All Assumptions in Science Are Bad,” Reason & Revelation, 33: 62-64,69-70, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1122&article=2153.
Miller, Jeff (2013c), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: the Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2786.
Patterson, Colin (1981), Written transcript made from audio tape of lecture presented at the American Museum of Natural History, November.
Popkin, Richard (1967), “Fideism” in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (New York: McMillan).
Ruby, Lionel (1960), Logic: An Introduction (Chicago, IL: J.B. Lippincott).
Seaton, George (1947), Miracle on 34th Street, Twentieth Century Fox.
Shakespeare, William (2011), Hamlet, The Literature Network, http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare/hamlet/10/.
Spielberg, Steven, dir. (1989), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Paramount Pictures.
Sullivan, J.W.N. (1933), Limitations of Science (New York: Viking Press).
"Radical" Distortion of the Scriptures
|by||Caleb Colley, Ph.D.|
The As Good As New version of the Bible, translated by former Baptist minister John Henson, and subtitled “A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures,” was released in June 2004 by an English group of self-confessed radicals who call themselves “One.” As Good As New might have gone largely unnoticed by the religious community, had England’s archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams (the leader of the Anglican church) not given the translation his enthusiastic stamp of approval (see “New Bible Translation...,” 2004). A press release from “Ekklesia,” a London-based theological think tank that supports the “One” translation, revealed the following:
The translation by John Henson from the organization “One” aims at a “new, fresh and adventurous” translation of the early Christian scriptures. It is designed both for mature Christians and for those who have limited experience of traditional Christianity or “may have found it a barrier to an appreciation of Jesus” (“The One Translation,” 2004).
However, it is apparent that Henson’s focus was not on giving his readers an accurate translation, but on making his radical readers feel comfortable, even if it compromises the real meaning of the Scriptures. One retailer wrote of As Good As New:
It also follows the cultural translation, where for instance “demon possession” becomes what it is as understood today, “mental illness.” It follows “contextual translation,” following the sense over longer sections. It is also “inclusive,” following the principles which Jesus adopted in relation to his culture. It is women, gay, and sinner friendly. Other radical departures reflect the need to demythologize in order to translate adequately into our own culture. For instance “Kingdom of God” thus becomes “God’s New World” (“A Radical and Readable...,” 2004).
The archbishop has praised Henson for replacing “the stale, the technical, the unconsciously exclusive words and policies” of the Bible, with modern phrasing (not to mention modern teachings, which differ from the plain teaching of the original Bible authors) [“New Bible Translation...,” 2004]. Few have a problem with those who merely want the Bible to be understandable (though it certainly is understandable in more traditional versions), but after considering the lengths to which Henson went to morph the Bible into something he considers “readable,” reasonable readers will reject it. Keep in mind that a “community” of random religionists, who happened to take interest in Henson’s translation process, provided contributions to this work. Apparently, the group of contributors in translation was not composed strictly of Greek or Hebrew scholars, but of “whoever” happened to contribute.
Henson and company have not given readers merely an English “translation” from the original Bible languages. (As Good As New is a translation only in the sense that “One” calls it a translation. Henson did not seem concerned about the actual original words themselves [see “The One Translation,” 2004], but only the “sense” of various collections of those words, so “paraphrase” would better describe what “One” has produced.) In short, Henson has attempted to rewrite the Bible.
For example, in an attempt to include only what “One” deems to be “the selection of books which were held in the highest esteem by the early Church in the first two centuries,” the book of Revelation has been excluded, and has been replaced by the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas (“A Radical and Readable...”, 2004). In their efforts to eliminate all “big words” from scripture, this vaguely defined group of translators has given modern nicknames to many of the Bible’s characters. For example, the apostle Peter is “Rocky,” Mary Magdalene is “Maggie,” John the Baptizer is “John the Dipper,” Aaron’s name is shortened to “Ron,” and Nicodemus becomes, simply, “Nick.”
“One” has subverted plain Bible texts in order to make the Gospel more politically correct. According to London Times religious correspondent Ruth Gledhill, “Instead of condemning fornicators, adulterers, and ‘abusers of themselves with mankind’ [as Paul did, through inspiration, when he wrote 1 Corinthians 6:9—CC], the new version of Paul’s first letter to Corinth has Paul advising Christians not to go without sex for too long, in case they get ‘frustrated’ ” (as quoted in “New Bible Translation...,” 2004). Instead of properly translating Paul’s command (recorded in 1 Corinthians 7:1-2) that, to avoid fornication, every man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband, As Good As New has Paul writing: “My advice is for everyone to have a regular partner” (quoted in “New Bible Translation,” 2004).
The perversion does not stop there. “Heaven” becomes, in the new translation, “a world without time and space.” “Parables” are called “riddles.” In an effort to find favor with women, the contributors to As Good As New chose to render “Son of Man,” a title Jesus often called Himself, as “The Complete Person,” and “Father,” one of God’s scriptural titles, as “All Loving God.” Also in order to please women, Jesus is not called the “Son of God,” but rather “God’s Likeness.”
Such perversion is what one might expect from an organization that lists in its top five priorities, not to teach or defend the truth, but to “challenge oppression, injustice, exclusion and discrimination,” to “accept one another, valuing their diversity and experience” (“Who We Are,” 2003). Members of “One” commit themselves to accepting one another “in Christ,” to “support actively those doing Christ’s work inside or outside this institutional church,” and to combating “poverty, racism, and oppression through social and political action” (“Who We Are,” 2003, emp. added). One does not have to examine much of the “One’s” published material before he realizes that the primary purpose of the group is not to teach people how to be saved, but rather to push a leftist agenda down the throats of religious people. For “One,” a major step toward accomplishing that purpose would be widespread acceptance of As Good As New.
Accordingly, archbishop Williams hopes the new translation will spread “in epidemic profusion through religious and irreligious alike.” However, reasonable people will realize what As Good As New is: a twisted perversion of the Holy Scriptures. Henson, Williams, and the members of “One” and “Ekklesia” should fear for their souls, because they not only are teaching things that are contrary to plain Bible teaching (even though they do so by attempting to deceive people into thinking just the opposite), but also promoting exactly what the inspired apostle John forbade: “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him he plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19).
The truth is that we can know, without a doubt, what books belong in the Bible (see A.P. Staff, 2003) and that the Bible is understandable. Because of the work of respected Greek and Hebrew scholars, we can understand, in English, just what God wants us to know. For example, the King James Version is on a 12th grade reading level, the New American Standard Bible is on a 10th or 11th grade level, and the New King James Version on an 8th or 9th grade level (“English Bible Translation...,” 2004; “Reading Levels of Various...,” n.d.). Religious people do not need a dangerous distortion of the Bible in order to overcome a perceived problem in comprehending the Gospel. People have been reading, understanding, and obeying the Bible for almost 2,000 years, with no help from John Henson or his makeshift group of translators.
“A Radical and Readable New Translation” (2004), John Hunt Publications, [On-line], URL: http://www.o-books.net/goodasnew.htm.
“English Bible Translation Comparison” (2004), International Bible Society, [On-line], URL: http://www.gospelcom.net/ibs/bibles/translations/index.php.
“New Bible Translation Promotes Fornication” (2004), [On-line], URL: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39114.
“Reading Levels of Various Bible Translations,” (n.d.), [On-line], URL: http://www.bridgebuilders.4mg.com/bibles_reading_levels.htm.
A.P. Staff (2003), “The Canon and Non-Canonical Writings,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1972.
“The One Translation” (2004), [On-line], URL: http://one.gn.apc.org/Translation.htm.
“Who We Are” (2004), The “One” Council, [On-line], URL: http://one.gn.apc.org/whoweare.htm.
"My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?"
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Imagine trying to live in a world where every person decided for himself or herself how long an inch should be. One person’s inch might be as long as a pencil, while another’s might be as short as a penny. Further imagine trying to buy lumber or carpet, or trying to calculate any kind of geometry. In truth, trying to measure things without a standard is impossible.
The same is true of religion and spiritual matters. If everyone made his or her own “measurements” about what is right and wrong, then mass confusion would rule the day—which is exactly why God gave us the Bible. It is the standard by which all of our actions are to be measured. Because the Bible claims to be the only true standard, most people insist upon evidence proving that it is from God. If a person has an open Bible and an honest heart, such evidence is available.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, a horrible tragedy shocked the United States when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Amidst the tragedy, a rumor circulated that Nostradamus, a supposed fortuneteller, had predicted the turn of events. Web sites with information on Nostradamus received thousands, even millions of hits. After all was said and done, the rumored prediction had been fabricated and misunderstood; Nostradamus had no more predicted the future than you or I. But it was obvious from the public’s response that anyone whocan accurately predict the future is more than just a little special. The prophet Jeremiah wrote: “Who is he who speaks, and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it?” (Lamentations 3:37). The prophet’s point was clear: nobody accurately foretells the future unless God informs him of it. Therefore, when the Bible accurately predicts the future, we can know that it is from God.
“MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
If you were a Jew standing in the crowd watching Jesus hang on the cross, you would have seen and heard many astonishing things. For one, you would have seen the only totally innocent man ever to live being tortured, mocked, and spit upon. In addition, you would have sat in complete darkness for three straight hours. But some of the most amazing things that happened on that day were the things Jesus said while He was on the cross.
As Jesus was nearing His death, He cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?,” which being translated means “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Many of those around Jesus did not understand what He had said. But any Jew familiar with the Old Testament should have immediately recognized Jesus’ lament as a direct quote from the first line of Psalm 22. King David wrote that psalm about 1,000 years before the death of Jesus. Yet verses 16 through 18 describe in minute detail what was happening at the crucifixion: “They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
Could you imagine having the twenty-second Psalm in your hand (or mind), and watching the soldiers at Jesus’ feet actually casting lots for His clothing (Matthew 27:35)—exactly as the psalmist predicted? With one of Christ’s last breaths on the cross, He tried to get people to understand that He was the Messiah.
As we today look back upon the situation—almost 2000 years after the fact—we see that Jesus proved the Bible had accurately foretold the future, thereby verifying its inspiration. As Isaiah said: “Declare unto us what shall happen: declare ye the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or show us things to come” (41:22). The very thing the pagans could not do (41:22-24), God’s Word could (see Isaiah 42:8-9).
"Can't Order Come from Disorder Due to the Sun?"
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
Many creationists argue that evolution requires order to come about from disorder—complexity to come about naturally from simplicity—in defiance of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (cf. Miller, 2013). The evolutionist retorts that the Earth is not a closed system—localized pockets of order can come from disorder, as long as energy is added to those pockets (e.g., an orderly room can come from a disorderly room if work or energy is applied to the room). The evolutionist argues that the Earth is a system that is, in fact, receiving useful external energy (e.g., from the Sun). So, it is presumed that evolution could happen.
While it may be true that extra-terrestrial energy could cause pockets of order from disorder on the Earth, it does not follow that atheistic evolution could happen. As we have shown elsewhere, regardless of the extra-terrestrial energy reaching Earth, the evidence confirms that life does not come from non-life (Miller, 2012a), laws of science do not write themselves (Miller, 2012b), matter and energy do not last forever or spontaneously generate (Miller, 2013), and information is not added to the genome through mutations (cf. this issue of R&R). Without an explanation for how evolution can cross these barriers, evolution is tantamount to witchcraft.
Furthermore, while energy can sometimes bring about pockets of order from disorder, energy alone is not what is required. It must be the right kind of energy to do so. While the Sun can be an excellent source of useful energy, it can also be a dangerous source of serious damage—causing deaths, deserts, and damaged property. In order to explain how the order of the Earth’s species could come about from disorder through evolution, one would have to prove that extra-terrestrial energy sources would be capable of doing such a thing—a major task to say the least, especially when there is no observable evidence that macroevolution could even happen regardless.
Ultimately, the question is irrelevant, since regardless of the extra-terrestrial energy that is reaching Earth and its potential ability to create localized order, it is clear that it is notcountering the entropy that is rapidly building in the genome (see the discussion of genetic entropy in the current issue). Deleterious mutations are leading to mutational meltdown, generation by generation, regardless of the Sun or any other external source of energy. Evolution requires genomic progress, not deterioration, and extra-terrestrial energy is not solving the problem for evolutionary theory.
No wonder Paul Davies lamented, “It seems that order has arisen out of chaos, in apparent defiance of the second law of thermodynamics…. Does this then suggest that some sort of gigantic cosmic miracle has occurred against all imaginable betting odds?” (1978, p. 507). Davies recognizes that evolution would require a miracle since it flies in the face of a natural law—the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which tells us that the Universe is moving irreversibly towards a state of higher disorder and chaos (Miller, 2013). But since he does not believe in a miracle Worker, it is irrational for him to contend that evolution could “miraculously” happen in spite of entropy. His conclusion should be, “Maybe naturalistic evolution is not true.” Instead, he concludes that magic—a spontaneous miracle—might have happened without a miracle Worker. Naturalistic evolution is a blind, irrational faith.
Davies, Paul (1978), “Chance or Choice: Is the Universe an Accident?” New Scientist, 80:506-508, November.
Miller, Jeff (2012a), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32:2-11, January,http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.
Miller, Jeff (2012b), “The Laws of Science—by God,” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4545.
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.