"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER" Chapter Three OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To examine the duties of wives and husbands to each other 2) To consider the duties that we have to one another as brethren in Christ 3) To see how one should prepare for persecution, motivated by the example of Christ 4) To note how and in what way baptism now saves us SUMMARY Peter continues to describe the duties of Christians living as sojourners and pilgrims in this world. He counsels wives to be submissive to their husbands and to focus their adornment on the development of a meek and quiet spirit, like the holy women in the past who trusted in God (such as Sarah). For those whose husbands are not believers, their chaste and respectful conduct may influence them to respond to the gospel. Husbands are then instructed to live with their wives in an understanding way, honoring them as the weaker vessel and as fellow heirs of the grace of life. Such treatment would ensure that their prayers were not hindered (1-7). Duties toward brethren are then summarized, stressing unity, compassion, love, kindness, and simple courtesy. When mistreated by brethren, the proper response is to extend a blessing, for to such conduct we were called, that we might inherit a blessing. As motivation for such conduct, Peter quotes Psalms 34:12-16 which offers advice to loving life and seeing good days. The key is to turn from evil and do good, to seek peace and pursue it. Those who do so have the assurance that the Lord watches over them and hears their prayers (8-12). Peter then turns to the theme of suffering for righteousness' sake. In most circumstances, no one will harm you for doing good. If one suffers for doing good, they are blessed (cf. 2:19-20; 4:14). To prepare for persecution, one should sanctify the Lord God in their heart and be ready to meekly provide the reason for their hope. With clear conscience and good conduct, those who defame and revile them will likely be ashamed. If it is God's will that they suffer, let it be for doing good and not evil (13-17). To appreciate how suffering for righteousness' sake can be for good, Peter relates how Jesus suffered for our sins. Though put to death in the flesh, Jesus was made alive by the Spirit (cf. Ro 1:4), in which He preached to spirits in prison who were disobedient in the days of Noah, and ultimately exalted at the right hand of God with angels, authorities and powers made subject to Him. Alluding to the example of Noah's salvation, Peter says baptism now saves us as an appeal for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (18-22). OUTLINE I. OUR DUTIES AS WIVES AND HUSBANDS (1-7) A. THE DUTIES OF WIVES (1-6) 1. Be submissive to your husbands a. That you might win those who are not believers b. As they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear 2. Adorn yourselves properly a. Not merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, putting on of fine apparel b. With the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, precious in God's sight c. As holy women in the past who trusted God 1) Adorned themselves 2) Submitted to their husbands d. As Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord 1) Whose daughters you are 2) If you do good, not afraid with any terror B. THE DUTIES OF HUSBANDS (7) 1. Dwell with your wives with understanding 2. Give honor to your wives a. As to the weaker vessel b. As being heirs together of the grace of life c. So your prayers may not be hindered II. OUR DUTIES AS BRETHREN (8-12) A. OUR DUTIES TO EACH OTHER (8-9) 1. Be of one mind 2. Have compassion for one another 3. Love one another as brethren 4. Tenderhearted, courteous 5. Not returning evil for evil, or reviling for reviling a. On the contrary, respond with a blessing b. Knowing that you were called to this, that you might inherit a blessing B. MOTIVATION TO FULFILL SUCH DUTIES (10-12) 1. If you would love life and see good days a. Refrain your tongue from evil and lips from speaking deceit b. Turn from evil and do good c. Seek peace and pursue it 2. If you would desire the Lord's favor a. For His eyes are on the righteous b. For His ears are open to their prayers c. But His face is against those who do evil III. OUR DUTIES AS SUFFERERS FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS' SAKE (13-22) A. THINGS TO REMEMBER (13-17) 1. Who will harm you if you do what is good? a. Even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed b. So don't be afraid of threats, nor be troubled 2. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts 3. Always be ready to give a defense a. To everyone who asks b. For a reason for the hope that is in your c. With meekness and fear 4. Maintain a good conscience a. That when others may defame you as evildoers b. Those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed 5. It is better, if it is the will of God... a. To suffer for doing good b. Than to suffer for doing evil B. REASONS TO REMEMBER (18-22) 1. Christ also suffered once for sins a. The just for the unjust b. That He might bring us to God 2. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit a. By whom He went and preached to the spirits in prison who were formerly disobedient 1) During the longsuffering of God 2) In the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared a) In which eight souls were saved through water b) Which was a type of baptism which now saves us 1] Not the removal of the filth of the flesh 2] But the answer of a good conscience toward God 3] Through the resurrection of Christ b. Who has gone in to heaven 1) And is at the right hand of God 2) Where angels, authorities, and powers have been made subject to Him REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - Our duties as wives and husbands (1-7) - Our duties as brethren (8-12) - Our duties as sufferers for righteousness' sake (13-22) 2) What are wives told to be in regards to their husbands? Why? (1) - Submissive; to convert those husbands who are not yet Christians 3) What does Peter hope the unbelieving husbands will observe in their wives? (2) - Their chaste conduct accompanied by fear 4) What should not be the focus of their adornment? (3) - That which is outward: arranging the hair, wearing gold, their apparel 5) What should be the focus of their adornment (4) - The hidden person of the heart: the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit 6) What other women so adorned themselves and were submissive to their husbands? (5-6) - Holy women of God in the past who trusted in God; specifically, Sarah 7) How are husbands to treat their wives? (7) - With understanding and honor - As to the weaker vessel - As heirs together of the grace of life 8) Why should husbands treat their wives so kindly? (7) - That their prayers not be hindered 9) What duties do we as brethren have to one another? (8) - To be of one mind - To have compassion for one another and love as brethren - To be tenderhearted, courteous 10) How are we to respond when mistreated by brethren? Why? (9) - With blessing; we were called to so respond, that we may inherit a blessing 11) What proscription is offered for those who would love life and see good days? (10-11) - Refrain the tongue from evil, the lips from speaking deceit - Turn away from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it 12) What is said of the righteous? Of those who do evil? (12) - The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers - The face of the Lord is against those who do evil 13) What is the general principle regarding persecution? (13) - If you do good, you will not be harmed 14) What is said of those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake? (14) - They are blessed 15) How should one prepare themselves for possible persecution? (15-16) - Sanctify the Lord God in your heart - Be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for your hope - Have a good conscience 16) If we maintain good conduct, what will happen to those who defame and revile us? (16) - They will be ashamed 17) If we suffer according to God's will, what is better? (17) - To suffer for doing good than for doing evil 18) Who also suffered for righteousness' sake? For what reason? (18) - Christ, the just for the unjust - For sins, that He might bring us to God 19) Though put to death in the flesh, what was He able to do by the Spirit? (18-19) - Preach to the spirits in prison 20) When were such "spirits" disobedient? (20) - In the days of Noah, during the longsuffering of God - While the ark was preparing 21) Of what is the salvation of eight souls through water a "type"? (21) - Baptism which now saves us 22) How does baptism not save us? How does it save us? (21) - Not by the removal of the filth of the flesh - As the answer (or plea) of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus 23) What was the final outcome of Jesus who suffered for righteousness' sake? (22) - He has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God - Angels, authorities, and powers have been made subject to Him
"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER" Chapter Two OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To note what is necessary in order to grow spiritually 2) To reflect upon our privilege and duties as God's special people, living as sojourners and pilgrims in a world not our home 3) To review our duty to submit to governmental authorities, and to make application of the instructions to slaves in our lives as employees SUMMARY Having described how they were born again by the incorruptible Word of God, Peter admonishes his readers to put aside sinful attitudes and to grow spiritually with an infant-like longing for the Word (1-3). He then depicts Jesus as a living stone, and Christians as living stones. The latter are being built up as a spiritual house and holy priesthood in order to offer spiritual sacrifices through Christ. As foretold in the Scriptures, Jesus is the chief cornerstone that is precious to those who believe, while a stone of stumbling to those who are disobedient. Christians are called on to proclaim the praises of God as they are now a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people who have now obtained mercy (4-10). As the people of God, Christians are sojourners and pilgrims in this world. Their duties as such involve abstaining from fleshly lusts, and keeping their conduct honorable among the Gentiles (nations) through good works designed to glorify God. They are to honor and submit to governmental authorities, and honor all people while loving the brethren and fearing God (11-17). Christian slaves are told to submit to their masters, even when they are harsh and cause them to suffer grief wrongly. Peter reveals that such submission is commendable before God and follows the example of Jesus whose own suffering delivered us from sin (18-25). OUTLINE I. A CALL TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH (1-3) A. WHAT TO LAY ASIDE (1) 1. All malice, all deceit 2. Hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking B. WHAT TO DESIRE (2-3) 1. The pure milk of the word a. As newborn babes b. That you may grow thereby 2. If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious II. OUR PRIVILEGE IN CHRIST (4-10) A. AS LIVING STONES (4-8) 1. Coming to Christ as to a living stone a. Who was rejected by men b. Who is chosen by God and precious 2. We as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house a. To be a holy priesthood b. To offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ 3. Christ is the precious cornerstone a. As foretold in Isaiah 28:16 1) God would lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious 2) He who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame 3) Precious to those who believe b. As foretold in Psalms 118:22 and Isaiah 8:14 1) A stone rejected by the builders, which has become the chief cornerstone 2) A stone of stumbling and rock of offense to those who are disobedient 3) To which they were appointed B. AS PEOPLE OF GOD (9-10) 1. They are now: a. A chosen generation b. A royal priesthood c. A holy nation d. His own special people 2. They are now: a. To proclaim the praises of God, who called them: 1) Out of darkness 2) Into His marvelous light b. The people of God, who once were not the people of God 1) Who had not obtained mercy 2) But now have obtained mercy III. OUR DUTIES IN CHRIST (11-25) A. AS SOJOURNERS (11-12) 1. To abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul 2. To have conduct honorable among the Gentiles a. That when they speak against you as evildoers b. They may glorify God in the day of visitation c. Because of your good works they observe B. AS CITIZENS (13-17) 1. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake a. To the king as supreme b. To governors as those sent by the king 1) For the punishment of evildoers 2) For the praise of those who do good 2. For this is the will of God, as bondservants of God a. That by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men b. As free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice 3. Therefore: a. Honor all b. Love the brotherhood c. Fear God d. Honor the king C. AS SERVANTS (18-25) 1. Submissive to your masters with all fear a. Not only to the good and gentle b. But also to the harsh 2. For this is commendable before God a. If because of conscience before God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully b. What credit is there when beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? c. If when you do good and suffer, yet take it patiently, that is commendable 3. For we were called to Follow in the steps of Jesus our example a. Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth (Isaiah 53:9) 1) When He was reviled, did not revile in return 2) When He suffered, He did not threaten 3) He committed Himself to Him who judges righteously b. Who bore our sins in His own body on the tree 1) That we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness 2) By whose stripes you were healed 3) You were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - A call to spiritual growth (1-3) - Our privilege in Christ (4-10) - Our duties in Christ (11-25) 2) What must we lay aside to grow spiritually? (1) - All malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking 3) How should we long for the Word if we want to grow spiritually? (2) - As newborn babes desire milk 4) What should motivate us to desire the Word with such longing? (3) - If we have already tasted that the Lord is gracious 5) What kind of stone is used to describe Jesus? (4) - A living stone - Rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious 6) What two metaphors are used to describe Christians? (5) - Living stones, being built up as a spiritual house - A holy priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices to God through Christ 7) What prophecy foretells the laying of a chief cornerstone in Zion? (6) - Isaiah 28:16 8) What is Jesus to those who believe in Him? To those who do not believe? (6-8) - The chief cornerstone, elect, precious - A stone of stumbling, a rock of offense 9) What is the appointed end of those who do not believe and are disobedient? (8) - They stumble 10) How are Christians described by Peter? What is their duty? Why? (9-10) - A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people - To proclaim the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light - They are now the people of God who have obtained mercy 11) What is our duty as sojourners and pilgrims in this world? Why? (11-12) - Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul - Conduct ourselves honorably among the Gentiles - That they might glorify God in the day of visitation because of our good works 12) What is our duty toward the governments of men? Why? (13-15) - Submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake - That by doing good we might silence the ignorance of foolish men 13) How are we use our freedom in Christ? (16) - Not as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God 14) What four admonitions summarize our duties to others? (17) - Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king 15) What is the duty of servants to their masters? (18) - Be submissive with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh 16) What is commendable before God? (19-20) - To endure grief, suffering wrongfully though doing good, because of conscience toward God 17) To what have we been called? (21) - To follow in the steps of Christ, who suffered for us and left us an example 18) How did Jesus suffer wrongly and bear it patiently? (22-23) - He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth - When reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten - He committed Himself to God who judges righteously 20) What good did Jesus accomplish by suffering such abuse? (24-25) - He bore our sins in His own body on the tree - Making it possible for us to die to sin and live for righteousness (by His strips we were healed) - Like sheep gone astray, we have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls
Does ISIS Represent True Islam?
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
A mass beheading of 21 Egyptian/Coptic Christians by ISIS militants is the latest outrage perpetrated by those who claim to represent accurately the teaching of Islam (“Video Purports…,” 2015). Despite insistence from several sources that such atrocities do not represent Islam, the Quran contains a number of passages that clearly advocate violent action against those who reject Islam.
For example, within months of the Hijrah, Muhammad claimed to receive a revelation that amply clarifies the issue (Pickthall’s translation):
Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain (Surah 47:4, emp. added).
In his popular translation of the Quran, Muslim scholar Abdullah Yusuf Ali offered the following comment on this verse: “When once the fight (Jihad) is entered upon, carry it out with the utmost vigour, and strike home your blows at the most vital points (smite at their necks), both literally and figuratively. You cannot wage war with kid gloves” (1934, p. 1315, parentheses and italics in orig.). ISIS Muslims are simply following the teaching of the Quran regarding both their practice of beheading their enemies as well as their warfare.
In a section dealing with, among other subjects, jihad, the Quran is equally forthright in its sanction and promotion of violence:
Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight themuntil persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers. The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil) (Surah 2:190-194, emp. added).
Later in the same surah, Muhammad is chided by Allah for not fully embracing the necessity of warfare:
Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not. They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel his people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can (Surah 2:216-217, emp. added).
These, and several additional verses (see Miller, 2005), from the Quran verify that the ISIS militants are merely following their reading of the Quran. Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi even called upon ISIS followers to unleash “volcanoes of jihad” (Cunningham, 2014). In view of such facts, and in light of the fact that Islamic armies over the centuries conquered nations across North Africa, into Europe, east to India, Southeast Asia, and Indonesia, north to Turkey, and northeast deep into Asia and Russia, one must engage in considerable theological and hermeneutical gymnastics in order to whitewash Islam as a “religion of peace.” [NOTE: We are not implying that everyone who calls himself a Muslim is a terrorist. In reality, there are many kind, peaceful people around the world who consider themselves Muslims. However, peaceful Muslims are not following the Quran faithfully, because the Quran teaches its adherents to take up the sword and fight and kill non-Muslims.]
NOTE: For more on Islam and the Quran, see our DVD titled "Islam, the Quran, and New Testament Christianity" as well as our book titled The Quran Unveiled.
Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (1934), The Meaning of the Holy Quran (Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications), 2002 reprint.
Cunningham, Erin (2014), “Islamic State Leader Al-Baghdadi Calls on Followers to Unleash ‘Volcanoes of Jihad,’” The Washington Post, November 13,http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/defiant-message-from-islamic-state-leader-but-silence-over-airstrike-injury-reports/2014/11/13/a19f4d9e-6b54-11e4-9fb4-a622dae742a2_story.html.
Miller, Dave (2005), “Violence and the Quran,” Apologetics Press,http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=1491&topic=47.
Pickthall, Mohammed M. (no date), The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (New York: Mentor).
“Video Purports to Show ISIS Militants Beheading Christian Hostages” (2015), Fox News, February 16, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/02/16/video-purports-to-show-isis-militants-beheading-christian-hostages/.
Are Jesus’ Words More Important than the Bible Writers’?
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Occasionally, Christians will make the statement that “Jesus’ words are more important than the words of the Bible writers.” Allegedly, the words of Christ deserve greater attention, allegiance, and admiration than the inspired words of Paul, Peter, James, and every other Bible writer. Some even go so far as to say, “Jesus’ teachings must be obeyed, while the teachings of the Bible writers could be overlooked.” After all, Jesus is the Son of God (Acts 9:20). He died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). He saves us (Luke 19:10). The Bible writers were merely men—fallible men who made numerous mistakes in their lives, and whose salvation, like ours, comes only through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). So why should we consider their teachings on par with the teachings of Christ?
It clearly needs to be established that no one is on par with God. The Creator and Sustainer of the Universe is infinite in all of His glorious attributes. He alone is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. The Son of God is the only accountable person never to sin (Hebrews 4:15). It has always been wrong to attempt to put men, even Bible writers, on par with God (cf. Genesis 3:5; Ezekiel 28:1-8). Only the wicked try to elevate themselves to the status of deity. King Herod, for example, flirted with self-deification—and died in a horrific manner as a result (Acts 12:21-23). This incident stands in stark contradistinction to the reaction of a Bible writer, Paul, when the heathen at Lystra attempted to worship him. Rather than accept worship that is reserved only for God (Matthew 4:10), Paul and Barnabas refused it and rebuked those who attempted such worship (Acts 14:8-18).
Jesus, as God in the flesh (John 1:1-5,14,17), rightly accepted, and still accepts, His followers’ worship (John 9:35-38; Luke 24:52; Revelation 5:8-14). However, the fact that the words of the Bible writers deserve the same level of attention and allegiance as the words of Christ has nothing to do with attempting to put weak, finite, sinful humanity on par with God. To say that allof the words of the Bible deserve our utmost respect and attention is actually in harmony with what the Bible itself teaches.
First, the only reason we have the words of Christ is because God used men to write them down. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all wrote about the life and teachings of Christ. The apostle Paul also quoted Jesus occasionally (2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Timothy 5:18; Acts 20:35; 22:7-21). To say that the words of Christ deserve man’s ultimate respect, while the words of the Bible writers warrant less appreciation, is to ignore the fact that God gave us the teachings of Christ throughinspired men (Galatians 1:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:12).
Second, at times in the gospel accounts there is no clear way to know for sure if the Bible writers were quoting Jesus or simply narrating the inspired story. As commentator Leon Morris concluded:
All are agreed that from time to time in the Gospel [of John—EL] we have the meditations of the [e]vangelist, but it is difficult to know where they begin and end. In the first century there were no devices like quotation marks to show the precise limits of quoted speech. The result is that we are always left to the probabilities andwe must work out for ourselves where a speech or quotation ends (1995, p. 202, emp. added).
For example, we cannot say for sure if John 3:16—arguably the most frequently quoted Bible verse in the world—is a direct quotation of Jesus or a comment by John. The great thing is, we do not have to know this in order to know the teachings of God. Whether John 3:16 is a direct quote from Jesus or not, it is from God, and thus divinely authoritative. [NOTE: A person should be careful not to assume that red-letter Bibles have all of (and only) Jesus’ direct quotations printed in red. Judgment calls must be made by publishers as to which words they put in red and which words they do not. The fact is, whatever color publishers make the words of Jesus and the Bible writers, all of them deserve our utmost respect because all of them come from God. As the psalmist proclaimed: “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever” (Psalm 119:160, emp. added).]
Third, consider also the fact that Jesus quoted from the Old Testament numerous times throughout His ministry. He quoted from Deuteronomy (6:13,16; 8:3) when tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). When the Pharisees connivingly asked Jesus a question about divorce (Matthew 19:1-10), the master Teacher directed their attention to God’s plan for marriage as recorded in the first book of the Bible (Genesis 1:27; 2:24; 5:2). When dying on the cross (Matthew 27:46), Jesus quoted from Psalm 22:1. Genesis, Deuteronomy, and the book of Psalms did not become authoritative when Jesus quoted from them; they were already authoritative, because they came from God. After quoting from the relatively obscure words in Psalm 82:6, Jesus said, “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). That is, it is impossible for Scripture to be annulled, for its authority to be denied, or its truth to be withstood (see Warfield, 1970, pp. 138-140). “It cannot be emptied of its force by being shown to be erroneous” (Morris, 1995, p. 468). Why? Because it was the authoritative, inspired, inerrant Word of God, even before Jesus quoted from it.
Indeed, the fact that Jesus quoted extensively from the Old Testament, appealing to it as the authoritative “Word of God” (Mark 7:13; John 10:35), is further proof that all of the Scriptures—not just the words Jesus spoke while on Earth—deserve our utmost respect. It is illogical and without biblical backing to suggest that the “Word of God” (whether the book of Genesis or the book of James) is somehow inferior to the “words of the Son of God.” [NOTE: Since Jesus fulfilled the Old Law (Matthew 5:17), taking “it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross,” God’s people have been amenable to the New Law (Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 8:7-13). Regardless of what law man is under, however, it is still proper to acknowledge that all Scripture should be respected because it is all God’s Word.]
Fourth, Jesus and the Bible writers even referred to narrational comments, and not just direct quotations from God, as being God’s Word. For example, when Jesus reminded His hypocritical hearers of God’s original design in marriage (Genesis 1-2), He quoted from Moses in Genesis 2:24. Yet Jesus explained that “He [God] who made them at the beginning…said” the words (Matthew 19:4-5). How could God have “said” this statement when Moses was not directly quoting God? Answer: If it is in Scripture, it is “God’s Word” (i.e., it was given by inspiration of God). When the writer of Hebrews quoted from the words of the psalmist (95:7-11), where nothing was said about this psalm being inspired by God, the Hebrews writer noted that these words were from “the Holy Spirit” (Hebrews 3:7-11). Why? Because the Holy Spirit guided the psalmist in what he wrote.
To treat the words of Moses, Paul, Peter, and other inspired penmen as “second class” Scripture is equivalent to saying that “God’s Word is not as important as God’s Word.” The fact is, “AllScripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16, emp. added). Paul quoted from Jesus and the God-inspired prophet Moses when writing to Timothy and elevated both as “Scripture” (1 Timothy 5:18). Therefore, whether we are reading a direct quotation from God the Father (Matthew 3:17), or a statement made by God the Son, or a truth revealed by God the Spirit through one of His inspired spokesmen or penmen (1 Corinthians 2:10-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21), all of Scripture should be respected and rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15). “I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold!... Consider how I love Your precepts… My heart stands in awe of Your word. I rejoice in Your word as one who finds great treasure… I love your law… My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly” (Psalm 119:127,159-163,165,167).
Morris, Leon (1995), The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), revised edition.
Warfield, Benjamin (1970 reprint), The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian & Reformed).
A Reaction to Big Bang Euphoria
|by||Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.|
I have heard that recent findings from a NASA satellite support the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe. Is this correct?
In 1992, newspapers plastered new findings about the Big Bang theory across their front pages. The Associated Press quoted physicist Joel Primack as saying that the new scientific data represent “one of the major discoveries of the century.” The reports often are couched in highly religious terms, suggesting that scientists have found the “Holy Grail of cosmology.” What is all this talk about, and what is its significance to the biblical record of creation?
The Big Bang theory rests on three basic assumptions: (1) that from some sort of original “cosmic egg,” itself smaller than a single proton, hydrogen and helium atoms were created and ultimately gave rise (through a process called “nucleosynthesis”) to 99% of the visible matter in the Universe; (2) that the heat generated by this initial process has cooled to only a few degrees above absolute zero; and (3) that the Universe is expanding away from a central point. These points have been discussed in a previous article (Major, 1991). But how is the current controversy related to these assumptions, and what ramifications do these new findings have on biblical creation?
Although the extremely high temperatures thought to be associated with the Big Bang could not be measured directly, evolutionary cosmologists felt that one day it might be possible to find a remnant of these temperatures in what they termed “background” radiation—the “afterglow” of the Big Bang. In 1965, two scientists from Bell Laboratories, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, pointed an improvised radio telescope into space and found a uniform background radiation of three degrees above absolute zero (3-Kelvin). Cosmologists took this as evidence for the Big Bang, and Drs. Penzias and Wilson subsequently were awarded a Nobel Prize for their discovery. In 1989, NASA launched its Cosmic Background Explorer satellite (COBE), and it began its survey of deep space. It, too, found a 3-K temperature (or, more correctly, 2.735 ±0.06 K, measured to an accuracy of one in 10,000).
There were still serious problems with the Big Bang theory, however. For example, in any Big Bang scenario—according to evolutionists’ assumptions about initial conditions—the Universe can contain no more than 10% protons, neutrons, and other ordinary matter found in stars, planets, etc. What makes the rest of the matter—90-99% of the Universe—still is a mystery. Cosmologists do not know what it is, and have not found direct evidence of its existence. One suggestion is that it consists of “cold dark matter”—“cold” because it cannot interact with other matter (except gravitationally), and “dark” because it cannot be seen. Evolutionists need this matter—both known and unknown—to allow for expansion and galaxy formation. If this extra matter did not exist, the ordinary matter of the Universe would have scattered into the empty reaches of space without ever coming together to form galaxies.
The problem is, the Universe is “lumpy.” There are clusters of galaxies, for example, which stretch 550 million light years across the sky. The cold dark matter theory cannot account for this, and circumventing this problem is what the current controversy is all about. Big Bang supporters now are suggesting that the “cosmic egg” had small defects—minor variations that could grow into major variations. The existence of these “minor variations” should have had some effect on the background radiation. However, until now, the evidence of any serious fluctuations in the background radiation has been conspicuously absent, leaving the Big Bang concept riddled with problems for which there seemingly were no solutions.
When NASA’s COBE satellite reported its first results, those results supported previous findings of a uniform background radiation. A second survey was carried out to an accuracy not of one in 10,000, but to one in 100,000. The current media reports are all about the results of this last survey, which evolutionists say documents the existence of minor variations in the background temperature of the known Universe.
These variations are presumed to represent early defects, which could explain how the Universe got to be so “lumpy.” However, most people likely are unaware of the infinitesimal nature of the variations being reported. In reality, the “variations” differ by barely thirty-millionths of a Kelvin from the approximate 3-K background. Some scientists doubt that these are large enough to account for the large-scale structure of the Universe (see Flam, 1992). So, while scientists were relieved to find variations, they have been forced to admit that the results are not exactly what they need to “fix” the theory.
Recent articles in science journals also make mention of other concerns. For example, the measured temperature variations, according to the principal investigator, George Smoot, are “well below the level of instrumental noise.” In other words, the variations may turn out to be statistically unimportant, because the instruments are not accurate enough to produce the published results. Al Kogut, who also worked on the initial research project, said: “You can’t point to any one point in the data and say that’s signal and that’s noise” (see Flam, 1992). These evolutionists believe, of course, that they are observing a real phenomenon, and not just instrument noise. [It should be pointed out, however, that the variations were not apparent from the raw data. They were “extracted” by manipulating COBE’s data.]
These recent findings are not an unqualified success, and should be downgraded from “greatest discovery” to “interesting,” and from “proof” to “possible corroboration.” The British journalNature commented: “The simple conclusion, that the data so far authenticated are consistent with the doctrine of the Big Bang, has been amplified in newspapers and broadcasts into proof that ‘we now know’ how the Universe began. This is cause for some alarm” (1992, p. 731).
Not so long ago, adherents of the Big Bang held to a smooth Universe, and pointed with pride to the uniform background radiation. Then they found large-scale structures, and revised their “predictions.” Now they have found infinitesimal variations, and are hailing them as the greatest discovery of the century. We must urge caution when a theory, claiming to be scientific, escapes falsification by continual modification with ad hoc, stopgap measures. Certainly there is no need for George Smoot to say, “If you’re religious, it’s like looking at God.” This statement spurred the media to seek comments from various religious quarters. According to the Associated Press, the “Rev. Mr. Burnham said many theologians will find having another confirmation of the big bang theory to be very compatible with the belief that God created the universe out of pre-existent chaos.” However, the idea that God just started the creation and left it to evolve on its own is not supported anywhere in the Bible. The evolutionists’ time scale is inconsistent with biblical chronology, and the creation record tells us that God created the heavenly objects on the fourth day. This order of creation differs markedly from the evolutionary account. Overall, this new discovery is not anywhere near as conclusive as its promoters claim. The Big Bang theory still is rife with problems.
Major, Trevor (1991), “The Big Bang in Crisis,” Reason & Revelation, 11:21-24, June.
Flam, Faye (1992), “COBE Finds the Bumps in the Big Bang,” Science, 256:612, May 1.
Nature (1992), “Big Bang Brouhaha,” 356:731, April 30.
A God Like That
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
If a hundred atheists, agnostics, or unbelievers were asked why they do not believe in God, they might give a hundred different reasons. Certainly, no single reason has emerged as the quintessential answer for unbelief. The problem of evil, pain, and suffering would rank at the top of the list, as well as the claim that “religion” is unscientific.
There is, however, another primary reason that many people give for not believing in the God of the Bible. They say that they would believe in a god if he acted different than the one in the Bible, but they simply “cannot” believe in a god that would act like the one discussed in the “holy book.” An excellent example of this argument comes from an article written by Ronald Defenbaugh. In it, he chronicled his life, pointing out specific times when his unbelief was confirmed by a particular action or idea taught by a “religious” individual or institution. In a paragraph detailing his early years of raising a family, he stated:
One evening, a friend about the same age as us rode home with us from one of our children’s sporting events. This was the first time I realized I may have a real problem with believing. She was a good friend of my spouse’s, a member of our Church and very religious. I don’t remember how the subject came up but salvation was our subject of conversation. She stated that even though my father had been an honest, caring person who did nothing but good, he would not receive salvation. He could only go to Heaven if he accepted Christ as his Savior. I remember thinking that I wanted no part of a deity that sent my father to Hell under those circumstances. Why would a baby, or my father, or even me be sent to Hell just because we didn’t accept Christ as our Savior? What about the Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists? Again, what about me? This started me thinking that I probably was without belief. Or at least I didn’t understand it. It didn’t fit my logic (2003).
While his reference to God sending a baby to hell is without any biblical support, his understanding of the teaching of the concept that the God of the Bible will send to hell all individuals who have reached the age of accountability (the level of mental maturity at which a person is capable of understanding the concept of his or her own sin) and who have not accepted Jesus Christ, is absolutely accurate (John 8:24). Understanding this precept very clearly, he stated that he “wanted no part of a deity” like that. It is almost as if he is implying that if the God of the Bible were a little different, or if He better “fit” Defenbaugh’s own ideas, then he might be willing to believe in such a God.
Let’s analyze this position. Those who “cannot” believe in a God like the one in the Bible, conveniently accept as true all the characteristics of God that make Him look like a heartless tyrant. For instance, they accept that the God of the Bible is a deity Who has ordered executions of “immoral” nations that do not worship Him. They also accept that the God of the Bible will confine certain individuals to eternal destruction due to the “wrong” decisions of those individuals. (The word wrong is in quotation marks because the actions the Bible labels as wrong and the actions accepted as wrong by many unbelievers often are quite different.) After flipping through the Bible and compiling a list of all the things that they think a true god should not do, they then declare that they cannot believe in a god that would do such things.
In doing this, they neglect to accept the other characteristics of the God of the Bible that would make acceptable His actions and decisions. For instance, 1 John 3:20 states that God “knows everything.” There is not an unbeliever alive who would claim to know everything. Could it be that the things known by the God of the Bible, which are unknown to the skeptic, might just be the very things that could sufficiently explain God’s actions? Isaiah 55:8-9 states: “ ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’ ” If the skeptic accepts from the Bible the ideas about God with which he disagrees, is he not equally obligated to accept the statements about God that explain the depth of God’s character? If the thoughts of God and the ways of God are far above all the ways of man, could it be that, in the great cosmic scheme of things, an all-knowing God might have some plans of which the skeptic is not fully informed?
To postulate a capricious God Who confines people to eternal destruction simply because those people do not “dot a few i’s” or “cross a few t’s” seems an easy straw man to destroy. Yet, when the “rest of the story” is told, the picture becomes much clearer. The fuller portrait of the God of the Bible is of a deity Who is all knowing (1 John 3:20) everlastingly righteous (Psalm 119:142), loving (John 3:16), compassionate and merciful (James 5:11), anxious for all men to be saved (2 Peter 3:9), and willing to give them numerous opportunities to do so (Acts 17:26-27).
The later portion of Defenbaugh’s article reveals the true essence of rejecting the God of the Bible. Defenbaugh commented that atheism “means no belief—no belief at all, godly, ungodly or otherwise. No Satan, Hell, Heaven, God, Jesus, Angel, Holy Ghost, no nothing. I am free of all constraints. The only person I have to answer to is Man—each man.” Once again, Defenbaugh hit the nail on the head when it came to his concept of the God of the Bible. God demands certain things from His human creation. But since Defenbaugh does not want to comply with those things, he has chosen instead to disbelieve, so that he can be “free of all constraints.” Yes, it truly is easy to answer “each man” since all human opinion carries equal weight. But “God is not a man” (Numbers 23:19), and “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). In reality, after the Bible’s entire picture of God is allowed to shine through, in all its glory, no other god could measure up to “a God like that.”
Defenbaugh, Ronald (2003), “Why I Couldn’t Deconvert,” [On-line], URL: http://www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=263.
Did Jesus Deny Deity and Moral Perfection in Mark 10:18?
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
The New Testament writers repeatedly testified to the fact that, though Jesus “was in all points tempted as we are,” He was “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Paul claimed that Jesus “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Peter said that Christ “committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”—that He was the perfect sacrificial Lamb, “without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 2:22; 1:19). Likewise, John wrote that in Christ “there is no sin” (1 John 3:5). Jesus was supremely “pure,” “righteous,” and “good” (1 John 3:3; 2:1; John 10:11,14).
Additionally, the New Testament has much to say about the divine nature of Christ. Jesus claimed to be the Messiah (Mark 14:62; John 4:25-26), Whom Isaiah prophesied would be “Mighty God” and “Jehovah” (Isaiah 9:6; 40:3). Jesus accepted worship while in the form of a man (John 9:38)—implying that He, too, was Deity (Matthew 4:10; cf. Acts 12:21-23; 14:14-15). Jesus forgave sins, which only God can do (Mark 2:5-10). The apostle John said that Jesus “was God” (John 1:1). Jesus claimed to be “one” with God (John 10:30), leading His hearers to believe that He made Himself “God” (10:33). And, after the apostle Thomas called Jesus “Lord” and “God” (John 20:28), Jesus immediately acknowledged Thomas’ faith, rather than deny the deity that Thomas had just professed. In his letter to the Philippians Paul wrote that Christ Jesus “being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6). In fact, “in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).
In light of the fact that the Bible claims repeatedly that Jesus was both “good” and “God,” some contend that in Mark 10:18 (and Matthew 19:17) Jesus said just the opposite. In an article titled “New Testament Contradictions,” Paul Carlson stated that Mark 10:18 (among other passages) is “an embarrassment to the church,” as it indicates “Jesus did not consider himself sinless” (1995). By saying, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God” (Mark 10:18), allegedly “Jesus made a clear distinction between himself and God,” and, according to Muslims, Matthew and Mark “believed that Jesus was not God” (“The Bible Denies…,” 2014, emp. added). According to skeptic Dennis McKinsey, in Mark 10:18, “Jesus is not only admitting that he is not perfectly moral but that he is not God” (McKinsey, 2000, p. 247).
Does Jesus actually admit not being “good” and “God” in Mark 10:18? How did Jesus respond to the wealthy young ruler who asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Did He deny being perfectly moral and Divine? The simple fact is, Jesus never denied being good or God.
So what did Jesus mean? Before answering this question, one must keep in mind that Jesus often responded to questions in unexpected, masterful ways. He offered thought-provoking, soul-searching answers (often in the form of questions) that, unfortunately, many people have misinterpreted. [Consider, for example, when the Pharisees asked Jesus about why His disciples allegedly broke the law of Moses and plucked heads of grain as they walked through the fields on the Sabbath. Rather than explicitly deny that the apostles were disregarding the Law of Moses, Jesus asked His accusers two very appropriate (and very perceptive) questions:
Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? (Matthew 12:3-5).
Although many have misinterpreted Jesus’ response on this occasion to justify situation ethics, Jesus did nothing of the sort. The only “law” that Jesus’ disciples broke while going through the grain fields (Matthew 12:1-8) was the Pharisaical interpretation of the Law (see Lyons, 2003 for more information; see also Miller, 2004).]
The rich young ruler was confident in his keeping of various commandments (Mark 10:20), but he surely never thought that Jesus would instruct him to sell whatever he had and give it to the poor—to leave everything and follow Him (10:21). Similarly, when the young ruler initially came to Jesus, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” he never expected Jesus to say, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God” (10:17-18).
The young man seems to have regarded himself as “good” (since he professed to have kept all of the commandments that Jesus mentioned—Mark 10:20). Perhaps the gentleman simply wanted to know—from one good man to another good man (a “good teacher”)—what do I need to do to inherit eternal life. Rather than immediately answer the young man’s question, however, it seems Jesus first wanted (1) to humble him, by highlighting that he was not as “good” as he considered himself to be, and (2) for him to realize Who exactly he was questioning. He wasn’t merely petitioning a “good” (Greek agathos) man.
The Bible records various (mere) human beings who were called “good” (agathos). Luke recorded that “Barnabas was a good man” (Acts 11:24). Paul indicated that Christians are to “do good to all” (Galatians 6:10). (Are Christians who do good, “good” Christians?) Even Jesus stated previous to His encounter with the rich young ruler that “a good man out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth good things” (Matthew 12:35). Thus, clearly when Jesus spoke to the wealthy ruler He was not using “good” in the sense of a man being “good.” Rather, He was using it in the sense of God being absolutely, supremely good. The kind of goodness to which He referred belonged only to God. The only way man can objectively call someone “good” is if there is an ultimate standard for goodness—the supreme, unblemished, good God.
Jesus never said what skeptics, Muslims, and others allege He said—that He was not good, or that He was not God. Instead, Jesus attempted to get the rich young ruler to see the implications of calling Him “good teacher.” Do good (merely) human teachers claim to be the Messiah? Do goodmen accept worship and honor due only to God (John 5:23)? Do good men claim to have the power to forgive sins? Absolutely not! But Jesus had the power to forgive sins. He actually claimed to be the Messiah and accepted worship. So what was Jesus implying when He asked the young ruler, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God”? As Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe observed:
Jesus was saying to him, “Do you realize what you are saying when you call Me Good? Are you saying I am God?”… Jesus was forcing him to a very uncomfortable dilemma. Either Jesus was good and God, or else He was bad and man. A good God or a bad man, but not merely a good man. Those are the real alternatives with regard to Christ. For no good man would claim to be God when he was not. The liberal Christ, who was only a good moral teacher but not God, is a figment of human imagination (1992, p. 350).
To contend that Mark 10:18 proves that Jesus thought Himself to be neither morally perfect nor God is (1) to disregard the overall context of the Bible, (2) to twist the Scriptures like untaught and unstable people do—“to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16), and (3) to take a superficial reading of the text. Far from denying the deity of Christ, Mark 10:17-22 actually affirms it. The young ruler “called Christ a ‘good teacher,’ with no indication that he understood Jesus to be the Messiah. Jesus seized on the word ‘good,’ pointed out that if the man thought He was good, then He must be God” (Roper, 2:203), because only God is innately and supremely good.
“The Bible Denies the Divinity of Jesus” (2014), A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam,http://www.islam-guide.com/ch3-10-1.htm.
Carlson, Paul (1995), “New Testament Contradictions,” The Secular Web,http://infidels.org/library/modern/paul_carlson/nt_contradictions.html.
Geisler, Norman L. and Thomas A. Howe (1992), When Critics Ask (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books).
Lyons, Eric (2003), “Did Jesus Condone Law-Breaking?” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=1276.
McKinsey, Dennis (2000), Biblical Errancy (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books).
Miller, Dave (2004), “Situation Ethics,” Apologetics Press,https://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1064.
Roper, David (2003), The Life of Christ (Searcy, AR: Resource Publications).
"Those Ignorant, Stupid, Insane, Wicked Creationists"
|by||Bert Thompson, Ph.D.|
The attack is on. It’s not the first time. And if history teaches us anything, it will not be the last. Evolutionists are mad. But they do not intend to just “get angry”; they intend to “get even.” The walls of their Neo-Darwinian Jericho are crumbling around them. They know it. They’ve known it for a long, long time. The problem is, now other people are figuring it out as well. A lot of other people! The time to act has come. Take off the gloves. Get down. Get mean. Get dirty. Win—at all cost!
Creationism has been making far too much headway, in far too many places—with far too much favorable publicity. Sound the battle call. Rally the troops. Call out the reserves. Enlist the allies. Engage the enemy. Press forward. Refuse to retreat!
What enemy? The late Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard referred to that enemy as the “militant fundamentalists who label themselves with the oxymoron ‘scientific creationists,’ and try to sneak their Genesis literalism into high school classrooms under the guise of scientific dissent.” Dr. Gould complained: “I’m used to their rhetoric, their dishonest mis-and half-quotations, their constant repetition of ‘useful’ arguments that even they must recognize as nonsense.” Yet, he explained to his fellow evolutionists, “our struggle with these ideologues is political, not intellectual.” And last, he said he refused to engage in dialog with creationists, but rather chose instead to deal with “our allies among people committed to reason and honorable argument”—a description that, from Gould’s vantage point, apparently would exclude creationists by definition (1987, 8:64, emp. added).
And it gets worse. Richard Dawkins, the enraged evolutionist of Oxford University, put it this way: “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that)” [1989, p. 3, emp. added].
Now comes John Rennie, the editor of Scientific American, to enter the fray. In the July 2002 issue, Mr. Rennie penned an article titled “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense” in which he caricatured creationism, while feebly attempting to bolster the increasingly faltering theory of organic evolution. Joining Mr. Rennie is Thomas Hayden, a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report who authored the cover story of the magazine’s July 29, 2002 issue (“A Theory Evolves”)—a feature plainly intended to “strike back” at creationists, as Hayden made clear when he echoed the evolutionists’ party line: “The evidence against evolution amounts to little more than ‘I can’t imagine it.’ That’s not evidence. That’s just giving up” (133:50).
Well, gentlemen, I have news for you. We are not giving up! You have thrown down the gauntlet; we will not hesitate to pick it up. You have drawn the line in the sand; we will not shrink from crossing it. Your bullying tactics and name calling may intimidate some and impress others. It accomplishes neither with us. We know what you are trying to do, and we know why you are trying to do it. We know about your “hidden agenda.”
Your compatriot, geneticist Richard Lewontin of Harvard, let it slip in his 1997 review of Carl Sagan’s posthumously published book, Billions and Billions, when he admitted that evolutionists “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, emp. added).
Just as we thought all along! You must find a way—organic evolution—to rid yourself of that “Divine Foot in the door.” Nice to see you finally admit it. Well, once again, gentlemen, I have news for you. God’s foot is in the door, whether you like it or not—all your attempts to prevent it notwithstanding. And there is nothing you can say or do to stop it, because neither He, nor we, will be going “quietly into the night.” Not now. Not ever. Yes, the attack is on. But we are at the vanguard of that attack. You are losing the battle—and you will lose the war! Truth always triumphs over error.
Dawkins, Richard (1989), “Book Review” (of Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey’s Blueprint), The New York Times, section 7, April 9.
Gould, Stephen J. (1987), “Darwinism Defined: The Difference Between Fact and Theory,”Discover, 8:64-65,68-70, January.
Hayden, Thomas (2002), “A Theory Evolves,” U.S. News & World Report, 133:42-50, July 29.
Lewontin, Richard (1997), “Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review, January 9.
[NOTE: Our responses to both U.S. News & World Report and Scientific American in this issue of Reason & Revelation are the abbreviated versions. To view or download the complete, uncut versions, please click here for the U.S. News & World Report refutation, or click here for theScientific American rebuttal.] — Bert Thompson