"THE BOOK OF DANIEL" Daniel In The Lions' Den (6:1-28) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF DANIEL"

                   Daniel In The Lions' Den (6:1-28)


1. The faith of Daniel has been an inspiration to many young people...
   a. Due to his faith as a young man, when only 15-17 years old
   b. In which he purposed in his heart not to defile himself - Dan 1:8

2. Daniel should also be an inspiration to elderly people...
   a. As an example of service and commitment in our "golden years"
   b. For we can also read of his faith as old man, perhaps in his 

[The account of elder Daniel's faith is found in Dan 6:1-28, involving
an incident commonly referred to as "Daniel In The Lion's Den".  The
story is certainly worthy of our careful consideration, and so we begin
our study by reading verse one...]


      1. He is appointed one of three governors over the kingdom - Dan 6:1-2
         a. The kingdom may be Babylon (Chaldea), recently conquered by
            the Medo-Persian empire - Dan 5:30-31
         b. The identity of Darius the Mede is uncertain, possibly a
            man known as Gubara appointed by Cyrus of Persia to rule
      2. Daniel "distinguished" himself above the others - Dan 6:3
         a. His success was due to his "excellent spirit", not cunning
            or political maneuvering
         b. Proving one can be successful in business and politics
            without compromising character
         c. Darius contemplates setting Daniel over the whole realm

      1. His success leads to envy by others - Dan 6:4
         a. Even the most godly men can have their enemies (e.g.,
            David, Christ)
         b. Enemies by virtue of jealousy
      2. His noble character is attested to by his enemies - Dan 6:4
         a. They could make no charge against him, finding no fault or
            error in him
         b. Because he was "faithful" (i.e., trustworthy, dependable)
      3. His enemies determine there is only one way to defeat him 
         - Dan 6:5
         a. To find some conflict between the law of God and that of
            the land
         b. Which they then set out to do

      1. The king is approached by Daniel's enemies - Dan 6:6
      2. They propose a royal statute, a firm decree - Dan 6:7
         a. That no petition can be made of any god or man for thirty
            days, except the king
         b. Under punishment of being cast into the den of lions
      3. The king is encouraged to establish the decree - Dan 6:8-9
         a. Which according to the law of the Medes and Persians,
            cannot be altered
         b. King Darius signs the decree

[Daniel's faith in God brought him success up to this point.  But now
the exercise of his faith could cause him to lose it all!  What would
we have done in his place?  As we continue to read, we see what Daniel


      1. Knowing full well that the decree had been signed - Dan 6:10
      2. Practicing a custom common among the Jews - Dan 6:10
         a. Praying three times a day - cf. Ps 55:17
         b. Praying toward Jerusalem - cf. 1Ki 8:27-30
         c. Praying on his knees (a common posture for prayer) - cf. 
            1Ki 8:54
         d. Praying with thankfulness to God, even in times of trouble
            - cf. Php 4:6
      3. His own custom since "early days" - Dan 6:10
         a. Though great and powerful, fervent prayer was not beneath
         b. Though aged, he had not grown weary of prayer

      1. His enemies catch Daniel praying - Dan 6:11
      2. His enemies report Daniel to the king - Dan 6:12-13
         a. Reminding Darius of the unalterable decree
         b. Accusing Daniel of disregarding the king and his decree
      3. The king is forced to abide by his own decree - Dan 6:14-15
         a. Displeased with himself, the king tries to deliver Daniel
         b. Daniel's enemies pressure the king to abide by his decree

      1. Yet the king is hopeful - Dan 6:16
         a. That Daniel's God will deliver him
         b. Whom Daniel had served "continually"
         -- Would he have had such hope if Daniel was sporadic in his
            service to God?
      2. The den is closed with a stone and sealed - Dan 6:17
         a. Sealed with the signet ring of the king and his lords
         b. Ensuring that the purpose concerning Daniel would not be

[It appears Daniel's enemies have won.  He is in the lions' den and it
is sealed. Yet could any "seal" by man ever keep God from accomplishing
His plans (don't forget the "sealed" tomb! - cf. Mt 27:62-66)?  And so
we read how...]


      1. His night is restless - Dan 6:18
         a. He spends the night fasting, and without musicians
         b. He can't sleep
      2. His concern for Daniel is evident - Dan 6:19-20
         a. Rising early in the morning, going in haste to the den
         b. Crying to Daniel with a lamenting voice
         c. Wondering if God has delivered Daniel
            1) A servant of the living God
            2) Who serves God continually

      1. Daniel answers the king - Dan 6:21-22
         a. With respect to the king ("O king, live forever!")
            1) Despite what the king had done to him
            2) An example of blessing those who persecute you
         b. With word of God's great deliverance
            1) Saved by an angel of God - cf. Dan 3:28
            2) Who shut the lions' mouths
         c. With affirmation of his innocence
            1) Innocent before God
            2) Guilty of no wrong before the king
      2. Darius removes Daniel from the den - Dan 6:23
         a. The king being exceedingly glad
         b. Daniel with no injury found on him
      -- Daniel is delivered from the lions, because he believed in His
         God (i.e., saved by faith!)

      1. Cast into the same trap intended for Daniel, along with their
         families - Dan 6:24
      2. As often happens, those who set the trap get caught in it!
         a. Cf. Haman, hung on the gallows he built for Mordecai - Est
         b. As contemplated by David, warned by Solomon - Ps 7:14-16;
            Pr 1:10-19

      1. Darius makes a decree that the God of Daniel be feared - Dan 6:25-27
         a. He is the living God, and steadfast forever
         b. His kingdom is indestructible, and His dominion everlasting
      2. Another pagan king comes to realize Who is really in control!
         a. As did Nebuchadnezzar - Dan 4:34-35
         b. As did Belshazzar, only too late - Dan 5:26-28

      1. In the reign of Darius, who ruled Chaldea - Dan 6:28
      2. In the reign of Cyrus of Persia (who also ruled over Darius)
         - cf. Dan 1:21


1. What were the noble qualities of this aged saint?  He was a man...
   a. With an excellent spirit - Dan 6:3
   b. Without fault in his business dealings - Dan 6:4
   c. Faithful to those over him - Dan 6:4
   d. Committed to prayer throughout his life - Dan 6:10
   e. Willing to obey God rather than man - Dan 6:10
   -- Putting it simply, he was a man who "believed in his God"! - Dan 6:23
2. "Daniel In The Lions' Den" is a story that has thrilled many
   a. But its lessons are not just for children
   b. Daniel is a role model for adults as well
      1) For politicians
      2) For everyone involved in administrative affairs
      3) For all Christians, especially older ones

May we all learn from the example of Daniel, who exemplified what it
means to seek first the will of God (cf. Mt 6:33), and to obey God
rather than men (cf. Ac 5:29)!

"THE BOOK OF DANIEL" The Hand Writing On The Wall (5:1-31) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF DANIEL"

                 The Hand Writing On The Wall (5:1-31)


1. So far in our study of the book of Daniel, we have seen...
   a. The faith of young Daniel, who made the commitment not to defile
      himself - Dan 1
   b. The first dream of Nebuchadnezzar, interpreted by Daniel - Dan 2
      1) Prophesying the rise and fall of four world empires
      2) Foretelling the establishment of the kingdom of Christ
   c. The faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the face of fire
      - Dan 3
   d. The second dream of Nebuchadnezzar and it is fulfillment, 
      confirming that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men - Dan 4

2. We now come to the Dan 5, where we find an incident familiar to
   a. The event is often called:  "The Hand Writing On The Wall"
   b. As with any Old Testament account, it was written for our
      admonition - cf. 1Co 10:11

[As we begin with the text, we first read of...]


      1. The time is now about 539 B.C.
         a. Nebuchadnezzar had died in 562 B.C.
         b. He was succeeded by his son, Evil-Merodach - cf. 2Ki 25:27
            1) After two years he was assassinated by Nergilissar, his
            2) Who in turn died four years later (556 B.C.), leaving
               the throne to his infant son, Labashi-Marduk
            3) Labashi-Marduk was soon deposed by a priestly revolution
         c. Nabonidus, a former priest under Nebuchadnezzar, was made
            king in 556 B.C.
            1) Who was more interested in scholarly and religious 
            2) So he appointed his son Belshazzar as ruler of Babylon
               in his place
         d. Belshazzar therefore became co-regent in 550 B.C.
            1) He was "second" in command
            2) Which explains why he offered Daniel only the "third"
               position in the kingdom - cf. Dan 5:16,29
            3) Nebuchadnezzar is called his "father" - Dan 5:2,11,13,
               a) Nabodonius (Belshazzar's father) may have been
                  Nebuchadnezzar's son-in-law, and it was common to
                  refer to one's ancestor as "father"
               b) Or "father" may be used figuratively
      2. Belshazzar throws a big feast - Dan 5:1-3
         a. Nebuchadnezzar had taken gold and silver vessels from the
            temple in Jerusalem - cf. 2Ch 36:10
         b. Belshazzar adds insult to injury by using them in the feast

      1. The king and guests foolishly praised the creation rather than
         the Creator
      2. Would we ever stoop so low?  
         a. Worship the gods of silver and gold?   
         b. Become guilty of idolatry?
      3. We do if we succumb to the sin of covetousness! - Ep 5:5; Co
         a. When we make mammon (material riches) our god - cf. Mt 6:24
         b. When we make created things the prime focus of our time and

[As we continue in Dan 5, notice how quickly things change as we read


      1. The fingers of a man's hands appear - Dan 5:5a
      2. They write on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace 
         - Dan 5:5b
      3. Belshazzar sees the part of the hand that wrote - Dan 5:5c

      1. In the case of King Belshazzar...
         a. One moment his heart is puffed up with pride
         b. The next moment, his knees are knocking together - Dan 5:6
         -- A vivid illustration of:  "Pride goes before destruction,
            And a haughty spirit before a fall." - Pr 16:18
      3. All he saw was a man's hand...
         a. What if he had seen the face of God?
         b. If just a tiny manifestation of God's power had that
            effect, then what would be the effect of coming face to
            face with God?
      4. What about the coming Judgment?   Will we be able to stand?
         a. Not if we are wicked - cf. Ps 1:5
         b. But we can if we have pure hearts and holy hands - cf. Psa 24:3-5

      1. Once again, a king appeals first to those unable to help - Dan 5:7-9
      2. Just as Nebuchadnezzar did in Dan 2,4
      3. People often do the same thing today in times of crisis
         a. They go to the wrong place for help
            1) Looking to their own strength or wisdom
            2) Or that of other people
         b. When they need to trust in God first - cf. Pr 3:5-10; Mt6:33

[As we continue with the Biblical account, we read of...]


      1. The queen was likely the "queen mother", for the wives were
         already present - Dan 5:10-12; cf. 5:2
      2. Note that the queen was not present at the banquet...
         a. Could the one who knew where to turn in time of trouble,
            have also known the banquet was no place for her to be?
         b. Those who like to party and "live it up" are usually those
            who are lost in despair when trouble strikes!

      1. Twice the king says "I have heard of you" - Dan 5:13-16
         a. It sounds as though the king knew him only by reputation
         b. He evidently had not made much effort to know Daniel prior
            to this event
      2. People in the world are not much different
         a. They make little effort to get to know the people of God
         b. But in times of sickness, trials, and death, where do they
            turn?  To the church, of course
         -- The time to get to know God's people is before, not after!

[Next comes...]


      1. At this point the character of Daniel really shines - Dan 5:17
      2. Unlike many, who teach only if given gifts (or "love
      3. Daniel willingly tells the truth for free

      1. The lesson from Nebuchadnezzar's second dream is recounted 
         - Dan 5:18-21
      2. We would do well to learn from history
         a. Those who ignore history, are doomed to repeat it
         b. This is especially true with inspired history!

      1. Belshazzar did not learn from his father's experience - Dan 5:
         a. He exalted himself, when he should have glorified God
         b. This handwriting on the wall was sent
      2. When will people learn from history?
         a. Should we not learn from the pride of Pharaoh in the book
            of Exodus?
         b. Should we not learn from the murmuring of the Israelites in
            the wilderness?
         -- Indeed, inspired history was written for our learning! 
            - Rom 15:4; 1Co 10:11

[Belshazzar failed to benefit from his knowledge of God's dealings with
mankind, and so upon him was to come...]


      1. The meaning of:  "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin" - Dan 5:25-28
         a. Mene - God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it
         b. Tekel - You have been weighed in the balances, and found
         c. Peres (Upharsin) - Your kingdom has been divided, and given
            to the Medes and Persians.
      2. From the Believer's Study Bible:
         a. The term mene (Aram.) could be the monetary "mina," or a
            participle meaning "numbered." Its repetition produces the
            sense "thoroughly numbered." God had set limits on 
            Belshazzar's kingdom.
         b. The term tekel (Aram.) could be a monetary unit 
            corresponding to the Hebrew shekel, or a participle meaning
         c. The final word upharsin (Aram.) could also be a monetary
            unit, a half-mina or half-shekel, or a plural participle
            from the verb paras, "divide," meaning "and divided."
         d. The message of Daniel's interpretation is that Belshazzar's
            kingdom had been numbered for destruction. The king himself
            is weighed and found wanting. The kingdom was to be taken
            away and given to the Medes and the Persians.

      1. Belshazzar is true to his promise - Dan 5:29
      2. But as we will soon see, what he gave Daniel was a "third of

      1. How quickly the proud and boastful can fall, despite power and
         wealth - Dan 5:30-31
         a. Herodotus indicates that Babylon fell as a consequence of
            the diverting of the waters of the Euphrates, allowing the
            enemy to enter under the city walls
         b. Other sources explain it as the result of treason and
            subterfuge from within, resulting in the opening of the
            gates to the conquering armies
      2. This is reminiscent of Jesus' story of the rich fool - Lk 12:
         a. Boasting one day
         b. Dead the next


1. The announcement of doom in this story was provoked in part 
   a. The king misused and abused some pieces of metal
   b. These pieces of metal were God's pieces of metal
   -- For such disregard of what belonged to God, a kingdom would be

2. Remember that we are the temple of God today - 1Co 3:16-17
   a. If God did not view lightly the misuse of His vessels then...
   b. Will He be casual about the impenitent abuse of His church today?
   -- Just as He destroyed the one who defiled His temple of old, so He
      will destroy those who defile His temple (the church) today!

Let's not wait for "The Hand Writing On The Wall" to tell us it is too
late, that judgment has been passed and the sentence is final.

Let's instead heed "The Hand That Wrote On The Ground" (i.e., Jesus,
Jn 8:6,8), while there is still time for mercy and forgiveness...
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

You Have Only One Shot by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


You Have Only One Shot

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The present pluralistic climate that prevails in American culture has disastrous implications. To suggest that all religions, all ideologies, all philosophies, and all beliefs are of equal validity, and ought to be tolerated as such, is to generate social anarchy and the destabilization of society that can end only in national suicide. Unless a single value system remains substantially intact in any given civilization, that society will lack the necessary “glue” to hold together. But even more tragic are the eternal implications for those who reject the truth regarding the only moral and spiritual reality, i.e., the Christian system.
For example, take the notion of reincarnation, a belief that permeates Hinduism, Buddhism, and New Age philosophy, and thus characterizes the thinking of upwards of two billion people (for brief discussions of reincarnation, see Valea, 2006; “Recarnation,” 2007). Here is a sinister doctrine that robs those masses of their one and only opportunity to prepare for afterlife. Reincarnation is the idea that at death, all human souls (according to some, animals as well) simply “recycle” into another body on Earth, and that this rebirth process is repeated over and over again until the individual eventually reaches the ultimate spiritual condition—nirvana and enlightenment.
Such a viewpoint inevitably must bring a sense of false comfort to the individual who embraces it. He or she naturally is not overly concerned with moral behavior and life choices. After all, multiple opportunities to live life over again are forthcoming. Herein lays the tragedy. The fact of the matter is that a human being has but “one shot” at life (Miller, 2003). Every person lives but one life on Earth and then must face death and Judgment (Hebrews 9:27). At death, a person’s spirit enters the Hadean realm to await the final Judgment and is unable to return to Earth (read Luke 16:19-31; cf. Miller, 2005). Consequently, it is absolutely imperative for every human being to examine God’s Word (the Bible) to ascertain how life is to be lived in view of eternity (cf. Butt, 2003). Millions of people literally are squandering their one and only opportunity to prepare themselves to secure everlasting happiness, and so will be consigned instead to everlasting torment (Matthew 25:31-46). Any doctrine that softens a person’s will to be conscientious regarding morality and behavior is a sinister doctrine that ought to be exposed and repudiated (Ephesians 5:11; 1 John 4:1).
[NOTE: For an audio sermon on what happens when we die, click here.]


Butt, Kyle (2003), “Reincarnation and the Bible,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2298.
Miller, Dave (2003), “One Second After Death,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2244.
Miller, Dave (2005), “Afterlife and the Bible,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2672.
Valea, Ernest (2006), “Reincarnation: Its Meaning and Consequences,” [On-line], URL: http://www.comparativereligion.com/reincarnation.html.
“Reincarnation” (2007), Wikipedia, [On-line], URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation.

Does the Presence of History in the Gospels Mean that They are Old Testament Books? by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


Does the Presence of History in the Gospels Mean that They are Old Testament Books?

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

Some have attempted to subvert the teachings of Christ by suggesting that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John belong in the Old Testament instead of in the New Testament (see Billingsley, n.d., p. 4; see also Brewer, 1941, pp. 85-90 for additional documentation of those who hold such a position). In doing so, they have promoted an erroneous theory that we can summarize in the following statement: “The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are history books, so they are Old Testament books. They contain a beneficial historical record of the life and times of Jesus Christ as He lived under Mosaic law, but no New Testament doctrine.”
What about the Gospel accounts? They contain substantial history concerning the life of Christ, but they also contain certain of His teachings. If any of those teachings can be shown to be different from Old Testament material and applicable to New Testament Christians—obligatory for faith and practice—then the books themselves must be accepted as part of the New Testament canon, because they contain commandments that are obligatory for those living under Christ’s covenant, as opposed to Moses’ covenant. The Gospel accounts contain just such doctrine. Consider the following passages:
Matthew 3 (and Mark 1; Luke 7): Jesus was baptized with John’s baptism “to fulfill all righteousness” (3:15). Jesus clearly endorsed John’s baptism (Luke 7:29), and when the Pharisees declined to submit to that baptism, they rejected the “counsel of God” (7:30). In this instance, Jesus required certain people to do more than what the Law of Moses required. The baptism of John certainly was foreign to the rules of the Mosaic Law. It would have done Moses no good to command the children of Israel to submit to the baptism of John, for John was not yet born, so his baptism would not have washed their sins away—yet here, Christ encouraged it (Mark 1:2-11; Luke 7:29-30). One purpose of John’s baptism was to prepare the hearts of people for the coming kingdom (Matthew 3:1-2; see Psalm 2). Baptism, as a religious ceremony, had been practiced, because of rabbinical tradition (Lindsay, 1994, 1:389; Moseley, n.d.). However, John’s teaching was distinct from the Law of Moses, ushering in a new era of obligation, as again emphasized in Luke 16:16: “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it” (emp. added).
Matthew 15 (and Mark 7): Christ taught something that, at the very least, sounded quite different from the then-operative Old Testament Law—the idea that foods which were considered unclean under the Old Testament Law did not defile a person, but rather the things that come from within (Matthew 15:11; cf. Mark 7:18-23). Jesus noted that foods do not go into people’s hearts—they do not directly affect people spiritually—but only go into the digestive system and are eliminated. “All these evil things,” Jesus said (specifically having mentioned adulteries, evil thoughts, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness), “come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:23). It appears that Christ taught a new doctrine here—one that would not become operative until after He took the Old Testament Law out of the way.
Matthew 18: In this similar circumstance, Jesus taught specific doctrine concerning how one should deal with an erring brother (18:15-20). The doctrine contained in Matthew 18:19-20 specifically addressed discipline in the church. Christ’s teaching in this instance is not merely an attempt to call erring Jews back to faithful Judaism; rather, Christ taught something new in this case, and unique to the rest the Bible (see Elkins, 1978, p. 528).
Matthew 26 (and Mark 14; Luke 22): Jesus initiated the Lord’s Supper (26:26-29), the practice of which is entirely different from any Mosaic ceremony. The fact that Christ initiated an ordinance that was not to be enforced immediately, but only after the church was established, is illustrative of the fact that Christ was within His rights when He gave legislation that would come into effect after the New Testament Law came into effect.
Matthew 28 (and Mark 16): Jesus gave to His apostles the command to take the Gospel to the whole world (a New Testament principle in itself). Notice that Jesus Himself stated that He had preached New Testament doctrine to His disciples. Christ told the apostles that, as they converted lost souls to Christ, they were to teach them “to observe all things that I have commanded you…” (28:20). Included in “all things that I have commanded you” was New Testament doctrine, because, in this instance, Christ was commanding His disciples to take the Gospel to “all the nations” for the purpose of baptizing people (28:19). If Christ had preached nothing but Old Testament doctrine, He surely would not have commanded His disciples to spread “all things that I have commanded you” to the nations after the Old Testament law had been put away.
John 3: Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Jesus called this the act of being “born again” (verse 7). Though the particular requirement of new birth through baptism was, in a sense, administered by John and Jesus in their baptisms, there was no provision for baptism in the Old Covenant.
John 13: Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (13:34, emp. added). In stating that the commandment was new, Jesus obviously intended to draw a distinction between His commandment and everything else that would have been familiar to His disciples concerning the topic they were discussing. Though the command to love one’s neighbor was not new (Leviticus 19:18), Christ’s command was new in that it demanded that we love not as we love ourselves, but as God loves us. This would be the sign to non-Christians that the disciples really were followers of Christ (13:35; see Pack, 1977, 5:54-55). The command itself is repeated in the record of John 15:12,17, and Christ emphasized it again in Luke 10:33-36 when He relayed the parable commonly called “The Good Samaritan,” illustrating that followers of Christ are to have love for all people (Galatians 6:10).
We are assured that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John belong in the New Testament, for they contain teachings that are not contained in the Old Testament, but that are obligatory for the Christian’s faith and practice. The gospels certainly are much more than just Old Testament history books.


Billingsly, Dan (no date), “Roy Deaver’s Doctrinal Dilemma,” Fundamental Bible Studies.
Brewer, G.C. (1941), Contending for the Faith (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
Elkins, Garland (1978) “A Review of the ‘No-Remarriage-for-Any-Reason’ Theory,” Your Marriage Can Be Great, ed. Thomas B. Warren (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
Lindsay, T.M. (1994), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, ed. James Orr (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
Moseley, Ron (no date), “The Jewish Background of Christian Baptism,” [On-line], URL: http://www.haydid.org/ronimmer.htm.
Pack, Frank (1977), The Living Word Commentary, ed. Everett Ferguson (Austin, TX: Sweet).

Design Rules by Jerry Fausz, Ph.D.


Design Rules

by  Jerry Fausz, Ph.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written by one of A.P.’s auxiliary staff scientists. Dr. Fausz holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech and serves as liaison to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. (All images in Dr. Fausz’ article are Courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov.)]
One of the most fascinating areas of modern engineering research is the development of what has become known as MicroElectroMechanical Systems, or MEMS. Imagine a closed-cycle steam engine no bigger than a pinhead that operates on a single drop of water (e.g., Frechette, et al., 2003, pp. 335-344), or mirror mechanisms for micro-optical systems with structures that can be obscured by a single dust mite (McWhorter, 2001; McWhorter, 2006). These devices are so miniscule that their operational performance has to be verified through a microscope. MEMS devices are used to actuate airbags in automobiles, precisely control optics in digital projectors and video cameras, and perform a variety of other functions (see “SAMPLES Program,” 2005; “MEMS Technology,” 2006). Yet, we have barely scratched the surface of possible applications for MEMS.
spider mite
Spider mite on mirror assembly
The fabrication process for MEMS devices is the epitome of exacting, painstaking effort, requiring the highest levels of intricacy and precision. Built on technology developed to fabricate integrated circuits, the procedures for building MEMS must follow methodical rules and be carried out in a tightly controlled environment. This requires very expensive, high fidelity robotic assembly lines operating in clean rooms with extremely low contaminant concentrations (one speck of dust could be the proverbial monkey wrench for these mechanisms). As in the case of micro-chips, MEMS fabrication controls must be followed strictly for the devices to have any chance of carrying out their design functions once their fabrication is complete (“SAMPLES Program,” 2005).
Thus, in the design, fabrication, and operation of MEMS devices, it is clear that “small” is not synonymous with “simple” or “easy to understand or fabricate.” As seen through the microscope, MEMS parts are easily as complex as their counterparts on the larger scale, if not more so. Furthermore, due to the strict requirements imposed by the meticulous fabrication process, the MEMS designer must exercise much more care in laying out the configuration of his design than would a designer working on a larger scale.
The incredible MEMS clutch mechanism. The miniscule gears are 50 microns across. Keep in mind that there are 25,400 microns to an inch.
To aid the designer in accounting for the tight constraints of a particular MEMS fabrication process, the developers of that process typically provide him a set of design rules to follow in laying out the design. In turn, these rules usually are incorporated within the fabrication process itself through software that checks designs against these rules, and will not admit a design that violates them (“SAMPLES Program,” 2005). So, we see that the design rules and the fabrication process work together to produce devices that ideally will fulfill the desire of the designer throughout its operational life. The design rules characterize fundamental aspects of the fabrication process and, thus, leave an indelible imprint of those process characteristics on each and every new design. These design rules, then, represent a bridge between the mind of the designer and the finished product, in a sense “guiding” the design through the fabrication process.
It is amazing that many of the engineers and scientists who have worked to make MEMS technology a reality believe that the vast, intricate, mechanical workings of the Universe, a Universe that appears to conform to immutable natural laws, came about through mostly random processes. They have witnessed the microscopic complexity of MEMS, yet they admit reasoning that suggests the galaxies, solar systems, planets, and stars evolved from “simpler” particles of matter that somehow came into existence at the beginning of time. They hold these beliefs in spite of their understanding of the painstaking process that is required to design and fabricate a single MEMS mechanism.
Fully-functioning MEMS transmission
Scientists continue to discover with increasing clarity that the elementary particles of matter that make up everything in the observable Universe, though extremely small, are far from “simple.” In his book, A Brief History of Time, well-known physicist Stephen Hawking states:
Up to about twenty years ago, it was thought that protons and neutrons were “elementary” particles, but experiments in which protons were collided with other protons or electrons at high speeds indicated that they were in fact made up of smaller particles. These particles were named quarks by the Caltech physicist Murray Gell-Mann, who won the Nobel prize in 1969 for his work on them.... So the question is: What are the truly elementary particles, the basic building blocks from which everything is made? (1988, p. 65).
Since science so far has been incapable of even identifying the most elementary components of the Universe, it is unreasonable to conclude that “small” means simple or easy. Given this unexpected complexity at the sub-microscopic (quantum) level, it is incredible that otherwise reasoned thinkers would conclude that everything we observe resulted from random processes.
Close-up view of one vernier; the teeth are two microns wide and the spaces between them measure four microns.
Likewise, small structures in biological study exhibit extremely high levels of order, complexity, and information content. Now that scientists actually are able to observe single-cellular life, accounts of the immense complexity in these “simple” life forms are becoming increasingly abundant. Consider Dean Overman’s summary of the research of Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe in his monograph, A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization:
Sitting atop some MEMS gears, this spider mite is the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
Because there are thousands of different enzymes with different functions, to produce the simplest living cell, Hoyle calculated that about 2,000 enzymes were needed with each one performing a specific task to form a single bacterium like E. coli. Computing the probability of all these different enzymes forming in one place at one time to produce a single bacterium, Hoyle and his colleague, Chandra Wickramasinghe, calculated the odds at 1 in 1040,000. This number is so vast that any mathematician would agree that it amounts to total impossibility.... [T]he total atoms in the observable universe are estimated to be only approximately 1080 (1997, pp. 58-59, emp. added).
The performance observed in such a system (a bacterium) is so intricate and complex on such a small scale, that so far humans are incapable of duplicating it—MEMS is about as close as science has come to doing so. Yet, in stark contradistinction, many scientists seem to accept that a “simple” life form must have organized by accident and, in turn, given rise to all of the life that we observe on Earth.
ratchet mechanism
Complex MEMS ratchet mechanism
The complexity inherent in MEMS, especially in comparison to larger scale systems, suggests a more natural conclusion regarding the existence of the Universe. If one were looking through a microscope in a science class, or working in a laboratory, and unexpectedly saw tiny gears turning or pistons moving, what would he conclude? This scenario actually has been used as a story line in multiple science fiction shows, and the conclusion reached was not that the microscopic machines had evolved naturally through random processes. Besides the fact that such a conclusion might make for a rather boring story, it is simply an unsound conclusion under the circumstances. Complexity on such a small scale, as we have noted, is not easy to design, so why would we ever conclude that it came about by accident? As in the science fiction scenario depicted, the intricate complexity that we observe on such a small scale is not only evidence of a designer, but also evidence of an incredibly advanced design capability—not of undirected random processes.

The world’s smallest functioning triple-piston steam engine. One piston is five microns across or 1/5080 of an inch.
The fact that the Universe operates under seemingly immutable natural laws is further evidence of a designer. We have noted that MEMS designers utilize design rules to ensure the viability of their designs. While science has not fully characterized the rules that govern the Universe, or even proved their existence, scientists firmly believe in them. Countless observations and experiments have demonstrated that the Universe appears to behave in repeatable and predictable ways, indicating that there is an inherent yet unobservable constraint being enforced on that behavior. Similar to MEMS design rules, the natural laws of the Universe determine what structures can viably exist in the system (Conservation of Matter and Energy), how they will behave (Causality, Laws of Motion, Relativity, etc.), and how long they will last (Thermodynamics). It simply is no more reasonable to assume that random processes gave rise to the behavior of the Universe than to assume that random fabrication processes could give rise to operational MEMS devices.

drive gear
Drive gear chain and linkages, with a grain of pollen (top right) and coagulated red blood cells (top left, lower right) to demonstrate scale.
Indeed, experience with MEMS illustrates that the ordered complexity we observe at every level within the Universe, but especially on the small scale, is indisputable evidence of a Designer whose capability far exceeds human accomplishment. MEMS research is impressive and fascinating, but pales in comparison to what we observe at the microscopic level, and what we theorize at the sub-atomic level. The science and engineering of mankind has not come anywhere close to duplicating the intricate functional complexity that exists in the realm of nature’s small scale. The Designer responsible for these micro- mechanisms fully understands the fabrication process parameters that are required to bring them into existence and sustain their operation, and has used that process to its utmost effectiveness in the creation of everything we observe. Furthermore, the “design rules” that have been employed to accomplish this are nothing less than the natural laws that, in turn, continue to constrain and direct the ongoing operation of His design.


Frechette, L.G., C. Lee, S. Arslan, and Y.C. Liu (2003), “Design of a Microfabricated Rankine Cycle Steam Turbine for Power Generation,” American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Mechanical Engineering Congress, International Meeting on Energy Conversion Engineering, pp. 335-344, November.
Hawking, Stephen (1988), A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (New York: Bantam).
McWhorter, Paul (2001), “Intelligent Multipurpose Micromachines Made at Sandia,” Sandia National Laboratories, [On-line], URL: http://www.sandia.gov/media/micro.htm.
McWhorter, Paul (2006), MEMS Image Gallery, [On-line], URL: http://www.memx.com/image_gallery.htm.
MEMS Technology” (2006), [On-line], URL: http://www.memx.com/technology.htm.
Overman, Dean (1997), A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield).
SAMPLES Program” (2005), Sandia National Laboratories, [On-line], URL: http://mems.sandia.gov/samples.

Darwin, Evolution, and Racism by Eric Lyons, M.Min. Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Darwin, Evolution, and Racism

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The creation and evolution models stand in stark contradistinction in many ways. One model suggests the Universe is the product of an infinite, eternal, omnipotent Creator; the other credits time and random chance processes for the Universe and everything in it. The creation model declares that an intelligent Designer created a variety of life on Earth; evolution purports that all life evolved from a common ancestor. The creation model maintains that morality originated with the Creator; atheistic evolution implies that morality is a human invention without a universal standard.
Another major contrast between creation and evolution, which receives relatively little attention from evolutionists, concerns whether some groups of humans are innately superior to others. The biblical creation model indicates that all humans, regardless of shape, size, or color, descended from an original couple created specially by God (Genesis 1-2). Every human life is valuable (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 9:6), but no human (save God incarnate—John 1:1-3), nor any group of humans, is more valuable or superior than others (Romans 10:12; cf. Colossians 3:11). Darwinian evolution, on the other hand, is grounded in the idea that all humans evolved from ape-like creatures, and, since some groups of humans supposedly are less ape-like than others, some humans are more highly evolved, and thus, superior and of more value.
Multiplied millions, perhaps even billions, of people around the world are familiar with Charles Darwin’s most famous work, The Origin of Species. This year (2009) marks the book’s 150th anniversary—a fact highly publicized by today’s scientific establishment. It seems, however, that relatively few people are aware of the full title of Darwin’s 1859 work: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection—or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (emp. added). Favored races? Did Darwin believe that some races, or “species of men,” as he referred to them (1871, p. 395), were favored or more highly evolved than others? Although he steered clear of these ideas in The Origin of Species, his second major work on evolutionary theory, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, published in 1871, did address the issue.
Darwin began the first chapter of The Descent of Man with these words: “He who wishes to decide whether man is the modified descendant of some pre-existing form, would probably first enquire whether man varies, however slightly, in bodily structure and in mental faculties; and if so, whether the variations are transmitted to his offspring in accordance with the laws which prevail with the lower animals” (1871, p. 395). Later, in his chapter titled “On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man,” Darwin wrote:
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla (p. 521).
Clearly, Darwin was convinced that the more “civilised races” (e.g., Caucasian) would one day exterminate the more savage races, which he considered to be less evolved (and thus more ape-like) than Caucasians. Darwin believed that “the negro” and “Australian” are like sub-species, somewhere between Caucasians and apes. [NOTE: In addition to Darwin’s racist comments in The Descent of Man, he also included sexist statements. His evolutionary views led him to believe that “[t]he chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands.... [T]he average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.... [M]an has ultimately become superior to woman” (pp. 873-874).]
One of Darwin’s closest friends and defenders, the prominent 19th-century English biologist Thomas Huxley, was even more direct in his evolutionary-based racist remarks. In his 1865 essay, “Emancipation—Black and White,” Huxley remarked:
It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And, if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathus relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites. The highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that they should be restricted to the lowest (emp. added).
According to “Darwin’s Bulldog,” as Huxley was called, the “Negro” is not equal to “the white man.” The alleged smaller-brained, big-jawed negro supposedly cannot compete on the same playing field with the white man. Huxley espoused the false notion that “[t]he highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins” (1865, emp. added). Little did Huxley know that less then 150 years later an African-American would sit in the highest office of the most wealthy and powerful nation on Earth.
The fact is, Darwinian evolution implies that some groups of humans are closer to our alleged ape-like ancestors in their mental faculties than others. Thus, some groups of humans supposedly are superior to others. The Bible teaches exactly the opposite. There are not different species or races of men; there is just one human race—an intelligent people (see Lyons, 2002)—that God created “in His image” in the beginning (Genesis 1-2; see Lyons and Thompson, 2002), both “male and female” (Genesis 1:27, emp. added). All of humanity descended from Adam and Eve, the first couple (1 Corinthians 15:45; Genesis 3:20), and later Noah, through whom the Earth was repopulated after the Flood (Genesis 6-10). Whether we are red, yellow, black, or white, we share equal value as human beings, God’s image-bearers (Genesis 1:26-28; cf. Romans 10:12). What’s more, all men stand on equal footing before God as sinners (Romans 3:10,23) in need of a Savior (John 8:24; Mark 16:15-16).


Darwin, Charles (1859), The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (New York: The Modern Library, reprint).
Darwin, Charles (1871), The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (New York: The Modern Library, reprint).
Huxley, Thomas (1865), “Emancipation—Black and White,” [On-line], URL: http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/CE3/B&W.html.
Lyons, Eric (2002), “Ancient Nitwits or Knowledgeable Ancestors?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1798.
Lyons, Eric and Bert Thompson (2002), “In the ‘Image and Likeness of God,’” Reason & Revelation [Part I & Part II], 22:17-23,25-31, March/April.

The Non-Crucified Non-Saviors of the World by Dewayne Bryant, M.A.


The Non-Crucified Non-Saviors of the World

by  Dewayne Bryant, M.A.

Today the church finds itself bombarded with all kinds of criticism. One of these is the notion that Christianity owes its origins to pagan religions. One particularly troubling issue for some Christians is the massive amount of misinformation circulating on the Internet concerning the various “crucified saviors” of the world. Jesus is claimed to be no different than dozens of other saviors who were crucified for the sins of mankind, and later resurrected. If this were true, then Jesus would be merely a Johnny-come-lately to the religious scene, no different and no more authoritative than Zeus, Odin, or Thor.
The nineteenth century was the seedbed of comparative religion, which sought to analyze and discover the connections between various world religions. Critics in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were guilty of glossing over important differences for the sake of making connections between different religious traditions, including Christianity. Usually these connections were highly dubious in nature, and no real scholar uses this approach today. While it can be shown that some ancient pagan religions migrated, developed, and influenced others over time, Christianity is a different matter altogether.
Critics today—who almost universally have no training in ancient religion, philosophy, or languages—can be quite adamant that Christianity plagiarized ancient mythology when constructing the Bible and its supposed mythological traditions about Jesus. This idea is found in documentaries such as Bill Maher’s Religulous, Brian Flemming’s The God Who Wasn’t There, Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist, the Movie, as well as in publications such as those by Dorothy M. Murdock’s The Sons of God, The Christ Conspiracy, and Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection. All of these promote the idea of the “mythic Christ.”
Where did the idea of the mythic Christ originate? Much of it began in the writings of two amateur Egyptologists named Godfrey Higgins (1772-1833) and Gerald Massey (1829-1907). Both wrote extensively on the idea of the mythic Christ. They claimed one parallel after another between the Bible and pagan mythology, making it appear as if the biblical writers borrowed stories wholesale from ancient tales. Almost all scholars today recognize that this approach is fundamentally flawed. For nearly all of the supposed parallels these two men discovered, scholars today say without hesitation that no genetic connection exists between the Bible and the myths these two men examined.
Neither Higgins nor Massey was a scholar or academician, and both were self-taught religious enthusiasts (this generally holds true for all proponents of the Christ myth theory). More importantly, neither is remembered in the history of scholarship today. Writers such as Dorothy Murdock—a vocal proponent of the Christ myth theory—laments that these supposed intellectual titans have been forgotten. She heaps effusive praise upon Massey in particular (2009, pp. 13-26), calling him a “pioneer.” In truth, neither one of them had any ideas worth remembering. They are virtually unknown in modern Egyptology.
The work of Higgins and Massey was picked up and continued most famously by Kersey Graves, who authored the book The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors (1919). This woefully outdated book is still standard reading for militant atheists. Unfortunately, Graves’ fans do not appear to realize that his book was based on the work of our two error-prone amateurs. To make matters worse, Graves did not appear to consult the original myths himself. It appears that he may have even falsified some of his work. In all of the cases of his “crucified saviors,” unlike Jesus, none were actually crucified, and none of them died salvific deaths, that is in behalf of the salvation of others. Indeed, some of them never died.
The chart below gives the names of the gods that Graves and others traditionally claim were crucified saviors. The problems become apparent rather quickly:
Adonis dies when he is gored by a bull on a hunting trip.
In a moment of madness, Attis commits suicide by emasculating himself.
The text is unclear, but it appears Baal is slain in personal battle with Mot, the Canaanite god of death.
Bacchus is the Roman equivalent of Dionysus, whose body is almost completely devoured by the Titans, who leave only his heart.
In the Norse myths, Balder is invincible to all known objects, except for mistletoe. One of the gods’ pastimes is throwing objects at Balder, who cannot be harmed. Loki crafts a magical spear from this plant and tricks the god Hodur into throwing it at Balder, killing him.
Supposedly a Japanese figure. Either Graves had a bad source, or he simply invented the name, as no figure with this name exists in Far Eastern literature. It may be that he meant to say “Beddou,” who is a Japanese figure some have equated with the Buddha. Regardless, there is no record of the crucifixion of this individual, if he even existed in any of the literature.
This is uncertain, but appears to be the name of the Buddha in some places in the Far East. The literature states that the Buddha died at 80 of a natural illness, though some say he was poisoned. Either way, he never died on a cross, and Buddhism has no need of a personal savior, anyway.
The Greek god of wine and the grapevine had a tough childhood. When an infant, the Titans devour his body, leaving only his heart behind. He is later reborn.
Hercules dies when he is burned alive on a funeral pyre.
Hermes never dies in the Greek myths.
Horus never dies in the Egyptian myths.
Krishna is mortally wounded when a hunter accidentally shoots him in the heel with an arrow.
Mithras does not die in the Persian myths.
In one account, Orpheus is torn apart by Maenads, the female followers of Dionysus, for failing to honor their master. In other accounts he either commits suicide or is struck by one of Zeus’ lightning bolts.
Osiris is killed when his brother Seth drowns him in the Nile. Seth later recovers the body and dismembers it.
Originally called Dumuzi by the Sumerians, Tammuz is taken to the underworld when his lover, Inanna, is given a deal where she can be released if she finds a substitute. She is enraged that Tammuz is not mourning her death, so she chooses him to take her place in the realm of the dead. There is no mention of crucifixion.
Thor dies in Ragnarok, the final battle that will end the world, when he is bitten by a giant serpent.
According to one ancient source, Zoroaster was murdered while at an altar.
Upon even a cursory inspection, it becomes clear that none of the so-called “crucified saviors” were actually crucified. Indeed, none of them are saviors, dying for the sins of humanity. Self-sacrifice was not involved. Instead, many did not die at all, or died an accidental death, or were murdered. Worse yet, none of them resurrected from a tomb. A few of the divine figures on the list were revived (or deified), but in a different manner than the Christian concept of resurrection. In short, this list consists purely of non-crucified non-saviors. Why are these connections made if they never truly existed? In short, it is due to careless research and preconceived biases that are immune to evidence.
While the idea of the pagan or mythic Christ draws from a variety of ancient mythologies, it is heavily influenced by Egyptian mythology, perhaps because the early proponents of this theory worked primarily with myths from Egypt. They also made connections based on preposterously thin evidence. Some examples of the typical connections include the following from Gerald Massey’s book Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ:
  • Jesus’ casting of a group of demons  calling themselves “Legion” into a group of pigs, which is equated with a story in which Horus turns someone into a pig (1996, pp. 62-63).
  • Jesus and Horus are each claimed to have had two mothers—two Marys for Jesus, and the goddesses Isis and Nephthys for Horus (p. 118).
  • Herod the Great, despite being a well-known figure to historians, is equated with Herrut, the Typhonian Serpent (p. 95).
In their book Unmasking the Pagan Christ, Porter and Bedard summarize Massey’s position this way:
[H]is conclusions rely on exaggerations and forced parallels that too often used later interpretations o the Gospels, rather than the primary texts themselves. To make matters worse, Massey cites numerous parallels without any indication of the original references in the Egyptian texts. Massey also begins the practice…of describing Egyptian myths with biblical language in an attempt to find a causal link (Porter and Bedard 2006, p. 30).
If the idea of a “crucified savior” had been as common as the critics allege, then it would not have been included among the criticisms leveled against the early Christians. The apostle Paul stated that the cross was a stumbling block to the Greeks (1 Corinthians 1:23), which would have been quite strange if the Greeks recognized any of the so-called “crucified saviors” mentioned by Graves and others. Justin Martyr admitted that preaching a crucified Christ appeared to be madness: “[The opponents of the church] say that our madness lies in the fact that we put a crucified man in second place to the unchangeable and eternal God, the creator of the world” (Apology I, 13.4). If everyone had crucified gods, then they would not have criticized the Christians for having one, too.
The picture that quickly emerges when looking at the original sources is one of exceedingly poor research on the part of the critics. It is one thing to make an honest mistake, but their litany of errors is academically unacceptable. At times, even other skeptics and atheists chide their fellow unbelievers for their careless work. Writing a review of Zeitgeist, the Movie in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer, leading skeptic Tim Callahan is highly critical of the “sloppy assumptions” in the documentary, concluding, “Zeitgeist is The Da Vinci Code on steroids” (Callahan, 2009, p. 67).
Some of this sloppy work includes failing to cite sources properly. Graves was not the only one guilty of failing to cite his sources or inventing material out of whole cloth. Of the pseudo-scholars in the 19th and early 20th century who promoted the Christy myth theory, apologist J.P. Holding says,
Kersey Graves…assures the reader that he has before him plenty of original documentation for his claims of crucifixion parallels, but…doesn’t have room to include any. And this is the rule, not the exception. Lundy, Higgins, Inman, Graves, Doane, etc., they all claim they have read or heard this or that, but none of them can site [sic]a single source document (Holding, 2008, p. 376, italics in orig.).
Because of its manifold problems, the idea of the mythic Christ is difficult even for many atheists to swallow. On the anti-Christian Web site Infidels.org, historian and atheist Richard Carrier lists ten major problems with Graves’ work, the last of which is that “Graves’ scholarship is obsolete, having been vastly improved upon by new methods, materials, discoveries, and textual criticism in the century since he worked” (Carrier, 2003). Scholars see Graves’ work as worthless. Critics find it absolutely indispensible, perhaps because there are no scholarly treatments that agree with their presuppositions.
The Christ myth theory has not been answered by many scholars, simply because they choose not to waste their time debunking fringe theories. Experts are usually preoccupied with teaching and research, with a few of them engaged in archaeology and other academic pursuits as well. This leaves little time for answering the preposterous claims of the “Christ mythers.” (In personal e-mails to three leading New Testament scholars, each noted that the Christ myth theory holds no place of respect in modern scholarship. Ben Witherington III of Asbury Theological Seminary said, “[T]his whole discussion is considered beyond the pale and beyond belief, even with liberals.” When asked whether the paucity of scholarly material on the pagan Christ was because scholars do not waste their time on “crackpot theories,” Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary said, “I think you have got the reason you cannot find stuff.” Thomas Schreiner of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary confessed, “I do not know anything about this issue…. I am tempted to think it is the lunatic fringe.” The issue is so intellectually bankrupt that liberal scholarship does not endorse it, and other scholars may not even be familiar with it).
Critics will always “discover” parallels between Christianity and pagan religions in the attempt to make believers look foolish. Ironically, this quest only demonstrates their own academic shortcomings. Time and time again Christianity demonstrates its uniqueness among the world religions. It is the hallmark of truth for a world in desperate need of history’s one and only crucified Savior.


Callahan, Tim (2009), “Greatest Story Ever Garbled: A Critique of ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’—Part I of the Internet Film Zeitgeist,” Skeptic, 15[1]:61-67.
Carrier, Richard (2003), “Kersey Graves and the World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors,” http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/graves.html.
Graves, Kersey (1919), The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors or Christianity Before Christ (New York: Peter Eckler Publishing), sixth edition.
Holding, James P. (2008), Shattering the Christ Myth: Did Jesus Not Exist? (Maitland, FL: Xulon Press).
Massey, Gerald (1996), Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ (Whitefish, MT: Kessenger).
Murdock, Dorothy M. (2009), Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection (Seattle, WA: Stellar House).
Porter, Stanley E. and Stephen J. Bedard (2006), Unmasking the Pagan Christ (Toronto, ON: Clements Publishing).

Another Case of Man Mimicking God’s Design by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Another Case of Man Mimicking God’s Design

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The year was 1966. My classmates and I were herded aboard buses by our grade school teachers in Phoenix, Arizona for a “field trip” to see a newly released science fiction movie titled, Fantastic Voyage. The story line: Russian scientist, Jan Benes, who held the secret of how to shrink soldiers for an indefinite period, escaped from behind the Iron Curtain with the help of a CIA agent. While being transferred, their motorcade was attacked and Benes’ head was struck, causing a blood clot to form in his brain. A group of scientists then were miniaturized, along with a submarine, injected into his bloodstream, and had one hour to travel to his brain and remove the clot and get out before the immune system recognized them as a foreign body. As I remember, the teachers wanted us to see the internal marvels of the human body as the crew made their way from the arm, through the heart, and on to the brain. A similar concept was explored in the 1990s by the popular PBS children’s television program based on the Magic School Bus children’s books by Joanna Cole (“The Magic School...,” n.d.).
Discounting the idea of shrinking people, reality can be stranger than fiction. Australian scientists are developing a miniature robot that they hope will be able to propel itself through human arteries to perform delicate medical procedures. With a width of two human hairs, the 250-micron microrobot will transmit images and perform microscopic tasks in areas of the body where current surgical procedure is risky. Once inserted by means of a syringe, the microrobot will be guided by remote control to the target site to perform its assigned tasks, and then returned to the point of entry for extraction (Cole, 2007).
One of the obstacles researchers have faced for years is how to design the propulsion system (e.g., Philipkoski, 1999; Lurie, 2004). Since electromagnetic motors have been found to be impractical, this “microrobot’s design is based on the E. coli bacterium, complete with flagella that will propel it through the body,” with the flagella made from human hair (Cole, 2007).
Once again, men turn to God and His creation in order to solve their problems. The Creator built into His creation the principles necessary for the Universe to operate for His purposes. Within that divinely designed framework, intelligent men tap into the intelligent designs of the Master Designer to produce amazing technology that aids the human race. “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3).


Cole, Emmet (2007), “Fantastic Voyage: Departure 2009,” Wired News, January 18, [On-line], URL: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,72448-0.html.
“The Magic School Bus®: Inside the Human Body” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/home.htm.
Lurie, Karen (2004), “Smallest Robot,” ScienCentral News, July 15, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?type=article&article_id =218392303.
Philipkoski, Kristen (1999), “Will Robots Sail Your Veins?” Wired News, January 16, [On-line], URL: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,17376-1.html?tw=wn_story_page_next1.

Can a Person Live in Adultery? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Can a Person Live in Adultery?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Confusion exists in the mind of some concerning the status of those who commit the sin of adultery. It is generally recognized that a couple becomes guilty of adultery when they form a sexual relationship in violation of Christ’s teaching in Matthew 19:9. But what is a church to do when one or both of those marriage partners present themselves for church membership, expressing their regret for their sin, but their intention to continue their relationship? Some argue that the couple can be forgiven, if they say they are sorry, on the grounds that people cannot live in adultery. They were guilty of committing adultery when they first came together, but they cannot be guilty of living (in an ongoing state) in adultery, and so may continue their marriage without being guilty of further sin.
Meanwhile, the church tends to shy away from dealing with the matter, permitting the couple fellowship but, amid vague feelings of uncertainty, keeping them at arm’s length. In the midst of this inconsistency, the church unwittingly brings itself under the same indictment leveled at the churches in Pergamum (Revelation 2:14) and Thyatira (Revelation 2:20-22) for their unholy “tolerance.” We must permit God’s words to give us guidance rather than be influenced by our human inclinations, sympathies, or emotions. God’s Word speaks very clearly to this matter.
It is true that sin may be viewed as the practice of isolated acts that are contrary to God’s will. But it does not follow that individuals cannot live in sin. A “liar” is one who is involved in separate acts of lying. What makes him a liar, and therefore guilty of living a life of lying, is his refusal to cease telling lies. A person is a “murderer” if he has killed one or more persons and continues to entertain the possibility of repeating such behavior. A person is an “adulterer” because he has formed a sexual relationship which violates God’s law and refuses to cease that illicit relationship. Simply saying he is sorry for the existence of this adulterous union will not and cannot alter what, in God’s sight, is “not lawful” (Matthew 14:4). As long as that marriage is continued, the parties involved are adulterers (Romans 7:3). Only by terminating that relationship can the parties involved put an end to their adultery. Otherwise, they “continue to commit adultery” (Matthew 19:9—the present tense continuous action), “live in fornication” (Colossians 3:5-7), and “live in [sin]” (Romans 6:2). When Paul reminded Christians at Corinth of their conversion day, he noted that some had previously been fornicators, adulterers, and homosexuals (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Who could possibly doubt the fact that their salvation would have been impossible unless these sexual unions were terminated? Indeed, how could they “that are dead to sin, live any longer therein” (Romans 6:2)?