Donald R. Fox

Many times and mistakenly we look at the word prestige to describe one as who is a big shot. It is true that a person who has a widely recognized prominence can enjoy an unearned prestigious reputation. The word prestige is defined in part as, “The level of respect at which one is regarded by others; standing. A person's good standing among others; honor or esteem. High status or reputation achieved through success, influence, wealth, etc.” Seriously, if we are known and respected, who of us would give up a prestigious standing among our contemporaries? In other words, would we not be thankful that people we know and care about, respect us. We would be grateful that we earned and enjoyed such honor and esteem with those who know us. Because of our reputation, our good name would be extended to countless individuals who never met us in person.

In the pre-denominational era, which is before creeds and the rise of a divided Christianity, Christians worshiped in a fixed authorized manner. This established manner of worship and work of the early church is clearly described in the New Testament of Jesus Christ. As one reads “The Acts of the Apostles," the beginning of the church, early evangelism in obedience to the “Great Commission," doctrine is abundantly and plainly manifested.

Notice the following quotes and the paradoxical situation Christians found themselves in during the early days of the church. You will notice the description by Governor Pliny characterizing Christians as law-abiding and ethical people. However, during this period, the Roman government persecuted these same Christians.

The earliest description of the Christian worship is given us by a heathen, the younger Pliny, A.D. 109, in his well-known letter to Trajan, which embodies the result of his judicial investigations in Bithynia. According to this, the Christians assembled on an appointed day (Sunday) at sunrise, sang responsively a song to Christ as to God, and then pledged themselves by an oath not to do any evil work. To commit no theft, robbery, nor adultery, not to break their word, not sacrifice property intrusted to them. Afterwards (at evening) they assembled again, to eat ordinary and innocent food (the agape). This account of a Roman official then bears witness to the primitive observance of Sunday, the separation of the love-feast from the morning worship (with the communion), and the worship of Christ as God in song.” (History of the Christian Church, Volume 2, by Philip Schaff, page 222-223)

Pliny was a lawyer, an author and was Governor of Pontus and Bithynia from 109 to 111 A. D. “From his letter to the emperor we learn that Christ was a real person, that He was worshipped as divine, that His followers were accustomed to meet on a stated day for worship, that there were many Christians and they were terribly persecuted by the Roman authorities.” (Why We Believe the Bible, by George W. Dehoff, page 92)


The long and bloody war of heathen Rome against the church, which is built upon a rock, utterly failed. It began in Rome under Nero, it ended near Rome at the Milvian bridge, under Constantine. Aiming to exterminate, it purified. It called forth the virtues of Christian heroism, and resulted in the consolidation and triumph of the new religion. The philosophy of persecution is best expressed by the terse word of Tertullian, who lived in the midst of them, but did not see the end: “The blood of the Christians is the seed of the Church.” (History of the Christian Church, Volume 2, by Philip Schaff, pages 34-35)


Consider the Golden Rule: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12 KJV). The Golden Rule expresses the world’s only perfect standard of conduct. Government and Laws instituted by mere men will crumble, change and eventually fail. Only the word of God has the true and unwavering ethical guidance. Therefore, We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29 KJV). “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” (Titus 1:9 KJV)

Why Caleb Lived On A Mountain By Allen Webster


Why Caleb Lived On A Mountain

By Allen Webster

Mountaintop property brings a premium price on the current market. Real estate in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge or Blue Ridge always has, but now people want a lot overlooking town no matter what town it is. Caleb was ahead of the curve and picked a mountain lot years ago. His Realtor was God – who just happened to own a thousand hills (Psalms 50:10). His friends wanted pastureland in the valley or a ready-made house on a city street, but Caleb looked up to see his future. A little background helps us appreciate the scene. The twelve spies Moses sent on a forty-day mission to infiltrate Canaan came back with a report of a rich, prosperous land. They even brought back fruit samples – clusters of grapes so large it took two men to carry them. But ten of them did not think Israel could get over the walls of the cities or oust the giants who lived within them. The other two, Joshua and Caleb, were men of faith “. . .Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (13:30). How did God’s people reward such faith? They decided to silence them with stones (but God intervened, 14:10). The faithless people were doomed to wander for forty years where all over age twenty died except Moses, Joshua, Caleb and some Levites.
Joshua eventually led the new generation across Jordan, where they won victory after victory. The time came for the people to claim their share of the inheritance. Forty-five years had passed by this time, and Caleb had been thinking all along about a mountain he had seen. He wanted a place called “Hebron” (14:24). The time had finally come when he could move into the Promised Land. He was eighty-five! Why did Caleb get such a choice location in the land of promise?
CALEB LIVED ON A MOUNTAIN BECAUSE . . . HE REFUSED TO TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT. Caleb didn’t look for an easy place. He didn’t ask for someone to conquer it for him. The mountain was inhabited by a race of giants who lived in walled cities, but these obstacles didn’t stop Caleb. He wanted the mountain for his family’s inheritance. We will never get God’s blessings if we look for an easy road. Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) said, “Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable; however, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.” One must “agonize”1  to stay on the strait and narrow way (Luke 13:24), but it leads to heaven (Matthew 7:13, 14). John the Baptist did not wear soft clothes or live in a king’s house (Matthew 11:8), but he drew the greatest compliment Jesus ever gave (Matthew 11:11). Jesus chose the unpleasant Via Dolorosa (“way of the cross”) (John 10:18; Hebrews 12:2), but he conquered sin, Satan and the grave. Paul was “in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” (2 Corinthians 11:27), but he became the greatest missionary the world is ever likely to see. The path of least resistance makes rivers and people crooked (cf. Philippians 2:15; Acts 2:40). The only way to build muscles is to resist an opposing force. The wise man said, “In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury” (Proverbs 14:23). The easy way is to drop out of school when the classes are hard, but education is worth the effort. The easy way is to quit when the boss gets on our case, but those who learn and stay get promoted. The easy way is to divorce when the inevitable trouble comes, but fiftieth wedding anniversaries are sweet (Matthew 19:6; Romans 7:4). The easy way is to give in to teen rebellion and let them do what they want, but seeing them through it is a rewarding experience (Matthew 16:26; Ephesians 6:4). The easy way is to quit serving the Lord when we make an embarrassing mistake, but heaven is too wonderful to miss (John 14:1). The easy way is to hold a grudge against a brother who hurts us, but forgiveness makes the pillow soft (Ephesians 4:32). The easy way is to let our lost friends alone, but seeing them become Christians is one of life’s great joys (Philippians 4:1; Proverbs 11:30).
. . . HE REFUSED TO LISTEN TO NAYSAYERS. Caleb was deaf to the negativism of his fellow spies. He was a winner in a loser generation – an optimist in the midst of pessimists. Caleb made the same trip the other spies made. He saw the same cities, the same walls, the same giants. But he saw more. Caleb saw GOD! The others couldn’t see God for the giants; Caleb couldn’t see the giants for God. The ten evidently had healthy faith before the spying mission (13:2-3), but somehow caught “grasshopper complex” while in the land of the Canaanites (13:33). The disease was contagious, it seems, for the people’s hearts soon melted,2  too. They focused on, “We can’t; the Canaanites are too big;” Caleb thought, “God can; the Canaanites don’t stand a chance.” They forgot that God had defeated the Egyptians, parted the Red Sea, fed them with manna, brought water from a rock and caused the earth to swallow some rebels. Caleb remembered. He thought on the “good report” (Philippians 4:8) and mentioned God’s promises four times (Numbers 14:6, 10, 12). A pessimist sees difficulty with every opportunity, but an optimist sees opportunity with every difficulty. One said, “Two men looked out from prison bars. One saw mud, one saw stars.” Two buckets worked at the same well. One was sad and complained that no matter how full he came up, he always went down empty. The other rejoiced that no matter how empty he went down, he always came up full. Most churches, being made up of people, have some of both kinds. Some say, “Why?” – others, “Why not?” Some say, “It won’t work here” – others, “We’ll never know until we try.” Consider this little poem:
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But with a chuckle he replied that maybe it couldn’t,
But he would be one who wouldn’t say so till he tried.
So, he buckled right in with a trace of a grin on his face;
If he worried, he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done.
And he did it!
Jesus taught that with God on our side, nothing is impossible (Mark 9:23; 10:27). Paul could do “all things” through Christ (Philippians 4:13). If we let them, a few fearful brethren can retard the work of almost any church. If we don’t, God can use us to accomplish things even the most faithful did not imagine! Did Paul imagine when he left on that first missionary journey that he would one day be able to say, “. . . the gospel . . . was preached to every creature . . . under heaven . . .” (Colossians 1:23)? Victory is assured if we stay within God’s will (2 John 9-11). Paul promised, “Now thanks be unto God, Which always causeth us to triumph in Christ . . .” (2 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 8:31). John adds, “. . . greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4; John 10:28-30).
1  strive, agonizomai; KJV – 3, fight 3, labour fervently 1; 7; “to enter a contest: contend in the gymnastic games; to contend with adversaries, fight; to endeavor with strenuous zeal, strive: to obtain something;”
2  macah, “cause to vanish; to intimidate.”

"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Many Infallible Proofs (1:3) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                      Many Infallible Proofs (1:3)


1. Luke begins the sequel to his gospel with a reminder...
   a. That his gospel described things Jesus both did and taught - Ac 1:1
   b. That it covered events leading up to His ascension - Ac 1:2
   c. That Jesus presented "many infallible proofs" of His resurrection - Ac 1:3

2. The importance the resurrection of Christ cannot be overemphasized...
   a. It was the keystone of apostolic preaching - 1Co 15:14
   b. It is the foundation of our faith - ibid.
   c. If it did not occur, our faith is empty!

[We can be thankful that our faith in the resurrection of Christ is not
"empty".  It is based upon "many infallible proofs"!  What were these
infallible proofs?  They involved...]


      1. Described in Mark's gospel - Mk 16:9-11
      2. Expanded upon by John in his gospel - Jn 20:11-18
      -- She saw Jesus and talked with Him

      1. As revealed in Matthew's gospel - Mt 28:9-10
      2. Where Jesus reiterated what the angel had said - ibid.
      -- They touched Jesus and worshiped Him

      1. Described in Mark's gospel - Mk 16:12-13
      2. Elaborated by Luke in his gospel - Lk 24:13-32
      -- They walked with Him, talked with Him, and ate with Him

      1. Reported after the testimony of the two disciples - Lk 24:33-35
      2. Mentioned by Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians - 1Co 15:5
      -- He saw Jesus

      1. Described in detail by Luke - Lk 24:36-43
      2. Also by John - Jn 20:19-25
      -- They saw Jesus, He ate food in their presence

      1. A week later, as described by John - Jn 20:26-31
      2. Mentioned by Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians - 1Co 15:5
      -- Convincing Thomas, who would not believe unless he could see and touch Jesus

      1. Including Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James and John - Jn 21:1-2
      2. While they were fishing, and then eating together - Jn 21:3-25
      -- They saw Him, ate breakfast with Him, talked with Him

      1. Recorded by Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians - 1Co 15:6
      2. Possibly in Galilee as directed by the angel and Jesus 
          - Mk 16:7; Mt 28:10,16-17
      3. Possibly when the Great Commission was first given - Mt 28:18-20
      -- A large number, ruling out any vision or hallucination

      1. Recorded by Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians - 1Co 15:7
      2. Who previously did not believe, but then became a disciple - Jn 7:5; Ac 1:14
      -- Convincing a brother in the flesh who had his doubts

      1. Recorded by Luke in his gospel - Lk 24:44-49
      2. This time in Jerusalem, shortly before His ascension - Ac 1:3-8
      -- They studied with Him for days, as He taught them from the Scriptures

      1. Recorded in Mark's gospel - Mk 16:19-20
      2. Also by Luke in both of his books - Lk 24:50-53; Ac 1:9-12
      -- They looked steadfastly as they saw Him ascend

[The number of appearances certainly qualifies as "many".  But in what
way can we say these appearances qualify as "infallible proofs"? 
Consider the strength of...]


      1. Their testimony appealed to empirical evidence
         a. I.e., evidence derived from experiment and observation rather than theory
         b. They refused to accept second hand evidence - Mk 16:11,13; Jn 20:25
         c. They saw, heard, and touched Him - 1Jn 1:1-2
         d. They ate and drank with Him - Ac 10:40-41
      2. There is no way they could have been deceived or deluded
         a. If all they had were individual dreams, visions, or hallucinations...perhaps
         b. But they testified that Jesus appeared to them in groups as well as to individuals
      -- Such eyewitness testimony is the same sort of proof used in court today

      1. Prior to the resurrection, Jesus' disciples were afraid and without hope
         a. They fled at his arrest - Mk 14:50
         b. Peter cowardly denied Him three times - Mk 14:66-72
         c. Women mourned His crucifixion - Lk 23:27
         d. His disciples were sad - Lk 24:13-17
         e. His disciples hid behind closed doors in fear - Jn 20:19
      2. After the resurrection, they fearlessly praised God and proclaimed Jesus!
         a. Praising God in the temple - Lk 24:52-53
         b. Proclaiming Christ despite persecution - Ac 5:28-32,41-42
      3. This transformation is strong evidence for the resurrection!
         a. "If the disciples were totally disappointed and on the
            verge of desperate flight because of the very real reason of the crucifixion..."
         b. "...it took another very real reason in order to transform
            them from a band of disheartened and dejected Jews into the 
            most self-confident missionary society in world history." 
            - Pinchas Lapide, former Chairman of the Applied Linguistics
            Department at Israel's Bar-Iland University (TIME, May 7, 1979)
      -- Their transformed lives is strong evidence of the resurrections of Jesus         

      1. They taught others to live holy lives - 1Th 4:1-7; Ep 4:25
      2. They lived their own lives in an unimpeachable way - 1Th 2:3-12
      -- Does this sound like people who propagated a lie?

      1. The apostles endured much suffering because of their testimony
         - 1Co 4:9-13; 2Co 11:23-28
      2. All but one died martyrs' death because of their testimony
      3. Even Jesus' brother, James, was thrown off the temple and then
         clubbed to death for his testimony!
      -- There was no motive (fame, power, wealth) for them to persistently lie! 


1. Jesus gave His disciples "many" proofs...
   a. He appeared to them many times during forty days
   b. He spoke with them, ate with them, let them touch Him
   c. He met with them in groups, large and small, as well as individually

2. Such proof was "infallible" for them...
   a. Not a single eyewitness recanted his testimony of the resurrection
   b. They endured great hardship throughout their lives because of their testimony
   c. They were willing to die for their testimony, and many did!

3. We too have "many infallible proofs", because of...
   a. The nature of their testimony
   b. The transformation that took place in their lives
   c. The high moral standard they taught and lived
   d. The personal sacrifices they made

Why not allow such proof to transform your life as it did those disciples
in the first century...? - cf. Jn 20:30-31

"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Letters To Theophilus (1:1) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                      Letters To Theophilus (1:1)


1. The New Testament is a collection of 27 books...
   a. Containing gospels, history, epistles, and prophecy
   b. Some written to people at large, others to individual Christians and churches

2. It may surprise some that over one fourth of the NT was written to one individual...
   a. Luke and Acts contains more than 27% of the total words in the NT
   b. Both were addressed to a man named Theophilus - Lk 1:1-4; Ac 1:1-3

[With much of the New Testament written to just one man, it may be of
interest to further examine the relationship between the author and his
recipient, and the two letters between them...]


      1. Though unnamed, church tradition supporting Luke as the author
         is both early and unanimous - ESV Study Bible
      2. Luke was a physician, thought to have been a Gentile, possibly
         from Antioch - Co 4:14; cf. Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, 3.4.7

      1. Also unnamed, but obviously the same author as Luke's gospel 
         - cf. Ac 1:1 with Lk 2:1-4
      2. The "we" sections require a companion of Paul, and Luke is
         mentioned in Paul's epistles - Col 4:14; 2Ti 4:11; Phm 24 

[The "beloved physician" who often accompanied Paul in his travels had
ample opportunity to collect the information shared in the gospel of Luke
and the book of Acts.  As for...]


      1. Was written to "most excellent Theophilus" - Lk 1:3
      2. Theophilus means "loved of God"
      3. The appellation "most excellent" suggests a government
         official - cf. Ac 23:26; 24:3; 26:25
      1. Was written to "O Theophilus" - Ac 1:1
      2. Note that the honorific title "most excellent" was dropped,
         about which we will comment later

[Not much more is known about the identity of Theophilus, but what is
said about him has led to some interesting possibilities about...]


      1. "that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed" - Lk 1:4
      2. Theophilus had undoubted heard many things about Jesus and his
         followers - Lk 1:1; cf. Ac 17:6-7; 28:22
      3. There is evidence that Luke composed his work partially to
         prove that neither Jesus nor his followers were politically 
         dangerous to the Roman government - ISBE, "Theophilus"

      1. To continue the story begun in the gospel of Luke - Ac 1:4
      2. Some have concluded that Theophilus was the magistrate who
         heard Paul's case in Rome and that Acts (and Luke) was a legal 
         brief in Paul's defense - ISBE, "Theophilus"
      3. The abrupt ending of Acts prior to Paul's trial before Caesar
         lends support to the idea that it may have initially served as a
         "legal brief" in Paul's behalf - cf. Ac 28:30-31

[Luke's purpose in writing these two letters to Theophilus was to inform
him about the life of Christ and the growth of the early church.  How
were these letters received by Theophilus...?] 


      1. We noted that Luke dropped the honorific title "most
         excellent" in his second letter - Ac 1:1
      2. This has led many to conclude that Luke's relation to
         Theophilus had changed, that receiving Luke's gospel resulted in Theophilus' conversion
      3. For Christians did not use honorific titles to address one another - cf. Mt 23:8-12

      1. There is evidence that Paul's first appearance before Caesar led to his release
      2. After which he had time to travel, according to his plans
         written in his prison epistles - Php 2:24; Phm 22
      3. During which he wrote his first epistle to Timothy, and the one to Titus

[Even if the letters were originally intended for Theophilus, may have
even served as a "legal brief", their inspiration by the Spirit of God
has long been acknowledged.  Leading one to inquire about...]


      1. Many have used Luke's gospel to introduce people to Jesus Christ
      2. It is the most extensive of the four gospels, written in chronological order - Lk 1:3
      3. Penned by a professional man (physician), with a view toward
         historical accuracy - Lk 1:4; 2:1-2; 3:1-2

      1. Luke records many examples of conversion in the book of Acts 
         - e.g., Ac 2:36-41; 8:30-38
      2. We read of the evangelistic methods and message of the early apostles and preachers
      3. For assurance of our own salvation, we can compare our own
         conversion experience with those in Acts; were we told the same
         gospel, did we respond in the same way?

      1. Acts contains the only record of the first thirty years of the early church
      2. It describes establishment, growth, organization, and worship
         of the church - e.g., Ac 2:42; 14:23
      3. Comparing Luke's record in Acts with the religious world
         today, we can see how far people have drifted from following Jesus as the Way


1. Two letters, written to one man, sometime in the early 60s A.D....
   a. Who would have thought a simple correspondence would have the impact it did
   b. Of course it is due to their inspiration and preservation by the Spirit of God!

2. Have you given yourself the opportunity to read these two letters? 
   Do so, and you...
   a. Already have read one fourth of the New Testament!
   b. Will have the opportunity to learn much about Jesus, His
      salvation, and His church!

Along with the rest of the New Testament, you can "know the certainty of
those things in which you were instructed"...

Founding Father Elias Boudinot on Islam by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Founding Father Elias Boudinot on Islam

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

American views of Islam going back to the origins of America have been generally consistent. With a Christian worldview intact at the beginning, Americans have naturally recognized Islam’s inherent hostility toward Christianity and its fundamental threat to the American way of life. For example, Elias Boudinot was a premiere Founding Father with a long and distinguished career. He served as a member of the Continental Congress, where he served as its president (1782-1783); he signed the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain; he was a member of the U.S. House where he helped frame the Bill of Rights; he served as the Director of Mint under presidents Washington and Adams; etc. In his masterful refutation of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, Boudinot labeled Muhammad an “impostor,” and insightfully observed that
Mahomet aimed to establish his pretensions to divine authority, by the power of the sword and the terrors of his government; while he carefully avoided any attempts at miracles in the presence of his followers, and all pretences to foretell things to come. His acknowledging the divine mission of Moses and Christ confirms their authority as far as his influence will go while their doctrines entirely destroy all his pretensions to the like authority…. And now, where is the comparison between the supposed prophet of Mecca, and the Son of God; or with what propriety ought they to be named together?...The difference between these characters is so great, that the facts need not be further applied (1801, pp. 36-39, emp. added).
This premiere Founder merely expressed the sentiments of the bulk of the Founders as well as the rank and file of American citizens. The political correctness that now characterizes western civilization has desensitized citizens and left the country vulnerable to the sinister infiltration of an ideology that is antithetical to the principles of the American Republic.


Boudinot, Elias (1801), The Age of Revelation, http://books.google.com/books?id=XpcPAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=mahomet&f=false.

The Holy Scriptures--Verbally Inspired by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


The Holy Scriptures--Verbally Inspired

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

In logic, there is a principle called the Law of the Excluded Middle. Simply stated, it is this: a thing must either be, or not be, the case. A line is either straight, or it is not. There is no middle position. Applied to the Bible, one therefore might declare: The Scriptures are either inspired of God, or they are not inspired of God. If the writings of the Bible are not inspired of God, then they are the mere productions of men, and as such would merit no religious respect; in fact, in view of their exalted claims, they would merit only contempt.
Paul, an apostle of Christ, wrote: “Every scripture is inspired of God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible asserts its own inspiration—of this there is no doubt. But to what extent does the sacred volume claim inspiration? This is a question that has perplexed many.


Some have suggested that the Bible is “inspired” only in the sense that other great literary productions are inspired. That is, they all are simply the results of natural genius, characteristic of men of unusual ability. Such a notion must be rejected immediately since: (a) it makes liars of the biblical writers who claimed the Holy Spirit as the ultimate source of their documents (2 Samuel 23:2; Acts 1:16); and (b) it leaves unexplained the mystery of why modern man, with his accumulated learning, has not been able to produce a comparable volume that has the capacity to make the Bible obsolete.
Others have claimed that only certain portions of the Scriptures are inspired of God. We often hear it said, for example, that those sections of the Bible that deal with faith and morals are inspired, but that other areas, particularly those accounts which contain certain miraculous elements, are merely the productions of good—but superstitious and fallible—men. Again, though, such a concept is not consistent with the declarations of the divine writers. They extended inspiration to every area of the Scriptures, even emphasizing, in many instances, those very sections that modernists dub as non-historical, mythical, etc. See, for example: Matthew 12:39-40; 19:4ff.; Luke 4:27; John 3:14-15.
Too, the allegation has been made that the Bible is inspired in “sense,” but not in “sentence.” By that, it is meant that in some sense the Scriptures are of divine origin, but that the very words of the Holy Book are not to be construed as inspired. Such a view is nonsensical. If the words of the sacred narrative are not inspired, pray tell what is inspired? Is the binding? The paper? The ink? The truth is, if the words of the Bible are not inspired of God, then the Bible contains no inspiration at all!


What do we mean when we speak of the “verbal inspiration” of the Holy Scriptures? Frank E. Gaebelein has suggested that a sound view of inspiration holds that “the original documents of the Bible were written by men, who, though permitted the exercise of their own personalities and literary talents, yet wrote under the control and guidance of the Spirit of God, the result being in every word of the original documents a perfect and errorless recording of the exact message which God desired to give to man” (1950, p. 9). In his classic work, Theopneustia—The Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, L. Glaussen, professor of systematic theology, Oratoire, Geneva, defined inspiration as “that inexplicable power which the Divine Spirit put forth of old on the authors of holy Scripture, in order to their guidance even in the employment of the words they used, and to preserve them alike from all error and from all omission” (n.d., p. 34).
Let us take a closer look at 2 Timothy 3:16. The Greek text says: pasa graphe theopneustos—“all scripture [is] God-breathed.” Something within this context is said to be “God-breathed.” What is it? All Scripture. The term “scripture” [graphe] denotes that which is written. But it is the words of the biblical text that are written; hence, the very words of the Bible are God-breathed! No one can appeal to 2 Timothy 3:16 as an evidence of Bible inspiration without, at the same time, introducing the concept of verbal inspiration. The truth is, the doctrine of the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures is abundantly claimed throughout the sacred canon. Consider the following examples.
  1. More than 3,800 times in the Old Testament, the claim is made that the Scriptures are the word [or words] of God. For instance, “And Jehovah said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book...” (Exodus 17:14). David declared: “The Spirit of Jehovah spake by me, and his word was upon my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2). God instructed the prophet Jeremiah, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth” (Jeremiah 1:9). The Scriptures are exalted as the Word of God some 175 times in Psalm 119 alone!
  2. Jesus Christ certainly endorsed the concept of verbal inspiration. He affirmed that neither “one jot nor one tittle” would pass away from the law “until all things be accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18). The jot was the smallest Hebrew letter, and the tittle was a tiny projection on certain Hebrew characters. Professor A.B. Bruce has noted: “Jesus expresses here in the strongest manner His conviction that the whole Old Testament is a Divine revelation, and that therefore every minute precept has religious significance...” (1956, 1:104). The Lord frequently made arguments based upon the text of the Old Testament, wherein He stressed very precise grammatical points. His argument for the resurrection from the dead in Matthew 22:32 depends upon the present tense form of a verb—“I am [not “was”] the God of Abraham....”

    Within the same context, Christ quoted Psalm 110:1, showing that David, speaking in the Spirit, said, “The Lord said unto my Lord...” (Matthew 22:41ff.). Again, the emphasis is on a single word. Jesus (affirming His own deity) asked the Pharisees why David referred to his own descendant, the promised Messiah, as Lord. Not recognizing the dual nature of the Messiah (i.e., as man, He was David’s seed; as deity, He was David’s Lord), they were unable to answer. But had Christ not believed in the inspired words of the Old Testament, He could hardly have reasoned as He did (see also John 10:30ff.).
  3. Christ promised His apostles that the words of their gospel declaration would be given them. He told them: “But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what you shall speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what you shall speak” (Matthew 10:19). And, note Luke’s parallel that they were not to “meditate beforehand” how to answer their antagonists (Luke 21:14). That has to involve their very words!
  4. It is quite clear that the penmen of Scripture were conscious of the fact that they were recording the words of God. Paul wrote: “I received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you” (1 Corinthians 11:23). Again, “This we say unto you by the word of the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:15). “When you received from us the word of the message, even the word of God, you accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). When Philip preached in Samaria, those people to whom he spoke had heard “the word of God” (Acts 8:14).
    In a remarkable passage, Paul asked: “For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him?” He means this: you cannot know what is in my mind until I, by my words, reveal to you what I am thinking. That is the apostle’s illustration. Here is his point. “Even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God...which things [i.e., the things of God] we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words” (1 Corinthians 2:11-13). There is not a more comprehensive statement of verbal inspiration to be found anywhere in the holy writings. The mind of God has been made known by means of the inspired words of those representatives whom He chose for that noble task.
  5. The biblical writers considered one another’s productions to be inspired of God. In 1 Timothy 5:18, Paul writes: “For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his hire.” In this passage, the apostle has combined Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7, and classified them both as “scripture.” Similarly, Peter refers to Paul’s epistles as “scripture” in 2 Peter 3:15-16.


Whenever you hear someone accusing advocates of verbal inspiration of believing in “mechanical dictation,” most likely you are dealing with a theological liberal! The notion of “mechanical dictation” [i.e., that the Bible writers were only dictaphones or typewriters, hence, their cultural and personality factors did not enter into their works] is not taught by many conservative Bible scholars. Certainly, Paul’s writings differ in style from those of John, etc. But that does not negate the fact that after God used the individual writers of Scripture, in the final process, only the exact words that He wanted in the text appeared there!


“But suppose,” someone wonders, “the Bible was verbally inspired initially. Hasn’t the transmission of the text across the centuries caused a corruption of the original documents, so that verbal inspiration has been virtually destroyed?” No, not at all. The text of the Bible—both Old and New Testaments—has been preserved in a remarkable fashion. For example, after years of scientific research in connection with the text of the Old Testament, professor Robert Dick Wilson, who was thoroughly acquainted with forty-five languages, stated that “we are scientifically certain that we have substantially the same text that was in the possession of Christ and the apostles...” (1929, p. 8, emp. added). Evidence for the textual reliability of the New Testament is no less impressive. Scholars are now in possession of some 5,378 Greek manuscripts (in part or in whole) of the New Testament, and some of these date to the early part of the second century A.D. It has been estimated that textual variations concern only about 1/1000th part of the entire text (see Gregory, 1907, p. 528). Transmission, therefore, has not destroyed verbal inspiration.


Since the Holy Scriptures originally were penned in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and since then have been translated into many languages, some are concerned that the translation process has destroyed the Bible’s initial inspiration. But there is no need for concern over this matter so long as accurate translation is effected. When a word is translated precisely from one language into another, the same thought or idea is conveyed; thus, the same message is received.
That translation need not affect inspiration is evinced by an appeal to the New Testament itself. In the 3rd-2nd centuries B.C., the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek. This version, which was begun in Alexandria, Egypt, is known as the Septuagint. Note this interesting fact: Jesus Christ Himself, and His inspired New Testament writers, frequently quoted from the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament Scriptures! For example, in Matthew 22:32, Christ quoted from the Septuagint (Exodus 3:6), and of that passage said: “Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God?” (22:31). The translation from Hebrew to Greek did not alter the fact that the message was the Word of God!
It also might be observed in this connection that scholars generally agree that the Septuagint is not as reliable a translation as is the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. Yet in spite of this, the New Testament frequently quotes it. However, as one author observed: “The writers of the New Testament appear to have been so careful to give the true sense of the Old Testament, that they forsook the Septuagint version whenever it did not give that sense...” (Horne, 1841, 1:312). The fact is, when a New Testament writer was quoting from the Greek Old Testament, the Holy Spirit sometimes led him to slightly alter the phraseology to give a more accurate sense. Thus, inspiration was still preserved though a less-than-perfect translation was being used.


The Scriptures are the verbally inspired Word of God. This view has been entertained by reverent students of the Holy Writings for multiplied centuries. Fritz Rienecker noted that the Jewish “rabbinical teaching was that the Spirit of God rested on and in the prophets and spoke through them so that their words did not come from themselves, but from the mouth of God and they spoke and wrote in the Holy Spirit. The early church was in entire agreement with this view” (1980, 2:301).
Let us therefore exalt the Holy Scriptures as the living Word of God (Hebrews 4:12), and acknowledge them as the only authoritative source of religious guidance.


Bruce, A.B. (1956), Expositor’s New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Gaebelein, Frank E. (1950), The Meaning of Inspiration (Chicago, IL: Inter-Varsity).
Glaussen, L. (no date), Theopneustia—The Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Gregory, C.R. (1907), Canon and Text of the New Testament (New York: Scribners).
Horne, Thomas H. (1842), An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures (Philadelplhia, PA: Whetham & Son).
Rienecker, Fritz (1980), A Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Wilson, Robert Dick (1929), A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament (New York: Harper & Brothers).

The Complexity of the Design Process by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


The Complexity of the Design Process

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Typically, in the first semester of engineering school, an introductory course presents broad concepts about engineering. Students may learn the basic differences in the engineering fields (e.g., civil, electrical, mechanical, chemical, structural, etc.). They may spend some time considering ethical dilemmas that engineers have often faced in their careers. First-year students also usually give some consideration to the design process. Even in its basic form, the design process proves to be very complex, even before considering the specialized scientific knowledge required to design a given item.
Many steps are necessary in order to get a product to the public. Consider one introductory engineering textbook’s template for the design process (see Introduction to Engineering..., 2004, pp. 10,32):
  1. Problem symptom or expression; definition of product need; marketing information
  2. Problem definition, including statement of desired outcome
  3. Conceptual design and evaluation; feasibility study
  4. Design analysis; codes/standards review; physical and analytical models
  5. Synthesis of alternative solutions (back to design analysis for iterations)
  6. Decision (selection of one alternative)
  7. Prototype production; testing and evaluation (back to design analysis for more iterations)
  8. Production drawings; instruction manuals
  9. Material specification; process and equipment selection; safety review
  10. Pilot production
  11. Production
  12. Inspection and quality assurance
  13. Packaging; marketing and sales literature
  14. Product
The design process is unquestionably lengthy, technical, complex, and calculated.
Now consider the Universe. Consider the perfect interaction between all entities in this Universe: between plants and animals; between animals and humans; between the Sun and Earth; between the Moon and Earth; between insects and plants; between the circulatory system and the respiratory system. The list could go on infinitely. The finely-tuned machine that we call the Universe is an engineering feat of amazing proportions. Consider the knowledge level and expertise that would be necessary for such perfect design—knowledge and expertise that humans lack. The created order implies an omniscient and eternal Designer, Who must be the Chief Engineer of all engineers, to have produced such a product.
Will a series of random accidents over millions of years result in sophisticated photographic equipment? And then, if given enough time, will that camera eventually spontaneously come to life? And then, given enough additional time, will that living camera grow legs and start walking around? The first step is impossible, much less the subsequent steps. The complexity and design inherent in the camera demands more than mere happenstance. However, turning to the design that the camera emulates, the human eye, scientists assert that the eye could have just happened on its own by accident. But that viewpoint is incorrect. Both products required design in order to get them to the “consumer”—and one took much more knowledge and insight than the other.
If someone were to throw a rock into space, would it eventually spontaneously explode? And from that explosion, is it logical to conclude that that rock would come to life, grow wings, and have babies that evolve into other creatures? To ask is to answer.
Scientists recognize the complexity of the design process. However, when they peer into the amazing Universe, many of these scientists abandon logic and reason, and assert that it all just happened by accident. Many of the engineering feats of the creation are unparalleled by human designs and always will be, even if we spent countless hours, millions of dollars, and used a multitude of engineers. Evolutionists believe that this Universe, which is infinitely more complex and sophisticated than anything humans could ever design, especially without engaging in biomimicry, just happened on its own? Go figure.


Introduction to Engineering at Auburn University: Manufacturing—Industrial and Systems Engineering (2004), (Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing).

Is the Pope “Infallible”? by Moisés Pinedo


Is the Pope “Infallible”?

by  Moisés Pinedo

One of the most treasured doctrines of the Roman papacy is that of infallibility. This dogma was issued by Pope Pius IX and was approved and defined by the Vatican I Council in 1870. The conciliar document declares that
when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA...he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable (“First Dogmatic...,” 1870, 4.9).
In other words, papal infallibility means that the pope makes, or should make, no mistakes in matters concerning the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The Council even went so far as to state that “should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition [of papal infallibility—MP] of ours: let him be anathema [condemned—MP]” (“First Dogmatic...,” 1870, 4.9).
For more than a century, this dogma has plagued many Catholics who have worked feverishly to try to harmonize the nature of the “infallible” dogma with the declarations, teachings, and revelations of the popes who lived before and after its establishment. After all, it is claimed that the Catholic Church does not create new dogmas; rather, it proposes eternal truths already contained in the “deposit of faith” (see “Roman Catholic...,” 1892, 8:772; Dixon, 1852, p. 197). Therefore, it could be said that, before the 19th century, every pope has been subject to “infallibility” without knowing it.
History militates against papal infallibility. For example, Pope Honorius I (A.D. 625-638) was deemed a “heretic” for many years after his death for espousing the doctrine of monotheletism (the doctrine that acknowledged two distinct natures within Christ, but only one divine will). He was censured by the Third Council of Constantinople in 680 (see “Honorius I,” 2001). Another pope, Eugenius IV (1431-1447), condemned Joan of Arc, considering her to be a participant of witchcraft, though Benedict XV canonized her as a “saint” in 1920 (see “Joan...,” 2001). Other popes, such as Paul III, Paul IV, Sixtus IV, Pius IX, et al., authorized, promoted, incited, and reinforced the “Holy” Inquisition for which the late Pope John Paul II had to apologize worldwide.
John Paul II himself (1978-2005) gave a fatal blow to the doctrine of infallibility. In opposition to the declarations of other popes and to Catholic doctrine itself, this pope declared:
  • The Spirit of Christ uses churches and ecclesial communities other than the Catholic Church as means of salvation (1979, 4.32).
  • People outside the Catholic Church and the Gospel can attain salvation by the grace of Christ (1990, 1.10).
  • People can be saved by living a good moral life, without knowing anything about Christ and the Catholic Church (1993, 3).
  • There is sanctification outside the Catholic Church (1995, 1.12).
  • The martyrs of any religious community can find the extraordinary grace of the Holy Spirit (1995, 3.84).
Furthermore, concerning the erroneous concept of organic evolution, on October 22, 1996, Pope John Paul II declared that “new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis” (see John Paul II, 1996). But if evolution is to be considered more than merely a hypothesis, Adam disappears! Ultimately, then, how can it be, as Catholics allege, that humanity carries the sin of the first man? Should they not say, instead, that humanity carries the “sin” of the last primate from which we “descended” (as if primates could sin!)?
Due to this obvious failure to satisfy the demands of infallibility, Catholicism has to explain, reformulate, and justify the dogma. Innumerable “clarifications” have been offered to calm Catholics and other religious people who question its veracity. Concerning the possibility that the pope could fall into heresy, Cardinal Cajetan, one of the most outspoken supporters of papal infallibility, maintained that “this only applies to the pope as a private individual, for then he is as fallible as any other person” (quoted in Fernhout, 1994, p. 106).
In a Web site devoted to Catholic apologetics, the following is said about the pope:
And if he is a heretic, at least he is not going to declare his heresies as part of the doctrine of the profession, that is, things which we are required to believe and observe. It was never permitted by the Holy Spirit (see Toth, et al., n.d).
Other apologists even have gone so far as to declare that
it is true that certain popes have contradicted other popes, in their private opinions or concerning disciplinary dogmas; but there was never a Pope who would officially contradict what a previous Pope officially taught about faith and moral matters. The same could be said about ecumenical councils, which also teach with infallibility. There was not an ecumenical council that would contradict the teaching of a previous ecumenical council concerning faith and morals (Keating, n.d., emp. added).
Now Catholicism proposes that, in reality, the pope can make mistakes in religious matters, but he never will do it officially. [This is very convenient, since Catholicism itself defines what is “official.”] In the same way, we are told that the councils invoked by the popes teach with infallibility and never contradict each other. But are these statements true? We are going to let the two last official councils of the Catholic Church answer this question.
In its Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Vatican I Council expressed the following:
The abandonment and rejection of the Christian religion, and the denial of God and his Christ, has plunged the minds of many into the abyss of pantheism, materialism and atheism, and the consequence is that they strive to destroy rational nature itself, to deny any criterion of what is right and just.... And so we, following in the footsteps of our predecessors, in accordance with our supreme apostolic office, have never left off teaching and defending Catholic truth and condemning erroneous doctrines (1870, 7,10, emp. added).
While Vatican I condemned erroneous doctrines such as the denial of Christ, Vatican II declares:
The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth.... Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet (“Declaration Nostra Aetate...,” 1965, 3, emp. added).
But Muslims’ refusal to acknowledge Jesus as God is a denial of God and His Christ, and thus the heresy condemned by Vatican I.
In its canonic sentence on written revelation, Vatican I states:
If anyone does not receive as sacred and canonical the complete books of Sacred Scripture with all their parts, as the holy Council of Trent listed them, or denies that they were divinely inspired: let him be anathema [condemned—MP] (“Canons,” 1870, 2.4, emp. added).
However, Vatican II, in speaking about Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions that discard much of canonical Scripture, declared that these religions
try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing “ways,” comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men (“Declaration Nostra Aetate...,” 1965, 2, emp. added).
On the permanence of the Petrine primacy of the Roman pontiffs, Vatican I, in its Pastor Aeternus, declares:
Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the Lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema (“First Dogmatic...,” 1870, 2.5, parenthetical item in orig., emp. added).
However, Vatican II claims:
The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter [that is to say, they do not accept the papal hierarchy—MP]. For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ (“Dogmatic Constitution...,” 1964, 2.15, emp. added).
Now Vatican II has “united to Christ” the same people who, for refusing Petrine hierarchy, were condemned as anathema by Vatican I. Truth be told, the Vatican II Council, invoked by John XXIII, cannot coexist with Vatican I Council, invoked by Pius IX (the father of the dogma of infallibility). These two councils stand as permanent historical evidence of papal fallibility.
Upon analyzing the allegedly infallible history of the popes, we can arrive only at the same conclusion to which Adrian VI (another supposedly infallible pope) arrived in the 16th century: “The pope may err even in what belongs to the faith” (McClintock and Strong, 1867-1880, 1:83).
Certainly, the doctrine of papal infallibility has caused, and continues to cause, many people to accept false doctrines such as original sin, the assumption of Mary, the canonization of saints, the “factuality” of evolution, and even papal “infallibility” itself—doctrines that are completely lacking biblical foundation. Christians must understand that there is only one infallible truth—the Word of God (John 17:17). It is this truth from which we need to obtain the salvation of our souls. It will keep us away from error and apostasy. In the end, when our Savior returns in the clouds to reward and punish in a universal Judgment, it will not be the words of men’s fallible councils, but the Word of God, that will be open; then the Lord will give the “canonical” sentence.


“Canons” (1870), First Vatican Council [On-line], URL: http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/V1.HTM#5.
“Declaration Nostra Aetate on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions” (1965), Second Vatican Council [On-line], URL: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_ vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028 _nostra-aetate_en.html.
Dixon, Joseph (1852), A General Introduction to the Sacred Scriptures (Baltimore: John Murphy).
“Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith” (1870), First Vatican Council [On-line], URL: http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/V1.HTM#4.
“Dogmatic Constitution on the Church” (1964), Second Vatican Council [On-line], URL: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ ii_vatican_council/documents/vatii_const_19641121_ lumen-gentium_en.html.
Fernhout Rein (1994), Canonical Texts: Bearers of Absolute Authority (Atlanta, GA: Editions Rodopi).
“First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ” (1870), First Vatican Council [On-line], URL: http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/V1.HTM#6.
“Honorius I” (2001), Encarta Encyclopedia 2002 (Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation).
John Paul II (1979), “Catechesi Tradendae,” [On-line], URL: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/ john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_16101979_ catechesi-tradendae_en.html.
John Paul II (1990), “Redemptoris Missio,” [On-line], URL: http://www.vatican.va/ holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_07121990_ redemptoris-missio_en.html.
John Paul II (1993), “Veritatis Splendor,” [On-line], URL: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/ john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis- splendor_en.html.
John Paul II (1995), “Ut Unum Sint,” [On-line], URL: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/ john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25051995_ ut-unum-sint_en.html.
John Paul II (1996), “Truth Cannot Contradict Truth,” [On-line], URL: http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htm.
“Joan of Arc, Saint” (2001), Encarta Encyclopedia 2002 (Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation).
Keating, Karl (no date), Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians” [On-line], URL: http://apologetica.org/infalibilidad-keating.htm.
McClintock, John and James Strong (1867-1880), Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), 1968-1970 reprint.
“Roman Catholic Church” (1892), Chambers’ Encyclopædia (London: J.B. Lippincott).
Toth, T. A. Hillaire, and A.L. Rascón (no date), “Reflections about the Church’s Infallibility” [“Reflexiones en Torno a la Infalibilidad de la Iglesia”], [On-line], URL: http://apologetica.org/infalibilidad.htm.

Did Jesus Lie to His Brothers? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Did Jesus Lie to His Brothers?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Scripture repeatedly testifies that Jesus never sinned. The prophet Isaiah, speaking as if Jesus had already lived and died, said that the Savior “had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth” (53:9). The apostle Peter quoted from Isaiah in his first epistle (2:22), and added that Jesus was “a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). Paul wrote to the Corinthians how Jesus “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). What’s more, according to Hebrews 4:15, Jesus “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). He was “pure” and “righteous” in the supreme sense (1 John 3:3; 2:1). Simply put, Jesus was perfect; He never transgressed God’s law.
If Jesus never sinned, and specifically never lied, some wonder why Jesus told his brothers, “I do not go up to this feast [the Feast of Tabernacles]” (John 7:8, NASB), if later, “when His brothers had gone...He Himself also went” (7:10, NASB)? Some allege that, in this instance, Jesus “broke his word” and “lied” (McKinsey, 2000, p. 787), and thus was not the Son of God as He claimed. What is the truth of the matter?
First of all, several early manuscripts of the gospel of John, including p66 and p75 (believed to be from as early as the late second and early third centuries), have Jesus saying, “I am not yet [oupo] going up to this feast,” rather than “I do not [ouk] go up to this feast.” Thus, it may be that the correct rendering is found in the KJV, NKJV, and NIV, rather than the ASV, NASB, and RSV.
Second, even if Jesus did say at one point to His brothers, “I do not go up to this feast,” but later He went, that still does not mean that He lied. Suppose a co-worker saw me leaving the office at 2:00 p.m. and asked me, “Are you going home?” and I said, “No,” but later went home that day at 5:00 p.m. Have I lied? Not at all. When I left the office at 2:00 p.m., I went to run a quick errand—I did not go home. When I departed the office at 5:00 p.m., however, I went home. “No” is often truthfully used in a time-sensitive manner. Simply because at 2:00 p.m. I said I was not going home, does not mean I could not go home at 5:00 p.m. My “no” meant “I’m not going home at the present.” Similarly, if Jesus used the term “not” [ouk] rather than “not yet” [oupo], He could just as easily been implying the same thing: “I am not going to the feast at the present.”
At the proper time, after Jesus “remained in Galilee” for a while (7:9), He did go to the feast. The proper time was not when his unbelieving brothers told Him to “depart” (John 7:5), but when the Son of God said it was time—a God-appointed time. Furthermore, His attendance at the feast was not for the purpose that His brothers envisioned (to show Himself to the world—7:3-4), rather Jesus went to the feast “not openly, but as it were in secret” (7:10, emp. added).
Just as we often say, “I am not going,” but mean “I am not going yet,” Jesus had every right to use that same kind of language. Although Jesus embodied truth (John 14:6) and always told the truth (1 Peter 2:22), He still used figures of speech and language men commonly understood—some even today.


McKinsey, C. Dennis (2000), Biblical Errancy (Amherst, NY: Prometheus).

Fossil Wars Show Evolutionary Scientists Have an Agenda by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Fossil Wars Show Evolutionary Scientists Have an Agenda

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Dr. Chris Beard, paleontologist at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History, recently received national attention when he vigorously denied that a fossil named Ida provided a missing link between humans and their alleged primate ancestors (see Lyons and Butt, 2009). He was correct to deny Ida’s relevance to alleged human evolution, but he was not motivated by the truth that humans did not evolve. Nor was he compelled to deny Ida’s role based on the fact that evolution defies the laws of biology and genetics and is scientifically impossible. Instead, it seems that he simply had a fossil of his own that he wanted to put forth as a candidate for an early human ancestor.
Associated Press writer Michael Casey reported on the new fossil find that Dr. Beard and his team uncovered in Myanmar. The team found pieces of jaws and teeth that they claim came from 10-15 different individuals. According to Dr. Beard, this new creature, named Ganlea megacanina lived in Asia 38 million years ago. In addition, Dr. Beard and his team claim that “wear and tear on the canine teeth suggest the tree-dwelling, monkey-like creatures with long tails used their teeth to crack open tropical fruit to get to the pulp and seeds” (Casey, 2009). According to Beard, this supposed behavior was very specialized and would link Ganlea to primates.
What is Beard suggesting this new find proves? He is attempting to challenge the popular belief among paleontologists that humans evolved on the African continent. He said: “This new fossil Ganlea definitely helps us argue—and we think the argument is pretty close to settled now—that when you go back this far in time, the common ancestor of monkeys, apes and humans was definitely in Asia, not in Africa” (as quoted in Casey, 2009). It is easy to see the tension mounting between paleontologists as they scramble to make headlines with their latest find. Beard’s disdain for Ida and his attempt to bolster his new find is clearly evident from comments such as: “We wouldn’t claim Ganlea is [sic] missing link, but we know Ganlea is much more closely related to our ancestors than Ida ever was—even though, unfortunately, we don’t have [sic] complete skeleton like they did for Ida” (as quoted in Casey).
It does not take much research, however, to find paleontologists who disagree with Beard and his team. Casey reported that John Fleagle, a paleontologist from Stony Brook University, noted that the fossils do “not add anything new” to the idea of human evolution, and that without finding a skull, Beard’s team has not added any conclusive information to the debate (2009). In a very real sense, the evolutionists remain divided on some of the most basic ideas about human evolution.
These fossil wars can help us see some very significant forces at play in the scientific community. First, this scenario shows that facts often are not the driving force behind many popular “scientific” conclusions. In many cases, it is the desire for fame, prestige, or governmental grants that provide the impetus for research. Second, we see that the concept of human evolution is so nebulous that the paleontological community cannot agree on some of its major tenets. This makes perfect sense in light of the fact that humans did not evolve, and any scenario that claims they did is based on false interpretations of the data in the first place. Third, we can be sure that there will always be another “missing link” or new fossil that makes headlines claiming to prove human evolution. Overstatement and exaggeration are the name of the game. This has been going on for over a century. Yet every one is either displaced by the next, shown to be a fraud, or proven to be nothing more than distinctly human or distinctly animal. How many times will new finds have to be proven to be false to show that the entire idea of human evolution is incorrect? Ganlea, Ida, Piltdown Man, Hobbit Man, Nebraska Man, Lucy, and all the rest of the clan do not prove that humans evolved. In fact, the honest observer is forced by the lack of linking evidence in these finds to conclude that the fossils show that humans did not evolve from lower animals.


Casey, Michael (2009), “Myanmar Fossil May Shed Light on Evolution,” [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090702/ap_on_sc/as_sci_myanmar_primate_fossil.
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2009), “Ida—A Missing Link?”, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240160.

Sex Education Gone Crazy by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Sex Education Gone Crazy

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

To the delight of such organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Humanist Association, on July 14, 2005 the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee announced its decision to increase funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs by 1.8 million dollars in 2006—38.6 million dollars below President Bush’s proposal. Although these organizations would rather have seen a substantial decrease in the funding for the abstinence-only-until-marriage program (to the amount of $0), the rejection of President Bush’s increase request is said to be “an encouraging step away from religious-based...curriculum” (“Senate Appropriations...,” 2005). Humanists advocate that “sexuality education programs in public schools should reflect our shared ethical values—not sectarian values of any one particular group” (i.e., Christian fundamentalists—“A Humanist Statement...,” n.d.). Apparently, the abstinence-only-until-marriage program is too similar to the Bible’s teaching on lawful sexual relations (between a scripturally married husband and wife—Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:1-9; cf. Galatians 5:19; Colossians 3:5) for it to be worthy of America’s support.
Since the 1960s (when “comprehensive sex education” began to infiltrate schools and government programs) billions of dollars have been allocated to health departments and other government entities partly for the purpose of educating America’s youth about “safe sex.” Conducting federally funded, abstinence-based, sex-education classes in public schools, however, is considered by the ACLU and others to be “fiscally irresponsible” (“Sign on Letter..., 2005). Even the 2005 updated teen-pregnancy policy released by the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer includes the phrase “abstinence counseling is an important role for all pediatricians” (“Doctors Denounce...,” 2005).
Rather than teach young people about the godly and logical reasons to postpone a sexual relationship until they are married, countless organizations around the globe continue to advocate safe-sex education. And, it’s beginning earlier and earlier. Only a few weeks ago, a “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” was given to eleven and twelve-year olds in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Seven of the more than fifty questions on the survey dealt with sexual matters: had the students ever engaged in sexual intercourse or oral sex; if so, when was their first time; how many times had they engaged in a sexual act; and, did they use protection (Lally, 2005; Brown and Brown, 2005). Just this month a Norwegian news site ran an article titled “Sex-ed urged for 5-year olds” (emp. added). Siv Gamnes, the head of a clinic that specializes in sex education in Norway, “doesn’t think age five is too early to start talking about sex.” In fact, “sex education should begin while small children are still in local kindergartens” (“Sex-Ed..., 2005, emp. added). After all, according to Gamnes, “Starting early with sex education can help prevent children from getting wrong information that they can go around believing for a long time” (“Sex-Ed...”).
Admittedly, sexually transmitted diseases are serious, painful, and sometimes deadly. [According to the American Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 65 million people (or 22% of the U.S. population) live with one or more incurable sexually transmitted diseases (“Tracking..., 2004).] But, the answer is not to excite children and adolescents sexually by talking to them about oral sex, multiple sex partners, masturbation, condoms, and diaphragms at earlier and earlier ages. Youth need a steady diet of teaching on what is right and wrong, good and bad (cf. Romans 13:9-21; Deuteronomy 6:1-9)—instruction that humanists and atheists staunchly oppose (see “A Humanist Statement..., n.d.;” cf. Huxley, 1937, p. 316), and for that reason may never again be seen in our heavily humanistically influenced schools. Truly, until man is willing to humble himself, submit to the rule of God, and teach biblical principles and laws concerning sexual relations, the plague of sexually transmitted diseases will continue. But “fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10). Thirty-five hundred years ago, the Almighty instructed Israel, saying: “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer” (Exodus 15:26, NASB). In short, the sexually transmitted diseases that saturate our world are easily preventable—obey God. “Flee sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18).


Brown, Jim and Jody Brown (2005), “Mass. Parents Riled About 6th-Grade ‘Sex Survey,’” Agape Press, June 10, [On-line], URL: http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/6/102005a.asp.
“Doctors Denounce Abstinence-Only Education” (2005), Associated Press, MSNBC News, July 5, [On-line], URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8470845/.
“A Humanist Statement on Sexuality Education” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.americanhumanist.org/signon/index.html.
Huxley, Aldous (1937), Ends and Means (New York: Harper).
Lally, Patrick (2005), “Sex Survey Annoys Parents,” Shrewsbury Chronicle, June 2, [On-line], URL: http://www2.townonline.com/shrewsbury/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=256851.
“Senate Appropriations Committee Slashes Funding Increase for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs” (2005), [On-line], URL: http://www.americanhumanist.org/press/AbstinenceOnly.html.
“Sex-Ed Urged for 5-Year Olds” (2005), Aftenposten, July 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1082501.ece.
“Sign on Letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee Requesting No New Money for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs” (2005), American Civil Liberties Union, June 7, [On-line], URL: http://www.aclu.org/news/NewsPrint.cfm?ID=18462&c=147.
“Tracking the Hidden Epidemics 2000” (2004), Center for Disease Control, [On-line], URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/news/RevBrochure1pdfintro.htm.