"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER" Fortifying The Focus Of Our Hope (1:13)


Fortifying The Focus Of Our Hope (1:13)


1. Up to this point in his epistle, Peter has summarized some of the
   blessings enjoyed by God's "pilgrims"...
   a. Their election, sanctification, and sprinkling of the blood of
      Jesus - 1Pe 1:2
   b. Their rebirth to a living hope - 1Pe 1:3
   c. Their incorruptible inheritance, reserved in heaven - 1Pe 1:4
   d. Their being kept by the power of God through faith for the 
      salvation to come - 1Pe 1:5
   e. Their great joy, which is inexpressible and full of glory 
      - 1 Pe 1:6-9
   f. The honor of having been served by a distinguished group of 
      individuals - 1Pe 1:10-12

2. Starting with verse 13, we find a series of exhortations...
   a. These exhortations are based upon the wonderful blessings listed
      previously (note the connecting word "therefore")
   b. These exhortations are found throughout much of the rest of the epistle

3. The first exhortation relates to the "hope" that we have as 
   Christians - 1Pe 1:13
   a. In which we are charged to "rest your hope fully upon the grace 
      that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ"
   b. Put another way, we are being charged to "fortify the focus of 
      our hope"
   c. What this means, and how we are to accomplish it, will be the 
      focus of this lesson

[Let's start by first noticing...]


      1. I.e., the words "rest your hope fully upon the grace that is 
         to be brought to you" is the main point of this verse
      2. The other exhortations which precede it are subsidiary
      3. And will be considered later

      1. It means to "set your hope perfectly, unchangeably, without 
         doubt and despondency"
      2. As the NASV puts it:  "fix your hope completely on the grace..."
      3. Therefore Peter is exhorting us to make our hope one that is
         complete, strong, and not wavering

      1. We have a duty to develop and fortify our hope
      2. Just as we need to cultivate patience, self-control, etc., so
         we need to cultivate our hope!
      3. For without a hope that is strong...
         a. Our faith may waver
         b. We are subject to fear, doubt, and depression
      4. Yes, the cultivation (or fortification) of our hope is 
         essential to living joyful and victorious lives as Christians!

[This is the main point of verse 13, an exhortation to fortify our 
hope, to make it stronger.  Just as we are to grow in faith and love, 
so we are to grow in hope!

To do this effectively, it is important to give thought to...]


      1. The "grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of 
         Jesus Christ"
      2. I.e., the unmerited favor that we will receive when Jesus 
         comes again!

      1. The "inheritance...reserved in heaven for you" - 1Pe 1:4
      2. The "salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" - 1 Pe 1:5
      3. The "praise, honor, and glory" we shall receive "at the 
         revelation of Jesus Christ" - 1Pe 1:7
      4. The "end of your faith--the salvation of your souls" - 1Pe 1:9

      1. The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the wonderful grace 
         He will bring!
      2. The wonderful praise, honor, and glory we shall receive when 
         He comes!
      3. The complete and final salvation of our souls from sin and its effects!
      4. The receiving of our wonderful inheritance, the heavenly city,
         which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that does not fade away!

[Such is to be the focus of our hope.  And as stated previously, the 
main charge in this passage to "rest our hope fully upon the grace that
is to be brought to you" (to fortify the focus of your hope).

How we accomplish this is now considered as we examine...]


      1. "gird up" is an oriental expression...
         a. It refers to the act of gathering up around the waist the
            long, loose robes warn by those in the east
         b. Such "gathering up" was necessary or one's progress in 
            running or some other act of exertion would be impeded
      2. With the use of this metaphor, Peter is saying...
         a. We must put out of the mind all things that would impede 
            the free action of the mind in connection with developing 
            our hope
         b. We must put out of the mind such things like worry, fear, 
            or obsession with material possessions
      3. I.e., remove anything and everything that is not conducive to 
         having a strong hope in the coming of our Lord
         a. Such as carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life - 
            cf. Lk 21:34-35
         b. Such things as these "choke" us and hinder our ability to 
            bear fruit (such as the fruit of a strong hope) - cf. Lk 8:14

   B. "BE SOBER"
      1. The word "sober" means "to be calm and collected in spirit, to
         be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect"
      2. It is that state of mind in which the individual is self-
         controlled, able to see things without the distortion caused
         by worry or fear
      3. I.e., to fortify the focus of our hope requires a CALM and 
         SERIOUS attention to the task at hand - cf. Lk 21:36 ("Watch
         therefore, and pray always...")
      4. We cannot cultivate and fortify a strong hope if we are so 
         "weak-minded" that we allow things to divert us away from our
         true calling!


1. And what is our calling?  To sojourn through this life as pilgrims,
   but with a hope that is resting fully upon the grace we will receive
   when Christ comes again!

2. The problem with many Christians today is NOT that they have no hope...
   a. But that their hope is weak and shallow
   b. And that is because they are preoccupied with the affairs of this
      temporary life

3. To remain faithful to the Lord, we need to heed Peter's exhortation
   to fortify the focus of our hope by...
   a. Freeing our minds of those things which would hinder us
   b. Being more serious about the kind of lives our Heavenly Father 
      would have us live - cf. Lk 12:35-40

Our next lesson will elaborate upon how God would have us live; but for
now, are we living for God at all...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Is Creation Science? by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


Is Creation Science?

by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

On June 22, 1633, Galileo confessed to the “heresy” of believing that the Earth orbits the Sun. With that statement in hand, the Holy Office of the Roman Catholic Church prohibited the aging scientist from discussing the Copernican view of the Solar System, and sentenced him to house arrest for the remainder of his life (Hummel, 1986, pp. 118,123).
And so began the long conflict between faith and science, at least according to the popular view. From that day forward, Galileo became a martyr for free thought, sacrificed at the altar of an ignorant, authoritarian church.
More than two hundred years later, the church and science faced off again, this time over the writings of a certain Charles Darwin. It took place on a balmy June day in 1860, at the annual meeting in Oxford of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. The protagonists were Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, and Thomas Huxley, professor of natural history at the Royal School of Mines. Bishop Wilberforce mounted the floor first, giving a critique of Darwin’s new book, The Origin of Species. Apparently he ended his speech by inquiring of Huxley whether it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey. Huxley got up to defend Darwin’s views, adding that if the choice was between an ape for a grandfather, or a man who ridiculed science, his preference was the ape (Blackmore and Page, 1989, pp. 102-103).
No one knows exactly what was said at that meeting, but in later years the exchange achieved powerful legendary status. The scientist had beaten the bishop publicly, and in his own diocese. Again, the popular picture has reason triumphing over blind faith as it pushed the church aside in its unrelenting pursuit of scientific progress.
This view gained momentum in the remaining decades of the nineteenth century. In 1874, John William Draper wrote a book titled History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science. Then in 1896, Andrew Dickson White published A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom. Both books received wide distribution, and helped sustain the tension into the modern era (Russell, 1985, p. 193).


Many historians of science now reject this simple view of conflict (Lindberg and Numbers, 1986, p. 6). To be sure, great minds clashed through the centuries, but what they were saying about science and religion often reflected only the currents of social change swirling around them. Yet the origins issue remains a topic of intense debate. Few people speak of the creation/evolution “discussion” or “dialogue.” Even after making a case for a kinder, gentler consideration of the issues, Numbers lapses into military language in his analysis of creationists. He talks about the fundamentalist “crusade” against evolution (1986, p. 394), and the “battle” to get scientific creationism into public schools (1986, p. 413).
Part of the problem is that there are no ground rules for a reasonable discussion of origins. Creationists would like an opportunity to give scientific reasons for why they believe what they believe. However, many evolutionists fear that creationists must necessarily abuse science to use science. Creationism, they claim, is a religious dogma, and therefore closed to the usual rigors of scientific investigation. Hence Stephen Jay Gould has labeled “scientific creationism” an oxymoron—a contradiction in terms (1987, 8[1]:64). Also, many evolutionists claim that evolution is a fact, while admitting that they do not understand the mechanism and details completely. This elevated view of evolution prompts creationists to hurl the accusations of “religious dogma” back on the evolutionists’ side.
To complicate matters, some Bible believers are uncomfortable with the idea of defending creation on the field of science. A few have retreated, seeing science as a threat to their faith. Some fears may stem from the conflict described previously; scientists are seen only as adversaries. It also may come from the perception that science has been the source of many evils: atomic weapons, death-camp experiments, ethically questionable medical practices, and so on. Still others object outright, claiming that science and religion are on two different planes separated by a distance equal to a “leap of faith.” In other words, they believe it is impossible, or improper, to present any rational proof or evidence that would lead anyone to a belief in the Creator (Sproul, et al., 1984, p. 34).
The results can be unfortunate. In a world of ever-increasing technological complexity, where scientism often reigns supreme, retreat only serves to alienate the Gospel from people seeking genuine reasons to believe, or continue believing, in God. And placing science and religion into separate compartments, with scientists determining truth in one area, and theologians determining truth in the other, can lead ultimately to the compromise of theistic evolution (Moreland, 1989, pp. 12,217).


There is a need to step back from this debate and look for a better way to present the wealth of evidence in favor of creation. Opponents still may not agree with the conclusions, but it should allow creationists to present a consistent, scientific case. Perhaps the best approach is to put creation and evolution on an equal footing. This is not an attempt to dodge the issue by saying both ideas are true. Rather, it is an effort to set up a reasonable framework for discussing the origins issue. The first place to begin, however, is among those who profess a belief in God.

On Science and Religion

Faith need not exclude science. Yes, faith involves an emotional or heart-felt response to God, but it also involves an intellectual response. Abraham, Moses, and the other children of God listed in Hebrews 11 were faithful, with no help from modern science. Noah’s building of the ark, for example, was not based on his personal study of marine engineering or hydrology, but rather a decision to obey God’s command. However, surely some of Noah’s faith came from the knowledge that God could and would work in nature to achieve His ends, including sending a worldwide Flood and preserving Noah and his family on the ark.
Throughout the Old Testament, God invited His people to compare His miracles and prophecies with the claims of pagan religions (e.g., Isaiah 41:21-22). Then in the New Testament, Christ and the apostles sought a spiritual response from a reasonable consideration of what people had seen and heard (John 5:36; Acts 2:14-41; 17:16-34). Peter gave Christians explicit instructions to defend the reason for their hope of eternal salvation (1 Peter 3:15).
Further, God appealed to the creation as a demonstration of His existence and power (e.g., Job 38-39; Isaiah 40:26; 45:12). That God’s revelation of His will to Moses began with the account of creation is no coincidence, for it established His unique nature and role in the faith of Israel. The apostle Paul told Christians in Rome that unbelievers always have had the opportunity to recognize the existence of a Creator by studying the creation (1:20). Of course, it is not possible to come to a saving knowledge without special revelation (Romans 10:17), but it is possible to understand the need to seek out the Creator by looking at His natural or general revelation. Although salvation by grace is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8), it does not follow that faith is irrational—that it has no tangible ground in “right reason,” as Warfield put it (1977, 1:236-237). This “right reason” may include an investigation of natural revelation using the tools of modern science.
Christians need not fear science. Nature and Scripture have a common Author, which means that the facts of nature will complement the statements the Bible makes about the physical world. It is not a matter of making one the servant of the other, but of interpreting both correctly. Scientists may disagree with theologians, but true science and true religion never should be in conflict (see Thompson, 1984, 1:17). Finally, Christians should understand that science itself is not evil. Rather, the application of science or technology for immoral purposes is evil, although this improper use is not always perpetrated by the original researcher or inventor.
Thus, science interacts with religion not only through a study of natural revelation, but also through a consideration of broad issues such as philosophy and ethics. This does not mean to say that the relationship always will be harmonious. To say otherwise is to suggest that someone has answered all the questions. What it does mean is that faith and science can interact in useful ways.

On True Science

Creationists appeal to a supernatural cause to explain a unique event: the origin of the Universe, the Earth, and all life. For many evolutionists, that explanation is just plain unscientific. The late Judge William Overton expressed his agreement by striking down the Arkansas Balanced Treatment Act that required the teaching of both creation and evolution in the State’s public schools. In his 38-page decision, Overton dismissed creation theories because they do not conform to what scientists think and do. His opinion is worth examining in greater detail, not because he is a scientist or philosopher of science, but because he based his criteria on the testimony of people in these fields. Judge Overton concluded that a theory is truly scientific when:
(1) it is guided by natural law; (2) it has to be explanatory by reference to natural law; (3) it is testable against the empirical world; (4) its conclusions are tentative, i.e., are not necessarily the final word; and (5) it is falsifiable (as quoted in Geisler, 1982, p. 176).
While the decision disappointed creationists, Overton’s definition left some philosophers of science aghast. Chief among them was Larry Laudan, who found fault with all five criteria. “The victory in the Arkansas case was hollow,” he complained, “for it was achieved only at the expense of perpetuating and canonizing a false stereotype of what science is and how it works” (1988, p. 355). Nonetheless, most anticreationist publications refer positively to Overton’s ruling, and others certainly share his characterization of science (Futuyma, 1983, pp. 168-174; National Academy of Sciences, 1984, pp. 8-11). Grouping the first two criteria under one heading, the problems with Overton’s criteria are as follows.

Science Does not Have to Have Natural Explanations

As Blackmore and Page noted: “In a previous age the essence of science was to discover God’s ways of working. Miraculous interventions were perhaps rare, but certainly permissible. They would have found Overton’s dismissal of miracles presumptuous” (1989, p. 161). A century or more ago, many scientists had no problems seeking natural causes, while recognizing that supernatural causes may be necessary in some cases (Moreland, 1989, p. 226). In today’s controversy, evolutionists have limited themselves to purely natural causes; creationists have not. Neither choice makes one more or less scientific than the other.

Science is not Always Empirical

People can observe or experience the same phenomena, but come to quite different conclusions. For example, the Ptolemaic idea that Earth is at the center of the Universe directly contradicts the Copernican idea that the Earth and other planets orbit the Sun. Unfortunately for Galileo, more convincing evidence for Copernicus’ view would have to wait for the superior observations and analyses of scientists like Brahe, Kepler, and Newton. In the meantime, empirical science could not judge one theory better than the other. Both models fit the data available at the time, and made fairly accurate astronomic predictions.
Also, empirical science cannot test the central claims of creation and evolution directly (e.g., the creation of man, or the Big Bang). However, it still is useful in two ways. First, as the next section will show, empirical science can provide analogies on which to test these central claims. Second, origin theories make other peripheral claims that empirical science can test directly. For example, creationists suggest that most seemingly vestigial organs have genuine functions. This claim is based on the belief that God created all major animal types, the organs of which should show evidence of purpose, not degeneration from a completely different ancestral form. Empirical science can discover whether a given vestigial organ is functional. Laudan suggests that evolutionists disprove such empirical claims, rather than pretending that creationism makes no such claims at all (1988, p. 352).

Science is not Always Tentative

At any one time in history, scientists hold to core beliefs—ideas that need to be true if they are going to function in their work. Such dogmatism can be useful, although there is a fine line between consensus and censorship.
The reasoning behind this criterion goes back to the idea that creationists cannot practice true science because they base their beliefs on a doctrinal statement. In other words, it unfairly accuses creationists of intellectual dishonesty. This is nothing more than an attack on creationists themselves, which is not the same as defining science (Moreland, 1989, p. 230).

Science is not Always Falsifiable

As a criterion of science, falsification is the idea that scientists have to disprove alternative, related ideas before they can call their theory truly scientific. Unfortunately for evolutionists, this nullifies all scientific arguments against special creation because, they say, creation cannot be falsified (Numbers, 1992, p. 248-250). The obvious contradiction (that creationism is both false and unfalsifiable) reveals the limitations of such a test.
In summary, all these practices have a place in science, but ultimately they are not reliable in distinguishing science from nonscience.


Laudan grants that creationism satisfies the last three of Overton’s requirements (1988, p. 354). He even takes the first two criteria to task, arguing that not all scientific ideas can be explained by natural laws. For example, Galileo and Newton described gravity before anyone explained it. And Darwin discovered the phenomenon of natural selection before anyone understood the laws of heredity on which it depended. By Overton’s rules, “we should have to say that Newton and Darwin were unscientific” (1988, p. 354). Yet the issue still remains: can science seek non-natural causes? Were great scientists of the past justified, or merely naive, in their willingness to allow divine intervention in nature?
Creationists have realized that the only way to resolve this issue is to find the common ground between evolution and creation. This may seem a fruitless task at first, seeing that they represent two quite different world views. But they share this fundamental belief: that the Universe and life are the products of one or more unique events. In particular, evolutionists speak of the Big Bang, and the origin of life from nonlife. Neither event is occurring today. Life is not arising spontaneously from nutrient-rich environments and, fortunately for humankind, Big Bangs are not rending space asunder on a regular basis. Similarly, creationists believe that the Universe and life are the products of a divine creative act, and further, that a worldwide Flood shaped the present world. These events also are unique. God finished His creation on the seventh day (Genesis 2:1), and promised that He never again would destroy mankind with a Flood (Genesis 9:15).
What people imagine as “science,” including Overton’s caricature, cannot begin to deal with these claims, but they still are open to scientific scrutiny. While the answers may not lie directly under the lens of a microscope, or in a test tube, they may come by testing the claims against knowledge gained by empirical science. In an effort to refine this distinction, Charles Thaxton and his colleagues suggested separating operation science from origin science. The first deals with the recurring phenomena of nature, such as eclipses, volcanoes, reproduction, etc., while the second deals with singular events, such as the Big Bang, creation, etc. (1984, pp. 203-204).
Origin science may be a new term, but it works by the standard principles of causality and uniformity, which always have been a part of doing science. The principle of causality says that every effect must have a prior, sufficient, necessary cause. The principle of uniformity (or analogy) says that similar effects have similar causes.
Still, evolutionists may argue that creationists have done themselves no service by making a separate science out of singularities. Defining a nonempirical science is one thing; proposing supernatural causes is quite another. For this reason, they always will view creationism as unscientific. But the idea that history consists of an unbroken stream of natural causes and effects is merely a presumption on their part. Perhaps they fear a new generation of doctoral students invoking God when they cannot explain something in their research projects. Yet this fear is unfounded. As stated earlier, most scientists of the past had no problem with divine intervention. Indeed, one of the driving forces of early Western science was the idea that the Universe, as God’s creation, was open to rational investigation. In doing good operation science, these scientists would seek natural causes for regularly occurring events. Many of them recognized, however, that unique events may require a cause beyond nature. Only analogy with the present can determine whether the cause is miraculous or naturalistic (Geisler and Anderson, 1987, p. 16).


In 1802, William Paley applied analogy in full force through his book, Natural Theology. Paley tells a story of a man who finds a stone. From the natural appearance of the stone, and its lack of purpose, the man assumes it is the product of nature. Later he finds a watch, and because of its inherent purpose, he assumes it is the product of a watchmaker. What is the difference between the rock and the watch? “Wherever we see marks of contrivance,” Paley wrote, “we are led for its cause to an intelligent author” (1802, p. 232, emp. in orig.). Paley concluded that design in nature demands a cause that exists beyond and before the natural world. That cause he identified as God—Designer and Creator.
Yet many skeptics believe that Paley’s work was defunct before he ever put pen to paper. More than fifty years earlier, David Hume had argued that miracles cannot be true because the world normally operates using natural causes. For example, if a man says he witnessed someone being raised from the dead, which of the following is most likely: that a man can deceive or be deceived, or that a person can be raised from the dead? Hume would take the first option, because (for him at least) it is easier to believe than the second (1748, p. 657).
Belief, Hume argued, derives from the guiding principles of uniformity and causality. Are these not the same guiding principles of origin science? Then how is it that Paley could allow miracles, while Hume could not? In part, Hume was reacting to a popular idea of his day that God not only designed the Universe, but also operated the Universe like a machine. God was every cause, not just the first cause: He maintained the Moon in its orbit of the Earth, and made the apple fall to the ground. Hume found this idea totally unpalatable and, as often happens, swung to the opposite extreme in response. God never could cause any effect, because that would violate all reasonable human experience about the way nature normally operates. If God could intervene at any time, then experience is useless, and science has no value. Hume’s uniformity gave rise to uniformitarianism, and thence to the contempt for miracles among so many scientists of the modern era.
The problem with this view is that miracles are supernatural, not antinatural; they are beyond nature, not against nature. Further, they explain certain unique events, not all regular events. Paley appealed to a divine Creator because no known natural cause was sufficient to explain the design he saw in the living world. Ironically, Paley said he founded his conclusions on “uniform experience”—precisely the same phrase coined by his skeptical predecessor (see Geisler and Anderson, 1987, p. 145).


Yes, creation is science. Judge Overton’s answer was to redefine science, with dire consequences for science itself. In fact, there is nothing about science that prevents a Bible believer from practicing good science, or even investigating the existence of God.
However, miracles remain the sticking point. Some scientists feel very uncomfortable with the idea that an effect might have a supernatural cause. Note that this is only a feeling, a presumption, on their part. Creationists have no interest in making God a capricious, meddlesome Agent Who works to achieve every natural effect. Rather, He is the Cause of unique events that cannot be explained by recourse to purely natural explanations. Origin science provides a consistent way to test this claim, along with the central claims of evolution—claims that are not amenable to testing under empirical or operation science. Yes, there is more than one way to do science.
When people belittle the scientific status of creationism, they attack its believers, not its claims. Prejudice, not truth, sustains the idea that faith and science must be in conflict. Christians can use science to defend their belief in the Genesis account of creation, and should not be intimidated into thinking otherwise.


Blackmore, Vernon and Andrew Page (1989), Evolution: The Great Debate (Oxford, England: Lion).
Futuyma, Douglas J. (1983), Science on Trial (New York: Pantheon).
Geisler, Norman L. (1982), The Creator in the Courtroom: “Scopes II” (Milford, MI: Mott Media).
Geisler, Norman L. and J. Kerby Anderson (1987), Origin Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Gould, Stephen Jay (1987), “Darwinism Defined: The Difference Between Fact and Theory,” Discover, 8[1]:64-65,68-70, January.
Hume, David (1748), “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding,” The English Philosophers from Bacon to Mill, ed. Edwin A. Burtt (New York: Random House, Modern Library edition, 1939), pp. 585-689.
Hummel, Charles E. (1986), The Galileo Connection (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity).
Laudan, Larry (1988), “Science at the Bar—Causes for Concern,” But Is It Science?, ed. Michael Ruse (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus).
Lindberg, David C. and Ronald L. Numbers (1986), God & Nature (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press).
Moreland, J.P. (1989), Christianity and the Nature of Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
National Academy of Sciences (1984), Science and Creationism (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press).
Numbers, Ronald L. (1986), “The Creationists,” God & Nature, ed. D.C. Lindberg and R.L. Numbers (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press).
Numbers, Ronald L. (1992), The Creationists (New York: Alfred A. Knopf).
Paley, William (1802), Natural Theology, ed. John Ware (Boston: MA: Gould, Kendall & Lincoln, 1850 edition).
Russell, Colin A. (1985), Cross-Currents (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Sproul, R.C., John Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley (1984), Classical Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Thaxton, Charles B., Walter L. Bradley, and Roger L. Olsen (1984), The Mystery of Life’s Origin (New York: Philosophical Library).
Thompson, Bert (1984), “How Does Science Work?,” Essays in Apologetics, ed. Bert Thompson and Wayne Jackson (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), 1:11-17.
Warfield, Benjamin B. (1977), “Apologetics,” The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, ed. Samuel Macauley Jackson (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, reprint), 1:232-238.

Inevitable--Given Enough Time? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


Inevitable--Given Enough Time?

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Macroevolutionists often point the proverbial finger at the laws of probability in a pointless attempt to traverse the gaping chasms which exist in the theory of evolution and Big Bang Theory and thereby substantiate them. However, the gaps that exist, such as the origin of matter (cf. Miller, 2013), the origin of life (cf. Miller, 2012), and macroevolution (cf. Brooks and Deweese, 2009), are many and cannot be traversed without violation of recognized scientific laws. In spite of this dilemma, many evolutionists have long cited the principles of probability in an effort to support their dogma, noting that as long as the required events do not have a probability of zero, they are inevitable, given enough time (cf. Erwin, 2000). As far back as 1954, George Wald, writing in Scientific American concerning the origin of life on Earth, penned the words:
However improbable we regard this event, or any of the steps it involves, given enough time, it will almost certainly happen at least once. And for life as we know it, once may be enough. Time is the hero of the plot.... Given so much time, the “impossible” becomes possible, the possible becomes probable, and the probable becomes virtually certain. One has only to wait; time itself performs miracles (Wald, p. 48, emp. added).
There are at least two problems with this assertion. First, several of the events that are necessary in order for the theory of evolution and the Big Bang Theory to be true, indeed, have a probability of zero. So, the question is not really one of improbability, but impossibility. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that supports the contention that, for instance, matter could spontaneously generate or life could come about from non-life (i.e., abiogenesis). In fact, quite the opposite is true. The experimental results of renowned scientist Louis Pasteur forever killed the possibility of the spontaneous generation of life back in the 19th century, and the Law of Biogenesis drove the nails into its coffin (cf. Miller, 2012). This truth creates an impenetrable barrier for evolutionists—a gaping chasm that must be crossed in order for the theory of evolution to be plausible. So, according to the scientific evidence, there is a probability of zero that abiogenesis can occur. According to the laws of probability, specifically Kolmogorov’s first axiom, when the probability of an event is zero, the event is called an “impossible event (Gubner, 2006, p. 22, emp. added). Since several events that are necessary in order for the theory of evolution and the Big Bang Theory to be true have a probability of zero, according to the laws of probability, these atheistic theories are impossible.

The second problem with this contention is that we are not “given enough time” for macroevolution to have occurred. We at Apologetics Press have documented this fact time and time again (cf. Jackson, 1983; Thompson, 2001). Years ago, in his article “The Young Earth,” Henry Morris listed 76 dating techniques, based on standard evolutionary assumptions, which all indicate that the Earth is relatively young (Morris, 1974). Donald DeYoung documented extensive, compelling evidence for a young Earth as well, in the book Thousands...Not Billions (2005). Of course, such information is not broadcasted widely due to its implications. If atheistic evolutionists were sincerely interested in the truth—if they were interested in giving all options a fair shake—they would hear the silent but forceful cry of the evidence: “Macroevolution is impossible! There is a God!”


Brooks, Will and Joe Deweese (2009), “A Response to the 21st Century Science Coalition Standards of Science Education,” Reason & Revelation, 29[6]:41-43, June, http://apologeticspress.org/articles/240161.
DeYoung, Donald (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).

Erwin, Douglas (2000), “Macroevolution is More Than Repeated Rounds of Microevolution,” Evolution and Development, 2[2]:78-84.

Gubner, J. A. (2006), Probability and Random Processes for Electrical and Computer Engineers(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Jackson, Wayne (1983), “Our Earth—Young or Old?” [On-line], URL: /rr/reprints/yng-old.pdf.
Miller, Jeff (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis [Part I],” Reason & Revelation, 32[1]:2-11, January, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.
Miller, Jeff (2013), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2786.

Morris, H. (1974), “The Young Earth,” Acts & Facts, 3[8], http://www.icr.org/article/young-earth.

Thompson, Bert (2001), “The Young Earth,” [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/1991.

Wald, George (1954), “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, 191:45-53, August.

In the News: Big Bang Problems Highlighted by the Evidence Again by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


In the News: Big Bang Problems Highlighted by the Evidence Again

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

The dominant view of the origin of the Universe in the secular community, as well as a sizeable number of religious individuals, is the Big Bang Theory. The Big Bang Theory does not harmonize with Scripture on several counts,1 but neither does it harmonize with the scientific evidence, as two recent articles in major science magazines point out.
There are several scientific problems with Big Bang Theory that illustrate that it is an unscientific, irrational theory that amounts to a blind faith in naturalism. Some of the problems include:
  • the origin of the laws of science;2
  • the origin of matter/energy;3
  • the smoothness problem;4
  • the lack of evidence for dark energy5—a fudge factor added to the Big Bang model to try to explain space observations in light of the Big Bang; and
  • the lack of evidence for inflation6—an imaginary, but necessary, process at the beginning of the Big Bang that was invented to try to solve other Big Bang issues, including the horizon and flatness problems.
Those significant obstacles are not the extent of the problems with the Big Bang, as was recently highlighted yet again in major science magazines. The Fermi Paradox is the name given to the concept that if cosmic evolution (i.e., the Big Bang coupled with Darwinian Evolution) is true, it would be inconceivable that other life—even advanced life—does not exist somewhere in the Universe with its billions of stars and even more planets. Writing in New Scientist, University of Sydney astrophysicist Geraint Lewis explains: “The size of the universe suggests advanced alien civilisations, or at least evidence of them, ought to be out there. Signs in the shape of transmissions or megastructures should be obvious. Instead, we find nothing. This ‘eerie silence,’ as cosmologist Paul Davies [Arizona State University—JM] puts it, inspired physicist Enrico Fermi to ask: ‘Where are they?’”7 How is the naturalist to explain the Big Bang Theory’s blatant contradiction with the evidence? The most recent response: maybe the aliens are sleeping. Lewis explains: “What if aliens are indeed out there, but are sleeping, awaiting a glorious future when the universe provides the right conditions for them to fulfil their ultimate ambitions?”8
It is shocking how far science has drifted from a reliance on being rational—only drawing conclusions warranted by the evidence. At least Lewis admits that “[e]voking sleeping aliens is a very long shot to solve Fermi’s paradox”9 and “is little more than guesswork” and “speculation” that “should be taken with a suitable pinch of salt”10—highlighting the fact that the Big Bang is still directly and hopelessly in contradiction to the observable evidence.
Add to Fermi’s Paradox another problem that still plagues Big Bang Theory: the missing antimatter in the Universe.Energy can be transformed into matter, according to the 1st Law of Thermodynamics,11but when it happens, an equal amount of antimatter (basically normal matter with a reversed charge on its particles) is always produced—without exception according to the laboratory evidence. So if the Big Bang is true and energy was transformed into all of the matter of the Universe at the beginning, there should have been an equal amount of matter and antimatter produced—but there clearly was not, or else when the two touched, they would have been immediately destroyed, releasing their energy. Today the Universe is virtually completely composed of regular matter. Elizabeth Gibney, writing in Nature, explains the dilemma for Big Bang believers: “As far as physicists know, matter and antimatter should have been created in equal amounts in the early Universe and so blasted each other into oblivion. But that didn’t happen, and the origin of this fundamental imbalance remains one of the biggest mysteries in physics.”12
Do not these many and diverse problems with the best model put forth by naturalists effectively constitute a falsification of modern naturalism? It seems apparent that the evidence is pointing in a totally different direction than a naturalistic model. But if naturalism does not fit the evidence regarding the origin of the Universe, then what does? Something supernatural.


1 Branyon May, et al. (2003), “The Big Bang—A Biblical Critique,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=12&article=56.
2 Jeff Miller (2012), “The Laws of Science—by God,” Reason & Revelation, 32[12]:137-140.
3 Jeff Miller (2013), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2786&topic=336.
4 J.V. Narlikar and T. Padmanabhan (1991), “Inflation for Astronomers,” Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 29:325-362, September.
5 David N. Spergel (2015), “The Dark Side of Cosmology: Dark Matter and Dark Energy,” Science, 347[6226]:1100-1102, March.
6 Jeff Miller (2015), “Big Bang Inflation Officially Bites the Dust,” Reason & Revelation, 35[6]:62-65.
7 Geraint Lewis (2017), “Dream On,” New Scientist, 235[3137]:24, emp. added.
8 Ibid., p. 24.
9 Ibid., p. 24.
10 Ibid., p. 25.
11 Miller, 2013.
12 Elizabeth Gibney (2017), “The Antimatter Race,” Nature, 548[7665]:20, emp. added.

Attributes of God (Part 1) What’s it all about? by Ben Fronczek


Attributes of God (Part 1) What’s it all about?

I recently had a song floating around in my head which dates back to the late 60’s. As you can see I’m dating myself a bit. It was written by Burt Bacharach to promote a movie made in 1966 called Alfie. The Song became a major hit after it was sung live by Diane Warwick’s on the 39th Academy Awardsceremony television broadcast in 1967.
The part of the song that keeps coming to mind is the first few lines of the song which goes:
What’s it all about Alfie           Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about  when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give?   Or are we meant to be kind?…
The part that says, ”What’s it all about” seem like a question that many of us keep asking our self. Is it all about living for the moment? Is it all about taking more than we give? Or is it all about being kind?
What’s this life all about???
Later the song goes on to say,
As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above Alfie,                                                
I know there’s something much more Something even non-believers can believe in.    I believe in love, Alfie       Without true love we just exist, Alfie Until you find the love you’ve missed           You’re nothing, Alfie’
Is that what this life is all about, experiencing love; experiencing that feeling that emotion? Or is there something more, something even more meaningful. Are we designed even for a greater purpose.
In this new series of lesson I would like to touch on this topic; or What’s it all about.
In this first lesson I would like to touch on the fact it’s not all about us, you and I are not the center of the universe, rather I say, it’s ALL about God. It’s all about Him and His purpose and design. And that’s where I want to begin.
Someone once said, “The wise man comes to God without saying a word and stands in awe of Him. It may seem a hopeless endeavor, to gaze at the invisible God. But Romans 1:20 tells us that through creation, we see His “invisible qualities” and “divine nature.” “ (Francis Chan)
And this is where I want to begin. Our God is an awesome and unimaginably powerful being. I hope to help you understand this fact a little better by showing a glimpse of His mighty creative power as seen in the following video to help you see what I am talking about.
We live in amongst a group of stars called the Milky Way Galaxy. Our Sun is just one star, part of some 400 billion stars that make up our galaxy. Scientist now believe that there are100 billion or more galaxies out there in space, some smaller than ours, and some bigger made up of close to a trillion stars. Scripture has revealed to us that He has created it all and knows each star by name. And not only that, we read that He continues hold all things together. Col. 1:15-16 says“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
We cannot possibly comprehend that kind of ability or the power it take to do that, but our Lord has that ability and power. Today I want you to see how majestic, how awesome, and how powerful our God is. But we can’t even do that because that kind of power is way beyond our comprehension. To be able to create all things seen and unseen, from the largest galaxy with all it star to the smallest particle of matter, smaller than atoms themselves. Even creating those unseen things beyond our own dimension of reality is mind boggling and beyond our imagination. And if God made all of this, how big or vast is He personally? Before He made the universe as we know it, what else was there? Again, that’s way beyond us.
But one thing you may be able to do today is, you may begin to see how small and insignificant we actually are in the grand scheme of things compare to what’s out there in the universe. But even then it’s hard to comprehend that. Isaiah 55:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
After seeing images like this, if then we ask, “What’s it all about”, we should realize that you and I are not the center of the universe. It’s not all about you or me or what we want, or what we think we deserve, rather it all about God. We are hardly a speck in all creation.
What’s it all about? It’s all about God and His purpose and design.
And shame on us when we fail to recognize or honor Him for who He is or with arrogance think we can demand or deserve things from such a powerful awesome being.
But even though we are small compared to everything else out there, God’s message to us in the Bible is that even though we are smaller than many other things He has created, we are not insignificant.
When He made us, in many ways we are unique and special to Him. Because when He created us, we are told that He chose to make us in His own image. We obviously mean something to Him because chose to step out of His glorious realm, empty Himself of so much and become a man and live amongst us, and then offered up His mortal life by dying on that cross for our sins which would have prevented us from coming to Him after this earthly life.
His power is beyond measure. His ability to created beauty is mind boggling and moves our soul to praise Him. In Romans 1:20 Paul wrote saying20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
I am going to discuss this topic a little more next week but I want to close this lesson with another video showing His beautiful creation a little closer to home.
From this day forward I pray that if you ask yourself, ‘What’s it all about?’, you will know that it’s all about God and His divine will. I hope that you will begin to see how God has made you, and that you are part of His creation and plan, and what a honor and privilege that is. He is worthy of worship!
And even though you may not understand what your particular purpose is,     I hope that you would find comfort and hope in your creator, in His infinite power, and might and wisdom, knowing that He loves you. In Eph. 1 Paul praises God with these words and thoughts, All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.”      
If you wnat to View a beautiful music video click on the following link:
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com

How can one identify the true church? by Roy Davison


How can one identify the true church?

Thousands of denominations claim to follow Christ. They cannot all be right, since they have conflicting doctrines and practices. Someone who believes in Jesus is faced with the challenge of identifying His church. What biblical characteristics distinguish Christ’s church from human denominations? What are the distinguishing marks of the church of Christ?
The true church was established by Christ and He is its only Head.
Jesus said, “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). A church created by someone else is not Christ’s church. This excludes many groups from being the true church. Sometimes they even wear the name of their founder.
Christ is the only head of the true church. The Father put all things under His feet “and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body” (Ephesians 1:22, 23).
Referring to the universality of His church, Jesus told the people of Israel: “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16).
A church with some other head, is not the church of Christ. This also excludes many religious groups.
The true church was established at Jerusalem in the first century.
Peter preached the good news about salvation through Christ on the Day of Pentecost after His resurrection. “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41). A church that was established at some other time, or at some other place, is not the church of Christ. Again, this excludes many religious groups. Sometimes they even wear the name of a city or country of origin.
The true church was established by Christ at Jerusalem in the first century. He is its head. Churches established by someone else, someplace else, or at some other time, cannot be the church of Christ.
Yet, it is not sufficient for some church to claim that Christ is its head, or that it was established at Jerusalem in the first century. This must also be true. How can we know if it is true?
The true church preserves the original faith by following the Scriptures.
Jude wrote: “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The Christian faith was delivered once and for all in the first century. Any church with a set of beliefs different from the original faith, is not the church of Christ.
The true church follows the Scriptures. Paul emphasized this when he wrote to Timothy: “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:13-17). A church that does not follow the Scriptures, is not the Lord’s church.
The doctrine of Christ is normative for the true church.
It does not go “beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6). “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). A church that goes beyond what is written, that does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, is not the church of Christ.
The true church is known for its love.
It keeps itself in the love of God (Jude 21) by obeying His commandments (1 John 5:3). The true church abides in love (John 4:16), walks in love (Ephesians 5:2) and speaks the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). True Christians love one another. 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. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34, 35).
The true church worships in spirit and truth.
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). The worship of the Lord’s church is from the heart and is according to the New Testament.
Condemning superficial worship, God said: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:6, 7).
The true church preaches the original gospel.
Because even in the first century some were already preaching a different gospel, Paul warned the Galatian churches: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9). A church that preaches a message different from the original gospel, is not the church of Christ.
What is the gospel?
Christ’s death on the cross for the sins of the world, and His resurrection from the dead, are the facts of the gospel. Paul wrote: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Jesus is “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29), “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
One must obey the gospel to be added to the true church.1
“And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
Jesus said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:9, 10).
“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
We are striving to be a church of Christ, to be a congregation of God’s people, to serve Him in spirit and truth according to His word.
How is one added to the true church?
If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for your sins, that He rose the third day, if you repent (if you are sorry for your sins and are determined to dedicate your life to God), if you confess your faith, and if you are baptized for the remission of sins, you will be added to Christ’s church, His body. Then, with us, you too can strive for the faith, once and for all delivered to the saints. Amen.
Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.,
Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

1 See 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17.

Published in The Old Paths Archive