Monday, December 15, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings Movie Notes

What follows is a bit of play-by-play highlight reel (as it were) as I recall from viewing the new Exodus movie from Ridley Scott (who happens to be an atheist). It is from memory and a few note I scratched, so don’t get upset if I mixed something up. That was an unorthodox spoiler alert if you missed it. If you haven’t read the account in a while, stop right now and read Exodus 1–20, the approximate time the film covers.

Wrong Timeframe
The movie opens with the Hebrews as slaves in Egypt under Ramses, with the younger Ramses and Moses in the court together as generals/princes. Both appear to be in their thirties. (1300 BCE and the reference to 400 years of slavery appears on the screen, but this places it about 200 years later than the biblical record with the Exodus in 1491 BC. This is why many claim there is “no evidence for Hebrew slaves in Egypt” at this time—they are looking in the wrong period.)

There is a big battle with the Hittites with gratuitous imagery. Moses and Ramses Jr. fulfill a prophecy previously pronounced by a priestess, though both of them make it very clear that they are rationalists and don’t believe in their father/uncle’s reliance on a goose liver to determine the outcome of a battle.

Moses Goes to Pithon

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

FLEE from Bethel Church and Jesus Culture

[This post was originated after hearing about a sermon by Eric Johnson, “The Joy of Consecration” and other teachings from the teachers of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, including Jesus Culture and the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.]

In this sermon, Eric Johnson (son of Bethel founder Bill Johnson and co-pastor with his wife Candace) tells the people to open to Daniel 1, then shares a bunch of thoughts without ever referring to the text (which he finally reads at 19:15—that’s 20 minutes without the text). He talks about ideas and then says he has convictions about something he wants to share (14:45). The problem is that these convictions find no grounding in the truths of Scripture. He is not preaching; he is sharing his own thoughts. His thoughts are false and stand in direct opposition to God’s true words. He is asking people to believe in the Pelagian heresy—that man is inherently good and has no stain of original sin. Sadly, the crowd agrees with him when he makes these false claims.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Roasting Ham; or, You Aren’t Really a Presuppositionalist Unless I Say So

[Although I work for Answers in Genesis (AiG) and was very involved in the debate preparation and strategy, what follows is my own personal view on the debate and should not be considered an official AiG response. I intend to adapt this response into an article that will appear on the AiG site without all of the personal aspects. Please do not quote or use this article’s contents as coming from AiG, but from me personally.]

[A second note: I did intend and arrange to publish this blog on the Gospel Spam blog site in late February where Jon Speed’s article was originally published, but the arrangements did not work out. I regretfully post this here on my personal blog and hope that the appropriate interactions may still take place. I trust there are many who habit that site who may benefit from what I have written and those from whose comments I might benefit, as well.]

Grab a cup of coffee and your favorite slippers—this is gonna be a long one!

I Lost It


I am writing this article partially in response to the previous article by Jon Speed (“Ham on Nye. A Debate Critique.”) as well as a host of other comments I have heard regarding the debate on blogs, social media pages, and various radio shows and podcasts. My comments are directed primarily at those who consider or refer to themselves as “extreme presuppositionalists,” though others will be addressed as well.

First, let me get a few things off of my chest.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Roasting Ham Supporting Document

References to the necessity of God’s Word/God as a foundation from Ken Ham during the Ham v. Nye debate. Time references are from the beginning of the moderator speaking. This list has been prepared in support of Roasting Ham, and article published on the Gospel Spam blog site.

1.       Opening Remarks (7:10): “Here at the Creation Museum we make no apology about the fact to our origins or historical science actually is based upon the biblical account of origins.” [This was followed by a description of the imposition of secular humanism on students in public schools.]

2.       Opening Remarks (8:15): “But you see, the Bible gives a totally different account of origins, of who we were, where we came from, the meaning of life, and our future: “From the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.’” (Mark 10:6–7, NKJV); Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin. (Romans 5:12, NKJV); For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NKJV). So, is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era? I say: The creation/evolution debate is really a conflict between two philosophical worldviews based on two different accounts of origins or historical science beliefs. Creation is the only viable model of historical science confirmed by observational science in today’s modern scientific era.” [In saying “creation,” he has already established this as a biblically-founded idea, not a scientific one.]

3.       30-minute Presentation (18:00): “Non-Christian scientists are really borrowing from the Christian worldview anyway to carry out their experimental or observational science. Think about it. When they’re doing observational science using the scientific method they have to assume the laws of logic, they have to assume the laws of nature, they have to assume the uniformity of nature. I mean think about it. If the universe came about by natural process where did the laws of logic come from? Did they just pop into existence? Are we in a stage now where we have only half logic? So you see I have a question for Bill Nye: How do you account for the laws of logic and laws of nature from a naturalistic worldview that excludes the existence of God?”

4.       30-minute Presentation (22:50): “You know why that is? Because it’s really a battle over worldviews and starting points. It’s a battle over philosophical worldviews and starting points, but the same evidence. Now I admit my starting point is that God is the ultimate authority. If someone doesn't accept that, then man has to be the ultimate authority. And that's really the difference when it comes down to it.”

5.       30-minute Presentation (23:32): “There’s a big difference between those two, and that's not what's being taught in our public schools and that's why kids aren't being taught to think critically and correctly about the origins issue.” [Ken then went on to describe the predictions based on the Bible and the confirming evidence.]

6.       30-minute Presentation (30:10): “Actually, it’s the public school textbooks that are teaching a belief, imposing it on students and they need to be teaching them observational science to understand the reality of what's happening. Now, what we found is that: Public school textbooks present the evolutionary “tree” as “science,” but reject the creation “orchard” as religion. But observational science confirms the creation orchard – so public school textbooks are rejecting observational science and imposing a naturalistic religion on students.” [This was in reference to the evolutionary tree of life which runs counter to observations. This is another example of the A/DA strategy and Ken calls them to stop teaching falsehoods as truth.]

7.       30-minute Presentation (33:45): “Can you imagine if in it was in the public schools today? And yet that’s what was taught, but it was based on Darwin's ideas that are wrong. You have a wrong foundation; you are going to have a wrong worldview. Now, had they started from the Bible and from the creation account in the Bible, what does it teach? We're all descendants of Adam and Eve, we go through the Tower of Babel, different languages so different people groups formed distinct characteristics, but we’d expect, we’d say, ‘You know what?  That means there’s biologically only one race of humans.’”

8.       30-minute Presentation (35:00): “And you know what? The secularists don't like me doing this because they don't want to admit that there’s a belief aspect to what they’re saying, and there is, and they can't get away from it.”

9.       30-minute Presentation (37:20): “And I challenge the evolutionists to admit the belief aspects of their particular worldview. Now, at the Creation Museum we’re only too willing to admit our beliefs based upon the Bible, but we also teach people the difference between beliefs and what one can actually observe and experiment with in the present. I believe we're teaching people to think critically and to think in the right terms about science. I believe it’s the creationists that should be educating the kids out there because we're teaching them the right way to think. You know, we admit our origins in historical science is based upon the Bible, but I'm just challenging evolutionists to admit the belief aspects of evolution and be upfront about the difference here. As I said, I'm only too willing to admit my historical science based on the Bible.

10.   30-minute Presentation (42:30): “I assert this: Public school textbooks are using the same word science for observational and historical science. They arbitrarily define science as naturalism and outlaw the supernatural. They present molecules-to-man evolution as fact. They are imposing the religion of naturalism/atheism on generations of students. They are imposing their ideology on the students, that everything is explained by natural processes. That is a religion. What does she mean by religious liberty? They tolerate their religion. You see the battle is really about authority. It’s more than just science or evolution or creation. It’s about who is the authority in this world, man or God?”

11.   30-minute Presentation (37:20): “If you start with naturalism then what about morals? Who decides right and wrong? Well, it’s subjective. Marriage? Well, whatever you want it to be. Get rid of old people, I mean why not. I mean, they’re just animals, they’re costing us a lot of money. Abortion? Get the rid of spare cats, get rid of spare kids. We’re all animals. But if you start from God’s Word there are moral absolutes. God decides right from wrong. Marriage: One man and one women. The sanctity of life: We care for old people; they’re made in the image of God. Life begins at fertilization: So abortion is killing a human being. We do see the collapse of Christian morality in our culture and increasing moral relativism because generations of kids are being taught the religion of naturalism and that the Bible can't be trusted.

12.   First Rebuttal (1:16:45): “Now just to understand, just so you understand where I'm coming from, yes, we admit we build our origins from historical science on the Bible. The Bible says God created in six days.”

13.   First Rebuttal (1:20:30): “And I claim there's only one infallible dating method, it's the Witness who was there, who knows everything, who told us, and that's from the Word of God. And that's why I would say that the earth is only 6,000 years …”

14.   Second Rebuttal (1:36:30): ” As I talked about, you know, I said we have the laws of logic, the uniformity of nature and that only makes sense within a biblical worldview anyway, of a creator God who set up those laws. And that's why we can do good experimental science because we assume those laws are true and that will be true tomorrow.”

15.   Q&A (1:43:00): “Bill, I just want to let you know that there actually is a book out there that actually tells us where matter came from. And the very first sentence in that book says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” And really that’s the only thing that makes sense; it’s the only thing that makes sense of why not just matter is here and where it came from, but why matter – when you look at it, we have information and language systems that build life, not just matter. And where did that come from, because matter can never produce information? Matter can never produce a language system. Languages only come from an intelligence; information only comes from information. The Bible tells us that the things we see, like in the Book of Hebrews, are made from things that are unseen, an infinite creator God who created the universe, created matter, the energy, space-mass-time universe, and created the information for life. It’s the only thing that makes logical sense.”

16.   Q&A (1:49:30): “Bill, I do want to say that there is a book out there that does document where consciousness came from. And in that book, the One who created us said that He made man in His image, and He breathed into man and he became a living being. And so the Bible does document that; that’s where consciousness came from, that God gave it to us.”

17.   Q&A (1:50:00): “And you know, the other thing I want to say is, I’m sort of a little – I have a mystery, and that is, you talk about the joy of discovery. But you also say that when you die, it’s over, and that’s the end of you. And if when you die it’s over and you don’t even remember you were here, what’s the point of the joy of discovery anyway, I mean in an ultimate sense? I mean, you know, you won’t ever know you were ever here, and no one who knew you will know they were ever here ultimately, so what’s the point anyway? I love the joy of discovery because this is God’s creation and I’m finding more out about that to take dominion for man’s good and for God’s glory.”

18.   Q&A (2:03:30): “God imposed information, a language system, and that’s how we have life. Matter by itself could never product life no matter what energy you have.”

19.   Q&A (2:10:00): And let me just say this—my answer would be God is necessary for science. In fact, you know, you talked about cell phones; yes, I have a cell phone. I love technology, we love technology here at Answers in Genesis. And I have e-mail; probably had millions of them while I have been speaking up here. And satellites and what you said about the information we get, I agree with all that. See, they’re the things that can be done in the present. And that’s just like I showed you. Dr. Stuart Burgess, who invented that gear set for the satellite; creationists can be great scientists. But see, I say God is necessary because you have to assume the laws of logic, you have to assume the laws of nature, you have to assume the uniformity of nature. And there’s a question I had for you. Where does that come from if the universe is here by natural processes? You know, Christianity and science, the Bible and science, go hand in hand; we love science! But again, you’ve got to understand, inventing things, that’s very different than talking about our origins, two very different things.

20.   Q&A (2:18:30): “Any scientist out there, Christian or non-Christian, that is involved in inventing things, involved in scientific method, is using creation. They are, because they are borrowing from a Christian worldview. They’re using the laws of logic; I keep emphasizing that. I want Bill to tell me in a view of the universe that’s a result of natural processes, explain where the laws of logic came from. Why should we trust the laws of nature? I mean, are they going to be the same tomorrow as they were yesterday? In fact, some of the greatest scientists that ever lived – Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxell, Michael Faraday – were creationists. And as one of them said, you know, he’s thinking God’s thoughts after Him. And that’s really – modern science really came out of that thinking, that we can do experiments today and we can do the same tomorrow, we can trust the laws of logic, we can trust the laws of nature. And if we don’t teach our children correctly about this, they’re not going to be innovative and they’re not going to be able to come up with inventions to advance in our culture. And so I think the person was trying to get out that, see, there are lots of secularists out there doing work and they don’t believe in creation and they come up with great inventions. Yes, but my point is they are borrowing from the Christian worldview to do so.”

21.   Q&A (2:24:30): “What is the one thing upon anything else which I base my belief? Well, again, to summarize the things that I’ve been saying, there is a book called the Bible. It’s a very unique book, it’s very different to any other book out there. In fact, I don’t know of any other religion that has a book that starts off by telling you that there’s an infinite God and talks about the origin of the universe and the origin of matter and the origin of light and the origin of darkness and the origin of day and night and the origin of the earth and the origin of dry land and the origin of plants and the origin of the sun, moon and stars, the origin of sea creatures, the origin of flying creatures, the origin of land creatures, the origin of man, the origin of woman, the origin of death, the origin of sin, the origin of marriage, the origin of different languages, the origin of clothing, the origin of nations. I mean, it’s a very, very specific book, and it gives us an account of a global Flood and the history and the Tower of Babel. And if that history is true, then what about the rest of the book? Well, that history also says man is a sinner and it says that man is separated from God. And it gives us a message that we call the gospel, the message of salvation, that God’s Son stepped into history to die on a cross, be raised from the dead and offers a free gift of salvation. Because the history is true, that’s why the message based in history is true.”

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What Agreement Has the Temple of God with the Temple of Joseph Smith?

I have found myself grieved today. It all started 10 years ago, even though I only found out about it a few years ago. Then it happened again this past weekend. I found myself drawn to this presentation because I care about Mormons. I was one. My mom’s side of the family are still involved heavily in the religion and what I saw in these presentations scared me. Not because he presented very clear biblical ideas, but because he only presented those ideas that are held in common with the Mormons without drawing any distinctions. He failed to define his terms, and that failure could have dire eternal consequences.

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, I sincerely believe that those following the Mormon faith are deceived by a doctrine of demons. An angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:12–15) revealed a different gospel (Galatians 1:6–10) to a boy in New York, and now millions around the world are following his prophecies, writings, and a different Jesus. I used to be one of them.

On his Facebook page, Dr. Ravi Zacharias noted: When asked about my goals