Bill O’Reilly versus John Jay?

OReillyJohnJay

One of our founding fathers, a guy by the name of John Jay, was very open with his belief in Jesus and the Bible. He also happened to be, at one time or another, the president of the Congress, a diplomat, the author of the Federalist Papers, the original Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and the governor of New York.  That’s quite a resume. He once wrote:  “The Bible will also inform (people) that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed – that this Redeemer has made atonement ‘for the sins of the whole world,’ and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy, has opened a way for our redemption and salvation;”

You don’t hear that from the Supreme Court very often, even less from the governor of New York, but John Jay believed in a Creator, in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, and in the need for everyone to be forgiven and saved from judgment.   God’s judgment.

These days, even conservatives and professing Christians like Bill O’Reilly won’t go that far.  Continue reading

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Noah’s Flood: The Eyeball Test

mars-viking-zoomIt is believed the landscape on Mars was formed by large-scale flooding that took place over much of the planet.  The more popular theories suggest much of the flooding was caused by volcanoes, trapped ice, or a meteor strike or some combination of all those things.

Taking a look at Mars now, there are features that appear as flood plains, and canyons which are often believed to have formed through these cataclysmic floods.  It’s hard to imagine now since the planet looks more like the desert planet Tatooine in the movie Star Wars.  Nevertheless, there has been a great deal of research into where the water came from, and where it went. These questions are difficult to answer, and theories abound, but we keep studying because as you can see, Mars shows plenty of evidence of massive flooding.

Slide58This is earth.  We call ourselves the water planet and we have many of the same features that Mars has, including massive flood plains and canyons, which many scientists also believe were caused by cataclysmic flooding. The Bible talks about a massive flood in fact.  It’s not hard to imagine now, since the planet is still covered by water to a large extent and looks nothing like Tatooine or Mars.  It is believed Noah’s flood involved volcanoestrapped water, a meteor or a combination of all three.  Nevertheless, research into Noah’s Flood is generally discouraged because of questions about where the water came from and where it went.  The questions can be somewhat difficult to answer, and theories do abound but as you can see, Earth (the water planet) shows no evidence of massive flooding… *sarcasm*

The Rapture: Taking it Literally?

The Christian belief in “The Rapture,” made famous by the Left Behind series and various doomsday predictions, comes from two Scriptures in the Bible which speak about the resurrection of the dead.  In neither place is it specifically called “the Rapture” although you can find the Latin word for “rapture” in there if you use the Latin Vulgate Bible.  In fact, the Latin is where we get the term, and the term simply applies to the event described in I Corinthians 15:51-52 and I Thessalonians 4:15-17.   And since saying “The Rapture” is easier than saying “The-Event-Described-In-1st-Corinthians-15-51-52-and-I-Thessalonians-4-15-17”  or T.E.D.I.1.C.1.15.52.A.I.T.4.15.17 for short…

Most of us just say “the Rapture.”

Anyway, the Rapture is basically a simple concept.  In both places, the Bible (Paul was the writer) is talking about what happens to believers in Jesus who are still alive when the resurrection happens.  Obviously, God’s not going to strike them all dead so He could raise them up at that moment.  Instead of that morbid method, the Bible says we will be “caught up” to Jesus in the air (I Thessalonians 4) and changed “in the blink of an eye” into immortality (I Corinthians 15).  Part of the reason Paul wrote about it in I Thessalonians was to give people hope.  It is a rather exciting thought to consider. And assuming you believe in God and Jesus in the first place, it makes sense.  I mean, if Jesus returned and raised the dead into eternity, it’s only natural to ask what would happen to those who are still alive at the time. The Rapture is the answer for that question.

But we still manage to have huge arguments over it.  Those debates are generally over whether to take it seriously in the first place, or if you believe in a resurrection, the argument is over when exactly the Rapture part of it happens.

THE “WHEN” ARGUMENTS

The “Left Behind” books and movies took a very common position on the WHEN part, Continue reading

Age of the Earth, Can the Bible be serious?

The Bible actually never says how old the earth is, but people do infer the age by adding up the genealogy lists which give the ages of various persons in a family line. There are several places in Genesis where it lists who was the father of who, and how long they lived, so adding those up, people arrive at an age of about 6,000 years.

It has been argued that traditionally Jewish genealogies have sometimes left people out and skipped a few generations here and there when making a list.

If that happened with the lists in the Bible, then one would expect the age of the earth to actually be a bit more, but still nowhere near the 4 1/2 billion mark that the scientifically establishment usually says. (I heard a rumor they are fixing to increase it again, this time to 6 billion)

Many Bible believers, and even some (not all) Hebrew scholars have argued that the word we translated “day” in the Genesis story referred to a time period that was longer than 24 hours. (The word can mean a portion of a day, basically a full day, or an indefinite period of time depending on how it’s used.) Here, it’s used in a way that is most easily just translated “day,” as in… a regular ol’ day.

Other’s have argued there’s a gap of time in there BEFORE the seven days of creation even start. Historically, they’ve argued that this is the time the dinosaurs lived, but the Hebrew language in those verses doesn’t really allow any gap between verse 1 and 2 for the dinosaurs to live in. Some argue that the earth was covered by water for eons, in between Genesis 1:2 and 3, but you can’t fit land dinosaurs in there.

So the plain meaning of the Bible, taking a day to be basically a regular day, is that the earth is a little more than 6,000 years old. Since there was evidently no sun until day four, I think you have give a little room for God to say what is meant by “evening and morning” on those days. I think Augustine said those were “God-defined days, not solar-defined days” and I agree. Was it 24 hours, or 19 hours, or 456 hours…?? Continue reading

Where Did All the Water Come From… Or Go? -Noah’s Flood Part III

The Bible says that “all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” -Genesis 7:11-12 (ASV). So according to the Bible, it came from two places: From underneath the oceans and raining down from the sky for 40 days and 40 nights.

And if it came from underneath the oceans, was that in the form of water, or was it in the form of steam as volcanic eruptions took place along the earth’s crust sending huge plums of steam into the atmosphere where it cooled and then fell back to earth as rain?

It would be quite the cataclysm would it not? Continue reading

Noah’s Flood, Examining Some Questions, Part II

In his book, “A Biblical Case for an Old Earth,” David Snoke claims that the story of Noah in the Bible refers to a localized flood, and not a global one. I enjoyed his book, but I disagree with Snoke on this. So just for fun, I thought I’d answer some of his objections to a world-wide flood.

In part one I dealt with gathering the animals, fitting them into the ark, and feeding the carnivorous ones! Here, I will deal with whether or not 8 people can feed that many creatures every day, the ventilation of the ark, and animals with special needs. Let’s start with whether or not it’s even possible for 8 people to practice their animal husbandry skills with that many critters… Continue reading

Noah’s Flood, Examining Some Questions, Part I

Recently, I’ve been reading the book “A Biblical Case for an Old Earth” by David Snoke. In it, he challenges the traditional notions of young earth creationism from both a Biblical and scientific viewpoint. When I’m finished, I’ll give you a full report on it, but for now, I wanted to focus on what he said about Noah’s flood.

Snoke claims that to believe Noah’s Flood covered the whole earth, one has to accept that 15 separate miracles took place, and that God not only flooded the earth, but erased the evidence. He claims the flood was local AND that it killed all of humanity BUT did not cover the globe -not without miracles at least.

Now, it is true that the Biblical account of Noah’s flood contains some miracles. Of course it does, we’re talking God here. When the children of Israel were wandering around the desert, God performed all sorts of miracles, including miracles of preservation: Manna appeared on the ground every morning, their clothes didn’t wear out, water came out of rocks, and more. To say that God had Noah build an ark, and then flooded the earth without also preserving and protecting Noah, would be to not pay attention to God, and not read the story very closely. There ARE miracles in it.

But are these miracles bordering on the unreasonable? Continue reading