Sapphire Sky

April 29, 2011

Hey Kids, Look What Mommy & Daddy Have For You!

Filed under: politics, economy, etc. — Anthony Biller @ 1:35 pm

 

Not surprisingly, the Heritage Foundation reports that our long-term debt is one of the worst in the world.  See here.  Like Rome, fiscal irresponsibility and unsustainable debt appear poised to destroy the foundation of our republic.  See here.

April 23, 2011

Easter Weekend

Filed under: Uncategorized — Steve Knaus @ 11:15 pm

Easter Weekend has come, bringing lots of discussions….

  • Day off of school (Good Friday off)
  • Earth Day on Saturday (See a great post here)
  • Commercial Trappings (Easter Bunny, Sugar, Easter Baskets, More Sugar, etc.)
  • Church Services (make sure to wear something nice!)
  • Spring Weather

But what is the big deal about Easter? 

We don’t worship a dead savior.

We were enemies with God.

Jesus bought us forgiveness with his life.

But he is not dead.  He is alive again!

We don’t worship a dead savior.

Is this news?

Is this new news?  Is this old news?

How does it change your life?

How does it change your weekend?

What if there was no holiday?  How about next weekend?

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
– 1 Corinthians 15:17-21

Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
– 1 Corinthians 15:49

I want share again a post from last year: He’s Alive!

Have a wonderful Easter!

Obvious Truths of Evolution

Filed under: Atheism, agnostic, evolution, etc. — Anthony Biller @ 5:08 pm

Popular sentiment treats “evolution” as fact and teaches that evolution provides a compelling belief system for the origin of life on this planet. (When I use the term “evolution,” unless otherwise specified, I mean “molecules to man evolution”).  There are at least two aspects to evolution: (1) presently observable phenomena, and (2) historical inferences based on a naturalistic worldview to explain the present evidence, what I’ve referred to as “evolution as origins” or “molecules to man” belief.  These two aspects of “evolution” should be distinguished from each other when evolution is discussed.  Further, I believe there is a tension between these two facets of what we call evolution.  Regardless, as explained below, the evolution as origins aspect of evolution is a threadbare belief.  Not only is it undeserving of its dogmatic following, it utterly fails to present a basis for Christians to compromise fundamentals of the faith in general and the teachings of the Genesis account in particular.

Some critics of biblical creation create straw men arguments that creationists reject science or that creationists reject evolution.  The first charge is generally utterly false—when one is dealing with “observational science” (knowledge gained through direct observation and based on the repeatable test—knowledge that builds our technology).  The second allegation is only partially true – we reject “evolution” when it means “molecules to man” belief systems.

The “problem” with Darwinism, like any “good” lie, is that there’s some undeniable truth to it.  Specifically, what is called natural selection is not disputed.  Darwin’s observation and “discovery” of changes he observed and called natural selection are accurate.  Such changes are observable, and entirely consistent with what the Bible teaches concerning kinds.There are observable changes within a kind (or “Family” as kind in most instances probably equates to the “Family” level of classification).  The second aspect of Darwinian evolution, i.e. Darwin’s extrapolation of evolution (the observable changes) as the engine for life and the myriad kinds or families over time is, however, highly incompatible with the teachings of Christianity in general and with the Genesis account in particular.  Darwin’s ideas based on naturalism (regardless of how a secularist explains it), would mean that in nature there is no design, no purpose, just blind, pitiless indifference, which is exactly how Darwin described it.  That assertion and that component of evolution is false and I reject it.

Because Jesus Christ is God, we should give Scripture a strong presumption of validity, from Genesis to Revelation.

Biblical creationists do not reject “observational science.”  The conflict is between two different accounts of “historical science.”  We therefore come to different conclusions because of our different starting points.  It’s not really an argument about evidence.  We all observe the same thing.  The debate properly presented is about interpretations based on presuppositions.

Is the evidence compelling in favor of materialistic evolution?  No.  In fact, it’s threadbare, and evolutionists have to come up with secondary and tertiary assumptions to explain why it doesn’t really fit with their evolutionary beliefs.  Here’s my “top 10″ evidentiary list concerning evolution and illustrating that observing such in the present does not confirm the belief in evolution, but in fact confirms that the correct starting point to interpret such evidence is God’s Word.

1.  You just don’t get there from a plain reading of scripture.  What the prophets and Apostles taught under inspiration from the Holy Spirit does not in any way support the evolutionary belief of origins.

2.  What is called “Natural Selection” is a demonstrable component of evolutionary belief, but does not add information or complexity to the world.  To the contrary, selecting logically necessitates a corresponding elimination.

3. The engine of change, genetic mutation, does not provide compelling evidence of increasing information and the sustainability or complexity of life. A genetic mutation for humans nearly universally means no change (neutral mutations) or detrimental change (death and disease).  Many mutations in the natural world result in a loss or impairment of important genetic information.  Even the few and far in between ‘beneficial’ mutations, such as antibiotic resistant bacteria, demonstrate offsetting losses.  Antibiotic resistant bacteria survive under constraints of the medication but are weaker in a natural, un-medicated environment.

4.  There is no mechanism that allows for an organism to change from one kind of an organism to another.  Natural selection “selects” from the available genetic information.  Genetic mutations generally degrade information or are net-neutral.  There simply has been no observed mechanism for “evolving” incredible complexities of information necessary to construct the remarkable features and complexities of life in and around us.

5. Endangered species list: the list exists.  The present evidence does not demonstrate the formation of new ‘kinds’ or families over time—even though we have observed a few new ‘species’ within certain kinds.  What we see occurring now and in the fossil record is a steady and ongoing rate of extinction.  “Natural selection” eliminates life forms; specifically, this process involves the weeding out within species of variations that are not well suited to the present environment.  It’s ironic that dinosaurs are held up as iconic for evolution.  They are instead irrefutable evidence of an entire kind being wiped out through natural processes – the exact opposite of evolution. The process of natural selection is not creating new kinds or families; it only “fine tunes” kinds and families to their environment by weeding out the unfit.  There is no such thing as a new families list.  There is a growing endangered species list—which results eventually in entire families becoming extinct.

6.  The missing link between man and ape is still missing.

7.  Any credible idea how life first started by naturalistic processes of matter is also still missing.  Despite well over a century of concentrated intelligent effort, the method for chance or accidental creation of a code system and information system as found in DNA , under conditions purportedly prevalent millions of years ago, have not been discovered.

8.  The mathematical specificity of the simplest DNA – T1 phage. See here for explanation.  See also Georgia Purdom, Water Flea Has More Genes Than Human.

9.  The fossil record does not show eons of steady, incremental evolution.  Instead, we find billions of dead things, buried in fairly proximate layers, scattered over all portions of the earth.  Evolutionists, based on their specific beliefs, interpret this evidence as an explosion of biodiversity over time.  Or, it could be (and in fact is) the record of a worldwide cataclysmic event that killed billions of living creatures in close temporal proximity—a different interpretation based on the revelation in God’s Word concerning the Flood of Noah’s Day, and its various consequences.  The slight variations in where the creatures are found in those layers are likely attributable to when they died, and if it was a worldwide flood, also if and when they sank—how they were buried in specific locales.

10.  Myths and ancient records.  Our ancient “legends” and “myths” are filled with tales of men killing giant lizards.  There are stories and pictures of dragons across continents and going back thousands of years:

  • A Sumerian story dating back to 2000 BC or earlier tells of a hero namedGilgamesh, who, when he went to fell cedars in a remote forest, encountered a huge vicious dragon that he slew, cutting off its head as a trophy.
  • When Alexander the Great (c. 330 BC) and his soldiers marched into India, theyfound that the Indians worshipped huge hissing reptiles that they kept in caves.
  • The Norsemen, or Vikings, regularly carved dragon heads into the bows of their boats.
  • China is renowned for its dragon stories, and dragons are prominent on Chinese pottery,embroidery, and carvings.
  • England and several other cultures retain the story of St. George, who slew a dragon that lived in a cave.
  • There is the story of a tenth-century Irishman who wrote of his encounter with what appears to have been a Stegosaurus.
  • In the 1500s, a European scientific book, Historia Animalium, listed several livinganimals that we would call dinosaurs. A well-known naturalist of the time, Ulysses Aldrovandus, recorded an encounter between a peasant named Baptista and a dragon whose description fits that of the small dinosaur Tanystropheus. The encounter was on May 13, 1572,
    near Bologna in Italy, and the peasant killed the dragon.
  •  Petroglyphs (drawings carved on rock) of dinosaur like creatures have also been found.  See GenesisPark Room 1: the Dinosaurs;Dinosaur Petroglyphs at Natural Bridges National Monument.
  • The book of Job, considered by many to be the oldest book in the Bible (circa 1500 BC) discusses creatures that demonstrate the glory of God.  The book clearly describes what could be a  dinosaur and also a fire-breathing sea dragon—an animal  known to the reader.  See Job 40:15-18 (something that sounds like a brachiosaur); Job 41 (some form of fierce water dragon).

See Ken Ham, What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? ; Ishmael Abrahams, Still Good Evidence.

We do not see nature creating increasing complexities of life and biodiversity.  Instead, we observe “nature’s blind indifference” destroying life forms and slowly reducing the total amount of genetic information.  The fossil record and present observation suggests there was more biodiversity and total genetic information in the past.  That is consistent with the truth: there was a magnificent creation, followed by a fall away from the Creator and a long period of death, decline, suffering and extinction, to include a devastating Global Flood, just as Genesis teaches.

April 20, 2011

Monkey Business

Filed under: Atheism, agnostic, evolution, etc. — Anthony Biller @ 10:10 pm

Suppose you were born this morning with the ability to read, think, and understand and found yourself wondering how and why you existed.  Suppose further that someone gave you a Bible, told you it was the word of God, and encouraged you to read it, which you did, from the beginning.  After reading the first few chapters of Genesis, and having not yet “benefited” from modern indoctrination enlightenment, you would not conclude that your existence was attributable to millions and millions of years of micro-evolution, and an amoeba to man metamorphosis.  Frankly, there is simply no way you could infer that from Genesis for from any other book of the Bible.

So, if I told you that although we believe the Bible is a remarkable book and the inspired word of God, most of us also believe that we evolved from some primordial micro-ooze a very long time ago, you just might conclude that there exists compelling evidence that compelled us to shoe-horn such an idea into Genesis.  Of course it would have to be overwhelming evidence before we compromised what we’ve acknowledged as God’s word, or, to put it more delicately, to “accommodate” the narrative to the evidence.

Of course we might think that way, if we were born yesterday.  If, however, we’ve spent decades being told that the Bible governs spiritual issues and science governs reality and that “science” teaches us that our origins and the various forms of life are attributable to the process of evolution, we might more or less simply accept the continual declarations as true, especially if we’d been instructed with the millions and millions and billions of years and evolution theories continually since we wore diapers.

But really, is the evidence of evolution so compelling that it requires us to treat it on par with the plain, ordinary meaning of God’s word?  That we contort God’s explanation of origins to squeeze in millions of years and evolution?  That we treat God’s plain teaching of origins as a metaphor, or worse, as simply untrue?

But maybe evolution for the story of our origins isn’t incompatible with Genesis?  I mean, evolution is science and Genesis is religion.

In the book, The Lie, Ken Ham explains how evolution as origins theory undermines fundamental elements of our faith.

Why do we believe in marriage?

Homosexual marriage is now a heated political topic.  On what do we base our definition of marriage?  Genesis teaches that God created two genders, male and female, and joined one man to one women in marriage.  There was and is nothing arbitrary about our gender or about how we mate.  In Chapter 19 of his Gospel account, Matthew recounts Jesus teaching about marriage: “He who created them in the beginning, made them male and female.  The man shall cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh.”  Jesus himself used Genesis as the foundation teaching about marriage.  Evolution as origins theory has no such foundation for marriage.  To the contrary, if we evolved from some yet-to-be-discovered theoretical ape like creature, marriage is no more and no less than whatever we want it to be.

Why do we promote the wearing of clothes?

We were created and born naked.  Why not strip nude in public when it’s warm out or when we simply feel like being naked?  The entire animal kingdom parades naked with their genitals exposed. We don’t.  Even the most primitive and pagan cultures cover their genitals.  Humans feel ashamed when naked.  Since the fall and original sin, we realize our nakedness and want to hide ourselves.  The first act after falling away from God was to feel shame and exposed.  Further, after the fall, our hearts burn with lust and we cloth ourselves in modesty and for safety.  Our moral hang-up with clothing  makes little sense in the “moral” framework of evolution.  It’s our first reported manifestation of the fall.

Why are there rules of right and wrong?

God created everything, to include us.  We owe him everything and he has all the power.  Quite simply, he has every right and authority to set the rules – the Ten Commandments, etc.   In an evolutionary system, what are rules and why would anyone or anything have more say or legitimacy than any other sentient being?  Why should you, me, a king, or anyone enjoy more “justification” or authority than a rock for asserting what’s right or wrong in an evolutionary framework?

Why are we sinners and what does this mean? 

This question really makes no sense in the evolutionary paradigm.  It’s a fundamental question for Christians that has eternal ramifications.

Why is there death and suffering in the world?

For the Christian, these are the direct result of man’s fall from God.  In the evolutionary context, these are the forces the propel evolution and new species.  In the Genesis account, death and suffering are a curse.  That’s not at all the case in the evolutionary context.

Why is there to be a new heaven and a new earth?

Our hope for the future is utter nonsense from the evolutionary worldview.

The very Gospel Message –

If there was no literal fall of mankind, why would you need a savior of mankind?

If there was no first Adam, why would you need the second and final Adam (1 Cor 15).

Were we created by a loving God or evolved from bugs through a long process of random mutations and pitiless death and struggle?

Does creation testify to the eternal Glory of God or is it the thoughtless product of massive natural processes over billions and billions of years?

Are we eternal souls created by God in the image of God, or are we simply hairless apes?

As believers and followers of Jesus Christ we should come down squarely on one side on all these issues.  But too often, within the church, we want to compromise with evolution.  We want to fit in.  We don’t want to argue with the white-coated scientists or the editors of National Geographic and/or Vanity Fair.  We sit silent as our children are taught that evolution explains the origins of our species and the reason for the life around us.

Is there overwhelming evidence that compels us to disregard these fundamental incompatibilities between Scripture and evolution as origins theories?  Not at all.  In fact, when you look, you can clearly see that this emperor wears no clothes.  Evolution does not deserve the worldly crowns it’s been given, let alone the title of God slayer.  More on this in my next post – Deo volente.

April 19, 2011

THINK

Filed under: Atheism, agnostic, evolution, etc., video — Anthony Biller @ 12:34 pm

April 15, 2011

It’s all about me … cont’d

Filed under: culture — Anthony Biller @ 9:38 am

 Joe Carter at First Things recently published an excellent analysis on the worldview that gives rise to our culture of abortion. (hat tip Jill Stanek) 

Abortion and the Negation of Love

Those of us in the pro-life movement often claim that we live in a “culture of death.” But most of us don’t believe it. Not really. We may use the phrase as a rhetorical tool, but deep in our hearts we think that our family, friends, and neighbors wouldn’t knowingly kill another human being.

We convince ourselves that they simply don’t realize what they’re doing. If only they could see—and honestly look at—the ultrasound pictures of an unborn child. If only we could convince them that what they consider a “clump of cells” is a person. If only they knew it was a human life they were destroying. If they only knew, they wouldn’t—they couldn’t—continue to support abortion.

But they do know. And the abortions continue. Not because we live in a culture of death but because we live in a culture of me.

Read the rest of this excellent article here.

See also Really, it’s not about you

April 14, 2011

Hateful Atheists, cont’d

Filed under: Atheism, agnostic, evolution, etc. — Anthony Biller @ 8:38 pm

So… an off duty, atheist TSA officer coordinated a porn and obscenity posting “attack” on Ken Ham’s Facebook page this past Sunday morning.  Reason: someone posted a quote by Mr. Ham on an atheism bulletin board that angered the atheists.  See here.  I suspect they don’t care or know about how the Bible instructs to identify a tree by the fruit it produces.

April 12, 2011

Most obnoxious toy?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Steve Knaus @ 8:00 am

 

April 6, 2011

Debt Visualized, Paul Ryan

Filed under: politics, economy, etc., video — Anthony Biller @ 9:16 pm

I like what I’ve seen of this Congressman, and I like that orange tie.  Presidential.

Blog at WordPress.com.