Article VI, part 3

Truth or Dare (Article 6)

In this three part article, concerning the truths of Christ and the knowledge of humanity, we have seen how knowledge without understanding is dangerous because it lacks wisdom. Science 1 Especially concerning the subject of biological science. Part one, laid out the foundation to this truth, and part two began to reveal examples.

In this post we will continue to examine the dangers mankind can expect to encounter by utilizing academia as a means to remove God’s wisdom from the subject of biological science, rather than embracing it. We will also cite further examples of the foolishness of macro-evolution.

So, can Darwinism really destroy human dignity and remove hope from a nation? Certainly it can. Recall with me how Karl Marx saw the need to “dethrone God” from the mind of humanity. He desired this because he saw religion as a toxic drug that organized a false sense of hope inside mankind. Mr. Marx knew that for his atheistic ideologies, his secular humanistic political beliefs, to take root and flourish it would require displacing humanity’s hope in God. Once that happened, then mankind would be ready to accept his ideology of autonomy and social structure. As Darwinism teaches that mankind came to be without the help of God, and continues to evolve into a moral and ethical creature on his/her own, then so too (per Marxism) can humanity govern its self regarding moral and ethical issues without God’s help.

So as national leaders, such as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Mao Tse-tung, embraced the atheistic philosophies of Darwinism and Marxism, humanity was also forced to endure some of history’s most amoral and unethical governance ever brought to light. So much for mankind’s ability to be dignified without God; to govern morally and ethically without God. Death tolls of all four tyrants total any where from thirty-seven million to about sixty-three million. Why under Adolf Hitler’s reign (1933-1945) alone approximately eleven million, noncombatant, civilians of Europe died. Remember, as we stated earlier, knowledge without understanding can be dangerous.

Adolf Hitler was so influenced by Darwinian ideologies that it lead him to kill approximately fifty-thousand handicapped individuals at the Hadamar Euthanasia Centre, in Hadamar, Germany. Why is Darwinism connected to these killings? Because as Charles Darwin inferred in the book entitled The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (pub. 1871) the invalid and handicapped are nothing more than “useless eaters.” Adolf Hitler wasn’t simply out to kill Jews and push his anti-Semitic ideals onto his citizenry, he was also out to give aid to “Natural Selection” by killing any one genetically inferior to his ideal specimen of humanity or anyone no longer productive in society.

What was written in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex that would lead to such an amoral ideology? Read with me the words of Charles Darwin:

Charles Darwin “With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to smallpox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

When God is removed from humanity’s existence and development — when mankind is reduce to nothing more than an evolved animal — then eugenics, and euthanasia, become nothing more than a means-to-an-end. Regulated procreation and sterilization, as well as regulated death become necessary to ensure that only the strongest and most productive of the species will be allowed to survive and thrive.

Despite Mr. Darwin’s attempt to soften his words, in the next paragraph, by suggesting that humanity has evolved to exhibit the “instinct of sympathy,” it is historically clear that mankind does not act sympathetic toward its own instinctively. No, humanity’s natural tendency toward one another is to act wickedly. Scripture tells us this, as well:

“The godly have been swept from the land; not one upright man remains. All men lie in wait to shed blood; each hunts his brother with a net. Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire — they all conspire together.” (Micah 7:2-3)

“For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’” (Mark 7:21-23)

Act of Kindness 2 Humanity is not instinctively good, nor is mankind naturally sympathetic (Ecclesiastes 7:29; Jeremiah 17:9). Traits such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are all traits of God that appear in mankind because we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27; Galatians 5:22-23). Without God, humanity cannot treat one another in a dignified manner; mankind cannot experience dignity at any level, nor can they ever hope to. And just as Darwinism strips away humanity’s dignity, so too does the teaching of macro-evolution strip away the scientific truths that God has laid before us.

Remember with me the Linus Pauling quote, “Science is the search for truth.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “truth” as a sincere action, character, or utterance. The state of being the case. The Life Application Study Bible (NIV) defines “truth” as reality or fact. As science continues to expose the inconsistencies inherent in Mr. Darwin’s theory of natural selection, academia cannot be allowed to teach macro-evolution as truth. Examine with me a few more of the “holes” in Darwinism.

Charles Darwin once said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Well, “break down” it has. Ever heard of “Irreducible Complexity”? Simply put, it’s any system of interacting parts in which the removal of any one part destroys the function of the entire system. Basically, an irreducibly complex system requires each component to be in place before it will ever function at all. Michael Behe, a biochemical researcher and professor at Lehigh University, in Pennsylvania, is the one credited with having made this discovery. We’ll use his example of a traditional mousetrap to fully explain his find.

Mousetrap 1 You see, a traditional mousetrap contains five parts, and all five parts are dependent on each other for catching mice: the wooden platform, the spring, the “hammer” (the “hammer” is the bar that pins the mouse against the wooden base), the holding bar, and a catch. Each of these five parts are needed for the successful operation of the mousetrap. If you remove any one of the parts from the mousetrap you would not be able to set the trap, nor could you ever catch a mouse.

Note what this states: an irreducibly complex system cannot come about in a progressive process. You cannot begin with one of the five parts, say the wooden platform, and catch a mouse or two. Nor can you then add another one of the five parts, for example the spring, and end up catching a few more mice, and so on. No! All five of the parts must be in place before the mousetrap can function — period. A gradual process will only result in a system of five individually useless pieces. It can only work when all five parts are correctly assembled and made ready. “Irreducible Complexity” applies to biology in this manner.

Mr. Behe notes that scientists from the late 1800s to the late 1900s had a very simplistic model of a cell’s makeup. Without the electron microscopes, and other advanced technologies that now allow scientists to peer into the mechanisms of the cell, it was assumed that cells were quite simply nothing more than blobs of protoplasm. Therefore, it was easy for scientists, like Charles Darwin, to see cells as simple collections of molecules. But technological advances, made in the past twenty years or so, have revealed that cells are made up of very complicated molecular machines.

In his book entitled Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Michael Denton, a British-Australian author and biochemist, said this about the cell: “Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than ten to twelve grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized [nano] factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one-hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the nonliving world.” Basically, Mr. Denton is saying that the cell is so complicated that it could never have evolved. After all, when was the last time you looked at a computer’s “motherboard” and wondered, “How many millions of years did it take for this to form?” If a non-biological, complex machine demands a biological designer, then most assuredly the more highly complex biological designer of that non-biological machine needs an even more highly complex and divine designer. Now, let’s examine one of these molecular machines.

Bacterial Flagellum Bacterial flagellum, is the most common mechanism used by bacteria to swim through various liquids. The bacterial flagellum is made up of three major parts: an ion driven motor, a hook, and the filament. All three of the parts, together, form a nano-outboard motor. When the bacterial flagellum is rotated, the filament forms a nano-supercoil, which gives it a “corkscrew” shape. This rotating filament spins at about one-hundred thousand revolutions per minute.

Flagellated bacteria are able to be subjected to directed movement through changes in the rotation of the flagellum. When the flagellum rotates to the right, the filament forms a long pitch nano-supercoil. This allows several flagella on a single cell to form a large mass, which moves the bacterium along a straight line in one direction. When the filament is rotated to the left, it makes a shorter pitch nano-supercoil; this causes the flagellar mass to break apart, and the independent movement of several flagella on the cell cause it to scurry unmethodically.

Cells are also programed by a highly sophisticated “software program.” Each cell’s programing tells it to behave in a specific manner. They are not functioning at random, unless they have become cancerous. It’s the cell’s Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, that provides the “Language of Life” coding which dictates to the cells what they will do. DNA is one of the three major macromolecules necessary for all known forms of life. Again, if a non-biological, complex machine demands a biological designer, if a non-biological computer can’t function without a biological programmer, then most assuredly the more highly complex biological designer/programmer of that non-biological machine/computer needs an even more highly complex and divine designer/programmer.

It’s time the world realized that Mr. Darwin got it wrong. First of all, life cannot spontaneously arise from some “warm pond.” Louis Pasteur’s findings decisively refute the idea of macro-evolution, and over a century’s worth of scientific observation and experimentation have confirmed his findings time-and-again. And let’s forget about citing the famous Miller-Urey experiment, as it made use of unrelated conditions, a wrong atmosphere, low yields of chemicals in wrong amounts and a serious configuration problem, not to mention it lacked in proteins.

Pigeons 1 Second, Mr. Darwin conceived his theory of natural selection in part by observing breeders of animals. For example, Charles Darwin noted the way a breeder of pigeons managed to come up with a wide variety of pigeons. Yet we should remember that despite the breeder’s many varieties of pigeon, all the birds were still pigeons.

Third, Mr. Darwin was very much aware of the issues surrounding his own theory. One huge issue that frustrated Charles Darwin, to no end, was the lack of evidence in the fossil record. In fact after being confronted by the “Cambrian Explosion,” which we discussed earlier did not exhibit any evidence of a mutation between species, but rather showed the animal kingdom as abruptly appearing, Mr. Darwin made this statement: “The difficulty of assigning any good reason for the absence of vast piles of strata rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian is very great . . . The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained”

The fourth weak argument from Mr. Darwin was his study of “homology.” In these studies, Mr. Darwin took note that different creatures shared some common features in their skeletal makeup, such as the five fingers of the human hand and the five digits of a bat’s wing. Charles Darwin theorized that this similarity in different species was evidence for a common ancestry (a.k.a.: the “Tree of Life”). Yet this argument is strictly based on his analogy; one that quickly weakens since — again — the fossil record shows no gradual evolution from one species to another. Proponents of “Intelligent Design” can account for these similarities, though, as they are simply the result of a common design used by a brilliant designer.

There’s also Mr. Darwin’s hypothesis that proposes that humanity evolved from some type of ape, similar to the chimpanzee. He discussed this theory in great detail, in the book we mentioned earlier entitled, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. But when modern scientists look closely at the evidence they see what I’m calling Darwin’s fifth weak argument, as a huge amount of variance between chimpanzees and mankind exist. The original hypothesis stated that we human beings share ninety-nine percent of our DNA with chimps, but this has been refuted by the deciphering of the chimpanzee genome.

Finally, Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection is based on his anti-God bias. As we said earlier, the lie of natural selection began as a simple scientific theory, but that “simple theory” had a sinister agenda behind it. Charles Darwin’s agenda was rooted in his anger toward God. Mr. Darwin was angry because his beloved daughter, Annie, died at the young age of ten. So like many people before him, and since, Charles Darwin allowed his anger towards God to turn into doubt. His doubt then lead to finding an alternate “truth;” an alternate “truth” that was based in atheism. That was his choice.

Again, if we are determined to ignore the evidences of God and live within our doubts simply because we do not want to believe in God, or simply because we are mad at God and religion, then no amount of seeking answers to our questions — no amount of study — no amount of knowledge will lead us to see, and know God.

I want to leave you with one more piece of evidence to mull over in your mind. It concerns another fantastic truth surrounding the cells that make up these complex biological machines known as the human body. In the second article from this series we briefly touched on the fact that the human body is made up of literally trillions of cells, but did you ever consider what holds all of these cells together? It’s a protein called laminin.

Laminin 1 Laminin acts as the “glue” that holds our cells together, and in place. “So what does laminin have to do with macro-evolution and knowledge,” you may ask? Just this — laminin is shaped like a cross. Yes, the very instrument meant to destroy life, but that God used to grant humanity access to eternal life, is also inside our bodies and holding our trillions of cells together so that we might live. The cross of Christ, is the real “Tree of Life.” It is symbolized and discussed all through out Scripture and history, and it even does so from within the makeup of the human body. Truth is, no life exists apart from Christ.

Consider these words from the writer of the book of Hebrews:

“For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything . . . Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are His house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear His [God’s] voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion [time of anger, disappointment, doubting, etc.] . . . See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.” (Hebrews 3:4, 6-8a, 12-14)

In other words, don’t let life’s hard times turn you away from God’s truths and wisdom. Allow the knowledge and understanding of Christ to remain in your lives, until the end of your days. As Scripture says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1a) Don’t let yourself live a foolishly vile and corrupt life where nothing good is accomplished because your knowledge existed without understanding. The truth of Christ is in you, and all around you. Embrace God’s wisdom today.

Truth or Dare by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jasonmin.wordpress.com.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

Evolution: A Theory In Crisis” © 1986 by Michael Denton

All rights reserved. The brief information quoted from this book appears in this article with the permission granted per the copyright statement which appears in the third printed publication by Adler & Adler, April 1986.

The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex” © 1981 by Charles Darwin

All rights reserved. The brief information quoted from this book appears in this article with the permission granted per the copyright statement which appears in the August 1981 publication, by Princeton University Press.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

Advertisements

Article V, part 2

Truth or Dare (Article 5)

In our last article we began looking into the three main philosophies prevalent in the world today (Theism, Pantheism, and Atheism). We also looked at several of the worldviews directly connected to the three main philosophies Philosophy 5 (Biblical Theism, Monadic Monotheism, Eastern Mysticism, Spiritism, Occultism, Darwinism, Secular Humanism, and Existentialism). We also mentioned briefly about the multitude of ideologies in existence today, as a result of the three main philosophies being blended together. So many, in fact, that they were too numerous to list in our post, though we named a few.

In this article we will be tackling the issue of truth, where wisdom is concerned. We will attempt to show you why it is only the philosophy of Biblical Theism that can connect the human mind to the truth, because it’s only God’s wisdom that is truth. So for the next few moments let’s avoid pondering past the truth God has laid out before us, in His Word, and let’s open our minds up to the message of wisdom He has waiting for us to learn.

Scripture promises that if we ask for wisdom, God will give it to us (James 1:5). If we truly desire wisdom, and we all should, then we have only to ask. With God’s wisdom we find knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). Sir Isaac Newton, a devout Christian, became one of the most influential minds of his time in the fields of mechanics, mathematics, optics, philosophy, and physics. In fact, Sir Isaac Newton is regarded to this day as one of the most influential scientists of all time, and a key figure in the scientific revolution. There are others, as well.

Robert Boyle, was a biblical theist who became known for his advancements in the fields of chemistry, natural philosophy, physics, and theology. He is best known today as one of the pioneers of the modern experimental scientific method and “Boyle’s Law,” which states that the outcome of pressure and volume is continuous for a given mass of enclosed gas as long as the temperature is unchanged.

There is also Johannes Kepler, who was another key figure of the scientific revolution. This God fearing man is primarily remembered for his contributions in the fields of mathematics and astronomy. Mr. Kepler is best known, today, for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, which became codified by later astronomers.

And let’s not forget Galileo Galilei, a major influence regarding the scientific revolution. Galileo Galilei This biblical theist is remembered for his stellar contributions in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, and physics. To this day, it is Galileo that academia considers to be the “father” of modern observational astronomy, modern science, and physics.

There are many more godly men listed in the annals of philosophy and science. Far too many to include in this post, but the point is this: modern science was revolutionized because these four very devout men dedicated themselves to pursuing God’s wisdom. The result was God’s revelation of knowledge and understanding in the areas of astronomy, chemistry, mechanics, mathematics, optics, philosophy, physics, and theology.

Certainly the non-believers of many fields have made significant discoveries too, but it’s not because they did so on their own merit. Both believers and non-believers are instruments of God’s work. Given to knowledge and understanding because the Spirit of God chose to reveal such things to the world through them. Note this passage of Scripture from the Apostle Paul, written in his first letter to the people of Corinth:

“However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’ — but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We [the believer] have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him [mankind]?’ But we [the believer] have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-16)

In short, what Paul was communicating is this — all the things that mankind knows of has been made known to him by the Spirit of God. It’s only the true worshipers of the Almighty that are allowed to understand where this wisdom has come from and how that knowledge is related to God’s purpose for humanity. A non-believer may tap into this knowledge from time-to-time, as the Spirit of God allows, but he will not see it as divinely given and will not understand how God has purposed it for mankind and God’s glory.

So how does this godly form of knowledge and understanding produce assurance, and peace of mind? Wisdom 2 By the fact that true, godly wisdom is divine, and not from the mind of humanity. You see, God’s wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive to the Almighty, full of mercy and beneficial to humanity, as well as impartial and sincere (James 3:17). God’s knowledge and understanding is true wisdom, because our Creator is all knowing and all understanding (Job 12:13, 36:5; Psalm 147:5; Proverbs 2:6; Isaiah 40:28; Daniel 2:20; Romans 11:33, 16:25-27), and mankind’s wisdom isn’t and can’t ever be.

Can you begin to see the logic behind why God’s wisdom is true wisdom? God is perfect, without flaw, but humanity is not perfect — humanity is flawed. Mankind does not know all there is to know, but God does. We cannot know true wisdom on our own, because we are the product of a rebellious choice (Genesis 3:1-24). A choice that removed us from God’s divine nature. Our rebellious spirit is equal to that of an occultic, black-hearted witch (1 Samuel 15:23). How can a rebellious creature, prone to doing evil, ever know the pure and perfect wisdom of its Creator? It can’t unless the knowledge and understanding that it seeks is given to it by the Creator, Himself. Whether that wisdom is of a scientific nature or of a spiritual nature, if wisdom is to be valid, right, and true then it must come from God.

An example of God’s Spirit revealing spiritual wisdom to humanity is found in the life of the Apostle Peter, as told in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter sixteen. Jesus was talking with His disciples about who the people of Israel thought He was. Several answers came back to Him from His followers, but none where correctly identifying Jesus as the appointed Messiah. So, Christ looks to the hearts of His chosen twelve, and asks them, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15b) It’s Simon Peter who responds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16b) Jesus then tells Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17) So even the revelation of Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, cannot be known merely by reading the Scriptures and knowing the prophecies unless God allows our “eyes to see,” our “ears to hear,” and our “minds to conceive.”

Still not convinced that all wisdom is from God? That it’s His wisdom that leads to real knowledge and understanding? Maybe the logic behind the perfection of divine wisdom verses the fallacy of humanity’s makes sense to you, but it’s the citing of Scripture that leaves you lacking. After all, the Holy Bible isn’t the only source of divine wisdom — is it? Actually it is, and I’ll explain why.

Though many of the world’s religions have their holy writings, none of these books bare the actual Word of God. The Vedas, and the Upanishads of the Hindu faith were all written by men trying to explain the wisdom of their enlightenment, as it relates to the “universal spirit.” The Qur’an was written by a man trying to explain the wisdom of his divine god, Allah, but it’s only the Holy Bible that holds the actual divinely inspired message of the Almighty to humanity (2 Timothy 3:16-17). How can we know that these holy writings are the very Word of God? There are many validations of the holy Scriptures.

The Holy Bible was written by approximately forty different men, all of them inspired by God, over a period that spans over fifteen-hundred years. Bible 7 The inerrant spiritual and physical truths contained within its sixty-six books are evidences of this, but before we accept this as truth we’ll need to understand the meanings of the words “inerrancy” and “inspired.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “inerrancy” as: (noun) exemption from error; infallible. So for the Holy Bible to be inerrant it must be without flaw — perfect. As we have already stated, only something divine can be infallible. So, since we know people wrote the holy Scriptures, and since we know people are not perfect, the only way the Holy Bible could be inerrant is if God’s Spirit moved in these men and inspired them to write.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “inspired” as: (adjective) outstanding or brilliant in a way or to a degree suggestive of divine [godly] inspiration. Did you get that? Something inspired is literally a work that is influenced by divinity. When these forty men began to write the holy Scriptures, they were moved by the Spirit of God to communicate His inerrant spiritual and physical truths (2 Peter 1:21). Not all Scripture is a direct recording of God’s message to mankind, in fact most of Scripture is a composition of God’s message, but all of Scripture is an outstanding and brilliant account of the Word of God.

O.K., so the original writings were inerrant and inspired, but what about the fact that the original Scriptures are no longer in existence? Are the copies on file today trust worthy? Yes, and I’ll show you why. First, though, we must note that none of the original ancient writings being studied today are in existence. Plato’s writings, the works of Herodotus, the writings of Caesar and Tacitus, even those of William Shakespeare are no longer around. All we have to go by are the copies that were created, and most of them are no longer available. Only seven of Plato’s writings are on file; with Herodotus we only have eight. William Shakespeare’s folio contains about two-hundred and thirty-eight copies, but when it comes to the holy Scriptures we have over ten-thousand copies of the Old Testament texts and nearly twenty-five thousand copies of the New Testament texts.

So what makes these numerous copies of the Holy Bible so special? Well, the fact that these many copies on file are within only a few hundred years of the original writings is pretty amazing. Copies of Plato’s writings are nearly one-thousand years removed from their original compositions, as are the vast majority of the ancient manuscripts still on file. And as far as inconsistencies are concerned, the Holy Bible is considered by experts to be ninety-five percent accurate. What of that five percent? Experts agree that these inconsistencies are only regarding spelling and conjunctions, and none of what is in question has altered the facts and meanings of the overall texts.

There are other evidences, too. Such as the prophecies mentioned and fulfilled within its sixty-six books. bible 2 These prophecies aren’t general predictions either. The holy Scriptures make very specific and detailed forecasts concerning a variety of specified individuals, nations, and events. The Qur’an doesn’t do this, and neither do any other religious writings. In fact, all other religious prophecies made in any other spiritual composition only deals in very generalized guesses. It’s only in the Holy Bible that you find such intentional forecasts, and most were predicted hundreds of years before their occurrences, but all the fulfilled prophecies can be historically verified.

The holy Scriptures also contain a unified message regarding humanity’s need for redemption. As stated earlier, despite its having been written by forty or so authors over a span of fifteen-hundred years, the Holy Bible consistently deals with this theme of redemption. We see in the Old Testament writings the issue of humanity’s fall from God’s grace, the prophecies regarding mankind’s salvation, and predictions of God’s judgment for the non-believing world. Then in the New Testament we see the messianic prophecies fulfilled and further prophecies of God’s judgment for non-believers laid out. Other religious documents are not nearly so consistent, and most of them were written by only one author (example: the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon, etc.).

There’s also archeological evidence that helps to validate the historical accuracy of the holy texts. A vast amount of historical locations, names, and events have been confirmed by archeologists who have used Scripture as a sort of road map into history. One such archeologist/biblical investigator, named Bob Cornuke, has used the Holy Bible to discover strong evidence as to the true location of Noah’s ark. A piece of what appeared to be petrified wood was removed from the site, located in Iran, and analyzed by the University of Cambridge. The analysis came back stating that the subject was a petrified piece of unknown wood, and that it had been coated in some sort of pitch to make it waterproof, and that there was evidence of fossilized marine life found, too. He’s also found compelling evidence regarding the location of the real Mt. Sinai, and Mr. Cornuke has even unearthed an incredible amount of evidence concerning where the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea.

The science of astronomy also validates Scripture. Long before Copernicus, Plato, or Pythagoras ever began to discover that the earth was round, Scripture was already telling us it was (Job 26:10; Isaiah 40:22). In Job chapter twenty-six, verse seven, we read that God “suspends the earth over nothing,” which indicates the fact that our planet free-floats in space. The Scriptures declare time-and-again that the universe is ever expanding (Job 37:18; Isaiah 40:22; Jeremiah 10:12), which is exactly what the astronomers of the 1920s discovered. These and other astronomical evidences found through out the Holy Bible are proof of its inerrancy and inspiration. After all, how else would the authors of these Old Testament texts know of such things thousands of years before the science of astronomy was founded, unless they were told by God.

There are other evidences to support the infallible spiritual and physical truths found in the holy Scriptures, such as in biological science (we’ll get into this more deeply in Article Six), and the process in which its sixty-six book were canonized. Also how quickly the message of the New Testament was embraced as fact, due to the over five-hundred “eye witnesses” still living when the writings began to appear (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). All were able to help deny or validate any-and-all stories being told concerning the teachings of Christ.

There are also the internal claims made through out the texts. Some we have already named, but the claims most compelling are the verses that teach on the deity of Christ (Proverbs 8:22-36). Christ in Clouds Why? Because it is Jesus, the Christ, who is the very Word of God (Isaiah 55:11). The book we call the Holy Bible isn’t merely inerrant and inspired to teach us of God’s divine wisdom, but to actually give us a direct connection to God’s living, divine wisdom — His very own begotten Son. It is Jesus, the Christ, who God spoke through to make all of creation (Proverbs 8:30; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16). It is Jesus, the Christ, that God made into a man to live among humanity as His example of perfection (John 1:14). It is Jesus, the Christ, who sacrificed Himself so that we could be reconciled to God, and it is Jesus, the Christ, who conquered death so that all who believe could live forever (John 3:16-17).

Without Jesus Christ there is no holy text; there is no knowledge and understanding, and there is no peace in wisdom, because without Jesus Christ there can be no philosophy — only foolishness.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

Truth or Dare by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jasonmin.wordpress.com.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

Article V, part 1

Truth or Dare (Article 5)

One of my favorite literary characters of all time is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s infamous detective of 221B Baker Street, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and my favorite adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories is the British Broadcasting Corporation’sSherlock.” Holmes & Watson 1 This small screen redesign of the classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries certainly delivers on fulfilling it’s slogan by making Mr. Holmes into “a new sleuth for the 21st century.”

There’s an old joke, that still surfaces from time-to-time, regarding Mr. Sherlock Holmes and his faithful friend Dr. John H. Watson. The yarn takes place on a camping trip, that the legendary duo have decided to enjoy. In the middle of the night, the ever alert Mr. Holmes nudges Dr. Watson awake, and says, “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.” Dr. Watson, though a bit lethargic, answers him, “I see millions of stars, my dear Holmes.”

“And what do you infer from these stars?” says Sherlock. “Well,” Dr. Watson begins to answer. But sensing that his friend is in one of his philosophical moods, he decides to think a moment before answering. “A number of things,” Dr. Watson retorts as he lights his cigarette. “Astronomically, Holmes, I observe that there are millions of galaxies and billions of stars and planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three in the a.m. Meteorologically, I expect that the weather will be fine and clear. Theologically, I see that God is all-powerful and man, His creation, small and insignificant. What about you, my dear Holmes? What is it that you infer?” Without a moments pause, Sherlock snaps back in a very agitated tone, “Watson, you fool — someone has stolen our tent!”

Often the answers to life’s many questions are setting there in plain sight, yet those who delve deep into the philosophical will somehow manage to miss them, and cause others to do the same. I like to say it this way:

Philosophers are the only people I know of that can sit on a haystack full of needles, and still manage to not get the point in the end.

Humanity’s infatuation with ideology, our romance with rationality, our intimacy with intelligence can be summed up in the word philosophy. “Philosophy” is a word deriving from two Greek words. Philos, is a Greek word meaning “beloved,” or “loving,” and Sophos is Greek for “knowledge,” or “wisdom.” So literally, philosophy means “beloved knowledge,” or “the love of wisdom.” As mankind has long enjoyed a deep tenderness towards discerning thoughts, and has worshiped a variety of worldviews, we will be addressing a few of the philosophies that have (and still do) preoccupied our minds.

Philosophy 2 There are three main worldviews influencing the various philosophies in existence today. These three worldviews are:

Theism — one deity, who made all things out of nothing.
Pantheism — the divine is everything, and everything is the divine.
Atheism — no deity exists, the universe simply occurred on its own.

“Theism” is made up of two main ideologies: Biblical Theism, and Monadic Monotheism. If you have a worldview that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, as explained in the Holy Bible, then you posses a belief system that is considered “Biblical Theism,” or Trinitarianism (one deity, but three separate personifications — God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit). This Christ-centered, theistic ideology is the philosophical foundation of the Christian faith.

It is the understanding that Yahweh and Jesus are the same God; that the Old Testament writings teach and prepare both the Hebrews of yesteryear and the reader of today for the coming Messiah, revealed in the New Testament writings. It is the awareness of the teachings that proclaim the deity of Jesus, His life as a man, His sacrificial death on the cross, and His resurrection and ascension into Heaven, as well as His return and millennial rule on earth. All of these pronouncements, plus the gift of the Holy Spirit to the believer, are essential in conveying the truths of redemption that this godly worldview seeks to convey.

“Monadic Monotheism” teaches of a singular, divine being (a.k.a.: a monad). This is the theistic belief system held mostly by Jews and Muslims. This singular, divine being is wholly separated from humanity, leaving them under the mandate that says mankind must obey the divine statutes and live a righteous life. In short, the divine is both just and vengeful; separated from humanity because this deity is perfect, and only piety and righteousness can present mankind with the chance to beg for divine forgiveness.

Occasionally a theist will also relate a philosophy that denigrates the value of mankind’s physical existence, and they’ll teach either that the spiritual side of humanity takes precedence over the physical side, or possibly the opposite. This ideology is called Dualism. Though generally associated with “Pantheism,” this Greek rooted philosophy generally depicts the physical world in a negative light and encourages mankind to neglect their physical needs for the gain of spiritual enlightenment.

“Pantheism” is made up of three main ideologies: Eastern Mysticism, Spiritism, and Occultism. If your worldview states that the ultimate expression of reality consists of a “universal divine spirit,” galaxy 4 and that there is no singular, deity for humanity to relate to, or to reveal himself to, then you posses a pantheistic belief system that is considered “Eastern Mysticism.” Philosophically speaking, this worldview does not separate the secular and the divine, and teaches that all of reality is composed of, and reduced to, a single substance/”energy.”

“Spiritism” teaches that this world is inhabited by a variety of spirits. These spirits take on many characteristics too, as some are seen as angry, mean, comical, or kind. This pantheistic worldview, now known as Animism, states that humanity must appease evil spirits and attract good ones through rituals, liturgies, idols, or ceremonies. Voodoo is an example of a religion that is based on just such a belief system.

“Occultism” is the study of things that are hidden (paranormal), such as magic, alchemy, extrasensory perception (a.k.a.: ESP), astrology, spiritualism, and divination. Many religious belief systems are rooted in this pantheistic ideology. For example Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Theosophy, Wicca, Thelema, Satanism, and Neopaganism are all rooted in occultism. The sciences have mistakenly been connected to the occult, from time-to-time, as mankind has sought to understand the unknown, both within and without. Occultism, you see, attempts to understand a deeper spiritual reality, by way of superstitious and demonic rituals, that extend beyond human logic and academic science.

“Atheism” is basically the refusal to believe that there is a spiritual side to humanity. An atheist will not accept any deity, nor will they accept that mankind has an immortal soul. Atheism 2 “Atheism” is made up of three main ideologies: Darwinism, Secular Humanism, and Existentialism. The term “atheism” originated from the Greek word atheos, and literally means “without gods.” Most atheists believe that their worldview is an ideology of absolute truths, even more so than most theists, and therefore the burden of proof lies not on the atheist to disprove the existence of the divine, but on the theist to provide solid evidence for the divine.

“Darwinism” is the study of the origin of life, and is committed to the atheistic ideology that states that all of life is the result of natural selection and random causes. This belief system is founded on the scientific theory of evolution. Mr. Charles Darwin, the founder of “Darwinism,” had observed in his worldwide travels that the animal kingdom, within species, adapted to various conditions that made them better equipped to survive and thrive in an ever changing environment. It’s based on this scientific evidence, known as micro-evolution, that Mr. Darwin theorized that, given enough time and the right environment, a transformation of one species into another could occur. This process of successive mutations within a species, that ends in the existence of a new species, is known to Scientists as macro-evolution. Unfortunately for Charles Darwin, and all of his colleagues since, there has never been an observed macro-evolution mutation. Paleontologists can’t even find a transitional or mutated species in the fossil records. The result is that Scientists who commit themselves to the study of evolution generally refuse to understand their scientific findings, wholly, and stay committed to their atheistic ideology of “Darwinism.”

“Secular Humanism” is the study of the humanities, with the focus being on the glorification of human accomplishment. This atheistic worldview is in stark contrast to that of “Classical Humanism” which gives glory to the divine when taking notice of human accomplishments. A secular humanist will give no credit to a deity, but will wallow in the idea that mankind can rise to, and capture, the moment with his/her own greatness. People with this atheistic ideology are very much in the present, and slaves to history. This philosophy reduces humanity to being nothing more than a glorified animal which seeks to fulfill its own selfish desires, and passions, at any cost.

“Existentialism” is simply all about living in the moment. People who adhere to this atheistic philosophy generally do not bother with questioning how or why something began, or ended, they will even oppose the reasons behind why something exists. They simply choose to embracing the fact that it is. Their three core beliefs are as follows:

Individualism (me, myself, and I)
“Carpe diem” (a Latin phrase for “seize the day”)
Freedom to do whatever, whenever, and however (anarchy).

Oddly enough, you can occasionally find theists who follow and live by this worldview, but primarily it is the atheists that adhere to this belief system. Why? Because such an ideology cannot have a divine entity telling it that there is an absolute right and wrong. An existentialist must be free to live life passionately and without any kind of inward or outward constraint.

I realize that when it comes to a subject as vast and as deep as “philosophy” it is hard for most of us to stay focused and retain the information that is being presented. I know that I certainly struggle with knowing and understanding them all. Comprehension, though key, can be hard to attain for some, thus the reason I have tried to present this to you in small portions; only giving you the essential information for understanding the various belief systems directly connected to the three main worldviews (Theism, Pantheism, and Atheism). Just know that for every one of these ideologies mentioned there are multiple worldviews that intersect and continue from them.

For example, where “Theism” and “Pantheism” intersect Polytheism (the belief of more than one god) and Postmodern Spirituality (the belief that no one religion will connect you to the divine; just believe what you wish) appear. Where “Pantheism” and “Atheism” cross paths Monism (the belief that humanity can become one with the “universal divine force,” and escape the illusion of this physical life) prevails, and where “Atheism” and “Theism” blend Agnosticism (the belief that mankind cannot know anything with certainty, especially the divine) and Deism (the belief that logic and the examination of nature are significant in determining the existence of the divine, as well as the rejection of religious authority and knowledge) exist. Yet, even these philosophies are only a few of the many worldviews that dwell in the minds of humanity.

So what does this all mean? What do we do with the information presented here? Philosophy 3 First, we must give a conscious effort toward knowing why it is only “Biblical Theism” that will give peace of mind to mankind (Philippians 4:7). Second, we must take note of what it is that makes God’s worldview the only ideology worth dedicating our lives to (Proverbs 8). Just as Dr. Watson was too busy waxing wise to notice the obvious fact that his, and Mr. Holmes’, tent had been stolen, so too do philosophers miss the truth of God because they are too deep in love with the pursuit of wisdom to actually receive the wisdom they are so obsessed with finding. (Proverbs 14:6, 17:24, 24:7; 1 Corinthians 1:20).

In our next post we will delve further into why the wisdom of God prevails over the philosophies of humanity, and help you understand how you can rest peacefully knowing that God’s wisdom is truth you can put your trust in.

Truth or Dare by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jasonmin.wordpress.com.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

Sherlock © 2010, 2011, 2012 BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.