69 Comments

Controversial?

A Georgia member of the House of Representatives recently stated that he believes the Bible, and that evolution is false, and the earth is approximately 9000 years old. That’s not controversial as far as I’m concerned.

But since some people think it’s controversial, I appreciate the stand he’s taken. The truth will ultimately win the day, and isn’t determined by popular vote.

Here’s the story from the Washington Post.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Georgia Rep. Paul Broun said in videotaped remarks that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell” meant to convince people that they do not need a savior.

The Republican lawmaker made those comments during a speech Sept. 27 at a sportsman’s banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell. Broun, a medical doctor, is running for re-election in November unopposed by Democrats.

“God’s word is true,” Broun said, according to a video posted on the church’s website. “I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

Broun also said that he believes the Earth is about 9,000 years old and that it was made in six days. Those beliefs are held by fundamentalist Christians who believe the creation accounts in the Bible to be literally true.

Broun spokeswoman Meredith Griffanti told the Athens Banner-Herald (http://bit.ly/Us4O0Z ) that Broun was recorded speaking off-the-record to a church group about his religious beliefs. He sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

It seems unlikely that Broun’s remarks were supposed to be kept private. The banquet was advertised, Broun spoke before an audience and the video of his remarks was posted on the church’s website.

69 comments on “Controversial?

  1. Good for him! Who’ll be the next to speak the truth (without shame) about our Great God?
    I hope he would be as bold had he been opposed for his congressional seat!

  2. I believe that there is a place for Evolution. I know that there is evolution with in each species, but not crossing them with other species. One can’t combine a person with a frog. But a tall person and very short one may produce an average sized person. I don’t believe that the human was evolved from a one celled ameba, or a horse. God designed and created the first human. There have been changes in skin color, textures of hair and color, eye color, facial features, hight and abilities based largely by environment. But they still stayed human. As far as scientific theories go, the theories change often as new discoveries are made, and technology increases. I think that science and Theology need to work hand in hand. They can help each other to find truth.

  3. Susan – Adaptation (known as micro-evolution) is a fact; species adapt to their environment within the limits of their design that God gave them. They cannot evolve into a different species, which is known as macro-evolution; a lie from hell. All science is a reflection of God’s creation, so true science is theology. This is why many who claim to be scientists are not.

  4. Susan,

    you do believe this don’t you?

    Gen 3:20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

  5. I’m glad he spoke out – more people do need to admit what they believe. Anything that encourages creation/evolution debate is good because ultimately the lack of any evidence for creation comes out.

  6. Manfred, I am not sure about your statement that all science is a reflection of God’s creation, so true science is Theology. I am going to think about that and get back to you.

    Michael, in Genesis 4: 20-21, The man named his wife Eve (meaning “The life giving one”), for he said,” she shall become the mother of all mankind”; and the Lord God clothed Adam and his wife
    with garments made from skins of animals.
    When Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden, they establish a place to settle down and have a family. Adam was created first and told that he needed a help mate. When woman was created, she was to complete the union. He was the head and she was his helper. So when they disobeyed God and ate from the tree of concious, they had sinned against God. This sin nature was passed down for all generations to come. As long as we have that sin nature, we will never be able to live with God in heaven. SO that is why we have to ask for forgivenes of our sins. Also When God gave Moses the 10 commandments, this was the absolute law every human had to obey. But of course we couldn’t, so down through the ages believers in God presented blood sacrifices. Eventually God
    sent his only son Jesus Christ to come down and become a baby in Mary’s womb, so he would be all man and all God. He lived with the people and taught them. Then eventually allowed to be put on the cross as a sacrifice for OUR sins. This way , if anyone believes in Jesus as the Masiah and asks for forgiveness for their sins, and turns away from their sinful life, will be saved in God’s eyes. We will all sin from time to time until we die. We need to keep a conversation going with god and ask for forgiveness for our sins. God will still love us, and our salvation still intact, but we will disapoint God for our bad actions, thoughts and words. But we will be alive and saved/purified in Gods eyes. and allowed into HIS Heaven. As believers, we are expected to do good works. Good works don’t get you into Heaven, only being saved does.
    As you see we were designed as adults at first. We didn’t emerge from slime. As stated by Manfred and myself, we didn’t evolve from a simple compound to what we are today or then. Man has changed in minor areas such as height for example. We are different from all other creatures. We are created in the likeness of God.

  7. Science is explaining things with evidence; a hypothesis or idea is put forward that explains something – and it has predictions… testable and falsifiable predictions.

    How is that theology?

    It’s the only reliable way to build up an understanding of the universe. It’s not rational to say “I don’t know how this happened – an omnipotent being must have done it.”

  8. Pete:

    Your theories are based the assumption that only the physical is real; this is philosophical materialism. Understand that I am not using that term in the derogatory sense, but as the term actually is. It postulates that since only the physical is real, that only the physical can be used to measure and test, and behold! It proves that only the physical is real. Let me ask a few questions about your philosophy:

    Your standard of justice, your code of right and wrong. Where did it come from? It could not have come from the physical only, because the physical world works against those ideas. In the physical world, children and elderly are prey, and the logical thing to do with the sick is to eliminate them before their illness can infect the population.

    But let’s go further: where did your thoughts come from? Is there a physical manifestation somewhere? It could not be just electrical currents, or else it would be possible to decipher, to some extent, thoughts. Lie detector machines only pick up whether or not the person thinks he is telling the truth, not if he actually is, what the lie is, or anything else – and it only functions by checking pulse and adrenaline levels.

    Now, how about emotions? They seem to be on the same level as your thoughts, but they run differently, and often even against your thoughts. Where are they? Can you detect them using the scientific method? If not, then they must not be real. Yet, some of the symptoms ARE real, such as the “high” of being in love.

    And if emotions and thoughts are not real, how does medicine affect them? How does alcohol? Do they somehow interact with the unreal? Do they become unreal themselves, or do they merely interact with a real manifestation of the unreal?

    And yet, you cling to your tests that only accept the physical to disprove the existence of the nonphysical parts of existence – the very “nonexistent” things that you use every day.

  9. Pete,

    > “It’s the only reliable way to build up an understanding of the universe.”

    Do you believe that because an experiment produced a certain result in the past, it will produce the same results in the future?
    If not, how can it be a “reliable” method to gain understanding?
    If so, then on what basis do you make your claim? It seems quite irrational to insist that matter must behave in the future as it did in the past.
    Since you have not observed all samples, past, present, and future, you are merely asserting that matter will behave the same way because you want it to.

    Unless, of course, an omnipotent being, who has observed all instances of a given event, and in fact created the physical system, chooses to reveal to us the uniformity of nature.

    > It’s not rational to say “I don’t know how this happened – an
    > omnipotent being must have done it.”

    Yet it is rational to assert that a highly complex organism somehow became assembled by random chance?

    I do not write this to try to win an online debate; rather I saw that you asked for evidence and I shall try to provide it. Please do not take anything I write as a personal attack.

    Do you believe in the uniformity of nature?
    Do you believe in logical absolutes?
    Do you believe in good and evil?

    Regards,
    Aaron

  10. Aaron,

    You talked a little about Matter. matter and energy can’t be created or destroyed. Matter turns into energy and energy can turn into matter. It keeps going back and forth like this. So, you will know what it is going to do in the future and what it came from, from the past. Just because one can’t see something doesn’t mean that it isn’t real. I have seen many cases of people being healed by prayer. You can see the result of something unseen. The result is very real. I have been healed
    3 times by a messenger from God. Either I heard a voice speak to me or there was a word of knowledge telling me that God was healing me at that moment. In each case I was completely healed. Twice a voice spoke and told me what he wanted me to do. The other time he spoke a number. Everything spoken came true. I could hear but not see. These communications prove that the the spirit world is very real.
    I guess scientists work with experimentation, systemized observation, and research to prove their theories. They require findings and results on things that can be measured with the use of equipment, and diagramed, graphed and plotted to prove the reality and answer their theories. A scientist searches for fact, not truth to answers their questions. Mathmatics is very involved in all the sciences to get conclusive results to prove a case.

    Theology deals with the unseen, incounters people have had with the spiritual realm , historical records that give information, literature, archeological evidence and a study of the Bible, God’s Word, and The study of Religion. We have to rely on these forms, to support our theories and to
    get answers. We are also searching for fact and truth.
    Ultimatly both Science and Theology are out to get answers about where we come from, why we are here, what our future holds for us, how we are made, how our brains work, how the universe works, etc. We use different methods to get the information we seek after. Science studies everything from the microscopic to the outer solar system, searching for answers. Science and Theology are close, but not the same.
    Theology deals with the belief systems past, and present.
    Science deals with things that exist, and inventing new things and ideas.
    It is true that God created all things. He also set everything into motion to complete His ultimate goal. That was having His followers living with Him for eternity.

    Oh by the way, I am impressed with those who are making statements. You seem to be very informed and intellegent. It is wonderful.

    In Theology, one searches for fact, and truth

    real.

  11. @072591
    There is evidence for evolution, and evolution can explain morality. As social animals it benefits us to cooperate with each other. This also explains our instincts to protect the elderly and children.

    The primary source of our thoughts and emotions are not well understood *at the moment*. We should not eliminate the possibility that it is purely physical… and there is evidence, albeit very little, that this may be the case.

    In fact I think what you mentioned about drugs and alcohol is evidence for the physical – as we know that drugs and alcohol are physical why would they be able to have an effect on the non-physical? That would be another unnecessary assumption.

    I admit I don’t like the idea of it being purely physical – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    We are part of the physical world, that’s what we know, to assume there is another non-physical element, and then further assume that we are part of it, would be a mistake I think. Of course we should explore this idea and attempt to come up with evidence though.

  12. @Aaron,
    No I don’t – and that is why experiments must have predictable results and be repeatable. Scientific theories are only considered if the hypothesis has been tested with consistent results many times, over time.

    So, using your example, we test “matter” many times, over many years, many different tests by many different people in different places. The results are always the same – it is a good theory.

    The good thing is, if one day a test is performed that give us different results than what’s predicted, and it turns out to be a legitimate inconsistency then the theory can be revised.

    Had to laugh at this comment: “Yet it is rational to assert that a highly complex organism somehow became assembled by random chance?”. No-one says that, no theory suggests it, yet many creationists think that is what “the other side” thinks.

    Uniformity of nature – yes, no reason not to is there?
    Logical absolutes – yes.
    Good and evil – subjectively yes. Morality is subjective – it has come about through biological evolution like everything else.

  13. @Susan:
    “I heard a voice speak to me or there was a word of knowledge telling me that God was healing me at that moment”

    I find that very interesting – and I don’t doubt that you believe this is what happened. What I do doubt, is that the source of what you “heard” was something other than what’s physically in your head. How do we test this?

    Consider this, a man murders a child and says that he heard God tell him to do it. Should we believe him, let him go continue doing what he thinks is Gods will?

  14. @Pete

    > Had to laugh at this comment: “Yet it is rational to assert that a highly complex
    > organism somehow became assembled by random chance?”. No-one says that,
    > no theory suggests it, yet many creationists think that is what “the other side”
    > thinks.

    If no conscious being exists outside of time (God), and we are discussing how the first conscious being arose, then what possible mechanism can there be besides unconcious forces?
    Sure, some will propose that self-organizing chemical attractions exist, such as the lattice formed by salt crystals, but those can only create dumb order, not information
    such as which is found in the genome of even the simplest organisms.
    It would seem as if the only option left is random chance. Perhaps I have overlooked someone’s idea. If I have, please post these other explanations.

    > The good thing is, if one day a test is performed that give us different results than
    > what’s predicted, and it turns out to be a legitimate inconsistency then the theory
    > can be revised.
    Theories that are one day true and the next day false don’t sound very reliable to me.

    The principle of the uniformity of nature is what enables scientific induction, which states that if something is done today under a certain set of conditions, then the same scenario under that same conditions will yield the same result at a different time.
    This principle is only rational if God made nature uniform and rational and then chose to reveal this truth to us. Otherwise we just *assume* that nature is uniform and that scientific truth can exist.

    If we are taking the route that we can just assume things, why not just assume that God exists? Of course, no one accepts that as a good argument; people wish to reason rationally to arrive at truth. I am making the argument that the atheistic model of the world cannot rationally account for phenomena such as the unifomity of nature, morality, and logical absolutes.

    > Consider this, a man murders a child and says that he heard God tell him to do
    > it. Should we believe him, let him go continue doing what he thinks is Gods will?
    If morality is subjective, as you say it is, isn’t this ultimately a meaningless question? If your feelings of what is right and what is wrong tells you what to do, why should the rest of us be subject to your feelings?

    Regards,
    Aaron

  15. “If morality is subjective, as you say it is, isn’t this ultimately a meaningless question?”

    Aaron, that is a good point. Nobody really believes such nonsense… that is why they are offended when others “wrong” them.

    -Jim

  16. @Aaron:
    “Consider this, a man murders a child and says that he heard God tell him to do
    it. Should we believe him, let him go continue doing what he thinks is Gods will?”

    It’s not a meaningless question – I want to know what your point of view is for that scenario.

    In my view, yes he could be abiding by his own personal morals. Who am I to say that he shouldn’t do it then? I am part of the majority…. because we are cooperative animals and live together in a society we need to abide by the agreed rules – even if we don’t think all of them are right.

    Slavery used to be deemed morally acceptable for a lot of people, now it is not – doesn’t that indicate that morals can adapt and are not absolute?

    If morals were absolute wouldn’t we all agree on moral issues? I think killing spiders in your house is morally wrong (my personal morals of course) but many think it is morally okay.

    @fleebabylon:
    “Nobody really believes such nonsense… ” – Erm, yes we do actually.

  17. Pete, I have heard very distinct voices. A little background leading up to my first encounter. In 1978 I was a teacher in Prince Georges County MD. We had a lot of trouble with gangs. One day when I started class, two boys got into a fight. They were from rival gangs. I was 6 months pregnant at the time and not yet a Christian. The other boys in the class jumped the two boys and got them to calm down. I reached for the one boy to take him out of the room. He broke lose and beat me up. I lost the baby. While I was in the hospital to get the dead child out, my doctor refused to come to the hospital, so I was in the hands of the nurses, who hooked me up to the wrong drip. I was screaming in pain for help. Finally after an hour, someone came and discovered I was being given the wrong stuff. I had previously been given something to enduce labor. Finally my doctor showed up. He and the other doctor laughed and told jokes to each other. Then 2 days later my doctor called the information desk and requested that I walk from my room there. I did with great difficulty. My doctor said, if Susan can walk there she must be okay to go home. No one examined me to see if I was ready. On the way back, I started to hemerage and almost died.
    As it turns out, my doctor died of cancor the next month.
    My Principal called and said I should be back at school the following Monday. My husband fought it and won. I built up a pretend wall around myself for protection. I became angry, and aluff with no love to give. I pushed my husband and daughter away. I only wanted to be left alone.
    There came a knock on the front door. there stood two well dressed elderly men. They asked me if
    I was Susan Becker, I said yes. They asked if I was in trouble or something, I broke down and said yes. The two showed me identification. They were the Elders of First Allience Church. They said that their Pastor, Pastor Balbach had been awakened by a voice that said, Susan Becker. he got up, wrote the name down and prayed. Then he went back to sleep. The next morning he called the Elders and found two to try to locate me. You see at the time, I had just moved into my house, knew no one in the area, didn’t go to church.
    I had asked God if he was real when I was in 12th grade. I asked him to prove it to me, by letting my grandfather be able to see me 1 more time before he died and let his death be peaceful. He was
    being prepared to have both eyes removed after a industreal acident in which lye had exploded in his face. I prayed and prayed for him to be able to see and that he wouln’t be disfigured.
    My grandfather was wheeled into the operating room and he said, I didn’t know that doctors wore blue gowns. The surgeons were in shock. It was imposible that he could see and his face so clear. So, he was wheeled out and more tests showed his eyes were in fine shape. He did have to wear glasses, his face was clear without the burns. So based on my prayers being answered I believed in God. But I knew nothing of Jesus Christ or being saved. I had been brought up Unitarian. My Dad is a Scientist who didn’t believe in God. I had never real the Bible. My grandpa did see me one more time, and while digging for worms at the cabin at the lake, he dropped dead. He was a strong Christian.
    To get back to the story, the two men asked me if I wanted to go to the Lord and ask for salvation. They explained the gospel to me. They said that all the resentment, anger, and hate I was feeling would block communication with God. They told me that I had to forgive all those that I was angry at. I thought it would be very difficult to do. But when I said the salvation prayer, I felt a peace come over me. I actually felt sorry for the boy who beat me. I got some poste cards and forgave the boy and some others that I was upset with. I used to curse like a sailor, but it stopped and I have rarely cursed in 40 years. The only thing was that the wall around me was part way down. I still had trouble with the love a man and a woman who are married has. For 2 years I read the bible and could actually understand it. Then one sunny day when I was sorting clothes in the bedroom, I heard a loud clear man’s voice say ” Evangelist”. At the moment the words were said I was frozen in place and heat raiated from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I was instantly filled with LOVE over flowing. I ran down stairs and looked up evangelism to see what it meant. Basically it said, to spread the gospel. I couldn’t understand how or why God would pick me of all the people. I had a hunger for the WORD. I was so on fire for the Lord. I was the happiest person I had ever been. I was a new creature. I was Baptised with water. and started to take evangelism classes. I have been evangelising now for 40+ years. I am learning all the time. I have witnessed so many examples of God’s grace. I could easily write a book. I have written too much now, but I wanted you to understand that I know the difference between satan and God speaking to me. No voice has told me to go against Lord God’s teachings. I judge by the voice, what is being asked of me, my gut feelings, and if it is Biblical. I pray and have a good conversation as my prayer. When I know it is from Lord God I do what he says or I think and ask what he wants me to do with something. He shows me what is going on. It might be a healing, a realestate sale, unexpected finances showing up.
    I tithe and do as God wants me to do, to the best of my abilities.
    I am not a nut. Many people have seen the results of God’s Grace. I am simply a tool that God uses to finish His work. I spread the WORD, I Evangelise. I am successful because I don’t come on too strong and I try to get to know the people first. I don’t know all the answers, but I know that God is with me. It gives me a lot of confidence to know that. I thank God, my Heavenly Father every day. I converse with Him every day. He does’nt talk to me unless it is very important or HE wants to get all the Glory about something. I have no idea how you can measure these kinds of experiences.
    The reply box doesn’t allow me to see what I have written before, so I get off track sometimes.
    There is a Christmas Movie in which the young boy says, ” Believing is seeing”. You have to listen
    and let God,(or his messenger), speak to you.

  18. “If morals were absolute wouldn’t we all agree on moral issues? Not necessarily due to our fallen state and rebellion agaisnt God and the Bible talking about some people who have their conscience seared and being led astray by the Devil, although a sense of “oughtness” is written into our beings which is why we are having this debate and why you even have a “personal moral code” at all.
    In your own worldview your personal moral code is meaningless and without any foundation, you borrow objective morality from the creation worldview and then water it down to match your own worldview.

  19. Pete, I went into great detail on my experience with being able to hear a messenger from God speak to me. As impossible as it seems, it is true. Now perhaps the Holy spirit is actually communicating with me. I have been given a special gift from God, I listen and I hear a very clear male voice speak a word to me.
    God will pick whom ever he wants to follow Him and have that person as a tool to spread the Gospel. I was one of those people.
    Maybe later I will go back and give you the lecture I had written, but not printed. Perhaps who ever decides what goes on this site, thought it was too long or too incredable to print.
    Before being Born Again in my 30′s, I didn’t know God and knew little about Jesus. But God put into place, or allowed a series of events that calminated in me coming to the Lord.
    Just a couple of examples. My Grandfather in Texas, was in a horific explosion at a meat packing plant in which acid blew up in his face. The burns were very severe and his eyes were also burnt. He was blind. At this time in my life, Iwent to God and said, ” If you are real prove it to me. Let my grandfather see me one more time and when he does die, let it be quick and as painless as possible”.

    Well, a few hours later, we got a phone call back from my Uncle, who is a very fine doctor, saying the following, ” Ben went into surgery to have his eyes removed. But a very strang thing happened. Ben recognized the color of the surgeon’s gowns. Then while in there the burns on his face became less. Unbelievable, shocking. Ben came home after a few days and only needed to wear glasses. I saw him on our trip to Mexico. A year later, Ben died digging worms at the lake.

    I have to leave now, I will fill you in later. So how do you explain this?

  20. No one has ever successfully repeated a test in controlled conditions whereby life came into existence from non-living matter.

    No one has ever successfully repeated a test in controlled conditions whereby a fish gave birth to an amphibian, whereby a reptile gave birth to a non-reptile, whereby a mammal was born from a non-mammal, etc, etc.

    Macro-evolution is not science, nor is any form of spontaneous generation of life. (Neither is creationism or intelligent design.) These are all historical questions, on which scientific inquiry can shed some light, but they are not science. None of these processes are repeatable under controlled conditions. Even if they were, that would only prove that it was possible for these things to happen, not that they did happen.

    You can’t make science your god. It can’t answer all the questions people want it to answer.
    ***

    Pete, are you actually suggesting that race-based slavery was ever morally right, or ever could be? Are you suggesting that because the majority of those in a society support threatening a handicapped 14 year old girl with death on trumped up blasphemy charges that it is morally acceptable to do so?

  21. > Slavery used to be deemed morally acceptable for a lot of people, now it is not –
    > doesn’t that indicate that morals can adapt and are not absolute?

    I think that the opposite could be argued. It instead illustrates the fallen evil state we are in. We know what is right, but choose to do wrong. So did the slave owners, who tried to rationalize their behavior by saying that “stealing is wrong, but this situtation doesn’t count because [ insert bogus reason here ]“.

    Moral subjectivism is a real tricky worldview to try to maintain, because as soon as one says “it’s not fair” or “this isn’t wrong because…” one has destroyed their argument by appealing to a higher moral authority.

  22. @Susan:
    I understand you went through an incredible ordeal. Undoubtedly this would have affected your mental health – which makes me more inclined to think that the voice you heard was in your head. The heat you felt further suggests that something physical was happening.

    Please don’t take that the wrong way – I’m not saying your crazy or anything, but this kind of thing cannot be taken as evidence. For every personal account like yours there’s a personal account of someone seeing/hearing Elvis/fairies/etc. Would you believe their accounts?

    If an African tribe were experiencing a drought, did a rain dance, and the next day it rained – they would undoubtedly believe that the 1 thing caused the other. In other words, what happened to your Granddad would have happened whether you prayed or not.

    You can know things and not know you know them. For example the word “Evangelist”. Some things we know can be consciously recalled, others unconsciously.

    The Pastor may have heard of your ordeal and sent some “recruiters” around. Now you are a messenger and have probably recruited many others. His plan worked.

    So you see what you experienced is explainable through natural means.

    @Andrew:
    Why is a personal moral code meaningless? It’s the only rational explanation.

    @Aaron:
    “Moral subjectivism is a real tricky world-view to try to maintain” – I agree, but that does not mean it is not true.

    @Jon:
    Life from non-life is not what evolution is all about. Evolution is what happens AFTER life has begun, and can reproduce.

    Of course a fish has never been given birth to a non-fish, etc. You understand that evolution is a very gradual process?

    Maybe science cannot answer all of our questions, but maybe one day it will be able to. Even if it will never be able to – it is the best method we have of understanding anything.

    Slavery was never right (according to my moral code), nor are many other things. My point is that I may think something is wrong, that someone else may think is right. And of course not all actions are based on morality alone – there are many other factors that drive our actions.

  23. Hi, Pete. I do understand the evolutionary hypotheses. If you contrast evolution vs. creation, as you did in this thread, and reject creation, that generally implies a non-supernatural source of life (and the universe). If that isn’t what you meant, I apologise for taking you wrong.

    Science can never answer all of our questions. Origins questions can never be solved scientifically. Even if life can be created from non-living material, that will just prove that it could have happened, not that it did. If life is never created from non-living material, that only proves that we haven’t found the way to do it yet, it doesn’t prove that there is no way for it to happen. The assertion that life came from non-life is not falsifiable, unable to be tested, and is not science. It is a theory about history.

    Similarly, macro-evolution is not repeatable or falsifiable. Dogs don’t become cats, but you can always assert they could have, through a gradual process, over millions of years. Can’t be repeated, can’t be tested, can’t be proven false (even if it doesn’t make much sense).

    Evolution is not a theory, it is a hypothesis. Once you can test it and show each step in the gradual fish to non-fish evolutionary process >could< actually happen by repeating it in laboratory conditions, then you are still left with the historical question, did it happen? It's not a scientific question at all, it is an historical one. It's silly that people call it "science" — they either don't understand science when they say that, or they are blowing smoke to confuse people. Science is what can be tested. Origins theories (or hypotheses) have to do with what did happen in the past. They are impossible to prove scientifically.

    Even age of earth theories are impossible to prove scientifically, because science has no way to test whether aging processes have been uniform throughout history. Science can only look at "what is" and speculate or extrapolate about "what was" — but the extrapolations can't be tested.

  24. Pete,
    I would agree with you if the following experiences hadn’t happened. These are only a sampling;

    1. A teacher at my school who took my place after I left, had been praying a long time to get money or supplies so she could run an Art club. I lived in Montgomery Co. an hour’s drive away. I never met the lady who took over when I left. I had just accepted the Lord and had an over whelming feeling to get all my art supplies that I had accumulated for years, and bring them to my school.
    I pulled up and went into the school, the Art teacher said she had felt that something great was about to happen. I brought in all the supplies. She was further amazed when everything I had was what she had put on a list.

    2. My daughter and I went to the drug store together. my daughter was born Again at an early age, She had been giving her lunch away to a girl in class. Well, we walked into a lobby area that lined the walls with bubble gum machines. She turned the dial on the first one without money and got a prise. She turned all the dials and got something from all the machines. Then when we stepped outside on the way to the car, Cindy found a $5.00 bill on the ground.

    3. My other daughter wanted a lizard that the teacher was going to give a way. Two classes combined put their name into a barral. the drum turned and turned and finally the paper was drawn and My daughter won the lizard. After the drawing she turned and saw her friend praying like crazy that Lynley would win.

    4. One year was really tough for us. I wasn’t sure where the money would come from to pay our bills and buy Christmas presents. My husband got an electric bill for $35.00. He called and disputed the amount. But the operator said it was correct. We had a cold stormy month. Then Lynley received a large package. It was covered in Silver paper with a big bow. God uses his people to help others. In the box was a matching lavander and pink dress coat and dress. The card simply said, “from a friend”. Lynley was going to sing a solo for the Christmas concert. WE found out 10 years later that the package was from the member of the chorus.

    5. A few womwn went out to pick strawberries. One of the women was pregnant. When she reached for a strawberry, she couldn’t because she kept hitting an invisable wall. the other women tried and couldn’t come close to the plant. We stood ther looking at the plant, when a black widow spider crawled out from underneith the leaf.

    6. One afternoon my 3 year old daughter came running into the family room and jumped on my arm, forcing my hand to bend back really far and snapping it. I went in to get x-rays. I had broken it. a few days later, I went back and had the doctor check my wrist. it was broken and they put on a cast. I went to the Elders of the Church and asked them to anoint me with oil and pray that my wrist would be healed by God. The elders surrounded me and prayed over me for about 45 minutes.
    I declaired I was healed. I went back to the doctor and insisted that He have another x-ray taken. The x-ray showed no break. I was healed. The cast was removed and I never needed it .

    7. My friend who lived in California was diagnosed by several specialists that she had a large cancerous cyst wrapped around her spine. Church members from all over California prayed for her from the time she was originally diagnosed. NIH said that they would assemble a team of doctors to operate on her, after they had done their own tests. This was 35 years ago. She was put under and
    the doctors opened her up. her spine was perfect and their wasn’t any sign of cancer. Prayer works.

    8. A man started to come to our church was a member of Hells Angels. He wanted to give testimony. He brought x-rays to show. he had been in a motor cycle accident and broke his leg clear up to his hip. He had a long heavy cast on his leg. The problem was that he lived on the third floor with no elevator. He tried to pull himself up the stairs but couldn’t. He sat on the bottom step and sobbed. he called out to God to help him. He said he couldn’t do it himself. He heard a man’s voice that said, stand up you are healed. His land lord came out and let him sleep in her apt. She drove him to the doctors. The Man asked to have another x-ray taken. the x-ray showed bone in place of the compression screws and metal plates. God has Grace.

    8.One afternoon a truck pulled up to my house. It was a bakery. The man said that he had gotten an order for pies at a nursing home in Silver Spring. He had gone to the nursing home and rang the bell, no one came, he tried all the doors, no one was there, he called several times and no one answered. He had made deliveries at this location before. He waited an hour and still no one answering.

    He drove up New Hampshire Ave about a 20 minuite drive, and pulled into my driveway. He asked if I had a freezer. I said yes. He gave me about 30 pies, all kinds. I handed them out to neighbors and the Church.

    9. I had cycts on my ovaries. The had spines on them and they were ripping me up. I was in such pain that I had to crawl to the bathroom. I had had many tests. At that time the doctors would have to remove the cysts surgically. I was up stairs when Pat Robertson stopped what he was saying and said someone in our viewing audience has cysts on their overies and having a lot of pain. God is healing you now. I put my hand on the TV and accepted the healing. That day, I was going in for the final work up before the operation. An internal examination showed that there weren’t any cysts and the inside was pink, not red and inflamed.

    10. My husband had an impackted wisdom tooth, but wasn’t aware of it. He was coming home from the School where he teaches, he was feeling tired and his head hurt. He had to drive the curvy roads in the mountains of West Virginia. The speed varied from 45 to 55. He passes out at the wheel. The next thing he knew was that he was 2 miles down the road and parked on a slim sholder of the road in the only straight away. There was ditches along side the road. When my husband came to, he knew an Angel or a spiritual being had taken over and got him safely stopped.

    11. In my left ear, I distintly hear a man’s voice say 7. What was that? I looked up 7, I asked about 7, I even played games on line with 7. What in the world was that all about. I searched and couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do with 7. I mentioned 7 to my husband, but no one else, not even other family members. I didn’t want them to be concerned. Months later my daughter who was a teacher in Rockville, MD. Told me she was looking at some Forclosures in Frederick, MD. Up to that point Cindy and M. were driving one and a half hours to work every day. So my husband and I met Cindy and M. with a realator. We saw several houses and them decided on the last one we saw. We put in an offer. After a week of negotiations with the bank, they got the house.
    Henry and I sat down and thought about what had happened. He realized that, The house was the 7th drive in, the 7th house from the corner, the bank accepted our offer on the 7th of December,
    the closing was on the 14th of December, 7 days later. When we went to the house, there was abible on the front porch. No one knew where it came from. The neighbors said that they hadn’t heard this happening before. I think God left his calling card.

    I have gone on way too long. I have 40 years of this kind of stuff. One last example. When I was
    about 10 years old, I had a repeated nightmare. It lasted 4 nights and was the same each time. The dream was that a certain flight from National Airport was going to crash into the Potomac River right after take off. My dad just laughed at me. guess what, two days later that plane did crash into the Potomac River. It was warm and so most people were saved. I didn’t know what all had happened, why I dreamed it in the first place. My Mom had me pray the Lords prayer when I was three. But I didn’t really know what I was doing then. My Dad put a stop to that. Now looking back on the situation, I think I was being warned, because my Dad was going to be on that flight. He missed his flight because of trafic.

    Susan

  25. Pete,
    Can you explain these kind of events from a scientific view point? A few months ago a friend of mine from church was pregnant and about ready to deliver. But her child had a massive stroke in the womb. Kristie was told that her child would be paralyzed and there would be extencive damage to her baby’s brain. She would most likely be blind. Many people from the church came to the hospital and prayed day and night without leaving. Kristie’s pregnant body was anointed with oil and prayed over. Kristie had the baby who was having some seisures. But after two weeks , her seisures stopped with medicine. She is now crying, kicking, moving her body and moving her head and eyes. She smiles a lot and follows with her eyes. The doctors have tested her repeatedly and find she is physically fine. She acts as any other child that age. It remains to be seen as she gets older if any disabilities show up. But she is a happy little girl.
    I can’t understand how many Christians don’t believe in healings and messages from God. Read your Bible, it is all in there. The Holy Spirit in me is directing, teaching, guiding and correcting me when need be. I realize even though the voice sounds like it is outside myself, others don’t hear it. It is beyond my intellegence to understand. I can’t perdict when it will happen. But I can follow through when I need to. Are you a pragnatist? At some point in your life, you need to have faith.

    Unless you become a Born Again Christian, you won’t understand God’s message when you read the Bible. Unbelievers can read and understand the words and information, but they can’t get to the next level of understanding and emotional connection.

  26. There is a place for evolution.

    Its called hell.

  27. People of many religions claim miracles, Susan. If Pete accepts your word, why would he not accept theirs as well? He has no reason to believe that you are more truthful than a Hindu who claims a miracle, or a spiritualist, or a witch doctor.

    It will take more than one person’s unconfirmed testimony to convert a man. Our faith rests on a much more solid foundation than that.

  28. @Susan,
    If you go looking for signs such as those, you will find them, real or not.

    You’re quick to attribute God to healing your arm, but not for snapping it; the gift from a friend, but not the tough year; the healing of your ovaries, but not the cysts in the first place. You see where I am going?

    And importantly as Jon points out, many other people claim extra-ordinary things – how should we differentiate between their claims and yours?

    Suppose this: “yes these things happened – but they were because of the great invisible unicorn, and you should have faith in the unicorn.” If I were to say that and truly believe it you would think me mad. Why shouldn’t we hold you with the same regard?

    @Doreen:
    Happy now you got that off your chest? I sense anger because you doubt yourself.

    @Jon:
    You raise some good points – and you’re right that even if we could prove that macro-evolution could happen that doesn’t mean it did. But if we have 1 theory that we *know* could happen, and no others that we *know* could have happened, then it is justifiable to say this is the most likely thing.

    Obviously we cannot prove with 100% certainty anything – because we could all be in a computer simulation or something, but for everyday meaningful conversation when scientists say “know” they mean “know with 99.999% certainty”.

    Same with the age of the earth… we have many different lines of physical evidence that say the earth is billions of years old, all pointing to the same answer. The many different tests that have been done, have been done by different people, all over the world, many times.

    Surely it is better to believe that rather than something with no evidence?

  29. Another wards you are saying that I should attribute all my miss fortune on God, and then be thankful for His Grace of healing, and provisions. It is possible that God allowed some things to happen so that HE would get all the credit when he answered prayer. There are a lot of extra-ordenary things that happen. Maybe they were also part of a special plan. Or simply the unexpected. By following God’s directions and praying, it is reasonable to believe that HE is fullfilling his promise to us. Sometimes I am not sure if God interveined, but I give Him credit any way. We Christians aren’t just any body. We are children of God’s family. He promised to take care of us, to listen to our prayers, to be there for us when we needed Him. He is always there among us. He doesn’t always answer us or answer they way we think He should.
    He has totally changed my life for the better.

    Is the reason you don’t believe in miracles is because you have never experienced any? I do observe what God is doing in people’s lives. I listen and watch. I don’t take it for granet that all these experiences just happened. Not when there are so many unexplained results. I have given my life over to Christ Jesus son of God and God to do with as they may. I was told by a voice I heard, to be an Evangelist. So I am obeying. Why would I be selected to do this job, if he thought I would disobey him and disobey His teachings.
    You really don’t believe in the spiritual nature of God, Jesus, Angels( who by the way are Men) , messengers and other beings.
    I have no proof other than the results of unexplained events. I have faith that earnest prayer works. That we can connect with heavenly bodies.
    This is one of those things that seems illogical. It is difficult to wrap you mind around.
    How do you think I felt when I was given this asignment? The burden is over welming. Not only do I have to spread the Gospel, but be readably available to anoint, and pray over people and situations, to council, and help those in need. This has become a full time job. I encourage believers with testimonies from the public I serve.
    What more can I do? All I know is what has happened to so many people who ultimatly give themselves to God. Their life changes so drastically, sometimes for the better.

    I don’t know what you want me to say? I will continue to pray and watch for conequences, and give praise. I believe God is using me as a tool to reach the lost and help the believer.

    If God were to tell you to Evangelize and give testimonies to save souls, what would you do? When you heard a voice direct your actions, would you ignore it when you are curtain that what is being asked of you is biblical, and for the betterment? I am careful, I think things through, pray, and research, or ask my Pastor, when I am not sure. Obviously. I am watchful of Evil intentions and requests.
    You keep making Fun of God’s work. You act as if you want me to face reality and see how wrong I have been. I haven’t been wrong, this is reality to a believing Christian.

    I am going to drop this. You obviously can’t understand how these events could possibly be true. There is no point argueing with you any more. I will make comments on other Titles.

    Who are you? What is your beief system?

  30. Pete,
    Faint sun paradox: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v15/n2/faint-sun

    Rapidly decaying magnetic field.

    Low levels of sedimentation and salt in the sea.

    Insufficient helium in the atmosphere. http://www.icr.org/article/age-earth-atmosphere-helium/

    These are just a few of the many evidences for a younger earth / solar system. It is not accurate to say all the evidence points one way.

    Furthermore, you cannot know scientifically that creation could not have happened. You just can’t. It’s not falsifiable. You can’t disprove it with age of the earth evidence, because God created with an appearance of age.

    He didn’t create babies, He created adults. He didn’t create seeds, He created trees. He didn’t create stars to appear in a million years, He created them to be seen now, so that the Heavens could declare His glory (Psalm 19).

    You may not believe any of that last paragraph, but that is what the Creation view holds. So if you tell me you have “evidence” that the earth is old, I will ask you how you know God didn’t create with that evidence in place, since I already believe that He created other things with the appearance of age. How can you respond to that scientifically? You can’t. You can’t run a test to prove God didn’t create with an appearance of age.

    So you can’t claim that science has ruled out Creation. It’s impossible to evaluate scientifically, just like any other view of the origin of the universe. You can’t say we “know” it couldn’t have happened. You only “know” it because you “know” there isn’t a God, but you can’t possibly know that scientifically. Science is not going to help you here.

  31. @Jon:
    I’ve heard those arguments many times – but none of them can hold their own – they have not succeeded in becoming scientific theories because of this.

    Let me know if you have anything that’s not covered on “An Index to Creationist Claims” or if you disagree with any of their responses.

    Faint sun paradox:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CE/CE311.html

    Rapidly decaying magnetic field:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD701.html

    Low levels of sedimentation and salt in the sea:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD220.html

    Insufficient helium in the atmosphere:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CE/CE001.html

    Of-course we cannot prove there is no God, just as we cannot prove there are no fairies / unicorns, etc.

    “He didn’t create babies, He created adults. He didn’t create seeds, He created trees. He didn’t create stars to appear in a million years, He created them to be seen now, so that the Heavens could declare His glory”

    Take your paragraph here and replace “He” with “The magic unicorn” or anything else made up. The paragraph still works. You see my point?

    You most likely believe in the God of Christianity because of where you were born, or your family / friends influence. I think it is better to believe something because of evidence that it is true.

  32. Pete, I did not say none of the evidence could be explained. I can explain yours, you can explain mine. Science cannot prove your explanations, because your explanations are speculative as to what has happened historically. I’ll address only the first, because I lack time. The response consisted of three points. Included in those points:

    1. “Much of the change would have occurred before the origin of life.” Historical speculation, not science.We might as well say “the magic unicorn introduced the change” as far as science is concerned.
    2. “On the early earth, it is likely that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane were commoner than they are today.” Historical speculation, not science. Where is the repeatable test that can falsify this? We might as well say, “It is likely that the magic unicorn moderated the temperature,” as far as science is concerned.
    3. “Life has survived fairly large changes in climate over its history.” Historiucal speculation, not science. Where is the repeatable test that can falsify this claim? We might as well say, “The magic unicorn helped life survive in a cold climate,” as far as science is concerned.

    We might even say, “You most likely believe in the magic unicorn of science because of where you were born, or your family / friends’ influence.”

    Do you not see how you contradicted yourself? You said we know something is true (evolution) because we’ve ruled out every other possibility. But when forced to admit that you cannot rule out the possibility of God creating by scientific means, you then provide a further alternative — the magic unicorn. If you’ve studied logic, you know the logical flaws you are committing here, but even if you don’t know that, you are aptly demonstrating that the matter of origins is not something science can decide.

    You cannot disprove your magic unicorn scientifically — it is not falsifiable, not repeatable in controlled conditions. Therefore, you cannot say that you have scientifically ruled out every other possibility, and thus evolution must be true. You now have three non-repeatable, non-testable hypotheses — naturalistic evolution with an old earth, creation by God (presumably with a young earth), and creation by magic unicorn at time unknown but with the appearance of age.

    Science can repeat and test none of them. Science can provide some evidence as to age, but cannot verify that evidence because the historical conditions that created the evidence cannot be repeated. A proper scientific test of the evidence is therefore impossible.

    You say that my God is a magic unicorn, and I say that your science is. It can’t prove what you want it to prove. It can’t even come close.

  33. Pete,
    I was thinking about whay you said to me about the fact that I mentioned the healings but not the cause. God will do what ever it takes to get our attention. He oftens allows things to happen that make us wonder where God is. He is in the mix of things, waiting and ready when we come to Him for help. GOD wants all the Glory for His Grace in correcting a situation.

    Last year a woman and her 3 kids almost lost their lives, when a lightening strike hit their single wide mobil home. The home burnt to the ground. You would say, why did God let this happen?
    But God had another plan that was much better. God uses people to work out His plans often. Some how people became very sympathetic for this family. People that generally don’t help the poor. That are not Christian. The Moile Home sales Co. gave this family a large double wide house and set it back off the road on the families property. Then a neighbor who never liked this family advertised in the Journal for donations of money, clothing, food, furniture and other house hold goods. There was a huge response to this event. Our Church went all out and paid for new washer and dryer, kitchen chairs and table, curtains, and blankets. Other churches responded also.

    We have families displaced by fire and job lay offs all the time here in West Virginia. But this out pouring of love was especially large. The family as a whole, became Born Again Christians. The neighbor who never liked the family and thought their house was a eye sore, became good friends and came to the Lord. Many observers who contributed to the event, became aware of Godly and good people who were so generous. A couple of months later, our church had families who started to go to here.

    This one event started food pantries, soup kitchens, and Mens labor club. Men go in and help with repairs for the elderly, ill, or just about anyone who can’t manage themselves, free.

    Several churches in the area have soup kitchens. Many churches now have pantried they keep stocked for those in need. One lady rented a building and bought large freezers and stored and distributed meat, poultry, frozen vegitables. She ran this for many years until the Government interviened and said that if she was giving out meat free to residents that were on food stamps, the stamps would be taken away from the people. So basically, she was shut down. She never charged anyone for the food.

    We had a Men’s Missionary house where men could stay and eat. It had been there from the
    1900′s. The building was falling apart and needed to be buldozed down.
    When all this stuff with the families house got burned down and there wasn’t any place for them to live until they could get back on their feet, the community knew something had to be done. There were no funds available to rebuild.
    The pastor of the mission sent out letters asking for money for the new mission. Money came rolling in. People contributed for many years. Finally it was advertized that they had enough money for the building supplies, but not enough to pay construction workers.
    Then another wonderful act of God. Builders, contractors, and the citizens, volunteered their time and talents to build and paint the mission. An archetect offered his services to come up with a plan. The Mission is wonderful, everything up to date, a very nice kitchen and dinning hall and 3 times the bedrooms they had before.
    Our community came together in a way never seen here before. GOD WAS IN CONTROL!!!!

  34. Pete, I told my husband what I had written and he corrected me about when the house burned down. It was actually 4 or 5 years ago. It seemed to me like it was just yesterday. The memories are strong. We have many very poor people in this area. I guess there are over 30 who live on the streets. I have fed the men who come in to eat in the old mission. They were very quiet and thankfull. There are church services every Sunday, and special events as well as training for new jobs at the mission. God takes care of us and we take care of, encourage and educate the needy.

    I believe that is God’s intention, isn’t it?

    Many people are so busy with their own lives, they have forgotten to read the bible and to communicate with God. So they don’t listen, don’t pray unless they want something. I give thanks every day. I observe how God is working in other’s lives. I can see it happening. I bring these happening up to people, and suddenly they realize what God is doing for them. YOU DO NEED TO LISTEN AND OBSERVE, then give thanks.

  35. Susan, this God sounds mighty vain… jealous even. Would that be accurate in your opinion?

    How do you know it is the God portrayed in the bible and not something else making these things happen?

    What I’m trying to say is, you don’t believe in Zeus or Helios, Odin or Thor, any of the Celtic gods or Aztec Gods. You and most others visiting this site are atheists to thousands of Gods that many other people do or have sincerely believed in.

    I am an atheist to 1 more God than you.

    The reason you believe in the Christian faith is likely due to geography, or family / friends. How many people can say they looked at several religions and then chose Christianity because it seemed the most likely true?

    You are a Christian because a Pastor new you experienced a terrible ordeal and sent some people around to take advantage. I’m sorry if that offends you – it’s not meant to but it is how I have interpreted it.

    If there is a God and he is good and Just and Omnipotent, and knows what’s happened, happening and what’s going to happen then prayer should never work. It goes against logic – any prayer that comes true should have a net good effect on the world, but it should be in the state of the best net good effect in the first place, no?

    Sorry I digressed a little there – but I’d be glad to hear your thoughts on it.

    Kind regards,
    Pete

  36. Pete,
    First of all, in Exodus 20, the following is said that let’s the reader know that God is jealous. Think of it this way, Suppose you are married and you have a son. You and your wife have done wonderful things with rearing your child. You expect love and obedients from your child. But one day, he doesn’t listen to you and tells you he hates you. He then continues his relationship with a troubled youth who is corrupting him.This teen is teaching your child to lie, cheat, steal, curse and take drugs. All the things you and your wife worked so hard to prevent. How would you feel? Or the other senario, you are parents who care less about your child and you don’t spend time teaching him values and correct behavior. Instead you are glad when he is out of the house. This situation shows that the father feels like having a child is a burdon rather than a joy.
    Exodus 20:
    I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the earth beneath,or that is in the water under the earth.
    Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I The Lord God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the father’s upon the children into the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
    And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
    Thou salt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord willnot hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    King James Version.

    I have answers for the rest of what you asked, later.

  37. Pete,

    You asked how I know that the God who has done all these amazing things is the God of the bible.
    I learned about the character of God by reading the bible. I kept asking people if He was real. It took me a while to realize that the God that I was searching for , was the God that was described in the Bible. The historical stories and everything from the begining of creation to the present day made sense to me. God does’nt encourage violence as part of the law. There is plenty of violence in the bible, corriographed by men out for power, greed, or hate. God has protected his followers most of the times, unless they turned from Him, then he taught them a lesson to get them back on
    track. I did read a number of books describing other Religions. Almost all of them are searching for an explination of how we got here and how we fit in the Universe. Many Religions sound the same at first, but then deviate from there. I visited several Protestant churches; Holy Rollers, Muslim, Budist, Methodist, Catholic, Episcapalian, Luthern, and Baptist. What I found was that most of the protestant churches differed in the machanics of the organization, Organized Religion is filled with arbitrary rules and rituals. Many of the rituals were added to get more unbelievers to come to church. That was normal policy to combine rituals of Pagans with the Catholic Church to get people in the door. As the Catholic Church gained power, people left and formed their own church with their own rules and practices. There are thousands of denominations in the world. But they have one simularity and that is the Gospel of John. This is the story of the birth, death and reserrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only God out of all the Gods that died and rose again before going to heaven, and taught the deciples for 40 days, His teachings, and then left with the promise He would return. He didn’t leave us to fin for our selves, but sent the Holy Spirit to guide us.
    When I learned about energy and matter, I figured that God must be absolute pure energy, that can convert itself into any size, shape, weight of matter. He could make himself look any way he wanted, from the small seed planted in Mary to grow up and become a man who could walk on water, in the spirit, could convert water into wine, feed thousands fish and loaves from having only a few to start with and have baskets filled with the scraps left. Jesus spoke and what he said was there instantly. The Bible in John, says that in the begining was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. In the bible, the Word is given to identify Christ. Here is where there is much contraversy. Is Christ God? Is Christ part of God? We can see Chist in the flesh, But God is so brilliant, that we would die or be blinded if we were to look at God. God is so powerful that our brains can’t comprehend Him.
    I respect and understand where God is coming from as far as his motives for doing what he does. I needed a compassinate God who is also just. HE is the ONE I chose to follow. He also chose me to follow HIM. I have complete faith in Him. He answers prayer, and teaches me along the way. The Holy Spirit is also in me, to help me cope in this sinful world. I am far from perfect. But God loves His creation and wants the best for us. I don’t get my head cut off if I make a mistake or question His laws. We are supposed to keep on asking, research the Word, and learn. I guess we are so free to question, that we as a group have interpreted the bible multiple times. Sometimes humans have gone way too far with it, and it is unrecognizable. But if you put all that aside, the basic ideas that are to come across, is the Character of God, The Gospel, The teachings of Christ and the Apostles,
    and the reserection of Christ and His return to collect His followers. There is much Historical data to prove the Gospel. Scribes and Apostles wrote the events down as they were happening. The history was eventually gathered and put in a book for one of the Rulers. It is true that the Bible was eventually put in formal form a long time after Christ rose to be at the Right hand of God. All the while, the Apostles taught others and they taught the people. Sunday school books were written to the populace could learn Jesus Christ’s teachings. A lot has come down through the ages by word of mouth. The people chosen to repeat psalms had excellent memories. It was unlawful to add or subtract anything in the Bible.
    It is interesting that in Biblical Archeology, all kinds of Ancient tablets including the Dead Sea Scroles, are copies of the Jewish life and the Old Testimate, which says the same as what was written down so many years later. The bible still holds the same message that was written during and after Jesus Christ.
    I chose Christianity because in my mind, no other religion comes close. I actually don’t love organized Religion. I have a personal relationship whith my Savior who I can talk to any time of day. It doesn’t have to be in a church. I do most of my praying on my porch or in bed before I go to sleep. God gave us free will. We are not slaves to HIM. We can leave anytime without retrabution from the Church body. We aren’t stuck in a church or Faith we don’t believe in.
    What goes on in other Religions is scary and violent, especially if you want to get out.
    have

  38. Thanks for your answer Susan.

    “Jesus is the only God out of all the Gods that died and rose again ”

    Actually there are many similar myths about different Gods that died and rose again. For example Baal, Odin, Adonis, Orpheus, and many more.

    There are a lot of things you mention I have issues with believing in – for example any of the bible, prayer, that (if there were a God) he influences anything in anyway.

    For example if prayer worked, why weren’t the things prayed for going to happen anyway? If God is perfectly good and just and knows what has happened and what is going to happen how can we have free will? What evidence is there for the stories in an old book that we cannot date and has been translated a million times and parts removed / added by many different people?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dying_god

  39. Pete,
    Thanks for sharing that with me. The subject of Dying God was most interesting and informative. I didn’t know there were so many people who also died and came back to life. Your questions are asked by others, so I will get back to you on them. I am getting ready for this Monster storm that will hit tomorrow. Hope you are safe where you are.
    God Bless,
    Susan

  40. Pete, you should really do some research before presenting old arguments that have been debunked and answered time and time and time again. You have a PC and google, use it.

  41. @Andrew:
    Kind of ironic you should say that because I’ve never heard an argument that hasn’t been addressed on http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html.

    Do you have anything new?

  42. Nobody knows how old the earth is! We have no Idea how long Adam &Eve lived in the Garden before the fell to temptation.We know how long Adam lived after he was exiled from the garden, but thats it. If death did not enter into the world untill they ate of the forbidden fruit it could have been eons.

  43. Pete,

    You said that I was only Christian because of family and friends. Well actually, I was brought up Unitarian. My Dad is a well known scientist. He told me he didn’t know if the force, which we call God exists. He brought up the old chicken and the egg. He believed that there was a man named Jesus who was very intellegent and at most a prophet. He gave a very complicated explaination on how Jesus was able to cure people, and they seemed to be miracles to the ignorant people of the time. My Dad spent about 2 years trying to disprove the Bible. The idea was that he would tour the United States and give lectures about the Bible. Well, he couldn’t disprove it. He spent the next
    30 years researching trying to find the truth, to find facts to prove what he thought was a more reasonable explaination of the origin of life.

    When carbon dating was discovered as a way to test the age things, he was so happy. But a few years ago, I think in Time Magazine, was an article that stated that Carbon Dating was inconsitant, and many results proved to be false or questionable. I will attemp to find the actual article. I Heard about it on the radio.
    If a scientist found a fossil inbeded in rock, and carbon dating showed the fossil to be 2 million years old, as it turns out the rock was that old not the fosil. In fact one couldn’t really determin
    the age of the fosil. Sometimes fosils had debre imbedded which tainted the findings. The age of the earth is most likely very old. As far as the Garden of Eden goes, we don’t know how long the creatures were in there before Adam and then Eve were ever created. Since there wasn’t any sin, the creatures big and small co-existed.
    My friends growing up were mostly Unitarian. One was Catholic, and one was Jewish. I didn’t own a bible. In the Unitarian Church, they taught Morals and values, with examples from the news and other writings. The purpose of the Church is to include all faiths in one place, they primarily believed in one God, but not Jesus. There was a Hymnal. We celebrated Christmas, and Easter strangly enough. I asked my Dad when I was 13, if we are not Christians, why do we celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth and death? He said because your mother was brought up Luthern. She likes those Holidays.
    My brother is aethiest. My other brother married a Catholic. A Jahova Witness lived across the street. When I accepted the Lord, she came over and tried to convert me to her religion. The entire time I studied with her I was very unhappy. My husband said that anything that makes you that unhappy is bad. So I studied many Religions just to make sure I had made the right choice. I was convinced that Christianity was the truth. The church I am in now is branched off of the Baptist Church. The church pastor doesn’t water down scripture, he teaches it. Some churches make their service more like a rock concert, with only scriptures read that make you feel good when you leave. My understanding of going to church is to study and understand scripture and to aply what we learn, so we can go out in the community and serve. We also enjoy being with others who share the faith. We pray a lot and have that intimate relationship with God. There are people we can talk to for advice. I am happy to help those in need. We provide a great service to the Community. I don’t think God in Jesus Christ’s name, intended church goers to sit in church, listen to the service, act all pious, and then go out and misbehave, or never share their beliefs. We are supposed to help our community, and spread the Gospel. We have lots of fun giving not taking.

    As far as the Pastor who woke up after hearing my name, and praying for me, He didn’t know me and hadn’t heard anything about me. He did hear my name in the night, did pray for me, and did call 2 Elders of the church, in the morning, to try to find me. You keep using human logic to explain the spiritual. It doesn’t work.

  44. Pete,
    Here are 3 sites that explain why Carbon-14 isn’t an accurate dating procedure and actually prove that the earth is a lot younger than was thought to be. In fact the truth is that the Bible is accurate after all.

    The Bible and Radiometric dating
    http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/carbondating.html

    The New Answer Book
    http://answersingenesis.org
    by Mike Riddle Sept. 20, 2007

    The Problems with Carbon Dating
    http://contendenderministries.org/evolution/carbon14.php

    Susan

  45. Hi Susan,

    My personal advice would be to stay away from sites like those that have a clear agenda, and try to find something more objective or at least with more information on the “evidence” they site.

    First link:
    Wrong in so many ways.
    First of all carbon dating cannot be and is not used to date the age of the earth. Because of how carbon dating works, it can only go back tens of thousands of years.
    It mentions 2 separate cases where the results showed thousands of years instead of billions. These were based on carbon-dating and probably done to help provide more evidence that carbon dating can only go back so far – and that other radio-metric dating methods need to be used for older things. Of course some creationists jump on these results and use it as “evidence” against an old earth.
    It claims that scientists assume that the earth is billions of years old before conducting experiments. Even if that were true it would not affect the results – but it certainly is not true for a lot of tests because there are strict rules and blind / double blind tests which mean the scientists do not know what they are testing.
    It claims results are thrown away if they do not fit the preconceived expectation – but that is not backed up by any evidence and cannot be true for blind / double-blind tests.
    It also assumes all scientists conducting these tests are evolutionists – most are, but not all.

    Second link:
    I haven’t read the book. Please can you provide a specific extract or elaborate on some ideas that you agree with that you think provide evidence for a young earth?

    Third link:
    Did not work.

    There are so many different ways of ageing things scientifically, all which have been done many times by many different people all around the world, all which point to an earth that is a lot older than 10,000 years. To ignore that would be intellectually dishonest. Take a look at some of the many different things that all point to an older earth: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_against_a_recent_creation

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Earth_creationism
    “The scientific consensus, supported by a 2006 statement by 68 national and international science academies, is that it is evidence-based fact derived from observations and experiments in multiple scientific disciplines that the universe has existed for around 13 billion years, that the Earth was formed about 4.5 billion years ago with life first appearing at least 2.5 billion years ago.”

    Are they all wrong / biased?

  46. I haven’t read The New Answer Book. When I read it, I will let you know what I think.

    I guess I have had trouble answering some of your questions. That is why I gave you some sites that could explain it better than I can.
    I still have trouble believing that the earth is as old as scientists say. I question the acuracy of the equipment and procedure for getting such an old date for the earth. If the equipment or procedure were to be flawed, then your experiments would be un true.
    The Bible has been studied by thousands of people in many area of science, History, archeology, theology, ecology etc. As far as I know, the Bible, Old and New Testiments, have been found to be accurate. Also prophecies made hundreds of years before a major event, as in the birth of Christ, his life, death,and reserection, has come true just as origionally stated. I think all the prophecies of Jesus have come true. When you see this happening, it is hard to say it is made up,a coencident, or
    self fulfilling.

    Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the reliability of the Bible.
    http://www.reasons.org…/fulfilled=prophecy-evidence-for-the-reliability-o

    Bible Prophecy Fulfilled by Christ Jesus-Spiritual life-CBN.com
    http://www.cbn.com/…/biblestudyandtheology/Jesus_prophecy_fulfilled.as...

    You asked about why do Christians pray if God already knows what we want and need. Well I think that God wants us to have a strong personal relationship with Him. He wants us to come to him with questions and thanks, and asking for very specific needs. It would be too easy if God were to give us all our desires automatically. Instead he wants us to apreciate his Grace. He doesn’t have to give us anything. He wants to give us things we ask for out of his love for us.
    Suppose that you are a teacher, and you know that John will fail the class if he doesn’t come to you for help. So you wait for him to ask you for an extention on the work book, so he might pass. But he doesn’t ask for help, as usual, and fails. When you pray, you are either just talking to God or you are praying for a specific thing. You are asking God to help you or someone else. God will then decide how or if He is going to answer your prayer. Don’t forget, God is also Just.
    When we get answers to prayers, we like to tell as many people as will listen to us. This testimoney encourages other believers and those who are searching. We are social creatures. The Bible instructs us to pray in groups of two or more. Prayer is the way we communicate with God, Jesus Christ. It is how we ask for forgiveness for our sins, accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior who died on the cross for our sins. His blood covered our sins, instead of us being put on the cross. Since Jesus took on all the sins of mankind when on the cross, Jesus was so filthy and full of sin, more than any human, even God turned away from Jesus. Jesus loved us that much, that he did this for us so that anyone who believes in Him and accepts Him, asks for forgiveness and will follow his teachings to the best of their ability all the days of their life, will be saved as long as our prayer is sincere from the heart. God reads our heart. In Genetics, some scientists are trying to find the God Gene. They think that when we are saved, that Gene becomes active. When we are saved, we get baptised with water by dunking. When we come back up, the old us has gone away and in its place is a new creature in Christ. We are Born Again. All of our past sinful words, thoughts and actions are forgiven. Now we can start over, start new by following Christ. We are then filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit keeps us on the right tract. We feel guilty when we know what we are saying, thinking, or doing isn’t right. The Holy Spirit encourages us to stop or repair damages to a relationship or other.
    I know as an unbeliever it is almost impossible for you to accept the Bible, it’s teachings and history. Even I have come a long way as a non believer to now where I am so devoted to the Lord.
    When Jesus does come back for us believers of Christ and of God, which will include those who died thousands of years ago to those living today. There will be those who believed in God before the Ten Commandments, the Law of God, was presented to the people of earth, there will be the converted Jewish people, and all the people of Earth that is saved. All children under 13 will automatically be saved and taken during the rapture. You should see the movie “Left Behind” with Curt Cameron.

    By the way, do you live near where the Big Storm Hit N.Y. and New Jersy? Everyone in my family were safe and sound. I hope I am not making you mad. I admire you for standing up for your
    strong beliefs. Both of us have very different World Views and belief systems. That is okay. It makes the world more interesting. It is good that we have have freedom of beliefs and Religion. Unfortunatly the radical Islamists at the U.N. tried to criminalize the proclamation of the Gospel, but lost the vote. But when the notorious Mohammad movie—which Islamic radicals used as an excuse for obviously coordinated protests and violence all over the Middle East–our ambassador was slaughtered in Libia– Now a there is a new push for DOR in the U.N. It is on a fast track. In a few weeks. The 57-nation organization of the Islamic coorporation (OIC) and the 22-member Arab League now claim that a legally binding “anti-blasphemy” protocol is urgently necessary to protect Muslims and other Religions. What this means is Sharing Your faith–proclaiming the deity of Christ–would become an international crime, putting you at risk of arrest, imprisonment, or, in some countries, even death. Your Freedom of speech and freedom of religion would evaporate with a single U.N. vote. This then leads to a One World Religion that every human on the planet would have to accept or be punished. This came to me by ACLJ, ( American Center for Law and Justice, in Washington DC. Chief Councel Jay A. Sekulow. visit http://www.ACLJ.org or contact them at 757 226-2489.

  47. @James:
    So you agree the earth could be over 4 billion years old?

  48. Hi Susan,
    Of course you’re not making me mad, I don’t think anything anyone could write would make me mad – that’s not a challenge by the way :)

    I’m glad you and your family are safe, I’m not too worried – I live in England and although it rains a lot we never really get anything more dangerous than, erm, snow.

    I’m glad that there is such a diversity of beliefs out there too – it would be rather boring if there weren’t. I would definitely try my best to stop anything that tries to limit freedom of speech.

    My problem with the bible is that we cannot know when it was written. The prophecies that were not vague, and definitely did come true, may have been written after the event happened – we just do not know. There are certain ways to try and date the passages, the language used, etc – but it gets difficult because of the number of translations, etc. Even if it could be proven that a prophecy was written before the events happened – it would not prove that it was not coincidence, or that there is a God, or that anything else in the Bible is true. There are also many prophecies that did not come true. All in all the bible is just an old book to me – and cannot be used as evidence.

    Maybe some day there will be some evidence that there is a creator – there just isn’t any at the moment. You see I have an open mind and will accept where the evidence takes me – I find a lot of religious people (not all) are closed minded and will not go looking outside their comfort zone, i.e. creationist websites/magazines, and their group of similar believers.

    It’s been nice talking to you anyway and thanks for sharing so much!

    Kind regards,
    Pete

  49. Thanks, that is a relief. If you or someone you know is very ill, injured, or in danger, Try God on for size. Go to him sincerley and ask Him to help you or that person, and then thank Him. It is definatly worth the try. You never know what this crazy world will bring. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you that is bad. There is an expression that says when God closes a door, he opens a window. God is always there and will find opertunities for you that are even better. You just have to look for them and take advantage. I guess it sounds like, every cloud has a silver lining.
    You said that I was looking for God’s work. That is correct. I think you need to realize and accept
    the wonders all around. The inspired word of God in the Bible says, You can see me in my creation. Every leaf or flower’s system is very intricate and very organized. The wasp and ant have systematic lives and communities. All of God’s creation is about Order and relationships to each other and the environment in which they live. Take the thought and organization that went into the development of The Food Chain. Then the natural instinks birds and butterflies have of knowing when to leave an area, and where they are going for the winter, for example, and then returning to that same place they left months later. It isn’t an accident they they have done this for thousands of years. It is genetic planning. It is almost as if the DNA in every species is computer specifically designed by a Higher force. There is room for some variations in it’s adaptability to it’s environment. Darwin spoke of the butterflys that changed colors to fit in and camafaged their body from preditors, when they were brought into a new location. It is called adaptability. How does this just happen repeatedly in all species? We were created with this master computor that controls every part of our existence. We are like a robot, a machine that has to be kept in tip top shape. When we don’t eat healthy, and exercise our physical bodies and our brain, our parts get rusty, start to fail. Once one part fails, the dependent part of the body starts to have issues. We become susceptable to germs, incompatable chemicals in the air, and destruction from other creatures. This goes for all of God’s creatures. Think of the sea creatures. Pollution in the water will cause a chain reaction to the sea creatures. Sea turtles go hundreds of miles to lay their eggs in a safe beach location generation after generation, following the ocean currents. There is ORDER. LOGIC, in Life on this planet. There had to be a super brain that came up with all of it. mathmatics explains much of the Universe and how it works. The planets that circle the Sun for example. All in just the right distance away from each other, gravity and magnetic attraction, so many terms to explain how our solor system works. We even have a vaccume cleaner out there in space, called a black hole that sucks up debre. It boggles my mind when I recognize the fact that some force out there, which we call God, I AM, came up with these designs. God isn’t a creature, HE/IT, has always been. If you say He exists, you are saying he was created. But He wasn’t. Our brain is programed with the capacity to learn and understand a vast amount of information, but does have it’s limits. Knowing the entire story isn’t possible for us now. The Bible says that once we are in heaven with God, the rest of the scrolls will be opened for us to understand everything. Just to find out that would be worth going to Heaven for, wouldn’t you think so?
    You come across as a very kind intellegent man. Be careful over in your country. There are many terrorist cells waiting to take action. We here in the USA also have many cells waiting for their marching orders. Some radicals go it alone. It can be very scary in today’s world. When I was growing up, I could and did ride my bike miles with no fear of being kidnaped. When my children wanted to play outside in the back yard, I had to be there with them. Now my children are adults with children, and they have to be even safer for their family. Instead of society getting better, it has gotten much worse. Much of society has thrown away their morals and values. Life is something to discard at a whem. When God left the equation, so did Hope, decency, love of mankind, security, trust, and truth. When people in high places are pulling all kinds of scams on it’s citizens, who can you trust? It is a sorry world we live in.
    I am glad i can enjoy the beautiful trees and plants that suuround my house. I have a tightly knit family even with some disagreement of philosophy. We love each other. I give thanks for what God has provided us humans. We aren’t rich monetarily, but we are rich in the family and friends we have close to us. My husband and I have enough we don’t have to worry about money. We live a comfortable life, mostly because we saved and were frugle and wise with our money. We worked hard for it, so we didn’t throw it away. Now in retirement we are out of debt completely. We help my two children and grand children, I work with my church to lift up and encourage and serve those in need. In my town there is high unemployment. Some of the Big companies closed, some store chains couldn’t make it here. People are suffering. When I was in college, I never thought that the economy would be so shakey in the future, and that people as a whole could become to cold and greedy. All we can do now is to make life around us the best that we can for us and them. I work at being helpful and possative even to complete strangers. I thank them, excuse me, that is a beautiful dress, let me help you with that, opening doors for folks etc. It gives that person a boost. It also makes you feel good to give back. I am at peace with myself finally, and happy that I can make a difference in another’s life. I think that is what God intended us to do.
    Of course not everyone is selfish. There are people like you and me that make the world go around. Thanks for speaking to me through our writings. I will check Defending and Contending to see what else I can talk about. Looking forward to the next conversation.

    May you be blessed all the days of your life,
    Susan

  50. Pete i apologise for not showing patience if you are being genuine in your search for truth. There already is evidence of creation and that you exist in a created world, both evolutionists and creationists use evidence but if your looking for “proof” you won’t find it. You will die still looking for that “proof” which i don’t want to see happen. While it’s reasonable to generally ask for proof or understanding before belief for most things, it seems God asks us to have faith before we have any understanding. That’s the key, if you first have faith and trust then your eyes will be opened, this is the only way. If your looking to understand and find “proof” so you can have faith it will never work, this is the way of the world, not the way of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I would implore you to take that leap of faith, only then would you understand, there is no point in arguing about the “evidence” both sides already do that and do not make many converts that way if they are opposed to each others worldviews.
    Richard Dawkins has great faith but it has blinded him so much he left the realms of science behind to pursue it. Faith in Jesus will have the opposite effect and open your eyes to understanding why the world is the way it is and what you must do to be saved. Give faith and trust a chance.

  51. Pete, you said this before about not being able to tell when the Old Testament prophecies were written. I gave you links to evidence regarding Daniel that is virtually impossible to discount. As far as I know, you never responded to that, so I’ll give it again. Three-part series:
    http://mindrenewers.com/2012/03/27/a-clay-cylinder-and-daniels-history/
    http://mindrenewers.com/2012/03/28/a-clay-cylinder-and-daniels-prophecy/
    http://mindrenewers.com/2012/03/30/a-clay-cylinder-and-skepticism-and-apologetics/

    The first two explain very clearly how we know, with very, very strong evidence, that Daniel’s prophecies were written in the time they claimed to be, and are beyond any natural explanation.

    The third explains why you won’t believe, no matter how strong the evidence, if you are looking for the kind of proof on which you insist. You have set up “proof” as an idol, as if you have the right to dictate to God that He must give you the kind of proof you decide you need.

    But it is not proof that makes facts. Matter was made of atoms before it was proven. The world was round before there was irrefutable evidence. And if someone had said, “I’ll not believe the world is round until someone goes up into space and takes pictures to prove it,” that wouldn’t have made it flat. The fact that God will not give you the kind of proof you want, because it would make you the judge rather than Him, does not mean He isn’t there, and that He isn’t the Judge. A God who would let you be the judge would be no god at all. So you won’t get the kind of proof you demand, and you’ll have to either take Him on His terms or face the eternal consequences.

  52. I read that there are 7 prophecies not yet fulfilled. These are the last before Jesus Christ returns to gather His people who are alive or dead, to be taken back to heaven. You should see the movie “Left Behind”. It was put out a few years ago. It will help you understand about Christ’s return.

    As far as the trinity goes; God has 3 personas, Father, Son, Holy Spirit or (Holy Ghost). In the Greek plays, one actor would play multiple parts. They used masks and changed their voices. That is similer to the trinity. One God with 3 faces. God can be self, His Son Jesus, and The HolySpirit. Each face can appear in different places at the same time and to/in multiples people’s lives. It is one of those mystories. As a Christian, you can have that personal relationship with God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Just remember you have to go through Jesus Christ to get to the Father. Jesus forgives your sins and then covers you with his blood, a kind of shield so when you are in God’s presence, He can only see a perfect pure soul.

    Susan

  53. Susan, I know you mean well, but the Trinity is never described in Scripture as comparable to a person with three masks and using different voices. This is essentially the view that is called modalism. We do much better when we use God’s own words to describe His nature.

    Your statement that we have to go through Jesus Christ to get to the Father is a wonderful Scriptural statement. It would also be meaningless if God were like an actor with three masks, which is one of the reasons the three masks illustration is one we would do better without.

  54. Jon Gleason,
    This is one area I have been confused with most of my christian life. I have tried to figure out a good way to say that Jesus is the son of God and God. ” In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word is God. In scripture the “Word referes to Jesus”. So why does Jesus constantly calls to His father ,God. If Jesus is God, why does he call himself? Also how do you explain The Holy Spirit as seperate, but part of the God head?
    I got this idea of the Drama masks from R.C. Sproul, a well known and respected Evangelist and Professor. He spoke of this as an example on one of his lectures. Do you have any better way to describe the 3 in 1, in a simple way for people to understand?

    I have heard all kinds of explainations, like the 3 leaf clover is all part of one stem, but has 3 parts. Water because it can be gas, frozen or liquid, Light because it has the same source but is made up of distinct colors. It is hard to come up with a simple explaination that makes any sense.

    If you or any of the readers out there can help me out here, I would apreciate your inpute.
    I know and have experienced responses from all three. But I have trouble explaining how it all works, to someone else. I find myself talking in circles.

    Thanks for catching this before I make a fool of myself or steer someone wrong. This is the first time I used this analogy. I heard the lecture 2 days ago.
    God Bless,
    Susan

    Susan

  55. Hi, Susan. I’m very surprised R.C. Sproul would say that, but none of us are perfect, after all.

    God really only gave us one analogy, that of Father and Son. Other than that, He didn’t really use analogies to explain it. I once taught a Bible study with some friends who had never been taught much of the Bible. When we came to the Trinity, everyone had all these different analogies (you’ve mentioned some of them) to try to explain it, and one by one I took them to verses that showed their analogy didn’t work very well. Finally, I said, “Why don’t we just start with the Bible, and see what God DID say.” So that’s what I would say to you, because if God didn’t give us something to compare Himself to, perhaps He doesn’t WANT us to compare anything to Him.

    Matthew 28:19-20 talks about baptising in the name (singular, one name, not names) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. So the Three share One Name.

    The Father sent the Son (John 3:16, many other passages) so they are distinct, yet they are One (John 10:30, many other passages). There is only one God and He uses the name Jehovah or Yahweh (Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 45:5, many other passages), which is typically written LORD in the KJV and some other translations. This one God Jehovah is our Father (I Chronicles 29:10). But Jesus is also Jehovah, for Jehovah is our Shepherd (Psalm 23) and Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10) — and many other passages teach that Jesus is Jehovah. So Jesus and the Father are both Jehovah (and the Holy Spirit is, too).

    So God is one God with one name — but He is Three.

    Jesus prayed to the Father (so the mask thing really doesn’t work — it would be dishonest of Jesus to pray to the Father if He were just a different mask on the same Person, He would only be pretending to pray). He prayed to the Father to send the Spirit (John 14:16). In John 14:23, He says of Himself and the Father, “We will come to Him, and make our abode with Him.” When we read the context, we find He is talking about the Spirit coming. So when the Spirit comes, Jesus and the Father do, too. But He doesn’t say He will ask the Father to come as the Spirit (wearing the mask of the Spirit), He says the Father will send the Spirit. So the Father and the Spirit are different. Jesus is not the Father, and the Spirit is not the Father, but when you get One you get all Three because They are One.

    John 14:17 says the Spirit will be in us. Colossians 2 says that Christ is in us. But Christ goes away so the Spirit can come (John 16:7), so they have to be distinct.

    So there are Three, and they are One. The Bible makes that much very clear, and we don’t really fully understand Their Threeness or His Oneness. But here’s the thing — we shouldn’t expect to understand everything about God. If there really is a God out there who made everything, shouldn’t we expect that we would only get glimpses of Him that don’t really tell the story?

    This analogy may help, but it isn’t an analogy about God, it is about us. You may have heard the story of the blindfolded men who stood next to an elephant and tried to describe it. One touched an ear, another the trunk, another the tail, and another one of the legs. So they all described very different things, and thought they were next to very different animals. But it was an elephant.

    I think, when we think about God, we’re like those blindfolded men. If we could really see the whole picture, it would make a lot more sense, just like if they could all take off their blindfold and see the elephant. But we can’t see the whole picture. And I think God likes it that way, because He wants us to learn to trust what He tells us about Himself even if we can’t quite piece it all together.

    I hope that helps a little bit. I think if there were a really good illustration of the Trinity, God would have told us. But the one analogy that He did give us is an important one — Father and Son. Not adopted, but begotten, to show that they are uniquely of the same nature. A very close love relationship. The only real analogy we have is one of love, and that is because love is so central to who our God is, so central to what He wants us to learn of Him.

    I apologise for such a long post, but on some topics, once I get going…. :)

    In Him,
    Jon

  56. @Andrew:
    If when considering God, it comes down to faith (belief without evidence), surely the particular God you chose to believe in is pot luck or an accident of geography?

    @Jon:
    I remember – it boiled down to me having to suspend judgement on it simply because there are as many things like this (below) that are critical of it, as there are of things like what you have linked to that support it. Considering this – the prophecy in Daniel is just too weak to use as evidence.

    http://www.worldagesarchive.com/Reference_Links/False_Testament_(Harpers).htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Daniel#Authorship_and_dating
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH120.html

    By the way I’ve heard that Elephant story you mentioned – it’s a nice one. It comes from India – here’s the Jain version for anyone interested.

    “Six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant’s body. The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.
    A king explains to them:
    ‘All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently is because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned.’
    This resolves the conflict, and is used to illustrate the principle of living in harmony with people who have different belief systems, and that truth can be stated in different ways.”

    Regards,
    Pete

  57. Pete, not one of those deals with the Belshazzar evidence I’ve cited. Since Christians have cited it many times, do you really think the skeptics would fail to refute it if they could?

    Your first link is ludicrous, minimalism on steroids. You claim to want evidence. Do you not see all the crazy unsupported assumptions in that article? Just one example. Abraham didn’t send his servant with camels because camels weren’t commonly used that early in history. Well, I’m sorry, but that’s daft. There is no way to make that statement with certainty. Even if it could be proven (and it can’t be) how common it was for camels to be used 4000 years ago, that still would not provide any evidence as to what Abraham did. At the best, you could prove that Abraham, if he or his servant used camels for transportation, was unusual. But the Biblical account doesn’t claim he was a normal guy, anyway.

    The elephant story is a great story. It teaches us to humbly acknowledge that we might not have the whole picture. I can’t believe you posted it in the same post that you linked to that article, because no one could possibly know all the things that it asserts as fact about what happened 3-4 millenia ago.

    Oh, here’s one more. David and Solomon didn’t make monuments to themselves because they were monotheists, and it would have been considered idolatry. The absence of monuments is what one would expect if the Bible is historically accurate. Does the absence of monuments, therefore, prove the Bible to be true? Of course not. It is no evidence at all, one way or another. If the Bible is true, there aren’t likely to be monuments. If it is false, there aren’t likely to be monuments. And amazingly, there aren’t monuments, but some minimalist trumpets it as proof that the Bible is false. Crazy. :)

    I do enjoy the discussion with you. I’m not calling you crazy, far from it. But I am surprised that a guy who is always calling for proof would give an article like that any credence at all.

  58. @Andrew:
    “If when considering God, it comes down to faith (belief without evidence), surely the particular God you chose to believe in is pot luck or an accident of geography?”
    But faith is all you have too in any alternative model or worldview, It’s just down to what what pseudo/political/philisophical/or scientific (unproven of course )fasionable model of the day you may happen to believe in or give credit to. You seem have to have ignored the meat of of John’s and my own responces. We already know the same “evidence” can be used by both sides so arguing by evidence alone will get us nowhere. All religions/pseuso sciences/philosophies cannot be true so you must make a choice. If we are wrong we share the same fate as you, ie nothingness after death but if you are wrong by rejecting Jesus and the Gosel of salvation you will face an eternity of regret and torment. Pete, you obviousley still have faith in your own beliefs and worldview but they are self defeating as you reject your creator by your own choice.

  59. Wow! I’m sorry Pete. I never intended for you to get attacked for your beliefs. I just was sharing my faith and why I believe what I do. I was defending what I believe is to be the best choice to center my life and soul in. In fact I would go as far as saying Jahova God is THE Designer and Creator of All. God has the ultimate power, but there is also another character in this story, Satan. Satan has great power to deceive, lie, and devour, mankind. He is out to convert any Christians or believers in God, and strengthen non-believers to abandon their good ways, and to keep people away from God at any cost. As believers we have the Holy Spirit to guide us and recognize temptation and resist temptation. Sometime we ignor what we know to be the best and go against our contience. Inveriably, we get into trouble, and we feel guilty afterwards. Satan will use people to get us in a bad place. God uses people to help us for the good, and is there when we need to get out of a bad situation. Or teach us a lesson that will benefit us in the long run. Satan and the people he uses are very persuasive and will use that part of us that we are most afraid of, to tear us down, or take us down a wrong path. To us at that time seems like it is a possitive thing. But taken to the extreme can destroy us. Non believers often think what they are doing is fine and have no regreats. They don’t see that what they are doing is a problem or could be a problem in the future.
    That is; Good verses Evil ie. God vrs. Satan. Satan used to be the top Angel, to God, but one day Satan attempted to take over God’s position.
    So Satan/Lucifer was cast out along with His followers, which we call Demons. I think Satan is out to get more followers than God. God already knows He will win, but Satan is out to prove God
    wrong. ” Good wins out over Evil”. Being an unbeliever leaves you unprotected.
    Susan
    Please jump in any time, a little support here would be helpful.

  60. Jon Gleason,

    Thanks for your comments. What you said makes more sense. You have a far greater understanding of God’s Word than I do. I am still learning. This has been a great education. I was in my late 30′s before I came to the Lord. I am 66 years old and am still studying and getting understanding from others. Church is made up of believers and those searching who meet together for understanding, worship, and fellowship with like minded people. I even looked for the best fit of Church, that taught the Gospel and taught the Bible, not some crazy ideas. I have left a church that I realized later had strange ideas that wasn’t biblical. When I left, the friends I had made there ignored me. When I see them at the store, and I wave or say hi, they walk away. That is when you know it was good to get away. There are Cults out there. They are usually very controlling, and threaten you, should you want to leave. They have a very different Spiritual view and world view. Their Bible is different. You can get a list of cults on line.

    Thanks for All of your imputes.

    Susan

  61. Susan, I’m glad it helped. By God’s grace, I was saved at the age of 4, and have been learning for almost 50 years now. I had the privilege of attending seminary, learning Greek and Hebrew, and getting quality teaching in Bible and theology — but I learned most from just reading the Bible.

    Stick to the Scriptures. We can get confused, we can think teachers, our own feelings, or our own experiences are the answer. All of those things can be wrong. The Bible is never wrong. Read it through a couple of times a year, or more. You will be amazed at how much it will open up to you, how much you learn, if you just keep reading and reading it. You will also be amazed at how often, as you are reading, the Lord will use what you just read to help you see something you need to change in your thoughts, words, or actions, something you never ever saw before.

    In Him,
    Jon

  62. Jon,
    The comment about R.C. Sproul; He said that he had gone to a live show years ago called “JOB”.
    Bazel Rathborn played God, Jesus, and the Holy spirit. He played them different with different masks. R. C. thought that the fact that the Actor played many roles, but was the same person doing this, might explain God playing 3 roles. All 3 parts being acted by God, but each being different in purpose and description.
    He might have been mistaken in his evaluation of the show.

    My son in-law’s father died Wednesday of Pnaemonia. But He was a Born Again Christian. Everyone grieved at first, but felt calm about the fact that He had gone to be with his maker.
    There is that comfort that non believers don’t experence. We know we will see Matt’s father again.

    Susan

  63. Thanks, Susan. Interesting about Sproul.

    I Thess. 4 — our sorrows are not like the sorrows of those who have no hope. Yes, there is much comfort in Christ. Our God is the God of ALL comfort.

  64. Pete,

    I took off a few days from this site to read my bible and research some of the ideas talked about on this topic. I researched the age of the earth as stated by various scientists and byArchbishop James Ussher and Jon Lightfoot. Ussher and Lightfoot figured out the age of the Earth by the ages of patriarchs in the genealogies. They concluded that the Universe, earth, and life were created in 4004 BC. They decided that creation was 6,000 years old.
    But in the 18th and 19th centuries, new data from geology established the earth to be millions of years old. You can imagine the conflict that arose. In 1857 Philip Goose, a British Preacher, proposed that God must have created the world with the appearance of age.

    This whole argument about the age of the Universe and Earth is an intellectual game. God didn’t want us to know all the answers. I read the the first few lines of Genesis in several bibles and they were all worded the same. There arose Young-earth Creationists, based on the 6,000 year creation, and the Old- Earth Creationists.

    The days of Creation:
    ” When God began creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was a shapeless mass, with the Spirit of God brooding over the dark vapors.
    Just think now, how many hundreds, thousands, or millions of years would it take for the earth to settle down long enough to keep it’s shape. Then the lengthy time for the geographics of the planet and to cool off and be prepared for the creation by God.
    The idea of 6 24 hour days doesn’t automatically work. When you go back to the Hebrew word for day (yom) – means daylight, phase, time, moment, unit of time, or long era of time. Each of these
    Days could be an undisclosed period of time in the developement of the world.

    There are a couple of resources you should check on:
    Evidence For God, The Days of creation: a closer look at scripture By Jon W. Greene.
    AND the new book out; Hubble Reveals Creation: Hubble Reveals Real Scientific Evidence about God. 4 awards $19.99. http://www.hubblerevealscreation.com

    I have never worried about the age of the earth or universe in relationship to the Bible. It is interesting, but wasn’t crucial to my Faith in God. It was all about the Gospel and my salvation and my relationship with God/Jesus Christ/The Holy Spirit. You have to have the spirits of God and Jesus that come together at a point and enters you, which is now called the Holy Spirit.
    I understand that people are trying to verify the Bible to find out if it is true. I think people get hung up with these sort of things, which keep them from reading the bible and trying to get to know God and God’s message. My relationship with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, started as spiritual rather
    than academic experience. I can see both points of view, the Young Earth Creationists and the old Earth Creationist. It is impossable to know for sure the true answer. I guess when we meet our Maker we will find out.

    I think that it took a very long time for the earth to get to a place where creation by God could begin. I think it is possable that God could speak Creation into existance over a short period of time. I also admit that Days and Nights represent unit of undisclosed periods of time. God doesn’t seem to want us to know all the answers yet. It keeps us debating doesn’t it ? People love a good mystery.
    I went out over the weekend and bought 4 books covering Biblical understanding, including an answer book. Go to a christian Book store, if you have one. Pick up a book or two that sound interesting.

  65. I just find it hilarious how gullible people are to religious propaganda. There is irrefutable evidence for the theory of evolution, and evolution is the premises for all modern science. It allows us to accurately find the age of the Earth, determine the general origin of most species, permits us to safely predict that our ancient ancestors came from origins as humble as the stromatolites over 3.5bya. It supports the theory of the creation of our planet, moon, and solar system, which in turn escalades into the big-bang theory itself! Geological, biological, and astronomical evolution is the basis for everything we know to be true….and a god (Zues, Jupiter, the Lord, or Yahweh) has no place or basis of fact and science in that world.

  66. imbewe, thank you for stopping by. I am afraid that you have been reading the secular humanistic textbooks for a long time. Not even researchers and scientists make the claims that you do. There is not one shred of conclusive evidence for the “theory” of evolution. Evolution has so many gaps that the world cannot even agree on even the age of the earth as you claim. Every time they realize the fallacy of thinking that certain mutations can take place then modern science has to up the amount of time they think it will take. Thus now, the world is approximately 4 billion years old. Wait six months and that will change again. Oops, sorry, my mistake, just changed again. Now is it 4.54 billion years old.

    If evolution has the answer, where did the first two atoms originate and how did they find their way together in the middle of nothing we call space. How long did it even take those two little atoms before they accidentally collided together?

    By the way, if evolution is correct, there should be prove of on-going changes of one kind into another. Please provide one example.

    Actually, the problem, imbewe, is that you hate God and everything He stands for. You do not wish to be accountable to a Supreme Being that has established all the rules for mankind. You prefer to use the fallacy of evolution and manipulation to think that man has evolved into a moral being apart from anything outside of himself. Sadly, the illogic you use to try and prove your point will only get you so far because you will not take it to its own logical conclusion. The main reason is because your own sense of morality (your conscience) will not permit you to do so. This conscience is not a product of evolution, but of a Creator. His name is God and His glory He will not give to another.

  67. Hey Mark,

    Sorry for the interruption, and I don’t mean to sound condescending – but it seems like you haven’t understood how most scientists believe the universe was at the time (and shortly after) the Big Bang.

    “If evolution has the answer, where did the first two atoms originate and how did they find their way together in the middle of nothing we call space.”

    As far as I know – no-one thinks that. There was no matter at the “start” – just energy, and it all started off together in a singularity. We think this because things are moving apart – again, evidence that things get closer together the further back in time you go. This size of this singularity doesn’t have to be tiny, that’s a common misconception too.

    Energy can change into matter by the way – it just needs circumstances that we don’t personally encounter every day. One example is demonstrated in various particle colliders around the world, when 2 particles are smashed together (at extremely fast speeds) new particles are created out of the kinetic energy. Testable, repeatable evidence that energy can change into matter.

    You see? There were never just “2 atoms”.

    Also – space isn’t “nothing”. We have no example of nothing, and never have – so we don’t really know what would happen if we could create a physical example of nothing.

  68. Pete, how did the energy get there? Actually, I have studied in the realm of science quite a bit and I do understand what scientists are seeking to accomplish. You have a great deal of faith in the religion of evolution in order to believe that we have today was created over 4.5 billion years and came out of energy which nobody knows how it got there to begin with. You can take two atoms, two particles, or two whatever to attempt to create the order we have today. However, no order has ever been created out of chaos spontaneously. Order comes from somebody or something putting it into its proper setting. By the way, we have the testimony of “nothing” but this is ignored not because it is preposterous to think about but because it would require accountability to the one who produced everything out of the nothing.

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