Square Peg Nonsense in False Theology

In the following guest article by John Henderson, he discusses a recent Nazarene pastoral training conference conducted by Dr. Al Truesdale, and material Truesdale used including a document by theologian Robert Branson.  In a previous post, I refuted Dr. Truesdale’s continuing attempts, along with others, to re-write history and say that Nazarenes were never fundamentalists.  Truesdale was my former Greek New Testament professor at ENC and was an excellent instructor, but he has it all wrong in the matter of scriptural inerrancy and John Wesley’s position on it.  The material from Dr. Branson is also very suspect and does not make any biblical sense, as John points out.  It is no surprise that both men are members of Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, which is trying very hard to make the heretical belief in evolution the de facto, unofficial position of the Church of the Nazarene.  We clearly need more theologians who are true to the Bible, and not their own imaginations.  Rev. Henderson has asked us the proper question here: How absolutely foolish can it become? 

Square Peg Nonsense in False Theology

Oct. 7, 2013, By John Henderson

How absolutely foolish can it become?  If the emergent movement ever beats folks such as I, it will be that they wear us down with foolishness, but never by reason or evidence of truth.  I came across what seemed to be a handout of sorts and assume it was at the recent pastoral training conference for the Nazarene’s Tennessee District conducted by Dr. Al Truesdale.

I actually came across two documents from that event.  One was Truesdale’s outline of his presentation wherein he appears to have attempted to trace the idea of “fundamentalism” historically by tying it into the John Darby movement of a pre-tribulation rapture and Calvinism.  I had received a notice of the event from the district office and responded politely that I could demonstrate historically that Nazarenes were traditionally fundamentalists right along with the Calvinists.  Also, the Church of the Nazarene does not take an official stand on the theories of millennialism but allows all three and their variations.

It seemed, from the outline, that Truesdale was attempting to teach that Nazarenes and John Wesley were never “fundamentalists.”   I do not wish to actually address that issue here because the idea is well-refuted in other places and I think I have dealt with it enough for the moment.  It is the second document that concerns me and I am puzzled that it would have been included in the presentation for any reason without rebuttal by the presenter, unless he supports its assertions.

It is a short document by Robert Branson, Emeritus Professor of Bible Studies, Olivet Nazarene University, August, 2013.  It is titled:  “A Day In the Wilderness (An Illustration of ‘accommodation’ in the Bible).”

It is presented in an imaginary setting of Moses entering the tent of meeting where he uttered a casual “Good morning, God.” And there was a table with parchments and pens.  God told Moses to write how He had created the universe.  I quote:

“’Before time and space began, before anything existed, thirteen billion years ago, I formed a singularity of tightly compacted energy and matter.  In three-thousands of a second it exploded sending energy and matter in all directions.  Time and space began.

“’I commanded gravity to collect the matter into billions of galaxies of stars.  The angels watched as giant red stars such as VY Canis Majoris and white dwarfs such as Siri​us B burst forth​ in light.  They were astonished as subatomic particles such as quarks formed hydrons such as protons and neutrons.

“’I shaped planets out of the remnants of stars and gave particular attention to the one I called Earth.  Four and half billion years ago it was a ball of molten lava which soon cooled.  Out of its toxic methane environment I caused the first living cells to form.  Then a little over two billion years ago blue-green algae formed and began to free oxygen into the air.  A billion years later invertebrate animals evolved and then vertebrate animals.  The Earth was alive with plant and animal life.  The oceans were filled with fish of every kind and description.  Soon humans would appear.’

“’Moses, are you getting all this down.  The parchment looks empty.’

“’Forgive me, God.  I have a question.’

“’Yes?’

“’What’s a billion?”

“After a few seconds of silence, God said, ‘Hmmm.  Get a clean sheet of parchment and write down these words.’

“’In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and…’”

It is extremely difficult to respond to utter foolishness, but I will try.

First, the imaginary setting is plagued with both scientific and theological errors.  The casual meeting between God and Moses is irreverent towards God.  That may have set the tone for the outlandish dialog that followed.  Compared to God, man is certainly not bright but the punch line seems to say that we are too dense to understand what an “educated” scientist easily grasps so God had to resort to a simplistic summary of sorts, knowing that we would manage to misinterpret it with fictional concoctions.

Not only does Dr. Branson need to revisit the Scriptures, but he should consider either getting his scientific data straight or leaving it to those who really understand research and discovery—the only thing “science” can actually do.

This is an anemic and silly attempt to promote the demonic doctrine of creation by evolution—a concept that the atheistic evolutionists reject.  In other words, phony theologians have bought into the atheistic ideas of evolution but vainly try to rationalize beyond reason to force-fit it into a wild idea that God was somehow behind it all.  Dr. Truesdale’s Square Peg  book was part of his presentation.  Talk about a square peg in a round hole, however, Dr. Branson’s attack on revelational truth takes the prize cake.  I wonder why it was part of the presentation.  I have one question.  How far is one willing to go to reject the plainness of the Scriptures?

Resource:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/10/20/debate-finally

A Biblical View Of Creation From A Scientist And A Student

I rarely have good news lately, but today I have two encouraging stories to share.

The first was originally posted at Answers In Genesis.  We need more Christian scientists like Dr. Georgia Purdom to give their testimony and also demonstrate how science does NOT contradict the Bible and its historical accounts, but affirms it.
The second story was written by Christina Wilkins, a biology major at Mid America Nazarene University.


Genesis And Biblical Authority: Challenging Nazarenes in West Virginia

Original Source: Answers In Genesis)

This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak at Dunbar Church of the Nazarene in Dunbar, West Virginia. This was a special privilege for me because I was raised in the Nazarene church and taught for six years as a biology professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. On Saturday I presented twice to the women of the church, sharing my testimony and the foundational importance of Genesis to biblical womanhood. On Sunday I gave presentations on the importance of Genesis to biblical authority and the eugenics movement, both historical and modern. The pastor of the church, Greg Hudson, taught on the Seven C’s in seven sermons before my arrival, so the congregation was well prepared and very receptive.

Pastor Hudson shared with me that he heard Ken Ham speak at a chapel service at God’s Bible College (Cincinnati) back in 1994 (just as AiG was beginning). He said the service greatly impacted him and made him realize how important Genesis is to biblical authority. From my conversations with Pastor Hudson and the members of his congregation, I know that he has a great love for God and the truthfulness of His Word. He is gravely concerned—as am I—about the theological liberalism that is beginning to take hold in the Nazarene denomination. Both of us throughout the weekend challenged the congregation with examples of this liberalism as it concerns not only Genesis but also other areas such as homosexuality and the existence of a literal hell. (I encourage you to read Ken’s recent blog post about an article written by two professors at Nazarene universities). We pray that those we spoke to will become equipped and uphold God’s Word within the Nazarene denomination.

This trip was also special for me because my daughter Elizabeth got to accompany me as my “assistant.” She unpacked DVDs, helped organize the resource tables, handed out materials, and more. I was very proud of her (in case you can’t tell), and I look forward to her coming to future events when possible. We also enjoyed eating several meals with and attending a minor league baseball game with Pastor Hudson and his wife Julie and daughter Hannah. Hannah and Elizabeth got to spend time together, especially when I was speaking, and I am grateful for the friendship they formed.

This is an exciting week, as I’m really looking forward to the Answers for Women conference beginning Thursday at the Creation Museum. If you haven’t registered, don’t worry; you can still register at the door! Please be in prayer for this conference, that many women will be encouraged and equipped to defend God’s Word.

Keep fighting the good fight of the faith!

 

Creation is no joke: MNU Biology Major Comes Clean

(Source: Christina Wilkins: http://trailblazer.mnubox.com/2012/04/09/creation-is-no-joke-mnu-biology-major-comes-clean/)

Last week, I wrote an April Fool’s article with an opinion that no one on campus would believe was truly mine: that I was an evolutionist.

I am a biology major, so I’ve studied evolution. At my first biology class, I was hit hard with the fact that there is no clear consensus on this issue among Christians.

I’ve come to realize that even though I don’t agree with theistic evolutionists about origins, there is still a lot that we do agree on. I have a special bond with biologists, who marvel at God’s creation. I can respect them as believers and as intelligent people.

My April Fool’s article was a joke because it was written by me. The day after publication, my fellow biology majors told me how they laughed at my article. Strangers, however, didn’t think it was so funny.

Last summer at the Creation Museum, my spirit was refreshed. I saw Biblical truth come to life in a way that doesn’t contradict what I’ve learned from science. I felt stretched as well as uplifted.

In fact, some of my fake arguments were inspired by one room in the Creation Museum walk-through. One side of the room shows the modern family in church, and the pastor is preaching that Christians shouldn’t get caught up in the debate because the Bible wasn’t meant to be a science textbook.

The foundation of Biblical truth is being undermined, resulting in a gospel stripped of power. If Genesis isn’t historical fact, how can we trust that the resurrection is a historical fact? The point is that what we believe about Genesis matters.

Yesterday was Easter, when we celebrate that Christ’s death and resurrection redeemed us from our sin. That sin was made an inherent human trait when Adam and Eve sinned, ruining the world that God described as good.

Romans 5:15 says, “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” The sin and death that entrapped me before I knew Christ came from one man’s sin, and I was saved through one man’s sacrifice.

In Romans 5:12, it is clear that death came into the world through the first sin. If it took billions of years of death for humans to evolve, and then have sinned, how could death be the result of that sin? In this view, God must have described the death, and associated suffering, as good.

And what about the wages of sin? Sunday school taught us Romans 6:23. If the wages of sin isn’t death, where is the need for the gift?

I can’t believe that the creation vs. evolution debate doesn’t matter.

God said that he created whole organisms to reproduce after their kind, so I believe that complex systems could not have been created by small steps. (Genesis 1:25)

God said that the fountains of the deep were opened up during the worldwide flood, so I believe that the Grand Canyon is evidence of that. (Genesis 7:11)

God said that he created everything that flies, whether we call them reptiles or birds, on the fifth day, so I believe Archeoptryx was created on that day as well. (Genesis 1:20)

God said that he created organisms to be fruitful and multiply, so he provided genetic variability within each kind. “Junk DNA” implies that if we don’t know the function of something, it has no function. God also created man, including every strand of DNA, out of the dust, so I don’t assume any of that was junk. (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 2:7)

I’m going to run the risk of being long-winded to throw one last real opinion out there, and one that I first heard at the Creation Museum. When I read Genesis, I see that the first attack on God from the devil was an attack on God’s word. Genesis 3:1b says, “’Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?’” He questioned something that should have been clear to Eve because God said it. Genesis is just as clear and more than just an elegant narrative.

I would rather ask, “Does the evidence really say…?” than “Did God really say…?”

Christina Wilkins


Addendum: Excerpt From Dr. Henry Morris

(Thanks to David Cloud who sent this out this today)

The following is excerpted from The Beginning of the World by Dr. Henry Morris, pp. 12-15. Morris had a Ph.D. in hydraulics and hydrology from the University of Minnesota. For thirteen years he was Professor of Hydraulic Engineering and Head of the Civil Engineering Department of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University. He was a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science and the author of the textbook Applied Hydraulics in Engineering.

_________________

It is significant that present processes, which are the only kinds of processes which can be tested by the scientific method, are not in any way creative processes. That is, the basic laws of modern science, which describe these present processes, are laws of conservation and deterioration, not of creation and integration. These laws deal with the fundamental behavior of matter and energy, which actually include everything in the physical universe, and are known as the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

 

Thermodynamics (from two Greek words meaning ‘heat power’) is the science dealing with the conversion of heat and other forms of energy into work. It is now known that everything in the universe is energy in some form, and everything that ‘happens’ is basically an energy conversion process. Thus, the first and second laws of thermodynamics could just as well be called the first and second laws of science. All processes in the universe, as far as known, have to obey these two laws.

The first law of thermodynamics is also called the law of energy conservation. This law states that, although energy can be changed in form, it is not now being either created or destroyed Since all physical phenomena, including matter itself, are merely different forms of energy, this clearly implies that creation was an event of the past and is no longer going on.

The second law of thermodynamics, stated in nontechnical form, says that all physical systems, if left to themselves, tend to become disorganized. Thus, machines wear out, processes run down, organisms get old and die. Any temporary increase in organization requires an input of energy from outside the system itself.

These two universal laws are basic in all disciplines of modern science. Verified by thousands of experiments, from the nuclear level to the astronomic level, with no known exceptions, they clearly indicate that nothing is now being created and taht the original creation is ‘running down.’

This all proves, as well as ‘science’ is able to demonstrate anything, that evolution, which requires a continuing universal process of development and integration, is simply not true at the present time. This is why no one has seen evolution occurring.

There is nothing whatsoever in science to prevent us from accepting the revealed fact that God created all things, calling them into existence ex nihilo … in a fully developed and functioning state right from the beginning. This fact is confirmed not only by Scripture but also by the two laws of thermodynamics. The second law states, in effect, that the universe must have had a beginning: otherwise, since it is now running down, it would already be dead. The first law, on the other hand, states in effect that the universe could not have created itself. It must have been created, therefore, by some adequate Cause beyond itself. ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ is the most scientific statement that could possibly be made about the origin of the universe, based on the known laws of science.


Karl Giberson’s BioLogos Taken To Task

The following is a post by Dr. Albert Mohler in another “battle” with Nazarene evolutionists Kark Giberson and Darrel Falk, the main leaders at BioLogos, and proponents of “Christian evolution” and open theism. Another team member is Professor Lowell Hall, from Eastern Nazarene College as is Dr. Giberson.  Dr. Falk is from Point Loma Nazarene University.
Many of us continue to raise questions about professors such as Giberson and Falk, as they continue to push the biblically untenable position that we all came from apes, that science is superior over scripture, and that the biblical account of creation is a myth, and Adam and Eve were fables.  It’s nice to see theologians like Dr. Mohler defend scripture, but it would be great to see some Nazarene writers start to express their opinion as to whether they agree with Drs. Giberson, Falk, and other Nazarene rofessors promoting this as the only serious way to read the Bibles account of creation, or whether they trust the Bible’s account, as well as trust Jesus and the apostles themselves in their affirmation of creation and Adam and Eve.

Update: Some Nazarenes have spoken out!  This Nazarene pastor is concerned and has said some things regarding the evolution problem: http://nazarenesforbiblicalcreationism.blogspot.com/


No Pass From Theological Responsibility- The BioLogos Conundrum

Tuesday, November 9, 2010, Dr. Albert Mohler
www.albertmohler.com

BioLogos is a movement that asserts theological arguments in the public square in order to convince evangelical Christians to accept their proposals. They now have the audacity to ask for a pass from theological responsibility. That is the one thing they may not have.


Public debate is unpredictable by nature, but I have to admit that the approach undertaken by the folks at BioLogos continues to amaze me. The BioLogos movement is a straight-forward attempt to persuade evangelical Christians to embrace some form of evolutionary theory. Organized by a group that includes Dr. Francis Collins, now the Director of the National Institutes of Health, the movement seeks to marginalize objections to evolution among conservative Christians. It offers a very sophisticated website and an energetic communications strategy.

The BioLogos approach to the issue is now clear. They want to discredit evangelical objections to evolution and to convince the evangelical public that an acceptance of evolution is a means of furthering the gospel. They have leveled their guns at the Intelligent Design movement, at young earth creationism, and against virtually all resistance to the embrace of evolution. They claim that the embrace of evolution is necessary if evangelicalism is not to be intellectually marginalized in the larger culture. They have warned that a refusal to embrace evolution will doom evangelicalism to the status of an intellectual cult.

Furthermore, they have been breathtakingly honest about the theological implications of their arguments. Writers for BioLogos have repeatedly made the case that we must relinquish the inerrancy of the Bible and accept that the biblical writers worked from a defective understanding of the world and its origins. They have asserted, for example, that the Apostle Paul was simply wrong in assuming that Adam was an historical person from whom all humans are descended. They have been bold and honest in rejecting the biblical account of the Fall as historical. They have warned that an affirmation of biblical inerrancy has led evangelicalism into an “intellectual cul-de-sac.” A complete inventory of the doctrinal concessions they will demand is not yet in sight, but as I have affirmed before, they deserve credit for the honesty of their proposals.

They are also clear about their motive. In their view, the acceptance of evolution is necessary for evangelism. They are motivated, they insist, by a concern that a rejection of evolution puts Christians in a position of intellectual embarrassment. The rejection of evolution places Christians outside the intellectual pale, they assert, leading to the discrediting of the gospel. They believe that intellectuals, especially scientists, will not respect an evangelistic witness to the gospel from one who is intellectually discredited by rejecting evolution. They are embarrassed by the fact that a majority of evangelicals reject evolution, and they honestly believe that some people will not come to know Christ because they are so offended by our unwillingness to accept evolution. They have repeatedly asserted that the credibility and integrity of our Christian witness is at stake.

The writers for BioLogos have been unsparing in their criticism of evangelicals who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible or are proponents of either Intelligent Design or creationism. They initiated a public debate by presenting their arguments in the public square. But now, it appears, they really do not want a public debate at all. They want a one-way conversation.

On November 8, an article appeared at the BioLogos site that was explicitly addressed to me. The author, Mark Sprinkle, had courteously informed me by e-mail on November 7 that the article would appear the next day. And so it did.

In his article, Dr. Sprinkle uses the account of Peter and Cornelius from Acts 10 to argue that “our theology is descriptive, not prescriptive; it is our collective and halting attempt to describe in coherent terms what we know of God by what we have seen of His acts and what we have read in His Word—and, above all else, by what we have seen in the acts of the Word, Jesus.” That argument points very clearly in the direction of minimizing theology and doctrine, but it is also false. Unless a church forfeits all doctrinal responsibility, at least some theology is always prescriptive.

But theology, he argues, “is put to the test not just by our logic, but by the witness of what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of others around the world.” He then states this: “Evidence of the Spirit at work is the only true measure we have of our theology; all other measures, including whether it fits our carefully-reasoned arguments of who is in and who is out, are vanity.”

That is an interesting statement, but it is nonsensical unless there is some means of evaluating what is and is not authentic evidence of the Spirit at work. And that, of course, would mean some kind of biblical and theological test. The effort to escape theology gets us nowhere.

Dr. Sprinkle then turns to me specifically, charging that I regard those involved with BioLogos to be “confused Christians” at best. He claims that my criticism of the arguments made by figures associated with BioLogos amount to my effort to limit “God’s ability to redeem and transform whomever He so pleases, in whatever manner He so pleases.” I would greatly appreciate any reference to where I have ever addressed such an issue with reference to BioLogos. There is none. At the same time, Dr. Sprinkle’s unavoidable implication is that God’s Spirit moves in ways contrary to God’s Word — and that I do flatly and energetically reject.

Dr. Sprinkle writes with concern about “Dr. Mohler’s repeated implications and suggestions, if not outright pronouncements, that I and anyone else who does not reject evolutionary processes are, therefore, not Christian in any but a nominal or diminished way, not authentic followers of Jesus no matter what we say and despite the evidence of the Holy Spirit both in us and working through us.”

At this point, given the public nature of this statement, I have to ask the only question I know to ask. Can these people read? I defy anyone to locate a single sentence where I have ever questioned the salvation of anyone in any context where I have addressed anything related to BioLogos. I have never questioned their salvation, nor have I attempted to interrogate their hearts. I accept at face value that their ambitions and intentions in their own minds are worthy. I cannot read their souls.

I can read their words, however. Their theological arguments are published in the public arena. They are not shy about making their proposals, and they call for a radical reformulation of evangelical doctrine. Their assaults upon biblical inerrancy have not been made in private conversations, but in public discourse. Their argument that the Apostle Paul was wrong to believe in an historical Adam and an historical Fall was made in public, as was their denial of common descent through Adam.

They will have to take responsibility for these arguments. They should expect no less than a spirited debate over their proposals, and it is nothing short of bewildering that they now ask, in effect, for a pass from all theological scrutiny. They accuse conservative evangelicals of driving evangelicalism into an “intellectual cul-de-sac” and into the status of an intellectual “cult,” and then they have the audacity to complain of the “tone” of those who argue that their proposals amount to a theological disaster.

Virtually every form of theological liberalism arises from an attempt to rescue Christian theology from what is perceived to be an intellectual embarrassment — whether the virgin conception of Christ, the historicity of the miracles recorded in the Bible, or, in our immediate context, the inerrancy of Scripture and the Bible’s account of creation.

Dr. Sprinkle kindly invites me “to come and see what I see in the hearts and lives of people in the BioLogos community.” I am willing and eager to enter into any conversation that serves the cause of the gospel. But a conversation that serves the cause of the gospel cannot avoid talking about what the gospel is — and that requires theology.

BioLogos is a movement that asserts theological arguments in the public square in order to convince evangelical Christians to accept their proposals. They now have the audacity to ask for a pass from theological responsibility. That is the one thing they may not have.


Why Can’t They Just Believe The Bible?

Following are a few samples of comments from a recent discussion on the NazNet Forum, a website created by some Nazarenes for topics such as theology and Nazarene teachings.  Yet, I still am amazed at some Christians who just cannot bring themselves to trust what the scriptures say.  The topic was evolution.
(Names have been left out to minimize embarrassment).

One question: Can you be a pastor in our denomination and still believe in evolution? Here is one amazing answer.

“One theory that I rather like is that the species developed and evolved over millions of years and when it finally got to the point when there existed creatures that were basically physiologically, “human,” God stepped in with some kind of special creative act and transformed a pair of the human-like creatures (let’s call them Adam and Eve) into full humans by giving them “the image of God” (free-will, self-awareness, and/or whatever else that phrase means). The bloodlines of the rest of the then current existing species (Adam’s cousins, for example) all died off.”
It’s certainly not a theory I’m married to, but I like it.

This was written by a Nazarene pastor.  (By the way, at least seven persons thought this was a useful post). This is amazing!  So God allowed this gradual evolvement of almost human-like creatures over millions of years, and then at some point decided to make them fully human. I think it is really sad when so many Christians try to re-interpret Genesis to accommodate evolution theories, which really is more like a weak hypothesis and has very no credible evidence that supports it.  The bottom line is this: God’s description of how we were created is incompatible with any kind of evolutionary theory, including the preposterous one submitted by the commentator above.  But many Nazarenes and other Christians seem to succumb to pressure by evolutionists who try to ridicule creationists for believing the Bible.  What a sad state of affairs when man cannot fully trust in God’s word, but instead decides that he will be the arbiter of what is fact or fiction in the Holy Scriptures.

Here’s another comment:

“I take pretty much the entire first 12 chapters of Genesis as a literary way of relating a fundamental understanding of the nature and person of God- a collection of parables, if you will, which tell us about God and God’s relationship to humanity.”

This comment is not a surprise, because I hear similar ones from many emergent or liberal Nazarenes on this site, which has been described as a breeding ground for emergent ideology.  I have no doubt that this forum is primarily a vehicle for those Nazarenes who are going against Nazarene teaching, not supporting it.

One of the reasons for disbelieving the creation account is that there is a lack of proof that it happened that way.  But if we believe that God is a Being who is all-powerful and transcends all of creation, and what He does is done supernaturally, then why do we need any kind of proof before we can believe what He said in Genesis?  The only explanation is that the religion of man takes over, and man has to somehow come up with “logical” explanations of how we came to be, instead of believing in God’s word.  Oh yes, man’s religion, which includes the atheists who will try their best to discredit any and all explanations that defy “man’s wisdom.”  But as the scriptures say, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.”  Romans 1:22   “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” Romans 1:25

2. Another person responded to the question, Are they (our college professors) teaching any evidence of a great flood?

“I never took geology but I have read of evidence for a great regional flood. The Greek, Persian, Mesopotamian and surrounding cultures have stories in their myths of a great flood. Now it comes down to this: How are we to understand the word translated “earth” in the ancient texts? We know that they did not think of the earth as a planet, instead it seems that they thought of “earth” to be the dry land and in certain senses a region (“The Earth Is Not a Planet,” Karen Strand Winslow, Creation Made Free: Open Theology Engaging Science Tom Oord ed. pp. 13-27; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth#Cultural_viewpoint). So maybe just maybe if we are looking in North America for evidence of a global, planetary flood and do not find it we should not be surprised.”

Plain reading of scripture: Gen. 7:18-23  The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.h i 21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. (KJV)

There are also many more biblical references that show that the writers also believed in this global flood, and Jesus Himself referenced it.  Why then is it so hard to believe that it was a global flood that covered the entire earth?  Never mind the great amount of scientific evidence that points to a global flood, such as oceanic fossils found on mountaintops all over the world; great amounts of coal deposits that would have required a very rapid covering of vegetation; and much more evidence.

Some of these Nazarenes, some of them pastors, might even refuse to acknowledge that Adam and Eve were real.  I recall challenging Dr. Thomas Oord last year at a lecture at Eastern Nazarene College, with my answer to the question of how death and sin came to the world.  The answer was rather simple, and I referenced Romans 5:12-14, which says plainly:  “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.”
Even Jesus our Lord referenced Adam as a real historical figure, not an allegory.  But Dr. Oord did not agree with “my” explanation, which was actually the biblical explanation.

How sad that we have Nazarene professors and pastors  who not only cannot accept or doubt the biblical account, but who also promote an anti-biblical evolutionary theory, or do not believe God knows the future, or who teach that God is ever learning from man’s activities, and even makes mistakes!  Eastern Nazarene College, my old school, has a professor who believes evolution is compatible with Christianity, and who is an Open Theist and Process theologist.  But he is not the only one, and many others like Dennis Bratcher of Point Loma Nazarene University, are causing great damage by challenging the plain teachings of scripture.

What about your pastor or professor?  Does he believe in the scriptural account of the creation?  Is he grounded in the word of God, and believes in its infallibility in all that it teaches, without compromise?  Does he leave open the possibility that man evolved over millions of years, thereby contradicting the biblical account of God’s creation?  Does he “lord it over you” with his “learned ways” when you dare to oppose his belief that God does not know everything?  If so, he may very well be a victim of the post-modern way of thinking, or the damaging liberal philosophies of the New Evangelicalism which has welcomed and held hands with just about any thought or ideology, all for the sake of “getting along.” Beware, for such are the “pied pipers’ of the emergent church and other “religions of men”, leading the gullible and spiritually immature down towards the cliff and into the deep waters of unbelief and distrust.

What about you?  What do you believe: God’s account, or man’s “wisdom?”

USA Today: “We Believe in Evolution—and God”

Several Nazarene professors, one who is from my old school, ENC, are still making a name for themselves while spreading their misguided evolution ideology.  I wrote a piece a few days ago on this, but here is a review from Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis.  I felt it was worthwhile to keep the attention on this for another few days, and get the perspective from these folks who have such a great ministry defending the Bible’s truths about our creation.

Two Christian evolutionists send a broadside our way with a USA Today opinion piece this week. But do they bring up anything new?
The authors of the piece are Eastern Nazarene College professor Karl Giberson (whom we wrote about last November) and Point Loma Nazarene University professor Darrel Falk. Both are co-presidents of the new BioLogos Foundation established by Christian evolutionist Francis Collins (see the May 16 edition of News to Note).
The two begin with an unsurprising assertion: “We find no contradiction between the scientific understanding of the world, and the belief that God created that world. And that includes Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.” They add that molecules-to-man evolution “unifies the entire science of biology,” and that “evolution is as well-established within biology as heliocentricity is established within astronomy.” Then they bring out their biggest guns:

The “science” undergirding this “young earth creationism” comes from a narrow, literalistic and relatively recent interpretation of Genesis, the first book in the Bible. This “science” is on display in the Creation Museum in Kentucky, where friendly dinosaurs—one with a saddle!—cavort with humans in the Garden of Eden. . . . Science faculty at schools such as Bryan College in Tennessee and Liberty University in Virginia work on “models” to shoehorn the 15 billion year history of the universe into the past 10,000 years.

And hence the misinformation begins, which we will answer in turn. Here, we wonder if Giberson and Falk dismiss plain readings of other Bible passages as “ narrow” and “literalistic” even if those passages, like Genesis 1 show the hallmarks of being plainly worded historical accounts. And the early church fathers’ supposed doubt concerning a literal Genesis has also been dramatically exaggerated (see The Early Church on Creation). Also, as we have explained before, the saddled dinosaur in the Creation Museum is not an exhibit, but rather a fun photo opportunity for young children; it is in the basement, far from the Garden of Eden display. And the authors merely beg the question when they write that our friends at Bryan College, Liberty University, and elsewhere must “shoehorn” old-earth ideas into a young-earth framework.

Challenging accepted ideas is how America churns out Nobel Prize-winning science and patents that will drive tomorrow’s technology. But challenging authority can also undermine this country’s leadership in science, when citizens reject it. . . . [We aim] to counter the voices coming from places such as the website Answers in Genesis, which touts creation scientists, and the Discovery Institute, a think tank in Seattle, that calls on Christians to essentially choose between science and faith.

First of all, the professors have conflated operational science with origins science—a common problem we point out. Also we have made clear many times, we certainly do not reject science; we just do not believe that everything labeled “science” or that everything believed by scientists actually is good, objective science. Likewise, we regularly emphasize that the supposed dichotomy between religion (or faith) and science is false. The issue is not that we fight the encroachment of science; rather, we believe that one’s starting point is an inherently religious belief that determines how one interprets the results of the scientific method.

Darwin proposed the theory of evolution in 1859 in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. This controversial text presented evidence that present-day life forms have descended from common ancestors via natural selection. Organisms better adapted to their environments had more offspring, and these fitness adaptations accumulated across the millennia. And this is how new species arose.

Natural selection is a readily observed, experimentally verified scientific fact that requires no historical speculation, and as such, our Creation Museum has an exhibit that explains it. We agree that natural selection can lead to new species within a kind as it reduces the genetic information in a population, resulting in sexual incompatibility where there previously was none. But Darwin and those who follow him extrapolate backward from these observations all the way to a single ancestor of all life. That assertion can never be proved right or wrong from fossils or any other present-day scientific study.

We are trained scientists who believe in God, but we also believe that science provides reliable information about nature. We don’t view evolution as sinister and atheistic. We think it is simply God’s way of creating. . . . Evolution is not a chaotic and wasteful process, as the critics charge.

We agree that the scientific method can show certain hypotheses to be more reliable than others through the process of attempted falsification. However, “science” does not provide anything—saying as much is to commit the fallacy of reification. We also would ask if the authors believe in the true, bodily resurrection of Jesus, given that such is as “scientifically” unverifiable as creation. Next, by using the word “sinister,” the authors imply that young-earth creationists are afraid of evolution. Rather, we understand the idea of evolution; it is simply that we don’t believe it is true for biblical and logical reasons. And the authors seem to be deluding themselves by writing that evolution is not “chaotic and wasteful,” given that young-earth creationists believe God created a world of life in one week without any death. The fossil record, however, is a record of death and includes evidence of violence and disease, such as cancer. Why would God call that “very good” if death is an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26) introduced by sin, which could not have occurred before man (Romans 5:12–14)?

We understand science as a gift from God to explore the creation, a companion revelation enriching the understanding of God we get from other sources, such as the Bible. Many do not realize that making the Bible into a textbook of modern science is a recent development. What we learn from science cannot threaten our belief in God as the creator. If God created the universe in a [b]ig [b]ang 15 billion years ago, guided its development with elegant mathematical laws so that eventually there would be big-brained mammals exploring things such as beauty, morality and truth, then let us celebrate that idea, not reject it.

Again, we agree that science can help us explore creation. But the authors’ description of it as a “companion revelation” forces a question: is everything reported in a scientific journal automatically as valid as Scripture? What about when the two come into conflict—such as if an archaeologist alleges that the Bible’s history is inaccurate? Again, the church fathers overwhelmingly believed in a recent creation as the Bible taught. And of course we do not make the Bible a “textbook of modern science,” since it is a book of history. And again, the authors fallaciously reify “science.” What Richard Dawkins believes the scientific method shows certainly does threaten one’s belief in God. Finally, there is the word if: “If God created the universe in a [b]ig [b]ang 15 billion years ago . . . .” The authors seem to misunderstand our perspective entirely, again, falsely implying that our position is due to fear or unwillingness to consider what it would mean to celebrate the big bang, etc.
Sadly, the visibility of Giberson and Falk’s piece will surely misinform many who don’t actually know what we and other young-earth creationists believe. Even while lobbying tired old defenses of theistic evolution, the authors did not answer a single of our substantive problems with compromise (which are documented in the articles linked below). Still, we are thankful for the continued attention on the Creation Museum, which continues to be the best chance many have for beginning to understand the creationist’s perspective—and for meeting the Creator.
Here are some other related links from Answers in Genesis:

Ten Dangers of theistic evolution:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v17/i4/theistic_evolution.asp

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/couldnt-god-have-used-evolution

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/why-christians-shouldnt-accept-millions

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/did-jesus-say-he-created-in-six-days

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/is-natural-selection-evolution

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/wow/does-the-big-bang-fit