Science versus Revelation

By John Henderson

I read of a “debate” recently at a Nazarene university where two participants were invited to present the creationist position as opposed to the evolutionary position.  That was for just one session among others where they were not included.  The report indicated that the creationists were not in friendly territory and their message showed no indications of being well-received.  I did note that one of the pro-evolution representatives is a Nazarene elder who has never, to my knowledge, given a clear testimony of ever having been born again but submits himself as an expert on Wesleyanism.

As tragic as it is that this went on in a Nazarene supported school with no repercussions from the denomination in any way, I want to use that as a backdrop to address the idea of science—the very thing evolutionists completely hang their argument on so far as their assumed evidence is concerned.  In spite of the fact there are those who attempt to meld theology with evolutionism, I am in full agreement with atheistic evolutionists that theology of any sort is in no way compatible with evolutionism. Both are mutually exclusive. The evolutionists readily scoff at the very idea and see it as a joke.  I agree, except I am not laughing.

In a way, I take it personally for two reasons.  The first has to do with my unmoving commitment to revelational truth as put forth in the inerrant Scriptures.  The other reason is related to my own training and experiences in academic research principles.  I will deal with only the latter here.

Fundamentally speaking, science is no more than a system of observation, discovery, and interpretation of what has been discovered and observed.  Interpretation is that which attempts to make sense of what has been discovered and observed and it is often a mixture of much subjectivity and enough objectivity to offer a sense of credibility.

A true scientist recognizes that he or she is always faced with at least four major obstacles in research:  missing information, point in time, uncontrollable influences (variables), and bias in interpretation.  In other words, no science is absolutely certain of anything at any point in time.  That is why it is always changing in the face of new data and ways of thinking.  It is even honest enough to come up with what is called a margin of error because it recognizes the potential weaknesses in its own research.

Because of these weaknesses, science is not a highly reliable tool in supporting interpretations. Even hard evidence, as in chemistry, is subject to being misinterpreted. Many times researchers have come away with egg on their faces because new data has destroyed their former assumptions about the previous data.  This fluid condition is a given albatross in legitimate research.  That is why it is an ongoing process and that is why things in life are being improved across time with “new” discoveries and developments.

Essentially beginning a scientific investigation is to start with what is called a null hypothesis.  The null hypothesis says that you have come up with an idea about something after looking and poking around a bit but that your initial assumptions about it are not true because they have not been proven true.  The research that follows attempts to prove the null hypothesis—that your initial assumptions cannot be proved.  If the results do not support the null hypothesis, you then make the opposite assumptions (interpretations) that the data is probably true, given a few qualifications:  point in time, conditions of the research, unknown and uncontrollable factors influencing results, etc. that lead to the assumption of a margin of error.

When all of this is applied to the various disciplines of research, it becomes even more problematic.  As you move from “pure” science (that in which every variable is controlled, but still imperfectly—you let in only those variables you want for that study into a “closed” environment),  into an open environment, such as some social research involving questionnaires and people-responses, the researcher’s control is drastically reduced.  One can never be certain in those environments that the interpretations are certain because the data are so mixed with uncontrolled variables it comes down to making interpretations about something very narrow and highly unreliable, especially when generalized outside of the research parameters.  One ends up with “results” that, at best, can be claimed to maybe be valid and reliable for that particular set of variables at that particular point in time in that particular environment.

Evolutionists of all stripes manage to dance around all of these obstacles to come forth with such “certainty” that would make an angel blush with shame.  When a “theologian” presumes to relegate the Scriptures to scrutiny by science, that “theologian” is treading in the quicksand of faulty logic and highly unreliable and unpredictable authority.  They are taking the Scriptures that exist on absolute certainty by virtue of divine revelation and arbitrarily making them amenable to science which isn’t even sure of itself at any point in time.  In other words, they are basically making it up as they go.

It is tremendously foolish to presume that biblical truth can be measured by science, so-called (that is a quote from the Scriptures).  Science depends solely on the outcome of creation, not the other way around.  We know creation in two ways:  the heavens declare the glory of God and the Bible provides an accurate account of the creation.  Granted, the creation is not a step-by-step description but is panoramic.  Someone has rightly said that the Bible does not contain all that God knows.

There is more to God than is revealed in the pages of the Bible.  Enough is said to inform us of what we need to know according to His will for us.  I cannot build a computer but I can use one.  I cannot build a car but I can drive one.  All of life is like that.  I know what I need to know without having to know everything there is to know about anything. Someone once asked a Christian if he was not bothered by the things in the Bible he did not understand.  He replied that that was not what concerned him.  What concerned him was what he did understand.

Dr. Gran’pa
(John Henderson)

 

Related Article:  http://www.worldmag.com/2014/03/defending_design

 

All This Fuss About Inspiration

By John Henderson

It is becoming apparent to me that the attempts to discredit and diminish the Scriptures are foundational to all postmodern errors}

Our times (which I believe are the End Times) are replete with openly conflicting ideas about the inspiration of the Scriptures. This is just one among other key issues that are clearly connected. Sadly, the championing of anything other than the complete inspiration of the Scriptures is coming from within the evangelical community, especially the so-called holiness movement—and especially from much of the Church of the Nazarene leadership and those in positions of influence.

I have been around long enough to remember that only “modernists” openly espoused such nonsense as is being espoused by today’s neo-orthodox adherents in our midst. At that time, those of us in the evangelical circles never questioned among ourselves the inerrancy, authenticity, authority, and total reliability of the inspiration of the Scriptures. About all we discussed was how the Scriptures were inspired—verbal, dictatorial, or plenary. Otherwise, we were in complete agreement that the Word of God was the Word of God. That was never questioned among us.

There were those in academia who may have been doing philosophical diggings and speculations but they were so vague to us that we didn’t pay them a whole lot of attention. No one seemed to pay them much mind one way or the other until they had gained a menacing foothold in our organizations and control began to slip through our fingers and into their grasp.

Well, we should have! Slowly—incrementally—they managed to create a major shift in the way many of the supercilious among the evangelicals look at the Scriptures. (I make a distinction between those “among us” and those who were actually of us).

No longer do they take God at His Word, if they ever did. They question His Word. They do not question us. They challenge His Word. They do not challenge us. A pigeon may as well challenge a jumbo jet, but they don’t seem to care one way or the other. Their own deception is deeply rooted in them and they think they can somehow out-maneuver God and bring Him in line with their opinions. Just like their father, the devil, they presume to ascend to the very throne of God. They cannot rise to His level so, in their own imagination, try to pull Him down to theirs. I think they may be stupid enough to think they actually do.

It is a fantasy, to be sure, but they are completely insensible to that fact. The imaginary god they have re-invented goes along with them very well but they do not comprehend that the God of creation will have nothing to do with their foolishness and is becoming increasingly agitated with the whole affair.

It is becoming apparent to me that the attempts to discredit and diminish the Scriptures are foundational to all postmodern errors. That is where it all begins. That is where it is all deeply rooted. A synthetic concept of tarnished Scriptures is the very hub of all modern apostasy. An honored and cherished Scriptures is the obvious antidote.

It has been said that you become what you eat. Someone may have also said that you are what you think. The Scriptures do tell us that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). It is a foregone conclusion that a person follows through most readily on the things that occupy the mind the most. Facts—truth—has no bearing on that at all. Most people tend to argue from the standpoint of a prior accumulation of subjective opinion. At some point, arbitrarily biased opinion replaces facts and evidence as the authority in a matter.

There is a reason that Paul admonishes in Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Humanity is tragically flawed, especially when it come to the mind and the exercise of free-will. We are so overly proud of our puny mental abilities and boast like a hen that just laid an egg as if that was really something. We desperately need the right guidance and the only source of absolute truth is the Bible.

Some say that the Bible is relevant only in matters concerning salvation. That can be true only in the sense that everything in creation is relative to salvation in some way. Actually, everything is relative to the glory of God and that includes salvation. When the Bible speaks of “scientific” matters, it points to the glory of God. The same is true of all other topics the Bible engages. “Science” and its earthy companions are useless aside from how it all glorifies God. To try to separate them as somehow superior to biblical revelation is a false premise. It becomes a house of cards that is easily tumbled by the slightest breeze of truth.

So the hammers continue to pound against the anvil of God’s Word. The Anvil still stands and the hammers break, one by one, and fall into the dust of fading memories. There will be many more hammers but there will only be the one Anvil. Each hammer will think it will be the one to break the Anvil only to finally break apart itself.

Psalm 119:160 – “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”

​John Henderson

 

Fo further reference: Is The Bible Inspired?

 

The Vacuousness of Arrogance

Ken Ham Bill Nye Debate

This coming Tuesday at 7 pm EST, you will have an opportunity to see a debate between Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and Ken Ham, president of Answers In Genesis.  The topic is evolution​, which is being promoted more and more by prominent leaders, pastors and theologians in the Church of the Nazarene, as well as other denominations.  Go to www.debatelive.org and register for the live streaming.  Invite some friends over, listen to this presentation of two diametrically opposing views, and decide for yourself.

The following article was written by my friend John Henderson and is related to that same topic.The Vacuousness of Arrogance

By John Henderson

“He knew not what to say, so he swore,” is supposed to have been stated by one of America’s founding fathers.  It goes to the point that human intelligence is painfully limited and incapable of going beyond its own limitations.  That is true of the genius and the moron, and most of us are somewhere in the middle of that.  Unfortunately, there is a tendency to puff up that lack with the hot air of pride.

I no longer debate irrationality (if I ever did) except to furnish information for those sincerely in search of truth.  When Mr. Obama recently closed his 2014 state of the union address by saying:  “The debate is over, climate change is real,” I felt no compulsion to respond with the specifics—actually lack of evidences—in that argument.  When atheistic evolutionists and phony creation evolutionists make their unfounded assertions because they reject the clear revelational truth of the Scriptures, I simply go back to the Bible and trust God that what He said is true.  It is not a blind trust, either.  I have seen God at work in the arenas of faith and have seen Him prove Himself over and over.

My reasoning is that I cannot debate a closed mind.  It is like digging a hole in a mud puddle.  Every shovelful removed is immediately filled with more mud.

Just the same, I think it important to address the system of logic that is used in most error, using evolutionism as an example.  Evolutionism claims that everything, especially “higher life” evolves from something before it—presumably something like a “lower order.”  Just how that order is decided is never explained.  If that reasoning is carried to its logical conclusion (and this is often presented as a creationist’s retort) there has to be a first cause.

If a first cause is identified (and evolutionists have yet to do that) they are still obligated by their own logic to explain how that first cause came to be.  After a while it becomes like trying to string popcorn while it is cooking and deciding which ones were to be first onto the string.

What evolutionists actually do is to haphazardly pick up at some assumed point and make assertions in both directions—all the while without observing or producing a shred of pure unadulterated evidence of change outside of adaptations that were pre-existing within a species.  All of their evidence is so thickly buttered with biased interpretations that it is like putting lipstick on a pig.

What I am saying is that they begin with an assumption and never give up on it regardless of the evidence or lack of evidence.  They willfully ignore the obvious for the fantasy.  The heavens declare God’s creative glory and they refuse to see it.  As someone has said, they cannot see the sun because the sun’s own brightness obscures it from natural view.

They cannot see it because the work of God is not understood by human intelligence.  We are limited to discovery only.  We are incapable of understanding and explaining origins.  It is not possible for our human intelligence to operate outside of our small boxes of discovering what already exists. We can only discover what already is. Forming or decrypting new things from nothing is not our privilege.  We only have what exists and that will explain God to us very well unless we decide we do not want to acknowledge God in our thoughts.  Then, we are no better off than trying to string together—in sequence—the exploded kernels in a pot of popcorn as it cooks.

There is one other area of intelligence that the natural mind cannot grasp.  It is in the spiritual realm.  It is possessed only by mankind (not animals) and can only be activated when the soul is in right relationship with Christ as Savior.  It is there that spiritual things are actually understood by the spiritual mind.  The carnal mind can never comprehend spiritual things because it is darkened by rebellion’s ignorance.  A blind man can stare his entire life at the mountains and valleys and never once see them.  He may declare they do not exist because he has never seen them.  It is not that they do not exist.  The man is blind and cannot see what is there before him.

Faith is the blind man’s taking the word of a friend that they exist.  There is a song we used to sing called “Beyond the Sunset.”  It is said to have been written by a blind man whose friend had described a sunset to him.  That man wrote about what can only be seen by those whose hearts are right with God.  The Christian can see way beyond the sunset into eternal realities and aside from the natural eye.

Truly, the pride of a man goes before his own fall.  He stumbles over the debris of his own failed logic especially when he must come face to face with the Creator—the real First Cause.  He pitifully stumbles through life thrashing indiscriminately about in the darkness as though he were all-wise, puffing hard to keep his own punctured ego inflated enough to give the appearance of substance until he exhausts all of his own unrenewable resources and finds himself as the nothing he always was, the nothing he made himself to be when he could have been all things in Christ.

After all of the smokescreen has dissipated, the evolutionists and anyone who believes and teaches error is left standing there still unable to offer anything as good as, let alone better than, the self-evident realities that God created all that exists and that all that exists was created by God.  His solutions fall far short of anything as reasonable and true as that: “The debate is over!  Creation by God is a fact!”  Truth is God’s alone!

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:25-31).

If it is not possible for the natural mind to compete with the basest and most foolish things of nature (of which it is a part) so as to understand what they are teaching, I find it profoundly amazing that one could be so intoxicated with his own opinion and foolhardily overconfident as to assume he knows what God knows or even more so—or that anyone would believe his outrageous claims.  They become an affiliation of surreal dupes and clowns bent on self-destruction for the mere sake of self-destruction.

Dr. Gran’pa
(John Henderson)

Reaching Today’s Youth

By John Henderson

Life has spanned enough years for me to observe the different modes leaders in the church have used to reach the youth of our generation.  My wife and I are products of the youth outreach of our time.  There has been a noticeable change in the approach to reaching the young people from that time to this.

Even before our own time, there was the YMCA and YWCA.  Those were actually evangelistic arms of the church.  We have seen now that not only has evangelism ceased in them but any real semblance of Christ or Christianity exists except for smatterings of some sort of general morality.  Even that is not all that much emphasized.

We were exposed to Youth for Christ and came to Christ and grew spiritually under its banner.  Churches had Sunday evening youth services that have now gone from what they once were to being hardly noticeable, if at all. Not much is heard of YFC these days.  It, Campus Crusade for Christ, and others seem to have faded and some have taken on the identity and mission of the emergent church movement.

Somehow and gradually, the notion arose that assumed young people should be reached in their own sub-culture.  That sub-culture was largely identified by the worldly influences in vogue at the time, especially in the “music” of that sub-culture.  The choruses and gospel songs were soon replaced with rock-and-roll sounds that contained hints of being gospel in some way.  That was further enhanced by “worship” music set to shallow ditties that were justified because they somehow alluded to something Christian. Gone were the youth songs and choruses of the past that always supplemented the major hymns and songs of Christ and the entire shebang was replaced by this new music.

Music has always been a teacher of theology and so it still is.  It is just that the theology changed to suit the music or else the music was changed to reflect the new theology.  We may sometimes call it contemporary but is far from contemporary.  It is just rehashed out of the world into a veneer of gospel.

Frankly, we have it all wrong.  We shall never reach young people for Christ by giving them amended worldliness.  If nothing has changed over the years, it is the simplicity of the gospel.  It is like a beautiful girl and when we gaudily dress it up like a floozy, we ruin the beauty that is there by nature.  I have peered into areas used for youth activities and saw what resembled night clubs more than places for prayer.  Add to that the stage performances—and the stages themselves—and there is no doubt as to what is being learned.

We should be bringing our youth into environments that more resemble the church as it should be.  They should be exposed to learning the Bible and memorizing the Scriptures.  They should be trained in praying and in witnessing so that they can actually pray with a fellow young person until that person meets Christ in repentance and faith.  Their music doesn’t have to sound like it is from the Middle Ages but it should have the same depth of message in it that they should be hearing in regular church.  In other words, they should be in training for taking the leadership when they become responsible adults.  If they remain trained in shallowness that is what they will carry into the church’s leadership when it is their turn to lead.  That is, those who hang around long enough to actually take the reins of leadership.

I can fondly remember the experiences on the youth services of my day.  I loved walking into a meeting being conducted by youth and hearing gospel songs being sung and a young person preaching as well as many adults I ever heard.  I loved standing around a bon fire on the beach at night while we shared memory verses and testimonies of the saving grace of Christ and the struggles we were having at school because of our testimonies.  I recall youth camps that were reflections of the old-fashioned camp meetings the adults were running.  In fact, there were no serious differences between youth and adult services except perhaps ours were more youthfully vibrant.  The content was just as deep biblically.

By the way!  Good marriages were bred in those environments.  Calls to the ministry and the mission field were answered there.  Lives I still know about were rooted in Christ there and are still grounded in Him.  Time never changes anything.  The only thing that ever changes is commitment to Christ and the Word of God.

Dr. Gran’pa
(John Henderson)

 

Internal Evidence of Inspiration, Part II

Internal Evidence of Inspiration, Part II

Betrayal is the most treacherous of the undermining of others.  When Rimmer said that higher criticism’s second purpose was to pretend to be Bible-friendly but actually betray what it purported to support, he was describing the deepest sedition possible.  Like Judas, higher criticism and its hell-impregnated whore-daughter, the emergent church, haughtily seek only the downfall of the Scriptures only for its own temporal gain.  Like Judas, the time will come when its own judgment will fall upon its head but it closes a blind eye to that as if that somehow will make it not happen.

Purpose is the core feature of intentions.  Betraying the Scriptures through feigned allegiance is its design, its objective.  It never intends to honor and support the Word of God in any way.  So-called higher criticism may have presented itself as defending the Bible from the attacks of atheists and “radical rationalists”[1] for a while but it actually became agreeable partners with them.  Higher critics are ripe recruits for atheism and many of the character in the church have heartily joined them.  Rimmer states that the Bible “would have suffered untold harm and eternal defeat from these false followers, had it not been the inspired, infallible Word of God.”  Any other document could not have survived the attacks. God’s Word is undefeatable, thank the Lord!

While the methods of higher criticism (equivalent to modern neo-orthodoxy and postmodernism) are varied, their technique “is broad enough to embrace any procedure that eventually will discredit the text of the Scriptures.”  The more in and among us they can be, the more damaging they can be—much like the termites that destroyed that Bible in the picture.

Rimmer describes some and there are others we know of in our own times.  They all follow the same pattern of using some method to discredit the Scriptures:  language idiosyncrasies, incomplete and poor historical “facts”, false applications of scientific theory, etc.  “So, in every case where higher criticism has depended upon literary peculiarity, external evidences, theories of science, and supposed history to discredit the Book, the critics have found a Waterloo in each of these chosen fields.”  They ruled our God and the supernatural and judged His Book by natural means only.  They were big game hunters armed with fishing rods.

The wise student of the Bible “proceeds upon the premise that this Book, being in a class by itself, must be studied by rules peculiar to itself….When a supernatural book is measured entirely by a natural standard, the inquirer remains in ignorance of its content and its purpose.”

The critic of the inspired Scriptures takes the first step in repudiating the Bible by setting aside the doctrine of revelation.  Truth is always revelational and that holds especially for the Scriptures.  This becomes the critic’s lynchpin for declaring the sacred record of God as myth, allegory, poetical imagination, etc. and thus declaring the whole Bible at great variance with modern science.  I still hear exactly that today!  As Rimmer boldly and accurately says, these wolves in sheep’s clothing seek to hand back to the Church an emasculated edition of the Bible that is robbed of its soul-saving and supernatural power.

Although the pattern of attack is similar among them, then as now, there has never been unanimity among them.  The more radical critics admit to infidelity.  They deny Christ’s deity and “offer us a humanistic personage who is the flower of evolution.”  They ask us to “worship a defeated and baffled martyr whose tragedy eventuated because he was born centuries too soon.”  Modernism (and now postmodernism) try to hand us a beautiful and appealing Jesus who is the leader of a lost cause.  This leads to their also setting aside the atonement by calmly ignoring every element of the supernatural in the life of the Son of God.

The more “conservative” critics of the Scriptures will claim to believe in certain kinds of inspiration.  “They even talk of the relationship of Christ to God and profess to see some measure of benefit in His atonement.  They talk glibly of the spiritual benefit of the Bible, as seen from their point of view.”   They stand in pulpits, sit in chairs of colleges and seminaries, and hold high positions in the church while “seeking to arm us with rubber weapons from an arsenal that no longer contains the sword of the Spirit.  They offer a questionable Scripture as the premise of a possible salvation.”

They are void of legitimate logic and use false reasoning to undermine dependence on the Bible as the authoritative revelation from God.  They diminish the records that tell of Christ into something bogus and thus present a faulty concept of Jesus.  If what they claim should be true, the human race would still lost in sin and we must wait for another Savior.

It comes to this.  We have a choice between the orthodox (revealed truth in the Scriptures as self-evident) or the false premise of modernism, postmodernism, and the emergent church heresy concerning the Scriptures.  The difference is this:

“The orthodox hypothesis [premise] is—Almighty God revealed the matter and inspired the writers of the Bible.

“The critical theory [notion] is—The Book is a natural development written by men more or less overruled by God. (It may be said in passing that the ‘more or less’ is determined entirely by the scholar’s own views.)”

There is evidence in the Bible itself, book by book, that proves its own genuineness as being the inerrantly inspired Word of God.  It is a matter of seeing it for what it is and what is on its pages.  It is a matter of being led and taught by the Holy Spirit as the legitimate Revealer of truth.  One needs no other argument than the declaration of the Bible itself.  Any honest and objective analysis of the Bible will support its right to its claim of divine inspiration.

These three articles have sought to establish what the issue is—the question of divine inspiration and absolute authority of the sixty-six books of the Bible and its nature of internal evidence. 

The coming articles will address six key sources of internal evidence under the topics as stated by Rimmer:  Who chose the books of the Bible? The need of revelation; The claims of the prophets; The claims of the apostles; The testimony of Jesus Christ; and The voice of prophecy. I will try to condense key thoughts as much as possible so as to produce as few articles as possible while covering those things that matter most in understanding and internalizing the truth that the Bible proves its own divine inspiration.


[1] Radical rationalists = and extreme form of the theory that holds that reason alone, unaided by experience, can arrive at basic truth.