Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Experts: 70% Chance of Major Earthquake in Tokyo
In the next four years there is a 70% chance that Japan could be rocked again with incredible damage. Read more here from CNN.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pulpit Evangelism & The Elect
Great stuff. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What Is God Sovereign Over?

During my college days I was privileged to have some really amazing people around me.  One of these amazing friends was Justin Taylor.  Justin challenged me to consider my views of God's sovereignty in all things.  Through an entire year of my life my soul and mind were stretched in painful ways as I sought out the Biblical answers I was looking for.  Finally, the truth of God's Word overcame my man-centered worldview.  The following is Justin's own summary of what the Bible teaches concerning these things.  I now heartily concur.

The Bible verses below are far from exhaustive, and each should be interpreted according to its genre and context. But I am convinced that these verses—rightly interpreted—definitively establish God’s absolute sovereignty over all things. And since compatiblism is true, none of this contradicts the equally biblical teaching that Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) and that human choices are genuine and significant.
God Is Sovereign Over . . .
Seemingly random things:
The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the LORD.
(Proverbs 16:33)
The heart of the most powerful person in the land:

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will.
(Proverbs 21:1)
Our daily lives and plans:
A man’s steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?
(Proverbs 20:24)
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
(Proverbs 19:21)
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. . . .  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
(James 4:13-15)
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
(Romans 9:15-16)
As many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
(Acts 13:48)
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
(Romans 8:29-30)
Life and death:
See now that I, even I, am he,
and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
(Deuteronomy 32:39)
The LORD kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
(1 Samuel 12:6)
Then the LORD said to [Moses], “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?”
(Exodus 4:11)
The death of God’s Son:
Jesus, [who was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
(Acts 2:23)
For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
(Acts 4:27-28)
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief. . . .
(Isaiah 53:10)
Evil things:
Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster come to a city,
unless the LORD has done it?
(Amos 3:6)
I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the LORD, who does all these things.
(Isaiah 45:7)
“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. . . . “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
(Job 1:21-22; 2:10)
[God] sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. . . . As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
(Psalm 105:17; Genesis 50:21)
All things:
[God] works all things according to the counsel of his will.
(Ephesians 1:11)
Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.
(Psalm 115:3)
I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
(Job 42:2)
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”
(Daniel 4:35)
15 Questions for Evolutionists
From Creation.com:

  1. How did life originate? Evolutionist Professor Paul Davies admitted, “Nobody knows how a mixture of lifeless chemicals spontaneously organized themselves into the first living cell.”1 Andrew Knoll, professor of biology, Harvard, said, “we don’t really know how life originated on this planet”.2 A minimal cell needs several hundred proteins. Even if every atom in the universe were an experiment with all the correct amino acids present for every possible molecular vibration in the supposed evolutionary age of the universe, not even one average-sized functional protein would form. So how did life with hundreds of proteins originate just by chemistry without intelligent design? See: creation.com/loopholes.
  2. How did the DNA code originate? The code is a sophisticated language system with letters and words where the meaning of the words is unrelated to the chemical properties of the letters—just as the information on this page is not a product of the chemical properties of the ink (or pixels on a screen). What other coding system has existed without intelligent design? How did the DNA coding system arise without it being created? See: creation.com/code.
  3. How could mutations—accidental copying mistakes (DNA ‘letters’ exchanged, deleted or added, genes duplicated, chromosome inversions, etc.)—create the huge volumes of information in the DNA of living things? How could such errors create 3 billion letters of DNA information to change a microbe into a microbiologist? There is information for how to make proteins but also for controlling their use—much like a cookbook contains the ingredients as well as the instructions for how and when to use them. One without the other is useless. See: creation.com/meta-information. Mutations are known for their destructive effects, including over 1,000 human diseases such as hemophilia. Rarely are they even helpful. But how can scrambling existing DNA information create a new biochemical pathway or nano-machines with many components, to make ‘goo-to-you’ evolution possible? E.g., How did a 32-component rotary motor like ATP synthase (which produces the energy currency, ATP, for all life), or robots like kinesin (a ‘postman’ delivering parcels inside cells) originate? See: creation.com/train.
  4. Why is natural selection, a principle recognized by creationists, taught as ‘evolution’, as if it explains the origin of the diversity of life? By definition it is a selective process (selecting from already existing information), so is not a creative process. It might explain the survival of the fittest (why certain genes benefit creatures more in certain environments), but not the arrival of the fittest (where the genes and creatures came from in the first place). The death of individuals not adapted to an environment and the survival of those that are suited does not explain the origin of the traits that make an organism adapted to an environment. E.g., how do minor back-and-forth variations in finch beaks explain the origin of beaks or finches? How does natural selection explain goo-to-you evolution? See: creation.com/defining-terms.
  5. How did new biochemical pathways, which involve multiple enzymes working together in sequence, originate? Every pathway and nano-machine requires multiple protein/enzyme components to work. How did lucky accidents create even one of the components, let alone 10 or 20 or 30 at the same time, often in a necessary programmed sequence. Evolutionary biochemist Franklin Harold wrote, “we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.3 See: creation.com/motor (includes animation).
  6. Living things look like they were designed, so how do evolutionists know that they were not designed? Richard Dawkins wrote, “biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.”4 Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, wrote, “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”5 The problem for evolutionists is that living things show too much design. Who objects when an archaeologist says that pottery points to human design? Yet if someone attributes the design in living things to a designer, that is not acceptable. Why should science be restricted to naturalistic causes rather than logical causes? See: creation.com/design_legit.
  7. How did multi-cellular life originate? How did cells adapted to individual survival ‘learn’ to cooperate and specialize (including undergoing programmed cell death) to create complex plants and animals? See: creation.com/multicellularity.
  8. How did sex originate? Asexual reproduction gives up to twice as much reproductive success (‘fitness’) for the same resources as sexual reproduction, so how could the latter ever gain enough advantage to be selected? And how could mere physics and chemistry invent the complementary apparatuses needed at the same time (non-intelligent processes cannot plan for future coordination of male and female organs). See: creation.com/evosex.
  9. Why are the (expected) countless millions of transitional fossils missing? Darwin noted the problem and it still remains. The evolutionary family trees in textbooks are based on imagination, not fossil evidence. Famous Harvard paleontologist (and evolutionist), Stephen Jay Gould, wrote, “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology”.6 Other evolutionist fossil experts also acknowledge the problem. See: creation.com/pattquote.
  10. How do ‘living fossils’ remain unchanged over supposed hundreds of millions of years, if evolution has changed worms into humans in the same time frame? Professor Gould wrote, “the maintenance of stability within species must be considered as a major evolutionary problem.”7 See: creation.com/werner.
  11. How did blind chemistry create mind/ intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality? If everything evolved, and we invented God, as per evolutionary teaching, what purpose or meaning is there to human life? Should students be learning nihilism (life is meaningless) in science classes? See: creation.com/chesterton.
  12. Why is evolutionary ‘just-so’ story-telling tolerated? Evolutionists often use flexible story-telling to ‘explain’ observations contrary to evolutionary theory. NAS(USA) member Dr Philip Skell wrote, “Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive—except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed—except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.”8 See: creation.com/sexstories.
  13. Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution? Dr Marc Kirschner, chair of the Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, stated: “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”9 Dr Skell wrote, “It is our knowledge of how these organisms actually operate, not speculations about how they may have arisen millions of years ago, that is essential to doctors, veterinarians, farmers … .”10 Evolution actually hinders medical discovery.11 Then why do schools and universities teach evolution so dogmatically, stealing time from experimental biology that so benefits humankind? See: creation.com/science#relevance.
  14. Science involves experimenting to figure out how things work; how they operate. Why is evolution, a theory about history, taught as if it is the same as this operational science? You cannot do experiments, or even observe what happened, in the past. Asked if evolution has been observed, Richard Dawkins said, “Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening.”12 See: creation.com/notscience#distinction.
  15. Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, taught in science classes? Karl Popper, famous philosopher of science, said “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical [religious] research programme ….”13 Michael Ruse, evolutionist science philosopher admitted, “Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”14 If “you can’t teach religion in science classes”, why is evolution taught? See: creation.com/evo-religious, creation.com/notscience.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Devil Hates this Video
This is the most powerful 3 min. video I've seen in a long time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Persecutions in Pakistan
Powerful post here from CNN's Belief blog.
So thankful that these voices are being heard.  Pray for these dear brothers and sisters, and pray that we who live in relative ease have the love and boldness to continue to bring the good news of Christ to the Middle East.
(HT: Z)