Ian Stamps – Restore: Fight for Restoration
Ian Stamps – School Supplies: Add to Your Faith
Brandon Braun – My Name Is…Alive
According to Scripture, God finished making the whole universe in six days, and rested on the seventh. However, theistic evolutionists insist that God made galaxies, planets, and all living things by means of natural processes, using the same physical laws that govern the universe today. But, if the laws of nature possess such creative power …View full post
How Are You Going to Change? “Please forgive me and set me free.” I don’t know how many times I’ve prayed this prayer; it must be in the hundreds. “Father, here I am again, confessing the same sin to you again.” Every time I have to remind myself of God’s merciful character and gospel promises. …View full post
What made the difference? What explains the division between those who accept and those who reject the preaching of the good news? It is tempting to look for an explanation of the difference in the way we explain other differences between people, in terms of class, or occupation, or age or personality. But the evidence …View full post
I broke my arm two years ago. It was the first broken bone of my life. I thought it would be fun to expose my kids to the joys of roller skating at the local roller rink. I wanted to share the fun of skating to sounds of the latest pop music, eating roller rink …View full post
The woman left her water jar beside the well and went back to the village and told everyone, “Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did! Can this be the Messiah?” John 4:28-29 She had left her home for the express purpose of drawing water. She had carried a large vessel …View full post
(This was my contribution to the Servants of Grace series on Ephesians). Ephesians 1:3-6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should …View full post
INTRODUCTION A theology of mission “can be reduced to the wonderful yet challenging task of unpacking just what that means – to be sent by God on his assignment into the world.” Missions is ultimately “each believer’s greatest joy and privilege.” With the aforementioned statements as a foundation, this paper will engage what the Old …View full post
According to Scripture, God finished making the whole universe in six days, and rested on the seventh. However, theistic evolutionists insist that God made galaxies, planets, and all living things by means of natural processes, using the same physical laws that govern the universe today. But, if the laws of nature possess such creative power and the world continues to evolve under their influence, then is creation really a finished work? Many theistic evolutionists openly declare that it is not. Even though the Bible says that God completed the world long ago, theistic evolutionists say the world is still under construction.
Below, we will examine the Bible’s treatment of this subject in more detail. Afterward, we will consider various strategies theistic evolutionists use to try to get around the Bible’s teaching, and explain why they do not succeed.
Day 7 — Creation completed
The creation account in Genesis concludes with these words:
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:1–3)
Nowhere on the seventh day does God say, “Let there be…” or produce anything new, as was His repeating pattern on the previous six days. Instead, the world is described as “finished”.
How Are You Going to Change?
“Please forgive me and set me free.” I don’t know how many times I’ve prayed this prayer; it must be in the hundreds. “Father, here I am again, confessing the same sin to you again.” Every time I have to remind myself of God’s merciful character and gospel promises. I am forgiven. But I also really want to change.
Have you despaired of ever changing? Do you think you’re a lost cause? Maybe you think it’s different for you. Other people can change, but your history or temptations or problems make it different for you.
The glorious good news of Jesus is that you and I can change.
Part of the problem is we often try to change in the wrong way.
It seems our first instinct when we want to change is to do something. We think activity will change us. We want a list of do’s and don’ts. In Jesus’s day, people thought they could be pure through ceremonial washing. Today it can be spiritual disciplines or sets of laws. I’ve tried these approaches. I’ve written out little rituals to perform every morning. I’ve tried to regulate my behavior with lists. Many of these things are good in themselves, and we’ll discover the role they can play in helping us grow in holiness. But our rituals and disciplines can’t change us.
Christians have long affirmed that God is unchangeable. In recent years, however, advocates of a theory called open theism have argued that God can and does change and that we can cause that change. They find their support for this in passages such as Genesis 18, where Abraham intercedes before the Lord for Sodom and Gomorrah, and God seemingly changes His mind. They claim further support from passages like Jeremiah 18:7–10, Jonah 3:10, and Genesis 6:6, which speak of God repenting or relenting or being sorry.
The Flood: Was God Sorry for Making Man?
For example, at the time of the global Flood, Genesis 6:5–7 tells us that God was “sorry” that He had made man on the earth:
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.
The fact that God is “sorry” that He had made mankind does not mean that He thinks His decision to create them was a mistake. Rather, the focus of God’s sorrow is the wickedness of mankind1 who not only bears His image, but was once without sin in His very good creation (Genesis 1:31; cf. Ecclesiastes 7:29). Though post-Fall, the intent of man’s heart was only evil continually, God’s heart is grieved because of this.
“We know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
All the afflictions, and all the temptations, and all the desertions, and all the oppressions, and all the oppositions, and all the persecutions — which befall a godly man, shall work for his good.
Every cross, and every loss, and every disease— which befall the holy man, shall work for his good.
Every device, every snare, every deceit, every depth, every stratagem, and every enterprise of Satan against the holy man, shall work for his good.
They shall all help to make him . . . more humble, more holy, more heavenly, more spiritual, more faithful, more fruitful, more watchful.
Every prosperity and every adversity; every storm and every calm; every bitter and every sweet; every cross and every comfort — shall work for the holy man’s good.
When God gives a mercy — that shall work for his good. When God takes away a mercy — that shall work for his good.
Yes, even all the falls and all the sins of the saints shall work for their good. Oh . . . the care, the fear, the watchfulness, the tenderness, the zeal — which God raises in the souls of His saints by their very falls! Oh the hatred, the indignation, and the detestation—which God raises in the hearts of His children against sin—by their very falling into sin!
Oh what love to Christ, what thankfulness for Christ, what admiration of Christ, what cleaving to Christ, what exalting of Christ, what drawings from Christ’s grace — are saints led to, by their very falls!
Question: If mountain climbers need oxygen tanks to climb Mount Everest, how were Noah, his family, and the animals able to breathe on the Ark when they were above the mountains (‘ … and the mountains were covered.’, Genesis 7:20)?
Answer: This question presupposes that Mount Everest was the height it is now (8,848 m = 29,028 ft), and that the air pressure would not have changed at that height above normal sea level with the addition of the flood water.
Mount Everest was not the height it is now during the Flood. Earth’s highest mountains have fossils of sea creatures at their tops, showing they were once under the sea. The possibilities are that the sea rose to cover the mountains, or the mountains were once under the sea and have since risen out of the sea, or a combination of the two.
Many creationist scientists think that mountains such as the Himalayas were probably built by catastrophic movement of the earth’s continental plates during and after the Flood (see Q&A: Plate Tectonics). Measurements indicate that the Himalayas are still rising). The rate of rise now measured is just the remnant of the processes that occurred much faster in the past.
Mountain building occurred as a part of the geologic processes that deepened the oceans to take the waters off the land towards the end of the Flood. Some mountains could have existed before the Flood, but none like the current Himalayas, Alps, or Andes in height. In any case, there is only enough water on all the earth to cover mountains about 3 km (2 miles) high, if all the ocean basins were raised. So, if the waters were not 9 km deep, but much less, the question is no longer an issue.
One of the perks of editing The Gospel Project is shaping Bible studies for believers of all ages, walking alongside more than a million kids, students, and adults on a journey through the Bible’s big storyline. For many Gospel Project users, we are about to enter the season we’ve described as “Prophets and Kings.”
Now, for a lot of Bible readers, the prophetic writings seem bizarre and foreign. Churchgoers may come to know and love the Gospels, or sing the psalms, or cherish the exciting New Testament narratives.
But the prophets? It feels like a chore just to pronounce their names right (Habakkuk, Nahum, Obadiah), much less remember the context that prompted their ministry, or the particular message of each one. Read a few of these prophets side by side, without knowing much about their history, and you begin to feel like they all run together. There’s one overarching message: Repent! Repent! And that message is delivered in multiple ways, with strange themes and practices.
In my time as editor, however, I’ve grown to love the Minor Prophets, all sandwiched together at the end of the Old Testament. There are three in particular who, I would say, have “wrecked me” — in a good way, in a powerful way in which I felt the refreshing shower of God’s grace.
Hosea is a weird story, even for adults. God tells a prophet to marry a prostitute, give their children horrible names, and then go back and purchase his wife after she is unfaithful.
But both times I edited sessions on Hosea, I wound up in tears. The vision of God as the spurned Lover, the great and glorious Husband who pursues His bride and willingly pays the price to win her back…it is such a breathtaking picture of God’s great love.
We live in a world filled with competing truth claims. Every day, we are bombarded with declarations that something is true and that something else is false. We are told what to believe and what not to believe. We are asked to behave one way but not another way. In her monthly column “What I Know for Sure,” Oprah Winfrey tells us how to handle our lives and our relationships. The New York Times editorial page regularly tells us what approach we should take to the big moral, legal, or public-policy issues of our day. Richard Dawkins, the British atheist and evolutionist, tells us how to think of our historical origins and our place in this universe.
How do we sift through all these claims? How do people know what to think about relationships, morality, God, the origins of the universe, and many other important questions? To answer such questions, people need some sort of norm, standard, or criteria to which they can appeal. In other words, we need an ultimate authority. Of course, everyone has some sort of ultimate norm to which they appeal, whether or not they are aware of what their norm happens to be. Some people appeal to reason and logic to adjudicate competing truth claims. Others appeal to sense experience. Still others refer to themselves and their own subjective sense of things. Although there is some truth in each of these approaches, Christians have historically rejected all of them as the ultimate standard for knowledge. Instead, God’s people have universally affirmed that there is only one thing that can legitimately function as the supreme standard: God’s Word. There can be no higher authority than God Himself.
That Satan labours might and main, by false teachers, which are his messengers and ambassadors, to deceive, delude, and for ever undo the precious souls of men (Acts 20:28-30; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Eph. 4:14; 2 Tim. 3:4-6; Titus 1:11,12; 2 Peter 2:18,19): “I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err” (Jer. 23:13). “The prophets make my people to err” (Micah 3:5). They seduce them, and carry them out of the right way into by-paths and blind thickets of error, blasphemy, and wickedness, where they are lost forever. “Beware of false prophets, for they come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Mat. 7:15). These lick and suck the blood of souls: “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision” (Phil. 3:2). These kiss and kill; these cry, Peace, peace, till souls fall into everlasting flames, Proverbs 7.
Now, the best way to deliver poor souls from being deluded and destroyed by these messengers of Satan is, to discover them in their colors, that so, being known, poor souls may shun them, and fly from them as from hell itself.
Now you may know them by these characters following:
THE FIRST CHARACTER
False teachers are men-pleasers (Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:1-4). They preach more to please the ear than to profit the heart: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophecy no unto us right things: speak to us smooth things; prophecy deceits”‘ (Isa. 30:10). “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so. And what will you do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30,31). They handle holy things rather with wit and dalliance (playful come-on) then with fear and reverence. False teachers are soul-undoers. They are like evil chirurgeons, that skin over the wound, but never heal it. Flattery undid Ahab and Herod, Nero and Alexander. False teachers are hell’s greatest enrichers. Non acerba, sed blanda, Not bitter, but flattering words do all the mischief, said Valerian, the Roman emperor. Such smooth teachers are sweet soul-poisoners (Jer. 23:16,17).