Don Batten and Warren Nunn – Did Humans Evolve From Apes

Humans did not evolve from chimps, gorillas, or orangutans. However, according to Darwinian evolution, humans are related to modern apes in that we shared a common ancestor.

Since Charles Darwin first proposed the basis for such ideas in the 19th century when he wrote On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, molecules-to-man evolution has increasingly been taught as fact. Later, he fleshed out the idea of human evolution from a common ancestor with apes in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.

The concept that humans and apes share a common ancestor contrasts with what we read in the Bible, because on the sixth day God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26) Further, in verse 27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” In Genesis chapter 2 it gives us more details, including that God made Adam from ‘dust’ and fashioned Eve, the first woman, from part of his side.

To read the rest of Don Batten and Warren Nunn’s article, click here.

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Brandon Smith – The Real Reason We Don’t Read Our Bibles

Through my work with the Christian Standard Bible, I came across some stats about Bible reading. Eighty-eight percent of American households own a Bible, but only 37 percent of people read it once a week or more. People said they don’t read their Bibles because they don’t have enough time, and they struggle to understand the words.

These two frustrations are understandable, and we’ve all struggled with them. But are they the real reasons people aren’t reading their Bibles?

Root Issue

When you think about it, we should get really excited about Bible reading. The God of the universe has given us his Word. He could’ve tapped out when we disobeyed him in the garden, but he didn’t. He went looking for us and talked to us (Gen. 3). Knowing our gracious God gave us his Word should make us want to read it, but often that’s not enough.

We don’t read the Bible regularly because we don’t understand how it works. We often think it’s all about us, and that opening Scripture is only useful when we think we need it. We don’t understand how amazing the Bible really is.

To read the rest of Brandon Smith’s article, click here.

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John Piper – Husband, Lift Up Your Eyes: Letter to a Would-Be Adulterer

Dear Husband,

You may think I am ill-suited to counsel a young man on how to be faithful to his wife, because, in almost fifty years with my wife, I have never felt enticed to be romantic or to have sex with another woman. However, it might be worth probing whether this (perhaps unusual) fact has causes which are transferrable to you.

Let me clarify. It’s not as good as it sounds. My eyes are as magnetized toward excessive female skin as most men’s. I am not designed for beach evangelism. I find airports to be problematic enough. I have zero tolerance for nudity in films — or even suggestiveness (which rules out almost all of them). One reason (among many) is that any sexually charged image lodges itself in my mind, with regrettable effects.

To read the rest of John Piper’s article, click here.

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Michael Boling – Avoiding Sound-bite Theology and Bible Study

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There is a recurring theme I notice when engaging in conversations with people on social media. This theme presents itself when a passage of Scripture is being discussed, more often than not, a verse or set of verses that is typically well known. Perhaps the issue resides in our familiarity with such passages. Have we read them so many times that our minds tend to gloss over the details and the underlying message being presented, let alone any connections to other similar passages with related themes found elsewhere in Scripture?

I often wonder if this is a result of our sound-bite approach to approaching God’s Word. We tend to think of passages of Scripture in short tweet like concepts, hoping to some degree to have a clever quip to provide someone on social media to win an argument or to demonstrate that we can pull a verse (or at least a portion of one often out of context) from the back of our minds to demonstrate our knowledge of Scripture.

The question we must ask ourselves is this a demonstration of a real commitment to studying the Bible? Are sound-bites the answer or is spending time digging deep into the pages of Scripture, analyzing the details while paying attention to how those details form the mosaic of the larger presentation what God expects from us? I submit it is the latter and here is why I make such a suggestion.

Recently I have been spending a great deal of time digging into the first four chapters of Genesis. Now these are chapters most believers would readily admit they are quite familiar with, especially since most valiantly begin their pursuit of reading through the Bible in a year with these chapters. Most have likely lost count of the number of times they have read the creation story, the account of the fall, or the murder of Abel at the hands of his brother Cain. These events (i.e. creation, fall, etc.) are familiar to us and we can recite from memory the “big ideas” if you will regarding what those events are all about. However, there are a plethora of important details that are often overlooked and questions that often go unasked and unanswered again likely due to our familiarity with these chapters. Questions such as “Why was Eve not surprised when a “Serpent” engaged her in conversation?” or “Why was it important that Adam and Eve saw they were naked and made fig leaf garments to cover themselves?” or “If God said when they ate of the fruit they would die, why did Adam and Eve not immediately die?”. These are just a few questions I have been asking of late and exploring. I will readily admit the study of these questions has resulted in some informative and important connections being made to key issues that flow throughout Scripture.

If taking the time to ask some simple yet probing questions about the text in the first four chapters of Genesis can lead to such depth in Bible study, just imagine what taking the time to engage the rest of Scripture on that level will lead you. Such an approach of course requires far more than sound-bite theology and Bible study, It requires time, patience, the honesty to rethink at times our positions, and a desire to follow the trail of truth wherever the Holy Spirit takes us through the course of our studies.

Here is an example of how this might work. The topic of the New Covenant often comes up in the course of discussion on many Facebook forums I belong to. The statement many make is that Old Covenant being labeled as old necessarily implies this Old Covenant has zero value or relevance for the New Testament believer. A response I typically provide to such a statement involves a series of probing questions designed to focus the conversation on investigation of the text or texts in question. I often ask “What is new about this covenant?”, “Who does Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews 10 state this new covenant is made with and why is that important?”, “Where is this new covenant being written and by whom”?, and “What are the terms of this covenant and why is it significant to understand it in terms of a marriage covenant?”. Given these questions interact with key statements in Jeremiah 31:31-33 and Hebrews 10:15-16, the purpose of asking these questions is rooted in focusing the discussion back on the text instead of what we often think the text is saying.

After these questions are addressed and some discussion takes place, the next step in the process is to start looking at what key words such as “new” and “covenant” mean. All this requires is taking a look at a quality Bible dictionary or perhaps an online tool such as www.blueletterbible.org where words meanings and other instances where that same word has been used elsewhere in Scripture can be analyzed. This also provides the opportunity for patterns and principles to be recognized and for the overall flow of thought in Scripture to impact our understanding. This may also require reanalyzing the answers to the questions that were initially asked. Do our answers still remain valid based on the further study of the passage in question and related passages.

This necessarily leads to a focus on application. Once again using the new covenant concept as an example, how does the understanding that has been gained impact how I love God and others? If this covenant is a marriage covenant, how am I being faithful to the terms of that covenant or am I? If the answer is I am not being faithful, what changes need to be made and what does Scripture have to say about that? What is the foundation upon which this marriage covenant is established and why is that important? This of course may certainly lead to another set of passages, another series of probing questions, another analysis of word meanings, and another set of questions regarding application.

This is the nonstop flow of what it means to study, understand, and apply the truth of Scripture to our lives. Does this take time and effort? Absolutely but this is after all what God commands of His people and if we truly love God, spending time in His Word should be a joy and not viewed as a chore. Digging into Scripture versus sound-bite/one-liner Twitter type study should be a no brainer. Spend time in God’s Word. There is a lifetime of treasures to be discovered. Sound-bite theology more often than not leads to half-truths and confused theology. It must be avoided.

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Carl Trueman – The Marcions Have Landed: A Warning for Evangelicals

When one asks the most influential thinkers in the modern evangelical church are, one might find names such as Jim Packer, John Stott, and Don Carson.

I would like to suggest, however, that there is one whose influence is perhaps much greater than we are aware of, yet whose thinking all but pervades the modern evangelical church: Marcion.

He’s the man who gets my vote for most profound influence on evangelicalism, from canon to theology to worship practices. You never see his books on the shelves in your high street Christian bookshop; you never see him advertised as preaching in your local church; but, rest assured, his spirit stalks those bookshops and pulpits.

To read the rest of Carl Trueman’s article, click here.

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Dr. David Menton – Is Evolution a Theory, a Fact, or a Law? – or None of the Above?

I have heard many Christians say that evolution doesn’t concern them because, after all, it’s “only a theory.” Presumably they think that the word “theory” means about the same thing as a “pipe dream.” But the term theory, at least as it applies to experimental science, has a much nobler meaning than that. A scientific theory is a careful attempt to explain certain observable facts of nature by means of experiments. Since many Christians have concluded that evolution is incompatible with the Biblical account of creation, we would do well to investigate if evolution is a fact or a theory — or perhaps neither.

There is a widespread misconception that good theories grow up to be facts and that the really good ones finally become laws. But these three categories of scientific description are neither directly related nor mutually exclusive. It often occurs that a single natural phenomenon can be described in terms of a theory, a fact, and a law — all at the same time!

To read the rest of Dr. Menton’s aricle, click here.

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Charles Spurgeon – A Mighty Saviour

Mighty to save. (Isaiah 63:1)

1. This, of course, refers to our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, who is described as “coming from Edom with dyed garments from Bozrah,” and who, when it is questioned who he is, replies, “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” It will be well, then, at the commencement of our discourse to make one or two remarks concerning the mysteriously complex person of the man and God whom we call our Redeemer, Jesus Christ our Saviour. It is one of the mysteries of the Christian religion, that we are taught to believe that Christ is God, and yet a man. According to Scripture, we hold that he is “very God,” equal and co-eternal with the Father, possessing, as his Father does, all divine attributes in an infinite degree. He participated with his Father in all the acts of his divine might; he was concerned in the decree of election, in the fashioning of the covenant; in the creation of the angels, in the making of the world, when it was wheeled from nothing into space, and in the ordering of this fair frame of nature. Before any of these acts the divine Redeemer was the eternal Son of God. “From everlasting to everlasting he is God.” Nor did he cease to be God when he became man.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

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Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson – Finding Adam in the Genome: Part 3 of a Response to Chapter 2 of Adam and the Genome

In this series, we have been examining the scientific claims in the book Adam and the Genome.1 In our previous post, we began to evaluate the genetic claims that one of the authors, Dennis Venema, makes in chapter two. Today’s post continues this discussion.

At the beginning of chapter two, Venema begins an extended analogy between language and genetics. His purpose is to show that evolutionary change bears strong resemblance to language change. Since few people would have a problem with the latter, Venema builds on this foundation to argue for the former.

Specifically, Venema thinks that we can trace common ancestry among species in the same way that we can trace common ancestry among languages. In other words, Venema thinks that the pattern of genetic differences is strong evidence in support of evolution.

To read the rest of Dr. Jeanson’s article, click here.

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Lex Meyer – I Can Do All Things Through Christ Except

Have you ever heard someone tell you “I can do all things through Christ except obey His commandments”? You might be surprised at how many people actually think this way.

When someone is struggling with a difficult situation, Christians are often quick to say things like “We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus”, or “nothing is impossible with God”, or “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

It’s also common to hear cliches such as “give it to God”, but when you ask them if they keep all of God’s commandments, they say, “nobody can keep all of those commandments”, or “its impossible for us to keep the Law”.

So, what happened to “I can do all things through Christ” and “nothing is impossible with God”?

The truth is, the Bible says if we love God we will keep His commandments, and His commandments are not too difficult for us.

To read the rest of Lex Meyer’s article, click here

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