Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Do you believe in Superman – Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a single bound.

This was part of the catch phrase describing the Superman of the black and white TV series.   Impressive – just think of Superman in a pole vaulting or high jump track event – would you want to compete against someone with those vertical leap capabilities?!   While there’s no record in the Gospels of Jesus making a physical giant leap, He did walk on water and was taken up to the highest part of the temple in Jerusalem where He was tempted by Satan to make a dramatic entrance by throwing Himself off the temple.  Regarding that temple, it had taken the Jewish people decades to construct and it wasn’t finished at the time of Jesus, but He made the claim, that if they tore this temple down, that He could rebuild it in 3 days.  The writer of the Gospel of John (2:13-22) tells us that Jesus was not referring to the physical temple building, but to the fact that Jesus would be crucified, and three days later He would rise from the dead, never to experience death again.  His death for the sins of the world was Jesus' giant leap and His last words on the cross were, "It is finished," not referring to His life, but the once for all great sacrifice had been offered.    No other person who has ever lived has these credentials as documented not only by the Bible, but by extra biblical sources as well.  This qualifies Him as a superhero.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Do you believe in Superman - Faster than a speeding bullet

The Superman of the comics and movies could outrun a bullet and was also impervious to them.  That was always bad for the villains in the story.   While we don’t read about bullets in the life of Jesus, if you read the Gospel of John, you’ll note several occasions where the opposition wanted to seize Him or stone Him, but was not able to because, “His time/hour had not yet come” (e.g., John 7:28-31; 8:12-20; 8:48-58).  No one could take Jesus’s life (remember because He was sinless and not deserving of death), but He laid down His life and subjected Himself to a cruel death out of His great obedience to His Father and their great love for us to make it possible for the believer in Jesus to be “holy, blameless and beyond reproach”  (Col 1:19-23).  Superman always put the good and welfare of earthlings  above his own.  And so did Jesus.  This qualifies Him as a superhero.   

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Do you believe in Superman – X-Ray Vision

As a kid I used to read comic books and was always fascinated by the ad in the back of some for X-ray glasses.   I never actually ordered them, but the temptation to was almost overwhelming.  Can you imagine the trouble I would have gotten into if I had a pair and they actually worked?!   But Superman used his X-Ray vision only to help others, not to satisfy lust or for personal benefit or pleasure.   If you read the Gospel accounts it’s interesting how many times we’re told that Jesus knew what a person was thinking (e.g., Matthew 9:3-5; Luke 6:7-9).  But more to the point of vision, He was able to look at an individual and see through their exterior (e.g.,  a prostitute (John 8:1-11), a leper (Mark 1:39-44), a lame man (John 5:2-10), a despised tax collector (Luke 19:1-10) or other sinners) and see directly their pain, hurt & need.  His love and compassion was so great that He looked beyond what would stop and deter mere mortals, and did something about their condition if they let Him.  This qualifies Him to be a superhero.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Do you believe in Superman – Birth parents not of this world.

The man in the comics known as Clark Kent was born on the planet Krypton and had superpowers compared to earthlings because of the closeness of earth to the sun.   His unique birth set him apart from mere mortal men.   Consider the information we’re given about the birth of Jesus.  While Mary was his mother, the accounts by Gospel writers Matthew and Luke make it clear that the child she conceived was not the result of a relationship with any earthly man.  It was a unique birth unlike any other in that God caused Mary to conceive and give birth to His Son, Jesus.  Why did God choose this way to bring His Messiah into the world?   From passages such as Romans 5:12, it appears that the sin nature is passed to the child through the earthly father, but Jesus came into this world not having been born in sin.  No other human had walked the earth in this condition other than the first man and woman – Adam and Eve.   Because of His Father who was not of this world, Jesus had the opportunity to live a  sinless life by which He would not be deserving of death.  This qualifies Him to be a superhero.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Do you believe in Superman?

Today, there are a host of superheroes presented and if you’re not an avid comic book fan you’ve probably never heard of many of them until a movie is made.  But from a comic book standpoint and certainly from an early black and white TV series, Superman is probably the most well-known: 
  •   His birth parents were not of this world.
  •   He had X-Ray vision
  •   He was faster than a speeding bullet.
  •   Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound.
  •  Able to fly to the scene where his help is needed

Some pretty impressive credentials.   Do you believe that such a super-hero exists?  Let’s explore the qualifications of a very real superhero this Christmas season.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Is There a God?

We have a sign out in front of our church, and one week the following message was featured:
Did I evolve or was I created? I need to know, because it makes a difference.

The answer to this question makes all the difference. The message God reveals to us in His Word, the Bible, is that we were not only created but we have a purpose. The best evidence we have of God's existence, other than what we can see and observe around us and sense from an innate desire to know Him, is the Bible and His revelation of Himself to us through Jesus Christ. 
Blasé Pascal, a great French Mathematician of the 17th century, expressed the matter this way:"There is within each one of us, a God-shaped void, which only Jesus can fill." 
Invite Jesus to show you the purpose and plan He has for you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Is There a God?

From evidence of design in a watch, let's make it personal.  How about you? There is evidence of design in you as a unique individual and you bear the image of your Creator though it may not be apparent to you. In Psalms 139, the writer, King David, acknowledged it this way:
"0 Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand' I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if Igo down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. ... You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, 0 God. They cannot be numbered! I can't even count them,' they outnumber the grains of sand' And when I wake up, you are still with me!" (New Living Translation)
Doesn't sound like a non-existent being or one who is uncaring and unconcerned does it?  And without a loving, caring, Creator, can you honestly explain the complexity of your body, let alone that of a single cell?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Is There a God?

Start with this observation from the Bible, in the book of Romans, chapter 1, and verses 18 to 20:
"But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God." (New Living Translation)
The indication here is that each person is created, perhaps instinctively, with the knowledge that God exists. The complexity of a single cell, the vastness of the universe, the very existence of life on this planet all point to such a conclusion. As an illustration, suppose you were walking through a field and noticed a watch lying on the ground. As you pick it up and examine it, you're not likely to be wondering if it evolved or about its purpose, because there is evidence of design and the creator / manufacturer will most likely be indicated either on the face of the watch or on the back.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Is there a God?

This is the central question for each of us to consider. If there is no God or higher authority to which we are all accountable, then we can each make the rules and decide for ourselves what will be right or wrong and thus determine our own conduct and lifestyle. In such a case it would be possible for each individual to determine what is "truth" in his or her own circumstance.
However, if there is a God who made us, who is concerned about the choices we make and the path of our lives, who has provided some directions for living, wouldn't you want to know more to at least give it some consideration?
In future posts we'll look at what the Bible gives us to evaluate.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God?

Remembering Billy Graham's analogy of not being able to swim to Hawaii, all the various religions of the world are basically swimming instructions.  They may help, but they're not going to get you there.  Religion is all about a person telling God how he/she is going to please Him.  But, the only solution that God in His great love and mercy has provided is Jesus. So if going to heaven is what you want, then you need to follow the only solution to your situation.  You need a ticket, but you're unable to pay the price yourself.  But God out of His great love has bought you a ticket, because Jesus purchased it for you through His death for the sins of this world.  And He offers it to you as a gift.

How do you accept / receive the ticket He has for you?  In your own words, admit to God that you are a sinner and that you want to spend eternity with Him.  And accept the forgiveness of sins that He can only offer you through His Son Jesus.

Paraphrasing my first favorite verse from the Bible, "It is by the grace of God that I have been saved from my sins.  It is a gift that He has offered me through faith in His Son Jesus. And it is not the result of any work or good that I myself have done.  It's simply my  believing and trusting in what He has already done for me."   (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God?

Continuing the observation that we cannot make it to / please God on our own, Billy Graham has illustrated our dilemma this way:

Suppose for a moment that the requirement for going to heaven is for a person to swim from California to Hawaii.  Some people wouldn't make it 500 feet, because they can't swim. Some people won't make it more than a couple of hours / miles because they lack the conditioning and strength.   But even the greatest long distance swimmer or an Olympic gold medalist is not going to make it either.  At a distance of about 2,400 miles no individual has the ability to make the journey on his or her own.  The only way to get to Hawaii is for someone to take you there.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God?

According to God, there is only one solution to our sin problem.  This is where Christianity is different.  It involves coming to the realization that you, as an individual can't please God. But more importantly it involves understanding that God knows this, and loves you so much that He did for you what you could not do for yourself.  He tells us in the Bible, that what we deserve for our imperfect lives is "death - meaning to be totally separated from Him for eternity."  But instead of giving us what we deserve, He offers us what we could never deserve - the "gift of eternal life" through Jesus Christ.  Once a person understands that their imperfection separates them from God and that nothing they can do will ever result in them becoming perfect on their own, then their need becomes very clear.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God?

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God? (cont'd)

What makes Christianity unique?

PROBLEM:  If the standard is that each of us must be like God - holy, perfect & just, then none of us measure up.  We are imperfect, prone to sin (we live lives and make choices that do not measure up) and we need mercy, instead of justice.  No matter how hard we try and how good a person we may be (as compared to other persons), we will never be good enough for God, because of bad choices we made.  None of us has the capability to present a life lived in which we have never, never, ever committed on sin or said differently, lived a life and not made a single mistake.  What some examples?  All God had to do was list Ten Commandments to illustrate our inability to live a life that would please Him.  Ever told a lie?  You fail.  Ever dishonor or disobey your parents?  You lose.  Ever steal something, cheat or what something that wasn't yours?  All of us have.

Next post presents the solution.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God?

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God? (cont'd)

What makes Christianity unique?

PROBLEM:  There is a standard that each of us must measure up to and God Himself is that standard.  He is perfect, holy (totally set apart from sin) and just (whatever He does must always be right).  So to meet the standard each of us must be exactly like God.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God?

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God? (cont'd)

A careful consideration of all religions will basically lead boil down to 2 choices:

1.  A system where the follower is working to please God by doing or not doing in the hope of          attaining some sort of after life.  (ALL OTHER RELIGIONS)

2.  Faith in a work that has already been done by Jesus and made available to all simply by            trusting and believing in Him.  (CHRISTIANITY)

Future posts will show what makes Christianity unique:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God?

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God? (cont'd)

When it comes to religions, people assume, no matter what the choice, that all essentially lead to the same God.  Yet, many make that assumption with little or no understanding of the teachings or life principles of the many religions.  To illustrate the greatest contrast in belief systems, one religion calls for human sacrifice, another calls for faith in the life given over 2,000 years ago and essentially prohibits sacrifice, animal or human.  Clearly, such diametrically opposed belief systems cannot be both absolutely valid or true.  Yet, there are may religious systems, many old, some relatively recent for a person to choose from.  How do you wisely "shop" and choose the best value?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God?

This is a commonly held assumption.  On the surface, it seems to make a great deal of sense. Not all peoples and cultures have had the same exposure or opportunity.  Therefore, as long as they are making their best attempt at knowing and pleasing God, shouldn't that be acceptable?

For starters, we can all agree that not all roads lead to the same destination.  For example, Community Bible Church is located on State Route 18 / Tallmadge Road, in Rootstown township, in the State of Ohio.  As an individual travelling you could be on US Route 30, which extends all the way from Atlantic City in New Jersey, to Astoria, Oregon on the west coast. Though you could travel all the way across the United States, US Route 30 will not get you to Rootstown, Ohio.  If all roads led to the same place, there wouldn't be a need for maps, directions or GPS devices, like we have.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Genuine Worship

Summary / Wrap Up
Let’s end with the way we began.  Genuine worship involves:


W      Worthy Walk                                                
O        Offering                                                         Romans 12:1-2
R        Reconciliation                                              2 Cor 5: 18-21
S        Servant / Service                                          Col 3:12-24
H        Heart                                                              Eph 4:25-5:2
I          Integrity                                                          Psalm 15
P        Practicing Prayer                                         Col 4:2-6

So what can you expect from practicing Genuine Worship of Jesus?  Like the parables that Jesus told, allow yourself to be drawn in and then be amazed at the outcome.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Genuine Worship


P        Practicing Prayer                                         Col 4:2-6
It should come as no surprise that an aspect of Genuine Worship is Prayer.  Prayer is a means by which we declare our dependence on God by taking the time to speak to Him and also to listen to what He places on our heart that is important to Him.  And one of those important areas is described in Colossians 4:

“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.  Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains.   Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.  Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”

Some translations say our conversations should be “seasoned as it were with salt.”  You know what just the right amount of salt can do to the flavor of food.  Too little salt is not appetizing.   Too much salt is overwhelming.  Think of the right amount on popcorn and how it's hard to put the bowl down until it's all gone.  The same applies when we speak with others about Jesus.  Ron Hutchcraft recommends praying the 3-Open prayer from this passage in Colossians:
·         Lord open their heart to hear your Good News,
·         Lord open a door for me to share this news.
·         Lord open my mouth to be bold to take the opportunities you create.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Genuine Worship


Integrity                                                          Psalm 15
As we near the end of the consideration of Genuine Worship, Integrity is the next facet we need to consider.  We could simply define a life of integrity as one where what we say we believe is evidenced by the way we live, or simply our walk matches our talk.  In Psalm 15, it’s described this way:

“O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?  He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;  In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the Lord; He swears to his own hurt and does not change; He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”

Integrity as an aspect of Genuine worship is a 24/7 commitment, because we spend more time and have greater opportunities to declare the worth of Jesus outside the church gathering.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Genuine Worship


H        Heart                                                              Eph 4:25-5:2
Recently on the radio I heard that D. L. Moody, the founder of Moody Bible Institute, was a successful servant of Jesus, largely because he had a changeable / teachable heart.  The following passage from Ephesians chapters 4-5 tells us to be tenderhearted and provides further direction on how to get there:

“So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.  And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.  Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.  If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.  Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.  And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children.   Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.

Genuine worship involves imitation of the One who is worthy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Genuine Worship


S        Servant / Service                                          Col 3:12-24
When we refer to Jesus as Lord, we’re acknowledging that He is our Master and therefore, we should render service to Him as servants.  A part of genuine worship is to carry out the desires of our Master.  The following passage from Colossians chapter 3 gives a nice summary of what the life of a servant of Jesus should involve:
Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.   Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.   Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.  And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.   Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.  Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.   Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord.  Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.  Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

When this life ends and we stand in the presence of Jesus, we want to hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Genuine Worship


R        Reconciliation                                              2 Cor 5: 18-21
“And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

If you have a checking account, you receive a statement from the bank each month, which you should reconcile to your records.  Now usually, the reconciling items go both ways.  You may have checks that haven’t cleared the bank yet, so you must subtract those from the bank balance.   And the bank may have charged you some fees that you need to recognize.  In most cases, neither you or the bank has the correct balance, but the process of reconciliation brings the balances into agreement by considering all of the items.

But did you notice in this passage it says that, “For God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”  We need to understand that God is holy and perfect – He is the correct balance.  As fallen sinful human beings we need to be reconciled to God and only He is able to accomplish this through faith in Jesus.  In another New Testament book, Paul expresses it this way, “Yet now He has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.” (Col 1:22)  The only way we can be made suitable to stand before a holy, perfect God is for Him to change us to be like Him.  And in the meantime, He wants us to be telling others about the change that only He can make possible.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Genuine Worship


O        Offering                                                        

In Romans 12, Paul instructs us: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”  In the Old Testament the Jewish people were required to kill and sacrifice animals, but today, since Jesus has accomplished the perfect sacrifice for sin once and for all, followers of Jesus are called to be “living sacrifices.”   The problem with living sacrifices however, is our tendency to crawl / slide off of the altar.  But the more we allow Jesus, His Word and the indwelling Holy Spirit to transform us, the more we will truly worship Him.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Genuine Worship


W      Worthy Walk                                                

The prisoner Paul writes from Rome to the believer’s in Jesus at the church in Ephesus:  “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Future blogs on WORSHIP will help us to better understand the characteristics of a worthy walk.  But at this point know that the walk of the believer involves worship – the proclaiming in word and deed of the “worth ship” of the Lord.  And that walk should be characterized by humility, gentleness, patience, love and a unity among followers of Jesus.  Do you see some areas for change and improvement in your walk?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Genuine Worship

Ever wonder what genuine authentic real worship involves?  For some it may be ritualistic observances.  For others a weekly time known as a Worship Service or a gathering time by another name.  For others still, it may involve praying to images or ancestors, a sacrifice of some sort.   If we were to define worship from man's perspective it could take many forms.  Over the next several weeks let’s take a look at a Biblical understanding of worship, using the word itself as a guideline.  Here’s what we’ll be considering:


W      Worthy Walk                                                
O        Offering                                                         Romans 12:1-2
R        Reconciliation                                              2 Cor 5: 18-21
S        Servant / Service                                          Col 3:12-24
H        Heart                                                              Eph 4:25-5:2
I          Integrity                                                          Psalm 15

P        Practicing Prayer                                         Col 4:1-6

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cosmos vs. Logos

Final Thoughts

I first became aware of this quote in a book written by Paul Little, “Neither sincerity or intensity of belief can create truth.”   Consider, no matter how firm my beliefs and convictions are if I step off of the Empire State Building I’m going to make a mess on the ground below, rather than hover, fly or float.   Likewise, if I were to fall into the molten metal of a blast furnace I’m going to disintegrate and vaporize no matter how sincerely I believe that I won’t.  Similarly, you can allow Evolution to be your god, but what will be the result of your beliefs and sincerity?

Compare this with the result of your belief in Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John chapter 14: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” "No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. "We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.  From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”  Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”  Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.”

You have every right to choose the god you will believe in and worship, but keep the end view in mind.  Only Jesus said He would die on a cross for our sins and rise from the dead to prove it. It's one thing to make big claims, but if the claims are actually confirmed, then this deserves special attention.   The resurrection of Jesus and His ascension into heaven are undeniable proofs that there is life beyond this realm.  And Jesus' words and actions qualify only Him to claim, "No one can come to the Father except through me."     

Choose wisely. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cosmos vs. Logos

The “Hopelessness” of Evolution
William Province of Cornell University has stated that if Darwinism is true, then there are 5 inescapable conclusions:
·         There’s no evidence for God;
·         There’s no life after death;
·         There’s no absolute foundation for right or wrong;
·         There’s no ultimate meaning to life;
·         People really don’t have a free will.                                                                                                     In summary – there is no reason for our existence according to the gospel of evolution.

Dr. Gary Parker has expressed the matter this way:

A Summary View of Evolution: 4 “BIG’s”

BIG Banga colossal explosion that scattered non-living matter throughout expanding space.
BIG Chancelife began on earth, without any plan or purpose, from a stupendously lucky clump                       of molecules that had the ability to reproduce.
BIG Struggle – those life forms that inherited, by luck, traits more “fit” won the struggle for 
BIG DeathFinally, the sun will burn out, the universe will expand or contract itself into oblivion,                            and life will be no more.
From the Gospel recorded in the Bible, Romans 1:18-19 here’s what the Apostle Paul tells us: "But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”  (NLT)

Our natural tendencies are to suppress the truth and Cosmos provides an encouragement to continue that suppression.  Yet, later on in the same letter to the Romans , we’re told:  “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.”  Rom 3:23-26 NLT

So what’s your choice?  Suppression and hopelessness or a Savior and the promise of eternal life in paradise?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cosmos vs. Logos


As in Christianity there is the belief in the Trinity:  God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit, Cosmos presents an alternative godhead:  Time, Chance and Mutations.    Here are the mathematical challenges to mutations recognizing that more than one simultaneous mutation is needed for the complexity of design we can perceive (for example - vision as mentioned previously) to occur:
  1. On average a mutation occurs one in every ten million (106) duplications of the DNA molecule.  Our bodies contain nearly 100 trillion (1014) cells, so odds are we have a couple of cells with a mutated form of almost any gene.
  2. Odds of getting 2 mutations that are related to each other – 100 trillion (1014), but we need more mutations than that.
  3. Odds of 3 mutations in a row – one in a billion trillion (1021).  Suddenly, the ocean isn't big enough to hold enough bacteria to make it likely.
  4. Odds of 4 related mutations – One in 1028.  Suddenly the earth is not big enough to hold enough organisms to make that very likely.  At this level, microbiologists gave up on the idea that mutations could explain why some bacteria are resistant to four different antibiotics at the same time.
Observations when mutations occur:
  1. Almost every mutation we know is identified by the disease or abnormality it causes.  (For example, cycle cell anemia)
  2. Mutations typically tear down things and make matters worse. 
  3. Mutations corrupt.
  4. Mutations are harmful at least 1,000 times more often than they are helpful.
 It doesn't look like the X-Men will be showing up anytime soon.   So which “godhead” is more plausible and purposeful?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cosmos vs. Logos

The “Eye’s” have it

One of the challenges to the belief in evolution is the eye and the systems involved in eyesight.   The principle is referred to as Irreducible Complexity and using vision as an example, eyesight involves the simultaneous development of the eye, optic nerve and brain to make sight possible.  However, on Cosmos, the Journey of the Imagination, this is not a problem.   Beginning of course with tons of time, we’re to imagine an environment where a very simple organism has a mutation which enables it to suddenly sense light.  Now assuming one mutation could allow the detection of light, other simultaneous mutations would be necessary to allow the organism to “see / interpret” that light such as a connection / conduit to its brain.    The probability of 3 simultaneous positive mutations occurring is only  on in a billion trillion [1021](only is of course a tongue in cheek expression).   The show even provides a simulated split screen view to show how the light might have appeared to the organism. 

From this early start we’re to accept that additional mutations eventually resulted in the development of the human eye (one organ, but composed of many systems: cornea, iris, muscles, retina stem, rod and cone cells, fluid, etc.,), the optic nerve to carry the signal to the brain where the image can be read as sight.   Other examples of Irreducible Complexity can be observed in a single human cell or in an animal such as the woodpecker or giraffe.

From a biblical standpoint, there is one miracle that Jesus performed that demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that He is the Promised Messiah.  In the Old Testament it was foretold that the Messiah would heal the blind.   It was not until Jesus earthly ministry that a person born blind from birth was given their sight (See John chapter 9 for more details).   Even today with all the technical advances restoration of eyesight is just becoming possible by small circuits designed by intelligent designers.   Of all the aspects of creation the ability to see is one of the great demonstrations of our Creator.   Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”  (John 8:12)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


The failure of the Biosphere 2 experiment

Do you remember back in the 1990’s there was a great experiment conducted in the dessert of Arizona?    Scientists constructed a small self-contained biosphere that was intended to be self-sustaining and made 2 attempts to seal off a crew to live and thrive within the domed area.   It was named Biosphere 2 after the planet earth, which was considered the first Biosphere.   It had an ocean, dessert, tropical forest and other representative regions of our planet, along with fish and animals intended to sustain life.   Despite very careful and intelligent choices Biosphere 2 was a complete failure.  My family and I visited and toured the facility / grounds back in the mid 90’s.

Now for a practical observation - I’m not knocking the efforts of the scientists and other great minds involved in this endeavor.  However, if a great deal of human intelligence could not pull this off on an extremely small scale, is it reasonable to believe that non-intelligent random forces and time could pull this off on a planetary scale?   Personally, I don’t possess that great of faith.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Not invited to the Evolution Party
Those who hold to evolution usually are from the biology, geology and perhaps, as Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, astronomy sciences.  But not all of the sciences are considered.   For example consider:
  • Mathematics – the probability of life evolving from non-living matter is mathematically impossible.    Mathematically, evolution does not work.
  • Physics – this science has long been a critic of evolution, especially from the standpoint of anthropic fine tuning exhibited in the universe.   For example, the expansion rate of the universe is fined-tuned to one part in a trillion trillion trillion trillion.  If it were changed by one part in either direction – a little faster, a little slower – we could not have a universe that is capable of supporting life.
  • Molecular Biology – Michael Behee has written “Darwin’s Black Box” which describes the evidence of incredible design exhibited within the cells of the human body.  For example, the flagellum (rotary propeller of bacteria) that is capable of spinning at 10,000 rpm (and capable of stopping spinning within a quarter of a turn and instantly start spinning at 10,000 rpm in the opposite direction);  the transportation system inside each cell that rivals FedEx; the cascade process by which blood clots, etc.   The evidence now available with the advent of the electron microscope is just too compelling to accept something other than creative design.
  • Philosophy – though this may not be necessarily considered a science, evolution is unable to account for the development of language in human beings or our ability to record / write to share with others.  There is also the matter of consciousness that evolution cannot answer.

(Source for bullets above:  Case for the Creator by Lee Strobel and interviews with various experts in their fields, some of which once held to life beginning by evolution until the facts that confronted them proved otherwise.)

The 2nd program in the Cosmos series does take the time to marvel at the DNA strand within the cell and the host states the atoms contained within a single strand of DNA are roughly equivalent to the number of stars in a typical galaxy.   Now if you stumbled upon an immense library, would your first thought be, “I wonder how long it took for this vast work of knowledge and information to evolve?”   Is it any more plausible to believe that the infinitesimal DNA library evolved as well?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cosmos vs. Logos

The Tree of Life
Evolution’s tree of life was depicted on episode 2 of Cosmos utilizing great computer generated graphics.  In his book, Case for the Creator, Lee Strobel interviews Jonathan Wells , PhD of the Discovery Institute and asks the following question:   We now have more than a century of fossil discoveries since Darwin drew his picture.  Has the evolutionary tree held up?

Dr Well’s response:
Natural selection occurred, per Darwin, “slowly by accumulating slight, successive, favorable variations” and that “no great or sudden modifications” were possible.  This theory is not supported by the physical evidence of the fossil record.  Fossil evidence, even in his day, showed the opposite: the rapid appearance of phylum (divisions) level differences in what’s called the “Cambrian explosion.”  And Darwin knew this.  Cambrian was a geological period that we think began a little more the 500 million years ago.  It has been referred to as the Biological Big Bang, because it gives rise to the sudden appearance of most of the major animal phyla that are still alive today, as well as some that are now extinct.
To illustrate the abruptness and suddenness a football field was used as an illustration.
  • ·         Goal line at one end – represents the first fossil a single celled, microscopic organism.
  • ·         These are encountered in the record all the way down to the 16 yard line at the other end of the field and now there are sponges, and maybe some jellyfish and worms. 
  • ·         Then - boom! – in the space of a single stride, all these other forms of animals suddenly appear.
Conclusion: The Cambrian explosion has uprooted the Darwinian tree.

Did you know there is also a Tree of Life referred to in the Bible?  Its first mentioned in Genesis ch3  and last mentioned in Revelation  ch 22, and it has to do with eternal life and a promised blessing during eternity.

So would you rather have a part in an imaginary or a real tree of life?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Which Evolution?
Is evolution a fact?  Well, the answer depends on what type of evolution you’re referring to, which the Cosmos series has yet to distinguish.   If you’re referring to micro-evolution, then the answer is yes.  Micro-evolution is observable and evident within species whether the result of survival of the fittest, intentional breeding or genetic engineering.  The second program in the series used the example that the various breeds of dogs today are descendants of the wild wolf.   While this may be plausible, this only involves development within a species, not an entirely new life form evolving from an unrelated species (for example man from a fish).

Getting back to the original question, if you’re referring to macro-evolution (life from non-life or new species from existing unrelated species), then the answer would have to be no.  We have no hard irrefutable evidence of new species coming into existence from existing non related species.   However, if you choose to believe there is no God and therefore no Creator, you’re only left with the choice of natural forces, or other intelligent beings (i.e., aliens).   These other choices take much more faith.  Are you willing to take this journey of the imagination?  Can you really make the leap of faith that since micro evolution occurs, then macro evolution must also be real?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


The Answer is Time…
For those who believe that all there is of the universe(s) and the life that we know on earth came to be over an immense amount of time without any evidence of a guiding force or intelligent design, there is an incredible amount of faith demonstrated.  The fossil record still has not disclosed one solid example of a missing link and for lack of a better term, “Mother Nature” threw some random ingredients together and cooked up quite a dish, which simmered for billions of years.

The Bible is primarily a record of God’s plan for our salvation and a convincing demonstration of our tendency to disobey God (i.e., sin) and of our total inability to make ourselves acceptable to God apart from the forgiveness He has provided through Jesus.   The Bible simply states the fact that God created the heavens and the earth.  It does not specifically address the matter of time / when this creation happened.  But, consider this: God’s creation was perfect and God is eternal (He has always “been” – in fact He describes Himself as “I AM”).   So from a biblical standpoint when did time begin?   Adam and Eve were created perfect in the image of God and the whole concept of death (dying / separation from God) did not become a reality until the sin of Adam and Eve recorded in Genesis 3.  At that point, and not before, time became a reality for Adam and Eve.  So can science really rely on the assumptions made concerning time and the consistency thereof?    Remember that despite the advancements and technology available to scientists today, it still comes down to a faith decision.  Do you rely on the conclusions of other men, who suffer the same flaws of sin that you do, or on what God has chosen to reveal to us?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cosmos vs Logos

In the Beginning…

Major TV networks are airing an updated Cosmos series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.     While the computer generated images and photography are imaginative and to some degree inspiring, it’s just the same old story in a new package.  The first program in the series has the line, “the cosmos is all that is, was and ever will be.”  This offers a stark contrast to the opening sentence in Genesis 1 of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”   So do you accept the Cosmos view that time and unknown forces created all that we see over billions of years with life resulting from randomly occurring mutations that somehow began with amino acids evolving from non-living materials?   Or do you believe that an all-powerful God spoke all of creation into existence through the agency of One described as the Logos (Word) in the Gospel of John that we know as Jesus?   Either choice involves a decision of faith - more to follow in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Real Peace


If you consider every letter the Apostle Paul wrote – they all begin the same way – “Grace and peace to you through God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”   Peace is God’s desire for us.  But those who do not know Jesus will never know real peace.  And the R.I.P. on their tombstone will be just a hollow saying.  For followers of Jesus many will never know God’s peace in this world, if they don’t stop trying the world’s way and instead follow the way God has shown.   Choose wisely!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Real Peace

The final letter of the PEACE acronym:

E          Excellence – verse 8 in Philippians 4 indicates  “if there is any excellence....” 
If we say we believe and follow Jesus and yet we live a life that is contrary to what God tells us in His Word, we will not know His peace in this life.   The Apostle Paul gives two action points  in verses 8-9 concerning excellence,  "whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good report, and excellent and worthy of praise:

verse 8  think (dwell on these things)  -- it’s not enough to know the right things...
verse 9 practice (do) them.   There is an old saying, "Practice makes perfect," but from God's perspective, practicing what God expects provides for Real Peace. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Real Peace

Continuing an understanding of Real Peace from Philippians 4:

C         The C reminds us that there is only one source of the peace that we are striving for.  See verse 7 “in Christ  Jesus.” Perhaps you've seen a billboard with the message, "NO GOD, NO PEACE.  KNOW GOD, KNOW PEACE."   The message is plain and simple.  Many people of this world are of the impression that all religions lead to the same God.  And they are absolutely correct, with one vitally  important and very misunderstood exception.   All religions of this world do lead to the same god, except Christianity. They lead to one who is described in 2 Corinthians  4:4 as the god of this world.  He’s also known as Satan. He’s a wanna be.  He’s wanted to be like God since his fall.  And many have been deceived into thinking they are worshiping and serving the true God, when in fact they are only pleasing a cheap counterfeit.  And the end result -- they will be just as miserable as he is and spend eternity with him .  Most do not realize that their sins separate them from God and that there is nothing that they themselves can do to end that separation.   That’s why God sent His Son, Jesus, to suffer on the cross and purchase for us the salvation that we could not deserve ourselves.   He loves each of us so much that He paid the price for us that only He could pay.   So the first step to Peace with God really begins with Jesus Christ.  Do you know Him?