Merry Christmas! What a joyful time of year. Cookies, presents, trees shedding needles on the floor, a jolly prowler breaking in to leave presents(Squidward in Spongebob's first Christmas), oh yeah, and a new born baby born to die. Wait a minute, that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the list does it? But isn't this the very reason we celebrate Christmas?
Why did Jesus come as a baby, grow as a boy, become a man, suffer three different types of temptations, go to the cross, get buried, and then raise to life to ascend to heaven? What was really the point of it all? For this very purpose, to save us from death, an intruder into God's perfect creation, and bring us back into the presence of God from whose presence we so foolishly hid in our sins, as if we really could hide from God.
But why would Jesus be able to save us? How is it that He even has the authority or ability? Upon Adam's rebellion against God sin entered the world, and death by sin. All of creation was subjected unwillingly to the corruption of death and decay, also known as the law of entropy, or the second law of thermodynamics. All things eventually wind down. Jesus is the creator of all things. In Him all things breath, move and have there being and by Him were all things made and nothing exists apart from Him. All creation declares the glory of God. So why would He come down and live as one of us? Well, answer this, can anyone of us give the excuse that Jesus doesn't know what it was like to have this happen, or live through this..fill in the blank? Jesus knew what it was like to be born, to leave the warmth of the womb. He knew what it was like to flee from possible death as a child, to loose everything. He knew what it meant to grow up under a foreign oppressive government, having his rights trampled on. He knew what it meant to undergo temptation from the enemy. He literally has "been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt." We have no excuse.
But more importantly, He is the Creator of Life, and it is only He who can restore life to our still born bodies in this shadowland. We all are born dead, dead in sins that will lead to death. If He is not the Creator then His death has no meaning. Any one of us can give our lives for another, maybe even more than one if we're lucky, but those we save can still die later, and those born later can not be saved by our sacrifice. And if death was always a norm in this world then why would He die to save us from what He had instigated from the very beginning? To say that death ever reigned from the beginning, or in some distant forgotten past is to insult the very reason our saviour came to save us.
The Birth of Christ was a once in a world history event. Foretold from the beginning of the world, looked for and hoped for by many and then when came was missed by many. Never will it happen again. We must believe with the eyes of our hearts. For as Paul said, it is with the heart that man believes, and with the mouth is saved. He had the right, He had the authority, and He had the ability. He made it knowable so we would be without excuse. "Mary did you know that...this sleeping child your holding, is the Great I Am!" I think she knew. To be in the hands of God is where there is life, love, and hope. Truly it is a Merry Christmas to be in the hands of our Saviour.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
No one is without bias. Everything we do is based on our worldview, our presuppositions, or what we chose to believe. All studies of origins begin with our presuppositions. Either we believe in a God who created it all or we believe everything happened by random chance processes.
There are two Laws that we need to take a look at here. They are called the Laws of Thermodynamics. The first law states that there is no new matter/energy being formed today. The second law states that as energy is used it becomes irretrievable, or the law of entropy, all things are winding down. Now if no new matter is being made then matter is not eternal, and since all matter is winding down then it had a beginning. What and how was its beginning and how long ago did it begin? If it is not eternal then what started it? The big bang needs something, even if it is hydrogen; it needs something to start with, but how if matter is not eternal?
In November’s issue of the Journey we saw Larry Larason’s article on the age of the earth and he mentioned Ussher’s chronology which says our earth was created in the year 4004. So we have an earth around 6000 years old. Already you are probably thinking that is not possible because how could evolution happen in such a short time. Already you show a bias thought because you assume evolution to be true and therefore needs time to act. But what if evolution is not true and God created everything in its own kind such as dog kinds and cat kinds? Small change in the way of adaptation can happen in a very short time, even within a few generations. There was no reason given as to why to reject Ussher’s age just that it didn’t seem to make sense with all the “evidence” of antiquity around us. But what evidence is there for great antiquity other than the assumption that it is evidence of great antiquity? What if that so called evidence has just as logical an alternative?
Geology is the study of rocks, and there are three types of rocks, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Igneous (Latin ignis, fire) is volcanic rock. Sedimentary rock is made of wind or water sediment. Metamorphic (Greek meta, change, morphe, form) which is rock transformed through heat and pressure.
A brief overview of the dating of rocks is this, only igneous rocks make for good radiometric dating as they are new formed rocks from lava and thus are least likely to be contaminated by older rocks. Sedimentary rocks are not good for dating with radiometric dating as they are laid down sediment from flood waters usually and are a mix of old and new rocks. And metamorphic rocks are also a mix of old and new rocks that have only been shaped or changed by heat and pressure, so not good for radiometric dating. In radiometric dating scientists are looking for various elements like potassium and then seeing how much of it has decayed into its “daughter” element argon. Then taking the decay rate and calculating that by the amount of potassium there is to the amount of argon there is and you can come up with your age. Here is the problem. You have to assume how much potassium there was to begin with. Then you have to assume there was no argon to start with. You need to assume that the rock you are dating has not been contaminated by human intervention, or that more potassium or argon has not seeped in from outside. And lastly you need to assume that the decay rate was not increased or decreased due to outside forces, forces such as solar flares and or environmental conditions like floods or earthquakes. Basically you need to start with a lot of assumptions, any one of which could be off.
All this is to say that evolution is not a proven fact of science. It is more accurately a belief, a belief that says we survived on our own, without any God. If evolution is true then life is nothing but survival. We don’t mean anything. Death is good and normal. If God ordained evolution is true then life is still not worth much as God just sat back and watched as millions of creatures died for supremacy. “Religion, in our day, has accommodated itself to the doctrine of evolution… when animals were torturing each other with ferocious horns and agonizing stings, Omnipotence was quietly waiting for the ultimate emergence of man, with his still more widely diffused cruelty. Why the Creator should have preferred to reach His goal by a process, instead of going straight to it, these modern theologians do not tell us.” This quote is from Bertrand Russell, an atheist scientist/philosopher in Religion and Science Oxford University Press 1961 page 73.
Why would God use evolution when He could have done it from the beginning? Because He didn’t, He started with everything in six days as it says in Genesis and Man in a fully created state, perfect and without evil. Free will to choose to love or not love God was also given man. Man chose to not love God. All our problems today are from man’s sin, not God. This time of year we celebrate Christmas. Why? To celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Why would Jesus need to be born into this world as a man and then die for us to save us from death if death was a normal event? If we believe in evolution then there was no point, and if we try to make the theory of evolution compatible with the bible’s beginnings then we void the whole reason for the Creator’s death. But if Genesis is absolute truth from God, if man started in a perfect state and then fell from that state in sin with no way out, then there is no other reason for Christ’s death than salvation from sin and freedom from death. We only need to choose Him.
What you believe determines what you think, what you think dictates what you do, and what you do dominates your life. Our worldview plays a role in everything.