I remember learning the General Theory of Evolution as a schoolboy. I remember that I was taught that the theory was supported by an overwhelming body of evidence. My teachers did mention that there were still people on the planet who did not believe the General Theory. However, they also mentioned that there were still people who believed the earth to be flat. In other words, the implication was that anyone who did not believe in the General Theory was backward and ignorant. At the time, it did not occur to me to question this point; like most school children, I merely accepted it and tried to learn it so as to do well on the tests. As I grew, however, I began to learn to think for myself, and eventually came to realize that the “evidence” for the General Theory is not so overwhelming, after all.
It is important to note that evolutionary processes do take place. Over time, we see new breeds of dogs being developed. We see new types of bees result from the crossing of two or more similar species of bee. I do not know anyone who questions the fact that such changes occur. However, all of these changes occur within the same kind. What we do not see – and what no one has ever seen – is a completely new kind of creature evolving. No one has ever seen, either in nature or in the laboratory, one kind of creature evolve into another kind of creature. In other words, microevolution – evolution within natural boundaries – is a proven fact. The theory under question – and the theory that contradicts the Bible – is the General Theory, or macroevolution. Macroevolution teaches that all forms of life currently on the planet evolved from the same single-celled organism. Moreover, macroevolution teaches that all life is the result of natural processes, and not the design of an omnipotent Creator. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: What the Fossil Record Shows
In the third chapter of the book of Genesis, there is recorded for us the account of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and the serpent who tempted Eve to sin. God had commanded that Adam and his wife could eat of any tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 1:16,17). The serpent, through deceit and cunning, successfully tempted Eve to eat fruit from this tree, and she in turn gave some to Adam, who also ate (Genesis 3:1-6). Clearly, this was no ordinary serpent, since ordinary serpents can neither scheme nor speak. Moreover, God was so displeased with this serpent that He pronounced this curse upon it:
Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.
The first part of this curse may seem obvious: snakes slither on their bellies. The second part, however, is somewhat enigmatic: What does it mean that the serpent and the woman will be enemies, and their respective descendants as well? And when will this conflict take place, wherein the woman’s descendant is wounded on the heel by the serpent, but wounds the serpent in the head? The book of Genesis closes without ever resolving this matter. In fact, the entire Old Testament holds no account of this promise being fulfilled. Surely, this serpent could not have survived for thousands of years, that this conflict should take place after the close of the Old Testament – or could he? Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: The Serpent’s Doom
We have all heard the tale that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. The Roman historian Tacitus, who was born ca. 56 AD and began his writing career shortly before 100 AD, tells us that Emperor Nero was a remarkably immoral man. In 64 AD, during Nero’s reign, a horrible fire – the worst in its history to that point – engulfed Rome. There were many who believed that Nero had commanded the fire to be set, because he wanted to build a new city bearing his own name. And, indeed, a rumor spread that while the city burned Nero took to the stage and sang about the fall of Troy.
Of course, the emperor needed to squelch these suspicions and rumors, or risk a revolt. So, he instituted great programs and projects to appease the people by providing for their needs. He also saw to it that the new city was in many respects grander than the one that had burned. And, of course, he offered conspicuous prayers and sacrifices to a number of prominent Roman “gods”. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Nero’s Scapegoats
In the eighth chapter of the book of Acts, we find Philip the evangelist being sent by God to the deserted road that led from Jerusalem to Gaza. Once there, Philip saw the chariot belonging to the eunuch who was treasurer to the queen of Ethiopia. The Spirit told Philip to overtake the chariot. When he did so, he found the eunuch reading from the book of Isaiah. Specifically, he was reading the passage known to us as Isaiah 53:7-8. Philip established that the eunuch did not understand the prophecy he was reading, and the eunuch asked Philip for help. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him” (Acts 8:35).
This is an amazing thing. Philip began preaching Jesus from the book of Isaiah, which was written more than seven hundred years before Jesus’ birth. How could this be? How could a book written centuries before Jesus was born be used to teach someone about Him? If we go to the passage that the eunuch was reading, we will see that, on its own, it is indeed difficult to understand. However, when we view it through the lens of the New Testament, we can get a glimpse of how Philip could have used this passage to lead the eunuch to Christ. We will also see that it becomes very difficult to explain how or why Isaiah wrote such a passage – unless he was truly inspired by God. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: The Suffering Servant
Those who preach the theory of evolution have a tendency to pride themselves on being very scientific in their approach. They assert that they do not rely on myths and fables to discern the origin of the universe, but on hard, physical evidence. They assert that all the known facts point to the truthfulness of evolution. They also affirm that anyone who does not believe in evolution is backward, ignorant, naïve, superstitious, or prejudiced. However, when the facts are examined, they do not favor the evolutionist.
As an example, let us consider the origin of species. If the general theory of evolution is true, then all life as we know it had to evolve from one primitive life form: some sort of single-celled organism. In order for this to have occurred, organisms must have changed their form, or mutated, from one kind of organism to another. At some point, some fish (or fish-like organism) must have mutated into another kind of fish. Some fish or other had to mutate into a reptile. At another point, a reptile must have mutated into a mammal. Of course, the list goes on and on and on: in order to produce the vast multitude of species that exist, such mutations must have occurred countless times. However, when this scenario is compared to known facts, it becomes very difficult to believe. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Stubborn as a Mule
One of the most familiar stories in the Bible is the account of Noah and the flood, recorded in the book of Genesis, chapters 6 through 8. It may also be one of the most misunderstood. For example, there are many who believe that the point of the story is this: Noah and his family were saved from the flood, by the ark. And, it is true that Noah and his family rode out the deluge on the ark. But it was God who brought the flood, and it was God who decided that Noah would survive it. Noah, then, was not a target of the flood: it was aimed at the ungodly. Seeing that we may safely say that God doesn’t miss, we must conclude that Noah did not need the ark to be saved from the flood, except for the fact that God commanded him to build it. The question naturally arises: Why did God require Noah to build the ark and bring all those animals aboard? The answer is in the New Testament book of Hebrews:
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (Heb. 11:7) Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Noah’s Baptism
There are some who insist that the account of Noah and the Flood is an exaggeration at best, and a downright myth at worst. Unfortunately, there are even some who claim to believe the Bible who insist that the Flood was a local phenomenon. They claim that the Flood was limited to the region of Mesopotamia, a region prone to flooding. In this article, we will examine this claim from two distinct angles. First, we will see what the Bible says about the Flood. Then, we will see whether there is any external evidence to support the Bible’s account.
I. Is It Possible To Interpret The Flood Described In Genesis As A Regional Flood?
Those who support the idea that the Flood was confined to Mesopotamia point out that the word “all” is not always used literally. For example, Mark 1:5 tells us that “all the land of Judea” were baptized by John in the wilderness. Of course, we understand from the context that this does not literally mean every single human in the land of Judea. So, it is reasoned, the word “all” does not need to be taken literally in Genesis 6-9, either. The claim is made that the word is used in an accommodative sense, and that only the “inhabited portion” of the earth was in view. The assumption is then made that only the region of Mesopotamia was inhabited, and the conclusion is drawn that the Flood of Noah’s time was confined to this region. Continue reading » The Genesis Flood: Regional or Global?
Do They Exist?
I. Evidence of an Old Earth?
Before we embark on this inquiry, we must first note certain things about the nature of this topic. First, let us consider the possibility that the universe was created in the way the Bible describes in Genesis chapter 1. If the Bible is correct, then the first humans were created full-grown, as man and woman, not boy and girl. Therefore, if you or I were able to go back in time to see Adam and Eve on the very day they came into existence, they would not appear the same way a 1-day-old human appears today. Likewise with the animals, and the trees. If we were able to go back to the Garden of Eden, and cut down a tree, it would most likely have rings, just as if it had been there for many years. Likewise, if we were to examine a rock, it would be fully formed, just as any rock we pick up today. But it would not be millions, or thousands, or even hundreds of years old; it would be just a few days old. Continue reading » Scientific Evidences of a Young Earth
Those who claim that the Bible is merely the work of human beings, without God’s guidance or inspiration, will also speak of the evolution of the writers’ concept of God. They claim that the earlier writers had a primitive idea of who God is, whereas the later writers had a more sophisticated notion. Indeed, this is what we would expect from a collection of books written over a span of some 1500 years. But, is it really the case? Did the picture of God change from Genesis to Revelation, or is it truly the same God described throughout? The way to answer this is to look at some specific aspects of God’s character, and see whether the early writers had a different notion of God than the later ones did. For reasons of space, we cannot look at all of the different characteristics of God in this issue. However, we can take a good look at two of them. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Many Books, One God
I am not reporting any news when I write that atheists do not believe the Bible. Atheists, of course, consider themselves too intelligent and sophisticated to believe in God. If you have read this feature before, you know that Evidences is dedicated to providing examples of the hard evidence God has provided for us to analyze with our rational minds, and conclude that He is, and that He inspired the writers of scripture. So, if it is reasonable to believe in God and the Bible, on what grounds do the atheists assert the opposite? For one thing, they claim that the Bible is riddled with contradictions. Of course, if this is so, then there is reason to doubt its inspiration. Therefore, let us ask the question, “Does the Bible contradict itself?”
In order to answer this question, we will let the atheists have a crack at showing some contradictions. The following passages are cited on an “American Atheist” website as an example of a biblical contradiction:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8)
One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. (Romans 14:5) Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Attack of the Atheists
There are many today who are under the impression that the Bibles we have today are not true to the original documents. Moreover, there are some who still think that the various books of the Bible were not written when the books themselves claim to have been written. Some folks think that the Gospels, for instance, were not eyewitness accounts as they claim to be, but are rather mythical accounts written much later in order to establish the Christians’ doctrine. In pursuing this type of question, we are not trying to establish whether the Bible is inspired, but whether it is authentic: whether the text is true to the original, and whether the original books were written when they claim to have been. In this article, we will look at some of the evidence which can help us to answer this type of question. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Documentation of the Bible
Some of the evidence supporting the divine authorship of scripture can be found within scripture itself. And this only makes sense, because if the Creator of the universe chose to reveal His will in writing, clearly He could do so in such a way that we could verify its origin. But the internal evidence is not the only kind available to us. There is also external evidence based upon various phenomena we can observe, as well as information provided by various disciplines of science and history. This month, we will consider an example of external evidence which comes from a seemingly unlikely source: the Chinese written language. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Ancient Alphabet
In the May installment of Evidences, we looked at the exodus of the Israelites from the land of Egypt. In particular, we focused on the crossing of the Red Sea, and how that crossing foreshadowed the New Testament concept of baptism. This month, we will focus on another event which God brought about in the course of freeing His people from their slavery: the tenth plague.
In order to convince the Egyptians of His deity, engrave the fear of Himself on their hearts, make Himself known to all peoples, and to convince Pharaoh to let Israel go, God sent a series of plagues upon the Egyptians. The tenth – and final – of these plagues was the most terrible of all:
Then Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the maidservant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the beasts.'” (Exodus 11:4,5) Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: The Blood of the Lamb
The book of Deuteronomy, which was written somewhere around 1450 BC, records the final words of Moses to the nation of Israel, before their long-awaited entry into the promised land of Canaan. One of the things Moses told the people was this:
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. (Deuteronomy 18:15)
At first blush, this may not seem very exceptional; throughout the long history of the Israelites, God sent many prophets to them. However, God did not send many prophets like Moses. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: A Prophet Like Moses
In the Liaoning Province in northeast China, archaeologists recently discovered fossils of turkey-sized animals that were apparently covered with feathers. They have strong legs and stubby arms, and so the scientists proclaimed them to be feathered dinosaurs. In fact, the team of scientists who examined them, and those who wrote about them in Nature and National Geographic, have indicated that these fossils are the strongest evidence yet found to indicate that birds evolved from reptiles.
In point of fact, this only goes to show how little evidence there is to link dinosaurs to birds on some kind of evolutionary continuum. The only thing these fossils prove is that there was a group of animals that in some ways resembled dinosaurs and in some ways resembled turkeys. The scientists do not know if they were birds or dinosaurs. In fact, the fossils have been dated as being more recent than the oldest known fossils of birds. According to Alan Feduccia, evolutionary biologist at the University of Carolina, Chapel Hill, the animals preserved in these fossils could simply be birds that just happened to look like dinosaurs in some respects. Therefore, they could only be evidence of evolution to someone who already believes in evolution. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Why the Dinosaur Bird Won’t Fly
Those who do not believe in Jesus will sometimes claim that there is no historical evidence that He ever existed. This is a most amazing claim, which is very easily proven false, and yet it is often taught in high school classrooms and on college campuses as though it were a matter of fact. It is true that there is no credible record of His actual teachings, and no reliable history of His life, apart from the New Testament. However, it is also true that Jesus is mentioned by name by non-Christian writers in the first century. Furthermore, there are abundant references to His disciples in the writings of ancient secular historians. That Jesus existed is a matter of undeniable fact. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: A Man Named James
“And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up – if in fact the dead do not rise” (1Corinthians 15:14-15). The conviction that Jesus rose from the dead lies at the very heart of the Christian’s faith. Therefore, if we can be certain that He did rise, then we can be certain that we are correct in following Him. Likewise, if we cannot be certain that He rose, then our faith as Christians is without a substantial foundation. It is of the utmost importance, then, that we can be completely certain of Jesus’ resurrection. But, how can we be certain, seeing that we were not present to witness it for ourselves? Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Eyewitness Testimony
The people were complaining again. This time, they were tired of eating the manna God had given them to eat – food which they did nothing to earn, but was rained down from the sky for them:
And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” (Numbers 21:5)
It should be remembered that the manna tasted pretty good, like wafers made with honey (Exodus 16:31). Yet this was not the first time they had complained about it; a short time earlier, they whined about not having meat, and God rained down quail for them. Indeed, this incident is just one in a seemingly endless series of complaints. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: The Snake on the Pole
The story of Israel’s son Joseph begins in the thirty seventh chapter of Genesis, and continues through the end of the book. It is a familiar story: Joseph’s brothers sell him to some traders, who bring him to Egypt and sell him as a slave; he rises to be the head of his master’s house, but his master’s wife falsely accuses him, so he is thrown in prison; in prison, he demonstrates his God-given ability to interpret dreams, by interpreting for Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker; two years later, the chief butler remembers Joseph, and commends him to Pharaoh, who has had a dream which his wise men are unable to interpret; Pharaoh sends for Joseph, who interprets his dream correctly – there will be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine; Pharaoh places Joseph in authority over all Egypt, excepting only himself; when famine comes, and Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy food, Pharaoh hears of it:
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your beasts and depart; go to the land of Canaan. Bring your father and your households and come to me; and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land'” (Genesis 45:17,18).
Thus, Israel and his twelve sons and their families came into Egypt as the honored guests of Pharaoh. But this blessed state was not to last forever. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Delivered from Slavery
A good friend of mine lent me the June, 1984 issue of National Geographic, which has a large section on ants. The main article in this section is well-written, lavishly illustrated, and downright fascinating. The author is clearly an expert on ants – and a firm believer in the general theory of evolution. In fact, he begins the essay by describing his efforts to find a rare Australian ant called Nothomyrmecia macrops, which he had hoped would prove to be a “missing link” between modern ants and their alleged primitive ancestors. As you are probably aware, scientists who believe in the general theory of evolution are always looking for “missing links”, because they have not yet found any hard physical evidence of the supposed evolution from primitive to complex forms of life. As it turned out, the Nothomyrmecia macrops proved to be yet another disappointment. Rather than providing a link between modern social ants and their alleged semi-social or solitary ancestors, this ant prove to be, in the author’s words, “fully social.” Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Going to the Ants