Read his excellent post on the Swine Flu hullabalo and then consider how you should become active! His post is A Little Less Conversation and a Little More Action Please.
Read his excellent post on the Swine Flu hullabalo and then consider how you should become active! His post is A Little Less Conversation and a Little More Action Please.
My readers will know that I think a major problem in our churches today is not too much Bible teaching but not enough. People lack real basic knowledge of God’s program and the progress of redemption through the Scriptures. Even worse, they do not even know the basics like the books of the Old and New Testament, the 10 commandments and other basic things you learn in Sunday School.
You can see my thoughts about all this here in my previous post, Is Too Much Bible Teaching the Problem or the Solution?
Michael Horton and the White Horse Inn deal with this issue in this week’s broadcast called “Biblical Ignorance.” I highly recommend this broadcast and the ministry of White Horse Inn in general. The description reads:
In our own informal surveys conducted over the years, the majority Christians we’ve interviewed cannot name the Ten Commandments or define crucial biblical doctrines such as justification or imputation. So why is biblical ignorance so common among Christians today? That’s our discussion on this edition of The White Horse Inn (Originally Broadcast April 1, 2007).
My former Old Testament and Hebrew professor at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Robert V. McCabe, has authored 3 excellent posts over at SharperIron. In these 3 posts McCabe defends the position that God created in six literal 24 hour days. Check out his excellent posts here:
Also, be sure to check out McCabe’s excellent blog, Old Testament Studies.
What is the Issue?
The essence of the issue before us is simply, how did we all get here? How did the universe originate? How did people end up on this earth? Was it all by chance or did God create the universe and man? These are the questions that we are seeking to answer briefly here. They have a great impact on our understanding of the nature of the Bible, or God, and humanity.
Arguments for Evolution
The main argument for the formation of a billion(s) year old universe and the arrival of man for the evolutionist is quite simple: it is one of a presupposed opposition to the possibility that God created the universe. Those who argue for those things generally hold to an approach to viewing reality called naturalism. “Naturalism is the view that every law and every force operation in the universe is natural rather than moral, spiritual, or supernatural. Naturalism is inherently antitheistic, rejecting the very concept of a personal God.” This sweeping belief of antitheism is the driving force behind attempts at argumentation for the validity of an old universe and evolution. While there are those who argue that they can maintain being old earth creationists or completely embrace evolution and still be Christians, the vast majority of those who argue for an old universe and evolution are reflecting a naturalistic view of the universe and in no way clearly reflect the Scriptural teaching on the issue. Every bit of scientific “evidence” is manipulated to support their naturalistic assumptions.
There is truly no scientific evidence to substantiate an old universe or evolution because it cannot be reproduced. Therefore, all arguments for an old earth and evolution fall under a desire to remain naturalistic.
Arguments for Creationism
The arguments for young earth creationism are derived directly from the Scriptures. In summary, the Scriptures argue that God created the heavens and the earth in six twenty-four hour literal days and that this happened only thousands of years ago, not billions.
The Use of “Day” and “Morning and Evening”
In the context of the creation account, there is found a use of the singular form “day” with increasing numbers to indicate which “day” is in view. This is used throughout Scripture to indicate a literal day. When the singular “day” is qualified by a number it is almost invariably understood to be literal. The use of consecutive ordinal numbers modifying the word “day” also indicates a literal 24 hour day. “The sequential use of the ordinal numbers ‘first’ through ‘sixth’ for each day of the creation week, followed by the ‘seventh day…’ indicates a chronological progression of days.”
Another argument for literal creation days is the usage of “morning and evening.” Throughout Scripture the usage of “morning and evening” often describes a literal day. In the creation account specifically, it indicates the non-creative portion of the day, i.e. night. Evening indicates the beginning of night whereupon God suspends his creative activity, and morning which indicates the end of night, whereupon God renews again His creative effort. This approach is consistent with the rest of the Scriptural usage of “morning and evening.”
Exodus 20:8–11 and Exodus 31:14–17
Other usages of “day” occur in other portions of Scripture which specifically point back to the creation event, yet are speaking of literal 24 hour days. In Exodus 20:8–11 we have the giving of the fourth commandment regarding the keeping of the Sabbath. V. 11 makes it very clear that keeping the Sabbath was based upon the pattern set in creation. It was because God created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh that the Israelites should therefore work for six days and rest on the seventh. It is undeniable that the fourth commandment is connected to the creation week.
As well, Exodus 31:14–17, which is a command again to observe the Sabbath, connects it clearly with the creation week. Once again it makes the connection between observing a literal six day work week and a requirement to rest on the seventh because God created in a literal six day work week and rested on the seventh.
There are other passages which could be shown to agree with the literal 24 hour day creation but these suffice to demonstrate by connection to the creation week that creation was accomplished in six literal 24 hour days.
Image of God
Man was created in the image of God (Gen 1:26, 27; 5:1; 9:6; 1 Cor 11:7; Jas 3:9). This is an incredible theological truth. Man was unique from the rest of creation in that he possessed the spiritual characteristics of God. This essentially is the essence of personality. We possess the same spiritual characteristics of God in that man is spiritual, self-conscious, self-determining, living, active, and intelligent. If man evolved from animals this would negate the unique and special creation that is man. Man is the only one that possesses the image of God and it was through the unique creation of man.
In contrast to what modern science teaches, much geological, physical, and biological evidence point to a young earth and away from evolution. It is not the scope of this post to deal with this scientific data but to simply make the point that it is the inherent presuppositions that people possess that indicate how they view science. Scientific “evidence” clearly fits within the biblical data for young earth creationism if one does not allow science to trump the Bible.
The Bible is clear. God created the universe in six literal 24 hour days. Man did not become man by the process of evolution but by the special creation of God Himself.
John MacArthur, The Battle for the Beginning: Creation, Evolution and the Bible (n.p.: Word, 2001), p. 11.
Like Robert C. Newman, “Old Earth (Progressive) Creationism,” in Three Views on Creation and Evolution, ed. J. P. Moreland and John Mark Reynolds (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999), pp. 103–133.
Like Howard J. Van Till, “Theistic Evolution,” in ibid, pp. 161–218.
The determination of the age of the universe or evolution can hardly be called scientific. MacArthur writes, “The notion that natural evolutionary processes can account for the origin of all living species has never been and never will be established as a fact. Nor is it ‘scientific’ in any true sense of the word. Science deals with what can be observed and reproduced in any laboratory. By definition, then, true science can give us no knowledge whatsoever about where we came from or how we got here. Belief in evolutionary theory is a matter of sheer faith” (The Battle for the Beginning, p. 12).
For an excellent interaction with non-literal viewpoints on creation see James B. Jordan, Creation in Six Days: A Defense of the Traditional Reading of Genesis One (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1999).
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., “Reformed Theology and Six-Day Creation,” Chalcedon Report 398 (September 1998): 28.
Robert V. McCabe, “A Defense of Literal Days in the Creation Week,” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 5 (Fall 2000): 105.
Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., “From Creation to Cosmos: A Critique of the Non-Literal Interpretations of Genesis 1:1–2:3,” in Did God Create in Six Days? Ed. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. and David W. Hall (Taylors, SC: Southern Presbyterian Press, 1999), p. 184.
McCabe, “A Defense of Literal Days in the Creation Week,” p. 106.
Gerhard F. Hasel, “The ‘Days’ of Creation in Genesis 1: Literal ‘Days’ or Figurative ‘Periods/Epochs’ of Time?” Origins 21 (1994): 29.
For creation in the New Testament see Douglas F. Kelly, Creation and Change (Fearn, Scotland: Mentor, 1997), pp. 129–134.
Kurt P. Wise, Faith, Form, and Time (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 2002), p. 142.
See Culver for details regarding these characteristics of personality that God possesses and that we also bear through the image of God (Robert D. Culver, Systematic Theology [Fearn, Scotland: Mentor, 2005], pp. 66–74).
See John C. Whitcomb, Jr. and Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Flood (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1961); Henry M. Morris, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1984); and John C. Whitcomb, Jr. The Early Earth, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1986).
Mark Dever and Matt Schmucker from 9Marks Ministries will be speaking on “Building Healthy Churches” in Toronto on June 1-3, 2009. Dever and Schmucker are being hosted by the most excellent group, the Toronto Pastors Fellowship. The event will be held at Richview Baptist Church in Etobicoke, ON. For only $115 you will enjoy:
- Admission to all plenary and breakout sessions
- Free books
- Monday night dinner
- Tuesday lunch
- Tuesday and Wednesday morning continental breakfast
- The TPC Coffee House (serving Starbucks Coffee)
- Some surprises
- Registration for the 2009-2010 Toronto Pastors Fellowship monthly meetings
You can find out all about it here at the Toronto Pastors Fellowship. I would highly suggest that you consider attending this conference and plan on attending the 2009-2010 monthly meetings. The 2008-2009 meetings were fantastic. These were wonderful times of fellowship with dear brothers in Christ, learning and growing from the Word, and just simply times of nourishment and refreshment. The material from those meetings can be accessed here:
Preached at Hastings Park Bible Church, Belleville, ON on March 8, 2009
John Piper recently had an excellent piece titled “Over my dead body, son: Wrestling without a handicap is no virtue” over at World Magazine (April 11, 2009, p. 56).
The issue is that on March 4 Elissa Reinsma became the first female to compete in the Minnesota state high-school wrestling tournament. For the first time female wrested male. Piper is not amused. He writes “It was not a step forward. Some cultures spend a thousand years unlearning the brutality of men toward women. This is an odd way to make history. Relive prehistory maybe.”
He concludes, “Be a leader dad. Your sons need you. The peer pressure is huge. They need manly restraints. They know this is wrong. But then they look around, and the groundswell conformity seems irresistible. It will take a real man, a real father, to say to his son. ‘Not on my watch, son. We don’t fight women. I have not raised you that way.’”
I admit from the beginning of this post, one of my vices is, I love The Simpson’s.
Should I love The Simpson’s? That’s material for another post. Sometimes I do question the value of a program like this. Sometimes the humour is crude; Homer and Marge hardly serve as good parenting role models, and of course, neither do the children serve as good role models for other children. In fact, in my home it was against the rules to watch The Simpson’s. I went away to Bible college (how surprised is anyone of this?) and grew to love them there. I came home and just started watching them. And even though my dad says he hates them, I’ll catch him watching them from time to time. I just love the biting wit and satire that are a part of each episode. Some of the more recent ones push the boundaries too far but the older ones are quite thought provoking.
But I recently heard someone say that The Simpson’s is the last TV family that is still “nuclear” or “nucular” as Homer pronounced it on an episode. What do I mean by a nuclear family? You almost never hear the terminology any longer.
According to Wikipedia (I know, not a reliable source for sourcing but…) a nuclear family is “a family group consisting of most commonly, a father and mother and their children.” This is hardly true in most cases any longer. This is replaced by what is being called “the postmodern family.” These families include single-parent, surrogate-mother, and gay and lesbian families among others. This embrace of our culture of the postmodern family is truly something to be concerned about.
Christians realize this is not how God intended it. Genesis 2:4-24 reminds us of God’s original created order. God made man and realizing it was not good for man to be alone God made woman. Man and woman were “one flesh.” Out of this union resulted children. The first nuclear family. But what happened?
Genesis 3 happened.
The reality is that sin gets in the way of God’s original intention. When Adam sinned as our federal head we too became sinners in Adam. We are broken people who spurn God relentlessly. Our sin causes us to not love our wives or our husbands as we should. Sin causes us to treat our children harshly or not respect our parents. Sin is man’s greatest problem. Thankfully, in Christ we have the solution! Christ provides salvation from sin and it’s effects.
So, we as Christians know the story. We know that marriages fall apart and children and parents hate each other not because somehow society has changed. The reality is people are just more “out there” in their sin. And it is going to take more than petitioning the government to outlaw gay marriage to change things. It is going to take faithful Christians to proclaim the good news of Christ Jesus to people as the one who can restore man’s relationship with God and heal our sinful hearts. Then when changed people begin to pursue lives of obedience to God, families will change. I don’t just pray for the nuclear family to replace again the postmodern family. I pray that people will get saved and that lives will be transformed! That is the only solution for the family problem we see today.
Back to The Simpson’s.
At the very least, Homer and Marge have been together through thick and thin. Temptation to both spouses by members of the opposite sex have in the end brought them back to each other reminding them of the commitment they made to each other on their wedding day. As much as the children infuriate them, in the end their love for their children is emphasized. The Simpson’s for all their faults, in some way, are the only television family still promoting the “nuclear concept.” Dad and mom and kids. They make mistakes like crazy on the show, but at the end of the day through Homer’s stupidity, Marge’s nagging, and the children’s disrespect, they still come back together as a family. I suppose it is a sad day when The Simpson’s are the only faithful television family any longer. But what do you expect in a world of sin?
Do you want to see things changed? Then instead of boycotting Disney for having a “gay day” or any other political issue coming down the pike, go out and preach the gospel faithfully to a lost and dying world. Go out and build relationships with unbelievers. Go out and model Christ-likeness in your life and in your family to others. Pray for people. Pray for God to bring people to Christ. And love people enough to boldly share with them their sin, their need for a Saviour, and the hope they can have in Christ.
So, the problem isn’t The Simpson’s per se. Or Everybody Loves Raymond or Two and a Half Men or any of those shows. The problem is a world where evil is called good and the church no longer stands for anything. Stand for the gospel and preach it faithfully! Then perhaps as a byproduct of this emphasis on gospel evangelism the family might begin to reflect how God intended it.
It is not by incarnation but by blood-shedding that we are saved. The Christ of God is no mere expounder of wisdom; no mere deliverer or gracious benefactor; and they who think they have told the whole gospel, when they have spoken of Jesus revealing the love of God, do greatly err. If Christ be not the Substitute, He is nothing to the sinner. If He did not die as the Sin-bearer, He has died in vain. Let us not be deceived on this point, nor misled by those who, when they announce Christ as the Deliverer, think they have preached the Gospel.
If I throw a rope to a drowning man, I am a deliverer. But is Christ no more than that? If I cast myself into the sea, and risk my life to save another, I am a deliverer. But is Christ no more? Did He but risk His life? The very essence of Christ’s deliverance is the substitution of Himself for us, His life for ours. He did not come to risk His life; He came to die! He did not redeem us by a little loss, a little sacrifice, a little labour, a little suffering, “He redeemed us to God by His blood;” “the previous blood of Christ.” He gave all He had, even His life, for us. This is the kind of deliverance that awakes the happy song, “To Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”
Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Michael A. G. Haykin and Darrin R. Brooker, Christ is All: The Piety of Horatius Bonar (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2007), pp. 111-113.