Monthly Archives: February 2014

Good Change, Bad Change

Change! Everything nowadays seems to change. I guess this has always been true. The leaves change, seasons change, fashion changes, individual people change, looks change, technology changes, tastes change, moods change, landscapes change, cities change. Even slick politicians promise us “Change!” The list could go on. But change for change’s sake is not a good thing in most instances. All change is not good. There are some things that should not change and that don’t change.

For instance, God does not change. “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2). Yes, people may change over time, because they are less than perfect. But God, being perfect, cannot change, lest He be less than perfect. Nor does Jesus Christ change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). It is good that God does not change because this provides stability for us in our lives and world.

God’s word does not change. Heaven and earth will pass away before God’s word ever changes (Matt. 2:35) and even then there is not a chance of it changing because it, too, is perfect. “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psalm 12:6,7). The law of the Lord is perfect and therefore does not change (Psalm 19:7). Truth does not change.

Morality and right and wrong do not change. Some people think that what was moral in the first century is no longer moral, that there is no objective, moral standard of right and wrong. But since God provides the standard through His word of what is right and wrong, and since neither God nor His word changes, then moralty and right and wrong do not change. What was morally wrong two thousand years ago, even six thousand years ago, is still wrong today and will always be wrong. The Psalmist declared, “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth” (Psalm 119:142; cf. Psalm 119:60).

Furthermore, the Lord’s church does not change. The same church that was established by the Lord on the first Pentecost after the Lord’s resurrection (Acts 2; Matt. 16:16-19) is the very same church which will be translated into heaven without spot or blemish (Eph. 5:27). There are many who try to change her, who try to lower her standards, who try to make something of her she was never intended to be, but the Lord’s church remains the same because the gates of hell cannot prevail against her (Matt. 16:19).

All these things do not change. Some men want to change them, some men try to change them, but God’s will resists those feeble attempts. Those who try to change them, however, who try to add to or take away from them, will meet with unwelcomed and unbearable reprisal (Rev. 22:18,19).

What does need to change is the heart of man. The heart of every man needs to be set free from an evil conscience (Heb. 10:22). Men want life their own way on their own terms, but the way of man is not in himself (Jer. 10:23). It is man that left God and, thus, needs to be reconciled unto Him, not the other way around (II Cor. 5:19ff). This is good change, when men turn back to God. We need more of this kind of change.

Eric L. Padgett

Moses, Faithful in all His House

“And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after” (Hebrews 3:5).

Moses01Like Abraham, the life of Moses provides us an impressive example of genuine faith. Though Moses’ origins were humble, by God’s providence and Moses faith, he accomplished great things for God. Hebrews 11:23-27 gives a listing of the things which the inspired Hebrew writer wanted us to understand, things that would encourage faithfulness to God.

First, genuine, saving faith is fearless. By faith, Amram and Jochabed saved Moses from destruction as an infant, by hiding him in an ark of bulrushes and setting him in the Nile (or one of it’s tributaries). This was done in faith and therefore they must have received some instruction from God in this regard (Rom. 10:17). This godly couple chose to obey God and risk their own lives to save their son for some great purpose God had in mind for him, ultimately, the deliverance of the people of God. Disobedience to Pharaoh, however, could have meant death, but obeying God was much more important to Amram and Jochabed. Can the same be said of us? Is God’s will important enough to us that we are willing to loose our lives to obey Him. Certainly the first century church thought so (Rev. 2:10; Acts 8:1-4; etc).

Second, genuine, saving faith does the right thing even when it is the hard thing. It is tempting to take the easy way out of a difficult situation. But unless that easy way is the right way, and it usually is not, then it is a course of action that should not even be considered. Moses could have taken the easy way out and remained in the court of Pharaoh, even, perhaps, possibly taking the reigns of power. He could have refused to consider the plight of his own people and his life would have been easy. He could have justified, in his own mind, staying in power so that some time later he might show a kindness to his people when he had more leverage.

But Moses chose to do the right thing, which was the hard thing, and stand with the oppressed people of God. His actions would have offended the Pharaoh, his daughter, and the Egyptian people. who had embraced him as one of their own. But it was the right thing to do. In our lives we may find ourselves in a situation where telling the truth will cause some people, maybe even people we love, to be hurt. And no matter how much we temper it, the truth will still hurt. In that situation, will we have the faith of Moses? We may find ourselves in a situation where the truth leads us to have to part company with loved ones, or friends. When that happens, will we have the faith of Moses to do the right thing even though it is the difficult thing?

Third, genuine, saving faith endures even under withering attacks. Moses was able to lead the people of God out of Egyptian bondage, even facing tremendous challenges. Pharaoh opposed him, The people of Egypt despised him. Death traps appeared constantly before him. Great obstacles lay in his way. Even his own people questioned his leadership and challenged him and accused him. But Moses had the kind of vision that leaders of faith have for he saw Him who is invisible and he endured. He did not stagger at the promise of God. Do we have that kind of faith? Do we have faith to follow the Lord’s will and let the chips fall where they may? Do we trust that if we seek first the kingdom of God all things we need will be added unto us (Matt. 6:33)?

Fourth, genuine saving faith obeys God even when doing so doesn’t always seem to make sense to us. Why build an ark when it had never even so much as rained? Why should I leave Ur and go to a place I have never even heard of before? How can I, an old man, have children? How does being immersed in water save me? How does prayer work? Why should I attend worship or take the Lord’s supper? Why does God require this foolish preaching? How does painting blood on my door post protect me from death? Moses understood the power of the word of God. God said. That settles it. And I believe it. That is the posture of faith.

Finally, genuine saving faith will go forward even when there seems to be great obstacles in the way. Moses and the children of Israel were apparently trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea. To go back, they would be slaughtered by Pharaoh’s troops, the instrument of satan to destroy the seed of the woman. Before them lay the great red sea and death by drowning. What do you do in this situation? You obey God! “And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (Exodus 14:15). Even when it seems like we are trapped in sin and there is no way out we must know that God has prepared a way of escape. Paul tells us this example of Moses is given to us for an example, that we might know that “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (I Cor. 10:1-13).

Moses was verily faithful in all his house and he provides a great example for us to follow.

Eric L. Padgett

The Recent “Debate” Between Ken Ham and Bill Nye (2)

In the debate between creation science and evolution, the real problem is not that creationists reject science, it is that evolutionists reject the evidence of the Bible.  They not only reject the Bible, but they reject any possibility of the supernatural whatsoever.  Though they aver that they are objective, in actuality anything that conflicts with their materialistic world view is rejected or shrugged off.

For instance, Ken Ham introduced a piece of evidence for Bill Nye that he did not really touch.  He made one attempt, but then spoke of it no more.  Ham spoke of a piece of wood that was discovered entombed in a basalt flow 70 feet down.  Samples of the rock and wood were sent to a lab to be dated.  The rock was dated to 45 million years old but the wood was dated to 45,000 years old.  Two widely divergent dates in the same layer.

Nye tried to suggest that the 45 million old rock slid on top of the wood.  But Ham pointed out that the wood was found encased in the rock, not under it.  Nye never answered this again.  Never attempted to answer it.  He just shrugged.  These examples could be multiplied many times.

In attempting to defend Big Science dating methods, Nye unwittingly undercut himself by admitting that their predictions about the age of asteroids were incorrect.  They initially predicted that there would be a wider spread between the age of the asteroids, but it was discovered that the ages were actually quite close together, which Nye described as a “mystery.”  These dates are not a problem for creation scientists, but they are for evolutionists.

Furthermore, Nye is fond of pointing out that science actually makes predictions about what should be if certain things are so.  He says this often as if to imply that creation science doesn’t actually make predictions, thus it is not science.  While we would agree that making predictions is essential in the scientific method, science often gets it wrong, as in the case of the age of asteroids.  Creation scientists often make predictions as well.  But in every instance where all the evidence is available, the Bible has been found to be completely accurate.

When addressing the idea of racism that has been promoted by the belief in evolution (remember, the original title of Darwin’s book was “Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, or the preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life), he never addressed the issue.  Nye simply said that racism was proposed by people of European descent who said “Hey, were the best. Check us out.”  But the point is that Darwinism gave cover to racism by promoting the idea of a “favored race.”  Nye did not even attempt to address the point.

Nye continued throughout the debate to dismiss the Bible as unreliable because it has been translated many times and that creation science is merely Ham’s fallible interpretation of an old, outdated, fallible book.

In response, Ham pointed out that it was not simply his view but that it was backed by many credentialed scientists.  “I do want to say this, that you said a few times you know, ‘Ken Ham’s view’ or ‘Ken Ham’s model.’  It’s not just Ken Ham’s model.  We have a number of PhD scientists here on staff. . . It’s Dr. Demadian’s model, it’s Dr. Fabish’s model, it’s Dr. Faulkner’s model, it’s Dr. Snelling’s model, It’s Dr. Perdams model, and so it goes on”.

Again, either Nye was completely ignorant of what the Bible says regarding sin, or he purposely misrepresented it.  He said:  “Are the fish sinners?  Have they done something wrong to get diseases?  That’s sort of an extraordinary claim that, ah, takes me just a little past what I’m comfortable with.”  Obviously, no one claims that fish have sinned, but there are consequences to actions.  Many people who have never imbibed one drop of alcohol have been hurt or killed by it, however.

Nye once and again tried to characterize Ham’s position.  For instance, he said: “So this idea that you can separate the natural laws from the past from the natural laws that we have now I think is at the heart of our disagreement.  I don’t see how we’re ever going to agree with that if you insist that natural laws have changed.  It’s ah, for lack of a better word, it’s magical.  And I have appreciated magic since I was a kid but it’s not really what we want in conventional, mainstream science.”

But Ham responded: “I would also say that natural law hasn’t changed.  As I talked about, you know, we have the laws of logic, the uniformity of nature.  And that only makes sense within a Biblical world view anyway of a Creator God who set up those laws.  And that’s why we can do good experimental science, because we assume those laws are true and they’ll be true tomorrow.”

Ham also brought up the “Horizon Problem” to show that Big Science also has problems with how heat and radiation can transfer across the universe, producing a stable and fairly constant background radiation.  According to Big Science, there should not be a consistent background radiation because the universe is too large for all the energy to have reached all other parts.  Yet, this prediction was found to be wrong.  So, Big Science had to come up with a solution.  Therefore, it invented Inflation, the idea that at some very early point in the formation of the universe (according to Cosmic Evolution) the universe expanded at a rate much more rapidly than they say it is doing to day.  But isn’t this, for lack of a better word, “magical”?  That’s what Nye said it is when laws from the past differ from laws from the present (see above).

There is so much more that could be said, but I’ll make one final point.  Experimental science is wonderful and God given.  God has given us a world full of wonders to explore and understand.  We are, in fact, to subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28).  Good Bible exegesis has nothing to fear from honest, objective experimental science because Truth does not contradict itself.

After having listened to the debate a second time, I find that Mr. Ham actually did a much better job of addressing the issues, answering questions and challenging his opponent than I initially thought he did.   Nye merely characterized his opponent’s positions and never answered the arguments presented substantially.  I don’t know if this is Bill Nye’s true character or if this was all he was left with because he could not answer the truth.

Eric L. Padgett

The Recent “Debate” Between Ken Ham and Bill Nye

This past Tuesday night I watched the “debate” between Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, and Bill Nye, television personality and comedian. I placed “debate” in parentheses because the event was not really a debate but a co-presentation of views. Bill Nye argued against the world being created by God and against the Bible and Ken Ham defended creation science as a legitimate way to understand the world. This article is just my brief assessment of that presentation.

First, while I think Ken Ham presented a cogent case for creation science, especially in his main presentation, I think he could have done more and been more aggressive in the shorter answers. But maybe that is not his style, I don’t know. Nevertheless, there were openings that Nye left that Ham did not fully exploit.

Second, from the start, Bill Nye used emotive and pejorative language to stealthily attack Mr. Ham and creation science. For instance, he constantly described creation science as “Mr. Ham’s view” but his own view as “mainstream science.” He would stretch out his hands toward the outside of the building, and talk about the outside world of mainstream science, as if the creation museum and creation science were divorced from both science and reality. Even when he presented a slide stating the proposition under debate, “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?” his slide called it “Ken Ham’s creation model.” The implication is that there are many creation models and that they are all different because they are not science. Real science, on the other hand, according to Nye, is unified in adoption of evolution because there is no disagreement about it.

Of course, this just isn’t so. There are probably just as many evolution models as there are scientific creation models. On any given issue, there are many theories offered as possible solutions to problems faced by evolutionists. As Ham later pointed out, while there may be different theories about how a certain creation fact came to be, there is no disagreement about the fact of creation. Ham could have asked Nye whether he accepted panspermia, promoted by Hoyle, or spontaneous generation, or punctuated equilibrium, promoted by Gould, Darwinian evolution, or Neo-Darwinism, or Lamarckiansim, or Emication, etc., all of them offering different takes on evolutionary thinking.

Nye immediately tried to brush aside the distinction between “historical science” and “observational science” and said “These are constructs unique to Mr. Ham. We don’t normally have these anywhere in the world except here. Natural laws that applied in the past, apply now.” First, the affirmation of uniformitarianism does not refute the distinction between “historical science” and “observational science.” Even if laws that apply now applied always in the past, that wouldn’t mean that we could infallibly know what happened in the past. For instance, there are unsolved crimes.

Second, even evolutionists admit rate changes over time. The National Geographic Magazine asserted that “Explosive population growth is driving human evolution to speed up around the world, according to a new study.” The article went on to say that “The pace of change accelerated about 40,000 years ago and then picked up even more with the advent of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, the study says.” If evolution rates can change, why appeal to uniformitarianism as evidence that there is no difference between “historical science” and “observational science”? What was happening 10,000 years ago was not even the same as what was happening 40,000 years ago, according to evolutionists themselves.

Creationists acknowledge that laws currently in force were active in the past, as well. Creationist believe this because they understand that there is a lawgiver who established these laws of nature. Creationists also accept catastrophism, the idea that there have been unique, catastrophic geological events which impacted the earth’s history. Evolutionists have now also come around to understand this, as well. What evolutionists, naturalists, and materialists reject is the idea that there is a God who might have influenced the history of the world. Dr. Scott C. Todd exemplifies the evolutionists attitude toward God: “Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic” (written to the journal Nature). So it doesn’t really matter that there is evidence for creation, they won’t accept it anyway.

There are many things Bill Nye never addressed. Bill Nye never addressed the creation scientists that Mr. Ham referenced who were fully credentialed, peer-reviewed scientists who were published in journals Mr. Nye would accept as legitimate, owned and operated by evolutionists.

Bill Nye never answered Ken Ham’s questions, any of them, as I recall, but especially the question: “Can you name one piece of technology that could only be developed by starting with a belief in molecules-to-man evolution? From Nye there was not a word about this.

Bill Nye could not answer why there are morals nor could he refute the fact that belief in evolution has had a deleterious effect on the morals of our society.

Nye could not answer where consciousness came from.

Nye began his main presentation by arguing that there are “layer upon layer upon layer of limestone” that “took millions of years” to form. He asked “How could those animals have lived their entire life and formed these layers in just 4,000 years?” Of course, he did not present proof of millions of years. He just asserted that this is what “mainstream” science states. But assertion is not argument. Nor did he even try to deal with what creation science would say about this and try to demonstrate how it would not be viable, which is, after all, what the proposition demanded he do.

He offered ice core samples as evidence of long periods of time, never once addressing how creationist post-flood, ice-age models could account for the data. In a post-flood environment, huge snowstorms with great oscillations in temperature and other factors could account for the observed striations. Ken Ham did mention the airplanes which were found buried under 250 feet of ice. In trying to disregard this evidence one old-earth proponent said this: “the lost squadron crashed in a relatively warm area of southern Greenland where, unlike the sites of the three deep ice cores, several melts and refreezings per year can occur and seven times as much snow falls per year.” Exactly! If more snow and several thaws and refreezings can happen there, why cannot that also explain ice-core samples indicating age in other places. After all, isn’t the present the key to the past?

He offered the age of bristle cone pines as another indicator that the earth has been here a long time. He offered as an example Old Tjikko in Sweden as the oldest tree at 9,500 years old. He asked “How could these trees be here if there was an enormous flood just 4,000 years ago?” He did not say that Old Tjikko was dated that way by C-14 dating the roots, and C-14 dating has its own assumptions. The oldest living tree is the bristle cone pine in the Inyo National Forest in California at about 4,700 years. This accords nicely with the date one would expect a tree to have if there was a flood 4,500 to 5,000 years ago, as the Bible teaches there was. In fact, the real question is, why aren’t there trees that are older if the earth is as old as they claim?

He offered the layers of rocks in the grand canyon as proof of an old earth. He said, “This is what geologists on the outside do. Study the rate at which soil is deposited.” Again, this was an attack on the credibility of the scientists who are creationists, suggesting that they don’t know what science is.

folded rock layers

He also said, “If there was this enormous flood that you speak of, wouldn’t there have been churning and bubbling and broiling. How would these things have settled out?” I know he knows of rock formations which are twisted and folded. Just do a search on any internet search engine for “folded rock” formations. He then stated, “Your claim that they settled out in an extraordinary short amount of time is for me not satisfactory.” But his “wants” do not amount to proof. Furthermore, his statement that if there was a worldwide Noachian flood you would expect all rock layers to be uniform shows his lack of understanding how science works.

He then states, “And by the way, if this great flood drained through the Grand Canyon, wouldn’t there have been a Grand Canyon on every continent.” This not only shows his lack of understanding of the science of the flood, but a lack of logic. The question could be asked of him, “If a river flowing continuously for millions of years caused the Grand Canyon, wouldn’t there be Grand Canyons on all the continents since there are rivers on all continents?”

He offered the fossil record as proof that the creation model is not a viable scientific theory. But the fossil record rather than contradicts the creation account supports it. There are no transitional fossils from one kind to another. Everywhere you look there are fully formed animal kinds. He said you don’t find fossils of one strata mixing with the fossils of another strata. Actually, there is evidence of dinosaurs and man living together (e.g., Glen Rose, TX and paintings of dinosaurs) but this proof is always rejected out of hand because it doesn’t fit their theory.

I will continue this review in another post.

Eric L. Padgett

Show Us The Father

“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18).

The Creator of all things is not visible to the corporeal eye (Col. 1:15; Heb. 11:27). No time in human history has any mere mortal man seen God as He is, having never seen His shape nor heard His voice (I John 4:12; John 5:37). God has manifested Himself to man in various ways, as when Moses saw God’s “back parts,” (for no man can see His face and live–Ex. 33:20-23), or when He appeared to Abraham on the plains of Mamre (Gen. 18:1-19:1), or when He appeared to the prophets (i.e., Is. 6:1-13). But God Himself, as God, has never been seen by merely mortal eyes.

And yet, men have seen God in a way that is perhaps just as clear. The Lord said, when asked by Philip “Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us” (John 14:8), “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:9). This statement of Jesus cannot mean that The Son and the Father were numerically identical for on other occasions the Father spoke from heaven while the Son was on the earth (Matt. 3:13-17). Nor does it mean that Jesus’ physical body is what the Father looked like, for God is a spirit (John 4:24) and a spirit does not have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39).

The Bible teaches that Jesus “hath declared Him” (John 1:18). Jesus is “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person” (Heb. 1:3). Just as the sunshine reveals the sun, so does Jesus reveal the Father. Jesus said “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Matthew 11:27). “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19). “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30).

In everything Jesus did, He acted as would the Father (John 8:28). Just as the Old Testament was written for our learning (Rom. 15:4), the Gospel Record reveals to us, not only the historical account of Jesus of Nazareth, but they afford us a look into the divine nature itself. How do I know the love of God (John 3:16)? By looking at how Jesus loved. Jesus said “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). How do I know the purity of God (Hab. 1:13)? I can see it in the sinlessness of Jesus (Heb. 4:15). How do I know the power of God (Ps. 147:5)? I can see it in the miracles of Jesus (Mark 4:41; John 3:1,2). All that can be known of God can be seen in Jesus (John 10:30)

Jesus reveals the Father in both His actions and His words. “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:45). To hear Jesus is to hear the Father! To hear and follow the Son of God is to be able to partake of that divine nature which Jesus manifested to us. Peter said “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Peter 1:3-4). Through the knowledge of Him we can fellowship, participate in, the divine nature!

How sublime a thought. Our mortal eyes may have never seen the Father, but we know Him nevertheless. Not only do we know Him, but we partake of His divine nature. We become one with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ, and through this the world may be led to believe in Jesus (John 17:21).

Eric L. Padgett