Monday, February 24, 2014

The Bachelor..... in 400 B.C.

To be honest...I am not a fan of 'The Bachelor'. I have seen a possible 30 minutes of programming in the history of the show.

I do have a household of girls and they watch it..some.

The most positive thing I have ever heard about it, was the wedding of Shawn and Catherine, which I was told was extremely God honoring and good.

But I know enough of the bachelor to know that much of it is saturated with a world view consisting of luxury, passion, and little commitment to morality before marriage.

But just when you thought this was only a contemporary contest- remember the Book of Ecclesiastes  quote, 'There is nothing new under the sun."

Take time to read the Biblical version of the Bachelor and the 1st 2 chapters of the amazing Book of Esther! The end of each chapter is a cliff-hanger!

Now in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces, in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa, the citadel, in the third year of his reign he gave a feast for all his officials and servants. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were before him, while he showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days.


 And when these days were completed, the king gave for all the people present in Susa the citadel, both great and small, a feast lasting for seven days in the court of the garden of the king's palace. There were white cotton curtains and violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rods and marble pillars, and also couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and precious stones. Drinks were served in golden vessels, vessels of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king.And drinking was according to this edict: “There is no compulsion.” For the king had given orders to all the staff of his palace to do as each man desired. Queen Vashti also gave a feast for the women in the palace that belonged to King Ahasuerus.


10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him.


13 Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times (for this was the king's procedure toward all who were versed in law and judgment, 14 the men next to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and sat first in the kingdom):15 “According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?” 16 Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, “Not only against the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also against all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For the queen's behavior will be made known to all women, causing them to look at their husbands with contempt, since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’ 18 This very day the noble women of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen's behavior will say the same to all the king's officials, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty. 19 If it please the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be repealed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus. And let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.

 20 So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike.” 21 This advice pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed. 22 He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, that every man be master in his own household and speak according to the language of his people. 

After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her.


 Then the king's young men who attended him said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king. And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa the citadel, under custody of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women. Let their cosmetics be given them. And let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This pleased the king, and he did so.


Now there was a Jew in Susa the citadel whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjaminite, who had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away. He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter. So when the king's order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in Susa the citadel in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king's palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women.


 And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king's palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem. 10 Esther had not made known her people or kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known. 11 And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and what was happening to her.


12 Now when the turn came for each young woman to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women—13 when the young woman went in to the king in this way, she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to the king's palace. 14 In the evening she would go in, and in the morning she would return to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines. She would not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.


15 When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king's eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. 


16 And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, 17 the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 Then the king gave a great feast for all his officials and servants; it was Esther's feast. He also granted a remission of taxes to the provinces and gave gifts with royal generosity.

Now, the cool thing is that there are still 8 more chapters of an amazing drama to be played out! Take some time to see why Esther is one of the great heroine's of history!
Her courage prevents a horrible holocaust!



Saturday, February 08, 2014

THE HAM/NYE DEBATE- Do I Really Want to Write This?

I have said "No" to this post for three days...... but here goes a fool rushing in where angels fear to tread.....

I watched the Feb. 4 debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye with concern about the format and what might be left in the wake of the process.

I was relieved and thankful that both men were fairly civil in the presentations AND I'm so grateful for the technology today that allowed both men to use keynote slides and videos.

In the end, there was nothing new... both sides are well documented in their arguments and my guess is that not one single human being was moved off of a settled position.

I do agree with some pundits who proclaimed Ken Ham a 'winner' in that he got the debate in the first place.

The thing I was MOST PLEASED with Dr. Ham was that he presented some great scientists to the audience who were solid believers AND he did not shrink back from presenting the gospel.


You can go back to the original publication of Darwin's "Origin of the Species" and find a dividing line that has forever changed the nature of the relationship of reason and faith. Both Christians and non-Christians have failed often in a reasoned response to this theory and document.

And the biggest problem is that the major philosophical pillars that must be put down BEFORE the arguments can actually take place takes a ton of time.. and we are too rash and impatient to ferret it all out.

The human condition is so interesting... two men can look at the same empirical evidence and come to totally different conclusions. Each one looks at the other and shakes their head as to why their opponent can't see that their argument is rock solid.

Here are the questions that I ask, and very few in this debate consider them valid...

Q1 "If God put into place a working creation...wouldn't it APPEAR to be older than it is?"
And again... a lot of assumptions here... but a tree in the garden of Eden that was 45 seconds old, if you cut it down and counted 45 rings.. is it 45 years old?... or is it 45 seconds old?

Q2 Young earth theologians talk about the problem of death before sin...but could the curse in Genesis be merely 'spiritual death' or 'God-kind death'? Man was already given 'dominion', livestock, creeping things- he was free to work the garden.. in the original mandate- did man have the ability to dig up trees, or did the livestock step on ants? Don't shoot me... but there is natural death and there is spiritual death... couldn't we have one without the other in theory?

Q3- Moses is writing Genesis as dictated by the Lord. Could it be that God is communicating to him TRUTH..but in an accommodated structure that communicates to the people at the time in parallel structures to how they understood the world at that time? Moses was trained with an ancient Egyptian education... could it be that God parallels that knowledge to communicate what is important without violating truth?

Q4- to the naturalists... no doubt that slight successful changes take place as environmental changes take place in living creatures...but is it rational to extrapolate that as proof for the variety and design of life as we now find it? To me, the least likely part of the evolutionary origin theory is the RANDOMNESS of it all. SO a cosmic lottery took place and we have beauty, variety, love, language, logic, and moral laws? To me, that takes more faith than to believe in a designer.... information from non-information and life from non-life is a greater 'miracle' if you ask me.

I have written on this topic before: My Good Nature Views Are Evolving
And if I am honest, I always hold an openness to listen to competing philosophies


  • My position is that I side with a young earth model of creation but I urgently stress that a Christian can maintain alternate theories of time and still hold a high view of Scripture. I believe there is room to debate and implore honest science to help us in our understanding of time and scientific origin philosophy.

  • It is an 'unfair' (reverse Scopes trial) position to deny intelligent design as a plausible scientific theory in scientific classrooms across the country. Darwinism and Intelligent Design are both 'belief' systems that look to apply empirical evidence to explain life as we know it.

  • A person can do an excellent job of honest science regardless of their belief about the existence of God. The discrimination documented in recent years against scientists who believe in God needs to be stopped.


Here was my greatest concern coming from the debate. Both men sought to undo the other sides argument as expected. Ham believes that allowing only a naturalistic view in the classroom is wrong and Nye believes that Ham's views are dangerous to children.

But did you feel the chill in the air from one side?.. I did

I got the impression that Ham believes the naturalistic view of origins are wrong, but I don't see him wanting to outlaw their right to be held or articulated.

I felt the chill of Nye's side... they want the ideas stamped out... Ham's views are dangerous... and I know that if that group of elites ever got the totalitarian power they want what the result would be... and that is what frightens me..... ideas have consequences......

Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield and the Princetonians

To me..these guys got it right...but few in evangelicalism followed...

Princeton received “Origin of the Species” with great interest in 1859.

In 1862, Charles Hodge noted Darwin’s own admissions: “his frank admission of  the difficulties of the theory and in the absurdity of its conclusion”.

Hodge’s main problem with Darwinism was its commitment to random chance and not directed by God. 

According to Hodge, the fatal flaw of Darwinism is the denial of design in nature. “If you deny design,you in effect deny God. Darwin says he believes in a creator, but if the creator, billions of eons ago, called a germ in existence and abandoned its development to chance has pretty much consigned himself to non-existence. So what is Darwinism? It is Atheism.

Hodge rejected Darwin’s views, with respect, in 1862.


As I close this post... please take note of quotes I use when discussing the foundations of these issues:

In Origin of the Species, Darwin stated,

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case.”

Darwin’s Black Box- Michael Behe


Hodge: “Science has taught us, the church, a lot about the Scriptures”
Archibald Alexander: “Science and the Bible are allies in establishing truth. God is author of both revelations. The truth has nothing to fear from the truth”.
Hodge: 2 FOLD EVIL
Evil of Science- Formulating theories that ignore Biblical truth
Evil of Church- Persisting in interpretations that conflict with well established objective truth

“In the enormous scene of the universe- amid the whirl and hiss of jagged iron wheels- amid the deafening hammer blows- man, a helpless and defenseless creature, finds himself- not secure for one moment- any second an imprudent wheel may seize and rend him, a hammer may crush him to a powder- and worse- the sense of abandonment is awful.”  David F. Strauss

“If time's beginning is concurrent with the beginning of the universe, as the space-theorem says, then the cause of the universe must be some entity operating in a time dimension completely independent of and preexistent to the time dimension of the cosmos. This conclusion is powerfully important to our understanding of who God is and who or what God isn't. It tells us that God is not the universe itself, nor is God contained within the universe.”
Hugh Ross

M.I.T. physicist Geoffrey Schroeder correctly points out in his analysis of the impressive display and tribute to evolution that is found in the Natural History Museum in London. “It is all impressive. Impressive, until you are able to walk out and reflect upon that which they are able to document. Daisies remained daisies, moths remained moths, and cichlid fish remained cichlid fish”.
 (The Science of God pg. 31).

MY PRAYER IS THAT honest science and a high view of the Bible will continue to be allies and not divide us.

By the way- very pleased with the great tone NightLine used in reporting on this:

Nye/Hamm: In the Background