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Is Genesis History? III

As an historian, one looks for concrete evidence and details.  The difference between a romance novel and history is often in the details.  For example, Snoopy or a romance novelist writes:  "On a dark and stormy fall night, as she hurried . . . "  We don't know what month, or what year.  The reason the romance writers write that way was because if they date it, then their writings would become obsolete.  By setting it in some city, they allow a Bostonian and a citizen of Atlanta both imagine that the heroine is in their city.
     Historians write, "There was evening and there was morning the first day."  And then we know what happened on the second day.  Later we know how long Adam and Eve lived and the names of some of their children.  History is full of specifics.

Thank you God for writing Your Story.

Is Genesis History? II

  On this day in history, 26 Feb 1919 the Grand Canyon park was set aside as a national park.  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.  However, the website goes on to say that "Located in northwestern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is the product of millions of years of excavation by the mighty Colorado River. . . it’s steep, multi-colored walls tell the story of 2 billion years of Earth’s history." 
    In the film Is Genesis History? the scientists tackled this question.  If the earth is that old and if the sediment was laid down a little bit at a time for millions of years, why are we seeing only the erosion of the Colorado River?  Surely there must have been some erosion if the earth is two billion years old and the Colorado River has been working on it for only million of years.  Why is there no other erosion elsewhere in the canyon?  And it if the Colorado River had been running this fast for millions of years, why is the canyon not deeper?

   Perhaps the history.com website does not have all the answers?

Lord, we praise you for making such a great world.

Is Genesis History? I

Last night we went to see the film "Is Genesis History?" produced by Creation Ministries International.  One of the questions is that if a galaxy is two million light years away how can the earth be 6,000 years old?  Creation Ministries International does not claim to know all the answers, and there is a vigorous debate among them on how this happened.
    One idea is that the light has not always travelled at the same speed.  In Genesis 1 we read "Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation."  How did this happen?  Could it have been that an oak tree grew from an acorn to be 50 feet tall in 12 hours?
   Could light from the galaxies have initially travelled faster than the speed of light?

God, we praise you for making creation so beautiful.

There is no such thing as a good influence

I am listening to Oscar Wilde's book Dorian Gray.  In it, one of the protagonists says "There is no such thing as a good influence."  However, Menander, a Greek poet (342-290 B.C.) wrote "Bad company corrupts good character."  And the reverse is true.  Surround yourself with good people, and the temptations to do evil disappear as all your friends will steer your straight. 

Is Cannibalism Wrong (Part IV)

Thus, in the West, there has been a general horror of cannibalism.  But if man is just an animal, why can't you eat man?
    The reason is simple.  Man is not an animal, but man is created in the image of God.  Because man is God's image, we treat man with respect.  That means when man dies, he is not eaten, but treated with respect and is buried. 
     Evolution has consequences.  If man is just an animal (albeit a higher form of an animal), then cannibalism logically is okay.  But for Christian, cannibalism is always wrong because we are created in God's image.

Jesus is the Word (Part III)

Last time we looked at how the Jehovah Witnesses had twisted the scriptures.  Here is Joseph Smith's Mormon translation:  John 1:1  "In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God."
      Several things should strike the reader right off the bat.  First, notice all the extra words.  Second, notice that Jesus has been demoted.  Instead of Jesus being the Word, the gospel is not preached through the Son.  Third, the Son was "of God."  The scriptures clearly teach the Word was God.  But the Mormons don't believe that Jesus is God.  According to them, Jesus was born of God and a goddess.

Thank You Jesus for being God, not of God.

Jesus is the Word (Part II)

John 1:1 states "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  This is how it is translated in 55 English versions, in the Vulgate, 3 Dutch versions, 5 German, 4 Italian, 19 Spanish, and 1 Finnish translation.  Out of all of these, only the Jehovah's Witness translation, The New World Translation, translates it as "a god."

Thank you Jesus for being God.

Zeus and Love

In Homer's Iliad, Hera (Zeus's wife and sister) tries to distract Zeus so that the Greeks can beat the Trojans.  She dresses with all the charms of Aphrodite, and then when Zeus sees her says:
Cloud-gatherer Zeus then answered:
                                                        “Hera,
you can go there later. But why don’t we
lie down and make joyful love together?
I’ve never felt such sexual desire before
for any goddess, for any mortal woman.
It’s flooding through me, overpowering the heart
here in my chest—not even when I lusted for
Ixion’s wife, who bore me Peirithous,
a man as wise as gods, or Danaë,     
with her enchanting ankles, daughter
of Acrisius, who gave birth to Perseus,                                          
most illustrious of men, nor the daughter
of famous Phoenix
, who bore me Minos
and godlike Rhadamanthus, nor Alcmene,
who gave birth to Hercules in Thebes,
a mighty hearted son, nor Semele,
who bore that joy to mortals Dionysus,
nor fair-haired lady Demeter, nor Leto,
that glorious girl, not even for yourself—     
I felt for none of these the love I feel
for you right now—such sweet desire grips me.”

Thus Zeus confesses to his wife that he has made love to seven other women.

God said "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous."  (Hebrews 13:4)
Zeus is no role model.

Jesus is the Word (Part I)

    This morning we heard an excellent sermon on Jesus is the Word from John 1:1.  This is one of the key verses as St. John patterns his opening on Genesis 1:1 where we read, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  John writes "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God."
    One key take away is that Jesus Chris, the Word, was in the beginning.  He was always God.

Praise God that we have an eternal God.

Is Cannibalism Wrong (Part III)

While the West shunned cannibalism, cannibalism was practiced frequently in the New World.  There is DNA evidence that the Pueblo Indians were cannibals (https://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/evidence-suggests-cannibalism-among-native-american-tribe/).  Brazilian Indians ate their fathers when they died.  Iroquois practiced cannibalism.  The word Mohawk is a Delaware Indian word for "man-eater."  And the Aztecs and Incas routinely practiced cannibalism.

(to be continued on 20 Mar 17)

Is Cannibalism Wrong (Part II)

In the Old Testament, we read of cannibalism.  While the Syrians under Ben-Hadad were besieging Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom, Ahab was walking on the wall.  Two women were living together and one woman had cooked her son.  The next day they were going to cook the other woman's son, but she had hidden her son.  Cannibalism is portrayed in a desperate time - a donkey's head was sold for 80 shekels of silver.  To put that in perspective, a slave's price was 20 shekels of silver (that was how much Joseph was sold for).  About two pounds of silver for a donkey's head, an unclean animal.

(to be continued)

Is Cannibalism Wrong (Part I)

We naturally shudder when we think of cannibalism.  But why?  Homer in the Odyssey portrays the evil of cannibalism by the Cyclopes.  These are evil monsters who do not fear Zeus.  In fact, Polyphemus says that he is greater than Zeus.  The Cyclopes do not farm, do not have legislative bodies, are not merchants and sailors, and are not hospitable.  Homer writes that "devoid of pity, he [Polyphemus} was silent in response, but leaping up laid hands on my crew. Two he seized and dashed to the ground like whelps, and their brains ran out and stained the earth. He tore them limb from limb for his supper, eating the flesh and entrails, bone and marrow, like a mountain lion, leaving nothing. Helplessly we watched these cruel acts, raising our hands to heaven and weeping. When the Cyclopes had filled his huge stomach with human flesh . . . "

(to be continued)

Narcissus

Do you know the legend of Narcissus?  He was born of the river god Cephisus and the nymph Lyriope and was therefore very handsome.  A mountain nymph, Echo, tried to befriend him, but he rejected her.  Later on he saw a picture of himself in a pool of water and becomes so enchanted with that person, he falls in love with himself.  Thus, he cannot love another, he cannot love the nymph Echo; he can only love himself.

Lord helps us to love others and not just ourselves.

Who is in Charge? Part II

Protagoras (487-412 B.C.) wrote that “Man is the measure of all things." 

Lord forgive us when we don't confess that You are God.