Monday, December 1, 2014

Refuting Bart Ehrman's Rejection of the Christmas Story

Refuting Bart Ehrman's New Book 'How Jesus Became God' Ehrman Rejects the Incarnation of Christ


By Mike Robinson


The Incarnation of Jesus is central to the Christmas story

Bart Ehrman in his new book How Jesus Became God asserted: “What can we say about how Jesus most likely understood himself? Did he call himself the messiah? If so, what did he mean by it? And did he call himself God? Here I want to stake out a clear position: messiah, yes; God, no.” Clearly Bart Ehrman denies that Jesus was aware of His divinity. Of course, as an atheist/agnostic, Ehrman rejects the deity of Christ as an ontological reality. Bart Ehrman’s scholarship rests upon skeptical presuppositions.

Bart Ehrman in his new book How Jesus Became God asserted: “What can we say about how Jesus most likely understood himself? Did he call himself the messiah? If so, what did he mean by it? And did he call himself God? Here I want to stake out a clear position: messiah, yes; God, no.” Clearly Bart Ehrman denies that Jesus was aware of His divinity. Of course, as an atheist/agnostic, Ehrman rejects the deity of Christ as an ontological reality.

Bart Ehrman’s scholarship rests upon skeptical presuppositions. Selected scholars suggest that one must put aside the authority of Scripture and analyze the Gospels as "literature." Yet, the Bible doesn’t allow skeptical criticism since it is the revealed word of God. Milton’s Paradise Lost may reach lofty levels of beauty and magnetism, but it isn’t God’s word, its directives are not binding and lack “the power of God unto salvation.”

In the Eighteenth century the search for the historical Jesus began in Europe. Some of the critical scholars tried to remove all supernatural references of miracles, revelation, and the deity of Christ. This naturalistic method led many liberal churchmen to reject the core of Christian doctrine. Numerous books alleging exotic identities of Jesus Christ followed including contemporary works of the Jesus Seminar, Bart Ehrman, and Reza Aslan. Nevertheless, despite scholars' self-assured verdicts that Jesus is not God, those who read the New Testament accounts of Jesus are often swept off their feet in adoration and worship—Christ and His words change everything.

Much of hyper-critical biblical scholarship begins with the presupposition (an assumption taken for granted) that the Bible’s portrayal of the divinity of Jesus cannot be true since it is outside the bounds of naturalistic thought. The rejection of the anything beyond the realm of atheistic naturalism1 is an intellectual pre-commitment; it is not a view based upon proof or evidence. Even so, if one attempts to remove the supernatural elements from the New Testament, one is left without a Savior who speaks with celestial authority. Moreover, deny Christian truth and one has a worldview that lacks the ontological capacity to account for intelligibility. This is so because a worldview that denies Christianity cannot supply the universal operational features2 required for intelligibility.

Worldview Issues

Worldview principles deliver a devastating blow to critical scholars who seek to undermine the authority and reliability of the New Testament picture of Jesus. After applying scrutiny to their rational foundations, it becomes very apparent that Bart Ehrman and other hypercritical authors are far from scholarly in their treatment of Jesus of Nazareth. They rest upon shattered ground that cannot account for rationality. They are purely ideological writers forming their own deeply biased portrait of Jesus—then they read their revisions back into the New Testament.

The most heretical faction involved in this type of scholarship has received a massive amount of media exposure in recent years. A popular example of this movement is Bart Ehrman. His lectures and books on textual criticism make it appear as if the church has almost no inkling what God originally revealed in Scripture. Additionally, his work leaves the reader with little reason to believe what the Gospels make known about Jesus Christ.

Indeed, the truth regarding Jesus has been assailed by an anti-biblical book variety that is groundlessly critical of core biblical beliefs. This hypercritical agenda is often sounded in caustic and overbearing ways that twist and isolate facts from the entire truth. Besides, they are without a rational foundation that has the ability to supply the a priori conditions required for all critical endeavors. Thus, they lack any grounds to launch their critical attacks against Scripture.

A vigorous quest for the Jesus of history cannot be engineered by atheistic or skeptical thought, since these views fail to provide the truth conditions necessary to make historical research possible.3 In contrast, the Gospels provide a clear depiction of Christ and His unique claims of deity. Herein, I defend the only coherent portrayal of Jesus. It is the lone accurate picture of Christ because it is revealed by God in the Gospels—a representation that is entrenched in history, yet it has fashioned history and culture.

Confronting God?

A team and I were witnessing on the Las Vegas strip a few years ago. I gave a man a tract and told him about Jesus Christ. He interrupted me and said, “I am God!” I asked him, “How do you know you are God?” He rolled up his sleeve and showed me a tattoo with the words “I am the Lord.” I replied, “That is not proof you are God. Anyone can put a tattoo on their arm stating that they are God.” I then challenged him, “If you are God, when and where did I get saved?” The answer he gave was way off the mark. I then asked him what verse in the Bible states that “Jesus wept.” He did not know and with his ignorance out went his claims of divinity. We unsuccessfully witnessed to him and invited him to church. People can make fantastical claims, but disproving such claims is often simple. Jesus came and claimed to be God and He offered proof, evidence, and revelation to demonstrate the truth of His claims.

God Comes to the Earth

The Lord God sent the heir of all things to toil in a carpenter's shop: to drive the nail, and push the plane, and use the saw. He sent him down amongst scribes and Pharisees, whose cunning eyes watched him, and whose cruel tongues scourged him with base slanders. He sent him down to hunger, and thirst, amid poverty so dire that he had not where to lay his head. He sent him down to the scourging and the crowning with thorns, to the giving of his back to the smiters and his cheeks to those that plucked off the hair. At length he gave him up to death—a felon's death, the death of the crucified. Behold that Cross and see the anguish of him that dies upon it, and mark how the Father has so given him, that he hides his face from him, and seems as if he would not own him! "Lama sabachthani" tells us how fully God gave his Son to ransom the souls of the sinful. He gave him to be made a curse for us; gave him that he might die "the just for the unjust, to bring us to God" (Charles Spurgeon).

Jesus as the Son of Man and the Son of God has two natures found in one person—Christ is God the Great I AM in human flesh (Exodus 3:14; John 8:58). The Bible reveals the dual nature of Christ and humanity’s salvation demands that be the case. It’s a mystery, but a mystery that in selected ways not only makes sense, but is necessary for redemption. Jesus, in the incarnation, did not lose His divinity. He did not lose His authority or His deity. He voluntarily came to the earth as a human baby to live perfectly as He fulfilled the Law—He took on our humanity in order to die in our place (Isaiah 53:4-6; 2 Cor. 5:21; and 1 Pet. 2:24). All the newfangled views of Christ fail to overturn such truths.

Jesus Christ is too intriguing and commanding to be falsely captured by skeptics like Ehrman and Aslan. Yet, Jesus is not elusive. It’s not hard to know who He is. What is Jesus like? He’s God.

Jesus always flourished, always in command, never trivial or incapable. He did not appear worried, hollow-eyed, apprehensive, shrunken—never an object of distrust to His friends and never capricious to others—Christ never lost a gem of His charm. He would withdraw to pray and return with power and insight. He understood the weaknesses of His humanity and always controlled His appetites. He achieved maturity as a youth discussing the law with Rabbis in the Temple. Jesus was born without sin—He had no flaws, was not infected with dark passions, and was always victorious over fleshly temptations. As the Master, He overmastered all sin and perfectly obeyed and fulfilled the Law of Moses. He was ferociously gracious and blessed with inherent divine love—the sort of person one either hated or absolutely adored.

Over the course of His short ministry, Christ built structures for the church upon His divine nature and work. He preached to the crowds and mentored His close intimate disciples. He called His church His children and lived a life aimed at His crucifixion. He engaged in penetrating stretches of outreach, healing people and casting out demons. He distrusted clergy and politicians, but loved the outcast. In the Sermon on the Mount He delivered a moral code for His community and interpersonal relationships. In the discourse He attacked selfishness, vengeance, greed, and hatred within social relationships—He talked about the need for grace, mercy, forgiveness, and going the extra mile.

 Don't miss my new book - Great for Christmas sermons and studies How Jesus Became God in the Flesh: Refuting Bart Ehrman HERE
new good apologetics book for Christmas sermons studies
A good apologetics book for Christmas sermons and studies

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NOTES

       1.   Universal operational features required for knowledge, intelligibility, and critical analysis: laws of logic, specific properties, fixed mathematical truths, selected attributes, induction, etc.
        2. The truth of Christianity is understood and proved by way of truth and presupposition. The Christian must uphold Scripture as the ultimate source of light and knowledge—all light and knowledge stem from God. The assured proof of Christian theism: except a man build upon its ontic ground as he presupposes the truth that flows from God, in principle, there is no proof of anything. Christian theism is proved as the ontological ground for the very notion of evidence and proof. What is needed is a first principle that has the ontological endowment to not only ground knowledge, but to account for it and its preconditions. The loss of the immovable point of reference, in principle, leaves the ungodly bereft of a resource necessary to construct the critical and analytical enterprise. Without God, one cannot hoist the necessary a priori operation features of knowledge. The Christian worldview supplies the fixed ontic platform as the sufficient truth condition that can justify induction, immutable universals, and the uniformity of the physical world. But materialistic atheism lacks such a fixed ontic platform. Consequently, it fails to provide the sufficient ground required to justify textual criticism and the investigation of literature and history. When anyone attempts to escape the truth that God exists, he falls in a trap he cannot escape. This point is well made in Van Til’s illustration of a man made of water, who is trying to climb out of the watery ocean by means of a ladder made of water. He cannot get out of the water for he has nothing to stand on. Without God, one cannot make sense of anything. The atheist has nothing to stand on (an ontic Archimedean locus of reference) and he lacks a rational apparatus to scale an epistemic ladder that would allow him to view reality with clarity. God and His revealed word supply men their only possible ground with the explanatory clout needed to account for critical and analytical pursuits. The ontological barrenness of atheistic materialism is just one reason the Christian should never grant the natural man the right to determine the criteria for testing truth claims—atheistic naturalism lacks an ontology with a shard of explanatory power. Christianity rests upon God and His Revelation as the ontic Archimedean locus of reference for textual criticism and proof.

        3. Naturalism holds that the physical universe is ultimate. The universe (nature) is the only reality. It is eternal, self-activating, self-existent, self-contained, self-dependent, self-operating, self-explanatory. The universe is neither derived from nor dependent upon any supernatural or transcendent being or entities. Natural phenomena cannot be 'interfered' with, ‘violated’; 'suspended.' There is no supernatural realm.” (Parrish: God and Necessity). Naturalism is defined by Dawkins as the view that nothing exists “beyond the natural, physical world.” One commonly hears secular people identify themselves as naturalists. But what do they mean when they label themselves such? Some claim that they believe only material things exist. Others believe that modern science is the only way to obtain real knowledge. Selected naturalists believe everything that exists is material or supervenes on material elements. There are numerous academic as well as colloquial definitions of naturalism. Additionally, many lettered and unlettered men often comingle or fuse the definitions.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Muhammad vs. The Messiah: Jesus Reigns Supreme

Mike Robinson


hatred: islams war on christians mike coren
Jesus the Messiah is Supreme; Muhammad was a mere man who sinned

Introduction


Muslims profess that Muhammad is the final and greatest prophet sent from Allah. I maintain that the Qur’an is inconsistent since it ascribes outstanding attributes and titles to Jesus Christ that are not said of Muhammad. Jesus Christ is unique, exceptional, and superior; even Islamic scripture acknowledges such. No other religious leader has Christ’s divine nature. No other spiritual teacher has accomplished what He did and communicated what He taught (Revelation 1:7-8). Jesus died for the sins of His people and rose again on the third day. He performed many miracles. He revealed that He is God and demonstrated His divinity.
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Considering that Islam claims that Muhammad is the last and greatest prophet, it appears more than a bit conflicting that the Qur’an asserts the following concerning Jesus Christ in contrast to Muhammad:


·         Jesus was born of a virgin (Sura 19:16-35): not Muhammad.
·         Jesus is a Spirit from God (Sura 4:171): not Muhammad.
·         Jesus is the Word of God (Sura 4:171):  not Muhammad.
·         Jesus was sinless (Sura 19:19):  not Muhammad.
·         Jesus gave life to the dead (Sura 3:49 and 22:73):  not Muhammad.
·         Jesus is coming back again as a sign of the hour of judgment (Sura 43:61):  not Muhammad.
·         Jesus performed many miracles (Sura 3:49 and 100:110): not Muhammad (Sura 29:47-51).
·         Jesus is the Messiah (Sura 4:171): not Muhammad.


There is something very special about Jesus Christ; even the Qur’an avows such. No other prophet or false prophet has His divine nature and accomplished what He did and taught what He taught (John 1:1, 10:30, 5:18, 8:24, 8:58, 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:16; Colossians 1:16-17, 2:9; Matthew 22:42-45; Mark 14:64). Buddha, Joseph Smith, Krishna, Sun Yung Moon, and Muhammad never did what Jesus Christ did. Jesus died for our sins and rose again on the third day. He performed many miracles. He claimed to be God and demonstrated His deity.


Jesus Never Sinned

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus never sinned and was faultless. Roman rule noted Christ’s faultlessness: Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all” (John 18:38-39). Additionally, Herod held that Jesus was innocent (Luke 23:15). A criminal affirmed that Jesus was innocent (Luke 23:41) and a soldier claimed Christ was without fault (Luke 23:47) as did Pilate in an additional pronouncement (Luke 23:14). Furthermore, in the sight of Jesus’ contemporaries, Paul affirmed Christ’s sinlessness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The Qur’an concedes that Muhammad had to repent of his sins (Sura 40:55, 47:19, 48:1-2, 33:36-38). Jesus did not sin. Jesus was affirmed sinless by the combative religious leaders of His day; the Romans said he was sinless; the traitor Judas asserted that Jesus was sinless; and those who lived with Jesus for three years professed that He had never sinned. Adam, Moses, Abraham, David, and Jonah all sinned (Sura 2:36, 7:22-23, 26:82, 28:15-16, 37:142, 38:24-25). Only Jesus was and is sinless. He died on the cross for the atonement of believers; no other religion has provided an eternally effectual atonement. Heaven is perfect and men are not; men must have their sins expiated. 

All mortals require a perfect all-effectual atonement to enter heaven. Every man needs his sins atoned for, only Christianity has an infinite atonement. Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection justifies those who repent and trust Him. One can have legal, forensic righteousness to enter into the perfect purity of heaven, or reject Christ and attempt to live a religious life that cannot remove your past sins (Romans 4:5, 11:6).

What the Qur’an asserts regarding Christ is interesting, but ultimately inconsequential. What the Bible reveals is significant, essential, and vital. Below are two of the numerous passages in God’s word that make known the divinity of Christ.

And Thomas answered and said unto him, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:7-8). 
The Harshness of the Law Leads One to the Savior

The Book of good deeds and bad deeds will be set before you; and you will set the sinful in great terror because of what is therein; they will say, “Woe to us! What a book is this! It leaves out nothing small or great, but takes account thereof” (Sura 18:49). 
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. ... For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet, perhaps for a good man, someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:1-8).
The doctrine of justification by grace alone is absent from Islam. Islam stresses that the balance of one’s righteous deeds must outweigh their unrighteous deeds in order to “attain salvation” in Paradise. Those whose unrighteous works outweigh their righteous works are doomed to hell (Sura 23:102-3). In Christianity, justification is by grace alone through faith alone. Justification is a forensic term laid out in various books in the Bible (Genesis 15; Psalm 32; Romans 3-5; Galatians; etc.). Since Christianity alone supplies true forgiveness and justification, one only has to remind the person who follows another religion that they are a sinner before you extend the relief of the gospel. The zealous preacher, Robert M’Cheyne, offered this inspiring quote: “If the mercies and if the judgments do not convert you, God has no other arrows in His quiver.” The terror and thunder of Sinai will invoke fear in the sinner. Then, if God changes the sinner’s heart through the gospel, the convert will flee God’s judgments and hurl himself upon Christ and His eternal mercy (John 1:12-13).

I say to you that likewise, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:7).
A Christian is attacked by a Muslim every 3 minutes around the world (Michael Coren: Hatred).
When one shares the love of God without preaching God’s exactness in law, it often weakens the sinners’ sense of sin. Then the lost sinner is not interested in the grand truth of the cross and justification. The law and the gospel, these are the means God uses to save lost sinners through grace by His Spirit. Soteriological truth’s summation is “to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.” God is the righteous King, whom all men have offended in every point of His holy law, and Christ the Savior died for our transgressions, of that very same law.

Jesus Left Heaven for His People

No one has ascended to Heaven but He who came down from Heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in Heaven (John 3:13). 
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you … that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Jesus Christ stepped out of the celestial beauty of Paradise into a sinful and dark world. The Lord came and treaded on the surf of a stormy sea as He ultimately aimed for the Cross. Jesus came; the God-man; the Light of the world went marching on the swells and then He spoke calm to the wind: a stoppage of a storm. He would also heal many hurting and ailing people. Later there would be a crucifixion, a burial, and then a grand resurrection blast that would hush death, hell, and the grave. Jesus came; thank God, Jesus came; the blaze, the lightfull of power and grace: the Lord Jesus.

According to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come (Ephesians 1:19-21).

Jesus rose on wings of exaltation as His glorified body, blushing with majesty and sweet transport, established salvation. And this Jesus, with eye fixed on His sheep, had the Cross shake the world and is now shaking defiance at all the foes of truth and all princedoms of Hades; we serve a King robed and crowned with glory: Jesus is the song of deliverance and the elation of eternity.
What a Savior; What a Lord!


Fairest Lord Jesus

Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature,
O thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
thou, my soul's glory, joy, and crown.

                Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer
who makes the woeful heart to sing.

                Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
and all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
than all the angels Heaven can boast.

                Beautiful Savior!  Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
now and forevermore be thine.
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Purchase my new eBook Refuting Allah, Proving Jesus: Christian Truth & Presuppositions Examine Islam’s concept of Allah HERE

 hatred islam's war on christians michael coren
New book reveals that Jesus Christ is infinitely superior to Muhammad

Monday, September 15, 2014

Unanswerable Problems within Evolutionary Theory

Devoid of a Transcendent Intelligence Evolutionary Theory is Impossible


by Mike Robinson

The creation tale in Genesis is very impressive, even in modern terms (Atheist Isaac Asimov).

Natural selection is absurdly inadequate to explain the existence of conscious, reflecting, equation solving and poetry writing minds. [1]

The scientific method has no power to resolve disputes about value or teleology. Moreover, when it is trying to describe events in the remote past, such as the origin of life, or complex matters like human behavior, science has to rely on philosophical presuppositions. [2]

gods not dead evolution

Unguided evolution is just a theory. It is an ideology, and according to Darwinian Michael Ruse, it is a religion. It has never been and never will be a proven “fact.” Unguided evolution is a hoax, a philosophical swindle, and a wicked fallacy. This chimera has hoodwinked, cheated, and duped more people than any vain philosophy in history. Unguided evolution is false.[3] The universe could not have started by an unguided big bang. If you watch a grenade explode, you will notice that the pieces do not move or revolve in mathematical alignments or orbits. The pieces go in different, non-ordered directions. An explosion results in chaos, not order. One needs an unguided big bang to start the process of evolution. Evolution is the champion delusion, hoax, and fallacy. This swindle of the ages has conquered many fields of science, but it is not long for this world or any other. It is a theory that self-destructs under just surface level examination. The technological advances in all fields of science have become the evolutionist’s foe, not his comrade. Blind chance acting on matter cannot explain the machine like complexity and efficiency of one cell. It cannot explain how the cell is programmed, and where the information that is in the DNA code came from. 

A Code Requires a Code-giver

All living organisms have a DNA code. It is a code. A code requires information. Information requires a mind, and all living cells have information encoded in them. If I walked down the beach and in the sand I read: “I love George, now and forever,” I would know an intelligent source wrote that prose. Intelligence was needed to put the information on the sand, just as the DNA code requires an intelligence to encode it into every living cell. So it is blind faith that asserts that the information in a cell comes from blind chance. Chance producing life and information is one of the articles of faith within the evolutionary theory. Theists see design in nature, we say there is at least one designer; we see information, we know an intelligence put it there; we see machines running efficiently, and we say there was an intelligence that built that machine. This is what most would call: common sense. Most dictionaries define “stupid” as failing to utilize common sense. One, who asserts materialism or evolution in the face of all these “facts,” is not being intelligent. But the facts are not the thrust of our apologetics. The true and living God does live. It is impossible for anything else to be true without Him. We are not to trade a factual blow with a factual blow in our verbal exchange with the evolutionist. We should take the knife out of his hand, disarm him, and show him that the sword we hold, the Bible, is the precondition for the intelligibility of our world.

The conception of his (God’s) counsel as controlling all things in the universe is the only presupposition which can account for the uniformity of nature which the scientist needs. But the best and only possible proof for God is that his existence is required for the uniformity of nature and for the coherence of all things in the world.[4]

Evolution of the species is a metaphysical claim dissimulated by those who believe they are composed of just an assembly of atoms. How could a mere assembly of physical atoms produce a   metaphysical theory? This theory is religious, and it takes stone-blind faith to believe in it. Physical-only evolutionists are fundamentalists.

A Modern Fairy Tale

Lo, heaven and earth exist: they cry out that they have been created... self-evident is the voice with which these things speak. You therefore O Lord, you are beautiful, made these things. [5]

If you eliminate the idea of divine purpose, you have no other logical alternative than to believe that the universe we know has developed by accident. On this principle, all our thinking which traces events back to the intentions or purposes is invalidated. Ever since science began we have been wrong to ask “Why this?” And “Why that?” If “Why?” Seeks to uncover an intention, a purpose; for there is ultimately no intention, no purpose. [6]

People who hold to unguided evolution believe in a fairy tale. This little fairy tale began once upon a time, billions of years ago. One small primal germ fitted and engineered itself together. It liked what it saw in the mirror and “decided” to reproduce itself. From the primordial soup and this seminal spore all living organisms evolved. These archaic bacteria decided that they would like to move up the “ladder,” and grab life for all its gusto, and evolve into a mushroom. Then after a million years, the "it" found out that being a mushroom is not all that it is cracked up to be, being a spore is highly overrated. So it gathers all its resolve, and musters up all its determination, and with its own innate force, after millions and millions of years, it evolves into a tadpole. The tadpole gets bored, and marshals up enough resolve to morph into a fish. The fish decides, after a great period of time, because it gets sea sick, to develop into a reptile, so it can experience how sand feels between its toes. The fairy tale goes on to weave its tale, and the reptile evolves into a bird. Then the feathery creature develops a phobia of flying, so it grunts and groans, and after centuries and centuries, it develops into a mammal. The mammal evolves into an ape, and the ape decides it likes poetry, music, and football, so it decides to become a man. In this tall tale, instead of a princess kissing a frog and the frog becomes a prince, with evolution: a frog evolves into prince without even a kiss. It takes sightless faith to believe in such mythology. I know that in the beginning: God created the heavens and the earth. Without this as our assumed starting point, nothing makes sense, and we fall for delusions as silly as pixy-tales.

It is beyond difficult to believe that the universe produces everything from star dust to Da Vinchi, germs to Beethoven, tad poles to Shakespeare, and the primordial soup to Michael Jordan slam dunks. It is not just straining on credulity to believe that we are only turbocharged apes; it is impossible for this to be true. The problem with evolution is not just Spencer’s “unknowable mystery.” It is impossible to account for morality, reason, and mathematics when confined to the materialistic evolutionary worldview. Huxley ranted that we all came from a "murky pale of protoplasm." Not only is he stuck in the mire of mere assertion, his statement, as all others based on materialism, is self-stultifying and self-defeating. It is destroyed by “its own credentials.” If we are the result of a physical-only process of matter and motion, the person asserting evolution cannot justify the nonphysical logic he uses in forming his argument. If he is correct and there is nothing beyond the material realm, then his theory is the byproduct of a physical process alone and cannot be trusted. The material evolutionist cannot account for his use of reason. Thus employing reason to propagate the theory of evolution is self-refuting.

The universe is centered on neither the earth nor the sun. It is centered on God (Alfred Noyes).

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NOTES



1. Philip Johnson, Reasoning in the Balance (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1995),
p. 89.
2. Ibid., p. 200.
3. See my post http://goddoesexistallknowit.blogspot.com/2013/07/book-review-where-conflict-really-lies.html
4. Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of Faith (Philadelphia: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1955),
p. 103.
5. Saint Augustine, Confessions (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1960),
p. 280.
6. Harry Blaimires, On Christian Truth (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1983),

p. 29.

Proof the the Living God Must Exist


 by Mike Robinson 

god's not dead film book

The first century Church was in crisis at the very beginning. The Roman governor Pontius Pilate had ordered the execution of Jesus Christ, and many apostles had run away and hid from the authorities. Priests had turned Christ over to the pagan procurator and successfully urged him to crucify Christ. Evangelists and teachers had surrendered their ministry to be derided and disallowed in the city streets as well as anywhere near the temple. An air of distress and fear hung over the church. Some might have thought that God was dead.

But something powerful, even colossal, arose to restore the confidence and buoyancy of the New Testament congregation: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The task of the church, in the Christ’s vision, was to preach the good news of redemption to a fallen world as it seeks to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus sought to purge sin from His people’s record and reduce the amount of wickedness in every corner of the globe through the expanse of the church.


After Christ’s resurrection appearances, the church believed that, in all lands, the first job was to preach the gospel (the death and resurrection of Christ: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4) and then defend the faith (1Peter 3:15). Yes, it’s undeniable that Jesus was unlawfully arrested and sentenced to death. Yes, Jesus died. But on the third day Christ arose and this truth wouldn't be diluted by fright and anxiety. With this offensive posture, the apostolic church built a robust ark for all those who came to Christ. The resurrection changed everything. Clearly, God is not dead!

One of the problems with selected sects and cults, the church points, is that they are too static. They try to seal off an ark to ride out the tempest, but they end up shutting themselves in. They cut themselves off from others and the challenge of truth. In contrast, the church is on the move because God is alive.

Christ mounted the wings of resurrection power and His followers run with a risen Savior. Thus, the people of God go on the offense and swallow the ungodly domain as it transforms it by the word of God. In addition, the empowering truth of the resurrection is assured and is to always be defended (Jude 3).

They cannot defeat us. Christ has died. Christ has risen. We are alive in him. And in him there is no condemnation. We are forgiven.[1]

God is Not Dead: Evidence in the Bible

Often, the Bible uses evidential arguments. For example, when scripture states in Psalm 19 that the heavens declare the glory of God, it is denoting how God’s glory is manifested in the natural world. It is proven by nature itself. Evidence and proof are everywhere around us. If you offer an evidential assertion, you should have real evidence to posit such.

Equally, there is no amount of evidence that is adequate in and of itself to persuade a non-believer of the truth of Jesus Christ. Prayer must be undertaken and the gospel must be presented, but God’s grace is the ultimate means for salvation of a soul.

At night, atheists find themselves looking out at the starry hosts spangled against the dark canvass of the night and declare that it was all just an accident. They do not see design where design clearly resides. The mathematical precision necessary for the running of the planets to and fro was not designed. All the precision came from chaos and blind chance. They have blind faith in scientism as they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. In actuality, they know that God designed the cosmos, but they do not want to believe it.

Logically, there cannot be any true atheists. For one to propose that God does not exist, anywhere at any time, one would have to know all things, and be omnipresent, eternal, and infinite. That would make you God.

So, the only person in the universe who could possibly not believe in God, everywhere, and always, would be God. One would have to be God to be a true atheist and that is theoretically, logically, and rationally absurd.

No one has enough blind faith to believe that:

  1. Order came from disorder
  2. Uniformity came from the accidental
  3. Intelligence came from non-intelligence
  4. Design came from chaos
  5. Personality came from non-personality
  6. Love came from hard matter
  7. Something came from nothing

Aggressive Atheists and Skeptics

Richard Dawkins called upon fellow anti-theists to implement crass mocking as a tactic to use against religious people: “…mock them. Ridicule them. In public ... religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated, and need to be challenged, and, if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt.”

Ever since I became a Christian in my early twenties, I have spoken with many hundreds of non-Christians who have told me that I was wrong to believe in God. The most bitter and rancorous of these rebukes have come from atheists. This behavior is consistent with men who lack an absolute moral standard and, therefore, they often sputter out caustic and biting reproofs against God and Christians. Once they understand that the believer has the intellectual upper hand, they get very defensive and, frequently, very angry. No other group with whom I have had dialogues seems to get enraged so often. These conversations have been at universities, coffeehouses, bookstores, homes, philosophy groups, and other forums. I ascribe this behavior to human nature and to the weak intellectual worldview that atheism provides.

Christians may behave rudely and unruly, but when they act this way they are in opposition to the teachings of Jesus Christ. They are acting in an inconsistent manner when they engage in troubling behavior. The atheist is consistent with Darwinian thought when he acts in a hostile and belligerent fashion.

Objective Moral Values Require a Living God
 
We hope to wake up people to the double standard. Keith Olbermann can have a position, and even say it on the air, and he’s OK, but I don’t have a right to biblical beliefs. What we can’t have in this country is a point where a corporation feels empowered to punish those who have a biblical belief. That’s the chilling effect of this moment in my life (sportscaster Craig James after Fox Sports fired him for holding biblical beliefs).
 
Our means of discerning what is good and right is found in the Bible. It is our authority and guide. Mankind is not the standard. Science cannot be the standard. The Bible alone provides a standard based on an all-knowing and unchanging God. The standard must be based on an unchanging source, otherwise ethics could change. If moral standards were changeable, this would mean that theft and murder may be considered bad on one day and good the next. This is manifestly wrong and is one more reason we must follow God’s word.

The Death and Resurrection of Christ: God is Not Dead

Today, I would say the claim concerning the resurrection is more impressive than any by the religious competition (former atheist Anthony Flew).

It’s worth noting that the apostles saw the risen Christ, touched the risen Christ, and died tortuous deaths while proclaiming the truth of the resurrection. They did this when all they had to do was deny it to avoid persecution and death. Sure, many people die for lies, but no collective, diverse group of people die for a lie when they have sure knowledge that it is a lie. Furthermore, all known ancient documents that refer to the subject report an empty tomb. Even though the manner in which one accepts or rejects the evidence is controlled by one’s presuppositions, the facts are mighty. The evidence is there and it is impressive.

Evidence is Delightful

The Christian worldview alone offers a confirmed resurrection of a Savior to demonstrate its authority. The Greek deities and other pseudo-resurrected gods were not historical figures. The only documents we have concerning the false gods/myths are the specific documents dated hundreds of years after Christianity arose.

Evidence is indeed wonderful. The Christian faith has an abundance of evidence to support its claims. In truth, there is nothing but evidence for the God of the Bible. Every star and every atom declares the majesty of God (Psalm 19:1).

We see evidence of God’s fingerprints in every known corner of the universe. Mankind discovers the proof and affirms many of the facts that the Bible records and announces. The greatest miracle is the resurrection of Jesus. The Lord Jesus is alive! He is the only religious leader to rise from the dead. He is the only one who promised a resurrection and duly kept His promise. You can visit the tombs of all the deceased religious leaders and find their remains still in the grave. However, Jesus is alive because God is not dead.

All Religious Originators Died and Remained Dead

Dovtastic shares his visit to Mohammad’s grave on YouTube: “During my trip this year on Hajj I had the great honor to visit our Prophet Mohammed’s … grave in the Ottoman front portion of the Masjid Al Nabawi. This beautiful masjid holds one million people in Medina and when the grave is open for visitation, 1000s of people are passing through every minute.” This man and millions of others have seen the occupied grave of Islam’s founder, proving that Mohammad simply remained dead.

You can visit the graves of leaders like Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith, and Buddha from your home computer by watching a video of their gravesite on YouTube. They and all the others died and remained dead; their occupied tombs attest to it. Jesus, however, is alive. His grave is empty. When people visit His grave it’s vacant.

Jesus said, “All power on earth and heaven has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). No force could have kept Him down. The Romans killed Him, put Him in a cave tomb, and placed huge boulder at a downward angle in front of the cave. Additionally, the state attached Caesar’s seal on the crypt, and posted Roman guards to protect the tomb. They were only trying to prevent the inevitable. Jesus had the power to rise and nobody could stop Him.

God used Christ’s resurrection and His appearances before His disciples to win many of Christ’s enemies to salvation. The Bible tells us that “the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem; and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7). Scripture also records that some Pharisees converted to Christianity (Acts 15:5). It’s clear, God is not dead, He’s the living God.

The Bible is the Word of God
 
Often skeptics argue that the Bible was written many years after the events it records, thus it was corrupted over time. Abrasive atheist Sam Harris notified the world that “the gospels are ancient fiction.” But papyrus expert Peter Thiede has demonstrated that a copy of the Gospel of Luke, housed in a French museum, is dated approximately 50 AD.[2] Thiede has also determined that the Magdalyn Manuscript of the Book of Matthew is dated circa 40-50 AD. And finally, Thiede has dated a copy of the Gospel written by Mark to be from about 50 AD.[3]
 
The age of the gospels demonstrates that there was not enough time between the events and their transcription for the Bible to be tainted or altered in the manner the critics allege. Ramm acknowledged, “Divine inspiration of the Bible is the only adequate hypothesis to account for the Bible.”[4]
 
Predictions Fulfilled: Declaring the Things to Come

Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were… Or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter… Thus says the LORD … I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me, there is no God. And who can proclaim as I do? … I have declared the former things from the beginning; … Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass... Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you... (Isaiah 41:22-23, 44:6-8, 48:3-20).

Another segment of “proof” for Christianity is the messianic prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The Old Testament foretold the coming of the Messiah in precise detail. The text was written centuries before the coming of Jesus and predicted more than three hundred prophecies about Him. No other founder of any religion can provide a similar prophetic record of their life written down centuries before their birth. Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, David Berg, Mohammad, and Buddha did not supply a widely transmitted, pre-existing written record that accurately predicted the specific details of their lives.

But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ (Acts 9:22; italics mine).

The three hundred clear prophecies of the coming Messiah were predicted and predestined by God (Acts 2:23). The Bible foretold events and historical details about the coming of Jesus prior to His birth. All these predictions came true in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. No other spiritual leader or prophet had predictive material written about their lives recorded before they were born. Jesus Christ had more than three hundred predictions about His life that were fulfilled in exact detail. An agent on The X-Files once said: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” And only one with extreme power (God’s omnipotence qualifies) to perfectly arrange history could create a future where one man could fulfill hundreds of predictions—most of which were out of a normal man’s control to arrange.

Then He (Jesus) said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me” (Luke 24:44).

Christ’s virgin birth was predicted about seven hundred years before He was born in Isaiah chapter seven verse fourteen: “So the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel.” His place of birth was recorded in Micah 5:2, hundreds of years prior to the event: “And you, Bethlehem ... out of you He shall come forth to Me, to become Ruler in Israel, He whose goings forth have been ... from eternity.” The exact date of His entry in Jerusalem was predicted by Daniel in chapter nine. God prophesied the Palm Sunday event recorded in Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly … O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

Christ’s death on the cross was foretold before that form of execution had even been invented by Persia. Psalm 22:1-16 announces the crucifixion hundreds of years before it happened: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me... But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people. All who see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip; they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, since He delights in him! I am poured out like water, and all my bones are spread apart; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels and You have brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have circled around me; the band of spoilers have hemmed me in, they have pierced my hands and my feet.”

Data is mute; one needs a theoretical framework to make sense of anything (chemist Roald Hoffman).

This evidence for Christian theism is overwhelming. Nevertheless, the truth is even more certain and compelling than compiling great blocks of evidence to prove the reality of Christianity. The argument for Christian theism is assured. Without God, one cannot provide the necessary truth conditions for knowledge—including knowledge derived from evidence and its analysis.

 For more see my new book God's Not Dead HERE
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NOTES


1.        John Piper, The Passion of Jesus Christ.
2.        Thiede, Rekindling the Word.
3.        Thiede, Eyewtinesses of Jesus.