Has Science Buried God? – Address by Prof. John Lennox at Rice University


 

 

Recorded 7:00 PM CT Monday, September 28 2015 at Rice University.

 

Read More

The Dispensations – A Chart By R P Amos

Dispensations Chart

 

The Dispensations chart by Randy Amos (click the chart for full size) provides a helpful overview of the dispensations. Brother Amos provides the following explanation of his chart (emphasis mine):

Dispensation does not mean a ‘time period’ but it involves time. Just like the word ‘marriage’ does not mean a time period but it involves time. A dispensation is a new means for living that God, at various stages in human history, has entrusted to mankind to affect his life. Man however, eventually fails and God sends a special judgment, but yet in grace continues His eternal purpose. Dispensations will reveal the failure of man no matter what has been entrusted to him. It will leave him to glory in God alone.

Whatever God chooses to dispense to man does not disappear, as the chart will show. Its basic truth still will have a purpose now and in the kingdom. Even the law, though the church is not under law, still serves a purpose in giving the knowledge of sin. For example, when a man marries he is no longer under his father’s authority but his father can still serve a purpose for him. Dispensations will help one see what has been dispensed to them and therefore how to correctly serve God.

Dispensations is not an ‘ism’ or a system of interpretation but observation. It’s simply believing God’s recorded history, statements and prophecies as found in His Bible.

Some Scriptures for the chart on dispensations:

  • 1. Free Will – Gen. 1:26-28; 2:16,17; 3:21 / Rev. 22:17.
  • 2. Conscience – Gen. 3:7 / Rom. 2:14,15 / Gen. 6:7,12 / Gen. 6:8 / Rom 2:15
  • 3. Government – Gen. 9:6; 11:6-8 / Rom. 13:4.
  • 4. Promise – Gal. 3:18 / Gen. 12:1-3, 7/ Exodus 5:1-4; 12:12, 13/ Gal. 3:29.
  • 5. Law – Ex. 24:12; 19:8 / Deut. 28:15 / Jer. 36:4-27 / Matt. 27:22,23 / 2Chron. 36:12-21; 36:22-23 / Acts 13:46 / Rom. 3:20.
  • 6. Grace – Eph. 3:2 / Acts 2:38,47 / Heb. 10:29 / 1Tim. 4:1-3 / 2Tim. 3:1-5 / Rev. 6 & 7 / Eph. 2:8,9.
  • 7. Kingdom – Isaiah 11/ Matt. 25:31 / Rev. 5:10; 11:15; 20:4-9; 21:1.

 

Thanks Randy!

 

Links:
Videos of Randy Amos teaching the dispensations: God’s Plan For The Ages Note: the audio quality of the introduction video is poor. You may wish to skip to session 2. Also, session 14 is apparently missing.

Randy Amos’ website: Thinking 7

 

Read More

Thomas Newberry Reference Bible Available Online For Free


 

Thomas Newberry Study Bible

 

I just discovered that the Thomas Newberry Reference Bible is available online as a free download. See links at the bottom of this post.

If you are not familiar the Thomas Newberry Reference Bible you are probably thinking to yourself, “oh, no not another study Bible!” However, let me assure you this Reference Bible is unlike any other.

The reference Bible uses a system of symbols to indicate a wealth of information regarding the grammar and syntax of the original languages. For example, there are three different symbols to indicated if a noun or pronoun is singular, dual, or plural in the original Hebrew or Greek. This is very helpful because the tense of a word is not always clear in our English bibles.

I encourage you to check it out…

 

Links: Internet Archive, Open Library

 

Read More

Video: The Uniqueness of Christianity

 

 

Read More

My Creator: The Bible Part 1

the_trifid_nebula_in_stars_and_dust

Last month we looked at the thought that we can’t get to a moral law or society without a moral standard outside of us. The recent events in Connecticut and China have reminded us that evil is very real in our world. Today I’d like to consider another subject that gives me evidence of a creator and more specifically, the God of Christianity. That subject is the Bible. The Bible remains the number one read book of all time by a landslide. It has sold almost 5 times more copies than the next best seller.

Now the Bible has been used and abused for many generations so my goal is not to address all the ways in which the Bible has been mistreated (and misinterpreted) to come up with weird and dangerous practices. I will be concentrating on some areas that are simply stated plainly and testable. There’s several ways the Bible shows evidence and in this post, part 1, I will be looking at the Bible and science.

The Bible doesn’t claim to be a science book. It is a book of God’s dealings with humanity over the course of many centuries culminating in the giving of His Son Jesus to rescue our souls from sin and the establishment of His church. However this does not mean that there isn’t science in the Bible and it’s upon this evidence that we turn to for a few moments.

The Bible makes scientific claims that are supernatural. They are supernatural in that they were written centuries before scientists had any idea about them. There’s too many to write them all in this post but here are a few that will adequately show what I mean.

  1. Job 36:27-28 “He draws up the water vapor and then distills it into rain. The rain pours down from the clouds, and everyone benefits.”  This was written about 4300 years ago long before scientists discovered the very truth in this verse.
  2. Ecclesiastes 1:7 “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again.”  Solomon writes the words to Ecclesiastes roughly 950 BC or about 2700 years prior to scientists being able to prove the source of the world’s precipitation.
  3. Proverbs 6:6-8 ““Go the ant, you sluggard, consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” Notice the fact that the writer Solomon refers to the worker ants in the feminine. Notice also the details about what the female ants do and how they work. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that scientists discovered that ALL worker ants are female and that the patterns of activity in this verse are accurate.
  4. Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”  We are told that we are made from the earth. This was written thousands of years ago. Chemists only discovered in the past few hundred years that we have 59 elements that make up our bodies. Every single one of them can be found in the elements of the earth.
  5. Isaiah 40:22 ““It is He (God) who sits above the circle of the earth.” This was written about 700BC. It wasn’t proven scientifically until 230BC.
  6. Job 26:7 ““He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.”  Again this was written over 4000 years ago. Centuries before it was scientifically proven that the earth does indeed sit on nothing but empty space.

There are dozens more examples that could be given.  Again none of these in isolation proves anything. But as you start to take the evidences together, so far moral and science, you can see how a case for God is not only very credible but very likely.  As we get into more evidences the proof becomes even greater.

 

————————-

Jump back to the previous post in this series…

To be continued…

————————-

 

Read More

Entry Level Theological Truth [42]

“Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’” Revelation 21:5

In our studies of the first three chapters of Genesis we have learned much about the person and works of the One True God.

This book of beginnings shows Him to be an all-powerful, all-wise, omnipresent Creator who works all things after the counsel of His own will. In contrast to modern thinking, Genesis also reveals the tremendous value of human beings who were purposefully created in the image and likeness of God for His good pleasure. They were invested with tremendous dignity and authority and put over other works of God’s hand.

Accordingly, their fall brought tragic and devastating consequences upon planet Earth. The momentous purposes of God that begin in these early chapters of the Bible run throughout the pages of holy writ. Therefore, it is not surprising that when we come to the last book of the Bible, Revelation, we meet old familiar things and issues.

 


Paradise Lost, And Found



 

Genesis 3 ends with the sad tale of Adam and Eve’s banishment from Eden. Their loss is most poignantly seen in the fact that the tree of life is now closed to them. The cherubim and flaming sword bar their way to the enjoyment of eternal life.

Yet the chapter itself also contains assurance of the saving goodness of God to be manifested in a future day through the “seed of the woman” (Gen 3:15). Happily, Revelation promises fresh access to the tree of life (Rev. 2:7).

This access is brought about through a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ who died on a cursed tree to open the way to this blessed tree.

 


Glorious Dominion Over The Earth



 

The first Adam failed miserably in having dominion over the earth for the glory of God. All of the earth’s potential lay dormant and unfulfilled. What is more, man’s sin ushered in a new epoch of groaning for planet earth (Rom. 8:21-22). In the wisdom and power of God, the last Adam – as the New Testament calls the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 15:45) – will accomplish what the first could not. As King of kings and Lord of lords, He will reign until every enemy is vanquished beneath His feet (1 Cor. 15:24-28). After ruling over the earth for 1,000 years of blissful prosperity, He will crush the last vestiges of wicked rebellion and usher in new heavens and new earth “in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet. 3:13).

Indeed it is no exaggeration to say, as many have before, that the last Adam gains far more than the first ever lost. That is because the redeemed and glorified church along with the tribes of Israel will share in the glories of this eternal kingdom. All the purposes and plans of God will find their culmination in His unparalleled work.

 

————————-

Editorial Note: This post concludes brother Keith Keyser’s Entry Level series. I would like to express my personal gratitude for Keith’s faithfulness in writing this helpful series on the first three chapters of Genesis. Thank you brother Keith. ~~Scott

Jump back to the first article in this series.

————————-

 

 

 

 

Read More

Entry Level Theological Truth [41]

“So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24

CherubimThe cherubim were created beings that fall under the broader category of angels. Genesis 3 presents their first appearance, but they figure prominently later in the Bible as decorative representations in the Tabernacle and Temple. They adorned the veil & the mercy seat in each of those structures. Their presence on the former was a daunting reminder that man could not stride boldly into the presence of a holy God on a whim. As Hebrews succinctly words it: “The Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing” (Hebrews 9:8). Atop the mercy seat, the cherubim flanked the place were God’s glory sat enthroned (Psalms 99:1). The symbolism accentuates that these heavenly beings were sentries who guarded the Lord’s glory.

Read More

Entry Level Theological Truth [40]

“Therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man.” Genesis 3:23

American Gothic

Since the fall, life on this planet is a continual struggle for humanity to survive and thrive. Some of the difficulties are self-imposed through mankind’s pervasive evil behavior, fallibility, and impotence; other problems are the product of sin’s effects upon the natural world. All of this trouble may be traced back to Adam’s disloyalty to his Creator as seen in his disregard of the first commandment recorded in Scripture (Genesis 2:16-17.) Instead of being God’s steward on earth to make the planet achieve its potential, through his disobedience, the first man brought the curse upon the world. Rather than performing his work with joy and without impediment, Adam is now banished from the garden of pleasure to laboriously eke out a living from the recalcitrant soil. Thus, the man of dust (Genesis 3:19) tills the ground with mixed success – he obtains his bread, but toils for every crumb. Relief from this hard life is only to be found in the Lord’s future promises regarding the new heavens and new earth.

 


The Daily Grind



 

The existential angst that man feels on this earth stems from the tragic history of Adam’s fall. Though made from earth and meant – under God’s authority – to be a lord over the earth, he is a stranger here, never quite in control of his environment. The natural problems facing his progeny are legion, and they are as much incapable of fixing them as was their first ancestor. Amid the gloom, however, the history set forth by the Bible offers hope for deliverance.

Centuries after Adam was afflicted by the curse his descendant Lamech named his son Noah (“Rest”), saying: “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed” (Genesis 5:29.) This moniker proved to be prophetic, for he was the builder of the ark that the Lord used to preserve humans through the flood. Afterwards, the Almighty promised not to destroy the natural world, declaring: “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease” (Genesis 8:21-22.)1

 


“Rest And Holiness There Find”



 

God’s deliverance of Noah through the flood reveals the Almighty’s design to give rest from the effects of the curse to those who receive His grace. The Lord Jesus spoke of it in His famous invitation: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-20.) The Lord Jesus offers this spiritual rest now to anyone who will receive His yoke by being saved. In the future, His victory over sin and the curse will be extended throughout the new heavens and new earth. As Revelation 22:3 asserts: “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.” Man’s toil will give way to trouble-free service and worship towards His Creator. Fellowship will be completely unfettered and humans will enjoy God as He always meant them to. As Watts poetically asserted this truth:

No more let sins and sorrows grow, 
Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found, 
Far as the curse is found,

Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace, 
And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love, 
And wonders of His love,

And wonders, wonders, of His love.2

————————-

Jump to the next article in this series

Jump back to the first article in this series.

————————-

[Photo Credit]

1Two able Hebrew scholars are worth quoting on this point: “‘I shall not curse the soil any further.’ It is important to note the position of עוד in this sentence, coming after לקלל to ‘curse,’ not after אסף ‘do again’ as in the parallel clause ‘Never again shall I smite.’ This shows that God is not lifting the curse on the ground pronounced in 3:17 for man’s disobedience, but promising not to add to it. The flood was a punishment over and above that decreed in 3:17. This is further confirmed by the milder word for ‘curse,’ קלל ‘treat lightly, disdain,’ used here as opposed to the graver term ארר, used in 3:17…Furthermore, it is also quite apparent that the curses pronounced in Gen 3—weeds, toil, pain, death, emnity with serpents—are part of man’s present experience, so that 8:21 cannot be stating they are lifted after the flood.” Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis 1–15, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 1. (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998), p. 190. [Boldface mine.]

“The assurance goes far beyond [verse] 21. It does not abolish disasters, but it does localize them, so that the human family may overcome them by forethought such as Joseph’s and by compassion such as Paul’s (2 Cor. 8:14).” Derek Kidner, Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Vol. 1 (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1967), p. 101. [Boldface mine.]

2Isaac Watts, Hymn: “Joy To The World,” accessed here: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/o/joyworld.htm on 9/29/12.

“Rest And Holiness There Find” in second heading quoted from R. C. Chapman, Hymn: “Oh my Savior Crucified,” from Spiritual Songs, #71; accessed on 9/26/12 here: http://www.stempublishing.com/hymns/ss/71

————————-

 

 

 

 

Read More

Entry Level Theological Truth [39]

“Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:22-24

Expulsion from the Garden of Eden by Thomas Cole

Eviction is never pleasant. Involuntarily leaving one’s home is traumatic. Worse still, in Adam and Eve’s case it also meant losing the freedom of unimpeded enjoyment of their Creator (Genesis 3:8.) They were sent from the garden – “Paradise Lost” as Milton dubbed it – into an uncertain world of labor, hardships, and tribulation. In spite of this drastic alteration of scenery, however, the Lord was actually acting in mercy towards them.

Read More

Entry Level Theological Truth [38]

“Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21

The Expulsion from ParadiseSince the entrance of sin into the world, nakedness connotes vulnerability and shame – a naked person cannot hide anything about his physique. It is a metaphor for man’s undisguised guilt – the creature as he actually is before his Creator, as Hebrews 4:13 implies in these pointed words: “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

It was the awareness of this reality that pushed Adam and Eve into textiles, fashioning fig-leaf tunics in a futile attempt to cover their shame (Genesis 3:7.) It also moved them to hide from the Lord among the trees of garden (v. 8) – an absurdity considering that He is both omniscient and omnipotent (Psalms 139.)

Thankfully, the matter of dealing with human sin is not left to fallible, inconstant man; instead, the Almighty Himself provides a covering for our first parents’ nakedness, thereby signalling His redemptive plan that centered on the “seed of the woman” (v. 15.)

Read More
p 1 of 512345