In a video interview with The Gospel Coalition, J.D. Greear, President of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), said that God can still speak audibly to believers today and is not limited to speaking through Scripture (“Southern Baptist President,” BreakingChristianNews.com, Jan. 4, 2019). Greear said “he would never place God in a box about what He could do today.” This has been the Pentecostal position from its inception. “Don’t put God in a box” has always meant that God can do all sorts of things that we don’t see in Scripture, such as knock people down, glue them to the floor, cause them to speak gibberish, laugh hysterically, shake, jerk, roar like lions, bray like donkeys, and stagger like drunks. “Don’t put God in a box” has always been the theme song of those who refuse to be bound by Scripture. Former Pentecostal Hughie Seaborn comments as follows: “The SBC will be thoroughly Pentecostal before too long. God can do whatever He pleases, but He won’t contradict His Word, and His Word tells us in Hebrews 1:1-2 that, ‘God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets [who received dreams, visions and audible voices], Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son [through that which is perfect, the written Word of God].’ Dreams, visions and audible voices are subjective and fraught with dangerous deception. How can we know for sure who is speaking to us, even if what is received agrees with the Bible? The devil speaks a lot of truth, but it always has an agenda. The written Word of God is the only safety we have in these perilous last days. J.D. Greear is a dangerous man. When they say they ‘would never place God in a box about what He could do today,’ they are actually saying that they don’t want God to ‘put them in a box.’ That’s the real issue that I’ve found with them. It’s not, ‘Don’t tell me what God can and can’t do,’ but rather, ‘Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.’ They don’t like the restrictions that Scripture places on them.
(Friday Church News Notes, January 11, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.“
Fractals are incredible, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. Their definition, however, makes them sound mundane. Fractals are abstract objects, and they are defined by non-differentiable functions. As mathematical objects, they are truly beautiful in both the artistic and mathematical definitions of that word.
Most of us are aware of the math, without being able to replicate or fully understand it. As with most areas of knowledge, a deeper mathematical insight into fractals appears to increase, rather than decrease, people’s fascination with them. But even those of us who have not studied the math find them fascinating.
One famous fractal that I saw involved looking carefully at a pattern, which was like that of a paper doily, based on many triangles. As the image zoomed in on one triangle, it seemed to become more complex until it was exactly the same pattern as the original whole. Concentrating on one corner triangle pattern, as it zoomed in, merely repeated this effect. This is totally unexpected.
Fractals are chaotic in appearance. Indeed, the math has a lot to do with chaos theory. They also frequently resemble objects in nature. It seems that some of the most complex, chaotic networks in nature are actually not random, but can be defined by fractals. Examples of this would be the network of branches produced by a tree, or the double-spiral arms of a galaxy. As is so often the case with other phenomena, fractals remind us that God is a God of order and harmony.
Rashiba Tlaib, newly elected Democratic congresswoman from Michigan, was sworn into Congress last week on a Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson. She said, “It’s important to me because a lot of Americans have this kind of feeling that Islam is somehow foreign to American history. Muslims were there at the beginning. … Some of our founding fathers knew more about Islam than some members of Congress now ... My faith has centered me. The prophet Mohammed was always talking about freedom and justice” (“Detroit congresswoman to use Jefferson’s Koran,” Detroit Free Press, Dec. 19, 2019). Tlaib is right that some of the founding fathers knew more about Islam than some members of Congress today, but not in the way that she assumes. As soon as America gained independence from Britain, Muslim pirates had begun seizing American merchant ships and enslaving the crews for ransom. In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were sent to London to negotiate with Tripoli’s ambassador, Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja. When asked why the Muslims attacked nations that “had done them no injury,” Adja replied, “It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy’s ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once” (Thomas Jefferson Papers, Series 1 1651-1827, Library of Congress). The Barbary pirates cited the Koran as their authority for attacking, brutalizing, and enslaving anyone who is not submitted to Allah. In 1795, America paid $1 million for the release of 115 sailors, an amount that was one-sixth of the U.S. budget. The pirates demanded an annual payment of the same amount. When Jefferson was elected America’s second president in 1801, he and his fellow citizens were of no mind to accept bullying and blackmail. The U.S. Navy was built to protect America against Muslim pirates. One of the most memorable acts of the Barbary War was in 1805 when a force of eight U.S. Marines and 400 Greek and Arab mercenaries, led by U.S. Navy Lieutenant William Eaton, force-marched across 600 miles of desert from Alexandria, Egypt, to capture the city of Derne (or Derna) on the shores of Tripoli. This is memorialized in the U.S. Marine Hymn. By 1816, the Barbary states were forced to cease attacking American and British ships, and this was accomplished by force of arms.
(Friday Church News Notes, January 11, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. “
One of our favorite family vacations when the children were young involved driving across France to the Vendée department on the West coast. This beautiful rural area seemed to us to be home to field after field of bright yellow sunflowers, all nodding their heads in the breeze. The production of sunflower oil, much used as a healthy source of mono-unsaturates, is very important to the area.
The heads of the sunflowers are themselves very interesting and easiest to examine when they have died, just leaving the seeds on the dried head. These seeds form multiple spiral patterns.
If you start counting from any point on the outside of the flower and count the seeds in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions, you will usually come up with pairs of numbers from the famous Fibonacci sequence. For example, your pair of numbers may be 34 and 55.
The Fibonacci sequence starts with two ones. After this, every element is equal to the sum of the two previous elements. Therefore, the sequence is:
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144…
Of course, sunflowers, being natural, do not always conform exactly to Fibonacci’s sequence, but a large study at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, England, has shown that, on average, they do conform.
Fibonacci’s sequence is found all over the place in nature and is closely related to the Golden Ratio, which we featured in a previous Creation Moment. God is a God of order, and we can make sense of the universe in which He has placed us only because of that order.
The Internet is, by far, history’s most magnificent library. I love libraries and have spent a lot of time in serious libraries, including many days in the British Library. But there is nothing in history to compare with the World Wide Web. Back in the 1970s, when I first started writing books, if I could have owned the British Library and the Library of Congress and transported them to one place and had the most efficient cataloging system available at the time, it would not have been as powerful and effective as the 21st century World Wide Web, especially since Google started scanning vast library holdings beginning in 2002. The old card cataloguing system was helpful, but it was nothing at all compared to a modern search Internet engine. Though many of the materials on deposit in great libraries aren’t available online, a massive amount are, and the digitization process grows daily. The last time I spent a day at the British Library, which was about five years ago, I knew that I would probably never go back. Several of the books I tried to order required longer than one day to deliver, and I only had a couple of days. Further, I realized that every book I was researching was already online (since I was doing research in older books). True, I can’t order up a 1527 Tyndale New Testament via the World Wide Web and have it delivered to my desk so that I can actually handle it, but I can read it online or download the text to read on my laptop or iPhone. And that is true for a vast amount of the material that has ever been published in English. Newer books that are still under copyright can’t be read for free online, but a great many of them can be purchased in eBook edition, which I prefer because transporting, searching, highlighting, copying and pasting are more efficient. The resources on the web and the power of the search engines puts information literally at the user’s fingertips. Finding facts that would have required hours or even days and weeks of digging through books just a few years go can be obtained at lightening speed today. The Internet is a researcher’s wildest dream come true. No doubt the Antichrist will use it to his advantage, but in the mean time I will use it for the glory of God.
(Friday Church News Notes, January 4, 2019, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“Cuba continues to employ starvation and dehydration as a mechanism to break political prisoners physically and mentally, Breitbart News learned from a former political prisoner on Friday. The practice of starving detainees and limiting their access to water remains ‘a systematic and official practice,’ Luis Zúñiga, a former political prisoner, declared during an event on human rights in Cuba hosted by the Organization of American States (OAS). ... During the event, the Justice Cuba international commission presented testimony from former political prisoners who have witnessed the torture and atrocities at the hands of the Cuban government first-hand. ... It is likely that ‘political prisons in Cuba are responsible for the only cases in the world where there are prisoners who have died of malnutrition without going on a hunger strike, just by eating the food they gave them,’ Zúñiga proclaimed. He also noted that prisoners are subjected to ‘a permanent system of arbitrary beatings.’”
“Cuba Has Detained Half a Million Dissidents,” Breitbart, Dec. 7, 2018
“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
The Encyclopaedia Britannica has a startling article about yeti crabs – their habitat and their breeding patterns. Remarkably, these creatures live in hydrothermal vents in the south Pacific Ocean – in the vicinity of Easter Island. The pressure of sea water above the vents and the geothermal energy from below allows temperatures to reach 720°F (380°C). While this would be well hot enough to cook a crab in the kitchen, these strange creatures thrive in the conditions.
The yeti crab has unusually long claws for an animal of its size. These claws are covered with feathery hairs or setae, which, in turn, are covered with filamentous bacteria. Some scientists have suspected that these bacteria might, in fact, be the crab’s fuel source. These bacteria thrive in the high-sulfur content of the vents.
The animal is well adapted to living in these hostile conditions, but, strangely, the crab’s eggs cannot survive in the hydrothermal vents because of the high sulfur content. So female crabs have to leave their super-warm homes and swim to colder waters in order to lay their eggs. This change in climate is too great for most females to survive, and they tend to die after laying the eggs. After hatching, the larvae must make their way back into the super-heated conditions of the adults.
As always, we are startled and amazed by the diversity and complexity of God’s creation. Why did He make such unusual creatures? We do not yet know, but they have some part to play in the strange ecosystem that is the hydrothermal vent.
“Schools in southern China are forcing children to wear uniforms embedded with computer chips that track their movement and trigger an alarm if they skip class. More than 10 schools in Guizhou province and the neighboring autonomous region of Guangxi are now requiring students to wear ‘intelligent uniforms’, according to the state-run newspaper The Global Times. Two chips, sown into the shoulders of school jackets, can sustain around 500 wash cycles and temperatures of 150 degrees Celsius ... The uniforms allow teachers and parents to track students’ movement, sending out an alert if they are not present in a lesson. Facial-recognition scanners at school gates match the chips with the correct student, meaning that any who try to swap jackets in order to bunk off will be caught. ... In June 2016, China’s Ministry of Education touted the ‘digitalization of education’ in its Five Year Plan, calling for the development of ‘smart campuses.’ Earlier this year, Chinese media reported that a school in Hangzhou was using facial scanners to track if students were paying attention in class, while another school in the same province uses a facial-recognition system when serving children lunch in the cafeteria.”
“Chinese schools make pupils wear,” The Telegraph, Dec. 26, 2018
“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”
As a small boy, I avidly watched the Apollo space program. I am glad that I developed my interest before Apollo 11 landed in 1969, so that I was able to watch each new mission with eager anticipation.
Apollo 8 broke new ground and made it obvious that NASA was determined in its pledge to get people on to the Moon. Launched on December 21, 1968, this was a Christmas mission, taking nearly three days to reach the Moon. This was an experimental flight, and NASA was not yet ready to get its astronauts to land, but it was the first occasion that human beings had ever left Earth orbit to reach another world. Just short of three days after launch, the crew set the rocket engines burning for exactly four minutes seven seconds to get the craft into orbit around the Moon.
The lunar orbit created a number of exciting firsts. The orbit took Apollo 8 around the back of the Moon. The Moon has a synchronous rotation, so it always keeps one side permanently facing the Earth. Therefore, the back of the Moon is always hidden from the Earth. This was, therefore, the first time that human beings had gazed directly on the Moon’s hidden side. Then, as the craft returned to the visible side, they experience the beauty of an Earthrise.
The mission was notable for the December 24th Christmas broadcast, during which the astronauts William Anders, Jim Lovell, and Frank Borman read the first ten verses of Genesis 1 between them. This was a fitting tribute and reminded us that it was God that made the Moon.
“Apple pulled a Christian ministry's app after LGBT advocates said it portrayed being gay as a ‘sickness,' a charge the ministry says is false. NBC News reported that the tech giant removed the app that was developed by Living Hope Ministries, a Texas-based organization, following a Change.org petition from gay rights group Truth Wins Out. The petition called the ‘ex-gay’ app ‘dangerous,’ ‘bigoted’ and ‘hateful.’ Living Hope Ministries is expressing disappointment over the move but says their work will continue. ‘We are saddened by Apple’s and Microsoft’s removal of our app because of a single person’s false accusations. Regardless of their decision we will continue to make the app and our services available to those who seek them,’ Ricky Chalette, executive director of the group, said in an email to The Christian Post Thursday. ‘We are a ministry that for nearly thirty years has helped individuals resolve their feelings they deem incongruent with their faith. We help people deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ through Bible study and accountability. We walk with them to align their lives with the teachings of Jesus Christ.’ In 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook became the first Fortune 500 company leader to announce he was homosexual, and told CNN in an interview earlier this year that being gay was ‘God’s greatest gift to me.’"
“Apple Pulls,” The Christian Post, Dec. 27, 2018
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.”
The late Stephen Hawking was a very brilliant man, whose brain activity was such as to overcome his severe physical handicap, caused by Motor Neurone Disease. In his last piece of research before his death early in 2018, he applied his mind, as always, to his ideas of the Big Bang, and, in particular, to the Inflation model, which I and others have referred to as the Big Fizz.
Briefly, the Big Bang theory does not explain the uniformity of phenomena such as Cosmic Background Microwave radiation. Many astrophysicists have postulated an extremely rapid inflation of the universe, in its opening fractions of a second, in order to try to explain these problems. Unfortunately, the unpredictable characteristics of inflation metrics give rise to the idea that our universe is only one of an infinite number of universes, called the multiverse. This is very much like a magic formula because in an infinite multiverse anything can happen somewhere. Indeed, it is even suggested that inflation might be eternal in some of these universes.
Hawking put his mind to these issues and surmised that the model was too complicated. He said, “We predict that our universe, on the largest scales, is reasonably smooth and globally finite.”
While creationists do not accept the Big Bang theory, it is interesting that Hawking did at least come to the conclusion that the universe is not infinite. Biblically speaking, only God is infinite. We find it makes more sense to assume that the universe is finite and completely under God’s control.
“The major German newspaper Der Spiegel revealed that one of its most renowned reporters, Claas Relotius, has been making up news for years. In a case of journalistic fraud ‘on a grand scale,’ Relotius has reportedly confessed to fabricating parts of at least 14 stories over the years, including an interview with Colin Kaepernick’s parents and a story about a sign on the outskirts of a Minnesota town reading ‘Keep Mexicans out.’ Ironically, Relotius won awards for his investigative exposes, including CNN Journalist of the Year in 2014. After many years of making up ‘facts’ to fit his preconceived narratives, Rolotius finally tripped up when he--like so many arrogant liberal reporters--slandered and underestimated the intelligence of rural American Trump voters whom he had never really talked to. In trying to ‘explain’ to European readers how those backward, knuckle-dragging, gun-toting, racist small town yahoos (a stereotype he could have lifted straight out of a 1960s drive-in movie) could have chosen the odious Trump over the resplendent Hillary, Rolotius wrote a profile of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, which voted for Trump by 62.6%. The intent was obviously to confirm the negative biases held by urban liberal bubble dwellers. Rolotius put damning quotes into the mouths of people he’d never talked to; invented demeaning descriptions of locals that were wildly inaccurate; created residents who didn’t really exist; made up ‘facts’ out of thin air that a Google search could have debunked. When residents saw to their shock what he had written about them, local blogger Michele Anderson posted a list of just his top 11 lies about Fergus. Adding more layers to the irony, Anderson is actually a Hillary-voting liberal who works for a local arts group and moved there from Portland, Oregon--but she loves her small town and gets along fine with her neighbors, liberals and conservatives alike.”
“Der Spiegel Reporter Fired after Fake News Story” by Mike Huckabee, The Stream, Dec. 22, 2018
“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”
Hardly a week goes by without a new news story about the supposed evolution of birds. In the week that I wrote this script, evolutionary paleontologists announced that they had discovered the world’s oldest beak. This beak was attached to a bird called ichthyornis (or fish-bird), and the fossil was actually already in the possession of Yale University. Researchers from that institution examined the fossil, which included a complete skull. One researcher said:
The fossil record provides our only direct evidence of the evolutionary transformations that have given rise to modern forms. This extraordinary new specimen reveals the surprisingly late retention of dinosaur-like features in the skull of Ichthyornis – one of the closest-known relatives of modern birds from the Age of Reptiles.
One has to ask how such a skull constitutes “direct evidence of evolutionary transformations”. We do not see the beak being transformed from a dinosaur skull. Indeed, even in the popular-level articles from which this information was gleaned, we see some startling problems. For example, ichthyornis is thought to have died out 83.5 million years ago. Yet, velociraptors – a potential therapod precursor to birds – was claimed not to have appeared until 75 million years ago, about 8 million years after the creature into which it is supposed to have evolved. Even allowing for these problems with timescales, creationist researchers have noted that the evolutionary distance from ichthyornis to modern birds is less than that alleged to exist between many modern birds. One must conclude that ichthyornis has been assigned the world’s oldest beak merely because of an a priori commitment and bias to evolutionary theory.
“Evangelical leader Franklin Graham accepted Facebook’s apology and suggested the social network come up with a standard based on ‘God's word’ after the tech company mistakenly banned him for 24 hours last week over a 2016 post about HB2, North Carolina's controversial ‘bathroom bill.’ ‘I was defending our governor and the state on HB2. It was a good law. If you disagree with [Facebook’s] position on sexual orientation, you can be classified as hate speech,’ said Graham in an exclusive interview on Fox & Friends Sunday. In a post to his Facebook page, Graham said the social network is ‘trying to define truth. They’re making the rules and changing the rules. Truth is truth. God made the rules and His Word is truth. Actually, Facebook is censoring free speech. The free exchange of ideas is part of our country’s DNA.’ A Facebook spokesperson told Fox News the 2016 post was removed by mistake after one of its 15,000 content moderators decided that it violated the tech giant's ban on ‘dehumanizing language.’ The post and Graham’s page have since been restored. ‘I accept Facebook’s apology and I appreciate them stepping up and doing that,’ Graham said, but he questioned why the tech giant would censure such an old post. ‘I think it was just really a personal attack towards me.’ Facebook came under fire late last week after one of its employees leaked more than 1,000 pages of documents detailing its content moderation policies and how it polices speech on a global scale. Critics have said the company wields too much power and has made mistakes in determining whether something is hate speech or part of a country’s mainstream dialogue. In March 2016, North Carolina’s General Assembly passed HB2, which reversed a Charlotte ordinance that allowed transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity, but the HB2 eliminated local ordinances statewide that expanded protections for LGBT people.”
“After Facebook apologizes for ban,” Fox News, Dec. 31, 2018
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
A commercial on British Independent TV in the 1970s for a brand of chocolates showed an action-packed James Bond type figure, enduring all sorts of dangers, in order to leave the said box of chocolates for his lady. The implication was that ladies love chocolate, and their menfolk should do whatever it takes to get that chocolate to them, especially for those significant anniversaries.
Recent serious scientific research has discovered some actual benefits – for both women and men. The brand from the TV commercial would not be acceptable, however, as it was milk chocolate with 33% cacao. The health benefits researched are for dark (or plain) chocolate with greater than 70% cacao. Researchers at the Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center have found that such confectionery can actually reduce levels of stress and inflammation, while lightening mood and increasing immunity and memory. This seems to be because cacao is a major source of flavonoids. The research found that the positive effects occurred with a dose such as a regular-sized chocolate bar every couple of days.
Cacao flavonoids contain anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agencies, which are beneficial to both heart and brain. These findings seem to confirm that God has placed inside so many natural materials chemicals which are likely to be helpful to human beings. Just one word of caution – none of this reduces the calories contained in a candy bar!
So, perhaps you want to surprise your loved one with a candy bar to help her memory. But maybe you need one too, so that you don’t forget that important anniversary.
“The living cell is powered by ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate), which is produced in the cell’s mitochondria by an amazing genetic motor called ATP Synthase. Without ATP there would be no biological life and without the ATP motor there would be no ATP. One trillion trillion of these complex motors would fit on the head of a pin. They typically spin at about 10,000 rpm and develop immense torque, with each rotation producing three ATP molecules. ‘The human body generates about its own weight of ATP every day, generated by trillions of these motors. And it is consumed very quickly to power vital biochemical reactions, including DNA and protein synthesis, muscle contraction, transport of nutrients and nerve impulses. An organism without ATP is like a car without gasoline. Cyanide is so toxic precisely because it stops ATP production. Because energy is vital for life, life could not have evolved before this motor was fully functional. This is an even more foundational problem: natural selection by definition is differential reproduction, so requires self-reproducing entities at the start. Yet self-reproduction requires ATP to supply the energy! So does the expression of the information that is selected. So even if a series of gradual steps could be imagined up this peak of Mount Improbable, there would be no natural selection to enable that climb. This is because all the hypothetical intermediates would be lacking energy and thus dead’ (Jonathan Sarfati, By Design, pp. 135, 136). Shem Dharampaul, M.D., observes: “In the glycolytic pathway which produces ATP, you need to input two molecules of ATP to produce four molecules of ATP (net product of two molecules). It is a classic chicken and egg scenario. From where did the first two molecules appear?” A graphical depiction of the ATP synthase can be viewed below.
Seeing the Non-existent: Evolution’s Myths and Hoaxes, David Cloud
“If we are competent merchantmen in the business of the Church we shall limit our schemes, and we shall operate them to the last ounce of our strength. We shall not waste and squander our power in twenty scouting excursions, but we will use it in sinking one or two good mines, and working them with noble and persistent exploration. If the pulpit is your mine, don’t play with it, work it night and day. If the Sunday School is your mine, sink your shaft deeper and deeper, open out new seams and veins of treasure, and let the mine abundantly justify itself by its products. Whatever may be your mind, put your strength into it. I am a strong believer in a very few schemes, but tried to the utmost; I believe in a very few mines, but worked for all they are worth. The life of our day tempts us to diffuse. We are tempted to have too many irons in the fire, and we don’t beat any one of them to final ‘shape and use.’ Gentlemen, have a few well-designed and well-proportioned schemes. Don’t lose yourself in dreams. Lay your hands upon a few things, and hold on to them like grim death, and make them pay daily tribute to the Lord your God. Master something. Finish something, or be still working away at it when the Lord promotes you to higher service. That was the Master’s way. ‘I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.’ He ‘set His face’ steadfastly to it, nothing drew Him aside, and He finished it. And this, too, was the way of the Apostle Paul. ‘This one thing I do.’ His life and work were controlled by a glorious concentration, and he held on to his grace like a hound that has found the trail. Follow his inspired example. Don’t be forever itching after novelties. Don’t be continually shifting your ground”
(J.H. Jowett, The Preacher: His Life and Work, 1912).
Kroger has become the first supermarket chain to provide delivery of groceries via driverless vehicles. The service was launched in Scottsdale, Arizona. The grocers have teamed up with the Nuro company and its small R1 electric-powered van “shaped like a rounded, silver lunch box” or a “toaster on wheels,” which has been in development since 2016. When filling an order, the van self-drives to the address. The customer watches the vehicle’s progress on a smartphone app, activates a code to open the van, and retrieves his package.
(Friday Church News Notes, December 28, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. “
A common criticism leveled at those of us who accept the biblical account of the worldwide Flood is this: How could all those animals have been accommodated on the Ark? There are millions of species of animals. Where would they all have been put if there had to be two of every species?
Such critics deliberately overlook a number of important points.
Not every type of creature was needed. Only land animals and flying animals were taken. Aquatic animals would survive without being on the Ark.
Only animals with lungs were taken. These were those, described in Genesis 7:15 as having the “breath of life”.
The Bible does not refer to species. It refers to kind. An animal kind is a much broader classification than species, which is a relatively modern concept. For example, lions, tigers, leopards, bobcats, and domestic cats are all in the Felidae family. The Ark would have held two Felidae, and all the others would have developed from these after the Flood.
Today there are 510 such candidate kinds of land and flying animals. If we suppose this is 33% of the pre-Flood total (as we are confident that it is for mammals), then there were likely to have been 1,700 pre-Flood kinds, requiring 3,400 animals. However, seven pairs of clean animals – birds, in particular – were required. In the “worst case” scenario, the upper limit of Ark inhabitants can be stretched to no more than 7,000, the average size of which would be about that of a sheep.
“Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is blocking Senate confirmation of President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Chai Feldblum, for fear she could threaten religious freedom and traditional marriage. If confirmed, Feldblum, a leftist Democrat and LGBTQ activist who has made controversial comments about religious liberty, would serve her third EEOC term. She was first nominated in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama, and finished her second term in July 2018. Sen. Lee has asserted that Feldblum ‘is no typical Democrat,’ and could curtail ‘the rights of religious Americans.’ The EEOC is a bipartisan commission that enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination against job applicants or employees on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. In a 2006 interview with the Weekly Standard, Feldblum suggested sexual liberty was more important than religious liberty, and should be prioritized should the two come into conflict. ‘Sexual liberty should win in most cases,’ Feldblum said. ‘There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win because that’s the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner.’ Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Wire Ben Shapiro said Feldblum was ‘President Trump’s Worst Federal Nomination.’ ‘Feldblum should not be anywhere near the levers of power,’ Shapiro wrote. ‘And it’s particularly inexcusable for President Trump and a Republican Congress to reauthorize her presence there.’”
“Sen. Mike Lee Blocks,” CNSNews.com, Dec. 21, 2018
“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”
Rumblings and small eruptions had been going on for maybe three months when the big one came. The plume of ash rose thousands of feet and turned day to night as the most active volcano on the European mainland burst into life in its most famous and devastating eruption, in August AD 79.
After about four days, it was all but over. Vesuvius had spewed hot ash and sulfurous fumes over the area. This was particularly bad for the ancient city of Pompeii, which was buried beneath this powdered rock.
“Fortune favors the brave,” remarked the author and historian Pliny the Elder, as he attempted to rescue some of his friends from the city, with hot pumice raining down on him. His body was found later, with no apparent injuries. It seems likely, therefore, that he was poisoned by compounds of sulfur from the volcano.
Bodies were buried alive. Excavators in modern times have found voids where buried bodies have rotted away. Curious and macabre plaster casts of these voids have been made, revealing the final actions of the unfortunate victims.
Volcanic activity is a frightening natural phenomenon. How often has God used such eruptions? Were the fire and sulfur raining down on Sodom and Gomorrah from such an eruption? They might not have been – God is able to make such fire fall from heaven with no volcano, if He so wishes. But it certainly seems that the beginning of the Genesis Flood was brought about by massive worldwide volcanic activity, recorded as the “Fountains of the Deep”.
“The once proud organization known as the Boy Scouts is declaring bankruptcy after severely flagging numbers due to a myriad of problems, including implementing social justice measures to make it more inclusive. According to the Daily Caller, the Boy Scouts changed its name to Scouts BSA and began to allow girls into their ranks. Before that, the Boy Scouts ruled that openly gay scouts and scout leaders could also join the program. This led to a serious decline in membership and now the organization is filing Chapter 11. It’s only going to get worse as well. The Mormon Church has announced that it's discontinuing its partnership with the Boy Scouts and will be starting up its own boy’s program in 2020, according to the Daily Caller. When that happens, the Scouts will lose a third of its membership.”
Red State News, Dec. 13, 2018
“And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”
In the epic Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf, the hero, at one point, meets a gruesome creature known as Grendel. Grendel has been terrorizing the neighborhood for twelve years. Beowulf is determined to kill this creature. He does this by ripping off Grendel’s arm, so that he runs back to his lair and dies in pain.
Traditionally, Grendel has been described as a troll. Yet, the word troll does not appear in the poem. A troll is usually depicted as a small, hairy creature. But Grendel had bothered the locals for 12 years, and, using normal weapons, they had been unable to subdue it. Moreover, Grendel had a very large mouth and was able to bite off half a man. Yet, its arms were so puny that Beowulf was able to wrench its arm from its socket while being close enough to the creature that it could not bite him with its awful mouth. What sort of a creature was this?
Grendel lived in the swamp, where other creatures, the wyrms, lived. Wyrm is a Viking word for dragon. So the swamp creatures were reptilian. Was Grendel of similar kind? Indeed, although it is often thought that Grendel was the creature’s personal name, it seems more likely that this was the species name – this animal was a grendel. Grendels appear throughout England, as witnessed in place names like Grindleford, in Derbyshire.
Beowulf’s Grendel was a young of the species, yet stood taller than a man, had a huge mouth, puny arms, and walked on large, back legs. Many of us suspect that this was a post-Flood therapod – perhaps even a tyrannosaur.
“Facebook suspended five accounts linked to Democratic operatives who engaged in ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’ in a bid to steer votes away from Alabama Republican Roy Moore during last year’s special Senate election. The announcement comes following a New York Times report last week that exposed the scheme, in which the users created a Facebook page and imitated conservative Alabamians who weren’t satisfied with the Republican candidate while encouraging others to write in another candidate. The scheme also involved creating thousands of fake Russian accounts on Twitter that began following Moore. This effort attracted attention from local and national media, falsely suggesting Russia was backing Moore’s candidacy. ‘Russian invasion? Roy Moore sees spike in Twitter followers from land of Putin,’ read the headline of an article at The Montgomery Advertiser, just months before the election night. Other outlets shortly picked up the story.”
“Facebook suspends accounts tied to Dem disinformation scheme,” Fox News, Dec. 25, 2018
CONCLUDING COMMENT BY FRIDAY CHURCH NEWS NOTES EDITOR: In addition to these lies, Roy Moore was the target of unsubstantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s. His campaign called the allegations “baseless” and “the very definition of fake news,” but the damage was done. The man lost the election due to dirty politics, pure and simple.
(Friday Church News Notes, December 28, 2018, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”
If I have commented on problems with the Big Bang Theory, I have sometimes been told that we have witnessed stars being born. Deep-time astrophysicists often point to so-called stellar nurseries to make their point. One such nursery can be seen in the constellation known as Cepheus. Evolutionary astrophysicists point to a molecular cloud, visible in the constellation, using the Hubble Space Telescope. Within this cloud can be seen a number of stars, referred to as protostars. According to their model, this cloud is collapsing under gravitational collapse, and the resulting energy has to be dissipated by energy, resulting in the ignition of a protostar. Therefore, what we are seeing is a snapshot of the birth of a star.
However, in order to demonstrate that this really is the birth of stars, we would have to observe the stars develop into fully fledged stars. But the models would suggest that this takes millions of years. This subtle point, therefore, needs to be made – in this cloud in Cepheus, we are not witnessing the process of stellar birth. Instead, we are looking at an interesting image of something which is certainly there, but which is being interpreted as stellar birth by scientists who accept that model. Offering this snapshot as evidence of stellar evolution requires the prior acceptance of the stellar evolutionary model. This can be recognized as circular reasoning – which is a logical fallacy. It makes more sense to accept the eyewitness account, given to us in Genesis 1 by God Himself.