December 2017 - Christian Evidence

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Is Bitcoin the ‘Mark of the Beast’?

December 29, 2017 Add Comment
“And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)


What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency - money that is completely virtual and is not shared or controlled by a centralized government. (“Crypto” refers to the heavy cryptography (encoding) used to request, confirm, and record the transactions within the context of a decentralized system). Bitcoin was created in 2009, and is the most popular cryptocurrency out of many others.

Currently, the interest in Bitcoin is intense. It’s almost impossible to browse a website, or view a video in the financial space without hearing about the rise in the price of Bitcoin. Claims are also inducing people that it will exceed $1 Million per coin this year and as a cure for all, decentralized, untraceable, government and central bank free market "currency", they're also claiming it will end poverty and improve the lives for humanity. All of these factors are resulting in Bitcoin's growing attraction to many. The centralized control is also similar to the New World Order mentioned in Revelation...


How could Bitcoin become the ‘Mark of the Beast’?

If the Bitcoin maximalists (those who believe that it is better to maximize your efforts and invest in one single coin, i.e. Bitcoin) get their way, and the entire world uses Bitcoin in its current form, the masses of people becoming accepting of Bitcoin could pave the way for the future “mark of the beast.” There are five features of Bitcoin that make it likely to usher in the “mark of the beast.” (This is pure speculation).

1. A type of cryptocurrency ushering in a one world currency and the antichrist makes the most sense. Logically, it would never make sense to have the same paper money, and coins, that we currently have (that have no intrinsic value as, for example, gold would have), all over the world acting as a one world currency. As more of the current currencies begin to fail around the world, paper money, and coins, would soon become worthless. Digital currency, however, makes perfect sense. Bitcoin, and its blockchain (public/easily verifiable database system which records transactions) are also decentralized, which would make it easy for them to be controlled by the antichrist who will, eventually, have to take over the internet.

2. Each person’s Bitcoin addresses would be tied to identity if Bitcoin became the new one world currency. It would be very easy to convince people that identities must be tied to payments. This would mean that every person’s payments could be monitored, to see if they are complying, straight from the blockchain. Addresses of “criminals” could be blacklisted and taxes could be verified for all transactions. A person's economic life could be tracked, verified, measured and controlled, all via the blockchain.

3. The relative IP address of where transactions are made is sent out live by the blockchain. This makes for an excellent geo-tracking scheme when everyone’s identites are tied to their Bitcoin address, as mentioned above. Revelation 13:7 says, “The number of his name.” If Bitcoin becomes the new one world currency, you'd be able to run, but you wouldn't be able to hide.

4. The blockchain is transparent, which would make it very easy to punish those who don’t conform to Bitcoin payments. For instance, failing to include your tax payment on every transaction, or doing any business with people who have financial penalties would land you directly on the trade penalty list. Furthermore, anyone found by the Bitcoin blockchain to be trading with you could be imprisoned or worse may eventually starve, not for lack of food, but for lack of people willing to sell some to you. Revelation 13:7 says, “No man might buy or sell.”

5. Implanting chips into hands with a bitcoin wallet inside is becoming more popular. Recently, we've witnessed microchip implants becoming a popular trend, with implantable RFID chips thought to be the "Mark of the Beast" by many. Surprisingly, people have recently began installing chips into their hands with a bitcoin wallet inside! Revelation 13:16 says that people will “receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.”

While implantable RFID chips may still be the "Mark of the Beast", unlike its features and obvious difficulty in administering to the entire world population, digitized currency would be a far more likely candidate, because of its "user friendly" nature. Everyone would readily accept it. 

However, the current popularity of bitcoin doesn’t necessarily mean that bitcoin will be the Antichrist’s one-world currency. After all, Bitcoin is only one of over 1,000 different virtual currencies! But there's also no reason not to believe that Bitcoin, and other similar cryptocurrencies, could be precursors to the money eventually used in the end times. It certainly is an exciting time to be a Christian!
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Noah's Flood Evidence: The Grand Canyon

December 27, 2017 Add Comment
How was the Grand Canyon formed? 

There are two explanations as to how the Grand Canyon was formed. A lot of water and a little time OR a little water and a lot of time. The canyon doesn't tell us, but our worldview does. Many creationist geologists take the former explanation, and have proposed that the Grand Canyon was formed by a catastrophic dam-breach event. On the other hand, many secular geologists cling to the uniformitarian view that the formation of the Grand Canyon was a slow, gradual process over 7 million years. Let's see which explanation best fits the facts.

Firstly, there are two facts which both creationists and evolutionists agree with regarding the Grand Canyon. These are that:

1. The plateau (Elevated area that rises sharply abovein the Grand Canyon, through which the Colorado River flows today, was uplifted long before the Grand Canyon came to exist and the Colorado River flowed through it.

All geologists currently agree that the Colorado River began flowing out of the western Grand Canyon only recently. How recently? According to most secular geologists, within the last one-thousandth of the earth’s history (i.e. 1,800,000 years ago)!
"Did the Colorado River exist anywhere in Pliocene time? If not, how and when may it have come on the scene? ... There are, so far as known, no true river deposits older than Pleistocene along the entire course of the Colorado River—that is, deposits of the specific type that such a river normally lays down."1
On opposite sides of the western Grand Canyon, there are three different pairs of water-transported rocks found, that are each similar to one another. These rocks would have been unable to pass from side to side, if the plateau, in the canyon, had blocked the way. Therefore, those rocks were first transported, then the Grand Canyon was cut through them and the Colorado River began flowing out of the western end of the Canyon. Since 1934, geologists have been trying unsuccessfully to find a previous location for the river or to learn why the river began so recently.

2. After the plateau was in place, the Grand Canyon was carved right through the plateau, instead of going around it. 
“Oddly enough, the Grand Canyon is located in a place where it seemingly shouldn’t be. Some twenty miles east of Grand Canyon Village, the Colorado River turned sharply ninety degrees, from a southern course to a western one and into the heart of the uplifted Kaibab Plateau. . . . It appears to cut right through this uplifted wall of rock, which lies three thousand feet above the adjacent Marble Platform to the east.”2
Creationists also agree that the Grand Canyon was carved right through that plateau. The Colorado River makes a sharp right turn at the edge of the plateau to flow through the plateau and the Grand Canyon, instead of around it. This, however, presents a problem (as you will soon find out) for secular geologists and evolutionists who, for over the past 150 years, have been teaching that the Colorado River carved the canyon over millions of years! (See Figure 6-5)

Prentice Hall, General Science, 1992, p. 174 
“Though scientists have studied the canyon for more than 150 years, a definitive answer as to how or when the canyon formed eludes them. The one thing scientists do agree on is that the canyon was carved by the erosive power of the Colorado River, but the river itself has carried away the evidence of its earlier history.”3

What can we observe?

There are two facts, that alone, make the evolutionary interpretation of a little water and a lot of time impossible:

1. The top of the Grand Canyon is 4000 feet above the river! The Colorado River travels through the Rocky Mountains in the Grand Canyon, only along the bottom. When the river first enters the Grand Canyon its elevation is 2800 ft, it then travels downhill and ends up leaving the canyon at 1800 ft. However, in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, the highest points of the plateau are 6900-8500 ft elevation! This means that the plateau of the Rocky Mountains is over 4000 ft. higher than when the river first entered the canyon! This is the problem for evolutionists and secular geologists, who have been teaching that the Colorado River carved the canyon over millions of years, because how did it carve through the Grand Canyon? Rivers do not flow uphill!


2. There are no mud or sand sediments to be found at the river delta. Close to 1,000 cubic miles of material has been eroded to form the Grand Canyon! The expected, massive delta (built up layers of excessive sediment that waves and tides are unable to carry all away) contains only a small fraction (not even 1%) of this eroded material. There should be trillions of deposits if it has been eroding for millions of years! Where did it all go?

As I mentioned earlier, most creationist geologists believe that the Grand Canyon was formed by a catastrophic dam-breach event. Here's an example, from Teton Dam in Idaho, of what a dam-breach looks like:

While keeping maintenance on the Teton Dam in Idaho, engineers noticed a small leak at approximately 7:30am, Sat, June 6th, 1976.

About 4-5 hours later, the water could not be stopped.

All it takes is one tiny crack in the dam, and the whole thing comes crashing down very quickly.

Evolutionists are teaching that canyons form with a little bit of water, and a lot of time. However, here we can see an example of an enormous canyon forming very rapidly with a lot of water and little bit of time. (This is not uncommon - we often hear of stories about floods sometimes creating other mini "grand canyons", and these have been observed to form in just days to weeks) We cannot observe the evolutionists' explanation because it would take far too long, and therefore becomes part of what they believe, not scientific observation. On the other hand, a rapid formation explanation from a breached dam can be observed naturally, and is scientific observation.

For the above reasons, mysteries surround the formation of Grand Canyon for secular geologists and evolutionists.
“Grand Canyon is a puzzle, a mystery, an enigma. It appears to have been carved through an uplifted plateau, ignores fault lines, may have been born by a river that once flowed the other way, is possibly quite old or quite young – or both – and is set within a more mature landscape.”4
"For all its glorious views, the Colorado Plateau remains an ugly mystery to geologists. They can’t figure out why and how it rose thousands of feet over the millions of years it took to carve spectacular natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley."5
To these so-called experts, the canyon’s birth remains a hazy mystery, cloaked in intrigue, and filled with enigmatic puzzles.


Other Problems with Evolutionary Worldview

1. Radiometric Dating Problems. Just two examples of dating problems:
  • Radiohaloes found in coalified wood at the Colorado Plateau have a high 238U/206Pb ratio, ranging from 2000 to 27000. These ages contradict the hundreds of million of years ago.6
  • Debris flow terraces have presented radiocarbon dates of less than several thousand years. This is consistent with continuous erosion after the flood, forming the Canyon.7

2. No earlier/other “Grand Canyons”. Why did the Grand Canyon come about so recently? If the Grand Canyon was carved during the last one-thousandth of earth’s history, why were no other “Grand Canyons” carved earlier? Also why are there not many other “grand canyons” worldwide?

3. Unusual location. The location of the Grand Canyon is also quite strange. The area in which it is located has been known to receive little rainfall. Given the evolutionary explanation, it should be expected that numerous other “Grand Canyons” would be of existence in locations where conditions are far more extreme.

4. No evidence of “missing” millions of years (of erosion). Today we see the effects of weathering and erosion all around us. But where is the evidence of millions of years between rock layers in the Grand Canyon? There is none. Instead, we see evidence of continuous deposition of one layer after another, with no time for erosion. Consistent with the Genesis flood.

5. Millions of nautiloid fossils unexplained. Nautiloids are extinct sea animals which have squid-like features enclosed in chambered shells. Seven-foot thick fossil beds running along the full 277 miles of the canyon, and beyond, have been found to contain tens of millions of nautiloid fossils with an average of one fossil per four square meter, and with nearly one in seven fossils standing vertically! Amazingly, one zone of a rock has been found to contain so many nautiloids buried horizontally, that it can just about only be explained by a worldwide flood!

Time precludes further examples of problems here. But it's quite clear that, the river forming the canyon slowly over millions of years not only defies logic, but is also a complete assumption that is based on first assuming evolution is true in order to claim there is evidence for evolution.


References:

1 Eliot Blackwelder, “Origin of the Colorado River,” Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Vol. 45, 30 June 1934, pp. 554, 557.
2 Wayne Ranney, Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery, Grand Canyon Association, AZ, 2005, p.20.
3 Wayne Ranney, Carving the Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery (Grand Canyon, Arizona: Grand Canyon Association, 2005), back cover.
4 Wayne Ranney, Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery, Grand Canyon Association, AZ, 2005, p.19.
5 Alexandra Witze, “Grand Canyon’s High Surroundings May be Product of Continental Lift,” Science News, Vol. 179, 21 May 2011, p. 12.
6 Radiohalos in Coalified Wood: New Evidence Relating to the Time of Uranium Introduction and Coalification, by Robert V. Gentry, Warner H. Christie, David H. Smith, J. F. Emery S. A. Reynolds, Raymond Walker, S. S. Cristy and P. A. Gentry, SCIENCE, 15.
7 Succession of desert plants on debris flow terraces, Grand Canyon, Arizona, U.S.A., by Janice E. Bowers, Robert H. Webb & Elizabeth A. Pierson, U.S. Geological Survey, Journal of Arid Environments (1997) 36: 67–86
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As in the Days of Lot: Warnings for Today

December 15, 2017 Add Comment
We look at the deteriorating moral values in our nation–the divorce rate, pornography, sexual immorality, polygamy, homosexuality, adultery, fornication and legal bestiality. What is the world coming to?
"Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot... Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." (Luke 17:28,30)

What was it like in the days of Lot?

Compare the days of Lot with our modern times today and you'll notice the striking parallels: (Lot's day vs Today)


1. They gave themselves over to fornication.Fornication” is any sexual act outside of the Biblical marriage covenant between a man and a woman. Jude 1:7 tells us, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Today, many men and women choose to live together without the commitment of marriage, and of those who do get married, the current statistic is that about 50% of those marriages end up in divorce. In 2010, Lutheran pastors reported that over 57 percent of the couples they now marry are living together prior to the wedding, and that the rate of cohabitation in their congregations is increasing.

2. They went after strange flesh. The most common interpretation of this phrase, is the departing from the course of nature, and going after that which is unnatural. Homosexuality is not natural. There is no “gay gene” or a sole biological cause for any same-sex attraction. Something is natural if it is functioning the way it was designed to function, and homosexuality goes against the natural function of the body. In Matthew 19:4 Jesus said, "Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.'"

3. They did not hide their sin. They not only indulged in evil, but they openly encouraged it and didn’t even try to conceal it (Isa. 3:9; Jer. 23:14). Isaiah 3:9 says, “they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it.” Now, it is one thing for the Sodomites to hide their sin in the closet, or in their own bedrooms, but the men of Sodom were proudly parading their ungodly behaviour in the streets and violently trying to push their evil deeds on all of society. There are “gay pride parades” in every major city of the world these days to celebrate their iniquity. Droves are publically flaunting their iniquity, promoting and publicising their sin via every form of media, even lobbying governments to make laws that demand punishment of those who do not approve of their behaviour and refuse to accept or partake in their immorality.

4. They did not help the poor and needy. Ezekiel 16:49,50 reads, “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit." They had abundant food, and careless ease that resulted in being unconcerned about the poor and needy (Isa 1:10, 17; Ezek 16:49-50). Today, 30 percent of the global population considered as poor holds just two percent of global income. Almost two billion people are living in extreme poverty (living on less than $1.90 a day) or moderate poverty (less than $3.10 a day), accounting for around 36 percent of the population in emerging and developing countries. In 1990 it was at 67.2 percent (that's a 31% decrease)! Yet at the same time, the statistics for the rich countries show increase in wealth. In other words, poverty is on the rise, while the rich get richer, the poor are getting poorer.


5. They were haughty. Sodom's other sin was pride and complacency. This generation, like no other, regards self above all else. Self-love, self-esteem, self-reliance, self-gratification, are encouraged by the media, schools, psychologists, etc. With the rise of social media, self-image, ‘selfies’ and plastic self-augmentation, our generation is full of haughtiness. As point three mentioned above, with “gay pride parades” our generation is all for pride.

6. Homosexuality abounded in the city. Genesis chapter 19 records the two angels, disguised as human men, visiting Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot met the angels in the city square and urged them to stay at his house. The angels agreed. The Bible then informs us in Genesis 19:4–5, "Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom — both young and old — surrounded the house. They called to Lot, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them'" The men of Sodom and Gomorrah wanted to perform homosexual gang rape on the two angels (who were disguised as men). It was the sin that epitomized the gross wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah—the "grave," "ungodly," "lawless," "sensual conduct of unprincipled men" that tormented Lot as he "saw and heard" it "day after day," the "corrupt desire" of those that went after "strange flesh." Fifty years ago homosexuality was illegal throughout the entire world, except for Sweden which had decriminalized sodomy in 1938. In the space of just half a century this tiny 1-3% of the population have made themselves a global political power with greater influence in the courtrooms and legislatures of the world than the Church of Jesus Christ. This astonishing transformation surpasses that of Darwinism, Marxism, and even Islam in its speed and breadth of reach!


7. There were not ten righteous men in the city (very, very few were really following God). In Genesis 18:26, Abraham was pleading for Sodom, and asked the LORD if He will spare them. The LORD replied, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." Abraham continued to plead and kept asking until, in verse 32, the LORD said “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” But He did destroy it because there were not ten righteous men in the city! Today you've probably come across news headlines such as:

  • "Christianity Declines Sharply in US, Agnostics Growing: Pew" – Newsmax
  • "Christians In U.S. On Decline As Number Of 'Nones' Grows, Survey Finds" – NPR
  • "Big Drop in Share of Americans Calling Themselves Christian" - New York Times
  • "America Is Getting Less Christian and Less Religious, Study Shows" – HuffPo

America, for example, had in 1990, 86 percent of American adults who identified as Christians, compared with 71 percent in 2012 (15% drop). Christianity is growing more slowly due to the shrinking number of believers in many nations! Meanwhile, the global Muslim population has increased by more than 150 million people between 2010 and 2015, to 1.8 billion. Islam is already the world's fastest-growing religion. A study also showed that the numbers of Christians and Muslims will be nearly equal by 2060. Christianity is slowly on the decline, while Islam is on the rise (also a sign of the end times). 

8. Worldly and secular Christians. In Genesis 19, Lot is pictured as a friend of the world. Lot was a believer, as 2 Peter 2:7–8 calls him a righteous man. However, he was righteous because of his faith, not because of his actions. Genesis 13 tells us, he set his tents towards the wicked city of Sodom. He desired Sodom because of its wealth, and rejected the promised land. He was tired of living in tents, and wanted luxury. These are the characteristics of worldly believers (a.k.a friends of the world). Sadly, today this is often not only true for young believers but for old believers as well. A survey back in 2011 had disturbing results; 1 in 3 self-proclaimed Christians admit they rarely live the teachings of Jesus Christ! We are even seeing Christian nations becoming more worldly and secular. For instance, the U.S. has long been a Christian-majority nation, however now that there is a rising share of Americans who do not identify with any religion, and only a shrinking portion of the population are Christians, as well as the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide and increasing social acceptance of homosexuality - America is becoming more worldly every day.

9. Practiced sexual perversions. "Pervertedis a person whose actions are characterized by sexually abnormal and unacceptable practices or tendencies. In Genesis 19:31-32, Lot's daughter says, “Our father is getting old, and there are no men in the whole world to marry us so that we can have children. Come on, let's get our father drunk, so that we can sleep with him and have children by him. Lot himself ended up sleeping with his own daughters. And the two women ended up becoming pregnant and eventually gave birth to Moab and Benammi. It can not be denied that we're seeing the rapid rise of perversion today, through sexual immorality—polygamy, homosexuality, adultery, fornication and legal bestiality. About thirty years ago, nobody talked about sexual perversion in those days. Today everybody knows it is happening, even in some churches. Among the unsaved, sexual perversion is fashionable—there are many unconverted people who boast of it. There are programs on television that actually take delight in exposing all the nasty details. 

There are a few other sins with much the same feasting and carousing as we found in Noah’s day not mentioned in this article, such as the mocking and ridiculing of those who warned that God's judgment was coming, the total oblivious to the signs, or the evilness... Read: As in the Days of Noah: Warnings for Today for more. 

The homosexual community has attempted to twist the Scriptures to say that God does not condemn the homosexual lifestyle. They are very wrong; God could not have made it any clearer. Australia is now the 26th country to celebrate the perversion of God's marriage ordinance, after the law was passed just last week. God's judgment is not far off!


References:
  • https://www.livingwaters.com/articles/homosexuality%E2%80%94a-sign-of-the-end-of-the-age
  • http://www.wogim.org/noah.htm
  • https://www.gotquestions.org/Sodom-and-Gomorrah.html
  • http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/daysoflot.html
  • https://bible.org/seriespage/10-characteristics-worldly-believers-friends-world-genesis-19
  • https://www.christianpost.com/news/survey-reveals-increase-in-number-of-worldly-christians-76013/
  • http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/14/evangelicals-increasingly-say-its-becoming-harder-for-them-in-america/
  • http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/israel/2017/april/what-3-000-year-old-donkey-dung-tells-us-about-king-solomon
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fornication
  • http://www.dw.com/en/poverty-in-developed-world-on-the-rise/a-19267116
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Is there historical evidence for the darkness & earthquake at the crucifixion?

December 09, 2017 Add Comment
"And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour." (Mark 15:33) 
During the last three hours of Jesus’ death on the cross, an unusual darkness struck the land. This darkness was most definitely a result of God's direct intervention, because it can't have been a solar eclipse for the following two reasons:
  1. The maximum duration for a total solar eclipse is seven minutes, not three hours, and at the latitude of Jerusalem the maximum duration is even less. 
  2. A solar eclipse can occur only at new moon, but we know that Jesus was crucified at the time of Passover (Matthew 26:2; Mark 14:1–2,12; Luke 22:1–2, 7; John 13:1), and that the Passover is at the time of full moon (Exodus 12:1–11; Leviticus 23:5).
The New Testament records the three-hour darkness during Christ’s crucifixion (Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44–45).

But it is also confirmed by four other historians outside the Bible: Phlegon, Thallus, Africanus and Tertullian. These historians attempt to interpret the darkness as a direct effect of a solar eclipse which we know is scientifically not possible - but they wouldn't have known that in their time.


Evidence from Phlegon

Phlegon was a Greek historian who wrote an extensive chronology around AD 137. Phlegon provides powerful confirmation, identifying the year and the exact time of day. In addition, he writes of an earthquake accompanying the darkness, which is specifically recorded in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 27:51): 
"In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e., AD 33) there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [i.e., noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.’"1

Evidence from Africanus

Africanus composed a five volume History of the World around AD 221. He was also a pagan convert to Christianity. Africanus writes:
"On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Savior falls on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let opinion pass however; let it carry the majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye. Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth—manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period."2

Evidence from Thallus

Thallus wrote a history of the eastern Mediterranean world since the Trojan War. Thallus wrote his regional history in about AD 52.6. Unfortunately his original writings have been lost, however he is specifically quoted by Julius Africanus as in the quote above, and Africanus was a renowned third century historian. Africanus stated, ‘Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun—unreasonably as it seems to me.’ 3 Thallus attempted to give a naturalistic explanation to the darkness during the crucifixion.

Evidence from Tertullian

An additional possible reference to the Darkness, is related by St. Tertullian (160-220), in his Apology addressed to the "rulers of the Roman Empire". He also writes of the Darkness at Christ's Crucifixion:
"And yet, nailed upon the cross, He exhibited many notable signs, by which His death was distinguished from all others. At His own free-will, He with a word dismissed from Him His spirit, anticipating the executioner’s work. In the same hour, too, the light of day was withdrawn, when the sun at the very time was in his meridian blaze. Those who were not aware that this had been predicted about Christ, no doubt thought it an eclipse. You yourselves have the account of the world-portent still in your archives."4

Earthquake, April 3, 33 A.D

After three hours of darkness at midday on April 3, 33 A.D., Jesus died on the cross. Immediately, the curtain of the sanctuary of the temple was torn, a great earthquake occurred, and rocks were broken.

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.” (Matthew 27:50-51)
In Wadi Ze’elim, located above the southwestern shore of the modern Dead Sea exists an outcrop of laminated Dead Sea sediment. This sediment outcrop is a distinctive one-foot thick “mixed layer” of sediment that is tied strongly to the Qumran earthquake’s onshore ground ruptures of 31 B.C. (see Figure 2 below).


Thirteen inches above the 31 B.C. event bed is another distinctive “mixed layer” less than one inch thick. The sedimentation rate puts this second earthquake about 65 years after the 31 B.C. earthquake! (31 B.C. + 65 yrs = 33 A.D) There is direct physical evidence in the thin layer of disturbed sediment from the Dead Sea, of an earthquake around 33 A.D. The evidence also shows it likely to have been a magnitude 5.5.

Secular Geologist, Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical, and colleagues Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geosciences, researched the Dead Sea and revealed that at least two major earthquakes occurred: A widespread earthquake in 31 B.C. and a seismic event that happened sometime between the years 26 and 36. Thus, this earthquake was clearly the one at Jesus' crucifixion. 

These are powerful evidences for the historicity of the darkness at Christ’s crucifixion, and the earthquake. They were real historical events.


References:
  • https://creation.com/darkness-at-the-crucifixion-metaphor-or-real-history
  • http://www.icr.org/article/greatest-earthquakes-bible/
  • http://www.nbcnews.com/id/47555983/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/quake-reveals-day-jesus-crucifixion-researchers-believe/#.Wiu9sUqWaUk
  • http://www.wall.org/~aron/blog/darkness-at-noon/

    1 Maier, Paul. Pontius Pilate (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1968), p. 366. Phlegon’s citation is a fragment from Olympiades he Chronika 13, ed. Otto Keller, Rerum Naturalium Scriptores Graeci Minores, 1 (Leipzig Teurber, 1877), p. 101.

    2 Julius Africanus, Extant Writings, XVIII in The Ante–Nicene Fathers, ed. by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), vol. VI, p. 130, as cited in Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company), 1996.

    3 Habermas, Gary. The Historical Jesus, pp. 196-7, College Press Publishing Company, 1996.

    4 Tertullian, Apologeticus, Chapter 21, 19 cited in Bouw, G. D. (1998, Spring). The darkness during the crucifixion. The Biblical Astronomer, 8(84). Retrieved November 30, 2006 from [2]. Tertullian, Apologeticus, Chapter 21, 19

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Evolution: Tree Ring Dating & Circular Reasoning

December 08, 2017 Add Comment
The radiometric dating methods have a less convenient partner in the form of tree-ring dating.

Tree Ring Dating

Tree ring dating is based on a simple belief that every year a tree forms one ring in the wood that it creates as it grows. Just count the number of rings from the trunk’s outer edge to its center and you discover the number of years the tree was alive. However, there are multiple problems with this type of dating. The most questionable assumption in tree ring dating is the rate of ring formation.

1. It has been found that all trees, even slow-growing ones, respond dynamically to tiny environmental changes, even hourly changes in growing conditions. So how valid is the assumption of one ring per year in a climate where tree-growing conditions are variable?

Scientists have observed that numerous normal conditions can produce an extra ring or no ring at all. And weather has the biggest effect - unusual storms with large amounts of rainfall mixed with random dry periods can produce multiple rings. You can be certain that with every major storm, there will be at least one extra ring added.

For example, recent research on seasonal effects on tree rings in other trees in the same genus, the plantation pine Pinus radiata, has revealed that up to five rings per year can be produced and extra rings are often indistinguishable, even under the microscope, from annual rings. The basic assumption of tree ring dating is clearly in error.

Furthermore, in some temperate trees that at times produce multiple rings, growth can occur in two or three periods, separated by brief intervals of dormancy. Dormancy of this type is classified as temporary, as it lasts a few days or a few weeks. In other words, a tree can form a countable ring in a matter of weeks!

2. A great deal of subjective interpretation is required to judge between true and false rings and true and false pattern matches between different pieces of wood. Rings may be indistinct, and easily missed.


Indistinct or missing rings pose two problems, and extra rings present a third.

3. There are many other things that can alter tree ring spacing. A tree may grow in the shadow of a larger tree and have close rings due to less light, or when the larger older tree falls, the smaller one grows faster with more light. Also two trees on opposite sides of the same hill can have different soils, sunlight (north side shadows), and even rain fall (rain shadow).

Evolutionists also use circular reasoning with tree ring dating (which only proves what is assumed to begin with). Radiocarbon is calibrated with tree rings, but the tree-ring dating chronology is calibrated using radiocarbon!

The tree ring dating is no different to radiometric dating; both methods pose major problems that evolutionists simply ignore. We also know that since the global flood, and the wild climate swings, from the Ice Age, there is every reason to expect extra rings in trees that began growing soon after the Flood.


Index Fossils (Circular Reasoning)

If one fossil was only found in rocks thought to be between 200 and 180 million years old and no where else, and then that “index fossil” is found in a different rock of unknown age, secular scientists just assume that particular rock to also be between 200 and 180 million years old. In other words, the fossils found in rocks are used to date other rocks.

But how do they know the age of the original rocks? Radiometric dating techniques can be used, but we know that secular scientists reject such ages if they contradict the evolutionary story - even if the dates from multiple methods agree with one another!

Therefore, the fossils (the assumed evolutionary story) are used to date the rocks, and the rocks are used to date the fossils (Figure 1). This kind of circular reasoning is also used in every other dating methods (ice cores, seafloor sediments, and tree ring dating mentioned above... etc).


References:
  • https://creation.com/tree-ring-dating-dendrochronology
  • http://www.icr.org/article/tree-ring-dating/
  • http://www.detectingdesign.com/carbon14.html#Tree
  • https://kenthovindblog.com/?p=521
  • http://www.icr.org/article/deep-core-dating-circular-reasoning/
  • http://www.icr.org/article/8050/
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Moral Argument (Proof God Exists)

December 07, 2017 Add Comment
"Even Gentiles, who do not have God's written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it." (Romans 2:14)

Premise 1 – If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist
Premise 2 – Objective moral values and duties do exist
Conclusion – Therefore, God exists

1. There are two different types of truths. First let's define the two:
  1. Subjective truth - is dependent on personal opinion or belief. For example, "my favourite colour is yellow" is a subjective truth; a personal preference. 
  2. Objective truth - is grounded in something outside of the person. For example, “Canberra is the capital of Australia” is an example of an objective truth. It is a fact about the country of Australia, and it would be true even if I wanted to believe it was something else. 
So Premise 1 says that objective moral values and duties (objective truths) would not exist without God. If we were to imagine what it would be like without God, and that evolution were true, then humans would just be the products of evolution, just as animals are, and there would be no qualitative difference between the two. Natural selection would reinforce behavior that leads to personal or group survival. If the evolutionary worldview were true, we would be advanced animals acting on chemical impulses. Absolute moral standards would not exist. Therefore, Premise 1 is certainly true.

Many evolutionists acknowledge that evolution does not provide a basis for morality. William Provine, evolutionist and biology professor at Cornell University, states, 
No ultimate foundations for ethics exist, no ultimate meaning in life exists, and free will is merely a human myth. 
Thus, if evolution is true, then there can be no universal moral code that all people should obey.

2. There is a universal Moral Law- 
What does the unbeliever mean by ‘good,’ or by what standard does the unbeliever determine what counts as ‘good’? Dr. Greg Bahnsen (Christian philosopher) 
How do we know what “good” is? How do we know what “evil” is? Each of us are born with an innate sense of morality, each fundamentally knowing what is right and wrong. We all have within us the sense of right behavior and character. Every person on earth has this strange idea that they should behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. This is called the Moral Law. There are moral facts such as, “lying is wrong”, or “murder is wrong” that almost everyone would agree with. If there are no objective truths, then who is to say that Hitler was objectively morally wrong? The universe has a real law, which none of us made! Humans have an intuitive sense of right and wrong, and it is incredible to consider that no matter time, culture, geographic location, or people, the Moral Law has been universally acknowledged.

3. If there is a universal Moral Law, there is a Moral Law-giver- There can’t be something that is being carried unless there is something else that is carrying it. There can’t be something that is popular unless there are lots of people that like it. Commands are the exact same; commands can’t exist without something else existing that commanded them. Evolutionists might argue that the Moral Law can be created without God, however, this thinking is irrational and results in ridiculous explanations to try and explain away. If it was possible for everyone to create his or her own morality, then no one could judge the morality of others. How could we argue that it is wrong for others to murder if morality is determined by our “own feeling” and we have no starting foundation? But there is an objective Moral Law, and none of us made it, therefore there must be something else that produced the Moral Law, a Moral Law-giver.

4. If there is a Moral Law-giver, it must be something beyond the universe- The Moral Law-giver is either part of the universe or something beyond. We would be able to observe moral facts, and the reality or power behind moral facts, via scientific inquiry if it is part of the universe, and we know that can't be done. That leaves the only alternative - the Moral Law-giver is “beyond” or “behind” the universe. 

Therefore, there is something beyond the universe... 

Together with the the cosmological argument, this would give us proof that there is a perfect, necessary, and eternal being that created the universe with life in mind and has the authority to tell us how we are to run it. Apart from biblical creation, morality has no justification.

If someone were trying to disprove the moral argument, he’d have to use the moral laws in his attempt, thereby refuting himself. 
I hold that belief in God is not merely as reasonable as other belief, or even a little or infinitely more probably true than other belief; I hold rather that unless you believe in God you can logically believe in nothing else. - Cornelius Van Til (1895–1987) [Christian philosopher and theologian] 


References:
  • http://www.paul-gould.com/2012/12/19/c-s-lewis-the-moral-argument-for-god-and-the-gospel/
  • http://crossexamined.org/312/
  • http://www.existence-of-god.com/moral-argument.html
  • http://www.is-there-a-god.info/clues/moral/
  • https://answersingenesis.org/morality/morality-and-the-irrationality-of-an-evolutionary-worldview/
  • https://baptistcourier.com/2017/10/worldview-the-moral-argument-for-gods-existence/
  1. Van Til, Cornelius. “Why I Believe in God.” Philadelphia: Committee on Christian Education, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, n.d.
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