Approaching End Times Prophecy with Care

BY KENNETH R. SAMPLES – DECEMBER 4, 201

One of the most controversial topics that the Bible addresses is eschatology. This theological term literally means the study of last things—popularly known as end times. Scripture speaks of both humankind’s past origin in creation as well as our future destiny in consummation. Yet rightly interpreting and properly understanding what the Bible teaches about the end of the world has proved difficult and controversial in church history.

A few years ago I wrote a short book on the topic of eschatology titled Christian Endgame: Careful Thinking about the End Times. One of the central themes of the book is that when Christian leaders engage in excessive speculation about the timing of Christ’s return and actually set dates (which are inevitably wrong), they damage Christianity’s credibility in the eyes of nonbelievers. So when eschatology is handled irresponsibly by Christ’s followers, it becomes an apologetics issue (an apparent challenge to the faith).

Some time ago, a person read my book and made several respectful but somewhat challenging comments about some of my conclusions concerning Christian eschatology. Since these comments likely reflect the thought of many evangelical Christians today about the end times, I decided to share both the comments and my responses to them.

I appreciate that the person read my book and was willing to express their thoughts and reactions to it. To respect the person’s privacy, I have reworded the comments to reflect more general statements.

Comment #1: “I am convicted on the basis of God’s Word that we’re definitely living in the end times. There’s no doubt about it. Scripture seems very clear to me—I can read the signs of the times.”

Response: Your strong convictions might prove true. The Lord’s people rightly look forward to the Parousia (Second Coming). But I would suggest greater caution because the same sort of comments have been made by prophecy enthusiasts throughout church history. Many, unfortunately, went further and set dates that were wrong—causing nonbelievers to doubt the truth of the Christian faith. Just in the last 50 years alone, several prominent Bible teachers have set dates and acted, in my opinion, eschatologically irresponsible, and evangelical Christianity’s credibility suffered because of it.

By the way, according to various biblical scholars, the terms last days or end times can describe the entire period between Christ’s two advents. And as I’m sure you know, having strong eschatological convictions isn’t a guarantee that one is correct.

Comment #2: “Israel has become a nation and is presently surrounded by enemies that want to destroy it, which is clear evidence that the very last days are upon us.”

Response: Possibly, but again, prophecy teachers said the same thing in every decade since Israel became a nation in 1948 and have been wrong thus far. Also, what you call “clear evidence” is only true if a popular form of premillennialism is the correct eschatological perspective. But many of Christianity’s classical theologians (AthanasiusAugustineAquinasLutherCalvinWesley) held different eschatological views. Of course we’re free to disagree with these scholars, but I think historical theology plays a very helpful role in testing present-day theological-biblical interpretations.

Comment: #3: “There are currently a number of nations that have the nuclear weaponry to wipe humankind off the earth, and there are other hostile nations presently seeking such weapons.”

Response: You might find it interesting to know that RTB astrophysicist Jeff Zweerink has doubts about whether present-day nuclear weapons could unquestionably wipe all of humanity from the earth. Also, one could reasonably argue that the atomic and nuclear threats were more distressing during the Cold War (from the late 1940s through the late 1980s) than now. But you are correct in stating that the nuclear threat, especially among rogue nations today, is very concerning to Israel specifically, and to world peace, generally.

Comment #4: “I don’t see end times prophecy as a matter of interpretation. Much of what the Bible describes prophetically is happening right before our eyes.”

Response: All of the propositional content of Scripture must be interpreted. Only the Holy Spirit knows all the truth of Scripture intuitively. And as the apostle Peter notes, some people’s interpretations of Scripture are in fact wrong (2 Peter 3:16). So all of us must be careful. Moreover, if a person hasn’t studied all the major eschatological positions carefully, then that person should be even more cautious.

Mere Christian Eschatology

The Bible has a lot to say about end times prophecy, but interpreting what it says is not always easy. It is unfortunately true that eschatology is one of the most divisive areas in Christian theology. That is why my little primer on eschatology spends so much time emphasizing what we can all agree on. In my book, I call it “Mere Christian Eschatology” (see chapter 3), and I hope it helps Christians avoid unnecessary obstacles as we seek to bring nonbelievers to faith in Christ.

Resources

Kenneth Richard Samples, Christian Endgame: Careful Thinking about the End Times (Covina, CA: RTB Press, 2013).

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

Support Reasons to Believe

Your support helps more people find Christ through sharing how the latest scientific discoveries affirm our faith in the God of the Bible.

DONATE NOW


U.S. Mailing Address
818 S. Oak Park Rd.
Covina, CA 91724
  • P (855) 732-7667
  • P (626) 335-1480
  • Fax (626) 852-0178

Reasons to Believe logo

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

God’s Existence Best Explains Life’s Most Profound Realities

BY KENNETH R. SAMPLES

     – DECEMBER 25, 2018

Can we justify concepts like logic, moral values, and universals from a naturalistic, atheistic perspective? Or do we need a transcendent grounding like historic Christianity’s explanation for these meaningful realities?

Using a type of abductive logical reasoning (referred to as an inference to the best explanation), I’ll illustrate how five profound realities are plausibly explained by Christian theism.

Accounting for Five Meaningful Realities

1. The existence of the God of the Bible provides a rationally plausible explanation for the reality of abstract, nonphysical entities.

Some of the most wondrous realities of life are things that cannot be observed by the human senses. These abstract, intangible realities are conceptual in nature and include such entities as numbers, propositions, sets, properties, the laws of logic, moral values, and universals. Many people consider these conceptual realities to be objective, universal, and, of course, invisible.

On atheism, it is difficult to ground these conceptual realities. However, the Christian theistic worldview grounds them in the mind of an infinite, eternal, and personal spiritual being. God is the Creator of both the visible and the invisible, the source of both the sensible and the intelligible.

2. The existence of the God of the Bible provides a rationally plausible explanation for the reality of objective moral values.

Moral values are a fundamental part of human life, every bit as real as the law of gravity. And people are generally intuitively cognizant of their moral obligations. In their hearts, people experience the pull of moral duty. This sense of moral oughtness is prescriptive (how things should be) not descriptive (how things are) in nature, and it transcends mere subjective feelings.

Unlike secular attempts to account for morality, the ethics of Christian theism are grounded in the morally perfect nature of God who has revealed his will to humankind in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. God’s existence and nature provide a source and foundation for objective moral values.

3. The existence of the God of the Bible provides a rationally plausible explanation for the purpose and significance that human beings yearn for in their lives.

If God doesn’t exist and the universe is merely the product of blind, purposeless, natural processes, then from a logical standpoint there can be no objective meaning to life. Given a nontheistic perspective, the fact that people exist becomes simply an improbable accident of evolution.

Humanity’s deep sense of, and need for, meaning comports well with the Christian truth claim that God created human beings in his image (Genesis 1:26–27) and that humanity’s greatest needs are to be reconciled to God and to enjoy fellowship with him forever. The Christian theistic worldview, with its unique gospel of gracious redemption in Christ, offers genuine meaning, purpose, and significance to sinners estranged from God and from their destiny.

4. The existence of the God of the Bible provides a rationally plausible explanation for the enigma of human nature.

One of the chief realities a belief system must explain before gaining acceptance involves the enigmatic nature of human beings. Human nature poses a paradox. Humans are capable of greatness in mathematics, science, technology, philosophy, the arts, compassion, and generosity. Yet humans are equally capable of such shameful and evil acts as racism, robbery, rape, slavery, murder, and genocide. Explaining human nature apart from the reality of God represents an extraordinary philosophical, psychological, and spiritual feat.

The Bible seems to hold the secret to unraveling the enigma of human nature. The Christian theistic worldview asserts that humans’ greatness is a direct result of the imago Dei. As creatures made in the image and likeness of God, humans reflect the glory of their Maker. Human wretchedness, on the other hand, can be traced to the first human beings’ fall into sin. Thus humans are simultaneously great and wretched.

5. The existence of the God of the Bible provides a rationally plausible explanation for the extraordinary life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

According to the historically reliable documents of the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth made unparalleled claims to divine authority during his public ministry. Jesus fulfilled dozens of very specific Old Testament prophecies concerning the identity, mission, and message of the coming Messiah. These prophecies, which give precise details about the birth, heritage, life, and death of the long-awaited Messiah, were amazingly fulfilled by Jesus.

Jesus was a prolific miracle worker. He healed incurable diseases, restored sight to the blind, multiplied small amounts of food to feed thousands of people, calmed a storm, walked on water, and even raised the dead.

Jesus exhibited a matchless moral character during his three-year public ministry that changed the world. Not only did his teachings contain incredible ethical insight, but he also perfectly fulfilled his lofty moral ideals.

Jesus’s resurrection from the dead is supported by at least seven lines of evidence. These include: (1) his empty tomb, (2) his many postcrucifixion appearances, (3) the transformation of the disciples from cowards to apostles and martyrs, (4) the dramatic conversion of Saul of Tarsus into the apostle Paul, (5) the historical emergence of the Christian church, (6) the change in the official day of worship to Sunday to commemorate the day of Jesus’s resurrection, and (7) the fact that all alternative naturalistic explanations for the resurrection fail miserably.

Historical Christianity has both profound explanatory power and a considerable depth of explanatory scope when it comes to life’s most meaningful realities. Christians can use this explanation with confidence when engaging skeptics about the realities of life.

Resources:

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

Support Reasons to Believe

Your support helps more people find Christ through sharing how the latest scientific discoveries affirm our faith in the God of the Bible.

DONATE NOW


U.S. Mailing Address
818 S. Oak Park Rd.
Covina, CA 91724
  • P (855) 732-7667
  • P (626) 335-1480
  • Fax (626) 852-0178

Reasons to Believe logo

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When Did Modern Human Brains—and the Image of God—Appear?

BY FAZALE RANA – NOVEMBER 14, 2018

When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading Ripley’s Believe It or Not! I couldn’t get enough of the bizarre facts described in the pages of this comic.

I was especially drawn to the panels depicting people who had oddly shaped heads. I found it fascinating to learn about people whose skulls were purposely forced into unnatural shapes by a practice known as intentional cranial deformation.

For the most part, this practice is a thing of the past. It is rarely performed today (though there are still a few people groups who carry out this procedure). But for much of human history, cultures all over the world have artificially deformed people’s crania (often for reasons yet to be fully understood). They accomplished this feat by binding the heads of infants, which distorts the normal growth of the skull. Through this practice, the shape of the human head can be readily altered to be abnormally flat, elongated, rounded, or conical.

blog__inline--when-did-modern-human-brains-and-the-image-of-god-appear-1

Figure 1: Deformed ancient Peruvian skull. Image credit: Shutterstock.

It is remarkable that the human skull is so malleable. Believe it, or not!

blog__inline--when-did-modern-human-brains-and-the-image-of-god-appear-2

Figure 2: Parts of the human skull. Image credit: Shutterstock.

For physical anthropologists, the normal shape of the modern human skull is just as bizarre as the conical-shaped skulls found among the remains of the Nazca culture of Peru. Compared to other hominins (such as Neanderthals and Homo erectus), modern humans have oddly shaped skulls. The skull shape of the hominins was elongated along the anterior-posterior axis. But the skull shape of modern humans is globular, with bulging and enlarged parietal and cerebral areas. The modern human skull also has another distinctive feature: the face is retracted and relatively small.

blog__inline--when-did-modern-human-brains-and-the-image-of-god-appear-3

Figure 3: Comparison of modern human and Neanderthal skulls. Image credit: Wikipedia.

Anthropologists believe that the difference in skull shape (and hence, brain shape) has profound significance and helps explain the advanced cognitive abilities of modern humans. The parietal lobe of the brain is responsible for:

  • Perception of stimuli
  • Sensorimotor transformation (which plays a role in planning)
  • Visuospatial integration (which provides hand-eye coordination needed for throwing spears and making art)
  • Imagery
  • Self-awareness
  • Working and long-term memory

Human beings seem to uniquely possess these capabilities. They make us exceptional compared to other hominins. Thus, for paleoanthropologists, two key questions are: when and how did the globular human skull appear?

Recently, a team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, addressed these questions. And their answers add evidence for human exceptionalism while unwittingly providing support for the RTB human origins model.1

The Appearance of the Modern Human Brain

To characterize the mode and tempo for the origin of the unusual morphology (shape) of the modern human skull, the German researchers generated and analyzed the CT scans of 20 fossil specimens representing three windows of time: (1) 300,000 to 200,000 years ago; (2) 130,000 to 100,000 years ago; and (3) 35,000 to 10,000 years ago. They also included 89 cranially diverse skulls from present-day modern humans, 8 Neanderthal skulls, and 8 from Homo erectus in their analysis.

The first group consisted of three specimens: (1) Jebel Irhoud 1 (dating to 315,000 years in age); (2) Jebel Irhoud 2 (also dating to 315,000 years in age); and (3) Omo Kibish (dating to 195,000 years in age). The specimens that comprise this group are variously referred to as near anatomically modern humans or archaic Homo sapiens.

The second group consisted of four specimens: (1) LH 18 (dating to 120,000 years in age); (2) Skhul (dating to 115,000 years in age); (3) Qafzeh 6; and (4) Qafzeh 9 (both dating to about 115,000 years in age. This group consists of specimens typically considered to be anatomically modern humans. The third group consisted of thirteen specimens that are all considered to be anatomically and behaviorally modern humans.

Researchers discovered that the group one specimens had facial features like that of modern humans. They also had brain sizes that were similar to Neanderthals and modern humans. But their endocranial shape was unlike that of modern humans and appeared to be intermediate between H. erectus and Neanderthals.

On the other hand, the specimens from group two displayed endocranial shapes that clustered with the group three specimens and the present-day samples. In short, modern human skull morphology (and brain shape) appeared between 130,000 to 100,000 years ago.

Confluence of Evidence Locates Humanity’s Origin

This result aligns with several recent archaeological finds that place the origin of symbolism in the same window of time represented by the group two specimens. (See the Resources section for articles detailing some of these finds.) Symbolism—the capacity to represent the world and abstract ideas with symbols—appears to be an ability that is unique to modern humans and is most likely a manifestation of the modern human brain shape, specifically an enlarged parietal lobe.

Likewise, this result coheres with the most recent dates for mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam around 120,000 to 150,000 years ago. (Again, see the Resources section for articles detailing some of these finds.) In other words, the confluence of evidence (anatomical, behavioral, and genetic) pinpoints the origin of modern humans (us) between 150,000 to 100,000 years ago, with the appearance of modern human anatomy coinciding with the appearance of modern human behavior.

What Does This Finding Mean for the RTB Human Origins Model?

To be clear, the researchers carrying out this work interpret their results within the confines of the evolutionary framework. Therefore, they conclude that the globular skulls—characteristic of modern humans—evolved recently, only after the modern human facial structure had already appeared in archaic Homo sapiens around 300,000 years ago. They also conclude that the globular skull of modern humans had fully emerged by the time humans began to migrate around the world (around 40,000 to 50,000 years ago).

Yet, the fossil evidence doesn’t show the gradual emergence of skull globularity. Instead, modern human specimens form a distinct cluster isolated from the distinct clusters formed by H. erectus, Neanderthals, and archaic H. sapiens. There are no intermediate globular specimens between archaic and modern humans, as would be expected if this trait evolved. Alternatively, the distinct clusters are exactly as expected if modern humans were created.

It appears that the globularity of our skull distinguishes modern humans from H. erectus, Neanderthals, and archaic Homo sapiens (near anatomically modern humans). This globularity of the modern human skull has implications for when modern human behavior and advanced cognitive abilities emerged.

For this reason, I see this work as offering support for the RTB human origins creation model (and, consequently, the biblical account of human origins and the biblical conception of human nature). RTB’s model (1) views human beings as cognitively superior and distinct from other hominins, and (2) posits that human beings uniquely possess a quality called the image of God that I believe manifests as human exceptionalism.

This work supports both predictions by highlighting the uniqueness and exceptional qualities of modern humans compared to H. erectus, Neanderthals, and archaic H. sapiens, calling specific attention to our unusual skull and brain morphology. As noted, anthropologists believe that this unusual brain morphology supports our advanced cognitive capabilities—abilities that I believe reflect the image of God. Because archaic H. sapiens, Neanderthals, and H. erectus did not possess this brain morphology, it makes it unlikely that these creatures had the sophisticated cognitive capacity displayed by modern humans.

In light of RTB’s model, it is gratifying to learn that the origin of anatomically modern humans coincides with the origin of modern human behavior.

Believe it or not, our oddly shaped head is part of the scientific case that can be made for the image of God.

Resources

Endnotes
  1. Simon Neubauer, Jean-Jacques Hublin, and Philipp Gunz, “The Evolution of Modern Human Brain Shape,” Science Advances 4 (January 24, 2018): eaao596, doi:10.1126/sciadv.aao5961.

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

Support Reasons to Believe

Your support helps more people find Christ through sharing how the latest scientific discoveries affirm our faith in the God of the Bible.

DONATE NOW


U.S. Mailing Address
818 S. Oak Park Rd.
Covina, CA 91724
  • P (855) 732-7667
  • P (626) 335-1480
  • Fax (626) 852-0178

Reasons to Believe logo

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stoke the Faith Flame: Overcoming Spiritual Weariness

BY KENNETH R. SAMPLES – MAY 8, 2018

Over the years, I’ve had numerous people express to me that they have experienced a weariness concerning their faith journey. This is actually a pretty common phenomenon for Christians to encounter in life. I’ve also experienced such a weariness at times in my Christian life. Life’s pressures of job, family, ministry, etc. can weigh heavily on us at times. Sometimes, we can feel adrift without sensing a clear direction from the Lord.

Amazingly, C. S. Lewis felt that way at times, even in his remarkable life. Here’s a quote I recently uncovered from him: “Nothing about us except our neediness is, in this life, permanent.”As surprising as it sounds, a recent biography reveals that near the end of Lewis’s life, he felt he had been something of a failure when it came to his apologetics ministry.2 Spiritual and intellectual weariness and discouragement seem to hit even the best of us.

Daily Spiritual Practices: Joyful, Prayerful, Thankful (JPT)

There’s a section of Scripture that has come to mean a great deal to me—especially during times of spiritual dryness. It reminds me of the importance of daily spiritual practice, particularly when we feel fatigued in faith.

In the passage, the apostle Paul succinctly states what are virtually his talking points to the first-century Christian churches that were going through challenging times. He declares:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

–1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

It is possible to be joyful in Christ even if you are not very happy. You can also pray even if you don’t feel like it. And there is always something we can be thankful to God for in life.

Stoking the Faith Flame

One’s faith is like a fire. It has to be stoked in order to burn brightly and give off light and heat. C. S. Lewis reminds us that a spiritual life must be fed:

That is why daily praying and religious reading and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed.3

According to the apostle Paul, faith is uniquely energized through God’s inspired Word. He writes: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17).

Hearing the message comes through participating in church services and liturgy where God’s Word is read and recited, by devotionally reading Scripture, and by studying biblically derived Christian doctrine.

So, stoke the faith flame! Remind yourself of what you believe as a Christian, and keep practicing the basics of the Christian spiritual life. Call upon the triune God to grant you the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

And finally, recognize that you are not alone in facing spiritual struggles. All believers experience weariness. God is using even these trials to develop your faith and character in his Son, Jesus Christ.

Reflections: Your Turn

Have you experienced weariness in the Christian life? What helped you to pull out of it? Visit Reflections on WordPress to comment with your response.

Resources

Endnotes
  1. C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves (New York: Harcourt, 1960), 33.
  2. See Alister McGrath, C. S. Lewis—A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2013).
  3. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 125.

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

Support Reasons to Believe

Your support helps more people find Christ through sharing how the latest scientific discoveries affirm our faith in the God of the Bible.

DONATE NOW


U.S. Mailing Address
818 S. Oak Park Rd.
Covina, CA 91724
  • P (855) 732-7667
  • P (626) 335-1480
  • Fax (626) 852-0178

Reasons to Believe logo

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Acknowledging Our Leaders; Political And Apologetics For 2019

I am an apologetic writer and have been working my website “Intelligent Design And Biblical Scripture” for several years. Attached is an article that expresses the reason that I write to the public:

Bernie Sanders

Jane and I want to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very healthy and happy new year.

It goes without saying that 2019 will be a pivotal and momentous time for our country and the entire planet. As you know, there is a monumental clash now taking place between two very different political visions. Not to get you too nervous, but the future of our country and the world is dependent upon which side wins that struggle.

The bad news is that in the United States and other parts of the world, the foundations of democracy are under severe attack as demagogues, supported by billionaire oligarchs, work to establish authoritarian type regimes. That is true in Russia. That is true in Saudi Arabia. That is true in the United States. While the very rich get much richer these demagogues seek to move us toward tribalism and set one group against another, deflecting attention from the real crises we face.

The good news is that, all across this country, people are getting politically involved and are fighting back. They are standing up for economic, political, social and racial justice.

In the last year we saw courageous teachers, in some of the most conservative states in the country, win strikes as they fought for adequate funding for education.

We saw low paid workers at Amazon, Disney and elsewhere undertake successful struggles to raise their wages to a living wage – at least $15 an hour.

We saw incredibly courageous young people, who experienced a mass shooting in their school, lead successful efforts for commonsense gun safety legislation.

We saw diverse communities stand together in the fight against mass incarceration and for real criminal justice reform.

We saw tens of thousands of Americans, from every walk of life, take to the streets and demand that politicians respond to the global crisis of climate change.

As we enter 2019, it seems to me that we must mount a two-pronged offensive. First, we must vigorously take on the lies, bigotry and kleptocratic behavior of the most irresponsible president in the modern history of our country. In every way possible, we must stand up to the racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and religious intolerance of the Trump administration.

But fighting Trump is not enough.

The truth is that despite relatively low unemployment, tens of millions of Americans struggle daily to keep their heads above water economically as the middle class continues to shrink.

While the rich get richer, 40 million live in poverty, millions of workers are forced to work two or three jobs to pay the bills, 30 million have no health insurance, one in five cannot afford their prescription drugs, almost half of older workers have nothing saved for retirement, young people cannot afford college or leave school deeply in debt, affordable housing is increasingly scarce, and many seniors cut back on basic needs as they live on inadequate Social Security checks.

Our job, therefore, is not only to oppose Trump but to bring forth a progressive and popular agenda that speaks to the real needs of working people. We must tell Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial complex, the National Rifle Association and the other powerful special interests that we will not continue to allow their greed to destroy this country and our planet.

Politics in a democracy should not be complicated. Government must work for all of the people, not just the wealthy and the powerful. As a new House and Senate convene next week, it is imperative that the American people stand up and demand real solutions to the major economic, social, racial and environmental crises that we face. In the richest country in the history of the world, here are some (far from all) of the issues that I will be focusing on this year. What do you think? How can we best work together?

Protect American democracy: Repeal Citizens United, move to public funding of elections and end voter suppression and gerrymandering. Our goal must be to establish a political system that has the highest voter turnout in the world and is governed by the democratic principle of one person – one vote.

Take on the billionaire class: End oligarchy and the growth of massive income and wealth inequality by demanding that the wealthy start paying their fair share of taxes. We must rescind Trump’s tax breaks for billionaires and close corporate tax loopholes.

Increase Wages: Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, establish pay equity for women and revitalize the trade union movement. In the United States, if you work 40 hours a week, you should not live in poverty.

Make health care a right: Guarantee health care for everyone through a Medicare-for-all program. We cannot continue a dysfunctional healthcare system which costs us about twice as much per capita as any other major country and leaves 30 million uninsured.

Transform our energy system: Combat the global crisis of climate change which is already causing massive damage to our planet. In the process, we can create millions of good paying jobs as we transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

Rebuild America: Pass a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. In the United States we must not continue to have roads, bridges, water systems, rail transport, and airports in disrepair.

Jobs for All: There is an enormous amount of work to be done throughout our country – from building affordable housing and schools to caring for our children and the elderly. 75 years ago, FDR talked about the need to guarantee every able-bodied person in this country a good job as a fundamental right. That was true in 1944. It is true today.

Quality Education: Make public colleges and universities tuition free, lower student debt, adequately fund public education and move to universal childcare. Not so many years ago, the United States had the best education system in the world. We much regain that status again.

Retirement Security: Expand Social Security so that every American can retire with dignity and everyone with a disability can live with security. Too many of our elderly, disabled and veterans are living on inadequate incomes. We must do better for those who built this country.

Women’s rights: It is a woman, not the government, who should control her own body. We must oppose all efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, protect Planned Parenthood and oppose restrictive state laws on abortion.

Justice for All: End mass incarceration and pass serious criminal justice reform. We must no longer spend $80 billion a year locking up more people than any other country. We must invest in education and jobs, not jails and incarceration.

Comprehensive immigration reform: It is absurd and inhumane that millions of hardworking people, many of whom have lived in this country for decades, are fearful of deportation. We must provide legal status to those who are in the DACA program, and a path to citizenship for the undocumented.

Social Justice: End discrimination based on race, gender, religion, place of birth or sexual orientation. Trump cannot be allowed to succeed by dividing us up. We must stand together as one people.

A new foreign policy: Let us create a foreign policy based on peace, democracy and human rights. At a time when we spend more on the military than the next ten countries combined, we need to take a serious look at reforming the bloated and wasteful $716 billion annual Pentagon budget.

In the New Year, let us resolve to fight like we have never fought before for a government, a society and an economy that works for all of us, not just those on top.

Wishing you a wonderful new year,

Bernie Sanders

 

I must acknowledge our apologetic leader, Dr. Hugh Ross, and his team who has works posted throughout this website. Our Champions for the people is clearly seen by the works of Senator Bernie Sanders and Dr. Hugh Ross. They both work to save the youth in our nation. Senator Sanders’ article above speaks for itself. Our Dr. Ross works to regain the youth from the secular humanist who has claimed science to trick the youth away from our faith.

***Will Myers

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Faith In God; Our Protector

By Will Myers

We are facing an encroachment upon our freedoms and liberties of a free democracy. The threatening force is the collecting and distributing information targeting private citizens, any citizen of the working class especially. This social machinery of special interest groups (SIG) has moved within eye-shot of any citizen in America. The American Oligarchy finances this social machinery (SIG) in order to achieve maximum control of the working class. Our faith is a buffer between the individual citizen and the masses, and SIG. Without God being involved in a very influential manner the individual can be enslaved by the people (SIG) or the government; the individual would have no grounds to have standings. This is why there has been a movement against Christianity and all other religions who worship God in recent times.

Our human rights and freedoms afforded us in the U.S. Constitution need the spirit of Christianity in order for an individual to stand for their rights against the harassing public, and against unwarranted public scrutiny. The Constitution is so general that a person can live their entire life without being aware of their constitutional rights when in essence we teach and learn not to offend a person on the elementary schoolyard. Christianity engages all wrong suffered by a person while our Constitution is non-engaging at the everyday encounters for most mental devastating incidences. The law is always late when concerning individuals; they have to suffer a great loss for the constitutional rights to be engaging. The police appear after the person has been victimized.

We have a prominent example now; it’s the encroaching social machinery that collects and peddle (SIG) private information targeting private citizens. In America, SIG can destroy any one’s life without fear of retribution. Only the Spirit Of Christianity who is Jesus Christ can give standing as to what is wrong that you are suffering from the public. One example is that the Constitution helps one when the mountain falls on you, but Christianity says that the mountain should not fall on you and keeps the mountain from falling on you in most cases. The Spirit of Christianity is in the first good words understood by the toddler from their parents. What is instilled in a person in the beginning usually remain.

The Son of God, Christ Jesus, is our Savior in all ways, form, and manners. He is the way, the life, and the truth. Many scientists who study the physical world is witnessing that the universe has a purpose. Many are witnessing that the Spirit of the physical laws are giving testimony that the purpose of the universe is to instill in each the facts that motivate us unto accepting Jesus who has God’s Spirit.

Our arms are too short to box with the Supreme Court who Lord over all of our laws. From 5 to 80 years of our lives we can pray to Jesus and He shall reply; just listen patiently.

The SIG snake organization is Anti-Democracy of freedoms and liberties and above all Anti-Christian and all other religions. SIG works to enslave the minds of the citizenry who serves the controlling oligarchy.

Ephesians 6:12 King James Version (KJV)

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Does Science Show That God Is a Personal Being?

BY HUGH ROSS – OCTOBER 11, 2018

The following question was posted on my Facebook page several days ago:

I understand that the fine-tuning evidence for God’s existence is overwhelming. But how do we know that this God is a personal Being? I know it myself from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but how do I explain it to a skeptic?

I answer this question at length in my book The Creator and the Cosmos.1 Here, I will provide a much briefer answer.

The experimental and observational evidence that the universe has a beginning in finite time establishes that the universe must have some kind of Beginner. Space-time theorems provide additional evidence that some kind of causal Agent beyond space and time created our universe of matter, energy, space, and time. I describe and document in much detail the experimental, observational, and theoretical evidence for this causal Agent in The Creator and the Cosmos.2

While this evidence for a cosmic causal Agent establishes deism (the existence of an uncaused Agent that created the universe but does not interfere directly with the created universe), it does not necessarily establish theism (the existence of a Supreme Being who not only creates the universe but also directly intervenes in shaping the created universe to achieve specific purposes and goals). Deists reject either that God is a personal Being or that the personal Being who created the universe intervenes in any way at any point in the history of the universe beyond the cosmic creation event. Theists, on the other hand, assert that God is a personal Being and that he has demonstrated his personality by directly intervening throughout cosmic history to achieve his personal goals and purposes for the universe.

Christians frequently cite the fine-tuning of the universe, Milky Way Galaxy, solar system, Earth, and Earth’s life to make possible the existence of human beings and human civilization as indisputable evidence that God is a personal Being. I explain why this evidence is so powerful in chapters 5, 6, and 14­–17 of The Creator and the Cosmos.3

In many cases, the level of fine-tuning of the universe and the laws of physics to make possible the existence of human beings, or their functional equivalent, measures far beyond the best examples of fine-tuning achieved by us humans. Some examples would be the needed fine-tuning of dark energy, dark matter, the force of gravity, and the force of electromagnetism. That this fine-tuning far exceeds our best human achievements implies that the causal Agent—who designed these features for the existence and benefit of human beings—is, at minimum, many orders of magnitude more intelligent, knowledgeable, inventive, creative, and powerful than we humans. Since intellect, knowledge, inventiveness, creativity, and power are attributes that only a personal being can possess, the causal Agent who created the universe must be a personal Being.

Fine-tuning evidence for the existence and benefit of human beings, and high-technology human civilization in particular, is not limited to the laws of physics and the gross features of the universe. This evidence for fine-tuning is ubiquitous. It exists on all size scales.

As I show in The Creator and the Cosmos, for humans to possibly exist in the universe, not only must the laws of physics and the universe as a whole be exquisitely designed, but also the cluster of galaxies, the galaxy, the host star, the planetary system, the host planet, and the host planet’s moon in which the humans reside.4 Furthermore, as I show in my book Improbable Planet, the physical, chemical, and biological history of the humans’ planet must also be exquisitely fine-tuned.5 The required fine-tuning extends all the way down in size scales to molecules, atoms, and fundamental particles.

No matter where in the realm of nature human investigators look, they will find overwhelming scientific evidence for the existence of God and for the personal attributes of God. A quick look at the four past editions of The Creator and the Cosmos will affirm that the more we learn about nature, the more evidence we gain for the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving personal God and for what Paul declared in Romans 1:20 (Christian Standard Bible),

For his [God’s] invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made.

Endnotes
  1. Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Latest Scientific Discoveries Reveal God, 4th ed.(Covina, CA: RTB Press, 2018), 45–266.
  2. Ross, Creator and the Cosmos, 33–158.
  3. Ross, Creator and the Cosmos, 45–76, 159–222.
  4. Ross, Creator and the Cosmos, 159–222, 243–66.
  5. Hugh Ross, Improbable Planet: How Earth Became Humanity’s Home(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2016), 28–219.

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

Support Reasons to Believe

Your support helps more people find Christ through sharing how the latest scientific discoveries affirm our faith in the God of the Bible.

DONATE NOW


U.S. Mailing Address
818 S. Oak Park Rd.
Covina, CA 91724
  • P (855) 732-7667
  • P (626) 335-1480
  • Fax (626) 852-0178

Reasons to Believe logo

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment