Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, March 05, 2010

Link Roundup

I had found a bunch of interesting articles and links over the last week or so that I had hoped to turn into individual blog articles, but the busy-ness of work, being sick, having a sick wife, and Shepherd's Conference, have occupied my time.

So at the risk of being accused of copying Dan's concept, let me share my links in this post:

= > I actually like stories of stupid irony. When I checked the stats, this particular county in Maryland was a "red state" county, but how much you want to bet many of those cliff dwellers living in their fancy mansions favor the tyrannical legislation of the environmental wackos? They certainly do here in Cali-ah-forn-yah, as your governor says.

=> I guess they are thinking all the sharks will flop around on the floor chasing people and snapping up children.

=> Egyptologist, Chuck Aling, puts the life of Joseph in chronological perspective. Adds to my interchange with Turretinfan last fall on the length of Israel's sojourn in Egypt.

=> Folks are right to question Ergun Caner's claims of debate, but now, some are questioning the legitimacy of a stunt he did in which he was allegedly "tazed."

=> A reporter wonders if the 1997 Arizona lights that disrupted air traffic over Sky Harbor in Phoenix was really a military test in psychological warfare.

=> Those little weather gathering stations may be much more archaic and antiquated than previously thought.

=> John Byl does a study on Genesis and ancient cosmology and takes to task those fallacious illustrations suggesting Moses and the other OT writers believe the cosmos was a solid dome with the sun and moon rolling around on the ceiling. He follows up with a post interacting with a staunch objector who disagrees with his assessment.

=> And, speaking of Genesis and compromise, here is a prime example how allegorical hermeneutics messes with your theology: Adam is Israel. I guess it was only the people of Israel who inherited sin, not the entire human race? I may have more later next week on this one.

=> The Freakanomics guys are asking if anyone pretends to be Christians so as not to curse themselves socially. Many commenters claim they do, especially in the Bible belt red state south. I left a comment wondering what sort of churches such individuals attend in order to maintain their facade. I mean, are they more comfortable posing at a United Methodist church where services last maybe 40 minutes, maybe 30 if the children's puppet sermon is excluded, and a Bible is rarely opened? OR one of those mega-seeker sensitive evangelical churches where one of the three services lasts maybe 45 minutes, maybe 35 minutes if they don't play a music video that morning, and Bibles are rarely opened? Of course, the post demonstrates a total lack of cultural awareness with biblical Christianity, because the Bible tells us poser Christians will always be present in the church for the very reasons these individuals attest to. It takes the consistently sound preaching of God's Word in order to expose and root them out, something those faker "Christians" have probably never encountered. I do wonder if they would have the courage to ask Muslims if they "fake" being Muslims to avoid negative social consequences.

=> I was wondering around in the seminary library a few Wednesday nights ago waiting for the Awana game time to start and noticed with bug-eyed incredulity that CRI, Hank "BAM" Hanegraaf, and the CRI Journal had a positive, glowing review of the Local Church cult, along with a groveling apology begging their forgiveness for previously labeling them as a cult.

The Local Church was founded by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, two men who synchronized Chinese mysticism with Christianity. They have aberrant ideas about the nature of God, including anti-Trinitarian teaching, and rather than clarifying their comments and being teachable when offered constructive, theological criticism by godly instructors, they attempt to sue the pants off their critics. This is not the behavior of Christians.

Norman Geisler (yes, that Norman Geisler) and Ron Rhodes offer a written response to Hank and CRI for their foolish move to embrace error. This counterfeit came over the horizon and bopped Hank right on the head.

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Blogger Escovado said...

Heres' part 1 of a little something I put together a couple of years ago regarding the Bible and the flat earth. I'll post the rest later:

According to Jeffery Burton Russell, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara, “[W]ith extraordinary few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat.” Dr. Russell authored a book called Inventing The Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians where he explores the origins and dissemination of the flat earth myth in modern times. Russell argues that the flat earth was fabricated in the 1830’s by two authors: the Frenchman, Antoine-Jean Letronne in his book On the Cosmographical Ideas of the Church Fathers and the American, Washington Irving in his book History of The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. The myth was then used as propaganda by nineteenth century Darwinists to further their agenda. Russell writes in a summary of his book,

"But now, why did the false accounts of Letronne and Irving become melded and then, as early as the 1860s, begin to be served up in schools and in schoolbooks as the solemn truth?

The answer is that the falsehood about the spherical earth became a colorful and unforgettable part of a larger falsehood: the falsehood of the eternal war between science (good) and religion (bad) throughout Western history. This vast web of falsehood was invented and propagated by the influential historian John Draper (1811-1882) and many prestigious followers, such as Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), the president of Cornell University, who made sure that the false account was perpetrated in texts, encyclopedias, and even allegedly serious scholarship, down to the present day. A lively current version of the lie can be found in Daniel Boorstin's The Discoverers found in any bookshop or library.

The reason for promoting both the specific lie about the sphericity of the earth and the general lie that religion and science are in natural and eternal conflict in Western society, is to defend Darwinism. The answer is really only slightly more complicated than that bald statement. The flat-earth lie was ammunition against the creationists. The argument was simple and powerful, if not elegant: "Look how stupid these Christians are. They are always getting in the way of science and progress. These people who deny evolution today are exactly the same sort of people as those idiots who for at least a thousand years denied that the earth was round. How stupid can you get?"

But that is not the truth."

The spherical shape of our planet was a conclusion easily drawn by watching ships disappear over the horizon and also by the observation of eclipse shadows. Comparing the circular shadow on the face of the moon where light ends and darkness begins to night and day on the earth was one the proofs used by the Greeks for a spherical earth. Eratosthenes of Alexandria (circa 276 to 192 B.C.) calculated the circumference of the earth to within 50 miles of the present estimate. We can assume that such information was well known to New Testament writers. Earth's spherical shape was, of course, also understood by Christopher Columbus. The debate Columbus had with his contemporaries was not the shape of the earth, but, fully aware of the earth’s circumference calculated 1700 years earlier, whether or not a ship could make such a long journey to the orient.

8:03 PM, March 05, 2010  
Blogger Escovado said...

BTW - The medieval-looking woodcut on the cover of The Discoverers book has been used to illustrate the belief in the flat earth during the middle ages. However, there is no evidence of that image's existence prior to the late 1800's.

Moving on to part 2:

Using the NASB translation, what does the Bible say about the earth...

"He stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing." (Job 26:7)

The Bible states that the earth is suspended in space—the obvious comparison being with the spherical sun and moon.

"He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters at the boundary of light and darkness." (Job 26:10)

The Bible states that the boundary between light and darkness on the earth is circular. This suggests day and night on a spherical globe as can be easily observed from the phases of the moon.

"When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep." (Proverbs 8:27)

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in." (Isaiah 40:21-22)

Skeptic's insistence that the word "circle" in the above verses is indicative of a flat, pancake-like earth is tenuous at best, since "circle" also fits perfectly with the description of the circumference of a sphere. Furthermore, Gesenius’ Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon to The Old Testament defines the Hebrew word translated "circle" as "To describe a circle, to draw a circle, as with compasses, a circle, a sphere." In ancient Hebrew, there was no varying word for a "sphere" (a three-dimensional circle). It is not that the Hebrews or anyone else lacked the concept of sphericity but that they simply did not create a second word for it. Anyone looking at a pomegranate (a fruit mentioned many times in the Bible) would be familiar with the notion of a sphere.

Finally, Luke 17:30-37 depicts Christ’s Second Coming as happening while some are asleep at night and others are working at daytime activities in the field—an indication of a rotating earth with day and night at the same time. In the flat earth cosmology it is impossible to have simultaneous day and night.

"It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses {his life} will preserve it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. [Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.] And answering they said to Him, "Where, Lord?" And He said to them, "Where the body {is,} there also the vultures will be gathered."

It never ceases to amaze me how skeptics automatically become functional illiterates whenever they go fishing for “errors” in biblical cosmology. It is as if they abandon all awareness of poetry, metaphors and the phenomenological language used in everyday life.

3:59 AM, March 06, 2010  
Blogger Escovado said...

I forgot to mention that some of the above material was taken from Answers in Genesis. How I long for an edit button!

4:04 AM, March 06, 2010  
Blogger donsands said...

"I would equate the loss of the Puritan tiger beetle with the loss of the polar bear," -a nutty professor from Maryland

Maryland has a few Republican counties, but it seems the government delegates everywhere are liberal to the utmost.
Maryland is a tough place to live, let me tell you.

"..exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling .... creeping things."

The Bible comes through in Technicolor, or better yet, High Definition, once again.

9:11 AM, March 06, 2010  
Blogger DJP said...

Thanks, some great links there. I've added the ones on Joseph and Genesis in my BW8 notes.

6:48 AM, March 08, 2010  

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