Matthew R. Perry

Archive for the ‘biblical creationism’ Category

When a Global Flood Resounds a Global Message, Part III: (See His Mercy in Deliverance)

In biblical creationism, Creator, Evolution, global flood, liberal, Noah on February 19, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Francis Schaeffer observed, “If I only had one hour to share the gospel with someone, I would spend the first 55 minutes talking to them about how the God of the Bible created all things, created us in His image, but that we have sinned. After setting that table, I would then share with them the gospel of God’s mercy in the midst of our sin.”

Did you notice that we have not mentioned Noah yet? Let’s fix that: Genesis 6:8 says, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” The word “favor” can also be translated “grace” as well. He is only one of two men in the Old Testament referred to in this manner—the other being Moses. He is the subject of Genesis from Genesis 6-9.

But do we see the Good News that is the Gospel found here? Absolutely! God by His own initiative chose Noah who was “blameless in his generation [and] walked with God” (6:9). God informed Noah of His plans: “I have determined to make an end of all flesh. . . . I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:13). But God galvanized the heart of Noah. We realize from Genesis 9 that Noah was not perfect—but God’s grace shone on Noah’s heart and strengthened him to obey.

Harry Ironside stated that salvation was like Noah inviting a pagan in his day to place his trust in God’s Word and come in to the ark. Some view salvation like Noah offering to put a peg on the outside of the ark. “If you just hang on through the storm, you’ll be saved.” Salvation is not dependent on our holding on to God, but on our being securely held by and in Christ.

Do we see anything else pertaining to salvation? Read with me Genesis 7:11-16

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. [12] And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. [13] On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, [14] they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. [15] They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. [16] And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in.

So let’s review. God created all things. He made them good. He created humanity in His own image, and called them very good. They were to be fruitful and multiply, be caretakers of the earth, and enjoy God’s presence and provision. Yet, they rebelled when they listened to Satan tell them that they could trust his Word rather than God’s. They disobeyed and are under a curse that leaves them slipping and sliding and destined for hell and judgment, away from God’s presence and provision for all eternity.

God saw the issues, and ordained not only judgment, but the man and the vessel to bring humanity’s deliverance solely by His grace. God even shut Noah in. Why?

Clearly, this is the instrument God gives of their deliverance. 1 Peter 3:18-21 says:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, [19] in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, [20] because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. [21] Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Only eight were saved: Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives. The rest ignored the 120 year evidence of God’s Word to Noah and to them. Hebrews 11:7 said, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

The lesson? Dear friends, God made you personally. He made you and wired you to bring and spread the glory of His name and the wonder of His fame to all peoples. Yet, out of a desire to honor self, you rebelled against Him. You wanted to rule your own life, live by your own agenda, and thus you turned your back on the living God. We are, as the Word says, destined to die and afterwards to face judgment. That is exactly what we deserve.

Yet, God in His mercy did not leave us that way, but provided an instrument of salvation. An ark? Those pieces of wood point to other pieces of wood that came thousands of years later, put together as another instrument of our delivery—the cross of Christ. Noah points to Christ in that Christ found favor in the eyes of God not simply as a human being receiving God’s grace, but as the Son of Man and the Son of God who was God in the flesh, living righteously before His Father to stand as a substitute. Jesus is greater than Noah in that while Noah preached God’s Word of judgment to those who do not believe, Jesus preached and took our judgment in atoning for sins. He put Himself in the flood to absorb the catastrophe of that judgment we so undeniably deserve!!

Given how great this deliverance is that our Savior and Lord provided for us, what will you do? Will you look deliverance right in the face, knowing that a much more horrific and eternal judgment awaits for those who reject our Savior in order to continue wallowing in hell-bent sin? Will you see the cross of Christ and the empty tomb as instruments of God’s mercy and grace toward you, in spite of the wrath from Him that you deserve? In John 6:44, Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” Is He drawing you this morning?

Read the other posts in this series:

When a Global Flood Resounds a Global Message, Part II (SeeThe Inevitability of Judgment)

In biblical creationism, Evolution, global flood, liberal, Noah on February 19, 2009 at 10:34 pm

So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”. . . [13] And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Friends, we want you to be in this place to see that God holds you as highly valuable because you are the not product of some chemicals and peptides coming together to make you by chance. Psalm 139:14 says you were fearfully and wonderfully made even in your mother’s womb. You had a careful Creator and Designer.

But you are a spiritual being as well. And given that all of us have rebelled against our Creator, we are given myriad of chances. The people of Noah’s day saw the evidence of coming judgment: Noah preached God’s Word of judgment and called for repentance of their sin that leads them into the very pits of hell itself. James 1:12-15 says:

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. [13] Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. [14] But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. [15] Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

It starts ever so subtly. It starts by just eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage. Even if you believe if you call yourself (notice I said, “call yourself”) a Christian, but the extent of your life is eating, drinking, marrying, giving in marriage, driving, working, playing, school, charity work, paying your bills and taxes, even coming to church—but God is not active in the equation but is just an assumed player in your life, you are on a slippery slope.

Let me take the danger one step further. You may be a well-meaning Christian. But you may approach Christian things in a selfish manner. Few things are tougher to see and overcome than selfish motives and ideas that are elevated to spiritual tests of faith. This is when churches become grid-locked in their own ideas of what they think God wants. When the gospel is not front and center and your eyes are not fixed on the crucified Christ. Rather, we have “sanctified” personal preferences, thinking that these line up with God. The danger is taking peripheral issues and putting them in the center, and putting Christ in the periphery.

This is the essence of sin–even when we have the most noble of intentions in mind. Regardless of the intentions, we will be subject to God’s judgment due to our worship of those idols we have placed and staked right in the center of our will and, yes, our worship. That judgment is inevitable.

A Global Flood Resounds a Gospel Message, Part I: The Epitome of Sin

In biblical creationism, Darwin, Evolution, global flood, Humanism, Noah on February 17, 2009 at 9:40 am

Once again, look at Genesis 6:5 as well as Genesis 6:11-12:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . . Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

Clearly this is a bleak picture—we see the greatness of man’s wickedness not just in action, but also “the intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Wickedness. Evil. This passage captures the imagination, doesn’t it? What does this look like? Yes, the earth was “filled with violence” and “corrupt.” But the violence was simply a symptom of a greater cause, being “the intentions of the thoughts of his heart” being evil.

What is the essence of evil? I believe that Jesus helps inform us of the essence of the evil found here. In Luke 17:26-27.

Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

So what are we seeing here? Is the “evil” and “wickedness” simply heinous violent acts? No, but that is ultimately the result if left unchecked. Where did it stem? “They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark.” In other words, they were continuing on as if nothing would change. They lived life, even the mundane things of life, without God in the equation. Just as 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do, do to the glory of God.”

Darwin fell into this mindset when he listened to his mentor, Dr. Charles Lyell, who claimed like Sagan that everything would continue on as it always had with no change and, ultimately, no judgment or accountability for what you said, did, or thought. The essence of sin is living your life without God in the equation.

Many Christians are like this, but they add God onto it. They have their preferences about how their Christian life should be, how their church should be done, and elevate their preferences up to essentials and then believe God blesses those perceived “essentials.” Many believe that if they are Christians and they have certain convictions, they should be seen as necessities for everyone else–even what they are not expressly outlined in Scripture.

We must be careful not to live as Christian atheists — having Christ in name only, but living as if He did not exist.

A Global Flood Resounds a Gospel Message (Introduction)

In biblical creationism, Evolution, global flood, Humanism, Noah on February 16, 2009 at 3:23 pm

You would be surprised at how controversial this biblical event is among those who claim to be Christians. But did you realize that every ancient culture in biblical times had a story about a widespread flood? Dr. Duane Gish in his book Dinosaurs by Design said that there are 270 such stories, most of which share a common theme and common characters. Even flood legends in China where Fuhi, his wife, and three sons and three daughters escaped a flood, leaving them the only ones alive on earth. A similar story even comes from Hawaii. (For more about this, read this article.)

Yet many disagree as to whether this really happened. Many in our schools who hold to Darwinism (and scientists such as Carl Sagan) not only believe the earth is eternal, but also believe that everything existed as it always has with no cataclysmic interruptions (known as utilitarianism). Therefore, to believe in this, they say, is to believe in a fairy tale. Darwinism and their man-made theories seem to them much more plausible.

Even though many inside and outside the church many question whether the flood happened and whether there was a literal ark to hold every kind of animal, many inside and outside the church may (if that first issue is resolved) question its relevance today. Sure, it makes a nice story—many pieces of children’s literature tell us to “be good like Noah” who is sitting on a tiny little boat with a few animals. It really misses the entire point of this event and even makes Christians wonder if there is any purpose to this.

This global flood resounds a global message—a gospel message. This is a worldwide flood delivering a worldwide judgment of God. By rejecting this account, you reject a vivid and vibrant picture of the urgent need for seeing our sin and its consequences, but also the great mercy and deliverance God provided. This, in essence, is the gospel. And I pray that you walk out of here seeing the goodness and mercy of our God who provides mercy, deliverance, and even Himself. And I pray that you will also see the great and devastating consequences of what happens when you reject and rebel against His Word.

Read with me if you will Genesis 6:5-14:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. [6] And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. [7] So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” [8] But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

[9] These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. [10] And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

[11] Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. [12] And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. [13] And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. [14] Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.

(Tomorrow: The Global Flood Shows the Epitome of Evil!)

In Praise of Darwin by Secularists and the Vatican?

In biblical creationism, Creator, Darwin, Darwinism, Evolution on February 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm

A secularist group called the “Freedom From Religion Foundation” is starting an ad campaign in praise of Charles Darwin during the time of his 200th birthday (February 12, 2009).  The group urged people to “evolve beyond belief.”  We should not be surprised by this media blitz of this group and others like it.  It just reminds me of what the Apostle Paul said centuries ago:

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.  [21] For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  [22] Claiming to be wise, they became fools,  [23] and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles (Romans 1:20-23, ESV).

Given how there is no conclusive evidence to Darwin’s theory of macro-evolution (one species evolving into another), this is another example of how science and academia have exchange the religion of Christianity for the religion of Darwinism.  We look at the same evidence with different presuppositions. 

Also, the Vatican just released a statement that Darwin’s theories are not in opposition to the Genesis 1 account.  Richard Owen writes:

The Vatican has admitted that Charles Darwin was on the right track when he claimed that Man descended from apes.

A leading official declared yesterday that Darwin’s theory of evolution was compatible with Christian faith, and could even be traced to St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. “In fact, what we mean by evolution is the world as created by God,” said Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The Vatican also dealt the final blow to speculation that Pope Benedict XVI might be prepared to endorse the theory of Intelligent Design, whose advocates credit a “higher power” for the complexities of life.

Organisers of a papal-backed conference next month marking the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species said that at first it had even been proposed to ban Intelligent Design from the event, as “poor theology and poor science”. Intelligent Design would be discussed at the fringes of the conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University, but merely as a “cultural phenomenon”, rather than a scientific or theological issue, organisers said.

Intelligent design a mere “cultural phenomenon”?  The Vatican said this? 

We must beware of taking man-made theories and cultural baggage to the text of God’s holy Word and re-interpret it.  Given that God created the heavens and the earth and all things in it, we must realize that science must submit to the Scriptures, not vice versa. 

Psalm 33:6
    By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
        and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

Rev. 4:11
    “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
        to receive glory and honor and power,
    for you created all things,
        and by your will they existed and were created.”

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Is Denying a Six-Day Creation Equivalent to Compromising the Gospel?

In biblical creationism, Darwin, Darwinism, Evolution, Gospel on January 29, 2009 at 10:15 pm

I am currently preparing for a four-part sermon series on “Creationism v. Darwinism: Can The Bible Be Trusted?” in light of Charles Darwin’s (1809-1883) 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s magnum opus, On the Origin of Species.

What has amazed me most in the research on this is not the inconsistencies of Darwinism (nothing on a macro-evolution level has yet to be proven or substantiated), but on how many Christians want to wed Darwin’s theory with the biblical account and impose Darwinian science on the clear text of Scripture.

The most popular way to do this is to take the six days of creation and turn them into “millions of years.” What many want to say is that the word ‘day’ doesn’t mean ‘day’ in the 24-hour sense, but that ‘day’ really means an era or an extended amount of time. Ken Ham on his Answers in Genesis podcast has a whole list of ministers who fail to hold to a literal six days (James Dobson, James Montgomery Boice, to name some), and I would regretfully add Tim Keller to the list as you examine his otherwise fine work The Reason for God (pp. 89-92).

A.E. Wilder-Smith in his wonderful work Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny says, “An effort has been made to overcome some of the difficulties of harmonization by reckoning the seven creative days of Genesis as seven geological ages. It is in our own view, however, that the attempt to overcome some difficulties by this method often introduces even greater problems” (43). Wilder-Smith notes the absurdity of having plant life (Day 3) exist for millions of years prior to the sunlight being created (Day Four)–especially with the necessity of coal mixtures needing a good dose of sunlight. Plus, did God really rest millions of years? It just doesn’t fit.

But the question is: does this really compromise the Gospel? I believe it can because we risk being inconsistent in taking the gospel found in the Scriptures literally, yet taking the Genesis 1 account which is laid out like history (not poetry) non-literally. It compromises our witness. Just look at the transcripts of the Scopes “Monkey” Trial where Clarence Darrow called prosecuter William Jennings Bryan to the stand. Bryan compromised on the literal nature of the Bible, and Darrow took advantage.

Scientists who embrace Darwinism out of hatred for the possibility of biblical creationism go for this aspect. If they can get us denying the literal nature of the very first chapter of the Bible, then they will not worry about going after other items such as the resurrection. We have already shown the inconsistency–and they have won the day.

What say you?