The commonly understood ideas of “Creation” or “Intelligent Design,” for those who have not explored the topic beyond reading the general press reports, gravitates toward 6-day creation positions, Young Earth vs. Old Earth, miraculous intervention (spontaneous creation by an outside force) and so on. In point of fact, Intelligent Design is not necessarily about any of these issues. Intelligent Design is about whether observation of the evidence can lead to a conclusion that creation is the result of an intelligent agent. Or in the case of some, whether the observation can lead to a conclusion that the process of evolution apart from an intelligent agent is the best explanation. Even some in the Intelligent Design movement still regard evolution as the best scientific explanation for the process of creation, but not its origins.
Welcome to tomthinking.com Monday, March 18 2019 @ 03:33 PM UTC
As I passed them the money I told my story. Shortly after coming to Mongolia I made friends with a police officer who was involved in busting a ring of counterfeiters. My police officer friend gave me one of the counterfeit bills as a gift.
The students diligently handled the money, looking at both sides trying to spot differences in the design work, ink, layout, etc. They held it up to the light. They rubbed the paper to see if the texture was the same on both bills. They even opened their wallets to compare the bills with their own. They questioned each other about their opinions. After a few minutes of back and forth I took the bills, held them up for everyone to see and ask the students to vote. Which bill was real? Which bill was fake?
All of the students gave their answer, choosing one bill or the other as real or fake. I held the bills high, pausing for dramatic effect, watching as the students sat, some on the edge of their seats, waiting to find out which bill was counterfeit. I made my announcement.
They were both real. My story was a lie.
I recently had an interesting exchange with a young woman who attended a church event where an evangelist claimed that hundreds of people were healed. As I was watching the event myself I knew that the claim was false.
The young woman, whose sincerity I do not doubt, was adamant that hundreds of people were healed. When I asked her for evidence so that I could rejoice with her, what I received instead were seven statements that could only be described as denying all reality. In fact, these statements are common among Christians who have a tendency to over-super-naturalize their experiences. When you hear these objections to a request for evidence of something then you can identify a person whose understanding is divorced from reality and scripture.
Confession time. I like a good fight. Not a punch you in the face, knock you out fight. Rather, I like a good argument. I like trying to match my wits with someone over something I control or can win at.
I didn't realize how much of this was true until one day in Mongolia when my friend Mike came to see me. We were talking about a problem with Eagle TV's leadership after I left the station. Suddenly, Mike said, "You like a good fight."
"No I don't," I replied. "I'm just standing up for our rights."
Mike didn't buy it. And he was right. Often my first intention is to go for a knock out blow. I want to dominate my opponent, force him to go my way, and gloat over the win. I really do like a good fight.
But what does it really get me?
Rick told me that he no longer believed in Jesus or the Bible. After many years of church involvement and even ministry involvement, my friend turned away from Christianity and instead decided to embrace Buddhism. His chief reason for rejecting Jesus was the hypocrisy of Jesus' people.
Such a decision always cuts us to the core. When we hear that our bad behavior has lead someone away from Jesus, it stings. We want the church to do better. We want to do better. However, I'm not convinced that the bad behavior of some Christians is really the reason why such people give up Jesus.
What does it mean to be in God’s image? And what does it mean to be created in God’s likeness? Are these two things the same, or are they different?
Let me share two perspectives on what it means to be in God’s image.
1.) We share God’s communicable attributes.
2.) His image is to imitate his works in Genesis 1.
The first place in scripture we are told about the image of God is in Genesis 1:26-27.
“God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Allow me to explain.
Have you ever seen this photo? Here is a great example of what speech says and what it means. The meaning of the sign is that the parking space is reserved for vehicles that use electric or hybrid engines instead of gas fueled vehicles. However, the driver of the truck took the spot because the color of his truck was green. He was probably having a good laugh about it, but it helps to illustrate a point. Does the usage of the word “Yom” in Genesis 1 refer to a 24-hour day, or does it mean something else? What was the intention of the writer? This is one of the central battles between young earth and old earth creationists.
Now, this is a religious argument between believers of differing persuasion. But what about the science? What are the hypotheses of young earth creationism from a scientific perspective? Not a biblical perspective, but a scientific perspective. There seem to be none. Consider these four truths:
How do you answer the charge that America was not founded on Christian principles since there seems to be no religious language in the US Constitution? Here’s one answer: Christian language was in America’s State constitutions. And there was a lot of it.
Here is language from America’s first 24 State Constitutions filled with Christian references. The reason the US Constiution did not feature such language was because the State Constitutions already had it. This was the same reason why the Bill of Rights did not appear in the Constiution until 4 years after the US Constitution was written, the State versions already had their own Declarations of Rights.
I hope you find this interesting and inspiring. Please share.