Blindness to Worldviews

Dear hijas,

In picking back up in my review of Dr. John K. Reed’s book “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale”, I love these particular quotes from Chapter 6 titled ‘Unreliable Clocks’:

At its core, the geologic timescale is a weapon that secularism has used to good effect against Christianity.

Or this:

Furthermore, if the various clocks used by stratigraphers all worked as claimed, then they would all agree. It is clear that they do not. Different radiometric methods yield different ages. Dates of rocks of known ages are incorrect. Paleontologists discard radiometric dates that contradict fossil assemblages. And no one thinks that these disagreements pose serious problems, they just ‘know’ that the template is correct.

Or how about this one:

Most of the public thinks that radiometric dating is the one infallible clock. But scientists recognize that is not true and so they rely instead on combinations of fallible, malleable methods. Then they argue that the timescale is more certain because of independent overlapping lines of evidence. But do they overlap each other like shingles, forming an impenetrable seal, or like a house of cards? This need of many clocks tells us an important truth; there is not one single infallible chronometer. Would you rather have one watch that kept time or a dozen that didn’t?

Or:

…professional stratigraphers have known all along that the real ‘clock’ is biological evolution. Rocks are ordered by fossils and fossils by their evolutionary stage. This is why geologists share the panic of biologists when evolution is attacked. The credibility of the timescale is linked to that of evolution. If evolution falters, the timescale does too.

And then this classic from Chapter 4:

Christians can no longer remain blind to the worldview behind the timescale.

With love,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas

‘Death’ Before the Fall?

Dearest hijas,

Have you ever considered one of the arguments that some Christians give for believing in death before the Fall of Adam, and its related corollary of an old earth? It goes something like this: “Well, I don’t believe that death as an entity only came about because of Adam’s sin. That was death for humans only, for surely plants died before the Fall, and animals don’t experience pain in death like we humans do, so animals were peacefully dying long before Adam’s sin, much like the good ole’ family pet, Fido, curled up by the fireplace who simply dies peacefully and naturally”.

It seems like a logical argument – doesn’t it? It seems so logical that many of your Christian friends and leaders stumble over it. A case in point, is the below article and link by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati about R.C. Sproul Jr., who teaches at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. An otherwise stalwart man of faith and of the Reformed tradition, Sproul Jr. is a young-earth creationist, but seems to be confused about the implications of his position, as Dr. Sarfati points out.

I encourage you to click on the link below and read the article carefully. Within the article are other links to other articles that you can click on and get more information. You may have to read a portion, think about it, read more, and/or come back to it several times as you have time to read through the whole article completely.

R.C. Sproul Jr Blunders on Plant Death

Pay particular attention to the description of plant ‘death’ from a Biblical perspective and to Scripture’s definition of what constitutes a ‘living creature’ or in Hebrew nephesh chayyah.

Pay attention also to the way animals ‘died’ as shown in the fossil record. Did they die peacefully and naturally like our example of the family pet, or were there other things evidenced in the fossil record that indicate this was not so?

Keep asking questions, mis hijas. Don’t be afraid to challenge respected leaders who have compromised on Biblical truth.

TheoJello

With love I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Without Genesis 1-11: Nothing

Dear hijas,

I’m going to repost a video and post from Answers in Genesis that I think you might enjoy:

Teach the Uncompromised Truth of Genesis in Church

Click on the above title and watch Pastor Corey Abney of Florence Baptist Church explain why the first 11 chapters of Genesis are foundational to all our doctrines in Christianity. The great doctrines of the Church build on one another, link after link, and foundational to that and to the gospel we preach is the creation of all that exists, including you and I, by an act of omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent power. He is a God who is there and is not silent; who spoke and it was done.

373

Listen to what Pastor Abney explains is happening in churches all across this country: perhaps in your church. Listen to “why” this is happening. Listen for the “how” it occurred. Try to glean a few action points that you can use in making a change where you are; with your colleagues and friends, with your church, in reversing this dangerous trend.

For an in-depth article on the importance of Genesis 1-11 by the Logos Research Associates, see and click here:
The Importance of Genesis 1-11 In Depth

With love,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Jesus Devastates the Old Earth View

Dearest hijas,

In taking a break from the review of Dr. John K. Reed’s book Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geological Timescale may I direct your attention to this article by Bodie Hodge of Answers in Genesis:

Jesus Devastates An Old Earth

Mr. Hodge draws from Jesus’ own statements about marriage from the “beginning” of creation in Mark 10:6 and Matthew 19:4, and not 13 billion years later as an old earth advocate must believe to hold to her old-earth view. There are interesting parallels with other Jesus AGE verses in Mark 13: 19-20 and Luke 11: 50-51 which you might want to consider and ponder. Jesus, as Creator (Col.1:18) (John 1:3) obviously knows when He created the universe and as God is aware of time and age and how old His creation is, so these are powerful verses which indicate that Jesus Himself taught and expected us to believe a relatively recent creation about 6000 years ago.

There’s an interesting account of Hodge’s discussion and dialog with an old-earth advocate at a Christian conference that Hodge was attending. I won’t spoil the story, so read it yourself and enjoy!

With love and blessings,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas!

Philosophical Foundations of the Geologic Timescale: Uniformitarianism

Dear hijas,
rocks-arent-clocks
From our last post in reviewing Dr. John Reed’s book “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale”, we saw that evolution is one of the foundations of the timescale. It is not the only one however. The concept of uniformitarianism that was promoted primarily by Charles Lyell in the 1830’s is also essential to the concept of deep time and the resulting timescale. Uniformitarianism used in its fullest sense means: a philosophy and method that allows science to become the arbiter of history. For Lyell, it was a mix of the methodological principle of uniformity (a principle which all scientists accept) with the gradualistic theory of history. This well-regulated past of imaginary vast eons, paved the way for Darwin and his evolutionary ideas, quite different from Biblical history, and contrary to the concepts of God creating and then overseeing the cosmos.

Reed says that “All three ideas–evolution, uniformitarianism, and deep time–are closely connected. Although many people today reject Lyell’s gradualism and are increasingly skeptical of evolution, the timescale and geologic history remain unscathed. But if all three are intertwined, the selective rejection of evolution and uniformitarianism, with no consequences for the timescale, seems schizophrenic.”

Reed then goes on to talk about James Hutton’s role in the idea of uniformitarianism. James Hutton, you remember, a Scottish natural philosopher and early geologist in the 1700’s, was called by some ‘The man who found time’. Reed says, “Hutton knew Genesis had to be discredited to make way for his deistic view of history. So he went straight for the jugular–there is nothing more basic to orthodox Christianity than ex nihilo creation and the end of the world at the final judgment; for the Bible begins with the famous words, ‘In the beginning’ and then moves immediately outside the ‘system of nature’ in the next words, ‘God created.'”
uniformitarianism
Remember mis hijas, uniformitarianism is not the same as uniformity, but the secularists like to equivocate here and make them say the same thing. They are not the same thing, however, and you shouldn’t confuse the two. ‘Uniformity’ is an essential axiom of science and is the idea that patterns in nature, or more frequently called ‘natural laws’ operate in the same predictable manner over space, time, and for the most part, scale. Because it is a statement about the nature of reality, it is a metaphysical assertion, justified only by Christian theology. ‘Uniformitarianism’, however, assumes that past causes will be natural ones like those observed in the present. This is not a scientific assertion, but a ‘philosophical’ one. Do you see the difference?

I pray that you do see the difference and that you will be able to share that difference with your friends and colleagues. Uniformity is at the heart of science, uniformitarianism is not.

With Love,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

The Philosophy Underlying Secular GeoHistory’s Timescale

Dear hijas,
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I still hope you’re reading when you have time. I want to pick up in Chapter 4 of Dr. John K. Reed’s book “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geological Timescale.”
rocks-arent-clocks

What I think we must understand in all this is that we are talking about two opposing worldviews: the Christian worldview versus the secularist worldview (naturalism). God sees men and women in either one of two camps: 1) in Adam, or 2) in Christ. We are either in Adam, unregenerate and dead in our sin and trespass, or under grace in Christ and regenerate to a new life in Him. The Christian worships and serves the Creator, the non-Christian worships and serves herself as the creature (Rom. 1:25). Those are the only two options, and you can’t be half in one and half in the other. It’s an either/or proposition.

When it comes then, to secular geohistory and its billion and millions of year timescale, we must seek to understand from a philosophical viewpoint what the foundations are upon which this timescale was built. If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll remember that I’ve said that things started to change in this regard in the late 18th century with the Age of Enlightenment. The late 1700’s and early 1800’s are considered to be the start of this new field of geology and the development of its timescale. To our point then, Reed says,

…the timescale possesses a burden of bias stemming from hidden philosophical foundations…stratigraphers use science as a façade to mask philosophical commitments of the naturalistic worldview.

We must remember that naturalism presents itself, to those who can see through its scientific facade, as a religion. As a religion, there are philosophical underpinnings. So, what are the underpinnings or foundations of naturalism’s geologic timescale? Reed says “there at least three ideas closely tied to naturalism that form the foundation of the timescale”:

1) Evolution
2) Uniformitarianism
3) Deep Time

So, let’s take the first one in our list above: evolution. How is evolution an underpinning of the timescale? Reed explains,

The timescale is all about the sequential ordering of a chronology of the past. Arranging any group of objects in a specific order requires a key. This key must contain something in common with all the pieces to be able to unite them into a common group…What is the ‘key’ that allows sequential ordering of different rock layers? It’s not the kind of rock because most rock types are present in most eras. Limestone can be Proterzoic or Paleozoic. Its not the thickness of the formation or the thickness of the beds that make up the formation. In fact, it’s not any physical property. Instead, it is their age–an intangible span of time. What then is the key to assigning discrete time spans to particular formations? Consult any stratigraphic text, and you will see that it is evolution.

geologic timescale 1
It is the changes in fossils, from a progression of simple to complex inherent in evolution, that date strata. “In other words”, Reed says, “the key that allows geologists to assign one layer to one age and another layer to another age is the evolutionary stage of their respective fossil contents…Evolution is the clock by which the rocks are calibrated and arranged in the timescale”.

Reed concludes,

Thus, evolution is crucial to the timescale. How we understand the nature of evolution then affects how we see the timescale… Evolution and the timescale are thus linked by their mutual symbiotic dependence on naturalism. Evolution needs enough time for gradual transformative progress on the biological side, and the timescale is the key to its chronology. That symbiosis is cemented by a mutual antipathy to biblical history. A past without God must explain existence and diversity of life in both present and past. Evolution claims to do so, within the deep time provided by geologic history.

We’ll look at the other foundations in my next post.

With love I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Assuming Rocks Are Like History Books

Dearest hijas,

We turn now to the 4th fallacy in secular geohistory’s hidden fallacies from Dr. John K. Reed’s “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale”, Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, GA, 2013. Dr. Reed starts this section by saying:

The fourth error is the belief that a rich and detailed account of the past is available in the rocks–like a book about the Hapsburgs or Hannibal crossing the Alps. There is historical content in the rock record–the error is overestimating its quality and quantity.

The metaphors inherent with this fallacy are that sedimentary strata are like “pages of a book”, and fossils record “the march of time”. But are they, and do they now? Let’s see.

We remember that conflict over natural history is about the presuppositions each side brings to the table. The data remain static. We all have the same data, but it is in the interpretation based on a set of presuppositions that error creeps in. We’re talking about the secularist worldview versus the Biblical worldview.
glasses
So the question on the table is this: Do the rocks represent long ages (a secularist worldview) or rapid deposition in a high-energy event (a Biblical worldview: Noah’s Flood)?

The secularist denies the judgment of God in the universal and global Flood of Noah. She claims it never happened. But should a Christian deny an event taking up 4 chapters (Gen. 6-9) in God’s revelatory book about Himself and what He did? I don’t think so. But why, you might ask?

Dr. Reed explains:

If deposited by a global flood, rocks are indicators of hydraulic power, not clocks measuring endless eons.

th8HIAYXP8

He continues:

…Christians should see things differently. They can agree that rocks are an historical record and that forensic methods are appropriate. But at that point, their worldview must take them away from the conclusions of naturalism. Because God is the infinite Creator of the physical cosmos and man, the best way to understand nature and time is from His eyewitness perspective. His written record of the past all the way back to the beginning should shape geological inquiry. In theory, it does. It precludes prehistory, clues us in on creation, and describes the destruction of Earth’s face by a global flood. It’s a baby step of logic from there to the conclusion that a large part of the rock record is a result of that great Flood.

As always, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Secular GeoHistory’s Hidden Fallacies: Part 2

Dear hijas,
rocks-arent-clocks

To continue in our discussion of secular geohistory’s hidden fallacies, and a review of Dr. John K. Reed’s ‘Rock’s Aren’t Clocks-A Critique of the Geologic Timescale’, we’ve already covered secular geohistory’s hidden fallacies 1 & 2 in a previous post. Remember Dr. Reed’s admonition “If Christians are to understand Earth history, they must first understand how it was taken by secular thinkers.”

The four hidden fallacies are:

1) An ignoring of the worldview conflict between Christianity and Naturalism.
2) An assumption of the reality of ‘prehistory’ and its pre-human billions and millions of years.
3) An assumption that natural history is science, and not history.
4) Seeing more ‘history’ in the rocks than is really there.

So, let’s now turn to Fallacy #3: assuming natural history is just science. This fallacy stems from naturalism’s theory of knowledge (its epistemology) which makes science the final and ultimate arbiter of truth. Scientists are convinced that their investigations of the past are by definition scientific endeavors. You’ve heard the expression, the ‘facts of science’? This fallacy and expression assumes that when science speaks, it’s speaking true truth; that its truth claims can’t be challenged because they’re proven by science. But wait a minute, how can science study unique, unobserved, unrepeatable past events of history? The answer is that it can’t. No scientist was there to record the events of the deep past, so what naturalism does to get around this inconsistency is to proffer the concept of ‘uniformitarianism’.

uniformitarianism

Uniformitarianism is remembered by its famous though imprecise statement: “the present is the key to the past.”

According to Reed, ‘uniformitarianism’ works like this:

It works like this. If events in the past were similar to those we observe in the present, then scientists can study present day events and processes, and extrapolate back in time, confident that the sameness predicated by uniformitarianism will make their extrapolations valid.

So, if we change the rules of the game, and couch unique, unobserved, and unrepeatable past events in the scientific term of ‘uniformitarianism’, we’ve effectively moved the goalposts of what used to be the realm of history alone and moved it over to the realm of science. Do you see how easily this was done? And yet this is exactly what has happened. Uniformitarianism, as a scientific term and concept, then becomes unassailable. What a neat trick. The smart Christian should know better however.

You see mis hijas, “Christianity rests upon the Bible. The Bible in turn rests upon confidence in history in general and in revealed history in particular. The fatuous cliché, ‘the Bible is not a textbook of science,’ merely distracts from the fact that it is the only reliable textbook of ancient history'” (John K. Reed, Peter Klevberg, Chris Bennett, Jerry Akridge, Carl R. Froede, Jr., and Thomas Lott, Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 3 – Dec. 2004).

So in essence, what we now have is a natural history, purportedly resting on the supposedly scientific concept of uniformitarianism, against a natural history revealed by God Himself in the pages of Scripture. The two views are diametrically opposed to one another, and can’t co-exist in the mind of the Christian. The secularist believes his version of natural history, resting upon an unwarranted conclusion that ‘the present is key to the past’, and the Christian believes the word of God Himself as revealed in Scripture concerning God’s eyewitness testimony of the events of natural history. The problem is that many of your friends, beloved pastors, and theologians are today accommodating the secularist version of natural history. It is truly a travesty. They ought instead to be reminded of Romans 3:4 (NASB):

Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,
‘THAT THOU MIGHTEST BE JUSTIFIED IN THY WORDS, AND MIGHTEST PREVAIL WHEN THOU ART JUDGED.’

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

From whence comes thy criticism?

Dear hijas,

It is often noted that those Christians who criticize the recent creation and young earth position (the orthodox position of the Church for 1800 years), vying instead for the secular version of earth history and it’s billions and millions of years, almost never offer their criticism from Scripture. The criticism usually comes from unwarranted belief in supposed secular interpretations of astronomical age, radiometric dating, tree-ring dating, varves, ice cores, and the like, ad absurdum.

But very rarely does a criticism come from the Scriptures and from a theological rendering of the Biblical text. The reason is that you can’t find theological support from Scripture for billions and millions of years. It just isn’t there. And if one’s final authority is not in Scripture, then where is it? Obviously in something other than Scripture (man’s autonomous ideas), which for the Christian poses a big problem; a big 2nd commandment problem; a big idolatry problem.

…for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…(Ex. 20:5)

Few Christians today who accept an old earth and old cosmos understand this connection. They honor and accept autonomous secular man’s ideas of how old the earth and cosmos are, never investigating and understanding where these ideas came from and the impetus behind them in the first place, and in the same instance dishonor the God they say they have placed their trust in.

They get their knowledge and base their salvation on the words of Scripture in the Gospels concerning Christ’s death and resurrection and solution for their sin problem, yet on the other hand disbelieve and discount these same Scriptures in Genesis when it comes to Creation in six days and a young earth. It’s a sad and harmful intellectual schizophrenia.

Few realize they are dishonoring the Christ they say they love, for He Himself in His work of Creation was Holy, and pure, and blameless. Attributing to Christ the deaths of millions and millions of His very own created creatures, let alone the natural evils of killer earthquakes, asteroid bombardment, mega-tsunamis, disease, decay, and massive destruction against His very own work in Creation over billions and millions of years, and all before Adam sinned, is a charge against Christ that is nothing but unadulterated blasphemy.

We are told to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matt. 22:37), yet few realize what loving God with all your mind requires. It requires an evaluation of one’s intellectual thinking on any matter whatsoever and slicing and dicing it up against the words of God Himself in Scripture. Does it comport, or is there variance? If variance, what warrant is there for believing man’s ideas against the almighty and omnipotent Creator of the universe? Does the creature have warrant and justification for shaking his fist at God and saying to the Almighty he thinks he knows better; that the Almighty doesn’t really mean what He says He means? He does so to his own jeopardy and peril.

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Secular GeoHistory’s Hidden Fallacies: Part 1

Dear hijas,

“If Christians are to understand Earth history, we must first understand how it was taken by secular thinkers.” So says John K. Reed in Chapter 3 of “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale”, Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, GA 2013.
rocks-arent-clocks
Dr. Reed details the hidden fallacies underlying the secular view of Earth history, and he says there are four of them. They originate within a naturalistic and secularistic worldview, but Christians have fallen prey to believing them as well:

1) An ignoring of the worldview conflict between Christianity and Naturalism.
2) An assumption of the reality of ‘prehistory’ and its pre-human billions and millions of years.
3) An assumption that natural history is science, and not history.
4) Seeing more ‘history’ in the rocks than is really there.

Let’s take them one at a time. Within Western culture there are two broad worldviews squaring off against each other: Naturalism and Christianity. Naturalism came out of the Enlightenment (generally mid 17th century to late 18th century) and is the worldview of the secularist. “It is built on the assumption that if there is a god, he is too remote from human affairs to be known or to have had any physical effect in the world. Truth comes not from revelation, but from man’s knowledge, and the zenith of human knowledge is science,” says Reed. “Naturalism began as a minority view, but one strongly held by Enlightenment intellectuals. Its proponents offered conciliatory lip service to ‘religion’, took advantage of Christian tolerance, and talked up compromise at every turn,” he continues. It was the so-called “Age of Reason”, and as it grew in strength it influenced (sadly) the Church. Yet the winds of change are blowing, and Christians are waking up to the masquerade. They are beginning to realize that the science that gave us millions and billions of years of pre-human Earth history was a façade for a philosophical worldview, according to Reed. You see, mis hijas, more of us need to wake up and understand the worldview conflict here. Naturalism’s strength has always been hiding behind ‘science’, and it’s time we understood the philosophical assumptions behind the science.

Fallacy #2 is the assumption of the reality of “prehistory”. That prehistory is long before humans, and involves billions and millions of years of earth development along with its ensuing biological development way before humans ever showed up on the scene.
Geologic timeline
But is this prehistory really true? Not according to the Scriptures it isn’t. But that’s the point, Reed says. The Enlightenment invention of prehistory was an attempt to make Genesis irrelevant. It was an end run around the Biblical narratives of Adam and Eve and the creation of the universe and everything in it in six days, and an “insertion” of this long prehistory before Adam and Eve and a ‘wink, wink’ that the six days weren’t really six days. The stratagem worked. Theologians of the day compromised and became part of the “smart” crowd and we are where we are today: theologians still compromising, conjuring up new ways to interpret Genesis 1 to accommodate the billions and millions of years of prehistory.

“Christians cannot continue to waffle,” Reed says. He continues,

“There is either one unified history, taught by the Bible, or there are two distinct histories: human history and prehistory. Prehistory is not a given. Either it existed or it did not.”

As always, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

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