Tag Archives: Facts & Faith

Lessons Learned from Our 2013 Symposium

So, What did we learn?Can you defend your faith when challenged by others? Our Veracity blog founder, John Paine, has been thinking about this question, courtesy of J.I. Packer. But what are some of the obstacles that you and your fellow Christians face when given the opportunity to defend one’s faith? I have been meditating on these type of questions lately, as our Facts & Faith Symposium wrapped up about six weeks or so ago in November, 2013.  I would like share some of the things that I have been learning.

Our Symposium, sponsored partly by Veracity over three nights (#1, #2, and #3), covered the topic of Creation and how Science and the Bible relate to one another. OK, hang on for a minute. I admit that I am a bit of a science-geek. This is no surprise, as I am a computer engineer, so it comes with the territory. I know that there are a lot of friends of mine who could care less about science. As long as they can use their iPhones and work the microwave oven, technologies that have been brought to us by the miracle of modern science, then that is just fine with them.

I get that. Not everyone can be totally into “science-ish” type stuff, and I am no expert either. I still can not figure out how to connect a DVD player to a television screen easily, so if you ask me to help you hook up your home theater system, I will just end up staring at the puddle of wires for as long as you did. So, please do not get disappointed if I act like I have no clue as to what is going on.

Because you know what? I do not have a clue.

That’s what Google and YouTube videos are for.

But you do not need to be a science-geek to talk about the God of the Bible with your neighbors, friends and family. Working through our own theology of what it means to say that God is our Creator, that we are created in His image, the question of how we are to view the problem of suffering, death, and evil, and that we are fallen and in need of healing is crucial to the journey of personal discipleship. Our contemporary world is built on the foundations of modern science, and that scientific outlook presents challenges to the Christian faith were not there a couple of hundred years ago. So, it is difficult to avoid these challenges.

However, here is the interesting part. Thinking about the relationship between Science and the Bible with respect to Creation is but one example of the type of work Christians need to be able to do in order to effectively communicate the Gospel to a world today that finds it easier to ask Google instead of God for the answers to their questions. I have come to learn that the “Creation issue” is merely a case study illuminating a larger set of issues. Here is what I have learned:

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Symposium 2013 Roundup Week Three

Test everything. Hold on to the good.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NIV84)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2 (NIV84)

Among many other distinguishing characteristics, Christianity is all about the truth.  Christian believers do not have the burden of fideism, and can ask any question without fearing that their faith will be overturned by the answer.  In fact, the apostle Paul exhorted us to test everything.

Facts & Faith

We concluded our three-part Facts & Faith Symposium on Sunday night by showing and discussing Hugh Ross’ testimony in the Cosmic Fingerprints DVD, produced by Reasons To Believe.

We recorded the panel discussion and Q&A just as for Week Two, and here is the video:

[vimeo 80690471 w=490]

 

So What?

Why did we do this?  Doesn’t the topic of Creationism divide the church?  Was it worth it?   Continue reading


An Appearance of Age

Is God's Creation like a really good wine?

Is God’s Creation like a really good wine, “aged to perfection”, as they say?

I am pretty much a teetotaler, but my doctor has told me, off the record, that perhaps a glass of red wine per day would be a good thing. I have heart disease in my family, but I am such a lightweight that when it comes to alcohol, I still tend to shy away.

So if I was at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11), I probably would have been just fine drinking some water. But a crisis arose at the celebration when the wine began to run short. The mother of Jesus came up to her son, wanting him to do something about it. The servants knew that there was only water in those jars, as per Jesus’ instructions. But the headwaiter soon noted to the groom that what he had tasted was the best wine of the entire evening! The servants, and soon everyone there, saw what had happened. It was indeed a miracle!

Did you know that the wedding at Cana has a lot to do with the controversy between Young and Old Earth Creationism? Read on and find out why…
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Leviathan

In the ancient Babylonia creation myth, Marduk defeats Tiamat, a sea monster.  For many years in the church, the fascination with sea monsters and spiritual symbols they represent have captivated the imagination of people who read about Leviathan in the Bible. But not everyone sees things that way.

In the ancient Babylonia creation myth, Marduk defeats Tiamat, a sea monster. For many years in the church, the fascination with sea monsters and the spiritual symbols they represent have captivated the imagination of people who read about Leviathan in the Bible. But not everyone sees things that way.

In this past week’s Symposium meeting, we received this one comment from a participant:

I suppose that the Leviathan creature described in Job might be difficult to explain with the Old Earth theory.

This raises a really good question, but probably more than what the comment necessarily indicates.    So, yes, who is this mysterious Leviathan creature as mentioned in Job 41? This comment surely has this question in mind, but consider this from a wider perspective: What are the concerns that Christians have when they read the Bible that inform how they interpret the Bible?

My Veracity blogging cohort in mischief and mutual lover of pepperoni pizza, John Paine, has an excellent response from an Old-Earth perspective that deserves bringing forward:

This is a pretty well-worn argument between Old-Earth and Young-Earth creationists. The idea is that if Leviathan and Behemoth refer to dinosaurs, then down goes the argument that there are no dinosaurs in the Bible, and then we can conclude that dinosaurs overlapped mankind’s existence on earth (which would support a Young-Earth view).

There are five verses in the Bible that refer to the Leviathan (according to the English Standard Version):

Job 3:8
Job 41:1
Psalm 74:14
Psalm 104:26
Isaiah 27:1

All of these texts could be consistently interpreted as Leviathan referring to a crocodile (and Behemoth referring to a hippopotamus).

Here’s the Old-Earth interpretation.

Thanks for the comment, and I hope this helps.

John sums it up well. But what do the other Creationist perspectives that we have briefly discussed at the Symposium have to say about Leviathan?
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Symposium 2013 Roundup Week Two

How do you share the Christian faith when matters of science are held up against Scripture?  What do you say to your neighbor, your co-worker, or family member?  How do you handle potential controversy over these issues?  Are the Bible and science compatible or not?

On the second night of our three-part Facts & Faith symposium, we watched the Dual Revelation video produced by Reasons To Believe, and concluded with a panel discussion and Q&A from the audience.  Here is the trailer from the video:

Creation and science, and particularly how science and the record of nature fit within the Bible, is an important topic for all of us.  Do you have any questions or comments?  Even if you were not able to join us at the Symposium, please submit them below in the comments section, and we will do our best to answer them.  (For answers to Week One questions, see this link.)

In response to requests after the first symposium we did record the panel discussion and Q &A from the audience at this session, and here it is.


 
Thanks, from your friends at Veracity!

HT: Marion Paine (video)

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Handouts from the Facts & Faith Symposium

Evolution References by Dick Terman

Handout

Facts & Faith Handout


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